Edward Snowden

National Review Writer: 'Give Snowden Immunity'


National Review just hasn't been the same since Virginia Postrel wasn't there. |||

Sure, it's not from a staffer, but conservatism's flagship magazine has published a piece by Robert Zubrin arguing that everyone's interests would be best served by giving leaker Edward Snowden immunity in exchange for maximum testimony about the NSA under oath. Sample:

One must…ask the conductors of the chorus chanting "Death to Snowden" why they prefer to have the analyst talking to Russia, Iran, and North Korea rather than to Congress. Is it because the NSA regards the holders of America's purse strings as the greater threat? If so, it would appear that the agency's leadership has misplaced its priorities.

On the other hand, Snowden may be lying, or grossly exaggerating, in his accusations of deeply subversive anti-constitutional actions by the NSA. If so, he has done real harm to American freedom by chilling the public with unnecessary fear of a nonexistent panopticon state. Such falsehoods therefore need to be refuted. The NSA has issued denials. Unfortunately, however, because the agency previously lied to Congress and the public about the very existence of the domestic-spying program, those denials have no credibility. If the NSA is now being truthful, it needs to establish that by taking Snowden on in open confrontation.

Snowden and NSA leaders should be brought together face-to-face for questioning in public by a congressional investigatory committee, with both parties allowed to make their points and to counter the assertions of the other. If Snowden is lying, it will come out. If the NSA is lying, it will come out. If either refuses to appear, that party will be discredited.

Sounds good to me, though I'm trying to imagine who in Congress would line up to co-sponsor that bad boy…. Whole column here

Read Zubrin's provocative Reason piece, "How Much Is an Astronaut's Life Worth?"

NEXT: Researchers to Exhume Bodies at Troubled Fla. Boys Reform School

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  1. Great idea – it would be a good test. Would the Administration ignore Congressional immunity and make Snowden disappear before he made it DC to testify?

  2. Do you see the depths the agricultural city-state will go through to maintain it’s despotism? To paraphrase, now you see the violence inherent in the system. Help help, we’re being oppressed!

    Edward Snowden does not seem free to gambol anywhere now, does he? Not that Siberia makes for the best gamboling, I’m told, but nevertheless, the principal applies.

    1. Whaaaaa? Must be satire – no other explanation.

      1. Lady Bertrum| 8.7.13 @ 2:41PM |#
        “Whaaaaa? Must be satire – no other explanation.”

        1) WI of old on meds.
        2) Satire of WI

        1. It doesn’t have the same ring to it the old WI had. The old WI just ranted incoherently and at no one in particular. This one is responding to people and using pop culture references and a winky humor. I say fake.

          1. Of course it’s fake.

            1. Sorry, but your “unified troll theory” was wrong. There were AT LEAST three different people posting as “White Indian” with distinctly different styles. By far the most prolifigate was the one who would copy-pasta long screeds and rant incoherently, but there were obviously others.

              Ask John; he commented several times about how one of them used much coarser language than the others, etc.

              I’ve found that it’s quite hard to convince people that hunter-gatherer tribal bands are the solution for humanity when I simply scream nonsense at them. And believe you me, I tried!

              1. The O(H)G White Indian| 8.7.13 @ 3:12PM |#
                “Sorry, but your “unified troll theory” was wrong. There were AT LEAST three different people posting as “White Indian” with distinctly different styles.”

                You know that by being here and yet you don’t recognize the handle Sevo?
                You (or “they” you claim) certainly had some ‘discussions’ with Sevo.

                1. Um, when exactly did I claim to not recognize your handle?

                  1. The O(H)G White Indian| 8.7.13 @ 3:55PM |#
                    “Um, when exactly did I claim to not recognize your handle?”

                    OK, you feigned ignorance.

            2. But Epi, you always get ‘fake’ signals.

          2. The only thing “fake” in this world, ma’am, is the idea that the agricultural city-state is moral or advanced. The agricultural city-state represents nothing more than man’s attempt to build a tyranny in the Garden of Nature. Why else do all “civilizations” institute Gambol Lockdown over their supposedly free citizens? How is a man free if he cannot walk anywhere he pleases, or take food from the bounty of nature? The First Principle of Artemius Geronimo is this: “The City is Control. The Field is Freedom.” You would be wise to remember that, instead of embracing the city and all the degeneration that comes with it.

            1. Who said I embrace the city?

              1. You did. You type on a machine made of metal, instead of writing in the Dirt with Sticks. Princple 7 of the Triad of Nature, as set forth by Suetonius Cherubim, states that “People Embrace the City-State because it lets them avoid the dirt.” Clearly, you are one of those people who have picked up the keyboard and set down the twig. You have embraced the Burning of the Forests, the Rape of the Sands, and the Tearing of the Soil.

