BREAKING: Edward Snowden to video conference in Monday night lecture


Daily Iowan Staff

Edward Snowden, the famed NSA whistleblower currently living in Russia, will be brought in via video conferencing during the University of Iowa Lecture Committee’s Monday night event.

The event, which will start at 7:30, will be free and open to the public in the Englert Theater. It will feature Snowden, along with CIA whistleblower Coleen Rowley and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. The lecture, titled “Intelligence not ‘Mistaken’, but ‘Fixed’ for War,” is cosponsored by Veterans for Peace and the Center for Human Rights, as well as the Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility and PEACE Iowa.

Snowden, 32, has been seeking temporary asylum, or the protection given to someone believed to be a political refugee, in Russia since he leaked U.S. government documents in 2013. The documents lead to a series of revelations on U.S. intelligence agencies and their surveillance. Though he initially left for Hong Kong, Snowden later traveled to Russia.

The controversy around Snowden has been divisive for the American public. Some, including the New York Times’ editorial board, requested he be granted partial clemency. Others, including the country’s top politicos, have spoken out against Snowden.

The lecture was not originally intended to include Snowden, but in the last two weeks, was made possible, as Growley and Snowden are acquaintances. Snowden has spoken via video conferencing at other universities, as well as international events.

McGovern and Rowley, are also known for speaking about government intelligence. McGovern served as an Army officer, then as a CIA analyst. In 2006, he returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion presented to him as a protest against CIA torture.

Rowley is a native to Iowa and graduated from the UI C0llege of Law in 1980. She served in the FBI during her career. After authoring a memo about FBI failures in an act of whistleblowing, she was named as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2002 (with two other women.)

“This is definitely a different type of lecture,” Lecture Committee chair Carter Bell said. “I think the bay between security and liberty is hotly contested. It’s a really timely issue and one that won’t go away.”

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