Breaking: Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Russia and parts unknown. Update: Lands in Moscow

posted at 8:01 am on June 23, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

This story broke while most of us were sleeping and the events are moving quickly this morning. But in addition to Greenwald at The Guardian and Reuters, we’re seeing confirmation from ABC news and CNN is running with it, so this looks pretty legit as of this writing. Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a jet bound for Russia.

Edward Snowden left for Moscow on Sunday and his final destination may be Cuba, Ecuador, Iceland or Venezuela, according to various reports. The move is bound to infuriate Washington, wherever he ends up.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a source at the Aeroflot airline as saying there was a ticket in Snowden’s name for a Moscow-Cuba flight. Itar-Tass cited a source as saying Snowden would fly from Havana to the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

The South China Morning Post said his final destination may be Ecuador or Iceland.

How did he slip out of Hong Kong with the entire world watching? Well, apparently it wasn’t really much of a trick at all, because Hong Kong essentially just let him go. Again, this is very early reporting coming out, but this is allegedly the dispatch from Hong Kong to the United States, showing up in a few sources.

HongKongRelease

The release is particularly interesting for a few reasons. First, the statement that Snowden left the country, “on his own accord” and through, “a lawful and normal channel.” Hong Kong is going to great lengths to give the appearance that they were simply crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. They claim that our request to detain Snowden, “did not fully comply with Hong Kong law,” so there was no avenue to arrest or detain him. Of course, in reality, we’re talking about Hong Kong here. If they were really interested, they could have snapped him up and tossed him in a cell on little more basis than simply not liking the look on his face. At least a hint at the reason for their actions might be found in the final paragraph.

Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US Government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.

Why include that in a release which is ostensibly a response to a request for the issuance of an arrest warrant and an update on Snowden’s status? Seems like a pretty deliberate thumb in the eye to me.

As to Snowden’s destination, ABC is confirming that the flight Snowden is on is heading for Russia, and then to Cuba on Monday. However, Greenwald is already making a point of saying that’s not the whole story.

The fact that a person flies to City X does not mean that is their intended ultimate destination.

As noted above, the current guesses (and that’s all they are) regarding Snowden’s final destination include Venezuela and Iceland. But this could get even more interesting if Vlad Putin puts on his shirt and stops shining his Superbowl ring long enough to take an interest. Should he wish to insert Russia into this story, he can stop that plane with one phone call and make Snowden a “guest” in his country. That would complicate matters considerably and take it to the next level. Plus, CNN is reporting, along with ABC, that Snowden is flying in the company of a Wikileaks representative, who may or may not be involved in funding his globetrotting activities. Yet another fly in the ointment. Should be more updates later, so stay tuned.

Program Note: Your regularly scheduled Sunday morning talking heads open thread will be coming up in the next slot, albeit a bit later than usual.

UPDATE: (Jazz) It’s probably going to be a fairly uncomfortable morning for White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who had this to say just last night:

“We believe that the charges presented, present a good case for extradition under the treaty, the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong,” Donilon told CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller. “Hong Kong has been a historically good partner of the United States in law enforcement matters, and we expect them to comply with the treaty in this case.”

UPDATE: (Jazz) Reports coming in that Snowden has landed in Moscow and was “whisked off” in a black car. Destination unknown, but the Russians aren’t commenting yet.


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And what do you think would Sarah Palin would do/have done/will do with our intelligence apparatus were she the one behind the buttons, Jenfidel?

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

The “what if” game is ever a staple among progressives to distract from the issue at hand.

nobar on June 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

And what do you think would Sarah Palin would do/have done/will do with our intelligence apparatus were she the one behind the buttons, Jenfidel?

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

WWSP do? the lady who is against helmet laws and doesn’t think its the government’s busineess to be a nanny state?

She would have protected the 4th not set it on fire.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Echelon, aka The Five Eyes, for the five countries in it, has existed since the 60, started to monitor Russian exchanges with the Eastern bloc.

Prism built upon it…9/11 exponentially enhanced it…and obama took it into orbit.

However, it was, until now, always meant to monitor enemies of the US and the other countries, not free and law-abiding US citizens.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

You are so genuinely stupid that it hurts through the net.

I’m never a victim, never. Not a penny taken from any gov’t, for a life-time. Hey, trucking pays good, hard work as it is.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

wake up please.

The level of spying by the NSa is historic and unprecendented. Stop living in your fantasy world. Maybe once you understand the magnitude of what the government of the USA has done you will be a bit more angry at the 4th amendment going up in smoke.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Condescension is no substitute for historical knowledge.

Look at you, pissing all over the government of the United States in a public forum. You think you would have done that in Russia or the German Democratic Republic?

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

However, it was, until now, always meant to monitor enemies of the US and the other countries, not free and law-abiding US citizens.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

wait until courts order the data to be released for criminal trails and divorce courts.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

First China.

Then Russia.

Now he’s seeking asylum in Ecuador?

IMO, This is more than phone calls/ PRISM now.

BallisticBob on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

However, it was, until now, always meant to monitor enemies of the US and the other countries, not free and law-abiding US citizens.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

What changed is who is in charge of it. To the POS barky and his ghouls “free and law-abiding US citizens” are the enemies.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Well, maybe not the grocery store but virtually every single website you visit does it. You not ever wonder how you end up getting ads chucked at you for things you only recently searched for or were looking at?

Yeah, it’s because they catalogue your activity, and stores the content for “future reference”. Meaning the next time you go surfing they’ll be able to better target their ads to YOU.

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

What’s your point? The grocery store, internet providers, phone companies, etc don’t have the power to use force against me. The government does. Also, when I choose voluntarily to visit a web site, or grocery store. I never made the choice to provide my information to the government.

HarryBackside on June 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Look at you, pissing all over the government of the United States in a public forum. You think you would have done that in Russia or the German Democratic Republic?

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Stating the facts now equals “pissing all over”? What turd world country do you live in?

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Condescension is no substitute for historical knowledge.

Look at you, pissing all over the government of the United States in a public forum. You think you would have done that in Russia or the German Democratic Republic?

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

…you preach …then you condescend…

unseen and myriad of people around the world “piss on the gov’t of the US” because obama has enabled them to do so. The US deserve to be belittled. A respectful president of the US would not be treated like this. Please open your good brain and think it through.

It’s a huge shame for the US to be in this position. Ask yourself what enabled this.

unseen is completely right.

Plus, the US is fortunately still free enough for unseen and all her citizens to say what they please. When they will be stopped…a movement well under way in NSA, the IRS, DHS and etc., the last hour of the USA will pass.

Internalize this. You, the Austrian, should know that yodeling is not PC in Austria…because it affects the sensibilities of the muzzies…it’s too close to their calls…

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

You can display the biggest love for your adopted land by being objective and free to criticize her. You can hardly do that in many of the other lands, even the so-called free ones. Internalize this. It’s very significant.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Look at you, pissing all over the government of the United States in a public forum. You think you would have done that in Russia or the German Democratic Republic?

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Yes I would have and there like here I would be worried about doing so but to me freedom is more important than my life.

Give me liberty or give me death isn’t just some dusty quote from a great man. It’s words to live by as far as I’m concerned. Giv eit another 5 or 10 years and here like there we will be placed in re-education camps. The writting is on the wall

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

CH hitting hard with its trolling. How lame.

CW on June 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

unseen is completely right.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Don’t trivialize the murderous crimes of communist regimes in order to make a point. Millions of innocent people died in their torture chambers.

That’s all I’m saying.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

What changed is who is in charge of it. To the POS barky and his ghouls “free and law-abiding US citizens” are the enemies.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

This is why countries run by Kings and dictators don’t work in the long run. It depends on who is in charge. If you have a good king you have a good country a bad king a bad country. The beauty of the USA is that the founders thought long term. That they would sacrifice the good times under a great king to avoind the bad times under a bad one. In that way they thought the country as a whole for the long term would prosper no matter who was POTUS.

Thus it should matter who is POTUS because under the 4th amendment NO GOV should have this power.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Also, if I am so detestable, so stupid and so wrong why do is it imperative that you refute my allegations?

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Well articulated!

E+

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Uncle Sam wants its money back.

CW on June 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

And what do you think would Sarah Palin would do/have done/will do with our intelligence apparatus were she the one behind the buttons, Jenfidel?
 
Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

 
Ha. The time travel defense for the win.

rogerb on June 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM

The only move better than any 007 would have been for obama to have droned the plane.

That they used Aeroflot made that impossible.

It’s better than any movie or fictional book, evah.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

************************ StateMent ****************************

WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong – UPDATED
Sunday June 23, 17:50 BST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
*********************

Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people.
===================

http://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-Statement-On-Edward,253.html?updated

canopfor on June 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

canopfor on June 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

You’re a 70 year old uneducated, tow-truck driver. You couldn’t speak another word of German if your life depended on it. You spew this ridiculous rhetoric as if you’re capable or willing to do ANYTHING for yourself. You blowhard coward.

I doubt you even graduated high school, which would make you a Tea Party professor.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I get the sense piglet has never been off the teat.

DarkCurrent on June 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

And what do you think would Sarah Palin would do/have done/will do with our intelligence apparatus were she the one behind the buttons, Jenfidel?

