• Thu
  • Oct 2, 2014
  • Updated: 6:57pm
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong
DIPLOMACY

Departing US consul fires sarcastic shots at media over Snowden saga

Stephen Young 'thanks' Beijing-friendly press for its objective coverage of the Snowden saga

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 7:12am

Departing US consul general Stephen Young, kept busy by whistle-blower Edward Snowden's surprise stopover in Hong Kong, fired some sarcastic parting shots at the media yesterday.

But he said he believed the damaged trust between the United States and Hong Kong could be repaired and pointed to encouraging signs of emerging universal suffrage.

Well, I thank you for all of your objective reporting at Ta Kung Pao, first of all. And if you don't get the sarcasm, it's there. I do wish you'd be more objective. But I know you have your master in Beijing
US consul general Stephen Young

At a media event before he departs for the US next week, Young was asked by a journalist from the Beijing-loyal Ta Kung Pao when the US government would reply on whether it had been hacking into the city's computers.

"Well, I thank you for all of your objective reporting at Ta Kung Pao, first of all. And if you don't get the sarcasm, it's there," Young replied. "I do wish you'd be more objective. But I know you have your master in Beijing."

Another journalist asked how the diplomat felt about protests by pro-democracy activists and Snowden supporters who said they no longer saw the US as a symbol of democracy. "Actually that was a plot by us," he joked.

"You see, as Ta Kung Pao regularly reports, along with Wen Wei Po and others, we actually fund and direct the pan-democrats so we have them coming to demonstrate outside our consulate to throw people off the scent."

After answering several questions from an i-Cable journalist, Young said that anyone who asked only a single question would get an "extra credit".

And when a South China Morning Post journalist identified himself and said he wanted to ask two questions, Young said: "You just lost your credit."

The Post had an exclusive interview with Snowden last month in which he claimed the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong for years.

Sarcastic remarks aside, Young said he had a generally optimistic view of Hong Kong's future and believed that the damaged trust between the US and Hong Kong could be restored.

He said Snowden had made a lot of allegations, some of which seemed to be "self-serving to gain sympathy", and he did not think the US needed to apologise to anyone for someone who had violated his country's trust.

On universal suffrage in 2017, Young said he was encouraged by the central government liaison office's decision to have lunch with lawmakers, as well as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's plan to have dinner with people including the pan-democrats.

Asked if he supported the Occupy Central movement, he said he backed moves towards genuine universal suffrage but such moves should stay within the law.

The Snowden saga had no direct connection to the bill that would add Hong Kong to the US visa-waiver scheme, Young said.

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hard times !
the main reason that the Snowden Affairs has been going on to be mentioned in this local paper is---the case has far from being concluded. Our whistle-blower (not traitor of course) is still stranded in Moscow airport's transit zone awaiting for the granting of a temporary asylum while his pursuers--the Obama administration and those lousy congressmen are putting pressure on the Russian government to have hm driven out of Russia and sent back to the States for trial ! South China Morning Post happened to be chosen by Mr.Snowden to have his revelations of the top-secrets of the NSA of America related to China and Hong Kong told to. So the follow-up of his true story naturally becomes a task of this local respectable English newspaper---which greatly angers those pro-America blind loyalists maybe ! But who cares ?
johnyuan
In my freshman year in college, my required reading included Marshall McLuhan's writing stated once that: 'the medium is the message'. He might be picking one form of communication from another that a medium becomes the message itsef. If he had lived to read SCMP a news medium of its Most Popular column, placing ‘Why are Chinese tourists so rude?’ unceasingly over a month or so as one of the five popular choice, McLuhan would said that SCMP had outdone his prediction. I for one, SCMP’s ranking and inclusion of the story over a month is unconvincing to a point of fabrication. I am piggybacking this comment on this 2nd ranking in the Most Popular column.
CC Wang Xiangwei Editor in-Chief SCMP
thetimchannel
Snowden is a hero. Obama would be well advised to give him immunity from prosecution (If Ford could do it for Nixon...), welcome him home and have him testify before Congress and the Senate. Immediately thereafter, statues of both him and Manning, (who should be likewise pardoned) get placed on either side of the Lincoln Memorial. I predict this scenario could happen rather quickly if the leakers quit focusing on all the US war crimes (redundant) and release something that would move the body politic. You know, like Lindsey Graham's browser history, or Rush Limbaugh's phone sex conversations. Something like that and tough privacy laws would be written into law faster than you can say Benghazi. Enjoy.
VicSexton
They spy on you. You spy on them. Continuing to get your knickers in a twist isn't helping anyone.
thetimchannel
It's not so much about that as it is about us spying on us. Enjoy.
johnyuan
Most unnatural and regretable, thetimechannel.
Suntze, the great war strategist, employed spy work followed by deception to beat enemies. It is in this realm of self-protection that human constantly differentiates us and them. Spy you must to be alive. US being such an immigrant country, the ‘them’ becomes us (the recent Boston bombing). Us spying on us must. The real concern is about oversight and supervision. Life must go on really.
jayb
US is a country of immigrant but all brainwashed in "American Exceptionalism" which is manifested in its imperialist, militarist hegemony. "american exceptionalism" is bipartisan, ubiquitous and generally accepted by americans of all races, creeds, religions and political ideology. case in point, even americans who support Snowden only concern about US spying on its own citizens, not innocent foreigners. typical mindset of imperialists.
ejmciii
How about those spying on us in HK? Imperialists? The PLA? Sorry, they get a bye.
hard times !
Has Snowden been convicted ? I wonder. If Snowden was said to be a spy (of China or Russia or both), what are the proofs ? Why didn't he just go to Beijing or Moscow instead of travelling from Hawaii to Hong Kong where he revealed the top-secrets of the National Security Agency of America to reporters of 'The Guardian' and 'South China Morning Post' ? Right ? Why he didn't accept the asylum granted to him by Russia days after his revelations ? Instead he had to flee Hong Kong via Moscow to Cuba where he dared not fly to for fear of being intercepted by US forces or agents and brought to a so-called 'fair' trial of his charges of espionage, stealing government properties and disclosing confidential national defece documents to unauthorized persons--the media.
jayb
Snowden will NOT be tried in US civilian court. the last thing Obama wants is for Snowden to summon NSA characters as defense witnesses, parading them in open court (ala Zimmerman, Arias, Peterson, OJ trials) to testify on NSA. military court is the only option but Snowden is civilian contractor, not soldier ala Manning.
ejmciii
Sheer idiocy. Spies have been tried in civil courts numerous times and guess what. They get to have counsel. They get all the criminal procedure protections of all of the other accused. And no bullets in the heads prior to appeal. You people have been listening to the propaganda coming out of the PLA. Wake up and shake it off.
norodnik
WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE AIN'T NECESSARILY GOOD FOR THE GANDER, RIGHT UNCLE SAM?
Italy upholds convictions of 23 CIA agents in absentia
Italy's highest court confirmed the guilty verdicts Wednesday of 23 CIA agents tried in absentia for the 2003 abduction of Egyptian imam Osama Mustafa Hassan (pictured) in Milan. The United States has already refused to extradite the agents.

Italy's top court Wednesday confirmed guilty verdicts against 23 CIA agents for the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian imam in Milan and ordered a re-trial for five Italian ex-spies accused of taking part.
The CIA agents were all being tried in absentia in one of the world's biggest court cases against the US "extraordinary rendition" programme to interrogate alleged Islamist militants after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The 23 CIA agents were originally sentenced in November 2009 to five to eight years in prison and in December 2010 had their sentences increased to seven to nine years on appeal and ordered to pay damages to the imam.
Italy's justice ministry is now obliged to make a formal request for the extradition of the agents, legal sources said, but the United States has already refused....
norodnik
LET'S MAKE A DEAL!
A former CIA base chief in Italy who was convicted in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a street in Milan has been detained in Panama, the Italian justice ministry said Thursday.However, Panamanian Security Minister Jose Raul Molino told The Associated Press in Panama City that he was unaware of Robert Seldon Lady’s detention, and the press office of the National Police - which works with Interpol, the international police agency - said it had no information about the case. The CIA said it had no immediate comment.
Lady, the former Milan CIA official, was sentenced by an Italian appeals court in Milan earlier this year in the extraordinary rendition case to nine years in prison after being tried in absentia in Italy for the kidnapping of the Muslim cleric.
The trials of Lady, 59, now retired from the CIA, and two other Americans in the case brought the first convictions anywhere in the world against agents involved in the agency’s extraordinary rendition program, a practice alleged to have led to torture.
The ministry said it didn’t immediately have details on when or where in Panama the detention of Lady, who was born in Honduras, took place. Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, who reportedly signed the request for Lady’s detention, was away on a visit to Lithuania.
Italy and Panama have no extradition treaty, Italian diplomats said, so being detained in Panama wouldn’t necessarily result in Lady’s return to Italy.....
ejmciii
Have not seen too many apologies from Beijing for their convicted spies. Should put a full embargo on Chinese made goods sent from anywhere in China including HK to the US. Then lets see how big your balls are.
hard times !
if China sells half the US national bonds (or at least 1/3 of it) that she now possesses (which interests are not attractive ) , what will happen ? Just guess.Americans have long got used to using cheap products imported from China since the eighties of last century when American corporations started investing hugely in China where the products made were sent to America only---not even on sale in the production base---China ! Blind arrogance only signifies the beginning of downfall as the saying goes,' pride comes before a fall (and a big fall maybe in the decades/years to come) ! Just wait and see how big the 'balls' of arrogant and big-sized Americans are !!
ejmciii
Where do they put their money then? They do not want to invest in their own nation. So in Japan? Euro? The last time China tried to play that game, the bonds were picked up instantaneously. Get used to it, China needs it. Once the embargo goes into effect, imagine where it all goes. Your masters in Beijing then need to consider to whom they sell. Glad I opened up the debate and irritated a few.
babyhenry
Well to develop big balls your typical american brain has shrink to a size of a peanut, that explains why your brightest and smartest are pretty much all imported and not locally educated - You seem to be a shining example of that..... and BTW being one of your largest debt holders, all China have to do is simply not buy your debt or start throwing them away.... sure it would hurt itself but it will hurt you much more...... well I suppose you can always count on Japan to jump in a take the bullet and buy whatever the Chinese or others are throwing away eh? Also do not buy from China, than we can surely see the effect of your QE 1,2,3 on inflation... oo please lets not kid ourself that you are buying from China because of Quality, no its because its cheap period so you can export your inflation when you are printing paper. I do apologize for trying to make you think we that peanut size brain of yours, maybe you can genetically make your balls to replace your brain...... ooo wait most of your countrymen are already on that stage and we can see how well that went.
chanyellowgreen
We are living in a civilised world. We do not compare the size of our 'balls', please.
daily
What a loser!!!!!!!!!.........go back to that hole of yours in your beloved America and stay there to make your stupid remarks..........or make it to Obama.............He might listen to you,,,,,,,,,
hard times !
arrogant as used to be
Uncle Sam's loyal
servant,Stephen Young
whose fate is unknown
yet for his loss in
the Battle of Snowden Affairs
neither Snowden was
provisionally arrested as
asked by his master
nor detained here
in our beloved H.K.
for a pending extradition
court hearing which
might take years
to offer a verdict
poor Stephen Young
who disgraced his
home country in
his retiring age.
now his successor,
an experienced China
Hand would have
a difficult task
to fulfill
as mutual trust
is missing between
Hongkongers and
Obama administration
No apology for wrongdoings
committed set a bad
example to our young !
thief yelled,'Stop ! Thief !'
is really laughable
hacking is a crime here
how about state-class
large-scale hackings
of the NSA of America ?
Is she the leader of robbers ?
we really wonder.
johnwe
Typical and dreadful rubbish from a US big mouth- too big because he thinks he is loved and respected by the people of Hong Kong. He has a lot to learn on that front. They love to tell people how to run their lives and set rules as if they are models of those standards they trot out like regurgitation from rote learning. The claim that US is the paradise of freedom, democracy and all the usual rubbish is laughable jargon. In fact it is the seat of deceit, state theft, secret rendition, illegal detention without due process of law using a foreign territory to avoid being tainted by the dirt
hitting the land the pristine white and virtuous - all done brazenly and defended as in the interest of national security - i.e. other countries and people have no need for their own privacy and security.
Go home Mr Young and know that there is a strong dislike for people like you among Hongkongers. Enjoy your well earned retirement in God's only democracy for the only virtuous people in the world.
chanyellowgreen
I guess Young would have scored very low marks if he sat our DSE exam on liberal studies. He was simply not answering any questions! Poor him.
peaceful
An Apology???
He is not allowed by his Masters in Washington to do so.
dynamco
www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/xwdt/gsxw/t1040980.htm
The Spokesperson's Remarks on Relevant Comments of Stephen M. Young, US Consul General in Hong Kong
cghongkong.tumblr.com/page/2
Ask Me Anything
“hi Steve, my hard drive crashed Can the NSA send me a backup pls ?'
'hi Steve, how do I get rid of the Stuxnet virus ?(pls do not send a drone)'
cghongkong.tumblr.com/
www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/137277.htm
Consul Young's next posting is Ambassador to Wales
as an avid hiker he has vowed to climb to the Snowdon summit
impala
Next post ambassador to Wales... shows what a big shot in the State Department Mr Young is huh. I just learnt he previously was ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (I kid you not).

I suggest we change the headline of this piece to "Mid-level Career Bureaucrat Vents Own Ineptitude at Newspaper Journalists.'

All a bit sad really. Goodbye Mr Young. Enjoy Cardiff. (snicker)
andreaswagner
And he doesn't even play Rugby:)
hard times !
I am surprised that this departing US Consul General ,Mr.Stephen Young is so good at Chinese that he can even fully understand pro-China local paper----Tai Kung Po and doubts its (not all local papers) objectivity in reporting the Snowden Gate Incident.But this old guy refused to offer an apology to Hongkongers for his country's NSA's intrusions of our Internet Exchange at Chinese Univ.and computers of hundreds(at least) of our public officials (including those lawmakers,Exco members,important committee chairpersons,NPC delegates and CPPCC members and major officials and...),businessmen (big shots and pro-China businessmen ?) plus students (maybe they are potential or suspected terrorists ! No explanations were offered at his gathering with local media at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Central.Shame on this old guy and his words !
stoatmonster
Well said Mr. Consul-General. Many sections of the press have reported biased, naïve, misinformed and one-sided viewpoints on the Snowden issue. You are also quite right not to apologize for the weasel's treacherous conduct.
blue
What a sore loser. Well said jve.
impala
For a diplomat, Mr Young is not very diplomatic. What's worse, he is using the lamest excuse any government has in the box: it's the fault of the media. Let him respond to the content of the allegations before he -sarcastically- complains about the messenger.
HK-Lover
You are so right Mr. Young ! It will be not easy and a long process for your successor to re-build Hong Kong people's confidence in the US .
syracuse37
Well maybe they just don't restore the confidence, leave it as it is and if Hong Kong wants to stop the ties just do it and concentrate on China and be happy to developed a one-sided economy. Why not after-all its not like mainland China would be spying on HK, yep right
HK-Lover
You are so right Mr. Young ! It will be not easy and a long process for your successor to re-build Hong Kong people's confidence in the US .
hard times !
his successor is said to be an experienced old China hand who had been sent to Beijing's embassy as early as the eighties of last century and had served in Taibei's Sino-American Co-ordinating Committee (a quasi-embassy organisation) plus US Dept.of Defence.It is really difficult to handle with his successor !
 
 
 
 
 

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