Edward Snowden appears to have become a political hot potato internationally, with the search for the on the lam NSA leaker affecting relations between numerous countries — including the diversion of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane after it was suspected the wanted man may have been aboard.
Over on Twitter, Edward Snowden is a hotly trending topic as news outlets attempt to make sense of this afternoon’s developments in the search for the former NSA contractor.
Snowden’s whereabouts are not currently specifically known, but Wikileaks has allied with the NSA defector, and RT.com reports that several countries could possibly grant asylum to Snowden, per the leaks site:
“According to Wikileaks, Snowden has received asylum rejections from Poland, Finland, India, and Brazil. Applications made to Austria, Ecuador, Norway, and Spain are only valid if made on the countries’ home soils. Venezuela says it is willing to consider an asylum request from Snowden … Bolivia, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, and Switzerland have not yet responded to Snowden’s requests for asylum.”
After Morales’ plane was diverted over European airspace, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca denied Snowden’s presence on the plane and further condemned the “huge lie” suggesting otherwise.
He said to the media after the incident:
We don’t know who invented this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.
Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria after airspace in France and Portugal was closed in the ongoing hunt for Snowden.
Just 24 hours prior to the incident in Austria, Edward Snowden published a statement via Wikileaks in which he referenced his current plight and the plight of others who have spoken out about US actions in prior leaking scandals.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
Austria is one of several countries who have denied Edward Snowden asylum despite his assertion that return to the US could mean he will face execution for the NSA leaks.