October 23rd, 2014
07:04 PM ET

Why Edward Snowden should agree to stand trial in the U.S.

By Fareed Zakaria

The most striking aspect of Snowden’s substantive revelations on foreign intelligence is their limited consequences. That’s because they mostly showed the U.S. government doing secretly what it has said it is doing publicly — fighting the Taliban, spying in countries such as Pakistan and searching for al-Qaeda cells around the globe. The disclosures also revealed routine foreign intelligence operations. Some of these are justified, such as hacking into Chinese computer systems — something that Beijing does to other countries on a much larger scale. Others were unwise, such as tapping the phones of the leaders of Brazil and Germany. But none of these are morally scandalous. Bernard Kouchner, the former French foreign minister, said at the time of the revelations: “Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop, too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.”

The Obama administration should make clear that Snowden would get an open, civilian trial in the United States. And Snowden should come home and make his case.

Read the Washington Post column


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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Blue Max

    Wrong ! You got it all wrong again. Modi is a murderer. A genocidalist. He should be dragged to The Hague for concurrent trials for the genocides in Gujarat and Indian Occupied Kashmir.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  2. Dooifus

    Snowden is an angel compared to our corrupt government and media.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, Dooifus. How true that is!

      October 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Reply
      • Mark J

        Well put? Up your a zz?

        October 24, 2014 at 12:59 am |
      • rupert

        Please Mark J, we already have far too many people here using that nasty Tea Party lingo even if it is only two or three. It appears that Blue Saffron, Rooster, Travis are one in the same plus using other peoples' names here, including mine.

        October 24, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  3. chri§§y

    Snowden has already made his case! And no i dont think he would get a fair trial at all! The NSA has shown to be ineffective to this country unless youre counting its agents snooping on their significant others! They did NOT prevent 9/11 and they did NOT prevent the Boston Marathon Massacre! Those are two of the biggest terrorist attacks in this country! He!! they cant even prevent the j a c k a s s troll on this website from accessing our email information! STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS!

    October 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • Sky High

      Oh shut up. Lone wolf raypist from India.

      October 24, 2014 at 12:47 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Thank you, chrissy. You nailed it good!

      October 24, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  4. Allan Kinsman©

    Should Mr. Snowden come back it will be to jail time.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  5. Blue Saffron

    Bubba, you are not paying attention.

    There are 4 million muslims being subjected to genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir by Hindus. Hundreds of thousands have been killed.

    Over 20,000 muslims have been killed by hindus in Gujarat

    About 6 million Palestinian muslims have been made homeless and their lands taken away by jews in collaboration with Americans/British et al. One million have been killed.

    175 million muslims in India are living in oppression, subjugated by hindus and therefore seeking independence.

    300,000 muslims have been killed in Iraq by western forces

    250,000 muslims have been killed in Afghanistan by NATO.

    And you are worried about Snowden?
    What kind of values you were raised with? Don't you guys value human lives in India? Shame on your types.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      So pig?

      October 24, 2014 at 3:16 am | Reply
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Snowden probably will not return voluntarily.
    If he wants to regain the privilege of living in the USA, he should be tried and punished on his return.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      I do not think Snowden will return at all.

      October 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • Travis

        Did he whisper in your ear while in bed? LOL

        October 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • Mark J

        Gud 1 @ Travis

        October 24, 2014 at 1:00 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Probably not, unless – or until – there is a revolution.
        Still, Snowden made himself a star.

        October 24, 2014 at 7:06 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        For clarity, I should have written, 'he probably won't return..."
        I failed to anticipate the order of the posts.

        October 24, 2014 at 7:12 am |
      • banasy©

        Don't be absurd. I'm out of his league.

