6
   

Snowden is no dummy - USA is a rogue nation

 
 
JTT
 
Reply Wed 24 Jul, 2013 10:20 pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/snowden-asylum-america-international-law

Edward Snowden's fear of flying is justified
Snowden is a refugee, not a spy. But America has history when it comes to forcing down planes in defiance of international law
Edward Snowden 'to leave Moscow airport' – live updates


Geoffrey Robertson
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 July 2013 19.30 BST

As Edward Snowden sits in an airside hotel, awaiting confirmation of Russia's offer of asylum, it is clear that he has already revealed enough to prove that European privacy protections are a delusion: under Prism and other programmes, the US National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ can, without much legal hindrance, scoop up any electronic communication whenever one of 70,000 "keywords" or "search terms" are mentioned. These revelations are of obvious public interest: even President Obama has conceded that they invite a necessary debate. But the US treats Snowden as a spy and has charged him under the Espionage Act, which has no public interest defence.

That is despite the fact that Snowden has exposed secret rulings from a secret US court, where pliant judges have turned down only 10 surveillance warrant requests between 2001 and 2012 (while granting 20,909) and have issued clandestine rulings which erode first amendment protection of freedom of speech and fourth amendment protection of privacy. Revelations about interception of European communications (many leaked through servers in the US) and the bugging of EU offices in Washington have infuriated officials in Brussels. In Germany, with its memories of the Gestapo and the Stasi, the protests are loudest, and opposition parties, gearing up for an election in September, want him to tell more.

So far Snowden has had three offers of asylum from Latin America, but to travel there means dangerous hours in the air. International law (and the Chicago Convention regulating air traffic) emphatically asserts freedom to traverse international airspace, but America tends to treat international law as binding on everyone except America (and Israel). Thus when Egypt did a deal with the Achille Lauro hijackers and sent them on a commercial flight to Tunis, US F-14 jets intercepted the plane in international airspace and forced it to land in Italy, where the hijackers were tried and jailed. President Mubarak condemned the action as "air piracy contrary to international law" and demanded an apology, to which Reagan replied: "Never." The UK supported the action as designed to bring terrorists to trial.

In 1986 Israel forced down a Libyan commercial plane in the mistaken belief that PLO leaders were among its passengers, and the US vetoed UN security council condemnation. So there must be a real concern, particularly after Nato allies collaborated in forcing down the Bolivian president's jet, that the US will intercept any plane believed to be carrying Snowden to asylum, either because he is tantamount to a terrorist (Vice-President Biden has described Julian Assange as a "hi-tech terrorist") or simply because they want to put him on trial as a spy.

That, no doubt, is why Snowden cancelled his ticket to Cuba a few weeks ago, fearing the flight would end in Florida. Russia has, in effect, provided him with temporary asylum (there is no legal magic about staying airside – he is in Russia) so he might be best advised to accept the gag and enjoy Moscow's hospitality. Until, perhaps, a new government in Germany after its September elections offers him a platform if he turns up as a refugee, whereupon he could take a tramp steamer to Hamburg.

In the meantime, states should start considering the impact of the information he has revealed so far. It was, ironically, the White House that last year called for an international convention to regularise "consumer data privacy in a networked world". There is no international standard for permissible periods of data retention, for what data can be retained or to whom data can be released. Western democracies differ in modes of protection. Canada, Germany and Australia require warrants from independent judges; the US from judges in a secret security court whose record shows them to be rubber stamps. In Britain ministers lack the time or ability to assess the warrants they routinely sign. France is even worse – the prime minister's office can authorise "national security" interceptions with no oversight.

Does this mean that the possibility intelligence services might find a terrorist needle in a data haystack justifies abandoning any hope of effective privacy regulation? Foreign secretary William Hague, who is in political charge of GCHQ, seems to think so: "Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear." But it is precisely law-abiding citizens who have had careers ended by dissemination of secret state surveillance. Ironically, it has been suggested that one victim of the NSA's metadata search machine was none other than the CIA director General Petraeus – guilty, at least in American eyes, of adultery.

Snowden is not a "traitor", and nor does he deserve to be prosecuted as a "spy". These laws have no public interest defence, and until they do any European country that surrenders him to end his life in an American supermax prison would be in breach of the free speech guarantee of the European convention of human rights, which is meant to protect those who release information of importance to democratic debate.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,565 • Replies: 16
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JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Jul, 2013 12:10 pm
@JTT,
bump
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jul, 2013 12:53 pm
"U.S. Senate bill authorizes sanctions on any country offering Snowden asylum"
[see article below]

Have other nations put sanctions on the US for harboring all manner of war criminal and terrorist?

Have other nations put sanctions on the US for its illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Have other nations put sanctions on the US for its +50 years of terrorism against Cuba?

Have other nations put sanctions on the US for its vicious attacks on Nicaragua in the 1980s?

[see Wiki article below]

Quote:

U.S. Senate bill authorizes sanctions on any country offering Snowden asylum


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-senate-bill-authorizes-sanctions-on-any-country-offering-snowden-asylum-1.1383384#ixzz2a5ITMKRO



Bradley Klapper, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, July 25, 2013 1:22PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- U.S. sanctions against any country offering asylum to Edward Snowden advanced in Congress on Wednesday as the 30-year-old National Security Agency leaker remained in a Moscow airport while Russia weighed a request for him to stay permanently.
The measure introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, demands the State Department co-ordinate with lawmakers on setting penalties against nations that seek to help Snowden avoid extradition to the United States, where authorities want him prosecuted for revealing details of the government's massive surveillance system. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the proposal unanimously by voice vote as an amendment to next year's $50.6 billion diplomacy and international aid bill.
"I don't know if he's getting a change of clothes. I don't know if he's going to stay in Russia forever. I don't know where he's going to go," Graham said. "But I know this: That the right thing to do is to send him back home so he can face charges for the crimes he's allegedly committed."

...

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-senate-bill-authorizes-sanctions-on-any-country-offering-snowden-asylum-1.1383384#ixzz2a5IIUSLM





==============

Quote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua_v._United_States


Nicaragua v. United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nicaragua v. United States

Court International Court of Justice
Full case name Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)
Date decided June 27, 1986
Citation(s) 1986 I.C.J. 14
Judges sitting Nagendra Singh, Guy Ledreit de Lacharrière, Roberto Ago, Mohammed Bedjaoui, Taslim Olawale Elias, Manfred Lachs, Kéba Mbaye, Ni Zhengyu, Shigeru Oda, José María Ruda, Stephen Schwebel, José Sette-Camara, Robert Jennings, Claude-Albert Colliard (ad hoc)

...

The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America[1] was a 1984 case of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation.[2] The Nicaraguan government finally withdrew the complaint from the court in September 1992 (under the later, post-FSLN, government of Violeta Chamorro), following a repeal of the law requiring the country to seek compensation.[3]
The Court found in its verdict that the United States was "in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State", "not to intervene in its affairs", "not to violate its sovereignty", "not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce", and "in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956."

JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jul, 2013 02:06 pm
@JTT,
This is the same Lindsey Graham who wants us to go to war with Iran by the end of summer.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/07/lindsey-graham-wants-war-iran-end-summer/67527/
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jul, 2013 02:11 pm
@JPB,
And, the same Lindsey Graham who is being primaried by a TPer.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/jul/24/south-carolina-sen-lindsey-graham-targeted-conserv/
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 07:35 am
My take on Snowden is that he should have of stood the test for his convictions rather than running away with classified documents, possibly leaking sensitive material to countries not to the US best interest. Snowden must have known he broke the law but he said he felt people needed to know. Fine, but at least face up to what you done if you believe what you did was right rather than creating a world wide incident thereby creating more tensions in countries we didn't need help in having tensions with.

As far as I know this is the latest on the Snowden drama.

