back to article Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

The US White House has formally declined a citizens' petition to issue a pardon to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The President Obama-led administration on Tuesday issued its response to the "We The People" petition to grant Snowden a pardon and allow him to return to the United States without facing arrest and further …

  1. cyke1

    "The White House stated that no amount of public pressure – even from a petition backed by 167,954 signatures – will sway it from moving forward with its prosecution of Snowden"

    Someone forgot to tell Obama, um "the white house" won't be his much longer when he gets tossed out after his 8 years of destroying this country and putting it in massive debt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...8 years of destroying this country and putting it in massive debt.

      Speaking of which, in Obama's first two years of office with a Democratic dominated congress, Obama spent enough money on "economic recovery" to GIVE each household in the USA $14,000. Instead all the money went to the richest 1% while unemployment skyrocketed to new heights.

      So Obama's decision on Snowden is consistent in doing what's best for the richest 1%.

      Most transparent administration in history? Naaaaaaah...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >So Obama's decision on Snowden is consistent in doing what's best for the richest 1%.

        You know pretty much like every leader ever sadly. Especially bad since the Baby Boomers started taking over. I guess one can say at least with the GOP they don't really pretend otherwise so they are less hypocrites (on at least this issue).

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    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2016

      You do realize that when the Republicans take the WH, Snowden will be starting to feel a bit colder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2016

        Yep no way the frontrunner Trump goes easy on him. First he will fire him on national TV and then send him to Gitmo. No time for a trial. God I love the Republican primary clown car circus. The only thing missing is the Cain Pain Train looking at the camera and saying don't look at me I am just as surprised as you.

        1. sisk

          Re: 2016

          frontrunner Trump

          Trump is NOT the GOP front runner. He's just the guy generating the most press. You'd have a tough time finding any significant number of people who are actually saying they're going to vote for him.

          Me? At the rate the race is going right now Mickey Mouse is looking like a good write in.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 2016

            >Trump is NOT the GOP front runner.

            I am sure many in the GOP are embarrassed by it and so are resorting to their tried true strategy of flat out denial in the face of facts but they forgot to tell the tea baggers and Evangelics (who usually excel at that). That is what happens when open a big tent and then fill it full of bat shit crazy. He will be on that stage for that first debate and its going to be priceless.

            "Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That is the highest percentage and biggest lead recorded by any GOP candidate this year in Post-ABC News polls and marks a sixfold increase in his support since late May, shortly before he formally joined the race. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy a week ago, is in second place, at 13 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 12 percent."

            1. sisk

              Re: 2016

              "Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

              Yes, but somewhere around 60% say they'd never vote for him. And as much of a nutcase as he is his lead has 0 chance of growing and 100% chance of diminishing each time he opens his mouth. I know some hard-core Republicans who say they'd vote for any of the Democratic nominees - ANY of them - before they'd vote for Trump. That's how un-electable the man is.

              1. asdf

                Re: 2016

                Even if he can't win the nomination he may very well push some fringe candidate into getting nominated or even perhaps one of the front runners will screw up and try to out crazy him in the heat of the moment which we will hear clips of endlessly in the general election. Remember you can tell the voters over and over again you are not a witch or that they are not part of the %47 but it doesn't mean you won't get your ass handed to you at election time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2016

        "when" the Reps take the WH? We'll all feel a bit colder......Hell will have frozen over.

      3. Suricou Raven

        Re: 2016

        The democrats want to lock him up for decades after a trial. The republicans want to declare him a traitor and execute him right away.

        1. asdf

          Re: 2016

          And who says a 2 party system can't result in a fair democracy? Southpark nailed it (as they often do) with voting for either the douchebag or the turd sandwich.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Trump, bombing and front runner

            Trump may be a nutcase, but I haven't ever heard him say anything that makes him sound like a warmonger. I'd be more worried about some of the other republicans in that respect.

            While Trump leads in polling in a field of 16, he is far and away the leader in negatives - over half of republicans polled say they definitely would not support him. It doesn't matter what he does, he can't win the nomination, but he can sure stir things up and distract the republicans into talking about him instead of talking about Obama and Clinton as they'd prefer.

            1. sisk

              Re: Trump, bombing and front runner

              instead of talking about Obama and Clinton as they'd prefer

              The further it gets into the race the more it looks like it may be Sanders they have to worry about. He's looking more and more electable every day. Which, really, is just proof that you have to be an extremist to be electable anymore.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trump, bombing and front runner

              "Trump may be a nutcase, but I haven't ever heard him say anything that makes him sound like a warmonger."

              To quote the nutcase himself: “I would bomb the hell out of those oil fields. I wouldn’t send many troops because you won’t need them by the time I’m finished.”

              http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-i-would-bomb-the-hell-out-of-the-oil-fields-in-iraq-to-fight-isis/

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @cyke1 "Forgot to tell Obama"

      Ignoring your political rant, if anything republicans would take an even harder line on Snowden. Who knows, might even try to send a rendition team into Moscow and spark an international incident.

      There are only two guys running for President who would may not pursue charges against Snowden: Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders. Even then they'd probably have to pardon him as I'm sure a successor could come up with charges for which there is no statute of limitations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @cyke1 "Forgot to tell Obama"

        >"Who knows, might even try to send a rendition team into Moscow and spark an international incident."

        Methinks that's the very best we could expect of President Trump. Sadly "just bomb the shit out of them while we're bombing the shit out of the middle east's oil fields" is probably his most likely policy.

        Perhaps all those Yanks who spend their lives to digging bunkers in remote farmland and filling them with radiation filters and tinned beans were on to something after all...

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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Challenge it, speak out,

    Isn't "speaking out" what got him in this trouble in the first place?

    > and be judged by a jury of his peers

    Somehow, I don't think this is what the American administration would have in mind for him.

    A secret court with seals on all the evidence for "national security" concerns I wouldn't wonder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      *Effective* dissent will not be tolerated

      "If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those other bleating sheeple who have taken issue with their own government do: Piss in the wind" presidential advisor Lisa Monaco said in the administration's response.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *Effective* dissent will not be tolerated

        yep shoulda gotten a placard and "protested" at Berkeley or somewhere the political elites only hear about it on the news or from their advisors. Then gone home with overwhelming pride like he "did something"...

    2. Nextweek

      >> and be judged by a jury of his peers

      >Somehow, I don't think this is what the American administration would have in mind for him.

      It makes me wonder how he could receive a fair trial. Everybody has a preconceived opinion already, one way or the other. He raised a polarising issue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Who said anything about fair?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So?

    It doesn't really matter. Even if Obama says all is forgiven, Snowden would spend approximately five minutes as a free man once he set foot on American soil. This is not a president whose word can be trusted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So?

      Is there a president or political leader who CAN be trusted? :)

      1. sisk

        Re: So?

        Is there a president or political leader who CAN be trusted? :)

        President? No. Political leader? Sure, plenty of them. They all answer to "mayor" or "city councilman" in towns with populations under 50,000.

    2. Grikath

      Re: So?

      Actually, I've the feeling that whoever would be President would pretty much make no difference whatshowever..

      Snowden upset the Status Quo of some people who are, judging by all that's passed in the last two years, a lot more powerful, especially in the sense that they do not have to explain what they've been up to to Joe Public, than any US president past or present.

      The only thing that's kept Snowden safe is the fact that Putin does not play ball nicely, and the very harsh fact that any alternative in the former USSR region is far, far worse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So?

        Presumably by "play ball nicely" you actually mean roll over

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: So?

        Not really. Pardons are one of a very, very few things in US politics that are absolutely within the gift of the president and no-one else. If Obama were to say "he's pardoned for all crimes committed in such-and-such a timeframe, or relating to such a statute", then there'd be nothing the authorities could legally do about it.

        That only leaves illegal options. Which, sure, are always options, but there's a cost attached to them.

        1. Desidero
          Paris Hilton

          Re: So?

          Note like with Marc Rich, the President could issue a pardon with conditions, whether community service, some short jail time (rather than a long drawn-out trial to sap 4-5 years of his life), etc.

          Marc Rich's pardon was so attractive that Rich never took Clinton up on it - somehow Switzerland was the simpler option for him. Not that the charges against Rich were well-defined.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In order to pardon Snowden, Obama would have to pardon himself as well. Not f**king likely.

