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Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden 504

Posted by timothy
from the state-vs-man-for-real dept.
Ars Technica reports, probably to no one's surprise, that U.S. elected officials are unlikely to start seeing Edward Snowden as a righteous whistleblower rather than a traitor to the U.S. government. From the article:"[Sunday], the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and her House counterpart, Mike Rogers (R-MI), both emphasized there would be no mercy coming from Washington. 'He was trusted; he stripped our system; he had an opportunity—if what he was, was a whistle-blower—to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say I have some information,' Feinstein told CBS' Face The Nation. 'But that didn’t happen. He’s done this enormous disservice to our country, and I think the answer is no clemency.'"
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Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

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  • At which point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:04AM (#45323657)

    He'd be kept quiet one way or another.

    • clemency? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duckintheface (710137) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:34AM (#45323799)

      There is a lot more that Snowden has not released yet. He is wisely using the drip, drip, drip method of disclosure so the press and public have time to digest each successive piece of information. Before it's done, it will become clear that the House and Senate oversight committees were either derelict in their duties or complicit in illegal activities. They either knew or they didn't. Either way, eventually they will be the ones asking for clemency.

      • Re:clemency? (Score:5, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:06AM (#45323941) Homepage Journal

        Snowden says there's nothing more he hasn't released yet. He's released all the data to the media. Now he's just commenting on what they release.

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

          by duckintheface (710137) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:38AM (#45324065)

          That's what I would say too.... if I had a target on my back. If he has disclosed everything, there is no reason to take him out.

          • Re:clemency? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jalopezp (2622345) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:44AM (#45324533)
            What kind of logic is that? "He's already shot his wife, no reason to go after him." They'll go after him to satisfy their sense of justice, exact their revenge, and warn any other future whistle blowers of the consequences of their whistle blowing.
          • Re:clemency? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by bfandreas (603438) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:12AM (#45324847)

            That's what I would say too.... if I had a target on my back. If he has disclosed everything, there is no reason to take him out.

            Alan Rusbridger said they were still sifting through the data. Up to now nothing has been published that would put lives at risk. And they are very conscientious about how they publish. One would assume Snowden has handed over the whole lot. And he has promised Putin not to release any embarassing stuff while he is in Russia...

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

        by Noryungi (70322) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:17AM (#45323987) Homepage Journal

        Or, as the Brits used to say:

        Either they knew, and, therefore, they are not fit to oversee the NSA. Or they did not know, and, therefore, they are not fit to oversee the NSA.

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

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:54AM (#45324121)

          ' Feinstein told CBS' Face The Nation. 'But that didn’t happen. He’s done this enormous disservice to our country, and I think the answer is no clemency.'

          Translation: Mr Snowden embarrased me and all my no-a-count friends, so we are going to be a cunt about it.

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

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:00AM (#45324691)

            The parent is absolutely correct in the translation...
            The real issue here has to be the realization of who has done the damage and disservice (Feinstein is at the top of the list). Basically her response is that of the bankrobber who is angry and blaiming his friends for turning him in rather than himself for being caught with the cash. This is a crook not wanting to face her crime.
            As to Snowden, no argument can be rationally made that any benefit exists for the USA to continue this snit by Feinstein etc. Every day they leave him in Moscow they damage the USA greatly. The best and finest solution would be to bring Mr Snowden home completely free to do as he proposed and even to build a monument to him on the mall. Honestly those same politicians who built the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King on the mall were in many cases the ones who had opposed every effort to do decent things he asked for. I lived through those times I know! Let us hope that they don't wait until Mr Snowden is dead to build the monument he so richly deserves. He should be treated as a national hero!

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

              by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak@nosPAm.eircom.net> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:35PM (#45327389) Homepage Journal

              Basically her response is that of the bankrobber who is angry and blaiming his friends for turning him in rather than himself for being caught with the cash.

              The response of the entire administration has been the response of a spoiled, petulant teenager.

              In fact, this has been the response of the administration -- and the previous one -- to just about any development or obstancle they don't like.