        October 24, 2014 at 10:55 am |
  7. Ferhat Balkan

    People like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are in many ways heroes. The people deserve to know the truth! If Snowden agrees to stand trial in the US, he'll no doubt be put in prison. The corrupt politicians in Washington are too scared of the knowledge he possesses. They know that the truth will put THEM on trial instead, so they want to lure him in and lock him away.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Mark J

      Are you stupid or what? Quit posting these nonsensical rants

      October 24, 2014 at 12:59 am | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron

    Fareed, you know well. Snowden's leaks revealed CIA had every Indian Consulate and Embassy in USA tapped. Most government buildings and Prime Minister's house in India were wired. Why do you think they were doing it? To listen to bhajan chants? Remember Godfather.. Keep your enemies closer? Eureka! Thanks to Snowden we found out that India was funding the bad guys globally. Paying hush money. Snowden is a hero!!!

    October 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
    • Sky High

      Shut up i diot

      October 24, 2014 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • Mark J

        Your Indian girlfriend just finished cleaning my d ik

        October 24, 2014 at 1:05 am |
  9. Terry

    Every paragrah he writes is h yphenated by Pakistan and China. Totally out of context. Get a life tiffin boy.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      Hi tiffin boy. Where is the rest of your fantasy family

      October 23, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Reply
      • Mark J

        I have humped your daughter. Your mother is next.

        October 24, 2014 at 1:06 am |
  10. Touchdown

    Snowden leaks point towards heavy NSA bugging of Indians, their political parties particularly BJP and SHIV SENA and their installations/Embassies and Consulates worldwide and instances of their double crossing Americans.

    Thanks to Snowden we found that India never shed its Soviet skin. India's energy/military/ problems makes it Iran/Middle East/Russia centric rather than American. But India needs access to American capital, technology and markets but is not willing to pay the price. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you are with us or with the Russians. Plus India is still a third world nation and its people are still not nor will ever be culturally and socially and intellectually a fit with Americans.

    October 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Agree @ Ferhat! One day hopefully, those same corrupt politicians will get exactly what they deserve and lets hope we get to see justice at that time!

    October 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  12. Touchdown

    Snowden leaks also tell us that Diego Garcia and Andaman Islands are chambers of horror for entertaining unlawfully detained guests.

    October 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  13. Blue Saffron

    It seems to me that we are getting closer to a nuclear showdown. Globally people are disgruntled and long standing issues keep on festering. World organizations put in place as safety valves have failed. World powers have been put to ridicule and become the butt of jokes. Diseases are rampant and chefs are making more money than doctors. Murderers and genocidalists are being elected as leaders. My wishes and prayers go out to all.

    October 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      Who cares tiffin boy.shut up

      October 23, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Reply
      • Sky High

        This is above your pay grade. Dhaba boy from bombay.

        October 24, 2014 at 12:55 am |
    • rupert

      Blue Saffron has been planted by the CIA. He is a CIA operative.

      October 24, 2014 at 6:35 am | Reply
      • Rooster

        Did they f ukk your mother

        October 24, 2014 at 7:05 am |
  14. Travis

    Wikileaks Revelations:

    LIPSTICK ON A PIG: The Story of India
    Mirror Mirror on the Wall
    Indian Hinddoosz are the slimiest of them all
    The way you let the Shadows Play
    You'd think my hair was getting Gray.
    What's that, you say? A double chin?
    Nah, that's the way the light comes in.

    Self Denial....is the Hindu play
    Maybe catharsis is another way.

    October 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    Sheesh! Speaking of lipstick on a pig....cant change the fact that you are STILL a pig no matter WHAT name you chose to post under...in this case "travis"!

    October 23, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • Sky High

      Curry boy shave your legs.

      October 24, 2014 at 12:46 am | Reply
  16. Travis

    Hinddoosz in the night
    Rayping each other at first sight
    Looking for babies with delight
    Wondering in the night
    What were the chances
    Of shoving candles in their genitals without exchanging glances
    Hinddoosz in the nighttttttt....
    Doobie Doo Daaa Dooobie Daaa

    October 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  17. Sky High

    Snowden Leakipedia

    Indian Embassies have now started a new visa regime under the Raype Program for travel to India. Called R-1 IndiRaype visas they are issued to encourage raype safaris in India due to collapsed economy.

    October 24, 2014 at 12:54 am | Reply
  18. Mark J

    All these frikkin hindus in India do is eat free chapattis provided as aid, belch, fart, clean their curry covered hands on their dhotis and complain how bad Americans and Pakistanis are. Them hindus s hit in the same plate they eat out of.

    October 24, 2014 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • rupert

      Blah blah blah. Same troll. same bull sh it. Different screen name.

      October 24, 2014 at 6:38 am | Reply
      • Henry

        You are a mentally sick person. Suggest you get psychiatric help immediately.

        October 24, 2014 at 6:59 am |
  19. Blue Saffron

    You nailed it, Fareed. These hindus eat with both hands cupped and shove their fingers wayyy into their esophagus as if it was their last meal. Then s uck lick their fingers one by one. Put their pinky in the ear drum to clean wax, s uck the finger again, put the index finger into their nose, lickity lick again, scratch their a zz and then wipe it on their sleeves. So goes the ritual.

    October 24, 2014 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • Cristobal

      Have you ever seen hindus eat in langars?
      Free food attracts them like bees. They squat toes up and eat food up from the floor with their feet onto the hands and into the mouth. They then gargle their mouth with water and spit it out in front of others eating adjacent to them. Hygiene is paramount ... of sorts.

      October 24, 2014 at 1:17 am | Reply
      • rupert

        Cristobol. Hi. Give me another hand. job?

        October 24, 2014 at 3:19 am |
      • Rooster

        His hands are busy laying your sister down to get boned.

        October 24, 2014 at 7:09 am |
  20. «RZ»

    @Blue Saffron. Kindly refrain from being boring and an~l retentive.
    Thank you.

    October 24, 2014 at 6:42 am | Reply
    • Henry

      You have been advised to seek medicsl help and immediately cease and desist from abusive languange and stalking people on these forums. CNN PLEASE TAKE NOT. THIS PERSON MAY BE A LONE WOLF. HOMELAND SECURITY.... DITTO.

      October 24, 2014 at 7:02 am | Reply
      • «RZ»

        I'm sorry Henry. It won't happen again.
        Please forgive me honey.

        October 24, 2014 at 7:04 am |
  21. «RZ»

    Pardon me, but does anyone have any Grey Poupon?

    October 24, 2014 at 6:44 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Too many preservatives.

      October 24, 2014 at 7:00 am | Reply
      • Rooster

        Suggest chat masala for your rear end.

        October 24, 2014 at 7:11 am |
    • Rooster

      Use garam masala yo shove up your ssnd monkey a zz. Lol

      October 24, 2014 at 7:10 am | Reply
  22. «RZ»

    Most every country spies. Snowman is only a self-rightous hero in his head like that blog tard, Blue Saffron.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:01 am | Reply
  23. «RZ»

    I like preservatives. Good for the heart.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:02 am | Reply
  24. Henry

    @rupert :::You have been advised to seek medical help and immediately cease and desist from abusive language and stalking people on these forums. CNN PLEASE TAKE NOT. THIS PERSON MAY BE A LONE WOLF. HOMELAND SECURITY…. DITTO.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:03 am | Reply
  25. rupert

    Shut up stupid. Go fukk yourself.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:05 am | Reply
  26. rupert

    @Blue Saffron ak Henry.
    I'll give u medical help. I'll give u a colonoscopy by shoving a long cold silver camera up your tight azzz!

    October 24, 2014 at 7:09 am | Reply
  27. stuart

    DITTO :::

    October 24, 2014 at 7:10 am | Reply
  28. Blue Saffron

    Sounds exciting.
    Hospital stay for colonoscopy and laser polyp removal, $22,567.87.
    Free hospital robe included.
    For everything else, there's Mastercharge.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:14 am | Reply
  29. Rooster

    @rupert has gone bonkers. He seems to be a lone wolf raypist of Indian origin who is also a hindoo terrorist. HOMELAND SECURITY PLEASE TAKE NOTE BEFORE THIS PERSON BECOMES A THREAT TO SOCIETY.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:15 am | Reply
  30. Rooster

    Does the robe come in pink? My boyfriend Henry says that I look sooooo adorable in pink.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:17 am | Reply
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