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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The USG attack on sovereignty

 Zerohedge reports that due to USG pressure, France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain are all interfering with the flight path of Bolivian president's plane, forcing it to land in Vienna:
Moments ago a rather surreal episode of international diplomacy, or rather lack thereof, took place when the airplane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria over suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, a claim Bolivian authorities denied. The reason: France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the flight to cross their airspace due to concerns that Snowden may have been aboard the plane. It is what international law allows countries to deny their airspace to presidents of sovereign countries, when the only transgression is unproven speculation of harboring a whistleblower.

Of course, with both insolvent countries bent over and in dire need of some all too precious Uncle Sam liquidity, we can see how they would do anything and everything to gain some favor with Obama.

Update: Italy and Spain have also been confirmed as states that refused passage above their airspace to Bolivia's Morales on suspicions of harboring a patriot.
It would appear that all the NSA spying on European leaders has produced a useful quantity of dirt on them.  And also that the hunt for Snowden is a little more critical than the administration would have the public believe.

UPDATE: "Morales' plane was stranded at Vienna airport for several hours after Portugal and France abruptly canceled air permits for it to fly through their airspace, but eventually resumed its flight home form an energy meeting in Moscow. Austria found no sign of Snowden on board." 

UPDATE II: "Bolivia's ambassador to the United Nations, speaking in Geneva Wednesday, continued to insist that several European countries had refused permission for the plane to fly in their airspace. Sacha Llorenti said it was an "act of aggression" and that France, Portugal, Spain and Italy violated international law. Llorenti said "the orders came from the United States" but other nations violated the immunity of the president and his plane, putting his life at risk."

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39 Comments:

Blogger The Observer July 03, 2013 6:33 AM  

"And whether you are here to stay, or merely on your way to parts unknown, I bid you...welcome. Welcome to City 17. It's safer here."

Anonymous Toby Temple July 03, 2013 6:39 AM  

Why do I have a feeling that Snowden isn't travelling by air.

OpenID cailcorishev July 03, 2013 7:37 AM  

Yep, now I'm convinced he really has something serious beyond the revelations he's already made about the breadth of their data collections. Good job, guys!

Anonymous Big Bill July 03, 2013 7:39 AM  

I wonder what joint defense treaties the US has with Austria et al. I suspect there may be some US right to scramble aircraft to "defend" their airspace.

Such treaties could be in place so the US could respond quickly to a potential WTC (think "Eiffel Tower") bombing by intercepting a 500 mph hijacked airliner in 10-15 minutes.

With such an agreement in place, all that would be necessary would be the triggering event: violation of a country's airspace,

With such an agreement in place, if State called and suggested there might be a "problem" with the plane and asked Austria withdraw their overflight permit, that would be enough for the US to scramble a couple fighters and force it down pretty much anywhere--such as the US AFB in Ramstein.

Game over.

Anyone know what joint "anti-terror" air defense agreements are out there?

Anonymous zen0 July 03, 2013 8:13 AM  

Anyone know what joint "anti-terror" air defense agreements are out there?

From a Congressional Research Service PDF entitled U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism

U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism has led to a new dynamic in U.S.-EU relations by fostering
dialogue on law enforcement and homeland security issues previously reserved for bilateral
discussions. Nevertheless, some challenges persist in fostering closer U.S.-EU cooperation in
these fields. Among the most prominent are data privacy and data protection concerns. The EU
considers the privacy of personal data a basic right and EU rules and regulations strive to keep
personal data out of the hands of law enforcement as much as possible.
The negotiation of several
U.S.-EU information-sharing agreements, from those related to tracking terrorist financial data to
sharing airline passenger information, has been complicated by ongoing EU concerns about
whether the United States could guarantee a sufficient level of protection for European citizens’
personal data.



oh, the irony of it all.

Blogger JACIII July 03, 2013 8:16 AM  

Looks like more than just the US would like him shut up.

Anybody know why he did not follow through on asylum bid to Russia? There are some hot women looking for a husband there, or so the emails say.

Blogger Markku July 03, 2013 8:17 AM  

We all live in Putin's submarine
Putin's submarine
Putin's submarine

--

Njet, he disappearski. Njet know where.

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic July 03, 2013 8:23 AM  

The USA = the Roman Empire, with the tech and firepower the Caesars couldn't even conceive.

We will leave one hell of a vacuum when it all comes down.

Anonymous Starbuck July 03, 2013 8:25 AM  

Anybody know why he did not follow through on asylum bid to Russia? There are some hot women looking for a husband there, or so the emails say. - JacIII

I am guessing is because Putin told him to get asylum in Russia he had to quit leaking information. I am guessing is he wants to leak it all out. Man, after this I am rather curious about what he has for information that has all these countries knickers in a twist over..

