back to article Dubya: I introduced PRISM and I think it's pretty swell

Former US president George W Bush has said the controversial PRISM surveillance was designed to protect America, and claimed whistleblower-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden has damaged the nation by revealing its existence. During an interview with CNN, Dubya said that he had ordered the creation of PRISM to beef up national …

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  1. Ian 62

    Come on you lot...

    One of you, do the decent thing and offer the bloke asylum.

    IMHO He would fall pretty well into political asylum seeker now. Given the sh1t storm of protests and finger pointing we now see between governments in the press, it's a safe bet if he returned to his native country he wouldn't be able to get a fair trial.

    1. Titus Technophobe
      Stop

      Re: Come on you lot...

      No it doesn't work that way Asylum is given to those who have a fear of being persecuted by virtue of race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

      Either of committing a criminal offense in one country or indeed in this case committing a criminal offense against your country and then dodging out before you can be charged doesn't qualify for Asylum. The fact that you then generate a media sh1t storm doesn't also then generate grounds for Asylum.

      Rather international law recognizes both of these as a case for extradition.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Come on you lot...

        In which case there are a lot of people in the West due to be shipped back to the USSR - who were merely criminals for spying on it.

        1. Titus Technophobe

          Re: Come on you lot... @Yet Another Anonymous coward

          That would be which USSR? The only one I knew of ceased to exist getting on for 20 years ago. This might have been an option for Mr Snowden (other I suspect that he doesn't have a lot to offer) but this would be defection rather than Asylum.

      2. SuccessCase

        Re: Come on you lot...

        "Either of committing a criminal offense in one country or indeed in this case committing a criminal offense against your country and then dodging out before you can be charged doesn't qualify for Asylum."

        1. That's a legalistic view of how countries decide if asylum applies but if a word has a strict legal definition as well as a general use correct use of a word is not determined by strict legal definition.

        2. Even if we accept a strictly legal definition of the word, it can be argued Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident.

        By definition a dissident is someone who challenges, doctrines or policies of a state that are (most usually) perceived to be against the interest of the people. For this reason, it should not be possible for democracies to have dissidents and (on this basis) it can be argued Snowden is simply a criminal. However taking the logical conclusion presented by Lawrence Lessig in his book Republic Lost, there is now a strong and forensically documented argument the US Democratic process has been so far corrupted, it no longer adequately represents the tone of the American people - especially in matters of military and national security.

        Snowden's actions directly talk to the kind of corruption Lessig documents. So on this basis Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident, cannot expect a fair trial, and such should be eligible for Asylum.

        For a fascinating abridged version of Lessig's argument, see his TED talk on Lesterville. The points he raises are not party political and should be a concern for all people of all colours on the political spectrum.

        1. Irony Deficient

          the US of A’s first political dissident

          SuccessCase, by the definition of dissident that you’d provided, I’d say that Benjamin Franklin Bache (the journalist, not his nephew the surgeon) would have a better claim to being the US of A’s first political dissident.

        2. Bleu
          Unhappy

          First political dissident

          Wow. another who needs more than a little remedial reading.

          *So on this basis Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident*

          Those of who admire the best of it would not stoop to such an ignorant, try reading a few books if you have the patience.

          1. Bleu
            Pint

            Re: First political dissident

            `us who admire the best of it would not stoop to such an ignorant stance.'

            Suppose I'd better not post from the phone when overly sauced, preview takes too long.

            Client-side prob.

            Delish , u must eat it!

          2. SuccessCase

            Re: First political dissident

            @Bleu I have made a clear and logical point justified in its own terms but also backed up with a reference to a seminal academic work. You on the other hand have replied with a barely intelligible insult claiming I require remedial reading without including even an ounce of reasoned argument and without any knowledge of who I am or what books I have read. I suggest you are in more than a little need of remedial everything.

            1. Bleu
              Terminator

              Re: First political dissident

              Sorry, I am extremely well read, history to philosopy and lit. to tech.. my major I suppose,& c.

              Sure a little too sauced to write at length right now, but you may well do worse than to broaden the horizons you so clearly showed to be so narrow in your earlier posts by *doing just a little reading*.

              1. SuccessCase

                Re: First political dissident

                @Bleu. Odd, I would have thought if you were "extremely well read, history to philosopy and lit" you would know you are attempting the argument from authority, one of the logical fallacies. That is an argument along the lines "I'm an authority, therefore my argument is correct." (There is no "therefore" and your arguments stand or fall on their own logic which you have failed to provide).

                I'm looking forward to your proof I have done little reading. From my standpoint it will involve a spectacular event where you reveal, after all, I am only a mind in a vat or some other equally phantasmic reality. Perhaps I will be struck by a bolt of lightening and realise, in the manner of Descartes, the tower that looks round in the distance is in fact square and all those books I have read on philosophy, art and history were in fact mere hallucinations and the knowledge I thought they had imparted akin to wisps of smoke that will vanish the moment I try to refer back to them.

                Perhaps.

              2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

                Re: First political dissident

                I call cobblers on your credentials. No student of Philosophy would resort to such simplistic Ad Hominem attacks twice in a row.

                Also, they would see the fundamental error in an "Appeal to Authority" argument wherein one might simply say "read more and you too will be wise like me, but only if you read the same books and end up with the same conclusions as me otherwise you are not wise."

                Horizons are never so narrow except when bounded by received wisdom.

          3. bitten
            Black Helicopters

            Re: First political dissident

            This is a post 1986 remark, the American history is a blank slate. Job well done.

        3. Pat Volk

          Re: Come on you lot...

          I like the idea of dissident status. Espionage as I understand it is theft of secrets, and providing it to someone other power for some personal gain or ideology. Manning falls under the UCMJ. But there is no attempt to hide the information taken, and he didn't exactly give it to any one power.

      3. Bleu
        Headmaster

        Re: Come on you lot...

        What rubbish, Titus Technophobe, although I wouldn't wish you living in an area dominated by fake `asylum seekers' who just turn up, spout any bullshit, and get free legal aid at the taxpayer's expense, and for greatly self-righteous and self-enriching lawyers. Every English-speaking nation, and most western Europe nations, have similar systems. The US and UK go a little further, automatically offering residence to enemies of places they want to piss off, or just be terrorized by.

        A precise list is easy to make.

        Like you it seems, the lawyers don't have to live with the situations they create, expense accounts and the ability to ride taxis or limos everywhere keeps them away from the pain they inflict on the hoi polloi.

        Snowden is now a genuine political refugee, interesting how much shakier his situation of those who are patently not yet are accepted as such.

        1. Bleu
          Facepalm

          Re: Come on you lot...

          Whoops, missed a wordor two there.

          `not such yet are forcibly accepted as such.'

      4. Daniel B.

        Re: Come on you lot...

        Asylum is given to those who have a fear of being persecuted by virtue of race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

        Pretty sure that whistleblowing on unethical and potentially illegal snooping is a quite hard political opinion.

        And doing a crime doesn't mean you're seen as a criminal everywhere. If this was a universal rule, should the woman who wrote "Not without my daughter" be sent back to Iran with her daughter, for crimes on Iran?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Come on you lot...

        International Law is there for America to get other countries to do what it wants and ignore whenever it suits it.

        I know someone who's father got Asylum in America for a pretty similar case to Snowden. (But from China) he was killed pretty much straight away when he returned to go for a funeral (Well it is known he never got there but not much else).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come on you lot...

      I look forward to the Guardian editor attending the first funerals of the next Islamic bombing, to apologise to the relatives.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC

        "I look forward to the Guardian editor attending the first funerals of the next Islamic bombing, to apologise to the relatives."

        You must live in a very strange world if writing/publishing something (whether true or not/or offensive) means that you're to blame for the atrocities committed by a bunch of savages afterwards.

      2. h3

        Re: Come on you lot...

        Ends don't justify the means. If you want to stop unnecessary deaths there are many other things that would provide better results and cost less.

        9 people in that Boston bombing totally not worth even bothering about.

        1 person in this country killed recently.

        More people have been killed by people who due to age are not as sharp behind the wheel of a car.

        Funny thing about is Western countries are becoming more like Saudi Arabia. (It would have been less hassle to give Bin Laden - Saudi Arabia in return for really cheap oil (With an understanding he does anything then he will be removed forcefully.)

        Saudi Arabia is as bad as anywhere but all anyone complains about is Iran.

        1. h3

          Re: Come on you lot...

