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Eric Holder Says Snowden Performed 'Public Service' (cnn.com) 168

An anonymous reader writes from a report via CNN: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a "public service" by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents. "We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. "Now I would say that doing what he did -- and the way he did it -- was inappropriate and illegal," Holder added. "I think that he's got to make a decision. He's broken the law in my view. He needs to get lawyers, come on back, and decide, see what he wants to do: Go to trial, try to cut a deal. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done." "But," Holder emphasized, "I think in deciding what an appropriate sentence should be, I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate." You can listen to the podcast with Eric Holder here.
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Eric Holder Says Snowden Performed 'Public Service'

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  • First (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:12PM (#52212881) Homepage

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    Gandhi

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Did Gandhi say that when he was sleeping with his grand-niece naked?

    • Re: First (Score:5, Insightful)

      by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:47PM (#52213051) Homepage

      No, the last one in Snowden's case will be "then you go to the federal, pound me in the ass prison for the rest of your life", if he's stupid enough to come back. But I think he's more than smart enough to see that himself.

      • He better watch out....Trump is gonna get Putin to deport his ass back to the USA...

        • by melted ( 227442 )

          Trump is not going to get Vladimir Vladimirovich do the things he doesn't want to do. Russia was a shrewd choice on Snowden's part. In the Soviet times, the most important retort to anything the West did well was "they lynch the negroes". This is basically the same thing, but about privacy. Now Putin can sort of have the moral high ground when implementing his own surveillance and repression apparatus. "You see, our 'partners', they spy on everybody, including foreign heads of state like Merkel. Surely our

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Trump is not going to get Vladimir Vladimirovich do the things he doesn't want to do. Russia was a shrewd choice on Snowden's part.

            It wasn't. That's where he got stranded in transit when the U.S. illegally invalidated his passport. This choice was entirely that of the U.S. government.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you really believe that, go on record calling for Snowden to be granted immunity. Coming from a former attorney general, that would have a lot of weight in persuading current officials to do the right thing.

    • Re:talk is cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:24PM (#52212955) Journal

      He doesn't want immunity for Snowden. He's explicitly said that there must be consequences.

      It's possible to acknowledge that an act led to good outcomes while still breaking the law in a way that can not be supported. Holder is taking that perspective.

      • Re: talk is cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:36PM (#52212997)

        Fuck Holder. If him and his stupid cronies didn't retaliate against whistle blowers Snowden might not have had to do what he did.

        • Holder was the political appointee. The figure head.

          I don't particularly like the man or the political organization that he comes from, but hes still just the figure head. The Permanent Government runs things for the most part.

      • Re:talk is cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:41PM (#52213027)

        He doesn't want immunity for Snowden. He's explicitly said that there must be consequences.

        It's possible to acknowledge that an act led to good outcomes while still breaking the law in a way that can not be supported. Holder is taking that perspective.

        That kind of reasoning should have led Holder to crack down hard on illegal immigration.

        He didn't, so I suspect he doesn't reason that way.

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          ..or he's just not consistent, or there were other factors involved in the illegal immigration considerations.

          Obviously I couldn't possibly suggest what those factors might be.

        • Maybe you're confused. Holder was Attorney General. He headed up the Department of Justice. Immigration and border enforcement come under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security.

          Also, not that I think you're interested in actual facts, but the Obama administration has deported more people that any other President. So far more than 2.5 million people have been deported under the Obama government. That's up 23% from the George W. Bush years.

        • >That kind of reasoning should have led Holder to crack down hard on illegal immigration.

          Except that the law does not say what you think it says on that. The law there, explicitly, gives absolute and exclusive decision making power over who to deport, who to give immunity to and all other matters to the executive. This law was passed by a republican congress by the way, and their argument was that only the people who deal with this stuff on a day to day basis can figure out who should receive immunity or

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        You don't think being unable to ever go home again isn't a consequence?
      • Re:talk is cheap (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Monday May 30, 2016 @05:30PM (#52213259) Homepage
        Quote from summary:

        "I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate."

        Under current laws, such an argument would not be allowed in front of a jury. Snowden have stated that he would return and face a jury of his peers if they were allowed to consider the utility of the public debate.

