Snowden in Russia

July 18th, 2013

Published on Steve Lendman’s Blog, by blog owener, Juli 17, 2013.

Traveling elsewhere’s too risky. It’s hazardous. He’s seeking temporary asylum. Odds are he’ll get it. Moscow won’t extradite him. It has no treaty obligation to do so. Washington never repatriated Russian defectors. Heavy US pressure’s exerted anyway. Few countries resist. Few push back effectively. China can do it. So can Russia. On the one hand, Putin values good relations. On the other, he won’t be bullied.  

Supporting Snowden’s politically advantageous. According to Der Spiegel: His activist status largely united a “deeply divided society. Whether conservative or liberal, anti- or pro-American, Putin supporter or opponent – they have all voiced support for granting (him) asylum.”

Expect Putin to take full advantage. He has plenty of domestic problems. Snowden changes the subject. Supporting him’s politically beneficial. At the same time, he’ll be diplomatically careful. It shows in his comments. Der Spiegel believes Kremlin officials are involved. They’re helping Snowden. They wouldn’t be without official authorization.

“Moscow-based lawyers and politicians close to the government” arranged his meeting with human rights groups. He needed their help to do it.

“Snowden (will) stay in Russia.” It’s just a matter of working things out.

On July 16, Voice of Russia headlined “Russia to give Snowden freedom of movement,” saying: He’ll “be able to move across Russian territory while Moscow looks into his bid for political asylum” … //

… A Final Comment:

  • On July 15, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald continued his Snowden coverage. He headlined “The crux of the NSA story in one phrase: ‘collect it all.’ “
  • Doing so reflects NSA head General Keith Alexander’s agenda. He wants everyone monitored everywhere all time time. He wants Big Brother spying at home and abroad.
  • “Rather than look(ing) for a single needle in the haystack,” he favors “collect(ing) the whole haystack.” Collect everything. “Collect it all, tag it, store it.”
  • His approach is “menacing” and “creepy.” No electronic, telephonic, or perhaps other communications are free from NSA monitoring.
  • “(E)ven (Alexander’s) defenders say (his) aggressiveness sometimes (exceeds) the outer edge of his legal authority.”
  • Others say he prioritizes doing it. It’s standard NSA policy. He’s an authority unto himself. He does what he wants, when and how. He’s accountable to no one. His rules alone matter. Nothing else.
  • He’s obsessed and driven. He’s a serial lawbreaker. He doesn’t give a damn. Who’ll stop him? He’s got high-level support.
  • Numerous exposed NSA documents “demonstrate that the NSA’s goal is to collect, monitor and store every telephone and internet communication that takes place inside the US and on the earth,” said Greenwald.
  • “It already collects billions of calls and emails every single day.” It’s got trillions of internal US phone calls and emails.
  • It’s “constantly seeking to expand its capabilities without limits.” America’s a classic “ubiquitous surveillance state.”
  • Secrecy shrouds its activities from public view. Snowden changed things. He connected important dots. He did so for millions.
  • He told people what they need to know. He did so courageously. He sacrificed plenty to do it. Few would go as far.
  • Exposing “collect it all” notions matter. They need to be denounced. They need to be opposed. They need to be changed. Mass activism alone has a chance to do so.
  • Political Washington won’t help. Nor will complicit media scoundrels. What’s too disturbing to permit can’t be tolerated.
  • Americans have a choice. They can fight for freedom or lose it. There’s no in between.

(full long text).

(Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” Clarity Press.com/LendmanII. Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. progressive radio network.com, daily censored.com).

Links:

Interview with Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena to RT: He fears torture, execution, never witnessed such persecution by the US, on Russia Today RT, July 17, 2013;

Obama administration drowning in lawsuits filed over NSA surveillance, on Russia Today RT, July 16, 2013;

Why is Evo Morales still popular? on Life on the Left, by Richard Fidler, July 14, 2013;

Resisting the tar sands: An ecosocialist approach, on John Riddell, by Suzanne Weiss, July 13, 2013.

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