Jay Evensen: Ed Snowden needs to explain himself

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  • jefflunt Chicago, United States, IL
    March 24, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    If Snowden had the same level of access to Russia's intelligence as he used to in the United States, then discovered similar problems, and then didn't reveal them...well, then he would be hypocritical.

    However, he doesn't have the same level of access to any nation's intelligence, and so will forever be an outsider for the rest of his life since no country will ever knowingly grant him that level of access ever again.

    So, I don't see how it's reasonable to have the expectation that Snowden would make similar revelations about Russia. He doesn't have that level of access, plain and simple, and as others have commented, he's in Russia because he could get safe asylum there, not because he's buddy-buddy with the Russians, necessarily.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:19 a.m.

    Given the continual release of sensitive documents (the latest being the extent of our spying on China) perhaps it would be in our best interest to cut a deal with Snowden allowing him to return with amnesty?

    Personally I don't think it will happened because certain people would loose face. They would prefer our intelligence agencies die the death of a 1000 tiny cuts.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    March 22, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    In this case, Obama might be right, the U.S. in not exceptional. Snowden would have been arrested, whisked away and demonized by the lapdog press. Russia offered him a safe place and he took it rather than the alternative. I just hope that when the NSA spy center at the pt of the mt ceases to exist that the church will get to use the facility to add to their genealogical research.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 21, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    I think the NSA is definitely overreaching and many people on both sides of the political spectrum agree about that.

    Only a constitutional lawyer can make the constitution seem complicated. Snowden, from his online videos clearly believes he was doing the right thing and explains his motives in interviews from Russia. He's not really hiding at all is he? You're just not listening.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 21, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Snowden didn't really want to go to Russia. It was that or solitary confinement and dubious constitutional rights in the US.

    Why would conservatives stick up for the NSA's overreach and trampling of constitutional rights? Next it really will be your guns you know?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    How can he explain himself... when he's hiding?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 21, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    IF... he's really a super-hero... don't you think we could find a way to give him a "fair" trial (fair meaning using our laws, not our emotions)...

    And if we think our emotions should over-rule our laws.... Whistle-blower laws could cover him, or President Obama could pardon him. But if in a "fair" trial (meaning using our laws and a jury of his peers)... if he stands no chance... is he really a "hero"?


    If he was given a pardon... do you think he would return?

    I think by now he's probably learned that Russia and China are just as bad as the United States.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    March 21, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Bottom line is Snowden was a whistle blower, and he believes he did the right thing. Its clear laws were being broken. We need to spy, but how we do it will tell a lot about us as a culture and a people.

  • GreatScot Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 20, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    I disagree with the author. The NSA poses a greater threat to our freedom than Russia. We all owe Snowden a great debt. If Congress tries to prosecute, we the people will not be silent.

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    In no way would the US Gov't allow a fair, open trial of Snowden. Such a trial is impossible.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    March 20, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    The vast majority of the information stolen by Snowden has nothing, absolutely nothing at all to do with collecting data on American citizens (and people claiming 4th amendment protections are being violated need to learn what the third party doctrine of warrantless searches is).

    No, the vast majority of the disclosures involve the operational details of precisely what one would expect an intelligence agency to devote itself to. As a result, Snowden has aided our adversaries and hindered our country's ability to gather intelligence information. That absolutely makes him a traitor. That he hides overseas in a country with a ruthless control of the media and unfettered surveillance of its own citizens makes him a cowardly traitor.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    March 20, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    So Jay, what would you do if you were charged with criminal espionage for publishing an article revealing the the NSA secrets. My guess is your reply is "I wouldn't have published the secrets." That is what's wrong with our current media who are supposed to be watchdogs, the Fifth Estate. Better to keep quiet and allow tyranny on our citizens

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    March 20, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    The neocon who wrote this article is more of a traitor than Snowden. Promoting U.S. I bet he thinks the Government violating the 4th amendment is perfectly constitutional. I would rather live in dangerous freedom than a peaceful dictatorship.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    IF Snowden is the hero some people pretend he is... he would come back and explain himself in a court of law.

    If he's really a hero... we will all find out.

    If he feels he can't even come back to the country that sees him as a hero... is he really a hero?

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    March 20, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Wrong title: it isn't Snowden who needs to explain himself.

    The *who* needs to explain is exemplified by the man who said he welcomed the discussion, as he filed criminal charges against the person who made that discussion possible.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    I wonder if he thinks Russia doesn't spy on it's citizens.

    I wonder how he thinks he's doing good for society by working with the Russians and China instead of us. It's not like Russia and China don't do any spying (on their own people and on calls coming into their country).


    I think if he wanted to improve security, liberty, privacy, and individual rights in America... he should have gone to the American Media with what he knew, or to the numerous whistle-blower agencies out there (not to China, and then to Russia).

    I suspect it's because he knows our media today would not have done anything or even reported what he had exposed (without going out of the country where it would get reported and they would be forced to report on it). They won't report anything that may cast the current administration in a negative light.

    Our news agencies were all about exposing anything that even smelled suspicious or salacious during the past administration. I don't know why they went suddenly silent as soon as Bush left the White House.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 20, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    "Could there be noble reasons, even if the methods aren’t the best?"

    I can think of few more dangerous sentiments for citizens to hold. The inquisition, holocaust, gulags, ethnic cleansing, torture, Japanese internments. Perhaps we should focus on the methods instead of averting our eyes because we're convinced of the "noble reasons". Perhaps we might run into fewer self-instigated calamities.

  • David King Layton, UT
    March 20, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    So, this is what we've come to in the United States? It used to be "innocent until proven guilty", "no searches without a warrant", "liberty and justice for all", and now it has become "Hey, we're not as bad as Russia! Go America!"

    I think it is rather obvious why Edward Snowden cares more about what the U.S. does than what Russia or Ukraine does. First off, he had access here. Secondly, he's an American. Snowden is not some international judge who is supposed to hand out ratings based on relative liberty. He is an American who is concerned about Americans' rights.

    I think this is an important point to consider: The only reason we know about these spy programs (some of which a judge has already ruled unconstitutional) is because Edward Snowden broke the law and forfeited his life in the United States.

    The fact that an American citizen has to break the law just so we are aware that our own government is breaking the highest law of the land is a scary situation. It should be a giant wake-up call.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 20, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Our own government is the one who owes an apology to the American people. The government gathered a warrantless collection of information on US citizens, including congressmen/women, and it got into the hands of an enemy. Why does Russia have the info? Because our government has jailed anyone who dared say that the NSA was crossing the line of individual privacy and freedom.

    Russia is a real problem for the US, but the corruption of our own government, including the NSA, it a much bigger threat to our safety and freedom than Russia. Our corruption now threatens Europe, through Russia.

    It is interesting, and very sad, that the administration that promised to be transparent to its citizens, has been secretive with its citizens, and ended up being so transparent to its enemies.

    March 20, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    I must humbly disagree with much of this article. Snowden is in Russia because that is the only harbor he was able to find. I consider the man, perhaps not a hero, but a man who made a great sacrifice which I, at least, appreciate.

    It is attributed to Jefforson (though also to Franklin) that he said "Those who sacrifice their freedom for their security will lose both and deserve neither." If the price of our hollowed-out freedom is our own government tunring our nation into a surveillance soiciety, then the price is too high. There is no such thing as security, never was, never will be. But there IS such a thing as government run amuck and becoming more evil than the evils it pretends to protect us from. In this day and age, I wouldn't trust our own government as far as I could comfortably spit out a rat.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    March 20, 2014 1:29 a.m.

    Well, I'm not necessarily going to agree or disagree with this opinion piece, but one thing I do want more than having Snowden "make a case for himself" is for our government to make a case for itself. I do not fear Snowden's actions nor think it to be as harmful as what who should be our representatives are doing to us with their positions in government.