81 votes

Stunning Letter to Obama from Snowden's Father - UPDATED

Link to letter in PDF format: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/tvnews/dateline%2...

Dear Mr. President:

You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.

A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.

Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.

We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.

From the commencement of your administration, your secrecy of the National Security Agency’s Orwellian surveillance programs had frustrated a national conversation over their legality, necessity, or morality. That secrecy (combined with congressional nonfeasance) provoked Edward’s disclosures, which sparked a national conversation which you have belatedly and cynically embraced. Legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to curtail or terminate the NSA’s programs, and the American people are being educated to the public policy choices at hand. A commanding majority now voice concerns over the dragnet surveillance of Americans that Edward exposed and you concealed. It seems mystifying to us that you are prosecuting Edward for accomplishing what you have said urgently needed to be done!

The right to be left alone from government snooping–the most cherished right among civilized people—is the cornerstone of liberty. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson served as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. He came to learn of the dynamics of the Third Reich that crushed a free society, and which have lessons for the United States today.

Writing in Brinegar v. United States, Justice Jackson elaborated:
The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing
the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

These, I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so
effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the
first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. And one need only briefly to have dwelt and worked among a people possessed of many admirable qualities but deprived of these rights to know that the human personality deteriorates and dignity and self-reliance
disappear where homes, persons and possessions are subject at any hour to unheralded search and seizure by the police.

We thus find your administration’s zeal to punish Mr. Snowden’s discharge of civic duty to protect democratic processes and to safeguard liberty to be unconscionable and indefensible.

We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward.

On June 27, 2013, Mr. Fein wrote a letter to the Attorney General stating that Edward’s father was substantially convinced that he would return to the United States to confront the charges that have been lodged against him if three cornerstones of due process were guaranteed. The letter was not an ultimatum, but an invitation to discuss fair trial imperatives. The Attorney General has sneered at the overture with studied silence.

We thus suspect your administration wishes to avoid a trial because of constitutional doubts about application of the Espionage Act in these circumstances, and obligations to disclose to the public potentially embarrassing classified information under the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial. Neither does your refusal to remind the American people and prominent Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate like House Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann,and Senator Dianne Feinstein that Edward enjoys a presumption of innocence. He should not be convicted before trial. Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a “traitor.”

Ms. Pelosi has pontificated that Edward “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents.” Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, “This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor.” And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of “treason,” which is defined in Article III of the Constitution as “levying war” against the United States, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

You have let those quadruple affronts to due process pass unrebuked, while you have disparaged Edward as a “hacker” to cast aspersion on his motivations and talents. Have you forgotten the Supreme Court’s gospel in Berger v. United States that the interests of the government “in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done?”

We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.”

In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.

Sincerely,
Bruce Fein
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Lon Snowden

http://www.popularresistance.org/letter-to-obama-civil-disob...



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It's a shame the POS In the

It's a shame the POS In the White House can only read telepromters.

I wonder if it's possible to

I wonder if it's possible to hack a teleprompter? 'Cause anonymous could have some real fun at his next speech.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!
http://andrewnapolitano.com/index

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

lol

Could really use KTVU's summer intern right about now. ;)

This was an interesting read, makes me cry.

Seems Edward Snowden may be a 'chip off the ol' block after all.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

What?

Bruce Fein is Edward Snowdens dad??

13 down votes so far

and not 1 reply.
Gutless trolls!!!

Stange that on a web site dedicated

to Dr Paul and liberty, the down votes are clicked, defending the very man who in most likely hood, helped derail the good Dr's campaign for a constitutional, united USA.
Looks like too many people can vote with their fingers, but can't think with their heads. Cowards!

Ron Paul's Wisdom

Perhaps we might borrow a page from Ron Paul's wisdom book, and separate out idea / content from the individual. Ron Paul has consistently shown support for ideas that favor individual liberty, regardless of who is leading it. Hence his co-operation with members of the house on both sides of the isle...

What if those "ideas"

are spoken out of both sides of the individuals mouth.
I do not trust Bruce Fein. Period.
If I am wrong about this I will donate $50 to a charity of your choice.
But I don't think Bruce Fein "walks his talk".

So, the letter wasn't from Snowden's dad..

it was written by Bruce Fein, Whore of Turkey and Israel, a member of AEI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Enterprise_Institute
and distrusted by Sybil Edmonds. http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/07/01/elder-snowden-engineer...
This man is "working" for Snowden as Damage Control, just the same as he did Damage Control on Dr Ronald Paul's 2012 campaign.
Wake up! This man is your enemy, and I sincerely hope he gets his balls ripped off as he straddles both sides of the fence whilst working only for America's all powerful shadow Government.

Love to see this made into a

Love to see this made into a chain email letter....you know the kind that you add your signature to and send to 10 friends and so on...

(except first someone should change 'Eva' to 'Evo')

Bumpalicious

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

Bump for

Bump for your tag line. Ha!

Feeling Fear? You're living in the future.
Feeling Depressed? You're living in the past.
Who would you be without your story? —Byron Katie

When the desire to bring about a change in you is not there,
the demand to change the world is not there eit

BUMP!

For viralness!

Excellent bi#ch-slap to the President and Holder.

Thanks so much for posting. All High School students should be required to read this.

Excellent point!

How do we get it in front of them?

Double dog dare Obama and any

Double dog dare Obama and any other government employee named in that letter to respond to that letter.

They wont have to.

Barry and Bruce will be having a good laugh about it over drinks, after hours, in the Oval Office.
PS. YOU will probably be PAYING for those drinks, I think they are called Red Herrings...doubles....over ice, or is that on the rocks?

Maybe somebody will start one of those

government petitions demanding an official response.

Kinsjon

why not YOU?

Ron Paul is My President

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.

Edward Snowden is Not Guilty under Marbury v. Madison

"The question, whether an act repugnant to the Constitution can become the law of the land, is a question deeply interesting to the United States; but, happily, not of an intricacy proportioned to its interest. It seems only necessary to recognize certain principles, supposed to have been long and well established, to decide it."

"The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the Constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the Constitution by an ordinary act."

"Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently, the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void."

"Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument."

http://constitution.org/ussc/005-137a.htm

United States Chief of Counsel Robert H. Jackson

"The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”

“The privilege of opening the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world imposes a grave responsibility. The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated."


http://youtu.be/L50OZSeDXeA

- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_enlistment

There is no duration defined in the Oath

"That four great nations,

flush with victory, and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance, and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgement of the law, is one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to reason." What a line.

the biggest thing liberty has

(edit:one of)the biggest thing liberty has shown me, is timeless ideaology......it constantly, and pleasantly surprise me to see statements ive never seen made years yonder, mirror the concepts of my own.....it confirms to me, strongly, in these moments, that what we are experiencing is ?.......honest.....is.....timeless

To all interested, please read Thoreau's Civ.Disobedience:

It is one of the most eloquent treatises on the topic, IMHO; Thoreau, to me, a philosophical voluntaryist, was open to anyone finding their own way, especially, as a practical matter, from a minarchist POV; a brilliant, brilliant American Treasure!

I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — "That government is best which governs least";(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html

Civil Disobedience - Part 1 of 3

I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — "That government is best which governs least";(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war,(2) the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.

[2] This American government — what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it. Trade and commerce, if they were not made of India rubber,(3) would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way; and, if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions, and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads.

[3] But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men,(4) I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

P.S. Thanks for the find! No wonder Edward shares his passion for justice!

Predictions in due Time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Cyril's picture

BUMP.

BUMP.

We need to be thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, to write such letters, but not to the P(OS)OTUS, who couldn't care less...

Rather: to those reckless, irresponsible, insanely corrupt congress and senate.

To remind them the seriousness of their wrongdoings by NOT standing up to defend the founding texts as they should.

To remind them what they are exposing themselves to, before their own posterity:

their definitive disgrace.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Major Bump!

Send that link to everyone you know! Even though most people are cheering for Snowden, they do need to read that letter and share it with others.

Great Post! Thanks!

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

Each of us should print it out and sign it and send it

in to the POTUS.

SequoiaTrees4RonPaul

And Our Congressman and Senators

( : I hope Snowden sees this letter. His Dad sure does love him and it shows!

A.Hansen

BUMP..Thank you Jo4RP

Stunning and clarifying. With a father who would write a letter like that, no wonder Snowden (1)
was a Ron Paul follower, (2) and did what he did. Second generation true patriot.
If ther was ever any doubt in my mind (and there was not) as to Snowden's sincerity and motive, there is no longer.

Everyone should read this letter.

fonta