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Thread: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    My point is that the court was lenient (to an extreme) on Ellsberg because his became a cause celebre. There's no reason to think why Snowden's wouldn't have been, either. Considering the 50/50 split on the feelings of the unwashed masses, it seems downright likely.
    Ah, I see. It appears you seem to think that such levels of supportive public opinion would probably result in jury nullification if Snowden's case were brought to trial. Although anything is possible, it it not very probable. That is because juries are subject to court instructions, which are regularly handed out by judges during trial, and this is especially true in Federal courts.

    Before sending the jury off to deliberate the judge will provide instructions on what they are required to do under the law. Such instructions usually include statements like "You MUST find the defendant guilty if..." This has typically served to dissuade rebellious jurors from voting their "conscience" by compelling them to examine the facts and determined a verdict required by the law.

    As I said, anything is possible, but if I were Snowden I would not put bank on it.

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    Ah, I see. It appears you seem to think that such levels of supportive public opinion would probably result in jury nullification if Snowden's case were brought to trial. Although anything is possible, it it not very probable. That is because juries are subject to court instructions, which are regularly handed out by judges during trial, and this is especially true in Federal courts.
    It's...happened before? William Daugherty went through an extensive list in his book Executive Secrets. There have been multiple opportunities for the US government to legally act and it has chosen not to, in light of popular opinion. They did this because they felt that, no matter how strong their case, the public wouldn't stand for a conviction. I don't see any evidence that this would be any different, but because Snowden had already fled, it was easy to put out the warrant for two reasons.

    #1- He probably isn't going to be caught any time soon, if ever.
    #2- His very act of fleeing disintegrated at least a little of his support.

    Before sending the jury off to deliberate the judge will provide instructions on what they are required to do under the law. Such instructions usually include statements like "You MUST find the defendant guilty if..." This has typically served to dissuade rebellious jurors from voting their "conscience" by compelling them to examine the facts and determined a verdict required by the law.

    As I said, anything is possible, but if I were Snowden I would not put bank on it.
    Typically, but in the most charged of cases, it's often been wrong. The Jim Crow South would provide the best examples.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    It's...happened before? William Daugherty went through an extensive list in his book Executive Secrets. There have been multiple opportunities for the US government to legally act and it has chosen not to, in light of popular opinion. They did this because they felt that, no matter how strong their case, the public wouldn't stand for a conviction. I don't see any evidence that this would be any different, but because Snowden had already fled, it was easy to put out the warrant for two reasons.

    #1- He probably isn't going to be caught any time soon, if ever.
    #2- His very act of fleeing disintegrated at least a little of his support.
    I appreciate your sympathies, but having represented criminal defendants in court I understand a little more of the REALITIES facing defendants in courts of law. Stay or flee, popular support or not, the Feds goal is to nip future acts of whistleblowing of government secrets in the bud.

    Consider President Obama's hard-line stand, and he is a confirmed "liberal" for crissake! Couple that with all the support from so-called Congressional leaders for both surveillance and punishment of government whistelblowers and you have a honest attempt to get this guy in court and throw the book at him. They are honestly trying to find him, get him extradited, and convicted as fast as possible. Had he remained instead of fleeing, he'd be in court right now and within a year sitting in a Federal prison for at least 20 years.

    Sorry, but that's just reality.
    Last edited by Captain Adverse; 06-24-13 at 09:45 PM.

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    I appreciate your sympathies, but having represented criminal defendants in court I understand a little more of the REALITIES facing defendants in courts of law. Stay or flee, popular support or not, the Feds goal is to nip future acts of whistleblowing of government secrets in the bud.

    Consider President Obama's hard-line stand, and he is a confirmed "liberal" for crissake! Couple that with all the support from so-called Congressional leaders for both surveillance and punishment of government whistelblowers and you have a honest attempt to get this guy in court and throw the book at him. They are honestly trying to find him, get him extradited, and convicted as fast as possible. Had he remained instead of fleeing, he'd be in court right now and within a year sitting in a Federal prison for at least 20 years.

    Sorry, but that's just reality.
    I mean, obviously it'd be great to have him in prison for a very long time, but the fact of the matter is unless you've represented defendants with worldwide fame, it doesn't really apply to this situation. Likewise, we understand that pressure can circumvent the law in things like Jim Crow, so...

    I'm not making it up. The representatives of the New York Times, regarding the Jeffrey Sterling case, in the early 2000s should've been on trial related to the Espionage Act of 1917, but the government decided not to press charges. Not because the case wasn't sound, but because of popular opinion. It happens.

    Of course, we'd all like to think that wouldn't have been the case with Snowden, but reality must encroach: it probably would've been.
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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    What technology? How do you even know that that's the size of the NSA
    facility? Why are you so focused on this one in particular?
    The NSA seems proud enough to make public many aspects of that data center.

    Including potential capacity.

    It's the focus because it's relevent.

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenton View Post
    The NSA seems proud enough to make public many aspects of that data center.

    Including potential capacity.

    It's the focus because it's relevent.
    Let's assume the NSA is talking about it any more than it's talked about any site:

    Why is it relevant? Simply because you don't know anything about the other sites and you focus on it?

    I read a hilarious story today in the Washington Post about the Snowden possibly still working for the NSA and doing this all as a means to break the news. Funny stuff, if all the "Snowden is a hero!" guys were still being played.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    I mean, obviously it'd be great to have him in prison for a very long time, but the fact of the matter is unless you've represented defendants with worldwide fame, it doesn't really apply to this situation. Likewise, we understand that pressure can circumvent the law in things like Jim Crow, so...

    I'm not making it up. The representatives of the New York Times, regarding the Jeffrey Sterling case, in the early 2000s should've been on trial related to the Espionage Act of 1917, but the government decided not to press charges. Not because the case wasn't sound, but because of popular opinion. It happens.

    Of course, we'd all like to think that wouldn't have been the case with Snowden, but reality must encroach: it probably would've been.
    I think you misunderstand my position, I think he IS a hero. I also think he was doing the intelligent thing in leaving the country rather than facing trial for his whistleblowing.

    I am a firm advocate of liberty and the protection of civil rights. I have followed closely many of the Federal cases involving terrorists, drugs, and whistleblowers. If I had my way, whistleblowers of government acts violating Constitutional protections like this should be as protected as the laws provide for business whistleblowers. Unfortunately that is not the case.

    So please understand, I am simply arguing the reality in support of my position that he was right to flee and not face trial. It does not make him any less a hero in MY eyes.

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    I think you misunderstand my position, I think he IS a hero.
    I didn't misunderstand it at all. I was deliberately giving you a rational opposite view, couched in the same language the hero folks have been using.

    I also think he was doing the intelligent thing in leaving the country rather than facing trial for his whistleblowing.
    As a lawyer, you should know what constitutes being a whistleblower. Not just "Sharing information about something you don't like".

    I am a firm advocate of liberty and the protection of civil rights. I have followed closely many of the Federal cases involving terrorists, drugs, and whistleblowers. If I had my way, whistleblowers of government acts violating Constitutional protections like this should be as protected as the laws provide for business whistleblowers. Unfortunately that is not the case.
    Do you think lone people working on their own to overrule the rule of law is a good thing? Are they vigilantes? I'm all for breaking laws when need be, but I don't try to veil myself in moral cloth when I do.

    So please understand, I am simply arguing the reality in support of my position that he was right to flee and not face trial. It does not make him any less a hero in MY eyes.
    That's fine, I'm just saying that history has shown that he would've had a very good chance of beating it. He decided instead to go to a variety of places that don't advocate liberty or the protection of civil rights that you say you so prize. That doesn't cause any hesitation for you? If he was so ideologically driven, you'd think he'd...ya know...be consistent in the application of that beloved ideology, instead of just using it when it suited him and ignoring it for the same reasons. Or do you think Snowden's ideology is that only Americans are deserving of those types of civil liberties he loves? Or maybe he wishes Ecuadoruians, Russians, Cubans, Chinese, etc could have those civil liberties but he needs to start somewhere more feasible and work to those nations...that's cool, I guess, but why not, if he's going to take the procedural route, work within the US government regarding PRISM? I bet we both know the answer to that one, though.

    (No, if you're one of those guys that thinks he'd be taken to a 'black site' and killed by the 'CIA', no. I'm talking a realistic reason)
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    My point is that the court was lenient (to an extreme) on Ellsberg because his became a cause celebre. There's no reason to think why Snowden's wouldn't have been, either. Considering the 50/50 split on the feelings of the unwashed masses, it seems downright likely.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    ...As a lawyer, you should know what constitutes being a whistleblower. Not just "Sharing information about something you don't like".



    Do you think lone people working on their own to overrule the rule of law is a good thing? Are they vigilantes? I'm all for breaking laws when need be, but I don't try to veil myself in moral cloth when I do.



    That's fine, I'm just saying that history has shown that he would've had a very good chance of beating it. He decided instead to go to a variety of places that don't advocate liberty or the protection of civil rights that you say you so prize. That doesn't cause any hesitation for you? If he was so ideologically driven, you'd think he'd...ya know...be consistent in the application of that beloved ideology, instead of just using it when it suited him and ignoring it for the same reasons. Or do you think Snowden's ideology is that only Americans are deserving of those types of civil liberties he loves? Or maybe he wishes Ecuadoruians, Russians, Cubans, Chinese, etc could have those civil liberties but he needs to start somewhere more feasible and work to those nations...that's cool, I guess, but why not, if he's going to take the procedural route, work within the US government regarding PRISM? I bet we both know the answer to that one, though.

    (No, if you're one of those guys that thinks he'd be taken to a 'black site' and killed by the 'CIA', no. I'm talking a realistic reason)
    Perhaps you need to re-read a couple of my prior posts: #601 and #607? I don’t know how much clearer I could possibly be.

    Furthermore your position confuses me. You seem to advocate “martyrdom” as the only avenue of a “righteous” whistleblower, or that only a group united in righteousness should be allowed to blow whistles about government misconduct.

    Personally I am all for transparency in government, however it is presented. In this case a man making public inside information that was not actually “harmful” (unless you buy into the “War on Terror needs every tool in the armory to win” line of B/S) to the workings of our government.

    And your point on Ellsburg is complete nonsense. The Court was NOT being “lenient in the extreme,” it was acting on the basis of information regarding government misconduct and illegal wire tapping. Had it not been for Watergate and the evidence from that investigation provided to the judge during Ellsburg’s trial he’d probably be just getting released from prison about now with time off for good behavior.

    People believe a lot of erroneous things about our criminal justice system, but the reality is quite different. The only thing I will give you is the long-shot possibility of jury nullification, but if I were his friend (it would be unethical to offer this suggestion as an attorney) I’d be saying “Have a nice life in Iceland, later dude.”

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    Re: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Are you familiar with the notion of "figure of speech"? Figuratively speaking?
    Why be that hyperbolic

    Why bend backwards so far to protect the usage of that word

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