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Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia 447

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the silly-rabbit-human-rights-are-for-Party-members dept.
vikingpower writes "The official Russian Press agency Interfax has the scoop: Edward Snowden asks for political asylum in Russia (Google Translate). Russia Today, however, denies the news. Is this part of a clever disinformation move by Snowden, who reportedly is still in the Moscow airport Sheremetyevo 2?" The Washington Post is also reporting Snowden did apply for asylum in Russia. Snowden released a statement last night through Wikileaks, quoting: "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."
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Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

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  • by rockout (1039072) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:08AM (#44163879)
    and he is us.
    • NSA is not us (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:26AM (#44164033)

      NSA is not us. If NSA were us, Clapper wouldn't be lying to Congress.
      FISA ruling wouldn't be hidden from us, especially the 2011 one saying its illegal.
      This wouldn't have been done in secret and they wouldn't have to lie to us.
      Snowden wouldn't have had to leak something that should/needs be public in a democracy anyway.
      FTC and other government agencies wouldn't have to remind Corps there are laws in the land.
      Google Yahoo etc. wouldn't be fighting secret orders in secret kangaroo courts.
      Cheney wouldn't be smirking.

      So no, it's them, no us. A fear-mongering faction in the NSA led by General Alexander that simply decided one day to capture all data and store all data, on everyone, and a lot of traitors to their countries who went along with it. /rant

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:44AM (#44164159) Journal

        ... but NSA does represent the Americans !!

        Whether you like it or not, if you are an American (which I am), NSA is part and parcel of the American government - and whatever NSA is doing (and whatever the Obama administration is doing right now) does represent ALL THE AMERICANS

        I mean, look at what is happening in Egypt

        The Egyptians who are tired of the non-performing Egyptian presidents are gathering in HUGE CROWD, demanding that muslim-brotherhood figurehead to step down

        And about America ... ... do you see anything like that happening ?

        Why not ?

        What kind of message the Americans are telling the world ? ... that we, the Americans, are SATISFIED with what the Obama administration is doing ... that we, the Americans, agree with what NSA is doing ... that we, the Americans, do not mind our phones be tapped, do not mind that the big brother has invaded our privacy, do not mind at all, that our liberties are being violated

        By doing nothing, that's THE MESSAGE the Americans are telling the world ... whether you like it, or not

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Thank you for saying that so clearly. I hope you all read that and understand what it means. Simply not acting is an action all by itself and means something.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:54AM (#44164259)

          By doing nothing, that's THE MESSAGE the Americans are telling the world ... whether you like it, or not

          And the rest of the world is both laughing their asses off at you, and increasingly realizing that what America says and what America does are two entirely different things.

          All that talk about rights and freedoms is hypocrisy, and as a government they're more interested in forcing other countries to adopt stricter copyright protections than anything else.

          America has lost the right to tell other countries to not spy on their citizens, or pretty much anything -- because they do it themselves. You ignore your own Constitution more every week.

          What the rest of the world is seeing is a steady decline into being xenophobic idiots who like to tell everyone else how to run their countries while steadily allowing their own to fall apart.

        • Yet (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:25AM (#44164599)

          "does represent ALL THE AMERICANS"
          Only 60 members of Congress were briefed and only 3000 people knew about the project in Government. It doesn't represent *all* Americans. It's a deception that's falling apart sustained by secrecy.

          Conspiracies take time to unravel.

          Half a million signatures tell me, that half a million people SO FAR have read the Guardian leaks. That's a good start.
          As the court opens the 2011 FISA ruling that this program is illegal, they'll be 5 million more.
          As the extent of the phone surveillance becomes apparent it will be 50 million.
          As the extent of the trawl of public records comes out, that will be 300 million.

          • Re:Yet (Score:4, Insightful)

            by RoknrolZombie (2504888) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:47AM (#44164871)
            And in the end they'll replace the program with something that even fewer people are aware of or have access to, with proper checks in place for their contractors. We'll be back to "business as usual" within a year...assuming, of course, that there's not already something in place that we are still unaware of.
            • Re:Yet (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Salgak1 (20136) <<ten.ysaekaeps> <ta> <kaglas>> on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:24AM (#44165315) Homepage
              Considering we ALREADY knew, if we were paying attention. Remember ECHELON, and "Jam ECHELON day" ?? Remember "CARNIVORE" ?? Remember "Total Information Awareness" ?? This just release 4.x (and probably higher, nobody found the earlier and/or intermediate programs. . .) It will NEVER go away. It will change names, contractors involved, and maybe even agencies. But there's nothing so permanent as a Government Surveillance Program. ..
          • So you are not responsible for whatever your democratically elected government does, as long as they decide to not tell you about it.

