Image: The Guardian The Interfax news agency today reported that a Russian consular official confirms Edward Snowden has asked for political asylum in Russia. Interfax cited Kim Shevchenko, the duty officer at the Russian Foreign Ministry's consular office in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, as saying that Snowden's representative, Sarah Harrison, handed over his request Sunday. Reuters… READ THE REST
His statement is very well written and definitely worth a read. From the end of the release-
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 — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013
If we had a lair, like we're always talking about, we could just take him in.
I feel for the Snowden and appreciate the importance of what he has done and the great risk he has taken. All that said I am beginning to feel like this is all too managed and is starting to seem like a publicity tour. I suppose this is the sort of personality that one needs to take the leap, but I don't think I would want to spend any time with the guy.
I am enjoying the general hall-of-mirrors feeling of all this. His father was on the radio this morning pushing his own agenda (to see his son return home safe.) and he made it clear that he does not trust the communication he has had, indirectly, with is son and cautioning all of us to be wary of anything the media says his son is saying because there are too many parties with big interests with something to gain from deception.
I was wondering under what authority the government stripped his passport. I'm curious if anyone knows how that works. Without a passport how could he even get back to the US?
Governments take passports all the time when someone enters the legal system. They issue so they can take away. The whole point of passports is to limit travel and provide a solid ID when crossing borders. They are not about personal freedom.
I think the point of taking his passport is so that he has to cooperate to gain re-entry.
passports are not a right, they are a privilege extended to Americans who are not incarcerated, do not have a warrant out for their arrest, and do not owe child support in excess of $2500. - See more at: http://www.swiftpassportservices.com/blog/2012/03/27/are-u.s.-passports-are-privilege-or-a-right/#sthash.GSEPrcnA.dpuf
I hate to say it, but I think this statement is probably genuine, and it's disappointing. One does not need a passport to enter a country - one needs a passport to leave. A visa allows one to enter. So Snowden is not in exile; but if he returns to the US he's not allowed to leave.
He seems like a smart guy, with some good advisors, so he should know this. Revoking his passport did not revoke his citizenship. He is not stateless - he's just wanted. While I admire his courage for blowing the whistle, it now seems like he is grandstanding, and that just undermines the case he should be making.
Or maybe that's just what they want me to think. Or they want you to think that's what I think.
So, I guess he rips on Obama.. but lets Bush take a pass.
Let's the american people who decried our horrible intelligence agency and demanded better human intelligence and better sources .. let them off the hook. People forget that when Patriot passed, it passed with LARGE citizen support. And it authorized a lot of this. And most citizens didn't even know what it SAID, just "we have to do something."
Governments afraid of us? The government wrapped this bullshit in a flag and got us to make it legal. We continued to elect the congress-critters DESPITE knowing they passed this bill authorizing this. And now, 12 years later, we're acting like we're surprised that they actually are REALLY FUCKING GOOD at spying on people when they have the ability to secretly rubberstamp warrants through a FISA court?
Honestly, this is bullshit. We asked for this. Either through action, inaction, or feigned ignorance. We traded liberty for security. All because some terrorist dickbags scared us.
This is what we who decried Patriot (and got called many, many things, long ago) said would happen. And blaming Obama, or Bush is silly. The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars.. but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Maybe we can recapture some of the freedoms we traded away because we got scared. But people in power don't like giving power back after they took it.
I remember reading back in the 80's a US soldier defected to Russia and wound up working as a snake handler in a laboratory somewhere in the Soviet Union.
I hope Mr. Snowden's prospects are not so grim.
If he turns over the laptops to the FSB and SVR , he'll be treated JUST FINE.
Honestly, this is bullshit. We asked for this. Either through action,
inaction, or feigned ignorance.
Who is this "we", Kemosabe? I didn't ask for this in any of those ways. Maybe I was dressed provocatively?
I, for one, welcome individuals taking responsibility for what their governments do.
We're in a republic. WE asked for it when we re-elected these people.. and these people reauthorized it.
The fact that Snowden continues to leak like a sieve makes me seriously question whether there was, in fact, a principled reason behind the leaks that put him on the run in the first place.
I'm seeing demonstrations of ego, not dedication to principle.
Your mileage will vary.
Snowden's CIA career taught him that going through channels achieved nothing
Ok - here's my view, which will not be popular on BoingBoing. This Snowden kid has made his point. It's now time for him to shut up and go away and let the rest of us decide what kind of country we want to have and how we want to digest the information that he has bravely disclosed.
Yet, for some reason, he is now engaged in some kind of tabloid-esque crap involving the Moscow airport and Assange and Ecuador. And now we're hearing about Assange again, which leads me to my next point:
This Kardashian-style self-promotion is evidence of a personality disorder and should be ignored. Somebody needs to enlighten this Snowden kid and tell him that his 15 minutes is over?
I am willing to give up my IP address, my physical address, my social security number and even my celll phone records and search history if it means that my hometown won't look like Damascus during my kids lifetime. Is there really any tech-savvy person in the US that still believes that meta-data is somehow not tracked? How long are we expected to play along with this feigned outrage?
How often have we been forced to answer 'security questions' like 'who was your best man' or 'what was the name of the street you grew up on?" But we're worried that the Gov't will know who we called on a thursday afternoon 3 weeks ago?
This whole debate is a bunch of BS. I'm ready for Assange and Snowden to go away. And for the argument to become intelligent instead of tabloid.
So if we vote for the Far Lesser of two obvious evils, we are evil as well?
Do you really believe it's just meta-data? Really? They collect everything. But they pinky swear that they would never, ever look at it unless, you know, they had to. To me, that's already well past what the 4th Amendment was all about: they have already stolen my "papers".
No, but you are responsible for their votes. And you're responsible for making yourself heard, and voting them out of office. That's the problem, nobody wants to take responsibility. Everyone acts like Congress just passed Patriot act with no support. Bush had 90% support on 9/22/2001. (Gallup) Congress had nearly 85% support to "do something." People didn't even CARE what it was. It wasn't even until December and January that people even QUESTIONED the laws. And even then, those that did (myself included) got called names. People thought that we were against Bush, and thus, against freedom.
We DID make this happen. And acting like we didn't is a MAJOR reason why it's NOT going to get solved. People need to take responsibility for their representation, and they need to take an active role in their government.
So yes. You're responsible because these people represent you. It's done in YOUR name.
But so is the US government. If Mr. Snowden doesn't continue to make noise, how will anyone know that he's alive and free?