The Obama Administration is sending mixed messages this week in relation to the NSA leaker. Edward Snowden, the now 30 year old hacker who released confidential records that were said to be of serious and utmost security for the US, is getting what seems to be a quasi-pass from President Obama. In a recent speech, President Obama gave an at best unemotional and at worst a “below my pay grade” response in relation to his handling of Snowden, a message which was received with much criticism among Republicans and some Democratic pundits alike.

The President, who has been snubbed by both Russia and China in their aiding of Snowden, appeared to be unaffected by the Snowden case. Asserting that he would not rank this at the top of the priority food chain, he served to create confusion as to the seriousness with which his Administration was taking the violation. Snowden has been panned as providing some of the most crucial information to our enemies in a treasonous attempt to create hysteria and anger over the security measures with which government officials have been taking, including surveillance of private phone records. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed outraged by the act, with Speaker John Boehner and Senator John McCain not far behind in their outrage. Yet, the President took a more relaxed stance, seeming to disdain reporter questions about the hacker. In essence, he appeared bored by the question, aloof, and not quite as concerned as those in his own party.

What must anger the President over this situation is that his strength and influence is being called into question. Though he labels this issue as one that is in the police jurisdiction, there is no doubt that the snubbing by Russian and Chinese officials have challenged his own perception of his influence. It could be that he simply does not care or see Snowden as a threat or he it could be that he has not enjoyed the lack of power behind his words in international affairs. Time will tell how the conflict is resolved, but there is no doubt that the world perception of the President has weakened… whether he admits it or not.