Information that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is exposing can lead to trials against those involved in war crimes in Afghanistan or Iraq or in money laundering and that is why “the West is so afraid,” investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT.
The 29-year-old whistleblower – who was charged with espionage in the US for revealing secret surveillance programs - arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday. Snowden is on his way to a third country via Russia.
RT: We've seen conflicting reports, some saying Snowden is headed for Venezuela, others suggesting he'll ask for asylum in Ecuador - what do you think will happen?
Tony Gosling: Obviously, he’s got his options rather limited. The real impact of what he’s done here is only now starting to be realized. Not only is he exposing the criminality of the GCHQ – the signals intelligence part of the British intelligence services – and the NSA, but he is also showing that much of that intelligence contains information which may bring criminal prosecutions. For example, of war crimes, or criminal prosecutions against bankers, people who’ve been doing money laundering, such as Lord Green who was in charge of HSBC. There’s a vast amount of information there.
There’s one thing I can tell you though, is that he won’t be coming to London. He doesn’t want to end up in the Tower of London like Julian Assange, fugitive, is at the moment.
Here in Britain, we have a very poor record. Although the government and many of our media talk about protecting whistleblowers, the fact of the matter is if you blow the whistle on anything really big and important, or, in fact, even some trivial things, you’ll be bullied and you’ll be taken out of your job. And there’s total hypocrisy. One of the reasons for this is the way our entire network of government is paid –tax-payers money that is paying for all this intelligence service stuff.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, for example, who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee, is supposed to oversee all this secret stuff. He is actually also employed by financial services firm that works for defense contractors. We are losing any kind of proper democratic oversight of these intelligence services. And that’s one of the things that Snowden has started to expose.
If I were him, I’d actually be thinking about maybe not going to South America but looking at Iceland. It has got a couple of very useful institutions. IMMI, the Iceland’s Modern Media Institute, which has been set up by the parliament to protect whistleblowers and to make sure that Iceland is seen is a safe heaven. There’s also the AWP, the Associated Whistleblowing Press in Iceland. These are really great institutions which have started to emerge now in Europe as a resistance to the intelligence, really, I suppose the military-industrial complex and the financial cults in the European world, taking over so much of our public life, essentially – leaving our democracies in tatters.
RT: Will Moscow play a part in this story or will it be just a transit point for Snowden?
TG: It’ll probably be a transit point, because maybe it would be a little too explosive for him to stay in Moscow for too long. But I’m sure that there are many people in the Russian military who would be very interested in talking to Snowden about some of the leaks that he had.
I think what’s happening now is that there’s a lack of faith in much of what our intelligence services are up to. When we’ve got no proper democratic oversight of them they are running of on their own.
The money system as well is involved in it. This is why I point out that much of this intelligence will be to do with economic warfare. We’ve got many new types of warfare in the world – economic is just one of them. Another one is psychological warfare which is using media wars, attacking the reputations of individuals and countries around the world. So, those are the sorts of information that contained in these PRISM leaks that we are now starting to see.
There have been serious crimes over the last ten years - particularly since 9/11 when the war on terror started – in Afghanistan, Iraq, in places like Yemen, Pakistan where many people were murdered through the use of drones and hellfire missiles completely illegally by mainly three countries – Israel, the US and the UK. But this is what people don’t necessarily understand: there will be information that Edward Snowden has that can actually bring some of these people to trial. That’s why the West is so afraid. If Britain was serious about any kind of real justice, we would be able invite him to London and say, “Yes, you can tell all your secrets or stories to people here in Britain, you’ll be safe here.”
Snowden is actually exposing criminals and the criminals are going for him now. I’m afraid that is the case.