05 June 2015

People Who Should Have Been Drowned at Birth

The Los Angeles Times editorial board, who are calling for the prosecution of Edward Snowden:
They praise the fact that his leaks created some reforms in our state security apparatus, and then they say that he should go to jail, because, (I guess) confidential press sources and whistle blowers are bad people who should be tortured.

It is an incontrovertible fact that if Snowden returns, and if he is tried, he will be placed in solitary confinement for years, even if just while awaiting trial.  One need only look at the case of (innocent) Wen Ho Lee, who was held in solitary for over a year in an attempt to extort a confession.

It has been the universal conclusion of all civil society organization that have chosen to study this issue have declared extended solitary to be torture.

The LA Times which covered the Lee matter extensively knows this, but even knowing this, they are calling for Snowden to be prosecuted for under an archaic law, and tortured in the process, even if he is eventually found not guilty:
Yet there are serious arguments against a pardon. One is that, in a society of laws, someone who engages in civil disobedience in a higher cause should be prepared to accept the consequences. A stronger objection, in our view, is that Snowden didn't limit his disclosures to information about violations of Americans' privacy. He divulged other sensitive information about traditional foreign intelligence activities, including a document showing that the NSA had intercepted the communications of then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a Group of 20 summit in London in 2009. A government contractor who discloses details of U.S. spying on another country is not most Americans' idea of a whistleblower.

A pardon for Snowden now would be premature. But if he were to return to this country to face the charges against him, the fact that he revealed the existence of a program that has now been repudiated by all three branches of government would constitute a strong argument for leniency. Snowden should come home and make that case.
Otis Chandler would be spinning in his brave.


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