Officials speculate that Snowden’s flight to Hong Kong may be part of “potential Chinese espionage.”
Former CIA officer Bob Baer:
“It’s [Hong Kong’s] not an independent part of China at all. I’ve talked to a bunch of people in Washington today, in official positions, and they are looking at this as a potential Chinese espionage case,” said Baer.
When he was asked if there was a possibility to extradite Snowden, Baer responded, “We’ll never get him in China. They’re not about to send him to the United States and the CIA is not going to render him, as he said in the tape, is not going to try to grab him there.”
It’s possible, but highly unlikely that Snowden fled to Hong Kong because he’s a Chinese operative.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has called for extradition.
One of America’s top lawmakers has demanded the extradition of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower at the center of the US National Security Agency (NSA) internet data tapping scandal.
Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, said that no country should grant asylum to Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in a Hong Kong hotel.
……King said: “If Edward Snowden did leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date.
“The United States must make it clear that no country should be granting this individual asylum. This is a matter of extraordinary consequence to American intelligence.”
The US has extradition agreements with Hong Kong with an exception for political offenses. According to the US-Hong Kong Extradition Treaty signed in 1997, Hong Kong has the “right of refusal when surrender implicates the defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy” of the People’s Republic of China.
We’ll see what happens in the aftermath; whether Snowden offers his skills to a hostile enemy of the U.S., such as China, or if he contracts himself out to a company of some other foreign country. I would have more respect for him if he stood his ground and faced the government in a court of law, like Thomas Drake. If your principles and integrity are solid, don’t flee the country; it only raises questions about character and credibility.
From Fox News.
The source of the bombshell leaks about the U.S. government gathering information on billions of phone calls and Internet activities was an American employed as a contract worker for the National Security Agency, The Guardian newspaper, which broke the story, said Sunday.
The British newspaper has identified the source as 29-year-old Edward Snowden, who worked for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and was a former technical assistant for the CIA.
The Washington Post followed the Guardian announcement by saying Snowden was the source for its surveillance stories that followed.
Snowden told The Post from Hong Kong, where he has been staying, that he now intends to ask for asylum from “any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy.”
“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
All well and good until he does an Obamaesque comparison of terrorism to “crime”:
“We have to decide why terrorism is a new threat. There has always been terrorism. Boston was a criminal act. It was not about surveillance but good, old-fashioned police work. The police are very good at what they do.”
The Tsarnaevs crossed the line from being criminals to enemy combatants when they used bombs as part of a declared Islamic jihad.
And he thinks Bradley Manning is really swell:
“Manning was a classic whistleblower. He was inspired by the public good.”
His act of treason compromised Intel sources and exposed information that damaged U.S. security. He also endangered the very Afghans with whom he claimed to sympathize. Manning is no principled “whistle blower”; he’s an egotistical attention whore, who took it upon himself to selectively divulge information—including about 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables—that can and certainly did benefit our enemies.
Snowden hasn’t said whether or not he took his grievances up the chain of command or to his superiors.
Our intelligence agencies should use every asset available to hone in on the worldwide Islamic terrorist threats. Throwing a dragnet over the entire communications network and storing that information in spite of the innocent Americans caught in the trap, is an egregious affront to the Constitution.
There’s a difference between gathering intelligence on legitimate enemy threats, whether foreign or domestic, and turning that spying apparatus against innocent American citizens for malicious abuse of power.
There’s also a difference between being a whistleblower and a traitor; the distinction is motive.