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Wed Apr 30, 2014, 11:56 PM

 

A reminder...Snowden had NO ALTERNATIVE but to go to Russia.

1)Snowden HAD to go public with the secrets. He'd have been silenced if he'd gone to Obama about it. Working within the system would have been hopeless.

2)If Snowden had stayed here, he faced a life prison sentence, and probably would have been subjected to a Chelsea Manning-like "suicide watch" ordeal once in custody. No president would ever have commuted his sentence. And none of the anti-Snowden people here or elsewhere in the Democratic Party universe would have spoken out on his behalf. Snowden didn't owe it to anyone to be a martyr.

3)No other country was a possible refuge for Snowden. He tried to get to Venezuela or Bolivia, but getting on planes to either country would have meant getting the flight diverted to the U.S. by Air Force planes and being taken into U.S. custody(where, again, he'd have been treated just as cruelly as Chelsea Manning was).

4)Snowden is not perfect. He's not a progressive. But that doesn't matter. If McCain had won in 2008, Snowden likely still would have done what he did. And what he did was, plainly and simply, commit truth. And it's wrong to punish anyone who does that.

If Snowden hadn't done what he did, no one would have known what the NSA was doing, and no calls for change would ever have been heard. And everything, everywhere, would be the worse for that.

And there is no one here who can look anyone else in the eye and say they'd have made different choices than Snowden made in the same situation. We all know that no other choices existed.

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Arrow 120 replies Author Time Post
Reply A reminder...Snowden had NO ALTERNATIVE but to go to Russia. (Original post)
Ken Burch Apr 2014 OP
Recursion Apr 2014 #1
Ken Burch May 2014 #2
Recursion May 2014 #3
Ken Burch May 2014 #10
Recursion May 2014 #15
Ken Burch May 2014 #17
Recursion May 2014 #23
Ken Burch May 2014 #24
Recursion May 2014 #25
Ken Burch May 2014 #28
Recursion May 2014 #29
Ken Burch May 2014 #31
Recursion May 2014 #32
Ken Burch May 2014 #35
Recursion May 2014 #37
Ken Burch May 2014 #39
Recursion May 2014 #42
Ken Burch May 2014 #49
cprise May 2014 #70
Ken Burch May 2014 #75
cprise May 2014 #78
Adrahil May 2014 #86
VanillaRhapsody May 2014 #5
Ken Burch May 2014 #12
VanillaRhapsody May 2014 #16
Ken Burch May 2014 #33
arely staircase May 2014 #119
cprise May 2014 #62
druidity33 May 2014 #67
ProSense May 2014 #69
cprise May 2014 #74
uponit7771 May 2014 #90
OnyxCollie May 2014 #4
SidDithers May 2014 #6
MannyGoldstein May 2014 #8
MADem May 2014 #53
ProSense May 2014 #7
Ken Burch May 2014 #11
ProSense May 2014 #14
Ken Burch May 2014 #19
ProSense May 2014 #27
cprise May 2014 #68
Sheepshank May 2014 #102
cprise May 2014 #103
OnyxCollie May 2014 #21
Cha May 2014 #26
Ken Burch May 2014 #30
MannyGoldstein May 2014 #9
struggle4progress May 2014 #13
MannyGoldstein May 2014 #22
struggle4progress May 2014 #50
MADem May 2014 #56
Ken Burch May 2014 #40
struggle4progress May 2014 #65
snot May 2014 #18
Ken Burch May 2014 #20
Puglover May 2014 #115
pnwmom May 2014 #34
Ken Burch May 2014 #41
pnwmom May 2014 #44
Adrahil May 2014 #85
MADem May 2014 #36
Ken Burch May 2014 #38
MADem May 2014 #43
pnwmom May 2014 #45
Cha May 2014 #47
Cha May 2014 #48
MADem May 2014 #51
Cha May 2014 #52
Ken Burch May 2014 #76
uponit7771 May 2014 #94
Capt. Obvious May 2014 #99
Ken Burch May 2014 #113
MADem May 2014 #106
Ken Burch May 2014 #114
MADem May 2014 #116
joshcryer May 2014 #55
MADem May 2014 #57
uponit7771 May 2014 #93
uponit7771 May 2014 #92
joshcryer May 2014 #54
MADem May 2014 #58
uponit7771 May 2014 #95
MADem May 2014 #104
randome May 2014 #98
Bobbie Jo May 2014 #87
Major Hogwash May 2014 #46
Maedhros May 2014 #110
lostincalifornia May 2014 #59
redgreenandblue May 2014 #60
Obnoxious_One May 2014 #61
leeroysphitz May 2014 #63
elias49 May 2014 #64
frylock May 2014 #66
Ken Burch May 2014 #83
sabrina 1 May 2014 #71
ProSense May 2014 #72
sabrina 1 May 2014 #73
uponit7771 May 2014 #97
Adrahil May 2014 #88
sabrina 1 May 2014 #100
Adrahil May 2014 #101
MADem May 2014 #105
sabrina 1 May 2014 #117
Sheepshank May 2014 #107
Bobbie Jo May 2014 #109
Sheepshank May 2014 #111
Bobbie Jo May 2014 #112
sabrina 1 May 2014 #118
Sheepshank May 2014 #120
uponit7771 May 2014 #96
Thinkingabout May 2014 #77
cprise May 2014 #81
Thinkingabout May 2014 #84
lame54 May 2014 #79
Ken Burch May 2014 #80
lame54 May 2014 #82
MADem May 2014 #108
randome May 2014 #89
Blue_Tires May 2014 #91

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Apr 30, 2014, 11:58 PM

1. Drake didn't go to Russia. He revealed exactly what Snowden did, 9 years ago.

He ultimately was convicted of a misdemeanor that even he admits he was guilty of.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

2. Snowden wouldn't have been treated like Drake. Chelsea Manning's ordeal proves that. n/t.

 

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:12 AM

3. Like Snowden, Manning bulk-released classified intel. Drake didn't.

Drake got the documents to prove what he needed to prove (they ended up not even being classified, which is why he didn't face any espionage charges) and released them. In response, Congress made what he blew the whistle on legal.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #3)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:44 AM

10. Which doesn't exactly vindicate Drake's strategy there, does it? n/t.

 

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #10)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:58 AM

15. I dunno. Has it stopped because of Snowden, either? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #15)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:01 AM

17. Not yet, but unlike with Drake, it hasn't actually got WORSE.

 

Snowden turning himself in would have meant the whole thing would have been buried forever. He would never have received a fair trial and the feds would have made sure he did life. And you know it. No good comes of agreeing to be arrested and do a long stint in prison. That always ends the struggle in defeat.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #17)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:07 AM

23. Sure it has. A weaker NSA means a stronger CIA. That's much worse.

And, some cynics might say, the entire point of former CIA agent Snowden's actions...

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Response to Recursion (Reply #23)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:10 AM

24. There's no moral difference between the NSA and the CIA

 

They both share the same extreme right-wing corporate-dominance-of-the-world-at-any-price agenda. There are no liberal or humane values involved in the work of the NSA..."national security" is just code for preserve the power of the rich...it has nothing to do with making us any more secure.

Your argument here is as absurd as the old argument that the CIA was somehow the "more liberal" spy agency in the U.S. power structure.

Surveillance is surveillance is surveillance. None of it ever serves the people.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #24)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:13 AM

25. Surveillance *never* serves the people?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #25)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:31 AM

28. OK, it did in World War II, when we were fighting a real enemy(the Nazis)

 

but since then, it's just been about preserving privilege and preventing change. It's never been used since to defend the poor, to protect workers, to stop any form of bigotry or exploitation. No one has been freed from any form of oppression due to spying and wiretapping and infiltration. Since then, it's just been used AGAINST most of humanity. Surveillance is always about the agendas of the J. Edgar Hoovers...never those of the Martin Luther Kings or the Berrigans or ANYONE who ever wanted a just world.

And it didn't do a damn thing to stop 9/11.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #28)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:32 AM

29. So, for example, catching John Gotti wasn't worth tapping his phone?

Or prosecuting securities fraud? These things do happen, and require surveillance.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #29)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:42 AM

31. The problem with that argument is that, if you accept surveillance in those cases,

 

you can't oppose it or limit in any others. There's no way to just use it against the Gottis without it also being used against activists, workers, and the poor.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #31)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:45 AM

32. Yes, the government is capable of abusing its power. Good thing we don't have single payer, then?

Since God knows what they would do with our health records; it's bad enough that they have them for senior citizens and veterans as it is...

