My own opinion is that Snowden should be honored. He was doing what every citizen ought to do, telling. [Applause] He was telling Americans what the government was doing. That's what's supposed to happen.
See the link for the entire response.
Earlier Post published on July 29
While doing research, I just discovered this Internet Radio Station. Here are my notes.
There is a strange recording that starts with this post! I'm trying to find it and remove it. It's on Occupy.
Blog Radio interview with Noam Chomsky on Snowden and NSA
The above interview starts out a bit chaotic and slow. It begins with that traitor/hero dichotomy. After that surface discussion, the interview takes off in an informative manner. Chomsky goes over Snowden's innocence and appropriate actions, but also covers an overview of his thoughts on the surveillance system the American government uses on everyone and anyone it chooses.
1. hero or traitor? Hero.
2. Some things should remain secret such as negotiations. Snowden has kept certain materials secret that might harm national security. Embarrassment is not an issue that harms national security.
3. Government argues that metadata collection is necessary to prevent terrorism. But such a claim is ludicrous because the governments own actions (such as drone attacks) creates potential terrorists.
4. Bradley Manning has been tortured and will probably get a long sentence.
5. Snowden could easily get the death penalty.
6. Other countries fear the United States because it is a violent and vindictive "master."
7. South American countries cannot get Snowden out of Russia safely.
8. Once considered America's backyard, South America is now the only region of the world willing to stand up to the US.
9. The US is sending people to other countries to torture them for information. Other countries help out. Latin America, once a torture center, is the only place in the world (for past ten years) that refuses to participate in the terror programs of the US. First time in 500 years Latin America has not been under foreign powers.
10. US is threatening Latin America to keep Snowden out. US refuses to extradite wanted "real" criminals from Latin America. Chomsky does not advise any Latin America country to take Snowden in. Why? US will retaliate. Doesn't have the power to institute a coup. But it can punish in many other ways. Which country would Snowden be the most secure it? Possibly Brazil.
11. Appeals Court case: Hedges against Obama. NDAA legislation authorizes government to keep others (including American citizens) under indefinite detention. A district court accepted Hedges position. But the Obama administration went to court to appeal and won. Thus, people can be indefinitely detained.
12. US does not allow itself to be subjected to international law. It has exempted itself. US cannot be brought to trial for any international treaty.
13. Metadata collects communication. It identifies hubs of dissent.
14. PRISM has direct back door access to emails, calls, etc. These communications are stored in NSA storage. Strategy: Collect it all. If you need it, it's there. While the US is more free than other countries, the government protects concentrated powers and state's interests.
15.According to James Madison (Constitutional Convention), power must be in the hands of the wealth of the nation, the most responsible group of men, those who respect property ownership. Aristotle didn't like most governments. But Aristotle pointed out that democracy was probably the best. Like James Madison (who came over 2,000 years later), Aristotle pointed out the dangers of democracy (the vote) was that the poor could take the powers away from the rich. Madison's solution was to reduce democracy. Aristotle's solution was to reduce inequality. He called for what we call today welfare state measures. With a strong middle-class there's less pressure for rebellion. Powerful sectors do not run away. They find new ways to hang on to their power.
16. Seventy percent of Americans have no influence on policy. Thus, we live in a plutocracy.
17. Over sixty percent of young people approve of Snowden's revelations. Gap between popular opinion and policy common.
18. Past US President Jimmy Carter supports Snowden's whistleblowing. He also states that US has no functioning democracy. But Carter received almost no coverage for his statements. Got around through Internet a bit.
19. Domestic drones spy on and threaten ordinary citizens. Population wants more environmental legislation.
20. Just about every European country spies on its citizens. France doesn't even need a court order and that's pretty much true throughout Europe. But they don't have the sophisticated technology that US has. If governments have the power and technology, they are going to use it. COINTELPRO and Red Scare were worse in the US.