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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden

timothy posted about a year ago | from the you-bunch-of-sweet-talkers-you dept.

Crime 616

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The WSJ reports that Attorney General Eric Holder promises Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty in a new letter hoping to persuade Russia not to grant him asylum or refugee status. Holder's letter, dated Tuesday, notes that press reports from Russia indicated Snowden sought asylum in part based on claims he could be tortured or killed by the US government. It is common for the US to promise not to seek the death penalty against individuals being sought in other countries, because even America's closest allies won't turn over suspects if they believe that person might be executed. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture found Bradley Manning's detention was 'cruel and inhuman'." Update: 07/27 13:15 GMT by T : Several readers have noted that change.gov, established by the Obama transition team in 2008, has recently (last month) gone offline; among other things, it contained language specifically addressing the protection of whistleblowers.

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616 comments

Because they will kill AND torture Snowden (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398581)

Get it? They said OR, so that's not a lie.

Re:Because they will kill AND torture Snowden (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398607)

I would consider imprisonment and ruining his life just for doing the right thing to be a form of torture.

Eric Holder (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44398729)

This is the same Eric Holder that lied under oath before congress about targeting members of the press, and before that lied under oath before congress about fast and furious, and before that lied under oath before congress about the dropping of the case against the New Black Panther Party.

Eric Holder is well known to lie while under oath. Now when he is not under oath, Snowden is supposed to believe him? Give me a break.

Fuck Eric Holder, a fuck this whole god damned completely corrupt administration.

Re:Eric Holder (5, Insightful)

woboyle (1044168) | about a year ago | (#44398961)

Agree. They'll just put him in prison with a bunk mate that is a total psychopath and let him torture/murder Snowden - plausible deniability!

Re:Because they will kill AND torture Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398765)

Yeah. Somehow being assraped by Bubba (his "rehabilitator") while the guards pretend not to notice isn't torture. Oh and just wait until the inmates get the idea that he's some kind of "traitor".

The man is a goddamned hero and deserves a presidential pardon. I wish everyone in gov't was like him I really do, unlike our 1% ruling elite. Easy to see why THEY want to make an example of him. These aren't people who care about right or wrong. They're scarcely human sociopathic monsters who always run things.

Re:Because they will kill AND torture Snowden (5, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44398925)

I think it's pretty fucking sad when the US is obliged to promise explicitly, on a recurring basis, not to torture people.

Re:Because they will kill AND torture Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398989)

Correct, they said OR. But your comment only works if they said XOR. ;)

That depends on your definition of torture (5, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year ago | (#44398583)

Waterboarding was torture in Vietnam.

But not anymore!

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398631)

Or, they'll send him to Saudi Arabia or somewhere that'll do the torturing for them. Then they can say, "No, we didn't torture him."

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398689)

I solemnly swear not to torture or execute Snowden in any federal prison.

Oooh, turns out I didn't promise not to send him to Texas.

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398699)

Well of course it isn't!! US doesn't torture, therefore if US does it, it isn't torture!!!!!!!!

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (5, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44398701)

Welcome to a world where " "severe pain" must necessarily be pain associated with "death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions"" is top quality legal jargon.
"Prolonged mental harm" is months or years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture_Memos [wikipedia.org]

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (2)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44398709)

Actually, they're flip-flopped on that one just a couple of days ago. Check out this headline from July 9, 2013:

FBI Nominee Agrees: Waterboarding Is 'Torture' And 'Illegal'

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/09/200529915/fbi-nominee-agrees-waterboarding-is-torture-and-illegal [npr.org]

Americans have an unusual definition of "torture". (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398745)

I live in Denmark. Last summer, my girlfriend's cousin from the U.S. came and spent a week visiting. I don't remember exactly which state he was from, but it was either Alabama or Arkansas. It was one of the states in the south, and its name started with the letter A, for what it's worth.

While he was here, we got to talking about world events at one point. The topic of torture came up during this discussion, and he had some, at least from our perspective, very unusual views with respect to it.

His basic premise was that it's only torture if it involves, using his words, the "cock and balls" of a victim.

We asked him to explain this rationale in more detail, since we Scandinavian-raised individuals had some trouble fully understanding it at first. We asked him if waterboarding was a form of torture, and he emphatically said that it was merely a form of interrogation, and surely not torture. We asked him if other methods of inducing physical and psychological pain were torture, and again he insisted they were nothing but legitimate interrogation techniques, just as long as they didn't involve the person's "cock and balls".

He then explained that even electrocuting the genitals of Iraqis was not torture, although it involved their scrotums. His reasoning was that because they were not American, that their genitals were not subject to his definition of torture. Only an American man's penis and scrotal sac could be subjected to torture, according to him.

We asked him if was possible to torture a woman. His answer was essentially that it is possible, just as long as she's an American and has "cock and balls".

Some of us laughed at this, because we thought he was just joking around. But he wasn't. He was serious, and we were then quite taken aback.

I don't know how widespread these views are in America. But if a better-traveled and even somewhat educated American holds such unusual, if not outright contradictory, opinions, then it really makes me wonder about those who have a much more limited perspective.

Re:Americans have an unusual definition of "tortur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398783)

He's from Arkabama any you believed anything he said?

Re:Americans have an unusual definition of "tortur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398785)

Well, it's good to know this fine citizen of our country would be OK if he was interrogated by having someone use a soldering iron on his eyeball, or a garden variety power drill on his teeth, or inserting a fishhook enema (be careful of his balls, we wouldn't want to torture him!)

And I suppose any women are really up an interrogation creek without a paddle.

Re:Americans have an unusual definition of "tortur (1)

ChrisC1234 (953285) | about a year ago | (#44398891)

I suspect this guy does not have the intelligence to give you the correct time of day, let alone the US's views on tourture. There may be others who share his beliefs, but I'm sure their IQs are all in the single digit range.

Re:Americans have an unusual definition of "tortur (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44398907)

I don't remember exactly which state he was from, but it was either Alabama or Arkansas. ... His basic premise was that it's only torture if it involves, using his words, the "cock and balls" of a victim. ... I don't know how widespread these views are in America. But if a better-traveled and even somewhat educated American holds such unusual, if not outright contradictory, opinions, then it really makes me wonder about those who have a much more limited perspective.

The Cock and Balls theory I have not heard from anyone. I'm from Texas, many of my relatives are so bat shit crazy and willfully ignorant that they believe the US president was born in Kenya, but they have not said anything about cock and balls. If your friend said this, he is not educated and a plane ticket to Europe does not make someone worldly. This sounds like a case of a backwards yokel with extremist views.

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398805)

They will offer him a choice between waterboarding and "keeping up with the kardashians".

Re:That depends on your definition of torture (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44399013)

They also didn't promise not to lock him away forever or disappear him.

And the US government's promises are worth less than a pile of feces. They were not supposed to allow the NSA or CIA to spy on our own citizens, for example. Or abridge the right of free speech. Now everything is monitored in real time, the IRS is targeting political activists or opponents, and you have to be locked into fenced-in "free speech zones" at events, in order to exercise free speech.

ok.. (0)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#44398585)

well its seems torture *and* kill is still on the table then...

They super double-dog swear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398611)

They just want to give him some hot chocolate and make sure the bad Russians weren't mean to him.

good (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#44398613)

As an American, it breaks my heart that my fellow citizens are okay with indefinite detention and torture, and with the wiretapping which violates our constituation's 4th amendment.

It's a small comfort that our government is facing trouble abroad because of those policies.

Re:good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398711)

Your fellow citizens are, for the most part, not ok with indefinite detention or torture. Your politicians are. Your politicians don't represent your population anymore because no sane person would want to participate in Washington politics, thus eliminated from both parties those people with any interest in fixing the system.

I don't know what can be done about this. Reign in the free-for-all of lobbying and PAC money. Weaken the party-based leadership structures. Bring back real filibusters with actual talking. None of those things will happen, though, because they'd interfere with the business of governing, and Congress might pass even fewer than 15 bills per year.

Re:good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398717)

must be good not knowing anyone who died on 9/11 eh? fucking traitor.

yea yea mod me into oblivion for disagreeing with the circle jerk here

Re:good (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44398755)

So because you suffered because of 9/11 you are allowed no longer to adhere to law?

Re:good (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year ago | (#44398771)

It's not as much fun when the chickens come home to roost now is it, pilgrim?

Re:good (5, Insightful)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year ago | (#44398809)

Please, give me a break and tale a look at the statistics of deaths relates to traffic or cancer.
I admit terrorism sound terrifying, but it is not nearly as deadly as the other two.

