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At the risk of Snowden overload here on DKos I'd like to point towards what I think is an interesting take on what is happening in Russia.

All the right people in Russia are enjoying Snowden's stay there, and by right I actually mean Right. The Left, not so much.

The author has "unlocked" this article for one day only and as I can only use three paragraphs re: copyright I recommend people go to the original today.

Now whatever you think of what Snowden achieved, some no doubt good  (revelations of NSA domestic surveillance) some not so good, this article gives some insight to what is actually happening on the ground in Russia.

I honestly don't want to start a piefight, I just want people to read this article and maybe we can all agree that sometimes there are unfortunate, unforseen consequences to actions.

The author is  Mark Ames, whose rogue expat newspaper in Russia, eXile, was shut down by the Kremlin. Here are some excerpts from the article..........

As I’ve reported in a series of articles on Snowden’s disastrous defection, he’s playing directly into the Kremlin’s hands and becoming an incredibly useful tool—Russian state TV news has been running Snowden’s statements praising Russia’s human rights record, showing Amnesty and Human Rights Watch sitting with Snowden giving his defection their blessing (both Amnesty and HRW's local reps later told reporters about their frustration over the sense they'd been used to provide cover for Snowden's defection ) and state TV has been rebroadcasting the interviews Snowden’s father gave — with GOP lobbyist/libertarian Bruce Fein, a paid genocide-denier, by his side — in which, again Snowden’s father praised Putin’s courage and commitment to human rights. This is why Russia’s beleaguered opposition has been either unusually silent about Snowden, sullenly silent; or, in the case of Anna Politkovskaya’s newspaper Novaya Gazeta, outright hostile to Snowden because of the demoralizing effect he’s having on the Russian opposition.
Most recently, as I reported here, Snowden has been taken under the wing of a Kremlin goon in the upper house of parliament who has publicly made Snowden an offer he can’t refuse: Help the Kremlin tighten its control over the Russian Internet.
The sentimental myth is stronger than the facts — even among all the progressives on the left who claim to be so skeptical of sentimental myths and who claim to see through bullshit. The Snowden-as-Jimmy-Stewart myth is made easier by everyone’s ignorance here about Russia, and the shit Snowden is stirring up inside that country. Suddenly all the same people here who claim to care so much about American bull-in-a-china-shop intervention in other cultures are now saying that we should ignore whatever damage the Snowden bull is wreaking on Russia’s opposition. The consensus on preserving this Snowden-as-Jimmy Stewart myth at all costs spans what passes for America's political spectrum — the left, right and middle — Sara Palin and Peggy Noonan to The Nation; from DeVos-funded corporate Republicans, to social media anarcho-"radicals." To me this whole goddamn thing is bizarre, in a Body Snatchers way. I must've been away too long to understand your weird fits.
The author goes on to state that he was being praised when first reporting on Snowden when he was pro but that since he became critical he has been getting nasty mail. He gives an example and his reply.

The article itself has links to back up his assertions.

The ramifications of Snowden being in Russia seem to be bad news for any dissenters there.

Worth the read if you have time.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Snowden, the epitome of irony.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnetteK, LilithGardener, Hey338Too
  •  Snowden got stuck in Russia. (22+ / 0-)

    I still have mixed views on Snowden but believe he was motivated by his conscience in exposing what he believed was wrong.  I think Snowdennis a sideshow and the NSA is the main event.  Nothing Swowden does or does not do changes the issue of NSA over reach.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:03:43 AM PDT

    •  Agreed TomP, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue, Hey338Too

      It does however seem to be having some unfortunate effect in Russia though.

      Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

      by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:06:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One article? With links I can't easily access? (6+ / 0-)

        As for this quote

        Most recently, as I reported here, Snowden has been taken under the wing of a Kremlin goon in the upper house of parliament who has publicly made Snowden an offer he can’t refuse: Help the Kremlin tighten its control over the Russian Internet.
        if this offer were true and 'public', don't you think it would have shown up somewhere in the US and international press?  It would certainly be something the Obama admin would latch onto in a heartbeat. Makes the rest of the article less credible to me.

        Ed Snowden is in Russia because the countries he applied for asylum to-the countries with the good human rights -all denied it to him.

        I agree with TomP that the NSA is what we should be concentrating on. But I believe Ed Snowden is important too. His fate will affect our own.

        Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

        by graycat13 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:31:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, thanks (8+ / 0-)

          I'm sorry his links aren't easily accessible.

