Snowden asylum a blow to U.S.-Russia relations
August 1st, 2013
12:49 PM ET
1 year ago

Snowden asylum a blow to U.S.-Russia relations

Washington (CNN) – Russia's decision to grant asylum to classified leaker Edward Snowden is a blow to already challenged U.S. relations with Moscow, legislators from both parties agreed Thursday, but they differed on how President Barack Obama should respond.

While Republican critics of the Obama administration called for some form of diplomatic retaliation, Democrats said the U.S.-Russian relationship was too big and important to be seriously curtailed or damaged by the Snowden case.

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Filed under: NSA • Russia
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Let Russia keep him, who cares the guys info was minimal , it's more about embarrassment and face then actual intelligence loss .

    We will have somebody that the Russians want at some point , then we will remind them of there past performance .

    August 1, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. just sayin

    putin just loves to spit in obama's face even after obama has given the russians everything they wanted and we have gotten nothing in return. wasn't obama slappin' medvedev on the knee and telling him he would have more flexibility after the election? looks like the russians have obama pegged for a weakling and are playing him like a fiddle.

    August 1, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    The Democrats are right on this one. Russia's just a little too big in the britches for us to get all high-handed on. 15 years ago we could've played harder ball.

    It's the same reason why we tend to avoid retaliatory measures against China's protective economic policies. Some annoying neighbors you just have to live with.

    August 1, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Okay, this is where the neo-conservatives jump to the mic and start talking about missles.

    August 1, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Democrats said the U.S.-Russian relationship was too big and important to be seriously curtailed or damaged by the Snowden case
    -------------------------------------------------
    True. There is that.
    Why should we further aggrandize the actions of this little pipsqueak by allowing anything related to him to impact relationships between to key countries that took years to build?
    But then....
    There's the PRINCIPLE of the whole thing.
    I mean look, if Russia can't give us this little bit of solidarity by booting Snowden out then what are we to exppect on the big important issues.
    It would've paved the way towards good will and unity of purpose to give us this one little thing.
    Russia chose to be...Russia.
    Open your eyes Mr. President. This is what time it is.

    August 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Joan

    I listened to Snowden's father speak last night and the apple sure didn't fall far from the tree. He sounds just like Rand Paul. He criticized the administration, secretary of state and others even though this was all started under Bush. Now it looks like there was a political motive behind it and it has snowballed out of control. It seems they were trying to discredit the President and the Democrats but it has now made some serious security issues with China and now Russia. Way to go Snowden!

    August 1, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Steveo

    @Rudy NYC

    Okay, this is where the neo-conservatives jump to the mic and start talking about missles.
    ----------
    Soon as that happens, let me know. So far you are the only one talking such things, but it is still early!
    I do agree on the Dems call on this! Although I think this is pretty much a one sided love affair.

    August 1, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. tom l

    This is gonna make the liberals here furious but it sure seems like Putin is playing Obama like a fiddle. There is no way to get around the fact that this is an embarassment to our country and demonstrates that Putin, nor the world, has any fear of us any more.

    August 1, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Let him stay in Russia. He deserves all that "freedom". See below
    The ruskies have problems now with the gay community trying to get countries to boycott the Olympics as they don't want them participating.

    August 1, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Steveo wrote:

    "Okay, this is where the neo-conservatives jump to the mic and start talking about missles."

    Soon as that happens, let me know. So far you are the only one talking such things, but it is still early!
    ----------------
    I'm talking about real politicians, dude. Stay tuned for tonight's sound bites and talking heads in the media. Trust me. They will not dissappoint. They just cannot help themselves. It's an old talking point. Pres. Obama didn't follow through on GWB's missle batteries aimed at Russia, based in former Soviet bloc countries.

    August 1, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Steveo

    @Rudy NYC

    Steveo wrote:

    "Okay, this is where the neo-conservatives jump to the mic and start talking about missles."

    Soon as that happens, let me know. So far you are the only one talking such things, but it is still early!
    ------
    I'm talking about real politicians, dude. Stay tuned for tonight's sound bites and talking heads in the media. Trust me. They will not dissappoint. They just cannot help themselves. It's an old talking point. Pres. Obama didn't follow through on GWB's missle batteries aimed at Russia, based in former Soviet bloc countries.
    --------
    If that is the case (and I am afraid you might be right) that would be sheer ignorance! I did see last week where somebody wanted was talking about boycotting the Olympics. That did not work well in the 70's, it won't work now! Point is I think you may be right! I think Snowden already spilled his guts anyway! Can't prove it but that is my guess!

    August 1, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Simon

    RED HERRING. He's done what he did, and no one's going to do a thing about it. MOVE ON.

    August 1, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    "Pres. Obama didn't follow through on GWB's missle batteries aimed at Russia, based in former Soviet bloc countries."
    ------
    They WERE NOT "aimed at Russia". They were aimed at INCOMING missles. A defensive posture, not offensive. BIG difference. Oh... those "former" Soviet bloc countries are now part of NATO. The NATO charter states that an attack on a member nation is an attack on the entire alliance. But I'm sure you knew that.

    August 1, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    They WERE NOT "aimed at Russia". They were aimed at INCOMING missles. A defensive posture, not offensive. BIG difference. Oh... those "former" Soviet bloc countries are now part of NATO. The NATO charter states that an attack on a member nation is an attack on the entire alliance. But I'm sure you knew that.
    ------------------
    My bad? Maybe, to few words. I was describing the Russian perspective on them, so let me rephrase it.

    They were aimed at missles coming from Russia, which still means that they were pointed at Russia. The Russians only had GWB's word that the missles were defensive in nature. You can't blame them for not fully trusting Bush.

    August 1, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Evergreen

    Snowden can now start a blog telling the world how great the freedoms are in Russia and if Russia spies on it citizens he should play the "hero" again and inform the Russian people. Congrats comrad Snowden we wont miss you.

    August 1, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. emskadittle

    this might be less of a problem than if he went to a country that we know wouldn't give him back

    August 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Steveo

    @Rudy,
    You can't blame them for not fully trusting Bush
    ------------
    Not just Bush. The Russians have not trusted us since before WWII.

    August 1, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Although I think this is pretty much a one sided love affair."

    The people p-ssing and moaning about all our spying, even on our "allies," might tend to disagree. We put nicer public face on it than Russia does, but we're still pulling every thread we can find.

    August 1, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    " I did see last week where somebody wanted was talking about boycotting the Olympics."

    That was Lindsey Graham and she sad it from her fainting couch while clutching her favorite pearls. Dramaqueen with a dangledown if I ever saw one.

    August 1, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Steveo

    @Sniffit

    "Although I think this is pretty much a one sided love affair."

    The people p-ssing and moaning about all our spying, even on our "allies," might tend to disagree. We put nicer public face on it than Russia does, but we're still pulling every thread we can find.
    ------------
    What I am saying is I believe we care more about Russia than Russia cares about us.

    August 1, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    "Not just Bush. The Russians have not trusted us since before WWII."

    Well, I guess you've never heard of Gorbachev or Yeltsin.

    August 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "There is no way to get around the fact that this is an embarassment to our country and demonstrates that Putin, nor the world, has any fear of us any more."

    Russia hasn't had to fear us for decades. This nonsense about "any more" is just that: nonsense. But since we're on the subject, you want to know some really effective ways to make other countries not "fear us any more"? Here's some suggestions:

    Start two wars and don't fund them such that you military is overcommitted and military assets and resources are occupied elsewhere.

    Blow up the economy by letting go of Wall Street's leash.

    Grossly disrespect the duly elected leader of the nation by doing everything possible to destroy him...even attacking his nationality as an American...publicly criticizing everything he says and does, no matter what it is or how hypocritical or batsh-t crazy you have to sound to do it...and then bring the entire United States government to a screeching halt by abusing the filibuster, gutting the leadership of key agencies by delaying and refusing to even hold confirmation hearings for nominees, propose nothing but cartoon budgets based on math from the back of a napkin, do nothing with leadership of one chamber of congress but pass symbolic wish legislation and conduct with hunt nontroversy investigations into tinfoil hatted conspiracies as a means of trying to undermine and, you hope, impeach the duly elected leader of the nation, justify all of it with failed, debunked ideological nonsense and demagoguery spewed during what looks like a toddler's tantrum and which the rest of the world LAUGHS AT, etc.....need I go on? You want the "appearance of weakness"? Nobody has done more to create it the past 5+ years than the GOP. NOBODY.

    August 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Steveo

    @Rudy NYC

    "Not just Bush. The Russians have not trusted us since before WWII."
    Well, I guess you've never heard of Gorbachev or Yeltsin.
    -------------
    I guess you never heard of East Germany, the entire eastern bloc, the cold war, North Korea, or Nicoli Kruschev

    August 1, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. rs

    This is gonna make the liberals here furious but it sure seems like Putin is playing Obama like a fiddle. There is no way to get around the fact that this is an embarassment to our country and demonstrates that Putin, nor the world, has any fear of us any more.
    ___________________
    So, Tom what do you propose- war maybe? Look, this kid is small fry. He's a big deal if we make him one. Frankly- if the roles were reversed- wouldn't you bet a particular political party in America would want to grant a Russian asylum for doing the same thing? This is post-Cold War relations between the East and West. Frankly, I think the kid is in for a real wake-up call once he thinks he's safe and sound in Russia, and his stay won't be all that nice once he runs out of useful information or propaganda.
    He'll be back here soon enough, and his justice can be meated out.

    August 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "I guess you never heard of East Germany, the entire eastern bloc, the cold war, North Korea, or Nicoli Kruschev."
    ------------------
    ??? What are you talking about? The Iron Curtain fell decade ago, and the Korean war ended 3 generations ago. Just words.

    August 1, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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