Despite promises from the White House that there would be no tampering with flights over Edward Snowden, calls from the Obama Administration led to a flight by Bolivian President Evo Morales being grounded over fears that Edward Snowden was aboard his plane.
The plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria after various European countries refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian officials said Tuesday.
Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said that Snowden was not on the plane, which was taking Morales home from a summit in Russia, where he had suggested that his government would be willing to consider granting asylum to the American.
Woops. Not only was Snowden not on the plane but there are serious questions over whether those European countries acted appropriately had he been. Egg meet face.
A furious Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said France and Portugal would have to explain why they canceled authorization for the plane, claiming that the decision had put the president’s life at risk. “We don’t know who invented this lie” that Snowden was traveling with Morales, Choquehuanca said in La Paz. “We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”
In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace. He described Morales as being “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe.
The fallout for the European countries from this blatant disrespect of a foreign head of state is unknown, what is known is that the paranoia by Obama Administration over Edward Snowden is now at comic levels.
Glenn Greenwald has said Snowden’s leaks are basically done. It is now just a question of each publication’s own editorial process. So the damage is done. Though if there were a way to provoke Snowden into releasing more information I imagine these kind of shenanigans would be the way to do it.