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Monday, July 15, 2013

I Have No Regrets

I Have No Regrets

By Edward Snowden
Information Clearing House
Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I
had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort.

I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize,
and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any
time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law.

The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country,
Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and
numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive,
pervasive surveillance.

While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my
government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is
not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair.

These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice –
that it must be seen to be done.

The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945:

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national
obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the
duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and
humanity from occurring."

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to
correct this wrongdoing.

I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets.
I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my
safety.

Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of
us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked
the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all
of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have
no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the
United States of America have attempted to make an example of
me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have.

I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political
expression.

The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists.

It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of
its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement –
the Law of Nations.

It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up
for my human rights and the UN asylum system.

It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies
to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political
refugee.

These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the
dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every
person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek
and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression,
countries around the world have offered support and asylum.

These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua,
and Ecuador, have my gratitude and respect for being the first
to stand against human rights violations carried out by the
powerful rather than the powerless.

By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of
intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.

It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend
my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or
asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in
the future.

With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s
President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state
has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy
that asylum.

As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European
and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act
outside the law, and this behavior persists today.

This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin
America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our
shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents
a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed.

Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees
of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel
to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until
such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is
permitted.

I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be
accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35523.htm

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