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Snowden writes: "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."

Edward Snowden (center) gives a news conference at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow with human rights activists. (photo: Itar-Tass/Corbis)
Edward Snowden (center) gives a news conference at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow with human rights activists. (photo: Itar-Tass/Corbis)

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.

ello. 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.

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. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+151 # Milarepa 2013-07-13 08:26
Good that you brought up Nuremberg. You rest secure on
the principles established there. And you seem to be handling on-the-ground details quite well. Thanks, we all owe you.
+120 # fredboy 2013-07-13 08:42
We really need to think about the direction our nation is heading. We need to begin to think about the future of all of us, and of each of us.
+12 # heraldmage 2013-07-14 12:21
We need to have a frank open discussion about the direction the USA is taking. Are we as a nation in favor of the continued Cold War policy of planetary domination by any means? Should our taxes be used to fund CIA affiliated NGO's whose assignment is to instigate rebellion leading to regime change? Should we allow our leaders' ethics to be compromised by a campaign finance system of donations in return for favorable legislation? Do we want to live in a police state where every aspect of our lives is monitored & scrutinized? Do we still believe in "innocent until proven guilty"? Should our military & taxes be used to support corporate expansion & profit? Do we have the right to impose our economic policy on other nations? Should our nation attack, invade & occupy any nation that limits USA corporate access to its resources? Should our government indefinitely detain, rendition, torture &/ or assassinate individuals without charge or public jury trial? Should we give unconditional support to any nation or anyone? Is this a nation of equals or are the wealthy & "to big to fail" above the law? Shouldn't the people not the government determine what constitutes national security? Shouldn't the people decide if civil rights should ever be interrupted, under what circumstances & for how long not the government? Is it time to transition from representative republic to democracy?
+4 # treadlightly 2013-07-14 18:16
A short time ago this incredible list would have been unimaginable. Imagine what the list will be like if we allow this absolute breach of trust to continue.
+117 # Darthvadersmom 2013-07-13 09:01
Thank you for your courage, Edward. You are truly a patriot in the best sense of the word. I have begun donating to Wikileaks monthly, hoping that in some way it will benefit you (and those who are helping you). I am posting on Facebook everything I can from Reader Support to Aljazeera, and I will continue to participate with your and Julian's direction, also. Congratulations --The whole world is watching.
+37 # Caliban 2013-07-13 09:08
I hope that you will be able to find the asylum you are looking for and that your actions have the long term benefit of reducing international spying and enhancing the likelihood of peace in the world.

I must ask, though, that given the virtually unlimited of NSA employees to manipulate the lives of Americans, did you see and can you report any specific instances of such violations during your NSA employment which would demand investigation and prosecution?
+47 # jwb110 2013-07-13 09:14
The case against the New World Order, check your dollar bills, grows ever stronger. This, along with the Supreme Court electing a president, Abu Ghraib, the video of US Troupes rejoicing in killing non-enemy combatants, the attacks against OWS right to free assembly, and many unseen actions, has ruined the credibility of the United States as a beacon of Freedom and Democracy. How the mighty have fallen.
For those who take the "Love it or Leave it" stance I would remind them, especially those in Washington that they need voices of dissent for many reasons but two in particular. First to protect their rights as well as those of the rest of the world.
Second to remind them that if all voices of dissension were to leave this country, the remaining would have no other choice but to turn on their own.
We are needed as a focus for their hate. They need us. We had better remember that if we want to give this country a chance to heal.
+33 # khasidi 2013-07-13 09:15
While I have no desire to see Edward Snowden suffer more than he already has, I kind of regret that won't be an open and civil, as opposed to military, trial in the United States. The U.S. is in sore need of the checks and balances to executive power provided by the judicial system in a fully transparent trial. I think that an open trial would end in a far different result than the travesty of justice that is being perpetrated on Bradley Manning. Maybe it's a fool's dream.
+23 # tedrey 2013-07-13 17:23
The "trial" of Bradley Manning is obviously illegitimate, since it is in the hands of the very persons whom he has exposed and who have a vested interest in "punishing" him. An American civil trial of Edward Snowden would also be illegitimate, since it would be in the hands of the administration which he has exposed and which has already stated their intention of punishing him. All the usual lack of transparency and constitutionali ty would be brought into play to reach the desired guilty sentence. Legality and justice end when the government's interests (not the people's interests) are at stake.

