With Snowden in Hand, Russia Escalates Row with US
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  • wigwag

    The programs that Snowden revealed shouldn’t be criticized; they make perfect sense. They represent a minimal intrusion into the private life of individuals in return for a significant increase in safety for Americans. With this said, the amount of blather coming from all quarters about this situation is laughable.

    Charging Snowden with espionage is way over the top. If Obama wanted him charged with something, he should have found another statute with less onerous penalties to indict him under. If Bush/Cheney had indicted Snowden under the Espionage Act, the Senate Democrats would have been apoplectic, Nancy Pelosi would have been hysterical, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow would have been in cardiac arrest and the New York Times would have been calling for impeachment hearings. Instead, Democrats can barely bring themselves to yawn. If they trot out Senator Feinstein (who looks more and more like a female version of Dr. Strangelove every day) to talk about why Snowden must be brought to justice my head might explode.

    Secondly, why should Russia, China or Hong Kong turn Snowden over to the United States? If a Chinese citizen was accused of espionage by the Chinese Government, would the United States arrest him and send him back? It’s highly doubtful. If the Putin Government charged a Russian citizen seeking refuge in the United States with espionage, would the Justice Department feel that the “rule of law” required his rendition to Russia? To ask the question is to answer it.

    As for Ecuador, why shouldn’t they give Snowden sanctuary? Is it really a crime to leak documents when the impact of doing so is merely to embarrass a clueless Administration and the dimwitted members of his Cabinet? The Obama Administration’s claim that Snowden’s actions threaten American security are so absurd that they hardly merit a response. Any would be terrorists who never had the thought cross their minds that the United States might be monitoring who they place phone calls to and potentially monitoring their actual conversations are far too stupid to cause much harm. Any terrorists who failed to consider the possibility that the websites they visit and the emails they send might be a source of interest to U.S, intelligence services are so dumb that they are hardly worth a second thought. Aren’t James Bond movies translated into Arabic?

    Here’s the reality; Obama approved perfectly logical surveillance programs; when these programs were outed by Snowden, the former Professor of Constitutional Law who currently sits in the Oval Office was embarrassed to have his friends realize that he’s really not that much more into civil liberties than Cheney was.

    Now its clear for everyone to see that despite Obama’s harping on how horrible Bush and Cheney were, he really thinks that they were right all along. Snowden’s real crime was proving that the emperor has no clothes. Of course, Obama is furious so he wants everyone to believe that Snowden is a spy who should be locked up under the Espionage Act (an Act that the Obama Administration has used more than any other U.S. Administration in the past 100 years).

    To make matters worse, Obama thinks that China, Hong Kong, Russia and Ecuador are obliged to help him restore his pride by helping him prosecute a whistle blower as a spy.

    Obama was supposed to be smart. With each passing day, he looks dumber and dumber. What he lacks for in brains, he makes up in narcissism and chutzpah.

    • Anthony

      A fair and appropriate analysis down through the 8th paragraph.

      • wigwag

        And now, Obama has sent Secretary of State Kerry (who is every bit as much of a dullard as fellow Yale graduate George W. Bush was) out to threaten the Russians and Chinese that their relations with the United States will be damaged because they refused to render Snowden to America to face espionage charges.

        What’s so amazing about this is that Kerry and Obama actually think this makes this look tough; it doesn’t. It makes them look ridiculous.

        Whether its tough talk about Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons or the willingness of China and Russia to laugh in his face about the Snowden issue, Obama is turning himself into a laughing stock. To make matter’s worse, in the process he’s turning the United States into a laughing stock.

        Obama’s motto appears to be speak loudly and carry a small stick. More and more Obama resembles Rodney Dangerfield; he doesn’t get any respect.

        That’s because respect has to be earned.

        • Anthony

          WigWag, a thought concerning respect: it is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions – demonstrate do not explicate. I told a West Wing administrative person in 2008 that campaigning was utterly different from governing…

        • bpuharic

          Yeah let’s do what conservatives did in Iraq. Russia, after all, is pretty weak, right?

  • JDogg Snook

    Hope he enjoys Russia. Heard they have lovely winters there.

  • wigwag

    The programs that Snowden revealed shouldn’t be criticized; they make perfect sense. They represent a minimal intrusion into the private life of individuals in return for a significant increase in safety for Americans. With this said, the amount of blather coming from all quarters about this situation is laughable.

    Charging Snowden with espionage is way over the top. If Obama wanted him charged with something, he should have found another statute with less onerous penalties to indict him under. If Bush/Cheney had indicted Snowden under the Espionage Act, the Senate Democrats would have been apoplectic, Nancy Pelosi would be hysterical, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow would be in cardiac arrest and the New York Times would be calling for impeachment hearings. Instead,Democrats can barely bring themselves to yawn.

    Secondly, why should Russia, China or Hong Kong turn Snowden over to the United
    States? If a Chinese citizen was accused of espionage by the Chinese Government, would the United States arrest him and send him back? It’s highly doubtful. If the Putin Government charged a Russian citizen seeking refuge in the United States with espionage, would the Justice Department feel that the “rule of law” required his rendition to Russia? To ask the question is to answer it.

    As for Ecuador, why shouldn’t they give Snowden sanctuary. Is it really a crime
    to leak documents when the impact of doing so is merely to embarrass a clueless
    Administration and the dimwitted members of his Cabinet? The Obama Administration’s claim that Snowden’s actions threaten American security are so absurd that they hardly merit a response. Any would be terrorists who never had the thought cross their minds that the United States might be monitoring who they place phone calls to and potentially their actual conversations are far
    too stupid to cause much harm. Any terrorists who failed to consider the possibility that the websites they visit and the emails they send might be a source of interest to U.S, intelligence services are so dumb that they are
    hardly worth a second thought.

    Here’s the reality; Obama approved perfectly logical surveillance programs; when these programs were outed by Snowden, the former Professor of Constitutional Law who currently sits in the Oval Office was embarrassed to
    have his friends realize that he’s really not that much more into civil liberties than Cheney was.

    Now its clear for everyone to see that despite Obama’s harping on how horrible
    Bush and Cheney were, he really thinks that they were right all along. Snowden’s real crime was proving that the emperor has no clothes. Of course, Obama’s furious so he wants everyone to believe that Snowden is a spy who should be locked up under the Espionage Act (an Act that the Obama Administration has used more than any other U.S. Administration in the past 100 years).

    To make matters worse, Obama thinks that China, Hong Kong, Russia and Ecuador
    are obliged to help him restore his pride by helping him prosecute a whistle blower as a spy.

    Obama was supposed to be smart. With each passing day, he looks dumber and dumber. What he lacks for in brains, he makes up in narcissism and chutzpah.

  • Anthony

    Professor Mead’s penchant for hyperbolic language weakens his articles. America’s relationship with Russia isn’t “spinning out of control.”

    This article is overplaying the Snowden issue, which is probably over hyped in the media, no doubt much to Mr. Snowden’s satisfaction.

    Also, Obama’s actions in this case are not the cause for our perceived weakness. It’s not hard to see some other possible causes for this perception. First, the financial crises, and the resulting economic devastation, make America’s once vaunted economy look very weak indeed. Countries without a stable middle class are going to have trouble projecting power abroad. Second, the complete disaster known as the Iraq war has made many Americans less than enthusiastic about overseas commitments (when we invade Iran, don’t expect some pro war country and western songs to rocket to the top of the charts). Third, the tea party engineered near default on the debt ceiling shows that the America doesn’t have the level of internal cohesion that it once did. Fourth, our massive projected deficits, especially with respect to medicare, make America look weak over the long term, especially when it is clear that the senior citizen lobby is not inclined to endorse sacrifice in service of the greater good.

    Professor Mead seems to think that there is some important reason why we should be invading Syria. I don’t understand why I should care whether the sunnis or alllawites control that country.

  • ljgude

    “an immature idiot far out of his depth”

    It certainly is looking more and more like that is the case.

    As a long time expatriate I would just say that there is plenty of disgust with American hubris even in places like Australia where I live to make it likely that Snowdon might enjoy majority popular support in most countries. Think of it as the schadenfreude factor. I don’t know what else he has up his sleeve that might embarrass the US, but I would advise caution. Letting him settle down in Ecuador long enough for him to consider what he has done and grow up a little might be a win win all around. 😉

  • Jim__L

    “with nothing but iron nerves and a sharp instinct for President Obama’s
    weaknesses, Putin has reinserted Russia into the Middle East by
    exploiting American mistakes.”

    The irony here is, if the US’s nerves were any better we could parlay our very real material advantages into actual international success.

    That is, until we strip our defense spending to the bone and our material advantages evaporate.

  • Jim__L

    Question: Did Snowden ever promise to conceal what he revealed?

  • Anthony

    “It’s time for the White House to pull back….” WRM, Foreign Policy is never easy (interests may be co-extensive). Let the scholars argue over Snowden’s act but the executive may assert the prerogative of interpretation and execution.

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