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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden 616

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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  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:51AM (#44398701) Journal
    Welcome to a world where " "severe pain" must necessarily be pain associated with "death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions"" is top quality legal jargon.
    "Prolonged mental harm" is months or years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture_Memos [wikipedia.org]
  • Eric Holder (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:02AM (#44398729)
    This is the same Eric Holder that lied under oath before congress about targeting members of the press, and before that lied under oath before congress about fast and furious, and before that lied under oath before congress about the dropping of the case against the New Black Panther Party.

    Eric Holder is well known to lie while under oath. Now when he is not under oath, Snowden is supposed to believe him? Give me a break.

    Fuck Eric Holder, a fuck this whole god damned completely corrupt administration.
  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:27AM (#44399205)

    He said he would provide the investigation materials the DOJ collected after Brian Terry was killed. That was what Congress was after, what the DOJ found in its research of the incident, they never asked for anything before that time from the program. When it came down to it, Holder refused to turn over those materials to Congress and because of that was held in Contempt of Congress.

    In addition: He told Congress that fast and furious was a continuation of a Bush administration policy (a talking point in the NYT a lot). Congress was intrested and asked for information that showed it was a continuation and Holder returned to say it was not a continuation and a new program under Obama.

    In addition: Holder said he hadn't heard about fast and furious before June of that year. Two weeks later Obama gave a speech saying he talked to Holder about the Fast and Furious program back in April.

    Thats at least 3 lies to Congress, under oath, about fast and furious alone that Holder has made. One he got held in Contempt of Congress for.

  • by StillAnonymous ( 595680 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:29AM (#44399675)

    Who in their right mind would believe such a promise though? If you suspect a country would resort to torture or execution of a simple whistleblower, you're already way past assuming they'd do something comparatively mundane such as lying.

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:42PM (#44400225)

    The US officially supports torture as an interrogation method. Doesn't even hide it, but admits to it openly, much to the chagin of Amnesty International. Gitmo is currently tube feeding prisoners who are treated like dogs. Abu Ghraib. That can't possibly have anything to do with the need for this letter. We gave up the high road years ago. Your attempt to deny it is laughable. There are very real reasons for us to have to deny that we will use torture. It isn't merely a technicality.

  • by greenbird ( 859670 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:58PM (#44400799)

    This is the legalese "a chance", the same legalese that can make tapping someone on the shoulder 'assault'. It doesn't need to be a realistic prospect or even slightly likely, there just needs to be a faint glimmer of a hint of a chance that he may face torture.

    You're missing his point. The truly sad thing is, it is far more than "a faint glimmer of a hint of a chance that he may face torture" as recent history has demonstrated.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:01PM (#44400817) Homepage Journal

    Sadly, that is not an accurate characterization. Federal officials have stated flat out that we do things such as long term solitary and waterboarding. Things the civilized world calls torture.

  • Re: Eric Holder (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:39PM (#44401815)

    You're an idiot. Lesser of evils???

    I just don't understand how anyone could vote for him even once.

    This is a guy who sat in a church for 20 years yelling "amen" every two seconds to Rev Wrights hateful anti-American sermons. While I have disagreed with a lot of what the US did under W Bush, and felt W was an idiot being played by much smarter underlings - if you want to be President you need to be at least patriotic. Obama - from a young age - was mentored by some of the most radical people this country has ever seen. How could anyone vote for someone who repeatedly sought out radical role models? Hell, Obama hated the US so much he wouldn't even wear an American Flag lapel pin until pressured to do so.

    After his first term it was apparent that Obama had a much different vision for the US than he outlined when he ran....it was obvious when one of the first things he did was return the bust of Winston Churchill to the British. The funny thing is - it was the British and other European countries that had such deep histories of imperialism and colonization - but he acted as if the US did too, which is not the case. IMHO the US has done some bad things in recent years - like Iraq 2 - but playing geopolitics in the Cold War is not one of them.

    Let's look at some of the specific things Obama has done (or intends on doing) :

    He disbanded NASA and sent the NASA admin to Northern Africa to engage Muslims. WTF???

    He has repeatedly supported the Muslim Brotherhood, who are allied with Iran.

    He has consistently chipped away at our constitutional rights. The first, second and fourtg amendments come to mind right away but I wouldn't doubt that his admin has plans to further infringe on our rights.

    He has used the IRS as a political tool. You're a fool if you think Obama had nothing to do with it. It was done so he had deniability - these people are experts at this sort of thing - but he knew. And it goes further than just denying the groups tax exempt status. The NYT - the most liberal paper of all - ran a story a month or two ago about how a lady in Dallas who owned a small business decided to form 2 organizations to remove dead people from voting lists. Her mistake was naming the groups - each had the word Patriots in them. Since then the full weight of the federal gov has been on her back. Her business has been audited 2x. She was personally audited. The FBI has investigated several members of the groups she formed. Her business has a license to build firearms - although they don't. Yet the ATF has been to investigate them several times. These things happened in the year or so leading up to the last election. Multiply that by all the groups that were denied tax exempt status and probably harassed as well and it is obviously political. Who knows the effect on the elections outcome.

    I won't go into the Benghazi thing much but I find it unreal that a rescue mission wasn't launched for the Ambassador and people at the other location, yet on 60 Minutes they had a story on the idiot US charity worker who was kidnapped in Somalia. She shouldn't have been there - it was pure stupidity to goto a place where people kidnap westerners regularly, regardless of how noble her cause was. Yet Seal Team Six no less rescued her under orders of the President. But a sitting Ambassador, his staff and other government workers don't warrant at least an effort bc it was a few months before an election. One last thing - I can't imagine any president not calling an immediate meeting of his National Security team when told an Ambassador had been killed in Libya, yet Obama went back to sleep. I think even Clinton would have done called his advisors in to talk about responses, even if he had been getting sucked by Lowinsky at the time.

    He has decimated our military. I know the wars we are involved in haven't helped, but with Chinas military growing on a daily basis and Russia modernizing its nuclear arsenal now is not the time.

    Which brings me to one of the things I am most concerned about

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.