Republicans decided that Tuesday morning was a good time to start attacking President Obama over the failed attempt to extradite former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who recently left Hong Kong for Russia.
On CBS This Morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that the Snowden affair showed that the administration is becoming “more incompetent every day”:
Well, first of all, how is it that a 29-year-old contractor with one year at Booz Allen Hamilton can get this kind of security clearance, get this kind of access to this kind of intelligence, walk out with a thumb drive and give it to the world? I mean, how is it that our security clearances are so low that something like this can happen? That’s number one. Number two, once we’ve discovered that this person has stolen our secrets, has leaked them, you’d think we’d have a better job of following up with that in China and these other countries
But “incompetent” was too kind a word for Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who preferred “impotent”:
The 2008 GOP nominee for president linked Snowden to an overwhelming pattern of “leading from behind,” adding that Russia’s unwillingness to cooperate indicated the president’s “reset” with the country had failed.
“It’s reminiscent of the days of the Cold War, when you hear a Russian spokesman saying that [Snowden’s] not in Russia when every shred of evidence indicates that he is,” McCain said on CNBC. “We’ve got to start dealing with Vladimir Putin in a realistic fashion for what he is. He’s an old KGB colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian empire, and he continues to stick his thumb in our eye in a broad variety of ways.”
McCain then moved on to Syria, blasting the president for declaring that the use of chemical weapons was the “red line” and then only responding to their use by arming the rebels.
Noticably, neither Ryan nor McCain attacked Obama over the secret surveillance by the National Security Agency that Snowden recently exposed.