The commentary also called for China and Hong Kong to treat Mr. Snowden kindly enough so that others with national security secrets will not be discouraged from fleeing here. “China should make sure that Hong Kong is not the last place where other ‘Snowdens’ want to go,” it said.The NYT ends the article with a quote from London lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, who has represented Julian Assange. Robertson criticizes the British government's threatening to fine airlines if they bring Snowden to their country:
“This is a power hitherto used only against those who incite terrorism, race hatred and homophobia — never before against whistle-blowers,” Mr. Robertson wrote in an e-mail. “The British government is simply afraid that its judges, who are fiercely independent, and the European court would embarrass its closest ally by ruling that Snowden could not be extradited because, even if his 'revelations' prove to be mistaken, he would be subjected to oppressive treatment akin to that being meted out to Bradley Manning”....In Robertson's analysis, disclosing national security secrets is supposed to be less severe than private speech expressing the hateful ideas: Snowden is a "whistle-blower," who has released good and useful speech to the general public.