          Nobody has to agree with the article, I'm just pointing to it as a matter of interest as to what the dissenters are dealing with in Russia.

          Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

          by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:39:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Found the 'offer'. (6+ / 0-)
          Meanwhile, Gattarov has renewed his call for Snowden to assist a working group investigating US intelligence agencies' access to the personal information of Russian users, launched by the senator in light of his revelations.

          In an interview on Tuesday with the National News Service, Gattarov said Snowden would help the working group to find "gaps in the storage of Russians' personal information" by western internet companies.

          link

          While I agree Gattarov would fit in quite nicely with our pro-NSA Senators in this country, I don't think this is quite what the author of your article is implying. Perhaps he has overloaded on viewings of The Godfather.

          Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

          by graycat13 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:42:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe the (8+ / 0-)

            author lived in Russia and may have quite good insight to what the political climate is there.

            Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

            by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:45:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is simply a lame attempt to deflect the real (4+ / 0-)

              story of America's unconstitutional domestic spying program, and the Obama administration's support of it.

              You really want a "bad guy?"   Look in the White House.

              Snowden is a footnote in this scandal, and the people who keep attacking the messengers (there are more than just Mr. Snowden) are transparently defending the Military/Intelligence Security State that this country is descending into.

            •  He is a very interesting man (4+ / 0-)

              and he may have insight into the political climate there. But he is extremely biased against anything in Putin's Russia and I don't like self-referencing articles (some of his links are to other articles he wrote). I have been reading about him (and Taibbi and the Exile).  He seems more angry that Snowden and Greenwald 'lied' to him than anything else.

              Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

              by graycat13 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:15:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes he did (7+ / 0-)

              Running a satirical magazine famous for over the top parody, marrying a Russian woman and eventually moving back to the US to avoid censorship.

              But he is not there today and clearly angry with Snowdon on a personal level so I would not take this as gospel truth.

              400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:00:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  There's nothing wrong with helping to stop the NSA (6+ / 0-)

            from spying on their people.

            ... to assist a working group investigating US intelligence agencies' access to the personal information of Russian users...

            It's perfectly normal and quite frankly what a nation should do to protect its own citizens.

            The US is not the world's policeman although it has every intention of being so.

            There's a reason diplomacy and soft power exist. This draconian negative approach to relations with allies and partners and sovereignty is not conducive to a healthy international framework.


            One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

            by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:56:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There are always unintended consequences (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnetteK, wilderness voice

        to every action.

        Exposing the wrong will have reverberations and cause people to cower in fear and say Stop... we'll just live with the bad stuff. The authoritarians have always depended on that normal reaction from people.

        You have to believe in sunlight and openness and work through the process of getting there.


        One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

        by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:47:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hardly (6+ / 0-)

        Maybe you should understand Mark Ames personal history a bit particularly his own battles with censorship in the Russian Federation before buying into this hook line and sinker.

        Clearly his article is a bit of a rant (something he is honest about) and might be taken with a grain of salt.

        Can you explain what better alternatives Snowdon has at this point?

        Obviously Russia was not his first choice, but at least for the present, it might be his only practical choice.

        Oh, snap! I forgot, Obama invited him home to court this week!

        Silly me.

        400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:56:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (10+ / 0-)

      I don't particularly like this Snowden guy, but it is important that these abuses are exposed. I think he's neither hero nor traitor. I'd just like him to go back into the background and let the real story be told.

      It really shouldn't be about him.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:07:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about the things Obama has done (16+ / 0-)

      to limit the NSA's overreach? Does that get any play?
      Seems to me that that is being carefully ignored.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tom I Default To My Dad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, Cordyc, TomP

      They ran a security clearance on me to attend his retirement dinner. He is a bad ass mother fucker. I recall him teaching at the Army War College long before 9/11. He would tell you war sucks. Never something you should engage in. I think I know a lot of shit about war, but at the top of the list is that my father doesn't want to fight.

    •  Yup (11+ / 0-)

      It almost doesn't matter what one thinks of Snowden.  Putin gave asylum for his own reasons, having nothing to do with "what's right" or even Snowden.

      Haven't seen it much, but I have seen a few folks who seem to think this all reflects well on Putin.  It doesn't.  

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is bigger than even Putin (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, Timaeus, CroneWit

        He knows that... even if other people can't understand it.

        The world isn't that far removed from black slavery and white serfs and Asian peasants.