          Iraq under Saddam was no worse than Saudi Arabia.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Precognition

    > Bush said: "I put that program in place

    Of course, the powers knew he would say that to CNN as they had already intercepted the emails and calls that set the interview up.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Precognition

      He [W] might well have said 'protect civil liberties' when he instigated it, but there is another government in power now who don't seem to be following those rules.

      Let me be clear, spying on your neighbours and then trading that information with another power so that they can give you their info on your own populace IS THE SAME AS SPYING ON YOUR OWN POPULACE.

      To suggest anything else smacks of sophistry.

      1. Scorchio!!
        FAIL

        Re: Precognition

        "To suggest anything else smacks of sophistry."

        ...and your a priori truth to justify this claim is?

        Friends have spied on one another since time immemorial, and on their citizens too. This is how people avoid being wiped out by surprise attacks. Granted it is now some 68 years since the last time these points were accepted without reserve - indeed, we were about to slip into a cold war - so perhaps it is the case that those who prattle on about such things in querulous, nay outraged tones, have been educated in a vacuum about such things as the build up to WWII and the cold war.

        Si vis pacem parabellum.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Precognition

          My a priori truth was based on logic.

          If this, then that. If that, then this. That's all.

          And as for your Latin phrase, just who are they preparing for war against? I'm quite concerned that it is against their own population.

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    WTF?

    Dubya

    I won't be around because it's going to take awhile for the objective historians to show up. And so I'm pretty comfortable with it. - Now, I can be pretty cynical. But this here is really over the top.

    I know the spirit in which I did it. - So do I. That's what scares me.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Dubya

      Presumably by "objective historian" he means "someone who agrees with him"? Quite brilliant logic - "I'm sure I'll be judged correctly, but waaay off in the future when I'll be too dead to care if I'm not"

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Dubya

      Shirley it was in the spirit of the peaceful co existence of humans and fish?

      1. wowfood

        Re: Dubya

        Do you like fish sticks?

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Dubya

      History is already catching up to where he expects it will eventually wind up:

      http://news.yahoo.com/george-w-bush-back-favor-ratings-surprising-jump-165417335.html

      But some people are so addicted to their own hatred they can't see straight.

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Bush said

    "Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

    You know what, George? History has already judged.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Bush said

      ""Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made.""

      He says that a lot.

      So far history is calling him a either a dumbass stooge for much smarter businessmen or an actual just-don't-give-a-f**k psychopath with bags of the sort of good 'ol boy charm that comes from being a true vacuum.

      Still who knows, endow a couple of libraries (no I don't think a good book is exactly his idea of entertainment either) and they might be kinder.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Bush said.... nice idea

        endow a couple of libraries

        but does the world really need another 450,000,000 libraries?

    2. Red Bren
      Unhappy

      Re: Bush said

      "Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

      Pretty much exactly what Blair said in the aftermath of the illegal Iraq invasion. And because he had all the evidence sealed away under a 30 year rule for "national security", it will be left to history to judge him a war criminal, instead of a trial at The Hague.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Bush said

        ""Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

        Pretty much exactly what Blair said in the aftermath of the illegal Iraq invasion. And because he had all the evidence sealed away under a 30 year rule for "national security", it will be left to history to judge him a war criminal, instead of a trial at The Hague."

        In respect of the illegal war against Iraq I agree completely. Blair committed many other misdeeds of an illicit nature, and I want the man on trial for them all. It does not matter if he has sealed the evidence sealed away, because the sources in the rest of the world cannot be hidden. The best Blair et al. could do was a dodgy dossier and one very weak and unconfirmed item of 'intelligence'; as a lawyer Blair knows that the word of one individual is not enough for irrevocable punishments such as death, and this applies to intelligence, for which there must always be considerable corroboration from different directions.

        As to whether 'history will judge' anyone, no; history is not a thing or person, and we should not reify concepts such as it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bush said

      When your children are being murdered in the street by the people they were trying to protect us from (rather futilely in my opinion, demographics being what they are,) then you will judge differently.

      1. DF118

        Re: Bush said

        An interesting variation on the "won't somebody think of the children" cliché there. Chapeau.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Bush said

        "When your children are being murdered in the street ..." And so we see that the terrorists have won. Fear of the incredibly unlikely guides your thinking. Do you also live underground in case you are hit by a meteor?

      3. Red Bren
        Childcatcher

        Re: Bush said

        When Iraqi children were being murdered in the street by the people sent there to supposedly protect them, did you judge this to be acceptable?

