The Courage Foundation’s Advisory Board, already comprising whistleblowers, tech experts, scholars, and activists, continues to grow. Earlier this week we announced Slavoj Žižek joined our board, and today we are excited to welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges aboard.
Hedges, a former war correspondent for the New York Times, now writes a column for Truthdig, where he covers various topics surrounding threats to our civil liberties and champions those fighting against those threats.
In a debate about Edward Snowden’s actions, Hedges said, “If there are no Snowdens, if there are no Mannings, if there are no Assanges, there will be no free press.”
In February, Hedges wrote ‘Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage,’ a speech praising the NSA whistleblower’s conscientious efforts, and expanding on why we need whistleblowers if we want a free press:
There is no free press without the ability of the reporters to protect the confidentiality of those who have the moral courage to make public the abuse of power. Those few individuals inside government who dared to speak out about the system of mass surveillance have been charged as spies or hounded into exile. An omnipresent surveillance state—and I covered the East German Stasi state—creates a climate of paranoia and fear. It makes democratic dissent impossible. Any state that has the ability to inflict full-spectrum dominance on its citizens is not a free state.
In 2013, Hedges lauded Courage beneficiary Jeremy Hammond for exposing the state’s plan to criminalise democratic dissent. He attended and reported on Hammond’s sentencing, which he called “draconian.”