Blogger Cinco July 03, 2013 8:37 AM  

What goes around comes around. I look forward to the day that Bush II's plane gets forced to land in Switzerland. Have fun with that Curious Jorge.

Anonymous dh July 03, 2013 8:38 AM  

You can always tell when you are under someone's skin. Pres. Obama said they weren't going to scramble the fighter jets over some 29-year old hacker, but this is pretty close to the same thing.

Anonymous dh July 03, 2013 8:40 AM  

Why do I have a feeling that Snowden isn't travelling by air.

There were NSA defectors in the 1950's. They flew part of the way and then went by freighter to Russia.

Snowden could be steaming his way across the Baltic for warmer climes right now.

Anonymous MendoScot July 03, 2013 8:42 AM  

This is a huge scandal in Latinamerica - plastered all over the front pages and leading item on the radio news. Unasur has called an emergency meeting to discuss the diplomatic implications.

Evo Morales, in a typically tone-deaf move, has declared, "I am not a criminal!".

Anonymous Stilicho July 03, 2013 8:59 AM  

Tick tock... we're not just sitting on a powder keg, we're sitting on a whole stack of them around the world. One spark in the right place , at the right time...

Anonymous ZhukovG July 03, 2013 9:14 AM  

So I wonder, Putin’s odd behavior. Is it because NSA has something on him that even he can't fix or is it a Maskirovka to buy time for a quick Russian Intel debrief followed by a freighter (Submarine?) trip to wherever?

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein July 03, 2013 9:30 AM  

Why do I have a feeling that Snowden isn't travelling by air.


*PING*

Anonymous Roundtine July 03, 2013 10:11 AM  

It would appear that all the NSA spying on European leaders has produced a useful quantity of dirt on them.

One day after screaming about the NSA spying, European leaders do their best to assist USG in catching the NSA whiste blower who revealed the spying.

They should have flown right through the airspace, as long as it wasn't France. I don't think the Spanish or Italians would have assassinated the Bolivian president. France doesn't let people cross any lines after the Maginot line.

Anonymous patrick kelly July 03, 2013 10:12 AM  

"So I wonder, Putin’s odd behavior. Is it because NSA has something on him that even he can't fix ..."

Ok, so considering what the Russian people and everyone else already know about Putin, what new revelation could he possibly fear? He's an f'n honey badger, he don't give a $#@!, IMAO, and no matter how evil mean and nasty he may be, that kind'a brings a smile to my face, know'wut'a'mean?

Anonymous anon123 July 03, 2013 10:13 AM  

I've got a suggestion for a "joint" air defense policy. Stop all flights from muslim countries. Don't allow flights in or out (unless they are of deportees going back). This, of course, would be too simple.

Anonymous Alexander July 03, 2013 10:14 AM  

Heh. We'll know if there's dirt to be had on Putin if we see a spike in death-by-radioactive-umbrella.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 03, 2013 10:17 AM  

Ok, so considering what the Russian people and everyone else already know about Putin, what new revelation could he possibly fear?

He's got a small confidence?

Blogger The Aardvark July 03, 2013 10:26 AM  

This is OT, but too good not to share:

http://thereforegodexists.com/2012/08/guide-internet-infidelity/

Training on becoming the Bestest Atheist Apologist EVAR!

Anonymous The other skeptic July 03, 2013 10:33 AM  

One more reason for home schooling

No more kids spreading disease.

Anonymous Президент Владимир Путин July 03, 2013 10:37 AM  

Я висел, как медведь.

Anonymous Poglavnik July 03, 2013 10:37 AM  

I thought that know when Croatia became 28.member of EU we will lose our independence to the EU but it seems that EU is just a little bitch of the USA.

I guess I should have known who is the big brother after all.

Anonymous Krul July 03, 2013 10:40 AM  

Some time ago I read The Paradox of Imperialism by Hans-Hermann Hoppe on Mises Daily in which Hoppe offered an unorthodox interpretation international relations since WWII:

Hoppe - Do democracies not go to war against each other? Since almost no democracies existed before the 20th century the answer supposedly must be found within the last hundred years or so. In fact, the bulk of the evidence offered in favor of the thesis is the observation that the countries of Western Europe have not gone to war against each other in the post–World War II era. Likewise, in the Pacific region, Japan and South Korea have not warred against each other during the same period. Does this evidence prove the case?...

The answer is no: we have actually no more than a single case at hand. With the end of World War II, essentially all of — by now: democratic — Western Europe (and democratic Japan and South Korea in the Pacific region) has become part of the US Empire, as indicated by the presence of US troops in practically all of these countries. What the post World War II period of peace then "proves" is not that democracies do not go to war against each other but that a hegemonic, imperialist power such as the United States did not let its various colonial parts go to war against each other (and, of course, that the hegemon itself did not see any need to go to war against its satellites — because they obeyed — and they did not see the need or did not dare to disobey their master).


