Obama Not 'Scrambling Jets' to Get Snowden

As old chat logs reveal his previous contempt for leaks

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 27, 2013 6:52 AM CDT | Updated Jun 27, 2013 7:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama struck a dismissive tone about NSA leaker Edward Snowden today, saying that he hasn't spoken to the leaders of Russia or China personally and "won't be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," reports NBC News. (Proof of dismissiveness: He missed the fact that Snowden had a birthday last week and is now 30.) Snowden, meanwhile, remains a hard man to find: A Russian passenger jet took off for Havana today, but Snowden was nowhere to be seen, says Reuters, whose reporter had booked a ticket. That would mean he's apparently still in limbo at the Moscow airport, where he arrived on Sunday from Hong Kong. The New York Times suggests he could be there for weeks. One key factor is Ecuador's pending decision on whether to grant him asylum.

The confusion over Snowden's next move comes as Ars Technica unearthed a series of chat logs from 2009 in which he expressed contempt for anyone who leaked classified information. In the quote getting the most play, he wrote (under the handle TheTrueHOOHA) that the anonymous sources who fed the New York Times information for a story about Iran "should be shot in the balls." As for the newspaper, “They’re reporting classified s---” Snowden wrote. “You don’t put that s--- in the NEWSPAPER.” There's lot more of that vein in the full story. Also, the US is scoffing at Hong Kong's excuse that a mixup over Snowden's middle name led to his ability to leave the country, reports Politico.

A banner supporting Edward Snowden is displayed in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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