Russia Grants Snowden Asylum Despite U.S. Demands

Friday, August 02, 2013

After being stuck at the international airport in Moscow for a month, NSA leaker Ed Snowden has finally found freedoms—at least for the next year.

Russia granted the leaker asylum yesterday, allowing him to leave the airport.

The decision to allow Snowden to stay in the country has soured relations with the United States, which has repeatedly requested that Russia extradite Snowden.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and private that Mr. Snowden be expelled and returned to the United States,” Jay Carney, White House press secretary, said at a news conference yesterday.

The Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceAndrew Weiss, has some ideas for a diplomatic solution. Mr. Weiss served as the Russia adviser for Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush.

Steve Myers, New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief, explains the response on the ground.



Steven Lee Myers and Andrew Weiss

Produced by:

Tyler Adams


T.J. Raphael

Comments [8]


"Spy"? "Saboteur"? "Whatever you want to call him"? HUH???

No, John, Snowden is not whatever you want to call him. There is no evidence that he's a spy for another country, though he was a spy for the NSA. (I assume you weren't using that reference as a shady way to paint him as a bad guy.) And saboteur? Having sabotaged what, exactly, other than the cover the US gvt. previously kept on the NSA's program spying on US citizens?

And I agree with Michael C from Mass about your choice of words regarding Showden's "choice" of Russia. Pretty snotty, I think.

Aug. 26 2013 10:53 PM
Margaret's Dad from Bay Ridge


Thank you for your response. I understand that everybody makes mistakes, and if it weren't for John Hockenberry's overbearing and relentless "I'm the smartest guy in radio" demeanor, I wouldn't have bothered commenting. If you're going to act like the smartest guy in radio, you need to back it up; otherwise, you're just a punk.

Also, please tell Mr. Hockenberry to stop calling Ukraine "The Ukraine," which is a vestige of the Soviet Union. Nobody from Ukraine calls it The Ukraine, and they consider it offensive, as they well should. Even your partner the BBC calls it simply "Ukraine":

Aug. 05 2013 06:57 AM
Pac Weather from Washington State

I agree with Michael C. of Mass. Mr Hockenberry's reportage on Snowdon has been colored by his sardonic tone in being quick to suggest that Snowdon is a hypocrite for choosing Russia as a country for asylum when there was very little choice Snowdon had in the matter, given the US revoked his passport. The fact that he cant leave Russia because of this fact coupled with the threat from the US to force down any airplane that carries him into a US friendly nation for capture -as they did shamefully to the Bolivian president's aircraft- is needed information to provide fair and balance reportage, which Mr Hockenberry appears not willing to provide.

Aug. 02 2013 03:26 PM
Yuki from Ukrania, Ohio

All true, Michael C, but Russia is doing this stuff NOW! They're moving backwards on civil and human rights and freedom of speech! Haven't you read about Putin's crackdown on gay rights activists?! Please, dude.

Aug. 02 2013 03:23 PM

Russia has given the Obama administration the shaft on every thing from Syria to Snowden. The notion that the US/Russia relationship is better than under Bush is bizarre. The only way relations could get worse is if Russia were to actually bomb us.

Aug. 02 2013 12:11 PM
Michael C from Mass.

Mr. Hockenberry reports rather snidely about Snowden's 'choice' of asylum in Russia, noting Putin's and the former USSR's execrable human rights record.

He fails to elaborate on why Snowden was forced to accept such refuge from the USA. In truth, parts of our history, and current practices, are hardly exemplary. Hockenberry should not have difficulty assembling a list of our own egregious human rights abuses, starting with treatment of native "Americans", and extending to government sanctioned slavery, Jim Crow lynchings, red baiting and persecutions, FBI and National Guard aided union busting, gay bashing, draconian Rockefeller drug laws, three strikes laws, excessive use of incarceration, solitary confinement, extrajudicial killings, torture, illegal renditions, stop and frisk police murders, illegal voluntary wars, etc.

Hockenberry could acknowledge that whistleblowers and "legally" convicted civil rights activists and martyrs have led the way forward to reform our own human rights abuses during the 227 years of our flawed but evolving democracy.

Edward Snowden's revelations of governmental abuse of Constitutional protections is part of this invaluable tradition. His actions may yet prevent further abuses of power from harming our own and other peoples' civil and human rights.

Aug. 02 2013 12:05 PM

Hi there Margaret's Dad from Bay Ridge, this is T. J. Raphael, The Takeaway's digital content editor. Yes, that was our mistake! We try to make as *few* as possible but they do sometimes happen. Thanks for listening!

Aug. 02 2013 09:31 AM
Margaret's Dad from Bay Ridge, NY

Kiev is in Ukraine, not Russia, you bozo.

Aug. 02 2013 09:13 AM

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