“Reserving judgment”: Rand Paul ducks question of whether Snowden should be prosecuted

posted at 11:21 am on June 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

An obligatory follow-up to my post yesterday predicting that Rand will, eventually, call for jail time for Snowden. Charlie Rose tries to pin him down on that no fewer than three times (the third comes at the very end of the clip) and Rand ducks each and every one — which, in fairness, is the prudent play at the moment for his position. If he’s too quick to call for Snowden to be locked up, he’ll annoy libertarians who’ll see it (correctly) as pandering to conservative hawks. Also, think how that would play if the Chinese ended up grabbing Snowden and interrogating him against his will. “Rand wanted Snowden in a cell before the ChiComs did!” Not a good way to shore up support among your dad’s supporters, especially since he was out of the gate early yesterday in praising Snowden.

On the other hand, there’s no way realistically that he can argue against punishing Snowden somehow. Glenn Greenwald is promising more revelations to come, remember; if something ends up being published that gets Americans in the field killed, a Rand who’s already on the record as pro-Snowden will have a five-alarm fire on his hands. Likewise, what if Snowden ends up seeking asylum in China or Russia and Americans start to suspect he was aiming to spill U.S. secrets to the local authoritarians all along? Righty hawks will bludgeon Paul with that. And Rand knows it, which explains today’s no comment: Once we have a better sense of exactly what Snowden’s done and what he’s planning to do, Rand will start to inch publicly towards the inevitable “sadly, he must be prosecuted” position. That’s my prediction and I’m sticking to it.

His pop’s not making this easier for him, though:

[Ron Paul is] concerned about the fate of Snowden, who was last seen in Hong Kong after fleeing the country several weeks ago, and worries that the 29-year-old whistleblower might come to be viewed as a “traitor” for his actions. “If you have a large government, or an empire, a dictatorial government, if you tell the truth, it’s treason, and that has to be reversed,” he says. “I’m concerned about whether the publicity is so strong that the people who are sympathetic will have to be silenced because they find out people are starting to believe, ‘Oh, he’s a communist defector and that’s why he’s in China.’”…

However, Snowden has his fair share of defenders. An online petition asking President Obama to pardon Snowden has accumulated more than 26,000 signatures since Sunday. Paul is supportive. “I mean, it’s early, but from everything I’ve heard, I’d say it’s a great idea,” he says. “The question is really, who are the criminals? The people who destroy our Constitution, or the people who tell us the truth about the individuals who are destroying our Constitution?”

Does Rand agree that Snowden should be pardoned? That would be an … interesting precedent to have on the record against President Paul in 2017.

Here’s the clip via Mediaite. I’m giving myself partial credit for predicting that Rand would frame this as a matter of “civil disobedience,” which splits the difference by suggesting that jail time is warranted but that the underlying crime was noble.


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Like father like son. Squish.

Mr. Arrogant on June 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM

No one in the State Run Media seemed to be concerned when Americans were killed in Benghazi..? What difference does it make..?

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Let it flesh out first, then see what happens.

Or we could take the bluegill advice and put a bullet through Snowden’s head.

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Smart. We still don’t know for sure what Snowden’s intentions are, or even if he is just a pawn.

What Paul does know is that what Snowden did was not treason.

MadisonConservative on June 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

I’m conflicted. I’m worried about leaks harming our national security. At the same time, I’m worried that the government may be out of control. What Manning did was inexcusable but I really don’t know about Snowden. Time will tell.

joekenha on June 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Benjamin Gazzi should be prosecuted immediately…

equanimous on June 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Does Rand agree that Snowden should be pardoned? That would be an … interesting precedent to have on the record against President Paul in 2017.

Can we at least have a conviction first? I certainly think that this guy should be prosecuted, as he did break the law. There is a concern with prosecution though. Somehow I don’t think that he will have the ability to have a fair and open trial. The government will use the National Security and “classified” material argument that he can’t have access to information for his defense. This is a tricky issue. Those who have the most to lose politically will be the ones limiting his access to a full defense. Hence, the reason for him leaving the country.

Many on both the Right and the Left have already in their minds convicted Snowden of Treason. I would venture a guess that this may be a more tenuous position down the line for them than those saying “let’s wait and see”.

Does Obama need court approval to target him with a drone strike or secret Kill order now?

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Glenn Greenwald is promising more revelations to come,

How about some smoking gun emails from Obama’s private email account tying all these scandals together and proving the worst possible motivation?

Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease.

bitsy on June 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I support what Snowden dd but you’ve got to prosecute him. If he was justified no jury would convict… Ad he should, at worst, get a light sentence.

Skywise on June 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

No one in the State Run Media seemed to be concerned when Americans were killed in Benghazi..? What difference does it make..?

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Benghazi- worked against the rat-eared coward as the giver of light in the Middle East.

NSA Stasi disclosure- Directly hurts the OFA data gathering.

But you missed one. This administration was as equally unconcerned with American deaths when it operated a gun-running operation.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

How is this truly different than the “Pentagon Papers”? Oh, that’s right a Democrat is in office now so he has to be punished.

chemman on June 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Civil disobedience? In this case it might be “Sybil” disobedience.

Absolute power seems to corrupt absolutely – even with Mr. “Stop-the-drones”.

oldroy on June 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Or we could take the bluegill advice and put a bullet through Snowden’s head.

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

It’s not an option that should be taken off the table.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

“Reserving judgment” – Rand Paul

So, WTF is wrong with that, Allah? Isn’t that what intelligent people do until all of the facts are in? Oh wait … never mind. It’s lost on some. Have a Tampa.
(knee-jerkers)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I really hope Palin reacts to this, and defends Snowden…and HA makes a post about it. I want to watch bluegill release the beast.

MadisonConservative on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

But you missed one. This administration was as equally unconcerned with American deaths when it operated a gun-running operation.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

There are so many. It’s getting hard to keep up. LOL

HotAir needs a permanent Scandal Chart on the front page…

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

I support what Snowden dd but you’ve got to prosecute him. If he was justified no jury would convict… Ad he should, at worst, get a light sentence.

Skywise on June 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Snowden will not have access to information that is “classified” for his defense. He would probably be able to avoid a “treason” conviction, but he did in fact violate laws against leaking classified information. He won’t be able to get out of that one unless he can prove that the information he released was illegal. He won’t be able to prove these programs are illegal since they have all been signed off on by the 3 branches of government. If Paul is successful in getting a case to the SC, it could give Snowden a chance to prove the activities by our government were illegal. Short of that, I think he will be found guilty.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

HotAir needs a permanent Scandal Chart on the front page…

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Ooohh. With some animated line graphs and pie charts. I like it.

oldroy on June 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM

So, WTF is wrong with that, Allah? Isn’t that what intelligent people do until all of the facts are in? Oh wait … never mind. It’s lost on some. Have a Tampa.
(knee-jerkers)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

AP seems to take the default position that everything Rand Paul does is a political calculation whereas every other politician is to be believed at face value. It boggles the mind that someone who is as consistent at Paul in relation to Civil Liberties can be construed as being so politically calculating.

Boehner and Feinstein “Snowden is a traitor”. Nothing political.

Rand Paul “Let’s wait and see”. Pure politics.

Like I said, it boggles the mind. AP must have a deep seeded skepticism/dislike of Rand Paul.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Ooohh. With some animated line graphs and pie charts. I like it.

oldroy on June 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM

We’re going to have pie? Yeah!

VegasRick on June 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

HotAir needs a permanent Scandal Chart on the front page…

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Maybe something interactive. Like a slot machine. Pull the handle and see what scandal pops up.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I support what Snowden dd but you’ve got to prosecute him. If he was justified no jury would convict… Ad he should, at worst, get a light sentence.

Skywise on June 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Agreed, we can be a nation of laws or a nation of men.

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

This program just broke in the news. We don’t even know any of the facts. Why demand for a man to go to prison yet? Also, I haven’t seen any names released just the allegation that the government was collecting info on Americans. Hardly raising the effects that an American who already was not in danger would be killed for it. The risking American’s lifes is just a shallow argument in sophistry to get people to feel ashamed.

OliverB on June 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

So weary of these people who are constantly more worried about the political ramifications of things and words than they are worried about simply doing and saying what is right.

Midas on June 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I really hope Palin reacts to this, and defends Snowden…and HA makes a post about it. I want to watch bluegill release the beast.

MadisonConservative on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

rotf

apoplexy

Axe on June 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Maybe something interactive. Like a slot machine. Pull the handle and see what scandal pops up.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I like it. Maybe also an interactive “What’s next” box? Where you submit your scandal prediction for the day or the week, and then the judges decide who was closest?

oldroy on June 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration considered whether to charge a government contractor with leaking classified surveillance secrets while it defended the broad U.S. spy program that it says keeps America safe from terrorists.

Facing a global uproar over the programs that track phone and Internet messages around the world, the Justice Department continued to investigate whether the disclosures of Edward Snowden, 29, an employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, were criminal.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130611/DA6RDBKO2.html

But Rand Paul is purely making a political calculation by reserving judgement. Right.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

The worm has definitely turned when I can go to certain lefty websites that I haunt and find myself in the company of people who are having the exact same reaction as me.

*shudder*

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

How is this truly different than the “Pentagon Papers”? Oh, that’s right a Democrat is in office now so he has to be punished.

chemman on June 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Daniel Ellsberg was prosecuted.

From wiki (I apologise):

On June 28, 1971, two days before a Supreme Court ruling saying that a federal judge had ruled incorrectly about the right of the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers,[6] Ellsberg publicly surrendered to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in Boston. In admitting to giving the documents to the press, Ellsberg said:

I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.

He and Russo faced charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 and other charges including theft and conspiracy, carrying a total maximum sentence of 115 years. Their trial commenced in Los Angeles on January 3, 1973, presided over by U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne, Jr.

On April 26, the break-in of Fielding’s office was revealed to the court in a memo to Judge Byrne, who then ordered it to be shared with the defense.[22][23]

On May 9, further evidence of illegal wiretapping against Ellsberg was revealed in court. The FBI had recorded numerous conversations between Morton Halperin and Ellsberg without a court order, and furthermore the prosecution had failed to share this evidence with the defense.[24] During the trial, Byrne also revealed that he personally met twice with John Ehrlichman, who offered him directorship of the FBI. Byrne said he refused to consider the offer while the Ellsberg case was pending, though he was criticized for even agreeing to meet with Ehrlichman during the case.[23]

Due to the gross governmental misconduct and illegal evidence gathering, and the defense by Leonard Boudin and Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, Judge Byrne dismissed all charges against Ellsberg and Russo on May 11, 1973 after the government claimed it had lost records of wiretapping against Ellsberg. Byrne ruled: “The totality of the circumstances of this case which I have only briefly sketched offend a sense of justice. The bizarre events have incurably infected the prosecution of this case.”[23]

As a result of the revelation of the Fielding break-in during the trial, John Ehrlichman, H R Haldeman, Richard Kleindienst and John Dean were forced out of office on April 30, and all would later be convicted of crimes related to the Watergate scandal. Egil Krogh later pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and White House counsel Charles Colson pleaded no contest for obstruction of justice in the burglary. “The court concluded that Nixon, Mitchell, and Haldeman had violated the Halperins’ Fourth Amendment rights, but not the terms of Title III. The Halperins were awarded $1 in nominal damages in August 1977.”[25][26]

