New York Times editorial board trashes Edward Snowden

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.

Well no. But it’s a sad and sorry fucking state of affairs when Barack Obama, for all his faults, is unable to occupy the moral high ground over a dictatorial sociopath like Putin. And I’m sure Putin knows that, and gets a little amusement from it.


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