Snowden, Assange, Manning, Vanunu – the True Heroes of Our Time

American whistle-blower Edward Snowden (Photo by The Guardian)

By Gideon Levy

Whistle-blowers are still regarded as traitors, but the real traitors are those who were responsible for the acts they exposed.

If the German chancellor was truly a brave stateswoman, she would invite Edward Snowden to seek political asylum in her country and honor him. Her colleague, the French president, should have done likewise. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande should have thanked Snowden – the ex-CIA employee who revealed the arrogant wiretapping system that the United States has operated in their countries. But Snowden is hiding in Russia.

Germany and France are livid with the United States because of Snowden’s revelations (he alleged, among other things, that U.S. agencies listened in on telephone conversations of 35 world leaders), but their leaders aren’t brave enough to offer him the respect and refuge he deserves. Snowden has been banished and oppressed.

Similarly, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and Chelsea Manning, who leaked U.S. military documents. Assange has been in hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012, while Manning was convicted to 35 years in prison last August.

All three are heroes of their time that only history will be able to fully appreciate. They will surely be better remembered than Merkel or Hollande. Three anonymous young men who decided not to shut up; three anonymous young men who decided to take action. They broke their countries’ laws because of their developed sense of justice and their bravery, were branded traitors and sentenced to persecution.

Full article at: Haaretz

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