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Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow? 346

An anonymous reader writes "Ex-KGB Major Boris Karpichko says that spies from Russia's SVR intelligence service, posing as diplomats in Hong Kong, convinced Snowden to fly to Moscow last June. 'It was a trick and he fell for it,' Karpichko, who reached the rank of Major as a member of the KGB's prestigious Second Directorate while specializing in counter-intelligence, told Nelson. 'Now the Russians are extracting all the intelligence he possesses.'"
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Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?

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  • Sorta plausible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sasparillascott ( 1267058 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:06AM (#47194279)
    The only fly in the ointment of this possiblity, is that it was the Obama Administration that suspended Snowden's passport on his flight to South America that connected through Moscow (while in flight from Hong Kong to Moscow), stranding him in Russia (obviously with intent to politically smear him - which has worked with alot of not informed people).

    The shortsighted political decisions of the Obama Administration to do this (locking someone like Snowden in the home of the former KGB) for political gain seems like one of the premier examples of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Obviously the Obama Administration made the political calculation (up at the executive level) that it was worth stranding someone with all his knowledge there. Seems ridiculously shortsighted.
  • by Joel Cahoon ( 2906501 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:08AM (#47194295)
    One more reason why whistle-blowers like Snowden should be protected, rather than demonized. If this is true, then his fear of repercussions is the key factor that allowed Russia this opportunity in the first place. Even if it isn't true, it's a scenario Americans should be concerned about, because it's highly plausible.
  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:08AM (#47194301)

    'Now the Russians are extracting all the intelligence he possesses.'

    Sounds like a good reason to not criminalize whistleblowers. If he had felt safe in the US, he wouldn't have been tricked into going to Moscow.

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:09AM (#47194313)

    I'm not sure it's possible to "trick" somebody who fled the U.S. to hang out with the Peace and Freedom Loving Peoples of the PRC. Unless Snowden is a completely gullible idiot, it's beyond ludicrous to think he didn't know that months of intelligence extraction awaited him after a flight to Russia.

    Frankly, I don't understand the guy. There are plenty of better options that would have been available to him; I still can't figure why he chose the PRC as a first stop. Once he got stuck there, his options were between slim and none.

  • by jonfr ( 888673 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:13AM (#47194351) Homepage

    He is a "useful idiot" with a lot of information in his pocket. When they are finished with him, he is either going to be returned to the U.S or he is just going to "disappear" into the abyss.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:23AM (#47194415)

    What do you expect with people like this in charge?

    “More importantly, much more importantly, what he’s done is hurt his country,” he said. “What he’s done is expose, for terrorists, a lot of mechanisms which now affect operational security of those terrorists and make it harder for the United States to break up plots, harder to protect our nation.”
    - Sen. John Kerry on Edward Snowden

    “I just think that’s a lot of baloney because, to whatever degree it may be true, they will wind up putting themselves at the mercy of those people who are very effective (at) who are there, who will deal with those guys,”
    - Sen. John Kerry on dangerousness of Taliban detainees

    Let's get this straight: direct release of enemy combatants...ok, release of documents related to collecting phone records of every american...not ok. Political astroturfing...priceless.

    ""The American people want to trust in our government again – we just need a government that will trust in us. And making government accountable to the people isn't just a cause of this campaign – it's been a cause of my life for two decades."
    - President Obama on protecting whistleblowers

    Remember this quote, remember what he promised? I guess we missed the footnote: "except in cases where I lose political powers...".

    Why do we forget so easily?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:28AM (#47194455)

    Before we start discussing whether Mr. Snowden has been tricked by KGB or not, we need to look at what kind of fella that Boris Karpichko is

    Boris Karpichko fled to Britain from Russia and sought political asylum in the 1998 - and as a "living asset" of the UK government he has to do something in return for the protection the UK government has given him

    Hence, the same Boris Karpichko has made extraordinary claims throughout the years. I'll list only 2 below (and there are more but to save space I'll just list two)

    As you guys can see, this fella simply can't live a normal life. He just HAS TO make extraordinary claims from time to time, just to satisfy his own urge to have his name appearing on the news

    Therefore, this "revelation" of Snowden being marked by KGB for 6 years and "tricked" to go to Russia is nothing more than one-more-fairy-tale from Mr. Karpichko

    That is all to it - no matter how you look at it, this Karpichko fella had to get his name in the media - and he just "hitch a hike" on the "Edward Snowden bus"

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:31AM (#47194489)

    If Snowden hadn't been treated like a traitor by his country, he wouldn't've had to flee in the first place. Uncle Sam only have himself to blame if snowden is spilling the beans in Russia.

