Snowden Honored by Ex-Intel Officials

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, an organization of former national security officials, has honored NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, praising his decision to reveal the extent of U.S. government electronic surveillance of people in the United States and around the world.

Edward Snowden, an ex-contractor for the National Security Agency, has been named recipient of this year’s award for truth-telling given by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, the group announced Monday.

Most of the Sam Adams Associates are former senior national security officials who, with the other members, understand fully the need to keep legitimate secrets. Each of the U.S. members took a solemn oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

When secrecy is misused to hide unconstitutional activities, fealty to that oath and higher duty as citizens of conscience dictate support for truth-tellers who summon the courage to blow the whistle. Edward Snowden’s disclosures fit the classic definition of whistle-blowing.

Former senior NSA executive Thomas Drake, who won the Sam Adams award in 2011, has called what Snowden did “an amazingly brave act of civil disobedience.” Drake knows whereof he speaks. As a whistleblower he reported waste, fraud, and abuse as well as serious violations of the Fourth Amendment through official channels and, subsequently, to a reporter. He wound up indicted under the Espionage Act.

After a lengthy, grueling pre-trial proceeding, he was exonerated of all ten felony charges and pleaded out to the misdemeanor of “exceeding authorized use of a government computer.” The presiding judge branded the four years of prosecutorial conduct against Drake “unconscionable.”

The invective hurled at Snowden by the corporate and government-influenced media reflects understandable embarrassment that he would dare expose the collusion of all three branches of the U.S. government in perpetrating and then covering up their abuse of the Constitution. This same collusion has thwarted all attempts to pass laws that would protect genuine truth-tellers like Snowden who see and wish to stop unconstitutional activities.

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” warned Thomas Paine in 1776, adding that “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

It is in this spirit that Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence are proud to confer on Edward Snowden the Sam Adams Award for 2013.

The Sam Adams Award, named in honor of the late CIA analyst Sam Adams, has been given in previous years to truth-tellers Coleen Rowley of the FBI; Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; Sam Provance; former U.S. Army Sergeant at Abu Ghraib; Maj. Frank Grevil of Danish Army Intelligence; Larry Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Colin Powell at State; Julian Assange of WikiLeaks; Thomas Drake, former senior NSA official; Jesselyn Radack, Director of National Security and Human Rights, Government Accountability Project; and Thomas Fingar, former Assistant Secretary of State and Director, National Intelligence Council.

Editor’s Note: Further helping to explain why Snowden should be honored for his brave actions and responding to some of the criticism of his decisions from the mainstream news media are: Daniel Ellsberg’s op-ed in The Washington Post, “Snowden Made the Right Call When He Fled the US” and Ray McGovern’s “Obama Needs to Take Charge on NSA Spying Scandal.”

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence was established in 2002 by colleagues and admirers of the late CIA intelligence analyst Sam Adams to recognize those who uphold his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. In honoring Adams’s memory, SAAII confers an award each year to someone in intelligence or related work who exemplifies Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth, no matter the consequences.

It was Adams who discovered in 1967 that there were more than a half-million Vietnamese Communists under arms. This was roughly twice the number that the U.S. command in Saigon would admit to, lest Americans learn that claims of “progress” were bogus.

23 comments for “Snowden Honored by Ex-Intel Officials

  1. Fred
    July 14, 2013 at 18:58

    Benjamin Franklin knew it already 200 years ago:
    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    But apparently (considering the lack of interest of the US public), the majority of the Americans still did not get the message.

  2. geo
    July 14, 2013 at 16:33

    What a scam. Most of these “whistleblowers” and “Sam Adams Assoc.” etc” have connections to the Koch Brothers or George Soros or the Rockefellers.

  3. Jon L.
    July 11, 2013 at 19:43

    Sophie Scholl is my penultimate hero. Edward Snowen acted with great courage and I admire his actions.

  4. Jon Shafer
    July 10, 2013 at 20:08

    A post on Facebook yesterday:

    A few quotes on this NSA/Snowden issue:

    Snowden is the NSA whistle blower who presented proof to the world that the United States is a lawless nation which treats its own citizens as enemies.”
    — Margaret Kimerley, Intrepid Report

    Snowden, Patiño noted, was being cast as a traitor. However, the foreign minister (Ecuador) wondered whether the concept of treason in this case referred to a betrayal of the power elite rather than a betrayal of the American people, whose rights had been violated. — Consortium News

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
    To which Clapper responded, “No, sir … Not wittingly.”
    In light of what National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed about the NSA’s domestic data-gathering, Clapper has now admitted that his answer in Senate testimony was “untruthful” – what ordinary people call a “lie.” Lying to Congress in testimony is, literally, a crime – it’s a violation of federal law.
    Raise your hand if you think that Clapper is going to serve any time in federal prison for lying to Congress.
    — Robert Naiman, Truthout

    There is a depressing statistical comparison that should shame all of us who voted twice for Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. Our man, a former constitutional law professor who pledged to reverse the Bush administration’s abuses of national security concerns, has charged seven government whistle-blowers, including Edward J. Snowden, with violating the Espionage Act.
    That’s more than double the combined three charged with leaking classified information by all previous presidents, George W. Bush included….it is an out of control grab for worldwide power over the new information age.
    — Robert Scheer, Truthdig, Alternet

    So much for Independence Day, July 4th, the celebration of the Declaration of Independence. Our transformation into power’s slaves is almost complete. In fact, why do we celebrate the holiday at all, when we can turn a patriot like Edward Snowden into a man without a country? — Jerry Mazza, Intrepid Report

    And, again, from our own Declaration of Independence: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…. it is their right, IT IS THEIR DUTY, to throw off such Government.”

    From a commentary I sent to The Washington Post, NY Times and others:

    So what about Edward Snowden, Pvt. Bradley Manning, and Wikileaks Julian Assange? Was it a sense of conscience and duty to expose the truth? Does the truth matter? Are we supposed to classify the truth and make it secret, and those who reveal it are to be found guilty of violating the law. Or guilty of espionage or treason?

    Is the truth to be made a matter of “national security” and kept from us so our government can do any goddamned thing it wants to do to us? And for themselves?

    Our government hates them because the information they released contains truth of some of the worst diabolical acts of American foreign policy. And American people finding out about this kind of evil tends to cause a nasty blowback at our political schemers and causes them to back off. And, God, how they hate that! Screw up their global ambitions and they really get pissed!

    Oh yeah, so let’s make Snowden guilty of espionage. That oughta do the trick. We can just wipe his ass off the face of the Earth.

    Meanwhile, our kangaroo secret military tribunal will dispose of Bradley Manning in some way, despite him being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. And that infuriates our military persecutors even more!

    As for Assange, just keep him cooped up without anywhere to go. Eventually, maybe a CIA hit team will get to him, too. Wonder if Obama has ordered it yet? Snowden, too.

  5. Lin Cleveland
    July 10, 2013 at 09:05

    “understand fully the need to keep legitimate secrets”

    Nope. Keeping the toe in the door, huh?

    • EthanAllen1
      July 10, 2013 at 14:06

      Good Morning Lin!
      “When secrecy is misused to hide unconstitutional activities, fealty to that oath – and higher duty as citizens of conscience – dictate support for truth-tellers who summon the courage to blow the whistle.”
      The “..higher duty as citizens of conscience” seems to be the part that is lost on those whose toes are not so creatively employed.
      The ghost of Thomas Paine must be wearing a big illegal smile!
      As Usual,

  6. delia ruhe
    July 9, 2013 at 17:37

    If you want clarity – and I mean real CLARITY – on the ethical and legal implications of Snowden’s whistleblowing, here’s a two-part essay by a brilliant young Australian that completely cleared my head on the issues when I read it late last night. (I’m not recommending it to teabaggers, as it relies completely on logic and reason, and would consequently bore and confuse them).

  7. Irene Ogrizek
    July 9, 2013 at 09:19

    I admire Edward Snowden. It’s very difficult to speak up and to then know that your future has been altered irretrievably. I tried fighting with Canadian healthcare system and, although my battle was nowhere near the scale of Snowden’s, it was difficult. I’m glad he’s so courageous. People like him make a lot of other necessary battles possible.

  8. Caspin Lange
    July 8, 2013 at 18:08

    Since so many people everywhere are free of the unquestioned mind-zapping of the MSM, what happens next? What happens when masses of people wake up and stop falling for all this media garbage? If the media is how they keep everyone under control, along with legal and illegal drugs, sucky education, and a strong armed law force, how do they keep us in control when the MSM loses it’s sway and becomes mocked?

