President Obama Claims He Cannot Pardon Snowden; He's Wrong

from the yes-you-can dept

In a big interview with the German media outlet Der Spiegel, President Obama was asked about his interest in pardoning Ed Snowden in response to the big campaign to get him pardoned. Obama's response was that he could not, since Snowden has not been convicted yet:
ARD/SPIEGEL: Are you going to pardon Edward Snowden?

Obama: I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves, so that's not something that I would comment on at this point. I think that Mr. Snowden raised some legitimate concerns. How he did it was something that did not follow the procedures and practices of our intelligence community. If everybody took the approach that I make my own decisions about these issues, then it would be very hard to have an organized government or any kind of national security system.

At the point at which Mr. Snowden wants to present himself before the legal authorities and make his arguments or have his lawyers make his arguments, then I think those issues come into play. Until that time, what I've tried to suggest -- both to the American people, but also to the world -- is that we do have to balance this issue of privacy and security. Those who pretend that there's no balance that has to be struck and think we can take a 100-percent absolutist approach to protecting privacy don't recognize that governments are going to be under an enormous burden to prevent the kinds of terrorist acts that not only harm individuals, but also can distort our society and our politics in very dangerous ways.

And those who think that security is the only thing and don't care about privacy also have it wrong.
This is simply incorrect -- as is known to anyone who remembers the fact that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon before he had been indicted.

And it appears that the President knows this. Because, as the Pardon Snowden campaign points out, Obama pardoned three Iranian Americans who had not yet stood trial. That happened this year. So for him to say it's impossible to pardon someone who hasn't gone before the court is simply, factually, historically wrong.

And there's a Supreme Court ruling that makes this abundantly clear. 150 years ago, in the ruling on Ex Parte Garland, the Supreme Court stated:
The power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. The power is not subject to legislative control.

A pardon reaches the punishment prescribed for an offence and the guilt of the offender. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights. It gives him a new credit and capacity. There is only this limitation to its operation: it does not restore offices forfeited, or property of interests vested in others in consequence of the conviction and judgment.
Separately, the argument that if Snowden goes to court he can "make his arguments" is also wrong. And President Obama also knows this. The Espionage Act, under which Snowden is charged, does not allow any sort of whistleblower or public interest defense at all.

As Snowden’s lawyer, the ACLU’s Ben Wizner has explained, this isn’t hypothetical. When Daniel Ellsberg stood trial under the Espionage Act, his attorney asked him why he decided to leak the Pentagon Papers to journalists. The prosecution objected to the mere question, and the judge sustained the objection. No matter the egregiousness of the government’s actions, a whistleblower’s motivation has no place in an Espionage Act trial.

That means that Snowden wouldn’t be able to explain why he felt the public should know what the NSA was doing, he wouldn’t be able to point to the federal courts that ruled against the NSA in the aftermath of the disclosures, and he wouldn’t be able to cite subsequent advances to cybersecurity. His conviction and severe punishment would be a foregone conclusion.

There may be reasons why the President doesn't wish to grant a pardon to Snowden, but his stated reasons are completely bogus.

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  • icon
    Tyson (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 8:00pm

    If this were about Trump

    The title would be Trump shits over the U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 2.

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    • icon
      Tyson (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 8:03pm

      Re: If this were about Trump

      oops. I mean Article 2, Section 2

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

      • identicon
        Chandler, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: If this were about Trump

        Oh please. Enough with the "if it was Trump..." bullshit. You all have blinders on when it comes to the Clown-elect's incessant lying. When the media calls him out on his many many untruths you whine that the big bad media elite are picking on your "millionaire man of the people". He's a con man. A carnival barker. A thin skinned insecure bully who has no convictions of his own. And you fell for it.

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    • icon
      crade (profile), 21 Nov 2016 @ 7:59am

      Re: If this were about Trump

      If this were Trump, it wouldn't even be worth mentioning. Extra extra, Trump won't pardon Snowden! Sun rises in the east!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 8:11pm

    So Obama, how about pardoning Chelsea Manning then or at least commuting her sentence?

    He just has no intention of doing anything good like that and would rather just go down in history as the President that prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other Presidents combined twice over.

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  • identicon
    Agammamon, 18 Nov 2016 @ 8:43pm

    Yeah well, this is the guy, the head of the Executive Branch, who says that only the DoJ and not him, can change or remove a drug off the CSA Schedule.

    Its amazing what he can do with 'a pen and a cellphone' and its equally amazing what he can't.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 5:23am

      Re:

      Problem is what has he done "for the good" in his invite term yet? NOTHING! All he's there for is the fraudulent excercises that he has done! He's for Muslims not Americans. Don't expect anything from his sorry self! He wants Sharia. A communist country. For us as fee Americans to answer to the government for any and all. Of course he's gonna lie to try and cover his butt.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re:

        What an idiot.

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

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 23 Nov 2016 @ 6:01am

        Re: Re:

        Obama is a neocon. A Bush-era neocon who carried on Bush's neocon policies while throwing a little red meat to the Progressive base to keep them on side.

        Accuse him of what he actually did!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2016 @ 7:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, what did we get in his 8 years better then in bush's 8, again?

          The only thing better is people of color stopped whining against pouts as they were doing against w.

          We are in bigger hole then before both.

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

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:04pm

    No way in hell would Obama pardon Snowden. Could you imagine the outrage in the various levels of Law Enforcement in the Government if Obama pardoned Snowden for the information that has been leaked to the press

    The Obama administration has gone after and punished more whistle blowers than any other administration in U.S. history and that is saying a lot considering who has sat in the White House.

    Manning is in a U.S Military prison, and Snowden would be in a Super Max if the U.S had been able to latch onto him and that is for sure, there is no way Snowden would get a Pardon from Obama.

    Snowden opened a lot of peoples eyes with what he leaked to the press, capabilities that US Law Enforcement agencies that were unknown to many and the depth of the ability to capture information the likes have never been seen other than in movies.

    Snowden faces living in exile for many many years unfortunately unless he volunteers to come back to the U.S. and I dont think he would relish the thought at coming back to languish in a U.S. Prison for what could be the rest of his life for doing what many see as waking people up to the fact that your privacy doesn't exist it is just an illusion.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:24pm

      Re:

      Snowden has mentioned possibly returning to face trial before. For his safety I really hope he doesn't. I highly doubt he would get a trial, and even if he did it'd be a Kafkaesque railroading. He'd most likely get Guantanamo'd or suicided.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      they would torture him out of spite and because there is no oversight for it.

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

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:18pm

    Pardoning Snowden would require principle and spine, both things Obama has sorely been lacking in.

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    • identicon
      David, 19 Nov 2016 @ 1:57am

      Re:

      Well, if he wanted to show principle and spine, there is a list of campaign promises he received a Nobel Peace Prize for before even starting on the job.

      Pardoning Snowden would be like giving a fried chicken a heart transplant. I am pretty sure that Snowden would have preferred if Obama had actually done anything about the crimes Snowden uncovered. I mean, other than doubling down.

      Snowden did what he did for the U.S.A., not for himself. Too bad Obama dropped the ball, stabbed, deflated, and buried it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re:

        It's funny that you though Obama was hold a ball to begin with.

        I saw right through Obama from the get go, warned all that voted for him, and no one listened.

        Same goes for Hillary and Trump. Be prepared for another round of balls that people think they were ever holding in the first place.

        No balls have dropped at all... and you can take that every which way you please!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      Technically, Obama (lawyer) is correct. There cannot be pardon of a person who was not sentenced. Always was, but nobody ever argued against. Otherwise, pardon without indictment/sentence invalidates constitution and gives carte Blanche to future criminals.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re:

        No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it's still a lie.

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

      • icon
        Eldakka (profile), 20 Nov 2016 @ 11:05pm

        Re: Re:

        There cannot be pardon of a person who was not sentenced.

        Please square that with this:

        And there's a Supreme Court ruling that makes this abundantly clear. 150 years ago, in the ruling on Ex Parte Garland, the Supreme Court stated: The power of pardon conferred by the Constitution upon the President is unlimited except in cases of impeachment. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment. The power is not subject to legislative control.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2016 @ 4:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are innocent until proven guilty,

          Thus,

          You committed no crime until exhausted appeals,

          Thus,

          You cannot be pardoned for being innocent.

          Ken lay of Enron died an innocent man before end of appeals.

          slavery was judged legal once.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:20pm

    "President Obama Claims He Cannot Pardon Snowden; He's Wrong"

    No, he's LYING. The man was a constitutional lawyer. He was a teen when Nixon got pardoned. He knows damned well he can pardon whomever he pleases.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 10:09pm

      Re:

      Beat me to it. Yeah, there's absolutely no reason to suger-coat is or give him the benefit of the doubt here, he's lying and he knows it. He knows damn well he could pardon Snowden, but rather than be honest for once in his gorram presidential term he's claiming that his hands are tied and he just can't unless Snowden is stupid and suicidal enough to come back to the US to stand trial first, rather than admitting that he can but refuses to do so.

      Again, for emphasis:

      In claiming that he can't pardon Snowden at this point Obama is deliberately and knowingly lying.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 1:50am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed. Everything Obama has ever said has basically been a con. Call a spade a spade, Mike. Show them the respect that they show us.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2016 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        He's done nothing but lied the whole time in office! What do you expect from a Community Organizer with barley 2 years in the Senate doing a whole lot of nothing? Yet somehow with zero skill at running anything, became President. What a joke and it shows.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2016 @ 4:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          wait, he bailed banksters.

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

        • icon
          Groaker (profile), 21 Nov 2016 @ 8:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As much as I despise Obama, Hillary and most other presidents and wannabes, in 19th and 20th Century. A thing like Trump is not the answer to our tremendously serious problems. He will exacerbate them severely, unless of course he obliterates the surface of the earth.

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          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 23 Nov 2016 @ 7:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I dunno, Groaker. It may shake the partisans out of their "No, U!" stupor and lead to a campaign to reform the electoral system. Imagine what proportional representation could to to counteract the gerrymandering that maintains the status quo.

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    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:40am

      Re: He knows damned well he can pardon whomever he pleases.

      Yeah.

      I keep trying to like Obama. I even voted for him (the first time).

      But then he does stuff like this.

      Can't he at least have the guts to just say NO, rather than play these stupid disingenuous games?

      God help Ed Snowden. I'm not sure anybody else is going to.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      A politician is not telling the truth .. color me surprised.

      I am shocked - shocked I say!

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    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 22 Nov 2016 @ 4:37am

      Re:

      I'd love to agree with this, but - perhaps unfortunately - I can see an interpretation which doesn't leave me room to do so.

      I think it's reasonably possible that he when Obama said "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves", he did not mean "can't legally", but something more like "can't bring myself to" or "can't in good conscience".

      Even the existence of past Obama pardons for people who have not stood trial (which is distinct from "gone before the court" if, as seems to be the case based on the story at the provided link, they have e.g. appeared in court and issued not-guilty pleas but simply had not reached trial date yet) does not - quite - entirely eliminate this possibility, both for the reasons implied in the parenthetical and for at least one other reason which I had in mind when I started this sentence and have now lost.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:23pm

    So Obama is lying. Again.

    Is anyone surprised?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:21am

      Re: So Obama is lying. Again.

      No, absolutely not. As the government would put it: In the "mosaic" of Obama's life, the only tiles that stick out like sore thumbs are the ultra-rare truths.

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  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:23pm

    so what he said, that he cannot pardon anyone who has not stood in a court of trial... does that mean that EVERY TURKEY pardoned by presidents has been a lie? want to see those turkey trials!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 1:26pm

      Re: pardoning turkeys

      "does that mean that EVERY TURKEY pardoned by presidents has been a lie?"

      Here's how Obama can pardon Snowden with plausible deniability:

      1. Create a new NSA compartmentalized program code-named "THANKS TURKEY", which is really the code name for "Edward Snowden".

