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Deleted Tweet Triggers Reports on Snowden Asylum Decision

Deleted Tweet Triggers Reports on Snowden Asylum Decision

UPDATES below the post.

Multiple outlets are reporting that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has accepted asylum in Venezuela, and the news is spreading like wildfire.  But there doesn’t seem to be reliable confirmation of this news, as most reports appear to be based on a single source – a Russian lawmaker who deleted his relevant tweet.

I’ve been monitoring this for the last two hours and was waiting for actual confirmation, but the news cycle doesn’t appear to want to wait. Here’s how it’s all gone down on Twitter so far. Make sure you read to the end.

Several news outlets tweeted earlier today that Snowden had accepted asylum in Venezuela, based on a tweet from Alexey Pushkov, a Russian lawmaker close to the Kremlin.

Shortly thereafter however, that lawmaker’s tweet was memory holed.

Pushkov had since posted two new tweets.

Google Translation: “Information that Snowden accepted an offer of asylum from Maduro came from 18-hour release of “Vesti 24”.”

Google Translation: “According to News 24, with reference to Maduro, Snowden accepted his offer of asylum. If so, it is found that the safest option.”

Politico reporter Reid Epstein followed with a tweet that a Venezuelan state media outlet had confirmed Snowden’s acceptance of asylum there.

But as Brian Fung, tech policy reporter for the National Journal pointed out, that media report and the News 24 report both cite Pushkov as the source.

So…numerous news reports have since snowballed, citing information that is based on a Russian lawmaker’s tweet who cited news sources that cited the Russian lawmaker.

This is how the sausage is made in the age of Twitter.  And it ain’t always pretty.

Stay tuned. We will update this post with actual confirmation (or denial) when it’s definitive.


UPDATE 7/9 – 2:15pm ET:  Wikileaks says Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela.

UPDATE 7/9 – 3:01pm ET:  Wikileaks confirms that an extradition request for Snowden has been served on Iceland.



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Juba Doobai! | July 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The LSM is as reliable as ever, both American and Russian brands.

Uncle Samuel | July 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Better bring his own toilet paper.


If he had been the first “leaker” of this information, I might be more supportive of him and his position. But, he isn’t (there were some others last year and the year before but were ignored by the LSM, quelle surprise) AND he chose to run to some of the most repressive countries in the world. At the end of the day he’s a traitor.

    Aridog in reply to MaryB. | July 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Actually, more credible leakers have been extant since 2002, notably one in 2006 who was tried for his activity. I can scounge up the names and issues if I must. Snowden is not new, just the most simple minded. Google “Thinthread” for a start…

LOL, Snowden loves humiliating the Media

    Henry Hawkins in reply to imfine. | July 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Anyone can do it. Just pick out something the lib media will love or hate – either works – and post a fake tweet on it. They’ll retweet themselves into a knot before actually investigating it. Twitter helps in the juvenile journalism desire to be First! on a story. They jump on it First! just in case it’s true, correct at leisure.

    Go ahead, tweet this: “DoJ considering indictment of Geo. Bush over Iraq war” and watch the fun.

He’s somewhere in the Himalayas drinking DOS EQUIS

Venezuela is probably the best location if the CIA has the testicular fortitude to extract him and let the courts have their day.

But with this administration, probably not a chance..

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to GrumpyOne. | July 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    If you could decipher whose friend the CIA actually is – the rest of the world would be gratefull.

    Pretty sure it is not yours.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm

The Bermuda Triangle looking good.