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(ABC)   Eric Holder asks Russia to return Edward Snowden, promises not to torture or execute him. Much   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 133
    More: Obvious, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Russia, U.S., torture, Espionage Act  
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1457 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 Jan 2014 at 7:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-23 10:03:53 PM  

King Something: grimlock1972: Snowden willing and knowingly broke the law, he plotted to do so well before he committed his criminal acts, he has admitted as much.

yes he revealed what the NSA was up to in regards to US Citizens, but the ends do not justify the means.

Also i would not be surprised if he is giving Russia secrets in exchange for his safe haven.

I do not want him dead, i want him to face trial and more than likely be convicted.

He is no hero he is a criminal.

Just because what he did was illegal doesn't mean he's not a hero. He's no less a hero than the people who film cops beating up black people for fun in places where filming the police is illegal.


If he had stopped with exposing what the NSA was doing to US citizens , and had the courage to face prosecution then i could see him as a hero.

He is a coward, he purposely took material unrelated to exposing what the NSA was doing to US citizens, then ran away and hide behind what he took as a shield.

Also he is no whistle blower IMO, a whistle blower finds info in the course of their job, they do not set out to steal that information and take a job with that purpose in mind.
 
2014-01-23 10:07:23 PM  

Biological Ali: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: His methods are much more Woodward and Bernstein than Wikileaks.

It would be Greenwald who would be Woodward/Bernstein in this scenario (though not really). The actual leaker for the Pentagon Papers (Ellsberg) was indeed prosecuted, ant the case only fell apart due to procedural issues with how the evidence against him was collected. There's never been any legal principle or tradition protecting people who leak classified information to the press.


That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.

In this case I think Snowden did what he believed was the right thing to do.  I'd be OK with Snowden facing the same level of repercussions as the administration officials responsible for the crap he exposed.

Cheers.
 
2014-01-23 10:11:42 PM  

doctor wu: Were the people who are calling for Snowden's head equally as outraged about the outing of Valerie Plame?


Yes.

Why do you imagine that this is some kind of partisan thing? Or are you one of the ones who feels that anyone who thinks Snowden was wrong must therefore support the NSA? There are two wrong sides in this one, and some of us are capable of seeing that. Just because Snowden was an idiot does not therefore mean that the NSA doesn't need to be scrutinized in this.

Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?
 
2014-01-23 10:15:46 PM  

nickdaisy: The most odious part of Bush and Obama's trouncing of the Constitution is their reliance on the "state secrets privilege," a fictitious legal privilege, borrowed from the ancient English common law but abolished hundreds of years ago, that allows the government to summarily shut down any case brought against it on amorphous national security grounds. This alone is justification for why Snowden could never receive a Constitutional, fair trial under the present regime. It's as if the government said you couldn't vote because you're black, you brought suit citing the 14th and 15th Amendments, and they demanded the case be dismissed under the Crown's right to have custody over all slaves. Complete rubbish propagated by people who want control over everything under the pretense of security.

At least Bush had the excuse of being an idiot, but Constitutional scholar Obama should be ashamed of himself. Contrary to what the media seems to be parroting-- this is not a vague issue. The Constitution is quite clear about the impropriety of general warrants and the requirement of due process.

Bring back our Constitutional protections and Snowden.


Every time I read some post like this I can't help buy wonder how many jars of urine the poster has in their bedroom.
 
2014-01-23 10:22:09 PM  
"Snowden should have gone through the proper channels ..."

Are you f'ing kidding me?  The story of his life would have been "... and he was never seen nor heard of again".
 
2014-01-23 10:24:34 PM  

Brian_of_Nazareth: That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.


If you're going to raise some vague objection against something I've said, why bother linking to something that shows I was right? Did you not read it yourself? Or perhaps you trusted that others in this thread would just take your word for it without reading it first?
 
2014-01-23 10:24:35 PM  

grimlock1972: He is a coward, he purposely took material unrelated to exposing what the NSA was doing to US citizens, then ran away and hide behind what he took as a shield.



But the question you should be asking yourself is, how on earth was a contractor given access to so much information? Are there any safeguards in place? If I accidentally cut off an NSA agent in traffic, is he going to be able to track down my licence plate to find my phone records, tax bills, and whatever else, just because he is pissed off?

Even if Snowden is the most traitorousy traitor that ever traited, he should have had a hard time filling a floppy with data unrelated to his job. The fact that the NSA apparently allows anyone to look at whatever they want without adequate safeguard should be just as shocking as the fact that they are spying on everyone without a clear constitutional mandate. Everyone with the authority to secure such information and didn't should be fired as an example.
 
2014-01-23 10:32:52 PM  

Sgygus: "Snowden should have gone through the proper channels ..."

