back to article Ed Snowden should be pardoned, thunders Amnesty Int'l

Amnesty International UK has launched a campaign to get President Obama to drop the espionage charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. To mark two years since Snowden went public on the extent of the NSA’s surveillance activities, Amnesty has stepped up its campaign to get the charges against him dropped. Despite US …

  1. GH1618

    Not a chance.

    1. hplasm
      Unhappy

      Sadly

      true.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: Sadly

        I'm not sure. I think it will happen. With a little time. Laws have been changed, legal cases have found the gathering of information was illegal and unconstitutional. There is no doubt it would not have happened without his action. He, Snowden, has been proven entirely correct and righted a wrong committed against all US citizens (shame it doesn't extend to other non US citizens). Those facts won't go away and will remain a reminder that a government will maintain petty spite rather than admit and correct wrong doing. Similar to how when politicians have done wrong and resign, after a bit of time they get recycled, the government will take some time, so they can maintain Snowden did wrong and maintain that they disagreed with how he went about it, but after some time it will be easier to pardon him than keep him an ongoing reminder of government pettiness and hypocrisy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Protesting 101

      It's only going to happen if the Democrats hold Obama personally responsible for Snowden's pardon.

      This isn't about justice, this is Radical Politics 101: If you don't put the pressure on one individual, then there is no political pressure to action. Period.

      So, calls for "the U.S. government" to pardon Snowden isn't serious enough to even get a raised eyebrow, Washington D.C. will just laugh at your foolishness. But putting pressure on President Obama will be taken seriously.

      So, to you people that want Snowden pardoned, here's the question: are you SERIOUS about wanting Snowden pardoned, or are you just mouthing off on a forum? Does up- and -down-voting posts satisfy your smug sense of selfish self-righteousness? Or will you hold the Democratic President directly responsible for Snowden's situation, the man with the undisputed power to cancel the investigation and guarantee that Snowden can return to the U.S. a free man, are you committed enough to call on Obama to have Snowden pardoned?

      I didn't think so.

  2. sisk

    I've been saying he should be pardoned since the beginning. I've been called some pretty nasty names for saying it in the wrong places too. Sadly a lot of people seem to not get that all he did was expose the illegal activities of the government.

    1. Permidion

      logic? not?

      US citizen are prompt to reproach lots of things to their federal government, but strangely when a federal government agency is doing something wrong, they ignore that and go all nuclear on the whistleblower,

      I dont understand that.

    2. dogged

      He should not be pardoned but only because by any rational measure, he has not committed any crime.

      It is the duty of just men to disobey unjust laws.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It is the duty of just men to disobey unjust laws."

        And who gets to decide which laws are unjust? You? Snowdon - some low level guy who probably didn't have the big picture? Anyone who feels their "rights" are being infringed? You'll soon have anarchy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Who Decides

          > And who gets to decide which laws are unjust?

          The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:

          1. News report:

          http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/07/us-usa-security-nsa-idUSKBN0NS1IN20150507

          2. Legal Opinion:

          https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/clapper-ca2-opinion.pdf

          It's not about the law being "unjust", it's that the activities exposed by Snowden were simply illegal.

          As a matter of law, a federal employee is required to report suspected unlawful or unconstitutional activity, even if carried out by their employer.

          Which begs the question: why is Snowden still being charged with violating the Espionage Act when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the programs he exposed were illegal in the first place?

        2. Fungus Bob

          "You'll soon have anarchy."

          And it'll be *fun*!

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "And who gets to decide which laws are unjust?"

          AIUI it was a matter of him seeing just laws being broken.

          If you saw a few guys drive some earth moving machinery up to a hole-in-the-wall ATM and use it to separate the ATM from the hole, dump the ATM in a truck which they then drove off at high speed would you a) report a possible theft of the ATM or b) decide you were some low-level guy who probably didn't have the big picture & do nothing?

          1. swampdog

            c) keep my Member of Parliament mouth shut for a price.

      2. sisk

        he has not committed any crime.

        By the letter of the law he did. However it should be noted that under the circumstances it was impossible for him NOT to commit a crime. As he was aware of national secrets that revealed crimes committed by the NSA his choices were to ignore his legal duty to reveal those crimes (in which case his crime would have been ignored) or reveal those national secrets as is his legal duty and thereby commit the crime of revealing national secrets (which, as we all know, is what he did).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Sadly a lot of people seem to not get that all he did was expose the illegal activities of the government."

