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(Politico)   "Treason is a tough sell in Snowden case" How about sedition? Minor sedition? Jaywalking?   (politico.com) divider line 62
    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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Archived thread
2013-06-13 10:14:05 AM
5 votes:
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.
2013-06-13 12:33:18 PM
3 votes:

firefly212: I think given our current evidence, the 4th Amendment supercedes the PATRIOT Act, making all these warrant-less searches unconstitutional violations of civil rights. But like I said, I don't know how that case will turn out, it's gonna make its way through the courts, and though I'm sure 3 or 4 SCOTUS justices will find it unconstitutional, I don't know how the whole ruling itself will go. That said, I'd concede (to Mr. Snowden) that if 3 or 4 of our best and brightest judicial minds don't believe it to be constitutional, that it isn't unreasonable for a Technical Analyst to reach that same conclusion.


All of which is entirely irrelevant to the culpability that Snowden bears. It's not his job to take vigilante action in anticipation of what he believes the Supreme Court might decide. Even if we grant your assertion that the legality is "muddled at best", it's not this guy's job to unilaterally make that decision. It's like with those local sheriffs who claim they won't enforce gun laws duly passed by legislatures because "Constitution" - even though it's true that the amendments to the Constitution are technically superior to these laws, it's not their place to make this decision, and their sincere beliefs to the contrary won't shield them from the consequences for their actions.

He broke the law, and what you're talking about is absolutely not a defense against breaking the law - like I said, it at most can be a factor in mitigating his final punishment (i.e., less severe than someone who did the same thing in exchange for money).
2013-06-13 10:34:27 AM
3 votes:
The only people committing treason is the NSA, who is wiretapping the entire American public without ever obtaining a court warrant.

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2013-06-13 08:29:05 AM
3 votes:
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.
2013-06-13 04:01:07 PM
2 votes:

SevenT: If what he revealed was an unconstitutional act, then is he still guilty of something? No matter whether it was classified as "secret" or not. Consider then that if he is guilty, all a rogue government has to do is declare anything unconstitutional as "secret" and then they can go after anyone who makes it public.

THAT is more than a slippery slope.


There is a legal whistle blower process to follow that prevents the slippery slope.    Snowden decided to forgo the process and the protections it provides.  He broke the law and it doesn't matter if what he exposed is later determined to be unconstitutional.  He still broke the law.
2013-06-13 01:38:06 PM
2 votes:

firefly212: It isn't irrelevant, if the government is soliciting for people to commit illegal acts, then it's damned relevant.


There's no way for him to know that "illegal acts" were being carried out, since it's not his job to personally wade in and unilaterally render his judgment on something that is at best settled law and at worst a "controversial" issue that will be settled by the courts over the long term.

For that matter, I don't even know if he's making that claim himself. But anyway, you don't even have to take my word for it. Look at just about any informed commentary on the guy's legal prospects - TFA is a good place to start, but I'm sure there are more detailed analyses on law journals etc. Go through them, and note the complete absence of "Well maybe he really thought the Fourth Amendment was being violated!" At least to the extent of determining his culpability.
2013-06-13 12:54:52 PM
2 votes:

positronica: You seem to be misinformed, Biological Ali, on the potential illegality of the government's acts and on what would constitute a reasonable interpretation of those acts...

I think your problem, Biological Ali, is that you've confused your own sincere beliefs for actual reasoned analysis.


You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".
2013-06-13 11:56:30 AM
2 votes:

firefly212: I can't say how the whole ruling would go, but his belief in the illegality of the program should be relevant, provided it is reasonable


Sure, it should be relevant to the extent that he gets maybe 25 instead of 30 years (just as an example) if they really believed he had good intentions. But "I thought I was doing the right thing" has, in and of itself, never been an excuse for breaking the law.
2013-06-13 11:43:20 AM
2 votes:

mizchief: Stop this nonsense of calling Snowden a traitor. He is a whistleblower plain and simple.


Whistleblowers point out dishonest or illegal operations. PRISM is not terribly dishonest, nor illegal. (Secretive, skectchy, etc? Sure.) Snowden is not a whistleblower.

Sorry, you don't get to rewrite what words mean to suit your politics. That doesn't help anyone.
2013-06-13 10:18:03 AM
2 votes:
Charging Snowden with treason would essentially be the United States federal government admitting that they consider the American public the enemy.
2013-06-13 09:53:58 AM
2 votes:

Vodka Zombie: Sedition?!?

If we bring back charging people with sedition, we're going to wind up jailing or hanging half of Congress and all of the Teabaggers.

Hmm...

We should bring it back.


Don't forget anyone who carried a "Bush = Hitler" sign, or had such a bumper sticker on their vehicle.  Most of the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

Pretty much all you'd be left with is bland soccer moms who don't give a crap about politics, and politically neutered males.

/Good luck with that.
2013-06-13 09:53:49 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 09:31:46 AM
2 votes:
Sedition?!?

If we bring back charging people with sedition, we're going to wind up jailing or hanging half of Congress and all of the Teabaggers.

Hmm...

We should bring it back.
2013-06-13 05:00:01 PM
1 votes:

Stoker: This text is now purple:  Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
-=-
(Applause.)

Let me ask you all out there...
DO YOU TAKE THAT OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION?

I'm not asking if you have someone asking you to raise your right hand and swear the oath, I'm asking if you just plainly and outright personally take the oath as a citizen in your heart? I'm not asking about your religion, but your Americanism.

If the answer is yes, then you understand Snowden was a whistleblower and not acting against but yet FOR the people of this country.
Don't you?


I had to swear an oath.

I agree that a federal employee has a duty to the people of the United States to blow the whistle on unconstitutional doings.

But even beyond the U.S., there's a moral standard to which one could be held as well. Just because it's legal in your country to kill Jews doesn't mean you won't be executed for doing it.

Nevertheless, there are problems with declaring Snowden a hero.
1: There are mechanisms for blowing the whistle that do not involve trumpeting to the world
2: There are a lot of things in his story that do not add-up
3: It's not clear that what the feds are doing is actually unconstitutional

I'm not saying he needs to be strung-up yet, but I'm not willing to pat him on the shoulder, either. It has to be demonstrated that not only was this program illegal, but there was no confidential means by which he could have triggered the appropriate review.

On a side note, I don't feel like all the Justices of the Supreme Court are protecting and honoring the Constitution, and some are selling us out.

I do not find myself agreeing with all their interpretations, especially with regards to corporate law, but we're kind of stuck.
2013-06-13 03:46:06 PM
1 votes:
I think what he needs to worry bout isn't being charged with a crime, it's being killed.  Right now, there are a ton of nutcase terror types running around who would love to make the US look bad.  If they kill this guy, the US will almost certainly get the blame.
2013-06-13 03:02:29 PM
1 votes:

Biological Ali: You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".


The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Here is the current oath of an executive branch employee (1884):


"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
2013-06-13 02:24:28 PM
1 votes:

positronica: mat catastrophe:   And no, the general public is pretty much OK with PRISM and moreso with Verizon handing over call metadata. Sorry, but the "cyber-libertarians" lost when they ceded control to the capitalists and "cyber-utopians". All your data are belong to US(NSA).

If you run a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of the government using telephone metadata to catch terrorists?", then yeah, the public is probably going say "Ok".  On the other hand, if you ran a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of letting the government set up a perpetual database that would allow someone without a warrant to identify what medical conditions you might have, the health of your marriage, your sexual orientation, your religious beliefs, your political leanings, and your financial stability, and that furthermore there would be no public oversight of access of use of information in this database?", then I'm guessing the public would respond with a resounding "No".


If we're running the country on polling data, you should be advised there's a pretty slim support for basic civil rights for anyone who isn't similar to the cultural hegemony.

Again, folks. You can be for or against this ridiculous program all you want to, but you can't just magically pick and choose how or why you're against it.

For instance, you seem to think we should collectively do whatever the polls tells us to do. Fine. Two hundred years ago, the polls would have said slavery was great! One hundred years ago, they were telling us women shouldn't vote and children should work in coal mines.

Using polls for how we determine what is right and wrong in a society is dangerous. Sorry.
2013-06-13 02:06:20 PM
1 votes:
Not surprised that so many people don't know the definition of "treason." Am amazed, however, at how many Farkers don't understand the meaning of "wiretapping."

What the NSA is doing is not wiretapping. Nobody is listening to your calls, and they are not being recorded.

Of course, this doesn't mean it's all right. While I have no objection to phone records being used by law enforcement on a case-by-case basis (how many crimes have we seen solved by [admittedly] fictional TV detectives because of information gleaned by a suspect's phone bill?), the secrecy of the FISA court and the ease of access to the data pretty much guarantees that the system will be abused. If I were a reporter, for instance, I would be a fool to contact confidential sources with my cell phone. I would seek out the few remaining pay phones in whatever city I was working, and use them sparingly. In fact, as the revelations about the subpoenas of AP's phone records reminded us, I'm surprised that that isn't common practice already.

And what about that huge data farm the NSA is building out in the desert? That can't come cheap. There are many things I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on.
2013-06-13 01:32:21 PM
1 votes:

Biological Ali: firefly212: I think given our current evidence, the 4th Amendment supercedes the PATRIOT Act, making all these warrant-less searches unconstitutional violations of civil rights. But like I said, I don't know how that case will turn out, it's gonna make its way through the courts, and though I'm sure 3 or 4 SCOTUS justices will find it unconstitutional, I don't know how the whole ruling itself will go. That said, I'd concede (to Mr. Snowden) that if 3 or 4 of our best and brightest judicial minds don't believe it to be constitutional, that it isn't unreasonable for a Technical Analyst to reach that same conclusion.

All of which is entirely irrelevant to the culpability that Snowden bears. It's not his job to take vigilante action in anticipation of what he believes the Supreme Court might decide. Even if we grant your assertion that the legality is "muddled at best", it's not this guy's job to unilaterally make that decision. It's like with those local sheriffs who claim they won't enforce gun laws duly passed by legislatures because "Constitution" - even though it's true that the amendments to the Constitution are technically superior to these laws, it's not their place to make this decision, and their sincere beliefs to the contrary won't shield them from the consequences for their actions.

He broke the law, and what you're talking about is absolutely not a defense against breaking the law - like I said, it at most can be a factor in mitigating his final punishment (i.e., less severe than someone who did the same thing in exchange for money).


It isn't irrelevant, if the government is soliciting for people to commit illegal acts, then it's damned relevant. If the choice for him is between helping them break the law, and disclosing that they're soliciting for people to break the law, I'm a-ok with the disclosure. Classification is meant to provide national security for sensitive matters, not to hide illegal acts. I'm not going to support the government knowingly mis-classifying activities simply to hide that it is breaking the law... that'd just be silly.
2013-06-13 12:18:32 PM
1 votes:

Biological Ali: Alathea: Biological Ali: Alathea: 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.

I didnt vote for it-and I suspect that many millions of others did not, as well.

Railing against the government doing something that's legal and vetted at multiple levels while making vague references to "the Constitution" and "the American people" is something I'd expect out of the Tea Party.

Just because the in-club "vetted it" in response to all the derp about "turrerists" at the time doesn't make it right-or legal. I can collectively decide with my office mates to steal money from payroll. Doesn't make it legal just because we all agree on it. FISA is supposed to be extremely limited and on a case by case basis for specific information necessary for an investigation-not a sweeping broadside at all domestic communications 'just in case'.

Make all the arguments you want about whether you think it's right or not; that's perfectly fine. When people start making claims about legality, on the other hand, they cross very quickly into "Area man passionate defender..." territory.


It may seem that way, but I am anything but. I think that there are several laws that, while 'legal' in the sense that the boys club all agree about it, are still not legal under Constitutional scrutiny. The problem is that rarely does anyone bother to open it up to challenge.
2013-06-13 12:15:12 PM
1 votes:

Biological Ali: firefly212: Biological Ali: firefly212: I can't say how the whole ruling would go, but his belief in the illegality of the program should be relevant, provided it is reasonable

Sure, it should be relevant to the extent that he gets maybe 25 instead of 30 years (just as an example) if they really believed he had good intentions. But "I thought I was doing the right thing" has, in and of itself, never been an excuse for breaking the law.

I don't give a shiat what he thought was "right"... I care more about the fact that he reasonably believed the government agency he was working for was actively soliciting for him and others to break the law.

I think you're confusing "reasonable" with "sincere". He may well have sincerely believed it with all his heart, but (on the current evidence, anyway), the belief is still about as reasonable as as the birther Marine's.


I think given our current evidence, the 4th Amendment supercedes the PATRIOT Act, making all these warrant-less searches unconstitutional violations of civil rights. But like I said, I don't know how that case will turn out, it's gonna make its way through the courts, and though I'm sure 3 or 4 SCOTUS justices will find it unconstitutional, I don't know how the whole ruling itself will go. That said, I'd concede (to Mr. Snowden) that if 3 or 4 of our best and brightest judicial minds don't believe it to be constitutional, that it isn't unreasonable for a Technical Analyst to reach that same conclusion.
2013-06-13 12:05:33 PM
1 votes:

Biological Ali: firefly212: I can't say how the whole ruling would go, but his belief in the illegality of the program should be relevant, provided it is reasonable

Sure, it should be relevant to the extent that he gets maybe 25 instead of 30 years (just as an example) if they really believed he had good intentions. But "I thought I was doing the right thing" has, in and of itself, never been an excuse for breaking the law.


I don't give a shiat what he thought was "right"... I care more about the fact that he reasonably believed the government agency he was working for was actively soliciting for him and others to break the law.
2013-06-13 12:00:51 PM
1 votes:

AngryJailhouseFistfark: When Birther Marine did that, it was based on precisely zero evidence so he could (a) get out of his deployment and (2) be a loud-mouth troublemaker. It was nonsense. Snowden's got solid documentation of what the NSA is doing and the NSA admits this stuff is real. Altogether different.


The classified documents that have been leaked are indeed very real, but in terms of support for the allegation that there was something "illegal" going on, or that this guy was "upholding the Constitution" by doing what he did, he's right up there with Birther Marine. In fact, he's probably a step or two below Birther Marine, since that guy's only angle was "I don't want any part of these actions that I believe are illegal" and not "I believe it's illegal so I'm going to try and sabotage the war effort".
2013-06-13 11:56:04 AM
1 votes:
Geesh. What don't you guy get? The Constitution was created for the purpose of preventing a tyrannic government. (The creators had just fought one off.) The items in the Patriot Act allows for that to happen. It (The Act) has long surpassed security and is now into individual profiling.

"I will log all the information and when you do something that contests my power and authority, I will pull your data up and find in all the emotionally charged writings something to convict you on and easily quash the issue." That is someone's fact. That someone is among the authors of the Patriot Act. Someone knows everything it said long before it went to the Congress who did not read it.

Snowden is a true Patriot, and you could only wish you had a fraction of his balls to fight for the true meaning of the Constitution.
2013-06-13 11:52:58 AM
1 votes:
Hey, if the government's not doing anything illegal, they've got nothing to hide.
2013-06-13 11:49:45 AM
1 votes:

mat catastrophe: PRISM is not terribly dishonest,


Oh, well, if it isn't terribly dishonest, just fairly dishonest, that doesn't count.

Did most of the public know about this program before this guy made a fuss?

No?

He blew a whistle that alerted them to it.  As you say, words have meaning, and that's exactly what whistle-blowing means.

And now, hopefully, the public will NOT support this program.
2013-06-13 11:49:07 AM
1 votes:

This text is now purple: Under the law, belief need only be "reasonable", not absolute, or even correct. His primary duty is to uphold the constitution. All other considerations are secondary, and derive from that.


That's not even remotely true. Do you remember what happened to that birther Marine who believed he was "upholding the constitution" by refusing to carry out the Kenyan usurper's orders?
2013-06-13 11:29:52 AM
1 votes:

firefly212: 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.


What he "believed" shouldn't count for anything, except possibly for some slight mitigation at his final sentencing. It's his duty to not be ignorant of the facts and the law before doing something like this - if it can't be shown that the government was doing anything illegal to begin with then he should certainly pay for his stupidity.
2013-06-13 11:25:12 AM
1 votes:
Stop this nonsense of calling Snowden a traitor. He is a whistleblower plain and simple. If he had taken that info to a foreign government in secret, or directly passed secretes found, or gave a foreign official the heads up that we know he likes little boys and will use it to blackmail him in negotiations, then maybe. He simply used his position to add some authority to what the "conspiracy theorist" have been saying all along.

Apparently in this country reading a bill and telling others what it says makes you a conspiracy nut, and pointing out a specific case where it's applied makes you a traitor.
2013-06-13 11:24:34 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 11:13:40 AM
1 votes:

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 10:47:58 AM
1 votes:
I'd say Snowden is a prime candidate for that one way mission to Mars.
2013-06-13 10:47:18 AM
1 votes:

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 10:45:53 AM
1 votes:
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 10:41:02 AM
1 votes:

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 10:40:17 AM
1 votes:

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 10:39:25 AM
1 votes:
After some deliberation I have reached the conclusion that no lawyers waste their time commenting on fark.
2013-06-13 10:38:19 AM
1 votes:
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 10:33:04 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 10:29:00 AM
1 votes:

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 10:18:48 AM
1 votes:
Jesus guys, it's not like he downloaded 30 music torrents or anything.  Now THAT would be criminal.
2013-06-13 10:18:03 AM
1 votes:

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 10:16:23 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 10:10:48 AM
1 votes:

IlGreven: It might help if the Republicans would pick either castigating Obama for the program or Snowden for revealing the program. Either the program is bad, or revealing the program is bad. You can't have it both ways, Republicans.


I don't think the Republicans quite know how to approach this whole thing.  If they push too hard, you can just come back at them with, "Wait a second, weren't you guys the one who wanted to put this whole system in place anyway?  That whole PATRIOT act thing?"  And they also risk alienating a lot of their own voters who don't like RAND PAUL types and who would say to them "Why are you keeping our country from fighting terrorism?"  And there are probably, still, a lot more of those people than PAUL fans.

It's why while this could really be a scandal, they can't really sink their teeth into it the way they did with something like Benghazi or even Umbrella-gate.
2013-06-13 10:03:29 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 10:01:05 AM
1 votes:
It might help if the Republicans would pick either castigating Obama for the program or Snowden for revealing the program. Either the program is bad, or revealing the program is bad. You can't have it both ways, Republicans.
2013-06-13 09:58:57 AM
1 votes:

dittybopper: that North Korea was wasn't an 'enemy' that was shooting real bullets at US troops.


FTFM.
2013-06-13 09:55:55 AM
1 votes:
This is BS.

Free Manning.
2013-06-13 09:53:27 AM
1 votes:

Hobodeluxe: you don't know everything about what he has in those laptops and who in Hong Kong he's talking to.


And let me guess, YOU, of all people, farking do?  Guess what, you don't know shiat.

What ditty said is right on; there's an open and shut case for revealing secrets and removal of classified documents.  No question on it.

If you have evidence of treason, I suggest calling the Feds or a reporter, because you're OBVIOUSLY some sort of psychic.  Or a lame assed fool sitting at home in his mom's basement.
2013-06-13 09:48:03 AM
1 votes:

Hobodeluxe: you don't know everything about what he has in those laptops and who in Hong Kong he's talking to.


Unless he has direct contact with Al Qaeda, treason doesn't apply

(well, maybe you could argue for North Korea, since we are still technically at war with them).

But even if he *WAS* (which seems unlikely), there is still this hurdle:

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.

Find two witnesses to the same "overt Act", or get him to admit it in court, or it won't fly.
2013-06-13 09:46:32 AM
1 votes:
How about "creating a nuisance?"

/father-rapin'?
2013-06-13 09:45:17 AM
1 votes:
Let's just make all whistleblowers illegal nonpersons. It's not like we're really fooling anyone anymore anyway.
2013-06-13 09:44:55 AM
1 votes:

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.


Are we at war with the PRC?  Are we shooting at them, and are they shooting at us?

No?

Then treason doesn't apply.  Nor does it need to, as there are enough statutes to charge him with that a charge of treason isn't necessary.
2013-06-13 09:43:26 AM
1 votes:

Prank Call of Cthulhu: DamnYankees: He's got the worst farking attorneys.

Shoulda called Saul.


Nah, I think he would have been better off with Bob Loblaw. A well-timed law bomb lobbed from his law blog would get him off.
2013-06-13 09:42:11 AM
1 votes:
Light treason!
2013-06-13 09:40:00 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 09:38:37 AM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: He's got the worst farking attorneys.


Shoulda called Saul.
2013-06-13 09:35:11 AM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: He's got the worst farking attorneys.


i.picasion.com
2013-06-13 08:59:22 AM
1 votes:
He's got the worst farking attorneys.
2013-06-13 08:54:38 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-06-13 08:53:32 AM
1 votes:

dittybopper: 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.


And we're done.
2013-06-13 08:28:36 AM
1 votes:
Not enough people are tried for being aliens in the Alien and Sedition Acts.
 
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