Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said that President Obama’s statement, that he would revise NSA surveillance to be more transparent, deserves the thanks from the President and the US to Edward Snowden.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has stated that “Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September.” This means that President Obama has not declined to attend the next G-20 meeting; but the snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia granting temporary political asylum to Edward Snowden has not gone without notice.
US President Barack Obama has said that instead of meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in advance of the G-20 conference, he will visit Stockholm in Sweden. The move has been applauded by Sweden; but it causes a rift between the US and Russia.
In the wake of a temporary grant of political asylum to Edward Snowden after he leaked details of what was unconstitutionally obtained surveillance information, President Obama has chosen to snub one of the world’s leading economies. Under oath, testifying before Congress, NSA officials have admitted that the surveillance program conflicts with the law.
President Obama in a press conference drew the analogy of whether NSA surveillance is legal to doing the dishes and then showing them to his wife; but the protocols under which this surveillance is being conducted are mostly classified. Following that analogy, if it were not for Edward Snowden, a whistleblower, we would not have been shown that the dishes are not done.
Obama’s attitude towards whistleblowers contradicts in stark contrast his campaign promise in 2008 that “such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance.”
Lon Snowden, Edward’s father, has been finally granted a visa to travel to Russia and visit with his son. The FBI offered him an opportunity to do just that before Edward was granted political asylum; but Lon refused, because the FBI did not guarantee that he would be able to meet Edward in Russia.
Assange added “But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the president laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along.” Obama has said that there was intention to overhaul NSA surveillance before Edward Snowden leaked the details of its extent; but this would be easier to believe if Obama had not first declared Edward Snowden a wanted man, and tried to use the influence of a US president to have Snowden extradited from Russia.
Of the Edward Snowden case, Obama said “I think the latest episode is just one more in a number of emerging differences that we’ve seen over the last several months around Syria, around human rights issues where, you know, it is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia’s going, what our core interests are, and calibrate the relationship so that we’re doing things that are good for the United States and, hopefully, good for Russia.”
The situation in Syria is not a simple one. The totalitarian regime there has used missiles haphazardly, which has resulted in the deaths of civilians. This has led to the Obama administration, which has decided to arm the rebellion against the regime in that nation, to consider MEMS nanotechnology embedded in the weapons they are supplying to the opposition so that those systems cannot be used against the US, its allies, commercial aircraft, or even in certain geographical areas. MEMS technology cannot at this time be attached to infantry guns; but it can be used on antiaircraft guns and missiles.
Julian Assange’s criticism of President Obama is not a lone voice. Many have criticized him for slighting President Putin, and attempting, inefficiently, to prosecute Edward Snowden, who Assange has said should be thanked by both Obama and the entire US.
By Milton Ruiz