Who Is “Running” Edward Snowden?

August 2, 2013

Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's new refugee documents granted by Russia is seen during a news conference in Moscow

Well, well, well… Yesterday Edward Snowden finally received temporary asylum in Russia. Perhaps he would have preferred Iceland, but for now – Russia it is.
The result, as we shall see, is that the defense hawks in the United States are going to roll out an updated version of the “Cold War”. Let’s hope it stays “cold”.
Let’s take a look at a few things; Snowden worked as an analyst for the CIA before shipping over to Booze Allen Hamilton as a contractor for The National Security Administration. The information that Snowden released about the NSA surveillance programs is really nothing new. The joint U.S.-U.K. “Echelon” program has been sweeping up nearly every electronic communication for decades now. In fact, the NSA gave Donald Rumsfeld “real time” communications between Bin Laden and his associates in former Soviet Georgia as the Pentagon was being hit on 911.
What Snowden did bring to the party is the fact that our intelligence agencies are infiltrated by private contractors with virtually no government oversight.

Snowden, who was a Ron Paul backer and has suggested some rather undemocratic views of society in past internet posts, has been suspected to be an agent of some entity rather than a lone whistleblower.
Initially, due to his past association with the CIA it was suspected that he may have been a pawn in a turf war between the CIA and the increasingly powerful NSA.
But, as pointed out by longtime political researcher Dave Emory, Snowden first fled to Hong Kong right before President Obama was scheduled for talks in China. His next stop was Russia, right before Obama met with Putin – casting a new chill on an old cold war.
Emory believes that the Snowden affair is a direct attempt to sabotage the Obama Administration, and that may be coming true.
Today on August 2nd, Reuters news is running this story:

After Snowden, no business as usual for U.S. and Russia

By Matt Spetalnick and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON | Fri Aug 2, 2013 12:07am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After causing weeks of embarrassment for the U.S. intelligence community, the Edward Snowden saga has now cast a shadow over international efforts to end the Syrian civil war and deal with Iran, and could also undermine White House hopes for a nuclear arms reduction deal.

“Russia’s decision on Thursday to grant asylum to Snowden threatens to send already-strained relations between the United States and Russia to the lowest point in years and further complicate efforts to work out geopolitical challenges.

With Russia’s sheltering of the former U.S. spy agency contractor seen as a slap in the face to President Barack Obama, the White House is weighing whether he should now back out of a Moscow summit in early September, in a direct snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The fact that Washington is even issuing such a threat underscores the potentially damaging repercussions for any prospects of reconciling the two former Cold War rivals on thorny global issues that go well beyond the fate of a single 30-year-old hacker trying to evade U.S. prosecution, analysts say.
The two men are highly unlikely to sort out all their many differences even if the summit goes ahead as planned. They have bad personal chemistry and previous meetings have been awkward and unproductive.
While the Kremlin played down any bilateral friction, Obama administration officials and top lawmakers suggested it would not be business as usual now that Russia has given Snowden a year’s asylum and allowed him to leave Moscow’s airport after more than five weeks in limbo.
“The political climate in Washington on Russia is poisonous,” said Andrew Weiss, a former Russia adviser to President Bill Clinton. “There was already plenty of anger toward Russia brewing in the political establishment. Snowden is an accelerant.”
The long list of U.S. differences with Russia is topped by Moscow’s support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war even as Obama has led international calls for him to step aside.
Worsened ties between the United States and Russia could now make it even more difficult for them to cooperate in arranging Syrian peace talks aimed at a political solution.
“Even before Snowden, the consensus in Washington and Moscow was that the “reset” in ties with Russia that the newly elected Obama touted in 2009 had run its course.
But Obama’s critics say the return to the presidency of Putin and his anti-U.S. rhetoric has shown that the U.S. leader was naive to put his faith in Moscow. They point to the Snowden decision as a rebuke that calls for a tough response and say it is one more foreign policy failure at a time when Obama struggles to assert influence in crises sweeping Syria and Egypt.
“Unless we want to remain in the position of someone who is insulted and demeaned, sooner or later those in Washington who want Russia to pay the price for this chain of insults will prevail,” said Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.”
(more at link)

So as we see in the Heritage Foundation statement above, the defense hawks in the U.S. are wetting their lips over the possibility of a new cold war, effectively disrupting any attempt by Obama for a new weapons agreement with Russia. Additionally, it may affect operations in Syria and Iran in which the U.S. needs Russian cooperation. U.S. defense hawks have been pushing hard against both countries while Obama has taken a cautious approach.

