Letter To Obama: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution

| Educate!

A letter from Edward Snowden’s father and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, to President Obama:

Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968

July 26, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution

Dear Mr. President:

You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.

A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.

Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.

We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.

From the commencement of your administration, your secrecy of the National Security Agency’s Orwellian surveillance programs had frustrated a national conversation over their legality, necessity, or morality. That secrecy (combined with congressional nonfeasance) provoked Edward’s disclosures, which sparked a national conversation which you have belatedly and cynically embraced. Legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to curtail or terminate the NSA’s programs, and the American people are being educated to the public policy choices at hand. A commanding majority now voice concerns over the dragnet surveillance of Americans that Edward exposed and you concealed. It seems mystifying to us that you are prosecuting Edward for accomplishing what you have said urgently needed to be done!

The right to be left alone from government snooping–the most cherished right among civilized people—is the cornerstone of liberty. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson served as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. He came to learn of the dynamics of the Third Reich that crushed a free society, and which have lessons for the United States today.

Writing in Brinegar v. United States, Justice Jackson elaborated:

The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

These, I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. And one need only briefly to have dwelt and worked among a people possessed of many admirable qualities but deprived of these rights to know that the human personality deteriorates and dignity and self-reliance disappear where homes, persons and possessions are subject at any hour to unheralded search and seizure by the police.

We thus find your administration’s zeal to punish Mr. Snowden’s discharge of civic duty to protect democratic processes and to safeguard liberty to be unconscionable and indefensible.

We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward.

On June 27, 2013, Mr. Fein wrote a letter to the Attorney General stating that Edward’s father was substantially convinced that he would return to the United States to confront the charges that have been lodged against him if three cornerstones of due process were guaranteed. The letter was not an ultimatum, but an invitation to discuss fair trial imperatives. The Attorney General has sneered at the overture with studied silence.

We thus suspect your administration wishes to avoid a trial because of constitutional doubts about application of the Espionage Act in these circumstances, and obligations to disclose to the public potentially embarrassing classified information under the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial. Neither does your refusal to remind the American people and prominent Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate like House Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann,and Senator Dianne Feinstein that Edward enjoys a presumption of innocence. He should not be convicted before trial. Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a “traitor.”

Ms. Pelosi has pontificated that Edward “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents.” Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, “This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor.” And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of “treason,” which is defined in Article III of the Constitution as “levying war” against the United States, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

You have let those quadruple affronts to due process pass unrebuked, while you have disparaged Edward as a “hacker” to cast aspersion on his motivations and talents. Have you forgotten the Supreme Court’s gospel in Berger v. United States that the interests of the government “in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done?”

We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.”

In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.

Bruce Fein
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Lon Snowden

  • Gerald Jenkins

    Isn’t it Evo not Eva?

  • e gundlach

    this letter is so good and says so many things i am feeling that i have co-signed it and sent it to the president and my congressional representatives.

  • Dr T McMaster

    I wish you the best of luck with this. Edward is a hero to millions the world over.

  • S. Hesmondhalgh

    Yes, this letter is far nobler than the conniving, hypocritical remarks which have emerged from the US government in recent weeks. We should remember Lincoln’s remark: ‘You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time’ With the rising tide of protest in Congress, it looks as if President Obama is about find out that this is true. Thanks to Edward Snowden from people worldwide for letting us know how we were being fooled.

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  • You’re invited to view our music video supporting Edward Snowden’s heroic revelations about NSA.wiretapping and surveillance.

  • very good, hope you make a lot of money on it.

  • Unfortunately it seems Obama and most of the rest of government officials are not interested in justice nor in protecting our Constitution as they have sworn to do. Instead, they seem more interested in deconstructing our Constitution and creating a government for and by the rich and corporations. In my book, all of them, regardless of party, are at the least in violation of the Constitution and more precisely the traitors they claim Snowden to be.

  • Who will be the next to step up and speak the truth?

  • Thank you VERY much for watching our humble music video. Your comments are appreciated. Ummm, just to make something clear: the people behind the ECYM Project are all unpaid volunteers. Our aim is to raise public awareness of the NSA intrusions and surveillance and to support Edward Snowden. Please help us make the “Every Call You Make” Song go viral. Thanks! (signed: ECYM Project (‘Guru Team’)

  • Anne Ominous

    When the majority of peoples of the world regard a whistleblower as a “hero”, as most do Ed Snowden, but the U.S. government does not… you have a BIG problem in government. Period.

    And while he is not and has not been alone, I say one of those very big problems is Barack Obama.

  • Hi! Ira Lee and Anne:
    I wholeheartedly agree with both your comments. Thank you for sharing them. I expressed similar sentiments on the “FOES” Facebook Page. Strangely, For the four months prior to a General Election the mainstream media resound the truth that it’s OUR Government and OUR President. Instantly following the Election, this becomes changed to THE Government and THE President. It’s a declaration that we have been estranged from our votes. Democracy merely gives us the opportunity to elect our dictators..