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Is that really an argument?

CW on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Yes I would have and there like here I would be worried about doing so but to me freedom is more important than my life.

Give me liberty or give me death isn’t just some dusty quote from a great man. It’s words to live by as far as I’m concerned. Giv eit another 5 or 10 years and here like there we will be placed in re-education camps. The writting is on the wall

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Sure, Superman.

You would have been unfazed by weeks without sleep. You would have laughed at them while they tortured and killed your family and friends.

You are living in a Disney World. It’s embarrassing.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Millions of innocent people died in their torture chambers.

That’s all I’m saying.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

and if those people had the power and will to stand up to the communists before they took complete control and not tried to make light of the spying as it was beginning?

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Stating the facts now equals “pissing all over”? What turd world country do you live in?

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

unseen did more than stating facts. He called the US the “most repressive regime on earth”.

Go back to page 3 and his reply to Alberta Patriot.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Not superman. Just like millions of others who gave their lives for freedom.

I would rather die free than live a slave.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I doubt you even graduated high school, which would make you a Tea Party professor.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I get the sense piglet has never been off the teat.

DarkCurrent on June 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

“Piglet”? I’ll have to remember that one.

CH is so dense, it doesn’t realize that his Democrat Party lost the college graduate vote in 2012, while at the same time increasing its share of the high school dropout vote from 70% in 2008 to 80+%.

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Breaking – the BBC reports that the NSA and the British version changed all the passwords…heh, they closed the doors after the horse left the barn.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

DarkCurrent on June 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Nice site, fellow pilot, er “truck driver” :)

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Does anyone else think it’s a hoot that they let him go to Russia because the paper work was either missing or incorrect. They (the Obama admin/Gang that cant shoot straight) meant to do that. Snowden on the front page, nothing else is.

Cindy Munford on June 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

canopfor on June 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Where the firetruck have you been?!?!?!?!?!

Cindy Munford on June 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

You are living in a Disney World. It’s embarrassing.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Don’t spew such inanities. You are way smarter than this.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

They (the Obama admin/Gang that cant shoot straight) meant to do that. Snowden on the front page, nothing else is.

Cindy Munford on June 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

NO way. This is a huuuuue embarrassment to obma and his idiotic admin. Donnilon was preaching on the Sunday shows and then they were caught with their pants down. The WH is in total disarray right now.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

and if those people had the power and will to stand up to the communists before they took complete control and not tried to make light of the spying as it was beginning?

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Actually, the millions who stood up to the communists lost their wars against them. In China and in Russia.

Your condescension towards the victims of totalitarian regimes is terrible.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

You are living in a Disney World. It’s embarrassing.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

You would have said that to our founders.

CW on June 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Don’t trivialize the murderous crimes of communist regimes in order to make a point. Millions of innocent people died in their torture chambers.

That’s all I’m saying.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Wow, you’re telling me this? You are way smarter than that.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Actually, the millions who stood up to the communists lost their wars

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

We’ll put you down in the “bend over” column. Got it.

CW on June 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Actually, the millions who stood up to the communists lost their wars against them. In China and in Russia.

Your condescension towards the victims of totalitarian regimes is terrible.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

I’m so glad that our Founding Fathers foresaw this gang of scumbags. Why do you think they push gun control so hard. 2A. Thank God.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

You can display the biggest love for your adopted land by being objective and free to criticize her. You can hardly do that in many of the other lands, even the so-called free ones. Internalize this. It’s very significant.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Yes, exactly, but unseen just told us that the US are worse than those countries.

I’m criticizing Obama and the NSA, but I don’t do that on the backs of millions of dead Russians and Germans.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

He called the US the “most repressive regime on earth”.

Go back to page 3 and his reply to Alberta Patriot.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

repression doesn’t not always require force nor does it always end in death.

Go try to start a business, fly on vacation, re-enter the USA and ask yourself while the TSA pat’s you down for no reason whatso-ever, or as the police officer pulls you over on the side of the road and searches your car without a warrant, or the NYC police stop and frisk you for the hell of it. if its still a free country.

Go try to have a free non PC conversation on a college campaus, in a public arena, Go try and talk God in a school. Go deny a person a room or employment because you “just don’t like him”

you can and are tracked EVERYWHERE you go. Your conversations are monitored, say the wrong thing and you get a visit from the FBI, talk about Obama wrong and the Secret service comes to your door. Have the wrong name on your non profit and the IRS targets you.

