Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22
How to Profit from 2022’s Biggest Trend Reversal - 11th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Ready To Drop To 4400SPX? - 11th Jan 22
What's the Role of an Affiliate Marketer? - 11th Jan 22
Essential Things To Know Before You Set Up A Limited Liability Company - 11th Jan 22
NVIDIA THE KING OF THE METAVERSE! - 10th Jan 22
Fiscal and Monetary Cliffs Have Arrived - 10th Jan 22
The Meteoric Rise of Investing in Trading Cards - 10th Jan 22
IBM The REAL Quantum Metaverse STOCK! - 9th Jan 22
WARNING Failing NVME2 M2 SSD Drives Can Prevent Systems From Booting - Corsair MP600 - 9th Jan 22
The Fed’s inflated cake and a ‘quant’ of history - 9th Jan 22
NVME M2 SSD FAILURE WARNING Signs - Corsair MP600 1tb Drive - 9th Jan 22
Meadowhall Sheffield Christmas Lights 2021 Shopping - Before the Switch on - 9th Jan 22
How Does Insurance Work In Europe? Find Out Here - 9th Jan 22
MATTERPORT (MTTR) - DIGITIZING THE REAL WORLD - METAVERSE INVESTING 2022 - 7th Jan 22
Effect of Deflation On The Gold Price - 7th Jan 22
Stock Market 2022 Requires Different Strategies For Traders/Investors - 7th Jan 22
Old Man Winter Will Stimulate Natural Gas and Heating Oil Demand - 7th Jan 22
Is The Lazy Stock Market Bull Strategy Worth Considering? - 7th Jan 22
METAVERSE - NEW LIFE FOR SONY AGEING GAMING GIANT? - 6th Jan 2022
What Elliott Waves Show for Asia Pacific Stock and Financial Markets 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
Why You Should Register Your Company - 6th Jan 2022
4 Ways to Invest in Silver for 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
UNITY (U) - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 5th Jan 2022
Stock Market Staving Off Risk-Off - 5th Jan 2022
Gold and Silver Still Hungover After New Year’s Eve - 5th Jan 2022
S&P 500 In an Uncharted Territory, But Is Sky the Limit? - 5th Jan 2022

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Snowden Won't Face Torture in the U.S. Maybe

Politics / US Politics Jul 28, 2013 - 10:53 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

WATERBOARDING - MAYBE
US Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter released to 'Wall Street Journal' 26 July and dated 23 July, told his addressee, His Excellency the Minister of Justice of Russia that National Security Agency 'leaker' Edward Snowden would not face the death penalty. Holder also promised he would not be tortured—in a new bid by the Obama administration to persuade Russia not to grant Snowden asylum or refugee status.


Holder magnanimously added that even if Snowden was charged with “additional, death penalty-eligible crimes” and found guilty he would not be executed. He said that Mr. Snowden's grounds for seeking asylum in Russia "are entirely without merit." Holder disputed Snowden's claim that he cannot travel because his US passport has been canceled. He said Snowden “is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States” - a one way trip to the US to face trial for treason.

Snowden may prefer Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua if he can get there in an airplane that does not “disappear off the radar screen”.

What Vladimir Putin does with his prize bargaining chip is the meat of dozens of press articles, but if Snowden ever did return to the USA on a one-way, one-use passport, for trial, he would be put away for a long time. What happened to Bradley Manning is his reference and warning.

A UK Guardian article said that more than 250 of America's most eminent legal scholars signed a letter protesting against Manning's treatment in military prison, contesting that the "degrading and inhumane conditions" Manning suffers are either legal or constitutional, and may even amount to torture. One of the signatories was Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor considered  America's foremost authority on constitutional law - who taught constitutional law to Nobel Peace prizewinner Barack Obama and was a key backer of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. To make his protest, Tribe resigned from the Obama administration where he was a legal adviser in the justice department.

Manning is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called "prevention of injury order" and stripped naked at night apart from a smock, in a 6-foot by 12-foot cell with 24/7 lighting “for his own protection”.

RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW
Obama made respect for the rule of law a supposed “cornerstone” of his administration, promising this when he entered the White House in 2009. He claimed he was going to end the excesses of the Bush administration's war on terror. Obama intensified them, as shown by the Manning and Snowden cases.

A major figure in US law, Professor Benkler told the 'Guardian': "It is incumbent on us as citizens and professors of law to say that enough is enough. We cannot allow ourselves to behave in this way if we want America to remain a society dedicated to human dignity and process of law."

This had no avail on the Nobel Peace prizewinner, resulting in the only conclusion possible. Manning's treatment was “a warning to future whistleblowers." The Obama administration's pitch is that war against Islamic fundamentalists or any other kind of terrorist makes it obligatory to use special wartime security measures. Times have changed and if you don't like it – too bad. Snowden is forewarned as to what awaits him if he is ever returned, against his will, to the US of Barack Obama.

Manning was charged and convicted of leaking thousands of confidential documents to WikiLeaks. After 7 months of solitary confinement, the 23-year-old was tried for computer fraud, theft of public records and willfully communicating classified information “to a person or persons not entitled to receive it”. One additional charge against Manning that Eric Holder possibly appears to exclude in the Snowden affair, to curry favour with Putin, was the rare charge known as "aiding the enemy" – a capital offence for which the death penalty can be applied.

The defence strategy used by Manning is also a warning for Snowden, if through 'realpolitik' Putin decided to cash in his bargaining chip with Obama, and hand Snowden over to US “justice”. Manning tried to argue that he leaked the documents because he “saw wrongdoing and had no other course of action”. Manning also argued that he “did not want to be complicit in war crimes”, and wanted to prompt worldwide debate and discussion about, as well as “reforms” of US national security.

These were terrible arguments. We can say they are in fact provocative, almost designed to make the enemy – The Nobel Peace prizewinner and his thugs – even more hysterical and vengeful.

CELLPHONE IN THE FRIDGE, PLEASE
Snowden's few interviews, most recently July 13 are held in a “secure place” somewhere in the many corridors and rooms of the transit area between the runway and passport control zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. At these interviews he asks reporters to turn off their cellphones and take the batteries out, but anybody using an e-mail account with any US service provide runs this risk:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1357...

About the only way to prevent a cellphone, even turned off from not giving a “ping” needs wrapping in tinfoil or being placed in a so-called Faraday cage – a refrigerator if it is metal, can maybe suffice.

Ironically, the laptop-cellphone generation has shown how far public opinion has moved, by massively approving of Snowden, relative to users and consumers of official opinion peddled by government-friendly mass media. Major suppliers of fit-to-print vetted media, like the 'Washington Post' went so far as to call Snowden a narcissist, a traitor, to surrender, and to stop leaking information – while it felt obliged to show total schizophrenia or “balanced opinion” by also running an Op ed by Daniel Ellsberg, exposer of the Pentagon Papers. In it Ellsberg said that “NSA leaker Snowden made the right call” by spilling the beans and fleeing the country. Certainly in the US, the bulk of the paid professional pundit class says Snowden is a spy, a traitor, or worse.

This generational split is underlined by the pundits gurgling about the importance of the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate, larding their creaky copy with Thomas Jefferson quotes. This cuts no ice with persons living in the real world of today.

To be sure, turning anyone into a demigod is a bad idea, giving Snowden footballer 'celeb' status, but whistleblower-worship underscores the dangerous fault lines in society, especially strong in the US but in no way an exclusive American problem. The Manning and Snowden cases, the endless series of leaks and revelations about snooping and the bad taste of manipulation, or worse, left over by national terror events from 9 / 11 to the Boston Bombers and the exploding Mercedes 250 of Michael Hastings, make it a scary time to be American. The obsession with national security makes Americans even more insecure.

A drowning man will grab anything to keep from sinking. The cult of national security has soared far above and away from anything related to the Bearded One in an Afghan cave nearly 12 years ago, to become a monstrous obsession that feeds off itself. Snowden at least makes it impossible, now, to say the government is not monitoring our phone calls or Internet mails and site usage communications – whether we did anything wrong or not.

Guilt is presumed, like in any communist or Islamist police state. This is wrong.

The real problem is we shouldn't need to have a Snowden or Manning in the first case. Saying they are harming the war against Bin Laden is only another example of state hysteria and madness, and when the state has lost its head – things have to change.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

Andrew McKillop Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in