7 years later, US court of appeals rules that NSA program leaked by Snowden was illegal after all

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/07/7-years-later-us-court-of-app.html


But it’s still illegal to expose some illegal acts, but not others, eh?


Meanwhile, the establishment Dems are criticising Trump for being too “soft” on Snowden:

Every damned time, they try to outflank to the right.


No. They really don’t every time.


Glen Greenwald also didn’t stand with progressives when he supported a guy who assaults women- or when he screwed over Reality Winner.


Sure, every time is a bit of hyperbole, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is actually a perfect example of the point @Wanderfound is trying to make; a Democrat president trying to manifest a vile coalition of moderate dems and evangelical conservatives as they saw a rise in vocal support for gay rights. Alongside the Crime Bill, it is one of the most heinous pieces of regressive social policy to come out of the ‘90s. The Separate but Equal for LGBTQAI+.

ETA: It is also very telling that the Dems decided to vote en masse to repeal it only after brave public figures like KD Lange, Ellen Degeneres (current HR issues aside) and Elton John took huge risks to move the goalposts and public lynchings like Matthew Shepard’s shocked the nation. It’s also worth noting that there were 8 GOP votes. Pretty telling they’d wait until there was a groundswell within the opposition to act.


Hallowe’en 2013:


8 votes does not a groundswell make.

Neither was it the celebrities who did the heavy lifting on that issue. Though it’s probably a fairer assessment that marriage was prioritized over a nondiscrimination bill because it was less progressive.

What establishment Dems means isn’t what it was for either of those issues at those times - they moved to the left - not the right. And really - if you get elected- you’re literally part of the establishment.

The suggestion that Dems and Republicans are equivalent is objectively false. I know that when we passed the trans rights bill in my city - no Republicans voted for it. When we passed the trans healthcare bill- one Dem voted against it.

It took decades to bring the establishment onboard- but that’s how you win. You get people to change their political positions even if they keep their elected positions. You elect people who have already changed their positions. You change what the establishment is.

And you understand when the primary is over - even if only just for two months.


For Republicans supporting any LGBTQAI+ rights it kind of does. As you point out, they are horrifyingly regressive as a rule both in local and national politics. My point was that DADT didn’t align with progressive ideals even then, but the Clinton admin made a calculation that the gay rights movement wasn’t large enough yet to sacrifice on the altar of bullshit “bipartisanship” despite campaigning on the opposite stance. The Dems took a deep breath of relief when DADT was announced as they knew they could kick the can down the road for another decade or two.

Agreed. One is regressive to their core and the other just goes along with it for political expediency. Not every time, just some of the most crucial times. They allow the GOP to set the agenda time and time again.

If we have any hope of upsetting this cycle where the majority population’s views aren’t reflected in law and policy, it’s only going to be by calling out the cancer of centrist compromise and setting a truly progressive agenda.

And primarying the shit out of Blue Dogs.

And DC and PR statehood.


First off - word.

But any new progressive policy that gets passed is the new centrist compromise. It’s the new middle.


I’m surprised this hasn’t been picked up as bigger news, either by civil libertarians […] or, perhaps more surprisingly, from the right-wing propaganda circuit that’s been desperately trying to smear the FBI…

Honestly, none of that surprises me. When the chips are down, civil libertarian groups never end up really believing what they claim to. They always end up being authoritarian or in favor of whatever benefits the wealthy. As for the Rs, there’s no political capital in this for them. Trying to discredit the FBI didn’t work for them back in 2017 because their base loves all forms of law enforcement unequivocally. Trying to now say “hey, the FBI did something sketchy seven years ago” is gonna get them nowhere. Especially since their only shot at winning currently hinges on a “law & order” message.


Reading the opinion, they mention this as almost an afterthought. Essentially the government used this data in a criminal case and tipped its hand when it was impossible for them to have obtained what they did under their official explanation. I’m not surprised this isn’t more broadly shared because there isn’t a lot of meat in this opinion and it’s only in one circuit.


There needs to be a law establishing innocence for any party to divulging something illegal like this.

We could call it the Whistle-blower act. (Yeah, needs a better name)

Snowden should be pardoned and welcomed back as a hero. What he did was illegal, but the evil of what he uncovered is vastly magnitudes of evil above his crime.

Hey Biden? Want me to consider actually liking you, and not simply voting for you mostly in abject fear of the alternative? Pardon Snowden. That would make a lot of progressives and civil libertarians happy.

That this man has to hide in Russia is still a fucking joke. He should be given a goddamn cabinet post in the next administration.


Let’s hope! Statehood would go a long way toward creating actual legislative balance. It would be my day one priority (but I wouldn’t say shit about it during the campaign!).


But he’s still a traitor because he fled to Russia, right?

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“I’m going to look at it.” = “What the fuck are you talking about, who the hell is Snowden?”


I had a serious moment of panic going into the VP stretch when Rice’s name was floated. That would have gone down like a lead balloon.


And free Reality!


I’d vote for whatever’s bigger than a Nobel peace prize.

Man talk about dynamics changing from then to now. What the heck does Russia even consider him at this point? an asset, a symbol, a risk, irrelevant? The stakes have changed so much in these 7 years, which is nuts that the NSA scandal seems like small potatoes compared to the sheer insanity we’ve seen since.


Wow, what about all the other programs that Snowden divulged that weren’t illegal?

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A tool for the continued incitement of political divisions in the US. Also, they’re kind of stuck with him, really since he got stuck trying to change planes there. How many more innocent aircraft will the US target if word ever gets out that he’s moving?

Given Poe’s Law, I don’t even know how to react to that. Are you joking or JAQing off?

Under current law, the argument can’t even be presented - the result would be a mistrial, and the defense attorney would wind up imprisoned for contempt of court.