For the third time (after not finding him in Hong Kong after 3 weeks, and not detecting his flight to Russia), the US government has once again failed to catch former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has and continues to reveal massive illegal domestic and global surveillance by the NSA.
Yesterday, the Guardian reports that Bolivian President Evo Morales' jet was re-routed based on suspicions that Snowden might be aboard. (Morales was returning from energy talks in Moscow.) Italy, Spain, France and Portugal refused entry to their airspace, with the latter two countries abruptly canceling air permits. Never mind that, as Bolivia's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca said, this
put at risk the life of the Presidentbecause the plane was low on fuel. That's how desperate the United States is to silence a whistleblower.
The United States' extreme overreaction to Snowden is consonant with its over-prosecuting truth-tellers for Espionage in its war on whistleblowers.
The United States going Rumpelstiltskin on this is myopic overkill prompts the opposite effect of what the government wants: Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador have now said they will look favorably on an asylum application from Snowden. Snowden's father has now changed his position on what his son did:
You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping absent probable cause to believe crimes is afoot to vassalage. . . You are a modern day Paul Revere: summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch of government.Morales' plane luckily landed safely in Austria, where it was unlawfully searched, and has now reached its original destination.
The United States is so crazed over information it finds embarrassing--or worse, that reveals its illegalities--that it is going to extreme measures to take down whistleblowers, journalists and hacktivists. Today, Latin American presidents plan an emergency meeting to discuss this incident and the United States looks ridiculous. Surely, alienating the countries most likely to grant asylum to Snowden, is not what the United States wants.