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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth" 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-don't-throw-away-the-key dept.
wjcofkc writes "In the turbulent wake of the international uproar spurred by his leaked documents, Mr. Snowden published a letter over the weekend in Der Spiegel titled, "A Manifesto for the Truth". In the letter, Mr. Snowden reflects on the consequences of the information released so far, and their effect on exposing the extent and obscenity of international and domestic surveillance, while continuing to call out the NSA and GCHQ as the worst offenders. He further discusses how the debate should move forward, the intimidation of journalists, and the criminalization of the truth saying, 'Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.'"
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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth"

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  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:58AM (#45324675)

    He's going to be portrayed as a complete nutjob by the American corporations/government and their press lackeys no matter WTF he calls it.

  • It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darrellg1 (969068) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#45324705)
    that this will go to waste. No mainstream media in the US will report this, and if they do, it will be spun into a negative light. Now we got posters on here, the Guardian, and other sites that are obvious shills or just plain dumb.
  • Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#45324709) Homepage

    To tell the truth is not a crime.

    Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

  • Re:in the U.S. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:03AM (#45324729)

    truth actually a crime, actually

    Only if it's truth that embarrasses the government and corporations that rule this country. You're free to tell all the benign truth you wish, citizen. You may also debate the merits of which of the two allowed parties is more worthy of your vote, that of Kang or that of Kodos.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:03AM (#45324739) Homepage Journal

    The problem in the US is that the debate is controlled by idiots... and calling them idiots is being nice.

    Every debate we have in the US right now becomes a false dilemma. "Scaling back" capitalism, or doing anything that falls in the middle ground between socialism and capitalism, simply gets a person labeled a "communist" or worse. So we can't have debates.

    Our last two presidential cycles should have included debates about corporate power but they didn't. This is because we have a certain group of people controlling the agenda.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:09AM (#45324805)

    To tell the truth is not a crime.

    Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

    Interesting view. You do realize that in this case, 'potential enemies' refers to the entire population of the US?
    One might ponder the aims of such a government.

  • Re:in the U.S. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:10AM (#45324811) Homepage

    I especially liked the part where they told him that he did it wrong, that telling the newspapers was bad.

    The correct course of action was to call the people in power and let them know they're spying on the population.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:11AM (#45324825)

    "Capitalism" and "freedom" are not synonymous, no matter what Ayn tells you.

    Capitalism is an ideal, some elements of which may promote freedom in any given society.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fox171171 (1425329) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:12AM (#45324839)

    To tell the truth is not a crime.

    Yes, it is. You may have some moral justification, but it can still be a crime. In the US, telling the truth about intelligence techniques to real and potential enemies is a crime, even if you also tell the public. Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement, but he satisfied his own conscience.

    Why is it that truth about a crime is a bigger crime than the original crime itself?

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:16AM (#45324893) Homepage

    The Declaration of Independence is a manifesto. It just wasn't titled as such.

    A manifesto simply explains the motivations and reasoning behind actions. It's a common trait of psychopaths and sociopaths, because they feel that their actions are completely logical, but the rest of society just needs a good explanation to wake up and rally to their cause.

    Snowden doesn't need to explain his motivation to recruit followers, as the public outrage over surveillance is already quite significant. This seems to be less of a manifesto, and more of a reflection.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:21AM (#45324947) Homepage

    Or Kucinich. Only a radical like Paul or Kucinich would have the ideology and the stones to order the FBI to dismantle the DEA's special operations division and treat every employee of the same as a probable criminal conspirator who conspired to systematically perjure themselves to win cases in federal court. You won't get this from a "mainstream guy" because moderates are moderates almost invariably because they either stand for nothing or have the intestinal fortitude of a freshly butchered lamb. One of the best articles I've ever read on moderates and why moderates have such a pernicious history in American politics is "The Paranoid Center" [reason.com] by Reason.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:21AM (#45324951) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me unfettered capitalism is pretty much a recipe to *reduce* freedom. Eventually you have a poor class that doesn't have the freedom to do anything at all and a rich class that can do anything. That ends up being a net loss.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:22AM (#45324963)

    "Snowden broke the law"

    Considering he hasn't stood trial you can't really say he's broken the law. And whilst he may be evaiding Law Enforcement, it doesn't make him a criminal.

    Just thought I should remind the great nation of America about the whole "Innocent till proven guilty" concept of law. It's right up there with habeas corpus... oh never mind.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:24AM (#45325001)

    You do realize that in this case, 'potential enemies' refers to the entire population of the US?

    You may be surprised to find out that is not actually the case. A vast number of the US population demanded that we should give up some of our civil liberties in exchange for great security.

    I argued against the idea but the political environment immediately after the 9/11 attack demanded that the government do everything possible to protect its citizens no matter the cost in money or civil liberties.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Clsid (564627) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:39AM (#45325155)

    You really haven't worked with government before. Sorry to be so blunt man, but you are being too naive.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:40AM (#45325165)

    The US government isn't pissed about Snowden because "the entire US population" learned about their foreign eavesdropping operations, but because foreign intelligence agencies did.

