The Edward Snowden case has been fascinating from the start. It has spy stuff, a man on the run, embarrassing government secrets, international gamesmanship, a model girlfriend, legal maneuvering. Wow.

But you haven't seen anything yet. Snowden isn't running and he isn't hiding; he's waiting. And he's reportedly negotiating the terms of his return through his dad. When he's ready, and it's safe, he'll come after the U.S. government in a public trial. He's the real deal. And he's on your side, even if it doesn't feel that way.

Is he a traitor? Yes, absolutely. But so were Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jefferson, to name a few. If you think being a traitor is always bad, no matter the circumstances or motives, you're officially too dumb to vote.

I'm wondering how you find a jury that would convict Snowden. On the first day of the trial his lawyer will explain to all twelve jurors how the government spied on them personally. Every potential juror is also a victim. Good luck getting the victims to side with the perpetrator, which in this case is the government.

I think there's some sort of law that says I can't make a public statement in favor of jury nullification. Jury nullification is when jurors agree that the accused broke the law, but they feel the law itself is wrong, or that a conviction would be overkill, so they find the accused innocent. I predict that will happen. I don't recommend jury nullification because I'm not sure I have freedom of speech in this regard. I simply predict that nullification will happen.

My personal view is that if the government had asked citizens for permission to collect all communications in the country, or had stated its intentions without asking for permission, I'd be okay with it. It seems like a great tool for combatting domestic terrorism, and I don't think the government cares about my browser history.

But the government didn't ask my opinion before it collected my personal communications data. I can't give a free pass for that. And I am available for jury duty.


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Jun 28, 2013
I'm not convinced Snowden is a traitor. This is based more on personal belief than law. I would hope the law would agree with me, but it would not surprise me to find out that it doesn't.

Snowden is accused of giving classified documents to people who didn't have proper clearance. I believe that may not be entirely accurate. Specifically, I believe that if a document shows that the US government is doing something illegal, that document cannot be classified by the government (i.e. any attempt to classify the document can be considered null and void).

I've noticed that when republicans talk about what the Obama administration is doing, they use terms like "overreach" or "went beyond" the Patriot Act (both said by Jim Sensenbrenner, Patriot Act author), but they don't actually say that what is being done is illegal. I can think of two obvious reasons for this:

1. They want the same abilities once their party is in the white house.
2. They want Snowden convicted, and saying that the government did something illegal hurts the chances of that happening.

I'd bet that both reasons are true to some degree.
Jun 28, 2013

It's already proven that NSA uses private info as a Predator weapon on U.S. officials. Elliott Spitzer and Anthony Weiner were both hacked as an example also Rep. Duke Cunningham of the Armed Forces Committee was another victim, he was just paroled after 8 yrs in prison.

Former CIA chief General Petraeus, a phony sextortion scandal was at the recent secretive Bilderberg conference with the other Masters of the Universe.
Countless officials are presently being sextorted in private by NSA, CIA, FBI, PIMPS. DC madam Palfrey and madam Brandi Britton in Baltimore were both CIA/military-sextortion escort services now both dead, also 2 more dead madams one from Alabama and one in China. My civil suit against NSA PIMPS:

https://sites.google.com/site/CIAPIMPS/nsa: !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!
Jun 28, 2013
"I'm wondering how you find a jury that would convict Snowden."

The obvious answer: It never comes to that because, as soon as the feds get their hands on him, he's designated an "enemy combatant" and hauled off to Gitmo to rot.
+20 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 28, 2013
The fact that you feel the need to say : " I don't recommend jury nullification because I'm not sure I have freedom of speech in this regard." says a lot about where we are in this country concerning our basic rights.

Also, it should be noted that the Espionage Act of 1917 (and related Sedition Act) , which the government is using against Snowden was enacted to squelch dissent concerning the US getting into WW I. People were charged just for being against a proposed army draft.

As today, "war" was used an an excuse to violate even our right to free speech.
Jun 28, 2013
This assumes that he'll even get a trial by jury.

I mean, it'd be in his best interests to get one, but will the US government allow a public tribunal?
Jun 28, 2013
Edward Snowden is a hero.

If you listen to the news, you hear that the government is after him for espionage, which in the common parlance means he is given national secrets away to enemies of our country and putting us in danger. What did he really do? He didn't give away any secret data. He just revealed that the government is collecting data on us from the private sector that most of us presumed was not being shared because it is of no interest to anybody unless a judge has issued a warrant.

So think this through. Our government is spying on its citizens. Snowden revealed this program to the citizens. Snowden is accused of revealing secrets to enemies of our government. I'm only being half facetious here, who does that mean the government considers its enemies? The citizens! Us!

In related news, a Rasmussen Reports poll tells us that 26% of Obama Supporters View the Tea Party as the nation’s top terrorism threat. "[A]mong those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims. " Who do you think is encouraging these people to think this way? Don't forget the Dept of Homeland Security's report claiming right-wing extremism as a potential threat, or what the IRS has been up to.

It's pretty clear that Washington DC under the current leadership (Democrats in general or Obama specifically, you pick) is directing more worry and effort toward their domestic political opponents than towards foreign threats with actual histories of violence.
Jun 28, 2013
I think this case will be a watershed case in US law and privacy. If a jury convicts Snowden, the government has the mandate to do as much state-sanctioned snooping as it wants without much fear of reprisal. If Snowden is exonerated, however, where does that leave the government? Is it then open season on government secrets? There's going to be a lot of pressure to find a middle ground - I think Snowden will get a relatively light punishment (considering it's treason) but heavy enough that others won't want to go through the same thing.
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 28, 2013
Check out Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895), where the Supreme Court held that federal judges were not required to inform jurors of the ability of jury nullification. Can't find anything that says you (as a citizen) are not allowed to promote this.
-8 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 28, 2013
"my personal communications data"

Your personal communications data that you're sending most often unencrypted over the public internet that the government, with the help of Al Gore of course, helped to create and fund. That's cute. That's like telling your kids not to eavesdrop on Mommy and Daddy's argument as you're yelling at each other from one room over.

Am I happy about what the NSA is doing? Not really; but I understand why. Would I be mad if a couple of terrorists planned out a 9/11 type attack using gmail and the NSA had no idea about it? You betcha, and I would guess you would too.

[I can't tell who you're arguing with here. -- Scott]
Jun 28, 2013
Strange post coming from someone who beleives the government should be allowed to get all the information it wants about us.

[I don't think I ever said "should be allowed." I've simply predicted that a complete end to privacy is coming (eventually) and it will create more freedom than it destroys. -- Scott]
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