I’ve been meaning to capture a few gems for the Palace quote collection in the wake of the domestic surveillance revelations over the past several weeks, but I’ve been traveling and/or otherwise unusually busy. It seems that every time I find myself thinking “Oh, hell yes! I ought to grab this one!” the cabin door has just been closed and the captain has requested all electronic devices be shut down and securely stowed. Or, I find I’m running late for either some fabulous cocktail hour or glamorous dinner party with the federal judiciary—which soirees, you may be surprised to learn, I ditched a.s.a.p. because (a) Palace arch-nemesis Antonin Scalia was not amongst the feted folk, (b) the food and booze were terrible so I had to go find a decent bar with acceptable eats — obviously, and (c) OMFG BORING. Well, except for the hawt U.S. Marshalls providing security for the judges. I chatted them up a few times, hoping to avoid a repeat of this outrage. I also ran into my old friend the Navy Seal. Dear Dawg, the man looked terrible. His hair was scraggly and his beard unkempt, a far cry from the clean-shaven, toxic masculinity-oozing specimen of conservative conformity I met only a year ago. I hardly recognized him, and for his part, he completely ignored me. For a moment I almost felt badly that I had shattered this poor, once-manly Warrior without even breaking a sweat. Almost.
Anyway! With fast-breaking news this morning that leaker Edward Snowden has escaped Hong Kong via Moscow without interference from Chinese or Russian authorities, I figured I’d just plaster a few quick-&-dirty quotes up here, for the edification and infotainment of Loyal Readers™. I’ll update as time permits and more hilarity doubtless ensues.
“Healthy and safe.” -WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Edward Snowden, in a call with reporters on Monday morning, while declining to specify his whereabouts.
“The irony is obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of ‘espionage’.” –Glenn Greenwald
“Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we’ve been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.” –Edward Snowden
“The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It’s a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It’s all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they’re interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The ‘enemy’ they’re seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It’s the American people.” –Glenn Greenwald
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of National Security Agency material. –Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst and leaker of the Pentagon Papers in 1971
“US bullying Russia for Snowden’s rendition is counterproductive. No self-respecting state would accept such unlawful demands.” –Wikileaks
“What is being done to Mr. Snowden and to Mr. Julian Assange — for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest — is an assault against the people.” –Baltasar Garzón, renowned Spanish jurist and adviser to WikiLeaks
“If Hong Kong doesn’t act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong’s commitment to the rule of law.” –Senior Obama administration official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity [presumably to avoid being laughed at and publicly embarrassed]. [h/t nubs]
“I would urge [Russia] to live by the standards of the law.” -U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“[The American arrest request] did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” –Hong Kong authorities
“No, sir.” -Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, lying in testimony to the Unites States Senate Intelligence Committee about whether NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”
“[Government would need to seek] a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual.” -FBI director Robert Mueller, lying in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
“It’s improbable that I would receive a fair trial or humane treatment before the trial, while running the risk of a life term or death.” –Edward Snowden, letter seeking asylum to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, in reference to Bradley Manning’s prosecution and pretrial treatment
“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality.” –Edward Snowden [for more on why Snowden was a smart motherfucker for going to Hong Kong, see the last paragraphs of this WaPo story.]
“This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.” –Daniel Ellsberg
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things.” –Edward Snowden
“I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.” –Edward Snowden
“I am neither a traitor nor hero. I’m an American.” –Edward Snowden
This little blast from the past also comes to mind:
“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And…moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” –Sen. Barry Goldwater, Republican presidential nominee, 1964 Republican Convention
As does this one:
“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.”
–Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Finally, on this occasion, the Palace hereby issues two new official statements:
First, a hearty fuck you to the corrupt, lawless lackeys of America’s Owners in the U.S. government and their illegal, unaccountable, un-American surveillance state.
-A motherfucking U.S. citizen and patriot, who reminds you — not for the first time — of your oath to uphold the motherfucking U.S. Constitution, motherfuckers.
Second, we are hereby launching our campaign to draft candidates for the 2016 presidential election. We would like to elect people who embrace wholeheartedly the very same American concept of freedom that prior generations of men and women died for, who exhibit courage of character and the willingness to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the good of the people of this once-great nation and citizens of the world, believe uncompromisingly in the rule of law, and truly understand the evil of much of America’s foreign policy and counterproductive wars.