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NSA leaker Snowden's U.S. passport revoked

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:13 p.m. HST, Jun 23, 2013

WASHINGTON » Admitted leaker Edward Snowden took flight in evasion of U.S. authorities, seeking asylum in Ecuador and leaving the Obama administration scrambling to determine its next step in what became a game of diplomatic cat-and-mouse.

The former National Security Agency contractor and CIA technician fled Hong Kong and arrived at the Moscow airport, where he planned to spend the night before boarding an Aeroflot flight to Cuba. Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his government received an asylum request from Snowden, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would help him.

Snowden's passport was annulled before he left Hong Kong for Russia and while that could complicate his travel plans, the lack of a passport alone could not thwart his plans, a U.S. official said. If a senior official in another country or with an airline orders it, a country could overlook the withdrawn passport, the official said.

The U.S. official would only discuss the passport on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter.

His flight left the U.S. with limited options as Snowden's itinerary took him on a tour of what many see as anti-American capitals. Ecuador in particular has rejected the United States' previous efforts at cooperation, and has been helping WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, avoid prosecution by allowing him to stay at its embassy in London.

Snowden helped The Guardian and The Washington Post disclose U.S. surveillance programs that collect vast amounts of phone records and online data in the name of foreign intelligence, but often sweep up information on American citizens. Officials have the ability to collect phone and Internet information broadly but need a warrant to examine specific cases where they believe terrorism is involved.

Snowden had been in hiding for several weeks in Hong Kong, a former British colony with a high degree of autonomy from mainland China. The United States formally sought Snowden's extradition from Hong Kong but was rebuffed; Hong Kong officials said the U.S. request did not fully comply with their laws.

The Justice Department rejected that claim, saying its request met all of the requirements of the extradition treaty between the U.S. and Hong Kong.

During conversations last week, including a phone call Wednesday between Attorney General Eric Holder and Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, Hong Kong officials never raised any issues regarding sufficiency of the U.S. request, a Justice spokesperson said.

A State Department official said the United States was in touch through diplomatic and law enforcement channels with countries that Snowden could travel through or to, reminding them that Snowden is wanted on criminal charges and reiterating Washington's position that Snowden should only be permitted to travel back to the U.S.

Those officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

The Justice Department said it would "pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr. Snowden may be attempting to travel."

The White House would only say that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the developments by his national security advisers.

Russia's state ITAR-Tass news agency and Interfax cited an unnamed Aeroflot airline official as saying Snowden was on the plane that landed Sunday afternoon in Moscow.

Upon his arrival, Snowden did not leave Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. One explanation could be that he wasn't allowed; a U.S. official said Snowden's passport had been revoked, and special permission from Russian authorities would have been needed.

"It's almost hopeless unless we find some ways to lean on them," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

The Russian media report said Snowden intended to fly to Cuba on Monday and then on to Caracas, Venezuela.

U.S. lawmakers scoffed. "The freedom trail is not exactly China-Russia-Cuba-Venezuela, so I hope we'll chase him to the ends of the earth, bring him to justice and let the Russians know there'll be consequences if they harbor this guy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

With each suspected flight, efforts to secure Snowden's return to the United States appeared more complicated if not impossible. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, but does with Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador. Even with an extradition agreement though, any country could give Snowden a political exemption.

The likelihood that any of these countries would stop Snowden from traveling on to Ecuador seemed remote. While diplomatic tensions have thawed in recent years, Cuba and the United States are hardly allies after a half century of distrust.

Venezuela, too, could prove difficult. Former President Hugo Chavez was a sworn enemy of the United States and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, earlier this year called Obama "grand chief of devils." The two countries do not exchange ambassadors.

U.S. pressure on Caracas also might be problematic given its energy exports. The U.S. Energy Information Agency reports Venezuela sent the United States 900,000 barrels of crude oil each day in 2012, making it the fourth-largest foreign source of U.S. oil.

