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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Edward Snowden is being Vindicated?

By Douglas V. Gibbs, AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Edward Snowden is considered by the left-wing elitists in the federal government to be a traitor, while Hillary Clinton's actions with a private email server are dismissed even though her server was easy to hack into, and it contained confidential information in some of the emails.  In the case of Snowden, his aim was to expose the national security holes and surveillance against Americans concerns that he had seen.

Despite the demonization by the NSA and the Obama administration, the reality is that Snowden set off alarm bells at the agency that needed to be ringing.  Before he leaked the documents, Snowden said, he had repeatedly attempted to raise his concerns inside the NSA about its surveillance of U.S. citizens — and the agency had done nothing.

A Snowden email from April 2013 asked questions about the "interpretation of legal authorities" related to the agency's surveillance programs.  NSA spokesperson Marci Green Miller claims Snowden's attempt to get the NSA's attention did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse. Since then, and since the demonization of Snowden has been applied with full force, the NSA, it turns out, has not been telling the public the whole story about Snowden's contacts with oversight authorities before he became the most celebrated and vilified whistleblower in U.S. history.

Hundreds of internal NSA documents, declassified and released to VICE News in response to the organization's long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, reveal now for the first time that not only was the truth about the "single email" more complex and nuanced than the NSA disclosed to the public, but that Snowden had a face-to-face interaction with one of the people involved in responding to that email. The documents, made up of emails, talking points, and various records — many of them heavily redacted — contain insight into the NSA's interaction with the media, new details about Snowden's work, and an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the efforts by the NSA, the White House, and US Senator Dianne Feinstein to discredit Snowden.

The trove of more than 800 pages along with several interviews conducted by VICE News, offer unprecedented insight into the NSA during this time of crisis within the agency. And they call into question aspects of the US government's long-running narrative about Snowden's time at the NSA.

The details can be read at the Vice News article: Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.

That all said, do I think Snowden is some kind of hero?  Not necessarily.  But, he did reveal a lot of things we needed to know about how the government is becoming even more tyrannical. . .and the response by the federal government has been even more telling.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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