Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed massive domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA), met recently in Moscow with three prominent US whistleblowers–Coleen Rowley, Thomas Drake, and Jesselyn Radack–and Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. The clandestine meeting was held to present Snowden with the Sam Adams award, announced three months earlier.
Edward Snowden has been named recipient of this year’s award for truth telling given by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, the group announced today. Most of the Sam Adams Associates are former senior national security officials who, with the other members, understand fully the need to keep legitimate secrets. Each of the U.S. members took a solemn oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” When secrecy is misused to hide unconstitutional activities, fealty to that oath — and higher duty as citizens of conscience — dictate support for truth tellers who summon the courage to blow the whistle. Edward Snowden’s disclosures fit the classic definition of whistle blowing.