Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983), no matter his fate, goes down in history as the National Security Agency contractor and cyber-security genius who revealed to the world that the highly secretive United States Government was running an unconstitutional massive spying operation on its own people, violating their constitutional rights and their privacy. The former CIA I.T. security specialist, computer programmer and “technical assistant” leaked what is now known as PRISM, a data map stored on a simple thumb drive, showing how the NSA spied on everybody in nearly every communicable format, using a hierarchy of information (clandestine surveillance program mapped out as PRISM) via social media, emails, phone calls, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, Apple, AOL, Google and Skype, to name a few mediums. In a mind-blowing interview (1) exposing the corrupt US government–that immediately went viral across the web–whistleblower and patriotic hero Edward Snowden revealed all to investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story in The Guardian in June of 2013, even though Snowden first began disclosing relevant information privately and anonymously, in small doses, to Greenwald as early as December of 2012. (9)
Snowden provided the world with the most significant leaks in US political history
Snowden, a former US Army special forces operative, worked for 10 years in US intelligence and at the National Security Agency (NSA) for four years as a contractor, systems engineer, top cyber-security expert and infrastructure analyst, hired by Booz Allen Hamilton and Dell. After several days of interviews that revealed his identity at his own request, Snowden disclosed top-secret documents to the public that he managed to load onto a thumb drive and remove from NSA property. Snowden went on record saying, “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.” (4)
Snowden had no fear of the consequences of going public (3) with exposing the NSA’s corrupt activities. He also knew the US government would demonize him for it, and he was right. The corrupt US mass media and the tyrannical Obama regime (2) has called Snowden a traitor, a communist, and accused him of treason, all for revealing that the NSA was spying on everybody, violating Americans inherent rights to personal and business privacy.
Ever since 9/11, the US government has convinced the American people that all of their Constitutional freedoms must be compromised and all but forfeited in the name of the “War on Terror.” Yet, despite this communist-style takeover of human rights in America, Snowden was brave enough to expose it all, saying “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”
Snowden gave up a comfortable life that included a salary of more than $200,000, a home in Hawaii, and a loving family and girlfriend, all because, in good conscience, he couldn’t allow the US government to destroy internet freedom, basic liberties, and the privacy of people around the world. NSA’s massive surveillance machine was getting more powerful and more invasive every day.
How Edward Snowden escaped with the biggest secret of information gathering in US history–the NSA Prism
Once Edward Snowden had his plan in place, he advised his NSA supervisor that he needed a few weeks off work to get treatment for his epileptic seizures from a year prior. In May of 2013, Snowden boarded a flight to Hong Kong, a country committed to freedom of speech and the right of political dissent, especially since Barack Obama persecutes more whistleblowers than any president ever in US history. Even Snowden’s girlfriend did not know the real reason he was leaving.
Snowden is a computer network security genius who had clearance to a wide array of classified documents over the years, even spending time alongside CIA officers in 2007 in Geneva, where he witnessed highly unethical actions and incidents and began questioning what he saw, and that’s when, he says, he first began considering exposing government secrets.
Then, in 2009, Snowden says he watched as President Obama advanced “the very policies I thought would be reined in”–those of spying on innocent Americans via their phone calls, emails, etc. That’s when Snowden says he “got hardened.”
From 2009 to 2012, Snowden said he learned just how “all-consuming” the NSA’s surveillance activities really were, and that they were making “every conversation and every form of behavior in the world” basically a record for review. Though Snowden views the internet as the most important invention in all of human history, it quickly became the most expansive unethical spying apparatus of the US National Security Agency and ultimately an existential threat to democracy.
Snowden’s motivation to share PRISM slides was not money
Edward Snowden could have easily sold the documents from NSA to some foreign country and become rich overnight, but the public may never have seen them. His allegiance to internet freedom and freedom of speech were his primary motivational factors. Any analyst, according to Snowden, could target anyone, anywhere, and wiretap them–it could be an accountant, a federal judge or even the President. NSA was collecting more digital communications from Americans than from Russians. Snowden went on to describe the depth and breadth of the spying:
“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”
NSA routinely lies Congress about the scope of surveillance in America–even if you don’t do anything wrong, you’re still being watched and recorded by NSA
When Congress inquired as to the scope of surveillance in America, NSA repeatedly lied, saying they did not have the tools to spy on a mass scale, but Edward Snowden revealed otherwise, and the PRISM map showed exactly were the public was scrutinized the most–via digital communications.
