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Unless this is some kind of maneuver, Snowden is going to have a meeting today at the airport in Moscow with some human rights organizations.  Some who were invited are readily accepting the invitation. The representative from Human Rights Watch did not accept the invitation and instead she posted his email on Facebook.  The UN organization representative is not sure yet.  The meeting is set for 4:30 pm local time. It looks like there is an 8 hour time difference from US Eastern time, so that's 8:30 am Eastern.

Edward Snowden: US officials are preventing me claiming asylum
NSA whistleblower calls meeting with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at Sheremetyevo airport

In a letter sent to groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the former intelligence agency contractor claimed there was "an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy … asylum under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and invited them to meet him at 5pm local time.
[...]
Reuters quoted an airport official as saying Snowden would meet the groups on Friday afternoon in the transit area of Sheremetyevo, where he has remained since flying to Russia from Hong Kong on 23 June.
[...]
Sergei Nikitin, the head of Amnesty International Russia, said: "Yes, I have received a brief email. It said that he would like to meet with a representative of a human rights organisation – there was not much information there. I'm planning to go."

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch confirmed she had been invited to the meeting and posted Snowden's letter on Facebook.

RT reporter says there are more journalists than passengers at the terminal right now.

Guardian is running a liveblog.

Here is the email that was posted by the Tanya Lokshina at about 3:30am Eastern.

Invitation from Snowden (posted by Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch)

edsnowden@lavabit.com

I have been extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support
and asylum from brave countries around the world. These nations have my
gratitude, and I hope to travel to each of them to extend my personal
thanks to their people and leaders. By refusing to compromise their
principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of
the world.

Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by
officials in the U.S. Government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this
asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The
scale of threatening behavior is without precedent: never before in
history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign
President's plane to effect a search for a political refugee. This
dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin
America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by
every living person to live free from persecution.

I invite the Human Rights organizations and other respected individuals
addressed to join me on 12 July at 5:00PM at Sheremetyevo Airport in
Moscow for a brief statement and discussion regarding the next steps
forward in my situation. Your cooperation and support will be greatly
appreciated in this matter.

Sincerely,
Edward Joseph Snowden

MEETING DETAILS:
Please meet at 4.30pm at Sheremetyevo airport in Terminal F, in the centre
of the arrival hall. Someone from airport staff will be waiting there to
receive you with a sign labelled "G9". Please bring a copy of this invite
and ID to show that you work for your organization as security will likely
be tight at this meeting. A maximum of three people are able to attend
from each organization. For any questions please contact the airport
administration on +8 916-816-4335.

This is the NYT article, which starts right off by calling Snowden a "fugitive".  I have a feeling that Lokshina, from Human Rights Watch, is going to look very foolish after this.
Purported E-Mail From Snowden Asks for Meeting With Rights Groups

“I have no way to confirm it, I am proceeding from the notion that the letter came from the person who signed it,” he said. “If it’s a trick, that’s sad.” He added that Amnesty International has spoken out forcefully in support of Mr. Snowden’s right to political asylum.

Russia’s human rights commissioner, Vladimir P. Lukin, also said that he was prepared to meet with Mr. Snowden.

“I have heard that Snowden wants to meet up; I am ready,” he told the Interfax news service on Friday morning. “We can meet. I have no objections.”
[...]
Galina Negrustuyeva, a spokeswoman for the U.N.H.C.R.'s mission in Moscow, said the organization’s representatives have not been able to confirm that the invitation was from Mr. Snowden and had not decided whether to attend. Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, who also received an invitation, said she had doubts about the statement, which she described as “very awkward, very strange.”

RT is running a liveblog.  The times they list there are a bit confusing.  GMT 13:00 is not the same as 13:00 in London right now since they are on daylight savings/British summer time right now.  So while it technically will be 13:00 GMT, it will be 14:00 London time. Just to make it more confusing.  I loathe daylight savings time. And to make it even worse, Snowden did not say 5pm local, he said 4:30pm local.  It looks like the woman from Human Rights Watch spread the 5pm thing and then in her Facebook comments she said oh, I meant close to 5pm.  Anyway, the meeting time that Snowden specified happens to be the same time that this diary will publish, so you can go by that if time zones make you dizzy.
NSA leak fallout: LIVE UPDATES

7:01 GMT: Edward Snowden will meet with representatives from Russian human rights organizations in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, report airport officials. The meeting is planned for 17:00 local time (13:00 GMT) a source told Russian news agency Interfax.

“Edward Snowden wishes to express his thoughts on the US campaign for his capture that has put other passengers heading to Latin America at risk as a result,” the source told Interfax.

02:30 GMT: A two-day US-China summit in Washington took a surprising turn when a US senior official used the opportunity to voice his disappointment with China regarding whistleblower Edward Snowden. The former CIA employee was allowed to fly out of Hong Kong despite a US extradition request.

