Defend Edward Snowden

My statement on Edward Snowden is as follows:

Occasionally you run into a situation that just isn’t that complicated.

To support the hounding of Edward Snowden is to support government by secrecy, to support the attacks on the basic rights and freedoms that every human being deserves.

To attempt to support him by an appeal to Democrats or Republicans is to ask the very forces who are spying on private communications in the US and internationally to defend us against–themselves!

Sometimes there is a duty to speak out, and this is one of those times.  I support Edward Snowden.  I salute his courage and integrity.  I believe it is either knavery or foolishness to believe that he can be defended except by organized action of the masses of people.

And he deserves to be defended.

Steven Brust

I’ve been asked by David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, to make a brief statement in support of Edward Snowden for publication on that site.  I’ve reproduced my statement above.   I am now asking any writers, editors, artists, and academics reading this to do the same. If you want to join me in this, send your statement to walsh at wsws dot org.

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12 thoughts on “Defend Edward Snowden”

  1. Both Ecuador and Russia have promised to not take him in. Dozens of small countries have unilaterally said they won’t take him in. Kind of scary that the US has that much power. The US was threatening economic sanctions against Ecuador.

    The US wouldn’t put that much effort into catching a mad bomber. The worst crime in the world is embarrassing the government with the truth.

  2. While taxpayers support 2 million federal civil servants, we fund 12 million contractor employees.

    We have all kinds of whistleblower laws federal and private businesses. Whistleblowers working for government contractors must proceed at their own risk when defending the taxpayers.

    I am sure he signed an NDA working for those contractors, so He did violate that, but that is not a criminal act but a civil act of disobedience and he can be sues for damages if anyone can prove they were damaged. He can declare bankruptcy and not have to pay if he loses.

    who really is on the hook here is the Contractor and they should be held accountable for 2 things. 1) not listening to their employees
    2) exceeding their authority that congress gave them

    Snowden like all whistleblowers will be forgotten, what will be remembered is when you give up public control to the private sector, you effectively give up your rights.

  3. I like Penn Jillette’s line of reasoning (I’m obviously paraphrasing). So the government may be saying “don’t worry, if you have done nothing wrong there is nothing to worry about. So what’s the big deal?”. Ok, then. So Snowden, Assange etc has access to “private” government information. So we say, “don’t worry government, if you have done nothing wrong there is nothing to worry about, is there? So what’s the big deal?” You have to read this with Penn’s gravelly voice in a slow, quiet, eloquent manner to appreciate the argument.

  4. Because of the Jemisin-Vox Day thing, I’ve read some of Beale’s posts. He’s on the right side of this issue, proving sometimes the devil is your ally, I suppose.

  5. “Because of the Jemisin-Vox Day thing, I’ve read some of Beale’s posts.”

    Beale who?

  6. Will, thank you. From the little I read, he seems to enjoy his special status as the voice of the oppressed unPC. What I saw seemed reasonably logical given his starting assumptions, but not unexpected or particularly funny.

  7. A boss needs to know what its employees are doing. The voters are supposed to be the bosses.

    But politicians want cover-ups. Mistakes need to be “not on my watch”.

    I don’t mind short term secrets for tactical reasons. But long-term strategic secrets hurt us more than the enemy. All secrets should have deadlines – maybe 1 month, maybe 6 months – the deadline should be fixed for all. Short enough that the decision makers take flack (or credit) for their decisions.

  8. “All secrets should have deadlines – maybe 1 month, maybe 6 months – the deadline should be fixed for all.”

    Yes, but consider spies. Say the US government manages to blackmail a government worker in Russia or China or even somewhere else. Like, somehow they get him to do something once that he would be fired for, and then they make him spy so he won’t be fired, and then he’s a spy who would be shot if his government found out.

    If the secret that he’s doing that comes out in 6 months, then they can only get 6 months of spying from him. If they never have to reveal it, he can spy for perhaps as much as 30 years — it depends on how long until he retires or how long until he gets caught and executed. Spies are much more valuable if they never have to be revealed.

    Every time we get into a permanent war, like the Cold War, we get stuck letting the government keep lots of secrets for the duration.

    The War on Terrorism won’t be credible all that long, but likely soon enough China will look like a big enough threat to have a permanent cold war with them.

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