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U.S. charges Snowden with espionage [W:60]

nota bene

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From WaPo:

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

The complaint, which initially was sealed, was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications. After The Washington Post reported the charges, senior administration officials said late Friday that the Justice Department was barraged with calls from lawmakers and reporters and decided to unseal the criminal complaint.

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage - The Washington Post
 

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And in bizarre circumstances the patriot is kicking it in communist land after informing (or rather confirming) the people that the US government operating in authoritarian fashion... Now he can't come back and is stuck with communists who obviously want to know what he knows...

This is the type of **** that happens when you expose this POS authoritarian government - you end up in China - The land where Mao is still held in extremely high regard with force and where Stalin is considered a comrade..
 

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I read that Snowden may be heading for Iceland. Had we charged him with theft, we would have had a chance to extradite him. As it is, probably not - at least not from Iceland. That's the opinion of Allen Dershowitz.
 

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From U.S. News & World Report:

An Icelandic businessman is offering to transport Edward Snowden to the island nation aboard a chartered jet if Iceland's government grants asylum to the man who exposed the National Security Agency's massive harvesting of Internet and phone records.

"Everything is ready on our side and the plane could take off tomorrow,'' DataCell executive Olafur Sigurvinsson told Iceland's Channel 2 television station, Agence France-Presse reports.

...Sigurvinsson said the jet is owned by a Chinese company and was chartered for $240,000, which was raised with donations to DataCell, a Web company that processes credit card payments to WikiLeaks. His Twitter page says he's the company's chief operating officer.

"We could fly Snowden over tomorrow if we get positive reaction from the Interior Ministry," Sigurvinsson told Reuters. "We need to get confirmation of asylum and that he will not be extradited to the U.S."

Snowden would be most secure in Iceland if the country gave him citizenship, according to his Icelandic advocates.

Iceland-Bound Jet for Edward Snowden 'Could Take Off Tomorrow' - US News and World Report
 

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And in bizarre circumstances the patriot is kicking it in communist land after informing (or rather confirming) the people that the US government operating in authoritarian fashion... Now he can't come back and is stuck with communists who obviously want to know what he knows...

This is the type of **** that happens when you expose this POS authoritarian government - you end up in China - The land where Mao is still held in extremely high regard with force and where Stalin is considered a comrade..
I'm under the impression you don't really understand anything about China/have never been to China
 

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I read that Snowden may be heading for Iceland. Had we charged him with theft, we would have had a chance to extradite him. As it is, probably not - at least not from Iceland. That's the opinion of Allen Dershowitz.
As I understand it, the extadition treaty with Hong Kong does not include "political" crimes - this would be considered one.

Secondly, as I understand it, there are people in Iceland actively trying to secure the agreement of the government there to ensure Snowden is protected if he transfers there and that there is a private plane ready to fly him non-stop there and that the $300,000 to $500,000 cost of that flight is being covered by sympathizers in the US and other parts of the world.

What the US is doing is not popular world-wide and in many parts of the US as well. In my view, this is a lose-lose situation for the administration.
 

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As I understand it, the extadition treaty with Hong Kong does not include "political" crimes - this would be considered one.

Secondly, as I understand it, there are people in Iceland actively trying to secure the agreement of the government there to ensure Snowden is protected if he transfers there and that there is a private plane ready to fly him non-stop there and that the $300,000 to $500,000 cost of that flight is being covered by sympathizers in the US and other parts of the world.

What the US is doing is not popular world-wide and in many parts of the US as well. In my view, this is a lose-lose situation for the administration.
The administration seems to be backed into an ugly corner with this, and it seems they aren't helping themselves much in that regard. That they could've charged Snowden with a lesser crime and successfully extradited him makes me wonder if they aren't trying to further demonize the guy, keep him out of the country, and put the whole thing on a back burner. That's been their general approach to all the recent, and not so recent, revelations.
 

