The latest as I write this is that Snowden has in fact arrived in Moscow, albeit in the transit lounge and therefore not technically in Russia, as Putin has said.
Clearly the Russian leader thought he could indulge in such colourful language because for the benefit of the international throngs following the story, he had just answered the ‘where’s Wally’ question – indeed, Mr Snowden was still at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport; though in the transit area which, technically, meant he was not in the country.
And showing he was not to be cowed by the American bullyboys, Mr Putin vowed that Russian authorities would not comply with American demands that Mr Snowden be snatched and handed over to them. Read moreMeanwhile, the US gov is all a fluster, ranting off threats and innuendo like a spoilt brat who can't get his way. They've even had a go at China as well as Russia. Seriously. And they're crapping on like Snowden has been brainwashed by the Chinese or Russians to hand over secrets, rather than actually admitting that Snowden has a very legitimate cause to do what he's doing. They're not doing themselves any favours by behaving like this for all the world to see.
Assange, throwing fuel on the fire, almost taunting Obama, has this to say:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told reporters in a 75-minute telephone conference call on Monday that Edward Snowden is “healthy and safe.” Assange also made clear he is relishing Snowden’s defiance of the U.S. “I have personal sympathy with Snowden, having gone through similar personal experiences,” he said. Read moreWikileaks also put this on their site on Sunday:
Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.Cripes, would love to have been a fly on the wall when they heard all that in the US. Indeed there seems to be a distinct lack of negotiation skills on the part of the US:
Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people". more
Also on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Snowden a “traitor.” And he warned Russia and China that their apparent support for Snowden could imperil relations with the U.S. “There would be without any question some effect and impact on the relationship” with both countries, Kerry said while traveling in New Delhi. “There is a surrender treaty with Hong Kong and, if there was adequate notice … It would be very disappointing if he was willfully allowed to board an airplane as a result … With respect to Russia, likewise.” Read moreOf which of course the Superpowders of Russia and China have taken exception too.
“We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violations of US laws and even some sort of conspiracy which, on top of all that, are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable,” Mr Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.Update:
“There are no legal grounds for such conduct [by] US officials.” Read more
An hilarious bit of commentary about it:
Whatever the reason for Washington’s blather, it certainly is not doing the US government any good. Far more interesting than Snowden’s revelations is the decision by governments of other countries to protect a truth-teller from the Stasi in Washington.Update 2:
Hong Kong kept Snowden’s whereabouts secret so that an amerikan black-op strike or a drone could not be sent to murder him. Hong Kong told Washington that its extradition papers for Snowden were not in order and permitted Snowden to leave for Moscow.
The Chinese government did not interfere with Snowden’s departure. The Russian government says it has no objection to Snowden having a connecting flight in Moscow.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino responded to Washington’s threats with a statement that the Ecuadorian government puts human rights above Washington’s interests. Foreign Minister Patino said that Snowden served humanity by revealing that the Washington Stasi was violating the rights of “every citizen in the world.” Snowden merely betrayed “some elites that are in power in a certain country,” whereas Washington betrayed the entire world.
With Hong Kong, China, Russia, Ecuador, and Cuba refusing to obey the Stasi’s orders, Washington is flailing around making a total fool of itself and its media prostitutes. - See more
Germany has really spit the dummy about this, with it's important publication Spiegel putting the boot right in:
What, exactly, is the purpose of the National Security Agency? Security, as its name might suggest? No matter in what system or to what purpose: A monitored human being is not a free human being. And every state that systematically contravenes human rights, even in the alleged service of security, is acting criminally.
Those who believed that drone attacks in Pakistan or the camp at Guantanamo were merely regrettable events at the end of the world should stop to reflect. Those who still believed that the torture at Abu Ghraib or that the waterboarding in CIA prisons had nothing to do with them, are now changing their views. Those who thought that we are on the good side and that it is others who are stomping all over human rights are now opening their eyes. A regime is ruling in the United States today that acts in totalitarian ways when it comes to its claim to total control. Soft totalitarianism is still totalitarianism. more