NSA Security

Snowden Officially Charged

Edward Snowden has been officially charged by the Department of Justice in the Eastern District of Virginia where Booz Allen Hamilton is headquartered.

From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who says he revealed that the National Security Agency collects Americans’ phone records and Internet data from U.S. communication companies, now faces charges of espionage and theft of government property. [...]

In addition to those charges, both brought under the Espionage Act, the government charged Snowden with theft of government property. Each crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Snowden will not be protected from prosecution by federal whistleblower laws because he did not reveal anything illegal.

Like it or not, everything he has revealed was approved by Congress. The alleged illegally he supposedly revealed has been thoroughly debunked, including by Greenwald himself.

For his part Greenwald is charging that this is proof that President Obama has a “vindictive mentality,” but he knew this was going to happen. The Department of Justice is not going to let someone walk free for espionage regardless of who currently occupies the White House.

And while we’re on the subject — the South China Morning Post ran an exclusive story today wherein Edward Snowden claims the NSA is vacuuming up millions of Chinese text messages and SMS data, including that of government officials.

We don’t know if that’s true, but making these kinds of revelations to Chinese publications isn’t going to help his case.

(h/t Terry Eaton Attorney at Law)
  • Badgerite

    Yeah, Greenwald and Snowden are all about transparency and freedom. Uh-huh. Quoting from the South China Morning Post story:

    Fang Binxing, President at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and widely believed to be the father of China’s “great firewall”, which restricts access to the web, told News China in October last year that foreign equipment was a serious threat to national security.
    “China should set up a national security review commission as soon as possible,” he said.
    Telecom companies have started replacing foreign-made equipment. China Unicom quietly replaced all Cisco routers at a key backbone hub in Wuxi. Jiangsu, last year according to the National Business Daily. The changes are being kept quiet to avoid panic and embarrassment to the government people in the industry.

    So, basically whatever protection the Chinese people had from intrusion into their communications ( that protection being devices with foreign parts ) will be gone soon. If anybody is going to be spying on the Chinese people, it is going to be the Chinese government, by God. Do you suppose they will require a warrant? I’m guessing no. Nothing to panic about there.
    And the Snowald accuses people who don’t support their bullshit of hypocrisy. Look in the mirror bubby.

  • http://exurbanmusings.blogspot.com/ janicket

    Well, well, well — not content with the degree of openness, honesty and transparency offered by Hong Kong, Our Hero Snowden has now fled to the glorious freedom of Russia.

    No doubt he’ll be kept happily busy revealing everything he knows about national security to his kindly new hosts. What a model for all true lovers of liberty, eh?

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Ashby, please get rid of the goddamn wingnut troll (at the bottom)!!

    • 1mrt1

      Hey witch…stick it up your Azz…..and turn it. Your blog sucks worse than you do

      • Victor_the_Crab

        You first, fuckface!

    • JMAshby

      I didn’t do anything, actually. Well, I -just- did at 1 a.m., but the rest of the day I was out.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        That’s okay. You did it when you got in. Damn idiot troll was driving us crazy.

  • docbets

    I’m not able to see that he is charged with espionage. He was charged with communication, two types, and theft. These charges are covered by the 1917 Espionage Act but are not in and of themselves espionage. Some say this is an unimportant technicality, but is it, really? Espionage is a different crime.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    All right, where are all the firebaggers?
    Commenting on this story up to yesterday on other blogs I’ve been called an Obamabot, an Obama apologist, naïve, stupid and a troll among other things.
    I’m kinda missin’ the insults here today. ;-)

    • http://www.rubytheairedalepup.com/ Ruby

      I know, right?! What is with every Dem on this?! I feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone! That’s why I’ve come here to read some calm, intelligent comments….

      • blackdaug

        ….It’s quiet….too quiet…! Admiral Ackbar..look out!

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole


    The NYT said Snowden was charged with violating the Espionage Act, and stealing gov property. The Chinese have said they will hunt him down and return him……….however, don’t hold your breath, because they also said that Snowden could >>delay any extradition by claiming his is “a political offense,” or he could apply for asylum, “and those cases can take 10 years.”<<


    Personally, I'd like to see him charged with treason.

    Adds……….Greenwald should be fucking hung out to dry……….he has lost any remaining credibility he had, if you don't count his idiot acolytes.

    • blackdaug

      The next time our State Dept. goes and tries to apply diplomatic pressure on China to release one of it’s own actual “dissidents” (you know… the guys hiding in embassies for just criticizing the State)
      they can respond with…”Oh, but we understand Mr. Snowden feared for his life..even one of your elected representatives worried about him being taken out by “drones”…..we couldn’t possibly release one of our own citizens into the arms of such a repressive state.”.
      Is Snowden was a govt. official in China or Russia, who released state secrets, he would either be occupying a Snowden shaped hole somewhere in the countryside, or wondering why all his hair was falling out, after being poked with an umbrella while walking down some European street.
      …..but in the Green-Snow fairyland, we shouldn’t be spying on those countries, because we are not at war with them, and they are such shining examples of civil liberties.
      Damn right he should be charged with treason.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        hA! Could not agree more!