Go ahead tell me again how this is a still a free country?

maybe you are like that frog who has been boiling in the water so long you don’t know you are being cooked. Maybe it’s not so bad here yet because the gov isn’t taken those who speak up to jail, yet or raping their wives for talking out. but then again almost the entire system is in place for that to happen. The fact it hasn’t doesn’t mean much at this point. It just means it hasn’t. 30 years ago Iw ould have neve ruttered those words. When Reagan said freedom was always only one generation away from being replaced, I thought he was nuts. Now I see it happening before my eyes and I see people simply laying down and accepting the coming police state, some are even promoting it for “safety”

Screw them and screw all close tfascists and wannabe dicataotrs. The gov doesn’t need to know What my email says, where I go, who I call. It doesn’t need to have my face in a database, it doesn’t need to collec tmy DNA, my fingerprints. It doesn’t get the right to tell my I can’t pray because I’m on a public land, It doesn’t get the right to tell me I can’t mock Mohammad. It doesn’t have the right to define hate sppech, it doesn’t have the right to lock down a city of 4 million in the search of two people. It doesn’t have the right to take my guns, nor that my children can be butchered at the hands of “doctors” just becaus ethe mother doesn’t want the child, It doesn’t have the right to force me to have health insurance, nor that I need to wear a seatbelt or any othe rof the 100′s of little repressions we go through in our daily lives. I have sat and watched for 40 odd years my freedoms slowyl eroded. I have watched a great free country sink under the weight of enslavment to the state for too long. Enough.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

OT: Taliban attack on mountaineers in Pakistan kills 9 foreign climbers, including 1 American. Happened at the base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th-tallest mountain on the planet (and also harder to climb than Everest).

Pakistan’s Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retribution for a suspected U.S. drone strike last month that killed Wali ur-Rehman, the second-highest-ranking leader of the terrorist group.

“Through this killing we gave a message to international community to ask U.S. to stop drone strikes,” said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman.

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Enough.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Well stated.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

OT: Taliban attack on mountaineers in Pakistan kills 9 foreign climbers, including 1 American. Happened at the base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th-tallest mountain on the planet (and also harder to climb than Everest).

Pakistan’s Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retribution for a suspected U.S. drone strike last month that killed Wali ur-Rehman, the second-highest-ranking leader of the terrorist group.

“Through this killing we gave a message to international community to ask U.S. to stop drone strikes,” said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman.

Del Dolemonte on June 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

It wasn’t because of Gitmo? o_o that’s my shocked face.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Actually, the millions who stood up to the communists lost their wars against them. In China and in Russia.

Your condescension towards the victims of totalitarian regimes is terrible.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

While those millions were standing up to the communists there were millions like yourself telling them it’s not so bad they should not be standing up to them. The Czar’s were worse, The emperors were worse….etc. Those that think the past transgressions were worse and we should accept the present transgressions because it’s “not as bad” as before is what Lenin refferred to as useful idiots.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I’m so glad that our Founding Fathers foresaw this gang of scumbags. Why do you think they push gun control so hard. 2A. Thank God.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Yes, exactly.

However, I think what we all forget is that the Chinese and Russians fought the Communists, but unlike the Americans they lost their wars. The good side doesn’t always win.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Yes, exactly.

However, I think what we all forget is that the Chinese and Russians fought the Communists, but unlike the Americans they lost their wars. The good side doesn’t always win.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

True. But being armed to the teeth gives you much better odds.

VegasRick on June 23, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Yes, exactly, but unseen just told us that the US are worse than those countries.

I’m criticizing Obama and the NSA, but I don’t do that on the backs of millions of dead Russians and Germans.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

In fairness, unseen didn’t do that.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM

However, I think what we all forget is that the Chinese and Russians fought the Communists, but unlike the Americans they lost their wars. The good side doesn’t always win.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You do understand we are still fighting them and we are losing, right?

If someone went to sleep 40 years ago and woke up today they would swear that the USSr won the cold war.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

I agree with you that the US are just a shadow of what they once were. Under Obama they have turned into a surveillance state.

That’s the opposite of the America I love. They are not a shining city on a hill any more.

But they are not the most oppressive country in the world. I think I just didn’t like your hyperbole.

My dentist, who is from Slovakia, told me matter-of-factly that they never talked about politics, not even with their closest family members, because you couldn’t know who was an informant. It could be your husband, your father, your sister. One negative word about the regime and you were done. No job, no money, jail, labor camp, death.

Ulrich Muehe, the East German actor, found out that his wife had been a Stasi informant for years.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Well said, indeed.

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

My dentist, who is from Slovakia, told me matter-of-factly that they never talked about politics, not even with their closest family members, because you couldn’t know who was an informant. It could be your husband, your father, your sister. One negative word about the regime and you were done. No job, no money, jail, labor camp, death.

Ulrich Muehe, the East German actor, found out that his wife had been a Stasi informant for years.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.

The big question is, when tyranny arrives, will we be able to see it? Or will the fear of “jumping to conclusions” always hold us back?

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

You do understand we are still fighting them and we are losing, right?

If someone went to sleep 40 years ago and woke up today they would swear that the USSr won the cold war.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

The USSR did win the cold war. They created an army of America haters who don’t need the mother ship any more. Even in the US, unfortunately.

But I can’t see Snowden as a hero. He is your run of the mill America hater. So I just lean back and watch the lefties fight each other, like Godzilla vs. Monstermoth. I don’t take sides with an America hater. Not even against Obama.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Indeed, and to add at least 4 more”

1. Now there is a consideration to take physical possession of cell phones when cops stop you.

2. obama’care’ requires that hospitals fill out “do you own guns?” – only “NO” is the correct answer, no matter what.

3. Every time you leave your lic. plates are blitzed. They know when you go/come, with whom, etc.

4. With smart meters they monitor your water/gas consumption, are you/family alone, do you have guests…

5…more to come, or already in place.

Thanks for your comment. It must be said.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The big question is, when tyranny arrives, will we be able to see it? Or will the fear of “jumping to conclusions” always hold us back?

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I agree. It’s not so much the fear of jumping to conclusions, though. It’s that tyranny comes disguised as our friend.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

East German actor, found out that his wife had been a Stasi informant for years.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

the only difference I see is that in those countries they killed people in this country we haven’t YET. This kind of repression always ends the same way. Milllions dead. It will happen here and it will happen soon within the next genration maybe two.

Look how Obama allowed the USA have it’s first politcal prisoner. The filmmaker jailed for making a anti-muslim film. In the “land of the free” the cry went out. Mock islam and go to jail.

You notice the rash of anti-mulim films coming out in support of the jailed filmmaker? No? wonder why. Repressions is 1 part force and 9 parts terror/fear. We haven’t got to the force part yet. It’s coming.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

I don’t take sides with an America hater. Not even against Obama.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

obama is an America-hater. He aims for only two things:

1. His own power and well-being.

2. Furthering his brothers, apace.

Wake up America. He is transparent – it just doesn’t mean what you thought it did.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

obama is an America-hater. He aims for only two things:

1. His own power and well-being.

2. Furthering his brothers, apace.

Wake up America. He is transparent – it just doesn’t mean what you thought it did.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Sure, Obama hates the America that we love and does everything to fundamentally transform it.

But the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

The big question is, when tyranny arrives, will we be able to see it? Or will the fear of “jumping to conclusions” always hold us back?

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

It already arrived, knocked on the door and when there was no answer, kicked the door in.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I agree. It’s not so much the fear of jumping to conclusions, though. It’s that tyranny comes disguised as our friend.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

When both sides are claiming to be our friends, it’s clear that neither is.

The question is which side is telling more lies.

MadisonConservative on June 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

5…more to come, or already in place.

Thanks for your comment. It must be said.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:00

PM

there is always more to come, that’s the problem with the freedom haters. thereis always more rules, more regulations, more assualts on your freedoms. but not for them just for us.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

While those millions were standing up to the communists there were millions like yourself telling them it’s not so bad they should not be standing up to them. The Czar’s were worse, The emperors were worse….etc. Those that think the past transgressions were worse and we should accept the present transgressions because it’s “not as bad” as before is what Lenin refferred to as useful idiots.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I don’t accept present transgressions, but I don’t trivialize the crimes of the past, either. You don’t have to do that in order to point out the crimes of the present.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

But the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Cliches are still cliches.

He’s not our friend either. Multi-taks. It’s easy, especially for your good brain.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I don’t accept present transgressions, but I don’t trivialize the crimes of the past, either. You don’t have to do that in order to point out the crimes of the present.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

unseen is NOT doing that.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Capitalist Hogbreath on June 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Just STFU, hogbreath…

and FOAD.

Why would you care what information he gives away and how harmful it may be? You don’t seem to care when Klinton gives secret missile technology to the Chinese; or when lil barry compromises security and weakens our military’s ability to defend themselves…let alone the country.
Thus far, you have done nothing but root for the destruction of America by your obamassiah.

It would seem more accurate to say that you are in a snit because the revelations of un-Constitutional acts reflects ‘badly’ on your little love object.

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Suppose Edward Snowden were Muslim-American. You would be calling him a “mu**ie” traitor just like you do POTUS.

Checkmate.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

But Snowden’s not, is he?

And d’ohbama (SCOAMF) IS.

Suck on that CHECKMATE, hogbreath.

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Teh I have a black friend defense.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Wow!

You are incredibly stupid.

But then, you’re a leftist anti-American, so……

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

You’re un-American scum.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

This from a piece of filth who lives solely to see the United States destroyed and delivered to its enemies.

Irony.

FOAD, hogbreath.

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Bates had rarely spoken of his sensitive work. He reluctantly agreed to appear at the behest of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who arranged the session after new disclosures that the court had granted the government broad access to millions of Americans’ telephone and Internet communications.

The two-hour meeting on June 13 featuring Bates and two top spy agency officials — prompted by reports days earlier by The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper about the vast reach of the programs — reflects a new and uncomfortable reality for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its previously obscure members. Within the past month, lawmakers have begun to ask who the court’s judges are, what they do, why they have almost never declined a government surveillance request and why their work is so secretive.

really after 12 years lawmakers are only now “beginning to find out who they are”? And without Snowden these judges would still face no overwatch. Notice that the court grant’s almost 995 of the requests. Can you say rubber stamp court?

Basically is a con job. the court gives the admin “cover” to go in and walk all over the 4th amendment since is secret the judges faces no blowback and the gov gets a free ticket to every piece of information it wants no questions asked.

Amazing.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Actually, the millions who stood up to the communists lost their wars against them. In China and in Russia.

Your condescension towards the victims of totalitarian regimes is terrible.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

So, I guess that means that we should just accept the loss of our rights and freedom…and not make a fuss on the way to the killing fields.

Is that about it?

It doesn’t matter who lost what war, or how many were slaughtered by oppressive regimes…

…as long as one man stands against oppression – alone if necessary – and resists enslavement…Freedom is not dead.
There’s no condescension there; and if you see it as that, you must be willfully dense.
And anyone who looks upon a fight for Freedom – even a losing fight – as a useless endeavor spits on the memory of those who died because they wanted to live free.

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Ecuador? Dammit! I doubled down on Iceland.

I guess I picked the wrong day to take up gambling, again…

Fallon on June 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I get the sense piglet has never been off the teat.

DarkCurrent on June 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

A day where I agree with DC and concede part of an argument to libfree?

Maybe we really are on Earth-3.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Hong Kong tells Holder to pound sand: http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/06/between-the-lines/?

davidk on June 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Teh I have a black friend defense.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

As opposed to the only black you ever liked, the one who sold you crack?

MelonCollie on June 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

…as long as one man stands against oppression – alone if necessary – and resists enslavement…Freedom is not dead.
There’s no condescension there; and if you see it as that, you must be willfully dense.
And anyone who looks upon a fight for Freedom – even a losing fight – as a useless endeavor spits on the memory of those who died because they wanted to live free.

Solaratov on June 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I didn’t say that the fight was useless, I replied to unseen who said that nobody fought tyranny. That’s not true.

You make it sound so easy. You just have to withstand any kind of torture and watch your family, friends and neighbors being tortured to death and you are free. In your eyes only cowards refuse to do that.

Google Lidice.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 6:20 PM

repression doesn’t not always require force nor does it always end in death.

Go try to start a business, fly on vacation, re-enter the USA and ask yourself while the TSA pat’s you down for no reason whatso-ever, or as the police officer pulls you over on the side of the road and searches your car without a warrant, or the NYC police stop and frisk you for the hell of it. if its still a free country.

Go try to have a free non PC conversation on a college campaus, in a public arena, Go try and talk God in a school. Go deny a person a room or employment because you “just don’t like him”

you can and are tracked EVERYWHERE you go. Your conversations are monitored, say the wrong thing and you get a visit from the FBI, talk about Obama wrong and the Secret service comes to your door. Have the wrong name on your non profit and the IRS targets you.

Go ahead tell me again how this is a still a free country?

maybe you are like that frog who has been boiling in the water so long you don’t know you are being cooked. Maybe it’s not so bad here yet because the gov isn’t taken those who speak up to jail, yet or raping their wives for talking out. but then again almost the entire system is in place for that to happen. The fact it hasn’t doesn’t mean much at this point. It just means it hasn’t. 30 years ago Iw ould have neve ruttered those words. When Reagan said freedom was always only one generation away from being replaced, I thought he was nuts. Now I see it happening before my eyes and I see people simply laying down and accepting the coming police state, some are even promoting it for “safety”

Screw them and screw all close tfascists and wannabe dicataotrs. The gov doesn’t need to know What my email says, where I go, who I call. It doesn’t need to have my face in a database, it doesn’t need to collec tmy DNA, my fingerprints. It doesn’t get the right to tell my I can’t pray because I’m on a public land, It doesn’t get the right to tell me I can’t mock Mohammad. It doesn’t have the right to define hate sppech, it doesn’t have the right to lock down a city of 4 million in the search of two people. It doesn’t have the right to take my guns, nor that my children can be butchered at the hands of “doctors” just becaus ethe mother doesn’t want the child, It doesn’t have the right to force me to have health insurance, nor that I need to wear a seatbelt or any othe rof the 100′s of little repressions we go through in our daily lives. I have sat and watched for 40 odd years my freedoms slowyl eroded. I have watched a great free country sink under the weight of enslavment to the state for too long. Enough.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Reposted in its entirety in case it gets missed. Very nice, unseen and spot on.

kim roy on June 23, 2013 at 7:01 PM

MelonCollie on June 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Love it.

Cindy Munford on June 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Anyone still see Mr. Snowden as a patriot?

First China, and now Russia.

unclesmrgol on June 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Yes. Any other stupid questions? Unlike previous whistle blowers, Snowden got away with a ton of PROOF!

The one thing the previous folks did not have and the reason our government is after him. He must have some of the actual dirt the NSA collected on people at the top, for them to be this rabid to get him!

dogsoldier on June 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM

It already arrived, knocked on the door and when there was no answer, kicked the door in.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Exactly.

dogsoldier on June 23, 2013 at 7:35 PM

No problem. We’ll just hit our Reset Button and voila! Snowden will be back in Hong Kong.

Actually, that’s got a better chance of working than anything this administration has done on the foreign policy front.

The smart way to approach Snowden would’ve been to have him extradited for a simple crime like theft. By proclaiming him guilty of espionage, the U.S. will have a much harder time reaching him.

hawksruleva on June 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Snowden just wanted to see a live Pu22y Riot concert.

Oh, that’s right, the band members were imprisoned or forced to flee Russia by Putin for attempting some free speech criticism of the little stalin.

This fleeing hero of open-ness finds some curiously repressive bedfellows.

profitsbeard on June 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

But I can’t see Snowden as a hero. He is your run of the mill America hater. I don’t take sides with an America hater. Not even against Obama.

Gelsomina on June 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

What has greatly disturbed me is that many “American haters” have recently, since Obama became president, American lovers. They’ve come to love fascism and tyranny and totalitarian statism and snooping and politicking in the IRS and bullying reporters and cronyism and everything else that’s been going on. Because it brings us all that much closer to Chavez-style utopia in their eyes, don’t you know?

Where’s the outrage? Where did all that anger from the Bush years fly off to? I’ve been asking that question a while now. There’s barely a peep from the left now for five years.

Criticism of government is no longer just “run of the mill,” as you phrase it. Whistle blowers–and I’m not referring to Snowden here, but to ordinary whistle blowers of Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, etc.–they’re all being stomped on.

So, yes, Snowden’s a hero in my eyes. Thank you Snowden.

Burke on June 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM

As opposed to the only black you ever liked, the one who sold you crack?

MelonCollie on June 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Inadvertent racism is instructive. You just equated being black with selling crack. The current Grand Klingon of the Klan could not have done better.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 8:37 PM

If Snowden were Muslim you would all be calling for his killing just like Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

None of you can dispute the different response if Snowden were Muslim. When he ends up in Cuba it will interesting to watch you clowns contort yourselves around your un-American support of this traitor.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM

“If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,
If turnips were swords I’d have one by my side.
If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans
There would be no need for tinkers’ hands!”

The proverb may be used to mock a wishful attitude by pointing out the uselessness of wishing. It may be also be used with a more serious tone as an admonishment, for the same purpose

.

From Wiki…

Fallon on June 23, 2013 at 9:10 PM

You’re a 70 year old uneducated, tow-truck driver. You couldn’t speak another word of German if your life depended on it. You spew this ridiculous rhetoric as if you’re capable or willing to do ANYTHING for yourself. You blowhard coward.

I doubt you even graduated high school, which would make you a Tea Party professor.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

You should get help. Nobody likes a hater.

claudius on June 23, 2013 at 9:32 PM

. I have sat and watched for 40 odd years my freedoms slowyl eroded. I have watched a great free country sink under the weight of enslavment to the state for too long. Enough.

unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Then move to fracking China, Russia, China or any other ‘free’ country of your choice.

jimver on June 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM

If someone went to sleep 40 years ago and woke up today they would swear that the USSr won the cold war.
unseen on June 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Oh my god! How deluded are you? You have GOT to be kidding me. Unseen, you have suffered from NOTHING. NOTHING.

Look at you. Spewing whatever you like on the Internet, you have been for years, under a few names. One of which got essentially chased out of this website by its commenting community.

You think Barack Obama is the first President’s administration to use the IRS politically? I’m NOT condoning it so don’t you dare try to say I must just be in favor of a police state. But I can garauntee you, GARAUNTEE, that whatever the last administration you approved of, or whenever you last saw America as the overly romanticized story book you used to see it as, that they used it too, against someone or some group. Our politics are DEFINITELY corrupt. But no more now than at any time in your living memory. You just have more access to INFORMATION now. And we’re 5 billion times better about it when compared to basically anywhere else in the world.

You think the democrats are the first or only people in power in the world to monitor modern communications? You think their just out to get little old you? When’s the last time they came knocking on your door saying, “Yes, we’re looking for “unseen”. We need to take you in for questioning. Tell me one person you know who’s had that happen, ever, without having made an explicit threat. You think your Internet connection should just be entirely off limits, you content you upload and download completely untraceable as a free citizen? Great! YOURS probably should be. But joe down the street, HE’s got a problem with child pornography and it’s a much simpler process to just intercept the main cables EVERYTHING goes through and then pick out Joe’s rather than have to get a tip about him, try to find traces of his completely free connection on the internet, THEN go to HACKING into his stuff. Surely you can understand that the world and communication has changed over the last two decades. And with it, a lot of problems have resulted. But you’re not effing Anne Frank, unseen. You’re hiding from nobody.

You are under no threat at all. You have experienced NOTHING. Jesus, Black Americans ALONE have experienced far worse than anything you’ve ever even dreamed of living through, just in the last 100 years here in this country.

YOU are nothing but a hopped up, scared to death, wannabe r*volutionary. So tough behind your computer screen. So brave. YOU are one of the useful idiots. YOU are one of the ones who has so wholeheartedly bought into this media controlled dynamic of drama, conflict, and distraction while big business and special interests run our nation.

YOU are part of the problem. You’re not the solution. And you’re not effing Paul Revere either.

You’re a person, behind a computer screen, talking about how brave you are, and how tall you’ll stand, and how oppressed you are, while you do NOTHING. While NOTHING happens to you.

All because YOU’VE bought into the game that subverts and controls our nation. You will change nothing. And one day, you’ll come to find out, that you were fighting FOR all the exact same things you thought you were fighting against.

Because you’ve ******** bought it. Hook line and sinker.

But look at you… So strong and brave. JUST like a founder father you are, exactly. Such a shining example of the species. Untested, but overly confident and arrogant. Just the way we like them. Just like Barack Obama.

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM

The reality of Snowden’s situation is that he is on the run, negotiating for his own life and his future.

joecollins on June 24, 2013 at 12:03 AM

What about the threads that castigate gays and blacks in the ugliest of terms?

Capitalist Hog on June 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Why is this POS still allowed to post here?

When someone makes such a comment completely devoid of reality just to insult the rest of us, that someone should pay a price.

Instead? Silence from the MODS. Why?

Because they want more hits on Snowden threads?

runawayyyy on June 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Inadvertent racism is instructive. You just equated being black with selling crack. The current Grand Klingon of the Klan could not have done better.

Capitalist Hog on June 23, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Actually, you did that. Not MelonCollie. Reading comprehension is very important when responding to other posters.

Racist.

runawayyyy on June 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

But look at you… So strong and brave. JUST like a founder father you are, exactly. Such a shining example of the species. Untested, but overly confident and arrogant. Just the way we like them. Just like Barack Obama.

Genuine on June 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM

THIS is where I draw the line. If you don’t f@cking like the opinion, say so. But do NOT EVER question the resolve of people like unseen. I am as one with her, and anyone else who looks at our government and has determined it has CROSSED THE FINAL LINE.

I acknowledge that if things go down to violence it is f@cking over for this and probably the next two generations. I would, however, GLADLY lay down MY LIFE to uphold and protect the life, freedom, and liberties of those, like unseen and your sorry excuse for a human being breathing the same air as I.

DO NOT pretend to know that you understand the suffering of others. You can not and will not ever have that priviledge. It is enough to have to suffer in your own life without having to compare it to another. I myself will NEVER compare my own suffering with that of another – it is H#ll no matter WHO you are, and it is yours ALONE.

I do not know who you are Genuine, but know this about how I feel about our government: You enter MY house without a search warrant, I WILL meet you at the door, and I WILL be armed. Its too bad I can’t do the same when the government illegally does it on my telephone and internet activities.

Turtle317 on June 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

You should get help. Nobody likes a hater.

claudius on June 23, 2013 at 9:32 PM

The help he needs would come in the form of blunt instruments.

MelonCollie on July 6, 2013 at 12:08 AM

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