Saturday, August 15, 2015

SNOWDEN NEWSLETTER #7

OMNI
SNOWDEN NEWSLETTER #7, August 15, 2015
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
  (#1 July 9, 2013; #2 Nov. 1, 2013; #3 Feb. 15, 2014; #4 April 15, 2014; #5 May 25, 2014; #6 Dec. 4, 2014)
As of 12-4-14:  155587 page views of OMNI’s newsletters, 1468 posts.
Thanks to Marc Quigley for entering all of these newsletters in OMNI’s web site.

What’s at stake:  Edward Snowden’s courage exposed the truth about NSA spying so we could work to free ourselves from it.  Code Pink

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No. 6 at end
Contents:  Snowden Newsletter #7
Code Pink to President Obama: Return Snowden’s Passport

Snowden’s Statement to VfP on NSA vs. Freedom
Related Books:  Michael Glennon’s
National Security and Double Government; Pilisuk and Rountree, The Hidden Structure of Violence

Snowden
David Fidler, ed.  The Snowden Reader
Ted Rall, Snowden Graphic Reader
Laura Poitras’ Citizen Four Documentary Wins Oscar
Snowden 2015 Google Search
Related
Greenwald and Fishman, NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points
Nadia Prupis, NSA Phone Surveillance Ruled Illegal

Dick, Why Criticize Your Government and Not Others
Contact Your Representatives
Recent OMNI Newsletters
Contents #6
CODE PINK: PETITION PRESIDENT OBAMA
Dear Dick,  8-14-15
Today, June 21, the heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden turns 32. Last week while CODEPINK co-founders Medea and Jodie were in London, they asked Julian Assange what Ed might want for his birthday. Julian’s response: his freedom, the return of his passport.
Snowden was on his way to Latin America via Moscow to seek asylum when the U.S. revoked his passport, leaving him stranded for weeks in Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport . Now, he can’t leave Russia. The leadership in Moscow has granted him a 3-year residency permit but he doesn’t have the ability to travel abroad. Even Putin acknowledges Snowden is trapped!
Edward Snowden’s courage exposed the truth about NSA spying so we could work to free ourselves from it. Despite the recent (largely symbolic) sunsetting of three Patriot Act provisions curtailing the NSA’s reach, its surveillance and data collection powers remain alive and well. But without Snowden, we wouldn’t have made any progress toward gaining our civil liberties back.
People from all over the world have contributed to the birthday TumblrCODEPINK made for Snowden to show our appreciation for the extraordinary sacrifices he made so we would know the truth about government spying.
In support of whistleblowers all over,
Alli, Chelsea, Jamila, Janet, Jodie, Lia, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Nancy, Tighe, and Sergei


Edward Snowden's Statement to VFP Convention
August 13, 2015
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/files/cache/6f9539d28d7236205d14334eec789ae5_f1738.jpeg
Since the turn of the millennium, more than 2.5 million veterans have returned to the United States. These men and women have fought bravely for the values that have long defined our nation: freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights. Regrettably, the nation they served has not always kept faith with their commitment. 
The foundation of our society is the advance of liberty. And this progress is won through the resolution of conflict in favor of cooperation. Yet today governments have sought to expand human conflict into a new domain that reaches the home of nearly every citizen, the Internet.
Our Internet represents the public commons of the world. It is humanity's greatest tool for speech and association, for the development of peace and cooperation. And without the consent or awareness of the American public, our government has undermined the security of every citizen in every country - including our own - in pursuit of an advantage in surveillance. 
Having served in the intelligence community, I understand that there are real threats in the world. I have also seen, up close, the threat that an unregulated and unwatched security state can pose to free societies. And you have no doubt watched with concern as equipment once reserved for war began patrolling our streets. But the internet reaches within the walls of our homes.
Service to our country does not mean blind compliance to the whims of a few government officials operating behind closed doors. Service means action:  choosing to stand up, even on your own, in defense of peace; in defense of democracy; in defense of the rights inherited by this great society.
Related new book: 
BOOK REVIEW from The Boston Globe
‘National Security and Double Government’ by Michael J. Glennon
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After World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military, President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.  [1) The SU threat was always exaggerated and 2) the “Cold War” shifted into high gear in 1947 when Truman unified the military (Pentagon), created the CIA and NSA, and above all renamed the War Dept. the “Defense” Dept.  –Dick]
By Mickey Edwards GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  OCTOBER 18, 2014
It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.
Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s Fletcher School) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”
The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”  MORE
National Security and Double Government by Michael Glennon
THE SCOTT HORTON SHOW, October 22, 2014.   In this interview on the Scott Horton Show, Michael J Glennon [Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School] speaks about his new book, National Security and Double Government.
For a wider analysis of the US Security State don’t miss reading The Hidden Structure of Violence: Who Benefits from Global Violence and War by Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Rountree (Monthly Review P, 2015).   For an even wider survey see OMNI’s many newsletters on related topics




