Edward Snowden

Feds Charge Edward Snowden with Espionage


Guess this is part of that "public discussion" on transparency?
Credit: The Guardian

The man who told Americans (and the world) what their government is doing with their private data is being charged with espionage. The Washington Post reports:

Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said.

The complaint 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 in prosecuting cases with national security implications.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

So will this be The Pentagon Papers, Part II, or what? This is assuming the government can get its hands on Snowden. While Hong Kong does have an extradition treaty with the United States, there are complications:

The United States has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and U.S. officials said cooperation with the Chinese territory, which enjoys some autonomy from Beijing, has been good in previous cases.

The treaty, however, has an exception for political offenses, and espionage has traditionally been treated as a political offense. Snowden's defense team in Hong Kong is likely to invoke part of the extradition treaty with the United States, which states that suspects will not be turned over to face criminal trial for offenses of a "political character."

Snowden could also remain in Hong Kong if the Chinese government decides that it is not in the defense or foreign policy interests of the government in Beijing to have him sent back to the United States for trial.

Snowden could also apply for asylum in Hong Kong, or attempt to reach another jurisdiction and seek asylum there before the authorities in Hong Kong act.

Our coverage of all matters Snowden-related is here.

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  1. Truth is treason in an empire of lies.

    1. (GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers, and
      SHAMM = Statist Heaven Above Mere Mortals)
      Our GAWD, Who dwells in SHAMM,
      Hallowed be Thy Name;
      Thy Taxes come in,
      Thy Bennies go out,
      All across the land,
      Powered by Thy Wrath.
      Give us more bread and circuses,
      More military crusades,
      And more stimulus funds.
      Keep us safe from earpoppers
      And lung flutes. Lead us not into
      Disobedience, but shelter us through
      Your Nannies. Forgive us
      When we are politically incorrect.
      For Yours is the Power and the Glory
      of the Pyramind Scheme, Forever and Ever,
      (This Worship Session brought to you by the Church of Scienfoology; see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ )

  2. Espionage? Snowden gave classified information to the American people. Normally espionage is giving information to an enemy. So what does that say about what the federal government thinks of the people?

    1. They welcome the debate.

    2. I think that their spying on us already tells us what they think of us.

    3. They really are mendacious shits, aren’t they.

      It would be nice if this allowed people to say what they already know to be true: that the country in its current form is not a democracy, but a country ruled a a series of bureaucracies for which we elect titular figureheads.

      Why else would the government be so hostile to moves that are self-evidently a necessity for democratic governance to work?

      1. I still think that there is so much egregious shit going on that we don’t know about that even we would be shocked if we knew the full truth. So much is hidden from view, oversight, and accountability; how can abuse not be rampant?

      2. The United States isn’t, and was never supposed to be, a democracy. It was designed as a Constitutional Republic, where individual liberties can’t be voted away by a majority. Democracy is tyranny by majority.

    4. More to the point, Snowden informed the American people of crimes committed against them by their own government. I would argue that he in fact had a duty to do so.


    5. Obviously, the U.S. government considers the American people to be “enemies.”

    6. When questioned if the recent NSA hearing itself jeopardized national security, Gen. Alexander plainly said “no.”

      So if Snowden reveals how the NSA functions, it’s compromises the safety of every American; if a government official does it, all is well.

  3. Fucking Friday afternoon news dump cowards.

    1. Snowden better not attend any weddings, especially that of an uncle. The FedGov might send its regards.

      1. And now the Snow weeps o’er his hall and not a soul to hear.

        1. And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that NSA analyst…

          eh, kinda weak but it’s the best I could come up with

  4. Snowden has eight toes on each foot!

    1. Is this some new kind of anonbot?

  5. Paranoid Barack issues the order.

    “We must find a way to shut those bastards up.”

  6. Well, what do you know? Dick Cheney was right. In addition to being a traitor, Snowden is also a spy. It’s true. I read it in the news.

    1. If both Dick Cheney and Diane Feinstein say so it’s hard to disagree.

  7. What are the chances that Hong Kong will hand him over? There an InTrade on this?

    1. There’s absolutely no chance that Russia hands him over, so that is where he should go. Putin’s an asshole, but he will treat Snowden like royalty just to fuck with Obama.

      1. I have to agree. The morning star itself is less constant than the stubborn irascibility of an asshole.

  8. Yep, Snowden committed “espionage”, but Nidal Malik Hasan committed a regular old act of “workplace violence”. This is our federal government, America.

  9. This can’t be true. A proggy informed me that everyone already knew the stuff that Snowden revealed. Now he’s being indicted for revealing it?

    1. S’truth. Wm Binney & Drake said it all before w/o the name PRISM attached to it years ago. Snowden merely released documents that provide evidence for the folks that are suing NSA for spying on them. NSA says they weren’t, and you can’t use discovery on our records because NASHNUL SCURRTEE!! Now the plaintiffs have an outside source.

  10. meanwhile, backdated indictments were issued today against Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

    If Snowden committed ‘espionage,’ to which nation did he reveal American secrets and what were those secrets?

    1. So a man ran through the streets of Moscow screaming, “Putin is an asshole!” He was arrested for revealing state secrets.

      (updated Soviet joke)

  11. So if Snowden committed espionage, did the administration commit high treason for blatantly disregarding the Constitution?

    Time to turn the tables on these statist fucks.

  12. The Truth is out there.

  13. Meanwhile, the Obama officials, who apparently violated the civil rights of millions of Americans, have been charged with absolutely nothing.

  14. Anyone else find it darkly amusing that THE CHARGES ARE SECRET?

    Maybe Barack can try him on those secret charges in a secret court using secret evidence. Then he can come out and tell us how transparent it all is.

  15. we’re living in crazy times, taking the last train to insaneville, as we hurtle to perdition. Can I take the red pill now?

  16. I thought the prevailing story that the MSM was reporting from the scripts the Feds were giving them was this was all a bunch of old news that has been out there for several years. If that is the case then what are they charging Snowden for, again?

    1. can’t tell you, it’s sealed

  17. Wouldn’t it be funny if they made the case so secret they couldn’t even charge him? Like if the only few people who were authorized to know details lost some important evidence.

    1. Discovery should be interesting.

  18. I wanna move to Iceland.

    1. I wanna move to Hong Kong.

      1. I wanna move to Mars

  19. Maybe Snowden broke a law.

    But every single politician including that snivelling little shit Alexander swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign AND domestic.

    That oath is sacred and if there are to be repercussions, these oath breakers need to be at the head of the line.

    1. Rules don’t apply to the powerful

      1. Which is why we will never see a big public trial.

        There’s no way the powers that be want this getting the kind of wall-to-wall coverage that the OJ trial got.

        Americans might wake up for a second. Danger.

  20. Meanwhile your leader wants to arm a bunch of insane fanaticals in Syria. What could possibly go wrong?

    Obama is not just a bad leader. He’s an incoherent one.

    1. It’s ok – all the people we’re arming in Syria have passed federal background checks.

  21. Seems Snowden has this planned out well. He now claims he has proof that the NSA hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies as recently as January this year. That will likely sink that extradition request.

  22. My black friend keeps telling me Snowden is a traitor because he broke the law. I keep asking my black friend if the runaway slaves and the abolitionists were traitors for breaking the law. Needless to say that’s when my friend changes the subject.

  23. Do we really want whistle blowers with sensitive information running away to Hong Kong, which is pretty close to China (hacked our defense computers)?

    Libertarians aren’t the only ones who sympathize with Snowden, but if you spare him, then you play into the hands of critics who accuse you of being “anarachists” who doesn’t believe in ANY government, rules, or regulations.

    We sort of knew the government was spying on us. Snowden must have agreed not to leak information while working for an entity that apparently spies for a living.

    I would hide an abolitionist or a runaway slave. But I wouldn’t harbor a Japanese foreign national during the WW2 era if he had classified information that could be transferred to his motherland and used against us – even if he escaped from Manzannar.

    I guess it all depends on how much he knows. For me, he’s way too close to a communist state that spies on us as well. The guy is on the side of liberty, but letting him off the hook completely sets an iffy precedent.

  24. This is the epitome of ironic. The government pursues a policy of illegally spying on every American with impunity, then some guy tells people “hey the government is spying on everyone”, then the government charges HIM with espionage. God fucking bless Merica.

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