Edward Snowden NSA Whistleblower From Hong Kong To Moscow To Ecuador Pissing Off US by zennie62
Edward Snowden while in Hong Cong
In the continuing real life saga of Edward Snowden, all surrounding his whistleblowing of the NSA's secret surveillance programs and the fallout that has resulted from his revelations, in a bit of old news, the Obama administration on Saturday finally got around to issuing an extradition request for the Hong Cong government to send Snowden back to the U.S. "to face espionage and theft charges". The U.S. move was not unexpected.
In a seemingly direct result of this extradition request, Snowden, most likely on the advice of Wikileaks, left Hong Cong the next day on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow, (again a bit of old news).
From there the intrigue surrounding Snowden grows even greater.
As this is being written, Snowden's exact whereabouts can not be confirmed though Julian Assange has said he knows where Snowden is and what his plans are but for obvious reasons is not revealing them.
What is known Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador which has been confirmed by Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino.
This morning, Patino during a news conference in Hanoi said, "We will consider the position of the U.S. government and we will take a decision in due course in line with the Ecuadorian constitution, the laws, international politics and sovereignty", (not exactly a ringing endorsement to grant Snowden's asylum request nor is it a capitulation to the U.S. request to send Snowden back to the U.S. if he goes to Ecuador). But since Ecuador has granted asylum to Julian Assange in their embassy in London, from here the likelihood is Ecuador will grant asylum to Snowden regardless of U.S. protestations.
Earlier reports this morning had Snowden scheduled to board an Aeroflot flight to Havana, however he wasn't in his seat as the flight took off,(It should be noted Aeroflot has no direct flights to Ecuador so Snowden [if he eventually does go to Ecuador] would have to go to Havana and from there on to Quito).
So whether he continues to remain incognito in the Moscow airport terminal is still a mystery.
Based on Patino's account this morning, one plausible assumption may be Snowden is waiting for Ecuador to formally grant him political asylum before he flies out of Moscow.
But considering Snowden's plight with the U.S. issuing the extradition request to Hong Cong and demanding he be sent back to the U.S. forthwith, what was he supposed to do? Wait in Hong Cong to see if the authorities refused to comply with the U.S. request? Or worse if Hong Cong acceded to U.S. pressure, and then detained him until the CIA could bring him back to face bogus charges of espionage?
Snowden had to act expeditiously and leave Hong Cong.
Let's hope he continues to evade the U.S. snatch and grab types and be afforded the asylum he deserves. He certainly wouldn't receive justice in the U.S. if he were brought back to the America. Not with the Obama administration's hell bent determination to prosecute all whistleblowers.