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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism 389

Posted by timothy
from the smart-enough-for-exile dept.
mspohr (589790) points out NBC News's interview with Edward Snowden, the first time Snowden has talked with an American television reporter. It's a wide-ranging conversation, in which Snowden emphasizes his ongoing belief that he did the right thing to release the many documents that he did, even at the cost of his ability to travel. Snowden told NBC's Brian Williams "he had tried to go through channels before leaking documents to journalists, repeatedly raising objections inside the NSA, in writing, to its widespread use of surveillance. But he said he was told, "more or less, in bureaucratic language, 'You should stop asking questions.'" Two U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday that Snowden sent at least one email to the NSA's office of general counsel raising policy and legal questions." Perhaps paving the way to eventual repatriation, Snowden also indicated that he would be willing to accept a "short period" behind bars. But, he said, the U.S. should "reform the Espionage Act to distinguish between people who sell secrets to foreign governments for their own gain and people who return information to public hands for the purpose of serving the public interest," and to include contractors as well as government employees.
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

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  • by Xaedalus (1192463) <.Xaedalys. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:18PM (#47124109)
    Between serving the public's interest, and serving one's own interest at the expense of the public? This is intended as a serious question--I like Snowden's idea, but how would we determine the difference between someone who's alerting us to government malfeasance, versus someone who's ideologically bent on disrupting government regardless of whether there's malfeasance or malevolent intent involved?
    • by jimminy_cricket (139648) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:21PM (#47124135)

      This is exactly the reason for public hearings with juries of our peers. The constitution already contains the means whereby we may come to these determinations.

      • by aeranvar (2589619) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:23PM (#47124153)
        They key words being "public hearings"... something that people charged with espionage have a difficult time getting.
        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Shouldn't be much of a problem here. Snowden's already shown all the cards the NSA didn't want anyone to see.

          • He may have played out his hand (and I deem this likely) - but you never know. He already managed to surprise the US intelligence community once.

            His appearance on NBC Nightly News may have done more to damage US intelligence gathering than his other "revelations". It certainly was a gold mine for Russian propoganda producers.

            • by s.petry (762400) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:29PM (#47125961)

              I doubt that he's played out his hand since he seems to know very well how to play the game. Even if he did though, the US Government has made a lot of US Soldiers and Veterans very very angry withe the newest leaks on the VA. Sure, there are a few scumbags in 3 letter agencies that would kill Snowden to turn a quick buck, but a whole lot of people with military training should be watching his back if he comes back to the US.

              Very interesting times we are living in, because currently the US is a powder keg waiting for a spark. Everyone knows that the system is corrupt to the core, but few are sure what to do with the situation and many hope for a peaceful solution.

              • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Friday May 30, 2014 @08:17AM (#47127705) Journal

                Everyone knows that the system is corrupt to the core, but few are sure what to do with the situation and many hope for a peaceful solution.

                One of the most important things to consider is that historically very few violent or armed revolutions and coup d'etat have resulted in a better government than the one they were overthrowing. Things that have generally brought improvement are slow drifts in line with public mood over time.

                The problem with violent change, especially when instigated by people who have history of serving in a professional army is that they often have huge difficulties when it comes to coping with disagreement. People not doing what they are told in a military context often has huge repercussions (and so it often needs to) but the general public not doing what they are told is often their democratic right in a free society.

                People with an army background seem to be very good at becoming dictators. The sort of flexible, politician types that have no backbone are exactly the sort of people you need when it comes to dealing with a free populace. Part of being free, is being able to believe things like "socialism is better than capitalism" even though the vast majority of the population and the government strongly disagrees.

                The best sort of change the US could undergo would be driven by a mass movement of a highly educated, non-violent population who realised they were being oppressed and refused to stand for it simply by not playing along with a bullshit system designed to keep them down. Of course, that is not likely to happen any time soon.

          • by aeranvar (2589619) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:00PM (#47124453)
            Yes, but will the Judge in the trial let him present classified documents as evidence even if they're already available in the press? I suspect not. I vaguely something like this happening in Manning's case.
      • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:06PM (#47124513)

        Two problems:

        1. Like hell he'll get a public trial, or any trial at all, before he's shipped off to Gitmo. Even if he does...

        2. As once brilliantly stated (I think I saw it in a Slashdot sig), 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty is not a jury of my peers.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:38PM (#47124761)

          And this is EXACTLY why you owe it to your true peers to submit to jury duty. If you were falsely accused, or accused of something not well understood, wouldn't you wish that people just like you didn't duck it?

