New York Times editorial board trashes Edward Snowden

I think about Woodward and Bernstein, and what a great thing real journalism can be with the help of whistle-blowers. It’s a damn shame that we don’t have reporters who will speak truth to power any longer.

Sadly, even Bob Woodward has turned into a hypocritical idiot as of late…

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“Mr. Snowden undoubtedly fears returning home because he would be arrested and prosecuted.”

I found sa typo in that post. The last word should read “persecuted”.


The NY Times does not perform journalism, not even close. They are just a mouth piece for the most horrible people on earth. Even if I grant them credit as journalists, nothing the NY Times produces has any relevance to me. They represent someone else interest even in the best of times. The focus of their journalism is completely alien to me. They offer no value to me. Filtered. Let them go under.


How’s this for a headline,



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Maybe the Times thinks “those fears do not qualify him for asylum,” because Snowden should first hand himself over and be tortured for a while… and then apply for asylum. Makes perfect sense, in a way. Well, no, not really.


Quick question: Disregarding your view of Obama, the NYT, Snowden, the NSA, &c., does anyone here think that Russia (read: Putin) granted asylum to Snowden for any reason more noble than to stick it to the US and/or attempt to reassert itself as a world power?

Maybe childish on both sides. This post below says:

Disregarding your view of Obama, the NYT, Snowden, the NSA, &c., does anyone here think that Russia (read: Putin) granted asylum to Snowden for any reason more noble than to stick it to the US and/or attempt to reassert itself as a world power?

Tit for tat continues to be the most often used strategy…

No, Putin is not noble. It’s not about reasserting power. The US can never criticize Russian or China for what they do to their people because the US does the same to their own.

When’s the last time you read The Times? You do realize they often have a variety of viewpoints featured in their Opinion section, correct? They do lots of great reporting. Check this article out:

I found it to be beautifully written. It also appeared in The Times’ Opinion section, just a few days ago.

Just like I like some of what I see on BoingBoing a lot, and some of it I think is idiotic, so too with mainstream journalism. All in all, I’d say The Times is better than most other American news sources these days, especially in the mainstream.

The fact is, China and Russia, when compared to the USA in terms of human rights, are in a totally different league of fucked up. I am certainly not dismissing US wrongdoing, messed up policies, you name it. But to say “we’re the same” is just, well, ignorant of reality. Sending Falun Gong members to forced labor camps? In the USA, we have an entire state filled with Mormons for goodness’ sakes. Banning anything that says that homosexuality is not evil? I seem to remember the US Federal government recently deciding to get rid of DOMA. In China, they drove over student protesters with tanks, remember that? In Russia, they sent Pussy Riot to the gulag for being obnoxious in a church. I really don’t see the USA being comparable.


Am I the only one who actually read the NYT article and not just the Boing Boing headline? How does it exactly “trash” Snowden? This is the most, ah, inflammatory fragment about him:

Mr. Snowden undoubtedly fears returning home because he would be arrested and prosecuted. But those fears do not qualify him for asylum. And does he really feel safer in a country where Mr. Putin, an increasingly authoritarian leader, has jailed and persecuted his critics?

THIS is trashing? Really? It is just an opinion, which you might or might not agree with. Has our worldview become so binary that anything non-positive about our perceived hero is considered a furious assault on him?


The world is now such a worse place because Obama and Putin didn’t meet. Yeah, right. Those guys are gonna do whatever they want anyway. It’s all just political BS.

You have a summit because there are problems that can’t be dealt with at a lower level. Those problems didn’t go away just because Obama got his knickers in a twist. What, is he six years old? This sort of temper tantrum is childish and counterproductive and, more importantly, didn’t punish anyone.

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It’s polite, upmarket, trashing for Serious, Responsible People; but it is trashing:

The thesis that ‘these fears do not qualify him for asylum’ is implicitly predicated on the facts that (A) his activity was mere crime, rather than ‘political’ (because we don’t deny that political asylum is a Thing, it just doesn’t apply in this case because um, something, mumble, mumble.) and (B) He merely fears ‘prosecution’ (ie. a nice, orderly, working of rule of law), rather than ‘persecution’ (which, again, we don’t deny is a Thing and would qualify you for asylum; but that clearly isn’t an issue here; because um, something, never mind about that Manning fellow.)

The ‘And does he really feel safer’ line is just a throwaway rhetorical question, that manages to pack a false dichotomy and a non-sequitor into one sentence (I’ll give them credit for parsimony). Is Putin an authoritarian with a taste for persecuting people he finds inconvenient? You bet. Is it pitifully ridiculous to even ask whether Putin’s wrath (which Snowden hasn’t stirred up, and has no particular reason to expect) is a greater safety risk that America’s (which he has, and does)? Of course. That’s an incredibly dumb question. Nobody is under the slightest illusions about the fact that Snowden’s asylum choices are mostly countries that have an interest in thumbing their nose at the US, rather than the Edenic Republic of Freedomstan. The domestic-repression index of a given country is nearly irrelevant to whether or not it’s a good place to hide out from the feds.


So many thinks in that response! Beautiful!

Wow, the US has the largest incarceration rate in the world which is converted into massive profits for privately owned prisons. Why are in they in prison? For the most manufactured crime in world history, “The War On Drugs.” How convenient, they are mostly black.

China must be impressed. The US has built the most powerful surveillance system in the world which is converted into massive profits for government contractors. The threat of terrorism is not so great that every living human in the US needs to be put under surveillance.

This is what I mean. It’s like my fellow Americans live in alternate universe where reality to completely screened from them. The NY Times is part of this grand illusion. The NY Times has no credibility.


Tu quoque is not a legitimate defense to criticism; conversely, the hypocrisy of a criticism does not invalidate it.


Didn’t we give asylum to Soviet defectors for the same general reasons?

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As lasermike026 already said, the USA is in some respects even worse than Russia or China.

Russia doesn’t use capital punishment (still codified, but indefinitely suspended) while the US kills even mentally disabled persons (John Ferguson). The Right to Life is an essential human right in the UN human rights charta.

The US and Russia are quite similar if you compare them case by case. Both use torture, indefinite detention, secret courts, mass surveillance, have an out of control security apparatus (FSB vs NSA). Russia has and the US (example in this BB post) is on the road to state media. Both employ political trials (Chodorkoswky vs Bradley Manning).

The difference is one of quantity not of quality.

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“Russia’s decision was provocative. Asylum is for people who are afraid to return to their own country because they fear persecution, unlawful imprisonment or even death because of their race, their ethnicity, their religion, their membership in particular social or political groups, or their political beliefs.” ~By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, The New York Times

That’s exactly why he’s seeking asylum! He’s blown the whistle on something so big that it reaches the highest level of government. There is no way he’s NOT going to jail or worse for doing this, but he did the right thing and revealed the truth behind the curtain. He followed his conscience, and that led him into a situation that meant his freedoms would be taken away. The very essence of American freedom is wrapped up in that cache-22.