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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  1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    This has now officially..

    .. turned into a farce.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: This has now officially..

      Where are my trousers? The ambassador's coming to tea in a minute, and I can't find them anywhere. Oh no, that's him at the door now! I'll hide in this cupboard while he's here.

      G'Day ambassador mate! I've got the consul's trousers here, I was just borrowing them for a nice young sheila I got back there on the sofa. D'you know where he is?

      in walks a loveable policeman

      Oi! You're not allowed in here. Diplomatic immunity!

      'Ello ello ello sir, you're right. I'd better hide in the bathroom, before the ambassador spots me, and I cause a diplomatic incident.

      [probably best I don't give up my day job]

    2. Allonymous Coward

      Re: This has now officially..

      Oh no it hasn't.

    3. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: This has now officially..

      It would have been a farce if young mister Snowden was on the flight but didn't get caught because he changed his first name to Eduardo.

  2. S4qFBxkFFg
    Go

    Let's see if they make it this time:

    http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/fab-001

    1. JayBizzle
      Thumb Up

      Lady Penelope in that one? Didn't know Parker was a pilot as well

      Jeff will be happy to see her.....

      1. Richard 120
        Black Helicopters

        Stop the Pigeon

        Starring Barrack Obama as Dick Dastardly

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Stop the Pigeon

          Psst.

          Lady Penelope was in Thunderbirds. Dick Dastardly was in a cartoon with a different Penelope - Penelope Pitstop. Hopefully, nobody will notice your continuity error, though... I won't tell anyone. That's why I'm whispering.

          1. Suricou Raven

            Re: Stop the Pigeon

            It's more complicated than that. The studio liked to reuse their popular characters in different settings: Dick and his sidekick appeared in three programs: Wacky Races, Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Stop that Pigeon. Penelope appeared in two of those, as did the Ant Hill Mob - but not appearing as the same named characters or professions.

            It could be seen the animated equivalent of the same actor appearing in many different films playing different characters, but always the same archetype. Think someone like Laurel and Hardy: They played different characters every film, but really they were always playing their own act and everyone loved them for it.

            1. Richard 120
              Stop

              Re: Stop the Pigeon

              I think I can untangle this.

              The Lady Penelope being referred to by the honourable JayBizzle is a totally different character to the Penelope Pitstop of Wacky Races fame (and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop)

              I'm assuming the association JayBizzle was making to Lady Penelope was as a result of the link to FAB-001, F.A.B. being the radio acknowldgement of the Thunderbirds pilots.

              I was making a reference to the OP defining the situation as a farce, Stop the Pigeon was a farce and I was drawing a parallel to the nature of the Pigeon (being a spy messenger) and his pursuer the repeatedly foiled Dick Dastardly. I was not building on the Thunderbirds reference.

              Now that that's all sorted out everyone else can all go back to their lives safe in the knowledge that there is someone who is anal enough to read the replies to his own posts, try to understand them, point out continuity errors or misunderstandings and how they were derived.

              Unfortunately I have to live with myself.

              1. VinceH Silver badge

                Re: Stop the Pigeon

                Ah, okay. I thought you were mistaking Lady Penelope for Penelope Pitstop - you clearly know they are different, though.

                However, @Suricou Raven:

                "It's more complicated than that. The studio liked to reuse their popular characters in different settings: Dick and his sidekick appeared in three programs: Wacky Races, Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Stop that Pigeon."

                My recollection is that Dick Dastardly didn't appear in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop - the only one in which they appeared alongside Penelope Pitstop was the Wacky Races. I'm pretty sure Penelope's nemesis in The Perils was a character called something like The Hooded Claw (who I think was the alter ego of someone she thought was a friend).

                1. H.I.T.S
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: Stop the Pigeon

                  You're right about the Hooded Claw trying to get our beloved Penelope. I could be wrong here, but I seem to recall the 'friend' was her lawyer trying to get his hand on her fortune. The Ant Hill Mob was there to protect her.

                  A quick trip to IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173587/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 has just confirmed the ol' marbles are basically intact for the mo.

                  What were we talking about?

                  1. VinceH Silver badge

                    Re: Stop the Pigeon

                    I dunno. Something about a pigeon not being found on a grounded jet, flown by a bloke called Parker.

  3. JayBizzle
    FAIL

    Land of the free... home of the brave

    The U.S.A. needs to get its house in order and Cameron could be seen to be a player on the world stage if he gets some balls (not the Ed kind) and says to Obama, "listen Bara me old chum, hows about not bugging everyone, yeah? Other NATO countries don't like it, especially if you don't tell them"

    There is no longer a cold war and you will not reduce the threat of Terrorism from pissing off all of your mates.

    Team America World Police.. Fuck NO!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave aka Team America World Police (OT)

      Off topic, but if someone has NOT seen "Team America" - DO, it's hilarious.

      1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave aka Team America World Police (OT)

        Not off topic at all. Our duly elected government behaves more like the characters in that movie every day.

    2. boltar Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

      "There is no longer a cold war and you will not reduce the threat of Terrorism from pissing off all of your mates."

      You honestly think that no other country in the world spies on its supposed allies when it suits them? Where do you live , Innocent Cottage, 1 Naive Street, Dumbville?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        So? Because it's done, it should be accepted? Because it's done, it's automatically effective? You think it's right and you're fully behind the practice? You believe that freedom and democracy are meaningless words? That people who dream of making the world better should just let it go, and we should be happy to be on the path to a perfectly fascist society where your opinion does not matter a bit to your government?

        If that's what you want, as you pointed out, there are countries like that already. Why don't you emigrate there and applaud happily at their governments actions?

        1. boltar Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

          "You believe that freedom and democracy are meaningless words? "

          If it wasn't for the actions of security agencies carrying out covert operations the freedom and democracy you talk about probably wouldn't exists anymore.

          "That people who dream of making the world better should just let it go"

          Cue angelic choir and some pictures of smiling multi ethnic clip art pictures of women holding babies...

          "we should be happy to be on the path to a perfectly fascist society"

          You wouldn't know true fascism if it bit you in your deluded liberal backside. For people like you that word is a catch all term for anything you don't happen to agree with because it doesn't fit into the fluffy cuddly hippy world you naively believe we'd all live in if only The Man didn't go around doing nasty things like spying.

          Well newsflash my friend - human nature being what it is doesn't allow for that. The Man is actually keeping your backsde safe from the real enemies out there , you know, the sort who fly aircraft into a building with 3000 people in it, the one who blow up trains, bomb buses full of kids, shoot women dead if they dare to try and get an education? But hey , those are minor transgressions compared to storing emails, right?

          Grow the fuck up!

      2. PipV
        Trollface

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        'Fuck yeh'

        I can't watch the whole of Team America, reality documentary films tend to bore or upset me.

        1. WatAWorld
          Paris Hilton

          What kind of a "world cop" is the USA?

          With their bald-face mantra of "exceptionalism", they're a 1960s era "white cop in a black ghetto" type of cop.

          Do what I say or I'll beat the heck out of you with my club kind of cop.

          There a "the law is there for YOU to obey" kind of cop.

          Shock and awe ? Shock and awe at their hypocrisy !

          Paris, because she's their main ideological guru.

          1. HAL4000
            Boffin

            Re: What kind of a "world cop" is the USA?

            This kind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UUbvM2Lyh4 (SFW)

      3. WatAWorld

        last month the US was complaining about China's spying as though nobody ever did such a thing

        There is normal spying for military security threats.

        Then there is industrial espionage.

        But then there is capturing all the internet traffic from every single citizen.

        What is the purpose? It clearly is NOT to fight terrorism.

        Looking at what they capture their motivations include:

        1. Turning over the trade secrets of EU companies (like Siemens) to US companies (like Intel and Motorola).

        2. Capturing the bargaining positions of the other side.

        3. Gathering background information on our political, military and industrial leaders with which to blackmail them.

        Yes, other countries do spying too. But the CIA includes reading over foreign newspapers in its definition of spying.

        I do not believe for a minute that Belgium is taping all the internet traffic in and out of the UK or USA.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: last month the US was complaining about China's spying as though nobody ever did such a thing

          "I do not believe for a minute that Belgium is taping all the internet traffic in and out of the UK or USA."

          Not a UKIP member, then.

          1. Suricou Raven

            Re: last month the US was complaining about China's spying as though nobody ever did such a thing

            Only because they don't have access to the fibers. The UK is probably tapping all internet traffic in and out of Belgium though. Guess where the ocean-spanning cables land.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: ribosome Re: last month the US was complaining about China's spying...."

            <Sigh> It is really rich of Brussels to be complaining of US evesdropping given their long and secretive history of doing exactly the same if not worse (http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/1998/12/16588)! The whole basis of the EPCIP program is that the EU will be able to "identify terror threats to critical infrastructure" (http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/justice_freedom_security/fight_against_terrorism/l33260_en.htm), and partially entails EU countries sharing data on their citizens and their communications without any form of warrant, nor oversight, and under the control of non-elected EU beureaucrats. Compared to the NSA's activities that's like comparing grand larceny to pickpocketing!

            The Fwench are not kicking up too much of a fuss as they have had their own equivalent of ECHELON for years too:

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

            Even the Swiss and the Swedes are at it:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onyx_%28interception_system%29

            http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25252111/ns/world_news-europe/t/sweden-adopts-contentious-eavesdropping-plan/#.UdQmhKyovrQ

            Oh dear, did that info puncture a few reality bubbles?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ribosome last month the US was complaining about China's spying...."

              Unfortunately I am a strict constructionist when it comes to markup languages, and as your <Sigh> tag was not terminated, I was unable to parse your post.

              Or in ordinary wetware language, I am programmed to ignore completely any responses from people who think it is clever to put <Sigh> at the start of their posts. It's intended to indicate casual superiority - and all you ever do when posting is try to look superior to others. But I can't find the Matt Bryant who is a specialist in international law, so until you verify your credentials your posts would seem to have no special value.

      4. JayBizzle
        Big Brother

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        Dear Boltar,

        I didn't say that no one else did it, but since the U.S.A. is currently in the focus, I focused my comment on them.

        zài jiàn

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        You haven't got it, have you? Or perhaps you only read the news through the NSA firewall.

        This is about the US spying on everybody else, and subcontracting their spying on their own citizens to the UK, so as to maintain a figleaf of legality.

        Really it's high time US citizens flooded our Government with FOI requests to find out what information it is storing on them, Yes I know they will be refused...come on guys, you can crapflood the UK Government with FOI requests until they have to agree not to cooperate any more, and the whole stinking rotten system starts to unravel.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: ribosome Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

          ".....you can crapflood the UK Government with FOI requests until they have to agree not to cooperate any more....." Please do, it will be an excellent source of income for HMG when they charge you £50 for a photocopy of a sheet saying "No information found" (https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request/how-to-make-an-foi-request).

          But, before you get your hopes up, you may want to read the FOI Act 2000 first (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/schedule/1) as it specificaly excludes GCHQ and chums: "....except—......any unit or part of a unit which is for the time being required by the Secretary of State to assist the Government Communications Headquarters in the exercise of its functions....."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ribosome Land of the free... home of the brave

            Which is why I wrote that it would be refused. I know that FOI only applies to stuff the Government doesn't care about. But presumably someone would have to send out all the emails saying why it had been refused. 300 million Americans could certainly overload the UK Government's email system.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Land of the free... home of the brave + subcontracting

          the guardian (well, you know) suggested, that it might have been a little different to the popular form of subcontracting, i.e. both parties stored data - but the data captured by the other partner, thus enabling both to claim that it was "all legal".

        3. h3

          Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

          America pays us for the spy base in North Yorkshire. They drive on the right and use dollars. (And have Disney Land like facilities). They even give you free unlimited beer after playing Rugby with them. (Junk American beer but it is free).

          The whole set up is stupid. If you are going to do something just say you are.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

            Actually I've had some microbrew there - v nice

          2. Vic

            Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

            > Junk American beer but it is free

            It's hardly novel that someone gives away piss...

            Vic.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        "You honestly think that no other country in the world spies on its supposed allies when it suits them?"

        Only William Hague is so dumb <b>he does the spying for them</b>. That's the true scandal here, that a man can be so stupid he gives them a network tap and just naively thinks they won't spy on Brits for commercial and political gains.

        Wow, when he started spouting how US protects its citizens as if Brits are US citizens (!).

        You can see the Prism leak, you can see Brit data from the filter GCHQ put in goes straight into that database, not deleted after 3 days. Did he imagine otherwise?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

      ...followed by the rapid exodus of banks from the City of London, cancellation of numerous contracts and the collapse of the £.

      Kipling was right: high levels of trade reduce the prospect of war. But he missed an essential point; that when word trade is predicated on a debt-funded currency retaining its value, the US can do what it likes because nobody dare upset the applecart. It is the old saw about you owe the bank £1000, you have a problem, you owe the bank £1billion, they have a problem.

      If the dollar falls, oil and commodity prices go haywire. So, paradoxically, nobody can afford to upset the US.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

        ...followed by the rapid exodus of banks from

        City of London, cancellation of numerous

        contracts and the collapse of the £.

        sounds good to me, bring it on and give the US the finger.

    4. Yag
      Big Brother

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

      More like : Land of the free market... home of the brave new world.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

      That would be very nice indeed, but the only problem is Cameron and the British gov/civil service etc are the US's lapdogs. Indeed GCHQ spying is even worse as Snowden has revealed. Why do you think they denied flights to the UK for him the moment this all came out. We need a European and US Spring, and fast before it's too late.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the free... home of the brave

      Yeah you don't want America as the world police until you want to intervene in another country and you realise you armed forces can't do it. Ohh we hate America but please come help us in Libya. America, rightly or wrongly, can project force. That is why they were hired by the Saudi's for the first Iraq war (no bad, being able to hire half a million troops for $35 billion)

      As for spying, yes what was going on was very wrong and some people need to be sized up for orange jumpsuits, but GCHQ is at it as well and just as much. That doesn't excuse it, but your preaching may need to be dialled down a little. Theres probably much more to come and theres going to be quite a few countries with some explaining to do so don't be so quick to attack others.

  4. Rol Silver badge

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

    I think the American term for that has something to do with forked tongues.

    1. g e
      Holmes

      Re: Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

      Or perhaps "Obama is an utter fucking liar"

      Which statement is easier to believe?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

      And he WAS true to his word. To the letter too. All they did, is "asked". And because they say so, I believe them, absolutely. They wouldn't be lying, would they?

      1. Aldous
        Trollface

        Re: Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

        He could take a lesson from the JFK playbook: " The USAF won't intercept Snowden. The CIA with their ex cuban/whoever pilots on the other hand...."

  5. J J Carter Silver badge
    Big Brother

    They could have dressed Snowden in spare inform and passed him off as cabin-crew

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      nah. He's onboard the Venezuelan presidents plane. The Bolivians were sent ahead to raise indignation, leaving the Venezuelan plane to fly home free

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    More to come?

    This lot are getting spooked at the slightest whisper lately. I wonder if there is a biggie they all know about but don't want the public hearing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More to come?

      Snowden knows:

      The whereabouts of Lord Lucan

      The pizza joint where Elvis is currently doing the cooking

      The exact location of last year's snow

      The datacenter that has all of temps perdu on it, and the admin password

      The IP address of the Yeti webcam

      The secret hideout in Arizona where Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Quadhafi (the real ones) live in comfortable retirement.

      The actual contract between the UK and the US governments that specifies that every UK Prime Minister is the current US President's bitch (which is why there can never be a woman President)

      The launch codes for all the Minutemen

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

      Where to get polonium in Moscow

      He does not know:

      Who the Hell gives Michael Gove his ideas.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: More to come?

        I'm sure theres a comedy sketch in that secret hideout \ retirement home one. Wasn't there a python sketch about a bunch of Nazi leaders in a brighton b&b or am I going senile?

        1. Graham Marsden

          @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

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: @Rampant Spaniel - More to come?

            Thanks! About twice as funny as I remember it.

      2. Peter Simpson 1
        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!)

      3. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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?

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    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.

    1. Silviu C.

      Re: Spy on board

      "Spy on board"

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spy on board

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

      2. WatAWorld

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spy on board

          Only one criminal???

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spy on board

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

          FTFY.

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: Spy on board

            Sad but true regardless of party.

    3. WatAWorld

      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.

  8. Anonymous Coward 101

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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"

  11. Rol Silver badge

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

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

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

      In his sleep perchance?

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Well surely they won't stop the next plane?

    3. Suricou Raven

      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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. tony2heads
        Trollface

        state monopoly on violence

        The should copyright it!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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".

        1. Yag

          Re: We need a word

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

        2. 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.

    2. Red Bren
      Pirate

      Re: We need a word

      Covert

      Unaccountable

      Nefarious

      Traitors

      If only I could think of an acronym...

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: We need a word

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

        You forgot

        Spies

        because there's more than one of them

    3. All names Taken
      Joke

      Re: We need a word

      TWATS: Treating World Agreements Terribly Shi**ylike?

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Not Fred31

    Activist or journalist?

    Your "bootnote" would suggest the former.

  14. Purlieu

    Officials ?

    Who are / what were these "officials" ?

  15. moiety

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

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      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.

      1. WatAWorld

        "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.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge
        Facepalm

        "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.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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

          1. James Micallef Silver badge
            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.

            1. mhenriday
              Pint

              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

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                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..

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              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

          2. moiety

            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.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              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!

              1. moiety

                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.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: moiety Re: moiety James Missingaclue

                  ".....Lawmakers write the laws to suit themselves; not the people they represent....." Both the Chicago and Vienna Conventions are international agreements formed by large numbers of diplomats and experts from many countries many decades before the current US administration came to power, so to try and claim that the current lawmakers made the laws to suit themselves is patently stupid.

                  ".....everybody knows they have the kit and have used it on civilian cities...." Twice in 1945 to end a major war involving just about every nation on the planet. Like I said, and you failed to do, please do show me an occasion when they have threatened anyone with nukes since the Cold War?

                  "....I therefore contend that you should keep the fail to yourself or purchase a better dictionary....." I would suggest it is you and El Reg that need to find a dictionary of aviation terms. "Grounded" in aviation terms means forbidden from flying, period, whereas the Bolivian plane was merely REQUESTED to land and then searched. The Bolivians could have refused to land but that would probably have left them running out of fuel shortly after. And even after landing they could have tried refusing to let the plane be searched, but that would have given the Austrians the right to actually ground them until the Bolivians capitulated or the International Courts ordered Austria to release the jet. Obviously, Morales realized the simplest and quickest way to resolve the issue was to co-operate. Just as obviously, you failed to do English Comprehension 101, along with any form of legal research or aviation reading. Ah well, I suppose the nice thing to say would be that your achievements so far have left lots of room for future improvement.

                  1. moiety

                    Re: moiety moiety James Missingaclue

                    @Matt Bryant

                    To keep it short; I shall answer your 3 paragraphs by number:

                    1) I don't give a flying fuck about international law. Given a suitable shedload of money to throw at two teams of lawyers I'm sure I could come up with a convincing case for both the horrifying illegality and the total justification of the actions. My position was that the action was **wrong**.. A *Head of state* had his plane forced to the ground -over ground where the target had committed no crime- to be searched for a person that wasn't there.

                    2) They don't have to threaten...that was the point.

                    3) I do know the aviation connotation of grounded, yes. The plane was forced to the ground and forbidden to take off again until it was searched. That's grounded. Might be conditional and temporary; but it's grounded nevertheless.

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: moiety Re: moiety moiety James Missingaclue

                      "....I don't give a flying fuck about international law...." Aw, how naive! Don't tell me, you insist on equality and liberty but want "special treatment" outside the law for those you think are deserving..... Fail!

                      ".....Given a suitable shedload of money to throw at two teams of lawyers...." Diplomatic disputes are settled at the International Court of Law. If Morales had wanted to contest the Austrian insistence on "confirming the passenger manifest" then he could have refused, but THEN the Austrians would have had the legal right to actually ground his jet UNTIL the relevant lawyers, expensive or otherwise, had trotted off to the ICoL, all of which would probably have taken many months. If you don't understand the basics of the game you will always be left shrieking and bleating indignantly.

                      "....They don't have to threaten...." But you stated that they had, so you're now admitting that actually they haven't. All in all, it would be a pretty stupid diplomatic threat - "Do as we say or we nuke you!" - as what would they do when countries simply called their bluff? I can see that a career in law or diplomacy and yourself are destined to be strangers during your lifetime.

                      "..... I do know the aviation connotation of grounded, yes....." Oh, so you simply lied then? Or did you forget in your rush to righteously froth? Fail again!

                      ".....The plane was forced to the ground...." Nope, they requested permission to overfly Austrian territory and land to refuel. The Austrians agreed but then exercised their legal right to confirm the passenger manifest. Morales had the option of turning round and returning to his original start point (Moscow) or accepting the Austrian terms. He chose to accept, no "grounding" required. Fail again, again!

          3. Johan Bastiaansen
            FAIL

            Re: James Missingaclue

            "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"

            ...

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

      3. Chris_Maresca

        Diplomatic immunity

        I carried a diplomatic passport for a number of years and my wife is currently a consular official. Here are some general rules about diplomatic immunity.

        1. The person, residence & vehicle of an accredited diplomat are considered sovereign territory of the diplomats home country. Entering the premises or vehicle is the equivalent of crossing a border. My wife technically commutes to a foreign country every time she goes to work and a different set of laws apply to her when she is at work.

        2. It is possible for a diplomat to confer diplomatic immunity to another person even when not in their residence or vehicle. This can be done by holding on to someone. The West Germans famously did this when East Germans were scaling the fence around the West German embassy in Prague, circa 1989.

        A couple of things to note:

        1. To have full immunity, you must carry a letter of accreditation from the host government. Even without it, you have partial immunity, but it is much, much more tenuous.

        2. The rules are just rules, there is no way to actually enforce them. Governments have ultimate and unlimited power (theoretically) over individuals and diplomatic immunity will not protect you if they go all out.

        3. Heads of state generally have a different, higher level of immunity in foreign countries than diplomats. I'm not entirely sure what the legalities are, but I do know from personal experience that head of state status allows for things that diplomats could never, ever do.

        I find this whole thing rather strange. If I had been in Morales' place, I would have ordered the plan to fly on as there was little that any government could do stop it short of shooting it down. It's a matter of principle as much as anything else, a sovereign head of state is just that, sovereign.

        It's a disturbing precedent to say that if you are a relatively weak country your sovereignty counts for nothing. And searching a head of state's plane is pretty much the same as invading a country to look for someone/something. This whole thing reeks - it's a sad day when someone vocally opposed to the US can't find refuge anywhere and even sadder when states resort to violating sovereign immunity as a means to an end.

        1. PJI
          Unhappy

          Re: Matt B.

          I find this reasoning about a country being able to do what it wants if it suspects that a diplomatic aircraft contains, e.g., a spy or some other "wanted" person by, for example, the USA (one would have thought that at least that person should be wanted by the stopping state) disturbing and inconsistent, if not mediaeval in concept.

          1. So what happened with those thoroughly illegal "rendition" flights? Why did every country permit them to enter their airspace, even after it was public knowledge?

          2. Am I the only one, not surprised but certainly disgusted at the confirmation, who is interested that just about every European country obeys American government (not even USA parliament, just government officials, public servants) diktat so readily, despite the "shock" that the USA has been spying on them for commercial and diplomatic advantage? What is more, the governments are sufficiently ashamed, in most cases, that they tried to pretend there were technical problems with their flight control systems on the ground. Under what treaty, formal, reviewed application or whatever was this legal in any of those countries? Why did they feel obliged to obey? Is this legal even in the USA?

          3. Is the USA the same country as the one expressing outrage at Chinese spying? Is this the same one that routinely deals with other countries terrorists and criminals as honoured guests, when those people are doing what the USA likes? e.g. inviting IRA terrorists to the White House?

          4. Human rights - I gather that certain S. American countries were berated about these, just like the state behind Guantanamo.

          No. I accept that the USA pursues its own interests, presumably in the belief that its methods are best for its people; that is the job of the USA government. But the hypocrisy of the USA and the pusillanimous acquiescence of "sovereign" states is terrifying.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: PJI Re: Matt B.

            "I find this reasoning about a country being able to do what it wants if it suspects that a diplomatic aircraft contains, e.g., a spy or some other "wanted" person by, for example, the USA (one would have thought that at least that person should be wanted by the stopping state) disturbing and inconsistent, if not mediaeval in concept....." We'll then maybe you should try a little READING other than Indymedia - first article of the Chicago Convention states a country has sole and complete sovereignty of the airspace over its country. Nothing medieval there.

            ".....So what happened with those thoroughly illegal "rendition" flights? Why did every country permit them to enter their airspace, even after it was public knowledge?....." <Sigh> Is it too much to expect just one of you sheeple to do some research before making your bleating posts? The NATO agreement allowed the member countries to make "terrorist related" flights over each other's territory without declaring the passenger manifest, which meant the countries overflown could truthfully deny knowledge of who was actually being moved by the CIA. That agreement made the allowance of the flights by the overflown countries quite legal. Bolivia has no such agreement with France, Portugal or Austria.

            ".....Am I the only one, not surprised but certainly disgusted at the confirmation, who is interested that just about every European country obeys American government...." Well, all the people without a clue probably agree with you. But the Austrians were just following international law because, if the Bolivians had been carrying a person not declared on the passenger manifest and without the correct documentation, then the Bolivians would have been breaking the laws involved. Whilst it played out quite nicely for the Yanks, the Austrians would have been just as legally obliged to request the Bolivians land for a check as if Snowden hadn't existed. I think you'll find most countries have been taking a dim view of people illegally entering their territory for quite a while before Snowden threw his little tantrum.

            "....Is the USA the same country as the one expressing outrage at Chinese spying?...." Seriously? You want to equate what the NSA and GCHQ does with what the Chinese get up to? To be frank, you really do need to do a LOT more reading.

            ".....Human rights - I gather that certain S. American countries were berated about these, just like the state behind Guantanamo....." Yes, I mean it's so terrible that we lock up terrorists rather than just shooting them out of hand, right? Get a clue.

            "......But the hypocrisy of the USA and the pusillanimous acquiescence of "sovereign" states is terrifying." Oh puh-lease, put a sock in your faux outrage before you froth yourself to death. If any of Snowden's revelations were news to you then you really should consider yourself just ill-educated, and if you really think other countries aren't doing the same or worse then you are also incredibly and willfully naive. I suggest you grow up, there World is not the cuddly ickle playpen you think it is.

      4. jonfr
        Stop

        It was in fact not followed by international law. Can you imagine what would happen if this was done to the airplane of the U.S president.

        By international law the travel method of presidents enjoy certain perks, like not being blocked from crossing air space or being searched as did happen here.

        International law was broken here under the pressure from the U.S. The sad fact is that based on how U.N is set-up, nothing is going to be done about this violation of international law.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The aircraft travelling through foreign airspace is subject to the laws of the airspace owner, so if a person is wanted for a crime

        Stealing United States Government Secrets isn't a crime in any European nation, so they have no grounds to even ask to search the Plane of the Bolivian President.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Pity we still don't have

      An airliner capable of out running most jet fighters.

      Can any do the whole Atlantic at Mach 2?

    3. Serge 2

      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.

  16. Ralph B
    Black Helicopters

    "Suspects"?!?!

    > The Ecuadorian government also suspects its emails have been intercepted.

    They suspect that their email has been intercepted? "Suspect"?!?! Surely, if they've read anything that Snowden has leaked, they must already know that it has most definitely been intercepted.

    I know I do.

  17. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    GCHQ didn't plant that bug in the Ecuadorian embassy

    It was Julian Assange. How else do you think he got their consul's password so he could knock up a travel document for Snowden without the government's permission?

    Well OK, he'd probably just hack the computers for that. So maybe it is our bug. Or an imaginary one. This story really could run-and-run. The great thing about spying, once it gets onto the news agenda, is that no-one believes denials, which are rarely issued anyway, and so you can pretty much say anything. Happy days for journalists with column inches to fill, at least.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: GCHQ didn't plant that bug in the Ecuadorian embassy

      That's just what I was thinking.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see the next terror plot..

    Al-queda can run a DDOS against the airlines just by booking Edward Snowden on to flights all round the world.

    There wont be a flight able to move if they've got a suspicion that he's book on board.

    I wonder how many other Edward Snowdens there are in the world? Hope they didnt have a summer holiday booked anywhere.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: I can see the next terror plot..

      What we need are hair and skin samples from Snowden that we can distribute in hotel rooms around the world at the sources and destinations of those flights.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can see the next terror plot..

        Actually, if you agree with the principles of Snowdens' actions then we can all change our names to Edward Snowden by deed poll (it's surpisingly easy to do in the UK) and then march on #10 to make our feelings felt.

        1. PJI
          Thumb Up

          Re: I can see the next terror plot..

          Not even deed poll. In GB, I believe all you have to do is start calling yourself by that name and publish the change. Of course, your bank and others may want some evidence that you are you, making a deed poll worthwhile.

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: I can see the next terror plot..

      No, I'm Edward Snowden!

  19. andy gibson

    Appropriate Cassetteboy

    One minute and eight seconds in:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S77icnRG3_c

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guilty until proved innocent

    "Sieging/bugging of Ecuador's London embassy and the blockading of Morales jet shows that imperial arrogance is the gift that keeps on giving"

    Of course the bug was planted by those imperialist dogs, the US. Never mind providing any evidence.

    Personally, I'd suspect the publicity hungry alleged rapist with a persecution complex, who is staying there, of generating a publicity stunt.

    As for wikileaks itself, I'll have some respect for them when they start releasing secret documents from military juntas and countries/groups whose usual response is to issue a fatwa.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snowden is a traitor in the sense that that guy who stood in front of the column of tanks at Tienanmen Square is a traitor.

    Snowden is a traitor in the sense that Nelson Mandela is a traitor.

    Snowden is a traitor in the sense that Paul Revere was a traitor.

    Look at the Hate Preachers we in the UK and they in the USA give political asylum to. Look at the real spies who took money to betray their country, and we shelter them.

    Look at the mass-murdering ex-dictators that we arrange to have sheltered in our African and Asian puppet colonies.

    Then look at Snowden, a great man who betrayed his bureaucracy to be loyal to his country and its constitution.

    Americans call on their generals and congressmen to uphold the Constitution, but then when someone does do that they are content to quietly let them be martyred.

    If Snowden cannot get political asylum, we might as well ditch the entire political asylum thing as a farcical sham.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If Snowden cannot get political asylum, we might as well ditch the entire political asylum thing as a farcical sham.

      If Snowden can get political asylum, we might as well ditch the entire criminal justice system and install revolving doors in all embassies in the world.

      There, fixed that for you. Regardless of it being for the public good, releasing secret information is a crime in practically any country in the world. During a trial a whistle-blowing defence may be used, but it did start with theft of information.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Doesn't the constitution of the US supercede the laws?

        I.e. it is possible to perform an illegal act for a higher good.

        There ARE higher ideals than those represented by the LAW you know.

        If the US made it illegal to disobey orders, and then ordered you to commit an atrocity - surely refusing is the correct thing to do. To do otherwise would be a traitor to your humanity.

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Sir Runcible Spoon

          ...and blanket invigilation of the whole population is against the bill of human rights

          black 'copters because my spell check doesn't like "invigilation". MiniTrue not approved perhaps?

      2. PJI

        offence in any country?

        Only in the country to which, nominally, that person belongs as a citizen or subject.

        So, insulting the king of Thailand is viewed as a serious offence there. I suspect though that the USA would not extradite any of its people to Thailand for insulting the Thai king, nor to Saudi Arabia for drinking alcohol or insulting the prophet, Mohammed.

        What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: PJI Re: offence in any country?

          "....I suspect though that the USA would not extradite any of its people to Thailand for insulting the Thai king, nor to Saudi Arabia for drinking alcohol or insulting the prophet, Mohammed....." I suggest you add extradition treaties to your remedial reading list, you obviously missed a lot of school.

      3. Johan Bastiaansen
        FAIL

        "but it did start with theft of information"

        No, it started with breaking to constitution.

        You're trying to arrest a rape victim for indecent exposure.

    2. All names Taken
      Paris Hilton

      can I add:

      Snowden is a traitor and the bankers bankrupting the world are heroes of the first order?

  22. The Man Himself Silver badge
    Holmes

    "The Ecuadorian government also suspects its emails have been intercepted."

    After all the press coverage about PRISM, they only *suspect* interception.

  23. apleszko

    Cabin not searched

    BBC was wrong, other news agencies told the plane was not searched at all, they just "asked" the passengers to clear customs with their passports, the guy could be inside the plane at this moment, we will just be sure when it reaches its destination or somebody still sees him at the russian airport...

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Cabin not searched

      But the US have revoked the passport for Edward Snowden.

      The Austrians only said that they searched for a US citizen holding a passport in the name of "Edward Snowden", they did not say that they did not find someone resembling "Edward Snowden".

  24. Mad Mike

    USAs World Persona

    And they wonder why people hate the US!!

    When will the US realise that all this sort of thing does is create enemies. Almost everything immoral/illegal they've ever accused anyone else of doing, they've been found to be doing themselves as well. Then, the US turns round and complains about people hating them and wanting to do them harm!! Look in the mirror. Some of the US population are complicit in this, but I believe many are not. They are just as fed up with it as everyone else. Eventually, it will end, simply because the US is rapidly running itself into bankruptcy. In the meantime, they're creating enemies like it's going out of fashion.

    When are the US going to realise that they are the greatest recruiting agent organisations like Al Quaeda could possibly hope for.

    1. Ralph B
      Mushroom

      Re: USAs World Persona

      A situation summarised rather entertainingly in Team America:World Police.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USAs World Persona

      I dunno about anyone else, but I'm really starting to feel radicalized by the actions of the US and our own puppet governments.

      If it is their intention to use programs like PRISM to PREVENT insurrection, perhaps they need to re-think. It seems to me they are creating the very thing that they are afraid of. Small minded people do this all the time.

      1. shawnfromnh

        Re: USAs World Persona

        "" Small minded people do this all the time.""

        Of course they're small minded. Big minds are free from the box that only a small mind allows itself to be confined into by a governmental architecture that is in itself a huge clusterf**k.

  25. Anomalous Cowshed

    Boss!!!

    "So, you got him?"

    "No, we found nothing. Just bags and bags of white powder. No sign of Snowden."

    "OK wrap it up, then, let the plane take off, he's not in there!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Boss!!!

      For those that didn't get the reference - http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/drugs-found-in-ecuador-diplomatic-pouch-1.1231662

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      Happy

      Re: Boss!!!

      "Just bags and bags of white powder."

      Coals to Newcastle?

      1. Justicesays
        Thumb Up

        Re: Boss!!!

        http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Bolivian_marching_powder

  26. bearded bear can
    Holmes

    Note to self:

    Travel to Ecuador BEFORE leaking top secret stuff.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: bearded bear can Re: Note to self:

      "Travel to Ecuador BEFORE leaking top secret stuff." And don't take advice from Wikileaks "legal experts" that didn't even know enough about the laws of the countries they wanted to gain assylum from to know they needed to actually be in those countires to apply.....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    What have we learnt this week that we didn't already know or suspect?

    nothing

    it just grates when the proof comes out and not one country is willing to do anything or say anything (truthful) about it.

    Snowden will get his asylum I think, unless America really control it's citizens that much that there wouldn't be uproar when they try to try him? especially after they broke their own 4th amendment on their own people.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: What have we learnt this week that we didn't already know or suspect?

      "when they try to try him"

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Like their going to let the PUBLIC have any say in it..yeah right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What have we learnt this week that we didn't already know or suspect?

        indeed, I'm sure they had the same attitude in Egypt didn't turn out too well there, twice...

  28. shawnfromnh

    I get reminded

    I read a series of books when I was young by L Ron Hubbard called Mission Earth. The book revolved around an alien secret police agent who was massively corrupt chasing the hero Jettero Heller around the earth who he made the earths most wanted criminal. President Rockefeller "really" putting all earths forces behind him in his pursuit.

    It's scary how Snowden reminds me of Jettero Heller in his quest for truth and honor in this series.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    looks like it's landing again...

    http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/fab-001

    had it on in background for a chuckle, dropped from 32000 to 2800 and falling...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: looks like it's landing again...

      Coming in to land at Gran Canaria. Oh to be El Presidente with your own jet.

  30. Tony Green

    Obama leaning on other countries?

    It'll be interesting when it eventually leaks out what sort of threats Obama is making to ensure nobody gives Snowden asylum.

    "Take him and the bombers go in".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-story

    apparently refueling, surprised it couldn't hold enough fuel to get from Austria to Bolivia though

    1. Kingston Black
      Go

      Re: Non-story

      They're probably just making sure they've enough fuel to stay well clear Merkin airspace.

    2. Florida1920 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Non-story

      4700-mile range. Probably refused to buy Austrian fuel.

    3. Silent but Deadly

      Re: Non-story

      The plane would have taken off with enough fuel for a planned great circle route. When France and Spain denied access, in flight, to their airspace, a longer route and more fuel was required.

      Expect Spane and France to win some US contracts soon for 'enforcing their sovereign airspace' over a diplomatic flight. Either that or some choice PRISM data dumps will arrive in their in boxes.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The false story titles are bad journalism

    The clueless Bolivian president's plane was NOT grounded to search for scumbag Snowden. Certain countries did not allow the plane to fly over because they did not want to support the illegal activities of Snowden or anyone supporting Snowdens efforts to evade capture and prosecution for his documented crimes. Being a roigue nation is what attracts this type of response from the international community who do not support Snowden's treason, hacking and other injury to many people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The false story titles are bad journalism

      Odd. How is it that "rendition" flights, totally illegal in all countries in that the passengers included kidnapped people and so illegal that even the USA tried to deny their existence, were not refused permission to fly over these same countries?

      I am not qualified to comment on Snowden's guilt or innocence of what, nor of the veracity of what he is claiming (though the USA seems to be confirming it hourly and repeatedly). But still, odd.

  33. Tikimon Silver badge
    Stop

    PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!

    American native here. This is merely one symptom of power-mad governments with no real accountability to their citizens. We, the people of the United Sates (mostly) do NOT condone or support this crap, nor the Patriot Act, TSA, various stupid wars on Stuff, universal data-gobbling, etc.

    Before you bash "The US", please consider that. Also admit and accept that YOUR government is doing the exact same things, or trying hard to do so. You cannot show me a government ANYWHERE with clean hands and pure motives, so please spare the general population your sanctimonious condemnation.

    It's tough enough to live under this BS without our so-called friends and allies calling me names I don't deserve. Don't claim I voted for these fools either. Candidates are carefully screened by the political establishment, we never get a decent person to vote FOR.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!

      but you're not doing anything to stop this from happening

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

    2. Grave

      Re: PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!

      so which native tribe you're from?

      or a you just a descendant of european/african/asian origin? usoan lol

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!

      "Don't claim I voted for these fools either. Candidates are carefully screened by the political establishment, we never get a decent person to vote FOR."

      Exactly. One of the main reasons I have for maintaining that there are no democracies - especially in those countries that claim most shrilly to have them.

      You can elect any leader you want, as long as he belongs to one of the two big parties that have some power and influence. (Both of which are indistinguishable apart from their insignia and superficial rhetoric).

      Or you can vote for anyone else, or abstain - both of which have the same effect.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Ecuadorian government also suspects its emails have been intercepted."

    Duh! Think that may have been one of things Snowden has already mentioned.

    1. Justicesays
      Trollface

      I think they picked up on it

      When they sent the mail saying

      "Don't worry, we have arranged for you to be taken to Bolivia on the Presidents plane"

  35. Anonymous Coward
    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: May I draw people's attention to the following

      We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  36. Michael Mounteney

    International law anyone ?

    Why is no one pointing out that the Austrian 'authorities' searching of the president's plane a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention ? The fact that they did this -- just f&*%ing did it -- shows that they had been told "Get this guy, no matter what".

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Ecuadorian government also suspects its emails have been intercepted."

    Of course they have, didn't they see the proof from Snowden?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But when

    When is the grossly inaccurate and distorted tele-movie being rushed out?

    Complete with NAZI references, guns and Al-Qaeda terrorists?

    You know, standard US fare.

  39. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Shades of Spycatcher

    > Planting bugs in foreign embassies or hotels restricted to foreigners has been a spying tactic for decades.

    Yes, there are several entertaining stories about this in the "Spycatcher" by Peter Wright, the ex MI5 spook. (Is that book still officially banned in the UK?). It was not even limited to Communist block embassies.

  40. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Snowden has asylum offers from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

    Now all he has to do is actually get to either country and.... Well, who knows what he'll actually do for the rest of his life? It's not like he can start working for the Venezuelan or Nicaraguan monitoring services. Oh, what, you mean you didn't realize they spied on their own citizens? LOL!

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