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by
Rick Moran

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June 23, 2013 - 6:26 am

A Reuters report says that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has slipped the leash in Hong Kong and is flying to Moscow today.

The Guardian reports that Snowden will fly from Moscow to Havanna, Cuba, and then on to Venezuela.

Authorities in Hong Kong have apparently denied a US request to arrest Snowden based on a technicality. Snowden is being assisted by lawyers and diplomats connected with the Wikileaks organization:

“It’s a shocker,” said Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University. “I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate.”

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a source at the Aeroflot airline as saying there was a ticket in Snowden’s name for a Moscow-Cuba flight. Itar-Tass news agency cited a source as saying Snowden would fly from Havana to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

The South China Morning Post said his final destination might be Ecuador or Iceland.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was unaware of Snowden’s whereabouts or travel plans.

The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said it helped Snowden find “political asylum in a democratic country”. It did not elaborate, other than to say Snowden was “currently over Russian airspace” with WikiLeaks legal advisers.

The White House had no comment on the WikiLeaks posting.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said last week he would not leave the sanctuary of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London even if Sweden stopped pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the orders of the United States.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, to send Snowden home.

“The U.S. government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden,” the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

“Since the documents provided by the U.S. government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR government has requested the U.S. government to provide additional information … As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

It did not say what further information it needed, but said Snowden left Hong Kong “on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel”.

If Snowden is, in fact, on his way to Venezuela, Wikileaks has a very strange notion of a “democratic country.” Freedom House, in their 2013 report on “Freedom in the World,” lists Venezuela as “partly free,” which may be a generous designation given that the internal security apparatus is run by Cubans and that “Chavista” bully boys routinely show up at opposition rallies to threaten and intimidate opponents. Snowden, who claimed he wanted to end up in a country with democratic values, could have made a better choice.

Then again, maybe not. The only nations where he will be safe from prosecution (or U.S. government vengeance) are countries that don’t like the U.S. very much. Any of those nations mentioned above will not honor a request from our government to extradite Snowden. By definition, none of those countries (except Iceland) are “free” in how we might define the term. Snowden may want to live in a democratic paradise, but his options are extremely limited.

The Guardian
has a tweet from an ABC News editor:

Snowden’s Aeroflot flight to Havana passes thru US airspace. Will Federal authorities allow wanted man to fly over US or make plane land?

I doubt whether the Russian plane will obey any orders to land. And we’re not going to send up a couple of F-15s to force it to land either — not unless Obama is a total idiot. The chances of a mistake, while small, are significant and it’s crazy to risk an international incident with Russia over a passenger plane.

We have extradition treaties with both Cuba and Venezuela, but don’t expect much cooperation from either of those countries. The bottom line is that Snowden, unless their is a huge change in government in Venezuela, is probably going to be out of the reach of U.S. authorities there.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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This double standard business is infuriating. Would Snowden be evil if his name were Jane Fonda? Will Zimmerman receive the same court protections as Arias? Jonathan Alter calls everyone who disagrees with Obama an "enemy."
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
A number of people have commented on the recent Obama meeting with Putin and about how Putin just radiated contempt for the guy. Say what you will about the Russians but they are hard-headed realists who understand what is meant by a"national interest." I'm sure that Putin and Co. can't believe their luck that at this stage of the game their primary international opponent is a guy who makes Neville Chamberlain look like Frederick the Great. My own view is that Snowden was already a Chinese or Soviet agent well before his "flight" and he is being used to divert attention from Russian and Chinese shenanigans and to further fracture the U.S. The administration will now grope futilly to "bring Snowden to justice" while the world gapes at our own impotence. Regardless of his motivations Snowden is just one more indicator that the world's bad guys have nothing to fear from our Prez (or his likely successor - Ms. Clinton) and can do what they want. The world's adullt population fully realizes that photo ops and Nobel Prizes are more important to this administration than the realities of power. Bashir Assad must be laughing his ass off right now.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
During the Vietnam war a Pentagon intelligence agent Daniel Elsberg released secret document to the NY Times. He was hailed as a great American; even today well heeled professors teach courses on the courage and valor of Elsberg. Of course Nixon was president at the time. What happened today; the same people who adulated Elsberg are now calling for Snowden's head; strange country we live in. God speed Edward S and be careful there are drones everywhere in the world courtesy of the Obamite world order.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever the case, this much is for sure: Obama Inc. overstepped its mandate and is bent on turning America into a quasi totalitarian state. And this is obvious in too many ways to cite, but most essentially in their evisceration of the GRAVEST threat facing America - Islamic jihad. For once a leadership obliterates the nexus between Islam and terror, and spying in mosques is forbidden, then why exactly are ALL Americans being monitored, albeit in the name of national security? Why indeed - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/06/18/the-purging-an-omerta-re-islam-terror-within-americas-power-centers-eviscerates-nsas-domestic-spying-say-what-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well; We'll soon see how effective Obama's diplomacy as a sympathetic autocrat has been with Venezuela.
It's going to be a really hard decision to extradite a subject that has so much military value against the fattest capitalist pigs on the planet.
Speaking of pigs; Hasn't the U.S. armed any of their flying pigs with Hellfire missiles yet?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden will never retire in safety ... He will lose value for his masters and then he will die in an accident on a deserted road ...
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Question. Is Snowden guilty of leaking information that is detrimental to the interests of America.....or to Obama? It is hard to see the current administration getting too worked-up over the former but willing to kill him if it is the latter.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Follow the money. How is Snowden paying for travel, luxury hotels, meals, etc? This costs tens of thousands of U.S.$s. Out of his own pocket? He will quickly run out of money at this rate. Or is there a paymaster some where's? My money is still that he's a Chinese spy, but if he were to come directly to China right now, it'd be too much of an international problem for them, so they're sending him on a tour ... If he ends in Venezuela that'd be no fun for him -- it has one of the highest murder rates in the world ... It be easy to bump him off and not get caught!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most likely a slush fund of the Democrat Party is paying for his U.S Adversary World Tour, something like displaying an item up for auction to the highest bidder.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment

The United States is losing whatever credibility it had left. Spying on its own citizens, spying on allies, spying on its own government officials...we have a shadow government, that is the bottom line of what Snowden and others have been trying to get across, even PJM is still not grasping the core story;
There is a group within the US Government that spies on Presidents, senators, federal judges, congressman, ELECTED officials. It also spies on Appointed officials such as federal judges. to what end we can only guess, but its not hard to imagine lawsuits being decided in their favor, legislation written to shield a particular company from liability, or tax laws written to favor their interests.

When a group has this amount of power, unaccountable under the Constitution, it is the obligation of each Citizen to demand Open hearings and these criminals brought to justice.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never thought we'd come to this...I probably trust the Russians more than this administration. I don't understand why Snowden did what he did before regarding the information, this exit plan kind of makes sense to me.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's Hopscotch. I can see a fed agent looking like Ned Beatty trying to chase him down.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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