Ed Snowden says he'll stand trial and even go to prison in the USA if he can have a public trial and mount a public interest defense

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/21/pardon-snowden.html


A real hero


Question, would amending your espionage statute from “release of classified information” to “release of classified information, save information about a criminal act that has been classified to prevent the crime from being prosecuted”?

In John Kiriakou’s case, it was torture, so he would have been OK.

Snowden’s case, I think the universal surveillance was found to be unconstitutional and terminated not because of unpopularity, but illegality. (Nobody was charged.)

Chelsea Manning, war crimes, clearly. The gunners in that helicopter had obligations under the Geneva Conventions that they just threw away. It was murder.

Thomas Drake would have been done, though; all that “Thinthread” did was waste $4 billion and not do its job very well.


a memoir that the US government is suing to repress

The United States’ lawsuit does not seek to stop or restrict the publication or distribution of Permanent Record. Rather, under well-established Supreme Court precedent, Snepp v. United States, the government seeks to recover all proceeds earned by Snowden because of his failure to submit his publication for pre-publication review in violation of his alleged contractual and fiduciary obligations.

I recognize though that fighting conspiracies is about fighting the system that makes corruption possible and plausible, and not just correcting people about the minutiae of their misconceptions.


can he possibly be that naive?

he’ll spend the rest of his life in a freezing cold 6x6 supermax cell, stripped naked because they’ll also invent that he is “suicidal” so can’t have clothes in there

ps. no-one’s seen assange in four months, that’s where he is too

pps. oh look they got Manning back in prison too

people are incredibly naive


“Jury Nullification” - an excellent spin title, bravo. <3


Snowden has acted so much more honorably than Julian Assange; I sincerely hope he can get his wish - come home, and recieve a fair trial.

But its pretty obvious to me right now that “rule of law” does not mean a whole lot in these parts right now.

If Trump does not get impeached, then he has his answer.


Oh Edward, you sweet summer child.

As noble as that may sound*, if you ever come back to the US, you’re likely to become a dead man, walking.

*I don’t profess to know his true motives and I don’t assume that they are selfless.


Snowden strikes me as someone who knows the risks and is willing to risk them for his ideals (though I could be wrong on both counts). As opposed to Assange, who comes across as a self-serving dick.


Snowden also gave an interview to Fresh Air. He said quite clearly that he did what he thought was right, understanding the risks. Also stated that if you were born in the USA after 1987, the U.S. government has a record of every phone call & email you’ve ever made in your life. Not just metadata – content too. Recommended listening (the interview, that is!).


Don’t do it Ed.


Or he’ll be taken into custody, not have clothes/bedsheets removed, then “Oh noes, he committed suicide”…

When I first heard about ECHELON, and what have you, at the time I thought that was a wacko idea, that every text and phone call to anyone was listened to and recorded. And that was more than 10 years after 1987. It goes without saying, that we have come a long way since the Stasi’s registry of citizen scents that the East German secret police had trained dogs to recognize and track.


I’ve been reading BoingBoing for a decade and I still can’t tell whether Cory Doctorow intentionally or accidentally does this. It’s either a practiced rhetorical technique or a mental blind spot.


Snowden and Manning would still end up being be charged under such an amendment because they also released information about secret government activities that were legal under US law.

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I’d say it’s a bit of both. He says it as he sees it, not how the people doing the things want them to be seen. In this case I’d say he’s at least a little right though maybe the lawsuit is more about punishing Snowden financially than about silencing him?


The government isn’t trying to repress this publication. Not at all. They are trying to punish Snowden, and perhaps thereby dissuade future intelligence whistleblowers. My point is that Cory’s use of “repress” is bizarre. Words have specific meanings. As a writer, he surely knows this. I’m manifestly not a writer; I’m a scientist by training. As such, this kind of misrepresentation (as small as it is) drives me … boingboing.


I hope he’s wise enough to realize he’ll never be granted those conditions and he’s just making the offer to highlight the inequity of closed trials and misuse of juries. While it would be a little cynical, it’s better than him disappearing into the US penal nightmare. He may be an idealist, but I gotta figure he’s somewhat pragmatic to have survived this long?


They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful not whether they were right or wrong. I’m sorry but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial.

I dunno Edward, I thought that it was the express purpose of a jury to decide if actions were lawful or not.