If you literally want law enforcement to be unable to surveil, I suppose that's a perspective. Personally I don't think it can't be ameliorated; for instance, we could undo the 2005 FISA amendment and go back to the regime between the original FISA and that where each individual surviellance required a warrant.

Alternately, given the NSA's mission, I think that watching for patterns in communications is pretty much exactly what they're for; I'd prefer to work on making sure the data they could see is truly anonymized.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #32)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:06 AM

35. Healthcare records have nothing in common with NSA surveillance.

 

The mindset in social service agencies(like the ones who would administer single-payer)are totally different than those of the national security state.

It's possible to be a humane, progressive, democracy-oriented person and work in human services...it's not possible to have progressive or democratic values work in the spy agencies. To do that kind of work, you have to be a close-minded paranoid reactionary. You have to be the sort of person who's ok with, for example, what we did in Chile in 1973 and what we did to Vietnam and Cambodia before that. People with a soul and a conscience are never allowed to do that kind of work.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #35)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:09 AM

37. Ah, *these* government employees are good, and *those* ones are evil

To do that kind of work, you have to be a close-minded paranoid reactionary.

Got it

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Response to Recursion (Reply #37)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:18 AM

39. It's the truth.

 

You don't freaking work for the NSA or the CIA or the FBI if you want a progressive, socially just world without misery or exploitation. You don't work for spy agencies if you have humane values...because spying is just about crushing the poor and protecting the privilege. Other than in the fight about Hitler, spying and surveillance and infiltration has never led to anything positive in the world. Anywhere.

Why would anyone with any positive values even ever want to work for the NSA or the CIA? Why would anyone who ever wanted peace or human equality ever do that?

People who work in social services ARE totally different than people who want to be spies or wiretappers. If you work in social services, you want to help people have some sort of a better life. You don't want anything good for anyone but the rich and powerful if you work for a spy agency. You just want to preserve the status quo the sake of preserving the status quo...you would have to hate and fear the dispossessed, hate and fear change, and see "order" as being more important than justice, equality, beauty or poetry.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #39)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:22 AM

42. How many people who work at either do you actually know?

I know a few dozen.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #42)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:16 AM

49. I seriously doubt you know any humanistic democratic progressives

 

who work for the CIA or the NSA. Since the work both agencies do is always right-wing, progressives or people with a conscience would hardly even be considered for the jobs. You can't BE a spy.

It's simply not possible to be involved in surveillance and spying and infiltration and still retain any degree of genuine humanity. The training regimen in all spying agencies is about teaching people to hate and fear the world and to see anyone who is in any way different from our leaders as "the enemy".

Why would you even bother defending the national security state? It doesn't defend you if you're not a right-wing extremist. It doesn't defend people who work for peace...or people who organize unions...or women, POC or LGBTQ people...or green values.
When has the CIA or the NSA or the FBI ever been on OUR side?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #49)

Thu May 1, 2014, 09:56 PM

70. +1000 Well stated


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Response to cprise (Reply #70)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:57 PM

75. Well,the poster I was sparring with there still hasn't responded to it.

 

Thanks for the support.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #75)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:15 PM

78. If you can draw him into a philosophical discussion

...I might actually believe he isn't a paid astroturfer.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #49)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:32 AM

86. Actually, yes.

 

I work for the DoD. Although I am in the minority, there are progressives who work here. One of my colleagues, a fellow liberal democrat, spent 20 years at the CIA as an analyst. Again, he was in the minority there, but not alone.

I consider myself a liberal pragmatist. There is the world I think ought to be, and it contrasts with the world as it is. In the world as it is, the U.S. Has very real enemies in the world looking to damage our interests and kill our citizens.

While I advocate a political approach that de-escalates our fingers in foreign pies, that's not a light switch operation. And even then, unless we intend to put our heads in the sand, we will STILL have interests which require defending.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:23 AM

5. Manning is military....they have an entirely different set of rules....

 

do you know what Leavenworth is?

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #5)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:48 AM

12. Yes.

 

That doesn't excuse ANY of what was done to Manning. She never deserved to be treated like a war criminal-in fact, she never deserved any punishment at all, because she had no other choice BUT to do what she did. Working within the system was always going to lead to no change.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #12)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:59 AM

16. did I say excuse?

 

BUT in no way would Snowden be treated the same as Manning....and THAT is why. Manning as a member of the military is held to a higher standard of conduct then a civilian like Snowden.

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #16)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:48 AM

33. Snowden would be given a life sentence without parole.

 

No leniency would ever be shown to him. He'd be left to rot in prison until he died, and that, by itself, would end any chance of clawing back the national security state. Nobody else would ever blow the whistle again, and the surveillance would just get more intrusive and more total for the rest of eternity, without respite.

Severe punishment of dissent always ends the struggle.

They should just give him six months house arrest and leave it at that. But they won't leave it at that. They want to ruin the guys' life just to set the status quo in stone.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #33)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:53 PM

119. 30 years was th max he was facing. 10 years per count on 3 count

And since most sentences run concurrently he likely would have been out in less than ten. He also had a good chance at a jury nullification aquital or hung jury. He blew all of that when he fled. I am sure more charges have been added for helping the chinese and sympathy with any likely jury pool is gone. He could have been a hero but chose another path.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Thu May 1, 2014, 05:29 AM

62. Drake himself agrees he is an example of what NOT to do



Drake himself agrees he is an example of what NOT to do-- TIME 28:10

Also says his way was ineffective even after going to the press because his material evidence stayed within channels and was "suppressed and censored" -- TIME 39:47

Drake goes on to say that Snowden would have been "pulled off the street" for disclosing such evidence to the press.

Finally....

1. Snowden barely made it out of Hong Kong only because Wikileaks intervened.

2. Snowden already had a plane ticket out of Russia when the US government revoked his passport.

He hadn't intended to stay in Russia. -- TIME 41:20

I highly recommend watching the entire double-interview.

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Response to cprise (Reply #62)

Thu May 1, 2014, 08:32 PM

67. i doubt you'll get responses to this...

as it disturbs the memes.




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Response to cprise (Reply #62)

Thu May 1, 2014, 09:55 PM

69. Pure

Finally....

1. Snowden barely made it out of Hong Kong only because Wikileaks intervened.

2. Snowden already had a plane ticket out of Russia when the US government revoked his passport.

He hadn't intended to stay in Russia. -- TIME 41:20

...spin. From the piece posted here (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024896931)

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
Follow
Germany blocks #Snowden - why we advised #Snowden to take Russia. Not safe elsewhere: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/01/germany-edward-snowden-nsa-inquiry … donate: http://freesnowden.is/
9:39 AM - 1 May 2014

That's a much different claim from the bogus implication that he was forced to go there and they were simply escorting him. Snowden may not have wanted to go to Russia as claimed, but the fact is that he appears not to have had a choice since the group that paid for his accommodations and flight "advised" him to go to Russia.

Fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is now traveling and lodging at the expense of WikiLeaks, according to the group’s founder, Julian Assange—a move that lawyers say could expose the whistleblowing organization to new legal charges.

WikiLeaks paid for Snowden’s travel from Hong Kong to Moscow, his lodging, and also his legal counsel, Assange said on a call with reporters Monday in response to a question from The Daily Beast.

“It is correct we paid for those arrangements,” said Assange, who declined to specify Snowden’s current whereabouts. “No government or other organization assisted."

- more -

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/24/wikileaks-foots-the-bill-for-snowden-s-global-escapades.html


From the Rolling Stone piece mentioned the other thread:

Greenwald has a complicated relationship with WikiLeaks and Assange, whom he considers an ally, though given Assange's controversial reputation in the United States, he admits that "Julian stepping forward and being the face of the story wasn't great for Snowden." But he credits Assange with having helped save Snowden from almost certain extradition to the U.S. Snowden, however, never wanted to go to Russia, which Assange acknowledges. "Snowden believed that in order to most effectively push for reform in the U.S., Latin America would be the better option," Assange tells me. "He did not want to invite a political attack that he'd 'defected.'"

Assange, however, disagrees. "While Venezuela and Ecuador could protect him in the short term, over the long term there could be a change in government. In Russia, he's safe, he's well-regarded, and that is not likely to change. That was my advice to Snowden, that he would be physically safest in Russia." Assange also claims that Snowden has proved "you can blow the whistle about national security and not only survive, but thrive."

But how much Snowden is thriving in Russia is unknown. According to his Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, he has been learning the language and reading Russian literature. (He recently finished Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.) Snowden also reportedly took a job not long ago at a Russian Internet company. Greenwald, who says he talks with Snowden regularly via encrypted chat, maintains that he knows very few details of Snowden's daily life. "For both his and my own protection, there are questions I stay away from," he says. Radack and Drake recently visited Snowden as part of a whistle-blower delegation; they were whisked to a secret meeting and dinner with him at a stately mansion in or near Moscow. That they were taken in a van with darkened windows, at night, meant they had no idea where they were going. Radack nevertheless insists that Snowden is not being controlled by the Russian intelligence service, the FSB, nor has he become a Russian spy. "Russia treats its spies much better than leaving them trapped in the Sheremetyevo transit zone for over a month," Radack recalled Snowden darkly joking to her.

- more -

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/snowden-and-greenwald-the-men-who-leaked-the-secrets-20131204

Remember, Snowden was entertained at the Russian embassy in Hong Kong.

MOSCOW—President Vladimir Putin conceded that Edward Snowden contacted Russian diplomats in Hong Kong a few days before boarding a plane to Moscow, but said that no agreement was reached to shelter him and that the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor decided on his own to come to Russia.

Mr. Putin had previously said that Mr. Snowden's arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 was a "complete surprise."

But in an interview with Russia's Channel One and the Associated Press, released on Wednesday, he acknowledged that he had some prior knowledge that the fugitive might be headed Russia's way.

"Mr. Snowden first appeared in Hong Kong and met with our diplomatic representatives," Mr. Putin said. "It was reported to me that there was such an employee, an employee of the security services. I asked, 'What does he want?' He fights for human rights, for freedom of information and challenges violations of human rights and violations of the law in the United States. I said, 'So what?' "

- more -

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323623304579054890606102138


Castro labels libelous report Cuba blocked Snowden travel

(Reuters) - Retired Cuban president Fidel Castro blasted on Wednesday a report in a Russian newspaper that his country buckled to U.S. pressure and blocked former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden from traveling through Cuba to exile in Latin America.

- more -

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/28/us-usa-security-snowden-cuba-idUSBRE97R0JJ20130828





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Response to ProSense (Reply #69)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:19 PM

74. No such "implication"...

You're reading your own constructed narrative into events instead of listing to whistleblower Thomas Drake's interview. He simply said Wikileaks intervened so Snowden could travel.

Also, the quotes from WSJ don't indicate any kind of conspiracy. A head of state can get a report on a spy arriving in Hong Kong and failing to get an agreement with his staff, and then be surprised the spy ended up flying to his country anyway.

It is interesting how your conspiracy-theory mindset has set you against the veracity of two of the most significant whistleblowers of the 21st century. You apparently won't even listen to them tell their story, preferring to stitch together innocuous reports that seem unflattering to your prejudices.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:47 AM

90. FACTS SUCK!!!! / sarcarsm <-----cause this is needed around here

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:21 AM

4. And Snowden HAD to go to Russia or Hong Kong

 

since the Leader of the Free World has declared the entire world to be a battlefield, and that it has the power to execute US citizens without trial if not "feasible" to bring them to justice.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:24 AM

6. Paul Revere ran to Russia, either by choice or out of stupidity...

Nobody forced him to do anything.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #6)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:39 AM

8. Paul Revere *rode* to *Lexington*.

 

He was a traitor, you know.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #8)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:49 AM

53. He most certainly was a traitor--a traitor to the British Crown!

A hero to the American Revolution....

By your light, that would make Snowden a traitor to the American government, and a hero to the Once and Future USSR Revolution...!

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:30 AM

7. 'He Is Priceless': Here's Why Edward Snowden Is Screwed

'He Is Priceless': Here's Why Edward Snowden Is Screwed

Michael Kelley

Edward Snowden is facing an increasingly difficult problem: He is an NSA-trained hacker living in an undisclosed Russian apartment under the protection of the country's security services.

The New York Times reports that Snowden retained prominent Washington defense lawyer Plato Cacheris to negotiate a potential deal with the U.S. government that could bring the 30-year-old American home.

<...>

Snowden and his closest supporters contend that Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on his way to Latin America when the U.S. government stranded him in Russia by revoking his passport. There are several reasons to question that claim, including the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who paid for Snowden's lodging and travel in Hong Kong — advised Snowden against going to Latin America because "he would be physically safest in Russia."

Ben Wizner, one of Snowden's legal advisors, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Snowden's current living situation.

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-edward-snowden-is-stuck-2014-4



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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:46 AM

11. You would prefer that nothing be changed.

 

Without Snowden, nobody would even be talking about the NSA, because we wouldn't have found out any other way.

Snowden and Manning are no different than Daniel Ellsberg.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:55 AM

14. No,

"Without Snowden, nobody would even be talking about the NSA, because we wouldn't have found out any other way. "

...reform the NSA and hold Snowden, Putin's tool, accountable for the crimes he has been charged with:

Federal prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

- more -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-charges-snowden-with-espionage/2013/06/21/507497d8-dab1-11e2-a016-92547bf094cc_story.html

Many people who oppose NSA overreach and recognize the value of the debate also don't approve of Snowden's actions that go beyond sparking a debate about the NSA's domestic activities. In the end, a trial is required to hold him accountable.

I stand with Jimmy Carter:

Carter: Snowden's leaks 'good for Americans to know'

Susan Page

NEW YORK -- Former president Jimmy Carter defended the disclosures by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden on Monday, saying revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies were collecting meta-data of Americans' phone calls and e-mails have been "probably constructive in the long run."

<...>

Does he view Snowden, now granted asylum in Russia, as a hero or a traitor?

"There's no doubt that he broke the law and that he would be susceptible, in my opinion, to prosecution if he came back here under the law," he said. "But I think it's good for Americans to know the kinds of things that have been revealed by him and others -- and that is that since 9/11 we've gone too far in intrusion on the privacy that Americans ought to enjoy as a right of citizenship."

Carter cautioned that he didn't have information about whether some of the disclosures "may have hurt our security or individuals that work in security," adding, "If I knew that, then I may feel differently." And he said Snowden shouldn't be immune from prosecution for his actions.

"I think it's inevitable that he should be prosecuted and I think he would be prosecuted" if he returned to the United States, the former president said. "But I don't think he ought to be executed as a traitor or any kind of extreme punishment like that."

- more -

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/24/usa-today-capital-download-jimmy-carter-edward-snowden-probably-constructive/6822425/


Bernie Sanders:

<...>

BLITZER: What about Snowden? Do you think that he committed a crime or he was simply a well-intentioned whistle-blower?

SANDERS: Well, I think what you have to look at is -- I think there is no question that he committed a crime, obviously. He violated his oath and he leaked information.

On the other hand, what you have to weigh that against is the fact that he has gone a very long way in educating the people of our country and the people of the world about the power of private agency in terms of their surveillance over people of this country, over foreign leaders, and what they are doing.

So, I think you got to weigh the two. My own belief is that I think, I would hope that the United States government could kind of negotiate some plea bargain with him, some form of clemency. I think it wouldn't be a good idea or fair to him to have to spend his entire remaining life abroad, not being able to come back to his country.

So I would hope that there's a price that he has to pay, but I hope it is not a long prison sentence or exile from his country.

BLITZER: You wouldn't give him clemency, though, and let him off scot-free?

SANDERS: No. BLITZER: All right, Senator, thanks very much for joining us.

<...>

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1401/06/sitroom.02.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024292659

I stand with anyone who recognizes that one doesn't have defend Snowden, Putin's tool, to be on the "right side of history."

Senator Blumenthal: prosecute Snowden, overhaul FISA courts.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023425884

Rep. John Lewis: "NO PRAISE FOR SNOWDEN-Reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023427908

“What Mr. Snowden did is treason, was high crimes, and there is nothing in what we say that justifies what he did,” said Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism advisor and current ABC News contributor. “Whether or not this panel would have been created anyway, I don’t know, but I don’t think anything that I’ve learned justifies the treasonous acts of Mr. Snowden.”

From the beginning, it was clear that Snowden broke the law (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023439290). There was a point where even Snowden supporters accepted that he knew he broke the law. Snowden said it himself.

Fleeing the country and releasing state secrets did not help his case.

His actions since then have only made the situation worse.

Whistleblowers have been making that point, some in subtle ways.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023236549

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023035550

Of course, this is dimissed because they're also critical of the NSA. It's as if some think that you can't be against NSA overreach (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023002358) unless you support Snowden.

In line with the OP question: Were you against Clarke when he went after Bush? Were you for Scooter Libby when he leaked Plame's identity?





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Response to ProSense (Reply #14)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:02 AM

19. But there'd be no debate if Snowden hadn't done what he did.

 

The subject would never have come up. No one else was raising it. And working withing the system never leads to victories over the national security state.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #19)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:28 AM

27. Snowden was

"But there'd be no debate if Snowden hadn't done what he did."

...hyped.

Snowden supporters and advisers say Clinton's remarks were unrealistic and reflect several factual misunderstandings about his predicament. They say he could not have availed himself of whistleblower protections because he was not a government employee (he worked for contractor Booz Allen) and his claims would not have been viewed as exposing any impropriety because authorities in all three branches of government had blessed the NSA telephone program as legal. A federal judge not privy to the program before the leaks later ruled it unconstitutional, but that decision is on appeal.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024871696

NSA whistleblowers and others were already engaged in a debate.

NSA whistleblower: Illegal data collection a ‘violation of everybody’s Constitutional rights’http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021352829

White House, NSA weigh cybersecurity, personal privacy (WH blocks NSA from expanding monitoring)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101461977

Ron Wyden on NSA Spying & Secret Law
http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4279272/ron-wyden-nsa-spying-secret-law

Obama Shuts Down NSA Cybersecurity Proposal

—By Kevin Drum

Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reports that the NSA and the White House are at odds over a proposal to increase surveillance of "critical infrastructure systems" in order to prevent cyberattacks:

The most contentious issue was a legislative proposal last year that would have required hundreds of companies that provide critical services such as electricity generation to allow their Internet traffic be continuously scanned using computer threat data provided by the spy agency. The companies would have been expected to turn over evidence of potential cyberattacks to the government.

....The NSA proposal, called Tranche 2, sparked fierce debate within the administration. It would have required an estimated 300 to 500 firms with a role in critical infrastructure systems to allow their Internet carrier or some other private company to scan their computer networks for malicious software using government threat data....NSA officials say this process would have been automated, preventing intrusion into the personal privacy of ordinary users visiting Web sites or exchanging electronic messages with friends.

....But the White House and other agencies, including the departments of Justice and Commerce, said the proposal left open the possibility that the large Internet carriers themselves could be designated critical entities. This, they said, could have allowed scanning of virtually all Internet traffic for cyberthreats on behalf of the government, opening a newly extensive window into American behavior online.

The story leaves it unclear whether Tranche 2 is dead for good, or merely needs to be retooled to place clear limits on who's required to take part. Either way, given the intense interest in cybersecurity these days, I don't expect this proposal to go away.

On a political note, it's unclear how this will break down on party lines. Obviously the GOP base is inclined to think that anything Obama opposes must be good, and they certainly supported the increased surveillance powers that George Bush gave to NSA. On the other hand, tea partiers tend to be suspcious of this kind of Big Brotherish monitoring. So it's hard to say which way they'll jump. Probably against Obama is my guess.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/02/obama-shuts-down-nsa-cybersecurity-proposal

White House, NSA weigh cybersecurity, personal privacy
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-nsa-weigh-cyber-security-personal-privacy/2012/02/07/gIQA8HmKeR_print.html

February 2013:

President Obama Shows No CISPA-like Invasion of Privacy Needed to Defend Critical Infrastructure

By Michelle Richardson

Last night the President signed an executive order (EO) aimed at ramping up the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. Overwhelmingly, the EO focuses on privacy-neutral coordination between the government and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure (CI)—such as the banking, communication, power, and transportation sectors—which have long been regulated because of their fundamental role in the smooth operation of society. Now that these important entities are all connected to the internet, the administration insists that their cybersecurity be on par with their physical security.

There are two important information sharing advancements in the EO, and this time they are good for privacy. They do not include the many problems of legislation like the Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act (CISPA) because an executive order by definition cannot take away the privacy protections granted by current statutes. In other words, the EO cannot exempt companies from privacy statutes, or let the government collect new information. It can only act within its existing power to change policies and practices.

Two cheers for cybersecurity programs that can do something besides spy on Americans.

The first information sharing advancement greases the wheels of information from the government to the private sector. Section 4 lights a fire under agencies and directs them to share more information with companies—information they already have and can legally collect under current law. Information flowing in this direction is nowhere as near as problematic as the opposite direction. To the extent that corporate and congressional advocates claim that CISPA is needed for this purpose, the administration beat them to the punch. The EO directs the attorney general, the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security to set up a system to get threat information to critical infrastructure owners and operators. They have four months to pull it together.

The second information sharing provision is a net positive for civil liberties. Section 5 directs the Department of Homeland Security, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate current interagency information sharing. There is plenty of cyber information floating around the executive branch and across different agencies. There doesn't appear to be any publicly available regulation of how that information is protected for privacy purposes, and it may very well be that it is protected by a mish-mash of originating statutes that treat different types of information with varying protections. By holding the agencies accountable to the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs)—transparency, choice, minimization and more—we may see a government-wide cybersecurity privacy regime evolve. To get it done right, PCLOB will need to be funded and staffed up, and advocacy will be needed to keep the agencies true to the FIPPs, but the President has now declared them the bellwether for cybersecurity information.

Overall, the EO is a win for privacy and civil liberties. It's a good reminder that while some are focused like a laser on turning our internet records over to the National Security Agency, there are a lot of other things that government can do to advance cybersecurity instead. Now it's up to all of us to make sure Congress follows the President's lead.

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-technology-and-liberty/president-obama-shows-no-cispa-invasion-privacy-needed

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022370043

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Response to ProSense (Reply #27)

Thu May 1, 2014, 09:42 PM

68. You have so lost this "debate".

What a load of sad BS you're coughing up, calling it "debate". And such a warm and cathartic hue of puke green it is.

You can't even link to bloggers, journalists or intellectuals who would consistently support your position because their links and blog rolls alone would make you look very much like the cheerleader of the corporate police state that you are. It would be instantly recognizable.

Thomas Drake himself has said his through-the-channels and fully-redacted approach failed.

Civil society--the parts possessing any progressive inclination--have moved on from rationalizing mass surveillance and elite impunity.

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Response to cprise (Reply #68)

Fri May 2, 2014, 11:15 AM

102. When backed into a corner surrounded by facts,

 

you post is nothing more than growling and biting at the facts and pretend they don't count.

The bottom line is that for every excuse you have why Snowden should be "seen" in a heroic light, there is a clear and valid response for the bull crap being spouted.

Snowden is no American hero, the NSA overreach debate isn't in the public realm solely because of Snowden. And more germain to this thread, Snowden chose who he is lying in bed with and CHOSE to cuddle up with China and then Russia. Of course there was a reason he chose to be under their protection, and that protection isn't being handed to him for free.

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Response to Sheepshank (Reply #102)

Fri May 2, 2014, 11:51 AM

103. As I pointed out, xenophobic conspiracy theories aren't 'facts'. n/t


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Response to ProSense (Reply #14)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:06 AM

21. If Snowden is Putin's tool,

 

then Obama is Poppy & George W. Bush's tool.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:20 AM

26. From you link, PS.. thanks..

"The New York Times reports that Snowden retained prominent Washington defense lawyer Plato Cacheris to negotiate a potential deal with the U.S. government that could bring the 30-year-old American home.

But an agreement is unlikely since Snowden's camp wants leniency for the surveillance debate started by his leaks to journalists, while top Pentagon officials believe Snowden also took military documents. The Justice Department's position is that Snowden is not a whistleblower."

snip//

"To a foreign intelligence service, Snowden is priceless," Robert Caruso, a former assistant command security manager in the Navy and a consultant, told BI. "He can be be exploited again and again."

Interesting.. snip//

"Snowden and his closest supporters contend that Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on his way to Latin America when the U.S. government stranded him in Russia by revoking his passport. There are several reasons to question that claim, including the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who paid for Snowden's lodging and travel in Hong Kong — advised Snowden against going to Latin America because "he would be physically safest in Russia."

Yeah, it's all about saving your neck to assange.

Had you read this?..

One Paragraph Sums Up What Edward Snowden Can Expect From His Life In Russia


A flag for the presidential campaign of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hangs out of windows of a house in Moscow March 2, 2012. The flag reads "For Putin. And that's all."

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-snowden-can-during-life-in-russia-2013-7#ixzz30HOuc5gB

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Response to Cha (Reply #26)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:38 AM

30. And why are you dissing Assange? He was right, too.

 

It would be a betrayal of everything good in this country for Snowden to serve a long prison sentence. And it would guarantee that the NSA wouldn't be reformed. There's no reason to think the NSA could be reformed in any case...nobody in our government ever reins in surveillance types. Any punishment for Snowden ends the debate. No one will even try fighting the national security state again...the fight for democracy(which requires transparent government)will be lost. Why do you defend secrecy when secrecy never leads to anything but the kinds of shit Nixon, Kissinger and Reagan did? History has proven that secrecy can never have progressive, humanistic results.

And Snowden, whatever else you can say about him, isn't responsible for anything Putin's done.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:42 AM

9. Given that we forced down the plane of a sovereign head of state,

 

an act of war, just to look for Snowden... It would not have gone well if he'd been captired

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:49 AM

13. In the reality-based community, crackpot conspiracy theories don't become facts

simply because a number of people scream those conspiracy theories over and over and over again: evidence is still required -- and there's no evidence whatsoever that anyone forced Morales' plane down

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #13)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:07 AM

22. Other than apologies from foreign heads of state

 

What do *they* know?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #22)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:21 AM

50. Portugal had notified Morales a day or two before his departure from Moscow that

refueling in Lisbon would be impossible, and so the final flight plan filed in Moscow indicating refueling in the Canary Islands. However, as the plane began to overfly the Alps, the crew nevertheless requested a landing in Lisbon to refuel, which was denied. The Spanish when contacted asserted a pre-cleared permission to overfly Spanish territory en route to the Canary Islands (a pre-clearance entirely in accordance with the final flight plan filed in Moscow). The French always maintained that they had granted permission in advance, based on the final flight plan filed in Moscow, that the second unanticipated in-flight request produced confusion about what plane was making the request (perhaps due to the deviation from the filed flight plan), and that they had granted permission as soon as they understood that the plane making the request was Morales' plane. The Italians also maintained that they had granted permission, but Morales' plane requested an emergency landing in Austria (claiming technical problems with a fuel gauge) and landed in Austria before overflying Italian airspace

This sounds very much like a failure on the part of the flight crew to obtain in Moscow enough fuel to reach the Canary Islands and a subsequent expectation that they could force Lisbon to allow them to refuel there, even though they had been told (before leaving Moscow) that refueling in Lisbon would be impossible and had modified their flight plan accordingly

The job of diplomats is to smooth over difficulties. The French, Italians, Portuguese, and Spanish ambassadors therefore all made soothing noises for Morales and declined to argue further when his government chose to characterize their responses as "apologies." So far as I was able to determine, no text for any of these "apologies" ever became public, and we therefore do not know exactly what soothing noises were offered to Morales, but the public statement of the Spanish ambassador Angel Vásquez in La Paz probably gives a good indication of the tenor of the various responses to Morales -- We are very regretful of the inconveniences that the president had to endure, the discomfort in which he found himself and also the annoyance he felt, which he has expressed vividly in recent days

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #50)

Thu May 1, 2014, 04:07 AM

56. And didn't they later claim they had a fuel gauge issue?

That's hardly being "forced down," if you aren't sure how much gas is in tank and you land to check it.

I am more and more convinced that the confusion that Evo's crew created was deliberate for the purposes of causing a ruckus...and I think Putin helped create the imbroglio.

For someone who was officially discommoded, Evo looked very pleased with himself during that stopover, and being greeted like the Big Man on Campus when he arrived home gave him a lift, as well.

Performance art, if you ask me...

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:20 AM

40. We still owe Evo Morales and the people of Bolivia an apology for that.

 

If his plane had run out of fuel and crashed, the deaths of all on board would have been on our heads.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #40)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:26 PM

65. What actual evidence exists of any US involvement in that event at all?

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:01 AM

18. Thank you.

Please don't be discouraged by the flack.

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Response to snot (Reply #18)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:04 AM

20. I'm not. The pro-secrecy, pro-status quo brigade was bound to turn up.

 

Thanks for the support.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #20)

Fri May 2, 2014, 06:35 PM

115. I wonder if

any of them delude themselves into thinking that anyone actually reads their cut,copied and pasted dreck?

Oh and speaking of copying and pasting.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024899144#post70

Best post of the day AFAIAC.

And of course not answered.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 01:50 AM

34. He DID have the alternative to only collect and release information about US internal surveillance.

Not spying on other countries by the NSA and CIA.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #34)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:21 AM

41. It's not cleanly separated like that.

 

And it's not as if the surveillance here was wrong, but all the surveillance in all the other places was OK.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #41)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:26 AM

44. And it's not as if all his releases are fine, no matter what the content. n/t

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #41)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:00 AM

85. I'm not at all comfortable...

 

With Snowden and Greenwald decide what is and isn't a legitimate foreign intelligence operation. And frankly. Some of the releases are CLEARLY unrelated to potentially Unconstitutional domestic activities.

And yes, it matters. Snowden/Greenwald seem more interested in damaging the U.S. At this point than protecting the privacy of its citizens.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:07 AM

36. He most certainly DID have one. He was either stupid, or he's everywhere he wants to be.

He should do a VISA commercial!

That's just a big old straw man argument there -- that's a very well constructed straw man, he has the shirt, the overalls, a cute little hat, eyes, a big smile woven into his straw head, and even a pair of Farmer Brown's gloves on his straw man hands, but he's still a straw man.

Why didn't he just run to Iceland, where he insisted he wanted to go in the first place? Could it be because he was hiding out in the Russian Consulate in HONG KONG, a place where he'd visited before when he was working for DELL in Japan? And why would he run to the RUSSIAN Consulate? Perhaps because he'd made plans in advance to so do?

Why didn't he just head down to ECUADOR, where Julian Assange had already found a few friends?

Greenwald and Poitras could have met him ANYWHERE. There was no "rule" that they had to meet in HK. Hell, South America would have been far more convenient for GG.

He went to China because it was a hop, skip and a jump from Russia, because he knew he could get a room at the Russian consulate, and he could get help leaving and hiding out in the once-and-perhaps-future USSR. No doubt the room he had at that high end hotel had been swept for bugs--and maybe even bugged anew--by his Russian friends. Who knows, maybe they even rented it for him.


Going to HK (and then saying "Gee, I wanna go to Iceland...no, South America!!" gave Russia cover, as though they had no role in the mess until, oh, alas, alack, poor Ed got "stuck" in Russia (of course, his stay at the Russian consulate kinda screwed that plausible deniability). Russia--or China, for that matter--could have given him travel documents in a day, if they wanted. Hell, Russia could have "Depardieu'd" him and made him a citizen with a wave of Putin's magic wand--and then he could go on his way with his freshly minted Russian passport.

But no--none of that happened. WHY?

Because he's where he intended to be in the first place.

He maybe, just maybe, thought Putin could get him to South America, eventually...but he didn't count on Raul Castro hedging his bets. Raul knows his economy is on the fritz, his lifeline to free fuel depends on keeping Maduro in power (and that is getting more expensive for him every day, what with the brain drain of physician's assistants, nurses, and a large chunk of his military sent to Caracas to professionalize the GNB), and if the shit hits the fan, he's going to find it in his interests to do more reaching out to his closest neighbors simply for the well-being of the population, if nothing else. If that involves "free and fair elections" with an actual opposition, and maybe a genteel retirement, well, so be it.

But then again, that whole "I wanna go to Iceland/South America" story could have been a canard. His little pal Sarah over at Wikileaks, Snowden's former paramour, shepherded him through the entire process of getting into Russia with the greatest of ease and aplomb. And Snowden proudly states that he is "an indoor cat" that lives on ramen noodles and chips (you can get those anywhere), so what's the difference where he lives, really, so long as the heat is working and he can get a Putin-monitored "Feel The Freedumb" internet connection?

When I hear hoofbeats, I think horses. Snowden is HOME. This whole "asylum for a year" nonsense, subject to renewal, is for the easily-duped Society for the Adoration of Eddie crew. They'll play this game out as long as they can get column inches in major papers...once nobody cares, Eddie will either get, or reveal he's already had for years, a Russian passport and full citizenship.

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Response to MADem (Reply #36)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:11 AM

38. Would you agree that, once he said he wanted to go to South America

 

that the U.S. should have just promised his plane wouldn't be intercepted if he TRIED to go there?

What would have been so terrible about letting him end up in Bolivia or Venezuela? Why couldn't Obama live with that?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #38)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:23 AM

43. For all you know, Putin organized that little playlet with Evo to create buzz.

They play a lot of chess in Russia, too.

In fact, if I were betting, that's where my money would go.

I'll bet the Russian "source" that passed the word to NATO et. al. that Snowden was on that plane got a nice little bonus in his paycheck--and he's off the list of Trusted Blabbermouths, if he was ever on it in the first place.

Evo was not at all pissed, he recited his little whine as if by rote, and had a nice visit with diplomats while the plane was refueled. And plenty of reporters were miraculously on hand to cover the event and take plenty of pictures, at a place where Evo was not even supposed to land. Surprise, surprise, as Gomer sez.

In fact, the whole bullshit about the pilot filing to fuel here, then there, asking for the landing permissions, not getting them, and then turning round and landing in such a way to be able to play the "forced down" card (well, if "forced down" is translation for "The pilot didn't make the proper arrangements for fuel on the Iberian peninsula, and wanted to land at an airport where there was no fueling after hours, but hey, let's blame "AMRIKA" for that, too!" ) strains credulity.

Again, it's more theatre for the Adoration of Eddie Society. Eat it up with a spoon!

And why would you think that USA shouldn't try to intercept someone who is wanted for a stack of crimes? We have agreements with INTERPOL for this very purpose. By your justifications, murderers and child molesters on US passports, revoked or not, should be able to fly out of Moscow to South America "just because." Your logic is sorely wanting.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #38)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:28 AM

45. Of course not. The US had no obligation to offer him unimpeded passage ,

as he carted US data files around the world.

If he'd wanted to end up in Venezuela, that's where he would have gone in the first place. He could have gone there or to Iceland before releasing anything. But he CHOSE not to.

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Response to MADem (Reply #36)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:42 AM

47. Excellent analysis, MADem!

"Greenwald and Poitras could have met him ANYWHERE. There was no "rule" that they had to meet in HK. Hell, South America would have been far more convenient for GG.

He went to China because it was a hop, skip and a jump from Russia, because he knew he could get a room at the Russian consulate, and he could get help leaving and hiding out in the once-and-perhaps-future USSR. No doubt the room he had at that high end hotel had been swept for bugs--and maybe even bugged anew--by his Russian friends. Who knows, maybe they even rented it for him.


Going to HK (and then saying "Gee, I wanna go to Iceland...no, South America!!" gave Russia cover, as though they had no role in the mess until, oh, alas, alack, poor Ed got "stuck" in Russia (of course, his stay at the Russian consulate kinda screwed that plausible deniability)."

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Response to MADem (Reply #36)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:48 AM

48. P.S... Have you seen this theory?

"The New York Times reports that Snowden retained prominent Washington defense lawyer Plato Cacheris to negotiate a potential deal with the U.S. government that could bring the 30-year-old American home.

But an agreement is unlikely since Snowden's camp wants leniency for the surveillance debate started by his leaks to journalists, while top Pentagon officials believe Snowden also took military documents. The Justice Department's position is that Snowden is not a whistleblower."

snip//

"To a foreign intelligence service, Snowden is priceless," Robert Caruso, a former assistant command security manager in the Navy and a consultant, told BI. "He can be be exploited again and again."

Interesting.. snip//

"Snowden and his closest supporters contend that Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on his way to Latin America when the U.S. government stranded him in Russia by revoking his passport. There are several reasons to question that claim, including the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who paid for Snowden's lodging and travel in Hong Kong — advised Snowden against going to Latin America because "he would be physically safest in Russia."

Yeah, it's all about saving your neck to assange.

And, this blast from past?..

One Paragraph Sums Up What Edward Snowden Can Expect From His Life In Russia


A flag for the presidential campaign of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hangs out of windows of a house in Moscow March 2, 2012. The flag reads "For Putin. And that's all."

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-snowden-can-during-life-in-russia-2013-7#ixzz30HOuc5gB

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Response to Cha (Reply #48)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:30 AM

51. Yes. I have to say, the more he pipes up, the more he makes the pronouncements about

stuff that "he" is leaking (even though he insists--cough bullshit--that he doesn't have access to the stuff, and if he doesn't have access, how can he control what/when things are handed out?), the more he sounds like what Putin called him--an Intelligence Official, AKA a spy, and not a Sysadmin Whistleblower.

By his own actions, he's selling himself as a sellout. He hasn't leaked a damn thing about Pootie, now, has he? Not a single tiny iota of information. Surely he had to have grabbed a FEW wee tidbits about one of our largest competitors?

When it quacks like a duck, and all that...

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Response to MADem (Reply #51)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:43 AM

52. Putin and Comrade Eddie needed to get

on the same page on that one! ".. the more he sounds like what Putin called him--an Intelligence Official, AKA a spy, and not a Sysadmin Whistleblower."

Sounds like they coming back together here..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024892953

Compelling point..

"By his own actions, he's selling himself as a sellout. He hasn't leaked a damn thing about Pootie, now, has he? Not a single tiny iota of information. Surely he had to have grabbed a FEW wee tidbits about one of our largest competitors?"

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Response to Cha (Reply #52)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:59 PM

76. Enough with the "Comrade Eddie" crap

 

Putin is a right-wing Great Russian Nationalist...he's not a Red.

And Russia is not the USSR...it's a capitalist dictatorship.

Stop trying to restart the Cold War...that era was forty years of dead loss to the world.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #76)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:56 AM

94. Phrase has NOTHING to do with cold war and comrade is Russian term no US

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #94)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:37 AM

99. LOL!!!

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #94)

Fri May 2, 2014, 06:22 PM

113. Comrade is actually a French term, adopted by the Russians.

 

It applies to people who are allies in a revolution...what Putin is doing has nothing to do with revolution, it's just right-wing nationalism.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #76)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:09 PM

106. Isn't Putin doing that, restarting the Cold War?

Sure looks like he's trying to put the old USSR gang back together again....by any means necessary, to boot!

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Response to MADem (Reply #106)

Fri May 2, 2014, 06:24 PM

114. He's trying to put the old pre-revolutionary Tsarist empire back together.

 

Putin is a right-wing Great Russian nationalist. Using the old "commie" memes implies that the Left is to blame for that bastard.
We aren't.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #114)

Fri May 2, 2014, 08:29 PM

116. I didn't say "commie"--I did say "Soviet Socialist Republics" though.

And that's what he wants--he wants to be back in the USSR, where he was during his KGB glory days. And he wants to be the dictator to lead the obedient and subservient population to that glory.

No one is "blaming the left." That's just an unsupported assertion.

The guy is a dictator strongman, a lot like Stalin, only with a more subtle touch, and shirtless.

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Response to MADem (Reply #51)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:57 AM

55. Nor has Wikileaks released the Russian files.

The FSB has very likely infiltrated that entire group.

Funny how it turns out that pro-corporate libertarians wind up siding with the fascists. Every time.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #55)

Thu May 1, 2014, 04:09 AM

57. +1,000..!

I feel like I'm watching some serious "Performance Art," some days!

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #55)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:54 AM

93. 1000+

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Response to MADem (Reply #51)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:54 AM

92. Nothing leaked about Putin is a really good point, seems everyone else has been on the list except h

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Response to MADem (Reply #36)

Thu May 1, 2014, 03:53 AM

54. The events are accurate, but I don't think he intended it.

I think after his correction about speaking with Putin he found himself in a precarious situation, and indeed, his comments that Russian people are not spied on as much as American people is just more of him being pushed into a corner. Especially since the comments came just after Russia took over Russia's biggest social media site.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #54)

Thu May 1, 2014, 04:27 AM

58. Two things stick out. Well, three.

1. There are lotsa Russians to be found in various world capitals. Not all of them are actually businessmen, or tourists, or consular officials. Some of them are HUMINT assets. You'll find them in Hong Kong, in Switzerland, in Tokyo, even in Hawaii...for starters. They're good, too--way better than we are (we made a mistake when we ratched back on the HUMINT game, and we're still playing catch-up).

