back to article Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is ready to return home to the US, according to his Russian lawyer. However, the former sysadmin – who is central in the biggest single leak of classified intelligence – would only return on condition that he was promised a fair trial. “Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the …

  1. smartypants

    Wouldn't a legal and fair trial find him guilty?

    Regardless of whether you agree with the things he revealed, revealing them was illegal.

    With the recent opposition murder in Putin's Russia, it's hardly a surprise he's wanting to leave though. It can't be much fun being his pawn.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Mr. Snowden, I hope you see this.

      Stay away until an outraged public forces a Presidential pardon BEFORE you return home.

      The President wants to make an example of you. They want to scare all other whistleblowers into silence so they can continue breaking the Constitution and other laws. You will not receive a fair trail. They are lying to Congress, what makes you think they'll tell you the truth?

      You can accomplish more in Moscow than going "home" into a 6 x 7 foot cell with daylight only an hour a day. No one will hear a word from you ever again in jail.

      With you free, there is hope.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        an outraged public

        do you mean the Russian outraged public? Or do you see any signs of outraged public in the US of A?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: an outraged public - Latest News headlines - Faux news

          "An outraged member of the public, #cough# Jack Ruby lookalike stooge #cough#, surged out and shot Snowden in the back just 5 minutes after he, Snowden, had put his feet on the tarmac. No-one knows who this mysterious assassin was and the FBI whisked him away before even Faux News cameras could catch a glimpse. A freak thunderstorm had knocked out the Airport security cameras so we can't provide those images either...although we have heard rumours that the assassin might have been dressed in a Ronald MacDonalds costume, although that has not yet been confirmed

          "President Obamy has already expressed his sincere condolescences to the victims familly. Obamy expressed his concern and disgust that anyone should ever feel the need or be forced to wear a Ronald MacDonalds outfit .

          An FBI officer, mysteriously wearing a false red nose and some very long shoes, confirmed that nothing had yet been confirmed but that the entire force was already on the case and had been for at least the last 3 weeks !!"

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        With you free, there is hope.

        Before the red arrows fuel for take off, I don't disagree with you: Snowden should stay away until he can't any longer or until he is pardonned. The trial will be over by the time jury selection is completed.

        However, I would be interested in an expansion of your point I quoted. For what is it there is hope, and what significant role does Snowden play in your vision?

        Snowden has made a massive contribution to awareness, which is a precondition of change, but I struggle to see how he can drive change in a positive direction from either Russia, or a jail cell. Only if he walks free from court (and isn't then shot by a 'patriot') can he really drive anything, in my view.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Agreed,

          If anything good comes out of the Snowden story, it will be the reining in of excessive, expensive and wasteful security theatre and a proper debate on the limits of the US government's police power over individuals in the 21st Century. I'd be happy to just see the pendelum swing back to some form of constitutional equilibrium.

          Ideally, bad legislation (like the Patriot Act) and its reckless offshoots will get repealed and more sensible poicies will take root.

          Snowden should be pardoned but history is not on his side. The USA has a paranoid security apparatus that can't distinguish between well-meaning whistle-blowers and spies, and Snowden was the mother of all whistle blowers. At least legal termination with extreme prejudice has been officially excluded.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The is true

        but, Mr. Snowden, the choice is yours to make: Moscow vs. spending a very long time in a cage! For me, it would be a no-brainer. There are nearly an infinite number of cases that one could cite, but the income tax evasion cases of Irwin Schiff and Larken Rose come to mind, because they too challenged the authoritarian power of the federal government. They thought that once a jury became aware of the actual law, it could not possibly convict them of tax evasion. They were wrong! Don't be wrong. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "fair trial!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldn't a legal and fair trial find him guilty?

      "Regardless of whether you agree with the things he revealed, revealing them was illegal."

      I thought that way before, but now I'm here: The USA's actions were not only illegal, but unconstitutional. So, I don't see how on Earth that reporting an unconstitutional crime is illegal, in fact just the opposite. But, at the very worst, can it be a crime to report a crime? The worst seems null to me. The best is how I see it, he did what an American is obliged by law to do (foreign and domestic). Honestly, I think he followed the law.