The Snowden Reader
The Snowden Reader
Edited by David P. Fidler
Foreword by Sumit Ganguly
Distribution: World
Publication date: 4/22/2015
ISBN: 978-0-253-01738-3
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When Edward Snowden began leaking NSA documents in June 2013, his actions sparked impassioned debates about electronic surveillance, national security, and privacy in the digital age. The Snowden Reader looks at Snowden’s disclosures and their aftermath. Critical analyses by experts discuss the historical, political, legal, and ethical issues raised by the disclosures. Over forty key documents related to the case are included, with introductory notes explaining their significance: documents leaked by Snowden; responses from the NSA, the Obama administration, and Congress; statements by foreign leaders, their governments, and international organizations; judicial rulings; findings of review committees; and Snowden’s own statements. This book provides a valuable introduction and overview for anyone who wants to go beyond the headlines to understand this historic episode.


Later this summer, look for Ted Rall's marvelous Snowden, a graphic biography of possibly the greatest whistleblower of all time, which Publishers Weekly has just named as one of the its Top 10 Comics & Graphic Novels of the fall season.



"Citizen Four," Edward Snowden documentary, wins Oscar.  From: The Huffington Post.  Sent: Feb 22, 2015 10:00 PM
To: lmann2@earthlink.net

Praxis Films
"Citizen Four" won Best Documentary at the Oscars on Sunday night. Director Laura Poitras accepted the award with Glenn Greenwald by her side.

"The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don't only expose a threat to privacy but to democracy itself," she said "Thank you to Edward Snowden and to the many other whistleblowers."


Reviewer on rogerebert.com called Poitras's "Citizenfour" the most important film of the 21st century. 


SNOWDEN 2015 Google Search
Search Results

Jun 4, 2015 - The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor. Edward Snowden: The World Says No to Surveillance. By EDWARD J. SNOWDEN JUNE 4, 2015.
Mar 3, 2015 - Edward Snowden is ready to go home to the United States.“Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial,” his Russian lawyer, ... 2015 POLITICO LLC.
Published: 12 Aug 2015 22 · Homeland ... Petition to pardon Edward Snowden rejected by Obama administration. The White ... Published: 28 Jul 2015 464.
www.nationaljournal.com/.../edward-snowden-living-in-...
National Journal
January 8, 2015 Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden wants his critics to know that living is Russia is "great" and that, despite reports to ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
Wikipedia
As of 2015, he was still living in an undisclosed location in Russia while ... EdwardJoseph Snowden was born on June 21, 1983, in Elizabeth City, North ...
Apr 13, 2015 - Russian spy-watcher Andrei Soldatov on Snowden's strange behavior in Russia ... Given that we're in 2015, not 1999, these guys would almost ...
In the news
The Register - 3 days ago  Despite the best efforts of the internet, US citizens favor the filing of criminal charges against ...
Breitbart News - 2 days ago
RT.com - 1 day ago
www.imdb.com/title/tt3774114/
Internet Movie Database
Directed by Oliver Stone. With Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of ...
abcnews.go.com › Topics › News › Us
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 … feel like this story is a very fresh story. Its themes, I think, will resonate with people. Charlie Hebdo. ( Edward ) Snowden . There's interesting ...

