The narrowly passed measure called on member states to protect the whistleblower from prosecution, which he sees as ‘a chance to move forward’.
The parliament voted 285-281 to pass a largely symbolic measure, a resolution that called on European Union member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender”.
Snowden has lived in exile in Russia since revealing secret US government surveillance programs in June 2013.
The European parliament is a directly elected legislature with members from all 28 EU member states. Its legislative authority is limited. The resolution amounted to a request that member states reject attempts by the US to arrest and prosecute Snowden.
“This is not a blow against the US government, but an open hand extended by friends,” Snowden tweeted. “It is a chance to move forward.” The US government did not, however, seem to see it that way…
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COMMENTARY: All legal wrangling aside, those public officials in the USA who want to try him under the Espionage Act of 1917 that would not allow him to argue in his own defense, while leaving the death penalty on the table are those who have something to hide and fear that he possesses incriminating evidence – incriminating against them.
The bigger, more powerful they are the harder they’ll fall – so killing him is their first option of defense against Edward Snowden ever testifying in a court of law. No one really believes that he gave everything to news agencies – the most agenda oriented organizations on the planet. So there must be stuff somewhere out there that can crumble individuals who grossly abused their powers against targeted individuals, groups, agencies and nations.
Documents can always be altered. What can’t be altered is a live person in a court room confirming/verifying what is in those documents. And that will never happen. Thus he’s a dead man walking – unless of course this entire fiasco was masterminded by USA intelligence agencies for whatever convoluted, clandestine reason.
Why Snowden would think that he could trust a news agency with USA classified documents is beyond my comprehension, and why he would leave it up to them to decide what gets published/leaked or not is again foolhardy on his part, and of course puts those individuals in danger for possessing it – and leaking it. Frankly, I was disappointed that so little has been released – only that which people, politicians and countries already pretty much knew – or should have.
So what was the point of it all? He didn’t save any lives; he didn’t stop torture; didn’t stop the dragnet surveillance; didn’t stop surveillance agencies from ruining the lives of innocent individuals. In fact, mostly everything is as it was before he left the NSA (National Security Agency). No policies have been changed except those involving keeping their corrupt policies and practices more secret than they were before.
I’m all for whistleblowers, and on the surface that what he appears to be, but to take classified material and give it to a news agency, then say he wants to come back to the USA and go to jail, doesn’t add up. Who has read that material and have they copied it or sent it onto somebody else? It almost appears that he’s asking for his life in exchange for the return of the material, and if he doesn’t get it, then more damaging intel will be released possibly upon his demise. But if it’s released, then those who release it would be dead people walking.
Being in the CIA, as he was, he must know that CIA, and military special operations kill people whom they deem a national security threat. So in effect, he not only risked his own life, but risked the lives of others who helped him. What will happen to them?
In a previous interview, Edward Snowden expressed concern that people would forget his plight/cause and all would be for nothing. They probably have, not simply because that’s what people do with news stories, but because he didn’t expose anything that shocked or rocked the planet and the institutions that rule it. Everybody just got more secretive, especially governments, and the populace of the world is still held hostage by the agencies he once worked for.
The European Parliament voted by a narrow margin in a symbolic, non-binding resolution to:
“drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender”
I didn’t even know that member states of the European Union had charged him with any crimes.
In the end I believe that Edward Snowden will be hailed as a whistleblower who didn’t pack much of a punch. I also believe that keeping him alive is in the best interests of all concerned – including those fearful of future disclosures.