What happens when NSA leaker extraordinaire Edward Snowden stops being a “guest” of Hong Kong and becomes a subject of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of State Security interrogation?
Right now, Snowden seems intent on a continual spilling of his guts (and the laptops full of data he stole) for the news media. The Chinese have been the biggest beneficiary of this information beyond the terrorists who now know how the U.S. has been tracking them. This is simply because it took a heck of a lot of wind out of the sails of American officials trying to stop Chinese use of state-sponsored industrial espionage.
When Snowden thinks he has blown enough whistles, does anyone think the Chinese spooks will simply allow this self-identified treasure trove of NSA intel to leave their control?
Snowden’s rationale for going to Hong Kong in the first place was that city’s long history of tolerance for free speech. Nice thought, Eddie, but Hong Kong is part of the PRC now, and its agents “own” everything that happens there.
Should Snowden clam up, he is likely to disappear and end up a guest of the PRC. His desire to play Jason Bourne will come true, only in this scenario, the “hero” does not win. Snowden would not last long under their tender ministrations. Their version of enhanced interrogation techniques might be harsher than those once used by the U.S. on terrorists. (Just ask Chinese human rights activists about Chinese respect for the rights of suspects and the innocent.)
This situation is truly a disaster. The already-released documents and interviews have damaged America’s legal and constitutional programs for countering terrorism. Now, the entire fabric of the most effective electronic intelligence collection system ever devised is at risk. It goes beyond the now renewed threat of terrorism, all the way to aiding and abetting our most aggressive potential nation-state adversary.
Watch Steve Bucci discuss Snowden, hacking, and the Chinese on Fox Business Network in the video above.