Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snowden is safe and free

On a personal level, I suppose that I am glad that he will not have to spend the rest of his life in jail.  That seems too cruel. 

While reading a newspaper today, I learned that Snowden never even graduated from high school and initially worked for this contractor of the government as a security guard.  The newspaper asked how a person who never even graduated from high school was able to obtain such secret information. 

Clearly people in the United States government were at fault for not protecting their secrets carefully enough.  Snowden is a scapegoat.  A scapegoat is someone who is blamed for something even though he is not ultimately responsible for the problem that occurred.  People often blame scapegoats instead of admitting what the real cause of a problem might have been.

Now let's see whether Snowden's motives were genuine (sincere) or whether he tries to make money from his sudden fame.  Did he do this to provide the American people with information he felt they needed to know, or does he want money and fame?

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to head for - to go to

a contractor - he worked for a company that was contracted by the US government (the NSA - National Security Agency).

to extradite - to have him sent back to the USA to face justice.

espionage - spying; illegally and secretly obtaining secret information

charges - a criminal accusation; a charge is when someone states that someone else has committed some wrongful act

anti - against, pro - for

to confirm - to say for sure, to verify

to book a seat - to schedule a seat

leaking details - revealing or publicly stating details

surveillance - the act of watching someone or spying on someone

a former British colony - England used to control Hong Kong. Basically England stole Hong Kong from China after a war in the 1840s. 

to depart - to leave

to comply with - to go with, to agree with

furious - very angry

to face trial - to face justice, to go before  a judge or jury

a shocker - it is unusual and shocking, highly  unexpected

to be irate - another word for very, very angry

political asylum - safety from being harmed unfairly by the US government.  Many people seek asylum in the USA because they feel they are under threat by their own government.

facilitating disclosures in the public interest - making secret information available to the general public even though the US government wants the information to remain secret.  To facilitate means to make something easier.

taken sanctuary - is living in safety

unauthorized - he did not have permission to spread this information publicly

willful - this was not an accident, he did this deliberately

a provisional warrant of arrest - a temporary document allowing Snowden to be arrested

to restrict him from leaving - to stop him from leaving.

pro-Kremlin - those in favor of the current Russian government.  Putin has his offices in the Kremlin.

hacking - illegally gaining access to someone's computer

an accusation - a claim or a statement that someone did something wrong

troubling - if something is troubling, it makes you worry

to play innocent - to pretend to be innocent.

a villain - a bad guy

a bloc - a group of countries

an alliance - an organized group of several members

anti-imperialist - against imperialism. Imperialism is when a stronger country uses a weaker country to make money. The stronger country grows even stronger and the weaker country never becomes strong.

credentials - in this case credentials means 'background.'  A person's credentials might include where he/she went to school, any licenses etc.


Why do you think Russia helped Snowden escape?

On the one hand, Snowden broke the law.  On the other hand, some claim he provided necessary information to the American people.  What do you think?

Do you think that Ed Snowden is a scapegoat?  If so, who was at fault for these secrets getting out?  Are you happy these secrets did leak out (since now the spying by the government can be stopped)?
If you like art, you might like my new blog about artists who show their work in New York City:
Yes, I'm the guy who created the scandal in Asia awhile ago. :P

Yes, I'm also the guy who wrote the very funny ESL bookNew York City Sucks, But You'll Wanna Live Here Anyway.

If this page is useful to you, please buy the book (it's quite inexpensive and useful!!!!). If you don't have an e-reader, drop me a line at and I'll send you a free copy via Word file. Let me know whether you have Word 2010 or an earlier version.

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