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View Diary: Did Snowden Break Any Laws? An Analysis w/Poll (95 comments)

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  •  I don't think Snowden had (6+ / 0-)

    either possession or control of

    he had access to

    and

    he didn't remove anything, he copied it

    I know, parsing the letter of the law, but keep in mind these laws were written during and post WWII to set up a legal foundation to prosecute people "in times of war" and, most importantly, written long before the digital age.

    The context is important, imo, looking at the laws that stand, but new laws need to be written.  Snowden may squeak throug the crack left by a Congress that failed to update these laws to include digital age whistleblowers.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:22:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  No argument there (5+ / 0-)
      new laws need to be written.
      But I think most would consdier he had "possession or control", and "removed" the information "from its proper place"; and that your point attempts to too narrowly define those words.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:27:51 PM PDT

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      •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, CroneWit

        It might be a defensive legal tactic to bog this down with legalese.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:30:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd expect a legal strategy would be much simpler (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, Bonsai66, ballerina X

          The "whistleblower" and "done for the public good" defense. Open admission that he took the information, and shared it, but was justified in doing so. He has lots of public support for that approach, and would have more (or regain some that he's lost) simply by turning himself in.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:38:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gulp at the "turning himself in" (7+ / 0-)

            Tin DeChristopher had lots of public support.  He didn't harm anyone but spent a year in prison.

            If there is a trial, it will drag on for years.  Do you think DOJ will let him off the hook by paying a fine like the Wall Street Gang does?

            I don't think so. And he would be held in jail until trial in our new justice system.

            Sadly, I've lost trust in our judicial system for "regular folks" who buck the unjust system and, HORRORS, EMBARRASS the USA.  Doesn't usually end well for them.  Of course, there are exceptions.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:45:40 PM PDT

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            •  He's essentially in jail now (3+ / 0-)

              And that is certainly a likely prospect for many practicing civil disobedience, whether it be for hours after a protest; or years in some cases for someone like a Mandela. Snowden has an enormous amount of potential support, so far beyond DeChristopher's that there's no way to compare.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:59:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, but a 4 star jail (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CroneWit, blueoasis, Sandino

                with vodka and caviar and all that great Russian food.  I love, even make my own, borscht.

                : ))

                Where would DOJ hold Snowden if he turned himself in?

                Some federal prison?

                Or would Snowden be free until proven guilty after a lengthy trial with proper represenation, and hopefully a jury of his peers (us)

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:11:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Espionage Act was 1917 -- WWI (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error
    •  You're trying too hard (5+ / 0-)
      Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation
      Copying something would be a method of transferring "information".
      •  You are correct.... (4+ / 0-)

        Snowden is definitely chargeable...and I'm not sure a defense of "but I did it for the public good" is going to carry a lot of weight when he could have exposed the problem without the taking of information that even his PR agent says should have us "on our knees".

        Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

        by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:52:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you with the government? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, aliasalias

          just curious.

          also, see Crone Wit's comment & links below

          If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

          by Lady Libertine on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:55:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, and don't even attempt to get me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Argyrios

            involved with the bizarre conspiracy theories going on around here.

            Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

            by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:43:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not at all (0+ / 0-)

              just a reference to your use of "us" there.

              What Greenwald actually said:

              3) I was asked whether I thought the US government would take physical action against him if he tried to go to Latin America or even force his plane down. That's when I said that doing so would be completely counter-productive given that - as has been reported before - such an attack could easily result in far more disclosures than allowing us as journalists to vet and responsibly report them, as we've doing. As a result of the documents he has, I said in the interview,the US government should be praying for his safety, not threatening or harming it.

              If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

              by Lady Libertine on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:13:31 PM PDT

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        •  "For the public good" may still work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Morgan Sandlin

          At least in minimizing the punishment. Granted it would have worked much more effectively had he made more judicious choices in selecting his data and his approach to disseminating it.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:30:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that it may work on the minimizing of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, FiredUpInCA

            punishment (may being the operative word there) but it certainly won't, in my opinion, effect the charging decision.

            I don't know if Snowden is entirely responsible for the path he's taken (though as an adult of course he ultimately is) or if he has been receiving heavy influence from advisors who have used them for their own purposes, but I do agree, there were better choices to be made.

            Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

            by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:49:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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