Edward Snowden, Rector of Glasgow University

Students at Glasgow University have a tradition of independence. Every three years they vote for the person who will become the new Rector of the University. This year there were three major candidates, Kevin Holdsworth, Graeme Obree, and Edward Snowden. To the credit of the students, Mr Snowden (presently having sanctuary and asylum in Russia), won the vote by a large margin.

Mr Snowden could not attend his inauguration because to do so would have meant that he would have been swiftly deported to the USA where he would spend a lifetime in jail for telling Americans and the rest of the world that their government had been spying on them. He could attend electronically and did so, saying how honoured he was to accept the appointment.

Meanwhile Julian Assange will be enjoying his second year of living in the Embassy of Ecuador in London on 12 June 1014. The police guard outside the Embassy continues, at great cost to Londoners, most of whom would be happy to see Mr Assange set free and sent to Ecuador or any other country that will accept him.

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley manning, remains incarcerated in  maximum security prison Fort Leavenworth, having served nearly four years of her 35 year sentence, an example of what awaits Mr Snowden and Mr Assange.

Nothing upsets governments more than having their own crimes and errors exposed. Manning, for example, shamed the USA by releasing “collateral murder”. The lawmakers and governments of the world have a long history of holding grudges and punishing those who expose their wrongdoing.

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