Ecuador Pulls Ed Snowden's Travel Papers Because Julian Assange Thinks He's In Charge

from the yay,-politics dept

Things keep getting more and more ridiculous concerning the Ed Snowden asylum drama. It's never been fully explained how or why Snowden decided to link up with Wikileaks to get "help" in finding a place to get asylum, but ever since then, Wikileaks has been presenting itself as Snowden's spokesperson, and apparently that's not going over well with some people, including Ecuador, the one country to most prominently express interest in granting Snowden asylum, and the country which granted him travel documents. Except, in large part because of the Wikileaks connection, Ecuador has pulled those papers, in a move that seems to be a combination of petty politics and spite:
President Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Snowden leave Russia amid concern Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadoran government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence published on Friday.

Amid signs Quito was cooling with Snowden and irritated with Assange, Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document which could have helped extract Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.

Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador's London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised, after other Ecuadorean diplomats privately said the WikiLeaks founder could be perceived as "running the show".
Apparently, some Ecuadorian officials have been urging Ecuador's president to distance himself from Assange, and that the public perception was that Assange was running the show, rather than Ecuador. Of course, I wonder how much of this has to do with other leaks concerning Ecuador's own surveillance efforts as well. Or, perhaps more likely, how much it has to do with threats from the US should Ecuador accommodate Snowden.

It does seem likely that even without Ecuadorian travel papers, some country will happily take Snowden. But, in the meantime, it presents yet another complication.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    What a statement on the state of a country when a whistle blower has to seek safety from arrest, torture and kangaroo courts by running from the US to China and then Russia.
    How the old fairy tale has been turned on it's head.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Well, perhaps Equador has recognized that Assange cares only about Julian Assange. If it gets and keeps him in the spotlight so much the better. Snowdon can rot in Russia for all he cares. And all he's wanted is for Equador to jump when he pulled the strings.

    Another question which comes up is that Assange was wanting Asylum in Equador as well. This could get very interesting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    I have to be thinking this is a temporary stunt to try to put Assange's ego in check. If they really wanted to hurt him they would simply kick him out of the embassy. Either that or this could be part of some big elaborate stunt to cause some sort of misdirection or an attempt to build in deniability against claims of assisting him while he quietly migrates to a new location. Does it strike anyone else as odd that he hasn't actually been seen or photographed by anyone in the press since before he supposedly left Hong Kong?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    What a fucking joke. Assange is an egotistical piece of shit. I hope that Ecuador's ambassador to the UK shows him the front door.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:30pm


    What a statement on a person who seeks safety in countries with horrible track records on arrest, torture, and kangaroo courts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:31pm

    Assange is a spoiled rotten brat who has an addiction about being the center of attention. IN an attempt to give the United States a black eye, he decided to stick his big nose in the middle of Snowden's request with Ecuador, and, as a result, has deliberately screwed things up.

    If anyone deserves to be the recipient of a drone strike, it's Assange's big ego.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Just tells you how far the US has fallen when it actually makes sense to run to those countries from it. Because no one, absolutely no one is saying that it demonstrates those countries to be good on those issues, just safer places for american whistle blowers to be than their own home.

    If you don't get that, you're really not paying attention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    The United States hasn't stood for the "land of the free" in a long time. The official motto of the United States has turned into the "land of the oppressed".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    PopeRatzo (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 6:22pm


    I find it interesting that any time there is a story about Snowden or Assange, you can set your clock by the influx of comments that attack them, their "egos" and wish harm on them.

    Of course, such comments never mention the important part of the story, which is the police state that's been created in the US in the name of "security". How every American's phone calls are now registered, whether they are suspected of anything or not, whether they're accused of anything or not. That's pretty much the definition of "police state".

    No, the comments go after Assange or Snowden for various personality traits, because they're attention hounds, etc. Turn it into a soap opera and maybe nobody will notice the secret courts, deciding the fates of secret defendants, held in secret prison, for breaking secret laws.

    It's almost as if the people making the story about Assange and Snowden don't want people to pay attention to the real story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Do you kiss the mirror when you gaze lovngly at yourself?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    dennis deems (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    In spite of their admirable stance against US bullying, It looks more and more like Ecuador's not the place for Snowden - or any dissenter - to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 7:14pm

    screw equador then

    after all that bullshit they blew it...after all that yamering publically getting us all to help support thtem was there chance and they blew it.

    stay in russia snowden....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 7:18pm

    Oh what a Surprise

    HAHAHAHAHA, we ALL KNOW THAT WAS going to happen,, Thankyou idiot Assange.

    Anyone who still believed Ecuador was not doing this FOR ANYTHING BUT THEIR OWN GAINS IS AN IDIOT.

    Mark my words !!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 7:49pm

    What is even more disturbing for non americans that the US is not the safe place for truth tellers is that Europe is not a a place they look to for safety from their increasingly insane governments, elected by their increasingly insane electorate.

    The US can go to hell in their own way, and no one would really shed a tear for them, but it's the way they drag everyone else down with them that will be their eventual demise. After decades, even centuries of constant improvements it's taken so little time for the nutjobs to roll all the advancements back so far that they are becoming indistinguishable from the nations they used to claim superiority to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    If he Snowden has ANY brains

    And some would assume he does, he would be on the phone or heading to the nearest American Embassy, and working out a deal for him to be sent back to the US to face trial.

    It's the ONLY chance of him possibly leading a 'normal' life some time in the future. If via his lawyer he turned himself in, he would have some bargaining power, if he does not he has NONE.

    I believe he is already making noises to that effect, and I would not at all be surprised if he has not already stated that process.

    This is certainly a case of the longer you leave it the worse it will get, and now the Assange has injected himself into things, Snowden needs to separate himself from all of that as soon as possible.

    Sure, he could well do prison time, so do a lot of other criminals in the US, but unless you are prepared to do the time, don't do the crime.

    This entire 'thing' has blown up in his face, clearly it was VERY ill-conceived, and it is clear he 'lost control' about 5 minis after he gave the information to a reporter.

    The message failed to have any real impact, it is very questionable that is illegal, (yes, it's good to see it's being challenged in the Supreme Court, but I don't expect it to be found unconstitutional... I,e Green Fields).

    But Snowden is simply screwed otherwise, and the longer he stays on the run the worse it will be for him in the long term.

    I would expect in the next week or so to see Snowden back on US soil, if not sooner.

    I also predict it wont be that long until the front door of the Ecuadorian Embassy swing open and 2 hands push Assange out onto the street into the waiting hands of a UK bobby.

    I have travelled all over the world, including much of America and I KNOW (as you probably do) that American IS A GREAT Country, it has a stable and democratic Government who (contrary to opinion here) does it's best to serve the population, sure there are thing you don't like, and corruption (it's everywhere btw), but overall, there are not that many places in the world with a better record.

    Snowden is I think now coming to this realization as well.

    Snowden was (and is) very immature, and misguided, he is also way out of his depth, because of that he has allowed himself to be manipulated by others for their own gains, and on top of that he is ineffectual. In other words he failed in his primary goal of exposing US Government 'crimes', one, there is little (but some) exposure, but most of that exposure is from those who feel it is unconstitutional, and it is certain not clear that is the case. There appears to be considerable case law indicating it is constitutional.

    It is certain NOT the same as the GPS unit put on peoples cars, as that is against the 4th amendment of "effects, papers, persons or property".

    Telephone meta-data, is a record created by others, owned and stored by others, that I believe is not covered by your 4th amendment rights.

    There is a great deal of data on everyone that you do not see, you never see, you do not own, did not create and do not have in your possession.

    Telephone meta-data is one of them, you Google search history is another, the cells your mobile phone talks too is another.

    You employers employment and pay records are another, this is data on your that you do not control, own, possess.
    These are records not protected under the 4th Amendment.

