Edward Snowden update, June 18, 2013, US government not able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me, Mainstream media ignores largest program of suspicion less surveillance in human history
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed,
If you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly,
You may come to the moment when you will have to fight
with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.”…Winston Churchill
“If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world but I am sure we would be getting reports from hell before breakfast.”… William Tecumseh Sherman
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″
From the Canberra Times June 18, 2013.
“US government can’t stop the truth: Ed Snowden”
“NSA leaker Edward Snowden defended his disclosure of top-secret US spying programs in an online chat on Monday with The Guardian and attacked US officials for calling him a traitor.
“The US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me,” he said. He added the government “immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home,” by labelling him a traitor, and indicated he would not return to the US voluntarily.
Congressional leaders have called Mr Snowden a traitor for revealing once-secret surveillance programs two weeks ago in the Guardian and The Washington Post. The National Security Agency programs collect records of millions of Americans’ telephone calls and Internet usage as a counterterror tool.
The disclosures revealed the scope of the collections, which surprised many Americans and have sparked debate about how much privacy the government can take away in the name of national security.
“It would be foolish to volunteer yourself to” possible arrest and criminal charges “if you can do more good outside of prison than in it,” he said.
Mr Snowden dismissed being called a traitor by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who made the allegations in an interview this week on Fox News Sunday. Mr Cheney was echoing the comments of both Democrats and Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, including Senate Intelligence committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein.
“Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honour you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein … the better off we all are,” Mr Snowden said.”
“In answer to the question of whether he fled to Hong Kong because he was spying for China, Mr Snowden wrote, “Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.”
He added later, “I have had no contact with the Chinese government.”
Mr Snowden dismissed the US government’s claims that the NSA surveillance programs had helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks in more than 20 countries, including the 2009 al-Qaeda plot by Afghan American Najibullah Zazi to blow up New York subways.
“Journalists should ask a specific question: … how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive (sic) that, and ask yourself if it was worth it.””
“Mr Snowden explained his claim that from his desk, he could “wiretap” any phone call or email — a claim top intelligence officials have denied. “If an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc. analyst has access to query raw SIGINT (signals intelligence) databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want,” he wrote in the answer posted on the Guardian site. “Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on — it’s all the same.”
The NSA did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. But Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said that the kind of data that can be accessed and who can access it is severely limited.”
“In one of his final replies, Mr Snowden attacked the “mainstream media” for its coverage, saying it “now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicion-less surveillance in human history.”
Thus far, I am inclined to believe Mr. Snowden.