        The world does not revolve around the US and its conception of "proper" economic activities (with of course US corporations always leading the helm and crushing the little people and their little nations in the process).

        Putin is not sticking a finger in the US eye so much as he is attempting to have a balance in world relationships.

        Dissenters are punished more harshly in Russia than the US, but the US still punishes dissent and is tightening its grip more and more to contain it.

        Edward Snowden is not the boogeyman in this saga. It's a neverending story of disproportionate power crushing dissent.

        The Russian dissidents and the US dissidents and the Chinese dissidents... all of us who believe in open societies as the best course for humankind... cannot sell out each other when the authorities use propaganda to instill fear of the sunlight.


        One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

        by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:11:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the US is punishing "dissidents" then why (7+ / 0-)

          are the people who originally exposed all the NSA programs being prosecuted?

          Both Kurt Eisenwald and Marc Ambinder have exposed these programs and written whole published books about this stuff.  Yet few paid attention outside of the National Security community followers.

          And there are others who have been critical of the Patriot Act for years and want to have reform but we still are not talking about that much.

          Instead we still seem to be fixated upon a guy who stole documents from his employer.  Snowden is a diversion from the real issues.  Which are how can the government balance keeping us safe from bad guys who want to do harm and protecting us from abuse of the system.  And beyond that we also need to deal with how much we are willing to let corporations invade our privacy.  This is a huge discussion that needs to be had.

          Congressional elections have consequences!

          by Cordyc on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:26:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed, if the US was really punishing dissidents (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cordyc

            real whistleblowers like Drake and Binney wouldn't be free men

            •  WTF? Is this snark because it's ass-backwards. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko, CroneWit

              Drake and Binney were dissidents by questioning the haystack crony-ism and its waste of $15billion and the unnecessary surveillance of American citizens.


              One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:59:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are Drake and Binney imprisoned (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                I love OCD, Hey338Too, Cordyc

                or "disappeared"? They are free men who bravely blew the whistle, stayed in the country to fight the good fight, and beat the rap.

                •  And nothing changed in the haystack program (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CroneWit

                  and the surveillance only grew.

                  So, Snowden watched and learned.

                  And Snowden did follow protocols for reporting wrongdoings, but his warnings were ignored.

                  Because Snowden followed a different and thoroughly more dangerous course to accomplish his mission is not cowardliness.


                  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                  by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:13:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My only problem with what he did (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too, Linda1961, FG

                    is going to two unfriendly nations with the data. Had he gone straight to Wyden and asked him for immunity I'd be totally behind him. And I don't think Wyden would have ignored him, he's an excellent Senator by all accounts

                    •  That is false information you are spreading (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CroneWit, tardis10, wilderness voice

                      What two unfriendly nations did he approach to turn over his data?

                      If you answer China and Russia... you automatically lose any credibility in discussing this.

                      Furthermore, you know perfectly well that a Senator does not have the power to grant immunity.


                      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                      by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:35:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Did Snowden go to Congress first with his info? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cordyc, Linda1961

                        If I were in his position and felt that strongly, I would have done that first. You'll have to provide evidence that we went through those channels.

                        Also, if the Senator from Oregon couldn't have provided him immunity, another powerful person who feels the same way could have

                        •  He went through several channels (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          orestes1963

                          but as you know, even Congress has its hands tied and cannot speak even to each other about this surveillance network.

                          And if a Senator cannot grant immunity... precisely who is this other "powerful person" who could confer immunity?


                          One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                          by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:18:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  You must be snarking here (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hey338Too, Linda1961

                        China and Russia are definitely not friendly to American interests and are much the worse of two evils here

                        •  I said nothing of the kind (0+ / 0-)

                          And THIS comment from you ^^^^ is why you dipshits have no business trawling through our emails and conversations and internet usage.

                          You have a complete and total lack of discernment for any academic discussion.


                          One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                          by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:59:25 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you accusing me of shilling? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Linda1961, alain2112

                            I don't know you from Adam, and I certainly don't know any of your personal info or anything. Nor would I want to. The only thing I know for sure is that your username is bronte17 and that you are pretty uninformed about Chinese and Russian history (both recent and long-term) and how those governments operate in regards to personal freedoms for their people.

                            In fact on this issue, the only thing I disagree with you on is Snowden's actions. I agree with him fully on principle. If I were him I would have consulted a lawyer well-versed in these issues who would assist with me beating the rap instead of absconding to unfriendly countries (and they are still unfriendly, no matter what way you want to spin it), with classified information.

