“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, July 01, 2013

Edward Snowden, The Robin Hood of The National Security Agency applies to Russia for asylum but hold on, the French want him to be given asylum in France.

Edward Snowden applies for asylum in Russia

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in Russia it has emerged, as President Vladimir Putin said the American could stay in Moscow if he "stops inflicting harm on our American partners".

By Tom Parfitt, Moscow, Bruno Waterfield in Brussels and Damien McElroy
7:09PM BST 01 Jul 2013 TELEGRAPH

Mr Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, is currently thought to be in a closed area of the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after arriving there on June 23 from Hong Kong, where he had leaked details of widespread surveillance by US security services of American citizens’ emails and telephone calls.

The furore over his continuing revelations widened yesterday, with European states reacting angrily to claims that the US ran an extensive spying operation against the European Union and dozens of its allies. In retaliation, President Francois Hollande of France threatened to block negotiations on a $100 billion-a-year transatlantic free trade treaty.

With his initial bid to seek asylum in Ecuador apparently going nowhere, Mr Snowden has now sought refuge in Russia from charges in the US of treason and theft of government property.

Kim Shevchenko, the head of Sheremetyevo’s Russian consular section, situated in Terminal F, confirmed to the Daily Telegraph that he had received an application for asylum from Mr Snowden on Sunday evening.
He said that it had been delivered by hand by Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks employee, who according to the anti-secrecy organisation arrived from China with Mr Snowden.

“I received those documents and informed senior representatives of the ministry of foreign affairs. A courier from the ministry came within an hour and I handed over the packet of documents,” said Mr Shevchenko.
At a press conference in Moscow, Mr Putin said of Mr Snowden: “If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him — please, go ahead. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: that he stops his work aimed at inflicting harm on our American partners, strange as that may sound coming from my lips.”

Mr Putin said that Mr Snowden was not a Russian agent but stressed that he would “never” be extradited to the US. “Russia never gives anybody up and doesn’t plan to in the future,” he said.

The ambiguous comments suggested the Kremlin was entering a bargaining process with Washington over the fugitive leaker’s fate.
They came shortly after a senior Russian security official announced that Mr Putin and President Barack Obama had ordered their security services to collaborate to find a solution to the Snowden affair.

Mr Obama confirmed the US had held “high level” discussions with Moscow over Mr Snowden. Mr Snowden’s claim to be a fighter for civil freedoms would be seriously eroded if he stays in Russia, where state security services are regularly accused of spying on and intimidating innocent citizens at the behest of political masters.

In Europe, Mr Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany called the revelations “unacceptable” and the Germany foreign ministry called in the US ambassador to demand assurances that survelliance would be stopped.

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies,” Mr Hollande said. “We ask that this immediately stop. There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States.”

Germany also backed Mr Hollande’s threat to freeze trade talks launched last month at the G8 summit, stating that “mutual trust” was a necessary basis of negotiations.

“We aren’t in the Cold War anymore,” said Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman.
Mr Obama sought to defuse the growing row by promising to supply all the information requested by European allies regarding the spying allegations, which he said Washington was still evaluating.

But he added: “Every intelligence service, not just ours, but every European intelligence service, every Asian intelligence service, wherever there’s an intelligence service, here’s one thing they’re going to be doing: they’re going to be trying to understand the world better.”

The EU commission ordered a sweep of its headquarters and overseas offices for the presence of listerning devices.


  1. You have to see the video above where the very French John Kerry does his “everyone does it” routine.

    They may do it but they are not so incompetent that they get nailed in such a public way.

    IMO and I stated it early on, Snowden would be out of his mind to return to the US, not because he committed a crime against the
    State but because he embarrassed the elite. That is unforgivable to the imperious effete DC plutocrats. Snowden will not get a fair trial in the US and would end up in a supermax in solitary confinement for the rest of his life while those that spied on the American people would be enjoying their big fat government pensions.

  2. Check this out, Snowden sent Obama a letter

    One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

    On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

    This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

    For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

    In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

    I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

    Edward Joseph Snowden
    Monday 1st July 2013

    OOrah! Fucken-A, I like this guy.

  3. Liberté, égalité, fraternité

    French party leaders from across the political spectrum have called on France to grant US whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum, amid demands for ongoing free trade talks between the EU and Washington to be put on hold.

    Jean-Luc Mélanchon, leader of France’s Left Party (Parti de Gauche) told BFMTV on Sunday that the extent of alleged US spying on European communications was “arrogant” and “breathtaking”.

    “The Americans are spying on EU institutions, so they are already fully aware of the mandate for negotiations that the EU has begun with the US for a free trade agreement,” he said. “We should put these negotiations on hold until the Americans have given some clarity.”

    He said France should grant Edward Snowden – currently in transit limbo in a Russian airport without valid travel documents and without any country yet saying it would welcome him – immediate political asylum.

