What in the world: Does the US want Snowden dead?

File photo: Edward Snowden Edward Snowden is the subject of some violent fantasies

A review of the best commentary on and around the world...

Today's must-read

Defence and intelligence officials want Edward Snowden dead. Or, at least, they joke about wanting him dead.

That's the takeaway from an article on Buzzfeed by Benny Johnson, who has some rather choice anonymous quotes from civilian and military personnel.

"Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him," one defence contractor tells him.

"I would love to put a bullet in his head," says a Pentagon official.

If that wasn't detailed enough, here's this scenario, recounted by an Army intelligence officer:

"I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly," he said. "Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower."

Johnson notes that there is "no indication that the United States has sought to take vengeance on Snowden". I'm not sure Mr Snowden would be reassured by that.

Across the internet, the article is generating quite a stir.

This underscores "how deeply some defence officials hate Snowden", writes Mediate's Noah Rothman.

Reason magazine's Matthew Feeney writes: "It's sad, but not surprising, that there are some in the U.S. intelligence community that would like to see Snowden killed. He deserves thanks, not the pathetic hostility highlighted by Johnson."

Esquire's Charles P Pierce writes that the anonymous officials need to be identified and fired. "And, of course, these folks went back to their day jobs and didn't think at all of abusing the power that has been placed in their hands," he adds.


China's propaganda war - Japanese Ambassador to the US Kenichiro Sasae calls on China to "cease its dogmatic anti-Japanese propaganda campaign and work with us toward a future-oriented relationship".

Climate change

Global warming is a back-door to socialism - The editors of Investor's Business Daily express what many conservatives fear could be the hidden agenda of environmentalists: they're not out to save the planet; they want more socialism.


Softer tone toward India is a strategic move - On 6 January, we pointed out an interesting opinion piece by Chinese Ambassador Wei Wei published in the Indian paper the Hindu. The American Interest's Walter Russell Mead writes that this is part of a Chinese strategy to improve relations with India as a counterbalance to Japan and South Korea.


The real French scandal - The New York Times' Paul Krugman writes that French President Francois Hollande's decision to impose austerity has had disastrous results.

South Korea

North Korea as an economic savior - Only by moving toward reunification with the North can South Korea keep pace economically with China and Japan, writes Bloomberg View's William Pesek.


A country in crisis - and no one cares - With Thailand "teetering on the edge of the political abyss", writes former Japanese Defence Minister Yuriko Koike, the region's powers need to take action.


A US withdrawal will spell disaster - International Crisis Group's Graeme Smith writes that insurgents will prevail if the US doesn't come to a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan.

BBC Monitoring's quote of the day

Egypt's constitutional referendum: "Egyptians have passed the constitutional test by scoring well over 90 per cent. And by so doing, they have reasserted the will they declared at the 30 June revolution when they topped the backward sectarian regime and pulled the legitimacy rug, once and for all, from under the Muslim Brotherhood Society's feet." - Editorial in Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah

One more thing…

The death of expertise - Thanks to the Google, Wikipedia and blogging, everyone thinks they're an expert . What's really happening, writes the Federalist's Tom Nichols, is that everyone is getting dumber - and it's destroying democracy.

Have you found an interesting opinion piece about global issues that we missed? Share it with us via email at echochambers (at) bbc.co.uk.



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  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    re climate change....
    Since when has wanting clean air and an unpolluted planet been only left wing dogma?
    I notice that it was Investor's Business Daily who put forward this view, making mega bucks has to be sacred according to them, never mind the true cost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    The government are the ones who are breaking the law this man is a hero to me someone who stands up for the people of the masses. America is a bully and wont stop at nothing to flex its bankrupt muscles. If this man gets whacked this would can go back to living under the black shadows of world governments corrupt and crazy obsessed need to see who i contacted at 4.17pm on mon 30th dec. GO SNOWDEN.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    On Snowden.
    I feel for the intelligence community. May i reccomend some stress relief.
    A song by "Rage Against The Machine", called "Bullet in the head".

    Must be frustrating to watch the politicians bungle what could have been a turnaround.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The death of expertise. Sounds like shaken confidence. To merely complain about the opinions of others is to say you don't know how to pick out the intelligence from the clutter. Since you profess to be an expert you should know this. Well in my humble opinion give yourself a pat on the back because everyone has an opinion. As an expert you have to decipher the good from the bad. Just like me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    "Paul Krugman writes that French President Francois Hollande's decision to impose austerity has had disastrous results."

    That's not quite right. Krugman chastised Hollande for wanting to impose more austerity - France has done relatively less than other Eurozone countries - and wrapping his policy proposals in intellectual bunkum.

    It's a good read though, he really gives it to Hollande.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    the rule of law is under unprecedented attach. people more than ever believe it is their right to punish, not correct, opposing views. Snowden revealed a massive breach of trust of government power. if this continues this world is going to be just like C.A.R.


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