The United States’ massive spying program which was leaked by National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden has prompted Americans to take to the streets . The protest was one of the largest in the country since the revelations were made.
What the disclosures of former CIA contractor Edward Snowden show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become – of ordinary citizens both in the US and around the world. When we say “leaders” we mean the ruling elite – the top one percent of the financial-corporate-military-industrial complex and its bought- and paid-for politicians.
The international manhunt by the US authorities for Snowden, which has accelerated with his flight to Moscow to evade extradition from Hong Kong, is indicative of the desperation in Washington’s elitist establishment to quash him and what he is revealing about their despotic rule.
Chris Hedges speaks at the 2/6/13 press conference following oral arguments made at Federal Courthouse in New York City. Hedges v. Obama challenges key provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that legalize indefinite detention of American citizens. Learn more at www.StopNDAA.org
On the campaign trail four years ago, US presidential candidate Barack Obama shared his views on whistleblowers. He said: “Often the best source of information about waste, fraud and abuse in government is a government employee committed to public integrity, willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism … should be encouraged rather than stifled.”
As president, the reality has been very different. During his first term in office, six whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information. That is twice as many as all previous presidents combined. In the first half of this full edition special, we blow the whistle on President Obama’s America.
democracynow.org – A new exposé in Wired Magazine reveals details about how the National Security Agency is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret NSA surveillance program code-named “Stellar Wind.” We speak with investigative reporter James Bamford who says the NSA has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency. This includes the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital “pocket litter.” “The NSA has constantly denied that they’re doing things and then it turns out they are doing things,” Bamford says in response to NSA Director General Keith Alexander’s denial yesterday that the U.S. citizens’ phone calls and emails are being intercepted. “A few years ago, President Bush said before a camera that the United States is not eavesdropping on anybody without a warrant. And then it turns out that we had this exposure to all of the warrantless eavesdropping in the New York Times article. You have this constant denial in terms and parsing of words.”
Inside Obama’s “Orwellian World” Where Whistleblowing Has Become Espionage: The Case of Thomas Drake
National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake faces 35 years in prison on espionage charges for alleged unauthorized “willful retention” of five classified documents. “Espionage is the last thing my whistleblowing and First Amendment activities and actions were all about,” Drake said recently in a public speech. “This has become the specter of a truly Orwellian world where whistleblowing has become espionage.” Continue reading →
The New Yorker features a lengthy story on NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake who is scheduled to appear in court next month where he will face a ten-count indictment:
According to a ten-count indictment delivered against him in April, 2010, Drake violated the Espionage Act—the 1917 statute that was used to convict Aldrich Ames, the C.I.A. officer who, in the eighties and nineties, sold U.S. intelligence to the K.G.B., enabling the Kremlin to assassinate informants. Continue reading →