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Friday, August 02, 2013

Who is Paying for Edward Snowden's Treason?

Former National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden didn't just pack up and leave Hawaii for Hong Kong without having inside help in the form of money.  Strict visa rules are necessary to comply with before entering China, but at the end of the process, the fact remains, it takes money to pull off Snowden's entry and exit from Hong Kong.

Likewise, it surely took lots of money for Snowden to enter and remain in Russia.  His exile with political asylum approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin must have been paid for by somebody. Possibly, the Wikileaks organization is funding this skulduggery to keep a runaway traitor on the lamb, but money can't be endless. Snowden has to be worried about what happens to him when his sugar daddy runs out of patience, cash or both.  

So, now Snowden has abandoned his American home country because he claims it is running amok with surveillance on citizens. Instead, he will now live in exile in Russia, where people are monitored by video cameras and thrown into Siberian prisons whenever sedition by its citizens is even suspected. Does Snowden know how many millions of people Russian dictators like Joseph Stalin and his successors killed to excercise totalitarianism over its people? In fact, nobody knows the accurate number of millions who have been murdered by oppressive Russian leaders.

Regardless of whether or not Snowden knows how oppressive Russian leaders can be, whenever they feel like it, he must have money to pull off his asylum, beginning with a one year entry permit and, probably, followed by whatever additional time he's willing to pay for.  Money is the mother's milk of Russian asylum. Snowden is likely to find Russian refuge for as long as his money holds out and while extradition is denied to him by other nations. Meanwhile, it's impossible for Snowden to live in Russia without a quid pro quo.  What's more, he can't speak Russian and, let's face it, nobody trusts a traitor.  Treason is never rewarded.

Attorney Anatoly Kucherena appeared on Russian television and said Snowden had been granted asylum in Russia for one year, showing a scanned copy of an official document approving his asylum request. Snowden was in a safe place, according to Kucherena, who said he would not reveal the location for security reasons.  (And who is paying Attorney Anatoly Kucherena?)

What does Russian President Vladimir Putin gain by granting Snowden asylum?  Obviously, Putin thrives on publicity.  He enjoys showing off his body, his ability to fly airplanes (with a co-pilot), his ability to catch as well as kiss big fish and cunningly steal a super bowl ring from New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft.  Not surprisingly, Putin recently lied about even taking the ring:

"The Russian president was responding to a surprise question about the controversy at the St Petersburg Economic Forum, where he was on a panel with German chancellor Angela Merkel.  In response, Mr Putin said he had no recollection of the ring or Robert Kraft, 72, the billionaire owner of the Patriots American football team and one of the biggest US sports tycoons."

There you have it.  Putin craves publicity and he'll lie to get it.  I suspect he didn't really catch the big fish he kissed for a publicity photo-op and he probably can't fly an airplane without a ghost pilot holding the controls, either.  

Nevertheless, this imagery makes excellent publicity for Putin, who clearly thrives on creating news about himself.  

Yet, publicity for Putin can't be the primary reason why Snowden was given asylum in Russia.  After all, Snowden clearly tried reaching out to other countries before he was likely forced to settle on finally leaving the Russian airport and accepting the one year asylum.  Putin must have more to gain than loose by embarrassing the United States with this Snowden incident.  

In other words, a lot of money must have changed hands during the asylum negotiations.

When Putin finally gets whatever it is he wants from the US, he'll find a reason to expel Snowden like a batch of tainted vodka.  

Therefore, Edward Snowden has reason to be worried - very worried.  He's now living in exile in a nation where surveillance is commonplace and on borrowed time, paid on the clock, by unreliable sources.  He would clearly be better off throwing himself on the mercy of the US justice system, than allow himself to live like a man without a country in a nation where justice is arbitrary.  

Meanwhile, Snowden must pay rent, bribes, lawyers and living expenses while in Russia.

So who pays the ransom for Edward Snowden's treason?  Whoever or whatever entity is forking up the ransom money, the cash can't last forever. Russian people surely know how Snowden's asylum comes with a big price tag. These people know how to live by paying bribes, dealing in black market businesses, with government graft and corruption.  Consequently, they'll follow Snowden like birds seeking bread crumbs.  He'll be stalked by the Russian government and those who want to share in his ransom.

Snowden will eventually return to the US, but those funding his treason will be flat broke whenever he is forced to return.  

When Snowden eventually returns to the US, he'll be treated like a traitor. In the event he happens to die before returning, he'll still be considered a traitor.  Be it in Russia, the US or wherever, treason is a cross cultural label.

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