Saturday, September 27, 2014

Edward's Week

Two episodes popped up in Germany this week with Edward Snowden (our NSA guy sitting in Moscow).

First, Edward was the apparent winner of the "alternate Nobel Prize winner".  Actually, it's the Swedish Human Rights Prize....but journalists give it this alternate name.  Value?  Other than a speech thanking them and some kind of statue....that's about it.

I did notice that when the foundation in charge of the award made it quietly known that they'd announce Edward as the winner.....the award ceremony which is typically held in the nations foreign ministry.....got turned upside down as the chief of the foreign ministry of Sweden refused to allow the announcement there.

Yeah, there is some disagreement about this award, and Edward getting it.

Second?  The Greens and Linke Party of Germany have gone to the court system to force the Merkel government into allowing Edward Snowden to come into Germany, give testimony and get asylum.  The Merkel government basically said.....you can come.....give testimony....and then if the US asks for you.....we have to cough you up.

For Snowden, it's not much of a deal.

The Greens and Linke Party tend to say that it's just not right or fair.....so we want the court system to order the Chancellor to just let him stay period.

What the experts tend to say is that this agreement between Germany and the US has one escape clause.  If the US charges a guy, and the death sentence is part of the possible punishment.....then Germany can keep the guy, and all bets are off.   In this case....the US has never hinted of stringent elements for Edward Snowden....merely jail time (lots of it).  If Germany were naive enough to refuse to honor the agreement, it falls back to the US to fail to honor any future request by Germany, meaning.....they might lose the ability to bring tax violators or anyone back for judicial punishment in Germany.

It all makes for good PR and news journalism points.  This weekend....some dimwit will waste an hour on some German political chat show.....trying to turn a six-minute conversation into a sixty-minute marginal discussion over nothing.

The only realistic deal left on the table?  The Swiss are still moving toward some type of deal....but they want Edward to tell the entire story and leave nothing out.  If he violates that deal, or starts talking of more new episodes in the future....they'd have to turn him over to the US.  Personally, if I were Edward....I'd finally get wise, accept the Swiss deal, and just shut for the rest of my life. That'd be ten times better than remaining in Moscow.  For some reason, I just don't think the guy can shut up.

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