9 a.m. July 12, 2013

A scribble

Via Wikileaks, Snowden's statement to human rights groups praises Russia as among "the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless."

Back channel chatter

  1. Is he gonna say that about every country he has a layover in? Next stop: North Korea...then on to Israel...Saudi Arabia...Iran.

    The Snowden Freedom & Rights Tour.

  2. How do the powerless commit human rights violations? If you're a Rwandan Tutsi and 200 Hutu genocidaires decide to hunt your family down and kill them all, they're the powerful, even if they don't rate according to this dweeb's coffee-house politics.

  3. This struck me first during the whole post-9/11 mess: both far-left and the right-wing assumed that America was all-powerful, either as an über new Roman Empire (I think Krauthammer actually wrote that) or as a singular force for evil. The view of a world with multiple actors and agendas, along with enough evil to go around, is sadly lacking.

  4. That's just fucking idiotic — Russia?! There's not a single shred of principle here. He's a Ron Paul libertarian, he's never said a single thing about social justice and social democracy as a solution. He's anti-state, yet he says here he plans to go to Venezuela, the most statist of all the countries. Everyone's justifying it on self-preservation grounds, which as a principle is the complete opposite of, uh, principles.

  5. Wait a second, so he is planning to do a "Snowden Statist Freedom Tour":

    Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. . . . Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
  6. It's contrarianism ad absurdum: Snowden argues you can be "powerless" and a human rights abuser at the same time; "powerless" human rights abusers are noble human rights abusers, unlike "the powerful" human righs abusers, who are the ones we should really be focusing on. He's arguing that whitewashing the human rights abuses committed by "Putin the powerless" takes courage and principles, because it's soooo easy to take a stand against "powerless" abusers. This sort of libertarian DC puke has Greenwald's stomach contents all over it. We're fucked, folks.

  7. Judging from the reactions I've seen from people who were vaguely favorable to Snowden, I think he and Greenwald just damaged their credibility pretty badly in the eyes of the wider public.

    This bolsters what I've felt for awhile, that Greenwald's well on his way to becoming the next Ramsey Clark.