While the rest of the world waits for intelligence-whistleblowing Chinese spy/heroic global citizen Edward Snowden to resurface in some Latin American bastion of liberty run by an economically illiterate gringo-phobe, Hong Kong ponders its shortest-lived adopted son’s hasty and impulsive decision to skip town. It is a story rich in the glamour and excitement of the international jet-setting espionage milieu, featuring as it does a little apartment, mobile phones in the fridge, a meal of pizza, fried chicken and Pepsi, and cherubic Democratic Party legislator and lawyer Albert Ho.
Almost as in one of Batman and Robin’s more reflective moments, Ed grapples with Albert’s insistence that there would be no Internet access in a Hong Kong detention centre. The incredulous 30-year-old geek seeks confirmation from the highest levels of his host city’s government, and the word comes back, with momentous solemnity, that nope – there would be no computer access in prison here. The senior official pauses to let the message sink in before putting the phone down. With no more hesitation than James Bond showed in killing a guy for ordering red wine with fish, Ed flees to the airport and is last seen waving from the window of the rusting Tupelov as it lumbers skyward towards Moscow. Viewers will now become better acquainted with new cast member, the gorgeous, leggy, pouting Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, former girlfriend of Julian Assange, English rose and non-lawyer intern investigative superwoman freedom fighter heroine, who is replacing Ed’s ballerina femme whom audiences found too cold/New York/wacko. Then the action will resume.
Meanwhile, some pictures fresh from the digital. On the right, Japanese tea in a refrigerated display in a store. If only one of ‘Straight Tea’ and ‘The Pungency’ were on offer, I wouldn’t have cared, but it’s not every day you see them together. These are just a couple of the many things you can’t get in Ecuador.
On the left, a white luxury mega-van seen on Ice House Street late yesterday afternoon, with cross-border as well as Hong Kong plates, parking not only just beyond a 24-hour no-parking sign but on a bus stop (don’t be fooled by the brake lights – he was very stationary). Fortunately, with my Rosa Kleb knife-in-shoe, I was able to puncture the tyres with four swift kicks. And give the driver one in the shin…
Albert Ho is a lawyer? The fellow would have all the presence and commmunicative ability of Jabba the Hutt. Oh wait….
Cross-border cars, especially curtained Alphards behave like goats on the road, their indicators seemingly broken. If we do end up with a dictatorship, I advocate suitable punishments being meted out for Alphard drivers, those who endlessly push buttons to make something go faster, anyone who owns a hello kitty doll or dresses their dog in clothing etc.
I never thought the day would come when I was rooting for the commies and the ruskies against the semi-fascist neo-cons running the American security apparatus.
Buenos días. Glad you are naming and shaming the illegal parkers too. If a vehicle parks on the pavement in front of me and the driver is still in it, I sometimes climb across the bonnet. Is it eccentric? Is it overstated? It makes a point. They don’t like the footmarks.
I am pleased Uncle Bulgaria Ho helped eject Mr Snowden after a Deep Pan-Democrat pizza. I mean, what else are Wombles good for but for being furry and helping the park wardens?
Isn’t it time the SCMP and everyone else moved on from the Snowden revelations? A 28-page report on CY Leung’s achievements is just out for example. Lots to pick through there.
Fat Albert is milking the publicity and in the process probably further alienating his Yankee friends at the Consulate. Surely he realizes that in this instance they are not too interested in free speech, openness and transparency.
It’s hard to know where to begin.
The CIA has apparently only just thought of changing the passwords (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-25/u-s-said-to-explore-possible-china-role-in-snowden-leaks.html); they don’t seem to have thought that Snowden may have attempted to decrypt his files (ibid.); they think that international flights allow hot fugitives on without checking they can get off again (ibid.); and they think that using pseudo-legal quasi-psychological babble like “wilfully” will sway the jury (ibid.).
The only explanation I can think of is that the CIA have been getting tips from the China secret service on selective “leaking” of the bleedin’ obvious spiced up with a few provocative non sequiturs just to test the waters of public reaction, while hastily burying the evidence.
Hemlock, A tinted-window white HK-China 7-seater “on” a rural double yellow line and a seldom-used bus stop is only the entry requirement to Howard Winn’s hall of fame, although it caps Dr Joe’s feeble attempts. You really do need to buck up and find at least an empty curtained China-HK van (and I do mean a van) with a 4-foot aerial blocking a main thoroughfare.
On a slightly different note, and vis-a-vis the “leggy” and sultry Sarah. The fact that the main global licit erogenous zone has moved from breasts to legs proves it’s all a Chinese plot, since local womanhood is better endowed in certain areas than others.
While Ed’s motivations may have been as pure as the driven snow, neither he nor Bradley Manning nor anyone of their ilk is entitled to decide on his own which top secret information should be revealed to the public and which should remain confidential. It is a serious crime and he deserves to go to jail for a very long time.
The Pungency. That sounds like one of those Midlevels residential blocks.
In the Page 1 lead, Snowden apparently told the SCMP on JUNE 12 that he deliberately joined Booz Allen for the purpose of getting his hands on evidence of illegal snooping by the NSA.
That’s a pretty sensational revelation. You would have thought it would have seen the light of day on June 13 instead of lying under wraps for almost two weeks, especially considering the Post was frantically trying to recover from the Guardian’s kick in the ‘nads.
@PCC Also gunning down journalists and drone attacks on children are serious crimes too. TROLL!
“It is a story rich in the glamour and excitement of the international jet-setting espionage milieu, featuring as it does a little apartment, mobile phones in the fridge, a meal of pizza, fried chicken and Pepsi, and AN INOFFENSIVE TUB OF LARD.”
PS – Those red things on the rear of the Alphard are ‘brake lights’, not ‘break lights’, Hemmers. (Although break lights, with your Rosa Kleb spikes, is probably what you should have done …)
What Joe Blow said: “I never thought the day would come when I was rooting for the commies and the ruskies against the semi-fascist neo-cons running the American security apparatus.”
PCC, I hope you were just being sarcastic, because you sound a few bricks short of a full load. Government is not always acting in the best interests of the people, and that’s why whistleblowers and a free press have a well-established place in democracies, even at the occasional expense of “top secrets”. Are you saying the Pentagon Papers never should have been published? Woodward and Bernstein should never have made Watergate public? How ignorant do you want to remain?
PD, Yes, I think Ellsberg could have been prosecuted for releasing classified documents, although the case of the Pentagon Papers was instrumental in showing that the U.S. gov’t (and other) over-classify way too much information because it may be embarrassing politically, not because it is a matter of national security.
The example of Watergate does not apply to Snowden. The White House and the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) engaged in criminal behaviour, including an illegal cover-up, and Deep Throat exposed it, rightly.
Although the government actions revealed thus far by Snowden potentially are troubling, they don’t appear to be criminal in nature. Along the way, Snowden must have pledged legally not to reveal classified information under penalty of prosecution. He broke that pledge, he should be prosecuted. I’ll let the jury decide the rightness of his cause and the appropriate sanction but, as a general proposition, I think he should picking his toes in Poughkeepsie for a long, long time (without Internet access, of course).
PCC, Isn’t lying under oath to Congress etc criminal behaviour?
PD, I’m not sure, but I guess so.
PCC, re “the U.S. gov’t (and other) over-classify way too much information because it may be embarrassing politically, not because it is a matter of national security.” Don’t we have the same thing here, on an infinitely larger scale?
So far, other than a few bits and pieces, Snowdon has revealed nothing that wasn’t widely assumed to be the case by anyone in the intel (and terrorist, I assume) community. Yet he’s being hit with the Espionage Act (as is Manning), a rarely-used 1917 piece of legislation that makes Article 23 look reasonable (seriously, read it). We have all violated this act, probably today. It is such bad law that bad that before Obama, the US had only used it 3 times since 1917 – one of which was the failed attempt to silence Ellsberg. Obama has used it 7 times so far.
And yes, lying under oath is a felony in the US, not that we can expect Clapper to ever get charged; in the US today, jail is just for the whistleblower. And Clapper and Holder clearly lied: http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/07/video-did-the-nsa-director-lie-to-congress/
The PCMP webshite online poll today, replete with grammatical and spelling errors:
“Would [the] US have granted Snowden asylum if he were a Chinese whistleblower who had leaked Beijing’s top secretes[sic]?”
We all know the answer to that.
James Bond had Pussy Galore; Edward Snowden had Albert Ho.
The world ends not with a bang, but a whimper.
What with all these new weird nome-de-plume (‘zircon encrusted tweezer’ ?! not to mention Bella nom-de- chameleon) I decided to change mine from RTP to just plain Fred.
At least for today and until Snowden gets to Ecuador in case the CIA are watching me.
Come to think of it my hotmail suffered a blue-screen major shut down yesterday and since has been crawling at snail speed. Methinks the CIA are plugged into and watching my every word.
This whole Snowden saga has all the elements of The Honourable Schoolboy with a touch of James Bond
If the CIA had their wits about them they would triangulate to where one can easily buying pizza , fried chicken (Kentucky of course) and coke and then send in the SWAT team .
But this is HK, not North Dakota.
Actually I met Albert Ho at the whistle-blowing demo a week ago where the international journalists outnumbered the demonstrators. He gave a rousing speech before the march started.
There’s some good in the chap. Give him his fair due , because he was one of the few people Snowden felt he could trust.
The old Alphard is a nice place to kick back, relax, and watch the hoi-polloi get all high and mighty. More leg room than a Roller and without the stupid ostrich testicle leather inlays.
“Yet he’s being hit with the Espionage Act (as is Manning), a rarely-used 1917 piece of legislation that makes Article 23 look reasonable (seriously, read it). We have all violated this act, probably today. It is such bad law that bad that before Obama, the US had only used it 3 times since 1917 – one of which was the failed attempt to silence Ellsberg. Obama has used it 7 times so far.”
This statement is completely true except for:
1) I don’t think most people communicate knowingly and willfully communicate classified information to enemies of the United States (which is what the act prevents) every day or even in their lives ever.
2) The Act was used many times pre-Obama. Listing some examples – Gorin v. United States, Abrams v. United States, the trial of the Rosenbergs, the trial of the Sobles, and the trial of Aldrich Ames. There are also some less-reputable instances of its use – Wen Ho Lee and Elsberg being examples – and the act may well be too broad, but we have not seen a spike in its usage under Obama.
who do you think the mysterious-but-trusted intermediary was ?
$ 10- on Daniel Fung.
Meet Frank and his tweezers
Talk about welcoming anyone:
@ zircon encrusted tweezer
Despite my unkind remarks about your nom-de-plume ( nom-de-blog) what you wrote makes a helluva lot of sense
And the weblink you gave was dynamite
I wonder why those kind of things never make HK headline news?
I support PCC
Snowden is a fudgehead.
If there had been a couple more 9/11 since 2001 all the Uber Liberals would be bleating the security services weren’t trying hard enough.
“The Snowden Affair” — A blockbuster action movie coming to a cinema near you: