Edward Snowden

Snowden Offers to Go to Prison

So far Feds promise not to torture him.



Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who revealed two years ago the existence of a vast and unconstitutional domestic surveillance state run by U.S. intelligence agencies, has offered to go to prison, according the Associated Press. Owing almost entirely to Snowden's disclosures, Congress and the Obama administration have taken minor steps to rein in federal spying on American citizens. 

From the AP:

Snowden told the BBC that he'd "volunteered to go to prison with the government many times," but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.

He said that "so far they've said they won't torture me, which is a start, I think. But we haven't gotten much further than that."

In an interview broadcast Monday on the BBC's "Panorama" program, Snowden said he and his lawyers were waiting for U.S. officials "to call us back."

Earlier this year, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said a plea deal with Snowden was a possibility.

Agreeing to prison time appears to be shift. My colleague Scott Shackford has earlier reported

The Obama Administration has abused the Espionage Act seven times to prosecute people who leak government information to the media, more than all previous presidents combined. Snowden would have to be crazy or extremely desperate to return home without a deal in writing that guarantees him no jail time at the very least. (He'll just have to rely on the private sector to provide the tickertape parade.) Indeed, Ben Wizner, Snowden's attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, agrees, telling Yahoo News there will be no deal that includes any sort of prison time:

Wizner, Snowden's lawyer, said any felony plea by Snowden that results in prison time would be unacceptable to his client. "Our position is he should not be reporting to prison as a felon and losing his civil rights as a result of his act of conscience," he said.

The AP further reports:

FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano told the BBC that Snowden was a traitor.

"The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray?" Snowden said. "I gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally.

"I have paid a price but I feel comfortable with the decisions I've made," he added. "If I'm gone tomorrow, I'm happy with what I had. I feel blessed."

The federal officials who secretly orchestrated a massive illegal domestic spying program are the real traitors.

As I argued in my article "President Obama: Pardon Edward Snowden":

As Snowden correctly concludes, "Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime." If we succeed in halting the march toward the "turnkey totalitarian state" that former NSA executive William Binney warned about last year, it will be in large measure because of Snowden's revelations. Mr. President, pardon Edward Snowden now. We'll give him medals later.

Snowden is not the person who needs to be prosecuted for betraying the American people. This guy should be.

NEXT: Washington Post Fact Checker Calls Obama's Statement About 'Gun Laws' and 'Gun Deaths' Misleading

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  1. Snowden is not the person who needs to be prosecuted for betraying the American people. This guy should be.

    This guy too.

    1. Indeed, JB. There is quite a long list going back several years, but I doubt Snowden should be on it.

      1. A far better candidate would be the traitor who tried to make a mockery of our national academic culture along with our Internet-civility laws. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:


    2. I’d also like to bitch slap each and every dumbass who voted for that stupid motherfucker. Each and every one of them.

      1. If only Whatshisname had won the election instead, former NSA facilities would all be relief centers for refugees now.

        1. Whatshisname

          Senator Barack Obama? I had my problems with him, but he seemed to have good ideas on NSA spying and war. Wonder whatever happened to him.

        2. Oh, that’s right – slap those motherfuckers, too.

          I didn’t vote for either, so fuck all of those jerks who did.

    3. I don’t know about actually prosecuting Sensenbrenner for betraying the American people, but the dumbass definitely needs a whack upside the head. He’s the guy who helped write the PATRIOT ACT that’s now being viciously abused and his answer to the shocking revelation that shitweasels are illegally abusing their power is to author the USA FREEDOM act that supposedly tells the shitweasels they aren’t supposed to be illegally abusing their powers. And he seriously thinks he’s fixing the problem.

  2. “It’s a trap!”

  3. Russia sucks that much, huh?

    Yes, of course it does.

    1. . “Those cannot be your only shoes. What am I saying? It’s Russia. People probably come from miles around just to get their picture taken in those.”

      1. In Russia the shoes wear you ?

  4. He said that “so far they’ve said they won’t torture me, which is a start, I think.”

    I wonder which word of that statement they emphasized.

    1. Yeah, trust the people who flagrantly violated our Constitution to tell he truth.

      1. Exactly what counts as torture, really?

        Someone write a memo.

  5. As noted, I’ll gladly pardon Edward Snowden my first day in office.

    Almanian for President – 2016
    I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse.

    And I’ll definitely pardon Edward Snowden.

    1. I am still going with Trump. I do not approve of the company you keep.

      1. I can see you’ll be a hard sell. That’s OK – there’s a place for you in the Almanian admin.

        1. Put him in charge of the Secret Service.

          1. That’s just what Crusty Juggler needs – all the hookers and blow one person can handle paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

        2. How much of a bribe will I need to give you to insure that I am appointed Federal Titty Inspector?

          1. (I already have the shirt, so think of the cost savings on uniforms!)

    2. And Ross Ulbricht.

      I’ll be impeached by noon.

  6. As a side note…


    1. I would love to see them rename a street after a white Jew and watch the fireworks ensue.

  7. The proclamations also said she was “wrongfully” executed for helping her husband, Julius, pass atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

    We are truly doomed.

    1. I’m in!

    2. Lee also suggested that Australia ban donations from the firearms industry to their political parties, which she said would “allow us to raise that issue with America to ban donations from the gun lobby.”

      That sounds fair, gun banners can pour large amounts of money into political campaigns while pro-gun lobbyists would be considered criminals, I guess for bribing political candidates into respecting the 2nd Amendment that they’re already bound by oath to respect.

      1. The donations thing always intrigues me. The thinking seems to be that the only reason politicians support gun rights is because they get money from groups like the NRA. Apparently it is impossible to believe that the support for gun rights comes first and leads to donations.

        1. Or the millions of gun-nutters who are voters and really, really care about their right to be armed.
          Politicians like money. They really like votes more.

        2. In fairness, most politicians are dishonest, unprincipled hacks, so I assume there’s a lot who are pro gun for the money and votes alone.

  8. You would think this guy did something really bad, like lie to Congress.

    1. Whoa, whoa, whoa! THAT would merit the death penalty, at least! If not worse – like dinner with Nicole or something.

  9. He said that “so far they’ve said they won’t torture me, which is a start, I think.”

    They promised, so it seems churlish to disbelieve them.

    1. Just like they haven’t tortured Chelsea Manning!


      (also, please don’t turn this into a debate about Bradley vs. Chelsea and gender identity)

      1. Bradley and Chelsea are snooty, silly white people names. Frederick and Brenda are a bit more distinguished.


        1. “Froderick” has a nicer ring to it, I think.

    2. Thing is, he can say anything he wants, make any claims, because the government’s not going to confirm any of them.

    3. He’s negotiating his way down to prison.

      This is just his opening offer.

  10. He’s a hero. He should receive a full pardon and a medal. But he won’t. And after two years in Russia maybe he thinks some relatively minor jail time is an acceptable price to pay. It’s sad but not surprising.

    1. I was thinking a parade, too. But that, alas, won’t happen either.

  11. I’d be worried about getting treated like Dread Pirate Roberts by the judge, too.

    Just because he makes a deal with the prosecution on an upper bound for his sentence doesn’t mean the judge will accept that.

  12. “The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray?” Snowden said.

    Uh, you betrayed all those people who are so important they had to take oaths to uphold the Constitution to even have their jobs.

  13. Jesus Christ, does Snowden seriously think an agreement not to torture also includes an agreement not to apply enhanced interrogation methods like waterboarding – which is totally not torture? Wait until he finds out the ‘not torture’ includes enhanced sensory stimuli provided by a tractor battery and a set of testicle clamps. And I don’t believe for one second that the Total Information Awareness program has been curtailed in the least, they’re just doing a better job of hiding/ignoring the illegal practices. In fact, I would bet you a fat dollar that the next Snowden is going to reveal that the surveillence has gotten even worse. As long as these people don’t get torn to pieces by an enraged mob they’re being told they can just keep on doing what they’re doing because nobody gives a shit about the law any more.

  14. There seem to be several defense funds for Snowden. Does anyone know whether any of them are legit, and which one(s)?
    I’m betting he won’t have to pay for his legal fees, but I’m damned if I want to toss the money down a rat-hole of admin costs.

  15. It is appalling how much of the public think that Snowden is a traitor. I remember some John Oliver segment about it and if you need to be a little sadder, jump over to the Fox News article about this and read the comments section, or as much of them as you can stand.

    Apparently he is a evil mole who has aided america’s enemies and weakened our country in some vague way. Oh, and he’s Putin’s plaything.


    1. Apparently he is a evil mole who has aided america’s enemies and weakened our country in some vague way. Oh, and he’s Putin’s plaything.

      I thought the Obama thread was down there.

      1. You know how you hate in others the very traits that you, yourself possess? Obama, Clapper, etc, etc really hate Snowden and call him a traitor…just saying’.

  16. I am incapable of writing a sci-fi novel but I have a premise. Girls fully take over the command and decision branch of the US military. To be an officer in the US military you need a college degree in something. College enrollment is already 60-40 girls to boys and trending more disparately. With robots to replace soldiers, it’s a girl’s world for the taking.

    But the software the runs the soldier robots is almost entirely written by beta boys. And then MATT DAMON appears. OK, I have no idea where I’m going with this.

    1. MATT DAMON!

      Suddenly, I’m interested

    2. Does Damon take control using a globe-spanning series of iPods and scream “How do ya like them Apples!”?

    3. Maybe have the soldier robots be like Rat Thing in Snow Crash – built on dog nervous systems. They are looking for a genuine alpha to follow, and so they disregard their beta programming and . . .

      I dunno. Something about detachable penis missiles, maybe?

      1. Mutant organic-cyber creatures is a considerable option. I watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my 7 yo son. It is actually very clever sometimes. Mom gets a kick out of it too. It is, however, boy to the core. We have to get beyond that, RC.

    4. Is MATT DAMON a robot? Because then your plot makes perfect sense.

      Get back to work.

    5. Laser swords, FTL travel, and artificial gravity are one thing, but no properly functioning human brain is capable of achieving the suspension of disbelief required to accept the idea of a world where ‘beta males’ are an actual thing.

      1. A beta male is not an alpha male. I am beta. It is not hard to understand.


    6. OK, I have no idea where I’m going with this.

      MATT DAMON gets stranded somewhere and needs to get bailed out?

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