Posts Tagged ‘whistleblower’

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By @anarchyroll

What do you call a transgender person in the military who provides Wikileaks with access to one of the largest data collections of the US military to ever be made public?

Her name is Chelsea Manning. When she first made world-wide headlines she was known as Bradley Manning. A person at the center of one of the biggest news stories of all time. Manning will finally walk out of military prison this spring. Barack Obama commuted the sentence on one of his final days in office.

There is something about giving up ones freedom to expose not simply the truth, but the hidden truth. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully by people in positions of power and authority.

We all see injustice in our lives. Living life means to witness injustice. There is so much good in the world, but there is also a lot of bad. To stare the good in face and actually do something about it is commendable. To do something knowing there will be a negative personal consequence is admirable. When those consequences are solitary confinement in military prison, well, now we’re talking about a whole new level.

Cowardice is the standard in the developed world. Bravery is showcased in clothing choices and mate selection. Passive aggressive no longer aptly fits the abeyant nature of the modern condition.

Many were too scared to even look at some of the video material Manning leaked. Many more don’t have the conviction to read much of the other material manning leaked that shows the true nature and motives of modern warfare. It makes sense that many of those same people would reflect their self-hatred for those failures of character onto someone who has them in spades and is one of those millennial cross dressers to boot.

There are many people who don’t even want to look another person in the eye on the bus, at the coffee shop, or waiting in line at the grocery store. Are people like that going to stare down solitary confinement in a military prison in the face, and still take action to serve the greater good in the face of being called a traitor by their government and fellow (hu)man?

We accept many wrongs as the norm. Chelsea Manning refused to do this. The price for consent or defiance of these norms is the same, freedom. The norm is to accept our gender whether we are congruent with it or not. The norm is to accept what the Military Industrial Complex does regardless of cost or collateral damage. Both of these norms are very powerful and entrenched.

Just as passive aggressive is no longer a suitable term for confrontation in the modern condition, brave is not a suitable term for what Chelsea Manning has done for the global village. A living, breathing dark knight. Hated and maligned for being very ordinary yet willing to do the extraordinary without care for the personal cost she must pay and has paid.

Not a martyr, a harbinger. A symbol of the future. A future where we don’t accept or stay silent about what is wrong regardless of perceived norms. A symbol of hope. Hope for every confused coward that walks through life in a daze that they can tangibly change themselves and the world. An icon of the millennial generation that desperately needs heroes of substance over style.

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by @anarchyroll

Life is shades of gray. Black and white, right and wrong seems to increasingly be in the eye of the beholder. Edward Snowden to say the least is a controversial figure. A hero to some, a traitor to others? Did he break numerous laws? Yes. Did he do the American public a great service? Yes.

Privacy is a unique topic of discussion. It is a special issue in that the vast majority of people regardless of political affiliation, gender, race, or religion believe we as humans are entitled to our privacy. From the strictest catholic straight white man to the most flamboyant, liberal, multi racial, transgender. If we didn’t value privacy, there would be no suburbs, there would be no houses, there would be no doors.

The first world may have given up its privacy unknowingly/ignorantly as it embraced smartphones and free internet services over the past decade. When Edward Snowden helped reveal to America and the world the scale of privacy invasion being purposefully deployed by the US government on its citizens, the outrage was split evenly.

One part anger at the government for abuse of power, one part at Snowden for breaking the law and potentially endangering military operation(s), and one part anger at ourselves for being willfully blind to what we as a society didn’t want to think about or acknowledge…that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The free services that seemed too good to be true, were. We have been paying for Facebook, Google, Spotify and the like with our personal data and privacy.

It is human nature to direct and reflect self-hatred outward. That is what Edward Snowden‘s critics are doing. They are angry that he let the world know that which we wish we didn’t. That we are being watched.

That is what he blew the whistle about. That is why he is in exile in Russia. That is why the newspapers that he leaked his information to are swimming in Pulitzer Prizes. Because he removed all shadow of doubt that the government is indeed watching us. They’re watching us, listening to us, tracking us, and there is nothing we can do to stop them. Just typing that out makes me angry. Reading it probably makes you angry or apathetic, both are natural.

It’s natural to point the finger and blame a person. It’s natural to label one person as an enemy.

Snowden is not the enemy. Trying to profit from the information would have made him the enemy. Staying silent, blind, deaf, and dumb would have made him the enemy. But rather than stay comfortable, he took the road less traveled by. He faced the fear of being classified an enemy of the US government. But whistleblowers are not the enemy of the people. They are some of our greatest allies. Snowden is an ally of freedom, an ally of privacy, an ally of innate human rights. Snowden shouldn’t need a pardon but whistleblower protections have failed him. He did the right thing for the public, let’s do the right thing for him, and push for a pardon so he can come home.

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By @anarchyroll

News as significant as the Panama Papers doesn’t come around that often, unless it’s a news about how bad global warming is getting. That is becoming a weekly occurrence.

The Panama Papers’ place in history places the document leak right up with Edward Snowden, Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and Wikileaks in its prime.

What the Panama Papers does is removes the illusion that the wealthy care about the poor. It destroys the myth that money trickles down from the top to the bottom. The wealthy don’t give a shit about anything other than getting richer, keeping what they have, to ensure they remain the haves, and that the have nots stay that way.

Just like it has always been. The 99% vs the 1% was once known as the castle owners versus the serfs. All the poors will ever be to those with wealth are serfs. A bunch of ignorant mouth breathers who don’t deserve to live a life of privilege.

The Panama Papers proves that those with wealth will take extraordinary measures to opt out of the social contract. That even though they could not possibly acquire a fortune without society, that they do not under any circumstance want to give back.
How do the rich give back? Not with charity but with taxes. We as a society need taxes. We need taxes to build our infrastructure to ensure our bridges don’t collapse and that our water pipes aren’t poisoning us with lead.

We need taxes to create housing and counseling for the mentally ill, physically handicapped, and generationally underprivileged. That is what the public sector and more importantly, public service is for.

If the rich, wealthy, private sector could be relied upon to help society better than the public sector, wouldn’t they have done it by now? The concentration of wealth is greater now than at any other point in modern history. So are the billionaires of the world repaving our roads, repairing our water pipes, building schools, shelters, asylums, and municipal Wi-Fi? No, they are putting the consumerism, capitalism ideology on steroids and crashing the economies’ of the world cyclically.

Private islands, mega yachts, vacation homes, third cars, personal jets, spa getaways, and tax havens. They go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, caviar and foie gras, VIP bottle service and hookers.

After all they worked for that money, except for the trust fund crowd.

Remember, its not the local café owner, franchise retail manager, regional bank president, or serial entrepreneur whose economic terrorism has been exposed by the Panama Papers. Its not the rich, it’s the wealthy. Were talking Bill Gates money, not Oprah money.

Whether it is distrust of specific governments, municipalities or just the public sector in general is irrelevant. Infrastructures are crumbling, people are starving, coastal communities are eroding, species going extinct, and these greedy fuckers only care about having enough money to one up each other in the game of thee who dies with the most toys wins.

 

By @anarchyroll
12/6/15

Do you know who Edward Snowden is? Probably.

Do you have an opinion on Edward Snowden? Definitely.

If there’s one thing that I have learned since Snowden popped his whistleblowing cherry, it’s that everyone has an opinion about him whether they know who he is or not. He is either a hero or a traitor. There is no in between or gray area for the masses for this man.

He is either the alpha patriot or the omega cyber terrorist. He either deserves to be given a medal or a noose around his neck.

The United States government on the record believes Edward Snowden to be a traitor who if ever captured will be tried as such. The United States and our allies are the good guys of the world. We protect the masses from the bad guys preemptively when possible, and defeat the bad guys by force when plausible.

Europe generally, and the European Union specifically have been an ally of America for quite some time. The Allied Powers of Word War II naturally comes to mind. One need not be up to the minute on international relations, politics, or events to know that Europe and America have a very positive and professional relationship regardless of specific country or state.
The European Union Parliament recently voted to give Edward Snowden asylum and to offer it to him with as little difficult as possible.

Can you imagine the EU doing this to someone the US government labeled a communist traitor during the Cold War

It’s not a radical example at all. Snowden is currently in Russia.

How can Snowden be a traitor of the highest level in the United States yet our greatest ally is now formally welcoming him with open arms? This was not a random, one off, toothless statement by some drunk politician. This was the equivalent of the United States Congress offering asylum to a man that a country like France had labeled a traitor.
Edward Snowden has become the very public face of a very private world. The world of big data, cyber crime, cyber warfare, and privacy in the digital world.

For better or for worse, whether one agrees or disagrees with his method, Snowden has brought about as important a conversation that can be had in the digital age. One can be the biggest supporter of government surveillance while still admitting that Snowden has spurred a healthy debate on the issue.

Do we not have the right to at least know we are being watched and recorded every time we use our smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and any other device that is connected to the internet? The fact is, most people, especially in America simply didn’t know or assume this before Snowden.

A whistleblower is different than a criminal. A whistleblower is different than a traitor. Is that not why the people behind the Pentagon Papers were not executed for treason?

It was very easy to paint Snowden as a traitor to America since he leaked government secrets to the public and has since taken barely secret residence in Russia. The EU formally offering him asylum turns the black and white into a very murky shade of gray.

Considering how many broadcast news stations have had in person interviews with Snowden since he received asylum in Russia indicates that he is not America’s most wanted. After recent terrorist attacks and mass shootings across America and its allies, it is clear that Snowden is not a terrorist even if one views him as a traitor.

If however, he has been formally offered asylum by America’s greatest and longest standing allies…how can he be a traitor?

by @anarchyroll
11/7/2013

“Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public,” he wrote. “Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”  Edward Snowden from “A Manifesto for the Truth” in German newspaper Der Spiegel published at the same time President Barack Obama denied the NSA whistleblower’s appeal for clemency.

This despite acknowledgement from both houses of the legislative branch and the executive branch of the United States government that his revelations have brought about a necessary dialogue and policy revision(s).  Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to peel back and/or halt the massive data collection of the National Security Agency.  The author of the Patriot Act that enabled the NSA metadata collection addiction has called for a re write to halt current and prevent future massive data trove collection.  Does this sound like change brought about by a traitor denied clemency?

If Snowden brought about these healthy democratic changes, why would he be denied clemency? Is it because he “stole” digital government documents?  Daniel Ellsberg isn’t living abroad, disallowed from entering the continental United States.  Is it because of his whistle blowing? Or is it perhaps because the presidents or prime ministers of Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and Spain have accused the United States and the NSA of assaulting each country’s sovereignty with their massive metadata collection.  Or in the case of Germany, tapping into the phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ask yourself, is Edward Snowden being denied clemency because he did something wrong? Or is he being denied clemency for causing international blowback for the United States government.  Is he being denied clemency for making it harder for the United States to secretly break international laws and Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution?  If he did something so wrong, why is another member of the United Nations and G8 willing to grant him asylum?