Putin’s condition for granting Snowden asylum was that Eddie stop leaking information that would be damaging to Russia’s “American partners.” I sensed a scam, and yesterday and today proved that is indeed the case.
Yesterday Greenwald published another of his stories based on Snowden documents. This one was about a program called XKeyscore. It was the usual mixture of hype about capabilities, and underplaying of how the program is actually used, and what constraints and protocols are in place to prevent its misuse. This is another highly classified program, and its revelation would presumably fall into any realistic definition of damaging. But the next day, Snowden walks out of SVO to his new life. (Good luck with that, son. The experiences of those who have defected before you should depress you immensely.)
When questioned about how the vow fitted in with new revelations about XKeyscore, the massive information-collecting program exposed in the Guardian on Wednesday using Snowden’s data, Kucherena said that the documents about the surveillance software suite had been passed on to a journalist while Snowden was still in Hong Kong.
So anything that Snowden revealed to Greenwald (or Poitras, or anyone else) prior to his arrival of Russia does not count as a Snowden leak that violates Putin’s condition. Which means that Putin’s condition is absolutely meaningless, because Snowden apparently provided thousands of documents to Greenwald prior to fleeing to Russia. He also talked extensively with Greenwald and Poitras. So they can go to town leaking Snowden material, and per Kucherena’s formulation-which is no doubt Putin’s-Snowden is living up to his bargain with Putin.
Meaning that Putin’s condition means bupkus. But he gets to pose that he’s crafted some sort of compromise between the extremes of sending Snowden to the US, and letting him leak to his heart’s content.