Are you f'ing kidding me?  The story of his life would have been "... and he was never seen nor heard of again".


It's not like there even are proper channels. Whistleblower protections don't exist for security contractors, and the people you take your grievances to are the very same people who think the system is working as intended. You'd first take it up the chain within your own company - who is getting paid to do the surveillance - and in the extremely unlikely situation it went even higher, the decision would be with the people who thought it was fine to pay for in the first place. Even if you went to a sympathetic party within Congress, it would still be a felony to disclose the information.

There is literally no way to go through proper channels to affect change. The system ensures it.
 
2014-01-23 10:34:47 PM  

Sgygus: "Snowden should have gone through the proper channels ..."

Are you f'ing kidding me?  The story of his life would have been "... and he was never seen nor heard of again".  never have been written since not only would he would have been disappeared or suicided, but so would anyone who cared enough about him to have bothered filing a missing persons report, much less write the story of his life.


FTFY.

/like I said in another thread, he probably ran to Hong Kong and then Russia because everyone in his life except his stripper girlfriend has already been gulag'd
 
2014-01-23 10:40:22 PM  
He can get a fair trial, he's just not sure it will end up with him getting off free.
 
2014-01-23 10:42:06 PM  

Gyrfalcon: doctor wu: Were the people who are calling for Snowden's head equally as outraged about the outing of Valerie Plame?

Yes.

Why do you imagine that this is some kind of partisan thing? Or are you one of the ones who feels that anyone who thinks Snowden was wrong must therefore support the NSA? There are two wrong sides in this one, and some of us are capable of seeing that. Just because Snowden was an idiot does not therefore mean that the NSA doesn't need to be scrutinized in this.

Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?


I'm not sure why you call Snowden an idiot but that's your prerogative, I see him as a whistleblower.  And your analogy is apt, both Snowden and the NSA engaged in criminal activity.  But in your scenario both criminals were prosecuted where in real life Snowden would be jailed indefinitely while the NSA will get off scot free.  Not fair and why Snowden left, the precedent had already been set with Bradley Manning.  Snowden was only an idiot for not finding safe haven before he released his information.

How about another analogy, would you throw the book at someone who jaywalked while chasing a mugger that just robbed a little old lady?
 
2014-01-23 10:42:28 PM  

Snarfangel: grimlock1972: He is a coward, he purposely took material unrelated to exposing what the NSA was doing to US citizens, then ran away and hide behind what he took as a shield.


But the question you should be asking yourself is, how on earth was a contractor given access to so much information? Are there any safeguards in place? If I accidentally cut off an NSA agent in traffic, is he going to be able to track down my licence plate to find my phone records, tax bills, and whatever else, just because he is pissed off?

Even if Snowden is the most traitorousy traitor that ever traited, he should have had a hard time filling a floppy with data unrelated to his job. The fact that the NSA apparently allows anyone to look at whatever they want without adequate safeguard should be just as shocking as the fact that they are spying on everyone without a clear constitutional mandate. Everyone with the authority to secure such information and didn't should be fired as an example.


Because contractors are just workers in the DoD - there are some minor authoritative and of course contractual duties they can't perform, but all in all when I was active duty, I worked alongside contractors just as i would a civilian employee or a military member, and now that I'm a contractor, I'm treated as a team member just as if my paycheck as came from the Treasury. Not to say they didn't screw up in separation of duties, but that's more about roles than who signs their paycheck.
 
2014-01-23 10:42:49 PM  
if only snowden was a money laundering banker they'd have no interest in him.
 
2014-01-23 10:43:19 PM  

Nabb1: Solutare: Cagey B: It's f*cking disgraceful that the prospect of indefinite detainment and torture by American authorities is so plausible that the AG had to specifically promise not to.

AMERICA! fark YEAH!

I would be okay if everyone in America who ever supported torture or indefinite detainment suddenly died.

The Administration supports indefinite detention of "terror suspects," as do most of the Congress and Senate, so that would clear DC out pretty quick.


So what's the down side?
 
2014-01-23 10:43:43 PM  

King Something: Sgygus: "Snowden should have gone through the proper channels ..."

Are you f'ing kidding me?  The story of his life would have been "... and he was never seen nor heard of again".  never have been written since not only would he would have been disappeared or suicided, but so would anyone who cared enough about him to have bothered filing a missing persons report, much less write the story of his life.

FTFY.

/like I said in another thread, he probably ran to Hong Kong and then Russia because everyone in his life except his stripper girlfriend has already been gulag'd


You watch way too many bad spy movies. Is there any evidence at all, outside your fevered imagination, that people get "disappeared" for this? And don't go telling me how Chelsea Manning was "disappeared," since we knew where she was the entire time. The treatment she got was beyond abhorrent...but we did know about it.

And who else in Snowden's life has gone missing? You're actually saying his family and friends are all mysteriously vanished and he fled for his life to a nation that is ACTUALLY known for political kidnappings because it's so much safer there? You need to calm down.
 
2014-01-23 10:45:35 PM  

NBAH: grimlock1972: Snowden willing and knowingly broke the law, he plotted to do so well before he committed his criminal acts, he has admitted as much.

yes he revealed what the NSA was up to in regards to US Citizens, but the ends do not justify the means.

Also i would not be surprised if he is giving Russia secrets in exchange for his safe haven.

I do not want him dead, i want him to face trial and more than likely be convicted.

He is no hero he is a criminal.

Your whole government is criminal Mr. White Caped Crusader of Truth and Conviction. What about Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush and the 100,000-600,000+ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War ) Iraqi civilians that were killed in an aggressive invasion of a foreign entity for a Haliburton contract and some oil? What about spraying Agent Orange on Cambodia and Laos (that you weren't even in a BS war with)(http://www.agentorangerecord.com/agent_orange_history/in_cambod ia_laos / )? What about destabilizing the whole middle east into turmoil and civil war?
Would you have been happier knowing Agent Orange is a drink mix and that you went to Iraq for "democracy" (lol)? Because someone had to expose that. Torture them too, goddamn traitors. 'Murka! Puck Yeaaarrrhhh'!

You got shiat on your face yet you're still pointing fingers.

And Snowden isn't a criminal, but a whistle blower trying to expose unconstitutional corruption and espionage under the guile of liberty and domestic security.

"America, the only right way!"


He's both.  He's a hero, but technically he's a criminal.  He has already admitted he broke the law.  Sometimes the right thing is to break the law and there are numerous instances of this occurring in this country that brought about much needed change.
 
2014-01-23 10:48:18 PM  
Some day maybe we'll have a POTUS with the balls to issue Snowden a pardon for his actions. Snowden is a hero, no question whatsoever.
 
2014-01-23 10:55:01 PM  
OgreMagi:  He's both.  He's a hero, but technically he's a criminal.  He has already admitted he broke the law.  Sometimes the right thing is to break the law and there are numerous instances of this occurring in this country that brought about much needed change.

Well put, Snowden broke the law but for the greater good.  His reason for running is because he knew the punishment wouldn't fit the crime.  The NSA will never face repercussions and will only get better at hiding their illegal activities.
 
2014-01-23 11:19:17 PM  
If Obama wasn't such a damned pussy, he'd pardon Snowden, let him come back, and just let it go... he lost a farking round by violating everything the fourth amendment stands for, and he's just being a f'n baby about it now. Admit defeat, move on.
 
2014-01-23 11:25:47 PM  

mongbiohazard: Snowden is a hero, no question whatsoever.


There are plenty of questions.. pretty valid ones too, else there wouldn't be threads like this.
 
2014-01-23 11:32:26 PM  

Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.

If you're going to raise some vague objection against something I've said, why bother linking to something that shows I was right? Did you not read it yourself? Or perhaps you trusted that others in this thread would just take your word for it without reading it first?


Procedural issues as a group would not generally be considered to include "gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering ".   I actually did read the article.

Cheers.
 
2014-01-23 11:36:55 PM  

The Bestest: There are plenty of questions.. pretty valid ones too, else there wouldn't be threads like this.


The thing is that nobody seems willing to back up their questions with evidence. In this thread alone I've asked two different people to provide specific evidence for why they believe as they do, and been met with silence on both fronts. I agree that "Snowden broke the law but for the greater good," as stated above, and did so because no mechanisms existed for him to not break the law in addressing an illegal spying operation.

If you want to ask questions, you have to answer them. And answer those questions asked of you.
 
2014-01-23 11:40:20 PM  

Brian_of_Nazareth: Procedural issues as a group would not generally be considered to include "gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering ". I actually did read the article.

Cheers.


Illegal wiretaps and destruction of evidence of illegal wiretaps is a sort of "procedural issue."
 
2014-01-23 11:46:33 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: The Bestest: There are plenty of questions.. pretty valid ones too, else there wouldn't be threads like this.

The thing is that nobody seems willing to back up their questions with evidence. In this thread alone I've asked two different people to provide specific evidence for why they believe as they do, and been met with silence on both fronts. I agree that "Snowden broke the law but for the greater good," as stated above, and did so because no mechanisms existed for him to not break the law in addressing an illegal spying operation.

If you want to ask questions, you have to answer them. And answer those questions asked of you.


The main thing I personally have a problem with is the disclosure of various methods of collecting foreign intelligence. That was a needless disclosure in my eyes and the most harmful thing he's done. Now, I don't necessarily think Snowden did that maliciously (though I also don't put it past him to have done it for some high-minded 'World Citizen' reason either, in which case I say "fark him"), but it was at the very least careless.
 
2014-01-23 11:54:43 PM  

OgreMagi: NBAH: grimlock1972: Snowden willing and knowingly broke the law, he plotted to do so well before he committed his criminal acts, he has admitted as much.

yes he revealed what the NSA was up to in regards to US Citizens, but the ends do not justify the means.

Also i would not be surprised if he is giving Russia secrets in exchange for his safe haven.

I do not want him dead, i want him to face trial and more than likely be convicted.

He is no hero he is a criminal.

Your whole government is criminal Mr. White Caped Crusader of Truth and Conviction. What about Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush and the 100,000-600,000+ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War ) Iraqi civilians that were killed in an aggressive invasion of a foreign entity for a Haliburton contract and some oil? What about spraying Agent Orange on Cambodia and Laos (that you weren't even in a BS war with)(http://www.agentorangerecord.com/agent_orange_history/in_cambod ia_laos / )? What about destabilizing the whole middle east into turmoil and civil war?
Would you have been happier knowing Agent Orange is a drink mix and that you went to Iraq for "democracy" (lol)? Because someone had to expose that. Torture them too, goddamn traitors. 'Murka! Puck Yeaaarrrhhh'!

You got shiat on your face yet you're still pointing fingers.

And Snowden isn't a criminal, but a whistle blower trying to expose unconstitutional corruption and espionage under the guile of liberty and domestic security.

"America, the only right way!"

He's both.  He's a hero, but technically he's a criminal.  He has already admitted he broke the law.  Sometimes the right thing is to break the law and there are numerous instances of this occurring in this country that brought about much needed change.


I'll have to pull a double technicality (best kind etc.) on this retort. I'll reiterate myself:
"Edward Snowden is NOT a criminal."

1. He has no prior convictions or charges.
2. He was summoned to court for his charges in America and as of yet "Innocent until proven guilty in the court of law" stands.
3. Fifth amendment protects against self-incriminating confessions i.e. ones attained during torture.
       3a.Therefore I would even say that the fifth makes compliance of the court summoning entirely to Snowden               and moot since appearing under tribunal would lead to torture, withdrawal of human rights and possible death.
       3b.The use of torture is prohibited under the Geneva and is classed as a "War Crime":
           "willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments+willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health"

 Which is followed by:
"Nations are also obligated to search for persons alleged to commit these crimes, or ordered them to be committed, and to bring them to trial regardless of their nationality and regardless of the place where the crimes took place."

So, who's the criminal here?
 
2014-01-23 11:54:47 PM  

Brian_of_Nazareth: Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.

If you're going to raise some vague objection against something I've said, why bother linking to something that shows I was right? Did you not read it yourself? Or perhaps you trusted that others in this thread would just take your word for it without reading it first?

Procedural issues as a group would  not generally be considered to include "gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering ".   I actually did read the article.

Cheers.


Not generally considered by who? Issues that affect the outcome of a trial but which, rather than relating to the defendant's culpability are concerned with the conduct of the investigation (or of the trial itself) are pretty much exactly what is meant by "procedural issues". Would you have preferred I called them "technicalities" instead?
 
2014-01-24 12:01:17 AM  

The Bestest: The main thing I personally have a problem with is the disclosure of various methods of collecting foreign intelligence. That was a needless disclosure in my eyes and the most harmful thing he's done. Now, I don't necessarily think Snowden did that maliciously (though I also don't put it past him to have done it for some high-minded 'World Citizen' reason either, in which case I say "fark him"), but it was at the very least careless.


The methods of our surveillance are one of the key components of how insidious our spying has become. Hijacking shipments of USB cables to implant radio transmitters? Rewriting private firmware to transmit data back to the NSA? Influencing encryption standards to ensure we always have a backdoor? These methods aren't used only for foreign targets. They exist simultaneously as a means to spy domestically.

To release the methods for foreign operations is to release the methods for domestic operations, since they are being used with impunity in both spheres. The nature and severity is different (metadata vs. relevant data vs. data by warrant) but the methods are the same.
 
2014-01-24 12:11:41 AM  
Yet still, nobody talks about the constitutionality of the NSA activities. We are seeing an incredible paradigm shift from data collection of suspects to data collection of everiyone, stored for eternity, to be revealed whenever the govt and its affiliates decide they either consider you suspicious or just want to know what you've been up to. Is an omniscient government constitutional? Oh wait, nevermind, we should speculate about torture or argue about whether it was bush or Obama that's brought us here...
 
2014-01-24 12:17:05 AM  

Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.

If you're going to raise some vague objection against something I've said, why bother linking to something that shows I was right? Did you not read it yourself? Or perhaps you trusted that others in this thread would just take your word for it without reading it first?

Procedural issues as a group would  not generally be considered to include "gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering ".   I actually did read the article.

Cheers.

Not generally considered by who? Issues that affect the outcome of a trial but which, rather than relating to the defendant's culpability are concerned with the conduct of the investigation (or of the trial itself) are pretty much exactly what is meant by "procedural issues". Would you have preferred I called them "technicalities" instead?


I'm not sure that things like break and enter and illegal wire-tapping by the prosecution really fit what most people think of as a technicality.  Your definitions might vary.

Cheers.
 
2014-01-24 12:18:25 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Emposter: sprgrss: Emposter: Cagey B: It's f*cking disgraceful that the prospect of indefinite detainment and torture by American authorities is so plausible that the AG had to specifically promise not to.

I don't think he promised not to detain him indefinitely.

At the time, Holder said that should Snowden return, he would be provided all the protections the law allows.

All zero of them.  His primary defense isn't allowed by law.  How nice of Holder to offer this.

And what primary defense is that?

Why don't you try reading the article?

His primary defense isn't disallowed by law. It's prevented by his own damn stupidity.

"As much as some may want Snowden to be applauded for his actions, as a legal matter his self-stated laudable intentions are irrelevant to his criminal liability. He can only hope that it will play a role in his sentencing," argued Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney who regularly represents national security whistleblowers.
"Having publicly self-admitted his guilt for having illegally leaked classified information, he has eliminated any likely meaningful legal defence. Snowden unfortunately went about his efforts all wrong and missed available opportunities to generate public debate of the NSA programs but still avoid criminal culpability." (emphasis added)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/11/edward-snowden-defence

It was his own dumbassery in publicly announcing "Yeah, I leaked all this material that I stole and I did it on purpose and it was classified and I knew it but I did it anyway; was that wrong? Should I not have done that?" that's preventing his public-interest defense, which he might otherwise have had. There is no specific provision in the Espionage Act that forbids a public-interest defense (in fact, there's not much specific in the Espionage Act at all); and in fact the Whistleblower Protection Act and related laws exist to ALLOW such defenses. But whistleblowers have to go about their actions in the right way, and Snow ...


Loopholes Exclude Intelligence Contractors Like Snowden From Whistleblower Protections
 
2014-01-24 12:20:21 AM  

Solutare: Cagey B: It's f*cking disgraceful that the prospect of indefinite detainment and torture by American authorities is so plausible that the AG had to specifically promise not to.

AMERICA! fark YEAH!

I would be okay if everyone in America who ever supported torture or indefinite detainment suddenly died.


A lot of those people are here on Fark. They didn't care before.
 
2014-01-24 12:20:33 AM  

powtard: Yet still, nobody talks about the constitutionality of the NSA activities. We are seeing an incredible paradigm shift from data collection of suspects to data collection of everiyone, stored for eternity, to be revealed whenever the govt and its affiliates decide they either consider you suspicious or just want to know what you've been up to. Is an omniscient government constitutional? Oh wait, nevermind, we should speculate about torture or argue about whether it was bush or Obama that's brought us here...


There's no question about NSA's wanton unconstitutionality. That's why no one talks about it.
 
2014-01-24 12:23:18 AM  

Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: Biological Ali: Brian_of_Nazareth: That's a really polite (and not very accurate) way to put that.

If you're going to raise some vague objection against something I've said, why bother linking to something that shows I was right? Did you not read it yourself? Or perhaps you trusted that others in this thread would just take your word for it without reading it first?

Procedural issues as a group would  not generally be considered to include "gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering ".   I actually did read the article.

Cheers.

Not generally considered by who? Issues that affect the outcome of a trial but which, rather than relating to the defendant's culpability are concerned with the conduct of the investigation (or of the trial itself) are pretty much exactly what is meant by "procedural issues". Would you have preferred I called them "technicalities" instead?


Just re-read your comment and you are technically correct ( which as we all know is the best kind of correct).  My concern was that reading your comment gave the impression it was a cheap win by the defence, when the reality is much more interesting.

Cheers.
 
2014-01-24 12:24:15 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?


Actually that's a bad analogy.  It begs the question and essentially says, "if someone did something criminal wouldn't they be a criminal?"  Seriously, that's a horrible analogy.

What Snowden did was more like: Woman gets a job in a big bank.  While she does bank stuff, she notices a locked room, and eventually asks a coworker, "what's in that room?" Coworker says, "that's where the Foreclosure Dept. creates documents we need to file foreclosures on properties that we don't have enough proof to foreclose."  She says, "hmmm" and works her way into a position in the Foreclosure Dept.  Once in that position, she goes to the locked room and photocopies enough files to show that the bank is forging documents to do foreclosures.  She takes the docs to the press, and the bank screams about her stealing proprietary files. Now that's a good analogy.
 
2014-01-24 12:30:57 AM  

El Pachuco: Gyrfalcon: Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?

Actually that's a bad analogy.  It begs the question and essentially says, "if someone did something criminal wouldn't they be a criminal?"  Seriously, that's a horrible analogy.

What Snowden did was more like: Woman gets a job in a big bank.  While she does bank stuff, she notices a locked room, and eventually asks a coworker, "what's in that room?" Coworker says, "that's where the Foreclosure Dept. creates documents we need to file foreclosures on properties that we don't have enough proof to foreclose."  She says, "hmmm" and works her way into a position in the Foreclosure Dept.  Once in that position, she goes to the locked room and photocopies enough files to show that the bank is forging documents to do foreclosures.  She takes the docs to the press, and the bank screams about her stealing proprietary files. Now that's a good analogy.


Damn straight. Gyrfalcon brush up on your definition of "analogy". It's like looking at the sun.
 
2014-01-24 12:40:07 AM  

Brian_of_Nazareth: Just re-read your comment and you are technically correct ( which as we all know is the best kind of correct). My concern was that reading your comment gave the impression it was a cheap win by the defence, when the reality is much more interesting.

Cheers.


Don't get me wrong - the prosecutors and the investigators very much deserved to lose that case because of how badly they messed it up. What Ellsberg was accused of though (leaking intelligence secrets to the press) was nonetheless a serious crime back then, and it remains a serious crime now. Ellsberg probably deserves respect on that count, because he stayed in the country to fight the charges even though he would presumably have known that there's no get-out-of-jail-free card for leakers if they happen to expose some some embarrassing secrets along the way.
 
2014-01-24 12:42:00 AM  

The Bestest: mongbiohazard: Snowden is a hero, no question whatsoever.

There are plenty of questions.. pretty valid ones too, else there wouldn't be threads like this.


Yeah, teach the controversy, guy.

He's a hero. Simple as that. He took on huge risks, and paid a price most of us would not be willing to pay, to expose government malpractice. Period.
 
2014-01-24 12:44:54 AM  

powtard: Yet still, nobody talks about the constitutionality of the NSA activities. We are seeing an incredible paradigm shift from data collection of suspects to data collection of everiyone, stored for eternity, to be revealed whenever the govt and its affiliates decide they either consider you suspicious or just want to know what you've been up to. Is an omniscient government constitutional? Oh wait, nevermind, we should speculate about torture or argue about whether it was bush or Obama that's brought us here...


I'm honestly surprised that the US gov't is pursuing Snowden.  Russia will never hand him over and it just puts the NSA scandal that they successfully brushed under the rug back on the front page.  But much of what the US gov't is up to nowadays is unconstitutional and its citizens don't seem to care.

The exabytes of data that the NSA is collecting are not very useful now, but Moore's Law will soon grant the computing power to easily decrypt and analyze.  US citizens could wind up living their own "Minority Report" in the very near future.
 
m00
2014-01-24 12:47:46 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?


This is a bad analogy.

It's more like a cleaning lady who cleans the governor's mansion comes across a secret room just filled with cocaine, and detailed documents and ledgers detailing how the governor has his entire staff selling cocaine on the streets, and the cops are getting paid to look the other way.

So the cleaning lady takes it to the local newspaper and says "I found this cocaine at the governor's mansion plus all these documents filled with criminal activity, just thought the community should know." Then the state attorney general wants to lock her up for cocaine possession, and theft of cocaine and illegal documents.
 
m00
2014-01-24 12:55:57 AM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: The thing is that nobody seems willing to back up their questions with evidence. In this thread alone I've asked two different people to provide specific evidence for why they believe as they do, and been met with silence on both fronts. I agree that "Snowden broke the law but for the greater good," as stated above, and did so because no mechanisms existed for him to not break the law in addressing an illegal spying operation.


I guess he could have found a sympathetic congressman with a security clearance. Apparently, Congressmen sitting on the House Intel committee had no idea this was going on. So he could have just called a congressman anonymously and be like "okay, here's the deal... I have these documents and I want to whistleblow on the NSA because SOMEONE needs to know about this... but I don't want to hurt national security... pls advise."

At least his ass would be a bit better covered.

In general, he was morally and ethically right to leak the documents to the US public. Problem is that our laws don't always match up with morals and ethics, and in these cases it's very hard to do the right thing because you know there will be repercussions. I think doing the right thing when it's the harder thing makes someone a hero.
 
2014-01-24 01:06:30 AM  
You know the kinds of people that get mocked on Fark for being "Area Men Passionately Defending What They Imagine Constitution To Be"? The kinds of people who, say, still insist that Obamacare is unconstitutional even after it's been upheld by the courts?

Those people get ridiculed for good reason. Don't fall into the same traps they do - learn to draw a sharp mental distinction between what you personally approve or disapprove of, and what is legal or illegal/constitutional or unconstitutional.
 
2014-01-24 01:21:35 AM  
So what earth-shaking changes in the American government have occured since Fast Eddie Snowden exposed the government's wrongdoing?

How many people in America cared enough to do something about the NSA's actions that were exposed?

What signifigant alterations were made to the NSA to introduce transparency and accountability?

How many politicians lost their jobs and were not re-elected based on their permission to allow the NSA to continue doing what they're doing?
 
2014-01-24 01:28:07 AM  
What's wrong with wanting a minor thief extradited?
 
2014-01-24 01:53:47 AM  

NBAH: El Pachuco: Gyrfalcon: Here's a good analogy: Suppose a burglar broke into a house, and while burglarizing it, came across evidence that the owner of the house was engaged in securities fraud and money laundering on a massive scale. So the burglar steals all that evidence and drops it off at the Wall Street Journal office. Now, does the fact that the burglar caught a terrible crook mean that he was not ALSO a criminal? Does prosecuting the fraudster mean we have to laud the burglar as a hero and a saint? (or conversely, does going after the burglar mean letting the fraudster off the hook?) Isn't it possible they are both criminal in different ways?

Actually that's a bad analogy.  It begs the question and essentially says, "if someone did something criminal wouldn't they be a criminal?"  Seriously, that's a horrible analogy.

What Snowden did was more like: Woman gets a job in a big bank.  While she does bank stuff, she notices a locked room, and eventually asks a coworker, "what's in that room?" Coworker says, "that's where the Foreclosure Dept. creates documents we need to file foreclosures on properties that we don't have enough proof to foreclose."  She says, "hmmm" and works her way into a position in the Foreclosure Dept.  Once in that position, she goes to the locked room and photocopies enough files to show that the bank is forging documents to do foreclosures.  She takes the docs to the press, and the bank screams about her stealing proprietary files. Now that's a good analogy.

Damn straight. Gyrfalcon brush up on your definition of "analogy". It's like looking at the sun.


Not really, because in your analogy, the woman "worked her way" into getting into that room with the intent of essentially stealing the files. Burglary is the breaking and entering into a building with the intent to commit a felony therein, and since she formulated the plan to enter the locked room BEFORE she had legal access, she's committed a burglary.

The point is, whistleblowers DO, in fact, take proprietary or classified information. Because the information they're making public has been concealed from general knowledge and so no matter how important it is for the public to know about it, it is still legally theft and/or a violation of their employment contract. The fact that you want the law to magically go away because the crime was done for the greater good does not mean that it was less of a crime.

I find the weird moral relativism displayed in this case slightly unnerving, the mindset that allows people to say "X is not a crime because it was committed for a perceived greater good," especially when coupled with the complete inability to see that EVERY crime that is committed (except strictly personal ones) are justified in the name of the greater good--which is why they have to be treated as such. Yes, absolutely, the excesses of the NSA needed to be brought to light (again, because people have such freakishly short memories)--but that does NOT mean Snowden gets a free pass and shouldn't be brought to trial because you see, Scooter Libby made the exact same justifications for his outing of Valerie Plame--it was in the best interests of the American public at the time. Now I know you don't like Libby and think he didn't even get what he deserved--which is exactly why you can't go making these kinds of moral justifications.

If we're to be a nation of laws, then what's good for the goose has to be good for the gander, or at least try to be; OR we can expect that next time some asshole we don't like (like Libby) will spill a bunch of secrets we don't want spilled and we'll have to like it because some likeable whistleblower was allowed to slide. If you want to be a nation of "good intentions for the greater good," be aware there's no real endpoint to that slope. After all, Darryl Issa's Benghazigate is being pursued for the benefit of the public's right to know--I assume you're okay with that? And if not, why not?
 
2014-01-24 02:02:46 AM  
The only real problem with Gyrfalcon's original analogy is that, to be properly analogous, the activity that the burglar illegally publicized would itself have to be legal (though, of course, it may be something the burglar personally disapproved of, and something that would cause embarrassment if it became public knowledge).
 
2014-01-24 02:02:55 AM  

Gyrfalcon: If we're to be a nation of laws, then what's good for the goose has to be good for the gander, or at least try to be; OR we can expect that next time some asshole we don't like (like Libby) will spill a bunch of secrets we don't want spilled and we'll have to like it because some likeable whistleblower was allowed to slide. If you want to be a nation of "good intentions for the greater good," be aware there's no real endpoint to that slope.


Welcome to Fark, where the real world is just like the movies where vigilantism and revenge is equal to or better than justice.
 
2014-01-24 02:08:26 AM  

nickdaisy: The most odious part of Bush and Obama's trouncing of the Constitution is their reliance on the "state secrets privilege," a fictitious legal privilege, borrowed from the ancient English common law but abolished hundreds of years ago, that allows the government to summarily shut down any case brought against it on amorphous national security grounds. This alone is justification for why Snowden could never receive a Constitutional, fair trial under the present regime. It's as if the government said you couldn't vote because you're black, you brought suit citing the 14th and 15th Amendments, and they demanded the case be dismissed under the Crown's right to have custody over all slaves. Complete rubbish propagated by people who want control over everything under the pretense of security.

At least Bush had the excuse of being an idiot, but Constitutional scholar Obama should be ashamed of himself. Contrary to what the media seems to be parroting-- this is not a vague issue. The Constitution is quite clear about the impropriety of general warrants and the requirement of due process.

Bring back our Constitutional protections and Snowden.


USC A1-S8/S9 gives congress the right to set up military courts and to determine who those courts have jurisdiction over. Also, as A1S8/S9 courts are separate from A3S1 courts, the rules can be different.

So basically, all congress has to do is convene a military tribunal system (like they did with Gitmo) and state that people like Snowden are subject to it, and he is farked. He would have no right of appeal.

You say the constitution is "quite clear", but it is not. Habeus Corpus and all that jazz is a fine legal theory, but the framers of our constitution did give congress a "get out of due process" card.
 
2014-01-24 03:21:21 AM  
I know it's just a movie, and it's such a minor part of it, but damned if  Swordfish din't amlost get the government's spying right on:


"GABRIEL I heard this story about this young hacker who made a virus that broke the F.B.I.'s Carnivore program that was actively reading every subscriber's E-mail and scrambled the systems. He did what the federal judges wouldn't do and kept the government out of our Privacy.

  STANLEY I think I heard that. Story is he went to jail and the federal Carnivore program is back in full swing. It was a real tragedy. What can I do for you?"
 
2014-01-24 03:37:05 AM  

Solutare: Cagey B: It's f*cking disgraceful that the prospect of indefinite detainment and torture by American authorities is so plausible that the AG had to specifically promise not to.

AMERICA! fark YEAH!

I would be okay if everyone in America who ever supported torture or indefinite detainment suddenly died.


hey im usally against it but their is a occasional person who does deserve it.

hitler, and child rapists.
 
m00
2014-01-24 03:40:07 AM  

Gyrfalcon: The fact that you want the law to magically go away because the crime was done for the greater good does not mean that it was less of a crime.


That's circular logic.

Bear with me for a moment here...

Imagine a hypothetical where a government agency steals babies from hospitals, tells the mother the baby died in childbirth, and turns the alive baby over to a private corporation who does live autopsies for genetic testing. Basically, something that is morally outrageous. But it's legal by a secret law. And then the government made it illegal for anyone to talk, discuss, reveal, or even know about "secret laws" punishable by death.

Somebody whistleblows babygate.

OMG THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING SOMETHING LEGAL, AND THE WHISTLEBLOWER DID SOMETHING ILLEGAL HANG HIM FOR TREASON

But I hope in the above case, nobody would seriously defend the government. Why? Because it's so outrageous.

The whole point of whistle-blowing is that you reveal secret information to the public, and it's probably illegal to reveal that information. By definition this is an extrajudicial action. And then the court of public opinion decides basically "is the action being whistleblown so outrageous that extrajudicial action was justified." It's a direct appeal to the citizens of a Republic.

So the question isn't whether Snowden did something illegal. Obviously he did. The question is should he be punished... and the answer depends on how outrageous the public thinks the NSA wiretrapping is. Mark Felt (Deep Throat) went to the press about Watergate, and he wasn't thrown in jail for that... because there wasn't a public outcry for Woodward to reveal his source who leaked national secrets (and from Nixon's point of view, those were national secrets).

If you don't think the NSA wiretapping was particularly outrageous, that's fine. But it's circular reasoning to think Snowden should be punished for no other reason than ge leaked info to the public that the government didn't want leaked.
 
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