Hypocrisy of Edward Snowden | If he was gay Putin could arrest him

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 8.10.02 PMby Melanie Nathan, July 15, 2013.

Does Edward Snowden know that if he said one pro-gay or LGBTI supportive word Putin could arrest him and he could go to jail? I find Snowden’s actions in complimenting the Russian authorities and their human rights record self serving, unnecessary and nothing more than one big Putanic arse-lick to save his own butt. Pardon the expression. Where does the human rights excuse begin and end?

On Friday, Snowden, 30, the whistleblower, who leaked U.S. National security information, emerged after weeks of hiding in a Moscow airport and said he was willing to meet President Putin’s supposed condition that he stop leaking U.S. secrets if it means Russia would grant him asylum until he can move on to a Latin American country. Snowden is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s main international airport, where he arrived from Hong Kong almost 3 weeks ago. Although he has had asylum offers from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, the logistics of reaching whichever country is complicated since his U.S. passport has been revoked.

In a statement Snowden provided to human rights organizations at Moscow Airport Snowden noted:-

“Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.”

Well its seems that when it comes to Snowden’s back, the rest of the human rights issues that impact thousands go out the window. But of course Snowden’s reasoning for the leaks was all about human rights ..right?

Gays and lesbians are denied their most basic of human rights in Russia.  Surely they are the powerless amongst the powerful, Mr. Snowden? In fact many have sought and will continue to seek asylum abroad for how they are treated by the Putin government.

Recently even more onerous laws have been passed in Russia. In hailing Russia for its ‘fabulous’ human rights, Snowden tacitly condones the most egregious and odious of these laws passed and signed by Putin, all serving to discriminate and hound LGBTI Russians. These laws set gays up for criminalization and state sanctioned violence, exacerbating the already heightened violent homophobia and persecution.

I cannot respect Snowden for such hypocrisy.  If he is truly who he says he is, and his motivations are as pure as he imparts, then surely he would not be defending his actions based on his concern for the human rights infractions by one  country, while complimenting and fraternizing in another where the deplorable human rights infractions are insitutionalized.

Well he has indeed done just that – he is complimenting and condoning the very country that institutionalizes persecutory laws against its own citizen while he refuses to show up in an American court to defend his actions which he says in his statement he did to protect human rights.

Why not come home to the U.S.A. to present his case.

Instead Snowden is seeking refuge in one of the worst human rights abusing countries, while audaciously complimenting them for having great human rights. In doing so he chickens out of presenting his argument for what he did in a court of law where he can be heard and even where he may well win, based on the contentions he has made.

Not only is he being a coward in refusing to stand up for what he did and to face the music where it counts, but in touting human rights his cause, he licks the butts of the worst human rights abuser out there. If you forsake one set of human rights principles for another, in an action that can only be perceived as saving yourself, that makes you a hypocrite right?

The Statement by Snowden: http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Edward-Snowden-to.html

Our Articles about Russia’s disgusting human rights record on LGBTI issues:

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16 Comments on “Hypocrisy of Edward Snowden | If he was gay Putin could arrest him”

  1. jerbearinsantafe July 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

    Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer News, Views & Memories and commented:
    A look at the Snowden case from an LGBT Human Rights perspective.

  2. Sherri Gray July 16, 2013 at 6:03 AM #

    Melanie, your piece about Snowden is ‘spot on’. I hope everyone in the world reads it!

  3. Thomas Plagemann July 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM #

    My dear Melanie,
    Putting Snowden on the spot as hypocrytical for his transitory choice of Russia as a temporary safe place to avoid the lead fist of US State “Justice” as if that were a choice….and as if it should be carefully vetted so as not to offend thin skinned bourgeois neo-liberal lesbians shows a remarkable naivete or hopelessly myopic world view.
    If Snowden makes it out of this with his life, I venture to guess that will not be lived in Russia, but rather Latin America or perhaps Iceland.
    Until then it will be up to people everywhere who cherish their rapidly dwindling freedoms to stand with him on a free speech issue perhaps MORE urgent for lesbians and gay men than many or their heterosexual colleagues.
    You sound like a prissy yuppie plaintively asking the waiter if the chicken you just ordered was treated humanely before its head was chopped off, cooked and wound up on your menu. Get your priorities together, girlfriend!!
    Thomas Plagemann
    San Francisco CA