    So it will be easy for the NSA to 'get off the hook', but unless Snowden throws himself at the mercy of the court he's screwed. Time will tell, it's already telling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 8:11pm


    that the US is not the safe place for truth tellers

    it wont be long until Snowden works out that American IS one of the safest places on earth for true whistle blowers, not many country have as effective whistle blowers laws than the US.

    I don't think the US is close to a demise, if anything it continues to get stronger, you appear to have a very effective political and legal system, no nation or Government is perfect, and no Government can be all things to all people, that is simply not possible.

    And what was leaked is not even a clear indication of any great illegal doings, it is very debatable that it is illegal, and not at all surprising considering the level of hatred displayed by those who seek to harm the US. It is completely understandable that the US would consider this action "reasonable". Many, many US citizens and politicians DO consider it reasonable, and probably I expect will the Supreme Court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

    I think Snowden's Dad identified the real villains here:

    "He expressed concern that his son might have been manipulated by WikiLeaks. "Their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States," he said. "It's simply to release as much information as possible."


    Fuck WikiLeaks. Pops got it right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 11:45pm

    So Assange is an egoist - is this news? They are all egoists, it's just that most of them are better at hiding it than Assange is.
    My guess is that, having announced they are no longer going to chase Snowden from country to country, the Americans have decided they are going to use other tactics to see he gets 'American Justice'.
    I would suggest that the Americans are indirectly influencing Correa by planting whispers in his government that are aimed squarely at his ego.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 2:57am

    "So Assange is an egoist"

    No he's actually more a psychopath than an egoist, or egotist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 3:03am


    Glibness/superficial charm
    Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Emotionally shallow
    Callous/lack of empathy
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
    Parasitic lifestyle
    Lack of realistic, long-term goals
    Poor behavioral controls
    Early behavioral problems
    Juvenile delinquency
    Revocation of conditional release
    Criminal versatility
    Many short-term marital relationships
    Promiscuous sexual behavior

    Lets play matchup with Assange, you too can determine if he is a Phychopath, try it on Snowden while you are at it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    adman, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 6:57am


    the reality is they both did something exceptional and extraordinary for all of us and now they must deal with consequences of standing up against goliat or maybe david?, but all sorts of pant shiters and shit swallowers have in mind only what colour of Assange's or Snowden's morning's crap was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    wewantpeace, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Re: If he Snowden has ANY brains

    you talk as if Snowden is a criminal, where in fact its the US GOVERNMENT who are the criminals! The media is purposefully taking the focus away from what the problem actually is, that the governments are spying on every citizen. And that should be a crime

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 7:20am

    Re: Psychopath

    If you'd post under your name and if we had the remotest idea who you were we could try it on you too.

    Strangers could really easily tick lots of boxes for Assange or Snowden, after all they know very little about them but what put them in the public eye, but if ticking boxes about someone you don't personally like means anything to you at all then have others do it about people you admire and, what a surprise, you'll find almost anyone who enters the public eye will get plenty of boxes ticked, even those who do so unwillingly.

    Guess what else, if you read out that list to people and asked them what country it reminded them of, they'd say the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 29th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Psychopath

    Other than the last few, which don't really fit well when describing a country, yeah, the USG seems to fit every single category in that list.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: screw equador then

    The best place to any whistle blower is and always will be anonymous land.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    Niall (profile), Jul 1st, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Psychopath

    What have you got against poor Charlie Sheen?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    LadyImpactOhio, Jul 1st, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Correa tweets Univision lied

    Correa tweeted on June 29 at 1:45 om Univision lied about this.Presidencia Ecuador (@Presidencia_Ec) tweeted at 1:45pm - 29 Jun 13:

    Univisión miente sobre el caso Snowden y el falso salvoconducto. Les damos hasta el lunes a que lo demuestren. Presidente #Correa #Enlace328 (

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 2nd, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Psychopath

    "Many short-term marital relationships"

    Seems spot on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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