In a CNN interview last night, Daniel Ellsberg said of Edward Snowden,
He's done an enormous service, incalculable service, that can't be overestimated to this Democracy. It gives us a chance from drawing back from the total surveillance.... I think if the public is given now authentic official documents congress can't plausibly deny...maybe we'll see hearings with genuine oversight that can reign in this severely abusive surveillance program.
Ellsberg acknowledges a law was broken. "He has clearly broken the law...18USc798 of the Communications Intelligence Law. Ellsberg supports that law "on the whole." Nonetheless, considering the scope of spying on every single American, Ellsberg affirms, "I would've broken that law." Ellsberg says that if he (Ellsberg) had been given these documents, in spite of supporting this administration in both elections, he would've released them (even though he would've expected to go to jail the rest of his life for doing so).
What happens when the enactment of a law violates the constitution, and then someone breaks the law by revealing that very fact?
Can it really be criminal to reveal secrets of unconstitutional activity? I have no doubt, this violates the 4th amendment of the constitution (and other parts of the Bill of Rights)...that's never been judged by any court, including the Supreme Court. This is a good time to look at it."Not only a good time, but a long overdue one.
"Snowden has opened the possibility for democratic debate on the question of whether we really want the executive branch to know every detail of the private life of every member of congress, every member of the so-called oversight committees (which have been totally co-opted here), every member of the so-called foreign inteligence surveillance...a kangaroo court."Ellsberg is asked if he is merely assuming everything Snowden is saying is true, "It's been authenticated already by Mr. Clapper, the director CIA has confirmed there is a PRISM project...." Ellsberg was then cut off by the moderator before he could finish.
Ellsberg isn't alone. Twitter is hailing Snowden as a hero, by a margin of 30 to 1.
Mr. Clapper doesn't consider Snowden a hero, but then again Mr. Clapper doesn't apparently think much of even senators...to whom he has no problem lying to.
Don't worry. Just because Mr. Clapper lies to congress, it doesn't mean he'd lie to you...
Daniel Ellsberg has a new piece (hat tip to cosmic debris) in the Guardian, Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America.
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.His conclusion to the above article (my emphasis in bold),
Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.
Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we're trying to protect.-----------------------------
I don't particularly relish having to embarass folks who have already embarassed themselves in a few of the comments below, but OPOL's diary is just too good not to post a link to here.
Yawn you f**king idiots-
If you think massive, intrusive government surveillance is not a big fucking deal here in the 'land of the free,' you are a major bonehead. It flies in the face of everything we have stood for as a people for over two-hundred years.
I've seen all the mindless ones running around saying, "why so shocked, we've known this for a long time?" or, even more in the way of lacking awareness, "if you have nothing to hide, why should you care?"