Edward Snowden Comes to Defense of Jailed NSA Contractor Reality Winner

3

(Common Dreams) A day after her arrest was announced publicly by the U.S. Justice Department, Reality Winner, the 25-year-old alleged source of a leaked National Security Agency document detailing Russian hacking efforts, has found a vocal ally in the world’s best known whistleblower of the contemporary era: Edward Snowden.

Snowden, who first made headlines around the world in 2013 when he went public as the source of a massive trove of NSA documents detailing the agency’s global “collect-it-all” surveillance dragnet, released a statement Tuesday evening saying that while much remains unknown about the details of the case, the Justice Department’s decision to file charges under the ‘Espionage Act’ is deeply troubling.

“This often-condemned law,” he explained, “provides no space to distinguish the extraordinary disclosure of inappropriately classified information in the public interest—whistleblowing—from the malicious disclosure of secrets to foreign governments by those motivated by a specific intent to harm to their countrymen.

Snowden further argues that Winner should be released on bail pending her trial and said that for the government to hold any “citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage” anyone concerned about the free press, whistleblower protections, or the public’s right to know.

Released on the website of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a journalism advocacy group for which Snowden serves as board president, his statement follows in full:

The Justice Department released an indictment of twenty five year-old NSA contractor Reality Winner yesterday, just a few hours after the Intercept posted a story based on a top secret document that described how the NSA believes Russian actors tried to hack into US voting infrastructure. Much is unknown, as the public is made to depend upon the potentially unreliable claims of government prosecutors, while Winner is held in jail without any contact with the public.

What we do know is clear: Winner is accused of serving as a journalistic source for a leading American news outlet about a matter of critical public importance. For this act, she has been charged with violating the Espionage Act—a World War I era law meant for spies—which explicitly forbids the jury from hearing why the defendant acted, and bars them from deciding whether the outcome was to the public’s benefit. This often-condemned law provides no space to distinguish the extraordinary disclosure of inappropriately classified information in the public interest—whistleblowing—from the malicious disclosure of secrets to foreign governments by those motivated by a specific intent to harm to their countrymen.

The prosecution of any journalistic source without due consideration by the jury as to the harm or benefit of the journalistic activity is a fundamental threat to the free press. As long as a law like this remains on the books in a country that values fair trials, it must be resisted.

No matter one’s opinions on the propriety of the charges against her, we should all agree Winner should be released on bail pending trial. Even if you take all the government allegations as true, it’s clear she is neither a threat to public safety nor a flight risk. To hold a citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage us all.


 


Anonymous recommends: Click Here To Surf & Download Anonymously, Protect Yourself From Any Hackers Or Spy Agencies And Get Around Censorship Filters

Click here to follow us on steemit.com, the decentralized social media platform with no censorship and get paid for your posts, likes and comments!

 
SHARE

3 COMMENTS

  1. There’s no question about U.S using it’s spearhead of capitalism to penetrate other countries, and other countries like Israel or U.K or U.A.E each using their own capabilities, but one thing that we might end up leaking as we reveal their hands and bring balance is that while these world powers mentioned all have their own agenda, one is hiding out there waiting for slightest leverage of ANY country whatsoever and uses that to intervene in as much of their internal affairs as it can and has proven extremely successful in destablizing many countries over the course of past century through this very opportunism, yielding their political desires at the cost of ordinary people’s lives.
    That’s Russia, and as we reactively try to distance ourselves from the western media which are unquestionably brainwashing people into their superficial lies, we the concerned activists are subject to the lethal threat of falling victim to the Russian propaganda that unlike the western media which’s nature is based on countering western people’s pursuit of honesty, reaches out for us with any name but Russia itself and comes in as many layers of stacked disinformation and disguise as is needed to exploit western people’s disbelief in such nasty tactics.
    What matters now for us westerns is to take extreme care that we don’t end up doing the espionage labor for Russia as Obama tried to spoon-feed us, through hacking our own governments in absolute oblivion of the fact Russia is sitting out there in the background silently, gathering everything we leak and ACTIVELY ingesting it into it’s agenda for checkmating the west.
    Thats already driving us to a point where we’re soaring the illusion of defeating capitalist state power while we’re actually welcoming the communistic fascism that we’re observing in the middle east and former USSR region covered in a velvet glove.
    Think through and maintain balance, or we the anonymous keep going where Russia wants us to: Laborers for their intelligence service.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.