LAMBRO: The foolish wager of Edward Snowden

The WikiLeaks hero is stuck in legal limbo

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Fugitive Edward Snowden, wanted on charges of espionage against his own country, is caught in a trap of his own making.

He finds himself stranded in a Moscow airport where he’s been promised political asylum by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who says he will never turn Mr. Snowden over to the United States to stand trial on criminal charges of exposing national security secrets to our enemies.

Russia has never given up anyone to anybody and does not plan to,” Mr. Putin said this week.

However, the former Soviet KGB agent’s offer of a safe haven comes with one condition: “If he wants to stay here … he must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips,” he told reporters at a gas exporters’ conference in Moscow on Monday.

It sounds more than strange from the lips of a man who ruthlessly rules Russia with an iron hand, crushing his political opponents and imprisoning people who dare to criticize his autocratic government, which has led Russia back into a dark era of political corruption, skullduggery and fear.

It is more than likely that the Russians have debriefed and interrogated Mr. Snowden by now, and no doubt made him enticing offers of asylum that they hoped he could not refuse. Many secrets could still be hidden in his laptop, but can anyone really believe Mr. Putin’s intelligence apparatchiks have not seen them?

There are those who suspect that Mr. Snowden is or was a Russian agent who sought jobs in the CIA and the National Security Agency, which ran Prism, the telecom surveillance program he exposed to the world.

Mr. Putin flatly denied that again Monday. “As for Mr. Snowden, he is not our agent, and he is not working with us,” he insisted. Sure.

Mr. Snowden has been in Moscow for nine days in a transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, plotting his next move, even as he declares that he would not accept any demand by Mr. Putin or anyone else that he stop revealing more secrets about U.S. intelligence activities.

U.S. intelligence officials here think that Mr. Snowden has a large cache of information about American surveillance programs that he intends to reveal over the coming weeks and months in an effort to further damage U.S. security on the international stage.

In a letter to Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, seen by the Reuters news agency Monday, Mr. Snowden complains he is being wrongly persecuted by the United States for revealing its surveillance methods, but says he will not be silenced.

“I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest,” he wrote in a bizarre, delusional, far-left manifesto of his larger, long-term goals.

“No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world,” he wrote in an appeal to Mr. Correa, the leftist leader who has launched his own campaign against the right of a free press to criticize his administration.

At times, Mr. Snowden’s self-serving writings veer off into the psychotic, accusing the United States of unfairly conducting “an extrajudicial manhunt costing me, my family, my freedom to travel, and my right to live peacefully without fear of illegal aggression.”

In a statement released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, Mr. Snowden said the Obama administration had used tactics that had turned him into “a stateless person.”

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts