PRESIDENT SNOWDEN? HE IS RESHAPING OUR LAW EVEN NOW.
Nelson Mandela went from prison to the presidency of his nation. Will this be Snowden's fait? (Updated 1/17/2014)
Figure 1 above and its probability spreadsheet below.
FIGURE 1 AND ITS STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE. On Figure 1 the axis term is PRESIDENT followed by a transliteration of SNOWDEN that uses a letter sin rather than samech for the S sound. Normally I don’t like matrices that have Obama when his name is not the axis term, or at a special case skip (+/-1 or the skip of the axis term) or at least parallel to the axis term as it is in Figure 2. However when the all-too-easy-to find Obama is preceded by a letter bet for Barack, then the term is of statistical interest, especially if the matrix is relatively small, no row skip is required for the axis term, and the letters of B. OBAMA all touch each other as is the case in Figure 1. B. OBAMA is the main term of interest statistically, being found this close to PRESIDENT SNOWDEN against odds of about 134 to 1. B. OBAMA was a requirement for this matrix because there is a growing hatred for Obama, based in part on what is often seen as his complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution, The flip side of this hatred might be the election of a man that he wants to see in prison so much, perhaps because Snowden may have hacked into e-mails that show just how far Obama has strayed from our Constitution.
Of secondary interest is Senator Rand Paul, my current favorite pick for President in the 2016 election. Senator Paul has verbally defended Snowden, and could pardon him if elected to the presidency in 2016, with the all important proviso that Snowden does not cozy up to enemy governments like those in Russia or China. Paul's analysis of the Snowden's situation is identical with my own. On Figure 1 PAUL appears at a special case skip of -1. Odds against such an appearance were about 6.5 to 1 (not very striking because the name is only 3 letters in Hebrew). I looked for RAND with a 4-letter spelling of resh alef nun dalet and could not find it, but there is a 3-letter transliteration (resh nun dalet) that is seen sharing its letter dalet with that in SNOWDEN. It had about 1 chance in 2 to be somewhere on the matrix. Overall the matrix exists against odds of about 1,892.
Figure 2 below
Oaths in Nazi Germany were to Adolph Hitler. Oaths in the United States are only to the U.S. Constitution.
OATH OF OFFICE FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
OATH OF OFFICE THAT I TOOK AS A U.S. COAST GUARD OFFICER, AND 15 YEARS BEFORE THAT AS A U.S. NAVAL OFFICER:
I, Barry Roffman, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
OATH OF OFFICE TAKEN BY EDWARD SNOWDEN AND ALL U.S. GOVERNMENT WORKERS: Edward Snowden took an oath when he was hired to work for and with the National Security Agency. It also states:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.
That oath is not to follow the President regardless of whether he or she follows the Constitution. Nazi Germany had such oaths. Examples follow:
The Wehrmacht (German army) Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler
"I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath."
The German Civil Service Oath
I swear: I will be faithful and obedient to the leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, to observe the law, and to conscientiously fulfill my official duties, so help me God!
Note that oaths (American and German) above, except that of the U.S. President, mention God. American oaths are only to the Constitution, not only to defend it, but to bear true faith and allegiance to it. That includes the Fourth Amendment.
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES. Snowden claims to have taken the action he did in defense of the United States Constitution, in particular the 4th Amendment which states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
It's hard to read the above and not make a case that every single Government official who has ordered or participated in the search of general public e-mails and telephone records should not be tried, convicted, and incarcerated for his or her actions. This is especially true for any President who has issued or approved the universal search of all American e-mails and telephone calls. It should be just as obvious that, so long as he does not aid enemies of the United States in any attack against the United States, Edward Snowden should be cleared of any charges even though he failed to follow ideal conduct in fighting for our rights. He is not yet old enough to run for President. But a bit shy of the age of 30 when he took the actions that he did, he is also not experienced enough (are any of us?) to know how to tackle massive violations of the U.S. Constitution in a way that would not get him into trouble with the people who were doing all in their power to bypass the Constitution.
EDWARD SNOWDEN'S ACTIONS IN 1933 COULD HAVE PREVENTED MUCH OF THE HOLOCAUST. Edward Black, wrote a book entitled IBM AND THE HOLOCAUST. The following is an extract from the Wikipedia article about it and why we need people like Snowden to protect us from too much Government snooping:
The 1933 census, with design help and tabulation services provided by IBM through its German subsidiary, proved to be pivotal to the Nazis in their efforts to identify, isolate, and ultimately destroy the country's Jewish minority. Black describes the situation faced by German Jews:
"But Jews could not hide from millions of punch cards thudding through Hollerith machines, comparing names across generations, address changes across regions, family trees and personal data across unending registries. It did not matter that the required forms or questionnaires were filled in by leaking pens and barely sharpened pencils, only that they were later tabulated and sorted by IBM's precision technology."
On September 13, 1935, Hitler demanded the immediate implementation of a "Law for the Protection of German Blood" which deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited them from having sexual relations with or from marrying Aryans. Machine-tabulated census data greatly expanded the estimated number of Jews in Germany by identifying individuals with only one or a few Jewish ancestors. Previous estimates of 400,000 to 600,000 were abandoned for a new estimate of 2 million Jews in the nation of 65 million.
Another German census was conducted on May 17, 1939, when 750,000 census takers conducted interviews with the country's 22 million households, and also millions of factories. The purpose of the census was to identify the number of Jews in Germany and its newly expanded territories and to precisely locate each individual so that the Jewish population could be effectively ghettoized. Ancestral lines had to be documented by each head of household as part of the national census, which dwarfed in size and detail the 1933 Prussian census.
As the Nazi war machine occupied successive nations of Europe, capitulation was followed by a census of the population of each subjugated nation, with an eye to the identification and isolation of Jews and Gypsies. For example, the September 1, 1939 invasion of Poland was followed by an October 14 order of the Special Operations unit of the German Secret Police for a full census of the Jewish population, information which supplemented published information from the 1931 general Polish census. These census operations were intimately intertwined with technology and cards supplied by IBM's German and new Polish subsidiaries, which were awarded specific sales territories in Poland by decision of the New York office following Germany's successful Blitzkrieg invasion.
In the case of Poland, the ordered census took place over several days, from December 17 to December 23, 1939. The census was both meticulous and cold-blooded, as Black notes:
"Each person over the age of twelve was required to fill out census and registration in duplicate, and then was fingerprinted. Part of the form was stamped and returned as the person's new identification form. Without it, they would be shot. With it, they would be deported."
Data generated by means of counting and alphabetization equipment supplied by IBM through its German and other national subsidiaries was instrumental in the efforts of the German government to concentrate and ultimately destroy ethnic Jewish populations across Europe, Black demonstrates. He also notes, in an understated aside, that fully half of IBM's German subsidiary's annual profit — RM 1.8 million — was suddenly generated in December 1939.
IBM technology in the camps
Black also reports that every Nazi concentration camp maintained its own Hollerith-Abteilung (Hollerith Department), assigned with keeping tabs on inmates through use of IBM's punchcard technology. In his book, Black charges that "without IBM's machinery, continuing upkeep and service, as well as the supply of punch cards, whether located on-site or off-site, Hitler's camps could have never managed the numbers they did.
Each of the major concentration camps was assigned a Hollerith code number for paperwork purposes: Auschwitz — 001; Buchenwald — 002; Dachau — 003; Flossenbürg — 004; Gross-Rosen — 005; Herzogenbusch — 006; Mauthausen — 007; Natzweiler — 008; Neuengamme — 009; Ravensbrück — 010; Sachsenhausen — 011; and Stutthoff — 012.
Upon arrival at the camps in 1943, incoming prisoners would be examined for fitness to work, physical information would be recorded on a medical record, names would be cross-checked with data from the Political Section to determine whether the prisoner was additionally wanted for political offenses.
THE WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO PARDON SNOWDEN. You can sign a White House Petition to pardon Snowden HERE, but I would advise against it. You would just be putting your name on a White House enemies list, and we have already seen them use the IRS to audit their enemies (in particular the Tea Party and pro-Israel groups). Rather, I think the best course is this. Support any legitimate defense fund for Snowden, and when cleared, support him as a candidate for the House of Representatives or Senate (at 29 he is too young to run for the White House). Consider supporting Rand Paul for President in 2016. He may appoint Snowden to an office that will protect our Constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure.
Statement from Edward Snowden
Published July 02, 2013
The following is the statement issued Monday by Edward Snowden, as released by WikiLeaks:
"One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country.
The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised - and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many."Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/02/statement-from-edward-snowden/#ixzz2XufqWgAf
End the Snowden circus now
We should focus on the consequences of Snowden's decision to leak materials rather than be fixated on his whereabouts.
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2013 13:12
"Anyone who commits nonviolent ‘political crimes’ should be entitled to be protected, and should certainly not be compelled to hole up in an airport transit lounge for weeks of anguishing suspense," writes Richard Falk [AP]
I find the discourse surrounding the Snowden Affair bewildering. The latest reports suggest that the United States is using maximum political leverage, including coercive diplomacy, to discourage small Latin American countries from granting asylum to Edward Snowden. It is also complaining that Russia is giving Snowden ‘a propaganda platform’ and expressing its ‘disappointment’ with China/Hong Kong for its earlier refusal to expel Snowden back to the United States to face charges once his passport was cancelled.
This anger is surely misdirected. Taking the overall situation into account, whatever anger is generated, should rather be directed at the United States for employing such arrogant language and crude methods in its hopefully vain effort to gain custody over Snowden. From almost every angle of relevant law, morality, and politics the case for protecting Snowden against the long arm of American criminal law is overwhelming. Anyone who commits nonviolent ‘political crimes’ should be entitled to be protected, and should certainly not be compelled to hole up in an airport transit lounge for weeks of anguishing suspense.
This contrary official US approach was concisely explained by an American embassy official in Moscow to a Human Rights Watch representative who then was apparently asked to repeat it to Snowden at his airport press conference held a few days ago: “US authorities do not consider him to be a human rights defender or a whistleblower. He broke the law and he has to be held accountable.”
It has become increasingly evident even to American public opinion that a twisted logic has gripped Washington, and has been tacitly accepted by many governments throughout the world who should know better. International law allows a government to refuse a request for extradition in the event that the accusation involves a political crime, although the definition is unsettled, and does not extend by state practice and expert opinion to violent and heinous behavior involved in genocide, crimes against humanity, terrorism, and maybe hate speech.
It should be a ‘no brainer’ that Snowden’s alleged crimes were quintessentially ‘political’ in nature, making a grant of extradition unlawful and regressive. Not only this, but by far the most serious ‘crimes’ exposed were really focused upon the wrongdoing of the US Government and its private contractors, such as Snowden’s employer, Booz, Allen, & Hamilton. As the world knows, the controversial surveillance targets were not only the totality of Americans, but, as well, included foreign governments and their most confidential activities. Under these circumstances, it seems surprising that Washington did not decide to downplay rather than highlight Snowden’s supposed crimes.
To date, with the mainstream media dutifully tagging along, the American strategy has managed to keep public attention focused on Snowden rather than on what his disclosures revealed. It is one more negative example of ‘American exceptionalism.’ It is hard to imagine that the political leadership in Moscow or Beijing, or even London or Paris, would be lecturing Washington in a similar fashion if the shoe were on the other foot. Such a government would probably and sensibly shut up, and hope that the whole mess would quietly slip from view. Why the United States decides to act differently is worth a separate investigation.
We need to realize that extradition is a technique to foster maximum international collaboration in the enhanced enforcement of national criminal law. If extradition is unavailable, as here, or even if it had been available, it would be inapplicable, there exists no respectable legal basis for the American international pursuit of Snowden? The approach adopted by Washington is quite absurd if examined objectively. What the United States has been arguing is that since it is empowered to cancel Snowden’s passport (which itself may not be ‘legal’ since the right to travel is constitutionally protected unless there has been a prior formal judicial proceeding), he has no legal right to be resident in a foreign country, and hence the politically appropriate act by a foreign government is to expel him forthwith to his country of nationality. In effect, such an approach if generally adopted would make extradition completely superfluous, and in fact, because of its limitations, far less effective than the passport cancellation/expulsion ‘remedy’ that seems to have been invented just to catch Snowden under circumstances where more conventional techniques would not work.
Lawyers, of course, earn their living by finding ways to produce counter-arguments that sometimes override not only common sense, but public reason. In this vein, can it not be plausibly argued that the crimes charged against Snowden involve espionage laws and theft of government property, and as such, extradition could be granted because this behaviour does not deserve to be treated as a political crime? Some commentators have pointed to the volunteer Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, who has languished in American jails for years to strengthen their argument that the US is entitled to gain control over Snowden.
Even the slightest reflection would be convincing that such an analogy is monumentally unconvincing. Pollard was unlawfully giving highly classified information to a foreign government and apprehended in the territory where the crime was committed, which makes the political nature of the crime irrelevant. If Snowden remained in the United States his political motivations could be argued in a court, but would not exempt him from prosecution. His crimes might then be defended as extra-legal instances of civil disobedience. Snowden’s conduct might also be defended as legal by stressing his benign intentions and the ‘necessity’ to reveal the realities about the truly frightening scope and depth surveillance to avoid the greater harm to public interests. These were more or less the arguments that Daniel Ellsberg so persuasively relied upon in the Pentagon Papers case 40 years ago.
Bait and switch
What has happened here, it seems, is a classic instance of bait and switch. Since extradition could not get the results Washington so desperately wanted, only diplomatic leverage could do the job. Here international law is less help to Snowden, although I would hope that international morality would come to his rescue. The debate now swirls around the appropriateness of a grant of asylum by some foreign government. Surely, a foreign government that acceded to American demands and handed Snowden over for prosecution would bear the responsibility of knowing that Snowden’s imprisonment would follow as certainly as night follows day. So far no government has been so craven as to adopt such a course of action, although none has really mounted a principled challenge to what the United States has done.
States possess wide discretion with respect to asylum, although it is conferred as a human right in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is supposed to be granted whenever there exists well-founded grounds for fearing persecution if the person in question is expelled to the country of nationality. The granting and withholding of asylum has always been surrounded by ideological considerations. During the Cold War the United States, although not formally granting asylum, never deported someone seek sanctuary from Castro’s Cuba or other Communist countries and rarely allowed sanctuary for claimants from anti-Communist countries even if fears about their wellbeing if returned were well established.
Because asylum, unlike extradition, is treated as discretionary at the national level, diplomatic pressure is more common. Asylum is situated at the interface of law and morality, creating much more room for political manoeuvre, and intense geopolitical pressures can be brought to bear as in this case. It is most unseemly to place small Latin American countries under the gun of United States’ threat of retaliatory diplomacy, especially when they seem to be acting empathetically toward someone who has acted so clearly on behalf of freedom and democracy with nothing to gain materially and much to lose. Surely, Russia is better situated than Venezuela to harbour Snowden without having to worry about adverse consequences. In such event, perhaps the White House would express its frustration by issuing an intemperate statement about Russia’s unfriendly move, but likely leave at that. Doing anything more would be incredibly foolish, but of course that is no assurance that it wouldn’t happen.
All along the true challenge to the US Government, the American independent media, and to governments and people throughout the world is to consider whether such a massive regime of secret unregulated surveillance by the US government in the name of national security is legally and politically acceptable. Snowden’s individual fate, although properly a matter of utmost concern, is secondary to the substance of the issues of principle raised for all of us. In an unusual show of global public spiritedness and sensitivity, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a highly relevant statement: “Snowden’s case has shown the need to protect persons disclosing information on matters that have implications for human rights, as well as the importance of ensuring the rights of privacy...National systems must ensure that there are adequate avenues for individuals disclosing violations to express their concern without fear of reprisal.”
Despite the hue and cry associated with this rather indecent and extended effort to gain custody of Snowden, it is forgotten that his ‘criminal’ acts have already borne fruit:
We will miss the whole point of Snowden’s ‘crimes’ if we do not devote our attention to these fundamental political challenges directed at human security and democratic ways of life, and stop being distracted any longer by the circus of the chase!
Richard Falk is Albert G Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.