The Hunt for Edward Snowden

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Jessica Tanner, Staff WriterLast Modified: 01:41 a.m. DST, 26 June 2013

Edward Snowden, Photo by Pan-African News Wire File PhotosMOSCOW, Russia - As the hunt for Edward Snowden continues, it appears that Snowden is the one with the upper hand.

Although, the whereabouts of the computer contractor who revealed confidential information about The National Security Agency’s surveillance programs are still virtually unknown.

Journalists, government officials, and social media users worldwide are desperately trying to pinpoint Snowden’s exact location.

Russia initially expressed outraged at the United States' suggestion that the country had been complicit in Snowden’s travels. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, was quoted as saying, “I want to say, right away, that we have nothing to do with Mr. Snowden, or his movements around the world.”

However, within the last few hours President Vladamir Putin has acknowledged in an official statement that the whereabouts of Snowden are known, and that he will not comply with President Barak Obama's requests to surrender the alleged spy.

Prior to this admission, The White House was demanding that any country that Snowden sought refuge in give him up, so he could face espionage charges in the United States.

Apparently Snowden was set to board a flight from Moscow to Havana, but instead it was packed with journalists, including a CNN team. This same flight took off this past Monday without the 30-year-old American they were all hoping to question.

There is one source named Julian Assange who supposedly knows where Snowden is hiding, but he refuses to reveal the location. All Assange would say is that the former NSA contractor is “in a safe place and his spirits are high.”

Snowden spent several weeks hiding in Hong Kong, China and betrayed the United Sates by leaking classified NSA documents to journalists. He left the Chinese territory Sunday on a flight to Moscow.

Follow Jessica Tanner on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @JessTanner1991

Todd Akin and George Gallow on Rape

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 14:26 PM EDT, 22 August 2012

George Galloway, Photo by David Martyn Hunt

Over the past few days in the United States, there has been public uproar about Congressman Todd Akin and the comments he made on a television program in which he defended his anti-abortion position by stating that a woman who has been ‘legitimately’ raped can abort any pregnancy should that occur.

Now, in the United Kingdom, George Galloway, an elected MP of the Respect Party for Bradford West, is also at the center of controversy surrounding a recent broadcast. During a broadcast of his program called Good Night with George Galloway, he defended Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, by declaring that a woman who has engaged in consensual sex and is still in the bed with her partner cannot justifiably claim rape.

Assange has been granted asylum by the Ecuadorean government and remains ensconced in their embassy in Knightsbridge to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape. It is Galloway’s belief that, “The whole thing is a setup."

Galloway, Assange, and others believe that these sexual assault claims were part of a conspiracy to deliver Assange into the hands of the U.S. authorities who will charge him with espionage which carries a potential sentence of life in prison, or even the death penalty.

The British authorities have vowed to arrest Assange as soon as he steps outside of the embassy which has prompted strong emotions from supporters and denouncers. Supporters like Galloway maintain that Assange is being persecuted by the U.S. for publishing leaked military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and highly classified diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.

Galloway’s intemperate remarks in which he defines a man having sex with a woman who has fallen asleep after initial coitus as simply ‘bad etiquette’ and does not constitute rape, are just as egregious as the comments made by Congressman Akin and equally damaging to the advances made in women’s rights in the U.K. And just like Akin, though Galloway subsequently clarified his comment by stating that "No never means yes," he remains steadfast in his belief that a woman cannot be raped if moments before she engaged in sexual intercourse with the man she is accusing.

In his broadcast Galloway states, "Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you're already in the sex game with them. It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said: 'Do you mind if I do it again?' It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning."

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFcsf4t6Uxc]

Sandy Brindley, national coordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland said Galloway's comments were "very unhelpful" and supported an enduring but false notion of "real" or "serious" rape. "It can be just as devastating to be raped asleep by someone you know as it is to be raped by a stranger in the street," she said. (Source: The Guardian)

Assange is accused of meeting two different women – known as woman A and woman B – in Stockholm in August 2010. Both of women, who did not know each other, claim that they went out with Assange and subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse. However, each woman alleges rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion, and in the case of one woman, she claims that she awoke to Assange attempting to have sex with her despite the fact she was asleep.

Galloway continues in his broadcast by stating, "Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100% true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don't constitute rape at least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognize it. And somebody has to say this.

Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him, claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion."

George Galloway, like Akin, is unapologetic and has refused to renounce his statements despite being fired as a columnist on the Scottish political magazine Holyrood. Lawyers and anti-rape campaigners said that morally and legally Galloway was wrong and the law is clear that consent is required every time someone has sex.

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Ecuador Harbors Wikileak's Julian Assange

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:09 PM EDT, 19 June 2012

http://www.ecuadorembassyuk.org.uk/announcements/statement-on-julian-assangeLONDON, England - Today, WikiLeak’s founder, Julian Assange, 40, escaped extradition to Sweden by fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy in London. On 15 June 2012 Assange lost all appeals in U.K. against extradition to Sweden to face questioning in two cases of alleged rape and sexual assault.

The British government is stunned and embarrassed by the lapse in security which enabled Assange to remain in London just beyond the reach of its police. Prior to loss of his appeals, Assange spent a year and a half under house arrest without being charged. Fortunately for Assange, he spent this confinement at the luxurious country estate of a wealthy supporter.

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country would weigh the asylum request in light of the belief by many that the sex crime accusations were manufactured to discredit Assange with the added benefit of impugning the credibility of WikiLeaks.

Conspiracy theorist believe that Assange’s 18-month ordeal was instigated by the U.S. in retaliation for the 2010, WikiLeak's release of secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

Following the release, the now defunct Wikileak was systematically undermined when sources refused to provide the organization with newsworthy leaks and credit card companies instituted a blockade that staunched donations which were the life blood of the organization. The final straw was the revelation by two former female employees of sexual abuse by Assange.

As a strong proponent of women’s rights, we often feature stories of women who have been physically or emotionally abused, and rape is one of the most heinous expressions of brute power perpetrated by one human being against another.  Unfortunately, the merits of these women’s accusations are tainted by the perception that they may have been used as pawns in an international campaign to silence one of the few remaining advocates of freedom of speech and access to information.

On 19 June 2012, the Ecuadorean Embassy updated their website with the following statement. "While the department assesses Mr. Assange's application, Mr. Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean Government. The decision to consider Mr. Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden." (Source: Ecuador Embassy UK)

Meanwhile, Assange remains safely ensconced in the Ecuadorean Embassy while Patino assesses the merit of his asylum request and the geopolitical impact. Preexisting tensions between the government of Rafael Correa, Ecuador's leftist and ardently anti-Washington president and the U.S. could permanently rupture should they choose to grant permanent asylum to Assange.

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias