Obama: I’m not “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker”

posted at 8:41 am on June 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama started his tour of Africa today, but in one way it’s like he never left Washington.  The big news from his first stop doesn’t concern American policy on that continent but instead the former intelligence worker who left the US and is currently in Moscow.  Pressed on what he would do to get Edward Snowden in custody, Obama scoffed at the suggestion of cutting a deal with Vladimir Putin or in using military force to grab the “hacker”:

President Obama said Thursday he has not gotten personally involved in the case of Ed Snowden, because he expects other countries to “abide by international law” and not provide harbor to a fugitive. At the same time, he indicated he does not plan to go to extraordinary lengths to capture the NSA leaker, saying: “No, I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

As Republican lawmakers urge Obama to get tough with Russia as it denies extradition requests, Obama said he has not directly spoken with Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping. He flashed some annoyance as he declared he has not called either leader because “I shouldn’t have to.”

He noted that the U.S. does “a whole lot of business” with both countries, and said he doesn’t want to be in a position where he’s “wheeling and dealing and trading” just to “get a guy extradited.”

The president suggested this should have been a routine bit of business for either leader, so he decided not to get personally involved.

“Hacker”? ABC’s Jonathan Karl wondered about the use of that word:

Actually, no.  A hacker would have used technical knowledge to gain access to data to which he’d normally not have been granted access.  The US government cleared Snowden to access this data, even if it was just to work on the technical issues involved.  Booz Allen Hamilton hired him, but it was the government that cleared him.  The more accurate term would be “leaker,” but “thief” also works, even if one is sympathetic to Snowden’s motives.

Obama told the press, which finally had a chance to ask the President about this topic only after leaving the US, that most of the potential damage has been done already with Snowden.  If the NSA and BAH know what else Snowden has, either Obama isn’t worried about it, or perhaps hasn’t been fully briefed.  The tone of his comments was clearly intended to minimize Snowden and his revelations, dismissing him as little more than a young “hacker” instead of someone who did deep damage to national security.

The intel community hasn’t gotten that memo, though:

U.S. intelligence sources say there have already been consequences to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s actions, and it is changing the way terrorists do business. …

Intelligence sources say al Qaeda and other terror groups are already taking advantage of the leaks by avoiding Internet sites terrorists now know the NSA is monitoring.

Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst, said that when U.S. sources and methods are revealed terrorists, like the former head of al Qaeda, change how they communicate. Mudd said, “Bin Laden was tipped off that we had his satellite phone, and he went off the net.”

But the U.S. also alters its security measures in response to changing terrorist tactics. “In the short term, there is going to be a problem because they’re going to read the newspapers, they are going to study up, and they’re going to change activity,” Mudd said. “But in the long term, I think the U.S. intelligence community is going to have the strategic advantage. We’ll find them, and we’ll hunt them down.”

The bin Laden leak was a lot more specific, though.  While the revelations from Snowden might have terrorists rethinking their use of Internet services — especially Google and the other companies named in the initial leak — the worst part of the story for American privacy is also the worst part of it for terrorists’ ability to adjust. The collection is so broad that adjustment may not be possible without bailing out of the Internet altogether, and that will make it easier to find people falling back to older forms of communication, such as couriers and hard-copy mail.  And even the transition might force terrorists out into the open while they establish those replacement lines of communication.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The tone of his comments was clearly intended to minimize Snowden and his revelations, dismissing him as little more than a young “hacker” instead of someone who did deep damage to national security.

Sounds like it. This is hurting Obama’s numbers, so he’s got two choices. Get Snowden which could actually hurt him even more if enough Americans are sympathetic towards the dude. Or try to downplay the issue as if it’s no big deal.

Doughboy on June 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Flexibility?

cmsinaz on June 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

and that will make it easier to find people falling back to older forms of communication,

I’m telling you, two cups and a string.

Bmore on June 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Of course he is not scrambling jets. There are no Muslims at risk here!

Get real people!

Old Dog on June 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Intelligence sources say al Qaeda and other terror groups are already taking advantage of the leaks by avoiding Internet sites terrorists now know the NSA is monitoring.

