Hit ABC series Scandal rounded out it’s second season with a superb surprise ending for the finale. The popular political drama stars Kerry Washington in the lead role of Olivia Pope, a sharp minded crisis management expert who knows just how to navigate the shark infested political waters of the White House and Washington D.C. Essentially, she is an expert at helping people get out of the hot seat, passed the fire, and into a safe zone, where they can recover their reputations and possibilities.
With all the large scale drama unfolding around the now infamous Edward Snowden, one can wonder if perhaps he has a personal and real life version of Olivia Pope advising and guiding him on how to handle the storm to come. From the look of all the evidence surfacing, he certainly needs to put a “spin on things” to keep from being a martyr or failed hero. Edward Snowden is a 29 year old IT analyst who leaked confidential information about the National Security Agency. Specifically, he leaked an interview with The Guardian news, via Glen Greenwald and Laura Poitras, along with a set of 41 Powerpoint slides (Updated Images – Video). Morning news reports are keeping us informed, and up to date on asylum options that are being offered and balked by Snowden. Most recent reports indicate that he has begun speaking with the Chinese consulate. It is reported that Snowden arrived in Hong Kong almost a month ago, where he has remained in attempted hiding ever since.
The Voice of Russia reports that Russian official Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is open to discussion of asylum for Snowden, should he make the request. Snowden has not howerver, made any such request from Russia, but he is quoted as saying
“I intend to ask for political asylum in any country that believes in freedom of speech and is against violations of privacy.”
In other words, Snowden is not clear on what his next step is, or perhaps even where he should be; and that means he had no game plan to get out of this without destroying himself in the process. Now that the adrenaline rush is over, and the 15 mins of fame has turned sour, it is now time to face for him to accept the reality of his decision; that there are dire consequences for his actions. Ewen MacAskill from the Guardian made the point poignantly when he said Snowden “is the world’s most famous spy…” and that right there is the problem. A good spy isn’t a famous person, a good spy stays incognito because they are aware of the resources available to the governmental authorities. In 2004 Snowden enlisted to join the Army Special Forces, he was a recruit for four months, before he had a training accident, after which time he was discharged. Apparently he didn’t stay long enough to comprehend the possible military recourse available to the United States in dealing with detractors and treason.
It is curious to say the least, how a man with such little academic and military prowess achieved such a trusted and high clearance position within the NSA. Snowden had received his GED and attended a Maryland community college where he took computer classes. He did not finish his coursework. And in spite of his lack lustre academic performance, Snowden has held the titles of Systems Engineer, Systems Administrator, Senior Advisor for the CIA’s Solutions Consultant and a Telecom Informations Officer. With all those fancy titles, came the opportunity of a lifetime through Booz Allen Hamilton, the third party contractor through which Snowden was last employed and gained access to the PRISM project files.
I’m no different from anybody else, I don’t have special skills.
There are rumours circulating that he is in fact a Chinese Intelligence Spy, which is why he’s actually in Hong Kong. It seems plausible given the situation, that yes he was a spy for China, or was a patsy for someone higher internally or externally to the NSA. Considering the severity of the crimes he faces back in the United States, Edward Snowden seems to have made his plans for escape rather hastily, and without any real analysis. According to South China Morning Post an interview with Snowden brought forth allegations that the NSA has hacked accounts in Hong Kong although he did not reveal the targets or their industry. Whether the accusation has any truth to it, or whether it’s a postponement tactic to increase his chance of protection from extradition, it’s hard to determine. Today Snowden is quoted as saying, he will remain in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave“… and the obvious helplessness behind this statement and even his location can’t help but escape even the dullest of wits.
The relative scale of the scandal is International in proportion, and President Obama has given no indication that leniency will be extended to Edward Snowden. In fact, Obama himself hasn’t issued a statement and frankly, his silence is as loud as a deafening roar across the ocean all the way to Hong Kong. Snowden himself seems to believe that his being so highly visible is a leverage for his life and the reputation of the American government. He has amassed himself at least 10,000 supports and counting that are asking (some say demanding) that President Barack Obama “pardon” Edward Snowden. Given the weight of the crimes he openly admitted to committing, the possibility of a “pardon” are not reasonable nor wise.
Already people have divided themselves into camps over the innocence and motives behind Edward Snowden, the NSA Prism project and his decision to leak the evidence. His supporters call him a hero, and a whistleblower, and his enemies grant him no mercy calling him a traitor and a defector.
At best, he has received what he wanted which is attention on the subject matter of civil liberties for American citizens, at worst, he’s now America’s number one enemy, and he’s going to need a miracle, or Olivia Pope to get him off that list, and beyond the powers of extradition.
June 13, 2012 – The Voice of Russia: Snowden doesn’t ask for political asylum
June 13, 2012 – Watch: Laura Poitras is Behind the Scenes of the Edward Snowden NSA Whistleblower Video
June 13, 2012 –Huff Post Media :Edward Snowden To South China Morning Post: Let Hong Kong ‘Decide My Fate’
June 12, 2012 – TPM -Snowden Makes Fresh Hacking Allegations in New Interview
June 10, 2012 – TPM – The Career of Edward Snowden