      2. Put out an official pardon of "THANKSGIVING TURKEY" (all caps, of course!), except abbreviate it to THANKS TURKEY in at least one instance.

      3. On Jan. 19th, this NSA program is declassified (subject to a FOIA request, of course!), revealing that Snowden was inadvertently pardoned -- due to a bureaucratic screwup -- but that what's done is done.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      i want to see Obama saying same about Hillary pardon.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:27pm

    You're forgetting

    President Obama is a constitutional scholar. I'm very sure he is aware that his stated reason is utter bull. If the US is willing to threaten to shoot down a plain with a head of state on the off chance Snowden might be aboard, I'm very sure there is absolutely no interest in a pardon.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:50am

      Re: You're forgetting

      That is the most concerning part of his entire presidency. A constitutional scholar with such complete disregard for the Constitution, especially the parts that interfered with his agenda.

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

      • identicon
        David, 19 Nov 2016 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re: You're forgetting

        So? A constitutional scholar as president is like a veterinary doctor as a pig farmer. His skills are rather less than more likely to result in PETA and food inspectors being enthused about his products.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:36pm

    It's the cart before the horse problem. A Presidential pardon is for convicted criminals, not people who have yet to face justice. You cannot pardon what someone has not been convicted of.

    There is also the question WHY he would want to reward someone who (a) screwed the US intelligence network over almost completely, and (b) didn't have the balls to hang around to face justice for it?

    Snowden can come back to the US, face trial, get convicted (because he would without a doubt) and then he can try to get a presidential pardon, perhaps in 4 years with the Donald is on his way out.

    Bradley Manning has more of a chance of getting a pardon, but honestly there is no benefit in granting one. It's way too soon to be looking at clemency in a case that has a 35 year sentence.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:54pm

    At least the new administration seems like it will play nice with the Russians. Mr. Snowden has his better half with him now, and hopefully will apply for and receive Russian citizenship. It is surly our loss. True patriots are too far and in between in the new millennium.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 9:57pm

    I'm going to go against the grain and say that while I am thankful for exposing the programs they he did that he still betrayed our country. He is guilty of treason and he should be imprisoned for it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      > I am thankful for exposing the programs they he did

      You sure don't sound like it.

      > He is guilty of treason and he should be imprisoned for it.

      How is he guilty of treason?

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      • icon
        xtian (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re:

        18 U.S. Code § 2381 - Treason

        "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

        He blithely released far more information than would have been necessarily to reveal domestic intelligence activities. He went and told the world about every foreign operation the intelligence sector was doing, as far as he knew.

        So, he handed critical top-secret information to foreign governments, some of whom seek to do us harm, compromising, when not simply destroying, our operations. "...giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere..."

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        • icon
          Eldakka (profile), 20 Nov 2016 @ 11:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Since all the talk about charging him has been in relation to the espionage act, I don't think even the DoJ thinks it could make treason stick.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 10:18pm

      Re:

      How did he 'betray our country'? He exposed programs that the government was engaged in that the public and even most lawmakers had no idea existed that involved indiscriminate surveillance of the US public.

      I don't really see how you can have it both ways, thanking him for exposing the programs while at the same time saying doing so was a bad thing.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:35am

        Re: Re:

        Including programs that collected information on the person who is now the current president.

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      • icon
        Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re:

        That was his crime -- the dissemination of true knowledge instead of lubricating lies.

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      • icon
        xtian (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re:

        No a "bad" thing, but an illegal thing. You wouldn't want releasing top-secret information about the military, like launch codes or the defense capabilities of Air Force 1, or criminal investigations, like cases being built against against the mob, to be made public regularly and with impunity, would you?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Criminal cases? Yes, they should be released. Secret courts are NOT the way a functional democracy or republic is supposed to work because it removes the checks and balances our system was designed with, including the ultimate check and balance of public scrutiny and reaction.

          Look at what secret court proceedings have given us in the past few years that have only recently been made public knowledge. Things like indefinite and over broad gag orders, massive surveillance of American people by the government, etc...

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why not? The only ones who don't know anything are the citizens. Military "secrets and criminal investigations against the "mob" are already known by those who shouldn't know them. You know, foreign governments, criminal gangs, organised crime, etc etc etc (As the King of Siam was renown to say).

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        • identicon
          TDM, 30 Nov 2016 @ 2:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, I would, if that material that was stolen and then released to the public showed evidence of misconduct, perversion of law, deceit, and other unlawful acts.

          see..this is the thing with so many arguments painting snowden as the problem. What these folks fail to acknowledge is that EVERY citizen has a duty, a moral obligation, the very contract with society to tell the truth about corruption.

          because so few do that, snowden comes across as an anomaly...a disruptor to your "culture". But it is obviously a mistake to cast him as a traitor. He just had the courage to do what so very few would do, or could do.

          two thought:

          a. he performed these actions for the benefit of citizens to be informed about misconduct, suspicious activity, unlawful operations, and deceit from ELECTED officials.

          b. If you have not actually read the releases and become intimately aware of the operations that he stole and release, it would be perfecting normal (in a manner of speaking) to have this view of him as a criminal. If the most ridiculous views that hold these operations as legitimate even after understanding the problems they create and the unlawful and unconstitutional nature of them still remains, then I will assert, those views are a type of tyranny, similar to the same types of anarchy the same govt officials prefer over the true liberty and freedom duties they are oathed to protect.
          3. The privacy versus security debate is for the people to decide. The very reason for the first amendment protections of the press is basically as a last line of defense. It is the intelligence that the freedom of the press that actually provides the check and balance for government actions. When that system is clouded in secrecy, and walls so high are built as to make it unachievable, is why the founders developed such idea about protecting the rights of the press. It was to ensure that at no time, would a tyranny government be capable of escaping the will of the people. In this case, snowden acts as both a citizen and a the press. In both cases, and with his contributions to the intelligence he provides to the citizenry, He must be protected and the information and the actions of the citizens. What it really boils down to, is that the people need to seize its natural and lawful duty to act, and to exert it primary power over the state. That is the essential motivation of snowden, and I argue he is more correct on his consitutional "authority" than those that created these programs and definitely over those that have attempted to create a narrative that it is up to the state to determine these issues. It is a people power issue. Plain and simple.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 1:45am

      Re:

      Is it treason to expose treason?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:23am

      Re:

      Nobody feed this troll. He's at home deliberately inflaming his jimmies.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      So you're also in favor of lifetime sentences for Bush, Obama, his administration, the entire DOJ management, the NSA, the CIA and the FBI, all of whom are ALSO guilty of treason by lying ON OATH to congress about their spying on American Citizens both at home and abroad?

