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article imageSnowden situation thickens in Russia

By Walter McDaniel     Jun 26, 2013 in World
Moscow - Russian leaders are playing a complicated game of chess with Snowden and other countries. They want asylum for him but he may not end his stay with Russia.
The latest news on the Snowden case has seen Russian officials take the stance that he deserves asylum. This is leading to some heated debate in both the news and political arenas.
But first a bit of background on Edward J. Snowden and why he is having so much trouble. This former intelligence contractor released some information the NSA and CIA did not want released. As such he has been seeking a safe haven all over the world including in Hong Kong.
WikiLeaks has weighed in on the topic and brought many supporters along for an extended campaign. They are very much hoping that Snowden does get asylum so he can give even more information.
Those on the crusade include film producer Omar Todd, MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel and many others. Political oversight has long been a major part of the mission of WikiLeaks but they appear to have stepped it up in world of increasing surveillance and government oversight.
In many ways Snowden is the perfect example of what the need for a crusade. Snowden had his passport revoked and is now on the run from governments friendly with the United States.
Right now a variety of countries are playing a figurative game of hot potato with Mr. Snowden. The United States obviously wants no country to give him asylum. However countries who have an interest in embarrassing the United States would very much like him to be safe.
This situation is compounded by the fact that many people see what he did as right. Snowden has found safe haven for limited amounts of time in Hong Kong and Moscow due to this. While Russia likely does not want to have to give him asylum themselves it would please them greatly to have another country do so.
Snowden has become such an important chess piece in the game of politics that Putin has stated he is free to stay or go wherever he pleases. “Snowden is a free person. The sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it is for him and Russia,” Putin commented.
Those words ring very true because even though relations are not terrible between the U.S. and Russia it would likely greatly amuse them to see Snowden escape extradition.
So where does the situation go from here? Snowden will likely be in the news much more until one country wants him for sure and he wants to stay there. He is both a dangerous and useful asset to have for a variety of reasons.
One possible place for asylum is Ecuador. Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino may be planning to bring him over slowly. They are trying to be extremely careful about the entire affair because United States officials will likely be greatly displeased when they do.
One reason is that attempts on his life could be made or he could be kidnapped. Anyone who loses him to one of these is going to have a black mark in the political arena. At the same time this is offset by the sensitive information he could give to other countries.
No matter what country garners his favor the media will have an incredibly useful source of information. Both WikiLeaks contributors and the mainstream media of any country he is in will be jockeying for an interview. Stay with us as more news on this story develops.
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