Aug 5, 2013
Russia has just granted asylum for one year to Edward Snowden, who exposed the vast network of domestic spying carried out by the U.S. government against the American people.
The secret documents provided by Snowden to journalist and human rights advocate, Glenn Greenwald, demonstrated that the government collects ALL private communications by telephone and internet – of the ENTIRE population in the U.S. and most of the rest of the planet.
For almost 12 years, the U.S. government has put through one repressive law after another, using the 9-11 terrorist attacks as justification. For years, large parts of the population seemed blind to what was happening. The Snowden documents finally seem to have blasted through this vast propaganda machine. Recent polls show that a majority see Snowden as a whistle-blower, not a traitor.
That explains why Congress suddenly became defenders of “civil liberties.” The House of Representatives nearly passed an amendment to de-fund the bulk collection of data by the National Security Agency. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, the arch-reactionary Republican who was one of the sponsors of the Patriot Act, said he wanted to rein in surveillance programs set up by that act. Even Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest backers of these repressive police powers, now says she might accept some changes.
No one should have illusions about any “reforms” that Congress might soon pass. They are the ones who pushed the reactionary policies through in the first place.
As for the Obama administration, it continues to pursue Edward Snowden to the ends of the earth. Their vicious actions prove the basic mission of the NSA and other spy agencies used against the American population has not changed.