Hong Kong Will Decide My Fate, Edward Snowden Tells South China Morning Post

In an interview, Edward Snowden said he is leaving the "courts and people of Hong Kong to decide" his fate.

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Photos of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. President Barack Obama are printed on the front pages of local English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in this illustration photo, June 11, 2013.

In an exclusive interview with The South China Morning Post, Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old government contractor who leaked secret NSA documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post, said he is leaving the “courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.”

While his exact whereabouts have been unknown since he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel Monday, Snowden confirmed to the Hong Kong English daily that he is still in the region and is there to stay:

“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality. I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law. My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.”

(MORE: Viewpoint: Our Antiquated Laws Can’t Cope With National Security Leaks)

Charges against Snowden may be imminent, as a Justice Department official revealed Tuesday that charges of “treason” and “aiding the enemy” are “under discussion.” There’s an extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Washington, but the U.S. has not made an extradition request yet. However, Snowden claimed in the new interview that the U.S. is “bullying” Hong Kong’s government into extraditing him as quickly as possible so that he doesn’t reveal more secrets about the NSA’s surveillance programs in Hong Kong and China. “The US government will do anything to prevent me from getting this into the public eye, which is why they are pushing so hard for extradition,” he told The South China Morning Post.

According to TIME.com’s rundown of Hong Kong’s complicated legal system, Hong Kong “can only ‘surrender’ Snowden, because ‘extradition’ takes place between sovereign states (like the People’s Republic of China). Surrender requests are made through diplomatic channels to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, who could then ask a magistrate to issue an arrest warrant.”

MORE: In Hong Kong Hideout, Snowden Faces Complex Legal System


Interesting. It has been written in the following that Security is a shifting baseline. The idea of shifting baselines suggests two basic lessons. First, local efforts to document both current and historic Security conditions are essential. 
Second, broadening the idea of shifting baselines beyond Security issues raises interesting questions. Sociologically, shifting baselines affect our everyday lives. Consider, for example, slow but profound changes in these three fundamental spheres:
• The consolidation of wealth and its impact on our health, families and communities;
• The erosion of civil liberties since 9/11;
• The concentration of media ownership and resulting loss of diversity in news content. 
In both Security and sociological applications, awareness of shifting baselines underscores how knowledge of the past is crucial. We cannot make informed decisions in the present unless we have some understanding of past conditions.
What baselines would you use to measure health in your own life and in the life of your community?


As Edward Snowden has found himself becoming a media star we ought to wonder how much his actions have served to foster a legitimate discussion of how freedom and privacy and freedom of thought, mobility remain in the US and to what degree citizens actually care as many have taken to dismiss his actions as narcissistic, misguided and beyond the boundaries of the law.

Which is to open the question how is one ought to in the end go about foster a discussion that challenges how things are actually run in the US and why such discussions are so often shied away from the media and the establishment who seek to preserve the status quo?

Can we really blame Snowden for going outside the law for the greater good...as he believes he has done....???