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News Does anyone really want Snowden (except the US)?

  1. Jul 15, 2013 #1

    Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia all have extended public invitations for Snowden to seek asylum in their respective countries. However, if they really wanted him (and to "stick it" to the US), why couldn't they send a private plane to Russia and return by staying in international airspace? This is certainly possible for Nicaragua and Venezuela and it shouldn't be too much expense for the latter. It's clear Russia doesn't want him and would likely cooperate. This time of year even a smaller plane could probably safely return via an arctic route to the Atlantic. Maybe no one really wants him (except the US)?
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2013 #2
    My question is what do these countries get out of it?
  4. Jul 16, 2013 #3
    In reality, it only sours their relations with the US with possible negative economic consequences. However, it enhances their standing among some critics of the US and that's apparently more important to the leaders of these countries.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  5. Jul 16, 2013 #4
    What if they got nothing out of it? Shouldn't they give Snowden asylum because the American government was performing illegal activities and because Snowden exposed the corruption and is now being herald as a person committing "espionage" against the U.S. government?
  6. Jul 17, 2013 #5
    If they say they want to give Snowden asylum, then why don't they go ahead and do it? Venezuela is perfectly capable of sending a plane to Russia and bringing him back to Venezuela while staying in international airspace (between Russia and Venezuela). They can certainly suspend any bureaucratic red tape and so can Russia. Officially Snowden hasn't even entered Russia as long as he stays in the airport transit area. All Russia has to do is give clearance to the Venezuelan aircraft.

    EDIT: Apparently Snowden has completed an application for asylum in Russia. This so-called human rights activist is prepared to live in Putin's Russia! I hope he realizes that Mr. Putin might wake up one morning and decide Mr. Snowden is a double agent; and in Russia, if Mr Putin decides you're a double agent, you are a double agent.

    It's strange to me that Snowden's first move was to go to China and then Russia. He could have gone directly to Venezuela easily from the US.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  7. Jul 17, 2013 #6
    The assumptions are RIPE within this post.

    "All Russia has to do is give clearance to the Venezuelan aircraft."


    YOU: "This so-called human rights activist is prepared to live in Putin's Russia!"

    As opposed to what? Coming back the U.S. being tried under the "espionage" act and living out the rest of his days in prison, possibly killed? Snowden should stay where he is and wait until there is a way for him to get asylum in a different country, or Russia.

    YOU: "It's strange to me that Snowden's first move was to go to China and then Russia."

    Dave Lindroff gives a very good analysis as to why he believes Snowden went to Hong Kong first rather than Venezuela. However, the reason I am not posting the link is for the reason that it is just speculation and nothing substantial. I am not well-read enough to give an informed opinion on the extradition laws the U.S. has with Hong Kong, or why dissidents are more protected from the Chinese government, however, that is why I point towards Dave's explanation.

    To me, Snowden is a human right's activist. I will even go as far as to call him an American hero. At least he is trying to uphold the virtues Americans love to hold themselves toward. I never signed onto being monitored by the government. Look at what has happened in the wake of 9/11, patriot act, NDAA, and now monitoring for the possibility of catching a terrorist attack on U.S. soil... Slowly our liberties are being whittled away for our own safety.
  8. Jul 17, 2013 #7
    I made it clear more than once that I know of no reason why Venezuela could not send a special aircraft to Russia and transport Snowden back to asylum in Venezuela. I said nothing about a commercial flight. I also talked about the need to stay in international airapace on the return flight so that no national authority could (legally) force the plane down as happened in Europe with the Bolivian president recently when it was thought he was transporting Snowden. Did you read my first post?

    If Venezuela is serious about offering asylum, it should not place any bureaucratic barriers to such an operation. My impression is that Russia is not interested in keeping Snowden.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  9. Jul 17, 2013 #8


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    Good points SW.
  10. Jul 17, 2013 #9
    You said, "a plane," and I don't know of any "special" aircraft that Venezuela has that could do the job. It is your duty to provide enough of an explanation to get your point across.

    Lastly, a plane can be considered, a commercial flight as well. Just look up, "plane," and see if you don't get hits for, "commercial flights," or the discussion of a plane within a geometric framework.

    ~ phoenix
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  11. Jul 17, 2013 #10
    In my first post I said "private plane". You don't think Venezuela is capable of that? Do you know very much about Venezuela? It is a fairly developed country with considerable oil wealth. It has a government owned national airline and could easily divert a jetliner for this special purpose. BTW I don't think your last post conforms to PF rules.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  12. Jul 17, 2013 #11
    Thanks Evo.
  13. Jul 17, 2013 #12


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    Enough of the arguing. Also, going forward any comments must be backed by appropriate mainstream news sources, as per the guidelines.
  14. Jul 17, 2013 #13
    I don't think the post needed to be deleted because of the source. That is a bit excessive. The New York Post article was accurate as substantiated by many other news outlets.

    My other post was deleted, unfairly, so this reply will be a bit different as I wanted to make another point in regards to this specific quotation...

    It is not a matter of Venezuela being serious, they are serious about it. Snowden has not accepted their offer and as my deleted post linked to, decided to try his hand at Russia for asylum.

  15. Jul 17, 2013 #14


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    I do not think it is that easy. If they want to avoid "hostile" airspace, this means a roughly 7000 mile flight. Very few planes can do that without refueling. And refueling along the way might prove...difficult. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/07/09/snowdens-five-dubious-options-for-getting-to-venezuela/

    I think they have exactly one Airbus A340-200 which might be able to do the flight. However, if there are disturbances along the way, whether it is bad weather or...other unusual encounters, this would mean a huge problem.
  16. Jul 17, 2013 #15


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    They could probably stop in Cuba, just guessing. IIRC, Cuba is friends with both countries, but perhaps they don't want to get dragged into the mess of harboring someone whose actions are that of a traitor. He's jeopardized the security of our nation, IMO.

  17. Jul 17, 2013 #16
    They do fly to Iran and Syria, but that may include refueling stops. Iceland has expressed some sympathy for Snowden's situation and/or a stop in Cuba might be sufficient. I don't think a human rights activist (if that's what he is) is going to be very happy in Russia and the Russian government may not be very happy with Snowden if he even gives the appearance of being involved with anti-Putin elements, some of whom might try to contact him if he's given temporary asylum.

    EDIT: They did fly non-stop from Caracas to Damascus and then on to Tehran, but I'm not sure about the current situation. The special flight could also "top off" in Murmansk before leaving Russia.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  18. Jul 18, 2013 #17


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    Right, that may be an option. My guess at why he seeks temporary asylum in Russia was that he tries to take the route along Vladivostok and now needs to seek asylum to be able to move there. But this is just guesswork.

    However, I agree that he will not be happy staying in Russia.
  19. Jul 18, 2013 #18
    I've got an unused room in my apartment. I'd let him stay for a modest rent, would make for interesting dinner talks.
  20. Jul 18, 2013 #19


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    Russia probably does not give a rats behind if he stays or goes and views him as just a citizen of no regard, otherwise he would have been whisked away to the Kremlin.

    Snowden does not have any state secrets that any country spying on any other country did not already know. Why would Russia accept him with his passport revoked, just to set up some public display of a diplomatic spat over information of not very much state worthiness.
  21. Jul 28, 2013 #20
    Just to correct the record, you must be thinking Snowden would be going east to reach South America. The air distance from Murmansk (which has an 8000 ft + runway and would be the last refueling stop in Russia) to Caracas is 9308 km (5784 mi) going west and south. Avoiding European air space might add some distance but not much from Murmansk. It seems doable for an A340.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  22. Jul 29, 2013 #21
  23. Aug 1, 2013 #22
  24. Aug 1, 2013 #23
    IMO, the NSA jeopardized the security of your nation by enganging in fraudulent activities hurting not only the united states, but most countries in the world. Including close long term allies. So the traitors are the NSA from my viewpoint, no one else. IMHO. sir!

    Where's is the line Evo? What are you willing to accept in order to keep you safe?

  25. Aug 1, 2013 #24


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    You're welcome to your opinions, I was stating the law.

    I'm fine with things the way they are.

    Other countries with similar technologies are doing the same, IMO. I'll just give the UK's Tempora as one example. I'm just really surprised that anyone is surprised.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  26. Aug 1, 2013 #25


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    The way the law is current written and interpreted by the FISA court it's almost impossible for the 'NSA' to break the law. I don't think that's the true problem because they normally operate outside the law anyway, for me the problem is we are taking an DOD agency chartered and designed to stop foreign attacks, protect military secrecy, gather signals intelligence and warping it's mission into a domestic intelligence agency that the FBI/DOJ should be running within the normal constraints of the Constitution when dealing with US citizens. There is a basic incompatibility with those missions because the DOD is not interested in courts, rules of evidence or civil rights, their mission is to find 'bad' people and kill them. They follow the rules of war and combat where even massive civilian deaths are allowed if the objective is of vital importance. That mentality is slowly creeping up into the NSA domestic spying operations as we see common features of due process of law eliminated to find the 'bad' guys with them hiding behind completely over-classified systems to fool the public about the scope of those programs and complete double-speak when they are forced to report to congress and the people they serve. This is the way typical military intelligence operations have been managed forever but I don't think that mentality will keep us safe in this country because eventually everyone in this country will become a target as the definition of NSA weasel words becomes come wider. I personally fear the militarization of law enforcement a lot more than terrorism as internal security forces have killed far more innocent people in the history of the world than all the terrorist combined.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
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