    If I were the NSA, I’d be writing a few algorithms to run that bring up the metadata matches for all keywords related to anti-government views. I would create a digital dossier of each of these people, and monitor what groups they hang out in. Any red flags would mean an automatic targeting, which allows an even more in depth monitoring to occur. If the “target” becomes a threat, or develops an audience, he/she is taken to a secret prison or disappeared or made to look like an accidental death or suicide.

    Total control is already in the hands of the power-holders. Going over and analyzing what we now know about the NSA, CIA, and all the other fun acronyms, it’s plain to see that the people of Earth are under the spell that can’t be broken. The United States government has become a creepy frat boy holding a bag of 7 billion roofies.

  9. Bob B
    July 8, 2013 at 16:56

    If the MSM continues to call patriot Edward Snowden the “leaker,” I hope somebody pisses on all them, preferably Mr. Snowden.

  10. TrishaJ
    July 8, 2013 at 16:53

    “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    The key words in that part of the oath are “…enemies…domestic.” Rather than betraying his country, what Snowden did was live up to this oath. His actions are defending the Constitution against enemies domestic.

    This kill the messenger MO of our government when they are caught out is the antithesis of that oath.

  11. Bill
    July 8, 2013 at 16:21

    Webster Tarpley writes convincingly on his website that Snowden is a triple agent.

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 9, 2013 at 17:13

      Yes…and he also thinks the new Pope is going to take on corporate greed and fiscal fraud. Meanwhile, a Vatican bank “bagman” is arrested with twenty million Euros that doesn’t show up on the ledger sheets. Tarpley is great entertainment, but his track record on predicting outcomes is not even as good as some of the popular “psychics”. Sure, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then, but so far, not a single missing person has ever been located by one of those con-artists.

  12. Bill
    July 8, 2013 at 16:19

    Webster Tarpley writes convincingly on his website, that Snowden is a triple agent. Look into it before you fly off the handle.

  13. scott k
    July 8, 2013 at 14:07

    It’s refreshing to know that Mr Snowden’s selfless act to expose the truth about questionable NSA programs has not gone unoticed (as being patriotic) by recieving this award.

  14. skeptic
    July 8, 2013 at 13:09

    A poor choice of headline, I associated “Intel” with the company, why not use the proper word, “intelligence”? That being said, I applaud these men for speaking in defense of openness and condemnation of state wrongdoing.

    • exomike
      July 8, 2013 at 21:35

      Dear Dr. Nitpick,
      Intel is fine. It’s a friggin headline REDACTED*.

      Ad Hominem pejorative reference to a well known Clown Redacted.

  15. Rodney Stich
    July 8, 2013 at 12:54

    A major defense for Snowden and Assange would be to understand the great harm that the nation has suffered during the past 50 years, especially in aviation disasters and terrorist attacks, by DOJ prosecution of patriotic whistleblowers.

    Examples at

  16. BillB
    July 8, 2013 at 12:07

    The Nobel Peace Prize committee has a chance to redeem itself for awarding the prize to the likes of Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama by giving the award this year to Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

    • Suzanne Markov
      July 8, 2013 at 20:49

      This is a great suggestion–the Nobel Peace Price awarded to Manning and Snowden. And while they’re at it Norway could grant asylum to the latter right away and to Bradley Manning if, by some miracle, his military tribunal does what’s right and acquits him.

  17. Jim-Jams
    July 8, 2013 at 10:56

    I commend the incredible bravery of Mr. Snowden. To have sacrificed all hopes of a normal life forever is an act of great courage. I am amazed that even in these days of total surveillance,He gives us all hope that not everything is lost.
    I congratulate him on his well deserved award of the “Sam Adams” prize. He is in great company. I wish him well and I truly thank him for his service to all of us in the 99%.

    • charles sereno
      July 8, 2013 at 11:17

      Truly, “He is in great company.” More that can be said of Nobel Peace Prize winners.

  18. Hillary
    July 8, 2013 at 10:42

    MSM pundits have the nerve to call Snowden a traitor and use the evidence of his flight and his not remaining to receive the “Guantanamo” national security response in prison to all who dare make a stand against “big brother”.

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