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  • identicon
    spikerman87, 18 Nov 2016 @ 10:29pm

    Hillary

    So by that logic he can't pardon Hillary either!

    Even though he's going to anyway.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 12:20am

      Re: Hillary

      It really depends on which conspiracies you believe to be true. If you believe that there's bad blood between Hillary and Obama, then it makes perfect sense for him to use the excuse of being unable to pardon an obvious American hero (even though he's lying about that) as an excuse for being unable to pardon Hillary either.

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    • icon
      timmaguire42 (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:29am

      Re: Hillary

      That was the first thing I thought of. While it was vital that Hillary not become president in the face of her crimes, for the good of the nation, she should now be pardoned. Fortunately, Obama is used to geting away with dishonesty and has no problem arguing out of both sides of his mouth.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:11pm

        Re: Re: Hillary

        How is it good for the nation that Hillary be pardoned? She needs to be tried by a jury just like anyone else. No one is above the law.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hillary

          That's the problem. Bush's torturers, the GFC banksters, CIA drug money launderers etc should all be treated equally under law. But they are not. We are being asked to accept a fundamentally corrupt system of government that is becoming increasingly unsustainable. Don't listen to what they say. Look at what they do, and who is supporting them, and benefiting from their actions. And oppose them all. Don't be part of it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Hillary

          "No one is above the law."

          Except when they are.

          Surely you are not so naive that you think everyone is treated equally by the law.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:48pm

        Re: Re: Hillary

        You mean he is a paleskin with forked tongue?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:24am

      Re: Hillary

      I'll be waiting to see if the media has this sound bite ready when Obama moves to pardon Hillary.

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  • identicon
    bshock, 18 Nov 2016 @ 11:39pm

    The president can't pardon someone who hasn't been tried?

    Darn, I wish someone had told Gerald Ford that before he pardoned Tricky Dick Nixon.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:16am

    Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

    "...for him to say it's impossible to pardon someone who hasn't gone before the court is simply, factually, historically wrong."

    Slight correction: He is a liar, plain and simple.

    YOU HEAR THAT YOU TARBALL PIECE OF GARBAGE? YOU'RE A LYING ASS PIECE OF GODLESS FUCKTARDED SHIT, AND A HORRIBLE EXAMPLE TO THE MONKEY-ASSED CRETINS YOU CALL YOUR "CHILDREN".

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:45am

      Re: Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

      And here we have a classic case of forum manipulation in the wild. By starting off with perfectly reasonable statements, then devolving into racist vitriol, this poster seeks to associate reasonable responses with racism, thus both influencing the people reading his comment, and also allowing his comment to fuel the narrative of anti-democrat=racist.

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

      • icon
        Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re: Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

        I don't think he has the strength of character to be a compulsive liar. He merely parrots what he is told to say.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

        Some people are just racists. A forum conspiracy is not really required for them to show themselves.

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

    • icon
      xtian (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

      If you'd take off your white hood for a moment, you might notice, when caps lock is on.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:50pm

        Re: Re: Barack Obama is a compulsive liar...

        Your making an assumption that OP is not black - hence that makes you racist kiddo.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 3:04am

    "In a big interview with the German media outlet Spiegel, President Obama was asked about his interest in pardoning Ed Snowden in response to the big campaign to get him pardoned. Obama's response was that he could not, since Snowden has not been convicted yet:"

    And yet he will no doubt find a way to pardon Hillary Clinton even though SHE has been convicted of anything!

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  • identicon
    Jerry Leichter, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:05am

    Yes, I know the Internet is all about finding the worst in everything but ... from the article through the responses, everyone is ignoring the *obvious English interpretation* of what Obama said: "Legally, sure, I could pardon him. But I can't do it; I just can't bring myself to pardon someone who refuses to go through the legal process."

    Whether Obama would pardon him if he *did* present himself is a different question. Based on who he was and what he said *before* assuming office, I would have said yes. But the office clearly changed his views substantially; based on his record over the last 8 years, I'd say there's little chance - though you never know what people will do as their parting shot, as it were. (If I were Snowden, I wouldn't place much faith in that, though.)
    -- Jerry

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:23am

      Re:

      The *obvious English interpretation* of what Obama said is *what he said*, not what you're trying to apologetically twist it into.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:43am

      Re:

      Yes, I know the Internet is all about finding the worst in everything but ... from the article through the responses, everyone is ignoring the obvious English interpretation of what Obama said: "Legally, sure, I could pardon him. But I can't do it; I just can't bring myself to pardon someone who refuses to go through the legal process."

      That wouldn't actually change whether or not he's lying, it would just change how he's lying. There is no chance whatsoever at this point that he's unaware of the fact that the law that Snowden would be charged with(The Espionage Act) does not allow motive as a defense. So when he or anyone else claims that Snowden should just come to the US where he(Snowden) can defend his actions and present his side in court they're either deliberately lying or extremely lacking in very important details by leaving off the fact that he could do no such thing.

      Snowden, should be ever be suicidal enough to ever come back to the US would not 'go through the legal process', he would be railroaded into a pre-determined guilty verdict, if he wasn't simply shot by some of the more fanatical of those that he's angered(and less you think that's hyperbole a few years back TD had an article where an anonymous government official essentially and on the record fantasied about killing Snowden if they could, and as the previous article made clear that person was/is hardly the only person in the 'Snowden deserves nothing less than death'-club).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2016 @ 8:04am

      Re:

      "Legal process" is a code-word for "Guantanamo".

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:24am

    Positive Aspects of Obama's Legacy

    First black President. That's all folks.

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    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:13pm

      Re: Positive Aspects of Obama's Legacy

      There is no need to be racist to castigate Obama. He is a contender for the weakest, most insipid president ever.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re: Positive Aspects of Obama's Legacy

        Racist? You need to recalibrate your racism-sensor. President Obama's race is the POSITIVE aspect of his tenure in the White House. He proved that black men are no worse as Presidents than white ones. That's a valuable piece of information.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re: Positive Aspects of Obama's Legacy

        Perhaps a little research would be appropriate before commenting

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 5:00am

    More fake news stories!

    Obama: "I can't pardon Snowden before he's faced a court!"
    Archer: "Can't... or won't?"
    Obama: "Eh, whatever. Let's talk about the scourge of the media lying to the public. We don't know what to fight for."

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  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:26am

    It is difficult for a war criminal to pardon another war criminal.

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

  • icon
    roebling (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:44am

    Understandable

    It's completely understandable, given Pres. Obama's disdain for the Constitution, that he would not know about Article II, Section 2 of it.

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  • identicon
    NotAFan, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:14am

    Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

    Here's a take to better understand how he's not seen as a hero, whistleblower.

    Snowden has weakened the U.S. position around the world and strengthened the position and abilities of other state actors to continue doing what they've been doing, but they now know U.S methodology, agencies, contacts and the tools used.

    Snowden has compromised U.S. security, U.S. interests and helped drive a cultural wedge right down the middle of the country, creating distrust with government - firmly aligning with the interests of unfriendly state actors.

    Think about it for more than a microsecond from the perspective of any government agency or the people who work there at any level - repeat at any level - and you'll understand that Snowden can't be pardoned as he's done and continues to do irreparable harm by continuing to speak about U.S. policy from Russia soil.

    He didn't go to the Washington post and expose state secrets, he shared content with multiple other countries news agencies and who knows who else... He gave them all the cookies.

    Snowden also has behaved as though he's above the law and those of elected officials in the U.S.. He chose what secrets to steal, what secrets to reveal and with whom.

    He as an individual put himself above every employee of every government and acted as both judge and jury by stealing the data and disclosing what he stole.

    Snowden from the perspective of governments is not a hero, is not a whistleblower and could never be considered one. He chose to play all the parts and put himself above the law and due process. Something most U.S. citizens would never give up, that little due process thing.

    I could never see Snowden being pardoned or given due process, afterall he didn't give the U.S. due process when he shared what he stole.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:25am

      Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

      Snowden has compromised U.S. security, U.S. interests and helped drive a cultural wedge right down the middle of the country, creating distrust with government - firmly aligning with the interests of unfriendly state actors.

      Is that what LOVEINT was supposed to be?

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

      • icon
        Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

        Since your are so brave, why don't you give yourself a handle. That way we could differentiate between anonymous cowards.

        But then I guess some are terrified of being reminded of what they have said.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

          Um, dude, you're aware that the little colorful avatar for an AC is consistent to that AC, right? (At least within a thread, I'm not sure about site wide)

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

          wtf do you care?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 8:05am

      Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

      Snowden has weakened the U.S. position around the world and strengthened the position and abilities of other state actors to continue doing what they've been doing, but they now know U.S methodology, agencies, contacts and the tools used.

      Snowden has compromised U.S. security, U.S. interests and helped drive a cultural wedge right down the middle of the country, creating distrust with government - firmly aligning with the interests of unfriendly state actors.

      Both of which fall under the "It's not my fault for doing it, it's your fault for catching me" category. If the USG finds it a little more difficult to get away with the same actions after having their dirty laundry aired for the public to see that strikes me as the USG's fault, not Snowden's.

      Similarly if after exposing the USG's practice of indiscriminate domestic surveilance the public doesn't trust the government as much as the government would like, that's also the government's fault, rather than Snowden's, as all they had to do was not spy on the US public and then not lie, lie, and lie again when they got caught.

      (As a side note, given how easy it was for Snowden to simply walk out with who knows how many documents, the idea that government agencies didn't already know is just a wee bit unlikely, meaning the only people who likely learned something new were the politicians not in the know and the public.)

      Snowden also has behaved as though he's above the law and those of elected officials in the U.S.. He chose what secrets to steal, what secrets to reveal and with whom.

      I certainly hope this line isn't a thinly veiled 'He should have gone through the 'proper channels' rather than going over the heads of those above him', given a) the 'proper channels' are traps meant to catch the well meaning but naive, and b) the handful that did know what was happening were generally in favor of the programs that were exposed, making going to them extremely counter-productive.

      Snowden can't be pardoned as he's done and continues to do irreparable harm by continuing to speak about U.S. policy from Russia soil.

      If someone in another country talking about what the USG is doing constitutes 'irreparable harm' then the USG is a pathetic joke with or without that person speaking.

      I could never see Snowden being pardoned or given due process, afterall he didn't give the U.S. due process when he shared what he stole.

      And like that you completely and utterly lose any high ground you might have thought you had. 'He didn't pay attention to the rules(we wrote) so why should we?' is the same kind of mindset displayed by those that think that criminals don't have rights, or that violating them isn't a big deal. At that point the 'rules' and/or ideas like that pesky 'due process' bit lose any legitimacy or respect due, and turn into simply weapons to be used or withheld depending on who's on the receiving end.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

        > Similarly if after exposing the USG's practice of indiscriminate domestic surveilance the public doesn't trust the government as much as the government would like, that's also the government's fault, rather than Snowden's, as all they had to do was not spy on the US public and then not lie, lie, and lie again when they got caught.

        This...if the USG had just followed the Constitution, more people would be in the anti-Snowden camp, assuming he would have even had anything to steal and reveal in the first place. Instead, the USG got caught using secret law interpretations and secret courts to trample all over the intent of the 4th Amendment and spy on it's own citizens. That's not even considering how the parallel construction doctrine could be combined with this surveillance to effectively prevent any citizen facing their accuser (which also happens to be another fundamental right in our legal system).

