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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora