Obama: Not Going to Send Jets for Force Down Snowden’s Plane

Says He 'Shouldn't Have to' Ask Russia for Snowden's Capture

by Jason Ditz, June 27, 2013

President Obama sought to downplay his administration’s oft-bellicose efforts to acquire whistleblower Edward Snowden, saying that he isn’t “going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

It’s not entirely a rhetorical point, as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney conspicuously dodged questions about whether or not the US might militarily attack a civilian airliner carrying Snowden, fueling speculation that it was at least a possibility under consideration.

Obama also appeared to pout about the Russian government’s refusal to hand Snowden over, saying he didn’t feel like he should have to personally ask Russia or China to capture Snowden for him, and that his “continued expectation” is that Russia will eventually knuckle under.

Obama’s comments typified the administration’s reaction, as he simultaneously tried to downplay the revelations while seeming baffled and somewhat angered that the US government’s hope to punish Snowden for revealing their abusive surveillance wasn’t universally shared.

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