The face of Edward Snowden is becoming a lot more familiar to folks in the DC region. An organization called the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund comprised of a lose group of individual donors has raised over ten thousand dollars to fund bus advertisements featuring the NSA leaker’s face and the message “Thank you, Edward Snowden”. (AUDIO, PHOTO)

Here to talk more about the advertising campaign is Carl Messineo. He is the co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

Carl Messineo, welcome!

Thank you very much for having me here.

First let’s talk about how you became involved in this campaign.

This is the project of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and it is essentially a crowd funded campaign to combat the propaganda that’s coming out of the Obama administration, that portrays Edward Snowden as a traitor and a criminal. We recognize him as a hero, an American hero to democracy.

What we want to do is send a message that says – not only “thank you” to Ed Snowden for giving us the information, the tools that we can use to fight back against the surveillance state, but also we want to send a message to the world that says that the people here, there are millions of people in the US that thank Ed Snowden and are in opposition to this mass bulk surveillance by the NSA and by the Government.

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© Photo “The Voice of Russia”

So, you think more people need to know about Edward Snowden? And maybe you try to change the opinion of those who think negatively of him – is that the goal?

We want people to know that there are others who think just like them, who agree that we were never consented, we were never consulted, we did not consent to have our emails read, to have logs of our telephone records provided wholesale to the US Government where they’ll be in stored in massive data warehouses for years. We were not consulted, we don’t consent and we oppose it.

You mentioned Obama not very pleased with what Snowden did, others have gone further and called him a traitor and want him tried for treason. So, what has been the reaction to your campaign so far?

Exceptionally positive. In fact, we heard from people across the US saying “thank you” to us for having this type of campaign.

Last week I had a chance to interview Michael Ryan, a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation and a scholar at the Middle East Institute. He thought that this campaign may hurt Edward Snowden himself. Let’s take a listen to what he had to say.

“I don’t know anything about the group or the donors that are sort of lionizing Edward Snowden, but I don’t think it really does anybody any good, probably the least of all Edward Snowden. It makes it difficult for Russia and the US ultimately to come to some agreement, if there will ever be an agreement about what happens to him at the end of the year that he’s gotten in Russia.”

What do you make of that comment, that it is going to be harder to get to get Snowden back here if we are lionizing him now?

I think that there is a very clear path for Snowden to come back to the US – he should be granted immunity, he should be given free passage to come to the US to testify before the US Congress and let his voice be heard. That is what a democracy would do… see more