China FISA Foreign Policy NSA

Snowden Allowed To Leave Hong Kong

Now that untold damage has been done to our foreign policy with regard to China, the satellite government of Hong Kong has allowed Edward Snowden to board a plane to Moscow where he may travel on to an undetermined destination, possibly Venezuela.

This is after Hong Kong rebuffed U.S. officials in their weeks-long request to have Snowden extradited, but after Snowden spilled his guts to the Chinese press claiming that the NSA and the U.S. government essentially declared cyber-war on them in 2009, Hong Kong couldn’t find good reason to turn him over to U.S. authorities.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, to send Snowden home.

“The U.S. government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden,” the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

“Since the documents provided by the U.S. government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR government has requested the U.S. government to provide additional information … As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

That is outstanding reasoning on display. The government documents provided by the U.S. to the Chinese government weren’t enough to hold Edward Snowden, but the government documents that he stole and his sloppy revelations of U.S. government intelligence gathering activities with regard to China were more than enough to snub American requests for extradition, and even warrant a statement of U.S. condemnation by China’s Xinhua news agency, which said,

“They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age.”

You’re welcome, America. World War III, here we come!

Edward Snowden is now in the hands of the Wikileaks legal team who’ve basically said that he’s going to a real Democratic country. Oh, snap. At least more Democratic than China, I presume.

  • D_C_Wilson

    China, Russia, then Venezuela? Is he making a tour of countries that consider the US an enemy? When’s he going to pay a visit to Iran and North Korea?

    Not exactly the kinds of countries I would expect a Paulite to run to.

  • missliberties

    Snowden’s ability to elude American authorities super foocking monster police state spy aparatus mind control without a passport is sort of undermining his argument about state’s tyrannical authoritarian power and surveillance skills. ~

    • js hooper

      I never thought about that. It’s really fuckin crazy to watch all the firebaggers cheering this jackass on like he is a Hero.

    • nathkatun7

      Great, great point, missliberties! Everyday the actions of Greenwald/Snowden debunk/undermine all their hypes.

  • trgahan

    I see the following likely consequences from Snowden’s actions:

    1) China has gotten at least a decade long reprieve from reforming its own policies that violate human rights;

    2) U.S. citizens are about to become less free since anyone who works for the government or a contractor that does government work will be subjected to even more intensive background screening as part of employment.;

    3) First World governments will double their expenditures on cyber-based spying and warfare as they watch how a paranoid spaz and a snuff journalist with an axe to grind destroy a powerful nation’s international reputation and likely changed the results of the next national election.

    4) Republicans (especially those faux-libertarians) will not introduce a single piece of legislation that resticts the federal governments information gathering capabilities.

    • D_C_Wilson

      5) But they will still run on a “Restoring trust” platform in 2016.

  • Kerry Reid

    Waiting for the “”FREE ROBERT HANSSEN” petition to hit my inbox.

  • “Untold damage” exactly right because no one call say what damage has been done.

    • Lady Willpower

      I bet you have a made-up idea of how much, though.

  • muselet

    The BBC reports that Edward Snowden has asked Ecuador for asylum:

    Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, who is in Vietnam, said on Twitter: “The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden.”

    Wikileaks said in a statement that Mr Snowden was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from Wikileaks”.

    The announcement came after the Ecuadorian ambassador to Russia told reporters he would meet Mr Snowden and a representative from Wikileaks for talks on Sunday.

    My, that was quick.

    –alopecia

    • blackdaug

      Snowden: Glen…really dude…how about the garage? I don’t take up much room, and am really quiet!

      • Victor_the_Crab

        Greenwald: “CREEEEEE… whats that Eric?…CREEEEEE… I can’t hear you Eric… CREEEEEE… my cellphone’s breaking up… CREEEEEE… I’ll call you back sometime, whenever… CREEEEEE…” {bleep!}

    • trgahan

      Yeah, Ecuador (or any Central American country) seems about right for a faux-libertarian like Snowden. All the civil liberties your white skin, male gender, and money can buy. Lack any two of those three things….it is not so free a society.

      I’d like to see the email Snowden got from the Ambassador of Iceland saying “Piss off you little prick!”

      • JesusSoc

        Oh piss off with your feminist bullshit. if the Obama administration wasn’t secretly acting like the Gestapo he would have no reason to run to Ecuador.

        • trgahan

          Cute…clearly you’ve never been to Ecuador OR read a thing about Germany from 1933 through 1945. Though if you did, you’d see the absurdity of your comment.
          But I guess that is just more feminist bullshit.
          Enjoy your evening!

          • JesusSoc

            Obama has no credibility left. And again, if his administration wasn’t threatening leakers with life sentences there would be no reason to run to places like Ecuador, Russia, or Cuba.

          • nathkatun7

            You can pretend, but you can’t hide! Your comment about women is quite revealing! You are nothing but a right wing troll pretending to be a previous supporter of President Obama. Any one who minimizes the actual infringement of women’s rights while claiming to be for abstract rights of privacy is nothing but a fraud! Just because you can weave in Hitler in your comment means absolutely nothing! Once again challenge you to cite concrete evidence to show how you have been personally oppressed by President Obama. What exactly were the rights you exercised before that PRESIDENT Obama has taken away from you?

        • I wish the Gestapo would get ahold of some of you and teach you a few badly needed and valuable lessons.

          Idiots.

          • JesusSoc

            About what? You can support this thoroughly corrupt regime all you want but I certainly won’t. Let the GOP take the senate and leave the lying DNC to rot.

          • nathkatun7

            You really can’t begin to comprehend how ignorant you come across! You must be one of those teabag libertarians paid to come post nonsense on blogs like this one. Your bs may work on right wing sites, but they won’t work here.

          • JesusSoc

            No, I supported Obama twice and am definitely left of center politically. This President is a sell out of all his ideals. Let him go back to Chicago.

          • nathkatun7

            Prove to me that you supported the President!

          • JesusSoc

            The liberal bs on this site is astounding. Shows that the “liberal” left are really just a group of middle class, bougie, whole foods shopping, passive, Oprah watching, feel good, go along to get along, hipster wimps. You’re Republican lite and always have been. If you’re still supporting Obama after this you’re part of the problem and not the solution.

          • mrbrink

            Battle garble garble for the ages. This is like Twilight IV: The Sloppy Fuckening Of Team Edward.

            And you leave Oprah out of this.

          • nathkatun7

            Please supply details of exactly how you have personally suffered under Obama’s “corporatist police state.” Regurgitating words you hear from your fellow cult members is not evidence!

          • JesusSoc

            Hilarious! An Obamabot is calling someone else a cult member!

          • nathkatun7

            So, how have you personally suffered under PRESIDENT “Obama’s corporatist police state”? Calling me “An Obamabot” is not an answer to my question. But your failure to simply respond to my direct question is quite revealing. You and your “Comrades” are quick to talk about a “police state.” But none of you can offer specific evidence about how the Obama “police state” is affecting you personally. Your fall back position is to label any one who dares to challenge your hyperbole an “obamabot.”

            Personally, I don’t mind being called an “Obamabot.” As 67 year-old person, I’ve seen Presidents come and go. And as far as I am concerned, President Obama is one of the best, if not the best, president in my life time. I would gladly debate any one who thinks otherwise.

          • well said, nathkatun7!

          • nathkatun7

            Indeed, Nicole! Now if they were Black, and in NYC, they would actually test some aspects of gestapo like practices. Sadly, most of them are very privileged individuals who have never in their lives experienced any hardships, and are not at this time experiencing any hardships. They just know the lingo to use to attack the President.

          • nathkatun7

            Me too, nicole! I am sick of these privileged individuals, who probably are not even subjected to the NYPD’s stop and frisk violations, talking about gestapo, brown shirts, and police state. I bet you most of them write these attacks on the President while sipping wine, drinking beer or puffing on their weeds! I’ve been challenging them to cite me a concrete example to show that President Obama has taken away any of their rights. They respond by avoiding my question while engaging in hyperbole and outright falsehoods.