2. Snowden visited Hong Kong when he was employed with DELL (cough ... intel) in Japan. He took a lovely vacation there with the fiancee he dumped.

3. Snowden ran right to the HK RUSSIAN CONSULATE and hid from the press there when he was making his moves in Hong Kong. I mean, come on. Like they just flung open the door and said "Gee, I don't know you from a hole in the wall...but Welcome, Eddie, Welcome!" Naaah.


Hoofbeats...horses!

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Response to MADem (Reply #58)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:57 AM

95. So Snowden wasn't stuck in an airport? WOW!! This Snowden thing seems more rapped around Russia

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #95)

Fri May 2, 2014, 11:55 AM

104. He probably went straight to a dacha when he landed.

No one saw him from the time he arrived until that silly and pointless press conference with Assange's former paramour. Reporters tried desperately to bribe officials and minders in the "no visa" hotel, they even rented rooms on that floor and went round knocking on doors and phoning the rooms. He wasn't there.

Most of the talking on ES's behalf while he was "stuck in transit" was done by his Putin pal ex-KGB lawyer mouthpiece. There was a quick view of him scampering through the airport (where he easily could have been driven from his more comfortable digs) after he got his residency documents, but every single interaction during that time, and even since, with the guy has been very stilted and scripted.

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Response to MADem (Reply #58)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:28 AM

98. I was very reluctant to think Snowden was anything but a broken toy.

 

You're starting to convince me.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]If you don't give yourself the same benefit of a doubt you'd give anyone else, you're cheating someone.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to MADem (Reply #36)

Fri May 2, 2014, 07:48 AM

87. Excellent post!

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 02:35 AM

46. Of course! That's why Snowden went to China first!

Seriously, you should just return your spy almanac to the library and give it a rest, Ken.

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #46)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:56 PM

110. Yes! Any idiot can see that a layover in Hong Kong on a flight from Hawaii to Moscow

 

is completely unnecessary.



...and off to ignore for you.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 04:29 AM

59. Perhaps, but if he had half a brain he would have located himself in a country of his choice before

releasing the information.

Now we are left to wonder if he is a tool of Putin

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 04:34 AM

60. K&R.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 05:01 AM

61. The pearl clutching over Snowden being stranded in Russia is just a distraction.

 

To avoid talking about the issues. It's classic Chewbacca defense tactics. Just like boxes and pole dancers.

[link:&list=PLrHqg6zwiaEl2gGqlJAXb_QvkDvAGqbO8&feature=share|

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 05:58 AM

63. Sowden is a dirty traitor and I wish cancer on him and any children he ever has. n/t

 

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #63)

Thu May 1, 2014, 06:16 AM

64. Wow. Get a grip!

 

Ugly much?

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #63)

Thu May 1, 2014, 05:24 PM

66. i hope that it never happens to you or anyone that you know or love..

you really need psychiatric help.

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #63)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:35 PM

83. You'd wish cancer on his future KIDS? Like this would be THEIR fault?

 

What kind of common humanity does THAT represent?

Grow a soul.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:01 PM

71. Snowden did NOT want to go to Russia. The US Govt forced him to remain there when they

revoked his passport.

His destination was Latin America where he had sought Political Asylum. He needed to be in Ecuador which was willing to grant him asylum once he was there and made a formal request, when the US Govt revoked his passport after he left Hong Kong, which refused to hand him over to the US, to continue his journey to Latin America. After Hong Kong refused the US request, they revoked his passport forcing him to remain in Russia.

Please correct the OP to include the fact that it was not Snowden who 'fled to Russie', it was the US Govt who forced him to remain on what was only a stopover on his way to where he wanted to be.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #71)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:04 PM

72. Again,

"Snowden did NOT want to go to Russia. The US Govt forced him to remain there when they revoked his passport. "

...that's nonsense.

From the piece posted here (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024896931)

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
Follow
Germany blocks #Snowden - why we advised #Snowden to take Russia. Not safe elsewhere: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/01/germany-edward-snowden-nsa-inquiry … donate: http://freesnowden.is/
9:39 AM - 1 May 2014

That's a much different claim from the bogus implication that he was forced to go there and they were simply escorting him. Snowden may not have wanted to go to Russia as claimed, but the fact is that he appears not to have had a choice since the group that paid for his accommodations and flight "advised" him to go to Russia.

Fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is now traveling and lodging at the expense of WikiLeaks, according to the group’s founder, Julian Assange—a move that lawyers say could expose the whistleblowing organization to new legal charges.

WikiLeaks paid for Snowden’s travel from Hong Kong to Moscow, his lodging, and also his legal counsel, Assange said on a call with reporters Monday in response to a question from The Daily Beast.

“It is correct we paid for those arrangements,” said Assange, who declined to specify Snowden’s current whereabouts. “No government or other organization assisted."

- more -

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/24/wikileaks-foots-the-bill-for-snowden-s-global-escapades.html


From the Rolling Stone piece mentioned the other thread:

Greenwald has a complicated relationship with WikiLeaks and Assange, whom he considers an ally, though given Assange's controversial reputation in the United States, he admits that "Julian stepping forward and being the face of the story wasn't great for Snowden." But he credits Assange with having helped save Snowden from almost certain extradition to the U.S. Snowden, however, never wanted to go to Russia, which Assange acknowledges. "Snowden believed that in order to most effectively push for reform in the U.S., Latin America would be the better option," Assange tells me. "He did not want to invite a political attack that he'd 'defected.'"

Assange, however, disagrees. "While Venezuela and Ecuador could protect him in the short term, over the long term there could be a change in government. In Russia, he's safe, he's well-regarded, and that is not likely to change. That was my advice to Snowden, that he would be physically safest in Russia." Assange also claims that Snowden has proved "you can blow the whistle about national security and not only survive, but thrive."

But how much Snowden is thriving in Russia is unknown. According to his Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, he has been learning the language and reading Russian literature. (He recently finished Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.) Snowden also reportedly took a job not long ago at a Russian Internet company. Greenwald, who says he talks with Snowden regularly via encrypted chat, maintains that he knows very few details of Snowden's daily life. "For both his and my own protection, there are questions I stay away from," he says. Radack and Drake recently visited Snowden as part of a whistle-blower delegation; they were whisked to a secret meeting and dinner with him at a stately mansion in or near Moscow. That they were taken in a van with darkened windows, at night, meant they had no idea where they were going. Radack nevertheless insists that Snowden is not being controlled by the Russian intelligence service, the FSB, nor has he become a Russian spy. "Russia treats its spies much better than leaving them trapped in the Sheremetyevo transit zone for over a month," Radack recalled Snowden darkly joking to her.

- more -

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/snowden-and-greenwald-the-men-who-leaked-the-secrets-20131204

Remember, Snowden was entertained at the Russian embassy in Hong Kong.

MOSCOW—President Vladimir Putin conceded that Edward Snowden contacted Russian diplomats in Hong Kong a few days before boarding a plane to Moscow, but said that no agreement was reached to shelter him and that the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor decided on his own to come to Russia.

Mr. Putin had previously said that Mr. Snowden's arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 was a "complete surprise."

But in an interview with Russia's Channel One and the Associated Press, released on Wednesday, he acknowledged that he had some prior knowledge that the fugitive might be headed Russia's way.

"Mr. Snowden first appeared in Hong Kong and met with our diplomatic representatives," Mr. Putin said. "It was reported to me that there was such an employee, an employee of the security services. I asked, 'What does he want?' He fights for human rights, for freedom of information and challenges violations of human rights and violations of the law in the United States. I said, 'So what?' "

- more -

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323623304579054890606102138


Castro labels libelous report Cuba blocked Snowden travel

(Reuters) - Retired Cuban president Fidel Castro blasted on Wednesday a report in a Russian newspaper that his country buckled to U.S. pressure and blocked former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden from traveling through Cuba to exile in Latin America.

- more -

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/28/us-usa-security-snowden-cuba-idUSBRE97R0JJ20130828





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Response to ProSense (Reply #72)

Thu May 1, 2014, 10:15 PM

73. You can post all the words and links you want, but the FACT IS, Snowden WAS NOT HEADED FOR RUSSIA.

He requested political asylum in Latin America. He was on his way there, choosing NOT TO FLY OVER EUROPE as we all know what would have happened to him there.

