What some former CIA spies say they'd do to evade capture if they were Snowden

Edward Snowden was a technology contractor, not a trained operative. AND Magazine talked to a few former CIA operatives about the tradecraft they'd use if they were in his much-sought shoes, and wanted to avoid ending up in a US court. "Staying off the grid and holing up in a low-rent bordello or someplace else that doesn't require a credit card" is seen as a more prudent move than Hong Kong; China, Russia, and Ecuador are among the countries that could offer him safe harbor, but it's not clear what options exist for the NSA whistleblower. Read: "Man On The Run."


  1. I have to tell you that when this guy was blowing the whistle about domestic spying, I was completely behind him.  

    Now that he’s moving into spilling secrets about what the US is doing to infiltrate other countries, I’m thinking that he’s moving into treason.  As time passes I find myself viewing him with less and less enthusiasm.  And I’m reaching a point at which I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve been duped.

    1. Is he? Is the US patronizing condemning China for hacking our systems while we participate in the same some sort of secret? Isn’t this like us telling another country they can’t have a nuclear weapon but its okay if we do because we are in some way morally superior?

    2. He isn’t “spilling secrets about what the US is doing to infiltrate other countries”. He’s still in China as far as we know.

      I may be paranoid, but you sound like somebody trying to tarnish his image and put some spin on the news to manipulate online communities into having a negative view of him. How well does the NSA pay?

  2. No one said he’s “moving into spilling secrets about what the US is doing to infiltrate other countries”.

  3. what evidence have we that he really is/was in hong-kong?  (nudgenudgewinkwink) he might be just that good  (an open proxy in hong-kong shouldn’t be too hard to find for a guy that had everyone’s “metadata”)  (isn’t there a “low-rent bordello” (?) down the street and around the corner from Clapper?)

  4. Since he’s already mentioned the possibility of being murdered or rendered, hiding in plain sight with the world watching seems his safest bet. Plus, he essentially said he doesn’t want to hide from justice but wants to turn this into a lengthy and very public court battle to have these unconstitutional policies reversed, and Hong Kong seems a reasonable place for that.

  5. It’s slightly absurd to get a spy’s take on what he should be doing when they really don’t understand what he’s doing. Using fake documents and sneaking into other countries is one sure fire way of getting himself apprehended and easily deported back to the US. If he was playing that game he wouldn’t be giving interviews. 

    Instead he’s making it difficult to deal with him covertly. China won’t take to his being snatched off the streets of Hong Kong. They’re going to have to go through legal and diplomatic channels if they really want him, which kind of hilariously is what they least want to do.  

    Other than that their best hope is Batman.

    1. Yeah, the media really only has one story for this kind of scenario, and that’s “manhunt”.

      “Celebrity criminal tries desperately to evade capture for as long as possible, until authorities inevitably outsmart and/or outmaneuver their prey, thus proving that justice is always served.”

      He is refusing to play this game, but that won’t stop the media from casting him in that role anyway.

  6. These were former CIA spies… so, he should clearly do exactly the opposite of all these things and the CIA won’t be able to find him.

  7. Is there an app that can help me find a low-rent bordello? Or is there an international sign that is hung outside them? In any event, if the advice-giver had seen “Diva” it would be clear that low-rent bordellos aren’t the best idea, because the whore turned Jules in right away.

  8. What China does is break into US companies and steal trade secrets… what US has done is used PRISM program to do online surveillance in order to identify potential terrorist plots/ suspects… They 2 are clearly different intentions.. Even this guy Snowden  has failed to show any evidence that US has used this to curb free speech, to suppress it’s political opponents or to arrest those who voice against the US…

    comparing china and US in cyber espionage is like comparing an armed cop and an armed criminal… The criminal use his weapon to steal (as china does to companies it hack) while the cop, although he might carry a more sophisticated weapon, use it to protect lives and arrest criminals….

    These 2 are 2 very different intentions…

    1. These 2 are 2 very different intentions…

      That seems like a naive application of intentions to the “good” guys and the “bad” guys.

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