Edward Snowden

If Obama Wants No More Snowdens, He Should Stop Spying and Assassinating, Says WikiLeaks

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Edward Snowden
The Guardian

The massive communications surveillance in which the United States and British governments (and possibly other states) are engaged are being overlooked in the international frenzy over Edward Snowden's flight for freedom, emphasized attorney Michael Ratner, for WikiLeaks, as well as the organizations's founder, Julian Assange, in a press call this morning. Ratner, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, represents Assange and Wikileaks in the United States. He presented the legal case for Snowden's search for asylum, saying that  the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees protects whistleblowers (presumably under its protections for political refugees) and that, since no international arrest warrant exists for Snowden, the United States is relying on intimidating other countries into closing their borders to him. Assange emphasized that Snowden is no traitor, since he neither spied on behalf of nor "adhered" to enemies of the United States.

Snowden has applied for asylum in Ecuador and "possibly" in other countries, said Assange — a strong hint that the high-profile revealer of the NSA's secrets is not putting all of his eggs in one basket. Snowden is not cooperating with Russian intelligence agencies, contrary to some news reports, insisted the WikiLeaks founder, who himeself has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange took the opportunity to tear into the U.S. government for its spying efforts, not just domestically, but around the word, emphasizing the universality of human rights. "The Obama administration was not given a mandate to hack and spy around the world." The administration's spying, and its subsequent bullying of of other countries to surrender Snowden "further demonstrates a breakdown in the rule of law by the Obama administration.

Assange tied Snowden's flight for freedom to the trial of Bradley Manning for releasing sensitive U.S. documents to WikiLeaks and its prosecution under the espionage act of an unprecedented number of leakers. "If such a precedent is permitted, it will result in the complete destruction of national security journalism in the United States." He pointed to public complaints by journalists about a "chilling effect" as sources dry up.

If the Obama administration wants to curtail the flow of leakers, said Assange, it should stop spying on the world, end its policy of indefinite detention, stop its assassination program and cease invading other countries.

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  1. Simple concept. If you dont like people pointing out that you are an asshole, dont be an asshole.

    1. Not using apostrophes is such an asshole move.

      1. Some handheld devices are more equal than others.

        1. They are all equal under the eyes of the NSA.

      2. Please tell this to Cormac McCarthy. I thought he was making up words when I read “The Road”, until I figured out he was just not using apostrophes

  2. Assange took the opportunity to tear into the U.S. government for its spying efforts, not just domestically, but around the word, emphasizing the universality of human rights. “The Obama administration was not given a mandate to hack and spy around the world.”

    Frankly, this is my biggest problem with all of this.

    When the US comes out and says proudly “we do blanket spying only on foreigners — it’s illegal to do blanket spying on citizens”, we all should be utterly appalled. The instrument designed to protect us and secure our rights is turned on all who are not us to violate their rights. It is unconscionable.

    That citizens get caught up in such surveillance due to ineptitude or malice is a second order issue to the wonton intentional violation of others’ individual rights.

    1. Yep. The blatant hypocrisy of the Obama administration, Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, etc. about all of this is just too rich. “Countries should respect the rule of law, honor their treaty obligations, and treat allies with respect.” Great idea. Shouldn’t that start with not massively and illegally spying on the citizens of other nations and hacking the fuck out of their civilian infrastructure?

      I’d like to see Obama, Jay Carney, or one of these other administration fuckwads respond to this hypothetical: “Imagine a young Russian or Chinese intel analyst flies to Guam, reveals that the government of his own nation has been conducting massive, indiscriminate electronic surveillance on not only its own citizens but also Americans, as well as hacking the computer systems of top US hospitals, universities, and the like, and then transits through Los Angeles on his way to asylum in South America. Would you agree to hand him over when his home country charged him with espionage and labeled him a traitor? Or would you treat him as a heroic whistle blowing dissident and give him asylum? Which is it?”

  3. I can only hope that Snowden has held onto a few trump cards.

  4. Snowden’s made very good moves to this point, so I suspect he’s got several cards left to play. The U.S. government doesn’t seem to be trying especially hard to nab him, so you have to wonder if there’s some kind of secret deal being made with him.

  5. BLOWBACK IS A MYTH

  6. Wherever you hear that Snowden is going, that’s definitely where he’s not going. The fact that they haven’t figured that out yet, at least the media, is pretty dumb.

    He doesn’t have many options, outside of Russia. So anyone can say it’s a bad choice for him to stay there, but if you are him and want to stay alive, or at least not tortured, you would likely be staying in Russia.

    1. Really? What about when the story starts to cool down, and the Russians want to know what other dirt Snowden has on the US?

    2. if you are him and want to stay alive, or at least not tortured, you would likely be staying in Russia.

      Yeah sorry, but that statement is an Epic Fail.

  7. “Assange tied Snowden’s flight for freedom to the trial of Bradley Manning”

    I’d be pissed off about that if I was Snowden.

    Manning did a huge data dump that almost certainly directly endangered lives of Americans in combat zones AND the local informants needed for any military op.

    Not the same thing IMO but then Assange is a piece of work.

    1. And at least Snowden’s got the balls to own this.

      Last time I checked Manning’s defense involved him claiming to be a persecuted homosexual which is, well, gay.

    2. In my mind, Snowden has been a classic whistle blower. The items he’s brought out into the open were important, but don’t endanger US security by being in the open.

      Manning was just an idiot and he did more harm than good and Assange is just a media whore.

  8. ” If the Obama administration wants to curtail the flow of leakers, said Assange, it should stop spying on the world, end its policy of indefinite detention, stop its assassination program and cease invading other countries.”

    The man is quite obviously mad. Also, he doesn’t support the troops, and doesn’t realize that 9/11 changed everything. What about the children? Oh, why won’t anyone think about the children?

    1. 9/11 did change everything. It greatly hastened the decay of the United States from a constitutional republic toward a fascistic police state.

      We’re not there yet, but I’m not sure we won’t be after another 9/11 style attack.

      1. Indeed.

        I live in a very very low crime part of the country and our LEOs are rocking borderline paramilitary load outs.

        1. They will need those to “restore order” if/when the economic shit hits the fan and actual widespread protesting against the government breaks out.

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