      1. Slawek

        Re: Wouldn't a legal and fair trial find him guilty?

        He revealed not only domestic actions (that can be argued about), but a lot of absolutely legal foreign operations, and this is simply treason.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. DNTP

    Central issues about the legality of whisleblowing and disclosure of classified information aside, the problem with Snowden's return is that he's undoubtably broken so many other laws via his actions that the government wouldn't even have to charge him with the "Big Issues" in order to get him put away for life. The feds could be fair and impartial, and still deny him any opportunity to turn a trial into a grandstand by simply piling on the minor charges. Honestly, he'd be stupid to come back here.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: DNTP

      "......the government wouldn't even have to charge him with the "Big Issues" in order to get him put away for life......" Really? So you missed the whole Bradley/Chelsea Manning episode? People like you insisted he/she would get the death sentence, then when that was debunked you lot insisted Manning would be locked up "for life". Reality? He/she got 35 years with parole in eight, despite being a serving soldier and not just a civilian contractor. Obviously Snowjoke thinks eight years or less (and probably in a low- or medium-security prison, not Fort Leavenworth like Manning) is preferable to a lifetime in self-imposed exile in Russia. Of course, once he's done his sentence in the US, Snowjoke is then free to start making money off his infamy.....

      But where Snowjoke may have miscalculated is that he was a contractor, and his actions not only put him in breach of the law but also his contract terms. I'm sure Booz Allen Hamilton's lawyers would be thinking of suing Snowjoke for bringing their name into disrepute, breach of contract, loss of earnings, etc., etc. And then there is the cost associated with the investigation of his unauthorized access to data - if BAH had to cough up to plug procedural holes then they could sue Snowjoke to recover those costs. Snowjoke could eventually be free to live in the States but be a pauper for the rest of his life. One can only hope.

      1. DJV Silver badge
        FAIL

        @ Matt Bryant

        The only (snow)JOKE around here is your moronic post!

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: DJV Re: @ Matt Bryant

          "The only (snow)JOKE around here is your moronic post!" The moronic part would seem to be your attempt at a reply. I notice you seem completely unable to counter the points I raised (honest, this is my surprised face).....

          1. Mark 65

            Re: DJV @ Matt Bryant

            The moronic part would seem to be your attempt at a reply. I notice you seem completely unable to counter the points I raised (honest, this is my surprised face).....

            Matt, nobody bothers because they cannot be arsed playing reply-to-post-ping-pong with someone capable of arguing with themselves.

      2. Ilmarinen
        FAIL

        Re: DNTP

        Oh dear, Matt Bryan again...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DNTP

          Actually, I'm glad Matt is back, gets kind of boring otherwise. Do carry on.

      3. DNTP

        Re: Bryant

        Matt, I'm sorry that the post of mine that you're replying to was not clear enough for you in either content or tone. I'm not arguing here about what Snowden deserves for his actions, or whether what he did was legal or ethical, nor trying to draw parallels (that I don't believe exist) to Chelsea Manning's case. Rather, all I'm saying is that if the US government wants to confine him for the rest of his natural life, they don't have to bother with trumped up charges, black van abductions, or convenient aircraft accidents. The fact that they can do this to him while not even having to consider the ethical issues involved in disclosure and responsibility to report government abuse of due process is disturbing (and as you rightly point out, the addition of civil penalties), would further validate legal mechanisms for use in the suppression of ethical disclosure at any level.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: DNTP Re: Bryant

          ".....The fact that they can do this to him while not even having to consider the ethical issues...." Oh, you mean like the issue where he broke the law?

          ".....government abuse of due process....." <Sigh> Another one that needs to go read up on the FISC, the Espionage Act, and that seems to be just for starters. Seriously, do any of the flock read any background info before posting?

