Snowden Flies to Russia, and Then?

Update: Ecuador announces it has received an asylum request for Snowden.

Update: There are reports that Snowden, whose plane arrived in Moscow, will spend the night at the Venezuelan embassy in Moscow or at the Sheremetyevo airport and then fly to Cuba, and then to Caracas. (Source article here.) Wikileaks says it is assisting with his travel arrangements.

The U.S. got a bit of a kick in the pants Sunday as Hong Kong said the paperwork it submitted for Edward Snowden's detention pending extradition did not comply with Hong Kong law. To rub it in, Hong Kong said it asked for more information but didn't receive it. So, Hong Kong said, it had no legal reason to insist Snowden stay in Hong Kong or arrest him.

Snowden left Hong Kong on a commercial flight to Russia, just like any other traveler. But Russia's just a place to change planes to a third country. The South China post surmises Iceland or Ecquador will be his final destination. [More..]

I bet this could have been avoided if the U.S. granted Russia's most excellent and reasonable request for the U.S. to turn over Konstantin Yaroshanko and Viktor Bout. I think with an offer of that particular duo's prison swap on the table, Russia would gladly have detained Snowden upon his arrival and held him for the U.S. Do Russians even need a warrant to arrest people? Too late now. It seems Snowden is off the hook for several months (at least) of freedom.

What does the U.S. do now? Probably what it always does. Set up a sting and kidnap Snowden and rendition him back to the U.S. That s what it did with Bout (in Thailand) and Yaroshenko (in Africa.) With the Somali pirates, it doesn't even bother with the sting, it moves right into the kidnap operation, and puts them on a flight to the Rocket Docket in Virginia.

From the South China Post, here is the Hong Kong Press release on allowing Snowden to leave.

The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure.

Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.

Russia's not spilling many beans on the situation.

We wish Mr. Snowden a safe flight. I'd still like to see him show up at Kim Dotcom's mansion in New Zealand. He seems like a generous guy, he might even share some of his lawyers to help Snowden.

< Zimmerman Trial: Judge Excludes Voice Experts | U.S. Asks Russia to Detain Snowden >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Did the USA really want him? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Babel 17 on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:00:15 AM EST
    Is it perhaps more a matter that having Snowden in Hong Kong is bad optics for our government?

    Putting Snowden on the run, and then having him end up in a nation that barely registers on the radar of bloggers, etc., might be an ok temporary situation for the administration.

    Clearly a victory (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    Clearly a victory for the Obama anministration's smart diplomacy.  Hillary deserves full credit for laying the groundwork with the successful "Reset" with the Russians.

    I'm sure that made sense ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:38:26 AM EST
    ... before it made it to your keyboard.

    Yeah, right, because things would've been ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:26:12 PM EST
    ... handled so much better had only George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld still been at the helm.

    Please have a safe trip back to Stepford.


    Uh Donald, don't look now but.... (1.00 / 3) (#129)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:16:43 PM EST
    Things were handled better..



    Just in case (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:06:09 AM EST
    you weren't aware of Mr. Snowden's name, the New York Times helpfully identifies him not by name, but by his media-government sanctioned nom de plume, "the NSA Leaker".

    Way to go, NYTimes.

    Personally, I would advise Mr. Snowden to accept Iceland's offer of asylum. It seemed to work for that other fiendish desperado sought by the gummint, Bobby Fischer.

    He didn't have an offer from them. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:28:49 AM EST
    There was a businessman there who offered him a plane, but he never made a request according to their government (as of yesterday I read). That's where I'd go, too, but he may have felt the country was so small he'd be easy to find.

    Unless all this Moscow to Havana to Venezuela stuff is not true and he's really heading to Iceland. They may not want the headache. Passengers on the Moscow plane told CNN he was on it. They had a camera on where he'd come out & he hadn't yet, so the reporter there thinks he's staying on a plane until it or another one flies out. Or maybe he's meeting with Russian officials. Who knows?


    It's quite (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:21:26 PM EST
    a comment on the way our government operates to say, "he may have felt the country was so small he'd be easy to find."

    As things stand, we seem to feel that we can go anywhere, abduct or kill whomever we please.


    Dang lentinel (none / 0) (#64)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:01:15 PM EST
    I didn't mean it's so small he'd be easy to find and kill. I think because he has a warrant out for him, we are entitled to look for him and ask that he be returned. I doubt we get any cooperation, but I don't think we're going to poison his soup, either.

    I guess it might depend on the seriousness of the thousands of additional amounts of classified info that Greenwald says he (Snowden) still has. If it's more of the same, that's not going to get him mysteriously killed. The damage, whatever that is, is already done if that's all it is.

    There are people on DK actually wondering if we'll shoot down a commercial airliner when it flies over our airspace headed to Cuba. My lord, we've lost our minds.


    I guess it's a job for the Navy Seals. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:06:31 PM EST
    Dry sarcasm today? (none / 0) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:13:29 PM EST
    Not really. But let's direct the attention (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:15:26 PM EST
    of liberals to thebPresident's plans re climate change.

    Certainly more important (none / 0) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:07:01 PM EST
    than some guy flying around the globe looking for his final self-imposed prison.

    Well, Teresa... (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:35:28 PM EST
    People, the American people, have become alarmed and frightened at the way our government has been operating these last years. You may call it paranoia, or that many have "lost their minds"... but the government has been instilling fear into us for many years now - and there was bound to be a result that is.. less than healthy.

    It is not reassuring at all that the government takes notes on who we call, and how often. They say that they're not listening, and yet they are.

    The drone program doesn't exactly inspire calm either.

    What you wrote maybe did not mean that Hong Kong was so small that they would find him and kill him - but it did mean that they would find him, extradite him, bring him back to the US, put him in the can where he would rot while awaiting trial, be tried for espionage, be convicted and spend 30 years in jail - if he lived that long.

    I probably, in fact definitely, have no expectation that our government is apt to show any humanity or concern for the constitutional rights of a defendant. I will admit that, as things are now, the poisoning of soup or any of the other paranoid delusions being proffered do not seem very far fetched to me.

    They have everyone so frightened and so numb that they could do whatever they wanted and nobody would say anything. It would be forgotten in a few weeks when they can concoct some new international calamity to keep us busy.


    "everyone so frightened"? (3.00 / 3) (#112)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:44:29 PM EST
    There don't seem to be any of those in my diverse, urban Denver neighborhood.  Well--some righties in their continuing opposition & fear of government--and, a few libertarians (right & left.)  

    Overstatement. lentinel?  The problem with overstatement is that it leaves one with fewer descriptors the next time.  For instance, those constant pundits of the media & a certain group of Congressmen...for whom most events are "outrageous."  Well, if everything is, then it either becomes normal or the user becomes less credible as happens if the sky doesn't fall soon.  That's what my Dad taught me, anyway; and, for a self-taught man, he sure was smart.


    Could you be more dismissive, christine? (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:20:10 PM EST
    As far as I'm concerned, it's people like you, who never fail to tamp down the real concern people have, who continually find ways to make those sounding the alarm bells as some variety of unhinged to even further diminish their credibility, who are responsible to a great extent for the normalization of this kind of intrusive behavior.

    I mean, look at your comment: apparently, the only people in your "urban, diverse" neighborhood who are afraid of what they are finding out about their government are righties and libertarians.

    "I mean, all he did was break your jaw - no one can even see that...why don't you try fixing him a nice dinner and apologizing for being a bad wife, and see if things don't get better?  Really, dear, making all this noise is just so unseemly."

    And don't even bother telling me about all your work with abused women - I'm not suggesting you would say that to an abused woman, but I am suggesting that you say the equivalent of it to people all the time who ARE alarmed at their government's actions, who ARE worried about what all of this means for democracy.

    Your polity doesn't hide your passive-aggressiveness, or your disdain for anyone who is rude enough to raise his or her voice.

    You are the epitome of the term "fiddling while Rome burns."

    It's sickening.  No, wait - that might not leave me much room for the next time you sniff with derision, so I should probably say that while I haven't actually vomited yet in response to your blind devotion to working from the inside of a rotten structure, I'm getting closer.

    Urp.  Where's the Pepto?


    Everyone Frightened (4.50 / 2) (#138)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:39:14 PM EST
    Sorry Anne, I too do not know anyone who is frightened either.
    Seems mostly about politics to me... Bush was the king...  remember the red, yellow, green light system to alert us about the terrorists.. and that they turned red whenever Bush needed us to be either distracted from their evil deeds, or they needed votes? And now you want us to be frightened? for what?

    That is not the feeling we need to be cultivating here. Action out of fear is weak, imo.

    The fear stuff post 9/11 and all during BushCo isn't working anymore.. not that it worked for most of us then..  you can invoke chicken little, boy who cried wolf, or any other fairy tales to spread fear all you want..  but everyone I know is not frightened one bit.


    Over the few years that I've been reading (1.00 / 2) (#181)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:16:01 PM EST
    & commenting here, Anne, I find that lots of things either sicken or disgust or <fill in the similar blank.>  And, I understand that different people have different sensitivities.  The only thing that I might advise given the heightened concern you seem to feel about so much is ... take a deep breath, maybe several deep breaths.  Nonetheless, I do marvel at your ability to carry on in such constant distress without smelling salts.  

    Give it a break, Anne.  People can & do have strong opinions without bouts of hyperbole.  And, frankly, since you do have a fine writing style, you don't need the crutch of feigned vapors.  It can be good to change up the style.  


    Hyperbole (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:05:04 PM EST
    has been the order of the day. But take comfort in knowing that with the Zimmerman trial starting tomorrow, today's Snowden hyperbole is little more than dime-store foreplay for what's ahead.

    It is the fringe on the left and the right (2.33 / 3) (#69)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:15:04 PM EST
    The fringe on the right thinks that the government will come after them with drones, so they will need to accumulate firearms with more and more firepower (Constitutional right, 2nd Amendment, Constitutional right, 2nd amendment, blah blah blah).
    The fringe on the left thinks that the government will come after them with drones, so they need protection from countries with very repressive human rights and press freedom records (constituyional right, 4th amendment, constitutional right, 4th amendment, blah blah blah).
    Mirror images! Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the nuttiest among them all? This is all that we can ask.

    But you are just right (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    Thank you. Of course, it could NEVER be a bad thing to further regularize a police state mindset. That could NEVER lead to a cowed populace in the long run, a fear of exercising genuine freedom, or effect the ability of good people to make a change, and certainly a government with almost zero history of being honest with its citizens about the most important topics, certainly this government can be trusted without question or public oversight to do the right thing when it comes to questions of state sponsored mass murder.

    You are a very credulous person, and for little rational reason. Congratulations. Impressive.

    I mean, you do understand that what you are shilling for is, literally, the antithesis of creativity and imagination, those things that, when it gets down to it, are about all that freedom means.

    Sad. Have a good one.


    "state sponsored mass murder" (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:49:04 PM EST
    I have seen that sponsored by the U.S. in the past.

    That is not what is happening now.  This conspiratorial hyperbole, the leftist version of black helicopters, does no good.


    Actually (none / 0) (#95)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:15:16 PM EST
    I do not think that people on the two fringes (both left and right) are particularly creative or have imagination that can be constructive to build anything.
    IMO, their definition of "freedom" may be closer to Lindsay Lohan's ideas about freedom, not the freedom envisioned by genuinely creative people.
    Sorry, to be in disagreement.

    Liberals = Lindsay Lohan (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:23:20 PM EST
    Got any more pearls of wisdom?

    OK (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:39:33 PM EST
    You have articulated what you deem to be the views of the fringes on both sides - finding them to be, in essence, identical.

    What is your view? The view from the middle. The rational view.
    What is it?


    I view everything (none / 0) (#115)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:49:43 PM EST
    on a case by case basis without pigeon-holing myself into a camp. A constructive approach needs listening to every point of view, taking a rational view, retaining a historical perspective of a problem, not indulging in hyperboles and making some compromises to move the ball forward.

    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:31:06 PM EST
    That is a general statement about your procedure for evaluating a situation.

    But what is your view of this particular case?

    I am assuming that it would differ from the view that you have characterized as fringe.

    Taking in historical perspective, having listened to every point of view, ignoring hyperbole, and having made compromises to move the ball forward ---

    What is your view?


    My view in this case (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:02:44 PM EST
    (1)I do not believe that the NSA is snooping on 99.5% of Americans even if they have the capability to do so.
    (2)Most people should be worried more about their loss of privacy to private businesses (than the government) who are actively mining and processing personal information of people.
    (3)the NSA may have spied a little more on foreign businesses, foreign governments and foreign citizens than they are willing to admit. Foreign entities also do the same on us.
    All of it may not also be for terrorism related. I will not be surprised to know if some of it had to something to do with international sex or drug trafficking, intellectual property and piracy issues, economic and technological espionage from countries that are our rivals or allies or to give us diplomatic advantage.
    (4)Data storage capabilities that the NSA has built can be used for both good and bad.
    We should have a calm and rational discussion (without any hyperbole)about how much privacy we can give up to get more security (something like what happens during airport security screenings).
    Security issues may also not all be terrorism related. For eg: I would like the NSA to be able to hack into computer systems of foreign organizations that attempt to access financial or medical info, etc of Americans.

    The more that I hear (none / 0) (#185)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:33:50 PM EST
    on the FISA process & meta-data, the more that I think a good starting point--legislatively--for the kind of "where do we want to go from here" discussion people are seeming to want would stem from the revisions being proposed by Sens Udall & Wyden respecting the definition of "records."  (In effect, some retooling of the existing legislation may bring about the acceptable constraints on massive data-gathering that would satisfy both significant interests.)  Additionally: A reassessment of reporting about FISA final orders might be called for...in terms of whether some type of redacted summaries could be periodically disclosed.

    In general, your statement about your take on the situation, politalkix, makes sense.


    An Iceland PM (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:27:12 PM EST
    sympathetic to Snowden says it is not all that easy to obtain asylyum in Iceland.  

    It may not be (none / 0) (#91)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:51:46 PM EST
    but the public statement could be a smokescreen as well. Obviously, all the statements coming out from the various countries are intended for one audience: the Obama administration. Are they elucidation... or deflection?

    In purely theatrical terms, this is a very entertaining little thriller.

    But I don't think we have any idea where Snowden is really planning to land.


    Having spent quite a bit of time in Iceland (none / 0) (#131)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:20:09 PM EST
    I can only say..

    "Stone walls do not a prison make,
    Nor iron bars a cage;
    Minds innocent and quiet take
    That for an hermitage" - Lovelace


    some all-American "enhanced interrogation," then a military prison being abused and softened up for your show trial and then spending the remainder of your natural life in the living hell of the supermax prison in Marion, Ohio.

    I've never been to Iceland and I doubt I'll ever go, but I'd guess it would be paradise compared to the places the American government will send Snowden if they ever get their mitts on him.  I mean, okay, it's got snow and they eat strangely but, if I had to guess, Iceland's got to be way better than a CIA torture center, followed by a military torture center, followed by life in supermax.

    But, like I say, I've never been and you have.  Am I making a fair comparison here?


    Well, I wouldn't want to be the person (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:28:53 AM EST
    who failed to identify exactly what Hong Kong law required for an arrest warrant...makes me wonder if this, possibly, is the thing that sends Eric Holder back to spend more time with his family...while pursuing a fabulously wealthy life in the private sector, of course.

    As for Snowden, not sure I would want my plane to land on the same island where Guantanamo is located, but that's just me.

    DOJ claims they had a provisional warrant (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:41:43 AM EST
    but then Hong Kong asked them additional questions which I guess were not answered....and..what...the warrant just sat there?  Hong Kong hasn't said anywhere that I can find that they had issued any such warrant, says that requests for more information were not met and seems to want to focus discussion on the U.S. spying on them thing.

    I have not dealt with the exact situation (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:37:40 AM EST
    involving Snowden, DoJ and HongKong described here, but have dealt with an analogous problem in civil litigation practice.

    Assume for a second that you're involved in civil litigation in state court in State X, and a key non-party witness resides in State Y and is determined to stay out of X and your lawsuit.  If the witness were to show up in X you could tag him with a subpoena and he'd be obliged to obey it, but since he's staying in Y (and outside X) that won't work.  A subpoena from the state courts in X are only wastepaper in Y - the power of each state's courts stops at the state line - so taking the State X subpoena into Y and serving the witness there is a waste of time and money and might even get you an abuse of process lawsuit or a harasssment charge.  

    So, what to do?  You need that witness.

    The answer has various names.  But, basically, you make a motion and get an order from the State X courts empowering you to (1) go to the State Y courts with the State X subpoena and (2) file a motion in the State Y courts seeking an order (often called a commission) which will (a) authorize you to get a State Y subpoena for the witness and serve him in Y and (b) take the witness' deposition (or, conceivably, even compel him to travel to X - at your expense - to give live testimony in the X courts).  Then you get the Y subpoena and appended papers (including all the stuff it took to get to the Y subpoena) served on the witness, take the discovery or testimony, and move on.

    The problem is in properly preparing the papers for both the order from the X courts and all the Y court's papers.  Generally, the X court's papers are easier both because you're presumably more familiar with X and its courts and procedures.  Y, OTOH, is often the lawyerly equivalent of a different planet when it comes to what passes muster in Y's courts.  Paper size, format, language, yadda, yadda - you often wind up hiring a local Y attorney to handle it for you.  Depending on how the Y judge feels about your case or witness (might be the judge's brother-in-law, for all you know), you can get held up for a long time over the form and/or content of your papers.

    So, it behooves one to identify these problems and issues early on.

    Going to the analog presented by Snowden, it's obvious the HK courts had - or created - an issue with the US papers.  I'm going to guess the Espionage Act charge was one which could be considered "political" and therefore non-extraditable under the terms of the US-HK extradition treaty.  It was reported yesterday that by proper application of legalities and such, Snowden could have tied up the extradition process as long as 5 years.  And, cutting to the chase, it seems obvious the HK and PR China governments did not want a sideshow involving Snowden to be dragging on that long, for all sorts of reasons they doubtless felt more important than stringing out an extradition hearing.

    So, the HK government held the door open for Snowden and let him go while stalling the US over the papers.  The World's Largest Law Firm (TM), a/k/a the US Department of Justice, screws up a lot of things, but whether the papers were really screwed up or they just had a wink-blink-nod arrangement with HK to get Snowden on the road (and, in Venezuela, presumably more accessible to US kidnap/kill teams), it doesn't matter.  He's no longer HK's and China's problem.


