Just received my first copies of my graphic novel-format biography of Edward Snowden. Full color!
AND I just saw the first book review. It’s in PC Magazine:
…darkly funny look at our ongoing surveillance nightmare.
…for every sobering, dystopic example of privacy invasion, there’s an absurd comic punchline like NSA workers gawking at naked couples through hacked web cameras. It’s in moments like that where Rall’s unflattering, political cartoon art style shines.
With its succinct prose and pictures on every page, Rall’s Snowden reads like a children’s book for adults. But it’s also an entertaining, exhaustive, and approachable look at an incredibly important and relevant topic, because information security affects everyone whether you like it or not. Snowden by Ted Rall hits bookshelves on August 25.
Hillary Clinton refuses to tell voters whether she’d move ahead with, or cancel, the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline across the United States were she to be elected president. Instead, she’d surprise us when she’s elected. In a way, nothing new there!
As many as 1.4 million citizens with security clearance saw some or all of the same documents revealed by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Why did he, and no one else, decide to step forward and take on the risks associated with becoming a whistleblower and then a fugitive? Rall’s all-comic, full-color biography delves into Snowden’s early life and work experience, his personality, and the larger issues of privacy, surveys the new surveillance technologies being deployed against the American people, and the recent history of government intrusion. Rall describes Snowden’s political vision and hopes for the future. The book tells two stories: Snowden’s and a larger one that describes all of us on the threshold of tremendous technological upheaval and political change.
Snowden is a portrait of a brave young man standing up to the most powerful government in the world and, if not winning, at least reaching a stand-off, and in this way is an incitation to us all to measure our courage and listen to our consciences in asking ourselves what we might have done in his shoes.
I heard on NPR today that Obama would like to have a “debate” and a “national discussion” on the NSA data-mining scandal.
Well of course he would. Having a “debate” on an illegimate activity is the very first step needed in making that activity legitimate and acceptable. The same thing happened with torture. Once upon a time, it was unthinkable. Then it was “debatable”.
In regards to Edward Snowden; I would hold off on proclaiming him a “hero” for the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama himself authorized the leaks, in order to make the unthinkable, thinkable.
And what would be the objective of this? To provide a means for any authority figure, from Obama right on down to the lowliest rookie cop, to admit publicly that they snooped on you, without consequence to themselves.
This is a complete breakdown of equality under the law, and an enforcement of arbitrariness (authority figures making up laws as they see fit, and changing them when it suits them). And that’s why this is not subject to debate. We are nation of laws, not of men, and that is the way it has to stay.
Because, as far as “authority figures” are concerned, they are only as powerful as the people who guard them while they sleep. The only thing ELSE that guards them is the rule of law, and once that goes, they’d better hope they made right choice of bodyguard.
Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.