News Release

Pelosi “Throwdown” Over Snowden and NSA at Saturday Fundraiser


The Guardian reports: “The U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he is requesting political asylum in Russia in a meeting with human rights activists at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Snowden said he would stay in Russia until he could win safe passage to Latin America, according to Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, who was at the meeting.”

Snowden said in a just-released statement: “The United States Government … has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: “On Saturday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jared Huffman and big dollar donors are going to get an earful about the Obama administration NSA’s surveillance program.

“The throwdown will be outside the 2 p.m. fundraiser at the home of Steve Silberstein to benefit the DCCC. Minimum to get in the door: $1,000. Or you can write a big check for up to $32,400.

“Pelosi was booed when she appeared at the seemingly friendly confines of the Netroots Nation conference last month in San Jose. The boos started coming when the subject of Edward Snowden was raised.

“‘(Edward Snowden) did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents,’ Pelosi told the Nation. ‘We have to have a balance between security and privacy.’

“That sounds a lot like what President Obama said when he pit-stopped in San Jose last month.

“Pelosi said that ‘People on the far right are saying oh, this is the fourth term of President Bush … absolutely, positively not so.’

“United by a group called Coalition for Grassroots Progress, there will be many current and former Dems among the protesters including Bob Harmon, former chair and current secretary of the American Civil Liberties Union — Marin County. The Mill Valley resident is a former vice-chair of the Democratic Party Central Committee of Marin.

“It’s unacceptable for the government to target the telephone records of journalists, or to vacuum up the phone-call records of hundreds of millions of Americans, or to capture and store everyone’s emails, or to jettison centuries-long principles of due process and habeas corpus,” the coalition said in a statement.

“Also lined up will be former Democratic Party candidate for Congress/media commentator [and IPA founding director] Norman Solomon and Alice Chan, a leader of Progressive Democrats Sonoma County who is an elected delegate from Assembly District 10 to the California Democratic Central Committee. …

“Here’s the video of Pelosi at Netroots Nation. The boos come around the two-minute mark: [Video].”

ALICE CHAN, nuthatch at
Chan is one of the organizers for Saturday’s protest and is among the scheduled speakers. See the alert from the Coalition for Grassroots Progress and a recent article by Chan.

On Monday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers “Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S.

See also: John Pilger: “Forcing Down Evo Morales’s Plane was an Act of Air Piracy.”

And Human Rights Watch: “U.S.: Protect National Security Whistleblowers.”