Edward Snowden takes another brave stand

Edward Snowden, winner of the Sam Adams Award, Right Livelihood award, Ossietzky Prize, and the Bjornson Prize for freedom of speech, has put his safety in jeopardy once again by speaking out against an injustice.
This time it's the elections in Russia.

Despite the possible threat it could pose to his own long-term safety and security, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Sunday publicly criticized the appearance of ballot fraud and democratic corruption during national elections in Russia, the country where he has enjoyed political asylum since 2013.

This comes less than two years after Snowden denounced Russia's surveillance laws.

I worry about Snowden's timing. Putin might just get tired of Snowden's criticism and evict him.
Mike Pompeo, the guy likely to be our next Secretary of State is on record for saying, "[He] should brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence.”

As if to complete the circle of pissing off powerful people that he could be at the mercy of, Snowden gave his opinion about current CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel.

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weird, scary, and petty, all at once

She made her name as a Playboy pin-up but now former Baywatch TV star Pamela Anderson could be forced to bare all to the FBI who want to quiz her about her friendship with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

According to US website Radar Online, the 50-year-old faces a grilling over her visits to Assange who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 after being accused in Sweden of rape and sexual assault by two women.

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dervish's picture

@gjohnsit She shouldn't say a word to them.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish Indeed.
Article: A Law Professor Explains Why You Should Never Talk to Police

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Pluto's Republic's picture

Also watching were over 1,500 foreign observers and UN affiliate observers — and over 10,000 citizen observers, who were also taking exit polls. In all national elections, exit polls are taken and checked against that location's results. Exit polls are used by UN affiliate observers to determine whether or not an election is deemed legitimate, internationally. Nations everywhere can face a forced re-do if UN observer exit poll numbers are off, which happened in Austria two years ago.

The tall ballot boxes in all polling places are built of clear lucite, and all of them have camera pointed at them from various angles. Every Russian citizen can go online and watch any ballot box anywhere in Russia from before the polls open until after it closed.

I saw one incident where there appeared to be ballots already in a box before the polls opened. Thousand of calls came in from across Russia from concerned citizens and officials were dispatched and descended on this polling center. I believe it was in or near St Petersburg. It turned out that the police and poll workers who had set up the facility were allowed to cast their ballots before the doors opened. This was caught on the surveillance camera.

The reason that Snowden can watch the elections to see such things is because Russia has the most transparent voting system that I am aware of. The people use paper ballots, although they are counted electronically before they go in the box.

The adage goes something like: "It's not in the process of voting, it's in the counting of the votes."

Using the Russian system, citizens can watch every ballot box in the country from the comfort of their homes, as they go through the counting machine before they go into the box. They will know how many people voted in each polling place. The paper ballots are saved indefinitely.

Foreign observers are interested in this "national oversight" to give credibility to the vote as a model program.

I wonder what Snowden saw.

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@Pluto's Republic

I wonder what Snowden saw.

The video in the tweet shows ballot stuffing.

What gets me is that Putin was going to win anyway, free and fair.
There was no need for any shenanigans.

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@gjohnsit
What the hell were those pinheads in the video thinking? Didn't they know they were on camera?

And all 5 (counting the guard) were okay with it?

Jeez louise. Can Putin possibly be this stupid? Or are these just over-enthusiastic self-appointed agents of All That Is Good And Righteous, as we've seen occasionally in recent US elections?

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Sigh

snoopydawg's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I thought that when I first watched the video and then I saw another person doing it here. The woman looks right at the camera and then she puts it in the box. Great way to start people saying that the election was rigged. That's what people expect out of Russia regardless if it's true or not. Besides as gjohnsit stated, Putin was going to win whether it was rigged or not.

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Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@gjohnsit

Maybe it was a local hack running for a local office that engineered the stuffing.

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

@GreatLakeSailor
Any isolated rigging event, or even the rumour of an event, would get the exact same response in America.
We are post-fact now.

OTOH, Putin is obviously popular and would have won anyway.
And if Putin wasn't popular, he would have won anyway.

No matter what the facts, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@gjohnsit

I don't think it matters

Should my "local political hack" conjecture prove ultimately to reflect reality, it matters only to the extent that it gives some small insight into the inner-workings of Putin and his immediate circle, ie "No, they really ain't that stupid." I agree with the rest of your comment.

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

@GreatLakeSailor The outcome of the election wasn't really in doubt, but there was some value in having a good apparent turnout. This doesn't look like any national conspiracy to me. It is much too amateurish and mathematically inconsequential (even if it occurred in a few hundred precincts). It looks like local officials that want the turnout in their districts to be high to curry favor with the Russian powers that be. Snowden has a point, but his reaction is probably disproportionate to the apparent crime at hand.

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@GreatLakeSailor

and propaganda were going to show up... what better way than to feed convincing 'evidence' to someone internationally respected as a whistle-blower on the left who will obviously repeat what he believes to be true, even at the risk of his life?

Not saying that that's necessarily the case, but it certainly smells like their work.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

From what I saw, the Russians were playing Pokimon GO with the televised polling centers all day. People were calling and reporting all sorts of things according to the newscaster. Thanks to Ed Snowden, that polling station is about to become famous. This will make the Moscow news, for sure. Russians that were interviewed were almost comically serious about their votes being counted.

I guess the Russians new transparent voting, citizens-policing system actually works. After the Snowden video, I saw there were quite a few ballot box-watcher Youtubes posted. They should enjoy their democracy while they can.

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fakenews's picture

We do ballot stuffing here in the U.S. electronically. How long would it take to change an election by doing what the video seems to show? No, we do it the RIGHT way here - thousands at time by way of memory chips...

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"Democracy is technique and the ability of power not to be understood as oppressor. Capitalism is the boss and democracy is its spokesperson." Peace - FN

@fakenews

We do ballot stuffing here in the U.S. electronically.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

fakenews's picture

@Timmethy2.0

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"Democracy is technique and the ability of power not to be understood as oppressor. Capitalism is the boss and democracy is its spokesperson." Peace - FN