Delighted with the behavior of Edward Snowden in attacking the USA, the minions of Vladimir Putin have taken to claiming like bleating sheep that Snowden is no different from Daniel Ellsberg and therefore should be viewed as a hero and given asylum in Russia. Since Ellsberg won his case against the US government, they say, Americans could not complain about such an action by Russia. This absurd bit of neo-Soviet propaganda is extremely bizarre since Vladimir Putin himself, a proud KGB spy, loathes people like Snowden, and his hostility towards Snowden himself is obvious. But much more important, it is an absolute lie.
Putin’s minions like to point out that the 82-year-old Ellsberg himself has sided with Snowden in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post.
Ellsberg claims that there are “grounds for most countries granting Snowden asylum” but completely ignores the fact that “most countries” certainly have not done so, and in fact the only countries to have even considered the idea are a ragtag group of American enemies. Ellsberg seems to believe that only he, Snowden and American enemies understand that Snowden is a hero, a laughable and senile notion to say the least.
Ellsberg claims that if Snowden turned himself in and sought to defend himself in court, he would “almost certainly be confined in total isolation” rather than being released on bail as Ellsberg was. Ellsberg suggests this justifies Snowden’s becoming a fugitive. But Ellsberg then states: “As Snowden told the Guardian, This country is worth dying for. And, if necessary, going to prison for — for life.” This incoherent contradiction reveals Ellsberg as a babbling old man, desperate to relive his glory days who cannot but see himself in Snowden (they even bear a physical resemblance). His credibility vanishes.
With all due respect to soothsayer Ellsberg, “almost certainly” just doesn’t cut it. Ellsberg proved it is possible to fight the U.S. government and win, and his bizarre claim that America has changed since his time so that this is no longer possible finds no support whatsoever in the facts. Ellsberg himself admits that a principled whistleblower would have no problem going to jail — or giving his life — for his principles. That’s exactly what exposes Snowden as a total fraud, and no about of wiggling by the senile Ellsberg can change that.
Putin’s minions hilariously attempt to argue that the world must take Ellsberg’s word as the last one on this subject. Were that the case, then Putin’s minions would have to take Mikhail Gorbachev’s word as the last one on Putin, and Gorbachev has repeatedly and emphatically denounced Putin. Of course, they will never do so. They are hypocrites who will tell any lie they can think of in their furious effort to justify Russia’s neo-Soviet revanchism.
Snowden has turned to China, Russia and Venezuela not because he occupies the moral high ground but because he occupies the depths. Glenn Greenwald, Snowden’s mouthpiece, has openly threatened the USA on his behalf, using anti-American rhetoric that leaves no doubt about Snowden’s true motivations. Snowden has also been embraced by Julien Assange, who is hiding out in Britain rather than face criminal charges in Sweden. The notion that Sweden is somehow a force for pro-American evil beggars belief.
And it is this seething contempt for American that makes Snowden the darling of Putin’s minions. Their hallucination, however, that Russia can somehow get away with giving Snowden asylum is bound to explode in their faces. They are kidding themselves. Just as the entire world viewed Russia’s attack on Georgia in 2008 as naked aggression and refused to recognize Russia’s annexation of Ossetia and Abkhazia, the entire world stands with the USA against Snowden. The mere fact that Putin’s minions adore him so is more than enough proof to convince a reasonable person that Snowden is evil. If Russia gives asylum, even temporary asylum, to Snowden it will be an act of war upon the United States, and Russia will soon find the consequences of that act unbearable.
Putin himself has already recognized this. He has openly stated he will not allow relations with the USA to be destroyed by Russia’s policy towards Snowden. In this, at least, he seems to have Russia’s best interests at heart. Clearly, his minions do not.
Edward Snowden is a thief who stole data belonging to the U.S. government, and hence to the people of the USA, and then fled the country into the waiting arms of American enemies. He is being prosecuted by the Obama administration, which has been embraced by the world as the antidote to the Bush regime that favored abandoning civil liberties in exchange for national security. His defense by America’s most hardened foes shows that this policy is correct.
Snowden had a wide array of legal options available to him should he have wished to challenge U. S. policy on surveillance (it’s worth nothing that, to date, Snowden still has yet to name a single U.S. citizen who has been harmed by this surveillance in any specific way). Snowden ignored all of these legal options, and chose to become a fugitive thief. The reasons for his actions are therefore obvious, and the reasons that the lovers of Vladimir Putin have for supporting him just as clear.