"I've been waiting 40 years for someone like you.” Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much — and to be irrevocably changed — by revealing secret truths.
Thank you for your service and your sacrifice Edward Snowden.
I listened to Jeremy Scahill this morning on Democracynow as well as Glen Greenwald. What came through was not only Obama's legacy in codifying global targeted assassination as a policy but the rottenness of mainstream liberal democrats in supporting it -- so long as democrats are doing it. Of course, Clinton is an avid supporter of this program reflecting her hawkish deep state loyalties but Sanders was criticized as well for his past support of Iraq interventions, no-fly zone bombings . . . He, unlike Clinton, was more critical of drone assassination but still supported it to a degree.
The reality is that we hear little on foreign policy because the CIA largely runs it and because supporting the dominance of US imperialist (corporate) interests is unanimous among presidential contenders. The primary differences are tactical. Certainly Sanders is the lesser evil in this regard but, his hands aren't clean.
The Deep State hates political awakening, which is why the likes of Snowden are heroes. The Deep State cannot make me hate him or his ilk, but it will go to great lengths to try. To Resistors everywhere, Persist!
Bless you Edward Snowden - bless you, bless you and bless you again.
Radical is to get to the root of things.
Conceptual subversion is the root and fruit of American politics/economics.
This is the pervasive rot of centrist politics. This subversion IS mainstream politics.
There is no solution in band aids.
Snowden is on the run and Manning rots in prison as much for betraying the Deep State as for anything they actually leaked. Petraeus gets off with a slap on the wrist because he was just a good old boy who did something stupid, but still a loyal member of the Deep State. This lesson has not been lost on elected representatives, who, despite taking oaths to defend the Constitution, grovel like slaves before their Master.
Edward Snowden is a Global Citizen with such keen insight, so powerful a moral sense, and so clear an intellect that it's laser sharp in its assessments.
He is an ASSET to the world!
The following (among the article's many insights) bears repeating:
"Traditionally, in the context of military affairs, we’ve always understood that lethal force in battle could not be subjected to ex ante judicial constraints. When armies are shooting at each other, there’s no room for a judge on that battlefield. But now the government has decided — without the public’s participation, without our knowledge and consent — that the battlefield is everywhere."
With 1000 bases all over the planet and total surveillance, many who are inside the Military Machine really DO regard the entire world as a battlefield. That includes U.S. citizens as potential targets.
Upon reading this paragraph, one wonders if the Internet was set up for this express purpose: Give people the access to communicate widely and have them pay for it; but then use the open channels for spying and surveillance purposes (as direct violation to the necessary human right to privacy!):
"By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they’re in our pockets. It sounds like fantasist paranoia, but on the technical level it’s so trivial to implement that I cannot imagine a future in which it won’t be attempted. It will be limited to the war zones at first, in accordance with our customs, but surveillance technology has a tendency to follow us home."
Snowden for VP!
Snowden still believes in our better angels, the promise of American democracy he was taught in school. It's refreshing, inspirational, and far too rare. Feel the love Ed, you deserve it!
"What it really comes down to is the political reality that we have a political class that feels it must inoculate itself against allegations of weakness. Our politicians are more fearful of the politics of terrorism — of the charge that they do not take terrorism seriously — than they are of the crime itself."
As to this "allegations of weakness," it's the language of Mars rules and lends itself to making militarism the centerpiece of a society (or empire).
I don't think that politicians are as much in fear of terrorism as they recognize that without such a threat, the military would have no raison d'etre.
And since the military cannibalizes about half the U.S. discretionary budget, it requires a MAJOR threat to justify its own expensive (and that doesn't count the moral costs) existence.
The following is a BRILLIANT set of insights:
"We now have the largest unchallenged military machine in the history of the world, and it’s backed by a political system that is increasingly willing to authorize any use of force in response to practically any justification. In today’s context that justification is terrorism, but not necessarily because our leaders are particularly concerned about terrorism in itself or because they think it’s an existential threat to society. They recognize that even if we had a 9/11 attack every year, we would still be losing more people to car accidents and heart disease, and we don’t see the same expenditure of resources to respond to those more significant threats."
Where most pundits and experts are specialists in narrow fields of inquiry and endeavor, the Big Picture view drives home how little leaders care about human beings' qualify of life.
If they did care, would Flint be poisoning children with filthy water? Would "leaders" be pushing TIPP and TPP and looking for pretexts to hold back advances in the minimum wage? Would Monsanto get to determine what's in our food while Diabetes and Cancer rates rise to astronomic levels?
When society is top-down and most people are afraid to lose their jobs, the vast majority act as efficient functionaries. "Just following orders," many don't recognize how their personal tasks dovetail with those of others to maintain The Beast.
It's no accident that the U.S., transformed into a Military Empire after W.W. II through a few strategic assassinations has seen that there's military factories or bases in just about every state.
When jobs are scarce, people feel forced to argue for those military sources of income. It's more than a backdoor draft. It's a full systems operation that makes the military the DARK HEART of this nation...
Yet many do not march to its diabolical drumbeat. We know that false flags are used to ruthlessly push its agenda. Death, when it's what a Beast does, comes naturally and lines blur between purported enemies and purported allies.
Your post would be far more fair and balanced if it mentioned the countless Republican Hawks who could not show greater homage to the military. It's typically republicans who identify with the culture of militarism.
The fact that since Clinton, powerful Democrats got on-board is indicative of a Democratic Republic morphed into a Military Empire. To blame one team (the Dems. alone) shows either a blind spot or a political prejudice that, as mentioned, skews your argument.
We take it for granted that repugs are pro military and loyal to the military industrial machine, they don't pretend otherwise -- unlike Dems.
Listen to Scahill and Greewald tell it like it is.
Excellent article by Snowden that shows his sapience of political resistance! No wonder Edward has been accused of treason by the fascists in Government and their fawning parasites in the MSM and labeled Personae Non Gratae for being a traitor and fleeing to Russia.
Why? Because Edward Snowden knows too much; is highly intelligent; is not a coward like so many of his co-workers; and that combination is an anathema to cowardly people like Brennan and others that are the ones committing treason and have sold out the American people.
Thank you for your service, Ed Snowden.
I plan to vote for Dr. Jill Stein for president, the only candidate who has expressed interest in using presidential power to release Ed Snowden and other political prisoners of the U.S. parasite class, including Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
Edward, Your portrait hangs on my office wall along side of Edward Said’s and Noam Chomsky's to remind me every day of what it means to be an authentic citizen in democracy. Thank you, Thank you!
Snowden definitely for VP on the Green Party ticket with Jill Stein!
Dr. Stein considers Edward an American hero, while Bernie has said he'd penalize him with prosecution.
It's a common dream for Edward to return to America, and as thelmafollett has suggested we could trade Obama, Bush and Cheney plus a whole lot of cash to ensure this deal for one American hero, Ed Snowden.
Seeing how the Democratic Party will fight Sanders all the way, it is highly likely that Stein will be the only moral choice we have on the November ballot. If Dick Cheney was allowed to hide in a cave for part of his vice presidency, Snowden could do so until Stein got him back into Murka.
Would the Russians want them?
Edward Snowden is a uniquely gifted Human Being. He combines integrity with deep wisdom and immense courage so I feel petty for making a couple of small points of difference. Firstly, Daniel Ellsberg is indeed a wonderful man whose son Robert does fantastic work at Orbis Books who published James Douglass' "JFK & The Unspeakable. Why he died & Why it matters" which is the one book I hope Snowden has read (if not, I will send him my copy). Colonel Prouty pointed out that the Mystical Pentagon Papers (PP) were a Deep State production e.g. the entry for 22/Nov/1963 makes no mention whatsoever of certain event in Dallas, but the days following when JFK's NSAM 263 (Vietnam troop withdrawal) is immediately countermanded by LBJ's NSAM 273 (Troop increases) the PP simply elides the existence of NSAM 263. This elision actually explains the Why of JFK's assassination. I do not pretend to know more but here in an interesting linkhttps://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/06/01/the-myth-of-daniel-ellsberg/. However, JFK himself believed in the power of Redemption and so it may be with Daniel Ellsberg (I hope so).
Second quibble is Snowden's almost saintly belief that change can only come from below - because we are legion. Although one could argue that a humble carpenter from Nazareth - even though crucified - conquered the Roman Empire...I'd hope that Snowden does not have to face the fate of a Jesus or indeed a Spartacus.
If we were to prosecute world leaders like Bush and Blair and Obama for war crimes, that would send a powerful signal to the Deep State. The Pentagon cannot absolve itself for bombing Kunduz. The best hope for restoring sanity to the world is a stronger United Nations and a more forceful and courageous prosecution of International Law.
I tend to disagree somewhat with what you say about Sanders: sometimes, an individual says and acts according to what he perceives he could achieve, not what he'd like to achieve. Sanders understood the culture he had to work with, and tried to modify it for the better. He probably thought that it was better that way than to be marginalized altogether, thus losing whatever checks and balances that might exist in the political arena. However, due to public disgust with the corporate-dominated government - a situation that surely owes much to the political resistance of Snowden, Manning, and other heroes - we might now be experiencing the historical moment when Sanders can take the gloves off and confront government head on.
Snowden is smarter than this chump. Re-thinking my response to his view that change can only come from below, I realized that the last time anyone from the top who took on the CIA ended up under a bus. That was November 11th 1963. JFK understood the real menace of the CIA when their strategy was to bully him into invading Cuba to save the abortive Bay of Pigs which he refused because it was not a good look - the greatest superpower attacking a tiny little island. Furthermore, it was illegal. He swore to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds" and then sacked Dulles, Bissel and Cabell. Quelle surprise, that Allen Dulles was assigned to managed the Warren Commission in order to conceal the CIA's part in the assassination. Treason and Lies do not get greater than that. And yet, these are the criminal psychopaths that still rule the world and accuse true patriots like Maning and Snowden and countless others as the enemy. God Bless all of them. God Bless Jeremy Scahill and David Talbot. RIP Dan Berrigan and Michael Hastings.