Ted Cruz: Upon further review, Snowden is a traitor who should be tried for treason

posted at 3:21 pm on January 14, 2016 by Allahpundit

Nice catch by Michael Warren, spotting a very low-key quasi-reversal by Cruz on a natsec vulnerability. I say “quasi-reversal” because Cruz hedged on Snowden even when the first leaks began back in the summer of 2013. He never celebrated him — but he reserved the right to do so as more information came out. Nearly three years later, with Rubio hammering him over his supposed weakness in voting to replace the Patriot Act with the USA Freedom Act, Cruz is finally prepared to render his verdict: Thumbs down.

Weird place to do it, though — in a statement released to the NYT and buried deep within an otherwise prosaic “fact check” column. I wonder why Ted Cruz, who’s working overtime to woo Rand Paul’s libertarian base, wouldn’t want to make a big show of the fact that he now thinks Edward Snowden is a capital-T Traitor.

“If it is the case that the federal government is seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens, and if it is the case that there are minimal restrictions on accessing or reviewing those records, then I think Mr. Snowden has done a considerable public service by bringing it to light,” Mr. Cruz said [in 2013] at an event hosted by TheBlaze, according to the website​​.

But that was not all Mr. Cruz said on the subject, as Mr. Rubio’s selective quotation might suggest. He also said this: “If Mr. Snowden has violated the laws of this country, there are consequences to violating laws and that is something he has publicly stated he understands and I think the law needs to be enforced.”

Since those quotes are from more than two years ago, we asked Mr. Cruz’s campaign how he now assessed Mr. Snowden. In a statement, Mr. Cruz took a very different tone, saying​,​ “​It is now clear that Snowden is a traitor, and he should be tried for treason.”

He pointed to his remark in 2013 that Mr. Snowden should be prosecuted if he broke any laws. “Today, we know that Snowden violated federal law, that his actions materially aided terrorists and enemies of the United States, and that he subsequently fled to China and Russia,” he said. “Under the Constitution, giving aid to our enemies is treason.”

Warren’s been asking Team Cruz for weeks for a comment about Snowden in reply to Rubio’s attacks, only to be met with stony silence. Finally Cruz spoke up. Any theories why? This data set from yesterday’s Selzer poll of Iowa may provide a clue. Which doesn’t belong and why?


On only two questions does Cruz see ominously high “unattractive” numbers. One is foreign-policy experience, but that’s probably baked in the cake for a freshman senator. The other is … voting to cut the military. That’s precisely the point of Rubio’s attack, to paint Cruz as comprehensively weak on national security, from his willingness to cut defense spending to his supposed softness on domestic surveillance. Cruz’s “treason” line on Snowden is meant to protect his right flank from Rubio. What happens when Cruz-supporting libertarians find out?

Actually, he’s been tossing some rhetorical candy at them lately too. Here’s a notable passage from his interview with U.S. News and World Report:

In Libya, Marco Rubio’s policy is indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s. And indeed in Syria, he’s making the same mistake – just like they are – of wanting to get involved in a Middle Eastern civil war where the consequence of their succeeding would be to hand the country over to radical Islamic terrorists. That is not conservative. That is, in fact, Wilsonian progressivism. This notion that America should promote democracy across the globe and intervene militarily to do so is in no way, shape or form conservative.

Most Americans would say it’s “Bushian neoconservatism,” but Cruz is smart enough to know that taking a dig at Dubya will probably hurt him more than help him in a Republican primary. Woodrow Wilson and progressivism are much safer targets. (Glenn Beck, in particular, talks about Wilson and progressivism regularly. Beck’s also been talking up Marco Rubio lately. I wonder if this Cruz soundbite wasn’t aimed specifically at him and his fans.) Either way, libertarians will relish this, probably enough to minimize any damage from the Snowden/traitor criticism. Say what you will about the man but he knows how to triangulate.

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Andy__B on January 14, 2016 at 3:56 PM

I don’t know everything he did or didn’t do, but just for the record, treason is selling US Govt secrets to the enemy. Not sure he did that. Seems like more of a whistle blower.

cimbri on January 14, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Sorry, that is not the definition of Treason.

Section 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

According to the strict legal definition of Treason as defined in the United States Constitution, Edward Snowden did not commit Treason. At least not unless you define the American people as enemies of the United States of America.

oscarwilde on January 14, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Flip-flop. LOL.

Aslans Girl on January 14, 2016 at 6:35 PM

Could be. Somehow I can’t imagine them being stupid enough to let him have much access.

Cindy Munford on January 14, 2016 at 6:13 PM

Apparently Snowden is very good with technology. He possibly could have stolen something.

