Sunday, September 1, 2013

Snowden Supporters Applaud his Empty Chair in Berlin

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Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded the biennial “whistleblower prize” in Germany, worth some $3,900, in recognition of his “bold efforts” to expose the monitoring of communications data by his former employer.
The prize, last awarded in 2011, was officially bestowed upon the 30-year-old at a ceremony in Berlin which took place Friday, prompting a nine-minute congratulatory video message from Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald on Saturday.

Transparency International Deutschland e.V. contributed towards the award, which is given every two years by the Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW e.V.) and the German Section of the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA e.V.).
Persons are honored who reveal malpractices and dangerous developments for humans and society, and that affect democracy, peace and the environment.
~ Digital Journal

It seems important to say that Edward Snowden is a person of high moral character. I can't really imagine who would be better fitting for this award, not just this year, but almost any year. That isn't to forget about Chelsea Manning, that isn't to forget that other people have not done great service for humanity.
But when I spoke with him this evening, his first question was not about how things would go. He asked me if I had slept. He asked me how I was feeling. And, uh, I told him that I was fine and he said, 'Are you sure?' (laughter in audience) This is a person who really cares about other people.
This is the person who, while he has been attacked and relentlessly smeared by the propaganda machines, he is the person who has thrown himself onto the very gears of that machine. And he has done it for each and every one of us.
~ Wikileaks Internet Activist Jacob Appelbaum while presenting the Whistle-Blower award to Snowden

If I ran the committee, making the choice of who was to receive this award, it would take me probably one and a half seconds at most to have come to the conclusion that he is the only person deserving of the award this year.
. . . I've written a lot about whistle-blowing and thought a lot about it, and there's two real components to whistle-blowing: One is the disclosure of wrongdoing, serious wrongdoing on the part of factions; and the second one is to disclose that wrongdoing at some risk to yourself. . . . (Snowden) embodies both of those as purely as you can imagine.
. . . Really, a single individual who just on his own made a choice that had extreme ripple effects on all sorts of realms that I think to this day are still underappreciated and unknown. And this lesson that any individual, no matter how formidable the adversary seems, no matter entrenched the oppressive institution appears to be, can stand up to that institution and challenge it and shine light on it and bring about real change, I think is a lesson that all kinds of people around the world, from very young to very old, on every continent of the Earth, will take from this.
~ Glenn Greenwald

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