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Glenn Greenwald battles CNN's Jeff Toobin over court decision saying that NSA snooping violates...

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Published on Dec 16, 2013

A federal judge ruled Monday that the NSA phone grab is unconstitutional. In a response printed by the Times, Snowden said it vindicates him. And tonight on AC360 Glenn Greenwald and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin clashed over that very question with Toobin arguing that Snowden had plenty of options other than leaking millions of documents to Greenwald.

Toobin did allow that the ruling was a "big victory" for Snowden, but said it does not vindicate him in the slightest because he "still took classified information" and "potentially" exposed information to China and Russia. Greenwald shot back, "How could it not vindicate him? Let's use common sense for a minute."

Cooper pressed Toobin on what, then Snowden should have done to raise awareness about what the NSA's up to. Toobin argued Snowden should have gone to the inspector general or a member of Congress, and disputed Greenwald's comparison between Snowden and other government whistleblowers.

As for the suggestion Snowden might get amnesty, Greenwald doubted that was a real offer, because "whistleblowers don't get a fair trial" in the United States in general. He concluded that while politicians who violate the Constitution get promotions, leakers end up with indictments.

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