When he landed in Hong Kong, a stopover on his way to Latin America, the US requested that Hong Kong detain and hand him over to them. Hong Kong refused and he was allowed to continue on his journey to LATIN AMERICA. But the US forced him to remain in Russia, another stopover on his to LATIN AMERICA, by revoking his passport.

It's no use trying to change the facts. They are WELL KNOWN to the world.

Snowden did not WANT TO GO TO RUSSIA and is there ONLY because of the US Govt.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #73)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:00 AM

97. Those are NOT the facts, even if he wasn't headed for Russia why the lie about being "stuck" in an

...airport when he was really at the consolute!!??!?!?!

Not only that the point is mead upthread that wikileaks hardly releases any Russian mud and neither has Snowden

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #71)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:32 AM

88. If he wanted to go to South America, why didn't he go there, instead of Hong Kong?

 

Sorry... this idea that he had to go through Hong Kong and Moscow to get to South America is total bullshit.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #88)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:49 AM

100. That has been explained over and over again. He was absolutely correct to choose a route that

would keep him safe from suffering the same fate as Chelsea Manning and all the other Whistle Blowers who have been persecuted in this country. And it turns out his decision was an excellent one. Hong Kong refused to hand him over to the US as did Russia.

Ever ask why Chinese and/other protesters/whistle blowers et al choose routes to get to the US eg that they choose for the same reason?

All the Whistle Blowers who preceded him, Drake, Ellsberg et al AGREE with his decision. So I'll take their expert opinions over those who are desperately trying to find something to criticize him with for whatever reason.

The US Govt chose to stop him in Russia, The question is 'why'? Maybe he's a US spy, hardly Russian as the right wing Moron Rep Rogers tried to imply because I doubt the US Govt would send him 'home'.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #100)

Fri May 2, 2014, 10:54 AM

101. Bull. Snowden was funneled exactly where Assange wanted him. NT

 

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #101)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:04 PM

105. Who's funding Assange these days? Could his name be Vladimir?

Vlad gives money to Assange who gives money to Snowden...a perfect feedback loop!

I don't think Snowden was a helpless pawn either. I used to think he might be a sucker, but I think he may have been co-opted when he was working in Japan.

It's just too odd of a coincidence that he'd run to HONG KONG, which is enveloped in the loving arms of the totalitarian PRC, which just happens to be a place where he vacationed when he lived in JAPAN.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #101)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:19 PM

117. New taking points don't facts. Snowden was headed for SA When the US Govt forced

him to remain in Russia, for whatever reason.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #100)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:17 PM

107. Make up your mind

 

that Snowden was "forced" to go to Russia....then with the other side of your mouth claim he "chose" to go to Russia. You are making no sense.

your "forced to go to Russia" fallacy have been debunked a dozen times over with facts and you still promote the lie?

Thats rich.

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Response to Sheepshank (Reply #107)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:33 PM

109. Repetition = Truth

right out of the GOP playbook.

You know, lots of "words" and stuff.

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Response to Bobbie Jo (Reply #109)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:57 PM

111. although it's not working very well in this case. n/t

 

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Response to Sheepshank (Reply #111)

Fri May 2, 2014, 01:25 PM

112. No, not so much

It seems to work for your average Fox viewer, but apparently gullible headline readers can be found just about anywhere.

They know their audience.....

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Response to Sheepshank (Reply #107)

Sat May 3, 2014, 12:32 PM

118. And now to correct that erroneous statement from you. First, the US GOVT forced Snowden to REMAIN

in Russia.

And for anyone reading, here is the correction of the above comment which erroneously states:

.then with the other side of your mouth claim he "chose" to go to Russia.


That is known as, either a deliberate misinterpretation of facts that were clearly stated, or a total misunderstanding of what was stated by me.

My comments are available for all to read. In those comments I stated the FACTS.

Which are:

'Snowden chose a route TO SOUTH AMERICA that would not take him over Europe where he would have been taken into custody. He chose a route where it was less likely that this would happen with stopoffs on his way in Hong Kong and Russia. Those stopoffs would have been a few hours at most as anyone who flies understands.

The US Govt asked Hong Kong to detain him. Hong Kong refused and he was able to continue to the next stop on his journey to SA which would have been a couple of hours. But the US GOVT rescinded his passport, making it impossible for him to leave Russia.


I will repeat these facts anytime I see any attempt to change them. Twisting facts on a forum like this diminishes the credibility of the entire forum unless these inaccuracies are corrected.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #118)

Mon May 5, 2014, 12:21 PM

120. look at your post #100...YOU said he "chose"

 

he chose, chose chose....he had other options, but he chose.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #71)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:57 AM

96. This is not reality

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:05 PM

77. Snowden had alternative decisions, he chose not to use them. I doubt if

Ron or Rand Paul was president he would have said anything, he is an activist, now patsy to Putin. It is about Snowden, always has been. Like the little kid in school, always raising his hand and saying "Teacher, teacher, ME, ME, ME. Now he is crying a river, let him stay in Russia, he can bow to his king.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #77)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:31 PM

81. I surmise life in Russia is better than getting life in the US prison system

TIME 40:10 -- "...the only way he was gonna be able to make that happen was to leave the United States."

This is from Thomas Drake, a high-profile whistleblower from the GW Bush era.



Snowden really didn't have an option. The ones that came before him were made into examples of what not to do because the system became too corrupt.

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Response to cprise (Reply #81)

Fri May 2, 2014, 06:43 AM

84. Life in Russia may be better for as long as Putin needs him to remain as a patsy.

Russia is well known as a human rights country and after all he has ask if there was any spying on Russian people and Putin said there was not, good luck Snowden, you are his boy.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:16 PM

79. He could have stayed in Hawaii

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Response to lame54 (Reply #79)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:31 PM

80. Uh, no. Hawaii is part of the U.S., and he'd have been arrested there.

 

Snowden had to get to a place without an extradition treaty. He didn't owe it to the country to agree to spend the rest of his life rotting in prison.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #80)

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:32 PM

82. I think you missed the point - but that's ok - good night

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Response to lame54 (Reply #79)

Fri May 2, 2014, 12:24 PM

108. Not if---as was reported early on--they were "on" to him and his security clearance was about to be

revoked because he lied - Lied - LIED about his educational qualifications, and he was working under that lie for an entire clearance period of several years.

He was in the process of renewing his clearance when he got to Booz, and he was told by personnel that there were issues with it. He managed to convince the PTB, locally, anyway, that it wasn't a big deal, and of course they would have re-submitted the paperwork. In time, though, that paperwork would come back (maybe in weeks, maybe months) with "Still Fucked Up--This Ain't Right" stamped on it (well, not precisely that, but you take the point...!).

He may have believed (and rightly to do so) that he would have been put under surveillance, his work product analyzed, his recent history scrutinized, BECAUSE he lied about his qualifications, even if he was able to get a 'forgiveness' chit from the authorities (they sometimes will do this, but sometimes, they won't either). Since he'd been stealing documents hand over fist for quite some time, perhaps he feared that this pattern would be discerned, and he'd be arrested and jailed without bail, as often happens when people are caught stealing stuff (Robert Hansen, Jonathan Pollard, e.g.) so he just panicked and ran.

Or it may be that he planned to leave all along, and he was going to keep playing it out until either there was no more stuff he could grab, or suspicion fell on him, whatever came first.

I'm just not buying the "Freedom Fighter Eddie" scenarios any more. There are too many questions.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:46 AM

89. 1. Most of the 'secrets' Snowden revealed have to do with international spying.

 

Which most people don't care about. Most people don't even care about the metadata stuff.

2. Snowden was a contractor, not subject to military imprisonment. That doesn't excuse what happened to Manning.

3. Putin could fly him out any time he wants. Why doesn't he? Why did Assange advise him to go to Russia?

4. Completely wrong. When Bush was President, Snowden said leakers should be 'shot in the balls'.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
Leonard Cohen, Anthem (1992)
[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Fri May 2, 2014, 09:47 AM

91. "We all know that no other choices existed..."

Uh, no...We don't all know that...From day one, either Snowden has surrounded himself with the stupidest advisors in the world, or he's getting sound advice and simply disregarding it and doing what he wants...The "But the U.S. has trapped him in Russia with no options" -meme is just shielding the reality of just how amateur and half-assed this operation has been planned and managed from the start...

And as I've pointed out countless times, if things are so bad there he can leave anytime he wants by flying on a Russian passport...

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