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Old 2nd November 2020, 06:31 PM   #1
Bob001
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So what should happen to Edward Snowden?

Reports say that Edward Snowden is seeking Russian citizenship while retaining his U.S. citizenship. What should ultimately happen to him? He caused tremendous embarrassment to the U.S. intelligence establishment, but I'm not convinced he did any lasting damage to the nation or to any individuals. I think an argument could be made for a plea bargain that would include a felony conviction but no jail time. Does the U.S. really need to demand more?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-of-future-son
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Old 2nd November 2020, 06:57 PM   #2
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Revoking his US citizenship on affirmation of his Russian citizenship seems like punishment enough. Don't see why dual citizenship should even be on the table. The fact that he's even asking for it makes me think maybe his US citizenship should be revoked now. Let him figure out how to not be stateless, if any other state even wants him anymore.

Maybe it'd be a kindness to offer him a stiff prison sentence in the US. But perhaps being a useful idiot in Vladimir Putin's Russia is still preferable to being a convicted criminal in a US federal prison.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Revoking his US citizenship on affirmation of his Russian citizenship seems like punishment enough. Don't see why dual citizenship should even be on the table. The fact that he's even asking for it makes me think maybe his US citizenship should be revoked now. Let him figure out how to not be stateless, if any other state even wants him anymore.

Maybe it'd be a kindness to offer him a stiff prison sentence in the US. But perhaps being a useful idiot in Vladimir Putin's Russia is still preferable to being a convicted criminal in a US federal prison.

The U.S. citizenship of someone born here can't be revoked.
https://www.findlaw.com/immigration/...-revoked-.html
https://abalegalfactcheck.com/articl...tizenship.html

He is no "useful idiot." He has done less to advance Russian interests than Donald Trump. I question whether he has actually done anything to deserve any prison time, maybe beyond a token few months.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Revoking his US citizenship on affirmation of his Russian citizenship seems like punishment enough. Don't see why dual citizenship should even be on the table. The fact that he's even asking for it makes me think maybe his US citizenship should be revoked now. Let him figure out how to not be stateless, if any other state even wants him anymore.

Maybe it'd be a kindness to offer him a stiff prison sentence in the US. But perhaps being a useful idiot in Vladimir Putin's Russia is still preferable to being a convicted criminal in a US federal prison.
What laws did he specifically break? And is there a statute of limitations for those laws?

And as Bob said, you can't revoke his citizenship.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
He is no "useful idiot." He has done less to advance Russian interests than Donald Trump.
The "I'm not helping the Russians" thing doesn't play very well when one is apparently trying to defect to Russia.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The "I'm not helping the Russians" thing doesn't play very well when one is apparently trying to defect to Russia.

Defect? He has become a legal permanent resident of Russia, but it wasn't his first choice. I don't think "defect" applies here. What's he doing for the Russians? It's not like he was spying for Russia and escaped to his handlers.

Last edited by Bob001; 2nd November 2020 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What laws did he specifically break? And is there a statute of limitations for those laws?
....

Quote:
Federal prosecutors secretly charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last week with three felonies in connection with recent leaks of classified information about secret U.S. surveillance programs, according to a court complaint unsealed Friday.

Snowden was charged with conveying classified information to an unauthorized party, disclosing communications intelligence information, and theft of government property.

The charges, which can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison on each count, were filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., last Friday.
https://www.politico.com/story/2013/...ged-nsa-093179

Note that spying for a foreign power is not among them.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Defect? He has become a legal permanent resident of Russia, but it wasn't his first choice. I don't think "defect" applies here. What's he doing for the Russians? It's not like he was spying for Russia and escaped to his handlers.
There's an ancient dictum that one can be judged by the company they keep. Whatever happened in the past, having a boner for Russia now is bad optics, at the least.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
There's an ancient dictum that one can be judged by the company they keep. Whatever happened in the past, having a boner for Russia now is bad optics, at the least.
It was the only country that would save him from the U.S. Bad optics maybe, but not a crime.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Reports say that Edward Snowden is seeking Russian citizenship while retaining his U.S. citizenship. What should ultimately happen to him? He caused tremendous embarrassment to the U.S. intelligence establishment, but I'm not convinced he did any lasting damage to the nation or to any individuals. I think an argument could be made for a plea bargain that would include a felony conviction but no jail time. Does the U.S. really need to demand more?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-of-future-son
He should be brought back to the United States, given a ticker tape parade, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a non-expiring Presidential pardon for any future "rowdiness" that would ordinarily result in criminal prosecution and at least ten million dollars for every year he has been in exile.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 10:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
He should be brought back to the United States, given a ticker tape parade, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a non-expiring Presidential pardon for any future "rowdiness" that would ordinarily result in criminal prosecution and at least ten million dollars for every year he has been in exile.
Am I correct that your suggestion is not entirely sincere?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 04:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
It's not like he was spying for Russia and escaped to his handlers.
Funny thing, it is exactly how it looks for me.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 06:54 AM   #13
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The NSA program he exposed has been ruled illegal, then and now. His actions constituted a legitimate whistleblowing action and should have been protected as such, then and now. We WANT people to speak out as he did when they see shenanigans going on. It's an act of cruelty and cowardice on the part of our country that we chose to drive him to our enemy instead of cleaning up our own act. The least we can do is drop any pending charges and welcome him back.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The NSA program he exposed has been ruled illegal, then and now. His actions constituted a legitimate whistleblowing action and should have been protected as such, then and now. We WANT people to speak out as he did when they see shenanigans going on. It's an act of cruelty and cowardice on the part of our country that we chose to drive him to our enemy instead of cleaning up our own act. The least we can do is drop any pending charges and welcome him back.
That's not the way it works. If you want to be a hero you have to face the consequences. You can't be a martyr if you flee from your martyrdom. By running he's not a brave crusader for justice, he's a whiny criminal trying to evade justice.

A fighter has to actually fight.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:09 AM   #15
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For me, problem is not in fleeing itself.

Problem is that Snowden presents himself as fighter against human right violations of USA, yet he flees for safety to country that has way worse human rights record. He is moral bankrupt and agent for Russia interests. He can rot in this corrupted oligarchy for rest of his pathetic life as far I am concerned.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:13 AM   #16
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Yeah Snowden much more strikes me as someone who's drank the "Amerika is da great Satan" Koolaid since he's idea of who to run to when America is mean to him is Russia.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 08:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The NSA program he exposed has been ruled illegal, then and now. His actions constituted a legitimate whistleblowing action and should have been protected as such, then and now. We WANT people to speak out as he did when they see shenanigans going on. It's an act of cruelty and cowardice on the part of our country that we chose to drive him to our enemy instead of cleaning up our own act. The least we can do is drop any pending charges and welcome him back.
Whistleblowing is not a blank check to publish classified information in the venue of your choice.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That's not the way it works. If you want to be a hero you have to face the consequences. You can't be a martyr if you flee from your martyrdom. By running he's not a brave crusader for justice, he's a whiny criminal trying to evade justice.

A fighter has to actually fight.
I agree with all of this.

And also: This is why I think the Presidential Pardon is important and necessary. A nation-state has the responsibility to keep Black Ops in its tool kit. I would hope that such solemn and awful duties always fall to people who are willing to accept the penalties for breaking the law, even in the service of a higher value. But whether that's always the case or not, I think it's important for the President to be able to say, if they choose, "what he did was a crime, but it was a crime that should be forgiven, and I'm forgiving it."

And because you can't have it both ways, I accept that this will often mean the president pardons people whose crimes did not serve any greater good, and should not be forgiven.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 08:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Quote:
It's not like he was spying for Russia and escaped to his handlers.
Funny thing, it is exactly how it looks for me.
Supposedly he did not specifically chose Russia to escape to.

From: Wikipedia
...Snowden was on a plane bound for Moscow, to transfer to another plane bound for Latin America. Most of this information was received through informal channels including information leaked to the press. While he was aboard the plane, his destination countries grew reluctant to allow him in, and Snowden was thus stuck in the transit area of Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport.

(Admittedly there does seem to be some contradictory information out there.)

It should also be noted that Snowden has offered to return to the U.S., but only if he is guaranteed a fair trial.

From: CNN
"And of course I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom-line demand that we all have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that's the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what's called a public interest defense," Snowden told CBS...

Now, of course there is the possibility that he is lying (sort of like the way Assange lied about agreeing to stand trial if Chelsea Manning was released.)
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Old 3rd November 2020, 08:45 AM   #19
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After President Trump finally drained the swamp, he should pardon Snowden and in 2024 Snowden should get elected President Of The United States.

