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Snowden walks free in Russia; Obama-Putin summit in doubt

105 Comments
By JIM HEINTZ

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105 Comments
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Cold comfort farm.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm no fan of Putin but good on him for doing the right thing. What is being forgotten amongst all the vitriol being sent Snowden's way is that it was the american government that was breaking the law. And if you don't think big brother in america is watching your every move read this:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/01/new-york-police-terrorism-pressure-cooker

13 ( +22 / -9 )

The right thing - not in any way, shape or form. And if Snowden is so clever, has he not read anything about Russia. They even lock up musicians - see Pussy Riot. Yup, thats a country that is all about freedom, individual rights and democracy. Were going to see a slight freeze in US / Russia relations for a while.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

The US government has set up a huge spying program on the American people that Snowden has compromised-shame on the US-praise to Snowden and a round of applause for Russia!!!!!

7 ( +16 / -9 )

This is a good day indeed!

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Just to reiterate what SimondB said:

" What is being forgotten amongst all the vitriol being sent Snowden's way is that it was the american government that was breaking the law."

Yes, US GOV breaking the law, namely, violating the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Take a long, hard look at the authoritarians making the most noise and casting the worst vitriol. "Liberal" Democrats hand-in-hand, joined at the hip with Neo-Con RINOS like McCain. Two sides of the same corrupt Stasi coin.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

They even lock up musicians - see Pussy Riot.

First, they are not 'musicians", just lousy hooligans . Second, they violated Russian criminal code and therefore they were convicted. If you personally disliked it, that's just YOUR personal problem.

Yup, thats a country that is all about freedom, individual rights and democracy. Were going to see a slight freeze in US / Russia relations for a while.

At least, Russia did not bomb poor ME countries under false pretexts, covering arse by slogans about "protecting Freedom, Democracy and human rights". Also, PRISM was not a Russian-invented software.

The move infuriated the U.S. administration, which said it was “extremely disappointed” and warned that the decision could derail an upcoming summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Big deal.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

"“Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States." it doesn't need Russia to do this, the US seems to manage that all on its own.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

I have a new respect for the Russian Federation and President Putin. He did not cave in to the Americans threats and demands. Maybe I have been wrong about Russia all along. The American government is still lying. They can read emails and I think listen in on phone calls. No court order is needed they just do it.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

“I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations,” he said."

This guy is really showing how delusional he is.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

There is a fine line between a hero and a scumbag.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

CrazyJoe: "There is a fine line between a hero and a scumbag."

Especially if they're in government. What did this guy do that's basically given him charges that the world's worst mass-murderer wouldn't get? It's 100% politics, and bad politics at that. Give the guy the life on the run he wants -- regardless of how you view what he did, he earned it.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Snowden is a hero. Thanks to him, the secrets are out and let freedom ring. Now, how about concentrating on the horrendous spying that has been set in motion on everyone, and also letting Manning out with a "time served" and a big thank you, too.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

"It is a slap in the face of all Americans,” said Sen. John McCain.

If this is the case, then why do a majority of Americans see Snowden as a whisleblower-blower who did the right thing? It is more just a slap in the face of big-brother US lawmakers in Congress, who should be more worried about their all-time high disapproval rating of 83%.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

“Having fought for the freedom and rights, Snowden has ended up in a country that cracks down on them,”

That is the irony of living now in a perverted world. I can understand Obama is nervous about this, if Obama keeps on pushing this, it will be hard to make the difference between the NEW USA and the OLD USSR and OLD KGB VS (NSA) .

4 ( +6 / -2 )

When Truth Is Treason.

You might think that it "was referring to the cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Your assumption, of course, would be entirely reasonable given that that’s what they did — they disclosed the truth about the U.S. national-security state’s lies, crimes, and secret surveillance schemes, for which they have been labeled as criminals and traitors.

But actually the phrase is the title of a fascinating book about a group of teenagers in Hamburg, Germany, who disclosed the truth about the operations of their government during the midst of World War II and who were labeled criminal and traitors for having done so."

http://fff.org/2013/08/01/when-truth-is-treason/

Like the Nazis silencing dissent, the US modern Stasi follows similar tactics with the media puppets disseminating its propaganda.

Snowden, Manning, and others shed light on truth that makes evil leaders tremble.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The decision gives Russia cover to depict itself as a defender of human rights, pointing a finger to deflect criticism of its own poor record and tough crackdown on dissent.