"I think 10 percent of Snowden's issues are now legal, and 90 percent political," said Douglas McNabb, an expert in international extradition and a senior principal at international criminal defense firm McNabb Associates.

Assange's lawyer, Michael Ratner, said Snowden's options aren't numerous.

"You have to have a country that's going to stand up to the United States," Ratner said. "You're not talking about a huge range of countries here."

That is perhaps why Snowden first stopped in Russia, a nation with complicated relations with Washington.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is "aiding and abetting Snowden's escape," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States," Schumer said. "That's not how allies should treat one another, and I think it will have serious consequences for the United States-Russia relationship."

It also wasn't clear Snowden was finished with disclosing highly classified information.

"I am very worried about what else he has," said Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she had been told Snowden had perhaps more than 200 sensitive documents.

Ros-Lehtinen and King spoke with CNN. Graham spoke to "Fox News Sunday." Schumer was on CNN's "State of the Union." Sanchez appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press." Feinstein was on CBS' "Face the Nation."


Associated Press White House Correspondent Julie Pace and Associated Press writers Matthew V. Lee and Frederic J. Frommer in Washington, Lynn Berry in Moscow, Kevin Chan in Hong Kong and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.

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mitt_grund wrote:
Hmmm, if the Russian Aeroflot involvement is true, then it's probably retaliation for the CIA's clandestine training of rebel forces in Syria for the last year. Putin's thumbing of Obama's nose?
on June 23,2013 | 01:34AM
tigerwarrior wrote:
Correction: Both Cuba and Venezuela have extradition treaties with the U.S. However, according to some sources, these treaties aren't enforced as strictly as they should be. Since these countries are both allies of China, and if China really has a vested interest in Snowden, I'm guessing that these countries may cooperate in offering safe passage for Snowden en route to his final destination where he supposedly seeks asylum--be it Iceland or wherever.
on June 23,2013 | 04:19AM
tigerwarrior wrote:
Snowden is sure shaping up to be the Aldrich Ames of this millennium. As this scenario unfolds, his nothing-is-what-it-seems-to-be ever-changing facade is something out of a work of fiction (i.e., " Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", "The Bourne Identity", "The Good Shepherd", "Body of Lies", "Breach", "Spy Game"). While Ames' double-crossing led to the deaths of several of his colleagues--Snowden's work may have an even more far reaching impact--namely a strain on our relations with China. But then again, appearances in this case can be incredibly deceiving and attempting to differentiate between whether he's in fact a double-agent or simply a whistle blower may be impossible to prove at this point. If Snowden's plan is really to seek refuge in a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S., such as Cuba and Venezuela, both of whom are allies with China, this would cause even more damage to our dealings with China.
on June 23,2013 | 03:25AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Maybe I need to write a work of fiction on what I know!
on June 23,2013 | 07:04AM
cojef wrote:
Cory will disagree with you?? at least he did with me??? He shoveled dirt in Obama's face when he fled the US, just as the President was going chide the President of the PRC in Palm Spring about China cyber-attacks on our military and silicone valley technology. Kabosh, the timing was perfect just like movie scenerio. How about that Richard?
on June 23,2013 | 11:27AM
Skyler wrote:
IIf he was simply a 'whistle-blower' he wouldn't have run to other countries who spy on their citizens just as much as the US does, doncha think?
on June 23,2013 | 11:01AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
This guy is visiting all our major rivals in the world and revealing US classified information to them. China and Russia so far .... who's next on his tour, Iran, Venezuela or Cuba. Far worse a situation and more damaging than Ames ever was to us.
on June 23,2013 | 03:23PM
palani wrote:
Clever move by China to avoid an unpleasant confrontation, but it may indicate that Snowden's useful knowledge could be more limited than thought. Were the situation reversed, with a defecting Chinese national intelligence expert seeking political asylum in the U.S., would our government acquiesce to demands for extradition?
on June 23,2013 | 05:03AM
bender wrote:
Who is underwriting all of Snowden's expenses? Or is he getting carte blanche from all these countries because he might revewal something to them.
on June 23,2013 | 05:33AM
Bdpapa wrote:
It seems like Wikileaks is financing this.
on June 23,2013 | 09:13AM
pcman wrote:
IRT bender on expenses. He has a lot of money. But he might be supported by the Wikileaks people who escorted him to Moscow.
on June 23,2013 | 01:20PM
Mythman wrote:
