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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden 616

Posted by timothy
from the you-bunch-of-sweet-talkers-you dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The WSJ reports that Attorney General Eric Holder promises Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty in a new letter hoping to persuade Russia not to grant him asylum or refugee status. Holder's letter, dated Tuesday, notes that press reports from Russia indicated Snowden sought asylum in part based on claims he could be tortured or killed by the US government. It is common for the US to promise not to seek the death penalty against individuals being sought in other countries, because even America's closest allies won't turn over suspects if they believe that person might be executed. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture found Bradley Manning's detention was 'cruel and inhuman'." Update: 07/27 13:15 GMT by T : Several readers have noted that change.gov, established by the Obama transition team in 2008, has recently (last month) gone offline; among other things, it contained language specifically addressing the protection of whistleblowers.
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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden

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  • good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:34AM (#44398613)

    As an American, it breaks my heart that my fellow citizens are okay with indefinite detention and torture, and with the wiretapping which violates our constituation's 4th amendment.

    It's a small comfort that our government is facing trouble abroad because of those policies.

  • by mizkitty (786078) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:50AM (#44398693)
    They're just going to hold him naked in solitary like Manning...subject to "suicide checks" by waking him every half hour...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:01AM (#44398723)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/dutch-court-blocks-extradition-to-us-of-dutch-pakistani-terror-suspect/2013/07/23/2a86a15a-f37b-11e2-81fa-8e83b3864c36_story.html

  • Liars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:02AM (#44398733)
    Define torture. Is it what they did to Manning? Is life in the SHU torture? Is being forced to kneel on concrete for minutes and hours on end torture? Is being slammed into the back of an all metal transport vehicle which has its muffler removed or better yet, made unbelievably loud and driven around for hours and hours and hours in the baking heat, manacled and chained so you can't stop yourself from being tossed around torture? Is being shoved in a transport plane, blindfolded, diapered chained to a seat so tightly you permanently lose feeling in your hands and feet , unable to move a muscle and "transported": in that one excruciatingly painful position for 30 hours while the plane is delayed" and "plans change" torture? Because according to Cheney and Rumsfeld and the other torturers , none of that is torture. The fact that the US IS going to torture Snowden if they get a hold of him is the best reason to not let them get a hold of him and when I say them I mean us. Whatever you think of Snowden's actions, -not a choice I would have made btw- he's not acting against the U.S. as an enemy. Even people who ARE enemies don't deserve to be tortured. Useless as a truth elicitor, it inflicts long-term damaging to the foreign policy interests of any nation that uses it (Thtnks Cheney!) torture ought to be relegated to the imaginations of just ordinary people who are, you know, very mad about something they see on TV . It has no place in the conduct of real people in the real world.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:04AM (#44398745)

    I live in Denmark. Last summer, my girlfriend's cousin from the U.S. came and spent a week visiting. I don't remember exactly which state he was from, but it was either Alabama or Arkansas. It was one of the states in the south, and its name started with the letter A, for what it's worth.

    While he was here, we got to talking about world events at one point. The topic of torture came up during this discussion, and he had some, at least from our perspective, very unusual views with respect to it.

    His basic premise was that it's only torture if it involves, using his words, the "cock and balls" of a victim.

    We asked him to explain this rationale in more detail, since we Scandinavian-raised individuals had some trouble fully understanding it at first. We asked him if waterboarding was a form of torture, and he emphatically said that it was merely a form of interrogation, and surely not torture. We asked him if other methods of inducing physical and psychological pain were torture, and again he insisted they were nothing but legitimate interrogation techniques, just as long as they didn't involve the person's "cock and balls".

    He then explained that even electrocuting the genitals of Iraqis was not torture, although it involved their scrotums. His reasoning was that because they were not American, that their genitals were not subject to his definition of torture. Only an American man's penis and scrotal sac could be subjected to torture, according to him.

    We asked him if was possible to torture a woman. His answer was essentially that it is possible, just as long as she's an American and has "cock and balls".

    Some of us laughed at this, because we thought he was just joking around. But he wasn't. He was serious, and we were then quite taken aback.

    I don't know how widespread these views are in America. But if a better-traveled and even somewhat educated American holds such unusual, if not outright contradictory, opinions, then it really makes me wonder about those who have a much more limited perspective.

  • by mozumder (178398) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:06AM (#44398753)

    and with the wiretapping which violates our constituation's 4th amendment.

    Since when was metadata supposed to be private communications?

    Metadata is everything EXCEPT your private communication, including NOT communicating.

    Sorry to all you Slashdot 2nd-grade libertarian gun-nut dumbasses, but you lost the Snowden case.

    He stumbled upon something he, and you, don't understand (that Metadata isn't private communications) and that this is what the system was designed to know.

    When third-parties know all your metadata, that means it's NOT private. Do you know how many dozens of people/companies see your IP headers as it goes across the internet? Are you dumb enough to think that kind of metadata was supposed to be private?

    The only private communications are the ones only between sender and receiver, which, cry and hope and wish all you Republican-lite libertarians want, the NSA does not spy on without a warrant, per US constitution's 4th amendment.

    NSA employees are well aware of constitutional law, as well as the Posse Comitatus act. If there WERE illegal activities at the NSA, you would know about it from actual employee leakers, like what happened during the Bush administration, when several bona-fide employees leaked the illegal activities of the Bush administration under evil Dick Cheney.

    Instead, here we have Mr. Slashdot-Dell-repairman-contractor-high-school-dropout idjit screaming about the scary thing he saw, of which he clearly had no understanding of, because his low-IQ 2nd-grade mental capacity is incapable of understanding systematic design. This is typical of any Republican wannabe.

    I love all these idiot Slashdot libertariantards. You really are Republican-lites, and scream about anything they don't understand and think its scary.

    And you people are dumb as rocks. Just no getting around that fact.

    Be a big government liberal. Don't be a small government libertarian. Small-government libertarians are for the weak. We big-govrernment liberals are superior.

    PS...

    *BOO*

    HAHAHA losers

  • translation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:25AM (#44398843)

    First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States.

    Translation: We will not "seek" it, but we don't guarantee that he won't get it. It's up to the judge who does the actual sentencing.

    The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes

    Translation: We haven't yet charged him with treason for "aiding the enemy" yet, as we did with Manning, but we will. However when he is charged with treason it's up to the judge to sentence him to death. The prosecutor doesn't do the actual sentencing.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:30AM (#44398867)

    Why should we care about what motivates Putin? Don't actions speak louder than words? Putin is not a good guy, but at the moment he is doing a good thing. Saving a guys life. Give him some credit for not being a total dick 100% of the time. I wish we could say the same for Obama, but he's been pretty consistent.

  • I think it's pretty fucking sad when the US is obliged to promise explicitly, on a recurring basis, not to torture people.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:47AM (#44398943) Homepage

    The deaths on 9/11, while tragic and meaningless

    Actually, some of the deaths weren't meaningless at all. The terrorists who attacked on 9/11 were going after the two mechanisms that leaders of the United States use to oppose their will on the part of the world they come from. Their targets were clear: the leaders of Wall Street businesses and the US military. There was nothing random about it. The other plane was probably aiming for Chicago, which would have allowed them to hit commodities markets that control the price of oil.

    That's not to say that all the deaths were because of targeting - the people on the planes, the cleaning staff, the firefighters, etc died but were not really the targets. But then again, was the general population of Baghdad really the target of the US attack on Iraq?

    I'm not saying the people who died on 9/11 deserved it, but it's worth remembering that terrorists act the way they do not because they are crazy and evil, but because they believe they have legitimate grievances and that their cause is worth fighting for.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:39AM (#44399295) Journal

    It's kind of sadder that we can never expect the US to keep any promises, and that its principles (as opposed to its interests) are a complete illusion.

  • by TCM (130219) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:43AM (#44399321)

    It's sad that you're arguing what the non-torture promise is actually for. If the USA was actually a free and civilized country, it would be so outlandish a thought that they could torture anyone, that an extradition would actually be doubtless.

    The whole situation says a lot about "The Land of the Free" when a communist country known for not-so-democratic behaviour has to protect a citizen from a so-called western democratic country.

    Why Americans aren't using their 2nd amendment rights already to get rid of all these corrupt fucks is beyond me.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:48AM (#44399347)
    When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you get ever increasing evil. People had more than two choices, but of all the choices that we had most people chose increasing evil.

    The people that wrongly declare that there were only two choice are a major part of the problem. Thats you, a major part of the problem.

    I live in the state of Connecticut. We have a history of taking "the third choice" in local and statewide elections. The two most major cases include when the Republicans nominated John G. Rowland over Lowell P. Weicker as candidate for Governor of the state. Weicker ran independent and won the election.

    Interestingly, Weicker was running for Governor because he lost his Senate seat to Joe Lieberman. Years later, Joe Lieberman failed to get the Democrat nomination for the seat he was holding. The Democrats instead nominated Ned Lamont, so Lieberman ran independent and won that election.

    Your claims that their are only two choices falls on very deaf ears when speaking to someone from Connecticut. Stop voting to increase evil. Now.
  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcherryholmes (1322535) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:29AM (#44399677)

    It was only a year ago that we had "the other side of the coin." They didn't cut teachers and teachers' salaries, curtail early voting, force nearly all the abortion clinics to close, and reduce corporate taxes even further. Are they similar in some ways? Yes, I'd say regardless of party the donor class gets fed first. But one is willing to let a few more scraps hit the floor. If that sounds like less than a ringing endorsement of the Democrats, you're reading me right. But to say there are no differences between them is to wrapped up in your own thought experiment, with no regard to the empirical data easily available by taking a look out your window.

  • by D'Sphitz (699604) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:11PM (#44400013) Journal

    Why Americans aren't using their 2nd amendment rights already to get rid of all these corrupt fucks is beyond me.

    People just like to feel like they have big balls, as far as most are concerned the 2nd ammendment is just the right to post pictures of themselves holding their Glocks in a menacing pose on Facebook.

    It's a facade, if the time came to rise up against a tyrannical government for the security of a free state, most of them would be locked in the cellar.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:54PM (#44400303)

    What thoroughly amazes and sickens me is the fact that well educated, informed Americans (who get their news from multiple sources) think the spying on Americans is ok.

    I had my fifth or sixth conversation with my father about Snowden yesterday. He started it by saying "I can't wait till they try that fucker for treason and line him up in front of a firing squad."

    I have had these talks with him and other members of my family, who always say "I have nothing to hide..."

    I can't believe that intelligent, informed people would not be outraged by everything - the IRS, NSA, Benghazi etc. it just blows my mind.

    So anyway I asked my father to explain why he thought the NSA should spy on Americans. I asked him what he was so afraid of. He couldn't really articulate anything except for someone smuggling a nuke into our country.

    So our discussion went on to the constitution and his position is that the constitution is 200 years old and the framers never foresaw the situations we might be in bc of technology.

    No shit. If they could see how their contemporaries have turned tech against the population they would roll over in their graves.

    I try not to give up hope but the game is rigged and congress is theater. The House may have taken a vote on a bill reigning in the NSA and while some of the members voted to reign them in, it would have never passed. He'll they may be prohibited to vote against anything like that by the real Patriot Act that they were forced to vote on without reading.

    What a fucked up place the US has become.

    Do yourselves a favor. In not trying to hijack this thread but watch the TWA 800 documentary on Epix and then ask yourselves if you can ever trust your country again.

    Here's my prediction: in 10 years every police car will have a terminal connecting them to parts of the NSA database....you get pulled over and the cop will be able to access all your stored metadata. Where you've been, notes on your file etc. and it will be used politically just like the IRS - so the party who has the presidency will be even more entrenched.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by greenbird (859670) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:41PM (#44400691)

    And if you didn't vote because "all politicians are corrupt", you're as much a part of the problem as anyone else.

    Every time I see the above statement my blood boils. Making an informed decision requires actually being informed. Making a decision based on what you know are lies and misinformation is stupidity. This is especially the case when that decision involves who is going to control the most powerful government this planet has ever experienced.

    That statement is the epitome of stupidity and is one of the essential drivers of the status quo.

  • by Marrow (195242) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:49PM (#44401111)

    THAT would be a real statement.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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