    I would not be quick (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:32:03 PM EST
    to believe Hong Kong that State screwed up.

    The top attorney at State used to be Harold Koh, a internationally recognzied human rights attorney.  But he left when Hillary did.  I always thought he would be the dream Supreme Court Justice.


    Thank you for your take (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:49:37 AM EST
    Seems the most plausible.  Is it plausible for DOJ to have considered that they had the provisional warrant though when dealing with HK and their much more complex extradition treaty?  What is your succinct take on that?

    Don't know exactly what you mean (none / 0) (#23)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:23:05 AM EST
    by having a provisional warrant, etc.  The US' arrogance, in saying they expected HK to do what they were supposed to (i.e., hand over Snowden pronto), didn't help do anything other than give the HK government yet another reason to jab a stick in the US eye.  

    Whether that was all kabuki - with HK wink-blink-nod to the US that we're "getting him out of here, so you go put on your clodhoppers and do the Arrogant Stomp and we'll jab a stick in your eye and everyone will know it's just a show for our respective home audiences" - or it was genuine slap and counter-slap between the US and HK (with China's hands up the back of HK's shirt) is really irrelevant.  HK wanted him out, US wanted him moving, and neither wanted to be seen knuckling to the other.

    But, in any event, one never presents draft or provisional papers to a court for any purpose.  You got to final, file them, and then take any lumps on the form and content of the papers when the court gets to them.  Again, if these were real lumps or for show, doesn't matter.  Snowden's out of HK.


    If Snowden does go to Havana (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:57:28 AM EST
    We'll find out how bad Obama wants him.  We'll find out if fighter jets attempt to divert the plane to Florida.  If I were Snowden I would not consider Havana.  Great smokescreen though, the orders are being rattled off, the jets in Tampa or Jacksonville warming on the tarmac, the pilots suited up waiting :)  No Go Havana Snowden

    I think Havana is a smokescreen (none / 0) (#20)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:05:25 AM EST
    IMO, there is a good chance that Snowden will remain in Russia. They may fly a body double to Havana.
    Assange got stranded in London. If he had an opportunity, he would also by flying to Moscow.
    Putin misses the cold war.

    Except that Snowden's passport was (none / 0) (#22)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:17:53 AM EST
    revoked yesterday, which means he can't get off the plane in Russia without stepping right into an immigration debacle in which Russia would have to deport him back to the US.

    Not sure what this means for the rest of his itinerary, but I'm guessing that if Ecuador offers him asylum, he no longer has a passport/immigration problem.


    or the country that is his chosen destination when he leaves Russia.  There are direct Moscow-Havana flights on Aeroflot.  That means he would not need to present a valid American passport to get aboard the Aeroflot flight leaving Russia (which he would need to do with an American or European airline).

    Similarly, Cuba can simply allowed him to enter the country without papers. Using the same process, Snowden could then fly First Class on Cubana de Aviación to Caracas sans-papiers.  And so forth either by land or air to Ecuador, where he will be as safe as he's ever likely to be.

    To recap, there are only two limitations on Snowden's ability to travel:

    (1) He must leave Russia on an airline that will accept an instruction from its national government to let Snowden fly without papers and a government at the place where the plane lands must be willing to let him get off the plane without papers. Russia and Cuba both have national airlines so that problem is solved. Ecuador can receive Snowden and grand him political asylum even if he lacks a valid passport.

    (2) The country on whose national airline he will be traveling must, obviously, be willing to tweak the nose of the American deep state (and must be willing to risk the loss of its aircraft if the American deep state experiences a loss of self-control and diverts or destroys the aircraft).  


    if the people who are running that country are willing to let you in.  I'm pretty sure that a letter from Vladimir Putin telling the border police to let Snowden in would work just fine.

    Again, you don't actually need a passport to travel or to enter a sovereign country provided that you have sufficiently powerful friends in the place where you're going.  


    Consulate of Ecuador or Venezuela (none / 0) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:23:11 AM EST
    in Moscow?

    FWIW From your Guardian live update link (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:36:24 AM EST
    ABC reports that Snowden's passport was revoked on Saturday, leaving US officials even more baffled as to how he was allowed to fly out from Hong Kong. It is, however, unlikely to be a problem for Russia - if Snowden is in transit and never leaves the airport, his immigration status is not Moscow's issue.

    According to this, getting off the plane is not the problem as long as he doesn't leave the airport. Don't know how accurate that information is but that is what the Guardian has reported.


    Interfax (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:44:18 AM EST
    Snowden has no Russian visa, will wait for flight to Havana in airport transit zone


    Thanks - I must have read "plane" (none / 0) (#28)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    instead of "airport;" wasn't Tom Hanks in a movie where he played a guy who lived at the airport because of a passport problem?

    "The Terminal" (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:05:27 PM EST
    and in a way not all that different as Snowden is well on his way to being a man without a country.

    BBC is reporting (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:14:24 PM EST
    that Snowden has applied for asylum to Ecuador.
    He may be able to hop into the car of the Ecuadorian ambassador at the airport and stay at the Ecuadorian consulate in Moscow till he gets an Ecuadorian passport. What do you think?

    BBC Breaking News tweet (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:07:19 PM EST
    If I was Ecuador (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:56:42 PM EST
    I'd give him a diplomatic passport to get him to the country.

    I'm sure the Ecuadoran embassy in Moscow has a stack of blank passport forms in the file cabinets somewhere.  Snowden can have one as quickly as they an take some pictures and print one up.


    John Robles writing yesterday at (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:14:22 PM EST
    Voice of Russia

    The U.S. Government has become a tool a small group of individuals bent on world domination through military expansion, destabilization, and the control usage and manipulation of information. The irony is that none of this is secret, it has been out there for more than a decade, the dots had to be connected is all. It was all spelt out in the Plan for a New American Century, the result being a U.S. controlled homogonous American world ruled and controlled by the world's single super power.

    They came into power by computer manipulation of election results putting their surrogate in the White House and using the events of 9-11 to terrorize the world's population into becoming terrified sheep begging for protection and willing to give up their freedoms to endure their own security.

    The press was supposed to be the last bastion of truth for the free world but this too has now become a target for U.S. attack and control, we are seeing this more and more with attacks on AP journalists, mass media outlets, whistleblowers and anyone who goes against the criminality of the illegitimate regime controlling the U.S. Government.

    We depend on the internet for almost everything now. We are dependent on our devices and our computers and have become so dumbed down that modern children cannot even write a simple letter without a computer and a spell checker, they just don't know how. This dependence was phase one, Phase to involves complete and total surveillance and forcing the world to accept it through fear of terrorists, fear of extra-judicial assassination, drones and all of the other nefarious tools the U.S. is using to terrorize the planet.


    Mr. Snowden must be protected, he must be rewarded and what he has given to the world must be valued and viewed for what it is: evidence that there is no "War on Terror", there is a war on you and me, and the end goal is complete and total world domination.

    We've not made much progress in (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:22:09 PM EST
    world domination in these 12 years, so I doubt I live to see it. 50 years maybe? I just hope I have more options for cable TV when we control the world.

    I think we have made more progress than (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:04:28 PM EST
    you think. I believe our government functions as an arm of the multinational corporations. Our foreign policy is designed to benefit corporate America. Our policies are aimed at ensuring the safety and profitability of corporations. Economic domination is the goal. The military is just a tool to get there.

    And corporations do dominate the U.S. and a great deal of the world.

    Just look at how much the government pays private contractors to do the work that was once done much less expensively by government employees. Contractors abound in the military and  surveillance and security. Look at the money companies rake in designing and selling weapons and the machines that scan us at airports.

    Look at the money companies make administering programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

    Look at our kowtowing to the energy extraction companies instead of protecting people with oil drilling and tracking and coal.

    If it wasn't so secret that not even Congress can know the details, although corporations are all the info, I would say look at the TransPacific Trade Agreement we are currently negotiating. TPTA gives corporations unbridled control of so many things across national borders. Things like environmental controls and labor conditions and shipping and who knows what else. Given how much effort is being expended to keep all of us, even Congress, in the dark, I expect the worst.


    No argument there, Casey (none / 0) (#100)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:42:57 PM EST
    It's a corporate world for sure and we're just peons in it.

    If Russia sees this so clearly (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:28:25 PM EST
    The U.S. Government has become a tool a small group of individuals bent on world domination through military expansion, destabilization, and the control usage and manipulation of information. The irony is that none of this is secret, it has been out there for more than a decade, the dots had to be connected is all.

    What is wrong with half of DailyKos?  Some of them, all they can say is that Snowden is a traitor!  Get Snowden!  Eat his heart!  I am no dove, but when all this started coming out all I could say was holy flick.  I mean I suspected, only a stupid person didn't, but come on people...here it all is.  Can you stop staring at Glenn Greenwald please people.


    The whole world (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:32:16 PM EST
    already knows what Snowden revealed. All Obama and the US Government (and half or more of dKos) are doing in wanting to grab him is showing the world what small minded vindictive revenge seeking psychos they are and underlining why Snowden should have done what he did. And making it clear that others need to do the same thing.

    But Snowden is with Wikileaks now too (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:43:36 PM EST
    THOSE PHUCKERS!  You know the White House shat itself :)  You know the deal is, if we take Snowden they will have everything.  Smart move, maybe we will leave the jets on the tarmac and leave Snowden alone because Wikileaks is in the game and they have a very long game and they have their own hacktastic people and connections.  Maybe we will back down because I think this technically is all over now.  It is just about time and releasing. Whatever else there is, and there are some 1,000 documents, some that Greenwald would not release, and Wikileaks doesn't have the same view on responsiblity that Greenwald does.

    MT, Charlie Savage of the NYT (5.00 / 0) (#136)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:32:52 PM EST
    tweeted to Barton Gellman, who had the PRISM story about an hour or so before the Guardian did, and who co-wrote it with Laura Poitras who is making a documentary of Snowden & was the first person he contacted

    I want to emphasize this is not a criticism of bartongellman & WP caution. But next time someone shows up, can anyone afford prudence?

    and Gellamn answered back (he has all 41 slides and that's saying nothing of the thousands of other classified documents)

    If you saw all the slides you wouldn't publish them.

    Now maybe you don't trust Gellman, but you do trust Greenwald, so far, and they've both refused to release those other 37. Do you not worry about them being released? Or so you trust Kurt Eichenwald at all? He knows what they are. I don't trust Wikileaks to decide what's best for me or the country I live in.

    Now, I'm headed back to my Kindle.


    Gellman doesn't have the (none / 0) (#139)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:40:11 PM EST
    thousands of other documents, that I'm aware of. My post made it sound that way - just the 37 slides.

    I think that maybe (none / 0) (#78)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:48:37 PM EST
    the white house is that one eyebrow raising stage of watching the ocean recede suddenly and quickly from the shoreline..... and not quite believing in tsunamis. Or hoping they don't really happen.


    Russian Proverbs

    "А дело бывало -- и коза волка съедала" = "It was happening -- a goat was eating up a wolf"

    "Алты́нного во́ра ве́шают, а полти́нного че́ствуют" = "Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape"


    I think it is done (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:00:18 PM EST
    But I see what you see, that they haven't even started to terms with what has happened and is happening.

    Outside in the distance (none / 0) (#187)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:41:55 PM EST
    a wildcat did growl,
    two riders were approaching,
    the wind began to howl......

    You never responded to my (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:53:13 PM EST
    inquiry about your views of Gloria Steinem....

    What about it? (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:17:06 PM EST
    I married a soldier.  I know handfuls of people with many levels of security clearances, some with the highest but they can never admit that to you.  If Gloria Steinem chose to work for the CIA for a reason that is her business I suppose.  It isn't the government agency, it is the policy and and the leaders in power....as always.  Just like how being in the United States military's uniform can be a wonderful thing to Haitians and a thing of horror to Iraqis.

    There is a contingent at Big Orange (none / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:51:13 PM EST
    that thinks all spying is bad and illegal.

    I am very familiar with them (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:06:33 PM EST
    I do not agree with them often about anything much.  I think this all comes down to policy.  Are we protecting ourselves as a sane people would or are we feeding on the world?  What happened to the FISA court by the way.  They just flushed their power and their responsibility to each American right down the toilet.  There are too many secrets now and there are too many people pulling all sorts of secret strings in our government agencies.  It is the price we pay I suppose for being attacked, this swing into the crazed zone.  Time to heal.

    And this has (none / 0) (#98)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:39:11 PM EST
    exactly what to do with Snowden?

    She has an interesting background (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:40:20 PM EST
    that applies here, I think

    I assume you are addressing (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:52:43 PM EST
    Militarytracy.  It's not entirely clear when we click on "parent."
    And even if you are addressing Tracy, or whoever, I repeat, what does anyone's view of Gloria Steinem have to do with Snowden, et al?

    Gloria Steinem worked for (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:59:22 PM EST
    the CIA.   The point being that it is hard to take an absolutist position on spying being a bad thing.....

    And so Gloria Steinem (5.00 / 8) (#109)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:31:37 PM EST
    worked for the CIA.  BFD.
    I have an elderly friend, who is a pacifist and a retired Lutheran minister, who also worked for the CIA when she was much younger.
    I would agree with you that spying may not necessarily be a bad thing.
    But I would also say that disclosing what the government is doing that shreds the Bill of Rights is most definitely not a bad thing.
    And that is my "absolutist" position.  YMMV.

    Is there a correlation between the views (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:29:13 PM EST
    of DK attendees in San Jose vs. those who aren't there?

    You may be (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:49:13 PM EST
    a precog as well as a scribe. ;-)

    I think the Vienna Convention requires that (none / 0) (#184)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:30:41 PM EST
    the holder of a diplomatic passport be identified and placed on the diplomatic list before entering the country and that you need to have (and presumably show) your diplomatic passport at the time you enter the host country. Obviously, Snowden was neither an Ecuadorian national nor serving in a Ecuadorian governmental capacity at the time he entered Russia.

    And it appears to be difficult to retroactively grant somebody diplomatic immunity, although it looks like the American government did accept a retroactive invocation of immunity on behalf of Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia so that he could duck out on a civil suit brought by a personal servant/quasi-slave who sued him for abusing and cheating her.

    Long story made short: I think the answer to whether Ecuador can do what you suggest is no.  Besides which, there's probably no point in Ecuador issuing Snowden travel papers, especially a diplomatic passport.  

    Russia can do whatever it wants in this situation:  It has the absolute power to let Snowden enter and leave the country without papers, so he doesn't need any from Ecuador if the Russians say that's okay with them.  On the other hand, the Vienna Convention seems clear that the Russians need not accept any attempt by Ecuador to retroactively grant Snowden diplomatic immunity.  

    As a practical matter, then, the whole thing is irrelevant because  Russia has apparently decided to allow Snowden to transit through to Ecuador without any papers at all.


    Given how easily the U.S. droned (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:17:54 PM EST
    Al-Awiki, it doesn't really matter to which country Snowden flees

    Uh, Yes It Will Matter (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:28:19 PM EST
    I do not think that Ecuador or Venezuela will permit US Predator Drones into their air space in order to kill Snowden, as Yemen did.

    On November 6, Yemeni Judge Mohsen Alwan ordered that al-Awlaki be caught "dead or alive".



    As a practical matter, what could Ecuador or (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:25:33 PM EST
    Venezuela do if the United States chose to assassinate Snowden within their borders? Nothing.  

    We are the largest empire on the planet and we no longer recognize international law or norms as a constraint on our freedom of action.

    The question is simply whether the American organs of state security can persuade Obama to sign Snowden's death warrant.


    Pakistan either has or has not permitted (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:00:53 PM EST
    U.S. drones.

    Pakistan permits them (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:13:51 PM EST
    So does Yemen.

    OK (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:07:01 PM EST
    What does that have to do with Ecuador or Venezuala, or Russia or Iceland, for that matter.  There is a war on in Pakistan. Yemen worked with US to drone kill Al Awaki.  

    I just do not see your point, or how Pakistan and its US drone policy relates to the countries Snowden is considering to take sanctuary in. Unless you are suggesting that the WOT is going to spread to Iceland or wherever Snowden lands.

    If that is your point, I guess you were making a flip joke.

    Has the US tried to exterminate Assange via drone or other means in London? Not likely.


    I doubt the U.S. would hesitate to drone (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:13:27 PM EST
    either Assange or Snowden if either were also a radical Iman or had different names, i.e., Arabic.

    We have only used drones in (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:15:09 PM EST
    Countries that granted us permission to use them

    I appreciate your confidence in our (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:23:59 PM EST
    government's exercise of power.   Mine is in shambles at present.

    This is interesting:  

    Pelosi @ NN 13


    Mine has been in shambles for (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:34:27 PM EST
    a while now, and as far as Pelosi is concerned, I have to think that, because the GOP is such a batsh!t-crazy shambles itself, she probably knows that, when all is said and done, a lot of these people booing her will be casting votes for Democrats - so what does she care?

    No one is disputing that Snowden broke the law, but the time is over for Snowden-type lawbreakers to feel the full force of the law while those whose actions are being disclosed skate away with no consequence.

    And I don't mean, let's have a bipartisan commission to "investigate," so that the administration can get a rubber-stamped A-OK for what it's been doing, either.


    I don't have tremendous confidence (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:35:26 PM EST
    In them, I do think they are creatures of habit first.  Just like I believe they have jets warmed up in Florida.  We don't drone in countries where we don't have clear permission, that is a violation of sovereignty that is considered larger than nabbing someone and renditioning them, and we did use fighters to force down a South Korean commercial jet on 9/11 in Canadian airspace and we worried about the reprecussions later.

    If we drone anyone in a nation and on that nation's soil that has granted them asylum, what is left?  I don't think our leaders are ready to sink that low yet.  They still think we are all so shocked to find out that Snowden didn't graduate from a high school and that his girlfriend liked to dance using a pole that we haven't heard the words coming out of his mouth as well.  Otherwise, how could they continue to attempt to deny as they are doing?

    I think they are so far behind the reality all they have left is their habit.


    I think they are more interested (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:31:10 PM EST
    in Snowden's and Greenwald's hard drives and passwords, than in droning them.

    Droning? (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:41:40 PM EST
    Neologism..  calling the OED..

    I don't anticipate anyone droning Greenwald. (none / 0) (#140)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:40:12 PM EST
    No reason to drone Snowden, either (none / 0) (#142)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:43:41 PM EST
    It would just make him a martyr.  

    The key is knowing what he has disclosed what he could disclose.....If they get his hard drives and passwords, they can send him to Brazil with Greenwald to live happily ever after.


    See headline: (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:52:29 PM EST
    When Snowden joins Al Qaeda (none / 0) (#148)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:04:22 PM EST
    he might have some concern.

    Or, I suppose if he is hanging out at Al Qaeda headquarters, he might think about different living quarters....


    Not sure why drones are synonymous with killing (none / 0) (#149)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:05:34 PM EST
    Drones have been used for years on the Florida Turnpike to clock speeders.

    And you think either country can (none / 0) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:24:49 PM EST
    keep them out?? Surely you jest.

    Such action would be an act of piracy. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    Such highhandedness has long been considered an act of war. It certainly backfired very badly in Nov. 1861 when the USS San Jacinto, commanded by Capt. Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet RMS Trent, and stopped her by firing shots across her bow. A contingent of Marines from the San Jacinto then boarded the Trent and had summarily removed from that vessel two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell, who were on their way to London and Paris, a mission which rendered them "contraband of war" in the eyes of the Lincoln administration.

    What followed was a full-blown international diplomatic crisis with European powers, which nearly led to a decision by London to order the Royal Navy to break the Union naval blockade of Southern ports -- which the British could very easily have done at the time. That could've spelled the end of the Civil War at its very outset, and with it the demise of the United States as well. Realizing that he could only afford to wage one war at a time, President Lincoln backed down, and ordered Mason and Slidell freed and sent to Canada, where they continued their journey to Europe.

    While times and circumstances have obviously changed over the last 150 years, we still cannot afford to jeopardize our relations with the rest of the world with such a foolish and precipitous act, and it wouldn't work any now than it did in 1861. The grave harm that it could potentially inflict would far outweigh whatever benefits to be derived by Edward Snowden's apprehension.



    "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality--judiciously, as you will--we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

    Karl Rove

    But those crackpots aren't in office. (none / 0) (#151)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:07:58 PM EST
    And FYI, I do believe the person you're quoting from Ron Suskind's article in the October 17, 2004 New York Times magazine has never been formally identified:

    "In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

    "The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

    Indeed. The reality-based community wishes Republicans a safe and pleasant journey.



    There's an awful lot of Bush administration (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:30:02 PM EST
    holdovers and Republican retreads floating around the Obama administration. You may have noticed that the guy Obama just nominated to run the FBI was a very high-ranking member of the Bush administration.

    At least in the deep state, few very of those crackpots seem to have actually left office.  The incumbent president seems to have rather a soft spot for them and their policies.  As the leaks from Snowden and others are making very clear.


    I bet they are still being made ready Donald :) (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:22:13 PM EST
    And an act of war against who Donald? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:38:28 PM EST
    I'm sorry, but I think Snowden is in the biggest danger coming anywhere near one of our coasts in a plane.  I don't think they will shoot it down, but they will try to force it down.

    It would be an act of war against ... (none / 0) (#162)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:27:15 PM EST
    ... whatever country whose flagged civilian aircraft we forcibly diverted with threats from our fighter planes. Thus, if Snowden was flying Aeroflot to Havana and got seized en route, that country would be Russia.

    And if the pilot of Snowden's aircraft decided to call our bluff and ignore our fighters' request that he or she land forthwith at the nearest U.S. friendly airfield, then what? Are we prepared to just shoot it down, like the Soviets did to KAL007 thirty years ago? How'd that all work out for the USSR, in terms of world public opinion?

    I'm sorry, too, MT -- but the horse that is Edward Snowden is already long gone from the barn, and his forcible apprehension by such dubious extra-legal means would cause us way more grief than it's ever going to be worth.

    While there's absolutely no doubt that the feds would love to get their hands on the guy, this administration is not going to resort to means that would be an bald affront to every civilized nation on this planet, would serve only to further isolate us in world opinion, and would probably invite similar retaliation against one our own aircraft or shipping.

    If the Bush administration were still in charge and calling the shots here, I might agree with you. But they're not, praise the Heavens above. And President Obama and Sec. of State Kerry may be many things, but I think you'd agree with me that reckless, stupid and ignorant ain't among their personal traits.



    Well, except for Secy of State Kerry (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:32:38 PM EST
    Publicly advocating the Obama admins. supply weapons to the Syrian opposition.

    If ever there was an indication that (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:38:04 PM EST
    We have lost our effing minds it is that.  Did you see the video of the rebel who carved out heart of his enemy and ate it while preaching to the rebels he was leading?  This is who we will aid.

    Seriously, I am almost ready to discover that the only reason why we are even thinking about doing it is so we can better spy on what Russia is doing there.  Because the spying we are already accomplishing on them in Syria just isn't enough :)

    I think we've gone mad, at least Mr. Kerry has.


    He is systematically undermining Hilary (none / 0) (#172)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:46:34 PM EST
    Clinton's moderation as his predecessor. Very disappointing.

    He wasn't what we expected :) (none / 0) (#177)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:58:18 PM EST
    Should have known better.  The tallest people in the room always get the first crack at being "the leader".  The statesmanlike voice gets heard first.  I hate that sometimes, I really hate that, they can be speaking gibberish but at first it sounds great.

    Holder (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:06:32 PM EST
    Most US Attorney Generals stay in office 2-3 years average. William Wirt holds the record at 11.5 years, Janet Reno 7.75 years, Homer Stille Cummings 5.75 years. So if Eric Holder who has been USAG for over 4 years, leaves office, it won't be because he wants to spend time with his family, as he has already lasted twice as long as most USAGs.

    The Guardian is doing live updates (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:13:21 AM EST
    of the situation, here - I would encourage people to watch the Greenwald clip from Meet the Press this morning - in response to David Gregory's last question, he rather neatly smacks Gregory upside the head, and deservedly so.

    Needed a split screen (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:00:02 PM EST
    So we could see the grimace on Gregory's dopey face. When you're a corporate mouthpiece (Gregory), real journalism must be terrifying.

    This would be amusing if not so ironic (none / 0) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:04:15 PM EST
    Gregory said that the question of who is a journalist may be "up to a debate" with regard to Greenwald. link

    Several people have implied that the question of who is a journalist may be "up to a debate" with regard to "Dancing Dave." I think that Steve Colbert best described "journalists" like Gregory in his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondent's Dinner.


    Hey, stop distracting us (1.67 / 6) (#121)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:30:08 PM EST
    from the real story!

    Just kidding. I got a laugh out of this discussion because Squeaky and I were slammed for complaining about Greenwald's journalism.

    But now I know the rules: It's OK to criticize journalists you don't like, and say nasty things about them without providing evidence. But anyone who criticizes "your" journalist is a hater who is trying to sidetrack the discussion from OMG!!!11!!the NSA.

    Btw, just because a reporter asks a question doesn't mean he or she sides with that argument.


    Just for the record you might want to (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:31:27 PM EST
    stick to factual information instead of making unfounded accusations.

    I have never accused anyone of being a hater for their beliefs and I challenge you to provide a link where I ever called anyone a hater. I am very much against using that phrase because it is something I consider a Bush technique used to avoid discussing an issue by discrediting someone's opinion.

    BTW, it really is not o.k. to make things up.


    Up to this point, I've avoided the (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:58:02 PM EST
    elephant in the room, which is Suzie's "journalism" background, but the pattern that has evidenced itself in her comments makes that impossible to let pass.

    The Hong Kong (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:24:14 PM EST
    statement also said:

    Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.

    It would appear that Snowden may have disclosed to the Chinese the U.S. covert efforts in Hong Kong.

    I understand the sympathy for revealing a domestic spying program.  But hopefully Snowden is not revealing U.S. spy programs in foreign countries.  And more hopefully still, progressives will not support any cooperation by Snowden with hostile countries.


    Hostile as defined by who? (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:45:59 PM EST
    I guess everybody has a different definition of which countries are "hostile" to the United States.  My own list, for example, would prominently feature Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran because they they have supported terrorist operations against this country resulting in loss of American life (either directly or through proxies).  

    I don't know if Russia and China are "hostile" to us but clearly their politics are vastly more right-wing and "business friendly" and hostile to the social welfare statethan, say, Canada.  

    On the other hand, while some countries like Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela embrace different (and typically more liberal) political values than this country, I don't think that makes them necessarily "hostile" to us in the same sense in which Saudi and Pakistan are hostile to us.  Which is to say, that those countries (unlike Saudi Arabia and Pakistani) aren't financing and mounting terrorist operations resulting in American deaths.      


    But Greenwald did not deny (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:28:55 PM EST
    crossing the line from reporting to assistance....

    He would do well to issue a denial of assisting or advising Snowden, if he can.


    Yeah, they discussed it later in the (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:51:33 PM EST
    show after showing Greenwald's tweet. The question was - was he a reporter reporting what a source said, or did he assist him?

    He contacted Laura Poitras in Feb & she contacted in Gellman in Feb and GG says he (ES) contacted him in Feb. A Salon article said Glenn didn't do anything about the contact until meeting up with Laura "in the spring" she said & she told him she thought this was legit.

    Salon asked her more than once if she worried about being retaliated against. I think the only reason the reporters are a subject to people in Washington and TV TH's is that they knew about him (but didn't know him) before he got his job at BAH. They didn't know any of that, though, so I don't see any way they could be in trouble.

    I've seen at least a couple of interviews that he (GG) has "assisted" him because he's a lawyer, etc. I don't think it's any kind of assisted spying type stuff. I understand GG taking offense to Gregory, but Gregory had a right to ask the question.


    Point made by Atrios: (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:35:52 PM EST
    Apparently we are at war with Russia, China, Venezuela, and Ecuador and not a single journalist David Gregory knows in Washington has ever published classified information. link

    Another reporter who published leaked information was recently in the news. I don't remember Gregory asking the question "To the extent that James Rosen has aided and abetted the person who leaked confidential intelligence about North Korea, why shouldn't Mr. Rosen, be charged with a crime?"

    In fact, it appears that Gregory revealed in a radio interview that it was Leon Panetta who demanded action be taken against James Rosen and called Holder at home to tell him to do something about it.



    And then there's the other James (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    James Risen, the NYT reporter, who the administration is going after for "receiving classified information."

    Obama is going after leakers with a vengeance that demonstrates a controlling personality we haven't seen since Nixon. And it appears to me that Obama is even more paranoid than Nixon. He doesn't need an enemies list, because his Inside Threat Program and his unconstitutional communications dragnet programs makes all Americans into his enemies.


    And to think you guys (1.00 / 3) (#133)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:27:16 PM EST
    complained when I said Obama was a Narcissist.

    Welcome aboard, Matey!



    Man overboard. (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:46:30 PM EST
    "You guys" (5.00 / 3) (#201)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:25:09 AM EST
    Not sure who that is, but whatever. You have a dumb habit of pretending everyone on this blog is a big supporter of all things Obama, something which is not, nor ever has been, borne out by the facts.

    Greenwald has acted as (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:36:10 PM EST
    a de facto spokesperson for Snowden.   And he is advocating for him.  He is not just reporting the facts.....  

    Yo're under the impressiont (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:39:19 PM EST
    journalists are actually unbiased? That they report without bias? Hmm.

    That being said, (none / 0) (#88)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:40:16 PM EST
    the Obama administration would love to throw Greenwald in jail. Of that I have no doubt.

    Maybe not (none / 0) (#89)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:42:24 PM EST
    Greenwald is way out front and center on this.....

    There is the idea to try and minimize one's biases and not directly advocate....

    Greenwald could easily state he is just an observer, he is not aiding and abetting.    That he did not do so when given the chance is interesting.


    It demonstrates a level of personal intregrety (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:11:38 PM EST
    that sets Greenwald apart from the Village media and particularly dancing Dave.

    Of course he's more than an observer (none / 0) (#93)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:58:51 PM EST
    It seems he said as much on MTP. But "aiding and abetting" are legal terms... I think Gregory was being typically provocative, intending to accuse Greenwald with that question. And he got mighty prickly and defensive when Greenwald challenged him on it.

    Well, Greenwald could (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:32:27 PM EST
    act on his convictions and say, "you're damn right I am aiding and abetting Snowden, who is a hero and violated no laws....."

    Is it really that black and white? (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:01:07 PM EST
    He's either a totally unbiased "observer" or he's an "aider and abettor"? What about reporting on information because you believe informing the American people about it is that crucial? Don't reporters make those kinds of determinations all the time? I known some reporters, and they follow stories, or ask for permission to hunt down certain stories, precisely because they believe the information is that critical for readers to know.

    I certainly don't think Greenwald is unbiased on this issue, but neither do I see that his bias shows a direct line to him being a criminal.


    Not just bias and agreement with (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:04:16 PM EST
    what Snowden is doing.

    But advising, helping, etc.  Glenn seems to know in advance the next step....It seems to be a really close relationship and collaberation....

    Gregory asked a pertinent question.  Greenwald could have clarified his role.  But he did not.  He attacked the questioner instead.  That did get my attention....  


    Loaded Question (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:14:13 PM EST
    Gregory does not take Greenwald seriously as a journalist. If he really wanted to get into a discussion about Greenwald's assessment of his legal situation, he would not have accused Greenwald of aiding and abetting..  terrorist is implied here.

    an accusation not a real question...  (are you still beating your wife?)

    "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?"

    I did like the tweet Greenwald out out as an indirect response:

    Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?



    Why not tweet that you (none / 0) (#108)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:28:49 PM EST
    have not aided and abetted?

    He could say he is just acting in the traditional role of reporter and is not becoming part of the story by assisting Snowden.

    He really got my attention with all the outrage but otherwise no answer.


    Greenwald's role (none / 0) (#114)
    by citizenjeff on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:49:36 PM EST
    "Glenn seems to know in advance the next step..."

    What are the indicators you have in mind?


    Apparently, we all know the "next step" (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:54:19 PM EST
    in advance.  In fact, we been writing comments on this very blog about how the "next step" is going to play out.  I think this is because Wikileaks sent out a press release so that everybody (not just Glenn Greenwald) would know what's going on.  

    By the way, many people people call informing the people in this way good journalism.  Not village media people, of course.  But I think most journalists would consider sending out a press release to be an exercise in transparency and not conspiratorial.    


    Greenwald said today (none / 0) (#134)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:28:40 PM EST
    on MTP that Snowden was going to a democratic country....when he was in route to Russia--clearly not a democratic country.

    He contacted Poitras in January (none / 0) (#66)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:09:18 PM EST
    not Feb

    I read a recent Salon piece on Poitras (none / 0) (#86)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:37:32 PM EST
    IIRC, she said that she is being surveilled by the government pretty much 24/7.

    digby on "Dancing Dave's" journalism (none / 0) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:45:13 PM EST
    Well, only if you consider David Gregory a journalist:
    But it's quite clear that the only sources most of these celebrity insiders value are those who are in powerful positions. They have no reason to personally worry about being accused of "aiding and abetting" anyone the government wants to prosecute because they would never do any kind of journalism that would run counter to what their government sources want to reveal to the country. link

    John le Carre must be thrilled. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:10:09 PM EST

    Ironic, isn't it (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:20:39 PM EST
    ...that the nutwingers are stockpiling ammo to defend themselves against a government encroaching on their freedom.  Like maybe a bunch of guys with mail-order weapons could really take on a ROTC drill team, let alone an armored National Guard regiment.  The government is well defended from guys with guns.

    The government is NOT well defended from digital dispersion of what it is up to.  Too many people know.  The current batch of embarrassing secrets includes acts of questionable constitutionality that certainly deserved to be aired and debated.

    Digits move much more easily than ammunition and can actually take effect.  You can put a library on a camera memory card. This just in: IT WILL KEEP HAPPENING.

    The genie is out of the bottle.  Expectation of secure government communication is as compromised as ours is.  Rather than curse the tide by arresting Snowden, the government should decide whether it wants to step back or get wet.

    Second Amendment is sacred, Fourth, not so much.

    Certainly countries that are less likely to do (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:16:24 PM EST
    the bidding of the U.S. In that way, yeah, I guess you could call them "birds of a feather."

    The again, the same term could be applied to Great Britain, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Mexico and all the other "freedom-loving" countries that would happily grab Snowden on the tarmac and deliver him into the arms of the United States.

    It's all in your perspective.

    his personal freedom and less about press freedom as an abstract concept.  I don't think he's trying to make a statement that the countries that will give him shelter are strong advocates of press freedom.  Clearly they aren't---although when I look back at the performance of the American press in the run-up to the Iraq War I don't think we compare very favorably to our pre-9/11 selves, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.

    I keep thinking back in particular to the night that Bush spoke in the Oval Office and the way the press acted like a bunch of lap-dogs.  If anybody here needs reminding, this quote from a Salon article should do the trick:

    Before the cameras went live, White House handlers, in a highly unusual move, marched veteran reporters to their seats in the East Room, two-by-two, like school children being led onto the stage for the annual holiday pageant. The White House was taking no chances with the choreography. Looking back on the night, New York Times White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller defended the press corps' timid behavior: "I think we were very deferential because ... it's live, it's very intense, it's frightening to stand up there. Think about it, you' re standing up on prime-time live TV asking the president of the United States a question when the country's about to go to war," she told students at Towson University in Maryland. "There was a very serious, somber tone that evening, and no one wanted to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time.

    I think at this point, Snowden is basically trying to avoid Bradley Manning's fate.  I think he and Glenn Greenwald (and other reporters at the Manchester Guardian) are very brave and/or foolish to do what they've done knowing what awaits them if the fall into the hands of the American government.  

    Which speaks volumes about how the country has changed:  Years ago I would have been writing those words about dissidents in Russia, China or the Operation Condor countries.  Still very much true about Russia and China and the bravery and willingness to sacrifice for one's political beliefs it takes to be a dissident in those countries is incredible but now it seems increasingly to also be true about America.  How we've fallen as a people!

    Anyway, after seeing what happened Manning or to the people disappeared to various black sites, can you blame him if he isn't too particular about saving himself?

    WSWS: Democratic rights are at stake (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Andreas on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:49:16 AM EST
    The WSWS writes:

    There is something profoundly unsettling about seeing a young person fleeing a vindictive government for having exposed a massive political conspiracy against the democratic rights of the American people and the people of the world.

    Edward Snowden has been charged with espionage and is being denounced by American politicians and media commentators as a traitor who is spying for the enemy. But to whom is he giving information? To the American people. In the eyes of Snowden's accusers, the enemy is the American people. ...

    The claim, moreover, that the vast police state operation has something to do with a war against terrorists is an insult to the intelligence of the people. These operations are motivated by fear of the population. The ruling elite is terrified by the growth of social opposition to its policies of war and austerity. It seeks to establish social and political control over the population, putting into place the methods and structures of a dictatorship.

    Democratic rights are at stake in fight to defend Edward Snowden
    24 June 2013

    China-Russia-Cuba-Venezuela? (3.50 / 4) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:38:30 AM EST
    Why did he leave out Iran and North Korea from his itinerary? Snark.

    Why do people put such trust (2.00 / 1) (#137)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:37:00 PM EST
    in Snowden and Greenwald?  

    Why should anyone trust that they will only disclose non-damaging information?  How would Greenwald have a basis for knowing what is damaging and what is not?

    The WaPo gets feeback from the CIA, etc.,--Greenwald is just freelancing based on no particular knowledge or training, even assuming his motives are pure and free from plans for a future book.  

    Why should we trust our government? (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:01:21 PM EST
    It is a constant tension.  It was always meant to be so by our founding fathers who knew that governments often fail and need correction.

    Why should we trust Snowden?  Dunno.  Why should we trust Greenwald?  Dunno.  Why should we trust our government?  Dunno.  Put it all on the table and let us all take a look.

    Greenwald has been very careful to release responsibly too.  You act like he hasn't.  You act like you are afraid of your own press.  That is a dangerous fear that can eventually destroy your own country and your own well being.  Whatever is released, we will survive it, we are not made of pudding, we never have been or we wouldn't have gotten this far out of the cave.

    I just saw David Gregory.  You know, I have seldom agreed with Greenwald but I've always been able to take a look at what he offered and make my own judgement as to what it signified and its value.  I refuse to live in a country where I no longer have that personal freedom and I will never watch another thing that has David Gregory's face on it ever again...NEVER, I will die never paying a scintilla of homage to that full blown psychotic fool ever again.


    Tracy, (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:08:28 PM EST
    How do you know this:

    "Greenwald has been very careful to release responsibly too."

    I do not know if Greenwald has released responsibly.....

    How would Greenwald know himself what can be responsibly released?

    Again, why so much trust of Greenwald--when he has no training or experience at all on national security issues?


    You have seen what he has released (none / 0) (#153)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:11:01 PM EST
    So far.  And he has admitted that he has chosen carefully what he has released.  Now tell me how it has destroyed anything that should have been enshrined in ultimate protection and silence and secrecy.  Tell me how he has placed my life and family's life in danger.

    I have no idea (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:17:59 PM EST
    Nor do you, I submit, know that everything he has put out is benign.

    Sure, put it all out there to let each person decided how damaging the information is.  But then once it has been published for all of us to view, then everyone else has seen it to.

    And what about the other information Greenwald keeps talking about that has not yet been released?  How do you know that Greenwald won't blow it going forward?

    Who is the check and balance on Greenwald?  Who appointed him King of classified information where he can make the call all on his own?


    I understand you have concerns (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:22:31 PM EST
    Nobody is going to war with us over this.  Nobody can.  Some nations will chill with us and maybe they should.  I'm not sure we are very friend worthy at the moment, our government cares very little about little people, and it has never been healthy for the globe to only have one superpower.  In that light this was bound to happen, such power corrupts, those having such power come to protect it and declare that losing it will make the world blow up but it is only the world as they have come to understand it.

    I predict we will survive, and become compelled to demand better government and be better global citizens.


    Did Greenwald cause your brain to explode? Hehe (none / 0) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:15:44 PM EST
    Look, even if everything was just dumped, we would survive.  We would do so just fine.  We are not made of pudding, our spines are not jello, our minds are not mush, we are Americans.

    Well, what you are saying (none / 0) (#158)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:20:17 PM EST
    is we should make no effort to keep any secrets at all--because we are tough Americans???

    Sorry, that makes no sense.


    What secrets do we keep? (none / 0) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:31:47 PM EST
    Who decides that?  And when someone becomes an ogre, as history goes someone outs them, particularly U.S. history with a free press.  That is what is going down.  Why are you not concerned about the complete erosion of the FISA courts?  Why are you not concerned that your every daily move is documented and stored and that is now your lot in life, to hope that nobody who is gunning for you comes to power?

    I am concerned (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:42:24 PM EST
    and do think additional FISA framework is needed to stop abuses.

    I am also concerned that the Left will discredit itself on the issue by lionizing Greenwald and Snowden--who has apparently passed some secrets to the Chinese in Hong Kong and is now playing footsies with Putin.


    I think the left is having a very hard time (none / 0) (#171)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:46:14 PM EST
    Lionizing anyone because our poster boy, our cult of Presidency, our first Black President, our Constitutional scholar is in charge.

    I think the left is pretty lost in this.  We are divided.  We may always be divided on this.


    Not The Only Cult Going (3.00 / 1) (#188)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:51:11 PM EST
    there is the cult of St. Hillary, who has just been christened the saint of moderation..



    You are mischaracterizing the prior comment. (none / 0) (#199)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:16:06 AM EST
    Oculus did not dub him the "saint of moderation." She said he was more moderate than Obama--aomething a lot of people might agree with. And what does that have to do with the comment just made to you by Tracy?

    Please accept my apololgy (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:21:41 AM EST
    I did not see the "parent" comment to Oculus' and assumed something that was not written. Thought she was referring to Bill and Hillary, in their different roles, and mis-characterized it myself.

    After a very full day, I'm too exhausted to be commenting tonight.


    Judith Miller got lots of "feedback" (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:46:38 PM EST
    and good advise about "national security" from the CIA and the Bush administration.  I think we all saw how well that worked out.  And it was all consistent with the way that the American deep state and particularly the CIA has worked every since the start of the Cold War.  Evil surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.

    Operation Condor, the School of the Americas, the overthrowing of democratically elected governments in favor of extreme right-wing governments, Latin American death squads and dirty wars,interventions in Latin America and Greece on behalf of private business interests and against the interests of the American people, the importation of heroin during Vietnam and cocaine during Iran-Contra.  The list is practically endless and in every case,  the American people were kept in the dark about the evil being done in their names on behalf, not of freedom but of the religion of extreme right-wing causes.  The people who run the CIA long ago forfeited the trust of the American people.

    As Tony Soprano might have said: Those who want trust need to be trustworthy. The CIA and NSA are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.  So far, Glenn Greenwald seems to be worthy of our trust.


    True, I lived through (none / 0) (#195)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:18:18 PM EST
    the School of Americas portion of your discussion.

    This is nothing like that.

    How do you know Greenwald is worthy of our trust?

    Looks like blind hero worship to me.


    A better question: Why do people (none / 0) (#178)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:07:00 PM EST
    put so much trust in government secrecy?

    Because it can't happen here. (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:36:18 PM EST
    But it can.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:19:46 AM EST
    I don't know if I can post a tweet here, but I read Moscow to Havana to Caracas.

    I guess we'll see. (You're up at the crack of dawn)

    Snowden courageous moves (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:25:21 AM EST
    We really sank low with kidnapping in other sovereign countries. Obama the political pirate, got the liberals support at the Netroots last week, made us morally on par with Somalia.

    Snowdon performed a public service. Indicting him on spying by releasing information well know to all intelligence services interested makes look like Putin's Russia.

    Snowden courageous moves (none / 0) (#4)
    by koshembos on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:25:21 AM EST
    We really sank low with kidnapping in other sovereign countries. Obama the political pirate, got the liberals support at the Netroots last week, made us morally on par with Somalia.

    Snowdon performed a public service. Indicting him on spying by releasing information well know to all intelligence services interested makes look like Putin's Russia.

    Snowden courageous moves (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:25:59 AM EST
    We really sank low with kidnapping in other sovereign countries. Obama the political pirate, got the liberals support at the Netroots last week, made us morally on par with Somalia.

    Snowdon performed a public service. Indicting him on spying by releasing information well know to all intelligence services interested makes look like Putin's Russia.

    Additional information??? (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:10:41 AM EST
    Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.

    However, Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency cited an unidentified Aeroflot official as saying Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then on to Caracas, Venezuela.
    The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks took credit for helping Snowden leave Hong Kong, saying on Twitter, "Mr. Snowden is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisors."

    Statement from Wikileaks (none / 0) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:20:20 AM EST
    Sunday June 23, 13:00


    Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

    Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.

    Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

    "The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden's rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people". link

    Heh. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:35:37 AM EST
    Woke up to the quote of the year 5 minutes ago. Anyone have a picture of Obama or Keith Alexander with egg on their faces?

    "I would say we're going to have a collection of Assange's, Manning's and Snowden's from now on.... What are they gonna do? Launch a hellfire missile against an Aeroflot flight in Russian airspace? Hahahahaha!"
    -- Pepe Escobar

    A quote from Obama's speech in Ireland (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:44:14 AM EST
    the other day, takes on new meaning with Snowden's departure from Hong Kong on an Aeroflot flight...

    "The United States of America will be with you every step of the way. We will always be a wind at your back."

    He forgot to add (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:03:22 PM EST
    "and the vice grip on your neck."

    Nick Robertson is in Hong Kong (none / 0) (#27)
    by Teresa on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 12:01:48 PM EST
    and he's been on twice and said multiple HK lawmakers told him that HK had plenty of legal justification to arrest him. That was all a bunch of BS. They just wanted him out of their hair and let him go and/or China told them to get him out (per the lawmakers).

    That's what I kind of wondered (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:59:09 PM EST
    In any complex case that involves convoluted paperwork, you can almost always find some minor thing that will allow you to reject it legally.  Were all the t's crossed and i's dotted, so to speak?  Probably not.
    It seems plausible that Hong Kong might well have suggested to Snowden that he skedaddle out of there while the going was good because they didn't want to deal with him, or the long-term ramifications.  And it also may well be that Beijing suggested to Hong Kong that they didn't want to deal with this case, either.  Who knows?
    Wheels within wheels within wheels.

    According to numerous sources (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:18:26 PM EST
    Hong Kong could legally deny extradition if the charges against him were deemed to be political in nature. Scribe in his comment above clearly and briefly describes the situation.  

    I'm going to guess the Espionage Act charge was one which could be considered "political" and therefore non-extraditable under the terms of the US-HK extradition treaty.  It was reported yesterday that by proper application of legalities and such, Snowden could have tied up the extradition process as long as 5 years.

    Another voice from Hong Kong:

    Hong Kong Executive Council member Regina Ip said authorities could arrest Snowden if his actions qualify as criminal under Hong Kong law, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported earlier Sunday. The executive council decides on policy matters for Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.

    But if the charges against him were deemed to be political in nature, the 30-year-old would not be extradited, Ip told Xinhua. link

    No win situation for them - Snowden skedaddling out of there was the quickest and best solution for them.


    While everyone is busy being (none / 0) (#51)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:14:55 PM EST
    horrified that Snowden may have disclosed evidence of US hacking/surveilling of Chinese communications, no one seems to wonder why someone who could be potentially so useful to the Chinese would be encouraged to leave Hong Kong.

    Maybe because (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:33:18 PM EST
    China was pretty much already aware of US hacking/surveillance of their communications, just the same as we are aware of them doing the same thing to us.
    I would imagine that the Chinese really, really don't want to deal with this.
    After all, China and the US are intertwined economically.  And at the end of the day, it's really all about the Benjamins.

    China (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:47:17 PM EST
    Snowden is exposing government secrecy, hypocrisy, and abuse of power. I do not believe that China would ever see him as a useful person. From their point of view would be a thorn in their side just like one of their own who also challenges authority, and embraces human rights, and pisses off the Chinese government on a regular basis.

    It is a win win situation for China (none / 0) (#57)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:26:17 PM EST
    They used Snowden to paint America as a villain to the world. They are using Snowden to tell their own citizens that America "does not have internet freedom" and are clamping down harder on people who are demanding an internet free from censorship in China. The Ecuadorian government is very close to the Chinese, so they will be using Snowden and Assange as pawns while pretending to maintain a distance (which would not be possible if Snowden remained in China).

    Because according to (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:38:47 PM EST
    the New York Times, the Chinese downloaded all the info on Snowden's computers and are done with him.

    Wikileaks irony in Ecuador (none / 0) (#63)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:52:11 PM EST
    Very restrictive press freedom in Ecuador.

    Wikileaks irony?

    Ecuador offered Assange asylum and has said it will consider granting asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA employee who disclosed the US National Security Agency surveillance program, as well.

    Yet, journalists say that the new law would not allow newspapers to publish information leaked by figures such as Assange or Snowden.

    Almeida was part of the team that processed the cables that were disclosed to El Universo newspaper by Wikileaks.

    "With this new law, we would not be able to publish the cables. There are at least seven articles that would prevent me from doing so," Almeida says.

    I Guess (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    It takes a village.

    The grass is always greener... (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:53:28 PM EST
    on the far side of the hill? Or would that be in all those "greener" countries ...China, Russia, & Ecuador?  

    Re-thinking the expectations of "green" or anything else can be painfully tough for anyone.


    finding sanctuary with a perhaps less-freedom loving country that's willing to stick it to the United States or a couple years of torture, followed by a show trial and then spending the rest of his life in the living hell of the supermax at Marion, Ohio.

    Which would you choose?  


    Now, now...he was free to make (2.00 / 1) (#190)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:58:47 PM EST
    his original choices.  Interesting how one can downplay repressive regimes (as you seem to above) by sweet phrases like "perhaps less-freedom loving country."  Almost like little kids saying "If I can't get my way now on my terms, I'm gonna leave home, cause its better out there."  Most people learn that the grass is not greener just because we might wish it so. The difference is that most people also learn & understand that actions have consequences.

    How Julian Assange became Putin's puppet (none / 0) (#107)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:18:38 PM EST

    This was reported in the Guardian in 2012.

    Snowden is following Assange's footsteps.

    "following in Assange's footsteps" (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:45:00 PM EST
    Because he went to Russia.



    On thing that Putin is not... (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:25:04 PM EST
    Putin is not dumb; he is smart, cunning, & purposive.  For years, I studied Russian--the language & the history; my favorite cousin was a fairly well-known Russian professor ... so, we just liked to read about and keep up with things Russia-related.  My own background, then, predisposes me to a certain view of the Putin-type in Russian history.  In brief: He fits the KGB mode (forget the post-perestroika)... ask Yevtushenko.  The style is authoritarian with a show of command, bolstered by cementing renewed influence & power on the world stage.  

    The stronger Putin is viewed abroad, the more that strengthens & reinforces his position at home.  While I had not been paying too much attention to the Russian leader in the past few years, my guess is that the old Guardian article may have an accurate summary of how Putin would regard an Assange or Snowden.  Clearly, with the protests he weathered at home in the past few years, Putin would not appear to have a commonality with the protest type that Assange/Snowden represent.  If anything, they provide some type of leverage (or chip) for him...perhaps, with regard to Syria, Iran, etc. After all, the hand that Russia has played in the MidEast has not been insubstantial.


    I find (none / 0) (#161)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:25:56 PM EST
    it funny that one of the reasons that Hong Kong was not so eager to allow the US to grab Snowden was because they were somewhat bummed out by the information that the US had been bugging their government computers...

    If a man's life wasn't at stake, this really could be considered to be a farce.

    Whose life is at stake? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:35:24 PM EST
    His. (none / 0) (#170)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:46:11 PM EST
    That's whose.

    That's what was meant (none / 0) (#174)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 09:51:18 PM EST
    by your hyperbole

    You're (none / 0) (#180)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:11:52 PM EST
    ignoring the point of my comment: that Snowden is on his way from Hong Kong because it is somewhat annoyed about the spying activities on their government computers by the US government.

    What clowns.

    And about my comment about Snowden's life being at stake:That's not hyperbole.

    The Obama administration has said that it considers it has the right to kill people - US citizens included - who they suspect to be aiding "the enemy". Indeed, as we know, they have already done so.

    It is not hyperbole.


    3 counts (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:18:13 PM EST
    max of 10 years each. Try to keep in reality and out of your fantasy world of paranoia.

    China has drained the information (none / 0) (#183)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:18:17 PM EST
    in Snowden's laptops according to NYT.


    "Two Western intelligence experts, who worked for major government spy agencies, said they believed that the Chinese government had managed to drain the contents of the four laptops that Mr. Snowden said he brought to Hong Kong, and that he said were with him during his stay at a Hong Kong hotel.

    If that were the case, they said, China would no longer need or want to have Mr. Snowden remain in Hong Kong."

    This is the most remarkable thing I've read (none / 0) (#189)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:55:06 PM EST
    about the Snowden affair to date.  Unless it's a total crock and the "journalists" are being played by their sources in "Western intelligence", this is a leak of information about operational activities that, if true, could only have come from sources within the Chinese intelligence and/or security establishments.  Sources the Chinese security services are now aware we possess.  And because the information is presumably so recent and probably highly compartmentalized, this leak seems logically to be far, far worse than anything Snowden's revealed.    

    Just as an aside, I can't help thinking that someone in the deepest bowels of our government either has the most delicious sense of irony or is a traitor or maybe both.

    Also, that the journalists printing the leaks either share in the joke or they are totally clueless about the fact that this leak very likely endangered either spies deep inside China or highlighted a vulnerability in their secret communication systems. Either way, the "trusted insiders" in the American intelligence community would seem to have just leaked some of the most damaging secrets imaginable.


    One Paragraph (none / 0) (#191)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:03:45 PM EST
    Seems quite unbelievable as it is the bombshell in the article, but just briefly mentioned as if it is of little importance.

    Smells funny to me.

    If it is true, wonder if Obama is going to find the leaker.


    There is a Hong Kong paper (none / 0) (#192)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:09:09 PM EST
    that reported that Snowden revealed the Hong Kong espionage to them....

    Maybe the source is a source via that paper?


    "Western" does not sound like (none / 0) (#193)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:13:10 PM EST
    the U.S.  Maybe the Brits?

    Maybe Vague (none / 0) (#194)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:17:49 PM EST
    Two Western intelligence experts, who worked for major government spy agencies, said they believed ...

    smells bad, imo.

    Particularly because of the article and where the paragraph was buried..  


    Now that you mention it, (none / 0) (#197)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 11:25:36 PM EST
    anyone can "believe" anything.

    If the Chinese didn't do it why would Russians (none / 0) (#203)
    by Youssef on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:31:23 AM EST
    I guess it was a very long shot from the start!
    The US Government should have never asked neither China or Russia to arrest the guy.
    Obviously a diplomatic intentional or unintentional mistake, I mean it was pretty clear they would not make the move so what's the point of asking??
    Who thought about asking them anyway and who allowed it? what an embarrassment!