And there are a large number of people falling over themselves to support Russia's opportunity. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And here I was hoping that someone would have got a photo of him so we didn't have to keep seeing the same one photo plastered on every single news article about him...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is a very good thing that Snowden revealed secrets of America that it's people did not know and for the world people. It seems to be not much difference on what China, the US,,, did/are doing secretly and both clear surveillance society.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I personally think this could be a terrific turning point for America. A spark that causes REAL HOPE AND CHANGE, that as a result Liberty can be restored and the repressiveness of the present leviathan government can be ended. Let Freedom Ring!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@jean

Good lord, you surely can't be serious.

I personally think this could be a terrific turning point for America. A spark that causes REAL HOPE AND CHANGE, that as a result Liberty can be restored and the repressiveness of the present leviathan government can be ended. Let Freedom Ring!

I think you totally lost sight of the real problem in all of this and that is Snowden. But yes, there is a very fine line between "hero and a scumbag" Snowden is NOT a hero, so that just leaves another word for him. The real change is when liberals stop trying to take the country apart and thinking that, they have the absolute right to decide and make decisions for an entire nation and then because they are afraid to get caught, bolt to communist countries that suppress freedom and have the worst records when it comes to human violations.

@yuri

I have a new respect for the Russian Federation and President Putin. He did not cave in to the Americans threats and demands. Maybe I have been wrong about Russia all along. The American government is still lying. They can read emails and I think listen in on phone calls. No court order is needed they just do it.

Question, why are you then living in the US? Why don't you ask for a transfer and move to Russia? It's colder, but it might be a bit more suitable for you.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Yes the U.S.is a free country, hmmm, why does the Government keep hiding so many things from the Public eyes and ears?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@bass,

" Good lord, you surely can't be serious."

Yes, totally serious. The Nazi regime ended, didn't it?

" I think you totally lost sight of the real problem in all of this…"

Did you not get Snowden's message? Snowden is just the messenger. But if you prefer to go down the Avenue of Distractions presented by MSM, then that's your option.

NONE of the discussions about gov spying ubiquitously would be happening without PATRIOTS like Snowden and Manning. They are the Helmuth Hubener of today.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Yes the U.S.is a free country, hmmm, why does the Government keep hiding so many things from the Public eyes and ears?

Has nothing to do with freedom. Name me one country, one where the government doesn't keep secrets from its citizens eyes and ears. Maybe the Yanomami tribes perhaps.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

He's a traitor to his country, plain and simple.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

This is great news. It was the right decision on the part of Putin.

The U.S.A. has established a second government, an invisible one that stands outside the law, that spies on its people, operates and controls covertly. Snowden threw some light on this and he is to be commended for doing so.

Unfortunately Abe, like the obedient puppy dog that he is, is pushing Japan down the same road. He's begging for entry into TPP without letting anyone know exactly what is on the table.

More secret government.

What we need is a Japanese Snowden.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

TheChronic sez " He's a traitor to his country, plain and simple."

And you would say the Founders were traitors to the crown, right? Good puppet !

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Sounds like a job for the drone squad now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ah Snowden! Our secret spy in Russia! If no one in America trusts Snowden, why is Putin so sure he can trust him?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So, this action by Russia may keep President Obama from visiting Russia. That means Barry and Moochie may not be jet-setting to the land of the Czars. There's a problem with this? Also, Vlad isn't shedding any tears over this, either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“We are extremely disappointed that the Russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and private that Mr. Snowden be expelled and returned to the United States,”

Law is whatever the US government wants.

U.S. lawmakers also reacted angrily, insisting there be serious repercussions for Putin’s decision to snub the Obama administration and that the U.S. must re-evaluate its approach to Moscow.

In the past 10 years, Russia made 20 extradition requests to the US, all were refused; including a terrorist, who settled in Boston! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr7gX1wXXVM

some lawmakers were calling for the U.S. to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

That is incredibly childish, its embarrassing!

As others mentioned, I hope this will get people talking and demanding privacy.

And I hope intelligence chief Clapper is prosecuted for congressional perjury; if not, Americans can not expect to ever be told the truth.

-36 ( +9 / -45 )

With so much Spying & Lying going on every day I've decided F.T.W.-Putin,Obama , KGB,C.I.A., I'm just gonna let it roll because the everyman is merely cellophane to these Drama Queens!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The US govt would be wise to tone its butt down, it is really looking more & more like Russia each day!

The US govt has very clearly overstepped in regards to surveillance & lord knows what all else, people of the US are losing their "freedom" at an alarming rate, needs to end, if not the US will end up more & more like a dictatorship, its already started!!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Snowden should be given the Noble Peace Prize along with the Private Soldier who exposed the acts against humanity which the American regime committed, now he's going to prison for more than 100 years? Talk about human rights violation and political oppression.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not only is Snowden a traitor, he has become more of a liability than ever. But he's a free man in Russia, so anything goes now, when you look at it that way. It'll be a matter of time before Snowden gets his. Scum.