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:48 PM

If Snowden were running for president, based on his heroism alone I would be inclined to vote for him in ’16 over any other candidate running, however I would have to know a lot more about where he stands on the other issues confronting the nation today before I could commit to supporting him. Snowden is one of the greatest patriots of the modern era and has sacrificed a lot to alert the American people to the traitors who’ve hijacked our government.

FloatingRock on January 14, 2016 at 3:50 PM

Snowden, in fact, blew the whistle on traitors and fools, on those who would blanket spy on Americans, Joe and Sally America, deeming them all guilty until never proven innocent, and making war on the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, rather than directing on Islam, but instead pretending that Islam is irrelevant.

VorDaj on January 14, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Post of the year. There’s nothing more traitorous than wholesale spying on American citizens.

proverbs427 on January 14, 2016 at 3:50 PM


fossten on January 14, 2016 at 4:04 PM

You guys are nuts.

Count to 10 on January 14, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Working in IT you know that just because you CAN access something, doesn’t mean you’re ALLOWED to or SHOULD access it.

Most places, as I’m sure the govt does, have you sign an agreement that includes listing the penalties for unauthorized access, copying, distribution, etc.

Is it a good thing he brought this information to light? I think so.

But there’s no question he broke the law in doing so. And in making the information available publicly worldwide, he gave sensitive information to our enemies and everyone else.

Unfortunately I can’t think of any other way to achieve the desired result.

As far as the “Cruz flip=flop”? Another nothing burger just, like the disclosed undisclosed Sachs loan.

Oxymoron on January 14, 2016 at 7:35 PM

Aizen on January 14, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Probably only let him have a 2002 Mac Book Pro. Still, he might be able to do something with that.

Cindy Munford on January 14, 2016 at 7:49 PM

OT, but also for you quislings.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2016 at 3:55 PM


“They oppose the fundamental negative rights expressed in our founding documents, replace them with man-made positive rights for favored classes, and point to flaws with the settlement of our continent with regard to slavery as justification for upending the Constitution outside the legitimate amendment process.”

” And there is nothing or nobody to deter him. It’s not as if Obama won’t get his judges confirmed.”


The Uni-Party at work to destroy the Country/bf

bluefox on January 14, 2016 at 7:52 PM

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

oscarwilde on January 14, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Okay, but selling secrets to an enemy could be construed as “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort”.

Like I said, Snowden was causing the release of information, rather than profiting from it. Certainly, he broke some laws, but not treason.

cimbri on January 14, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Settle down, Ted.

Snowden released his information to British and American press, and their readership. Unless you now consider the Brits and Americans enemies of the United States, let’s stop all this talk about treason…

JohnGalt23 on January 14, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Snowden released his information to British and American press, and their readership. Unless you now consider the Brits and Americans enemies of the United States, let’s stop all this talk about treason…

JohnGalt23 on January 14, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Good thing none of our enemies have access to The Guardian UK, the New York Times or Washington post.

Oxymoron on January 15, 2016 at 12:35 AM

Snowden is a hero

He exposed what I call treasonous acts against the citizens of the United States, that were known to many of the big shots now calling Snowden a traitor

There had been earlier attempts at whistleblowing through normal channels. These whistleblowers had been crushed, One national agency attempted to railroad a whistleblower by building a trail of falsified condemning evidence on the internet (which that agency could easily do, since its job involved the internet)

Had Snowden taken the appropriate channel to report the abuses, he too would have been crushed

I have heard Snowden should have gone to Congress.

Right. The tea party tried that, complaining to their representatives about IRS stonewalling and harrassment. Members of Congress sat on those complaints until after the election, because, IMHO, they too wanted to prevent tea party influence in the election. The following year Congress held dog and pony hearings resulting in no change, because, IMHO, the establishment of both parties still want the tea party crushed.

Without Snowden, the little people would not have a clue how a trapdoor is being woven into their lives, giving the government access to monitor all their activities, and giving the government power to restrict, obstruct, or control their activities. Prior to Snowden, the public assumed the government had the ability, if warranted, to monitor criminal activity. Prior to Snowden the public did not have a clue that to the government, the public was the enemy to be controlled via un-warranted access to their activities

Power corrupts. Our center of power is absolutely corrupt and power mad. The rage of the GOPe against its base comes form the base attempting to exercise power which the elites have reserved for themselves. No one would have better known the corrupting influence of absolute power than Snowden.

I thank him for his service

entagor on January 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM

I hope you are enjoying your stay in Moscow, Mr. Snowden. It’s mighty cold outside this time of year.

unclesmrgol on January 15, 2016 at 2:36 PM

I thank him for his service

entagor on January 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM

And I don’t think he served us at all — other than on a plate to the Russians, the Chinese, and the terrorists.

unclesmrgol on January 15, 2016 at 2:38 PM