News / USA

    US Presses Russia to Turn Snowden Over

    A Russian policeman stands outside the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow, June 24, 2013.
    A Russian policeman stands outside the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow, June 24, 2013.
    VOA News
    The U.S. says it is pressuring Russia to expel an intelligence contractor to the United States to face espionage charges for his disclosure of clandestine American surveillance programs.

    In his secretive hide-and-seek run for asylum, Edward Snowden had been booked on a Monday flight from Moscow to Havana, with his possible eventual destination Ecuador, where he is seeking asylum. But the flight to the Cuban capital left with no sign of him on board.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose secret-disclosing organization is assisting Snowden, said the American fugitive is safe, but declined to disclose where he is.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. has frequently returned criminal suspects to Russia and said it expected to Russia to turn over the 30-year-old Snowden to American authorities.

    Carney criticized China for what he said was Beijing's "deliberate choice" to allow Snowden to fly Sunday from Hong Kong to Moscow. He said the Chinese decision "unquestionably" damaged relations between the U.S. and China.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to India, said U.S. authorities "don't know, specifically, where [Snowden] may head, or what his intended destination may be."

    Ecuador's foreign minister, Richard Patino, said at a news conference in Vietnam that Snowden had asked for asylum but he "can't give information on Snowden's whereabouts." Patino said his government has been in contact with Moscow.

    Kerry said it "would be deeply troubling" for Hong Kong and Russia to allow Snowden to continue his international journey to escape prosecution in the U.S.    

    National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says the White House is disappointed that Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong despite a "legally valid" request for his arrest. The statement early Monday says the United States has registered "strong objections" with authorities in Hong Kong and the Chinese government. Assange said Snowden had a "refugee document of passage" from the Ecuadorian government before leaving Hong Kong.

    Ecuador says it is analyzing Snowden's request for asylum. Patino said it would consider the asylum request based on the "principles of its constitution."

    Quito has often criticized U.S. foreign policy, and Patino noted that the U.S. has refused in the past to extradite "fugitive bankers...who have hurt the interests of many Ecuadorians."

    U.S. officials say Snowden's passport was revoked before he left Hong Kong for Moscow. The government has advised countries where Snowden may pass through or serve as his final destination that he is wanted on felony charges and should not be allowed to travel internationally.

    Ecuador has sheltered Assange at its London embassy for the past year to prevent his possible extradition to the Sweden where he is under investigation for sexual assault. His lawyers say Assange fears he will be sent to the United States in connection with the group's publication of secret U.S. diplomatic cables in 2010.

    Snowden leaked documents showing that U.S. intelligence services have gathered data for years about patterns of telephone and Internet use. He said he believes the programs violate the privacy rights of citizens.

    A senior administration official sharply criticized Snowden's motives, saying his focus on transparency and individual rights "is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen." The official listed China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador, saying Snowden's failure to criticize those governments shows his "true motive" was to harm U.S. national security.

    Senior U.S. officials have said the surveillance programs do not monitor the content of phone conversations, but look for patterns in the metadata, including information on the time, date and numbers called.

    U.S. authorities also have said the programs prevented at least 50 terrorist attacks worldwide since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. They have accused Snowden of weakening their ability to foil future plots.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    A lot, and then some: the huge - and complicated - cost of the AIDS epidemic

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: budlydoright from: Houston, Texas U.S.A.
    June 24, 2013 2:24 PM
    So Mr. Obama you now know what it is like to have to have no respect on the world stage. Even tiny Hong Gong flips you off, it's wuses like you that get this country into real wars. Mr. Putin is about to stick more than a finger in you're eye. Get ready to bend over.

    by: mday1 from: New Haven
    June 24, 2013 10:18 AM
    Democracy Now! aired a great show today about Edward Snowden, and interviewed The Guardian reporter who wrote about all these leaks (his name is Glenn Greenwald), as well as a lawyer who represents Wikileaks. Check it out on their website, you can google "democracy now". It's really worth a listen.

    by: Regula from: USA
    June 23, 2013 7:11 PM
    Congratulations Mr. Snowdon for the timely evasion of ridiculous charges by the US government. No, Snowdon is no traitor or coward, the NSA is: a crook, accusing Snowdon of having stolen its stolen goodies.

    We all wish you success to arrive in Ecuador safe and hope Ecuador will give you asylum, so the mad chase ends. In this case it is more than clear that Snowdon is a whistle blower and not a traitor under the espionage act. The government had no right to collect the data without consent by the public. Even the FISA court notified the government that it overstepped legal boundaries. The US government tries with every means to justify illegal because authoritarian practices under a rather weak and foul pretense that it foiled terrorist acts. In reality there is very little proof that those acts were in fact stopped by the surveillance rather than by more conventional police work.

    The US government would of course have known that Hong Kong and China did not want to catch Snowdon. After all, he gave them a large gift by restoring truth to the US accusations against China for cyberspying - when the US spied into just about every government server in China and Hong Kong. Why is the US government so upset about this rebalancing of democratic equal rights to know?

    by: Ciaran Mulcahy from: Dublin, Ireland
    June 23, 2013 5:52 PM
    If Snowden is flown to the America's, from Moscow, it will probably be on a scheduled Aeroflot aircraft, via Shannon, Ireland.

    by: Mike
    June 23, 2013 4:15 PM
    It is good that Snowden has arrived in Russia. This will force some politicians in the United States to understand that Russia - the enemy of the United States, as rightly said Mitt Romney. Also this is further evidence that both Russia and Communist China, the enemy of the United States and the entire democratic world. They are ready to take any criminal if he did any muck against America. Snowden is a traitor and a coward who tries to escape from justice to authoritarian countries like China and Russia, Cuba and Ecuador.
    In Response

    by: oldlamb from: guangzhou
    June 26, 2013 11:18 AM
    I also cite a simple example for you:A,B,C are three persons.B saw A was stelling and undermining C’s property.Because of the conscience,B told C what A was doing.A was angry and urged C arrest B,and present B to A. The questions:Should C thank B? Or should C arrest B and present B to A?What was God’s justice?
    In Response

    by: Mike
    June 24, 2013 4:39 PM
    To Brian from Baton Rouge, LA .
    Yes, I voted for Romney. And like me - almost half of the country. I completely disagree with you. I'm not going to change my view on what happened with Snowden. In any country Snowden act is a crime. Snowden's attempt to hide from justice in the countries - enemies of the United States only shows that he is a coward and a traitor. In addition, he was stupid - he has not made and can not bring an end to surveillance intelligence on the Web. This is done and always will do all countries of the world, especially Russia and China, which delighted with such naive and knew nothing about the geopolitical realities people like you.
    In Response

    by: Brian from: Baton Rouge, LA
    June 23, 2013 6:56 PM
    Mike, Mr. Snowden must make you feel very uncomfortable, since you are ready to denigrate him for doing what a lot of other people feel is a welcome searchlight into the dank sectors of our government. I would sooner have a thousand Snowdens and dispel the justifications for terrorism on all sides than continue the increasing prevalence of secrecy that costs unnecessary tax money that is desperately defending a crumbling Roman empire. The U.S. fears the type of patriot that Snowden represents, and this kind of information-level vulnerability that we find ourselves in the middle of is simply inexcusable. If someone like Snowden can carry it away... if it exists in U.S. custody, then China/Russia//NorthKorea/Iran/YourMom can get it from anyone. Following your logic, the rest of the truth-deprived, empire trodden world is a crime, and the level of analysis you bring to the table is an indicator of how much you actually think about the deteriorating condition of this nation's political climate. You voted for Romney? Ha! I voted for Herman Cain.
    In Response

    by: Dave from: USA No Liberty Here
    June 23, 2013 6:42 PM
    No, he's a hero. The DNS are the traitors, spying on everything Americans say online without a warrant. Welcome to 1984 Mike, I hope you enjoy your stay in a police state.
    In Response

    by: jim from: U.S.
    June 23, 2013 6:39 PM
    You've stated the problem but what are the viable options. Neither country is going away and like it or not we have to deal with them. Of course if the Business Community wasn't out to make a buck and Congress didn't kowtow we might have some leverage. The truth is in the bigger world of Corporations, Espionage, the intermingling of economies, etc. you name it Snowden is small fry and in a couple of months it will be Snowden who? Just like Bradley Manning of Wikileaks Fame.
    In Response

    by: VagaBond
    June 23, 2013 6:38 PM
    Since when do we allow 700 billion dollar trade deficits with enemy's?
    In Response

    by: Austin Activist from: Austin, TX
    June 23, 2013 6:32 PM
    Romney lost, by the way, and calling Russia "our No. 1 geopolitical foe" was only one of many mistakes he made. Ecuador is hardly "authoritarian." Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic, and may soon welcome and shelter a man I regard as as much a hero as I do Daniel Ellsberg.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora