Depressing news

If there’s any truth in claims that intelligence and happiness are incompatible factors, and Norway is regarded the happiest place on Earth

Disgusted by the blogosphere, blogger reverts to … blogging. Blogger's elf portrait.
Blogger.

If you ever doubted

Doubt no more:

Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Source: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Jarle Petterson
SPIES LIKE US: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Source: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Jarle Petterson

Norway: Russia officially declared a threat

For the first time since the cold war, the annual threat assessment presented by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) today revealed that Russian espionage and cyber attacks pose among the most serious threats to Norwegian civil society and government agencies, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone following geopolitical developments as they’ve unfolded over the last decade or so.

The official confession coincides with news that Norwegian MPs Trine Skei Grande (Liberal) and Bård Vegar Solhjell (Socialist Left Party) have been denied entry visas to Russia in response to Norway’s failure to retract support for international sanctions against Russia.

Former Norwegian intelligence officials also voice concerns that America under Donald Trump may pose an equal – actually a worse – threat, and in all honesty, who am I to talk, liable for drawings such as these:

The U.S. Republican party's presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia's president Vladimir Putin. Blogger's own drawing.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Blogger’s own drawing.

In any event we most certainly do live in interesting times.

Top illustration: Hacking. Source: Elbpresse.de/Wikimedia Commons

How a U.S. presidential election changed my stance on electronic surveillance

You may or may not be aware that this blog (and its owner) has been a long-standing champion of the international intelligence community’s right to carry out electronic surveillance in order to safeguard our countries as well as world peace. Donald J. Trump’s 8 November victory gradually changed that position – temporarily at any rate.

If history taught us anything, it was that authoritarian and totalitarian regimes invariably use gathered intelligence as a means of controlling, not only the opposition, but the public as such.

TV-overvåkningskameraer. Foto: Wikimedia Commons/Bree~Commonswiki
CCTV cameras. Photo from Wikimedia Commons/Bree~Commonswiki

As a loyal citizen of one of America’s closest allies, I have always accepted, even applauded the fact that U.S. intelligence will somehow gain access to data pertaining to Norwegian nationals, providing there’s reasonable grounds for suspicion.

No more, I’m afraid. A keen supporter of the democratic America we all know, I can no longer support the sharing of sensitive information with a country lead by a narcissistic fascist capable of using the intelligence community for purposes it was never intended for.

While I hold America’s and my own country’s intelligence agencies in the highest regard, I cannot condone further electronic surveillance which may be put to illegitimate use – and let’s face it:

With the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump that is a distinct possibility.

Photo: An iPad keyboard. Blogger’s photograph.

 

As you may know or may not know, this blog has been among Julian Paul Assange and WikiLeaks’ most passionate critics for years on end, making it – and its author – target for much chastise over the years. All the more satisfying, of course, to see the man’s credibility fall apart completely.

Dear former Assange followers, of whom I know many, I am pleased to inform you that all is forgiven. Same thing goes for Snowden, when the time comes.

Norwegian asylum for @Snowden – now

The American born defector/Russian spy Edward Snowden was invited today, to attend the award ceremony for the Norwegian PEN‘s Ossietsky prize, rewarded to him, but remains in his principals’ custody in Moscow, unable to leave Russia, for fear of apprehension by western law enforcement agencies or intelligence, but also, I suspect, because the Kremlin probably is reluctant to let go of a highly valuable asset.

Needless to say this blogger has been convinced of Snowden’s treason all along, advocating an extradition I’ve known the FSB wasn’t very likely to agree to, in order to see justice done. Text continued below drawing.

Edward Snowden en route to Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger's own drawing.

Edward Snowden leaving Fort Meade, en route to Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger’s own drawing.

A reasonable request, provided the American judicial system can be trusted, which I am confident that it still can, at least up until Donald Trump’s inauguration on 20 January 2017, after which any traitor to the American state with all probability is met with a very meagre chance of even appearing in front of a proper court.

Which is why I urge Norway – or any other country – to provide Edward Snowden with a safe haven – until law and order has been restored in the United States of America, hopefully within 2021.

The incontestable fact that Snowden remains a Russian spy in no way justifies an extradition to a system soon to be highly volatile.

Having said that, should decent countries offer such protection, on a temporary basis, of course, the chances of Russia providing free passage are in any event very slim.

Putting us all firmly back in square one, despite our good intentions, unless, of course, the Putin-Trump bromance obliterates all Russo-American antagonism.

As for the Ossietsky prize, you have to wonder what motivates an otherwise serious organisation to hand out prizes to an enemy of the entire west. But that’s the thing: Unlike the country for which Edward Snowden carried out his espionage, we remain free to award whom ever we like.

Rendering his treason all the more grave.

Top illustration: American born defector Edward Snowden. Blogger’s illustration.

Spies like us

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, for years on end, what I think of popular heroes Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, but would, for the record, like to reiterate that I have always considered them henchmen of this here fellow (with documents appropriately reflected in his shades):

Russlands president Vladimir Putin. Bloggers egen illustrasjon
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. Blogger’s own drawing (to the best of his ability).

For which I expect we will see further proof in times to come. Not about to stoop to Donald Trump’s level, by reminding you that I told you so (even though I indeed told you so), I content myself with the knowledge that those who have objected will have to reconsider. Unless, of course, they actually knew all along.

And yes, I did see the cinematic Assange tribute Underground: The Julian Assange story (2012), which did little to change my mind. Granted he started out a regular punk, perhaps even with the best of intentions, but far be it from me to claim that his humble beginnings in any way acquits him of the damages he later came to bring upon us.

Same thing, of course, goes for infamous defector Snowden. I have yet to stumble over arguments convincing me that landing in Russia (!) with a huge pile of U.S. intel was a freak accident.

Edward Snowden en route to Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger's own drawing.
Edward Snowden leaving Fort Meade, en route to the Kremlin with a huge pile of secret U.S. documents. Blogger’s own drawing.

So yes, I do hate to say that I told you so.

But I did, didn’t I?

Top photo montage: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Sources: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Blogger.

P.S. The post title, of course, serves more as caption for top photograph, than as a content headline.

George Orwells "1984"

We fancy ourselves fallen victim to the worst of Orwell’s bad dreams. Man, would I like to see his good dreams!