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Politico: Obama Welcomes Snowden Distraction

From the Politico:

President Obama’s welcome plot twist: Edward Snowden

By DAVID NATHER and DARREN SAMUELSOHN | June 10, 2013

President Barack Obama needed a plot twist — badly. Enter Edward Snowden.

The 29-year-old contractor who says he leaked the documents on the National Security Agency’s snooping activities has become a gripping story on his own — stealing the show from the spying program itself.

Now the media is fixated on new questions about Snowden’s motivations, background and decisions — like the one to flee to Hong Kong.

It’s a reprieve for Obama, who was taking hits in the press, from Democrats and even some Republicans for running a program they cried is too reminiscent of the George W. Bush era– a new storyline that takes the focus off Obama, even briefly.

“There are 50 new storylines, all of which lead away from Obama,” said Paul Begala, the former Bill Clinton strategist who has seen his share of political firestorms.

Snowden may even draw some of the fire away from the Obama administration’s other scandals — especially the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

“No one is more happy about this latest event than the IRS,” said former George W. Bush White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “I joked last night that they’re holding an Edward Snowden appreciation day.”

Obama easily stayed out of Snowden’s way on Monday… And White House press secretary Jay Carney dodged most of the questions about Snowden at Monday’s press briefing, carefully avoiding anything that would take the spotlight off of the self-identified leaker….

As long as Snowden is on the run… and providing fodder for plenty of stories about his personal drama — the Obama administration won’t have to sweat the details as much as it did before Sunday.

Which is just the way our news media like it.

Meanwhile, here is more diversionary fodder, via the UK’s Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: The beautiful ballerina girlfriend whistleblower Ed Snowden was set to wed before he left her in Hawaii and fled to Hong Kong to leak NSA secrets.

Now she says she feels ‘adrift’

By Daniel Bates, Michael Zennie and Helen Pow | 10 June 2013

The whistleblower who leaked the NSA’s secrets thought about marrying his girlfriend and had previously taken her on a romantic break to Hong Kong – where he was last seen fearing arrest.

Family friends told MailOnline that Ed Snowden, 29, wanted to be with stunning pole dancer Lindsay Mills for the rest of his life but took the decision to throw it all away to expose the US government. They were deeply in love and on her blog Mills, 28, dotingly called him her ‘man of mystery’ who she had followed around the world for the last four years.

On Monday she took to the blog – where she has posted dozens of photos of herself semi-naked  – to tell of her heartbreak.

Mills wrote: ‘My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass. As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu. ‘But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes.’ …

It was a heartbreaking turn of events for Mills who had lived with Snowden since at least 2009 when they were in Japan together. Last year he whisked her 8,000 miles from their home south of Baltimore, Maryland to Hong Kong where family friends thought they got married because it was a ‘special place’ for them…

Mills’ blog gives an insight into the ups and downs the couple went through – and her own feelings against the snooping state… Written under the name ‘L’s Journey’ she calls Snowden ‘E’ and her ‘man of mystery’, whilst referring to herself as a ‘vagabond’.

On the face of it they are totally different people – she is an extrovert who enjoys walking around naked whenever she can, spends her Sunday evenings in circus classes and surrounds herself with bohemian eccentrics.

The title of her blog reads: ‘Adventures of a world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero.’

In an early post on August 17 2011 she also writes: ‘I’ve always wanted to be splashed on the cover of magazines, with my best air-brushed look. Unfortunately I wasn’t born a greek [sic], amazon, sex goddess – but a petite dreamer.’ …

Another revealing aspect of her blog is that Mills seems to share Snowden’s views views on the surveillance society.

And yet she loves to post everything about herself and her life online..

Writing on July 4 last year she says that the America she loves is ‘ever-changing’ and that she is in ‘fear it’s straying from the freedom it has always represented’.

Snowden left Mills behind in Hawaii weeks ago when he leaked classified information about PRISM, a secret government phone surveillance program that harvests data on millions of Americans from telecommunications and online companies.

He never told her where he was going or what he was doing – only that he needed to leave for a few weeks. He is currently on the run, location unknown, after he fled the Hong Kong hotel where he is holed up.

The TV news program Inside Edition claims to have tracked Mills down in Hawaii, where she is the member of an acrobatic troupe. It appears that she was performing with the Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe…

Well, she’s got it made now. She will probably get a reality series on the dangers of having no privacy.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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