Edward Snowden’s options for asylum are getting fewer and farther between as more and more countries express their disinclination for acquiescing his requests for a safe haven. He’s currently supposed to be in transit area in the Moscow airport hiding from U.S. espionage charges and looking for a way out — but he can go ahead and take Iceland off of the list, reports Reuters:
A bid by Edward Snowden for Icelandic citizenship failed when the country’s parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess, lawmakers said on Friday, with options for the U.S. fugitive narrowing by the day. …
Following the news in Iceland, WikiLeaks announced that Snowden had applied to another six countries for asylum, adding to a list of more than a dozen countries which he has already asked for protection.
The anti-secrecy organization, which has been supporting Snowden’s efforts to find a safe haven since his exit from Hong Kong 12 days ago, said on Twitter it could not reveal the names the countries due to “attempted U.S. interference”.
And go ahead and count France and Italy out, just for good measure:
Italy and France both rejected on Thursday the requests for asylum from fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said Thursday that Italy could not accept an asylum request from the former US intelligence analyst because there were no legal or political conditions to do so. …
“Like many countries, France received a request for asylum from Mr. Edward Snowden through its embassy in Moscow. Given the legal analysis and the situation of the interested party, France will not agree,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
Which stinks for him, because Russia — although Putin has refused to extradite Snowden — is reportedly getting a little impatient about his extended stay. Meanwhile, Politico points out that what the wanted man claimed were his worst fears are looking an awful lot like reality. Welcome to Edward Snowden’s nightmare?
Snowden’s worst fear, by his own account, was that “nothing will change.” …
One month after The Guardian’s first story, which revealed an order from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing the National Security Agency to collect the phone records of every Verizon customer, there has been no public movement in Washington to stop the court from issuing another such order. Congress has no intelligence reform bill that would rein in the phone tracking, or Internet monitoring, or cyberattack planning, or any of the other secret government workings that Snowden’s disclosures have revealed.
… Far from having been surprised by Snowden’s disclosures, today’s intelligence committee leaders stepped right up to defend the NSA’s surveillance programs. From Republicans, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, to Democrats, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, they’ve been nearly unanimous in their support.
“I feel I have an obligation to do everything I can to keep this country safe,” Feinstein told The New York Times. “So put that in your pipe and smoke it.”