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What Edward Snowden has done is to force a long repressed debate about how much liberty, if any, we need to sacrifice in order to protect our security. Before his leaks, that urgent conversation was a non-debate because the violations of liberty were being done entirely in secret, beyond the reach of democratic deliberation. Even Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, a key author of the Patriot Act, was appalled. He wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder: "I am extremely troubled by the FBI's interpretation of this legislation ... Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American."