back to article Bolivian president's jet grounded so officials can look for Snowden

Bolivian president Evo Morales was obliged to land in Vienna en route home from attending a gas exporters' conference in Moscow over suspicions that NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden might be aboard the presidential jet. According to the BBC, Austrian officials who searched the jet have given the all-clear, …

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Mushroom

Re: More to come?

"The launch codes for all the Minutemen"

I thought that was "0000000"?

"The combination of the bathroom immediately off of the Oval Office where US Presidents go for some quality time."

"123456"

(Wouldn't want it to be the same as the nuclear missile code, would we? That would be stupid!)

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Re: More to come?

@ribosome <The launch codes for all the Minutemen>

The Minutemen unofficial Border Patrol have launch codes?

They can be launched?

Will they reach the moon? God, I hope so.

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@Rampant Spaniel - Re: More to come?

You must be going senile, there were no Nazi leaders, it was just Ron Vibbentrop, Heinrich Bimmler and that nice Mr Hilter...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKgHUrKZiXA&list=PL0Q2hnZCmpGEI2q3I13gfAE2zcJJrpyA6&index=14

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Re: @Rampant Spaniel - More to come?

Thanks! About twice as funny as I remember it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More to come?-"The Minutemen unofficial Border Patrol have launch codes?"

I meant the LGM-30G . All right, what's your plural of Minuteman?

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WTF?

Spy on board

I'm looking forward to the moment when Air Force One is denied European overflight rights because of suspected secret agents on board.

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Re: Spy on board

"Spy on board"

Well you may not be far from truth there. Obama worked as an intern at the CIA ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spy on board

Air Force One doesn't carry secret agents, it carries secret service agents. And they're not suspected (or even suspect), they're real, clear and present.

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Re: Spy on board

@AC 11:07 GMT

Oh, I do know that there are SS agents on board, the very ones responsible for the president's security. My problem is, when I see an secret service agent and a secret agent next to each other I cannot tell who is who. So how could I know whether there are no secret agents on board? Just as well as I couldn't have told with certainty that Mr Snowden is not on the Bolivian plane.

Can't wait for Mr Obama to thank the grounding country for its hospitality.

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Re: Spy on board

If anyone did that to them, if anyone treated the USA like it treats the rest of the world, they'd declare DEFCON2 and depose that government.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spy on board

well, I was being sarcastic (and not towards you, nosir :)

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Re: Spy on board

As well as the Secret Service agents, Airforce One carries anyone the president wants to talk to during the flight.

That can easily include people who work for the CIA.

It can also include people like old Rumsfeld and George W Bush.

He can invite Tony Blair if he wants.

Besides, in any aircraft containing 100 Americans there is bound to be at least one criminal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spy on board

Only one criminal???

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spy on board

"Besides, in any aircraft containing the President there is bound to be at least one criminal."

FTFY.

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Re: Spy on board

Sad but true regardless of party.

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Did the bug have a flashing red LED, like they do in the movies?

I have to say the story about the Bolivian presidents jet being searched sounds surprising - this surely isn't the done thing? The story sounds fishy if you ask me.

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Anonymous Coward

France has denied

refusing to undeny.

you a liar!

no, you a liar!

shutup, or I'll tell my big brother!

big brother, yeah? My father farts in the general direction of your brother!

...

Shall we call a drone strike, mr president?

...

Mr president? we can not deny any longer. The nation and the world is awaiting a swift and decisive action! Honor of France is at stake Mister President!

Well... what does Pres. Obama say?

Mr Obama, president, Sir, says they will deny they put any pressure on you, sir, they'll say they ask nicely.

Oh, allright then, bomb those Austro-nazi bastards! And then deny we did it. Or blame Markela, hehehe, I like that!

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Re: France has denied

As a person living in France - my opinion is that Monsieur Hollande doesn't have a sense of humour. Or a personality. Or much in the way of a clue. It must say something that Chirac is being done for corruption and Sarko is likewise not to mention being led by anybody flashing bling at him; yet those two are way more popular than the current incumbent. If he doesn't get his act together, the bloody national front will be more popular...and that's not a good situation for a country like France.

