Second Lieutenant Hagen: You think it’s a coup?

Major Otto Ernst Remer: Of that I’m certain. I just don’t know which side we’re on.

That’s a line from the movie Valkyrie, and it’s kind of how I feel when following the Edward Snowden/NSA story.

I’ve avoided writing much about the Snowden drama because there’s something that stinks about it — neither side is entirely believable or credible. This doesn’t exactly help take the smell away:

Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the Kremlin’s latest move to woo critics of the west.

Snowden fled the United States before leaking the details of a top-secret US surveillance programme to the Guardian this month. He is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, but has reportedly changed hotels to keep his location secret.

Fearing US retaliation, Snowden said at the weekend that “my predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values”, citing Iceland as an example. He defended his decision to flee to Hong Kong by citing its relative freedom compared with mainland China.

Snowden is not known to have made any asylum requests, including to Russia. Yet speaking to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said: “If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We’ll act according to facts.”

If Snowden does in fact disdain government snooping, there would be no place better to go than a country run by a former KGB agent. Wait, never mind.

President Obama told the Russians he’d have more flexibility to deal with them after the 2012 election, but maybe somebody will beat him to it.

Also, Russian leadership might embrace people who blow the whistle on foreign governments, but domestic whistleblowers aren’t well received:

Russia has a roundly poor reputation for human rights and freedom of speech, with people regularly persecuted for their political beliefs. Dozens have been arrested for protesting against Putin, and the president’s top critics continue to face the decision of whether to flee the country or end up in jail.

The country’s own whistleblowers suffer harrowing fates. Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who revealed a multimillion-dollar corruption scheme involving officials from the interior ministry and tax police, was arrested and later died in jail after being refused medical attention. His body also showed signs of torture. Alexey Navalny, a prominent anti-corruption activist, is currently on trial on charges widely believed to be politically motivated.

I’m going to wait until the facts are in before calling Snowden a hero, a traitor, or anything in between. Like I said, this doesn’t pass the smell test. Others halfway around the world wonder the same thing:

Edward Snowden, the U.S. government contractor who was identified as the source of recent disclosures about the secret National Security Agency data-gathering initiative, PRISM, has fled to the Chinese-owned island of Hong Kong. Chinese netizens, who are very familiar with living under government surveillance, have expressed admiration for Snowden revealing the secrets, but are more skeptical about his decision to come knocking on their door.

A lot of things here don’t add up. Pardon me for taking a “wait and see” approach.

Bonus coverage: Here’s David “Greasy” Axelrod referring to Snowden as “a whistleblower who then blew the country”:


12 Responses to “From Russia With Love: Putin Offers to Consider Snowden Asylum Request”

  1. SignPainterGuy on June 11th, 2013 6:12 pm

    All we can know right now is what Snowden told the Guardian and WaPo. IF he is to be believed, he only made it known that the secret spying program exists. He really didn`t put anyone in danger.

    By going to the media he gave up whistle-blower protections and is now a leaker. He swore an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, so it could be argued he had a duty to spill the beans on this unconstitutional snooping program. That puts him as "leaning heroic". By breaking his oath of secrecy, he is a special kind of criminal.

    He may have done the right thing, but he certainly went about it the wrong way and now he finds himself up that infamous creek without any pleasant future !

  2. ChapBix on June 11th, 2013 6:45 pm

    I agree that this does not pass the smell test. It was revealed that he worked for the CIA prior to working for a defense contractor with having a high school diploma. It did not state whether he has a GED or not. For someone his age and questionable academic records to have access to the nation's secrets has me scratching my head wondering what is going on.

  3. SignPainterGuy on June 11th, 2013 7:21 pm

    I heard from Rush and maybe Glenn too that he has a GED. He likely has very good `puter skills to go along with his articulation ! Someone obviously thought he has good reasoning and deductive skills as well !

  4. backwoodsconsr on June 11th, 2013 7:52 pm

    Why am I getting a desire to watch Robert Redford's "Three Days Of The Condor"?

    BTW, that was my favorite of Redford's movies. His political views stink, but he was never short on acting ability.

  5. SignPainterGuy on June 11th, 2013 8:08 pm

    "TDOTC" was on this past week. You`re right, he is a good actor and an idiot politically.

  6. Dexter_Alarius on June 12th, 2013 12:51 pm

    “my predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values”, citing Iceland as an example.

    Ah, yes, Iceland. Where they have the most pre-teen alcoholics. Where they are so concerned about racial purity they wouldn't allow the US military to assign blacks to the bases there until the 1970s. The fish is good, though.

  7. SignPainterGuy on June 12th, 2013 1:04 pm

    They have free hot water, too !

    I was surprised to learn that Iceland actually has an agricultural export and the top one is …… bananas !

  8. SignPainterGuy on June 12th, 2013 3:15 pm

    Rush and Glenn both predicted that Snowden would be smeared, attacked as a liar and kook.

    Well, it`s now being reported that his story is beginning to fall apart. Is it really, or are the agencies in question working on the cover up ?

  9. SignPainterGuy on June 12th, 2013 6:50 pm

    Now Snowden has turned up again; still in Hong Kong, but talking to a Chinese n/p. Still claiming he only wants to reveal our gubmit`s criminality.

    Fascinating still that his fear of our gubmit was strong enough that he went to a communist country and leaked to newspapers instead of trying to find a trustworthy congressman.

  10. Asylum Lawyers on January 16th, 2014 3:55 pm

    The work out performs on a variety of greatest asylum lawyer in addition to is able to above 100 asylum situations for each time. Your selection 1 objective should be to support your customers get asylum in the You. Our Asylum Lawyers know the way it manages of the asylum lawful process.

  11. jocuri 100 on January 18th, 2014 12:26 am

    President Barack Obama on Friday described a perception of little modifications for the National Security Agency in a announcement that can probably please either of them reformers nor agency defenders.The presentation, which occurred in the Great Hall of the Justice Department building, arrived greater than 6 months after the leaks from former NSA employer Edward Snowden commenced. Recognizing the open public complaint those leaks have created, the president nonetheless protected lots of the agency's the majority of questionable methods as essential in the prevent terrorism."The work before us now is more than simply fixing the damage done to our operations; or avoiding much more disclosures from taking place in the coming years. Alternatively, we will need to make some important decisions about how precisely to protect our-selves and preserve our management on earth, while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals — and our Constitution — demand," Obama claimed.

  12. Jocuri 100 on February 4th, 2014 5:59 pm

    Russian President Vladimir Putin showed up in Sochi Tuesday as the Black Sea vacation resort town goes into the ending phases of arrangements for hosting the Winter time Olympics.

    Yet security issues which may have cast a shadow in the lead-up to the Games were reinforced when 2 Austrian competitors got a threat.

    Wolfgang Eischer, spokesperson for the Austrian Olympic Committee, informed CNN the body received a message, presented in German, intimidating two women participants of the Winter Olympic team. He would not confirm whether or not the letter was published in Russia.

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