The Obama administration appears to be trying to demote Edward Snowden's status to that of a common fugitive unworthy of extraordinary pursuit.
During a visit to Africa, Obama said Thursday that Snowden's case was "not exceptional from a legal perspective."
The University of Oklahoma's Center for Middle East Studies Director Joshua Landis says what he finds most perplexing is the public’s attitude toward Snowden.
"On the one hand, they're terrified of this new security state," Landis says. "At the same time, people are frightened in this new world and they want this surveillance. He's not a hero at all.”
OU College of International Studies Assistant Dean Rebecca Cruise says talking about extradition, asylum, and espionage with Russia evokes old feelings of the Cold War.
"Focusing on his run means that we're not focusing on the bigger issue of our own personal security, and what we're willing to allow the government to do here," Cruise says.