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back to article Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden can fly the friendly skies all he likes, President Obama has said, since the US won't send out jets to intercept his flight or engage in diplomatic arm twisting over extradition. "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," Obama said at a press conference during an official …

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Silver badge
Pint

Nah nah nah!!!

LOL.

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FAIL

Re: Nah nah nah!!!

How come this user (just registered and with only one post) has a bronze badge?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nah nah nah!!!

Kinda obvious isn't it?

It's because he's a 'hacker'.

Right?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nah nah nah!!!

It appears that the NSA has hacked into El Reg and removed Mr Snowden's bronze badge.

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully...

...soon he'll just be a dead 29 year hacker casue the only good hacker is a dead hacker.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hopefully...

"cause"

He's 30 now.

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Facepalm

Irony isnt much understood in the US is it ?

1 - Not a Hacker, not a Cracker, not even a script kiddie. Snowden bloody well had at the time perfectly legal access to the systems he was using & we can only assume in his capacity as a 'systesm administrator' that he also had legal access to the data too.

2 - But he claimed that he hadn't personally spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping about Snowden, saying he "shouldn't have to." - Yes Obama, you shouldnt have to call them, just like they shouldnt have to call you & tell you not to spy on thier private citizen 'net usage. Spying on the security services/government of foreign nation is one thing, spying and recording as much as you can about every nations private citizens 'net usage is another

3 - any other government considering giving Snowden refuge to "recognize that they are a part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law," - Yes of course Obama, does that mean you also have to recognise the the USA lives in an internation community as well ?? If I were you Obama, I wouldnt be throwing the first stone, those who live in glass houses & all that :P

oh well

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Silver badge

Re: Irony isnt much understood in the US is it ?

I thought the stuff he published was above his paygrade?

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I’m pretty old now, and I must say the world has changed a lot, and not totally for the better. I’m an American, and when I was a kid, guys were always fleeing from the Communist regime in Russia or China and coming to America where they were safe and able to speak freely and reveal the horrible things the Russian or Chinese government was up to.

Today, people are fleeing America for the crime of revealing the horrible things the American government is up to and seeking safety in China, Russia or South America.

What’s gone wrong with my country?

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Silver badge

re: What’s gone wrong with my country?

At least you started with Ben Franklin and honorable intentions

We started worse than we are now and need the Germans to force us to obey a human rights act - and half our 'leaders' are campaigning to get out of that

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Unhappy

For an answer to that question, I refer you to Isaiah Berlin's seminal lecture on 'Two Concepts of Liberty' (1958).

America's grasp on the distinction between 'positive' and 'negative' liberty was never that strong (Joe McCarthy was a big exponent of 'positive liberty' in his day), but - speaking as an outside observer, y'understand - I think the stage where this point was abandoned completely was sometime during the Reagan administration. And no president since then has said or done anything to suggest that they understand the distinction at all.

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Thumb Up

What’s gone wrong with my country?

If you find out please let us know in the UK - the same thing seems to have gone pear shaped here.

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Mushroom

I call the NRA's bluff

OK, I **like** guns and all - I have some myself, but I call the NRA's bluff that Americans need their guns to protect Liberty from a tyrranical government.

If the Americans really need, and would use, their guns to protect liberty then why have they not done so yet? They do **nothing** - let alone present arms - to protect liberty.

The second amendment is not there for hunters, nor for weekend rambos or gun collectors - it is there for one purpose only - protecting Liberty. Yet so long as you let the NRA have their guns they keep quiet and don't actually use them for what the second ammendment intended.

Or put another way, the purpose of the second amendment is to arm the citizenry specifically for the protection of Liberty - all liberty - not just the libery to own a firearm. When the NRA only bleats about the right to bear guns they are missing the whole point of the second amendment.

So I ask the question. How much further does Liberty have to slide before the Second Amendment proponents actually use those arms in a way they are supposed to be used.

I call their bluff. So long as they get to keep their guns they will do Sweet Fuck All. Might as well just have spiked guns like civil war re-enactors.

If you use the second amendment as an excuse to collect guns, but then renege on the obligation to protect liberty then you are being morally fraudulent.

It saddens me that I made almost the identical post during Bush's first term in office and things have only become worse since then.

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Re: I call the NRA's bluff

"...I call the NRA's bluff that Americans need their guns to protect Liberty from a tyrannical government."

Actually, their main failing is that they are so dreadfully old-fashioned. When the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written, most thinking people believed that the main threat to freedom came from governments taking away rights and repressing citizens by outright force. So, if the US federal government were to march an army around the USA trying to subjugate everyone, an armed citizenry would be an admirable defence against that. They could hide behind trees and shoot the soldiers in the back, just as they had recently done to the British.

What the NRA, and others who support the right to bear arms, have overlooked is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Dictatorship through open violence was tried in the 1930s, and to a decreasing extent the rest of the 20th century. But Goebbels, the Soviets, and others soon realised that the techniques of the US PR and marketing industries ("Madison Avenue") could be used to great effect to lull citizens into a sense of false security. They could even be persuaded to vote for their own enslavement! Guns are no defence against that kind of subtlety.

Today, as a result, the US federal government has the most powerful armed forces the world has ever seen - utterly dwarfing those at the disposal of Hitler, for instance - and few American citizens have ever noticed that this drives a coach and horses through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Why would they, when they are "served" by a Supreme Court that decides that political cash contributions are "free speech", and that corporations are people, with all of the rights of people but virtually none of the duties? Citizens are still allowed to have weapons, but only those who are clinically insane would try to use them to fight the federal government. After all, before you even start thinking about the army, the marines, the air force, the navy, and the national guard, Homeland Security alone has enough bullets to shoot every single American several times. http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/01/curious-about-homeland-securitys-massive

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Black Helicopters

"I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker"

But then when they DO scramble jets to get Snowden, Obama can come back and say truthfully A) "he's 30, not 29" and B) "Edward Snowden is not a hacker". Well played, Mr. quasi-fascist President, well played!

(Frickin' government! It's almost enough to get me running down the street screaming about the arrival of the Lizard-men. The government doesn't have any Lizard-men, do they?)

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Bronze badge

Re: "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker"

He's probably right. Doesn't the separation of powers mean that a command to scramble jets would be a consequence of a Judicial decision rather than an Executive decision?

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Silver badge

Re: "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker"

" The government doesn't have any Lizard-men, do they? "

If you mean reptile-like aliens from outer space, or the bowels of the Earth, or an alternate dimension, or where ever the loonies claim they're from this week, then no.

If you mean psychopaths with the empathy and feelings of a cold blooded lizard, Bad news; All the governments and most coporations are full of'em!

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Coat

"Bad news; All the governments and most coporations are full of'em!"

Aaaaauuuuugggggghhhhhh!! Lizard-men!!! Lizard-men!!!! THEY'RE HERE!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Mine is the white coat with the wrap-around sleeves......)

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A J

Re: "Bad news; All the governments and most coporations are full of'em!"

It is well known that David Cameron is a lizard.

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Facepalm

Re: "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker"

Have you folks learned nothing from the "capture" of Bin Laden? Obama doesn't scramble jets, he's more the helicopter assault type.

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Black Helicopters

Re: "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker"

Of course not. Seal Team 6 uses Black Hawks with hush kits.

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Silver badge

Re: empathy and feelings of a cold blooded lizard

That's a very hurtful thing to say.

Just because some of choose to be environmentally sensitive and use the sun's heat to naturally warm our bodies - rather than waste 90% of our food trying to heat our surroundings to 37C all you mammals get all superior

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Judicial vs Executive

As Commander In Chief of the armed forces, Obama has the right - and the duty - to act if there are reasonable grounds to beieve the safety of the USA or its people are in danger. No Judicial oversight needed.

In this case, it could be argued that state security has been placed at risk and that risk is being made worse the longer Snowden is at large.

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Re: "Bad news; All the governments and most coporations are full of'em!"

That is not really fair on lizards.

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Silver badge

Re: "Bad news; All the governments and most coporations are full of'em!"

arent the lizards stealing our water?

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Silver badge

Re: empathy and feelings of a cold blooded lizard

Reminds me of one of those great Far Side cartoons. The one with a courtroom scene, and the crocodile/alligator standing up in the dock replying to the prosecutor (with a noticeably cross expression), "Of course I did it in cold blood, you fool! I'm a reptile!"

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not going to be scrambling jets

"The President was true to his word, as the aircraft passenger carrying the 29 year old hacker has been forced down by the US jets, routinely patrolling this area..."

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Facepalm

Isn't it wonderous

How the media focus of this event has been shifted from the issue of real concern, i.e. the content of the NSA documentation.

</sarc>

Props to the messenger Snowden for some genuinely courageous actions, but more focus on the message would be appropriate now.

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Boffin

Re: Isn't it wonderous

Not wondrous at all, alas, but the name of the game - damage control - from the very beginning. Consider how discussion of the WikiLeaks revelations turned into a discussion of how often Julian Assange changed his socks. That's the way PR is done when it's done by professionals....

Henri

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Black Helicopters

Trust no Juan.

I like what I hear, but experience has taught me that Mr. Obama is still just a politician.

Be careful who you trust.

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WTF?

> "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,"

Thank f*ck for that.

The fact that he even thought that this was on the table sufficiently to mention it, scares the hell out of me.

He might have been joking, he might not have been.

Just sayin'.

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g e
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Holmes

Yeehawww!!

Is the scariest word in the world.

Roughly translated it means 'We sure do got some biiig guns an we is a-comin fo ya, right or wrong' or possibly 'we goan be a-havin us a lynchin party yeah!'

Yes, that really is how the rest of the world thinks of the USA as a nation.

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Bronze badge
Devil

Normal

Basically, the US has been publicly humiliated in trying to nab Snowden. Certain senators have made public statements that have made life difficult for the state department.

The only thing they can do is back peddle. By calling him a hacker, they are trying to publicly down grade the situation so that his continued ability to elude the NSA/CIA is no more newsworthy than catching another member of Anonymous. Don't think for a moment that there isn't a bullet ( probably many ) with his name on it.

The US needs to get this out of the press as soon as possible so that they can focus more clandestine resources on him. As it stands, State is going to have a tough time negotiating with the Chinese and Russians on anything for awhile.

I expect a few things to happen. First, it's going to be awhile before we hear about any Russian or Chinese hackers. The Feds now have a vested interest in not publicizing those. Rhetoric around this subject will similarily be toned down. A lot of that was put out by the US cyber command to increase their budget anyway. Second expect to hear that Snowden died in a car wreck sometime in the next 12 months. It won't be front page.

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Re: Normal

Oh, and one more thing.

Expect Obama or one of the top democrats to make a speech saying we need some new completely unrelated law that is contentious. Something likely to be completely defeated by Republicans but will dominate the media for the next week or so. I'd lay money on an expansion to the Health care program. That subject tends to bring out a lot of loud people.

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Silver badge

Re: Normal

If it really was Obama's volunteer IT ninjas that won it over the Republicans disasterous big business consultants. Then after Aaron Schwartz and Snowden he's going to have a hard job finding developers to help the democrats next time - in fact he may have a hard job paying anybody who is any good

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Big Brother

Re: Normal

«Second expect to hear that Snowden died in a car wreck sometime in the next 12 months. It won't be front page.» Like one Michael Mahon Hastings, you mean ?...

Henri

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Anonymous Coward

At what point did this chap become a hacker?

He'll be a terrorist next!

Then he'll be a politician.

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Silver badge

"He'll be a terrorist next!

"Then he'll be a politician."

There's a difference?

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Stop to think

The world is run by security agencies and covert departments we know very little about. All of them distrust each other. The politicians around the world are a sideshow that keep Joe Public focused on issues that affect them. We currently are living in austerity Britain where for the first time in years we're feeling financial pressure, a lack of job security, and a realisation that there is sod all we can do about it -alledgedly.

But that pales into insignificance as to what the security agencies know about us. We are watched, monitored and assessed 24/7/365. This is how "terrorists" are stopped in their tracks. How do you think they found Bin Laden? The same way they stopped various other plots around the world. Constant surveillance be it web, phone, or other types of intelligence.

Presidents and Prime ministers are there to make decisions. Decisions placed in front of them with "balanced" arguments that go in the agencies favour - that's why we had the Iraq war.

A self perpetuating machine of which we have no say. And the really spooky thing is that if any of us ever got into the world like Snowden did more than likely we would have followed orders and carried out the daily job without whistle blowing. He had a conscience whereas many don't.

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Re: Stop to think

How do you think they found Bin Laden?

I think one instance of "they" simply* looked up the address of where another instance of "they" sent Bin Ladens payslip! Can't meet the corporate growths targets on "war on terror" support without growing terrorism, can we?

*) Possible, some hacking was involved.

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Black Helicopters

Note:

He said nothing about scrambling CIA assassins to arrange an accident.

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Re: Note:

So any Brits or Canadians called Snowden better watch

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Deo Gratias

Imagine asking the same question to 6 people.

If

(a) all six people give different answers

or

(b) all six people give the same answer

which suggests a land of the free.

Dissent is good.

Dissent to politics is what competition is to commerce no?

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Stop

"President Obama has said, since the US won't send out jets to intercept his flight or engage in diplomatic arm twisting over extradition"

<Admiral Akbar>

It's a trap!

</Admiral Akbar>

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Just Obama's attempt to minimalize one of his recent scandals. In other words he's saying, "move along, nothing to see here." And, of course, the media is more than happy to wag there tails, do as their master beckons, and start calling Snowden a "hacker" from this point on.

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Paris Hilton

They've already made a movie about him aint they?

It wasn't a Hallmark channel made for TV cry-fest though it got a full cinema release... that one where Tom Hanks lives in an airport!

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Bronze badge

Fighter jets not required

I suspect the plane will have a mysterious malfunction forcing it to make an emergency landing after which it'll quickly take off again, one passenger lighter.

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Re: Fighter jets not required

Headline, July 2:

"Bolivian president’s plane redirected due to fear Snowden was aboard"

You Sir, get a belated upvote for being prophetic!

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Black Helicopters

The Rabid US Media

El Pres does not have to 'scramble' the jets. The constant 'This man is the most evil person on the planet' reporting that I see on CNN (I'm in the Middle East at the moment) will make sure that some trigger happy 'top-gun' flyer will get his 15mSecs of fame by forcing any aircraft that is carrying Mr Snowden to land at a US controlled Airbase be it in the US, or even in Germany, UK, Japan, Turkey etc etc.

Just listen to the rhetoric being spouted on (and in) the US Media. Anyone would think that he has

- killed all the children in the US

- Raped all the women

- Stolen everything in Ft Knox

Or all of the above.

The US Media are on a good old fashioned Witch-Hunt here. They are not going to stop until they have 'Got their Man'. The US Gov and especially El Pres can go hang themselves for all they care. Do they even consider that he might only get 10yrs in jail? Nope. To them, he is an enemy of the state and must be eliminated at all costs.

I just wonder how much of this is due to a little pressure from Capitol hill? More than a little methinks.

Black Helicopters for obvious reasons. They were much in evidence when El Pres came this way in April and again when the French El Pres was here earlier this week.

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