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Anonymous Coward

In related news

Mr Clapper of the NSA apologies for LYING to congress about not gathering large amounts of data on Merkins. "Oh I forget about that Patriot Act data, must be my memory"

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Rol

I hope this is a bit of misdirection and Snowden has slipped quietly away.

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Alien

"I hope this is a bit of misdirection and Snowden has slipped quietly away."

In his sleep perchance?

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Well surely they won't stop the next plane?

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You'd need Russian operation for that. If he is slipping away, it's down into a basement somewhere for some pliers-assisted questioning. I can't imagine Russia giving up a haul of intel that juicy. They've probably got more bugs than Windows ME in his hotel room right now.

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Anonymous Coward

We need a word

How do you generically describe organisations and people that do things that are bad, even immoral and would be illegal or criminal if they were not being done by official TLAs like NSA, CIA, and so on.

We cannot call them criminal because they have hijacked the word to have entirely different uses. It now includes such things that many would describe as patriotic whistle blowing.

They have control of the lawmakers so they are not treated as illegal either.

Give me a nice descriptive word please!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We need a word

"How do you generically describe organisations and people that do things that are bad, even immoral and would be illegal or criminal if they were not being done by official TLAs like NSA, CIA, and so on."

The word you are looking for is "state" (plural: "states", aka "the state", Uncle Sam, or Big Brother).

It has been pointed out many times for at least a century that the state aims to set up a monopoly of crime and violence, which it jealously guards. Thus, for example, virtually all the terrorism perpetrated throughout history has been done by states. The reason they get so angry when "non state actors" use violence is that it threatens their monopoly.

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Trollface

state monopoly on violence

The should copyright it!

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Pirate

Re: We need a word

Covert

Unaccountable

Nefarious

Traitors

If only I could think of an acronym...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We need a word

I don't know who has pointed it out, because of course it is untrue. The State simply seeks to derive income from licensing crime and violence, such as the Elizabethan privateers. But the concentration of wealth and power in the State causes the criminals to seek to join it directly, thus cutting out the middleman. He who waives the rules, rules the waves.

I find it interesting that one of the most accessible discussions of this is to be found in the works of Sir Terry Pratchett, the politics of whose fantasy books runs much closer to reality than that of some more "serious" writers. One of his best lines is the weary summary of politics by Lord Vetinari, to the effect that "There are only bad men, but they are on different sides".

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Re: We need a word

"If only I could think of an acronym..."

You forgot

Spies

because there's more than one of them

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Yag

Re: We need a word

I also remember, probably from the same patrician : "Power does not corrupt. It only attract the corruptible."

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Pav
Thumb Up

Re: We need a word

Upvote for the Discworld reference!

Vetinari's take on legalised crime is without doubt apt for this situation.

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Joke

Re: We need a word

TWATS: Treating World Agreements Terribly Shi**ylike?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Activist or journalist?

Your "bootnote" would suggest the former.

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Officials ?

Who are / what were these "officials" ?

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Disappointing how European countries are rolling over for the USA. Grounding a president's plane...wars have started for less.

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FAIL

"Disappointing how European countries are rolling over for the USA...." Yes, I could see why you would be disappointed that they are following international law and not merely following some anarchic, apply-which-laws-you-want-as-you-want view.