Ellsberg later claimed that after his trial ended, Watergate prosecutor William H. Merrill informed him of an aborted plot by Liddy and the “plumbers” to have 12 Cuban-Americans who had previously worked for the CIA to “totally incapacitate” Ellsberg as he appeared at a public rally, though it is unclear whether that meant to assassinate Ellsberg or merely to hospitalize him.[27][28] In his autobiography, Liddy describes an “Ellsberg neutralization proposal” originating from Howard Hunt, which involved drugging Ellsberg with LSD, by dissolving it in his soup, at a fund-raising dinner in Washington in order to “have Ellsberg incoherent by the time he was to speak” and thus “make him appear a near burnt-out drug case” and “discredit him”. The plot involved waiters from the Miami Cuban community. According to Liddy, when the plan was finally approved, “there was no longer enough lead time to get the Cuban waiters up from their Miami hotels and into place in the Washington Hotel where the dinner was to take place” and the plan was “put into abeyance pending another opportunity”.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

If only they would try to pin the One down with a score or two of questions screaming to be asked.

mwbri on June 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM

tough case….

ted c on June 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM

His pop’s not making this easier for him, though:

AP, have you ever done this kind of analysis based on Obama’s father?

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

DiFi & CryBaby: ‘Snowden is guilty of treason.’

Rand Paul: ‘I’m reserving judgement until I know all of the facts.’

In Allah’s DiFi-CryBaby World, it is far better to be guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Like I said, it boggles the mind. AP must have a deep seeded skepticism/dislike of Rand Paul.
weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

And all Conservatives. Some things, and people, never change.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 11, 2013 at 12:01 PM

OT ~ From a few days ago. I dunno, it just seemed like this would be the place to put it:

Today’s Bilderberg coverage which was streamed live on the Guerilla Media Network, saw the UK’s Liberty Tactics team reveal from reports on the ground in Watford that both Hillary Clinton and her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, were spotted entering Bilderberg’s Grove Hotel today, along with luminaries David Rockefeller and Henry Kissenger.

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/06/bilderberg-2013-hillary-clinton-bill-clinton-david-rockefeller-and-henry-kissenger-in-attendance-2674704.html

Rand shouldn’t join the chorus of overlords chanting, “Get Snowden!”

As long as I am off topic, anyone else remember the character Snowden in Catch 22?

Eventually Yossarian notices bleeding from Snowden’s armpit and realises he has another wound below his flak suit. As Yossarian rips open the flak suit, a fatal wound beneath exposes Snowden’s internal organs which fall out onto the floor. A huge chunk of flak had ripped straight through his ribs from behind. Yossarian is horrified at the sight. Snowden is about to die, but is able to tell Yossarian he is cold. Yossarian covers Snowden in a parachute, and comforts him by saying “there, there”.

Snowden’s death embodies Yossarian’s desire to evade death; by seeing Snowden’s entrails spilling over the plane, he feels that “Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage.”

The experience on the plane dramatically changes Yossarian’s attitude towards life. He looks only to protect his own life and, to a lesser extent, the lives of his close friends. Yossarian turns against the military and refuses to wear a uniform, his justification being he simply “doesn’t want to,” perhaps because he was traumatized and depressed by Snowden’s death. The excuse Captain Korn gives to General Dreedle is that Snowden died in one uniform, and his remains were soaked into Yossarian’s, and all of Yossarian’s other articles of clothing were in the laundry. General Dreedle says “That sounds like a lot of crap to me.” Yossarian replies, “It is a lot of crap, sir.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yossarian#Snowden

Fallon on June 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The worm has definitely turned when I can go to certain lefty websites that I haunt and find myself in the company of people who are having the exact same reaction as me.

*shudder*

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Conservatives oppose this based on a violation of our constitutional rights.

Lefties oppose it because they don’t like the idea that people have access to how they really feel and think and they may be exposed for what they really are. Lefties have something to hide in other words.

