Intimidation

How determined is the Obama administration to have the head of Edward Snowden mounted on their wall?  Determined enough to let it dictate their foreign policy, at least a little bit.  The Guardian reports that Obama has canceled his summit meeting with Putin, basically because Russia granted Snowden asylum.  John McCain, a reliable hawk, adds,

“Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia,” said senator John McCain after Snowden was granted asylum. 

Yes, that’s what we need to do.  Fundamentally rethink our relationship with a nuclear power, because they denied the administration the opportunity to, what, commit borderline torture on Snowden the same way they did to Manning?

Note that Snowden has done everything he can do.  He already leaked all the documents he has available to the Guardian.  It’s not like he’s going to be re-hired by the NSA, so he’s hardly a risk of future leaks.  He’s not like a violent criminal where leaving him on the streets creates a risk for the people around him.

This is about intimidation.  We already know that the Obama administration is the most enthusiastic prosecutor of whistleblowers in US history.  They want any further people in the intelligence world who are feeling pangs of conscience to know that the US will move mountains to ruin their lives if they reveal anything that might embarrass the government or undermine its ability to do anything it wants to anyone at all without real oversight.

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