Mural depicting Edward Snowden. (via Flickr)
“Unrestrained power may be many things, but it’s not American,” writes Edward Snowden. “It is in this sense that the act of whistleblowing increasingly has become an act of political resistance.”
Who better to explain these moral and legal intricacies than Snowden? The CIA whistleblower, who exposed the secret surveillance programs of the NSA in 2013, recently published an opinion piece on The Intercept in which he delves into the political and moral responsibilities of whistleblowers.
He first explains that many leaks have intentions and consequences influenced by internal politics – former CIA Director David Petraeus, for example, was barely charged for his misconduct (mishandling classified information). But, he asks, if “harmfulness and authorization make no difference, what explains the distinction between the permissible and the impermissible disclosure?”
He goes on:
The answer is control. A leak is acceptable if it’s not seen as a threat, as a challenge to the prerogatives of the institution. But if all of the disparate components of the institution — not just its head but its hands and feet, every part of its body — must be assumed to have the same power to discuss matters of concern, that is an existential threat to the modern political monopoly of information control, particularly if we’re talking about disclosures of serious wrongdoing, fraudulent activity, unlawful activities. If you can’t guarantee that you alone can exploit the flow of controlled information, then the aggregation of all the world’s unmentionables — including your own — begins to look more like a liability than an asset.
In light of recent leaks, like the Drone Papers published last October, it is crucial that whistleblowers examine their role and their potential impact. Snowden explains the moral challenges they face:
As someone who works in the intelligence community, you’ve given up a lot to do this work. You’ve happily committed yourself to tyrannical restrictions. You voluntarily undergo polygraphs; you tell the government everything about your life. You waive a lot of rights because you believe the fundamental goodness of your mission justifies the sacrifice of even the sacred. It’s a just cause.
And when you’re confronted with evidence — not in an edge case, not in a peculiarity, but as a core consequence of the program — that the government is subverting the Constitution and violating the ideals you so fervently believe in, you have to make a decision. When you see that the program or policy is inconsistent with the oaths and obligations that you’ve sworn to your society and yourself, then that oath and that obligation cannot be reconciled with the program. To which do you owe a greater loyalty?
Read the entire piece on The Intercept here.
—Posted by Emma Niles
- April 18, 2016 New Document Shows the CIA Is Investing in Data-Mining Firms
- April 16, 2016 Robert Scheer Talks With Journalist Jason Leopold About the Power of the FOIA (Audio)
Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation
Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
pathogens and gives you more
energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video)