Our buddy, Snowden, who has now got himself the life of intrigue that I have no idea if he might have secretly wanted or not, is now supposed to have taken more than just the one document… 4 laptops full of secrets he took it seems. And likely he has decided to defect to China. Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser said Alice.
It’s the logical thing to do. China would love to embarrass the USA. China would be so happy to use Snowden, squeeze him dry, and then give him a sinecure where he can live out his days. Of course, there will be a price – a price Mr. Snowden may not fully understand yet. The price will be that he never, ever, do anything to compromise China’s secrets. He will live under a kind of house arrest – anybody who thinks the Chinese will ever trust a man who betrayed his own country out of principle is a lunatic.
Those in other countries that I follow are pretty well lined up behind him. Which makes sense, since a big thing Snowden had to say was that this country was spying on other countries citizens. (We have constitutional guarantees for our own citizens, but everybody else? Fair game!) The governments are not so lined up that way though. The governments are concerned about biological, radiological and nuclear attacks from the likes of Al Qaeda and the muslim brotherhood. (Yes, Virginia, bin Laden tried to get nuclear weapons to attack with on 9-11.)
Mr. Snowden, should he succeed in defecting to China, is going to have a David Kline moment. David Kline was a radical-left Berkeley grad who became a journalist intent on covering and helping leftist revolutions along. And then David watched the killing fields in Cambodia. It was his wake-up moment. After that, David sentenced himself to 5+ years in Afghanistan, traveling with the Northern Alliance, to atone for his sins. David became friends with Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance. Massoud is the man who Al Qaeda had to assassinate before they pulled off 9-11, because Massoud had the reach to kill bin Laden and the blind Sheik. David traveled several times over those mountains that Al Qaeda did which the US military presumed were impassable when we invaded Afghanistan and attacked Tora Bora.
But Mr. Snowden will not have the freedom to just up and go to another country. The moving finger has writ, and the writing on his wall is carved deep indeed.
Still – putting myself into his head, with his ideals, I don’t see better course ahead of him. We have no Senator Kennedy to help him air his concerns. I doubt very much if Snowden could have talked to an actual senator if he had tried. They aren’t exactly available.
Of such are our lives made.
1. In a curiouser and curiouser speculation, I have to wonder if part of the blowback in the Snowden case could include Julian Assange elected prime minister in Oz. Stranger things have happened.
2. The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to IT for help—for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.