Kerry ‘Softens Tone’ on Russia, But White House Keeps Issuing Demands

Putin Won't Hand Over Snowden Either Way

After a three-day weekend of increasingly bellicose statements the White House has adopted what may be fairly called a “dual track” strategy toward trying to capture Edward Snowden, with most of the administration keeping up the old policy and Secretary of State John Kerry, apparently the only one who could feign civility, trying to ask nicely.

Kerry insists the US is definitely not looking for a confrontation with Russia over Snowden, and insisted that nothing the US said amounts to “ordering anybody” around. They just want the routine handover of a routine whistleblower for routine politically-motivated imprisonment.

If Kerry’s comments were the new administration policy though, nobody told the White House, who continued with yesterday’s rhetoric, insisting that they are “demanding” Russia immediately turn over Snowden unconditionally, and without delay.

Technically there’s a third track of rhetoric, filled by hawkish US Senators, but since it amounts to little more than calling Putin names and shaking their fists angrily, it doesn’t seem a promising one.

Putin for his part underscored that none of the US demands or requests or “ravings” are going to change his government’s policy, and that so long as Snowden is in the international part of the Moscow Airport he’s not doing anything wrong, and there’s no basis for capturing him since they don’t have an extradition agreement with the US.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.