5:51 p.m. July 25, 2013

The Fascist And The Snowflake

The Russian media is reporting today that the same Russian Duma fascist who forced me to flee Russia in 2008 after he denounced me for alleged “extremism” — a jailable offense in Russia used to silence Kremlin critics —is now taking on Snowden’s “human rights” in a European human rights body, PACE. Russia has taken a beating in PACE for its appalling human rights record — Snowden offers the Kremlin a rare opportunity to hit back and blunt criticism.

Robert Schlegel is the perfect goon to take on Snowden’s “human rights” case. Schlegel — the Duma’s carrot-top fascist, and former leader of the Putin youth cult “Nashi”— told Gazeta.ru that he will be part of a Russian “Snowden” delegation to PACE this autumn. Schlegel’s Russia delegation plans to submit a report to PACE on Snowden’s human rights situation, and he and other deputies told Gazeta.ru that the Russians plan to lead the PACE committee taking up Snowden’s asylum case and Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying on Russian officials and others.

Besides having threatened me and chased me out of Russia, Schlegel serves in the Duma’s Committee on Media and Online Communications, where he’s been responsible for authoring several bills censoring the media and the Internet and criminalizing “offensive” speech, bills that have been denounced by human rights activists and journalists. In 2008, Schlegel denounced me and “The eXile” as “extremists.” He also criticized me for not supporting Bush’s war in Iraq, arguing that citizens should never oppose their country’s leader. Schlegel’s hysterical ranting against me on live Russian radio, on a program hosted by opposition leader Roman Dobrokhotov, came days after the Kremlin raided and shut down my newspaper.

Today, Schlegel proudly told Gazeta.ru,

“Discussions on the Snowden question have already taken place as a matter of urgency,” and said he would be part of a Russian delegation that will present Snowden’s case to PACE.

The Gazeta.ru story is headlined “A Spy in PACE: Russian parliamentarians are exploiting the Edward Snowden story in order to criticize the USA for human rights violations before an international body.” The bitter sarcasm reflects some of the muted grumbling about Snowden that’s been bubbling to the surface in Russia’s opposition media and human rights community.

The lede paragraph reports:

“Experts suggest that Russian parliamentarians are using this situation in order to accuse the USA of violating human rights abuses.”

One expert, Evgeniy Minchenko, director of the International Institute of Political Expertise, told Gazeta.ru,

“that the tactic that Russian parliamentarians plan to use is called, ‘But you lynch Negroes.’”

If you’ve read Solzhenitsyn’s “First Circle,” you know exactly what Minchenko means by this “But you lynch Negroes” strategy. Solzhenitsyn describes a scene in a GULAG visited by a UN delegation led by Eleanor Roosevelt; the terrified, abused inmates are brought before the UN delegation, and Roosevelt asks them if they have any complaints they want her to take back to the UN. One inmate stands up and says, “Yes, I want to complain about the treatment of Negroes in America.”

And with that, a satisfied Ms Roosevelt leaves.

Back channel chatter

  1. The First Circle. Excellent book. That part is so, so funny. Sad that it still works.