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NEWS -- 2013.06.23.Sunday School Lessons

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  • James Martin
    1) Edward Snowden Arrives in Moscow 2) US Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying 3) So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage? 4)
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2013
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      1) Edward Snowden Arrives in Moscow
      2) US Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying
      3) So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?
      4) Graham on Snowden: 'The freedom trail is not exactly China-Russia-Cuba-Venezuela'

      Cloud Atlas http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Cloud-Atlas/70248183
      2012 R 172 minutes
      Just short of three hours. Excellent. Deep. Requires use of your brain to follow it. Lots of subtle comments.
      Highly recommended.
      Each actor plays the part of several characters throughout the movie, with scenes abruptly changing from one time period to another.
      The characters of Robert Frobisher (played by Ben Whishaw) and Adam Ewing (played by Jim Sturgess) are especially note worthy. The ending is tragic.
      In this star-studded drama, six seemingly disparate stories take viewers from a South Pacific Island in the 19th century to 1970s America to a dystopian future, exploring the complicated links that humans share through the generations.


      Paragraph 175 http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/60002225
      2000 NR 81 minutes
      Actor Rupert Everett narrates this disquieting documentary from filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman that exposes the Third Reich's vicious persecution of male homosexuals during World War II. The film's title comes from an arcane, 1871 German statute making sodomy punishable by incarceration, with the ultimate goal of eradicating gays completely. Only a handful of survivors remain to recount their traumatic tales.

      Watch the documentary, then watch it again with the director's comments on.



      Edward Snowden Arrives in Moscow
      By Tania Branigan, Miriam Elder, Guardian UK

      23 June 13

      Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, is believed to have arrived in Moscow after Hong Kong authorities allowed him to leave despite a US request for his arrest.

      In a statement, WikiLeaks said the 30-year-old was heading to a democratic country "via a safe route" for asylum purposes and that the organisation was assisting at his request. Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong since identifying himself as the source of revelations on US surveillance programmes.

      His flight from US authorities, which want to charge him with espionage, appeared set to continue with an onward flight west from Moscow to Havana on Monday. From there, various reports indicated that he would try to get to either Caracas or Quito.

      The Hong Kong government said on Sunday he had left of his own accord "through a lawful and normal channel" and said the request filed by the US did not fully comply with legal requirements. Pointedly, it also said it wanted Washington to clarify Snowden's claims that the US had hacked targets in the territory.

      The move came two days after the US announced it had charged him with espionage and hours after the US stepped up pressure on Hong Kong to issue a provisional warrant for Snowden's arrest with a view to his surrender.

      Snowden had previously said he would stay in Hong Kong and fight for his freedom through the courts. He had been at a safe house since 10 June, when he checked out of his hotel after giving an interview to the Guardian revealing himself as the source who leaked top secret US documents.

      His unexpected departure comes a day after the US sought to turn up pressure on the territory, with a senior administration official telling the Washington Post: "If Hong Kong doesn't act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong's commitment to the rule of law."

      Sunday's statement from the Hong Kong authorities said: "Since the documents provided by the US government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR government has requested the US government to provide additional information so that the department of justice could consider whether the US government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions.

      "As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

      "The HKSAR government has already informed the US government of Mr Snowden's departure.

      "Meanwhile, the HKSAR government has formally written to the US government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies."

      A spokesperson declined to reply to further queries.

      Snowden is believed to have boarded Aeroflot SU213 on Sunday morning, bound for Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Reuters cited an airline source who said the whistleblower would fly on to Cuba on Monday, before travelling on to Venezuela.

      Snowden had earlier cited Iceland as a possible refuge in an interview with the Guardian.

      In a statement, Wikileaks said: "He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

      "Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed."

      Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said: "I don't [know if he's planning to stay in Moscow]. I heard about the potential [arrival] from the press. I know nothing."

      On whether Moscow would still consider a request for asylum from Snowden, Peskov added: "Every application is considered so it's standard procedure . We are not tracing his movements and I know nothing."

      Simon Young, director of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, described the news of Snowden's departure as "a shocker".

      He said: "The US government will be irate with their Hong Kong counterparts [and] may even question whether the Hong Kong government was acting in good faith pursuant to their treaty obligations. I have no doubt that they were, and it is quite common for government lawyers to seek more information on surrender or mutual legal assistance requests before local process can begin."

      But Young noted that given the very low threshold for a provisional warrant - simply providing evidence that the person was in Hong Kong and that he or she was wanted for prosecution in the US - Washington "will wonder why the Hong Kong government feels the surrender paperwork needs to be fully in place before the provisional warrant can be obtained".

      The US department of justice was not immediately available for comment and the ministry of foreign affairs in Beijing has yet to comment.

      Lawyers had said a legal battle over Snowden's surrender from Hong Kong could have lasted years, but had also warned that in the long run he was unlikely to prove successful.


      Lots of good comments at the URL.


      see also


      see also



      US Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying
      By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

      23 June 13

      The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

      The United States government charged former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden with spying on Friday, apparently unaware that in doing so it had created a situation dripping with irony.

      At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

      "These charges send a clear message," the spokesman said. "In the United States, you can't spy on people."

      Seemingly not kidding, the spokesman went on to discuss another charge against Mr. Snowden - the theft of government documents: "The American people have the right to assume that their private documents will remain private and won't be collected by someone in the government for his own purposes."

      "Only by bringing Mr. Snowden to justice can we safeguard the most precious of American rights: privacy," added the spokesman, apparently serious.


      Comments at the URL.



      So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?
      By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

      23 June 13

      The US government charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property and espionage on Friday.

      Snowden hasn't to our knowledge committed treason in any ordinary sense of the term. He hasn't handed over government secrets to a foreign government.

      His leaks are being considered a form of domestic spying. He is the 7th leaker to be so charged by the Obama administration. All previous presidents together only used the charge 3 times.

      Charging leakers with espionage is outrageous, but it is par for the course with the Obama administration.

      The same theory under which Edward Snowden is guilty of espionage could easily be applied to former vice president Dick Cheney.

      Cheney led an effort in 2003 to discredit former acting ambassador in Iraq, Joseph Wilson IV, who had written an op ed for the New York Times detailing his own mission to discover if Iraq was getting uranium from Niger. (The answer? No.)

      Cheney appears to have been very upset with Wilson, and to have wished to punish him by having staffers contact journalists and inform them that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was secretly a CIA operative. While Cheney wasn't the one whose phone call revealed this information, he set in train the events whereby it became well known. (Because Cheney's staff had Plame's information sitting around in plain sight, Armitage discovered it and then was responsible for the leak, but he only scooped Libby and Rove, who had been trying to get someone in the press to run with the Plame story.

      What Cheney did in ordering his aides Scooter Libby and Karl Rove to release the information about Plame's identity was no different from Snowden's decision to contact the press.

      And yet, Cheney mysteriously has not been charged with Espionage. Hmmm..


      Lots of comments at the URL.


      As expected ---
      Graham on Snowden: 'The freedom trail is not exactly China-Russia-Cuba-Venezuela'
      By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Ticket - Sunday 23 June 2013

      As the international manhunt for Edward Snowden continues to unfold like a social-media-fueled spy novel-ping-ponging from Hong Kong to Moscow and, perhaps soon, Havana, Caracas and Quito-angry U.S. officials in Washington appeared on the Sunday morning talk-show circuit to talk about the accused National Security Agency leaker-turned-asylum-seeking fugitive.

      "I believe he hurt our nation," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "He compromised our national security program. The freedom trail is not exactly China-Russia-Cuba-Venezuela, so I hope we'll chase him to the ends of the Earth, bring him to justice and let the Russians know there'll be consequences if they harbor this guy."

      "If they want to be part of the world community," Graham added, "want a good relationship with the United States, they should hold this fellow and send him back home for justice."

      According to Russian news agencies, Snowden landed in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong, where he was met by officials from the Ecuadoran embassy. Snowden, who is reportedly staying at an airport hotel, is said to be en route to Ecuador via Cuba and Venezuela.

      WikiLeaks, which has been assisting Snowden since he blew the whistle on NSA's surveillance program, said that the former government contractor is "being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks." Ricardo PatiƱo Aroca, Ecuador's foreign minister, confirmed on Twitter that the government there had indeed "received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden."




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