Edward Snowden has been busy this week ending out requests for asylum. This time, six more countries have been added according to WikiLeaks, but they haven’t been released to the public as a means to keep the U.S and allies from interfering.
Iceland Lawmakers Push For Citizenship For Snowden, Gets Icy Reception
Introducing France’s PRISM Program
Ecuador Finds Bug In London Embassy
Fleeing Opportunities Fleeting For Snowden
Facebook and Microsoft Release Government Request Numbers
Snowden was the center of more extradition drama this week as the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales’–sympathetic to Snowden’s cause—plane was first denied passage through the airspaces of France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain with concerns that Snowden might have been bundled aboard. Having landed in Austria, it was revealed that the NSA leaker wasn’t on board.
As it stands, Snowden is still stranded at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport with no official documents that would allow him to actually get into Russia or travel to a country open to asylum. The story has been the same in most cases: Snowden must be on their soil or the country proper before they agree to harboring him. Iceland seemed like the best chance of getting express citizenship so that he could get a passport at the Embassy in Moscow and then go on to Reykjavik. The plan was similar to one used by deceased World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer in 1992 who fled to the country to avoid the U.S who wanted him tax charges and violating the U.N embargo with Yugoslavia.
Unfortunately only six of 63 members of Iceland’s Parliament agreed with the plan before they went on summer recess. Before this current wave of requests, Wikileaks mentioned that Snowden applied to 21 countries—including Russia. His Russian bid was dropped after President Vladimir Putin said Snowden could have asylum if he stopped leaking U.S surveillance policies. Of the 21, France, Germany, India, and Poland flat out refused to give him entry.
So far, Edward Snowden has been at the Sheremetyevo International Airport for almost two weeks. The international press have looked for Snowden with little success. It’s believed he is stowed away in a secure, private area, waiting to see if he can get an opening anywhere to avoid extradition.
It’s really getting down to wire for Snowden. Many countries might want to take the NSA leaker in, but don’t view it as worth the trouble of jeopardizing their diplomatic relationship with the United States. Others are definitely open to bringing him in, but country laws for dealing with asylum have that nagging “must touch home base” or “must touch all four corners before you can win” fine print to them.
If all his options dry up, what’s left for Snowden? It’s not known if he can just stay in the transit area or if he has a time for when he must leave. It’s almost a certainty that he is guarded, so he can’t just sneak out. He doesn’t have a country or passport so his wings are clipped. Unless some country allows for a substitute to sign for a passport or get asylum in Snowden’s place, his goose appears to be cooked.
With nothing to lose, he might just release whatever he has left on U.S surveillance practices or use it as a bargaining chip. It’s not known if U.S intelligence knows what he has left exactly if anything.