The Snowden Chronicles

I've been following what's going on with Edward Snowden's world tour to evade capture by US authorities, but I haven't had much to say about it. I will say I believe there can be good faith disagreement about whether (and why) Snowden should or shouldn't feel obliged to turn himself in. I will also say that I don't believe you have to like Glenn Greenwald to agree that Meet the Press' David Gregory asking him "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?" is comprehensive bullshit.

And I'll note that there is a lot of fast-moving and complex shit (technical term) going on regarding Snowden's presence in a Moscow airport—he has entered Russia; he hasn't entered Russia; he won't be extradited; Obama's taking a hands-off approach to extradition, anyway—possibly on his way through to South America, all of which is being complicated by the fact that US foreign policy has pissed off a lot of people. Whoops.
Edward Snowden, the fugitive American contractor who revealed details of the U.S. government's extensive spying network, so far has evaded capture by hop-scotching around the world with the help of nations that have their own beefs with the United States.

Lucky for him, there are plenty.

While they don't share Snowden's stated cause of government transparency, countries such as China, Russia and Ecuador all have extended him assistance in what analysts say is a rare chance for payback over unwelcome U.S. policies. Snowden's revelations that U.S. surveillance extended to foreign countries only adds to the willingness of nations to dismiss the Obama administration's demands for Snowden's immediate extradition to the United States, analysts said.

...[Hong Kong allowed Snowden to leave] rather than hold him as U.S. authorities had demanded. Hong Kong's official announcement of Snowden's departure said there was no cause to hold him because U.S. documents "did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law." But the statement ends with what could be the real reason Hong Kong – and its administrators in Beijing – looked the other way as Snowden fled.

Hong Kong, the statement said, "has formally written to the U.S. government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies."

...Vladimir Putin's government [has refused to] comply with demands for Snowden's expulsion...after a particularly fraught year for U.S.-Russian relations. The tensions go deeper than the fact that Moscow and Washington support opposite sides of the bloody civil war in Syria. Other strains include Russia freezing U.S. adoptions of Russian children after fatal abuse cases, Congress approving a law barring several Russian officials from entering the U.S., and Russia revealing the purported CIA station chief after broadcasting on TV the arrest of an American agent who was caught trying to recruit a Russian spy.

"Why should the United States expect restraint and understanding from Russia?" said Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Parliament, according to the Reuters news agency.

The Obama administration could expect a similar response from Ecuador, whose president, Rafael Correa, seeks to boost his anti-American credentials in Latin America as well as be seen as a paladin against secrecy. Ecuador is among the countries considering asylum applications for Snowden.

Everything about this story is pretty much the worst. The end.

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