Why Snowden Can't Come Homeby Will Grigg
Feb. 13, 2014
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To understand why refugee NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden can’t come home, one need only consider the recent plea bargain extracted from former State Department contractor Stephen Kim.
A year ago it was revealed that the Obama-Holder Justice Department, which was investigating Kim for leaking information to the press, was treating Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act. Kim had provided Rosen with information regarding negotiations with North Korea. None of the information did actual harm to national security, nor was there evidence of intent to do such harm.
However, federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, expanding the scope of the Espionage Act, ruled that it was not necessary to demonstrate harm, or even malign intent, in order for a prosecution to proceed. Faced with the prospect of a lengthy prison term, Kim pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, and will now spend a little more than a year behind bars.
Kim, as noted earlier, was a contractor for the State Department, just as Snowden was a contractor for the NSA. Snowden’s disclosures to reporter Glenn Greenwald did no harm to national security, and revealed extensive criminal misconduct on the part of that agency -- but under the updated and frankly totalitarian interpretation of the Espionage Act, that wouldn’t matter.