The Case of Edward Snowden

S M Chen
6 min readApr 5, 2023

What Edward Snowden did and the convoluted path his course took thereafter is familiar to most readers.

To those who may be unfamiliar, and as a reminder:

In brief, Snowden worked as an NSA subcontractor in HI. While there, he discovered the extent to which the NSA was spying on Americans. Their data collection was massive and unknown to the American public. Which is probably the way someone in a high place wanted it.

This revelation bothered Snowden enough he was convinced he should act. He says he tried the chain of NSA command but was rebuffed.

Accordingly, he flew to Hong Kong in 2013 and met with media personnel, including Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman and Ewen MacAskill.

He knew the feds weren’t far behind. He could almost hear them baying in the distance as they, like bloodhounds hot on his trail, closed in.

He flew from Hong Kong to Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow en route to a ultimate further destination.

Four countries in South America had offered him permanent asylum: Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

He chose Ecuador.

But his plans were thwarted by his passport being revoked by the U. S. State Department.

Suddenly, like Philip Nolan, protagonist of American writer Edward Everett Hale’s 1863 short story, he was a man without a country.

And refuge.

Until Russia took him in, after Snowden spent 39 days in the transit section of the airport.

Snowden subsequently married his longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills in 2017 and remained in parts undisclosed in Russia.

Probably not far from Moscow.

He started a family and now has 2 children.

Snowden’s stated preference would be to return to the USA, but he says he would do so only if he could get a fair trial.

But who would guarantee that?

And would it be ironclad?

One need look no farther than Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex offender (does anyone really believe he committed suicide in a prison cell, unaided and uncoerced?) to realize that bad things sometimes happen to people who are incarcerated.

Snowden would be a fool to think nothing bad would happen to him.