        • Re:talk is cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Monday May 30, 2016 @05:31PM (#52213265) Homepage
          As far the deal cutting part that is bullshit. Justice is not served by some deal under the table! Whether or not you agree what with happened.
          • As far the deal cutting part that is bullshit. Justice is not served by some deal under the table! Whether or not you agree what with happened.

            Justice is also not served by hamstringing the jury. The jury absolutely should be able to consider all aspects including whether it was in the public interest.

            • by jopsen ( 885607 )

              Justice is also not served by hamstringing the jury. The jury absolutely should be able to consider all aspects including whether it was in the public interest

              Strongly agree :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Quote from summary:

          "I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate."

          Under current laws, such an argument would not be allowed in front of a jury. Snowden have stated that he would return and face a jury of his peers if they were allowed to consider the utility of the public debate.

          Yup. If the administration weren't just blowing smoke about "defend his acts in court", they would need to drop the accusation under the Espionage Act and instead charge him for something matching his actual offense, like Pubilcation of Classified Documents, where he actually is allowed to justify his acts rather than having only the option to deny them which would be absurd.

          • by jopsen ( 885607 )

            ...the Espionage Act...

            Yeah, it's ridiculous that charged under the Espionage Act, clearly he did not intend to aid the enemy...
            What enemy by the way, are we at war? I can't remember...

      • I think Edward should definitely come back. Even if he has to spend up to 5 years in prison, I think it would be worth it. 5 years can go by fast if he keeps himself occupied. He could use those 5 years to study or do other things, and when he is out he can spend his life dedicated to promoting freedom and privacy, or whatever else he chooses. America is his home country.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You're pretty optimistic if you think it would be as short as 5 years. In all likelihood, he would be jailed for the rest of his life, assuming he wasn't executed for treason. It is unlikely he would see anything approaching justice were he to come back.

          It certainly doesn't help his expectation of justice that the US is still largely continuing unconstitutional practices and that no one has been taken to task for the exposed, illegal actions.

          • Metaphorically, the poisonous spiders he called out are still in the dark rooms that would surround his if he were to come back to the US.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        He doesn't want immunity for Snowden. He's explicitly said that there must be consequences.

        It's possible to acknowledge that an act led to good outcomes while still breaking the law in a way that can not be supported. Holder is taking that perspective.

        Which is complete bullshit.

        Everything the government does is classified as "secret", especially the things that are illegal and unconstitutional. It is impossible for Snowden, or anyone else, to *LEGALLY* reveal that information. That's the one trick the government always has up their sleeve. The only way to reveal their wrong doing is to break the law. Then you go to prison and the people who did all those things you uncovered suffer little or no punishment at all.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        From TFA:

        Holder noted. "I think that he's got to make a decision. He's broken the law in my view. He needs to get lawyers, come on back, and decide, see what he wants to do: Go to trial, try to cut a deal. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done."

        Okay ... and what about all those individuals whose illegal actions Snowden publicized? Most of them are already in the US. No thoughts, Mr former AG?

        • Well, I guess we have to wait and see if Snowden is convicted first, thus vindicating those thousands of accused criminals.

      • Re:talk is cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

        by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2016 @06:31AM (#52215905)

        The US was founded by quite a few acts like that - remember the Boston Tea Party for one ?

        You would think the government born from civil disobedience against unjust laws would be less eager to punish that.

      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        And then he says, "I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate" which completely undermines Holden's credibility. The law specifically excludes that from any possible defense.

        It is the same situation with various politicians saying Snowden should have acted within the system availing himself of various whistle-blower laws which do not apply to him as a contractor and offer no protection anyway.

      • Too bad he didn't take that perspective with the investment banks.
  • these days, I can't tell the diff between the good guys and bad guys.

    snowden knows this.

    holder is wasting his fucking time. I wonder what his hidden agenda is, this time.

    evil motherfuckers, all of them. try as you will, snowden seems quite a well-aware fellow and he's not buying your bullshit, holder.

    eat a bag of dicks. no one's buying your BS. just retire and put someone competant in your place already!

  • I don't think deals have any legal relevance, should a judge choose to disregard them.

