accountability

Of course there’s next to no press coverage of it, but a United States court of law yesterday found that the National Security Agency acted illegally in its mass surveillance of US citizens’ telephone data and lying about it. As reported by Reuters, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declared it may have been unconstitutional as well.

The government’s assertion that the warrantless surveillance program of its own citizens served to fight domestic extremism also fell flat in the courtroom as the court ruled that the records did not support such claims.

This is a WIN for the American people. This is a WIN for the American Civil Liberties Union that helped bring the suit. It is also a WIN for courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden who disclosed the crime in 2013, and who remains in exile under threat of the US government’s use of the Espionage Act against him for said truth-telling.

It is wonderful to see a victory in the category of what’s right, but, somehow, and sadly, I do not think that this will reassure Snowden that it might be safe to come home to the country for which he so bravely stood up at such great personal cost.

It’s way past time that we recognize folks like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange as the heroes they are. It is despicable that the powers that be continue to malign them, hunt them down, imprison them, torture them, and more using the empowerment and funding of the people these heroes sought to protect. It is way past time that we demand that those entities serve their people legally and constitutionally, with transparency and accountability.

As usual, folks, the responsibility is ours to raise our voices and seek what’s right.

truth and transparency

veru3_10_19

Unbelievably, unthinkably, reprehensibly – Chelsea Manning is once again jailed. This news flits across the feed and is quickly buried. But we ignore this story at our peril.

Chelsea Manning is a truth-teller. In this latest go-round, she is again carefully and deliberately taking a stand for truth and transparency. It is a stand taken on my behalf, on your behalf. She is putting herself on the line for what is right and for the good of her fellow humans.

She is fully aware, after seven years in prison, of what she’s getting herself into. She is one of those few brave souls willing to stand up for truth, to hold the powers that be accountable, at a terrible personal cost.

Her story is, of course, obfuscated and tinted by those powers as they continue their long, cruel persecution. But the reality is that she is a hero, and deserves our support. 

Free Chelsea Manning. Truth and transparency.