Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Snowden's Embarrassment


Snowden's Embarrassment Of U.S. Is A Window Into Our Loss Of Power

Power: Barack Obama, supposedly a foreign policy "super genius," promised to negotiate terrorist states such as Iran into submission. Instead, our shattered global influence can't even extradite a fugitive out of Hong Kong.

Between Hong Kong's aggressive commitment to political freedom, its Beijing overseers' shrewd exploitation of a fat opportunity to undermine U.S. prestige, and Obama administration incompetence, America was humiliated over the weekend in a pathetic attempt to have Edward Snowden extradited for his role in revealing the extent of National Security Agency domestic surveillance.

The island of nearly pure capitalism deftly waited a couple of days before announcing that Obama's Justice Department had botched its extradition request, then Hong Kong dropped Snowden like a hot won-ton onto a Moscow-bound Aeroflot flight.

A flabbergasted media wondered why John Kerry's State Department hadn't revoked Snowden's passport immediately after federal charges were filed, and why no "red notice" request was sent to Interpol — then realized it was because Kerry's predecessor, future presidential choice Hillary Clinton, wasn't there to provide her superb Benghazi-caliber management skills.
Snowden — with four laptops filled with U.S. secrets, apparently already seen by China — might get asylum in Ecuador, but probably not until Moscow too gets a look at what he's got. In his ongoing defiance, Snowden might have even flown over U.S. airspace several times, our Air Force's hands tied since we're not going to do as the Soviets did to Korean Airlines 007 in 1983 and shoot down a passenger jet full of innocents that refuses to land.

The U.S. simply isn't much feared or heeded anymore. Not by rivals Russia and China. Not by Hong Kong, which shares what once were our government's economic values. And not by a leftist Latin American nation such as Ecuador, which defaulted on more than $3 billion in foreign debt, enjoys unreciprocated free-trade privileges with the U.S., and, according to Adam Issacson's Just The Facts website, enjoyed well over $250 million in U.S. aid under Obama.
Why would they? We break promises to those we commit to liberate, as in Iraq. We drag out the fighting in Afghanistan, then leave the job half-finished. We promise a missile shield to the Czechs and Poles, then renege.

As a candidate in 2008, Obama basked rock-star-like in the adulation of 200,000 Eurodupes in Berlin, but the "new dawn in the Middle East" he promised became an Islamist black hole. No wonder he didn't mention the Arab Spring or Egypt when fewer than 6,000 showed up in Berlin last week to hear him implore them to "reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking."

"May," Mr. President? Are you still missing your morning national security briefings?
Our global strength and prestige continue to decay. Added to that, the surveillance overreach of Obama's NSA has frittered away some moral high ground.

Its blanket collection of innocent civilians' communications makes Snowden seem to many to be no 21st century Alger Hiss — even as the regimes most notorious for violating civil liberties help him.

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