Lindsey Graham: U.S. Should Boycott Olympics Unless Russians Give Us Snowden

Lindsey Graham thinks the U.S. should consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, over the Edward Snowden affair:

President Obama should consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia if that country gives asylum to Edward Snowden, Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Hill on Tuesday.

“I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham (R-S.C.) said when asked about the possibility of a boycott.

“It might help, because what they’re doing is outrageous,” he said. “We certainly haven’t reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way. At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it’s a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States.”

Snowden, who has been charged with espionage for leaking details about two National Security Agency programs that collected information about U.S. telephone calls and international Internet usage, officially filed a request for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday. He pledged to abide by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands that he stop leaking information that could damage the United States.

Graham is the first senator to suggest a link between the Olympics and Snowden, who has been holed up in a Moscow airport for weeks.

Other lawmakers also suggested Obama should respond sternly if Russia offers Snowden asylum, although they were more hesitant to suggest boycotting the Olympics.

“There’s many things we can do, but I think the experience of canceling the Olympics the last time around wasn’t very good,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a close ally of Graham’s.

Indeed, it strikes me that the only people hurt by a boycott would be the American athletes who’ve trained all their lives for what will be, for many of them, their one chance to play at the pinnacle of their sport. Meanwhile, the U.S. will just look foolish.

Personally, though, I’ll be continuing my long-standing boycott of watching the Winter Olympics because they hold no interest for me.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian says:

    Just when I’d thought we’d exhausted all the possible Carter/Obama parallels, this happens.

    If Obama should happen to see any rabbits, he should just run in the other direction. Or have the Secret Service shoot it, if he believes in the Stand Your Ground doctrine…

  2. Butch Bracknell says:

    Brilliant. Why don’t we send them a nuclear bomb, too? His tack to the right to win his primary is becoming tiresome.

  3. Personally, though, I’ll be continuing my long-standing boycott of watching the Winter Olympics because they hold no interest for me.

    Hockey hater! I’ve found more stuff interesting during the Winter Olympics than the Summer. Come on, crewing/rowing, water polo, badminton, etc.?

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Just when I’d thought we’d exhausted all the possible Carter/Obama parallels, this happens.

    Uh…um…huh…WHAT?! So, apparently Senator Lindsey Graham (R) is an alias of President Obama?

    What level of stupidity or cognitive dissonance does it take to equate what Graham (R) says with Obama?

  4. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Timothy Watson: It was a quip, you twit. You might have heard about the US boycott of the 1980 Olympics…

  5. mantis says:

    Remember, everything wingnuts don’t like, real or imagined, is Obama’s fault.

  6. legion says:

    No, we should boycott the Olympics unless Russia promises not to imprison any gay tourists or athletes who go there for it. Make your own “Lindsey Graham’s Beard” jokes now.

  7. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You’ve confused “quip” and “failed analogy.”

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You might have heard about the US boycott of the 1980 Olympics…

    It was stupidity, you twit. You might have heard that Senator Lindsey Graham (R) is not in the Obama administration? Has absolutely NOTHING to do with Obama and his policies?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I wonder…. Can the Olympics boycott Graham?

  10. Electroman says:

    Maybe Graham can boycott the US Senate.

  11. Personally, though, I’ll be continuing my long-standing boycott of watching the Winter Olympics because they hold no interest for me.

    Personally, I like the winter olympics better than the summer olympics. But then, my favorite olympic sport is curling, so I’m weird.

  12. “Personally, though, I’ll be continuing my long-standing boycott of watching the Winter Olympics because they hold no interest for me.”

    HOW DARE YOU DISS CURLING!?!?

  13. JohnMcC says:

    @Electroman: I thnk it’s safe to predict that Mr Graham will be ‘spending more time with his family’ after the Repub primary in ’14. Possibly to follow in Mr Mehlman’s shoe’s?

  14. al-Ameda says:

    Yay! We’ve never boycotted the Olympics because of our ongoing passive aggressive hostilities toward Russia (previously aka Soviet Union) – and trashed the hopes, ambitions and dreams of thousands of America’s potential Olympic athletes over information that was previously disclosed in USA Today. USA USA USA!

    Okay, that’s enough. Seriously, Graham needs to be evaluated with respect to the possible onset of the beginning stages of dementia.

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Just when I’d thought we’d exhausted all the possible Carter/Obama parallels, this happens.

    Just when I thought I knew most of what’s going on in Washington, I learn that Senator Graham (R-SC) is an official in the Obama Administration.

  16. Moosebreath says:

    Lindsey Graham must thinks the 1980 boycott was a success story. After all, the Russians left Afghanistan in response to it, right?

  17. gtleviathan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    In Soviet Russia, YES!

  18. legion says:

    @Electroman: I sure wish I could quit him…

  19. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    It was a quip, you twit.

    Sorry Charlie, a quip implies wit. All you are serving up is two day old tuna salad, with stale irrational hatred of Obama on the side.

    Have you noticed that you have to keep explaining how you are employing wit, banter, etc? If you do it right, people just get it – you don’t have to provide Cliff’s Notes to explain what you are trying to accomplish. As it is, you sound like an unfunny comic bombing on stage then reprimanding the audience for not laughing.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    So in Jenosworld Lindsey Graham (Butters) is actually Obama.
    Which means Butters was born in Kenya…and is a Muslim Socialist.
    Good to know.

  21. JWH says:

    I plan to boycott the Olympics.

    I can’t stand them — either the summer flavor or the winter flavor.