US vs the world: US threatens Ecuadorian economy and Russia, whines at China

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Hey guys, you know how the world doesn't hate the US enough right now? Well, the US government is finally going to attempt to remedy that by bringing the hate to exotic locations like Ecuador and China and by increasing the general dislike the Russians feel toward the US back to cold war levels! How? Read on.

The chairman of the US foreign relations committee has threatened to end several major trade agreements with Ecuador if said country was to grant Edward Snowden asylum. The good that will be impacted the most will be crude oil, but right after that comes cut flowers, vegetables, fruits and Tuna, which no doubt will teach those poor south American farmers and fishermen not to resist the US.

That's not all though; the US has been having a bit of a hissy fit at China and Russia as well, with John Kerry threatening that there "will be consequences" if it is revealed that Russia and China chose to help Snowden out of Hong Kong, and remarking that Snowden's escape from Hong Kong will harm Sino-American relations. The US is also currently putting pressure on Russia to arrest Snowden by threatening some more and sending a top diplomat to negotiate with the Russian government.

In addition to all this, a former Icelandic politician recently revealed that he had to expel 8 FBI agents from his country who had come there under false pretenses, claiming that they were there to protect the country against a major cyber attack (which was completely made up), but instead choosing to spend their time investigating Wikileaks, which has a major presence in Iceland.

So... Yeah. The US is threatening to make the Ecuadorian people suffer if Snowden isn't handed over, huffing and puffing at Russia and China and they've apparently betrayed an ally by outright lying to them so they can spy at their citizens. Opinions?

Sources:
John Kerry threatens China and Russia: http://www.washingtonpost.com/kerry-there-will-be-consequences-if-china-russia-aid-snowden/2013/06/24/f959eada-dcf3-11e2-a484-7b7f79cd66a1_video.html

US threatens to end trade agreements: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/06/201362620346256248.html

Iceland had to kick out 8-9 FBI agents: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/06/iceland-a-nexus-for-us-wikileaks-investigations-new-york-times-says/

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
Sorry to intervene.

I heard about this Snowden thing from a friend of mine who is big into the internet. However, I have to ask, does Snowden have any evidence that the NSA are/were spying on people illegally? If so, were can I see the proof for this? Has anyone in the goverment varified this?

Er...they were doing it legally, IIRC, they just didn't tell people it was getting done legally. This has been confirmed by people in the US government who are firmly behind it, and were so even before Snowden revealed it to them as well as everyone else.

thaluikhain:

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
Sorry to intervene.

I heard about this Snowden thing from a friend of mine who is big into the internet. However, I have to ask, does Snowden have any evidence that the NSA are/were spying on people illegally? If so, were can I see the proof for this? Has anyone in the goverment varified this?

Er...they were doing it legally, IIRC, they just didn't tell people it was getting done legally. This has been confirmed by people in the US government who are firmly behind it, and were so even before Snowden revealed it to them as well as everyone else.

But it wasn't being done legally
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Since the government had no probable cause they had no right to keep everyone's information, thus making the NSA massive criminals.

OT: The US government really needs to stop pissing people off but they're too stupid not to.

Xan Krieger:

thaluikhain:

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
Sorry to intervene.

I heard about this Snowden thing from a friend of mine who is big into the internet. However, I have to ask, does Snowden have any evidence that the NSA are/were spying on people illegally? If so, were can I see the proof for this? Has anyone in the goverment varified this?

Er...they were doing it legally, IIRC, they just didn't tell people it was getting done legally. This has been confirmed by people in the US government who are firmly behind it, and were so even before Snowden revealed it to them as well as everyone else.

But it wasn't being done legally
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Since the government had no probable cause they had no right to keep everyone's information, thus making the NSA massive criminals.

Did they not come up with an exception or other way to get around that so they could claim legality?

The US is pissy over countries harboring a high profile individual who is up for espionage charges? I wonder why.....

The US continuing to piss everyone else off? Well, that's new. Of course, when it comes to China the US has to do whatever it takes to piss them off so the government can justify spending so much on the military and moving many military assets to the Pacific by saying, "B-but China wants to kill us all! See how much they hate us?!" despite China only hating us because we're poking them with a stick.

When Russia and China are looking like the good guys regarding civil liberties, you are doing something wrong. I mean, sure I can think up cynical reasons why they might want to help someone who knows a lot about US security and is being hounded by America, but if the USA wasn't trying to deal with being caught red-handed doing dodgy shit by punishing the whislteblower, they wouldn't have put him in the situation where he needs Russia and Chinas help.

