Whistleblowing protections that extend to what Snowden did would effectively convert the entire classification system to a set of recommendations as opposed to laws (a wholly different demand which I think is patently childish as a demand).
I'm all for a pardon or some kind of reduced charges due to the motivations and the subject matter of the disclosed material, but can someone explain to me the justification of being outraged over enforcing laws in accordance with US law, treaties, and host country laws? They're not even using controversial legal mechanisms like the PATRIOT Act or FISC.
EDIT: I've left my initial post in tact (I'm bad and I should feel bad) but I'd like to amend my confusion about the use of the term rendition in case anyone else shares it. After years of hearing "extraordinary rendition" shortened to "rendition" I've basically overwritten the latter with the former. Rendition is actually just the legal transfer of a suspect from one jurisdiction to the next, still outside of a legal linguistic context I find the use of the term to imply the later and I take it as trying to bait outrage.
The fact that it might ruffle a few feathers diplomatically is hardly something the CIA considers when they handle operations like the one they're describing. Also, if they did grab him, trust me, he wouldn't be heard from again. Considering Snowden has an army of governments after him, it would be easy for the CIA to run a disinformation campaign to keep people guessing who really kidnapped him.
It would be easy for the CIA to rotate him between several of their "black sites" around the world and basically let him wither and die in one these miserable places.
At least as long as the CIA operatives are not crazy enough to run an armed operation in Moscow.
But yeah, I seriously doubt they'd kill anyone unless they needed to.
Moreover, even if the US managed to grab him, it'd be easier to manufacture a bogus story explaining how he suddenly ended up in custody. After that, he'd just be sent off to ADX Florence for life.
They could likely assassinate him in most places, although in NK/RU/CN/IR it would likely involve a lot of collateral damage, although probably not global thermonuclear war.
Umm, no. That's not quite how things work.
That ruffled the feathers until a few years later when it was all swept under the carpet.
Now the disagreement is over Ukraine and Syria. So Russia is in the bad books again for the killing
In Russia? Spetsnaz would eat them alive. Maybe Mossad could pull it off but no way the CIA.
And what has anybody ever done about it? Maybe sent out a few strongly worded memos, if anything at all.
>> Why would you give that particular benefit of the doubt?
If it's a) legal, b) gets the job done, why on earth would you make an unforced error when you know everyone on the planet would be watching how you handled this? I'm not relying on the better angels of men here, I'm relying on self interest, path of least resistance, and government laziness. Each on their own has rarely failed me and never all three at once.
>Extradition shall not be granted in any of the following circumstances:
>6. In respect of a military offense.
@ryanlol: I very much hope that laws and treaties are never interpreted via "common sense". Tech is not the only field with a technical argot, and it is good that specific words have specific meanings. If laws were enforced by "common sense" then every time you had an interaction with a contract or government agency would be subject to the whims of whatever moron happened to have power over you that day. Even though that is sadly frequent in practice, it shouldn't be, it isn't law that it be so, and I feel much better that we at least aspire to better.
>@ryanlol: I very much hope that laws and treaties are never interpreted via "common sense". Tech is not the only field with a technical argot, and it is good that specific words have specific meanings. If laws were enforced by "common sense" then every time you had an interaction with a contract or government agency would be subject to the whims of whatever moron happened to have power over you that day. Even though that is sadly frequent in practice, it shouldn't be, it isn't law that it be so, and I feel much better that we at least aspire to better.
You can hope, but as someone who has a plenty of experience with Scandinavian legal systems I'll have to assure you that's sadly not the case.
Anyway, here I am sitting with a money laundering conviction for receiving a wire transfer of some 6000 euros from a Chinese bitcoin exchange. The prosecutor could never find _anything_ explaining the origin of the money, but as an unemployed person convicted of (not financially motivated) hacking crimes the judge figured it was "common sense" that the money had to be the proceeds of a crime.
I possess a non-trivial amount of bitcoins, I sold some. It's really impossible for me to figure out what I got those specific bitcoins for, especially since this was around when bitcoin was at around $1k a pop so selling 7 or so was absolutely nothing for me.
According to Finnish law money laundering is activity where someone receives, spends, transforms or transfers illicitly obtained (this is a bit difficult to translate but the law specifically says "acquired by crime") property to cover up or disappear the origins of the property.
Logically you shouldn't be able to be convicted of this without proof that the crime actually happened, but apparently not here. Lighter sentences seem to make it easier to wrongly convict people, especially when it's extraordinarily rare for them to actually end up in prison.
Expecting some sort of bookkeeping might be reasonable with real money, but not with imaginary internet money.
And FWIW the investigation regarding me and LS was dropped a few months ago.
Are you saying that you provided to the court evidence of your legitimate business which accepts or transacts Bitcoins for services that it is impossible for you not to know about, in the process of which you acquired 7 or so Bitcoins (transactions for which will be on the blockchain), and then you sold them for a higher price at a Bitcoin exchange (transactions for which you should have receipts and email correspondence for) and they didn't accept it?
You don't have to answer any of this, obviously, it's just hard to believe there isn't more to it than what you're saying.
Even if he couldn't really remember what his business was selling, he would still have receipts, records and/or emails demonstrating that the source of the 6000 Euros was a legitimate Bitcoin exchange, as a result of the massive increase in price.
This was also before the tax authority clarified on their stance on bitcoins, before that everyone was under the impression that you wouldn't have to tax your coins until you exchange them to real currency.
And that's ignoring all the coins I mined way back, it's literally impossible to attribute that transaction to any specific source.
Outside of our discussion here, I honestly hope everything works out in the best way it can for you. On the bright side it's not a hacking conviction in the US?
Why would you give that particular benefit of the doubt?
I don't think secret services feel the need to justify their operations in this manner. On the other hand, people who pay for it..
If my explicit reference to it was not enough to convince you then you can go read it.
But if the CIA just dragged him back to America and turned him over to the US Marshals it wouldn't impact his charges.
There is no recognized right to be a fugitive.
Afterwards, he was banned from USA.
Soon we'll have to arrest everyone for drinking alcohol, because that's against laws in some countries, we'll have to arrest all women for driving, because that's against the law elsewhere, etc. etc.
The list is endless, and, IMO, pointless.
This is inaccurate in a number of ways. Certain American laws are, on their face, restricted in territorial applicability (others are explicitly not, others are neither explicitly limited nor explicitly unlimited and the application requires reference to principles beyond the individual law in question), and, particularly, certain protections of the Constitution have been held unenforceable against the government in the context of certain actions outside the territory of the United States.
But you can't correctly make a blanket statement that US law is not applicable outside of US territory.
No, they aren't (unless you are using "US National laws" as a label you've made up for laws that are restricted to US Nationals and the territory of the US.)
For online businesses it's a lot more risky as your customers and operations may be located anywhere.
(I'm not sure where you got the idea that citizenship bears any relevance at all here)
US LEAs might have a hard time harassing people like me if EU countries stopped coöperating with them.
Russia pretty much got away with murdering Litvinenko in London; if they'd done that to a natural-born UK citizen in the UK with no other ties to Russia, and unambiguously, there would have been much more serious consequences.
Well, up until now. It was so clearly a political decision to ignore it when it happened and now that relations with Russia have deteriorated it's been investigated and the obvious conclusion reached.
The CIA could have someone with 'CIA' on their jacket shoot a UK citizen on the street in broad daylight and the UK would avoid investigating it if it was politically inconvenient to do so.
Jeffrey W. Castelli, Rome station chief received a 7 year prison sentence
Robert Seldon Lady, Milan station chief received a 8 year prison sentence
I'm referring to Her Majesty's government: Italy isn't the US's poodle the way the UK is, the thread was discussing the non-action of the UK government due to political inconvenience
I get that, but figured it would still be worth noting that other EU states have previously done this.
Since the Danish government agreed to let the plane sit there and there is an extradition treaty between the two countries I expect there was oversight and consensus.
Right. Except if there was an extradition treaty and they planned on relying on it, they wouldn't need a plane on the ground and a paramilitary team ready to go?
You would if the Danes didn't want to go apprehend him themselves (I wouldn't if I were them, the news clip would look bad). If he were already in custody there would be no need for a plane and a team, though presumably he would get on some plane at some point if apprehended just as a matter of practicality.
Not as bad as the one where foreign military forces just run around Denmark kidnapping people and imposing their (martial) law over Danish land? I doubt it.
You might not remember those months. US officials forced a foreign diplomatic plane to land on European soil and basically acted like enraged bulls (or rather angry but headless chickens) for weeks. The Danes would have had to do what they were bloody told to do, regardless of how they might have looked in a news clip, because that's what the almighty US wanted at that time, end of story.
It would be fascinating if Denmark and the US have such a treaty, and if that is recent then I would wonder if that doesn't subject Denmark to penalties by other members of the EU and/or other nations in the Schengen treaty. It certainly should.
Political crimes against one country are not automatically crimes in other countries. EU countries don't send Chechen fighters to Russia when Russia charges them. US is not going to send head of the CIA's Germany station back to Germany to be charged for spying.
ps. EU parliament passed a resolution (mostly symbolical) that called on European Union member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender”.
Can you elaborate a bit on this? For instance, if Snowden's leaks had been targeted so that they only showed illegal programs, do you believe that advocacy of a whistleblowing protection that would have covered the leaks would be "patently childish"?
 It is possible that Snowden's leaks were that targeted. I don't know, because I did not follow them closely enough to know.
That kind of undermines the "carefully targeted leaks" argument. It also is odd that this leak comes out a day later.
While I probably wouldn't prosecute someone for whistle-blowing on a clearly illegal program, there is a good reason why it shouldn't be allowed in situations were top secret information is concerned.
The average government worker has no qualifications or capability to determine what is or isn't legal. People think the Iraq war was illegal. Should someone have leaked military intelligence about the invasion? People think the atomic bombings were illegal. Should someone have leaked the Manhattan project.
Conservatives and liberals tend to disagree strongly with the legality of all sorts of stuff. And then you have conspiracy theorists, idealists and extremists.
And if you run into a situation where someone finds something truly nasty a pardon or prosecutory discretion will fix the it.
Practically, Snowden leaked a lot of stuff that is completely legal.
The only significant illegal thing he leaked was teh Verizon meta-data collection for everyone. But even then some courts and judges still think it's legal.
Sorry to godwinize, but that's the Nuremberg defense in a nutshell.
> Should someone have leaked military intelligence about the invasion?
Chelsea Manning did just that, and a lot of people are very grateful she did.
> Should someone have leaked the Manhattan project
Do you think the Manhattan project succeeded only because of its secrecy? The Germans had their own parallel program, they simply lacked the practical and intellectual resources to ever complete it. The Japanese were even further back and would have likely surrendered, had they known that their cities could be vaporized in an afternoon. The project secrecy cost millions of Japanese lives.
> Practically, Snowden leaked a lot of stuff that is completely legal.
Like breaking American companies' own encryption channels and practicing mass-surveillance on American citizens via legal loopholes across 5-Eyes (so Brits spy on US, US spy on Brits, and then they exchange notes)? Totally legit?
>> Sorry to godwinize, but that's the Nuremberg defense in a nutshell.
The reason that the Nuremberg defense isn't a valid defense is because the acts that were being committed were so clearly without question grossly unconscionable.
Demanding that every member of the intelligence community constitutionally examine the project they're working on is a ridiculous demand. Most of them literally lack the mental tooling to do so. I don't mean they're stupid, I mean that they would first need to go read up on all the relevant case law and legal theory. While it would certainly be personally fulfilling for many of them and raise the level of discussion with regards to the legality of certain programs, I hardly think you can consider that a reasonable requirement. Additionally I don't think you can call most surveillance programs so ethically deranged on their face that any reasonably good but casually constructed set of ethics demands non-participation.
Manning is rightfully serving 35 hard years in jail because she was butthurt about the military. She's a great a reason why it shouldn't be allowed.
Also, quitting your job is not an answer, evil does not stop if you ignore it.
Obviously this protects the government from a rogue piece of itself more than it protects the people from a rogue government. However, I am disinclined to take the fully cynical view of this since I have yet to concoct or hear a plan which was capable of a) maintaining a legally enforceable classification system, b) permitting ethically and patriotically motivated unilateral public disclosure of unconstitutional activities. Perhaps this is a failure of my imagination (I suspect that if there is an answer it relies in finding a way around needing the second requirement).
I think that the current best solution to the problem is where we are currently (I said best, not good). That is to hope that in the event of sufficiently egregious abuses an individual will set aside personal risk and expose said programs. In the ideal Disney version we as a society recognize that they did this in service to the constitution and fulfillment of their oath and urge the president to pardon the risk taker. Maybe call it the Jefferson Strategy, after the quote about the tree of liberty needing to be watered with the blood of patriots. Maybe, in order for the republic to stay healthy, we need people brave/stupid enough to be executed or die in jail as the modern equivalent to the rebellion Jefferson was referencing.
This plan has several failure modes. First is a false positive. This is the mode where someone for whatever reason believes that they're being a whistleblower and just dumps a bunch of documents that hurt US foreign policy but don't really expose any wrongdoing. You basically have to believe that all US foreign activity or all secrecy is inherently bad to say that that the Manning dump moved us forward as a democracy. Note, I'm not defending her treatment or sentencing or whatever, but the dump was pretty devoid of any gross U.S. wrongdoing (we can argue about the chopper video elsewhere). This failure mode is dangerous but probably won't end the republic. It is increasingly damaging per occurrence though because someone can take far more documents than they could ever read. This has a negative potential effect on the accountability of the leaker since they can take now and sift later. I wonder if this will lead to a cycle of more "example making" and leakers putting out more docs per dump since they know they'll be made examples of anyways.
The other failure mode is that everyone stays silent, which is also not ideal, but large orgs have issues with secrecy even without relying on self-sacrificing affirmative decisions, so I'm not worried about this one over the very long run.
There's no way to shape policy to recognize ahead of time that it's ok to leak illegal programs (such a policy would need to be ok with the existence of legal programs in the first place). It's similar logically to saying that it's OK to torture people who know about terrorist plans. You can't really know ahead of time for sure that they know what you want to know, so making a moral exemption on such a basis is inherently flawed and you should refer back to the general case of "don't torture people" (in this case, the general case is "don't leak classified").
I was primarily directing the "childish" comment towards the idea that we ought to get rid of the classification system entirely. It's a nice utopian ideal, and I can see and even maybe agree with the logical arguments that secrecy in any form in government is an inherently corrupting feature. What I can't see however is how to conduct the business of government (diplomacy, intelligence, and military specifically) in any fashion without it, and I'm left with the impression that a sober view of the situation has to accept secrecy in some instances and look to mitigate its corrosive effects rather than to complain about its existence.
Not quite. You could believe that US foreign policy is a net negative in the world, and thus leaking any randomly sampled set of documents is likely to be a net positive.
I think this hyperbole is no more helpful to the conversation than your original one ("patently childish").
I replied separately that this was not the point of my post, but I will reply here in a separate reply (so as no to conflate things) about illegal activities exposed by Manning.
It looks to me that the Manning dump includes more details about the US interrogation methods at Guantanamo than were previously publicly revealed, and I think there is a strong argument that some of the interrogation methods used at Gitmo were illegal under existing US laws against torture.
That was not the point of my post. I did not say or imply that that illegal activities were unmasked by the Manning dump.
I am saying that your prediction that people who think the Manning dump moved democracy forward necessarily believe that basically all secrecy is bad is unhelpful to a conversation about what the whistleblowing laws should be. For instance, some people may think that US foreign policy should all be public while domestic criminal investigations can be private. Some people might believe that the Manning dump was illegal but that some illegal activities (like lunch-counter sit-ins or suffragettes chaining themselves to the White House fence) move democracy forward.
I would like to say however that I am on the side that believes that some illegal acts move democracy forward, I just don't believe that the Manning dump did that, primarily on the basis of not having revealed illegal behavior. As your other post notes it did add a bit to the torture debate (I had previously not known this), but I personally think that the added info wasn't worth the damage to DoS operations, but drawing that line is clearly a fuzzy process.
If you didn't know about the Gitmo thing, which was a very prominent part of the leak that took me literally 10 minutes to discover today by using Wikipedia, what else might you be missing in your understanding of the leak? How can you conclude that it didn't "move democracy forward" without having a strong understanding of its contents?
I know I won't be able to draw a conclusion about the helpfulness of the leak to democracy without much, much more study.
So demands like "name an illegal activity" are missing the deeper moral/ethical point, regardless of whether there are illegal activities in the dumps (I'd also say it's bad form to make such a demand in the middle of an Internet thread where it's highly unlikely that your fellow commenters have the time to review thousands of diplomatic messages/documents/videos/whatever).
Wrt the bad form, the Manning dumps have been out for longer and are much more public than the Snowden leaks; they've been combed pretty damn thoroughly. Suggesting that my comment requires original research of the documents is disingenuous.
Talking about legal policies without considering the greater moral framework in which they exist is disingenuous; it implies there is nothing important other than policies.
Suggesting that my comment requires original research of the documents is disingenuous.
At the least it requires research of the reporting on the Manning dumps. An any case, I maintain that a one-line demand for something with borderline relevance that may require extensive research is in bad form.
And I don't know how I forgot, but the Manning data included the footage used for the Collateral Murder video, which "may depict a war crime" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_12,_2007_Baghdad_airstrik...). So there's your illegal activity.
And torpedoing productive policy discussion with increasingly vague discussion is also so. What help is hand waving about the unfortunately approximate relationship between policy and ethics?
Your comment suggests a question about the relationship (without asking one) as if it were a wise counterpoint. OK, now what? It's not as if any reader of that comment was prior unaware of the inexact correspondence between law and morality. Am I required to solve that relationship in the general case before proceeding with policy? How about only in the problem space of agreements (such as the classified NDA)? Or do I also need to resolve that relationship in all cases concerning the relationship between individuals and society and the state?
Your argument approaches that irritating stoner kid in sophomore year who could get to "But in the end can we even say anything is wrong?" from anywhere. If there is specific bit of ethics or morals that should be addressed then bring it up, otherwise is it just a general call for remembering to think ethically? If so, then thanks I guess?
The video was investigated openly and was ruled an accident. Like it or hate it it's been determined not a war crime, though it has become something of a form of snuff film for people who really want to find US warcrimes.
Two points: 1. You're not the only person who can decide the scope of a conversation on an Internet forum. 2. Accusations of "torpedoing" and "hand waving" are unfounded. Here's the thread so far, in which you seem to be the one waving hands:
> > > > [BWStearns] You basically have to believe that
all US foreign activity or all secrecy is inherently
bad to say that that the Manning dump moved us forward
as a democracy.
> > > [jbapple] I think this hyperbole is no more
helpful to the conversation than your original one
> > [BWStearns] Name an illegal US activity that was
unmasked via the Manning dump.
> [nitrogen] There's more to right and wrong than
strict deontology. What's legal or illegal is only a
very fuzzy approximation of what's ethical or moral.
So demands like "name an illegal activity" are missing
the deeper moral/ethical point, regardless of whether
there are illegal activities in the dumps...
> Your argument approaches that irritating stoner kid in sophomore year who could get to "But in the end can we even say anything is wrong?" from anywhere.
Your argument approaches that irritating paternalizing of government rhetoric in which "sober" analysis can only come to one conclusion, that the "current best solution to the problem is where we are currently". I've been discussing in good faith, at worst omitting implied context to save space and time, and you're resorting here to what comes across as thinly veiled ad hominem.
There is plenty of interesting and productive conversation to be had about secrecy and whistleblowers, but this thread has become too long, too narrow, and bordering on too personal for me to desire to continue here.
On the productive side, do you have any suggestions regarding a way to make a whistleblower law that increases the odds of "good whistleblowers" without just saying "we're done enforcing classification"? Our disagreement over whether or not Manning's dump does anything for democracy is actually a great illustration of why it's hard to make such laws/policies.
Criticizing me for not figuring out a better solution isn't suggesting a better solution. I honest to god want to hear one. Hell, I'll throw out something I can at least lie myself into seeming like a good idea:
A leaker, believing public disclosure of classified material to be necessary in order to uphold their oath to the constitution, is not subject to the Espionage Act if they immediately submit themselves to the authority of the Supreme Court where a [unanimous|8|7|6|5] vote decision is required to press charges of [insert relevant non-espionage act crimes here, stealing gov't property, clearance violations, etc], and if so which charges to press.
In general when I solve a problem I try to go as close to the source as possible, and/or look at a layer of abstraction that isn't often considered.
The real question is what was the likelihood that this plan would be executed, and who makes that call (Obama I'd assume?). The CIA probably had 3 flavors of extradition on Obama's desk as soon as they had any idea where he was - that's their job.
