russian President Vladimir Putin
The cacophony coming from the White House and a couple U.S. Senators these past few days over Russia granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, though predictable, is nothing but absolute bluster.
Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary intoned the planned September summit between President Obama and Vladimir Putin may be in jeopardy and possibly cancelled. Woo!
Senator Chuck Shumer stated," Each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife".
Then Senator John McCain intoned the asylum decision is "a slap in the face of all Americans". Really! Not to this American. In fact a recent poll of Americans saw Snowden as a whistleblower who revealed the NSA's clandestine overreach and believing the super secret monitoring and surveillance programs of the Agency of all Americans electronic communications goes too far in the pursuit of terrorists and infringes on their privacy.
McCain went on to add, "Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship to Russia" and called for the administration to put pressure on Moscow including a new push for NATO expansion and more missile defense systems in Europe. Is the old cold war warrior looking to start a new cold war with Russia? Maybe the senior senator from Arizona has just gone "mad" from lying too long in the Arizona sun.
Anyway, nice try "boys", but who is holding all the cards in this Snowden saga?
Threatening today's Russia; with what? This is not the pitiless giant that emerged out of the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Is Putin supposed to be intimidated by these threats? Please!
Though Russia under Putin may not be the paragon of virtue relative to the respect for human rights, in the case of Snowden it is the Obama administration that has come out as the aggressive bully intimidating weaker nations in South America that had offered asylum to Snowden. His revelations of the NSA's world wide surveillance programs have cast the U.S. government as a supreme violator of the law totally disregarding the 4 th Amendment to the Constitution. Then add in the statement by James Clapper, the Director of National Security who outright lied to the Congress when he was asked if the NSA was spying on Americans. So Putin is to be condemned for sheltering Snowden?
The U.S. under Obama, as well as his predecessor, has become the rogue super power swaggering and clandestinely listening to all electronic communications, foreign and domestic in its attempt to exercise hegemony all over the world.
But that hegemony doesn't include Russia and China. And Putin and the Chinese leaders know it. It's why they refused to cringe before U.S. hubristic overtures (unlike the "poodles" in Europe) and dismissed threats by the U.S. to have Snowden extradited back to the U.S. to face a show trial similar to Bradley Manning's that would surely bring prison over his whistleblowing.
It seems the Obama crowd never heard of (or is tone deaf to), "Know when to holdum and know when to foldum".
But such simple advice is also not to be expected from a government that considers itself above the law. There is no oversight of the Executives actions whose has lawyers in the Justice Department writing secret memos "legalizing" everything the government does, even if it violates the rule of law and the Constitution. That government believes it can do anything with impunity and will never be held to account for its illegal actions.
That Bush Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al, war criminals all, remain unindicted for the war crimes they committed while Manning, Snowden, true patriots all, are hounded and persecuted for exposing the truth of their government's sponsored wrongdoing, it is a sad commentary but it is we who have become the rogue, tyrannical nation masquerading as a free representative democracy and the real threat to the world.
Not so Russia or China.