Lindsey Graham: Maybe we should boycott the Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Snowden

posted at 6:41 pm on July 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

I thought the Snowden saga had become as much of a freak show as it could be. I was wrong.

You know Graham’s too far into the deep end of the pool when even McCain’s calling him back to the shallow side.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the U.S. should consider boycotting the 2014 Olympics Russia is set to host if Moscow grants NSA leaker Edward Snowden asylum.

“I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham said Tuesday when asked about the possibility of a boycott.

“It might help, because what they’re doing is outrageous,” Graham added. “We certainly haven’t reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way. At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it’s a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States.”…

“There’s many things we can do, but I think the experience of cancelling the Olympics the last time around wasn’t very good,” McCain said.

Game this out for me. How does “U.S. boycotts Olympics” lead to “Putin caves, deports Snowden to Washington”? It’s the underpants-gnome theory of sports diplomacy, except it’s not just ineffective but actually counterproductive. Imagine how much Putin would relish watching the U.S., which lectures Russia endlessly (and correctly) about rights abuses, throw an Olympic-sized tantrum over his decision to shelter a guy who’s selling himself as a champion of international civil liberties. (I can also imagine the Kremlin press conference. “Russia will not bow to fascism,” says The Leader with a smirk.) Beyond that, how much public support would there possibly be for this? Half the public — or more than half, per some polls — is sympathetic to Snowden as a whistleblower. The rest may be unhappy with his leaking, but depriving them of the chance to see the U.S. hockey team beat Russia isn’t going to move the needle further. Graham’s foreign policy is, I thought, based on the idea of “peace through strength,” with “strength” usually a byword for “intervention.” Would you perceive the U.S. as showing strength if we decided to protest asylum for Snowden by refusing to send a curling team to Sochi?

This isn’t really diplomacy Graham’s offering, it’s spite. If you’re going to be spiteful, at least be sure that the target of your spite will be damaged by it. As it is, not only would Putin get a kick out of this, I think, but Snowden would too. His fans seem to view him as a combination of Jefferson Smith and Jesus, a creature driven purely by the civic good, but basically everything he’s leaked since the original FISA/PRISM stuff has been aimed not at vindicating Americans’ civil liberties but at embarrassing the U.S. government and damaging its relations with allies. He had the stones to say of fascist anti-American regimes like Venezuela that offered him asylum for propaganda reasons, “By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.” (At least one such fascist regime has learned an important lesson from Snowden’s leaking: Clamp down even tighter on the Internet.) His de facto spokesman, Glenn Greenwald, issues a new thinly veiled threat every few days about how much damage Snowden can do to U.S. national security if he decides to, in case you were unclear on that the first eight thousand times. And as Joshua Foust pointed out today on Twitter, it appears that Snowden is sharing dangerous U.S. secrets with newspapers and simply trusting them not to publish the information rather than redacting the information himself before leaking. A key passage from Spiegel’s report on NSA spying on Germany:

SPIEGEL has decided not to publish details it has seen about secret operations that could endanger the lives of NSA workers. Nor is it publishing the related internal code words. However, this does not apply to information about the general surveillance of communications. They don’t endanger any human lives — they simply describe a system whose dimensions go beyond the imaginable. This kind of global debate is actually precisely what Snowden intended and what motivated his breach of secrecy. “The public needs to decide whether these policies are right or wrong,” he says.

Given all that, how unhappy do you think Snowden himself would be to see the U.S. throw a tantrum and pull out of the Olympics? All it’ll do is raise diplomatic tensions further, annoy the American public, and highlight the feds’ near total impotence in bringing him home to stand trial. It would be a total propaganda victory. Leave it to Lindsey Graham, who thinks intervening in Syria is something we should have done ages ago, to embrace this especially goofy form of “sanctions.”


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How about you stop jacking around about Snowden…..AND GO AFTER ERIC HOLDER and the tyranny that he is using against George Zimmerman.

Stokin the fires, provoking a crisis—–Eric Holder Obama!!

PappyD61 on July 16, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Graham badly overstates the amount of outrage that is appropriate for Snowden’s leaks.

