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Swiss Asylum for Snowden Would Win Points with Berlin (News, Switzerland)


"For Angela Merkel and her party buddies, Snowden is a smoking hot potato they would prefer not even to touch.  However, on its own, the desire for the information this person has, practically speaking, obliges one to take the informant in. After all, wanting clarification without granting asylum is more or less equivalent to wanting to make an omelet without breaking any eggs. ... Snowden could serve as a bridge - making German Socialists ... more well-disposed toward Switzerland. ... If Switzerland could do the right thing and simultaneously make not just enemies but new friends as well - that would be a real change of pace."


By Patrik Etschmayer



Translated By Stephanie Martin


November 16, 2013


News – Switzerland – Original Article (German)

Asylum for Edward Snowden: If he's too hot a potato for Germany - perhaps Switzerland will run interference.

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Relations between Germany and the UK tested by charges that Britain spies from Berlin embassy, Nov. 8, 00:02:15RealVideo

Since reports of NSA spying on senior politicians have come to light, large numbers of German Bundestag lawmakers immediately began advocating that Germany provide asylum for whistleblower Edward Snowden. For the legislators, a dilemma looms from which they probably won’t be able to extricate themselves.


Since Green Party veteran Hans-Christian Ströbele had a little chat with Edward Snowden in his Moscow asylum, a sense of urgency has seized the German government. Although we don't (yet) know exactly what was said is, it has emerged that Edward Snowden would like to testify in Germany and that he may also want to request asylum.


Members of the CDU/CSU parliamentary coalition, on the other hand, are only interested in what the whistleblower has to say - they couldn’t care less what happens to the man with the information: For Angela Merkel and her party buddies, Snowden is a smoking hot potato they would prefer not even to touch.  However, on its own, the desire for the information this person has, practically speaking, obliges one to take the informant in. After all, wanting clarification without granting asylum is more or less equivalent to wanting to make an omelet without breaking any eggs.


The diplomatic risks for Germany’s government are enormous. On the one hand, a variety of alliances and other state obligations stand in the way, and many risks remain unknown to the public. For example, the involvement of their own intelligence services spying on German citizens are no doubt the cause of headaches for more than a few members of the government. And let us not forget that that the government’s new coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party [SPD], probably also cooperated with the NSA under Gerhard Schröder. When it comes to the tradeoffs between “democracy” and “party rationale,” we all know pretty much exactly which will be given priority.


But not only in Germany, more and more politicians are speaking out for asylum for Edward Snowden. In other countries, there continues to be a high level of moral outrage over the activities of the NSA, to such a point that politicians in Switzerland are making serious demands that Snowden be granted asylum. And we shouldn’t reject the idea wholesale. After all, despite the fact that former Federal Councilor Micheline Calmy-Rey is among the supporters, Snowden may well be in possession of interesting information on NSA activities in Switzerland. [Micheline Calmy-Rey followed a policy of "active neutrality" many Swiis opposed. She left her foreign policy post under a cloud of controversy].



That said, going it alone would be risky for Switzerland - possibly even riskier than it would be for Germany. On the other hand, Snowden could serve as a bridge - making German Socialists, soon to be part of the Berlin government again, more well-disposed toward Switzerland. If the Swiss were to take the whistleblower in and agree to allow the Germans to interview him in Switzerland, it would be more than just a modest indication of a rapprochement. Of course, Germany and other countries interested in interviewing Snowden would have to confidentially agree beforehand to provide support in the event Washington reacts adversely.


[Editor's Note: Germany's Social Democrats [SPD] are miffed at Switzerland for seeking to shield the identities of Germans who have undeclared funds in Swiss banks. The SPD and the Green Party, who control Germany's upper house, recently defeated a German-Swiss tax deal, arguing it was too lenient because it protected the anonymity of German account holders while imposing a tax on their assets. The author suggests that asylum for Snowden would ease some of the lingering sore feelings.]

Posted By Worldmeets.US


One has to be saddened by the thought processes that come into play here. Since his flight from the U.S., Snowden has become a pawn with a built-in Old Maid card [whoever holds it at the end of the game is the loser]. Exploited by Putin as a protected hero of freedom, simultaneously prized by politicians as a source of information, and loathed as a diplomatic land mine, his fate revealed even more than his information about the non-existent morality with which politics are conducted (not just today - but one doesn’t often find such an excellent example).


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So it would be nice if the morally correct thing were done - regardless of how laughable this might be seem to certain self-interested politicians, and how implicitly dubious the motives are of the countries involved. That a certain amount of diplomatic protection is needed is clear - especially with an opponent as powerful as the United States. If Switzerland could do the right thing and simultaneously make not just enemies but new friends as well - that would be a real change of pace.


But let us remain realistic: In the end, it’s likely that nothing will be done - along the lines of the motto, “he who does nothing, can do no wrong.” No matter how wrong he may be. 


ABC, Spain: German 'Snowden-Mania' Puts All Europe at Risk
Guardian, U.K.: New York Times Defends Guardian's Snowden Leaks
Die Zeit, Germany: Germany Warns U.S. Facilities Could be Attacked Over NSA Anger
Okaz, Saudi Arabia: NSA Crisis Exposes American Dream as Counterfeit
Al Madina, Saudi Arabia: Spying Ruins 'Sanctity' of 'Holy' War on Terror
Izvestia, Russia: Moscow Tongues Wag Over 'Downfall' of U.S. Ambassador McFaul
de Volkskrant, Netherlands: Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Dutch 'Laundering' of NSA-Acquired Data
Al Madina, Saudi Arabia: Spying Ruins 'Sanctity' of 'Holy' War on Terror
Folha, Brazil: Shaming the NSA is First Step to Ending 'State of Nature'
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: John Kerry May Bring Happy NSA Surprise for Poles
Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Europe's 'NSA Envy'
Polityka, Poland: Allies or Enemies? American Intelligence Has Lost the Plot
Der Spiegel, Germany: Without Our Own Internet, We Have No Sovereignty
Der Spiegel, Germany: Et Tu, UK? Anger Grows over British Spying in Berlin
Der Spiegel, Germany: Germany's Quandary: The Debate over Asylum for Snowden
Der Spiegel, Germany: Free Press? Guardian Editor Laments 'Retrogressive' Government
Der Spiegel, Germany: Codependent: Merkel's Pragmatic Approach to the NSA Scandal
Der Spiegel, Germany: Merkel Spying: It's 'Unlikely' White House Didn't Know
Folha, Brazil: NSA Scandal No More than a Temporary Annoyance
O Globo, Brazil: U.S. Must Employ Famed 'Checks and Balances' on NSA
China Daily, China: American 'Anti-Terror' Spies Have No Place in China
NZZ, Switzerland: NSA and Germany: a 'Highly Toxic Outrage Cocktail'
Ryukyo Shimpo, Japan: Japan Must Safeguard Data from 'Superpower in Decline'
Japan Times, Japan: NSA asked Japan to Tap Regionwide Fiber-Optic Cables in 2011
La Jornada, Mexico: Human Rights, the NSA, and U.S. Moral Decline
Le Monde, France: After PRISM, E.U. Must Safeguard 'Emerging Global Consciousness'
Le Nouvel Observateur, France: NSA Snoops on France: 'Like Spying on Family'
Le Monde, France: 'How the NSA Spies on the French'
Le Monde, France: Fighting 'Big Brother'
Le Monde, France: NSA Wiretapped French Diplomats in America
Le Monde, France: French Phone Networks in NSA Crosshairs'
El Pais, Spain: NSA: For Europe, it's Better to be 'Heard than Ignored'
El Pais, Spain: Rather than Rajoy's Phone Calls, NSA Should Focus on JFK's Assassin!
El Pais, Spain: Conflicted Europe Must Defend Citizen Liberties
El Pais, Spain: Mass U.S. Monitoring of Innocent Non-Americans Must End
BNR Nieuwsradio, The Netherlands: The NSA Proves Dalai Lama Wrong
Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: NSA, Drone Strikes, and Obama's 'Ethical Collapse'
Telegraph, U.K.: David Cameron 'Spies' Trouble
Der Spiegel, Germany: Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany: Say it isn't so, NSA!
Guardian, U.K.: Spain Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Claim NSA Tracked Millions
