3 Aug (LPAC) Brushing aside pleas and warnings from President Obama and other senior Americans” to turn Snowden over the U.S. and that “Russia’s decision … infuriated American officials.” The Financial Times of London similarly rubbed Obama’s nose in Russia’s defiance with an article that says that Russia seems to be “daring” the U.S. to cancel the summit meeting in Moscow.
Obama has refused to say a word. On Aug. 1, after a short press availability with Yemen President Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi after their “summit” at the White House, Obama ran out from reporters’ shouting out questions, all of which were about his reaction to Russian grant of asylum. At the White House press briefing, a very piqued Jay Carney said that the Administration had gotten no advance warning of the asylum issue, and that the consequences could be that Obama cancels his summit meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Moscow in September.
“We are evaluating the utility of a summit,” Carney said. “There is no question that there are a range of issues, setting aside the disposition of Snowden, on which we are currently in disagreement with Russia.”
Senate members are goading Obama to do something about the Russian action. Senior Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer of New York urged Obama to force a change of the location of the G20 meeting to retaliate against Russia, reported Bloomberg news. “Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife,” Schumer said. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the asylum “a slap in the face of all Americans.” And McCain’s pro-war sidekick, Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), said in an interview that Obama “is seen to be disrespected,” and this shows “our foreign policy is not working.”
But the American population is not on Obama’s side. Polls show upwards of 55% of Americans consider Snowden a “whistleblower” not a traitor—the latest being a Quinnipiac survey released on Aug. 1. Today’s USA Today reported that Edward Snowden, “the former National Security Agency contractor has found an unlikely ally: Congress. Lawmakers of all political stripes, some of whom also have expressed outrage at Snowden’s actions, are now part of a growing coalition that is challenging the scope and effectiveness of the formerly secret operations.”