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Former Homeland Security secretary Napolitano opposes clemency for Snowden

Former Homeland Security secretary Napolitano opposes clemency for Snowden

Janet Napolitano, former secretary of Homeland Security, said during a segment on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she is opposed to the idea of clemency for Edward Snowden.

From NBC News/Meet the Press:

Former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano flatly rejected the idea of clemency for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with theft of government property and unauthorized disclosure of defense secrets.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Napolitano said “Snowden has exacted quite a bit of damage and did it in a way that violated the law. I think he’s committed crimes and I think that the damage we’ll see now and we’ll see it for years to come.”

She added “from where I sit today, I would not put clemency on the table at all…..I would rule it out. He has, by individual fiat, leaked very extensive information.”

She said that when she served as Homeland Security secretary, President Barack Obama was “very clear with me” that “there needed to be discussion and open dialogue about the balance between privacy and our privacy values then and security. And remember, these are both important values. There is a right balance to be struck here.”

But Snowden, she said, “just decided to go off on his own. And he did exact quite a bit of damage in my judgment.”

Both the New York Times and The Guardian have recently published editorials calling on President Obama to offer clemency or other plea bargain or deal for Snowden, who is currently living in Russia on temporary asylum.

Previous statements from the White House however have indicated that such a deal for the former NSA contractor would seem highly unlikely.

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“She said that when she served as Homeland Security secretary, President Barack Obama was “very clear with me” that “there needed to be discussion and open dialogue about the balance between privacy and our privacy values then and security. And remember, these are both important values. There is a right balance to be struck here.””

Balance? I love how big government statists view constitutional protections as a hindrance at best and optional at worst.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    If The Founders were to be believed, the balance should be always tipped in favor of the We The People.

    To paraphrase, someone said that when people fear the government, we have tyranny. When the government fears the people, we have liberty.

    So… when was the last time this government feared us?

    (crickets)

Jim, err, Janet is entitled to his/her opinion, otherwise, he/she has no say so concerning a damn thing, outside of her heading a college/uni.

Even if clemency was warranted regarding the domestic violations exposed, the revelations going to foreign policy seem not to warrant any protection from prosecution. The latter was nefarious and illegal.

I oppose clemency for Janet.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | January 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

The key word “former” – so they can help spread the propaganda better?

Still so queer that dead tree media would have any opinion at all on this matter…..they must be covering for something….

I wonder what Santa got Janet for Christmas …. think it was a new Lady Schick?

My personal opinion is that Mr. Snowden did the people of America a great favor in showing them the reach of the government into their lives. I also believe that he revealed far to much about American policy to our enemies.

The only proper response, in my view, is to say “Thank you Mr. Snowden for your service to the American people. Now, if you would be so kind as to sit in this electric chair, our business will be over with shortly.”

    Sanddog in reply to David Yotham. | January 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    And what of the people who authorized, had knowledge of and participated in those programs? Any “chair” for them?

    Personally, I would prefer that any official or employee who had to swear an oath to the constitution and who knew about, authorized or willingly participated in said programs should receive the harshest punishment long before the person who blabbed about it.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Sanddog. | January 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Right you are!

      If they were military people, they have a duty to refuse to obey an illegal order.

      As for supporting and defending the Constitution, it’s an all or nothing proposition.

      Hell, instead of annual bullsh!t diversity training, maybe gummint employees should have to attend an 8-hour class on the Constitution. Just sayin’…

Gee, Janet, if you and others hadn’t been doing a great amount of damage yourselves, maybe he wouldn’t have had to. Just saying.

In the absence of definitively limited charges, or a conviction to be “pardoned”, the term “clemency” doesn’t mean a whole lot.

A contrarian point of view: Snowden disclosed classified U.S. documents and absconded to China, the Russia. Seemingly, he wants to return to the U.S.

I’ve read that he has released only 1% of the documents he stole. If, by giving him immunity, the U.S. might secure the other 99%, would that not be worth it.

The CIA could kill him later. But he would not release all the documents to the U.S., for just that reason.

We knew all along our gov’t has been spying on us. It doesn’t take a tax form to know this.

Edward Snowden has betrayed his country. Period.

Time for black ops to seal his lips for good or, at least, send him to Siberia to study global warming intel.

Henry Hawkins | January 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I haven’t seen my take on Snowden. Reaction has been binary between hail him as a hero or hang him as a traitor. These are not mutually exclusive. Snowden is a martyr. He shined a necessary light on a disturbing aspect of our government, but broke serious laws doing so.

We can hail him as a hero, but we must also punish the lawbreaking, because if we don’t then future whistle blowers may be far more wreckless in what they steal and reveal. We must understand that a considerable amount of stolen data remains out there somewhere and the most damaging may not have been released yet.

So, hail him, try him, imprison him. He’s a martyr.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    One could also assert that what he did was a revolutionary act, fully line with The Founders’ usurpation of British rule, based on excesses and violations of human liberty. I just wish there were 50 more like him.

    The Free Press should be acting as the Constitutionally empowered “watchdog” of government and nipping these things in the bud before they become excess. However, that watchdog has become a willing and complicit “lapdog” and merely nuzzles the hand of power that feeds it. The only time the Free Press makes an appearance is when one of their own toadies or apparatchiks are targeted by the Regime.

    So, absent any other regulating mechanism on runaway power, we need the Edward Snowdens among us who are fearful of government to do what most of know is not lawful but is necessary.

Henry Hawkins | January 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Napolitano can keep walking, but one thing is undeniable: Janet Reno was HOT.

I’m not sure what the point of contention here is, if Snowden wanted to seriousily harm America, he certainly could. These retarded people are negotiating with a guy who has a gun to their head and pretending that they have the leverage. They only have leverage in that Snowden is so patriotic that he judiciously releases information to serve his limited goals. If Snowden wanted to force the issue, he could arbitrarily release 10% of the load. Given the things the government does, there are bounds to be tons of things that shock the conscience of average Americans. An irrevocable tainting of political authority of whomever he targets. just like what happened to Patreaus.

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