Nessuno on July 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I would love to hear Liz Cheney’s take on the matter.

mjbrooks3 on July 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

We really need term limits.

Jocundus on July 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Graham Cracker is out out of touch

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Maybe Lindsey Graham’s constituents should boycott voting for him.

sadatoni on July 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Oh go fork yourself, Lindsey Pinsey. Nobody gives a flying damn about what you say on anything.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

McCain, Graham and Rubio – all crap sandwiches.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

South Carolina, why is Lindsey Graham not being primaried? Enough of this neo-con global warming, amnesty loving clown.

(On the other hand Snowden, is a dbag, and I hope we catch up to him real soon. )

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

And for the love of all that is Holy. Please stop using that same ducking picture of Snowden.

I can’t stand to look at his smug face anymore.

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

(On the other hand Snowden, is a dbag, and I hope we catch up to him real soon. )

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

King George thought the very same about Paul Revere.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

McCain, Graham and Rubio – all crap sandwiches.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

hmmm McCain Rubio Graham > white ass cracker

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

I thought the Snowden saga had become as much of a freak show as it could be. I was wrong.

Poor AP. Most of your posts lately have started with a variation of “I thought that ____ was as bad as it gets, but _____ happened”.

My favorite quote and truth to live by: When I thought I hit rock bottom I found it was someone else’s ceiling.

Yup. Truth.

kim roy on July 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

The N-Stasi-A is peeping on you:
One if by phone.
Two if by email.
Three if by credit card statement.
Four if by something else now.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

But wait he says he’s a Reagan conservative or something

ldbgcoleman on July 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Putin may very soon throw opposition blogger Alexey Navalny in prison for six years. Wake me up when Lindsey gives half a crap about that instead, and maybe I’ll start to take him seriously.

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

That last boycott of the Games worked real well for us, didn’t it?

Graham needs to go sit facing a corner somewhere, preferably until the 2014 elections.

Liam on July 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I thought the Snowden saga had become as much of a freak show as it could be. I was wrong.

You want freaks? Look at the peeping tom perverts at NSA and the pervert creeps at the airports.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Leave it to Lindsey Graham, who thinks intervening in Syria is something we should have done ages ago, to embrace this especially goofy form of “sanctions.”

Dear South Carolina,

Primary this ass.

Respectfully,

The rest of the nation.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

You know Graham’s too far into the deep end of the pool HOT TUB when even McCain’s calling him back to the shallow side.

Graham, McCain and their cabana-boy, Rubio, spend most of their time in the hot-tub, feeding each other chocolate-covered strawberries and swilling high-dollar Champaign. If they got into the pool, they would have to wear trunks.

Pork-Chop on July 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Leave the Plympics alone and instead let’s boycott ( and girlcott) Russian kiss instead.

burrata on July 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

OMG, Graham is so useless and predictable.

Clark1 on July 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

When did Republicans turn gay? If anything, Republicans (which I do not count myself among) should be calling for an upping of our Olympics game..

Oh yeah, and in case I haven’t posted it on any other blog today: Eff McCain.

WhatSlushfund on July 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Ms Lindsey is Jimmy Carter now.

Why does he hate the American Olympians?

Schadenfreude on July 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I would love to hear Liz Cheney’s take on the matter.

mjbrooks3 on July 16, 2013 at 6:45 PM

mjbrooks3:Oops!:)
===================

Liz Cheney, daughter of former VP, will challenge Republican Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming for seat – @PoliticalTicker

1 hour ago from politicalticker.blogs.*nn.com by editor

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Sounds like a great idea. If I were courting the left.

Bmore on July 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Maybe we should suspend Congressional pay and travel instead.

BobMbx on July 16, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Well,since Track Sprinter Gay got caught utelizing a banned
substance,and its a Winter Olypics,maybe a boycott,after all!

(sarc)

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Come to think of it,there is no way,POTUSA/FLOTUSA are gonna miss
flying AF/1 to the USSR.and miss the games!!

Jus say’n!!

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

The primary is soon enough for the neofascist Lindsey Graham.

FloatingRock on July 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

is = isn’t

FloatingRock on July 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Maybe we should boycott South Carolina if they re-elect this fool next year,

bw222 on July 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Lindsey Graham: Maybe we should boycott the Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Snowden

Alternate headline:

Lindsey Graham: I’m a Jimmy Carter Conservative

Dusty on July 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Am I the only one who wonders what color the sky is in Lindsey Grahams world?

BettyRuth on July 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Maybe Graham should enter the High Dive competition into a dry and empty pool.

What a stupid putz.

PackerBronco on July 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Poor little Lindsey…still stuck in that “we have to do something [meaningless} about something [equally meaningless] or I won’t get any air time” mode.

coldwarrior on July 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

“I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham said Tuesday when asked about the possibility of a boycott.

How about resigning from the Senate because of it? If I were Putin, I’d be impressed.

Dusty on July 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Maybe we should boycott South Carolina if they re-elect this fool next year,

bw222 on July 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

About says it all….

coldwarrior on July 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Lindsey Graham: I’m a Jimmy Carter Conservative

Dusty on July 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

This…

William Eaton on July 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Poor little Lindsey…still stuck in that “we have to do something [meaningless} about something [equally meaningless] or I won’t get any air time” mode.

coldwarrior on July 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Graham is a frustrated Demonrat. The whole “we have to do something [meaningless} about something [equally meaningless] or I won’t get any air time” mode is a hallmark of the left. McCain is able to pull it off because of his many years in the Congress and ability to pull the POW card. Graham doesn’t have the seniority and pulling the “I was a lawyer in the National Guard” just doesn’t play as well.

The real question here is why is he even spouting this stuff in front of mics? If he is serious then he should float a resolution through the Congress not make stupid statements to random reporters.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Maybe Graham should enter the High Dive competition into a dry and empty pool.

PackerBronco on July 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Do you really want to see Graham in one of those tiny swimsuits used in high diving competition?

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I was one of those 1980 Moscow Olympians. Alternate in 1984. Life got in the way after that and I never had another chance. If SC doesn’t boot this jerk we should all boycott the state.

moo on July 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

How about resigning from the Senate because of it? If I were Putin, I’d be impressed.

Dusty on July 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I hate when cool lines like this show up on places that aren’t Twitter. I would so retweet that if I could.

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Maybe Graham should enter the High Dive competition into a dry and empty pool.

PackerBronco on July 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Rhythmic gymnastics is more his style.

Resist We Much on July 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Dear South Carolina,

Primary this ass.

Respectfully,

The rest of the nation.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Bravo!

lhuffman34 on July 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Rhythmic gymnastics is more his style.

Resist We Much on July 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Don’t think the leotard situation is much of an improvement from the high dive scenario. There’d be three balls in that floor routine, and that’s a package even I wouldn’t send to Russia, with love or otherwise…

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Olympic boycotters always come across as douches- much like Senator Grahamnesty.

Valiant on July 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Good solution, Jimmy–I mean Lindsay.

Binky Nabob on July 16, 2013 at 7:51 PM

SPIEGEL has decided not to publish details it has seen about secret operations that could endanger the lives of NSA workers.

The NSA doesn’t have any field agents as far as I know.

sharrukin on July 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

I wonder if there are ANY countries that would join the USA in such a boycott?

It is ODDLY UNFAIR to compare Carter’s boycott, who was making a statement to the world about the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, to Graham who is simply making a personal nationalist goal.

Sorry, but Graham has dropped below even Carter with this gem of wisdom.

Freddy on July 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Once again, the Goober speaks.

mobydutch on July 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Stupid.

mchristian on July 16, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Olympic boycotters always come across as douches- much like Senator Grahamnesty.

Valiant on July 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

That sweeping generalization is a bit unfair, don’t you think?

Chernenko was a bit too boring to be considered a douche on the level of Carter or Grahamnesty. It is noteworthy that Olympic boycotting has tended to be a Communist favored thing since 1948 or so.

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I was one of those 1980 Moscow Olympians. Alternate in 1984. Life got in the way after that and I never had another chance. If SC doesn’t boot this jerk we should all boycott the state.

moo on July 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

You’ve hit the real reason why this approach is so wrong. As much as the IOC is a corrupt anti-American organization the Olympics- like NATO, the UN, or my family at Thanksgiving…… Everybody gets together regularly and pretends to like one another.

In-your-face political boycotts of the Olympics only hurt the Olympians denied the chance to compete after years of training. The United States did far more in terms of a political statement in 1936 by sending Jews and Jesse Owens to Berlin than Jimmy Carter did in 1980 by boycotting the Moscow Olympics.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 8:02 PM

That sweeping generalization is a bit unfair, don’t you think?

Chernenko was a bit too boring to be considered a douche on the level of Carter or Grahamnesty. It is noteworthy that Olympic boycotting has tended to be a Communist favored thing since 1948 or so.

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

It may be politically incorrect but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to Olympic boycotts, who is doing the boycotting and why makes a difference. Carter (wrongly) denied US Olympians the chance to compete over foreign policy disputes in 1980. Russia boycotted the LA Olympiad in 1984 out of spite. I’ll leave it to you to figure out the relative douchiness scores.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Don’t think the leotard situation is much of an improvement from the high dive scenario. There’d be three balls in that floor routine, and that’s a package even I wouldn’t send to Russia, with love or otherwise…

Gingotts on July 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

But, the ribbons!!!

Resist We Much on July 16, 2013 at 8:13 PM

At least she hasn’t suggested bombing Moscow.

Yet.

Gator Country on July 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

The NSA doesn’t have any field agents as far as I know.

sharrukin on July 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

There are still a number of large to somewhat small NSA Field Stations and activities all over the globe. There are also a number of specialized technical assessment teams and such that utilize both civilian and military comms, SIGINT and crypto specialists in some unique operations.

One of the largest remaining overseas NSA stations is still in Germany.

coldwarrior on July 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Meh.

stuartm650 on July 16, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Boycotting the next Olympics is exactly what Reagan held over Gorbachev in Iceland!!

SouthernGent on July 16, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Madam Graham needs to shut his f***ing mouth for once.

NealK on July 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Graham is a bit loose about the jowls.

Sherman1864 on July 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM

There are still a number of large to somewhat small NSA Field Stations and activities all over the globe. There are also a number of specialized technical assessment teams and such that utilize both civilian and military comms, SIGINT and crypto specialists in some unique operations.

One of the largest remaining overseas NSA stations is still in Germany.

coldwarrior on July 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

That makes a little more sense. A station in a sensitive country would fit the bill.

sharrukin on July 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

South Carolina needs to boycott Lindsay Grahmnesty for granting asylum to 12 million illegals.

paulsur on July 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

South Carolina, why is Lindsey Graham not being primaried? Enough of this neo-con global warming, amnesty loving clown.

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Dear South Carolina,

Primary this ass.

Respectfully,

The rest of the nation.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Richard Cash is already running against Lindsey Graham in the Republican Primary for the South Carolina Senate seat.

Learn more about Richard Cash on his campaign website:

http://www.richard-cash-for-senate.com/

A really easy way to visibly show support for Richard Cash’s campaign is to sign up to Follow Richard Cash on Twitter and/or Like him on Facebook.

2014 is the year to vote Lindsey “Amnesty” Graham OUT OF OFFICE!

wren on July 16, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Yeah, let’s punish the athletes. You sound a lot more like Carter than Reagan.

John the Libertarian on July 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Dear South Carolina,

Primary this ass.

Respectfully,

The rest of the nation.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM

We’re trying like hell. We hate this piece of RINO navel lint. Arrogant pr!ck.

Conservchik on July 16, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Once again, Graham IS being “primaried,” but his opponents will be little-known and without a chance without millions of dollars to match Graham’s national fundraising which has been built up over the course of years.

So unless you are willing to write maximum checks to opponents and PACs opposing him, your very helpful advice is about as useful as teats on a boar hog.

