This video is quite inspirational to me! And surprisingly so, because it’s hosted by the Socialism Conference. Rarely are people this fired up. Here leftists enthusiastically rally to oppose President Obama’s unconstitutional violations! Amazing!
Jeremy Scahill is also excellent in his fervor to do what is right!
I love what Glenn says about courage!
And he was very impressed by Edward Snowden’s commitment to do what’s right no matter what!
Glenn Greenwald Speaks Out
Published on Jun 28, 2013
Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program. Introductions by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and the filmmaker behind Dirty Wars, and Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism. #Socialism2013 #Snowden #NSA
Check out more audio and video recordings from the Socialism 2013 conference at http://www.wearemany.org
* * *
From: Glenn Greenwald’s Speech to the Socialism Conference [with Transcript]
When I got to Hong Kong and I met him for the first time, I was more disoriented and just completely confused than I think I had ever been in my life. Not only wasn’t he sixty-five. He was twenty-nine, but he looked much younger. And so, when we went back to his hotel room and began questioning him—it was Laura Poitras, the filmmaker, and I, who went back to his hotel room—what I really wanted to understand more than anything else was what it is that led him to make this extraordinary choice in part because I didn’t want to be part of an event that would destroy somebody’s life if they weren’t completely open-eyed and rational about the decision they were making but also in part because I really wanted to understand, just for my own sense of curiosity, what would lead somebody with their entire live in front of him, who had a perfectly desirable life living with his long-time girlfriend in Hawaii with career stability, a reasonable well-paying job—What would lead somebody to throw all that away and become an instant fugitive and somebody who would probably spend the rest of their life in a cage.
The more I spoke with him about it, the more I understood, and the more overwhelmed I became and the more of a formative experience it had for me and will have for the rest of my life because what he told me over and over in different ways—and it was so pure and passionate that I never doubted its authenticity for a moment—is that there is more to life than material comfort or career stability or trying to simply prolong your life as long possible. What he continuously told me is he judged his life not by the things he thought about himself but by the actions he took in pursuit of those beliefs.
When I asked him how he got himself to the point where he was willing to take the risk that he knew he was taking, he told me that he for a long time had been looking for a leader, somebody who would come and fix these problems. And then one day he realized there’s no point in waiting or a leader, that leadership is about going first and setting and example for others. What he ultimately said was he simply didn’t want to live in a world where the United States government was permitted to engage in these extraordinary invasions, to build a system that had as its goal the destruction of all individual privacy, that he didn’t want to live in a world like that and that he could not in good conscience standby and allow that to happen knowing that he had the power to help stop it.
The thing that was most striking to me about this was I was with him for eleven straight days. I was with him when he was unknown because we hadn’t yet divulged who his identity was and I watched him watch the debates unfold on CNN and NBC and MSNBC and every other channel around the world that he had really hoped to provoke with the actions he had taken. And I also watched him once he had been revealed that he had become the most wanted man in the world, that official Washington was calling him a traitor, was calling for his head. What was truly staggering and continues to be staggering to me was there was never an iota, never any remorse or regret or fear in any way. This was an individual completely at peace with the choice that he had made because the choice that he made was so incredibly powerful.
I was incredibly inspired myself by being in proximity to somebody to somebody who had reached a state of such tranquility because they were so convicted that what they had done was right and his courage and that passion infected me to the point where I had vowed that no matter what I did in my life with this story and beyond that I would devote myself to doing justice to the incredible act of self-sacrifice that Edward Snowden had made.
* * *
What I actually started to realize about all this is two things. Number one, courage is contagious. If you take a courageous step as an individual, you will literally change the world because you will affect all sorts of people in your immediate vicinity, who will then affect others and then affect others. You should never doubt your ability to change the world. The other thing that I realized is it doesn’t matter who you are as an individual or how formidable or powerful the institutions that you want to challenge are. Mr. Snowden is a high school dropout. His parents work for the federal government. He grew up in a lower middle class environment in a military community in Virginia. He ended up enlisting in the United States Army because he thought the Iraq War at first was noble. He then did the same with the NSA and the CIA because he thought those institutions were noble. He’s a person who has zero privilege, zero power, zero position and zero prestige and yet he by himself has literally changed the world and therefore [so can you]. …
The reason why it’s always so common for people like Edward Snowden to be demonized, the reason it’s so important to attribute psychological illness—the way they did with Bradley Manning, the way they try to do with all whistleblowers, the way they tried to do with Daniel Ellsberg—is because they precisely know what I said, which is that courage is contagious. And that he will set an example for other people to similarly come forward and blow the whistle on the corrupt and illegal and deceitful things that they’re doing in the dark. They need to make a negative example so that doesn’t happen and that’s the reason why people like Edward Snowden are so demonized and attacked and it’s why it’s up to all of us to defend him and hold him up as the noble example that he is so he [does get proper recognition].
* * *
Another document that I probably shouldn’t share since it’s not published but I am going to share it with you anyway—and this one’s coming soon but you’re getting a little preview—It talks about how a brand new technology enables the National Security Agency to redirect into its repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day, one billion cell phone calls every single day.
What we are really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency. It doesn’t mean they’re listening to every call. It means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon million upon millions of our phone and email records. It is a globalized system designed to destroy all privacy and what’s incredibly menacing about it is it is all taking place in the dark, with no accountability and virtually no safeguards and the purpose of our story and the purpose of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing is not singularly or unilaterally to destroy those systems.
* * *
So the last point I want to make is that one of the things I set out to do and I think that Mr. Snowden set out to do and that I know the people at The Guardian set out to do was not simply to publish some stories about the NSA. It was to really shake up the foundations of the corrupted and rotted roots of America’s political and media culture. And the reason I say that is that there is an economist Dean Baker, who yesterday on Twitter wrote that he thinks the stories that we’re doing are shining as much light on the corruption of American journalism as they are on the corruption of the National Security Agency.
I think that is true for several different reasons. Number one is if you look at the “debate” over—the charming, very endearing debate over whether or not I should be arrested, prosecuted and then imprisoned under Espionage Act statutes for doing journalism—What you find is that debate is being led by other people who are TV actors who play the role of journalists on TV. They’re ones who are actually leading the debate and the reason they are doing that is they purport to be adversaries of political power or watchdogs of political power but what they really are servants to political power. They’re appendages to political power.
What you find is they always lead the way in attacking whoever challenges the political system in Washington because that is the system in which they are a part. That is the system that props them up and gives them oxygen and provides them with all of their privilege, wealth and access. And I think their true role, which is not to serve as adversaries of people in government power or protect what they’re doing but to protect and shield what they are doing and amplify their message, has become more vividly exposed in the last four weeks than it has in quite a long time.
The thing that really amazes me is if you look at how whistleblowers are treated, whether it be Bradley Manning or WikiLeaks or Thomas Drake of the NSA or Edward Snowden—I can understand why Americans in general, just ordinary Americans, have ambivalence about those whistleblowers. Some people think security is more important or secrecy is something that should be decided by democratically elected representatives, not whistleblowers. That I all get, but what I don’t understand and can never believe is anybody who at any point thought of themselves as somebody who had a journalistic ethos would look at people who are shining on the world’s most powerful factions and do anything but applaud them and express gratitude for them since that’s supposed to be the function that they, the journalists, themselves are serving. And yet what you find is the exact opposite.\
(video) Fmr Agent Russell Tice Accuses Obama, NSA Of LYING — “NSA, today, is COLLECTING EVERYTHING — including CONTENT — of every digital communication in this country, both COMPUTER and PHONE, and that information is being STORED INDEFINITELY”
Fmr Agent Russ Tice: NSA has been BLACKMAILING Supreme Court judges, Congressmen and PRESIDENT OBAMA! — We must now assume the NSA is in charge, not elected representatives
[ video ] Daniel Ellsberg on Snowden, Manning, Government and Whistleblowers: Regain Democracy & Renounce Empire — Bradley Manning’s revelations forced the end of the Iraq war • NSA is storing every email and every phone conversations to be listened to when they feel like it
[ video ] Rand Paul: Director of National Intelligence James CLAPPER LIED, Edward SNOWDEN TOLD THE TRUTH!
[ video ] Ben Swann: NSA’s Criminal Activity Should Be the Focus
History Shows Bradley Manning Did NOT “Put the Troops in Harms Way”
Greenwald on ‘coming’ leak: NSA can obtain one billion cell phone calls a day, store them and listen