      If that was all he did I doubt many people apart from a few NSA wonks would care. But he put the lives of operatives at risk by releasing so much data, he compromised anti terrorist operations and whats more gave russia and china more information than their spies could have managed in decades.

      If snowdon is such an evangelist for "freedom" isn't it odd he's saying nothing about Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine or suppresion of the russian press? Or is he scared of a government that really doesn't fuck about when you piss it off and is only bound by whatever laws Putin thinks apply that day? Answers on a postcard.

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Stop

        @Boltar

        Boltar,

        What evidence you have re your statement that 'he put operatives lives at risk'?

        J

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Boltar

          What evidence do you have that he didn't? Release enough information about an operation and other state agencies can usually put 2+2 together. Plus he allegedly has a load of documents he's held back that do contain actual names. Who knows what he plans on doing with that lot assuming the russians haven't "persuaded" him to give them copies already.

          1. dogged

            Re: @Boltar

            So he committed a crime because he can't prove he didn't?

            I don't like your idea of justice.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Boltar

              "So he committed a crime because he can't prove he didn't?

              I don't like your idea of justice."

              If I plant a bomb in a public place I don't think the bomb failing to go off is going to make much difference about the way the justice system in any country would treat me. Same thing.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Boltar

                Ok, you must be trolling. You can't be that stupid

              2. swampdog

                Re: @Boltar

                If you planted a bomb you'd be doing a positive act. It not going off would be fortunate. You explaining in court that you knew it wouldn't go off is a negative. No fucker is going to believe you.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Boltar

                When did you stop molesting children? Prove it now, or be committed to jail time for it.

                ... doesn't quite work that way dude. Ethically, Morally, or Legally.

          2. fruitoftheloon
            Stop

            @Boltar: Re: @Boltar

            Boltar,

            I don't recall a newspaper headline or parliamentary/congressional inquest statement along the lines of:

            "Commie/nork unpleasant people" tracked down and gave our (insert name of 'dead' spy), a right f'ing good going over, all because of that Snowden bloke".

            Of course it is possible that this may have happened, but if it did, do you think it would have been "accidentally leaked" by now?

            Regards,

            Jay

          3. BongoJoe

            Re: @Boltar

            I can't show evidence that I didn't kidnap Shergar (being only five at the time I have trouble remembering where I was) so where does that put me in your thinking?

            And I am having a tough time showing evidence that I wasn't the man on the Grassy Knoll nor that I wasn't Commander Crabb neither.

            Yours,

            Lord Lucan

            1. fruitoftheloon
              Thumb Up

              @Lord Lucan: Re: @Boltar

              My Lord,

              Worth a go, however I do rather suspect that you overtaxing Boltar's intellect somewhat...

              I have many faults, one of them isn't acknowledging that one or more of my previous opinions may have been a bit duff.

              Your humble servant,

              Jack the ripper

            2. swampdog

              Re: @Boltar

              I have, as govt, a statement which states you boiled up Shergar and put him into a tin. In the public interest, BongoJoe, you shall be placed upon remand. The tin shall be withheld from your lawyers for 18 months but two weeks before we're forced to release it to your defense, tests we have hitherto not put before the judiciary, ie "he has the internet", will introduce new evidence.

              @BongoJoe. We are fucked.

          4. Steven Raith

            Re: @Boltar

            "What evidence do you have that he didn't?"

            That's not how proving things works, generally speaking.

          5. swampdog

            Re: @Boltar

            Given the security breaches since Snowden it is plain everything was wide open.

            It's nigh on impossible to prove a negative. That is no argument.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Boltar

          >What evidence you have re your statement that 'he put operatives lives at risk'?

          Yes - considering the dirt they throw at Snowden, if there was any evidence of that we would have seen plenty of grieving widows and children wheeled out on the news by now.

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Pint

            @Smooth newt: Re: @Boltar

            Sn,

            Yup, kinda what I was alluding to.

            Have one on me.

            Cheers,

            Jay

      2. swampdog

        Russia wasn't as it is then.

        That aside, it should be globally illegal to remove a passport from an individual until such time as they return to the country of issue. Should be a human right.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps on a freezing cold August day in Texas?

    Not a chance. I wouldn't object to him being pardoned; he did a good public service. But he did in point of fact break exactly the kind of law that you don't get pardoned for breaking. If Snowden wants to come home, he'll have to bargain for the best plea he can get*.

    *Edit: And I suspect the perp walk to be a none-negotiable part of the deal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps on a freezing cold August day in Texas?

      "But he did in point of fact break exactly the kind of law that you don't get pardoned for breaking."

      That's true. But the law you refer to is the unwritten one "Don't embarrass the bureaucrats". That's why he's in trouble, nothing to do with national security.

  4. fruitoftheloon
    Stop

    Meanwhile, back in the real world....

    Well, it isn't going to happen, a few reasons being:

    - way too many big ($) interests have far too much invested to find another hole in the road to bliss right in front of them

    - can you imagine how many people would lose their jobs across the globe if there was an objective assesment of how effective the whole war on privacy, sorry I meant terror actually is?

    - even if POTUS did want to go 'oops, sorry, I dropped a bollock there...', how often does a Politician admit to having made a bad call?

    But hey, we can live in hope (for the moment anyway).

    Jay.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, back in the real world....

      "even if POTUS did want to go 'oops, sorry, I dropped a bollock there...', how often does a Politician admit to having made a bad call?"

      Hopefully on his way out. Either him leaving or the incoming president correcting the mistake of the previous. I am hoping one of the hopefuls who oppose this activity get in as they would be more likely to do so. Right now I am hoping for Rand Paul. Hopefully the democrats will field people who oppose the spying too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile, back in the real world....

        If they didn't have parties, maybe. But he won't do it, because he cares more about the party than what's right. As do all the republicans other than Paul, who are forced to take even more extreme anti-privacy positions in order to claim Obama and the democrats are soft on terrorism.

        The problem is that the politicians know they can't really do anything to address the root causes of terrorism against the west in general and US in particular without admitting the US has been doing a lot of wrong stuff for decades. So they're left with two options that don't do anything about the problem, or make it worse, but allow them to claim they are doing something: more spying and more meddling and military action in the middle east.

  5. ma1010
    Thumb Up

    Sometimes it helps to be old

    It's amazing how the world has changed during my life. When I was young, I well remember the Cold War and that many Soviet block and Chinese defectors who escaped the communist regimes there came to America because here they were free. They could speak out against the horrors of those regimes which had no regard for human rights, much less privacy.

    Nowadays we've got an American who caught his own government acting like the KGB or Stasi, and when he told people what they were doing, had to flee to RUSSIA for his own safety.

    My irony meter is pegging.

    And worse, I have to ask what's gone wrong with people over here that they think Snowden should be punished for revealing illegal and immoral behavior by the US Government. To me, what he did was just as brave and praiseworthy as signing the Declaration of Independence. He stood up against wrongful practices of his government. Yes, he broke the law by doing so. So did John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, et al., but we honor those men for taking a stand for what was right. I hope that someday people here will honor Snowden for what he did. He's a much braver man than I am.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Pint

      @ma2010: Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

      Ma,

      Well said, it is genuinely scary about the number of people who still don't get it...

      Have one on me.

      Cheers,

      Jay.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        @fruitoftheloon -- Re: @ma2010: Sometimes it helps to be old

        ...including the two (at the time of this writing) chumps that downvoted you...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

      "Nowadays we've got an American who caught his own government acting like the KGB or Stasi,"

      Ah, gotta love rose coloured spectacles eh? Google mccarthy FFS. Government agencies have always done as they pleased and always will do. Every generation thinks its having it the hardest, I guess its part of the mindset of being young.

      You however, if you really are as old as you make out should know better.

      1. John H Woods

        Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

        @boltar,

        First you were arguing that people should be guilty unless they could prove their innocence (negative proof fallacy, as well as fundamentally opposed to good jurisprudence); now you're arguing that because agencies have done bad things in the past they should really be allowed to carry on doing it (fallacy of relative privation, maybe some others).

        I'm expecting a zig-zag to some form of cultural relativism next ...

        1. Bernard M. Orwell

          Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

          He's no MB, is he?

      2. ma1010

        Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

        Yes, I know about McCarthy and the insanity of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. But after him came folks like Earl Warren and John and Bobby Kennedy, who all fought for civil rights and freedom.

        I'm hoping someone in power will stand up for Snowden -- not to mention our rights against government snooping. At present, we have some folks that are at least talking that way in Washington. We'll have to wait until after the next elections to see how that goes, if they get elected and then if they actually keep any of those campaign promises. It happens sometimes.

      3. fruitoftheloon
        FAIL

        @Boltar: Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

        Boltar,

        "Government agencies have always done as they pleased and always will do"

        That's fine then isn't it?

        Do you have ANY CONCERNS re what the agencies are up to?

        Regards,

        Jay

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

      "To me, what he did was just as brave and praiseworthy as signing the Declaration of Independence. He stood up against wrongful practices of his government."

      I fully agree. In my opinion, he should not only be getting a pardon, but a Nobel Peace Prize.

      1. PleebSmash
        Mushroom

        @Graham

        Considering the low barrier to entry for getting a Nobel Peace Prize, it's the least they should do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

        The Nobel peace prize? Why would anyone take that seriously anymore... If he were offered it he should laugh and say no thanks.

    4. swampdog

      Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

      History repeats itself, even recently. When the UK had an empire it was kind of accidental. Corporate. Read up about the East India Company. Opium wars etc.

      The US philosophy hated that, being a republic. You can read books on that as well. The US is now an empire.

      I agree. Snowden did the right thing.

      @ma1010. I know you know this ;-)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ma1010 why are you surprised?

      The victors write the history. If the British had won, the name John Hancock would be remembered like we remember Benedict Arnold today, or the British remember Guy Fawkes.

    6. Bernard M. Orwell

      Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

      Superb response, needing more than a simple upvote. The US, and those that sing the "obey the law because you don't know better" song should remember how the US was formed in the first place; people defying an unjust law imposed on them by an unjust power.

      *applause*

  6. Bob Dole (tm)

    >>>“Snowden’s actions changed the face of digital communications globally. Thanks to him, we now know that governments everywhere are intercepting and storing the private information of people on a mass scale, without our consent,” says Amnesty.

    Um, no, any of us with any clue about tech knew that this was going on for *years*. The thing Snowden did was draw attention to it in such a way that it could no longer be simply ignored.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Knew?

      Knew that it was technically possible, yes, but had proof, no. Suspected that it was going on, yes, but the scale of the indiscriminate slurping was a big surprise. Or am I one of the clueless?

  7. Yugguy

    No chance

    He's got about as much chance of being pardoned as those notorious and prolific criminals Bill Stickers and Bill Posters.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Otto is a bear.

    What he did.

    Snowdon breached the trust of his employer, and stole information to which he was not entitled, perhaps he might have gotten away with it, if it had just been evidence of the government breaching the rights of the citizen, but he didn't, he also stole information on everything. No matter what good you may have think he has done, it does not counter balance the bad. He not only gave away US secrets he gave away those of other countries, and jeopardised the US relationship with its allies. It is well known that they all spy on each other, it is well known that security agencies monitor chatter in their own and foreign countries.

    If you consider the activities of the NSA, in the context of what law enforcement and security services have always been able to do, yes storing the information themselves may be a bit over the top, but actually before the internet, telephone companies recorded the "Meta Data" of phone calls for billing, which were then harvested, as and when a need arose. What would you say the internet equivalent is, keeping details of who eMails who, who messages who. As internet traffic is not billed like telephone calls, who the keeps the data, the ISPs don't need it, nor is there any economic reason they should, thus government has to. Do you really think any government would leave a communications channel completely unmonitored, what do you think would happen if they did.

    Why on earth would you expect this not to happen? Think really carefully about how you expect your law enforcement agencies and security services to behave, and what they need to do, to protect you, and indeed their allies. None of them are in the slightest bit interested in any of us, they have neither the wherewithal, the time, or the money, and never will in any western democracy.

    1. John H Woods

      Re: What he did.

      "None of them are in the slightest bit interested in any of us, they have neither the wherewithal, the time, or the money, and never will in any western democracy." -- Otto is a bear.

      Somebody missed their history classes.

      "Do you really think any government would leave a communications channel completely unmonitored"

      Yes, I'd like to think that they don't have microphones in my house. Are you actually presenting a serious point of view? The words in your post look cogent enough but your arguments make pretty much no sense at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What he did.

