Coming from the United States and its liberal culture — a nation whose culture and people are the opposite of the bigoted groups that Putin appeals to and encourages to gain support — Edward Snowden would, if free to act as he pleases, oppose and speak out against the new Putin policies. But now he is filled with praise for the Russian government and Putin’s decision to give him asylum, and his claim to be for “human rights” evaporates quickly as he allows himself to be a mouthpiece for the reprehensible actions of the government whose hospitality he now enjoys.
How, then, is the administration acting now that Vladimir Putin has made his intentions most clear? So far, all we have is the abysmal statement by Jay Carney:
We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful request … Mr. Snowden is not a whistleblower — he is accused of leaking classified information.
Contrast Carney’s mild putdown with the reaction of New York’s liberal Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who said: “Russia’s stabbed us in the back and every day that Snowden is allowed to be free they twist the knife further.” Schumer went on to say that he thinks the scheduled G-20 meeting, at which Obama is set to attend and meet with Putin before it begins, should be held elsewhere than Russia. John McCain went even further, saying we should “fundamentally rethink our relations with Putin’s Russia,” and step up advocacy of human rights and civil liberties in Russia, accelerate missile defense programs, and expand NATO so that it includes the republic of Georgia.
The Obama administration, as we know, is not going to adopt Senator McCain’s proposals, nor even accept those of its ally Senator Schumer. It is planning to go ahead and take part in the G-20 meeting in Russia, although it might cancel the planned meeting with Putin. If it does not cancel this, the wily Russian president will again publicly humiliate Obama.
So Edward Snowden is a free man in Moscow, living in what is most likely a fine Russian apartment (by their standards) and eventually being given a job to his liking, in which he can continue to secretly meet with Soviet intelligence and give them whatever other U.S. secrets he holds, which will assure that his hosts continue to show him fine hospitality.
I look forward to hearing just how Mr. Snowden will fill out his days in Moscow as a human rights advocate.