Saturday, February 14, 2015

Snowden and Ron Paul kick off ISFL conference

Edward Snowden and Ron Paul Kick Off Libertarian Student Conference With a Little Kerfuffle About Russia - Bloomberg Politics - David Wiegel:

February 12, 2015 - "'You're going to make me blush,' said Edward Snowden.

"It was a little after 6 p.m., and the NSA [National Security Agency] whistleblower's face and shoulders were gazing out, billboard-sized, at hundreds of cheering young libertarians. Snowden was beamed in to talk to the largest-ever International Students for Liberty conference, newly relocated to Washington's largest hotel. Snowden, whose highest degree was a GED, was honored as an honorary alumnus of the eight-year old organization. For 15 minutes he restated a case against the surveillance state that had no rebuttal in the room....

"As he honed in on his argument, Snowden tailored it to young libertarians – most of them college students. 'I think many of the people in this room take a more pro-liberty pro-rights perspective than others in the U.S. political agreement,' said Snowden. 'There’s an argument to be made that perfect enforcement of the law is not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very serious threat ... law is a lot like medicine. When you have too much it can be fatal.'

"In a small moment of irony, the Moscow-bound Snowden remembered how he'd talked to colleagues at the NSA, and found them quietly agreeing with his worries, but unready to expose the agency. 'We had more on Americans than we had on Russians, for example,' he said. 'Should we be focusing on ourselves more than we focus on our adversaries?'....

"After Snowden wrapped, a slightly smaller audience remained in chairs to hear former Texas Congressman Ron Paul chat with Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano and editor Nick Gillespie. 

"'You know, my name was connected to Edward Snowden,' said Paul. 'They really wanted to blackball him, to destroy him, so they said: "He donated to the Ron Paul campaign!"'

"Paul called Snowden a truth-teller, and asked why whistleblowers like him were demonized.

 "'They end up being called the evil people, they're evil,' he said. 'Edward Snowden can't even come back to this country. They say he's treasonous, because he's telling the truth. This is why organizations like this are successful.'"

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