Adjoran on July 16, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Lindsey Graham: Maybe we should boycott the Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Snowden

So then we won’t participate in the international NWO Socialist games? Say it isn’t so!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 17, 2013 at 12:05 AM

The athletes who will be performing in the Olympics are vastly more competent in their work than the politicians who would prevent them. I think the public would rather see the politicians stifled than the athletes.

And Snowden has done much more for liberty than Graham.

David Blue on July 17, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Graham is the sort of sycophant that probably supports treyvon….The good people of South Carolina need to run this fool out on a rail.

Redstone357 on July 17, 2013 at 2:14 AM

I suggest that Sen Graham ask Prez Carter how well that Moscow Olympic boycott thingie worked out for him.

If I remember the result correctly, Carter pissed into the wind and got his shoes wet.

WestTexasBirdDog on July 17, 2013 at 2:22 AM

That’s Right – It’s been a whole 33 years since we last punished Olympic Athletes for the actions of the Soviet Union (Russia).

It’s about time we did it again!

jaydee_007 on July 17, 2013 at 2:22 AM

All I know is I had dozens of friends and colleagues who were cheated out of the Olympics in 1980…a stupid-foolish action.

They tried to replace it with some “faux” championship events, but many athletes have one chance in their life to compete for their country, just a small window every 4 years.

The boycott did nothing but make America look petty…so I guess it is appropriate that Graham suggests it, one of the “children” of the Senate.

right2bright on July 17, 2013 at 6:55 AM

Boycotting the Olympics was stupid in 1980 and it would be stupid now.

Red Cloud on July 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Maybe Lindsey Graham ought to shut up and retire along with his boyfriend John McCain.

WannabeAnglican on July 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Young people devote much of their lives for a one chance in a life time performance in the Olypics and here comes Ditzeny Graham to deny them that chance. Why in the hell do people keep electing this guy? To irritate the rest of us?

Herb on July 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I’m sure this would be one suggestion that gay activists would agree with Graham on, considering the recent laws passed in Russia.

TMOverbeck on July 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Only someone that never learned how to throw a ball would decide that penalizing athletes will somehow change the course of national security. Idiot!

As well, lookinat history, 1980/1984 did not move the needle. Idiot again!

Carnac on July 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Memo to Tray Gowdey (Representative, SC). We need you.

kens on July 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Speaking on behalf of myself, a South Carolinian, Lindsey Graham is an IDIOT. If he worked half as hard at protecting his Constituents / Americans as he did chasing stupid issues & making stupid comments like this we would be much better off.

Case in point: I watched the Congressional Hearings regarding the out-of-control, Un-Constitutional, & Illegal spying on the American people by this government. I wastched the head of the NSA openly ADMIT on TV that many of these wire-tapping operations and data-mining operations were conducted ILLEGALLY because they did not get the proper/required legal authotization to do so. THAT means he admitted people within the NSA BROKE THE LAW.

Did Lindsey Graham howl in anger, fight against this Un-Constitutional/Illegal activity, demand it immediately STOP while Congress investigated all of the data collection, and determine if it should be continued at all? Did Graham demand to know the Identity of those who willingly broke the law and demanded they be charged with a crime? Did he demand and work to see anyone ws punished? NO! Graham is going after the whistl-blower and trying to poke Russia for not doing what we demand!

America…rather, this administration, has no one to blame but itself for this situation:

1) They were violating the Constitution & openl admit to breaking the law to spy on the Amerian people.

2)When word came out that Russia had warned us SEVERAL TIMES about the Boston Bombing Brothers and we completely dropped the ball on it (we stopped watching & spying on them…probably because we were too busy spying on our own citizens), this administration – who HATES taking responsibility for ANYTHING negative – responded back by saying, “Oh yeah…well….Russia should have done more!” This ticked Putin off, & he ws just looking for a way to stick his thumb in our eye, embarrassing us! Snowden gave him that opportunity!

Obama, by the way, was all about protecting whistle-blowers and encouraging more…right up until THIS scandal blew up in his lap!

easyt65 on July 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM