Ricardo Montelban: What is it, Snowden?
Snowden: THE DRONE! THE DRONE!
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. Russia's decision to grant the former CIA technician temporary political asylum has allowed the 30-year-old to leave the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport - where he has been stuck in limbo for weeks following his flight from Hong Kong on …
Unless a Latin American country grants him assylum, I doubt we'll hear anything more from him. Russia has made it clear that they expect him to keep his mouth shut, and at present he doesn't have any other offers of a safe home. Sad. It appears that there is no longer anywhere even slightly civilised that allows one to say things that the USA government doesn't want you to say.
If Russia allows him freedom to travel and an exit visa, it is now at least possible for him to reach Latin America without passing through US allies' territory. (Travelling Eastwards through Russia and then across the Pacific).
That the government that shelters him is such a bastion of truth, liberty and all that's decent. Had Chavez been alive I wonder if even he would have had the courage to shelter Snowden...
It must be very dispiriting for him to see that most of the rest of the world has lost interest so quickly. He has risked and apparently lost everything. While I don't entirely agree with his actions, I have to admire his courage and conviction that he was doing the right thing.
I still think I'd rather be Snowden than his Russian equivalent trying to find somewhere to live and waiting for a fatal umbrella or a tasty radioactive coffee, or (to more or less quote) "an icepick that makes his ear burn"
Steve, please don't extrapolate the mainstream uk media's loss of interest as 'most of the rest of the world'.
Snowden has lost nothing for he had nothing to lose before he made this brave decision. I wish him peace of mind in the knowledge that he's lost nothing and gained much, even if everything in the short term seems to indicate otherwise.
Hats off to Vlad (who I acknowledge is no saint himself) for this brave decision.
"I doubt we'll hear anything more from him. Russia has made it clear that they expect him to keep his mouth shut"
I wonder is this for the best - he's already given all the information he has to the WP and Guardian (they're taking their time to publish it at their leisure), so the if he stops talking it won't stop the information getting out. But it stops the story from being about him, and moves it back to being focused on the NSA & co.
"He will soon appear on Russian TV, praising Putin and, at least in comparison to USA, personal freedoms and government openness citizens of Russia enjoy."
Indeed, and I imagine that he will somehow resist the urge to gag as he apperceives the truth concerning the assassinations of many Russian journalists, the corruption, the lack of human rights [...], and he'll probably give the Russians information concerning US int & sy IT, not willingly, but they'll squeeze and massage it out of him. They have a tradition of doing so that goes back to the days of the Czars.
"Prison life in the USA is going to start looking good."
Members of the 'Cambridge Apostles' who made it to the USSR, specifically Russia, had an increasingly sad life. They too started out with these ideals and pie in the sky; the USSR was good, the west was bad, they had to be on the side of history. Buoyed up by sad idealism people seem to be more able to discard common sense and to do things which, looked at in a cold objective light, were not merely very silly and immature, but downright dangerous.
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From the letter from Washington to Moscow ( http://cryptome.org/2013/07/usdoj-rumoj-snowden.pdf ) it mentions in passing:-
"We understand from press reports and prior conversations between our governments that Mr. Snowden believes that he is unable to travel out of Russia and must therefore take steps to legalize his status. That is not accurate; he is able to travel. Despite the revocation of his passport on June 22, 2013, Mr. Snowden remains a U.S. citizen. He is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States. The United States is willing to immediately issue such a passport to Mr. Snowden."
No, I don't think I would pick that option either.
That is the 'Go to Jail, do not pass go' option.
If he does that it will be a last resort.
If the US gives Manning 135years, they will surely give Snowden 500 simply because he has made the US look bad by getting of the country before any of the multiple law enforcement services could arrest him.
They have lost face and there is nothing Uncle Sam hates more, is losing face especially on an international stage.
Russia doesn't really want Snowden - this much is evident. It would make the most sense to get him to Vladivostok, then as steerage (disguised and under a false name) onto the next container ship via Shenzhen (China) to Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Of course, the Chinese would have to be complicit, but Russia and China conspiring to tweak the nose of the States? It's been known...
Such temporary permit is very common though. Most somewhat civilised countries have such a system in place and does not reflect any definite position being taken on anything. It just means Snowden has qualified as human being and has rudimentary proven that any other option would be a direct danger to his universal rights, which is proven beyond reasonable doubt by various international organisations which investigated the treatment of fellow leaker Manning. Since "leaking" or "spying on your own government" is not an international acknowledged crime, Russian authorities are engaged in a fairly standard procedure so far without much if any political involvement.
And cue fade-out as Snowjob shuffles off into his self-imposed exile. Any sequels will be very short and choregraphed appearances on approved Russian State TV shows, interspersed with the long hours of only his Dickileaks advisers' prattle and sour FSB minders.
".....You really need to realize that not everyone that disagrees with your spoonfed views is working for The Man....."
Yet you are certain that Snowden is/will be working for The Man in Russia. There is no evidence of that, nor is there any evidence of him "picking up a cheque from Beijing" as you put earlier as the case unfolded.
It sure looks like you've been fed something - I'd check the water first.
".....Yet you are certain that Snowden is/will be working for The Man in Russia......" Quite the opposite, actually. Snowie has shown he cannot be trusted, so why would the Russians trust him even if Snowie does give them some info in exchange for his asylum? I envisage that the KGB minder will be there to make sure Snowie doesn't get too chummie with sheeple in Russia that the Kremlin does not approve of.
"...,,, There is no evidence of that, nor is there any evidence of him "picking up a cheque from Beijing" as you put earlier as the case unfolded....." Apologies, you missed the fact that was more a cheeky dig at the sheeple to get them riled up. In future I will label such smears of their "heroes" so that you can keep up.
Bush Mk I was regularly referred to as the former Director of Central Intelligence, even during his Presidency, but this tapered off after Bush MkII became President.
I really believe this was because the government was afraid foreigners would get the two Bushes confused and some might think MkII was actually in charge of our intelligent operations. It would have been terribly embarrassing.
without a Russian Visa, they were fairly surprised by this at the border - but my onward Kazakh Visa allowed me into transit. I'd certainly had enough after just two hours!
Ed will now be free to do a bit of tourism, maybe take the train to Yekaterinburg and look at the Tank Monument, or take a trip to Togliattistadt and enjoy the factory tour. I'd recommend he tries the Салат Оливье , some пельмени , washed down with a fine квас for a celebratory lunch now that he's out of transit. If you pretend you're an alcoholic then you might be able to avoid the колбаса & водка!
P.S. to Ed. watch out what you do on the internet in Russia as the Российская Федерация is a full MoU signatory to the NSA led STC / ILETS 'non-group' for co-ordinated world digital telecommunications interception, and the 90's Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий, or "System for Operative Investigative Activities" (SORM) and more recent SORM2 will likely geolocate & record anything he says or does! - I've no idea how quickly & fully the SORM data passes into the PRISM system and vice-versa, but I'm sure some does!
"The private jet of the Bolivian president was denied clearance to fly over Spanish, French or Portuguese airspace last month over suspicions Snowden might be on board. These rumours proved to be groundless, but illustrated the practical problems Snowden faced if he wanted to reach any of the three South American countries, including Venezuela and Bolivia, which had offered him asylum."
Now he can board one of those planes within the next year. Foreign countries cannot just keep stopping planes checking for him. He can also now also board a ship.
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