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.