- Aug 27, 2008
- Reaction score
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/...eblower-evidence-would-likely-be-inadmissibleThere seems to be a new talking point from government officials since a federal judge ruled NSA surveillance is likely unconstitutional last week: if Edward Snowden thinks he's a whistleblower, he should come back and stand trial.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on 60 Minutes Sunday, We believe he should come back, he should be sent back, and he should have his day in court. Former CIA deputy director Mike Morell made similar statements this weekend, as did Rep. Mike Rogers (while also making outright false claims about Snowden at the same time). Even NSA reform advocate Sen. Mark Udall said, "He ought to stand on his own two feet. He ought to make his case. Come home, make the case that somehow there was a higher purpose here.
These statements belie a fundamental misunderstanding about how Espionage Act prosecutions work.
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/...nowden-would-be-barred-arguing-his-case-trial- John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who was the first to go on-the-record with the media about waterboarding, pled guilty in his Espionage Act case last year partially because a judge ruled he couldnt tell the jury about his lack of intent to harm the United States.
- In the ongoing leak trial of former State Department official Stephen Kim, the judge recently ruled that the prosecution need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage U.S. national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially. (emphasis added)
- In the Espionage Act case against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake (which later fell apart), the government filed two separate motions to make sure the words "whistleblowing" or "overclassification" would never be uttered at trial.
-In Chelsea Manning's trial this summer, Manning's defense wanted to argue she intended to inform the public, that the military was afflicted with a deep and unnecessary addiction to overclassification, and that the governments own internal assessments showed she caused no real damage to U.S. interests. All this information was ruled inadmissible until sentencing. Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years in jaillonger than most actual spies under the Espionage Act.
So can we stop this nonsense about how Snowden should have his day in court, when he obviously would not receive anything resembling a fair trial?