Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 03, 2013

The Empire Against The World

With its unprecedented and totally overarching spying the U.S. has thoroughly pissed off its allies in Europe:
In the pages the German tabloid Bild, President Barack Obama on Tuesday had been renamed OHRbama (Ohr is the German word for ear). He was pictured leaning over to listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a grossly oversized ear.
Bild is the most pro-transatlantic paper one can think of here and it is extremely influential. Such anti-U.S. writing by Bild is unprecedented. Maybe the people in the U.S. do not understand the mood behind this as there was only little written about in U.S. media over the size of the spying:
According to the reports, first detailed by the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the U.S. National Security Agency is monitoring 500 million German communications each month and has classified Germany as a target on a level with China and Saudi Arabia. The United States also allegedly is bugging European Union offices, monitoring EU communications, and scooping up the emails and phone calls of EU nations’ citizens.
Why, do Germans and others ask, does the U.S. need to collect 6 billion(!) German communications each year? What is going on here? Even the Stasi would have settled for 600,000.

I believe there will be major serious consequences over this in the relations between Germany, other European countries and the United States.

But having pissed off major European partners is not enough for Obama. This is unprecedented:

The plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria after various European countries refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian officials said Tuesday.
...
A furious Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said France and Portugal would have to explain why they canceled authorization for the plane, claiming that the decision had put the president's life at risk.
...
In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace.

He described Morales as being "kidnapped by imperialism" in Europe.

The countries who denied overflight certainly did so because they were pressured by Washington. All of South America's countries will blame the U.S. before they will blame those why denied their airspace.

This absurd behavior, and the willingness of some European leaders to support it, will cost the U.S. not only the proposed trade treaty with Europe but will also reflect on the puppets chance to get reelected. The people in France will see this as an affront and an insult to their sovereignty - bye, bye Hollande.

Being anti-U.S. was so far somewhat derided in European countries. It will now become chic and a major new political trend.

The sole purpose of going after Snowden is vengeance. Determent does not work with whistle-blowers. Snowden came forward not despite but also because of what is happening to Bradley Manning.

The secrets Snowden carried are out of his hand anyway. Insulting the world carries a high price. Why then is U.S. willing to risk the bit of goodwill that is left towards it over so little potential gain?

Posted by b on July 3, 2013 at 03:22 AM | Permalink

Comments

Because Democrats prefer to be seen boneheaded to be seen weak?

My hunch is that US data security is so lax that the only security precaution they think they can take is to intimidate whistle blowers.

The Democrats are alienating their own constituency and probably a whole age group. It should be the end of the two party system.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 3:46:21 AM | 1

It does appear that not one of the EU countries will offer Snowden asylum. It's all talk and bluster on their parts. Even Putin seems ready to turn Snowden over to 'his ally'.

Posted by: john francis lee | Jul 3, 2013 3:47:20 AM | 2

I get the impression that you think that the EU isn't part of the Empire ...

And for all her noises and complains and slightly different policies Germany is as much a US protectorate/province/allied-state (user your favorite imperialist naming) as UK for example.

And I don't really see any popular clamor for any change in that matter.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 3, 2013 3:56:45 AM | 3

Edward Snowden: Planet without a visa


Denouncing the US government’s actions, Snowden declared: “In the end, the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised—and it should be.” Such fear is by no means unique to the Obama administration.

While Snowden’s actions have met with support and gratitude from workers and young people in the US and across the planet, that is not the case with the governments that rule them. All of them bow to the bullying from Washington. Like the US government, they defend wealthy ruling classes under conditions of ever-widening social inequality, and like Washington, they fear that their conspiracies against their own people will be exposed to the light of day.


That seems about right.

Posted by: john francis lee | Jul 3, 2013 3:59:08 AM | 4

3) no, we are a third class partner who is a target at the same time :-))

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 4:09:07 AM | 5

Why are you suddenly so reserved?
http://www.rhein-zeitung.de/cms_media/module_img/1646/823209_1_articlegross_102_003.jpg

Posted by: Martin Hendrich | Jul 3, 2013 4:17:20 AM | 6

I agree with b on this. Forcing Morales flight to land in Austria and then be stranded there for at least 12 hours is an incredible affront to not just the people of Bolivia but of all South Americans. This order obviously came from the US and it exposes Spain, France and Portugal as mere puppets for the only world super power. There will be repercussions in South America. It is more than just a diplomatic dispute.

NSA spying on Germany will also have some blow back. At least, I would hope that US firms that now dominate the internet -- Google, Facebook, MS, Apple and Yahoo -- will soon find that their international market share severely challenged. Those companies dominate world markets because they pioneered the technology. Once governments in Europe realize that they are fronts of US spying it will open opportunities for European companies to replace them. This is a problem that all of these companies realize and they are in a panic to undo the damage. Unfortunately, for them if not for Europe, they will fail.

It is amazing what this one man has accomplished with his revelations -- whatever happens from now on will not change Snowden's contribution. Things will be different from now on because of him.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 3, 2013 4:21:28 AM | 7

7) Yep, Europe should develop social networks and search engines of their own. There is load of qualified youth unemployment in Europe - time to get them to work. Very simple step to take.

3) No, Europe and Germany are not. Sustainable power is not in the political posturing, military sphere, sustainable power is here

German companies, instead of concentrating their investment overwhelmingly on countries like France and Italy, are sending a growing proportion of their euros to places like Poland, Russia, Brazil and especially China, which is already the largest market for Volkswagen and could soon be for Mercedes and BMW.

The German government is following suit, committing more diplomatic resources to its growing trade partners, particularly China, whose prime minister, Wen Jiabao, brought an entourage of 13 ministers and 300 managers when he visited Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany last month.

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia brought a similar entourage with him Monday to Hanover for annual German-Russian consultations, including Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom.

The economic shift is already having important consequences inside Europe. As Germany becomes less dependent on euro zone markets, there are signs that it is becoming stricter with its ailing partners, like Greece, Italy and Portugal, adding to the pressures already straining European unity.

“It reinforces a shift that we have seen in recent years for Germany to become rather more focused on its own national interests rather than sacrificing for some defined European interest,” said Kevin Featherstone, an expert on E.U. politics at the London School of Economics. “Germany is not giving up on Europe, but it is certainly frustrated.”

German politics are in line with the interests of German businesses like Fresenius, a health care company in Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt. Last year, Fresenius recorded a sales increase in Asia of 20 percent, to €1.3 billion, or $1.8 billion. That compared with its sales in Europe of €6.5 billion, up 8 percent.

Fresenius’s chief executive, Mark Schneider, said he expected the trend to continue, noting that China was trying to create a universal health care system that would ensure its people access to kidney dialysis and infusion therapies — the sort of products that Fresenius provides.

Germany, of course, remains deeply entwined with the euro zone, which is still its largest source of trade by far. But Western Europe’s share in the German pie is shrinking as companies focus new investment on more vibrant markets.


Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 4:45:10 AM | 8

" This order obviously came from the US and it exposes Spain, France and Portugal as mere puppets for the only world super power. "

Stateless in Moscow: Germany Rejects Snowden's Asylum Application

Not only "Spain, France, and Portugal are mere puppets for the only world super power".

Posted by: john francis lee | Jul 3, 2013 4:48:24 AM | 9

Highly naive.

EU are a puppet to the US, they are too entangled.

Just look at the situation. Here we have US spying, ok so UK, France, Germany condemns it. Thats it.
They wont do anything more, in fact they didnt even let Ecuadorian minister use their airspace because he might travel with the whistleblower. What kind of signal does that send? It send the signal that EU reject Snowden as much as US does and will follow the policy of the US regardless of this incident. Its the exact same situation with Assange.

There is no friction between the states, in fact this issue has already been buried.

Besides even if there is an imperium vs the world, it makes no sense neither, imperial regimes can rule because they have power, what gives if some Eu(nucks) condemn what they do? In the end of the day EU will still be on US leash which US very well know.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 3, 2013 4:56:39 AM | 10

ALL Countries in the world, acting seperately, are afraid of the USA .
Time to form strong alliances

Posted by: boindub | Jul 3, 2013 5:01:34 AM | 11

Can anyone see whether Nicolas Maduro has left Moscow yet? I am very much hoping he will take poor young Edward home with him.

:-)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 5:04:10 AM | 12

Information - good news - from Sabina Becker who is fluent in Spanish, at "News of the Restless" -
S. American news -- and a legal opinion on the status of a diplomatic plane.

http://www dot sabinabecker dot com/

I would not be surprised if suddenly a few countries in S. America offer Edward Snowden asylum.

The emergency meeting of South American countries is probably still going ahead.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jul 3, 2013 5:07:22 AM | 13

George Galloway may raise this issue in his sydney speech july 4....he favorited my tweet suggesting that

George Galloway favorited your Tweet
53m: @georgegalloway maybe u could mention of the detaining of Morales in your Sydney speech #publicshaming @1D4TW @wikileaks

Posted by: brian | Jul 3, 2013 5:17:39 AM | 14

For some reason, my post got swallowed up - so - for a S. American perspective & breaking news, from a fluent Spanish speaker -
www dot sabinabecker dot com -
her July 3 post - the latest

The Morales plane delay is HUGE news in S. America.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jul 3, 2013 5:20:20 AM | 15

Because Democrats prefer to be seen boneheaded to be seen weak?

My hunch is that US data security is so lax that the only security precaution they think they can take is to intimidate whistle blowers.

The Democrats are alienating their own constituency and probably a whole age group. It should be the end of the two party system.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 3:46:21 AM | 1

are republicans different?

Posted by: brian | Jul 3, 2013 5:22:28 AM | 16

10) This has many layers. One is secret service cooperation. Do you really believe the fault lines of interest are between nations? Or elites against/with other elites versus their people?

Whatever, when the BND - German foreign secret service - or Verfassungsschutz - internal secret service - wanted information on their own citizens they probably got it from their "friends". They might even have got it from "enemies" when interests were aligned. The issue is becoming part of Germany's electoral campaign and Angela Merkel got accused of having known about the spying - she/her secret service coordinators probably did.

Another layer is secret service "best practice". Putin is not saying much as his own secret service is probably a) doing the same b)just got an agreement with the US in cooperating against Caucasian terrorists which is important for a) Sotchi olympics b) Afghanistan c)stability in Caucasus.

Snowden fleeing to China and Russia is quixotic at best, however, he really did have no choice as he would not be safe anywhere else. He actually does not just need asylum, he needs protection.

So a lot of deals are done around Snowden. There is still no information what was actually done with the material except store it.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 5:26:15 AM | 17

Re: EURO CRISIS ON: Portugal Crashes After Finance Minister Resigns (But fired first). Any relation to this saga or just coincidence? I know it's an dispute over austrity, markets dropped Portugal 6%, Germany is down 1.5%. Italy is off 1.8%. Spain is down 2.6%. In that, Germany has always wonthe war of economics, time and time again.

Posted by: kev | Jul 3, 2013 5:51:34 AM | 18

I can understand that European countries may be subject to financial blackmail through the rating agencies and bank bad debt and thus compliant to US wishes. After all the US can just print more worthless money for the time being and protect itself in the short term.

But why would these countries allow spying on their corporations which gives a direct line to the US patent office and US marketing people? With that arrangement, you don't need a trade agreement.

Posted by: mrd | Jul 3, 2013 6:40:04 AM | 19

19) Maybe, because neither companies nor elites are that national?

This here is the shareholder structure of Deutsche Bank

This here is Siemens

This here is Mercedes

Volkswagen
in a way is a Porsche-Piech family business sponsored by Qatar

similar to BMW

this here is chemical

BASF

this here is Fresenius, pharmaceutical .... etc.

Whilst US companies actually move their property - patents, marketing rights - abroad - to save taxes

A Senate committee last year found that many tech and health-care companies have shifted intellectual property—such as patent and marketing rights—to subsidiaries in low-tax countries. The companies then record sales and profits from these lower-tax countries, which reduces their tax payments.

"There are opportunities to basically wipe away your tax on your intellectual property," says Ms. Blouin, the Wharton professor.

Software maker Microsoft Corp. MSFT -1.24% boosted the holdings of its foreign subsidiaries by $16 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, to $60.8 billion, the third-largest holding in the Journal survey. The growth in Microsoft's overseas holdings nearly equaled its net income for the year of $17 billion—in part because Microsoft said its foreign operations accounted for 93% of its pretax profit last year.

In its report, the Senate committee said Microsoft had shifted intellectual property to subsidiaries in Singapore, Ireland and Puerto Rico, to avoid roughly $4 billion in U.S. taxes in 2011. Licensing rights, and revenue, sometimes traveled through more than one subsidiary to minimize the tax bill.

"Microsoft complies with the tax rules in each jurisdiction in which it operates and pays billions of dollars in U.S. federal, state, local and foreign taxes each year," Bill Sample, Microsoft's corporate vice president for world-wide taxation, told the Senate committee in September.

A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment further.

Oracle Corp. ORCL -0.03% reported holding $20.9 billion in its foreign subsidiaries as of May 31, 2012, up 30% from a year earlier. Oracle lowered its tax rate last year to 23%, from 25.1% in 2011, raising its bottom line by $272 million.

In a securities filing, Oracle said the tax rate fell in part because it "increased the number of foreign subsidiaries" in low-tax countries; the filing listed four Irish subsidiaries that weren't listed the prior year. Oracle said it expects the new subsidiaries to help it maintain a lower tax rate. An Oracle spokeswoman didn't respond to requests for comment.

Abbott runs manufacturing plants in more than a dozen foreign countries, plus Puerto Rico, and generated 58% of its $40 billion in 2012 revenue outside the U.S. In a securities filing, Abbott estimated that lower tax rates on its foreign operations cut its U.S. tax bill by $1.6 billion last year.

A big Abbott subsidiary in Ireland, Abbott Laboratories Vascular Enterprises Ltd., reported profit of €1.1 billion for 2011 ($1.43 billion), the latest figures available, and paid no Irish tax, because it is incorporated in Bermuda, according to an Irish corporate filing.

Some companies are accumulating large sums of earnings that they say will remain outside the U.S. General Electric Co. GE -1.92% reported $108 billion held offshore at the end of last year, up from $102 billion a year earlier; GE says most of that is invested in active business operations such as plants and research centers. At Pfizer Inc., PFE -0.29% the total rose to $73 billion, from $63 billion.

The swelling totals have sparked friction at companies such as Apple Inc., AAPL +2.22% where investors want executives to distribute more cash through dividends and share repurchases.">move their ownership - patents, marketing rights - abroad - to save taxes.

In a globalized world national spying does not make much sense. I guess I will never find out how and by whom the stored data was used. I am sure it was not for US national security.


Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 7:35:48 AM | 20

US probably view the Euro as a threat to the USD.

"The euro is currently the second most commonly held reserve currency, comprising approximately a quarter of allocated holdings"

Posted by: skybox | Jul 3, 2013 7:47:15 AM | 21

Walked through the web comments on this issue on non-U.S. sites

There is an overwhelming outcry over making that plane land. The U.S. mask, whatever was left of it, is gone. People feel personally insulted. The French especially are outraged.

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2013 7:53:15 AM | 23

add to the Empire against the World 17)

Islamist leader in Russia’s North Caucasus Doku Umarov urged his followers on Wednesday to use “maximum force” to disrupt the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. In a video posted on a militant Islamist website, he said an order not to attack Russian targets outside the North Caucasus had been cancelled. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified. The Games will be held next February in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

how come?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 7:56:04 AM | 24

@#2

Not an 'ally' but a "partner" according to Putin. With a 'partner' like the US who needs enemies?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 3, 2013 8:03:07 AM | 25

b,

The mainstream UK Media seem to be toeing the line.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 3, 2013 8:46:13 AM | 26

I'm hoping any German commenters can speculate what the German fall-out is going to be. Hearing word that there will be an investigation into what Merkel knew about this, and that if Merkel was involved it would cause large constitutional problems.

How will this effect the upcoming elections?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 3, 2013 9:03:56 AM | 27

Craig Murray has an interesting post which begins:
"The forcing down of the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of the Vienna Convention by Spain and Portugal, which closed their airspace to this Head of State while on a diplomatic mission. It has never been thought necessary to write down in a Treaty that Heads of State enjoy diplomatic immunity while engaged in diplomacy, as their representatives only enjoy diplomatic immunity as cyphers for their Head of State. But it is a hitherto unchallenged precept of customary international law, indeed arguably the oldest provision of international law.

"To the US and its allies, international law is no longer of any consequence. I can see no evidence that anyone in an official position has even noted the illegality of repeated Israeli air and missile strikes against Syria. Snowden, Manning and Assange all exposed illegality on a massive scale, and no action whatsoever has been taken against any of the criminals they exposed. Instead they are being hounded out of all meaningful life and ability to function in society...."

b asks:
"Why then is U.S. willing to risk the bit of goodwill that is left towards it over so little potential gain?"

The problem is that there is no "US". There are lots of factions and power centres acting in its name. As the Snowden case reminded us, there is no oversight from Congress, so the military, the CIA, State Dept.,NYPD etc etc do anything that they want.
The inmates are running the asylum, and one day, not far in the future, the whole place is going to explode.

There is also the fact that, besides the US, there are plenty of sycophants, groupies, fans and quisling-wannabes in Europe who long for opportunities to demonstrate their devotion to Uncle Sam. I suspect it was one of these collaborators who was behind the idiotic, but welcome, decision to remind Latin America that, in the imperial scheme of things, they are despised inferiors. And none more despised than those, like Evo Morales, who are the descendants of the few who escaped imperial genocides.

The United States today occupies precisely the position which it devoted most of the second half of the last century to attributing to the Soviet Union.
Gulags, torturers, state controlled media, Show Trials, secret courts and forced confessions, education in ideology, mass surveillance and government wide orders to employees to be vigilant for signs of disloyalty.
The Soviet Union was nowhere near as totalitarian.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 3, 2013 9:12:50 AM | 28

France suspends free trade talks for 2 weeks because of the spy scandal (in Russian: http://top.rbc.ru/economics/03/07/2013/864479.shtml)

Posted by: asubbotin | Jul 3, 2013 9:15:30 AM | 29

bevin @ 28: Great explanation on how far reaching this US led global corporate cabal is. This Morales incident shows the extent of their influence. The following video explains the alliance and dangers of the corporate/NSA marriage.

http://therealnews.com/t2/component/hwdvideoshare/viewvideo/76499

Posted by: ben | Jul 3, 2013 9:37:56 AM | 30

"The United States today occupies precisely the position which it devoted most of the second half of the last century to attributing to the Soviet Union.

Gulags, torturers, state controlled media, Show Trials, secret courts and forced confessions, education in ideology, mass surveillance and government wide orders to employees to be vigilant for signs of disloyalty."

My thought exactly.

The KGB, the Stasi that we knew and detested is now us. In truth, as evil as those institutions were, it turns out that, far from their crimes, the only real reason we opposed them was their status as official enemies.

