Statement from Julian Assange in response to President Obama’s plans to reform America’s global surveillance program

admin —  August 10, 2013 — 14 Comments

Today the President of the United States validated Edward Snowden’s role as a whistleblower by announcing plans to reform America’s global surveillance program.  But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the President laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along, “before Edward Snowden.”  The simple fact is that without Snowden’s disclosures, no one would know about the programs and no reforms could take place.  As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently once stated, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”  Luckily for the citizens of the world, Edward Snowden is one of those “people of good conscience” who did not “remain silent”, just as Pfc Bradley Manning and Daniel Ellsberg refused to remain silent.

Ironically, the Department of Justice is betraying two key principles that President Obama championed when he ran for office ­ transparency and protection for whistleblowers. During his 2008 campaign, the President supported Whistleblowers, claiming their “acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled.”  Yet his administration has prosecuted twice as many whistleblowers than all other administrations combined

Moreover, the US government’s hypocrisy over Snowden’s right to seek asylum has been stunning.  America offers asylum to dissidents, whistleblowers and political refugees without regard to other governments opposition all the time.  For example, the US has accepted 3,103 of their own asylees, 1,222 from Russia and 1,762 from Venezuela – http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2011/ois_yb_2011.pdf.

Today was a victory of sorts for Edward Snowden and his many supporters.  As Snowden has stated, his biggest concern was if he blew the whistle and change did not occur.  Well reforms are taking shape, and for that, the President and people of the United States and around the world owe Edward Snowden a debt of gratitude.

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14 responses to Statement from Julian Assange in response to President Obama’s plans to reform America’s global surveillance program

  1. I support whistleblowers, and good job Mr. Snowden. However, I also support President Obama. I fully believe that while the President(any president) can and does make many decisions for our country, I’ve come to the realization that it’s Congress and the secret groups like the NSA that hold the real power behind the scenes and encourage/demand the President(any president) to do or not do many of the things he does. I believe that President Obama has had the best intentions(for the many not the few,) but I also believe that it is not all in his hands.

  2. Samuel Di Muzio August 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Obama changes very little. What he does fool with is modifying definitions and restructuring procedures. And such conduct is the very reasons the problems surrounding him (spyinjg, Bengaziegate, national health care, IRS misuse of authority, etc.) continue and grow. Efforts to redicule Snowden and Putin is, unfortunately, his way of attempting to bring the characters/issues down to his level. He lacks executiveship which is acquired through years of decision making experience and understand how to get along with your opponents. Very sad to watch the POTUS in action.

  3. we already knew the u.s. gov’t was spying on us. what edward snowden revealed was nothing new. although, i congratulate him on a job well done for trying.

  4. President Putin will not respond to these juvenile threats and demands. Eventually a prisoner exchange will be negotiated and the Kenyan will score a progaganda victory. Snowden will spend the rest of his life in a US prison, and will soon be forgotten by the brainwashed masses. The Kenyan is an excellent liar who has no intention of reforming anything.

  5. not original with me but symbiotic relationship of commerce and government with respect obtaining and using surveillence information makes other source be used for protection of the people in preservation of privacy. bonevolent big businesses and governments do change.

  6. Thanks for posting this reaction. I agree completely (what sane person wouldn’t?) but I think the necessary action must be stated overtly, because our politicians are very dense and don’t take hints very well: The President owes Edward Snowden more than gratitude. He owes Snowden a full and complete pardon, immediately.

    Obama claims he had an NSA reform plan in place “before Snowden.” Can he prove that? Of course not — it’s secret. This is beyond laughable. Full and complete pardon. #PardonSnowden

  7. The reforms he talked about are largely nebulous though. The spying systems revealed by Snowdon remain intact in their full force, and nothing Obama said changes that.

  8. Great for Mr. Edward Snowden. Much congratulations, apologies for confusion on my part because of the U.S. of fuckin A. …happy to see the good guys are well. God bless you guys. You rock!…,. Sylvia Lydia Morelos (much obliged!) 🙂

  9. Saul Yanchaliquin August 11, 2013 at 6:41 am

    The sun can be hide with a finger so is mr snowden. Thank you Mr snowden. ( they call you bud man)

  10. VotingWontSaveYou August 11, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Our Victory is we found out about this. The Person who gave us VICTORY IS A HERO!
    EDWARD SNOWDEN, WE THANK YOU!!

  11. I am not interested in any sort of “reform” of this ghastly system. I want it ended.

  12. The changes Obama has so far said he will investigate are themselves extremely minor. One of his ideas was to put in place someone in the FISC court who could challenge requests that are granted – but this clearly does not change the underlying structure of the FISC. Having one person will not increase accountability and in all likeliness will simply be a minor nuisance on their way to continual rubber-stamping of NSA requests.

  13. Thank you Julian for the summary. Not only in the case in point but the most general terms the greatest achievements of the human race are due to free thinking individuals not kings, rulers nor tyrants. The US under the leadership of Obama is continuing its assault to dominate and control a growing number of countries around the world. I an convinced this is not done with the approval of the US Citizens. Obama has entangled himself in a web of his own lies and his own secret agendas which will bring about his downfall. The people are starting to see Obama the actor from the hypocrite and liar he has proven to be.

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