It's like the US thought 'Wow, this moral high ground sure is nice, I wonder what it looks like from the bottom'.

Ecuador pre-emptively ended their trade agreements with the US & offered to give them $23 million to improve their human rights training. That's an absolutely amazing response to this sort of political bullying and makes me respect the country even more.

Also it appears as if the Hong Kong extradition request may have been deliberately sloppy, possibly to score a few political points?

Oh dear. This is sort of looking like a trainwreck. It's horrible, but you can't tear your eyes away.

It's odd how much diplomatic damage the USA are willing to take over the internal political damage incurred by such whistleblowers. Not to mention the diplomatic damage created by the leaks about spying on other nations, of course.
But that cat's already out of the bag and the things they do now seem like either attempts at USA-internal damage control by cracking down (with little to no worries about further international damage caused) or good-ol'-fashioned spitefulness and revenge to me. It's... strange to say the least that they would go about this with so little finesse.
Is appearing "strong on leakers" to a handful of people in your country that find such a notion more important than the actual content of the leaks really worth the additional damage they cause to the relations with their allies and, yes, even frenemies? Somebody in charge seems to think so at least.

Skeleon:
It's odd how much diplomatic damage the USA are willing to take over the internal political damage incurred by such whistleblowers. Not to mention the diplomatic damage created by the leaks about spying on other nations, of course.
But that cat's already out of the bag and the things they do now seem like either attempts at USA-internal damage control by cracking down (with little to no worries about further international damage caused) or good-ol'-fashioned spitefulness and revenge to me. It's... strange to say the least that they would go about this with so little finesse.
Is appearing "strong on leakers" to a handful of people in your country that find such a notion more important than the actual content of the leaks really worth the additional damage they cause to the relations with their allies and, yes, even frenemies? Somebody in charge seems to think so at least.

I think they're just going "Huh? You don't like the unconstitutional mass surveillance that looks like something from Orwell's 1984? You know what you REALLY shouldn't like?! Snowden, the sick, traitorous bastard who betrayed you! And China! Yeah, those bastards who hate us! Damn commies! And Russia! Yeah! Focus on those guys and forget the complete and utter lies during the presidential campaign, the surveillance thing and the whole high ranked official lying under oath thing!". They seem to be doing a really good job at it, too.

the US...isn't the huge fish in a small "free market" pond it was during the cold war the now that the world is, near enough, a truly global "free market" and it can't really threaten countries like this any more...

will Ecuador hurt ? maybe...a little...for a period of adjustment...but the economist running it atm seems smart enough to know the world market will still healthily buy its produce even it doesn't include the US.

if anything playing the bully boy historically (within the artificially small pond of the cold war "free world") has created a situation where many countries on the American continent have long had to look further afield than the states for beneficial trade deals and geopolitical relationships...

what goes around comes around i guess...

i image Brazil, "Aisa" or "the Indian subcontinent" will probably quite like Ecuadorian tuna...hell, i might like Ecuadorian tuna...the last time i looked at a can it was only to check it was "dolphin friendly" and i couldn't even begin to tell you where it came from...was years (of me eating the stuff) before i even knew what (and how big :o) a tuna even is...basically such things hardly a thing strike me as "hard to shift"...there's plenty market capacity in wider world for basic agrarian produce and most areas of decently healthy agrarian production are actually fairly flexible and economically robust...and that's without even touching on the insanity of thinking no one else will buy "the oil"...

Esotera:
Ecuador pre-emptively ended their trade agreements with the US & offered to give them $23 million to improve their human rights training. That's an absolutely amazing response to this sort of political bullying and makes me respect the country even more.

Also it appears as if the Hong Kong extradition request may have been deliberately sloppy, possibly to score a few political points?

Just saw this on the guardian. It's absolutely fantastic.
It's like a perfectly dismissive diplomatic 'fuck you' to the US. I'm actually grinning.

On a slightly depressive note I can't help but think that it's a shame my government doesn't have the balls to do this kind of thing when it comes to cases like Gary Mckinnon.

Esotera:
Ecuador pre-emptively ended their trade agreements with the US & offered to give them $23 million to improve their human rights training. That's an absolutely amazing response to this sort of political bullying and makes me respect the country even more.

Also it appears as if the Hong Kong extradition request may have been deliberately sloppy, possibly to score a few political points?

I have to give props to Ecuador for this one. If I wasn't in the US, I would buy and encourage everyone else I know to buy flowers from Ecuador for standing their ground on this. I would guess the best way to support them would to be to buy what you can from Ecuador! Being in the US though, this pretty much made it so I cannot, which really irritates me.

So long as the US is keeping all its action legal I entirely understand why they are doing this. They can't just let people break the laws, betray their positions and get off without facing the consequences. They shouldn't just decide "well people like this guy, so he doesn't have to follow the laws and we don't have to make sure our security services are not leaking like a Costa cruise ship". No nation would be ok with another harbouring criminals and flaunting doing so.

The FBI stuff in Iceland however is entirely inappropriate. Wikileaks have not committed any crimes against the US and going after members of the organization under false pretenses is not ok.

thaluikhain:

Did they not come up with an exception or other way to get around that so they could claim legality?

From what I remember two main justifications: having warrants, and having the information they were taking being considered to be both broadcasted and not accessed in real time which vastly changes what can be done.

Of course new information about these spying programs is constantly coming out so it's possible not all of it had the justification necessary, I've been at uni and haven't had time to look through the latest.

There's only one thing I can really say about this.

WRECKED.

Knight Templar:
So long as the US is keeping all its action legal I entirely understand why they are doing this. They can't just let people break the laws, betray their positions and get off without facing the consequences. They shouldn't just decide "well people like this guy, so he doesn't have to follow the laws and we don't have to make sure our security services are not leaking like a Costa cruise ship". No nation would be ok with another harbouring criminals and flaunting doing so.

The FBI stuff in Iceland however is entirely inappropriate. Wikileaks have not committed any crimes against the US and going after members of the organization under false pretenses is not ok.

thaluikhain:

Did they not come up with an exception or other way to get around that so they could claim legality?

From what I remember two main justifications: having warrants, and having the information they were taking being considered to be both broadcasted and not accessed in real time which vastly changes what can be done.

Of course new information about these spying programs is constantly coming out so it's possible not all of it had the justification necessary, I've been at uni and haven't had time to look through the latest.

I can't see how any of this is constitutional, nor am I seeing that it was even legal. Though as long as they prevent it from being ruled upon by the Supreme court, they will be able to do as they wish until then. However when you look at the fact they have been lying to congress about this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBDLU6I0oec

I am not really sure how anyone can support the program.

I'd really like for Putin or someone to just straight-up say to the US "You spied on your own people without their consent. No. We're protecting Snowden. Fuck you." It just makes me incredibly angry that our politicians are so fucking dense that they 1) thought this was a good idea, and 2) feel justified in hunting down a man that should be considered a national hero. Fuck them and their surveillance. I'd rather support a treasonous spy than Big Brother.

Godavari:
I'd really like for Putin or someone to just straight-up say to the US "You spied on your own people without their consent. No. We're protecting Snowden. Fuck you." It just makes me incredibly angry that our politicians are so fucking dense that they 1) thought this was a good idea, and 2) feel justified in hunting down a man that should be considered a national hero. Fuck them and their surveillance. I'd rather support a treasonous spy than Big Brother.

Maybe Russia,China,anyone else is angry that the U.S spied on them without their consent? no?

I've always felt the biggest most important part of this leak was the proof that the U.S has international espionage on levels above that of the Cold-War going on even on allies, perhaps even 'especially' on allies. Considering which parts of the world populations are using the things spied upon the most.

Shock and Awe:
The US is pissy over countries harboring a high profile individual who is up for espionage charges? I wonder why.....

Espionage charges they created mostly without grounds to use a hundredyearold incredibly broad law to justify massive resources-usage in hunting down a whistleblower you mean?....

Well I say this is more of the US not being able to do a Israeli style capture or Seal Team Six Operation because it would look bad, so they do this instead. However I doubt the US is the only country that spies on its citizen in fact I think it got the idea from another country. However I say the US should have just done the Israeli thing, instead of letting Poor Ecuador be Iran style sanctioned.

The fuss they are making about Snowden isn't necessarily about Snowden himself. Rather, it is to scare any other Whistleblowers. If the US just wanted Snowden, they'd stay quiet, let Snowden go to Ecuador.... and then get him. Make no mistake, Ecuador can't protect Snowden for long. They are sincere in their effort to help Snowden, but Ecuador isn't exactly a strong nation with tight security - if Snowden went to Ecuador, the US would assuredly get him sooner or later.

But the US isn't staying quiet - it's making a big fuss and is actually doing things that are counterproductive to getting Snowden. They are doing this to scare other potential whistleblowers - they are saying, indirectly, to anyone else in the NSA, CIA or FBI, that if you talk and leak info, you can expect a WORLD of hurt to come down on you. This huffing and puffing is partially just a show to scare other whistleblowers.

China and Russia are a bit miffed about this, but this won't do any lasting damage. China and the US trade billions upon billions upon billions of dollars with each other - they're not going to stop over Snowden. Russia and the US do co-operate on many things as well - space projects, combating piracy off the coast of Somalia and in regards to Terrorist activity. That's not going to stop over Snowden. Russia is looking to use Snowden for geopolitical advantages and they'll probably trade in Snowden for a "return" - maybe they want the US to stop interfering with Syria, and if the US agrees, Snowden will be in a bag to Washington, Courtesy Aeroflot within a microsecond. Don't pretend the Russians give a damn about Snowden personally - he is nothing to them, except as a bargaining chip.

Korolev:
Snip

Yea, I think I'll respectfully disagree.

This entire thing has done irrepairable political damage. They've already had a horrible reputation with the rest of the western world post-Iraq war that Obama has been trying to mend, but this here has the risk of completely removing any progress he made with that. Probably already has. What with the U.S being compared with Nazi-Germany over this.

The people are taking Equadors side, not that of the United States. Which goes to show just how shit they have been handling this.

One could wonder if Snowdon's gone quiet so the world media will leave him alone and focus on what's actually important- PRISM and what GCHQ's been up to. I find it frustrating that rather than scrutinising politicians for spying on their own citizens and hoarding confidential data, the world media seems more intent on playing a game of Where's Walley? with Snowdon.

Lil devils x:

Esotera:
Ecuador pre-emptively ended their trade agreements with the US & offered to give them $23 million to improve their human rights training. That's an absolutely amazing response to this sort of political bullying and makes me respect the country even more.

Also it appears as if the Hong Kong extradition request may have been deliberately sloppy, possibly to score a few political points?

I have to give props to Ecuador for this one. If I wasn't in the US, I would buy and encourage everyone else I know to buy flowers from Ecuador for standing their ground on this. I would guess the best way to support them would to be to buy what you can from Ecuador! Being in the US though, this pretty much made it so I cannot, which really irritates me.

i laughed when i read it. big points to ecuador :D

kind of sad though that the USA spend the better part of 50 years condeming the soviet union for detaining people without trial, kidnapping people off the street, assassinating people, intensive surveillance of the population and now they have become the very thing they raged against

If America doesn't change it's big daddy attitude towards the rest of the world they will soon realize how fragile they really are and how little patience the rest of the world has for what they've been doing lately. Not a single empire in the world lasted forever. Especially not the arrogant ones that thought themselves untouchable. Alliances are built on trust and common interests, not on threats and brute force. I only hope that things won't escalate into something violent.

One of the things that has recently emerged from Snowdon's information leak is that the US has been spying on the EU by bugging its US offices and computer networks. Needless to say there's a lot of EU politicians which are fairly pissed off about this, and unfortunately the UK has unsurprisingly has been rather quiet on the matter.

It's a shame that America spies on its allies like this, and i can't even imagine European countries having much in terms of secrets they'd want to keep from America. It looks like another issue that's going to hang over the upcoming free trade negotiations.

Adam Jensen:
Alliances are built on trust and common interests, not on threats and brute force.

Oh, a lot of people would argue about that.

The US has been pissing the world off for ages, because they know they are big and scary and can get away with it. The US is the dominant political, military and economic over in the world, can make things very difficult for any nation it decides to.

Nickolai77:
One of the things that has recently emerged from Snowdon's information leak is that the US has been spying on the EU by bugging its US offices and computer networks. Needless to say there's a lot of EU politicians which are fairly pissed off about this, and unfortunately the UK has unsurprisingly has been rather quiet on the matter.

It's a shame that America spies on its allies like this, and i can't even imagine European countries having much in terms of secrets they'd want to keep from America. It looks like another issue that's going to hang over the upcoming free trade negotiations.

I highly doubt that members of the EU don't spy on each other or their allies as well. I fully expect the US allies to spy on us (at the very least keep tabs on our politicians and find dirt they can use for their own benefit). If all they are doing is "checking under our hood" I don't mind, it is when they jeopardize national security or sabotage American companies that gets my ire up. Of course if they are caught we will bitch and moan about it, but that is how the game is played.