            To this day, I’ve not seen any concrete evidence that the NSA, or President Obama, violated the privacy of any American or foreign person without obtaining a court order based on probable cause. I also know that when I drive on the streets of San Diego there are areas where cameras take my picture and all other motorists. The only time those pictures are used is in situations where I might have been speeding or run a red light, or violated any other traffic laws. I am sure the pics of me and other motorists who have not violated any laws are routinely destroyed. If I want to be technical, I can argue that the SD traffic cameras are violating my privacy and may be used by any rogue cop against me. But will my argument stand up in court if I am unable to demonstrate any harm done to me by those traffic cameras? Let’s face it, in this advanced technological
            environment, there are no absolute guarantees of 100% privacy.

        • nathkatun7

          What a coward! I hope none of you Greenwald cultists idiots will now dare compare this traitor to MLK and Rosa Parks.

          • JesusSoc

            Traitor? How is he a traitor? it is the NSA and the Obama administration who are violating the law you ignorant brown shirt.

          • nathkatun7

            He is a traitor because he gave U.S. classified information to the Chinese and may be to the Russians also. Please point out how the NSA and the Obama administration are violating the law. Calling me an “ignorant brown shirt” may make you feel good, but it simply reveals your imbecility.

            Snowden is coward and a traitor! If he wasn’t a coward and a traitor he would be right here in the United States, doing exactly what other people who engaged in civil disobedience did. Rosa Parks, for whom Snowdem has been compared to, challenged segregation laws from a Montgomery, Alabama Jail! And so did Dr. Martin Luther King! Neither King nor Rosa Parks challenged segregation laws, from Hong Kong, or Moscow, or Iceland or Cuba, or Ecuador. Dr King penned his famous “Letter from the Birmingham (AL) jail” and not from a five star Hong Kong hotel room!

  • jaywillie

    “The biggest villain in our age…”

    That’s fking rich coming from the agitprop mouthpiece of the “People’s Republic,” who, of course, conduct no surveillance or spying or engage in egregious theft of intellectual property. Any liberal in this country who thinks the US is more repressive than China? I don’t want to know you anymore. You don’t give a fk about civil liberties, you don’t give a fk about spying, you don’t really give a fk about cyberwarfare. If you did, there’s no way China, and a whole lot of other countries, get a pass. But this is about ratfking our country and I’m just not down with that as a progressive. You fk with the tribe, you fk with all us.

    • shouts “BRAVO! BRAVO!”

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Kind of makes taking out a trillion dollars to finance Iraq War II that much more headshaking and facepalming..

    • nathkatun7

      “…this is about ratfking our country and I’m just not down with that as a progressive. You fk with the tribe, you fk with all us.”

      Bravo, Bravo, Jaywillie! Enough is enough! I am sick and tired of these cowardly traitors, masquerading as progressive civil libertarians. Just because they hate President Obama is not a good enough excuse to betray the entire country.

  • missliberties

    The best analysis I have seen so far, comes from the comments in the NYT.

    “Whatever the imperfections of our system, it is clearly aimed at preventing acts of terrorism, not enforcing ideological purity. Snowden’s flirtations with countries that engage in the latter make his whole enterprise suspect. He is letting himself be used as a pawn and a poster boy for forces even more sinister than those he left behind.”

    Exactly.

    • blackdaug

      Yet even those governments recognize that what he is revealing is nothing more than embarrassing pieces of information, not revelations of a giant techno power structure gone mad. The way they are treating him tells much about how valuable this information really is. They let him openly board a commercial plane and leave. If he actually had brought anything of value to the table, he would still be there being used as a either an intel source…or diplomatic club to bludgeon us with. Instead of the unstable dupe of an ideologue reporter….which is all he is.
      It kind of reminds me of the way the Soviets treated Oswald, when he was just a screeching, attention craving mental case…pretending to be a persecuted leftist in the imperialistic U.S. regime.
      When he first “fled” to the Soviet, he had worked in cryptography in the army…..so they debriefed the crap out him …until they determined what he really was. They gave him job at some factory in the middle of nowhere, but really he was an embarrasment …to us and them….so he was free to come and go at will.
      The really sinister forces he is being used by are the lunatic libertarians in this country…..and their new own “Lonesome Roads” for the smart set…Glenn Greenwald..

      • missliberties

        Interesting historical context.

        Snowden is to the US, what Lee Harvey Oswald was to the Soviet Union.