  • Bobby

    Barrack Obama, Holder, Pelosi, Bohner, McCain, Graham, and all of those who “denounce” what Mr. Snowden has done are CRIMINALS, and need to be arrested and tried for Treason against the United States Constitution! “.”

  • I wonder if the American people realize that Snowden has a bulls-eye on his back; he’s as good as dead … and that this will be done in their names? It seems that the sheeple have no outrage; all have resigned to what the government does in their name with a hurried shrug. I can only guess that it’s a government of the people and for the people only at Election Day. After that, our leaders are free to ignore our voices and behave as tyrants until the next fraud election.

    Yes, seems that losing one’s freedom is merely a spectator sport for most people. Yet, it must be said that the previous heavy-handed manner against OWS was an intentional message to everyone merely thinking of questioning authority or challenging the injustice of the ‘domination system’ now suffocating us all. Who can dare risk getting thrown in jail overnight (much less for a week or more waiting for a Hearing? It’s a high price to pay and an helluva awkward cost on your family and children. But the media did their very best to scare us half to death with the images of pepper spray and militarized police.

    We are living in an age of “AFRAIDS”. We all know of course that AIDS is the abbreviation for ‘Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome’. Similarly, there is also something which I name as “AFRAIDS” … that is: ‘A Factor Related [to] Acquired Immune Deficiency [of the human] Spirit’. When people suppress the truth and worship the domination system, they succumb to a suffocating darkness and become overwhelmed by a sense of induced powerlessness. So it is that people live within a lie. In most cases, it is not as if the multitudes happily accept the delusionary web; rather, it is that they have accepted their life with it and in it. They unwittingly confirm the lie, fulfill the lie and ultimately become the lie.

    Every Call You Make The ‘domination system’ is by its very nature in a permanent crisis of legitimization. Because its captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. Yet, It pretends to pretend nothing. Because it is so utterly foreign to the composite of man, it’s become an artificial amalgam held together through violence. The strength of the powers behind the ‘domination system’ are never more determinative than when they constrain us invisibly; when they exert their power by extracting genuine being (life) from the dominated. The body, soul and spirit of humankind are being torn, ripped, shredded, ravaged and exhausted by entanglement with the web of deceit which upholds the ‘domination system’.

    The domination system’s atmosphere is spirit killing; teaching us not only what to believe but also what we can value and what we can see.Delusion possesses nothing more than the power which we confer on it; its powers of persuasion are limited only by the measure of our own acquiescence and complicity.

    Not surprisingly, transparent truths are the most hateful of all to the lovers of lies. This is why falsehood and delusion are so essential to the ‘domination system’. It has always been a difficult task to come against this suffocating system; to challenge and expose it. We are always coming up against an ideology which is more anxious to be right than in doing right. Truth is the thing that is really hated. Those who are mesmerized by the ‘domination system’ expose their secret need for enemies; inadvertently disclosing their preoccupation with superiority. For instance, the Religious Right was previously busy with devaluing evil doers. Today, their ideology has horribly matured and they now are busy to dehumanize an entire people or race. No longer content with merely separating themselves from evil doers, they now demand to completely eradicate them.

    So, I’ll close my rant here by saying that the powers of the ‘domination system’ only have whatever persuasive power our submissiveness allows them. If we are to “redeem the time”, we must first overcome our sense of powerlessness and recognize the ‘domination system’ for the killing spiritual disease it is. Unless we are willing to admit how we are deliberately induced by the fraudulent realities of the ‘domination system’, we will remain complicit in our own despoiling and alienation. The defeat of the ‘domination system’ can only occur by our refusing it’s controlling powers; by becoming immune to its jurisdiction and command. This is the only way that we can unmask our oppressors. Only then can there be a healing of the servile will in the victims.We must determine to abandon our sense of hopelessness, fatalism and acquiescence to our own despoiling.

  • John McCarthy

    I am a 76 year old man who grew up in Chicago voting the straight Democratic ticket for almost 40 years, but I totally and completely and wholeheartedly support Mr. Snowden. As for President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and the rest of their ilk. Shame!

    John McCarthy

  • Vino

    A revolution is not an overnight occurrence. Just look at what happened in Egypt, eventually enough people get sick of it that are prepared to stand up and be counted and the world and politicians will look on.

    This is simply a case of enough individuals learning that you cannot leave this to other people to sort out.

    I need to stand up and be counted.

  • http://bit.ly/EasilyUnify

    The solution is to make political activism profitable to everyone among the general population: http://www.WeSovereign.com


    We Sovereign

    …with my plan millions upon millions of us can be paying ourselves to do all that is required to be victorious.

