Asylum for Snowden won't stop Greenwald from publishing more leaks
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has indicated that he is willing to halt his leakage of US secrets, a condition for gaining Russian asylum, though the journalist who first published information from those leaks intends to continue.
Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working with both the British
Guardian newspaper and Brazil’s O Globo, had been in direct
contact with the now fugitive Snowden and coordinated with the
former intelligence contractor ahead of publishing information
on secret online surveillance programs.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that
asylum for Snowden would be offered only under the condition
that he releases no further information that could prove
damaging to the US. Greenwald, however, has indicated that he
would consider the intelligence provided by Snowden already in
his possession fair game.
“There are many more domestic stories coming, and big ones,
and soon," Greenwald wrote in an email to Politico on
"Given everything I know, I'd be very shocked if he ever
asked me that," Greenwald told Politico when asked if he
would halt publishing any sensitive information if Snowden were
"I'd deal with that hypothetical only in the extremely
unlikely event that it ever happened, but I can't foresee
anything that would or could stop me from further reporting on
the NSA documents I have," he added.
On Friday, Snowden said that he would remain in Russia until
able to get safe passage to Latin America, where he has been
offered political asylum by Venezuela as well as Bolivia and
Nicaragua. Comments made during a meeting with human rights
activists at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport Friday also
indicated that he intended to renew a petition for asylum from
"Snowden is serious about obtaining political asylum in the
Russian Federation," said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a lawmaker
who attended the meeting at the Moscow airport, reports The
Most recently, Greenwald in conjunction with several reporters with O Globo published further information showing the existence of a wide array of surveillance programs tracking citizens of South American countries.
O Globo cited documents this week indicating that from January
to March of 2013, NSA agents carried out "spying
actions" via the 'Boundless Informant' program, which
collected telephone calls and Internet data. Agents also used
PRISM from February 2 to 8 this year, O Globo said.
Essentially all of Latin America is reported to be targeted for
surveillance, including Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica,
Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. The
most intense surveillance according to O Globo seems to have
been directed at Colombia, a key US ally in the so-called War
on Drugs, as well as Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.
Comments by Greenwald to Politico on Friday suggest that the
journalist already has a backlog of leaks to work with, and
that any agreement Snowden were to make with a foreign
government in regards to conditions of political asylum would
be independent of Greenwald’s publication of that information.
Meanwhile, Snowden released a statement on Friday via
WikiLeaks, which has orchestrated his legal defense as well as
asylum petitions, to convey that he would accept all offers of
political asylum made to him.
“I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of
support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may
be offered in the future,” Snowden stated during his
meeting with rights activists and lawyers at Sheremetyevo.
“I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe
passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to
Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until
such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is
permitted,” he told the meeting.