04/18/2014

#snowden answering your article in The guardian

* nobody doubt that you have risked everything by dong this and that the discussion in our western democracies has changed again about how we should better protect the privacy of everybody while keeping efficient intelligence agencies to defend us and our enterprises against terrorism, organized crime and datatheft of all kinds. And for that act alone you are more courageous than most of us and you are honored for that.

Because of that we know that the new debates about the powers and liberties of our intelligence agencies in this new international context should be better framed and that we should have less confidence in their ability to limit themselves to the informationgathering that is strictly necessary for their prime objectives. The freedom of operation without oversight they have received after the 9/11 hysteria and in the wake of the big terrorist attacks afterwards on the European mainland (London, Madrid) can't be given this time without sufficient oversight and clarification of methods, targets and goals.

* nobody doubts that the NSA lied to Congress, lied to the White House, lied to journalists and even lied to itself. It is clear from your information that the NSA was a beast out of control and it wouldn't surprise me if some departments were not also internally 'technically' and 'morally' out of control. It is clear that the NSA and other services have to be reorganized and that internal and external controls and audits and oversight have to be strenghtened.

* and you are no traitor and you should not be shot or whatever, the biggest traitor of all was the NSA because an intelligence service needs to have the trust of the civil society that it is not only sufficient but also that it respects the privacy of the people who have nothing to do with espionage, organized crime and terrorism and they have betrayed that trust (maybe unconsciously because it is very hard to resist the technical possibilities if they are before you, I think you will understand if I understand that an Information-Operative has never enough information and will always want to have more, just to be sure that he hasn't missed something)

but what you don't seem to understand - even if you say that you hope that by posing the question the debate about the intelligence monitoring in Russia would now become part of the public debate (where because many of the independent NGO's and opposition media have been closed down or limited in their resources) - is that Russia is not like the US and that Putin is not like Obama and that the Russian Parliament is not like Congress and that we here the last month have been watching Putin in a totally different perspective. Even some of his quotes during this propaganda show were for us Europeans not only astonishing but big red lights of alarm reminding us of the second world war ideology of the 1930's and the ideology that led to the Balkan wars (and the first world war here).

to see you on that show - in this atmosphere - asking such a lame question was astonishing naive (and I think you begin to understand that some people will never see treat you in the same way again, you will always be the guy who came in Putins Propaganda show - just as Assange is the guy with his show on the Russian propaganda TV Russiantoday) and the reason is the following mistake you have made

nobody will be able to follow up on your question like it was done in the US, there will be no hardball in the Russian parliament and investigative commissions with many TV channels showing live the lies and the critics of these lies, there will be no New York Times or Washington Post to investigate any further without fear of closure or for their lives (russian journalists were killed during investigations before) and there will be no civil society with well funded NGO's capable of letting people work day and night to investigate, to publicize and to mobilize society to act and react to change things

all those things you have set into motion in our (more) democratic societies are for the moment not possible in the autocratic Russia of Putin, Russia needs glasnost and Perestroika to be able to do that and as you have heard the last months (you live there so you should except if you have no contact at all with civil society there) except that that is just the thing that Putin hates the most, he wished that glasnost and perestroika never happened and he will do anything in his power not to make it happen again during his 'watch' of the trone of this empire.

that is the fundamental mistake you make

A russian person can say that he could now use the answer from Putin if he finds himself to be under surveillance and play the game of doubletalk they have played so often through history but that game takes years to accomplish something.

meanwhile we have to go on here and rebuild our defenses and intelligence capacity because the guy you have asked that question has in the opinion of many people around here, gone totally bunkers and is not to be trusted for a long time (not without a strong military defense behind our back)

it is also in this new framework that all your new articles, relevations and appearances will be placed

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