You’ll likely see many petitions this week circulating around the awful legal confirmation of the unaccountable national surveillance state, including several to pardon Edward Snowden (I’ve seen one on CREDO via Nathan Woodhull and another on the White House site to pardon that already has 14k signatures of 100k needed to receive an answer).
Incredible reporting by Glenn Greenwald and team at The Guardian U.S (and of course you’ve seen the Snowden video interview by now, but if you’ve been putting it off, I encourage you to load it, it’s phenomenal).
“President Obama, if you believe in NSA surveillance, we challenge you to a live, public debate with Edward Snowden.” (link)
To be sure, it’s a bit of a hook. But significantly, in my view – in challenging the Administration to a public debate, it builds on the Obama Administration’s lack of good faith in public disclosure, President Obama’s empty claims that he “welcomes this debate”, and precisely the question of whether the American public deserves a full reckoning of these domestic spying programs & data retention systems.
I think we do, I think this is a pitch with wide bi-partisan appeal, and I think former Sen. Russ Feingold had the issue right in 2001 when he voted against the Patriot Act as a slippery slope to this degree of centralized ongoing warrantless surveillance. As Chris Hayes wrote on micropublishing on Friday, “When congress passes something and president signs it, but it plausibly violates the Consitution, it can be challenged in court. But that basic check is essentially rendered impotent w/r/t any surveillance state activities. So the most fundamental check is absent.”
(For more background on the corrupting legal implications, see Conor Friesdorf’s piece in The Atlantic yesterday, and of course more substantive analysis & breaking news forthcoming on All In with Chris Hayes, I’m sure.) Please feel free to circulate the petition above as another take on outraged, principled response to this hugely important national abuse.
Questions & comments welcome, I’m david at ppolitics.org over email, #opengovernment on Freenode.net in IRC and davidmooreppf on Skype.