"We were disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues," US Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns said.

China’s State Councilor, Yang Jiechi, responded by saying that Hong Kong’s actions had been in accordance with the law.

“Its approach is beyond reproach,” Jiechi said of Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory of the Chinese mainland.

This is a must read story and an example of excellent journalism by Scot J. Paltrow and Kelly Carr of Reuters.  Read about what happened to U.S. Army medic, a 30-year old guy shattered physically and psychologically by two tours of combat duty.  He has traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, a hip injury, nerve damage to his eyes, and to top it all off, PTSD.  These injuries make daily life very difficult, and he had to deal with the Pentagon payroll behemoth to try to get them to stop taking large chunks of money out of his paycheck, leaving him with not enough money to live for himself and his young family.  It went on for months and nobody could explain to him why DoD was taking most of his paycheck, causing them to use food pantries and at Christmas, relying on Operation Santa which provided one gift per child. They sold off their belongings and continued to struggle.  His disabilities and PTSD made it hard to remember appointments and details and to deal with the red tape, and caused him trouble with outbursts and as a result was treated badly by office staff.  Who wouldn't have outbursts in a situation like this, but you can just imagine what it's like to go through this while suffering from PTSD.  It wasn't until Reuters looked into his case that he got some things worked out.  The payroll bureaucracy blames sequester cuts.  The payroll and personnel systems are 50-years old and apparently unworkable, documentation long gone, code hasn't been touched in a dozen years, probably since the millennium checks/changes.

This is unbelievable. Just look at the enormous resources that go into the massive surveillance system. State of the art, seemingly unbounded resources, for spying and the latest craze, cybersecurity. But critical systems, and key to so many lives are the systems that are used for personnel and payroll, and at least some of them are ancient and neglected and cause great hardship.  Trillions have been spent on wars.  We don't even know how much of that has gone out to contractors, but basic needs are not being met.  Reuters is doing an investigative series on the unauditable, unaccountable spending by the Pentagon.  This will be worth following. We know that trillions are unaccounted for and that the Pentagon still cannot reconcile their budget.  We can only hope that more investigative journalists will do this, and maybe, like in the 80's, they will shine a light on waste, fraud and abuse in "defense" spending and frankly, abuse of injured combat veterans who struggle to get the pay they are due for months on end, causing them enormous stress on top of their injuries and PTSD, and causing them to struggle, literally, to keep food on the table, while defense and intelligence contractors are paid handsomely and war profiteers thrive.

Special Report: How the Pentagon's payroll quagmire traps America's soldiers

In a December 2012 report on Army pay, the Government Accountability Office said DFAS and the Army have no way to ensure correct pay for soldiers and no way to track errors. These deficiencies, it said, "increase the risk that the nearly $47 billion in reported fiscal year 2011 Army active duty military payroll includes Army servicemembers who received pay to which they were not entitled and others who did not receive the full pay they were due."

[...]

Pay errors are part of a larger phenomenon that Reuters will explore in a series of articles: the Defense Department's endemic failure to keep track of its money - how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is lost or stolen.

The department's authorized 2013 budget, after sequester, totals $565.8 billion - by far the largest chunk of the annual federal budget approved by Congress. Yet the Pentagon is literally unable to account for itself. As proof, consider that a law in effect since 1992 requires annual audits of all federal agencies - and the Pentagon alone has never complied. It annually reports to Congress that its books are in such disarray that an audit is impossible.

In this series, Reuters will delve into how an organization that fields the most sophisticated technology in the world to fight wars and spy on enemies has come to rely on an accounting system of antiquated, error-prone computers; how these thousands of duplicative and inefficient systems cost billions of dollars to staff and maintain; how efforts to replace these systems with better ones have ended in costly failures; and how it all adds up to billions of taxpayer dollars a year in losses to mismanagement, theft and fraud.
[...]
(This story is the first in a series - "Unaccountable: The high cost of the Pentagon's bad bookkeeping")

Col. Pat Lang.
The rebels in Syria made and used Sarin - Russia reports

Well, well, well.  The Russians sent people to Syria to gather their own samples and their conclusion is that the Sarin was home made by the rebels.  The Congress of the US seem to think that is a "red line," and has moved to block fundng for giving weapons to the Syrian rebels on the basis that future movement of such weapons to the jihadis among the rebels could not be prevented.  Having participated in such "drills" in the past, I would agree that once you give people guns you loose control of the guns forever.

The sad thing about the Sarin gas debacle is that the BHO Administration clearly tried to manipulate the American people, media and Congress by exagerating and lying.  US IO against American citizens?  Someone should pay for this.  pl

Another post by Pat Lang.  Go read the whole thing and look at the links he provides.  He is really upset with Obama's foreign policy advisors.  On Egypt, he thinks the Saudis and UAE are calling the shots. For the record, emptywheel has said that she thinks the Saudis are the big winners here, and in the Middle East in general.  Lang faults Obama's team for promoting the Syrian rebels' propaganda, something MoonofAlabama has been warning about for a year now and we've been reporting here.  Watch out for Al Jazeera on Syria too. Basically, I don't pay attention to any of their reporting on Syria.
A tour of the ME and Obama's disaster

Who are the geniuses, educated in political science, who advised Obama in this matter.
[...]
Who will pay for these crimes?  pl  

Living on 'Gasland:' Q&A with Documentary Filmmaker Josh Fox

LiveScience: Does "Gasland Part II" pick up where the first film left off?

Josh Fox: All documentaries or investigations start with a question, and my question of the first film was, "What's actually happening in all these gas areas around the United States?" What I found was widespread water contamination, air pollution, health crises and fragmentation of communities.

I wanted to ask with this next film, "Why wasn't the government responding?" We have multinational oil and gas companies going in and invading peoples' backyards all across the country, causing this huge outcry. Why wasn't our government sticking up for Americans, for peoples' human rights in the face of this onslaught? In the first film, we were watching people light their water on fire. The second film is really about watching the oil and gas industry light our democracy on fire.

Comey: A Horrible Choice

I’m not so naive as to think that the Obama administration was going to prosecute Dick Cheney or something.  But the Obama administration’s complete failure to pursue even the strongest torture cases is a disgrace. And, in general, the failure to make people who were part of the Bush administration’s torture state pariahs is a serious problem going forward.

Moreover, the nomination of Comey is yet another example of the “Republican Daddies” syndrome, in which certain executive branch jobs seem to be reserved for Republicans no matter which administration is in charge (a courtesy which is not reciprocated, needless to say.)   Hagel, I will grant, is only a marginal example given that on defense issues he’s a Republican in the same sense as John Paul Stevens, but Comey is a classic example.  No Republican president would consider for a second making the Democratic equivalent of Comey the head of the FBI — and score one for the Republican ethos on that one.

The Evolution & State of Journalism Becomes a Key Focus in Bradley Manning’s Trial

The defense in Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial was able to successfully qualify Professor Yochai Benkler of Harvard University as an expert on the “networked Fourth Estate,” who could discuss research he had done on WikiLeaks and how it fit into the “networked Fourth Estate.”

What this meant was the defense could present testimony on how WikiLeaks is, in fact, a legitimate journalistic organization and not some kind of criminal enterprise worthy of the wide government investigation, which the United States Justice Department launched into the organization after it released the information Manning is charged with disclosing.

It was incredibly significant as it gave the defense the ability to explicitly challenge the charge of “aiding the enemy”—that Manning would have known when he provided information to WikiLeaks that he was giving information to the enemy.

This Guardian video won't seem to embed so you'll need to follow the link to see this new weapon.  
US navy laser cannon shoots down drone during testing - video



Action



PETITION WRITTEN BY DANIEL ELLSBERG, THE WHISTLEBLOWER BEHIND THE PENTAGON PAPERS

We need a new Church Committee that is fully empowered to investigate the abuses of the NSA and make public its findings, and that is charged with recommending new laws to ensure the U.S. government does not violate our constitutional rights.

Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Massive Spying Program Exposed
Demand Answers Now (EFF petition)


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Liveblog: Snowden Meeting w/ Human Rights Groups at Airport


13:45 GMT: Snowden’s meeting with human rights activists and lawyers is over.

13:24 GMT: Snowden announces he is going to ask for political asylum in Russia, says a participant of the meeting between the NSA leaker and rights advocates at the Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, as cited by RIA Novosti.

“He wants to stay here until he can fly to Latin America,” Tatyana Lokshina of Human Rights Watch told Interfax. During the meeting, he asked the rights advocates to help him with the bid.

http://rt.com/...


Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch is being interviewed on Russia TV.

She said Snowden had said he wanted the US to succeed.

Would he stop his activities? There was nothing to stop, because he felt he was not harming the US, she said.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

Seeking temporary asylum in Russia until he can travel to Latin America.

First photo of Snowden.



10:15am Eastern



14:01 GMT: Edward Snowden has agreed to Moscow’s condition to stop activities harming the US, says Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov, who took part in Moscow the meeting with the former CIA employee.

“He said he is aware of that condition and it would be easy for him to accept it. He is not going to harm the US because he is a patriot of his country,” Nikonov told journalists after the gathering.

http://rt.com/...


Russia's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin.

I get the feeling that this is the last thing that Putin wants.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said he is unaware of a formal asylum request from Snowden, according to Reuters. As mentioned earlier, he reiterated Putin's demand that Snowden stop harming the US before he is granted asylum.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

AP reports the following people were at the meeting: Vyacheslav Nikonov, the Russian MP, Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International Russia, Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, Vladimir Lukin, Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman, and attorney Genri Reznik.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
Some confusion over what Snowden agrees to.



10:30am Eastern



Snowden said in the meeting that Putin's condition should not be a problem. "No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the U.S.," Snowden reportedly said. "I want the U.S. to succeed."
[...]
The meeting comes a day after The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who has worked with Snowden to report on the NSA's secret vast domestic and international surveillance programs, told ABC News that their work is not even half done.

"The majority of it remains to be done, and that includes stories that are at least as significant, if not more significant than the ones we've already done," Greenwald said.
http://abcnews.go.com/...

Greenwald: Human Rights Watch: Snowden has "a prima facie case [for asylum]; concerns about possible ill-treatment if in custody in US are legitimate"
https://twitter.com/...

Snowden asked the human rights activists to petition the US and European states not to interfere with his asylum process, she said. The former NSA contractor also asked to intervene with President Putin on his behalf, Lokshina added.
[...]
Snowden said he does not rule out moving to live in a Latin American country. However, the recent incident in which the Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was grounded in Austria on suspicion that the NSA leaker was on board discourages Snowden from going there now.

“First, he said that he was dissatisfied with European countries after the Bolivian president’s plane was inspected. He wants to seek political asylum, at least temporary shelter, in Russia. But his further actions are unclear,” Nikitin said.
[...]
Rights advocates who received letters from Snowden and agreed to come to the meeting included representatives of Amnesty International, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations, as well as well-known Russian lawyers.
http://rt.com/...

Wikileaks says they will release Snowden's statement in 30 minutes.
Emptywheel @emptywheel
Meanwhile, both James Clapper and Michael Hayden, whose crimes exposed by Snowden, run free.
https://twitter.com/...
Miriam Elder ‏@MiriamElder 5m
Sergei Naryshkin, Duma speaker + close Putin ally, says Russia should provide political asylum to Snowden as the US has the death penalty.

https://twitter.com/...

ow all the journalists are fighting for plugs to charge their iPhones. That's a wrap!

https://twitter.com/...



11:00am Eastern


Kevin Gosztola.

Snowden “cannot appeal to international organizations because they require that you come to them.” He is “recognized as an asylum seeker by the UN High Commission on Refugees,” however, the United States does not recognize this designation.
[...]
In “two significant ways,” according to the ACLU, the US has “interfered with his right to seek asylum: (1) the US revoked Snowden’s passport and (2) efforts to extradite him have not been “consistent with international law.”

Not being able to use his passport makes it “extremely difficult for him to travel or seek asylum, especially in countries that require asylees to be present in their territory at the time of the request.” The US has also engaged in efforts to prevent Snowden “from receiving fair and impartial consideration of his application for asylum in many of the countries to which he reportedly applied.” (For example, the incident involving Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane.)

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/...

Snowden's statement, released by Wikileaks:
Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport

Edward Joseph Snowden delivered a statement to human rights organizations and individuals at Sheremetyevo airport at 5pm Moscow time today, Friday 12th July. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The human rights organizations included Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and were given the opportunity afterwards to ask Mr Snowden questions. The Human Rights Watch representative used this opportunity to tell Mr Snowden that on her way to the airport she had received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr Snowden that the US Government does not categorise Mr Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law. This further proves the United States Government’s persecution of Mr Snowden and therefore that his right to seek and accept asylum should be upheld. Seated to the left of Mr. Snowden was Sarah Harrison, a legal advisor in this matter from WikiLeaks and to Mr. Snowden’s right, a translator.

Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013. (Transcript corrected to delivery)

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

http://wikileaks.org/...


11:15am Eastern



Paul Sonne ‏@paulsonne 11m
#Snowden mtg attendee Olga Kostina: "Everything he had wanted to publish he has already published," so Putin's condition a non-issue. #NSA

https://twitter.com/...

ACLU National ‏@ACLU 32m
The right to seek asylum is universal. In Edward #Snowden's case, the U.S. is interfering with that right http://t.co/...

https://twitter.com/...

Julian Borger ‏@julianborger 5m
#Snowden quotes Nuremberg principle :"individual citizens have duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace/humanity"

https://twitter.com/...

Miriam Elder ‏@MiriamElder 10m
LifeNews says they will publish video from Snowden meet.
https://twitter.com/...
The Lifenews (in Russia) has the video here: http://lifenews.ru/...



11:30am Eastern


If there are any significant developments, I might add some more items here later, but I think that's a wrap.  Thanks.  -- joanneleon


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