Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed that the NSA is running a massive spy program on Unites States citizens, is finding a friend in Wikileaks. The group has assisted Snowden by calling on 19 additional countries to provide him asylum. Meanwhile, he took time out of his undoubtedly busy schedule to blast the Obama administration.
“These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me,” he said. He was quick to dismiss any possible suggestion of his surrendering. “I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many,” he said.
Speaking on the administration’s thoughts about him and whether they are afraid of him and people like him, he said “No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”
Snowden may currently be located in Russia, one of the countries that Wikileaks had appealed to for his safe harbor. On Tuesday, Wikileaks issued a statement about its role in his possible whereabouts. “The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr. Snowden faces in the United States and have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to the relevant embassies in Moscow,” they said, referring to the paperwork they’ve submitted for the asylum requests.
CNN reports that besides China, Russia and India, asylum had also been sought by Wikileaks in “Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela.”
The Obama administration revealed that they have already been in talks with Russia regarding Snowden’s whereabouts, and Vladimir Putin seemed to suggest that there was a definite possibility that he might be able to stay put if he ceases his revelations about secret Unites States programs. “He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners,” Putin said.
But shortly after Putin issued that statement, Snowden revoked his request to Russia, and half of the countries to which Wikileaks applied on his behalf have already denied the requests. Earlier on Tuesday, a plane which was traveling to Bolivia was turned away because of suspicion that Snowden might be on board. That plane was also carrying the president of Bolivia, Eva Morales.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Madura, seemed to offer the most hope for safe harbor, saying that Snowden had “done something very important for humanity” and should be extended the “world’s protection.” He indicated that he had not, however, received any paperwork or requests from Wikileaks or Snowden.
While some suggested that Ecuador would be suitable because Julian Assange received asylum there, Ecuador has not yet extended any direct offer, and seemed to be hesitant, with President Rafael Correa saying “Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical. The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia.”
Where Snowden will end up is anyone’s guess at this point, but having Wikileaks on his side to gain asylum will surely be an asset. Meanwhile, his blasting of the Obama Administration may seem like nothing compared to whatever else he has up his sleeve.
By: Rebecca Savastio
Source: USA Today