President Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Snowden leave Russia amid concern Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadoran government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence published on Friday.
Amid signs Quito was cooling with Snowden and irritated with Assange, Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document which could have helped extract Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.
Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador's London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised, after other Ecuadorean diplomats privately said the WikiLeaks founder could be perceived as "running the show".
According to the correspondence, which was obtained by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision and shared with the Wall Street Journal, divisions over Assange have roiled Ecuador's government.
Currently it is reported that Snowden is currently stuck in the transit center in Russia, with no viable visa, and not a lot of opportunities open to him.
And while this is happening Greenwald is writing new articles based on the information provided to him by Snowden, and attacking the Obama administration for continuing the Bush era NSA program, though they may have missed a more importna point.
This from The Daily Banter:
Greenwald’s new ‘bombshell’ article about the NSA essentially details how the NSA collected email metadata beginning shortly after 9/11.
The screamer headline: “NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama.”
We already knew about this program. Most recently, Eichenwald has been writing about it for the last week or so.
But here’s the most revealing part of Greenwald’s article: the program was stopped by the Obama administration in 2011. As Charles Johnson tweeted yesterday, the article’s headline could actually be “Obama discontinued NSA email program started under Bush.”
Furthermore, Greenwald wrote: “It did not include the content of emails.” The NSA only collected metadata, authorized by bulk FISA court warrants. The program, like everything else, sought overseas communications, and those communications might have inadvertently included some data from US persons connected with the overseas emails. And, again, reminder: any data from US persons that’s inadvertently collected is anonymized, encrypted and destroyed. It’s only decrypted with an individual warrant.
I have said before that I think it is good thing that we know that these programs were continued under President Obama, but it is also important to know that the President ultimately ended the program.
Even more troubling in my mind right now is that Edward Snowden is sitting in an airport with no visa, and fewer and fewer prospects, along with four laptops filled with American secrets.
One has to wonder how long it will be before he starts shopping this information around in exchange for sanctuary and protection? Or if indeed that has already happened?
Update: But then again is Edward Snowden actually even IN Russia?
This from Business Insider:
Many reporters, with purchased plane tickets that have given them access to the area, have spent sleepless nights patrolling the long halls of the transit zone, looking for witnesses among the janitors, cashiers and flight attendants.
There have also been security personnel on patrol in plain clothes, some of them clearly monitoring the journalists...
Journalists have spent days searching for Mr. Snowden in lounges and V.I.P. halls and behind locked doors throughout the transit zone, and at 3 a.m. one of them could be seen sitting dejectedly in a glassed-in smoking area.
So where, exactly, is Snowden?
I find it impossible to believe that the Russians don't know EXACTLY where Snowden is right now. Now whether of not they are willing to share that information is another thing altogether.