Noam Chomsky spoke yesterday at the Geneva Press Club in Switzerland. Ilene Cohen pointed me to Chomsky’s comments on Edward Snowden, at 1:22:00.
My own opinion is that Snowden should be honored. He was doing what every citizen ought to do, telling. [Applause] He was telling Americans what the government was doing. That’s what’s supposed to happen.
Governments as I mentioned before always plead security no matter what’s going on. The reflexive defense is security. But anyone who’s looked at– first of all, you take a look at what he exposed. At least anything that’s been published, it’s not any kind of threat to security, with one exception, the security of the government from its own population. And in fact if you look at anyone who’s spent any time poring through declassified records– I have, I’m sure many of you have– you find that overwhelmingly the security is the security of the state from its own population and that’s why things have to be kept secret.
There are some cases where there’s authentic security concerns. But they’re pretty limited.
The plea of the US government in this case for the surveillance and so on, is that it’s security against terror. But at the very same moment the US policy is designed in a way to increase terror. The US itself is carrying out the most awesome international terrorist campaign, ever, I suppose– the drones and special forces campaign. That’s a major terrorist campaign, all over the world, and it’s also generating terrorists. You can read that and hear that from the highest sources, General McChrystal and scholars and all, so on.
Of course the drone campaign is creating potential terrorists, and you can easily understand why. I mean, if you were walking through the streets of Geneva and you don’t know whether five minutes from now there’s going to be an explosion across the street that’s run a couple thousand of miles away and it will blow away some people and who ever else happens to be around– you’re terrorized. And you don’t like it. And you may decide to react. That’s happening all over the regions that are subjected to the Obama terror campaign.
So you can’t seriously on the one hand be not only carrying out massive terror but even generating potential terrorists against yourself and claim that we have to have massive surveillance to protect ourselves against terror. That’s a joke. It should be headlines.
Then comes the interesting question of extradition. The US has just announced again that they’re going to punish anybody who refuses to extradite Snowden.
At the same time the US is one of the leaers in refusing extradition. Bolivia is an interesting case. The US has imposed pressure at least… to try to block the Bolivian plane because they want Snowden extradited. For years Bolivia has been trying to extradite from the United States the former president who’s already indicted in Bolivia for all sorts of crimes. The US refuses to extradite him.
In fact it’s happening right in Europe. Italy has been trying to extradite 22 CIA agents who were involved and in fact indicted for participating in a kidnaping in Milan. They kidnaped somebody, sent him off I think to Egypt to be tortured. And agreed later he was innnocent…
Extradite the people involved, the US of course refuses. And there’s case after case like this… There are a lot of cases where the U.S. just refuses…
In fact one of the most striking cases is Latin America, again, not just Bolivia. One of the world’s leading terrorists is Luis Posada, who was involved in blowing up a Cubana airliner which killed 73 people and lots of other terrorist acts. He’s sitting happily in… Miami, and his colleague Rolando Bosch also a major terrorist… is happily there… Cuba and Venezuela are trying to extradite them. But you know. Fat chance.
So for the U.S. to be calling for others to extradite Snowden is let’s say a little ironic. Again, these ought to be headlines.