President Barack Obama, right, sit across from Steve Case, right, Chairman and CEO, Revolution LLc, and other CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2013, to discuss immigration reform. Obama hosted the meeting to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform including the Congressional Budget Office analysis that concludes immigration reform would promote economic growth and reduce the deficit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. grasped for help Monday from both adversaries and uneasy allies in an effort to catch fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The White House demanded that he be denied asylum, blasted China for letting him go and urged Russia to “do the right thing” and send him back to America to face espionage charges.
Snowden was believed to be in Russia, where he fled Sunday after weeks of hiding out in Hong Kong following his disclosure of the broad scope of two highly classified counterterror surveillance programs to two newspapers. The programs collect vast amounts of Americans’ phone records and worldwide online data in the name of national security.
Snowden had flown from Hong Kong to Russia, and was expected to fly early Monday to Havana, from where he would continue on to Ecuador, where he has applied for asylum. But he didn’t get on that plane and his exact whereabouts were unclear.
The founder of WikiLeaks, the secret-spilling organization that has embraced Snowden, said the American was only passing through Russia on his way to an unnamed destination to avoid the reach of U.S. authorities. Julian Assange said Snowden had applied for asylum in Ecuador, Iceland and possibly other countries.
Despite its diplomatic tough talk, the U.S. faces considerable difficulty in securing cooperation on Snowden from nations with whom it has chilly relations.
The White House said Hong Kong’s refusal to detain Snowden had “unquestionably” hurt relations between the United States and China. While Hong Kong has a high Login to read more