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Wikileaks journalist Sarah Harrison heroically rescued National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden from Hong Kong, helped him obtain asylum in Russia and remained by his side at great personal risk to herself. She is the unsung hero in the harrowing saga of history’s most significant whistleblower who fearlessly and consistently put protecting a whistleblower above protecting herself.

Wikileaks released a powerful, eloquent statement from Harrison revealing that she was able to travel safely to Germany:

As a journalist I have spent the last four months with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and arrived in Germany over the weekend . . .

It should be fanciful to suggest that national security journalism which has the purpose of producing honest government or enforcing basic privacy rights should be called "terrorism", but that is how the UK is choosing to interpret this law. Almost every story published on the GCHQ and NSA bulk spying programs falls under the UK government's interpretation of the word "terrorism". In response, our lawyers have advised me that it is not safe to return home.

The U.S. should be a safe haven for free speech advocates like Harrison, but, to the contrary, the U.S. has launched a war on national security whistleblowers and systematically attacked journalists through harassment, threats of criminal prosecution and surveillance.

Sarah Harrison
Despite that she has had to sacrifice so much in defending a whistleblower whose revelations have sparked a worldwide debate and prompted Congress to introduce long-needed surveillance reform legislation, Harrison remains committed to transparency and free speech:
In these times of secrecy and abuse of power there is only one solution
is transparency. . . .

When whistleblowers come forward we need to fight for them, so others will
be encouraged. When they are gagged, we must be their voice. When they are
hunted, we must be their shield. When they are locked away, we must free
them. Giving us the truth is not a crime. This is our data, our
information, our history. We must fight to own it.

Courage is contagious.

Harrison is safe in Germany, but she cannot go home. Her ordeal reflects the deeply disturbing trend of criminalizing truth-telling. It is a tragic irony that in order to protect the freedoms of others Harrison had to give up her own not unlike the tragic irony that in order to tell Americans the truth about their government, Snowden had to leave the country.

UPDATE: While the main steam media has been obsessed with finding out Snowden's exact locations, they should be covering Harrison's brilliant statement and asking why it is that she cannot go home.

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:39 AM PST.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth, Wikileaks Informationthread, and Whistleblowers Round Table.

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