February 10, 2017

If Russia sends Edward Snowden back to American — a gift to Trump?! — it "would be a win-win."

"They've already extracted what they needed from Edward Snowden in terms of information and they've certainly used him to beat the United States over the head in terms of its surveillance and cyber activity. It would signal warmer relations and some desire for greater cooperation with the new administration, but it would also no doubt stoke controversies and cases in the U.S. around the role of surveillance, the role of the U.S. intelligence community, and the future of privacy and civil liberties in an American context. All of that would perhaps be music to the ears of Putin."

From an NBC article titled "Russia Considers Returning Snowden to U.S. to ‘Curry Favor’ With Trump: Official."

Remember, Trump has talked about Putin giving him this present:
"I think he's a total traitor and I would deal with him harshly," Trump said in July. "And if I were president, Putin would give him over." In October 2013, Trump tweeted: "Snowden is a spy who should be executed."
I can't believe it would help Trump to get the present he asked for from the disreputable Putin and to become embroiled in trying to put Snowden to death. Not everyone thinks he's a hero/whistleblower, but he's a young, idealistic man, and an effort to kill him will bring out the empathy in who knows how many people. But maybe you think Trump will end up looking good forefronting the iniquity of treason. And it will distract us from all the other things that have been distracting us from things that would otherwise be distracting us.

30 comments:

stever said...

What he did was very bad, but he's no Timothy McVeigh.

Sebastian said...

"And it will distract us from all the other things that have been distracting us from things that would otherwise be distracting us." Not at all. Some of us can walk and chew gum and post blog comments at the same time, so there. Trump is focusing lots of minds while dissipating prog energy. Prosecuting Snowden would help make American great again.

Wilhelmina said...

Meh, Trump changes his mind as often as he changes his underwear. He talked tough about Snowden back then, but the majority of Trump followers are Snowden fans, so I doubt he'll follow through. He said he'd lock up Clinton too.

Henry said...

They should send him to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Along with anyone else that no one knows what to do with.

Hagar said...

Anonymice in the "intelligence community"?

Michael K said...

"Trump changes his mind as often as he changes his underwear. "

Unlike you, Willie.

holdfast said...

Sorry, I lost of what you were saying . . .

I got distracted.

Jon Ericson said...

Wow, #11 is the dumbest of the three sisters.
Collect all three!

uffda said...

Keep the traitor. Just post a video of Snowden enjoying his new life chopping wood in the Siberian Gulag with the other zeks.

Known Unknown said...

This is clearly something I can disagree with Trump on. Snowden is not a traitor. Our country simply should not conduct warrantless spying on its own citizens. We don't need to live in any more of a surveillance state than we already are. I mean, your Vizio TV is collecting data on you and sending it who knows where.

n.n said...

I thought the narrative was that the Soviets got their information from Clinton when Deep Plunger overflowed Water Closet. Wasn't that also the Gate which opened our eyes to the DNC-JournoList incest? Or was it the Nigerian Phishing Expedition that hooked a live one in her campaign?

William said...

I have ambivalent feelings about Snowden. He can credibly play the part of the idealistic loner, but there are a lot of paradoxes. He sought the protection of Putin. Democrats are now agreed that Putin is a bad man. Putin probably got useful intel from Snowden.....Here's another paradox. If Putin sends him back, it would show that Snowden wasn't completely in cahoots with Putin......My head is starting to ache. I think the best punishment for Snowden is to let him live out his days in exile in Russia.

StephenFearby said...

NBC story leads with:

"U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a "gift" to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a "spy" and a "traitor" who deserves to be executed.

That's according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to "curry favor" with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.'

Let's see now. This information used to be "highly sensitive" (usually meaning highly classified). Now leaked to NBC by "a senior U.S. official".

The source of this information is either (1) intercepted communications intelligence or (2) a U.S.-controlled spy or (3) a friendly intelligence or diplomatic source relaying what a Russian diplomat/intelligence officer told the source (with the knowledge that it would be passed on to the United States.

I'd like to think it was (3) because leaking stuff derived from (1) or (2) could compromise US intelligence "sources and methods". Like Snowden.

Assuming it was (3), I suspect the Russians wanted this administration to privately negotiate with them on a quid pro quo transaction. They recognize Trump is a transactional kind of guy.

Leaking this information to the press invites consideration that it is an administration trial balloon to see what the reaction might be.

If so, I suspect Lieutenant General Dirtbag was probably the leaker.

Since this administration has demonstrated so far it is a sieve, we'll probably know sooner than later.

The Godfather said...

Trump should offer Snowden a plea bargain: If he gets the same operation as Bradley/Chelsea Manning, he'll get the same treatment.

Barry Dauphin said...

Trump is usually willing to accept less than his original ask.

Snowden deserves punishment, but not death. I still don't believe he knew all that he had. He took far more information than he could have gone through in the time he was employed. It took the Russians much time to go through it. He knew something, but it was a smash and grab, like a jewelry store thief might understand he's got a lot of valuable stuff but little idea about the specifics.

Alex said...

When you stop executing traitors, your country no longer has any meaning.

Thorley Winston said...

Lock Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Bowe Bergdahl in a steel cage with a single knife. Three "men" enter, only one gets to leave.

Ken B said...

There are reasons countries don't send back "spies", real or not. Did the Russians give up Kim Philby? My guess is this is more fake news pumping the Putin Trump conspiracy idea.

Jon Ericson said...

To quote the Jefferson Airplane:
"Up against the wall, motherfucker"

LYNNDH said...

Wilhelmina certainly does not understand Trump supporters. It is much more likely that Hillary supporters would be "fans" of Snowden.

Jon Ericson said...

"We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are, we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves"


Now you tell me!

Josephbleau said...

C'es la Vie

Jon Ericson said...

That's what I keep telling my boss François!

Jon Ericson said...

I shoulda' believed them then.
The dickweeds were serious.
a. joker

Roy Lofquist said...

Blogger StephenFearby said...

"I'd like to think it was (3) because leaking stuff derived from (1) or (2) could compromise US intelligence "sources and methods". Like Snowden."

Not quite the whole story. The information could be true, fabricated by NBC, or disinformation from the Russians, the US or a third party or parties.

Jon Ericson said...

"In loyalty to their kind
They cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
We cannot tolerate their obstruction"


link

Now I get it.

"Crown Of Creation" Get it?

Earnest Prole said...

Pardon Snowden, confound the Left, and fuck the CIA all in one fell swoop.

Jon Ericson said...

Sounds ill-advised.

Paul Snively said...

"But it would also no doubt stoke controversies and cases in the U.S. around the role of surveillance, the role of the U.S. intelligence community, and the future of privacy and civil liberties in an American context."

Bullshit. If anything is going on, it's a high-level détente between Russian and American intelligence operations consisting of a gentleman's agreement about spying on each other (that will be honored most in the breach, as with the rest of our allies) with the explicit goal of distracting our respective populations from the plain fact that our governments are spying on us.

All of us.

The only credible supporters of privacy are the international developers of open-source privacy, cryptography, and genuine digital cash (i.e. not Bitcoin) technology. You know, like the Tails distro Snowden used.

Ambrose said...

I think the fake news from the election is simply reversed. Trump actually has something on Putin and is blackmailing him - first to take steps to help Trump in the election, then to make the Dems look bad by providing them the obviously false salacious report about Trump, and now to return Snowden. Who knows what else our puppet master president will make Putin do.