Science Fiction Novelist Sues Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for Spoiling Upcoming Thriller

 

 

Edward Snowden - Whistleblower (Source: NBC News)
Edward Snowden – Whistleblower (Source: NBC News)

Written by: N. Emma
7/14/14

Longtime conspiracy thriller sci-fi novelist, Gerard Watkins, has filed suit against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and his journalistic cohort, Glenn Greenwald in the Southern District court of New York today. The complaint alleges that Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald “recreated the exact plotlines” found in the most recent draft of Mr. Watkin’s forthcoming novel – “All Eyes On You” which was set for publication in early August of 2014. Due to the disclosures made by Edward Snowden and published by Glenn Greenwald, the release of Mr. Watkins upcoming novel has been postponed indefinitely.

In addition, Mr. Watkins seeks compensation for “spoliation of the ending” of his novel wherein an NSA whistleblower provides evidence to a hard-hitting journalist that the National Security Agency is collecting data wholesale from the American public. The main character is then forced to flee to Moscow for asylum.

When asked about the seriousness of the disclosures Mr. Watkins gave a surprising response. He said, “sure it’s bad for the country, but think about me. Who is going to read this book now that this information is public? I’ve spent the last fourteen years of my life researching and writing this novel and now the cat is out of the bag. Just like that.” When asked a more pointed question about Snowden he responded, “yes, it’s all great and dandy what he did for the country, I suppose, but couldn’t he have waited until after my book came out?”

The complaint alleges that the events included in his novel were “far too ridiculous” to have actually happened in real life. Watkins said, “I even wrote a scene where the plane of a foreign dignitary was downed on the suspicion that the whistleblower was on board” because it sounded, “like the stupidest diplomatic move a government could make.” Mr. Watkins stressed that he never imagined any of it would actually happen. In another shocking twist, Mr. Watkins spoke about the portion of his novel where “the whistleblower’s passport” was revoked and the “journalist’s partner was interrogated” because of obscure terrorism laws. He added that he almost didn’t include the part of the book where those in power “clamored for the assassination of one and the prosecution of the other” because he thought it was “too dystopian even for science fiction.” He followed up by saying, “I guess sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.”

Mr. Watkins and his attorney’s claim that by exposing documents surrounding the existence of a real life surveillance apparatus of the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald negate the reader’s ability to follow the fictional storyline that follows a virtually congruent path. As such, the plaintiff, Mr. Watkins argues that Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden owe him compensation for the loss of projected sales, pre-orders, and eBooks that he expected to sell, “like hotcakes” according to the complaint. Mr. Watkins and his attorney argue, “the book would have sold millions of copies if not for the disclosures made by Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald.” The complaint suggests $600 million dollars in damages to be paid by the whistleblower in exile and muckraking journalist.

The case is Watkins vs. Snowden and Greenwald et al.

N. Emma is an expert of fluidity and digestion. She reports on politics when not providing relief to those in need.

This article is satirical.

Reflecting on the Torrance City Council Election

Torrance Election Results (Source: LA County Registrar)
Torrance Election Results (Source: LA County Registrar)

Today I can proudly say that my friend, Tim Goodrich was elected to the Torrance City Council on June 3rd, 2014 (though officially the votes weren’t tallied until June 4th — I know I waited up to see them). I am even more proud to say that I was a crucial part of his success.

He came in second place, of the four council members elected, with 7,976 votes which comes out to roughly twelve percent of the voting electorate. We beat an appointed incumbent by roughly 600 votes.

I have never been prouder or felt more gratification than from seeing Tim’s name jump to second place when refreshed on the screen of the LA County Registrar’s website.

The adrenaline was unlike anything, even jiu jitsu. During the campaign, the daily rituals are grueling. Making phone calls, walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods, knocking on doors to mixed responses, calling and recruiting volunteers, planning events, etc. You almost don’t have time for a moment to take it all in.

And yet, it all comes flashing back like lightning as we were waiting for the initial projections that night at Tim’s house. His abode filled with people, food, and drinks, all of them mingling with an anxious feeling in the air. The mood was positive but pensive. When the first projections came up Tim was in 4th place. This terrified me and relieved me simultaneously. I could breath a sigh of relief because he had made the cutoff and was going to be elected to city council. The only factor was for how long. Had he placed fourth as the initial projections showed, he would have had to start running for reelection in the next year.

As the night wore on, people filtered out. However, a second wave of people came to pay their respects. Policemen, city commissioners, other officials, all came to congratulate Tim on the effort.  By the end of the night we had jumped to third place, and finally to second — where we finished.

I started on the campaign as a volunteer. I remember Tim asked me to donate $100 dollars because that’s the extent to which he thought I was interested in participating. Little did he know within a few months I would be managing his campaign. I did donate the money, but more importantly I quickly integrated myself into the routines of the campaign. At one point I realized volunteer was an insufficient title and I asked Tim what I ought to call myself when contacting constituents or other volunteers. I was initially given the title of Field Director. After another month or so I was at a Pho restaurant, Saigon Dish in Hawthorne, with Tim and his wife Meav when Tim surprised me by asking if I wanted to be the campaign manager. I was humbled, and extremely grateful for the opportunity. I took him up on it and even cut down on the frequency with which I attended jiu jitsu. Anyone who knows me would understand this as an immeasurable sacrifice.

As a campaign manager I got to work with phenomenal volunteers, (Will, Lindy, Alonso and so many more) who I became close with. We worked, we laughed, we sat in suspense together waiting for the results. It was a beautiful process and I could not be happier with the results.

