Barack Obama won’t ‘scramble jets’ to get Edward Snowden
Dakar (Senegal): US President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would not "scramble jets" to intercept any flights carrying fugitive leaker Edward Snowden and scoffed at spending political capital to win him back from Russia.
Obama, questioned in Africa on the latest twists of the international spy drama involving Snowden and his exposure of US phone and Internet surveillance programs, did however admit he was worried about what other secrets might leak.
His comments came as Snowden remained in Russia, where he fled from Hong Kong, stuck in the transit zone of a Moscow airport, apparently unable to travel on to possible asylum in Ecuador after Washington cancelled his passport.
Obama, who has been embarrassed by the refusal of first China and then Russia to expel Snowden, insisted the real damage to the United States lay not in international humiliation, but in the exposure of key spying programs.
But he ruled out military action should Snowden eventually manage to get on a flight out of Russia.