Snowden, Greenwald, And Poitras Receive Prestigious Human Rights Award In Berlin

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Edward_Snowden-2In another showing of international support for the activities in revealing to the public the abuses of the NSA, whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras each received the Carl von Ossietzky award in Berlin today.

The award is bestowed to honor those who exhibit extraordinary civic courage or commitment to the spread or defense of human rights.

220px-Glenn_greenwald_portraitThe international League for Human Rights in Berlin awarded this year’s prize to Snowden for a “momentous decision of conscience … to put [his] personal freedom on the line” to expose the “abuse of power” exercised by the US and Germany. On behalf of Snowden, who is barred from entering Germany, and Greenwald, Poitras accepted the award for the three civil rights activists.

laura-poitrasSeveral speakers posted honors to the three. Deutsche Welle reported the speeches were given honoring the work of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras, including one from former federal Interior Minister Gerhart Baum and human rights lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck, who represents Snowden. Baum spoke of how the Snowden had “opened our eyes to the largest intelligence surveillance scandal I know.”

The von Ossietzky medal is named after the German Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist who spoke out actively against the Nazi regime. He died as a result of internment in the concentration camp where he was held, after being convicted of high treason. It was he who exposed Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Versailles through its re-militarization under Adolf Hitler.

By Darren Smith


Deutsche Welle

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43 thoughts on “Snowden, Greenwald, And Poitras Receive Prestigious Human Rights Award In Berlin”

  1. slohrss29 … re: cash on his head. I’d not pay a penny for him. Let him rot in the people’s paradise. Maybe even in a gulag where he might experience one of those anal-rectal probes we’ve been talkin’ about elsewhere. Bless his little weenie butt. His 15 minutes are up.

  2. Shelly, if Snowden leaves Russia he will be handed over. Simple as that. Or he’ll be hit by a bus. He may still find his way back here yet. We don’t know how much cash is on his head.

  3. Thanks for the comments Aridog. Once again, I appreciate your perspective. Like most things I have found in life, good comes with the bad. Sort of like Bill Cosby. He was an important role model for me growing up. Do I now discount all the positives I took from him over the years in light of his mounting accusations? If there is one thing I depend on is that almost all circumstances are neither BW, but gray. As a matter of fact, I almost discount a “BW” situation out of hand as most likely being implausible. But, from your standpoint, trying to uphold procedures (which as we see, are thrown out as soon as shown to be the most minor inconvenience), this must be hard to watch unfold.

  4. BarkinDog

    I like the idea of Snowden living in Amsterdam one day. Some quotes from an infamous 13-year-old Dutch school girl’s Amsterdam diary (1944):

    “It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

    “The only way to truly know a person is to argue with them. For when they argue in full swing, then they reveal their true character.”

    “We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.”

    “Who would ever think that so much went on in the soul of a young girl?”

    “I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can help you. Look at these things, then find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance.”

    “And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”

  5. I recommend the book: No Place To Hide, by Greenwald.
    I wish Snowden would move to some place like Germany or Amsterdam where he could sprech frei and not have the Russian mantel over his head.

  6. slohrss29…Thanks. When not being a wise a$$, I try to be sincere.

    I’ll admit not all whistle-blowers succeed, but the serious ones try again, and do not run off at the mouth. Doing so (running off at the mouth) often brings the house down around you…unless of course, you run away.

    As for Snowden, his avenue to influence was outside of the NSA yet within the government, even though he was a mere contractor. He likely had no knowledge of this nor did he seek it…analyst previously, then DB administrator for 90 days…please. He had very little skin in the game. He just took the easy way to fame…and then ran away. I have to ask: just how much do we think his revelations changed anything? Really?

    Circuses have bright lights, but then they move on to the next venue. Deck chairs, rearranged but not diminished. No change. Just an illusion of it. And we, the public, sit back all satisfied.

  7. Thanks for the comments Aridog. As big as the machine is, and the lack of success of other whistleblowers (who were urged to come forward, if I remember my 2008 campaign messages…), I don’t know what other options he would have had. Certainly in his position he offered no influence at the NSA.

  8. Shelly…”spark debate about privacy,etc.”….did you notice he did NOT say he wanted to stop it (the intrusion)? Or that he even tried? Sorry. Not a hero to me.

  9. @ Aridog
    wrote “…Why scamper from the light when you believe you are righteous?”

    …”I want to spark a worldwide debate about privacy, internet freedom, and the dangers of states surveillance.” – Edward Snowden in email to Greenwald.
    As to why he chose UK media, China, Russia, probably all answered in Greenwald’s book, “No Place to Hide.”

  10. @ Observer
    “Germany could have given asylum to him !”

    Germany probably doesn’t want to risk the US retaliation.
    He’s actually safer in Russia, but might be better off in a country like Brazil.

  11. slohrss29 …my “experienced point of view” has been outlined here, on other threads, at least twice before vis a vis “whistle-blowing.” Government is cannibalistic so you take the time and find those who will stop something because they can and because they want (enjoy even?) to make it hard for the other guys. You can’t do that in 90 days or in any number of days spent as an “analyst.” You have to be in it and at risk yourself.

    I have no trouble with shining a light when there is no other course to take…but doing so via the UK media, China, and then Russia is not my idea of forthright. Why scamper from the light when you believe you are righteous?

    I admit my bias … and yes, it is based upon experience, both uniformed military and as a military “Fed.”

  12. Aridog–don’t you think it’s important for light to be shown on these actions? I know how Snowden acted, but I don’t know how a situation like that would unfold unless I was in it. Curious to hear your experienced point of view.

  13. Steve Fleischer said …

    Thanks to the people who have the courage to speak up against our government officials who violate the Bill of Rights.

    Personally, I’m more inclined to thank those who are not too lazy to find a way to stop illegal actions, directly, without running off at the mouth or otherwise seeking media attention.

  14. Uh, the above lyrics were also from Alan Sherman back in the early sixties sometime. I tink.

    I also tink dat we need term limits on da Congressmen and women. Like say 74. Ol Lady Feinstein, who wont shut up, is about 80!

    On the same topic but involving another dork. There is some schmuck who got appointed to do the Sunday morning news on one of the networks. He is one of those who called Snowden a “traitor”. I can not tink of his name and don’t wanna know it really but when network news guys toe the party line in this fashion we have fascism. Chuck Up Todd is possibly his name. Or UpChuck Todd. Back in day of old when knights were bold and rubbers were not invented… they tied a sock around … and Todds were prevented. Paul Revere was a traitor too Chucky Boy.

  15. [music]
    Hello mudda,
    Hello fadda.
    Here I am in Camp Gren A da.
    You remember Di Ann Fein Stein..
    She got toemaim poisonin afta dinner..


  16. I think that Snowden and company have captured evidence of the NSA spying on the justices of US Supreme Court, perhaps getting some compromising information on them.
    What would be the most valuable thing you could have when going before the SCOTUS in a case of national importance? Some dirt on them, something they could not let become public or their careers and reputation would be sht.
    Now wouldn’t that be a great way of slowly taking over America? Everything that supports the government’s statist positions will be a shoe-in to win, and the core of our governing jurisprudence would be usurped. A sneaky and very effective way to otherthrow the process and take over entirely.

  17. Germany has changed its tune considerably over the last few months. I think that let Merkel know that she is not beyond “regime change.” Looks like we have plenty more of that scheduled. I hope Snowden can let more word out on this.

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