I am a tad troubled that I find myself rooting for "the traitor" [Edward Snowden] and against the minions of "our side" (assuming my college classmate [President Barack Obama] is even on "our side") in this WaPo retrospective on just how extensive the efforts of the Obama Administration were to nab
any and all defenders of freedom all dissidents Mr. Snowden. Of course, these efforts were monumentally futile. All it took to thwart them was anyone who had any intelligence whatever (and Mr. Snowden seemed to have oodles of intelligence in every sense of the word.)
In particular, there is a lengthy discussion of the forced landing of the Bolivian Presidential jet in Vienna, which the article confirms (via its express denial) that it was the White House that brought this about. That plane was, of course, carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales, who suggested during a visit to Moscow that he might grant Snowden asylum... The heavy handed forced landing came about even though (1) Snowden would probably have had the benefit of sovereign Bolivian protection, (2) the Austrians were not likely to commit the kind of kidnapping and/or piracy that our government has become so noted for (largely because of our ham-handednes) and (3) there was no evidence Snowden was even on the plane (which took off from another airport than the one Snowden found himself jammed up in).
While publicly, President Obama suggested that he wasn't going to use "military assets" to get at "a 29 year old hacker"... I don't think that there's any doubt whatsoever that had Snowden not put himself on territory where any American action (other than loud diplomatic begging) would have likely started World War III (Chinese Hong Kong followed by Russia)... if not an outright killer drone (my bet), certainly a team would have been sent to
murder him liquidate the enemies of the state bring Mr. Snowden to "justice."
But Snowden had the good sense to plant his feet on the soil of nations somewhat hostile to the United States in possession of nuclear weapons. It is unfortunate that Mr. Snowden concluded he could not get anything resembling a fair trial here, let alone, fair treatment... even more unfortunate that Snowden happens to be correct about this, of course (see "Manning, Chelsea f/k/a Bradley," "Assange, Julian" and for that matter, "Swartz, Aaron").
In the end, what I take out of the WaPo piece is the ultimate futility of the Obama Administration-- even in trying to trample upon and then urinate over any semblance of Constitutional values by trying to capture the intrepid fool who disclosed the full extent of just how psychotically
evil extensive the Obama Administration's surveillance efforts actually are (and yes, boys and girls, these are the programs that John Ashcroft once refused to sign off on... Ashcroft, who announced the arrest of American Jose Padilla while he himself was in Moscow!). The same futility in misplaying Bowe Bergdahl as some kind of "national feel good moment," or in so many other misplays (see "Guantanamo, close within one year;" "Iraq," "Syria" and "Ukraine."
And so, when our allegedly liberal democratic government schemes to behave like the most ruthless of Stalinists... I get kind of mildly amused when an actual former KGB colonel seems to end up outplaying it... at virtually every turn. Ah, the irony, that someone standing up for the most basic of American values... obtains asylum in Vladimir Putin's Moscow. The one on the Volga.