Now that Snowden let the secret cat is out of the bag, in an interview with Charlie Rose last week, Obama is suddenly looking forward to a national conversation about the balance of security and surveillance. What form it takes is an open question, and you have to ask, why now, when a month ago there was no hint of any such need?
Then today, we have Secretary John Kerry, calling for Reciprocity in enforcement of the law, to cajole Russia’s help in apprehending the ‘bag opener’ that is forcing the conversation that Obama suddenly thinks might be a good idea.
I have to wonder how this zeal will transfer over to FATCA, where others are wanting real reciprocity there also. Those in the offshore investment community are now demanding that Delaware should go first when it comes to Tax Haven reciprocity.
I guess as soon as we have that ‘national conversation’ on FATCA that we forgot to have, reciprocity is right around the corner. Haven’t we just been told publically, by a high administration official in John Kerry, that is is very important?
One small problem, to have that ‘national conversation’ about the DATCA reciprocity we plan to provide, we will have to dig the subject matter out of the bowls of the 2014 Obama budget on page 202 where is currently is hidden in plain sight.
Are you ready for that Congress? You didn’t do it back in 2010, but there is no time like the present to begin.
Obama, you can count me in. Let’s have that ‘national conversation’ about FATCA matched with that DATCA ‘reciprocity’ tit for tat exchange of information where all our financial institutions and non transparent beneficial ownership States chip in. The hunt for the Delaware corporate beneficial owner is the sidekick of FATCA, that we can no longer overlook or ignore. When will it begin? I can’t wait.
At this point there is no reciprocity:
The US alone has the ability to print US dollars and export its currency because world trade is done in US dollars. The US has the ability to destroy the value of its foreign held debt, thus taxing the nations of the world by devaluing their US currency reserves.
The US reserves the right to drone “terrorists” and even their own citizens, and in the meantime, kill thousands of innocent bystanders a.k.a., collateral damage. Where is the reciprocity?
The US enforces citizenship-based taxation, attempting to tax its citizens abroad as a punishment for moving to another country. The US condemns Eritrea for extra-territorial taxation on its citizens but hypocritically does the same to their own diaspora of citizens.
The US has the resources to spy on its enemies and friends alike in massive Stasi-like surveillance operation–then when someone (Snowden) blows the whistle, calls him a traitor. Where is the reciprocity? Politicians in the United States are angry at Russia for receiving Snowden, but isn’t it Russia that should be angry with the US for its surveillance of their communications?
That goes straight to the crux of why I want to free myself of US citizenship. I don’t want to be associated with a nation that can drone essentially anyone at will, and not even give a shit to the harm that they’re causing to themselves, and to others.
I definitely don’t want to be associated with the likes of a government that chooses to implement the likes of PRISM, wipe their butt with the rule of law, and then go on a persecution campaign at people that blow the whistle on these kind of shenanigans. And since when is telling the truth the mark of a traitor? That attitude is so inconsistent with a free country that I can’t believe that they are truly free.
There are some that say Snowden should stand and fight for his innocence. My response to that is: Really? Do you really believe that he would EVER get a fair trial in the US? How many people is the US holding in Gitmo that don’t get the benefit of habeas corpus? Does anyone even know anymore?
Hell yeah I would’ve ran if I was in his shoes! Not running is suicide!
The Snowden thing is interesting and watching the situation play out is more so.
China and Russia appear to be actively thwarting the US. A test run for something bigger in the future? Who knows. But in the meantime, it’s something to pay attention to.
Snowden, of course, is wise to run and hide. The climate for truth-tellers in the US is decidedly bad for their health and continued well-being. He appears to have planned very well and had high level help. It is no accident that he has eluded US “justice” or that he was able to get his message out as clearly and easily as he did without distortion.
The rest of the world seems to – slowly – be willing to growl at the US but no country is yet willing to bite with their barks. Baby steps.
In the meantime, it’s better to live outside the borders of the “homeland” and stay outside of them as much as possible. I envy those who can shed citizenship. I am not yet in that position.
There’s some particularly harsh language aimed at the US in today’s People’s Daily, China’s state paper.
“Not only did the US authorities not give us an explanation and apology, it instead expressed dissatisfaction at the Hong Kong special administrative region for handling things in accordance with law,” wrote Wang Xinjun, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science in the People’s Daily commentary.
“In a sense, the United States has gone from a ‘model of human rights’ to ‘an eavesdropper on personal privacy’, the ‘manipulator’ of the centralised power over the international internet, and the mad ‘invader’ of other countries’ networks,” the People’s Daily said.
I particularly like this one:
“The world will remember Edward Snowden,” the newspaper said. “It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask”.
Quotes emanate from the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/peoples-daily-savages-us-over-snowden)
Snowdon answers readers questions:
“Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American…”
Amusing as only the Daily Show can do it…
Yes, this is what happens to truth tellers. I totally understand his ‘catch me if you can’ actions now. The lives of those that attempt to use official channels are made miserable. Nothing is more vicious, than an embarrassed bureaucrat…
Why would you do it?
US banks take the same approach of closing accounts of Americans living abroad.
There is reciprocity.
I don’t understand how this can happen…
That quote is disturbing:
“that banks will feel that the advantages in keeping even small retirement accounts outweigh the potential downside of getting caught with criminals for clients.”
You’re a potential criminal just because you live abroad.
Given the penalties, I don’t understand how it can be legal for a bank to force someone to close a retirement account.
If they can run the US economy into the ground, and then get a taxpayer bailout for it, what makes you think they’ll be sanctioned for forcing you to close a retirement account?
Meanwhile, given those shenanigans, I don’t understand why anyone would want to place their money in a US retirement account. How do I know that the money won’t just go ‘poof’ one day?
Having an IRA was originally one of the major deterrents for my renunciation. Now that Fidelity has made it impossible for expats to maintain those accounts, I’m glad it didn’t stop me from going through with it, although paying the 15% early withdrawal penalty under these circumstances was particularly bitter.
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Obama’s Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself from America
A Commentary by Jakob Augstein
The European Union must protect the Continent from America’s reach for #omnipotence http://bit.ly/14acoz5
“If Barack Obama is our friend, then we really don’t need to be terribly worried about our enemies.”