          "....the suppression of ethical disclosure......" Yeah, right! Snowjoke didn't try to report anything through the correct or legal channels, by his own admission he instead set out to deliberately break his oath and his contract with the express purpose of stealing secrets. That's not disclosure, it's traitorous theft. Now he's stuck in Moscow regretting his decisions and wanting to come home, but even he's not as deluded as you as he seems to understand he's going to be arrested and tried for the crimes he has freely admitted committing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DNTP Bryant

            " Oh, you mean like the issue where he broke the law?"

            You actively avoid the issue that the USA also broke the law. Also, it might seem that putting any focus at all on the financial costs is a distraction from any point you cannot argue. If you have found no fault in our countries actions on this issue, you stand very alone.

            Snowden does need to come back, because we need to see what happens to "dissidents" today. Gratefully, he either walks free or he is put to death (I think he knows that, scary as it must be). Incarceration won't cut it, because it will feed more hate to the people who are becoming restless of their country's decayed Democracy. At least in his death will 1 side be completely happy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DNTP Bryant

              The law courts would state that Snowden's leaks risk lives and the law breaking by the NSA and others saves them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Honestly, he'd be stupid to come back here."

      That is for sure. He'd be tortured to death/insanity for all the Manings/legal reasons ...

    3. Thorne

      "the problem with Snowden's return is that he's undoubtably broken so many other laws via his actions that the government wouldn't even have to charge him with the "Big Issues" in order to get him put away for life."

      Life is such a variable term. It can last until he dies of old age in a darkened hole or until he hangs himself under mysterious circumstances...

  3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Unfortunately

    Due to the gutless cowardice of the rest of the Western world I think he'll die in Russia. The most criminal part of the whole affair is the fact he'll probably die early and alone.

    I just hope some future generations truly recognises him for what he's done.

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Unfortunately

      I don't see how this statement by the lawyer got any press. It's not substantially different than what Snowden and his lawyers said months ago.

  4. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Typo?

    "...promised a fair fear trial."

    Would be a more accurate description.

    1. g e

      Under US law, too

      Expect, if it ever happens, excessive prosecution use of language like 'Secrets', 'Enemies', 'Endangering', 'National Security Interests', 'un-American' and 'Homeland' in such a trial.

      With any of the above being used as an excuse to persecute or withhold information as deemed convenient.

      1. Mitoo Bobsworth

        Re: Under US law, too

        What does that even mean - "un-American" ? That's so ... naff!

  5. Dan Paul

    Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

    if you want to remain even somewhat free. They are already holding a cell for you at Leavenworth.

    There will be nothing even close to a "Fair Trial" from this or any other future administration.

    You pissed in too many politicians Rice Krispies, (A common breakfast cereal here for you Euros)

    and they were completely embarrassed Internationally by your revelations. The DOJ will keep adding charges until you can't afford to defend against them, just like Aaron Swartz.

    You would be far better off to get a deal to go to some other warmer quasi democratic place without an extradition treaty with the US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

      Rice Krispies, (A common breakfast cereal here for you Euros)

      We Euros prefer Muesli.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: We Euros prefer Muesli.

        Yeah, because you can piss on that stuff and it actually IMPROVES the flavour

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dim Paul Re: Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

      ".....They are already holding a cell for you at Leavenworth....." Fort Leavenworth is a prison for military personnel, not civilians. That fundamental error suggests you really haven't a clue what you're posting about.

      ".....There will be nothing even close to a "Fair Trial" from this or any other future administration....." <Yawn> Now, where have we heard that male bovine manure before? Oh, that would be about Chelsea/Bradley Manning, who got a fair trial despite the flock insisting that couldn't happen. Duh!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

        "That fundamental error suggests you really haven't a clue what you're posting about."

        This....from the guy who can't spell Snowden?

      2. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

        IIRC, Manning was disallowed from calling most of the defence witnesses, whilst the prosecution was allowed anything and everything they want. Interesting idea of fairness.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Boring Bernie Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

          "IIRC, Manning was disallowed from calling most of the defence witnesses...." What a surprise, you don't recall correctly.

          ".....whilst the prosecution was allowed anything and everything they want....." Like presenting direct evidence of how Manning stole data, co-operated with two people in the theft (one of which was almost definitely Assange), and tried twice to delete the evidence of the theft. I mean, that's just so unfair, proving that Manning committed the crimes he was accused of (if you need sarc tags for that bit then you're as ill-informed as Bernie).

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. wfavorite

        Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

        He said Leavenworth. YOU said Fort Leavenworth. These are two different things.

        From the Wikipedia page:

        "It is often confused with, but separate from the United States Military Barracks, which is a military facility on Fort Leavenworth."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Penitentiary,_Leavenworth

        1. Red Bren
          FAIL

          Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

          It makes you wonder if someone read any background info before posting?

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: wfavorite Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

          "He said Leavenworth....." Yeah, and I suppose in the fantasy World most of the flock base there decisions on you actually believe that ignoramus knew anything about either.

      4. Dan Paul

        Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..@Matt Bryant

        Exactly, Matt, but I already live there. And to think I have regularly upvoted you (in the past.)

        Leavenworth is a military prison where the NSA and all the alphabet agencies will have free reign to do as they please to Snowden because the military and the politicians lost the most when he told the world what they were doing.

        Chelsea/Bradley Manning only got a fair trial (and Hormones) because it advances Obama's pro-gay agenda.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A pipe dream

    The chances of the US allowing him any form of platform that allows him to make statements that show the NSA or government in a negative light must close to zero. As suggested by @DNTP above, they'd most likely put peripheral charges sufficient to bury him for eternity without every addressing what he did or why.

    With him safely out of reach of the media, the impact of any subsequent leaks from his tranche of information would be greatly reduced, simply because the 'draw' of his exile in Moscow adds the human drama the press so loves to sell - Chelsea Manning is now far more news for gender reassignment than for the leaks.

    Snowden does us all a better service staying right where he is.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: A pipe dream

      It is quite reasonable to think Edward Snowden would receive a fair trial, but there is no chance that he would be allowed to use the trial as a forum for defending what he is accused of doing. He ahd his supporters can do that away from any trial venue. The basic charges of unauthorized theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communicaion of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person each carry the possibility of a substantial term of imprisonment and appear to be provable without much discussion of why he might have done them. The government likely would argue that his actions, easily documented, speak adequately to each of the charges and the reason, except possibly in a defense summation, is not relevant to the question of guilt. Jury nullification, though, is very uncommon.

      It is not implausible that Mr. Snowden and his attorneys could negotiate a much reduced sentence in exchange for cooperation in confirming the extent of the damage. That would be a declining asset, however, as those who now control the material release more of it. It seems unlikely that a sentence would be possible that included no jail time, although it might be reasonable to offset it by part of the time he spent in Russia.

  7. elDog

    There is no benefit to Mr. Snowden in returning to the heart of the beast

    Given the current administration's (and probably prior/future administrations) for slamming whistle-blowers, I totally expect that Mr. Snowden would, at best, be cubby-holed in yet another dark/dank space where his liberties were as close to absolute zero as possible.

    I think he has done a huge amount of benefit to the the world in general and should be welcomed with open arms by most democracies. Unfortunately, most "democracies" are in name only and are controlled by bigger partners (US, UK, intelligence agencies, corporations.)

    It used to be that the Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark) were some of the most open to dissent and accommodating of dissenters. I'm not a geographer, but I can see some nice direct routes from RU to any of these countries without crossing US-guarded no-fly zones.

    What happened to make people like Assange into supposed criminals by the Swedes? Why aren't they offering safe harbour to Snowden? Could it be that the US had extended its tentacles deep within each of those countries' political system? Shame.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: There is no benefit to Mr. Snowden in returning to the heart of the beast

      The only problem I had with your post is that you suggest that only the U.S. and Britain are interested in seeing Snowden locked away and shut up. I think that a sober assessment of what has actually gone on since Snowden's revelations is that basically all of NATO, the "5 Eyes" and probably other countries with strong relationships with the U.S. military and intelligence communities would be happy to see him locked up as well.