  5. Don Jefe
    Alert

    Mañana

    The Spanish told him to try again tomorrow? Does that mean you (author) are aware he has plans to travel there?

    You know it's gone to hell when Obama is getting Bush mkII to defend him. The little bastard has hardly said a word since he left office but now he's back.

    1. Titus Technophobe

      Re: Mañana

      My understanding of the Spanish phrase ins't so much tomorrow, as 'Maybe ... Maybe Not (almost certainly not)'.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: Mañana

        Maybe it has different meaning in Spain, but the South American wife says tomorrow or sometimes morning.

        1. Dr Paul Taylor

          Re: Mañana

          My friend bought a fridge in Spain. The guy in the shop said it would be delivered "mañana mañana" and it duly turned up at 10am. Better service than Currys or Comet.

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Mañana

            The guy in the shop said it would be delivered "mañana mañana" and it duly turned up at 10am

            As far as I could tell, it simply means "not today" where I lived in New Mexico. For example:

            Q: When will my car be ready?

            A: Mañana.

            1. Daniel B.

              Re: Mañana

              In Mexico it also means tomorrow or morning; but there's also the "not today" meaning. Like in "not today, maybe tomorrow".

              That's how the Spanish joke about the Tomorrow Man came to be: H2's the Tomorrow Man because whenever you ask "when will X be finished?" he will answer "Tomorrow".

      2. Schultz
        Thumb Down

        @technophobe

        It's a word and not a phrase, it means tomorrow and your understanding seems zilch. In the right context it might mean anything, such as 'tomorrow (don't bug me and I hope not to meet you tomorrow)', but you'd have to make that context up as it is not given in the text.

      3. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Mañana

        'not today' was what i thought it meant

  6. BillG Silver badge

    Why didn't Obama just cancel the program like he said he would in 2008?

    1. NoneSuch
      FAIL

      Because governments, once they have power, are extremely hesitant to give it up. He promised to get rid of Guantanamo as well. They have actually expanded since Obama took over.

      This is the joy of a two party system. No matter who you vote in, things just get worse.

      1. dogged

        s/two/n/

      2. Don Jefe
        Meh

        Guantanamo really wasn't his fault. Most of both sides of Congress and most state Governors refused to accept the prisoners on U.S. soil. He got shut down right out of the gate on that.

        You're spot on about rolling back power though. It almost never happens.

        1. Gav
          Childcatcher

          Accepting Prisoners

          I'm probably depressingly wrong, but I'd hope that the reason most State Governors refused to accept the Guantanamo "prisoners" on U.S. soil would be because, according to US law, they are not "prisoners" and have not been afforded the rights of "prisoners".

          1. Don Jefe
            Unhappy

            Re: Accepting Prisoners

            Yeah, you're wrong on that one. The governors didn't want 'those dangerous terrorists and religious extremists' kept in onshore prisons because, among other reasons, they could convert other inmates and share all their super secret knowledge.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Completely not true.

          "You're spot on about rolling back power though. It almost never happens."

          When I was two, if you stood more than two couples talking in Durham City market place, a policeman would literally ask you to move on.

          In my home village, a court case was thrown out, because the policeman's top button was unfastened at time of arrest.

          Coppers would just beat you senseless, as late as 1985.

          During the war, everyone carried identity papers.

          As soon as the crisis is over, rights automatically re-appear, (in constitutional monarchies.) The same is not true in Islamic Theocracies.

      3. BillG Silver badge
        Happy

        That reminds me of the old saying,

        You can vote for Republicans and hope they won't do what they promised, or you can vote for Democrats and KNOW they won't do what they promised.

        or,

        Republicans say government is the problem and when they get elected prove they are right. Democrats say government is the solution and when they get elected prove the Republicans are right.

      4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        "Because governments, once they have power, are extremely hesitant to give it up....." This misses the obvious conclusion that Obambi and his crew LIED TO YOU, that he never had any intention of closing down Gitmo, Echelon or anything else, that he just said it to garner the votes of the easily-deceived.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      "Why didn't Obama just cancel the program like he said he would in 2008?"

