World search is on to find NSA whistleblower for investigation

PrairieDogPress By PrairieDogPress, 11th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

Edward Snowden, self-professed leaker of NSA classified documents on surveillance programs is on the lamb.

Snowden may or may not be in Hong Kong

An international manhunt is underway for Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old self-proclaimed whistle-blower on the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet surveillance programs, since he disappeared from the Mira hotel in Hong Kong on Monday afternoon, subsequent to filming an explanation of his actions.

The leaker of classified government information began his plans to blow the whistle on government privacy overreach a year ago. He severed all future contact with his girlfriend, whom he lived with in Hawaii and his mother, sister and other family members living in the states.

Snowden’s leaked information was first brought to light last week by Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British paper The Guardian. Greenwald revealed that he holds more secrets uncovered by Snowden and will release them in due time. After the news began circulating on Snowden’s videoed confession; heated public debate ensued, with Snowden regarded as either a hero or a villain.

A White House petition was started on Sunday asking President Obama to give Snowden a full pardon, but that would be unlikely with many lawmakers calling for full prosecution of the whistle-blower, saying what he did was subversion and treason. The petition currently has around 45,000 signatures, with 100,000 needed for official White House response.

On Monday, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called for Snowden to be fully prosecuted and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said he was guilty of treason.

“I don't look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it's an act of treason,” said Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee as quoted in The Hill. “He violated the oath …he violated the law. It's treason.”

However, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY.), has threatened to file a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over the NSA programs.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are set to hold meetings to assess the damage behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the consequences of Snowden’s leaked information, which some have claimed jeopardizes American lives since the programs were designed to detect and disrupt terror plots.

However, while many in Congress are open to holding transparent public hearings, it would not be easy, because so much information is classified.

“Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks…it’s all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this,” said Feinstein, who claimed she would hold a hearing every month if it would be useful.

Although President Obama has said he welcomes the debate, according to a report in the New York Times, the legal obstacles to such public discussions would be “formidable.” The report went on to echo Feinstein’s concerns, “they begin with the facts that the programs at issue are highly classified and that Mr. Snowden is now a hunted man, potentially facing a prison sentence for disclosing the very secrets that started the discussion that Mr. Obama welcomed.”

Passions have been high on both sides of the issue, but polls show a majority of Americans don’t view Snowden as a free-democracy hero and recognize that after 9/11, surveillance has become a fact of life and the erosion of privacy is the price that’s paid for security.

National polls reported on Monday showed that 56 percent of Americans approve of the government data-mining and 41 percent do not. A Washington Pew poll showed 52 percent disapproved of government mining information, but 62 percent said the government shoud do all it can to protect the country from terrorist attacks.

As the world-wide hunt for Edward Snowden continues, so does the debate on civil liberties versus the expectation of government to keep Americans safe from radical extremists, both foreign and domestic.

On a lighter note, pundit Stephen Colbert wondered if Snowden's intentions were to expose govenment secrets or just a really desperate way to break up with his girlfriend.

***

Jean Williams, environmental and political journalist; PrairieDogPress writer; Artistic Director, Keystone Prairie Dogs.***PrairieDogPress is the media channel for keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising website to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. PDP uses humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded political reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the protection of threatened species, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.

Tags

Cia, Edward J Snowden, Nsa Leaks, The Guardian

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Journalist with areas of interest in general news, environment and politics.

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author avatar philpalm
12th Jun 2013 (#)

This link on xanga:http://climbuptreestolookforfish.xanga.com/773842406/thanks-for-choosing-hong-kong/?page=1&jump=1528793062&leftcmt=1#1528793062

Mentions that Snowden purposely chose Hong Kong as his sanctuary.

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author avatar PrairieDogPress
12th Jun 2013 (#)

Yep, he has been very methodical about everything he has done.

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