According to the :
President Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.
So, after calmly assuring the American public that he would not be taking extraordinary measures “to get a 29-year-old hacker”, Obama has:
- Sent his VP to intimidate the President of Ecuador into not offering asylum to Snowden.
- Orchestrated the forced landing of a plane carrying the president of Bolivia, thinking Snowden might have stowed away on his plane.
- And is now considering cancelling a trip to Moscow “as a direct slap to Putin”, to quote the words of the New York Times piece.
Despite the lack of American establishment media coverage of the NSA surveillance fiasco, it is clearly shaping up to be an ever larger embarrassment to the Obama administration (as if he needs another one of those). At the same time as administration officials are condemning Snowden for being a traitor, numerous members Congress and a significant fraction of the public are clearly questioning the wisdom and Constitutionality of the NSA’s massive programs to collect global communications information. It’s not going to be as easy to keep demonizing Snowden if his revelations continue to lend credence to his contention that domestic spying, contrary to Obama’s assurances, really is out of control.