I thought the NSA is monitoring everything. So does this mean al Quaeda is now relying on the USPS?

DaveDief on June 27, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Translation – we can’t get him and don’t want to be embarrassed anymore on the world stage

gophergirl on June 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Placing accountability on Russia and China instead of himself….wow

cmsinaz on June 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Obama: I’m not “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker”

Left unsaid: “However, I might scramble a drone.”

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Obama: I’m not “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker”

Given the Predator and Reaper are propeller driven, when the inevitable droning of Snowden happens, Obama can claim that the statement didn’t “technically” expire.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2013 at 8:53 AM

GMTA

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Of course he is not scrambling jets. There are no Muslims at risk here!

Get real people!

Old Dog on June 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM

This made me laugh. Besides, Omama (typo, but it fits) isn’t about to let some upstart computer smartypants ruin his 100 million dollar African vacation. The other American peasants already tried to take away his safari. Can’t a guy enjoy his vacation??!!

BettyRuth on June 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

He’s saving the jets for groups that say “tea party” and “constitution”

faraway on June 27, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Obama: I’m not scrambling jets

…JugEars “brains”…are scrambled!

KOOLAID2 on June 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM

ObamaDrones™ are always an option…

albill on June 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Obama: I’m not “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker”

Say, when’s Snowden’s 30th? Teh SCOAMT wants to give him the mother of all fly-overs.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Bark wouldn’t scramble jets if the entire Russian and Chinese air forces were winging their way over our coasts.

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Placing accountability on Russia and China instead of himself….wow

cmsinaz on June 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Stunning, isn’t it?

esr1951 on June 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Left unsaid: “However, I might scramble a drone.”

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2013 at 8:53 AM

if the guy ever makes it to ecuador, maybe. as long as he’s in russia, no way. 0bama is so self-absorbed im not sure he realizes how weak he looks when last week he talks tough about countries helping snowden run and today he acts like getting snowden back is no big deal.

chasdal on June 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Why send a whole team when he can send just one guy with a special umbrella. After all, that’s the Sovi…er…Russian way.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

GMTA

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Indeed!!

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

It’s all Bush’s fault.

petefrt on June 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Obama and intel used in the same sentence makes for a good laugh, thanks.

hillsoftx on June 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Obama: I’m not scrambling jets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6FgidY1xdc

…..But you stupid terrorist Tea Party scum?…..I’ll be flying drones over your houses ready to take you out by this afternoon.

That’s if the IRS doesn’t lock you all up in jail by then.

BTW, Side note: if the Conservative / Tea Party types really turned on the gop how long do you think it would take for the Progressive majority in Congress to join together to demonize the Limited government types. I can just see Obama with Boehner right by his side at a press conference.

PappyD61 on June 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Bark wouldn’t scramble jets if the entire Russian and Chinese air forces were winging their way over our coasts.

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

But look at the “potential” fringe bennies..

I mean they got Hot Women..o.k, I got nuthin..

ToddPA on June 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Booz Allen Hamilton hired him, but it was the government that cleared him. The more accurate term would be “leaker,” but “thief” also works, even if one is sympathetic to Snowden’s motives.

But his Justice Dept. will go after a forty-something year old reporter.

Vera71 on June 27, 2013 at 9:07 AM

but would he scramble jets for a 45 year old ambassador in Benghazi???

ted c on June 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

If Snowden is a hacker, does that mean the NSA hacked my e-mails?

aryeung on June 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

The collection is so broad that adjustment may not be possible without bailing out of the Internet altogether, and that will make it easier to find people falling back to older forms of communication, such as couriers and hard-copy mail. And even the transition might force terrorists out into the open while they establish those replacement lines of communication.

It’s far more likely that the enemy’s important communications have been moving by those “older means” all along. For instance, in the diplomatic mail pouches of sympathetic regimes’. (Yes, even today, some communications move by that method.)

Also, the terrorists are probably perfectly well aware that NSA, etc., have been tasked primarily with monitoring Americans The One regards as his domestic enemies. As opposed to those who are responsible for “man-caused disasters”, which he holds us at fault for, anyway.

