WikiLeaks has posted six videos of former NSA analyst Edward Snowden receiving the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on Oct. 9, 2013. The appearance is one of very few for Snowden after leaking classified documents about US and UK mass spying programs in May.
The annual award is given to former US intelligence workers—by former US intelligence workers—who “speak truth to power.” The award is named after Samuel A. Adams, the CIA analyst who leaked Viet Cong recruitment figures during the American war in Vietnam.
“This is not about any sort of particular program,” Snowden said in one of the videos. “This is about a trend in the relationship between the governing and the governed that is coming increasingly into conflict with what we expect as a free and democratic people. If we can’t understand the policies and programs of our government, we cannot grant our consent in regulating them.”
The award ceremony took place in a Baroque-style meeting room somewhere in Moscow. Present were WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, Snowden’s Russian lawyer, and a small group of NSA, CIA, FBI and DoJ whistleblowers.
“People all over the world are realizing that these programs don’t make us more safe,” Snowden continued. “They hurt our economy, they hurt our country, they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative—to have relationships to associate freely.”
“There’s a far cry from legal programs—legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement where it’s targeted, it’s based on reasonable suspicion—individualized suspicion—and a warranted action. [It is] a sort of dragnet mass surveillance that puts entire populations under sort of an eye that sees everything, even when it’s not needed.”