Ten thousand shades of grey, not black and white, us vs them, in today's intel world of playing for the Holy Grail Title of most open, fair and just government and nation. This is the quest and the game is won or lost by this Rule. The US will win because we invented the game. The Old Hands who wrote the rules are being replaced by the next generation and the next generation. I think Pres O missed the boat on this one but it might be a matter of being out of sync with the timing of this thing shaking out in the world's view. It is certainly a good distraction away from Pres O's agendas involving nuclear disarmament and green technology, however. It's good to remember that in WW 2 the CIA or its equivalents controlled hundreds maybe thousands of the info vehicles of that day, magazines, journals, newspapers, publishing houses, etc. Today's internet, which, BTW, was "invented" as a DARPA project. Come on, now give our guys some credit for not being dummies.....
on June 23,2013 | 06:01AM
Manoa2 wrote:
You are naive if you think any of this is new. It has gone on during the cold war, when there were wire taps on union leaders, newspapers like the New York Times, and liberal groups at major universities. It grew during the Vietnam war with Kennedy and Johnson and McNamara-- again tapping and reading correspondence from New York Times reporters and others, then with anti war groups, university student groups of all types, even members of congress. You had the nuns and the priest who drew attention to the secret files by spilling blood on them. The crazy thing is is that young people surrender all their privacy today-- there are no secrets on the internet, at wifi at coffee shops and restaurants or airports, on any email, facebook, twitter, or you name it, google maps and tons of applications on your iPhone record your location. Your google searches are recorded and you get emails and advertising material tied to them, and your google searches are kept buy Google.
on June 23,2013 | 12:53PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Of course China has extensive surveillance of US govt. officials, university officials.. Know that from my recent e xperience. Wish someone in Hawaii would believe me! First hand experience of having had cellphones and e Mai's hacked and of watching UH administrators turned into puppets on cell phone waves.. No one will do anything except force on confidentiality! These people are running looseinHawaii. These top UH administrators have to have security clearances! How do they get them when they make their phones soo easily available to Chinese hands?
on June 23,2013 | 07:03AM
pcman wrote:
IRT 2disgusted on UH administrators. I cannot believe UH administrators need or are authorized government clearances unless they are working on DOD projects. A clearance costs over $50,000 and takes over a year to complete. So it is not given out freely. Why China would target UH and state officials is beyond me, unless they are working on issues of national defense, such as national guard support of national defense.
on June 23,2013 | 01:33PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
What in the world is wrong with Obama?? If the Mossad were involved Snowden's body would now be in a refrigerated container being sent home.
on June 23,2013 | 07:05AM
Cantopop wrote:
And that's the problem, isn't it?
on June 23,2013 | 09:26AM
HOSSANA wrote:
very well said or could it be that THE ELIMINATOR is already on Snowden's trail which could end with Snowden disappearing forever ......in the land of Hoffa.
on June 23,2013 | 10:12AM
Graham wrote:
Why did our government wait 2-3 weeks before requesting extradition????
on June 23,2013 | 07:32AM
boshio wrote:
It is clear theat the U.S no longer has any respect or power that they once had with other countries of the world.
on June 23,2013 | 07:54AM
HOSSANA wrote:
on June 23,2013 | 10:15AM
RichardCory wrote:
Good. Our government does nothing but abuse its power. The less it has, the better.
on June 23,2013 | 10:20AM
BigOpu wrote:
ARRRGH! Don't you just want to reach out and slap this traitor.
on June 23,2013 | 08:07AM
HLOEWEN wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on June 23,2013 | 08:12AM
honokai wrote:
The country is currently divided as to whether the Constitution remains useful. The consensus in Washington appears to be that it gets in the way and we should perforate it.
on June 23,2013 | 08:24AM
john_zee wrote:
no, he is most certainly a traitor
on June 23,2013 | 08:42AM
Fred01 wrote:
And you are anti-American.
on June 23,2013 | 08:49AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
You say visiting China and then Russia, the communist countries, are hero like traits. Then those Americans that want him to face treason are " anti-Americans"? Wow,Fred your twisted in knots.
on June 23,2013 | 09:41AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yeah he is a traitor. Fred is one of those that defends the rights of Americans whether it jeopardizes the rest of us or not. Who knows, we may need his help someday! But today, I don't see it his way.
on June 23,2013 | 09:17AM
atilter wrote:
the question is - isn't getting help is based on trust? who can anyone trust now-a-days?
on June 23,2013 | 11:49AM
Bdpapa wrote:
True, who can you trust?
on June 23,2013 | 11:59AM
atilter wrote:
like the song "solitaire' goes - you can only play the game with the cards you have! hero or traitor, the player can manipulate the cards anyway he sees fit (so he thinks) - the cards will never change. if the deck evr changes with new ordering, number of cards, etc then thats a game changer. if not - nothing's new. rot's o' ruck, pal! if snowden thinks that he's getting away, he's only fooling himself. it's his game, his "rules", his "deck", his "players", his life, to live to the fullest????!!! the main rule here - keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer???? (if that is any concern) he can't be "sure" of anyone or anything around him now! that's the only "given".
on June 23,2013 | 11:45AM
Anonymous wrote:
HLOEWEN:What a foolish comment:A hero?
on June 23,2013 | 09:05AM