      Because the President doesn't have the power people think he does. The power lies three steps back and two across, almost invisible. These people don't want real democracy, they are (perhaps understandably) afraid of what will be done with it (let's face it, democracy in the Middle East hasn't made things much better for many people). The whole ruling class are afraid for their lives and livelihoods, and cannot see that relaxing the amount of oppression now will settle things down. Unfortunately, countries like the UK and USA are on the brink of serious, sustained civil disobedience, and no-one is sufficiently versed in the art of giving something to avoid the worst, which is how the UK* has managed to avoid real revolution** since the time of the Roundheads.

      * OK, the UK wasn't created yet, but you get my point.

      ** I'm not counting the "Glorious Revolution" because it was effectively twelve men and a dog.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those countries, and many others, should be fighting to host Snowden.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    ~ Edmund Burke

    1. Don Jefe

      I kind of agree, but who can trust him now? Who wants the headache(s) he will bring... Snowden really handled his 'escape' poorly.

      I do think that our allies/frenemies/trade partners could do a lot to pressure our government to guarantee a tiny sentence, like supervised parole with no Internet access and send him home. He's going to be under severe scrutiny for the rest of his life anyway and it would surely be easier to do that in his native country.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        >"Snowden really handled his 'escape' poorly."

        He's:

        1. Still alive

        2. Not in prison

        So I don't think that qualifies as handling it poorly at all. He simply got screwed over by Ecuador, who were leaned on by the US establishment.

        For all anyone knows the US threatened to murder any pols who wanted to give Snowden a new home. It's not as if they don't have form in that direction.

        1. Don Jefe

          He's trapped in a Russian airport. I don't think that qualifies as a successful escape.

      2. BillG Silver badge
        FAIL

        Snowden really handled his 'escape' poorly

        Actually, U.S. Sec. of State Kerry really handled Snowden's 'escape' poorly.

        Snowden is sleeping in a nice hotel with a selection of good food and a wide variety of interesting people.

        Assange£©®™ is sleeping on an old couch eating microwave food where he faces the same people every day.

        Snowden's doing fine.

  8. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    "designed to protect America"

    I'm pretty sure that that was what the KGB and the Stasi et al thought they were doing for their countries...

  9. KjetilS

    I wish we would grant him asylum

    ... but as a Norwegian, I doubt our ministry of foreign affairs have the balls to go against their American overlords.

    1. mhenriday
      Boffin

      Re: I wish we would grant him asylum

      Mr Snowden is not yet wise to how things are run on the western side of Kölen/Kjølen, but he does seem to know how they are managed here on the eastern side, which is why he hasn't applied to come to Sweden....

      Henri

  10. Random Noise

    Running out of options

    As the list gets smaller the options seem worse & worse.

    He's going to end up in Sealand.

    1. smudge Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Running out of options

      Sealand would be good.

      I'd been thinking of Vatican City, except they'd have to build a SCIF* in which to hear his confession. :)

      *US term for a physically secure area inside which spooky things are said or written.

  11. Bleu
    Trollface

    W

    Anyone paying attention already knew there was a reliably rumoured deal between Google and the NSA, albeit not the scope of the whole programme.

    I've found Edward's other revelations more hilarious and revelatory.

    After decades of whining about having to tear down and rebuild the Moscow embassy because of Soviet bugs, turns out that they treat their *allies* even worse.

    1. Don Jefe
      Boffin

      Re: W

      Is that an anthropomorphized pile of poo at the end of your post? Why? How? I must know.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: W

        I think it's a character of encrypted data

      2. Bleu
        Happy

        Re: W

        Perhaps the set here doesn't translate to the wider world. Off topic, but a screenshot might be fun.

        Viva Edward

    2. Simon Ward
      Mushroom

      Re: W

      The Americans don't have 'allies' ... merely 'interests'.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Simon Ward Re: W

        "The Americans don't have 'allies' ... merely 'interests'." They do, they just have some allies (UK, Canada, and Australia) they trust a lot more than others (such as Turkey or Germany), and those they don't trust at all (such as France).

  12. jmk89

    Go on Ireland

    If you make it to Ireland Snowden, we'll go out for pints!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swap him for that double agent

    There's a deal to be made here. We discovered that double agent pretending to work for Britain but actually working for a foreign power, and secretly spying on Brits.

    Oh, you know the guy, short bald chap, managed to infiltrate the foreign office pretending to be a British MP.