The most important factor in this is an accurate read of The One’s mindset. The terrorists know by now that this President isn’t a threat to them, due to a combination of ideology, dogma, narcissism, and delusional thinking at about the level of a typical Jules Verne “Byronic anti-hero”, like Captain Nemo or Robur. (I.e., he thinks he’s a liberator; others have a very different opinion of his destructive activities.)

And that given the choice between effective action against them, and prevarication that will cover his multitudinous errors and lapses of judgment, well, this President ain’t gonna ‘fess up.

As such, they conclude (quite rightly, I think) that they face little or no effective opposition from U.S. intelligence agencies, as long as this man is in charge.

In fact, his destruction of the “social contract” here only helps them, in the long run. See 100 Questions For A Guerrilla by General Alberto Bayo, and/or Age of the Guerrilla by Francois Sully.

Yes, they were written over four decades ago, and yes, they are mainly concerned with Communist-inspired field insurgencies, but the basics are the same. The objective of guerrilla warfare is not the military destruction of the enemy’s armies. It is to force the enemy government to behave so outrageously toward its own people, in an effort to preserve its own power, that those people are alienated from it, and eventually either join the guerrillas (unlikely in this case) or at least cease to support it (very likely, here).

In The One’s case, no “force” was needed. All the terrorists had to do was sit back and watch.

And plan their next horror. As they are doing right now, I suspect.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

but would he scramble jets for a 45 year old ambassador in Benghazi???

ted c on June 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

THREAD WINNER

ToddPA on June 27, 2013 at 9:12 AM

but would he scramble jets for a 45 year old ambassador in Benghazi???

ted c on June 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Teh SCOAMT scrambles to kill, not to save.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM

President Obama said Thursday he has not gotten personally involved in the case of Ed Snowden, because he expects other countries to “abide by international law”

He doesn’t even know what the game is that’s being played. He’s always had everything handed to him and that’s what he expect from the Chicoms and Putin. He’d make a very bad poker player.

Kissmygrits on June 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM

If you read between the lines you can see that Bark is planning on taking out Snowman himself.

Bare chest glistening, Cold Steel Tanto gripped in his teeth, Rambo-style headband, Bark is going to pierce the Russian security perimeter using stealth and if necessary…a garotte made from Mooch’s hair…to find Snowden. Dog Eater will then stare into the man’s quivering face before slowly raising the Tanto and whispering, “This is for AMERICA, traitor!”

Snowden’s scalp will be nailed to the airport terminal door as a warning to Putin not to mess with the Steel-Spined Warrior.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM

He’d make a very bad poker player.

Kissmygrits on June 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Or chess, or checkers, or given his 2-22 performance recently basketball.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM

but would he scramble jets for a 45 year old ambassador in Benghazi???

ted c on June 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

…good one ted !

KOOLAID2 on June 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Translated: Just looking at a picture of Vlad makes me pee my pants.

smoothsailing on June 27, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Slightly o/t: So, let me get this straight, prezzy never met a vacation he didn’t want to take is spending $100M of our money on a mission to promote trade between the US and 3 poor African countries where we’ll get about a buck fifty in return. OK, that about it? Sounds close enough for govt work.

Kissmygrits on June 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

“…a 29-year-old hacker”

A 29-year-old hacker? If that’s how he sees Snowden, then we have a delusional CIC who’s profoundly inadequate for the job.

petefrt on June 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Slightly o/t: So, let me get this straight, prezzy never met a vacation he didn’t want to take is spending $100M of our money on a mission to promote trade between the US and 3 poor African countries where we’ll get about a buck fifty in return. OK, that about it? Sounds close enough for govt work.

Kissmygrits on June 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

But he did call off the safari where Secret Service/military snipers would have wantonly wasted any lion that dared approach within a half-mile.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

It’s good to finally have a President with some intelligence unlike the last idiot that averaged 5% unemployment.

Wagthatdog on June 27, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

No, but if Snowden ever gets on that plane to Havana, his flight path will take him along the Eastern US. Theoretically Obama could then scramble some jets to escort the Russian plane to a US airport for a routine airworthiness inspection. Once the plane landed on US soil, the FBI could grab Snowden.

Trouble is, the Russians would likely retaliate, say by forcing an Anchorage to Seoul flight to land in Sakhalin. Bad memories from the 1980s…

Time Lord on June 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM

For me it’s more a depressing reminder that this fake Rolex salesman turned president is actually in charge of military jets. Oh, how stupid this country has become.

crrr6 on June 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM

“No, I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

Hippest, savviest, bestest Preezy in the Skeezy evah!

Resist We Much on June 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM

At the same time, he indicated he does not plan to go to extraordinary lengths to capture the NSA leaker, saying: “No, I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

Russian translation: I’m a flexible wet noodle, Vlad, and you can torture Snowden to steal all our secrets, and I don’t care. But ain’t I cool?

Steve Z on June 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

In other words, he can’t do a f**king thing.

As usual. At least, this time, it’s good that he can’t. More of a traitor than Snowden will ever be.

MadisonConservative on June 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM

President Obama said Thursday he has not gotten personally involved in the case of Ed Snowden, because he expects other countries to “abide by international law”

Since when has Russia or China abode by international law?

Since they both have nuclear weapons and veto power in the UN Security Council, international law is whatever they say it is. Unless somebody with cojones represents the United States, which also has nuclear weapons and veto power.

Steve Z on June 27, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Snowden isn’t a hacker. He’s a thief.

mchristian on June 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.
Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

But then Biden would have to let slip the ID of the operators’ unit so musloids could shoot down their chopper… Way too much hassle, been there done that, etc.

Akzed on June 27, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Obama: I’m not “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker”

Won’t have to, Barry…

You’ll have given everything away before that need arises.

Scramble?

Heh. What a putz.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM

He flashed some annoyance as he declared he has not called either leader because “I shouldn’t have to.”

.
W.T.F ???!!!

ExpressoBold on June 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I think the NSA stuff could have been misused and supported brave posters here who mentioned it. I was stunned with Chief Justice Roberts on Obamacare. It may have been nothing.

I’m glad they let him get back to normal although the asset is worthless once everyone realizes they are a puppet. Ask CIA.

Check Rasmussen on the number of Americans who think IRS and NSA were blackmailing or extorting to change the political process.

You will not read in the media the disappointment with President Obama in the ranks of his most informed and bright supporters. He was the first one really caught. Where is W when you need him?

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

ExpressoBold on June 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Dey’s s’posed to call Him….

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

A 29-year-old hacker? If that’s how he sees Snowden, then we have a delusional CIC who’s profoundly inadequate for the job.

petefrt on June 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

He probably meant “leaker” – without a teleprompter, English is hard.

Shay on June 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

“Scrambling jets”?

Where from the bowels of over exaggeration did that come from?

That sounds like one of my 9th grade daughter’s drama queen moments. Totally childish from the POTUS.

Isn’t there a middle ground response other than all-out war and do-nothing?

Nice, Ed, if you and the others could callout our POTUS as being childlike. I think that gets his narcissistic attention quicker than anything.

Use those words and like words- the guy acts like a spoiled brat.

bumsteaddithers on June 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Dey’s s’posed to call Him….

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

.
Oh, I think they have been sending him messages… he don’t like ‘em, but he’s getting them.

ExpressoBold on June 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

No. But, given recent events in Boston, and certain accusations made about this president…. Maybe get some Chechens to go in and mess the place up, popping Snowden in the process? Get a little payback from the Russians, settle with the Chechens for busting the Tsarnaevs, take care of Snowden. Hmmmm…. Oops, hold on, gotta adjust my hat……

GWB on June 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

The more accurate term would be “leaker,” but “thief” also works, even if one is sympathetic to Snowden’s motives.

To me, he’s a “whistle blower.”

Burke on June 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Terrorists changing their tactics? What, getting a new web site? If they didn’t already know they were being watched then that is what they’ll do.

Bin Laden was already off the grid. That made him pretty ineffective except for propoganda. All he needed was a country to cover for him, which he found in Pakistan.

