Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Edward Snowden Merits a National Public Service Award!
Ed Snowden gives a speech after receiving Sam Adams Prize last year.
The news released yesterday that The Washington Post and The Guardian(UK) shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for exposing the NSA mass surveillance in all its sordid detail, is significant. First, neither newspaper could have done it without the files released by Edward Snowden which the respective news organizations disclosed in discrete 'quantum' bundles. This was useful so that a mostly surprised public wouldn't be inundated or overcome with too much information.
Secondly, the fact the Pulitzer was for Public Service automatically implies that Edward Snowden performed a public service by virtue of his file release. One cannot logically award a Pulitzer for Public Service to the newspapers then claim the key individual responsible for providing the material is persona non grata or "traitor" as assorted assholes and idiots have claimed.
Thus, Snowden merits the highest accolades for performing the supreme public service of releasing these files and showing what a gangster state exists - thereby earning the Public service Pulitzer for the two newspapers. Also, were it not for Snowden's public service, no conversation about the extent of mass spying would have ensued because we wouldn't have known about it - no matter what Obama has said.
The issue and the debate that followed ought to have awakened every still breathing, red-blooded American to the fact that freedom is not free, and that constant vigilance (of what shenanigans one's government is pulling) is the price one pays. Never mind supposed "defenders" of freedom sent for bogus "wars" of choice, the real battle front is right here at home against our own domestic enemies: the Neocons, the Neoliberals and their mass surveillance state who would have us all under 24/7 watch if they could.
What was it Thomas Jefferson said in his Notes on Virginia? Every government on Earth degenerates if left to its own devices, therefore the people must be its guides and to do so they must remain ever on guard and must be informed. Information confers power - knowledge, of what they are up to, those who would militate against us - and this isn't based upon "opinion".
All of this is important! Recall that that Sen. Frank Church didn’t mince words, he used the phrase "make tyranny total” as early as 1975 in reference to the NSA’s THEN potential for harm – if not properly collared by the democratic process. He may well have been able to see ahead to the COG ('continuity of government' program) which under the Bushites equated political dissent with treason.
This we cannot allow, as citizens. No one, no government - has the right or power to declare that political dissent or outspoken protests amount to "treason". Indeed, those who state that are the real traitors against the 1st and 4th amendments of the Bill of Rights.
ALL of us have a vested interest in this issue. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientist who created the world wide web, expressed particular outrage that Britain's GCHQ and the NSA had weakened online security by cracking much of the online encryption on which hundreds of millions of users rely to guard data privacy. He said the agencies' decision to break the encryption software was appalling and foolish, as it directly contradicted efforts of the US and UK governments to fight cybercrime and cyberwarfare, which they have identified as a national security priority. Berners-Lee also said it was a betrayal of the technology industry. Let's recall, by way of fixing ideas here, how the NSA in 2012 helped the Israelis create the 'Stuxnet' then 'Flame' viruses - which escaped their control and (after being created as worms to destroy Iranian centrifuges for nuclear processing) and now lurks as a weapon that can be turned back on us all.
Recall Berners-Lee (in his Nov., 2013 Guardian interview) saw the Guardian news organization and Snowden as having acted in the public interest. This in contrast to several senior British Puppets......errrrr....politicians – including the prime minister, David Cameron – who have called for The Guardian to be investigated over reporting of the Snowden leaks. Similar to the Neoliberal poseurs and puppets like Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein who loudly proclaimed Snowden a "traitor" and called for his prosecution, even as they turned a blind eye to the actual violations of the 4th amendment by using bogus FISA courts to secure mass warrants as opposed to the individualized ones required by the 4th.
Berners -Lee went on to observe in his Guardian interview:
"Whistleblowers, and responsible media outlets that work with them, play an important role in society. We need powerful agencies to combat criminal activity online – but any powerful agency needs checks and balances and, based on recent revelations, it seems the current system of checks and balances has failed."
The Pulitzer Prize just awarded to the Post and Guardian vindicates Snowden in every way possible and shows again who the real traitors are to the Constitution in our country. We need to remember that going forward.