Edward Snowden is a patriot

Today, I'm very proud of the ACLU.

I'm proud of ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero for having the courage to publicly pronounce Mr. Snowden a patriot while the administration that I otherwise love continues to vilify him and aggressively seek his extradition and prosecution.

Today, I'm even proud of my country.

It has not been so for many years now. For the last 33 years, America has been dominated by a profound state of fear.

That all-consuming fear has driven administrations to oppress and abuse any who disagreed... both foreign and domestic. That all-consuming fear has driven American business to levels of exploitation and corruption of law not seen in a hundred years. And that all-consuming fear has driven half of the American people to re-embrace racism and sexism; to arm themselves beyond all reason; to actively reject 50 years of making the world a better place in which to live.

I'm proud of my country today because, despite all that, despite the tremendous official and public vitriol towards Edward Snowden ... despite the historic condemnation by many of the ACLU's work ... Mr. Romero and the ACLU have the freedom to speak out without fear of retribution.

That cannot be said in much of the world.

That cannot be said in the world that half of this country wants to return us to.

As one of our most famous patriots once said, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Mr. Romero and the ACLU have chosen to "hang together" with Edward Snowden.

I couldn't be prouder.