Many news sources, such as NBC News, are reporting tonight that Edward Snowden has asked for political asylum in Russia. So...let me get this straight: Snowden does not like the fact that America's National Security Agency documented phone traffic of its citizens, in case it should need that information in tracking a terrorist. And his solution is to...seek political asylum in a country which has unprecedented powers to spy on its citizens far beyond just documenting phone traffic of its citizens? Hmm.....something doesn't smell right about this.
This particular kossack has stayed out of the controversial debates as to whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor. It's always seemed to me that there hasn't been enough information at my disposal, one way or the other, to make such a judgment (not knowing what his true motivation is, for instance).
However, having said that, and with no axe to grind on my part, it strikes me as very odd that Snowden would seek political asylum in a country whose government has among the least amount of credibility when it comes to the privacy rights of individuals than almost any country in the world (except for, perhaps, China). Russia has no compunction about taking any measures whatsoever to spy on its citizens if it feels it necessary, far beyond anything the United States has ever even considered (at least publicly, that is).
And Snowden feels that that's where he wants political asylum, even if only temporarily?
Irony is not exactly the word that comes to mind for such a situation. It's extremely odd, though, that an American whistle blower would seek refuge in a country where whistle blowers are afforded virtually no human rights whatsoever. In fact, Russia is one of the last places on earth where anyone would want to be a whistle blower.
Does anyone else find it just a tad bit...bizarre...that someone who allegedly believes strongly in individual privacy rights would seek political asylum in...Russia, of all places?
An additional thought: What do all of those right-wingers in the U.S. think about Snowden begging Russia for political asylum now that so many of them have declared him a hero?