        • blackdaug

          I’ve said it before, this guy is playing out the crazy Bourne movie in his head. I really do think he could be bipolar in a manic phase….and Greenwald is exploiting it.
          Fleeing imagined persecution for his “political beliefs” armed only with jumbled mash of irrelevant information as he exposes the hand of a giant invisible power mad government.
          It’s not going to end well for him, which is kind of sad. Greenwald is the real villain here. This kid is just an unstable dupe who threw his life away to advance the career of opportunistic prick.

  • muselet

    Hong Kong’s actions (actually, they’re Beijing’s actions, but let’s play along with the polite fiction) are hardly surprising. Neither are those of WikiLeaks. Or those of Russia. This is a chance for everyone to stick a thumb in the US’s eye.

    Thanks, Edward Snowden, for your oh-so-sincere concern for the privacy rights of Americans.

    –alopecia

    • Lady Willpower

      YOU JUST WAIT UNTIL HE GETS BLACK BAGGED! IT WILL HAPPEN.

      • muselet

        Black bagged? Pfffft! Ron Paul says it’ll be a Hellfire or a cruise missile, and why wouldn’t we all believe everything Ron Paul says?

        –alopecia

        • Lady Willpower

          Ron Paul prefers white bags, naturally.

  • JMAshby

    Well shit, I guess the government missed their opportunity to “pay off the Triads” to disappear him.

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view3/1290449/picard-facepalm-o.gif

    • blackdaug

      “Missed it by..that much!!!” – Maxwell Smart

  • Badgerite

    It should be obvious even to a dope ( a Greenwald ) that Snowden at no time has been acting from conscience as he has claimed. He formed the intent to steal and release classified documents long before he sought the employment that enabled him to do so. It is espionage. None of his or
    Greenwald’s protestations to the contrary jive with what he has said and done.

  • Auld_mac

    Dubya Dubya Thuh-reeee woo hoooooooo. Hell but won’t it be cathartic? Non?

  • blackdaug

    Yeah, that statement is pretty much boilerplate diplo speak amounting to : “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!”

    • FlipYrWhig

      I thought at first you had written “dildo speak.” Then I noticed my mistake. Then I concluded it wasn’t really a mistake after all.

      • blackdaug

        tomato..tomato..

  • Oh noes! China is calling us the biggest villian of our age? Not sure what “age” that is, but pretty sure there are other villains… um, treatment of Chinese dissidents? Chinese “cultural” revolution, genocide in Bosnia, genocide in Rwanda, etc. etc. Never mind hundreds of thousands of women living under oppression in theocracies around the world? oooooogity booooogity: biggest villian of our age. Yeah. Not.

    • i_a_c

      Every time someone is caught spying, the rest of the world rushes to clutch its pearls, when very frequently they are doing similar or worse on some occasions. It’s bullshit, and we do it too. But that fact is lost on the emoleft who is busy sending three cheers to the Chinese Communist Party for finally agreeing with them that the United States is the world’s biggest villain.

    • Lady Willpower

      The Dalai Lama just LOLed.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Ah yes, when the going gets tough, the slimy little vermin get going away.

  • blackdaug

    So basicly, the Chinese have looked at the “bombshell” revelations on Snowdens thumb drive and determined..”meh??”.
    “Mr. Snowden…Thanks for playing! While providing us with endless hours of embarrassing
    techno nothing to thump over the heads of your diplomats and in the world press, the actual substance of your material is of so little value…. we just kind of wish you would go away now…..” – The Chinese Govt.
    Please proceed to the next actually repressive regime, and breathlessly inform them of all the really terrible.. horrible things they already know your government is doing to them.

  • WWIII, indeed. And if that should occur, none of us may be around to complain about our democracy.

    Meanwhile, on Twitter, our hero Greenwald questions whether serving US interests is even “desirable” (see screenshot below) https://twitter.com/ggreenwald

    And, today on Meet the Press, David Gregory asked Greenwald why he
    shouldn’t be arrested. Greenwald attacked, and when finished, hastened to
    Twitter to attack Gregory there (video @ link below).
    http://www.nbcnews.com/video/m

    • i_a_c

      Greenwald is part of the Blame America First crowd of pseudo-left nutjobs. Nobody can assail his viewpoint that America is the Great Satan. Is it any wonder he lives in Brazil?

    • muselet

      Your NBC link 404’d. The right link seems to be http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3032608/#52288327

      And Glenn Greenwald’s constant rhetorical device of claiming that everyone who questions what he or Edward Snowden has done is missing “the correct question” has gotten real old, real fast.

      –alopecia

      • Try it now, Alo. (thanks for pointing it out!)

        • blackdaug

          Ahh…and now Glen begins to reveal his hidden lizard self.
          Notice how few actual televised interview he has done? Inconvenient questions may be asked…

      • blackdaug

        “And Glenn Greenwald’s constant rhetorical device of claiming that everyone who questions what he or Edward Snowden has done is missing “the correct question” has gotten real old, real fast.”

        Accept on one major aggregator I won’t name and another major lefty blog…where is is being depicted as a “ridiculous question”..

        If Greenwald was in contact with Snowden at the NSA, and directed him to scoop up all the info he could get when he landed at his new job with Booze, and thinks that is standard journalistic procedure and not just out and out fucking espionage….then he needs to go back to law school.

        • muselet

          I saw the headline at that major aggregator and a headline on a Lefty blog (probably not the one you’re referring to) claiming “David Gregory Attempts to Criminalize Glenn Greenwald”, which strike me as hysterical overreactions to the question Stretch actually asked.

          I doubt Glenn Greenwald told or asked Edward Snowden to steal information. At most, he would have said something like, “If you were to come into posession of information and provided it to me in my capacity as a journalist, I wouldn’t refuse it.” Greenwald is an insufferable ass, but he’s smart enough not going to risk getting arrested.

          –alopecia

          • blackdaug

            I don’t know. It looks like all Snowden had at the NSA was the screencap of that crappy powerpoint training module, and even Greenwald knew that wasn’t going to be enough.
            ….but Glen, at my new job with Booze in Hawaii (on the pacific backbone to Asia…!! hint hint) there is bound to be more juicy info to be had.
            Okay then. We will keep you anon. Grab what you can get, and I will write the story.
            Oh shit Glen, they are monitoring my keystrokes at this place and I think they may be on to me….What do I do?
            Ok…time to split. Go to Hong Kong. The stuff you got from Booze (pacific backbone stuff) may get you some leverage with the Chinese….
            We will hit the Gaurdian with the only slide in the powerpoint that is usable …..by the time people figure out it is nothing, you can start bargaining with the Chinese using the Booze stuff for asylum…

            Something like that?

          • muselet

            Saying anything like that would make Greenwald a co-conspirator at worst or an accessory before the fact at best. He’s a lawyer. He knows better.

            Any conversations he had with Snowden had to have been thick with winks and nods and very careful locutions.

            –alopecia

          • blackdaug

            Actually, he wouldn’t have had to have said any of that…..or encouraged Snowden in any way. …but he probably did.
            His mistake was, he didn’t have the tech knowledge to know that the classified info Snowden was feeding him did not expose any illegality…or waste fraud or abuse of any kind.
            This makes Snowden a leaker and not a whistleblower, and so it is all fruit of a poison tree.
            Greenwald should have had it vetted, both the tech and legal aspects…but he didn’t…because he is a lawyer and Glen Fucking Greenwald.
            Greggers knows all this…that is why he asked…and you notice the response “lawyer” Greenwald gives. He didn’t argue the legal aspects of it…he went after Greggers for trying to make journalism illegal.

          • nathkatun7

            I get what you are saying, muselet. At the same time, I never underestimate the idiocy of people who are driven by hubris.

          • muselet

            Point taken.

            –alopecia

    • mdblanche

      But how would a patriot act?

      • nathkatun7

        “But how would a patriot act?

        It depends. If you have a Black President you hate so much, patriotism, according to Grrenwald/Snowden, may require you to share classified information with governments that are potential adversaries of the United States. Like the GOP in Congress, Greenwald thinks that the most compelling act of patriotism is destroying President Obama. And if that means destroying the country in the process to achieve their goal, so be it. I also happen to believe that most of the MSM have no problem with, and subscribe to, the GOP/Greenwald agenda.