don’t do it, Ed!
Just thought I’d point out that the Swiss flag is a square, not just any ol’ rectangle. It may seem pedantic, but a lot of countries have put as much thought into their flag’s aspect ratio as they have into any of the colours. The Swiss looks much better at 1:1.
For the sake of argument, let’s say Switzerland does grant him safe passage (I’m inclined to give Switzerland the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their integrity)…
The real question is how does Snowden get there without flying over airspace controlled by a government that wouldn’t force the plane to land at the behest of the US? Last time I checked Switzerland is completely surrounded by US-friendly regimes.
Reasons to live in Switzerland:
The cheese, the mountains, the winter sports. Oh, and the flag is a big plus.
I think the US government has already demonstrated that diplomatic safe passage will be not only ignored, but actually trampled upon in order to get to Snowden.
I firmly believe the President has little to do with this mess. He just doesn’t seem like an authoritarian, especially considering his background. My theory is the DOJ is out of control, and the President either doesn’t know, or isn’t able to rein them in.
There is only one good solution. Full pardon and immunity. And the President should personally hand him the keys to Jamie Dimon’s former house.
Why… does he have to travel by air?
Also, I don’t exactly know how Switzerland gets a free pass from the world. They behaved particularly questionably during WWII, particularly their conversion of holocaust victim’s gold that was plundered from banks in occupied territories into currency the Germans could spend on buying resources. They supplied huge quantities of munitions to Germany:
and then to top it all off they get to say they’re “neutral”, all the while being the 15th largest exporter of arms by value. It’s not appropriate to ever give them a pat on the back while they make billions selling killing tools.
Travel by sea is impossible to a land locked country. Travel by land is potentially more dangerous than flying. The only safe approach I can think of is to burrow under Romania, Hungary and Austria.
No way is travel by air, which is done through centralised hubs on huge machinery, less risky than by land. On land there are many things you can do to evade or elude. In the air there are few.
There are many land borders to cross and out around Ukraine they aren’t as tolerant as around Switzerland. I wonder if Russia could arrange to outland a Soyuz in Lake Geneva? Space flight was the option I left out. It would be going too fast to force a diversion.
I’m not so convinced. How can he let the DOJ get so far out of control? If the DOJ isn’t answerable to him, then who are they answerable to? Note also that he allows the assassination of civilians through drones, and he still hasn’t closed Guantanamo, which he promised to do. He has defended the NSA spying. He’s every bit the authoritarian that he didn’t seem to be before he was elected.
I wonder how firing our dissidents at them out of a huge cannon would affect Switzerland’s preferences towaqrds neutrality…
Well, he’s out of the DOJ jurisdiction. the DoJ can file some paperwork and ask nicely for him to be extradited. And they did.
Please note that it is NSA, CIA, DoD, State etc… that were damaged by the Snowden revelations, and it is those departments which have shown excesses in “backing up” the DOJ. e.g. forcing planes down, which the DOJ is not known for doing on its own (not having many fighter jets and radar assets of its own).
If you blame the DoJ, fine, but I’m going to keep paying attention to the man -behind- the curtain.
Obama does not seem like an authoritarian to me, at all. He has authority, and relatively speaking, in reference to his predecessors, his restraint is obvious. So obvious that your bias is showing.
(also, gitmo: population down significantly, facility crumbling, not long now)
I don’t deny I’m biased against authoritarianism, torture and spying. I don’t find his restraint particularly obvious, and his predecessor was George W. Bush. Talk about faint praise.
By the way, the Bolivian plane that was forced down, was not forced down by US fighters at all. It was France and Portugal that refused to allow it to enter their airspace. If the US had a hand in it (which has not been proven as far as I know, but seems likely), it was done through political, not military pressure. And that means either Obama or Clinton’s department.
And less people being detained illegally is really not that much of an improvement. People are still being held in illegal detention without being charged of a crime. If they committed a crime, they need to be charged and tried. If they didn’t, they need to be released. This dawdling by Obama looks (and is!) really bad.
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