If you have not been rooting for Edward Snowden to evade his tormentors–you are not a libertarian.
If you have not been praying (it’s a figure of speech, not a statement of religious faith) for Vladimir Putin to stand firm against the biggest bully in the world—you are no libertarian.
Today, those proverbial prayers have been answered. The man who has been the laughing stock in US media (a laughable proposition in itself) for his displays of machismo has manned up.
“Although President Vladimir V. Putin and President Obama both sought to avoid a direct diplomatic clash over Mr. Snowden, Mr. Putin and other officials here made clear they would under no circumstance extradite him, despite direct appeals from Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.”
And finally, on August 1, 2013, “Russia Granted Snowden 1-Year Asylum,” reports the New York Times.
Russia’s decision, which infuriated American officials, significantly alters the legal status of Mr. Snowden, the former intelligence analyst wanted by the United States for leaking details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. Even as those leaks continued, Mr. Snowden now has legal permission to live — and conceivably even work — anywhere in Russia for as long as a year, safely out of the reach of American prosecutors.
Mr. Snowden, 30, departed Sheremetyevo Airport unexpectedly at 3:30 in the afternoon after his lawyer, Anatoly G. Kucherena, delivered to him a passport-like document issued by the Federal Migration Service on Wednesday and valid until July 31, 2014.
Let us hope that this young man remains free, and that “the temporary refugee certificate” is renewed, or is a loadstar for other countries thinking of following Putin’s lead.
UPDATE: “Manning, Snowden and Assange were the ones who took risks to expose crime.” This is a bit of a dumb statement:
Manning’s supporters expressed relief that he was found not guilty of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which would likely have carried a sentence of life in prison. He was convicted on 20 of 22 charges, and could face up to 136 years in prison. The sentencing hearing is underway.