[News] What should happen to the NSA Whistleblower?

What should happen to the NSA whistleblower?

  • He should be charged with treason, and executed if found guilty

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#1
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#2
I think he did a great thing bringing this to light. The one quote from that article that really confused me.

[China has] a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.
Bwah?
 
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#3
He did the right thing, and he should be charged with a crime, treason if it fits.

Then the courts should force full disclosure of all the evidence brought forth during the trial.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#5
I agree with stienman. The dude broke some serious laws against his access level that may well border on the treasonous. On the other hand, the things he is releasing is very, very important to the American citizen. So the military guy in me is saying, "Charge him!" and the citizen side of me is saying, "Give Obama's Nobel Peace Prize because that dude hasn't done shit to earn it."
 
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#6
I had to choose Blacklisted, because it comes closest to my overall feelings on this. Yes, it needed to be brought to light, yes he did a crime (just like the Manning dude with Wikileaks), but I'm personally not sure what the fitting punishment should be at this time due to lack of knowledge.
 
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#7
Personally, I don't think treason would really apply here. One of our founding pricipals is that our government is supposed to be serving the people, not the other way around, he betrayed the government, not the people. In that sense, I feel like no treason was committed.
 
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#9
I think he did a great thing bringing this to light. The one quote from that article that really confused me.



Bwah?
He went to Hong Kong.

He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.


Which is true. Not only does Hk value free speech, but they'd probably also wouldn't mind thumbing their nose at the US government either.
 
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#10
He went to Hong Kong.



Which is true. Not only does Hk value free speech, but they'd probably also wouldn't mind thumbing their nose at the US government either.
Yeah, but the phrasing in Tress's article is
He said he chose China because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent."
Which deservedly gets a few double-takes.
 
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#13
Yeah but then he said China. I'm not too knowledgeable on the relationship between China and Hong Kong I guess. I thought china owns it and has a decent say in what happens there. Guess maybe not?
 
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#14
Treason seemingly doesn't fit, since he's seemingly not trying to overthrow the government, or wage war against it.

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381

However he can be seen as singlehandedly destroying a weapon of war that the government has been using to great effect in the ongoing war on terror. Even if his intent isn't to overthrow the government, destroying a critical piece of infrastructure during a war can still be considered treason.

But that'll be up to legal people to determine.

The reason he went to Hong Kong is to avoid any extradition laws. The reason he publicized his deed is to avoid being quietly taken care of. He seems to be following a fairly reasonable play book.
 
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#15
I think if he was tried for Treason he would be found not guilty.

Article III Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution said:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
He's been very open in his motivations and decision making process, while you can say he gave Aid and Comfort to our enemies, it has to be in adhering to them, which is certainly not the case. Then again I'm no lawyer or even a Constitutional Scholar.
 
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#16
The conspiracy guy in me worries that the government is collecting data to crush it's enemies (J. Edgar style). For this, I think this guy is a hero, cause the government doesn't need more power.

The lawful neutral part of me thinks that this dude broke the law and should pay some sort of penalty.

However, who is watching the Watchmen?
 
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#18
All I know is that he government has its hands full right now, and has to walk a fine line it get out of this mess.
 
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#20
The conspiracy guy in me worries that the government is collecting data to crush it's enemies (J. Edgar style). For this, I think this guy is a hero, cause the government doesn't need more power.

The lawful neutral part of me thinks that this dude broke the law and should pay some sort of penalty.

However, who is watching the Watchmen?
It brings to forefront the question of what treason is. If you're patriotic to your country, and want its fundamental principals upheld, is that treason? Or more specifically, if you expose laws that are probably unconstitutional, how is that treason? It's against the sitting government, but not against the country I think you could argue.

The first is way more broad, and interesting, though can cover some heinous things potentially. The second is more specific to this case, and harder to argue IMO.
 
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#21
It brings to forefront the question of what treason is. If you're patriotic to your country, and want its fundamental principals upheld, is that treason? Or more specifically, if you expose laws that are probably unconstitutional, how is that treason? It's against the sitting government, but not against the country I think you could argue.

The first is way more broad, and interesting, though can cover some heinous things potentially. The second is more specific to this case, and harder to argue IMO.
The United States Constitution specifically defines treason (The only crime defined and laid out in the constitution), and intent to harm in service of enemies of the states is required. This is a very important definition.
 
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#22
The United States Constitution specifically defines treason (The only crime defined and laid out in the constitution), and intent to harm in service of enemies of the states is required. This is a very important definition.
My point being that the definition linked above, which I'm sure is directly from the text of your constitution, leaves open the idea that the current government could be an enemy of the USA. Thus wouldn't even working for/with them be treason, from a certain point of view?

It's exactly that ambiguity that I'm alluding to.
 
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#23
Many official oaths include the line:
I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic
Just because it is the current sitting government, that does not make it above this oath. Nixon was wrong. If it is illegal, it is illegal. Doesn't matter if it's the president or not. And throwing lines like "protecting America", "keeping us safe", and "the average citizen has nothing to fear" is at best pure political cowardice.
 
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#24
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#25
What's that quote from Benjamin Franklin? Something like "Anyone who would give a little liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both."
 
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#27
But I do need weapons-grade plutonium, tyrant.[DOUBLEPOST=1370887815][/DOUBLEPOST]Also interesting that he says "Attributed to..." I wonder if that means the quote may not be Franklin after all. Hm.
 
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#28
Ya, it's the "essential liberty" and "temporary safety" that goes right through the weakest of examples. SMBC knows that, but many who quote the "abridged" versions of that quote do not.
 
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#29
This one is more relevant:
Benjamin Franklin said:
Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
 

Espy

Staff member
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#34
I had one of my usually more intelligent employees today ask why this is a big deal. She was like, "So what? What will they do with it? I haven't done anything."

I tried to explain about privacy and blahblahblah but then I gave up.
 
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#35
That's one of the reasons it's so insidious, and why Obama is admitting it while saying, "if Americans don't trust the government, then we're going to have some problems."

He's honestly going for the, "the innocent need not worry" angle, and people at buying it.

The really, really fun thing about this type of secrecy is that it requires ongoing secrecy. If you are taken to court or investigated under it, then anyone involved becomes gagged. Thus there is no way to fight back about it publicly.

So we can never find out if it is affecting innocent people, even though they are innocent and their rights are being trampled and lives ruined, they can't talk about it, unless they do want to face prison for commiting the crime of speaking out against government corruption.
 
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