Exiled whistleblower Edward Snowden accepted the Ridenhour Prize for truth-telling Wednesday, given in celebration of his disclosure of the National Security Agency’s massive phone and Internet surveillance programs.Please place your left eye to the curly retina scanner below before entering this area. OR ELSE!
“A year ago there was no way I could have imagined being honored in this room,” Snowden told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., via a choppy video feed from Russia. “I realized the most likely outcome [of giving classified documents to the press] was that I would spend the rest of my life in prison.”
“We haven’t won the day … but we will get there,” he said.
From "Before It's News":
The event’s host, Danielle Brian, executive director of the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, told the luncheon crowd that “there was no meaningful or safe channel Snowden could have used, certainly not with the same impact.”From The Government Accountability Project (G.A.P.):
Overall, she said, “he is a positive influence.”
Author James Bamford, who has specialized on the NSA for decades, said, “I’m not one of those who’s uncomfortable” honoring Snowden. He said that NSA, which used to jokingly stand for “no such agency,” now stands for “not secret anymore.” Bamford said the surveillance program “became a runaway train that Snowden tried to put a brake on.”
After the story broke, Bamford said, it was clear to him that there was danger in the NSA’s tracking of Internet use –“that’s basically getting into people’s thoughts.” Bamford said he was “shocked” to see an email from NSA chief Keith Alexander praising the surveillance program for its ability to see what websites, including porn, that people were visiting, and “not terrorists, but radicals inside the United States. That hearkens back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover” in the 1960s.
At the annual Ridenhour Prizes being held later this afternoon, NSA whistleblower/GAP client Edward Snowden and journalist Laura Poitras will be officially recognized as recipients of the 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling. The award is widely considered the highest honor a whistleblower can receive, and is presented to citizens or journalists for "bringing a specific issue of social importance to the public's attention." Snowden was honored for "exposing the scope of the NSA's warrantless surveillance state," while Poitras won for her "reporting and vital role in the NSA disclosures."Can we finally dispense with the "Snowden isn't a whistle blower" nonsense now?