There is good news and not-so-good news for Edward Snowden.
First, the good news: A weak morning sun came up over Russia’s Eastern horizon this morning, revealing the legendary frozen tundra steppes.
Snowden is being provided tender-loving care under the KGB’s successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Snowden can check in anytime he likes, but can he ever leave?
Second, the not-so-good news: Despite the all-out PR campaign, epitomized by Oliver Stone’s epic movie and a massive media pardon effort, former President Barack Obama boarded a helicopter Friday and left Snowden Back In The (former) USSR.
Sorry Edward, Donald Trump is now president.
What are the chances of a pardon from The Donald? How about none and less than that.
What’s whistle-blower/traitor to do?
The Legacy of Marc Rich
Almost DailyBrett has to categorically state this blog was wrong, thankfully wrong.
Last February, this post predicted that Snowden’s name would be a last-minute add to the pardon list, as a new president was being inaugurated and all of the attention would be on the incoming administration.
To his credit President Barack Obama did not pardon Snowden, despite intense pressure to give the high-school drop-out, a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Über-wealthy Rich was wanted for more than 50 counts wire fraud, racketeering, massive income tax evasion and trading oil with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, Khadafy’s Libya, Milosevic’s Yugoslavia, Kim Il Sung’s North Korea and Apartheid South Africa. He even renounced his U.S. citizenship.
Clinton pardoned him, triggering a firestorm of criticism from both sides of the aisle, and leaving the memory of his last act in office as an enduring chapter in his legacy.
Undoubtedly, Obama did not want pardoning Snowden to among his last actions as president. He was smart to take a pass, leaving Edward to the tender mercies of Putin’s Federal Security Service.
Snowden on the Chess Board?
“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” – Blaise Pascal, mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher (1623-1662)
There appears to be a standoff.
Snowden faces up to 30-years in the slam Back in the USSA for at least two violations of the Espionage Act of 1917.
He is now working on his fourth year in the Rodina as a “guest” of the Russian government.
Will they get along? Almost DailyBrett will take the “over.”
Will they wheel-and-deal? Didn’t Trump write a 1987 book titled, Trump: The Art of the Deal?
And if there is going to be a deal or deals, what about the 32 pieces on a chess board? The Kings are obvious, The Donald and Vladimir. And then there are the vital pieces: queen, bishops, knights and rooks … which brings us to the lowly pawns.
If Donald Trump wants Snowden back in the custody of the United States of America, wouldn’t one think that Putin would trade a pawn (e.g., Snowden) for another piece or pieces on the board?
Think of it this way, Snowden remains in Russia at the unpredictable pleasure of Vladimir Putin. If trading away Snowden pawn fits into the strategic plans of the 11-time zone nation, wouldn’t one surmise that Putin would do just that in a nanosecond?
There is the possibility that Snowden becomes a permanent Russian citizen. He is 33-years-young, giving him plenty of time to learn the Cyrillic alphabet and to take side trips to Siberia.
He could also wait until 2021 to determine if a new incoming president of the United States would pardon him – assuming there is no second term of Donald Trump. The question remains would a new president among his or her first acts in office want to pardon Snowden?
What if Snowden-the-pawn is simply part of a Trump-Putin deal? Or maybe Snowden reads the writing on the wall, and voluntarily (assuming he can) asks to be returned to the United States?
Conceivably, there could be a C-130 waiting for him at Sheremetyevo Airport. The destination could be the United States or …
Is Guantanamo still in business?