Thursday, July 04, 2013

the "public" broadcast system calls naked thuggery "diplomatic persuasion"...,


pbs | P.J. CROWLEY: Well, it's a careful balancing act.

Clearly, both publicly and privately, the United States has told the world and particular countries, this is important to us, we want this guy back. By the same token, you don't want to make Edward Snowden the face of any relationship, the be-all and end-all of any relationship. I think that's one of the reasons why a pretty sophisticated play by China.

They were facing a legal process in Hong Kong that might have taken months. You can see with Vladimir Putin, who now has him, wants to get rid much him and has no one to hand him off to, the Chinese look at this and say, why do I want this complication? They whispered in his ear, you have got to go. They move to the side.

I think what we saw yesterday in the interplay over the potential that he might land in Evo Morales' airplane, not a case of the United States playing offense. I think it was a case of countries playing defense, because if you're a European leader right now, your best friend is the United States, very important relationship.

You have got some public sentiment in Europe. It's not so much about Snowden, per se, but he revealed some things that touch on privacy in Europe, a very sensitive issue, so there is some public sympathy for what Snowden represents. And these leaders one by one just said, I can't take a risk that Snowden is on that airplane, so why do I want to walk into that briar patch?

RAY SUAREZ: James Lewis, there was anger in Europe, feigned or real, about the revelations this week about spying on Europeans.

The president of Russia said, yes, Edward Snowden can stay, but he can't keep releasing things. And then he almost caught himself and said, and that may sound strange coming out of my lips.

Is this a game where all the players understand they have an interest, even if they're not friends?

JAMES LEWIS: Yes. And I think President Putin wins the prize for the best line so far in this episode, but everyone is looking at this as a political issue. No one is looking at it as Snowden, per se. They're asking, how would this affect my relations with the U.S.? What do I get out of it? What do I get that's a benefit from giving this kid asylum, particularly when the stuff he has on his computer, they may already have or at least know about?

So he's in an awkward place, and every country is looking at this as a political issue.