MOSCOW – American whistleblower Edward Snowden is reportedly stuck in a Moscow airport. Snowden was in Hong Kong, and left the city headed apparently to Cuba or Ecuador. Reports are that Snowden appeared to have a transit visa. The United States has revoked his passport and are calling on the Russian government to turn him over to American officials.
At a press briefing at the White House, Jay Carney stated, “I would say that we are obviously in conversations and that we are working with them or discussing with them — or rather expecting them to look at the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden back to the United States to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged”.
Carney added, “I would note that given our intensified cooperation with Russia after the Boston Marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters, including returning numerous high-level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government, that we do expect the Russian government to look at all the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden back to the United States”.
Obama Administration Questioned over NSA Actions
The Founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange comments, “The Obama Administration was not given a mandate by the people of the United States to hack and spy upon the entire world, to breach the U.S. Constitution and the laws of other nations in the manner that it has. To now attempt to violate international asylum law by calling for the rendition of Edward Snowden, further demonstrates the breakdown in the rule of law by the Obama Administration, which has sadly become familiar to so many”.
At a press conference hosted by Wikileaks, Michael Ratner said, “Minister Patino has talked about that in the recent press conferences, as well as mentioned it, but the Center for Constitutional Rights actually did some work on the initial application for asylum by Julian Assange when he was applying to Ecuador, and something that I think most people don’t realize is that under the Refugee Convention, whistleblowers is an activity – or rather, are people who are protected by the Refugee Convention under the idea that they’re being persecuted for political opinion.
“The Refugee Convention protects people who are being persecuted for political opinion. Whistleblower activities come within that. The United States itself has recognized that. It has protected people from China, from other countries in Africa, who are whistleblowers on their own government’s criminality, on their own government’s corruption,” continued Ratner. “So it’s surprising to me now – although maybe not surprising in this case – to see the United States really ignoring that and trying to interfere with an application for asylum by a person who has been a, who is a clear whistleblower with regard to the activities of the U.S. government and other governments in the world”.
Julian Assange stated, “Edward Snowden left Hong Kong on the 23rd of June, bound for Ecuador via a safe path through Russia and other states. Mr. Snowden has submitted an asylum application to Ecuador and possibly to other countries. The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Patino has said that the asylum application is being carefully considered. Mr. Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. The current status of Mr. Snowden and Ms. Harrison ‒ both are healthy and safe”.
Assange added, “The use of the 1917 Espionage Act against journalistic sources by the Obama Administration must be condemned. The Obama Administration has now pursued eight journalistic sources using the Espionage Act ‒ that is more than twice of all previous presidents combined, stemming back to 1917. The Obama Administration hopes to erect a new interpretation of law, which defines journalistic sources as spies, and that is not acceptable”.
The unanswered question might be that while Canada, Britain, the United States have all stated they are not listening in to telephone calls, or reading emails from their citizens, it is possible that each country are tapping into the other country’s citizens emails and telephone calls. That information could easily be shared by government agencies.