- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner says the man who disclosed top-secret spying programs is a “traitor” who committed a “giant violation of the law” that put Americans at risk.

Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said he has been briefed on the surveillance programs, which he described as lawful initiatives intended to snoop on people who may have had contact with suspected terrorists around the globe.

He had harsh words for Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old security analyst who told The Guardian newspaper last week that the National Security Agency keeps phone call logs and collects Internet data from foreigners through a hyper-secret program known as Prism.

“He’s a traitor,” the speaker told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “The president outlined last week that these were important national security programs to help keep Americans safe and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face.”

Mr. Boehner says Americans have nothing to fear, despite public uproar over the recently disclosed programs.

“Every time that I have been in a briefing, nine of the 10 people in the room are lawyers there to protect the privacy of the American people,” he told ABC.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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