John Le Carre meets Waldo in the latest caper involving the young high school dropout whipper-snapper who left a $120,000/yr gig and a stripper girlfriend and headed to China and Russia with four, count ‘em, four computers full of high-level classified information.
You can’t make up this stuff; there’s even an empty chair (in the form of a vacant airplane seat):
Olga Razumovskaya/The Wall Street Journal
Flight attendants on a flight from Moscow to Havana said Edward Snowden, the former security contractor wanted by U.S. authorities, wasn’t on board the flight.
Ecuador’s foreign minister said Mr. Snowden had arrived in Russia and the Ecuadorian government has been in touch with officials about Mr. Snowden’s request for asylum in Ecuador. Diplomatic cars from Ecuador’s embassy in Russia showed up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, and a spokeswoman for the airport confirmed that Mr. Snowden was in the transit zone.
But Mr. Snowden wasn’t spotted in the airport, and no images or footage of him leaving the flight from Hong Kong surfaced. Passengers on the flight said some cars had met the airplane on the tarmac, leading to speculation that Mr. Snowden had been escorted off the flight privately.
Ecuador is cementing its reputation as a safe-haven for whistleblowers on the run, since Assange has roosted in their London embassy for a year.
Snowden is jumping from the pan into the fire, if he’s actually heading to Ecuador, a small country with such lighweight international “pull” that it hasn’t been able to get the UK to grant Assange safe passage to the airport, and more importantly, a country whose latest law,
The Communications Law that the Ecuadorian National Assembly approved on June 14, 2013, seriously undermines free speech. The law includes overly broad language that will limit the free expression of journalists and media outlets.
A country that, in effect, is turning against the culture of whistle-blowing.
The Wall Street Journal reported that “Mr. Snowden wasn’t spotted in the airport, and no images or footage of him leaving the flight from Hong Kong surfaced“. With four computers’ worth of secrets, you can bet Smiley’s people are after him.
For now, journalists from AP, AFP, BBC and NBC News, among others, are trapped on a 12-hour flight from Moscow to Cuba.
Talked about Snowden in Silvio Canto’s podcast.