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(Politico)   "Treason is a tough sell in Snowden case" How about sedition? Minor sedition? Jaywalking?   (politico.com) divider line 206
    More: Interesting, Jonathan Turley, Booz Allen Hamilton, electronic surveillance, treason, Benedict Arnold, Fort Meade, court martial  
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5449 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jun 2013 at 9:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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d23 [TotalFark]
2013-06-13 10:15:59 AM

LostGuy: Snowden aided the citizens of the United States by informing us of the programs gathering our information. For the government to declare him a traitor, they would have to admit that they consider the citizens to be an enemy.


Well, listen to the blowhard Peter King... that's basically true.
 
2013-06-13 10:16:23 AM

dittybopper: A Leaf in Fall: So...what's the difference between what Bradley Manning did and what Snowden did?

Manning did an indiscriminate dump of hundreds of thousands of documents to 'get back' at the military because of some perceived mistreatment.

Snowden released a relatively limited amount of classified information based upon his judgment that the programs in question were unconstitutional infringements upon the privacy of all US citizens.

There is a material difference between the two.


If Snowden's problem was with US privacy violations He wouldn't be talking to China about the tactics we use to hack their systems and common targets. If anything he has a problem with spycraft in general, which he should have thought about before agreeing not to disclose classified data.  He clearly broke the law and disseminated classified information and should be tried.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-06-13 10:17:40 AM

Parmenius: Well, he made treason an easier sell now that he's telling China about US spying/hacking against foreign interests. That's pretty direct.


Do we know he actually gave them relevant information?  I mean, gessh, he's said "the U.S. is hacking China."  Duh... if you're smart you should know that already.  It's kind of like saying "the U.S. has spies in China."  Only the ignorant would think that isn't true.
 
2013-06-13 10:18:03 AM

mrshowrules: badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.

Good point.  I would never convict him of anything if I was on a jury.


I have to say, I'd have a hard time wrestling with it.

I used to work indirectly for the NSA, and yes, I've got some Top Secret stuff in my noggin (even if it's all over 20 years out of date).  In fact, my job was to actually intercept foreign communications.  That's what a 'ditty bopper' is, someone who is a Morse code interceptor.

I get a serious case of the creeps when SIGINT stuff is revealed, but on the other hand, back when I was in, FISA was taken *VERY* seriously, apparently much more seriously than it is now.  We were told in no uncertain terms that intercepting the communications of "United States Persons" was verboten except under some very narrow circumstances.

So I'm not really sure how I would vote on a jury deciding this case.  On the one hand, I don't want to encourage the leaking of classified information, but on the other hand, this particular program he leaked should be considered intolerable by anyone who is concerned about their privacy.
 
2013-06-13 10:18:03 AM
Charging Snowden with treason would essentially be the United States federal government admitting that they consider the American public the enemy.
 
2013-06-13 10:18:48 AM
Jesus guys, it's not like he downloaded 30 music torrents or anything.  Now THAT would be criminal.
 
2013-06-13 10:18:53 AM

dittybopper: No one would argue in court that during the Korean War, which was a war by all definition, that North Korea was an 'enemy' that was shooting real bullets at US troops.


Oh I agree, enemy is a broader term than "country we've declared war on." I think it is somewhat ill-defined, though, at least in the Constitution. Is Syria an enemy? Does it have to be a country? Is (for these purposes) Al Queda or the Taliban an enemy? You couldn't call Afghanistan an enemy.
 
2013-06-13 10:22:36 AM
I think it would be cool if he just disappeared, and the u.s. government was like "we don't know anything about that".
I would hope our government has some black ops John Clark types that take care of these situations.
 
2013-06-13 10:24:24 AM

Ninja Otter: dittybopper: No one would argue in court that during the Korean War, which was a war by all definition, that North Korea was an 'enemy' that was shooting real bullets at US troops.

Oh I agree, enemy is a broader term than "country we've declared war on." I think it is somewhat ill-defined, though, at least in the Constitution. Is Syria an enemy? Does it have to be a country? Is (for these purposes) Al Queda or the Taliban an enemy? You couldn't call Afghanistan an enemy.


It's ill-defined at the edges, but this isn't an edge case.
 
2013-06-13 10:25:17 AM

DreamSnipers: PreMortem: PC LOAD LETTER: dittybopper: Nothing that Snowden did could conceivably come close to that: He merely leaked information a news agency about domestic surveillance programs, which isn't levying war, nor is it giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

So telling the Chinese how we spy on them (read the latest news) isn't treason? Because that totally is.

China is our declared enemy now? I must've slept through that.

Passing information to a foreign power can get you convicted for treason, it is not up to the traitor to determine whether the power is 'friendly' or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard
http://news.yahoo.com/edward-snowden-claims-nsa-documents-show-u-hac ks -215625790--abc-news-topstories.html
Snowden seems to be working on a more solid treason case for the US.



You cited a case of espionage, not treason. Also, he passed information to a journalist, not a foreign gov't.
 
2013-06-13 10:26:27 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: dittybopper: Nothing that Snowden did could conceivably come close to that: He merely leaked information a news agency about domestic surveillance programs, which isn't levying war, nor is it giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

So telling the Chinese how we spy on them (read the latest news) isn't treason? Because that totally is.


Uh, no its not. You think they didn't already know? We aren't the only country in the world with the capability to spy on a cell phone call or an email.
 
2013-06-13 10:26:46 AM
I'm confused about all this China talk...I still thought Russia was our number 1 geopolitical foe
 
2013-06-13 10:29:00 AM

badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.


No he wasn't. He did the exact opposite. NSA actions have been backed by Congress, the executive, and the courts. He subverted democracy.
 
2013-06-13 10:29:06 AM

LostGuy: Snowden aided the citizens of the United States by informing us of the programs gathering our information. For the government to declare him a traitor, they would have to admit that they consider the citizens to be an enemy.


Well the do take an oath to protect the nation from domestic enemies. Everyone is a suspect.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-06-13 10:30:05 AM

velvet_fog: badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.

No he wasn't. He did the exact opposite. NSA actions have been backed by Congress, the executive, and the courts. He subverted democracy.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-06-13 10:31:19 AM

BtotheZ: I'm confused about all this China talk...I still thought Russia was our number 1 geopolitical foe


They've been neck-and-neck since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Do try to keep up.
 
2013-06-13 10:33:04 AM

ISubmittedThisYesterdayWithAMuchFunnierHeadline: Charging Snowden with treason would essentially be the United States federal government admitting that they consider the American public the enemy.


I've heard this talking point repeated over and over again, and I have no idea what it really means. Treason as set out under Article III is a different offense than those under the Espionage Act or Sedition Act. Snowden doesn't have to be a traitor to be charged with subverting U.S. interests under one or both of these acts. Both acts have much broader definitions of treason-like offenses, at least one of which Snowden almost certainly violated. This douche deserves to spend 30 years in a federal prison.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-06-13 10:34:11 AM
WTF?!? Is everyone from Peter King's staff posting today?
 
2013-06-13 10:34:20 AM
Snowden will soon find himself in a debriefing room in either Beijing of Moscow.It won't be his choice, and he won't find it pleasant.
 
2013-06-13 10:34:27 AM
The only people committing treason is the NSA, who is wiretapping the entire American public without ever obtaining a court warrant.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-06-13 10:34:33 AM

ISubmittedThisYesterdayWithAMuchFunnierHeadline: Charging Snowden with treason would essentially be the United States federal government admitting that they consider the American public the enemy.


More or less this, especially so since this information was common knowledge from a leaker back in 2006 who by the way, just had charges against him dropped by the DOJ
 
2013-06-13 10:34:55 AM

badhatharry:  He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.


They already have a secret court, what makes you think that there will be an open trial?
 
2013-06-13 10:35:56 AM

DreamSnipers: PreMortem: PC LOAD LETTER: dittybopper: Nothing that Snowden did could conceivably come close to that: He merely leaked information a news agency about domestic surveillance programs, which isn't levying war, nor is it giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

So telling the Chinese how we spy on them (read the latest news) isn't treason? Because that totally is.

China is our declared enemy now? I must've slept through that.

Passing information to a foreign power can get you convicted for treason, it is not up to the traitor to determine whether the power is 'friendly' or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard
http://news.yahoo.com/edward-snowden-claims-nsa-documents-show-u-hac ks -215625790--abc-news-topstories.html
Snowden seems to be working on a more solid treason case for the US.


From the Wiki article you linked to: "Pollard was sentenced to life in prison on one count of espionage on March 4, 1987." So, espionage, not treason.
 
2013-06-13 10:36:00 AM
Holy crap..  What is going on here?

Yes, what he did IS treason.  And there are two very simple reasons that people commit such acts:

1.  I had some shiat to say
2.  After I re-read it, I decided that it doesn't matter anyway.  So I decided not to post.

As long as you can go to sleep tonight knowing that no one from the government is going to bulldoze your house and put a bullet through the head of your entire family...  All of this is nonsense.
 
2013-06-13 10:37:34 AM

PreMortem: DreamSnipers: PreMortem: PC LOAD LETTER: dittybopper: Nothing that Snowden did could conceivably come close to that: He merely leaked information a news agency about domestic surveillance programs, which isn't levying war, nor is it giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

So telling the Chinese how we spy on them (read the latest news) isn't treason? Because that totally is.

China is our declared enemy now? I must've slept through that.

Passing information to a foreign power can get you convicted for treason, it is not up to the traitor to determine whether the power is 'friendly' or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard
http://news.yahoo.com/edward-snowden-claims-nsa-documents-show-u-hac ks -215625790--abc-news-topstories.html
Snowden seems to be working on a more solid treason case for the US.


You cited a case of espionage, not treason. Also, he passed information to a journalist, not a foreign gov't.


Good to know. Now if I want to let China in on something because my loyalty is to them and not us, I can use the handy loophole of letting the press know.
 
2013-06-13 10:37:58 AM

velvet_fog: badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.

No he wasn't. He did the exact opposite. NSA actions have been backed by Congress, the executive, and the courts. He subverted democracy.


How is this NSA program "democratic?"  Because Americans elected the guys that use it against us?

 I feel no sympathy. I repeat, I feel no sympathy! The American people chose their fate. That may surprise some people. Don't fool yourself. We didn't force the American people. They gave us a mandate, and now their little throats are being cut!
 
2013-06-13 10:38:19 AM
Treason is tough to prove??? Are you kidding me? I would kill to be on the jury that heard his case. F the 'proceedings and evidence' he is a traitor to America. Plain and simple.

Then I would sentence him to be ass raped hourly. By that demon in This is the end. That would be justice.
 
2013-06-13 10:38:54 AM
HAVE WE FINALLY CAUGHT A COMMUNIST WITH THE WITCHHUNT?

JOSEPH MCARTHYWAS REALLY KEEN ON US FINALLY CATCHING A COMMUNIST WITH DRACONIAN SURVELENCE.


/maybe we should send americans to special internment camps to keep them from committing terror because they could be terror.
//I heard the japanese loved it. It was like camping with open air latrines and no stall dividers, and group showers.
 
2013-06-13 10:39:25 AM
After some deliberation I have reached the conclusion that no lawyers waste their time commenting on fark.
 
2013-06-13 10:40:17 AM

durbnpoisn: Holy crap..  What is going on here?

Yes, what he did IS treason.


Might want to go re-read the Constitution, Sport.  Specifically, Article III, Section 3.
 
2013-06-13 10:41:02 AM

durbnpoisn: Holy crap..  What is going on here?

Yes, what he did IS treason.  And there are two very simple reasons that people commit such acts:

1.  I had some shiat to say
2.  After I re-read it, I decided that it doesn't matter anyway.  So I decided not to post.

As long as you can go to sleep tonight knowing that no one from the government is going to bulldoze your house and put a bullet through the head of your entire family...  All of this is nonsense.


So any government that isn't murdering you right now is a good government?  You have pretty low standards.
 
2013-06-13 10:43:39 AM

Serious Black: Light treason!


drinkingcinema.com
 
2013-06-13 10:45:06 AM

vygramul: Good to know. Now if I want to let China in on something because my loyalty is to them and not us, I can use the handy loophole of letting the press know.


Why do you assume his loyalty is to a foreign power?  And if it were, couldn't he have just, you know, gave them info without going public in the first place?

You know, I kinda like this debate.  Most debates on Fark are boring ole "90% liberals vs 10% GOP shills."   This one?  It seems to bring out the statists, regardless of political affiliation.

"The horrible shiat that the government does should be kept secret, because security!  This guy should hang!"   OK, Adolf.
 
2013-06-13 10:45:53 AM
The most pathetic thing about all of this is it could have been entirely prevented.


if they had ever bothered to get a farking warrant.

/oh wait, warrants have to be specific to a place person or thing. not just "we want to wiretap everyone for everything at all times.
 
2013-06-13 10:46:46 AM

BarkingUnicorn: How about "creating a nuisance?"

/father-rapin'?


Just put him on the Group W bench for now.

/Littering?
 
2013-06-13 10:46:48 AM

darkedgefan: Treason is tough to prove??? Are you kidding me? I would kill to be on the jury that heard his case. F the 'proceedings and evidence' he is a traitor to America. Plain and simple.

Then I would sentence him to be ass raped hourly. By that demon in This is the end. That would be justice.


For airing the government's dirty laundry?  No punishment is too harsh?
 
2013-06-13 10:47:05 AM
e08595.medialib.glogster.com

You said "sedition" twice!
 
2013-06-13 10:47:18 AM

darkedgefan: Treason is tough to prove??? Are you kidding me? I would kill to be on the jury that heard his case. F the 'proceedings and evidence' he is a traitor to America. Plain and simple.

Then I would sentence him to be ass raped hourly. By that demon in This is the end. That would be justice.


Why do you hate the Constitution of the United States so much?
 
2013-06-13 10:47:58 AM
I'd say Snowden is a prime candidate for that one way mission to Mars.
 
2013-06-13 10:57:51 AM

dittybopper: No one would argue in court that during the Korean War, which was a war by all definition, that North Korea was an 'enemy' that was shooting real bullets at US troops.


SCOTUS occasionally gets literal about "war" provisions and the government's tendency to like treating things as wars without formally declaring them. They've slapped that sort of thing down before.
 
2013-06-13 11:01:13 AM

sendtodave: vygramul: Good to know. Now if I want to let China in on something because my loyalty is to them and not us, I can use the handy loophole of letting the press know.

Why do you assume his loyalty is to a foreign power?  And if it were, couldn't he have just, you know, gave them info without going public in the first place?

You know, I kinda like this debate.  Most debates on Fark are boring ole "90% liberals vs 10% GOP shills."   This one?  It seems to bring out the statists, regardless of political affiliation.

"The horrible shiat that the government does should be kept secret, because security!  This guy should hang!"   OK, Adolf.


I'm not the one making assumptions. I'm not the one who is expressing 100% confidence that what some guy I don't know said about a program I have no visibility into is true. His powerpoint slides do not confirm the extent of his claims.

If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.
 
2013-06-13 11:02:52 AM

sendtodave: vygramul: Good to know. Now if I want to let China in on something because my loyalty is to them and not us, I can use the handy loophole of letting the press know.

Why do you assume his loyalty is to a foreign power?  And if it were, couldn't he have just, you know, gave them info without going public in the first place?

You know, I kinda like this debate.  Most debates on Fark are boring ole "90% liberals vs 10% GOP shills."   This one?  It seems to bring out the statists, regardless of political affiliation.

"The horrible shiat that the government does should be kept secret, because security!  This guy should hang!"   OK, Adolf.


Oh, and you're confusing "what are we doing" with "what we're doing is ok". Sure, some people are saying that if everything he said is true it's still ok. But I'm not saying that. I'm saying I don't believe half of what he is saying, and the other half is being misinterpreted.
 
2013-06-13 11:07:52 AM

vygramul: If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.


Shouldn't "distrusting government" be the default mode?
 
2013-06-13 11:08:00 AM

This text is now purple: dittybopper: No one would argue in court that during the Korean War, which was a war by all definition, that North Korea was an 'enemy' that was shooting real bullets at US troops.

SCOTUS occasionally gets literal about "war" provisions and the government's tendency to like treating things as wars without formally declaring them. They've slapped that sort of thing down before.


Well, we've not had a case like that (treason conviction without a formally declared war) since the 19th Century, but I'm willing to bet you could get one for something like open, active rebellion against the United States.

My point, though, about his actions not supporting a treason charge still stand.
 
