View Poll Results: If you were a federal juror, what would be your stance on Snowden?

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  • I would vote to acquit based on nullification of a dangerous law.

    3 17.65%
  • I would vote to convict, but opt for the lightest sentence.

    5 29.41%
  • I would vote to convict, with no opinion on the sentence.

    3 17.65%
  • I would vote to convict and vote for the strongest sentence.

    6 35.29%
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Thread: Snowden Case - Would you nullify?

  1. #1
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    Snowden Case - Would you nullify?

    I'm asking what is probably a far-fetched question and it assumes that a jury would decide Snowden's fate if he were extradited to the U.S. to face federal charges. Snowden admits he committed the acts in question, so innocence isn't really an option...

    My question: If you were a juror in this case, would you be willing to nullify the law and acquit him? Argument being that such laws were enacted beyond public scrutiny, are harmful to democratic principles, and fundamentally dangerous politically. Obviously, the alternative is: this is within the purview of government to establish secret practices "for national security" and therefore there is no grounds for any citizen to violate such laws.
    Last edited by long island leprechaun; 06-10-2013 at 09:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would vote to convict, with no opinion on the sentence.

    He broke the Law.

    Might have been for a good cause, and I might agree with him as to the questionable legal, ethical and moral nature of the activities he exposed, but he (an IT contractor) does not get to be the arbiter of what is or is not the rightful place or activities of U.S. Intelligence.

    The unsaid reality here is that the people who SHOULD have been the whistle-blowers here, the President and members of the Senate, all failed to do so or worse, support this policy to the fullest despite it's questionable nature regarding individual privacy rights and the Big Brother State.

    That may make what Snowden did rightious, but that alone does not make it legal or his actions not due for appropriate repurcussions.

    I'd vote to covict, because he is guilty, and I respect the law even in the Executive and Legislative branches do not. I'd give no opinion on sentence because thats not my place, but I'd root for a short/limited sentence.

  3. #3
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    The question to me would be is he a whistleblower who is bringing to light unlawful and/or Unconstitutional practices or is he putting our security at risk?

    Let the government prove that what he leaked is putting the country at risk and was legal under both the law in question and the US Constitution.

  4. #4
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    I was hopeful we were discussing characters in Catch 22..


    "Where are the Snowdens of yesterday"?

    Sadly not

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    The question to me would be is he a whistleblower who is bringing to light unlawful and/or Unconstitutional practices or is he putting our security at risk?

    Let the government prove that what he leaked is putting the country at risk and was legal under both the law in question and the US Constitution.
    Fair points. I think the biggest concern here is the transparency of the law itself. It cannot be subject to judicial review for constitutionality if it is not available for scrutiny. I can see the argument for procedural/operational secrecy/security once a law has been publicly voted. But to put a law of this magnitude into practice without the electorate even being informed is to my mind an extremely dangerous practice.

    As we know since Ellsberg, the government's first tactic was to engage in burglary/illegal wiretapping/character assassination. Of course, they tried to shut down the ability of the press to publish as well, essentially taking the policies in question out of the public domain.

    One question is: was there a legal way for Snowden to act in this instance while still conveying a whisleblower function? Or does the national security blanket essentially strangle any option for public exposure on threat of prison?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Fair points. I think the biggest concern here is the transparency of the law itself. It cannot be subject to judicial review for constitutionality if it is not available for scrutiny. I can see the argument for procedural/operational secrecy/security once a law has been publicly voted. But to put a law of this magnitude into practice without the electorate even being informed is to my mind an extremely dangerous practice.

    As we know since Ellsberg, the government's first tactic was to engage in burglary/illegal wiretapping/character assassination. Of course, they tried to shut down the ability of the press to publish as well, essentially taking the policies in question out of the public domain.

    One question is: was there a legal way for Snowden to act in this instance while still conveying a whisleblower function? Or does the national security blanket essentially strangle any option for public exposure on threat of prison?
    I guess he can also make the argument that this law was passed by Congress and since the President interpreted the law to allow for this did he actually leak anything that was secret and put the country at risk? I believe the law itself that gives the President the right to do this is public domain?

    What secrets did he actually leak? The interpretation of a public law passed by Congress? Seems pretty benign to me.

  7. #7
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    If he is extradited and charged, I can't wait for all the Hollywood types to show up wearing their "I am Edward Snowden" signs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    I think the biggest concern here is the transparency of the law itself. It cannot be subject to judicial review for constitutionality if it is not available for scrutiny.
    Except is IS up for Judicial, legislative and Executive review. The Executive operates it (hence they can and surely do review it's legallity), Congress must re-authorize it (hence they can review it or refuse to reauthorize it) and a Judge is the one signing the warrants (hence it is up for Judicial examination for legallity, if not contesting review).

    I don't agree with the program. But it is only a reflection of how our State works, not new or different from a hundred other programs of a like minded aim. For example, I notice no complaint regarding the electronic medical records mandate, which will (wait for it) put all U.S. medical records in the hands of the same State who now has our phone and internet records.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    I guess he can also make the argument that this law was passed by Congress and since the President interpreted the law to allow for this did he actually leak anything that was secret and put the country at risk? I believe the law itself that gives the President the right to do this is public domain?

    What secrets did he actually leak? The interpretation of a public law passed by Congress? Seems pretty benign to me.
    The problem is it gives up the methods the gov't is using to try to keep up with the bad people. Bad guys drop their phones constantly and the gov't is always a few steps behind.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    The problem is it gives up the methods the gov't is using to try to keep up with the bad people. Bad guys drop their phones constantly and the gov't is always a few steps behind.
    Shame we don't use this power to enforce illegal immigration, eh? Every phone and internet record might make that job easier, can't say an illegal is harder to find that a terrorist, can you?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Except is IS up for Judicial, legislative and Executive review. The Executive operates it (hence they can and surely do review it's legallity), Congress must re-authorize it (hence they can review it or refuse to reauthorize it) and a Judge is the one signing the warrants (hence it is up for Judicial examination for legallity, if not contesting review).

    I don't agree with the program. But it is only a reflection of how our State works, not new or different from a hundred other programs of a like minded aim. For example, I notice no complaint regarding the electronic medical records mandate, which will (wait for it) put all U.S. medical records in the hands of the same State who now has our phone and internet records.

    I don't know if you are correct. If a law is passed in secret committee based on a broad reading of the Patriot Act, how would it be reviewed by the Judiciary? Also, aren't these warrantless searches? They don't have to establish probable cause at all. Until this was made a legal issue via Snowden, the FICA and 4th Amendment issues were pretty well avoided.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Shame we don't use this power to enforce illegal immigration, eh? Every phone and internet record might make that job easier, can't say an illegal is harder to find that a terrorist, can you?
    Apples to oranges...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Apples to oranges...
    Riiiiight.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Except is IS up for Judicial, legislative and Executive review. The Executive operates it (hence they can and surely do review it's legallity), Congress must re-authorize it (hence they can review it or refuse to reauthorize it) and a Judge is the one signing the warrants (hence it is up for Judicial examination for legallity, if not contesting review).

    I don't agree with the program. But it is only a reflection of how our State works, not new or different from a hundred other programs of a like minded aim. For example, I notice no complaint regarding the electronic medical records mandate, which will (wait for it) put all U.S. medical records in the hands of the same State who now has our phone and internet records.

    Here's the rub re FISC. We shall see what that FISC oversight actually meant:

    On December 16, 2005, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration had been conducting surveillance against U.S. citizens without the knowledge of the court since 2002.[5] On December 20, 2005, Judge James Robertson resigned his position with the court, apparently in protest of the secret surveillance.[6] The government's apparent circumvention of the court started prior to the increase in court-ordered modifications to warrant requests.
    In June a copy of a top secret court order the court issued on April 25, 2013 requiring Verizon's Business Network Services to provide metadata on all calls in its system to the National Security Agency “on an ongoing daily basis”, was disclosed by British media.[7][8] Subsequently, the Obama Administration disclosed that the records of all phone companies had been collected by the NSA for years, with oversight from Congress and the FISA court.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Riiiiight.
    I guess you do not want to comprehend the role of the NSA, huh?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    I guess you do not want to comprehend the role of the NSA, huh?
    I think many would say mass illegal immigration, to the tune of 12-20 million here now illegally, is a National Security issue far in excess of the threat of terrorism in real terms.

    If they're going to have all our domestic phone and internet records, be nice if they actually used it for something good.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    I think many would say mass illegal immigration, to the tune of 12-20 million here now illegally, is a National Security issue far in excess of the threat of terrorism in real terms.

    If they're going to have all our domestic phone and internet records, be nice if they actually used it for something good.

    Ok, you want to lead the charge to change the NSA's mission go for it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    The problem is it gives up the methods the gov't is using to try to keep up with the bad people. Bad guys drop their phones constantly and the gov't is always a few steps behind.
    That's basically not true - the depth and scope of government surveillance is only hinted at with these "revelations" made by Snowden - you think government surveillance stops at emails etc? It doesn't. Its a lot wider and more extensive then you would believe. Is that a good thing or bad thing? I'm not qualified to say one way or the other, however, on the positive side, there have been no successful attacks by Al Qaida on mainland US since 9/11, despite what is likely to have been hundreds of attempts. That's the upside; the downside you lot already have a pretty good grip on, judging from posts on these threads on the issue.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Ok, you want to lead the charge to change the NSA's mission go for it.
    Because there's needed to be such a big "charge" to change these various agencies roles in the past, right? Or because they've all stayed exclusively within their own boundaries int he past, amirite?

    It's almost a bad joke, how many Law Enforcement Departments does it take to catch one bad guy. In the case of immigration enforcement, it's apparetly more than the dozens we already have.....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soberphobia View Post
    That's basically not true - the depth and scope of government surveillance is only hinted at with these "revelations" made by Snowden - you think government surveillance stops at emails etc? It doesn't. Its a lot wider and more extensive then you would believe. Is that a good thing or bad thing? I'm not qualified to say one way or the other, however, on the positive side, there have been no successful attacks by Al Qaida on mainland US since 9/11, despite what is likely to have been hundreds of attempts. That's the upside; the downside you lot already have a pretty good grip on, judging from posts on these threads on the issue.
    As soon as this article was posted/printed every bad person threw out their cell phone and started using a different method to communicate. It makes law enforcement's job harder, not impossible, just harder.

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