Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Time The U.S. Gave Asylum to a Guy Who Leaked Classified Documents

Political asylum is a weird idea: One country gets to tell another country: We think your criminal is actually a hero and he can come live here, so buzz off. Pretty annoying if you're the country trying to get the criminal, and the U.S. is really pissed that some countries and human rights groups are helping out NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden, currently holed up in Moscow's airport, in his quest for asylum. After all, the U.S. would never think of shielding someone accused of illegally leaking another country's classified information, right?

Ha ha, of course we would. Take the case of Swiss whistleblower Michel Christopher Meili, highlighted recently by the blog Document Exploitation. In 1997, Meili, then a 29-year-old security guard at UBS bank, pilfered documents that contained account information related to assets stolen by the Nazis in the Holocaust. The documents were slated to be destroyed, but Meili gave them to a Jewish organization instead; the revelations ultimately led to a $1.25 billion settlement between Swiss banks and Holocaust victims.
For the rest of the story: http://gawker.com/the-time-the-u-s-gave-asylum-to-a-guy-who-leaked-class-790116614

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