Obama Cancels Meeting With Putin Over Decision To Grant Snowden Temporary Asylum

Credit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/wikimediaCredit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/wikimediaObama has canceled plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Last month Putin said that he was “determined” that Snowden’s stay in Russia would not damage U.S.-Russia ties. Despite Putin’s determination it seems that the decision by Russian authorities to grant Snowden temporary asylum has only exacerbated tensions between Russia and the U.S.

Obama still plans to attend the G20 summit, which will be held in St. Petersburg early next month.

Snowden is currently at a secret location in Russia and has been offered jobs at VKontakte, Russia’s largest social media site, as well as at meetattheairport.com, a social networking site that is offering Snowden $100,000 a year to tweet and act as a spokesperson.

Russian senator Ruslan Gattarov of the ruling United Russia party has begun a fundraising campaign to help Snowden do work investigating the security of Russians’ personal data.

From The Guardian:

Gattarov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, has said he will open a bank account and create a website to gather donations for the National Security Agency leaker, who was last week granted temporary asylum in Russia. Gattarov told the Izvestiya newspaper that the domain name helpsnowden.ru had been registered and volunteers from several IT companies were developing the website.

The site will be available at helpsnowden.net for international donors. Neither website was working on Wednesday.

Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Izvestiya that the whistleblower would "gratefully accept the help" of donors in Russia and other countries. "Edward is not a rich man and his own funds won't last for long," she said.

While some might think Snowden's decision to seek asylum in Russia is ideologically confused given Russia's less than desirable civil liberties record it is worth remembering that his decisions since leaking classified information are probably motivated more by a desire to avoid prison than maintaining ideological consistency. 

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  • ||

    I'm starting to like Putin in the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" way.

  • Almanian!||

    I'm starting to like Putin in the "look at those PECS, and how he looks on horseback!" way.

    No homo.

    Well, not much.

  • ||

    You mean like Saddam Hussein?

  • ||

    Reset!

  • DJF||

    Putin does not mind, he will use that time to wrestle bears.

  • bmp1701||

    Putin does not mind, he will use that time to wrestle bears.

    Will he also "wrestle" twinks?

  • Arch Stanton||

    "I was going to show you my new Superbowl ring, but whatever. Your loss."

  • ChrisO||

    I'm sure Putin is just heartbroken at having to miss more face time with The Great Obama.

  • Hyperion||

    I doubt that he's losing any sleep over it. On the other hand, he's probably enjoying it, a lot.

    When you have a big stockpile of nukes, the US is going to leave you alone. If you don't, they'll fuck with you non-stop. Putin knows this, so he has nothing to worry about.

  • Almanian!||

    Whose autograph would you rather have, President Obama's or President Putin's?

    Which one would you rather have dinner with?

    Which one would you want to spend a 1/2 hour picking their brain in conversation?

    Which one would you want leading your organization (political, work, or otherwise) in a battle for its existence?

    Which one would want organizing strangers into a coalition to pursue some activity (political or other).

    Which one would you rather have defend your civil liberties (TRICK QUESTION!)?

    Just askin' questions...

  • CatoTheElder||

    During your 1/2 hour Q&A, whose answers would be more believable?

  • Almanian!||

    Depends on the questions

  • Invisible Finger||

    I have less chance of being stuck with the check dining with Putin.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I bet Putin's a better tipper, too.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I dunno. He is technically European, isn't he? Obama might have him there.

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    Let's not forget that Putin is a tyrannical piece little shit with a Napoleon complex.

    When I was there, Russian state TV spent a lot of time showing important people 'meeting' with Putin, bowing and scraping before the imperious smug bastard.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    ya, but we are trying to analyze the differences. Not focus on similarities.

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    +1 Obama the Terribles

  • ||

    Marry, Fuck, Kill?

    Putin, Obama, and Mugabe.

    Go!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Mugabe's so homophobic, it'd be a shame not to fuck him.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    While some might think Snowden's decision to seek asylum in Russia is ideologically confused given Russia's less than desirable civil liberties record it is worth remembering that his decisions since leaking classified information are probably motivated more by a desire to avoid prison than maintaining ideological consistency.

    There is nothing inconsistent about his position of seeking protection from someone powerful enough to protect him from Obama Rex Mundi. It was a list of two: China and Russia.

  • Almanian!||

    Pres. Obama - "Good afternoon, Vladimir! So good to see you again."

    Pres. Putin - *stares at Obama* "I must break you..."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Obama has canceled plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia."

    Obama looks like a child throwing a temper tantrum, here.

    Russia's active support of the Assad regime in selling them anti-aircraft weaponry that might someday be used against us or our allies isn't enough to make Obama act this way...

    Russia standing up for Iran and their nuclear program isn't a big enough problem that it would make Obama pull out of a meeting either...

    When Putin cracks down on journalists, free speech advocates, and businessmen, Obama doesn't miss at beat!

    But when Obama doesn't get his way on Snowden, suddenly he starts acting like a jealous school girl, and doesn't want to talk to Putin anymore?

    We've have lots of important things to talk about with Russia--more important than whether Obama gets his revenge on Snowden. Obama is five years into his presidency already--it's about time he grew the hell up.

  • Metazoan||

    Obama is five years into his presidency already--it's about time he grew the hell up.

    Don't hold your breath.

  • Almanian!||

    Nicoli Koloff: Whatever he hits, he destroys.

    /Ivan Drago

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obama should go to the meeting, and then sit with his arms folded and his lower lip thrust out, and refuse to speak with Putin until ha apologizes, and has Snowden dumped at the Presidential feet in a bag.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Exactly.

    I had jealous girlfriends in high school that were more "mature" than Obama is on this...

    And the milk's done spilt! All Obama wants is revenge.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Childishness is the typical behavior of public servants.

  • DJF||

    Next Obama will defriend Putin on Facebook.

  • Render Unto Caesar||

    Aw, he doesn't want to play anymore. Poor wittle fella!

  • The Last American Hero||

    Hell, if I was Putin, I'd bring Snowden along with me as a personal assistant just to rub Obama's nose in it.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I read that it had nothing to do with Snowden:

    The following statement was issued by the White House on President Barack Obama’s decision not to hold a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin:

    “Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September. We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea. However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship.

  • Enough About Palin||

  • Seamus||

    Gattarov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, has said he will open a bank account and create a website to gather donations for the National Security Agency leaker, who was last week granted temporary asylum in Russia. Gattarov told the Izvestiya newspaper that the domain name helpsnowden.ru had been registered and volunteers from several IT companies were developing the website.

    The site will be available at helpsnowden.net for international donors.

    I'd love to contribute, but I think the chances are pretty high that the NSA will be closely monitoring any traffic to that site, and that any contributors from the US will be prosecuted as aiders and abetters.

  • bassjoe||

    It's funny how all of the comments here assume that "Snowden is running away from Obama" thing. Do you really -- REALLY -- think that Snowden would be any 'safer' if, say, Romney was president?

    Do you think Romney would have ended the NSA program? I mean, come on...

    Are people who frequent a magazine that says "free minds" really this dense?

    It's not a Democrat vs. Republican thing. BOTH parties' leaderships SUPPORT this program; the policy framework was the result of a bipartisan consensus in the making since 2002. The recent vote in the House was a rebellion from the "fringy" civil rights left and the "fringy" libertarian right that managed to almost cobble together a majority.

  • 0x90||

    So you feel like Obama is being attacked as a democrat above, huh? I'm going to guess you don't know why that's causing some people here to have a little chuckle.

    Also, drink.

  • Frank_Carbonni||

    It is not that people here think Romney would be better. They don't. They are just pissed off that Obama and his supporters act like Obama is superior to Bush when he is at least as bad.

    If Snowden was being treated like this by the Bush Administration the media would be all over him and you would be hearing that Bush was no different than a dictator. But since it is the Chosen One; the media doesn't give a fuck.

  • dollydew4||

    I agree 100%. The same people that have defended Obama in this affair would have vilified Bush and accused him of hounding a "whistle blower". Never mind that Obama has gone after more whistle blowers than Bush did.

  • dollydew4||

    Well this Snowden thing is certaintly interesting - NOT. I doubt one guy has all of the classified information that the US government has. Damage? Some. Look the guy sold out his country but apparently not for financial gain. I have knowledge of that "world". We will recover. Snowden? Not so much.

  • croaker||

    Fuck Obama!

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