NSA Leaker Edward Snowden has apparently disappeared. His flight out of Hong Kong arrived in Russia yesterday, after Hong Kong determined that the US Justice Department had not properly complied with Hong Kong extradition law, they forgot to attach the required, additional Interpol warrant.
Supposedly he was to be on a flight to Cuba and then on to Ecuador after his overnight stay in the Moscow airport, but MSM reporters who booked on that Aeroflot flight to get exclusive interviews with the International fugitive report an empty seat where Snowden should have been.
The National Security Council issued this statement to Hong Kong and Russia:
We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement. We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations.
We now understand Mr. Snowden is on Russian soil. Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters — including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government — we expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged.
The 800 pound gorilla in the room is this man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Relations between Obama and Putin have been strained lately and this would be a great opportunity for him to play “gotcha” on the World stage by scooping up Snowden and his four laptops of data, at least long enough to thoroughly debrief him and make copies of everything Snowden has with him; could even have some Russian hackers play with the digital contents on those laptops to infiltrate other systems if some other countries are also given the information.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that he knows where Snowden is, describing it as a “safe place”. He refuses to divulge that location.
A truly International game of “Spy vs. Spy” being played out for all the world to see. Black eyes all around for the NSA and for the Obama administration… they are rapidly losing the confidence of the American people in their government, not only to keep us safe, but to not be invasive and harmful to all of US.
Image credit:Glenn Greenwald / Laura Poitras / The Guardian / REUTERSFollow @TKC_US