On general principles, I am opposed to government surveillance of me or any American (or most Europeans for that matter) that is not under the control of a court. And while the secret court protests that it is not a rubber stamp, that is exactly how they have acted. This isn’t a new thing. It goes back to Echelon which dates from the Clinton Administration. That’s why I have always found it difficult to accept the official line of Snowden as traitor. "Edward Snowden is a Patriot": Ex-NSA CIA, FBI and Justice Whistleblowers Meet Leaker in Moscow | Democracy Now!.
A group of whistle-blowers flew to Moscow to give Snowden an award.
They are former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, former National Security Agency senior executive Thomas Drake, and former U.S. Justice Department ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack, now of the Government Accountability Project. On Wednesday, the group presented Snowden with an award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.
The old East German secret police (Stazi – not exactly secret) essentially had a motto of “Know Everything.” Congress and the past several administrations have created a surveillance state that would have had the Stazi turning cartwheels. They know everything.
How often do you use your cell-phone? To check messages, to search the internet, to update Facebook, whatever. They know where you are, who you are with, everything. That is not the way America is supposed to be. But many things are not the way they are supposed to be.
Sam Adams wasn’t the guy from the Boston Tea Party. Ray McGovern explains.
He was given the account to count up how many communist forces were under arms in South Vietnam, and discovered in 1967 that there were twice as many as our generals in Saigon would admit to. They said there could be no more than 299,000 enemy under arms. The precision of that number, sound like 1,429 people gassed to death in Damascus? The specificity of the thing gives it away. In any case, he fought the good fight, but his uppers, the superiors, director helms, caved and would not tell the president the real story. And Sam went to his death with profound regret that he didn’t go outside of channels. He stayed inside channels, where he got diddled and diddled and diddled by the inspector general of the Pentagon, of the CIA. And had he spoken out in 1967, halfway through that war, those of you who know what the Vietnam Memorial looks like, the whole left part of that memorial wouldn’t be there, because there’d be no names to chisel into that granite. And Sam went to his early death with profound regret that he hadn’t spoken out.