Ed Snowden Leaves Hong Kong, Seeks Asylum In Ecuador, As US Officials Flip Out

from the many-fists-were-shaken-impotently-that-day... dept

Edward Snowden had a few options available to him in Hong Kong despite facing extradition for espionage and theft charges. Beyond the appeals process that would have held off the inevitable for several years, there were certain built-in safety nets (the “political offense exception” built into the US-Hong Kong extradition treaty and protections against “inhumane treatment” via the UN) ihat could have seen him avoid extradition altogether.

Those no longer matter as Snowden is on his way to Ecuador, via Moscow and Cuba, accompanied by a member of Wikileaks’ legal team. The US government was informed about Snowden’s departure roughly five hours after he boarded an Aeroflot plane headed to Moscow. According to the statement released by Hong Kong officials, they had no choice but to let Snowden go.

Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel, and Hong Kong has informed the US Government of his departure…

Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the Hong Kong Government requested additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request met relevant legal conditions.

As the Hong Kong Government did not yet have sufficient information to process the request, there was no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

It’s a rarely seen event, but someone has just told the US government, “Your papers are not in order.” That’s a hell of a thing to wake up to, especially if you’re one of the members of the “harmed” parties. (Supposedly Snowden’s actions would harm all Americans from the way the anti-whistleblower contingent makes it sound, but really it’s just the NSA and the FBI that have been caught with their particulars exposed.)

Hong Kong officials added one more paragraph to its statement, one which explains why Snowden was given a five-hour head start.

At the same time, it has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. It will follow up on the matter, to protect the legal rights of people of Hong Kong.

In other words, Hong Kong finds the US government’s actions more problematic than Snowden’s actions, so have fun catching your boy!

Snowden’s escape will be an embarrassment to those who publicly stated their confidence that Hong Kong would comply with the orders.

The White House appears to have been caught flat-footed by the latest manoeuvres. On Saturday, President Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, told CBS news he expected Hong Kong to arrest Snowden because it “has been a historically good partner of the United States in law enforcement matters and we expect them to comply with the treaty in this case”.

In fact, the US government is looking particularly hapless, what with its stern demands to Hong Kong before Snowden left, followed by similarly pathetic demands to Russia to not let Snowden hop a flight onto his next destination.

So, Snowden is on his way to Ecuador, seeking asylum in the same country that opened up its doors, heart and embassy Hide-a-bed to Julian Assange. His itinerary was hardly direct, but it made stops in nations unlikely to greet him at the airport with handcuffs and a seat on the next flight to the United States. Traveling to Russia and Cuba made it much less likely that someone would “officially” recognize the fact that the US government had revoked Snowden’s passport prior to his boarding the flight to Russia. (Of all Snowden’s worries, traveling with a revoked passport has to be so far down the list as to be imperceptible.)

He’s left behind a wealth of information, all of which the US government would rather have kept secret. A trail of angry politicians and security officials also follow close behind, decrying his every move, including CISPA sponsor Mike Rogers.

“When you look at it, every one of these nations is hostile to the United States,” Rogers said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If he could go to North Korea and Iran, he could round out his ‘government oppression tour.’ So when you think about what he says he wants and what his actions are, it defies logic.”

I doubt Snowden sympathizes with oppressive governments, but he does know who’s more likely to ignore US pleas, threats or attempted intervention. Considering what’s happened to other whistleblowers, the US government looks a bit oppressive itself, at least from Snowden’s viewpoint. Still, Rogers thinks Snowden should just come home and get what’s coming to him.

“If he really believed he did something good, he should get on a plane, come back, and face the consequences of his actions,” Rogers said.

His statement makes no sense. Rogers has already declared Snowden guilty as charged and seems to think Snowden should martyr himself for his cause via the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Whistleblower Retribution Plan that George Bush and (especially) Barack Obama are so fond of. Whistleblowers like Snowden should “face the consequences” while the government’s excesses and overreach should be allowed to continue on unpunished in perpetuity.

There is a potential downside to Snowden’s actions. By seeking asylum in a country with a somewhat antagonistic relationship with the US, there’s always the possibility that he’ll be used as a pawn when politically convenient. Ecuador has already proven it has a rather flexible definition of “asylum,” one which allows it to suddenly revoke “refugee” status if certain governments ask nicely. Given the right circumstances, his hosts could decide to offer his freedom in exchange for something it really wants, or to avoid something it doesn’t.

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Comments on “Ed Snowden Leaves Hong Kong, Seeks Asylum In Ecuador, As US Officials Flip Out”

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89 Comments
Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Now he's an International play thing

AJ and the others don’t care at all about little things like who exactly is to blame. To them, the guilty party is whoever pisses them off the most at any given time, and nothing will ever change their minds. Anyway, even with that…
AJ, if you’re so worried about Mike “censoring” your comments…then he’s not exactly doing a very good job at it is he? If he were actually censoring them, they wouldn’t show up at all, but they are. So even if Mike is actually trying to silence you, the fact that he’s so ineffective at it really just renders your entire point moot.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Now he's an International play thing

You almost made a point, but then spoilt it by acting like a childish jackass. Ironically, this is the reason why your post was then hidden – NOT by Mike, but by fellow users tired of reading your idiocy. This is not censorship since I’m still able to read your inane whining and reply to it, by the way. Your spelling is also as accurate as your facts and logic on this point.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Now he's an International play thing

why was my post I posted yesterday, never posted after being send to ‘moderation’, (FOR NO REASON).

That is censorship, as is ‘hiding posts’ but I was not referring to that. As usual you just to conclusions and dont know the facts.

I accept Masnicks ‘hidding’ censorship, as I know how well it promotes posts.

But to ‘disapear’ posts, is entirely different..

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Now he's an International play thing

Since it was an automated system (designed to catch spambots), then it obviously caught your post for some reason, or some combination of reasons.

I can guess a few of the triggers. It was posted anonymously. The same or similar message had been posted before, especially in other unrelated stories. The message was relatively short. It contained links, especially a link that had been previously posted, or one that was obfuscated behind a bit.ly link.

If your post looks like spam, it’s going to get caught by the spam filter. And when TD staff sees what equally looks like useless spam in the filter, why should they bother spending time letting it through? If you don’t want your comments caught like that, instead of writing what look like automated computer generated drivel perhaps you should adjust your posting style. IOW: adapt or die.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Now he's an International play thing

It’s sad, but now the best he can hope for is that some country will want to USE HIM as a stick to poke the US in the eye.

Masnick are you going to censore this post as well ?
a

Of course he is. I also like he changed the flag message from a high contrast pink to a less visible gray and now, instead of being to click anywhere on the flag notice, you have to click on two words that comprise about 20% of the former area. I guess he’s angling for a job with China’s Ministry of Truth.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Now he's an International play thing

He’s a professional lie-ologist! Lieologist lieeee!

Intarwebs brutality! Y’all censorizin’ me!

I thought that the webs was my castle
With no one scrutinizing me
No pigs, no lyin’ bitch, no hassle
Y’all are censorizin’ me

Can’t a troll not post his FUD in silence?
Can’t a troll not crudely lie and scream?
Can’t a troll not control his bitch with violence?
Y’all are censorizin’ me

Anonymous Coward says:

Hope he makes it there. The US needs to check itself. It’s government betrayed the entire world including its own citizens.

Because terrorism is not a valid rationalization for every secret fucked up thing they want to do. They are clearly trying to militarize the internet, the first of many problems are…. WE are the internet.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

What do you think the internet was really created for? So that people can watch funny cat videos and buy stuff on Amazon? Its primary function is surveillance. The revelations about government spying programs prove as much.

Yeah, we’re more informed with the internet, but so are they.

horse with no name says:

As the world turns...

It’s turning out to be more and more clear at this point that Wikileaks is behind much of this (again), and that now their cozy relationships with China, Russia, and a few banana republics is becoming clear.

If you cannot see them as aiding the enemy, you have to be willfully blind. It’s not about blowing whistles, it’s about shifting world power.

Hong Kong screwed it up big time. They let a guy with a revoked passport get out of the country without a blink. That can tell you how much power was used by mainland China on this one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: As the world turns...

I suspect it has more to do with these places just itching for a reason to show the US a big giant middle finger than any sort of cozy relationship like you suggest.

If you travel the world at all, even the places the US has good relationships with, hate americans. Sure the US has a huge military and has very successfully navigated world politics to their benefit but they made a lot of enemies doing it.

All things come to an end. May the US go down with more grace than a screaming toddler.

Anonymous Coward says:

There is a potential downside to Snowden’s actions. By seeking asylum in a country with a somewhat antagonistic relationship with the US, there’s always the possibility that he’ll be used as a pawn when politically convenient.

YOU GOT SOMETHING RIGHT,, it’s not a ‘possibility’ it’s a certainty.

His statement makes no sense. Rogers has already declared Snowden guilty as charged

Is ‘Rogers’ a court or a judge ?? does it matter what Rogers “declares” ???
That makes no sense..

I doubt Snowden sympathizes with oppressive governments, but he does know who’s more likely to ignore US pleas, threats or attempted intervention.

It’s funny Snowden is seeking asylim in countries with a much higer ‘opression’ that the US, It’s clear by his actions his intent is to HURT the US and it’s interests, he is actively seeking out countries know to be willing to exploit that, and exploit Snowden..

He is a pawn, he’s also in for a BIG SHOCK when he finally works that out, he is certainly NOT safer in Russia or some other ‘known antagonist’ of the US.

This guy is not applying much in the way of intelligence.
He IS showing many traits of a criminal on the run though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

except the US DID NOT label him a criminal for telling the US anything.

Read the CHARGES, against him, he is being labels (accused) of crimes like theft of Government property, and giving classified information to someone not cleared for it.

He’s been labeled for those crimes because it’s clear he committed those crimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“It’s clear by his actions his intent is to HURT the US and it’s interests”

No, I think that it is clear he is covering his back.

He can see how they treated Bradley Manning and obviously wants to avoid that so by choosing countries that won’t bend over for the US he will have a safe passage.

Let me guess in his situation you would return to the US for some cruel and unusual punishment.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Hell, forget Manning. You only have to look at how Kim Dotcom was treated, and he was not only guilty of a supposedly far lesser crime (or at least, I would hope that potentially interfering with a private corporation’s profits is considered lesser than supposed treason), he wasn’t even in the US when he supposedly broke their laws.

True, the US authorities haven’t managed to get Dotcom in their hands domestically yet, but you’d have to be a fool to be in a country friendly to US interests if wanted for something damaging to those in power. If they’re willing to break their own laws to get someone guilty of copyright infringement, someone wanted for treasonous activities hasn’t got a hope in an allied state. Especially since Assange also embarrassed them and remains outside of their system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hell, forget Manning.

EVERYONE already has…… and Assange, next Snowden..

But the biggest message everyone has forgotten is WHAT THEY LEAKED..

They all leaked things in the name of informing the public… blah blah…

They all failed, no one was interested in the content of the wikileaks leaks, and no one is really interested in Snoden’s leaks, hell if it was not for Masnick and a few (very few) others, trying day and night to keep that story alive, NO ONE WOULD HAVE CARED !!!..

Guess what… NO ONE CARES..

These “big leakers” got personal fame, but are complate failures in convincing the public (or the Government) that what they leaked is important or even worth reading.
(or illegal).

A very high price to pay for being basically ineffective, destroy your own life, and achieve next to nothing.

Even worst, then let yourself become a political football, and pawn to antanganise the US, that will help alot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I seldom if ever agree with Masnick. However, my sense is that this is something much bigger than Manning and Assange. People in all walks of life and every age living in America have a personal stake in maintaining their privacy. Be it for philosophical or tangible, personal reasons privacy is important to everyone. The government doing this under the cover of darkness makes it worse in just about everyone’s eyes. The reasons, excuses and justifications pouring out of Washington are weaker than warm, flat light beer and can hardly be repeated with a straight face.

This is a big deal. And I don’t think it will go away quietly. But I am certain it will lead to a very public discussion of privacy and the power of government. That is a conversation long overdue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The neoliberals and neocons (same thing really) HATE HATE HATE when they don’t have their way. They’d done so much work smearing him already as a defector to china, had the provisional arrest warrant, and now they’re seething after HK gave them the middle finger.

As Greenwald asked, “why does a whistleblower feel compelled to flee the U.S.?” His life is already ruined, though immortalized, and they want to lock him up for ‘espionage.’
After Bradley Manning, I would never come back if I could help it either.

But even bigger, the media is using this is an attempt to distract from his disclosures. Most coverage so far, after he’s revealed himself, reminds me of the “two-minute hate.”
What we should be focusing on are the disclosures, maybe this will give them greater exposure, but time will tell.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not much in the way of intelligence?

There’s two possibilities with Snowden.

A) He’s very smart, figured out a way to get all the classified information he wanted, despite the best protective measures the US government had, and has a long and complex plan laid out to avoid capture and trial by the US.

B) He’s not actually very smart, but then neither is the US government. They had very weak protective measures for classified documents and Snowden is just winging it day by day…thus, the US government is stupider than he is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Probably a little of both. He is obviously very articulate and reasonably intelligent otherwise he would not have been able to get the job in the first place much less get out with the information that he has. You only need to look at the way the government is mishandling this to know that they are the brightest blub in the box.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 A Honorable Wound (to JMT, #87).

What we know about Snowden’s military career is that he joined the Army in 2004, applying for Special Forces, and was discharged four months later, after having broken both legs in a training accident. The traditional pre-requisite for Special Forces is Airborne, or Paratroop, training. Two broken legs sounds very much like a parachute accident. If the wind shifts suddenly, as the parachutist approaches the ground, he can be suddenly slammed down from a height of twenty or thirty feet before there is time to react. Broken legs and/or a broken back are a possibility under those circumstances. The other possibility is that he might have had an accident in mountaineering (rock climbing) training, which is favored by the Rangers and the Mountain Division. If a “piton” (rock nail) pulls out of the rock unexpectedly, the climber may fall for twenty feet or so. A training accident of this sort is not, technically, a war wound, but at the same time, there is a certain official sympathy. Obviously, after it became apparent that Snowden’s injuries were too severe to allow him to rejoin the Army, someone pulled strings to find him something he could do.

Again, if someone tried to criticize Snowden for “wrong-think,” that person would probably have been shut up with the sardonic remark: “So show me your Purple Heart, your Combat Infantry Badge, and maybe even your Bronze Star with the V(alor) Clasp!”

There is a parallel with Colonel-Count von Stauffenberg, who attempted to assassinate Adolph Hitler on July 20, 1944. Stauffenberg had been terrifically wounded in battle. He only had one hand left, and only two fingers on that one hand, so they found him a suitable job he could do, as a staff officer who got to talk to the Fuhrer regularly. Hitler, who had himself been wounded three times in battle, in the First World War, was naturally disposed to admire Stauffenberg. Generals tend to have a guilty conscience about being “desk-chair warriors,” operating in much the same fashion as business executives, and, to the extent feasible, they like to surround themselves with brave young knights who have already proven their valor beyond any possibility of misunderstanding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-army-special-forces

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

As usual, darryl, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Picking away at English is not your strong suit given how abysmal your command of the language is.

Must be sad to be you, living in a country where you no longer have to pay for George Orwell’s 1984. A den of thieves is what you live in, by your definition. Your own words prosecute yourself.

But don’t mind us, just go home crying to your solar panel wife.

Anonymous Coward says:

The US government is horrible to deal with, there are not many countries in the world that like to deal with US officials in any capacity, doubt? ask around and you see.

But Hong Kong had an extra reason to give the finger to the US, the US spied on them. Russia will most likely just ignore Obama and others, first Obama made a joke about Putin on the G8 meeting which was meet with a colder enough to approach absolute zero, second the US keeps bating Russian citizens to other countries to ask them to deport them to the US to face criminal charges, that can’t sit well with the Russian government, and Cuba well we all know how that is going to play.

What makes Snowden great is the risks he took and he went eyes open to those facts, fucking balls of steel that guy has.

Mr. pathetic Rogers can just suck it for all I care. I just had it with Washington and their BS.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Should have crossed those 't's and hidden those 'eyes' better

So the US, in an attempt to nail down Snowden in preparation for deportation, failed to submit a case that actually met Hong Kong legal requirements, meaning it didn’t actually keep him there at all.

On top of that their spying efforts, or at least rumors about them, provided even more incentive for Hong Kong authorities to be less than willing to comply with US wishes regarding Snowden.

Seems like in the panic to get him back(most likely to give him the Manning treatment and stuff him in a cell for a few years to stew before ‘court’), they screwed up in their legal filing, though given the second point(assuming it’s related to Snowden’s leaks anyway) I suppose I can see why they’d be so desperate to get him back and out of the public eye.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Should have crossed those 't's and hidden those 'eyes' better-- Not, RE: # 6, 30

Espionage, like desertion from the army or draft (conscription) resistance, is essentially an offense against the country’s military power. Countries which are not in military alliance with each-other do not traditionally extradite for such offenses. They may, of course, decide not to extend sanctuary to someone who has no connection with their nation, land, or people. Such people can visit a country as tourists, only on the assurance that their own national government will take them back if they become nuisances or charges on the public welfare. That does not, however, mean intercepting such people in the international areas of airports or anything like that. The usual standard is that someone has a visa and a ticket for passage to someplace else. Someone who is merely being deported, rather than extradited, has the right to go to any place which will take him. I would expect that Edward Snowden probably has, in his pocket, one piece of paper declaring him to be a citizen of Venezuela and another declaring him to be a citizen of Ecuador. The respective ambassadors are in a “bidding war,” and are not likely to boggle at issuing documents.

The United States certainly does not extradite people who are accused of such offenses, against China, or Russia, or Cuba, or Venezuela, or Ecuador, as Snowden is accused of. Nor would it return an American who might have deserted from the French Foreign Legion. Turnabout is fair play. During the Vietnam War, both Canada and Sweden harbored substantial numbers of American draft resistors and deserters. Admittedly, with experience, they tended to become more reluctant to take deserters. Experience showed that a draft resistor was generally someone who had held a student deferment as long as possible, and was likely to be a desirable immigrant, whereas a deserter was likely to be a “guardhouse character,” a maladjusted youth in the habit of getting into trouble in general, who had willingly joined the Army in search of machismo and military glory, but had wound up getting in trouble for minor misdeeds instead. No one suggests that Snowden is a guardhouse character– on the contrary, the United States Government was lately paying him a substantial salary, and the presumption is that he must have many useful skills.

I suppose the Chinese are polite people– they would prefer to make noises about defective paperwork rather than speak frankly about the sheer insolence of the request.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Should have crossed those 't's and hidden those 'eyes' better-- Not, RE: # 6, 30

“Espionage, like desertion from the army or draft (conscription) resistance, is essentially an offense against the country’s military power.

No it’s not actually, used to be.. sure in 1917, but there are many supreme court precidents clearly indicating that is no longer the case.

It is certainly closely connected to defense but in other parts particularly classified information, does not necessarily have to be defense related, it can be other things as well.

Also violations of NASA regulations has little to do with defense.

18 USC 798 Disclosure of classified information:
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information

Now if you consider how snowden is ‘hiding’ or running from the US and his METHOD of doing it, playing off the various countries ‘dislike’ for the US, is harming the US Government then that in itself an indicator that Snowden could well be found guilty of that charge.

Snowden actions are clearly to the DETREMENT OF THE US Government, as is the nature of the information he has made publicly available, which is also a clear breach.

This does not mean his plan wont work, but so far it’s not going to well for him, and I dont expect things to get much better, especially in the long term.

He’s put himself up for political rape from whatever country that finally takes him, (if any), I hope he enjoys it, im sure I would not like to have put myself in that position, he WILL LOSE, he has already lost.

The only thing that is yet to be found out is the level of political violation he would have to endure for him “freedom” and “helping the US to reflect on their collective morals”.

He has yet to state anything we did not already know, and expect, nothing new, unless you have been living in a cave for the past 60+ years.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Should have crossed those 't's and hidden those 'eyes' better-- Not, RE: # 6, 30

The Supreme Court of the United States cannot create international law, any more than an international body can create American constitutional law. International law and constitutional law are two separate spheres, neither higher than the other, whose interaction may be problematic.

International law derives both from international treaties, and from longstanding customs, observed by all countries.

You might look at the U.S. Army’s Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, specifically, Ch 3, articles 75-78, and chapter 8, article 440

http://ac-support.europe.umuc.edu/~nstanton/FM27-10.htm

Certain leading points to be drawn are that espionage is not a crime against international law, as such, and that, once a spy, who is not a national of the country he spies upon, makes good his escape to the army or territory of the enemy, at least in certain circumstances, charges against him become void. There are repeated reminders that foreigners do not bear a duty of allegiance to the country which may come into custody of them. The book does not seem to explicitly discuss the case of someone who was once a national of the country he fights against or spies upon, eg. a German who escaped from Germany in 1933, took up American citizenship in 1939, joined the Army in 1941, was selected, as a native speaker for German, for Special Forces, and took part in underground/espionage operations in 1944. The application to Snowden is problematic, of course, but it seems fairly clear that foreign countries do not have any obligation to treat his actions as crimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

In the War of 1812, the British captured Washington D.C. and burnt it to the ground. President Madison and his wife had to flee for their lives.

After the war was over, the head of a committee of citizens told Madison, ?Power and national glory, Sir, have often before, been acquired by the sword; but rarely without the sacrifice of civil or political liberty.? The committee praised him for how he had ?wielded an armed force of fifty thousand men, aided by an annual disbursement of many millions, without infringing a political, civil, or religious right.?

How far we have fallen.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not that far.

After all you started the war in question for dubious (and somewhat unclear) motives at a time when the Britian was trying to deal with the threat of Napoleon. You invaded a peaceful country (Canada) and part of your motivation was to try and dispossess the Indians (who were being supported by Britain).

The episode of the burning of Washington was symptomatic of incompetence. Only a fool starts a war from such a weak position.

As for “without infringing a political, civil or religious right” I doubt if many native Americans or Canadians would agree with that.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh sure, because England was all about caring for the natives, right? The records of England’s imperialism tell a wholly different story.

As for the early colonists here in the US, yeah, they dispossessed the native Indians, made all sorts of false promises, broken treaties and so forth. But let’s not paint the natives as if they were all a bunch of peace-lovers either. There were some truly vicious natives, warring between different tribes, killing, scalping, raping, plundering, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Nice trolling

When I heard about his flight path my first thought was “Nice trolling, Snowden way to stick it to them.”. Diplomatically they’re slow as molasses so get them prepping their tactics for one country and leave just after they make futile demands and threats. Maybe he should do a rapid tour of unvisited non-extradicting nations to mess with them further.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Escaping the machine

“He knows exactly what to expect with our system of ‘justice’, and I can understand his unwillingness to sacrifice his life to it.”

They’re not after justice, they’re after revenge. If there was justice, the government would be facing charges for violating our Constitutional rights.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Tsk tsk tsk…
Ed or Edward, where does Eric come from?

After listening to the pundits they aren’t sure what to do anymore. The number of times they stressed that he was fleeing to “Communist” countries was shades of McCarthyism again.

While they talk about how he must be out to destroy us, aid the enemy, etc… none of them have actually said the root issue about the huge spying on people with no oversight needs to be addressed.

America isn’t a bastion of freedom.
All we have left are illusions of what once was here. Secret interpretations of the law suddenly void clearly spelled out and enshrined rights.
If you dare ask a question, your unpatriotic – at best, and out to destroy America – at worst.

People need to let go of the idea that the Government is our friend. They have declared war on everyone, citizens included, to try and maintain power. The only people they answer to are the corporations who they are dumping piles of cash onto to “fix” the supposed problems.

With everything coming out it is becoming clear America behaves just like repressive regimes and all of this chasing Mr. Snowden is to distract from the bigger issues that one could compare the US to China or Iran and find lots of similarities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

While they talk about how he must be out to destroy us, aid the enemy, etc… none of them have actually said the root issue about the huge spying on people with no oversight needs to be addressed.

EXACTLY !!!!

Just like with Assange this guy is a great distraction for the 30 seconds of attention the US has.

The US are not interested in the “leaks” they are interested in “Ed”.

Don’t you see how this is actually a FAILURE, they wanted to get a message out, but the messenger has taken over the message.

No one really cares about the wikileaks leaks, or “Ed’s” leaks, clearly they are not, it has not promopted much in the way of debate, any actual public debate has been about Ed or Assange, not the message.

The message ??? what message ? Oh that message…. who cares !!!!

But tell us more about the stealing, lying, cheating, and running from the law, now that IS interesting..

Forget what he said, LOOK AT WHAT HE’S DOING !!!!

The story is SNODEN, not NSA, therefore Snoden FAILED,
The Story is assange and ‘that other guy’ cant remember his name right now (SEE!!!!)..

Not the message, but the messenger.

People would be surprised IF NSA DID NOT SPY and gather intel, that is the common opinion. Most feel it is constitution, as does the Courts.

But there is no question as to Snoden Guilt, he confessed after all, he DID steal classified information, and make that information available to people he was not allowed to, he broke the law.

So two wrongs dont make a right, and Snoden is one of those wrongs, there there is no debate (apart from here probably) about the NSA being wrong, or unconstitutional.

So Snoden and Assange, and Mr No Name all failed !!!! but they got their 5 mins of fame.. Alot to pay for very little result.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

As for why China was in such a hurry to get him out of HK

Let’s face it, Snowden’s a political hot potato, and relations between the US and China aren’t exactly sunshine, gumdrops and unicorns right now.

Honestly, if the Chinese government has anything to be pissed about over the scandals coming from the NSA, it’s that the NSA probably does a better job spying on it’s China’s own citizens than China does itself.

They can’t exactly claim any moral high ground over the US either, considering their little ‘volunteer’ hacker army which has been committing “cyber-espionage” (lack of a better term comes to mind at the moment) like crazy against the US in both government and private sectors, and the Chinese know the US knows they’re responsible (albeit indirectly) for the attacks. So it’s pretty much a tit-for-tat thing there.

Will Snowden really go to Ecuador, a South American nation that might decide to hand him over to the US depending on the current administration, or will he end up in Iceland instead?

As the Zen Master says, “We’ll see.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Irony, anyone?

It seems somewhat ironic that the very US spymasters, whose voluminous dirty laundry now graces the front steps of government institutions around the world, were caught flat-footed by this (one might say “predictable”) turn of events. Wouldn’t one expect them to have their finely-tuned global spy apparatus focused on tracking and successfully apprehending the source of their embarrassment (preferably without the involvement of other governments)? Was someone asleep at the switch? Too many haystacks, too few needles? What’s the point of spying on the world if you can’t see what’s going on right in front of your own nose?

Anonymous Coward says:

When you look at it, every one of these nations is hostile to the United States,” Rogers said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If he could go to North Korea and Iran, he could round out his ‘government oppression tour.’ So when you think about what he says he wants and what his actions are, it defies logic.”

>>oh, he avoided countries that brown-nose you because your government does actions that are wrong and he exposed you.
Terrorist, for sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

?Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian.?

– Henry Ford, founder ? Ford Motor Corporation

Now we’re all Indians according to the actions of our government.

What I am not hearing out of the government with all it’s reasons why things are as they should be, is public apologies, public exposure that they have done wrong, and the excuses that seem to say “We just need to do damage control”.

William H. Depperman says:

Edward Snowden and "Wikileaks"

National Security Agency Surveillance Programs, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning:

The subsequent revelation by all media on June 7, 2013 of GIGANTIC USA and UK phone and Internet surveillance programs rubber-stamped by Congress and ?secret intelligence courts? documents this conclusively. It was revealed that the so-called National Security Agency (NSA) and MI6 British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have ALSO been tapping directly into servers of ALL social media websites, e.g. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc. to track Online communication in a program called ?PRISM!? The capitalist dictatorship also controls the entire Internet by either permitting NO COMMENT WHATSOEVER or by requiring ?sign-ins? and ?passwords,? which the so-called ?intelligence community? then immediately deletes (!) to prevent access to virtually ALL media websites, which block any political comments except occasional brainless ?peanut gallery twitter-type? responses. The USA also blocks hundreds of servers so that American users of the Internet are never able to read anything but approved propaganda and Big Lies of Commission or Omission. Chopping up sentences into sentence fragments separated by huge spaces sometimes as large as several lines is another method virtually ALL websites use to decrease readership even of comments they do permit! ?We are modifying comments? blocks the rest! The irrefutable fact that ALL ?Terrorist Plots? from the 911 Trade Center Provocation Attack to the 2001 and Subsequent Anthrax Provocations to the Underpants Bomber to the Times Square Bomber to the Boston Marathon Bombers to the Buffalo New York High School Student ?Terrorist Plot? to the Florida High School Student ?Terrorist Plot? were ALL SET-UPS is proof that the claim by ?Gen.? Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, that ?surveillance helped stop dozens of attacks? is a BIG LIE! (Even Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall said they had seen no evidence NSA programs had produced “uniquely valuable intelligence.? The surveillance described by Edward Snowden was partly used to locate anti-American Islamic Fundamentalists in the USA, who were then immediately contacted by deep-cover NSA/CIA agents sent in who pretended to support them, manipulated them and then set them up with explosives, help with picking targets, etc. Thus any supposed ?terrorist plot? has already been reported in the media! There were not more than a half-dozen ?plots!? The USA also spies on China, Russia, UK, EU and all 197 countries in the UN! There can be no exceptions! The USA is waging war on various levels against the entire world!

Although media coverage of Edward Snowden has focused on his ?fugitive? status and the question of which country will grant him asylum there has also been an enormous media build-up of Snowden and Bradley Manning, and previously Julian Assange, comparing them to Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers, who merely represented that faction of USA capitalism which wanted an end to the Vietnam War; Woodward and Bernstein who wrote a cover-up of the Watergate Bloodless Removal of Richard Nixon by Nelson Rockefeller?the real ?Deep Throat;? and Phillip Agee. Agee was a CIA deep cover ?limited hang-out? operative who specialized in ?Covert Action? information who pretended he had ?defected from the CIA? in the 1980s and acted as a supposed ?authoritative source? for leftists unaware of his purpose, which was to try to monopolize ?truth? about capitalist statecraft and conspiracies in order to cover up actual imperialist political policies and political assassinations, etc. from a supposed ?left? position and keep genuine opposition loyal to capitalism by keeping them confused and by never ever proposing the solution?Socialism. Manning and Assange, on the other hand appear to be manipulee cutouts. There is no possible way that Bradley Manning or any one person anywhere could have accumulated 250,000 United States diplomatic state department cables plus 500,000 army reports (the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs) onto one or even two (2) computers (!), which were then serialized by Wikileaks? Julian Assange, WHO CENSORED (?redacted?) ALL documents before release to the media! It took a lot of long, coordinated arduous work from all branches and offices of the State Department worldwide and the USA military to get this information to these people who were then hung out to dry! Assange, a vehement anti-Communist who also ?documented millions of e-mails sent by the Syrian government and business officials,? (New York Times, June 24, 2013) thus assisting the USA in its Proxy Invasion of Syria (!), is presented as the only person in his Australian University class who did not work for DARPA! Right! (HaHaHa!) Assange undoubtedly has been working for DARPA the whole time as a deep-cover ?intelligence? operative. The Wikileaks revelations were apparently thus a total set-up: 1.) to popularize USA Statecraft and 2.) to try to generate patriotism at the same time by denouncing and charging Manning and Assange and now Snowden as ?traitors!? Manning and Snowden naively think that the only alternative is to claim to be ?patriots.? Remember this is not our country; we just live here! We owe no loyalty to the capitalist dictatorship! Precisely the opposite!

Snowden is now ?being accompanied by one of Wikileaks legal advisors ?at all times,?? (BBC, June 26, 2013), acting for the USA ?intelligence community,? in order to prevent Snowden from divulging ANY of his actual documents to the Russian Federation, thus demonstrating that ?Wikileaks? is a total sham and has NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER of publishing Snowden?s actual uncensored documents Online! Snowden, by his statements appears to be entirely different than Manning and Assange, who indeed may or may not have inspired him! Manning, though he had huge outside ?help? appears to have been sincerely motivated, while Assange was NOT and IS NOT! Snowden alone appears to have credibility in what he did and from his statements and apparently had no outside help and is therefore apparently entirely legitimate. However, the mass awareness of the such a huge surveillance operation which included emails, telephone calls and Internet social networking sites, etc., which is almost entirely useless from an intelligence point of view as explained above, as US Senators Wyden et al concur, except perhaps to locate and manipulate Islamists for possible ?terrorist plot? set-ups, DOES nevertheless have an enormous INTIMIDATING EFFECT on the USA and EU populations. Such a level of INTIMIDATION functions to hinder and block the ability to organize to oppose the economic and biological extermination programs being organized against them in order to reduce the ?population demographic.? The answer is NOT to allow oneself to become intimidated and to organize and to remember that the morale of the entire capitalist dictatorship in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere is at rock bottom! Organization is easier if people are not living in fear! Manning, Snowden and Assange should all be critically supported despite the fact that Manning and Assange and Wikileaks had enormous USA government ?assistance? and the information which WAS released is all censored and manipulated except in several cases where it was determined that the cables had to be re-released uncensored otherwise they elicited no interest and they revealed very little of substance in the first place. (?Who was to blame? for the uncensored cables then became an issue and the public was invited to speculate!) This is a very important distinction. Snowden should NEVER EVER turn his documents over to Wikileaks because then they will surely NEVER see the light of day! Wikileaks will censor or just destroy most of the documents! The information all 3 have released and actual circumstances of its release should be used to raise awareness to help reorganize a genuine Communist Party, as we had in the 1930s, and a Socialist Revolution in the USA and Worldwide. Both The Guardian and the Washington Post have covered up almost everything they received from Edward J. Snowden! The Guardian printed the gist of some of it, while the Washington Post printed nothing!! If Snowden wants to get those actual documents published he has to do it himself and stop depending on DARPA! Snowden is an intelligent person but it may be too late when he finally discovers that ?Wikileaks? is a sham set up to try to perpetuate the false illusion of ?democracy? under the capitalist dictatorship!

Surveillance by Drones Expands in the USA and Worldwide!

For purposes of INTIMIDATION almost entirely the Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to open US airspace to unmanned aircraft (drones) by October 2015. The aerospace industry predicts there will be 30,000 drones deployed globally within five years, half of them in the United States the Associated Press news agency reported. (BBC, June 19, 2013) The USA is a hard capitalist dictatorship known as RULE BY DECREE and takes the form of a bureaucratic, military police state which is hardening by the day! The refusal by the Obama Regime to pledge never to use a drone strike to kill an American citizen on U.S. soil who is ?suspected of being a terrorist,? proposed by demagogue-Fascist Rand Paul, demonstrates that the issue of NSA/CIA surveillance is being used LARGELY FOR PURPOSES OF INTIMIDATION AS THE USA Capitalist Dictatorship begins to escalate its economic war of extermination of its own people and wants the masses to acquiesce to that extermination due to fear!

William H. Depperman, Coordinator
United Front Against Racism
And Capitalism-Imperialism
New York, N.Y. 10003
Revised June 26, 2013

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