Saturday, August 31, 2013



The determination of the Obama government to mount a military strike on
Syria on the basis of spurious allegations on use of chemical weapons will have grave consequences for world peace and security and only exacerbate the tragic civil war
there with more death and destruction in the name of "humanitarian intervention".

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, went on public media today with a prepared statement of purported "evidence" possessed by the US that the Assad Government in Syria had carried out a chemical attack on civilians in Damascus last week.

No such thing. Kerry's meandering statement of abuse of the Syrian Government laced with references to dubious You Tube videos, anecdotal reports by unidentified "medical sources", "reporters on the ground" and unverified "intelligence" was a farrago of stale propaganda being peddled by his new Al Qaeda jihadist friends for months now and contained no concrete evidence from any independent reliable sources to prove anything other than the Washington Government is using these discredited and false flag concoctions as an excuse to join the civil war in Syria with an attack on the military assets of the Syrian Government and assist the rag-tag collection of terrorists causing mayhem and murder in Syria for the past two years.

Deprived of the fig-leaf of "international" action by yesterday's democratic decision by the House of Commons in London to disallow British forces to participate in military aggression against Syria, Washington's Imperialist agenda of regime change in Damascus, like Libya previously, is exposed to full view. Discounting the efforts of the United Nations as they did in Iraq in 2003 and accusing Russia and China of "obstructionism" although both allowed the resolution on Libya to pass, Kerry ignores the US veto on every single resolution of the Security Council condemning Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people including the use of chemical weapons such as white phosphorous against the civilian population of Gaza in 2009. No bombing missions or condemnations allowed on Zionist Israel.

Kerry's deviant logic in claiming that Iran was developing nuclear weapons because of being attacked with chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980's (weapons supplied to Iraq by US companies in a savage irony to Kerry's condemnation of Syria) is worthy of a Dr Goebbels propaganda outburst.

Kerry's statement would be laughable except that it is the preliminary to an aggressive military strike on Syria for political gain in which unknown numbers of people in Damascus will be killed to advance US imperialist aims and to save face for Mr Obama's "red line" speech last year. The stultifying hypocrisy of this shows how far the NATO war criminals will go to pursue their imperialist agenda.
Irish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Eamon Gilmore said yesterday that a solution to the Syrian crisis should be sought by diplomatic means; Mr Gilmore said “the appropriate place” for an international response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime was “through the United Nations and particularly through the United Nations Security Council”.
Answering press queries on the safety of Irish peacekeeping troops in the UN Golan Heights mission Mr Gilmore said: " The safety and security of Irish troops in the Middle East region has been paramount in the Government’s discussions with the United Nations on the Syrian crisis".
Mr Gilmore said the matter had been a central point when he spoke to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon about the situation in Syria. “We have been assured by the United Nations that every arrangement that is possible will be put in place to ensure their safety and security. But it is obviously something that we will continue to discuss with the UN,” he said.
Some 115 Irish troops are to be sent to the Golan Heights area, between Israel and Syria, next month to join three others serving the area. A further 360 Irish troops are stationed in Lebanon as part of a UN force and there are concerns military personnel could be at risk from reprisal attacks should the US and other allies launch air strikes on Syria.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Cameron loses Parliament Vote:

In a stunning reverse in the House of Commons in London today, British Premier David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote on his government motion seeking backing "in principle" for military action against Syria resulting from Washington and London "intelligence" claims that the Assad government used chemical weapons in an incident in a Damascus suburb
last week.
The defeat stunned the Government Front Bench as minutes previously, a Labour Opposition amendment imposing more conditions on such action had been also defeated. More than 50 government MP's had to vote against Cameron to produce such a result.
Recriminations followed with unparliamentary language by ministers against party colleagues they suspected of having voted NO and particular ire against Labour leader, Ed Miliband who in one instance was described as "that cunt" by a senior Government member.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, was deserted by all of his party colleagues which will have serious political implications for the future of the British coalition government.
Washington's plans for air strikes against Syria have been thrown into serious disarray now that the British parliament  has rejected the motion designed to pave the way for authorising  Britain's participation in any military action.
The White House was forced to consider the unpalatable option of taking unilateral action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said Britain would not now take part in any military action in response to a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus last week. Although Britain's support was not a prerequisite for US action, the Obama administration was left exposed without the backing of its most loyal ally, which has taken part in every major US military offensive in recent years.
A spokeswoman for Obama's National Security Council said the US would consider its options in the light of the vote. "The US will continue to consult with the UK government – one of our closest allies and friends. As we've said, President Obama's decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States.
"He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable."
The US appears to have been taking  British support for granted. Hours before the vote, the chairman of the US Senate intelligence committee, Diane Feinstein, expressed confidence that Britain would join any strike. Feinstein, a Democrat and staunch administration ally, told Time magazine: "I think the UK makes a difference. I think if the President were to decide to go there's a very high likelihood that the United Kingdom would be with us."
The timing of the British vote, 272 to 285 against the government, was disastrous for Obama. Less than 30 minutes after the vote, senior intelligence officials began a conference call with key members of Congress, in an attempt to keep US lawmakers on side. Congressional leaders and the chairs and ranking members of national security committees were briefed by the most senior US intelligence officials, amid signs that some of the support for military strikes against Syria was fading.
Shortly before Britain's parliamentary vote, the New York Times quoted  senior administration officials saying the US administration was prepared to launch strikes on Syria without a UN security council mandate or the support of allies such as Britain.
Earlier on Thursday, Joshua Earnest, the White House deputy spokesman, seemed to confirm that was a possibility when he was asked whether the US would "go it alone".
He repeatedly said it was in US "core national security interests" to enforce international chemical weapons norms. "The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests of America," he said. "The decisions he makes about our foreign policy is with our national security interests front and centre."

The US claims against Assad are mainly based on Israeli intelligence reports passed to CIA and others but, even this is being challenged;

Associated Press reports:

 A U.S. State Department spokesman admitted yesterday that the U.S. doesn’t know whether a low level rogue Syrian official is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks.

An intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.

So while Secretary of State, John Kerry, said on Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,” U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

 Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war. In other words, the U.S. hasn’t yet ruled out that possibility … but only hopes to.

The New York Times writes:

American officials said Wednesday there was no “smoking gun” that directly links President Bashar al-Assad to the attack.

Obama administration officials are in disarray. In a PBS television interview last night, Obama attempted to back away from threats of an imminent attack: “We have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place. If we are saying this in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this; that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term.”

"A shot across the bow" is a naval term for a warning shot not intended to hit anything on a rival vessel but just a demonstration of potential force. This would be in Obama'a statement there firing a tomahawk missile to fly across Damascus and land somewhere in the uninhabited Syrian desert.

Obama’s claim that his administration has not decided to move against Assad is an absurd lie. Washington has called for Assad’s overthrow for over a year, while the CIA massively armed Al Qaeda-linked Islamist opposition militias against his regime.

A senior US official contradicted Obama yesterday, telling NBC that US moves toward intervention in Syria are “past the point of no return,” and that strikes will be launched in days.

Obama is also encountering opposition to his attempt to launch a war without a vote in Congress, in violation of the US Constitution. A petition signed by 111 House lawmakers, 94 Republicans and 17 Democrats, warns that this would “violate the separation of powers.” The petition asks that Congress be reconvened so it can back the war and “share the burden of decisions made regarding US involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Syrian War Tragedy worsens:

The plans for an attack on Syria by the US and Britain began to unravel today as mounting popular opposition domestically and political forces demanded evidence be provided to back up Washington and London's crude propaganda attempts to slander the Damascus government with responsibility for an alleged chemical attack in east Damascus last week which supposedly caused several hundred civilian casualties in the rebel opposition controlled suburb of the city.

Anti-War coalitions in the US and Europe have begun mobilisation against the criminal intent of the Washington and London elites and demonstrations have already been mounted in Times Square, New York, London, Glasgow, and several European cities which will be reinforced this coming weekend by further events in opposition to a new war in the Middle East with horrendous unforeseen consequences for the entire region and global peace and security.

In London, British Premier, David Cameron, faced an open revolt by as many as 70 Conservative Party Mp's who demanded more time and further evidence be presented to parliament before a vote would be taken and the  British opposition Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband,  scuttled Cameron's plans by announcing just after 5pm today that he would instruct his MPs to vote against the government motion if a separate Labour amendment – calling for any action to be delayed – was defeated.

                                                       House of Commons, Westminster.

Within two hours, Downing Street issued a statement, as it published its motion for the debate, that a second vote would have to be held before Britain joins any military action. The motion states: "Before any direct British involvement in such action a further vote of the House of Commons will take place."

An enraged Cameron turned on Miliband accusing him of having suffered a giant "wobble" after he had appeared to indicate on Tuesday night that he would be prepared to support military action, subject to legal approval. But Labour hit back and said that the Prime Minister had been resisting a second vote until Miliband tweeted his plan to table his own amendment.

A Labour source said: "We will continue to scrutinise this motion but at 5.15pm David Cameron totally ruled out a second vote, an hour and a half later he changed his mind. Ed Miliband was determined to do the right thing. It has taken Labour forcing a vote to force the government to do the right thing."
Downing Street spinners immediately said Cameron offered a second vote because he wants to act in a consensual way. A spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister is acutely aware of the deep concerns in the country caused by what happened over Iraq. That's why we are committed to taking action to deal with this war crime – but taking action in the right way, proceeding on a consensual basis."
"So this motion endorses the government's consistent approach that we should take action in response to Assad's chemical weapons attack; reflects the need to proceed on a consensual basis, taking account of the work done by weapons inspectors; and reflects the Prime Minister's respect for the UN process – something he made clear to President Obama several days ago."
The Government move is likely to take the heat out of Thursday's parliamentary debate that will be opened by Cameron at 2.30pm and wound up by Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat), the Deputy Prime Minister, at 10pm. The debate will be preceded by a meeting of the cabinet that will receive a recommendation from the National Security Council that Britain should join the military strikes. Dominic Grieve, the British Attorney General, advised the NSC that such action would be legal under international law. The shadow of War Criminal Blair's calculated deception of the House of Commons in 2003 over the preparations for War in Iraq loomed large over events in London today with newspaper polls reporting 74% of voters opposed to any new war in the Middle East.
The National Security Council reportedly also discussed a specific plan for a British contribution to military action. This focused on a "limited one-off" operation and the measures that might have to be taken to protect British interests in the region, including the defence of the UK's sovereign base in Cyprus, which is thought to be potentially within range of President Assad's Scud missiles. The Cyprus Government is extremely alarmed at the possibility of longer range Syrian missiles being fired at the British bases in Akrotiri and hitting cities and towns in Cyprus by random off-target events.
Some sources in London speculated that it was possible the US would act without British support – which would be a huge embarrassment for Cameron. It would also be politically difficult for the White House. US officials have previously been at pains to stress that the US would not act unilaterally, but in concert with partners. The US claims that "it knows" that the Assad government was the author of a chemical attack, as stated by Vice-President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday in bellicose statements threatening use of force against Syria, is based on the dubious and partisan reports from Israeli "intelligence" of alleged interception of Syrian military cables discussing such an event. The US has failed to produce any concrete evidence from independent sources to back up it's slanderous claims. Not much different from the kind  of "intelligence" presented to the UN in 2003 as justification for the War and invasion of Iraq and later found to be entirely spurious.
Russia and China refused to collaborate today with British attempts to rush the UN Security Council into making a premature decision on using military force against Syria.
The permanent representatives of Russia and China to the United Nations left the closed meeting of the Security Council on Syria after its end, there was no demarche, the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN told waiting Press representatives.
It was reported earlier in the day that the Russian and Chinese officials had walked out of the UN Security Council meeting in New York after US Permanent Representative Samantha Power had called for an immediate action in Syria. The permanent members of the UN Security CouncilRussia, Britain, China, the US and France – had been invited to the closed meeting. An hour later the Russian and Chinese diplomats left the meeting and headed to the Security Council’s main conference room where debates on Haiti was taking place.
Western countries could have, until the end of the day, submitted to the Security Council a draft resolution that would give the green light to an armed operation in Syria. Russia and China, which have the right of veto in the Security Council, have spoken up strongly against the use of force. However some Western countries have made it clear that they might take measures without waiting for the U.N. Security Council’s decision as they did in 1999 in Kosovo.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said this would be a gross violation of international law. “Certain states are ready to use force even before UN experts make public the results of their investigation. Our country will be committed to international law,” he said. “Modern international law allows the use of force only in exceptional cases: for self-defence and if so authorised by the UN Security Council. Some states see priorities in a distorted way.”
Meanwhile, Syria has formally asked the UN to investigate three chemical attacks  which the Syrian Government believes were carried out by rebels in the suburbs of Damascus on August 22, 23 and 24.

