Saturday, September 19, 2020

Trump Must Not Pardon Traitor Edward Snowden

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Of all the controversial people President Trump may be considering pardoning – former NSA spy and indicted traitor – Edward Snowden – should not be one of them. Trump recently surprised a good many supporters, as well as military and intelligence officials, and veterans, with his comments that he was considering pardoning Snowden.

“It seems to be a split decision that many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things.” Trump said in response to a question at a news conference in New Jersey – reported by Business Insider.

This was especially surprising since Trump has previously stated on numerous occasions that Snowden was “a spy who should be executed”

Snowden infamously betrayed the United States when he stole copies of thousands of highly classified documents from the National security Agency (NSA) where he worked as a mid-level contractor and later fled to Russia. Snowden reportedly held a Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance and had previously worked in a similar contractor role at the CIA.

While many liberals, and some libertarians, praise Snowden as a “whistleblower,” for uncovering unreported domestic surveillance programs, he was no such thing. As The American Spectator correctly explains:

Under U.S. law, when a government employee (or someone such as Snowden) believes the agency to which he is assigned is engaged in illegal behavior, he is provided with legal protection against retaliation if he reports the allegedly illegal actions in one of several ways.

For example, a whistleblower can report the behavior to the agency’s inspector general or to a congressional committee that has jurisdiction over the agency. These options enable the whistleblower to avoid the agency chain of command and go to an independent authority that can both investigate the alleged lawbreaking and protect his job.

Snowden didn’t do any of these things. He simply stole the Top Secret/SCI documents and gave them to WikiLeaks and a journalist who then published a series of stories in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The New York Times – never shy about publishing U.S. national security secrets – also jumped on the Snowden betrayal bandwagon.

Snowden also went far beyond just exposing classified surveillance programs.  Military.com reported in 2018 that Joel Melstad, a spokesman for the U.S. National Counterintelligence Center, said that the center’s classified damage assessment showed that Snowden’s leaks “put U.S. personnel or facilities at risk around the world, damaged intelligence collection efforts, exposed tools used to amass intelligence, destabilized U.S. partnerships abroad and exposed U.S. intelligence operations, capabilities and priorities.”

The American Spectator notes that “Mike Pompeo, when he was CIA director, correctly differentiated WikiLeaks from journalism by saying they acted as an adversarial intelligence agency. WikiLeaks, and American Glenn Greenwald, were Snowden’s partners in crime.”

Snowden has spent the past seven years in Russia and recently requested to extend his stay there another three years.

The damage Snowden has caused to U.S. national security is incalculable, and ongoing. We will probably never know the full extent of the damage – how many enemy spies and terrorists changed their communication methods because of him, or how many American or allied agents may have been compromised.

Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr said he was “vehemently” opposed to a Snowden pardon, describing Snowden as “a traitor and the information he provided our adversaries greatly hurt the safety of the American people. He was peddling it around like a commercial merchant. We can’t tolerate that.”

President Trump needs to listen to Barr. Pardoning Snowden would be an insult to America’s military and intelligence professionals, and its veterans. If Snowden ever returns to the U.S. he must face trial for his treasonous crimes.

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Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

37 COMMENTS

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CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
25 days ago

Exposing US War crimes and illegal surveillance on US citizens is not treason.

Pardon Edward Snowden.

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
25 days ago
Reply to  CharlieSeattle

Correction, a pardon is not required as there was no crime.

Just withdraw the charges and instead punish those in the Pentagon and NSA/CIA/FBI that broke the law.

Pickelodeon
Pickelodeon
18 days ago
Reply to  CharlieSeattle

It’s my understanding that Snowden exposed activities of our government poking around into the private affairs of US citizens. If that is true then he let us know we have some government activities resembling those of the Soviets and the Nazis—the government was spying on private citizens. I’m sure Donald Trump will have Edward Snowden’s case investigated thoroughly. Bergdahl should never be pardoned nor should have Manning been pardoned.

dennis taylor
dennis taylor
18 days ago
Reply to  CharlieSeattle

I’m split on whether he should be pardoned of not but the guy has been run through the wringer for years now and thats punishment in and off itself so if he gets pardoned I wont be upset about it as long as there is a stipulation included in the pardon that he can never work for any government job ever again and not work for company’s that do work for any government,private sector employment only.

Steve Earle
Steve Earle
18 days ago
Reply to  dennis taylor

Snowden may be a weasel but I have a hard time saying he’s a traitor. He didn’t lie he reported facts, ugly facts gov. didn’t want people to know about. Now I have no sympathy for terrorists but going behind the backs of American people is never a good idea.Id Snowden gets pardoned or not I’ll have no objection.

Randy131
Randy131
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve Earle

I don’t think he’s a weasel, I think he’s a patriot, look what he had to give up for the American people to learn the truth about the surveillance on them by the federal government, which James Clapper absolutely knowingly lied about when asked that pertinent question when being interviewed under oath by a congressional investigative committee. Read my comment directly above the original comment that started this conversational thread.

Walt Tendee
Walt Tendee
8 days ago
Reply to  Randy131

Barack Hussein Obama should be prosecuted as a traitor for lending aid and comfort to enemies of the USA. He is a fraud who was put into office only because of his color. He has zero credentials for running any government or business at any level. He grabbed on to the (p)residency as a get-rich-quick-scheme.
It paid off thanks to the anti-Americans who support him.

Robert Czeranko
Robert Czeranko
23 days ago

One of the only Obama era whistleblowers. No wonder he fled the country. And Snowden was an Obama supporter.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
19 days ago

YES, I agree pardon Snowden

TheMadMan
TheMadMan
21 days ago

Snowden is not a traitor but a hero for coming forward with what these evil Democrats have been doing.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
19 days ago
Reply to  TheMadMan

Yes, Snowden is a hero pardon him

Walt Tendee
Walt Tendee
8 days ago
Reply to  TheMadMan

Did during the Obama imposter presidency.

Jesse
Jesse
19 days ago

I agree Snowden should not get a pardon but I have a better Idea that being Trump should charge Bergdahl with his TREASON. I mean Obozo might have made his Desertion charge be unpublishable by fixing it so he got off on that charge but he NEVER was charged for his TREASON of willingly joining the Taliban which he did.

oldclimber
oldclimber
19 days ago

I say to leave the status quo. When Shrillery, Brennan, Pencil-Neck, Comey, Nadler, etc, etc, etc, are brought to justice for their crimes, or, also are forced to go to Russia, I will entertain harsh treatment of Snowden. If he is ever caught.

Paul Welch
Paul Welch
18 days ago
Reply to  oldclimber

That’s what I am saying. When the likes of Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Clapper, Storzk, and the list goes on and on and on are prosecuted for the atrocious crimes they committed against the American People, then we can talk about the problem with Snowden. I say if nothing is done to the afore mentioned by Mid 2021 then Snowden goes free just like they did. Most of all let’s not forget about the treason that Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Naddler committed during the impeachment proceedings either.

Walt Tendee
Walt Tendee
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul Welch

Well said Paul Welch. Thanks.

Mi names
Mi names
19 days ago

It was my understanding that he revealed that Obama’s administration was spying on regular citizens. Maybe Snowden should reveal exactly what he took. Of course it does not look good that he ran to Russia, our enemy but so many democrats do seem to enjoy a relationship with them. I understand not going through proper channels it would have been buried even Snowden, a democrat knew his life would be forfeited

stevo
stevo
18 days ago
Reply to  Mi names

if the clintons had they’re way he probably would’ve ended up dead!

Tim Kuehl
Tim Kuehl
19 days ago

I applaud Snowden for exposing the illegal acts by our government bureaucrats and politicians but I take issue with the classified information he also exposed. I’m neutral on pardoning him and can only trust that President Trump’s decision will be the right one. But I rather see Snowden pardoned than the thing Bradley Manning who was pardoned by Obama after he did much more damage to our nation’s security than Snowden.

TheMadMan
TheMadMan
19 days ago

Edward Snowden is a National Hero for coming forward with information about what these evil Democrats are planning against our Nation as well as against our President. Who knows maybe he has a lot more information that he still had not come forward with as of yet?

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
19 days ago
Reply to  TheMadMan

YES!!! Pardon Snowden

MikefromTexas
MikefromTexas
19 days ago

I hope he doesn’t pardon him. Damn what a mistake that would be.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
19 days ago

YES, Pardon Snowden he warned Americans

MJB
MJB
19 days ago

Snowden is NOT a Traitor, he is a PATRIOT! He simply exposed the UNCONSTITUTIONAL acts of our government! The ones who should go to jail are every single person in our government who stood by and allowed those “laws” to be enacted.

• “Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of common right and common reason are null and void.” Bennett v. Boggs, 1 Baldw 60

In other words… These “laws” passed that deny ones fundamental or common RIGHTS are not really “law” at all, but rather a statute written under “color of law” and as the SCOTUS stated, “NULL AND VOID”..

Cabin 1954
Cabin 1954
19 days ago

When President Trump made this commet — “Trump has previously stated on numerous occasions that Snowden was “a spy who should be executed” — I am sure it was before he knew how bad the deep state was. We would have never ever known a fraction of what we know had Snowden not done what he did. To continue to punish him and not Hillary, Obama, Comey, Shifty Shiff, Page and so many others is not fair.

Lorraine E Blazich
Lorraine E Blazich
18 days ago

I’ve always considered Both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange to be International Heroes! They both made huge personal sacrifices when they revealed the terrible acts that governments were doing knowing that they would suffer the results of their revelations. In the case of Julian Assange he published the clinton/podesta emails which exposed their disgusting emails and the clinton corporate press went into attack mode to protect their darling and created a flurry of diversions. It is unlikely that anyone ever read the clinton/podesta emails because of the diversions created by their press. What a shame!

Liberally Disgusted
Liberally Disgusted
18 days ago

I wonder if they’ve talked about Julian Assange at all.

Pam
Pam
18 days ago

I understand there is a bill being presented in the House of Representatives to prevent all dysphoric changes until child reaches the age of maturity. Perhaps your Congressman can elaborate further. I pray so, so much psychological damage.

Pat Morgan
Pat Morgan
18 days ago

An “anonymous” source told a network reporter that there is a motive behind the President’s pardon contemplation. It seems that there are more charges for which Snowden can be tried when he is back in the United States. By issuing a limited pardon, Snowden would return only to be arrested upon re-entry.

Sounds good on the surface. However, there is no guarantee that Snowden will return and a pardon will remove a serious charge from the triable list should he return voluntarily.

Federal whistleblowers are protected to a degree, depending on verification of the issue. The problem is an employee is only privy to information needed for job performance. Additional information may be gleaned from general conversations or simply eavesdropping. Heresay and job understanding do not a complete picture make and result in forming a questionable conclusion. Submitting this compilation will create an undesirable experience. Anger at a supervisor is not a reason for unfounded insubordination.

No, I don’t think the traitor should be pardoned. He is not sorry and stands by his actions. He would do it again. While the President’s blueprint seems plausible, it is an anemic strategy. Snowden is aware of a potentially dismal existence in the U.S. even with one charge removed. He may just stay in Russia. His deserved punishment is that he can’t come home again.

Conservative Senior
Conservative Senior
18 days ago

The fact that Barr does not want him pardoned reinforces my opinion that Barr is part of the deep state. He’s already pardoned Comey twice and has done nothing to eliminate the real traitors in our government. Snowden needs to be pardoned.

Randy131
Randy131
17 days ago

Wait a minute, Edward Snowden had a six figure paying job with the federal government, doing IT security work in Hawaii where he could go surfing every day, while having a live-in relationship with a beautiful exotic dancer, how much better can a young man’s life get?

But Edward Snowden sees the people he is working for illegally violating the American people’s privacy rights, that James Clapper had lied to a congressional investigative committee about that happening by denying it was happening.

So Edward Snowden goes to his supervisor and reports these illegal actions, but nothing was ever done about it. So being a true American patriot, worried about the American people’s rights being violated, since he knew they were doing this to every American, plus foreigners all around the world, even are most closest allies, he decides to do something about it by getting this information out to the public.

How does he do this? He steals a lot of the information obtained through these federal government illegal actions, and then contacts a trusted media source to get the story out, giving a small amount of the stolen illegal information to the trusted media source to publicize (leak) in order to prove what he was reporting was true.

Knowing that this would get him into big trouble, he still did his patriotic duty of reporting and publicizing the illegal actions by the federal government, by making it all public, in the hopes that the politicians would have it stopped, and punish the perpetrators, as it also showed that James Clapper had lied to the politicians of the US Congress in that congressional committee investigation.

In doing so he had to give up his great life living and surfing in Hawaii, the high paying six figure job, and the beautiful girl friend living with him, and go on the run until the politicians could make this right. But his employer turned the motivation of his actions around, and claimed he was a traitor to the USA for exposing their lies and their illegal actions, that violated the American people’s privacy rights, and those of most of the people of the world that uses IT equipment. The federal government people he worked for also claimed that he was selling the stolen information for monetary gain, which has been easily proven wrong and just another federal government lie.

So should President Trump pardon Edward Snowden, which would allow him to come home and resume the life he lost because he was too patriotic and tried stopping illegal actions against the privacy rights of the American people?

I think he should, but I look at things a little different than most people do. Such as the outrage shown by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, over the release of information they were hiding from the American people, when she claimed that the Russians had hacked the DNC’s and her computers, in collusion with Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign and for his benefit, and gave the information to Wikileaks to publicize in order to embarrass Hillary Clinton and her campaign for the Presidency.

I thought it was ironic for the American people to be able to finally learn the truth about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, and it only took the Russians and Wikileaks to hack and publicize what was being hidden from them on Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC’s computers, for the American people to learn of that truth.

Last edited 17 days ago by Randy131
Joseph Frechen
Joseph Frechen
17 days ago

Paul Crespo has now identified himself as a deep-state stooge.

Kowboy
Kowboy
15 days ago

Soooo, would he have to appear before all the treasonous politicians that seem to have blanket immunity from EVER being punished for selling America out to her enemies? There’s your f’ing scandal. ‘They’ should all hang!

Bruce
Bruce
11 days ago

Welcome to the show! Popcorn?!

Tom Smith
Tom Smith
11 days ago

The comments are 90% for Snowden. And this article was sent to people who they thought would agree with them. i think this proves that the people thinks the government is no longer serving the people, but in fact is against our best interest. And the government agencies are serving their greed at the harm of the people. Spying is literally lying by definition.. How can we support an agency that by there own description are professional liars.

Tom
Tom
5 days ago

Your site is extremely slow and difficult to traverse. Can’t hardly use it.

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