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(Video Credit: 60 Minures)
Former NSA analyst Reality Winner, who was imprisoned for leaking classified information in 2017, sat down with journalist Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” Sunday in an attempt to rewrite history and paint herself as an American hero rather than a traitor.
“I am not a traitor,” Winner asserted in the interview. “I am not a spy. I am somebody who only acted out of love for what this country stands for.”
“I knew [the report] was secret,” she stated. “But I also knew that I had pledged service to the American people, and at that point in time, it felt like they were being led astray.”
She was convicted of espionage for sharing a highly-classified NSA report detailing Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections and served approximately four years in prison. This was her first interview since being released in June.
Reality Winner https://t.co/oX0ADjRXfl
— Badd Company (@BaddCompani) December 6, 2021
Winner enlisted with the Air Force when she was 19-years-old. She served as a linguist in combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq. During her service, she received a commendation medal in 2016 for “600 enemies killed in action.” Following her time in the Air Force, Winner went on to join the NSA as a civil contractor.
The young NSA analyst turned whistleblower in 2017 when she found a confidential in-house report, reportedly confirming that Russia had extensively meddled in the 2016 elections. She printed the report out and then mailed it to the leftist media outlet The Intercept. They ran with it and Winner was arrested within hours.
Winner disingenuously accused the Trump White House of attempting to cover up the report, citing the 2016 election unrest after the former president was elected. The focus of her betrayal, however, appears to have been influencing the 2018 midterm elections.
She was prohibited by the Espionage Act from discussing the details of the report or why she leaked it. Winner was convicted and sentenced to 63 months in prison.
It is the longest sentence a U.S. citizen has received for the crime of leaking classified information to the press. The NSA analyst was 25 at the time of her sentencing.
Following her release, she is still not allowed to discuss the details of her case. Winner is on parole for three more years.
“I’ve had four years of just trying to say I’m not a terrorist,” Winner told “60 Minutes,” weeping during the interview. “I can’t even begin to talk about my actual espionage indictment. Or have a sense of accomplishment in having survived prison. Because I’m still stained by them accusing me of being [in] the same groups that I enlisted in the Air Force to fight against.”
Political commentator Mark Davis stated, “Traitorous narcissism. God save us from rogues who decide they have some glorious insight that lofts their momentary judgments beyond the scope of their duties.”
“Individual analysts don’t get to make decisions to share classified intelligence reports with the press independently. That’s called an unauthorized disclosure, punishable under the law. Reality Winner stipulated to such when she plead guilty and accepted the plea agreement,” think tank Michael V.Hayden Center tweeted.
There is a massive campaign on Twitter calling for the pardon of Reality Winner by President Biden, calling her a hero. But amid the propaganda, not everyone is down with that idea and still believe what she did was treason:
Reality Winner blaming everyone but herself
— Beard Vet (@Beard_Vet) December 6, 2021
So I see they are rewriting the Reality Winner story 🙄
— Steph (@Steph93065In21) December 6, 2021
The problem that I have with Reality Winner is that I know, from my military background, that there are proper and improper channels for making a whistleblower’s complaint involving sensitive/classified material.
Leaking to the press is clearly an improper channel.
— Jeff Fa Fa (@1stLevelHuman) December 6, 2021
But you did break the law!! @realitywinner https://t.co/lXVnrtX6Rg
— David Lindemann (@bigbear5822) December 6, 2021
Exactly, she broke the law…Now her and her mom are complaining..
— Gnomeman (@Gnomeman6) December 6, 2021
That was a pathetic piece all around. She put herself in that situation and the troubles it caused her and she should still be in the slammer for it. Her oath wasn’t to me, It was to the Constitution.
— Steve Sickman (@SteveSickman) December 6, 2021
She deserved that 4 years behind bars. Probably should have been longer.
— Dawn N. Mercer (@Dnotarni66) December 6, 2021
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