    • Melanie Nathan July 19, 2013 at 9:43 PM #

      My Dear Thomas,

      I chastise Snowden for complimenting Russia on its human rights record in a big arselick to save that of his own! Not for stopping over as a place of transition. Let me REPEAT for his comment in relation to his stopover – not for merely choosing it as a location.

      Thank you for supporting the site with your comments. However next time read before doing so!

      Melanie Nathan

    • Melanie Nathan July 19, 2013 at 10:07 PM #

      NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE: Calling All Prissy Yuppies.

      Friday evening – 4.30 PM: Prissy Yuppie spends day in dental clinic waiting for hours with extreme toothache waiting to be seen. But alas prissy yuppie gets turned away at closing because they could not get to her in time. As Clinic closes nurse says to prissy yuppie -“sorry you will have to go to Emergency room to get pain killers. Come back on Monday and sit for another 6 hours to see if we can take care of you. Unless you want to wait for an appointment 6 weeks out.”
      Prissy Yuppie says to self: “MMMMM Maybe if I stopped that 24/7 pro bono advocacy work you could afford the dentist down the road and get out of pain. Thats only a one hour wait… not six weeks”
      Prissy Yuppy goes home for dinner, abandons idea of restaurant where they serve chickens with heads chopped off humanely. Prissy Yuppie does not have enough money this week for restaurant fare.
      mmmmmmm these Prissy yuppies have a good life…..

    • Thomas Plagemann July 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM #

      I read your comments a few times before deciding to comment. While Snowden (if your quote was correct) said that he respected all of the countries that made the choice to grant him asylum, whether that be in transit or as a long-term resident, I did not infer from the quote that you referenced that he was holding up Russia (Ecuador, Venezuela, etc etc) as the very paragon of human rights, but that he respected their choice to stand against the US in sending him “home” into harms way.
      You seem an intelligent woman: Do you seriously think Edward Snowden would get a fair trial in this country at this time?!
      Do you think Bradley Manning’s highly secretive trial, not to mention the torture he was subjected to for 2+ yrs.awaiting that trial is fair by a country that holds itself up as the gold standard of democratic rights and freedom?! If you do, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like you to consider buying.

      In Sum, I think that the right of citizens to expect their government to tell them the truth, respect the constitution and not commit war crimes in secret in their name are the very foundation of LGBTQ rights, and I applaud anyone, however imperfect….who is willing to defy the US, the Russian or indeed any government who would abrogate ethical behavior toward its citizens. I applaud Snowden’s quest for a safe place to consider his (now drastically limited) prospects. I don’t believe in heroes or perfect people, but that he and Manning have courage that most of us may not are reason enough for me not to quibble about the location of a safe layover for him
      Thomas Plagemann

      • Melanie Nathan July 21, 2013 at 4:28 AM #

        To Thomas Plagemann: All comments on my BLOG are moderated and you I let your first comment through, notwithstanding the fact that you insulted me. So while posting the points you make, I am not willing to engage you as truly I cannot respect you due your presumptions and insulting way of tackling my post. That said, let me give you a two second lecture in PC…. Dont ever tell a smart woman or ANY woman “you seem like an intelligent woman…” that is sexist and insulting – not to mention manipulative toward trying to persuade them to your point of view. It is condescending and paternalistic.

        Your comments may be better served when you let go of your presumptions and insults.

        Again I appreciate your support of the blog through your readership – however I cannot appreciate how you treated me in your first comment. I also appreciate those who are willing to comment using their correct names.

      • Melanie Nathan July 21, 2013 at 4:40 AM #

        Did you think Nelson Mandela got a fair trial? NO but a true activist stand up in a Court of law, to make his points heard as a mechanism to speak his activism. Snowden is a coward. or he would stand like Mandela did and use the USA Court as his platform regardless of fair trial. That is the making of an activist who stands behind what he believes. A coward runs away. A true activist will stand as a witness behind his contentions and use the UNFAIR trial as a platform. That is what Mandela did. I will post an article I wrote recently about Mandela as an example. http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/06/12/remembering-mandelas-1962-creative-cry-to-the-world/

  4. Paul August 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

    Dear Melanie, I think you are being very unfair to Snowden. First he cannot fight every single battle. I would wager he agrees with your assessment of Russia’s laws regarding homosexuality. However, It is unreasonable in my estimation, to expect him to call out Russia for those abuses and every other abuse of power that Putin et al have perpetuated i.e. murdering journalists, killing other political enemies or arresting and incarcerating them etc. Russia has helped the guy who brought all the NSA stuff to light, and they have done the right thing in this case – even if they are doing it just to stuff the US. I can say something positive about Russia and Putin without having to agree with everything they stand for.

    I understand how you feel about the issues you are fighting for, but I do not think you should expect a guy like Snowden who has taken a huge risk to bring some stuff to light to feel obliged to speak about it.

    • Melanie Nathan August 4, 2013 at 10:11 AM #

      Paul NOT for one moment did I suggest that Snowden call out Russia on the LGBT issue? Where did you see that and what a strange interpretation of what has been written in this piece. I did not like that Snowden complimented Russia using the we words “human rights” in the general terms as he did. Did you read the quote from his conference at the airport or did you blindly comment without reading?

      It is my opinion that Snowden should have the courage of his convictions as they relate to human rights in general. Instead he is focusing on himself only. I find that hypocritical. Where does Russia have a good human rights record other than over housing Snowden? Snowden complimented them as standing for the powerless? Just because they allowed him in?

      I am also making the point that he should come to the USA and use the Courts here as a podium for his voice – the way Mandela did. If he is a true activist and not just a whistleblower – then he would have the courage to face the charges and stand up for what he believes in on USA soil. That is what I believe.

      If you truly read the piece it has less to do with LGBT rights and more to do with Snowden as a coward. The header I wrote may be misleading. So I understand if you did not read further than that and thought to comment on the header only.

  5. Enzo August 5, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

    Russia today has much more freedoms that that of the USA< as for Gay you can do what you want in private, just don't parade around.. you know kind of like strait people who don't have strait banners, and strait parades, or strait pride day, If straits can do it, gays can too!

    • Melanie Nathan August 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM #

      OK and Straight people walk around town holding hands and kissing. See what happens to you if you are gay and do that in Russia. And straight people do not need banners and parades because they have legal rights such as the right to marry etc. that gays do not have. What a short sighted selfish comment! But thatnk you for supporting this site by reading it. I hope you come up with abetter reason to comment. Thanks.

  6. Enzo August 5, 2013 at 9:34 PM #

    Wrong, they have the right to do what they please in private, do you think parading around half naked with men holding folic symbols is a way to earn respect? Come on you really need to wear your underwear and fairy wings to show your are proud to be gay? Is this really the way they think it’s best to show the world that homosexual people should be respected in the pride parades?? IN those parades Gays act so inappropriate.
    Put on some clothes and act respectable if you want to be respected.

    • Melanie Nathan August 5, 2013 at 9:56 PM #

      I agree people do not need to dress up in costume to show who they are. So lets cancel all dress up shows. Good idea. BUT this is where you are wrong. Straight people can walk down te street in Russia, hold hand and sit oon a park bench and kiss whereas gay people cannot. Gay people are being lured out and kidnapped and tortured by ULTRA -NAtionalist, police do nothing. That is not happening to straight people. And I hardly call it freedom if you cannot even wave a rainbow flag. Of course gay people should have sex in private just like straight people. But they are not allowed to even say “Hey I am gay and gay is okay” and then walk arm in arm with partners. And its soooooo free they are even allowed to marry right? and have those same rights as straight people right.? C’mon say something worthwhile!


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