Icelandic MP Offers To Help NSA Whistleblower Seek Asylum


Credit: Birgitta Jonsdottir/wikimedia

Icelandic Member of Parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir and one-time Wikileaks volunteer has offered to help NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seek asylum in Iceland.

Snowden specifically named Iceland as a possible destination in an interview with The Guardian. Russia is reportedly considering offering Snowden asylum. Snowden has not been charged yet (though he probably soon will), so he is free to travel to Iceland, Russia, or any other country that he choses. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Jónsdóttir is a member of the Pirate Party of Iceland, and is chairman of the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), which has issued a press release, which concludes:

We are currently attempting to get in touch with Mr. Snowden to confirm that this is his will and discuss the details of his asylum request. Our next step will be to assess the security implications of asylum, as it is possible that Iceland may not be the best location, depending on various questions regarding the legal framework - all of these issues will be taken into account. We are already working on detailing the legal protocols required to apply for asylum, and will over the course of the week be seeking a meeting with the newly appointed interior minister of Iceland, Mrs. Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, to discuss whether an asylum request can be processed in a swift manner, should such an application be made.

While Jónsdóttir and the IMMI may be willing to help Snowden it was recently reported that Iceland's new prime minister, who is widely viewed as pro-Washington, may not want to start his term in the midst of the NSA scandal.

As Max Fisher of The Washington Post has pointed out, in order to apply for asylum Snowden would have to travel from Hong Kong (where he recently checked out of a hotel) to Iceland. Once in Iceland Snowden would have to make the case that he should be granted asylum.

American authorities should be careful about how they decide to pursue Snowden. Misstepping could have negative diplomatic effects. The leaks have hardly cast the U.S. in the best light to Europeans, traditionally some of the U.S.'s most consistent and strongest allies, and the Russians would perhaps welcome a drawn out diplomatic fight if they decide to grant Snowden asylum.

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  1. I had no idea the woman in those Progressive commercials was an MP in Iceland.

  2. I'm waiting for the government to go completely heavy-handed on this like they did with Manning. It's the only way they know. I'll be very surprised if they handle this in any other way than with threats and arm-twisting.

    1. When your only tool is a hammer...

    2. That could get complicated if Iceland, or especially Russia decides to protect him.

      1. Someone needs to go tell the US Government to go fuck itself.

        1. You know who else told the US Government to go fuck itself?

          1. George III ?

            1. Antonio L?pez de Santa Anna ?

  3. Maybe the LP would do better if they rebranded Pirate Party. Or you know if we had parliamentary government and formed coalitions.

    1. Really helped Weimar Germany and the current UK.

    2. I don't know, jesse. That sounds pretty gay. That would make the LP the gayest party since gay came to Gaytown.

      1. It would only be gay if they dressed up, or if GOProud reorganized as the Ass Pirate Party, but I think everyone has a preference for Ass Bandit Party anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem.

        1. I don't know, "Ass Pirate Party" has quite a ring to it. I'd join it.

    3. A rise in the number of pirates could defeat global warming once and for all!

  4. I heard some reporting on NPR about some discrepancies in Snowden's details.

    There was some stuff about Snowden reporting his $200,000 salary, and his firm reported he only made $127,000 (insert government workers being underpaid comments here).

    I haven't ready everything on HIT&RUN; this am, is there any truth to this?

    1. It's a discrpenacies in language.

      It was reported by his contractor that his "pay rate" was $127k. Which in no way discounts him making $200k when one includes benefits and/or bonuses which apparently are common in the contractor world.

      Either way it's a red herring. They are looking for something, anything, to turn this guy in to some kind of horrible human being, preferably one who isn't at all trustworthy. They are doing everything they can to distract from the story in order to best fellate the fedgov.

      For these people the message is judged solely based on who said the message. They have no regard for the essage itself. In order to gleam its worth, they first must know who said it. Once they establish that he is a lying liar from liarsville, they can safely go after him and his message. These people lack any semblance of principle. They are dispicable, and it's a shame that people like this have not only have a platform, but have been influential enough to create a whole army of troglodytes whose only concern is "who said" rather than 'X was said." It's fucking shameful.

      1. The first number is probably what he got while the other is his contract rate paid by the government to BAH. No matter how you slice it, not bad for a high school dropout loser, is it?

    2. That salary figure looked nicely inflated for a guy south of 30 who's doing stuff for the government. The Atlantic harnessed the thoughts of many when it published a post with this subhed: "What the leaker's $200,000 salary tells us about the absurd cost of privatizing government."

      Ahhhh, market failure. It's all so clear now. Ignore the leaks, says the WaPo, let's focus on these Libertarians who want to privatize the roadz.


  5. Will this push Iceland to a state of emergency?

  6. The same Iceland in which FBI agents interrogated a Wikileaks volunteer, either without the government's knowledge/with the sanction of their Minister of the Interior?

    I'm sure Snowden would feel safe there.

  7. If he does go to Iceland, perhaps he'll have the opportunity to see Dynfari.

  8. I'm sure the Russians are truly concerned by his predicament and his dedication to govt. transparency and have no desire whatsoever to learn more about what he knows.

    1. Forget water boarding, in Russia they Snow board.

  9. I'm not sure he even committed a crime. He didn't work for the government. He was a private citizen who reported that the NSA was archiving all phone records. Is that illegal?

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