    I suspect Snowdon would expect a judge to disregard any deal, even were he able to negotiate one. At least, one better than "confess everything, destroy all copies, denounce your supporters and we'll give you Life not demand a death penalty".

    • I don't think deals have any legal relevance, should a judge choose to disregard them.

      I suspect Snowdon would expect a judge to disregard any deal, even were he able to negotiate one. At least, one better than "confess everything, destroy all copies, denounce your supporters and we'll give you Life not demand a death penalty".

      He could cut a deal with the prosecutors who could bring lower level charges that have much smaller penalties; rather than charge him with crimes that carry much harsher penalties. In that case, even if a judge ignores any deals Snowden would only be facing the penalties form lesser charges.

  • by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:29PM (#52212967)

    Sorry, but "elevating the debate?" NOTHING has changed. The NSA is still illegally conducting mass surveillance on innocent American citizens. There has been ZERO accountability for the NSA and CIA's blatant and PROVEN lies to Congress under oath. There has been no systemic reform nor even the slightest attempt to adhere to Constitutional principles.

    And all this while the US government is still seeking to blame Snowden for endangering national security, haul him back to the US and put him on trial? Should we feel comforted by the statements of a FORMER US Attorney General who has no actual power, just because he says that a judge would consider the ends of Snowden's actions when punishing him for the means by which those ends were achieved--mind you, never once actually admitting that such disclosures would NEVER have come to light by any other way? So we are now to believe Eric Holder's facetious claims of leniency, when NOT ONCE has he said anything to the effect of needing to investigate the NSA for breaking the law and for lying to Congress?

    Fuck you and the high horse you rode in on. This is why we can't trust the government. This is why nobody with a brain believes you for a second, because we KNOW what happened in the past and we are not so stupid as to forget actual concrete outcomes. The harassment of past NSA whistleblowers, ruining their ability to work in anything but the most menial jobs for having dared to expose the corruption of those higher up; the incarceration and inhumane treatment of Chelsea Manning for her involvement in Wikileaks' exposing the indiscriminate behavior of the American military; and the complete arrogance of the FBI in attempting to force Apple to write source code to circumvent iOS encryption that would allow them to access all data on any iPhone--these are just a FEW of the demonstrably true actions on the part of the government that show that they cannot be trusted and are hopelessly corrupt in their thirst for power.

    Snowden was correct to expose the NSA. However, he was wrong to believe that his actions could have possibly shamed the US government and it citizens into holding it accountable.

    • The NSA may not have changed, but change will come. You are just witnessing the massive inertia of government entities at work (which by the way is a huge argument in favor of smaller government, which has less inertia to change).

      But real change has already happened because people are vastly more aware of said surveillance than they were before. Before that was the domain of crackpots who were laughed at.

      The trick is now, what happens because of the awareness. We do not yet know, but that does not mean t

      • The real change is that we're now using end-to-end encryption on much more of our day-to-day traffic, and the government agencies are whining that the internet is "going dark" and are talking about legally-enforced back doors.

        The idea of limited government is a nice one, but I don't think it's ever going to happen at this point, with so many people obsessed with what they think government can do FOR them without considering the consequences of what that same government might do TO them. The best we can do

        • Between Obama followed by Trump, all groups of people will understand plainly what government can do TO them. It's very important that both "sides" understand this totally...

          • You'd think that would be the case, but sadly, both sides seem to view the portions of the government that *they* approve of as useful tools, while hissing and spitting at the "bad" parts of government. Conservatives: military and law enforcement (and my pet projects) good, everything else bad. Liberals: military and law enforcement bad, everything else (especially my pet projects) good). And *both* party leaders seem to equally partake of the rampant graft and corruption. The ability to spend other peo

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2016 @05:20PM (#52213221)

      NOTHING has changed. The NSA is still illegally conducting mass surveillance on innocent American citizens.

      One thing changed: prior to 2013 saying such things got you labeled a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid geek. After 2013 it is mainstream-accepted fact. Now anyone who says it's not happening, is the weirdo.

      You're just a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid geek for caring. (But that's always been the case: it's never been cool to care about anything.)

      However, he was wrong to believe that his actions could have possibly shamed the US government and it citizens into holding it accountable.

