First, Russia allowed Edward Snowden to board a Russian jet in Hong Kong and fly to Moscow.
Then, it allowed Snowden to violate Russian law by remaining for weeks in the Moscow airport transit zone, when she should have been there for days at most.
Next, it provided Snowden with what the U.S. government has called a “propaganda forum” at the airport, during which this venal criminal sought to further his attacks on the USA and his escape from U.S. justice. It allowed human rights groups to participate in the forum as well as journalists, groups which Russia has condemned and sought to eject from the country as purported dangers to Russian national security. The White House press secretary acidly chided Russia on its hypocrisy, challenging the Kremlin to let human rights do their work throughout Russia, not just at the Moscow airport.
Finally, Russia continued to let it be known that it would never extradite Snowden from Russia and might give him political asylum to protect him from American justice.
All these deeds amount to acts of war by Russia against the United States. Snowden has been publicly identified by the President of the U.S. as a major American criminal figure. The President has specifically raised the issue of Snowden with Russia, and has demanded that Russia not provide aid and comfort to him. Snowden has broken U.S. law by stealing highly classified information and releasing it to the public and then he has fled into the arms of countries like China, Russia and Venezuela who are enemies of the U.S. and who reject basic American values like democracy. Snowden has also associated himself with the venal Wikileaks organization, whose founder is also a fugitive from the justice of many countries.
When true freedom fighters like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi broke the law, they did not flee to countries who were enemies of their nations. They stayed right where they are, accepted arrest and challenged the validity of the laws under which they were prosecuted, ultimately bringing needed change to the countries. Snowden’s actions stand in stark contrast to the actions of such heroes, and clearly brand him as the criminal he is.
But despite all this, Snowden has done the USA a great favor. He has clearly shown Americans that Russia is their enemy, as Russia has eagerly and repeatedly rushed to Snowden’s defense. Even as Russia complains that the West refuses to arrest and extradite figures such as William Browder and Boris Berezovsky, Russia itself refuses to extradite those who are charged by the USA. Russia continues to provide aid and comfort to rogue anti-American regimes in places like Syria, Iran and Venezuela, and it continues its frenzied efforts to revive the USSR under KGB leadership.
We can’t help wondering what Russians and their government would do if the U.S. allowed a man wanted by the Russian government for high crimes against the Russian state to fly to JFK airport, hole up there for weeks, and hold a press conference attacking Russia. We wonder how Russians and their government would react if the U.S. were to publicly consider giving this criminal asylum to protect him from Russian justice.
Well, in fact we don’t have to imagine. We know how Russians reacted when Britain refused to extradite Boris Berezovsky. Russia’s reaction was swift and furious. It launched virulent attacks on Britons throughout Russia, including even an attack on the British Council. Russians screamed loudly and furiously that Britain had no right to shield Berezovsky, and then they turned around and shielded Andrei Lugovoi, the accused killer of Alexender Litvinenko, from British justice.
But there’s a big difference between Berezovsky and Snowden, of course. Berezovsky was only accused of stealing money to line his pockets, not stealing and publishing secrets which could assist Russia’s enemies in destroying Russia. Refusing to extradite Berezovsky might be a irritant to Russia, but it’s not an act of war.
And there’s another difference: Snowden isn’t British, he’s American. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pointed out, America has repeatedly extradited wanted Russian criminals to Russia, and there is no Snowden or even Berezovsky being given aid and comfort in the USA. So Russia’s harboring of Snowden is that much more outrageous.
Snowden has exposed the craven policy of appeasement that has been pursued for five years now by the Obama administration. Now Americans and the world clearly see that there never was any “reset” of relations between Russia and America as Obama claimed, that Russia’s proud America-hating KGB spy ruler has only continued to work towards America’s destruction.
Now. the USA and Russia stand on the brink of war. With double Russia’s population, ten times its financial resources and host of powerful allies, Russia has no more chance to prevail in this war than did the USSR.