Russia, U.S. Security Agencies In Talks On Edward Snowden, Kremlin Says

engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 08:06 am
@revelette,
After what happened to Manning, Snowden would have no reason to believe that he could get reasonable treatment or a fair trial if he stayed in the US.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 08:45 am
@engineer,
He knew that when copied classified documents and took them out of the country going to countries not known to be anymore transparent than the country he is exposing. If he was brave enough to commit the crime, he should be brave enough to accept the consequences rather than running away and keeping those documents.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 09:02 am
@revelette,
He's already given up his home, his very well paying job, his family and it many ways his liberty and people want him to willingly be locked into a solitary cell without sheets, pillows, reading material or exercise as well. I guess the idea is to make the price of being a whistleblower so high that no one will ever try it.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 09:10 am
@engineer,
So, is he better off locked up in a Russian airport transit zone reading Russian literature? All these countries he fled to have no big high marks in the human rights category, so it is just ironic Snowden fled or is seeking asylum in those countries.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 09:24 am
@revelette,
Ironic or a sad commentary on the state of the US.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 10:00 am
@revelette,
Quote:
All these countries he fled to have no big high marks in the human rights category, so it is just ironic Snowden fled or is seeking asylum in those countries.


You're simply repeating propaganda, Rev.

And you think the US has big high marks in the human rights category?Consider the number of countries the US has invaded and you'll find that human rights was never a concern.

How do you figure human rights came into the picture when the US helped bring Pol Pot to power when it bombed villages and killed 3/4 of a million Cambodians and then after he was run out of Cambodia, the US funneled aid meant for real refugees to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge?

How do you figure the US has concerns about human rights when it slaughtered some 3 million in the invasion of Korea, specifically targeting civilians? The same number in Vietnam, again, specifically targeting civilians.

And human rights, civil rights, liberty - the US spent 25 years trying to stop the Vietnamese people from having the government they wanted.

How do you figure human rights came into the picture when the US government, its "ambassador
Quote:
" gave kill lists to the Indonesian government?

Quote:
Former US Ambassador Marshall Green dead at 82
A key participant in Indonesian massacre

By Mike Head

26 June 1998

A former US Ambassador to Indonesia and Australia, Marshall Green, one of the key participants in the 1965-66 military coup which brought General Suharto to power, died of a heart attack in Washington on June 6. He was 82.


The New York Times published a respectful obituary, describing Green as the personification of American foreign policy in Asia from the 1950s to the 1970s. Likewise, The Australian presented a tribute, penned by John Wheeldon, a minister in the 1972-75 Australian Labor Party government of Gough Whitlam, in whose downfall Green was also involved.

Green, a long-time operative of the US State Department, played a direct and personal role in preparing and overseeing the massacre of up to one million workers and peasants in the period of the Indonesian coup. Under his command, State Department and CIA officials at the US Embassy in Jakarta provided the Indonesian armed forces with "shooting lists" bearing the names of thousands of local, regional and national leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

In 1990 Green and other retired US diplomats and CIA officers admitted helping the military organise the mass killing. Green confirmed a report by States News Service, published in the Washington Post on May 21, 1990, saying, "I know we had a lot more information [about the PKI] than the Indonesians themselves... The US-supplied information was superior to anything they had."

One of Green's former staff, Robert Martens, who served as a political officer in the Jakarta Embassy, was quoted as saying, "They probably killed a lot of people and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment."

...

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1998/06/gren-j26.html
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 11:18 am
@revelette,
Quote:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/24/the-u-s-indonesia-the-new-york-times/

JANUARY 24, 2012

The ’65 Massacres: Complicity and Cover-Up
The U.S., Indonesia & the New York Times

by CONN HALLINAN

Why is the New York Times concealing the key role that the United States played in the 1965 coup in Indonesia that ended up killing somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people? In a story Jan. 19—“Indonesia Chips Away At the Enforced Silence Around a Dark History”—the Times writes that the coup was “one of the darkest periods in modern Indonesian history, and the least discussed, until now.”

Indeed it is, but the Times is not only continuing to ignore U.S. involvement in planning and carrying out the coup, but apparently doesn’t even bother to read its own clip files from that time that reported the Johnson administration’s “delight with the news from Indonesia.” The newspaper also reported a cable by Secretary of State Dean Rusk supporting the “campaign against the communists” and assuring the leader of the coup, General Suharto, that the “U.S. government [is] generally sympathetic with, and admiring of, what the army is doing.”

What the Indonesian Army was doing was raping and beheading communists, leftists, and trade unionists. Many people were savagely tortured to death by the military and its right-wing Muslim allies in the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah. A number of those butchered were fingered by U.S. intelligence.

According to a three-part series in the July 1999 Sidney Morning Herald, interviews with Indonesian political prisoners, and examinations of U.S. and Australian documents, “Western powers urged the Indonesian military commanders to seize upon the false claims of a coup attempt instigated by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), in order to carry out one of the greatest civilian massacres of the 20th century and establish a military dictatorship.”

General Suharto claimed that the PKI was behind the assassination of six leading generals on the night of July 30, 1965, the incident that ignited the coup. But the Herald series included interviews with two of the men involved in the so-called July 30 putsch, both of who claim the PKI had nothing to do with the uprising. At the time, the PKI was part of a coalition government, had foresworn violence, and had an official policy of a “peaceful transition” to socialism. In fact, the organization made no attempt to mobilize its three million members to resist the coup.

The U.S. made sure that very few of those communists—as well as the leaders of peasant, women, union, and youth organizations— survived the holocaust. According to U.S. National Security Archives published by George Washington University, U.S. intelligence agents fingered many of those people. Then U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Marshall Green, said that an Embassy list of top Communist leaders “is being used by the Indonesian security authorities that seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time…”

The U.S. was well aware of the scale of the killings. In an April 15, 1966 telegram to Washington, the Embassy wrote, “We frankly do not know whether the real figure [of PKI killed] is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000, but believe it wiser to err on the side of the lower estimates, especially when questioned by the press.”

Besides helping the military track down and murder any leftists, the U.S. also supplied the right-wing Kap-Gestapu movement with money. Writing in a memo to then Assistant Secretary of State McGeorge Bundy, Green wrote “The chances of detection or subsequent revelation of our support in this instance are as minimal as any black bag operation can be.”

States News Service reporter Kathy Kadane interviewed several former diplomats and intelligence agents and found that the list turned over to the Indonesian security forces had around 5,000 names on it. “It was really a big help to the Army,” former embassy political officer Robert J. Martens told Kadane. “They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that is not all bad. There is a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.”

At the time, Washington was beginning a major escalation of the Vietnam War, and the Johnson administration was fixated on its mythical domino theory that communists were about to take over Asia. The U.S. considered Indonesia to be a strategically important country, not only because it controlled important sea passages, but also because it was rich in raw materials in which U.S. corporations were heavily invested. These included Richfield and Mobil oil companies, Uniroyal, Union Carbide, Eastern Airlines, Singer Sewing Machines, National Cash Register, and the Freeport McMorRan gold and copper mining company.

At the time, Indonesian President Sukarno was one of the leaders of the “third force” movement, an alliance of nations that tried to keep itself aloof from the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The 1955 Bangdung Conference drew countries from throughout Asia and Africa to Indonesia to create an anti-colonialist, non-aligned movement. It also drew the ire of the U.S, which refused to send a representative to Bangdung.

In the polarized world of the Cold War, non-alignment was not acceptable to Washington, and the U.S. began using a combination of diplomacy, military force and outright subversion to undermine countries like Indonesia and to bring them into alliances with the U.S. and its allies. The CIA encouraged separatist movements in the oil-rich provinces of Sumatra and Sulawesi. The British and the Australians were also up to their elbows in the 1965 coup, and France increased its trade with Indonesia following the massacre.

The relations between Jakarta and Washington are long and sordid. The U.S. gave Indonesia the green light to invade and occupy East Timor, an act that resulted in the death of over 200,000 people, or one-third of the Timorese population, a kill ratio greater than Pol Pot’s genocidal mania in Cambodia. Washington is also supportive of Indonesia’s seizure of Irian Jaya (West Papua) and, rather than condemning the brutality of the occupation, has blamed much of the violence on the local natives.

