It seemed so incongrous to me: On the one hand, Obama was in South Africa paying tribute to freedom icon Nelson Mandela, but on the other, the US president had been pursuing a global campaign against Edward Snowden, the man who had exposed a massive online surveillance campaign undertaken by US security agencies.
There was tough talk by US against Russia and China, for appearing to be sympathetic to Snowden – but hold on, how tough can you be with your major creditor (China)?
Since then, Obama appears to have beaten a hasty retreat. Mark Weisbrot, the co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, explains why in this commentary published by Aljazeera.
In his videotaped interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden said that “the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies” (like the CIA) were so formidable that “[n]o one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you in time.”
That remains to be seen. On Wednesday President Obama beat a hasty retreat from his global public relations and diplomatic, and political campaign against Snowden. It was quite an amazing, if implicit, admission of defeat. Here was the president of the world’s most powerful nation, with the world’s most influential media outlets having rallied to his cause, now quietly trying to lower the profile of an issue that his own government had elevated to one of the biggest stories in the world. Full commentary here.