      They might hide a little behind "Hey, it's the U.S. who is trying and imprisoning the guy!", but there are a lot of governments who benefit from being able to dial the Pentagon help line for this or that reason, and they would be happy to throw Snowden under the bus to ingratiate themselves with Washington DC.

  8. petur
    Black Helicopters

    Fair trial

    Dream on....

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: petur Re: Fair trial

      "Dream on...." You obviously misunderstood, petur - the article is about a trial in the US, not Russia. Of course, in Russia, there would be no trial, you'd just get shot four times in the back right next to the Kremlin whilst all the security cameras were conveniently pointed the other way.

      1. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: petur Fair trial

        Yeah, it's totally different in the US. There, they shoot you for putting your hands up then say it was fine and legal to do so.

        All while the cameras are conveniently pointed the other way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: petur Fair trial

          "There, they shoot you for putting your hands up then say it was fine and legal to do so."

          Surely only if you are black?

        2. auburnman

          Re: petur Fair trial

          "All while the cameras are conveniently pointed the other way."

          At least when the cameras are rolling they (sometimes) put the guns away and completely legally choke you to death on film.

        3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Blind Bernie Re: petur Fair trial

          ".....they shoot you for putting your hands up....." Seriously, you want to try passing that long-debunked lie about Michael Brown as fact? Are you trying for Idiot Leftie Of The Year? nothing says more about your desperate hatred than your deliberate peddling of such a lie.

  9. Dave 32
    Thumb Up

    Fair

    One the basic tenets of western justice is that the punishment should fit the crime. Thus, I have no problem with the idea of Edward Snowden returning to the USA, facing a fair trial, and serving the 15 minutes of jail time that he deserves.

    Dave

  10. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Fair or Unfair They Still Lock Him Away

    This was thoroughly covered in a talk at the most recent HOPE. Under the US law as it stands, there is no way out of a conviction. Releasing the information is a criminal offence with NO extenuating circumstances. There is no 'Public Good' defence. Even if Snowden could prove beyond doubt that what he did averted WWII, the court is required to disregard such considerations when determining guilt.

    Add to this the current climate dof going after the whistleblower to divert attention from what was revealed (cf that nice Mr Abbott's daughter and her 'suspicious' college grant), they'd lock him away for life in a closed court and the court record would show that he offered no defence.

    Truth in politics? We've heard of it.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Fair or Unfair They Still Lock Him Away

      Not completely true, it's still a jury trial, and the jury can nullify.

      That said, jury nullificaion is a long shot (to put it nicely). I wouldn't bet on it.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Fair or Unfair They Still Lock Him Away

        With the frankly insane method of jury selection in the USA, there is as much chance of jury nullification as there is of the sun rising in the north tomorrow. Anyone who can spell "nullification" will be vetoed by the prosecution in very short order, and anyone who actually knows what it means will be unable to serve on the jury due to, ummm ... "unexpected illness".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A possibility

    Maybe Mr Snowden has enough up his sleeve to drive a plea bargain - e.g. Let's all be nice about this and X, Y and Z won't see the light of day.

    Personally, I see his actions as justified. He has exposed some pretty despicable actions by governments, As JFK said (supposedly quoting Burke) ,<<The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.>> I'm prepared to believe that Snowden saw evil, that he did something, which most of us, myself included, would be too afraid to do.

    Those in power will always cast FUD on the actions of whistleblowers, claiming that they're putting lives in jeopardy and so on. It's 'Dealing With Whistlebowers 101'.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: A possibility

      Maybe Mr Snowden has enough up his sleeve to drive a plea bargain - e.g. Let's all be nice about this and X, Y and Z won't see the light of day.

      I'm not sure I wholly agree with Snowden leaking as he did, because I'm not suprised that the people we pay to spy on people also spy on us. However, I'd be amazed if he has anything left to divulge, certainly anything more revelatory, with which to plea bargain. I think he has far too much personal integrity for that, having done what he did because he thought it was right, and with certain knowledge of the personal sacrifice required.

