• Edward Snowden’s Statement

    July 12, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State

    Edward Snowden, in front of officials from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, made clear both his own bona fides as a whistleblower, and the hypocrisy of the United States in its manhunt for him.

    Whistleblower? Snowden’s remarks reinforce the basic tenet of whistleblowing, that it is an act of conscience. He made clear what he gave up– home, family, perhaps even his liberty and life– and what we gained, learning what a government which claims to be “of the people” is doing to the people. Snowden still loves America, if not its government and its intelligence services. He reinforced the idea that one courageous act of conscience might make a difference in a nation gone astray.

    Snowden also touched on the most fundamental of points: that the America he is defending is not limited to physical safety, but extends deeper, to the freedoms from unwarranted search and seizure that define America. We are better people than we are now.

    Hypocrisy? Of the countries that offered to help Edward Snowden, the U.S. itself has accepted 3,103 of their own asylees, 1,222 from Russia and 1,762 from Venezuela. The U.S. took those people in without a hint of regard for anyone’s opposition. This is in fact how the asylum system, codified by various UN treaties the U.S. has signed, should work.

    The concept of asylum reaches back to the original democracy, Greece, and it is shameful that the United States today, in only this one case, refuses to recognize it as a fundamental right of a free people. Our Founders, who pledged their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor to such ideals, would weep.

    Irony? During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was notorious for refusing to grant dissidents passports, while the U.S. regularly waived such requirements when they escaped to the West. Indeed, it was only about a year ago that the U.S. gave Chinese dissident Chen Guang Cheng refuge in our own embassy in Beijing before allowing him to enter the United States. Chen had escaped from Chinese government house arrest and was a fugitive to reach the U.S. embassy.


    Bonus: Please also see my article, Edward Snowden’s Long Flight, as there seem to be some overlaps between what I wrote and today’s statement.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      “…learning what a government which claims to be “of the people” is doing to the people.”

      The difference is Snowden is an enemy of the people that count.

      07/12/13 6:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...

      2

      The only words that make perfect sense.

      Death to the federal government of the USA.

      07/13/13 2:21 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      3

      quote:” Our Founders, who pledged their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor to such ideals, would weep.”unquote

      With all due respect PVB…NO.. they would not. They would do exactly what they did then. After all, those words in the Declaration of Independence STILL mean what they did then, and considering the state of the government NOW, they would do exactly what that document they wrote says to do…DISSOLVE THIS GOVERNMENT…doing what ever it took.

      btw, to the extent what Government controlled and propagandized education tells students about the history of what actually took place, it’s no wonder people do not understand exactly what “pledged their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor” actually means. The revolution didn’t happen in one fell swoop of Hollywood derived bullshit..these men lost most everything and faced hanging on a daily basis until the revolution succeeded when King GeorgeIII finally was forced to concede. I’m no fan of Rush Limbaugh, on the contrary, I despise him, but his FATHER gave a detailed summary of the times and lives of the Founders in a speech, of which makes a mockery of history taught in schools today…

      http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/pages/static/my_father_s_speech

      Speaking of our present day U.S of A…if this doesn’t make a case for “dissolving”, making you sick to your stomach notwithstanding, .. nothing will..

      http://www.salon.com/2013/07/13/radley_balko_once_a_town_gets_a_swat_team_you_want_to_use_it/singleton/?google_editors_picks=true

      It hasn’t gone UN-noticed around the world either..this guy hit the nail on the head. Wish I had thought of it. It might be a new trend of “protest” to which would have even greater impact, used in mass on a hundred buildings, than a gathering of Occupy. Safer too.

      http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/police-investigate-united-stasi-of.html?#echocomments

      To the subject at hand..Mr. Snowden has given living proof of those draconian and Orwellian visions that prompted the Founders to unite and define what it is they would pledge their lives and fortunes to defend. In my mind..we are staring the enemy in the face…again. And it’s time to re-define what our government has become…which for all intents and purposes..is King George lll on steroids. Make no mistake..if we don’t STOP these encroachments and infringements NOW…then surely, as one of the Founders said… “we will all hang individually”…either figuratively or for real.

      07/13/13 2:44 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      4

      Hypocrisy, yes, but that only matters to institutions who believe in some kind of transcendent morality above raw power.

      Lenin and the Bolsheviks and the USSR were especially interested in hypocrisy, not because they cared about it as a moral standard for themselves, but rather as a weapon to use against those who believed – or at least pretended to believe – in something other than power for power’s own sake. Therefore the most common Soviet Communist criticism of “Western” “democracies” was that they were hypocritical – which in fact they were…

      …but then hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. Hypocrisy does not exist in those who don’t believe in virtue at all. In that light, Lenin and the Bolsheviks were not hypocrites at all – and neither are Obama and his American Empire.

      07/14/13 10:39 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      Pitchfork said…

      ”Our Founders, who pledged their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor to such ideals (but not their slaves), would weep.”

      One man’s freedom fighter…Our King George W would consider the Founding Fathers terrorists. I consider them HYPOCRITES. Power corrupts absolutely but it pays.

      07/14/13 12:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      6

      “Death to the Federal Government”??

      At a time when it feels like our system and our culture are going down the tubes, such words can be glibly uttered in anger and there is alot to be angry about.

      But remember this, there are alot of good people working in our government. Unfortunately its we voters who’ve compliantly elected sycophants in key capacities and there are some government employees, from local to federal level, who put first loyalty to a political party when it conflicts with loyalty to their country.

      There are alot of contractors too trying to do the right thing, a conflict in itself when we have a system where supervisors value their right to fire anyone ‘just because’ over gainfully and productively engaging their employees and making sure the system works right.

      Well, something still works right and hence we are seeing a change inflicted on our evolving surveillance and corrupt system, thanks to a lone contractor — or at least the one we are made aware of. And we can be thankful there are current and former employees of the State like PVB who are having an impact, giving chase to corrupt people too lucky to obtain an important role in the system and who thought it was going to be so easy to get away with what they try

      “Lamplighters” is the term I think Frank Serpico used to call such employees of our government

      If you want to inflict real pain and kick the gears back onto the right track, demand real reform – it’s more excruciating and difficult but it’s not impossible. Demand it and do not vote or refuse to vote when there is an opportunity to unseat those politicians who are the cause of this

      07/15/13 3:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      7

      *do not vote for the incumbant politician preventing our government from working right and dont refuse to vote when there is an opportunity to unseat corrupt politicians

      07/15/13 3:33 PM | Comment Link

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