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Consider boycotting Olympics in Russia over Ed Snowden, Sen. Lindsey Graham says

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If Russia continues to harbor leaker Edward Snowden, the U.S. should consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday night.

"I would [consider a boycott]. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them," the South Carolina Republican said in an interview with The Hill newspaper. "It might help, because what they're doing is outrageous. We certainly haven't reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way. At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum, it's a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States."

A potential Olympic boycott recalls the dark days of the Cold War. In 1980, the U.S. boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

In 1984, the Soviets followed suit and refused to participate in the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Mr. Snowden — the former CIA contractor facing espionage and other charges after leaking information about secret National Security Agency data-collection programs — remains holed up in a Moscow airport.

On Tuesday, he officially filed a request for temporary asylum in Russia.

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