MSNBC Host Expresses Disbelief Why Snowden Does Not Trust The Administration And Return For A Fair Trial

MSNBC has been criticized for becoming as an extension of the Obama White House in the way that Fox News was criticized as being an extension of the Bush White House. Recently, however, many have been alarmed by the degree of blind loyalty shown the president with hosts siding with the White House against press rights and attacking figures like Snowden. This open letter to Snowden by Melissa Harris-Perry however surprises as the host assures him that the Obama Administration will guarantee his rights if only he will return. This follows such scenes as a MSNBC commentator defending the Administration’s attack on press freedom but calling Holder the “Moses of Our Time.”

The letter seems almost mocking in tone for Snowden who will almost certainly face life imprisonment if he returns given the different treatment afforded people in America’s New Animal Farm system. The United States is no longer viewed by many around the world and within the country as a guarantor of civil liberties. Conversely, one can disagree with the actions taken by Snowden but he is viewed as a whistleblower and a hero by many around the world. What is striking is that we now have networks that seem to be deliver the official line and media spin for the government –something that was once ridiculed in other countries.  Yet, Harris-Perry says that she wants him to come home so she and others “can talk about something else” and assures him that the Obama Administration will treat him special due to the fact that you “made a spectacle of yourself.” Indeed, the only concern that she can think of is that our prisons are abusive, not anything to do with Obama or his policies.

Of course, the host does not mention that Obama still claims the right to pick and choose who gets a real trial and who goes to a military tribunal for a kangaroo court trial. She does not mention that Obama claims the right to kill any citizen that he decides is a threat to the United States. She also does not mention the Administration’s abusive use of classification authority to bar the use of evidence in cases and sweeping claims of nationals security privileges. Then there is the scorched earth campaign by Obama against whistleblowers. Then there are all of the powerful politicians irate over the embarrassment caused by Snowden in revealing their own complicity in the warrantless surveillance program and calling Snowden a “traitor” and spy. Yet, she simply cannot understand why Snowden does not trust Obama. After all, this is the Obama Administration . . . and this is now MSNBC.

64 thoughts on “MSNBC Host Expresses Disbelief Why Snowden Does Not Trust The Administration And Return For A Fair Trial”

  1. The other five or so whistleblowers who blew the whistle on the military NSA were ignored.

    Going back to 2000 (13 years of whistleblowers telling the media that the military was spying on ALL OF THE PEOPLE), the media ignored it.

    Now the Melissa media wants to focus on an NSA whistleblower all of a sudden.

    Not because of the story behind it (which should be the focus of journalism), but because SNOWDEN HAS THE EVIDENCE (ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller – 3).

    She has been told to slander and malign him to keep the evidence hidden behind a wall of ignoring it.

  2. BigFatMike: “Perhaps most important of all Snowden may have given plaintiffs standing in cases against NSA spying that the courts have tried to avoid. Now. federal courts may have to try and render decisions regarding important issues related to privacy, the 4th amendment and NSA spying.”

    Actually that alone is huge (thanks for the list, it add needed perspective). The use of “standing” by the SCOTUS has stymied a hearing on the constitutional legality of these programs. If we had a SCOTUS that valued law over politics and ideology that would be the showdown of the century, so far.

    His materials were the ones, probably, that also showed the intimate relationship between the NSA and, so far, Microsoft. All of those folks buying/using and trusting Microsoft because of their claims of enhanced encryption and privacy have now learned that the encryption keys were handed over to NSA before the product was even rolled out. All that talk of enhanced privacy and security in other aspects of the new products appears to be a tissue of lies. Normally, that would be fraud of some sort.

    Maize, welcome!

  3. BFM,

    I agree with your last 3 comments. Describing self defense as “blackmail”is just another attempt to marginalize him as a criminal, to keep us from musing over the real issue of an telligence operation that violates our Constitution and undermines the rule of law.

  4. ” now makes kill lists and have stated that American’s are fair game”

    I think the issue of blackmail regarding Snowden is distorted and exaggerated. From the first Snowden has warned the journalist he contacted not to let themselves become a ‘single point of failure’, ie not become the sole link to the facts of this story, because their lives would be in jeopardy.