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    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:45am

      Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

      Criminals never give their victims due process.

      But the legal system gives it to the accused anyway. That's the difference between a criminal and legitimate government.

      I can see which side you're on.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

        "Criminals never give their victims due process. "

        Yup, this is seen daily in the news.
        - Stop n' Frisk
        - Asset Forfeiture
        - Murder of Innocent People
        - Crashing the World Economy
        - Defrauding the American Public
        - list goes on and on ...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:04am

      Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

      You are an extensively ignorant and worthless Citizen.

      Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

      The US Government's #1 job is to protect our Liberty. The government was completely busy doing the exact opposite of that, and Snowden exposed it. This makes Snowden an absolute patriot and I would still have applauded his efforts if he had to step over dead bodies to do it!

      Liberty is far to sacred to sacrifice it at the Altar of Political Expediency, State Secrets, or National Security.

      YOU, whomever you are, have fallen victim to the perpetual stupid that pervades the vast majority of Americans and its now defunct and corrupt institutions.

      "In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

      Nothing new is under the sun and the US government knows that you are ignorant of history and they take advantage of your cowardice and offer words of protection to subdue your fears. You let the very people that would end you, for nothing more than convenience if it suited them, right in your front door!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 4:36am

      Re: Perspective: Not everyone thinks Snowden is a hero

      "stole"

      cant steal digital things. make copies sure. steal no. YOU WOULDN'T DOWNLOAD A CAR.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 8:09am

    Of course he won't

    Snowden made him look bad, the end.

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  • icon
    Shel10 (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:16am

    If he can't pardon Snowden, he can't pardon Hillary!

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  • icon
    dallia4414 (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:22am

    President Obama's Insistence That He Cannot Pardon Snowden

    When President Obama insists that he "can't pardon Snowden, he is not necessarily lying. The verb, "can," indicates that one "has the ability" while the negative modifier, "not," (in "can't" = "cannot") indicates that that ability is blocked, or negated. While you read into his statement that the blocking agent is the Constitution, such is not necessarily the caseload. Any number of other factors could be the prohibitive agent (for example, conscience, possible ramifications, precedents, etc.) Based on his further explanation that 1) Snowden's action--in itself--was a violation of the confidential nature of his position with the CIA; 2) Snowden stole classified documents, which he shared with several journalists, who published the; and 3)Snowden fled to avoid prosecution. Based on this information, I suspect that the prohibitive factor Obama's "can't" is his own good conscience. While the result of Snowden's betrayal of his position and of his country was his purported loyalty to--and respect for his countrymen as a whole, Obama is expressing that the end does not justify the means. His concern is that, if he were to reward Snowden with a pardon, then, he would not only be sending the message that other individuals can act according to their individual wills, no matter what the law says. He would also be setting a bad precedent for pardoning other citizens who make such decisions. The United States is a country of laws. If individuals (in this case,willfully)
    break those laws, then, they should expect to be punished. That he did a bad thing for a good reason is a defense that remains to be adjudicated.

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    • icon
      Eponymous Coward (profile), 21 Nov 2016 @ 7:22am

      Re: President Obama's Insistence That He Cannot Pardon Snowden

      No. You're arguing the difference between can and will/may. If my second grade teacher taught me anything, it is that I CAN go to the bathroom at any time, but the times when I MAY go to the bathroom are a subset of the larger CAN set.

      Pres. Obama most certainly CAN, but it's obvious that he will/may not. That's a conscious choice, and it's a pretty poor semantic dodge.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:27am

    Always willing to lie

    Good old Obama. Hey hillary, are you starting to realize when even those like me who didnt want to vote trump, ended up voting for him? I was tired of just how much of a bald faced liar you and your buddy are.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:57am

      Re: Always willing to lie

      Trump lies too, and he's even worse at it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re: Always willing to lie

        I don't think he lies as much, he's just wrong a lot.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Always willing to lie

          When it comes to politics, never assume that they are just stupid, ignorant, or wrong. These guys have teams of advisors helping them with facts about things so there is a much higher chance of them knowingly lying than there is of them just being mistaken or ignorant.

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        • icon
          Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Always willing to lie

          "Truth" comes out of Trumps belly like gas. An eruption signifying nothing but an desired increase in heat in the room. The only problem for the true observer, is quantifying the nature of the explosion. Is it random, or rather chaotic?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 10:25am

    Barack Obama had 3 years to pardon Edward Snowden.

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

  • icon
    Shel10 (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:30am

    For all those calling me a nasty person.... Understand that I was calling out Obama saying that he could not offer a pardon to Snowden. Obviously, Obama is an esteemed professor of our Constitution, who has never read the document. And, based on his performance over the past 8 years has totally ignored the document.

    With regard to Snowden. If he was doing this because he is a patriot, he should come home and defend his actions. During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsburg released classified material, and stayed to defend his actions. He stood trial for his crimes - which carried a sentence of 115 years in prison - the charges were ultimately dismissed.

    I'm no fan of Snowden.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 8:53pm

      Re:

      With regard to Snowden. If he was doing this because he is a patriot, he should come home and defend his actions.

      Once again, with feeling:

      The law that Snowden would be charged under DOES NOT ALLOW MOTIVE AS A DEFENSE.

      Snowden would be legally prohibited from 'defending his actions' in court, it would be entirely based upon 'did he release classified documents or didn't he', and since he himself has admitted that he did the 'trial' would be over before it began.

      If he came back to the US he'd be given a 'trial' and then thrown into a hole, likely given the Manning treatment 'for his protection', at which point he could no longer say squat in his defense. People really need to stop acting like 'defending his actions' requires Snowden to show (literally) suicidal level stupidity.

      He's already in exile for the rest of his life, stop demanding that he turn himself into a martyr just so the USG can have fun demonstrating (again) what they do to people who make them look bad.

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      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:50pm

        Re: Re:

        With regard to Snowden. If he was doing this because he is a patriot, he should come home and defend his actions. During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsburg released classified material, and stayed to defend his actions. He stood trial for his crimes - which carried a sentence of 115 years in prison - the charges were ultimately dismissed.