                            I think your hair is on fire a bit, please put it out.

                          •  It's none of your business what my knowledge (0+ / 0-)

                            base contains of Russian or Chinese history... which is probably considerably more than yours.

                            Furthermore, I have not once implicitly or explicitly engaged in any discussion of personal freedoms in Russia or China. It's not relevant to this discussion.

                            You keep turning the discussion into a false narrative.

                            Snowden has his own reasons for his action decisions. You don't know the circumstances surrounding his decisions... we only know the Executive Branch and the neocons have called for his head to roll.


                            One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                            by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:29:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Personal freedoms in those countries (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AnnetteK

                            are totally relevant to the discussion because those governments (Russia and China) will use Snowden's information to spy on their people even more insidiously than they do now, reducing the ability of Russian and Chinese dissidents to enact reform. In fact, that's the whole basis of this diary, which is a very good interpretation of the Russian situation. That's another reason why I think he should have stayed here to fight it out.

                            And folks in those countries are spied upon to a far greater extent than they are here...sorry to burst your bubble on that one. There are spots on the Internet you're not allowed to surf to without permission if you have a Russian or Chinese IP.

                            IMO we'd have a better chance for true reform had he stayed stateside and blew that whistle for all he was worth, and stood trial if necessary and beat the rap. Because if he did that, public opinion would totally be behind him and he'd actually be a hero without question.

                            You do realize the only spot where we differ is how to proceed on issues like this? I have no disagreement on the principle of the matter (NSA abuses). We both agree wholeheartedly that the NSA needs to be reined in because I am also uncomfortable with the data collection procedures they employ.

                          •  Public opinion *is* fully behind Snowden (0+ / 0-)

                            regardless of where he hangs his pants at night.

                            As he said, He's not a hero, he's not a traitor. He's an American.

                            And your condescending man-splaining of topical issues as "personal freedoms" and websurfing crackdowns in Russian and China is a jingoistic diversionary tactic to apply propaganda pressure to crackdown on approval of oversight of the US surveillance deployment across the world.

                            Furthermore, the deliberate misinformation from you (again) claiming "Snowden's information" will help Russia and China spy on their people is insidious.


                            One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                            by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 01:22:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Polls conflict on that (0+ / 0-)

                            I saw one poll (Quinnipiac) from July where by a 55-34% margin, Snowden is considered a whistleblower as opposed to a traitor. I think that's a poorly worded question because the word "traitor" is incredibly charged emotionally.

                            I also saw a CBS poll from July which stated that by a 56-25% margin, the American public disapproved of Snowden leaking the information in the first place. Perhaps a bit of cognitive dissonance, but I think most of this has to do with Snowden absconding to China and Russia. Had he stayed stateside he would probably have a majority approving of his action to leak the info. I definitely approve of him blowing the whistle but disapprove of him taking 4 laptops of classified info to those countries.

                            I would be very interested to see where the polling stands here in mid-August. I am encouraged that polling is starting to turn against the NSA (which is more important); by a 2-1 margin (67-31%) people are stating the NSA's collection of American phone records are a violation of their privacy rights.

                            http://pollingreport.com/...

                •  that only proves we still have an independent (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tardis10, bronte17

                  judiciary.  The Drake prosecution was an egregious overreach that brought condemnation from the judge.  The prosecution did their absolute worst.  The fact they failed does not mean they weren't trying.

            •  Your ignorance of Drake's case is astounding (4+ / 0-)

              To the point of insulting our intelligence.

              Or are you just being trollish and trying to provoke and argument?

              400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:08:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Drake was a proper whistleblower (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cordyc

                Who did 110% the right thing by fighting it out here. If Snowden stayed here to fight the good fight, I'd be behind him 110% as well. Drake went through all the proper channels

                For example, if Snowden does what Mark Felt (Deep Throat) did back in the day, that would be perfectly fine and commendable. Or if he went to CBS, NBC, ABC and blew the whistle as loud as he could in Wyden's ear, and asked for a meeting with members of Congress, that is also perfectly fine and commendable.

                •  Drake had his life ruined (4+ / 0-)

                  By a mis-guided prosecution by the government the Obama Administration should be ashamed of.

                  Your portrayal of it is so obviously distorted and calculated to provoke I will end with this: nice try, but I won't take the bait.