      And now we're confronted with that mainstream-accepted fact too. Prior to 2013, part of the reason that some people thought it wasn't happening was "They wouldn't do that, because eventually they'd get caught and then there would be hell to pay." They got caught, and there wasn't hell to pay. So now we know that nobody cares.

      We didn't know that, or at least I didn't. In early 2013 did you honestly think that the government getting caught would have no consequences? Are you sure your expectations and attitude have not been adjusted by what Snowden did?

    • Snowden was correct to expose the NSA. However, he was wrong to believe that his actions could have possibly shamed the US government and it citizens into holding it accountable.

      I don't know. I mean, could more be done? Certainly. But here's the former, sitting, US Attorney General... Top lawyer in the all the land, mitigating my circumstances a bit. That is a nice gesture.

      If I was Snowden, I'd be jumping around the living room, fist-pumping, clearly pleased with this outcome.

    • You forgot the Inspector General's office selling out whistleblowers to the people they blew the whistle on.
  • If he did, he would have committed "suicide" [usnews.com], twice...

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:42PM (#52213031)
    Couldn't the administration just pardon him at this point? We might have to jump through some legal gymnastics since he's never been convicted, but it's nothing they couldn't pull off if they were serious.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Presidential pardons are only for real criminals, like Richard Nixon.

    • Couldn't the administration just pardon him at this point?

      Yes, the Administration could. However, the Administration was embarrassed by him and has absolutely no intention of letting him get away with embarrassing them.

      Now, the NEXT administration might be willing to let him off, since they won't care if Snowden embarrassed Obama. Unless the next Administration is Hillary. Not likely, but certainly possible.

      • Unless the next Administration is Hillary. Not likely, but certainly possible.

        Oh come on, man, It's Her Turn.

        (Hillary/Cosby 2016! Nothing is proven!)

    • No doubt if he was pardoned like Nixon, someone would use an "officially different" charge once in US control, even though part of the same events.
    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Holder isn't part of any administration.
  • by mariox19 ( 632969 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:45PM (#52213043)

    It's wrong to presume that there was a legal way for Snowden to do what he did, because several previous whistle blowers who went by the book were targeted and prosecuted by the government. The intelligence agencies, and the politicians who support them, do not tolerate leaks—even well-intentioned ones that follow protocol and seek only to expose wrongdoing to the "proper" authorities.

    Let's not talk about Edward Snowden being brought to trial. Rather, the people in our intelligence agencies and their allies in elected offices who subvert our laws, or who downright break our laws, and who vindictively attack anyone who tries to expose their unlawful, un-democratic, and anti-social behavior are the ones who need to be brought to trial. Hold them accountable first—and then we can talk about Edward Snowden.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2016 @05:22PM (#52213227)

      Rather, the people in our intelligence agencies and their allies in elected offices who subvert our laws, or who downright break our laws, and who vindictively attack anyone who tries to expose their unlawful, un-democratic, and anti-social behavior are the ones who need to be brought to trial. Hold them accountable first—and then we can talk about Edward Snowden.

      Yep. I came here to post that very same thought, but you did it first, and better. Plus, it'd have languished down at score:0 from an AC.

      It really irks me that we haven't talked about trials for the people who made the Stasi look like rank amateurs, in the process violating one of the highest laws in the land at a scale never befroe seen in history.

      We're ignoring the murder and talking about punishment for the poor sod who jaywalked across the street to report it.

    • Also, why are we even listening to what a war criminal has to say?

      Forget Snowden for now. Eric Holder is currently in the US. Snowden is not.

      Before Eric Holder flees to South America, we need to arrest him and make him accountable for his tacit approval of war crimes. Waterboarding was unacceptable during World War II. We executed Japanese soldiers over it. Waterboarding is still unacceptable today.

      I don't think we should execute Eric Holder, but I do think he should rot in jail for a while until we dismant

  • "I think that he's got to make a decision. He's broken the law in my view. He needs to get lawyers, come on back, and decide, see what he wants to do: Go to trial, try to cut a deal. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done."

    Sorry, Mr. Holder. I sincerely doubt Snowden is that much of a fool.

  • So Snowden helped fix the problem. "Thanks, but you're still a criminal."

    Nothing to see here. Problem fixed!

