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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Thu May 1, 2014, 12:55 AM

14. No,

"Without Snowden, nobody would even be talking about the NSA, because we wouldn't have found out any other way. "

...reform the NSA and hold Snowden, Putin's tool, accountable for the crimes he has been charged with:

Federal prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

- more -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-charges-snowden-with-espionage/2013/06/21/507497d8-dab1-11e2-a016-92547bf094cc_story.html

Many people who oppose NSA overreach and recognize the value of the debate also don't approve of Snowden's actions that go beyond sparking a debate about the NSA's domestic activities. In the end, a trial is required to hold him accountable.

I stand with Jimmy Carter:

Carter: Snowden's leaks 'good for Americans to know'

Susan Page

NEW YORK -- Former president Jimmy Carter defended the disclosures by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden on Monday, saying revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies were collecting meta-data of Americans' phone calls and e-mails have been "probably constructive in the long run."

<...>

Does he view Snowden, now granted asylum in Russia, as a hero or a traitor?

"There's no doubt that he broke the law and that he would be susceptible, in my opinion, to prosecution if he came back here under the law," he said. "But I think it's good for Americans to know the kinds of things that have been revealed by him and others -- and that is that since 9/11 we've gone too far in intrusion on the privacy that Americans ought to enjoy as a right of citizenship."

Carter cautioned that he didn't have information about whether some of the disclosures "may have hurt our security or individuals that work in security," adding, "If I knew that, then I may feel differently." And he said Snowden shouldn't be immune from prosecution for his actions.

"I think it's inevitable that he should be prosecuted and I think he would be prosecuted" if he returned to the United States, the former president said. "But I don't think he ought to be executed as a traitor or any kind of extreme punishment like that."

- more -

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/24/usa-today-capital-download-jimmy-carter-edward-snowden-probably-constructive/6822425/


Bernie Sanders:

<...>

BLITZER: What about Snowden? Do you think that he committed a crime or he was simply a well-intentioned whistle-blower?

SANDERS: Well, I think what you have to look at is -- I think there is no question that he committed a crime, obviously. He violated his oath and he leaked information.

On the other hand, what you have to weigh that against is the fact that he has gone a very long way in educating the people of our country and the people of the world about the power of private agency in terms of their surveillance over people of this country, over foreign leaders, and what they are doing.

So, I think you got to weigh the two. My own belief is that I think, I would hope that the United States government could kind of negotiate some plea bargain with him, some form of clemency. I think it wouldn't be a good idea or fair to him to have to spend his entire remaining life abroad, not being able to come back to his country.

So I would hope that there's a price that he has to pay, but I hope it is not a long prison sentence or exile from his country.

BLITZER: You wouldn't give him clemency, though, and let him off scot-free?

SANDERS: No. BLITZER: All right, Senator, thanks very much for joining us.

<...>

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1401/06/sitroom.02.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024292659

I stand with anyone who recognizes that one doesn't have defend Snowden, Putin's tool, to be on the "right side of history."

Senator Blumenthal: prosecute Snowden, overhaul FISA courts.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023425884

Rep. John Lewis: "NO PRAISE FOR SNOWDEN-Reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023427908

“What Mr. Snowden did is treason, was high crimes, and there is nothing in what we say that justifies what he did,” said Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism advisor and current ABC News contributor. “Whether or not this panel would have been created anyway, I don’t know, but I don’t think anything that I’ve learned justifies the treasonous acts of Mr. Snowden.”

From the beginning, it was clear that Snowden broke the law (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023439290). There was a point where even Snowden supporters accepted that he knew he broke the law. Snowden said it himself.

Fleeing the country and releasing state secrets did not help his case.

His actions since then have only made the situation worse.

Whistleblowers have been making that point, some in subtle ways.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023236549

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023035550

Of course, this is dimissed because they're also critical of the NSA. It's as if some think that you can't be against NSA overreach (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023002358) unless you support Snowden.

In line with the OP question: Were you against Clarke when he went after Bush? Were you for Scooter Libby when he leaked Plame's identity?





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