‘Snowden will be in Ecuador sooner or later even with invalid passport’

The US has revoked Edward Snowden’s passport without a hearing and is threatening dire consequences if he is not sent back, even though the country routinely accepts dissidents without passports, historian Gerald Horne told RT.

“If you listen to the congress person appearing on Sunday’s chat shows, they are breathing fire threatening measures just short of a nuclear war if Mr Snowden is not speedily dispatched back to New York or Washington,” Horne said.

RT: Just how easy is it for the US to revoke a passport?

GH: One would hope that there would be notice to Mr Snowden and a hearing before something as important as a passport is revoked. But if you examine the State Department’s statement they basically said that that was not necessary from their point of view if you are accused of a felony then your passport can be revoked. Its well known that particularly during the Cold War period the US routinely revoked the passports of political dissidents.

RT: So , the US has done this so he cannot travel anywhere else. He can’t travel any further without that valid passport?

GH: Not necessarily. The US routinely excepts on its territories citizens fleeing Cuba without passports. I would also say that the US routinely receives on its soil those it deems to be political dissidents who might or not have passports. I don’t feel that Moscow’s hands are tied with regard to Mr Snowden not having a passport. And in any case if we assume that his eventual destination is Ecuador if you look at the extradition treaty between the US and Ecuador there is a revision that says that extradition does not have to be adhered to if a so called political crime is at play. And what Snowden is accused of is in essence a political crime.

RT:Will there be diplomatic spat and  fallout if Moscow let's him fly?

GH: If you listen to the congress person appearing on Sunday’s chat shows, they are breathing fire threatening measures just short of a nuclear war if Mr Snowden is not speedily dispatched back to New York or Washington. However they’ll get over it. I think that they recognize that Moscow has the opportunity if not a responsibility to make sure that Mr Snowden is not persecuted for what is in essence a political crime.

RT:Could they intercept the aircraft and force it land where they could apprehend him?

GH: You can’t rule that out when you are talking about the US, which sees itself as a police officer of the world . However I would caution the US authorities to tread carefully in a situation like this because it is well known as Mr. Obama has said himself that Washington would like to reset relations with Moscow so that it can pivot towards China. It would be difficult for the US to apply pressure against China when it simultaneously has difficult relations with Moscow. I think that operative principle will basically be in play as the scenario unfolds.

RT: We have got a man on the run, he is in a Moscow airport. Do you think he will be a free man and get to where he wants to and be out of the grip of the US?

GH: I would bet that Mr Snowden will be sleeping in Ecuador sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that Ecuador has difficult diplomatic relations with Washington. A major US oil company has polluted the environment in Ecuador, poisoned and killed a number of citizens. And the US refuses to be forthcoming with regard to bringing this company to justice. Supposedly Mr Snowden will be transiting through Havana and we all know the difficult relations between Cuba and the US. So I should say Mr Snowden should sleep soundly tonight.