By the day, by the hour, the Edward Snowden story grows ever more surreal. On his way home from Moscow, Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane was diverted to Austria because France and Portugal closed their airspace amid suspicions that Mr Snowden was on board.
They didn’t actually say so, not in so many words. But as Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca indignantly explained, the cancelled air permits appeared not to be on account of the stated “technical issues” but because of a “lie” that Mr Snowden was on the plane.
Curiouser and curiouser. Paris and Lisbon obviously want to stay clear of any toxicity bound to be leached by even unintentional involvement in the affair. One has to wonder why France wants to play ball with the US at this point, considering that the Elysee Palace was in high dudgeon just a day ago over revelations of US spying on its embassy in Washington DC as well as EU diplomatic missions.
All public bluster and private bargains?
Mr Snowden appears trapped in an international net of interwebbing interests and high-stakes bargaining. As Henry Kissinger said, a country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security.
Rarely does one see this on display so blatantly, across the board and in so compressed a timeframe.