Permalink to An Outrageous Gesture from the Pulitzer Prize Committee — John Yoo

An Outrageous Gesture from the Pulitzer Prize Committee — John Yoo

 

I’m not surprised that the Pulitzer Prize committee gave the Washington Post and The Guardian US a prize for pursuing the sensationalistic story of Edward Snowden —even though the story is a disaster for the country. Unlike some on both the right and the left, I do not see Snowden as any kind of hero. He should be returned to the United States for prosecution. It is another sign of this Administration’s weakness in foreign affairs that it cannot persuade other countries to turn him over.

I don’t, however, think we need to automatically read the prize as a vindication of Snowden’s crimes. Awarding a prize to a newspaper that covered a hurricane or runs a photo of a grisly crime does not somehow justify the underlying tragedy. Yes, there is a difference here, in that the harm comes from the public release of the material. I’m not sure, however, that the distinction between the event itself and publicity is key.

It would have been different if the newspapers themselves had a hand in facilitating the violation of the law. One would hope the Pulitzer committee would not reward a newspaper for actively assisting Snowden in stealing classified information from the NSA or fleeing justice — that crosses the line from coverage of an event to abetting a violation of American law.

I don’t think, however, that there is anything you can do to stop an Edward Snowden once he steals the information and decides to make it public. If the Post didn’t publish it, someone on the internet would have. See WikiLeaks (at least the Pulitzer Committee didn’t give Julian Assange a prize. Though one now wonders why.)

This Administration, despite its effort to prosecute leakers, is now responsible for the most destructive intelligence setbacks in modern American history. This is in part because, for all the efforts it has taken after the fact, it has not done enough to secure U.S. intelligence at the source. That’s great for Snowden and the Post, but bad for the country.

 

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Members have made 48 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    The administration is responsible as you say . Surprised ? Just another brick in our wall.

    • #1
    • April 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm
  2. Profile photo of BD Member
    BD

    The Pulitzer and the Nobel are basically awards for those who promote “social justice”.

    • #2
    • April 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm
  3. Profile photo of Skyler Member

    I think the correct term is “alleged crimes.”

    If the United States was harmed by the exposure of these extra-legal and immoral practices by the government, the responsibility lies with the government, not with the man exposing them.

    Snowden is not Bradley Manning, a whining, confused, disturbed man wanting attention. Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

    • #3
    • April 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  4. Profile photo of True Blue Inactive

    I liked the Pulitzer committees choice for fiction though. Donna Tartt should have won for “Secret History” twenty years ago…

    • #4
    • April 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  5. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Skyler:

    I think the correct term is “alleged crimes.”

    If the United States was harmed by the exposure of these extra-legal and immoral practices by the government, the responsibility lies with the government, not with the man exposing them.

    Snowden is not Bradley Manning, a whining, confused, disturbed man wanting attention. Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

     Hey comrade ! Nice analogy. I am guessing you aren’t a citizen.

    • #5
    • April 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm
  6. Profile photo of Carey J. Inactive

    If you turn on a light and see rats and roaches scurrying for cover, don’t blame the light.

    • #6
    • April 14, 2014 at 7:39 pm
  7. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    John Yoo: He should be returned to the United States for prosecution.

    Agree.

    • #7
    • April 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm
  8. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Skyler: Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

     Are you serious? 

    • #8
    • April 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm
  9. Profile photo of Roberto Member

    Albert Arthur:

    Skyler: Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

    Are you serious?

     Snowden is a criminal and a fool, but do not the American people deserve to know how intrusive surveillance by the federal government has become? Should we not have the facts available to us in order to evaluate and debate the issue?

    Would these questions have ever come to light if not for Snowden? Who rules? The kleptocrats of Washington or the citizenry?

    • #9
    • April 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm
  10. Profile photo of Skyler Member

    Roberto:

    Albert Arthur:

    Skyler: Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

    Are you serious?

    Snowden is a criminal and a fool, but do not the American people deserve to know how intrusive surveillance by the federal government has become? Should we not have the facts available to us in order to evaluate and debate the issue?

    Would these questions have ever come to light if not for Snowden? Who rules? The kleptocrats of Washington or the citizenry?

     He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal. He uncovered a vast abuse of government power. Is that a crime? The jury is still out. As well should be the Nobel committee, but they have a different agenda than truth or the advancement of knowledge and civilization: They are anti-American and anti-western civilization. That doesn’t make what Snowden did inherently wrong and I won’t presume him to be guilty until the matter is settled by the American People.

    • #10
    • April 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm
  11. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    Skyler: He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal.

     You become a criminal when you commit the crime, not when you are convicted of it. Whether you approve of what he did or not, I don’t see how you can argue that Snowden did not violate the law.

    • #11
    • April 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm
  12. Profile photo of Roberto Member

    Skyler:

    Roberto:

    Albert Arthur:

     

    Snowden is a criminal and a fool, but do not the American people deserve to know how intrusive surveillance by the federal government has become?

    He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal. He uncovered a vast abuse of government power. Is that a crime? The jury is still out.

    He deserves his chance to plead his case in court as you say. Are his actions a crime? I quote:

    The UCMJ has several specific provisions relating to espionage (UCMJ Article 104, aiding the enemy; UCMJ Articl 106a, espionage), the federal “espionage” statute (generally found in 18 U. S. Code §793 et. seq., can be applied through UCMJ Article 134(3), crimes and offenses not capital, and UCMJ Article 92 can be used to prosecute people for violating orders about the security, handling, and custody of classified information (for example Paragraph 4-6(k), Army Regulation 25-2).

    There have been many questionable decisions made in Washington, does that justify Snowden’s actions? Let a jury decide I say. 

    Let him plead his case, if he has the courage.

    • #12
    • April 14, 2014 at 8:31 pm
  13. Profile photo of Roberto Member

    Salvatore Padula:

    Skyler: He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal.

    You become a criminal when you commit the crime, not when you are convicted of it.

    Is this your legal opinion sir?

    • #13
    • April 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm
  14. Profile photo of Salvatore Padula Member

    Roberto:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Skyler: He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal.

    You become a criminal when you commit the crime, not when you are convicted of it.

    Is this your legal opinion sir?

    It’s not a legal question, it’s a logical one. Conviction doesn’t cause you to act in a way which violates the law. It is a recognition that your prior actions were in violation of the law.

    • #14
    • April 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm
  15. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Skyler: Snowden is not Bradley Manning, a whining, confused, disturbed man wanting attention. Snowden appears to have been a reasonable and responsible person who saw something wrong and tried to help his country.

     I was not aware that Vladimir Putin was a representative of the American People.

    • #15
    • April 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm
  16. Profile photo of Roberto Member

    Salvatore Padula:

    Roberto:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Skyler: He’s not convicted yet. Thus not a criminal.

    You become a criminal when you commit the crime, not when you are convicted of it.

    Is this your legal opinion sir?

    It’s not a legal question, it’s a logical one. Conviction doesn’t cause you to act in a way which violates the law. It is a recognition that you prior actions were in violation of the law.

    I do indeed suspect that is the case here. However my preference is that for someone who acts as an officer of the court there would be a suspension judgement prior to making such a claim. Personal peccadillo.

    • #16
    • April 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm
  17. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Roberto: Let him plead his case, if he has the courage.

     He does not.

    • #17
    • April 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm
  18. Profile photo of Guruforhire Member

    If you don’t want whistleblowers, don’t behave poorly.

    Its not like Snowden has any expectation of a fair trial.

    • #18
    • April 15, 2014 at 3:49 am
  19. Profile photo of Klaatu Thatcher

    Snowden is a traitor and a coward. He took it upon himself to decide what national security secrets are worthy of protection and which are to be shared with our enemies. That is a power he did not rightfully possess.
    There is nothing honorable, or even reasonable in the actions he took.
    He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and executed if (when) convicted. (And I do not even support capital punishment as a general rule)

    • #19
    • April 15, 2014 at 4:36 am
  20. Profile photo of Skyler Member

    Roberto:

    He deserves his chance to plead his case in court as you say. Are his actions a crime? I quote:

    The UCMJ . . . 

     Snowden is not subject to the UCMJ as far as I know, so I don’t know what relevance the UCMJ has in this matter.

    • #20
    • April 15, 2014 at 5:37 am
  21. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    John Yoo: at least the Pulitzer Committee didn’t give Julian Assange a prize. Though one now wonders why.)

    I wager the rape charges might have something to do with it.

    • #21
    • April 15, 2014 at 5:45 am
  22. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Edward Snowden is a traitor who did one beneficial thing as a smoke screen so people would be distracted from his real crimes, giving classified information to Russia and China. Sadly this smoke screen seems to have worked.

    • #22
    • April 15, 2014 at 5:58 am
  23. Profile photo of Franco Member

    “Unlike some on both the right and the left I don’t see Snowden as any kind of hero” . I don’t think there are many (any?) on the right who would crown Snowden with ‘hero’ status. Stipulating there are left wing and foreign interests in weakening America and they may applaud the leaks for the wrong reasons, the leaks themselves are damning and the American people have a right to know these things – at least to some extent. It doesn’t matter if he’s a ‘hero’ or a traitor, what matters is that:

    * Our national security apparatus is in over-reach mode
    * The information held by out national security stalwarts is not secure. They themselves are bumblers here, and whether Snowden, ot some other shlub is a traitor is not the central issue. 
    * There is no credible path for a whistleblower to navigate helping to cause this situation in ther first place.

    Otherwise America is not an ‘exceptional’ country and we citizens are mere serfs. So the fact that left-wingers approve is no reason to close ranks for the status quo. There is a bigger issue than left/right polarity here. 
    I find it interesting that for some, the actor and the motivation/unintended consequenses trumps the content of the revelations. The issue is FAR bigger than one personality or whether or not he’s a hero. 

    I do not believe for one minute that Snowden could have gone through the regular whisleblowing channels and been protected. This is yet another failing in our system that’s getting a little “too big to fail”. Further, I do not believe that this information, if in the hands of a guy like Snowden, wasn’t already in the hands of our enemies, or assuming his own continued silence, that it wouldn’t have eventually gotten into their hands anyway through some other channel. Perhaps the only folks surprised by this were the American people.

    The focus on Snowden is a red-herring and typical of how enemies of the state are treated. Destroy them. If there is anything at all sordid in the target’s past, use it and destroy. The politics of personal destruction isn’t just for politicians. In the absence of that, call him names publicly…”high school dropout” “coward” “traitor”. The court of public opinion is where the real action is. It’s swift and severe, unlike actual court which is slow and full of labyrinthine negotiations.

    While the public is focused on one man the actual revelations become secondary which seems to be the goal. Focusing on this one guy – smart people obsessed with a low-level operative’s security leak and his motivations/personality – reveals a deeper, very defensive agenda.

    • #23
    • April 15, 2014 at 7:51 am
  24. Profile photo of Crabby Appleton Coolidge

    It isn’t just this administration, disastrous as it has been in all areas, but what can you expect when your government contracts out its intelligence gathering operations. What other vital missions and responsibilities have been given over to  contractors ?

    • #24
    • April 15, 2014 at 10:23 am
  25. Profile photo of Franco Member

    Clinton allowed the sale of sensitive satellite technology to China in return for campaign contributions. I have no doubt that Obama is selling us out in ways we aren’t aware – and one we are aware. Other elected officials in both parties are selling out America – betraying America. I understand that it isn’t a viable political tactic to point these things out, but it’s interesting to see the brave patriots here dump on a powerless nobody, while remaining silent on the more powerful operators.

    • #25
    • April 15, 2014 at 10:45 am
  26. Profile photo of kmtanner Inactive

    Snowden is scumbag, Putins useful idiot

    • #26
    • April 15, 2014 at 11:16 am
  27. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Franco: understand that it isn’t a viable political tactic to point these things out, but it’s interesting to see the brave patriots here dump on a powerless nobody, while remaining silent on the more powerful operators.

     Snowden’s not a nobody. He’s responsible for a huge act of treason. That means something.

    • #27
    • April 15, 2014 at 11:58 am
  28. Profile photo of Robert E. Lee Member

    • #28
    • April 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm
  29. Profile photo of Robert E. Lee Member
    • #29
    • April 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm
  30. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive

    “He took it upon himself to decide what national security secrets are worthy of protection and which are to be shared with our enemies.”

    Ultimately that’s what anyone who finds wrong-doing has to do. Make up their own mind, and do what they think is right.

    He fled the country because he didn’t think he could get a fair trial here.

    Would you rely on Holder’s DoJ for a fair trial if you’d embarrassed the administration, or gotten in their way?

    • #30
    • April 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm
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