aNewDomain.net commentary — Russian facilitation for a press conference that allowed fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to decry US human rights policies is certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. But we live in the kettle and not the pot. So just how shiny is that kettle right now?
The U.S. State Department press conference, rebroadcast by Russian TV July 12, alarmed and disturbed me. The State Department urges that Snowden, unconvicted though he is, has no free speech rights. I’m used to hearing Russian and Chinese government officials refer to political dissidents — often whistleblowers — as criminals and affording them few to no rights. With fellow whistle blowers Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and, now, Edward Snowden, the US line on human rights has morphed into “do as we say, not as we do” – an attitude far less lost on the rest of the world than it is at home.
After seeing this video of a US State Department briefing from July 12, decide for yourself if the US is still a beacon of liberty or if we’re acting more along the lines of what we expect from Russia and China on the topic of human rights for political dissidents. Snowden, incidentally, describes himself a libertarian.
The video was posted by “Russia Today,” which possibly enjoyed tweaking the American’s nose. Incidentally, here’s an earlier tweak of the nose from “China News”.)
Here’s a transcript of the US State Dept. briefing during which the US official characterized Snowden as a criminal who had forfeited rights to speech, even though he has yet to be convicted of any crime: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/07/211891.htm.
Here’s an audio track of Snowden’s press conference at the Moscow airport on July 12. Decide for yourself the extent to which he is a “whistleblower” or a “propagandist”. (We’re unclear but Snowden’s Russian translator from Human Right Watch has a bit of an American accent; perhaps this is because she normally works in Russia trying to spread traditional US values about personal freedoms):