The U.S.A. has established a second government, an invisible one that stands outside the law, that spies on its people, operates and controls covertly. Snowden threw some light on this and he is to be commended for doing so.

Make sure to tell that to all the other countries that are doing the same thing as well.

Snowden threw some light on this and he is to be commended for doing so.

Snowden put a lot of innocent lives in jeopardy, worldwide, there are many, many names that I would like to call Snowden, but that would just get my post deleted, so I will digress.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Can someone explain to me why people are siding with the American government on the Snowden issue? This is the first time i have seen somebody defend the government's actions. I am not in the US, so perhaps we dont have access to some of the more rightwing media stories, but at this point i cant understand how you would be angry at someone for letting the public know that the government was spying on all your communications...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Do the Americans return all those requested to stand trial in other countries to those countries then? I didn't think they did, but they must, or they could stand accused of hypocrisy, as well as histrionics. Most Americans support Snowden, or at least sympathize to an extent. It is the authoritarians in government who want him pilloried, because he exposed their illegalities. The US needs to show its other (kinder) face a bit, not throw the toys out of the pram because someone exposed them for what they are and left a bit of egg on certain authoritarian faces.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"a government of the people, by the people, for the people"

Doesnt sound like that one is working out so well right now...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@afanofjapan, it's like Stockholm Syndrome, a treatable mental condition, much as experienced by North Koreans under the Kim dictatorships.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A diplomatic victory for Russia-China, good luck to Snowden and his family,

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Let's see how many years this idiot who thinks of himself as a hero will ask to be forgiven and ask permit to return to US, after experiencing what's out there. Or perhaps his delusion as a "hero" will take the best of him and we'll hear he tried to fly out from his window in cold Russia, or in underdeveloped Bolivia or Venezuela.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Do the Americans return all those requested to stand trial in other countries to those countries then? I didn't think they did, but they must, or they could stand accused of hypocrisy, as well as histrionics.

Yes, the US government are hypocrites. In the past 10 years, Russia made 20 extradition requests to the US, all were refused.

Check this report from RussiaTodayhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr7gX1wXXVM

It describes one such request, of a terrorist who settled in Boston.

Can someone explain to me why people are siding with the American government on the Snowden issue?

Its their job!

-41 ( +6 / -47 )

"the decision could derail an upcoming summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin"

Too bad for Russia.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

How many other American Patriots will flee the United States and try to escape to Russia?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

LostInNagoya... Why you think this guy is an idiot?

Not challenging you, but genuinely curious to know what the other side of the argument is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

afanofjapan,

Can someone explain to me why people are siding with the American government on the Snowden issue?

I don't think they are.

We have the "Patriot Squad" well represented. They make a lot of noise, but it doesn't mean much.

Former President Jimmy Carter, a remarkably sane man, was recently interviewed by Der Spiegel in Germany. Criticizing the NSA's domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation's principles, Carter stated, "America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time."

"He's obviously violated the laws of America, for which he's responsible, but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far," Carter told CNN, saying that nations were within their right to offer asylum to Snowden. "I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/07/19/president-carter-supports-snowden-says-america-does-not-have-a-functioning-democracy/

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@afanofjapan - I think those standing up for the US Government think about it like this:

1) What Snowden disclosed should come as no great surprise; most Americans and plenty of others had a good idea that the NSA is watching/reading/listening to all communications. Just look at the movies like Enemy of the State.

2) However, for Snowden to make public specific details of the how & what the NSA does....this is not only embarassing but will probably limit the effectiveness of the program and by doing so help 'the bad guys' (terrorists, foreign states, domestic criminals etc).

3) He held trusted positions at government agencies and had probably agreed in writing never to disclose information he had access to.

For these reasons they argue he is a traitor, helping (maybe misguidedly) enemies of the US and their allies.

Bass4funk, please correct me if I'm wrong?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Let's see how many years this idiot who thinks of himself as a hero will ask to be forgiven and ask permit to return to US, after experiencing what's out there. Or perhaps his delusion as a "hero" will take the best of him and we'll hear he tried to fly out from his window in cold Russia, or in underdeveloped Bolivia or Venezuela

If you can survive being stuck in a airport for months you can basically survive anywhere. -this is the USA's fault since they (unconstitutionally) pulled his passport and now they are complaining. Anything is better than a Bradley Manning type torture camp.

Bradley Manning is the soldier charged with leaking US government documents to Wikileaks. He is currently detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral.

