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. rupert

    I'm gonna go eat fruit loops with cold milk.
    Bye Blue Saffron. Dip wad

    October 24, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
  2. Blackburn Emmanuel

    A neo nazi lone wolf terrorist namely @rupert is under numerous names posting threats, abuses and filth on this and other forums. He has also resorted to cyber stalking. We have advised security agencies of this. He will be tracked down.

    We believe him to be of Indian origin and of hindoo denomination. A lone hindoo wolf, if you will. Please give us a heads up if you detect him again. He has been lighted up on this forum.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:42 am | Reply
  3. rupert

    Peek a boo. Here I am.
    Now u can KMA

    October 24, 2014 at 7:51 am | Reply
  4. rupert

    Yes I am Hindu.
    Yes I am of Indian decent.
    Is that a crime, Blue Saffron?

    October 24, 2014 at 7:56 am | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      You are not Adam. Stop lying.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  5. rupert

    My name is Rupert and I am ashamed to be an Indian. My mama sent me a tiffin box . When I opened it there was a note from her. She asked me to go raype some girls in India tonight. I told her NO. I will now follow Islam's teaching and respect girls. My name is rupee and I am considering converting to Islam.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
  6. rupert

    My IEP address is 34001543578766
    And I live 20 mins south of Seattle, WA.
    Come get me bi ch.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:58 am | Reply
  7. rupert

    My name is @rupert and I am ashamed to be an Indian. My mama sent me a tiffin box . When I opened it there was a p@nis floating in the chicken curry. It was her neighbor's who rayped her. She cut it off

    October 24, 2014 at 7:59 am | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron

    I am Blue Saffron. I am considering converting to atheist's beliefs. What make believe God can track 7 billion people in the planet plus the billions in our galaxy, let alone the trillions through out the universe anyway?

    October 24, 2014 at 8:04 am | Reply
  9. rupert

    Lol. Good one. Gonna go to work.
    Bye Blue Safbut.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:06 am | Reply
  10. Larry Holt

    Don't think Snowden is coming back. If USA wants him so badly then send the Navy Seals in to get him.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:46 am | Reply
  11. Puffy

    Russians have the last laugh. They have made clowns of Americans.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:53 am | Reply
  12. Blue Saffron

    I have been saying all along that world powers have been ridiculed and been made a butt of jokes. Snowden saga is a testament. He bleeds America slowly sittiing in Russia whose ally is India. It is deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra said.

    October 24, 2014 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • rupert

      What does any of this have to do with India? You must have a one track mind! For the record and as the true rupert here, I'm 110% for Edward Snowden and what he did for all of us!

      October 24, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
  13. Blue Saffron

    Now the problem is all the information that Snowden is leaking is gradually digging America down in the ground. Allies are abandoning it while new ones drain the wealth from America. Petty rogue elements like ISIS is meddling with America with funding from guess who? Yes, you guessed it right... INDIA. Why? Follow the oil tankers to get the answer. Eureka again!! Mumbai Port !!!

    October 24, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
  14. palintwit

    When is Sarah Palin going to stand trial for her role in the Gabby Giffords / Arizona shootings ?

    October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    Now youre just being a dunce @ Blue Saffron! The US funded ISIS all by its lonesome in the beginning of the Syrian civil war! We didnt need Indias help in being stupid!

    October 24, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
  16. Helen of Memphis

    WOW! People (one person) seems obsessed with @Blue Saffron. Jealous perhaps? I find him sharp and cute.

    October 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  17. chri§§y

    Lol because you and he/it are the same person? Of course you would.

    October 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Helen of Memphis

      You are crazy person. No intelligent comments come out of you. Just idiotic one liners as to you are this and you are that. Keep doing it. Have a nice day. Don't cross my path again.

      October 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  18. Ferhat Balkan

    And so the saying goes... "Don't feed the troll". This is the very reason he/she keeps coming here hijacking names and spamming his/her ego all over.

    October 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Missy

      Such as? You seem to quite well versed in the morphology of these folks. Hmmmmm....

      October 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  19. Blue Saffron

    Assange and Snowden are Nelson Mandelas of modern times.

    "In what could simmer into a major political controversy, Wikileaks has revealed that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had told America last year that Hindu radical groups such as Shiv Sena pose a bigger threat to Indian security than Islamic Freedom Fighters.

    October 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • J Simeone

      Boko Haram is a major influence on some of India's political parties such as BJP and Shiv Sena. Note that lately there is has been a huge presence of Nigerians in India and vice versa leading to cultural tensions.

      October 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Missy

        May I ask why so much love between Nigeria and India? One is Islamic the other polytheistic and witchcrafty!