I have carefully and conscientiously tried Bradley Manning. I FIND BRADLEY MANNING INNOCENT. I strongly suspect I will find Edward Snowden innocent also.
+3 # Milarepa 2013-07-14 00:52
Maybe it's a fool's dream.

Yeah, it is!
+77 # tswhiskers 2013-07-13 09:19
Mr. Snowden is undoubtedly a courageous man. His actions tell me a number of things; I suspect he has no wife or children who would miss his presence and support; he is a man of great integrity. I think too, that he perhaps decided to test his courage, to see if he really could keep to his principles despite the opprobrium of the world. So far he has done that magnificently, tho at great personal cost. While he is despised by many world govts., including his own, I think he will be remembered as one of the few people in the U.S. willing to do his part in the constant fight to maintain personal rights in the face of equally constant pressure to narrow or even rescind many of those rights altogether. I hope Snowden will serve as a model of courage and inspiration for other Americans to stand up to federal and state governmental practices even the cost for their own freedom. I think we are now at that point that Ben Franklin meant when he said we have a republic if only we can keep it. We have gradually become a country by and for the wealthy, run by heartless men and women who see and think of nothing beyond the next election. If people get the government they deserve, we all owe it to ourselves to think beyond political and party interests and do what we can to change the caliber of people we want in D.C.
+55 # 6thextinction 2013-07-13 09:37
U.S. actions pertaining to you, Edward, are painting a clearer and clearer picture of our country, and it is deeply disturbing, on top of the shocking information you have taken such risk to provide us. I am unsure how to react, since our legislature seems unable to handle anything. Perhaps we all need to send our thoughts to the White House for a start, so that the president (and vice-president can get an idea of the impact of their actions.
+7 # heraldmage 2013-07-14 12:37
Not that they will listen, but we must keep trying if for no other reason than to document the extent of popular dissent against government policies & actions.
+52 # luisavasconcellos 2013-07-13 09:40
Thank you very much Edward Snowden for the person you are and for all you are doing. I will give you all my support as I have done and do to Julian Assange and Bradley Manning too.

I am the coordinator of a volunteer translator team with more than 200 translators scattered around the globe and we cover 38 languages.

Please contact me through and we are ready to translate and spread all reports/article s you need that will be spread far and wide.

I hug you with respect and appreciation.
-73 # mike/ 2013-07-13 09:45
who has determined that Snowden is a "political refugee' or that European and North American states have acted outside the law? Snowden? Assange? Wikileaks? Latin American countries? Hong Kong? Russia? the United Nations? the International Court of Justice?

and as far as using Nuremberg, it was a sanctioned judicial process working within the rule of law. how is the 'rule of law' being followed here?

what i see is that the 'powers that be' are only hunkering down even more, & i'm not just talking about the U.S. - do people not realize that Russia, China, France, Great Britain and all the rest don't have in the back of their minds that 'we have these surveillance laws also & we have to be sure to protect ourselves?'

it's a bit ironic that Snowden may have become 'Philip Nolan' from Edward Everett Hale's short story "The Man Without a Country" by putting himself into self-exile. changes will be made, no doubt, probably not 'because' of him but 'in spite' of him...
-45 # George D 2013-07-13 13:32
Well, Mike;
I'll join you in drawing negatives here because you are correct.
Our country DOES need more attention to the "rule of law" but Snowden's activity will do nothing to help that. And he is far from being a hero of any sort or a pillar of morality. He set out to do what he has done from the beginning; Before he was hired by the employer that made this possible for him. He broke oaths, lied, and now tries to put a positive spin on all of that.

If this country had moral leaders, and the rule of law meant anything, Bush and Cheney would be in jail now, along with the hedge fund managers and banksters that have truly ruined the lives of many in America and continue to do so.

All Snowden has done is "expose" what most thinking people always knew; Our country spies on people; Always has; Always will. Just like all of the other countries in the world. He exposes one of the defense mechanisms our country has and has always had. He exposes a "fear" of something that "might" do harm but has no actual harm to show; Other than an ideal of what is "moral" and what isn't. But REAL damage; Lost lives; Ruined lives, and ruined futures of generations of Americans goes unspoken about and ignored.

Snowden is a distraction and the people backing him in these forums are clueless morons that don't "fight" for anything worth fighting for.
-15 # mike/ 2013-07-13 15:20
what amazes me is the lack of considering the facts in some responses. this is how the Right behaves. - choose words out of context, focus on the innuendo, & shoot randomly in hopes of hitting some target.

for example, Snowden himself said in emails, posts, & recordings up until a couple of years ago that people who stole & shared official 'secrets' should have their "b***s shot off." there are those who would ignore this inconsistency in behavior by focusing only with what they agree.

i can only go back to Vietnam & Civil Rights. we made our case against the war & racial injustice HERE! we spoke out against those who used violence on both sides. we took to the streets. some of us broke the law. some of us went to jail. civil disobedience has a long history & mostly successful outcomes.

in those times we KNEW we were being watched, recorded, filmed, but people like Phillip Berrigan, his brother Daniel, & others didn't run away; they stood fast instead of playing the game 'Ain't It Awful' what those people are doing.

Mr. Snowden has not committed treason; he in no way meets the very succinct definition in the Constitution. but he may be doing the same thing that the Koch brothers, xtianists, TeaParty, wingers, etc are doing - assaulting the 'sovereignty' of the country...
+13 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-07-13 17:50
Phil Berrigan DID go underground for a while after the Wilmington event.
+15 # EternalTruth 2013-07-13 18:06
"for example, Snowden himself said in emails, posts, & recordings up until a couple of years ago that people who stole & shared official 'secrets' should have their "b***s shot off."

And I used to like Ayn Rand. Some of us used to have ignorant ideas which we now recant and are ashamed of. Not all of us came from he womb knowing everything, as you apparently think you did. Most of us grow and change over time. I fail to see how Snowden's mental/moral growth can in any way cast aspersions on his actions.
0 # NanFan 2013-07-16 17:29
Quoting EternalTruth:
Some of us used to have ignorant ideas which we now recant and are ashamed of.... Most of us grow and change over time. I fail to see how Snowden's mental/moral growth can in any way cast aspersions on his actions.

Exactly right! Especially in our 20's when we're just learning how to negotiate the world. We have to GROW a conscience sometimes, after learning what realities are working to serve humanity well and what are harming humanity.

Remember, people used to believe the World was flat, mental illness was possession by the "devil," and some STILL believe the world is only 6,000 years old.

You live, you're exposed to things, you learn...or you don't.

I believe Mr. Snowden simply did what a lot of us did: he grew up and realized what being human AND humane are all about.

+9 # rockieball 2013-07-14 06:55
You forget that when the Pentagon Papers were published the American Press and Media did not crucify Elsberg, they just reported the news. Talking heads did not go on TV 24/7 to attack him. (Thank God their was no Fox News then or we would still be in Southeast Asia.)The media was not owned by greedy billionaire's like the Kock brothers and Murdock. They were not owned by arms dealers who profit from wars like GE. Plus most politicians had principles and balls to speak their mind, not what their corporate owners told them to say. Mike during the Vietnam and Civil Rights ear Snowden would have been held up a hero. As for today Woodward and Berstien would be the one's sitting in a Russian airport.
+21 # kalpal 2013-07-13 15:31
Any time teh rule of law is made in secret by a secret court without allowing the nation "Of the People, By the People and For the People's" owners to be aware of such secret behavior then we lack anything resembling a representative Republic. Since agencies feel confident they can lie to oversight committees we have nothing of value to show ourselves or the world about presumed American exceptionalism. You are likely to turn traitor if offered a chance since you find your nation's constitution and its laws to be null and void whenever a secret court decides so.
+2 # EternalTruth 2013-07-14 21:08
"who has determined that Snowden is a "political refugee' or that European and North American states have acted outside the law?"

