US Officials Freak Out Over Russia Giving Snowden Temporary Visa
from the well-of-course dept
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it a "slap in the face of all Americans." Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called the development a "setback to U.S.-Russia relations."A slap in the face? A game changer? Who do they think they're kidding? The White House is being equally ridiculous if only slightly less hyperbolic, in suggesting it may cancel an upcoming Putin/Obama summit:
"If these reports are accurate, Americans in Washington should consider this a game changer in our relationship with Russia," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement, calling Russia's decision "provocative" and "a sign of Vladimir Putin's clear lack of respect for President Obama."
"We're extremely disappointed," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. "We're evaluating the utility of a summit in light of this and other issues."You know what? These arguments would have a lot more weight if they didn't come a day after the US government was able to successfully convict a guy who leaked classified documents to the press in order to blow the whistle on government wrongdoing. And the fact is that the American public is increasingly realizing that, yes, Ed Snowden is a whistleblower, not someone guilty of "espionage." And yet the US government is trying to paint him as some sort of evil hacker spy.
However, the very fact that Congress is actually having the debate about these programs, that the NSA and the FISA Court are declassifying various documents, and that it's clear that the NSA's surveillance powers are going to be somehow limited, seems to support, very strongly, the claim that Snowden was, in fact, a whistleblower. The defenders of the government can whine and moan about this or that, but if they wanted to have any credibility on this topic at all, perhaps they shouldn't have tried to brand Snowden as a criminal when everything that's happened since has proven he's a whistleblower.