2013-06-13 11:13:40 AM

sendtodave: vygramul: If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.

Shouldn't "distrusting government" be the default mode?


It's rally a gradient, and some level of mistrust is healthy. Automatically believing a guy just because he worked for the government? Not so healthy. Transparency issues about and need to be addressed. It doesn't help that congress tends to err on the side of permissiveness, but I have plenty of reason to believe they're not doing what Snowden claims.

/When Rockefeller said he voted for war in Iraq because he didn't understand the intel and was told he couldn't ask his staff for help, my reaction was, "Fark you. You're voting to kill thousands. It's their job to convince you and your job to say no unless you're damn convinced."
 
2013-06-13 11:14:49 AM

vygramul: sendtodave: vygramul: If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.

Shouldn't "distrusting government" be the default mode?

It's really a gradient, and some level of mistrust is healthy. Automatically believing a guy just because he worked for the government? Not so healthy. Transparency issues abound and need to be addressed. It doesn't help that congress tends to err on the side of permissiveness, but I have plenty of reason to believe they're not doing what Snowden claims.

/When Rockefeller said he voted for war in Iraq because he didn't understand the intel and was told he couldn't ask his staff for help, my reaction was, "Fark you. You're voting to kill thousands. It's their job to convince you and your job to say no unless you're damn convinced."


Woah- drunk typing. FTFM.
 
2013-06-13 11:18:15 AM

dittybopper: Treason is completely off the table.  This is how the Constitution defines treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Nothing that Snowden did could conceivably come close to that:  He merely leaked information a news agency about domestic surveillance programs, which isn't levying war, nor is it giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

What he *CAN* be tried and convicted for is for intentionally disclosing classified information to unauthorized personnel, and the government has a pretty open and shut case there:  He's admitted to it openly.


Plea him out to mishandling classified data... they don't want this to go to trial... it'd be a damned fiasco just to get through the discovery phase..
 
2013-06-13 11:19:46 AM

vygramul: sendtodave: vygramul: If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.

Shouldn't "distrusting government" be the default mode?

It's rally a gradient, and some level of mistrust is healthy. Automatically believing a guy just because he worked for the government? Not so healthy. Transparency issues about and need to be addressed. It doesn't help that congress tends to err on the side of permissiveness, but I have plenty of reason to believe they're not doing what Snowden claims.

/When Rockefeller said he voted for war in Iraq because he didn't understand the intel and was told he couldn't ask his staff for help, my reaction was, "Fark you. You're voting to kill thousands. It's their job to convince you and your job to say no unless you're damn convinced."


Eh, fair enough.  "Don't trust the government, but don't trust the douche, either."

Plenty are calling for his balls to be nailed to the wall, however.  I think that's a bit, well, frightening, really..
 
2013-06-13 11:22:17 AM

badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.


All else being equal, I'd be willing to hear him out if I was a juror. I mean, if he believed that the government was committing an illegal act and concealing that act by miscategorizing illegal activities as classified, I'd be inclined to accept that the categorization of "classified" might have been inappropriately applied, negating the charges against him.
 
2013-06-13 11:24:34 AM

sendtodave: vygramul: sendtodave: vygramul: If he only went to China, the case would be open and shut. This way, millions of people who distrust government will automatically take his side. Just wait until the "legal defense fund" starts.

Shouldn't "distrusting government" be the default mode?

It's rally a gradient, and some level of mistrust is healthy. Automatically believing a guy just because he worked for the government? Not so healthy. Transparency issues about and need to be addressed. It doesn't help that congress tends to err on the side of permissiveness, but I have plenty of reason to believe they're not doing what Snowden claims.

/When Rockefeller said he voted for war in Iraq because he didn't understand the intel and was told he couldn't ask his staff for help, my reaction was, "Fark you. You're voting to kill thousands. It's their job to convince you and your job to say no unless you're damn convinced."

Eh, fair enough.  "Don't trust the government, but don't trust the douche, either."

Plenty are calling for his balls to be nailed to the wall, however.  I think that's a bit, well, frightening, really..


I don't trust Snowden, but from the congresspeople who have characterized classified meetings and from the general statements from the NSA Director, it sounds like the PRISM project was even bigger and more invasive than Snowden described.
 
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