In Washington, where the state of war and the surveillance state are one and the same, top officials have begun to call for Edward Snowden’s head. His moral action of whistleblowing — a clarion call for democracy — now awaits our responses.
After nearly 12 years of the “war on terror,” the revelations of recent days are a tremendous challenge to the established order: nonstop warfare, intensifying secrecy, and dominant power that equate safe governance with Orwellian surveillance.
In the highest places, there is more than a wisp of panic in rarefied air. It’s not just the National Security Agency that stands exposed; it’s the repressive arrogance perched on the pyramid of power.
Back here on the ground, so many people — appalled by Uncle Sam’s continual morph into Big Brother — have been pushing against the walls of anti-democratic secrecy. Those walls rarely budge, and at times they seem to be closing in, even literally for some (as in the case of heroic whistleblower Bradley Manning). But all the collective pushing has cumulative effects.
In recent days, as news exploded about NSA surveillance, a breakthrough came into sight. Current history may not be an immovable wall; it may be on a hinge. And if we push hard enough, together, there’s no telling what might be possible or achieved.
The gratitude that so many of us now feel toward Edward Snowden raises the question: How can we truly express our appreciation?
A first step is to thank him — publicly and emphatically. You can do that by clicking here to sign the “Thank NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden” petition, which my colleagues at RootsAction.org will send directly to him, including the individual comments.
But of course saying thank-you is just one small step onto a crucial path. As Snowden faces extradition and vengeful prosecution from the U.S. government, active support will be vital — in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Signing the thank-you petition, I ventured some optimism: “What you’ve done will inspire kindred spirits around the world to take moral action despite the risks.” Bravery for principle can be very contagious.
Edward Snowden has taken nonviolent action to help counter the U.S. government’s one-two punch of extreme secrecy and massive violence. The process has summoned the kind of doublespeak that usually accompanies what cannot stand the light of day.
So, when Snowden’s employer Booz Allen put out a statement Sunday night, it was riddled with official indignation, declaring: “News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm.”
What are the “code of conduct” and “core values” of this huge NSA contractor? The conduct of stealthy assistance to the U.S. national security state as it methodically violates civil liberties, and the values of doing just about anything to amass vast corporate profits.
The corporate-government warfare state is enraged that Edward Snowden has broken through with conduct and values that are 180 degrees in a different direction. “I’m not going to hide,” he told the Washington Post on Sunday. “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”
When a Post reporter asked whether his revelations would change anything, Snowden replied: “I think they already have. Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”
And, when the Post asked about threats to “national security,” Snowden offered an assessment light-years ahead of mainline media’s conventional wisdom: “We managed to survive greater threats in our history . . . than a few disorganized terrorist groups and rogue states without resorting to these sorts of programs. It is not that I do not value intelligence, but that I oppose . . . omniscient, automatic, mass surveillance. . . . That seems to me a greater threat to the institutions of free society than missed intelligence reports, and unworthy of the costs.”
Profoundly, in the early summer of 2013, with his actions and words, Edward Snowden has given aid and comfort to grassroots efforts for democracy. What we do with his brave gift will be our choice.
There is a petition at whitehousegov.org,I think it was?Some thing like that,but it is in support of him.
I just hope that people do not just hear this and forget about it.If enough people will do what we can,then the situation can be helped.
I wish there was more support for Bradley Manning too
Heroes- both of them.
Interesting how quickly the "kill the messenger" mentality asserted itself. Mostly from the Neo Cons and other assorted statists. It didn't matter that the government abused it's power again. Or that lies were told to the American people by agents of the State. The "crime" was done by someone who let us know! ......... Apparently everything would have been just fine if the American people were just kept in the dark. One must wonder what other things the State does that advocates of the State would think is OK to keep hidden.
Have to say it though. Those that think that a powerful centralized government is not going to be captured by those that will abuse power are naive. Power attracts such. Ironically, most libertarians are not shocked at this turn of events. We assumed it was happening. We pointed it out as an obvious outcome and we were told we were paranoid.
So were progressives, Jim. I would guess that Greenwald identifies more with the progressive movement, then libertarians.
"we" assumed it was happening... Oy vey
LOL, YOU take credit for Greenwald? You were on the opposite side from him on a number issues. .........
