Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has declared Edward Snowden's special travel document to be invalid because he doesn't want WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to look like he's "running the show." Correa declared Snowden's travel pass, issued after the U.S. revoked his passport, was unauthorized, The Wall Street Journal's José de Córdoba and Jeanne Whalen report, after a series of messages between Ecuadorean government officials worried over Assange's role. The ambassador to the U.S., Nathalie Cely, wrote to Correa's spokesman, "I suggest talking to Assange to better control the communications. From outside, [Assange] appears to be running the show." It's like the scene in Almost Famous, when members of the band Stillwater get into an argument over their band's promotional materials: "From the very beginning, we said I'm the front man, and you're the guitarist with mystique. That's the dynamic we agreed on!"
According to the Journal, Assange wrote Ecuador's government on Monday to say he hoped he hadn't embarrassed them, apologizing "if we have unwittingly causing Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter." (He also held a conference call with reporters that day.) It seems it didn't work. Earlier this week, The Guardian's Rory Carroll and Amanda Holpuch report, "a senior foreign diplomat in Quito told the Guardian that some — though not all — factions in the government were annoyed with what they saw as Assange grandstanding." By Thursday, Correa said in a press conference, "What is the validity of a safe conduct pass issued by a consul in London for someone to leave from Hong Kong to Moscow? None." Assange will be interviewed on ABC News' This Week on Sunday.
- Rafael Correa