Update: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden

A few weeks ago, I posted about the firestorm of events and circumstances surrounding Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, of Wikileaks and NSA fame.

Once his passport was cancelled, Snowden was effectively left stranded.  As of a few days ago his last known location, like any good spy, was somewhere in Moscow, probably the Sheremetyevo International Airport.  Beyond that, neither hide nor hair has been seen of him.  Failing to produce a body hasn’t stopped the major media from burning him in effigy, however.
Snowden’s actions have also placed him in the midst of a good old fashioned cold war-style espionage saga.  All we need now is SMERSH and a John Barry cd, and we’re rolling. 

Not Julian Assange or Eric Snowden, but it’ll do in a pinch.

When asked about using a military solution to intercept Snowden if he attempted to leave Russia, President Obama quipped that he wouldn’t be ‘scrambling any jets to take down a twenty-nine year old hacker’.  Good to know, but I’m much more interested in why the President is all but given a pass not only for allowing this policy to expand like a cyber version of the Blob to the point that people like Snowden and William Binney felt compelled to speak and act against it.  To that end, John Cassidy of the New Yorker delivers an interesting piece regarding the demonization of Snowden, and the lack of true journalism regarding his case. 

In Assange’s case, little has changed.  He’s still holed up at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, and Wikileaks has given its full support of Snowden in every way possible.  Just yesterday, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Assange at length about Snowden, the NSA and other matters on ABC. 

To be continued.

6 thoughts on “Update: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden

  1. I know why this matters to me, I guess I'm interested to hear why this matters to you. Do you have a personal stance on Assange? Snowden? Manning perhaps?

  2. Personally, I'm surprised that so many people and nations seem surprised at what Snowden revealed. Did nobody really suspect this was going on? The technology was there. Pundits had voiced fears in the past. Previous administrations had tried their hand. If people can think of something then sooner or later someone will do it. I do wish Snowden had stayed in the USA, though. I think the longer he is abroad, the more the attention focuses on his “journey” and less on the facts he revealed. But I really don't blame him.

  3. It's as HV said and was remarked in one of the articles- why is anyone surprised this was happening in the first place? As a veteran and just as a matter of common sense, I believe there are some things that simply shouldn't be shared. But when you hide everything as a matter of course, particularly stuff that's patently illegal and only being done because you can get away with it, there needs to be a reckoning for it.

    Whistleblowers have traditionally done far more good than harm; that's why there's laws in place to protect them. It's been shown time and again that just because it involves the government, doesn't make it carte blanche- there has to be accountability. And it starts with a level of transparency, which only tends to come after being exposed.

  4. Hi John:
    I have a lot of heartache about anyone who would put this country in danger. PVT Manning's videos and info probably provided a field day for the Taliban and probably put a lot of service members in danger. I agree with you that some things should never be shared.

    I have mixed feelings about the NSA: On the one hand, none of us can possibly know how many terrorist plots were negated by their “methods” and it makes me feel a bit assured that SOMEONE is taking the right people to task, on the other hand, it scares the living shit out of me that nothing I can do on regular media, will ever be private. In the end, I will err on the side of caution…I was in DC when the Pentagon was hit, and for the love of whatever you hold holy, I would never want to go through that again. 😦

    My fear John, is that Snowden will be vulnerable and desperate enough to sell out to whatever foreign government will assist him. PVT Manning's sell out may very well have resulted in US and ally casualties…I just don't want the same thing to happen again?

    Thanks for the thought provoking blog John.


  5. G- you're welcome. A lot of people, simply want to wave a magic wand and have everything available to everyone all the time. I've actually heard coffee shop talk from hipsters here in Bklyn about just that- which is one of the reasons I wrote about it.

    Troop movements and their composition should never be shared- I'll personally pull the lever for the electric chair on anyone who does that. But a few memos between CEOs and congressmen about wanting to send troops/agents into a region to destabilize it for American financial interests is worth a blog or two. Remember the book, Economic Hitmen?

    Blanket scanning the entire populace is simply not an option. Too many simple coincidences can be misinterpreted into a pattern due to simply an overload of information with no way to effectively sort it. Not to mention they have to keep rewriting the laws to cover their asses for doing all this.

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