Skip to comments.Getting the Message, Edward?
Posted on 08/04/2014 2:15:06 AM PDT by No One Special
Putin is effing with Edward Snowden. Snowdens one year of asylum ended on July 31, and he applied in mid-July for another year. As yet, he has heard nothing, except that he will be permitted to stay while his fate is decided.
Putin is most likely sending Snowden a message.
What is the message? That he is in Russia at Putins whim and sufferance. That he had better do as he is told, and not get any ideas. That he is owned.
Note that the Russians doubtlessly are deeply suspicious of Snowden, and likely despise him. To give an idea of what they think of those who turn their backs on their own country to assist Russia, consider what it is doing to Ukrainian soldiers captured in Crimea who decided to join the Russian military. Their Russian military records bear the notation: Prone to treason.
Last summer Putin made derogatory remarks about the fates of those who defected to the USSR. He specifically sneered at their disloyalty.
So Putin-and the rest of the Russian security establishment-have no respect for Snowden. They are using him. And they are sending him a message that they are using him, so that he understands perfectly his place.
Some have wondered whether Putin is considering using Ed as a bargaining chip with the US. I consider this far-fetched, because he could easily revoke asylum at any time. Moreover, there are many reasons for the Russians to keep Snowden, even if they have already squeezed him dry.
First, reputation: turning over Snowden would make others less likely to defect to Russia with information. (Though it must be noted that many of those who make this choice are sufficiently narcissistic to believe that they are immune to the fates that have befallen others, and others who do so are desperate or corruptible.)
Second, the Russians do not want the Americans to know for certain what Snowden has taken, and what the Russians know.
Third, the Russians do not want the Americans to learn anything from Snowden about how he was handled by the FSB, from the meeting at the Russian consulate in Hong Kong to his final destination in Moscow. Or from perhaps before. If Snowden was a Russian asset before he fled to Hong Kong, he will certainly never leave Moscow.
No doubt Putin will let Snowden twist in the wind for a while. Just to make sure the that message sinks in. Then he will grant another years asylum. Probably without the fanfare that accompanied last years announcement. And the process will repeat itself again next year, with even less attention than this year. And the year after that. Until Snowden sinks into obscurity, and likely despair. And someday, Putin will probably prove a prophet, about this, anyways:
How is he going to build his life? In effect, he condemned himself to a rather difficult life. I do not have the faintest idea about what he will do next, Putin said.
He likely knew the consequences. He turned on the American government, he is a traitor to them, who knows someone in the future may let him come back. Whatever happens, he knew the consequences.
Eventually what he knows and the information he has stored will be obsolete. Then he will be of little value to them.
If Vlad had only known to offer sex reassignment surgery, he’d have Bradley Manning, too.