Re:good (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#44398853)

You'll be modded into oblivion because you are a fucking moron. The deaths on 9/11, while tragic and meaningless, were statistically insignificant. You could save orders of magnitude more lives by applying the military, DHS, NSA, etc. budgets towards medical research or into self-driving cars or environmental research. That's assuming that the methods deployed by the above are effective, when they are most likely aggravating the problems they are meant to solve. So, you are calling people traitors because they don't want invasive, expensive programs that endanger our lives because "something must be done about 9/11, this is something, so we must do this.."

Re:good (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44398943)

The deaths on 9/11, while tragic and meaningless

Actually, some of the deaths weren't meaningless at all. The terrorists who attacked on 9/11 were going after the two mechanisms that leaders of the United States use to oppose their will on the part of the world they come from. Their targets were clear: the leaders of Wall Street businesses and the US military. There was nothing random about it. The other plane was probably aiming for Chicago, which would have allowed them to hit commodities markets that control the price of oil.

That's not to say that all the deaths were because of targeting - the people on the planes, the cleaning staff, the firefighters, etc died but were not really the targets. But then again, was the general population of Baghdad really the target of the US attack on Iraq?

I'm not saying the people who died on 9/11 deserved it, but it's worth remembering that terrorists act the way they do not because they are crazy and evil, but because they believe they have legitimate grievances and that their cause is worth fighting for.

Re:good (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44399053)

Quite simply, Bin Laden made it clear that he wanted to facilitate attacks that would force America to spend itself into oblivion and to completely eradicate our way of life.

He has accomplished both - with the assistance of idiots like the original poster, who is willing to just throw away every fundamental value and freedom of our society, just because some people died in a horrible and tragic event.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44399055)

So, you are calling people traitors because they don't want invasive, expensive programs that endanger our lives because "something must be done about 9/11, this is something, so we must do this.."

If you don't want invasive programs that are designed to collect data, I'd get off the internet right now then, because your ISP is collecting all sorts of data from you, as does /. whenever you log in and post something, as does any site you visit or piece of software you use. Collecting metadata from phone records doesn't endanger your life at all, and quite frankly, I'm tired of seeing everyone on the internet bitch about the NSA when they are tasked for intercepting and monitoring signals and digital data, and they have always done so under clandestine operations and programs. The NSA collecting phone data is no different than being able to find someone using WhitePages.com or the data your phone provider (be that mobile or land line) collects. As far as Snowden is concerned, the guys gets whatever he has coming to him if he comes back to the US, mostly because he signed a contract and broke it, but it just happened to be with government data...no one would complain if this happened with, say Google data collections and Google went after him. Give up the privacy argument...you have no privacy anymore, and nothing can be done to fix that.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398865)

I did. The difference is I've lost far more to other, still legal, problems.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398951)

Fuck. You.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398985)

must be good not knowing anyone who died on 9/11 eh? fucking traitor.

yea yea mod me into oblivion for disagreeing with the circle jerk here

I know a few people who died in 9/11 and I am not OK with our government finishing what the terrorists started: taking away our freedoms and causing us to live under the thumb of an oppressive government. The fact that many of the beliefs of our "leaders" are Christian rather than Muslim shouldn't make a difference.

We as citizens, and our self righteous government, chastise any other country in the world who spies on their people, tracks their web usage and telephone usage, etc. We have met the kettle, and they are us.

The fact that our government had to publicly announce that they wouldn't torture or kill Snowden is a watershed moment that defines what we as a nation have become.

Re:good (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44399037)

OH NOES YOU GUISE! Someone died! Throw away the constitution! Issue a curfew! Put military with automatic rifles on every corner of every American street! Stick video cameras in every home! Force mental health evaluation on an annual basis!

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398725)

As with the "bible" or any other rule sets or laws:

Good people don't need a constitution to tell them that that is wrong. And bad people don't give a shit about at anyway.

I don't think anyone, except for a psychopath who has his compassion switched off and directly profits from it*, thinks something like that is OK. (* Which psychopaths love to confuse with "The American Way".)

This begs the question: Is the USA (and not only the USA) ruled by psychopaths?

Re:good (4, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#44398743)

Our fellow citizens take an awful lot lying down. I wish they wouldn't. Why are Too Big To Fail banks still in business in one piece, and not broken up? The social conservatives are especially aggravating. Get all worked up over abortion, and even totally fake issues like whether global warming is just a big hoax to get more public funding for climate scientists, and "teach the controversy" over Creationism and Evolution, while failing to see any difference between science and propaganda, and letting these white collar thieves walk.

Education is thought to be crucial for a democracy to function. If these US citizens aren't just plain stupid, they certainly are lacking a good education. To fall for idiotic notions such as the proposal to secure the US-Mexico border with 300,000 guards, after the recent lesson we had in Iraq over the limits of brute, military force... well, we'll never educate everyone well enough to see through such attempts at manipulation, but a few more could be enough to tip the US into taking much better directions.

Re:good (4, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year ago | (#44398789)

Throughout history you will find that when the American people have been well-informed they have always made the right decision.

It's hard to make good decisions based on bad information.

Re:good (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44398975)

Throughout history you will find that when the American people have been well-informed they have always made the right decision.

Bullshit. The American People have always had access to their representatives' voting records, and the majority of people say they want change, but virtually everyone votes for the incumbent which proves they don't. The American people can be exceptionally well-informed as to what their representatives are doing, but they just don't care.

Re:good (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year ago | (#44399027)

Having 'access' to good information is not the same as having bad information constantly repeated to you day after day through government and corporate propaganda organs while you struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet and keep your family fed.

You people are dumb as rocks. (1, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#44398753)

and with the wiretapping which violates our constituation's 4th amendment.

Since when was metadata supposed to be private communications?

Metadata is everything EXCEPT your private communication, including NOT communicating.

Sorry to all you Slashdot 2nd-grade libertarian gun-nut dumbasses, but you lost the Snowden case.

He stumbled upon something he, and you, don't understand (that Metadata isn't private communications) and that this is what the system was designed to know.

When third-parties know all your metadata, that means it's NOT private. Do you know how many dozens of people/companies see your IP headers as it goes across the internet? Are you dumb enough to think that kind of metadata was supposed to be private?

The only private communications are the ones only between sender and receiver, which, cry and hope and wish all you Republican-lite libertarians want, the NSA does not spy on without a warrant, per US constitution's 4th amendment.

NSA employees are well aware of constitutional law, as well as the Posse Comitatus act. If there WERE illegal activities at the NSA, you would know about it from actual employee leakers, like what happened during the Bush administration, when several bona-fide employees leaked the illegal activities of the Bush administration under evil Dick Cheney.

Instead, here we have Mr. Slashdot-Dell-repairman-contractor-high-school-dropout idjit screaming about the scary thing he saw, of which he clearly had no understanding of, because his low-IQ 2nd-grade mental capacity is incapable of understanding systematic design. This is typical of any Republican wannabe.

I love all these idiot Slashdot libertariantards. You really are Republican-lites, and scream about anything they don't understand and think its scary.

And you people are dumb as rocks. Just no getting around that fact.

Be a big government liberal. Don't be a small government libertarian. Small-government libertarians are for the weak. We big-govrernment liberals are superior.

PS...

*BOO*

HAHAHA losers

Re:You people are dumb as rocks. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44398949)

So when top US brands help with decryption, video, sound, plain text - just for legal foreign "metadata"?
Time to rethink the 4th Amendment?
A UK or Australian style "Telecommunications Interception and Access Act" would be better then?
A more happy updated living document that understands the need for changes?
The employees could then sit, listen, watch and read with less of the
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." to distract them?
http://cryptome.org/2013-info/06/whistleblowing/whistleblowing.htm [cryptome.org] shows a few did speak out :)

Re:good (1)

tramp (68773) | about a year ago | (#44398921)

You should realize that the USA nowadays is just acting like any other terrorist group and who is gonna believe a terrorist group?

Re:good (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44399019)

Hey, if they aren't bad guys, we wouldn't be detaining and torturing them in the first place! :P

WE promise not to kill or torture Snowden. (5, Insightful)

Shadowmist (57488) | about a year ago | (#44398615)

Those Romanians who are holding him for us.... What were they thinking?!!

Re:WE promise not to kill or torture Snowden. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398997)

Those Romanians who are holding him for us....

But beside that, what else have Romanians done for us???

"I won't invade Czechoslovakia." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398617)

-- Adolf Hitler's promise, 1938.

Extraordinary rendition? (5, Insightful)

dns_server (696283) | about a year ago | (#44398621)

The USA does not need to do the torture, it can send the person to another country and have them do it.

After they do torture him: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398625)

"Oh, we have clearly misspoken."

Re:After they do torture him: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398857)

"Oh, we have clearly misspoken."

No, they haven't.

See that thing at the end of

Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty.

?
That's not a dot, it's the fine print...

If you zoom in far enough, it says "until after he has been found guilty.".

He will of course get a fair trial. Well, as fair as a trial can be when the court is so secret, they can't even tell Snowden or his lawyers when and where it will take place. Or took place... It's not their fault he didn't show up to try to defend himself!

Fool me once .. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398627)

First off we Snowden should get the Nobel of Peace . HIs actions revealed Government wrongdoings like Ellsberg did 40 years ago.
They are heroes to the People . The Government is the traitor and criminal here .. not Snowden.
Second : the fact a Government promises not to torture of kill someone is a sign that things are gone terribly wrong.
Torture and murder are now " normal course of business " for the US Government. Democracy is dead.Government out of control.
Nothing will keep Snowden from assasination.Extreme right wing nutjobs ( yes , right wing republicans ) will subsidise hit men to kill him.
There's few chances for him to stay alive . To be promised not to be murdered or tortured , but a life in jail for blowing the whistle on illegal and reprehensible Government conduct is totally immoral. Democracy is dead in the US . The land of Freedom ? HA ! Let me laugh.
Anyone saying " ok i go back " would be a total fool and idiot.

dont trust the US Govt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398643)

they are no better than any other criminal organization, they are frauds, they embezzle, steal, mass murdering and genocidal war criminals

Re:dont trust the US Govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398667)

Glad to see we all agree on that one.

That depends on your definition of death penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398653)

US Inmates have a significant reduced expectation of life, not only due to medical treatment with pentobarbi KCL and poison, but also due to bad nutrition and in case of lifeterm, hopelessness and depression.

hollow promise (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#44398657)

Our government refuses to admit that waterboarding, sleep-deprivation, and blasting a person with loud music for days on end are "torture". So them claiming they won't "torture" someone is a pretty weak commitment.

Eric Holder's promises ... (5, Insightful)

boorack (1345877) | about a year ago | (#44398665)

Obama promised not to scramble jets to get Snowden and two days later he forced a presidential plane down on suspicions that Snowden might be onboard. Of course, technically he didn't lie as he did this by his european puppet proxies. Eric Holder is even worse than Obama - overtly corrupt [huffingtonpost.com] as contrasted to typical politicians who at least try to look honest. If he says he "won't torture nor kill", this is propably on the table. US of A desperately wants to make an example of Snowden - even if it will be messy and incur severe political costs. Those fucks want to prevent future whistleblowers by setting example now painful it is to have spine and resist criminal behavior of US government or US corporations.

Re:Eric Holder's promises ... (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44398837)

If you think this is about setting an example, you're giving our leaders way too much credit. It's the "great" American tradition of revenge. If someone makes you a laughing stock, kick the shit out of them. Then do it again, cause it's even more satisfying and manly to doing it to someone who's down and defenseless.

Then thump your chest, so everyone can see what an uncouth ape you are.

Re:Eric Holder's promises ... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44399001)

...which is all about setting an example, so that other apes know you will react ruthlessly when confronted with difficulty.

USA = TERRORISTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398683)

USA = TERRORISTS

and if some should to get killed this is definitely NSA executives, they so deserved it.

It's sad that this "promise" has to be made. (5, Insightful)

flogger (524072) | about a year ago | (#44398685)

Is the American government so oppressive that if you speak the Truth, people assume that the government will kill and/or torture you? The government has to step up and say, "We will not Kill or torture."

Freedom of Speech is only one of the freedoms which is gone. People know it. Yet nothing is being done to bring them back.

Snowden is my hero for saying the Truth. Emerson and Thoreau would be proud. Snowden's name is going to come up when I teach Transcendentalism to this year's students.

That last sentence made me thing of posting AC, but I now have the strength to speak the truth also.

Re:It's sad that this "promise" has to be made. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398769)

It's not an assumption.

The promise is a specific stipulation. (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44398923)

The promise is a specific stipulation. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights bars Britain and the other signatories from extraditing prisoners if they could face capital punishment. There is no death penalty in any of the 15 member nations of the European Union.

This is an attempt to eliminate willing participation of these 15 EU member states, and other states with similar laws and policies, as potential havens for Snowden on the basis of a possible U.S. death penalty or torture of the extradited person.

See: http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/extradition.cfm [deathpenal...ldwide.org] and: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/171/2001/en [amnesty.org]

The latter document is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

Of course not. (3, Funny)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about a year ago | (#44398687)

He will merely be given "Enhanced Detention".

No Torture...No Kill... (4, Interesting)

mizkitty (786078) | about a year ago | (#44398693)

They're just going to hold him naked in solitary like Manning...subject to "suicide checks" by waking him every half hour...

Life imprisonment isn't so bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398703)

I'm sure it's very comforting for any other potential whistleblower to know that they'd only face life imprisonment and/or various harsh punishments that fall technically short of whatever the US government thinks is torture.

Fool me once.. (5, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | about a year ago | (#44398705)

Really, what are the promises of the US worth nowadays?

Re:Fool me once.. (0)

scotts13 (1371443) | about a year ago | (#44398741)

Really, what are the promises of the US worth nowadays?

Oh, I guarantee the promises will be upheld to the letter of the law. They'll just change the law or the definition of the words to MAKE whatever they want to do legal. We see this with the NSA "We're not breaking any laws!" refrain now, we saw it back in the "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!" days. Reality is often wrong, but the lawyers always make it right.

Making life unpleasant is what the USA govt wants (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#44398707)

The government of the USA wants to reduce the likelihood of more whistle-blowers exposing what they are really up to. The best way to do this is to show to any potential whistle-blowers that if they do then their life will not be pleasant: a boring, long, incaceration is the best way of doing this; it will put most people off.

Edward Snowden is a celebrity at the moment, being in the public eye will be attractive to some, regardless of the reality of living in an airport (or sofa in the Ecuadorian embassy in the case of Assange). If Snowden is killed or tortured he will be seen as a martyr, again this may be attractive to some. I am not saying that this is for everyone, but it may put some attention seekers off (I am not trying to imply that Snowden is an attention seeker).

Also: by making the no kill/torture promise it raises the bar for Snowden's various applications for political assylum.

Re:Making life unpleasant is what the USA govt wan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398791)

I am not trying to imply that Snowden is an attention seeker

But you know damn well that he is.

No reason for torture or death penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398713)

US has no reason to torture Snowden, unless they want to extract their own secrets out of him. US government is out for revenge, plain and simple. Trial in some secret court, followed by a lifetime behind bars as punishment for exposing illegal government activities.

This reply has not been posted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398721)

Due to the NSA wiretapping, this comment has now been self-censored

Dutch court blocks extradition to US of Dutch-Paki (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398723)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/dutch-court-blocks-extradition-to-us-of-dutch-pakistani-terror-suspect/2013/07/23/2a86a15a-f37b-11e2-81fa-8e83b3864c36_story.html

Liars (5, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#44398733)

Define torture. Is it what they did to Manning? Is life in the SHU torture? Is being forced to kneel on concrete for minutes and hours on end torture? Is being slammed into the back of an all metal transport vehicle which has its muffler removed or better yet, made unbelievably loud and driven around for hours and hours and hours in the baking heat, manacled and chained so you can't stop yourself from being tossed around torture? Is being shoved in a transport plane, blindfolded, diapered chained to a seat so tightly you permanently lose feeling in your hands and feet , unable to move a muscle and "transported": in that one excruciatingly painful position for 30 hours while the plane is delayed" and "plans change" torture? Because according to Cheney and Rumsfeld and the other torturers , none of that is torture. The fact that the US IS going to torture Snowden if they get a hold of him is the best reason to not let them get a hold of him and when I say them I mean us. Whatever you think of Snowden's actions, -not a choice I would have made btw- he's not acting against the U.S. as an enemy. Even people who ARE enemies don't deserve to be tortured. Useless as a truth elicitor, it inflicts long-term damaging to the foreign policy interests of any nation that uses it (Thtnks Cheney!) torture ought to be relegated to the imaginations of just ordinary people who are, you know, very mad about something they see on TV . It has no place in the conduct of real people in the real world.

Re:Liars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398911)

Well Bradly Manning, like most gay men was into S&M and diaper fetishes. Being blindfolded, diapered chained to a seat was just an average night out of the town for him. If anything he owes the US government thanks for indulging his fantasies.

No torture, right (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44398749)

No torture, neither death penalty, right. They will just send him to jail for the rest of his life, because he dared defend the US constitution against the corrupted (I mean corrupted as ill-behaving) government.

That seems quite enough to grant him asylum.

There are three remarkable points about this (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44398767)

1. The US should not have to be in a position where they are making such promises. The Eighth Amendment was created specifically to put a stop to the sort of thing that the US is now promising not to do. It's sort of like announcing, completely seriously, "I swear I'm not a murderer!" - that's usually a signal you're at least involved in something you shouldn't be.

2. Nobody seriously believes those promises after what the US has done to Bradley Manning, Anwar Al-Awlaki, and what they tried to do to Julian Assange. When Julian Assange argued that the US could no longer be trusted to follow its own laws and promises and international commitments, that argument may have seemed ludicrous, but it is increasingly becoming common opinion. Another example of the US's lawlessness is that they convinced France to force Bolivian president Evo Morales to land so they could search his plane for Snowden, violating all sorts of diplomatic rules to do so.

3. The US is going up against Vladimir Putin's Russia in a battle of human rights records, and losing. That's just astounding.

Re:There are three remarkable points about this (4, Insightful)

countach44 (790998) | about a year ago | (#44398841)

Re: 3 - as much as I love that statement, I think it's more accurately viewed as Putin will talk any chance he can to stick it to the US.

Re:There are three remarkable points about this (1)

countach44 (790998) | about a year ago | (#44398855)

Re: 3 - as much as I love that statement, I think it's more accurately viewed as Putin will talk any chance he can to stick it to the US.

s/talk/take/

Re:There are three remarkable points about this (3, Interesting)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#44398867)

Why should we care about what motivates Putin? Don't actions speak louder than words? Putin is not a good guy, but at the moment he is doing a good thing. Saving a guys life. Give him some credit for not being a total dick 100% of the time. I wish we could say the same for Obama, but he's been pretty consistent.

Re:There are three remarkable points about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398965)

s/France/Austria
Just sayin.

The Israeli security establishment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398787)

... must be rolling their eyes [wikipedia.org] .

Thank goodness Snowden has found a country that respects whistleblowers [wikipedia.org] .

Is it Legal Malpractice to Fail to Get Holder ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398799)

Bill Black: Is it Legal Malpractice to Fail to Get Holder to Promise Not to Torture your Client?
Read more at
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/bill-black-is-it-legal-malpractice-to-fail-to-get-holder-to-promise-not-to-torture-your-client.html#8u9CoYOjvy1XhV8k.99

it's a joke (3, Insightful)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about a year ago | (#44398803)

The U.S. government is already torturing Snowden by revoking his citizenship, by making threats to any country that might let him stay. Most Americans feel that Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Yet, the government continues to treat him like a criminal. It's despicable that a government by the people for the people would not have the people's best interest in mind.

Let's face the facts, the government in this country has become corrupt with power, and merely pointing out that the government is corrupt has become some kind of treason, yet nobody is doing anything about it. People are slowly handing over more and more power to their government.

Re:it's a joke (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44398979)

They revoked his passport.

Born US citizens cannot have their citizenship revoked.

Yeah, right.... (5, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44398811)

"US promises not to torture or kill Snowden." Yeah, right. They also promised they weren't spying on their own citizens until Snowden disclosed that they were. They also promise that they don't assasinate their own citizens, but maybe that missle that killed Anwar al-Awlaki fired itself. Numerous groups, including the International Red Cross have charged the US with torturing prisoners at numerous facilities, but the US denies the charges, but not the techniques used. Why? Because they have classified the techniques in question as interregation techniques, but not torture.

So, yes, the US may promise not to torture or kill Snowden, but when the US changes the definition of torture to suit its purpose and has a recent history of outright dishonesty in related matters, why should anybody believe them? And what if Russia does turn Snowden over and the US is lying? Can Russia get Snowden back? No, of course not.

The US may promise not to torture or kill Snowden, but actions speak louder than words. The words of the US say one thing, the actions something totally different.

There is a typo in the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398823)

They promised "NOT(KILL XOR TORTURE)", they will happily do both.

Remember the Falcon and the Snowman (0)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year ago | (#44398825)

Remember the Falcon and the Snowman case in the 1970s? Falcon was given a fair trail, and sentenced to a long term in prison. Then he somehow managed to miraculously esacape, and was never seen again.

One wonders is something like that might happen to Snowden. Boy, that would sure be too bad!

Re:Remember the Falcon and the Snowman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398969)

Christopher Boyce completed his sentence and was paroled. he then completed his parole and is living happily ever after. fuckn try google

translation (4, Interesting)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#44398843)

First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States.

Translation: We will not "seek" it, but we don't guarantee that he won't get it. It's up to the judge who does the actual sentencing.

The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes

Translation: We haven't yet charged him with treason for "aiding the enemy" yet, as we did with Manning, but we will. However when he is charged with treason it's up to the judge to sentence him to death. The prosecutor doesn't do the actual sentencing.

Confirmation of torturing others? (3, Insightful)

Aethedor (973725) | about a year ago | (#44398845)

Attorney General Eric Holder promises Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty

Why such a promise? Can I read this as a confirmation by the USA that they've tortured other people?

Amazing how much Bin Laden changed the U.S.A. (5, Insightful)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about a year ago | (#44398851)

It's amazing how much Bin Laden changed our country, for the worse. In just a few years we openly torture (something George Washington wouldn't allow and hadn't since the founding of the country), publicly kill Americans and others and of course spy on the entire population.

He may be dead, but we lost so much to the weak minded choices of our political weenies in Washington (the prior administration coming up with these awful choices and then the current one not stopping them so the become "the new normal" in perpetuity - its amazing what he changed our country into via our politicians.

Re:Amazing how much Bin Laden changed the U.S.A. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398927)

t's amazing how much Bin Laden changed our country, for the worse. In just a few years we openly torture (something George Washington wouldn't allow and hadn't since the founding of the country), publicly kill Americans and others and of course spy on the entire population.

It wasn't Bin Laden who changed our country, it was George W. Bush and his administration. They deliberately "stood down" their watchfulness against potential terrorist attacks (the former anti-terrorism Czar was desperate to speak with high-ranking administration officials, including the president, and was frozen out). They wanted something to happen, to legitimize what was otherwise going to be a lame duck presidency with little legitimacy following the voting fiasco in 2000.

They got more than they bargained for, but that didn't stop them from using the event to advance their agenda, including the invasion of a completely uninvolved country -- Iraq -- which was already planned in detail before the attacks occurred.

Had the supreme court ruled differently, and Al Gore been president, we would not be in this position, even if 9/11 had still happened (which is unlikely, as he wouldn't have stood down our anti-terrorism efforts). The guilt for this lays squarely at the feet of the Bush administration, and the current administration for continuing those policies. Unfortunately Obama lacks the backbone to walk these changes back, and it will be even more difficult for subsequent administrations to do so.

They also promised to uphold the constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398859)

This promise is just as valid as their oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Should Snowden enter into US custody, he will be beaten, tortured, and suffer an unfortunate fatal "accident" in Gimto.

Shameful (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#44398881)

>"US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden""

I can't believe how sad it is that such a letter would ever be necessary coming from the USA. I am so ashamed to be an American since 9/11. A land where everyone is treated as a potential terrorist and the government has destroyed the Constitution the country was built on.

Re:Shameful (1)

NormHome (99305) | about a year ago | (#44398981)

I second that, wholesale spying on US citizens, keeping massive databases from camera's of your cars movements and whereabouts. Absolutely shameful, George Washington is spinning in his grave over what's become of his beloved United States!

We have seen this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398913)

and that resulted in trips to Egypt where, surprisingly, promises made by Americans hadn't registered. However, they were happy to do what the the Americans implicitly expected them to do (which could only be things they could not do while imprisoning them in America).

I would be interested in an approval rating poll.. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44398939)

I would be interested in an approval rating poll comparing Obama, Snowden, and the current frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican nominations for the next election.

I wonder if any candidate has run for the U.S. presidency from outside the U.S., perhaps in the early history of the country?

Now, that's a relief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44399031)

The very fact that a member of your government actually has to promise that your state institutions will not torture someone goes a long way to show in what a sorry state your country is. It used to be consensus among developed nations that torture isn't even on the table, and now a high-ranking official actually has to reassure russia (of all states) that he will get a fair trial. Back when you were a nation of laws that used to go without saying.

Even worse, no one believes it anymore. You have come a long way US of A and I for one mourn the loss :(

From hypocrit and beyond (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44399039)

This is not a measure of how bad our government is becoming. The is now a measure of how stupid and blind the people of the US are. And the people who expect to earn a living as professional bullies, thugs and murderers? It's time for people to wake up and just say "no more." So far, everything they've got will not withstand the light of day and people simply saying "no" in large numbers. Everything they have are tricks for small numbers of people.

Who here thinks any of this is right or acceptable?

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