              The US is no longer a nation of laws. It is a nation of men (and some women) who are impulsive, incompetent, largely juvenile, disrespectful of their offices, and contemptuous of both the public and the law. The Administration is being run by people with the mentality and motives of a cast of Saturday morning cartoon, or late Thursday night TV villains. Unfortunately these people have one common talent -- they are all connected to each other like threads in a rotten carpet.

              Not a nation of laws. A nation of men. And a particularly base and uninspiring kind of man at that. Central and South American countries have been run by such men for centuries. Run into the ground. The US, for all its power and potential, is now being run into the ground as well.

              The end result is probably something like Singapore. Ostensibly free, but scratch the surface and you quickly hit authoritarianism and an oligarchy of connected families and companies. The problem is, most of the US governing class would see little wrong with such an outcome.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          Or to use an Americanism, they're either assholes or morons.

      • by boorack (1345877) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:36AM (#45324055)
        In the meantime Feinstein is busy pushing a new bill through Congress. It will not only legitmize NSA spying on everyone but also impose even harsher penalties for anyone who dares speak out. Despite of majority of citizens now being clearly against it (despite of all bullshit and propaganda thrown at them by corporate media). I know it makes many Americans angry but I don't see much difference between civil liberties in US and China right now, the only one being that US regime is far superior in concealing itself behind "freedom and democracy" mirage.
        • by BlueStrat (756137) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:11AM (#45324217)

          I know it makes many Americans angry but I don't see much difference between civil liberties in US and China right now, the only one being that US regime is far superior in concealing itself behind "freedom and democracy" mirage.

          Not all that long ago, I would have been one of those angry and would have replied with a scathing rebuttal.

          These days? No anger. Not at you, certainly.

          I think what I feel would more closely track in nature with grief at loss. I don't believe that the US is totally lost. However, I believe it's government has been largely suborned from within.

          As I've written in other posts in the past, the metric is not the particular architecture of any system of government (aka force), ie communism, capitalism, fascism, socialism, left, right, etc etc. It is where, on the scale extending from anarchy to tyranny, that system is, Any form of government can become tyrannical, and history shows this is a general rule, when government becomes too powerful, controls too much of people's lives, and unduly limits individual choices.

          Strat

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

        by Zimluura (2543412) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:52AM (#45324113)

        ...eventually they will be the ones asking for clemency.

        I hope you're right, but I really worry that U.S. citizens are no longer up to the challenge of holding a politician's feet to the fire. Maybe it's our news networks colluding with politicians on damage control. Ayway, Nixon spied on another political party and it was somehow a bigger deal than the NSA spying on everyone.

        NSA = Gladys Kravitz

        • Re:clemency? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:09AM (#45324197)

          ...eventually they will be the ones asking for clemency.

          I hope you're right, but I really worry that U.S. citizens are no longer up to the challenge of holding a politician's feet to the fire. Maybe it's our news networks colluding with politicians on damage control. Ayway, Nixon spied on another political party and it was somehow a bigger deal than the NSA spying on everyone.

          NSA = Gladys Kravitz

          You're assuming that U.S. citizens have the power to hold a politician's feet to the fire. Personally, I think that's something we lost, no, gave away when we let our politicians "protect" us with things like the PATRIOT act. The U.S. is really a fascist state that now caters to corporations, who are the real constituency of the U.S. government. The rest of us amount to the same as red blood cells in the body. We carry nutrients for the corporations. We happy to do so as long as we can get the latest smart phone and access to Facebook.

          • Re:clemency? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:30AM (#45324387)

            Bingo, that is the thing people don't realize. If there isn't a corporate sponsor (like in the case of the Tea Party), what happens with any grassroots movements more specific than a few Facebook posts is what happened with Occupy -- a concerted, blitzkreig strike removing them off the board.

            People forget the US is a police state. There are no knocks on the door like the Stasi; the door is kicked down, and the target wakes up with a taser pointed at their eyeball. In fact the city I live in has building codes requiring large windows in all new structures so a police sniper has a clean shot to at least 85-90% of the building from outside.

            Americans can outvote what's in power just like East Germans had the power in the 1960s to out-vote the Stasi and the building of the Berlin Wall.

