On security issues understood as policing, military and secret services, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is presented as a man with whom the United States and its allies can count, regardless of whatever their differences as far as democracy and freedom are concerned.
In an interview Tuesday on RT, Putin was questioned about Edward Snowden, the young man who revealed details about surveillance programs running through Internet communications. According to Russian President Snowden said nothing that people didn’t know when he revealed that the security services spy on U.S. electronic communications.
Putin said that “in terms of the fight against international terrorism that takes a global effort” and that “these working methods are needed.” After referring to the importance of “control” by society, Putin stated that Russia can not hear conversations without “permission from judges”, so listening with the appropriate permits is “normal” and listening without them is “bad”. What the president did not say is that in Russia, according to independent experts, the country’s security services have judges who sanction all listening requests, just as it happens in the United States.
Although some have suggested that Mr. Snowden may seek political asylum in Russia, so far, no senior official has promised asylum to Snowden. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declined to speculate on the issue and said that if requested, he will examine the subject. In the same way, the Kremlin’s press officer said Vladimir Putin, Dmitri Peskov, and the head of the international committee of the Duma, Aleksei Pushkov, have said that hosting the source of the NSA leaks would make the United States would get hysterical.
As a veteran of security, Putin understands the use of different types of weapons, from drones to intercontinental missiles without nuclear warheads, nuclear loads of low intensity, but in all these modalities he is in favor of international regulation . In the case of drones, he has underscored the need to develop rules that minimize the number of victims.
After several philosophical considerations about cultural differences and understanding of the world between the U.S. and Russia, Putin said the U.S. was for a time the only empire after the disintegration of the USSR and, as such, refuses to acknowledge its mistakes because this would show signs of weakness. Actually, Putin was extrapolating a model of Oriental behavior that is no stranger to Russian behavior.
But indeed, the reason why the U.S. does not apologize for its errors or stop repeating those same mistakes again and again, is because the U.S. government does not want to change its behavior, because “no one who gets into high government positions thinks that those mistakes have been wrong. Anyway, Russia and the U.S. are partners when it comes to breaking the law, violating civil and individual rights and part of their success is rooted on the way the two regimes articulate the concepts of security, freedom and democracy. So far they have done it in a way that results in significant support from a majority of the governed.
It is only plausible that the abuses will continue for as along as the governed consent, consciously or not, to those abuses.