Thursday, July 25, 2013

From Russia, with brutality

Didn't you love how John Kerry, our illustrious Secretary of State and loser in the 2004 race to George W. Bush, called for Russia to give up Edward Snowden? He said that this is only routine ("without any question"), that the US returns Russians to Russia whenever Russia requests it, as a matter of course, and that he expected reciprocity.

Really? We send Russians back to get gulaged, psychotroped, dioxined, ricined, or shot? Because that's what Vladimir Putin does to dissidents, human rights activists, or even those who want too much democracy. And Kerry says that Russia should send Snowden back and that would be Russia doing "the right thing"?

Snowden lived in Hawaii, making more money than the first 99 percent of his age cohort, certainly more than the likes of me has ever made or will ever make. He trades it all in for life in a Russian airport or maybe life in some Russian city, with no income, and we just say, well, he just wanted his picture in the paper? I sort of doubt that.

Kerry said that Snowden will have a fair trial. I sort of doubt that too, if he does ever fall into our clutches. Snowden noted that very fear in a letter to the Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa. In the letter, Snowden compared himself to Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, and said he did not believe he would be treated justly and that he could be executed if returned to the United States. Fair point!
In truth, we see from the treatment of Manning, so abysmal that many international human rights workers, including Amnesty International as an organization, have criticized the US military's treatment of him. How could Snowden be faulted for not wanting to throw himself at the tender mercies of a government that strips whistleblowers naked and shoves them into solitary confinement before dragging them through a kangaroo court and possible execution or life in the stockade? He's lucky he's not in Russia--oh, wait, that is where he is stuck.

Snowden had it all, risked it all for conscience, and lost it all. John Kerry, your record as Secretary of State is sad at best, from your weapons gifts to terrorists (both state and nonstate) to your unexamined role as juridical enforcer. You are Obama's poor choice, one of the blotches on the Obama administration.

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