Everyone who can read and has at least minimal reasoning skills have determined these things.
-50 # Timaloha 2013-07-13 10:01
Funny thing....Snowde n felt just the opposite until Obama got elected:
Prompted by a 2009 New York Times article which leaked classified information about President Bush deciding not to aid Israel in a proposed attack on Iranian nuclear sites, Snowden said “WTF NYTIMES… Are they TRYING to start a war?… Jesus christ they’re like wikileaks.”

Snowden further complained that they were “reporting classified shit about an unpopular country surrounded by enemies already engaged in a war and about our interactions with said country regarding planning sovereignity violations of another country… You don’t put that shit in the NEWSPAPER…Who the fuck are the anonymous sources telling them this? … Those people should be shot in the balls.”

When asked by his friends, “is it unethical to report on the government’s intrigue?” Snowden responded, “VIOLATING NATIONAL SECURITY? no…that shit is classified for a reason.”

Read more:
+5 # Timaloha 2013-07-13 20:13
Another funny thing...I didn't even take a position on Snowden in my post - I only copied-and-past ed SNOWDEN'S OWN WORDS - and I still got 50 red marks!
+3 # EternalTruth 2013-07-14 21:00
You got red marks because you're using Snowden's four-year- old opinions to try to somehow cast aspersions on his current, heroic actions. People learn, change and grow, especially young people. Perhaps someday you will too.
+49 # Carol R 2013-07-13 10:03
I'm saddened to think that it's okay for the US to look into everyones private correspondences and phone calls. I believe Snowden exposed something that shouldn't be happening.

Secrecy can be frightening. This feels like we belong in a country such as North Korea or Germany during Hitler's time. The government is always watching and you'd better not say the wrong thing politically.

It hasn't reached that level (think '1984') but what would happen if the political landscape changed for the worst. The wrong people potentially would have too much power and at that time it is too late to change.
+8 # George D 2013-07-13 13:47
With all due respect, I think what is being missed in the whole "Snowden" discussion is the idea that ANYTHING that goes over the Internet should be considered "private".

If you want to maintain any amount of "privacy" then make sure everything you never want to have "leaked" to anyone else, is in writing, on paper, and not transmitted over the Internet.
EVERYTHING that is transmitted, in digital form or otherwise is subject to being monitored by someone, somewhere. That's the world we live in today and it will only become more like that in the future.

Are these words being monitored? Absolutely. Are my phone records available to a computer somewhere to zero in on who I have been talking to? Of course. Are my actual words able to be listened to, after the fact? Probably. Because most voice transmissions are digitized today and easily stored and retrieved as part of the process of communicating over telephone today. It's called VOIP and Verizon and many others use it.
Your concerns about "wire-taps" are from a bygone day and old technology.

So get over thinking that you have "privacy" when you use technology today; You don't. And you NEVER will. Because, not only is the US government monitoring you, so is EVERYONE ELSE.

Have you been hurt by this monitoring? I haven't. But I HAVE been hurt by 9/11, Iraq, the banking collapse and bail-outs and I believe, indirectly by the lack of enforcement of our laws.
Think about it.
+29 # Darthvadersmom 2013-07-13 10:16
Although, I was talking to my husband yesterday about the timing (This is an anniversary year for Hale's book.)The Man without a Country was about a man who disowned his country.

Snowden's version is much more profound because he's been forced to leave, too, to continue telling the truth about corruption. Snowden loves the USA and has proven it.
+26 # fiddler1 2013-07-13 10:16
I, too, am concerned with the direction our nation seems to be taking. Increasingly since 9/11, it seems our Constitutional Rights are being curtailed in the name of security, to the point where one cannot drive down a city street or highway without being photographed by hundreds of government or private security cameras. Our legislatures, both federal and state, increasingly are either gridlocked or unable/unwillin g to listen to the voters, and instead big business and special interest groups are having a field day. I'm reminded of the old story about the frog in a pot of water on the stove. By the time he realized his bath water was really too hot, he was cooked. Not a comforting story for our times.
+35 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-07-13 10:27
"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."

Reading just these three sentences almost makes the whole sordid NSA mess worth the pain and embarrassment that our government has caused us.

How anyone could argue against Edwards Snowden's impeccable logic is beyond belief. Even a man with multiple degrees from Ivy League schools, former editor of the Harvard Law Review and allegedly a constitutional law professor -- even such a man could not successfully counter Snowden's argument. Of course he doesn't have to win a fair debate before an intelligent and unbiased audience. He has the full weight and (one-time ??) majesty of the United States government. When his anemic talking points fail, he can always launch a drone attack.
+38 # Malcolm 2013-07-13 10:48
Mr Snowden, I am filled with admiration for your courage. I suspect you've read Leonard Pitts's recent article stating that you are "no hero"

I was inspired to write Mr Pitts. Here's what I wrote. I have not yet received a response.
Mr. Pitts, I love reading your articles. I love them even on the fairly rare occassions that I disagree with you.

I was nevertheless quite disappointed with your article on Snowden not being a "hero". Apparently, he didn't sacrifice enough to be a hero in your eyes.

I can only imagine the guts it took to do what he did, obviously understanding the issues he'll be dealing with for the rest of his young life: losing the ability to share his life with friends and family. Losing his income. Moving to an alien culture where he likely won't even understand the language. All this and more he'll lose IF he manages to escape the the grasping arms of his country's police state, which prefers to focus on him, rather than the attrocities he brought to our attention.

If Snowden had chosen to stay here and "face the music"- especially seeing the plight of Bradley Manning-he would not be a HERO. He would be a SAINT. And he'd be a damn fool, in my opinion.
+40 # jwhzpr 2013-07-13 12:03
First, thank you Mr. Snowden for your courage in trying to bring to light to the people of the United States the violation of the Constitution and accompanying Bill of Rights Amendment IV that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.. . "

Further, "no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." The dumbing down of the American people coupled with the increasing impoverishment of the middle class, has led to a country wherein the majority of the people don't realize the grave danger they are in when this Article of the Constitution is violated so blatantly. Where is the outrage? Where are the protests? I could scream everytime I hear someone say, we knew our phones, emails and everything else were being monitored, what's the big deal? How absolutely idiotic!

Does anyone study history? Does anyone understand that a government with this abuse of power can silence anyone. I would like to know what can be done to help you Mr. Snowden? Is there any organization that we can support to help you obtain the help you need?
+6 # RobertMStahl 2013-07-13 12:08
This is so significant, this baby step for humankind. Putin's remarks at the G8 Summit carries a similar potential, and all wars are won by flanking (Gregory Bateson on pschology). The identification of the great hypocrisy of war in the Middle East now, and the transgressions that have occurred with regard to international law since WWII if not earlier, suggest that the real terrorist state owns the SWAT that is a function of natural law to find the criminal element, instead. What Putin refers to when, on 9/11, we purported to go after al-Qaeda has now turned into direct support for them, plus opposing forces, thus the economic treason affecting any concept of a nation-state has to be reconciled with. Please, do not let the efforts on 9/11 and after by the work of the, now, missing Indira Singh to go unheeded. That is all I ask.
+20 # Merschrod 2013-07-13 12:24
We have been taken down by the forces of evil that we supposedly were against but we now emulate. The high moral ground has been ceded and we are mired in the filth of the bottomlands flooded by our own excesses. Our worst tendencies have been revealed.
-31 # crinvegas 2013-07-13 13:15
It's obvious that so many of you think Snowden did the right thing by committing treason. Don't think he did? You love the Constitution,bu t haven't read it. Read Article III, section 3, and Article 4, section 2. What the govt. has to do is stop hiring outside contractors who are so willing to defy our Constitution. We have a lot of enemies that are no longer nation states, but groups of terrorists. Without surveillance, we will have many repeats of 9/11. Why are you worried about surveillance, yet are only too happy to put everything about your life on social media.
+16 # kalpal 2013-07-13 15:33
Since you have no clue what the legal term treason means I will gladly discard you as just another ignorant twit.
+21 # Dr Peter Sloane 2013-07-13 14:21
I would like the 'plus' comments on any of the above postings to exceed 1000 - Now that MAY have an effect and Ed Snowden (good on you) may find a life again. Come on 1,000-sign up.
+28 # Gere 2013-07-13 14:34
Mr. Snowden reminded me of President Lincoln’s words: “...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” He might also have said: “A government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations - shall perish!”
That is what the U.S Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision (2010) left us. Our Supreme Court justices appointed by people elected by Super PAC bribery have enabled corporations of the world to buy our government that is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people.
I now begin my 70th year. I continue to dream, design and attempt construction of infrastructure for providing all necessary sustainable resources for our urban communities. That is clean air, energy, water and food. There is no use trying to re-establish the government we knew under Uncle Sam. Sadly he passed away. Even so, there are over 35,000 cities in the United States with mayors and city governments still being responsive to we-the-people. That’s just too many community governments for Super PACs to control. While we still have time, help one another to protect their families take charge and be safe! We must now protect our own clean air and water while making our own energy and food. Stop supporting ALL MEMBERS of the super PACs like, etc. It is time to get it right; God Bless you Mr. Snowden. You are not alone.
+16 # futhark 2013-07-13 17:10
There was a time when the United States of America was the asylum for those "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" from the oppression of authoritarian tyrannies with their secret surveillance police, the tsar's Okhrana, the fuehrer's Gestapo, etc.

Now the United States has its own home-grown state surveillance apparatus, more subtle and doubtless more efficient than any of its historical predecessors, but like them capable of not only penalizing those who expose their machinations, but also creating terrorist attack dramas of their own to justify their activity. We've seen this on 9/11 and at the Boston Marathon this year. Polls are showing that most Americans rightly believe that the greatest threat to their liberty is not from crazed foreign terrorists but from the very institutions that have been created by our government to protect our security.

We need to demand amnesty for all refugees from tyranny, Mr. Snowden included, vote out the politicians labeling him as a traitor, and pass the "We, The People" amendment to the Constitution to end the sale of political power.
+5 # Darthvadersmom 2013-07-13 17:35
I accidently hit thumbs up on George D's comment, folks. Sorry about that.

If we all know we are being looked at whenever we are online (and off), then why is Snowden being called a traitor?

Snowden and others can explain what he's done and why, but they can't make some people understand it if they are incapable of doing so.
-14 # George D 2013-07-14 00:46
I used the term traitor.
"One who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty."

Snowden had a Secret Clearance. That means he took an oath and was granted access to information that the general public is not supposed to see. Countries have always had states secrets; That's what National Security is all about.

People that believe everyone should know everything and that our government should have no tools for identifying potential terrorist activity, are truly naive and ignorant.

I go back to the point that NOBODY has been damaged by the data mining that the government has been doing; Except perhaps a few, would be, terrorists. But have we all been damaged by Snowden disclosing to other governments, entire databases and methods our government uses for our security? Of course we have; ALL of us have.

Snowden is a traitor alright. And he's far from being the "moral" pillar of the nation he'd like us all to think he is. He's just a punk that abused his Secret Clearance and actually set out to become famous in the bungling, idiotic way he has. Not smart; Not heroic; Not even right. Just a half wit punk that has harmed himself and America.
+6 # firstlilwanderer 2013-07-14 18:04
Sooo...who betrayed who's trust first? The one signing on or the one changing all the laws and rules after the person signs on? There is no higher duty than one man standing up for his fellow countrymen. Or, has the meaning of the words obligation and duty gone that far off the Untied States radar?
+11 # medusa 2013-07-13 18:45
Snowden has revealed something that we should all have known, if it was lawful to do--recording every word of countless conversations. It was of course patently unlawful.
Secondly, Snowden has revealed nothing that poses any threat against our country--just confirms what they suspected (our electronic activities). How does it weaken us if the world knows that our electronic spies are peeping in their mailboxes?
His offense is having gone against a paranoid kingdom of fear, that isn't, after all, the real United States of America.
+8 # treadlightly 2013-07-13 19:24
There are a lot of people who have taken a pledge to uphold the Constitution.
You really have.
Perhaps more will follow.
Hang in there buddy.
If Tom Cruises character could find a way out in "The Firm" so can you.
+5 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-13 19:34
VERY well said, Brother Snowden, brother and defender of the shared, inalienable liberty and freedom of us all. My prayers are with you for your protection by God the Father, in Jesus the Christ's name, and I am very grateful for your sacrifices in the name of that freedom and liberty, and exercising your right, and fulfilling you duty, to inform us of the inalienable human rights and civil liberties violations of the U.S. government that you have; violations which are being used to destroy the privacy of all of us, and therefore the liberty and freedom of all of us. Thank you for not letting the latter stand, and for standing up against it for the sake of us all. God speed you to nothing but True Freedom and Liberty, and protect you from the increasingly out-of-control tyranny and repression of the "United States of America".
+2 # 2013-07-13 20:01
  Rob Carter says thanks Matt Taibi ~ I have made these comments often to WSJ, RSN, Common Dreams and others including USA Press. But at last a Mkore influential leftist journalist agrees and says it ~ Who knows people may yet see how that 1% and next 5% profited 11% growth 2012. as the US average was 2.7% and 60% of people lost growth, their jobs to automation and consumerism drop with lower disposable incomes on welfare or not. With that extra 11% Growth as profit overflowing their banks they loaned as higher risk capital casino via Credit card players, which didn't create new employment just unaffordable debt for US domestic consumer growth in a recession. People in the main don't know to read JM Keynes, "you don't fix roofs in the rain" & don't go further in debt for unnecessary in a recession. They know not to believe the Politician rhetoric's. Now Mat's exposures from a non-public-read able financial press WSJ the admission by fair or foul the World's second largest Bank after PRC this JPMChase lot by fair or foul will hound you down for their profit growth to grow. Credit in lieu of wages makes consumerism not savings and that's just the way Corporate America want it, they can swindle WTO & TPP for lower import and outsourcing even higher exports, but they find new tricks for the home market domestic consumer. Lend then foreclose, makes great business sense.
+10 # thunderable 2013-07-13 23:17
There is no "national security" in a country where the government is violating its own laws and spying on its citizens and allies indiscriminatel y.

I am very thankful that the brave patriot Mr. Snowden brought this out into the open, though I'm not surprised one bit. Democrats, Republicans, it doesn't matter who is in's all about the continued trend toward absolute Fascism in America. As Mussolini said, "Fascism is the merger of the corporation and the state." Nowhere has that ever been more evident than in America today where the military industrial complex (just one facet of Corporate America) drives US foreign policy that includes running a permanent war economy. And anyone against this inhuman and immoral machine is labeled a "terrorist" a "traitor" or a "whistleblower" , instead of a patriot or truthteller or a humanist.

We must keep fighting the good fight!
+3 # Activista 2013-07-13 23:20
Hope that this system has more risk takers like Snowden and collapses - Obama, NSA, FBI are running scared - it is impossible to stop FREE information flow - this is why Soviet Union collapsed - it is impossible to make decisions without valid data/informatio n.
+15 # ghostperson 2013-07-13 23:27
I appreciate knowing the information Snowden made public.

He violated laws. So do Wall Street, Big Energy, the Koch brothers, Big Corporate America and its officers--while committing economic treason--and so do our presidents (listing only those in the last 40 years): Nixon (impeached),Rea gan (Iran Contra), Bush I (Iran Contra), Clinton (perjury), Bush II (secret surveillance) and Obama (secret surveillance). Bush II's "brain" Karl Rove outed a CIA operative (NOC) as a vindictive act and jeopardized the lives of her assets.

Snowden tried to release information to fellow citizens to level the playing field and give a heads up that Big Brother is bigger than we thought. The "Bigs" hid information from citizens to cover up high crimes.

When someone can explain to me why the "Bigs" get a pass, including Wall Street for Homeric mortgage fraud, but the ordinary guy doesn't then I will consider being concerned about his illegal acts.
+12 # ghostperson 2013-07-13 23:33
Why should Snowden turn himself in?

Did Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or Obama?

Did the Wall Street financial product sector?

Our government can work for its goal. It doesn't do anything else.

As long as Snowden is out there, questions pertaining to illegal domestic surveillance of citizens remain on the front burner and we are all benefited by it.
+3 # Mistica 2013-07-14 09:47
George D., I am not arguing whether your views are right or wrong, but when you call other commentors "clueless morons" you give up any high ground you may have claimed. When you say, "With all due respect...", you have already proven yourself a liar.
+3 # L H 2013-07-14 12:55
I am grateful for someone with a conscience like you, Edward Snowden, and with a brilliant mind that can see the bigger picture while sacrificing so much to warn us! Eisenhower would be proud of you, just like his warning to "beware the military-indust rial complex". What you are revealing has been escalating for a long time into a world power for the globalists to control the world through surveillance and economic manipulation. It is so valuable that we wake up and see what is happening. You are a Hero to the people of this planet. I call upon the greater powers that love life, on the planet, inside and off the planet, to protect you and help you to safety.
+5 # firstlilwanderer 2013-07-14 17:50
Mr. Snowden, I am behind you 100%. Back in 1978, I got a small taste of our government's secret and illegal activities while working in a judicial court here in MA. I left in disgust. Had I been a bit older, I would have got evidence and gone to the news media before I quit. You are braver and wiser than me. I am praying you have the strength to continue with your endeavors. It must be very hard knowing the very rights that should protect you (and all of us) are being trampled on by the very ones we elect into office. Stay strong and know you are not alone in this fight. I will do the best I can to help you by writing my congress reps and senators and signing any petitions that come my way. God bless you and be with you always.
+6 # tom paine devotee 2013-07-14 17:57
Our Government appears to be intent on establishing a fascist empire. Isaw the threat of this in the G.W.Bush administration but never thought that Obama would continue along the same track. As a veteran of world war 2, I think that we must rise up against this. I thank Manning and Snowden ( genuine heroes) for their sacrifices , and am disgusted with what is happening to both parties in our government. I am just sorry that I am to old to join the revolution that must come to reclaim the country given us by the founding fathers
+5 # trystero777 2013-07-15 08:40
I consider Mr. Snowden a national hero in every sense of the word. A hero is someone who does what is right regardless of the consequences - like throwing themselves on a grenade to save their comrades. Mr. Snowden's actions are equivalent. Congressional Medal of Honor?
+3 # treadlightly 2013-07-16 04:02
This Congress? Who is left there that would be worthy of presenting such an honor?
+2 # firefly 2013-07-17 12:22
Thank you for your honesty and sacrifice. You are a good man.

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