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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Friday that Section 702 of FISA would never have been reauthorized this week if Congress had been aware of alleged abuses detailed in a government memo. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

In Name of Transparency, Not Partisan Sniping, Snowden Backs Call to #ReleaseTheMemo

"If true, the citizens must see the proof," says NSA whistleblower. "If false, it establishes [GOP chairman of House Intelligence Committee] lies and has no credibility. Either outcome benefits the public."

Julia Conley

Edward Snowden joined those calling for officials to release a memo that's said to have information about the government's surveillance abuses. The secrecy of the document, according to the NSA whistleblower, contributed to the reauthorization of a government spying bill narrowly approved by Congress this week.

The vote to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for six more years, which came despite the objections of privacy and civil liberties advocates, will allow the government to spy on the electronic communications of Americans without a warrant.

And the ACLU agreed:

Calls to #ReleaseTheMemo have been heard largely from Republicans including Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who was cleared by an ethics committee last month of giving classified information to the Trump administration as he accused the Obama administration of revealing the names of U.S. officials in documents gathered through foreign surveillance.

Snowden denied that he was aligning himself with Nunes generally, arguing that transparency about a memo that could impact the privacy of Americans, should be out in the open for the good of all citizens regardless of political affiliations.

In his series of tweets, Snowden acknowledged that right-wing pundits and GOP lawmakers could very well being using the "release the memo" call as a self-serving political distraction, but said there are easy ways to test whether or not this is true:

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), both of whom have called for an end to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, are among those calling for a release of the memo.

Meanwhile, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who reported some of the most hard-hitting stories based on the NSA documents leaked by Snowden, also joined the call for transparency even as he, too, made it clear he wasn't interested in aligning with Donald Trump Jr. or others using the demand as a cynical ploy:

Indeed, Greenwald made it clear that it remains House Republicans and President Trump himself, not Democrats, who have the clear authority to make the document public:


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