I find it hard to believe that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry really are targeting Russia and China with their demands that Edward Snoden be returned so he can be found dead in a cell because of "suicide". Obama a Kerry are singing to a choir in the US that wraps a flag over their eyes on every "security" issue. Obama and Kerry are play acting.
I suspect Russians, Sinaporians, Chinese, and any other foreign groups targeted by our government spying are laughing at the Obama and Kerry nonsense. If they really want to know what Snowden knows and what he has told and to whom he told it, they should guarantee Snowden immunity from prosecution.
Of course if they did that, then we citizens would never know who is spying on us or even why they are spying on us. That is a mixed bag since I think we as well need to know at least as much about privacy as do paranoid terrorist groups.
The Rapid City Journal of Monday June 24, 2013 in a story titled "South Dakota lawmakers neutral on revelations about NSA" finds our Congress Critters waffling around with sweet nothings indicating their own ignorance or conviction that all their South Dakota constrituents are idiots. The Journal also talks to some of the TEA Party types that I usually consider wingnuts out on the fringes of mythology. Those people see some problems with unrestricted invasions of privacy protected by secret courts and secret records. Hard for me to disagree with them on that. Gordon Howie, CEO of the Rapid City Life and Liberty group perhaps goes off the deep end by saying that Obama, et al are actually those acting treasonously. He also indicates disgust with our Congress Critters for waffling around.
The Journal also talks to representatives of the SD ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Jana Kooren of the ACLU says we South Dakotans should not underestimate the amount of data being collected. The structure of the data collection suggests a failure of checks and balances. Mark Rumold, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that nothing released so far by Snowden or the US Government breach US security in any way. He also says that while many US citizens may be unaware of the extent of the surveillance and privacy intrusions, it is quite likely that all those trying to evade such surveillance already know all about the surveillance.
Kooren of the SD ACLU notes that "unchecked power is inevitably abused". This is a cousin of Lord Acton's statement: " Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupts absolutely".. Lord Acton probably never imagined the impact of absolute power combined with state secrecy.
I suspect Senator Thune and Senator Johnson, and US Rep. Kristi Noem may be dancing on the head of a pin and in serious disconnect with many South Dakotans as they repeat the hyper-patriots demands to prosecute Edward Snowden to the full extent of the law even they really don't know what he has or has not done or if what he has or has not done has been an actual security threat or the only way Snowden could issue a wake up call to all of us.
And please note, while I often find real problems with SD corporate media, the RC Journal and writer Daniel Simmons-Ritchie deserve a pat on the back for this story.
*** Stay tuned, but you may have to wait a long time to find another issue where outspoken conservatives and liberals agree with each other and disagree with our Congress Critters--- Doug Wiken