So, I watched "Citizenfour," the documentary about Edward Snowden. In it, some attorney representing him said that it wouldn't matter that what he disclosed was illegal (a massive cover-up via deliberate lying, including to Congress, by governmental officials, even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, of illegal spying on American citizens). He could still be prosecuted and imprisoned under the Espionage Act of 1917.
In 2012, a federal judge ruled that former CIA worker John Kiriakou could not present evidence about his reasons for going public with accounts of U.S. waterboarding during interrogations. Kiriakou was charged with disclosing classified information under the Espionage Act.
"Any claim that he acted with a salutary motive, or that he acted without a subversive motive, when he allegedly communicated NDI (national defense information) to journalists is not relevant to this case," the judge wrote.
Greenwald said that if Snowden returned to the United States, he would have no protections under the Espionage Act and would not be allowed to justify his actions in court. In terms of the law, Greenwald is literally correct.
Hogwash. No law is valid that it is illegal to disclose illegality, Constitutional violations, civil and human rights violations, war crimes, and the like, by the government to the people. The Espionage Act is only validly applied in circumstances where the US government was or is not deliberately engaging in clearly illegal activity against the American people, against the Constitution. Such is not the case concerning Edward Snowden. Edward Snowden disclosed gross violations of the law by the NSA and others and their contractors and the massive illegal cover-up by the government and those involved including the President down.
Edward Snowden did not break the law. Edward Snowden worked to preserve, protect, and defend the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America, the highest law of the land — higher than the Espionage Act.
No judge worth his or her salt could find otherwise.
Edward Snowden is not here in the US because the rule of law does not exist here for him. The federal government is an outlaw. It is a rogue entity. It is headed by proven liars, people who lie concerning their illegal actions, which actions destroy all semblance of privacy. We are not now secure in our persons, houses, papers [documents, cyber or otherwise], and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.
Edward Snowden should be here in the US as a national hero, and those who purposefully and wittingly lied to the American people about the illegal dragnet-spying (that includes content) should, by rights, by law, be behind bars for many, many years, including Barack Obama.
Manning should be free also, and those who broke the law in that case should likewise (according to the law) be prosecuted and imprisoned in Manning's place; and Snowden's and Manning's cases are far from the only ones.
I'm not suggesting that the US government wouldn't try mightily to press forward against Snowden based upon a misreading of the law. What I'm saying is that Snowden should be contesting the applicability of any "gagging" effect or defense limitations put forth by Glenn Greenwald and others. Snowden should be contesting the charges even now, in absentia. He needs to have the charges thrown out based upon the illegality of the government actions exposed by his leaks. He could testify by live video.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)