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I read that Snowden may be heading for Iceland. Had we charged him with theft, we would have had a chance to extradite him. As it is, probably not - at least not from Iceland. That's the opinion of Allen Dershowitz.
I heard Dershowitz say that as well. If he is right, the US might just have given Hong Kong the only possible excuse not to extradite him, as espionage is excluded from our extradition treaty with them. A dumb, dumb move on our part. We surely could have filed espionage charges after forcing Hong Kong to send him back.
 

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I heard Dershowitz say that as well. If he is right, the US might just have given Hong Kong the only possible excuse not to extradite him, as espionage is excluded from our extradition treaty with them. A dumb, dumb move on our part. We surely could have filed espionage charges after forcing Hong Kong to send him back.
It is dumb on the surface. I'm just wondering if the administration truly doesn't want him back, and that's why they didn't do the obvious. I'm saying obvious like I know what Dershowitz knows. I don't. But I have to believe that such a thing must have been considered. At least, I hope so. I'd hate to think the administration is that stupid.
 

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I admit to knowing nothing about Iceland's politics, but why would it consider taking Snowden in and possibly offering him citzenship?
 

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On the Espionage Act charges against Edward Snowden | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.

What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It's a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It's all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they're interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The "enemy" they're seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It's the American people.
 

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I admit to knowing nothing about Iceland's politics, but why would it consider taking Snowden in and possibly offering him citzenship?
They're western European with typical western European attitudes toward the US.
 

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As I understand it, the extadition treaty with Hong Kong does not include "political" crimes - this would be considered one.

Secondly, as I understand it, there are people in Iceland actively trying to secure the agreement of the government there to ensure Snowden is protected if he transfers there and that there is a private plane ready to fly him non-stop there and that the $300,000 to $500,000 cost of that flight is being covered by sympathizers in the US and other parts of the world.

What the US is doing is not popular world-wide and in many parts of the US as well. In my view, this is a lose-lose situation for the administration.
While I pretty much agree with your overall quote, I think the Administration is backed into a corner and doesn't have a choice. It wouldn't be good to simply let it go.
 

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From WaPo:

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

The complaint, which initially was sealed, was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications. After The Washington Post reported the charges, senior administration officials said late Friday that the Justice Department was barraged with calls from lawmakers and reporters and decided to unseal the criminal complaint.

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage - The Washington Post

I haven't been following this case as closely as I perhaps should. The big question that I think I need to know to fully understand is, just what did Mr. Snowden disclose, and to whom did he disclose it?

As far as I am aware, the entire flap is about him having publicly disclosed facts about our federal government spying on its own citizens. If that is all he did, then I do not see how this can possibly be construed as “espionage”. I would think that “espionage” would have to consist of disclosing secret information of a militarily-sensitive nature, to a potential enemy that could use that information against us.

Certainly, our government has no authority to spy on us in the manner that Mr. Snowden alleged, and if our government is doing so, then we certainly have every right to know about it and to demand that it cease to do so at once. If that is all that Mr. Snowden disclosed, then he has done nothing wrong, and there is certainly no valid basis on which to accuse him of “espionage”. Indeed, as a witness to illegal activity, he certainly had not only a right, but a duty to bring this activity to light.

What am I missing here? Is there something else that Mr. Snowden disclosed, which somehow falls under some legitimate national security interest?
 

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And in bizarre circumstances the patriot is kicking it in communist land after informing (or rather confirming) the people that the US government operating in authoritarian fashion... Now he can't come back and is stuck with communists who obviously want to know what he knows...

This is the type of **** that happens when you expose this POS authoritarian government - you end up in China - The land where Mao is still held in extremely high regard with force and where Stalin is considered a comrade..

1) He's not in China.. but Hong Kong.
2) Hong Kong is "officially" part of China but given status like Puerto Rico.

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (the other one is Macau). That means they have their own Government, money, legislative system, police, law, education, and postal system to name a few.. Hong Kong law is actually based of English law, like the US and Hong Kong has a bill of rights. Even the Chinese military stationed in Hong Kong has to adhere to Hong Kong law.
 
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From WaPo:

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

The complaint, which initially was sealed, was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications. After The Washington Post reported the charges, senior administration officials said late Friday that the Justice Department was barraged with calls from lawmakers and reporters and decided to unseal the criminal complaint.

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage - The Washington Post
I'm surprised they haven't apprehended him yet. They should make their move before he slips away, or he should just turn himself in. He said in his interview that he wasn't afraid, and that he fears for the safety of his family, but his actions are saying he's going to save himself; screw everyone else. He's not a hero, he's a coward.
 

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I'm surprised they haven't apprehended him yet. They should make their move before he slips away, or he should just turn himself in. He said in his interview that he wasn't afraid, and that he fears for the safety of his family, but his actions are saying he's going to save himself; screw everyone else. He's not a hero, he's a coward.
What could he do for their safety if he stayed home and got picked up immediately, without a snowball's chance to tell his story? They pick him up, we forget about him in weeks.

His family's greatest safety is sunlight.
 

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While I pretty much agree with your overall quote, I think the Administration is backed into a corner and doesn't have a choice. It wouldn't be good to simply let it go.
I would agree, but if the disclosures are so harmful why is the administration now going all over the networks and disclosing all kinds of detail in public congressional hearings? I think we've learned more about the program out of the administration than from Snowden at this point. If it's so critically important wouldn't it be best for the administration to not comment on it and to insist that all congressional hearings be held in camera?
 

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I haven't been following this case as closely as I perhaps should. The big question that I think I need to know to fully understand is, just what did Mr. Snowden disclose, and to whom did he disclose it?

As far as I am aware, the entire flap is about him having publicly disclosed facts about our federal government spying on its own citizens. If that is all he did, then I do not see how this can possibly be construed as “espionage”. I would think that “espionage” would have to consist of disclosing secret information of a militarily-sensitive nature, to a potential enemy that could use that information against us.

Certainly, our government has no authority to spy on us in the manner that Mr. Snowden alleged, and if our government is doing so, then we certainly have every right to know about it and to demand that it cease to do so at once. If that is all that Mr. Snowden disclosed, then he has done nothing wrong, and there is certainly no valid basis on which to accuse him of “espionage”. Indeed, as a witness to illegal activity, he certainly had not only a right, but a duty to bring this activity to light.

What am I missing here? Is there something else that Mr. Snowden disclosed, which somehow falls under some legitimate national security interest?

I think this is what you're missing here.
A little irony. Paragraphic oxymoron, a masterful stroke of gov't doublespeak. Judge for yourself.

"The United States government charged former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden with spying on Friday, apparently unaware that in doing so it had created a situation dripping with irony. At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.
“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”
Seemingly not kidding, the spokesman went on to discuss another charge against Mr. Snowden—the theft of government documents: “The American people have the right to assume that their private documents will remain private and won’t be collected by someone in the government for his own purposes.”
“Only by bringing Mr. Snowden to justice can we safeguard the most precious of American rights: privacy,” added the spokesman, apparently serious." U.S. Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying : The New Yorker
 

nota bene

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I don't know how the spokesperson said that with a straight face either.

Meanwhile, Snowden's plane has entered Russian air space. From Reuters via Yahoo:

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is booked on a flight from Moscow to Cuba on Monday, Russian news agencies Interfax and Itar-Tass cited sources at Russian airline Aeroflot as saying on Sunday.

Itar-Tass cited its source as saying Snowden would fly from Havana to the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was looking into the situation and confirmed Snowden may be planning to travel through Moscow as a transit passenger en route to another destination. Snowden has ticket to Cuba, may go to Venezuela: Russian reports

Yes, they're "looking into it." :roll:
 

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Funny, we have a big Air Force base in Iceland.
 

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I'm sure glad I'm not this guy. At least I have the illusion of living free and doing as I so choose with the rest of my life. He doesn't even have that.

Have fun looking over your shoulder and sleeping with one eye open for the rest of your life Mr. Snowden.
 
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