Snowden Pulls Request for Russian Aslyum

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

After days in a Moscow airport, Edward Snowden broke his silence through a statement issued by Wikileaks. The NSA leaker accused the United States government of trying to intimidate him, leaving him a stateless person and pressuring other nations to revoke his request for asylum.

“The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon," a part of the statement says. "Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum."

Though Snowden remains in a transit area in the Moscow airport, he has abandoned his request for asylum in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin said asylum would only be granted if Snowden stops leaking classified information against the United States.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is currently in Russia, says he has not yet received an application requesting asylum, but is keeping open the possibility of granting such status to Snowden.

And Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has seemingly backed off his country's involvement in the matter following a phone call with Vice President Joe Biden.

Ellen Barry, Moscow Bureau Chief for our partner The New York Times, and Kimberly Marten, political science professor at Barnard College, join The Takeaway to discuss Putin's decision and the possible next steps for Snowden.

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Ellen Barry and Kimberly Marten

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Andrew from Philadelphia

Today your host read a portion of Edward Snowden's statement on air, the paragraph where he condemns the administration for revoking his passport and asserts his right to seek asylum. The host said something like "that's the end of his statement." It certainly was not. Mr. Snowden goes on to say that the US government isn't afraid of whistleblowers like himself and Bradley Manning, because they are so easily neutralized. He says the government should fear the people, and he is right. There is a point at which our collective appetite for the continual erosions of our personal liberties will be exhausted, and the government will have to effect a serious adjustment of its behavior. I personally am sick of terrorism being used to justify invasive programs that are so out of scale with the tiny phantoms they claim to guard against, and cannot wait for the unravelling of the current state of affairs. The government supposedly exists to serve the citizens and to do what's best for us, and it is, in large part, no longer serving this function. In that respect it is fundamentally broken, and it is up to us, citizens, disturbed and empowered by the truth we learn through brave people like Mr. Snowden, and through our good and righteous politicians to hold our government at all levels to account. Wholesale spying, oppressive tactics, too big to jail, corporate personhood, and the two-party system are infections festering in our country's vitals. We should heal our system from within before it is too late.

Jul. 02 2013 12:47 PM

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