Surveillance State

Historic challenge to support Edward Snowden

| June 12, 2013
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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. After nearly 12 years of the "war on terror," Snowden's moral action of whistleblowing is a tremendous challenge to the established order of intensifying secrecy and dominant power that equates safe governance with Orwellian surveillance.

How can we truly express our appreciation? A first step is to thank Snowden—publicly and emphatically—by signing the "Thank NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden" petition, easily found online. But as Snowden faces extradition and vengeful prosecution from the U.S. government, active support will be vital in the weeks, months and years ahead.

"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 mainstream media's conventional wisdom. "We managed to survive greater threats in our history," he said, "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."

He continued: "That seems to me a greater threat to the institutions of free society than missed intelligence reports, and unworthy of the costs."

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.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include 'War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.'

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

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Comments (3)

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Now that Congress has been schooled in what's really going on at the NSA, maybe they'll get off their asses and do something. That is of course the congressional body is tech savvy enough to ask the right questions. From early reports, the crash course of Domestic Spying for Dummies conducted behind closed doors was enough to piss a few folks off. Thats a start!

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Posted by Lee Bines on 06/12/2013 at 1:37 AM

>and the surveillance state are one and the same

You numskull, then what does that make China?

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Posted by Hal Ninethou on 06/12/2013 at 1:53 AM

Blessed are the whistle-blowers, for they disclose and denounce injustice and evil in the world.

More than two thousand years ago, a whistle-blower Jewish rabbi named Yeshua from Nazareth publicly denounced the religious theocracy of his time. Seriously threatened and undermined, the then religious establishment persecuted and had the Jewish whistle-blower killed. The world did that then, it still does now.

Bring them (B. Manning and E. Snowden) home.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ctvyvAgDu…

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Posted by Contemplative Pathways on 06/12/2013 at 2:00 AM
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