  5. Ami Ganguli

    He's unlikely to be able to speak out

    This is the basic problem. If he's arrested in the US then the government will likely declare that anything he says is classified. They'll cut him off from society and have a private trial.

    The ideal that whistle-blowers should let themselves be prosecuted is quaint, but it comes from happier times before Bradley/Chealsea Manning.

  6. elDog

    Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

    Snowden would stand a Imhof snowball's chance in congress of surviving.

    The White House stated that no amount of public pressure – even from a petition backed by 167,954 signatures – will sway it from moving forward with its prosecution of Snowden.

    This is how democracy works - no matter how many people want something that the people in power don't want - SCREW YOU!

    And we want the rest of the world to follow our path to glory and heaven?

    1. asdf

      Re: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

      >And we want the rest of the world to follow our path to glory and heaven?

      No remember due to that American exceptionalism pure arrogance bullshit we don't think they can.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

        It was Margaret Thatcher who invented "American exceptionalism"

        Bless her

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

          She was such an Uncle Tom American.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

            She was a politician

        2. Turtle

          Re: American Exceptionalism

          "It was Margaret Thatcher who invented 'American exceptionalism'"

          There are fundamentalist Christians who believe that the world is 6000 years old. And there are some people on this forum who seem to believe that the world is about 40 years old.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Exceptionalism:

          The theory of the exceptionalism of the U.S. can be traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the country as "exceptional" in 1831 and 1840. The exact term "American exceptionalism" has been in use since at least the 1920s and saw more common use after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin allegedly chastised members of the Jay Lovestone-led faction of the American Communist Party for their belief that America was independent of the Marxist laws of history 'thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions'. However, this story has been challenged because the expression "American exceptionalism" was already used by Brouder & Zack in Daily Worker (N.Y.) on the 29th of January 1929, before Lovestone's visit to Moscow. In addition, Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, has noted that "exceptionalism" was used to refer to the United States and its self-image during the Civil War by The Times on August 20, 1861.

          The idea of "American exceptionalism" is actually useful when counterposed to the highly self-absorbed European-Marxist idea that Europe somehow embodies a universally-applicable template of historical development.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: American Exceptionalism

            >highly self-absorbed European-Marxist idea that Europe somehow embodies a universally-applicable template of historical development.

            Quick find any median measurements where the US is tops in the world other than obesity or other negative measurements. We only do so well when you include our %1 outliers who have it better than pretty much any other %1 in the world.

    2. Turtle

      @elDog: Re: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

      "The White House stated that no amount of public pressure – even from a petition backed by 167,954 signatures – will sway it from moving forward with its prosecution of Snowden. This is how democracy works - no matter how many people want something that the people in power don't want - SCREW YOU!"

      The number of people in the United States of voting age was 236,000,000 in 2012.

      The 167,954 people who signed this "epetition"* represents 0.0007% of the voting age population - even assuming that all of the signatories are American citizens, which is probably not the case.

      If 167,954 signatures on an "epetition" was the benchmark for implementing a government policy, there is absolutely no policy that couldn't garner that many signatures. It's a really low standard. I'd bet that there are more people who believe that the earth is flat than there are people who signed this "epetition".

      I am surprised that this petition got so few signatures. I'm kind of surprised that the Obama administration spent any time answering it. I guess that's what PR hacks are for. This is not really earning their pay, though.

      *Regrettably, there seems to be no way to write "epetition" so as to convey the contempt that it deserves.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: @elDog: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

        The problem isn't with ignoring 167,954 signatures, It's that we don't know how many of those 236,000,000 citizens actually opposed the motion. I would suggest it's a great many less than 167,954, or the WH would have said so.

        But the biggest problem is 'no amount of public pressure'. 167,954 wasn't enough. And 236,000,000 apparently wouldn't be enough either. They're simply not a democracy.

      2. sisk

        Re: @elDog: Please don't come home, Ed Snowden, please don't come home...

        You forget that of that 236 million people only about 20-30% of them can be buggered to get to the polls for Presidential elections. For anything less than a Presidential election the number drops to 5-15%. That being the case 167,954 is actually around 1-2% of the population that actually gives a rat's ass. If you have 1-2% of a group signing a petition that's usually a pretty good indication that it's important to the group at large.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: elDog: And we want the rest of the world to follow our path to glory and heaven?