Apparently they were spying a lot on Germany (60 million phone calls, emails and chat logs a day) and called it a "third rate ally".
Oh dear.

thaluikhain:

Adam Jensen:
Alliances are built on trust and common interests, not on threats and brute force.

Oh, a lot of people would argue about that.

Then they can't tell the difference between "alliance" and "dominion".

The US has been pissing the world off for ages, because they know they are big and scary and can get away with it. The US is the dominant political, military and economic over in the world, can make things very difficult for any nation it decides to.

Well, I didn't get the memo that history decided to stop all that cyclical thing it had going on...And the cycles keep getting faster and faster, thanks to the fact that information can spread faster these days.

Ryotknife:

Nickolai77:
One of the things that has recently emerged from Snowdon's information leak is that the US has been spying on the EU by bugging its US offices and computer networks. Needless to say there's a lot of EU politicians which are fairly pissed off about this, and unfortunately the UK has unsurprisingly has been rather quiet on the matter.

It's a shame that America spies on its allies like this, and i can't even imagine European countries having much in terms of secrets they'd want to keep from America. It looks like another issue that's going to hang over the upcoming free trade negotiations.

I highly doubt that members of the EU don't spy on each other or their allies as well. I fully expect the US allies to spy on us (at the very least keep tabs on our politicians and find dirt they can use for their own benefit). If all they are doing is "checking under our hood" I don't mind, it is when they jeopardize national security or sabotage American companies that gets my ire up. Of course if they are caught we will bitch and moan about it, but that is how the game is played.

You may or not be right, although with regards to European countries i could only imagine the "big three" (UK, France, Germany) have the resources to conduct major surveillance operations in other countries. I had a quick look with regards to what wikileaks revealed and i can't find anything detailing European's spying on eachother or the US, but plenty on the US spying on others. Then again, maybe European states are just better at spying than the Americans are?

Couldn't Snowden apply for refugee status? Because isn't that what he essentially is now?

If Snowden was from any other nation the US would consider him a hero.

Nickolai77:

Ryotknife:

Nickolai77:
One of the things that has recently emerged from Snowdon's information leak is that the US has been spying on the EU by bugging its US offices and computer networks. Needless to say there's a lot of EU politicians which are fairly pissed off about this, and unfortunately the UK has unsurprisingly has been rather quiet on the matter.

It's a shame that America spies on its allies like this, and i can't even imagine European countries having much in terms of secrets they'd want to keep from America. It looks like another issue that's going to hang over the upcoming free trade negotiations.

I highly doubt that members of the EU don't spy on each other or their allies as well. I fully expect the US allies to spy on us (at the very least keep tabs on our politicians and find dirt they can use for their own benefit). If all they are doing is "checking under our hood" I don't mind, it is when they jeopardize national security or sabotage American companies that gets my ire up. Of course if they are caught we will bitch and moan about it, but that is how the game is played.

You may or not be right, although with regards to European countries i could only imagine the "big three" (UK, France, Germany) have the resources to conduct major surveillance operations in other countries. I had a quick look with regards to what wikileaks revealed and i can't find anything detailing European's spying on eachother or the US, but plenty on the US spying on others. Then again, maybe European states are just better at spying than the Americans are?

You guys probably use more....subtle...methods of spying.

Subtlety has never been the US's strongpoint. We don't use the carrot and the stick approach but rather the stick and the even bigger stick approach.

Vegosiux:
Well, I didn't get the memo that history decided to stop all that cyclical thing it had going on...And the cycles keep getting faster and faster, thanks to the fact that information can spread faster these days.

Er, I disagree that the cycles are getting faster. The US still has the most military, financial and political power in the world. You are correct that this is not always going to be the case, things are likely to be very different in a few decades.

But until that is no longer the case, it doesn't matter that the US is pissing off smaller nations that can't do anything much about it.

Skeleon:
It's odd how much diplomatic damage the USA are willing to take over the internal political damage incurred by such whistleblowers. Not to mention the diplomatic damage created by the leaks about spying on other nations, of course.
But that cat's already out of the bag and the things they do now seem like either attempts at USA-internal damage control by cracking down (with little to no worries about further international damage caused) or good-ol'-fashioned spitefulness and revenge to me. It's... strange to say the least that they would go about this with so little finesse.
Is appearing "strong on leakers" to a handful of people in your country that find such a notion more important than the actual content of the leaks really worth the additional damage they cause to the relations with their allies and, yes, even frenemies? Somebody in charge seems to think so at least.

We're America, we tend to think bulldozing everything is the best option and whoever is ahead of the NSA or higher thinks so too.

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