        Attacking his post as naive, is humorous, "I'd like to think", then pls try to and start living in the dangerous, and very serious world all of the rest of us live in. I am surprised at the silliness of some UK and European lefties, grow up. We all live a dangerous world.

    2. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      Otto: Re: What he did.

      Otto,

      Where do we start?

      'He stole info on everything', amazing, you seem to have more info on what he purloined than the NSA do!!!

      The fact that relevant agencies can do something does not mean that THEY SHOULD...

      I remem well IRA bombs going off in London, I have had a bomb go off 15 yards from my desk (I was working from home at the time).

      An uncle just missed getting splatted by an IRA bomb in London.

      They are called TERRORISTS, hence if you LET THEM change your life, they have won.

      The odds of getting splatted by a terrorist are so f'ing low the populace would be safer if all kids were given mandatory lessons on how to cross roads and ride a bike in public.

      The purpose of our agencies is apparently to keep us safe, how has that worked out for the USA and UK?

      Btw who funded (most of the) the IRA activity?

      Why has ISIL come about?

      Where have ISIL got a lot of weapony from?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What he did.

      "stole information"

      Sigh.

      When will they ever learn? Stealing is permanently depriving someone of something. The NSA still have the information. If he deprived them of anything it was their veil of secrecy.

      1. Adam 1

        Re: What he did.

        >Stealing is permanently depriving someone of something.

        Maybe they could really throw the book at him and label it copyright infringement?

    4. Vic

      Re: What he did.

      He ... jeopardised the US relationship with its allies. It is well known that they all spy on each other

      Ah. So it's not some guy's fault he was shagging your wife, it was your best mate jeopardising a relationship when he told you about the affair. I see...

      Vic.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Topsy Turvy

    "Snowden’s actions changed the face of digital communications globally. Thanks to him, we now know that governments everywhere are intercepting and storing the private information of people on a mass scale, without our consent,"

    Whereas, we can be sure, global commercial organisations, beyond any practiable oversight, are benignly looking after our personal data solely to protect our interests. And the Chinese and cyber-crims just help themselves.

  11. The Dude

    Asylum for Snowden

    If my party wins the federal election in Canada, Snowden will have asylum in Canada and probably a medal or two.

    1. Sleep deprived

      Re: Asylum for Snowden

      Your party must not currently be running Canada. They'd send him to Guantanamo for sure.

  12. Spanners Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Pardoned? He should be decorated!

    Anyone who objects to his actions is condoning what he uncovered.

  13. Apptitude
    Trollface

    He's a traitor

    Lock the traitor up and throw away the key. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @Apptitude: Re: He's a traitor

      So I can presume that you worship at the altar of J Edgar Hoover and the agencies can do no wrong?

      Just wondered....

      Jay

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: He's a traitor

      "Lock the traitor up and throw away the key. Two wrongs don't make a right."

      I take it that you're also arguing for all those responsible for the wrongs he exposed to be locked up as well. But maybe you accidentally clicked "submit" before your typed that bit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's a traitor

      So I take it you'd like to retroactively court marshal General George Washington, for leading troops into battle against the lawful government of the Colonies?

  14. Richard Altmann

    The Paranoia Brigade

    9/11 is the new Xmas for The Paranoia Brigade™. Bin Laden is their Father Christmas. If it was not such a terrible thought, one might come the conclusion that TPB invented him. All gates open for the business with fear and no holding back when it comes to human rights abuses. Trillions of $ earned by an industry which is based on bouncers and nightwatchers. Not qualified for a proper job and too numb to become a sucessful criminal. Their business is fear and paranoia, not interested in making this world a better place. They would run out of business. Same goes for the NSAs and CIAs all over the world. Their cock ups appear to be deliberate just to make things worse and safe their jobs. They shout: We need more tools in the war against terrorism! Meaning to take away the rights and privacy of the humble human. Where were they when the IS lifted its head? Did all this breach of privacy in the western world stop one single of the thousands of radicalized westeners to go to Iraq and join the IS?

    Snowden only provided the evidence for a fact that every halfwit was aware of anyway. Except Angela Merkel.

    1. DropBear
      Trollface

      Re: The Paranoia Brigade

      If it was not such a terrible thought, one might come the conclusion that TPB invented him.

      What a horrible thing to say about The Pirate Bay...

  15. Richard Altmann

    Michael Steinbach

    Michael B. Steinbach – Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division FBI is just now shouting against telcos and isps to hand over their encryption keys.

    Didn´t anyone tell him that encryption is used against industrial spionage rather then used by terrorists?

    Terrorists don´t encrypt their messages. They use codes in unencrypted mails. International SMEs and the big industrial players encrypt their messages. They have to do it to protect themselves from being robbed of by the Mericans. Just another brick in the wall.

  16. JJKing

    @ Boltar "And who gets to decide which laws are unjust?"

    Wasn't this part of the premise of the Nuremberg trials that unjust/unlawful orders should NOT have been obeyed. On this basis Mr Snowden should be found NOT GUILTY of disobeying illegal orders and indeed of exposing them.

  17. swampdog

    If you've got nothing to hide..

    ..I haven't any more.

  18. Wolfclaw

    Let Him Go Free

    NSA don't need to do any more snooping, they allow the our members of FVEY's to do it for them and they pass on the information. The UK will soon be the place to go to spy on your population as they systematically destroy of freedom !

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done David Cameron!

    David Cameron's call yesterday* for "an international effort to clean up government and business" and wanting to "condemn the international 'taboo' on pointing the finger at corrupt institutions" means he'll be fully supportive of Amnesty's efforts.

    [/sarcasm]

    (* http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33025225)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amnesty spokeswoman Harriet Garland told el Reg that while she would like to see other countries offering asylum - “the offers haven’t exactly been flowing in” - the principle remains that he shouldn’t need it."

    Once again the ill-informed thump their chest confident they have truth on their side. As the Brits love to say, a load of rubbish. Snowden committed an act(s) of treason to the US. His is praying his PR campaign with provide fruit before Putin pulls back his strident views, pulls his troops from Ukraine and tell Snowden his days in Russia are up. Hence this statement from a usually well reasoned organization, Am Int'l. Snowden will find already his days are numbered in Russia, he will then declare he is ready to face his accusers in the DoD and DoJ and return to face trial. But he will be very surprised to find he is convicted, and US public opinion does not support acts of treason. Wil he be executed, most like no.

    But these loons who demand evidence his actions put lives in jeopardy, all is classified but when his trial is convened it will come out. He had access to networks and data his clearance did not allow. How did he get it, the stories of his peers giving him their access will be (most likely) be proven accurate. Those same people were quietly removed from classified work, contracts and Booze Allen. That is also rumored and will come ut at his trial. If the same loons who champion treason-boy did nto already now everything, everything is captured, on the net. Google alone captures all searches and that has been know for decades. If you did not know this,get off the net, step away from your computer because you are too ill informed to surf.

    What kind of education do some of these loons have? Snowden is going to burn for his actions. For me, rightfully so, but he is bidding his time hoping his PR campaign works. It may well, but that is delusion, he will burn. DoD, NSA and the DoJ have long, long memories.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IANAL, but I think if Snowden had walked into the offices of the Washington Post, or the New York Times, and given them everything he had that proved that the intelligence services were breaking the law, he'd have been whistleblowing. He would have been able to call on the protection of the Supreme Court and the Constitution, and while he'd probably have done some jail time while all of that was brought to bear in his favour, by now he'd be out and clear, and he'd hold the moral high ground.

    Instead he gave information that he took from the NSA to foreign newspapers after taking refuge in a foreign country. That makes his moral judgement look more suspect while he's relying on the protection of Russia, and I'm pretty sure that giving secret information to foreigners is very nearly the definition of treason no matter what country you come from.

    I think that whatever you think of the moral rights and wrongs of what he did, morality needs to be considered separately from legality. The US Got would have to prosecute him for treason if they could get their hands on him, because they have to demonstrate that giving US secrets to foreigners is inexcusable.

    All in all, I'd suggest that while he may have done us a service in what he did (and I think it's at least debatable, but that's just me), Snowden has actually done a disservice in the way he chose to act; other potential whistleblowers will look at what he has had to do to evade prosecution and make the judgement that they'd rather live a peaceful life. If he'd gone to the US newspapers instead, things may well have been worse for the US intelligence services because they wouldn't have been able to blur the lines around their illegal actions by screaming so much about his treason. By managing to brand him as traitor, they've tarnished him enough that they may well get away with it.

  22. JennyZ
    Happy

    He should be executed, not pardoned.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022