Edward Snowden, the Man between Russia and America
EDWARD SNOWDEN, THE MAN BETWEEN RUSSIA AND AMERICA
President Vladimir Putin, would be likely to have something in store, or else, a surprising move. According to rumors from the NBC network, he might sensationally and surprisingly deliver Edward Snowden, the former CIA analyst, to American authorities.
American intelligence should be in possession of information that Moscow would evaluate the delivery to the US authorities of the former 007 as a "gift" for President Donald Trump.
A journalist of the NBC network said that a man of the US Intelligence services reported the ongoing contacts between the Russian and US governments. This was also confirmed to the television channel with a second source.
Russian officials may have discussed the possibility to extradite the whistleblower Edward Snowden to the United States as a gesture to improve political relations with the country.
Snowden’s American lawyer, Ben Wisner, at the same time told the NBC not to be aware of the alleged Kremlin’s intentions, not to have received anything that would be associated with an imminent extradition, but “have no cause for concern”. He dismissed the rumors as just “speculations” of US Intelligence services.
President Vladimir Putin called the possibility of returning to the United States as "nonsense".
Even his Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, noted that "Russia has no legal basis to extradite Snowden”, adding that in any case his country generally does not negotiate nor on people or on human rights or freedom, even though “the American services are constantly trying to provoke us”.
As per the Snowden’s Russian lawyer, the ex-analyst, who lives in the country so absolutely legally, won’t be extradited to the United States as a “gift” to the Trump administration, de facto denying a news released from NBC.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman of the Kremlin, has said that the question of extradition of Snowden would be the task of the Russian immigration authorities, and in that case, it would personally be President Putin to intervene.
The Department of Justice has however confirmed to NBC News that, in the case of a return of Snowden in the US, it intends to pursue the pending charges against him, including the theft of government documents and two allegations of violations of the Espionage Act 1917. On the head of the former NSA hang about 30 years in prison if he was tried and convicted in the US.
It is not clear at the moment if there really is a plan to extradite Snowden. The news reported by NBC News quotes an unnamed US official who has analyzed intelligence reports on plans of Russia to "curry favor" the new administration.
From Russia with love
Former mole NSA employee is currently a refugee located in Russia since June 2013, where he lives in exile in the capital to a secret location to avoid being prosecuted in his country.
He flew to Moscow a month later that major newspapers around the world have begun to publish the revelations about the surveillance system in place in the United States, that Snowden had discovered exploiting his position, by making available to western media about 1,5 million documents.
The "spy", the "traitor" as he would have called several times by the same President Trump, is accused of having disclosed Top Secret information that concerned the surveillance and espionage programs put in place by the government.
Snowden provided to the press enormous amount of material on the activities of the National Security Agency, sparking a series of international scandals, with the revelation, saying that the US intercepted the telephones of 35 heads of State and government, including those of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Russia at first granted him temporary asylum for a year, provided in case he would interrupt his actions against the United States, then extended for another three-year permit.
The residence permit for the former CIA and NSA analyst has been furthermore extended for “a couple of years “just last month. This means that from 2020 onwards he my request Russian citizenship.
Snowden, who has often been accused of being a Russian spy, said recent reports in the American press concerning his possible extradition to the US, arguing that it is the “smoking gun” that does not work for Russian intelligence, reacted indiscretion with an irony that even sounds like a warning to Moscow.
"Finally: is the irrefutable proof that I never collaborated with Russian intelligence," he tweeted. "No country delivers his spies, because the others would be afraid of being the next". And later: "Some days ago I criticized the new oppressive legislation 'Big Brother-style” which was launched by the Russian government. Now ominous rumors are coming out. But this will not stop me."
'I do not know if these rumors are authentic. But I can tell you this: I'm not worried. There are things that need to be said regardless of the possible consequences'.
Snowden could currently be seeking for political asylum elsewhere, but cannot do it in any country with which the United States treat the extradition process.
President Putin to benefit? The perfect gift
This move would be beneficial for Russia: President Vladimir Putin would help to establish a personal contact with President Trump, and belittle the outgoing president Obama; the world would also regard to Moscow as an equal partner of Washington.
In 2013, Trump had said that Snowden is a "spy" and "traitor who should be executed," a recently repeated line even from the man who has shown at the helm of the CIA, Mike Pompeo.
Certainly Snowden, who stole and made more 'classified material public' than anyone else, would be a nice gift for the neo-American president, but also President Putin would benefit.
In an interview with the newspaper The Cipher brief, the former deputy director of the CIA, Michael J. Morell, long-time adviser to ex-President Barack Obama, has confessed that the Snowden affair would offer a lot of popularity to Putin, arguing that the Russian President finds in his hands an “extraordinary opportunity “to continue build that personal connection they both care about.
The goal is to make sure to get the long-awaited “I do not see, do not feel”, or else that the US turn a blind eye "on the anti-democratic activities of Moscow, at home and abroad, in exchange for cooperation on issues where the interests of the two countries converge, for example, Middle East and terrorism."
A nice gift to President Trump, would ensure Morell, who maybe could reciprocate with resizing those chats expulsions carried out by Barack Obama.
Morell speaks of "perfect gift" that would allow Putin to be seen, at home and abroad, as an equal partner of the United States, to improve his image at home and increase its influence abroad.
Not only deliver Snowden to Trump, who just took office, it would be a little 'how to' put your finger in the eye to Obama ", whose claims he had blatantly ignored, and that just came from the White House.
The gift would be just as important to Trump for "many reasons": Trump could show, for example, that his relationship with Putin and Russia already mature dividends; also it shows that it has obtained easily one where Obama and the establishment failed. Not only to land Snowden in the US and handcuff him could heal the wound between Trump and the American intelligence, who, more than any other, wants the arrest of former analyst.
"I know that there is an extradition treaty between the US and Russia, but Putin is sufficiently creative to be able to find a way to 'deport' Snowden. And if Snowden arrived in America, it would be the American justice system to determine whether it is a hero (because he has brought to the attention of the general public a program that actually threatens civil liberties, but in reality he never violated, or a traitor for making public the secrets on American security. Now the ball is in Putin’s hands, but certainly the opportunity is great for both. "