Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others have made it clear that they are offended by the notion that the American public now knows about the NSA’s broad surveillance of everyday life, and have promised to see the leaker severely punished for threatening their regime with “reckless disclosures” of their untoward behavior.
The promises of a prosecution, seemingly just for spite’s sake, took another turn today when Guardian identified former CIA contractor Edward Snowden as the leaker, and revealed that he is in Hong Kong.
And since Hong Kong is in China, this sparked immediate speculation that the whole matter is China’s fault, as though the Chinese government was the only one who had some vested interest in making the American public aware of just how little privacy they have.
Former CIA officer Robert Baer said that if Snowden seriously just wanted to let the American public know the truth, he should’ve leaked the data from somewhere that it would be easier to extradite him from, or better still from the US itself.
“We’ll never get him from China. There’s not a chance,” lamented Baer. Though Hong Kong has an extradition agreement with the US, Snowden cited the city’s long-standing support for free speech as a factor in his being there. He added that he is interested in asylum from any countries that might oppose the US surveillance state.