He said the extent of the NSA’s capabilities is horrifying. Even if you don’t do anything wrong, you’re still being watched and recorded. The vast majority of human communications are automatically “ingested” without even being targeted, even bank passwords and credit card information. This is exactly how the IRS targeted non-profit conservative groups and it’s also how politicians and organizations opposed to Obama and Hillary Clinton were targeted during campaigns.
Plus, the storage capability of the NSA’s systems increases every year. They can go back in time and “scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made” if they want to, that way they can attack any enemies, adversaries, competition, or political opponents. Anyone running for any office anywhere, whether local, state or federal level can be picked apart, and Snowden showed the world exactly how the NSA has this ability, even though they thought nobody would ever find out. Snowden called it “turnkey tyranny.” (6)
Snowden had warned his colleagues and supervisors about the scale of the constitutional violations at NSA
Before Snowden fled America, though, with the thumb drive that goes down in “infamy,” he had used internal channels of dissent to let multiple employees, colleagues and supervisors (at least 10 officials in all he said) know about his concerns that several NSA programs were unconstitutional, but to no avail. Though Snowden warned his colleagues about the scale of the constitutional violations and his deep concern, nobody was willing to risk their jobs, family safety or their freedom to blow the whistle. Their only response was, “You know, you’re right. … But if you say something about this, they’re going to destroy you.”
Snowden revealed not only global surveillance by NSA, but also by Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance
Of course, Snowden was charged by the US Government for two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property. He fled to Moscow where Russian authorities granted him asylum for three years.
US Government tried to downplay Snowden’s stature, calling him a “low level analyst”
In a May 2014 interview with NBC, Snowden said the US government tried to downplay his whole career as a top level systems engineer, cyber-security expert and infrastructure analyst by calling him a “low level analyst” or “low level administrator” who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, all so the public wouldn’t give weight to the revelations about NSA’s mass surveillance and unconstitutional acts of what is essentially domestic treason. The true criminals were trying to make Snowden out to be the low level traitor who had no credibility worth considering, but the whole plan failed. Snowden had revealed exactly what was happening at a senior level and exposed intelligence that came from the CIO, CTO and CIA chiefs of technical branches, as they had all come to Snowden with their hardest technical problems, asking Snowden for a way to fix them.
Snowden revealed up to 200,000 NSA documents of global surveillance
Nobody knows exactly how many secret documents Edward Snowden exposed, but Australian and British intelligence officials estimate thousands upon thousands of files, anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 NSA documents. These consist of intercepted emails and instant message conversations, some of which are hundreds of pages long. Snowden may actually be in possession of close to 1 million Department of Defense files in all; however, domestic sources may have exaggerated to attempt to make Snowden look like a criminal (a thief and a traitor)–and that is the US Government’s ultimate end goal, even though it was (and most likely still is) the NSA that’s stealing information and recording and cataloguing hundreds of millions private citizens’ personal information.
In fact, in March of 2014, Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee, that Snowden mostly stole documents related to US military capabilities, operations, tactics, etc. Again, the whole “coup” was structured to flip the script and make Snowden look like the traitor instead of the guilty party–the NSA and the US Government.
Snowden himself attested that he carefully evaluated all of the documents he confiscated and only disclosed what was legitimately in the public interest, and that there were some documents that he did not “turn over” to journalists, though the New York Times would have all Americans believe otherwise, saying Snowden exposed US intelligence activity that helped Al-Qaeda. That was just more propaganda and the core of NSA’s cover story–how Snowden’s disclosures having a “material impact” on NSA’s ability to generate insights into counterterrorism.
Snowden knew the US Government would spare no resources coming after him for this exposure of their fraud, and is quoted saying,
“All I can say right now is the US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”
Journalists awarded the 2013 George Polk Award – which they dedicated to Snowden
Within months of the Guardian journalists (Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras–documentary film maker, and Barton Gellman) obtaining and publishing the leaked documents, media outlets worldwide published the story. The Guardian won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing the widespread surveillance of the NSA and for sparking the widespread public debate about the full extent of the US Government’s spying apparatus (PRISM).
How PRISM functioned completely unconstitutionally
Classified surveillance programs began with NSA’s direct access to Americans’ Google and Yahoo accounts. Courts also ordered Verizon to hand NSA millions of Americans’ phone records every day, including those of “high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.” NSA was also harvesting millions of email and instant messaging contact lists, and tracking and mapping the location of cell phones. In addition, NSA was shown to be secretly tapping into Google and Yahoo data centers by tapping undersea cables.
It’s no wonder why the US Government wants Snowden dead or in jail – for revealing the world’s most clandestine government-led mass-spying operation on the public ever. Top it all off with the fact that the NSA, the CIA, and GCHQ (The Government Communications Headquarters for British intelligence and the security organization responsible for providing signals intelligence to their armed forces) also spied on users of Xbox Live, Second Life and World of Warcraft. The NSA would track people’s love interests and online sexual activity in order to blackmail them or discredit them later–a powerful political tool of leverage now highly common in America.
International tensions created by Snowden’s revelations of NSA fraud and plan for continued surveillance expansion into 2016
October 2013: It was revealed that the US had spied on foreign countries using the NSA PRISM, including China, Germany, and even friendly allied nations like Spain, France, Britain, Brazil, Israel and Mexico. NSA had even targeted high-ranking leaders. Snowden showed the world how NSA was paying US private tech companies (16 spy agencies in all) for clandestine access to communication networks, totaling payments over $50 billion just during the fiscal year of 2013. (10)
Snowden also exposed NSA’s mission statement that proved they had plans to continue expanding their illegal and unethical surveillance activities. It was called SIGINT Strategy 2012 – 2016. NSA wanted to dramatically increase their control and “mastery” of the global network of information so they could acquire the capabilities to monitor and gather intelligence on “anyone, anytime, anywhere.” In fact, NSA’s stated objective was to “Collect it All,” “Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All” and “Know it All.”
January 2014: The Breaking Point – James Clapper lies through his teeth under oath to Congress about NSA’s spying
Snowden said his breaking point was when he watched the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, lie under oath to Congress. This is when Clapper outright denied to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that NSA was knowingly and wittingly collecting data on millions of Americans. At that point, Snowden says there was “no going back.” He knew then nobody else was going to expose NSA, but himself. The only reason, Snowden says, that he held off that long was because he believed Barack Obama was sincere in 2008 when he spoke of transparency and reforms.
March 2014: New revelations disclosed by Glenn Greewald via The Intercept show NSA planned to infect millions of computers with malware called “Turbine”
The NSA had plans to infect millions of computers with malware (in cooperation with the GCHQ) and “Quantumhand” – a program that featured a fake Facebook server for intercepting connections.
According to Snowden’s reports, 90% of those under online account, email, message text and phone call surveillance in the US are ordinary Americans and are not even intended targets.
By revealing his identity in Hong Kong on June 9, 2013, on film, Snowden hoped to protect his colleagues from being subjected to a man hunt regarding who was responsible for the leaks. However, part of Snowden’s whistle blowing agenda was to help others step forward, be brave, and win the fight for rights of privacy, free speech, and free press, and for the “public to have a say in how they are governed.” Snowden knew deep down that the mass surveillance program would in now way survive the test of constitutionalism. Snowden said he also handed over all the documents to American Journalists before traveling to Russia so Russian authorities would have no leverage on him.
US demanded Snowden be extradited to US to face charges of treason
The White House expressed disappointment in Hong Kong’s decision to allow Snowden to leave and go to Russia. The White House claimed they had a legally valid request to arrest him under the US–Hong Kong Surrender Agreement. The US revoked Snowden’s passport, leaving him stateless and denying his right to seek asylum, even though he had not been convicted of anything. Snowden applied for political asylum to a total of 21 countries.
Vice President Joe Biden pressured governments to refuse his asylum petitions. Snowden worked with WikiLeaks to issue a statement accusing the US government of “using citizenship as a weapon” and as an old, bad tool of political aggression. Snowden called Obama deceptive. Days later, WikiLeaks announced Snowden had applied for asylum to six more countries that would not be named so the US could not interfere.
Snowden officially recognized by European Parliament as a whistle-blower and international human rights defender
Snowden said the charges the American Government and President Obama were bringing to him were not charges that allowed him to defend himself and explain to a jury that all of this was done on the public’s behalf, so Snowden wanted no part of returning to America.
October, 2015: European Parliament voted to drop criminal charges against Snowden and prevent third party extradition. They recognized his status as a “whistle-blower and international human rights defender.”
Snowden later tweeted a message saying that the whole event was a “game-changer” and “not a blow against the US government”, but rather “a chance to move forward.
Genocide and population reduction enthusiasts Bill and Melinda Gates get presidential medal of freedom while Snowden called a traitor for exposing corrupt NSA
Bill Gates, who poses as a philanthropist, but has ulterior motives, like reducing the world population by 5 billion people over the next two decades using vaccines, as he stated himself at a TED conference, (11) also pushes cancer-causing GMO foods in African nations and India. This genocidal billionaire fits the globalist agenda and so is awarded by Obama, another globalist that supports a communist agenda, as if he were some type of hero, all while vilifying a true American hero–Edward Snowden. Gates is all but guilty of crimes against humanity and viewed by many as one of the most evil manipulators on planet Earth. (5)
The Gates Foundation goes into African nations and pushes vaccines that sterilize young women and lead to children “shedding” the very diseases they are supposedly “inoculated against.” Gates has gone on record saying vaccines injected into 3rd world countries’ children are used to “reduce population growth.” For example, the polio vaccine implemented in India actually caused more than 47,000 cases of severe paralysis. Still, the US Government calls the infamous Bill Gates a hero and conversely Edward Snowden an international traitor and a criminal, all for exposing the criminal actions of mass surveillance and eavesdropping of citizens by the National Security Agency.
Snowden evades US authorities via Ecuador’s political asylum
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks helped Snowden stay free of American unwarranted persecution. (12) However, Snowden was far from being 100% safe there, as the US government has a track record of running covert kidnapping and abduction operations out of Ecuador, as per the story of anti-cancer herbalist Greg Caton, who was kidnapped by US authorities in Ecuador in 2009 and flown to Miami. (3)
Caton’s activities weren’t even illegal in Ecuador, but the US government’s fight to not find a cure for cancer led them to cut off Caton’s supply of anti-cancer salves to US customers and dispatch a covert team of government goons to bribe officials in Ecuador so they could kidnap Caton. This was all done outside the law, with no extradition request and no due process. This is exactly what Snowden must watch out for during his stint there.
Pending lawsuits filed against US and UK governments for breach of privacy laws
Lawsuits have been filed against Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Linkedin, Dropbox and Microsoft for allowing their companies to disclose personal information. For the ultimate embarrassment of NSA and the US Government, the US seeks to extradite Snowden and put him in prison for life, or even execute him. Even though Snowden did every US citizen a huge favor in the name of their personal rights and Constitutional guarantees, the Obama administration wants Snowden in jail or dead. In fact, the Obama administration has prosecuted more people under the Espionage Act for leaks to the press than all previous administrations combined.
Currently, the US indictment for Edward Snowden brings the charges of unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. He’s also been charged with theft and two charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. He could spend 30 years in prison for all of this, and they could add a whole second set of charges later. There is no “whistle-blower defense” allowed for charges under the Espionage Act, and that’s why Snowden will never return to the US, unless the new President Trump pardons him entirely. (7)
Federal judge said US government’s once-secret collection of domestic phone records is unconstitutional
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” … “Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.” Judge Leon also rejected the government’s argument that a 1979 Maryland case provided precedent for the collection of phone metadata because public use of phones had massively increased over the past three decades. Plus, NSA failed to cite even one single incidence where they actually stopped an imminent attack by collecting this metadata.
The Guardian’s Greenwald said the judge’s ruling vindicates what Snowden accomplished, saying,
“I think it’s not only the right, but the duty of an American citizen in Edward Snowden’s situation to come forward, at great risk to himself, and inform his fellow citizens about what it is their government is doing in the dark that is illegal.”
There are no revisions for this post.