Kidnapping is a crime. There are CIA agents that have been tried in absentia in Italy for that crime. Our government planned to commit a crime to get at Snowden. We should, instead, investigate and prosecute the planners behind this intended crime.
Snowden as a CIA contractor or even if it was a CIA employee doesn't have whistleblowing protections.
S. has since then made a tweet on this article, which is probably why all the other posts are now to be found on other sites from all over the world.
I live a few miles from the Monroe County, Indiana, airport, KBMG, and (on 16 November 2015) saw a small airplane go over my house that had just taken off from there (heading east at altitude 2700 feet). I looked up the tail number, N721AL, and saw that it was registered to the US Department of Justice.
A little bit of Googling (the tail number) turned up an article  entitled "Track 115 Aircrafts the FBI uses for surveillance". I was left wondering why they'd be performing any such surveillance in my area (if that is, indeed, what they were doing), as we're not exactly a "hot spot" of criminal activity, but I suppose no one is exempt.
The fact of the matter is: Western society (US and EU) has let down Snowden hard. We haven't done anything to pressure our politicians (who depend on us!) to protect him like he deserves. We don't deserve people like Snowden. And he sure must has felt that by now.
So if he comes back, I doubt his level of patriotism will have been able to survive our sorry collective attitude.
Sure there is some interesting stuff that has been uncovered, but I cannot help, but wonder if his hero image is being burned into the psyche of every rebellious, "hacker" teen out there just to promote a viral effect of some kind. I am in no way condemning Snowden and the like (I really want to cheer him on) but I am, at the same time, not going to be totally convinced that I should be following what he or his constituents share with the masses.
As a side, I am ready "Classified Woman" by Sibel Edmonds and the same question came up regarding her background. Just thought I would throw this out there since it has been on my mind for some time. I am wondering if anyone has here similar thoughts.
There are people who say that Snowden leaks are a CIA operation against the NSA, born out of patriotism. There are others who say that he acted on direct orders from Obama, who had found it impossible to rein the intelligence agencies in, and needed to foment public support. We can judge by how the political actors have been behaving since the leaks. Our children will be able to read about it once internal documents are declassified.
It is never good to idolize a person, and to put them on a pedestal. We all have flaws. Snowden has done us all a tremendous service, at a great personal peril, and it seems he will live to tell the story. We should all be so lucky. But he is a flawed man, just like we all are. People are quick to create cults around heroes, and then they are disappointed when their idol doesn't live up to their standards. It is sad, really. If you want to know who Snowden is, go to Moscow and buy him a cup of coffee; that's as close to the truth as you're ever gonna get.
In the end, the ideas Snowden stands for are important and valid regardless of who brought them to the fore.
EDIT: Ron Fournier made the same point slightly more eloquently, back in 2013: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/must-read/why-i-dont-...
Sibel Edmonds seem to have some apprehension regarding Snowden's and his constiuents roles. Her stance is what triggered my doubts.
Some of her views on are not necessarily directed at Snowden himself, but they do raise some questions.
Basically, if the US bases go, the capabilities of much of the European military forces go bye-bye. They're optimized for using American logistical support, (because they have no reason to develop their own) and all of that comes through American bases in the region. I'm sure that some political parties in Europe would be completely okay with losing that capability, but most people agree that there is one thing worse than a strong military, and that's a weak military that costs the same amount of money as a strong military.
Just to provide some numbers - the USAF's budget is $170 billion per year. For comparison, that's about the cost of Britain's entire NHS. A very large amount of that goes to airlift capability - plenty of money is spent on air superiority, but the USAF's primary mission in this era of asymmetric warfare is logistical support.
Basically, the attitude of most European governments is "If the US is willing to pay for it, why should we reject their help?"
Probably not that much. We need defense force, we don't need to "police" the world (which really means imperialism). We don't need nuclear capabilities.
Also, the relation between defense and social spending is tenuous at best. Both scale linearly with the size of the economy. Defense spending can actually be beneficial in creating jobs and improving technology.
It's not us you'll have to convince of this, it's your government. They tend to be a bit prickly about such things, no matter how enlightened the general populace is.
The Europeans would have to cut their own social programs if they wanted to do any peacekeeping / humanitarian aid operations - all of that is contingent on American logistical support. Hell, my guess is that they would castigate a more leftist, benign American government; it would make things a hell of a lot harder for a lot of people.
I'm a liberal, and I'd take massive cuts at the war department even without re spending it all on entitlements.
And we don't need such a huge military for humanitarian work either.
Is the cost for that 4.5 x higher than Delta Air Lines annual revenue? ($37.7 billion 2013)
I'm sure most of the cost of USAF is on other things...
The Strategic Airlift Capability has 3 C-17s.
The SAC is, frankly, a symbolic gesture to say, "Yes, we're going to include everyone." The bulk of the heavy lifting is done by standard USAF planes.
Do you have any opinion polls to back that up?
I think it is important not to say "Most of Europe would not be ok with that" when what one means is "European governments would publicly object to that". The US government, for instance, does many things that the public at large disapproves of, and public governmental statements are not necessarily representative of what the government is actually advocating behind closed doors.
In otherwords, without public opinion polls, we are at least two levels removed from knowing whether "Most of Europe would not be ok with that."
The problem is not that the US has planes in Europe. The problem is that most European countries would not hesitate to aid the US in capturing Snowden.
What we need is the European Union to grow strong enough so it can push back and have enough breath to spare so that it can spend energy on secondary concerns like freedom and integrity.
What would stop the CIA from sending over the Gulfstream jet and paramilitary team using civilian airports?
We could do something that would be considered an act of war in order to kidnap somebody explicitly protected by the target country. But these things have been known to go poorly.
I don't disagree with that. However, the US sometimes takes military actions that cause frustration and anger from other nations that we are not explicitly at war with. Some that come to mind are the OBL raid, Iran Air 655, attacking that Doctors Without Borders hospital, and destroying that Sudanese pharmaceutical factory.
Is Snowden "explicitly protected" by countries other than Russia right now?
So it doesn't count when FVEY attacks another country's communication infrastructure - possibly just to have relay boxen so that infrastructure can be commandeered whenever it is useful?
 (one example) https://theintercept.com/2014/09/14/nsa-stellar/
How would the owners and operators of those fighter jets know which flights were CIA flights?
The documents released (partly censored) may not mention S. but were released as an answer to this request.
The Author is Peter Kofod. The online newspaper "Den Fri" direct translation: The Free, is mostly focused on surveillance and fascist tendencies. Anyone can write as a guest (by going through the board of editors). Peter Kofod writes weekly. Or even more often.
"Justitsministeriet kan ikke oplyse, hvorvidt ministeriet er i besiddelse af materiale omfattet af den del af din anmodning om aktindsigt, der angår korrespondance mellem danske og amerikanske myndigheder vedrørende Edward Snowden."
Translated: "The Department of Justice can not say whether the Ministry is in possession of material of your request for access to documents relating to correspondence between Danish and US authorities regarding Edward Snowden."
I'd like to think Americans would protest but apparently most of the country has already forgotten or not cared anymore about the NSA, it's like it never happened, no-one even mentions it anymore in the mainstream.
IIRC, the whole idea of gradually releasing documents instead of dumping them all at once was to avoid this. Although, I haven't seen any new documents in quite a while. I wonder what happened. Are the rest of them not as important as the ones already released?
Likely. There is also a question of framing overall discourse. For example, Der Spiegel and The Intercept recently posted some documents from that pile, showing how the US hacked Israeli feeds from jet fighters to monitor possible attacks against Iran. The original piece was extremely balanced, highlighting the conflicted relationship and conflict on policy choices and overall strategies.
The Guardian picked it up with a piece that was very much pro-Israel, drumming up support for Israeli hawks (at a time when they are extremely isolated on the international stage).
Whenever this sort of material enters the discourse, you have to be very careful if you want to avoid other people framing it in the "wrong" way. I don't blame Greenwald's people for taking their time.
Aye, we're practically swimming in those.
So the news in this case would be that there is some evidence that CIA actually did a thing that was expected of them. They either are not very competent, or they don't care because they get away with it anyhow.
They probably also have a plan to assassinate Snowden. But currently the costs outweigh the benefits.
Plus, it's not even clear the government is acting legally here. An excellent case can be made that mass surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment, and if the CIA planned anything other than bringing Snowden back to a public trial in the USA, that would be a violation of the Sixth Amendment.