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By Fareed Zakaria
Recently, via satellite at the New Yorker Festival, Edward Snowden said he would "love" to stand trial in the United States.
He should. It would transform what he has done from theft into civil disobedience – which by definition means being willing to accept the consequences of your actions.
At the New Yorker event, Snowden explained to Jane Mayer that, given the stipulations the government is putting on his return, he doesn't think he could get a fair trial. But the legal scholars I consulted – none of them die hard conservatives or national security hawks – believed that Snowden could get a fair trial...
...The most striking aspect of Snowden's substantive foreign intelligence revelations is how few consequences they have had. That's because they mostly showed the U.S. government doing secretly what it has said it was doing publicly – fighting the Taliban, spying in countries like Pakistan and searching for Al Qaeda cells around the globe.
The disclosures also revealed routine foreign intelligence operations. Some of these are entirely justified, such as hacking into Chinese computer systems - something that Beijing does on a much larger scale to the United States. Others are perhaps unwise, such as tapping the phones of the leaders of Brazil and Germany. But none are morally scandalous.
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