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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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  • The problem... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:10AM (#45845127)

    The amount of power held by those who applaud Snowden the amount of power held by those who got/retained power from things snowden disrupted

  • Foolish (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:14AM (#45845167)

    I think it would be very foolish for Mr Snowden to return to US soil.

    The government has had their pet judges rubber-stamp rulings that everything the NSA is doing is legal thus he has no protections under the whistleblower laws. I would not trust anything the US Justice department/Obama administration says, even if in writing, as the US government does not have a very good track record in honoring any agreements it makes. Why should Snowden return to this country where it would be far easier for him to have a "car accident"?

  • Re:Hang him (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:24AM (#45845261)

    spooks. herding behavior. probably bots that look for 'snowden' then post crazyass trator responses. there's way too many of them and they show up way too quickly on every snowden story (notice most of such negative posts actually reference the story they're commenting on!). trying to change public perception by being outliers and pushing discussion into "he's a trator" territory (after all, if entire message boards scream he's a trator, folks might think twice before posting anything truthful).

  • Won't happen ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garry_g (106621) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:33AM (#45845321)

    Snowden embarrassed too many people to get off the hook that easy ...

    Of course, if the tables were turned, e.g. somebody had published the same sort of information about any other's country intelligence agencies, the U.S. most likely would be the first to thank them for blowing the whistle on unlawful acts ... two standards ... 'nough said.

  • by sshir (623215) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:38AM (#45845397)
    For all those morons calling Snowden a traitor: consider this scenario.

    Reviewing circumstances of that Petraeus scandal in the light of Snowden's revelations, it's pretty clear that NSA knew about CIA director affair, and more importantly kept the fact to itself (if, of course it wasn't a parallel construction [] by FBI, which is easy for them to check)

    Now what we have? We have that NSA had dirt on a top CIA official, a popular political figure, with very probable presidential candidacy on the horizon. And what it did with that info? It kept it's chips to itself to cash-in at the most opportune moment! And the whole infrastructure at the NSA is built in such a way (intentionally!) that unless NSA wants to, nobody can say with absolute certainty what they knew and when they knew that.

    In my books that is a direct threat to the republic.
  • by Kelbear (870538) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @10:43AM (#45845431)

    Snowden absolutely should be pardoned for leaking information about the NSA's domestic spying activities, and/or covered under whistleblower policies. This was an act of a patriot.

    But I don't think he'd get a pass for all the subsequent leaks which were only done to undermine the NSA's foreign spying (that's what they're for!). It's not benefiting US citizens or it's gov't. Now it seems like he's just trying to do as much damage to the US as he can.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @11:06AM (#45845667)

    You're right on many points, but as it stands, the NSA has every reason to persecute Snowden. It's a deterrent.

    If he gets pardoned then leaks become more likely in the future. If he gets executed, on the other hand, they'll be less likely.

    So in simple 'less work for us to do' terms, the NSA really does need to take a toughguy stance on leakers.

    We the people, on the other hand, have exactly the opposite interest.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @11:08AM (#45845675)
    You know, I almost would have agreed with this view; but all in all I have to disagree. The entire world should be having this debate, not just the U.S. Countries that are raging about it will have that much more pressure to practice what they preach. Hence why Putin recently sypathized with the NSA's position. He doesn't want to be accused of double standards when the heat is on his own government later There is indeed justification for spying on Russia and China; since they are spying on us after all, but the foreign spying is out of control as well. Why are we tapping Angela Merkel's phone, for instance? What is the purpose in that? Why can't our government get over the fact that the cold war ended over 20 years ago? Not only that, but wouldn't the NSA be more effective at it's job if it focused on targets that are actually justified, instead of spying on everyone and everything just because they can?

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes