Monday, June 10, 2013


I just listened to Democracy Now, Monday, June 10, 2013. It included the interview of whistleblower Edward Snowden with Guardian columnist, Glenn Greenwald, followed by Amy Goodman‘s interview with Greenwald.

Please, click above on each one in turn, watch and listen. You may have seen a snippet on television of Snowden’s self-outing as the source of the revelations about the vast “national security” dragnet. If the whole country saw Snowden’s full interview, the all too predictable counter attack by the media and politicians would lose credibility point by point.

What’s your impression as you see and hear Snowden?

The press refers to him dismissively as a “high school drop out”; he’s accused of breaching the country’s most vital security defenses. What we actually see is a most remarkable young man, straight forward and articulate, no posturing, extremely reasoned and thoughtful about what he did and why. He was completely responsible, not releasing information that could jeopardize individuals or harm the country. Then there is the calm awareness and courage with which he faces the life-changing consequences of having infuriated the world’s most powerful secret spy apparatus. It’s hard to imagine anyone with a modicum of open-mindedness not being impressed, not stopping to think. True, I started out angry about the Big Brother dragnet, but I was very moved by what I saw and heard from this young man.

As for actual disclosures, the media whistles in the dark that there’s nothing to worry about: ‘in this day and age, privacy is an anachronism and the government isn’t going to use its gigantic data trove against us.’ Is that so? What has grown up is a Big Brother mega machine that aims to be permanent and to keep growing independent of elections and who happens to be on top.  Perhaps the most alarming development is that the national security apparatus is a merger of secret government agencies with a huge and powerful private corporate network. Snowden gives us a peek into a system inevitably vulnerable to corruption, undercover manipulation and abuse.

Trust that? Trust Big Brother only to watch, never to turn on our own people in times of crisis and unrest? Think Nixon and Watergate. Think Blackwater in Iraq. Look around the world and think again.

There’s a good case to be made for whistleblowing to protect democracy and civil liberties. Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning have put up their lives to make that case.

1 comment:

  1. Leon, I totally agree with you on all your points. Now, i suppose this means that we are now on the "watch list" of suspected subversives in the US of A.
    It would appear that "Big Brother" is now among us. I don't know about you, but I want to be Winston Smith (though I don't much like rats as well). Power to the Peaceful!