TerryW on June 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Save our nation!
IRS, NSA Blackmail?

Call to the religious:

Get your religious teachers to help our nation!

We need an absolution program (Can you hear me Catholic priests?) for any person in a position of power to be forgiven their sins and given special grace for coming forward after suffering blackmail or other influence. Right now you can help some of the great generals and others we lost due to very common human failings!

Moreover, Holy Mother Church should extend its blessing and sanctuary to those sinners and declare special opprobrium on those who attempt to corrupt the political process by threats to expose the sins of those in power.

Bring back excommunication and the Protestant shunning for the blackmailers and extortionists. They are the ones hurting God’s flock.

BTW, I predicted and got a miracle and nobody cares…I don’t even know if I believe in God and this happens. It is great!

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Hacker…leaker…

Describing Obama?

Hacked apart our Constitution…then took a leak all over it.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 10:21 AM

The Greatest Worst POTUS of All Time!!!

Bmore on June 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM

On our POTUS’s comment:

He should not have said that. However, I think he had it on his mind.

It was almost certainly mentioned (if not suggested) that we intercept the commercial jet flying from Hong Kong to Moscow.

Indirectly, I am defending him but his job is a real pain sometimes.

Now you didn’t hear any of this from me.

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

If the NSA and BAH know what else Snowden has, either Obama isn’t worried about it, or perhaps hasn’t been fully briefed. The tone of his comments was clearly intended to minimize Snowden and his revelations, dismissing him as little more than a young “hacker” instead of someone who did deep damage to national security.

I have a different impression. Obama is getting snippy and frankly a little bitchy.

He (Obama) flashed some annoyance as he declared he has not called either leader because “I shouldn’t have to.”

LOL! See…It is like a angry woman who is ticked off her boyfriend did not read her impossible to read body language.

William Eaton on June 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Also..when Obama says this…

President Obama said Thursday he has not gotten personally involved in the case of Ed Snowden, because he expects other countries to “abide by international law” and not provide harbor to a fugitive.

Now that is a leader….but he did get involved in the Martin case.

:)

William Eaton on June 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Terrorists changing their tactics?

Why did we just tell them (again) that we know what they are doing?

Now they know that we know that they changed their tactics. So now they will change them again.

myiq2xu on June 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The president suggested this should have been a routine bit of business for either leader, so he decided not to get personally involved.

That’s the story of his whole presidency. He never gets involved, unless there is some glory to soak up and a good photo op.

PattyJ on June 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Snowden’s major failing is that he isn’t African-American…if he was, then Obama could go on TV and say, “If I had a son who was an IT hacker, he’d look just like Edward.” And the folks would swoon, and the bands would play, and pretty soon, Snowden would be elevated to a major size martyr, a victim of The Man.

Sorry, Edward, but you really didn’t think this one out all that well, did you? Shoulda finished high-school. Stay in school…ever hear that one? Might’ve helped. And that Black thing, too.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM

The FBI and CIA are probably monitoring Hot Air right now.

A recent study, funded by DHS, characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

Here’s the “study”.

Islam is mentioned once, lumped in with Christian and Mormon “extremists”.

jaime on June 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Surprised more people haven’t commented on this:

As Republican lawmakers urge Obama to get tough with Russia as it denies extradition requests, Obama said he has not directly spoken with Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping. He flashed some annoyance as he declared he has not called either leader because “I shouldn’t have to.”

We have a child for a president. Let me get this straight: This guy and his bride hate this country so much they ran on fundamentally transforming it and having hubby O rid you of your complacency…

And yet they expect foreign powers to give the United States of America respect and take initiative to help us just because we are who we are? That he doesn’t even have to call the leaders of other sovereign nations that, to put it bluntly, probably have a better opinion of America in the abstract than he does? Why, because this petulant joker occupies the Oval Office? What narcissism.

What a piece of work this guy is. We are so screwed if Syria is the rekindling of the next World War.