        • ... and polls show that just under 50% of Americans are happy to trade liberty for "safety" while just under %50 are not willing to make this trade.

          So I think the "it is us" statement is true.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:37AM (#44164119) Journal

      http://wikileaks.org/Statement-from-Edward-Snowden-in.html?snow [wikileaks.org]

      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 Ã" 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

    • I wonder if he has discovered the finer delicacies of airport eating, as seen in the Terminal, such as the venerable ketchup and mustard cracker sandwich.
  • It has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person.

    Not quite. He is still a citizen of the United States and can contact the US Embassy for assistance to leave the country, though it would mean his surrender to the United States. If he publicly made that intent known, officials from the US Embassy in Russia could travel to the airport, use diplomatic powers to pass into where Snowden rests, issue him temporary travel documents to escort him out of the airport and to the embassy, and arrange for travel home.

    He's not stateless, but I'm sure he likes to think of himself that way.

    • by Spottywot (1910658) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:31AM (#44164075)

      It has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person.

      Not quite. He is still a citizen of the United States and can contact the US Embassy for assistance to leave the country, though it would mean his surrender to the United States. If he publicly made that intent known, officials from the US Embassy in Russia could travel to the airport, use diplomatic powers to pass into where Snowden rests, issue him temporary travel documents to escort him out of the airport and to the embassy, and arrange for travel home.

      He's not stateless, but I'm sure he likes to think of himself that way.

      The point of him seeking asylum is that he does not want to surrender to the US authorities, that was the whole point in him fleeing in the first place, but I'm sure you're aware of that. What he should have said to avoid needless pedantry is 'The US government have taken away the one advantage of US citizenship that is of any use to me right now, the ability to travel to somewhere that I won' t be incarcerated and demonised for the rest of my life'.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      They would even provide him with a place to stay when he got back to the U.S.--a permanent place to stay.

    • by Thruen (753567)
      If I'm understanding correctly, what he means is that while he should be able to seek asylum anywhere they'll have him, he can't currently travel anywhere to seek asylum. While this might not technically make him stateless, I think it'd be even less accurate to suggest that the ability to turn himself in means he isn't stateless. His government want to arrest him, almost certain to jail him indefinitely possibly even sentence him to death, and the closest thing to support he has from any other government is
  • by kiriath (2670145)

    How I wish this was hard to believe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by postbigbang (761081)

      This link was corroborated by Democracy Now this morning.

      The post is therefore moot, but the mudslinging will continue unabated.

  • by mrsam (12205) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:16AM (#44163939) Homepage

    "Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia"

    That was yesterday's news, sorry. Today's news, is that he's not [foxnews.com].

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:17AM (#44163949)

    Having a passport canceled doesn't effect citizenship. Snowden's statement is rubbish on that point.

    Prepared to issue one-entry travel document to Snowden: US [business-standard.com]

    "We reject - you've heard Assange say earlier that he's sort of marooned in Russia. That's not true. We're prepared to issue one-entry travel document. He's still a US citizen. He still enjoys the rights of his US citizenship, which include the right to a free and fair trial for the crimes he's been accused of," the State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

    "We reject the notion that this is some sort of political prosecution. Indeed, it's not. These are serious crimes, serious violations of his obligations, and as somebody who had access to classified information, and so our position is that he needs to face a free and fair trial and not be a fugitive," Ventrell said.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rwv (1636355)

      he needs to face a free and fair trial

      With a jury of his peers? I won't comment on whether the whistle-blower or the government is wrong here, but I would be very interested if a group of Average Joe's were given a chance to make a ruling with respect to the rights that a government has to keep details of its surveillance program secret.

    • The executive branch of the united states has made it public that they feel its within their rights to capture, torture, and murder "US citizens" that they feel are an "imminent threat" to the United States. Which they clearly feel Snowden is. Snowden IS a US citizen, his state however, has forsaken him.

