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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ed Snowden Has Left the Building

Note:  Here's my Monday live-blog re: Snowden.

7:45 p.m.  NYT just posted Scott Shane interview with Assange today.  Assange "said his group had arranged for Mr. Snowden to travel via a 'special refugee travel document' issued by Ecuador last Monday — days before the United States announced the criminal charges against him and revoked his passport. Mr. Assange said he believed that Ecuador was still considering Mr. Snowden’s asylum application."

1:40  I noted Charles Pierce's commentary below, but let me link directly to the McClatchy opus today on the extent of the war of leaks and transparency and public information.  All of those mainstream media types--and even online liberal types--hitting Snowden and Greenwald and defending the surveillance state need to read it and comment.

I also like this Bart Gellman tweet just now: "my advocacy is for open debate of secret powers. That's what journalists do."  And he defends himself from an attack here

1:00 p.m. Ecuador reveals--on Twitter--that Snowden is seeking asylum there.  Not sure that means that Venezuela is out.  Might want options.   BTW, how NYT covered smashing re-election of the country's president.   

12:35 Below find the exchange on "MTP" where Gregory wonders why Greenwald shouldn't be criminalized himself (see my coverage below).  Huff Post covers here with other quotes.


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12:10 p.m. Charles P. Pierce tremendously alarmed by that McClatchy scoop on "Nixonian" scope of Obama's crackdown on leaks (referenced by Greenwald below).   Gregory and his kin more concerned about Greenwald as journalist than that crackdown that makes good journalism highly difficult.


11:55 Latest reports from the scene suggest Snowden staying at airport, after all, in "capsule" hotel.  Also, Ecuador ambassador never did meet him, so maybe the going-to-Venezuela plan still #1.   Finally, U.S. revoked his passport yesterday but Hong Kong let him fly out anyway.  Russia, Cuba, others won't care.


11:05 David Gregory so embarrassed he actually shows Greenwald tweet after he was on show (see below)  asking why need gov't to "criminalize" journalists when you can have Gregory doing it.   Gregory ignoring that he also stated--did not simply ask--that Greenwald status raises question of "who is a journalist." Easy to see what he's implying.  Would he ask Wash Post's Bart Gellman same question?

Now Chuck Todd raising issue of what Greenwald's real role was in leak, was he more than working with source, especially since he's a lawyer etc. 

10:35 a.m. Greenwald from Brazil on "Meet the Press":   Cites Snowden not feeling safe to return to Obama-era USA.  David Gregory wonders when Snowden will reveal illegal acts that prove he is whistleblower not criminal.   David Gregory claims FISA acting within law.  Greenwald: "I don't know what gov't officials are whispering to YOU, David, but I have the documents...."  Also cites NYT and McClatchy today.  Admits Snowden broke law but did not commit espionage.

Gregory then asks why HE shouldn't be charged with crime for "aiding and abetting" criminal.  Greenwald: "Extraordinary that anyone who calls himself a journalist would muse about that question."  Gregory, abashed, claims he was just posing question asked by others, he doesn't take a side.  Right.  And then adds that case also raises question of "who is a journalist."  Then hits Greenwald with more criticism of him for endangering national security from others.

Gregory then brings on Mike Rogers, Tom Coburn, Dick Durbin. 

10:15 a.m.  Interfax now reporting Snowden will spend night in Venezuela embassy in Moscow, not at airport. 

9:30 a.m.  RT TV with live coverage from the airport.  And they say Ecuador's ambassador at airport.   But Russia' Interfax  claims a Venezuelan diplomat has collected him off plane and taken him away in a car on the tarmac. 

9:20 a.m.  WikiLeaks posts brief bio and another photo of Sarah Harrison, who is with Snowden now.   Not a lawyer, but "legal researcher."...  Dept of Justice, rebuffed by Hong Kong,  says it will "pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr Snowden may be attempting to travel."

9:10 a.m.   Glenn Greenwald will kick off "Meet the Press" in a few minutes--what, no John McCain?--on Snowden's flight.... Reports that plane landed at 9:03 ET.

9:00 a.m.  Photo at left via RT shows journos and passengers at gate awaiting arrival of Snowden flight in Moscow. ... BBC points out that Snowden has no Russian visa so will have to sleep overnight at special area at the airport. 

8:40 a.m. The Guardian notes tweet from Jon Williams of ABC News:  "Snowden's Aeroflot flight to Havana passes thru US airspace. Will Federal authorities allow wanted man to fly over US or make plane land?"

8:05  a.m. Promised WikiLeaks statement just out:  "He is bound for a democratic nation 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 at his final destination his request will be formally processed."  And now WikiLeaks on Twitter says flight will touch down in Moscow within the hour.

Reuters' source confirms Snowden booked for Cuba and on to Caracas. 


7:50 a.m. Photo left of WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison who is accompanying Snowden on flight, at Frontline Club in London.   Video of her speaking here. ...That Hong Kong newspaper says local human rights experts helped Snowden, also.   

7:00 a.m. ET  The Guardian actually has a live blog on the Flight of Snowden (see AP story below).   One of latest updates:  Naming his WikiLeaks companion and claim they are book on flight to Cuba on Monday.

Also,  you can follow his airliner on its path here, as it nears Moscow.  News report on Julian Assange claiming he brokered the move.
(AP)  A former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a “third country” because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory’s government said Sunday.

Hong Kong’s government did not identify the country, but the South China Morning Post, which has been in contact with Edward Snowden, reported that he was on a plane for Moscow, but that Russia was not his final destination.

Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.

However, Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency cited an unidentified Aeroflot official as saying Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then on to Caracas, Venezuela.

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks took credit for helping Snowden leave Hong Kong, saying on Twitter, “Mr. Snowden is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisors.”

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