Posted by Tom Foremski - August 5, 2013
It was wonderful to see living history, Daniel Ellsberg (above), famed whistle-blower of "Pentagon Papers" speak at a rally for "Restore the Fourth" in San Francisco, Sunday.
The former US military analyst, said that US democracy, with all of its faults, is worth fighting for and devoting lives to preserving.
He spoke about changes in the US towards whistleblowers and that Edward Snowden had to leave the country. He said that he was able to stay in the country when he leaked The Pentagon Papers. In a recent article:
When I surrendered to arrest in Boston, having given out my last copies of the papers the night before, I was released on personal recognizance bond the same day. Later, when my charges were increased from the original three counts to 12, carrying a possible 115-year sentence, my bond was increased to $50,000.
But for the whole two years I was under indictment, I was free to speak to the media and at rallies and public lectures…There is no chance that experience could be reproduced today, let alone that a trial could be terminated by the revelation of White House actions against a defendant that were clearly criminal in President Richard Nixon’s era — and figured in his resignation in the face of impeachment — but are today all regarded as legal (including an attempt to “incapacitate me totally”).
The rally also featured Mark Klein, the former AT&T worker who in 2006 revealed a secret room in AT&T's San Francisco location that was diverting Silicon Valley and Bay Area communications to the NSA.
Norman Solomon, politician, media critic and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy also spoke. He called San Francisco politician, minority leader Nancy Pelosi, the biggest threat to democracy in the US for her role in defeating a bill that would curtail the NSA.
Several hundred people, many blowing whistles, walked to Nancy Pelosi's office to deliver signatures protesting her recent actions.
Restore the Fourth has wide support among Silicon Valley startup community. Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, is among those that has tweeted support for the organization.
Here's some photos:
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