Edward Snowden, who has worked at the National Security Agency for the past four years in Hawaii, told The Guardian newspaper about clandestine surveillance programs that the government is conducting with its own citizens as the targets
Edward Snowden, who has worked at the National Security Agency for the past four years in Hawaii, speaking during an interview with The Guardian newspaper at an undisclosed location in Hong Kong, June 6, 2013.

By Andre de Nesnera – The U.S. government is accusing Edward Snowden of espionage for leaking classified information about American surveillance programs.

Ariel Cohen, with the Heritage Foundation, said this is a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, given the security breach.

“Somebody with so much access is allowed to just board the plane carrying, allegedly, four laptops with him and skipping to Hong Kong – that is a failure of security of enormous proportions.”

Snowden did not stay in Hong Kong as Chinese authorities allowed him to leave for Moscow.

White House spokesman Jay Carney strongly criticized that decision.

“This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive, despite a valid arrest warrant and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the U.S.-China relationship,” he said.

Washington urges Moscow to expel Snowden to US

Carney also urged Russian officials to expel Snowden to the United States.

But Charles Kupchan, with Georgetown University, says in China and Russia, there are domestic political pressures to help Snowden.

“There is a certain frustration and impatience with American lecturing about domestic freedoms, the lack of democracy, domestic surveillance – and now, all of a sudden, the United States has been shown carrying out its own surveillance,” said Kupchan. “I think there is a certain amount of what one might call ‘schadenfreude’ – enjoyment on behalf of others of the plight that the United States finds itself in.”

Some analysts are asking what the United States can do to pressure Moscow to expel Snowden.

“There are lots of issues in play with the Russians from Iran to Afghanistan, to the issue of intelligence cooperation in dealing with extremism, to the question of missile defense and arms control,” said Charles Kupchan. “But does the United States really want to take one of those issues in which it has clear geopolitical interests and tie it to Snowden? I think the answer is that that kind of linkage is problematic.”

As for China, Kupchan said the United States doesn’t want to end up doing things that harm its own interests.

“And in that respect, I don’t think the U.S. has a lot of sharp arrows in its quiver. There is a lot at stake with China and yes, the U.S. can and should express its displeasure with the fact that Hong Kong let Snowden out,” said Kupchan. “But it’s hard to see powerful punishments that don’t in some ways work to the disadvantage of the United States.”

Kupchan says in the final analysis, it is better for the United States to let the Snowden affair run its course.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I don't think there is anything the US gov't. can do.no credibility.the constitution and our Bill Of Rights willsee the americans through this.the media is against us also.

  2. I don'think there is anything the US gov't. can do.no credibility.the Constitution and Bill of Rights will see the americans through this.the media is against us also.

  3. Yes, the irony continues. Putin condemms a girl punk rock band, Pussy Riot espionage, & false disclosure, yet he labels a traiter a hero..
    Wait until a russian does the same to Mr Putin.
    I'll bet he'll kill the traitors family first.
    As for Snowden,
    Remember the Fischer case, the former child chess prodigy was wanted by the United States for evading taxes and breaking sanctions by playing a match in Yugoslavia in 1992. After years living abroad he was detained in Japan for nine months, until Iceland offered him asylum and citizenship in 2005. He spent his last years in Iceland before dying in 2008.

    Putin and Barack Obama are hypocrites and Civil Liberties don't matter to them.

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