John Kerry Should 'Man Up' And Admit He's Wrong About Snowden

from the nothing-wrong-with-admitting-you-were-wrong dept

In two separate TV interviews, Secretary of State John Kerry made some ridiculous arguments about how Ed Snowden should "man up" and come back to the US. This was in response to Snowden's claims that the only reason he's in Russia is the US State Department pulling his passport -- an argument that no one in the US government has ever denied. Given the chance to respond to this, Kerry effectively changed the subject, saying that Snowden can and should come home to face charges. Here was his statement on NBC's Today show:

QUESTION: Well, Mr. Secretary, what about it? Does he have a point? He’s basically saying but for the U.S. State Department revoking his passport, he wouldn’t be in Russia at all.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, frankly. Look, I’m not going to get into the – who he was, what he was. Let me just say this: If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today. We’d be delighted for him to come back. And he should come back, and that’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba or some other country. A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people. But he’s refused to do that to this date, at least.

The fact is that he can come home, but he’s a fugitive from justice, which is why he’s not being permitted to fly around the world. It’s that simple and he knows it.

QUESTION: Have you softened your stance at all with regard to his alleged conduct here? I noticed earlier this year you said that there were disclosures about the NSA made because of Snowden that you yourself were not aware of that constituted NSA overreach. Does that change the calculus at all for you?

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s entirely up to the justice system. Let him come back and make his case. The fact is that he should – if he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice. But to be hiding in Russia, an authoritarian country, and to have just admitted that he was really trying to get to Cuba, I mean, what does that tell you, really? I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad.

But this is a man who has done great damage to his country, violated his oath which he took when he became an employee, and yes, in fact, stole an enormous amount of information and released it to the public, to the detriment of his country.

Then, in an interview with CBS he effectively said the same thing, including the ridiculous "man up" statement, which is perhaps even stronger than his silly "that's what a patriot would do" statement above:

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, let me ask you about Edward Snowden. He has now given an interview in which he says he was trained by the United States as a spy. How damaging is this disclosure?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it’s not – it’s the same disclosure that everybody’s known. He very cleverly wraps it into his language about: I was a technical person; I didn’t go out there and work with humans, with other people; I wasn’t working and interacting with human beings. Basically, what he was doing is computer stuff, and that’s exactly what he says. So he wraps it into this larger language.

The bottom line is this is a man who has betrayed his country, who is sitting in Russia, an authoritarian country, where he has taken refuge. He should man up and come back to the United States if he has a complaint about what’s the matter with American surveillance, come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. But instead he is just sitting there taking potshots at his country, violating his oath that he took when he took on the job he took, and betraying, I think, the fundamental agreement that he entered into when he became an employee. And the fact is he has damaged his country very significantly in many, many ways. He has hurt operational security. He has told terrorists what they can now do to be able to avoid detection. And I find it sad and disgraceful.

I'm not even going to touch "what he was doing is computer stuff" quote, because that just kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

But of course, for all this "manly" (actually: sexist and misogynistic) talk, Secretary Kerry is being dishonest and disingenuous. As we've detailed a few times now, Snowden has been charged under the Espionage Act and, as such, he is not allowed to present a "public interest" or "whistleblowing" defense. His motive isn't even allowed to be used in the case at all. So all this talk about "making his case" is ridiculous. Snowden knows damn well that "our system of justice" on issues like this is inherently unfair and biased. Kevin Gosztola has highlighted examples of others who stayed and "made their case" under Espionage Act charges, showing how they were railroaded by a system that is not fair and does not allow them to actually present their case.

Similarly, as one of Snowden's legal advisors, Ben Wizner of the ACLU, points out, no matter what Kerry claims above, Snowden isn't dumb:
“He isn’t blind,” Wizner said. “Snowden saw what happened to other people who faced prosecution under the Espionage Act, and he saw the state of the law, which would not have allowed him to either to challenge the government’s improper withholding of this information in the first place, or to hold up the enormous public value of these disclosures. All that would have been irrelevant.”
So if we're going to use ridiculous misogynistic phrases like "man up," can we at least ask if Secretary Kerry will "man up" and admit that his claims about what Snowden would face back home were not even close to accurate? Or do real "men" like Secretary Kerry think it's appropriate to aggressively lie and mislead the American public? If so, perhaps it's time for someone to "woman up" instead. Though, as Glenn Greenwald points out, Kerry appears to be arguing that a female whistleblower in Snowden's shoes "wouldn't have the same obligation to return home." Or, perhaps (just perhaps) none of this has anything to do with manliness, and folks in the government could stop the macho aggressive bullshit and actually deal with the reality: Snowden blew the whistle on a program that all three branches of government have now admitted were illegal (and potentially unconstitutional). If someone has to "face the music," shouldn't it be the US government?

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    Violynne (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 7:28am

    John Kerry is an example of why the people hate its government.

    I'd gladly accept the exchange for Snowden, in that every politician who criticized his actions be sent to Russia.

    I think these assholes would better serve Putin than the people of the United States.

    Sorry for the language.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    Hypocrisy

    "But this is a man who has done great damage to his country, violated his oath which he took when he became an employee, and yes, in fact, stole an enormous amount of information and released it to the public, to the detriment of his country."

    Lets make a deal, you can have Snowden, as soon as you prosecute Bush, Obama, and every other member of Government that has plainly ignored the 4th AGAINST THEIR OATHs and supported the crap this HERO has enlightened the Citizens on!

    Snowden cannot return, because you are corrupt! We are corrupt! And he will not get a fair trial and he damn sure knows it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Obama said he "welcomed the debate" on surveillance and that he "wanted reform too!", and then aggressively worked to water down the USA Freedom Act in the House. Treachery like that is what he calls "manning up"?

     

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      Gaming_Geek (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 9:41am

      Re: Obama welcoming debate

      Are you surprised by Obama not telling the truth about wanting open debate? His presidency has been one of the heaviest handed against whistleblowers and such from my understanding.

       

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      zip, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      "Treachery like that is what he calls "manning up"?"

      "Manning up" and "man up" have completely opposite meanings.

      "Manning up" would be like changing your name from Bradley to Chelsea. ;)

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        Chelsea remains more of a "man" than Kerry, so I'm not so certain they have opposite meanings. Kerry clearly wasn't talking about gender in his comment, since Snowden is clearly male.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 12:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would still say that Manning would still be more of a man than Kerry even after undergoing surgery if that happens. (And that is not meant as a slight to Manning in any way.)

           

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    Trevor, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Oops

    Let him come back and make his case...*

    *This limited time offer excludes the following defenses: Intent, Actual harm, Unconstitutionality of Government actions, Classified documents supporting your claims, Truth, Following internal reporting procedures, First Amendment, Jury of peers, Ability to examine evidence presented against you, and Ability to challenge admissibility of prosecutorial evidence. Note: This list is not all-inclusive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:07am

    Their time will come

    People have started to realize that there is no real redress for their grievances anymore.

    When I was younger,

    I thought we could get our way by voting,
    then I learned we didn't always get our way but sometimes it worked,

    then I learned that we rarely get our way but maybe someone else might by voting and being part of the political process,

    then I learned that we will almost never get our way thru the political process,

    then I learned that they will now no longer even pretend to pay lip service to those of us with a difference in political opinion,

    then I went to my local sporting goods store. Mr. Kerry, would you like to go sightseeing with me?

     

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    Trevor, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Also...

    The fact is that he should if he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice.

    That's the problem. "Just trust the system" is not a valid point any more. THANKS. TO. SNOWDEN.

    And Manning. And Drake. And Weev. And Swartz. And Ellsberg.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 10:33am

      Re: Also...

      Indeed.

      These people discovered the system wasn't trustworthy and they tried to fix it because they cared.

      Care and distrust are not mutually exclusive.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 10:42am

      Re: Also...

      Can we even call a system that allows government officials to commit crimes against it's people without any measure of accountability while simultaneously persecuting the one person who is actually doing the job that they were sworn to do (upholding the Constitution) for them since they refuse to do it and calling for him to face a court where he would not be allowed to present any evidence to mount a defense, a system of JUSTICE anymore? And the fact that Kerry actually used those words in that context on TV with a straight face, really says a lot about his character.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: Also...

