THERE HAS been a lot of finger pointing at Russia since the news broke that Edward Snowden had slipped out of Hong Kong headed for that country. Today Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov strongly denied Snowden had ever crossed into Russia. It adds another shift in a long and winding tale of intrigue over where in the world is Edward Snowden?
Self-identified NSA leaker Edward Snowden remained beyond the reach of American efforts to extradite him on Tuesday, placing a strain on U.S. relations with China, Ecuador, and Russia, where irate officials claimed they had nothing to do with him.
“We do not have anything to do with either Mr. Snowden or his relations with the U.S. justice system or his travels around the world. He decided on his itinerary independently, and we found out, like most of you have, through mass media,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “He never crossed the Russian border, and we consider unfounded and unacceptable the attempts we see to accuse Russia of violating the U.S. law and conspiracies, or the threats addressed to us.”
No one had bought a ticket under Snowden’s name for a daily Aeroflot airlines flight from Moscow to Havana on Tuesday, airline employees told NBC News before the plane took off. The next flight to the island nation 90 miles from the U.S. is scheduled to leave on Thursday.
There has been quite a bit of reporting in the last 24 hours on why Edward Snowden worked for Booz Hamilton and his alleged motives. It’s immaterial to the important discussion that we should be having, so I’m not going down that rabbit hole. What matters is the material he exposed, because it proves that during the almost twelve years of “war on terror” mentality that’s permeated the Bush and Obama administrations, the American people have lost something valuable.
It begins with the right to be fully informed about what our politicians are doing in our name behind closed doors. How our government is treating the people like scared children, instead of participants in a democratic republic.
Whatever trouble Snowden is in is his problem and though I feel a sense of gratitude for the risks he’s taken, which is the only way we found out what the people running our government are doing, supposedly with the objective of protecting us, that’s a completely separate intrigue. It’s fascinating to cover, because it’s unfolding because he can’t afford to stay in the U.S., no doubt thinking he’d likely end up in confinement, possibly with a sentence that ignores his whistle-blowing status.
Regardless of liking or not liking Snowden, what he did was monumentally important for the American citizen.
The lazy application of the FISA Court and the Patriot Act, as well as the “war on terror” mentality, which now includes search and seizure of information from innocent Americans without our knowledge, has been fully exposed by Snowden’s whistle-blowing. That’s what matters, not his motives, his state of mind or reasoning.
But is he in Russia? Wherever he is his current effort to save his own quality of life has manifested because in the United States, whistleblowers are not protected and neither are journalists doing their job.
This should alarm everyone.