Snowden's New Tactic
Back in July, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia might give Edward Snowden asylum if he agreed to stop harming the United States, and then Snowden was in fact given asylum. But last week Snowden resumed his attack on his country, releasing documents exposing Swedish-American cooperation in spying on Russia, and Putin did not lift a finger against him. But if you read the fine print, you see that Putin's words meant nothing and therefore he will do nothing to stop Snowden from continuing to harm the U.S. however he can.
Before Putin granted Snowden asylum, he stated unequivocally: "If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound on my lips."
Given this sweeping language, one might well ask how it could be possible that Snowden is still in Russia after last week's revelations from a new release of his documents that directly damaged Russia's American partners by disclosing secret cooperation with Sweden against Russia. It's hardly surprising, of course, that Sweden and the U.S. would cooperate, given that both Sweden and the U.S. are routinely victimized by acts of provocative, aggressive Russian military confrontation.
But the devil is in the fine print.
Snowden claims that he no longer has any of the secret materials he pilfered from the National Security Agency while working for one of its contractors. He claims that he handed over the entire trove of documents to "journalists" in Hong Kong before flying on to Russia. And he did not personally release the Swedish documents, they came from "journalist" Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian.
And even if you don't buy for one single second that Greenwald could or would release new Snowden documents without Snowden's OK, the malignant, treacherous pair has a fallback position: They'll argue that when Putin said "damage" he was only referring to "national security" issues. Hence the Kremlin's state-owned propaganda mouthpiece Russia Today reported: "The latest leak has nothing to do with national security and is 'very conclusive about the fact that part of what they are doing is spying on energy companies, obviously for economic advantage,' Greenwald added."
So Greenwald and Snowden claim, apparently, that Putin ever had any problem with Snowden damaging the U.S. economically, only militarily.
One can't help but notice the clear foot-in-the-door tactic being practiced by Snowden and Greenwald: Their first new release of documents involves exposing an attack by the U.S. on Russia, in other words the type of release Putin would be least likely to object to. With their foot in the door, who knows what other measures will next be attempted.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Snowden declared: "There's a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any [of my stolen] documents." That's nonsense, of course. Andrei Soldatov, a leading expert on Russia's secret police, says that Snowden is at present "actually surrounded" by Russian KGB agents (the agency is now know as the FSB). Soldatov states: "When the F.S.B. actually got him, they started to handle it their own way. This is the way the security services operate all the time." What's more, how could Snowden possibly be sure that mere journalists would be able to safeguard his materials from the Chinese secret police?
Snowden and Greenwald have already tried to blackmail America into leaving them alone, claiming they were holding back information that that would harm the U.S. even more. The Swedish revelations are apparently the next step in that blackmail scheme. Nothing else can be expected given that Snowden is being shielded by Russia, one of America's worst enemies.