celebrated left-wing philosopher and MIT linguist Noam Chomsky almost predictably applauded the efforts of so-called whistle-blowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning and decried U.S. drone strikes, which have increased significantly since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
When asked in an interview that aired Thursday on Russia-based RT, Chomsky described Snowden as “an honest citizen.”
“I think he performed the responsibility of an honest citizen,” Chomsky said. “Let the population know what your elected representatives are doing. The same thing with Bradley-Chelsea Manning — let people know what your government is doing.”
Chomsky dismissed the response from the U.S. government to those two leaks as “completely predictable.” The MIT linguist said the U.S. is not concerned with the security of its population, but rather the government is concerned with its own security.
As for why there hasn’t been more backlash from U.S. citizens on privacy invasions, Chomsky chalked it up to a “frightened population.”
“It’s a frightened population, and the security argument has weight,” Chomsky replied. “People feel that somehow the government is somehow protecting us. Take say drones — the drone campaign is by far the biggest terrorist campaign in the world. It’s never described that way, but of course, [that is] what it is. Furthermore, it’s a terrorist-generating campaign. From the highest levels and the most respected sources, it’s recognized that the drone attacks create potential terrorists on quite a substantial scale. So therefore, it is a threat to U.S. security, quite apart from being a terrorist campaign in itself. It is almost never discussed.”