    OK good, stuff is there 24/7. It’s very simple really. A company pays us to refer customers to them. It’s the domain names we can make for ourselves in the pattern of OurName4Freedom.ws Absorb this stuff. It’s so simple. We can rally around this and make millions…. Thousands upon thousands of us. PLUS

    WebSite.WS – We Sovereign

    Millions upon millions of us can be paying ourselves to do all that is required to be victorious.

  • You are right, Gerald Jenkins. Evo is male; Eva is female, in nearly all languages derived from Latin.

  • He is a hero to me and I do not have many anymore. He cares about THE PEOPLE as do Senator Sanders and Warren. It is heroes like these that stand up in the face of power and say “THE PEOPLE have a right to justice” and no matter your power we will defend their right to that justice.


    Great RANT my friend.

  • htfd

    This letter is what USA should be about and not what it has become. In full full support of every word written.

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  • The problem with this is that is acts under the assumption that the constitution still exists. It’s doesn’t, it has been dismantled by the agency that runs the country and overtook our government after the Kennedy administration. We haven’t been free for many years, and these surveillance programs were authorized after 9-11. Snowden is a hero, hand’s down, but American’s are too cowardly and comfortable to do anything about it.

  • Glen Shipley

    Fellow citizens,

    Last week the Amash amendment to de-fund The NSA surveillance on the American people failed by a vote of 217 to 205 with 12 abstentions. Interesting, 12 abstentions would have tied the vote.
    217 Representatives voted against the amendment and allowed the “Government” to go on spying on law abiding American citizens.
    The two closest to home are Jeb Hensarling 5th Congressional district and Pete Sessions 32nd Congressional district. Also Speaker John Boner. Traitors in my book and need to be voted out of office. Tar and feathers also come to mind.
    Kudos to Louie Gohmert for voting for the amendment.
    Congress failed to stand up to the Federal Government and protect We The People against the abuses of the “Federal Government”.
    Congress just refused to preserve and protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC (the NSA is a domestic enemy) thus violating their oath of office.
    Congress just gave the green light to de-legitimize the 1st and 4th amendment:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    In my opinion Congress just de-legitmized themselves.
    I would hope everyone sends blistering comments to the Congressmen who voted against the Amash amendment and when the time comes vote them out of office.
    How they voted.

    For Texas and Liberty,

    Glen Shipley
    Smith county GOP precinct 26 Chair

    Please read this. Very powerful.

    A letter from Edward Snowden’s father and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, to President Obama:

    “Hold onto the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands…for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.” Daniel Webster

    “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds”
    -Sam Adams

    Rand Paul 2016

  • T. Arthur

    Time corrupts the law of all great States; and then, there, unrest finds a home, till the State is no more. We protect the People by the watch of their liberty, not of the People.

  • Lee Warren

    The only traitor involved here is the obama regime. They are the true enemy.

  • Tim

    Snowden broke the law and then ran away.He’s not a hero and I doubt he’s even telling the truth in the vast majority of his allegations at this point. He’s a useless creep that deserves what he gets.

  • Kevin Zeese

    He could have remained anonymous, instead he came forward and explained his actions. And, his actions were heroic. He put his life on the line, gave up a big salary and comfortable lifestyle so we could see — beyond any doubt because the documents proved it — that Americans were subject to a dragnet surveillance program of our phone records and Internet activity. How can you doubt he is telling the truth when the documents prove it. The NSA spies have had to go to Congress to defend their spying on Americans. They had to fight to keep their funding of the program. He is will go down in history as one of the most important Americans because he got the truth out. He does deserve what he gets — and that is being recognized by people with any sense as taking a heroic step by exposing an out of control government.

  • Steve O’Neal

    Remarkable letter, that speaks for us all. The very fact that families such as the Bushs and Clintons have dominated the presidency for the last two decades, and now, this safe-house anomaly, Obama, defines the degree to which our country is lost to the crass, vacant pragmatism of criminals, who now saturate our legislatures, quickly damping out any proposition of decency. Rome did no worse than this. The same intelligence agencies that brought their PR men to the White House are now stunned by their own anomaly – the integrity of one man who short-circuited their internal honour among theives. But is this whole phenomenon not expected, in the context of considerations such as Val Valerian’s “Matrix III,” and Gonzalez’ “Psychological Warfare and the New World Order,” and for instance, Reed and Cummings “Compromised”…? If the Jews of Germany could not in general bring themselves to believe the ugly truth until the last walk at Auschwitz, how then do we expect a generally far less educated culture to do so now? Is the internet adequate to remedy this, or has Charlotte Iserbyt’s Deliberate Dumbing Down taken too much of its insidious toll, integrated over the decades? “Hope,” so speciously used in the false eloquence of verbal treason, must instead be based on our willingness to act in behalf of the truth.

  • Bill Leslie

    The United States government is at war with it’s people. This seems blatantly obvious to many people these days. They bail out banks and corporations while they continue to make the people pay for their agendas. Edward is a patriot in my book and our government are the very criminals they try and point fingers at. There is no red and blue… only purple in Washington! “United we stand, divided we fall,” deems our attention today and suggests a close look at why our government works so hard to make people take sides??? My prayers are with you and your family, Ed.

  • Timothy Collins

    Oh grow up. Every country has secrets and rightly so. To steal them and then run away and basically hand those secrets to the enemy is not the act of a hero – it’s the act of a criminal that deserves to sit behind bars for the rest of his life.

  • It probably wasn’t really Lincoln who said that, probably P. T. Barnum.

  • Kevin Zeese

    So, you think it is OK for the government to monitor all our calls and Internet activity? You think it is OK for them not to let us know they are doing so? Not to let Congress know? To have a phony secret court approve it, without anyone advocating on the other side? Are you sure you live in the United States?

  • Kevin Zeese

    I did not see Snowden handing anything to the enemy. He gave the news to a news outlet so we could all know the truth about our national security state. I did not see him selling the information for profit, he shared it to get a public debate going about this AMAZING surveillance of the American people. Are you sure you believe in freedom? Do you work for the NSA? Seriously. Your comments have been ridiculous. You doubt the truth of his statements — even though documents prove they are true. By the way, as far as growing up, I’m already grown up and don’t need you speaking down to me, especially when you are so off base.

  • Timothy Collins

    I don’t think that they are. I think Snowden is lying in his accusations.

    In the 70’s there was a man named Bennewicz. He lived just outside the Dugway Priving grounds and became curious about what was happening in it when several cows died. Now what was really happening was that the CIA was conducting tests on how to defend troops from chemical and biological weapons. But since they obviously did not want that info told to other countries they had to stop this guy from his poking.

    So they discovered be was also interested in UFO’s. And the fed him gobs and gobs of disinformation. Lots of it. That ended up leading him to believe that the govt was conducting mind control experiments alongside aliens in an underground base near Dulce, NM. He published all of those ideas.

    And that led others to look at Dulce And not Dugway, discredited Bennewicz and made sure that the CIA could do it’s work without anyone looking.

    Apply that to the Snowden case. Using Occams Razor which do you think is more likely – a sci fi technology where the NSA has a computer 100 years in advance of anything else that is all-knowing and all-seeing… or a disinformation campaign to distract from a more mundane but still secret project?

    Your answer to that question will determine how insane and gullible I think you are.

  • Timothy Collins

    All it takes is Snowden allowing his hard drive to be copied without him looking. And he seems to have traveled quite near some hotspots that want to do that. All he had to do was “look somewhere else” for a few minutes and other countries have that info.

    And if you think he was travelling around the world on his own dime, you are utterly mistaken…

  • If you paint all with the same broad brush then you lack the ability to distinguish one thing from the other. If you are positing that all politicians are the same, that is like saying that all left handed people are sinister, or all short people have no reason to live. It is nonsense and repetitious doggerel. Specifics are helpful and generalizations can be very dangerous.

    Is your aim to “be right” or inflammatory about what you are saying or are you seeking some compromise that allows us to work together for solutions to our intractable problems? The Constitution did not entertain the information age and our inability to cooperate and determine how we wish to govern in light of things we can do now that were not possible when the Constitution was written is one of the thorniest sets of problems of our time. We need to do something about limiting the ability of the NSA to pry into our private affairs AND we need to maintain a level of safety for our citizens. It doesn’t help matters to paint everyone with a shit stick.

  • You have to be a government instigator or you must be sadly mislead. Secret interpretations of secret laws in secret by persons appointed in secret is a way to destroy to Constitution. Bradly Manning did his duty to reveal the killing of news reporters, children and other innocents so callously that I dare call those criminals who did this human. He is now facing over 100 years for doing what according to the Geneva Convention, which we signed and approved, was his duty as a human being.

    Snowden did the same thing only he revealed that we are all considered enemies of the State by those in power. You need to ask yourself why they would want to know where you are and what you say and do rather than just say, “I have nothing to hide.” That statement doesn’t cut it. They want to know of anyone’s dissatisfaction before it causes them any problem. You think that all those cameras make you safer because they can send help if they can see you being murdered? That is not the purpose of the cameras and if they sent someone immediately you would still be dead before help arrived.

    The plain fact of the matter is that the US government is run by and for the corporations and the uber rich and that they realize the American people are all enemies of their state.

  • Kevin Zeese

    What are you talking about? Are you imagining the Russians, Chinese, Iranians or someone is paying his fare? WikeLeaks has been raising money for his travel. He had a multi-six figure salary. Now that you have embarrassed yourself and said he was lying, when all he did was provide documents that speak for themselves, now you have to make stuff up to defend your silly position. Give it up. You are wrong, misinformed and just spouting corporate media, security state garbage. Everyone reading this sees how wrong you are. Every time you speak you dig the hole you are in deeper. Stop now. You are making no sense!

  • Timothy Collins

    Ahhh yes – if someone doesn’t automatically jump on the Snowden love bandwagon then they must be “Government instigators”. What a lovely little simplistic thought process you have there.

    Personally I tend not to idolize thieves that steal and run away. I also don’t particularly love people that hand info over to our enemies. And I certainly am not stupid enough to just believe what Snowden says without applying critical thinking to it.

    But you go right ahead – you be a sheep that follows what Snowden tells you without question. I am just sure that a person you never heard of before and whom you have no knowledge of his past is a perfect font of truth… He oculdn’t be lying just to get attention and money, now could he?

  • Kevin Zeese

    So, the big data center in Utah is a fake? The other whistleblowers who said the same thing as Snowden, were wrong? Snowden’s documents are fake? Statements from members of Congress are lies? The NSA isn’t spying on us? Come on. No one is denying this, everyone can see the documents, the technology is easily available and well explained. Face it – the United States government is conducing dragnet searches on all the phone calls and Internet traffic in the US and other countries. Why is this so hard for you to believe? Do you trust the government that much?

  • Timothy Collins

    I will repeat my argument from above since, obviously, expecting you to read it is wrong :

    In the 70′s there was a man named Bennewicz. He lived just outside the Dugway Proving grounds and became curious about what was happening in it when several cows died. Now what was really happening was that the CIA was conducting tests on how to defend troops from chemical and biological weapons. But since they obviously did not want that info told to other countries they had to stop this guy from his poking.

    So they discovered be was also interested in UFO’s. And the fed him gobs and gobs of disinformation. Lots of it. That ended up leading him to believe that the govt was conducting mind control experiments alongside aliens in an underground base near Dulce, NM. He published all of those ideas.

    And that led others to look at Dulce And not Dugway, discredited Bennewicz and made sure that the CIA could do it’s work without anyone looking.

    Apply that to the Snowden case. Using Occams Razor which do you think is more likely – a sci fi technology where the NSA has a computer 100 years in advance of anything else that is all-knowing and all-seeing… or a disinformation campaign to distract from a more mundane but still secret project by preying upon the gullible?

    Your answer to that question will determine how insane and gullible I think you are.

  • Timothy Collins

    And, yes, I am suggesting that other countries have paid money for Snowden. His bank accounts have been frozen so it isn’t his money that is being used to jet around the world and provide food and shelter.

  • Kevin Zeese

    Do you have any proof? Any? Or, do you just make up your own fantasies. Wikileaks has come to his assistance. Do you know how much money he came to Hong Kong with? He was planning on staying awhile!

  • Kevin Zeese

    No, not always, but when they make stuff up, deny the piles of evidence and documents showing he is telling the truth, one has to wonder — is this a nut or a government agent?

  • Timothy Collins

    Yes, I have proof. I have proof by way of logic.

    If nobody actually knows where Snowden is and he has had his bank accounts frozen then there is no way to get money to him or for him to be able to go to the transport that would be arranged.

    For Snowden to not be found means that the country he is in (Russia at the moment but also China for awhile) is giving him someplace to stay and food to eat. They are also spending money to either arrange transport or (at the very least) put him in communication with wikileaks. The country he is in is also providing for him to remain hidden and for his security.

    That means that the country he is in is spending money on him. And they will expect lots of the info he supposedly has in return for that.

  • I did not say that all politicians are the same. I said “the US government is run by and for the corporations…” I realize that there are a very small handful in Congress and the rest of the government who are trying stop some of the madness. The fact is that the government has been bought and those who control it are keeping the population in economic chains so we cannot buy it back. Our inability to cooperate has been carefully cultivated over the last six decades by manipulating and finally by simply buying most of the media.

    Most people overlook that the safety of our people is best maintained by our freedom and economy. We have spent trillions of dollars to make our country unsafe through wars and billions more for a huge dragnet that gathers information on all of us. It did not stop the Boston bombing or 9-11 all the information being there to alert officials to the impending disasters. Terrorists work best and are most efficient in places where there is instability. That is why we haven’t had much in the way of real terror attacks.

    Another way to look at it is the people of this country are being drained of all their cash and benefits in order to finance this security complex. People don’t have enough to eat or medical care or a number of other things essential to life. So we sacrifice our safety and security so the security state can purchase security to keep itself secure?

    Yes, this is inflammatory but so is what has been done to this country. Don’t become an apologist for the status quo.

  • Timothy Collins

    Piles of evidence and documents? You mean those things that, conveniently, only Snowden seems to be producing?

    If all it takes is to generate random documentation that you won’t even expect corroboration of from any other source, then I have a unicorn living in my apartment. Give me a few minutes – I can produce “pictures” and “documented proof of it” – just don’t expect any of that to be substantiated. And, of course, I am sure you won’t expect that corroboration either since you don’t expect it for Snowden…

  • You have declared yourself stupid by even suggesting that someone would wreck their lives by doing what Snowden did just for attention.

  • Timothy Collins

    Let’s put it this way – a guy pops up from out of nowhere and claims he had access as a low level contractor to the most sensitive info in the world that was held by the most incredibly secure agency in the recorded history of the known universe and was able to copy it to his laptop and run away with it… and apparently nobody would have known if it hadn’t been for him releasing it?

    You don’t, maybe, see a few holes in Snowdens story that might require you expecting more than just his word to substantiate?

  • Timothy Collins

    People do much more just for attention. And, of course, money. Snowden will have a lot of money given to him by some country and he’ll make even more with the book and film rights. He will be quite rich at the end of this.

  • Clearly, some in here are busy suppressing the truth.
    When people worship the domination system and suppress the truth they become people who voluntarily live within a lie.
    In most cases, it is not as if these mindless parrots happily accept the delusionary web. Rather, it’s that they have accepted their life with it and in it. They unwittingly confirm the lie, fulfill the lie and ultimately become the lie.

    You’re invited to view the music video about Edward Snowden and NSA. http://youtu.be/YCiSTah4Dik

  • OK. I’m going to try one more time to get through your denseness: If the documents that were disclosed were not true, why is there so much of a fuss the US government had to commit an act of war by forcing the Bolivian president’s plane to land? Why are there so many people, none of whom are saying anything about his disclosures being untrue, out there condemning the man?

  • Kevin Zeese

    Has anyone in the NSA denied he had access to the documents? Or, is just one more fantasy to defend your indefensible position? He did not pop out of nowhere he worked for a military contractor, at NSA and prior to that at CIA. No one denies the documents are real — except you!

  • Timothy Collins

    because, as I alluded to above in this thread, if the govt is conducting a disinformation campaign to distract from a more mundane but still secret project then it HAS to object to Snowden and HAS to try to track him down. Otherwise nobody would believe Snowden.

    If the govt had simply ignored Snowden’s releases, then nobody would believe him. If the govt wants people to believe him they have to object to him.

    As a question – the NSA, for many decades, even denied it’s own existence. it was a running joke “NSA” stood for “No Such Agency”. But suddenly this famously secret agency is willing to say “yep, we’re doing that” basically within a day of Snowden’s first claims? You don’t see something out of character in that?

    Confirmation bias is a bad thing to subscribe to. And setting aside any critical or skeptical analysis in favor of going for the “Let’s get them!” attitude of being against the govt is even worse.

  • Timothy Collins

    “Clearly, some in here are busy suppressing the truth.” – Yep. And from my perspective, that group includes you. Because I am simply applying some skeptical though to this situation rather than believing every random low level employee that bumbles along that says things that appeal to the conspiracy theorist in me.

  • Timothy Collins

    Kevin Zeese : “Has anyone in the NSA denied he had access to the documents?” – THAT’S WHY I THINK THAT THIS IS SUSPICIOUS!

    The NSA spent decades – half a century – denying that it even existed. For it to suddenly be open and admit to this just because some random person popped up and made a claim ought to make you just as suspicious of that claim as me!

  • Unlike you, I seek understanding and actual facts rather than dogma.

  • Kevin Zeese

    They would look foolish denying their own documents!

  • Timothy Collins

    Except since Snowden has no actual proof that they are the NSA documents and therefore all that would have happened was a small subset of conspiracy theorists would have latched onto it (Think the supposed “Majestic 12” documents) it would have been nothing.

    The fact that we have a very secretive agency suddenly falling over itself to admit to this program just because a random guy nobody ever heard of before made a claim ought to set of red lights in at least someone if they think about it.

    Don’t be stupid. Think about this critically. Which is more likely :

    A) That the NSA has a secret computer in it’s basement that is all-knowing and all-seeing and is at least 100 years ahead of the rest of the world


    B) The NSA leaked fake documents to a gullible person that they knew would go nuts and proceeded to play a role in making that leak a big deal in order to cover up a more mundane but still secret program.