          • by preaction (1526109) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:10PM (#47125073)

            Mod this up. The Jury is (by design) the closest the average citizen gets to the system of laws and government that controls them. This belief that jury duty is to be avoided is one of many reasons why this country is in the fucking toilet. Whole treatises have been written on The Jury Trial being the keystone of a fair and just society, but nobody seems to care or understand why.

            I continue in my belief that Civics should be taught every year from 8th grade through 12th grade.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:36PM (#47125251)

              It's not that society doesn't want to avoid jury duty because of jury duty. It's because it messes up your life.

              You get paid $40/day for Jury Duty, and many employers don't pay for Jury Duty at all. For a typical middle-class American, you lose your $100-$200/day job for a $40/day ($5/hour) jury duty. You can't live on that much of a cut in pay.

              If you got paid the same as your job for the brief time you're on jury duty, I bet Americans would relish the opportunity for a 'break' or 'vacation' from their day to day job. But that's not how it is today.

              I had a co-worker who had jury duty EVERY Thursday for 2 straight years. His bosses still expected him to put in 40 hours at work. He had to work 10 hour days for 2 years straight. Not fun at all.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Perhaps there is a reason that jurors are treated like crap by the court system, precisely to make sure that only the "right" jurors show up. There is no legitimate reason why being on a jury should take ten times more time than the amount of time actually spent in the courtroom. No one in that court room, except maybe the defendant, has their time wasted as liberally as the jury.

            • by Zynder (2773551) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:20PM (#47125587)
              Then you need to come fix my county's stupid way of doing jury duty. They assign you a whole month that you may or may not be called. You have to call their number or (finally) check their website every single morning and then call the boss to let him know you won't be coming in. You may or may not get paid for it, I do because I'm Union, but most regular joes don't get but the measly ~$10/day the court hands out. Work all day to make $100 or waste all damned day for $10. Which would you choose?

              This belief that jury duty is to be avoided is one of many reasons why this country is in the fucking toilet

              Would you make the same statement if you replaced "jury duty" with "paying your taxes". I would, but most seem to think it is some kind of legal obligation-nay necessity- that you do whatever you can to avoid paying them. Why would me not dodging jury duty as much as possible not fall in the same category?

              • by preaction (1526109) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:48PM (#47125745)

                I agree with your stance on taxes. I take the itemized deductions I'm entitled to for my house and my small business (tax incentives for contributing to the economy), but I would be fine without them. The spreading of tax burden down the economic ladder is class warfare and has been going on for a long time...

              • Forgot the other bit: I believe companies should either be required to pay salary, or the gov't should be required to pay at least minimum wage for jury duty. But I also believe that the US is behind most civilized countries when it comes to labor rights. Unions are one way of fighting for rights, but those are being broken pretty handily these days.

            • Jury duty sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Powercntrl (458442)

              I continue in my belief that Civics should be taught every year from 8th grade through 12th grade.

              I'd take this a step further and require that juries be picked only from 12th graders and retirees. That way, no one can complain about missing work. You may think it's a bad idea to use teens and the elderly, but I think they may actually do a better job than a bunch of people who don't want to be there in the first place.

              • by cdwiegand (2267)

                This idea has merit... too bad it'll probably never happen.

                I definitely think civics should be taught as a required pass/fail course in high school. I also think Logic and Home Ec (yes, you SHOULD know how to cook, balance a checkbook and do laundry) should be required to graduate.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          1. Like hell he'll get a public trial, or any trial at all, before he's shipped off to Gitmo. Even if he does..

          I'm pretty fucking sick of people saying things like this. Why does anyone believe things like it?

          To even joke about it shows a flippant disregard for the rule of law. Not only do you think there is no rule of law, but you don't even care if there is -- you're simply accepting it as fait accompli. You're practically pushing it along. If people think it's funny to think that nobody cares about h

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Not everyone on a jury is stupid. People will serve on juries if they think it is their civic duty. In Greece the equivalent would be "people so stupid they actually paid their taxes."

