Russia has granted asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for one year. Ironically, Russia is a strange bedfellow for Snowden. Indeed, if a Russian did the same thing to Russia that Snowden did to the US, they would probably be dead by now. But Russia has managed to make the US look like a bully who is throwing a hissy fit because they didn’t get their way.
UPDATE: Time magazine puts together some Russian sights for Snowden to visit, in an article dripping with sarcasm and irony.
Truly amazing. If we send any participants to the upcoming G20 then we may as well rename the whitehouse Putinhouse. If it were me I’d call their bluff, withdraw my ambassador and staff, order their emmbassy closed, expel all russian diplomates on our soil, immediately stop all aid to Russia, repatriate all non US citizen Russians (those here with green cards), round up all illegal russians and ship them back (theres more then you’d think). Seize and freeze all Russian bank accounts in the US. I think there’s plenty we could do if they want to give us the finger.
Of course its probably a good thing I’m not the President. 🙂
Or the US could take a step back and realize that it’s overblown reaction is what caused many of the problems in the first place and take a more pragmatic approach to the issue.
I agree with TJ. We are now engaged in a healthy debate about the scope and utility of these sweeping domestic spy programs only because Snowden blew the whistle on them. If we really wanted to lead the “free” world, we’d welcome him back as a courageous defender of the freedoms to which we pay so much lip service rather than as a traitor. The only thing he “betrayed” was a series of patently unconstitutional spying programs.
Not to mention spying programs about which the director of national intelligence lied to Congress – http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2013/06/fire_dni_james_clapper_he_lied_to_congress_about_nsa_surveillance.html
That offense is at least as serious as what Snowden did. If Russia is able to make us look like petulant idiots, it is largely because we are behaving that way.
What does this also say about wikileaks and Assange who have supposedly been instrumental in Snowden being in Russia? The enemy of my enemy is my friend or just hypocrisy? If a russian defects will wikileaks help him/her get away from russia?
There are few countries willing and able to say “no” to the U.S., and Russia is one of them. But yes, it’s ironic, because Russia is culturally and politically a relatively conformist, anti-dissident, pro-authoritarian society. Switching from communism to capitalism didn’t change that.
Ironic also because what Snowden revealed is that the US has become a little more Russian… And that has its costs.
And the fact that there’s a debate is surely a good thing.