The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given permission leave the Moscow airport where he has been stranded for over a month. Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia last week after the the Obama administration revoked his passport, leaving him unable to travel to Latin America where he has received offers of asylum. Russian authorities have now granted Snowden provisional authorization to enter Russia while his bid is reviewed, a process that could take up to three months. In an hour-long special on whistleblowers, we begin with an excerpt of the June interview in which Snowden came forward as the source behind the recent disclosures of widespread warrantless NSA surveillance of phone and Internet data within the United States and around the world.
Forty-one years ago, Beacon Press lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the U.S. government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. It is now well known how The New York Times first published excerpts of the top-secret documents in June 1971, but less well known is how the Beacon Press, a small nonprofit publisher affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, came to publish the complete 7,000 pages that exposed the true history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Their publication led the Beacon press into a spiral of two-and-a-half years of harassment, intimidation, near bankruptcy and the possibility of criminal prosecution. This is a story that has rarely been told in its entirety. In 2007, Amy Goodman moderated an event at the Unitarian Universalist conference in Portland, Oregon, commemorating the publication of the Pentagon Papers and its relevance today. Today, we hear the story from three men at the center of the storm: former Pentagon and RAND Corporation analyst, famed whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times; former Alaskan senator and presidential candidate Mike Gravel, who tells the dramatic story of how he entered the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record and got them to the Beacon Press; finally, Robert West, the former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We begin with Ellsberg, who Henry Kissinger once described as "the world’s most dangerous man."