"We need to hang him on the courthouse square": Former GOP senator lets loose with Edward Snowden blood lust

Saxby Chambliss, once the top Republican on Senate Intel Committee, comes unhinged

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 20, 2015 3:22PM (EDT)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.         (AP/Cliff Owen)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. (AP/Cliff Owen)

The former top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee thinks Edward Snowden should suffer a public hanging for his leak of classified documents outlining the practices of the National Security Administration, reports BuzzFeed.

The former Georgia senator retired from Congress this year to take his turn as a lobbyist and recently spoke about his career in the Senate during a speech at the University of Georgia. Chambliss, who chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security while he was a congressman and served as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told the audience that he "hoped" nobody had any "sympathy for" former government contractor Edward Snowden, because as Chambliss argued, "we need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon as we get our hands on him."

Chambliss compared to Snowden's leak to the recent hack at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), claiming the breach would result in the death of Americans just as Snowden's leak had:

This is real and the worst part of it — not unlike the Snowden incident, which I hope none of you have sympathy for him because we need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon as we get our hands on him — but just like we’re gonna lose American lives as a result of this breach

Snowden, who currently lives under asylum in Russia, will not face the death penalty, according to former Attorney General Eric Holder, but he has been charged with espionage. Holder has since called Snowden's leak "useful":

 I think the manner in which he made the disclosures has proven to be extremely harmful to the United States, but as the same time as I acknowledged in the interviews I did, a debate has been spurred in our country that I think at the end of the day has been a useful one and resulted in appropriate changes to the way in which we gather information

Watch Chambliss' statement at BuzzFeed.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Civil Liberties Edward Snowden Gop Nsa Spying Nsa Whistleblower Saxby Chambliss