      I hope Snowden stays in Russia. I don't envisage any jury having sufficient open mindedness to take a view that he acted in americas interests, rather than going with the sterotypical 'patriot' routine and locking him away. I don't believe the state, if found to be innocent or if released from incarceration, could ever hope to keep him safe from 'patriots'.

      If you believe that his actions were just, then you'll want him to stay away for his own safety. If you think he was wrong, well, then isn't exile punishment enough? He can never leave Russia - jailing him forever won't undo any damage the truth may have caused; it just feels like revenge.

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge

    As a citizen first and one who's served jury time.... On what "we" know now, he's guilty as hell for unauthorized release, flight to avoid prosecution and probably others. Guilt is not based on "why" someone did something (or at least that's the way it's supposed to be) or who they are. It supposed be based on actions. The judge is one who may show clemency based on the reason for the illegal action, etc. This is why there's "innocent by reason of insanity", etc. etc. verdicts. It's up to the judge.

    I believe he would get a fair trial. I also believe he'll be found guilty. But the stickler is the judge and any backroom deal as to sentence. I hate to say it, but he's screwed.

    1. Dave 32
      Coat

      Jury Nullification

      There is the concept of "Jury Nullification", where the jury knows that a defendant is guilty, but decides to acquit him anyway. It's not a well known concept, and quite a few judges/prosecutors/governments/etc., wish that it didn't exist (so much so that any discussion of it can result in a mistrial!). But, nevertheless, it does exist:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification

      Of course, the problem is that there's no guarantee that any particular jury will even know of that concept, let alone apply it.

      Dave

      1. Ilmarinen

        Re: Jury Nullification

        As happened in the Clive Ponting trial in the UK.

        The jury acquitted, despite being directed by the judge to convict.

        Likely they took the view that the public and parliament had a right not to be lied to, and that "public interest" was not necessarily and only whatever the executive said it was. And possibly that it was for them, the jury, to decide guilt, not the judge.

        Such acquittals are however sadly rare.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes

    ...of course a legal and fair trial would find him guilty on many counts. He's hoping the a$$ clowns who support his delusional beliefs will keep him from going to prison or being shot by a firing squad (the preferred punishment).

    Evidently life in Russia ain't as great as it's cracked up to be. Maybe the Russians are actually paying him to be a secret agent? My guess is if he were lucky, he'll get run over by a bus. Otherwise torture may be in his future and deservingly so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes

      Matt, your comments are showing....

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: skelbint Re: Yes

        "Matt, your comments are showing...." Unlike you and your ovine buddies I don't hide behind AC. I do note that your response is of your usual fact-free and contributionless level, though.

  14. Ilmarinen
    Unhappy

    "ready to return home to the US"

    He should not do so.

    The US cannot be trusted, it is a rouge state.

    And bullets in the back do not only happen in Russia.

    1. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Bullets not needed

      In the States they have a contractor hack your car's electronics and arrange for a completely mysterious and inexplicable accident. Did you know that Michael Hastings fractured his legs stomping on the disabled brake pedal? Based on my reading on the topic, I'm convinced Snowden is just a patsy and Greenwall is a gullible fool. Both of them are sincere, but easily manipulated, whereas Hastings was fundamentally out of control and had probably established (or was perceived as likely to son establish) a secure linkage to the real dirt.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "ready to return home to the US"

      The US cannot be trusted, it is a rouge state.

      I think you'll find it's mostly blue at the moment rather than red.

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: "ready to return home to the US"@LucreLout

        Just the opposite, a majority of both houses (the Senate and Congress) are Republican now. That would be red not blue.

  15. Bad Beaver
    Meh

    Dear Edward

    Just think of Chelsea. Stay safe.

  16. JustNiz

    Snowden must be mad wanting to return to the US.