    Contrary to what you think, they are pissed about both, and more so about the US population because it consists of their voters ...

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:40AM (#45325175) Homepage

    Pretty much all foreign intelligence agencies already knew about what the NSA was up to; the USA government IS upset because Snowden informed the USA general public.

    What the NSA was and is doing wasn't a big secret among governments. Many of the governments now complaining about being spied on cooperated with the USA to gather and share much of this information. Yes, they might be pissed that the USA crossed a few lines here and there, but they knew the USA was spying on everyone.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:43AM (#45325201) Journal
    Seriously, he worked for the NSA, one agency in one country. How the fuck would he know who the worst offenders of international and domestic surveillance are? There are hundreds of countries with multiple spy agencies. He had access to some of the information about one and maybe some information about a few more. And, he thinks this qualifies him to make judgments about the internal and external surveillance apparatus of EVERY OTHER COUNTRY HE HAS NO INFORMATION ABOUT, including Russia, China, and North Korea? Really?

    Lack of information about the internal and external surveillance apparatus of a country doesn't mean that country doesn't have an extensive and intrusive surveillance apparatus. It just means Snowden doesn't have information about that country. He literally doesn't have enough information to make that claim.
  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:47AM (#45325243)

    If Snowden had followed your advice, he would have been arrested immediately and then charged with treason, espionage and/or theft of classified data.

    Even his lawyer would have been gagged by secret courts under the Patriot act and nobody would have ever heard of any of this except as a little side note ("cranky former contractor in clinch with US government about handling of classified data").

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZouPrime (460611) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:52AM (#45325299)

    You think people are going to vote Republicans because they are pissed at the NSA?
    The Patriot Act was voted under a Republican president.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pav (4298) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:52AM (#45325313)
    Persue things internally like Binney or Drake to get hammered and threatened before they were forced to go public? Worked for them didn't it. How about the Plames? It's sad that the only proven endangerment of operatives in any of the past years of leaks was Cheney taking political revenge against the wife of a dissenter. I'd imagine if anyone raises a concern these days anywhere in government there would be more efficient mechanisms to discredit and dispose of them... seems to be an Obama specialty. I personally know a whistleblower who tried internal mechanisms - the well oiled process saw a psychologist label her mentally defective before she was efficiently terminated. This was not the US government but a local council.
  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:56AM (#45325349)

    Snowden broke the law, and is now a criminal evading law enforcement

    Technically, yes, but technically so did the NSA; do we get to hold them to your same breed of logic? Snowden didn't leak pictures of the next supersekrit wizzbang gadget, or post Adobe Photoshop code on pastebin. He witnessed a system so out of control that there are no laws or legal system to contain it, or bring it back into balance. This isn't a matter of breaking an NDA agreement. Egregious breaches of the law need to be reported and the people who report them need to be given the freedom from legal consequence while those responsible need to be brought to trial.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:10AM (#45325511)

    Illustrating how the opponent's argument is unsound is a real response.

    Next time, should I write more than I need to?

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by intermodal (534361) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:13AM (#45325551) Homepage Journal

    The way they define "enemy" these days is one of the more damning revelations he made. Most of 'em aren't enemies at all.

  • Re:how long (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:17AM (#45325609)

    How long? Well, first we have to wait 'til we get a government by the people, for the people. Before something like that happens, no such chance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#45325639)

    ... more qualified than you for starters...

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:29AM (#45325735)

    There are no debates in the US, at least not in public. A debate is by definition a battle of wits between two (or more) people where one presents a theory, the other(s) present counter arguments and during debate and discussion the parties approach each other with the goal that, in the end, a consensus can be achieved, or at least a modus vivendi, a formulation that both can somehow agree with or at least accept as a common ground.

    That is exactly what is NOT wanted in a "debate" in the US, especially when it comes to political discussions. Quite the opposite, political debates are painstakingly looking for the minimal differences the two parties might have to uphold the illusion that they don't in fact agree on every halfway important topic, trying to shift the focus on point- and meaningless side topics that we "may" disagree at because, frankly, nobody gives a shit about them. A standard issue political "debate" in the US would be kinda dull since only the first one to speak gets to speak, with the second one not able to add anything but "well, I agree" to the fold.

    That's no two party system, that's a one party system with two slightly diverging wings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:46AM (#45325925)

    You are the traitor, not Snowden.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:48AM (#45325969)

    To falsify my point, if Snowden really was what he wants us to think he was (an honest, aw shucks I just want to help whistleblower) then he would have used his precious Wikileaks to get the information out.

    Wait... So only if you use Wikileaks as channel you get to be an honest whistleblower, in your opinion?

