The Edward Snowden affair continues to attract headlines. And now Where’s Eddie? cartoons and photoshops. Here’s one from the Guardian:
It’s all getting to be just like an old Cold War spat. Snowden is still in the transit lounge of Sheremetyevo airport. Putin has confirmed the fact, and taken a swipe at the US government.
Putin appeared to lash out at US accusations that the Kremlin was harbouring a fugitive. “Any accusations against Russia are nonsense and rubbish,” Putin said.
Putin also appeared to throw his support behind Snowden as well as the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently holed up at Ecuador’s embassy in London.
“Assange and Snowden consider themselves human rights activists and say they are fighting for the spread of information,” Putin said. “Ask yourself this: should you hand these people over so they will be put in prison?
The Chinese did much the same.
The Chinese government has said it was gravely concerned by Snowden’s allegations that the US had hacked into many networks in Hong Kong and China, including Tsinghua University, which hosts one of the country’s internet hubs, and Chinese mobile network companies. It said it had taken the issue up with Washington.
“Not only did the US authorities not give us an explanation and apology, it instead expressed dissatisfaction at the Hong Kong special administrative region for handling things in accordance with law,” wrote Wang Xinjun, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science in the People’s Daily commentary.
“In a sense, the United States has gone from a ‘model of human rights’ to ‘an eavesdropper on personal privacy’, the ‘manipulator’ of the centralised power over the international internet, and the mad ‘invader’ of other countries’ networks,” the People’s Daily said.
The reason for the Hong Kong authorities dismissal of US extradition application has emerged. It’s more or less as I suggested.
Yuen said that Hong Kong immigration records, the documents the U.S. Justice Department provided on Snowden’s charges and U.S. correspondence showed Snowden’s middle name differently — variously James, Joseph and just the initial J — and that the U.S. did not provide his passport number, which might have helped clarify his identity.
And ZeroHedge is wondering, as I did, that the Russians may want to “debrief” Snowden:
If Obama thought dealing with Putin was next to impossible when Snowden was merely hiding in the no man’s land of the Sheremetyevo transit zone (see “U.S. steps up pressure on Russia as Snowden stays free”) he is about to really lose his grip now that the former KGB spy appears set to “debrief” the very much current NSA whistleblower, and in the process learn as much as possible about US secret spy operations on whose receiving end, for countless years, has been none other than Putin’s Russia. Pushkin poetic justice.
As Interfax reports: “Russian law enforcement authorities may detain former CIA employee Edward Snowden to establish the circumstances of his arrival in Russia, including passport details.” In other words, Russia is now willing and eager to “force” Snowden to make a faux pas just so it has every reason to end up with the 30 year old in a dark, sound proof room. And just like that Obama’s headaches are set to become much, much worse.
American readers are probably rather more clued up than I am about the affair’s impact in the USA, but there seem be harsh words flying around.
Republican senator Rand Paul attacked national intelligence director James Clapper, who earlier this month admitted to giving the “least untruthful” answer to Congress when asked about the extent of US surveillance of American citizens.
Paul told CNN: “I think it is still going to be an open question with history about how this young man is judged. I do think when history looks at this they are going to contrast the behaviour of James Clapper, our national intelligence director, with Edward Snowden. Mr Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security. Mr Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy.” He said both had broken the law.
On Saturday House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was booed by a crowd during a speech at activist meeting Netroots Nation when she said Snowden had broken the law.
Pelosi was heckled as she spoke about the need to balance privacy and security. One man yelled: “It’s not a balance, it makes us less safe.” Another shouted: “You suck!”
Nancy Pelosi is one US politician that I’ve taken note of in recent years, because she’s a San Francisco antismoker, as comments have told me here, here, here, and here. So I was interested to read more in another ZeroHedge post today.
You know it’s bad for the establishment when Nancy Pelosi gets booed and heckled by her own supporters at a progressive gathering in her home state of California. It seems the actions of the criminals in control of these United States finally have become so absurd that the apathetic citizenry is being shaken from its long slumber. While the process may be frustratingly slow for many of us, things are moving in the right direction at the grassroots level and the zeitgeist of the nation is changing for the better. Once again, we must be eternally grateful for the courageous actions of Edward Snowden, as his disclosures have forced us all to honestly pick a side between freedom and fascism. From the Associated Press:
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has disappointed some of her liberal base with her defense of the Obama administration’s classified surveillance of U.S. residents’ phone and Internet records.
Some of the activists attending the annual Netroots Nation political conference Saturday booed and interrupted the San Francisco Democrat when she commented on the surveillance programs carried out by the National Security Agency and revealed by a former contractor, Edward Snowden.
As she was attempting to argue that Obama’s approach to citizen surveillance was an improvement over the policies under President George W. Bush, an activist, identified by the Mercury News as Mac Perkel of Gilroy, stood up and tried loudly to question her, prompting security guards to escort him out of the convention hall.
“Leave him alone!” audience members shouted. Others yelled “Secrets and lies!,” ”No secret courts!” and “Protect the First Amendment!,” according to the Mercury News.
“We’re listening to our progressive leaders who are supposed to be on our side of the team saying it’s OK for us to get targeted” for online surveillance, said Jana Thrift of Eugene, Ore. “It’s crazy. I don’t know who Nancy Pelosi really is.”
Maybe a few of these ‘progressives’ are beginning to realise that their representatives are perhaps not quite as progressive as they thought they were. Perhaps that’s also why the Obama administration is so angry. Angry enough to get Hillary Clinton to condemn Snowden and the Chinese.
Anyway, I’m puzzled that nobody has seen Edward Snowden. There must be plenty of people passing through the transit lounge who would have seen him. Or do transit lounges have private rooms where people can stay? Or he may not be there at all. He may be going to stay in Russia.
Anyway, here’s another Where’s Eddie? cartoon, sent to me by roobeedoo. It’s from the Times, I think: