Now that we know that Edward Snowden has blown the NSA’s cover on its secret operations, the thoughts of some of us turn back to the days of Daniel Ellsberg, the victim of some of Richard Nixon’s dirty tricks after he outed the Pentagon Papers over the Vietnam War.
Like our current security apparatus isn’t the current Occupant’s creation, the Vietnam War wasn’t of Nixon’s making, but he was determined to keep the government’s secrets secret. On this site is the part of the Watergate hearings (forty years ago this summer) where John Erlichmann attempted to fend off accusations (and perjured himself in the process) that he attempted to throw Ellsberg’s trial by offering Judge Byrne the FBI directorship.
Snowden is aware that Barack Obama and his minions are rougher players than Nixon:
“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.
“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.
And don’t forget that the current Occupant has the habit of picking off American citizens with drone strikes…getting whisked away by the Chinese might be his most life-extending option.