Eric Holder Admits That Feds Would 'Engage In Conversation' With Snowden, But Not Grant Him Clemency

from the yet dept

While some will argue this means nothing, it is worth noting that Attorney General Eric Holder has now admitted, at the very least, that his office would be willing to "engage in conversation" with Ed Snowden in an attempt to seek "some sort of resolution" to his case. Holder made it clear that he's not interested in offering clemency, and also says that Snowden should be called a "defendant" rather than a whistleblower, but it at least hints at a willingness to follow what the NY Times has suggested in working out some sort of plea deal with Snowden. Yes, many of us think that he deserves not just clemency, but to be celebrated for exposing what two government bodies have now described as lawbreaking by the NSA. However, it's still quite significant that a senior administration official will now even admit that the administration may be at least slightly open to cutting a deal. It suggests that the administration is starting to realize that the public simply isn't buying the claims against Snowden, and the strategy of demonizing him is failing as well. As the public becomes increasingly aware of how bad these NSA programs are, it seems likely that the government is going to have to realize that it will need to go much further in recognizing that Snowden did not just the right thing, but the honorable and courageous thing in exposing government malfeasance.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Violynne (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 6:55am

    Someone should arrest Eric Holder for impersonating an Attorney General, whose purpose is to uphold the law, not contort it to turn an innocent man guilty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Snowden does not deserve clemency he deserves a mother fucking full pardon, medal, and money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Snowden has done more to save the nation than anyone else, including multiple heads of various security agencies and presidents, yet no one of power, of substance or of good conscience will ever admit it. they are too engrossed with making him out to be such a bad guy, so as to save their own skins, that everything else is negligible!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:52am

    At some point the NSA and the government will have to come to the conclusion that if they want the leaks to stop they will have to accommodate Snowden with a full pardon, reinstatement of his citizenship, dropping of all charges, and realize they were in the wrong, not Snowden.

    If Snowden is smart, the talks he gives as interviews and the leaks continue, one after another, until those in the senior administration realize they and not Snowden are in the wrong.

    The only reason the NSA got the powers it has without public backlash to this point is because of the over abundance of classification and now that the secret is out, there is no putting it back in the bag and no more hiding what they've been doing. It's plainly illegal, despite the claims otherwise, and it is also plain the very thing they fear is it being tested in court. This is why the rash of National Security blanket claims have been used each and every time anything challenging the authority to continue doing so come to court. They know, we know, and it is time to end it.

    There is no longer a war footing to claim why it is necessary. The 9/11 has gotten old as the reason. Face it, other than the FBI setting up fake stings, there have been no terrorists caught. The TSA can't show you the first terrorist it has caught for all the money it has spent. They've been forced to claim things like cigarette lighters are weapons to be confiscated, despite a generation of passengers flying with them in their pockets.

    The NSA can not show you caught terrorists nor valid broken up plots to justify the metadata collection. If they are collecting metadata, bet they are collecting the actual contents of phone conversations as well. Just not under the same program.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Clemency is not in order either...

    All charges need to be DROPPED completely and the officials in the Intelligence community responsible need to be indicted and tried for their crimes. A conversation between the USAG and Snowden is certainly in order about how he can assist with the prosecution of those officials.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Most transparent administration in history?

    Say, hows that transparency from the administration going?

    I ask because it looks like the same-old same-old Government cover-up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 7:58am

    This means nothing. -- Except that Mike has some filler.

    But I'm not going to bother arguing the point when Mike started by stating it. I'm just going to wish that the next item he runs will in some way be relevant to anyone but Snowden. If you don't look to the future for interest here, it's a pretty dull site. Mike follows the old show biz policy of "always leave them wanting more" at the lowest possible level of actual.

    And anyway, why doesn't everyone just read Huff Post? Why do we need Mike to intermediate with first downplay then some vague assertions?

    Running an item after it's come out in Huff Post isn't on the leading edge of The Resistance, it's on the trailing edge of The Establishment.

    03:57:51[d-250-6]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Applesauce, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: Most transparent administration in history?

    It is better for the nation to be destroyed, and the constitution burned than to admit we might have made a mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Snowden stopped us from walking down a dark path.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    This is kind of amusing. The govt sticks its metaphorical fingers in its ears like a stubborn toddler in an angry tantrum or simply ignore things as if nothing happened but end up having to cede to the popular pressure. Little by little they are going back on words, actions. I wonder if we'll end seeing some real reforms at some point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Pat Labine, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Malfeasance?

    In order to recognize malfeasance, they would have to arrest almost every single congressman, senator or elected representative...and their lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    limbodog (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Right. "Conversation"

    It's just that one member of that conversation would spend it strapped to a plank while water was poured over his face.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    Snowden is the trail-cam on the long and winding path already travelled that managed to get shared and go viral.

