In a not-so-surprising shift Obama is now saying that he doesn’t want to turn Snowden into a bargaining chip for other issues.
“I’m not going to have one case of a suspect who we’re trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I’ve got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues simply to get a guy extradited,” the president told reporters in Senegal.
This is the second instance in a week that the Obama administration is attempting to tone down the rhetoric concerning the fugitive Snowden.
The President’s remarks are in stark contrast to Secretary of State John Kerry’s aggressive tone earlier, when he called Snowden a “traitor” whose actions are “despicable and beyond description.”
But by Tuesday, Kerry was calling for “calm and reasonableness” on the situation saying, “We’re not looking for a confrontation. We are not ordering anybody.”
Obama has strong reasons to tone down the attacks on Russia and China who had sided with Snowden and his seek for international asylum.
In the President’s own words he added that he has a whole bunch of business to do with both countries and cannot afford to increase the tensions even further over this matter.
One of the critical issues that Obama is dealing with, in which he needs Russia’s help is the conflict in Syria.
Snowden’s revelations have been dubbed “the most significant disclosures in the nation’s history” by Daniel Ellsberg, the 1971 Pentagon leaker which revealed that the public had been misled regarding the Vietnam war.
President Obama recently referred to Snowden as a “hacker” trying to dismiss him as nothing more than an amateur.
Snowden is believed to have in his possession even more classified documents that haven’t been made public and could further damage the United States security apparatus.
Is Obama right to be downplaying Snowden’s involvement in the leaked documents?