            Occupy was America's Tienanmen Square. No, it wasn't anywhere near as brutal, but it doesn't take much for anyone living in the US to disappear into the private [1] prison system. There is no real way for people to protest. Take it to the street? It gets kettled. Take it to a park? Most parks are privatized, so people get rounded up wholesale for trespass. Take it to Facebook? Anything gets infiltrated and sabotaged, similar to how the Tea Party started out with legitimate grievances, but then got taken over and is now just another corporate mouthpiece. Even Occupy got overrun with anti-US Arabic propaganda towards the end (not many Americans use "down with the zionists" as a political slogan.)

            It isn't a matter of won't, but can't. The US congress has a lower approval rating than "blue waffles" [2] for crying out loud.

            Europe shouldn't feel contempt... it is pity. The problem is that a revolution is -impossible-. A UAV piloted by a mercenary from the Middle East (it won't be an American doing the dirty work) lobbing a few cans of VX gas at a few towns and farms, and the so-called "gun behind every blade of grass" would be lining up to surrender en masse, just like the Iraqis did in Desert Storm.

            [1]: Yes, private, with its own lobby and campaign funding so only people who dish out maximum sentences stay in office come DA and judge elections. The two private prison corporations are some of the few stocks which have seen anywhere near Apple's prosperity with regards to prices. Not as earth-shattering, but doubling every few years.

            [2]: NSFW, google the reference on an empty stomach.

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

        by TheCarp (96830) <sjc AT carpanet DOT net> on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:01AM (#45325413) Homepage

        > He is wisely using the drip, drip, drip method of disclosure so the press and public have time to
        > digest each successive piece of information

        Not only that, but he gave the people in power time to LIE about it, and then get caught.

        If he gave it out all at once, they could go over it, come up with their response and their lies and nobody would be able to refute them. However, forcing them to make their admissions and coverup lies one at a time put them at a huge disadvantage.

        It was masterful.

    • Re:At which point (Score:4, Insightful)

      by flyneye (84093) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:42AM (#45323835) Homepage

      Someday there will be no clemency for Feinstein and Rodgers.

      You know, I've been thinking recently, we watch this from our perspective. Snowden, who loves the People of the United States, does the morally right thing, because it is RIGHT. We know it is right because those exposed are doing WRONG. Further ,their WRONGDOING which was exposed is costing us Allies and resources, because, who wants a bunch of untrustworthy assholes like the Obama Administration, his Congress and Senate and the puppet SCOTUS for friends and allies?
      They'll just turn around and get all the dirt they can, to use out of context to get what they want later. If a friend of mine turned out to be treating me thus; I'm afraid I'd have to beat him so hard he would have an extended hospital stay and permanent damage. Luckily, our "Allies" are above that, but, what of the future with these people now? I don't give a damn if they are spying too, We are responsible for US and have to live with ourselves. If we persist in doing business that requires secrecy, we will never be trusted again. If we can't do business above the table with the current economic strategy, perhaps it is time to evacuate D.C., flush, wipe, and quit putting Repubmocrats in office, in order to proceed as a once again great country with actual FREEDOM instead of this joke, where they tell us we are still free in spite of the Repubmocrats stripping freedom away over the last century.
      I doubt voting will solve the problem, they will just lie and say they won , probably like they have done for a century anyway. Damn, all they do is lie and cheat people out of their rights to make things more convenient to their ambitions. Why choose between two liars? Vote for someone, just not a Repub or a Dem. Its easy!! Even a nut would be preferential to a lying thieving confidence man.

      • Re:At which point (Score:4, Interesting)

        by erikkemperman (252014) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:38AM (#45324069)

        I doubt voting will solve the problem, they will just lie and say they won , probably like they have done for a century anyway. Damn, all they do is lie and cheat people out of their rights to make things more convenient to their ambitions. Why choose between two liars? Vote for someone, just not a Repub or a Dem. Its easy!! Even a nut would be preferential to a lying thieving confidence man.

        I appreciate the sentiment, but am starting to think that maybe it is time to stop voting as long as there are only lesser evils to choose from. We're encouraging them. I think Russel Brand is a bit of a douche, but this editorial [newstatesman.com] strikes me as rather spot on.

        • Re:At which point (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:32AM (#45324411)
          No, don't stop voting. Just stop voting for Republicans OR Democrats. Write someone in if that is the only options. At least we could make them pass a law against write-ins, if it turned out write ins got more votes than either of them. At least you send a message. If you don't vote, you can't be differentiated from someone too lazy or too uninformed to vote. I want them to know I'm not too lazy to vote AND that I'm not voting for them.
          • Re:At which point (Score:4, Insightful)

            by captain_nifty (132748) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:02AM (#45326129)

            The most effective write in would be one that unambiguously shows your disdain for the process, this is normally done by voting for a cartoon character, say Micky Mouse or Donald Duck, but I think a more effective method would be to gather a large number of votes for a candidate that sends a very clear message to those in power who continue to violate the law in the execution of policies to increase their power.

            Vote Edward Snowden for all federal elections!

        • Re:At which point (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mevets (322601) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:48AM (#45324559)

          I agree with most of Russelâ(TM)s essay, but not voting is a poor choice of protest. I think that the best way to scare a politician is with huge voter turnout. In the long run, it probably matters less who you vote for than the fact that you vote.
          The ruling class are meek; not voting emboldens them.

        • Re:At which point (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tippe (1136385) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:22AM (#45324965)

          Hey, I have an idea for a great social experiment! It seems like a lot of people are in the same boat as you; thinking that in the best case, voting is some sort of pointless endeavour, and in the worst case it's part of the actual problem. How about throwing a wrench in the entire system by coming up with a way to "democratically" selecting (via technology) which non-"Repubmocrat" candidate that EVERYONE will vote for in the next election?

          I'm not too familiar with American politics, so please forgive me if this can't possibly work, but one idea would be to have some sort of app for your Android or iPhone device which determines (based on location) what non-"Repubmocrat" political parties and representatives are in your area, and would give you the option of specifying your preference(s), if any. However, in the back-end, everyone's preferences are compared (and perhaps compared to other external sources, like results from some of the more official political polls, like Gallup). Based on all of this information, popular opinion, etc., one representative would be selected in region such that their chance of winning against the "Repubmocrat" reps in that region is maximized.

          This, of course, would all be completely transparent (everyone would know at any one time who the leading candidates were, how their support was faring against the "Repubmocrat" competition, etc) and would be ongoing months before an actual election. News outlets would pick up on it, talking about this popular app which young kids were downloading and which was going to select everyone's vote for them. This news would get even more people (and older people) interested, and app downloads would increase exponentially. Meanwhile, "Repubmocrats" would catch wind of what was going on and would probably download the app themselves to see what the fuss was about. Upon seeing that an election was busy being decided and they aren't even on the candidate list, they would undoubtedly react badly, raving about how the app was a tool of "The Terrorists" to undermine the democratic process and must be stopped, and this reaction would piss off (even more) those that take the app seriously, further solidifying their resolve in actually showing up on election night and voting for the app-selected candidate.

          The weeks leading up to the election would be pure chaos, with repubmocrats panicking and shitting cinder-block-sized bricks all over the place, while the 3rd party candidates are suddenly thrust into the spotlight, further increasing their visibility to everyone. Front-page newspaper captions like "Is This Your Next President?" (showing the leader of some currently-unknown political party) might even jar some grandmas and grandpas out of their usual behaviour and might get them thinking about voting for somebody other than a Repubmocrat. The app would of course make available all media related to this fallout, to keep users interested and coming back to the app to see what the latest developments were. Facebook stock would plummet.

          The circus would go on until the day of the election, with more scandals, accusations, false promises, lies and tension than usual. This would be a time of pure hell for the American political establishment and all of the corporations that back it, but for everyone else (including the world at large) it would be the best show on earth. John Stewart and Stephen Colbert would have a goldmine of new story ideas; enough to last them until the following election 4 years hence.

          On the day of election, the app would remind everyone to go vote and would give them the candidate to vote for. Something magical might happen then and all of the people who used the app might actually show up at polling booths and for the first time in who-knows-how-long vote in a totally new political party which will be impervious to corruption and will transform the US back into a land of rainbows and ponies. Or, maybe the existing tyrants in Washington will find some way to rig the election, preserving their power,

      • by FridayBob (619244)

        I doubt voting will solve the problem, ...

        Yes it will, but there's something else that we have to do first.

        The problem is that the vast majority of Repubmocrats don't work for us anymore: they work for the corporations. Feinstein and Rogers, for instance, they speak for companies like Booz Allen Hamilton -- their donors -- so of course they condemn Snowdon.

        The reason why US politics is like this nowadays is because bribery is legal. Those in Congress know that 94-95% of the time the candidate with the most money wins, so they spend most of the

        • Re:At which point (Score:4, Informative)

          by tbannist (230135) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:19AM (#45324931)

          The problem is that the vast majority of Repubmocrats don't work for us anymore: they work for the corporations.

          Gerrymandering contributes to this problem. Congressional representatives with safe seats (which is around 410 out of 435 seats) are required to raise a certain amount of money for the party if they want to keep them. Effectively, they are guaranteed re-election as long as they appease the corporate doners and keep the cash rolling in. Is any wonder the U.S. government responds poorly to the public when, in additional to rampant yellow journalism, the vast majority of your elected representatives are minimally, if at all, responsible to their constituents.

      • Re: At which point (Score:4, Informative)

        by Bruha (412869) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:08AM (#45324781) Homepage Journal

        And you lost me the second you started ripping Obama over this. This shit has Cheney's fingerprints all over it. Bush was just the tool.

        What's most disturbing is the economic spying. I want to know who it's being given to. That there would be proof that corporations have subverted the government for their own profits.

    • Re:At which point (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:55AM (#45324131)

      Here in Czech republic, one office worker reported corruption on Ministry of the Environment to the Prime Minister. The only thing that happened was that the office worker was fired by the end of week. So he gave all the evidence to media and now he's a senator (sponsored in the elections by Pirate Party, Greens and Christian Democrats).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by halexists (2587109)

      He'd be kept quiet one way or another.

      Agreed. To fix Feinstein's quote: "He’s done this enormous service to our country, and I think the answer is no clemency."

      I understand why he can't be offered clemency by the overseers of the system he has revealed. But the state is insular, the security apparatus more so. To suggest that whistleblowing within the ranks would have produced the sort of system review that's been going on is intentionally naive on her part.

      Snowden did what any honest president with a backbone could have (legall

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      if what he was, was a whistle-blower—to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee

      I think this is what you were referencing. And, yes, the idea that the House Intelligence Committee was going to do something to stop the Unconstitutional programs that THEY THEMSELVES HAD KNOWN OF AND APPROVED, is laughable. If Snowden had called them, he would have been immediately fired, his security clearance revoked--and to this day none of us would have ever known that the NSA is vacuuming up the phone calls, emails, and web histories of EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN (yes, YOU TOO), not to mention pretty much

  • Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:10AM (#45323669)
    "f what he was, was a whistle-blowerâ"to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee,"

    Those thugs continue to support government spying on citizens. Whistleblowing does nothing unless it's brought to the attention of someone who both cares and is in a position to do something.

    BTW, Mike Rogers is complaining that "Federal data hub threatens privacy," with regard to the Federal Data Services Hub, a component of the health insurance exchanges created by Obamacare, but supports the NSA. He's a disingenuous hypocrite.
    • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Informative)

      by bfandreas (603438) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:24AM (#45323757)
      It gets better.

      The German parliament wants to interview him. The current discussion is wether he can come to Germany to do so. And maybe even stay here. There are rumors there may be a legal loophole to not extradite him to the US if he sets foot on German turf. There is a slim majority for that in the German parliament.

      All this is obviously pretty hypothetical. What isn't hypothetical is the preemptive US extradition request that arrived pretty much immediately after this has hit the headlines.
      • by bfandreas (603438)

        All this is obviously pretty hypothetical. What isn't hypothetical is the preemptive US extradition request that arrived pretty much immediately after this has hit the headlines.

        ...seems like this preemptive extradition request wasn't issued in response to the latest German involvement. The US pretty much carpet-bombed the world with those yonks ago. Personally delivered by carrier-drone, presumably.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:57AM (#45323893)

        Ve haff vays of making you talk.

      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by redcaboodle (622288) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:05AM (#45323935)

        And this will stop the USA from conducting another illegal extradition? [wikipedia.org].

      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:54AM (#45324631)

        The German parliament wants to interview him. The current discussion is wether he can come to Germany to do so. And maybe even stay here. There are rumors there may be a legal loophole to not extradite him to the US if he sets foot on German turf. There is a slim majority for that in the German parliament.

        Whistleblowing on illegal activities of the US government seems to be illegal in the USA. Whistleblowing on illegal activities of the German government may well be illegal in Germany, I don't know. I'm quite sure that whistleblowing on illegal activities of the US government is not illegal in Germany.

        You can only get extradited from Germany for things that are illegal according to German law. So that would be the loophole. If the USA doesn't accept that, then surely they will have to extradite anyone to Germany who has been spying on German politicians.

    • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:46AM (#45323857) Journal
      Why would somebody with the information he had call Congress? The house and senate intelligence committees have been the staunchest in the collective insistence that "Absolutely nothing even slightly wicked happened, simply nothing. And, if it did, we were kept fully apprized of it at all times, and it was For America and 100% legal." Plus, 'called'? that'll throw the NSA off your trail...
      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Captain_Cozmic (828225) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:31AM (#45324035)
        Most likely Snowden would have disappeared and no one would ever know about this massive criminal operation taking place. And both Feinstein and Rogers act like little children saying "I don't like the way you play. I'm taking my ball and going home." Neither of them should be allowed in Congress for their violation of their oath of office. More appropriate would be serious jail time for their crimes in allowing this to take place.
  • Ah right, but.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:10AM (#45323673)

    he and others did and were ignored or worse prosecuted.
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-09/world/39856622_1_intelligence-powers-single-point [washingtonpost.com]

  • by JeffOwl (2858633) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:11AM (#45323677)
    Does anyone actually believe that if he had gone to the Senate or the House that anything would change, that the concerns would have been addressed?
    • by poodlediagram (1944244) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:32AM (#45323793)

      Quite agree.

      Given that James Clapper was perfectly willing to lie to Congress, what would the NSA administration have done to a 29 year old system administrator, had he aired his views to them? He would have been sidelined, fired or arrested, that's what. And we would be none the wiser.

      It is amusing that politicians will express the need for public discussion about NSA surveillance and then condemn Snowden in the next sentence. You can't have one without the other.

      In my opinion, he is the definitive whistle-blower. He had only one way to reveal the NSA/GCHQ excesses and revealed them in the right way. Further, he gained nothing personally from all this: no money and he seems to dislike the attention. And spending a month in a Russian airport can't be much fun.

      He has my gratitude and admiration, and I wish him well.

    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:37AM (#45323815)

      Does anyone actually believe that if he had gone to the Senate or the House that anything would change, that the concerns would have been addressed?

      Not only that, but does anyone believe that he would not have been redirected to one of the NSA agents to air his concerns? I am sure Senate/House intelligence committees just stand by to address people's complaints (and is not spending all of their time fundraising).

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:11AM (#45324213) Homepage Journal
      At best he would have got a closed hearing with a tame security cleared lawyer. His CIA past and ability to get a contracting job at the NSA would have become the leaked 'story'.
      That aspect would have been cleared up and then lost in the 24h news cycle. The public would still give weight to sock puppets telling us encryption is safe, lawyers will save us, politicians will save us, the marketplace will save us, data is too big to keep and work on, its illegal... never been any domestic spying, never spy with and on allies...
      Snowden did the right thing allowing developers, lawyers, politicians, the press and historians to finally and fully understand an illegal chapter in US domestic surveillance.
      Law reform can be started, US hardware and software brands reconsidered, local staff will get jobs over 'big' brands. Junk encryption 'pushed' by US gov agencies and tame academics is now exposed as been useless.
      Thanks to Snowden more people in the US have a better understanding of the law, privacy and globally software can be coded to better standards.
  • Redux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:14AM (#45323695)

    he had an opportunity - if what he was, was a whistle-blower - to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say I have some information

    Plausible deniability by Congress. "We didn't know". It's like Reagan and Iran-Contra. People said he didn't know. I figured there were two possibilities. Either he knew or he didn't, and I'm not sure which was worse.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:17AM (#45323705)

    So what exactly are the phone numbers for the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, so that, you know, future whistle blowers can call them up, and not end up like Snowden?

  • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:18AM (#45323709)
    'He was trusted; he stripped our system...' Snowden could claim exactly that against the NSA. This is beyond the pot calling the kettle black.
  • FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Titus Groan (2834723) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:19AM (#45323713)
    "Weâ(TM)ve done this enormous disservice to our country, and he's exposed us for that."
  • by jamesl (106902) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:20AM (#45323717)

    " ... pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say I have some information,' Feinstein told CBS' Face The Nation."

    You mean the House and Senate Intelligence Committees didn't know about this already? Aren't they in charge? Don't they make the rules? Didn't they say, and aren't they still saying, that it's all legal? In what alternate universe would Snowden think telling the intelligence committees would change anything.

    Feinstein thinks we're all ignorant idiots.

    • by knarf (34928) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:06AM (#45324187) Homepage

      " ... pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say I have some information,' Feinstein told CBS' Face The Nation."

      ...to either silently disappear and a bit later show up 'dead after a car crash, obsiously drugs were involved, probably had been molesting children and puppies' or be arrested on whatever charges, painted blacker than black by the 'media' and hurried off to a federal labour facility for the next umpteen years.

      Strange. I would have written something like this about, say, Sacharov, before the Wall fell. It did not take all that long for the tables to be turned, did it?

  • by the grace of R'hllor (530051) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:21AM (#45323723)
    Especially channels amenable to spying on US citizens, we would never have heard of Snowden or the spy programs. If he had then tried to publish via other means, neither would his family.

    At the risk of Godwin:
    If you were, say, a German administrator learning about the death camps and being absolutely appalled, reporting it to any senior Nazi official wouldn't do much good.
    • As long as American Nazis are in charge.

      Please make a note of it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by feral-troll (3419661)

      Especially channels amenable to spying on US citizens, we would never have heard of Snowden or the spy programs. If he had then tried to publish via other means, neither would his family. At the risk of Godwin: If you were, say, a German administrator learning about the death camps and being absolutely appalled, reporting it to any senior Nazi official wouldn't do much good.

      And it didn't for those who naively did tried to do this. Case in point, John Rabe, a Siemens employee in China saved the lives of tens of thousands of Chinese civilians in during the rape of Nanking. He was rewarded with a gag order upon his return to Germany for embarrassing an ally. Post war he was brutally interrogated by the NKVD and then by the British and died in abject poverty sustained by money and food donated by the people of Nanking. Rabe he was one of the lucky ones. Many altruistic individuals

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:22AM (#45323743) Journal

    This shows how messed these people are. Of course he was a traitor to the government. But he and no one else owes loyalty to the government. The fact that these people believe that they, personally, are owed loyalty says far more about them than it does about Snowden. If he's a traitor then the question is if he was a traitor to the country and it's citizens.

    I'm inclined to go with "no".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Whatever you think of what Snowden did, the simple fact is that he is not a traitor. The US Constitution has a very clear definition of treason, specifically, aiding or giving comfort to an enemy at a time of war declared by Congress. Congress hasn't declared war since 1942.

  • by jmcvetta (153563) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:28AM (#45323775)

    How is this fucking authoritarian fascist even sort-of, possibly, slightly representative of the views of the majority of Californians?

  • by strredwolf (532) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:31AM (#45323783) Homepage Journal

    Someone get those call logs! I bet he called and nobody listened!

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:34AM (#45323801)

    Every time Rogers opens his mouth he says that the intelligence committee was fully briefed and that they knew what was going on. What Feinstein and Rogers are implicitly admitting is that Snowden didn't just blow the whistle on the NSA. He blew it on the intelligence committee too for not doing their job of oversight.

    Its just silly to think he should have reported to them that they were corrupt and/or incompetent.

    • Its just silly to think he should have reported to them that they were corrupt and/or incompetent.

      Exactly right. We'll probably also find out in a future Snowden briefing that NSA is actively blackmailing some of the members of those committees. Remember, they have all of their phone calls, locations, and financial records. Probably close to their primaries or the general election.

