I hate to say this. Well, maybe I don't.
It appears that Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old computer analyst hiding in broad daylight, has managed not only to throw a wrench into U.S. foreign policy but also to outfox the very national security apparatus whose overreach he warned against.
It's pretty astonishing that our government can figure out a way to vacuum up our every phone call, email and text message but can't get its hands on Snowden, who left
Republican South Carolina Sen.
In New Delhi during a three-day visit to India, Secretary of State
"There would be, without any question, some effect and impact on the relationship, and consequences," Kerry said, according to my colleague Henry Chu. "I'd urge them to live within the law. It's in the interest of everyone."
Still, one has to wonder why it took the government until Sunday to revoke Snowden's passport, as the AP reported. It may not have mattered in the long run, but why wait two weeks to take that step?
When Snowden left Hong Kong, according to a detailed
The story also said that Snowden decided to leave Hong Kong after attorneys there advised him that he might not be able to remain free on bail while fighting extradition to the U.S. If he were incarcerated during that time, they said, he would probably not have his computer. Giving up his computer, the attorney said, would be "totally intolerable." (Forget waterboarding. Confiscate a 30-year-old's computer and watch him beg for mercy.)
One also wonders why the feds revealed Friday that Snowden had been indicted on three felonies, including two charges under the
In any case, as this amazing story continues, in slow motion, like a global version of the famous white Bronco chase, the Obama administration has itself to blame for this mess.
Forget the unforgivable lapses on the part of national security contractors, like Snowden's former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton.
The sweeping nature of the spying program that Snowden revealed should never have been secret in the first place. While it’s reassuring when Keith Alexander, head of the
At a party in Los Angeles over the weekend, the murmured consensus among many guests with whom I chatted was "Let 'em read my email, I have nothing to hide." But that’s not really the issue. The American public has a right to know the broad outlines of the government's electronic spying program, and exactly how it keeps us safe. Until Snowden provided proof of these programs' existence to the
Snowden's "Where's Waldo?" sideshow is riveting to watch, and may have unpleasant, if fleeting, implications for our relationships with the countries that have shown a willingness to help him out.
I'm not exactly sure I am cheering for his rapid repatriation, as I have mixed feelings about the charges he faces, which could get him up to 30 years in prison.
But the longer he's out there, the more bumbling the U.S. government looks.