  • Ok let’s look at facts..Fact 1. In the last 20 years the middle class has lost ground and all working people’s wages have stagnated while profits for banks and other businesses have soared almost as much as CEOs. Fact 2. Those businesses and CEOs gave a lot of money to politicians both through lobbyists and campaign contributions. Laws were passed with some really high sounding names that had hidden in them sections that hurt small businesses and helped those who were giving all the money. I know this from first hand knowledge having been in the government for 27 years and watched this process take place. Fact 3. Some of the laws had to do with media and concentration of media outlets by individuals and companies. Within just a few years we came to what we have now- six companies and individuals own 85% or more of all the media and the news has now become a place to not hear what is really going on. Instead you get a bunch of human interest stories. Fact 4. The rich were not satisfied with all they got. They wanted more. So the insolvency of Social Security and the budget deficit were invented to scare people and this was spread through the media they owned and politicians who could not bring themselves to tell the people that Social Security has nothing to do with the debt and the debt, while seemingly astounding to most people used to dealing with hundreds or thousands of dollars, was really not the problem. Fact 5. Two hundred people in the US now own more than over 180 million people at the lower end of the income scale. Fact. 6 They are using this money to get more influence and more money for themselves. Fact 6. All this adds together to signal that our democracy is gone and we are now governed by a plutocracy. Everything here is fact, lady. Now you have the facts. This can all be verified by reading some books by people like Noam Chomsky and writers on the web as well as public documents containing the figures to back up everything I have said.

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  • Grace

    Edward Snowden is a whistle blower not a traitor. After what has happened to Whistle blowers in America, like William Binney ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r9-3K3rkPRE ). Binney was a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who had a protocol to follow for whistle blowing. Snowden had no path to follow no remaining protocol for whistle blowing about broad spectrum spying on citizens of America. Binney helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data but quit his job with the NSA but within weeks of the 9/11 attacks when elected officials began ordering warrentless spying on citizens; trashing constitutional rights. Binney ended up with FBI agents forcing their way into his home early one morning, pulling him out of the shower and threatening him with guns drawn while he was wrapped in a towel; a full frontal intimidation tactic. This is not the only whistle blower than has been threatened. While we may not agree with Snowden did what he had to do, his bravery is every bit as important to the freedoms for citizens of America as the things the founding fathers did to create a constitution to protect it’s citizens and those men and women who have fought to defend and protection those freedoms. Every elected official takes the oath to “defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America, and they should be ashamed of their treasonous votes that have eroded those freedoms. Any one who voted for the Patriot Act in all of it’s versions and all 217 Representatives that voted to continue funding for the NSA to commit further acts of treason by spying on it’s citizens without warrants should step down from their elected office. The letter sent by Lon Snowden is another act of courage and I stand with him in his efforts to bring his son back to tell the truth to all citizens without fear of being arrested, harmed or even killed for his whistle blowing. Bless you Lon Snowden for your bravery and your son for his.

  • Right on!

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  • Skip Martin

    It is not Snowden who should be labeled a traitor but the President, all of his cabinet, all/most of the congressional delegation and the Supreme Court. This is an abusive government which has over the last 13 years moved itself into a fascist state with all resemblance of Democracy thrown out like dirty water

  • Maxine Turner

    Skip Martin, I like your post that not Snowden, but Obama and cabinet are the traitors. Snowden did the right thing.

  • The power of the lovers of lies: Truth Seeking Protesters branded as Terrorists and Truth Telling writers branded as Terror-wrists.
    No longer content with oppressing their population, the elite now demand to observe, monitor and store their every word and thought.
    Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that transparent truths are the most hateful of all to these lovers of lies. This is why falsehood and delusion are so essential to the elite’s ‘domination system’.

  • Skip Martin

    Obama and all that are tied to this addenda are nothing more than well paid flunkies for the ruling families of the banking cartel. Whenever the apathetic populous wakes up and sees the light, the cat, so to speak, will be out of the bag. What comes next will be very interesting and what type of cleansing will take place? And above all, will the men and women in the military remember their oath, their families and what concepts this country was built upon? If they do and the people wake up we’ll hear a very large flushing sound and that will be the ruling families going down the toilet.

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  • History repeats itself.
    Nixon, Ellsberg, Watergate
    Obama, Snowden, NSA

  • Joan Gilbert

    Can you imagin the consequences and what would happen to the security of our country and the lives of our military if every government employee or employees of contractors, who signed an oath not to expose classified records, went ahead and done what Snowden did??? The buck has to stop somewhere! Snowden broke his oath and the law. He is a traitor. He said his life was a good one before he exposed those records. Now, his life isn’t going to be so good because he has to distant himself from his family because of his deeds. Plus, who are we to know if that exposure has something to do with all those embassies closing while putting American and military lives at risk. If that is the case, our government and Snowden’s his father had better have a second thought!!

  • Kevin Zeese

    So, the government should be able to commit crimes against us with impunity? The people should not know there is a dragnet surveillance program of our phone and Internet activity? Thank goodness Edward Snowden is a man of conscience and put the good of the nation, the world and the American people above his comfortable lifestyle. You cannot predict his future. He may have an excellent life. His revelations may lead to the kind of debate that will end the extremely corrupt US government that is violating the constitution with impunity.

    If you look at the extremely abusive US foreign policy, the wanton killing of civilians including women and children by the military and drone attacks, the threats the US makes to countries all over the world — then you will understand why our embassies are being threatened. Our national security state and militarism decreases our security and creates enemies. You have it backward — you are blaming the messengers of the truth, rather than the Empire policy of the US military.

  • Can you imagine the consequences of Snowden not disclosing these secret programs? It would be a police state in which your every move was watched for signs of being a traitor to the state or breaking one of the many rules made up in secret without any participation ordinary citizens. We are not out of the woods yet. Joan, I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation where we have a government not doing the will of the people, spying on them instead and treating them like enemies.

  • Lorem

    Secrecy is incompatible with a free and open society. A secret unelected cabal believes that they have the right to spy on the rest of us, to lie to Congress, to sow ‘disinformation’ to the public, to kill those who are their enemies, etc… This is done in the name of national security but it is motivated by a desire for power and control. These people cannot stop themselves. It’s not in their nature. If we don’t restrain them, they will invade every corner of our lives. They are going after knowledge: knowledge of what people are doing, the websites they are visiting, the calls they are making. Armed with the knowledge, they will have the ability to end or greatly influence careers and that will give them the power to control the media, politics and judicial branch. We have grown up on a diet of James Bond and war propaganda and many of us seem to accept without question the right of the secret cabal to keep secrets from the rest of us. What article of the constitution gives them that right? Are we too afraid to live in a free and open society? The kind of control they are going after is chilling. It’s like nothing ever before seen on Earth. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is not safety that we will have if they succeed; it is not national security–rather, it is the death of our country and birth of a new totalitarian state. Let your voice be heard before you are not allowed to speak it anymore.

  • Skip Martin

    There have been comments posted here that support Snowden and this is their right and privilege. However, I would suggest to all individuals that don’t already understand we are dealing with a morally bankrupt and totally corrupt Federal Government they have some homework to accomplish. For starters many millions of Americans already know that 911 was an inside job by our own government. There is so much evidence on the web concerning what actually happened one has to be in complete denial to think otherwise. My God, even the hole in the Pentagon isn’t big enough for a Jet! The entire 911 action had nothing to do with Terrorist and everything to do with ushering in Martial Law and the Police State that is just around the corner.

    Every American should stand up a applaud Snowden and other whistle-blowers like him. In fact Snowden has not released anything that has not already been posted on the web for many years. The following is a web site and video that fairly presents a clear perspective on the Snowden Case: http://stormcloudsgathering.com/the-snowden-case-what-youre-not-being-told

    Everyone should educate themselves and not rely on Approved National Media whether TV or Newspapers. If you don’t take this route then you have now one to blame but yourself when the SH.. hits the fan, and just remember the Feds (homeland Security) will be leading the charge and shooting the bullets with your name of them directly at you. At this point it will be to late to educate yourself. Be proactive and knowledgeable. Know and Understand your enemy.

  • Al Mars

    The real issue is our Govt that we thought was at least reasonably honest have been lying trio urs all since three Patriot Act was passed. Eee MUST REPEAL THE “NOT” PATRIOT ACT NOW IMMEDIATELY. NOTFIXIT. REPEAL THE DAMN THING & RESTORE OUR 2ND & 4TH AMENDMENTS.

  • Al Mars

    Lovely auto spell. …..lying to us All since the …..
    Smart phones, not do smart.

  • Tsgt. David R. Morton (Ret)

    In Reply to “Lorem”: your comment is eloquently stated and you have hit a “bullseye” in which nothing further be added! Bravo!
    I agree 1000%! May I use your comment for an undergraduate class
    in current American Society Issues?

    Tsgt.David R. Morton. Retired USAF

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  • An interesting book on the U.S. Constitution and the 4th Amendment has been released by someone writing under the (ironic) pen name of “Edward James Snowden”:


    The Constitution really doesn’t seem to bind the federal government at all anymore. Part of the problem is that most Americans don’t seem to even understand their constitution.

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  • DrWayner

    The time to stand up is now and recruit the best Constitutional Attorneys you can muster because after the NWO gets a foothold you will be scared to death to open your mouth.

  • barbara agarwal

    This is not a letter. It is a SPEECH (for the world to read). ‘Glad this guy is his lawyer–Fein’s distortion of the truth and level of accusations are equal to that of his client(s). SUREY, thIs attorney released the letter. Ed Snowden soon will become another Philip Nolan (Man Without A Country) in history. To squander the miracle of having the great fortune of being born here is an insult to his own relatives who likely risked their lives to come here. Read ES’s biography: a story of a man who had grand starts and never a finish to anything he started.

  • barbara agarwal

    Eventually, the money will run out. Some foreign book/movie person will move in and pimp him for all he is worth at that point? How he “embellished” (lied?) his CV to be hired by the NSA is proof of his delusions of grandeur.

  • barbara agarwal

    People have been known to kill for less attention than this level of “attention,” Mr. White.