    • beulahmo

      “…Greenwald should be fucking hung out to dry……….he has lost any remaining credibility he had, if you don’t count his idiot acolytes. ”

      I’ve noticed the colleagues who’ve questioned his reporting of this, and I think a lot of traditional journalists are going to be afraid to deal with him from now on. I think he has really, really overdone it this time, and he’s going to have some long-lasting damage. And it hasn’t been the predictable group of cheesy “hacks” who’ve criticized his handling of this story either. He’s been criticized by Josh Marshall, Rick Perlstein, Kevin Drum, Marc Ambinder, and Kurt Eichenwald, just to name the few I’ve seen. Those guys do have hard-earned credibility.

  • http://52novels.com/ Rob in Denver

    “The alleged illegally he supposedly revealed has been thoroughly debunked, including by Greenwald himself.”

    Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here. I’ve read this about 14 times and have no idea what this sentence means.

    • blackdaug

      The alleged “illegality” he revealed has been thoroughly debunked, including by Greenwald himself.”

      That help?

  • blackdaug

    So I guess its true: All of the “new revelations” and “truth” to be dribbled out week after week are nothing more than information about our counter intel efforts with foreign states.
    Nothing to bolster the original claims of a huge internal “backdoor” data mining operation, no “blockbusters” expounding on the “oppressive surveillance state”, just one more diplomatically embarrassing open secret after another….the mundane, day to day, details of state craft.
    As GG himself finally acknowledges that they exposed nothing “illegal”, refers to his source as a “leaker”….moves the goalposts for the hundredth time….but calls the President “vindictive” because his justice department has to file charges, when somebody releases classified information as loudly as they possibly can, on the world stage………because doing that violates the law!
    You couldn’t sell this as a spy thriller….because the main characters are too stupid to be believable! It’s a comedy of escalating errors, that can cater only to those who forget the first part of the movie when they go to get popcorn 10 minutes in!!!

    • missliberties

      The biggest deal in this story is Snoden’s security clearance granted by Booz Hamilton. And outsourcing this security stuff to private freaking contractors who cut costs by paying people less.

      Now we have new revelations about the godzillions being made selling this statecraft around the world.

      Oh Lord! IF everybody is surveilling everyone, what good is that?


      The chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyberstrategy is Mike McConnell, who once led the N.S.A. and pushed the United States into a new era of big data espionage. It was Mr. McConnell who won the blessing of the American intelligence agencies to bolster the Persian Gulf sheikdom, which helps track the Iranians.

      • 1mrt1

        Wow where do you find all these left wing sites to troll?

        • missliberties

          Dear moderator. This guy is a troll. Will you please remove him from your site.

          No really I am dead serious.

          • 1mrt1

            Moderator? Troll? so you dont allow new posters on here? I guess you are showing everyone what you think of freedom of expression..lol. Let the good times roll.

          • missliberties

            Unfollow me stalker troll. Get away from me. Polite request.

          • missliberties

            Dear people on this site. Will you help me get rid of this troll by flaggin all of his comments as inappropriate. As an individual poster I can’t block him, but he is following me and trolling all my comments on Disqus.

            The only way he can be removed as a true trollish pest he is if JM Ashby or Bob goes to the disqus page, opens it to account settings and clicks moderate, and then black list. I can’t do it. The mods have to.

            Sorry for dragging this ugly pest over here.

          • 1mrt1

            Flagged for inappropriate content..next!

          • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

            Done. Try to ignore him….as best you can.

          • missliberties


            What a nightmare. This has never happened to me before, but it’s my fault. I should know better than to make snarky comments to these types. Now said most wonderful person troll is following me. Ack!

          • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

            no problem.

            You can’t control what they do, and this one is more dimwitted than our usual trolls. Then again, he came from Politico………….

          • 1mrt1

            Up yours and your stupid blog..lol

          • 1mrt1

            Ahhhh poor baby…was the boogie man after her? Grow up little girl…I dont care about you or your stupid blogs…You are nothing but a pimple on the Ass of this country..remember that. Simple stay off Politco, and stay on here and Media Matters.

          • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

            Times 2.

          • 1mrt1

            Whats up media matters retard?

          • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

            At least when you’re incoherently insulting people you’re not playing with your poop!

          • 1mrt1

            Ahhhh. not me. I dont do that, but I hear you like to watch guys in the stall next to you at Walmart? You sneaky devil you.

          • http://www.rubytheairedalepup.com/ Ruby

            Done. Yup try to ignore….he’s allll alone here anyway!

          • Lady Willpower

            But he says “Hitlary!”
            That’s just comedy gold.

          • Neoconhater

            He’s also a birther nutcase….most teaKlowns are birthers.

      • blackdaug

        Sheer revolving door capitalism at work.
        Mr. McConnell, inside the government, saw a need. left the government and filled it….then came back to the government just to make sure…..then went back and filled it some more.
        Still say Snowden had access at Booz, because he had already been granted clearance at the NSA using the same systems. A fatal flaw in this case, but one that is probably being used every day as government workers shuck off those low paying DOD jobs and go to work for contractors doing the same work, on the same systems….for 5 times the pay. Thanks privatizing genie! Like with Haliburton, you have worked wonders!
        If it were me, I be sunning on a beach in Oahu right now with my hot girlfriend……instead of hunkered down in some Hong Kong hotel room with a pillow under the door.