HLOEWEN wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on June 23,2013 | 01:17PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Just like the guy who pissed in the well and told people someone pissed in it. He moves to another town and the rest of the people have only that water to drink.
on June 23,2013 | 05:25PM
lee1957 wrote:
He stood up for his perception of the truth which may or may not be reality. Problem is, he had avenues within the system to grind his axe but he wants to act out the script of a Hollywood movie. It's likely one or more future events will not be foiled because of his actions.
on June 23,2013 | 05:50PM
pcman wrote:
IRT HLOEWEN on hero. A hero does not break the law after taking an oath to defend the constitution and the knowledge he gains from his job and runs and hides and seeks asylum for security and a livelihood for the information he knows. That is cowardice and treasonous. His kind of morality, ethics and honesty will prevent him from ever getting an honest job in the future.
on June 23,2013 | 02:01PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Wrong. A hero breaks any law aor oath that violates the Bill of Rights. That's what defending the Constitution is all about. There's nothing treasonous about telling the American people their government is violating their civil liberties, specifically the Fourth Amendment. He did not conspire with any foreign power beforehand to provide information (that would be treason). He gained nothing from revealing the government's dirty secrets to the free press. He's certainly no coward, given that he knew in advance that following his convictions would change his life forever, and not for the better.
on June 23,2013 | 03:48PM
false wrote:
Well-said! Thank you for standing up for my liberties!
on June 23,2013 | 04:23PM
aomohoa wrote:
I've got to agree with you on this BlueBreaker.
on June 23,2013 | 04:26PM
lee1957 wrote:
If in fact he is defending the Constitution as you assert he should do it here. In the end, the courts would decide if he was duty bound to honor his oath or if his actions were in fact the heroic disclosure of illegal activity. The fact that he is on the run makes it impossible for a hero label to stick.
on June 23,2013 | 05:54PM
Cantopop wrote:
I want to reach out and slap the crap out of the US CONgress and Obama's little private circle
on June 23,2013 | 09:27AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Your comment has been noted and placed in the NSA files for terroristic threatening.
on June 23,2013 | 06:48PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Arrgh, more like hanging him! Like they did during the revolution.
on June 23,2013 | 09:37AM
Anonymous wrote:
1: Are we sure that he's on the move or just a Chinese cover story as he just might be still in Hong Kong or mainland China. 2: Send in Seal Team 6...
on June 23,2013 | 09:07AM
dpinsacto wrote:
How very un-American our government has become.
on June 23,2013 | 09:10AM
scooters wrote:
Yup, ever since BARRACK "HUSSEIN" OBAMA II took office...
on June 23,2013 | 09:17AM
RichardCory wrote:
These policies were going on long before Obama took office.
on June 23,2013 | 10:21AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Richard on policies. True that the policy of secrecy existed long before Obama took office. However, Obama led from in front in setting the example of illegal leaks and disclosure of classified materials, procedures and programs beginning when he campaigned the first time for the presidency. Examples are his disclosure of waterboarding, closure of Guantanamo Bay, special operations procedures in the killing of Bin Laden, the fact that Bin Laden was killed, etc.
on June 23,2013 | 05:06PM
sailfish1 wrote:
scooters - don't be so naïve. Every administration before Obama has had secret intelligence gathering. Every major foreign country has been doing the same for just as long.
on June 23,2013 | 06:51PM
Iuki wrote:
China didn't want him! And looks like maybe Russia doesn't really want him either. I don't want to sound like Cheney and call him a traitor, but he's definitely a sleaze-bag. He's going to end up with no friends in the world anywhere.
on June 23,2013 | 09:18AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
When the history of this period is written decades from now, Osama will be identified as the principal factor in changing America forever. Osama will be identified as a force right up there with biggest names in history. For a relatively small amount of money and relatively small loss of life, his plan changed America into a police state. A monstrous "Homeland Security," a government with unbridled powers, drones, surveillance, foreign policies that horrify our neighbors - rendition, Guantanamo, killing civilians and calling them collateral damage, and on and on. Most of Osama's actions made the USA a country of fear and country where the next generation's outlook is much worse than the one before. A country where we will sell out our noblest principles to pretend we are safer. As an old guy I hear it often from fellow makule - "I really am glad I won't be around in the next 10-20 years to see the country decline and probably fall." So much of this can be traced to the events of 9/11, the catalyst for the evolution of America from land of the free to land of the sheep and home of the fearful.
on June 23,2013 | 09:18AM
juke wrote:
and you are the biggest sheep.all talk
on June 23,2013 | 09:22AM
false wrote:
I agree with Maneki on this one. The dividing line on this is not left versus right. It is whether you support privacy and freedom or want a police state montoring our every move, able to crush anyone who become s critical of the government.

Those who claim Snowden is a "coward" or a "traitor" have themselves betrayed a belief they probably once held in lberty. Snowden may have exposed some powerful secrets, but I am glad they were exposed. He and the journalists he worked with took care to not expose any individual to danger, but that does not mean he has not embarrassed the Obama administration and exposed America's hypocrisy to the world.

I am grateful to Snowden for exposing himself to great risk. His life will never be easy again. But I am grateful to him.

on June 23,2013 | 04:30PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
And how Osama, got Bush and Cheney to take the line, bait hook and sinker. How these Republican leaders took the Patriot Act and formed new Arms of government like Homeland Security while enhancing NSA and the CIA. Old people should always have faith in the young. America will always survive, the core of American values will always be true.
on June 23,2013 | 09:53AM
Skyler wrote:
Unfortunately for you, 'young America' is addicted to fakebook, sexting and selfies. Great.
on June 23,2013 | 11:06AM
atilter wrote:
hahahahahahaha - ain't dat da truth??!! it can't be denied - until significant philosophical changes take place in the thought processes behind the actions of the young. "oldsters" don't have to worry.
on June 23,2013 | 12:13PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Not true! Most of the folks doing setting are older
on June 23,2013 | 03:29PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Not just young !
on June 23,2013 | 03:29PM
atilter wrote:
i bet that is exactly what the old romans thought also!!!
on June 23,2013 | 12:18PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Don't give Osama all the credit. He had a lot of help from the defense and security contractors. For defense contractors, the government officials who write them mega checks, and the hawks in the media who cheer them on, the name of the game has been threat inflation. And no one has been better at it than the folks at Booz Allen Hamilton, the inventors of the new boondoggle called cyberwarfare.