                All the City is a stage for the vilest instincts of men. “Civilization” tears men and women alike from the simple from which they came and turns them into nothing more than puppets of Industrial Expansion.

                1. Got it: Sarc.

                  1. May Saint Chomsky have mercy on your soul.

                    1. bmp1701| 8.7.13 @ 3:31PM |#
                      “May Saint Chomsky have mercy on your soul.”

                      GOOD! That’s GOOD!

            2. “The agricultural city-state represents nothing more than man’s attempt to build a tyranny in the Garden of Nature.”

              Sarc or stupidity?

              1. Why would sarc post under such a handle?

    2. This is not the “real” White Indian. Needs more certified craziness.

      1. Actually I was the original, but some (frankly probably several) maniacs took up the mantle and really started crazy-ing the place up. It had to be some other regulars; there’s just no way I could have accounted for the sheer volume of posts credited to “White Indian”.

        What can I say: having the scales fall from your eyes can be a powerful experience, so it doesn’t surprise me that some people, when exposed to the truth about the agricultural city-statist domination of our species, got a little over-excited.

        1. You forgot to capitalize The Truth

        2. “What can I say: having the scales fall from your eyes can be a powerful experience,”

          Those fantasies are very attractive. Oh, and go screw your mud-momma.

          1. Is…is that some kind of racist joke?

            1. Sevo is not renowned for his patience, and doesn’t suffer trolls lightly.

              1. Kind of like Gandalf.

            2. The O(H)G White Indian| 8.7.13 @ 2:54PM |#
              “Is…is that some kind of racist joke?”

              Don’t tell me you don’t love Mother Earth?!
              Mud, that’s all.

              1. Really? The molten core is really just mud?

                1. The O(H)G White Indian| 8.7.13 @ 3:13PM |#
                  “Really? The molten core is really just mud?”

                  How clever, Mr. Pedant!

                  1. it was at one time – SPACE MuuuudddDD…

                  2. Hey you said it, not me. Be more precise in your use of language.

  3. Snowden and NSA leaders should be brought together face-to-face for questioning in public by a congressional investigatory committee, with both parties allowed to make their points and to counter the assertions of the other.

    This is literally the last thing in the world that the creatures in Congress want, because some of them knew about it. Hasn’t everyone realized yet that honesty is never the best policy for Washington? Even if it is for us?

    1. Good government is build on a foundation of bones and lies, Epi. Do you want your mortgage interest tax deduction or don’t you?

      1. I…I don’t have a mortgage, Hugh. What other free shit do you offer? I’d totally be willing to ignore the bones and lies for a deduction for my cleaning ladies, though!


      2. I thought it was built on a foundation of my old, now-empty wallets.

  4. Greatest alt-text ever?

    1. Alt-text Double Plus Good

    2. I hope the rest of the staff is taking notes.

    3. Yeah, it’s right up there

    4. I’m asking because it bugs me not to know; what does alt-text mean?

      1. It is text that can be embedded with an image, and if your browser cannot for some reason display the image (bandwith problems, for instance), it will put the text instead so the reader has some idea what was supposed to be there. It is from the age of dial-up and 56K baud modems, so that something could be put where images were supposed to be while they took forever to download.

        1. In Firefox, it displays the image and the text if you mouse over the image.

        2. k, thanks.

        3. Can also be used for text-to-speech functions for the visually-impaired.

  5. Mark Steyn has been walking the Balko beat recently as well


    Comments are interesting.

    1. Those comments are in line with what I have seen around the webosphere of late. The tide of public sentiment about all of these civil liberty violations by the feds and by local cops has started to turn, for the good.

      The only place you will still see the boot licking drones is HuffPo and maybe New Republic, a few others. But most news sites like CBS and even Yahoo, most of the comments are from people who are fed up with the tyranny.

      1. There seems to have been a real sea change on the right regarding cops in the last six or seven years.

        1. I’ve been saying for several years now that cops have been so aggressive and overbearing they’re losing their #1 constituency: Dumpy, white, gun-owning middle class males.

          When they can’t even hold on to that constituency, you know they’re completely off the reservation.

          1. Me too. A good portion of my family fits that description. And they are all real law and order conservatives. Yet, they fucking hate cops these days. When the police lose people like my Marine Vietnam vet, never voted for anyone but a Republican, dad, they have really alienated a lot of people.

            1. they have really alienated a lot of people

              A lot of people like dogs, and want their own to stay alive. Just sayin…

              1. A lot of people don’t want every interaction with a cop to turn into an angry, hostile scenario with the cop threatening to kill them.

                I was on a gun-forum the other day where a guy told a tale of stepping out of his truck and his autistic kid locked the truck instead of getting out, and was inside the truck with a loaded pistol under the dash.

