US Pressured Its European Allies To Not Grant Permission To Land For Refueling
What’s happening to the young and courageous whistle blower, Edward Snowden, who is holed up in a Russian airport trying to find a country whose government will have the courage to give him an immediate and unconditional political asylum is a travesty and a tremendous injustice. It speaks volumes of the world in which we live at this particular juncture in history.
What Snowden did was to let the American people and the world know of a massive governmental wrongdoing which prompted President Obama himself to suddenly realize and acknowledge the need for debate over the massive and global spying they have been conducting totally outside the legal limits. The Constitution authorizes the state to do information gathering only on individuals suspected of committing a crime and only with a court issued warrant. Even later acts of Congress which bent that rule and allowed “warrant less” wiretaps was never intended as a blank check for the Executive Branch to seize and monitor the phone conversations, messages, emails, chats, Web searches and file transfers of hundreds of millions of Americans without ever having any debate or knowledge by people or their elected representatives over it. Not only is such a spying program illegal, it’s also illegal to lie to Congress.
On Tuesday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper apologised for telling Congress in March that the NSA did not have a policy of gathering data on millions of Americans. He said in a letter to Dianne Feinstein who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, that his answer had been “clearly erroneous”. So, the government breaks the law and then lies about it under oath which is another crime and Snowden has to be on the run?
But, the story unfortunately doesn’t end there. What happened yesterday was not just “humiliation of the South American Continent”, as Argentine President, Cristina Kirshner called it, but a reminder of the gangster style lawlessness of the criminals in Washington and their cohorts and lackeys in European capitals who speak words of indignation over US spying on them – strictly for the consumption of their people I should add – while giving in to US pressure to not let Bolivian Presidential jet carrying the President to cross their airspace or land for refueling, in gross violation of international laws and diplomatic protocols and rules. France won’t confirm and Portugal won’t comment on whether they indeed denied President Morales permission to land for refueling, as the Bolivian delegation has said. And when the plane was running low on fuel, endangering the life of the President and his crew, Austrian government permitted the landing and under pressure from the US, searched the presidential jet for Snowden, in clear violation of international laws and protocols. As Bolivia’s Foreign Minister said, this was a “hostile act” and as the Vice President said, amounted to “kidnapping of the President”, who had to sit on a bench in the airport for over 10 hours, while his plane was being searched by Austrian police, as if he were suspected of being a criminal. To these imperialist gangsters, the President of a South American nation of an indigenous origin, with a large indigenous population, might as well be a crime suspect. And what if Snowden was with him? It’s not any of the Goddamn business of Goddamn white supremacists of Goddamn Europe to intervene on behalf of the criminal thugs in Washington to find and hand him over for persecution so they can make an example of him and let others know what happens to whistle blowers in Police State USA, just as they’re doing to Bradley Manning.
On this Fourth of July, I stand with the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America, against world imperialism headed by the US. On this Fourth of July, I stand with the oppressed millions in the world who are exploited and kept in poverty by world imperialism. On this Fourth of July, I stand with Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. I stand with the Palestinian people who are suffering everyday because of the US. I stand with the villagers in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Yemen and Somalia who are killed by US drones carrying US flag imprinted on them. I stand not with those who blindly and mindlessly waive the US flag under which genocides are and have been committed, but with those who burn it. On this Fourth of July, I stand with those who burn it.