Pens open letter with attorney who worked closely with Ron Paul
July 3, 2013
The father of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has written an open letter to his son, citing American Revolutionary spirit and hailing him as a true patriot “summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny.”
Lon Snowden penned the letter along with his lawyer, constitutional expert Bruce Fein, in an effort to communicate with the man who has become stateless after being stuck in transit at a Moscow airport.
“You are a modern day Paul Revere: summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government,” the letter states.
Revere, a silversmith from Boston, is famed for alerting Colonial militias to the impending attack of British troops in April 1775.
“The history of civilization is a history of brave men and women refusing to bow to government wrongdoing or injustice, and exalting knowledge, virtue, wisdom, and selflessness over creature comforts as the North Star of life,” the letter continues. “We believe your actions fall within that honorable tradition, a conviction we believe is shared by many.”
The letter also states that Snowden has effectively roused a sleeping giant and reinvigorated debate concerning government surveillance.
“What you have done and are doing has awakened congressional oversight of the intelligence community from deep slumber; and has already provoked the introduction of remedial legislation in congress to curtail spying abuses,” the elder Snowden and Fein wrote.
The letter also slams The Obama administration for revoking Snowden’s passport and leaving him in a purgatory situation, unable to travel to any country.
“The civilised nations of the world are in virtual unanimity that statelessness is not to be imposed as punishment for crime,” they wrote, citing the 1958 US Supreme Court case, Trop vs Dulles.
The letter also outwardly criticises Obama for failing to denounce Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has admitted to giving “erroneous” answers during Congressional testimony.
Speaking with Politico, Fein explained that the open letter was written in an attempt to open communication lines between father and son, as the two have been unable to directly communicate since April. It is believed that while he has no method of contact, Snowden does have access to media and the internet.
“Julian Assange called me on Saturday and relayed some information that he wanted transmitted to the father, and said you know if you want to get back to Edward, here’s an intermediary,” Fein said, adding that for Lon Snowden the letter represents the “least worst alternative.”
Fein also noted that he and the family do not trust that the Wikileaks organisation has Snowden’s best interests at heart.
“I think the facts speak for themselves. We have a track record on WikiLeaks,” Fein said, echoing sentiments expressed by Snowden’s father last week that Wikileaks’ “focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”
Fein added that he and the family are planning to open a fund and draft privacy legislation in Snowden’s name, but that nothing has yet been set in stone.
“We’re holding back ‘til we see what the landscape looks like for what the most effective way is to move forward,” Fein said.
Fein, a former associate deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration, is a constitutional expert who has argued long and hard against legislation such as the Patriot Act. Fein was a part of Ron Paul’s Campaign For Liberty, and a senior advisor on legal matters to the Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign.
Last month Fein appeared with Senator Rand Paul at the conference where the Senator revealed he would be pursuing legal avenues against the NSA. Fein has noted that officials within Rand Paul’s office recommended him to Edward Snowden’s father.
The full text of the letter appears below:
Edward Joseph Snowden
I, Bruce Fein, am writing this letter in collaboration with your father in response to the Statement you issued yesterday in Moscow.
Thomas Paine, the voice of the American Revolution, trumpeted that a patriot saves his country from his government.
What you have done and are doing has awakened congressional oversight of the intelligence community from deep slumber; and, has already provoked the introduction of remedial legislation in Congress to curtail spying abuses under section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping absent probable cause to believe crime is afoot to vassalage in hopes of a risk-free existence. You are a modern day Paul Revere summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government.
In contrast to your actions, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded last March as follows to an unambiguous question raised by Senator Ron Wyden:
“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper testified, “No sir, it does not.” Wyden asked for clarification, and Clapper hedged: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”
Director Clapper later defended his stupendous mendacity to the Senator as the least untruthful answer possible. President Obama has not publicly rebuked the Director for frustrating the right of the people to know what their government is doing and to force changes if necessary through peaceful democratic processes. That is the meaning of government by the consent of the governed. “We the people” are sovereign under the U.S. Constitution, and government officials are entrusted with stewardship (not destruction) of our liberties.
We leave it to the American people to decide whether you or Director Clapper is the superior patriot.
The history of civilization is a history of brave men and women refusing to bow to government wrongdoing or injustice, and exalting knowledge, virtue, wisdom, and selflessness over creature comforts as the North Star of life. We believe your actions fall within that honorable tradition, a conviction we believe is shared by many.
As regards your reduction to de facto statelessness occasioned by the Executive Branch to penalize your alleged violations of the Espionage Act, the United States Supreme Court lectured in Trop v. Dulles (1958): “The civilized nations of the world are in virtual unanimity that statelessness is not to be imposed as punishment for crime.”
We think you would agree that the final end of the state is to make men and women free to develop their faculties, not to seek planetary domination through force, violence or spying. All Americans should have a fair opportunity to pursue their ambitions. Politics should not be a football game with winners and losers featuring juvenile taunts over fumbles or missteps.
Irrespective of life’s vicissitudes, we will be unflagging in efforts to educate the American people about the impending ruination of the Constitution and the rule of law unless they abandon their complacency or indifference. Your actions are making our challenge easier.
We encourage you to engage us in regular exchanges of ideas or thoughts about approaches to curing or mitigating the hugely suboptimal political culture of the United States. Nothing less is required to pay homage to Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge, Omaha Beach, and other places of great sacrifice.
Very truly yours,
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.