Tag Archives: Snowden

Asma Jahangir, Snowden honoured with ‘alternative Nobel’

By Agencies

STOCKHOLM: Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir and Edward Snowden are among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the “alternative Nobel.”

The 1.5 million kronor ($210,000) cash award was shared by Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Also read: Herald exclusive: An interview with Asma Jahangir

The former National Security Agency contractor, who was honoured for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. split the honorary portion of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.

Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honours efforts that prize founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

The prize is awarded annually “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”, according to the foundation.

As an honorary award winner, Snowden, would not receive the customary 500,000 kronor ($70,000) prize money, but the foundation said it would “fund legal support for him” without disclosing the amount.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1134056

Top-secret U.S. intelligence files show new levels of distrust of Pakistan

By Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman

The $52.6 billion U.S. intelligence arsenal is aimed mainly at unambiguous adversaries, including al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran. But top-secret budget documents reveal an equally intense focus on one purported ally: Pakistan.

No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern.

A 178-page summary of the U.S. intelligence community’s “black budget” shows that the United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms, cites previously undisclosed concerns about biological and chemical sites there, and details efforts to assess the loyalties of counter­terrorism sources recruited by the CIA.

Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical U.S. intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else.

The disclosures — based on documents provided to The Washington Post by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden — expose broad new levels of U.S. distrust in an already unsteady security partnership with Pakistan, a politically unstable country that faces rising Islamist militancy. They also reveal a more expansive effort to gather intelligence on Pakistan than U.S. officials have disclosed.

The United States has delivered nearly $26 billion in aid to Pakistan over the past 12 years, aimed at stabilizing the country and ensuring its cooperation in counterterrorism efforts. But with Osama bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda degraded, U.S. spy agencies appear to be shifting their attention to dangers that have emerged beyond the patch of Pakistani territory patrolled by CIA drones.

“If the Americans are expanding their surveillance capabilities, it can only mean one thing,” said Husain Haqqani, who until 2011 served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States. “The mistrust now exceeds the trust.”

Beyond the budget files, other classified documents provided to The Post expose fresh allegations of systemic human rights abuses in Pakistan. U.S. spy agencies reported that high-ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officials had been aware of — and possibly ordered — an extensive campaign of extrajudicial killings targeting militants and other adversaries.

Read more » The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/top-secret-us-intelligence-files-show-new-levels-of-distrust-of-pakistan/2013/09/02/e19d03c2-11bf-11e3-b630-36617ca6640f_story.html

Role Reversal: How the U.S. Became the USSR — Paul Craig Roberts

I spent the summer of 1961 behind the Iron Curtain. I was part of the US-USSR student exchange program. It was the second year of the program that operated under auspices of the US Department of State. Our return to the West via train through East Germany was interrupted by the construction of the Berlin Wall. We were sent back to Poland. The East German rail tracks were occupied with Soviet troop and tank trains as the Red Army concentrated in East Germany to face down any Western interference.

Fortunately, in those days there were no neoconservatives. Washington had not grown the hubris it so well displays in the 21st century. The wall was built and war was avoided. The wall backfired on the Soviets. Both JFK and Ronald Reagan used it to good propaganda effect.

In those days America stood for freedom, and the Soviet Union for oppression. Much of this impression was created by Western propaganda, but there was some semblance to the truth in the image. The communists had a Julian Assange and an Edward Snowden of their own. His name was Cardinal Jozef Mindszenty, the leader of the Hungarian Catholic Church.

Mindszenty opposed tyranny. For his efforts he was imprisoned by the Nazis. Communists also regarded him as an undesirable, and he was tortured and given a life sentence in 1949.

Freed by the short-lived Hungarian Revolution in 1956, Mindszenty reached the American Embassy in Budapest and was granted political asylum by Washington. However, the communists would not give him the free passage that asylum presumes, and Mindszenty lived in the US Embassy for 15 years, 79% of his remaining life.

In the 21st century roles have reversed. Today it is Washington that is enamored of tyranny. On Washington’s orders, the UK will not permit Julian Assange free passage to Ecuador, where he has been granted asylum. Like Cardinal Mindszenty, Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

Washington will not permit its European vassal states to allow overflights of airliners carrying Edward Snowden to any of the countries that have offered Snowden asylum. Snowden is stuck in the Moscow airport.

In Washington politicians of both parties demand that Snowden be captured and executed. Politicians demand that Russia be punished for not violating international law, seizing Snowden, and turning him over to Washington to be tortured and executed, despite the fact that Washington has no extradition treaty with Russia.

Snowden did United States citizens a great service. He told us that despite constitutional prohibition, Washington had implemented a universal spy system intercepting every communication of every American and much of the rest of the world. Special facilities are built in which to store these communications.

In other words, Snowden did what Americans are supposed to do–disclose government crimes against the Constitution and against citizens. Without a free press there is nothing but the government’s lies. In order to protect its lies from exposure, Washington intends to exterminate all truth tellers.

Read more » Paul Craig Roberts
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/07/23/role-reversal-how-the-us-became-the-ussr-paul-craig-roberts/#assange

Snowden leaks may embarrass Canberra

By Philip Dorling

American intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden may expose top secret Australian intelligence gathering operations and embarrass Australia’s relations with neighbouring Asian countries, Australian intelligence officials fear.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/snowden-leaks-may-embarrass-canberra-20130625-2ov4l.html#ixzz2XEZC9jUQ

U.S. lashes at Russia for allowing Edward Snowden to transit through Moscow

Kerry Reproaches Russia as Ecuador Considers Snowden Asylum

By Bloomberg News

The U.S. lashed out at Russia for letting former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden transit through Moscow as Ecuador considered his bid for asylum.

Secretary of State John Kerry said today it will be “deeply troubling” if Russia had advance notice of Snowden’s arrival in Moscow and “notwithstanding that, they make the decision willfully to ignore that and not live by the standards of the law.”

Snowden, who had been booked to fly from Moscow to Havana today after arriving from Hong Kong yesterday, didn’t board the flight at Sheremetyevo International Airport, said an official for state-owned OAO Aeroflot, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group, said Snowden was “healthy and safe,” though he declined to give Snowden’s current location on a conference call with reporters today.

Read more » Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-23/u-s-says-it-will-chase-down-snowden-after-hong-kong-departure.html

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