        In fact, why don't simply change the name of the DOJ to the DOI while we are at it as it seems that there hasn't been any actual justice coming out of that department in quite some time.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Making his case to the American people

    But Mr. Kerry, he HAS made his case to the American people already, and all evidence to date suggests that the the majority of the American people agree with him.

    The government has also made their case as well and the American people aren't buying it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 11:21am

      Re: Making his case to the American people

      And yet a majority of Americans also claim they want Snowden put in trial for his 'crimes'. Which shows just how short sighted a bunch of Americans are.

      Prosecuting Snowden would be like prosecuting a rape victim for theft because she managed to steal her rapist's wallet and their photo identification within it so that the cops could find and arrest him more easily.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

        I haven't seen anything that says the majority of people think he should be tried.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

          http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-poll-traitor-hero-russia-asylum-2013-7

          From the article

          "According to the ABC-Washington Post poll, 53% say that Snowden should be charged with a crime after exposing a trove of NSA secrets, compared with 36% who disagree. That's a sharp turn from the point immediately after his revelations in June, when Americans opposed him being charged by a 48-43 margin."

           

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            That One Guy (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

            What crime exactly, and I wonder how many of them would stick with the same position if they knew just how much of a joke any 'trial' he would get would be?

            As an example, a case of 'self-defense' that resulted in a death would be reduced to 'murder' without the accused being able to argue motives, and that's the sort of restraints he'd be under, unable to argue why he did X, only whether or not he did X.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

            That article is from July 2013 when a lot of people were unsure about what to believe. Since then a TON of information has come out and been verified, and accordingly the more recent polls have shifted to where far more people feel he was justified and shouldn't be charged.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

              Wrong, since then the numbers have gotten even worse.

              http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-most-think-edward-snowden-should-stand-trial-in-us/

              from the article.

              "Most Americans 61 percent - think Snowden should have to stand trial in the United States for his actions. Far fewer 23 percent - think he should be granted amnesty. Republicans, Democrats, and independents all agree on this as well."

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                Opps, forgot to mention, those numbers were from January 2014.

                The US government has successfully slandered Snowden's reputation. I see plenty of it in comments at political websites like politico. Lots of people there insist loudly that Snowden is a traitor who should be basically hanged.

                 

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                  John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 2:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                  Those polls are a bit outlying. When you look survey all the recent polls from all sources, the public is still pretty much 50-50 on the issue.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 8:15pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                    And notwithstanding, it would be very interesting to see how the poll results would fall if there were two different options for trial:

                    * Snowden should face trial in criminal court (ie- trial by jury, access to representation, access to charges and discovery)
                    * Snowden should face trial in military court (ie- he disappears and is never seen again)

                    Or the similar but distinct poll:

                    * Snowden should face trial without a jury
                    * Snowden should be granted amnesty
                    * Uncertain

                     

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                      John Fenderson (profile), May 30th, 2014 @ 9:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                      It would be even more interesting if there was a poll asking "Do you think that Snowden would receive a fair trial in US courts?"

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 11:51am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                      Snowden is not subject to a military trial as he is not in the military and wasn't in the military at the time so that one is pointless.

                       

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                        BeeAitch (profile), May 31st, 2014 @ 3:42pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making his case to the American people

                        A trial heard under the conditions of the Espionage Act is closer to a military trial than it is to a trial heard under the conditions guaranteed (proposed? /s?) by the 6th Amendment.

                         

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    DannyB (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    What a Patriot would do

    A true patriot would not run away.

    A true patriot would come back to North Korea.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    If you want Snowden to 'man up'

    Then will you finally admit to forgetting Poland in that one debate, Mr Kerry?

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:47am

    "But this is a man who has done great damage to his country [...]" (Kerry)

    No. He hasn't done any damage at all. All the violence done to the Constitution and to the rule of law has been done by the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the DHS and all their collaborators in and out of government. Those are the people who've laid waste to the Constitution and to the lofty ideals that the United States allegedly embodies. And make no mistake about it: these are crippling blows from which the United States may, sadly, never recover.

    All Snowden has done is shine a light on some of it; one small candle in the darkness.

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ---Abraham Lincoln

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      I'd say that thousands of documents to be released in a methodical manner is a little more than a candle. More like a Q-beam.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 3:30pm

      Re:

      Jfc you're an idiot if you think Snowden hasn't committed a crime and done damage.... I pray that none of you idiots in this comment section treating Snowden as a deity ever vote because you have no clue.

       

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    phildem, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:50am

    snowden = ollie north 3.0

    Edward Snowden, like Valerie Plame, and Oliver North, provides a welcome distraction from larger issues of widespread government wrong doing, and gives the government a focal platform to posture and gesticulate their very culpable outrage.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:52am

      Re: snowden = ollie north 3.0

      Not sure why Valerie Plame belongs in that list. Did you mean Scooter Libby?

       

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        phildem, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: snowden = ollie north 3.0

        Nope, meant Plame, the photogenic poster-boy/girl as a front
        for controlled burn outrage. Libby isn't as sympathetic a scapegoat.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: snowden = ollie north 3.0

          But the majority of people aren't outraged with Snowden. They are outraged at the NSA's disregard for the Constitution and the rest of the government's weak attempt to justify their actions.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 3:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: snowden = ollie north 3.0

            The majority don't give a f*ck about Snowden because he's a third-rate coward.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    It's hilarious that Princess Pantyhose is telling someone else to man up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    What Snowden faces should he return is the same kangaroo kourt, Manning and the rest have faced. It's not about the right thing, it's about revenge.

    The only reason that government figures keep going back to Snowden returning is they want to stop the exposure of their secrets. I assume this means they know something is coming they don't want exposed more than the usual.

    Bet that any sort of deal or plea bargain would be to get all the documents and proof back. Even then Snowden would not get anything approaching justice.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      It's not exactly the same. In many ways Manning's situation was worse than Snowden's would be as his was a military court where even the judge is in the military where they all endured the same conditioning that everything is about banding together to protect the military and the military system of doing things.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 11:16am

    You know else who should have manned up and just returned home? Dred Scott. He needed to grow a pair!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 11:43am

    Who the heck is this raging frat boy, and why did anyone put him in charge of anything?! What an arrogant blowhard! He really thinks that "man up, bro" is a valid argument, doesn't he?

    I honestly wonder if Kerry might be taking an unhealthy amount of some sort of testosterone supplement or something...

     

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    k1m0d0 (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:11pm

    I'm curious about this system of justice Mr Kerry speaks about. Is this the one which sanctions raids on former NSA employees and pointing fully automatic rifles at them? In my world when you never point a weapon at anything you don't want to destroy. This is, in effect, the death penalty for the "crime" of being a former employee. Mr Snowden is much better off in Moscow than Gitmo.

     

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    DogBreath, May 29th, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    This conversation made me think so much of Deep Space 9...

    that I just had to do this:


    DOCTOR JULIAN BASHIR: Well, Gul Dukat, what about it? Does he have a point? Hes basically saying but for the Obsidian Order wanting him dead, he wouldnt be on Deep Space 9 at all.


    GUL DUKAT: Well, for a allegedly intelligent Cardassian, thats a extremely simpleminded answer. Look, Im not going to get into the who he was or what he was. Let me just say this: If Elim Garak wants to come back to Cardassia Prime today, well place him on a Cardassian transport today. Wed be delighted for him to come back. And he should come back, because thats what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away from the Cardassian Union and look for refuge on a Federation space station or Bajor or some other system. A patriot would stand up on Cardassia Prime and make his case to the Cardassian people. But hes refused to do that to this date.

    The fact is that he can come home, but hes a fugitive from justice, which is why hes not being permitted to return freely to Cardassian space.

    Its that simple and he knows it.


    DOCTOR JULIAN BASHIR: Have you softened your stance at all with regard to his alleged conduct? I noticed earlier this year you said that there were disclosures about the Obsidian Order made because of Garak that you yourself were not aware of that constituted Obsidian Order overreach. Does that change the calculus at all for you?


