Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Snowden: Petraeus Disclosed "More Highly Classified" Information Than I Did
The New American ^ | 06 December 2016 | C. Mitchell Shaw

Posted on 12/06/2016 1:42:11 PM PST by VitacoreVision

In an interview with Katie Couric for Yahoo Global News, Edward Snowden (shown) said what many already know: America has a “two-tiered system of justice.” People with political value and government connections are handled with kid gloves when they mishandle or disclose classified information, even when it is for their own gain, while others — those with no political value or government connections — are given the iron fist for mishandling or disclosing classified information, even if it is for the public good.

Answering a question about what a plea deal would look like in his case, Snowden said he wasn’t “exactly sure” since he is not a lawyer. He continued by saying:

But the idea here is when most people — who are involved in government or the intelligence community — are involved in some sort of case where the government goes “This person was acting in good faith, they were trying to do right by the American people, but they did break the law,” no charges are ever brought or they’re brought very minimally.

Couric asked Snowden if he was “suggesting there’s a double standard between high-ranking officials and lower-level employees” in the government, Snowden said, “I’m not sure I’m suggesting it; I think everyone’s aware of it.” He went on to say:

We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States, where people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments, whereas people who are from more vulnerable populations — they live in more precarious situations, they're an inner-city youth — will be very much tread upon by our justice system.

While the Yahoo article points out that “Snowden did not cite any examples” of those who acted in good faith and were either not charged or were charged “minimally,” it is reasonable that his years in the intelligence community give him experience to speak to the subject.

Another aspect of this which was not covered in the interview is that when leaks of classified information benefit the government, no one is charged. As this writer reported in a previous article about the Justice Department’s refusal to indict Hillary Clinton despite a mountain of evidence that she broke the law and risked national security:

In 2012, Bloomberg reported that “Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.” That means that in the months and years leading up to the FBI's inexcusable decision to not recommend the indictment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information during her time in office, Obama's Justice Department charged and prosecuted people in government for doing exactly what Secretary Clinton did.
Ok, not exactly what Clinton did. In fact, both Bloomberg and the Washington Times asserted that Obama's Department of Justice has used the Espionage Act to punish whistleblowers to send a message to anyone considering blowing a whistle on illegal government activities and programs. That message is clear: Inform the media about government misdeeds and spend the lion's share of your life behind bars. So the difference between Secretary Clinton and many of those prosecuted by Obama's DOJ is that they acted out of a sense of patriotism, and she acted out of a sense of self-service.

That article quoted Bloomberg as reporting:

The indictments of six individuals under that spy law [the Espionage Act ] have drawn criticism from those who say the president’s crackdown chills dissent, curtails a free press and betrays Obama’s initial promise to “usher in a new era of open government.”

And the Washington Times reported:

However, when leaks to the press benefit the administration, prosecutions from the Jusitce Department are absent. For example, AG Holder was not prosecuting anyone over who leaked information about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The Justice Department has yet to charge anyone over leaking information regarding the U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran as well as an al-Qaida plan to blow up a U.S. bound airplane. In fact, the Justice Department ended up appointing one of two attorneys to the cyberattacks investigation who was an Obama donor.

Snowden’s remarks about people who — as he puts it — “are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources” are in sync with a trend of government punishing some crimes while either completely ignoring or rewarding others. Case in point? General Petraeus, who is being considered by president-elect Donald Trump for secretary of state. Snowden said:

Perhaps the best-known case in recent history here is General Petraeus who shared information that was far more highly classified than I ever did with journalists. And he shared this information not with the public for their benefit, but with his biographer and lover for personal benefit — conversations that had information, detailed information, about military special-access programs, that’s classified above top secret, conversations with the president and so on.
When the government came after him, they charged him with a misdemeanor. He never spent a single day in jail, despite the type of classified information he exposed.

While he was director of the CIA, General Petraeus gave a black book of highly classified “code word” documents (which included the names of “covert officers” and notes of the meetings of the National Security Council) to his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair.

Instead of going to prison for revealing information that is “classified above top secret,” General Petraeus — who also admitted that he “made a false statement” to the FBI about his criminal actions — was allowed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count of mishandling classified information and given probation and a fine.

Four years after his crimes came to light, Petraeus is being considered for the same office Hillary Clinton held while he was committing his crimes. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state offered the American people two valuable lessons. The first is that having someone in that office who is willing to risk national security for personal gain is a bad idea. The second is that what Snowden says is true: Politically connected insiders are not held accountable for their crimes. In fact, they are usually rewarded.

As another example of someone who is “well-connected to government” getting a pass for crimes, Snowden cited the case of General James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence. In March 2013, Clapper testified under oath and before Congress that the NSA does not collect any data at all on American citizens. Since it is now known that the NSA does indeed do exactly what Clapper said it does not do, it is a self-evident fact that he perjured himself. As Snowden said:

We had the most senior intelligence official in the United States, General James Clapper, who lied to the American people and all of Congress — on camera and under oath — in the Senate in a famous exchange with [Senator] Ron Wyden. He wasn’t even charged. But giving false testimony to Congress under oath, as he did, is a felony. It’s typically punished by three to five years in prison.

Though many in Congress called for Clapper to be held accountable for his false testimony, Snowden is correct: Clapper was never charged and has been allowed to continue in his position as director of National Intelligence. He resigned in the wake of Trump’s election, effective at the end of President Obama’s term.

So, both Petraeus and Clapper — while serving their own interests — broke the law. Clapper was never charged and has been allowed to remain in his position. Petraeus was allowed to resign, pay a fine, and serve a two-year period of probationm and is now being considered for secretary of state.

Snowden, on the other hand, served his country by revealing the unconstitutional and illegal actions of the government spying on one and all by the mass surveillance being conducted which vacuums up all unencrypted phone calls, texts, e-mails, private messages, browsing histories, and more. He is a wanted man who has had to flee his country to avoid certain imprisonment and possible execution. A campaign to petition President Obama to grant Snowden a full pardon is gaining ground, but the fact that he would even need a pardon in the first place says a lot about the validity of his assertion that there is “a two-tiered system of justice in the United States” that allows “people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources” to get away with their crimes while others — like Snowden — are “very much tread upon by our justice system.”

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: edwardsnowden; petraeus

1 posted on 12/06/2016 1:42:11 PM PST by VitacoreVision
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

Yes, but he released it to his half-wit mistress/biographer. Not to our enemies.

2 posted on 12/06/2016 1:44:48 PM PST by pissant ((Deport 'em all))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

3-tiered actually, since Hillary’s crimes were worse than Petraeus, but she received no punishment at all.

So it seems to work like this:

1) Leftist elites = no punishment
2) Right-wing elites = light punishment
3) Everyone else = full punishment

3 posted on 12/06/2016 1:45:12 PM PST by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Boogieman

Petraeus pleads guilty to mishandling classified material, will face probation

Petraeus On Mishandling Classified Information: ‘I Made a Serious Mistake’

4 posted on 12/06/2016 1:46:48 PM PST by VitacoreVision
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision
There is only one organization one can "blow one's whistle" to and receive whistleblower protection. That is Congress.

Going to the press, Wikileaks, or the Russians doesn't count.

5 posted on 12/06/2016 1:50:04 PM PST by USNBandit (Sarcasm engaged at all times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

Hey Ed!

The data wasn’t released to the public with malicious intent!

6 posted on 12/06/2016 1:50:12 PM PST by G Larry (America has the opportunity to return to God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pissant

“Yes, but he (Petraeus) released it to his half-wit mistress/biographer. Not to our enemies.”

Essentially true (no compromise to our enemies), but Paula Broadwell is no half-wit. She is a West Point Graduate, who was serving as a Reserve Army Military Intelligence Officer with a TS/SCI clearance, who had been polygraphed.

As either a battlefield commanding general, or as CIA Director, it was within his legal authority to grant access.

They nailed him on a technicality (he did not volunteer the existence of his personal notebooks to FBI investigators), and used the affair scandal, and the threat of railroading his girlfriend, to coerce him into accepting a deal.

He was targeted for personal destruction, because he polled well as a potential Republican Presidential candidate.

7 posted on 12/06/2016 1:59:26 PM PST by BeauBo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

Snowden was a deliberate catastrophic compromise of US intelligence capabilities, to the whole world, including all of our enemies.

He did epic damage to our sources and methods of intelligence collection.

He should be executed.

8 posted on 12/06/2016 2:02:02 PM PST by BeauBo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BeauBo

If she is blowing a married General she ain’t too smart.

9 posted on 12/06/2016 2:04:22 PM PST by pissant ((Deport 'em all))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

His critique really applies more to Hillary than to Petraeus.

10 posted on 12/06/2016 2:08:45 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VitacoreVision

One released info to another former Army officer who also held security clearances and nothing classified was ever disclosed beyond that. That was wrong.

Manning disclosed classified info to the entire planet.

I guess Manning is confused about many things.

11 posted on 12/06/2016 2:16:16 PM PST by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pissant
Not to our enemies.

I suppose, if you consider the general American populace (you know, the ones being spied on for absolutely no reason) to be "the enemy", then I guess you are correct.

Personally, I'm thankful he did what he did. If he hadn't, We the People would have never known what our government was doing. THAT'S the shameful part of this.

12 posted on 12/06/2016 2:18:58 PM PST by dware (I love waking up in a world with President-elect Trump!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: pissant

“If she is blowing a married General she ain’t too smart.”

Smart women use sex to advance all the time - it is common.

Some smart women also have sex with married men for fun, or are attracted to powerful men. Smart men have affairs too, as they are also human.

It may not be good, but it does not mean that she is not smart.

Just getting into West Point in the minimum puts her in the top third of her year’s high school graduating class on the SAT. Realistically, she is likely to have been in much higher percentile.

13 posted on 12/06/2016 2:22:34 PM PST by BeauBo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: BeauBo

You can be academically smart and still dumb as a box of rocks. Smart people don’t delude themselves. A) Thinking they won’t get caught. B) purposely mishandling classified materials. C) Purposely effin up your friend’s marriage. d) Purposely breaking myriad military rules.

Wesley Clark was a top of the class student. The dumb bastard couldn’t think his way out of a wet napkin.

14 posted on 12/06/2016 2:32:43 PM PST by pissant ((Deport 'em all))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: dware

SO Russia, China, etc, get to know our classified materials? The NSA spying stuff was a small fraction of the crap this idiot released.

15 posted on 12/06/2016 2:38:04 PM PST by pissant ((Deport 'em all))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: pissant

Well it appears that we can both agree that Weasely Clark sucks!

16 posted on 12/06/2016 2:41:22 PM PST by BeauBo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BeauBo


17 posted on 12/06/2016 2:42:54 PM PST by pissant ((Deport 'em all))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: BeauBo

A lot of very intelligent folks are not reflective thinkers, by that I means they are directed towards whatever goal they have in mind, make a first order analysis and pursue that goal very effectively. These types tend to be decisive and also very often gamblers, or at least they are comfortable with taking chances if there is a good possibility of success. A good thing in a military commander.

Of course you also need the reflective thinkers. They are generally deeper thinkers and can often times see things the non-reflective types do not...but it comes at a price. They are slower to make a decision (as it takes to time to examine all of the possibilities) and often times actually not so good at making decisions at all, especially if there is risk. Hence those types are better suited to staff positions.

18 posted on 12/06/2016 4:20:45 PM PST by Frederick303
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson