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NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Officially Files for Temporary Asylum in Russia

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Officially Files for Temporary Asylum in Russia

Edward Snowden officially filed for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, according to the Russian Migration Service and a Russian human rights lawyer.  Wikileaks also tweeted out a confirmation of the news.

From Russia Today:

The Russian Migration Service confirmed it has received whistleblower Edward Snowden’s application for temporary asylum. It can take authorities up to three months to consider his request. In the meantime, Snowden may be transferred to a refugee center.

“We can confirm that the documents have been received,” a Federal Migration Service spokeswoman said.

The FMS promised to review his application within a three month period.

Earlier Tuesday Russian human rights lawyer Anatoly Kucherena revealed that Snowden had “handed over his application to Sheremetyevo’s Federal Migration Service staff”.

“I told him about all the intricacies of the procedure. It was decided that a staff member from the FMS office will come to the airport to accept Snowden’s temporary asylum request, as he is not allowed to leave Sheremetyevo’s transit zone”, the lawyer said.

Kucherena also said that Snowden did not indicate whether or not he will move to a third country if temporary asylum in Russia is granted, according to Russia Today.  The former NSA contractor has been offered asylum by Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

“Talking to me, he did not mention that he was going to move to another country after he receives asylum. It looks like he has not made a final decision,” he said.

Snowden had a choice to either request political or temporary asylum in Russia, Kucherena explained. The whistleblower chose the latter because it entails a shorter review time and “he is tired of living in the airport’s transit zone.”

The temporary asylum status in Russia can be renewed annually, and allows Snowden to freely move around the country and work if he so chooses, according to Russia Today.

Speaking to a group of students on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US had essentially trapped Snowden in Russia.

“He arrived on our territory without an invitation,” Mr. Putin said. “He didn’t fly to us; he flew in transit to other countries. But only when it became known that he was in the air, our American partners, in fact, blocked him from flying further.

“They themselves scared all other countries; no one wants to take him, and in this way they themselves in fact blocked him on our territory. Such a present for us for Christmas.”

Earlier this month, Putin said the NSA leaker would not be welcome in Russia unless he ceased his work “aimed at harming our American partners.”

Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald told an Argentinean daily last week that “Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had,” saying that its release could the U.S.’ “worst nightmare.”


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Juba Doobai! | July 16, 2013 at 10:26 am

Obama gives asylum to Syrians and others, but he prevents Snwden from getting asylum. Had the Obama administration been anything but opaque, thuggishly vindictive, and secretive, Snowden would not have needed to find refuge. While I think Snowden was wrong to spill info to foreign governments, he should have been able, without fear of harm, to make Americans aware of the gvernment’s infringement on our privacy.

Trust Putin at your peril. It wouldn’t surprise me if he turned Snowden over to obama. After he milked Snowden for all he knows, of course. Putin and obama, like all communists, jettison anyone no longer useful.

    imfine in reply to BarbaraS. | July 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    It’s not so much about what Putin finds out, its more about what we find out. Snowden is a threat to Obama’s power, Putin is not. That’s the difference. Have we ever seen a threat to National Security prosecuted like this in our history?

One wonders about the “above the fray” Putin is shelling out lately. We all know he would cut our throats if he could. Mister Nice Guy he is not. “You can have asylum if you stop telling secrets about the obama administration” indeed. Makes you wonder what he fears will come to light.

    Sanddog in reply to BarbaraS. | July 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Imagine having to choose between who to trust. Putin or the Obama administration?

      walls in reply to Sanddog. | July 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      LOL! That’s really a no-brainer. One is clearly ‘more trustworthy’ than the other. I’d spell it out more clearly, but I want to keep the NSA boys who monitor LI guessing:).

        Aridog in reply to walls. | July 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        You mean there is a difference?

        Pssst: Anyone at NSA et al ad nauseum who is monitoring this retired Army vet and former “Fed”… I will be clear: Bite Me.

        Have a nice day.

In related news, Snowden is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, setting up the delicious scenario where one Nobel Peace Prize (Snowden) is seeking asylum from another Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Obama).

The US position is actually quite funny, Obama has reportedly trying to decide if the NSA program should be terminated at the same time insisting Snowden should be prosecuted. Talk about hypocrisy. If the program is so threatening to civil liberties that it should be cancelled, then Snowden should be welcomed back and given a Ticker Tate parade down Wall Street.

Why does it seem that the brat is Putin’s useful idiot?

    imfine in reply to OldmanRick. | July 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    If the US is really concerned about Putin getting his hands on the data, why is preventing him from getting asylum in other countries that won’t try to get their hands on that data? Obviously if US security interests were truly at stake the administration has thoroughly thought this out, or they are more worried about political damage than any strategic loss of the NSA’s capabilities.

      Aridog in reply to imfine. | July 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      The Russian authorities have already acquired any data Snowden may have had. They took possession of his laptops (4) and other baggage upon arrival. You be just as certain the Chinese did so as well. At this point Snowden is a political tool and nothing more. I visualize Putin knocking back Vodka shots with his buddies and laughing his butt off. Snowden is about as clever as a garden slug, and worth less.

        imfine in reply to Aridog. | July 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        Speculation and probably irrelevant. Those drives are likely thoroughly encrypted and tamper proof.

          Aridog in reply to imfine. | July 16, 2013 at 6:50 pm

          Perhaps, but my personal experience with DOD federal IT contractors’ personnel is that they just aren’t that sharp or prescient. Very knowledgeable on hardware and operating systems, not so much on applications, some bordering on ignorant. Unfortunately this is possible due to OMB Circular A-76 determination that of Information Technology process and systems are primarily non-governmental and therefore “commercial activities” to be contracted out with minimal retained government or military oversight. As we speak, much of the security clearance investigation process is also contracted out.

          No matter, as you say, even with Snowden’s acknowledgement, it is speculation. I just give it a higher probability of reality than some others do. No one wants to be wrong more than me, I assure you.

          imfine in reply to imfine. | July 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm

          I get what you are saying, but snowden seems like a smart and talented engineer, and what you are speculating is that he is in face a bungling idiot.

          Aridog in reply to imfine. | July 17, 2013 at 12:15 am

          Engineer? REally? I spent the last couple decades working with engineers, military and civilian. Snowden is a high school drop out, who allegedly acquired a GED. Engineer is the very last thing he is, under any examination. He might have some skills, but they do NOT approach the level of engineer. I know DOD It guys, not contractors, who have forgotten more than Snowden ever knew. It is very possible that I have as well.

          Aridog in reply to imfine. | July 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

          Wait, I’m sorry, first I should have asked you just what it is that makes you think Snowden is a bright engineer.I might have missed something about him.

          imfine in reply to imfine. | July 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

          For a GED, he sure seems a lot smarter than most people with Masters I know. I think you don’t understand the tech field. Knowledge is gained over years of constant studying. School is a poor substitute for learning how to work in tech

Hot potato Snowden will be distilled into Russian vodka but only after he writes his self-serving bio. He’ll have his choice of dacha or gulag depending on how the bio treats Putin.

And, his ‘very serious’ information that can do great harm to the US has already be neutralized.

    Polkovnik Putin and his United Russia party will write the bio for him, to assure “authenticity.” He might get a dacha on a Vladivostok drainage canal. He’d best hope a banana republic takes him sooner than later.

Look up the definition of “Useful Idiot” in the dictionary, and you will find Edward Snowden’s picture.

Hope he finally figures out how good he had it as an American citizen; too bad he threw all that away for his 15 minutes of fame…..

Carol Herman | July 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Did you hear one of the first responders to the management’s anger over this situation was hiring a man named He He Ng

Oh, how I miss Chris Farley, where one of his skits dealt with a “professional” hired by parents to help them with raising their son. It always ended with Farley grabbing the waistband of his pants and starting out: “DOWN BY THE RIVER ….”

I always found that hilarious. And, while, yes, the plane crash is a horrendous tragedy. Where you then include a young teenager, probably alive, who was thrown to the ground. Got covered in the white foam the fireman used to stop the fuselage fire … ran over her. So, so sad parents.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Carol Herman. | July 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    What does it say about Chinese schoolchildren affording a school trip to California?

    Oh & choose your airlines well. ( I was in the USSR when KA007 decided to do a spy mission).

Isnt the term “Russian Human Rights Lawyer” an oxymoron?