President To Consider Pardoning Edward Snowden. by J

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President Trump will consider a request to pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden who released a trove of national secrets (and illegal goings on by alphabet agencies) in 2013.

“I’m going to start looking at it,” Trump said at a news conference in New Jersey.

Snowden was granted asylum by Russia in 2013.

Snowden’s leaks exposed a vast domestic and international surveillance operation carried out by the NSA. U.S. authorities have since sought to have Snowden return to face criminal espionage charges.

His attorney says it differently.

“He was acting not only in the interest of the American citizens, but in the interest of all the humankind,” the attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, said.

The NSA was (still is) collecting data on every American.

Trump once called Snowden a spy who should be executed. Reflecting now about he now sees him as more of a leaker. I used to think Snowden should have gone through the legal process as a leaker but after having seen how our intel agencies operate, I’d sooner believe in the Tooth Fairy.

What Snowden showed was how alphabet agencies who are bound by U.S. laws are skirting those very laws legally using independent contractors for many of their intelligence operations, contractors many of whom employ foreign nationals, and grant them access to raw unfiltered extremely sensitive and damaging intelligence information which in foreign hands poses an extremely grave threat to U.S. National Security. 

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In effect these independent intelligence contractors have been given the keys to the kingdom with no oversight.

J.

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15 Responses to President To Consider Pardoning Edward Snowden. by J

  1. Avatar Fred says:

    J,
    The independent contractors have, to quote James Comey, “A Higher Loyalty”. Considering the infiltration of academia by the Chinese government, the sabatouge of naval operations via the “Fat Leonard” scandal, NIH circumvention of Congress, then you should really wonder what the head of FBI counter intellegence was about while this was going on.
    How many other political opponents were spied upon in like fashion? Were they federal (congressional and senate) races, gubernatorial, state legislature? Lots of questions. Where’s our vaunted 4th estate? Just don’t ask what Joe or HIlary or Susan or even St. Barack were doing, or just what they knew, and when, about FBI contractors using the NSA database. Mueller, Weisman, Rosenstien. Don’t ask them either, except in court, under oath. Preferably during a televised trial.
    https://www.npr.org/2020/02/14/806128410/harvard-professors-arrest-raises-questions-about-scientific-openness
    https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ucla-professor-military-china-20190711-story.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Leonard_scandal
    https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

  2. Avatar Petrel says:

    Millie Weaver’s recently released video, about down-line NSA developments, has revealed that former technicians have managed to package and sell mega-data on everyone — from Capital Hill, to Beacon Hill — to anyone with cash. These are not Russians, nor Chinese, but real made / trained-in-America and, sometimes, 4-star military traitors.

  3. Avatar blue peacock says:

    J,
    This would be a master stroke by Trump, if he actually pulls the trigger. Not only would he do the right thing but he would also attract many civil liberties minded Americans who consider Snowden a hero for disclosing that the American government including James Clapper under oath in Congressional testimony lied to them consistently about mass surveillance with no due process.
    Of course the added benefit would be that it would drive many neocons like Billy Kristol and Liz Cheney batshit crazy. I’m surprised PomPom hasn’t weighed in calling Snowden a traitor.
    IMO, Trump should also pardon Assange. The poor man has already been tortured enough.

  4. Avatar J says:

    One of the major problems happened when 911 occurred. They (White House) tossed out the rule book. Before 911, NSA adhered to USSID18 regarding surveillance inside the U.S.. The Bush 2 Administration and the running-scared Congress (both parties) dropped all the protections that Americans had enjoyed years past. In effect George Orwell’s 1984 became a reality.
    There have been really good people at the helm of NSA, and some really bad ones. The good ones like Adm. Rogers, and the bad ones like Gen. Hayden have given the agency whip-lash through the years. Adm. Rogers did the right thing in meeting with POTUS letting him know what was going on. There are a lot of good people at NSA, and there are those who only think of their career skins, who never should have been allowed into NSA.

  5. Avatar Artemesia says:

    Ironically, a presidential pardon would be a death sentence for both men.
    Theirs is not a Methuselan future.

  6. Avatar Jim says:

    Although Millie Weaver and her spouse were quickly hauled to prison when their video was posted online just days ago [and also quickly removed by Youtube within minutes], ToRe, during a one hour and 27 minute interview with Weaver, had apparently named who wrote that anonymous Op Ed published in NYTimes, Sept. 5, 2018; though the name could not be heard in that video, as it was garbled, apparently by Weaver, ToRe said.
    ToRe says she will reveal that name.
    The interview by Weaver of ToRe is titled, What They Don’t Want You To See.
    At:
    https://www.pscp.tv/Tore_says/1RDGlrYynRgxL
    Also, for reference, NYTimes, “Sep 5, 2018 – The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay” etc.
    “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” . . . .
    -30-

  7. Avatar TV says:

    Just more evidence of the rampant incompetence of the
    “intelligence” agencies. I would guess that for Russian and Chinese spies being sent to the US is tantamount to a vacation.

  8. Avatar Leith says:

    Snowden caused enormous harm to US national security. What he gave up had absolutely nothing to do with the individual privacy of American citizens. That was done by big corporate firms using tech gurus in silicon valley. Any review of the material Snowden compromised shows that he handed over secrets of military and intelligence programs that protect US troops and everyday Americans.
    Any clemency for Snowden is ill-advised. The lefties and the entire progressive wing of the Dems will cheer if it happens. But it would be a slap in the face to every present or former military, or government & contractor employee who takes his or her oath seriously.
    Would Snowden even accept a pardon from Trump. He (Snowden) has said in the past: “To be honest, everyone who has heard Trump speak for three minutes knows he’s a wrecking ball”.

  9. Avatar confusedponderer says:

    blue peacock,
    re Trump pardoning Snowden – it would IMO not reflect his character – his grand arbitrariness (which he sees as strength and not as display of obvious weakness) aside.
    Trump just said that, if or when re-elected, he may fire his entire troupe, including Pence, secretary Yesper, wanna be CinC Pompeo and perhaps even the fanboy Grenell or Kushner. That’s IMO simply panic masked as arbitrariness to keep the folks on the go.
    My impression is that Trump is a guy who pardons allies and tools like Roger Stone for, say, keeping the effing mouth shut. If they don’t … too bad for them, after all – a used handkerchief is also thrown away.
    Contrast the treatment of the proud Nixon fan and professional dirty player Roger Stone with that of the professional legal fixer Michael Cohen.
    Stone apparently knew some dirt but kept silent and, oh wonder, he got pardoned. Reward for loyalty?
    Cohen did not and does not stay quiet. He writes a book about his work for Trump. That has apparently so far been rewarded with some extra solitary confinement, probably not incidentally keeping him from writing on.
    With folks like Snowden Trump’s typical style suggests massive revenge (not just punishment), immediately suing the opponent (real or perceived) and then kick some more. That’s a long developed habit.
    As for habit – when the Deutsche Bank wanted a tiny $ 300.000.000 credit back because it was due he immediately sued them, had his lawyers boldly arguing the BANK as a BANK in the BANK CRISIS didn’t deserve payback, lost his case and had to pay, but gained time. Such actions help to get a reputation ruined.
    That has practical consequences. Trump last year was seeking more and new lawyers but didn’t find any. One high level attorney summed briefly up why: (a) He doesn’t listen to advice and (b) he doesn’t pay. And that is not ‘unfair’, they just knew who they were dealing with.
    But then, perhaps his gut tells him that pardoning Snowden may be a cunning campaign trick to claw back some center votes lost to Biden. Who knows? I have a hunch but I don’t know. But then, perhaps not even Trump himself knows.

  10. Avatar Paul Bogle says:

    Is it possible Trump is sending a signal to his Deep State opposition to back off during the election? Trump believes in punishing his enemies. What better way than threatening to pardon everyone they hate?

  11. Avatar ked says:

    C’mon – we’ve lived through the bright shiny object portions of election campaigns before. We like bright shiny objects.
    As to gov contractors, their strategic business plan must include seekIng keys to their kingdom… that’s how they make $$$, achieve independence … by becoming their own oversight.

  12. Avatar BillWade says:

    Trump’s going to pardon someone “very, very, important today”. My guess is it will be Assange.

  13. Avatar BillWade says:

    Susan B. Anthony, Trump’s on a troll!

  14. Avatar FakeBot says:

    He’s pardoning Susan B. Anthony. Maybe if Assange dies before November he’ll be lucky enough to get a pardon too.

  15. Avatar robt willmann says:

    A person who should be pardoned immediately is Thomas Drake, who was caught up in the retaliation against NSA whistleblowers William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis. Drake, who also worked at the NSA, was charged by indictment in 2010 for allegedly leaking to the press about waste, fraud, and violations of privacy rights at the NSA. The case against him collapsed, but to cut the attendant risk in federal court, he pled to a misdemeanor before trial.
    Binney, Wiebe, and Loomis — who were in the small group at NSA that invented a sophisticated data collection and automated filtering program — made a complaint about fraud, waste, and abuse to the Department of Defense Inspector General in 2002, along with Diane Roark, who was involved with oversight of the NSA at the House Intelligence Committee.
    That appropriate action resulted in their being raided by the FBI in 2007. The FBI director at that time was Robert Mueller. None of those four were charged in court with crimes, because no crimes were committed. There is much more to their story.

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