The Guardian U.K. web site featured this story and image of Edward Snowden on Saturday morning after Friday’s media circus in Moscow. Click to enlarge.
The made-for-television drama of U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden continues to captivate a global audience.
The media circus at Moscow airport on Friday was just the latest installment, certainly not the end of the story.
At each step of the way, he is giving a middle finger salute to the U.S. and the Obama administration.
The headline in the Saturday online Guardian newspaper in the U. K. says it all: Edward Snowden inflames US-Russian tensions with Moscow meeting
“The White House openly criticized Russia for giving Edward Snowden a ‘propaganda platform’ on Friday, after the whistleblower was permitted to meet human rights activists in the Moscow airport where he has been trapped for three weeks,” wrote Paul Lewis from Washington.
What no one seems to have done yet, is recognize the remarkable parallel with the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a ‘prisoner’ in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
The WikiLeaks case is a little bit more complicated than Snowden’s.
The latter has been formally charged by the United States, and is actively seeking asylum.
Assange, meanwhile, has been holed up for well over a year in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He cannot leave the premises fearing that British police will arrest him and extradite him to Sweden, where he is wanted, ostensibly, for questioning about sexual assault charges.
On numerous occasions, Assange has claimed he fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, the U.S. will immediately seek his extradition from there on espionage charges.
He has been granted asylum in Ecuador, but the 24-hour police guard surrounding the embassy prevents him from traveling to that country.
Both Snowden and Assange are whistleblowers.
They have been cooperating with each other.
But their alleged offenses have many similarities.
Snowden released details of massive U.S. government spying on individuals and organizations around the world.
Assange published more than a million classified U.S. government documents (and videos) on his WikiLeaks web site.
Both have acutely embarrassed America, but whether they have caused any serious damage to national security, remains to be proven in a court of law.
Under the system initiated by Dick Cheney – who ran the country while George Bush was president – individuals such as Assange and Snowden are guilty before proven innocent.
The secret courts, military tribunals, Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA “black sites” around the globe make the possibility of real justice minimal at best.
Edward Snowden, fugitive, holed up in the transit lounge in Moscow airport.
Both Assange and Snowden claim to have pure motives, and even skeptics must admit they have a defensible position. The information they revealed is of vital importance to the American public.
Don’t you feel better off knowing about the government’s extra-legal judicial activities – like ‘rendition’ and ‘waterboarding’ – than NOT knowing?
Who knows what other things are going on that have not yet been revealed?
Shining sunlight into the darkest corners of government is the role of journalists – and whistleblowers – everywhere. This is how democratically elected officials are given an incentive to obey the law.
The risk of exposure keeps them honest.
While Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, and Secretary of State John Kerry attempt to portray whistleblowers as traitors, the biggest and most famous whistleblower of all time, Daniel Ellsberg thinks otherwise.
In a recent opinion column published in the Washington Post, “Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S.” Ellsberg wrote:
“… Snowden’s contribution to the noble cause of restoring the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution is in his documents.
“I hope that he finds a haven, as safe as possible from kidnapping or assassination by U.S. Special Operations forces, preferably where he can speak freely.”
And absolutely correct.
Good luck to both men as they seek refuge from those who pursue them in the name of all of us, the citizens of the United States.
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