    You don't understand the event sequence, so you are wrong. It went like this.
    1) Snowden steals a bunch of documents in secret. He flies to Hong Kong. At this point, nobody knows anything about him or what he has done except Snowden himself.
    2) While in Hong Kong, Snowden gives a bunch of documents to various members of the press and holds a press conference to announce what he has done and to point out that he "had" to do it because it was the only way to let the American people know the truth.
    3) The US government wakes up and realizes it has a really big problem on its hands. It's only now that the "traitor" charges begin and the US leans on China to send him back, instead prompting China to turn a blind eye as Russia agrees to make this its problem and headache to deal with. This gets China off the hook, although the Chinese have surely previously copied Snowden's stuff and possibly reached a deal with the USSR, cough cough, I mean Russia to share with each other what they find out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:47AM (#47194601)

    Russia didn't make an "offer". He was stranded in the Moscow international airport. Unlike most nations, Russia pretends that its airport is international territory. That allows them to ignore asylum requests which it would otherwise have to hear under international law.

    There are lots of other people stuck in the Moscow airport, but they all have valid passports, so eventually they run out of money or get tired and move on to another country. Snowden, however, no longer had a passport. That means he was stuck in the airport in perpetuity--he sure as heck wasn't going to fly back to the U.S. So Russia granted him a visa. There was no offer, because there was no quid pro quo. Russia just wanted to score some f-you points on the international state.

    Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is another airport that is international territory. Unlike most countries (the U.S., U.K., etc) when you're in the Charles de Gaulle transit zone you have no automatic right to due process proceedings. Again, the point is to allow the government to ignore asylum seekers, notwithstanding their international treaty obligations.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:48AM (#47194623)

    Why would Russia release this information?

    It's not "Russia" but a US resident who used to work in USSR intelligence, so it's a guess that needs to be taken with a bucketful of salt. It may be true in a stopped clock being right twice a day way but it's an opinion shouldn't be trusted without hearing from another source a bit closer to the action who may be able to offer something other than an opinion.

  • by illaqueate ( 416118 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:58AM (#47194689)

    yep, pretty much. He claimed that Mi6 killed David Kelly because he would have undermined the case for the iraq war. This guy is a clown. Slashdot should be embarrassed to post this nonsense.

  • Re:Clearance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeIlomizer ( 3670951 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @11:17AM (#47195189)

    It doesn't really matter why he did it. He's effectively confessed to a number of espionage crimes.

    It doesn't matter to me whether or not he broke unjust laws.

    If he was a *just* a whistelblower about NSA's metadata collections, there were ways he could have done that

    "And for what it's worth, I would have preferred he *had not* gone through the 'proper channels'. The People have a right to know when the government is violating the highest law of the land or people's liberties; not only do they have a right to know, but they should be the *first* to know. By going through the 'proper channels', you risk getting taken out of a position where leaking the information is possible, and then the whole issue would be swept under a rug."

    The only 'proper channel' is through The People.

  • by spencerogden ( 49254 ) <> on Monday June 09, 2014 @11:33AM (#47195343) Homepage

    From the sounds of his interviews, I think he believed that the information would carry more weight if the source was know. If these were just anonymous leaks, they would be easier to discredit. It seems like he was fully aware of the dangers, and what he would be giving up, and decided it was worth it.

    I think he was right, the leaks carry more weight with a name behind them, and further, its clear to the public that he wouldn't put himself in this position just for the "fun" of releasing false information.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @02:41PM (#47196817)

    Well, mostly because pretty much everything he has announced has been admitted to be true. I don't think I've seen any stories with Snowden-released information where it was disproven, although I could be wrong on that.

    That is normal in deception campaigns. Release accurate information to build credibility so that the eventual strategic deception will be more likely to be believed. Don't read too much into past info being true, remain skeptical of each and every new piece of info when dealing intelligence agencies and people involved in that world.

    For example in WW2 the British double agent Joan Pujol Garcia, "Garbo", had sent real info to the Germans for a while. This culminated with actually sending the Germans real info about the Normandy invasion immediately before the invasion, about 3am - as paratroopers were landing but several hours before the 6am beach invasion, too late for the German's to decode, process and use the info. However this solidified his credibility with the Germans with respect to having high level access to information, it was confirmed that he transmitted hours before the invasion. Then a couple of days later he sent info that the Normandy landing was a diversion and that the main forces were still in England getting ready to land at the Pas de Calais. Mr Garcia is credited with keeping 2 armored divisions and over 12 infantry divisions out of the battle at Normandy. Sending true information was key to the eventual big deception.

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