Whisked out of a luxury Hong Kong hotel, vanishing into the mysterious wing of a Moscow airport, Edward Snowden's continent-jumping, hide-and-seek game seems like the stuff of a pulp thriller.

Edward Snowden (Getty Images)

And some say the search for the former National Security Agency contractor who spilled government secrets has become a sideshow overshadowing the debate over the government's power to seize Americans' phone and Internet records.

Snowden's disclosures about U.S. surveillance to Britain's Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post have ignited a major controversy in Washington that shows no signs of fading. But some say Snowden is losing ground in the battle for public opinion by cloaking his travels in secrecy, creating more interest in his efforts to elude U.S. authorities than his allegations against the government.


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