Die Zeit, Germany: NSA Blackmail of Obama Himself is Not Far-Fetched
Trouw, The Netherlands: U.S. Spying? Don't Put Your Open Data in the Town Square!
La Jornada, Mexico: Latest NSA Leak Puts President Nieto's Credibility at Stake
de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Snowden Exposes NSA Christmas Holiday Loophole!
O Globo, Brazil: NSA's 'Anti-Privacy Services' and NASA's 'Earth-Shaking
Guardian, U.K.: France Summons U.S. Envoy Over NSA Surveillance Claims
Dep Speigel, Germany: Fresh Leak: NSA Accessed Mexican President's E-mail
La Jornada, Mexico: Nations Should Quickly Heed Advice of Greenwald, Assange
Guardian, U.K.: World Editors: 'What Guardian is Doing is Important for Democracy
Guardian, U.K.: Surveillance, Democracy, Transparency - Views from Across the Globe
Guardian, U.K.: EDITORIAL: Spies and Journalism: When Worlds Collide
Izvestia, Russia: Global Call to Arms Against 'American Exceptionalism'
Huanqiu, China: Letter By Vladimir Putin Exposes 'Exceptional' American Inequality
de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Putin's Note to Americans a Guilty Pleasure for World
Epoca, Brazil: America's 'Undemocratic' Surveillance is More Invasive than China's
Guardian, U.K.: Committee to Protect Journalists Issues Scathing Report on Obama
Guardian, U.K.: NSA Reform Under Threat by 'Business-as-Usual Brigade' - Wyden
Estadao, Brazil: Warning to Brazil Lawmakers Before Meeting with Snowden
Folha, Brazil: NSA's Great Power Challenge to Brazil
El Mundo, Spain: The U.N.'s Yearly Show Again Plays a Vital Role
Folha, Brazil: 'In His Heart,' Obama Knows Rousseff is Right about Spying
Opera Mundi, Brazil: Outraged Evo Morales Wants Obama Tried for 'Crimes Against Humanity'
Pagina Siete, Bolivia: U.S. Fears, Not Evil, Motivate Desperate Search for Snowden
El Nacional, Bolivia: Snowden: South America Must Take Stand Against Old Europe
El Universal, Venezuela: Maduro Uses Snowden Asylum to Distract Venezuelan People
El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua: 'Imperial Nations' Mock International Law
El Nacional, Venezuela: Bienvenido to Venezuela, Double Agent Snowden!
Hoy, Ecuador: Snowden Highlights Ecuador's Decision-Making Paradox
Folha, Brazil: Dilma Postpones Her U.S. State Visit; Saves Face for Both Sides
Epoca, Brazil: President Rousseff: Snowden Documents Show U.S. Economic Espionage
Epoca, Brazil: After NSA Scandal, Brazil Seeks Reduced U.S. Control Over Internet
Carta Maior, Brazil: Invasions of Privacy and the Tools of Terror Maintenance
O Globo, Brazil: Adjusting to Our 'Brave New World' of Liberty
O Globo, Brazil: NSA Targeted Latin American 'Trade Secrets'
O Globo, Brazil: Brazil 'Gravely Concerned' Over Massive NSA Espionage
O Globo, Brazil: Leading Brazilians Condemn U.S. Surveillance Against the Nation
O Globo, Brazil: President Rousseff's U.S. State Visit Imperiled By NSA Spying
Der Spiegel, Germany: 'Follow the Money': NSA Monitors Financial World
Guardian, U.K.: Edward Snowden 'Living Incognito in Russia'
BBC News, U.K.: Reporter Glenn Greenwald to Testify at Brazil Spy Probe
Der Spiegel, Germany: iSpy: How America's NSA Accesses Smartphone Data
Estadao, Brazil: Explaining John Kerry's Shellacking in Brazil
Cuba Debate, Cuba: Castro: 'Who Was Paid to Lie' about Snowden Being Allowed in Cuba?
Jornal Do Brasil, Brazil: Chancellor Tells Kerry: 'Terminate' Spying on Brazilians
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia: The Prohibitive Global Price of Poor U.S.-Russia Relations
Der Spiegel, Germany: Codename 'Apalachee': How America Spies on Europe and the U.N.
Der Spiegel, Germany: Merkel Rival Calls for Suspension of Trade Talks
Telegraph, U.K.: NSA Employees Spied on their Lovers Using Eavesdropping Program
Reuters, U.K.: Close Cameron Aides Asked Paper to Destroy Snowden Data
People's Daily, China: America Must Come to the Table on Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: Innocent have Nothing to Fear? After Miranda, We Know Where that Leads
Guardian, U.K.: Groklaw Legal Site Shuts Over Fears of NSA E-Mail Snooping
Guardian, U.K.: 'Sending a Message': What U.S. and U.K. are Attempting to Do
Guardian, U.K.: U.S. Senators Warn NSA Privacy Breaches Just 'Tip of the Iceberg'
Der Spiegel, Germany: Merkel and the NSA: The Scandal That Will Not Die
Guardian, U.K.: Dangers All Reporters Now Face: David Miranda and Journalism
Guardian, U.K.: David Miranda's Detention a 'Betrayal of Trust and Principle'
Guardian, U.K.: 'Attempt at Intimidation Will Result in More Disclosures'
Savon Sanomat, Finland: Better For Finland that Obama Goes to Sweden
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: Snowden: Kremlin Tool for Reducing U.S. Web Dominance
Huanqiu, China: 'United Global Front' Defeats America in Snowden Affair
Die Tageszeitung, Germany: Manning Trial: Superficial Justice to Save American Face
El Pais, Spain: Manning Verdict a Warning to Future 'Heroes of Transparency'
Izvestia, Russia: Turning Mr. Snowden into a Tool of Russian 'Soft Power'
De Morgan, Belgium: U.S.-E.U. Meeting on NSA Surveillance a 'Sham'
Der Spiegel: Three PRISMS? Parliament Seeks Clarity in NSA Espionage Scandal
ABC, Spain: Fear of Vladivostok Escape for Snowden Drives U.S. Threats Against Venezuela
Moskovskij Komsomolets, Russia: Snowden: Putin's Perfect 'Anti-Magnitisky' Weapon
Gazeta, Russia: Chapman and Snowden in: 'The Ghost of Sheremetyevo'
Izvestia, Russia: South vs. North: Snowden's Place in History is Assured
Kommersant, Russia: Snowden's Presence May Scuttle Obama's Visit to Russia
Izvestia, Russia: 'Servile Europeans' Inflict Huge Insult on Bolivians
Wiener Zeitung, Austria: Edward Snowden is No Enemy of Our State!
La Stampa: Europe Will Rue Toppling Obama Over Snowden
The Hankyoreh, South Korea: What Hugo Chavez Would Say about U.S. Surveillance
Le Monde, France: French Big Brother is Watching You!
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Indiscriminate Mass Spying on Brazilians
Le Monde, France: French Political Class Holds 'Outrage Contest' Over NSA Spying
DNA, France: Espionage ... From Washington, With Love
Liberation, France: The NSA 'Panopticon'
Der Standard, Austria: Mass NSA Surveillance Implies 'Bizarre Presumption of Guilt'
Guardian,U.K.: NSA/GCHQ Metadata Reassurances are 'Breathtakingly Cynical'
Observer, U.K.: U.S. Attempts to Block Edward Snowden 'Bolsters' Case for Asylum
Der Tagesspiegel, Germany: NSA: Merkel Ignores the Nightmare of 'Stasi Squared'
Der Spiegel: What's All the Fuss About U.S. Spying?
Guardian, U.K.: Britain Blocks Crucial Espionage Talks between U.S. and Europe
Guardian, U.K.: France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style Methods'
Guardian, U.K.: Venezuela and Nicaragua offer asylum to Edward Snowden
Elsevier, The Netherlands: Snowden's Revelations are of 'No Benefit to Society'
Der Spiegel, Germany: NSA Spying on Germany: How Much Did Angela Merkel Know?
Der Spiegel, Germany Bolivia Irate Over Forced Landing
Der Spiegel, Germany: Germany Rejects Asylum for Snowden
News, Switzerland: Humanity's Cyber-Hypocrisy Overload
El Comercio, Ecuador: Wanting to Keep U.S. Trade Privileges is Not Treason!
Der Spiegel, Germany: Spying 'Out of Control': EU Official Questions Trade Negotiations
Der Spiegel, Germany: Growing Alarm: German Prosecutors To Review Allegations of U.S. Spying
Guardian, U.K.: New NSA Leaks Show how U.S. is Bugging its European Allies
Der Spiegel, Germany: Partner and Target: NSA Snoops on 500 Million German Data Connections
Diario de Noticias, Portugal: America 'Summons World' to Renewed Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: Ecuador Rejects U.S. Trade Pact to Thwart Snowden 'Blackmail'
Guardian, U.K: Glenn Greenwald on Personal Side of Taking on NSA - Personal Smears
Guardian, U.K: How NSA Continues to Harvest Your Online Data
Guardian, U.K: Edward Snowden's Next Step: Live Q&A
Gazeta, Russia: Why Russia, China, and Others, Love 'Poking America in the Eye'
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Affair Revives Politics of the Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: 'History will be Kind' to Edward Snowden
Guardian, U.K.: Latin America is ready to defy the US over Snowden and other issues
Guardian, U.K.: Putin Confirms Snowden in Moscow Airport; No Extradition
The New York Times, U.S.: China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart
People's Daily, China: U.S. Internet Hypocrisy Creates Global Suspicion
Global Times, China: Internet 'Muckraking Frenzy' Damaging China's Global Interests
Huanqiu, China: 'Demented' Hacking Charges Betray U.S. Scheme for Cyber Domination
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Leaves Hong Kong for Moscow: Seeks Asylum in Ecuador
Financial Times, U.K.: Snowden Fallout Impacts China and Russia
Russia Today, Russia: VIDEO: Former MI5 Agent Judges Snowden 'Canny'
Folha, Brazil: Trust in the State Inadequate as a Pretext for NSA's Spying
Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France: Edward Snowden is Not the Issue
El Pais, Spain: Powerless, Europe Must Nevertheless Stand Up to NSA Spying Program
Global Times, China: Demonizing China Will Backfire on Americans
Global Times, China: Extraditing Snowden Would Be a Mistake
Xinhua, China: 'Idealistic' Edward Snowden Should be Welcomed by China
Mediapart, France: 'Autonomous Machines': World Reawakens to U.S. Web Dominance
Guardian, U.K.: Britain's GCHQ Intercepted Data from Foreign Politicians at G20 Summits
Le Monde, France: French Lawmakers Scramble Over News of NSA Surveillance
Le Temps, Switzerland: Last Resort for Confronting 'Electronic Big Brother'
The Frontier Post, Pakistan: On Global Spying for Selfish National Interest
Mediapart, France: The NSA is Spying on Us! What a Surprise!
El Espectador, Colombia: Please Consider Yourself Watched!
Le Monde, France: NSA Surveillance Storm Gathers Over Cloud Market
Folha, Brazil: Being 'Carioca' Helped Glenn Greenwald Break NSA Surveillance Story
Sol, Portugal: WikiLeaks and Facebook: What Came Before Will Soon Be Rubble
Guardian, U.K.: World Leaders Seek Answers on NSA Data Collection Programs
Guardian, U.K.: Artist Ai Weiwei: The U.S. is 'Behaving Like China'
Russia Today, Russia: Putin: Government Surveillance 'Should Not Break the Law'
Guardian, U.K.: Russia Offers to Consider Edward Snowden Asylum Request
Handelsblatt, Germany: Obama's Data Nightmare is Europe's
FAZ, Germany: Protect Us from Terrorism ... and Government Snooping
SCMP, Hong Kong: What Will Hong Kong do with Snowden? ... The World is Watching
SCMP, Hong Kong: Why Hong Kong? Chinese Wonder if Edward Snowden is in Wrong Place
Suedostschweiz, Switzerland: Exposed: Spy Powers that Obama Shouldn't Use
Le Temps, Switzerland: Exploring the Limits of Sino-U.S. Compromise
Business Day, South Africa: Obama Sets 'Dubious Example' on Freedom
Economist, U.K.: The Reason We Fear Broad Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Secret Tool to Track Global Surveillance Data




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Posted By Worldmeets.US Nov. 15, 2013, 1:49pm