Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Snowden ~ Messages from Moscow Airport

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Previous Posts:
Snowden Stuck in Moscow
Snowden Odyssey: Hong Kong to Moscow
Edward Snowden and the Chinese Phoenix
Naomi Wolf Becomes Snowden Truther
Edward Snowden: Hero or Villain
Edward Snowden Releases NSA Secrets


From CNN - Snowden's Hopes of Asylum Dwindling
(CNN) -- Edward Snowden's hopes of finding asylum from U.S. prosecution on espionage charges appeared to dim Tuesday as country after country denied his request or said he would have to find a way to travel to their territory to apply.
While Bolivia and Venezuela seemed supportive, 11 of the 21 countries he's applied to, including Ecuador and Iceland, have said they can't consider his request until he shows up at one of their embassies or on their borders. Three have denied the request outright -- Brazil, India and Poland.

Snowden had already withdrawn his asylum request with Russian authorities after President Vladimir Putin said he would have to "stop his work aimed at harming our American partners" if he wanted to stay in the country.

But Bolivian President Evo Morales said he would be willing to grant Snowden asylum.
"Yes, why not," Morales said, Russia's state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported, citing an interview with the Russia Today news network. "We are worried at the demeanor of countries such as U.S.A."

. . . But as of Tuesday morning, it did not appear that either country had made a firm offer of asylum, or any way for him to leave Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Snowden Official Statement From the Wikileaks Website
Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013


Via Guardian UK
Text of a letter by Edward Snowden to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. Written in Spanish; obtained and translated by the Press Association, London

There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world.

I must express my deep respect for your principles and sincere thanks for your government's action in considering my request for political asylum.

The government of the United States of America has built the world's largest system of surveillance. This global system affects every human life touched by technology; recording, analysing, and passing secret judgment over each member of the international public.

It is a grave violation of our universal human rights when a political system perpetuates automatic, pervasive and unwarranted spying against innocent people.

In accordance with this belief, I revealed this programme to my country and the world. While the public has cried out support of my shining a light on this secret system of injustice, the government of the United States of America responded with an extrajudicial man-hunt costing me my family, my freedom to travel and my right to live peacefully without fear of illegal aggression.

As I face this persecution, there has been silence from governments afraid of the United States government and their threats. Ecuador however, rose to stand and defend the human right to seek asylum.

The decisive action of your consul in London, Fidel Narvaez, guaranteed my rights would be protected upon departing Hong Kong – I could never have risked travel without that. Now, as a result, and through the continued support of your government, I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest.

No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world. If any of those days ahead realise a contribution to the common good, the world will have the principles of Ecuador to thank.

Please accept my gratitude on behalf of your government and the people of the Republic of Ecuador, as well as my great personal admiration of your commitment to doing what is right rather than what is rewarding.

Edward Joseph Snowden.


If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips.
~ President Vladimir Putin of Russia

I would prefer not to deal with such matters because it’s like shearing a piglet -- there’s a lot of squealing and not much wool.
~ President Vladimir Putin

Considering that he considers himself a human rights activist and a fighter for human rights, he (Snowden) probably doesn't plan to stop this work, so he should choose a host country and head there. When this will happen I, unfortunately, do not know.
Russia never gives anyone up and doesn't plan to give anyone up. And no one has ever given us anyone.
Mr Snowden is not our agent, never was and isn't today. Our special services have never worked with him and are not working with him.
~ Vladimir Putin quoted by Guardian UK

No, I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.
I have not called President Xi personally or President Putin personally and the reason is ... number one, I shouldn't have to.
Number two, we've got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia, and I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues.
~ President Obama speaking in Dakar, Senegal about Snowden

Snowden only had one chance to stress his independence on arrival to Moscow. That was to wait for his next flight surrounded by journalists. Snowden did the opposite, putting himself, his WikiLeaks supporting team and even the Kremlin in an awkward position.
~ Journalist Andrei Soldatov of Forbes.ru

No matter how you feel about Snowden, he's a consequential cat.
~ Rachel Maddow on MSNBC

You are a modern day Paul Revere summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government.
~ Edward Snowden's father Lonnie in a letter to him co-written with attorney Bruce Fein

Putin’s professional skill at putting up smoke screens has turned the Snowden situation into a traditional Cold War-style spy scandal, complete with denials that the Russian special services have even talked to him. Yet indications are that Putin’s propaganda machine will still try to use Snowden as a rights champion. Pro-Putin parliament deputy Alexander Sidyakin has even suggested that Snowden be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Putin has turned out to be quite an efficient piglet-shearer: Snowden’s every bristle will be used for the yarn the Kremlin is already beginning to spin.
~ Leonid Bershids on Bloomberg "Edward Snowden Loses Patriot Games to Putin

Faced with the prospect of decades in prison, Mr. Snowden panicked. Instead of waiting for the territory or its masters in Beijing to decide his fate, he packed his laptops and headed for Moscow. Now he gets to see a soft dictatorship (such a lovely phrase) up close. On Sunday, the willful naïfs from WikiLeaks who are “helping” Mr. Snowden said that Sheremetyevo airport would simply be a stopover. But why would the Russian government let him go before it has squeezed him dry? In interviews, Mr. Snowden has said he has plenty of secrets left on his hard drives, and there’s no reason to doubt him. He has already disclosed details of American and British spying on a conference in 2009 in London.
Mr. Snowden has put himself in a terrible spot. Moscow will surely protect him for as long as it feels like irritating Washington. But by the time the Russians are finished sifting through his laptops, he’ll be their spy, whether or not he meant to be. Beijing may have already pulled the same trick; some intelligence officers believe that Chinese spy agencies copied Mr. Snowden’s hard drives during his Hong Kong stay.
~ Alex Berenson in New York Times, "Snowden Through the Eyes of a Spy Novelist

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