    Obviously there are many other ways. And the Wikileaks way didn't end very well for Chelsea Manning. Finally, I agree that GWB deserves more shit than he's being served of late, but that doesn't magically absolve BHO from maintaining and in may cases drastically extending these programs.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:59AM (#45326099)

    I knew everything he was saying before he said it.

    A lot of people did. But he offered the first undeniable PROOF.

  • by cream wobbly (1102689) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:02AM (#45326133)

    "I knew everything he was saying before he said it."

    We all did, if we were paying attention. We knew alright, but without the specifics that, when made public, put people in danger and harmed spying operations in progress to counter operations against the West.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:16AM (#45326335)

    Manifesto... thats the primary keyword for COMPLETE NUTJOB.

    And there went his credibility... Just when he was starting to do some good.

    Are you calling the founding fathers of the US nut jobs? They wrote a manifesto called the Declaration of Independence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:45AM (#45326687)

    I think Snowden as a tool is about the picture that I'm getting too.

    He's a very foolish young man, and he's totally fucking ruined his life and now is trying to regain some credibility. But the sad fact is, he's also betraying his country. I do not see anything noble in what he's done: I knew everything he was saying before he said it.

    And apparently you were fine with it, too. A happy little fascist.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ronin Developer (67677) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:52AM (#45326809)

    They day the Supreme Court ruled that Corporations had the same rights as Citizens yet not be held accountable (unless you are an officer of the Corporation) tells you everything you need to know about who holds the power in this country.

    Corporations were once just legal entities. Now, they have the same rights as citizens. Keep in mind, many corporations are multi-national. And, you wonder why there there is no accountability and people don't trust the government?

    We, as citizens, are merely subservient to our corporate overlords. This isn't about Obama or Bush - it's about greed and power. I, for one, do not welcome my new masters.

  • by deanklear (2529024) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:55AM (#45326843)

    But the sad fact is, he's also betraying his country

    No, he's betraying the corrupt portion of his government that is secretly breaking the spirit and the letter of enumerated rights in the Constitution. When this practice is exercised in other nations, like in China, the US government and her sycophants celebrates speaking truth to power.

    Moral truths have a funny way of disappearing when it comes to criticizing your own nation, but that is the realm of pretend patriots who are more attached to the power of the hierarchy then they are to the claimed ideals written into our laws.

    As soon as someone starts talking about "betraying the nation/country/flag" it's fair to assume they want to stop talking about whatever the claimed injustice is. That's for two reasons, usually: an irrational attachment to the symbology of their nation (instead of a rational attachment to it's stated values), or because they are beneficiaries of the current status quo and they want to keep things as they are out of puerile self interest. And, as so often is the case, the injustice is so obvious that ad hominem attacks and pro-establishment propaganda that could make a fascist blush become the standard points attempting to cover the empty rhetoric. Bonus points for including a folksy cover of patriarchal finger wagging for "young men" who have "ruined" their lives by daring to claim the government is wrong. What a lovely American ideal that is.

    The sad fact is that if the American government does not value due process, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the right to privacy, it has ceased to become worthy of patriotism. The best parts of American culture and the vast majority of people who still believe in those values are worthy of protection, not the cancerous, bought-and-paid-for, corrupted bureaucracy that is slowly depriving them of those rights. Irrational nationalism is a central pillar of fascism.

  • Re:how long (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:26PM (#45327265) Homepage

    You're a douche-bag.

    I say that with complete objective certainty.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:31PM (#45327311) Homepage

    Blame Bush Blame Bush Blame Bush Blah Blah Fucking Neocon Blah.

    The expansion of Executive power under GWB was considered radical at the time.

    The consolidation of that Executive coup by the Obama Administration is even worse, because what was once considered radical, is now the new normal.

    It seems it has become the job of the GOP to advance the authoritarian goal line, and the job of the Democrats to get everyone to accept it.

    So yeah, Obama is a terrible odious fuckhead of president. Just like GWB.

  • Re:how long (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Digital Vomit (891734) on Monday November 04, 2013 @01:36PM (#45328159) Homepage Journal

    Why don't you run for office

    There are still people out there who think regular folks can run for office and not be instantly destroyed/disqualified by the Establishment?

    You can't run as part of one of the two parties in the US if the party doesn't want you (e.g. Stephen Colbert), and you don't get serious media attention unless you belong to one of the two parties (e.g. Jill Stein) -- and even if you do belong to one of the two major parties, you don't really get any serious attention if the handful of people who own the media don't like you (e.g. Ron Paul).

    99% of Americans can't just "run" for political office even if they had the time and money to do so. The system has evolved prevent that sort of thing.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday November 04, 2013 @03:05PM (#45329241)

    You may be surprised to find out that is not actually the case. A vast number of the US population demanded that we should give up some of our civil liberties in exchange for great security.

    They don't actually get to make that decision without amending the Constitution to abolish the 4th Amendment.

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