News Release

NSA “Stop Watching Us” Protest

At noon on Saturday, the “Stop Watching Us” rally against mass NSA surveillance begins at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The following analysts will be at the protest and are available for interviews:

LOGAN PRICE, logan at riseup.net, @kstrel
Price is a filmmaker who produced the “Stop Watching Us” video featuring Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Rep. John Conyers, director Oliver Stone, actors John Cusack and Maggie Gyllenhaal and others.

SHAHID BUTTAR, media at bordc.org,@bordc
Buttar is executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He said today: “Hidden in the shadows, the NSA has for years waged a war on the rights of innocent Americans caught up in its domestic dragnet. Confused by evasion and outright lies from executive officials under both the Bush and Obama administrations, Congress has repeatedly expanded the NSA’s authorities while courts have blindly rubber stamped its mass constitutional violations. Now that We the People have learned a piece of the truth, we are mobilizing across the country, and the partisan spectrum, to reclaim America — and our rights ensured by our Constitution.”

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com, @normansolomon
Solomon just wrote the piece “Why Snowden’s Passport Matters.” He also recently wrote a piece outlining connections between the NSA spying, the government clamping down on whistleblowers and launching wars: “Every president who wants to launch another war can’t abide whistleblowers. They might interfere with the careful omissions, distortions and outright lies of war propaganda, which requires that truth be held in a kind of preventative detention.”

Solomon is founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His is the co-founder of RootsAction.org which has launched a petition to reinstate Snowden’s passport.

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin.gosztola at firedoglake.com, @kgosztola
Gosztola covers secrecy, whistleblowing, NSA, drones, WikiLeaks and related civil liberties issues for Firedoglake. He is co-author of the book Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Private Manning. Recently, he interviewed NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake upon his return to the U.S. from visiting Edward Snowden in Russia (a group of whistleblowers presented Snowden with an award). The interview is significant since Drake attempted to blow the whistle on wrongdoing by going through normal channels at the NSA — which lead to him being targeted. Says Gosztola of Snowden: “He couldn’t have gone through proper channels. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program inspired him to act.” Gosztola notes that Snowden recently told James Risen of the New York Times that he doesn’t have any of the documents he leaked and none were compromised during his time in Hong Kong or Russia.

THOMAS FERGUSON, thomas.ferguson at umb.edu
Ferguson (who will not be at the protest this weekend) was just featured on the IPA news release “Study on Campaign Cash Behind the National Surveillance State.” He is professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, senior fellow of the Roosevelt Institute and contributing editor at AlterNet.