Hollywood Celebrities, Prominent Whistleblowers, Latin America Experts and Others Urge Correa to Grant Snowden Asylum

June 27, 2013

Dozens of actors, directors, authors, former whistle-blowers, musicians, journalists, and activists have signed onto a letter addressed to President Correa urging him to grant political asylum to Edward Snowden. As Popwrapped! has noted, the many famous signatories to the letter are not the only celebrities to have openly shown their support for Snowden; others who have done so over Twitter include Tom Morello, Mark Ruffalo and Yoko Ono.

The letter is signed by Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden, Daniel Ellsberg, Danny Glover, John Cusack, Amber Heard, Shia LaBeouf, Roseanne Barr, Naomi Klein, Boots Riley, Juan Cole, Cenk Uygur, Jacob Appelbaum (developer of The Tor Project), Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans (Cofounders of CODEPINK), Ann Wright (retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat), Ray McGovern (Former U.S. Army officer and longtime senior CIA analyst (ret.)), Walter Riley (attorney; Civil Rights activist and Chair of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund and the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute), Bill Fletcher, Jr. (writer and activist), Kevin Gosztola (journalist with Firedoglake.com), John Pilger (filmmaker and journalist), Ignacio Ramonet (journalist and author), Kent Spriggs (Guantanamo habeas counsel), Kevin Martin (Executive Director of Peace Action), Kathy Kelly (Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence), Mark C. Johnson (Executive Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation), Rabbi Michael Lerner (editor, Tikkun and Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives), Norman Solomon (Cofounder of RootsAction.org) and over 10,000 others.

The letter was circulated by Just Foreign Policy and is posted on their website.

In addition to “Pentagon papers” whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg and Iraq war whistle-blower Joe Wilson, the letter is signed by Thomas Drake (the former NSA Senior Executive and whistleblower) and Coleen Rowley (retired FBI agent & former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel, and one of three “whistleblowers” named Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002).

Unlike a number of journalists, who not only have gone along with the Obama administration’s demonization campaign against Snowden but have even attacked Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, these whistle-blowers recognize Snowden as one of their own. Snowden’s status as a legitimate whistle-blower, against whom the Obama administration has leveled “arbitrary” Espionage Act charges, is one of the letter’s main points. The charges, the letter states, are “evidence of political persecution,” noting that the Obama administration “has charged more than twice as many whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined.”

Notably, a number of Latin America scholars also signed onto the letter, including Greg Grandin (author of Empire’s Workshop and the Pulitzer-finalist Fordlandia), Miguel Tinker Salas (author, The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela), Marc Becker (author, Indians and Leftists in the Making of Ecuador’s Modern Indigenous Movements), William I. Robinson (author, Latin America and Global Capitalism: A Critical Globalization Perspective), Fernando Morais (author, Paulo Coelho: A Warrior’s Life: The Authorized Biography) and Sinclair Thomson (author of We Alone Will Rule: Native Andean Politics in the Age of Insurgency).

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