    GUL DUKAT: Thats entirely up to the Cardassian justice system. Let him come back and make his case. The fact is that he should if he cares so much about Cardassia and he believes in Cardassia, he should trust in the Cardassian system of justice. But to be hiding on Deep Space 9, a part of the Federation, and to have just admitted that he was really just trying to keep from being eliminated by the State for the good of the State, I mean, what does that tell you, really? I think hes mistaken about where his true loyaties should lie, I think its very pitiable.

    But this is a man who has done great damage to the State, violated his oath which he took when he became an agent for the Obsidian Order, to the great detriment of the absolute and supreme power of the Cardassian Union.


    DOCTOR JULIAN BASHIR: Absolute and supreme power it holds by having secret interpretations of laws that no one can find out they have violated until they are found guilty and sentenced before the trial even takes place. And yes, in fact, he did what he thought was in the best interest of the citizens, all without being conveniently "placed" into office so he could then use it for political, financial and personal gain. You are the one who is pitiable, Gul Dukat.

     

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    JustMe (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Kerry is flat out untruthful

    His complete and total pretense that the harm was caused by Snowden is as untruthful as it is obvious. The harm was when people acting for the US Government (many of whom had sworn to uphold the Constitution of this great land at some point in their lives) decided to violate the Constitution with unconstitutional and illegal actions. In no way, shape or form is it justifiable to hack the personal cellphone of an allied leader or to collect information on all Americans without a warrant. The crime is re-committed daily by the administration and the three letter agencies. Snowden is a Hero and Kerry and McCain are old, angry men without honor.

     

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    gorehound (profile), May 29th, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Simply put !!!
    Snowden is Awesome ! Kerry is not Awesome ! Kerry is now jealous !

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      Your school-girl crush on a criminal like Snowden is pretty pathetic.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        Is he a criminal? Perhaps. Did he do right by his conscience and the American /people/? Most definitely. I'll side with Snowden over the corrupt government any day of the week. As for you, one question: Did you pull the wings off flies as a child? Or just eat paint chips?

         

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    David, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    And now for the respin:

    We don't need to change much to apply this to Clapper:

    The bottom line is this is a man who has betrayed his country, who is sitting in the U.S. government, an authoritarian organization, where he has taken refuge. He should man up and come before a U.S. court if he has a complaint about whats the matter with the American constitution, come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. But instead he is just sitting there taking snapshots at his countrymen, violating his oath that he took when he took on the job he took, and betraying, I think, the fundamental agreement that he entered into when he became an employee. And the fact is he has damaged his country very significantly in many, many ways. He has hurt the constitution. He has lied to congress, he has broken all of the fundamental laws of the country defining the freedoms this land has been built to serve and provide, he has made the U.S. a country of unfreedom and surveillance and burnt through a multitude of billions of dollars, and he has nothing to show for it except illicit gains in violation of international rights.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the head of one of the largest and most pervasive organized crime organizations in open defiance of the law of the land as well as international law, and they control even the government. Does he do as much as man up and stand before court because of the perjury he openly admitted to committing as well as all of the other crimes he admitted after having been shown guilty of them?

    Not him. He is one of the untouchables.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Chris Brand, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Passports

    So is there some kind of "special treatment" whereby somebody without a passport can get on a plane bound for the US if they have the right invitation ? Because every time I've flown internationally, I've had to show my passport numerous times before I could get on the plane, as well as when I arrived in the destination country.

     

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      Trevor, May 29th, 2014 @ 1:13pm

      Re: Passports

      I'm sure they could send a special plane.

      Good luck convincing Russian authorities to let him ON that plane without showing a passport and going through proper security, though...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 3:27pm

    F*ck this traitor douche, honestly. He can rot in Russia with his buddy Putin for all I care. If he's so homesick then perhaps he shouldn't have, you know, COMMITTED A CRIME?

    Honestly the only way he should be able to return home is in a body bag.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      Yes, Snowden is the traitor for exposing the crimes against the Constitution that the government has committed. Keep drinking that koolaid.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2014 @ 8:11pm

      Re:

      Honestly the only way he should be able to return home is in a body bag.

      I don't even...the absolute ignorance, small-mindedness, and dogmatic viewpoint this (and other) of your posts represent a rather frightening mindset.

      Ironically, this black-and-white mentality is almost exactly the mental profile of extremists. Do you even know why you're angry?

      Should Daniel Ellsburg have been killed for revealing illegal U.S. activity in Vietnam? What about Samuel Provance for leaking the Abu Ghraib abuses? Or Russ Tice and Thomas Drake for previous NSA abuses? How about John Kiriakou for disclosing CIA torture?

      All these people revealed "classified" information. Do you even know anything about classified information? Do you know that illegal activity by the government cannot be considered classified? It's in Executive Order 13292, Sec. 1.7:

      Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:
      (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
      (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
      (3) restrain competition; or
      (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national securty.


      Huh. That first one is interesting.

      Either way, the fact that you are so certain he committed a crime, to the point where you'd rather see him dead than given a trial, indicates strongly why he shouldn't return. And if you think that the system won't be abused, well, I give you exhibit A: all of human history.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2014 @ 7:09am

        Re: Re:

        There is one major problem with that EO which creates a loophole the size of the Grand Canyon. The problem is with the words "in order to". It does not say that a information cannot be classified that also does those things it just says you can't classify information TO do those things. So as long as you can claim that you are classifying the information for some other reason, then you are perfectly ok.

         

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      orbitalinsertion (profile), May 30th, 2014 @ 12:16am

      Re:

      Lol. Yeah, I'm sure Snowden is just in love with Putin and the Russian government. @@

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 1:04am

    As a possible excuse for all of the above, I can only propose this:

    The act of running for and accepting a US Government position causes severe brain damage. It's mild initially, but as the person progresses past the first three months, it becomes more severe and eventually permanent.

    That's the only possible explanation for what we've been seeing over the last few years. Every head in the entire government is broke.

     

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    OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), May 31st, 2014 @ 12:24am

    "A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people. But hes refused to do that to this date, at least."

    He already has made his case to the American people, and continues to do so.

    "But this is a man who has done great damage to his country, violated his oath which he took when he became an employee, and yes, in fact, stole an enormous amount of information and released it to the public, to the detriment of his country."

    No, he has not done any damage to his country, only to it's governments credibility, which it itself arguably caused. He took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and he is still not among those who have violated it. He released that evidence to responsible journalists, to the benefit of his country and countrymen.

    "QUESTION: Have you softened your stance at all with regard to his alleged conduct here? I noticed earlier this year you said that there were disclosures about the NSA made because of Snowden that you yourself were not aware of that constituted NSA overreach. Does that change the calculus at all for you?

    SECRETARY KERRY: Thats entirely up to the justice system."


    Nice attempt at deflection. Try harder next time.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2014 @ 7:13am

      Re:

      So the Secretary of State has just admitted that he can't think for himself and has to let the DOJ formulate his opinions for him. Lovely.

       

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    Digger, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 7:28am

    Snowden is a fujitive from injustice - not justice

    If anyone should be arrested, it's every single member of the NSA from the lowliest neophyte to their top boss(es) since these programs were started - that means current and former PotUS, heads of the NSA, members of Congress and the Senate, many Judges, Attorneys General and so on.

    These people are all traitorous scum who have violated their oaths, they have violated their SWORN oaths to uphold the constitution, to defend the constitution and the American people. They have perjured themselves in front of the American people. All of this and for absolutely nothing, not 1 single interception of an attack, not one life saved, while they have trampled on millions upon millions of American's unassailable constitutional rights.

    Their is only one punishment fit for such egregious violations to the Constitution and the American people, and that is the wartime punishment for the Treason they committed.

    Arrest them, confine them, try them (it's a 100% open and shut case, they are all guilty) then execute them for the traitorous scum they are.

    The Armed forces should have already taken them into custody as they are also sworn to uphold the Constitution over any orders from the PotUS - that's right folks, Constitution trumps chain of command as every soldier knows.

    God before Country
    Country before Leaders

    This should have been over before it ever started.

     

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


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