But sure Chile. There is a profound difference. A TINY portion of progressives saw the danger, where almost ALL libertarians saw it clearly. And Greenwald is a good guy, and I read his stuff quite a bit. but the fact is there were LEGIONS of libertarians that were before him on this issue.
I might add that libertarians DID NOT empower the State. That was.......well, Progressives mostly; and their mantra that "government is a force for good", no? Did you forget that is the central premise in Progressive ideology?
Oy vey back to you.
Who can "take credit" for anyone. Well you have. you just did twice. I know of no issues that I have disagreed with Greenwald on, especially civil liberties.
But you lose, again, the argument when you start classifying everyone as progressives. its non-sensical. Greenwald pointed out, we already have destroyed the meaning of words like "liberal and progressive" and its people like you and the misuse of those terms that do that.
I have no problems with intelligent discussions about the size and roll of government, unfortunately that is impossible with you do to your pedantic need to categorize everyone in little boxes to support your mostly generic, simplistic and irrational arguments.
Note that my original comments were not addressed to you Chile. You did address yours to me. So.....
But, really? You disagree with Greenwald on the issue at hand which is the power of government and how much has been invested in that government. You also disagreed with Greenwald on Ron Paul. You disagreed with Greenwald on the Bankster bailouts which you supported. You disagreed with Greenwald on the corruption of the corporate controlled regulatary agencies which you continued to advocate for. Sure, you claimed to oppose the corruption, but you never accepted reducing their power. Even in the interm.
And I "took credit" for nothing that I have not personally written on these and other pages.You on the other hand have claimed that Greenwald was 'your guy". Which is hardly true. Greenwald is an honest man and is scheptical of the State. You have shown that is not the case with yourself. You complain, but you are unwilling to accept that the State is exploitave by it's very nature.
I also do not define "progressive". They define themselves by who and what they support and who they idealize. Shall we go into say FDR for example? That corrupt and racist despotic POTUS did grave damage to this country but by and large, progressives worship him. Ditto the tyrant Lincoln. Add in Wilson. Or Oliver Wendal Holmes Jr who pioneered and championed the idea of eugenics. MANY other examples. Either in the history book or in current discourse, all of these are ranked as progressive heros. The one bottom line between them all is they all advanced the power of the State.
But since you think the terms of "progressive" etc are meaningless, all this will not offend you. LOL.
You can hide behind semantics and pretend that I "categorize everyone", but that claim falls on fallow ground. I will catergize all those disingenious, self serving people that continue to support a system that oppresses me and others like me.
As far as the role of government? We have had that discussion. We both know where we stand. And it is increasingly obvious where it has led.
Here is the bottom line Chile. You support my oppression. I support your and everyone elses liberty. And that is the fundemental difference between us. A difference that you are obviously unwilling to understand.
Yeah, Greenwald has come to the same conclusion as Ron Paul"
"The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.
What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It's a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It's all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they're interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The "enemy" they're seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It's the American people.
The Terrorists already knew, and have long known, that the US government is doing everything possible to surveil their telephonic and internet communications. The Chinese have long known, and have repeatedly said, that the US is hacking into both their governmental and civilian systems (just as the Chinese are doing to the U. The Russians have long known that the US and UK try to intercept the conversations of their leaders just as the Russians do to the US and the UK.
They haven't learned anything from these disclosures that they didn't already well know. The people who have learned things they didn't already know are American citizens who have no connection to terrorism or foreign intelligence, as well as hundreds of millions of citizens around the world about whom the same is true. What they have learned is that the vast bulk of this surveillance apparatus is directed not at the Chinese or Russian governments or the Terrorists, but at them.
And that is precisely why the US government is so furious and will bring its full weight to bear against these disclosures. What has been "harmed" is not the national security of the US but the ability of its political leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability. If anything is a crime, it's that secret, unaccountable and deceitful behavior: not the shining of light on it.""
The above is from Greenwald's article in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/22/snowden-espionage-charges
Yeah, Greenwald has come to the same conclusion as Ron Paul
Thanks everyone for these infos. I watch the news once a day.
I just hope that this man can continue to evade them.They will not give him due process,one way or another,should they capture him,he will end up dead.Pray for his continued safety.