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Friday, July 12, 2013

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden seeks political asylum in Russia

21 comments:

  1. Someone is giving good advice to Snowden. The US will do a snatch and grab on him if he tries to go directly to Latin America without a passport. He will gain nothing returning to the states. The US public has an attention span of a two year old at a carnival. The US media is so far up Obama’s ass, there is no chance he will get fair play in the press. The media will immediately go into overdrive to destroy the public support for Snowden.

    The US will throw him in solitary confinement for two years and he has no chance of getting a fair trial of his peers.

    The only way Snowden should come back is to take what the Russians are offering and see what the Obama administration offers him. If he has something of value, they may deal. If not, he should be patient and wait in Russia.

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  2. .

    True enough, however, I suspect Putin will demand a little quid pro quo. He indicated Snowden could stay in Russia as long as he didn't release any more info damaging to the US. Does that sound like the Putin we all know and love? More likely, what he actually meant was Snowden could stay as long as he didn't release any additional info except to the Russkies.

    Snowden will need all the help he can get if he expects to get to any of those SA countries. It's been a year that Assange has been holed up in the Equadoran embassy and the pols in London are already complaining about the 5.9 million pound it has cost for surveillance to prevent him from leaving. Here, that amount is chump change, it would only cover a few of Obama's golf matches.

    .

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      Besides, if I could spend more time with those chicks from Wikileaks and Amnesty International, it might be worth staying a while longer at the airport.

      .

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    2. Where is this info that Snowden has? In his back pocket? Or in his suitcase? I get it that it is on discs somewhere but where? In his shaving kit? That he can release or not release at will. If the Russians want it and he has it with him why don't they just take it? What's Snowden going to do, appeal to the UN Human Rights Commission?

      bob

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    3. .

      It was reported he has four computers with him.

      I would suspect with all the publicity surrounding Snowden, Putin is reluctant to do anything overt, but I would be surprised if they weren't trying to get their hands on the info Surreptitiously.

      Likewise, once Snowden is welcome into Russia's embrace, likely all bets are off.

      .

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  3. Snowden is in the international transit zone. He has not cleared immigration or customs, both of which he will do when he leaves the airport. The Russians may want to have a look at his laptop when he clears. Obama is a stubborn asshole. Putin knows it. The US Department of genius has already pissed off Latin America to the benefit of Russia.

    “Here’s your reset button, bitch.”

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  4. Holed up in Moscow airport for the past three weeks, Edward Snowden has only had a limited impact on the political debate about surveillance in the US that he wanted to ignite.

    Yet the self-confessed National Security Agency leaker has managed to orchestrate a very different political phenomenon: the biggest bout of anti-Americanism since the Iraq war.

    When he first revealed his identity a month ago while in Hong Kong, Mr Snowden used selective disclosures about US global surveillance to rally public opinion in China and Russia. Since then, he has managed to create uproar in Europe with information about the bugging of EU offices and over the past week he has created a new international stir in Latin America.

    According to reports this week in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo based on documents provided by the 30-year-old former NSA contractor, the US has been using telecoms infrastructure in Brazil to absorb huge volumes of communications and to spy on governments in the region.
    With the US economy looking robust for the first time since the financial crisis, the US is again being seen as an over-weaning superpower that brushes aside smaller nations.

    “It sends chills up my spine when we learn they are spying on all of us through their intelligence services in Brazil,” said Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president.

    Making his first public appearance on Friday since he arrived in Moscow, Mr Snowden told human rights activists and politicians that he was applying for temporary asylum in Russia, which would give him the legal basis to travel to one of the three left-leaning Latin American countries that have offered asylum.

    “I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression,” he said, according to a statement later released by WikiLeaks, which suggested that he ultimately wants to travel to Venezuela.

    The Snowden saga has prompted starkly different responses in the US and in the rest of the world. In the US, the revelations have
    set off a debate about surveillance in the media, but the broader political impact has been muted by Mr Snowden’s flirtations with governments that are viewed as unfriendly to the US, leading some previously sympathetic members of Congress to denounce him.

    At the same time, rightwing critics have used the failure to secure his extradition as evidence of the Obama administration’s weak foreign policy. As Eliot Cohen, a former George W Bush administration adviser, said of the president: “Nobody’s afraid of this guy.”

    Outside the US, however, the revelations have revived a narrative about the dangers of a world dominated by an untrustworthy superpower that had been dormant as debate raged instead about American decline. Already criticised for its extensive use of drones, the international image of the administration has taken another heavy hit by the documents about extensive US surveillance.

    Many Latin American governments were angered when the plane carrying Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president, was diverted to Vienna airport on suspicion that Mr Snowden was on board – a tip that Spanish officials said this week came from the US.

    The disclosures about US surveillance in Brazil have prompted a new round of indignation in a region with a strong anti-US sentiment. “Any attack on the sovereignty of one country must be answered with great firmness, because if we lower our heads, they will walk all over us,” said
    Gilberto Carvalho, a senior aide to Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president.


    {…}

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  5. {…}

    For some governments, Snowden has provided an opportunity to shift public debate from domestic problems. French president François Hollande, whose popularity has slumped, denounced the US snooping as “unacceptable”, while the Brazil revelations came as the government was reeling from the biggest popular protests in two decades.

    “It has given Brazil’s government a great opportunity to change the conversation,” says Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center, a Washington think-tank. He said part of the government’s support base has “a traditional anti-Americanism which is always near the surface”.

    However, by asking the United Nations to look into the alleged eavesdropping, he said Brazil was “trying to deflect the issue in a way that does not damage relations with the US”.

    US officials believe the sentiments aroused by Mr Snowden will dissipate. “Great powers all engage in espionage. That includes China, Russia and the US,” says Jim Lewis, a former intelligence official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “It’s not war, it’s not an attack, it’s not use of force, it’s not even coercion.”


    FT

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    1. .

      Yet, this administration has called it war, albeit only if the same actions are taken by other than the US.

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  6. Holed up in Moscow airport for the past three weeks, Edward Snowden has only had a limited impact on the political debate about surveillance in the US that he wanted to ignite…

    Because the scurrilous US media has been obsessed with the Zimmerman trial and the nano second pea brains can’t focus on anything more subtle than a flash bang.

    During that same period we have:

    “Syria who?”

    “Say what about which red line?”

    “Libya, never heard of it.”

    “ Ben Ghazi, did he play in Three and a Half Men?”

    “Mubarak?”

    “Mali?”

    “Sudan?”

    “Iraq?”

    “Afghanistan?”




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  7. The intelligence information was garnished from illegal government spying on what used to be called US citizens. That coin has been debased. We are all subjects now, equal regardless of which country is on your birth certificate.

    The wrong man is holed up in the airport transit lounge in Moscow, one US agent away from the gulag of a US supermax. Edward Snowden is not our enemy.

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  8. SANFORD, Fla. — Remembering the passions that inflamed the country with debates over race, profiling and gun laws, cities across Florida are bracing for protests and possible riots as the trial of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman winds down.

    Shortly after the case went to the jury Friday afternoon, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith and Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger held a press conference to urge calm when the verdict is rendered.

    "This is a trying time for all of us," Smith said. But he said the residents of Sanford should use the case to discuss, debate and exchange ideas peacefully, no matter the outcome of the trial.

    “I’d like to remind everyone that the city of Sanford is a peaceful location and it has been since that time 17 months ago,” he said.


    Which people will be doing the rioting? Jihadis?

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  9. Eliot Spitzer's chief rival for New York City comptroller said Friday he will not challenge the validity of the signatures on the ex-governor's petitions for the job.

    For anyone thinking that Spitzer's candidacy could get mired in a legal mess, the statement from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer puts an end to that notion. Stringer's message: "Bring it on."

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  10. Last year's battle with the GOP over women's reproductive rights was a hot topic during the presidential election, but two men accused of deviant and sexual acts with women are both running for office in New York on the Democratic ticket.

    Anthony Weiner, who is running for Mayor of New York City, was caught in a sexting scandal in 2011 sending sexually suggestive photos and messages to young women through his twitter account both before and during his marriage. Eliot Spitzer, running for the the title of comptroller, is tied to several prostitution scandals and rings dating back to 2004.

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  11. Just a few months after leaving the State Department, Hillary Rodham Clinton has plunged into the lucrative world of paid speechmaking, joining a branch of the family business that has brought the Clintons more than $100 million since her husband left the White House in 2001.

    For about $200,000, Mrs. Clinton will offer pithy reflections and Mitch Albom-style lessons from her time as the nation’s top diplomat. (“Leadership is a team sport.” “You can’t win if you don’t show up.” “A whisper can be louder than a shout.”)

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  12. We need a riot, but not over George Zimmerman.

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  13. WASHINGTON – President Obama is returning to Martha’s Vineyard next month, making his fourth trip to the Massachusetts island since he became president.

    Obama will arrive on the Vineyard on Aug. 10, and plans to remain on the island until Aug. 18, according to the White House. He will arrive with Michelle Obama. Officials would not disclose any travel information about their two daughters, but they typically vacation with the family on the Vineyard as well.

    The Obama family also vacationed on the Vineyard in 2009, 2010, and 2011. They did not head to the island last year, a vacation that would have fallen in the months leading up to the presidential election. It was a period when Obama was focused on the campaign, but also on not stirring any controversy, such as taking a respite on an exclusive island in deep blue Massachusetts.

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  14. Obama is focused like a lazy beam, I mean laser beam on …(pick your subject).

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  15. President's Schedule - July 13, 2013

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    Saturday, July 13 2013 All Times ET
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    No public schedule.

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  16. Well, that is Saturday, I am sure he was as busy as a mutherfucker on Friday. Let’s take a look:


    President's Schedule - July 12, 2013

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    Friday, July 12 2013 All Times ET
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    10:30 AM
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

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  17. That 10:30 briefing must have exhausted him. What about the day before, Thursday:

    President's Schedule - July 11, 2013

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    Thursday, July 11 2013 All Times ET
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    9:30 AM
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press
    10:15 AM

    The President and the Vice President meet with Senator McCain and Senator Schumer to discuss commonsense immigration reform
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:10 PM
    The President meets with the 1963 Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers championship basketball team
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    3:45 PM
    The President and the Vice President meet with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi on the margins of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    5:30 PM
    The President attends a DNC event
    DC, Jefferson Hotel, Washington
    Closed Press

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