Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snowden seeks Assylum in Ecuador; Assange on "Traitors"

NOTE:  Google Blogger seems to have shut down all my embedded links to YouTube Videos on the blog, but if they don't play for you, you can access them by clicking on the title link above the video which will take you to YouTube. -Chris

The governing American plutocracy has apparently been at least temporarily thwarted in its attempt to capture and punish NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.  Wikileaks issued the following updated statement today:

WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong - UPDATED
Sunday June 23, 17:50 BST
Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks. 
Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people".

The Guardian reports that he has arrived in Russia after Hong Kong authorities, in an unusual move, asked for more information from the Obama "Justice" department concerning their request for his arrest. The delay in processing the warrant allowed Snowden to leave for Russia legally on a circuitous route to Ecuador. According to The Guardian, the "Hong Kong government . . . . Pointedly . . . said it wanted Washington to clarify Snowden's claims that the US had hacked targets in the territory."


Wikileaks has also published the following Op-Ed by Julian Assange on the issue of just who the real traitors are when it comes to the American perpetual war and surveillance state:

Statement by Julian Assange after One Year in Ecuadorian Embassy  

Saturday June 22nd, 15:00 GMT

It has now been a year since I entered this embassy and sought refuge from persecution. As a result of that decision, I have been able to work in relative safety from a US espionage investigation.
But today, Edward Snowden’s ordeal is just beginning.
Two dangerous runaway processes have taken root in the last decade, with fatal consequences for democracy. 
Government secrecy has been expanding on a terrific scale.
Simultaneously, human privacy has been secretly eradicated. 
A few weeks ago, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on an ongoing program - involving the Obama administration, the intelligence community and the internet services giants - to spy on everyone in the world. As if by clockwork, he has been charged with espionage by the Obama administration.
The US government is spying on each and every one of us, but it is Edward Snowden who is charged with espionage for tipping us off.
It is getting to the point where the mark of international distinction and service to humanity is no longer the Nobel Peace Prize, but an espionage indictment from the US Department of Justice.
Edward Snowden is the eighth leaker to be charged with espionage under this president.
Bradley Manning’s show trial enters its fourth week on Monday. After a litany of wrongs done to him, the US government is trying to convict him of "aiding the enemy."

The word "traitor" has been thrown around a lot in recent days.

But who is really the traitor here?

Who was it who promised a generation "hope" and "change," only to betray those promises with dismal misery and stagnation?

Who took an oath to defend the US constitution, only to feed the invisible beast of secret law devouring it alive from the inside out?

Who is it that promised to preside over The Most Transparent Administration in history, only to crush whistleblower after whistleblower with the bootheel of espionage charges?

Who combined in his executive the powers of judge, jury and executioner, and claimed the jurisdiction of the entire earth on which to exercise those powers?

Who arrogates the power to spy on the entire earth - every single one of us - and when he is caught red handed, explains to us that "we’re going to have to make a choice."

Who is that person?

Let’s be very careful about who we call "traitor".

Edward Snowden is one of us.

Bradley Manning is one of us.

They are young, technically minded people from the generation that Barack Obama betrayed.

They are the generation that grew up on the internet, and were shaped by it. The US government is always going to need intelligence analysts and systems administrators, and they are going to have to hire them from this generation and the ones that follow it. One day, their generation will run the NSA, the CIA and the FBI. This isn’t a phenomenon that is going away.

This is inevitable.

And by trying to crush these young whistleblowers with espionage charges, the US government is taking on a generation, and that is a battle it is going to lose.

This isn’t how to fix things.

The only way to fix things is this:

Change the policies.
Stop spying on the world.
Eradicate secret law.
Cease indefinite detention without trial.
Stop assassinating people.
Stop invading other countries and sending young Americans off to kill and be killed.
Stop the occupations, and discontinue the secret wars.
Stop eating the young: Edward Snowden, Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, Aaron Swartz, Gottfrid Svartholm, Jacob Appelbaum, and Bradley Manning.

The charging of Edward Snowden is intended to intimidate any country that might be considering standing up for his rights. That tactic must not be allowed to work.

The effort to find asylum for Edward Snowden must be intensified.
What brave country will stand up for him, and recognize his service to humanity? Step forward and stand with Snowden.
Tell your governments to step forward.
 [emphasis added]

In the following article, Glenn Greenwald discusses  the Obama administration's unprecedented, treacherous, and hypocritical "War on Whistleblowers" and journalism, the difference between a whistleblower and a spy, the world-wide secret surveillance state of questionable legality and constitutionality, and why the Obama (and I think other) administrations react so mercilessly against those who reveal information to the American people, and to the world, that is vital to their understanding of the activities and nature of their governments. Greenwald concludes:
[Terrorists and other governments] 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.
 See "On the Espionage act charges against Edward Snowden" for the rest of the article.

4 PM Update
The usual dishonest and hypocritical suspects, members of Congress who have participated in the selling out of the American people, charlatans like Charles Schumer, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Rogers, waxed indignant in their appearances on the main stream media today about the countries that have not fully cooperated with US dictates to turn Snowden over to the developing US Gulag.  But according to The Guardian, Ron Paul commented to CNN that:

"I think it is still going to be an open question with history about how this young man is judged. I do think when history looks at this they are going to contrast the behaviour of James Clapper, our national intelligence director, with Edward Snowden. Mr Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security. Mr Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy." 


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