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Ex-CIA Director Says Snowden Should Be 'Hanged' For Paris Attacks ( 486

SonicSpike writes with this excerpt from The HIll: A former CIA director says leaker Edward Snowden should be convicted of treason and given the death penalty in the wake of the terrorist attack on Paris. "It's still a capital crime, and I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he's dead, rather than merely electrocuted," James Woolsey told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Thursday. Woolsey said Snowden, who divulged classified information in 2013, is partly responsible for the terrorist attack in France last week that left at least 120 dead and hundreds injured. "I think the blood of a lot of these French young people is on his hands," he said.
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Ex-CIA Director Says Snowden Should Be 'Hanged' For Paris Attacks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:23AM (#50974387)

    Also, Snowden doesn't have anyone's blood on his hands. Nice try tho

    • by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:26AM (#50974407)

      Ya, especially since the attackers were communicating on an unencrypted cell network. This is a purely political statement to move their surveillance agenda along.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:36AM (#50974575)

        ... And cover their own asses. Afterall there has been no meaningful changes to protect our privacy in Europe from US/UK snooping. The US UK mass surveillance of France comms is still in place. Yet his mass surveillance DID NOT WORK. Terrorists still met, still talked, exchanged weapons and explosives all the while his $10 billion surveillance operation FAILED.

        People wonder why he was looking as internet browser history instead of tracking machine guns and explosives!

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:20AM (#50974677)

          The reason is that they don't concentrate their resources. They spy on everyone. Instead of concentrating on real threats they consider everyone a threat. Trying to find a terrorist out of a 100,000 suspects is one thing. Picking a terrorist out of 7.3 billion people is an entirely different thing. It's simple, they are incompetent. He should be fired with no pension.

          • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

            ack...he's ex-cia director. Too late to fire him.

          • As Snowden pointed out in his interview the data they collect isn't useful for stopping terrorists. It just lets them create a historical profile of every person so that when they decide you are an enemy they can pick through your life and get the dirt on you.

            It's a database of dirty deeds and associations. A machine made to discredit one's opponents.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Surveillance works just fine for its intended purpose - controlling the ones being surveiled. If they wanted to catch thugs they would infiltrate their environment and snoop on their communications using the existing legal framework. It should be obvious by now that THE purpose of MASS surveillance is controlling the PUBLIC and any arguments to the contrary are deliberate misinformation.

      • Making a secure end-to-end encryption isn't rocket science... If the terrorist know or expect that consumer devices have a government back door, they will just make their own that doesn't have one. Sadly to say, many of these terrorists are educated engineers, they can do the work with a little amount capital.

        All these laws do is make a back door so the terrorists/hackers can look at my personal data as well.

      • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @09:02AM (#50975193)

        Ya, especially since the attackers were communicating on an unencrypted cell network. This is a purely political statement to move their surveillance agenda along.

        You're spot on. There's a cadre of retired intel who, like aging Hollywood actors providing voice talent, get 'tapped' to emerge from retirement and give an press interview or two to drop 'venerable old spook' seed quotes that Opinion columns can churn. I really do believe these people are called up and someone says, "We have an assignment for you. Plant this idea."

        Retirees can emerge from the fog, drop their seeds and retreat, there is no unscripted follow-up. Politicians could not do this without having to field questions about their remarks at future press conferences. It is a bug in the human psyche that retired politicians are ascribed more credibility than those in power. They also become 'nonpartisan' in retirement and Opinion columnists of either party can pick up their remarks and without appearing to cross the line.

        Crisis: Snowden brand is becoming too popular, achieving folk hero status. []
        Mission: Tie Snowden to Paris attacks, disingenuously if necessary. Be emotional, tactless and tearful.
        Target demographic: People who believe a retiree is 'leaking' old secrets for the betterment of man.
        Assigned to: R. James Woolsey, Jr., Director CIA under Clinton

        Remember the Clinton Administration and his hatchet-man Al Gore, who made the rounds to Congress trying to sell the idea that it was time to outlaw all non-escrow encryption and impose a single government standard? It's that Woolsey, trying to pull the Woolsey over our eyes again.

        There are others. Remember in the early days after 9/11, when Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz used practiced 'aggrieved old man scowls' to shut down questions they didn't like to hear at press conferences, leave them unanswered? And how the fawning press stopped asking those questions? The aggrieved old man bit really works, especially with young reporters.

        It distresses me to see the bumbling neocon idiots who built their entire careers on the Big Lie, disregarding their own CIA intel and deceiving the public about threat level (Documentary: The Power of Nightmares) [] are now being 'tapped' for Middle East analyst sound bites. Every time Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Chaney or Pearl are quoted the bile rises in my throat. Likewise do old Democrats like Woolsey whose attempted Orwellian schemes I, for one, will never forget.

      • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @10:51AM (#50975513)
        See, herein lies the problem with the surveillance society. Once the watchers demonize encrypted communications as a tool only the Bad People(TM) would use, unencrypted, innocent-seeming messages become the communication tool of choice. This is "being hidden in plain sight." If you want to hide in a sea of automated data analysis, you simply duck your head below the noise threshold.
    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:48AM (#50974457)
      If anyone had any lingering hope left that Snowden could get a fair trial for the probable charges that aren't simply fabricated out of nowhere, surely this clears it up.
      • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:21AM (#50974681)

        What difference would a fair trial make? He's guilty. Whether you think it was right or not it was certainly illegal.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Laws are not helpful if they are immoral.

          • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @08:42AM (#50975127) Homepage

            If it is helpful has absolutely nothing to do with the very technical question of if a person is guilty of violating an existing criminal statute.

            It seems a lot of people become so blinded by disliking what the law is that they are no longer capable of remembering what it is. How do they still know they don't like it, if they can't even use its extant state in their analysis?

            A fair trial and he would be found guilty, because he has admitted what he did in public. There is basically no factual difference between his account and the governments regarding what actions he took. The assertion that a 'fair' trial could end other than in a guilty verdict is silly.

            It is perfectly reasonable to say that you don't believe he should be charged because [reasons]. But it is not obvious that allowing government workers to give away official secrets without penalty is some sort of "moral" objective. How is a law banning espionage by government employees inherently immoral? It seems an impossibly high hurdle to categorically show the espionage act to be immoral. That remains true even if you don't believe it should be applied in some cases.

            I've heard a lot of people call for a pardon, for example. That seems a more reasonable basis of moral argument.

            Anyway on a random jury only 2 or 3 people are going to want him hanged.

        • What difference would a fair trial make? He's guilty.

          The rule of law is that anyone accused of an offence is innocent until proven guilty.

          Snowden hasn't been put on trial yet. The US Justice Department may have charges they want to put to him, but that doesn't change his legal status.

        • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @11:18AM (#50975587)

          It makes a huge difference. Nearly all whistle blowers are violating the law in a technical sense to reveal greater breaches of the law by others who are powerful. A fair trial means that all the nuances and subtleties of the crime are made known and an appropriate sentence passed, based on all the factors (including the fact that the NSA violated the law and the constitution), not just technical guilt. This is the kind of justice that the US has prided herself on for generations. And the lack of fear of going after powerful (usually) men in high places for their own crimes revealed. This ex-CIA man has confirmed what we've known for years. There will be no such fair trial for Snowden. His guilt has been known for years, but apparently the full sentence has been known already too. This is morally wrong. And clearly those that violated the constitution and acted in an unlawful fashion (IE crimes) against the American people have no intention of being responsible for their actions either in any courts of law.

      • Your comment is ... weird. Snowden is very upfront about his crimes. By any measure a 'fair trial' would certainly give him life in prison or the death penalty for treason, although that's not been handed down since the end of WW2. Don't get me wrong. I think his actions, exposing the abuses of liberty under the Bush and Obama administrations was a good thing, but he did what he did. Lots of congressmen should be charged, tried and hung for their efforts to make the United States into a police state. That '
    • How can anybody run the CIA and not be a psychopath? This "execute first, follow the Rule of Law never" attitude should surprise nobody who has been paying attention - except perhaps that they're now emboldened to say it out of the shadows.

    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      Ex-CIA Director Says
      The press relays

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 )
        It's a brilliant move.

        * Make a politically charged statement during a time of real crisis that makes little sense yet evokes an emotional response.
        * Get invited to Fox and Friends
        * ???
        * Profit!
    • Not a psychopath... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:04AM (#50974781)

      Not a psychopath, just a propagandist. The idea is pretty simple: connect whistleblowing of illegal government surveillance to Paris terrorist attacks in order to assist your political positions on (1) being anti-encryption, (2) being pro-surveillance, and (3) being anti-whistleblower. He's blatantly violating his oath to defend the Constitution but is doing that because his (former) job is a lot harder if he has to follow the Constitution--and all the people who died in France, the CIA didn't see it coming, maybe because of Snowden.

      Of course, if the NSA hadn't been collecting massive illegal surveillance of *Americans*, Snowden probably wouldn't have happened. While Snowden should be held to account for leaking classified information, the biggest blame by far goes to the NSA and the Senate Intelligence Committee for failure to oversee it properly.

              Richard Burr, North Carolina, Chair
              Jim Risch, Idaho
              Dan Coats, Indiana
              Marco Rubio, Florida
              Susan Collins, Maine
              Roy Blunt, Missouri
              James Lankford, Oklahoma
              Tom Cotton, Arkansas

              Dianne Feinstein, California, Vice Chair
              Ron Wyden, Oregon
              Barbara Mikulski, Maryland
              Mark Warner, Virginia
              Martin Heinrich, New Mexico
              Angus King, Maine[9]
              Mazie Hirono, Hawaii

      Ex officio:
              John McCain, Arizona
              Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
              Jack Reed, Rhode Island
              Harry Reid, Nevada

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:23AM (#50974389)

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:24AM (#50974397)

    Hey DCI Woolsey, maybe we can blame your ass for spending too much time on sigint instead of humint. Then you can go to the gallows first.

    • by bug1 ( 96678 )

      You would think someone who climbed so high would be better at using his words. He must be an embarrassment to so many.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:29AM (#50974557)

      Being the ex CIA director, he needs a diversion, because if that blood is on anyone's hand it's the CIA's. ISIS is financed and supported by Saudi Arabia, which is America's lapdog in the middle east. It's also the direct result of the war in Iraq. Who delivered the casus belli for that? Weapons of mass destruction? The CIA had proof, right? Every bit of "geo politics" that the CIA has "supported" with their covert operations and propagandist lies has turned into a clusterfuck of epic proportions. So obviously he uses each and every opportunity to divert blame away from the CIA and consequently himself. These people don't believe in truth, only in manipulation.

      • by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @07:04AM (#50974911)

        The man in question was forced to resign as CIA director in 1995.
        However, after that he did not retire but worked as a lobbyist for several right-wing and warmongering groups in Washington.
        This statement here, is just another lobbyist action in the same vein.

        Most significant of Woolsey's allegiances, is, I would say his membership in the PNAC [] - a lobbyist group for a US invasion of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Woolsey was one of the signers of a petition to Clinton in the late '90s to invade - a petition with one of the stated objectives to snatch their oil for US interests.
        When G.W.Bush became president, several leading members of the PNAC got high-ranking positions in that administration: vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolwovitz are the most well-known.
        When PNAC became the government, the PNAC's agenda became the agenda of the United States.

        There is therefore no doubt that this ex-CIA director has a lot of blood on his hands. That whole clusterfuck in that region was caused by the Woolsey-supported invasion to thieve oil followed by gross mismanagement by US officials in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of civilians, soldiers and civilians have been killed, and millions of people are refugees from and in the region.
        How can one even compare Snowden to that?

  • How? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:25AM (#50974403) Homepage Journal

    "I think the blood of a lot of these French young people is on his hands"

    I may be the sole /.-tter, who is not an admirer of Snowden, but even I do not see, how he can be blamed (however partially) for this particular attack... What could he have told Putin which, when relayed to ISIS, helped them organize the massacre?

    • Re:How? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:39AM (#50974439)

      It's typical law enforcement mentality that makes him think anything goes as long as it can catch a bad guy. The idea that the ends justify the means. What Snowden did was reveal government misconduct, and judges are not a lot more strict and are pulling back on the anything-goes style. In other words, he feels they could have caught the terrorists if only they had been allowed to snoop on everyone. And by everyone this means everyone.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Indeed. Its the "let's establish full fascism if that prevents one terrorist attack" mindset. Exceptionally stupid and exceptionally dangerous.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      And why would Putin relay anything to ISIS ? Whatever you think of Putin, he is certainly not a friend of islamic terrorism and seems in fact much more serious about fighting them than the US.
      (I mean seriously, the by far largest war machine of the planet vs. a few ten thousand barely organized desert nomads and after two years they are still expanding? It's gone beyond the point that can be explained by stupidity and incompetence.)

  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:30AM (#50974415) Homepage Journal
    He really doesn't sound like the kind of person who should be in charge of the CIA. Oh wait, he's not. Well. I guess that worked out well, then, didn't it?
  • by Rumagent ( 86695 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:30AM (#50974417)

    And that is the murdering bunch of facist, misogynist, islamic assholes, that uses bronze age stories to justify the slaughter of innocents.

    Fuck him for suggesting otherwise!

    • by quenda ( 644621 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:36AM (#50974431)

      And that is the murdering bunch of facist, misogynist, islamic assholes

      Oh I think we can add a few names for contributing - starting with the CIA for fabricating evidence of WMDs that lead to the invasion of Iraq, and a slaughter of civilians on a scale that makes ISIS look like a bunch of schoolboy puppy-stranglers.

      The CIA may well be nice guys compared to ISIS, but they have done far more damage.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Rumagent ( 86695 )

        Contributing. Sure. To that list I would add just about every civilized country (including my own) for not recognizing and acting on the threat of radical islamic terrorism. It is a disgrace. We should have stomped out these rats long ago - it would have helped if the reasonable muslim countries and communities had been a bit less accomodating of their own religious nutcases.

      • And Saudi Arabian groups that fund Sunni Freedom Fighters everywhere !

        Everyone else calls them terrorists.

      • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

        The CIA: Fucking the US over with blowback since WW2.

        Seriously, most of the crap going on in the Middle East is directly or indirectly related to how much we (and other oil hungry nations) have screwed that region over for the past 60 years in order to secure oil interests. We've overthrown governments, installed bloody puppet dictators, supported questionable (at best) regimes, instigated/supported proxy wars leading to the deaths of millions, so on and so forth.

        And yet people are constantly surprised when

    • The Quran is from Late Antiquity. Some later sources are from the Middle Ages. Some of the sources repeat stories from earlier, perhaps back to the Iron Age, but never as early as the Bronze Age.

  • by nickweller ( 4108905 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:39AM (#50974437)
    Exploiting Emotions About Paris to Blame Snowden, Distract from Actual Culprits Who Empowered ISIS []

    There is NO "War on Terror" []

    PROTHERO: Do you believe this crap, Dascombe? DASCOMBE: It's not our job to believe it, Lewis. Our job is to tell the people –
  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:43AM (#50974451)

    Ex-CIA director attempts to prove relevance by making outrageous statements on current events, fails.

    • Fails? How? He made the front page on Slashdot...

    • He would be more convincing if he could even give one example of the surveillance programs stopping a terrorist. Because so far we haven't seen them doing that at all.

      If the surveillance programs don't stop terrorist attacks, there's not much use in having them (unless that's not really the reason you want them).
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Ugh... So, I used the mighty Google and found this: []

        It would appear that 17 out of some 250ish cases have been charged because of surveillance. I was kind of hoping for zero but it is what it is. Now, that's the NSA and not the CIA - I don't know about the CIA. I'd imagine similar results are possible.

        Personally, as cold as this sounds, I'd rather they have been able to carry out their attacks then suffer the real attacks on my liberties. Yes, I'm aware that good people might

        • Personally, as cold as this sounds, I'd rather they have been able to carry out their attacks then suffer the real attacks on my liberties. Yes, I'm aware that good people might die as a result. I accept that it may be myself or someone I care about. Yes, I'd rather keep my rights than live in fear. I know, I'm a cold bastard. *sighs* Yes, I'm selfish for wanting to keep my rights. I accept that.

          I totally agree, I'm from Belgium and I hate this round of emotional policy pushing.
          The Humanists fought to get

  • by Hairy1 ( 180056 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:11AM (#50974505) Homepage

    The suggestion that Snowden, in revealing the illegal practises of the US Government is somehow responsible for ISIS carrying out the Paris attack is patently ludicrous.

    But perhaps those making the accusations are trying to deflect their own responsibility? ISIS were established, at least originally, by Sunni Muslims from Iraq who had been alienated and excluded from the political process in Iraq. Without the Iraqi invasion ISIS would not exist. Didn't stop there either. In the attempt to supply the Syrian Free Army, which was in fact a number of groups including those who would become ISIS, with weapons and aid the Americans had not only given them fertile ground to harvest, but given them the tractors and machines to till the soil.

    And now the Americans complain that Putin is fighting the enemy of Assad; which is ISIS. ISIS for their part took the opportunity to take poorly defended US military equipment in Northern Iraq. Those fighting ISIS in Northern Iraq, the Kurds, have been given little support, and continue to be attacked by US ally Turkey. So how, given the facts on the ground, can the US in all seriousness try to condemn others for assisting ISIS, when without the US they would not exist?

    I am not saying the US has made ISIS do what they have. The reprehensible attacks across the world are the behaviours of morally vapid thugs who are totally responsible for their actions. Make no mistake that I have no sympathy for them. But the US cannot wash its hands of the part it has played, once again, in enabling this kind of tyrannical villainy.

  • by the balls. Then we can have a public stoning. I'll be bring the holy grenade.

  • Misplaced blame? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:18AM (#50974527)

    Wasn't it CIA meddling that instigated the various messes around the planet, including Afghanistan [] and Iran [] in the first place? Ultimately, it seems the CIA has the more blood on its hands than Snowden ever could - presuming Woolsey had a valid point and wasn't, apparently, a bat-shit crazy socio/psycho-path with a really short and/or selective memory.

  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aralin ( 107264 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:50AM (#50974615)

    Why are we discussing the accusations thrown about by war criminals? Every director of CIA since at least Nixon's presidency has been responsible for war crimes. So why are we still listening to them? After all it is the CIA who is directly arming and training people who then immediately deflect to ISIS. That sounds like much more direct responsibility than anything Snowden might have done.

  • Is this a joke? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CustomSolvers2 ( 4118921 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:58AM (#50974629) Homepage
    I quote from the video "...they knew how to use encrypted communications because of the E. Snowden revelations..."!!

    It is not about defending/attacking Snowden or what he did. It is not even about a person working for a governmental agency publically and arbitrarily blaming someone for the Paris attacks by using a so strong language.

    For me, the main problem here is that extremely important actions, like properly understanding/analysing/making decisions, are performed by clueless individuals. A person delivering the aforementioned nonsense should be immediately fired. People coming to so nonsensical conclusions are certainly responsible for lots of bad things.
  • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:04AM (#50974645)

    All of the terrorists involved were known. It was known that they have planned something and these bloody idiots still have failed to prevent the terrorist strikes. And now they blame it on Snowden of all people? Why don't they just do the job properly they are paid to do?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:07AM (#50974653)

    If Snowden is to be punished so brutally for revealing crimes then what is in store for Woolsey for committing them?

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:12AM (#50974661) Homepage Journal

    I know, lots of people don't like what Snowden did. And they disagree with the view that, even though he was exposing wrongdoing by our government AGAINST ALLIES AND CITIZENS, he "hurt" America by laying bare intel assets and methodologies.

    Okay. I can live with that. I think it's narrow-minded and stupid myself. But I can live with people thinking that.

    But trying to lay blame at Snowden's door for the Paris attacks?

    Gimme a fucking break. That's just being an asshole and mouthing a party line designed to further destroy the rights and privileges of the US citizen, allowing intel agencies carte blanche for whatever means and methods they wish to use, on whoever they wish to use it on. Regardless of the legality or morality.

  • And this is exactly why the judicial system is based on the judgment of judges, and not ex-cia directors.

  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:40AM (#50974723)
    As someone that helped create the mess in the Middle east I think Mr Woolsey the blood is actually on YOUR hands. I suspect he is having trouble sleeping and trying to pass the blame might help him with that.
  • by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:13AM (#50974807)

    70 years of incredibly stupid foreign blunders have left a large part of the world with utterly justifiable anger at the United States, and any and all allies. It's the CIA who should be hanged as traitors, if anyone.

  • by taylorius ( 221419 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:24AM (#50974829) Homepage

    The head of the CIA claiming someone else has blood on their hands. What next, the head of Goldman Sachs accusing someone of being a bit greedy?

  • Snowden should return to a hero's welcome, and that goddamned spook should be behind bars awaiting trial on capital charges for helping Bush push the Iraq War.


  • by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @08:09AM (#50975075)

    What we know about Paris terrorists:
    - Not Syrian
    - Not refugees
    - No encryption

    What the US is focusing on:
    - Syrians
    - Refugees
    - Encryption

  • Priceless. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kevin by the Beach ( 3600539 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @09:29AM (#50975281) Homepage

    1. Allied foreign intelligence provides name of terrorist year in advance.
    2. Ignore hard intelligence, because Skynet knows all
    3. SMS clear text and Facebook used to plan horrific crime

    Blame: Edward Snowden -- Priceless

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik