Russian President Vladimir Putin says NSA leaker Edward Snowden may stay in his country if he wants to but only if he stops disclosing U.S. secrets.
“There is one condition if he wants to remain here: he must stop his work aimed at damaging our American partners. As odd as it may sound from me,” Putin told a media conference in Moscow.
In Putin’s opinion, Snowden considers himself “a fighter for human rights” and it seems unlikely that he is going to stop leaking American secret data.
However, Russia is not going to extradite Snowden, the president underlined. “Russia has never extradited anyone and is not going to do so. Same as no one has ever been extradited to Russia,” Putin stated.
“At best,” he noted, Russia exchanged its foreign intelligence employees detained abroad for “those who were detained, arrested and sentenced by a court in the Russian Federation.” Snowden “is not a Russian agent”, the president said, repeating that Russian intelligence services were not working with the fugitive American. Source: RT
So, Julian Assange and Wikileaks didn’t really didn’t help Edward Snowden as they claimed they could. The fact is, Lonnie Snowden was right. Julian Assange may have been manipulating his son to gain notoriety for the organization that has been waning in interest lately. One thing I can say about Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Russia, he may wish he was back in a U.S. jail because he will be watched like a hawk by the Russians. He will be a marked man, no matter which country takes him in.
Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article on Mediaite:
Six months after the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the American defector Victor Norris Hamilton surfaced in a Russian mental hospital. He had been missing for more than 20 years. The 75-year-old former cryptologist for the National Security Agency had defected to the Soviet Union in 1963. His family was shocked to learn of his whereabouts, noting that they had last had contact with him in 1973. They were equally surprised to learn that Hamilton was committed to hospital in a Moscow suburb in 1971 where he disappeared for 20 years.
Hamilton’s unfortunate ordeal is once again relevant. It provides context for the news that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been effectively offered sanctuary by Russian PresidentVladimir Putin on the condition that he renounce his especially unhelpful habit of revealing American intelligence gathering secrets to the press (and instead reveal them only to the Federal Security Service). Putin said that, provided he provide Washington with some perfunctory assurances that he will no longer regularly embarrass the American intelligence community, Snowden can leave the international limbo of Sheremetyevo airport and work peacefully in the Russian Federation. If Snowden takes Putin up on his generous offer, history suggests he will wish he had not.
Here’s another article about U.S. defectors to Russia from Foreign Policy:
The most notable, of course, are the spies. There were the agents, like George Koval, who provided the Soviet Union with information about the Manhattan Project in the 1940s before absconding to Moscow. In 1960, two NSA cryptologists — William Martin and Bernon Mitchell — defected to the Soviet Union with intelligence on U.S. monitoring of Soviet communications. Like many defectors, Martin and Mitchell built lives in the Soviet Union, marrying and receiving well-compensated jobs. But like many defectors, they also had difficulty adjusting. According to the NSA’s in-house report on the incident, both men asked to leave Russia within a year of their defection, “but no country would accept them.” Mitchell died in Moscow, but in time Martin made it as far as Tijuana, where he died in 1987. They were not alone in their discontent. “He put on a good act,” Igor Prelin, a former public relations official for the KGB told theNew York Times after the death of defected CIA agent Edward Lee Howard, who eventually came to own a small insurance firm in Moscow, “but life was not sweet for him here.”