What relationship? Mr. Putin opposes us on the civil war in Syria and is Bashar Assad’s chief weapons supplier and never misses an opportunity to stick it to us. This week was no exception.
As for Mr. Kerry’s plea to “follow the rule of law,” Mr. Putin made it clear Tuesday that Mr. Snowden will not be extradited to the United States because Russia has no extradition pact with us. Moreover, he argued, Mr. Snowden was in the transit area of the international airport, had not technically crossed the Russian border, and thus was free to travel anywhere he wants.
Mr. Putin said Tuesday that Russian intelligence agencies “didn’t work and aren’t working” with Mr. Snowden, but you can’t believe anything this former KGB agent says.
During his week in Hong Kong, the former NSA worker undoubtedly was debriefed by Chinese intelligence about how the U.S. had hacked into their computer files, and again by Russian agents in his stopover in Moscow.
It is quite likely they have downloaded everything that is stored in Mr. Snowden’s laptop.
“That stuff is gone,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official who served in Russia told The Washington Post. “I guarantee the Chinese intelligence service got their hands on that right away,” he said, adding, “the Russians have that stuff now,” too.
We still do not know how much more unrevealed, top-secret intelligence documents he still possesses and how much additional damage he can inflict on our national security before he is caught. And he will be caught.
Meantime, we know that terrorist organizations have already changed the way they communicate as a result of his disclosures. That has significantly raised the risks of future attacks on our homeland.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.