      • by Brulath (2765381)
        Given the media exposure of Snowden it'd probably be very difficult to acquire an unbiased jury of his peers to judge him fairly, which is a bit of a flaw in the system. It can be very difficult to change a preconceived notion – even when you've been been presented evidence proving what's wrong and right the original notion can still influence your decisions.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:21PM (#47125139) Homepage Journal

        How do you have public hearings on an entity that is spying on members of Congress and the judiciary? That is not accountable to Congress, and is so above the law that they have their own court to make up laws depending on their needs?

        Our surveillance regime exists outside of government.

    • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:29PM (#47124199)

      Between serving the public's interest, and serving one's own interest at the expense of the public? This is intended as a serious question--I like Snowden's idea, but how would we determine the difference between someone who's alerting us to government malfeasance, versus someone who's ideologically bent on disrupting government regardless of whether there's malfeasance or malevolent intent involved?

      Wrong question. If the bar is set so high that people like Snowden have to prove their intentions unambigously, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove their credibility, then they are lost before they begin, because the system assures that's never possible. But that's not why it's the wrong question. It's wrong because information about the workings of a government should never be secret except in the most exceptional of circumstances. Revealing information that should never be secret in the first place should not pose the risk of "disrupting government" regardless of the intent involved. If "disrupting government" merely means "learning what we are doing so you can debate the issue and vote to stop us", then the problem is more fundamental than you think.

      • If the bar is set so high that people like Snowden have to prove their intentions unambigously, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove their credibility, then they are lost before they begin, because the system assures that's never possible.

        But that's not the US justice system - the burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If the bar is set so high that people like Snowden have to prove their intentions unambigously, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove their credibility, then they are lost before they begin, because the system assures that's never possible.

          But that's not the US justice system - the burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense.

          The U.S.A. does not, and never has had, a justice system. It has a legal system. The distinction is important, and explains most of the questions being raised here.

        • by Zynder (2773551)
          Your optimism is refreshing and noble. Too bad things don't work like that anymore.
        • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:15PM (#47125879)

          Are you talking about the country with over a million people in jail due to plea bargaining?

      • by Brulath (2765381)

        I've thought about this point a bit when others have mentioned it on slashdot – the idea that a government should hold nothing beyond easy public access unless it presents a true danger to the people, as defined by the people. It's a great ideal, but I don't think it'd survive the news media in any country; the 24/7 news vultures would shred any political who enacted such legislation to bits. No matter how well-intentioned your actions are, someone will spin it into doom to sell ads.

        It's not entirely

        • As citizens, I think we should have immediate, real-time access to the systems of all the branches of government that are not specifically dealing with classified or personal information. There is no reason that I shouldn't have immediate real-time access to the White House's e-mail boxes. Make them communicate by listserv, and let me subscribe.

          Everything they do is financed by citizens. It's all in our effort. At first this would endlessly news driven controversy, but over time, it would lead to massiv

        • by s.petry (762400)

          the 24/7 news vultures would shred any political who enacted such legislation to bits.

          So you change the system without any Constitutional amendment process as defined by law to suite a few private individuals that wish to take profits over duty? I'm sorry, but I believe you are looking at this from a bad angle.

          It's not entirely the media's fault – a lot of things that happen behind closed doors really shouldn't occur at all

          That statement is a circular logic condition based on your first statement, which is not correct in my opinion.

          Not that long ago there was this thing called integrity and duty which most journalists had. Many journalists today have the same sense of duty and integrity, but we have al

    • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:35PM (#47124239)

      Between serving the public's interest, and serving one's own interest at the expense of the public? This is intended as a serious question--I like Snowden's idea,

      Its pretty easy to tell the difference between someone selling information to a foreign government in secret, and divulging it to the public publicly.

      If you are concerned someone is going to "maliciously" divulge secret information to the public for no personal gain but the satisifcation of causing disruption? So what? I can live with that trade off. Its better than the treat whistlblowers as traitors we have now.

      And realistically, most of government secrets shouldn't be secret anyway. If that person releases troop movements, under cover agents identities, and your private health information 'the public' will crucify him regardless of the law.

      If he releases the contents of a secret in-the-works treaty and you can't tell whether his intentions were disruptive or public service based on the contents of the treaty, I'm ok with erring on the side of public service. And I don't think treaties should be secret anyway.

      • by sjames (1099)

        The last person to out an operative was Scooter Libby. His sentence was commuted so that he served no jail time.

        • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:32PM (#47124699)

          The last person to out an operative was Scooter Libby. His sentence was commuted so that he served no jail time.

          Are you really that misinformed, or are you just trying to deceive?

          The person who disclosed Valerie Plame's name was Richard Armitage, not Libby. Libby's legal trouble revolved around how cooperative he was during one round of questioning, and his prosecution had nothing whatsoever to do with her name getting out. Because ... it was a guy in the State Department, not the White House, who told the reporter her name. And Armitage never got any grief during the witch hunt.

          Of course, Armitage was NOT the last person to "out" an operative. Just a few days ago, the White House stupidly disclosed the name of the top CIA official in Kabul. You know, a guy actually out dealing with dangerous ground, rather than occupying a desk in Virginia like Plame was.

          • by sjames (1099)

            So where are the calls for a trip to gitmo or a life sentence?

            BTW, Libby was charged with the disclosure, they needed a fall guy to try.

        • By definition within the law, Valeria Plame was not an operative.

          Scooter Libby didn't out her.

          Scotter Libby lied to investigators, for whatever idiotic reason, and was convicted of that crime. His sentence was commuted but the conviction and its costs are still on his record.

          • You are rewriting history, massively.

            1. Plame had non-official cover. She served as analyst for Brewster-Jennings, a CIA front-organization, traveling and meeting with nuclear power operators in many countries, as late as 2002. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Title 50, United States Code, Section 42 states:

            The term "covert agent" means-
            (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned

          • by Zynder (2773551)

            conviction and its costs are still on his record.

            And he is doing so bad these days because of it. What with his syndicated radio show and the advertisements I've seen him in, it is wonder the guy can afford ramen noodles.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by iluvcapra (782887)

        If you are concerned someone is going to "maliciously" divulge secret information to the public for no personal gain but the satisifcation of causing disruption? So what? I can live with that trade off. Its better than the treat whistlblowers as traitors we have now.

        That would suggest that random government employees can exercise their personal moral judgment over what their country's allows to do. So, PRISM is illegal, disclosing it, assuming ti works like Snowden says it does, it's legitimate whistleblow

      • by NoKaOi (1415755)

        Its pretty easy to tell the difference between someone selling information to a foreign government in secret, and divulging it to the public publicly.

        Not always (who says it has to be in secret?). I'll make up an example. Let's say we're at war with Islamistan, and a DoD contractor or employee discovers a serious flaw in a cruise missile that was a main weapon we're using against Islamistan that would allow anybody with a couple of hundred dollars worth of equipment to take it down if it was being shot at them. The contractor or employee also discovers (with evidence) that there was corruption involved between the contractor who makes the missiles and

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Its pretty easy to tell the difference between someone selling information to a foreign government in secret, and divulging it to the public publicly.

        Snowden gave the NSA documents to well known American journalists.
        Now imagine if he gave it (under the same terms/conditions) to journalists at Russia Today (a state sponsored newspaper) or Xinhua News Agency (China's state newspaper).

        The difference gets a little fuzzier, doesn't it?

    • by Richy_T (111409)

      The government serves the government, not the people. So it's a moot question anyway.

  • by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:21PM (#47124141)

    The only place he'd ever get repatriated to is Leavenworth (if they're being generous) or Gitmo (if they aren't).

    Poking the bear is bad enough, making the bear feel foolish (while continuing to poke) is unforgivable. In this case, the bear is not Russia. :(

    If they let him go free, or off with a light sentence, he'll have a new career as a public speaker, or activist against the NSA and surveillance. No way the government would allow that sentiment to have a publicly acceptable mouth piece.

    • by RicoX9 (558353) <rico@rTIGERico.org minus cat> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:26PM (#47124177) Homepage

      I have a fair amount of confidence that if he were freed, we'd read an article about his sad, untimely death within a couple of years. You know, those strange suicides where they shot themselves 3 times in the head. Maybe a tragic car crash. The powers that be have good resources and plenty of plausible deniability.

      • That's true. Or read about how the taxi taking to the Moscow airport was found at the bottom of a river.

