A petition thanking NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to gather support after gaining more than 25,000 signers in its first day. Launched by the group RootsAction.org, the petition says: “We thank Edward Snowden for his principled and courageous actions as a whistleblower, informing the public about vast surveillance by the National Security Agency that undermines our civil liberties.” (The petition, posted at SupportEdwardSnowden.org, includes thousands of individual comments.)
Why are so many fellow citizens expressing appreciation for Snowden and praising him as a hero?
TREVOR TIMM, trevor at pressfreedomfoundation.org, @TrevorTimm
Timm is co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He said today: “Leaks and whistleblowers are vital to democracy and Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations prove they have never been more important. The American people deserve to know what is being done in secret under their name, and if the government won’t bring transparency to its programs officially, often investigative journalism is the only way for Americans to do so. In an era where government secrecy has reached an all-time high, Snowden’s revelations are welcome, and we hope Congress will act to bring further transparency to these programs immediately.” Timm recently tweeted: “Brilliant. AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein says Congress should give Edward Snowden retroactive immunity.” [video]
NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com, normansolomon.com
“Many Americans understand that Snowden has done something profoundly brave and patriotic in defense of the Bill of Rights,” said Solomon, who is a co-founder of RootsAction.org. “With much-touted ‘congressional oversight’ almost meaningless and secret surveillance courts mere rubber stamps for the Obama administration, many Americans across the political spectrum are asking deeper questions — and they’re getting official doubletalk in response.”
In an article published this week, Solomon wrote that “the revelations of recent days are a tremendous challenge to the established order: nonstop warfare, intensifying secrecy and dominant power that equate safe governance with Orwellian surveillance.” He added: “In the highest places, there is more than a wisp of panic in rarefied air. It’s not just the National Security Agency that stands exposed; it’s the repressive arrogance perched on the pyramid of power.”
And Solomon concluded: “Snowden has given aid and comfort to grassroots efforts for democracy. What we do with his brave gift will be our choice.”
Solomon is the founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.