Whistleblower Edward Snowden‘s options are dwindling with news that Russia and Ecuador — and as many as 10 other countries — have rejected his application for asylum.
According to Wikileaks, the fugitive has made asylum requests to 21 nations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Snowden’s request to seek political asylum there would be rejected if the American continued to publish leaks from the trove of materials he snagged from the National Security Agency. Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa, who spoke to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden over the weekend, told the UK Guardian paper that it had been a mistake to issue a travel pass for the American’s flight between Hong Kong and Moscow.
U.S. President Barack Obama has made clear to a number of countries that granting Snowden asylum would carry costs.
Countries that have nixed Snowden’s request include Brazil, Norway, Bolivia, Finland, Spain, Ireland and Austria, with some nations claiming he needed to be in their country to qualify.
The strain may be starting to show for the analyst, who said in a statement on the Wikileaks website yesterday that,
“In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”
The next best bet for Snowden might be the left-leaning Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro is meeting with Putin today and told Reuters that Snowden had done, “something very important for humanity” and “deserves the world’s protection.”
Donald Kirk, a Forbes contributor, makes an interesting argument today, stating that one of the best options for Snowden is to make him come home.
The best reason for Snowden to come home, though, is that he would get such a hero’s welcome. Just think of all the academics from Cambridge, MA, to Berkeley, Calif., who would be lionizing him, making him a hero and a martyr, portraying him as the victim of an imperial America that had lost its way. Conservatives might want to jail him forever, but how could they overcome the portrayal of Snowden as one who simply wanted to battle for a return to the principles set forth by the founding fathers in the constitution?
Readers, where do you think Edward Snowden will land?