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The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the he-should-get-a-reward-too dept.

United States 354

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Editorial Board of the New York Times has weighed in on the criminal charges facing Edward Snowden and writes that 'Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight..' 'He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.' The president said in August that Snowden should come home to face charges in court and suggested that if Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower. In fact, notes the editorial board, the executive order regarding whistleblowers did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Snowden. More important, Snowden told The Washington Post that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the NSA, and that they took no action. 'Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. ... When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,' concludes the editorial. '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.'"

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354 comments

Incentive? (1, Troll)

Calydor (739835) | about 4 months ago | (#45844973)

give him an incentive to return home.

"Gee, that's a nice family you have here. Would be a shame if something ... happened ... to it."

Re:Incentive? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845505)

And that, sir, would make them no better than China, the country we keep accusing of violating the most basic human rights?

Re:Incentive? (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#45845679)

They are already worse than China in terms of some of the human rights. After all, they destroyed one such right, right to privacy already. And they are doing it while accusing China of possibly doing it.

So that particular bridge has been burned down long, long ago.

And if you think that CIA doesn't use the "lest something happens to your family" just as much as other intelligence agencies, I have land on the moon to sell you.

NY Times? (0, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | about 4 months ago | (#45844999)

Who cares what they "think". It's up to a court, not the court of public opinion.

Re:NY Times? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845283)

I'm not even going to bother asking if you read the article. The fuck.... you did not even read the goddamned SUMMARY.

It is NOT up to a court at this point, you nitwit. The article asks OBAMA to provide clemency. Not a fucking court. OBAMA.

He can do that, you know. Do try to keep up.

Re: NY Times? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845333)

Government for the people by the people
The hell it isn't about the court of public opinion in this case. I don't know of too many people in this country that are happy with or want the government doing what its doing to their own citizens... The same citizens the government should be working for not against....

Re:NY Times? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845469)

You have it backwards. Clemency is up to heads of state, therefore a matter of public opinion. It's not the place of the courts.

Re:NY Times? (1)

naasking (94116) | about 4 months ago | (#45845765)

Who cares what they "think". It's up to a court, not the court of public opinion.

It's up to exactly the court of public opinion. If enough people think Snowden did the right thing, Obama will issue a pardon for whatever crimes Snowden may have broken.

ratting out dirty deed doers is a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845009)

if you see something say nothing? free the innocent stem cells & there'll be music in the air again

And the opinon of the NY Times matters because??? (0, Troll)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 4 months ago | (#45845013)

Why??? Snowden did far more harm than good. Nothing has been done about anything he revealed, courts have been ruling it's legal. Our allies have gotten pissed at us for doing something they already do, and have done for decades, just no one reports.

All he did was confirm what everyone already knew, that the NSA was spying on everything.

Stay in exile you spineless criminal, living in fear the black helicopters will come. Stay in exile in a country with far more privacy issues than the US will ever have, and far more intrusions into your personal liberties.

It's exactly what you deserve.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#45845077)

Why??? Snowden did far more harm than good. Nothing has been done about anything he revealed, courts have been ruling it's legal.

So you are totally skipping over the whole "lying to congress" thing as if its inconsequential?

Snowden may have pulled the curtain away to reveal what was suspected with regards to who spies on who, but in doing so he also showed that the intelligence services were out of control and arrogant in their stance.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845459)

Can we all now put pressure on Congress to have Clapper tried for high treason? you know it makes far more sense than accusing Snowden of the same offense!

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (4, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45845569)

Why??? Snowden did far more harm than good. Nothing has been done about anything he revealed, courts have been ruling it's legal.

So you are totally skipping over the whole "lying to congress" thing as if its inconsequential?

If the NSA pays folks to play video games, they will most certainly also pay folks to troll Slashdot. The comment that you responded to above looks, smells, walks and talks like a government flak.

