The U.S. government’s crackdown on whistleblowers is a direct threat to our efforts to reform U.S. foreign policy to make it more just. If we don’t know for sure what the U.S. government is doing, we can’t have an effective democratic debate about what U.S. policy should be.
Faced with the threat of persecution by the U.S, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied to the government of Ecuador for political asylum. Join Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Tom Hayden in urging President Correa to grant Snowden’s asylum request.
Recently, as part of a CodePink peace delegation to Yemen, I met with the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein. We delivered a petition signed by over 18,000 people urging Ambassador Feierstein to work quickly to transfer the Yemenis at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release and to work quickly to curtail U.S. drone strikes in Yemen as President Obama has promised.
In the course of this conversation, Ambassador Feierstein claimed that there are no “signature strikes” in Yemen – no strikes in which the U.S. doesn’t know who it is targeting. This claim is completely at odds with press reports. When I told a British reporter that Ambassador Feierstein had said this, she said: “He wouldn’t dare say that to me, because he knows I’d laugh in his face.”
This disconnect between what U.S. government officials say about the drone strikes and the record of independent reporting is only possible because of official government secrecy around the drone strikes. This secrecy is enabled by the unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. This secrecy is a key obstacle to our efforts to reform U.S. foreign policy.
At this writing, according to press reports, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is trapped in the transit area of the Moscow airport as a result of his efforts to expose the unprecedented sweep of the NSA’s spying on Americans and foreigners. He has applied to Ecuador for political asylum. At the same time, there has been a fierce government-media campaign in the U.S. to discredit Snowden, to portray him as an enemy of the United States, ignoring the fact that he’s taken a great personal risk to expose information about U.S. government policy that the American people have the right to know.
To counter this government-media campaign to “convict Snowden in the media,” we’ve worked with Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Tom Hayden to initiate a letter from Americans to Ecuador’s President Correa, urging him to grant Snowden’s application for asylum. Whistleblowers should be able to expose government wrongdoing without getting the Bradley Manning treatment.
Will you join Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Tom Hayden in urging President Correa to grant Snowden’s asylum request? You can sign our petition here:
Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,
Just Foreign Policy