Snowden: I asked Putin that softball question on surveillance to start a public debate in Russia

posted at 5:01 pm on April 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

And you know how famous Russia is for robust public debate.

The investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, perhaps the single most prominent critic of Russia’s surveillance apparatus (and someone who has repeatedly criticised me in the past year), described my question as “extremely important for Russia”. It could, he said, “lift a de facto ban on public conversations about state eavesdropping.”

Others have pointed out that Putin’s response appears to be the strongest denial of involvement in mass surveillance ever given by a Russian leader – a denial that is, generously speaking, likely to be revisited by journalists…

When this event comes around next year, I hope we’ll see more questions on surveillance programs and other controversial policies. But we don’t have to wait until then. For example, journalists might ask for clarification as to how millions of individuals’ communications are not being intercepted, analysed or stored, when, at least on a technical level, the systems that are in place must do precisely that in order to function. They might ask whether the social media companies reporting that they have received bulk collection requests from the Russian government are telling the truth.

The most interesting thing about this is how different the tone of the op-ed is from his interaction with Putin on TV. In the Guardian, which caters to an English-speaking western audience, he insists that he asked the question about surveillance because he knew that it “cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program.” He knew there’d be “serious inconsistences” in Putin’s “evasive” answer; he even links to this Guardian piece published before the Olympics confirming that, yes indeed, Russia conducts mass surveillance. Essentially, Snowden’s spinning his pattycake session with Czar Vladimir yesterday as some sort of J’Accuse because that’s the image that he needs his defenders in the west to believe.

On Russian TV, though, at a press event Putin organized for domestic consumption, all of that was absent. Snowden asked, straightforwardly, whether Putin conducts NSA-style surveillance and the czar, true to form, cheerily lied. Which is how it had to be: He couldn’t have asked an accusatory question because the Kremlin doesn’t allow robust debate, especially on state media and especially when Putin’s busy nurturing a nationalist siege mentality vis-a-vis the west over Ukraine. Imagine watching that exchange as a Russian citizen and seeing a guy who fled to Russia for safe haven from the sinister United States asking Putin placidly whether he spies on innocents, before being reassured that he doesn’t. What would you take from that? Would it make you suspicious of Russian surveillance, or would you be impressed that Putin’s willing to field a question like this from a dissident whom even the U.S. government couldn’t tolerate? Snowden wants you to believe that he somehow put Putin on the spot, but if he’d truly done that, you can guess what would have happened to him:

Putin’s approach to propaganda has been to tightly control television—which, in most of Russia, is the only media there is—while granting wider latitude to the remote and unpopular elites who communicate in print and online. Snowden is now taking part in this process. He played the dutiful courtier on TV, where he was seen by tens of millions of Russians; he expressed his tentative and circuitous criticisms in an English-language foreign newspaper.

Yet even in print and in English, Snowden is participating in and lending his support to a massive lie. Russian journalists will not “revisit” (as he puts it) the truthfulness of Putin’s answers. Russian journalists who do that end up dead, in at least 56 cases since 1992. Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who pressed Putin hardest, was shot dead in her own apartment building in 2006, after years of repeated arrests, threats, and in one case, attempted poisoning.

As for “civil society”: Snowden is writing at a time when Russian forces have invaded and conquered Crimea. Russian-backed forces have attacked and abducted journalists on the peninsula and shut down independent news outlets. People who have resisted the annexation have disappeared, then reappeared dead, bearing signs of torture. To write about Russia as a normal state, in which normal methods exist for discovering and discussing truth, is to share culpability for a lie—and a lie that, at this very moment, is shattering the peace and security of all of Europe.

Right. Snowden’s core value as a propaganda asset is to let people like Putin claim moral equivalence with the United States in all matters of civil liberties by claiming equivalence (or superiority, per Putin) on surveillance matters in particular. It’s not true, but it’s useful. The irony of Snowden insisting that he somehow trapped Putin in a lie is that Putin’s spoken approvingly of NSA surveillance before, in his own state media, and on more than one occasion. Last summer, shortly after Snowden’s leaks began, he called mass surveillance “generally practicable” and said that as long as there are some legal safeguards, “That’s more or less the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism with modern-day technology.” Six months later, in December 2013, he said that the NSA program is needed to fight terrorism and quasi-joked that he envies Obama for being able to get away with it. He’s not telling Russians, in other words, that mass surveillance is a grievous abuse with little use in protecting the state; he’s telling them the opposite — in which case, how damaging would it really be if Snowden’s dream came true and Putin’s lie was exposed? If, somehow, Russian media did feel emboldened enough to uncover Russian surveillance and, for whatever reason, they weren’t censored or killed, what leads Snowden to think there’d be a massive outcry? Putin would simply justify it as necessary to fight the west’s campaign of subversion and most of the public would go along. Either Snowden knows that or he doesn’t, but he asked his question anyway. Which is worse?

Exit question for Russia experts: Would a population whose adults grew up in the Soviet Union really be that sensitive to revelations that they’re being spied on en masse by Moscow? Don’t they assume they’re being spied on already and that Putin’s lying to them, just as their leaders always have?


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…Snowden was a member of our media?

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Somebody’s Watching Me

Shouldn’t this be about the NSA?

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 5:04 PM

He asked it because that is the price of him staying in Russia.

RickB on April 18, 2014 at 5:06 PM

What a bunch of bull. He was just making sure he could still generate coverage. That and he was doing his part of the quid pro quo with Putin, who holds his entire existence in his hand.

platypus on April 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Maybe Snowden could get Pussy Riot to join him. Oh wait, they’re in the gulag.

Eric Snowden is either dangerously naive or he’s a flat out liar.

rbj on April 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

I’ve never understood the whole thing around Snowden.

It’s fairly obvious that he was an FSB asset all along, isn’t it? There’s no way a mere contractor get access to all that information on his own. And then he just happens to end up in Russia?

It shows how much the left has captured our culture that the useful idiot line about him being a hero for privacy has become the official line. That kind of propaganda used to be laughed at.

blue13326 on April 18, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Don’t they assume they’re being spied on already and that Putin’s lying to them, just as their leaders always have?

They assume they are.

My wife calls her mom all the time and when they talk about Putin, her mom says “he’s great. say he’s great on the phone.” lol

lorien1973 on April 18, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Putin is a clever leader and a masterful politician who has won and maintains the overwhelming support of his people. This Q & A with Snowden was brilliant. Putin keeps poking Obama in the eye and Snowden keeps humiliating the NSA. Nothing bad about that.

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

When vassals of the State have outlived their usefulness…um….anyone ever read Solzhenitsyn?

percysunshine on April 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Why does anyone care if the Russian people are being spied on by their own government?

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

AP,

I’m not exactly sure which is more incoherent: Snowden’s apologia, or your analysis.

If Snowden were trying to sneak a question through, to get Putin on the record, as you say yourself, he couldn’t come across as accusatory. So, then, why is this interesting at all:

“The most interesting thing about this is how different the tone of the op-ed is from his interaction with Putin on TV.”

It could not be otherwise.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Um, yeah. It helps when you ventilate a few opposition journalists and politicians and jail others so they won’t criticize you.

lorien1973 on April 18, 2014 at 5:21 PM

O/T Coming this Sunday!

http://youtu.be/kbJcQYVtZMo

celtic warrior on April 18, 2014 at 5:22 PM

The strongest question ever asked to the US President by the US press is along the lines of: who he likes better, Beyoncé or Rhianna?

Putin sees Obama and Kerry as total fools and is playing them as such.

albill on April 18, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Um, yeah. It helps when you ventilate a few opposition journalists and politicians and jail others so they won’t criticize you.

lorien1973 on April 18, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Our press isn’t much different. Sure, the opposition isn’t taking dirt naps, but picking and choosing which stories to cover, running interference and openly campaigning for dear leader and his party has nearly the same effect.

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Russian tool.

thebrokenrattle on April 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Oh hey look. RINO Establishment blog attacks Snowden for the umpteenth time while the NSA skates.

I am NOT saying that there is no merit to running stories critical of Snowden, but the scrutiny of Snowden’s motives is far greater than the massive criminal activity he exposed at the NSA.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I am NOT saying that there is no merit to running stories critical of Snowden, but the scrutiny of Snowden’s motives is far greater than the massive criminal activity he exposed at the NSA.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Agreed.

lorien1973 on April 18, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Gee, I called in and wanted to know how Putin got those 6-pack abs. I’m still on hold.

How did Snowden get in ahead of me?

Just lucky, I guess.

Unless this was a setup? Nah, Snowden would never let himself be used like that.

SteveMG on April 18, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Oh hey look. RINO Establishment blog attacks Snowden for the umpteenth time while the NSA skates.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

What else could they possibly report on? /sarc

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/203845-2-supreme-court-justices-say-court-will-likely-rule-on-nsa

Two Supreme Court justices suggested late Thursday that the high court will likely decide the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs.

“We can’t run away and say, ‘Well, we don’t know much about that subject so we won’t decide it,’ ” liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said at a joint event with Justice Antonin Scalia, Reuters reports.

At the National Press Club event, they were asked whether the Supreme Court would take up cases related to NSA surveillance operations disclosed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

Scalia, one of the most conservative justices, said the court might not be the best institution to wade into national security issues.

He suggested, however, the Supreme Court would likely decide whether gathering a wide swath of telecommunications data violates the Fourth Amendment.

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Would a population whose adults grew up in the Soviet Union really be that sensitive to revelations that they’re being spied on en masse by Moscow? Don’t they assume they’re being spied on already and that Putin’s lying to them, just as their leaders always have?

Pretty much. A society whose elders were encouraged to denounce their neighbors or parents for speaking ill against the state DO NOT CARE about what the NSA was doing.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Oh hey look. RINO Establishment blog attacks Snowden for the umpteenth time while the NSA skates.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Look Allah, you can add an “Official Member of the Establishment” button next to your “candyass RINO” badge. Congratulations! Let us know of the perks that come with being part of this elite (or not) group!

thebrokenrattle on April 18, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Sounds like a right wing TEAParty fanatic:

Kansas City, Mo., authorities identify highway shootings suspect as Mohammed Pedro Whitaker – @KCStar

davidk on April 18, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Putin’s puppet

Ellis on April 18, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Shouldn’t this be about the NSA?

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 5:04 PM

We have reached complete moral relativism.

Russia is bad. Snowden is a poor messenger. So…

Kill the 4th Amendment with fire I guess.

Snowden has never been the story.

tetriskid on April 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Snowden has never been the story.

tetriskid on April 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

He is if you are desperate to avoid the real story which far too many of the media have no interest in.

The media has become the Ministry of Truth for the surveillance state.

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Snowden has never been the story.

tetriskid on April 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Ed and AP and many others keep trying to make him the story, though, don’t they?

As I have said on other threads, even if you call Snowden a traitor, once he infiltrated the NSA, and some reporters published this information, the smaller question should be: how did this government clearance let a guy like Snowden in there? I agree. That’s a concern. And the main question should be about the revelations themselves: WTF is our government, especially the NSA, doing?

Ed and AP seem insistent on addressing neither of these, and instead pursuing the completely irrelevant angles: “Is this guy a hero, or a traitor,” and “are the reporters heroes or traitors for publishing this?” I suppose those empty opinion-type questions generate more hits. Which is, after all, the bottom line.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Oh hey look. RINO Establishment blog attacks Snowden for the umpteenth time while the NSA skates.
iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I think their argument is priceless. Snowden is a traitor for exposing the NSA’s treason. It’s like they expect us to embrace having the NSA snooping in every aspect of our lives. We can’t make a phone call without it being recorded.

Brock Robamney on April 18, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Wordswordswordswordswords

The US government is bigger danger to US citizens than Russia is.

antisense on April 18, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Try again, “how did a guy like this get government clearance?”

Damn, gotta work on my editing skills.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I also like how they say there’s no way a “mere contractor” could hoodwink our Morally Superior(TM) Country’s intelligence services.

Perhaps the “veneer” of security and competence is thinner than a 6mm laminate wood floor?

antisense on April 18, 2014 at 6:39 PM

I am NOT saying that there is no merit to running stories critical of Snowden, but the scrutiny of Snowden’s motives is far greater than the massive criminal activity he exposed at the NSA.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

In which circles do you see far more criticism of Snowden than the NSA? I’ve seen plenty of scrutiny of both, just as I’ve seen plenty of apologists for both get defensive whenever the side they’ve chosen is questioned.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Pooty-Poot: “You ask the question that I wrote out for you, or you drink the tea. Choose.”

slickwillie2001 on April 18, 2014 at 6:42 PM

the side they’ve chosen

The side they’ve chosen???? The two sides of the only important story are “do you support unwarranted and unfettered and universal government surveillance, or don’t you?”

Snowden. Is. Completely. Irrelevant. Yes, he exposed the crime. But the only truly important story is about the crime. Not about the person who exposed it, or the method by which it was exposed.

The NSA is collecting, collating and mining all of my (and your) internet postings, phone calls, gps data – and sharing that database with other federal agencies, including the IRS, and local law enforcement, and, quite possibly, through some of those agencies, with OFA and other partisan political organizations.

“Bbbbbbut Snowden is a Putin stooge!!!!!”

That’s about as relevant as “Bbbbbbbbut Buuuuuusssshhh!!!!!!”

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 6:50 PM

The side they’ve chosen???? The two sides of the only important story are “do you support unwarranted and unfettered and universal government surveillance, or don’t you?”

Snowden. Is. Completely. Irrelevant. Yes, he exposed the crime. But the only truly important story is about the crime. Not about the person who exposed it, or the method by which it was exposed.

The NSA is collecting, collating and mining all of my (and your) internet postings, phone calls, gps data – and sharing that database with other federal agencies, including the IRS, and local law enforcement, and, quite possibly, through some of those agencies, with OFA and other partisan political organizations.

“Bbbbbbut Snowden is a Putin stooge!!!!!”

That’s about as relevant as “Bbbbbbbbut Buuuuuusssshhh!!!!!!”

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I trust neither the NSA nor Snowden. Between NSA and Snowden apologists, guess who’s far more likely to attack me for being some kind of stooge for not fully agreeing with them? You know the answer to this. You’re a ranting extremist who can’t discuss all of the involved issues rationally. You don’t deserve any serious attention from me.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Between NSA and Snowden apologists, guess who’s far more likely to attack me for being some kind of stooge for not fully agreeing with them?

Neither because this is the Internet and the worst you will suffer are some really mean words and stuff.

You’re a ranting extremist who can’t discuss all of the involved issues rationally.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Concentrating on Snowden as if that is a relevant topic that somehow balances out the NSA spying scandal is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t rational.

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Right here at HA. Ed especially although that’s expected. AP is falling in line with the boss that the story is all Snowden all the time.

I would remind all the readers here that we know far more about Snowden than we do about AP. For all you know, he could be donating money to CPUSA.

iwasbornwithit on April 18, 2014 at 7:07 PM

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Snowden apologist?

You have the reading comprehension skills of a 5 year old.

Snowden. Is. Completely. Irrelevant. (I think I said that before.)

I trust neither the NSA nor Snowden either. But I don’t have to trust Snowden. He has no power over me. He isn’t violating my rights. He isn’t collecting my personal information and sharing it with the IRS, FBI, EPA and OFA. Questions about Snowden’s intelligence or naivete’ or character are total distractions.

Damn, are you dense.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Neither because this is the Internet and the worst you will suffer are some really mean words and stuff.

You apparently don’t understand what “attack” means. Or maybe it’s that you just don’t care. It’s probably both, in your case. That you think I might care about being attacked by people as silly and pompous as you is free entertainment for me. I expect this to go over your head as well.

You’re a ranting extremist who can’t discuss all of the involved issues rationally.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Concentrating on Snowden as if that is a relevant topic that somehow balances out the NSA spying scandal is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t rational.

sharrukin on April 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM

You continue to prove my point. =)

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Why is there still such a thing as the NSA?

Another Libertarian on April 18, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Snowden apologist?

You have the reading comprehension skills of a 5 year old.

Snowden. Is. Completely. Irrelevant. (I think I said that before.)

I trust neither the NSA nor Snowden either. But I don’t have to trust Snowden. He has no power over me. He isn’t violating my rights. He isn’t collecting my personal information and sharing it with the IRS, FBI, EPA and OFA. Questions about Snowden’s intelligence or naivete’ or character are total distractions.

Damn, are you dense.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Didn’t I just tell that you aren’t worthy of serious consideration from me? Do you think you’ve done something worthwhile here to cause me to reconsider? You project very well, I’ll give you that.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I’ll ask you this. Would Snowden even get the chance to ask our pResident? Would ANY media outlet be able to give him the chance? NO! Furthermore, ALL media are just pissssed that this type of garbage (NSA)was going on under their noses, and they (all) dropped the ball! Everyone complains after the fact. Media, that is.

LastRonin on April 18, 2014 at 7:49 PM

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM

You and Snowden have something in common. You’re completely irrelevant.

But you’re still dense, and still have the reading comprehension of a 5 year old.

I’m not trying to change your opinion. I’m just stating facts.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Mr. Snowden is acting like he still lives in America, where an individual is free to criticize the government without being — wait a minute! Can someone help me out with the name of the Russian version of the IRS?

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Didn’t I just tell that you aren’t worthy of serious consideration from me? Do you think you’ve done something worthwhile here to cause me to reconsider? You project very well, I’ll give you that.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Sounds like something Mr. Putin would have thought just before answering Mr. Snowden’s internet-submitted question.

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

You and Snowden have something in common. You’re completely irrelevant.

But you’re still dense, and still have the reading comprehension of a 5 year old.

I’m not trying to change your opinion. I’m just stating facts.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 7:52 PM

To whom are you stating these supposed facts? It’s not me. It’s not like you can get this point, I see that. Which is why I’ll ignore your future rants. You’re too much in love with yourself.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:02 PM

To whom are you stating these supposed facts?

To everybody else reading this thread.

You think you’re the only other person reading these comments. You’re too much in love with yourself. Which is why I’ll ignore your future rants.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Sammy the Bull Gravano was a thug and a murderer. What he told us about the Gambino crime family helped bring down that branch of the Mafia. That didn’t make him a hero.

But the important story wasn’t about whether Sammy was a whistleblower or a criminal. It was about the Mafia.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Sounds like something Mr. Putin would have thought just before answering Mr. Snowden’s internet-submitted question.

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Kids these days. All narcissistic, and unaware of how easy it is for them to be used as propaganda pieces by shrewder people.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

In Moscow on Thursday there was the most bizarre spectacle. Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor now wanted in U.S. court to face Espionage Act charges, asked Russia’s president whether his government collected as much internet data as his old government did.

http://news.yahoo.com/russian-spy-planes-u-skies-025817534–politics.html

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Kids these days. All narcissistic, and unaware of how easy it is for them to be used as propaganda pieces by shrewder people.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

On this we agree.

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:16 PM

To everybody else reading this thread.

You think you’re the only other person reading these comments. You’re too much in love with yourself. Which is why I’ll ignore your future rants.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

You mimic uncreatively like a parrot, and lie to yourself and everyone else with aplomb. No wonder you feel like apologizing for Snowden while denying your intent. You’re funny.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Our press isn’t much different. Sure, the opposition isn’t taking dirt naps,

Corporal Tunnel on April 18, 2014 at 5:31 PM

In non-crazy-land, this is generally considered a pretty big difference..

but picking and choosing which stories to cover,

Is what every news reporter in history, anywhere, has always had to do. Which is not to say that out press is not filled with lots of obsequious, partisan toadies. But we have plenty of right-of-center voices well. Not nearly enough, but a hell of a lot more than we would if reporters were getting shoved out of buildings.

running interference and openly campaigning for dear leader and his party has nearly the same effect.

No, it doesn’t. In Russia, the whole “murder journalists” thing has given Putin has much greater success getting his agenda passed. In the US, Obama has had some successes, but has also been unable to get legislative approval for many things. Despite his lawlessness on Obamacare, his inability to alter the law via further legislation has forced him to set precedents that will allow an opponent to slash and burn it.

If Obama had the power over the press you describe, there would be no Rush Limbaugh, no tea party, and there sure as hell would not have been a 2010 landslide in the midterms. There would be no second amendment left. The Koch brothers would be in jail or dead.

Yes, Obama has abused his power and gotten away with more than he should be able to get away with thanks to a fawning press core. If you think this means he wouldn’t have been able to do FAR more with the ability to murder journalists then you are completely out of touch with reality.

RINO in Name Only on April 18, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Snowden. Is. Completely. Irrelevant.

No wonder you feel like apologizing for Snowden

But you’re still dense, and still have the reading comprehension of a 5 year old.

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 8:21 PM

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Traitors are always the story. Ask any descendent of Benedict Arnold as to what they are most often asked. Edward Snowden’s descendents — if there are any (we can hope he has as many as Bradly Manning will) — will certainly face the same question.

Pride goeth before a fall, and Mr. Snowden certainly overestimated his position and rights in all manner of things. Now he has tried to embarrass Mr. Putin, and it will not go well for him. Next stop — Venezuela!

“But if they do bring him, all I ask is that he keep his mouth shut and not live off the money of Venezuelans,” Chacon said. “I believe his only intention would be to bother people.”

Good luck with that, Mr. Chacon.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/27/world/la-fg-wn-snowden-venezuela-20130726

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:23 PM

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM
unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM
Sometimes, I just want to shake some sense into these idiot commenter’s. You have to keep reminding them, history has not ended. The Great Game continues. Snowden is the latest piece on the board. There will be some one else, and some one else…..

flackcatcher on April 18, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Everyone’s gotta pay their rent.

HitNRun on April 18, 2014 at 8:55 PM

notropis on April 18, 2014 at 8:21 PM

You keep right on lying to us all, and I’ll keep right on smiling as I give you the degree of seriousness you deserve. Deal? =)

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Traitors are always the story.

unclesmrgol on April 18, 2014 at 8:23 PM

According to freaks like notropis and sharrukin who feel the need to try to control conversations, they are not because they’re irrelevant. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll simply shut up and agree. Ignoring their dictates and proclamations shows that you are childish, and have potatoes in your ears.

non-nonpartisan on April 18, 2014 at 9:02 PM