Appearing on a televised call-in program, Putin even took a video question from Edward Snowden, the American former intelligence contractor who revealed large-scale U.S. surveillance programs and has taken refuge in Russia. Putin greeted him as a fellow spy, saying, “We can talk one professional language.”
Snowden asked if Russia spied on its citizens the way he said the United States did. Putin denied it, saying that Russian eavesdropping is strictly controlled by the law.
Russia doesn’t spy on its citizens! And you can take that to the bank! Why, it’s as certain as the absence of Russian troops in Crimea before the referendum vote! What’s that? Putin admitted what?
President Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly denied Russian troops had entered Crimea before the March referendum there, changed his version of those events Thursday, telling the nation that they had indeed been there all along.
But the green-uniformed men observed in eastern Ukraine right now, storming buildings and raising the Russian flag, are not Russian, he said. “Those are local residents,” he said.
Snowden is being defended by his cronies, of course, as he was when he revealed information about our spying on China and Hong Kong. Remember that?
Greenwald said he would not have published some of the stories that ran in the South China Morning Post. “Whether I would have disclosed the specific IP addresses in China and Hong Kong the NSA is hacking, I don’t think I would have,” Greenwald said. “What motivated that leak though was a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China.”
Today Greenwald says of Snowden’s participation in Putin’s propaganda-fest:
Snowden should storm the Kremlin, take their surveillance docs & demand to be sent to the US: just like his brave patriotic critics would do
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 17, 2014
This is what is known as a “false choice” — Snowden must either go on a pointless suicide mission, or . . . participate in a dishonest piece of propaganda for Putin.
Many of Snowden’s fans are expressing disappointment. Have they been asleep for months?
P.S. I would have thought this is obvious but I’ll say it anyway: if Greenwald is actually saying this is not a false choice — i.e. that Snowden’s choices are 1) be a shill for Putin publicly or 2) be shipped back to the U.S. for trial — then why not say so openly and explicitly? “Sure, Snowden is helping out a worse abuser than we are, but hey, he has to.” Own it.