While in Normandy, France for the 70th Anniversary of the Allies D-Day Invasion, Barack Obama was interviewed by Brian Williams.
Williams queried the President about Edward Snowden. At the 2:21 mark Williams begins, "... How has the United States been harmed by what he did?"
President Obama answers, "Well, I, I'm not going to comment on, on the particulars of the case. Ah, I will say the disclosures that we've seen, ah, had a very significant impact on, ah, our intelligence operations around the World [Evanescent Cheek Puff at 2:38] and a grave impact on a number of our diplomatic relationships, ah, compromised, ah, our ability to gain insight into, ah, some of the work our adversaries do ...."
This evanescent cheek puff is captured in this image. To fully appreciate this very short-lived nonverbal, it must be watched in the dynamic context of the video above.
Don't confuse this with the much more dramatic "Puffer Fish" (Do you know it's meaning?)
The evanescent cheek puff is a reliable indicator of anxiety and is often seen in scenarios where a person is otherwise very skilled at not revealing the true nature or magnitude of their feelings. It is very useful within negotiation-type scenarios. President Obama has significant worry over the State secrets that Snowden divulged as he expresses here verbally - and here his nonverbal signals are highly congruent with his answer.
What other body language is displayed in this video which gives us even greater insight into what Mr. Obama feels about - and how he is handling the "Snowden problem". About the Bowe Bergdahl - Taliban prisoner exchange?
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