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Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia 411

New submitter kc9jud writes "The BBC is reporting that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. According to his lawyer, Snowden has received the necessary papers to leave the transit zone at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, and the airport press office is reporting that Snowden left the airport at 14:00 local time (10:00 GMT). A tweet from Wikileaks indicates that Snowden has been granted temporary asylum and may stay in the Russian Federation for up to one year." Reader Cenan adds links to coverage at CNN, and other readers have pointed out versions of the story at Reuters and CBS.
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Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia

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  • Re:In Soviet Russia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:35AM (#44445599)

    But seriously. Think back a quarter century and ponder what someone would have said if you told him that a US citizen flees to Russia to beg for asylum because he's being prosecuted for telling the truth...

  • Re:CIA's next move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:45AM (#44445685)

    You mean like they did with Bradley Manning? :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:00AM (#44445821)

    The 1 year asylum means they get to pump him for information for the next year and have an exclusive on any information he produces. What information he has is perishable and the US public will forget about this and he will be useless to the Russians by then. They will then decide not to grant permanent asylum and expel him from Russia. He will be right back where he is now but with no spotlight to protect him and a pile of useless information.

  • Re:In Soviet Russia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by artfulshrapnel ( 1893096 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:41AM (#44446329)

    Except that by asking him to do something illegal, the NSA invalidated their own contract. Under U.S. law no contract may require a person to commit an illegal act, nor may it prevent them from reporting a criminal act so long as they have first attempted to report the criminal activity using internal policies. As long as Snowden tried to get his bosses to stop the illegal wiretapping and reported their actions to his supervisor, he should be protected under us whistleblower protection laws.

    That said, this is the NSA, and they seem not to care about the law. Running away is smart, to keep them from doing something illegal to punish him for reporting the OTHER illegal things they did.

  • gay? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:47AM (#44446385) Journal

    You joke, but the military is very quick and free to trot that idea out. "He did it because he is gay" as if being gay makes a person more likely to leak information, I mean, commit treason. Some of Bradley Manning's posts I ran across would seem to show he might indeed be gay. Then it occured to me those posts might be fakes.

    The 1989 gun turret explosion on the USS Iowa [] was a classic. The navy put out this ridiculous hypothesis that Clayton Hartwig, a sailor who died in the disaster, was gay and so sexually frustrated that he was suicidal and deliberately caused the explosion. Under pressure, the navy dropped the gay part but clung on to the idea Hartwig was suicidal and did it on purpose. As the disaster was investigated further, it became even more painfully obvious that the navy was doing a cover up. The real reason was that they were using experimental mixings of explosives that if not rammed slowly could prematurely detonate. Strangest was that the officer the navy picked to lead the investigation was the same guy who made the experimental mix.

    And remember, some of the most radical social conservatives advanced this absurd notion that 9/11 happened because America is too tolerant of homosexuality. Just the other day I stopped in at my insurance agent's office and heard Limbaugh on their radio, ranting about the possibility that Trayvon Martin might have been gay and tried to sexually assault Zimmerman. I don't expect any better of those retards, but we should have smarter military leaders than that. No General Boykins! May be hard to do. I suppose a military career is attractive to simpletons who think force is a good answer to most problems.

  • Re:CIA's next move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tburkhol ( 121842 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:49AM (#44446407)

    But on the other hand, it's very important that America isn't seen as a pushover either. The powers-that-be want to make an example of Snowden; they want him rotting in jail. "Mess with us and see what you get!" is an equally important message.

    I am saddened by this attitude. The sentiment would sound appropriate coming from a 3rd world dictator, petty bureaucrat, or aspiring fascist, not from one of the most powerful and respected countries on the planet. Really, the idea that one man could do so much damage to the country or its leaders that rotting-in-jail-forever or death are not just appropriate but necessary forms of revenge, looks weak and fragile. A strong country has policies that reflect its ideals rather than its weaknesses. A strong country prevents rather than punishes failure. A strong country is resilient to dissent and thrives on differences in opinion.

    Did Snowden disclose the identities of covert operatives and put them at risk? Did he unmask our moles in Al Quaeda or the Chinese government? Did he get confidential informants killed? Help North Korea build better nuclear bombs? No. He alleged that a US government agency chartered for foreign surveillance was, in fact, collecting and retaining a vast amount of domestic intelligence and doing so with questionable judicial authority. His claims raise serious questions about the legality of NSA procedures, and are only damaging if true. If they're not true, then why should anyone in government care what hoaxes a private citizen cares to raise?

  • by pe1rxq ( 141710 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @11:59AM (#44447339) Homepage Journal

    Gandhi had been arrested before, and this had proven to work out for his cause. He made a judgemend call that being arrested would work out again.
    In Snowden's case the opposite might verry well be true, and he obviously made a different choice.

    However the main point still stands: both broke a law (both viewing it as justified). They also both publicly admitted what they did and why.

  • Re:Gone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @12:34PM (#44447771)
    Make sure to first fill out your protest permit and stay in the Free Speech Zone, or you **will** be going to jail. I'm not sure whether Pussy Riot had those options and ignored them, or if all protests in Russia are currently illegal.
  • Re:Hooray for Russia (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @04:21PM (#44450723) Journal

    A lot of things that you read in Russian propaganda, both foreign and internal, about things "growing" and "getting interesting", is pure unadulterated BS. Nanotech is a bunch of vaporware, Skolkovo is a flop, and as for Sochi, it has record-breaking numbers of money just vanishing (presumably in the pockets of people running the show).

    If I were looking for a place to go on the basis of its future perspectives, South America (esp. Brazil) would definitely rank higher than Russia.

  • Re:Gone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dextrously ( 1086289 ) on Friday August 02, 2013 @03:41PM (#44460145)

    In addition, the USA White House petition site received a petition to pardon Snowden, and ignored it. There is now a new petition for them to respond to the previous one. Hilarious, in a very sad way. The government answers to the people, sure, but only when they feel like it. []

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