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Bridget Johnson

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August 1, 2013 - 7:46 am

snowdenasylum

Congress began to react angrily to news that Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden and allowed him to finally leave the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

“Americans in Washington should consider this a game changer in our relationship with Russia. Mr. Snowden has been charged with serious crimes and has put American lives at risk at home and abroad,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

“Today’s action by the Russian government could not be more provocative and is a sign of Vladimir Putin’s clear lack of respect for President Obama,” he continued. “It is now time for Congress, hopefully in conjunction with the Administration, to make it clear to the Russian government that this provocative step in granting Snowden asylum will be met with a firm response.”

Senate Foreign Relations committee chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said “Edward Snowden is a fugitive who belongs in a United States courtroom, not a free man deserving of asylum in Russia.”

“Regardless of the fact that Russia is granting asylum for one year, this action is a setback to U.S.-Russia relations,” Menendez added. “Edward Snowden will potentially do great damage to U.S. national security interests and the information he is leaking could aid terrorists and others around the world who want to do real harm to our country. Russia must return Snowden to face trial at home.”

The Moscow Times reports that Snowden has abandoned any plans to seek refuge in Latin America or at Latin American embassies, and may go wherever he wishes in Russia — though for “security reasons” his whereabouts will be kept closely guarded.

A senior Kremlin official brushed off the Snowden decision as “relatively insignificant” in the context of U.S.-Russia relations.

(Photo via Russia Today’s Twitter feed)

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Putin is thumbing his nose at Obama because he can. Most world leaders realize that Obama is an empty suit. His Muslim favoring foreign policy advertises to all who will listen that America has become a wussy nation. Our word means nothing and our enemies are pursued on a
political agenda
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I seem to recall that a certain Republican Presidential candidate declared in 2012 that Russia was our 'number one geopolitical foe.' The sages in the media rolled their eyes and tried to discredit him for the claim; the Democrats did the same. So did a great many of the self-appointed experts in U.S. foreign policy, who number in the tens of thousands. And here we are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Russians have done the right thing, even if for the wrong reasons.

The US Goverment intelligence apparatus is out of control and needs to be smacked down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Menendez added. “Edward Snowden will potentially do great damage to U.S. national security interests and the information he is leaking could aid terrorists and others around the world who want to do real harm to our country. Russia must return Snowden to face trial at home.”

Just curious Robert... Where did you get yer mind reading diploma from?



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lindsey, just shut the hell up, okay? You have no problem with leaving America's borders wide open for anyone who cares to enter, but you are upset with Snowden getting asylum in Russia? Really? I mean, really? God! I hope somebody challenges this RINO.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Graham: Granting Snowden Asylum ‘Could Not Be More Provocative’

Advice to Graham: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Putin is thumbing his nose at Obama because he can. Most world leaders realize that Obama is an empty suit. His Muslim favoring foreign policy advertises to all who will listen that America has become a wussy nation. Our word means nothing and our enemies are pursued on a
political agenda
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sounds like Putin is setting things up to sell Snowden to Obama in about six months..for the right price.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Eh, I can live with this. I doubt the Russians will be glad to have Snowden and I doubt Snowden will actually enjoy living in Russia.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And I doubt that Obama cares about anything beyond his next vacation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You could not be more wrong.

Barack Obama is not just some incompetent product of the Chicago machine, interested only in lining his own pockets and getting fat on the gravy train.

He is a deadly enemy to America, deeply committed to destroying it as a free country and remaking it into a Marxist paradise.

He cares VERY DEEPLY about that.

Underestimating your enemy is a foolish, but common, mistake.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I seem to recall that a certain Republican Presidential candidate declared in 2012 that Russia was our 'number one geopolitical foe.' The sages in the media rolled their eyes and tried to discredit him for the claim; the Democrats did the same. So did a great many of the self-appointed experts in U.S. foreign policy, who number in the tens of thousands. And here we are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank God we don't depend on the Russians for anything vital to our national security. Like manned access to space.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Russians really could care less about what Americans think. They saw we elected the ultimate weak horse in Obama.
I'm sure Putin is shaking in his boots, waiting on another strongly worded letter from the milquetoast President.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The milquetoast President can always frighten the Republicans.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Russians have done the right thing, even if for the wrong reasons.

The US Goverment intelligence apparatus is out of control and needs to be smacked down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Non sequitor. Whether the intelligence operations are out of control (and I do think it bears more investigation) it's still illegal to disclose actual classified information and should be. Disclosing the questionable stretch of our intelligence arm did not require disclosing the actual material that is secret.

Snowden is a criminal and the Russians are wrong to grant hi asylum and should be made to pay the price. The question is whether Commander 0 and his minions have the guts.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't be silly SongDog, the Russians are acting in their own best interests.
You would do the same.

Obama otoh would cave and return all foreign documentation while insisting no copies be kept.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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