Friday, August 02, 2013


Aside from the fact that anyone paying attention saw this coming from a mile away, it's ridiculous for the U.S. government to be "furious" over Russia's decision to grant political asylum to Snowden. The U.S. gives political asylum to Russians and other nationals all the time, even though the foreign governments the asylum seekers are fleeing almost always do not approve. Russia is usually not happy when we give their dissidents asylum, but they just have to live with that. America is just not used to having to put up with stuff that other governments regularly put up with.

Asylum claims are not supposed to be a matter of negotiation, they're about the merits of the asylum petition. While I have no illusions that the Russian asylum process is really free from politics and I realize that Snowden presents Putin with an opportunity to give the U.S. a taste of its own medicine. But Snowden's asylum claim is a legitimate opportunity. The U.S. should not be surprised that Russia grabbed it.