Graham Lands A Double Klutz With A Carter Split: GOP Senator Proposes Olympic Boycott Over Snowden Asylum

01.20Graham-080106-18270- 0035We have previously discussed the rage of powerful politicians embarrassed by the disclosures of Edward Snowden. The President and the Congress suddenly found themselves having to explain years of false statements and an unprecedented attack on privacy in America because of Snowden. Our governing class had long ago adopted a type of dismissive paternalism toward the public as shepherds to so many sheep. Then one sheep goes and spooks the flock. The response has been bipartisan rage that has included demands to cut off aid to entire nations if they grant sanctuary to this whistleblower. As usual, however, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will not be outdone. After hearing that Snowden has asked Russia for sanctuary, Graham has suggested boycotting the Olympics. That’s right, he is taking one of Jimmy Carter’s most controversial ideas and suggesting a repeat — thereby ruining the ambitions and tossing out years of preparations for hundreds of athletes. Why? To punish a country for protecting someone most people in the world view as either a hero or a whistleblower.

The hilarious thing about this suggestion is that it would more likely encourage Russia to grant asylum. Russia would love to see a U.S. boycott. It would result in a windfall of medals and make the United States look like an arrogant, privacy-hating, dissident-hunting thug nation. Graham insists that the Russians were “outrageous” in considering the request — outrage that neither he nor his colleagues feel about eviscerating privacy or perjury by high ranking officials. The shepherds want Snowden made into mutton for stampeding the flock and no measure appears too extreme.

Boycotting the Olympic would in his view “send the Russians the most unequivocal signal.” It would indeed. It could send them the unequivocal signal that we are self-defeating unhinged morons.

Just for those on blog who were too young to witness our last boycott, Carter barred our participation in the Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union over the invasion of Afghanistan. Four years later the Soviets responded by boycotting the Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. At least Carter had a compelling reason for his actions. A nation had been invaded and other countries joined us in the boycott. Ultimately of course the Russians were trapped in a disastrous quagmire and left defeated. We then followed suit and invaded the country with equally disastrous results.

220px-Christopher_Cameron,_2010But back to the Olympics. I was highly sympathetic to Carter who I liked. However, this gesture did little to truly punish the Russians and it was a nightmare for athletes. The whole point of the games is for countries to transcend their differences to meet every four years on a common field of competition. There are always such divisions, some like Afghanistan, quite serious. However, the beauty of the games is that they force nations to come together in open and fair competition. I also felt a terrible unfairness even in the Summer 1980 games for our athletes who became pawns in a global power struggle (and equal sympathy for the Russia athletes four years later). These athletes represent not only their nations but humanity in achieving greater and greater perfection and considerable personal cost and sacrifice. It is highly obnoxious to see a politicians just tossing out such a ban on hundreds of such athletes as a cheap expression of anger that countries are not turning over a single individual.

Even if such a boycott is ever justified, and Carter made the strongest case, this would be a boycott in a controversy where most of the world views us as the abusing nation. To put it in 1980s Olympic terms, we are Russia in this situation. Rather than invading Russia, our country invaded privacy and lied to the public and our allies. We now want to stop the games because our politicians are peeved at being forced to admit to these abuses.

For that, Graham gets a perfect ten for a manuever we can call the double klutz with a Carter split.

Source: NBC

33 thoughts on “Graham Lands A Double Klutz With A Carter Split: GOP Senator Proposes Olympic Boycott Over Snowden Asylum”

  1. Three big cheers for former Senator Humphry and shame on Obama and the rest of them trying, very successfully, to eliminate any remaining civil liberties we still have.

    In my humble opinion, Edward Snowden is a true American Hero. He risked everything, his livelihood, his future, his freedom, and likely his life to expose how disgustingly close we have come in this country to Orwell’s 1984.

    Obama, whom I voted for the first time, has violated every single significant promise he made and, has taken George Bush’s intrusive programs and wars to new levels. While we knew some of this, we certainly didn’t know the extent:

    Give this article from last week a read – even if you think you know everything about this story, I believe this will surprise you:

  2. The biggest enemy of congress and the president is now the US Citizen who refuses to submit.

  3. The US never had any real reason to boycott the Moscow Olympics since the Soviets had violated NO international laws. They had been asked in by the Afghan government that the US and all those other countries recognized as the legitimate government. In fact, the US kept its ambassador in Kabul as did all of the other “protesting” countries. Instead it was the brainchild of an exiled Polish nobleman who wanted any excure to kill Russians. it is always easier to make others pay for your adventures, in this case it was the athletes.

  4. No…. But, I don’t play that way…. It’s ok if others want to…. But… I’m a bowl flusher…. Not a bowel inductor….

  5. Yes it was. A lot of Woody Allen’s jokes go over or under people’s heads.

  6. I’m sure Larry Craig is waiting in a line somewhere….glory holes….not just for one senator anymore….

  7. Here’s a traitor to his class: “Former two-term GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire emailed Edward Snowden yesterday [emphasis added]:

    Mr. Snowden,

    Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.

    Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion.

    I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere.

    Kindly acknowledge this message, so that I will know it reached you.

    Gordon J. Humphrey
    Former United States Senator
    New Hampshire

    After I contacted Sen. Humphrey to confirm its authenticity, he wrote to me [emphasis added]:

    Mr. Greenwald,

    Yes. It was I who sent the email message to Edward Snowden, thanking him for exposing astonishing violations of the US Constitution and encouraging him to persevere in the search for asylum.

    To my knowledge, Mr. Snowden has disclosed only the existence of a program and not details that would place any person in harm’s way. I regard him as a courageous whistle-blower.

    I object to the monumentally disproportionate campaign being waged by the U.S. Government against Edward Snowden, while no effort is being made to identify, remove from office and bring to justice those officials who have abused power, seriously and repeatedly violating the Constitution of the United States and the rights of millions of unsuspecting citizens.

    Americans concerned about the growing arrogance of our government and its increasingly menacing nature should be working to help Mr. Snowden find asylum. Former Members of Congress, especially, should step forward and speak out.

    Gordon Humphrey” (see the Guardian, Greenwald’s column)

    May many more such “traitors” arise and speak out!

  8. AY,

    Despite a long history of swallowing, I’m betting pride has never entered the transaction for Graham.

  9. If FDR had boycotted the Olympics in 1936 Hitler would not have been forced to sit there and watch a black man, Jesse Owens, dominate the competition.

  10. Excellent article, Dr. Turley. Thank you.

    “Our governing class had long ago adopted a type of dismissive paternalism toward the public as shepherds to so many sheep. Then one sheep goes and spooks the flock…The shepherds want Snowden made into mutton for stampeding the flock and no measure appears too extreme.”

    Just kidding.

  11. Consider the source. I think Snowden should release more information in order to show how two faced we are on this issue.

  12. Lindsey Graham is a traitor.

    His betrayal of the Bill of Rights and US Constitution is in my opinion, odious and worthy of prison at the least.

    His oath, which he fails miserably to uphold.

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States”

    Graham is a very dangerous man to our country.

  13. I have a question regarding spulling here in the South. Is it: Lindsey Graham Kraker or Lindsey Graham Cracker?

    One thing I noticed when we visited the Willard Hotel Bar in Washington, DC (me as guide dog for my half blind pal). Lindsey was there with McConnell and some other South boys. When speaking in semi private to each other they each dropped the dramatic Southern drawl which they speak when on television. Eric Cantor is the worst. His accent is more like some English teacher in a private DC school, with a tint of Yiddish. He is purportedly Eddie Cantor’s grandson.

    As to the Olympics. These RepubliCons will not upset their sponsors and boycott the Olympics. We need to get some of those shirts that the NASCAR drivers wear with all the ads on them and force Congressmen to wear them so that we know who they stand up for.

    Demand the secret papers in the Snowden criminal case. Which “enemy” did he spy for? What secrets (even in general such as A Bomb) did he reveal? The fact that we are spying on Germany does not mean that when he reveals this fact that he is aiding our enemy which is presumably Germany.

  14. Sometimes it’s best to swallow pride and do what right not by a few but for many…

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