October 27th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

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.

Watch the video for the full What in the World or read the WaPo column.


soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Blue Saffron

    India is the best example of a failed nation that was carved out on the basis of a cult.
    Now these same cult hindoo people are busy slaughtering each other and ethnically cleansing all the other minorities including Christians and Muslims.
    Hatred, religious intolerance and violence is in the deep roots of India starting from the point where its founders used them to radicalize people to form this nation.

    October 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • Blue Sapphire

      @Blue now it is all in hand of ISIS. Snowden leaks kinda point towards it.

      October 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
      • Hannah

        Blue Saffron and Blue Sapphire. You and Ferhat, along with palintwit are low down yankee liars with nothing but a bunch of worthless yankee lying posts

        October 29, 2014 at 12:20 am |
  2. palintwit

    Hi Blue Saffron. I think you're cute

    October 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
  3. palintwit

    Sarah Palin for president. 2016!

    October 28, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Speaking of Sarah Palin, check out this latest video of her showing her expertise on climate change LOL!


      October 28, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan


        October 28, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
      • chri§§y

        You no like me @ Ferhat? I wore musk oil for you.

        October 29, 2014 at 2:44 am |
  4. chri§§y

    Expertise??? Lmao

    October 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
  5. Hannah

    The CIA should send a squad of hitmen to put Snowman out before he gives any more secrets away.

    October 29, 2014 at 12:13 am |
  6. Hannah

    Chrissy you are a chump and a d-bag.

    October 29, 2014 at 12:14 am |
  7. Hannah

    @better tomorrow. You are a low down yankee liar.

    October 29, 2014 at 12:23 am |
  8. Blue Saffron

    @Hannah. You low down yankee liar!

    October 29, 2014 at 12:24 am |
  9. chri§§y

    And you are a punk @ hannah so what.

    October 29, 2014 at 12:35 am |
  10. Hannah


    October 29, 2014 at 1:11 am |
  11. Blue Saffron

    Guys, just a travel update. FYI

    Just took a flight from Newark, NJ to Chicago. This guy sitting next to me was smelling like rotten onions. I asked him where he was from. He muttered Tamil Nadu, India. I apologized politely to him and told him that I was nauseous due to his BO. That I will call flight attendant to move to another seat. I did so but none were available. Halfway through the flight he opens up a tupperware. It had some kind of fish curry. The smell coupled with his BO did me in. B'fore I could get up I started throwing up all over including into his curry. I was sick. The doctor on the flight helped me move to the toilet. Thank you. I was later told that guy from India kept on eating his curry and licking his fingers in sheer joyful ecstasy. More power to him. I have landed at O'Hare and am still sick from the odor.

    October 29, 2014 at 2:28 am |
  12. banasy©

    Modi from India goes to the doctor and says, "I feel terrible."

    Doctor says, "go home, get a bucket, p iss and s hit in it for a week. Throw in dead rats and rotting fish. Put a towel over your head and sniff the fumes for three days."

    Week later Modi goes back and says, "Doc, I feel wonderful, what was the problem?"

    Doctor, "you were homesick!"

    October 29, 2014 at 2:35 am |
    • chri§§y

      Lol. And I thought I was PMSing. @Ferhat they should discuss in Lok Sabha.

      October 29, 2014 at 2:38 am |
    • banasy©

      Not I.
      I wouldn't be posting retreaded bad jokes @2:35 am.

      October 29, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • Chappel H

        You would be raiping in New Delhi

        October 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • banasy©

        I would be asleep in America, as most normal people are at 2:35 am.

        October 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • rupert

        Duh banasy u have pertty lips

        October 30, 2014 at 12:36 am |
  13. chri§§y

    Give me one reason Fareed why Snowden should face trial. And none of those plagiarized BS. Lol

    @ Ferhat ditto on metaphysical aspects of Snowden's trial. Tea Party wil bee having green tea. Lolooo

    October 29, 2014 at 7:13 am |
  14. Terry Caffone

    And sure enough the guy (gal?) rupert will show up using one of many names. Nothing to say nothing to add just that you are this you are that. Yareee yareee yaarraaa.

    October 29, 2014 at 7:53 am |
  15. Blue Saffron

    The Khmer Rouge trial and guilty verdict sends a loud and clear message to all those leaders who undertook genocides. Payback time.

    It is time to stand up Modi of India and send him to The Hague to face trial of murders and genocides in Gujarat et al, India ..... committed against the minorities.

    October 29, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Chappel H

      Yup I am al for following international laws. Drag that punk for trial. NOW. Send in the Navy Seals.

      October 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
  16. chri§§y

    SOMEONE has had a trolling good time havent they? JACKA S S! Of course none of the chrissy in blue are me!

    October 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Don't feel bad, chrissy. This lame-brained Tea Partier does this to me all the time. I only wish that this individual would abstain from using that Tea Party profanity.

      October 29, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
  17. Joseph McCarthy

    By the way, Edward Snowden is a hero, no matter how many mindless Tea Partiers rant against him here!

    October 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • rupert

      Thank you, Joseph. I couldn't agree more!

      October 30, 2014 at 12:43 am |
  18. Chappel H

    islamic Party needs to emerge as the third party. They love to drink tea/chai/shai/. Does that make them tea totaler. Perhaps.

    October 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  19. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joseph i dont feel bad...sad maybe. Cant be much of a life he has if he must steal names just so he can talk to himself! Stealing names just so he can pat himself on the back? Sad existence really.

    October 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
  20. Better Tomorrow

    Lol Terry this one guy polluted this forum talkin to himself using different names. Since we showed up we have cleaned things up. This is mental retardation and a disease. Probably jobless immigrants.

    October 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Keri

    Most of comments are crap. Sick people.
    That rupert chrissy etc guy is epileptic.

    October 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
    • rupert

      You said it, Keri. The joker who keeps on stealing my screen name, Blue Saffron, Better Tomorrow, etc. are the same Tea Partying fool who never says anything worthwhile here!

      October 30, 2014 at 12:48 am |
  22. Set Khoury

    ISIS is just bad. What is taking so long getting rid of them.

    October 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  23. chri§§y

    @ Better Tomorrow, HOW are things cleaned up? HE is still stealing names and posting garbage under those names! And some of us have kids that read this crap!!!! He needs more help than we can give him thats for sure!

    October 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Jeremy

    Dont talk in riddles chrissy. Name the person. People with kids dont hang around around here spewing garbage.

    October 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  25. chri§§y

    @ Jeremy...my kids are in their 30s and yes they do read this crap! And the person is Jeffrey Grant Roem and you are most likely him as well. He does make up names as well as stealing ours. Hes not much on moral fiber!

    October 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  26. rupert

    Jeff Roem does not exist
    Jeff Roem does not exist
    Jeff Roem does not exist

    October 30, 2014 at 12:33 am |
  27. top board games

    Rattling nice layout and excellent written content, hardly anything else we need :D.


    April 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm |
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