      Freedom is the most precious thing in the world. So precious it must be rationed. There is only enough freedom for a few Americans. Everyone else must go without.

      1. g e

        A few Americans...

        Roughly 1% at a quick guess.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and – importantly – accept the consequences of his actions,"

    Yes because that has worked so well in the past, the consequences being death.

    "He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers – not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions."

    I'm sorry but who is spying on who's people? authoritarian regime, from where I'm sat (in my patented tin foil hat and faraday cage) is the USA. Jury of his peers? 12 white men? (I use this as an illustration to how the legal process can be manipulated)

    "The balance between our security and the civil liberties that our ideals and our Constitution require deserves robust debate, and those who are willing to engage in it here at home."

    With no freedoms and all their emails slurped up by the government, the constitution require you fuckwits to not have a free lunch on everyone's data or personal lives, try reading it capitol hill. No debate just stop.

    1. SolidSquid

      Considering the judge on Manning's case ruled that she'd suffered illegal pre-trial punishment because of her treatment by officials the judgement is likely to happen before the jury of peers makes a decision anyway

    2. sisk

      "The balance between our security and the civil liberties that our ideals and our Constitution require deserves robust debate, and those who are willing to engage in it here at home."

      No it doesn't. We do not give up our civil liberties in this country. Period, the end, no debate allowed on the subject. If you can't protect our security within that context then resign so we can elect someone who can.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So the old.. "sure here's the pardon" but afterwards "my fingers were crossed so it's not real" ploy won't work? I'm beyond disgusted by our elected officials and those who elected them. This next election looks to be no different judging from the polls. The downward spiral continues...

    As for Snowden, if anyone thought for a moment he'd get a real trial, open to the public with a real jury of his peers, things might be different. Currently the jury of peers is nonsense... the rest is beyond debatable... he's doomed.

    This is nightmare, I admit it. To be one who wants privacy and yet, we need to defend against the bad guys. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground here which, given the state of American politics, is pretty damn normal. The art of compromise and open debate with an open mind has long since passed.

  9. Dr. G. Freeman

    The important question is would Snowden want to go back to America ?

    Given the amount of hassle he'd get, even as a "free man" over there, not worth it.

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    The majority of American people are still stupid enough to still believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy. Why then are people so shocked that Obama and his administration would decline the pardon?

    I could go down a rabbit hole of rumours and conspiracy, but I'm happy enough with the JFK one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      time to step in

      Well he was a trained Marine so that made it slightly easier to buy for many including me. A better way to emphasize the stupidity of the US public is to point out the vast majority believe in angels.

      1. Antonymous Coward
        Alien

        Re: time to step in

        I'll see your angels and raise you a hundred million or so "alien abductions"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to step in

          >I'll see your angels and raise you a hundred million or so "alien abductions"

          All I know is thanks to my fellow country men we can now say for certain their are two things alien visitors care about. Trailer parks and anal probes.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: time to step in

        "A better way to emphasize the stupidity of the US public is to point out the vast majority believe in angels."

        I'd sooner believe in angels than buy any shite that says he was shot from behind, when the video clearly shows him being shot from the front.

        Physics, bitch.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: time to step in

          That ol' perspective, it's a killer!

          http://www.prouty.org/heritage.html

      3. andersenep

        Re: time to step in

        I can assure you that there are a LOT of Marines that's couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone a moving target.

        Believing in everything you see in movies like Full Metal Jacket is about as lame as believing in angels.

        1. asdf

          Re: time to step in

          Except he qualified as a sharp shooter. I am not saying the Warren commission or whatever is completely right. I am just saying if you look at his bio its pretty easy to see how he could be a pawn that got lucky and took down the king.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: time to step in

            "Except he qualified as a sharp shooter. I am not saying the Warren commission or whatever is completely right. I am just saying if you look at his bio its pretty easy to see how he could be a pawn that got lucky and took down the king."

            While he was a sharp shooter, he's not that good to shoot past the motorcade, make the bullet turn around 180 degrees and go in the front of the head.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    I see. I see.

    Meanwhile there is dangerous talk of letting Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard go after 30 years inside to appease Israeli histronics over the Iran deal out of humane considerations.

  12. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    "He should come home to the United States...

    "...and be judged by an authoritarian regime!"

    FTFY!

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: "He should come home to the United States...

      "...and be convicted by an authoritarian regime!"

      FTFY!

  13. Kernel

    But here's the problem

    "We continue to face grave security threats like terrorism, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation that our intelligence community must have all the lawful tools it needs to address," Monaco offered."

    Yes, but the issue is that they don't confine themselves to "the lawful tools", do they.

    1. asdf

      Re: But here's the problem

      Nor do they even care about protecting secrets what with the Chinese now downloading nearly every security clearance application going back a decade. Snowden is just the canary in the coal mine of US government IT fail.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    /quote

    "We live in a dangerous world. We continue to face grave security threats like terrorism, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation that our intelligence community must have all the lawful tools it needs to address," Monaco offered.

    /quote

    The world has always been dangerous. They may be lawful tools, but they weren't used in a lawful manner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What, exactly, about secretly inventing secret "courts" to secretly rubber-stamp secret surveillance, torture interrogation etc. programmes which directly contravene the most fundamental law of the land, do they so vehemently prevaricate to be "lawful tools"?

      Disingenuous twats.

  15. x 7

    "Snowden has been on the run since 2013 and is currently living in Russia, where he is protected from eradication"

    There you go. Proof-read it for you

  16. AustinTX

    Balance

    "The balance between our security and the civil liberties..."

    NO. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we fought for our security or oblige the government to guarantee it.

    There IS NO BALANCE to be negotiated between our security and our civil liberties. That was never part of the deal. Our civil liberties come first and foremost. Without our civil liberties, security does not matter whatsoever.

    None of our civil liberties make us unsafe. It is a fact that they are all specifically inspired by government behavior that is hostile to freedom and intent on eroding it. It is past time for the US government to stop treating our civil liberties as a sort of bank account to debit from in order to bring us "safety".

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @AustinTX -- Re: Balance

      Post of the week!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Balance

      This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs, when he first appears he is a "protector." -Plato

    4. Antonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Balance

      @ AustinTX

      I believe someone else once thought the same. A long time ago.

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin 1755

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No amount of pressure.

    Obama just pretty much admitted that the entire US government no longer acts for the people yet refuses to step down.

    And we all know what the 2nd amendment says citizens are OBLIGATED to do when that happens......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'll bite

      >And we all know what the 2nd amendment says citizens are OBLIGATED to do when that happens......

      Tell me what citizens are obliged as opposed to allowed to do by the 2nd amendment oh wise scholar (here I thought it said "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."). You know the funny thing about a Tomahawk cruise missile or even a Hellfire off a drone. You don't hear or see anything before you die. Lot of good that handgun will do you when you start your jihad against the government but I guess that is what your doomsday bunker is for huh?

  18. InNY

    Oops...

    Thought his was the Register. Seems to be showing the Daily Mail and Briebart instead...

    1. asdf

      Re: Oops...

      Nobody in the developed world does fever swamps like the US. Its rare to find the golden combination of a large amount of poorly balanced home schooling and anti-intellectualism accepted as a political movement in the western world.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know I actually like the comments on here, you yankees can take the piss out of your government as much as us and fair play to you on that one.

    1. asdf

      citizens of human nature

      Jon Stewart, John Oliver who cares where you are from? Its all how skillful can you make the disingenuous look like the ass hats they are.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well

    Obama is doing his best to go out in style, with visits to Africa and such, respect.

    However, pardoning Snowden (and could he even do so, if Snowden has not yet been tried and convicted? IANAL) might just be a step too far. Would be quite a legacy all the same. My guess is it ain't gonna happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh well

      This is all probably more about precedents than presidents. Can't possibly even consider allowing horrible little bureaucratic worms to start getting ideas above their station "pay grade." Ever. Under any circumstances. This one must be crushed, and seen to be crushed - lest other horrible little bureaucratic worms might think to attempt to squirm from the can.

    2. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: Oh well

      Yes, a pardon can be issued for crimes of which one is not yet convicted. When President Ford pardoned ex-President Nixon, it saved the USA from going through the motions of a trial that would have accomplished nothing more than what was already achieved, the removal from office of a person who committed impeachable acts. While I agreed with the action then, since the damage and the removal from office had already been done, I now think we should have tried him, and let the whole ugly crapstew of the GOP run and hide under rocks. The party would have had to reinvent or die, and we might not have the fascists and the 1% quite as arrogantly running things.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge
      Headmaster

      @ AC -- Re: Oh well

      However, pardoning Snowden (and could he even do so, if Snowden has not yet been tried and convicted? IANAL)

      Short answer: Yes, he can. Probably the only thing Gerald Ford did wrong as President was to pardon Nixon before he was even indicted for his high crimes and misdemeanors. But what he did was perfectly legal under the law.

  21. wil678

    PoliceState--Posse Comitatus 18 USC sec.1385.

    Whitehouse hypocritically says, He “should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime”. Ha ha. The Soviet Union never actually collapsed: On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (formerly Byelorussia), signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. 25 December 1991 was not the end of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks just moved to Washington DC.

    Whitehouse’s/ Homeland Security’s response is laughable. Snowden still has the Nuremburg defense. We all know that a "jury of his peers" is impossible, while being tried under the Foreign Espionage Act. But Snowden is where State Department policy has put him, withdrawing his passport, stranding him in a Moscow airport. History will be very kind to Snowden.

    Snowden is smart, too smart to return to the U. S. for a mock trial, followed by judicial lynching. Most of the American people are too smart to be taken in by this stupid Whitehouse response. Life long and Prosper Mr. Snowden. You are a true American, a hero for the ages. The fourth amendment and the Constitution still matter to people like Snowden. Any penalty he receives should be a $100 fine for 'residual guilt' for laws he has broken. A Full pardon is still the better path. HE HAS REVEALED OUR TRUE ORWELLIAN SITUATION. ...A HEROS JOURNEY..

    When American's finally figure out, who shot JFK and Why; what actually happened on Sept. 11, 2001(and Why). Then it will be safe for Snowden to come home.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a snowball's chance in Hell

    Snowden would be dead within hours of returning to the U.S. to be tried for treason. What he did was get people killed, undermine U.S. and it's allies' national security because Snowden is a demented attention seeker. Those who think he is some kind of hero are sadly duped and misinformed. I hope he dies a slow, painful death with images of every person that died due to his treason and meritless rants against those people who are sworn to protect civilians from terrorism. The Russian nuke pill is suitable for Snowden's violation of law and oath.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Not a snowball's chance in Hell

      Obligatory response.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And after all what was leaked

    ... it's kind of surprising the apathy of the whole "free" world about the spying cases, eroded liberties in the name of feeling a little safer... like the "If it doesn't affect my way of living, I don't care" type of mindset... while Big Brother says "Nothing to see here, move along."

    All of this depends on IT, people reading this site... if you are enraged by all this, what is it that you do about it? Quit working for the government? Start using encryption and be labeled paranoic?

    For all of you that don't care, all it takes is a crazy smooth demagogue to grab the power and take advantage and start getting rid of unwanted "terrorists" and convince the herd about the rightful use (abuse) of "tools" in order to preserve their way of living... not that it would happen in the US in our lifetime...

    Then there's the classic: "Oh, wait..."

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Time to get tough and send Donald Trump over to Russia!

    One way.

  25. Sokolik
    Big Brother

    Mixed Feelings

    I think Snowden heroically revealed what he did. But I think he should have stayed and taken the consequences. Like a few refuseniks during our Vietnam War.

    Yes, I know, the possibility of being criminally-erased in so-called "rendition" or under some provision of the shameful and Cloud-Cuckoo- Land "Patriot" Act. But I do not think that would have happened in his case. I think he would have received a public trial.

    I realize this is easy for me to think in my comfortable chair in my comfortable air-conditioned California home.

    But in USAF, at, I think, great cost, I admitted my errors and negligence in a matter of some consequence. In fact, I turned-myself-in to the Security Police.

    That was not, shall we say, we say, a career-enhancing move. And I wanted a USAF career.

    Anyway...on top of running, Snowden seeks asylum in... *Russia*?!? Excuse me?!? Like there's a lot more protection from government intrusion there, than here?!?

    Snowden can't be stupid. He must have known he would be FSB's and SVR's b*tch for the rest of his life. What on earth was he thinking?

    I think we should tell him, "Come home, but all is not forgiven. You will be publicly prosecuted".

    If he and his attorneys spin it right, in open court they could make a *great* case for citizen privacy. They could cut NSA down a few notches.

    In fact, I think our government recognized this possibility and perhaps rather let Snowden slip away. Although I am paranoid. And that's just me.

    1. John Geek

      Re: Mixed Feelings

      not a chance in hades it would have been a public trial, every single aspect of it would have been classified as utmost national security interests are at risk. ANY thing that exposes the apparatchik must be suppressed.. no, he either would have disappeared into a secret court, then 6 months later, page 5 one paragraph story mentions he was found guilty of all charges and is now rotting in Gitmo, or he would have been killed in some highly public and suspicious way that could be blamed on terrorist elements.

      1. Sokolik
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        I respectfully disagree as Snowden now is widely recognized. Not so at the beginning.

        But, *now* he is highly-visible. Anything smelly the U.S. government might try could not be hidden because of the media microscope.

        Yes, I know, Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, and newspapers effectively-owned by advertisers (and thus the threat of advert revenue being yanked). It's all true, I concede.

        But there are still left here one or two private, credible, and courageous newspapers. They would keep Snowden in the spotlight. *And eventually, I would bet, the truth 'would out'*. *And that's the paramount thing*.

        Anyway, please pardon *my* cloud-cuckoo-land outlook

    2. Brangdon

      Re: Mixed Feelings

      Snowden is in Russia because that's where he happened to be when the US revoked his passport. It's not where he wants to be or what he chose. He was en route to somewhere else.

      1. Sokolik

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        Brangdon, thank you. So, effectively, Snowden was *not* seeking asylum in Russia. I had not known that. Thank you for setting me straight.

  26. SolidSquid

    "The balance between our security and the civil liberties that our ideals and our Constitution require deserves robust debate, and those who are willing to engage in it here at home."

    Where congressmen can push for them to be executed without trial, as several of them were advocating for when the papers were first released. And how exactly can we have a "robust debate" if all information is considered classified and anyone telling us about it is imprisoned?

    Also, slightly disingenuous to claim he's "hiding behind an authoritarian regime" when the only reason he's still there is the government cancelled his passport to stop him moving on

  27. Uncle Slacky
    Black Helicopters

    Espionage Act

    A "positive" defence such as "I did it for the greater good" etc. is not possible under the Espionage Act, and given that anyone who knows about jury nullification (something this trial would be made for) would be filtered out during the jury selection process, he'd be certain of a guilty verdict, and all that that implies.

  28. W3dge

    "The White House stated that no amount of public pressure"

    Yay democracy!

  29. Steve Evans

    I wonder...

    Maybe Ed should change his name to Richard Nixon...

  30. nilfs2
    Big Brother

    Government of the people

    "Government of the people" turned into "Government vs the people".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dead Scum Walking

    Snowden is going to wish he had used better judgment before turning into a traitor.

    1. nilfs2
      FAIL

      Re: Dead Scum Walking

      He made a favor not only to their country, but to other countries. I'm not a USA citizen, nor do I have anything to do with them, why do these people have to be monitoring my life?

      He didn't betrayed his country, he betrayed the scumbags running the country.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Regardless, don't fall for a pardon, Ed! (More than anyone, you should know better too.)

    Even if Snowden obtained a pardon, what would keep Obama or people he extends his powers unto (State Department personnel, etc.) from assassinating him as an enemy of the state? Snowden himself proved that this is exactly the sort of thing that tyrants empowered by the U.S. Government do regularly and with impunity. I have no reason to even believe that Aaron Swartz committed suicide and thus have no reason to believe that Edward Snowden can ever be safe from long reach of the tyrants he exposed!

    Furthermore, the is no "justice system" to judge Edward Snowden should he return home to the United States. It is a law industry and it is designed to protect the oligarchic state. The nation based on the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, as created by its founders, was overthrown; it simply no longer exists!

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