There is so much that goes into a campaign and so many people to thank for the success. This victory is not so much Tim’s victory, or even my own, so much as it is a victory for collective action and for the people of the city of Torrance.

I am extremely proud of this endeavor and look forward to seeing Tim lead in the city of Torrance.

 

Torrance Election Graph (Source: LA County Registrar)
Torrance Election Graph (Source: LA County Registrar)

Victory in California!

Wolf Pac Victory! (Graphic Credit Todd Erickson)
Wolf Pac Victory! (Graphic Credit Todd Erickson)

Just last week California became the second state in the nation, following Vermont, to call for an Article V Constitutional Convention in order to address the issue of money in politics.

There are two ways to amend the Constitution. One of them is introducing and passing legislation through Congress — something they do stupendously. Or two thirds of the state legislatures can call for a constitutional convention where three fourths of the states must ratify any amendments to the Constitution. Harvard Professor, scholar, and activist Lawrence Lessig has argued in support of a Constitutional Convention.

On June 23, the California State Senate voted to adopt such a resolution and in doing so became the second state in a historic effort to unravel the influence of capital on Congress and our republic.

Assembly Member Mike Gatto (D) of the 43rd district in Los Angeles initially introduced the resolution, AJR-1 (or Assembly Joint Resolution 1) on December 3rd, 2012. However, the bill was almost immediately sidelined in committee and from there it did not seem as though it would ever see the light of day again.

But that is not the beginning of this story. What started everything in motion was that Cenk Uygur, in conjunction with his popular online news show, “The Young Turks” decided that they were fed up and would not take it anymore! They decided to put together an organization of people from all across the political spectrum all with the same dream of having free fair and open elections. In order to convey how dissatisfied and determined the group was, they adopted the name, Wolf-PAC. That’s where it all started, with the people.

The people at Wolf-PAC met with Assemblyman Gatto in 2012 and because Gatto was sympathetic he introduced the bill. However, he did not have the political capital to fight for it, and there were heavy interests against it with only minimal organizing supporting the bill. It was easily sidelined. This is how the bill stayed until early 2013.

What had happened in the intervening year? Wolf-PAC became a serious force to be reckoned with. Cenk was extremely successful at recruiting people through his online news show, which is where I became affiliated with the organization as a volunteer. In the year between when the bill was sidelined and when it started on its way through committees to the floor a popular movement materialized at the grassroots level. The type of which, in my opinion, we have not seen in the United States since the Populist party of the early 1900’s.

The organization is bare bones. It only had one or two employees to begin with, Mike Monetta, the National Director of Organizing was the only one I knew of personally. He put together online training seminars that could be easily administered once a volunteer had been through the training themselves. More like rabbits than wolves, our ranks multiplied. Ordinary people who had little or in some cases no political experience stepped up to the plate to become the leaders of this movement. One in particular, Alison Hartson, is a school teacher who initially started training other volunteers, then became a regional organizer, and would eventually rise to the position of statewide organizer for California!

Under Alison’s leadership (and a few others) California citizens put on the full court press. We contacted legislators directly, met with their staff, and representatives and lobbied on behalf of the bill. I personally met with my state Senator at the time and asked him to vote yes on the bill (he did!). We organized phone banks to people inside of the representatives districts and on a human level explained why they should be concerned about money in politics. We asked that they contact their representative. It’s extremely easy to conduct outreach when 90% of the population agrees with the reason you’re calling.

In addition to organizing phone banks, Wolf-PAC CA organized a rally at the capital during the Judiciary Committee where they had roughly 60 volunteers come and express support for the resolution. Nobody dared to speak out against the bill. It was an amazing turn of events. The bill went from being effectively silenced without ever seeing the floor of either chamber for discussion to sailing through committees like a seagull over the ocean.

Volunteers of Wolf-PAC could be heard rejoicing immediately after the vote, much to the chagrin of legislators. Cenk, of cooooourse, covered the success of the bill on The Young Turks. And with that — there are two down and thirty two to go. One more in the books for the good guys. Many other states already have resolutions introduced, and many more are on the way.

These were my immediate reflections upon hearing the news. I am supremely impressed at the ability of everyone involved as citizens to recognize the need for action and to answer the call. Let it be known that civic duty and social responsibility in the United States is not dead, it is alive and well!

The organizing and leadership skills displayed by Mike, Alison, Kathy, Will etc. is reminiscent of the populist movement. This was a true grassroots effort embarked upon predominantly by people who are not and in some cases have never been involved in politics. People who saw a fundamental problem in our system and assembled as is their first amendment right to receive the ultimate redress of their grievance. Not only did this group get a bill introduced into the legislature — which is an impressive feat in and of itself – Wolf Pac CA (and those from other states that helped out) managed to get a resolution passed in both chambers! We are the populists of our day, and we are making moves to reinstate one of the most important pillars of government — free, fair, and open elections.
I remember a conference call, probably a year or so ago, where Alison playfully posed the hypothetical question, “what you do to celebrate AJR1 being passed by both chambers?” At the time, it seemed so far away — an unattainable dream, an oasis in our desert of desperation. Now that we have climbed to mountain top, now that the promise land is still 32 states and a convention away but close enough to see there is time to pause for celebration. But we must also redouble our efforts to allow other states to liberate themselves from the chokehold of the elites. Together we will win, and we will reform this country. I am so proud to have had even the slightest part in the effort. My only regret is that I did not do more.