Upon learning of Monday’s decree signed by Vladimir Putin to grant Russian citizenship to ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden after having been given asylum since he arrived there in 2013, the US administration called on Snowden to return to American soil to “face justice”.
“Mr. Snowden should return to the United States where he should face justice as any other American citizen would,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.
But Price followed with a claim that’s being disputed by Snowden’s legal defense team. “Perhaps the only thing that has changed, is that as a result of his Russian citizenship, apparently now he may well be conscripted to fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine,” he said.
In response, Snowden’s lawyer was quoted in Russia’s Sputnik as saying since Snowden never served in the Russian army, he will not be impacted by the ‘partial mobilization’ – which applies to reservists, though there have been conflicting reports of instances of draft notices being sent out to Russian young men:
“He did not serve in the Russian army, therefore, according to our current legislation, he does not fall into this category of citizens, which is now called up. You know that now they are calling up reservists who have served and have the appropriate specialty. And then he will act according to the law, as everything is provided for in Russian legislation,” Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s laywer in Russia, said.
The decree enacted on Monday stated as follows:
“In accordance with paragraph ‘a’ of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I decide: to accept the following persons in the citizenship of the Russian Federation: Edward Joseph Snowden, born June 21, 1983, in the United States of America.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, Snowden said he had applied for and obtained dual citizenship on fears that he could be separated from his son without Russian citizenship.
Snowden remains America’s most visible whistleblower, after a career in US intelligence, including as a contractor for the NSA and CIA, he exposed pervasive US government domestic surveillance, which critics say is a severe violation of individual Americans’ rights as guaranteed under the Constitution.This post originally appeared at Zero Hedge
CIA Seeking To Recruit Russians “Disgusted” By Putin’s War
The Central Intelligence Agency is seeking to tap Russians as potential spies who are “disgusted” with Putin’s war in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported this week, as part of a new push to bolster its ranks of Russian assets.
The CIA’s deputy director of intelligence David Marlowe, who has been in the post since June 2021, said in a rare speech at George Mason University’s Hayden Center that the CIA is “looking around the world” for Russian who are unhappy with the invasion of Ukraine. It was Marlowe’s first public appearance while at post as deputy director.
This is “because we’re open for business,” he underscored. The attempt to gain dependable assets is said to include military officers and even oligarchs who are angry at being impacted by Russia’s extreme economic and political isolation on the world stage.
Offering his assessment on how the war is going for the Russians, Marlowe described, “Putin was at his best moment the day before he invaded.” Speaking of the potential for the Russian leader to put pressure on neighboring Ukraine and NATO before the decision to invade, Marlowe added: “He squandered every single bit of that.”
At that point before the February 24 incursion, President Putin had “all the power that he is ever going to have,” according to the CIA #2 official.
Some international publications dubbed Marlowe’s speech, which happened last week but was first revealed on Tuesday, a “recruitment pitch”.
“And so, for the director of operations, we’re looking around the world for Russians who are as disgusted with that as we are because we’re open for business,” Marlowe spelled out.
As The Moscow Times wrote:
Despite wondering aloud if Marlowe’s comments were just an example of “CIA bravado,” The Wall Street Journal noted that the continuing war in Ukraine had unleashed an “intensified spy war” in Europe.
Starting months ago it was widely reported that the CIA had set up a portal on the dark web for disgruntled Russians with government information or access wishing to make contact.
Below: the full video of the David Marlowe panel…
“We are providing Russian-language instructions on how to safely contact CIA — via our Dark Web site or a reputable VPN — for those who feel compelled to reach us because of the Russian government’s unjust war,” a CIA official told CBS News back in May.
At the time the CIA in the rare public disclosure indicated it is hoping that Russians, including soldiers and civilian officials, would utilize the encrypted methods to submit sensitive information to the US.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Anger As Spanish Government CELEBRATES Communist Party With Commemorative Postage Stamp
Spain is currently governed by a coalition of socialists and far left extremists
The extreme leftist Spanish government has drawn the rage of many in the country after it announced a commemorative postage stamp marking the centenary of the Communist Party.
The stamp, featuring the notorious hammer and sickle imagery, is to be launched by the state controlled Correos on November 14, with 135,000 limited edition copies with a postal value of 0.75 euros.
The move has enraged many citizens, who have directed anger at Socialist Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez, with some pointing out that the Correos is currently headed up by Sánchez’s former Chief of staff.
It is estimated that Communism has resulted in more than 100 million deaths throughout its relatively short history.
Other victims of Communism are appalled by the move:
Others noted how Spain’s communist party has a history of cosy ties with the Soviet regime, involvement in war crimes during the Spanish Civil War, and has even expressed support for modern Communist dictatorships in Cuba, China, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Spain’s current government is a coalition between Sánchez’s Socialist Worker’s Party and the extreme far left Podemos party.
The government was heavily criticised during the pandemic for instituting draconian mask, lockdown and vaccine passport policies.