      • by bobbied (2522392)
        You mean like what happened in Fort Marcy Park? There is nothing new under the sun...
      • by Beck_Neard (3612467) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:01PM (#47124461)

        And of course the inevitable stories of how depressed and lonely he had become, and how he had become paranoid and anti-social and started doing drugs, before he decided to take his own life. And the media would be all over that shit.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:32PM (#47124707)

        They haven't killed Daniel Ellsberg.

        Which reminds me of a recent debate [democracynow.org] he had on Democracy Now with former NSA counsel on the topic of Snowden. Ellsberg brings up the important point that previously, several NSA veterans had brought up complaints through channels and in return, the government, without any real reason to suspect they broke rules or laws other than the fact they believed intelligence methods were becoming unethical, raided their homes and, in the case of Thomas Drake, threatened prosecution for documents they found in his home (after fishing for evidence, not that they already suspected he had them) which they claimed were classified, but were actually marked unclassified, which they then re-classified and tried to prosecute ex post facto. Fortunately, a judge not only threw the case out, but actually apologized to Drake, but only after the ordeal ruined his savings, reputation and career. This intelligence professional, committed to older NSA principles of not violating rights of Americans, now does consumer tech support at an Apple Store. It is in this context (which Ellsberg notes is necessary to acknowledge when discussing whistleblowing) that Snowden went beyond channels to inform the public.

        Frontline also recently did a two-part series on eavesdropping involving NSA, Drake, Snowden and even a complicit tech industry.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/united-states-of-secrets/#part-one---the-program

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Daniel Ellsberg made Johnson look bad while Nixon was in the White House elected on a platform of ending Johnson's war (that's what he'd promised anyway). While various spooks disliked him the administration of the time saw no immediate need to deal with him.
          Snowden however has seriously pissed off the current administration, which makes comparisons with Ellsberg somewhat naive.
    • He could just get so fat that he's considered unattractive on television, so only those who know how to listen pay attention to him. It's kept Michael Moore alive for years.

    • The only place he'd ever get repatriated to is Leavenworth (if they're being generous) or Gitmo (if they aren't).

      Poking the bear is bad enough, making the bear feel foolish (while continuing to poke) is unforgivable. In this case, the bear is not Russia. :(

      If they let him go free, or off with a light sentence, he'll have a new career as a public speaker, or activist against the NSA and surveillance. No way the government would allow that sentiment to have a publicly acceptable mouth piece.

      Don't speak so fast. I suspect there will be at least one person running for office in the next election that would pardon him.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:41PM (#47124303) Homepage Journal

    First, I'd like to say that he's a Patriot.

    There were a lot of things he could have told you that he hasn't.

    Second, if the US government would just follow the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, and stop spying on American citizens in America without individual court orders for individual American citizens, and instead focus on the actual sources of terrorism that we all know are the source: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, this would all go away.

    That said, I look forward to him being granted Amnesty by a free and independent 100 percent green energy Scotland soon.

  • Actual Facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:45PM (#47124327) Homepage
    1) Snowden wrote a letter to his bosses complaining about US Spying before he left. They did not respond to it.

    2) Snowden revealed information about USA spying

    3) Snowden claimed it was in violation of US Constitution.

    4) As a result of Snowden's revelations, US collection has gone down. But there has been no terrorist event since then, so no one possibly have died because of his actions.

    5) US claims that because collection is down, Snowden damaged US security. Snowden claims that because no one died, he did not.

    6)Previously people objected within the US spying agencies about their actions - Snowden was not the first. No one in the agencies ever did anything about the complaints.

    If you believe the US did wrong, then Snowden is a patriot. If you believe the US did no wrong, then Snowden is a traitor.

    Opinions: from here on out. But honestly, this is a question not of action, but of political belief.

    Most importantly, the people in the espionage agency SHOULD be more paranoid than the general population. Otherwise they are in the wrong job. That also means they need to deal with the fact that the general population will NOT want and should NOT allow them to do everything they deem necessary for a safe country. I can make the world safe for children by locking all the children up in a cage till they turn 18. But we don't do that because life is worth the risk. Similarly, we should NOT be giving any spy agencies all the power they think they need. And when we catch them going overboard, they need to be reigned back in.

    All of which means that Snowden should be given the benefit of the doubt

    • by tomhath (637240)

      If you believe the US did wrong, then Snowden is a patriot. If you believe the US did no wrong, then Snowden is a traitor.

      There are more than two choices. Most people think the NSA probably didn't break any laws, but got uncomfortably close to doing so. Perhaps the laws should be clarified or made stricter. But Snowden unquestionably broke laws by revealing NSA operations that are clearly legal.

      • Re:Actual Facts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:41PM (#47124795) Homepage Journal

        But Snowden unquestionably broke laws by revealing NSA operations that are clearly legal.

        Only if his revelation was unjustified.

        If someone breaks into your house and is about to shoot your child, but you shoot them first, and they die, you have committed murder (or at least manslaughter). But the law includes a general provision that lets you off the hook: justification. If you committed your crime in order to prevent a greater crime, the law does not hold you accountable.

        The principle of justification is a general one, which can and does override absolutely any other statute.

        The NSA was clearly perpetrating a greater crime upon the American people than Snowden did by revealing their crime.

        • by tomhath (637240)

          If someone breaks into your house and is about to shoot your child, but you shoot them first, and they die, you have committed murder (or at least manslaughter).

          Wrong, in that case you haven't committed murder or manslaughter.

          NSA was clearly perpetrating a greater crime

          That's not clear to me at all. And even if it was true, expanding on your analogy - I can't shoot someone outside my house who is trying to steal my car. Whether or not Snowden should have exposed questionable practices by the NSA, he should have stopped there.

  • Total surveillance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mariox19 (632969) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:14PM (#47124575)

    Setting up the infrastructure for a total surveillance state is simply beyond the pale. What Snowden has done is what any true American should have done. The machine that government is setting up must be stopped dead in its tracks while there is still time, or there will be no stopping it. And there will be no United States of America after that, only a spot on the map infringing a trademark. Snowden is a true patriot.

    If King George had had the NSA, you'd all be speaking proper English.

  • Snowden is going to be the first person in human history to have a suspicious death at the age of one-hundred and five.

    There's a big difference between what these agencies do under cover of darkness, and what they do under the glare of a public spotlight. Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia after two decades in exile, whereupon he continued to criticise his homeland for another fourteen years, before dying of heart failure under suspicious circumstances at age eighty-nine.

    There's a good reason they get mighty

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:39PM (#47124785)

    The politicos want his head on a pike... God help help him because I don't see anyone of consequence standing up for the man.

  • Dianne Feinstein is refuting Snowden's claim that he made any attempts to alert higher ups. The NSA claims it can only come up with one email from Snowden. Perhaps the NSA's data collection isn't up to snuff after all?

    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a... [sfgate.com]

  • Come to think of it, if the US government wants to talk to Snowden or Assange so bad, can't they just do so by teleconference?
  • Snowden is a hero. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Organic Brain Damage (863655) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:45PM (#47126285)
    Mr. Snowden exposed, in an undeniable manner, a grave threat to the freedom of each and every US citizen. He deserves a Presidential pardon or some kind of get out of jail free card on this act, because he did break the law, but the law in this case is shielding people who are secretly undermining our fundamental freedoms through massive unwarranted spying on US citizens.

    Is Snowden a criminal? Yes. Is he a hero to those of us who wish to continue to live in the land of the freer than average? Yes.
    Here's what our government has been doing since 9/11/2001 gave the anti-freedom brigade carte blanche:

    1. As Mr. Snowden rubs our face in it: massive and sweeping unwarranted surveillance and collection of data and meta data of our phone and internet communications,
    2. Secret courts.
    3. Extra-judicial assassinations of both foreign nationals and in rare cases, US citizens. 4. Drone strikes on people in many countries outside of our declared war zones (Iraq and Afghanistan).
    5. Declaring war on a country that has not invaded us or attacked us or any of our allies (Iraq).
    6. Detaining criminals without due process, no sentence, no release date.
    7. Torture on a massive scale. Abu Ghraib is just where we got caught on film. We've funded the torture of thousands of individuals. We as taxpayers are complicit and accruing a pretty massive karmic debt.
    8. CIA black sites where our government can and does operate outside any bounds of law or moral constraint.
    Since 9/11, we have been sliding into a nasty democracy of evil and unconstrained government behavior. We need to start rolling this stuff back. Strike down the patriot act and adopt a pre-9/11 stance towards freedom, due process, privacy and the constitution. It'd be a bargain to suffer a dozen 9/11 attacks, compared to what we're becoming because of our craven fear.

    Live free or die.

You will be successful in your work.

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