Christopher R. Howard

Mons Simplicitatis

ON MATTERS SNOWDEN

July 2, 2013

Tags: PRISM, Edward Snowden, Asylum, Wikileaks

Oh okay, so James Clapper kinda sorta apologized to Congress for lying to their faces. Regarding these data sweeps so vast they defy comprehension, he ďsimply didnít think of [it]Ē he wrote in a recent letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein. Thatís not a joke. Iím not making that up. So now this matter is completely resolved then?

Your homework tonight, kids, is sending an encrypted email to your college roommateís cousin or whoever who works at the SEC and learning all the trades that Clapper has made in the last five years. Then report back to the rest of the class. If C-Dawgg lacked any sort of moral compass and could spy on everybodyís correspondence, Iíd be stock marketing it up, shorting the dividends, hedge funding the margin accounts, equity optioning the collateralized mortgage obligations, all that good shit, feel me?

But isn't spying on a citizen's investment history outside of a formal investigation an invasion of privacy, C-Dawgg? Gosh, I dunno. That might be a good question for Senator Feinstein to put to Director Clapper.

You know, as this saga unfolds, one canít help liking Edward Snowden more and more. What young man hasnít had that experience in life where all of your brave-talking acquaintances vanish, and suddenly you find yourself principled but alone outside a pub somewhere vastly outnumbered by drunken, hostile hooligans? Or abandoned in the transit area of Sheremetyevo Airport or thereabouts. Letís get this good guy some help.

Nice job totally bailing on the guy, Ecuador. Good readers, the next time you go drinking with the Ecuadorian president and Rafael Correa says, ďVete a la mierda a esos idiotas. Me dieron la espalda, amigoĒ, be skeptical. If I was Julian Assange, Iíd make sure my Go Fast bag is packed and ready to go, and fill up on free sandwiches in the embassy cafeteria. President Correa, what would Che be saying right now?

I feel like Iím missing something here. All of the brave-talking anti-American hegemony rhetoric that comes out of the world community, and itís been over two weeks and we canít find a good safe haven for one idealistic whistleblower? Surely there must be parts of the world that need neither armaments nor sitcoms and can tell us to take our trade pacts and fuck off? Mark Weisbrotís idea, the Edward Snowden Aviation Club, taint a bad idea, better than anything I've thought of (Guardian link) but the issue is where to land the plane? Itís probably best to abandon all efforts regarding Russia. Vladimir Putin may be the right guy to go to if you want to know how to distill ricin or make chlorine gas out of bathroom cleansers, but Iíd look elsewhere for political asylum. This is the man who sent two members of Pussy Riot to gulags, after all. Some of you may be thinking, ďRussia is better than nothing.Ē Itís not. Sadly, there are worse fates in life than spending 12 hours a day in stress positions in Leavenworth, and the KGB invented half of them.

Iíd like to better understand what Iím missing. Is this all about diplomatic strongarming or is there some issue with Snowdenís leaked documents? Perhaps Mr. Weisbrot could speak with Mr. Greenwald at The Guardian, and talk him into PDFíing those docs up, uploading them, and letting the rest of us take a gander? Assange has spoken of publishing the documents, but whatís the hold up? Double-click and hit Enter. To use mafioso Frank Sheeranís expression in a different context: If thereís any doubt, let there be no doubt. Meaning, letís release those docs and resolve any issues there. I canít see how that wouldnít be the prudent move at this point. The Rubicon has already been crossed, the Gauls are not happy.

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