For nine months, Manning has been confined to his cell for twenty-three hours a day. During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present. He is not allowed to doze off or relax during the day, but must answer the question “Are you OK?” verbally and in the affirmative every five minutes. At night, he is awakened to be asked again “Are you OK?” every time he turns his back to the cell door or covers his head with a blanket so that the guards cannot see his face. During the past week he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell, and for the indefinite future must remove his clothes and wear a “smock” under claims of risk to himself that he disputes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Snowdon is a hero and it is very ironic that he would get respect from an country that Obama and the rest of the liberal American Circus of clowns is trying to bully. ....well good for Putin and Russia for supporting the one man who recently has had the courage to stand up and face down the ridiculous and almost insane attempt of Obama to take over the US and rule it like a king using a tidal wave of illegal Executive orders and pressure and blackmail in congress. Time for houselceangn and an impeachment so that we can get our democracy back. I am glad Snowdon can release for a while and recover. He is no criminal, it is the US Justice Department and Security police who are the criminals.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Too bad for Putin that Obama might have to cancel his summit with him.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Good luck Commrade, just don't annoy unkle Putin's dictatorship or you'll be praying to be sent back to America.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@jean

I personally think this could be a terrific turning point for America. A spark that causes REAL HOPE AND CHANGE,

I thought Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama was supposed to bring all that to America, and the world at large. Worst President ever.

I've been saying for years that Putin is likely the smartest leader in the world. He schooled Obama good on this one.

As for the traitor Snowden, he should have sucked it up and gone back to face the charges. At least he would have gotten a trial. By going though this huge charade, he just increased the chances that the US government will opt for a more "permanent" solution in his case. The Russians can't babysit him forever.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As for the traitor Snowden, he should have sucked it up and gone back to face the charges. At least he would have gotten a trial.

There is no way he would get a fair trial, especially considering the US was able to pressure a number of European countries to refuse air permits to the plane carrying Bolivian President Morales, forcing him to land for several hours in Austria and have his plane searched. And he would most certainly be tortured.

They want him at all cost, and they want him to suffer.

-35 ( +6 / -41 )

BertieWooster/InControl and others, thank you. That does make some sense i guess.

There were some rather chuckle-worth responses above too. Always good to know both sides

2 ( +2 / -0 )

" As for the traitor Snowden, he should have sucked it up and gone back to face the charges. At least he would have gotten a trial."

Traitor: a person charged, tried, and convicted of treason in a court of law. Treason is defined in Black's Law Dictionary : " “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” U. S. Const, art 3,"

Snowden does not fit that definition.

Anyone who even remotely believes Snowden could possibly get a fair trial is seriously delusional. Lon Snowden with constitutional attorney Bruce Fein very clearly addressed this. Not a snowball's chance in Hades!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@incontrol

Exactly. Snowden knew full well about what his position was and the capabilities of the NSA, upon taking the job, there were documents and disclosures he had to sign not to divulge classified secrets. Snowden is NOT a whistleblower, he down NOT meet the definition of one, the man is a traitor, pure and simple. He compromised a lot of people that are working covertly in the field, innocent men and women. This is what gets me about liberals, they go nuts that in a war like Iraq or Afghanistan innocent people get killed which is sadly a part of war, but when agents in the field like the NSA, CIA missions are compromised or severely damaged by the Snowden and his ilk, that's ok?! This guy is a loon and while I would love to see him shackled put in solitary confinement for the rest of his life, he can stay over in Russia. Good riddance

By the way, this is a video that just out today showing how Russia values human rights. Thank God for Russia.

http://youtu.be/c4E0QSGDmp8

" As for the traitor Snowden, he should have sucked it up and gone back to face the charges. At least he would have gotten a trial."

Traitor: a person charged, tried, and convicted of treason in a court of law.

Why do you think, we're trying to get him back? To do exactly that.

Treason is defined in Black's Law Dictionary : " “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” U. S. Const, art 3,"

Which he did. He gave China and Russia a lot of comfort and aid

Snowden does meet every criteria and then some.

Anyone who even remotely believes Snowden could possibly get a fair trial is seriously delusional. Lon Snowden with constitutional attorney Bruce Fein very clearly addressed this. Not a snowball's chance in Hades!

