It was last June when President Obama downplayed the significance of Edward Snowden by saying, “I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”
That was shortly after Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong, but Obama rejected the idea he should call the leaders of those countries and demand the fugitive’s return.
“This is not exceptional from a legal perspective,” the president insisted. “I’m not going to have one case suddenly being elevated to the point where I have to do wheeling and dealing and trading.”
If only he had.
Now he’s wheeling and dealing from weakness and after enormous damage to America’s national security and reputation.
The news that Attorney General Eric Holder is ready to talk with Snowden’s lawyers is ominous. Holder’s comment in a TV interview that he would make a deal if Snowden accepts responsibility for leaking secrets signals desperation more than determination.
Obama himself opened the waffle door, saying earlier, “I do not have a yes/no answer on clemency.”
He should, and the answer should be no, hell no. Snowden is a traitor, charged under the Espionage Act even before the extent of his theft and cooperation with Russia and China is fully known.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.