  • The right to asylum has been under attack for quite a while now; this is hardly news.

    I'm happy to be explained the difference between 1) seeking asylum fleeing politically-motivated charges, versus 2) fleeing criminal charges, albeit, for offences committed with a political motivation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:19AM (#44163969)

    Americans will never defend their constitution, that has been proven for decades of abuses.

    Land of the fat and LAZY.

    The dream died years ago, I still have no idea why people still believe it is still a dream country.

    • Inertia. The center of empire, always building on the outskirts of the old collapsing one, had shifted from Europe to the Us and is now shifting to China. The world is learning a terrible lesson that there's more to freedom than freedom of speech. What good is it if every economic action is contained, proscribed, and approaching a corrupt state where you must get on bended knee to do anything?

    • by mblase (200735)

      The dream died years ago, I still have no idea why people still believe it is still a dream country.

      "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." -- Wiston Churchill

    • This just in: The world sucks, there are no utopias, but western countries (including the US) are still a heck of a lot better than the alternatives.

      That may be why "people still believe it is a dream country". This guy is in trouble for leaking state secrets. In most other countries (including the one Snowden is currently in) you get this star treatment just for speaking any ill of the government (see: Kasparov).

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        This just in: The world sucks, there are no utopias, but western countries (including the US) are still a heck of a lot better than the alternatives.

        Have you actually lived in any of these alternatives? Or put another way, do you have any idea what you are talking about?

  • Getting desperate? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ark1 (873448) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:20AM (#44163985)
    Apparently he withdrew [nbcnews.com] his asylum request after Putin asked him to stop leaking more secrets. Funny he would consider it in the first place knowing that Russians are likely much worst when it comes to surveillance of their own citizens. Can't see many nations wanting him at this time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by benjfowler (239527)

      Putin is a pragmatist. He no doubt has some very good reasons for wanting him to shut up. If they harbour him, then everyone's ire will be turned on the Russians. Russia wants to be seen as a big, serious player, not as a rogue state.

      And Snowden himself doesn't seem to have the brains to not shit in his own nest.

      • by Cenan (1892902) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:40AM (#44164145)

        Everyone's ire is directed at the US, and it will stay that way regardless of which country, if any, eventually grants him asylum. Ultimately, Snowden's fate is completely irrelevant to the rest of the World, it will only affect the potential whistleblowers who come after him. Setting an example with his case is strictly an internal US affair.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Pecisk (688001)

          Problem is he isn't whistle blower, but leaker, t.i. I'm yet to see anything to have "criminal charges" resonate outside of casual leftist forum message in web. He copied bunch of documents, most of them honeypot level. So what? It renewed discussion of NSA and laws it operates with, fine, it would be nice to have productive outcome from it (from example, having secret courts and legal opinions is just wrong). However, neither majority of electorate has wish to touch this issue, nor their representatives ca

          • by Cenan (1892902) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:41AM (#44166331)

            To deem him not a whistleblower seems like a rather harsh interpretation of the term. He is exposing, what he believes to be, unlawful practises, that seems to me to be exactly what a whistleblower does.

            Many on /. seem to be overlooking that the ball is still rolling on this, the US government is not just collecting data on american citizens, but actively carrying out espionage missions against allies. Nobody around here (Europe) gives two flying fucks about Snowden or his fate, nor the laws NSA allegedly follows. The media here is much more concerned with the bugging of EU offices. The pictures most prominent on TVs across Europe is Obama trying to explain that little turd, all the while coming off as a complete idiot trying to explain 1+1 to a 4 year old, it really is not very pretty. And in case you havn't been paying attention the last couple of decades, what the media cares about, John Doe general public cares about.

            The statement, that the ire of the world would turn to Russia if they granted Asylum to Snowden, smells very much like a "everybody probably thinks like me" fallacy, it's a projection based on the assumption that the rest of the world are americans.

      • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:45AM (#44164165)

        Putin is a pragmatist. He no doubt has some very good reasons for wanting him to shut up. If they harbour him, then everyone's ire will be turned on the Russians. Russia wants to be seen as a big, serious player, not as a rogue state.

        And Snowden himself doesn't seem to have the brains to not shit in his own nest.

        More to the point: Putin is a former intelligence officer. While he certainly is open to obtaining information that would help Russia; he is probably has little respect for people who commit espionage against their country and little trust that they will stay loyal to Russia if he grants asylum. He's a pro, and will do whatever is best for Putin and Russia. At this point, he probably thinks the downside isn't worth it. No matter what our personal opinions are of Snowden's actions; we can probably agree he is really screwed.

      • by 1s44c (552956) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:26AM (#44164617)

        Putin is a pragmatist. He no doubt has some very good reasons for wanting him to shut up. If they harbour him, then everyone's ire will be turned on the Russians. Russia wants to be seen as a big, serious player, not as a rogue state.

        It's the US that's coming off as a rouge state here. The Russians have come off as reasonable and rational on the whole Snowden thing, and the not giving weapons to fundamentalists in Syria thing.

        And Snowden himself doesn't seem to have the brains to not shit in his own nest.

        Because you believe it's right that everyone must live in fear of the US government?

    • by dj245 (732906)

      Can't see many nations wanting him at this time.

      There are plenty of nations that love to poke the US in the eye and don't cooperate with the US. I can name half a dozen, and I've heard that he is in contact with about 20. If he were on Iranian, North Korean, Cuban, Venezuela, Ecuador, etc soil he would be fine. The difficult issue is extracting him from where he is now. Putting somebody in your pocket is one thing. Removing him out of someone else's pocket is quite another.

  • A day late, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:23AM (#44164007)

    This news is a day late. Since this happened Putin told him he can't leak anything else if he wants to stay in Russia so he's withdrawn his request to Russia.

    As for the US breaching article 14 I don't think it matters anymore, they've long thrown articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 out the window in the last decade and no one did anything so of course they'll try and get away with violating the rest despite being a signatory to the UDHR.

    But in this case they're also now violating article 13, which states that:

    "Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

    Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

    Revoking Snowden's passport also violates this from what I can see as by removing his passport they're removing his right to travel and hence to leave Russia.

    Or in other words the US has pretty much now completely thrown the de-facto document on basic levels of standards of human rights entirely out the window.

    As each year goes on they're breaching a new article, when they do that how can they realistically preach to any other nation on human rights? How can they pretend to have the moral high ground next time a blind Chinese human rights activist turns up at their embassy and they claim they should be allowed to let him go to the US against China's will?

    • by ark1 (873448) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:31AM (#44164073)

      Revoking Snowden's passport also violates this from what I can see as by removing his passport they're removing his right to travel and hence to leave Russia.

      Or in other words the US has pretty much now completely thrown the de-facto document on basic levels of standards of human rights entirely out the window.

      Owning a passport/travelling between countries is a privilege not a right. When someone is suspected of a crime and there is a good chance this person may seek to leave the country to evade prosecution, the passport will be revoked. Snowden is not a special snowflake to warrant a different treatment.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geogob (569250)

        You don't revoke passports. Once you arrested someone, the judge may decide to retain the travel documents to avoid that person fleeing justice. But the passport is not revoked, it is confiscated. And that is done once the person is arrested, not while the person is sitting somewhere in the world in a transit area.

        Revoking a passport is quite extreme and I have never heard of such action. It is not the usual way to pursue international criminals. Thus it is a different treatment.

        • by ark1 (873448)

          You don't revoke passports. Once you arrested someone, the judge may decide to retain the travel documents to avoid that person fleeing justice. But the passport is not revoked, it is confiscated. And that is done once the person is arrested, not while the person is sitting somewhere in the world in a transit area.

          Revoking a passport is quite extreme and I have never heard of such action. It is not the usual way to pursue international criminals. Thus it is a different treatment.

          Passport Canada [ppt.gc.ca] (US must have something similar) has a description of actions that may get your passport revoked. At this point I think he does fall in there.

        • by sangreal66 (740295) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:50AM (#44164889)

          There is nothing extreme about it, it is entirely routine:

          The principal law enforcement reasons for the U.S. State Department to deny
          or revoke a passport are the existence of (1) a valid federal or state felony arrest warrant; or (2) a
          criminal court order, condition of parole or condition of probation that forbids departure from the
          United States (See 22 C.F.R. 51.60-51.62)

          http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/passport_fact_sheet.pdf [usdoj.gov]

          This pdf is about sex offenders, but that isn't relevant to the regulations they cite (and I'm just demonstrating that it is standard procedure). 22 C.F.R. 51.62 allows them to revoke a passport if the bearer would not be eligible to get a new passport:

          51.62 Revocation or limitation of passports.

          (a) The Department may revoke or limit a passport when

          (1) The bearer of the passport may be denied a passport under 22 CFR 51.60 or 51.61 ; or 51.28 ; or any other provision contained in this part; or,

          22 C.F.R. 51.60 allows for denying a new passport based on outstanding arrest warrants:

          (b) The Department may refuse to issue a passport in any case in which the Department determines or is informed by competent authority that:

          (1) The applicant is the subject of an outstanding Federal warrant of arrest for a felony, including a warrant issued under the Federal Fugitive Felon Act (18 U.S.C. 1073); or

          Put together, they can and do revoke passports based simply on having an outstanding arrest warrant, without a specific court order

      • by Xest (935314)

        So if it's a privilege not a right then why is it defined as a human right in the UDHR which the US was active in both writing and voting for? The problem is they're not stopping him leaving the US for committing a crime there, they're stopping him travelling full stop by revoking his passport. That's not quite the same as a court forcing surrender of travel documents.

        What about Chen Guangcheng? He was deemed a criminal in China but the US seemed to have no problem with arguing to get him out of the country

    • If Snowden walked into the US Embassy in Moscow, they would issue him travel pass for a one way ticket back to the States in about 5 minutes. That he an international fugitive on the run probably has more to do with his reluctance.
    • The State Department can revoke your passport. You might notice there's a little part that says "This passport is the property of the United States (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 51.9). It must be surrendered upon demand made by an authorized representative of the United States Government." They have the right to revoke your passport and criminal charges are a reason they can. In that event what happens is you can get a special travel document that'll let you go back to the US. Yes, if he t

  • Abstractions... nothing more.... physical reality is only influenced by abstractions to the extent human action is connected to them. To understand this is to know its about excuses to use nothing more than brute force physically.

    The Obama Adminastration is not a US governemnt but the government the founders wrote and warned us about when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. And they gave us instructions as to what to do about it. Recognizing its not only our right to do something about it but our Du

  • Circus and farce (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:46AM (#44164169)

    Sorry guys, I know you want to fight oppression, corporations, evil governments and what else, but level of cheese coming out of Assange and now Snowden is making me puke. Seriously, a stateless person? Passport is *document*, not nationality or citizenship. It is revoked when you have lost formal trust of country it has been issued by (regular procedure for accused runaways). Edward, you already invalidating anything you have said before (except factual leaked docs), because your intent is to speculate emotionally.

    What he really thought will happen after his identification as the source? That everybody will jump out of joy when he will ask for political asylum? That he will have capability to travel after identifying himself? What is this with this childish behavior?

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:50AM (#44164221)

    If he wanted to blame someone, I'd blame the folks at Wikileaks who advised him to travel from Hong Kong to Russia in the first place. Apparently they told him they'd find him a place for Asylum and it seems they couldn't deliver.

    Sorry, but part of civil disobedience is a willingness to suffer the consequences as just or unjust as they maybe. That's what sets people like Gandhi, Mandela and MLKjr apart from this guy. They took their stands and paid the price of their stands.

    Some want to lift this guy up as some kind of hero. Others a criminal and traitor. I've held the position that he's both. At least until he begins giving up operational tradecraft information then I start to lean more towards criminal. It's one thing to bring to light what is going on in generalities.

    Although I'm getting a laugh at the coming out of the EU being up and arms about our spying on them, especially the French. After all the DGSE is the only intelligence service I know of that publically publishes the fact that 25% of their budget is spent on industrial espionage to help French businesses.

    At any rate, glad we can all be focused on this little side drama as opposed to the meat of the story: mainly the spying programs that the NSA have been engaged in. Funny how just a week later that's been pushed from the news headlines. If this wasn't enough to get people into the streets with pitchforks and willing to tar and feather the lot of them in DC I guess nothing will. It was a nice republic, too bad we couldn't keep it.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:24AM (#44164585)

    Firstly, he's not stateless. The US is not denying the fact he is currently a United States Citizen. A stateless person is one with no citizenship anywhere. A stateless person has no right of entry into any country; he has the right to return to the US any time he wants.

    Second, nothing in international law obligates any country to not object to an asylum application. It would be a treaty violation to make asylum seeking in and of itself a crime, but that's not happening.