                  Enjoy your trolling Sunday!

                  400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:35:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Stop with the troll insults (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cordyc, alain2112, Catte Nappe, FG, emelyn

                    I've been a member here since 2006 and all my diaries have promoted progressive causes, if you look at the history.

                    I actually agree on principle. Mr. Snowden's cause is a good and just one to fight for (greater transparency). I would have still gone through the system in place here and blew the whistle as loud as I could to the NYT, etc. if I were in his position and felt as strongly as he did.

                    I have the exact same position as John Lewis here (who voted yes on Amash-Conyers), if you want to know. I just have a problem with a person absconding to two unfriendly countries with classified information. There's potential that a lot more harm than good was done by that action.

                    So agree on principle, disagree on actions

                    •  Then stop making trollish remarks (4+ / 0-)

                      That insult Drake and trivialize the hardship he suffered, by your gross misrepresentation of the nature of his case.

                      If you really cherish progressive values, you should be ashamed at the way Drake was treated and recognize the injustice at the root of it. You do not burnish your liberal credentials by repeating such tripe.

                      If you really respect and admire Drake, them perhaps you would be interested in what he has to say about Snowden. Let me help you with that:

                      Drake: Snowden saw what I saw

                      Former NSA official: ‘What price do you pay for freedom?

                      GAP profile of Thomas Drake

                      New Yorker Profile : Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?

                      If you think your portrayal of Drake case is even remotely accurate, I suggest you discuss it with his defense lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, who happens to be a Daily Kos member and appears in the videos linked below, I'm sure she would be interested in your perspective and how you use misrepresentation of his case as a political tool.

                      Drake, Radack, Binney & Wiebe  on USA Today

                      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

                      by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:20:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are making assumptions as to my opinion (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cordyc

                        on how Drake was treated. I was VERY ashamed at his mistreatment. But he is a free man, and rightfully so. And I thank Jesselyn for fighting his case nobly and ensuring that he is free.

                        •  No, I read your remarks (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          orestes1963, bronte17

                          And you mis-represented his situation. Please go back and read them yourself with a critical eye.

                          He is not a free man because the government welcomed him with open arms as a whistle blower.

                          Drake was prosecuted under the espionage act in retribution for making embarrassing disclosures about misconduct, lost his career and now scrapes by woking in the Genius Bar of an Apple Store after losing his job after almost 2 decades of service.

                          He was just lucky to escape prison due to the hard work of his lawyer and a little luck with a reasonable judge. This was not a great vindication of the system, he should never have been in court.

                          But others have not been so lucky and, unfortunately, the Obama Administration has made an unprecedented string of prosecutions against whistle blowers (if you doubt that I can provide many more case links) so any suggestion on your part that Drake's case proves the system is working or that dissidents are not persecuted is mis-informed at best and disingenuous at worst.

                          Does Russia compare favorably? Hardly. But if you cannot recognize the facts about how the USA and the Obama Administration are treating whistle blowers, you are not facing reality.

                          There is no reasonable case to suggest Snowden return to the USA on the assumption he could get a fair trial, the record suggests otherwise.

                          I am very supportive of Mr Obama on most policy, but he has run off the rails on security and not just adopted Bush policy, by amplified them, including indiscriminate use of drones.

                          This is just wrong, in principle and in practical effect.

                          I apologize if I offended you with the word troll, but that is how I interpreted your remarks, which I find misleading.

                          400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

                          by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:09:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your definition of "free" and mine are different (0+ / 0-)

                            Drake's "free" because he is NOT imprisoned and is allowed to speak without restraint about the NSA's abuses (which MUST be curbed). He's damaged financially, but vindicated publicly. That is not my definition of "not free". My definition of "not free" is either being imprisoned or murdered for taking action against the government. For example, if a Russian who felt the same way as Drake did attempted to blow the whistle on Russia's equivalent to our NSA, he'd have a bullet in his head.

                            He has a very large following, of which I am very grateful. I wish Snowden fought out the case here. That's the only real difference we have. I wish that he got hold of an expert lawyer who could fight his case and get him off the exact same way Drake got off. If he stayed in country and didn't abscond with classified info I'd be screaming at the government NOT to prosecute him.

                      •  Also, stop accusing me of not (0+ / 0-)

                        "cherishing progressive values". That's a total low blow and shameful for you to assert that. My only difference of opinion with you is how Snowden went about it

                        •  So unless he martyrs himself he lacks credibility? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bronte17

                          I seriously doubt either of us would trade places with him at this point and to suggest he is obligated to put himself at unnecessary risk is on sense.

