What Would REALLY Happen to Snowden If He Returns to the United States?

Painting by Anthony Freda

He Won’t Be Able to Tell His Side of the Story

SecState John Kerry said that Ed Snowden really needs to “stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people.”  Kerry declared that “A patriot would not run away. … He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice.”

And he said:

If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.

And he said Snowden should “man up” and come back to face the music.

Is he right?

Danel Ellsberg writes, in an article entitled “Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong“:

As Snowden told Brian Williams on NBC later that night and Snowden’s lawyer told me the next morning, he would have no chance whatsoever to come home and make his case – in public or in court.

Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, not just for months like Chelsea Manning but for the rest of his sentence, and probably the rest of his life. His legal adviser, Ben Wizner, told me that he estimates Snowden’s chance of being allowed out on bail as zero. (I was out on bond, speaking against the Vietnam war, the whole 23 months I was under indictment).

More importantly, the current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing. Legal scholars have strongly argued that the US supreme court – which has never yet addressed the constitutionality of applying the Espionage Act to leaks to the American public – should find the use of it overbroad and unconstitutional in the absence of a public interest defense. The Espionage Act, as applied to whistleblowers, violates the First Amendment, is what they’re saying.

As I know from my own case, even Snowden’s own testimony on the stand would be gagged by government objections and the (arguably unconstitutional) nature of his charges. That was my own experience in court, as the first American to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act – or any other statute – for giving information to the American people.

I had looked forward to offering a fuller account in my trial than I had given previously to any journalist – any Glenn Greenwald or Brian Williams of my time – as to the considerations that led me to copy and distribute thousands of pages of top-secret documents. I had saved many details until I could present them on the stand, under oath, just as a young John Kerry had delivered his strongest lines in sworn testimony.

But when I finally heard my lawyer ask the prearranged question in direct examination – Why did you copy the Pentagon Papers?I was silenced before I could begin to answer. The government prosecutor objected – irrelevant – and the judge sustained. My lawyer, exasperated, said he “had never heard of a case where a defendant was not permitted to tell the jury why he did what he did.” The judge responded: well, you’re hearing one now.

And so it has been with every subsequent whistleblower under indictment, and so it would be if Edward Snowden was on trial in an American courtroom now.

Indeed, in recent years, the silencing effect of the Espionage Act has only become worse. The other NSA whistleblower prosecuted, Thomas Drake, was barred from uttering the words “whistleblowing” and “overclassification” in his trial. (Thankfully, the Justice Department’s case fell apart one day before it was to begin). In the recent case of the State Department contractor Stephen Kim, the presiding judge ruled the prosecution “need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage US national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially.”

We saw this entire scenario play out last summer in the trial of Chelsea Manning. The military judge in that case did not let Manning or her lawyer argue her intent, the lack of damage to the US, overclassification of the cables or the benefits of the leaksuntil she was already found guilty.

Without reform to the Espionage Act that lets a court hear a public interest defense – or a challenge to the appropriateness of government secrecy in each particular case – Snowden and future Snowdens can and will only be able to “make their case” from outside the United States.

Professor Jonanthan Turley – one of the top constitutional and military law experts in America – notes:

As someone who has held top clearances since the Reagan administration, I do not support the release of classified information. However, as someone who has litigated national security cases from terrorism to espionage cases, there is every reason for Snowden to be leery of our system as it currently stands in the post 9-11 world. I have great faith and love for our legal system, but national security law has become increasingly draconian and outcome determinative due to various changes in the last decade. This Administration has continued the use of secret legal opinions and secret evidence in cases. The agencies continue to classify information to prevent the public or defendants from reviewing potentially embarrassing or conflicting material. President Obama has refused to close tribunal proceedings and maintains the same claim of his inherent authority to decide whether people go to real courts or the widely ridiculed tribunal proceedings. Even if in the federal system, the government would hit Snowden with SAMs to cut off any contact and impose limitations on even his cleared counsel in speaking with him. At trial, federal judges are increasingly barring arguments from defendants as “immaterial” even when those arguments are the real reason for their actions.Thus, the Justice Department would likely move to exclude arguments that disclosure was necessary because Snowden had no real alternative for reform. He might be even prevented from arguing that he was seeking to protect citizens from the systemic and comprehensive denial of privacy. Even if some of that motivational argument were allowed, it would likely trigger an instruction that that is no defense to the charges. Sentencing enhancements routinely used by the Justice Department would guarantee a life sentence if convicted for Snowden.

As for utilizing the system to make these disclosures before he fled, Snowden had little reason to trust the congressional oversight committees or the agencies themselves. Just for the record, as many of you know, I represented the prior whistleblower who first revealed this program years before Snowden. He tried to use the system. [Background.]

***

As I have testified in Congress, the whistleblower system referred to by Clinton is a colossal joke. First, there are exceptions under the whistleblower laws for national security information. Second, the House and Senate oversight committees are viewed as the place that whistleblowers go to get arrested. There is a revolving door of staff back and forth to the intelligence agencies and people like Dianne Feinstein have denounced Snowden as a traitor. While one can still criticize Snowden for breaking classification laws, the suggestion that he could have used the whistleblower system is hardly self-evident if you are familiar with the laws or the history of such cases.

Whatever Snowden decides, it is clear that if he returns he will be quickly put in isolation and would be virtually certain of conviction with a life sentence. That is assuming that some leaders do not get their way in calling for a death penalty case.

He’s right.  Access to justice has been severely curtailed in America.  Even when the prisoner is afforded a trial,  it is becoming more and more common for the government to prosecute cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant, his lawyer … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.  The government uses “secret evidence” to  prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even to assassinate people. And see this and thisSecret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs. Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret.

And Juan Cole – Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan – points out:

Here are some reasons Mr. Snowden would be unwise to trust himself to [the American justice] system, given the charges against him:

1. The United Nations Special Rapporteur found that the US was guilty of cruel and inhuman treatment of Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, who was responsible for the Wikileaks and revelations of US killing of unarmed journalists in Iraq. Manning was kept in solitary confinement and isolated 23 hours a day for months on end, was kept naked and chained to a bed, and was subjected to sleep deprivation techniques, all three well known forms of torture, on the trumped up pretext that he was suicidal (his psychiatrist disagreed).

2. The Espionage Act under which Snowden would likely be tried is a fascist law from the time when President Woodrow Wilson (like Obama a scholar of the constitution) was trying to take the US into the war, and was used to repeal the First Amendment right of Americans to protest this action. It was used to arbitrarily imprison thousands and is full of unconstitutional provisions. In recent decades the act was used against whistleblowers only three times, but Barack Obama loves it to death. [Background.] It is an embarrassment that it is still on the books and it reflects extremely badly on Obama and on Eric Holder that they have revived it as a tool against whistleblowing (which is most often a public service).

3. John Kiriakou, who revealed CIA torture under Bush-Cheney, was prevented by the Espionage Act from addressing the jury to explain the intentions behind his actions and therefore forced into a plea bargain. None of the CIA officers who perpetrated the torture or their superiors, who ordered it, have been punished, but Kiriakou is in prison and his family is in danger of losing the house because of the lack of income. The US public deserved to know about the torture rather than having Obama bury it the way he has buried so many other things wrong with the system.

4. National security official such as Snowden are not covered by protections for whistleblowers in the Federal government, as Thomas Drake discovered.

***

5. Not only did the US torture Manning, US officials have on many occasions practiced arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and torture. Most often these policies have been enacted abroad, as at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, and black sites in countries such as Poland. But arbitrary arrest, trigger-happy killings, and extended solitary confinement are all practiced domestically as well, on America’s vast gulag of 2.4 million prisoners, 4/5s of them black or brown. A fourth of all the prisoners in jail in the entire world of 7 billion people are in the United States. At any one time 80,000 US prisoners are in 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement. Abu Ghraib wasn’t a low-level military excess. It was simply the transposition to Iraq of the ideals of an incarcerating society, dedicating to disciplining and interrogating those who fall into the system’s hands. You don’t get these outcomes– a fourth of the world’s prisoners and a small city worth people in solitary confinement by accident. These abuses are systemic

And because the government now claims the power to indefinitely detain without access to a lawyer or judge – or even assassinate – American citizens, Snowden could simply disappear without a trace if he returns.

Postscript:  In a fascinating passage, Turley explains the real reason that the powers-that-be hate Snowden so much:

The ruling class in Washington finds Snowden perfectly incomprehensible. Every aspect of our political system has long been tied down and controlled by the two parties. For such leaders, someone like Snowden is nothing short of an alien visitation — someone who throws away his career and possible freedom for what he claims to be principle. To make matters worse, Snowden is viewed as a whistleblower, if not a hero, by many in the United States and around the world. (However, polls in the U.S. are conflicting. A majority are glad that the disclosures were made but other polls show that a majority believes Snowden should stand trial. Making things even more precarious for people like Clinton is that younger people have particularly rallied to the side of Snowden as a whistleblower). While President Obama implausibly claimed that he would have reviewed these abusive programs without Snowden’s disclosures, Snowden was clearly the cause of multiple investigations and reforms of these programs.