    That UN treaty does protect asylum seekers from purely political prosecutions, but Snowden has moved well away from whistleblowing on domestic surveillance programs (I could certainly classify that as "political"), and has progressed to apparently spilling the beans on every electronic intelligence gathering operation he could get his hands on.

    When he was still talking about domestic surveillance of questionably constitutionality, I could see him as a civil liberties hero. But he's gone well beyond that by now.

    And, as a side note, how did he NOT think going from Hong Kong to Moscow was going from The Frying Pan Into the Fire? Hong Kong was a strange choice to begin with. (He could be successfully hiding almost anywhere in Western Europe, had he fled there.) Leaving Hong Kong to head to Moscow was even stranger. If he wanted the "Court of Public Opinion" on his side, this was not necessarily the best way to go about it. Not to mention the danger inherent in relying on the goodwill of the Peace and Freedom Loving Peoples of Russia.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:38AM (#44164735)
    Whether you agree with what Snowden did or not (I for one do not), dude is a serious drama queen. This is somewhat typical of his generation. Everything is just so much more bigger and more important because it happens to them . It reminds me of an article I read some months ago about how his generation is convinced because they re-tweeted some messages in 2009 during the Iranian presidential election unrest that "I was there, man, on the ground trying to help Iranian democracy."

    He clearly did not think things out very well. If he had, he would have fled to Ecuador first, asked for asylum, then leaked everything. Instead he thought he could hide out in Hong Kong, not realizing that China could suggest to Hong Kong authorities that making Snowden someone else's problem ASAP might be the best idea for everybody. I am amused at how he talks about how "I am convicted of nothing". Yes, of course. The reason he is "convicted of nothing" is because he has so far avoided having to answer for his actions in a US court of law.
    • Whether you agree with what Snowden did or not (I for one do not), dude is a serious drama queen. This is somewhat typical of his generation. Everything is just so much more bigger and more important because it happens to them .

      Being from Snowden's generation -- I'm the same age -- I have to say that I for one am personally shocked by the entire NSA spying incident and the subsequent witch-hunt of Snowden himself. Not surprised, but still despite myself, shocked.

      Despite having grown a warty hide of cynicism over the last decade, despite having watched western society fail again and again over the last 10 years, despite having suspected the truth for many years already, the sheer scale and nakedness of the NSA's programs has pierced right down to the soft kernel of hope for the world instilled in me during the 1990s. The brazen outrage of the NSA and US military, the absurdly exaggerated charges against Snowden, and the relentless and petty retaliation by the US government have cast present reality back into a past which I was raised to believe would never reoccur.

      Snowden is a hero. He's a straight up hero. He gave up reward, riches, happiness, and his own future for the sake of his principles and his fellow countrymen. People in the US should build a statue in his honour. Instead, they're howling like fascists for satisfaction.

      If Snowden returns to the United States, I don't think he will get a day in open court. I doubt he will see a military tribunal. After everything that has happened, after just how wrong the world has become, it would not surprise me if Snowden was simply disappeared. It would shock me yes, but not surprise me.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @10:22AM (#44165289)
    (1) Turned down good asylum candidates: Ecuador, Hong Kong, Russia.
    (2) Didnt seem to know that most places dont even consider asylum until you are on their soil (including embassy).
  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @11:40AM (#44166305)

    According to the Passport Fact Sheet published May 2012, (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/passport_fact_sheet.pdf) the US may revoke a passport if there is an arrest warrant (which there is) to keep an individual from departing the US, if there is a court order restricting the individual from leaving the US. Since Snowden was already outside the US, it would seem frivolous to issue a court order barring him from leaving the US and therefore, by the State Department's own regulations (laws), it appears revoking his passport was handled improperly and this could be seen as a human rights violation as he is effectively imprisoned without due process (without a passport he cannot enter Russia, either and is confined to the one area of the airport that is considered international space).

    If Russia declines asylum, since Snowden is technically not in Russia, but in international space, any country could grant him political asylum, put him on a plane, private or otherwise and let him into their country as a political refugee (for which international law does not require a passport). The question is which country will be the one to do that?

    The US better hope that nothing happens to him while he is stranded, too. It would be hard to convince the rest of the world that after not following the law on password revocations that we just didn't take him out.

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