                          I really get tired of the armchair generals tearing him down because he hasn't been nailed to a cross.

                          And Friday, Obama made essentially the same suggestion.

                          Nonsense. Snowden gets to decide, it's his life.

                          400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

                          by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:32:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So he is allowed to abscond with 4 laptops (0+ / 0-)

                            of classified information? That's the whole crux of the situation. The other whistleblowers mentioned went through the appropriate channels and didn't even think of going about it that way.

                            I fear that Snowden's fate will be decided by Putin the moment Putin decides he is no longer useful. And if my suspicions are right, his chance to survive will be zero (instead of Drake, who survived and is a free man, despite your protestations to the contrary). Drake is damaged financially, but free.

          •  The corporations have been invading our privacy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice, koNko

            for decades.

            Congress didn't give a shit.

            And now the government pays the corporations to expand on that invasion and taxpayer dollars are funneled... and squandered... on those corp-gov surveillance teams.

            And I need some clarification on your question per dissidents and the prosecution of the NSA whistleblowers. Are you negating the punishment inflicted on dissidents because the NSA is prosecuting whistleblowers? The meaning of your comment isn't clear to me.

            And you appear to also negate the justice that Snowden sought with his whistleblowing. Because he used "proof" from his employer... you subsume to that a thief moniker.

            And yet you appear to not like the spying, but you blame the revelations of same for making us look.

            I'm not fully understanding your context here.


            One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

            by bronte17 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:55:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, Snowden is NOT responsible for Russia's (5+ / 0-)

      horrific human rights record.

      Pretending he's anything other than a pawn right now for Putin is incredibly silly and/or naive.

      Snowden is literally fighting for his life, while trying to keep this story alive in the international press.  He is currently stuck in Russia and is still at great personal risk there, when he'd much rather be in South America.

      There has to be a very good chance that Putin will "exchange" Snowden for one of his own spies eventually.

      That he isn't safely out of Russia is due to this administration's efforts, not Mr. Snowden's.  If you are seeking to "blame" someone, you need to "blame" Obama.

      •  "blame" Obama? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arizonablue, Hey338Too, Linda1961

        Why? Because Obama has made it possible for real Whistleblowers to come forward?

        Instead somehow Snowden chose to take a path that would get him in trouble by running away to Hong Kong instead of running to Capital Hill and blowing his whistle in the ear of Rand Paul until he paid attention.

        Then he gets himself stuck in Russia of all places where he will not be allowed to join Pussy Riot anyplace but in jail.

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:40:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think the insight to glean from this is that (10+ / 0-)

    it is always a struggle to keep our civil liberties wrom those who hold the reins of government.  This isn't a left-right issue - this is currently a global issue between the 99% and the 1%, so to speak.  Russia has issues - we know that.

    The question is: Are we going to reclaim our Republic or give it up in the name of security?

    •  We must also work on what corporations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dpinzow, AnnetteK, SpecialKinFlag

      can track and keep on us in the name of private enterprise.

      The real bottom line is that we must elect a Congress in 2014 that can debate all of these issues and pass good legislation that can protect our privacy and civil liberties and give law enforcement the tools it needs to protect us from the "bad guys" who want to do us harm.

      Let's not be distracted by petty squabbles and fears, but work to make sure we have good candidates running in 2014 for all offices on the ballot from judges/school boards, state legislators and Congress.

      Congressional elections have consequences!

      by Cordyc on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:07:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Putin did not give Snowden asylum (22+ / 0-)

    out of a deep concern for his well being. Snowden is a political football and likely has little or no control over his present circumstances.

    •  Agreed. He actually would have greater control (0+ / 0-)

      of his circumstances if he went to someone like Ms. Radack who could help him fight for his cause (I believe to be worth fighting for) and beat the rap here, without absconding to China and Russia.

      Now he really has no control over the situation because if he makes one wrong move in Russia Putin will off him (which isn't good for anyone's interests)

  •  When did Snowden ask for asylum in Russia? (9+ / 0-)

    Did he ask early in his confinement in the Russian airport, or was it after being confined for over a month in the Russian airport? If it was the former, Putin let Snowden rot in the airport before granting asylum, and if the latter, Snowden only asked because he had no other choice if he wanted to get out of the airport. Either way, it looks like his options weren't good. He really seems to be a person who lacks good judgement and being able to think things through clearly.

  •  Although it's good to express diverse points (10+ / 0-)

    of view, I don't think the linked article is credible.

    For one thing, it dismisses Bruce Fein as

    GOP lobbyist/libertarian Bruce Fein, a paid genocide-denier
    That's an evil and stupid hatchet job, in the midst of a holier-than-thou screed that stretches truth to try to paint Snowden as in bed with the far right.  It's nasty.

    Fein is a first-rate lawyer.  He has lobbied for some legal issues, as do all prominent lawyers.  But he's not a corporate lobbyist as the comment implies.

    He has always identified as a Republican, but I don't think he's a libertarian.

    Worse, it's unfair and nasty to describe him, with no explanation, as a "genocide denier."  That's a lie.  He has worked in favor of the Tamils in the Sri Lankan civil war, arguing that what they are enduring IS a genocide.

    The label comes from his work for Turkish organizations disputing the claim that Turkey committed genocide against Armenians during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  I don't know enough about that situation to have an opinion either way, but I know for sure that Fein is a decent and honorable lawyer.

    The link is also dishonest because it doesn't say why Fein is supporting Snowden.  Remember that during the Bush Administration Fein was the most promenent and eloquent Republican denouncing the Patriot Act and the extension of surveillance activities, etc.  I heard him frequently sticking his neck out about that, defending the U.S. Constitution against a runaway executive, and I think he's a hero.

    So he's a natural ally of Snowden's, and that link's author is lying about the reason for this.

  •  Junk is junk no matter who writes it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming
    He's (Snowden) playing into the Kremlin's hands.

    Yep, let's blame the victim because Obama is playing into the Kremlin's hands.   Snowden is taking advantage of both fools.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:02:26 AM PDT

  •  Too bad he feels safer there than here, eh? (7+ / 0-)

    I wonder if the Kremlin subjected him to a roadside body cavity search...

    Help the Kremlin tighten its control over the Russian Internet.
    Imagine that - a government wanting more control over the Internet.

    I wonder if the Kremlin is trying to eliminate secure e-mail providers?

    And all-too-often, serious hackers get jobs with high-tech IT firms after they're caught - Snowden isn't known to be one of those but he clearly knows something - so a government putting him to work on such isn't exactly unprecedented.

    Of course his stay there is of huge propaganda value.

    When America provides asylum to known terrorists it is because somebody here values them, despite their crimes.

    I wonder when Ed will feels safer here....

    •  This is where the whole whistleblower harshness (0+ / 0-)

      has backfired on this administration.  Jeez its the worst case scenario of country and whistleblowing.  Not contained- in enemies hands- world exposure- exposing threats and bullying.  Probably couldnt have worked out better for the american people though at least those who care about having a slither of privacy.

  •  Ames is personalizing this (5+ / 0-)

    And coming off the rails a bit. Reporter scorned, much, Mark?

    I'd be interested in what alternatives he thinks Snowden had once he became stranded in Moscow.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:51:41 AM PDT

    •  I agree that Snowden didn't have any alternatives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, arizonablue, Cordyc

      after becoming stranded in Moscow. It's too bad that he got himself in that situation to begin with.

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, CroneWit

        He should never have gone to work for the CIA and NSA, but having done so and made a brave decision of conscience, the least we can do is understand his circumstance.

        Agreed?

        400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:10:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He may have thought he was doing the right thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cordyc

          but running away wasn't being brave. It looks like he got bad advice about what to do.

          •  That is so true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dpinzow

            He got terrible advice about what to do and wasn't smart enough to seek out many opinions about what options he had to really blow some whistles about what he saw the NSA doing.

            But then again maybe the pie throwing is exactly what his handlers want instead of a real discussion of rewriting/reforming/repealing the Patriot Act and other legal structures we currently are living with.

            Congressional elections have consequences!

            by Cordyc on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:28:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm,if you are planning to (0+ / 0-)

              leak classified docs,seeking out many opinions would not be a smart strategy.
              Agreed though that Snowden could have done some of this smarter.

              "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

              by tardis10 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I thought we weren't allowed to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, Linda1961

      talk about the messengers?

      Non futuis apud Boston

      by kenlac on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:14:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh, I've been sort (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Linda1961, Cordyc

        of biting my tongue on that for a while.

        Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

        by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:20:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, koNko, Cordyc

          Any writer's background, perspective and biases are necessary to consider in evaluating the plausibility of content, particularly when that content is largely opinion.  

          •  Well because (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, Linda1961, Cordyc, arizonablue

            any time people try to point of GG's bias against this administration they get their heads bitten off.

            Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

            by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:28:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that everybody should be treated (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tardis10, CroneWit, koNko, AnnetteK

              with a healthy dose of skepticism. The issue with Greenwald is differentiating his news reporting from his opinion writing. As an opinion writer he is clearly hostile to the Obama administration. So far the news that he has reported about Snowden and the material that he has released has generally turned out to be factual. If anybody has evidence that his opinion has been allowed to distort his factual reporting that is a valid criticism. So far I haven't seen any.

              The piece that you have posted is an opinion piece. Criticism of it as such is entirely valid as is criticism of Greenwald's opinion pieces.

              •  How do we know the claims that Snowden is (0+ / 0-)

                making via Greenwald is factual?  Who has confirmed it?

                The answer lies in the fact that everything so far released by this pair has also been written about by other writer in the past.  There are whole books describing Prism and USA Today told us about the phone metadata in 2006.

                Why wasn't this news then?

                Congressional elections have consequences!

                by Cordyc on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:32:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Factual...to a point? (0+ / 0-)

                I have seen assessemnts that suggest what has been shared is "factual", but incomplete or outdated, leading to conclusions that are perhaps unwarranted.

                “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 03:10:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Who ever said that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        There have been literally thousands of diaries posted praising and slamming various pundits.

    •  how is this different from what I say about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue, AnnetteK, tardis10

      Greenwald?  serious question.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:19:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't. although I'd say you are less (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnetteK, 4kedtongue

        incendiary & much gentler than Mark Ames likes to be. Now,that might be because I've been following Ames for years and know his,ummm,oeuvre. (& the fact that he has a fuedette going with Assange) Sometimes I agree with him,sometimes I do not. Rather the same for me regarding GG.
        But the NSA & the Surveillance state remains the story no matter who I agree with,like or dislike.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:51:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Greenwald wears two hats (0+ / 0-)

        As a reporter, his handling of the sensitive facts of these disclosures actually have gotten praise, and the accuracy of the information is something people would have to dispute with contradicting evidence if they have it, but so far this is not the case; we just keep finding more smoking guns.

        As a commentator, Greenwald obviously has strong opinions he is never shy about broadcasting in our faces, often in a very abrasive way, and you are free to disagree and argue with his conclusions as much as you like.

        But frankly, as much as I myself have found him to be at times a bit obnoxious (I'm being charitable, OK?) I find what he has to say about the present case to be right on the mark with increasing regularity lately, and perhaps it's because he really does know this subject and has done the work.

        But if you were to search back some of my old comments here on some of the over the top columns he published on his Slate blog, you would find me suggesting he get his head examined.

        What, exactly, do you find fundamentally in error in regards to the case of Snowden and the NSA mess?

        My mind is open.

        By the way, are you going to test the new HR system robot or make me wait?

        400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If the "dissent" in Russia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, 4kedtongue

    can't figure out how Snowden and his revelations of a surveillance state don't comport with its own goals, I'd say the problem is with the "dissent" and not Snowden.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:01:16 AM PDT

  •  It's funny (6+ / 0-)

    that if you question Snowden's or Greenwald's motives, most people are all It's not about Snowden! or GG!, yet here they are in this diary questioning the author of this piece you cited. If it's fair game to question this author or his motives, then it's fair game to question Snowden or GG or their motives.

    Same old okay for me but not for thee...

    Pah. Deaf with a capital D.

    by raina on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:45:19 AM PDT

    •  Well, nearly everyone sort of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raina, Linda1961, arizonablue, dpinzow

      missed the point.

      The diary was supposed to be about how or not the situation demoralized the opposition in Russia, I don't know and I was hoping others would have an idea.

      I guess people are so protective of Snowden and GG that this author was "fair game".

      I honestly don't know enough about him either way apart from what I've read in a couple of places although he seems to know the political scene in Russia pretty well.

      Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

      by AnnetteK on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:48:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is another article that expresses the (0+ / 0-)

    attitude of some people in Russian opposition to the situation:

    http://www.indexoncensorship.org/...

    Overall, you're right. And I'm not trying to blame Snowden for it, he planned to stay in Hong Kong.

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