If Hoppe is right, then what we're seeing are challenges to US domination by her de facto provinces. This Snowden affair may be an early tremor in the collapse of the US empire and the end of the so-called Pax Americana.

Blogger Michael July 03, 2013 10:54 AM  

Krul: "This Snowden affair may be an early tremor in the collapse of the US empire and the end of the so-called Pax Americana."

Paraphrasing Pournelle: beware the death throes of empire!

Anonymous The other skeptic July 03, 2013 11:05 AM  

Foreign Policy has always been used to manage internal crises.

Lincoln missed the boat.

Blogger JCclimber July 03, 2013 11:09 AM  

You guys crack me up.
Serious protests? Can you provide a link to any serious protests beyond some jawboning by some politicians?
Any expulsions of diplomatic personnel, which is the usual route of retaliation for spying scandals?
No?
These countries won't really turn on the US with actions (rather than some empty protests via interviews and press releases) until they know for sure the US has been significantly weakened.

As was pointed out, most of their intelligence agencies have been sharing in the data. This was a convenient way for them to get around their own laws against spying on their own citizens.

The US gathers the raw intel, cleans it up (using serious processor time and computer expertise), and then shares some of the relevant info with the original country. "see, we didn't spy on you, it was those nasty Americans, who then shared some of it with us".

Hence, the hypocritical denial of flyover rights. Actions, not words.

Anonymous Stilicho July 03, 2013 11:26 AM  

If Hoppe is right, then what we're seeing are challenges to US domination by her de facto provinces. This Snowden affair may be an early tremor in the collapse of the US empire and the end of the so-called Pax Americana.

Interesting viewpoint. Some provinces want more independence, others want to be granted "Roman" citizenship, and the imperial gov't wants more power, money, and influence for its functionaries. If we only knew someone who was familiar with Roman history and had even written a book based, in part, on the Social Wars. Of course, the house legions are more economic than military these days, but it is an interesting dynamic at work.

Anonymous Daniel July 03, 2013 11:29 AM  

I never dreamed that the country that once inspired one of its favorite citizens to declare, "I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian," would one day prevent another son from doing the same.

Anonymous Russell July 03, 2013 12:19 PM  

"The State has suddenly and quietly gone mad. It is talking nonsense; and it can't stop." - Chesterton

Funny how the old fellow saw that happen decades ago and the madness hasn't left, it's been quietly spreading.

Blogger crazyivan498 July 03, 2013 1:34 PM  

Submarine to get him out was my first thought. Makes a cool story.

Blogger RobertT July 03, 2013 1:37 PM  

This fairy tale is not going to end well. The lengths these guys will go to to get Snowden is very, very scary. This is a genuine bully, rabid with rage, having his way with all the lightweights while his football buddies stand around and laugh. Only this one's packing nuclear. It will take big brass balls much larger than Putin's for anyone to stand up to him and give Snowden asylum. Putin's all press release. This one's cold, hard and calculating. Eventually he and his sycophants will take Snowden down and sweep everything under the rug. This is not the end of Pax America, this is just the end of pretending to be the nice guy. It shouldn't surprise anyone. We've been openly pushing our weight around for at least a decade.

Blogger RobertT July 03, 2013 1:44 PM  

The U.S. is the alpha. No more pretend beta nice guy. Either get in line and be quiet or you'll get crushed.

Anonymous Jake July 03, 2013 2:05 PM  

The U.S. is the alpha. No more pretend beta nice guy. Either get in line and be quiet or you'll get crushed.

But an alpha that has to employ actual violence to keep his subjects in line is already on the decline and soon to be replaced by a new, younger, stronger, alpha. For 50-60 years America has dominated world politics by threat, suggestion, implication, etc. I'm not sure how much longer that will last. We're still the alpha, but we're getting long in the tooth, sooner or later threats and bravado isn't going to be sufficient.

Blogger beerme July 03, 2013 2:17 PM  

The U.S. is the alpha. No more pretend beta nice guy. Either get in line and be quiet or you'll get crushed.

If the U.S. was the alpha Putin or the Chinese would've handed him over immediately. The USG is acting more like a Scalzied gamma.

Anonymous SixtusVIth July 03, 2013 2:44 PM  

But an alpha that has to employ actual violence to keep his subjects in line is already on the decline

We're still the alpha, but we're getting long in the tooth

Wishful thinking. America is what Spengler wanted Germany to become.

Anonymous Godfrey July 03, 2013 7:42 PM  

@RobertT July 03, 2013 1:44 PM
The U.S. is the alpha. No more pretend beta nice guy. Either get in line and be quiet or you'll get crushed.



The Empire is literally a fiat paper tiger and you'll live to see it disappear almost overnight.



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