Searches related to Edward Snowden 2015



RELATED REPORTS

Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman, NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points
Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Fishman, The Intercept  (forwarded by David Druding)
"With this report, Temple-Raston seriously misled NPR's millions of listeners."
The Intercept, 13 August 14.
 https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/KPClAbcolQbFM05T8TAxE-lGFgSuIAj1kwl5M-3FaeO0fJuenGl_M5ArKTIjSZBmGj1xu-QBsBEB3pkSBcq_3WpndjvxEcP2HldzwMmn2KYg-a9tL_o=s0-d-e1-ft#http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/alphabet/rsn-O.jpgn August 1, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story by NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston touting explosive claims from what she called “a tech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” That firm, Recorded Future, worked together with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new report that purported to vindicate the repeated accusation from U.S. officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.”
The “big data firm,” reported NPR, says that it now “has tangible evidence” proving the government’s accusations. Temple-Raston’s four-minute, 12-second story devoted the first 3 minutes and 20 seconds to uncritically repeating the report’s key conclusion that ”just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaeda dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online” and, post-Snowden, “al-Qaeda didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it.” The only skepticism in the NPR report was relegated to 44 seconds at the end when she quoted security expert Bruce Schneier, who questioned the causal relationship between the Snowden disclosures and the new terrorist encryption programs, as well as the efficacy of the new encryption.
With this report, Temple-Raston seriously misled NPR’s millions of listeners. To begin with, Recorded Future, the outfit that produced the government-affirming report, is anything but independent. To the contrary, it is funded by the CIA and U.S. intelligence community with millions of dollars. Back in 2010, it alsofiled forms to become a vendor for the NSA. (In response to questions fromThe Intercept, the company’s vice president Jason Hines refused to say whether it works for the NSA, telling us that we should go FOIA that information if we want to know. But according to public reports, Recorded Future “earns most of its revenue from selling to Wall Street quants and intelligence agencies.”)
The connection between Recorded Future and the U.S. intelligence community is long known. Back in July, 2010, Wired‘s Noah Shachtman revealed that the company is backed by both “the investment arms of the CIA and Google.”
Indeed, In-Q-Tel—the deep-pocket investment arm of both the CIA and other intelligence agencies (including the NSA)—has seats on Recorded Future’s board of directors and, on its website, lists Recorded Future as one of the companies in its “portfolio.” In stark contrast to NPR, The New York Timesnoted these connections when reporting on the firm in 2011: “Recorded Future is financed with $8 million from the likes of Google’s venture arm and In-Q-Tel, which makes investments to benefit the United States intelligence community, and its clients have included government agencies and banks.”
Worse, Temple-Raston knows all of this. Back in 2012, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast her profile of Recorded Future and its claimed ability to predict the future by gathering internet data. At the end of her report, she noted that the firm has “at least two very important financial backers: the CIA’s investment arm, called In-Q-Tel, and Google Ventures. They have reportedly poured millions into the company.”
That is the company she’s now featuring as some sort of independent source that can credibly vindicate the claims of U.S. officials about how Snowden reporting helps terrorists.
Beyond all that, the “cyber expert” who Temple-Raston told NPR listeners was “brought in” by Recorded Future to “investigate” these claims—Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs—has his own significant financial ties to the U.S. intelligence community. In 2012, In-Q-Tel proudly touted a “strategic partnership” with ReversingLabs to develop new technology for the Department of Homeland Security. Vuskan hailed the partnership as vital to his company’s future prospects.
If one wants to argue that a government-mimicking report from a company that is funded by the CIA, and whose board is composed in part of its investment arm, and which centrally relies on research from another CIA partner is somehow newsworthy—fine, one can have that debate. But to pass it off as some sort of independent analysis without even mentioning those central ties is reckless and deceitful—especially when, as is true here, the reporter doing it clearly knows about those ties.
Beyond all these CIA connections, the conclusion touted in the NPR report—that al-Qaeda developed more sophisticated encryption techniques due to the Snowden reporting—is dubious in the extreme. It is also undercut by documents contained in the Snowden archive.
The Recorded Future “report”—which was actually nothing more than a short blog post—is designed to bolster the year-long fear-mongering campaign of U.S. and British officials arguing that terrorists would realize the need to hide their communications and develop effective means of doing so by virtue of the Snowden reporting. Predictably, former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker promptly seized on the report (still concealing the firm’s CIA connections from readers) to argue in The Washington Post that “the evidence is mounting that Edward Snowden and his journalist allies have helped al-Qaeda improve their security against NSA surveillance.”
But actual terrorists—long before the Snowden reporting—have been fixated on developing encryption methods and other techniques to protect their communications from electronic surveillance. And they have succeeded in a quite sophisticated manner.
One document found in the GCHQ archive provided by Snowden is a 45-page, single-spaced manual that the British spy agency calls a “Jihadist Handbook.” Though undated, the content suggests it was originally written in 2002 or 2003: more than 10 years before the Snowden reporting began. It appears to have been last updated shortly after September 2003, and translated into English by GCHQ sometime in 2005 or 2006. Much of it is found online in Arabic. The handbook appears to be an excerpt from a 268-page document called “Abu Zubaydah’s Encyclopedia.” The encyclopedia, uploaded in Arabic to the internet in 2011, describes itself as the “cumulative result of efforts of the brothers who walked on the path of jihad” and contains highly specific and sophisticated instructions for avoiding electronic surveillance.
The first section of the decade-old handbook is entitled “The General Security for all Means of Communication” and includes directions on how to keep landline and mobile telephone calls, emails, and online chats secure. It also includes a detailed discussion of how SIM cards in cell phones can be used by the NSA as tracking devices: exactly the subject of the very first story The Intercept ever published from the Snowden material. The manual further instructs operatives that merely turning off one’s cell phone is insufficient to avoid tracking; instead, it instructs, both the battery and SIM card must be removed. It extensively describes how code words should be used for all online communications.
So sophisticated is the 10-year-old “Jihadist Manual” that, in many sections, it is virtually identical to the GCHQ’s own manual, developed years later (in 2010), for instructing its operatives how to keep their communications secure:
Long before the Snowden reporting, then, those considered by the U.S. to be “terrorists” have been fixated on avoiding electronic surveillance, which is why Osama bin Laden communicated only through personal courier. The “Jihadist Handbook” demonstrates how widespread and sophisticated these techniques have been for many years (GCHQ declined to respond beyond its routine boilerplate claiming that its operations are legal, which has nothing to do with this story).
Then there are the glaring and self-evident fallacies in the report itself. The principal claim on which its conclusion is based is the chronology that extremist groups announced a roll-out of “the first Islamic encryption software for mobiles” in September, 2013 (3 months after the first Snowden report), followed by a new encryption product in December (“The Mujahid’s Security”).
But it should go without saying that this proves nothing about causation; it is a basic logical principle that “A precedes B” is not evidence that ”A caused B.” The original Recorded Future report literally did nothing more than assert that there were visible encryption improvements from al-Qaeda that post-dated the first Snowden story, and then, based on no evidence, just asserted the causal link.
Beyond that obvious post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, there is no question that “jihadists” have been working for years on sophisticated tactics for communications security; the fact that they continued to be after the Snowden reporting began literally proves nothing.
Indeed, in September of last year, The New York Times made clear that the “jihadists” began developing their own advanced encryption methods yearsbefore the start of the Snowden reporting:
Al Qaeda’s use of advanced encryption technology dates to 2007, when the Global Islamic Media Front released the Asrar al-Mujahedeen, or so-called “Mujahedeen Secrets,” software. An updated version, Mujahedeen Secrets 2, was released in January 2008, and has been revised at least twice, most recently in May 2012, analysts said.

The program was popularized in the first issue of Inspire, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s quarterly online magazine, in aJuly 2010 post entitled “How to Use Asrar al-Mujahedeen: Sending and Receiving Encrypted Messages.”

Since then, each issue of Inspire has offered a how-to section on encrypting communications, recommending MS2 as the main encryption tool.
All the way back in February, 2001, USA Today reported that al-Qaeda and other groups have been using “uncrackable encryption” since the mid-1990s; the 2001 article stated: “encryption has become the everyday tool of Muslim extremists in Afghanistan, Albania, Britain, Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Syria, the USA, the West Bank and Gaza and Yemen, U.S. officials say.”
As has long been clear, “the terrorists” did not need Snowden reporting to know that the U.S. and its partners are doing everything possible to monitor their communications. It is certainly possible that some extremists, like ordinary users all over the world, are more conscious now than before about the need to secure their communications—just as some extremists became aware of interrogation techniques they may face if detained by virtue of reporting on American torture (which is why torture advocates argued that such reporting also helped terrorists). But the key revelation of the Snowden reporting is that the surveillance system built in secret by the NSA and its partners is directed athundreds of millions of ordinary people and entire populationsrather than “the terrorists.”
Responding to one of the criticisms about the glaring flaws in its report (the obvious absence of causation evidence), Recorded Future admits that “in 2007 Al-Qaeda (AQ) had one encryption product (Asrar) for one platform (PC) which has since been periodically updated (e.g. in 2008).” They claim there was a “significant uptick” after the Snowden reporting but still offer no evidence of a causal connection nor any explanation as to what “the terrorists” learned from those reports that could help them better safeguard their communications or that would provide added motivation to shield those communications.
Critically, even if one wanted to accept Recorded Future’s timeline as true, there are all sorts of plausible reasons other than Snowden revelations why these groups would have been motivated to develop new encryption protections. One obvious impetus is the August 2013 government boasting to McClatchy (and The Daily Beast) that the State Department ordered the closing of 21 embassies because of what it learned from an intercepted “conference call” among Al Qaeda leaders:
An official who’d been briefed on the matter in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, told McClatchy that the embassy closings and travel advisory were the result of an intercepted communication between Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and al Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri in which Zawahiri gave “clear orders” to al-Wuhaysi, who was recently named al Qaida’s general manager, to carry out an attack.
As The Daily Beast put it: “Al-Qaeda leaders had assumed the conference calls, which give Zawahiri the ability to manage his organization from a remote location, were secure. But leaks about the original intercepts have likely exposed the operation that allowed the U.S. intelligence community to listen in on the al-Qaeda board meetings.”
It does the U.S. government no good to attribute these new encryption efforts to leaks from the U.S. government itself. Recorded Future thus ignores that possibility altogether and suggests—with absolutely no evidence—that it was due to Snowden revelations.
They do so even though The New York Times reported a month after the “conference call” leak that ”senior officials have made a startling finding: the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden.” The NYT added: “The drop in message traffic after the communication intercepts contrasts with what analysts describe as a far more muted impact on counterterrorism efforts from the disclosures by Mr. Snowden of the broad capabilities of N.S.A. surveillance programs.”
Then there’s the completely unproven yet vital assumption that this series of events—even if they happened this way—actually helped the terrorists evade monitoring. Bruce Schneier, the security expert quoted at the end of the NPR report, thinks exactly the opposite is true. He notes numerous journalists, in the wake of the report, asked him “how this will adversely affect US intelligence efforts,” and he explained:
I think the reverse is true. I think this will help US intelligence efforts. Cryptography is hard, and the odds that a home-brew encryption product is better than a well-studied open-source tool is slight. Last fall, Matt Blaze said to me that he thought that the Snowden documents will usher in a new dark age of cryptography, as people abandon good algorithms and software for snake oil of their own devising. My guess is that this an example of that.
Chris Soghoian, technologist for the ACLU (whose lawyers represent Snowden) noted that these types of stories have been emerging long before Snowden reporting, telling The Intercept: “every few years, a think tank or security company puts out a report on the use of bespoke encryption software by terrorists, and then media eats it up.”
In the wake of such criticism, Recorded Future issued a supplement to its report, this time claiming that the terrorists “are not using home-brew crypto algorithms” but rather “off the shelf” methods of cryptography. But like Schneier, Soghoian suggested that the developments claimed by Recorded Future would make it easier, not harder, for the U.S. government to monitor the communications of extremists:
If we assume that these programs are developed and distributed by jihadist sympathizers, and not an intelligence service, then the fact that they continue to develop new encryption tools and advocate their use is only further evidence that they don’t really know what they’re doing. Using terrorist-specific encryption tools will only attract the attention of intelligence agencies. If smart terrorists are using encryption, they’re likely using tools like Tor and PGP, the same tools used by government agencies, corporations, journalists, activists and security experts.
Then there are the bizarre implications from embracing the claims of the Recorded Future report. For years, both privacy advocates and experts in cryptography have published guides for how internet users can protect the privacy of their online activities using encryption programs such as PGP emailand Tor. Recorded Future claims that terrorist groups are using “open source” and “off the shelf” encryption to shield their communications: does that mean that anyone who publishes information on encryption is guilty of helping the terrorists?
In sum, Recorded Future is a CIA-dependent company devoted to spreading pro-government propaganda, no matter how absurd. Among its lowlights is itsboasting of how it monitored media coverage of Occupy Wall Street, whereby it claimed to detect Iran’s “growing influence” over that coverage: “We recently Tweeted a shared link showing coverage and gaining online momentum for the Occupy Wall Street movement. When we look more carefully at influencers in this discussion using our Influencer Map, we find that Iran Press TV is the second largest influencer after the US Media!
None of these serious doubts, fallacies, or questions about this company and its “report” were even alluded to by Temple-Raston in her NPR story, beyond a cursory and very limited Schneier quote tacked onto the end. It’s hardly surprising that these kinds of firms, linked to and dependent on the largesse of the U.S. intelligence community, produce pro-government tripe of this sort. That’s their function. It’s the job of media outlets to scrutinize these claims, not mindlessly repeat and then glorify them as NPR did here.

Published on Thursday, May 07, 2015 by Common Dreams
NSA Phone Surveillance Illegal, Federal Court Rules
'This decision is a resounding victory for the rule of law.'
The NSA phone surveillance program revealed in 2013 by Edward Snowden is illegal, a federal appeals court has ruled. (Photo: AP)The NSA phone surveillance program revealed in 2013 by Edward Snowden is illegal, a federal appeals court has ruled. (Photo: AP)
A federal appeals court ruled in a landmark decision on Thursday that the bulk telephone surveillance program operated by the U.S. National Security Agency and revealed in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden is illegal.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the surveillance program, which swept up billions of phone records and metadata of U.S. citizens for over a decade, "exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized" under the Patriot Act.  MORE



Why criticize your own country instead of others?
Anyone who criticizes one’s own country’s wrongdoings is often asked why he or she is not exposing the wrongs committed by other countries.  Snowden’s reply is that critics have no possibility of stopping crimes and follies in other countries.   Only those of our own countries might be known to us and possibly susceptible to reform.   To attend to other countries would be another distraction, like taking a luxury cruise, when the wrongs persist because too few people are focused on ending them.  At the end of the files Snowden had written Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, he explained why he was leaking the files, which Greenwald read near the end of his flight to Hong Kong to meet Snowden.  Snowden’s note ends with these words:  “Many will malign me for failing to engage in national relativism, to look away from [my] society’s problems toward distant, external evils for which we hold neither authority nor responsibility, but citizenship carries with it a duty to first police one’s own government before seeking to correct others. . . .I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed for even an instant.”  (No Place to Hide, p. 32).  Michael Moore wrote:  “I can’t stand living in a country like this, and I’m not leaving.”  President Obama, return Snowden his passport and honor our great whistleblower!   –Dick


CONTACT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
None of the senators or representatives publishes his e-mail address, but each can be contacted by filling in forms offered through his website.
Senator John Boozman: (202)224-4843
Website Email: http://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me
Senator Tom Cotton: (202)224-2353
Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District: (202)225-4076
Website Email: http://crawford.house.gov/contact/
Rep. French Hill, 2nd District: (202)225-2506
Website Email: https://hill.house.gov/contact/email
Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District: (202)225-4301
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
3333 Pinnacle Hills, Suite 120
Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Rep. Bruce Westerman, 4th District: (202) 225-3772

President Barack Obama: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
CONTACT ARKANSAS’ LEGISLATORS
All their names and addresses, including e-mail, are listed on the website: http://www.arkansas.gov/   Or phone 501-682-2902 for senators, and 501-682-1771 for H of Reps.
The League of Women Voters has a "Guide to Elected officials." 

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Contents Edward Snowden Newsletter # 6 http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2014/12/snowden-surveillance-newsletter-6.html
Laura Poitras’s New Film Citizenfour
Snowden and ACLU
Interview of Snowden by ACLU Exec. Director Anthony Romero
ACLU, Letter from Snowden May 2014
Snowden and ACLU

Interviews
Interview of Snowden by The Nation’s Katrina van den Heuvel and Stephen
     Cohen
Snowden and Wired Magazine
Rusbridger and MacAskill, The Guardian, Snowden Interview
Honoring and Defending Snowden
Public Citizen’s Appeal
William Blum, Edward Snowden
Dick, Whistleblowers and Investigative Reporters
Henry Porter, Review of No Place to Hide
Juan Cole Refutes Kerry on Snowden’s Avoidance of US “Justice”
Dick, James Risen, Pay Any Price Refutes Kerry
John Knefel, 6 Memorable Quotations
Contact President Obama
Contents Nos. 1-5


END SNOWDEN NEWSLETTER #7

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