What Edward Snowden's Allies Say About Him Being Stranded In Russia

Edward Snowden and his closest supporters contend that the U.S. government stranded Snowden in Moscow after he arrived on June 23. Here’s what they said:

  • The U.S. went “so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from travelling to Latin America!” — Edward Snowden, in his recent open letter to Brazil.
  • “I was travelling with him on our way to Latin America when the United States revoked his passport, stranding him in Russia.” — Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks advisor who met Snowden in Hong Kong after he outed himself.
  • Snowden “was transiting through Russia on his way to somewhere else, and got trapped there by US actions.” — Primary Snowden source Glenn Greenwald.
  • “He was literally changing planes in the Moscow airport when the United States revoked his passport.” — Primary Snowden source Barton Gellman.
  • “The United States, by cancelling his passport, has left him for the moment marooned in Russia.” — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The way it played out proves that it’s not that simple. Snowden’s passport was revoked on June 22, and the Ecuadorian travel document acquired by Assange was void when Snowden landed in Moscow.

As Snowden’s lawyer, who is employed by Russia’s security services, noted in July: “He is in a situation with no way out. He has no passport and can travel nowhere; he has no visa.”

WikiLeaks admits that the Ecuadorian document was meant help Snowden leave Hong Kong and has not explained why it would send the American to Russia with no valid travel documentation.

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