China NSA

NYT: China Allowed Snowden to Leave Hong Kong

Take the anonymous source thing with a grain of salt, but still interesting:

The Chinese government made the final decision to allow Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, a move that Beijing believed resolved a tough diplomatic problem even as it reaped a publicity windfall from Mr. Snowden’s disclosures, according to people familiar with the situation.

Hong Kong authorities have insisted that their judicial process remained independent of China, but these observers — who like many in this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about confidential discussions — said that matters of foreign policy are the domain of the Chinese government, and Beijing exercised that authority in allowing Mr. Snowden to go.

The buried lede in the report raises more questions than it answers:

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.

Did they hack Snowden’s laptops or did Snowden cooperate in a deal? Or is the source a dubious one?

  • blackdaug

    He has no currency to bargain with anymore…or as George would say …he has no “hand”!

  • JMAshby

    A “publicity windfall” for the Chinese government.

    Way to go.

  • The “buried lede” isn’t a lede because the documents Snowden has almost certainly weren’t on the laptops. The laptops might have had decryption software, but probably contained nothing of any worth. What surprises me is not any messenger attacks, but the common assumption that Snowden and/or Greenwald are stupid. Witness the reporters who bought tickets on the flight Snowden was said to have booked. Even if it was the case, to think that Snowden would board the flight after it was common knowledge that he had a ticket for it is ludicrous. I’m sure GG and Snowden are having a good laugh over those dopes stuck on the alcohol-free 13-hour Moscow to Havanna flight.

    • blackdaug

      I sincerely doubt GG and Snowden are laughing at anything at this point.

  • missliberties

    I hope the Russians are holding him and turn him in to a US Embassy.

    Wikileaks and the whole libertarian left are cheering for nothing less than anarchy.