Infamous NSA leaker Edward Snowden fled from China to Moscow over the weekend, and our government is making it very clear that we’d like Russia to send him home. Moscow doesn’t seem inclined to help us out with the matter however, and Snowden seems likely to have found at least temporary safety. Monday morning Snowden was able to anger even more people, though this time instead of angering government officials, it was just a couple of dozen journalists.
Apparently someone caught wind that Mr. Snowden had booked passage on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana and soon there was a rush of reporters looking to get on board as well. But when the door closed and the plane began to taxi, there was a sudden realization that they may have been fooled. Because Snowden was nowhere to be found.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) June 24, 2013
The planned seemed to have been that Snowden would catch the flight to Moscow, spend a bit of time in the Communist paradise, then make his way to South America–presumably where some country would be willing to take him in and shelter him from the United States. Likely the end destination would have been Ecuador (who has taken in erstwhile Wikileaks founder Julian Assange) or Venezuela (whose government despises us).
The fact that Snowden has pulled a Houdini and skulked away from the media coverage could mean any of a number of things. Perhaps Iceland has given him reason to believe that they would welcome him? He could still be headed to Havana, but was scared away when he noticed the media had found his intended flight out. Or, maybe Snowden is on the flight and just in costume or hidden away. The recent revelation that Snowden was able to leave Hong Kong because he was provided a refugee document of passage by the Ecuadorian government could be the most telling sign in this drama.
It’s hard to figure out what the disappearing passenger trick really means, but you can bet that our government is keeping a close eye on Snowden’s movements. The Obama administration would like nothing more than to bring him home and get him before an administration friendly judge. If I were Mr. Snowden I would be very careful about my next few steps… the only way to avoid a federal penitentiary is to find a new home that won’t extradite.
In the meantime, it’s fun to laugh at reporters who get locked into 12-hour flights for nothing.
- disappeared [↩]
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