New information spewed forth, showcased on Sunday morning talk shows, this weekend in America as political leaders continued the discussion on privacy vs. security needs for the nation.
Asked whether Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, may have had help from the Russians, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) described Snowden on NBC's "Meet the Press" as "a thief who we believe had some help," according to the WashingtonPost story on the matter. Rogers also said:
"I believe there was a reason he ended up in the loving arms of an FSB agent in Moscow, I believe there are questions to be answered there. I don't think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB." (Note: The FSB is the successor agency to the KGB, which makes it the national security agency of the Russian Federation.)
California Senator Dianne Feinstein, in the same story, seemed more uncertain and said: "He may well have. We don't know at this stage."
Congressional leaders are obviously divided on President Barack Obama's recently announce ideas on the National Security Agency's data collection programs, but that did not stop some of them from hitting the Sunday talk shows or social media to tout their beliefs before the American people in an election year.
Dissecting the President's speech:
An apparently disappointed Senator Rand Paul offered a "cliff notes" version of President Obama's NSA speech. It is found here in a photo on his Twitter page (see attached image), wherein the 4th Article is redacted from the U.S. Constitution.
(The fourth Article can be found can be here at Consitution.findlaw.com.)
And then there was this, from Senator Rand Paul, found on Twitchy:
"If you like your privacy you can keep it..."
9:03 AM - 17 Jan 2014
Sen. Rand Paul has been described as "one of the fiercest critics of the National Security Agency in the wake of leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden," according to an article from BusinessInsider. In a recent statement, he said he was "disappointed in the details" of what President Barack Obama proposed as reforms to U.S. intelligence-gathering programs. The story mentioned a reference that Obama used in his speech, regarding the Revolutionary War, which Paul used then:
"Paul Revere was warning us that the British were coming, not that the Americans were coming."
The President's speech clearly had world-wide attention. In an interview with CNN recently, Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange was also dissecting the President's speech:
“What we didn't hear from the president was any meaningful protection of U.S. business … As far as the outside world is concerned, the United States has become an archipelago of coercion, where any person you are dealing with in business, at Google, or Facebook, or Yahoo!, or at a telecommunications company might have become secretly an agent of the National Security Agency, because they're ordered to do so by the FISA court, and they're forced to keep that secret, all through the mechanism of national security letters.”
Snowden working for Russia?
The attached video from HuffingtonPost describes a report from last fall that states important points regarding the Snowden matter:
- Snowden works for an unknown Russian internet site,
- the site's name is being withheld "for security reasons"
The news that Edward Snowden may be working with the Russian Government, according to the video, may be particularly troublesome information for elected leaders in the U.S. who take security of the nation as a matter of being the highest priority for them now, even if at the time it seemed they did everything to keep him held outside of the country, even yanking his travel documents to confine him at a Moscow airport, as reported previously in the Examiner.
In that piece Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, a Kremlin advisory body said:
“In the given circumstances, Russia has two workable options: Firstly is to provide Snowden with some refugee-status papers so that he could buy a ticket and leave for some other country, or secondly to grant him political asylum."
Also reported in the Examiner story, Kabanov stated:
“Snowden's actions were motivated by a desire to protect human rights and freedoms and now many rights activists in Russia are talking about him as a human rights advocate who deserves to be granted asylum, although this measure is fraught with some political inconveniences for Russia."