".....Grounding a president's plane......" The plane was not grounded at all, it was merely searched in accordance with international law. El Dictator Morales may have diplomatic immunity, as does members of his family travelling with him, but that does not mean everyone travelling with him immediately gets the same immunity. You cannot just load up a plane with criminals and then claim they can not be arrested just because one person on the plane has diplomatic immunity. The aircraft travelling through foreign airspace is subject to the laws of the airspace owner, so if a person is wanted for a crime they cannot just jump on an official aircraft and immediately gain diplomatic immunity, it has to be granted by the hosting nation (in this case the one owning the airspace). Most countries in Europe have some form of extradition agreement with the US so Snowden risks being stopped and extradited to the States if he tries flying through European airspace, whether it is on a commercial, private or official aircraft. People without diplomatic immunity have to be declared on the aircraft manifest when the flightplan is logged (and, strictly speaking, it is considered polite to include even those with diplomatic immunity). There are special cases, such as the NATO rules that allowed blanket exclusions on manifests for "terrorism-related" flights by NATO nations over NATO countries, which basically allowed the CIA to carry out the extraordinary rendition program without having to declare to the victims on their flight manifests. Seeing as Snowden has no diploamtic immunity, and Bolivia has no extraordinary rules in place excusing manifests, then the European countries can demand that Bolivia's jet was searched for a suspected criminal. All legal and above board. If you think it is "unfair", please note the Bolivians can do exactly the same to any aircraft entering their airpsace and KNOW it is legal, they just like ranting about the "decadent imperial lackey running dogs", etc.

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"The plane was not grounded at all, it was merely searched in accordance with international law."

No this was a huge violation of international law.

You cannot simply deny Airforce One entry into your airspace after you have previously granted it permission.

And you cannot simply search Airforce One.

It is the same for the aircraft of all nations.

Think diplomatic pouch. They are not actually pouches.

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FAIL

Re: WatAWorld

"......You cannot simply deny Airforce One entry into your airspace after you have previously granted it permission....." Any country can revoke permission to overfly their territory as they wish, as long as they are willing to enforce such a refusal.

".....And you cannot simply search Airforce One....." Legally there is nothing to stop a host country searching AF1 if they have reasonable grounds under their own laws, but DIPLOMATICLY there is plenty to stop a country asking to search AF1. There is very little real diplomatic fallout from asking to search aircraft belonging to banana reppublic quasi-dictators.

".....It is the same for the aircraft of all nations....." See above.

"......Think diplomatic pouch. They are not actually pouches." I suggest you go do some reading as it is actually very different to a diplomatic pouch, and unless they completed the documentation declaring whatever container was holding Snowden - such as a locked crate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dikko_Affair) - and marked it accordingly then it is not covered by Article 27 of the Vienna Convention. Indeed, seeing as Morales can hardly claim that secretly flying suspected criminals around the World on his jet is part of the official functions, he would stand to have his diplomatic immunity revoked should he be found to be doing so (as outlined in Article 31.1c of the Vienna Convention).

Even if the Austrians and French were suspected of being in breach of the Vienna Convention the matter could only be taken up AFTER the event in the International Court, which would not stop the legal arrest and extradition of Snowden had he been found on the aircraft. In future, please bear in mind that just because you wish it was so does not make it so.

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"The plane was not grounded at all, it was merely searched in accordance with international law. "

Technically true, but I doubt that Austria is blanket-stopping every plane from Russia flying over it's airspace. It particularly targeted this plane, and this plane only. Requesting a plane to land to be searched is, I believe, a very rare and serious occurrence, for which there must be some application of 'reasonable suspicion'.

The only 'reasonable suspicion' here seems to be 'Bolivia doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US' and 'that Mr Morales doesn't bend over to get shafted by the US, and he looks right dodgy, too'. Also, since Bolivia did not declare that Snowden was on board, when they are required by law to do so if he were, and since Snowden really wasn't on board, Austria is basically accusing Bolivia of lying on the passenger manifest of it's presidential plane. In diplomatic terms, I think that's considered extremely rude.

"El Dictator Morales" - "el dictator" means elected president, right? My Spanish is a bit rusty

"There are special cases, such as the NATO rules that allowed blanket exclusions on manifests for "terrorism-related" flights by NATO nations over NATO countries"

Further proving the point that international law isn't really law, it's just a set of guidelines that the US can rewrite at will whenever it suits.

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MJI
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Pity we still don't have

An airliner capable of out running most jet fighters.

Can any do the whole Atlantic at Mach 2?

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FAIL

Re: James Missingaclue

"Technically true, but......" Aw, poor ickle Jimmy, he so wants to disagree, but when he can't he still whines anyway!

"....It particularly targeted this plane...." Either way, Austria and the French and Portugese were well within their legal rights.

"....The only 'reasonable suspicion' here seems to be...." That's just conjecture, for all you know there could have been a tip-off from the Russians made to stir the pot a bit more. Until the story behind it all comes out you can whine all you like, it doesn't change the legality of it all.

"...."el dictator" means elected president, right?....." No, it is a poke at how you complain about the Austrians et al using the law when popularist Latin presidents like Morales, Correa and Chavez have used their political power to jig their local laws to silence, oppress and criminalise their opponents and prolong their own rule:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bolivia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuador#Human_rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Venezuela

"....Further proving the point that international law isn't really law...." A whining little rant that shows you simply don't understand that countries are at liberty to make treaties between themselves. Indeed, Chavez was a great believer in forming cosy agreements to help him and his anti-Yank buddies "resist" the US, will you moan about those treaties too?

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/4468

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.cuba/2006-04/msg02404.html

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Facepalm

Re: James Missingaclue

Ah, Mr Bryant, the old "I don't like your arguments so I'll make personal accusations" schtick. Grow up!

Yes, Austria, etc were well within their legal rights, that's exactly what I said.

Yes, my 'reasonable suspicion' is just conjecture, that's why I said 'seems' not 'is'.

"you simply don't understand that countries are at liberty to make treaties between themselves". Quite the opposite, I understand exactly that countries are at liberty to make their own cozy little arrangements such as "extraordinary rendition", and that no 'international law' will stop them.

You might at least read and understand what I'm writing before shooting.

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Re: James Missingaclue

"Any country can revoke permission to overfly their territory as they wish, as long as they are willing to enforce such a refusal."

And that is exactly my point. The US used (via proxy; which is worse) the threat of naked force to treat the president of a country in the same way as a cop pulling over a teenager in a traffic stop on the suspicion that a wanted (by the US only) person was aboard. They could either comply or run the serious risk of having to declare war; and that has to be massively embarrassing for Bolivia as they've had their lunch money stolen and there's fuck-all they can do about it.

If that was me; I'd personally arrange for Snowden to reach sanctuary somewhere just on general principles.

Power without responsibility...that's the US today. Being able to turn pretty well any country into a glass sculpture does give people pause for thought before arguing back, you must admit.

Oh yeah: " The plane was not grounded at all, it was merely searched in accordance with international law.". And where was it searched? On the ground; that's right. Where did they want to be? In the air.

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Re: Matt Bryant's comment om James Micallef

«You might at least read and understand what I'm writing before shooting.» Now, now James, please don't make demands of Mr Bryant which he is congenitally incapable of fulfilling. As he so often has demonstrated on this forum, reading and understanding are quite beyond him - as is the correct orthography of the names of those whom he dislikes and with whom he disagrees, despite - or because of - his failure to understand them....

Henri

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Facepalm

Re: James Missingaclue Re: James Missingaclue

"..... the old "I don't like your arguments so I'll make personal accusations" schtick...." But you didn't make any arguments, you just whined. If you had have presented some actual original thought I would have been forced to spend more than thrity seconds debunking it.

".....You might at least read and understand what I'm writing before shooting." Like I said, you posted no arguments, just a whiney rant about what even you admit are perfectly legal events because your "hero" Snowden has stuffed it all up almost as much as your other "hero" Assange.

And if you are so upset about the legality of it all, or even of the NATO agreement that was used to hide the extraordinary rendition program, then there is one simple answer - go promote all the whacky ideals you hold dear at the next election as a candiate for office. If you really want to pretend you're so convinced of the superiority of your moral convictions, and that the majority (the fabled "99%") will support you, then it should be easy for you to convince enough people to vote you into office. Then you can fix all these pesky problems with the World, right? I suggest you get started now and don't waste any more time with this forum, it's only stopping your rise to World President

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FAIL

Re: moiety Re: James Missingaclue

".... The US used (via proxy; which is worse) the threat of naked force to treat the president of a country in the same way as a cop pulling over a teenager in a traffic stop on the suspicion that a wanted (by the US only) person was aboard...." Yeah, it's called THE LAW. The Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, states "Article 29: Before an international flight, the pilot in command must ensure that the aircraft is airworthy, duly registered and that the relevant certificates are on board the aircraft. The required documents are......Passenger names, place of boarding and destination.....". If Snowden had been a sanctified priest then Austria would have been just as obligated to stop him passing through their territory if Snowden had been on the plane, travelling without legal documentation as an unlisted passenger, through Austrian airspace, and the Bolivian authorities would have been in breach of the laws regulating international air travel. I suggest you start your research here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_International_Civil_Aviation).

"....or run the serious risk of having to declare war....." Ooooh, feel the melodrama! If the Bolivian jet had refused to land then there are a whole raft of diplomatic and legal options available to France, Portugal and Austria, such as banning any Bolivian aircraft from tarversing their airspace or ejecting a Bolivian diplomat in protest. Personally I'd not be too surprised if Morales started the rumour in order to garner some media attention and embarrass the Europeans.

"....If that was me; I'd personally arrange for Snowden to reach sanctuary somewhere just on general principles....." That is your opinion, but you fail to realise there is a whole framework of international law standing between Snowden and the refuge you think he deserves, and simply wishing (or downvoting) will not change that simple fact of reality.

"....Being able to turn pretty well any country into a glass....." So when did the US threaten to turn any country into glass? I think you'd have to go back to the Cold War to find the US threatening anyone with nukes. I suggest you lay off the hyperbole and try and get a grasp on reality.

"....And where was it searched? On the ground; that's right. Where did they want to be? In the air." Which has SFA to do with the legality of the issue. Fail!

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Happy

Re: mrhenriday Re: Matt Bryant's comment om James Micallef

Gee, another Henri post without any actual argument or fact to add to the actual conversation. At least he's consistant. I'm surprised though that he didn't leap to his usual accusation that it was all a Jewish conspiracy and somehow relate it unconvincingly to the Dreyfus affair.

Come on, henri, you're usually so good at parrotting debunked arguments from the leftiesphere, or haven't they got round to feeding the sheeple a point of view on this yet? Maybe you want to discus the Chicago or Vienna Conventions? Go on, please try and show that the French or Portugese or Austrians acted in breach of either, if only to provide the rest of us with a good laugh..

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You see, Bolivia does not have ICBM's, or significant amount of navy, army or airforce and does not have strong economic influence. Thats exactly why. I would love to see anyone grounding mr Putins plane for any reason but his own safety under his recommendations.

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Re: moiety James Missingaclue

Feel free to go through my comments with a fine toothcomb; but I never claimed at any point that the action was illegal. Bullying and righteously taking the piss, yes, but illegal, no. Lawmakers write the laws to suit themselves; not the people they represent. That has always been the case (with a couple of notable exceptions); it's getting worse and the US seem to be the worst of the bunch...if for no other reason that they forcibly export those laws.

I do know that if I were the Bolivian president -having just experienced the country equivalent of having his lunch money taken by the bigger kids- I would be incandescently pissed off right about now.

""....Being able to turn pretty well any country into a glass....." So when did the US threaten to turn any country into glass? I think you'd have to go back to the Cold War to find the US threatening anyone with nukes. I suggest you lay off the hyperbole and try and get a grasp on reality." They don't have to threaten; everybody knows they have the kit and have used it on civilian cities. I probably don't have too much to worry about because I'm not sitting on a deposit of sweet crude; but a nuking is definitely not outside of the US' moral range.

Just to clarify a bit; I don't have a hate-on for Americans...I like the people and the country but guys...your foreign policy sucks raw donkey dick.

""....And where was it searched? On the ground; that's right. Where did they want to be? In the air." Which has SFA to do with the legality of the issue. Fail!"

I noticed that you omitted the relevant part of your quote when you said "The plane was not grounded at all, it was merely searched in accordance with international law.". The story's headline is "Bolivian president's jet grounded so officials can look for Snowden" and the plane was forced to the ground to be searched. I therefore contend that you should keep the fail to yourself or purchase a better dictionary.

By the way; I haven't -contrary to your accusation- downvoted anything. I might if you keep on being a dick though.

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