A huge scandal also emerged when the elite of the Spanish business world as well as sports figures and celebrities were caught buying fake vaccine certificates in an attempt to maintain access to social freedom without taking the vaccines.
The Spanish government has also recently moved to institute energy restrictions in the name of battling climate change:
The country also finds itself in the midst of its own migrant crisis, with the leftist government routinely charged with leaving the borders wide open.
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Take A Rare Glimpse Inside China’s Zero-Covid Madhouse
The western world has been given a rare, intimate look inside the confines of a Chinese Covid-19 concentration camp, after Financial Times Shanghai correspondent Thomas Hale was ensnared by the President Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid regime.
It’s not that Hale had tested positive. Merely being designated as a “close contact” was enough to sentence him to 10 days of confinement on a secret island camp identified only as “P7.”
Hale provides a primer on framework of China’s system works:
“PCR testing in China is an almost daily ritual and testing booths are common on many street corners.They look vaguely like food stalls, except they’re larger and cube-shaped and a worker inside sits behind Plexiglas cut with two arm holes.
They are merely the surface machinery of a vast monitoring system. China’s digital Covid pass resembles track-and-trace programmes elsewhere, except it’s mandatory and it works. Using Alipay or WeChat, the country’s two major apps, a QR code is linked to each person’s most recent test results. The code must be scanned to get in anywhere, thereby tracking your location. Green means you can enter; red means you have a problem.”
Hale’s journey into Covid madness started with an innocent outing at a Shanghai bar. Apparently, someone who’d also been at the bar tested positive. Via the tracking system, the authorities knew Hale had been there too.
Hale had “won” some kind of terrible lottery: On the day he was in the bar, there were only 18 cases in all of Shanghai that day — a city of 26 million people.
A few days after his bar outing, authorities called to confirm he’d been at the bar. The next day, a caller from the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention alerted him that authorities were on their way. Hale was about to be “taken away” — an expression Chinese use when describing the phenomenon.
Next, a hotel staffer called to say he couldn’t leave, and that the hotel was in lockdown due to his mere presence in it. Then came the men in hazmat suits, who escorted him down a deserted hallway to a staff elevator and out through the cordoned-off hotel entrance. He was directed to board a small bus driven by another man in a hazmat suit.
Hale joined the other condemned passengers — none of whom had actually tested positive. His hopes that he’d be taken to a quarantine hotel were dashed. A drive of more than an hour ended on a small road in the middle of a field, with several large buses queued up ahead of his.
The driver got out, locked the bus behind him and wandered off. A fellow passenger was surprised to hear that Hale was from the UK: “They brought you here? With a foreign passport?” Hours of waiting on the increasingly chilly bus went by, until it finally moved again at 2 am.
Hale’s new home was a box similar to a shipping container, elevated by short stilts. His and every door was monitored by a camera. There was no hot water.
“Inside my 196-sq-ft cabin there were two single beds, a kettle, an air-conditioning unit, a desk, a chair, a bowl, two small cloths, one bar of soap, an unopened duvet, a small pillow, a toothbrush, one tube of toothpaste and a roll-up mattress roughly the thickness of an oven glove
The floor was covered in dust and grime. The whole place shook when you walked around, which I soon stopped noticing. The window was barred, though you could still lean out. There was no shower.
…The bed was made of an iron frame and six planks of wood, and the mattress was so thin you had to lie completely flat. The bed frame, meanwhile, was impossible to lean against.”
He was pleasantly surprised, however, to find the internet connection was 24 times speedier than what he had at his hotel. Like Hale, the camp staff were prohibited from leaving or receiving deliveries there. A worker said he earned the equivalent of about $32 a day.
Hale tried to see if his status as a foreign journalist might spring him from detention. The worker he approached with that question was baffled by the mere premise…but we can’t blame Hale for trying.
Hale describes key aspects of daily life in Covid detention:
- Every morning, he was awakened by a “lawnmower-like noise,” as an industrial-grade machine sprayed the cabin windows and front steps with disinfectant
- Around 9 am, two workers came to administer PCR tests. A positive result would have meant being taken to a different type of detention
- Meals were delivered at 8 am, noon and 5 pm
- Hale pursued a strict routine of language study, writing, exercise, music, online chess, and then reading or watching Amazon Prime entertainment
The routine served him well. Over time, he noticed his neighbors stopped eating breakfast, while some could be heard pacing their shaky boxes at night.
He did endure some psychological discomfort, in the form of not knowing when he’d get out. He was originally told seven days but it ended up being 10.
Upon his release and return to civilization, Hale savored the hot water of the hotel’s shower and the softness of its bed.When he went out for a celebratory meal, however, he faltered — pacing the street as he contemplated the fact that entering China’s contact-tracing matrix brought the peril of a return to confinement.
He settled on takeout from a steak restaurant, where an employee said there’d be no need for his code to be swiped — if he ordered takeout.
* * *
Check out Hale’s full tale at the Financial Times (subscription required)This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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