Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ecuador's About-Face on Ed Snowden Brought on By US Vice President Joe Biden

From Bloomberg News (7/2/2013; part):

The effort to repatriate Snowden is being led by Vice President Joseph Biden and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the situation is being treated as a law-enforcement issue.

Biden’s Message

In a call to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, Biden didn’t just communicate the reasons Snowden should be returned. He also let Correa know that relations would “strongly deteriorate” if Snowden were allowed to come to the country, the Ecuadorean leader said in a June 29 radio address.

Biden’s call to Correa, which was confirmed by U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, sent a message to all countries that might consider granting asylum to Snowden. Psaki wouldn’t specify what other nations the U.S. had contacted or what exactly was said.

Mr. Ben Rhodes is a former speech writer of Mr. Obama.

Bloomberg News also quotes officials in Poland as saying "it didn’t meet the requirements for political refuge", and provides the link to the twitter account of India's official spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs who tweeted:

If Snowden doesn't meet the requirements for political refuge, I don't know who does.

It's amusing to read news about Snowden in various websites and read comment sections. I see many comments that read strangely alike, accusing him as traitor in capital letters. 50 cents a piece at most, probably.

Talk about amusing, the US State Department apparently spent 630,000 dollars buying Facebook "likes", which boosted the likes from 100,000 in 2011 to 2 million in March 2013.

Between that, and Joe Biden's friendly talks with leaders, everyone "likes" the US, don't they?


Anonymous said...

"If Snowden doesn't meet the requirements for political refuge, I don't know who does."

I think you are mixing a moral opinion with a legal assessment.

On paper there is probably a breach of law by Snowdon and on paper the US is not a country routinely breaching human rights so that asylum would be justified. The "on paper" is what matters most of the time.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

>on paper the US is not a country routinely breaching human rights

Yes, I guess that's all it matters, "on paper". Have seen that so many times for the past two years in the Japan's nuclear accident and its aftermath.

Anonymous said...

Bradley Manning doesn't exist, and Guantanamo is not run by the US either. US is the champion of human rights.

Wei Lian Lee said...

Hi - I hope you forgive me for going off topic and posting this comment here.

As a person who is so familiar with Japan and the Fukushima situation, I was wondering if you could post an opinion peace on traveling to Japan - the risks - especially food risks - and what areas of Japan would be safest to travel to.


Unknown said...

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Maju said...

@Wei Lian Lee: I have made several maps on Fukushima-derived environmental danger in Japan, based on Japanese sources, and I believe this one synthesizes the situation pretty well at department level. So, essentially I would strictly avoid most Northern (or Eastern) Honshu, including Greater Tokyo, with the rest of the country (Southern/Western Honsu, Hokkaido and Okinawa) being apparently within "normal" safety levels.

Still short-time environmental exposure for an adult is probably not such a serious matter unless it is extremely intense. The greatest problem is food and water. Tap water in the "red" areas will be surely contaminated, so you risk internal exposure (which tends to be long term and therefore much more dangerous), you can also suffer this problem from inhalation of radioactive particles in breath or from food. So you can largely avoid most of the problem by not traveling to Northern Honsu ("red" areas especially).

However food is truly problematic because the authorities are doing all they can to have people eat radioactive food from the worst affected areas, instead of, as would be logical, so I would recommend to eat ONLY imported or guaranteed locally grown food from the less affected areas (notice that many products' origin are mislabeled anyhow).

Wei Lian Lee said...

Dear Maju
thank you for that elaborate reply. It looks like Eastern Japan is really bad while Hokkaido and Western Japan are relatively ok. I agree about the food - that's what is worrying - the risk of ingesting contaminated produce. I love Japan and would love to go back but am wary of the way the Japanese government has handled the situation especially as you pointed out - they have not restricted Fukushima food and debris to only that region. The thing is that while we are worrying of the risk - the Japanese themselves and foreign tourists so far seem more or less unaffected by the contamination so it's really confusing.

Anonymous said...

@ laprimavera
quite funny your words "If Snowden doesn't meet the requirements for political refuge, I don't know who does." are exactly the same words the French far right leader-and-daughter-of-her-dad Marinne Le Pen said.
(I don't think you would get on well with her, anyway... and I would say it's costless from her, as she doesn't have to confront reallity ( in english "lip-service" but for Frenchies this can't escape a sexual explicit meaning )
I am glad France is not yet "off the list", but it is a very difficult case. Actually there is no jurisprudence or "case law" for this. I wish there will be, as M. Snowden, to whom I wish all good, has acted accordingly to his moral grounds, has no blood on his hands, and only threatened the USA in their crazy and abusive ways "in the name of their own freedom and safety".
Alas this craze didn't pop up after 9/11, it started in the fifties, long before that is...
No wonder the list is shrinking, the USA never missed an opportunity to bash and crush down "disappointing countries", especially the French, whatever a virtuous figure they pretend to have, and require from their partners - or from anyone.
We've paid a high price leaving Nato under De Gaulle, and although we were very loyal to the US - see the farewell case, we also paid dear for our little independence about Irak war n° 2.

Maju said...

How have the French or France "paid" for being slightly independent, when they were so? C'mon! And in general France and the USA go hand by hand: Haiti, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Spain...

An anyhow, obviously Le Pen does not have in mind the rights of Snowden but to curtail or simply destroy the rights of many other refugees (political and/or economical) in France and all Europe. What a cynic!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people realize that likes and comments are always manipulated by assholes with agenda.

Anytime I see anyone post such information, people throw a fit about tin hats and claim that governments would never do such a thing. Of course, they are probably being paid to do so.

Anonymous said...

As far as the requirements for political refuge go, I just came across a comment to an article in The Guardian that I'd like to share. If the content is accurate, it provides good food for thought for the refuge requirement determination.
It reads as folllows:

NSA should be brought to the international court.

"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." Through the huge case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, privacy has been defined and its protection has been established as a positive right of everyone.

Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations of 1966 also protects privacy: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

Principles of EU; UNO Privacy Law

"Personal data should not be processed at all, except when certain conditions are met. These conditions fall into three categories: transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality."


"The data subject has the right to be informed when his personal data is being processed. The controller must provide his name and address, the purpose of processing, the recipients of the data and all other information required to ensure the processing is fair. (art. 10 and 11)"

(Posted by Justice53 at

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