Note how lefties that are in favor of this will accuse the opposition of having something to hide. Tell-tale sign.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

In Allah’s DiFi-CryBaby World, it is far better to be guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

This is how we should be looking at the NSA programs.

The government is guilty of spying on Americans until proven innocent. The government does not get the same rights as individuals in this country. I demand proof that our government is not seizing private information on American citizens.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Maybe something interactive. Like a slot machine. Pull the handle and see what scandal pops up.

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I like it. Maybe also an interactive “What’s next” box? Where you submit your scandal prediction for the day or the week, and then the judges decide who was closest?

oldroy on June 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Obama Scandal Brackets (sadly outdated now…)

jffree1 on June 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Agreed, we can be a nation of laws or a nation of men.

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

False dichotomy. We’re actually a nation of mostly sheeple, with a few traitorous narcissists and sociopaths in charge. And a few men running around too, but when push comes to shove there ain’t many relatively speaking.

…Somehow I don’t think that he will have the ability to have a fair and open trial…

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Somehow, I think you’re right.

Fenris on June 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

The Constitution of the United States, Art. III, defines treason against the United States to consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort.

Snowden was maybe, possibly, misguided, but it doesn’t seem like he intended to levy war on the United States.

“…giving them aid or comfort.”

That, on the other hand, would consist of things like, oh, I don’t know… Sending weapons to drug cartels? Ordering troops to stand down in the face of an attack on a US Consulate?

ZenDraken on June 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I’m wondering if the Administration would be all that eager to open the can of worms a trial would bring, anyway. Might be more of a “debate” on the issue than Obama had in mind.

whatcat on June 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Snowden was maybe, possibly, misguided, but it doesn’t seem like he intended to levy war on the United States.

“…giving them aid or comfort.”

That, on the other hand, would consist of things like, oh, I don’t know… Sending weapons to drug cartels? Ordering troops to stand down in the face of an attack on a US Consulate?

ZenDraken on June 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Does giving welfare to the Tsaernovs count as aid or comfort?

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Aah, come on Rand! What do you really stand for? I’m getting confused.

tomshup on June 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM

I’m wondering if the Administration would be all that eager to open the can of worms a trial would bring, anyway. Might be more of a “debate” on the issue than Obama had in mind.

whatcat on June 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Or a ‘national conversation’

Maybe a ‘beer summit’

LaughterJones on June 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Rand Paul is absolutely correct to reserve judgment concerning Snowden. Snowden has said that he has access to everyone’s Email, including the President’s, but he hasn’t actually divulged any of it.

It is foolish for Boehner or DiFi or anyone else to make accusations of treason against Snowden from a distance. This could scare Snowden into seeking asylum somewhere else, and since his last known location was Hong Kong, China would be the obvious place for him to go. Whether or not Snowden actually committed treason, does any US Government official want him revealing secrets to China?

If Snowden actually knows something Congress doesn’t already know about any Big Brother tactics by the Obama administration, Congress needs to get that information from him. This can be done by offering Snowden some partial immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony under oath before Congress. If Snowden refuses such an offer, he may in fact be guilty of treason; if he accepts to testify, he may reveal extremely valuable information to Congress in its oversight of the Executive Branch.

In either case, Snowden should be permanently denied any security clearance from the United States government.

Steve Z on June 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

What is the harm that he caused or will cause? I still have not seen much of an answer to this.

astonerii on June 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Everyone’s runnin skeered !!

Bloody hands…to be found everywhere throughout our DC establishment.

FlaMurph on June 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

What is the harm that he caused or will cause? I still have not seen much of an answer to this.

astonerii on June 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Embarrassing the government liars. Isn’t that enough? Well, in fairness, Greenwald says he has more documents, so who knows?

Fenris on June 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I’m wondering if the Administration would be all that eager to open the can of worms a trial would bring, anyway. Might be more of a “debate” on the issue than Obama had in mind.
whatcat on June 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Or a ‘national conversation’
Maybe a ‘beer summit’
LaughterJones on June 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

I gotta feeling Obama would feel the need for something stronger than beer to handle the second coming of Daniel Ellsberg. The Admin wants the American people to forget all this – a years-long trial might just be something they don’t relish.

whatcat on June 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Paul handled himself extremely well. They were under a “gag” order?
Briefings with a gag order. Ain’t that sweet!/sarc

We should worry more about the government’s strikes against the 4th amendment than whether or not someone asks Rand Paul a handful of times
what he thinks about treason. BTW, that “gotcha” wannabe girl is a piece of work.

Amjean on June 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I’m conflicted. I’m worried about leaks harming our national security. At the same time, I’m worried that the government may be out of control. What Manning did was inexcusable but I really don’t know about Snowden. Time will tell.

joekenha on June 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

.
I’m not “conflicted”.

There is insufficient data to either hang or exonerate him, at this time.
It will be a while till sufficient data is made public, on this.

listens2glenn on June 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

How can this be a hard issue to understand?

Telling AQ exactly how we are tracking them down is clearly “giving aid to the enemy”, ie TREASON.

SpudmanWP on June 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Yeah – that’s why Allahpundit sits around making PREDICTIONS about what people of Accomplishemt will actually do……

….because he has never accomplished or actually DONE anything himself……….

williamg on June 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

He won’t be able to get out of that one unless he can prove that the information he released was illegal. He won’t be able to prove these programs are illegal since they have all been signed off on by the 3 branches of government.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Did every member of congress know the extent of the NSA program? Do they know today?

This is the problem with having an agency that operates in such secrecy that the same people who are required to authorize it’s existence aren’t allowed to know what it’s doing.

Wendya on June 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

When these See You Next Tuesdays start to clean their own house and prosecute their own thieves and traitors, then and ONLY then will I listen to prosecuting whistleblowers.

And no, Manning isn’t a whistleblower.

kim roy on June 11, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I’ve heard it mentioned that the stated purpose of such programs is to help protect the American people from potential threats, and that this guy was hired to help implement the programs. It sounds like he identified the programs as a potential threat, but that he was bound under the terms of his lawful employment to not reveal the programs as a threat.

Christien on June 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM

The worm has definitely turned when I can go to certain lefty websites that I haunt and find myself in the company of people who are having the exact same reaction as me.

*shudder*

Bishop on June 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Or, alternately, you can now go to Fox News and watch them defend NSA snooping while excoriating “treasonous leakers.”

*blechh*

Burke on June 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM

That petition.

PersonFromPorlock on June 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Did every member of congress know the extent of the NSA program? Do they know today?
This is the problem with having an agency that operates in such secrecy that the same people who are required to authorize it’s existence aren’t allowed to know what it’s doing.
Wendya on June 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Every member of Congress had the ability to learn more. They chose wilful ignorance instead. The issues with civil liberty infringement in the Patriot Act certainly weren’t a secret at the time of the re-authorization. Sadly only Rand Paul attempted to address them. In the end only 4 republicans voted against reauthorization despite having the lack of information on what was being authorized under the program.

Rand Paul attempted to have a debate about it in 2011 during the last re-authorization. First he wasn’t allowed to offer amendments by Reid. Then Reid allowed it, but the Republicans didn’t. Finally they came to a solution that Rand wouldn’t hold up the bill any longer if he could have a vote on his 2 amendments. Both amendments failed and the re-authorization passed.

Rand Paul was singlehandedly opposing a blanket re-authorization without debating further. The fault lies within Congress for blindly approving as well as the Administration for stretching their authorities. Each member of Congress who voted for the re-authorization deserves scrutiny. ESPECIALLY the ones who are now claiming helpless ignorance.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Did every member of congress know the extent of the NSA program? Do they know today?
This is the problem with having an agency that operates in such secrecy that the same people who are required to authorize it’s existence aren’t allowed to know what it’s doing.
Wendya on June 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Keep in mind, the NSA program is the perfect tool for the ruling elite to obtain dirt on anybody, including each other, and particularly congress critters. The NSA program itself is effectively holding a gun to the head of anybody in power and saying “You really think you want to defund me? Go ahead, make my day.”

The NSA = A real-life proto-Skynet.

ZenDraken on June 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM

HotAir needs a permanent Scandal Chart on the front page…

d1carter on June 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Maybe a menu for scandal webpages and it would be even better if each of them took a scandal (or two or three since there are so many of them) to keep tabs on. As much as I’m interested in the NSA scandal, the others are still moving along albeit under the radar.

Dusty on June 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Paul was right. If we make this about Snowden it lets the NSA and the administration of the hook.The libs see us as the enemy, the supersmart “conservative” pundits seem to have forgotten that.

echosyst on June 11, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Sorry but this guy is nothing more that Obama of a different stripe. Never ran a damn thing. I hope people don’t follow him off the cliff.

KBird on June 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Sorry but this guy is nothing more that Obama of a different stripe. Never ran a damn thing. I hope people don’t follow him off the cliff.

KBird on June 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Rand Paul or AP?
Rand Paul is an eye doctor and opened his own practice.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Hey Allah?

“Grading yourself” sounds a bit like Obama to me.

Let others “grade” you.

Sherman1864 on June 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I support what Snowden dd but you’ve got to prosecute him. If he was justified no jury would convict… Ad he should, at worst, get a light sentence.Skywise on June 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Agreed. Whistle blowing is not immunity from prosecution, just from persecution.
On the lopsided, just because all three branches says x is legal does not make x constitutional. If x is determined to be illegal or unconstitutional then whistleblowing is then free from prosecution.

AH_C on June 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Ps. Manning is not a whistleblower, he indiscriminately leaked everything he could get and that’s treasonous. Snowden leaked the existence of a program designed to identify every American and the degree of separation. For that he should have his day in court. If I was on the jury and barring other essentials, I would not convict.

AH_C on June 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

If x is determined to be illegal or unconstitutional then whistleblowing is then free from prosecution.

Not if you release secrets in the process.

Think of it this way: Is releasing info about a black crypto program legal if you reveal that one of the contractors had a fraudulent bid?

SpudmanWP on June 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Rand Paul or AP?
Rand Paul is an eye doctor and opened his own practice.

weaselyone on June 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I hope you don’t mean running a county,city or a state is even in the same league as running a doctors office

KBird on June 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

There should be no secret legislation or programs in a “free country”. If these programs are secret, then the people do not have the knowledge necessary to know what’s going on. This is why covert warfare is so egregious. How many people know the amount of covert warfare we’ve done against Iran over the years? Very few know about it and that ignorance is used to this day to push for an Iran/U.S. war.

Truth has become treason in this empire of secrecy and covert war. We need lies to cover up our covert wars, and unconstitutional surveillance programs.

fatlibertarianinokc on June 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

There should be no secret legislation or programs in a “free country”.

Are you serious or just trolling?

So there should be a revolving door at the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc where anyone can get details on everything?

Don’t care much about defending your country, do ya?

SpudmanWP on June 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Aah, come on Rand! What do you really stand for? I’m getting confused.

tomshup on June 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM

The Rand Brand.

thebrokenrattle on June 11, 2013 at 10:30 PM

I hope you don’t mean running a county,city or a state is even in the same league as running a doctors office

KBird on June 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

No. Running a business is great experience and I think more politicians should have that experience.

Instead, people like you say that only experience in government qualifies.

I hope you don’t mean that electing politicians based on political experience and previous government office has worked out exceedingly well in Congress the last 20 years.

I would prefer to have people who actually have lived in the real world to serve in public office. I don’t believe, as a whole that career politicians are better simply because they have never had to get a real job or run their own business.

weaselyone on June 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM