Techdirt Podcast Episode 93: Pardon Snowden

from the sooner-rather-than-later dept

Edward Snowden deserves a pardon. We all know it — even if you believe he deserves to stand trial, the only option right now is an unfair trial on Espionage Act charges in which he'd be blocked from presenting a meaningful defense. A pardon from those charges is the only just choice. This week, we're joined by Trevor Timm, co-founder of the Freedom Of The Press Foundation, and returning guest Parker Higgins to discuss why Edward Snowden deserves a pardon, and the campaign to get him one deserves your support.

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  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 1:30pm

    Sadly the only way he would get a pardon is if the real criminals in the American government got prosecuted. That will never happen as long as they are in charge.

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

  • identicon
    SnowdenWasATraitor, 4 Oct 2016 @ 1:49pm

    He might as well face it

    He might want to just hope that in future history books he's seen as a martyr and not an outright traitor.

    His exposure of state secrets has weakened many governments and supplied foreign national propagandists with so much ammunition that they are now laughing at how democratic nations are eating themselves from within.

    So ya, let's all thank Snowden, may he long rot in Russia.

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

    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 1:52pm

      Re: He might as well face it

      hear hear!

      Had he leaked data on something specific, he would potentially be a hero. Data dumping almost the entire US spy setup was, well, a little much.

      Whatever good he did doesn't balance out against the harm done.

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:57pm

        Re: Re: He might as well face it

        Had he leaked data on something specific, he would potentially be a hero. Data dumping almost the entire US spy setup was, well, a little much.


        Um. He did leak info on specific things: the Section 215 bulk collection of data and the Section 706 PRISM program.

        And he didn't do a "data dump." He handed a bunch of documents to trusted reporters to sift through and report on what was newsworthy.

        So, why do you feel the need to always lie here? It's kinda pathetic.

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

        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 3:05am

          Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

          Mike, the number of documents involved isn't hundreds or thousands, it's potentially more than a million. That isn't a narrow, focused piece of whistleblowing, that is data dumping the whole damn program and letting his selected media friends ransack through it looking for juicy tidbits.

          That is way to wide of a scope to be just pointing out a problem, it was intended to f-ck up multiple programs and really screw the US solidly, and for an extended period of time.

          "So, why do you feel the need to always lie here? It's kinda pathetic."

          So why is your answer to anyone willing to point out the obvious always a put down or an insult rather than a discussion? I think a million plus documents qualify as a data dump. You may not. Just because we don't agree doesn't make my point a lie, but your saying so clearly looks like you are being defensive.

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

          • icon
            art guerrilla (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 3:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

            @ waaaaaaaaatevah-

            1. you stupid shit, i'm so tired of your idiotic bloviating on issues you not only don't have a command of the facts on, not only have knuckle-dragging, abject-authoritarian NON-THINKING views on, BUT ALSO DON'T PAY ONE LICK OF ATTENTION WHEN YOU ARE CORRECTED...
            2. you stupid shit, the bullshit 'millions' of documents was based on the files he 'touched' during the course of DOING HIS STUPID FUCKING JOB YOU STUPID FUCKING KNOB...
            3. you stupid shit, you are fucking useless, the only purpose you serve, is that the rest of the class can hold you up as an example when you don't keep up... YOU ARE A JOKE...
            again, manning, kiriakou, sterling, binney, drake, klein, browning, assange, etc are a MILLION times the person, a MILLION times the Patriot you are (or i am, for that matter), which in your case is easy, for -as it turns out- you are NO KIND OF PATRIOT, and demonstrate you are EXACTLY the opposite in your abject obeisance to any and all dictates of Empire destroying the constitution...
            in short, you are a fool and a tool...

            artguerrilla at windstream dot net
            in case you are interested in getting educated...
            hhh

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

            • icon
              Whatever (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 4:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

              1 - if you don't like it, don't read it. You stay you don't then you go on an on about it. Stupid shit indeed!

              2 - Actually, the document count isn't what he touched, but what he has likely downloaded or copied. Stupid shit indeed!

              3 - "manning, kiriakou, sterling, binney, drake, klein, browning, assange, etc are a MILLION times the person, a MILLION times the Patriot you are ". Let's see. Manning has issues (lots of them) and will live in prison for mos to rest of her life. Assange is potentially a rapist hiding out in an embassy to avoid facing the law. Patriots my ass. Stupid shit indeed!

              Congrats on being not only vile and seemingly unable to express yourself without bad words, but also in seemingly being totally blind to reality. I am not getting educated by you, but I am laughing at you!

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2016 @ 5:51am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

                "if you don't like it, don't read it. You stay you don't then you go on an on about it. Stupid shit indeed!"

                Considering that you're still here despite all the pissing and moaning about what's written, sounds like you're scraping the bottom of the barrel on intelligence there...

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

                • icon
                  Whatever (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 10:04am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

                  You be Trolling so hard, you almost fall over.

                  One day you will learn the difference between "pissing and moaning" and just pointing out that there are almost always logical and much simpler alternate answers for most things. Paranoid people think there is a gunman behind every grassy knoll, the rest of us just find a nice place to take a break and enjoy the sun.

                  You learn more in life listening to the people you don't agree with initially than you do listening to those who tell you what you want to hear.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2016 @ 5:54pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

                    Coming from the nincompoop who thinks the whole of Techdirt's staff is delaying and downvoting the trolling, spammy rubbish you insist on posting, that's a riot.

                    Going by the intelligence you display, you obviously don't read any of the articles or rebuttals. But what else do you expect from one of out_of_the_blue's friends with benefits?

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

                    • icon
                      Whatever (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 8:17pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

                      I was going to answer you more completely, but honestly, you are just a tr0ll. Shoo.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:22pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

                        So, why is your answer to anyone willing to point out the obvious always a put down or insult rather than a discussion?

                        You can keep your "complete" answer. Twice of nothing is still nothing.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2016 @ 5:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

            "So why is your answer to anyone willing to point out the obvious always a put down or an insult rather than a discussion?"

            Pot, meet kettle.

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

          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

            Mike, the number of documents involved isn't hundreds or thousands, it's potentially more than a million

            No, you're wrong (again!). It's between 60,000 and 70,000 as confirmed by both Glenn Greenwald *and* James Clapper. The stories about 1.5 million were debunked. Those were all the documents he "touched" as *part of his job* when he was tasked with moving documents to a new system. Eventually even Clapper admitted Snowden actually took less than 100,000.

            So, you should just admit that you're wrong here.

            That isn't a narrow, focused piece of whistleblowing, that is data dumping the whole damn program and letting his selected media friends ransack through it looking for juicy tidbits.

            Except that's not what happened. Will you admit to being misinformed? Doubtful.

            That is way to wide of a scope to be just pointing out a problem, it was intended to f-ck up multiple programs and really screw the US solidly, and for an extended period of time.

            And what has it actually screwed up?

            So why is your answer to anyone willing to point out the obvious always a put down or an insult rather than a discussion?

            It's not. You're lying. I'm calling you out on lying and I'm calling you out in particular, because you've been doing it on this site for years on end.

            I think a million plus documents qualify as a data dump.

            He didn't dump that many.

            Just because we don't agree doesn't make my point a lie, but your saying so clearly looks like you are being defensive.

            It's not that we disagree. It's that you're wrong. You're entitled to your own ignorant opinions, but not your own facts.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re: He might as well face it

        You keep speaking of this harm... without showing any of the proof.

        Meanwhile you think the Washington Post, who chose the information to distribute, is magically immune of responsibility. What a surprise, the corporate fanboy speaking up for the poor, helpless corporation against the singular, nefarious nerd in his mother's basement.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:11pm

      Re: He might as well face it

      His exposure of state secrets has weakened many governments and supplied foreign national propagandists with so much ammunition that they are now laughing at how democratic nations are eating themselves from within.

      Sure, it's not like America has been playing directly into the hands of anti-American groups and making a complete ass of itself on the global stage for 15 years, or anything. Snowden left such an unfortunate blemish on the country's otherwise perfect image! Now the international community watches with awe and respect as Trump promises to make America great again after that Snowden asshole screwed it up.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:55pm

      "It's not my fault for stealing from the cookie jar, it's your fault for catching me!"

      If Person A has a history of lying but covering it up and fooling people into thinking they're honest, and Person B exposes A as a chronic liar, Person B is not the one at fault when Person A's reputation takes a nosedive.

      As for 'weakened many governments', I'm going to go with a [Citation Needed] there.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2016 @ 8:11pm

        Re: "It's not my fault for stealing from the cookie jar, it's your fault for catching me!"

        For someone who claims to hate how the government does things, Whatever seems to have an obsessive need to rush to the government's defense any and every time someone tries to point out a chink in its armor.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:56pm

      Re: He might as well face it

      His exposure of state secrets has weakened many governments

      Examples please?

      supplied foreign national propagandists with so much ammunition that they are now laughing at how democratic nations are eating themselves from within.

      Such as?

      You have no examples.

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 3:18am

        Re: Re: He might as well face it

        No examples? Hmmm, let's see.

        A good example may be what happened in the Ukraine and Crimea. Some would suggest that Russia's play in this area (and many others) has been a result of weakened US intelligence and the inability to take action before Russia pushes forward. This sort of lines up pretty clearly with Snowden ending up in Russia, there are many sites and more than a few news organizations suggesting that he is employed by the Kremlin as a sort of digital spy now.

        You could also look at Syria, and Russia's sudden willingness to step in to help a leader who they would otherwise have ignored. Perhaps their intimate knowledge of US actors in the area, and that the US would be surprised by their actions allowed Russia to do what they might not otherwise do.

        The potential is that part of the rise of ISIS (or ISL if you prefer) was due to diminished US spy operations, the loss of operatives in the region (no longer want to deal with the US), and lessons learned from the whole affair which encouraged the group to better disguise their communications.

        The real difficulty in showing SPECIFIC harm is that none of us know all of the gears, levers, and whatnot involved in international politics. We can stand back and say "gee, since late 2013 the US is suddenly on the back foot and getting surprised by a lot of things they use to be ahead of the curve on", and conversely, we can also say that "Russia seems to be way more on the ball these days and is pushing hard where they never dared before".

        It's likely that the Snowden effect will not be entirely clearly understood for a long time to come. World politics are glacial, slow moving things. If you look yesterday and today, perhaps there is not enough movement to show anything. But over a longer period of time...

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

        • icon
          art guerrilla (profile), 5 Oct 2016 @ 3:52am

          Re: Re: Re: He might as well face it

          dog damn, you are simply the perfect propaganda victim, aren't you ? ? ?
          actually, ukraine/crimea was OUR LITTLE coup, you fucking 'tard...
          do try to keep up...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 1:52pm

    it won't be surprising if many years from now people look back at this situation as the american govt on trial before the american people, and the actions taken by the govt will have became known as hostile intent toward the governed.

    i think we are entering a very bad period. actually, i think we've been in a very bad period for some time but are only just realizing it.

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

  • identicon
    @b, 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:25pm

    "His only option was to go to the press"

    Or do nothing, which he did for many months.

    Or dump his leaked docs on pastebin.com or, or, or....

    The better line of argument for why "proper channels" weren't chosen seems to be; not the magnitude of the secret programs (signed off on all the way up to the top) but rather the insulator nature of the secret.

    The reason for leaking sounds like it is simply to tell the public of the existence of the secret programs.

    And certainly doesn't sound like the intention was to try telling the secret keepers that their secretly authorised programs are arguably illegal or unconstitutional.....