The Cold War is over, but not U.S. interests in Asia. The Obama administration is pouring military forces into the region and has made it clear that it intends to contest China’s growing influence in Asia and Southeast Asia. Here Indonesia is key. Some 80 percent of China’s energy supplies pass through Indonesian-controlled waters, and Indonesia is still a gold mine—literally in the case of Freeport McMoRan on Irian Jaya—of valuable resources.

So once again, the U.S. is turning a blind eye to the brutal and repressive Indonesian military that doesn’t fight wars but is devilishly good at suppressing its own people and cornering many of those resources for itself. The recent decision by the White House to begin working with Kopassus—Indonesia’s equivalent of the Nazi SS—is a case in point. Kopassus has been implicated in torture and murder in Irian Jaya and played a key role in the 1999 sacking of East Timor that destroyed 70 percent of that country’s infrastructure following Timor’s independence vote. Over 1500 Timorese were killed and 250,000 kidnapped to Indonesian West Timor.

It appears that Indonesians are beginning to speak up about the horrors of the 1965 coup. Books like Geoffrey Robinson’s “The Dark Side of Paradise” and Robert Lemelson’s documentary film, “40 Years of Silence: an Indonesian Tragedy,” are slowly grinding away at the history manufactured by the military dictatorship.

But the U.S. has yet to come clean on its role in the 1965 horror, and the New York Times has apparently decided to continue that silence, perhaps because once again Indonesia is pivotal to Washington’s plans for Asia?


revelette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 03:48 pm
@JTT,
This is going to sound ditzy but, you put out way too much information and I will just concede that I am sure the US in complicit it many things. I know of quite a few with just the last few years under Obama which do not seem good.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 04:03 pm
@revelette,
Quote:
This is going to sound ditzy but, you put out way too much information and I will just concede that I am sure the US in complicit it many things. I know of quite a few with just the last few years under Obama which do not seem good.


I'm not sure that I'd call that ditsy, Rev. I'd call it a not terribly frank admission that these terrible things are true.

But I acknowledge that it is an extremely difficult thing to come to terms with.

"Americans are too broadly underinformed to digest nuggets of information that seem to contradict what they know of the world. Instead, news channels prefer to feed Americans a constant stream of simplified information, all of which fits what they already know. That way they don't have to devote more air time or newsprint space to explanations or further investigations... Politicians and the media have conspired to infantilize, to dumb down, the American public. At heart, politicians don't believe that Americans can handle complex truths, and the news media, especially television news, basically agrees."

- Tom Fenton

===========

"The general public are viewed as no more than ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, a bewildered herd. And it's the responsible men who have to make decisions and to protect society from the trampling and rage of the bewildered herd. Now since it's a democracy they - the herd, that is - are permitted occasionally to lend their weight to one or another member of the responsible class. That's called an election."

- Noam Chomsky

0 Replies
 
ehcross
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2013 11:45 am
It amazes me how easily Americans are becoming so anti-America. The 9/11 attacks forced America to rethink its defence strategy and it has been quite successful in avoiding further attacks. The attacks inspired americans to rethink their relations with one another, and under the stress of never experienced circumstances . The success of the U.S. reaction to the attacks has, unfortunately, created a false sense of security, to the point that the population rejects whatever the government does to improve the country's defences and plans.

This attitude has now turned belligerent, as one individual decided to betray his country by spilling America's top secret information, and hide under the care of none less than Russia's president Vladimir Putin, the devil himself, in a clear act of betrayal to his motherland. Edward Snowden slapped his countrymen by exposing to the (potential) enemy ultrasecret information that will further complicate relations with that country, and its own allies, perhaps triggering a second cold war, and maybe a third hot war as well.

Edward Snowden is a monumental failure of U.S. intelligence, that will further chill relations with Russia for a long time, and in the process perhaps triggering WWIII.





JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2013 01:04 pm
@ehcross,
Quote:
The 9/11 attacks forced America to rethink its defence strategy and it has been quite successful in avoiding further attacks.


There was no rethinking on the part of the US, ehcross. If there was a real rethinking, the US would admit that it's "defence strategy" over the last century plus is what has caused the attacks on the US.

People are sick and tired of being brutalized and slaughtered by the US. They are tired of the US stealing their wealth, of the US killing their children.
0 Replies
 
 

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