Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs, has reportedly been granted temporary asylum in Russia and has left the Moscow international airport, where he has spent the has several weeks in a transit lounge.
While Russian state funded news outlet RT reported that according to Snowden’s lawyer, he “was unaccompanied when he left the airport in a regular taxi,” Yahoo! News reports that Snowden left the airport “under care of WikiLeaks’ Sarah Harrison.”
At issue now is the information Snowden has and whether it will ever be secure because as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has said, the former NSA contractor has documents that can do more “harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had.”
“The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden,” Greenwald said, “because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare.”
In other news:
- Reuters reports: The hunger strike that began nearly six months ago at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and spread to include two-thirds of its 166 prisoners has tapered off with a Ramadan pardon that has allowed some prisoners to be together during Islam’s holy month.
- The New York Times reports: The head of Syria’s main exile opposition group added new conditions on Wednesday to the start of any negotiations aimed at ending the country’s civil war, further decreasing prospects that an internationally backed peace plan would progress anytime soon.
- The Times also reports: The House overwhelmingly approved legislation on Wednesday that would impose the toughest sanctions yet on Iran, calling the measure a critical step to cripple the country’s disputed nuclear program and brushing aside calls for restraint by critics who said the Iranian president-elect should first be given a chance to negotiate.