Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Update on whistleblowers: Snowden missing, Manning's mock-trial transcripts

It has been reported that US NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has disappeared after his asylum request in Hong Kong. It is unclear at this moment if Snowden is in hiding, he has been kidnapped or arrested by Chinese police. He was last seen yesterday at noon, when he checked out of a luxury hotel in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the USA since 1998.

Both Julian Assange (Wikileaks' leader, refuged in Ecuador's embassy since a year ago) and Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the Pentagon Papers back in the 1970s) have issued separate communications in solidarity with Snowden.

Assange declared that:
Edward Snowden is a hero who has informed the public about one of the most serious events of the decade, which was the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state. 

Ellsberg wrote an article at The Guardian in which he said, among other things that:
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.
And also:
... what is not legitimate is to use a secrecy system to hide programs that are blatantly unconstitutional in their breadth and potential abuse. 

Manning and Snowden depicted as superheroes by Webguerrillero.

Manning's mock trial transcripts:

The Freedom of the Press Foundation is making a major effort to independently transcript the military trial against Bradley Manning (official transcripts are not available to the public). They explain:
The US military has refused to release transcripts of Bradley Manning's trial. In addition, they've denied press passes to 270 out of the 350 media organizations that applied. Without public transcripts or a press pass, it's virtually impossible for media organizations to accurately cover the trial and for the public to know what the government is doing in its name.

In response, Freedom of the Press Foundation has crowd-sourced funding to place a professional stenographer in the media room covering the trial. We will post full transcripts shortly after each day's proceedings end. The morning session with be posted by 7 pm the same evening. The afternoon session will be posted by 9 am the next morning. The transcripts will be released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license.

Depending on how long the trial lasts, transcriptions will cost between $60,000-120,000, so please help support this project by going here to donate.
The transcripts are freely available HERE.

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