    The longer the economic downturn goes on the more support Snowden's trail-cma pics will get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:34am

    Re: Right. "Conversation"

    Pretty much what I was thinking, the government's idea of a 'conversation' when it comes to whistleblowers is not what most sane, rational people would think of when they think of that word.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:41am

    Re: This means nothing. -- Except that Mike has some filler.

    do you have your own blog? i'm very interested to hear your viewpoints explained in detail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Jerrymiah, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Holder the Nazi versus Edward Snowden

    If I were the US Atorrney General, , I would issue arrest warrants agains the following and grant a total pardon to Edward Snowden. These people have done by far worst things than Snowden. They are: Keith Alexander, Peter King, Mike Rogers, Diane Feinstein, Barack Obama, John C. Inglis, Michael Hayden, James Clapper. Eric Holderd and all members of Congress and the Senate who supports the NSA. I would also abolish the NSA aand order an in depth reorganization of the CIA and the FBI. These organizations have made a mockery of the US Laws and the Constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    Not really.

    He really only made us aware (if we weren't already to some extent) the dark path we'd already been miles down for decades.

    The very fact that Snowden is charged with and would most likely be convicted of any crimes at all after what he has helped reveal, to me speaks volumes as to just how totally corrupt our government is.

    When government officials in charge of oversight don't actually do their jobs and oversee and then lie to us and tell us they do and are still allowed to remain in office and in their alleged oversight positions, they are corrupt.

    When government officials brazenly make statements about wanting Snowden dead (even suggesting how they'd like it accomplished!) and claiming he is guilty of treason (he isn't even charged with treason!), they are corrupt.

    When government officials go before Congress and brazenly lie to them (and by extension the American people), and then are allowed to keep their jobs while also not being prosecuted for their proven lies and at the same time pointing an accusing finger back at Snowden for proving that they are liars, they are corrupt.

    When government officials are more open to protecting the profits of the military industrial complex instead upholding our constitution (and especially the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments), they are corrupt.

    They are all liars, from the top down. Even the good ones will lie to your face if it puts more dollars in their campaign coffers and keeps them in power.

    The whole thing disgusts me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 8:53am

    It suggests that the administration is starting to realize that the public simply isn't buying the claims against Snowden

    How? I think it is fairly clear that this administration does not care what the public thinks or wants.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Most transparent administration in history?

    We really are ruled by petty children with egos the size of planets, aren't we?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Regardless of what they say, stay away, it's a trap!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    John Nemesh, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    Snowden's best bet is to wait it out...

    Snowden isn't going to get anything like fair treatment while Obama is in office. PERIOD. His best bet is to wait for the next election, then try again once the new President "cleans house" and get's rid of Holder and his ilk.

    There is no guarantee that the next President will be any better, regardless of if he (or she) is a Democrat or Republican, but the chances of THIS administration treating his as he should be treated is zero.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    John Nemesh, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    Snowden's best bet is to wait it out...

    Snowden isn't going to get anything like fair treatment while Obama is in office. PERIOD. His best bet is to wait for the next election, then try again once the new President "cleans house" and get's rid of Holder and his ilk.

    There is no guarantee that the next President will be any better, regardless of if he (or she) is a Democrat or Republican, but the chances of THIS administration treating his as he should be treated is zero.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Right. "Conversation"

    Holder: I'm willing to engage in conversation with Traitor Snowden.

    Montoya: You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    John A Nemesh, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    Reform? Not until the next revolution. Corporations have bought and paid for our Government, and they are getting their money's worth. NOTHING will be reformed until the people have had enough. We are closer than we should be...and FAR closer than the government thinks. The "occupy" movement was a foreshadowing of things to come if the Government continues it's crusade to enrich the 1% while grinding the rest of the world into abject poverty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    quawonk, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 10:04am

    I doubt it's about what the public thinks, it's clear they don't give a damn about the public. It's more like they are afraid of what Snowden knows and has yet to reveal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 11:02am

    Admiral Ackbar says...

    "It's a trap!"

    i say: DON'T trust those fuckers, Edward!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Jan 24th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Guess how that would go...

    Snowden: [thoughtful comment on policy]
    Holder: Give yourself up.
    Snowden: [thoughtful comment on policy]
    Holder: Surrender.
    Snowden: [thoughtful comment on policy]
    Holder: Capitulate.
    Snowden: [thoughtful comment on policy]
    Holder: Submit.
    Snowden: [thoughtful comment on policy]
    Holder: Yield.
    ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2014 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    They are being the bad guys.... So snowden can be good/loved we DO have good government

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 25th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    You mean, his illegal weapon trades under the "Fast and Furious" program are not sufficient? Or his multiple proven perjury before congress about this and other matters?

    Or his role in encouraging the use of the "plea bargain" mechanism as a blackmail device denying particularly non-wealthy people the right to a jury trial "or else"?

    Was there ever any person less openly cynically unsuitable for and uninterested in heading the "Department of Justice" in a manner commensurate with its intended purpose than Eric Holder?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 25th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Re: Clemency is not in order either...

    Uh, we are still talking about Eric Holder here? Eric Holder already had to assist with the "prosecution" of his own lies and perjuries before congress and decided to let himself off.

    We are talking about the fox guarding the hen house here. Before the USAG will "assist with the prosecution of those officials", the position needs to get taken by someone else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 25th, 2014 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Guess how that would go...

    I think you give Holder way too much credit there, I doubt his half of the 'conversation' would be even remotely that civil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This