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Edward Snowden Does Not Deserve Clemency

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 10 months ago


Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Fred Kaplan, the Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relation, writes at Slate that if Edward Snowden's stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the domestic surveillance by the NSA, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing. But Snowden did much more than that. "Snowden's documents have, so far, furnished stories about the NSA’s interception of email traffic, mobile phone calls, and radio transmissions of Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s northwest territories; about an operation to gauge the loyalties of CIA recruits in Pakistan; about NSA email intercepts to assist intelligence assessments of what’s going on inside Iran; about NSA surveillance of cellphone calls “worldwide,” an effort that 'allows it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.'" Kaplan says the NYT editorial calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” paints an incomplete picture when it claims that Snowden “stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agency’s voraciousness.” In fact, as Snowden himself told the South China Morning Post, he took his job as an NSA contractor, with Booz Allen Hamilton, because he knew that his position would grant him “access to lists of machines all over the world [that] the NSA hacked.” Snowden got himself placed at the NSA’s signals intelligence center in Hawaii says Kaplan for the sole purpose of pilfering extremely classified documents and gained access to his cache of documents by lying to 20 to 25 of his fellow employees to persuade them to give him their logins and passwords, turning them into his unwitting accomplices. "It may be telling that Snowden did not release—or at least the recipients of his cache haven’t yet published—any documents detailing the cyber-operations of any other countries, especially Russia or China, even though he would have had access to the NSA’s after-action reports on the hundreds or thousands of hacking campaigns that they too have mounted over the years," concludes Kaplan. "If it turned out that Snowden did give information to the Russians or Chinese (or if intelligence assessments show that the leaks did substantial damage to national security, something that hasn’t been proved in public), then I’d say all talk of a deal is off—and I assume the Times editorial page would agree.""

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Not a reasonable standard (1)

russotto (537200) | about 10 months ago | (#45866669)

The argument here seems to be that to qualify as a bona fide whistleblower, one must take only the "pound of flesh nearest the heart" -- just the flesh, and not a drop of blood nor a grain of sinew or bone.

Re:Not a reasonable standard (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | about 10 months ago | (#45868703)

The argument here seems to be that to qualify as a bona fide whistleblower, one must take only the "pound of flesh nearest the heart" -- just the flesh, and not a drop of blood nor a grain of sinew or bone.

Well, it looks like Snowden took more than "a grain of sinew or bone." An awful lot of what he's revealed involves what I consider what the NSA should be doing: spying on foreign bad guys, like the Taliban. That's what the NSA was founded for, and that's totally legal and Constitutional, AFAIK. Snowden revealed far more of that than he should have, and I don't see how the foreign snooping was so inextricably linked to the not-OK domestic snooping that it was all or nothing. (I believe the domestic stuff is largely illegal, an unconstitutional violation of the 4th Amendment's ban on general warrants. In between the two is snooping on allies like Germany: embarrassing, but legal and Constitutional, and probably par for all sides in the diplomatic world.)

But it does look like Snowden has been rather more careful about what he has leaked than Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents that he* had never read. (*To head off charges of deliberate misgendering, Manning was publicly and legally male at the time of the leak.)

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