Why does Edward Snowden stay in Russia? This is a question raised by his critics but also pondered by his supporters, given the country's hostility to freedom of expression and its engagement in the sorts of activities that Snowden himself decries. To many of us, some explanations for why he is still there seem rather obvious -- in short, he doesn't want to go to prison, and going anywhere else right now would be too risky -- and the Washington Post does some reporting with top US law enforcement and diplomatic officials that sheds a lot more light on this issue. I recommend reading the whole thing, but I will put some highlights below the orange pig-in-a-blanket.
Charlie Savage of the New York Times reports:
WASHINGTON — United States intelligence analysts have searched for Americans’ emails and phone calls within the repository of communications that the government collects without a warrant, according to a letter from James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, to Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon.More below the orange pig-in-a-blanket.
The March 28 letter was not the first official confirmation that both the National Security Agency and the C.I.A. had carried out such searches. But its release served to elevate attention to the fact that the activity, which Mr. Wyden has criticized as a “backdoor search” loophole to warrant requirements, was not just theoretical.
As noted a few days ago in a diary by dweb8321, it seems that there is a coordinated effort underway by some members of Congress and so-called security experts to smear Edward Snowden as having coordinated with Russian intelligence on his revelations on the activities of the National Security Agency and its allies around the world.
Now, in a conversation with the venerable Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, published yesterday on the Newsdesk blog, Snowden responds to these allegations. I recommend reading the whole piece, a rare interview with a person who, despite easily tossed around allegations that he is a narcissist who is only seeking attention, has spent very little time talking to the press.
The Guardian has another bombshell report on the NSA, based on the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The headline says it all: XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
Please click over and read the whole thing (the article includes images of the referenced documents), but in the interests of driving discussion here, below the fold I will share some of the highlights.
We know that, since he has been acquitted of the most serious charge of "aiding the enemy," there is no minimum sentence for the remaining charges of which he was convicted.
We know that the government has been unable to point to any specific harms caused by the releases for which Manning has been convicted.
We know that Bradley Manning was motivated by a desire for transparency and to spark public debate.
At sentencing, Bradley Manning should be released with credit for time served. He's been punished enough.
File this one under "no one ever would have guessed." Reuters reports:
(Reuters) - Spain acknowledged on Tuesday that a U.S. request had led it to delay approving an overflight by Bolivia's president, but said it had given the go-ahead after receiving an assurance from Bolivia that U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden was not on the plane.The story goes on:
I'll be very interested to hear how people who argued so long and loud on Daily Kos that there was nothing amiss with Bradley Manning's detention conditions at Quantico will react to this news. Of course, many of them argued that David E. Coombs is not a credible source on Manning's detention conditions, since he is Manning's attorney. If that is your position, then you are free to dismiss the following information as well. However, I am gratified to see that things have improved for Manning.
Before I continue, a disclaimer: this diary is simply to share information about how Bradley Manning's detention conditions have changed. In no way am I arguing in this diary that the essential injustices committed against Manning have been resolved. I'm still suspicious that Manning's 6th Amendment rights are being violated by this long detention. I am not a lawyer, though. David Coombs is; let's hear what he has to say about Manning's detention at Fort Leavenworth.
Over the last day the treatment of Bradley Manning at Quantico has gotten even worse. After reading this, I'm not sure that anyone will be able to deny that Manning's captors are violating his human rights in order to make him crack. David E. Coombs, Manning's lawyer, reported on his blog yesterday that on Wednesday night prison guards took away Manning's clothing and forced him to remain naked in his cell all night, not returning his clothing on Thursday morning until after he had to stand at attention, completely naked, for a cell head count.
The nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica reported yesterday that the Obama Administration is drafting an executive order implementing indefinite detention regimes for certain inmates at Guantanamo. The order will affect dozens of prisoners and will include a review process for the evidence against detainees. Says ProPublica:
The draft order, a version of which was first considered nearly 18 months ago, is expected to be signed by President Obama early in the New Year. The order allows for the possibility that detainees from countries like Yemen might be released if circumstances there change.
But the order establishes indefinite detention as a long-term Obama administration policy and makes clear that the White House alone will manage a review process for those it chooses to hold without charge or trial.
Today Glenn Greenwald exposedthe inhumane conditions under which alleged leaker Bradley Manning is being held at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. I recommend clicking over to read the whole piece, but I will post a few excerpts so that we may discuss it here. I know that Bradley Manning isn't necessarily the most popular person around here, but I hope that, after reading the Greenwald piece, even those at Daily Kos who hate him with a passion may agree that the current conditions of his detention are unwarranted.
Greenwald's piece on Manning is mostly based on original reporting and has been mainly confirmed on-the-record by an official from Quantico. Greenwald describesthe detention conditions for his five months at Quantico like this:
I know, actually, it isn't that shocking at all. Obviously he feels safe, or he wouldn't have put it right in his book. From today's Washington Post:
Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former president George W. Bush for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving the simulated drownings of CIA detainees, a practice that many international legal experts say was illicit torture.
In a memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.
A Washington Post reporter caught a tea partier in a rather extraordinary moment of honesty today.
Follow me below the fold for the quote that should be heard around the world.
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