First we heard that Edward Snowden had landed himself a new job in Russia. (Working on web sites, natch.) But apparently, a quiet, stay at home life after work won’t be satisfying the former NSA contractor, and he’s now welcoming distinguished visitors for press opportunities. Oh, and he’d also appreciate it if everybody would stop acting like he’s a traitor or something.
Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American security contractor granted temporary asylum by Russia, has appealed to Washington to stop treating him like a traitor for revealing that the United States has been eavesdropping on its allies, a German politician who met with Mr. Snowden said on Friday.
Mr. Snowden made his appeal in a letter that was carried to Berlin by Hans-Christian Ströbele, a veteran member of the Green Party in the German Parliament. Mr. Ströbele said he and two journalists for German news outlets met with Mr. Snowden and a person described as his assistant — probably his British aide, Sarah Harrison — at an undisclosed location in or near Moscow on Thursday for almost three hours.
Mr. Ströbele had gone to Moscow to explore whether Mr. Snowden could or would testify before a planned parliamentary inquiry into the eavesdropping. Any arrangements for Mr. Snowden to testify would require significant legal maneuvering, as it seemed unlikely that he would travel to Germany for fear of extradition to the United States.
I’m sure Snowden was flattered to be invited to travel to Germany and “testify” in hearings before the German Parliament about US intelligence activities there. That would have to be a pretty impressive pick-me-up for the ego after being stuck in a hotel for months and then relegated to a 9 to 5 job in Moscow with no Wikileaks sponsored parties or galas. But if he so much as steps foot into the international area of an airport or gets on a plane that crosses over friendly air space, I would hope that he’d be on his way home in a belly chain in short order. Short of that, though, he may not have much to worry about. If Russia isn’t willing to extradite him, options would appear to be limited. This isn’t the same as events unfolding in the streets of other other nations like Libya or Pakistan. Getting anyone in and out of Russia with Snowden in tow would be one heck of a trick and would probably carry some hefty repercussions.
As to the traitor thing, we’ve heard the same song and dance from Assange for a long time. In fact, in terms of media availability, the two should be considered relatively indistinguishable at this point. But if you don’t care for traitor, how about… dirtbag?