Late Night: Some Random Thoughts on Edward Snowden


Hong Kong wanted him gone, and Putin clearly feels Edward Snowden–who celebrated his 30th birthday by placing everyone’s cellphones in the fridge–has outstayed his welcome in the pod hotel at the not-really-Russia airport.

Meanwhile tomorrow we have the potential of DOMA and Prop 8, which is pretty exciting!


23 Responses to "Late Night: Some Random Thoughts on Edward Snowden"
alan1tx | Tuesday June 25, 2013 08:18 pm 1

yep, that’s the only way it makes sense to me.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday June 25, 2013 08:24 pm 2

I tried to write some Edward Snowden limericks, but failed miserably…

greenwarrior | Tuesday June 25, 2013 08:45 pm 3

How do you know he put everyone’s cell phones in the frig? Link?

Demian | Tuesday June 25, 2013 08:50 pm 4

It really bothers me when liberals quote the Old Testament to show haw Christianity is bigoted. Hello! Paul explained in his letters that the Jewish law does not apply to Christians. There is no more scriptural basis for stoning men engaging in gay sex than there is for circumcision or for not eating pork.

Disclaimer: I am not a believer, but I do think that liberals shouldn’t misrepresent Christianity, which is constitutive of our Western culture.

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:02 pm 6

Though unless the phones were in airplane mode, the people carrying them could have been tracked to Snowy’s location and eavesdropped on form a long distance…

But then again I have friends who put Band-Aids over their computer’s cameras when they are working to keep “Them” from watching!

sanantone | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:06 pm 7

Why is Snowden still in that airport, and why have no reporters seen him? Is no one worried he’s actually being detained by the Russians and shaken down for the info he’s carrying? Why didn’t the guy go straight to Latin America? Is he naive, or what?

CTuttle | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:15 pm 8
In response to sanantone @ 7

Putin is most definitely shaking Snowden down for every nano-byte on his purported four computers’ worth of NSA data…! ;-)

CTuttle | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:23 pm 9

Making $200K a year, I’m sure they were top-grade ‘puters…!

peony | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:42 pm 10

00:15 GMT: Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has indicated that his country would consider an asylum request by Edward Snowden, though at the same time stating that no such request had been made.

“If they proposed it, and it seems that it has been requested of Ecuador … we would also consider it,” said Maduro.

Speaking to reporters while in Haiti, the Venezuelan leader also took the opportunity to remark that the information leaked by Snowden should “change the world” and that the whistleblower should “receive humanitarian overtures throughout the world for the information that he provided.” 

“This young man, Snowden, shocked the world by releasing this information on the violation of civil liberties in the US,” he added.

peony | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:49 pm 11

Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if ‘Anything Happens’ to Him

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who Snowden first contacted in February, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that Snowden “has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published.” Greenwald added that the people in possession of these files “cannot access them yet because they are highly encrypted and they do not have the passwords.” But, Greenwald said, “if anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives.”

Demian | Tuesday June 25, 2013 09:58 pm 12
In response to sanantone @ 7

My guess of why Snowden is still in Moscow is that Ecuador might be having second thoughts about giving him asylum, because of the economic consequences of USG reprisal.

As for being “shaken down” by the Russians, I don’t believe that that’s how competent spies operate. Think about it: the Russians could kidnap any NSA employee in the US and “shake him down”, but they don’t do that. There are certain rules of the game. So just because Snowden happens to be in a Moscow airport doesn’t mean that the Russians would make more of an effort to get anything out of him than they would otherwise.

As for what’s on his four laptops, it’s an interesting question whether the Chinese or the Russians copied the hard drives. My view is that there isn’t anything there that the Russians and Chinese didn’t have a good inkling of already. Unless one is a propagandist for the USG, one needs to take Snowden at his word with respect to his intentions, which means that, given that he planned to go to Hong Kong, he would not have put anything on his laptops that would compromise US security: he is a whistleblower, not a traitor. (Also, it,s not clear that he had access to any information that would really be of use to a foreign government—as opposed to the American people—but that’s another matter.)

CTuttle | Tuesday June 25, 2013 10:03 pm 13

Uh-oh…! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya… Snowden may be stuck in Russia: WikiLeaks… *gah*

greenwarrior | Tuesday June 25, 2013 10:37 pm 14
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 5

Thanks. It looks like you could also use something smaller than a frig. It seems like a martini shaker will do the trick should you have one around. And there’s a product coming out called OffPocket.

Demian | Tuesday June 25, 2013 10:41 pm 15
In response to CTuttle @ 13

FWIW, I never believed that Snowden would get on that plane to Cuba. I can’t believe so many reporters took that idea seriously. When you’re in the position that Snowden is in (facing the ire of a hegemon in decline), you are not gong to publicize your itinerary.

I’m pretty sure that Russia would go through the trouble of getting Snowden to any country he wants to go to in a discrete fashion. (It’s not just the CIA with its rendering ops that can operate small corporate jets.)

