US Pushes Latin America: Say No to Snowden

Administration fears he's got docs on China spying

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 12, 2013 7:06 AM CDT | Updated Jul 12, 2013 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama may not be scrambling jets to get Edward Snowden, but he appears to be scrambling just about everything else. The New York Times reports that the State Department is putting a "full-court press" on Snowden, from Joe Biden's phone call last month to Ecuador President Rafael Correa to urge him to say no to the leaker. "There is not a country in the hemisphere whose government does not understand our position at this point," a senior State official says. Taking particular heat are Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, which have testy relations with the US and have said they're open to taking Snowden.

  • One reason for the push: The NSA is terrified that Snowden has, and might make public, documents related to its espionage against Chinese leaders, the Washington Post reports. "He got a lot," one senior intelligence officials says, but it was "not even close to the lion's share" of what the NSA is up to.
  • They're also worried about Glenn Greenwald's assertion that Snowden has entrusted encrypted documents to trusted people around the world, so that "if anything happens to him" they will be revealed, raising concerns that Snowden doesn't control the data anymore.
  • Given the intensity of the effort, experts have some advice for Snowden: Fly commercial. Unlike private or government jets, commercial airlines are free to pass through other countries' airspace, Reuters explains, which given the Bolivian plane fiasco now looks critical.

Edward Snowden supporters hold signs during a demonstration outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong, June 15, 2013. The Chinese reads, Say No to Persecutor.
Edward Snowden supporters hold signs during a demonstration outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong, June 15, 2013. The Chinese reads, "Say No to Persecutor."   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this  June 21, 2013 file photo, a banner supporting Edward Snowden is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district.
In this June 21, 2013 file photo, a banner supporting Edward Snowden is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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