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US Charges Snowden with Espionage in Secret Complaint; Asks Hong Kong to Detain

By Peter Finn and Sari Horwitz | Friday, June 21, 2013 | Washington Post

Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said.

The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.


Poll: Do you agree with the U.S. government's decision to charge NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage?

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I think he is already in Iceland

It would be VERY dumb to announce 'a plane may take him to Iceland tomorrow' - perfect info for a drone. Also announced the owner of the plane?

Seems they want to force Snowden

to show his hand...and to scare any future whistle-blowers.

At some point americans must take a stand against this kind of tyranny. We do not have long.

jury nullification

Snowden has one thing going for him that Bradley Manning didn't, he's a civilian, which means he'll have to get convicted by a jury of his peers.

I think we should try to plaster the state of virginia with jury nullification literature, the kind of stuff that instructs people not to tell the court that they would nullify, to keep their mouth shut all the way until they get on the jury, then to simply vote NOT GUILTY. all we have to do is get at least one person into that jury.

hopefully he can escape extradiction somehow, but I think we should start flooding Virginia with this kind of stuff now.

If he's ever brought back to

If he's ever brought back to the US, he won't see a jury trial. He'll be tried in secret and quietly shipped off to Guantanamo.

i don't think so

that would be a huge step for the gov't to take publicly. I could imagine them having the CIA take him out quietly, or kidnap him secretly and throw him in a hole somewhere never to be heard of again, etc, but if they do bring him back through actual procedural extradition, they will give him a jury trial since they can't do a military tribunal since he's a US citizen and is not actually a member of the military. there is still that veneer of protection if the gov't' gets him that way. if they want to take him out they'll do it through covert means, if they actually get him officially extradited they'll publicly play by the rules.

What's BEST for him is to leave HK and go...

to Iceland for asylum, if they'll have him, and I hope they do. What a beacon of hope for all humanity that would be.

It's my sense that if Edward Snowden makes no contact with the world within a week or so, or some understood specific period of time, then all that information will just slide right into the public view for all the world to see. Who knows with that information could be. Could it be useful and truthful information about certain politicians or even about the president? But, hey, they have nothing to hide, right?

Edward Snowden has known for some time that his life would be held in the balance, God willing, that he could get all this information out, so that the public would be able to judge for themselves.

Even my recalcitrant mother sees him as an underdog, and someone she is now rooting for, as are millions of people around the world.

The fate of the American people

So, this is the fate of the American people...
If you tell your Government its doing something "wrong", such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden did, the Government come at your with full force, while ignoring the real threats to our LIBERTIES.
Knowing what will happen...at some point we all will eventually have to face this BEAST, and with boldness, give it the middle finger, like Manning and Snowden did.
All Americans are Manning and Snowden, whether they know it or not.
The righteous are BOLD as a lion.

He would already be dead if they could have found

him before he left the county and before he could spill the beans. Interesting how our govt tracks every word, email, phone call, surveillance cameras everywhere, and yet he slipped out of the country.

So, it obvious the real intent of the surveillance is to stop the good people and assist the tyranny! I simply MUST snicker at their stupidity and am grateful that every once and a while, we win one...

Federal prosecutors... Who

Federal prosecutors... Who decided to file those charges and why? Who signed it?

How can it be espionage when

How can it be espionage when it benefits American Citizens and 70% of Americans are grateful for what he did?

The government NEVER goes after those who caused great deaths

As in Fast and Furious....nah.....just go after Edward Snowden who has killed NOONE...

Fast and Furious



Shouldn't the ones in Government that want to make the illegals against over 80% of the citizens wishes be charged? What about the ones that where arming the Gangs and Drug Cartels or the ones who have been spying on we the people. Why do those criminals get off scott free??

Government get pants pulled down, seeks secret revenge.

Government theater would be comedic if the results weren't so tragic.

Either way the entertainment is over-priced.

Free includes debt-free!

Accessory to the crime

As I understand it, Snowden has admitted to spying on the American people with the government's consent.
So, I suppose government officials who authorized the surveillance program could be accessories to the crime of espionage.


Because none of it is Espionage. Unless you'd like to start blaming this on some foreign entity or government.

Espionage on U.S. citizens

Appears the U.S. government is becoming a "foreign entity," estranged to its people by spying on non-criminals.

He's leaving...

Iceland-Bound Jet for Edward Snowden 'Could Take Off Tomorrow'


Hopefully the Icelandic government gives him asylum.

Be safe Edward Snowden...

He's not leaving UNTIL he gets the permission from ICELAND

for asylum, and they haven't given that permission....yet.

Even if they do, I'm not sure HK will stand up and allow Edward Snowden to leave their country.

What will HK do is the question.

If they want to save face, they will ignore the requests and just say they don't want to be involved. They, then, won't offer asylum, but they won't stop him from leaving the country.

THAT would be their way of getting even with the US who spied on THEM!

SteveMT's picture

Iceland will not say anything until Snowden gets there first.

"To apply for asylum in Iceland, the individual in question must be present in Iceland and make the application in his or her own name," a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said.


When will charges be brought against James Clapper (the director of national intelligence) who lied under oath to congress stating the NSA did not spy on US citizens?

He is the one that belongs behind bars, not Snowden.

Manning / Snowden 2016

Anybody wanna make some bumper stickers?

Technically, one can only be

Technically, one can only be pardoned after being convicted, so the petition should've been to drop all charges instead.

Made it!

100,047 signatures as of now.

As of now

It only needs 5579 more signatures to achieve the goal, IF tptb don't decide to raise it to 1,000,000.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

We'll see their

1 million and raise them 500,000.

Coming to a head

I think that a lot of the American people are stunned and getting angry about this. Of course we knew that they would have to charge him but it still galls. You have a government that has already broken the law (4th amendment) having the nerve to keep pushing this. Bradley Manning and now Edward Snowden. I'm sure that in time they will both be considered heroes in our history.

They have us fighting right and left. The real and ongoing battle is always tyranny versus liberty. I am optimistic because America was born in that battle on the side of liberty. I hope and actually believe that the American spirit will redeem liberty here and all around the world.

According to the MSM Pundits he "defected" to China

So, why did they ask HONG KONG to detain him?

The fact of the matter is that Hong Kong enjoys virtual political independence from the Chinese government.

I guess saying that, "Snowden is seeking refuge in the most libertarian territory in the world," just doesn't sound as good as, "Snowden has defected to China."

What would Judge Napolitano.....recommend

that Edward Snowden do? The Judge thought it was good that he was in another country. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to speak like he has...so far.

But, what would Judge N. advise Edward to do now?

I think he will say something, I hope, soon.

He committed a petty crime, imo, to inform & save this country. He is hoping that something good will come of his sacrifice. I believe it already has.

I say...Edward...........GO TO ICELAND........as quick as you can, somehow, someway.

Find some way. Hopefully, the Chinese will turn the other way.