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. El Conquistador

    Fareed Zakaria, take a hike. Your bigoted reporting has been met with disgust. Your logic is flawed. Your facts are wrong. You are the epitome of s mut.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      You should probably save yourself the angst of reading his blog.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        And YOU should stop getting in peoples faces every single day. Freaking queen bee anyway.

        October 25, 2014 at 9:48 am |
      • banasy©

        What an odd comment, Philip.
        You should probably take the sane advice I gave El Conquistador.

        October 25, 2014 at 10:49 am |
  2. chri§§y

    @ Joey the casting most likely was because you guys are my friends. Thats why Ferhat was included also im as suming. Youre the only ones i address as a rule!

    October 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Thanks for the gesture chri§§y. I consider you a friend as well 🙂

      October 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Right, @ chrissy.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  3. El Conquistador

    Modi will always be a persona non grata till he faces trial in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Hannah

      They should hang Modi upside down from the Brooklyn Bridge and let his dhoti flutter around. Sea gulls would have a ball plopping on him.

      October 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  4. Cristobal

    EC, Zakaria is just a g olliwog when you say jump he asks how high.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Cristobal

      Fareed is a disgrace to South Asia. I know he is making money and all but he got no conscience.

      October 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
    • El Conquistador

      Spot on! Feel pity for him though. Wish his parents had spent some money fixing his teeth.

      October 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  5. El Conquistador

    Perhaps the most fervent Nazi adherent to Indian Hinduism was Heinrich Himmler, one of the most brutal members of the senior Gestapo command.

    What followed we all know well. Extermination of jews with encouragement from India's hinddoous

    October 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  6. Blue Saffron

    I have seen the NSA. No way in hell can Snowden take the info out without NSA wanting him to. My take is Snowden is an implant.

    October 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  7. Blue Saffron

    This article by Fareed has no semblance of an intelligent discussion. Just wreaks of third world coolie logic. Put a turban on his head and he will look like a terrorist himself. Dothead.

    October 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • Hannah

      LOL. Couldn't have said it better myself. You are too much !

      October 24, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  8. Hannah

    Americans sing "Take me out to the ball game". The Indians sing "Take me out to the gang raypes."

    October 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Seriously @ Blue Saffron? The NSA has piles and piles of information that they have no idea what to do with! There is not much organization, and for years they have just run amuck! Employees spying on family, friends, personal enemies etc! So yea i believe that he did just that! And until HE blew the whistle they were allowed to do any damn thing they wanted too! That dept has been a collosal waste of tax dollars for decades!

    October 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  10. Voice in the Crowd

    Whatever his reasons, Snowdon broke the law, compromised our national security system and then fled to avoid the consequences. This is not a "whistle blower" to be admired. This is an immature personality, demanding perfection in a world where it does not exist, causing them to become a traitor to the best society in the history of mankind. Two words for Komrad Snowden and those who think like him: "Super Max."

    October 25, 2014 at 12:04 am | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Hmm "best society"? Thats debateable. And speaking of traitors...what about that group of traitors we have in Congress? Theres a class act! And yet they just keep on throwing americans under the bus without any hesitation whatsoever. And they do it because...they CAN! When are we going to hold them accountable?

    October 25, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
  12. Phoebe

    Democracy is a failed concept in recent times and has produced the worst band of thugs imaginable. US Congress, British Parliament are good examples. A bunch of underperforming sayx p erverts. Irak, Afghanistan..... What a joke! See what it has produced. Clinton, Bush, Obama. I wanna throw up.

    Alse take the case of world's largest democracy (laughter) India. Modi, a murderer. Most of those elected have a criminal record.
    Another guy just murdered his wife and got away. He is a minister.

    And Bangladesh? Where is Josef Mengele when we need him.

    Pakistan? I wanna cry.

    And on and on and on.

    Where are the comedians? There is so much material here !!

    October 25, 2014 at 5:33 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      @ Phoebe:
      I think that you fret how fortunate USA citizens are to has the freedom of speech that permits a post like yours.

      October 25, 2014 at 7:17 am | Reply
      • Rupert

        Awwwwe....., Joey. This won't be enough to get Homeland Security off your back. You know that you are being monitored.

        October 25, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        I meant "forget," not "fret," @ Phoebe.
        @ Rupert,
        Yes, I think that someone is tapping my phone. Maybe Homeland Security. Maybe you?
        Any information obtained will be disappointing.

        October 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  13. Phoebe

    Oh BTW, NSA? Yup. I agree that Snowden is engaged in counter espionage. Even a mouse can't get in or out of that place. Whether what they do is legal or ethical or has much value is another matter.

    October 25, 2014 at 5:40 am | Reply
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Modi is a world leader. Any person who achieves that stature is going to be grossly disliked by millions of human beings.
    A relative whom I couldn't stand used to say to me, "he's there, and you've got to get there."

    October 25, 2014 at 7:25 am | Reply
    • Rupert

      Stalin and Mussolinis were world leaders too. Modi is the Joseph Mengele of modern times.

      He is a pariah. A murderer. A genocidalist. Like Gandhi he enjoys underage boys. In fact his boyfriend is from Myanmar.

      He is a woman basher. He married an underage girl and abandoned her on nuptial night.

      Now if you and your pappy like him then god bless ya'll. But from my perch I don't want to be Modi. In fact I don't wanna be a "leader" in India. They are ALL raypists. The fact of the matter is I don't even wanna go to India because I don't wanna get Ebola.

      October 25, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        I love the punctuality of Italian trains.

        October 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Crockett

        Are you a weirdo or what? Normal men would say they love beautiful Italian girls, wine etc. LOL. Trains?

        October 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  15. Philip

    Stop focusing on a whistle blower and start looking at those exposed by him, you idiots.

    October 25, 2014 at 9:42 am | Reply
  16. Philip

    You ignorant ones should be thankful about Snowden blowing the whistle on the NSA/CIA storing as data every single one of your phone calls, emails, text messages, and every single keystroke you make on your PC. The NSA has been forced to admit to spying on you for the last 6 years. Without Snowden, you would still believe that your activities are secret.

    October 25, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  17. Blue Saffron

    Snowden should never return to USA without blanket immunity.

    The legal system in USA is Big Business. A farce. A private club for the wealthy and influential. A place where innocence and liberty are sold in the hallways of justice. A slaughterhouse of sorts. Snowden will never find jurisprudence in USA that will provide him fairness.

    October 25, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
  18. Blue Saffron

    Snowden leaks reveal that as NSA was bugging the Indian Embasy in Washington D. C. India was violating the embargo on Iran and bartering oil. That way it thought it could escape detection. Thanks to NSA India got nailed. We could have known much more had Snowden not blown the cover. So there is good and bad to this all.

    October 25, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
  19. chri§§y

    @ Blue Saffron...that should never have had to happen in the first place! The US should not get to decide WHO gets oil and WHO does not! We were ALL intended to live on this planet peacefully and all to have access to this planets resources! Think about it! Its the greedy egotrippinmaniacs of this world that cause these conflicts! And EVERY country has them...just some have more than others!

    October 25, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    Lol @ banasy...THAT or his OWN advice. Because after all hes prone more than anyone to "get in peoples faces" correct?

    October 25, 2014 at 11:12 am | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    Oh and calling everyone who doesnt agree with you "ignorant" isnt exactly an endearing quality either! Thats kinda akin to "getting in peoples faces" isnt it?

    October 25, 2014 at 11:16 am | Reply
  22. Blue Saffron

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you are with us or against us. Thanks to NSA now we know who our friends are. Certainly, not India. India backstabbed us in Ukraine as well. So take your begging bowl and go elsewhere don't come to us. Control your population growth. Produce enough to feed your people. Quit bring a burden on world resources.

    October 25, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  23. Chappel H

    And to think that Snowden will get justice in America is like saying Netanyahu should stand trial in Gaza for killing Palestinians. @Blue Saffron your take on American courts is pretty much the reality.

    October 25, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
  24. Chappel H

    @Hannah your sense of humor is much coveted. Imagine the difference in cultures between catholicism and hinduism accentuated by games. Both played by balls of sorts. This refers to your 9:56 post. Let the games begin. LOL.

    October 25, 2014 at 11:28 am | Reply
  25. Crockett

    Wonder if NSA is keeping a running tab on gang raypes in India. Yes, if NSA doesn't respond.

    October 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  26. David Y

    No need for Snowden to face anything. He is a hero.

    October 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • David Y

      You know if you read that fella Saffron's posts you could pick up some knowledge from him. Good man.

      October 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • David Y

        Thank you David. It is but with humility that I assume you are referring to me on this page. I am putting up a blog space together and will splash it on these forums once done. Happy posting !

        October 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • banasy©

        Did you forget to change your screen name?

        October 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
  27. chri§§y

    So @ David Y...which is it? Snowdens a hero? Or Snowdens a criminal? Because its hard to determine from YOUR 2 posts, exactly which side of the fence you are REALLY on! Which is the exact same thing ive noticed about Blue Saffrons post. Odd!

    October 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • David Y

      My comments speak for themselves. To a reasonable mind they need no further elaboration.

      October 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  28. Blue Saffron

    Chrissy how are we today?

    October 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      I am exhiliterated you are using my avatar like many others. The more the merrier. Feel free to use my posts too... of course with appropriate citation.

      October 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Odd. They're not the same avatar.

        October 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  29. Blue Saffron

    I am very honored by your comments David Y. Thanks much. My goal is to clean up these forums. To whose who post innuendos about me please address me directly. I will respond where appropriate.

    October 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  30. chri§§y

    Youre "exhilerated" that hes using your avatar? For REAL? That means he has accessed your email account you know! Wonder how exhilerated youre going to be when hes hacked ALL your information?

    October 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
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