Anyone three hours into a game of Monopoly will tell you that one of two things predictably happens to end the misery: 1) everyone mercifully gives up or 2) someone cheats and it becomes a landslide victory. Based on Edward Snowden's email to Russian human-rights activists sent in the wee hours of Thursday morning, one might venture to say that he's a Monopoly player of the later variety. A Moscow-based Human Rights Watch researcher, Tanya Lokshina, published Snowden's email at full in Facebook about eight hours ago:
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.