Hey yinz, have you heard the NEVER-BEFORE-TOLD, LIKE-SOMETHING-FROM-A-SPY-NOVEL, FEATURED-IN-AN-UPCOMING-FILM story of how Snowden hid out in the slums of Hong Kong at the start of his amazing truth-telling journey? It goes like this:
As Snowden made his way from Hong Kong to political asylum, his Hong-Kong based, Canadian attorney Robert Tibbo needed a way to hide his client from the media and authorities. Tibbo had the keen insight that an intelligence apparatus with eyes and ears everywhere would overlook the Hong Kong slums, since the possibility of a feature player like Snowden hob-nobbing with the ickiest of poors is completely unfathomable to all but the most fearlessly imaginative.
As a professional dedicated to using human rights as a cudgel against the hegemon’s rivals, Tibbo had many clients in Hong Kong’s icky people sector. Since leveraging the fear and misery of these people to his own ends was Tibbo’s daily bread, and since they were entirely dependent on him for their own security, bullying a few of them into harboring a fugitive presented no moral quandary and was easily done. Tibbo chose his client Ajith, a Sri Lankan asylum-seeker to chaperone Snowden in the place where Tibbo knew “no one would look”, and the refugees Supun and Vanessa to house him. Each of Snowden’s hosts gave him their only bed.
Snowden, who prior to this had been staying in the 5 star Mira Hotel, magnanimously gave each family between 30 and 50 bucks for each night they’d slept without beds in harm’s way. “Imagine the world’s most wanted dissident brought to your door.” he told the National Post. “Would you open it? They didn’t even hesitate, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Of course, as Snowden knows, Tibbo scrupulously avoided telling Ajith, Supun and Vanessa anything about him, so they had no idea what they’d opened their doors to. As to not hesitating, that no doubt had everything to do with their dependence on Tibbo and the strong-arm approach he took. In Vanessa’s case, for instance, Snowden, Tibbo and another attorney simply showed up late at night. Once ensconced in a home, Snowden would on a subsequent day theatrically reveal his identity by sending his host for a newspaper, where they would find him on the front page.
Ajith told the National Post, “I was very happy to help him…This famous person was a refugee too, same as me.” Who am I, then, to beef on Ajith’s behalf? Well see, Snowden isn’t a refugee same as Ajith. Rather, from the moment he became employable, Snowden dedicated his life to global capital’s police force which, through surveillance, violence and terror, condemns people like Ajith, Supun, and Vanessa to lifelong poverty and insecurity, an apparatus which, according to his own account, he now only seeks to make work more precisely. “I’m still working for the NSA” he once said, and, regardless of what theory you have about The Snowden Show, he is undeniably correct. So where the belligerently stupid rubes who jerk off in Glenn Greenwald’s Twitter mentions see an inspiring story of solidarity, I see a spook and a human rights racketeer reproducing imperialism in a Hong Kong slum, making the most desperate people on the planet means to their ends.
Now, considering how everything Snowwald-related reeks of bullshit, it’s impossible to know what, if any, part of this story is true, especially given its film tie-in, and its NGO-ish finger-waving at Hong Kong. However, as propaganda or marketing intended to make our blood race and our hearts warm, it doesn’t stink less. In the fantasy’s current chapter, Tibbo’s famous client deeply worries that he may have unwittingly put his Hong Kong protectors at risk by revealing their role for the upcoming Oliver Stone movie, the release of which so neatly ties into this never-before-told story. To compensate for their potential troubles, he’s sent them each $1000.