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posted by n1 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:03PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the there's-no-place-like-home dept.

The Globe and Mail reports that Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says the fugitive former US spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government’s mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. “I won’t keep it secret that he … wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I’m dealing with it on the Russian side.” Kucherena added that Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial. The lawyer said Snowden had so far only received a guarantee from the US Attorney General that he will not face the death penalty. Kucherena says that Snowden is able to travel outside Russia since he has a three-year Russian residency permit, but "I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he will be taken to the US embassy."

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:11PM

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:11PM (#153053) Journal

    IT'S A TRAP!

    --
    You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by o_o on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:13PM

      by o_o (1544) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:13PM (#153056)

      Indeed. IMO it is way too soon. Should he return now, he will become the escape goat for many, many things.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:14PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:14PM (#153057)

        hmm, I think I need to 3d print a new keycap for my keyboard and rename the one at the top left to be 'esc goat'.

        otoh, well, maybe not.

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by mrclisdue on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:41PM

          by mrclisdue (680) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:41PM (#153078)

          I joined this site to escape goatse, and now y'all talk about bring it back? Crimey.

        • (Score: 1) by drgibbon on Wednesday March 04 2015, @09:03PM

          by drgibbon (74) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @09:03PM (#153240) Journal

          Haha, must have an Escape Goat sticker for my keyboard. Hopefully Unix Stickers [unixstickers.com] can come up with the goods!

          --
          Certified Soylent Fresh!
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pogostix on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:32PM

        by pogostix (1696) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:32PM (#153070)

        He should wait until he is invited home as a hero. Might be 100 years though :(

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tathra on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:36PM

        by tathra (3367) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:36PM (#153074)

        and thats why he must absolutely make sure his 6th amendment rights for a public trial and an impartial jury are respected. no secret trial, no secret evidence. his 5th amendment rights must be respected too, which means due process - no disappearing him into a dark hole the instant he enters a US extradition area.

        this is solid, undeniable proof that the US government has gone rogue - the government is openly ignoring citizens' constitutional rights. even if he gets a "guarantee" there's no proof they'll actually honor it. in fact, its almost guaranteed they won't since the US has been ignoring the rule of law for a while now.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tathra on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:41PM

          by tathra (3367) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:41PM (#153079)

          ugh, i just really noticed the word "legal" for the trial guarantee. being guaranteed its "legal" means exactly shit since these fuckers claim blatantly unconstitutional stuff is legal. no, he needs a guarantee for a constitutional trial. "legal" is a worthless word in this country these days.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:51PM

            by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:51PM (#153089)

            no 'promises' will ever be trusted by the US government, at least on this issue.

            if I was snowden, the only way I would agree to return is if I had some major balance of power I could use if the lawyers and judges decide to 'redefine' what US law is, yet again. something that gives him power against those who want to only make an example of him.

            what could you have or do to keep the mighty giant in check?

            I can't think of a thing. not a thing that would keep me safe in that situation.

            he's safer where he is, right now. I wish him well, I look up to him and we all owe him so much, it can never be repaid.

            --
            "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:30PM

              by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:30PM (#153188) Journal

              I think i'd set up a 'kill switch' (can't think of the correct term i am looking for):

              If i don't get a fair trial and i am kept away from a computer for too long, there is an automatic emailing of unreleased documents...

              ...that way, if i am Guantonamoed (sp?), i can at least get some satisfaction knowing i will have f'd the people who are f'ing me.

              I think i'd stay where i was: how can he get a fair trial when so much of what will be in the trial will be under 'National Security' guidelines that can't be seen by the public at large.
              I think i'd rather be snowd-in in Russia (yes, i know... my humour sucks).

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 05 2015, @12:58AM

                by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 05 2015, @12:58AM (#153323)

                kill switch (or I think you mean 'dead mans switch') would be the right kind of thinking, but he'd have to go all 'james bond' to really have a safety net. sort of an inverted supervillian (which would be a superhero, I guess).

                you could then call him...

                (wait for it)

                snow-finger!

                "do you expect me to talk, snow-finger?"
                (etc)

                --
                "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday March 04 2015, @07:20PM

              by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 04 2015, @07:20PM (#153204) Journal

              Exactly if he returns he'll spend the rest of his days in a hole that they forgot the key to, like Assange they WILL make an example out of him and make damned sure he gets life without parole and that is if he's lucky. If he thinks he'll get a fair trial? I have some magic beans he might be interested in.

              I urge everyone to watch the end of America [youtube.com] which is a lecture detailing on how many pages has been taken from classic fascism by our leaders and remember that its gotten MUCH WORSE since this lecture was filmed. Also note that the woman doing the lecture is now on the watch list and harassed and intimidated every time she flies, her "crime"? Giving a lecture on how to invoke your constitutional rights when confronted by authorities.

              I miss the hell out of him but I'm glad my grandfather that came back from fighting WWII in a full body cast isn't alive to see how fascist we've become, you could probably power most of the southern US by wrapping his body in copper, the man is probably spinning like a top in his grave right about now. The sad part is nobody will say or do squat until the economy collapses completely, as long as big mommy can keep cutting those checks so the populace can have their take out and cheapo Chinese widescreens they won't say boo, bread and circuses works as well today as it did 3000 years ago.

              --
              ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
              • (Score: 2, Informative) by Balderdash on Wednesday March 04 2015, @08:09PM

                by Balderdash (693) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @08:09PM (#153214)

                "Espionage" is passing secrets on to a third party in order to enable it to cause damage to the people. Whistleblowing is publishing crimes to the general public in order to enable them to stop the damage to the people.

                Conflating one with the other is exactly what the weaseling cronies in the government would love to do. Even better, blame their crimes on the person who uncovered them. Which is exactly what the talk about all the "damage" Snowden has done is about. Snowden damaged the enemies of the American people, and they will get him for that.

                --
                I browse at -1. Free and open discourse requires consideration and review of all attempts at participation.
                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday March 04 2015, @09:34PM

                  by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @09:34PM (#153251) Journal

                  "Espionage" is passing secrets on to a third party in order to enable it to cause damage to the people.

                  Very close. Espionage is passing classified information to the enemy. For there to be an enemy, legally, we have to be in a legally declared state of war. We said in signing the UN Charter that we renounce the use of force in international relations, hence, we cannot be in a state of war. Therefore, there is no "enemy", and therefore there is no "Espionage". (Unless the enemy is the American public.)

                  --
                  Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
                  • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:25PM

                    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:25PM (#153289)

                    If you release the documents to everyone, then someone deemed to be an enemy by the government will be able to get them too. State of war or not, his actions were correct, as the People always need to know when their government is violating the constitution and violating people's freedoms.

                    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday March 05 2015, @12:24AM

                      by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday March 05 2015, @12:24AM (#153312) Journal

                      If espionage occurs in such a way that you know it has occurred, it is not nearly so harmful. Once you know that they know, unless they don't know that you know that they know, we are on an equal playing field. This is why public release is "journalism", and not espionage. Maybe the enemy knows, but we now know that they know, so we are not giving them any advantage. (Unless, of course, it comes from the Total Information Awareness department, in which case the whole thing might be a disinformation campaign to make us thing we know when actual the enemy knows that what we think we know is not so! See why the whole spy-vs-spy thing is so morally ambiguous?)

                      --
                      Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:38PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:38PM (#153153)

            I would not expect a constitutional court proceeding would be permissible. After all, that would be *illegal*, using the metrics we have used thus far to determine what the US may do to fulfil their end of the bargain.

            As Snowden determined himself, in part by keeping a desktop copy of the Constitution of the United States on his desk when he was a CIA employee, he had learned that there is a difference between what is legal and what is Consitutional.

            I am doubting he intends to return. This is probably another chess piece move on his part in this game, perhaps to expose something else or gain sympthy from another country willing to harbor him.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by hemocyanin on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:42PM

          by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:42PM (#153080) Journal

          Also, he should not be tried under the Espionage Act which makes it legally impossible to put on a defense -- a defense being a key part of a fair trial.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kaszz on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:32PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:32PM (#153114) Journal

          even if he gets a "guarantee" there's no proof they'll actually honor it

          Precisely!

          It can only work if the backlash is harsh enough and will deliver if they break any deal.

          As for courts. The law is written by the opponent, the people handling the law is in the pocket of the opponent, public opinion is manufactured by media companies taking direction from your opponent, random acts can be executed by the opponent but still be blamed on random madman etc. It's all stacked against a single individual.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sudo rm -rf on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:34PM

    by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:34PM (#153073) Journal

    I wonder if those "German lawyers" include Wolfgang Kaleck [wikipedia.org], who called on the german government to grant political asylum to Snowden back in June last year... Yep, several german newspapers report [duckduckgo.com] on the cooperation between them.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dyingtolive on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:51PM

    by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:51PM (#153090)

    Better start printing "Free Snowden" bumper stickers.

    --
    Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 2) by sudo rm -rf on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:22PM

      by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:22PM (#153107) Journal

      ahem... [cafepress.com]

      • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:31PM

        by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:31PM (#153111)

        I was hoping for something a little more "classic mitnick" black on yellow, but I guess that works too.

        --
        Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Random2 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:57PM

    by Random2 (669) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:57PM (#153094)

    The last think I want to see if one of the greatest patriots of our time get lynched by the government while people like Clapper, who lied under oath and that CIA general who revealed Classified information for personal gain [go.com] get away with nothing.

    Even if Snowden somehow isn't burned at the stake by the government (excuse me, cruelly and unusually tortured, such as the case with Manning), he is surely to have other 'Patriots' trying to lynch-mob him. He's worked for the CIA, he knows how effective they can be at making 'accidents' happen. He has to know it won't end well for him.

    Ellsberg got lucky, he was high enough up and enough people cared that he didn't get lynched.

    Snowden has done a great service to his country in revealing how utterly pervasive (and perverse) the state surveillance of this 'free' land has become. It's a debt the American people cannot repay so long as they refuse to rise up and force the government to change. The only 'America' Snowden should wish to return to is the one he sought for by revealing the information he did, which, sadly, has never existed.

    --
    If only I registered 3 users earlier....
    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:40PM

      by buswolley (848) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:40PM (#153118)

      Too high profile. If Snowden gets terms for a trial then the U.S. government will honor it, in the sense of having a legal proceeding.

      However, I imagine a smear trial that will impinge on his character with trumped up evidence of some form of child abuse, spying for a foreign government, etc.

      --
      subicular junctures
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tathra on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:01PM

        by tathra (3367) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:01PM (#153135)

        if he does get terms for a trial, his only hope, and what absolutely needs to happen, is jury nullification. [wikipedia.org] he undoubtedly broke the law, but he did a great service to his country in doing so. unfortunately his chance of even getting an impartial jury or fair trial is pretty much nil.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MrGuy on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:03PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:03PM (#153100)

    This story is hitting SN on the same day we're seeing the headlines around Gen. Patraeus pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling classified information. [go.com] In Patraeus' case, he gave information he knew he shouldn't have to his mistress, as background for a book that she was writing about him. The material (reportedly) included identifying information about covert operatives. He faces, at maximum, a one year sentence, and will likely get much less than that.

    Snowden's revelations are obviously very different. He definitely wanted to publish and expose classified information (as opoosed to impress a girl). On the other hand, he was motivated by a desire to restore democracy and inform the public of what was being done in their name (as opposed to personal or selfish interest). The scope, motivation, and impacts of the respective disclosures are very different, so comparing them is hard.

    However, I find it interesting that most prominent politicians are either ignoring Patraeus, or describing him a a good guy who made a mistake. Whereas those same individuals are literally calling for Snowden's head (treason being the only crime named specifically in the constitution, punishable by death).

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:14PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:14PM (#153104)

      You have some valid observations.

      Another hypothetical scenario is maybe he's trying to work some pressure for a visa. So "well, a teaching visa to move to country xyz and lecture as a prof on the topic of computer security and ethics sounds very interesting (he's just being polite), but I really want permanent residency status and the ability to do general commercial contracting instead, so maybe I'll just go home". Where country xyz pretty much has to be non-american ally, but that does leave a lot of the world. Cuba has nice weather most of the time, for example, or who knows.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fritsd on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:25PM

      by fritsd (4586) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:25PM (#153183) Journal

      For laughs, now compare the crime of US general Petraeus with the crime of US lieutenant colonel Oliver North [wikipedia.org].. I thought the US didn't like Iran?

      He got sentenced to become a Fox News presenter IIRC.. that's more than Petraeus' 1 year jail but less than Snowden's probable death penalty.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:16PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:16PM (#153106)

    I wonder if there's any place in the country we (as in, we the people, as opposed to we the 1% or we the corporations) could get him elected to office and maybe get some kind of legal immunity.

    Wouldn't he make an awesome NSA director, or CIA director, or something like that?

    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:42PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:42PM (#153120)

      I don't see it. There's no immunity from prosecution in the United States that comes from the mere fact of holding elective office. Certainly not immunity from actions that were performed as a private citizen prior to election.

      In some jurisdictions, it might be possible that it's not OK to bring legal action against individuals based on how they performed the duties of that office (i.e. they're not privately liable for actions taken on behalf of the public). But that wouldn't apply - Snowden didn't hold any elective office at the time of the disclosures, and certainly not one where his official duties included releasing classified information.

      In SOME cases, courts will grant a stay of certain actions against elected officials while in office due to public interest of not having the official distracted (e.g. a private legal action against the president of the United States might be stayed temporarily). However, the Clinton scandals show us that even that has some significant limits.

      A better option might be to be granted citizenship outside the US, renounce US citizenship, and be permitted to return to the US as a foreign diplomat (e.g. as an advisor to the Ecuadorian permanent mission to the UN) with diplomatic immunity. However, that route grants the US the right to expel him (which would probably be exercised).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:45PM (#153274)

      Wouldn't he make an awesome NSA director, or CIA director, or something like that?

      Just imagine the trove of info he'd have available to give away to foreign nations. And, he'd be cutting out the middle-man thus making it a much more streamline process. A modern day Henry Stimson!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:32AM (#153366)

        It appears you are referencing the opinion of the Secretary of War that the technology behind the atomic bomb should be shared with the Soviet Union.

        This would have been a disincentive for the USA to once again murder tens of thousands of children in a single act.

        One might call Secretary Stimson the only sane and moral man in DC.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by wantkitteh on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:20AM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:20AM (#153343) Homepage Journal

      Maybe Russia could make him a diplomat.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by gnuman on Thursday March 05 2015, @07:21AM

      by gnuman (5013) on Thursday March 05 2015, @07:21AM (#153431)

      Presidential pardon would give him "immunity". But that will not happen.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_pardoned_or_granted_clemency_by_the_President_of_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

      His only hope is for trial in absentia and then a pardon a decade later, maybe. With current climate of spying and mistrust of general public, and people liking it this way, stay the heck away.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Freeman on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:24PM

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:24PM (#153108) Journal

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/30/daniel-ellsberg-snowden-fair-trial-kerry-espionage-act [theguardian.com]

    Article about a year old, but the sentiment still applies.

    TL;DR
    Ellsberg says that Snowden is pretty much guaranteed to be screwed, if he comes to the USA.

    --
    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:40PM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:40PM (#153119) Homepage Journal

      I get homesickness, but returning to the US would be really dumb. I hope and mostly believe that he is smart enough to know he cannot - absolutely cannot - trust the US government to treat it fairly.

      His exile cannot come as a surprise. It's time to dig in and make a new life where he is. If he really, truly cannot stand Russia (and I can believe that they are placing some hefty restrictions on him), then he surely has the time to look for some other country that would grant him residency and guarantee not to extradite him. I'm not sure which countries would be willing, but there will certainly be some. I believe that Switzerland and Germany have both at least considered it, as have various others.

      Returning to the US would be tantamount to accepting indefinite solitary confinement. Worse, there can be no impartial jury. Most people know about the case. Of those who know who Snowdon is, surveys show that most buy the government's line that he committed treason, and would be in favor of punishment. If you exclude people who already know about the case, well, I don't think a jury of blithering idiots is what he wants either.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by kaszz on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:00PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:00PM (#153133) Journal

        Get a waiver from USA (we will never request anything, ever..). Then apply for asylum in a European country of choice?

        It could perhaps work.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:20PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:20PM (#153145)

        as was already mentioned, the only hope in a US trial would be for jury nullification.

        problem is: you are effectively prohibited from even UTTERING those words inside a courtroom. comtempt of court often happens as a result. the judge gets pissed that you are aware of a legally guaranteed RIGHT that all americans have, but are not allowed to exercise.

        voire dire (questioning you before they select you as a juror) weeds out those that admit they know about JN. if you lie and say you never heard of it, then invoke it once on the jury, the judge WILL fuck you over. hard. you'll become an example to stop others from exercising the right to nullify bad laws.

        I really don't understand why judges and lawyers are so annoyed at JN, but they really are. I've had discussions with lawyers and they are offended that 'regular people can judge the law'. they say 'but dear, you are not QUALIFIED.'. that's what they say and they believe that. misguided fools...

        so, you are barred from talking about it and most americans have no idea of its existence. which makes it a neutered law, really.

        shame. it was a powerful control against an over-reaching and self-righteous state. and they do all they can to remove this right from us.

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:45PM

          by rts008 (3001) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:45PM (#153273)

          I really don't understand why judges and lawyers are so annoyed at JN,...

          I think you DO understand it, maybe you haven't really thought it through.
          I say this because further on in your comment:

          shame. it was a powerful control against an over-reaching and self-righteous state. and they do all they can to remove this right from us.

          Which is the reason that it keeps getting 'swept under the rug'.

          I can't blame Snowden for wanting to leave Russia, the way Putin has been acting lately. But Snowden is in a tough spot...where else can he go that will not have him extradited/snatched to the US?

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:53AM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:53AM (#153354)

          So, how does voire dire go about determining if you're aware of nullification, without making the ignorant aware of it? I'm absolutely not asking so that I can plan my answers to slip through the cracks without perjuring myself, should the opportunity arise...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:49AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:49AM (#153368)

            I spent a while thinking about ways to get around this without lying under oath. If they just ask, "Have you heard of 'jury nullification'?" I was thinking I could respond with something like, "Is that where the judge nullifies the jury's judgement?" or "Is that where the judge determines there's no need for a jury?". Responding with a question implies you've never heard of it without actually saying you haven't, and they'd likely only tell you what it is if they were planning on dismissing you anyway.

            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday March 05 2015, @04:57AM

              by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 05 2015, @04:57AM (#153398)

              It seems unlikely that they would ask point-blank like that in most cases - doing so may benefit the desired outcome of the particular trial, but runs the risk of raising social awareness and increasing its perceived legitimacy, which runs contrary to the apparently (semi-)organized attempt to make it fade away.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:31PM

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:31PM (#153113) Journal

    He can't possibly expect to be cleared of any wrong doing.

    At this point he should either stay in Russia indefinitely or commit suicide. Seriously, there is no other recourse. He blew the lid off a massive intelligence operation which has pissed off quite a few people in the government and their contractor/golfing buddies. There is no way he can ever expect to get a fair trial. The name of the game will be character assassination, and lots of it. He will be painted as a Russian spy/double agent and traitor along with fabricated stories about offshore accounts that the Russians filled with money. I'd even expect them to say they found child porn, drugs, a koran, The Communist Manifesto, etc at his home. The flag waving dimwits will be told he handed the commies and muslim terrorists all of our secrets on a silver platter making America vulnerable to a massive terrorist attack any day now. Think of the children, etc, the list goes on.

    The best I can see them giving him is life without parole in a supermax, probably ADX Florence. If Russia was going to throw me out, I'd kill myself. Even in another non US friendly country I'd expect a bullet to the head by a covert goon from a three letter agency.

    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:46PM

      by buswolley (848) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:46PM (#153123)

      some of those things could be true but I doubt they'd assassinate him: Too high profile.

      The purpose of a trial would be to raise awareness further through spectacle. Snowden plays the martyr. He gave up on freedom a long time ago.
      Suicide, cmon.

      --
      subicular junctures
      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:22PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:22PM (#153147) Journal

        Suicide was an extreme I threw in there. Not literally implying he should do it.

        He cant possibly win. Even with an overwhelming outpouring of support of the people the government has the final say.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by wantkitteh on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:34AM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:34AM (#153347) Homepage Journal

        America probably wouldn't try to assassinate anyone under the watchful gaze of Russia's agencies - they're still the best in the world at the human spy game. As terrible and as unjust as his life now has become, if he leaves to another country, he's likely to meet a sudden end along the lines of Monica in The Honourable Woman. Something that'll look exactly like a suicide.

        • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Friday March 06 2015, @01:38PM

          by LoRdTAW (3755) on Friday March 06 2015, @01:38PM (#153827) Journal

          That was my exact line of thought. You said it better than I did. The US won't dare touch him as long as he is in Russia. But, any where else? Good as dead. And like you said, it will look like an accident or just another local crime statistic.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by morgauxo on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:50PM

    by morgauxo (2082) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:50PM (#153125)

    Why? Seriously, Why? What does he actually expect will happen to him if he goes through with this? He isn't ever going to go "home". He will go to prison. I don't care if you think he is a hero or a villian. It doesn't make any difference. That is the reality of what will happen if he leaves Russia.

    If Snowden had any sense at all he would find himself a job, a home and a life in Russia. If he loves America and feels he helped it to be a better place then good for him. He can look back on that and smile but any future he might have which is worthy of being considered a life is as a Russian.

    The fact that he is even considering returning to the US convinces me that he actually has some sort of self-destructive personality disorder and he is really just in it for the attention. Too bad for him the attention he will get upon his return, although it will be pretty extreme it will be short lived. After that it's just a whole lot of time as just another nobody in a prison cell.

    Good luck to you Edward Snowden. You are going to need it!

    I wonder what the Russians think of this. They burnt that much goodwill with the US just for him to throw himself back into the fire? How much less likely will they be to grant assylum to the next whistleblower?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:55PM (#153130)

      > What does he actually expect will happen to him if he goes through with this?

      I'm sure he expects to go to prison. But his hope is that it is a short enough term so that he can eventually get on with his life in his own country. Unlike most convicted felons, he would have a pretty decent life after serving his term.

      Whether that is a realistic hope is another question. But it is the farthest thing from personality disorder, it is entirely normal to want to go home where you know the culture and everybody speaks your language.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:10PM (#153282)

        Can he marry a cute young girl child?
        No?
        No decent life.

      • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:14PM

        by morgauxo (2082) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:14PM (#153524)

        It is entirely normal to hope to win the lottery too. It is another thing to bet your whole future on it happening.

      • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:24PM

        by morgauxo (2082) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:24PM (#153532)

        BTW, I wasn't saying he has a personality disorder because he wants to come home. Sure, I get that. I can't believe that any rational person would believe he has a chance of ever getting out of prison if he does though. Well.. maybe he will be released when he is old and sick but that hardly counts. I think he is being very irational and suspect that means that he is motivated by a desire for attention.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @07:33PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @07:33PM (#153614)

          > I think he is being very irational and suspect that means that he is motivated by a desire for attention.

          Great, you are one of those dicks.

          It is not irrational to expect that if the US makes a public commitment not to charge him under the espionage act, that he won't be charged under the espionage act. Or did you not even bother to RTFA before deciding he's an irrational attention whore?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:09PM (#153138)

      > I wonder what the Russians think of this. They burnt that much goodwill

      I think you profoundly misunderstand the nature of Russia's support for Snowden. They don't give a damn about goodwill or Snowden's principles. "Burning" it was the entire point. No matter what Snowden does next, the Russians got what they wanted.

      • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:21PM

        by morgauxo (2082) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:21PM (#153528)

        I suppose they probably did it to show that the US isn't so much better than them when it comes to surveiling it's citizens. I guess your right, it doesn't really matter what Snowden does next.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MrGuy on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:09PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:09PM (#153139)

    I refuse to believe someone who's as smart as Edward Snowden would be so foolish as to return to the US to stand trial.

    Which makes me wonder if this isn't yet another gambit in the game he's playing against the US government. And possibly a shrewd one.

    Here's some places I could imagine he might be going with this request. All purely my speculation, but more interesting than "he's just homesick!" as an explanation.

    Note the wording in the request that he's willing to come back "if he can be guaranteed a fair trial." I wonder if his plan is to prove that the US cannot possibly offer him a "fair" trial, thus building sympathy abroad (and hurting the US' image).

    Related to the above, perhaps he's hoping to gain asylum in some country more hospitable than Russia, and perhaps is in talks to do so. A asylum claim often needs some showing that the asylum seeker is subject to persecution back home. Perhaps Snowden is "going through the motions," and building a case that he's not a fugitive fleeing criminal charges, but instead a refugee who would be willing to answer for legitimate crimes, but clearly cannot get a fair trial.

    Another possible place he's going with this is to open up a legal process, with the aim of obtaining discovery (or, at least, getting the US to agree to discovery of classified information in this case). Given the insistence on a "fair" trial, it would be nearly impossible for Snowden to be tried fairly if the government could hide the truth of his allegations or refuse to provide witnesses under the "state secrets" provisions. Perhaps he wants to (at a minimum) force the NSA to be subject to a records retention directive, or possible get actual discovery (as part of an extradition process) to material he knows or suspects the NSA has.

    Or maybe it's about grandstanding around the NSA's continued culture of secrecy, and providing a rallying point. If I were Snowden, and I insisted on a "fair" trial, I'd want to be able to permit a "justification" defense to a jury. A justification defense would likely require him to substantiate that his allegations were true. This would mean he'd demand the right to question NSA officials in open court, which he probably could not do without the government waiving the "state secrets" doctrine for this case, which is doubtful that they would do. Maybe he just wants to prove that, even with the disclosures, the government continues to insist (in contrast to the wishes of many citizens) to keep its surveillance activities are a national secret. Which argues that the people still can't have effective oversight.

    In all these cases, the aim is really NOT to actually come and stand trial - it's to demonstrate that a fair trial is impossible, to one (or more) alternate ends.

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by SlimmPickens on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:50PM

      by SlimmPickens (1056) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:50PM (#153193)

      He's not Ms Manning.

      He is in a position of strength, and he has very good lawyers. He will get his fair trial.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:43PM (#153295)

        -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
        Hash: SHA1

        You are both right, but MrGuy is more right. A fair trial is not possible at present. Not while senator Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, says things like "I don't look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it's an act of treason". Exploring the possibility of return is a correct move, but I hope that Snowden is not so dim that he will trust promises. That ship has sailed. The process has clearly gone too far (Snowden is already guilty, case closed), words are meaningless, and only the actions can be trusted.

        If I was in Snowden's shoes, I'd wait at least until
        (1) officials like Feinstein are prosecuted for denying him justice; they should at the very least be removed from governing
        (2) Manning is free and cleared of all charges, and his torturers are prosecuted
        (3) Assange is free and cleared of all charges, in every jurisdiction
        (4) legislators start passing laws preventing bulk data collection and surveillance
        (5) as well as laws defending journalists and their sources (whatever laws US has today are clearly useless for that purpose)

        He has to wait until the country turns around in deed, and not just in words. If legislators and the public believe that total surveillance is OK, then what Snowden did is of no value to them. If he is foolish enough to stand trial in the country that ignores his revelations, he will end up envying Manning.

        ~Anonymous 0x9932FE2729B1D963
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    • (Score: 1) by brocksampson on Thursday March 05 2015, @11:25AM

      by brocksampson (1810) on Thursday March 05 2015, @11:25AM (#153467)

      Or maybe he is trying to get Obama to pardon him on his way out of office. If, between now and Jan 2017, he can get public opinion clearly on his side, it is not unreasonable to assume that a two-term president leaving office would pardon him. One way to do that would be to arrange for a "fair trial," which will turn into anything but, and as much media coverage of that fact as possible. His biggest liability is the balance in public perception between "traitor" and "whistle blower." Play up the deceitful government angle, give time for people to realize how unjustifiable the NSA's positions are, and watch the government get petty and throw ten life sentences at him with secret evidence... maybe the scale will tip towards "whistle blower" sufficiently for a pardon.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dime on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:17PM

    by dime (1163) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:17PM (#153144)

    I don't care why Snowden wants to return home but I assume he has his reasons, the most obvious being his family probably.

    What I do care about is that when he comes home, everyone (here at soylent news) come peaceably assemble with me outside whatever courthouse they try to crucify him at.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:51PM (#153275)

      I'll be there to punch him in the throat for selling us out on our foreign intelligence. You "ends justify the means" people might be ok with that, but some of us feel betrayed. Maybe I'd feel a little better towards him if he didn't sell us out, but that genie is out of the bottle.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:08PM (#153281)

        Are you going to machete his limbs and cauterize the wounds!!!!!???
        (Are you?)

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:58PM (#153300)

        Lol, just let that NSA cock slide in a little moar

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:58PM

        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:58PM (#153301)

        You "ends justify the means" people might be ok with that

        What? You're part of the "ends justify the means" group, not people who think that every person in the world has rights, and that we shouldn't violate them without a good reason and evidence. Mass surveillance is disgusting, foreign or not. That's not "the ends justify the means"; that's 'He was right in releasing all of these documents.' Both the ends and means were correct.

        but some of us feel betrayed.

        Warmongering fools who despise freedom, maybe.

        Maybe I'd feel a little better towards him

        "Maybe"? Just "maybe"? You would prefer the government continue violating the constitution in secrecy?

      • (Score: 2) by CirclesInSand on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:08AM

        by CirclesInSand (2899) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:08AM (#153356)

        I'll be there to punch him in the throat for selling us out on our foreign intelligence.

        No one cares, Mrs. Feinstein; you punch like a girl anyway.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:11AM (#153357)

        I looked for the traditional "Sieg Heil" in your comment but I didn't see it.
        Don't they teach that on the very first day of Brown Shirt school?

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by The Archon V2.0 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:22PM

    by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:22PM (#153146)

    "I want a fair trial."

    "Best I can promise is to not kill you."

    Nice to know that when a man walks into a US court the only thing he can be sure of is that the firing squad isn't going to be sitting in the front row oiling their guns... if he gets it on paper beforehand.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:33PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @05:33PM (#153151) Journal

      Don't worry we don't use the antiquated "Firing Squad" we use expensive pharmaceuticals that don't always work the same way.

      --
      "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:12AM

        by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:12AM (#153358)

        Further proof that one of the primary motives of execution is revenge - if we just wanted to kill someone we'd put them in a nitrogen gas chamber. Painless and 100% effective - most people exposed to nitrogen atmospheres don't even notice anything is wrong before they pass out from oxygen deprivation, and they're dead within a couple minutes as the oxygen in their blood rapidly diffuses into the surrounding air with every breath.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @06:21PM (#153179)

    While in Russia he checked his files and found some intelligence on planned war with Ukraine. Suddenly he feels lot less secure than before...

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @08:53PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @08:53PM (#153235) Homepage Journal

    Really - the young man has seemed to have all his bases covered, all along. The day he surrenders to US authorities, he has no bases covered, at all.

    I really think that I could spend the rest of my life outside the US, if returning meant that the government was going to tear me a new one, then cauterize it, fill it with salt, then cut a new one again.

    Of course, Edward is still young. His parents are still alive. And, he left a young woman at home. Ehhhh - young, and dumb, and full of cum, I guess.

    Then again, he may be motivated by more than all of that. Maybe he wants to "make a difference". He hopes to expose government misconduct even more than he has? He wants to "win"? Hmmm - good luck with that. As honorable as Edward may or may not be, he is not dealing with honorable men on the other side.

    --
    "I didn't lose to him!" - The Donald referring to Trippin' Joe
    • (Score: 2) by goody on Thursday March 05 2015, @01:22AM

      by goody (2135) on Thursday March 05 2015, @01:22AM (#153333)

      the young man has seemed to have all his bases covered, all along

      Not really. Remember when he went to Hong Kong, then Russia, and had tickets to go to Cuba, then Ecuador, and he had to live in a Russian airport for a month? His residency permit in Russia is good for three years. I think he's far from having his bases covered. But I agree going to the US would be the absolute worse thing he could do.

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:22AM

        by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:22AM (#153363)

        Well, that would depend on whether he's wearing out his welcome in Russia. Russia presumably granted him sanctuary in exchange for the political capital it granted them - capital which has likely run its course by this point. So, if he's going to lose his limited-duration residency in Russia, who else is realistically going to stand against the US juggernaut now that his media value has dwindled? Not just on paper, but actually carry enough weight to dissuade US covert ops from arranging an "accident"?

        Basically, if he's screwed anyway he may as well try to accomplish as much as possible with the time he has left. And if he ends up in solitary for life - well that might be better than covert execution. At least there's a chance he would be pardoned somewhere down the line, and death is always an option if things get too unpleasant.

        • (Score: 2) by tathra on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:59AM

          by tathra (3367) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:59AM (#153369)

          And if he ends up in solitary for life - well that might be better than covert execution.

          solitary confinement is torture. [io9.com] execution would be far preferable.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Immerman on Thursday March 05 2015, @05:20AM

            by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 05 2015, @05:20AM (#153409)

            > execution would be far preferable.

            That depends very much on the priorities and psychological profile of the person enduring it, many Buddhist monks voluntarily subject themselves to even more extreme isolation than decades of solitary for example. And like I said, death is (almost) always an option if the isolation becomes too much to bear. Inhale a piece of your blanket in the middle of the night and it's unlikely anyone will notice until it's too late . Why would you want to give your persecutors the satisfaction of dieing on their terms?

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday March 05 2015, @09:42AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 05 2015, @09:42AM (#153450) Homepage Journal

            Mmmm. I don't want to go into solitary confinement - but there are plenty of accounts of people who have endured it. It DOES separate the men from the boys. Given the choice between solitary and death, I'll choose solitary, thank you very much. IF, after months/years of solitary, I decide for myself that death is preferable, then I can arrange my own death in my own way. Of course - suicide would mean that the bastards won.

            --
            "I didn't lose to him!" - The Donald referring to Trippin' Joe
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @10:16PM (#153267)

    I think we all know deep down in our hearts that Snowden's biggest problem is that he is a white male. As a consequence, only a small dedicated and principled few will ever care about his case.

    On the other hand, if Snowden were a member of a so-called "minority" group, then people everywhere would be falling all over themselves to provide their unending contributions and support. Every liberal in the land would rally and protest in the streets, and no jury would ever convict.

    Sorry, Mr. Snowden. White boys always lose. Stay in Russia.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:15PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday March 04 2015, @11:15PM (#153285) Journal