      Snowden legal defense fund is at: 1snowqQP5VmZgU47i5AWwz9fsgHQg94Fa [freesnowden.is].

  • Yeah, right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:34AM (#45323803) Journal

    Feinstein knows full well that this country doesn't have a functioning justice system. If we did, she'd be behind bars herself.

    -jcr

  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:37AM (#45323809) Homepage
    The disservice was done by the secret courts, the spooks and the "state within". They got caught, and in the long run, that can only be a huge service to the country. Who knows, they might even eventually come up with foreign policy that doesn't piss a lot of people off, thus making the whole apparatus for mitigating it unnecessary.
  • A Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:45AM (#45323855)
    We have a big thank you to Snowden for making us aware of what is actually going on behind the scenes. As a result, I've taken extra security precautions. I don't really know whether or not they will do any good but suffice it to say that I'm taking it more seriously. And, by the way, the old argument, "If you have nothing to hide, you need not worry" is bullshit. Look at the innocent people that get wrapped up in the Criminal Injustice System.
  • who's asking them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kharchenko (303729) on Monday November 04, 2013 @06:47AM (#45323861)

    Why exactly do they get to have a say in this? Why are we even listening to them?
    Feinstein and Rogers are the two key figures responsible for most of these violations in the first place. They are the ones who tacitly sanctioned wholesale violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. Yet their opinion on Snowden's guilt is somehow all over the news. It's amazing that the press is quoting Rogers' preaches on how Snowden has broken the law and needs to be persecuted, when both of these bozos voted to grant retroactive immunity for warrantless wiretaps they've sanctioned under earlier administration. As far as I am concerned, asking for their opinion is like asking a robber on what to do with a good Samaritan who stopped the robbery.

  • Snowden & rest: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mister Liberty (769145) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:02AM (#45323921)

    No clemency for Feinstein and Rogers.

  • by water-and-sewer (612923) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:27AM (#45324019) Homepage

    The cart has run away with the horse. It doesn't matter what they do now, he's a popular hero whose reputation is growing as fast as popular discontent/outrage is growing against the tactics of the NSA and the failures of the administration to stop it or even come clean about who knows what and when.

    This is a huge problem for the government - once the popular hero becomes truly a hero, their every effort to try him or bring him to justice deepens the hole they're in, and god help the US government if Snowden goes to jail - he'll immediately become a demigod.

    They should use this as a wake-up call and change tactics or hopefully even policy. But it doesn't seem like that's going to happen.

    Run, Snowden, run.

  • Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Monday November 04, 2013 @07:54AM (#45324127)

    It's not mutually exclusive.

    "..as a righteous whistleblower rather than a traitor to the U.S. government."

    'The government' is not the same thing as 'the country'.

    Snowden is..

    ...a righteous whistleblower.

    ...a traitor to the U.S. government.

    ...not a traitor to the US and its people.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:12AM (#45324225) Homepage

    Snowden is a freaking hero just Like Manning. Snowden knew the shitstorm he was going to step into when he did what he did.. And contrary to the liars in the government what he released did not risk anyone or "aid the enemy" unless the American public is by their definition the enemy..

    The fact that they all are trying to play it down and it's working because americans in general are stupid as a box of rocks and are not screaming at the top of their lungs in the streets about this is proof.

    I am pretty disgusted with my fellow citizens and how they happily give up their rights for the sake of fake security...

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Monday November 04, 2013 @08:40AM (#45324491)

    I can't think of a case in recent history where the actions of a single individual have had such far-reaching, global consequences. At the very least awarding Snowden the peace prize would be a political black-eye for the Obama administration and would help to cast these lickspittles and apologists and other assorted voices of Sauron as being ethically retarded. It would also go towards repairing the prize's failing reputation, especially in light of the 2009 award.

    I'm going to come out right now and say it: Snowden is a fucking hero. However pure or impure his intentions were, the fact remains that a lot of very powerful people are now having to go into damage control and make excuses and otherwise cover their asses. It remains to be seen whether this will have long-lasting political ramifications. Although, given that the American political system is fundamentally corrupt - the political parties are basically two sides of the same filthy coin - I have my doubts.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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