But the real problem is that most folks in the US are more concerned about important things like the future of "Duck Dynasty" and if Kim Kardashian's ass will fit into her wedding dress to notice that a government agency is wildly spinning out of control . . .

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845089)

Fuck you, statist scum.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845315)

this isn't /pol/ or lebbit

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845095)

Ooooh, just wait until the hive mentality reads this! Didn't you know that we're supposed to only state the established fact that Snowden is a hero around here? He is a hero; just ask him.

Howdy, cold_fjord! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845173)

this time in disguise as AC? My namesake?

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (-1, Offtopic)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45845207)

Between the crappy editing and the misbehaving mods, Slashdot's quality has taken a nosedive in the last few years.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845099)

When a liar is caught lying, who is at fault for hurt relations? Is it the revealing-person's fault? Or the liar's fault?
No government agency should lie. It's irresponsible. It's disrespectful.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845203)

All government agencies lie. It's natural. it's the only way the system can exist.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (5, Insightful)

allypally (2858133) | about 4 months ago | (#45845139)

Snowden has mainly revealed metadata -- what info collection programs exist, rather than actual data -- what was collected.

The NSA has emphasised what it does is benign as in mainly collects metadata.

Metadata -- no harm. no foul on either side.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (3, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 months ago | (#45845331)

Given the broad definitions the gov tends to use, I'd say their idea of metadata probably contains a great deal of individually identifiable markers that others would consider to be more than just "metadata".

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845515)

Whoosh?

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845149)

Snowden did far more harm than good to the US government and the businesses wielding the US government like a club. For the rest of the world, Snowden gave us something we didn't have before: knowledge. We got information on who was spying on us and how. Who could be trusted and why. Which protocols were known to be compromised. NIST nearly lost all their credibility as a cryptography standards body. RSA lost the remainder of its credibility. Google and other companies discovered the government was stealing their data. The NSA was revealed as the most lawless organization on the planet, briefly eclipsing the CIA in illegal notoriety.

And we're supposed to just sweep this all under the rug because "everyone's doing it" and "oh look you pissed our allies off, now look what you've done?" What they're doing is wrong and illegal -- and the only reason they've been getting away with it is because they had no one that could hold them accountable. (Whether the public can actually hold them accountable in a representative democracy is currently up for open debate.)

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845545)

I guess you would applaud a North Korean whistleblower's execution, for uncovering the concentration camps in NK. Because it's treason and damaging to the image of the state.

  In case you don't realize it, that is a pure fascist mindset, look it up.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (4, Insightful)

turp182 (1020263) | about 4 months ago | (#45845153)

What harm can come from the truth that is not deserved?

We are free to do what we please, but the legal system SHOULD deal out punishment for indiscretions (especially those that go against the ultimate law of the land, for the US this is the Constitution). As you pointed out, no one has been punished, this is THE core fault in the system given the public's knowledge of things.

Evidence of Constitutional breaches are important, evidence is far more powerful than what "everyone already knew" ("suspected" would have been a better word). Otherwise "knowing" is simply the realm of those with tin foil hats (who I have to assume have upgraded to full steel medieval helmets).

Some of us still care about the Constitution, and would like to see it upheld.

Burn a flag, everyone freaks out. Burn the Constitution, no one notices. This is especially clear given the critical information Snowden has released.

The Constitution is on fire. And that is what "we deserve"???

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (3, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | about 4 months ago | (#45845431)

Snowden absolutely should be pardoned for leaking information about the NSA's domestic spying activities, and/or covered under whistleblower policies. This was an act of a patriot.

But I don't think he'd get a pass for all the subsequent leaks which were only done to undermine the NSA's foreign spying (that's what they're for!). It's not benefiting US citizens or it's gov't. Now it seems like he's just trying to do as much damage to the US as he can.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845559)

The only spying the NSA should be doing is spying on hostile countries, ie the axis of evil.

Spying on ally countries as well as domestic US traffic should be frowed on and with good reason.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845447)

It's what happens when the Constitution is viewed as idealistic extremism.

Snowden a "spineless criminal"? (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | about 4 months ago | (#45845247)

Really? So what have YOU done to further the hope for greater freedom in the United States?

IMO, he's exactly the type of hero our country needs many more of.... People willing to take action when they see government wrong-doing, rather than sit back, collecting a paycheck at the taxpayer's expense, and perpetuating the problem. All the while, convincing themselves they're "just doing their job".

If nothing gets done based on what he revealed, that just speaks to how deep we're all stuck in the pit of Fascism, inside our nation that pays lip service to completely different concepts. The courts should NOT be ruling this stuff is legal, and people should be outraged when they do! Unfortunately, we seem to live in a country where the majority still take an attitude of, "I don't care as long as it doesn't affect me personally right now. I'll happily piss away a basic right or freedom if it punishes people for doing something I'm not personally a fan of."

As far as your claim that all Snowden did was confirm what everyone already knew? I strongly disagree with that! I don't think the vast majority of people knew, for example, that the NSA might redirect your mail orders for brand new computer systems, planting spyware on them before they reached your address. I don't think the vast majority of people knew for sure that the NSA collected as much information about US citizens as we now know it does. (It's one thing to joke in passing about how the government "already knows you sent that email" or "heard what you said in that phone call". But that just speaks to a very vague, general sense that a well funded government agency with spying capabilities could theoretically do such a thing. Having an inside contractor verify they actually do it, AND detailing the extent of it is a whole different level.)

The fact Snowden found it safer to run to a nation known for a lack of personal liberty and huge privacy issues speaks volumes about how far the USA has slipped. If our country was a more sane and just place to live, he would never have felt the need to flee at all! Fact is, he couldn't trust any of the B.S. spouted off by govt. officials, promising to work with him if he just turned himself in. (Heck, a former head of the NSA was recently quoted as essentially saying he'd like to see Snowden's head on a platter.) These people still view him a a traitor who deserves execution, since he didn't go along with the status quo of trampling all over the rights of U.S. citizens in order to build a more powerful organization for themselves.

Re:And the opinon of the NY Times matters because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845643)

Obvious fascist troll is obvious.

How about complete amnesty (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845019)

and the Medal of Honor, just for starters. Snowden has done more for this country than our "Nobel Peace Prize" winning President!

no way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845021)

When he outed spying on Americans, he was a while blower. For that, he could have gotten clemency. Sadly, he went on talking about legal spying outside of the nation. He has damaged our ability to know what AQ terrorists and Chinese spies are up to. For the later, he should eat a bullet.

Re:no way (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845081)

He has damaged our ability to know what Angela Merkel and our allies are up to.

FTFY

Re:no way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845729)

Also, our busi

Whatever Else You Do, Edward (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#45845041)

Make damn sure you get it in writing, sigh=ned by a pretty important son of bitch. Or two.

Re:Whatever Else You Do, Edward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845175)

Killing/imprisoning him after settling on terms to come home would be an extremely bad PR move for the government. I doubt they'd want to risk riling people up.

But this is all moot. He's never coming home. Forst Manning, now Snowden...thye don't want to set a precedent of revealing information, getting lots of fame, and then getting off with a slap on the wrist. The government HATES whistleblowers, because the government routinely breaks the laws.

Re:Whatever Else You Do, Edward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845325)

He would have an 'accident'.

Happens all the time.. The world's a dangerous place after all.

Hit by a drunk driver... Fell in his tub. Slipped on the sidewalk. You never know.

Cold Fjord (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845047)

Just waiting for Cold Fjord to make some government approved comment on why Snowden should have turned himself in without doing any whistle-blowing to begin with, and why what NSA does should be considered legal, regardless of how much it violates the constitution.

Re:Cold Fjord (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about 4 months ago | (#45845145)

When that bootlicker shows up, you can refer him to this article:

If Snowden Returned to US For Trial, All Whistleblower Evidence Would Likely Be Inadmissible

If Edward Snowden comes back to the US to face trial, he likely will not be able to tell a jury why he did what he did, and what happened because of his actions. Contrary to common sense, there is no public interest exception to the Espionage Act. Prosecutors in recent cases have convinced courts that the intent of the leaker, the value of leaks to the public, and the lack of harm caused by the leaks are irrelevant -- and are therefore inadmissible in court.

https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/12/if-snowden-returned-us-trial-all-whistleblower-evidence-would-likely-be-inadmissible [pressfreed...dation.org]

What about the foreign stuff? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845057)

What did the Times say about him running first to China, then to Russia? He loses all credibility right there.

Re:What about the foreign stuff? (5, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 4 months ago | (#45845179)

Maybe it has something to do with those two nations being part of a small group that isn't beholden, in one way or another, to the U.S., and therefore would be significantly less likely to put a bag over his head and send him back to the states?

Re:What about the foreign stuff? (2)

sosume (680416) | about 4 months ago | (#45845583)

How about France forcing passenger jets in their airspace to land with fighters, because the NSA thought Snowden was on board? Right, surely he would have been safe in the EU or one of the other allies. And surely this was all legal. Right.

Re:What about the foreign stuff? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 months ago | (#45845599)

I guess you conveniently forgot the part where he asked pretty much everyone else, and they said no?

Hang him (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#45845073)

That is the appropriate response to what he did.

Re:Hang him (4, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 months ago | (#45845103)

That is the appropriate response to what he did.

---- Booth was a patriot ---- If you dont agree with me, dont bother replying as i dont care what you have to say ----

So says the guy with "Booth was a patriot" in his sig. Now that is funny.

Re:Hang him (-1, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#45845621)

Booth did not attack his own government. He attacked the leader of the enemy. There is a difference, and even a person as stupid as you should be able to figure that one out.

Snowden attacked his own government, which is treason, which is punishable by death.

Re:Hang him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845111)

Agreed. The leniency come from not drawing and quartering the bastard.

Re:Hang him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845117)

sure, after you've been put up against the wall and shot like the other collaborators.

Re:Hang him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845137)

What's what all the statism on Slashdot? Hell, I get more intelligent discussion on 4chan these days.

Re:Hang him (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845261)

spooks. herding behavior. probably bots that look for 'snowden' then post crazyass trator responses. there's way too many of them and they show up way too quickly on every snowden story (notice most of such negative posts actually reference the story they're commenting on!). trying to change public perception by being outliers and pushing discussion into "he's a trator" territory (after all, if entire message boards scream he's a trator, folks might think twice before posting anything truthful).

The government only does stupid things (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 4 months ago | (#45845105)

They shouldn't have broken the law. Yes the courts have ruled it all legal but everyone knows that to be a farce.

They shouldn't have persecuted Snowden. What has that accomplished?

They shouldn't have doubled down on their right to spy because that has caused an international incident.

And now their corporate partners are all turning on them one by one.

Give up, NSA. Have the national discussion you should have had a generation ago. We'll talk about it.

If we decide as a nation to go down that path... so be it. But we won't. Which means you'll have to operate within more limited rules and capabilities. And as much as that might vex you or put the public at greater risk such is the price of living in a free country.

What you have done is wrong. What snowden did violated the law but served the interests of the American people. We owe it to him to shield him and any like him.

If we don't stand up for men like Snowden then what chance do any of us have when the feds come for YOU.

Re:The government only does stupid things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845345)

"Stupid" doesn't design and implement the largest, most expensive, most powerful government AND world empire (with military bases in some 150 countries) in human history. "Stupid" doesn't yield the most successful and longest-standing business in the world (i.e. coercive authority in general). "Stupid" is exactly what those who control the system would like you to believe -- as if they didn't do it out of pure self-interest, but rather "stupidity".

Re:The government only does stupid things (3, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 months ago | (#45845667)

You're right on many points, but as it stands, the NSA has every reason to persecute Snowden. It's a deterrent.

If he gets pardoned then leaks become more likely in the future. If he gets executed, on the other hand, they'll be less likely.

So in simple 'less work for us to do' terms, the NSA really does need to take a toughguy stance on leakers.

We the people, on the other hand, have exactly the opposite interest.

The problem... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845127)

The amount of power held by those who applaud Snowden the amount of power held by those who got/retained power from things snowden disrupted

Unfortunate Accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845157)

Sure sure, they offer him clemency and then he dies in an "unfortunate" traffic accident a year later (if they even wait that long). I wouldn't fall for that...

In perspective (4, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 4 months ago | (#45845165)

We have a president who, after promising the most open administration ever, has done a complete 180 and tried to limit press coverage, access to records and administration officials, and so on. He has offered pardons to fewer people than any other president. That doesn't sound like a welcoming environment to come home to, when you get right down to it. That said, I've always had mixed feelings about Snowden. To be honest, China and Russia probably know much about what is going on, because they do the same things themselves. In addition, it's not unlike the Wikileaks dump...people in Iraq and Afghanistan know what's going on there...it's the American people who are kept in the dark. On the other hand, we want the "American standard of living," which is no different from the "British Way" back in the 1800s, and so on. We're not a bucolic merchant republic any more. America is a global empire, the Rome of our day, and maintaining that position requires an awful lot of "off the books" action. People scream for more security, lower gas prices, salute the flag all over the place, and don't want to deal with paying taxes to maintain military hegemony, the rabid pursuit of dissent, or the corruption which invariably accompanies a concentration of power.

Re:In perspective (2, Insightful)

RoLi (141856) | about 4 months ago | (#45845625)

a "complete 180"? What are you talking about?

Obama was secretive right from the start in his campaign. He closed down all documentation from his supposed studies in university. (Which proves that he has pretty powerful forces behind him - not every candidate can get such kind of secrecy.) What does the public know about Obama? Not much. All his supposed friends he describes in his book turned out to be fictitious, nobody has ever seen him in the universities he supposedly went, nobody knows why he used two different social security numbers, etc.

His presidency is just a continuation of all that secrecy.

The only thing I know about him is that he turned up and the media told the American people to vote for him which they duly did.

Foolish (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845167)

I think it would be very foolish for Mr Snowden to return to US soil.

The government has had their pet judges rubber-stamp rulings that everything the NSA is doing is legal thus he has no protections under the whistleblower laws. I would not trust anything the US Justice department/Obama administration says, even if in writing, as the US government does not have a very good track record in honoring any agreements it makes. Why should Snowden return to this country where it would be far easier for him to have a "car accident"?

Why return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845177)

I mean, there are better countries out there. Places where healthcare will cover "accidents". Places that does not track your every whereabout (sure they may do this, but they only do it in order to send it to the US).

Really, US only seems like a nice place if you're on the top of the food-chain. Everybody else gets the short end of the stick with ambiguous healthcare and lottery-mortgages. What's so wonderful about that country? Its brief history? Its citizens lack of political influence? What? Sure, low income taxes are a plus, but there's a limit to how much crap it can offset.

law-breaking (1)

lkcl (517947) | about 4 months ago | (#45845185)

"When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,"

hang on... errr... if it's been pointed out that GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS have broken the law, remind me again why it's *edward snowden* that's being pursued for criminal acts?

Re:law-breaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845259)

Because the courts have been bribed/bullied/etc to deem the NSA acts to be "legal", even though it goes against all logic. Spy organzations apparently have no rules to play by.

very good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845201)

very good news
http://www.irsitco.com/

At 50 years old I know, law not for you (2, Insightful)

MonsterMasher (518641) | about 4 months ago | (#45845221)

Well, it took a few years as a young man to realize that all those special laws with all those good moral purposes, well - they never actually apply to you.

Learn this. Marriage, for example bad idea today for men. Was maybe okay for your grandparents but things change and a person must look around and see what actually applies (and fits) for them.

Snowden and Manning are examples of the same thing. One is in jail and tortured for years, the other one knew the score and had the resources to take the smart steps.

Snowden get's a pardon only after Manning, as far as I'm concerned, not until. You can't just take the one you like though they are the same motivators.

Re:At 50 years old I know, law not for you (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 4 months ago | (#45845339)

You mean those 40k new laws that became active Jan 1 were not all needed? We have forgotten that we need the bare min number of laws so that we can live together.

After a 30 year hiatus the Press comes back (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845227)

So, the Press is finally doing its fucking job ?

Snowden went too far (0)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 4 months ago | (#45845235)

If he was simply a whisteblower for NSA spying on Americans I would agree. However, possibly during negotiations for asylum, he told other countries how we were spying on them.

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I want us spying on Russia and China - and I don't want them knowing how we do it. This information should have been kept to himself.

Re:Snowden went too far (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 4 months ago | (#45845405)

I believe what he said was he no longer has any of the documents in question, and he could not turn them over to any possible asylum provider even if he wanted to.

Re:Snowden went too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845585)

to play Devil's advocate ... Where is his proof/source of that?

Re: Snowden went too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845725)

To play Devil's advocate... prove you also no longer have any of those documents. Hard to prove a negative.

Re:Snowden went too far (4, Interesting)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 4 months ago | (#45845675)

You know, I almost would have agreed with this view; but all in all I have to disagree. The entire world should be having this debate, not just the U.S. Countries that are raging about it will have that much more pressure to practice what they preach. Hence why Putin recently sypathized with the NSA's position. He doesn't want to be accused of double standards when the heat is on his own government later There is indeed justification for spying on Russia and China; since they are spying on us after all, but the foreign spying is out of control as well. Why are we tapping Angela Merkel's phone, for instance? What is the purpose in that? Why can't our government get over the fact that the cold war ended over 20 years ago? Not only that, but wouldn't the NSA be more effective at it's job if it focused on targets that are actually justified, instead of spying on everyone and everything just because they can?

Re: Snowden went too far (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845695)

Specify what exact revelations apply ONLY to foreign intelligence capabilities please. The point of all leaks I have read so far is that the NSA's dragnet capabilities consist of wholesale compromise of core internet protocols, US-based email and web services, and commodity PC and cellphone hardware, with absolutely no indication of any effort on their part to limit this to foreign individuals or governments. Again, it is the blanket capability that is the concern here. The fact they are confirmed to be hovering EVERYTHING means these methods DO harm Americans first and foremost.

Crime and punishment, Siberia (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 4 months ago | (#45845239)

What about Julian Assange and Bradley Manning? Perhaps these two also should be let go to Russia?

Like in Dostoyevsky's "Crime and punishment" to Siberia? There will be a grand bridge construction project near Yakutsk, here: http://osm.org/go/8_ABot-- [osm.org]

The English language and IT teachers are badly needed at schools there. The nature is harsh, -37 C now, but magnificent. What a waste to keep those two young bright men locked up.

He deserves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845267)

a bullet between the eyes. At least as a fashion statement on those stupid glasses and don't forget the traitor thing.

The press always supports govt leakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845281)

They are very sympathetic to the Daniel Ellsburgs, that's how they get some of their biggest scoops

NY Times not a credible source (-1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about 4 months ago | (#45845295)

Unfortunately, in recent years, the NY Times appears to have become more opinion than fact. It's a free country, and they have a right to that opinion, but they should label it as such.

Snowden signed an agreement not to reveal NSA's information, and broke that agreement. There are paths provided for expressing concerns, none of which he appears to have taken.

It was his choice to break the law. Having done so, he does not deserve special treatment. A firing squad, which I don't believe the law provides in this case, would be more appropriate.

Re:NY Times not a credible source (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 months ago | (#45845637)

There are paths provided for expressing concerns, none of which he appears to have taken.

I like how you automatically parrot this talking point, even when the summary itself contradicts it.

Re:NY Times not a credible source (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845669)

Government employees swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I think you've confused who broke the higher law and in how many instances and who deserves a firing squad.

Re: NY Times not a credible source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845699)

Wow you're a mean cunt.

Re:NY Times not a credible source (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#45845733)

I still subscribe because the coverage and writing is so much better than the 5th grade level journalism in the local paper, but I agree that the news journalism of the NY Times has become pretty ideological in recent years.

The fawning over Obama has abated a little, but there is still too much cheerleading for Democratic policy generally and over specific issues like gun control there is not even a glimmer of objectivity, it's outright page 1-A advocacy reporting.

What bugs me almost as much as the ideological cheerleading is how there's no real alternative at the national level. Nobody is claiming the mantle of objectivity, it's all so incredibly partisan.

Some of the wonky monthlies aren't bad, but they're too essay-ish to count as news. I like the Economist but it's too expensive and often too business focused.

Unimpressive... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45845299)

While such a position is surprisingly non-toadying for the NYT, fuck 'clemency'. 'Clemency' is the merciful withholding of some portion of a deserved punishment. Since Snowden deserves a hero's welcome, rather than any punishment, 'clemency' is an insult.

If there's anyone who is in a position to be begging for 'clemency' it's the Oh-So-Very-Serious-and-Responsible spooks currently whining about how much damage Snowden has allegedly done to their hitherto impressive record of completely and utterly unverifiable or demonstrable terrorist hunting.

Won't happen ... (3, Interesting)

garry_g (106621) | about 4 months ago | (#45845321)

Snowden embarrassed too many people to get off the hook that easy ...

Of course, if the tables were turned, e.g. somebody had published the same sort of information about any other's country intelligence agencies, the U.S. most likely would be the first to thank them for blowing the whistle on unlawful acts ... two standards ... 'nough said.

Good for NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845361)

Sadly, it is brave to stand up for this.

Remember general Petraeus? (4, Interesting)

sshir (623215) | about 4 months ago | (#45845397)

For all those morons calling Snowden a traitor: consider this scenario.

Reviewing circumstances of that Petraeus scandal in the light of Snowden's revelations, it's pretty clear that NSA knew about CIA director affair, and more importantly kept the fact to itself (if, of course it wasn't a parallel construction [wikipedia.org] by FBI, which is easy for them to check)

Now what we have? We have that NSA had dirt on a top CIA official, a popular political figure, with very probable presidential candidacy on the horizon. And what it did with that info? It kept it's chips to itself to cash-in at the most opportune moment! And the whole infrastructure at the NSA is built in such a way (intentionally!) that unless NSA wants to, nobody can say with absolute certainty what they knew and when they knew that.

In my books that is a direct threat to the republic.

Unfortunately, Snowden did one unforgivable act. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845417)

Unfortunately, Snowden did one unforgivable act.

He embarrassed the government and the people in power, and thereby threatened that power. They could forgive almost any other sin than that one, but that particular sin requires a burning at the stake, according to the people who make the rules.

It's not so much the embarrassment itself - psychopaths generally could care less about what other people think of them, and therefore generally don't feel that emotion. But that it threatened their power? Totally unforgivable.

Re: Unfortunately, Snowden did one unforgivable ac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845735)

Isn't this why the yanks have guns supposedly?

nope (2)

DewDude (537374) | about 4 months ago | (#45845435)

Do they really think that will happen? He blew the cover on the country's illegal spy program, most people in the government wanted him dead. You hear that, dead! They wanted him back in the country so they could kill him for treason. I'm really surprised they didn't order a drone strike on him and claim nothing happened. They'll never grant him clemency. They revoked his citizenship and the only way the government will let him back in is in a box. Sure, the program breaks the law. The government has already made it known they don't want to follow their own laws becuase it prevents them doing their spying and everything else they can to revoke our rights. This isn't the action ofnanfree country, this is the same crap North Korea would pull. Were no better than the communist dictatorship regime they tell us they're protecting us from. Voting isn't helping, ever asshole that gets elected is probably told "this is how it works, and if you try to change it you'll meet the same fate as JFK."

did they break the law? (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 4 months ago | (#45845443)

I haven't been following it too closely but my understanding was that everything that Snowden was complaining about were data collection activities that the courts had allowed and just that Snowden (and probably the majority of the public) thought was excessive. If I'm right with that than I'm not sure if you can claim whistle blower status if there is no crime being done. The law might need to be changed or interpreted differently but that doesn't undo the fact he didn't have the right to disclose legal actions.

Sometimes doing what is right isn't what is legal and sometimes doing what is right costs you dearly (example parent fighting off an attacker so their kids can get away and end up dying/convicted of manslaughter because of it). Actions have consequences some positive some negative. You weight the options and make the choice then live with both.

Maybe. If all he had done was selected leaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845471)

But Snowden, just like Bradley Manning, did a massive document dump of everything he could get his hands on.

That's espionage - and no government on Earth would stand for it. In fact, I'd bet if they had one that to other governments, both Snowden and Manning would already be dead. In many cases in quite a gruesome fashion. What would North Korea do to someone who leaked Dear Leader's secrets? Iran?

Sorry, no soup for you.

Re: Maybe. If all he had done was selected leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845759)

Cos everywhere is just like North Korea? You dumb cunt.

Letter Versus Spirit (3, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 months ago | (#45845477)

Let's be clear; the NSA has not broken the letter of the law, simply because there are judges, and a government backing those judges, that deems what the NSA is doing is appropriate and legal.

However; the NSA has certainly broken the spirit of the law, and certainly, those Americans that created the bill of rights and particularly the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, would be appalled at the government over-reach and how a government of the people and for the people has been corrupted into something else, something that smacks of evil.

So, whether you think Snowden is a hero or a traitor seems to hinge on whether you agree with the spirit or the letter of the law.

And the New York Times is foolish to appeal to the government to consider the spirit of the law, because it's the lawyers and accountants who have corrupted that law by many decades of "loopholing" the letter of the law, finding every legal out they can to avoid paying taxes or winning a case -- to the point where the spirit of the law is no longer a consideration, which is also why every piece of legislation is now thousands of pages long, and not four pages.

It's unfortunate that we no longer have a justice system in this country, which would observe the spirit of the law, we have a LEGAL system in this country, which only observes the letter. And by the letter of the law, Snowden is guilty of his crimes, which is why if you're looking for justice, you have to leave this country.

Well, it's a try. A shitty one, but still (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845513)

suggested that if Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses

Because that worked out so well for all the other people that did exactly that.

face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower

So... why should he want to submit to that again? If I were in Snowden's shoes, I wouldn't exactly take a "come back here, but stop what you're doing, force the Guardian to stop publishing articles on this subject, face some prison time, and... maybe we'll call it even" as a serious bargain.

Snowden is not the one that needs to be making compromises here, and I hope he'll stand strong. If there's any justice left in this country, he'll be free.

so whats new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45845737)

So, than it will be open season for anybody to spy and steal classified information without any reprisals. In the 1990's, either 20/20 or 60 seconds show, I don't quite remember which one, had an episode on the NSA and they showed the inner workings and how they were spying on U.S and foreign callers and they even stated that in the future they would target the internet like email. It was never that secretive to begin with we all knew that this day would come. Almost every law passed today violates the constitution. The more laws we have to regulate our lives and economy the more we are shown to be true communist.

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