Snowden: DOJ Won't Prosecute Official For Lying, But Will Stop At Nothing To Persecute Someone For Telling The Truth

from the unfortunately-revealing dept

As you hopefully have heard by now, a group of US intelligence community whistleblowers traveled to Moscow last week to present Ed Snowden with the Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. As I saw mentioned (and repeated) on Twitter, this image of all of them together is like the Justice League of Whistleblowers. Wikileaks has now released some short video clips from the dinner they all had together. A few of them are quite interesting. Here's the one I thought most on point:
If you can't watch it, this is the key quote:
It's led us to a point in our relationship with the government, where we have an executive -- a Department of Justice -- that's unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they'll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth. And that's a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.
That encapsulates so much of what the problem is with everything that's happened in the past few months. It's a point well worth repeating. The other video I really liked was the one where Snowden talked about the problem of secret laws and secret programs and the idea that the government is supposed to be in power with the consent of the governed, but how that's impossible without oversight.
The key statement:
This is not about any particular program. This is about a trend in the relationship between the governing and the governed in Amercia, that is coming increasingly into conflict with what we expect as a free and democratic society. If we can't understand the policies and programs of our government, we cannot grant our consent in regulating them....
Snowden has mostly stayed hidden away from the public eye since all of this began. He's turned down basically all interview requests, so there's been very little shown of him actually speaking, other than the initial video he recorded with Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. Once again, these videos show someone who appears to have thought deeply about what he is doing and why he did it.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Michael, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Wikileaks has now released some short video clips from the dinner they all had together.

    I bet the food tester for this dinner had his life insurance premiums paid up.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    Why bother when you have killer robots!?!?!!

    /s

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Missing William Binney

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    As federal prosecutors have explained, anything that threatens the established status quo in the U.S. is a threat to the stability of the U.S. and hence a form of terrorism.

     

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  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    "how that's impossible without oversight." -- This is actually a key point that "they" want to plant in the public mind: the notion that there CAN be some good in gov't. But it's ALWAYS EVIL: intrinsic nature, can't be made good, only limited in scope.

    Gov't is" "Like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." -- George Washington ("fearful" changed to "fearsome" for more modern usage.)

    And as ever: Who controls gov't? -- The Rich. Not coincidentally, they too are inherently evil, not least when inherit so much wealth as puts them above all reach of law, let alone ordinary competition in a free market.

    SO, though true and stirring, it's yet more diversion.

    The cure is simple (just not easy): indict, try, and JAIL the criminals. Nothing short of that will affect the rest of the criminals or prevent them from ratcheting up the surveillance. Anything which distracts from the known simple fix isn't helpful. It's mere NPR-style "concerned" discussion about well-known trends.

     

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  6.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    Why? Because Snowden's agenda doesn't revolve around "Can I make myself famous because of this?" Snowden is actually invested in his cause (exposing the NSA) because he wants things to change and believes he's doing it for the American public's benefit (which is still up for debate, depending on who you talk to). Whether his actions will result in the US government changing their tune for better or worse (if at all) remains to be seen.

    Assange, on the other hand, has been basking in the limelight ever since wikileaks released the cables Manning gave them. Julian only seems interested in his own notoriety/fame, instead of considering that his actions might get people killed (As far as I know, there haven't been any American deaths because of the cables, but I'd be willing to bet that at least a few US assets found themselves on the wrong end of a gun because of the info dump from wikileaks).

    I almost want Hollywood to make a movie about Snowden instead of Assange (which will almost certainly overdramatize the impact of what wikileaks did, making people less sympathetic toward whistleblowers like Snowden as a result), but that'd be taking the focus away from the importance of the documents he sent to the Greenwald/Gellman/Poitras.

     

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  7.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    You have a strong point there and yet you keep stating that no discussion is needed, that it's all diversion. That's your problem and why you get reported. It's insulting to assume no discussion is needed when awareness is what drives change. Tell me ootb how do you think they'll be forced to jail the criminals? Some superhero will come down and do it? V of Vendetta? Tell us, oh wise one. The obvious answer is that it must come from sheer popular pressure. And you can only mobilize the masses once you reach a level where there's enough awareness to push people into action.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    "The cure is simple (just not easy)"

    Sigh...

    The US allows people to buy and carry assault weapons and body armour. The solution is actually quite simple and effective: instead of using them to shoot children in a school, shoot some man-children (as in, government staff) in congress or senate or something.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    The text of the video makes important points that none of the present government will touch. If you want to know just how much they want Snowden and how little they think of the public, one only has to look at the Snowden petition on We The People to see evidence of it.

    The idea of those at the heads of various branches have exposed through cover-up, lying, and misdirection, have spoken loudly and the message resonates with the public as one they don't like.

    No valid justification has surfaced for all the spying over personal communications beyond "we can". Couple that with the latest performance of Congress over the debt extension and you get an accurate picture of a government that no longer cares for it's people nor represents them.

     

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  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    While I won't dispute your view on Assange's personality I will disagree that the cables were just an info dump. They were properly redacted and reviewed to avoid linking them to individuals as far as I've read (and I've yet to see a cable that was posted in raw - granted I've read few of the originals from the site). We must not let some bad personality or our own dislikes cloud our minds to the importance Wikileaks had and possibly still has. That said I do think he could have managed things a little better.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    "I almost want Hollywood to make a movie about Snowden instead of Assange..."

    You almost want the propaganda machine of the US to make a movie about what they consider the biggest "enemy" of the US* right now?

    I hope you're gunning for a comedy, because what you're gonna get is a factless, baseless and one-sided narrative.


    * US government, not the US people

     

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  12.  
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    BreadGod (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    If exposing a crime is treated as a crime, then you are ruled by criminals.

     

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  13.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    This would cause far more problems than it solves, and we'd probably end up with a far worse government.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    And in a society based on Rule of Law, secret laws do not exist except as oxymoron.

     

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  15.  
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    Bengie, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re:

    And the truth will set you free. Can't have none of that. Freedom is against the law.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    If there is anything Hollywood do well, it is pissing at government images. They see themself as culture - a reflection of modern life in america and a watcher of society from another angle than journalism, trying to go a step further and press an issue untill it has an edge.

    Since shooting at secrecies covering over conspiracies has been basically 50 % of the non-comedies through the 20th century, that is probably the one thing Hollywood will not stand for. Self-censoring is a beast the writers will not use. If enough of them writes stories with some basis in reality, even the bigwig studios will be forced to take angled stories around too much surveillance.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    Just remember that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.".

    Otherwise, your only option is to rely on a corrupt system to judge those that corrupted the system in the first place. I think we can both agree that that will go nowhere: you still solved nothing and your government is still getting worse.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    The gov't hasn't reflected the public thinking for sometime now. I'm not sure how this will effect any change in that course. "We" don't matter. "We" don't pay for political campaigns. There are fewer than 1,000 donors that pay for 90% of political campaigns "They" are the ones that matter.

     

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  19.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    Exactly that, a government that no longer cares for, nor represents it's people.

    They try to paint the picture as though it's "US" (republicans or democrats) vs. "THEM" (the party not chosen before) and some people will try to say that it's a RICH vs. POOR issue, and while they're not too far off, it's a RULER vs. PEASANT issue here, and if you're not in the government, then you're a peasant (and even some people who are in the government are considered peasants)... They don't think they need to tell us the truth or answer to the laws that they make in our name. Unless and until we get every incumbent out and elect PEASANTS willing to do the work to right the ship, then we deserve all the fists the government tries to shove up our ass...

     

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  20.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    Money doesn't actually cast a vote on election day. "We" do, if we're not too lazy, apathetic, ignorant or foolish.

    Maybe...don't vote for anyone who gets campaign funding by one of those 1,000 donors?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    biochip implants that enable torture

    Have you read the book “The Long Walk” by Brain Castner. He was an IED technician in the Air Force. He suffers from traumatic brain injury. He describes ambiguous pains, feelings of a heart attack, twitching, gurgling in his stomach, nightmares, day mares and the “crazy” feeling. I have never been to war, but I have all those symptoms. I was implanted with a biochip without my knowledge and consent by Newport News Police and Virginia State Police. You can see it under my skin. In Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence on page 9 it says that law enforcement would have you believe we are not safe unless they know where we are and what we are doing at all times and what we are “thinking”. I believe the suicides and ptsd are attributable to this biochip. I have a case in the Supreme Court and if I win, I will do my best to get these chips off of all of our veterans. I pray for them every day. The national institute of justice talks about tazing people into “excited delirium” to make them act in ways they wouldn’t. I believe state police to be responsible for all these shooting. I would love to know how many of the shooters were implanted with the biochip. It is torture and it has been ongoing for years. They are the true criminals.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    it shows also how Democracy is collapsing and is being collapsed by those who think the only way to govern is to do so with an iron rod, so no one has any rights and is shit scared to do anything, legal or not, because of the way the government changes even legal things so as to make them at least appear illegal and give a case against anyone and everyone! then have that situation transposed on to as many other countries as possible with threats of retaliatory action if there is any sort of rejection.
    the very situation we have at the moment with the USA and the threats it puts out to countries who do not want to accept the so-called 'Trade Agreements' that are continuously being conducted in secret, as far as the public are concerned, that are detrimental not only to citizens everywhere but also to businesses everywhere as well, except those of the USA!

     

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  23.  
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    Brazenly Anonymous, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    "The cure is simple (just not easy): indict, try, and JAIL the criminals."

    The corrupt love this approach, they just have to push a scapegoat and they can deflect all the public outrage away from anything that would actually bring about change. If you are going to insist on this approach, be very careful to make sure you get all the criminals, including all those who aided and abetted the primary actors.

    Or we could go about the process of patching the system and providing greater transparency so that it will be easier to maintain. It is a longer and harder fight, but the results are correspondingly longer lasting.

     

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  24.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re:

    which would be a handful of green party members who will be marginalized by the korporate press...

    next great idea ? ? ?

    (Hint: the electoral process is both a closed shop, figuratively 'fixed', and literally 'fixed'... that way lies madness...
    hmmm, what does that leave us ? ? ?
    hmmmmm...)

     

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  25.  
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    Brazenly Anonymous, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    The implicit threat of violence (and in modern times, economic paralysis) provided by merely possessing the capability can be leveraged to accomplish almost all of the aims that violence itself can accomplish. This is the power inherent in a significantly large peaceful protest, that if the demands are not met the protestors will leverage some other tool.

    Imagine what the stock market would do if a third of the population went on strike because they were protesting the excess of the government. Play the market all you want with your short sells, there is only so far you can go before it all falls apart. Someone, somewhere, caves; the demands of the protestors get met.

    Violence is a useful threat to have on the back-burner, but it is the last resort for when all other options have been not just tried but exhausted and still found wanting. Those options include waiting for something to swing the balance of some other method in your favor, by the way.

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Money doesn't actually cast a vote on election day


    It does, more often than you might think. But more importantly, money is very effective at keeping others from voting at all even when they are strongly motivated to.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Re: "Guarding [against] the guardians" is impossible, period.

    Changing Washington's words completely changes the meaning behind them. If you are going to quote someone so important to the founding of our country, then do not change his words. Government NEEDS to be a fearful master. It needs to be in fear of the people it governs striking it down when it tries to take too much power for itself. This is what he meant.

     

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  28.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    Hollywood has no problem making government the bad guy, but it's always some evil, heartless politician behind everything - not the guy you voted for.

     

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  29.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    And it's rarely the systemic corruption that is the reality we live with.

     

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  30.  
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    Anon-Y-Mouse, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Money doesn't actually cast a vote on election day. "We" do, if we're not too lazy, apathetic, ignorant or foolish.

    Money may not cast votes, but it does buy TV time, etc.. In the end, it buys a position on the ballot. The only president I voted for with no reservations was Jimmy Carter. Every one since has been in the pocket of large political fund raisers and donors.

     

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  31.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    It was in the 70s, but now it's too cliche.

     

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  32.  
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    Arduenn, Oct 15th, 2013 @ 12:37am

    Re: Edward Snowden > Julian Assange

    "Edward Snowden > Julian Assange"

    This is not a race. Quit diverting from the real problem: governmental institutions doing wrong things.

     

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  33.  
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    Anon, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Creeped out

    Sorry to change the subject for a moment, but is anyone else creeped out by the schitzo comment about the biochip? Uhhhh.

     

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  34.  
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    JB Smith, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    the brain initiative = the great deception

    Read "A Note on Uberveillance" by M. D. Michael. Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had Dr. Lawrence Chang implant me w/o my knowledge and consent with a biochip. It enables torture. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See LRAD white papers or audio spotlight by Holosonics. See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbescom and search Brandon Raub. Law enforcement tases citizens into "excited delirium" (see at nijorg) to make them act in ways they normally would not. I believe they are directly responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. If you don’t meet any of those requirements like me, they’ll falsify your records. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. They torture people into a state of what the national institute of justice calls "excited delirium." People aren’t suddenly going crazy, they're being tortured. I also believe the biochip to be responsible for PTSD. Read Brian Castner's book "A Long Walk". I have the same ambiguous pains, twitches, heart attack, night mares, day mares, gurgling, etc. I never served in the war. What do we have in common? The biochip. Suicide is one way to get relief. Virginia’s suicide rate is higher than the national average and the military suicide rate is unacceptable!

     

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