#1 By: Xeni Jardin, July 12th, 2013 19:52
Photo: Polonia Frelih, of Delo.si, who attended a conference held by Snowden with human rights groups today at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. On a phone call between the presidents of the US and Russia, held just hours after fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden held court in a Moscow airport to announce he would seek asylum in Russia:… READ THE REST
#2 By: Nelson Cunnington, July 12th, 2013 20:46
The poor sod's screwed, isn't he?
#3 By: Boundegar, July 12th, 2013 20:55
This does not bode well.
How far is the swim to Venezuela?
#4 By: Lion, July 12th, 2013 21:00
Like I've said all along.
Give Putin all your information and give the FSB assistance to help them against the US, and you are free. Do not, he will sell you out.
I mean, he stole a super bowl ring and threatened diplomatic relations with the US so badly that the white house made Robert Kraft say it was a gift. You don't think he'll stab Snowden in the back if he doesn't get what he wants?
#5 By: Art Donovan, July 12th, 2013 22:21
I've felt the same, Nelsie. I don't think he planned on it going quite like this.
#6 By: jake0748, July 12th, 2013 23:13
I have finally parted company with President Obama, and now find him to be a clueless douche-bag. I feel that Snowden showed a lot of courage in disclosing the (IMHO) wholesale, evil spying that the NSA and the rest of the US government does. Sorry, but civil rights and liberties JUST HAVE to trump the stupid fucking "security" theater we've been getting.
#7 By: Cowicide, July 12th, 2013 23:16
While this added pressure certainly isn't reassuring, Obama has already made the same demands previously and Putin didn't budge.
Putin previously noted that there's no extradition agreement between Russia and the U.S. and also said Snowden hadn't crossed Russia's border because he was in an airport "transit hall" anyway.
For the sake of overall diplomacy, U.S. and Russian relations requires a lot of compartmentalizing of disputed issues like this and neither will allow it to spoil other more major issues (even if it's bluffed at as a bargaining chip).
Even corporatist-apologists like Steven Pifer (who's a U.S. and Russian relations expert that despises Snowden) give good reasons that Russia may not budge. For one thing, if the roles were reversed, there's no way in hell (his words) the U.S. would comply with Russia and return a whistleblower in the same scenario (and Putin knows this).
I think you may be perhaps suffering from too much of an America-centric point of view on this issue.
When you've got the the White House and State Department disgustingly complaining (publicly) to Putin that his government allowed Snowden to meet with human rights groups, that makes Putin look better to the rest of the world when he resists.
There's a huge world out there aside from the United States and Putin isn't only concerned about our interests alone.
#8 By: Cowicide, July 12th, 2013 23:19
I don't think he planned on it going quite like this.
Actually, in early interviews he thought he was screwed from the beginning, but did it anyway for the greater good.
On that note, I wish more people would simply read Snowden's statements and interviews that are out there. It would save them a lot of time wasting their breath with useless, errant conjecture on what Snowden is thinking.
#9 By: Lion, July 12th, 2013 23:21
Well, Snowden just requested asylum from Putin, so I guess we'll get to see.
#10 By: Val A Lindsay II, July 12th, 2013 23:31
I agree with all except the clueless part. This isn't about the United States in terms of safety to Obama. This is about the U.S. as the dominant Superpower in the world. I now feel the same about Obama as I do for Bush; I couldn't be in the same room with him...
#11 By: jake0748, July 12th, 2013 23:49
So sorry to say that I agree with you.
#12 By: awjt, July 13th, 2013 00:15
Me too, because on many other issues, I am totally with Obama and crew. I'd much rather have Obama at the wheel than any of the other candidates in the last two, three, four elections. But, the recent behavior towards Snowden has sickened me. He's a whistleblower, not a traitor. A traitor works for someone else. He isn't apparently working for someone else. He's pulling the curtain back off the wizard of OZbama, and the wizard just can't handle it like a big boy. Poor Snowden's fucked, knew it from the beginning, and went into it anyways. Our government is EVIL. Great country, evil government and ruling class. May we not all perish at their ignorant hands.
#13 By: William Jones, July 13th, 2013 01:27
Wait, did people actually think that a public official was going to just let Snowden roll out of there? If Jesus himself was prez he'd be after Snowden like a hawk - Obama's done plenty of awful things in office, but this was utterly predictable, and literally every president in his place would do exactly the same thing.
#14 By: Jonathan Roberts, July 13th, 2013 02:21
Unfortunately, that's what our governments think we are.
#15 By: hughstimson, July 13th, 2013 03:57
That's interesting but I disagree. I think most of the recent presidents would have let Snowden drift off to obscurity while focusing their energy on mitigating the domestic damage.
Even if you put the recent-modern cohort of US presidents into the right-now realpolitick position that Obama occupies, I think many of them would have had the political savvy to avoid the embarrassing posture that Obama has worked himself into. By throwing his executive might against a very vanilla sysadmin dude, and for a sufficient time to have lost the contest, Obama looks like a petty, vengeful, and partially impotent tin-pot dictator nursing a hand painfully caught in our collective privacy cookie-jars.
Obama is both morally wrong here, and politically blowing it. I don't necessarily think that was a foregone conclusion that we all and Snowden (if he cared) should have anticipated.
#16 By: Rindan, July 13th, 2013 04:37
It is a really sad state of affairs. I have lost whatever tiny morsel of hope I had that Obama would turn around in his second term. I laugh until I cry to think that Obama used to spew bull shit about transperency in government. In a horrific number of ways he has actually been worse than Bush on civil liberty and transparency in government, and it isn't like Bush was setting a high. I have no hope that that former pot smoker is going to suddenly see the horrific injustice of ruining hundreds of thousands of lives for doing something that he used to do.
The best two thing I can say about Obama is that first, he finally, when the tide was fully turned and the direction was utterly clear, made some words about gay marriage being okay and didn't try and defend DOMA. Even for that he only gets partial credit because he never tried to repeal DOMA, which is still on the books with some of its articles enforced, and he only did it after it would have been openly cowardly and too awkward for a democrat to not take a stand. It is like coming to the civil rights movement in 1978.
The only other good thing about Obama is that Romney and McCain could have conceivably done been more horrible. Even then, I am not so sure. Yeah, maybe Romney or McCain might have tried to fuck civil liberty harder (though I struggle to imagine how), but the democrats in the senate might have actually found a pair of balls between them and tried to be obstructionist instead of quietly looking the other way as Obama pisses on the constitution in the name of a threat that ranks below death by bathtub.
Unless something changes, I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a low turnout. Hilary is just going to be Obama's third term and Bush's fifth. That demoralizes the fuck out of me. It is ironic that Obama has utterly killed any "hope" I ever had in a way that Bush never could. I am glad I live in a solidly blue state so that I don't have to feel even the slightest misgivings about voting for a third party.
#17 By: awjt, July 13th, 2013 10:47
No, the government is confused, as we are, on who a traitor actually is and who is a wrongdoer. It goes way back in history: instead of recognizing and finding a solution for the actual root problem, it is far more convenient to attack a scapegoat. Denial of reality is a very strong thread running through humanity. This situation is no different.
#18 By: Val A Lindsay II, July 13th, 2013 11:04
Lewis Black said that "People think that the Government is a building walking around doing shit." Government isn't confused. It's made up of people trying to protect themselves, whether it's their beliefs or simply covering their ass.
I think there's been an effort within government most prominently since the Watergate scandal to change the rules to suit this and they've been highly successful at it. While they haven't changed the Constitution to suit, they sit in office and can proclaim "Hey, we CAN do this. We changed the rules and therefore Snowden is a traitor!"
The obstacle really lies among the People though. IF enough of us show that we think we believe Snowden, that the government has clearly overstepped their boundaries, someone up there gets thrown to the wolves. Nothing makes a Politician move more than a threat to his job...
#19 By: awjt, July 13th, 2013 13:05
I think it's funny that you think the government isn't confused. As if they are all on the same page! LOL
#20 By: Cowicide, July 13th, 2013 13:36
The only other good thing about Obama is that Romney and McCain could have conceivably done been more horrible. Even then, I am not so sure. Yeah, maybe Romney or McCain might have tried to fuck civil liberty harder (though I struggle to imagine how),
Is that really a struggle to imagine? Just look at their words and actions and the general cluster-fuck that is the republican party and where we are today after two GW Bush terms to get an idea.
I agree with most of your sentiments about disappointment with Obama's second term.
But I also think most of the American public is getting what they deserve from decades of apathy and ignorance. We went on a radically downward spiral ever since we voted in greater evil Bush instead of Gore. Yes, I suspect Bush stole the election, but he couldn't have done that if the damn election hadn't been so sickeningly close. Here's looking at YOU, American public.
You don't jump from two terms of GW Bush, an infestation of bluedog Democrats and a mostly rubber stamp congress for Bush... to anything much better for decades of voting lesser evil. The damage was incredibly severe and we were sent backwards into the abyss. And the American people were warned, but just wouldn't fucking listen.
Almost exactly 10 years ago to this day, this was going on:
We were wasting precious time as a country locked in dialog about weapons of mass destruction while ignoring the REAL weapon of mass destruction that was the Bush administration and his rubber stamp Congress. The American public through its foolish, apathetic ignorance allowed corporatist criminals to absolutely entrench themselves into every fabric of our government to turn it into a quasi-governmental paradise for the corrupt rich.
Quote from my link above from 10 years ago:
The Bush administration continues to subvert national security with various corporate/government corruption (well documented everywhere including government docs), was asleep at the wheel during the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil and is fighting investigations (well documented, government docs, etc.), subverted EPA documents to fit their political/corporate goals (well documented by the EPA, yet more govt. docs), subverted data on the homeland security website to promote fear and meet their political needs (well documented by scientists used for website), lied about various lucrative contracts with various 'axis of evil' countries and have even admitted using offshore accounts in order to subvert U.S. law and do business with them (including providing nukes that can be used for dirty bombs) (well documented, even publicly admitted)... it just goes on and on... I HONESTLY do not have time to post all the corrupt, dangerous, un-American actions this administration has taken against its citizens in the name of profit and power.
We don't go from two terms of this pile of shit, massive corruption, purposefully obtuse ineptitude in the name of corporatist profits, draconian cuts to civil rights, spending of galactic cluster-fuck proportions on useless, destructive wars, massive distribution of wealth to the rich, voter apathy, etc. ----- to a shining nation on the hill in 5 years.
It's going to take DECADES of voting in lesser evils at this point to recover. Imagine where we'd be today if Gore was elected instead of Bush? No Iraq war, Gore would have very likely LISTENED to Richard Clarke and thwarted 9/11 and I seriously doubt Gore would have conjured up WMD lies to invade Iraq if the attack had happened anyway. Gore also is strongly against all this NSA spying and says its unconsitutional. Would have Gore been perfect? Fuck no! But we wouldn't be in anywhere near the shit mess we're in now if we hadn't allowed pure evil to take over for two terms.
I understand that you're making a protest vote in a solid blue state, but please do that with great care and proper calculation.
I fear Americans will throw away their votes for a third party in the next election instead of voting in the lesser evil. It sure did wonders for the Gore/Bush election and look at the fanstastically wonderful position we're in today?
I'm done here. If the American public doesn't get it by now, then I guess they never will. Fuck it.
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