    Yeh boss so let's test that in a court, but not a secret court, let's give it a public airing, yeh wanna give that a shot, boss? no thanks. oh okay.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:59pm

      Re: "His only option was to go to the press"

      Yeh boss so let's test that in a court, but not a secret court, let's give it a public airing, yeh wanna give that a shot, boss? no thanks. oh okay.

      "What's that, I'm fired for not being a 'team player'? I'm also being charged with violations of national security, the CFAA, the 'STFU'-Act and turning off the sun? Wow, I am shocked, shocked I tell you. I never would have imagined that trying to expose government misconduct to the government would result in something like this."

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

  • identicon
    gezzerx, 4 Oct 2016 @ 2:29pm

    The government wants everyone to forget & ignore that they were breaking the law long before Mr Snowden blew the whistle on them . They will continue with their smear & propaganda campaign against Mr. Snowden to divert attention away from themselves ! Never forget that. Until their lies become the only truth ! As Joseph Goebbels said “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth . ” They have been doing it for 3 years now & will continue to do so until they are held to account for their crimes !

    The Government will continue its smear & propaganda campaign using the following tactics as quoted by Joseph Goebbels the Nazi propaganda Minister.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” AND

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.
    Joseph Goebbels

    Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.
    Joseph Goebbels

    There will come a day, when all the lies will collapse under their own weight, and truth will again triumph.
    Joseph Goebbels

    Wake up America ! ! !
    gezzerx

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 3:14pm

    Yeah, about that...

    Just got to the '...issue a pardon and allow him to come back to the US as a free man' bit and that's... not even close to happening. A pardon, while nice, would be largely symbolic given how much of the USG Snowden has angered, such that I wouldn't put his odds of living out so much as a month as a 'free man' were he to come back to the US.

    (If memory serves there was an article a few years back where a government worker or something was willing to, on the record but not by name, publicly fantasize about murdering Snowden if they had a chance, and I'm certain they weren't the only one.)

    You don't have to look any farther than Manning to see what kind of treatment he could expect if he got anywhere the USG could get it's hands on him, so while a pardon would make for a nice symbolic gesture, a 'Yes you leaked classified info but you did it for the right reasons and ended up helping the US fix a mess that most in the US had no idea existed', if he's got so much as two brain cells to bounce together in his head he's not coming back to the US, ever, pardon or no.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 3:29pm

    proper channels. there are no proper channels. just one more trap.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:33pm

    Anyone who continues to whine that proper channels should have been used has clearly never used the proper channels before.

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

  • identicon
    David, 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:32am

    Pardoning Snowden seems excessive

    After all, Clapper, Hayden, Holder never got pardoned for their far-spread and systematic violations of the Constitution and for lying about it to Congress who are supposed to represent the Republic's constituents. The FISA judges did not get a pardon for undermining the laws they were sworn to uphold. The NSA did not receive a pardon for building multi-billion snoop centers with tax payers' money which obviously are not as purported used for recording call metadata since that would not be commensurate with their size.

    All of those folks never received a pardon and thus operate at the danger of being arrested, prosecuted, and executed for treason against the Republic at any point of time. And yet they carry their spirits up high, look the danger in the eye and stock up their defenses against their adversaries, the people of America, so that they will never be in a position to have to beg for pardon.

    Snowden had the opportunity to do the same and chickened out. And now he wants the presidentpaid by the people but that does not mean that he works for them or takes orders from them.

    No, if people want a pardon for Snowden, there is no point in waiting for the president. They'll have to grab their pitchforks and torches and crank Snowden out of jail themselves.

    But since he's not in U.S. jail, the next best option is to wait until he is old enough and elect him as president. Then he'll have to sort out this mess he decided to uncover himself. If he does a good job at it, maybe his successor will pardon him. More likely than not posthumously (the agencies should not have a problem pulling another JFK given all the terrorist entrapments they are stooging for their statistics). But you have to start somewhere.

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


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