Blush of Shame

Bruce Fein, Lon Snowden’s counsel in his son Edward Snowden’s case, has written a sharp open letter to President Obama which MSNBC has published [pdf]. The tone of the letter is disrespectful, just what constitutional law professor Obama obviously deserves. It points to the numerous wrongdoings of his administration since Edward Snowden has given his interview on the emerging mass surveillance state in America to Guardian reporters in Hong Kong in June. It does not even contain the most recent scandalous offer by U.S attorney general Eric Holder to his Russian counterpart Alexander Vladimirovich that, if extradited, the US “would not seek the death penalty even if Mr Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes.” Snowden had mentioned, in his application of temporary asylum, possible torture and/or execution if returned to the United States. Holder has stated that “[t]orture is unlawful in the United States.”

As mentioned above, the letter is anything else than conciliatory. It is meant to blush Obama’s face with shame. It concludes, entertaining not or never persecuted, by the administration, “friendly leaks”,

“We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v, New York: ‘The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.’

In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.” (Emphasis added.)

Apparently, Bradley Manning’s and Snowden’s cases are very close. Both are idealistic young men deeply concerned about what is going on in the United States in particular under the Obama administration.

27 July 2013 @ 2:08 pm.

Last modified July 27, 2013.

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