WE DEFEND Edward Snowden for his courageous action in revealing vast, unlawful surveillance by the United States.
WE CALL on others to join us in opposing the U.S. government’s plans to gain custody of him, to try and imprison him on espionage charges.
WE JOIN with a large section of the U.S. population — and billions worldwide — in outrage at the unconstitutional, illegitimate surveillance of whole populations by the U.S. which has been covered up and lied about for years.
It is absurd that Snowden faces criminal charges from the U.S. government who has been caught red-handed breaking its own laws while it flaunts international law by the use of targeted killing and indefinite detention.
It is outrageous that this same government refuses to investigate, much less prosecute, those responsible for the crimes of aggressive war and torture while now carrying out an unjust prosecution against Bradley Manning for exposing these crimes.
WE INDICT those in U.S. government guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, NOT those who blow the whistle on these crimes.
On June 10, Edward Snowden claimed responsibility for leaking National Security Administration documents which show that the U.S. government “targets the communications of everyone.”
This a practice which he warned is going to “get worse with the next generation and the next generation who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression.”
Snowden’s revelations show that the Obama administration and the NSA consistently LIED about the scale of surveillance.
They lied about how both the meta-data and the full contents of all electronic communications are being scooped up and stored.
They lied about both domestic and foreign internet data being collected and stored, spying in real time, and using the rest for subsequent use, by the current White House administration and all subsequent administrations.
The biggest lie of all is that this mass surveillance is about keeping Americans safe.
Snowden revealed the ease with which agents can use this to build a case against anyone; chilling dissent.
These same people now have the audacity to charge Snowden with spying?!
Snowden stepped forward because he became aware of these towering criminal practices, and recognized the dangerous precedent it sets.
He sounded the alarm to the public. In response, the government is bringing down the full weight of the state against him.
If they are not doing anything wrong, what do they have to hide?
When this happens in a country not allied with the United States, the U.S. government calls out that country as authoritarian and outrageously repressive to its citizens.
They speak words of freedom and democracy while spying on whole populations, assassinating people at will and torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
The U.S. has indicted Snowden on three felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act, for “unauthorized communication of national defense information,” “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” and “theft of government property.” Each charge carries ten years in prison — potentially life in prison if there are multiple counts of each.
He is the eighth person charged in the Obama Administration’s war on whistle-blowers.
Snowden said recently in response to a question about U.S. government efforts to suppress him: “All I can say right now is the U.S. Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”
Which will it be? The continued persecution of truth-tellers by Official Liars or the truth made plain to the world and the sweeping away of these truly obscene actions by the United States?
The hour is late but it is not too late to act.
The World Can't Wait Steering Committee, June 24,2013