Greenwald & Poitras go to Hong Kong To Meet Snowden.
Greenwald (photo at the left) and Poitras were to meet in New York city with the US Guardian staff to discuss a meeting with Snowden.
On May 31, 2013 Glenn Greenwald flew to New York City where he met with the staff of the Guardian. The Guardian was a digital media subsidiary of the Guardian newspaper in London, UK. The U.S. office could deal with material such as Snowden was offering with more flexibility than the UK office which was subject to very restrictive laws under the UK Secrecy Act. Greenwald met with the Editor, Gibson and Deputy Editor Stuar Millar. All knew that NSA, FBI, CIA, the White House and the State Department would all be very upset at any disclosures of Snowden.
Snowden wanted to meet in Hong Kong. The veteran Washington correspondent Ewen MacAskill would have to accompany Greenwald and Poitras because of his experience in political matters. Poitras was worried about including MacAskill because Snowden had not contacted him and knew of only her and Greenwald. She was afraid Snowden would panic if other people were brought into the interview and release of information.
The trio left on flight CX831, a Cathay Pacific flight. While on the flight, Poitras shared a thumb-drive of data sent to her by Snowden containing over 3000 documents. The contents, as they were reviewed, were dramatic in their insights into government policy and activities related to collecting and using world-wide intelligence. This was to be the ‘scoop’ of all scoops (breaking news of great importance).
On June 3, 2013, MacAskill waited at a Hong Kong hotel while Greenwald and Poitras went off to find Snowden. The charts below are for Glenn Greenwald relocated to Hong Kong,
Greenwald’s chart is based on a natal chart with a “noon” birth time. This assures that a Return chart’s MC will be, on average, within 7 degrees of a ‘known’ birth time’s position. This is due to the ratio of daily motion between the Moon and Sun.
Remarkable is the presence of n/Pluto-n/Uranus on the Asc; a personal revelation and total renewal of his views on the world. t/Moon-n/Sun is in the 6th house, close to the 7th angle; both work and his skills will have an impact on others. His t/Jupiter connects with the chart’s MC; a big career opportunity is at hand. Note the t/Part of Fortune also being conjunct t/Jupiter; significant changes are likely during this cyclic period.
Let us now advance this chart to June 3, 2013, the day that Greenwald and Poitras met Edward Snowden in his hotel room.
In the intervening two days since the Return chart, the angles have advanced such that the Ascendant now conjoins n/Uranus; a day of surprises awaits Glenn. Most notable is the t/Moon’s position conjoining t/Uranus and n/Venus. Can we say that Greenwald was totally thrilled at meeting Snowden? Of course we can.
Note that the chart shows t/PoF square n/PoF. With a known birth time, which produces an accurate n/PoF, this would indicate a surprise that was not what he expected. But, since we are working with a ‘noon’ natal chart, we cannot use the n/PoF or n/MC-n/Asc. However, t/PoF-n/Jupiter does amplify the role of t/Jupiter at the chart’s MC; this will be an exciting and mentally expanding day relating to Greenwald’s career.
More interesting is n/Chiron-Desc. and t/Chiron-n/Sun-n/Mercury. All kinds of adjustments are required to frame the nature of meeting Snowden (n/Chiron-Desc.) and evaluating his agenda and methods (t/Chiron-n/Sun-n/Mercury).
Greenwald and Poitras found Snowden to be “plausible, if ridiculously young.” Snowden was dressed casually in a darkened hotel room. The cramped quarters were filled with ‘take out’ food cartons, his several computers. Snowden agreed to meet MacAskill. They all returned to room 1014 at the MIra Hotel where Snowden was staying the next morning. From the room’s window could be seen Kowloon Park and the parents and children enjoying its open spaces. Snowden had been reading a book given to him by Poitras the day before, a book telling of VP Cheney’s programs called Stellar Wind which was an early effort to collect intelligence immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Snowden knew much more than what was in the book, but had been avidly reading it.
When MacAskill took out his cell phone during the meeting, Snowden reacted strongly. “I might as well have invited the NSA into his bedroom,” MacAskill said. Snowden then explained how the NSA was able to use a cell phone as a tracking and recording device. The phone was then dumped outside of the hotel. Snowden, they learned, has developed a number of precautions against being tracked or monitored, or the passwords for his encrypted computers being stolen visually or electronically. The Guardian staff realized that his seemingly paranoid precautions were extremely necessary if Snowden and they were to remain unfettered in their plans to release this secret information.
Snowden would feel vulnerable until his documentation was passed to Greenwald and Poitras and the first wave of information was released to the public. They learned more about Snowden in these meetings. His total pay was some $200,000 annually before taking his position with Booz Allen Hamilton as a contractor. He actually took a pay cut in order to have that position where he could have greater access to documentation. He knew that his taking and release of this material would lead to a no-good position for himself.
Snowden spent hours going through the documents and briefing slides contained in the material he gave them. For instance, PRISM was the program that defined the collaboration between the government and the giant internet corporations who shared data. STELLAR WIND was the program that initiated the collection of phone records and meta-data on all personal, corporate and government calls within the U.S. As time passed, many such programs would be uncovered in the documents provided by Snowden.
Noted: References and quotes on this story’s characters are taken from a book titled “The Snowden Files” by Luke Harding. This book was used as the basis for a current major motion picture about Snowden.