It is now confirmed that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and has left Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International airport. The United States continues to threaten any country that grants Snowden asylum and has been successful in pressuring U.S. media never to refer to him as a whistleblower. While MSNBC hosts mock Snowden and express disbelief why he doesn’t just trust that Obama will give him a fair trial, there is little reason for Snowden to trust those assurances when a president is claiming the right to kill citizens without trial, send some people to military tribunals, and routinely uses classification laws to force the dismissal of public interest lawsuits. What’s not to trust?
Polls show roughly half of Russian citizens support Snowden and support asylum.
For Snowden, he may not see a good option. They just finishing the Manning trial where they pursued an abusive “aiding the enemy” charge without a foundation of evidence to support such a charge. He is looking at life in prison even after being acquitted on the charge. In the meantime, on America’s Animal Farm, only members of the ruling elite are allowed to steal and destroy classified evidence without going to jail.
Snowden would face classification laws limiting his defense and laws written to require little showing for conviction. The Administration is infamous for count stacking where they pile on dozens and even hundreds of counts to guarantee life in prison.
Snowden has embarrassed powerful leaders in the United States and showed that they have been lying to the public. This includes not only Obama but top Democrats. They want Snowden punished for their sins.
In such an environment, Russia may look pretty darn good to Snowden.
Source: ABC News
65 thoughts on “Snowden Granted Temporary Asylum In Russia”
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 by American Constitution Society Blog
Let’s Be Very Clear, Edward Snowden is a Whistleblower
by Michael German
But I did want to clear up a question that seems to keep coming up: whether Snowden is a whistleblower. It is actually not a hard question to answer. The Whistleblower Protection Act protects “any disclosure” that a covered employee reasonably believes evidences “any violation of any law, rule, or regulation,” or “gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, and abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”
In the two months since Snowden’s alleged disclosures, no fewer than five lawsuits have been filed challenging the legality of the surveillance programs he exposed. The author of the Patriot Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), called the scope of data collection revealed in one of the leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders “incredibly troubling,” and “an overbroad interpretation of the Act” that “raise[s] questions about whether our constitutional rights are secure.”
It is clear that these disclosures benefited the public, by giving victims of illegal surveillance – essentially all Americans – the knowledge and opportunity to challenge these unconstitutional programs, both in the courts and through their elected representatives in Congress.
It doesn’t end there. Over a dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to narrow these now public surveillance authorities and increase transparency regarding continuing programs. No one can know what was in Edward Snowden’s mind, but clearly he could have had a reasonable belief the documents he leaked to the news media revealed government illegality and abuse of authority.
The disclosures also revealed that U.S. military officers and intelligence community officials have been less than truthful in their public comments and congressional testimony about the government’s domestic surveillance practices, both in the scope of the programs and their effectiveness. Such false and misleading testimony threatens more than just Americans’ privacy; it threatens democratic control of government.
Americans need and deserve truthful information about what the government is doing, particularly where the activity infringes on individual rights. As the father of the Constitution James Madison said, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both.” Denying Americans this knowledge through excessive and unnecessary secrecy, or worse, official deception, is unjustifiable and illegal. In a democracy, the law should never be secret.
The countless articles on the front pages of dozens of newspapers across the country since the documents leaked reveal the public thirst for this information. It is clear that these disclosures benefited the public, by giving victims of illegal surveillance – essentially all Americans – the knowledge and opportunity to challenge these unconstitutional programs, both in the courts and through their elected representatives in Congress. Even President Obama said he “welcomed this debate” and thought it was “healthy for our democracy.” Yet a properly informed public debate on these programs would not have been possible without Snowden’s leaks.
But the fact that the leaks served the public interest by exposing government illegality and abuse doesn’t mean Snowden is protected by the law, because the intelligence community has always been exempted from the Whistleblower Protection Act. This fact refutes the other common misperception: that there are effective internal avenues for reporting illegal activities within the intelligence community.
Congress passed the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) in 1998, but it is no more than a trap. It establishes a procedure for internal reporting within the agencies and through the Inspector General to the congressional intelligence committees, but it provides no remedy for reprisals that occur as a result. Reporting internally through the ICWPA only identifies the whistleblowers, leaving them vulnerable to retaliation. The examples of former NSA official Thomas Drake, former House Intelligence Committee staffer Diane Roark and former CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa show too well.
This lack of protection means that when intelligence community employees and contractors – who take an oath to defend the Constitution – see government illegality they must turn the other way, or risk their careers and possibly even their freedom. The people we trust to protect our nation from foreign enemies deserve legal protection when they blow the whistle on wrongdoing within government.
I have noticed that almost all news accounts and televised reportas almost always, if not always, refer to Edward Snowden as a leaker rather than a whistleblower.The media in concert with the government deliberately & selectively uses certain words to form public opinion. For example: Obamacare was always referred to health care reform when in reality it is universal health insurance which is supposed to provide access ( whatever that means ) top health care. Also, every chance the media got during to describe the recorded conversation between George Zimmerman & the 911 dispatcher, ” they ” always said that the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. Never was it said that the dispatcher did not have the authority to order not to follow Martin which was not what the dispatcher said to begin with. The dispatcher said, ” We don’t need you to do that. ”
Anyway, if there is any proof that the government has pressured the media outlets to refer to Edward Snowden as a leaker as opposed to a whistleblower, this is huge. It is a bigger story than Snowden releasing details of the NSA program.
Hats off to Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, truth tellers.
Please relieve me of Jeffrey Boobin
Based on the article I linked above, and the topic at hand, I am beginning to wonder if the NSA has anything to do with the moderation filter. Sad to say, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Lost comment in moderation. Trying Again, truncated version.
Someone other than Snowden corroborating his allegations. And this analyst says he had “targeting information” on Justice Alito back in 2002.
This has been going on for over a decade.
NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication, Says Former Analyst
As far as who is being more truthful, NSA or Snowden, I gotta go with snowden.
NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication, Says Former Analyst
William Binney worked at the NSA for over three decades as a mathematician, where he designed systems for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. He retired in 2001. And Russell Tice had a two-decade career with the NSA where he focused on collection and analysis. He says he was fired in 2005 after calling on Congress to provide greater protection to whistle-blowers.
He claims the NSA tapped the phone of high-level government officials and the news media 10 years ago.
RUSSELL TICE, former National Security Agency analyst: The United States were, at that time, using satellites to spy on American citizens. At that time, it was news organizations, the State Department, including Colin Powell, and an awful lot of senior military people and industrial types.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, this is the early 2000s.
RUSSELL TICE: This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito’s targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family.
Ah, but who controls Booz Allen Hamilton?
Answer: The Carlyle Group.
And who is The Carlyle Group? They are like the Counsel of Foreign Relations or the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderbergers. They are a shadowy, powerful group of business and political figures from across the globe.
Permit me to drop just a few names:
G. Allen Andreas – Chairman of the Archer Daniels Midland Company, Carlyle European Advisory Board
Daniel Akerson -CEO of General Motors, Board member at 7 companies, Managing director at Carlyle
Joaquin Avila – former managing director at Lehman Brothers, Managing director at Carlyle
Laurent Beaudoin – CEO of Bombardier (1979-), former member of Carlyle’s Canadian Advisory board
Peter Cornelius – Managing Director of Nielsen Australia.
Paul Desmarais – Chairman of the Power Corporation of Canada, former member of Carlyle’s Canadian Advisory board
David M. Moffett – CEO of Freddie Mac, Former Senior advisor to the Carlyle
Karl Otto Pöhl – former President of the Bundesbank, Former Senior advisor to the Carlyle Group
Olivier Sarkozy (half-brother of Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France) – co-head and managing director of its recently launched global financial services division, since March 2008.
James Baker III, former United States Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, Staff member under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, Carlyle Senior Counselor, served in this capacity from 1993 to 2005.
George H. W. Bush, former U.S. President, Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board from April 1998 to October 2003.
Frank C. Carlucci, former United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989; Carlyle Chairman and Chairman Emeritus from 1989 to 2005.
Richard G. Darman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Bush Administration; Managing director from 1993, later Senior Advisor
William E. Kennard, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 1997-2001 and United States Ambassador to the European Union; Carlyle managing director from 2001-2009
Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Bill Clinton, Carlyle Senior Advisor from 2001 to the present
Luis Téllez Kuenzler, Mexican economist, former Secretary of Communications and Transportation under the Felipe Calderón administration and former Secretary of Energy under the Zedillo administration.
Frank McKenna, former Premier of New Brunswick, Canadian Ambassador to the United States between 2005 and 2006 and current Deputy Chairman of Toronto-Dominion Bank; served on Carlyle’s Canadian advisory board.
Mack McLarty, Carlyle Group Senior Advisor (from 2003), White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1994.
Randal K. Quarles, former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President George W. Bush, now a Carlyle managing director
John Major, former British Prime Minister, Chairman, Carlyle Europe from 2001–2004
Fidel V. Ramos, former president of the Philippines, Carlyle Asia Advisor Board Member until the board was disbanded in 2004
Peter Chung, former associate at Carlyle Group Korea, who resigned in 2001 after 2 weeks on the job after an inappropriate e-mail to friends was circulated around the world
Thaksin Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Thailand (twice), former member of the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board until 2001 when he resigned upon being elected Prime Minister.
Norman Pearlstine – editor-in-chief of Time magazine from (1995–2005), senior advisor telecommunications and media group 2006-
Blouise, Hi Lady! thanks for the compliment; your postings are always provocative to me even if I get to the blawg late and can’t respond in a timely manner. Or if the moderation filter starts eating my postings and I just give up and call it a day. That darn filter sure sucks the spontaneity out of posting here.
>> rafflaw 1, August 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Great link Elaine. Booz Allen is profiting mightily from spying on Americans.
Civil suit against them, the bond holders, vendors & anyone associated with them for all they own & for 100,000% of everything they might ever own for being American Hatin Trash!
Judge, get a Rope,that's they way that America used to swing & might again!
You can’t blame Mr. Snowden for going to Russia to get a job. In America these days, if you’re unemployed, nobody will hire you anymore, as you’re considered an outcast and a pariah in the USA. Russia has become capitalistic than the USA was, and now America is becoming more Authoritarian, as Russia once was.
Great link Elaine. Booz Allen is profiting mightily from spying on Americans.
Awe…. It looks like the Coward in Chief will not be attending a pre-conference with Mr. Putin….Ego In Chief…. to discuss issues…. apparently there’s going to be a world conference in St. Petersburg for the Worlds Global leaders sometime next month…..
Thanks Elaine. You’re great!
Comments with more than two links are always sent into moderation. Something has been up with WordPress in the past month or so. Quite a number of my comments have been sent to the SPAM folder.
Two points: 1) Isn’t it ironic that a citizen of the freest society on Earth; Reagan’s ‘Light on the Hill’ is forced to seek asylum in the former Soviet Union, the ‘Evil Empire’? WTF?
2) WHY is there moderation here at ALL? We discuss First Amendment rights all of the time here. Wouldn’t it be appropriate NOT to have comments censored and ‘lost’ in the blogasphere?
Snowden’s Former Employer Is Making Bank
By Michael Maiello
AUG 1, 2013
Edward Snowden is going to live under Vladimir Putin’s protection in Russia for as long as a year while his old employer, government contractor Booz, Allen, Hamilton is profiting as if nothing ever happened.
Whatever you think of Snowden, the Teflon character of his former employer, which is where the leaker got access to all of government intelligence secrets, is truly stunning. But, from a pecuniary perspective, the Snowden affair has been a non-event for Booz. Yesterday, Booz reported that quarterly sales held steady, year over year, at $1.4 billion while profits jumped 13 percent to $73.2 million. The higher profits are a result of Booz’s ability to increase rates for its billable consulting hours, a measure of the company’s prestige with clients. Booz stock is up nearly 50 percent this year.
A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Air Force cleared Booz of any accountability for Snowden’s data heist, saying that the firm could not have known. In the earnings call, Booz chief executive Ralph W. Shrader addressed the Snowden issue for the first time, saying that “Mr. Snowden was on our payroll for a short period of time, but he was not a Booz Allen person and he did not share our values.”
No shit, Mr. Shrader. Most Booz contractors will do whatever the client wants them to do, without question and certainly without the urge to inform the public about anything controversial. For security minded readers, that’s a blessing, though they are left wondering how it is that Snowden managed to slip past the loyalty test. They certainly have no assurance that it will never happen again.
Good points. Reminds of the excellent points you made months ago regarding legalizing marijuana.
You make me think just little deeper, girlfriend.
Obama’s has abused the power and influence of his office, MSNBC has become ineffective puppets, Nancy Pelosi has assisted him and effectively eradicating the rights to privacy in this country. Obama has outright violated the Constitution on numerous occasions making him guilty of treason. he should be impeached and removed from office. but Congress is now so corrupt, they have gone along for the ride. this is like a horror movie. I am watching this with my hands covering my eyes and only taking a peek at it occasionally.
The apologists for Obama are just as bad. they are blind to the fact that they are losing their rights. and I’m afraid they will continue to be blind until it directly affects them.
I have yet to mention the Supreme Court. as with Obama, they have accomplished a few good things. but by and large, especially the Conservatives have a tendency to sell themselves to the highest bidder. build a law library in my honor, & I’ll make sure the vote goes your way on an important decision to you. they handed the presidential election to George W Bush in 2000. just imagine how different our country would be presently if the recount had been allowed to go on in Florida. I have reached a point where I am just simply beyond discussed. I’m sickened and saddened at the developments in our country today.
Overcharging, loading on, prosecutorial fug-headedness.
“Extra charges for Bradley Manning because he used a computer”
“The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Trevor Timm explains a disturbing and overlooked fact about the trial of Bradley Manning; the charge-sheet against him included two separate felonies under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an ancient anti-hacking statute that has been used as a club to threaten security researchers and activists like Aaron Swartz. The CFAA makes it a separate offense to leak classified information using a computer, such that anyone caught doing so can be charged twice: first under the Espionage Act and again under the CFAA.
This gives tremendous and terrible leverage to prosecutors, …”
Alright Frank! 🙂
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