    “Edward Snowden... has done us a good service,” he said. “It’s thanks to him that we know we have been spied on. It is not acceptable that we allow a situation whereby he wanders uncertainly around the planet. He is a defender of all our freedoms.”

    I think it is not to late to order a French Cognac.

    1. .

      Let's not go crazy yet.

      The head of the Parti de Gauche and all the ministers from the Green Party (all two of them) hardly constitutes from 'across the political spectrum'.

      That's all I've heard of so far. Perhaps the movement has grown.

      This caution doesn't mean I wouldn't love to see France grant him asylum.


  4. Edward Forest Gump Snowden and Chauncy Gardner Obama.

    This is showtime!

  5. C-O-G-N-A-C, thaats the one…Grazie

    1. Cognac yummmm!

      Grazie!?? How about merci?

      Grappa is not cognac!

  6. It is a French moment and believe it or not they have an ample supply of cognac in Lucca.

  7. This keeps getting better and better.

    Barack Obama has sought to limit the damage from the growing transatlantic espionage row after Germany and France denounced the major snooping activities of US agencies and warned of a possible delay in the launch next week of ambitious free-trade talks between Europe and the US.

    The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, François Hollande, demanded quick explanations from Washington about disclosures by the Guardian and Der Spiegel that US agencies bugged European embassies and offices. Berlin stressed there had to be mutual trust if trade talks were to go ahead in Washington on Monday.

    Hollande went further, indicating the talks could be called off unless the alleged spying was stopped immediately and US guarantees were provided.

    The diplomatic row came as Edward Snowden – the fugitive National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, who faces espionage charges in the US and is holed up in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport – applied for asylum in Russia. Snowdenhe used his first public statement to attack the US for revoking his passport and accused it of bullying countries that might grant him asylum.

    Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, said on Monday: "If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him, go ahead. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition – he must stop his work aimed at bringing harm to our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my mouth.

    "Russia never gives anyone up and doesn't plan to give anyone up. And no one has ever given us anyone."

    As Washington desperately sought to contain the diplomatic fallout from the bugging controversy, Obama acknowledged the damage done by the revelations and said the NSA would evaluate the claims and inform allies about the allegations.

    After the Guardian's disclosure that US agencies were secretly bugging the French embassy in Washington and France's office at the UN in New York, Hollande called for an immediate halt to the alleged spying.

    "We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies," he said. "We ask that this stop immediately … There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union … We know well that there are systems that have to be checked, especially to fight terrorism, but I don't think that it is in our embassies or in the European Union that this threat exists."

    Merkel delivered her severest warning yet on the NSA debacle. "We are no longer in the cold war," her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said. "If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable."

    Seibert said Berlin was keen on the trade talks with Washington, but qualified that support: "Mutual trust is necessary in order to come to an agreement."

  8. My oh my, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Obama is running around in Africa talking about electricity and Snowden is taking Obama’s current to ground. Read on.

    Putin acknowledged the oddity of insisting on protection of U.S. secrets, saying he was sincere about muzzling Snowden "no matter how strange it may sound on my lips." Putin added, though, that Snowden appears to have no intention of stopping his leaks, "so he must choose for himself a country to stay in and move there."

    There has been widespread speculation that any secret data Snowden is carrying has already been compromised by Chinese and Russian intelligence during his stays in Hong Kong and Moscow.

    Snowden met at the airport earlier Monday with Russian consular officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official didn't name the countries, but Kim Shevchenko, a Russian consular official, told the Interfax news agency that Russia was among them.

    Igor Korotchenko, editor in chief of the monthly National Defense journal, said Putin was, in effect, offering a peace deal to the United States.

    "Putin publicly pledged that if Snowden stays in Russia, the Kremlin will do its best to prevent any public exposures in the Russian mass media of the CIA's and NSA's secret activities," Korotchenko said. "Washington should see this as a fair deal, a much better bargain than if Snowden goes on to Venezuela and continues to expose U.S. special services' operations."

    Russia has been hosting a meeting of the world's major gas-exporting countries. Among those attending was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. There has been speculation that Snowden might fly to Caracas with Maduro to evade being arrested in transit.

  9. Replies
    1. >>>>Putin acknowledged the oddity of insisting on protection of U.S. secrets, saying he was sincere about muzzling Snowden "no matter how strange it may sound on my lips." Putin added, though, that Snowden appears to have no intention of stopping his leaks, "so he must choose for himself a country to stay in and move there."<<<<


      It is truly bizarre.


  10. Free Thoth Now!


  11. ALL nations spy on one another.

    To think otherwise is foolish.

  12. >>>>Rufus IIMon Jul 01, 03:56:00 PM EDT

    The older I get, the more I think that, although his solution was flawed (deeply,) Karl Marx correctly identified the problem.<<<<


    Yes, yes, in his great work "The Proletariate, Industrial Relations of Production and Consumption, And Nitwittery" old Karl spoke directly to the problem of human stupidity but offered no solution at all.


    1. We will have to wait upon Rufus for 'the solution' to a misidentified problem, but meanwhile watch your wallet and de-bug your bedroom


  13. Lucca is a fascinating place, Deuce; but it's a fer step from Slovenia.

    How do you travel from Slovenia to Lucca?

    1. Drive to Padua and on to Trieste. Spend a few days, then go down the coast to Dubrovnik, after that, fly to Athens.

    2. I was thinking "Lucca, Italy."

      There's a "Lucca, Greece?"

    3. No, you were right the first time. The driving is not all that much. I am in no particular hurry and will fly from Dubrovnik to Athens. Spend a few days at The Congo Palace (because I promised and for sentimental reasons) and then home.

      They have a music festival here. Another promise.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Meanwhile the politico/racial/show trial farce continues and another prosecution witness has basically testified for the defense saying Zimmerman was on the ground getting the crap beat out of him.


  16. Edward Snowden presents Moscow with an intriguing dilemma.

    On the one hand, his subversion of surveillance techniques and his role as a whistleblower go against everything that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the clique of former KGB officers around him stand for. On the other hand, of course, his leaks are aimed against the US, and thus a chorus of Russian officials who would find a Russian whistleblower doing the same thing repulsive has been lining up to praise Mr Snowden.

    For a week, as Mr Snowden has sat in the transit zone at Sheremetyevo Airport, Mr Putin and other officials have smiled sweetly and told us that the FSB are not bothering him, and that he is a free man who can fly wherever he likes. Other reports, however, have suggested that the Russians have blocked him flying to Ecuador.

    Mr Putin’s words on Monday that Mr Snowden could have asylum in Russia if he stops leaking US secrets is a masterstroke – cloaking a gesture that Washington is bound to find outrageous with a veneer of cordial partnership. At the same time we heard that the heads of the FBI and FSB have been ordered by Mr Putin and Barack Obama to keep in constant touch, suggesting a bargain may not be impossible.

    It is possible that the FSB have indeed been kept away from Mr Snowden, as the Kremlin may have made a calculation that the whistleblower landing on Russia’s doorstep is more of a political than an intelligence boon. Or perhaps he has spent the last week being carefully debriefed by friendly FSB officers playing good cop-bad cop, slowly wearing him down, making him amenable.

    Where Mr Snowden eventually ends up is still an open question, but the skill with which he has been hidden, and the careful management of information about his case that we have seen so far both suggest that the Kremlin is taking an extremely keen interest in the unexpected gift they received when the former NSA contractor stepped off his plane from Hong Kong.

  17. On this day in 1867, Canada celebrated its birth as a nation in what is now known as “Canada Day.”

  18. Afghan insurgents stormed a camp of foreign military contractors in Kabul on Tuesday morning, killing six people in the latest sign that violence in Afghanistan isn't abating despite efforts to move ahead with peace talks.

  19. Notice that we are always hearing MSN claiming to be the “free press”as in the investigative reporters who will fear for their lives because every phone conversation is recorded in violation of the US Constitution. Or maybe the whistle blowing government workers who will be afraid to inform on secret criminal activity also fearing their conversations being recorded?

    P.S. who exposed the NSA's lies to Congress about the illegal activities of the NSA?...... times up, a whistle blower. Where will the left find info about behind the scenes political lies? …... whistle blowers, oops, there aren't any anymore because they're all in hiding in fear of their lives that if they say anything in exercise of their Constitutional rights, they'll be recorded and subsequently punished with indefinite interment in secret prisons.

    Rather than a free press, we have one that supports the power elite . Just like what you see now with attempts to vilify Snowden for telling the world about illegal activity. Incidentally, that includes telling American people about a violation of their Constitutional rights.

    1. Not to worry, Anon, relax, it's all about the new Uncle Rufian/Obama Security State where your rights are protected for you.


    2. And if you survive an abortion you get 'the comfort room'.


  20. Hey! Breaking News from Fox:

    One of these beautiful women that read the news there, and they are beautiful, was reporting on an incident where some Asian looking gal offed her boyfriend for some reason or other -- probably emotional and --

    the term she used was:


    I like it.

    Though I will have to get used to it, being an old fart.

    The old term term we used was homicide which means the killing of any human being.

    What happens if a woman kills a woman, what is that?


  21. Ballsaside:

    PHILADELPHIA — A 41-year-old man is being held on $5 million bail after police say he castrated a paraplegic during a dispute at an assisted living facility in Philadelphia.

    Authorities say Edgar Bonilla is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and other counts in Monday night’s attack inside the Inglis Apartments at Elmwood. Lt. John Walker says Bonilla was visiting a female friend at the facility and that she apparently had some sort of dispute with the victim.

    Walker says Bonilla was apparently trying to settle that dispute. The victim, Bonilla and the woman were all apparently friends.

    Bonilla is in custody and it couldn’t immediately be determined if he had an attorney. The name of the victim wasn’t released, but he remains in critical condition at a hospital.