    What was his name again? Oh right, William Hague. We swap that toe rag for Snowden, the Russians get a double agent, we get a hero in return.

    One of them has principles, the other undermines Parliamentary law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Swap him for that double agent

      Is it only me who remembers how Hague got into Parliament in the first place?

      Selected for a by-election which he had no chance of winning, the Liberal-SDP alliance imploded at just the right moment and stood candidates against each other, and Hague sneaked in with an effective minority of about 9,000.

      His whole career's been like that really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He's an idiot

        I thought he'd gone when the Conservatives sacked him as leader.

        We found out the NSA had been spying on the EU and UN and Germany and France and every other allied country with bugs and wiretaps and clever devices attached to secure fax machines.

        The only country mentioned that wasn't in the list, was the UK.

        Maybe it's because we're so good at protecting our business and press and you know, people? No!

        It's because Hague had ordered GCHQ to spy on Britain for them. Who needs wiretaps when you have such a noob! What, did they take him out for steaks and cola in glass bottles and so he decided to sell us out?

        Clueless.

  14. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    I am delighted that "Dubya" has claimed his share of the "credit" for this............

    ................as a result we may be spared a certain type of member of our little congregation from the other side of the pond logging on to tell us "what can we expect with that quasi-communist Obama in the White House."

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: I am delighted that "Dubya" has claimed his share of the "credit" for this............

      do you want to bet on that?

      haters gotta hate, since when did the facts impinge on that?

  15. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I notice he hasn't asked Sweden, since Sweden has a clear history of extradition to the US of people accused of just about anything with no evidence.

    Oh, wait, that's right, they don't. (/sarcasm)

    1. Steen Hive
      Facepalm

      No, Sweden just allows the CIA to kidnap people from Stockholm airports and ship them off to be tortured in Egypt. He'd be out of his mind to go anywhere near Sweden.

  16. Richard Jukes

    erm

    Is anyone actually surprised that programs like PRISM exist? Its been law in the UK for quite sometime for phone companies to keep records of all calls.

    1. jmk89
      WTF?

      Re: erm

      It was discussed quite openly over a year ago by former NSA employees at last year's defcon, so no I'm not surprised! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqIz-RNUL1g

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: erm

      The difference is that Americans thought they had a Constitution prohibiting this sort of thing. Brits just assumed that they have always lived under fascism - albeit it one that couldn't make the trains run on time.

  17. envmod

    screwed

    he's screwed imo. his best bet now is probably north korea.

  18. Shrimpling

    So it looks like Snowden is going to China, Cuba or Venezuela

    Russia and China are the only 2 countries on the list that don't have an Extradition Treaty with the US. Russia don't want him.

    Cuba and Venezuela technically have extradition treaties but i don't think they would act on them given how they don't like the USA now.

  19. Bigpatc
    Holmes

    I have a friend in Nigeria

    I am in contact with a gentleman in Nigeria that seems to have money to burn. Perhaps they could reach a mutually beneficial arrangement. 28 Million dollars should cover a few plane tickects and Julian can front the transfer fee from the couch cushions he is sleeping on. Does Mr. Snowden have a public email address or should I send it to OsamaBinLaden@taliban.com and let the NSA route it to him?

    PC

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dubya

    When people start saying "you know, he's really very intelligent"...

    Do you think the people who paid to get him to the top were embarrassed at how stupid it made the US look, or did the amount money they made affect their moral judgement?

  21. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Oil cowboy?

    Did Arbusto Energy ever find oil? Perhaps drilling cowboy or investment cowboy would be more appropriate.

    If Snowden does get dragged back to America, would a jury find him guilty? No problem: America has secrets courts. They could have passed sentence already as they do not need to listen to any defence.

  22. NomNomNom

    I see the reptilians have wheeled out their pawn George W Bush to take the rap for PRISM

  23. cd

    "- the Obama administration will deal with it."

    Objective historians agree...

  24. sisk Silver badge

    So the program was started by a man whose actions in office show he had/has absolutely no concept of the 4th Amendment. Tell me, Mr. Bush, how can you say you're respecting civil liberties when you're collecting all our phone records?

    1. tom dial Silver badge
      Stop

      The courts or the Congress may change things in the future, but for now "your" phone records - the infamous metadata - belong to the telephone companies, not to you. Please refer to the Guardian (June 6) for an explanation of what is being gathered and under which U. S. Administration it began.

  25. auburnman

    God Dammit Wikileaks

    Why are they announcing the countries Snowden is applying to? Because rolling out a list of twenty plus applications doesn't make him look desperate at all. Unless this is a tactic to draw US attention elsewhere while he applies to a country not on the list.

  26. VinceH Silver badge

    Optional

    "I know he damaged the country - the Obama administration will deal with it. I think he damaged the security of the country."

    So which is it, Dubya - do you know or think it?

  27. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Devil

    Never mind Snowden. Won't some benevolent nation take W? Puh-leeeze?

    1. Don Jefe

      He doesn't have a great track record of either...

  28. Anomalous Cowshed

    Mr. Arbusto caminando

    Some people seem to have a unique view of what is good and decent. They think screwing you over is a good thing, because (a) papa says it is, (b) the law says they can do it, (c) they make the laws so screw you, (d) they work for the government, or (e) preacher / mullah / rabbi X says it's the right thing to do. What can the rest of us do, other than gawp, bury our heads in the sand and hope that we won't fall victim to one of these righteous, worthy scumbags?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Mr. Arbusto caminando

      [...] or (e) preacher / mullah / rabbi X says it's the right thing to do.

      Your forgot one: Puppeteer (I'm looking at you, Dick Cheney!)

  29. John Savard Silver badge

    At Least One

    I think that Cuba will be willing to take him. It's not like the U.S. can threaten to retain high tariffs on Cuban tulips, after all, as appears to be the problem with Ecuador.

    It's not a great choice, but it still beats the DPRK (or, as it's better known, North Korea).

    I'm astonished that the U.S. is showing such an extended reach that even Russia is intimidated, particularly when it wasn't afraid to invade Georgia (admittedly, the one in the Caucasus). I was expecting him to settle happily in Finland, but it appears that won't be possible.

  30. AliceBob

    The Italian Republic conjures an exquisite image

    "Another cappucino, per favore. Do these gondolas have wifi?"

  31. Naughtyhorse

    Clarification... At Last

    Bush did it!

    therefore, just from that information alone we now know:

    it was unconstitutional

    It was illegal

    it was immoral

    It was a stupid thing to do

    and snowden IS a whitehat

  32. Someone Else Silver badge
    Alert

    To paraphrase George Duh-beeyew Bush hisself:

    "Is our country protected-er?"

  33. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Dubya--one of the biggest reasons I gave up on the Republican party.

    I'm not at all surprised he is behind PRISM. In fact, I would be surprise if he hadn't taken a lead in creating this program. Between stuff like this and the Bush White House Counsel arguing that "if we can get you to Guantanamo, the write of habeus corpus doesn't apply", I grew pretty disgusted with them.....

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Dubya--one of the biggest reasons I gave up on the Republican party.

      "In fact, I would be surprise if he hadn't taken a lead in creating this program. "

      GW Bush, System Architect.

      I think not.

      Although something along the lines of "Wouldn't it be great if we knew what everyone was saying everywhere" would not be beyond his ability. The rest is a detail, and AFAIK shrubs not really a "detail" guy.

      Between career members of the Legislature (with 70+ years in office), religious nutters and other assorted SEL's the US political system needs an enema.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Former Texan oil cowboy?

    "The former Texan oil cowboy said he was"

    Dubya was never from Texas and never did find any oil. The rest of his claims are equally bogus ..

  35. Stu

    I'm still having trouble understanding...

    ...quite how somebody would do this and yet not already have a plan and agreements in place of where to go for the rest of his life.

    Not for a minute did he seem to think that he might get stuck in an airport in Russia, probably awaiting a CIA assassination?

    I suspect he might have been tricked into revealing his secrets by the ever moral, upstanding, and vigilant world press. Harr-dee-harr. Now left to fend for his-self stuck betwixt and between nations.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    George!

    Your friend Maggie called. Can you join her as soon as possible?

  37. Richard Cranium

    In recent months there have been US originated scare stories about the possibility of back-doors in network equipment from Chinese manufcaturers such as Huawei. The cynics may have thought tis was to protect the commercial interests of such as Cisco. In view of the Prism revelations perhaps it was to ensure friendly nations installed US manufactured kit which might allow NSA back-door access.

    Maybe the security analysts examining Huawei network gear should test their expertise on Cisco too.

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