The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

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Dan74
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The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Dan74 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:59 am

I guess this board is predominantly left-leaning, but I am interested in the full spectrum of views, so any conservatives/republicans - please feel welcome to contribute.

What caught me by surprise in this saga was the willingness of European governments to cowtow to the US and first obstruct Bolivian presidential plane in violation of diplomatic norms and then fall over each other in denying Snowden asylum.

I think the pejorative "imperialist" has been used quite frequently and I am surprised just how far the US influence extends. It seems that the powerplay between the three countries involved in this saga, namely the US, China and Russia, has been brought in sharp relief by these events. Europe seems to have come out as a US vassal, much to my surprise and possibly many of its citizens.

The other aspect is how far are the governments going to go to pursue inconvenient citizens like Snowden, Assange, Manning, etc? How many conventions and human rights are going to be trampled on, how much intimidation goes on behind the scenes and what of sovereignty of smaller powers?

I'd be interested in comments because I am still quite puzzled by it all.

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:45 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Indrajala
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:15 am

Human societies solve problems with increased complexity. As stress increases, there are increased resources invested in policing and legitimization. After September 11th, the US and NATO invested in increased forms of internal and external surveillance, which did not exist on the same scale earlier by any means. Likewise, the internet is a complex machine and a lot of threats can be detected ahead of time by monitoring it, so logically the powers that be would be interested in watching it for signs of trouble.

If I was in charge, I'd do the same thing.

However, it was only a matter of time before certain elements in the system defected.

The thing is is that China is no better than the US in this respect. They censor, police and monitor the internet. If Snowden ends up in China, it would be a convenient defection from one power to another, rather than his just actions somehow being vindicated by a nobler nation. Likewise, Russia is a convenient enemy of the USA. Your enemy's enemy is your friend, or so the thinking naturally goes. After the leak such a country would be the logical destination, even though, again, it is not necessarily any better than Snowden's homeland.

It is in the interests of the USA to pursue defectors and make an example of them. Letting them go would set a precedent. Anyone else with similar inclinations could proceed and flee the country, largely unworried about the consequences as they get some cosy arrangements in a foreign nation.

We need only keep in mind that turncoats are nothing new.

I think what the Snowden crisis illustrates though is an increasing delegitimization of American power. A lot of Americans clearly don't believe in their nation or its global ambitions any longer. It has lost a lot of its cultural charisma. Half a century of failed wars, brutal massacres of civilians, crooked government and pseudo-democracy will do that in a country that purports to be a benevolent democracy.

This is all convenient for China and Russia because the weaker the US becomes, the more ground opens up for them. China is probably helping behind the scenes in various ways to foster feelings of disenchantment and disillusionment amongst Americans. The internet is the logical place to spark such sentiments over the long-term. You don't bring down the US through force, but internally erode her legitimacy.

Then it just takes a simple crisis for the whole thing to collapse.

I believe this is actually what's happening right now.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:54 am

A columnist pointed out yesterday that when Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, he did so knowing full well he could face trial. He did, and the charges were dismissed. I respect that. As for Snowden, I don't respect him in the least. He signed a contract which said 'I agree not to do X' - then broke his word and fled the country. If he had resigned his position and campaigned against the NSA, I would have supported it entirely. But he didn't do that. Instead he broke his contract and fled the country taking a lot of information that he was not authorized to disclose. I don't respect that.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:58 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:01 am

Furthermore I think the US security services are scary, creepy and over-bearing, but consider the alternatives. China is still a one-party state and basically an autocracy, which you are not allowed to criticize because at home they have secret police, and abroad, everyone is scared of insulting them because of their financial power. In the USA, I can stand on a street corner and preach communism, I can start a political party to overthrow the CIA, or whatever I want, so long as I don't break the laws, which are enforced by the courts, not by the Government. In China you can be imprisoned for carrying a photograph of the Dalai Lama. Russia is perhaps not quite as oppressive but don't forget, 4 women were recently jailed for playing rock music in a church. We ought to carefully consider who the real enemies of freedom are.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:47 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:00 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:16 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:26 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:30 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:37 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:37 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:43 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Konchog1
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:44 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:45 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:51 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:25 am

Do you really believe that fascism comes about by popular vote? Has that ever happened?

By the way, by far the two largest famines in recent history happened under Joseph Stalin and his 'forced collectivization' and Mao's "Great Leap Forward". Literally tens of millions of people starved to death as a result of those two events. It is still a very delicate subject in China. So the actual history of dictators in that regard does not really lend a lot of support.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby anjali » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:32 am

The whole situation is such a mixed bag, like so many things in this world. What I find interesting is that a person like Snowden had access to such large volumes of damning information. And he is just the latest in a series of cases that have shown the us and abuse of power by the US.

What would be interesting to me at this point is some huge data dump from other countries such as China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, etc. Are other countries' security measures really so much better than the US? From one perspective, the US seems to be rather inept at keeping secrets. Other oppressive states, given their long histories of oppression, would seem to have a much tighter grip on classified info. We need more whistle-blowers in other countries. Assuming they would live long enough to get it out on the internet.
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:42 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa


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