Snowden filmmaker ‘profoundly let down’ by Congress

Filmmaker Laura Poitras is “profoundly let down” by how President Obama and lawmakers in Congress have responded to the National Security Agency, she said. 

“I feel profoundly let down by our elected officials on this topic and other topics,” she told National Journal in an interview published on Tuesday. “I don’t see lots of hope.”

Along with journalist Glenn Greenwald, Poitras was one of Edward Snowden’s closest confidants as he prepared to leak secret documents detailing the broad scope of the NSA’s operations. She was actually the first person Snowden reached out to, in part because of her familiarity with encrypted communications.

But Poitras said lawmakers should have taken the initiative to reveal the programs themselves.

“If [Sen. Ron] Wyden [D-Ore.] and [Sen. Mark] Udall [D-Colo.] are so concerned, why don’t they just read the stuff out on the floor of Congress?” she told National Journal, referring to two of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s biggest critics of the NSA.

“They have immunity. Why is it that young people — why is it that a 29-year-old has to put their life on the line to expose things that these senators also have concerns about?” she said.

“I don’t understand why people who are informed of these programs and object to them don’t do something that really exposes them to zero risk.”

Poitras’ new film about Snowden, Citizenfour, captures her early meetings with Snowden in Hong Kong, soon after he fled the U.S.

The movie premiered in New York last week and opens in theaters Oct. 24. 

Tags Edward Snowden Laura Poitras

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