This video from the USA says about itself:
Number of Plots Thwarted by NSA Spying Suddenly Changed
June 18, 2013
“Some of the most senior intelligence and law enforcement officials in the United States strongly defended the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance efforts on Tuesday, saying they had disrupted more than 50 terrorist plots around the world.”*
NSA Director Keith Alexander seems to be wavering on his answer when speaking about the extent of the NSA surveillance programs and how useful this program actually is. What are the real answers, and did Alexander perjure himself? Cenk Uygur and Sam Seder (Host, Majority Report) discuss.
*Read more from The Guardian: here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Ecuador refuses to bow to US pressure over Snowden
Friday 28 June 2013
by Our Foreign Desk
Ecuador said today that it would renounce trade tariff benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars rather than bow to US demands to deny whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum.
Communications Minister Fernando Alvarez told a news conference that the trade deal had become “a new instrument of blackmail.
“In consequence,” Mr Alvarez said, “Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces said preferences.”
The angry minister said that said his country “does not accept threats from anybody, and does not trade in principles or submit to mercantile interests, as important as they may be.”
US Senate foreign relations committee chairman Senator Bob Menendez had threatened Ecuador’s trade arrangements with the US if it granted asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“Snowden is a fugitive who has endangered the national security of the US. His actions merit prosecution, not praise,” Sen Menendez snarled.
“If Snowden is granted asylum in Ecuador, I will lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador’s duty-free access and will also make sure there is no chance for renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act.”
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa … warned on Wednesday that media coverage of National Security Agency whistleblower Mr Snowden is distracting the world from the surveillance programmes that he exposed.
Mr Correa made his strongest comments to date in response to a Washington Post editorial that had referred to him as “the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador” and accused him of a double standard for welcoming a whistleblower while allegedly stifling critics at home.
“They’ve managed to focus attention on Mr Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced,” tweeted Mr Correa.
“The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” he continued.
Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan launched a new campaign pressing CIA officers to keep the intelligence agency’s dirty washing secret.
In a memo to the CIA workforce this week, Mr Brennan puffed that the “Honour the Oath” campaign is intended to “reinforce our corporate culture of secrecy.”
A former agent of the Stasi, the much-feared East German communist secret police, has said that the recently revealed NSA spying program would have been his agency’s “dream come true” because it has collected “so much information, on so many people”: here.
ECUADOR charged on Monday that US scientists had taken thousands of unauthorised blood samples from indigenous Huaorani Indians — and sold them: here.
Ecuador: WikiLeaks exposes how US sought to stop democratic process: here.
- Ecuador to US: We Won’t Be ‘Blackmailed’ over Snowden (commondreams.org)
- Ecuador breaks US trade pact to thwart ‘blackmail’ over Edward Snowden (guardian.co.uk)
- Ecuador ‘may take weeks’ to decide on NSA whistleblower’s asylum request (indiavision.com)
wish there was some way that we could support Ecuador and show our admiration for their courage and ethics
One way is the Avaaz petition about Snowden:
How to contact the embassy of Ecuador in London, England:
Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden Urge President Correa to Grant Snowden Asylum
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 26 June 2013 – 3:12pm
Dear President Correa,
We write to urge you to grant political asylum to whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Snowden’s disclosures have already done much to unveil the alarming scale of U.S. government spying on its own citizens and on people around the world. They have revealed severe overreach by the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA), which seeks to gather an overwhelming and invasive amount of information on people within the United States. Snowden has also revealed that the constant NSA surveillance also applies to millions of people outside the U.S., whose phone calls, emails and other communications are also indiscriminately targeted.
These are severe abuses of the basic constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the rights of people in other nations. Yet rather than focusing on the danger to citizens’ freedom and privacy exposed by these revelations, and what reforms are necessary to protect citizens’ rights, the Obama administration, the U.S. Congress and much of the media are again focusing their ire on the messenger – the brave whistle-blower who, at great personal risk, decided to step forward and inform the U.S. public about what is being done in their name and what is being done to them. Sadly, a great deal of the media and other institutions that should play the role of watchdog have largely abdicated their responsibility.
We have seen this drama play out several times before under the Obama administration. The administration has charged more than twice as many whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined. These have included Thomas Drake who also exposed wrongdoing at the NSA, and most notably Private Bradley Manning, who stands accused of providing Wikileaks with information that revealed U.S. war crimes, U.S. meddling in other countries’ affairs, and other grave and troubling misdeeds. Manning was held for three years before his trial under conditions that a formal U.N. investigation found to be “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”
Many of us petitioned last year for you to grant political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange, who as you know well, has been targeted by the U.S. government for publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes – most notably the “Collateral Murder” video of a U.S. helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq – and other information embarrassing to the U.S. government. The Obama administration’s consideration of Espionage Act charges against Assange and Wikileaks, via a grand jury, and bellicose rhetoric by top administration officials and members of Congress, amount to a chilling assault on freedom of the press. We were glad to see you act to support this vital freedom by recognizing Assange’s political persecution and granting him asylum and refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
As could have been the case with Assange, Manning’s treatment since his arrest shows that Snowden could be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment if he were taken into U.S. custody. There is also a grave danger that Snowden would have difficulty in receiving a fair trial in the U.S. – a point he reportedly has made in his petition for asylum. Manning’s case also shows that Snowden’s constitutional right to a “speedy” trial might also not be secure. These are all serious examples of political persecution against Manning that may await Snowden if he becomes a U.S. prisoner.
It is no doubt your courageous decision to grant Assange asylum that has encouraged Edward Snowden to also seek asylum in Ecuador. Your choice in Assange’s case was not without consequences; the U.S. and U.K. governments reacted angrily, with British police keeping Assange confined to the embassy. Since Assange is being targeted by the U.S. government, there has and no doubt will be more political repercussions. You knew this and yet you acted in the name of justice, saying “Latin America is free and sovereign and… we’ll not put up with meddling, colonialism of any kind, at least in this country, small, but with a big heart.”
Charging someone with espionage, who clearly did not commit espionage, is strong prima facie evidence of political persecution. The unprecedented quantity of whistle-blowers that have been charged under the Espionage Act by the Obama administration suggests that it is applying this law in a completely arbitrary fashion. In Snowden’s case what he has revealed are actions by the NSA that violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” There is no evidence whatsoever that his revelations have in any way threatened U.S. national security or were ever intended to do so. Yet rather than pursue reforms that would protect the rights of people in the U.S. and around the world, the Obama administration again seeks to silence those who have brought these abuses to light. These are actions of political repression, and you would be right to grant Snowden political asylum.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Oliver Stone, Film Director
Noam Chomsky, Author
Tom Hayden, Author, Peace Activist
Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam War whistleblower
Danny Glover, Film Director
Amber Heard, Actress
Shia LaBeouf, Actor
John Cusack, Actor
Roseanne Barr, Comedian
Naomi Klein, Author and Activist
Boots Riley, Musician and Community Activist
Juan Cole, Professor of Middle East History, University of Michigan
Cenk Uygur, co-founder, The Young Turks
Thomas Drake, former NSA Senior Executive, whistleblower
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent & former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel, one of three “whistleblowers” named Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002
Ambassador Joe Wilson, Iraq War whistleblower
Jacob Appelbaum, Developer, The Tor Project
Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK
Jodie Evans, Cofounder, CODEPINK
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Ret) and former US diplomat
Ray McGovern, Former U.S. Army officer and longtime senior CIA analyst (ret.)
Walter Riley, Attorney; Civil Rights Activist; Chair Haiti Emergency Relief Fund; Chair, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute
Mark Weisbrot, Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Bill Fletcher, Jr., writer/activist
Kevin Gosztola, Journalist, Firedoglake.com
John Pilger, Journalist
Ignacio Ramonet, Journalist and author
Fernando Morais, writer
Kent Spriggs, Guantanamo habeas counsel
Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action
Kathy Kelly, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Mark C. Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
Norman Solomon, Cofounder, RootsAction.org
Jeff Cohen, Founder of FAIR
Michael Beer, Executive Director, Nonviolence International
Maya Schenwar, Executive Director, Truthout
Michael Albert, co-editor, ZNet, Z Magazine
Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
Sam Husseini, Director, Washington office of the Institute for Public Accuracy
Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor of History, Pomona College
David Blacker, Prof. of Philosophy of Education & Legal Studies, U. Delaware; Editor, Education Review
Marc Becker, Professor of History, Truman State University
Adrienne Pine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, American University
C. G. Estabrook, Visiting Professor (retired), University of Illinois
Carolyn Eisenberg, Professor of US Foreign Policy, Hofstra University
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University; co-author with Oliver Stone of The Untold History of the United States
Greg Grandin , Professor of History, New York University
Betsy Hartmann, Professor, Development Studies, Hampshire College
Van Gosse, Associate Chair, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College
Falguni A. Sheth, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory, Hampshire College
Bob Buzzanco, Professor of History, University of Houston
Vijay Prashad, Professor of History and International Studies, Trinity College
Staughton Lynd, Historian and peace activist
Marilyn Young, Historian, New York University
William Robinson, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sinclair Thomson, Associate Professor of History, New York University
T.M. Scruggs, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Iowa; Executive Producer, TheRealNews.com
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