Sunday, 7 July 2013
Where Edward Snowden Went Wrong
Intelligence agencies have a traditional solution when it comes to dealing with agents who depart the fold: they smother them in hotel bedrooms or spike them in the leg with risin tipped brollies. In 1938, when American KGB agent (and founding member of the U.S. Communist Party) Juliet Poyntz decided that Stalin was, after all, a murdering psychopath rather than the saviour of the international working class, she disappeared and Stalinist collaborating 'progressives' such as Lillian Helman and Pete Seeger worked hard to forget her name. From sea to shining sea, readers of The Nation could, if you listened very carefully, be heard whispering: what's a dead ex-comrade or two when what's at stake is the glorious October Revolution. I have a poem dedicated to Juliet Poyntz published here
As I say, I entirely sypathise with the predicament in which Edward Snowden finds himself. It is not a surprise that intelligence agencies would be involved in gathering information on innocent millions of people in the sinister way we now, thanks to Edward Snowden, know for sure the National Security Agency are. Some silly people who believe in things like Jimmy Carter, the United Nations and the speeches of Michael D. Higgins have been shocked by what has been revealed. These poor souls should be given all the help our best psychiatrists can offer.
Back on planet Earth, the one criticism I would have of young Snowden is that he entirely mishandled his application for political asylum in Ireland. He asked us directly for asylum. He should have been advised that you never ask an Irish person a direct question. It would have been far better for him to take the Cascarino approach, which was referred to by Clare Daly in the Dáil:
“I seem to remember that it was deemed sufficiently important to get an Irish passport for Tony Cascarino on the grounds of a fictitious grandmother so he could be part of Jackie’s Army.”
According to the Gospel that is Wikipedia, it was actually Cascarino's grandfather who was, if not exactly fictitious, certainly not at all Irish:
"Cascarino was born in England but represented the Republic of Ireland, qualifying through his Irish grandfather. However, he later revealed that his mother told him in 1996 that she was adopted and therefore no blood relative to the grandfather. Cascarino said in his autobiography: "I didn't qualify for Ireland. I was a fraud. A fake Irishman". The adoption of his mother gained her the right to Irish citizenship and he was eligble."
What Edward Snowden needs to do is get signed as a centre forward for Millwall. Then his problems will be, if not over, then certainly very different. He just needs to learn to think outside what Johnny Giles (pictured below) would call the box.