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Should Edward Snowden Come Home?
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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2014 | 2:13:33 PM
Re: Could Snowden Get A Fair Trial?
I'm not debating what legal definition of treason is. My point is that he is nothing like Benedict Arnold or the dude that sold secrets to Russians for years, for money. I have to believe you see the difference. But I agree that won't save him a treason conviction.

I have a problem with general statement he "broke vow to keep secret" and "it was classified". How would anyone know what they have vowed to to keep secret until they see it? If NSA was working with criminals in baby trafficing and it was classified, would you have to keep that secret also? These laws made a lot more sense when you could actually trust the government was trying to do the right thing, worked for the people. Those days are long gone, look no further than the WMD's we never found in Iraq.

People like you are certainly entitled to the view you have, and you may be the majority in this case. To me, it just refreshing to see someone with the guts to do something they thought was right, for no personal gain for themselves. I'd like to think I'd act like that if circumstances dictated, not bury my head in sand. My favorite analogy here is Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. If you helped the Jews, you were a traitor and a criminal. Which side was right back then, those who allowed the Nazi government to execute their "laws" or those who tried to help?

As far as naive that NSA was collecting data on scale they were, how would anyone on outside expect that? To be honest, I was surprised they had the talent to do it.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/11/2014 | 1:51:24 PM
Re: Could Snowden Get A Fair Trial?
The definition of treason is pretty straightforward, and he certainly meets it. He stole a vast amount of classified information after vowing to keep it secret, shared it with foreign governments, including geopolitical adversaries, and damaged US security and relationships. Anyone who didn't think the NSA was watching this data is naive -- the entire mandate of the agency is to intercept electronic communications. What lala land are people living in? 

Wholesale dumping of classified information is illegal and puts all of us at risk. Our system offers legal options to disgruntled employees and contractors -- there are federal whistle-blower laws. They can go talk to their congressperson. They can even very selectively leak data to the press then have the integrity to stay around and take responsibility. He did none of those. 

 

 

 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2014 | 1:27:19 PM
Re: Could Snowden Get A Fair Trial?
Interesting Lorna. I watched that interview and had opposite opinion, that he seemed much more normal than I thought he would be. To me, he genuinely seemed to think he was doing right thing and that he was one of few people in a position to do anything about it. He definitely knew if he did this it was going to ruin any chance of normal life. I think he expected the public to come down heavily on his side but think he was smart enough to know that wouldn't keep him out of jail.

He is certainly not a traitor in any traditional sense, where someone was clearly aligned with a known enemy. He was trying to help us, the unknowing public, what was going on. It is certainly a legitimate debate whether he accomplished that or not.

But one argument I reject is examples of "damage done" being things like US getting made fun of by foreign powers for spying on German leader cell phone. If you don't want to be embarrassed, don't be doing things you should not be doing in first place. Serves them right, seems like justice to me.

 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/11/2014 | 1:00:20 PM
Re: Could Snowden Get A Fair Trial?
I think he could get a fair trial, and that he'd be convicted of treason. He has gone WAY beyond just exposing a few NSA programs. He broke the promise he made when he was granted a TS clearance and has given information to Russia and others that has damaged our ability to protect our citizens. From watching the recent Brian Williams interview, I think he's delusional and very, very taken with is own importance. I don't see him ever voluntarily returning to answer for his actions.
ClareCM
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ClareCM,
User Rank: Strategist
6/11/2014 | 12:50:45 PM
Great topic
I haven't read the book yet but I am looking forward to it.  My initial impression is that Snowden has already sacrificed quite a bit to get the information out about how much the government spies on us. So right now I'm on the "hero" side of the debate.  But I feel like I need to know more about whether some of the information Snowden leaked could endanger important operations, so I'm glad to learn more about this topic.  I do agree that coming back to the U.S. would make him more of a martyr.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2014 | 11:32:18 AM
Could Snowden Get A Fair Trial?
As a follow-on to my original question of whether Edward Snowden should come back to the U.S. to face the music, do you think he could get a fair trial here?
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