One Day After Russian Asylum for Snowden: Obama Administration Launches Terror Scare

Saturday, August 3, 2013
By Paul Martin

Thomas Gaist
August 3, 2013

Amid escalating denunciations and threats against both Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned whistle-blower, and Russia, which granted Snowden temporary asylum on Thursday, the Obama administration on Friday issued a “global travel alert,” closing US embassies in Tripoli, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, Riyadh and Doha based on supposed threats of Al Qaeda attacks.

In total, 22 embassies and consulates are to be closed, and a terror alert has been issued covering the entire Middle East. Official statements have asserted that a contact from Yemen—a country that has been under bombardment from US drones for years—gave information raising the possibility of terror attacks against US embassies.

All three major television networks led their evening news reports with the government’s claims, reporting them uncritically despite the lack of any substantiation or any specific purported threats. Terrorism “experts” were trundled out in the usual fashion to stoke up public alarm.

None of the government’s claims should be taken for good coin. They follow more evidence of broad popular support for Snowden, whom the Obama administration is witch-hunting and targeting for prosecution—or worse—for leaking details of secret surveillance programs that invade the privacy and violate the rights of every American and millions more people around the world.

On Thursday, a Quinnipiac poll was released showing that 55 percent of Americans believe Snowden is a whistle-blower, versus only 34 percent who buy the government line that he is a spy or traitor. Weeks of official statements from Obama, top intelligence officials and politicians of both parties claiming that the spying operations are needed to combat terror threats have obviously fallen flat with the public. There is every reason to believe that Friday’s terror scare was launched in an attempt to sow disorientation and dissipate opposition to the illegal and unconstitutional spying programs.

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