Victoria Humanist Café - Three Whistleblowers: Heroes or Traitors? 

Discussion Topic: Three Whistleblowers: Heroes or Traitors? 

Moderator - John Pope

Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning have all sacrificed their freedom for a cause.  
Snowden is in asylum in Russia, but still active (and influential) on social media.
Julian Assange lived in exile at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years, and has had his internet access jammed and visitors disallowed.  He was finally evicted from the embassy by the newly elected Ecuadorian government.  He was then arrested, and is in jail in London in apparent bad health waiting for trial for possible deportation to the U.S..
Chelsea Manning was sentenced to serve 35 years in a maximum security facility, but it was commuted by Obama.  She is back in jail after refusing to answer questions from the grand jury about conversations she allegedly had with Assange at the time of her illegal disclosures.  She is now running for the US Senate in Maryland. 
Also, you may remember we had a similar Cafe in April last year when our City of Victoria made the international news when Christopher Wylie, who worked for AggregateIQ in Victoria, blew the whistle on the company Cambridge Analytica that he claimed had used mined personal data from Facebook without consent to influence democracy.  He specifically mentioned the Brexit "Leave" campaign in the UK, and other national and local elections that may have been affected by these tactics. 

Contrasting opinions:

Whistleblowers are patriots
: "We need whistleblowers as a form of checks and balances within our society. We need to look up to these individuals, and call them patriots of our, so called, free world."  Read more:

Whistleblowers are traitors: "Stealing classified information to systematically undermine U.S. alliances across the world, while aiding U.S. adversaries, is practically the definition of treason."  Read more:

Canadian Legislation: 

Here's what the revamping of the federal whistleblower law would look like if implemented (Jun. 2017): 

Is Assange an activist, or a journalist?  How does this matter to the courts?
What justification did the Ecuadorean government's President Moreno have to evict Assange from their embassy in London?  “The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit on the behaviour of Mr Assange."  -Lenin Moreno  Did it have anything to do with the $4.2 billion IMF loan to Ecuador endorsed by Trump?
Will Julian Assange ever be free?
[Your question here]

"Just as we do not allow police officers to enter every home to fish around for evidence of undiscovered crimes, we must not allow spies to rummage through our every communication for indications of disfavored activities." -Edward Snowden

“One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.”  -Julian Assange

“I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.”  -Chelsea Manning

"I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public." -Edward Snowden

See you there!  Bring a friend or two.
Open to all.  Coffee and tea provided.  Donations gratefully accepted.


The Victoria Secular Humanist Association's Humanist Café is a moderated discussion held every first and third Wednesday of the month 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the James Bay New Horizons Center. 234 Menzies St.

We welcome guests, so if you’re curious come to one of our events!

April 17, 2019 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm Pacific Time (US & Canada)
James Bay New Horizons Society
234 Menzies St
Victoria, BC V8V 2G7
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