11th July 2013 10:37

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg in 2006

As recently Edward Snowden told Daniel Ellsberg once the United States. With its revelations about Vietnam, he was thought to be the most important whistleblower in U.S. history. Now he talks about Snowden – and hopes that this will not murdered. America has become another country, the 82-year-old.

A guest post by Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, 82, is considered the most important so far whistleblower in U.S. history. He was accused in 1971 of being a spy because he had copied an employee of the Rand Corporation, which advised the Department of Defense, “Pentagon Papers” and forwarded to newspapers. It was a 7000-page document, which Defense Secretary Robert McNamara had commissioned. T his report documented the relations between the U.S. and Vietnam from 1945 until 1967. Above all, these documents showed how the American public had been deceived and forced into the war. The case against Ellsberg was discontinued in 1973. The “Pentagon Papers” were largely instrumental in that it turned the American public against the Vietnam war.

For many cuts Edward Snowden compared to me from bad, because he has left the country and seeking asylum, rather than – as I did – to make a trial. I think that’s wrong. The country where I lived at that time and remained was a different America.

After the New York Times on 15 June 1971 enjoined the Pentagon to publish papers – the first limitation of a daily newspaper in U.S. history – and after I had given another copy of the Washington Post, which should also be prevented from publishing, I emerged with my wife Patricia for 13 days under. So I wanted (similar Snowden with his flight to Hong Kong) escape the surveillance, while I – with the help of some people who are not known to the FBI today – could plan despite two injunctions to forward the Pentagon Papers to 17 other newspapers . The last three days this time, I also ignored a warrant: I was, as Snowden now a fugitive laws.

I was part of a movement against the war

As I stood in Boston, after I had published the night before my last copies of the papers, I was released on bail. Later, when my original indictment of three to twelve points was expanded and threatened me up to a 115-year prison sentence, although my bail was increased to $ 50,000. But during the two years in which I was accused, I was with the media, speak at rallies and public readings. I was after all part of a movement against the war. And that’s why I felt so first and foremost – to end this war. From abroad could I do nothing. That’s why I never thought to leave the country.

That would be impossible today. Apart from the fact that you could not tilt more procedures revealed by the activities of the White House against the accused. That were clearly criminal in the era Richard Nixon. This led to so with the impeachment, he resigned because of then. Today, however, as you look at all of this legally. Including the attempt to explain myself completely incapacitated, so to incapacitate almost.

I hope that Snowden’s revelations trigger a movement that save our democracy. But he himself had never been to the United States remain and can be part of this movement. Would he return to the U.S., the chances would be zero, that would release him on bail. But even if he did not leave the country, it would be unlikely that you would have approved him bail. Instead, he was sitting just like Bradley Manning without contact with the outside world in a prison cell.

Quite likely he would even ended up in solitary confinement. Under certain circumstances, even longer than the more than eight months that Manning had to endure during his three years in prison before his trial began recently. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture described Manning’s prison conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading”. This prospect should be at for most countries is reason enough to grant asylum Snowden. If they would withstand the harassment and the corruption of the United States.

When asked Snowden, nothing would be achieved

Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I can only wholeheartedly agree. More than 40 years after my unauthorized release of the PentagonPapers such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. A lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts like power.

As one then in the Pentagon and the Rand Corporation authorized me access to top-secret documents, then after my revelation became known as the Pentagon Papers, I realized very quickly that the Congress and the American people are lied to by the incoming president and a hopelessly muddled war had been drawn, which was illegitimate from the start.

Snowden had this startling realization when he got access to documents of the National Security Agency, which were even more secret. Because he found out that he worked for a monitoring organization whose omnipotence was “about every conversation and every form of behavior in the world To know”, as he told the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. And he published some of them.

A place where he can speak freely

Because that was to “know everything” in fact such a thing as a global extension of the Stasi, the Ministry for State Security in the Stalinist German Democratic Republic, which had the goal. However – Mobile phones, fiber optic cables, PCs, and Internet traffic, to which the NSAgained access, there was not even in the heyday of the Stasi.

Snowden as the Guardian reported, “it is worth this country that one lay down his life for it.” And, if necessary, goes to jail – for life.

Snowden’s contribution to the cause of restoring the integrity of the first, fourth and fifth Amendment to the Constitution (the Constitution additives for freedom of expression, protection from state interference and the rights of defendants, ed), found in its documents. This has nothing to do with his reputation, his character or his motives. And still less with his presence in a courtroom to argue about the charges, or whether he spends the rest of his life in prison. When Snowden would voluntarily to the authorities of the United States, given the current legal situation nothing would be achieved.

I hope he finds a refuge where he is just like before the abduction or killing by U.S. special forces as secure as possible, if possible, a place where he can speak freely. If we are his revelations and the resulting challenges, he has given us the greatest opportunity that we save ourselves from a completely runaway monitoring, which moves all effective power to the executive branch and its secret: a United Stasi of America .

German by Thorsten Glotzmann, automatic English translation.

The text first appeared in the Washington Post.