But there is still another possibility – that Snowden is being run by a foreign country. If so, that would intensify the Obama administration’s attempt to get him back.
A likely suspect? Dave Emory believes Snowden may be run by Germany.
Historically, Russia and Germany were blood enemies. After World War 2 there was a scramble for Nazi scientists and intelligence agents by the U.S. and Russia, and many of those agents went straight to U.S. spy agencies. As described in Christopher Simpson’s “Blowback”, the Nazi experts on Russia were used in the CIA under the control of General Reinhard Gehlen.
Simpson, in his book “Blowback” builds a strong case that the former Nazi spies were successful in escalating the cold war between their old enemies – the U.S. and Russia. By cleaving away and forcing both countries to spend themselves to bankruptcy in an arms race, the path was clear for Germany to reunify and take control of Europe.
That’s exactly what has happened, In Germany’s case with serious economic strong-arming.
Now consider this; the one country in Europe that is considering permanent asylum for Snowden is – Germany.
In a recent issue of “Spiegal“, German asylum is suggested:

“In a strongly worded text in its current issue, SPIEGEL asks, “Would it not be an act of humanity to liberate him from his current state by, for example, offering him asylum in Germany?” SPIEGEL writes that Snowden could get to Germany from Moscow within a day — a stamp and a signature would suffice for Snowden to board the next plane to Germany and apply for asylum here.
The magazine notes that German border guards could reject him, but they aren’t required to. More likely is that Snowden would immediately be taken into custody because the US has filed a formal request for extradition. The federal government, however, could intervene. Either way, a court would step in to review whether the American request could be fulfilled.”
“Still, as SPIEGEL points out, “there is a way to bring Edward Snowden to Germany and to let him stay here. One just has to be willing to do it and to accept the subsequent fury of the Americans.”

Another such appeal for Snowden to receive asylum in Germany was carried in “The Independent UK”:

Patrick Cockburn
Sunday 21 July 2013
Germany should honour its debt and offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum

“The only person in Europe to see Snowden’s fate both in terms of political morality and in the context of the history of the US and Europe, is Rolf Hochhuth, the German author and playwright. He presented an eloquent petition to Chancellor Angela Merkel asking that Snowden be given asylum.
Hochhuth points out in the petition that where government is both accuser and perpetrator “the accused has no hope of justice”. He added that if Snowden returns to the US he faces years in prison, but if he stays in Russia he will be permanently muzzled.
So, why should Germany of all countries offer asylum to an American? Hochhuth writes that “more than any other, the German people are obligated to honour the right of asylum because, beginning in 1933, our elite, without exception from the Mann brothers to Einstein, survived the 12-year Nazi dictatorship purely because other countries, with the US as the greatest example, offered asylum to these refugees.”
“In its pursuit of Snowden the US government has given substance to his accusations about an over-mighty and uncontrolled security apparatus. The sovereign rights of independent states have been trodden down as readily as the rights of individuals. Hochhuth asks Merkel whether “you know of a similar act over a European state which considers itself sovereign, an act by which for 12 hours orders from the US prevent the plane of a South American president continuing its flight?”
Aside from Hochhuth, there is something neutered and pro forma about the response of Europe’s leaders to Snowden’s revelations despite initial expressions of shock and anger. The British may have been subjected to less intense surveillance, but even if that were not so it is doubtful that they would care. Almost every significant act in Britain’s foreign policy over the past 30 years has been geared to strengthening its status as America’s greatest ally.
Concern for human rights and liberty is at its height when the abuses happen in Benghazi, Aleppo or Homs, but it ebbs to nothing when the abuse is closer to home or involves US citizens.
“It is the highest moral duty of Germany to give asylum to Edward Snowden,” concludes Hochhuth’s petition, “[because] we as no other Europeans are duty bound in the light of our shameful past!”

In this case, Cockburn and Hochhuth use a ruse to appeal to the German government – guilt.
That aside, the path is being paved for a possible permenant asylum for Snowden in Germany.

There is a sure bet that the Russians know exactly what is going on with Snowden. They have harbored other countries spies in the past. But as in the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, the Russians no doubt know that the Snowden affair goes much deeper than a defector with information. But who is really running Edward Snowden?

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One Response to Who Is “Running” Edward Snowden?

  1. Bob Patterson on August 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    At the very least Russia is using him to send a statement to the U.S. Hard to tell yet if it goes deeper with Russia or some other country. Our failing relations with Russia is a concern.

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