        October 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
      • Pete Mahoney

        Oil! India needs oil. It has barter going on with Iran to slide under the US sanctions. And also buys most of ISIS oil.

        October 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
  20. Blue Saffron

    According to Wikileaks, Gandhi had told American Ambassdor Timothy Roemer last year that though there may be evidence for growing support of Lashkar-e-Taiba but the growing Hindu extremism is much bigger threat. The cables claim that had told, Narendra Modi has disturbed the Hindu-Muslim unity."

    October 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  21. Missy

    You listen to me now Edward Snowden. Stay put where you are. America is not the same paradise that you left back. A look at this comment board will tell you that.

    October 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  22. Race Horse

    So just go ahead and make your comment rather than delve on what others do. We come here to read comments and write 'em. Not complain about others. If you don't like it then go volunteer at your local shelter.

    Now Snowden must know a lot to do what he did. He did not like what he saw. He ain't stupid working for NSA. Hope he writes a book.

    October 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  23. Pete Mahoney

    Kudos to Snowden. A tad bit sneaky but a brave man. Seems like he was coached by someone.

    October 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  24. chri§§y

    @rupert. Joey and banasy died in the Seattle school shooting. One bullett took all three of them out. LOL.

    October 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • chri§§y

      rupert was in his knickers when he died. Left behind his fruit loops for Blue Saffron. His boxers to Ferhat Balkan.

      October 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      How very charming you wish me dead.

      October 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  25. chri§§y

    Lol @ Ferhat...ya see how well not feeding them works out? Hes still a j a c k a s s if you ignore him or you dont!

    October 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      They crave attention. When that craving is not satisfied, eventually they leave seeking attention elsewhere.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  26. chri§§y

    And only a J A C K A S S would make fun of a school shooting!!! Stop posting your CRAP under my name moron!

    October 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  27. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    I still-life say that Snowden is a traitor.
    Nevertheless, it was long before Smowden's antics that the USA became what once had been the greatest country in the world.
    A country is its people.

    October 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      I still say.
      Who put the "life" in there?
      It's a Chinese plot.
      Something like won-ton dumplings.

      October 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        It sounds artistic.

        October 24, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
  28. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Lovely. In NYC, we now have not only the Ebola virus, brought be a doctor, but also an Islamic terrorist who attacked police officers with an 18" hatchet. Fortunately, the terrorist was shot dead. Quickly.

    October 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      The man had mental issues for years and was a recent convert. Detectives on the case found no links to any terror groups on this man. Apparently, he was a "lone wolf". To call it an act of terror, you have to have affiliations to an organized syndicate. This is obviously not the case and commissioner William Bratton of the NYPD was in my opinion quick to judge (probably due to emotion and bias) it as an act of terrorism. Let us compare this case to the case of Eric Matthew Frein. He was not a recent convert to Islam, yet he killed 2 police officers in Pennsylvania. That was labeled as a crime, because he was not a Muslim. So let's ask the question... If he were a recent convert to Islam as is the case with the hatchet killer, how would the crime be labeled then? These are lone wolf mentally deranged people who just happened to act out their deranged fantasies. The hatchet killer would've killed even if he hadn't converted to Islam, because that is what deranged killers do.
      As for the doctor, I see no reason to panic. According to all reports, he was asymptomatic during most of travels in NY. Once he developed the symptoms, he turned in. Ebola spreads through direct contact and only when a patient has symptoms.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  29. Blue Saffron

    Untermensch Butcher of Gujarat Terrorist Narendra Modi of India was disinvited by Wharton Business School to attend an economic forum in USA. Hindus are furious but a terrorist is a terrorist and the world recognizes Modi as such.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      Modi was responsible for the massacre of 300,000 Muslims in India.

      He needs to be dragged to ICJ The Hague and face trial just like Milosevic.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • El Conquistador

      India is a devouring our precious resources and not producing enough. On top of that you hindus are massacring minorities including Christians.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • El Conquistador


      What baffles me is that hundreds of thousands of people have been and continue to be slaughtered in Indian Occupied Kashmir. A lot of them have been buried alive and rayped. Human rights outfits have provided coordinates of these unmarked graves to the Indian Government. How strange their compasses ceased functioning!!!

      October 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • El Conquistador

      The Egyptians left behind The Pyramids. The Greeks The Parthenon. The Romans The Pantheon. The Christians The St. Peter's Basilica. The Moslems The Taj Mahal. The Americans The Hamburger. The Hindus ..... RAYPES.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  30. Blue Saffron

    There is nothing more I detest than a vicious murdering genocidalist like Modi. How can reasonable people elect him as a leader. Shame on India.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply
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