Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Home City Life Park City Life Live From Russia With Edward Snowden
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Live From Russia With Edward Snowden

“It’s good to be back in the United States.” Edward Snowden said with a laugh, “And I didn’t even need a pardon.” So began opening night at Park City’s Eccles Center—an evening that Park City Institute’s Terri Orr acknowledged was an unusual booking for the music and dance venue.

Snowden wasn’t really in the United States, of course. His face was on the screen of a bizarre Robot looking thing on wheels, streaming live from Russia, where he has been hiding from the United States government with Vladimir Putin’s blessing since he released documents above top secret to journalists in 2013.

The event was moderated by KUER’s Doug Fabrizio, who the program says was “vetted and approved” by Edward Snowden in advance.


Snowden seemed nothing if not well-rehearsed through the 90-minute Q&A session. But, to this observer, his insistence that he did what he did for the love of liberty rang a little hollow, given the location of his current residence.

He walked the audience through his version of the events that led to his fleeing the country, “I was exposed to things that I recognized were immoral and wrong,” Snowden told the not-quite-sold-out-crowd, “But like others in the intelligence community, I justified it… These are good people doing bad things.” And so, eventually, he says, he reached a point that he could no longer justify the government’s actions—and that’s when he contacted journalist Glen Greenwald and others with what he knew.

“I never published a single document. I worked in concert with journalists who then make a public interest decision,” Snowden explained, saying he instructed the journalists he worked with to tell the government what they planned to print before they printed it, to give the government a chance to respond or make an appeal based on public safety.

At times during this part of the conversation, Snowden seemed to railroad Fabrizio—interrupting him and determining the direction of the conversation. He bristled at Fabrizio’s mention of former C.I.A. Director James Wooley’s claim that Snowden has blood on his hands for the Paris attacks last month. Snowden defended himself against the claims by noting that the PRISM documents he released mentioned text messages and Skype, both of which were used by the Paris attackers. “This is a indication,” Snowden said, “That terrorists were not reading these documents.”

Snowden then upped the ante. “I haven’t talked about this publicly because I don’t think it’s right to play politics with people’s lives,” he said. But, he claims that the programs he uncovered have not stopped a single terrorist attack. “Paris. San Bernadino. This is the strongest evidence yet that mass surveillance does not save lives.”

Snowden claims he has offered to go to trial for his crimes. “Political exile as a political strategy has worked for thousands of years,” he said. Later noting that he and his lawyers are waiting for the government to call him back. He cited the inequality in the American justice system, noting Hillary Clinton’s Justice Department emails as a good example of what he suggested is a double standard.

And though his self declared love of freedom and liberty is what created his self- imposed exile to Russia, a place that has very little freedom and liberty, Snowden remains steadfast in his justifications for leaking the documents. When asked by Fabrizio if he was going to vote by mail in the 2016 election, Snowden smirked and said, “I might go to the embassy.”

Snowden took no questions from the audience before he wheeled off the stage in his robot-machine.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Have a peaceful Tuesday evening ☮️

Everyone could use a breath of fresh air! 🌞⁠

Be sure to follow social distancing rules on the tails. 🌲 Check the link in bio to read our convo with the Executive director of the @mtntrailspc foundation, Charlie Sturgis, about being part of the covid-19 solution. ⁠

Be gentle with one another, Salt Lake ❤️

Our September-October issue is on stands now! ⁠

Salt Lake magazine has traditionally devoted its September-October issue to travel, describing trips to destinations all over the world. This year, confined by COVID, we’re looking closer to home. ❤️⁠

Stay well and be sure to pick up our latest issue or subscribe to our magazine through the link in bio!


Happy Monday 🏞
Who else is dreaming of the weekend? 😴

“The power of the people is always stronger than the people in power." - Angela Johnson⁠

Check the link in bio to read our Q & A with protest organizers. ⁠

Photo credit: Max Smith @phhhhhhhhhhhotos⁠

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Have a safe and responsible weekend, Utah! Oh and P.S. Wear a mask ❤️⁠

📸: Photo courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism⁠

Something fishy is happening on the eastern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir... ⁠

A municipality is attempting to annex unincorporated land across a county line without that county’s approval. If this sounds like madness, that’s because it is. Read the full story though the link in bio. ⁠

📸 Photo courtesy of: Utah Office of Tourism

Summertime slush! Soft cold slurpy sweet treats- the classic seasonal delight. 🍧⁠

Here’s where to get the best and how to make them yourself, check the link in bio! 🍭

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🏜️ Check out 3 pup friendly hikes in our beautiful Moab 🐶 Link in bio! Happy Hiking! ⁠

📸: Utah Office of Tourism

We ❤️ Red Rocks! 🏜️⁠

Thinking about getting into car camping this summer? 🚘 We've got some tips on how to find the right rig for you! Check the link in bio. ⛺ And keep exploring!