WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — During the presidential debate, each Democratic candidate was asked whether former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden was a hero or a traitor for exposing NSA abuses of privacy.
Clinton stated that Snowden "could have gotten all of the protections of a whistleblower," but he "broke the law."
"Clinton’s statement shows how out of touch she is with the reality for whistleblowers," Raddack said in a Wednesday statement.
However, Radack explained that there have been no safe internal channels for Snowden to use.
"Whistleblower protections do not apply to intelligence contractors."
In 2013, Snowden leaked a cache of classified NSA documents exposing massive US government surveillance. Snowden fled the United States and was granted asylum in Russia, where he currently resides.
During President Barack Obama’s time in office, whistleblowers have faced unprecedented retaliation. In 2010, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake sought to expose government abuse through the appropriate channels and faced espionage charges.