Most frequent travelers tend to rush through airports, but Edward Snowden is a man without a plan as he waits for geopolitical forces to decide his fate—the former National Security Agency contractor is believed to have spent the past week in the international transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Snowden, who was charged last week with espionage, has been on the run after being holed up in Hong Kong for blowing the lid on the United States’ surveillance secrets. The 30-year-old American flew to Moscow last Sunday, and was supposed to seek asylum in Ecuador by way of Cuba the following day, but he never made his flight.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Snowden would not be extradited back to the U.S. and that the airport’s transit zone is technically not Russian territory. But such claims of an airport “no-man’s land” are “more than disingenuous,” says Washington Post reporter Greg Miller.
“What’s unclear is the extent to which Snowden is in position to dictate his own fate—to what extent he can control the outcome here,” Miller told msnbc host Richard Lui Saturday.
Snowden’s father, Lonnie Snowden, wrote a letter to the Department of Justice pleading and negotiating for his son’s return. In the letter Lonnie asked that his son not be held in jail before trial, not have a gag order, and be given the right to choose the location of his trial. But according to former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley, the chances that the U.S. government would follow through on those requests are slim.
“Snowden at one point had his own options, but now I think they’re narrowing,” Crowley said. “He is sitting at the airport in Russia at the behest of others who will make choices for him.”