Snowden committed the ultimate crime in Washington: he embarrassed leadership in both parties. He broke the rules and went outside of a carefully controlled duopoly system of control. He embarrassed many, including Clinton, who sat by quietly as the national security system invaded the privacy of every American citizen. Indeed, for people in the establishment who have spent their lives reinforcing that system, someone like Snowden is more than an anomaly. He is someone who not only broke the rules but threw away his career to make these disclosures. For people like Clinton and Kerry, he could just as well be a man from Mars.

Note:   Arguably, Bush, Cheney and Obama should man up – and turn themselves in – before Snowden.  After all, while the government has alleged (without any evidence) that Snowden’s disclosures have costs lives, Bush, Cheney and Obama’s war crimes have collectively led to the deaths of thousands.

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  • jadan

    The disconnect between government and the people cannot be repaired. The national security state has hollowed out our Constitution and should be completely exposed to the light of day and eliminated.

  • The return of Snowden would probably just divide Americans even more than they are now. This is why VP Biden is telling him to “man up” and return. When Biden wants us to do something then it’s best to do the opposite.

    • therealamericro

      Biden managed to get his foot out of his mouth to say something?

  • therealamericro

    Were Snowden to return to the United States to face trial, he would face the same indefinite detention, gag order and show trial – with the government redacting all exculpatory evidence and all self-criminalizing evidence – as Barrett Brown faced.

    The evidence:

    Hector Xavier Monsegur, a.k.a. Sabu, onetime LulzSec and AntiSec head, who was released just the other day, recruited Jeremy Hammond at the government’s request, and he also brought in the journalist Barret brown, also likely at the governments request. (http://www.wired.com/2014/04/barrett-brown-plea-agreement/).

    Sabu was arrested and immediately began working for the Feds (http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/180311/anonymous-new-timeline-of-fbi-infiltration-suggests-antisec-may-have-been-an-fbi-creation/)
    on June 8, 2011 – every single one of the 200 hacks that LulzSec and AntiSec carried out were done with a minimum of full knowledge and active monitoring by the FBI – in the case of Stratfor, material assistance provided by the FBI, as it provided the server to store the emails on for transfer to Wikileaks.

    The Stratfor Christmas Eve hack was a government premeditated, controlled, and materially assisted hack – with no attempt at interrupting the email transfer from the FBI server to Wikileaks, nor retrieval attempt – to entrap Jeremy Hammond and other hacktivists, as well as frame the journalist Barrett Brown, whom they have since March 2012 held for almost two years without trial, and under a gag order (after almost two years under a gag order in lockup, Brown finally gave in to the government and “confessed” to his at best thought crimes – which never would have happened in the first place were it not for the FBI hack of Stratfor via Sabu and LulzSec, and the government’s outrageous abuse of power and use of authority to terrorize Brown and his mother, which drove him to go to youtube to vent online).

    The hacker “hyrriiya,” who first (and entirely alone) breached Stratfor’s servers on December 7, 2011 (after which he contacted Sabu, whose computer, email, chats and every keystroke was being monitored by the FBI and likely multiple other U.S. agencies) sent this email to Hammond’s defense attorney Sarah Kunstler, intended for Elizabeth Fink, on May 7, 2012 12:09:00 PM EDT (http://www.scribd.com/doc/220187011/12430619-13-15601). The email is self-explanatory and exposes FBI criminality.

    The FBI was fully complicit in the hack, watching it happen, not interrupting it, providing material assistance (server), and allowing for the email transfer to Wikileaks with no interruption or retrieval
    attempt. One reason could have been to – to drive a wedge between internet activists, Anonymous, and hacktivists, which it was somewhat successful in doing (http://pastebin.com/8yrwyNkt).

    Without a doubt, the Stratfor hack was an online entrapment and online false flag operation where the FBI used a third party it controlled (LulzSec via Sabu) to engage in cyber crimes to get information that the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies wanted, to entrap Jeremy Hammond, and to set up and shut up Barrett Brown, a journalist.

    All of the hacks that made Hammond the “most dangerous hacker in the world” were all first thought up by, targets chosen by, plotted by, overseen and materially assisted by the FBI itself. Sabu was their handler for LulzSec, and he commanded Hammond.

    So the FBI “saved” us from a “dangerous” hacker they themselves recruited and controlled. Following
    the long post-9/11 FBI fake terror plot paradigm (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR4vYKaCi0g).

    The entire case against Hammond and Brown were based on the Stratfor hack, which was the FBI’s own creation, controlled by them via Sabu, for counterintelligence purposes (http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/anonymous-hackedwikileaks-released.html) and also likely to access the company’s sources inside and outside of the U.S. (especially government, military and intelligence), as well as potentially discredit a company source, client, reader, or employee (http://nigelparry.com/news/sacrificing-stratfor.shtml) – or the company itself.

    There is also the very distinct possibility that the FBI and the likely multiple other intelligence agencies involved scrubbed any emails they didn’t want to make it to Wikileaks, as the emails were there for an
    extended period of time, and loaded emails and files with bugs and exploits to penetrate Wikileaks servers and computers.

    Other benefits include monitoring and exploiting other (foreign) intelligence agencies reactions, from their own searching of Wikileaks GIF, to their electronic (or physical) monitoring of any Stratfor sources (be they political, military, journalistic, academic etc.) in their own countries, and a list of many other electronic intelligence exploitation opportunities that we will likely never know of.

    The likely counterintelligence “grand scheme” was pointed out by Glenn Greenwald and the Intercept (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/18/snowden-docs-reveal-covert-surveillance-and-pressure-tactics-aimed-at-wikileaks-and-its-supporters/). The Stratfor hack and file transfer to Wikileaks got Wikileaks instant global press coverage, it got significantly more traffic, and it served as a further US/UK intelligence agency excuse to monitor Wikileaks, as well as identify and monitor its readers, harvest all searches (which is of course an intelligence gold mine as people could electronically, or simply through word choices for a search, “out” themselves), etc.

    There is also the weakening and breaking up of Anonymous, creating fear of other moles within the movement (post March 2012), fostering disunity, and a list of Anonymous-related cookies the government could happily chew on.

    The Stratfor hack and show trials of Hammond and Brown (the latter for at best thought crimes) are part of the gigantic waste of tax dollars by the US/UK intelligence services, recruiting people, urging them to engage in criminal acts, and then arresting them for crimes that were it not for UK and US agencies that recruited them and entrapped them and encouraged them (in the case of Stratfor, likely directly plotted and definitely materially assisted), would have never happened to begin with – all while maintaining the government’s plausible deniability while simultaneously justifying over-sized budgets.

    The FBI’s Stratfor hack was a major counterintelligence and disinformation victory for the omnipresent 24/7 US/UK online Ministry of Truth to manipulate online discourse, to deceive, to subvert, and ultimately to destroy reputations and or entrap people it doesn’t like in online false flag operations (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/ – slides 4 and 13 basically outline the Stratfor hack play by play).

    I hope Washingtonsblog will look into several logical questions into the government fable that has been told since the hack (legitimized by the Brown gag order and Orwellian redaction of transcripts, records etc.), which was hatched and controlled by the FBI to entrap Hammond and get him to carry
    out FBI cyber crimes (overseen, monitored, managed and materially assisted by the FBI itself) likely in cahoots with other U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as persecute Brown for pasting a link the FBI initiated, managed, coordinated and materially assisted hack made possible in the first place:

    1. Why didn’t the FBI arrest Hammond and the rest of LulzSec as soon as they breached Stratfor’s site on Christmas Eve 2011 – why did the FBI allow the wipe and especially the transfer (http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_02/FBI-was-interested-in-selling-the-material-to-WikiLeaks-in-order-for-them-to-be-charged-with-espionage-Crabtree-3397/), and the hacking of up to 200 other sites from the FBI list of almost 2,000 other websites that it provided to Sabu, which Sabu passed on to Hammond, LulzSec and AntiSec (http://www.scribd.com/doc/8535).
    2. Why did the FBI allow the email transfer of all of the emails to Wikileaks after Hammond insisted that no money be asked from Wikileaks? The government’s fable (disinformation) is that the Feds hoped to entrap Assange, but the facts revealed in the case is that there was never going to be an entrapment as Hammond insisted on no payment for the emails long before the transfer of the Stratfor emails from the FBI provided server was decided, or actually took place. The FBI handed the
    emails to Wikileaks because it wanted to – why remains to be discovered. Either way, what the FBI did makes the agents involved criminals – at a minimum, accessories for watching and not intervening – who should be prosecuted.
    3. Why did the FBI, via Sabu, direct information warfare against Stratfor, a U.S.-based company, on forums, IRC, blog, and Twitter – namely, engage in information warfare against a U.S.-based online publishing company, before, during and after the hack which the FBI itself directed through Sabu – a direct violation of the Smith-Mundt Act?

    I hope you submit FOIA requests on the following:

    1. All transcripts – email, phone, conversations – and records of all FBI agent conversations with Sabu.
    2. All transcripts – email, phone, conversations – and records of all FBI and or other intelligence agencies discussions about Stratfor from Jan. 2011 on, if not earlier, as they likely had the company on its radar for a long time (Stratfor’s consistent anti-interventionism, their critical coverage of the Fast & Furious debacle, criticism of Afghanistan and Iraq policy, criticism of NATO’s Libya adventure, and a host of other issues), with “hyrriiya”s breach an opportunity to exploit to the fullest.
    3. All transcripts – email, phone, conversations – and records of all FBI and or other intelligence agencies discussions with Stratfor executives in December 2011 through March 2011, regarding the
    credit card breach, server wipe and file transfer, as company executives contacted the FBI immediately after discovering the credit card breach on 7 December, 2011.
    4. All transcripts – email, phone, conversation – and records of all FBI and or other intelligence agencies discussions about the email transfer from the FBI provided server to Wikileaks prior to it taking place throughout the transfer.
    5. All records of what the FBI and government did after the hack and how much if any was paid to Stratfor in damages for the FBI initiated, managed, and materially assisted hack of it.
    6. All transcripts – email, phone, conversation – and records of all State Department and FBI and or other intelligence agencies regarding the State Department’s visit to Stratfor in the summer of 2011, mentioned in the GIF on Wikileaks, as State Department staff visited followed the turning of Sabu in June, 2011. Did the government offer Stratfor an offer it couldn’t refuse, because it is blatantly obvious that the FBI handed the emails, from the server it provided, to Wikileaks – with no interruption or retrieval attempt. The question is why? It certainly wasn’t to entrap Assange, as unnamed government officials alluded to the media, and as many speculated in the media, as Hammond’s
    (show) trial records state that he was adamant that no money be paid by Wikileaks for the email, which was agreed upon amongst the hackers, and the FBI after that decision within the group, allowed the email transfer to take place uninterrupted, with no retrieval attempt, anyway.

    This was not only a strategic release for counterintelligence purposes, as the FBI could have prevented the email transfer at any point but did not. It was also done likely with malicious intent to cause emotional, psychological, professional, or another type of harm to someone or a group of people somehow connected to Stratfor, as seen in the Greenwald revelations regarding how governments manipulate the internet to deceive, and to destroy reputations. In the case of Hammond and Brown, to entrap them, lock them up, and shut them up.

    Through its control of Sabu, and by default, LulzSec and AntiSec, the government itself engaged in ten months (June 2011-March 2012) of hacking, and managed and materially assisted the electronic crimes (200 known) that LulzSec and AntiSec members were charged and sentenced for.

    It entrapped people it didn’t like. The hacks Hammond was charged for had the targets chosen by the FBI, directed by the FBI, and were watched without interruption – by the FB (http://thehackernews.com/2013/08/fbi-used-anonymous-and-lulzsec-hackers.html). Barrett Brown was not a hacker. And he is facing eight years in prison for at best thought crimes.

    Were it not for the FBI instructing Sabu to entrap Hammond, and if the FBI didn’t provide Sabu with a list of nearly 2,000 sites to hack, 200 of which were actually hacked, Hammond never would have ever become “the most dangerous hacker in the world” to begin with.

    Hammond and Brown should be let go for timed served, and the FBI agents and likely other intelligence agency personnel involved in the Stratfor (and 200 other FBI directed and controlled hacks), should face the same sentences that were given to the hackers of LulzSec, if not more.

    It was the Federal government and the FBI (and likely other intelligence agencies) that first conspired – and who oversaw and materially assisted – the conspiracy against Stratfor’s readers, clients, sources, contacts and employees rights, and who engaged in the wholesale (with over 860,000 people readers, clients, contacts, sources and employees) deprivation of rights under the color of the law, in direct violation of US law, according to United States Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 13, Sections 241 and 242 (http://www.lneilsmith.org/18usc.html).

    The government has lied and is lying and covering up its own criminal plots, and its own ten month hacking spree using a 3rd party it was directly in control of, to ensure two people it didn’t like were
    entrapped – Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown – and that they rot in prison for carrying out the criminal and counterintelligence wishes of the government. That is totalitarianism. That is Orwellian Fascism.

    The Stratfor hack was the test run for the 24/7 online Orwellian Ministry of Truth. It has to date been successful.

    The reason: The United States has been post-Constitutional (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-van-buren/bradley-manning-trial_b_3707109.html) since 9/11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DOnAn_PX6M). The Deep State-controlled mainstream media won’t dig into the government’s fantasy narrative to justify its own crime spree, entrapment of Jeremy Hammond, and silencing of journalist Barrett Brown. No one has submitted FOIA’s to see what is redacted and why.

    All of this is directly tied, and made possible by, the psychopathic criminal sociopath bulk surveillance program by the NSA and U.S. government.

    The Orwellian bulk surveillance has made the U.S. less safe – it has made the haystack bigger which has directly aided and abetted terrorism (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/snowden-wasted-surveillance-resources-may-have-stopped-boston-bombing/), as the government wastes time monitoring people that have the 72 “potential terrorist” characteristics (http://www.activistpost.com/2013/08/72-types-of-americans-that-are.html), as well as the U.S. governments monitoring of people whose opinions they don’t like and trying to entrap them or discredit and destroy them in online false flag operations like the FBI’s Stratfor hack – as is the case with Hammond and Brown.

    Which is as logical, ethical, moral and legal as the government randomly dousing people with gasoline and lighting them on fire because some government official does not like their hair-style; and billing the public for the gas and matches.

    Elements of the government and intelligence agencies are entirely out of control and trampling on the Constitution in a massive power grab, as Washingtonsblog has written about. Cass Sunstein’s Goebblesesque ploy is in full effect (http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/).

    The U.S. essentially has a taxpayer subsidized 24/7 online Ministry of Truth, with online covert agents with up to 15 online identities, as Washingtonsblog has pointed out, engaged in online trolling, lying, manipulating, and deception to subvert free discourse and create new parallel “realities” and a new government-approved “truth” – all in direct violation of of the Smith-Mundt Act which forbids the Pentagon and intelligence agencies from engaging in domestic propaganda campaigns.

    All of this is made possible by a secret rubber stamp court (http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/14/fisa-court-essentially-a-rubber-stamp-for-government-report-finds/), and secret evidence
    (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/18/review-shows-fbi-relied-heavily-on-fisa-enabled-secret-evidence-to-prosecute-accused-terrorists/), and massive, Orwellian redacting of transcripts and evidence to cover for government criminality and abuse of power, so as to produce outcomes favorable to the government – silencing and imprisoning those whose opinions it doesn’t like.

    Unfortunately, the new 24/7 online US/UK Ministry of Truth is winning. I hope Washingtonsblog calls the government out and exposes its criminality, and gets Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown out of prison, and the entraping, cyber-crime plotting, managing and materially assisting FBI and likely other intelligence agency members who took part in the online false flag to ensnare Hammond and the journalist Brown, in prison.

  • Carl_Herman

    Powerful, GW; thank you. “Man up” should be what real American leaders do to demand arrests and prosecutions of US War Criminals for lie-began and unlawful wars. We can do the same for the more complex bankster-looting, and the easier corporate media criminally complicit lying to enable these crimes.

  • Vergniaud

    John “how do you tell the last man to die for a mistake” Kerry would be a tragic figure if his moral self destruction in recent years weren’t so palpably farcical in nature. (Like Colin Powell’s, waving his little vial of white powder at the UN.) It occurs to me, though, that Kerry should join Bush and Cheney in “manning up” and turning themselves in for war crimes and covering up war crimes. And not just for Iraq. Remember, Kerry personnally illegally invaded Cambodia back in the day. He could be forgiven for it when he used to oppose aggressive wars. Now that he favors them, he should act like a “patriot” and demand to be prosecuted.

  • Brabantian

    Report at Moscow security intelligence agencies (SVR, FSB), just published, detail how Edward Snowden is a fraud, along with Greenwald, Guardian etc … report says they are working for US gov, trying to trap and even KILL real US dissidents among other aims.

    Tragically, US Liberty Movement is deceived yet again, by trusting CIA-tied media to sell them fake ‘hero’ Snowden. Some quotes from detailed report in Moscow, part one now published online:

    “Alexandre Bortnikov, Director, FSB, Moscow; Mikhail Fradkov, Director, SVR, Moscow … We know now that ‘Edward Snowden’ is another fraud of CIA-Nato, with Snowden’s lying praise for CIA-tied media who falsely pose as ‘brave Snowden journalists’. We know now that Snowden never ‘stole’ any documents …’Snowden journalists’ are fed data directly by US gov.

    ‘Snowden journalists’ … proven to be CIA assets involved in silencing, banning and murdering real journalists and activists, while supporting ‘press freedom’ for fellow CIA hoaxer Snowden … Against his own people, Snowden is helping to silence and kill genuine US dissidents and honest US officials, and to crush USA’s internal reformist ‘Liberty Movement’ & ‘9-11 truth’ …

    “Report Confirming Active Current CIA Status of American agent Edward Snowden, ‘Operation Fake Dissident'”
    http://homment.com/3K3xdsYD7a

    More quotes from the report at Russia’s SVR and FSB:

    “World and US citizens desperately desire heroes who oppose US regime crimes, creating blindness to what are obvious Snowden lies … ‘Operation Snowden’ is also a process of global intimidation and terrorisation … there was little ‘new’ in Snowden revelations, aside from some details… NSA activities were well-known not only to major national intelligence agencies, but also to readers of various ‘dissident’, ‘alternative’ websites … half a dozen and more previous whistleblowers from America’s NSA agency … ‘NSA revelations’ did not and will not result in any significant change in the activities themselves

    Snowden and Assange do not care at all that their media partners have helped murder innocent people, are helping to spill innocent blood now, are helping to silence and destroy real US dissidents … The Snowden web of lies is rapidly unravelling, and we see US regime already planting media about a ‘deal’ to ‘bring Snowden home’ to his fellow agents

    Fake ‘brave journalists’ … Glenn Greenwald, worked for families of three billionaires, quickly receiving tens of millions of CIA-backed funds, tied to CIA favourite Omidyar who backed US operations spilling blood in Ukraine … Bart Gellman, mentored by previous generation CIA at Wash Post … NY Times long CIA … CIA-tied UK Guardian, Rothschild-family supervised, known to UK police for taking bribes to attack genuine dissidents … ACLU deep corruption ties to US judges and lawyers in bribery … Snowden lawyer Plato Cacheris, worked CIA projects for decades …

    Objectives of ‘Operation Fake Dissident’ Snowden include
    — Refresh credibility for morally bankrupt, lying, CIA-tied Anglo media as above
    — Sideline, marginalise and effectively dis-credit any real US or Nato dissident or leaker … destroy and perhaps even kill them after they contact Greenwald / Guardian / NYT / Wash Post
    — Increase global fear, terror of US – Nato surveillance and ‘Big Brother’ apparatus
    — Distract honest, caring people throughout the Western world, with fake US-intel-supplied ‘heroes'”

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    coercion extortion blackmail bribery
    if he lies for the government
    and reads from their script
    he can be ‘free’

  • ClubToTheHead

    Kerry, Bush and Obama need “to man up” and explain their lawless activities to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

    They would likely get off easy because the Empire owns everything, so they don’t need as much bravery as would Manning and Snowden, who have no military strike force to free them if they are somehow found guilty.

  • zeev kirsh

    who really cares about snowden? it’s been proven that the american public can be told about a massive government conspiracy, and the POLITICIANS AND GOVERNORS WILL DO NOTHING ABOUT IT AND IT FACT COME OUT IN FAVOR OF MORE TYRANNY BEING PUT IN PLACE.

    he’s just a messenger folks. he’s not going to solve the problems here. there are no white knights. the path forward, at this point in the lifecycle of corrupted republics, is that things MUST GET WORSE , A LOT WORSE, BEFORE WHATEVER IT IS HAPPENS THAT LEADS TOWARDS A CONSOLIDATION OF DISSIDENT OBJECTOR’S ARE ABLE TO MOVE TOWARDS RETAKING CONTROL. that’s a long way off at best , 10 ,20 ,30 years. but it’s coming sure as the united states is being plundered and looted from within.

  • Tumbleweed

    The law is about the law, not about what is right or wrong!
    Remember that lawyers are never sworn in to tell the truth in court!