Anyone who thinks he wouldn't is insane. There is NO way once he steps foot on US soil with that kind of notoriety that anything bad would happen to him as much as I wish he wouldn't, but that would never happen. He would be lawyered up from head to toe. And who cares what Snowden's father says, so because HE says his son wouldn't get a fair trail, makes it true???? Of course as a father he would say something like that, it's to be expected, but hearing his dad speak, I'm now sure where Snowden got his liberalist, Marxist ideas from. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The move infuriated the U.S. administration, which said it was “extremely disappointed”

Oh no! One more wrong move, and they'll play the "it isn't helpful" card, or, worse yet, the dreaded "it isn't what we had hoped for" maneuver.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Double Standards:

"What is ironic is that if Bradley Manning, Mr Snowden and Julian Assange were pursued by other governments, such as China and Russia, the White House and Foggy Bottom would be applauding them and calling them not just whistleblowers, but heroes and fighters for human rights," comments Chen Weihua, deputy editor of China Daily USA.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@bass, so you think Snowden's actions are tantamount to treason as defined by US law. Fine. Then why hasn't your AG pal Holder formally indicted Snowden of Treason?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If there is any justification to penetrate into the privacy of citizens then the citizens should know about it. They should know that such a penetration exists, and that it is justified. To penetrate into the privacy of citizens and at the same time enjoy and benefit from a pure image according to which citizens' privacy is maintained, that is a severe deception. Ed Snowden has exposed the deception.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The problem is is that there is no justification. And it's beginning to look like the IRS scandle on targeting groups was deliberately controlled from the WH.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Good luck Commrade, just don't annoy unkle Putin's dictatorship or you'll be praying to be sent back to America."

Oh my...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good luck to him in Russia, where he has a lot less freedoms of information and that has a spy network as good as the US's.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Putin must be laughing his ass off as he watches whatever Snowden's doing whenever he feels like it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone who thinks he wouldn't is insane. There is NO way once he steps foot on US soil with that kind of notoriety that anything bad would happen to him as much as I wish he wouldn't, but that would never happen. He would be lawyered up from head to toe.

Yup. This is the undeniable truth. People saying he would be tortured or sent before a kangaroo court are delirious. The problem for Snowden (and Manning) is that the gravity of the charges they face mean that any guilty verdict is going to send them away for a very long time. Hopefully for him he likes life in Russia because that's about the only place the long arm of American justice won't be able to touch him.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"lostrune2AUG. 02, 2013 - 08:17PM JST Good luck to him in Russia, where he has a lot less freedoms of information and that has a spy network as good as the US's."

Well the Russians will certainly be able to snoop better on their own citizens now that Snowdon has given up the secrets he stole....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People saying he would be tortured or sent before a kangaroo court are delirious.

Such people might be unnecessarily pessimistic, but not delirious. Bringing up Manning doesn't help your point, since he was taken into custody in 2010 and kept in what amonted to solitary confinement before ever going to court. Right to a speedy trial ... not these days. Fair trial ... I like to think it's still possible, but the security folks have been granted WAY too much power.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have a feeling Snowden will suffer an 'accident' sometime in the future, so unlikely that people will think it's too far fetched to be a plot. Spooks will be following his every move (as will Russian agents)... I don't envy him. I don't think America likes to be made out to be the bad guy (even though in this instance they are).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bringing up Manning doesn't help your point, since he was taken into custody in 2010 and kept in what amounted to solitary confinement before ever going to court.

Is solitary so unusual for high risk/value inmates? Were there any allegations that he was tortured? Did he have access to his legal representatives? A chance to communicate with family and friends by phone or mail?

Right to a speedy trial ... not these days. Fair trial ... I like to think it's still possible, but the security folks have been granted WAY too much power.

When you hand out 750 000 documents willy nilly its going to take time to research and prepare appropriate charges. The government has a duty to investigate thoroughly in order to ensure a fair trial. Are you suggesting they deliberately took their time in bringing him to trial? Not like he was going anywhere anyway, right? Anyway, I'm sure he'll be credited with time served.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hidingout,

Hopefully for him he likes life in Russia because that's about the only place the long arm of American justice won't be able to touch him.

Yes, if it had been Pakistan, they'd have sent a SEAL team in to bump him off.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The deal was that he could enter Russia as long as he stopped releasing secrets. Looks like he accepted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/pdf/130628-SEALs%20Complaint%20.pdf

Yes, if it had been Pakistan, they'd have sent a SEAL team in to bump him off.

$200 million lawsuit pending right now about that+. (Seal Team 6)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some day, some way, this will all come to an end. And then everyone will be regretting their stupidity. I don't mind the US government being criticized, heck we Americans do it every day ourselves. But the fact is Snowden did the right thing... just the wrong way. For those who keep saying Snowden is nothing but a hero, think harder about how you would feel if some very important secretive information that could ruin your country was spilled out by one of your citizens to another country in that other country.

If you can't comprehend the implications of such actions, then you really need to get with the program that every country isn't exactly the same as yours and while no government is perfect, they're job is to keep your livelihood safe and depending on your countries laws, comfortable. If some wander rogue citizen decides they want to destroy your government, your comfortable life and its laws will go poof and you'll have to hope you survive the chaos long enough to see a new system rebuilt to protect all its citizens again, and pray its not a true dictatorship.

As an American I can still choose who I vote for without being arrested and thrown in jail, or beaten to death and maimed for my political views or speech. I'm free to call the leader of my country any number of names I choose etc in public and not be harmed for it. I do NOT have the right to give personal information of another American citizen to some random person which can cause harm to that other American citizen, or prevent their ability to live their life, "In the pursuit of happiness". I'd also rather not interfere with my country's defense abilities and organizations (within reason) to protect my rights and my ability to pursue my own happiness in life as long as they're not interfering with that (which has not been happening so far in spite of what is going on right now).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@bertie

Double Standards:

"What is ironic is that if Bradley Manning, Mr Snowden and Julian Assange were pursued by other governments, such as China and Russia, the White House and Foggy Bottom would be applauding them and calling them not just whistleblowers, but heroes and fighters for human rights," comments Chen Weihua, deputy editor of China Daily USA.

MLK, Mandela, Ghandi were heroes and fought for human rights and equality, something that Snowden and many here don't have a clue about.

so you think Snowden's actions are tantamount to treason as defined by US law. Fine. Then why hasn't your AG pal Holder formally indicted Snowden of Treason?

This current Admin aren't NO friends of mine, never voted for them, as with most liberals when in power, for some reason they don't have the stomach to go after these people. They have a very lazy and derallect attitude. If I were AG, I would go full force about getting Snowden and I wouldn't blink to bring him back for justice.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The problem with Snowden is, he pretended to have a conscience and used that as reason for leaking the documents and also said he was prepared to face the consequences of his actions. Then he left the country and went to 2 countries that are obviously counter to what he was trying to achieve. Later he told Chinese media in an interview he did that he purposefully joined that branch just so he could get this information and leak it. And on top of that he exposed secrets with regards to Russia and China that we were spying on them, which any 3rd grader should have already assumed. What was that for? Was it to get on their good grace?

You can't be considered a whistle blower if the knowledge is common sense or in the case of PRISM, already mentioned in a report back in 2005. He being a computer programmer should have realized that most people have know idea what meta data is and what it isn't. It's like the meta data of a video you stream off the net on youtube. The meta data tells your player every thing about the video, it's width and height, file name, playback length, author... but it doesn't tell you the payload, which is the video itself... for that you have to actually watch. Try to imagine the NSA storing actual voice recordings. How big is your favorite mp3 song that's 5 minutes long. 3mb?? 5mb?? To simplify now times that by 300 million calls a day and then by 365 days a year... things add up. It wouldn't be necessary to listen to every call unless you have a reason to do it. It would make more since from a developers point of view, which I am, to use the meta data to say connect the dots... if this call originated from this location and this person is a known terrorist, the meta data would allow you to go up the tree and expose a whole network of people. At that point it would make since to listen in.

All Snowden did was exposes how the US conducts it's own Espionage and in doing so exposed the Espionage conducted by other countries as well. When we gave back those Russian spies caught in the US not to long ago, no one batted an eye. But then Russia wanted to act like a little trick when we asked for our spy back. Snowden is a coward and the fact that he ran to 2 different countries that don't really believe in civil rights just shows how ignorant he is. He had no backup plan. And the more he leaks the clearer it becomes that he is really trying to hurt the US and not really doing anybody any favors. Personally I don't want Russia or China knowing we are spying on them because I know they are spying on us, especially China. And I don't care that my government is looking at meta data of calls leaving the country, because for one I don't have anything to hide, two I don't use the phone that often and three if they were really serious about knowing what I was up to, they just go to Facebook or Twitter where everybody does basically a data dump of their personal lives. People here seems to not think about that when they are trying to fuel a controversy...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

optikool, you didn't have to bother so much. The issue here is not metadata. The issue is data.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In one year (or maybe 2 weeks), everybody will be, like, "Snowden who?". Good strategy.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

HonestDictator, maybe I just don’t understand what you mean by “some very important secretive information that could ruin your country.” All I can see is that the information he revealed should not have been a secret in the first place. Unlike Russia and China where their people know that they are being monitored and they have limited freedom according to the laws, but the US keeps things in secret and has the tendency to blame other countries for doing it. Hypocrite is what they call the US. You seem to think that your life in the US is better, but I beg to differ. Taking politics aside if you’ve been to China you will see that their lives are more stimulating and dynamic; maybe you will come to realize that the real freedom is over there. So, why don’t just let all the Americans know that their freedom is in fact limited, and what they call “democracy” is not functioning that well. Isn’t it true that only the truth will set you free? Everybody has the right to pursue happiness not just for the Americans, so the US has no right to interfere and cause harm to the rest of the world.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The irony is had Snowden or Manning were Chinese or Russian citizens and leaked state secrets they would be executed. No trail, no media coverage. Dead and buried and none would be the wiser.

