Snowden Joins Twitter, Cat Joke Follows—but No Kidding About That Traitor Thing

Snowden Joins Twitter, Cat Joke Follows—but No Kidding About That Traitor Thing

It started with a simple post, relying on an old joke that winks at life in exile: 

Yes, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden joined the 140-character-limited realm of social media and began tweeting Tuesday morning, and pretty soon it was clear: Snowden's got jokes.

The move to Twitter came after a recent interview on scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show in which he was asked to join the social media site.

Snowden spent part of his first morning exchanging jokey tweets and defending his actions as a whistle-blower.

Seven tweets later, he had more than half a million followers.

Snowden is in exile for leaking to journalists in 2013 details of the National Security Agency's secret global surveillance program, resulting in international condemnation and calls to reform the practice of collecting data from the communications of Americans.

Things quickly grew serious when Tyson asked a question about an allegation that has made the rounds in American discourse: Many politicians, including Dick Cheney and Donald Trump, have called Snowden a traitor. It's probably the No. 1 question surrounding his continued exile in Russia and whether he'll ever return to the United States to face investigation or prosecution for the leaks.

Snowden responded by saying that he's "just a citizen with a voice," adding that Daniel Ellsberg has given him some advice there. Ellsberg is a former military analyst who leaked a Pentagon study of Vietnam—known as the Pentagon Papers—that revealed the government had been lying to its citizens about how the war was going. The leak changed public opinion of the war and helping bring about its end.

As long as you're here, Edward, and a fan of cat jokes: May we suggest a peek at #NSAcat?

Related stories on TakePart:


Edward Snowden Probably Deserves Credit for These 3 Privacy Victories

'CITIZENFOUR' Recasts Pariah Edward Snowden as American Hero

Original article from TakePart

  • Trump threatens to pull Republican convention out of North Carolina
    AFP

    Trump threatens to pull Republican convention out of North Carolina

    US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina unless the state's Democratic governor guarantees he will swiftly lift restrictions on large gatherings of people during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, who is set to be named the party's candidate for the November election, fired off a series of early morning tweets on Memorial Day, when the US honors its war dead, professing his "love" for the state but lamenting the fact that he might not be allowed to fill the Charlotte arena where the gathering is scheduled to be held between August 24-27.

  • Defiant protesters chanting 'liberate Hong Kong' flood the streets to oppose China's grab for control
    Business Insider

    Defiant protesters chanting 'liberate Hong Kong' flood the streets to oppose China's grab for control

    REUTERS/Tyrone Siu Hong Kong police fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse thousands of protesting on Sunday, against Beijing's plan to impose national security laws. China has launched new efforts to increase its control over Hong Kong after mass protests in 2019 hampered its efforts to roll back the city's autonomy. Critics fear the provisions of the law will lead to the end of Hong Kong's independence.

  • Serial Rapist Who Was Released Early Arrested on New Rape Charge on Resort Island in Greece
    Time

    Serial Rapist Who Was Released Early Arrested on New Rape Charge on Resort Island in Greece

    A convicted serial rapist released early from a half-century prison term was under police guard in hospital on the Greek resort island of Corfu Monday after suffering severe injuries trying to evade arrest on new rape charges. Police said Dimitris Aspiotis, 47, would undergo surgery for severe back and leg injuries he suffered after falling off a seaside cliff Saturday in the island's southern Lefkimmi area, close to the popular Kavos tourist resort. The suspect had to be extracted by the fire service and rescue teams brought in by sea.

  • China says opposes all U.S. restrictions on Chinese airlines
    Reuters

    China says opposes all U.S. restrictions on Chinese airlines

    China said on Monday it opposes all U.S. restrictions imposed against Chinese airlines, responding to a report that the U.S. Transportation Department has demanded Chinese carriers file their schedules and other flight details by May 27. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said flight restrictions imposed by Beijing treated all airlines equally and were due to efforts to curb COVID-19 related risks. The U.S. government late on Friday accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for U.S. airlines to resume service to China.

  • Joe Biden forced to make his fundraisers fully virtual – bar the price tag
    The Guardian

    Joe Biden forced to make his fundraisers fully virtual – bar the price tag

    The coronavirus pandemic may have driven Joe Biden into his basement and forced his campaign online, but one crucial factor is still the same: his run for the White House still needs to raise giant amounts of money. A fundraising invite for a 14 May event for the New Hampshire Republican congressional candidate Matt Mowers featuring the former New Jersey governor Chris Christie starts at $250 for the “individual” level and goes all the way to $1,000 for the chair level.

  • Oklahoma woman missing since April following Facebook post that indicated she believed she had coronavirus
    NBC News

    Oklahoma woman missing since April following Facebook post that indicated she believed she had coronavirus

    Nearly two months have passed since 53-year-old Talina Galloway vanished from her home in Wagoner, Oklahoma, leaving behind her purse and vehicle. “We're really worried about her,” Talina's niece, Chantel Jones, told Dateline. Chantel told Dateline she spent most of her summers living with her Aunt Talina in Indiana.