    There is no way in hell he will get a fair trial since the US Gov are just dying to make an example of him.

    You can bet that any judge that Snowden gets will already know to play ball with the US Gov and automatically give Snowden the worst possible sentence.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      I hope it's just a PR stunt by his lawyer, asking for the impossible, then saying 'told you so' when it won't be forthcoming...

  17. Richard Altmann

    If

    the "Powers That Are" would not have absolutly loved the idea of Lindsay Mills to go and see her boyfriend, it would not have happened. This is the Art of War. The PTA will have to do nothing and he will hand himself in. Madam will be bored very soon but can´t go back because she would have left the hero down. She will nag him until he gives in and turns himself over. While Edward is no longer avaible for interviews, Mme Mills rakes in her 15mins of Stardom revenue. The PTA gets to Snowden for free and for no effort If it was not so romantic (girl following boy into exile) and tragic (boy gets killed, leaves soon to be superrich Lindsay Mills)one could come to the conclusion that it all has been arranged.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: If

      Lindsay Mills is not under indictment or even investigation, so within the confines of local immigration laws, she is free to go to Russia, or anywhere else she wants to go. That she is going abroad to be with someone who is wanted in the U.S. is not a crime, so the U.S. government might surveil her in her travels or try to plant a bug in her luggage or something, but they have no right to say that she can't go abroad to spend her time with Edward Snowden, Jack the Ripper or anyone else.

  18. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Dear Mr. Snowden:

    Just stay in Russia for now. If you get tried under the Espionage Act (which Obama uses more than all the other Presidents since the passing of the act--COMBINED) then all your reasons for doing what you did will become inadmissable. You will be tried solely on whether you leaked classified data (which you did) and convicted. Then, given your high profile and awareness of classified programs, you will probably be sent to the Florence, Colorado "Supermax" facility, or at the very least a federal maximum security prison.

    Stay abroad, at least until a new administration comes in that is less peeved at you for outing their bad deeds.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He has a desire to return

    and making it publicly known is great negotiating tactic. Not that the "other side" wouldn't know...

  20. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Is he daft?

    For an intelligant man it seems a very dim thing to do.

    Once in US will he live long enough for the justice system to do its business?

    Alternatively will it give the House of Reps and/or House of Congress to award him the highest award to a citizen defending the constitution of his nation?

    Maybe it will just keep oodles and oodles of lawyers, judges and legal beagles employed and in the dosh for decades to com?

  21. x 7

    He'll be treated fairly in the same way as David Kelly was treated fairly until he was found dead.

    There won't be a trial - too embarrassing. Instead there will be a highly convenient suicide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention Robin Cook, Blair didn't even go to his funeral.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Holograms!

    He could 'return' as one of those ultra life-like holograms and attend court at no risk.

    You know, like those 9/11 hologram planes that hit the WTC!

    </sarc>

  23. ukgnome
    Thumb Up

    Best phone endemol

    Seriously, this has game show written all over it.

    It can all finish with a worldwide phone vote that will either see him wearing an orange jumpsuit and getting whisked off to god knows where. Or, if he is super lucky then he could win the star prize as the face of ford or something similar.

    Fingers on buzzards!

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    You're only as 'un-guilty' as the Government wants you to be

    Yous pays your money

    Yous takes your chances...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given another Bush might be in the white house soon I'd say his chances of a fair trial in the future are weak.

  26. have a laf

    he should go strait to jial no trial

    joe publicic dose not need to know how the securty services work

    as the first peaple they blame for a securty faliea is the securty services

    having done the odd thing for govement securtry it would scare you to whant gose on in the backroom

    ps have been involed in walking over the ira attack on heathroo ??? having walked over the mortors the day before are wee bad

    1. DasWezel
      Facepalm

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I for one cannot pummel the downvote button on your particular opinion hard enough.

      Some of Joe Public are very interested in why we should unknowingly sacrifice our privacy to an arm of government that simply says "trust us, because you don't need to know".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You should go straight to gaol, no trial.

      For crimes against the English language.

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