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Rand Paul Warns Snowden: Don't Cozy Up To The Russians

Huffington Post - WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the few public officials sympathetic toward Edward Snowden, warned the national security leaker on Sunday not to cut deals or cozy up to any government at the risk of losing credibility.

"I do think, for Mr. Snowden, if he cozies up to the Russian government, it will be nothing but bad for his name in history," said Paul on CNN's "State of the Union." "If he goes to an independent third country like Iceland and if he refuses to talk to any sort of formal government about this, I think there's a chance that he'll be seen as an advocate of privacy. If he cozies up to either the Russian government, the Chinese government, or any of these governments that are perceived still as enemies of ours, I think that will be a real problem for him in history."

Paul's comments came in the midst of a hectic Sunday morning in which Snowden left Hong Kong despite requests from the U.S. Justice Department that that government turn him over for prosecution. Snowden is being charged under the Espionage Act for leaking details of U.S. intelligence operations to various news outlets, mainly the Guardian.


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Good advice, but unnecessary.

Good advice, but unnecessary. Snowden is no dummy.

Never trouble trouble til trouble troubles you. Fortune Cookie



rand doesn't seem

to have studied the greenwald/snowden papers too carefully or i doubt he'd make that statement. or is he simply afraid of being duped which would hurt his career? i notice he refused to either label snowden a traitor or hero in the many news interviews, unlike others who were fort right is calling snowden a hero, people like:

Ron Paul
Gary Johnson

actually that's good advice

actually rand is giving Mr. Snowden some sound political advice. he wants to use the information that was leaked to spark a public uproar to reinstate the fourth amendment, and he will be less capable of doing that if Snowden makes it easy for people to paint him as a Chinese or Russian spy. I have plenty of 'tea party' type friends who were singing snowden's praises with me until they caught wind of the stories that he might be a chinese spy, and it was important to debunk that in order to keep them on our side. the more he does that could be painted that way the less traction we'll be able to get on the issue itself.

honestly, it's something anyone would be tempted to do, flee to the protection of some other government that wouldn't mind getting some of the knowledge you have so that you can guarantee you won't end up like Bradley Manning spending years in solitary awaiting a kangaroo court trial. Rand gave sound advice--what Ed Snowden does now will define his legacy in the average American's mind, and like it or not, what Snowden's legacy is perceived as is going to be crucial in the public opinion part of this debate. if he ends up in Iceland with asylum, his legacy looks good; if he ends up in Russia and there is anything that remotely looks like he's telling the Russian government everything he knows indiscriminately, his legacy will be tarnished.


was just a stopping off point. it seemed everybody knew that but rand.

suspected, not knew for certain

lots of people suspected that, but few knew it for certain. Russia's no worse a place than China (though there's no equivalent Hong Kong) as a place of refuge if one is trying to avoid falling into US custody. people were out there speculating he'd be chumming up to the Russian government, and Rand went out there where people were saying that and FRAMED the way it would go: going so far as to say if he did NOT chum up with governments like Russia history would remember him as a great privacy advocate. now all the people who were looking suspiciously at the Moscow flight can see that he didn't go to the russian gov't', he went to ecuadorians for help which is a country average joe american isn't very worried about

Ecuador wasn't too bad a choice when it comes to public perception, it was a much better choice than Cuba or Venezuela; Iceland probably would've been better but you never know with them being in NATO and all if they'd end up caving eventually and handing him over.

I agree.

Good advice.

You mean, the GOVERNMENTS are

You mean, the GOVERNMENTS are enemies, right rand, is that what you meant, because i dont see why i should have a problem with a NATIONS, PEOPLE, IF, they have no problems with me......if governments believe that WAR is a tool regurlarly used, where it is the PEOPLE, told they should fight, rather then a natural cause of defense of ones nation, then THAT government doesnt deserve to exist, and it should be on the consensus of that peoples nation to do something about it

I do not see the PEOPLE and GOVERNMENT as one body, but as two entirely seperate entities

Benefit of the doubt rand, benefit of the doubt.....for maybe you know not what you say,...... for now


"Perceived as enemies" Enemies seems a little strong of a word. Do you borrow money from an enemy? And just because another country's rhetoric and propaganda BS is challenged and or exposed by a competing country does not an enemy make either. How about "competing countries"?

God forgives always. Man forgives sometimes. But Nature never forgives.

The key word

Perceived is the key word.Rand didn't say that they really are our enemies. Unfortunately some automatically perceive them as such. It's a dilemma of the Bush Doctrine. "Either you are one board with us, or you are the enemy." If you land a plane pretty much anywhere outside of the OK, you are going to be accused of something. Not a great policy, but it works if you're trying to control the actions of the whole world.

TwelveOhOne's picture

History's perception

"If he cozies up to either the Russian government, the Chinese government, or any of these governments that are perceived still as enemies of ours, I think that will be a real problem for him in history."

Actually I think if he helps us to understand that there is no such thing as borders and that the abundance of the world is for all humans to enjoy, then perhaps history will view him as someone even greater than if he just helped the tribal paradigm of us vs them continue.

The real problem for history is that "other governments" are perceived still as enemies of ours.

However, yes, Rand is saying wise things in the current climate.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
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I object!

"national security leaker" or teller of shameful truth.


I wonder if Switzerland is an option for him or not.

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

In Switzerland, it is easy

In Switzerland, it is easy for the rich to be anonymous. The covenant made with their government is very cleanly shaped; there are few vague powers. But in reality, they don't want high-profile refugees, unless they bring either their riches or their business with them. Snowden was well-off, but I doubt he's rich. South America is probably the more likely spot for him, but I personally have doubts about many of these countries' abilities to defend their borders against infiltrators--especially agents of the USA, China, or Russia. (The three countries that have the largest interest in secretly nabbing Snowden and blaming it on another.)

Wise statements from Rand


For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.