Putin Playing U.S. with Snowden Asylum Request
On July 1, Barack Obama was left scratching his head after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Russia might grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden after all.
Snowden made the request, and rather than deny it right out, Putin said it would have to be on the condition that Snowden "stop his work aimed at harming... America."
According to The Hill, American Enterprise Institute's resident scholar Michael Rubin believes the "gloat factor" to be gained from this may prove as important to Putin as the intelligence Snowden could provide. "It's not every day [that] a self-professed crusader for free speech and human rights voluntarily makes Russia their home," he explained.
Snowden released a statement through Wikileaks on July 1, in which he took Obama to task for pressuring other countries to deny him asylum: "This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression."
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.