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Snowden Seeks International Help Against US Espionage Charges 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-you-gonna-call?! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Edward Snowden is calling for international help to persuade the U.S. to drop its espionage charges against him. Snowden said he would like to testify before the U.S. Congress about National Security Agency surveillance and may be willing to help German officials investigate alleged U.S. spying in Germany. Snowden is quoted as saying that the U.S. government 'continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense.' He continues, 'I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior.'"
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Snowden Seeks International Help Against US Espionage Charges

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  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday November 01, 2013 @06:46PM (#45306297)

    He continues, 'I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior."

    Has he even read the stuff he leaked?

    • Maybe he should go work for the UN. They've been trying to get the US government to abandon various forms of harmful behavior for a while.

      This has worked out with the US ignoring the UN/working around them whenever enough member states disagree with them, and going through the UN when it is politically expedient and success is likely.

      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @02:21AM (#45309323)

        "Maybe he should go work for the UN. They've been trying to get the US government to abandon various forms of harmful behavior for a while. "

        The UN only wants to trade what it sees as bad U.S. behavior by its own brand of bad behavior.

        Remember that not all members of the U.N. are equal. It was created that way.

        While I deplore the actions of my government, and wish it would stop the foolish and damaging things it has been doing, I have reservations because (A) I don't think it will happen unless someone convinces Obama that he's not a king, and (B) I would be happy -- ecstatic even -- if the UN disappeared tomorrow.

    • He continues, 'I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior."

      Has he even read the stuff he leaked?

      Check with the Russian help desk [go.com] for an interview.

    • by deathcloset (626704) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:16PM (#45306635) Journal

      He continues, 'I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior."

      Has he even read the stuff he leaked?

      Probably. And he lived in the country from which he leaked it. I think his attitude is actually quite heartening. I wonder if, like me, when he thinks of the United States he thinks not only of the abstract bureaucratic entity and its questionable activities, but that he thinks of the actual people that entity consists of and is made by. You know; his friends, family, neighbors, shopkeepers, etc. He probably thinks that most people would drop these charges and move on, and he may be right. But entities, yes, they don't drop charges. I'm not trying to oppose your point, but I think his optimism is reasonably warranted.

      If your tire gets a leak, you shouldn't waste time or energy on punishing the nail - you should fix the tire and drive more carefully and maybe avoid that road you had just gone down.

      The analogy can go further, but that's as far down that road as I'm prepared to go.

      • by xevioso (598654) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:50PM (#45306971)

        The problem is that there are a significant amount of people in the U.S> who believe that some of the things Snowden leaked are harmful to the US.
        For example, he leaked that the U.S> was spying on specific Chinese Universities, to determine how they were hacking into our military and industrial computers. Now those universities know how to be more careful. It is unlikely they will stop trying to hack into us.

        The problem Snowden has is that even if he "started a conversation" about U.S. intelligence, he still leaked a number of things that could easily be found to be harmful to the U.S. Even if 98% of the things he leaked were good things for the world to know, he will ALWAYS be at risk of being charged for the 2% of the things he leaked that are genuinely bad for the world to know.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm always told "If I have nothing to hide...."

          So can I just tell the police that the things I do are considered "Personal Security" and if they discover any illegal thing I'm doing, I can just tell them that they are traitors and have leaked harmful material regarding my Personal Security.

          It's me breaking the law that is wrong.... It's the police finding out!

          Gotta put more laws in place to make it wrong for them to find out about all these illegal things I do.... Yeah, that's it!

      • So most Americans like him. Most Americans liked Bradley Manning.

        Snowden's got a huge problem in that he was trusted by the government with data, and he abused that trust. Some of that can be justified by saying he wanted to expose mass data collection. But that's not all he exposed. He also exposed spy operations on quite a few countries. If the US Government lets him get away with that then they risk all kinds of other operations coming to light.

        For example it would be pretty much impossible for us to mai

    • He is pitting the outrage against itself. You can't support and condone spying without implicitly approving these programs. So either they are voicing faux outrage, or they have to consider him a whistle-blower worthy of at least protection.

      I expect more quotes like this, building from subtle trolling to using actual quotes either in support of his case or against the programs in question.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Friday November 01, 2013 @06:48PM (#45306323)
    Because you have to be 35 to be elected president in the United States.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xicor (2738029)
      he wouldnt get elected anyway. the us government has done too good a job of brainwashing ppl into thinking hes a terrorist, just like they do anonymous. if you ask the joe shmoe across the street about either of them, they will tell you 9/10 that they are terrorists.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054)

      But a Nobel Peace Prize nomination would probably embarrass the next president into pardoning him.
      (or if something other than a democrat is elected), a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

      With everyone in the NSA suddenly swearing on stacks of bibles that they never told Obama didly-squat
      you can almost see how this is being set up to plays out.

      Still, you have to wonder if he doesn't wake up dead some day of a .22 caliber aneurysm.

    • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:17PM (#45306651) Journal

      Yeah, because THAT'S what's keeping him from being elected. It's not that a good percentage of the country has bought into the line that he's a communist traitor who has put American lives at risk, handed over secret documents to the "enemy", and was acting out of a desire to harm the United States. None of those things are true, mind, but that's not stopping people from demanding we send SEAL Team 6 into Russia.

      The anger directed toward this man was so quick to start, so widespread, and so homogenous in tone and intent that it makes me suspect an NSA influence operation using internet sockpuppet accounts, and the already completely dominated mainstream cable channels (I won't use the word "news" to describe what they are). We actually know the government does this, we even knew before the Snowden documents, so it's not that much of a stretch in my mind. But on the other hand, I know quite a few living, breathing, people who really are that intellectually retarded. They're vociferously and sincerely calling for blood. He wouldn't live to see his name on the ballot if he comes back here. Our government has spoken: he's a traitor aiding foreign powers. We kill people for that.

      • by wjcofkc (964165) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:31PM (#45306785)
        The anger toward this man was quick to start from the government, but I have yet to meet a citizen that considers him a traitor. I know a diverse group - many and varied from so many sides of the fence it requires theoretical ultra-dimensional geometry to describe. From right to left, from city dweller to country bumpkin, all I see is a government forcing thoughts and false beliefs on the people through the news, claiming to speak for these people while the majority of them themselves will tell me otherwise. The news is not here to inform you of reality, it exists to teach you that another, fabricated and agenda ridden one exists. Don't believe it. Talk to the people yourself.
        • I have yet to meet a citizen that considers him a traitor

          Well, he does not seem to be guilty of treason in a legal sense; he did betray a special trust invested in him (by the government in this case) and is therefore a traitor in the colloquial sense.

          Snowden did commit a crime and should be punished.

          That said, your comments on the media manufacturing public opinion (or at least, distorting the percentage of people who agree with specific positions) are right on.

        • Keep in mind three things:

          1) People hate political arguments. Many times I have thought someone was a moron, but not said anything because the argument would have been a waste of time.

          2) Most people have lives. This means they don't follow the issues closely, which means they don't have a strong opinion. Your well-thought-out support for Snowden sounds well-thought-out and grounded in American principles they go with it.

          3) The only groups that actually care are ineffective techno-libertarians (this is proba

    • by istartedi (132515)

      He probably wouldn't win; but he might break the record set by Eugene V. Debs [wikipedia.org] for most votes cast for a prisoner (or in this case, person exiled due to charges) as POTUS. At least, I'm assuming it's a record. From Wikipedia:

      Debs ran for president in the 1920 election while in prison in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. He received 919,799,[39] write-in votes (3.4%),[40] slightly less than he had won in 1912, when he received 6%, the highest number of votes for a Socialist Party presid

    • Why do you assume that the Democratic and Republican parties would allow him to participate in their presidential election process?

      • by cffrost (885375)

        Why do you assume that the Democratic and Republican parties would allow him to participate in their presidential election process?

        We need to vote those crooks out, and keep 'em out. We already have better left and right parties to replace them: Green and Libertarian.

        I'm well aware that achieving that may be an insurmountable task, but it's what I'm after, regardless of how the deck is stacked, and I'm never going back.

  • Don't do it Edward (Score:5, Informative)

    by ISoldat53 (977164) on Friday November 01, 2013 @06:49PM (#45306327)
    Nobody in Congress is interested in protecting you. No intelligence service in the world is interested in helping you. As soon as you set foot in any country that has an extradition agreement with the US you are gone.
  • You go, girl! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday November 01, 2013 @06:50PM (#45306341) Homepage Journal
    Snowden should be commended for standing up to a government who has been 'caught with it's hand in the cookie jar', engaging in illegal and immoral espionage of its own people. This behavior is far more damaging to the United State's values and long term interests than anything Snowden could ever do.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again: Fuck you, NSA, you filthy traitors. The constitution isn't just rules for others to follow...
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Snowden is a hero but he is making a mistake to expect sane behavior by the US government. Frankly we owe him a debt of gratitude but I suggest that he stay beyond the reach of US law regardless of any offers or so called agreements.

  • Poor, poor Ed... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pla (258480)
    Don't you get it?

    They all do this shit, and you merely put them in the spotlight. The ones not yet caught have, of course, feigned indignation at the US, for doing what they all do. (Hmm, which ones have protested the loudest here?)

    Make no mistake, though, if the US has done worse than any of its peers, it has done so only through having more opportunity, not more will or effort.

    TLDR: They all want you dead for exposing the truth. Do you really think the "truth" you've exposed ends at the Canadian
    • by icebike (68054) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:25PM (#45306731)

      They all do this shit, and you merely put them in the spotlight. The ones not yet caught have, of course, feigned indignation at the US, for doing what they all do. (Hmm, which ones have protested the loudest here?)

      Make no mistake, though, if the US has done worse than any of its peers, it has done so only through having more opportunity, not more will or effort.

      So tired of people excusing our government's behavior just because others do it.
      Others include Pol Pot, Idi Amin, 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, and Joseph Stalin. (No point in invoking Godwin here).

      We keep telling ourselves we are better than that. We keep passing whistle blower protection laws.
      We pretend we have a constitution and that government is Of the People, By the People, For the People.

      Then invariably when government gets caught doing something its not supposed to, some useful idiot comes along and says don't worry about it, every other country does that.

      • by fufufang (2603203)

        You forgot the Stasi.

      • by pla (258480)
        So tired of people excusing our government's behavior just because others do it.

        And what exactly makes you think I meant that in any way apologist?

        Make no mistake, I fully damn my own government for its evils. I damn all governments for their assorted atrocities. And someday, I look forward to seeing them up against the wall.

        Today... Sadly, not that day.
      • I think doing the equivalent of a "grep" of the Internet for terrorist keywords is just a tad less severe than dictators each guilty of murdering millions of their own citizens.

        He's my lemma to Godwin's law: when you explicitly don't invoke it because you know your argument is so derpy that it fits, you still lose.

    • by Livius (318358)

      Make no mistake, though, if the US has done worse than any of its peers, it has done so only through having more opportunity, not more will or effort.

      The US has done worse. Why is of secondary importance.

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:00PM (#45306461)

    How bad was his first day of work at the tech-support line?

  • by neghvar1 (1705616) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:00PM (#45306467)
    If I were US president, I'd declare a presidential pardon on all charges. I believe what he did is in the best interest of our country. Not our government, but our country.
  • Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ralph Wiggam (22354)

    Does Snowden really think that what he did was "dissent"? Dissent is defined as expressing an opinion. The people who participated in Occupy Wall Street dissented. They're all walking around as free men and women.

    Snowden has been charged with giving classified information to a person without appropriate clearance and stealing government owned laptops. He did that stuff.

    Committing a crime for what you feel are justified reasons means that you go to jail with your head held high and with people cheering f

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjames (1099) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:32PM (#45306789) Homepage

      He reported a crime.

      The powers that be wrongly classified the information about the crime in order to cover it up.

      There is a long history in law of recognizing that even the best intentioned laws may sometimes be wrong and that breaking them may sometimes be justified. In that long history, such justified infractions are not to be considered crimes. This is where we get such things as justifiable homicide.

      I don't blame him one bit for running. He is not likely to receive justice here at this time.

      • The powers that be wrongly classified the information about the crime in order to cover it up.

        That is certainly a valid reason to release classified information. If a Federal judge agrees with that, then Snowden will walk free.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Friday November 01, 2013 @08:51PM (#45307505)
    People who complain about him taking refuge in a country with a more oppressive government are missing the point entirely; maybe even intentionally. For years the U.S. government has put itself on a pedestal and acted as if it holds the moral high ground when it comes to the rights of it's citizens. Edward Snowden shattered that by revealing how full of crap they were. Does Russia have a worse human rights record than the U.S.? Absolutely. Does that give the U.S. the right to crap all over the 4th amendment and become a surveillance state? Hell no. Edward Snowden didn't defect to Russia and announce to the world that they are better than the U.S., he simply ended up there because he had no other choice; and he obviously would like to be able to come home. Personally, I am ticked at our government not just for violating our constitutional rights and branding whistleblowers as traitors, but for embarassing all Americans on the world stage by making us look like a bunch of hypocrits.
    • Show me a government that isn't hypocritical about something and I'll show a fantasy land. The world is too damn complicated for anyone to not be a hypocrite.

      For example you are acting surprised that the government doesn't take a maximalist view of Fourth Amendment rights. This has been obvious to everyone else for years. It's very hard to not be searched by a cop when a cop wants to search you. He searches you, and if he finds nothing he fills out a form saying that you wouldn't look him in the eye (or tha

  • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @12:03AM (#45308781)

    May as well. The US has ceased to stand for anything good and it nothing more than a globalist enforcer. No meaningful number of Americans oppose that role.
    That's not to say anywhere else will fare much better under scrutiny, but now that the ideological battle of the Cold War is finished and Russia, China, and the US share the same freedom from idealism there is no reason for a bright fellow like Snowden to want out of Russia.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @04:28AM (#45309701)

    "I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient," Obama said in 2007, adding that "the FISA court works."

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/jun/13/barack-obama-surveillance-then-and-now/ [politifact.com]

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