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Friday 12 July 2013

This is Moral, not Political-Statement from Edward Snowden

Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013. (Transcript corrected to delivery)

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.
It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.
If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.
Thank you.

For New Readers Posts on Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and Such Thoughts on Formation of Conscience

05 Jun 2013
The spiritual works of mercy are: To instruct the ignorant;; To counsel the doubtful;; To admonish sinners;; To bear wrongs patiently;; To forgive offences willingly;; To comfort the afflicted;; To pray for the living and the dead.
05 Feb 2012
And, the spiritual works of mercy are just as important as the corporal works. Here in Ireland, I have discovered a sad, cultural phenomenon. The Catholics on the whole do not as adults take the initiative in their Faith. For some ...
30 Nov 2012
Make a good Advent by corporal and spiritual works of mercy, as well as fasting and prayer. Get together with those who support your Faith. We do not know the time or the hour....Can you imagine Joseph's amazement at the ...
04 Mar 2013
In the day of judgment he will receive salvation from the Lord, Whom he will have as his debtor for the mercy he has shown. This is the duty to live out the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, mentioned on ...

30 Nov 2012
They may even tithe, but not follow the corporal or spiritual works of mercy. The liberals interpret the laws to find the loopholes. They say they are Catholics, but they are materialists. Like the Moslems, the Pharisees and ...
21 Jun 2013
Lynda, your last line is so true. Thanks for this comment. One goes a long time without support and the way is clear--I have a duty to instruct the ignorant as that is one of the spiritual works of mercy, but some people just do not ...
06 Jun 2013
Remember, this week, I published the spiritual works of mercy: one is to admonish sinners and another is to instruct the ignorant. I do these things only if necessary, but years ago, when I was far away from the Church, a good ...
12 Feb 2012
And, if you read my earlier post on the seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy, you will understand this all more. 13 February 2012 07:56. happyhockeymom said... I had a brother-in-law get, who was baptized and raised ...

18 Aug 2012
... Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, undivided from our Oblation, in prayer and thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity, comes authentic help for the poor in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy made possible by the working of the ...
07 Jul 2013
My current spiritual director and I have discussed the blog and resting in prayer at more length. He thinks I should blog once a week, like on a Sunday, and stick to spiritual rather than political topics. I am praying about this, ...
08 Feb 2012
I have known hundreds of priests, working in Catholic institutions most of my life, going to daily Mass when my work permitted. Three sermons in forty years shows me that priests are afraid of Hell and damnation. Some ...
30 Jan 2012
Also, before one engages the ideas of Garrigou-Lagrange, I highly suggest at least the lay version of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, again under a director. Again, good luck trying to find an orthodox, conservative ...