Noam Chomsky said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is a true patriot who revealed vast surveillance programs that have nothing to do with combating terrorism.
The noted intellectual made the comment in an extended interview with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman which aired Tuesday.
Chomsky said Snowden should be welcomed back to the country from Russia, where he has received asylum, with honors because he "carried out the obligations of a citizen."
Snowden "informed American citizens of what their government is doing to them. That’s exactly what a person who has real patriotism, not the flag-waving type, but real patriotism, would do. So he should be honored, not just allowed back," Chomsky said.
"It’s the people in the government who should be on trial, not him," he continued.
Chomsky added that neither the surveillance system Snowden exposed nor the drone program—despite claims by officials—have combating terrorism as their goals.
NSA programs are "intended to control the population," he said. As for Obama's drone program, Chomsky called it "a global assassination program [that is] far and away the worst act of terror in the world."
It's "a terror-generating program" that has helped fueled the rise of al-Qaeda.
"There was a small group up in the tribal areas of mostly Pakistan and Afghanistan, al-Qaeda, and we have succeeded in spreading it over the whole world. Now they’re all everywhere—you know, West Africa, Southeast Asia—simply generating more and more terror. And I think it’s—you know, it’s not that the U.S. is trying to generate terror. It’s simply that it doesn’t care," Chomsky said.
Watch the interview below: