Snowden’s Russian Asylum: Extremely Disappointing

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 2, 2013 in News & Opinion |

Did the US government really expect anything other than that another country would grant Edward Snowden asylum? The fact that it is Russia, well known for its hatred of foreign spies and anything which goes against the hard and fast rules of an almost totalitarian government, must be the bitterest pill of all. However, that is what happens when one government begins threatening another; someone stamps their foot, holds their breath and begins going red in the face while everyone else laughs and gets on with their own lives.

Rather than sweating over Snowden, the government in the United States should set about cleaning up their own act and sorting out the problems they’ve created with their foreign friends and partners, as well as with those they (secretly or otherwise) consider enemies. No one expects a clean board, an admission or even a change, but certainly a little bit more transparency, and it makes no difference who is in the White House now, or who was in command when the whole thing began. The United States needs to regain Face in the world, and regain trust above all else.

As to Snowden, if the government is really so keen on getting him back and giving him jail time for crimes committed – disregarding the much lauded statements on whistleblowers and the good they do for society – Checkpoint Charlie is still there. Arrest a few high-level Russian spies and do an exchange, just like in the good old days when spying was clear cut and simple.

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  • Francois says:

    The most severe diplomatic problem Russia has been facing since the early 20th century is the widespread perception in other countries that Russia cannot be trusted.
    Here we go again: President Putin had declared on television about three weeks ago that, liberally translated, “We cannot give asylum to Mr. Snowden as we do not wish to antagonise the United States. Strange as it may seem.”
    And I am not inventing this.
    Otherwise, I see why the KGB might want to get intimate with Snowden: he knows not only what but also how. When he is fully debriefed, he will have a sudden, incurable degenerative disease. I am sorry for him.

    • The problem Russia has, not being trustworthy, is one proven time and time again, along with the strange allies they seek out during times of crisis. Putin isn’t, however, the only one to change tune after having said something, Obama has done the same thing with whistleblowers and a few other things, as have all – and I do mean all – politicians at one time or another. Snowden will gradually fade from the limelight when his revelations – carefully strung out for maximum effect – come to an end. He might have a future as a consultant when other spying cases arise, and they undoubtedly will, otherwise his days of fame are numbered. Perhaps in ten years time there will be a ‘whatever happened to…’ program, but little more than that, I suspect. Much the same as all other spies and agents who have crossed over during the last century.

      One small thing to note about the asylum, it is for a limited period only: for just one year, but that’s long enough for an intense debriefing, don’t you think?

  • Fran├žois says:

    Yes, one year is plenty, Russians are quick learners and they have formidable “informatics” scientists.
    I still think Snowden gets a bowl of polonium soup after the debrief. Putin does not share as well as the other kids.

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