"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin
1. A letter by Edward Snowden
2. A video with Thomas Drake
3. An interview with Bill Maher
4. Edward Snowden isn't on the run
5. The mindset of Snowden
It still is the case
that sleeping remains quite
difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at
Anyway. Yesterday, there was rather a lot, and today I am tired, though
I did sleep 7 hours - for almost the first time in 3 weeks of 5 to 6
hours. So today there is a bit less, and I included two videos - but it
all worthwile. Also, I restored the motto, because as Thomas Drake
said, that's what it is about.
In case you doubt this, start at the end.
A letter by Edward Snowden
First, a letter dated yesterday by Edward Snowden, that I found on
There is more recent
information, but that seemed a bit scrambled to me. From this, I quote
the last three paragraphs:
For the rest of the letter,
that is very good, see the last dotted link..
For decades the United
States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human
right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the
U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now
being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama
administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a
weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked
my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order,
the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A
right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama
administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning
or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the
Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed,
angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised —
and it should be.
I am unbowed in my
convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
2. A video with Thomas Drake
I think I have put this video
up, but do so again because it is a good interview, with a brave man,
who speaks clearly. This is
And yes, Snowden is a
whistleblower, and not a traitor. Quote:
There is no room in a democracy
for this kind of secrecy (...)
interview with Bill Maher
Then there is this, as a
diversion: A good video interview of 17 minutes with Bill Maher. I give
it under the title it is listed
I do not know whether that
title is true - for example, I liked the longer interview with Larry
- and I certainly didnīt
see all, but this is a good and recent interview with a man who has
mind, and who is not afraid to use it.
Snowden isn't on the run
I mentioned Subhankar Banerjee
before, and do so again: The
following is by him on Common Dreams, and it is good:
This starts as follows:
First came the
“shock and awe”: the revelations of massive spying by the US and
British governments—on the people of the world. Then came the
enlightened debate: Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? Then arrived
the Hollywood-style entertainment: Where is Edward Snowden going?
The first part is mostly about
a quite disappointing op-ed by Anne Appelbaum in the Washington Post,
in which she "takes no sides". As Banerjee notes, quite rightly:
There is no
mention (not a word or line) about the global significance of Snowden’s
courageous whistle blowing.
A little later, Banerjee notes:
that has been revealed since, there has been no public outrage against
the government, in the US. The apathy that the people of the US are
currently exhibiting is astounding—a classic attribute of “inverted
totalitarianism” that political philosopher Sheldon Wolin coined in his
book, Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of
For more on Wolin, see here and here
(in this years Nederlog). Banerjee a bit further on makes another good
Beyond all the
important things that Snowden’s leaks have revealed, there is something
profound it has brought to light also—the folly of the human mind.
Yes indeed - and see the piece
I wrote On ordinary men, the day before I
first noted Edward Snowden, as an
extra-ordinary man. It's not a popular thought, but then many
true thoughts are not popular, precisely because they object to widely
accepted notions that are not true.
Somewhat shockingly, in view of my onpopular On ordinary men, the item on Stupidity was
quite popular this month, and indeed it also is more kind.
In any case, one of Banerjee's last points is this:
work has revealed that even what we thought is the most democratic
invention in human history can be used successfully against people of
the world by few devious minds.
And I quite agree, which also
is another reason to restore the Benjamin Franklin motto: If you let
this happen, you deserve the misery you will get.
Indeed, about the only hopeful piece of news that came so far, speaking
for myself, is that both on the right and on the left, the more
intelligent people are dismayed - and that this is one of the first
times they find themselves united, on what ought to be a matter of very
important principle, also.
5. The mindset of Snowden
Finally, I will provide to a link to a piece that
discusses Snowden's state of mind, mostly because it is by somebody who
is also a whistleblower, and because he makes sense to me:
Besides, this is put in
context on TomDispatch, where the context ends thus:
We are, in other
words, in a new world where practices that once would have shocked have
become the norm of news and pundit chitchat. TomDispatch,
however, refuses to consider any of this “normal.” We have over
these last years regularly focused
on the way Washington’s most oppressive powers have been wildly
enhanced and on people we now know as “whistleblowers,” people like Bradley
Manning, who saw something truly, unnervingly different in our
American world and decided they just had to do something about it. TomDispatch
regular Peter Van Buren is one of them and today he considers what
Snowden might be going through. Tom
After this, there is Peter van
Buren's article, including a link to his whistleblowing piece - and
perhaps I should notice that all of the whislteblowers I have seen or
read - William
Drake, Mark Klein,
Snowden and Peter
van Buren, among others - were and are not extremists or
typical lefties, and all but Snowden served their country's governors
quite well for several decades.
It is only with Bush and 9/11 that things fundamentally changed, and
they kept that way under the non-changer (No, you can't) Obama.
So it's not so much the whistleblowers who have changed, though indeed
they all were marked and harmed by their whistleblowing, but the
policies of those at the top, whether Republicans or Democrats, and it
is those at the top who have betrayed the Constitution, that
they are paid and have sworn to serve, and not the
It is important to see and stress this, especially as the public
lackeys who are the majority of the present "journalists" do not want
to see or discuss this - which, to repeat a link, was well explained in
Congress by Alan Grayson:
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: