Posts Tagged ‘PRISM’

“It was the Right Thing to Do”

July 13, 2013

Read Edward Snowden’s letter below, posted at Reader Supported News SUPPORT EDWARD SNOWDEN’S RIGHT TO ASYLUM.

It Was the Right Thing to Do

By Edward Snowden, Reader Supported News

13 July 13

NSA Whistleblower asks for support from international community and human rights campaigners.

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

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Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News

“I won’t take it anymore” Last Blog Dec. 2010 “Where’s the “Change”?

June 12, 2013

UPDATE: Today, Glenn Greenwald published an article in The Guardian (guardian.co.uk) entitled “On PRISM, Partisanship and Propaganda” It is A MUST READ. Link is here:

From Greenwald’s article:

“I don’t have to listen to your phone calls to know what you’re doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I’m able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. . . . If it’s true that 200 million Americans’ phone calls were monitored – in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them – I don’t know, the Congress should investigative this.”

That was a quote from JOE BIDEN, 2006 commenting on Bush Adm. “not passing the 4th Amendment Test” So Joe, what do you say now? Here’s Biden in 2006 debates Obama in 2013 over NSA spying program

In the article, Greenwald points us to an interview with Chris Hayes, View it here

Greenwald also points us to a story by the Daily Beast writer Kirsten Powers “The Sickening Snowden Backlash” View it here

(END OF UPDATE)

Dear Friends: I became so wrapped up in what governments were doing in the name of “Protecting our Citizens”, that I could no longer do a daily blog on these events. It was making me a very bitter U.S. Citizen.

Since then, I’ve been avoiding Nightly News on TV. Getting most news from the web. Now I have a few bones to pick.

There are 41 Guantanamo “prisoners” on a hunger strike right now. Taken from Washington Post link below.

  • The hunger strike began in early February and grew steadily, as more and more detainees joined the protest. The initial catalyst was a decision by the guard force at Guantanamo Bay to search detainees’ Korans. The military said that detainees have used Korans to hide contraband, and that the searches were conducted by Muslim cultural advisers, not ordinary guards.

    The prisoners objected and said the searches amounted to desecration.

  • Obama: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Becomes Drone Warrior-in-Chief, taken from ABC News

  • Since January 2009, the U.S. has launched at least 281 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, according to the New America Foundation, which has tracked them based on news reports and other sources. During the last five years of George W. Bush’s presidency — 2004-2008 — the group counted just 49. The government has not put out its own totals, which are also said to include strikes in Yemen and Somalia, other known havens for suspected terrorists.
  • And the last for today:

    “NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things'”> Thank you Glenn Greewald for your reporting and interviewing Mr. Snowden. Follow the story at guardian.co.uk