I don’t think the problem is “intermediary countries”, as the article you link to suggests. The problem is the country that would give Snowden asilum.

The good news for Snowden is that Russia will never give him up to the USG. The main downside for him as far as I can tell is that he would have to learn Russian, if he is to lead a normal life.

kgb999 | Wednesday June 26, 2013 12:21 am 16
In response to Demian @ 15

I think it’s funny people honestly believe he’s carrying the “data” on four laptops. The entire archive has been seeded to several torrents already and the decryption keys given to undisclosed individuals who will release the entire trove if anything happens to Snowden. If he’s kept a physical copy for travel, it is on something small and easy to carry with him. It would be very difficult to guarantee 4 laptops would make a globe-trotting journey to lord-knows-where.

If I understand diplomatic rules correctly Snowden could also possibly be holed-up in an embassy. We know a diplomatic vehicle from Venezuela picked him up. They should be able to declare that vehicle a diplomatic envelope and – assuming the the Russians accept it – technically he has never stepped foot across the Russian border. That would answer a lot of questions … the idea he’s staying at the capsule-hotel thing seems increasingly implausible.

You’re probably right about the pause in travels being about working out the asylum issues. Based on the reports, he may have been flushed from Hong Kong more quickly than expected. So it’s not particularly surprising that there are processes in the works that will still take a bit of time to complete. He just needs a safe place to work it out – there is no real rush to a final destination beyond the pressures of a 24-hour news cycle. No way Putin would offer for their government to send him somewhere personally – but he doesn’t need to. All they have to do is let him travel when he’s ready to travel.

Also. If his own statements are true, Snowden put a lot of thought into what documents he took in the first place. The stated goal was to ensure that the information was – in his opinion – not directly compromising and instead related to policy, systems function and proof of wrong-doing. He didn’t do like Manning and take everything he could get his hands on. He was in a position get his hands on pretty much everything and only took what he was comfortable having published for everyone to see. So, as far as that goes, I don’t see what the big deal is with Russia picking though his documents is anyhow. Everything is going to be published in the newspapers no matter what. Why would Russia do anything but play 100% good-guy here?

CTuttle | Wednesday June 26, 2013 12:57 am 17
In response to kgb999 @ 16

I hear what you’re saying about the Torrent feeds, but, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some personal insurance too, kgb, and, I also agree that he was very selective in his data selection…! They have absolutely no clue as to how much he did in fact pilfer, and that totally scares the bejeezus out of the Beltway Snooze Crew…! ;-)

skepticdog | Wednesday June 26, 2013 02:56 am 18

It concerns me that the US can dictate where he can go (aside from Russia and China), but they can’t touch the bankers. Globalization sucks!

greenwarrior | Wednesday June 26, 2013 05:17 am 19

I haven’t seen any reports that other passengers saw him on the plane from Hong Kong to Moscow. From that perspective, he could be anywhere in the world right now. Surely, if I was Snowden, I wouldn’t want it known where I was or where I will be. The US government’s assassination component has a long arm.

nocompromises4me | Wednesday June 26, 2013 08:41 am 20
In response to Demian @ 4

Saul of Tarsis didn’t know Jesus, nor his thoughts.

Now Paul failed in his claim that the laws no longer applied yet he, and all who followed, continued to pick and chose which OT laws they liked, and still wanted them applied.

By the reasoning you use, that the law was supplanted, then you must say that “Thou shalt not kill”, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord G-d in vain” etc, all no longer applied.

Please, this excuse has grown old. Just because Paul wanted a lobster dinner, he denied the law. BTW, even upon the cross, Jesus died as a member of the House of David. Nothing wrong with that at all.

LittlePig | Wednesday June 26, 2013 09:18 am 21
In response to greenwarrior @ 19

I haven’t seen any reports that other passengers saw him on the plane from Hong Kong to Moscow

No positive ID from other passengers, but I’d expect a plant to say positive if he actually weren’t on the plane. So I expect he actually went to Russia (although, as you note, I’ve not seen pictures of him at the airport).

Or more correctly to the state-less limbo of an international transit zone (State did jump the gun with the passport annulment). If he’s going to Ecuador, then they’re looking for flights that don’t cross US airspace and making sure Ecuador has the paperwork up to international spec (the “refugee document of passage”), so he could be legitimately delayed waiting for circumstances.

But nobody knows which shell the pea is under right now.

LittlePig | Wednesday June 26, 2013 09:26 am 22
In response to nocompromises4me @ 20

In the specific sense you mean, yes, they were supplanted. Two Old Testament rules remain.

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself..

Quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 like the good rabbi he was. If one follows those two rules, the Law takes care of itself.

alan1tx | Wednesday June 26, 2013 07:44 pm 23
In response to skepticdog @ 18

Heh. The FDL drinking game. Bankers!

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