Lonely Exile — Snowden still stuck in Moscow
July 04, 2013 11:30 PM | 5292 views | 4 4 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Maybe by the time you read this, some obliging country will have given intelligence leaker Edward Snowden asylum, perhaps with a tacit nod from the United States that it’s OK with Washington as long as the nation giving him refuge makes him shut up.

Snowden is believed to have been stuck since June 23 in the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, a specialist in Eastern Europe, recently described it as possibly “the most soul-destroying, angst-inducing transportation hub in the world.”

No wonder Snowden has applied for asylum in 21 countries, as Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports. These include Russia, which said yes — but with conditions that Snowden would surely find unacceptable. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who clearly wants Snowden somewhere else, said: “If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must cease his activities aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners, as strange as it may sound coming from my lips.”

What that probably means is that Snowden has stolen secrets from the U.S. that also implicate Russia in some way.

However, the former National Security Agency contractor’s sole leverage is whatever classified U.S. information he hasn’t already leaked. In case Snowden didn’t get the hint, Putin said he was welcome to leave at any time.

The problem is finding someone who will take him. His country of first choice, Ecuador, whose embassy has been sheltering Snowden’s WikiLeaks patron, Julian Assange, shows signs of having second thoughts about granting him asylum.

President Rafael Correa said he would consider a request only if Snowden reached Ecuador or one of its embassies. However, Correa said his country would not issue a travel document and all but apologized for his consulate in Hong Kong issuing the travel permit that enabled Snowden to fly to Moscow. Correa said giving Snowden a travel pass was a “mistake” for which the consular official would be punished.

The next likeliest country is Venezuela. Its leftist president, Nicolas Maduro, had fine words for Snowden — he has “done something very important for humanity” — but no concrete promise of asylum.

Of the 21 countries, those that didn’t say no outright said asylum was unlikely or attached difficult conditions, such as requiring that Snowden be in the country first before applying for refuge.

The one country openly willing to take in Snowden is the United States, but he would have to face espionage charges here.

If he thinks what he did was right, then he should have no problem returning here to have his day in court.

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July 05, 2013
Snowdum must be an eternal optimist and his arrogance reminds me of a good joke:

This is a great one for all of the eternal optimists

There are twin boys of five or six. Mom was worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities -- one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist -- their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. "What's the matter?" the psychiatrist asked, baffled. "Don't you want to play with any of the toys?" "Yes," the little boy bawled, "but if I did I'd only break them."

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. "What do you think you're doing?" the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, beaming, "there must be a pony in here somewhere"

Words to live by
July 05, 2013
"If he thinks what he did was right, then he should have no problem returning here to have his day in court."

The stupidity and pass-aggressive nature of this assertion cannot be overstated and contradicts the factual reality - just look at the inhumane, unconstitutional, and illegal way that Bradley Manning was treated to know this is true. Clearly one can think one has done the right thing without feeling there should be "no problem" submitting to those who would torture and punish you for your actions. What a retarded thing to suggest. Shame on you.
July 05, 2013
With the way the United States has treated Bradley Manning over the past three years, I'm not surprised that Edward Snowden doesn't want to return there. He'd most likely be held in solitary for about a year... and tortured... just like Manning has been... then subjected to a show trial.
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