June 11, 2013
Efforts are underway to portray the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as an intelligence operative working for China. On Sunday, it was reported that officials in the United States are seriously considering the possibility the Booz Allen analyst works for the Chinese.
“On the face of it, it looks like it’s under some sort of Chinese control,” former CIA officer Robert Baer told CNN. Baer said because Snowden fled to Hong Kong, one of two Special Administrative Regions of China, instead of a more friendly country such as Sweden or Iceland, it is likely he is working for the Chinese government. Baer said that if Snowden “really wanted to make a statement” about NSA surveillance, “he should have done it on Capitol Hill.”
“We’ll never get him from China. There’s not a chance. He’ll disappear there,” he predicted. “He won’t be able to go anywhere else, but if, in fact, the Chinese had a hand in this … they’re not about to send him to The United States.”
It was was reported on Tuesday that Snowden had in fact disappeared. Members of the corporate media, eager to interview the whistleblower, fanned out around Hong Kong, but said they were unable to locate him.
Brian Jones, writing for Business Insider, reported that “the most reliable information we have is that he has so far eluded capture, that he has left his hotel in Hong Kong, and that he is still in the region — that according to Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who first broke the story.”
Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, declined to comment on Snowden during a press conference on Monday. “I will say at the outset that there is obviously an investigation underway into this matter,” Carney told reporters. “And for that reason, I am not going to be able to discuss specifically this individual or this investigation … nor would I characterize the president’s views on an individual or an ongoing investigation.”
“In general leaks of sensitive classified information that cause harm to our national security interests are a problem,” he said.
If apprehended, the case against Edward Snowden will undoubtedly be strengthened if the government can portray him as a Chinese intelligence asset and not a patriotic American taking a principled stand on NSA surveillance.
“I just don’t see any way out of it,” Baer told CNN. “Whether you agree with him or not, he’s violated the law. They cannot let this pass.”