Funny how very few posters acknowledge the irony in all of this.

All of you love your freedom and high standard of living, then criticize the manner in which it is provided to you.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

optikool, you didn't have to bother so much. The issue here is not metadata. The issue is data.

@YGHome3 what do you think metaDATA is.... enough said...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

what do you think metaDATA is.... enough said

See, for example, the following source:

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/31/new_snowden_leak_nsa_program_collects_all_online_activity

By the way, I think that one of the most articulate comments so far is from flowers (AUG. 03, 2013 - 06:16AM JST).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Word is that Obama is so furious at Putin over the Snowden affaire that Vlad will definately not be getting a birthday card this year.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@optikool

110% correct! You hit every point on the head. Sadly most liberals have their skewed selected opinionated shades on and because of their hate for the US will justify Snowden's actions as justifiable.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Snowden is a coward and the fact that he ran to 2 different countries that don't really believe in civil rights just shows how ignorant he is.

What I find interesting is that these guys seem to run to communist/socialist countries. Part of me wonders if they just have a fundamentally different worldview and that's what they're acting on. They must know that they're going to be used as pawns to cover the human rights records in the country they finally go to and they obviously accept that.

Word is that Obama is so furious at Putin

You never know what's happening behind the scenes. It could very well be that Russia gave some concessions in order to be able to use Snowden to cover their human rights record.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think Snowden is so narcissistic and self-righetous he has absolutely no clue that he being used as a political pawn.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"I think Snowden is so narcissistic and self-righetous he has absolutely no clue that he being used as a political pawn."

No more than the internet Anonymous wannabees cheering him on.....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Superlib,

What I find interesting is that these guys seem to run to communist/socialist countries.

Snowden is ONE guy.

And IF he had gone to a non-communist/socialist country, what do you think would have happened?

He'd have been on the next plane to the States.

Where else could he have gone?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Let's not forget the extent of the surveillance program that Snowden exposed:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data

There is much more that governments are hiding from us.

We need more Snowdens!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"We need more Snowdens!"

Or, we need to give Al-Qaida and the other wackos every chance to wreak havoc on us, lol.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Or, we need to give Al-Qaida and the other wackos every chance to wreak havoc"

Nah you already indirectly advocated that in Iraq, lest you forget.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Nah you already indirectly advocated that ( wreak havoc ) in Iraq, lest you forget."

Nah, we haven't advocated that in Iraq at all, we did, however, give the Iraqis a fighting chance to establish a freely-elected government, which, by the way, they did, lest you forget.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Snowden is ONE guy.

I meant Assange and Snowden, the two most famous guys.

And IF he had gone to a non-communist/socialist country, what do you think would have happened? He'd have been on the next plane to the States. Where else could he have gone?

That's a fair point. But they must have known what would happen to them, especially since they love to play up the CIA murder angle. That had to know they'd be a puppet for those countries to dodge claims of human rights abuses, making the situation worse for any country that would take him. With that in mind it's hard to see them as absolute champions of human rights; it seems more likely that they just have an axe to grind.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

For those of you thinking Putin is all about doing the right thing, that is not what this is about. This is an easy way for Russia to say 'Hey, US! You don't control us! We don't care what you think!' and win political points while suffering no actual repercussions. Obama has made it very clear he doesn't really care about Snowden and isn't going to take action, meaning that this is a perfect way for Russia to show off a little without making any real political enemies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Flowers, many people who have half a brain understand that there are limits to how much "freedom" everyone has. In the US, our freedom is our rights. But our rights are limited to what we can or can not do. There is a saying here that "Your rights end at the end of your nose." The interpretation of this is that while we are entitled to our rights, we are not entitled to infringe on the rights of others. True freedom means anyone can do anything (even if its considered criminal or harmful to others) without facing the consequences of any governments laws etc.

As for nation's keeping secrecy. Why do you think that when either local or federal law enforcement is trying to stop or capture someone commiting or planning to commit criminal acts (as in a recent case where a child sex slave group was just recently captured here in the US.) that the journalists, mass media, and general public were not informed every step of the way from the very beginning until after the perpatrators were captured. If they had let the general public know, the criminals would have also known as well and taken even more precautions to make law enforcement have a MUCH harder time trying to bring them to justice if ever.

Now expand local law enforcement to intelligence gathering agencies like MI6, CIA, NSA etc. If they let every single bit of information out from the very beginning about how when and why the ones they are trying to prevent from harming their country's citizens or interests, and in some cases even allied countries. Once again those who are planning intent to harm others will try to evade being stopped and in some cases will never be stopped. Why try to make those with criminal or harmful intent have easier means to do so?

Remember, information is power in this age. Always has been and always will be. It's what gives some people (whether they are trying to do right or wrong) an advantage over others who do not have that information.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Superlib,

they just have an axe to grind

Well, that's for sure.

Neither of these guys are shy about that.

But that doesn't distract from the point that at the same time, they are performing a valuable public service.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But yes, there is a very fine line between "hero and a scumbag" Snowden is NOT a hero, so that just leaves another word for him.

Most people from various countries wanna spit upon your definition of mr Snowden. For us he is a Hero, with a capital "H". Deal with it.

Snowden put a lot of innocent lives in jeopardy, worldwide, there are many, many names that I would like to call Snowden, but that would just get my post deleted, so I will digress.

ROTFL.Those "innocent lives" are working for your NSA to provide a Global Espionage, pushing mugs into our cell phone conversations and emails. So, we, ordinary people from various countries, don't care upon destiny of your agents.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As for nation's keeping secrecy. Why do you think that when either local or federal law enforcement is trying to stop or capture someone commiting or planning to commit criminal acts (as in a recent case where a child sex slave group was just recently captured here in the US.) that the journalists, mass media, and general public were not informed every step of the way from the very beginning until after the perpatrators were captured. If they had let the general public know, the criminals would have also known as well and taken even more precautions to make law enforcement have a MUCH harder time trying to bring them to justice if ever.

If you look at the WikiLeaks documents you will see that the US gov is involved, openly admits and actually funds (child trafficking/sex trading) (openly admitted). The CPS (child protective services) actually has "bounties" on specific children they are looking for.

http://www.gandhiforchildren.org/wikileaks-reveals-u-s-funded-child-sex-slavery.html

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Snowdon is a hero for all people who care about freedom and democracy. Obama and his government of thugs and forced nomination of vastly iinferior and unqualified minority people is destroying the US. ..the Secrecy invasions are just another example of his rogue facist attempt to take power over the will of the people, and his blatant ignoring of the IRS disaster and now this revelation of a HUGE invasion of privacy world wide is showing his arrogance and that he must be impeached. It is ironic that Russia who is the opponent of the US still was the one to show respect for a brave man who risked everything to reveal this great evil from Washington DC.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Meanwhile with all this is going on the USA has done nothing to stop.

Note that Snowden's mere presence in Russia will be a constant embarrassment that to tell the truth you can't do it in the USA. Thus it waters down all diplomatic rhetoric towards Russia on issues as USA is shown to be duplicitous. Snowden helps freedom in the USA by also helping Russia. It's turning out to be quite useful. One day maybe Snowden will be welcomed back to a free USA, but not now. Irony abounds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YGHome3 Well if you're going to put your life on the internet, which the majority of people do, (look to social media) then to expect that information to not be data mined would seem pretty naive. Just look at google with their attempt to translate all data on the net.

@techosphere Snowden may be a hero (to you) but he still need to come back and face the consequences just like he said he was prepared to do. Regardless of weather you think he's right or wrong, he signed a disclosure and knew what the consequences would be before he decided to violate them. If you spilled the secrets of your company, at the very least you'd be fired and most likely face a lawsuit and prosecution.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

he signed a disclosure and knew what the consequences would be before he decided to violate them. If you spilled the secrets of your company, at the very least you'd be fired and most likely face a lawsuit and prosecution.

So what? Many persons, including bloody criminals, escaped to the USA where they were praised as "freedom fighters" etc. Nowadays american double standards work against americans. Neither Snowden, nor Russian authorities care about "secrets of some american company and lawsuits".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Putin is a Cold War piece of garbage who only serves his childish ego at the expense of the Russian people. lTime for a revolution in Russia!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"He refused to disclose the former NSA contractor’s whereabouts, telling reporters at the airport: “He now is one of the most sought-after men in the world. The issue of security is very important for him.”"

And yet I have zero doubt the US would be secretive about the information if it could be obtained. But hey, they can illegally spy and try to find out.

Good on Russia for allowing this hero free.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I have a new respect for the Russian Federation and President Putin. He did not cave in to the Americans threats and demands. Maybe I have been wrong about Russia all along. The American government is still lying. They can read emails and I think listen in on phone calls. No court order is needed they just do it.

had this been in china, i bet the majority will bash china for not caving in to the americans.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not saying which side I'm on, but has anyone ever noticed that Russia does whatever it can to piss the US government off?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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