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Author Rychlak: Snowden 'Something Valuable' to Putin

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 04:07 PM

The co-author of a new book on Russia and its post-Cold War spy culture says President Vladimir Putin likely is taking his time talking to runaway intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is apparently tucked away at an airport in Moscow as he awaits political asylum and safe passage to another country.

"Putin and the Russian officials are very interested in what he has. They want to talk to him, don't make deals with him, they don't want to turn him back to the United States until they've had a chance to talk to him," Ronald Rychlak, co-author of "Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism," tells Newsmax.

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"Putin was a former KGB officer; he's put former KGB guys around him running modern Russia today and they recognize when they've got something valuable in their back pocket," said Rychlak, a professor of law at the University of Mississippi.

Putin has also refused requests from President Barack Obama to hand Snowden over to U.S. authorities, many of whom believe he has acted as a traitor in taking sensitive security data, which could show how the country conducts covert operations around the world. Others, however, have hailed him a hero who exposed spy tactics that have abridged citizen freedom.

"We don't know what secrets Snowden has," Rychlak told Newsmax. "He may turn over a great deal of information or he may have useless information. We're outsiders trying to evaluate that."

Rychlak co-wrote his book with Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West. Pacepa remains in the federal government's witness protection program.

Rychlak says there are some parallels between the information Pacepa shared with the U.S., and what Snowden has thus far revealed about the NSA's PRISM surveillance program.

"Pacepa came to the United States and gave us many secrets, a lot of information about what was going on in the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc at that time," Rychlak said.

"Now, what Snowden has revealed we don't fully know yet, but we have to be very concerned about that and find out all the information before we hail him as a hero as some people seemed ready to do right away. I'm very worried about what he's done."

The Snowden case, added Rychlak, has also revealed Cold War "difficulties" that remain between the U.S. and Russia, even as many considered that a thing of the past.

"We went through a brief period where we thought the Berlin Wall was down, the Soviet Union split up, things were going to be good and we're going to have this peace dividend in our budget," he said. "We recognize now that those things have all fallen apart, that tensions exist with Russia, that we have more tension around the world than ever before, and we have to be prepared to deal with those matters."

He said his book outlines how Russia's expertise at the science of disinformation has helped to destabilize interests between the United States and the Middle East.

"The Soviet Union figured out they could actually create a new enemy against the United States, and that's what they did by implanting anti-Semitism, by taking 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' a discredited forgery that's highly anti-Semitic, but spreading that throughout the Middle East to develop this kind of hatred," said Ryclak. "What we see today is a direct outgrowth of that kind of activity."



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The co-author of a new book on Russia and its post-Cold War spy culture says President Vladimir Putin likely is taking his time talking to runaway intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is apparently tucked away at an airport in Moscow as he awaits political asylum and...
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2013-07-26
Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 04:07 PM
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