That’s the company, under contract with the National Security Agency, that employed whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the information security engineer whose revelation of Booz Allen’s enormously profitable and pervasive spying on Americans now threatens the firm’s profitability and that of its parent hedge fund, the Carlyle Group.

Booz Allen, whose top personnel served in key positions at the NSA and vice versa after the inconvenient collapse of the Cold War, has been attempting to substitute terrorist for communist as the enemy of choice.

But just when the good times for war profiteers seemed to be forever in the past, there came 9/11 and the terrorist enemy, the gift that keeps on giving, since acts of terror always will occur in a less than perfect world, serving as an ideal excuse for squandering resources, as well as our freedoms.

on June 23,2013 | 03:42PM
false wrote:
One lesson we need to draw from this episode its the rise of the private intelligence agencies, a branch of the military-corporate complex which profits from generous taxpayer-funded contracts and whose companies, as you point out, are full of former intelligence officers (and political cronies).
on June 23,2013 | 04:32PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Not unlike, taxpayer funded charter schools, with no accountability, or the "education consultants" the Bush/Obama administrations force state DOEs to use when their students can't hit impossible-to-achieve benchmarks.
on June 23,2013 | 06:00PM
HD36 wrote:
Trust me, you won't recognize America within 10 years.
on June 23,2013 | 07:43PM
Cantopop wrote:
Team America World Police fail...
on June 23,2013 | 09:25AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
The Bournes Identity? I think not, this guy is a geek.
on June 23,2013 | 09:35AM
gsc wrote:
If we found Bin Laden, then this guy should be very easy to find.
on June 23,2013 | 10:07AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Bin Laden killed thousands of people. Snowden told the Washington Post that the U.S. government was spying on its citizens.
on June 23,2013 | 06:01PM
Kapakahi wrote:
The one person who probably did the most damage to US intelligence in recent years may have been Dick Cheney. The gathering and analysis of intelligence requires a strong commitment to accuracy and objectivity. If you send out a Recon team, you need them to report, as accurately as they can, the position, strength, movement of the enemy troops without exaggeration. Cheney refused to accept intelligence reports which did not support his pre-determined policy choices. When intelligence professionals could find no credible evidence of ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida, Cheney made them rework their reports, suppress their skepticism and build up as "credible" information which was NOT credible by their professional standards.

Similarly on the so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction. He refused to accept estimates that Saddam had abandoned pursuit of WMDs and likely only had decaying stockpiles. They knew the "yellow cake uranium from Niger" stories were probably false, certainly unlikely, yet they insisted on insisting they were true. When Joe Wilson publicly called them out on their lies, Cheney outed his wife, a VERY important CIA operative, involved in VERY important work monitoring nuclear weapons, not only destroying her career, but her array of highly placed contacts in key countries.

Talk about Snowden being a "traitor" come from people with a deeply authoritarian, state-loving mindset. I have seen no reports. He has outed any confidential agents. He has exposed to the public sweeping programs of mass surveillance, both domestic and foreign, which appear to not be subject to meaningful oversight by congress and to be much more invasive than the Obama administration has said. I disagree with Glenn Greenwald that there has been no damage to legitimate law enforcement. Snowden confirmed what was suspected by many and this undoubtedly will cause some criminals, terrorists and non-terrorist criminals alike, to be more careful. But the violations of privacy appear to be so widespread and, if not illegal, are probably unconstitutional.

Those who think this collection of information is not threatening to our individual, personal liberties, have either led very boring lives, is ignorant of the historical abuses of domestic spying or lack imagination. A government with an enemies list can find ways to blackmail or destroy their critics or political opponents with such information. And if you think such people will never get access to information damaging to their opponents, you are naive as all heck.

on June 23,2013 | 10:18AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Kapakahi on traitors. Where you got your information, it is full of BS. Cheney used the same intelligence that both Repubs and Dems used to decide to go to war with Saddam, including the Clinton administration and the Congress that allowed Clinton to attack Iraq which he did with standoff weapons in 1997.
on June 23,2013 | 01:48PM
false wrote:
Your claim may be familiar to you as a "talking point." But it is inaccurate. The professional intelligence people provided Cheney their best assessments and they DID NOT support the alleged links to Al Qaida or an ongoing Iraqi WMD program. Cheney rejected the intelligence reports and told them to re-work them. He sent top aides, like Scooter Libby, to go to CIA headquarters and pressure them to change their assessments. Cheney created his own intelligence assessment unit within the Pentagon, staffed by civilian political appointees whose views he liked.

These people were NOT professional intelligence analysts. They were ideologues who allowed their ideology to cloud their judgment and to suppress information which was at odds with theri desired outcomes. This is not "patriotic." This is madness. I want a good intelligence service, able and willing to speak the truth to the political leaders. Some tried, but they were rebuffed and eventually intimidated by the Cheney gang. Our intelligence capabilities were severely undermined by the Bush-Cheney administration, with Dick Cheney taking hands-on leadership. Snowden's "treason" was motivated by his idealistic attachment to liberty and opposition to excessive government surveillance. Cheney's "treason" was motivated by his black heart. If you are going to start arresting people, start chronologically and go after Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz and those criminals first.

on June 23,2013 | 04:45PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Good points. Cheney and Bush shared some information but not all the information--the amount of information released to those outside of the administration was not identical and a lot of the information Bush and Cheney provided was false and manufactured to lead the country into war.

Recall the performance put on by Bush's Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who asserted at the U.N. that "there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more." Powell also stated that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to obtain key components to produce nuclear weapons. However, British news organizations reported soon afterwards that a UK intelligence dossier Powell had referred to as a "fine paper" during his presentation had been based on old material and plagiarized an essay by American graduate student Ibrahim al-Marashi. A 2004 report by the Iraq Survey Group concluded that the evidence that Powell offered to support the allegation that the Iraqi government possessed weapons of mass destruction was false. Cheney and Bush selectively provided what they knew to push Congress to War. They cherry picked the data and failed to provide all of the evidence, which they had, that contradicted their assertions.

on June 23,2013 | 03:35PM
Kapakahi wrote:
Blues, thanks for posting on here. Too many of the comments come from thoughtless, bitter, kvetching old men, incapable of having a creative thought or a nuanced judgment. Don't let the bast#%*ds get you down!
on June 23,2013 | 05:30PM
HD36 wrote:
I would bet most of them work for the government.
on June 23,2013 | 07:45PM
Iuki wrote:
He will end up with no friends at all--a man without a country.
on June 23,2013 | 12:48PM
ResponsibleCitizen wrote:
If anything I hope this stops the unwarrented spying on American citizens.
on June 23,2013 | 12:51PM
den1718 wrote:
If all of these listening to conversations etc. means safe guarding American lives against terrorist attacks why would anyone object . Im sure the government has better things to do than listening to your or my conversations.
on June 23,2013 | 01:55PM
HD36 wrote:
That didn't stop him from leaving China and it won't stop him from leaving Russia. When you're the largest debtor nation in the history of the world, you can't dictate to creditors.
on June 23,2013 | 02:38PM
mookane wrote:
Send In The DRONES and Take This Clown Out!! He's a Waste of Oxygen !
on June 23,2013 | 05:06PM
HD36 wrote:
Another government worker.
on June 23,2013 | 07:47PM
Anonymous wrote:
Good to hear that "We the People" are helping Mr Snowden escape capture by Big Brother and there attempt to strip him of all his constitutional rights. Just like what Big Brother has done to Roger Christie. Big Brother's plan is to strip "We the People of all our constitutional rights, then strip US of all our wealth. Then make US live in a North Korean style society. Big Brother does not want anarchy to disrupt there plans. This is the real reason for the Snowden incident
on June 23,2013 | 08:03PM
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