Some level of state surveillance is no doubt necessary though it has probably gone too far in the US. To have blanket eavesdropping and entrapment and agents provocateur is not so unlike the Stasi or the KGB. I am not too concerned if the NSA has been reading my emails – much good it may do them! I have no strong opinions as to whether Snowden is a hero or a villain but I would be more than a little surprised if he has been sitting quietly in the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for the last 3 days.
I am pretty sure that all the reports coming out about his possible movements or non-movements are largely disinformation. I am very suspicious when Foreign Ministers and Heads of State make statements about his whereabouts or where he is not. I suspect that technically none of them have lied outright – but I am fairly certain that they know much more than they are letting on. The lone individual bravely evading the far-flung resources of the most powerful nation in the world is the stuff of Baroness Orczy and of urban legends to come.
So my guesses as to where he might be are:
- He is being debriefed by Russia. It would be child’s play for the Russians to have whisked him into a private and ”safe part” of the transit area and to return him to the public area after a suitable period. I see no reason for the official Russian line to have been jeopardised since he would not technically have gone through immigration control. When Ecuador says they need time to consider his asylum request, I wonder if it is the Russians who need time to debrief him – willingly or unwillingly.
- He is in the transit area of another Russian airport and to get to St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport – for example – would have been easy for the Russians to arrange.
- The trip to Havana was just for disinformation and he actually flew to Hanoi and is now hidden within the entourage surrounding Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino.
- He has already reached and is holed up in Havana (and the Cubans therefore are not saying anything), or
- He is in the transit area of a country friendly to Russia (Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan….)
With the heavy US presence in Reykjavik, it is unlikely that Iceland was ever a serious destination.
Given the resources that the US and the world’s media must be bringing to bear to find him, it can only be a matter of time …
We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Yankies seek him everywhere.
But the US establishment has some egg on its face. John Kerry’s blustering against China and Russia and now threats of a trade war against Ecuador come across as heavy-handed and hypocritical. It is only Snowden who gains and Obama and Kerry who lose in the PR stakes for every day that he continues to remain undiscovered.