    It may not be true that the US would murder anyone to prevent disclosure of the Snowden documents. But it is clear that Snowden believes the US would do exactly that.

    To me at least, it is possible to distinguish blackmail and warning that there are serious consequences to paid for murder.

    When one considers the ambiguity regarding US policy for assassination of enemies of the state, can anyone seriously blame Snowden. I think not.

  5. So what did Snowden really accomplish?

    If anyone needed any proof, Snowden showed that high administration officials are lying regarding NSA surveillance.

    Snowden forced elected officials to engage in discussions regarding the scope and constitutionality of NSA spying that they have been avoiding for at least a decade.

    Snowden forced serious consideration of the constitutionality and quality of FISA court decisions.

    Perhaps most important of all Snowden may have given plaintiffs standing in cases against NSA spying that the courts have tried to avoid. Now. federal courts may have to try and render decisions regarding important issues related to privacy, the 4th amendment and NSA spying.

    I think anyone would have to admit that is pretty good work for a Maryland boy barely past adolescence.

  6. Maize,
    Welcome aboard. Nurses and health care providers are always welcome here. I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that said, “Love A Nurse PRN.” And I did. For 55 years.

    1. Maize,

      I join with OS in welcoming your comments and think they were on point. When it comes to judging motivation we humans are all guessing. Sometimes it’s even hard to understand our own motives for a given action.

  7. “The 6 Decisions That Could Have Saved Trayvon Martin’s Life”

    It seem to me the most important decision is not listed. The legislature could have decided against ‘stand your ground’ and maintained a more reasonable self defense rule that requires the defender to retreat, or at least try.

    Of course I can’t prove what Zimmerman knew. But I would bet anything that any ‘wannabe’ cop with a concealed carry permit would know the law of self defense and act on it.

    A reasonable self defense law would likely have separated Zimmerman and Martin and saved a life.

    I blame the legislature and a dangerous law as much as any other single fact.

  8. Nick, (from Wiki)

    The name “Tokyo Rose” is most strongly associated with Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American citizen born to Japanese immigrants. D’Aquino broadcast as “Orphan Ann” during the 15-20 minute D.J. segment of the 75-minute program The Zero Hour on Radio Tokyo (NHK). The program consisted of propaganda-tinged skits and slanted news reports as well as popular American music.

    The U.S. military detained Toguri for a year before releasing her for lack of evidence. Department of Justice officials agreed that her broadcasts were “innocuous”. But when Toguri tried to return to the US, a popular uproar ensued, prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to renew its investigation of Toguri’s wartime activities. Her 1949 trial resulted in a conviction on one of eight counts of treason. In 1974, investigative journalists found that key witnesses claimed they were forced to lie during testimony. Toguri was pardoned by U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1977

  9. Nick,

    Time to brush up on your history. Toyko Rose was pardoned. The case against her was not legitimate. And American servicemen who did the same broadcasting defended her.

    Surprising a history teacher doesn’t know about this…

  10. So sorry to not respond as frequently as I absorb the blog(daily).
    I am not a laywer no connected with any LEO’s. I am frequently in awe and intimidated toward the multitude of reflective comments/opinions that is characteristic of Prof JT blog and the regular contributors. Started following the blog on almost daily basis when the Prof was a contributor on Keith Olbermann show.
    I work in health care and frequently need to do quick Pt assessments. I did admire MP until her comments re: a person whom I do believe deserves the worlds protection and care. Please consider a possible motive for her verbalizations:maybe it is her attempt to allow various audience to displace their agression. Unfortunately the States MSM and it’s consumers only understands in simple black and white cognitive process. What happened to the Florida trial is a trajedy(non-legal perspective),I think the MHP is helping to manipulate her public for he focus on Florida.
    Please be kind in any response to me,I have a very fragile cyber-ego!
    Thanks for allowing me to contribute…

  11. Standard Government Blackmail: If you do such-and-such, we will punish you in the following ways …

    Secret Government Blackmail: If you do such-and-such that we refuse to even tell you about, then we will punish you in ways that we won’t tell you about until we figure out how much we can get away with after we have you incommunicado in custody somewhere.

    Edward Snowden Blackmail: If you in the government commit crimes against me and/or my fellow citizens, then I will inform my fellow citizens of the manner in which you do this.

    It seems to me that the authors of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights had an inordinate fondness for Edward Snowden Blackmail and a rather jaundiced — if not hostile — attitude toward the government variety. How quaint.

  12. One more click:
    The 6 Decisions That Could Have Saved Trayvon Martin’s Life
    (Note the last one. ): )

    It’s impossible to know whether it was Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman who threw the first punch in the confrontation that ended Martin’s life. The jury apparently relied on that ambiguity to acquit Zimmerman of murdering Martin, because he said he killed the 17-year-old in self defense. But despite the confusion, there are plenty of facts that both sides can agree on. While Zimmerman may have been found not guilty, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t responsible. Trayvon Martin would be alive today, but for at least six decisions made or not made by Zimmerman and the state of Florida.

    1. Zimmerman could have decided not to follow Martin.
    For starters, George Zimmerman is not a law enforcement official trained in spotting suspicious or criminal behavior. Zimmerman told a 911 operator that Martin seemed suspicious and appeared to be “on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” It was not 3 a.m. when Zimmerman spotted Martin. Rather, it was early evening, a time when people typically “walk around, looking about.” Had Zimmerman simply gone about his business, we never would have heard about either of them.

    2. Zimmerman could have listened to the 911 operator and not followed Martin.
    Talking to an operator, Zimmerman complained, “These a-holes, they always get away.” He later narrated, “Shit, he’s running.”

    “Are you following him?” the operator asked.

    Zimmerman confirmed he was. “Ok, we don’t need you to do that,” the operator told him. If Zimmerman had simply let Martin run away, he’d be alive today. Martin, it later emerged, found Zimmerman as deeply suspicious as Zimmerman found him. Only one of those judgments turned out to be correct.

    3. If Zimmerman had not been secretly armed, he probably wouldn’t have followed Martin.
    Zimmerman knew that he had an advantage in any possible confrontation with a neighbor: He was concealing a weapon. If a fight started, and Zimmerman began losing, he could pull out the gun and shoot his opponent. The state of Florida allows Zimmerman to patrol his neighborhood armed, which emboldened him.

    4. If Zimmerman’s weapon had not been hidden, Martin probably would have dealt with him differently.
    When a man follows another, tensions rise. One way or another, those tensions led to a physical confrontation. But if Florida law barred concealed carry, Martin would have been able to see that Zimmerman was armed. Zimmerman defenders suspect Martin threw the first punch. But even if that’s true, would he have done so if he knew Zimmerman was carrying a loaded weapon?

    5. Zimmerman could have been barred from carrying a weapon.
    Zimmerman had a long history of violence, including a restraining order for domestic violence, felony charges of resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer (the charge was pled down to a misdemeanor and then closed; Zimmerman’s dad was a magistrate at the time). He was bounced from a job as a bouncer for being too aggressive with patrons, the New York Daily News reported. And a family member accused him of a pattern of sexual molestation. He wasn’t convicted of any felony charges, which could have barred him from a gun license, but in some societies, people would determine that such a history makes someone less than an ideal candidate for the right to carry around a hidden loaded weapon.

    6. Zimmerman could have not shot and killed Martin.
    Regardless of who threw the first punch, a series of aggressive decisions by Zimmerman led toward the fight that broke out. Zimmerman therefore bears some responsibility for the altercation. If one starts a fight and loses, the result is generally a bloody nose, a fat lip, a black eye, a concussion or even a broken bone. That’s the price one pays for getting into a fight, and it tends to be a deterrent to starting a fight. Zimmerman could have chosen to take his lumps and rethink the decisions he had made that landed him where he was. Instead, he pulled out his gun, squeezed the trigger and killed Trayvon Martin.

    7.Of course, there’s a seventh decision that could have been made that night — Trayvon Martin could have chosen to not defend himself.

    It’s important to note that the jury’s verdict sends a message to anyone confronted or pursued by another man: If you engage the confrontation, even an act of self defense could be used as justification to shoot and kill you. What led up to the confrontation in the Martin-Zimmerman case was ruled irrelevant; only Zimmerman’s state of mind at the time he shot him was to be taken into account by the jury. That doesn’t leave someone being followed through their neighborhood many options other than fighting back.

  13. There is a criminal Complaint against Snowden in federal court in Virginia. It cites generally three statutes and then refers to an Affidavit attached which is Sealed, secret, not public. Show me your papers Obama! You say this guy is a spy? For what enemy or enema? He gave secrets? A-Bomb? What secrets? He revealed that you lie about our spy programs which spy on citizens and allies alike. MSNBC– MidSouthNoBrainCudzoo.

  14. It’s not always the talking head that matters it is the persons who approve the content that do.

    One of these days news outlets will stop being in bed with politicians, but when you have agendas driven by either the personal interests of the media ownership or perceived profitability by catering to a particular demographic who wants a skewed sense of the truth then I don’t see this happening in the US anytime soon.

  15. Leejcaroll, below is the relevant excerpt from a Greenwald column. Sling’s contention that it’s insurence is correct. Our country and its president now makes kill lists and have stated that American’s are fair game. If Snowden wasn’t worried about that he probably wouldn’t be looking for asylum. The fact that America pressured half a dozen countries to impede and and help detain the president of a sovereign country in order to find Snowden is unprecedented. Snowden needs an insurance policy if anyone does.

    That’s why I was wondering if civilian Americans could be hauled up before a military tribunal. I suspect that Snowden might be the test case of just what can happen to a citizen these days. Held in a domestic black-site? Aggressive interrogation (torture)? Military tribunal? I don’t know the limits to the governments legal treatment of civilian citizens anymore because there may be (more) secret legal opinions regarding such things that we don’t know about yet.

    I suspect that the law may have been changed (and that’s the problem, one can’t be sure) so that delivering your disclosures to a major outlet, holding a press conference at a local TV studio and waiting for the formal legal process to get underway may not be the existentially secure way to deal with making big disclosures these days.

    “Snowden has information that could be the US’s ‘worst nightmare,’ journalist says”

    ” “Snowden has enough information to cause more harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had in the history of the United States,” Guardian blogger and columnist Glenn Greenwald told the Argentinean daily La Nacion in an interview published Saturday. “But that is not his objective.” ….

    He told the newspaper that Snowden has already distributed thousands of documents and has made sure several people around the world have all the files he possesses.

    “If anything were to happen to him, those documents would be made public,” Greenwald said. “That’s his insurance policy.”

    “The U.S. government should be on its knees every day praying that nothing happens to Snowden, because if something happens to him, all the information would be revealed and that would be its worst nightmare,” he added.”

    1. I understand your point and there certainly are reasons to question the security of all of us from government intrusion and maybe retaliation in who knows where, who knows what as unfortunately it is becoming (already is) a reality to the used to be paranoia of ‘the government is listening to me and I don’t know what all they could do to me, or where, or how’.
      I do however like the idea of calling it insurance but it still feels to me like blackmail as well. (Maybe in this case synonymous): if you do this, then you’d better watch out I am going to make you pay by hurting (you, i.e. the country)

  16. Lee:
    “I am not sure if he is traitor, hero, or somewhere in between but blackmail places him more in the former category of traitor.”

    Blackmail – Gimmie cash / sweeties / something valuable or I’ll spill
    I think the whole theory of blackmail is that the blackmailer will be in a position to enjoy the proceeds.

    Insurance – If you kill me, the spill will happen.

    The nature of any trigger mechanism is unknown. It is unlikely to be a simple classic server-based “dead man’s hand” as he would be well aware that all communications traffic from/with anywhere near him would intercepted and traced.

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