January 2, 2014

"President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home."

A NYT editorial.

46 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Why has Clapper not been charged?

(I assume Obama will pardon him, but still...)

MadisonMan said...

Ah.

I answer my own question. Democrats in Congress and the DOJ do not want Obama put in a politically awkward position of having to pardon Clapper.

MadisonMan said...

Sometimes I have to write something down to see the blindingly obvious.

I'll stop commenting on this thread now :)

Douglas said...

How about this incentive: the Government will take the death penalty off the table in return for a confession and full cooperation, including naming names of those who provided material suppport to Snowden both before and after his defection.

EDH said...

It's like that old saying about women, articulated by Tom Arnold to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the spy movie True Lies: "Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em".

Krumhorn said...

Snowden is a self-absorbed little snot who should be publicly horsewhipped. He has done incredible damage to our intelligence efforts to prevent attacks on us.

-Krumhorn

rhhardin said...

Vilification and return home are an almost Tom Swifty.

Illuninati said...

It is not often that I agree with a leftie, but perhaps in the case of Snowden the left and right can find some common ground.
In the past, the left has rallied around "whistle blowers" who have reported on abuse of power and government corruption but in the age of Obama they have been missing in action. I'm not certain if Snowden deserves amnesty but it is worth discussion. So far the government spying may have helped the citizens remain safer, but we need to recognize that his actions have revealed a vast government program which could be easily used to support a tyranny against the citizens.

Recently the hypocrisy on the left in what they actively support vs. their rhetoric has been stunning: radical Islam and persecution of minorities and women, abuse of power by the IRS and other government agencies, suppression of free speech, anti-Semitism etc. This hypocrisy has led me to believe that the majority on the left don't care about any of those issues but use them as tools to gain advantage for what they really care about their own personal power and wealth. This article might be a step by the left to make their actions match their rhetoric.

Freder Frederson said...

the Government will take the death penalty off the table

Short of charging him with treason, and his actions do not fit the constitutional definition of treason, the death penalty is not on the table.

Don't be ridiculous.

Revenant said...

How about this incentive: the Government will take the death penalty off the table in return for a confession and full cooperation

Freder already pointed out that there is no death penalty TO take off the table.

I'll just add that you apparently don't understand how negotiation works. "Give us everything we want and we won't throw the book at you" is a tactic that only works when the accused is in custody. When the accused is in a semi-hostile country AND supposedly still has the ability to embarass and/or harm the US government, that kind of macho bullshit doesn't fly.

As for all the "he's put us in danger" nonsense, there's no rational reason to believe the NSA has prevented attacks against the United States.

MadisonMan said...

there's no rational reason to believe the NSA has prevented attacks against the United States.

This needs to be said a million times.

Why the huge expense and intrusion into our lives? For what? The false sense of security? Did NSA prevent Benghazi for example? Or any school shooting?

See this for what it is: The inexorable growth of a government bureaucracy.

garage mahal said...

Regardless of what you think of the NSA, what should the punishment be for stealing hundreds of thousands of documents? Nothing?

cubanbob said...

Snowed isn't coming back especially while Obama is in office. Any deal the government will offer him is worthless and unless he is a complete fool he knows that. The embarrassment his return and his disclosures would rest in would be too much for the Democrats to stand. His only hope for a return would be if a Republican would be elected president. A Republican president might offer him a limited amnesty just to have him testify in front of Congress to embarrass the hell out of the Democrats this giving him or her room to pass legislation that would outrage the Democrats.

Robert Cook said...

"How about this incentive: the Government will take the death penalty off the table in return for a confession and full cooperation, including naming names of those who provided material suppport to Snowden both before and after his defection."

Snowden hasn't defected.

Robert Cook said...

Regardless of what you think of the NSA, what should the punishment be for stealing hundreds of thousands of documents? Nothing?

Given that we are--supposedly--a government of the people and for the people, all those documents belong to we, the people. There was no theft, merely the making available to us of that which we have paid for with our tax dollars and which belongs to us by right.

Robert Cook said...

"Snowden is a self-absorbed little snot who should be publicly horsewhipped. He has done incredible damage to our intelligence efforts to prevent attacks on us.

-Krumhorn"


Snowden is a great American hero, and he deserves the highest honors we can bestow upon him, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize.

traditionalguy said...

There are no stolen documents. There is just Meta Data gathered over digital circuits.

The NYT is tempting Snowden to accept an offer of safe conduct similar to an offer of safe conduct once made to Jon Hus.

Offers made to "Traitors" are never kept.

garage mahal said...

Given that we are--supposedly--a government of the people and for the people, all those documents belong to we, the people. There was no theft, merely the making available to us of that which we have paid for with our tax dollars and which belongs to us by right.

Then Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras should give all those documents back to us. But they have a big media venture to launch, so that's unlikely.

DanTheMan said...

>>There was no theft, merely the making available to us of that which we have paid for with our tax dollars and which belongs to us by right.

So, where do I get MY nuclear submarine blueprints? Oh, and I want those ICBM launch codes I paid for, too.
I suggest you head down to DC and go move into the White House. After all, you paid for it, right?


damikesc said...

Regardless of what you think of the NSA, what should the punishment be for stealing hundreds of thousands of documents? Nothing?

He's a whistleblower. I think he did the country a great service and should be thanked for what he did.

Clapper should be prosecuted heavily, though.

Snowden is a self-absorbed little snot who should be publicly horsewhipped. He has done incredible damage to our intelligence efforts to prevent attacks on us.

I don't buy that Big Brother has protected us from much of anything.

Then Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras should give all those documents back to us.

Technically, they are. They just aren't giving it back to the same gov't officials who have abused their power so thoroughly.

The Drill SGT said...

In talking about what Snowden did, I think one needs to separate his disclosures about NSA snooping about US Persons in the US from both:

- US persons overseas
- non-US persons in this country
- non-US persons overseas

While I may feel some sympathy for Snowden regarding his whistleblowing about targeting US Persons (regardless about what Title 18 says about his crimes)

I have NO sympathy for the great harm he did for example by traveling to China and talking targeting about the Chinese.

Pardon his whistleblowing and hang him for his external leaking

MadisonMan said...

Given that we are--supposedly--a government of the people and for the people, all those documents belong to we, the people. There was no theft, merely the making available to us of that which we have paid for with our tax dollars and which belongs to us by right.

This argument wouldn't work well with, say, the IRS, if you claim the taxes you haven't paid are actually yours after all, not the government's, because we all are the government.

You can still make the argument of course.

Tom said...

If the president is easy on Snowden, there will be more leaks. If he assassinates him, there will more leaks. The cat is out of the bag. Good luck putting it back inside.

cassandra lite said...

As far as I know (remember), the NYT's edit board has never favored the release of Jonathan Pollard. And most of its published opeds are against release. Fascinating, no?

MayBee said...

If it's legal for the government to electronically collect our emails and data without warrants, it should be legal for citizens to do the same to the govenrment.

Information is either owned privately or it isn't.

Michael K said...

"Regardless of what you think of the NSA, what should the punishment be for stealing hundreds of thousands of documents? Nothing?:

The same punishment meted out to Ellsberg ? The great irony in that case, always missed by the left, is that Nixon was protecting Johnson.

MayBee said...

Do we imagine the current government has been less invasive to Snowden than Noxon's was to Ellsberg(and because of which his charges were dropped)?

garage mahal said...

The same punishment meted out to Ellsberg ?

Except Ellsberg didn't run and hide. He faced the music.

MayBee said...

Ellsberg hid for a time, but then came forward. Charges were dropped because the government had stepped so far out of bounds in trying to out him.

So this NYTs editorial seems to be saying, drop the charges against Snowden, already.

MayBee said...

I think Snowden took off because he, legitimately or not, thought he would go through something horrible before anybody (besides the reporters) would know *why* this terrible thing had happened to this random guy.

I mean, think of Alexander Litvinenko.

Then the administration turned him into someone who could not go anywhere else. As I pointed out yesterday, we actually made Europe ground planes with other Presidents in them.
We boxed Snowden in. Maybe we could at least stop treating him like the most dangerous man in the world, at least.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If we're a government of the people, then there's no difference between the government having the documents, and us having them-- the government and us being, after all, one and the same. It's a great illustration of the daffiness of the premise.

MayBee said...

Let me put it this way- for those saying, "Ellsberg stayed and faced the music!", would you be saying the same thing if instead of having the charges dropped, Ellsberg had been stripped naked and put on solitary confinement for months on end? Or if he had been found guilty and given a long, harsh jail sentence?

Aren't you really enjoying the luxury of saying Ellsberg faced the music with the hindsight of knowing it was not devastating for him?

MayBee said...

Another question- should *only* the government expect privacy?

And, if we expect all governments to spy on each other, should a foreign government be the only way for us to find out what our government is doing to us?

What would we do to a foreign government who had done to the NSA computers what Snowden did? My guess is, we'd treat them about the way Angela Merkel wants to treat us right now. Angry, but no real repercussions.

Should Obama be more angry at Snowden than Merkel is at Obama?

mccullough said...

How does a guy like Snowden get access to all this info? He was a low level guy at a federal contractor. I'm glad he exposed the government collecting our metadata and the governments incompetence at keeping secrets.

garage mahal said...

Let me put it this way- for those saying, "Ellsberg stayed and faced the music!", would you be saying the same thing if instead of having the charges dropped, Ellsberg had been stripped naked and put on solitary confinement for months on end?

No. But I would rather see millions of Americans freed from prison on non-violent drug charges freed before any clemency options for Snowden are considered. The privatization of the NSA docs bug me too.

Michael K said...

"Except Ellsberg didn't run and hide. He faced the music."

He was also dealing with Nixon, a pussycat. Obama and company are an order of magnitude more nasty. Not to America's enemies, of course. Only to Americans. For exampleL

"Since the 1970s, annual federal appropriations bills have explicitly prohibited the federal workplace overseer from descending on small family farms. Specifically, OSHA does not have jurisdiction over "farming operations" with 10 or fewer employees.

But OSHA officials have found a novel way to circumvent this statutory restraint. The regulators have simply claimed the authority to rewrite the definition of farming. A remarkable 2011 memo from OSHA's enforcement chief to regional administrators at first acknowledges that the law prevents the agency from regulating small farms engaged in growing and harvesting crops and any "related activities." But then the memo proceeds to instruct employees on how to re-categorize small farms as commercial grain handlers. So OSHA inspectors have recently begun to descend on family farms, claiming the authority to regulate their grain storage bins."

They are meting out $250,000 fines to family farms.

MayBee said...

Garage- thanks. I would be fine with non-violent drug offenders bein gpfreed as well. And I don't really care about clemency for Snowden but maybe we shouldn't have made him such an important person.

I do hope he has given a copy of the docs to a Congessman, as Ellsberg did. I agree with you they've been effectively privatized, or so it seems. I don't thnk Snowden handled this the right way, but I sure would rather talk about what the government is doing and the repercussions of it, than talk about Snowden's behavior.

Charles Austin said...

Establish a statute of limitations for treason of one year?

Lydia said...

Back in June of last year, the Wash. Post reported "Edward Snowden apparently a Ron Paul supporter," citing campaign finance records that showed "an 'Edward Snowden' who appears to be the leaker contributed $250 to Paul's presidential campaign twice in 2012."

Does anyone here know if that's been proven? If it is true, it shows him to be a great admirer of Ron Paul and his positions. Which would raise the question: why didn't he go to Paul with his information? Paul would have run with it in a heartbeat.

damikesc said...

Another question- should *only* the government expect privacy?

Excellent question. Why should the ONLY group with privacy be the ruling class? Of ANY group who doesn't warrant that, leadership is the top candidate to lose that.

No. But I would rather see millions of Americans freed from prison on non-violent drug charges freed before any clemency options for Snowden are considered. The privatization of the NSA docs bug me too.

I'd support all of that. But since the Dems surely won't free anybody any faster than Republicans, let's stick with what is currently possible.

Does anyone here know if that's been proven? If it is true, it shows him to be a great admirer of Ron Paul and his positions. Which would raise the question: why didn't he go to Paul with his information? Paul would have run with it in a heartbeat.

Paul really couldn't do much with it. Greenwald is actually one of the best possible conduits. He is a leftie, but he is a CONSISTENT leftie, which is a nice change of pace.

Robert Cook said...

"Does anyone here know if that's been proven? If it is true, it shows him to be a great admirer of Ron Paul and his positions. Which would raise the question: why didn't he go to Paul with his information? Paul would have run with it in a heartbeat."

No, he wouldn't have. Paul would have been prohibited by law from revealing state secrets, and he would have been prosecuted for it had he done so.

Journalists, not being agents of the government, have a leeway to publish such information that is prohibited to members of Congress or others in government.

Lydia said...

At Slate.com: Do Tell! What’s the worst that could happen to a member of Congress who reveals secret information?

"The legal ramifications are murky, but the political risks are clear. Legally, members of the House must swear a secrecy oath pledging not to disclose any classified information, although the Senate has no such oath. Members of Congress are protected by the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which holds that members’ speech inside the chamber is immune from punishment, except for cases of treason, felony, or breach of peace. That protection was tested in Gravel v. United States in 1972, wherein former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record after Daniel Ellsberg leaked the documents to news outlets. In that case, the Supreme Court held that Gravel was protected under the speech or debate clause. However, the clause has never been tested by a member of Congress publicizing classified information that had not already been leaked."

garage mahal said...

Snowden is oddly very cavalier about private, for profit surveillance by Silicon Valley giants like Yahoo, eBay, Google, who routinely turn over intel on users that puts them behind bars.

MayBee said...

Thanks, damikesc

Douglas said...

I've never agreed with Garage about anything before but I guess I do here.

As for the fact that my suggested negotiation strategy is a non-starter - that Snowden won't confess and provide full cooperation because he's not in custody - well, that's my point. Until he's in custody, there's nothing to talk about and the Government shouldn't offer him squat. And, may I point out, kidnapping him and involuntarily returning him to the US would in no way bar his subsequent prosecution, see Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103.

Robert Cook said...

"Snowden is oddly very cavalier about private, for profit surveillance by Silicon Valley giants like Yahoo, eBay, Google, who routinely turn over intel on users that puts them behind bars."

How is he cavalier? Has he even made comments on such activity?