Syrian Bishop warns intervention could spark ‘world war’ :

A Syrian Chaldean Catholic bishop on Monday warned that an armed intervention in Syria could unleash a “world war”, while the Vatican’s official newspaper called for more “prudence” from Western powers. “If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned,” Monsignor Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio.

“We hope that the pope’s call for real dialogue between the warring parties to find a solution can be a first step to stop the fighting,” he said. Bishop Audo is also the head of the Syrian arm of the international Catholic charity Caritas and has repeatedly warned about the human cost of the war.
                                                 Monsignor Antoine Audo of Allepo, Syria.

The Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano, meanwhile criticised Western powers in an editorial. “The drumbeat of an armed intervention by Western powers is becoming ever more insistent and ever less restrained by prudence,” it said. “Several representatives of these countries say they are convinced that the accusation that the Syrian Army used chemical weapons is founded – a question which the United Nations is investigating,” it said.

Pope Francis on Sunday called for the international community to help find a solution to the civil war.

“I launch an appeal to the international community to be more sensitive to this tragic situation and to commit itself to the maximum to help the dear Syrian nation find a solution to a war which spreads destruction and death,” he said.

Attacks on Christians, Chaldeans, Copts and other religious minorities are daily occurrences in Syria, Iraq and Egypt with no expressions of outrage from either Washington or London.


The Union of Liars, Hypocrites and War Criminals = NATO, were planning their own chemical attack in Syria according to the London Daily Mail last January:

"London, Jan 30 (ANI): The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashir al Assad's regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown.

A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme 'approved by Washington'.

As per the scheme 'Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,' the Daily Mail reports.

Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.

According to, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.

The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.

According to the paper, the U.S. State Department has declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)"

Details from Cyber War News here:


                                                          Italian Foreign Ministery, Rome.

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino says Italy will not support force in Syria
without UN mandate:

"Italy will not take part in any military solutions without a UN Security Council mandate," Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told parliamentarians in Rome.
Even the option of a limited intervention risks becoming unlimited," the minister said, adding that Italy was "already stretched and even over-stretched" militarily in other parts of the world.

"There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The only solution is a negotiated political solution," she said, calling for "great determination" in pursuing negotiations between the warring sides.


National demonstration: No attack on Syria
Stop the War Coalition, 31 August 2013.
National Demonstration: assemble Saturday 31 August, 12 noon, Temple Place, London (nearest tube Temple)
The national demonstration on Saturday will gather at Temple Place (near Temple tube) and march via Parliament and Downing Street, ending in central London for a political rally to say No attack on Syria.
Called by Stop the War and CND.
Statement on Syria
Stop the War Coalition, 27 August 2013.
The Stop the War Coalition strongly opposes any military attack on Syria. While we oppose all use of chemical weapons, the latest alleged such attack in Damascus should not be used as a pretext for further exacerbating an already bloody civil war.
It seems that the Western governments have already made up their minds about this attack before it has even been reported on by UN weapons inspectors. They are demanding that ‘something must be done’ even though their record of ‘doing something’ has been nothing short of catastrophic.
There have been numerous western interventions in the Middle East and South Asia over the past 12 years. While the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were all argued for on humanitarian grounds, they have all increased the levels of killing and misery for the ordinary people of those countries. They were in reality all about regime change. This is also what Syria is about.


French National assembly will debate Syria crisis:

                                                                                  French President, François Hollande

The French parliament will hold an emergency session to debate the Syria crisis on September 4, minister Alain Vidalies said on Wednesday.

The announced debate comes as France and US/UK threaten a potential military intervention in Syria following an alleged chemical weapons attack last week in the Damascus suburbs that the governments in Washington and London are blaming on the Assad regime.

"There will be a special debate in the (lower house) National Assembly and in the (upper house) Senate," said Vidalies, who is in charge of relations between the Government and parliament.

It is as yet unclear whether a military operation will take place over last Wednesday's alleged attack and if it does, when it will happen. But, under French law, a one-off military intervention does not need parliamentary approval.
French President François Hollande gave a militant speech on Tuesday warning the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad that France was "ready to punish" those responsible for the chemical weapons attack. Hollande further warned that the Syrian civil war posed "a threat to world peace." Stressing a "responsibility to protect civilians," Hollande also said that "chemical massacre cannot remain without a response from France."

Neither Hollande or the French Government have produced any evidence associating the
Assad regime with a chemical attack in Damascus but, have seen fit only to parrot Washington and London's disputed claims.

Hopefully, more sober elements of French politics will come to the fore in the debate.



Stock shares of perennial Defence contracting powerhouse Raytheon hit nearly $77 apiece Tuesday as news of a possible US strike in Syria intensified. The US has said if it strikes Syrian government targets for alleged use of chemical weapons, it would likely use Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships positioned in the Mediterranean. Raytheon is responsible for making and selling the bulk of the long-range, subsonic missiles to the US government.






Friday, August 02, 2013

Russia grants Snowden asylum:

                                                  Edward Snowden's new Russian passport:


Massive diplomatic snub
to Washington:

On August 1,  Edward Snowden was granted asylum in the Russian Federation and left the Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone.

Earlier, a source close to the matter reported this information explaining that the customs officers received the required papers from Federal Migration Service giving Snowden the right to stay in Russia. He’s “formally in Russia’s territory.” He added that the former CIA employee currently "has all the necessary documents to legally stay in Russia". He cannot be deported to the United States, even if the country makes an official request, a source in the Russian law enforcement agencies told news agencies on Thursday. “The granting of temporary asylum protects Snowden from deportation, because under the law a person, who was granted temporary asylum, cannot be returned against his will to the country, a citizen of which he is, or to the place of his permanent residence.”

His legal representative, Anatoly Kucherena said: “I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone.” Kucherena told state broadcaster Russia 24: “I have just seen him off. He has left for a secure location. Security is a very serious matter for him.”

Kucherena told Reuters: “He is the most wanted man on planet Earth. What do you think he is going to do?” “He has to think about his personal security. I cannot tell you where he is going.” “I put him in a taxi 15 to 20 minutes ago and gave him his certificate on getting refugee status in the Russian Federation. He can live wherever he wants in Russia. It’s his personal choice.” Mr Snowden left accompanied by WikiLeaks representative, Sarah Harrison. She twittered saying:

“We would like to thank the Russian people and all those others who have helped to protect Mr. Snowden. We have won the battle – now the war.”

He has been granted temporary asylum through at least through July 31, 2014. He can extend it annually on request. Doing so lets him stay in Russia permanently. He can make a new life there if he chooses. He’s got plenty of time to decide. He won’t be sent back to America. At 15:30 Moscow time (11:30 GMT), he left Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone.

In a formal statement issued to the Press Mr Snowden explained his actions:

“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” he said. "That is not something I am willing to support or live under. I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity. I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong".

"I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act. There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich. The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things. And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse".
Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for human rights and the rule of law, said that when pressing for the return of Snowden, who was stranded in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, the United States should not claim that Russia is under any obligation to do so:
“In any situation of international significance, we remain committed to the fulfillment of corresponding international obligations,” the Russian diplomat said. “When obligations exist, we fulfil them. But they should not be invented in cases where they do not exist,” he said.
Washington has repeatedly called on Moscow to reject Snowden’s request for asylum and send him back to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and theft. However, Dolgov said Russia has not yet received a formal US request to extradite Snowden. US officials have requested Russia to return Snowden, arguing that although the two states have no formal extradition treaty, Washington has allegedly returned a number of Russians following requests from Moscow. Dolgov said the United States had failed to provide Russia with a list of those individuals, adding that the terms “extradition” and “deportation” were not interchangeable and should not be confused. “As far as I know, there have been no cases [of extradition] from US territory. Although people are indeed being deported, it’s not because of Russia’s demands, but because they have violated US law,” the Russian diplomat said.

Since nothing done by the Kremlin is uncalculated, this decision to resist Washington's pressure has to have been decided at top level, meaning President Vladimir Putin himself. Putin  said  previously that US intelligence fugitive  Edward Snowden was staying in the transit area of a Moscow airport because Washington had “blocked” him there by intimidating countries that had been ready to grant him asylum. “He arrived on our territory without an invitation. He wasn’t flying to us. He was on a transit flight to other countries,” Putin said in St. Petersburg, adding that the United States had “intimidated other countries, so that nobody wants him.” “That’s how they blocked him on our territory,” Putin said. Putin added that Russia would not extradite Snowden to the United States, where he could face the death penalty. But the Kremlin has also tried to keep its distance from the case, emphasising that it is a human rights issue.

WASHINGTON immediately criticised the Russian decision and hinted that it could cancel a planned bilateral summit between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin at next month's G20 Summit in St Petersburg.  “We have a wide range of interests with the Russians, and we are evaluating the utility of a summit,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing on Thursday in reference to the two leaders’ planned meeting next month, adding that the United States is “extremely disappointed” that Russia has given refuge to Snowden.
Carney declined to discuss if or how Washington might respond in the aftermath of Snowden’s asylum and said that while the White House is examining the value of the scheduled Obama-Putin summit, he did not have any changes in the US president’s schedule to announce. Obama plans to travel to Russia next month for the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, a trip which includes the scheduled bilateral meeting with Putin in Moscow.
Carney indicated that US authorities would continue to press Russia for help in bringing Snowden into the custody of the Americans. “We will obviously be in contact with Russian authorities expressing our extreme disappointment in this decision and making the case clearly that there is absolute legal justification for Mr. Snowden to be returned to the United States” Carney told reporters. Both Carney and US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Russia did not notify the United States in advance of its decision to grant asylum to Snowden
Prominent US politicians, meanwhile, expressed outrage over Russia’s approval of Snowden’s asylum request, saying it deals a significant blow to bilateral relations. US Sen. John McCain, a consistent  critic of the Obama administration and  called the move “a slap in the face of all Americans.”  “Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia,” McCain said in a statement. “We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for. We cannot allow today’s action by Putin to stand without serious repercussions.”
McCain called on the Obama administration to respond in part by expanding the blacklist of Russian officials sanctioned under the controversial Magnitsky Act and extending membership in the North Atlanta Treaty Organization (NATO) to the former Soviet republic of Georgia, whose ambitions to join the military alliance have angered Moscow in recent years. Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, called Snowden’s asylum “a setback to US-Russian relations” despite being only granted for a period of one year. Snowden “is a fugitive who belongs in a United States courtroom, not a free man deserving of asylum in Russia,” Menendez said in a statement.
Sen. Tom Coburn said in a television interview with MSNBC on Thursday that Snowden’s asylum “probably hurts the relationship” between Russia and the United States and suggested Russian intelligence had exploited the former NSA contractor’s knowledge of US intelligence programs – a claim both Snowden and Russian officials have denied. “He’s undoubtedly in my mind a traitor to our country and probably most of what he knows, the Russians already know. … It’s a gold mine for them,” Coburn said.
Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in Moscow on Thursday that Snowden’s asylum “is not important enough to affect political relations” between the United States and Russia, adding that Moscow was interested in the development of ties with Washington “in all areas".
The outrage of the US Senate rabble rousers notwithstanding, the Russian decision will be welcomed by supporters of Mr Snowden and regard it as a significant defeat for the US National Surveillance State.

(see also Blagaroon 2; Bradley Manning trial ends;