We can compare the Snowden Metadata Crisis of 2013 to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Putin is like Khrushchev. He deliberately provokes the Americans. This started in the Kitchen Debate and earlier. The shoe pounding.
Putin has been told this analogy by ruling circles in Russia and told to cool it. Putin has been told he will be retired like Khrushchev if he keeps on.
Obama is like Kennedy except less involved.
Putin has to prove he is smarter than Kennedy, just like all KGB types do.
As the crisis unfolded ruling circles on each side told the provocateurs to pull back. On the Russian side, this was Putin. On the US side it is presumably DOJ prosecutors, NSA big wigs and such like.
We may eventually learn who provoked the Evo Morales Bolivia plane blocking. Whoever was behind that has been told to cool off.
It is possible that the US and Russia have agreed to Snowden going to Venezuela. He may already be there. He may have been on the Morales plane all along.
Comparing the two timelines is interesting. At the point that Putin said “American partners” he had been told to stop provoking the Americans.
What of Snowden? Did he provoke a crisis? Was it just him? Who planned a confrontation between America and China? Then Russia and America?
Snowden, Putin, Assange, Glenn Greenwald, or someone else.