Operation Snowden Has Become the NSA Story
Via: Washington Post:
We can surmise that the information was leaking anyway, and so the government needed a distraction. Something connected to the NSA, so covering it would still feel like covering the NSA story, but that would divert much of the press from covering the actual programs.
And it’s worked. Everyone is talking about “Edward Snowden.” The whole world knows what flight he was supposed to be on this morning and which countries he’s considering as safe harbors. The term “STELLARWIND,” by contrast, has largely dropped out of the news.
Operation: Snowden has become the NSA story.
So of course Snowden wasn’t on that plane. He couldn’t have been. If he’d disappeared into Cuba the Snowden story would be over and all that would be left is the NSA story. And that’s not the plan.
Update: Snowden Not on Flight to Havana
The whereabouts of fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden remain an international mystery, after he failed to turn up on the Moscow-Havana flight he was reportedly booked on.
Snowden sought asylum from Ecuador yesterday after arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong, where he had been in hiding since disclosing a highly classified US surveillance programme, escaping Washington’s attempts to extradite him from the island.
He spent the night at a hotel before clearing customs at the city’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
He was expected to board an onward Aeroflot flight to Havana that departed early this afternoon. But airline staff said he hadn’t boarded the flight, and an Associated Press journalist tweeted a picture of the empty seat Snowden had been booked into.
Update: Snowden Seeking Political Asylum in Ecuador
Sunday June 23, 17:50 BST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.
Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.
Update: Snowden’s Passport Revoked, Meeting with Ecuador’s Ambassador to Russia
Via: Voice of Russia:
Ecuador’s ambassador to Russia said he expected to have talks with former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in Moscow on Sunday.
Ambassador Patricio Alberto Chavez Zavala did not say what he would discuss with Snowden and Sarah Harrison, a representative of the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group.
But he told reporters as he entered an airport hotel: “We’re waiting for Sarah. We’re going to talk to them.”
Ecuador is a possible destination for Snowden, who is believed to have flown from Hong Kong to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport earlier on Sunday.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister says in his Twitter that Ecuador already has received asylum request from Edward Snowden.
Meanwhile ABC reports that Snowden’s passport was revoked on Saturday, leaving US officials even more baffled as to how he was allowed to fly out from Hong Kong.
It is, however, unlikely to be a problem for Russia – if Snowden is in transit and never leaves the airport, his immigration status is not Moscow’s issue.
Update: WikiLeaks Helping Snowden
Via: WikiLeaks / Twitter:
Mr. Snowden is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisors.
WikiLeaks has assisted Mr. Snowden’s political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers ans safe exit from Hong Kong. More soon.
Via: South China Morning Post:
US whistle-blower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is on a commercial flight to Russia, but Moscow will not be his final destination, the South China Morning Post confirm.
It is understood the fugitive whistle-blower boarded the Moscow-bound flight earlier on Sunday and will continue to another country.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement on Sunday that Snowden had departed “on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel”.
It was understood that he left from Chep Lap Kok airport at 11.04am on Sunday morning. The 30-year-old boarded Aeroflot Flight SU213, which is scheduled to land at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport at 5.15pm local time (8.15pm Hong Kong time).
The Hong Kong government said it had notified the US government about Snowden’s departure.
“As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong,” the statement said.
It has been previously reported that Iceland or Ecuador were possible options for Snowden to seek political asylum.
The Russian embassy in Beijing would neither confirm nor deny Snowden is on a flight to Moscow. The Russian consulate in Hong Kong declined to comment.
Snowden is wanted by the US government after he disclosed classified documents detailing the clandestine cyber-snooping programmes carried out by Washington’s National Security Agency.
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