Saturday, June 22, 2013

Snowden Being Charged With Espionage

The ACLU and the media are reporting that Edward Snowden, as Bradley manning was before him, has been charged with espionage and other charges. This by a government that is terrified that its citizens will one day know the truth about what it is, and has been, doing to them. Reuters is reporting that the Obama administration is putting pressure on Hong Kong and the Chinese government to extradite him "quickly" and states that "The South China Morning Post reported that Snowden was not detained or in police protection - as reported elsewhere - and instead he was in a "safe place" somewhere in Hong Kong." The Guardian reports that the US is asking Hong Kong to "detain" him but that a Hong Kong Legislator wants china to protect Snowden from extradition and urged the people of Hong Kong to "take to the streets to protect Snowden."

The ACLU has sent out the following statement and request for petition signers:

Edward Snowden risked everything to expose the secret NSA spying program which surveils our calls and emails. Last night, we learned what shape those risks would take—in a late night news release the Administration hoped we wouldn’t notice.

Snowden has been called a “traitor” by politicians and had his personal safety threatened. Now he’s been formally charged with violating the Espionage Act—the same law used to charge Bradley Manning, who provided information to WikiLeaks.

For his trouble, Manning was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day and forced to sleep naked and sheetless, in conditions even a military judge called “excessive.”

By bringing to light information that the powers-that-be would rather keep secret, whistleblowers like Snowden play a fundamental role in our democracy. We can’t just let them be thrown into darkness.

As the Department of Justice moves in on Snowden, we need to raise our voices to ensure that Snowden is treated fairly and legally, and that the massive abuse of government power, that he risked his safety to expose, finally comes to an end.

Sign the statement below urging President Obama to guarantee due process for Snowden and to crack down on unconstitutional spying programs—not whistleblowers. 

Dear President Obama

We stand opposed to any attempt to treat Edward Snowden as a traitor. Our government must also not pursue the case against him outside the ordinary course of American justice. He is entitled to the rule of law and constitutional protections that so many before us died to defend.

Snowden is innocent until proven guilty before a court of law and he must be afforded all of his rights as an American citizen. If he is brought to an American court, he must be afforded every opportunity to defend himself and convince a judge that what he did was justifiable and patriotic, even if he is charged with violating laws that themselves pose a threat to our democracy.

Finally, we say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know. We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.

Sign and share the statement. 

Of all the terrible things that Snowden has to fear, he has told us: “The greatest fear I have…is that nothing will change.”

Let's make sure it does. 


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