Snowden Leaves Airport After Russia Grants Asylum

MOSCOW – National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden left the transit zone of a Moscow airport and entered Russia after authorities granted him asylum for one year, his lawyer said today.

Anatoly Kucherena said that Snowden’s whereabouts will be kept secret for security reasons.  The former NSA systems analyst was stuck at Moscow‘s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

“He now is one of the most sought after men in the world,” Kucherena told reporters at the airport. “The issue of security is very important for him.”

The U.S. has demanded that Russia send Snowden home to face prosecution for espionage, but President Vladimir Putin dismissed the request.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=498448

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Official: Snowden Wants Asylum In Russia

Edward Snowden plans to seek asylum in Russia, a Parliament member who was among those meeting with the NSA leaker said Friday.

Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters of Snowden’s intentions after he and a dozen other prominent officials and activists met with Snowden in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where Snowden has been marooned since June 23.

Snowden is believed to have been stuck in the airport’s transit zone since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23, as he negotiates for asylum in another country.

The activists included Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch.  Also taken into the meeting room were Russia’s presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, prominent attorney Genri Reznik, and Nikonov.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/official-snowden-wants-asylum-in-russia-695202/#ixzz2YqiN6xd4

Confusion On Snowden Aceptance Of Venezuela Offer

MOSCOW (AP) – NSA leaker Edward Snowden accepted Venezuela‘s offer of political asylum, according to a posting Tuesday on the Twitter account of a Russian lawmaker with close ties to the Kremlin.  However, the tweet disappeared a few minutes later.

It was not possible to immediately reach Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee who has acted as an unofficial point-man for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20130709_ap_0b0fb18277a24f71a8942167a3fcf8b0.html#4e2FSiYYPEGvTSSi.99

Nicaragua, Venezuela Offer Asylum To Snowden

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The presidents of Nicaragua and Venezuela offered Friday to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, one day after leftist South American leaders gathered to denounce the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane over Europe amid reports that the American was aboard.

Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua made their offers during separate speeches in their home countries Friday afternoon.  Snowden, who is being sought by the United States, has asked for asylum in numerous countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela.

“As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live in the homeland” of independence leader Simon Bolivar and the late President Hugo Chavez without “persecution from the empire,” Maduro said, referring to the United States.

Chavez often engaged in similar defiance, criticizing U.S.-style capitalism and policies.  In a 2006 speech to the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders, Chavez called President George W. Bush the devil, saying the podium reeked of sulfur after the U.S. president’s address.  He also accused Washington of plotting against him, expelled several diplomats and drug-enforcement agents and threatened to stop sending oil to the U.S.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20130705_ap_831caa61fd4e4c55b15bf02ba3bcf66f.html#xj66c6TTZo1Gcso0.99

Barring Of Bolivian Plane Infuriates Latin America As Snowden Case Widens

CARACAS, Venezuela — The geopolitical storm churned up by Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, continued to spread on Wednesday as Latin American leaders roundly condemned the refusal to let Bolivia’s president fly over several European nations, rallying to his side after Bolivian officials said the president’s plane had been thwarted because of suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on board.

Calling it a grave offense to their entire region, Latin American officials said they would hold an emergency meeting of the Union of South American Nations on Thursday.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina said the episode had “vestiges of a colonialism that we thought was completely overcome,” describing it as a humiliating act that affected all of South America.

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said in a post on Twitter that the situation was “EXTREMELY serious” and called it an “affront to all America,” referring to Latin America.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/world/snowden.html?hp&_r=0

Snowden’s Father Says Former Contractor May Return If Conditions Met

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The father of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden said in an interview that while he has not had recent contact with him, he is reasonably confident his son would return to the United States if certain conditions were met.

Those conditions could include not detaining Snowden before trial, not subjecting him to a gag order and letting him choose the location of his trial, NBC News said on Friday.

The NBC report added that Lonnie Snowden plans to make those points in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to be sent through his lawyer later on Friday.  Representatives for the Justice Department could not be reached immediately for comment on the letter.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-security-snowden-father-20130628,0,2083504.story#ixzz2XWq98dFA
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President Obama’s Dragnet

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. More than 5,000 men and women in uniform are providing military ceremonial support to the presidential inauguration, a tradition dating back to George Washington’s 1789 inauguration. VIRIN: 090120-F-3961R-919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.

Based on an article in The Guardian published Wednesday night, we now know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency used the Patriot Act to obtain a secret warrant to compel Verizon’s business services division to turn over data on every single call that went through its system. We know that this particular order was a routine extension of surveillance that has been going on for years, and it seems very likely that it extends beyond Verizon’s business division. There is every reason to believe the federal government has been collecting every bit of information about every American’s phone calls except the words actually exchanged in those calls.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?hp&_r=0