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Column 071513 Brewer

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top-Secrets Leaker Snowden and Leftist Amigos in Latin America

By Jerry Brewer

It is no secret that virtually all governments have their fair share of whistle blowers exposing perceived and actual abuses of government.  As well, one of the hallmarks of their shouts and ultimate exposures is “freedom of speech.”

Yet isn’t it ironic how many of those self-serving informants rush to seek the protection or asylum of those leftist rulers and governments that repress speech and hinder free thought?  This when democratic institutions wish to legally and openly announce and address their perceived violations of the rule or law?

New generations throughout the world are crying out for peace, freedom, technology, food and other Western comforts.  This, in fact, is certainly a threat to these autocratic and leftist officials who will live or die politically, or literally, depending upon the strength and security of their own regimes.  Much of their ideology is spun rhetoric, with their primary mission — to acquire power and stay there.

In the case of Edward Joseph Snowden, the former technical contractor for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, who is reported to have leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs to the media, many of the hard core leftist authoritarians have exposed their own sinister double-standard underbellies.

Snowden had a reported first choice list of around 20 countries where he would rather locate than face the government that is entitled to investigate and bring charges for suspected betrayals that could possibly endanger citizens of the U.S. and other free nations.

Although Snowden's first choice to run after departing Hong Kong was Russia, his apparent remaining options are now the nations of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, all in the Americas. Moreover, some of the leaders of these countries have called Snowden a hero. This as, over the decades, many others from those nations — who have been described in democratically principled nations as heroes — have been shot to death without a trial.

On June 14, 2013, U.S. federal prosecutors charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property.

With Snowden remaining on Russian turf, within the confines of a mile-long "transit" area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Russian Vladimir Putin has coyly said that if Snowden wanted to be granted asylum in Russia, Snowden would have to "stop his work aimed at harming our American partners.”

This trail of Snowden, from China to Russia, has what appears to be the remaining dregs available that wish to grant, or continue to consider their options, for Snowden, while closely monitoring a world audience scrutinizing the process. Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador are kicking this decision around like a world cup soccer ball with no clear shot at the goal.

Of the most vociferous critics of the U.S., Venezuela’s new President Nicolas Maduro and Bolivian President Evo Morales, Maduro, the protégé of deceased President Hugo Chavez, was quick to judge Snowden stating, "I think we should do something for him….”

He went on say, “we are not afraid of any kind of empires. I don’t know how many people can hear me in this studio, but there is no empire that can intimidate us."

Bolivian President Evo Morales said he would grant asylum to Snowden if requested.  Cuba’s President Raul Castro expressed his support for those Latin American allies “that might take in” Snowden. President Rafael Correa of Ecuador was quick to offer Snowden a temporary travel document, but later withdrew it saying the decision to issue the travel permit was a mistake.

The curious but clear message between Cuba and Venezuela in reference to the perceived innocence of Snowden in exposing state secrets is one of utter deception. Hugo Chavez, a self-proclaimed protégé of Fidel Castro, adopted the previous Soviet-styled ruthless Cuban intelligence service as his model for Venezuela's security service, while utilizing Cuban intelligence counterparts and advisors as his primary sources on security and intelligence. Moreover, resisting U.S. drug and terrorism interdiction throughout South America had been a busy agenda of Chavez.

Cuba trained thousands of communist guerrillas and terrorists, and sponsored violent acts of aggression and subversion in most democratic nations of the southwestern hemisphere. U.S. government studies within the intelligence community documented a total of 3,043 international terrorist incidents in the decade of 1968 to 1978. Within that study, "over 25 percent occurred in Latin America."

One can say that most of the threats to this hemisphere are now via an enemy that does not wear a uniform, nor carry or display a flag; by combatants known for their expertise, superior armaments, ambitious attacks against the military, police and civilians, as well as their ruthlessness.

So, while the business of espionage is alive and well, battle lines are becoming increasingly invisible due to a hidden and shadowy enemy virtually attacking from small cellular transnational criminal enclaves.  These threats require extreme vigilance, and strategic and actionable intelligence gathering, from all free nations that seek to protect their homelands.

Moreover, those tasked to gather, process, analyze and/or protect this information for their governments must be of the highest integrity.

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Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia.  His website is located at www.cjiausa.org.


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