WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013 — Just when everyone thought they knew where Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker of U.S. surveillance secrets was, he has vanished from under our noses.
Supposedly he was to be on an Aeroflot flight out of Moscow early today, headed for Cuba in transit to Venezuela or Ecuador. But, poof, he’s gone.
Or so the Russians are saying.
An unnamed Aeroflot employee at the Sheremetyevo Airport’s gate claimed that he was one of the five passengers who did not show up for Airbus A330 and take Seat 17 A in coach as scheduled. Meanwhile, a batch of reporters had gotten themselves tickets for the flight only to find out he wasn’t there and they were on their way to Cuba.
So where is he? Speculation is rampant.
Here are some of the latest theories, for what they’re worth:
1. Snowden is on the flight but in disguise and in a different seat.
2. The Russians have detained him to find out more about his U.S. surveillance information. Of course, the Russians deny knowing anything about Snowden or his whereabouts, much less that he was even coming to Moscow.
3. The Ecuadorian ambassador to Russia sent his car around to the Moscow airport and has spirited Snowden to safe keeping in the Ecuadorian Embassy. The Ecuadorian limo was spotted at the airport on Sunday. And the Ecuadorian embassy in London has been a refuge for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange for months now, who is fighting extradition back to Sweden on rape charges.
4. Snowden is on another flight, perhaps to Ecuador rather than Venezuela.
5. Russia is about to cooperate with U.S. demands to return Snowden to the U.S. and he is being detained until the process is complete.
Meanwhile, Wikileaks, a purveyor of leaked classified information in the past (in particular the case of Julian Assange and Private First Class Bradley Manning) has said that “U.S. bullying Russia for Snowden’s rendition is counterproductive. No self-respecting state would accept such unlawful demands.”
Whether Russia is being bullied or is manipulating the situation as did China when it got Hong Kong to release Snowden for his escape flight out of the territory is another question. But whatever is going on in Russia, you just know Russian President Vladimir Putin, an old KGB chief, just loves it.
Meanwhile, the media scours the globe for Edward Snowden, but he is more likely hiding in plain sight.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.