        Someone else already pointed out that the Espionage Act doesn't allow Snowden to defend his actions. You bring up Ellsberg -- you should know that he attempted a whistleblower defense and the DOJ objected, and the court agreed, refusing to allow Ellsberg to even mention his reasons.

        The dismissal of his case was NOT because he was able to defend his reasons. It was because the government then illegally spied on him and broke into his psychiatrist's office to look at Ellsberg's medical records. The case was dismissed because of gross misconduct by the US government in bringing the case, not because of Ellsberg's defense

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 12:12pm

    Where does Mike Masnick come up with his bullshit ideas? Obama is quite correct. Nobody can be pardoned until he or she has been tried and convicted of a crime. Since Edward Snowden has never been prosecuted, he can't be pardoned of a crime that he hasn't been convicted of yet.

    It's like pardoning someone for capital punishment when they haven't even even convicted of a capital offense. You actually have to be convicted of a crime before the governor or the president pardons you for that crime.

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

    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:23pm

      Re:

      Perhaps no one should be pardoned until they have been tried, convicted, served a meaningful length of their sentence, and show true remorse. I don't recall Nixon doing any of those things.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 7:19pm

      Re:

      This is incorrect. See Ford's pardon of Nixon for an example of you being incorrect.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Nov 2016 @ 1:50pm

    David, you need to screw your hand on straight. If I have never been convicted of a crime, it stands to reason that I cannot be pardoned for a crime I have not been convicted on. Requesting that I be pardoned for a crime I haven't been convicted of is ridiculous on its face.

    Snowden simply cannot be pardoned for a crime that he hasn't been convicted of. Fact is, Snowden committed acts of treason against the United States and even if he had good reasons for doing what he did, he did steal government documents and rather than face the charges in a court of law, he absconded to Russia, seeking asylum.

    Snowden is a coward, he isn't a fucking hero. I applaud him for revealing those documents but not in the way he did it.

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

    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 2:24pm

      Re:

      So where is your handle oh great heroic one?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:06pm

      Re:

      Requesting that I be pardoned for a crime I haven't been convicted of is ridiculous on its face.\

      In which case some dude named Gerald Ford, I think he was the president of some country called The United States of America is a ridiculous person, because he did exactly that to some other schmuck called Richard Nixon, despite the latter not being convicted.

      Object on other grounds if you want but the idea that the president cannot pardon someone who hasn't been convicted is demonstrably wrong.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:44pm

      Re:

      David, you need to screw your hand on straight. If I have never been convicted of a crime, it stands to reason that I cannot be pardoned for a crime I have not been convicted on. Requesting that I be pardoned for a crime I haven't been convicted of is ridiculous on its face.

      I see you did not even read the article, huh? In it, I note that yes, you can be pardoned pre-conviction. The Supreme Court has said so. Lots of people are pointing to Ford's Nixon pardon as well. But in the article above I also note that Obama himself pardoned some people earlier this year who had not been convicted yet.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      Reading your comment, not unlike others, I'd say you have already convicted him.

      "Fact is, Snowden committed acts of treason... he did steal government documents..."

      If those are the facts, why can't he be pardoned?

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      • identicon
        David, 20 Nov 2016 @ 6:10am

        Re: Re:

        Because Snowden did it for helping the American People defend themselves against the crimes of their own government.

        If, say, stole them in order to self-aggrandize before his press mistress, he'd have gotten a Petraeus treatment, amounting to a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.

        Basically not even a pardon, meaning that he does not need to feel like he owes anybody anything.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 3:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          LOL. Crimes of the government.

          Yeah, sorry tinfoil hat nutter... there were no crimes except for the crime that the traitor Snowden committed.

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

          • icon
            Groaker (profile), 20 Nov 2016 @ 6:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I fee sorry for you. Your perceptions are so unalterably mono-thematic that your internal existence can no broader than Angrstom units. It appears to be incapable of enrichment of any sort lest it shred into its component pieces.

            Hillary is dusgusting. Trump is disgusting. Your existence just teetered on the edge of a knifeblade to see which way you would fall.

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

  • identicon
    OldGuy, 19 Nov 2016 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    Pleased to see some responses questioning Snowden's intent, depth of classified information theft and distribution.

    I simply don't understand how anyone believes anything he says.

    We'd expect journalists to verify, to support their statements before we should believe them, but this cult of Snowden takes everything he says as fact, while still using Google, owning a smart phone and communicating on online sites - weren't those all things he said were compromised?

    Seems like belief in the guy fits a narrative, the question is who is behind the narrative, Russia where he currently resides?

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

    • identicon
      David, 20 Nov 2016 @ 3:05am

      Re: Re:

      I simply don't understand how anyone believes anything [Snowden] says.

      Could it be that thing that everything he said verified just fine time and again while the government and NSA had to change their stories on a monthly basis at least?

      I find it much more convenient to believe people whose truths aren't constantly running around the next corner and force me to chase them. You just have to keep track of a single story that way.

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

  • icon
    Shel10 (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:01pm

    There are no Journalists, only people who want to become a TV star! They are - effectively - "re tweeters"!

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

  • icon
    rawcookie (profile), 19 Nov 2016 @ 4:10pm

    Whistleblower Man

    There's a man who saw that there was danger
    To those for whom he worked truth was a stranger
    With every secret that he takes another rule he breaks
    Odds are he won't have that job tomorrow

    Whistleblower man, whistleblower man
    They've taken 'way your number and given you a name

    Beware of the places that you hide
    There is no place to hide they can't find
    After what you had to say, you had to run away
    Odds are you might be in jail tomorrow

    Whistleblower man, whistleblower man
    They've taken 'way your number and given you a name

    Hangin in the Moscow airport one day
    Then Putin gives to you asylum next day
    You gave the wrong man lip, while giving him the slip
    Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

    Whistleblower man, whistleblower man
    They've taken 'way your number and given you a name

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Daniel, 19 Nov 2016 @ 6:51pm

    Fuck you!

    Mike, FUCK YOU! You glib, smug little asshole. Why don't you go fuck yourself. Piece of shit.

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

  • identicon
    Joseph Breen, 19 Nov 2016 @ 9:36pm

    Actually, Obama isn't lying...

    Obama is only a liar if you ignore the established protocol for pardoning federal offenses. Obama was asked about this same issue back in August at a news conference, and he explained his position then. In order to be considered for a Presidential pardon, a person must apply for a padon with the Office of the Pardon Attorney. There is an established process for this that takes some time, but the first step is simply to ask for a pardon, which Snowden has not done.

    Further, Obama has pledged not to use his pardoning powers in the last days of his term -- and with good reason. If you look at our last three Presidents, each of them has arguably abused their pardoning powers in the last days of their presidency, often to protect their close friends or associates who had committed crimes of various sorts.

    I mean, its easy for a bunch of armchair politicians like yourselves to sit back and levy judgement on President Obama for not pardoning Snowden, but you can be sure he's not going to pardon Hillary Clinton either. If you ask me, his not pardoning these people when he so easily could is what shows real strength of character. Rather than bowing to the will of a virulent mass of racists and fools like the rest of this comments section.

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

  • identicon
    Jean Harrison, 19 Nov 2016 @ 11:33pm

    Pardoning Snowden

    Well that means he cannot pardon Hillary, right? She's not been convicted of anything. Somehow I suspect that Obama will change the rules again though.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 4:50am

    betrayed his country, huh? which country? there are two of them.

    one is the nation of the people and the very, very different other is the government. they used to be pretty close to the same country, but they aren't and haven't been for a very long time now. to snowden's unbelievable credit, he chose to stand for the nation of the people, whether we deserve it or not.

    hey, you self-called patriots, look at that man. our forefathers were made of his stuff, not obama's. we just saw what the nation of the people think of obama's stuff. he's the biggest disappointment of a whole era of disappointment.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 7:40am

    I think the two best things about the Snowden thing, so far, are

    1. He tried to do the right thing, and succeeded.
    2. He tried to stay free, and succeeded.

    What an awesome example.

    And this is precisely why the criminals in control of US government hate him so much. They are scared shitless of how obvious it is that he did the right thing, and they are powerless to punish him.

    As far as a presidential pardon goes, wouldn't that kind of be like the Ghost of Richard Nixon appearing before Mark Felt in 2005 and pardoning him for "ratting him out to those bums at the Washington Post"?

    Seriously, though. Pardons are weird. What is it about lame duck US Presidents that gives them Papal authority?

    But if we're going to go there, what I really want to see is Chelsea Manning trade places with Dick Cheney. Can Obama make that one happen?

    And no, I don't mean Manning needs to get tricked out with all that artificial heart stuff. Not what I mean.

    (Also, no. There's no need to surgically install a vagina on Dick Cheney. The world does not need more than one Hillary Clinton.)

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

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:15am

    balance privacy and security.

    And as long as we're at it:

    > we do have to balance this issue of privacy and security.

    is of course also BOGUS, because privacy is actually fundamental to security, and you can't "balance" security against its own foundation. Every move that shrinks privacy will also diminish security.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 12:38pm

      Re: balance privacy and security.

      Every move that shrinks privacy will also diminish security.

      Any skeptics wishing to test the truth of this should try being homeless for a while. The correlation will make itself abundantly clear.

      Any US citizen who buys the US government's self-serving line that it needs you to give up freedom/privacy/what-have-you for security should ask themself why so many Americans are homeless despite the apparent overabundance of "security" fanatics making decisions.

      Whatever it is these creeps mean, when they profess to place such value on "security", one thing is certain: it is not the security of the American people.

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

  • identicon
    jaimie erdhals teeth, 20 Nov 2016 @ 1:54pm

    Holy shit, jesus, you people til the end of fucking time

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 20 Nov 2016 @ 2:29pm

    Just what did Snowden do?

    We know that Snowden is reputed to have committed espionage. Since it is under seal, who knows what really happened? People are taking sides on an issue they know nothing about. Merely wild claims.

    Wouldn't be the first time that the government has knowingly violated its own laws in selecting a victim for harassment, destruction of career, false imprisonment, and assistance in committing "suicide."

    Or have you all forgotten wars for personal gain, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and innumerable other instances?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 3:21pm

    Wtf should he pardon a criminal traitor like Snowden? If Snowden is mad, maybe he shouldn't have fled to China and Russia and become Putin's little monkey.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 3:41pm

    That is funny stuff

    And to think, just a day or two ago you wrote an article hoping Obama would limit the powers of the NSA in his last 2 months of a 96 month term. Turns out he is just as bad of a liar as Hillary. Soon as he tells the lie it is debunked.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 5:21pm

    The multiple IP address trolls are out in force today, it seems.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 6:07pm

    the public has learned a lot since the most recent re-election.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2016 @ 4:19am

    President Obama still has time to

    arrange for the deaths of the President Elect and Vice-President Elect, he still has time to arrange for an emergency to dictate that he continues in office and ensure that he is the last president of the usa.

    After that date in January it will be too late for him.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2016 @ 7:32am

    Obama can't pardon him, but not why he says.

    Most likely, President Obama can't pardon Snowden because the Deep State has something on him, and would use what it has for revenge if he did.

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

  • identicon
    Tony Vuksanaj, 25 Nov 2016 @ 6:27am

    Snowden, pardon

    You people have not learned anything in this election! The Democratic party is the party of Government and secrets. They are not the working man's party, they are racist they are elitist, they are outright lying to you! So the Idea of expecting a handout for a vote fits their narrative perfectly!

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 25 Nov 2016 @ 5:30pm

    re Snowden, pardon

    And you really believe that elitism, prevarication and secrets are the within the unique purvey of the Democrats. I can't decide whether you are funny or sad. That either party gives a damn about your or your existence is just so amusing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2016 @ 2:38am

    Has ed Snowden been indicted ?

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


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