BKennedy on June 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM

But Obowma IS spending 100 MILLION dollars on an unnecessary trip to Africa at a time we are spending a trillion dollars a year MORE than we take in in revenue.

dthorny on June 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM

It was almost certainly mentioned (if not suggested) that we intercept the commercial jet flying from Hong Kong to Moscow.

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I imagine that particular route might prove a bit problematic for a US interception.

DarkCurrent on June 27, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Snowden’s major failing is that he isn’t African-American…if he was, then Obama could go on TV and say, “If I had a son who was an IT hacker, he’d look just like Edward.” And the folks would swoon, and the bands would play, and pretty soon, Snowden would be elevated to a major size martyr, a victim of The Man.

Sorry, Edward, but you really didn’t think this one out all that well, did you? Shoulda finished high-school. Stay in school…ever hear that one? Might’ve helped. And that Black thing, too.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM

So you didn’t read the story on why he had to get a GED? Probably ended up with a better education than if he could have stayed in high-school.

TerryW on June 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

He scrambles Marines to hold his umbrella…

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2013 at 12:58 PM

most of the potential damage has been done already with Snowden.

Heh, Hillary in office already?

‘What difference, at this point, does it make?’

socalcon on June 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Sounds like it. This is hurting Obama’s numbers, so he’s got two choices. Get Snowden which could actually hurt him even more if enough Americans are sympathetic towards the dude. Or try to downplay the issue as if it’s no big deal.

Doughboy on June 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

It also gives him the chance to play the calm, sensible “voice of reason.” He’s getting this chance because his usual Senate GOP allies (McCain, Graham, Rubio, et. al.) are giving him cover to do so with their complaining all over the media about why the bombs aren’t already dropping on Russia and China.

A cynical person might even be inclined to believe that the whole thing is a coordinated dog and pony show. But of course our esteemed GOP leaders would never agree to help Obama in any way way they can, right?

Gator Country on June 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

“Can’t I just eat my waffles in peace?”

“You’re likable enough, Hillary.”

“What would you like me to do? Suck it out with a straw?” (bp)

the hits keep on comin’

can_con on June 27, 2013 at 1:22 PM

TerryW on June 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Are /sarc/ tags really necessary?

I still think he’d be in a better position were he not Caucasian.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Are /sarc/ tags really necessary?

I still think he’d be in a better position were he not Caucasian.

coldwarrior on June 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Sometimes. Didn’t read that as sarc.

Agreed if he were not Caucasion.

TerryW on June 27, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Yes, but you’ll drop $100 Million to take the ENTIRE FAMILY TREE to Africa.

Good to see your priorities are on point…..

Sponge on June 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Not that I disagree with him on this, even Dog Eater isn’t stupid enough to send in Seal Team 6 to conduct a snatch ‘n grab from a Russian airport.

Bishop on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Why send a whole team when he can send just one guy with a special umbrella. After all, that’s the Sovi…er…Russian way.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Or a tiny little drop of Polonium in the drinks they offer him in the Sheremetyevo transit area

jimver on June 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I imagine that particular route might prove a bit problematic for a US interception.

DarkCurrent on June 27, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Ayeah, we’re already pretty well neutered, and even if the Zero had bigger balls than a dwarf hamster he’d have to think very very carefully about intercepting a flight from the nation that we owe billions going to a nation that had us in a nuclear staredown and still bears (haha) a major grudge.

Snowden isn’t a hacker. He’s a thief.

mchristian on June 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

And a spy, and a traitor, and a fluking imbecile on top of all that. His end will be wretched, but small comfort that will be to the people cleaning up the mess he made. Thanks for tipping off the terrorists, bucko.

MelonCollie on June 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM

What Barky means is that he won’t oppose Russia or China on whatever they want to do with Snowden.

Since he doesn’t care about US security, even if that is threatened, why would this be an issue?

On the other hand, government geek-inspired snooping has likely done nothing more than ammass a mountain of unusable personal trash, not real counter-intelligence against known threats.

Remember that the citizen spying program is directed at domestic political enemies, not foreigners or terrorists. This program and national security are not related (except in the minds of political apologists who cannot cite any successes for all this unwarranted search).

virgo on June 28, 2013 at 12:10 AM