  • Connecticut murder suspect's family pleads for his surrender
    Associated Press

    Connecticut murder suspect's family pleads for his surrender

    A lawyer for the family of a Connecticut murder suspect pleaded Monday for his surrender as police involved in a multi-state search for the 23-year-old college student circulated a photo of a person matching his description walking along railroad tracks in Pennsylvania. Peter Manfredonia, a University of Connecticut senior, is suspected of killing Ted DeMers, 62, and Nicholas Eisele, 23, before forcing Eisele's girlfriend into her car and fleeing the state with her. Manfredonia, who is believed to be armed with several guns stolen during a home invasion, was last seen Sunday wearing a white T-shirt, dark shorts and carrying a large duffel bag near train tracks in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

  • Italy to recruit army of 60,000 volunteers to enforce social distancing rules
    The Telegraph

    Italy to recruit army of 60,000 volunteers to enforce social distancing rules

    Italy wants to recruit an army of 60,000 volunteers to help enforce social distancing rules, amid fears that a second wave of infections could be looming. The volunteers would not have any policing powers but would patrol piazzas, parks, playgrounds, markets, bar areas and beaches, asking people not to congregate in large groups. They would be drawn from the ranks of the unemployed, those on income support and those who have been furloughed as a result of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

  • Coronavirus outbreak: Caribbean tourism struggles as visitors stay home
    BBC

    Coronavirus outbreak: Caribbean tourism struggles as visitors stay home

    Seagulls are the only ones using the pool at a resort fringing one of Antigua's most popular beaches. The absence of holidaymakers due to the Covid-19 pandemic is keenly felt on this Caribbean island for which, like many of its counterparts, tourism has long been its breadbasket. Often dubbed the "most tourism-dependent region in the world", the Caribbean attracted more than 31 million visitors last year.

  • Trump news: Trump visits golf course for second day in a row as coronavirus deaths near 100,000
    The Independent

    Trump news: Trump visits golf course for second day in a row as coronavirus deaths near 100,000

    As the nation's death toll approaches 100,000 lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump was spotted playing golf on Saturday and Sunday, as crowds of people flocked to beaches and parties over Memorial Day weekend despite growing infection rates across the US. The president also shared sexist insults about his political rivals, including one message that called Hillary Clinton a "skank", while also spending the weekend on Twitter floating conspiracy theories about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. After encouraging Americans to spend the weekend outdoors and at the golf course, White House health official Dr Deborah Birx defended her remarks following reports of massive crowds over the holiday weekend and suggested that Americans need to change their behaviour and follow physical distancing guidelines, which are beginning to ease in most states after weeks of quarantine.

  • Six women prisoners murdered by inmates in Honduras
    AFP

    Six women prisoners murdered by inmates in Honduras

    Six women were killed by alleged gang members at a women's prison near the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, the National Penitentiary Institute said on Sunday. The killers broke through gates and the roof of a building at the women's prison in Tamara, 10 kilometers to the north of Tegucigalpa, "to go to the gymnasium where six prisoners were staying and murdered them," said the INP. One prisoner had earlier caused a diversion by starting a fire in a dormitory where two inmates quarantined over the coronavirus pandemic were sleeping, in a building housing 1,300 prisoners.

  • Baby gorilla injured at Seattle Zoo
    Yahoo News Video

    Baby gorilla injured at Seattle Zoo

    A baby gorilla was badly injured at a Seattle zoo on Saturday when he was caught in a skirmish between his family group members, zookeepers said.

  • Netanyahu becomes the first Israeli prime minister to stand trial over corruption and fraud cases
    Business Insider

    Netanyahu becomes the first Israeli prime minister to stand trial over corruption and fraud cases

    Amir Levy/Getty Images The trial against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began in Jerusalem on Sunday, marking the first time in Israel's history that a sitting prime minister has ever faced trial. Last year, Netanyahu was indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges as part of three separate corruption cases. The trial against Netanyahu was delayed by two months because of Israel's coronavirus outbreak.

  • Official: U.S. might sanction China over Hong Kong security law
    The Week

    Official: U.S. might sanction China over Hong Kong security law

    The U.S. is likely to impose sanctions against China if it enacts a new national security law that would erode Hong Kong's autonomy, White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said Sunday. The legislation, announced last week during China's National People's Congress, will allow Beijing to take over in Hong Kong, O'Brien said. That would make it unlikely that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could certify that the city, a former British colony, had a "high degree" of autonomy, which would result in sanctions against China under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, O'Brien said.

  • Alabama's Easing of Restrictions Has Given  'A False Sense of Security,' Says Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed
    Time

    Alabama's Easing of Restrictions Has Given 'A False Sense of Security,' Says Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed

    Cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey has allowed summer camps, movie theaters, casinos and more to reopen as part of recently expanded “Safer at Home” orders. Speaking on CNN, Reed said the spike in cases was due in part to people deciding on their own that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and called the easing of restrictions a “mistake.” “They are ready to get back to their normal way of doing things, and that's a mistake that we've been making over the last few weeks, is we have kind of eased restrictions in this community and across the state,” he said.

  • New Zealand leader carries on with TV interview during quake
    Associated Press

    New Zealand leader carries on with TV interview during quake

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern barely skipped a beat when an earthquake struck during a live television interview Monday morning. She interrupted Newshub host Ryan Bridge to tell him what was happening at the parliament complex in the capital, Wellington. We're just having a bit of an earthquake here Ryan, quite a decent shake here,” she said, looking up and around the room.

  • Spain revises coronavirus death toll down by nearly 2,000
    Reuters

    Spain revises coronavirus death toll down by nearly 2,000

    Spain's health ministry revised the country's coronavirus death toll down by nearly 2,000 to 26,834 on Monday after checking data provided by regions. The total number of cases recorded since the outbreak began has also been revised down, and is now 235,400 -- 372 fewer than on Sunday, it said. Just 50 people died of the virus over the past week, it added, a marked fall from previous weeks.

  • Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Rocket Fails Minutes After Test Launch
    Popular Mechanics

    Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne Rocket Fails Minutes After Test Launch

    Sir Richard Branson's company Virgin Orbit conducted a critical flight test of its LauncherOne system this weekend. Shortly before 4 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 25, the company tweeted that the mission terminated shortly after Cosmic Girl released the LauncherOne rocket. A successful launch would have been a boon to Virgin Orbit, which has been developing its air-launch system for the past five years.

  • Ilhan Omar says she believes woman who claims Joe Biden sexually assaulted her
    The Independent

    Ilhan Omar says she believes woman who claims Joe Biden sexually assaulted her

    Democrat "squad" member Ilhan Omar says she believes sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden but would vote for him anyway to defeat Donald Trump. In a Tweet defending her support of accuser Tara Reade, the Minnesota congresswoman said that "believing survivors is consistent with my values". "This is the most important election cycle of our lifetimes and we aren't going to have a chance if we don't spend our energy in mobilising and building enthusiasm against Trump."

  • Russian prosecutors seek 18 years for ex-US marine in spy trial
    AFP

    Russian prosecutors seek 18 years for ex-US marine in spy trial

    Russian prosecutors on Monday called for a former US marine charged with spying to be sentenced to 18 years in prison, after a closed-door trial denounced by Washington and his family. Paul Whelan, 50, was detained in Moscow in December 2018 for allegedly receiving state secrets, but he insists he was framed when he took a USB drive from an acquaintance thinking it contained holiday photos. His trial, which caused tensions between Moscow and Washington and sparked speculation of a prisoner swap, concluded with closing arguments on Monday.

  • Navajo Nation imposes 57-hour lockdown as virus death toll rises
    CBS News

    Navajo Nation imposes 57-hour lockdown as virus death toll rises

    As states across the country are reopening, the Navajo Nation spent the weekend under a strict 57-hour lockdown in another attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The tribe's death toll reached 153 on Saturday as the virus continues to disproportionately affect people of color in the U.S. The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 95 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 for the tribe on Friday. As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed positive cases has surpassed 4,600, pushing the tribe's health care system past its capacity.

  • Republicans sue California Gov. Newsom over his executive order to allow mail-in voting for the November election
    Business Insider

    Republicans sue California Gov. Newsom over his executive order to allow mail-in voting for the November election

    Associated Press The Republican Party is suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom over his May 8 executive order to allow every registered California voter to submit a ballot by mail for the upcoming presidential election. In a lawsuit filed on Sunday, the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party claim that Newsom's order was a "brazen power grab" that exceeded his capacity as governor. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a tweet on Sunday that the lawsuit is "just another part of Trump's political smear campaign against voting by mail."

  • Several high school students in Georgia tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a drive-through graduation parade
    INSIDER

    Several high school students in Georgia tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a drive-through graduation parade

    The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, told parents that "several" graduating seniors tested positive for COVID-19 after a May 17 drive-through graduation. The school did not disclose exactly how many students had tested positive for COVID-19. Several high school students in Georgia tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in a drive-through graduation ceremony, school officials said in a letter to students' families that was first reported by CNN.

  • Politico

    ‘Something isn’t right’: U.S. probes soaring beef prices

    Now, the Agriculture Department and prosecutors are investigating whether the meatpacking industry is fixing or manipulating prices. The Department of Justice is looking at the four largest U.S. meatpackers — Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill — which collectively control about 85 percent of the U.S. market for the slaughter and packaging of beef, according to a person with knowledge of the probe. The USDA is also investigating the beef price fluctuations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has confirmed.

  • Shiite Iran marks end of Ramadan on two different days in rare event
    AFP

    Shiite Iran marks end of Ramadan on two different days in rare event

    Shiite Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival would fall on Sunday this year. But the country's other senior Shiite clerics, or "marjas" -- whose guidance believers follow and who are seen as a "source of emulation", such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday.