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The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden 354

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

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  • Re:Cold Fjord (Score:5, Informative)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:13AM (#45845145) Homepage

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

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

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

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

  • Re:law-breaking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:25AM (#45845263)
    In Kafka America, you don't break the law, the law breaks you?
  • Re:NY Times? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:28AM (#45845283)

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

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

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

  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:33AM (#45845331)
    Given the broad definitions the gov tends to use, I'd say their idea of metadata probably contains a great deal of individually identifiable markers that others would consider to be more than just "metadata".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:35AM (#45845355)

    courts have been ruling it's legal.

    A court has ruled it is legal. A week earlier another district court required an injunction (stayed upon appeal), ruling the program is "likely illegal." How quickly people forget...

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/12/judges-ruling-could-jeopardize-nsa-surveillance/282409/ [theatlantic.com]

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:56AM (#45845569)

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

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

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @11:17AM (#45845777)

    I'm not trying to be an asshole here, but if you have to ask "did they break the law?" then you are absolutely right that you haven't been paying attention.

    The courts and congress, prior to Snowden's leaks, did allow it. You are correct there. But what they allowed was not the same as what the NSA was actually up to. They flat-out lied to get authorization for some things, then went off and did others so when/if they got caught, they could say, "But we were told we could do that!" It is a well-documented fact at this point that the NSA lied to both the courts and congress. That, in itself, is not legal.

    Then, we have the fact that they are definitely violating the 4th amendment. They are not "just" collecting "metadata." They have the content of every phone call or email you make, your browsing history, etc. and they intend hold it for at least 15 years. As American citizens have the right to not be unreasonably searched without warrant, they have violated the constitution in billions of instances over the last decade.

    First amendment rights have also been under attack. Some members of the media have stated that they've been under pressure (not clear if it's from their employers or otherwise) to not run any anti-NSA stories. Some businesses, such as Lavabit and Silent Circle, have had to shutdown because of ridiculous legal pressure to completely legal businesses simply because they did not want to provide all of their information in bulk and instead said they would comply with the law and turn over any information related to suspects. In the case of Lavabit, the FBI demanded they turn over their SSL public & private keys; this is not needed to unencrypt stored information on users, but instead to create a MITM attack on their network. I got a bit off-topic here, but the point is simply that people are forced to behave differently, including limiting their speech, out of fear of government backlash. It is a clear violation of the first amendment.

    Then, we have the fact that the NSA is participating in hacking and distributing malware [pcworld.com]. You know what that's called? Computer fraud. And it's very illegal. If you have some time to waste, go ahead and watch this presentation from 30C3 [youtube.com].

    But, most importantly, remember that government propaganda is legal now [techdirt.com] so keep an eye out for their bullshit.

  • by naasking (94116) <naasking.gmail@com> on Thursday January 02, 2014 @11:20AM (#45845819) Homepage

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

    Except the courts were lied to, and there is no oversight. There are thousands of documented cases of abuse. [washingtonpost.com] What the NSA is doing is far from legal.

  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @12:52PM (#45846751) Homepage Journal

    Snowden is not a member of the US Armed Forces, and is therefore inelgible for the Medal of Honor.

    The equivalent civilian award is the Medal of Freedom.

  • by cusco (717999) <brian.bixby@gma i l .com> on Thursday January 02, 2014 @01:10PM (#45846985)

    Passenger jet? It was the Venezuelan government's version of Air Force One.

  • Re:Hang him (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @01:56PM (#45847587)

    Booth did not attack his own government.

    Uh, yes he did. Secession was never recognized by the US government, nor was it recognized by any other government. Also, when Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, that de facto ended the war and brought the Confederate states back under the control of the US government. Not to mention the fact that Booth, with that single shot, doomed the South to much harsher terms during Reconstruction: Lincoln wanted to reconcile with the South, while those around him wanted to punish the South. With Lincoln dead, the South got punished.

    Now that I think about it, I see a lot of Lee in what Snowden did. Both were torn between his duty to his job and his government and his duty to his people. Both knew that by taking the choice they made they would be vilified, hated, and hunted, but both took the path they believe to be right. Both permanently lost their homes. History has restored Lee's honor and reputation. Hopefully it does so for Snowden as well.

  • Re:Incentive? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TWiTfan (2887093) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @02:31PM (#45848041)

    Proof, or it doesn't happen.

    I submit pretty much the entirety of South American history since WWII.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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