採訪/易如 編輯/宋風 後製/蕭宇
What Young & Naive Snowden Doesn’t Know
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has made
one of the biggest leaks in the history of U.S. intelligence.
He has exposed the U.S. government’s secret program,
which snoops on the daily phone and internet
communications, of ordinary Americans.
Snowden is now believed to be still hiding in Hong Kong.
The question of what his next move will be
has seriously affected US-China relations,
leading to a political wrestling match between
the two countries’ governments.
29-year-old Edward Snowden, an ex-CIA employee,
remains in hiding.
Last week, Snowden leaked the secrets about
CIA’s Prism program, to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
The plan targets phone and internet surveillance.
The exposure of this covert activity by the US government
immediately became an international sensation.
Keith Alexander, the National Security Agency director,
has testified before a Senate Appropriations Committee.
He has stated that the covert surveillance program
has helped to stop “dozens of” terrorist acts.
On June 13, the New York Times quoted “a person with
knowledge of the Hong Kong government’s work on the case”.
It said that “local government lawyers,
working with the U.S. government lawyers,
had identified 36 offenses with which
Snowden could be charged.”
Reportedly, “one of the 36 offenses involves
the release of official secrets,
this activity is illegal in both Hong Kong and the USA.”
Snowden may face extradition back to the USA for trial.
US-based critic Wu Fan questions the timing that
Snowden has chosen to leak information and
to stay in Hong Kong.
Wu Fan says that the issue of human rights was not
mentioned during the recent Obama-Xi meet.
This might be a result of the far reaching
influence and ramifications of this case.
Wu Fan: “Two possibilities exist.
One is that he was discovered, so he fled;
The second is that he wanted to disgrace Obama.
He had exposed US secrets before the end of
the Obama-Xi meet. What was his motive?
That was to shut up Obama about mentioning
human rights in China.”
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper comments that
Snowden’s stay in Hong Kong has increasingly
embarrassed the Chinese Communist Party.
The article explains that the CCP has been seen as
a beneficiary from the scandal of this leak.
The CCP is also known for prioritizing it’s own interests,
for pragmatism, and for disregarding morality.
According to Ming Pao, the Obama-Xi summit just ended,
so the CCP won’t fall out with the U.S. over Snowden.
If the CCP officially instructs Hong Kong to
extradite Snowden back to the U.S.,
that will without doubt make the regime
a target of public criticism.
Snowden has told media that he had fled to Hong Kong
because the city has a history of
protecting free speech and dissidents.
He told the Guardian that Hong Kong is known as
“one of few places in the world that both could
and would, resist the dictates of the US government.”
In a recent media interview, Snowden said that
he had asked for Hong Kong to decide his fate.
(Critic) Lan Shu: “His argument is untenable,
especially as he was an agent.
In reality, everyone knows that Hong Kong is
under the thumb of the CCP authorities,
where there hardly exists a fair judicial process.
His choice is therefore questionable.”
He Qinglian, a US-based economist,
has pointed out in her articles that each year,
major international human rights organizations
put China on the lists of “enemies of press freedom and of the internet”.
The CCP authorities have met strong international
criticism for their repression of dissidents and
for their organ harvesting from living, innocent victims.
All of this is not news in the English-speaking world.
He Qinglian continued, saying that Snowden
had revealed his identity in an on-the-record interview
on the night of the same day
that the Obama-Xi summit ended.
After the interview, he reportedly checked out of
his hotel, and hid in an undisclosed “safe house”.
He Qinglian asks:
“Who provided the safe house for Snowden?”
Snowden’s exposure of CIA phone and internet
surveillance had taken place when Obama was in discussions with Xi,
exploring ways to tackle the issue of cyber hacking.
It seems that Snowden wanted to prove that
the US democracy and human rights image is
misleading and is hypocritical, this is a view of
the situation according to He Qinglian.
On June 12, Snowden alleged that for the past four years,
US intelligence agents have hacked hundreds of
computers in China, and in Hong Kong.
This allegation has made headlines
in China’s major newspapers.
He Qinglian indicates that in terms of covert surveillance,
the US administration and the Chinese authorities
have different purposes for their activities.
For the U.S. part, the government uses it to protect
public safety against terrorism.
Whilst for the CCP authorities, their internet monitoring
serves uniquely to stabilize the regime.
Zhao Xiao, renowned Chinese economist,
comments on the issue in his micro-blog.
He says, “What young and naive Snowden
doesn’t know is that
it is the American freedom that
has given access to extremists.
The extremists, terrorists and the Soviet Union communist
regime, all took advantage of Western freedom.
The day when they “successively “achieved
their dreams was the day when the whole world
completely lost it’s hard won freedom
and when all mankind was reduced to slavery.”