I see that Edward Snowden is about to leave Russia, and that’s really too bad, because I had a great idea for a swap.

Since welcoming Snowden, Russian leaders have made some hilarious statements about how much they love dissidents.  And here is Dmitri Trenin, the director of Carnegie Moscow Center, adding to the hilarity:  “Russia is turning into a haven — virtually, intellectually and physically — for those who have an ax to grind with the West, who are whistle-blowers or have problems with Western authorities.”

Let’s leave aside how strange it feels, as an Eastern European person, to hear that Russia enjoys the presence of whistle-blowers–oh really??  But fine, let the Russians keep Snowden.  What’s the point of dragging him back here?  Sounds like all the secrets have already been spilled, the damage has been done.  Let him hide out in Moscow if that’s what he wants to do.

But in exchange, can we have the Pussy Riot girls?  If I remember correctly, two of those women are still languishing in one of Russia’s miserable labor camps, all because they dared criticize the church and state in their own country.  Some human rights achievement.  With their punk rebellious attitude, they would fit in perfectly in a place like NYC or San Francisco.  And here, we may spy on our own citizens, but we are not quite so crude about persecuting them.

So whaddya say, Putin?

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