My US youth was one where all of those things named in your second sentence were the horrible scary features, we were told endlessly, of the "Communist system."

All of those things have now become relatively open features of the US system. And of course the propaganda has moved on as well. So now all of those horrible scary things are necessities, desired by great portions of the sleepwalking timid populace.

So it is not only that we have leadership of a totalitarian mindset, from government, media and the always-totalitarian corporate sectors -- but we the brainwashed people have also become willing agents of our own subjection.

It will not end well.

Posted by: Earwig | Jul 3, 2013 9:41:18 AM | 31

27) Don't know. Social Democrats just seem to have spoiled it by not supporting political asylum for Snowden. Fact is, as they shared/also were in government, they must have shared Merkel's knowledge. Same applies to the Greens who are in favour of political asylum with Die Linke. You can trust the whole lot not to do it when/if in power.

Voters in Bild - an infamous populist paper with a huge audience range voted Snowden 85 to 15 percent a hero.

You can get a large anti-American vote in Germany for the obvious historical reasons but politicians usually do not go there. Not even Die Linke.

The NSA owns spying stations in Germany, the US army stores a few nukes sparking local protests from time to time. Secret service cooperation is a given. Snowden would be a fool to come here.

The real issue is - is Germany/Europe going to invest in electronic security/warfare ? It is non productive, hinders. Up to now virtually everybody, companies, institutions, private people, governments did the web 2.0 thing - it is free, just give us your data and content.


Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 10:31:08 AM | 32

Clickable link for Sabine Becker. Thanks, Northern Night Owl, for the link and intro to her blog.

http://www.sabinabecker.com/2013/07/they-are-so-fucking-paranoid.html

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 3, 2013 11:12:13 AM | 33

One need not be a "believer" in any sense to sign this
White House Petition asking a pardon for Snowden
but in some ways it can be a pleasure and an act of decency.
It may be limited to U.S. nationals, but the large number of signers
is heartening.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 3, 2013 11:18:11 AM | 34

I agree with the enragés (and enragées, because Sibel Edmonds is one of them), who say, why make lickspittle pleas to your tyrants for mercy?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 11:56:04 AM | 35

@Bevin28,
THANK YOU for posting Craig Murray remarks and for expressing so succinctly the feeling of I am sure a huge silent minority!

Posted by: Nobody | Jul 3, 2013 12:06:14 PM | 36

You ain't seen nothing yet ...

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, but that is only a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images.

Together, the two programs show that snail mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail.
...
The Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program was created after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 that killed five people, including two postal workers. Highly secret, it seeped into public view last month when the F.B.I. cited it in its investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. It enables the Postal Service to retroactively track mail correspondence at the request of law enforcement. No one disputes that it is sweeping.

“In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, the former director of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit, who worked on several fraud cases using mail covers. “Now it seems to be ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”

Bruce Schneier, a computer security expert and an author, said whether it was a postal worker taking down information or a computer taking images, the program was still an invasion of privacy.

“Basically they are doing the same thing as the other programs, collecting the information on the outside of your mail, the metadata, if you will, of names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations, which gives the government a pretty good map of your contacts, even if they aren’t reading the contents,” he said.

But law enforcement officials said mail covers and the automatic mail tracking program are invaluable, even in an era of smartphones and e-mail.
...

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2013 12:21:03 PM | 37

34) yep, that is why spies use ridiculous methods like dead letter boxes.

That anthrax reasoning is plain stupid as of course you do not write the correct sender on the anthrax letter and stamp signs reveal where and when it got posted anyway.

Its obviously total surveillance of private people not planning anything but working with their real names and addresses.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 12:49:00 PM | 38

Its the PURGE stupid. "oh, its just the envelope they see" says our Legislator, and even if thats true, KNOWING everyone, that everyone associates with would make even McCarthy roll in his grave. Purges DO happen. From the Knights Templar to "Crystal Naght" as SOON as a leader has the power to eliminate all opposition they use it. In the recent past, you would have had to convince those fighter pilots that all the Congressmen and Senators they were dropping bombs on were terrorists, or some other horrible danger to the Country. But with drones? Our Dear Leader NOW has the power, to run a query, push some buttons, and drop bombs on every single "liberty" advocate in the Country. Even if the whole "purge" idea is overreaching, look at what McCarthy did with "envelopes". "You're a communist, see, you associate with so and so, and they're communists" etc... It only takes a tiny smear to ruin a political career. Remember when they took down the Tea Party candidate by accusing her of associating with withces!

Posted by: stinky | Jul 3, 2013 1:01:53 PM | 39

"The countries who denied overflight certainly did so because they were pressured by Washington. All of South America's countries will blame the U.S. before they will blame those why denied their airspace."

Most of those nations would have been perfectly happy to deny overflight on their own.

As I recently read in another blog--the US is to Europe what the republican party is to the democrats in the US: it gives Europe an excuse to do what they would do on their own anyway.

Posted by: sleepy | Jul 3, 2013 1:04:09 PM | 40

As Glenn Greenwald indicates in his latest column, "Fixations on denouncing Edward Snowden distract, by design, from the serious transgressions of those who are far more powerful."

People high in government have routinely lied to us about the important matter of personal surveillance.

WaPo, Jun 30

Misinformation on classified NSA programs includes statements by senior U.S. officials

. . .But details that have emerged from the exposure of hundreds of pages of previously classified NSA documents indicate that public assertions about these programs by senior U.S. officials have also often been misleading, erroneous or simply false.


And that has led to ridiculous conclusions about personal privacy in the U.S. that are simply not true.

Quartz, Jun 18

Seven things that could derail a US-European free trade agreement
1. Privacy concerns
European officials, already skeptical of privacy rules followed by US technology giants like Google and Facebook, are even more worried following recent revelations about how those companies share information on their users with US intelligence.

“In order to trade services, you of course have to send data via the internet,” Peter Chase, a former US diplomat who represents the US Chamber of Commerce in Europe, told me earlier this year. “Not all of that data is personal data, but it’s pretty hard to have a transaction where personal data is not involved.”

And now Europeans want the US National Security Agency, which is constrained in how much it can spy on American citizens, to extend the same safeguards to European citizens. At the same time, they want the EU’s stricter standards on personal data to apply to companies like Facebook. That’ll be a hard sell for both US spies and US firms.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 1:15:53 PM | 41

38) psst - you do not have to use facebook.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2013 1:30:46 PM | 42

#10
It's not the Ecuadorian ''minister'' they stopped, it was the PRESIDENT of BOLIVIA...oh I get it, you meant the PRIME MINISTER!!!
See, where would you be anonymous if I took my business "elsewhere"? You sad baby.
Evo Morales...
He was pretty much detained.
Appropriate responses to this insult are in order.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 3, 2013 1:53:24 PM | 43

On Morales, Bolivia has accused European nations of an “act of aggression” and Austria of "kidnapping."

Officials from France and Portugal have since denied that they shut their air space to the plane, but Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations said they would be filing a complaint.

“We’re talking about the president on an official trip after an official summit being kidnapped,” Sacha Llorenti Soliz told reporters in Geneva.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 2:16:32 PM | 44

@somebody #39
38) psst - you do not have to use facebook.

Whatever you have, don't worry, it'll pass.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 2:18:32 PM | 45

I agree with with what a Russian politician said: There will be some noise, in particular from Germany with elections coming up, but in the end the decisive factor is business; so everyone wants and will go for the free trade agreement, no matter how much they complain now.

The fact that (probably among others) spain, france, portugal, and italy have obediently asked "how high?" when zusa demanded them to jump just confirms what many knew anyway. From what I can see so far the vat majority of the citizens are disgusted and apalled by their politician whores.

Actually I think that this might have been on Snowden mind from the beginning; it would nicely explain his otherwise weird looking requests for asylum in 20 or so states.
Now there is no more misunderstanding. It's clear and in right day light: western politician don't care the slightest about what their citizens want, their real masters is some international cabal and their obedience to their masters is as limitless as it is shameless.

Clearly, Russia is the big winner and about the only power to not bend over for zusa, followed by some few countries who are not powerful enough to really confront zusa but who at least distance themselves from zusa.

And, although it is not in the center of attention, Russia once more confronted zusa without the slightest concern about the reaction of the gosh, so mighty "supreme" bla bla power of stupid thugs and loudmouths.

Morales deserves more respect than all of the zusa/zeu whores and blabberers combined.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 3, 2013 2:21:15 PM | 46

Germany is most in favor of the "free trade" -- actually more of "free investment" -- treaty and would benefit the most. Other 'southern tier' countries (France, Spain, Italy) are more concerned about agricultural issues and wouldn't benefit as much. So now it's: "Hollande: US spying threatens free-trade talks" when France wasn't hot on genetically-modified ag products to begin with, and is really looking for concessions because of "spying" which he probably knew about all along. And yet he won't let Snowden, his benefactor in this matter, fly across his land.

We have come out of the time when obedience [and] the acceptance of discipline. . .were most important, into that more difficult time when it is a man's duty to understand the world rather than to simply fight for it. --Ernest Hemongway, 1946

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 3:12:58 PM | 47

Europe may buckle but Latin America is a different kettle of fish.

NYTimes today:

Latin American leaders immediately called for an emergency meeting of the Union of South American Nations, which was expected to take place on Thursday. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, said the episode had “vestiges of a colonialism that we thought was completely overcome,” adding that it was a humiliating act that affected all of South America.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 3:18:56 PM | 48

Do not humiliate a latino.

Sigo Siendo El Rey
(I Continue to be The King)
(chorus -- w/o accents)

Con dinero o sin dinero,
hago siempre lo que quireo
Y mi palabra as la ley;
No tengo trono ni reina,
ni nadie que me comprenda,
Pero sigo siendo al Rey.

With money or without money,
I always do what I want,
And my word is the law.
I have no throne or queen,
nor anyone who understands me,
But I continue the be the King.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 3:23:20 PM | 49

John Francis Lee@2,

Putin to the Russian citizen: "We read your emails because we can."

Obama to the US/EU citizen: "We read your emails because it is good for you."

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 3, 2013 3:38:55 PM | 50

If western capitalism has a single foundation site it is the Potosi mine-mountain of silver-in Bolivia.
It was from this mine that the silver passed to Manila and opened the Chinese market. It was from this mine that western Europe derived the bullion it needed to finance its empires and drain Africa and Asia of so much of their wealth.

Evo Morales comes from a people who were forced to mine the silver and whose life expectancy was about the same, when they arrived at Potosi, as that of an infantry officer on the Western Front in 1915, a matter of weeks.

What is truly shocking is that neither Spain nor Portugal seems to feel any particular need to face the fact of their criminal history and that Morales in 2013 seems to excite the same feelings that his ancestors did in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: contempt and callous indifference.

Despite the occasional public blubbering of crocodile tears Europe and its Creole offspring have learned nothing from the enormities of their past. Just as Bangla Desh today is treated as Bengal was 250 years ago so are the people of the Andes exploited and plundered as were their ancestors for the five preceding centuries.
It may be that there will never be a reckoning, but that is unlikely.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 3, 2013 3:42:24 PM | 51

Re:

Russia is the big winner and about the only power to not bend over for zusa, followed by some few countries who are not powerful enough to really confront zusa but who at least distance themselves from zusa. And, although it is not in the center of attention, Russia once more confronted zusa without the slightest concern about the reaction of the gosh, so mighty "supreme" bla bla power of stupid thugs and loudmouths. Morales deserves more respect than all of the zusa/zeu whores and blabberers combined. Posted by: Mr. Pragma

Russia is the big winner because Putin has made iot clear that he does not give a f**k about human rights.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 3:43:31 PM | 52

Thanks for that, bevin. Strictly speaking, Morales may not have been a latino before this, but I suspect that all of Latin America considers him to be one now, because it could have been one of them in that airplane, humiliated by the old colonial powers.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 3:50:20 PM | 53

The U.S. cares about human rights because it says it does, with two million citizens in prison and holding the world record for dead foreign civilians notwithstanding.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3, 2013 3:53:37 PM | 54

Russia is the big winner because Putin has made iot clear that he does not give a f**k about human rights

That bs doesn't get any more true by relentlessly repeating it.

Fact is that Putin again and again asked for the human rights as well as democratic priciples - to be respected. Fact is also that zusa and partly zeu ignorantly continued their mass murder parties.

Russia is the big winner because it does honour international law and treaties but doesn't give a f*ck about americaz self important superpower bla bla.

The zeu players in todays illegal coup against a latin american president are btw. (not only) financially rotten and in deep trouble. It might well be that a coordinated latin-american effort against fr,es,pt,it could turn out to be the mortal blow to push e.g. spain or portugal over the cliff. Sure enough China and Russia will gladly replace spanish companies.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 3, 2013 4:17:51 PM | 55

Short of actually handing Snowden over to the Americans, which I suspect he was too cowardly to do, Putin could not have made more clear his contempt for this abject specimen of human riff-raff sheltering in Sheremetyevo airport and naively hoping for refuge from the US's now global system of gulags. Putin is just as guilty of supporting the US totalitarian system as if he had actually handed Snowden over. Your gloating on behalf of imperial Russia's strengths as you see them makes me hope that the US manages with its last imperial spasm to take Russia down with itself. (I do not need to untangle your endless and ridiculous acroynyms and private jargon terms).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 5:22:59 PM | 56

I must say, I've never been an admirer of Putin. His vulgar photo-ops wrestling with snow leopards or doing judo have never impressed me. His remark, "we'll put bombs in the terrorists' outhouses and blow them up while they're shitting," didn't strike me as funny. And I happen to know that he has been in the pocket of the nastiest sort of Zionists, the religious sort, for a couple of decades:
http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/selected-reminiscences-of-eduard-hodos/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 5:41:55 PM | 57

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 5:41:55 PM | 57


i must say Putin is not in the pay of the zionists: or hed be arming the FSA

Had Putin been president 2011, thered have been no NATIO bombardment of Libya. and Gaddafi would still be alive

If Niqnaq is saying what you claim hes to be avoided like the BBC

Posted by: brian | Jul 3, 2013 6:43:25 PM | 58

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 3, 2013 5:22:59 PM | 56

whacko!

Posted by: brian | Jul 3, 2013 6:44:31 PM | 59

Rowan Berkeley

So some niqnaq says this and that. Now what? What if some bligblag told just the opposite? Which blubberblabber to believe then?

Actually I had the politeness to read the linked text. All I saw was a whole lot of jew-centric, self-important mixture of bull*it and weird chrystal ball interpretations.

Concerning Snowdon, the facts are simple and obvious. There are national and international laws and Putin, not being a king, acts accordingly. He doesn't deliver Snowdon to zusa because, not having an extradition treaty with zusa, that's what the Russian law says to do. He did offer asylum but on a condition and a reasonable one, actually even a rather formal one.
Remember niqnaq? On July 2nd 2013, he, albeit (of course) interpreting it weirdly and malignantly, quotes a Glenn Greenwald statement: "Snowden leak is basically done. It's newspapers - not Snowden - what gets disclosed and in what sequence".
So, what's the unsurmountable burden Putin is putting on Snowden with his condition, that actually is quite irrelevant? If Snowden really and seriously wanted asylum in Russia he could have smiled politely, said "Yes, Mr. Putin, I promise to hold back from now on" and thought "Well, it's out anyway and sure enough guardian and others will continue to pulish my stuff". Actually, knowing that Snowden was in security in Russia, chances are that Greenwald et al. could go even more offensive.

However one turns it, looking at the matter, Putin has made the most generous asylum offer of all countries so far. And, not to be forgotten, he allowed for Snowden to stay in security in Russia and clearly stated that Snowden is free to leave whenever and whereever he wishes.

Concerning your wish Russia being torn down along with zusa, I'm afraid that will stay unfulfilled for the same reason you don't convince, something you share with zusa: They make lots of noise but they don't have what it needs to succeed.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 3, 2013 7:18:14 PM | 60

Rowan Berkeley IS niqnaq press!

'Let me quote myself'

Posted by: brian | Jul 3, 2013 7:30:03 PM | 61

Yt is odd on some sites the references that aren't seen elsewhere. Where does Zeusa come from or what is that referring to?

I think to ask all those countries for asylum was a quick way to out each country re where they stand and how each is only as sovereign as the U.S.In background enforcers allow. Muhammed's reach from the grave seems to be similar to that of the U.S. - about power and control and vengeance and a refusal to allow independent thought, questioning, or anyone standing up to overlords at all. Taliban-like, the U.S.is the overlord with other countries subjects while overlords to their own subjugated masses.

What an insult re. Bolivia and South America. What would happen if someone did that to Obama. Perhaps somoeone should try it and find out. It is an illegal act, but the U.S. feels it is above the law - any law. Scary. In the future all will likely have chips in their heads to be taken down as required.

Posted by: Ahn | Jul 3, 2013 10:04:24 PM | 62

Egypt does distract/minimize the 'Snowden' affair!

Posted by: kev | Jul 3, 2013 11:03:28 PM | 63

Putin's Russia is the only thing giving hope to people's of the world. China won't take a stand unless directly confronted. Putin handles whatever the USGov throws at him with Judo like efficiency. Hee-yah!

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 4, 2013 1:35:21 AM | 64

@ Jawbone @ #33

Thanks for making the link clickable - I'm glad you liked Sabina Becker's blog "News of the Restless." She speaks Spanish, German, French, and several other languages, and recently translated the book "Table Dancer's Tale" by Mexican writer Lupita Dominquez.

I visit her blog whenever there is a breaking story from Latin America; she posts the earliest and most complete news, and often includes photos, videos, cartoons - beats the sleepy AP, Reuters et al.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jul 4, 2013 2:39:55 AM | 65

Maduro has flown off from Moscow to Minsk, presumably sans Snowden:
http://www.tvr.by/eng/news.asp?id=6879&cid=20

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 4, 2013 8:24:15 AM | 66

They say that all of the South Americans are meeting on Thursday, to decide what need to do to meet the insult and injury dealt to them all when dealt to Evo Morales. Perhaps they'll send an airplane from South America to fetch Edward Snowden, and grant him asylum in the country of his choice. Perhaps they should take the long way, over the Pacific, this time.

Failing that perhaps Edward Snowden ought to contact Iran. The only country that's had the nerve and the courage to stand up to the 'sole remaining super power', most egregious spy and aggressor, leadenmost, pendant deadbeat on the planet.

Posted by: john francis lee | Jul 4, 2013 10:18:07 AM | 67

This is interesting from RT:
What Edward Snowden revealed concerns intelligence sharing between the European Union and America, the American and European intelligence agencies work “hand in glove,” John Laughland, from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, told RT.

RT: Let’s just start with this very fiery rhetoric from the EU about America’s surveillance. Just how honest is it?

John Laughland: I don’t take it seriously at all; I think it’s for show. It’s very revealing and symbolic that President Morales’ plane should have been forced to land in a European Union country after the withdrawal of overflight rights by other European Union countries, because this, of course, shows how the European puddle jumps the American circus master’s command. The European governments are very obviously under the thumb of the Americans, they have shown this very blatantly, and the reason why I say it’s symbolic is that the abuses which Snowden has revealed, the explosion of espionage activity against US citizens and against the people around the world by the US government is only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is that there has been massive increase in co-operation in intelligent sharing between the United States and its European Union allies in the last ten years and certainly since 9\11. So it’s entirely appropriate, if you like, that the whistleblower should have been attempted to be caught by European Union countries, because the problem that he has revealed concerns intelligence sharing between the European Union and America as well as the increase of espionage by the American security forces.

RT: But Latin America has really come together with this expressing unilateral support for Bolivia. Aren’t Europe and America only drumming up opposition to their actions?

JL: Definitely, we have to see, of course, how the Latin American leaders react now after this extraordinary violation of aviation law and of diplomatic immunity. I mean the idea, Like some gangster or a pirate a country can simply order a presidential plane to land, because they suspect they’ve heard a rumor that someone might be on that plane, is absolutely shocking, it should shock anybody who is interested in human right and the rule of law. Edward Snowden is not in the Interpol “Wanted” list, there is no justification for this kind of gangster activity. If he is to be extradited to the United States, then that must, of course, happen according to legal procedures. That is to say, according to the extradition treaties where they exist, and if the Americans and their European allies are going to say that these well-established rules and principles no longer matter, then they are showing themselves up to be, what in fat they are, which is to say, completely hypocritical on human right issues, and, of course, yes that will ring about untold opposition from Latin America, from China and, probably from Russia.

RT: Looks like the US is willing to act on Snowden’s leaks, but will do nothing to protect him. What do you think?

JL: I think that’s right. I’ve just made the point about how the Americans and the Europeans are hand in glove, but this isn’t the first time that we’ve known about this. Let’s not forget, when the CIA rendition scandal broke several years ago, that’s to say the scandal of people being kidnapped by American officials, by American soldiers, and then taken to secret centers for interrogation, those secret centers, as we know, were in Poland and Romania. They were in EU and NATO states. So we know that the American and the European intelligence agencies operate extremely closely together. We know that the European treaties, the Lisbon treaty, for example, commit the European Union to working hand in glove with NATO. So this in a sent should not really come as a surprise to anybody

Posted by: bevin | Jul 4, 2013 10:26:11 AM | 68

Who cares about Latin America, who cares about EU, seriously they have no power because they are already too aligned with the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 4, 2013 2:35:01 PM | 69

Bolivia’s president threatened to close the US embassy as leftist Latin American leaders joined him in blasting Europe and the United States after his plane was rerouted amid suspicions US fugitive Edward Snowden was aboard.

President Evo Morales, who has suggested the United States pressured European nations to deny him their airspace, warned he would “study, if necessary, closing the US embassy in Bolivia.”

“We don’t need a US embassy in Bolivia,” he said. “My hand would not shake to close the US embassy. We have dignity, sovereignty. Without the United States, we are better politically, democratically.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/05/bolivias-president-evo-morales-threatens-to-close-u-s-embassy/

Posted by: brian | Jul 5, 2013 5:44:12 AM | 70

Look at this shit :

Britain has blocked the first crucial talks on intelligence and espionage between European officials and their American counterparts since the NSA surveillance scandal erupted. The talks, due to begin in Washington on Monday, will now be restricted to issues of data privacy and the NSA's Prism programme following a tense 24 hours of negotiations in Brussels between national EU ambassadors. Britain, supported only by Sweden, vetoed plans to launch two "working groups" on the espionage debacle with the Americans.

The British have some nerve. I again second my call for these traitors to be expelled from the EU. More loyalty to yanks then there own continent.

Also this part is intriguing:

Senior east and west European politicians and intelligence veterans privately suspect a Russian role in the intelligence row. They point to the presence of the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden – apparently still at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport – and to the controversy surrounding the Bolivian presidential plane. President Evo Morales, travelling from Moscow, was forced to land in Vienna after being denied permission to enter the airspace of several EU countries.

What is this about I wonder?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 5, 2013 10:07:16 AM | 71

must see video. ALL articles by the Guardian have been vetted by CIA and NSA.

may not be any more articles published after this point?

Charlie Rose Interviews US and UK editors of Guardian
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pdzzZB7Xgo

Posted by: kim sky | Jul 5, 2013 12:13:09 PM | 72

Philip Bump at The Atlantic writes that Bolivia is very confused or lying about being denied right to fly over French, Spanish, and Portugese territory. Italy totally not clear from the article.

Wow.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/07/tale-re-routed-bolivian-presidents-plane-falling-apart/66838/

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 5, 2013 3:45:10 PM | 73

President of Venezuela Offers Asylum to Snowden.

Posted by: kev | Jul 5, 2013 9:10:59 PM | 74

JFL@67 - Nicolás Maduro, speaking in the comemorations of Venezuela national day has just stated his decision to provide asylum to Snowden. Live on Telesur

b@23 - Overwhelming indeed. Should we take the comments box as a representative sample we could say that 90% of the french and portuguese are outraged at their government. The most asked question is - who ordered it? I don't recall any other ocasion when so many people declared to feel ashamed of their nationality due to the actions of their government. In Spanish language media sites the numbers aren't so high, I guess Miami expats have a lot of free time...

jawbone@73 - Lots of halvtruths and misinformation. Any google news search prooves that journalists nowadays have become experts in copy paste. The only real editorial choice they deal with is what spin to choose, which title best fits their ideological alignment.

The Snowden Morales plane story originated in La Paz, Bolivia, on tuesday night, when a very angry Foreign Minister called a press conference to denounce French and Portuguese withdrawal of overflight permission. But that was not the whole truth. In fact the story was one day older. Acording to this statement of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry they had notified Bolivia on monday that due to "technical considerations" they were cancelling the refuelling authorisation previously granted in June 28. The plane had previously refuelled in Lisbon on it's way to Moscow, in June 30. What happens in the next 24 hours can so far only be guessed. The Portuguese FM tries to blame the Bolivians for insisting on requesting permission for refuelling acording to the original flight plan. What seems clear is that they never specified to Bolivia the nature of the "technical considerations", not to Bolivia nor to anyone else, to find that out We must wait untill next tuesday when the FM must explain himself in Parliament on request of the Portuguese Comunist Party, and see if they can press it out of him. Keeping on guessing, when the Bolivians realized that there was something very wrong, and changed the flight plan to refuell in Las Palmas instead, after getting permission from Spain, and thought all is clear now, and the plane was flying over Austria, then first France and next Italy denied them overflight permission, forcing the plane to land in Wien. There the story gets murky again in what concerns the search of the airplane. What seems to be quite clear is the action of the Spanish Ambassador in Austria who repeatedly sugested to Morales to invite him for a cofee inside the plane, infuriating him, leading to Spain delaying permissions for a few hours next morning, surprising even the Austrian Sec. for foreign affairs. Spain did not deny airspace on tuesday, it was only on wednesday following the Ambassador's incident, that they delayed Morales departure for a few hours.

What also seems absolutely probable, namely from Hollande's reaction, is that the french decision to deny air space was taken at a rather low level, probably civil aviation authority, possibly also on unspecified "technicall considerations" and aparently not at a polithical level. From the Italian nothing is known, so far I haven't found any oficial reaction. If someone knows of one pls post a link.

The Portuguese FM Paulo Portas, is a former journalist, leader of the minority party in the ruling neoliberal coalition, was Defence minister on a previous rightwing coalition with Durão Barroso - EU's president and, acording to Pepe Escobar, the force behind the EU US free trade treaty, and pre Iraq invasion Azores summit host - and was then involved on a few controversial deals, one of them concerning 2 submarines from Germany's Ferrostaal led to the conviction, in Germany, for corruption, of two german executives and a portuguese Consul, on a Plea bargain, so we will never know where the money went. Besides, Portas is also, as wikipedia describes it, "a lifelong bachelor who has never publicly assumed a relationship with a woman". After his stunt as Defence minister he also became (in)famous for being awarded the Department of Defense A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Defense_Medal_for_Distinguished_Public_Service#Eligibility">Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Rumsfeldt.

Following last week's resignation of Finance minister Vitor Gaspar, on tuesday 2d of July half an hour before the swearing in of the new minister, Portas presented his resignation to the premier, provoking a massive market fall, thw weakening of the Euro, a political crisis and the intervention of Mario Monti. Not bad...

It was undoubtly with Portas that the Snowden Morales plane plot started.

I think it is also undoubtable that the plot had no other purpose then, as rightly assumed by the Unasur meeting in Cochabamba yesterday, to embarass and punish Evo Morales for his policy towards the US. The Snowden on the plane meme is there just to provide presstitutes with punchlines. We just happen to be in Snowden histeria, so, what better?

What really don't know is, if it's resignation is out of political calculation, why starting the row with Bolivia?
Or is he being pressed, and the documents that "disapeared" from the Defence ministry are safely stored in Langley or Fort Meade and can find their way to a journalist nearby, or to that overworked prossecutor that still has the case, maybe flavoured with some explicit photos, therefore making the resignation an atractive move away from the spotlight.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/03/edward-snowden-asylum-live

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 6, 2013 12:51:57 AM | 75

estouxim @ 75 -- Thanks for a thorough, well-citationed, and very interesting take on The Atlantic article (does it actually merit the use of that noun?).

I had no idea how intricate the Portuguese situation has been!

Had I but world enough and time...so thanks much for this input.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 6, 2013 8:12:16 AM | 76

Sabina Becker says at her blog in response to a question from me that the Latin American governments which attended the Ch conference stand firmly on their understanding that there was no search.

So, for what reason does the US insist its MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) say there was such a search of Morales's plane? Or was it more than one search -- hard to tell....

Very clever cartoon at Becker's post.

http://www.sabinabecker.com/2013/07/cartoon-du-jour.html

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 6, 2013 8:17:30 AM | 77

Re: Guardian link in 75 -- Strangely, it gets translated somehow into this URL -- which results in a blank page -- goes to Moof of AL!

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/07/Guardian%27s%20life%20coverage%20of%20the%20Snowden%20in%20a%20Falcon%20case/

I did find this in a search at The Guardian --

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/03/edward-snowden-asylum-live#block-51d46713e4b0e80ab6523ade

Plane's crew states there was no search of the Morales jet.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 6, 2013 8:31:48 AM | 78

Two of biggest US puppets in Europe, UK and Sweden blocks US/EU espionage talks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/05/us-blocks-espionage-talks-europe-nsa-prism

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6, 2013 9:25:38 AM | 79

Prof. Juan Cole has a lengthy item on the Vneezuelan offer of asylum to Snowden, and informative hyperlinks. The comments section has even more -- all puts the whole matter into a large historical perspective.

Venezuela-Snowden

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jul 6, 2013 3:38:10 PM | 80

Via rt.com , I came across this - a short movie, VERAX - "Truthteller" in Latin, about Snowden, made by Hong Kong independent film makers.

VERAX-YouTube

One of the more interesting comments about this YouTube film was the following by IonOtter:

"Snowden's job is done. He is finished. Mission accomplished. Over. Complete. Finito. The end.
This is OUR story now. This is about what *WE* do with the knowledge he gave us.
This movie is very nice, but it distracts you from putting the heat on the NSA, the FBI and the American government.
Worry about the movie when all the criminal spies are in prison."

Over 182 K views at this time, and now a version with Japanese subtitles.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jul 6, 2013 3:52:51 PM | 81

@jawbone

You're right. I was wondering the same thing. It's one thing to keep a plane out of one's airspace. It's entirely another to physically "search" the presidential plane of a soverign nation.

I just didn't see that happening at all. It isn't a traffic stop in Texas.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 6, 2013 8:56:43 PM | 82

b. you should rename this in "Global elites against their people"

Der Spiegel today: German BND cooperated with NSA in such a way that their personnel were protected from German law.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 7, 2013 6:49:10 AM | 83

The newspeak offices announces: "relevant" now means "everything"

Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant' Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering

The National Security Agency's ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans hinges on a secret court ruling that redefined a single word: "relevant."

This change—which specifically enabled the surveillance recently revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden—was made by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a group of judges responsible for making decisions about government surveillance in national-security cases. In classified orders starting in the mid-2000s, the court accepted that "relevant" could be broadened to permit an entire database of records on millions of people, in contrast to a more conservative interpretation widely applied in criminal cases, in which only some of those records would likely be allowed, according to people familiar with the ruling.
...

Posted by: b | Jul 8, 2013 12:15:45 PM | 84

New second part video of Guardian with Edward Snowden:

Edward Snowden: 'The US government will say I aided our enemies' – video interview

Posted by: b | Jul 8, 2013 12:17:27 PM | 85

What takes so long? Some latin american states have offered him asylum, havent they?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 8, 2013 1:18:54 PM | 86

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