    And as soon as we get ahold of Snowden, you'll never see him again, too.

    So which will be worse as "supreme leader"? Donald Stalin or Donald Gorbachev?

    Only your Trump knows for sure, but he keeps contradicting himself. Snowden has nothing to fear but a promise of amnesty from the Donald.

    • His opinion is set only when you observe him, and upon doing so the state is lost causing you to have to re-entangle him which will lead to the possibility of an entirely new observed answer the next time. :)

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:50PM (#52213067) Journal
    The 'He did a public service; but how he did it was wrong and wicked and why didn't he go through channels?' position is insufferably smarmy.

    Had he gone through channels, that public service would never have occurred. He wasn't the first person inside the intelligence apparatus to grow uneasy with what was going on; but 'politely ask your boss to reconsider his own malfeasance' just doesn't do very much.

    If you agree that he did something valuable for the public and the country; you pretty much have to admit that his options were limited for doing so(there is room for quibbling about the finer points of his plan; but you can't very well deny that it was a 'leak it or let it stay in the dark indefinitely' situation). That's the whole point of 'whistleblower' as a distinct class of people working against corruption: they are the ones who bring in external scrutiny when an organization's internal governance has been co-opted by whatever malfeasance they are exposing. More or less by definition they have to use 'illicit' methods; because the problem extends to the people who control all the legitimate methods.

    It's perfectly cogent to argue that someone leaked something without reason, and should therefor face the consequences; but 'his reasons were excellent and he did us all a service' is an admission that there were no 'legitimate' channels through which he could have worked.
    • by countach ( 534280 ) on Monday May 30, 2016 @04:58PM (#52213111)

      Exactly, there is was no possibility that the "proper channels" would have done anything whatsoever. None. Zero. Snowden had the option of shutting the fuck up, or doing precisely what he did. Everyone who isn't completely naive and brain dead knows this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's even worse than that. When Holder says: "I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate." then he's blatantly lying as if he wanted that, his people would not charge Snowden under the Espionage Act which expressly prohibits the judge from doing exactly that. If Holder wanted the debate, he could have easily arranged it by charging Snowden with some more reasonable charge involving mishandling classified documents or something, Snowden would have surrendered

    • Had he gone through channels, that public service would never have occurred.

      Exactly, and that's not armchair theorizing. We have several clear examples of people who tried to go through channels and got slapped down hard for it. And by "slapped down" I mean "Home raided by armed agents, arrested, indicted, prosecuted on unsustainable charges and rendered unemployable". Hell, we know that a man whose job it was to work with whistleblowers under the law was forced out for trying to do his job [theguardian.com] in the face of illegal actions by his superiors.

      What Snowden did was necessary and it was the only way it could be done.

      And, sadly enough, it appears that it was insufficient.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        He saw a vast, multi-billion dollar spying machine built up over decades by several countries cooperating, supported by secret courts and with files on everyone one, including himself. What are the chances that one guy saying "I think this is might have some legal/constitutional issues" would make any difference at all?

  • But his bosses broke it first.

    You can't be that selective when it comes to enforcing the law. He did what he did because others were without a doubt breaking the law and he had no way to pursue it without getting shut down. He tried to what extent he could to follow channels and as so many others did that came before him; and where did that get them? He is a patriot that brought to light the abuses of the government. He broke the law and needs to be pardoned 100%. If he were a citizen of my state I would wr

  • Extend the peace offering on the one hand, while holding the axe behind his back.

    Candidly, I wouldn't trust Holder any more now, than I did when he was overzealously prosecuting people while in office!

  • "...but still must pay a penalty..."

    Er... Holder is aware that Snowden is in Russia, and damn well *doesn't* have to pay a penalty, right?

    • by ashpool7 ( 18172 )

      Well, he's currently paying the penalty of
      * Being in exile
      * Totally going to be arrested if he comes back "home"
      * Risking being abducted by agents if he moves

      • Well, he's currently paying the penalty of
        * Being in exile
        * Totally going to be arrested if he comes back "home"
        * Risking being abducted by agents if he moves

        He's not hurting in Russia; and since the U.S. didn't throw him out, it's technically not "exile". He appears to actually be living rather well.

        He can't come back home even if he wanted to; the U.S. revoked his passport, so he's pretty much stuck in Russia until the U.S. gets their heads out of their asses. The can demand he "come back and stand trial", but if they want that, they're going to have to reactivate his passport, or they are simply talking out of their asses trying to make him look bad because

  • We should pardon Snowden. Sure throw a charge at him like he is banned for entering the US for 8 years... And his current time counts against it.

    Anything else would discourage other whistleblowers from reporting. If you want to keep whistleblowers from going the illegal route, give them valid legal routes. The current ones clearly don't do anything.

  • In may 1943, Oberleutnant Herbert Schmid and Oberfeldwebel Paul Rosenberger defected from Nazi Germany, flying their Junkers 88 plane, (equipped with the latest radar), to England. As a result the Brits were able to jam Nazi radar on D-Day. My point? That it's really history that decides who was right and who was wrong. Those two airmen broke German law and would undoubtedly have been executed had they returned to Germany. So should they have gone back to face the music, 'because laws'? Would that have been

  • I will believe that this is really a matter of law and not vengeance, when Hillary Clinton will serve her sentence. Until then, we have double standards for those in power and those looking in from outside.

  • This is a definite softening of the tone. Personally I would argue that, in general, public interest should be an affirmative defense for leaking classified information. Since that's not the case in the US, at this time, though - the extreme level of public interest in Snowden's leaks really ought to qualify him for a presidential pardon.

    I was always rather disappointed in Obama for not doing that, it would have sent a very different message. I think he was okay as a president, better than most actually, bu

    • My problem with Holder (and I think most people's), is that the softness of his tone can be directly correlated to the political influence of who he is addressing. That's why we don't have bank CEOs in prison for securities law violations after the 2008 mortgage credit crisis. Holder now perceives that there is some political support (particularly abroad) for Snowden, so he is now hedging against that with this fence sitting. I don't think for a moment his personal feelings have changed at all.
  • ....to get the attention of his superiors and others in charge of control, checks, and balances. They all told him to go away. There was not much else left to do than to engage in illegal activities. The administration should have thanked him right away and given him the biggest honors just so that he didn't see a need to leak more info. I think Snowden's illegal actions pale into invisibility compared to the criminal ineptitude and arrogance of the administration, three letter agencies, and above all Congr
  • In the same time frame that Edward Snowden leaked a set of documents to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, so General David Patreus leaked a set of confidential documents to his biographer and then lover / mistress, Paul Broadwell.

    These two events share something in common: they involve the leaking of confidential documents.

    However, the consequences of the two events could not have been more different. Patreus was let off with a "naughty, naughty boy!" style of finger wagging, whilst Edward Snowden is
  • Holden did not say that Snowden did a public service by releasing the data, just the opposite. What he did say was that Snowden did a public service by causing the debate. With regards to releasing the data, Holden has not changed his stance and says that Snowden needs to be prosecuted and punished for releasing the data.

    Those are two very different things and are definitely not synonymous.

  • Okay, let's get serious. We set up laws for the purpose of strengthening the strong, and subduing the weak, and in maintaining the status while telling the world we are "democratic" and "moral". The laws were set up to allow government agencies that have been out of control since the Kennedy assassination to increase their out of control foothold.As loopholes disallowing them unlimited power were found, they were patched up to allow free reign of government agencies undermining the very constitution we say
  • "...raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made..."

    He's seriously suggesting that we had a constructive debate, made changes, and it's all in the past? What a joke.

    Maybe he's right, only in the manner that the masses don't grasp it, and there's no chance at serious change in this broken system?

    Suddenly I'm in the mood for some @Nihilist_Arbys
    https://twitter.com/nihilist_arbys

  • How about a pardon in exile with the proviso, he can never work for the U.S. or alied gov't again?

    (Much like his status today, but leaves him free to move about the cabin.)

  • Understand that this is from a man that has demonstrated that he doesn't care about the law. More to the point, it's there for political purposes in his mind. I'm sure we don't have long to wait before Obama starts emptying the jails just like Holder did with Clinton. I'm sure he left a list of people to free.

    So I wouldn't confuse his opinion with what is the right thing to do is or actual law. He may get something right, however even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • No wonder our system is dysfunctional.

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