Remember the good old days when the Obama administration promised "smart diplomacy?" Hillary Clinton mocked the Bush administration for not cozying up sufficiently to Vladimir Putin's Russia, and presented the Russians with a "reset" button to demonstrate that from now on, things would be better. Right.
Now the administration is feuding with Putin over Edward Snowden. It is a bad sort of feud, because the Russians hold all the cards, in the person of Snowden. Whatever Snowden knows they can easily learn, and at this point there is nothing we can do about it.
I bring this up not to stick my tongue out at Mr. Obama (well, OK, I confess), but because it presents a serious criminal law issue. Russia is harboring a fugitive from grave charges -- specifically charges that he stole and published extremely sensitive national security secrets.
My purpose here is not to attempt to try Snowden in a media entry instead of a court.* My purpose is to wonder just what Obama plans to do to get him to court. A country that commands power and respect would have a chance of doing that, Russian intransigence notwithstanding. Instead, it seems like it will take us longer to get Snowden into court than it took to litigate the length of Maj. Hasan's beard. Could the reason that justice for Snowden will be so long in coming, if it comes at all, be related to the President's enthusiastic world apology tour?
Ain't nostalgia grand? The humbly bowed Presidential head seemed like such a good idea before we roused ourselves to the unpleasant if persistent reality that what advances America's interests in the world -- including its interests in justice -- is not the downcast "America-as-contrite-bully" stance so popular in the faculty lounge, but big-time power and no crippling hesitation to use it.