News you may have missed #844 (analysis on Snowden leak)

Edward SnowdenBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden was right to flee US. “Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago”, says Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. And he continues: “I hope that he finds a haven, as safe as possible from kidnapping or assassination by US Special Operations forces, preferably where he can speak freely”.
►►NSA ‘in bed’ with German intelligence says Snowden. The fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged on Sunday that the National Security Agency was “in bed together” with German intelligence despite claims by politicians in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition that they were shocked by the extent of American spying in Germany. Snowden claimed that the NSA provided German intelligence, with analysis tools to help the organization monitor data flowing through Germany.
►►Can Snowden fly from Moscow to Caracas without being stopped? How can Snowden get from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where he’s been holed up for nearly two weeks, to Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua, which have indicated that they are willing to offer him political asylum? Former CIA analyst Allen Thomson took to Google Earth to answer the question of whether there’s a route Snowden might take that would allow him to fly from Moscow to, say, Caracas without crossing, as he puts it jokingly, the airspaces of “los Yanquis and their running dogs”.

US Army intel analyst arrested over Wikileaks probe

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning

Speaking last Thursday at the annual Personal Democracy Conference in New York, Daniel Ellsberg said he was amazed that the US National Security Agency “can’t crack” Wikileaks. The former Pentagon employee, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, was referring to the activist website that anonymously publishes secret governmental and corporate documents from around the world. But Ellsberg may have been talking too soon. On Sunday, Wired magazine’s Threat Level blog revealed that a US Army intelligence analyst had been detained for allegedly giving Wikileaks secret video footage and “hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records”. Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, was reportedly detained two weeks ago by the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division while stationed in Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad, Iraq. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0120

  • Film on America’s most famous whistleblower. A new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, examines the life of Daniel Ellsberg, a US Pentagon employee who leaked documents to the American public in order to stop the Vietnam War. Ellsberg, 78, is still a pariah in the US defense community. He told the Associated Press that at a RAND (research arm of the Pentagon, where he used to work) reunion several years back, no one would shake his hand.
  • Retired US Air Force officer convicted in China spying case. Retired US Air Force officer James W. Fondren Jr. faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars, after being convicted of selling classified information on US-China military relations to a Chinese agent and lying to the FBI about it. The US Department of Justice accused Fondren, 62, of being part of a spy ring that operated on US soil under the supervision of Chinese government officials, whom Fondren supplied with classified documents for over three years, beginning in 2004.
  • Request to halt CIA probe “nonsense” says former agent. A controversial request by seven former heads of the CIA to end the inquiry into abuse of terrorism suspects held by the Agency is “nonsense”, says Bob Baer, a 20-year CIA caseworker in the Mid-East and former CIA station chief in Iraq. “To say let’s not look further into this because it could upset the agency is like saying let’s not look into Bernie Madoff because it could upset the financial sector”, said Baer.

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