Former NSA, CIA, FBI and DOJ officials attend award ceremony for Edward Snowden in Moscow
In his first video appearance since being granted asylum in Russia Snowden is seen receiving the Sam Adams Award. The award is given annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, a group of retired CIA officers, to an intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics. It is named after Samuel A. Adams, a CIA whistleblower during the Vietnam War, and takes the physical form of a “corner-brightener candlestick”. Many recipients have been whistleblowers.
“This is not about any sort of particular program, this is about a trend in the relationship between the governing and the governed in America,” Snowden said speaking about the government transparency
“these programs don’t make us more safe…they limit our ability to speak, think, live and be creative” situation in the US. “That is increasingly coming into conflict with what we expect as a free and democratic people. If we can’t understand the policies and the programs of our government, we cannot grant our consent in regulating them.”
“As someone very clever said recently, we don’t have an oversight problem in the US we have an undersight problem.”
“People all over the world are realizing that these programs don’t make us more safe, they hurt our economy, they hurt our country they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships, to associate freely.”
“There’s a far cry between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement where it’s targeted, it’s based on reasonable suspicion, an individualized suspicion, and a warranted action – and a sort of dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under a sort of eye that sees everything, even when it’s not needed.”
Welcome to the new normal where the U.S. hunts down and threatens whistleblowers with prison for exposing government spy programs used on its own people while Russia hosts award ceremonies for patriots who take a stand for integrity and ethics.