                Obviously concerned, the truck owner called was trying to get the kid to unlock the car and distract him so he wouldn’t take interest in the pistol, while the guy prepared to smash his own window out.

                At some point a cop came along, asked him why he stored his pistol that way– when the guy explained, instead of giving him a mundane discussion about maybe being more carful or storing it differently, he said that if he ever pulled him over and the pistol was there, he was going to get a .40 in the ear.

                I run into this all… the time. Cops threatening to kill people during routine stops.

                Again, a forum full of mostly red-state GOP-voting gun owners.

                A warning to you cops: You’re not winning friends here.

                1. Holy shit. That’s incredible.

            2. I never liked cops, but used to consider them a necessary evil. Now?

              I hatez them! /Smeagol

              Of course reading Reason doesn’t exactly help, plus my minor run in with them hasn’t exactly bolstered my respect for authority.

            3. Why should cops worry when their former nemeses on the left are now welcoming them and the security state they drag in their wake? The party of “question authority” has bought into the threat of neo-confederate, gun-wielding tea party militias and crypto-Klansmen gunning for black teenagers, so of course they’ll take a certain affection for state-sanctioned and armed sociopaths.

              Plus, the left is much less stingy with taxpayer money, at least by reputation. Seems natural that police would gravitate to new political allies.

          2. It’s even happening in Canada, albeit slowly. They are doing what the teachers did.

          3. Over the last 15 years or so, cops have lost perspective on who, long term, they can get away with fucking with and who they can’t. They’ve become so obsessed with their own authority they’ve started locking up their previous supporters.

        2. There seems to have been a real sea change

          The AGW thread is over there—–

        3. It’s the internet. Prior to about 2000 you very rarely saw with your own eyes a case of police abuse. Rodney King was a real oddity. But now, thanks to Sloopyinca and others, they are everywhere.

          Keep it up folks. Make those Youtube videos of cops acting badly. They are our best ammunition against tyranny.

      2. Local news Facebook pages are rife with bootlickers. In DC, most of the bootlickers are black and from the rougher parts of the city (I click through to some of the profiles of the most egregious offenders).

        1. Facebook is a cesspool of stupid.

        2. Unfortunately, the ghetto will do that to you.

          1. Sad, but true. The ones most likely to experience wrongful police actions are the ones making the most excuses for them.

      3. Have you seen the Texas cops probing girls’ body cavities on the side of the road?



  6. Snowden and NSA leaders should be brought together face-to-face for questioning in public by a congressional investigatory committee, with both parties allowed to make their points and to counter the assertions of the other. If Snowden is lying, it will come out. If the NSA is lying, it will come out. If either refuses to appear, that party will be discredited

    This could easily be done without Snowden ever leaving the safety of Russia. There’s this little thing called teleconferencing.

    So, let’s do it already.

    It will never happen under our current administration. Because they have a hell of a lot more to hide, and Snowden may have details about some of it. No, they want Snowden silenced and that is all.

    1. This could easily be done without Snowden ever leaving the safety of Russia.

      I keep picturing the SNL sketch with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski talking with Saddam Hussein on the phone. Only this time it’s Skype.

      It would be AWESOME.

    2. I don’t understand why Snowden wouldn’t spill everything by now.

      1. Insurance. He’s vulnerable for the rest of his life, no matter where he lives. I guarantee he has a boatload of info that will go public the moment of his death.

  7. As a Rangers fan Matt, I’d just like to thank your organization for agreeing to lay down for us to help keep the race with Oakland entertaining for AL West fans. ; )

    And Mike Trout is a wunderkind. I dread watching the Rangers face him over the coming years, as he just gets better with experience. And hopefully PEDs.

  8. Who is granting the immunity? Congress? The Department of Justice? Who can grant him immunity from all the various (I assume) sovereigns who could prosecute him?

    Anyway, I suspect he wouldn’t be back in the good ol’ US of A long before his car’s mysterious speeding came to an end wrapped around a tree.

    1. Yeah, I doubt he would take any offer of immunity. I know I wouldn’t. I mean, the fucking DMV will lie to me with impunity, and he’s supposed to trust the DOJ or State or the CIA?


    2. See my comment above. We can do this without Snowden leaving Russia.

      1. I saw that, but immunity would mean he couldn’t plead the Fifth, not that I have any reason to think he would.

        Having him on US soil would also allay fears that he’s feeding another intelligence service state secrets in return for creature comforts abroad.

        1. If he has no interest in coming back, why doesn’t he just say whatever it is he wants to say? I’m not understanding the reason for telling the story in increments.

          1. Snowden should be thinking about learning Russian, Russian chicks, and maybe vodka, or something. Coming back here is an idea he should never entertain.

          2. Maybe he wants to divulge just enough for change to begin.

            And also, I think he’s given journalists like Greenwald more information. Aren’t they the ones pacing the flow of information?

            1. Greenwald was in a news conference couple of days ago, in Rio, talking about it. But I didn’t hear anything new.

              1. Anyway, who knows what their plan is? Maybe they are trying to release the information slowly and let public sentiment continue to shift towards support for their cause, all the while avoiding being droned.

            2. This is one flaw of the proposal. Greenwald says he has thousands of documents in Brazil and has not even read them all yet. Also, Congress can only grant, under 18 USC 6005, a limited immunity from prosecution for testimony compelled by the congressional subpoena. It would not immunize Snowden from prosecution for the initial acts.

          3. CampingInYourPark| 8.7.13 @ 3:04PM |#
            “If he has no interest in coming back, why doesn’t he just say whatever it is he wants to say? I’m not understanding the reason for telling the story in increments.”

            This is a guy, at the age quite a few folks are still living with the folks at home, who has made himself a hero to many (me, too!), and a pariah to those with the guns.
            I’d be scared witless, and I’d be trying to figure out how to save my ass. Russia made it clear they weren’t gonna let him stay if he kept leaking. I’d take that opportunity to figure out what I’m gonna do next. And if the Guardian has more info, I’d do what I could to keep that as a dead-mans switch. Including NAMES.

    3. You know who else’s mysteriously speeding car came to an end, wrapped around a tree?

      1. Cruella DeVille?

      2. Hitler?

        1. James Dean?

          1. That’s Itler-Hay. Learn your Pig Latin.

        2. Patton?

      3. I guess that “around a tree” rules out James Dean and Steve Prefontaine.

        1. Gonna have to go to the instant replay on this one.

          1. Let’s check the camera to see which one crosses the line first!

      4. That guy from Jackass.

    4. Obama could just pardon him. DOJ could work with his attorney on some kind of an agreement. Hell, work out a plea deal and let him plead to some small charge and receive no jail time in return for testifying before Congress.

      This country has let spies off and escape the death penalty plenty of times. You just have to decide that limiting the damage and finding the truth is more important than revenge. Justice demanded that John Walker go to the chair. Practical concerns said otherwise.

      The fact that this is not occurring just shows that Obama doesn’t want Snowden talking in public. We are now the enemy.

      1. Can you pardon someone without them actually being charged or convicted? Did Ford issue his pardon without Nixon being charged with anything? I don’t recall.

        1. I do not believe Nixon was ever formally charged.

        2. Yes, you can preemptively pardon someone. Ford did that to Nixon. And I think Bush did that to some of the Iran contra guys.

          Oh, the days when members of an administration actually faced criminal prosecution for wrong doing.

  9. Snowden should come back to the US and face his 136 90 years in prison, like a Man…ning…

  10. Is it because the NSA regards the holders of America’s purse strings as the greater threat?

    Yes, this is exactly it. That’s why they can simultaneously claim that Snowden’s leaks about spying on American citizens aided the enemy while they purposely leak information about upcoming Al Qaeda attacks. Because Al Qaeda is not the enemy. American citizens are.

  11. If Snowden is lying, it will come out.

    Unless, shortly before the testimony, he accidentally cuts off his own head while shaving.

    1. Yes, the police said he fell down an elevator shaft. Onto some bullets.

      1. My favorite is the one where he shoots himself seven times… with a bolt-action rifle.

  12. What the Paleo Diet can do for you! A picture of Mary Stack

    1. SugarFreed…

    2. SF’d the link. I have a disappoint.

      1. And you call yourselves libertarians:


  13. How’s that Paleo Lifestyle working out for you, Mary Stack?

    1. REALLY?

      1. [shakes head]

    2. Ok, when you do it twice, it’s something worse than SF’d the link.

      It’s Almanianed the link!

    3. Looks like “404” to me!

  14. “I was gone, but now I’m back!” – Mary Stack

    1. If at first you don’t succeed – adopt a Paleo Lifestyle.

      1. She has a look on her face like a large frog is struggling to get out of her vagina, but she doesn’t want anyone to find out.

    2. Whaa!! WTF was that thing?

    3. Oh, I should have read downthread. I fixed your link for you above, but I guess you got it working.

  15. It would be fun to watch intelligence heads blow a gasket being in the same hearings as Edward Snowden and having to answer his charges.

    And so many Congressfucks mugging for the camera, climbing over each other to be the undisputed king of patriotism, each trying to outdo the other in the quest for the terror-free world.

    1. It would amazing, which is why it will never happen. You might as well ask for Joel to be the host of MST3K again.

      1. Rifftrax. Get on board or get lost.

  16. All Snowden has to do is wait until Rand takes office in January 2017. Then he can come home.

    1. Ding!

    2. Unfortunately, President Biden will have none of it.

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