Friday, July 12, 2013

In other really small news...

Snowden’s earlier decision to withdraw his application for asylum in Russia seemed to suggest that he found Putin’s terms unacceptable. It’s not clear what’s changed, but Snowden seems to have his own interpretation of Putin’s conditions. “He has no problem with Putin’s condition because he does not believe he damaged the United States, or is damaging it,” Lokshina told the Post. Her comments to The New York Times also indicated that Snowden apparently believes his past leaks have not harmed the United States and so not violated Putin’s terms.
Either Snowden's an idiot, or the people advising him are idiots, or they're all idiots.

Because what Putin actually said was:

“If he wants to go somewhere and they accept him, please, be my guest,” Mr. Putin said. “If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must cease his work aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners, as strange as it may sound from my lips.”

He added, “Because he sees himself as a human-rights activist and a freedom fighter for people’s rights, apparently he is not intending to cease this work. So he must choose for himself a country to go to, and where to move. When that will happen, I unfortunately don’t know.”'

Heads, I win; tails, you lose.  Doesn't anybody here understand this game?


  1. I would love to know what movies Snowden watched, what video games he played, what... well, maybe he got some of it from books. He's really badly informed if he thinks he can play that kind of game with Putin. Maybe he doesn't read much news.

  2. As the comedians say, "Take my wife...please." It's getting more and more difficult for Snowden to be a hero. How does he know no one has been harmed by the information he released? Bargaining with Putin? Really?

    Where do Snowden and his friend Greenwald go from here? Looking back, what was the original plan? Does Snowden still see Greenwald as a helpful friend? Is Greenwald sorry he ever got involved?

  3. I don't think Snowden's in a position to bargain with anybody. He's about to run past his sell-by date.

    And I don't think there ever was a plan. This whole thing is rapidly degenerating into farce. Even if Russia gives Snowden "temporary asylum," it doesn't mean they'll give him transit papers, or that other countries will let him use their airspace to get away.

    I'd really be surprised if Putin wasn't about to get tired of him, in fact.

  4. A number of my usually like-minded friends are upset with me because I won't get on board with Snowden as heroic whistle-blower, but so be it.

  5. The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights said:

    "Snowden's case has shown the need to protect persons disclosing information on matters that have implications for human rights, as well as the importance of ensuring respect for the right to privacy," Pillay said in a statement.

    "National legal systems must ensure that there are adequate avenues for individuals disclosing violations of human rights to express their concern without fear of reprisals," she added.

    Which I think is a bit like saying MLK shouldn't have been put in jail in Birmingham. King went to jail to force confrontation with an unjust system, not so he could have an "avenue" for "disclosing violations of human rights without reprisals."

    And frankly, "reprisals" is not what I call the outcome of a legal system of justice meant to determine violations of law. Which is all Snowden faces. What he doesn't face is permanent incarceration (Gitmo notwithstanding) or summary execution. He faces a trial.

    Which, so far as I know, is not a violation of anyone's human rights.

    Whistleblower's face trials, too; if they violate the law. They often face firings, at a minimum. Snowden wants to blow the whistle with no reprisals at all.

    Nice work, if you can get it. But heroic?

    You gotta be kiddin' me.

  6. My husband was a whistle-blower. He did not initiate the action, but rather the authorities came to him and questioned him. He told the truth, with the result that we lived through a hellish two years and unpleasantness long after. Tom and I had no illusions that the consequences of his truth-telling would be pretty.