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Friday, August 02, 2013

Snowden granted Russian refugee status, leaves Moscow airport


Edward Snowden has finally left the Moscow airport and entered Russian territory. After spending more than a month in legal limbo at the airport, the NSA leaker has been granted refugee status by the Russian government for up to one year.
BY Herbert Dyer, Jr.
RT-TV reports that there is even the possibility that Snowden may actually seek Russian citizenship before his refugee status expires.
According to The Associated Press, Snowden's lawyer has confirmed that he has indeed crossed into Russian turf.
Snowden first arrived at the Moscow airport from Hong Kong in June, but was essentially marooned in the airport's transit zone. The US promptly revoked his passport, and has been feverishly seeking his extradition ever since. Snowden's supporters have been attempting to find a country which would take him in as a political exile. Several Latin American countries have, in fact, offered asylum to the 29-year-old with varying lengths and strengths of string attached.
WikiLeaks, of course, is the anti-secrecy group and website that has supported Snowden from the beginning. WikiLeaks has also confirmed on its Twitter page that Snowden "has successfully acquired refugee status in Russia."
At this writing, his whereabouts are currently undisclosed.
Snowden's family in America has expressed heartfelt relief, thanks and gratitude to Russia for protecting their relative. Snowden's father, indeed, has gone beyond gratitude, stating that he will not cooperate with the US Justice Department in its attempts to coax (or coerce) young Snowden into returning voluntarily to the US.
Opinion
There is no extradition treaty between the US and Russia.
That means that Russia is under no obligation whatever to return Edward Snowden to the US for any reason or claim made upon him by the US.
Still, Edward Snowden has replaced and supplanted the US-killed Osama bin Laden as the “most wanted” man in the world.
Well, for years no one knew where bin Laden was. In the case of Snowden, the US knows exactly, precisely where he is. Will Seal Team 6 be reactivated? Who will play Edward Snowden in the sure-to-come movie?
The US cannot and will not touch Snowden as long as he remains on Russian soil. Had he gone anywhere in Latin America, he would have been "fair game" for the US. After all, as per the 19th century "Monroe Doctrine," Central and South America still remain America's personal, private bailiwick, "backyard" and occasional playground.
But Russia? Putin? Those guys, those people fight back. They can and will give as good as they get.
There is now talk coming out of Dee Cee that Obama may cancel a scheduled "summit" meeting in September in Moscow. The image fronting this report should clearly convey to anyone interested what Putin and Russia think about that possibility.
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