Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 - 09:17 UTC

Ecuador 'helped Snowden by mistake,' asylum in doubt

Edward Snowden will not necessarily be granted asylum in Ecuador, and any travel aid given to him was purely accidental, the Ecuadorian President has said. He also rebuked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for speaking on the part of Ecuador.

“Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical,” Correa said Monday

Correa told The Guardian that Quito will not be involved in financing or organizing Snowden’s travel from Moscow, specifying that the fugitive leaker would have to reach Ecuadorian soil before the government considers protecting him from American law enforcement.

“Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical,” Correa said Monday. “The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia.”

The president’s comments came just hours after a letter from Snowden to Ecuadorian lawmakers was made public. In it, Snowden thanked them for considering his asylum request and providing a temporary travel pass for his trip from Hong Kong to Moscow on June 23. Snowden is without a passport, and in a Monday statement issued via WikiLeaks he referred to himself as “stateless.”

“I must express my deep respect for your principles and sincere thanks for your government’s action in considering my request for political asylum,” Snowden wrote in Spanish, according to London’s Press Association.

“There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world.”

The kind words seemed to leave Correa unmoved, though, as he has since admitted that issuing Snowden the travel pass was misguided and, in any case, was not approved by his office.

“It was a mistake on our part,” he said. “Mr. Snowden’s situation is very complicated, but in this moment he is in Russian territory and these are decisions for the Russians authorities.”

Assange acted ‘incorrectly’

Correa also touched on Ecuador’s continued protection of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent more than a year at the country’s London embassy. Assange and Fidel Navarez, Ecuador’s consul in London, acted on their own – amid a state of confusion - to supply Snowden’s travel documentation to the Russian capital, the president claimed.

“Look, [Assange] is in the embassy, he’s a friend of the consul, and he calls him at four in the morning to say they are going to capture Snowden,” Correa said to The Guardian. The [consul] is desperate – ‘how are we going to save the life of this man’ – and does it.
“So I told him: Okay, if you think you did the right thing, I respect your decision, but you could not give, without authorization, that safe conduct pass. It was completely invalid, and he will have to accept the consequences.”

He also said that he had been “a little annoyed” by Assange’s actions on Monday when the whistleblower claimed the US vice-president Joe Biden had called to pressure Ecuador into not granting asylum.

“So he knows about the call made to me by Joe Biden? And he says he called to pressure me. I would never accept such a call,” Correa told AFP. He added that he had sent a message to Assange via the Ecuadorian foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, to refrain from interfering in Ecuadorian affairs.

Correa reiterated his denial that there was any possibility he would provide Snowden with another authorized travel document, this time to leave Moscow.

When asked if he would like to meet Snowden, Correa responded with a simple, “Not particularly.”

“He’s a very complicated person,” the president went on. “Strictly speaking, Mr. Snowden spied for some time.”

Ecuador, by all accounts, was the nation most likely to accept Snowden despite pressure from the US. Correa spoke to US Vice President Joe Biden by telephone Friday, though, and has since backpedaled from the assumption that Snowden would be welcomed with in his country open arms. In a weekend address to the nation, Correa said the conversation was “cordial.”

Biden’s call was the highest level conversation between the US and Ecuador since the Ecuadorian ambassador publicized the initial asylum request.

“They did discuss Mr. Snowden, but we are not going to provide details on their discussion,” NSA spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told The New York Times Friday. (RT)

34 comments Feed

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1 Captain Poppy (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 09:52 am Report abuse
I find farcical that snowden and assange are shocked that they USA is interferring with asylum requests and that they revoked snowden's passport. He is wanted by the USA, do they actually think that they are suppose to just allow him to freely travel and escape?

Julie....take note as to the difference between being wanted and thinking you are wanted. As for snowden.......he is living out a combo film fest.....Terminal and Ground Hog Day. I hear Moscow winter's are lovely.
2 reality check (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 10:16 am Report abuse
Looks like the honeymoon period might be coming to an end for Mr Assange.

I think he is going to receive a severe dose of reality courtesy of Mr Correa.

As for Correa, he seems to be learning from the London fiasco.
3 Britworker (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 11:29 am Report abuse
I think this is more a case that Ecuador was more than happy to take him up until the point that they were warned it would have a severe impact on their economic agreements with the US.
Now the cowardly back-peddling.
4 Conqueror (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
Now let's see, Correa says “Strictly speaking, Mr. Snowden spied for some time.” So Eddie IS a spy. No matter what his dad says. Now what else. “Look, [Assange] is in the embassy, he’s a friend of the consul, and he calls him at four in the morning to say they are going to capture Snowden,” Correa said. Did that friendship start before or after Julie ducked into the Ecuadorian embassy? Might explain a few things. As I recall, Assange “persuaded” Manning to steal the documents. For whom? For WikiLeaks? Or for Ecuador?
5 ElaineB (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 01:05 pm Report abuse
@4 I doubt very much that a narcissist like Assange would do anything that was not for his own personal gain. He has been out of the spotlight trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy and is desperate for some attention.

There have been some interesting articles about Correa in The Economist recently. His position has shifted after being re-elected and after the demise of Chavez. As I said before, the Bolivarian Revolution died with Chavez.
6 GFace (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 01:25 pm Report abuse
There were so many people who Snowden to whom he could have blown the whistle too who have solid libertarian street-cred. He didn't. He went to a newsie with an axe to grind and then he want to an adversarial country and spilled the beans.

As with Manning who has explicit conduits for filing complaints and blowing whistles, Whistleblower he ain't.

And as for Julian being a “friend” of consul, is that really true? Would YOU want to work in close quarters with that twit. I'm tellin' ya, I think we can start the countdown for Tiger Tranquilizers, a Diplomatic Package, an unattended corner, and a office load of happy consulate workers who were probably pushed too far in the *first week* of JA's “exile”! Finally, they can fill out the visa applications in peace, have their lunch galley back and not have to worry about if the toilet has been flushed and seat down.
7 Hepatia (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2013/07/02/ecuador-helped-snowden-by-mistake-asylum-in-doubt#comment258276: First, what makes you say the Glen Greenwald does not have “libertarian street-cred”? He has written many articles for Salon detailing the extra constitutional activities of this and the previous administrations. He has also written a couple of excellent books on this subject area.

Second, what do the think the effective difference would have been had he disclosed to one of your preferred libertarians?
8 Troy Tempest (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 02:40 pm Report abuse
Well, well, a little bit about SA percolated through to Canadian mainstream media.
I heard on the radio this morning that Wikileaks had stated that Snowden was still in Moscow and looking for asylum.

They said it was likely that the only country to offer him anywhere to go was Venezuela - Maduro was in Moscow right now.
9 reality check (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 02:48 pm Report abuse
Janes Rule Book of Spying.

Rule 1. There are no rules.

Rule 2. See rule 1.

Rule 3. See rule 2.

Rule 4. See rule 3.

Get the idea.
10 GFace (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 02:55 pm Report abuse
@9 RC

Unwritten Rule 5: Don't get caught.

Unwritten Rule 6: Don't brag.
11 ElaineB (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 02:59 pm Report abuse
Indeed, it is both naive and with false indignation that people act shocked to know that spies actually spy. What do people think diplomats do? If we were all friends together we wouldn't need embassies in other countries improving business, promoting good will and MOST IMPORTANTLY collecting information.

I think some people think they live in an Enid Blyton book.
12 reality check (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
Almost has bad has the indignation being expressed in some quarters here, when it was revealed that MI5 had allegedly previously tried to turn one of the murderers of Lee Rigby.

Heaven forbid, an intelligence agency tying to recruit a spy!

Shock, horror, whatever next?

Listening devices? covert video taping? infiltration?
13 GFace (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 03:33 pm Report abuse
@7 . As a liberatrian I have very mixed feelings about Snowden. Manning not so much. But....

There are specific conduits by US law that Manning and Snowden signed on to by which to “whistleblow” that are designed to manage secure information at the same time as bringing illegal activity to the attention of people who will do something about it. As a civilian Greenwald is not on the list (and certainly neither was Wikileaks in the case of Manning). Greenwald may have journalistic cred, but he is not government. While spies may have “no rules” as RC indicated, government employees and contractors do. I can tell you right now that Paul would have LOVED to get this vented in Congress (probably under any administration, and I'm no “Paulite”). Likewise under Bush 2.0 or a hypothetical Romney, a host of Democratic reps would have been delighted to do the same. The information would have been outed and Snowden would have had shielding.

But Snowden not only went to Greenwald which a libertarian like me MIGHT be able to forgive. He also blabbed about US hacking (gasp!) into Chinese servers who were (gasp!) breaking into our servers. Sorry, Charlie. That's in the spectrum of espionage. Bridge Burned.

Also, consider a hypothetical Cinderella Test. A member of AR's intel agencies arranges for a member of Clarín to publish your equivalent of a “Rainbow Plan” (variants of the “thought experiments,” wink wink, that EVERY country has) to invade the Falklands and impose your perennial unrepentant fascism at gunpoint on the Islanders yet again. Now the world sees that you are openly planning to violate your constitution WITH the credible scenarios which AR thinks this would work and that your diplomacy is a lie (well, duh). So, Hep, Whistleblowing or Treason? I think we know what CFK would say about that. But let's add to it. Say he flees to Asunción and blabs about what your spies are doing to Paraguay.

Hey, is that Mercosur Mr Sulu saying, “Oh MY!!!”?
14 Captain Poppy (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 03:48 pm Report abuse
He's a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.
Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to,
He is not like you and me?
Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don't know what you're missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is not your command.
He's as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to,
He is not like you and me?
Nowhere Man, don't worry,
Take your time, don't hurry,
Leave it all 'till somebody else
Lends you a hand.
He's a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.
15 ElaineB (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 04:31 pm Report abuse
Does being a libertarian mean everyone has the right to know everything about everyone? I don't think so. I am all for smaller state intervention in our every day decision making but democratic society has rules to protect the individuals rather than restrain them. I want to be free to make my own decisions within the law and without harming others. And I expect the structure of society to protect me as far as it can.

I don't need one individual malcontent and famewhore deciding he can tell anyone anything he chooses when he has signed a confidentiality contract BECAUSE he will be privy to confidential and potentially damaging information.

Let us not forget that Snowden has admitted he went into the job with an agenda. If he really had any convictions other than a narcissistic moment in the spotlight he would have stayed in the US. If he really believed the majority of US citizens would agree with his position then he really had nothing to fear.
16 LEPRecon (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 05:06 pm Report abuse
@15 ElaineB

Good post, I totally agree.
17 reality check (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 05:17 pm Report abuse
Ditto.

@13

Was it it not so long ago that they were accusing a Uruguayan law maker of treason for attending the Falklands Rederendum as an observer.
18 Brit Bob (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
I would like to see Argentina give Snowden asylum. That way they can suffer the wrath of Uncle Sam.
19 GFace (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 05:49 pm Report abuse
@18 ... or suffer the smug of Snowden.
20 reality check (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 06:16 pm Report abuse
Or suffer that mug! Snowden.
21 Briton (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 06:52 pm Report abuse
Ecuador
say it 3 times then forget it,

for this little wannaby is already history..
22 Conqueror (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 08:17 pm Report abuse
@6 Only your third para. A “consul” who has a “friend” like Assange? Surely that's a “source” like Assange? A narcissistic numpty with delusions and a “consul” hoping for advancement. So far the Ecuadorian ambassador has been recalled for being a tosser. Can a female be a tosser? So what has Ecuador achieved so far? It has an unwelcome permanent house guest. It looks like a prat. Which it is. Did it “think” that the UK was just going to cave in? Perhaps it should have taken a look at the UK response to the argie invasion of the Falkland Islands. That was 8,000 miles away. And Ecuador thought it could push it in London? Here's the deal, Correa. Shove him out the door. Say you were “mistaken”. Admit that you now realise that Assange is a criminal. When you're in a tough place, toss the carcass to the wolves. You may survive. For a while. Besides, did your embassy staff really sign up to living with a turd?
23 Beef (#) Jul 02nd, 2013 - 09:42 pm Report abuse
Snowdon is a hypocrite. Claiming to campaign for freedom of information and then trying to claim asylum in Russia and now China. He clearly is a man of no principals. Coward who runs away.
24 Hepatia (#) Jul 03rd, 2013 - 02:38 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2013/07/02/ecuador-helped-snowden-by-mistake-asylum-in-doubt#comment258297: It is rather strange to hear a Libertarian say that any citizen should rely on the government to correct governmental transgressions. This must be an area of Libertarian ideology that I have yet to examine.

Had Snowdon disclosed to Rand Paul then he would have been breaking the same laws that he has been accused breaking by disclosing to the journalist. And the American People would have been informed about the NSA spying activities, as they have now, via the news media. So that path offers no practical difference in outcomes.

With regard to attacks against the PRC the question is who is the government keeping this secret from. The Chinese already know about them. The reality is that the secret is being kept from the American People.
25 Gordo1 (#) Jul 03rd, 2013 - 05:10 pm Report abuse
At last the weasel despot is talking sense!
26 Briton (#) Jul 03rd, 2013 - 05:36 pm Report abuse
A microphone has been found in the Ecuadorians embassy,
But who planted it-
Russia – spying on the Ecuadorians
USA spying on the Man
UK- spying on the man
Argentina spying on the brits spying on the man
China spying them all,
Mmm
Secrets – spies – lies – and conspiracies,
What would we do without them…lol.

,,,,,,,,,,,
ya just cant trust anyone.
27 GFace (#) Jul 04th, 2013 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
@24 there are proper places to vent. I keep saying this. There are laws in place to facilitate it including provisions for anti-whistleblower protection, he bypassed them. Paul (or mirror universe Al Franken, one where he's funny and has Romney as president) would have been able to provide a semblance of shielding, it is done and has been done in the past and fleeing the country isn't required.

As for “everyone” knowing about hacking. Well yes, Spies Spies (shock, gasp). But you don't brag about spying. Not only its it “just not done”, it also provides a higher level of confirmation that can be used in squabblepolitik as it was done here -- and along those lines, Hep, do answer what you think of the Cinderella test above. I think we all know what the REAL answer is. Transparency is always relative when it comes to whose side-boob is exposed.
28 Hepatia (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 12:31 am Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2013/07/02/ecuador-helped-snowden-by-mistake-asylum-in-doubt#comment258706: Possibly it might have been better for Snowden if he had disclosed via Congress. But I doubt it. But, in any case, the object of the exercise is to inform the American People of the actions of their government - not necessarily to protect Sowden.

WRT the whistle blowing laws the administration disagrees with you. They have already stated a number of times that the laws do not apply to him because everything they have done is legal.

The PRC knows a lot more than that spies spy. It knows the specifics of the individual attacks. In fact this is the basis of Snowden's present problems. They have determined that he can divulge nothing to them that they do not already know.So they have moved him along. The same applies to the Russian Federation and the European countries.

So who was it that didn't know? Its the American People. And I see no problem with using a free press to inform the People of those things that they need to know. Do you?

I do not understand your comment about bragging. This is the US in the 21st century that we talking about, not the UK of the 19th century. And in this United States we can pass the port to the left or the right. We even allow the ladies to be present.
29 Captain Poppy (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 09:41 am Report abuse
One this that is not being considered as to why snowden cannot find a country. He may also have info as to what other countries do as well.
30 GFace (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 03:00 pm Report abuse
@28/29, Hep may indeed be correct wrt china, he blew his load, and they got the moment of being able to play the wounded lamb in the press. Russia has not released him -- yet. They may be trying to see if he is of value. Ecuador and LATAM are already seeing that having a jerk on a leash is not

@28. You STILL haven't answered the question as to how things would be towards an Argentine “leaker” who, likewise, embarrassed the infallible fascist utopia of Argentina by showing that they were doing something Juntaish or had plans to violate their own constitution by having a credible “rainbow plan” to invade the Falklands and then went one step (albeit even a baby step) further and started showing that he was willing to blab about “legit” under-the-table spying, further embarrassing CFK, to suck up to his hosts.

And yes, the administration disagrees with me. Gadflies in congress may not and do not when the other parties sideboob is showing and we are still not counting the Judiciary. As I keep saying a notable minority in congress could love to use their own status (on par with the Argentine congress being the only people in Argentina being able to tell the truth about inflation) to let the american people know. Gotta love separation of powers. I highly recommend it.
31 Briton (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 07:05 pm Report abuse
Edward Snowden
Apparently is now very popular with the loony states in the south Americas,
It seems all four want him,

Including Argentina, always looking for that elusive angle,
And seeing Ecuador getting space on the worlds TV, also wants a cut..lol.
.
32 Captain Poppy (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 07:21 pm Report abuse
328 to answer that, they did have an finance guy turn up dead in Urugauy....he commited “suicide”.
33 Troy Tempest (#) Jul 05th, 2013 - 10:55 pm Report abuse
Canadian radio station today, “ Morales' plane was redirected to Austria because it was believed that Edward Snowden was inboard”.
34 Hepatia (#) Jul 09th, 2013 - 12:33 pm Report abuse
en.mercopress.com/2013/07/02/ecuador-helped-snowden-by-mistake-asylum-in-doubt#comment258989: Had Snowden gone to Congress I suspect that he would have got the same response as Ellsburg received from that body.

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