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Compare and Contrast….

There is Edward Snowden, who some believe “should get the Medal of Freedom.”

And there is Vladimir Bukovsky….

Vladimir Bukovsky
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukovsky, 2007

Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky (Russian: Влади́мир Константи́нович Буко́вский; born December 30, 1942) is a leading member of the dissident movement of the 1960s and 1970s, writer,[1] neurophysiologist,[2][3] and political activist.

Bukovsky was one of the first to expose the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the Soviet Union. He spent a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and in psikhushkas, forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals used by the government as special prisons.

In 1976, after negotiations between the governments of the USSR and the USA, Bukovsky was exchanged for the Chilean political prisoner, communist Luis Corvalán, imprisoned by Augusto Pinochet. After that, Bukovsky moved to the UK.[4]

He is a member of the international advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.[5] In 2001, Vladimir Bukovsky received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.[6]

Boldface not in the information-packed original.


  1. Julie near Chicago says:

    Michael Ledeen wrote a short piece for PJM about his friend Vladimir Bukovsky, in honor of the latter’s 70th birthday. Here are bits from it; more at the source, of course.

    The Greatest Subversive of Our Times

    by Michael Ledeen

    December 29th, 2012 – 2:47 pm

    December 30th is Vladimir Bukovsky’s seventieth birthday. He is the only Russian barred by special law from running for president, a tribute to his immense popularity and force of character. Among the great generation of democratic dissidents–the generation that punctured the monstrous Soviet bubble and produced the celebrated sucking sound that ended the Soviet Empire and gutted the world Communist movement–Bukovsky is arguably the most important.

    Otherwise that law wouldn’t be necessary.

    Bukovsky has a rare combination of toughness, common sense, and good humor. He never compromised with his oppressors, even though he was subjected to the KGB’s infamous psychological and biochemical torments during his years in prison and the camps

    [ ... ]

    In the final year of the Soviet Empire, Bukovsky organized five of us to write a novel, The Golden Convoy, that predicted the internal fission of the Soviet Union. … The book, which culminates in a military coup in Moscow, was published in Russian a few weeks before the failed military coup. As the regime came tumbling down, The Golden Train [sic] was read on Moscow radio, to the great delight of the listeners, and it sold out in record time. Typically, no English-language publisher was willing to print it (too hard on Gorbachev, who is removed from office in the last chapter)….

    [ ... ]

    We’ve been friends for a long time, ever since he came to America to study at Stanford, which he left after the university president bestowed an award on a phony group of Soviet physicians who had been actively involved in Bukovsky’s torture.

    [ ... ]

    He’s a great man and a great friend, and I no doubt owe him the highest honor I ever received: the official declaration that I was “an enemy of the Soviet people.”


  2. John Galt says:

    You are right to laud Vladimir Bukovsky as he is a true dissident in the meaning of the word and suffered greatly for his refusal to cooperate.

    Edward Snowden, may (just may), end up going down the same route, but that takes character, determination and time. Although it has to be said, he’s already been declared an “enemy of the state” in the US, so that’s a point in his favour.

    I think it is too soon to start making comparisons between Bukovsky and Snowden, ask me again in another 20-years.

    P.S. Additional bonus point for Bukovsky is that he’s virulently opposed to the BBC being funded by the TV License.

  3. AndrewWS says:

    Additional bonus point for Bukovsky is that he is now a British national and a member of UKIP.

  4. Paul Marks says:

    If Mr Snowden had uncovered specific American citizens who were having their e.mails read (read – not counted) without a warrant and had gone to interested members of Congress (such as Senator Rand Paul) he would DESERVE the Medal of Freedom. And he would have been protected by the Whistle Blower statutes (no such protection for Mr Bukovsky).

    Instead Mr Snowden went off to Mr Putin and FSB (and has still, as far as I know, not given any names of American citizens who have had their e.mails read without a warrant).

    There is a lot wrong with the United States (an awfully lot wrong with the United States) – but nothing the FSB is going to fix. This is something that Mr Bukovsky could explain to Mr Snowden – but sadly I doubt Mr Snowden, surrounded by endless flattery from the leftist media (Edward – do you really think the New York TImes and the Guardian would love you if you were actually doing something to undermine statism?), would listen to Mr Bukovsky.

  5. Sam Duncan says:

    Exactly, Paul. I’m increasingly suspicious of Snowden’s motives, to be honest. There’s growing evidence (largely circumstantial, to be fair) that the FSB was involved long before he ended up in Russia. He’s certainly managed to plant the idea in the public mind that the US is by far the worst offender against online privacy, and I don’t buy that for a second. Anyone who thinks Russia – or, gawdelpus, China – is a safer place to keep your data is an idiot.

    Mr. Obama may think otherwise, but the Cold War is far from over.

  6. John Galt says:

    I’ve already been crucified for my anti-Snowden views, so I will say no more, but in comparison to Vladimir Bukovsky, Edward Snowden is a fucking child.

    Enough said.

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