Joe Rogan had him on a month ago:
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I AGREE

He is the guy who in my view best represents and lives the values of a USA as it should be, in the spirit of its founders. So mature.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 08:53 AM   #20
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There is this weird American thing I don't understand where after having done a good thing, there should be no consequences for violations of other duties.

You did the right thing by publishing the report? Good job. Your reward is my thank you. Separately, you violated your contract and should be punished for that.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:35 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That's not the way it works. If you want to be a hero you have to face the consequences. You can't be a martyr if you flee from your martyrdom. By running he's not a brave crusader for justice, he's a whiny criminal trying to evade justice.

A fighter has to actually fight.
Hero. Idiot. It's all in the perspective. Personally, getting the hell out of dodge and avoiding the consequences as much as possible seems like the way to go. The only real question is whether the illegal thing I did was good or bad.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:42 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
.....
It should also be noted that Snowden has offered to return to the U.S., but only if he is guaranteed a fair trial.
....

Snowden has written and spoken about this. A trial would be narrowly restricted to the question of "did you take the stuff?" He would like to present his full case to the jury, describing the illegal government activities he exposed and his reasons for doing so. That would not be allowed.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/17/polit...ial/index.html
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/12/76012...ian-government

And Daniel Ellsberg has said Snowden can't get a fair trial.
https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/edwa...-trial-n118561
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Funny thing, it is exactly how it looks for me.
Well, he wasn't, and that's not what he's charged with.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
There is this weird American thing I don't understand where after having done a good thing, there should be no consequences for violations of other duties.

You did the right thing by publishing the report? Good job. Your reward is my thank you. Separately, you violated your contract and should be punished for that.

I'm not sure if Snowden violated any contract with private firms. He published made available to select journalists confidential material about governmental programs.

Here in Germany, people employed by the state (like police men, any intelligence agents etc) have a duty to "remonstrate" if their conscience tells them that the order they get is constitutionally illegal. This was put into the constitution ("Grundgesetz") to prevent anybody ever getting away with an excuse of "I just followed orders" like the foot soldiers of the Nazi machine tried to do.

This is a big talking point now between the demonstrators against the "Corona" restrictions of basic rights and the police enforcing them. Chants of "Schliesst euch an" (join us) and "Verweigert" (remonstrate now) are common.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:46 AM   #25
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And that's the problem. Snowden wants to make everything he did into a big "Lookit how evil the United States is! No don't look at me, lookit the big evil United States!" production.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:47 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
There is this weird American thing I don't understand where after having done a good thing, there should be no consequences for violations of other duties.

You did the right thing by publishing the report? Good job. Your reward is my thank you. Separately, you violated your contract and should be punished for that.
I don't think this is a universal "american thing". Several of us tend to agree with your view on this.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I'm not sure if Snowden violated any contract with private firms. He published made available to select journalists confidential material about governmental programs.

Here in Germany, people employed by the state (like police men, any intelligence agents etc) have a duty to "remonstrate" if their conscience tells them that the order they get is constitutionally illegal. This was put into the constitution ("Grundgesetz") to prevent anybody ever getting away with an excuse of "I just followed orders" like the foot soldiers of the Nazi machine tried to do.

This is a big talking point now between the demonstrators against the "Corona" restrictions of basic rights and the police enforcing them. Chants of "Schliesst euch an" (join us) and "Verweigert" (remonstrate now) are common.
We both agree there is a duty to report. I just don't see why that should be a basis to avoid punishment for it.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:54 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And that's the problem. Snowden wants to make everything he did into a big "Lookit how evil the United States is! No don't look at me, lookit the big evil United States!" production.
I think there's a point at which the evil thing would be so evil that almost anyone would be in favour of a pardon. We're just arguing whether the thing was evil enough (or evil at all).
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
I think there's a point at which the evil thing would be so evil that almost anyone would be in favour of a pardon. We're just arguing whether the thing was evil enough (or evil at all).
However evil, it is irrelevant.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:58 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
We both agree there is a duty to report. I just don't see why that should be a basis to avoid punishment for it.

He, like Chelsea Manning, has tried to use the proper channels. To no avail. Why should those who reveal war crimes (Manning) or crimes against the basic rights of Americans (Snowden) be punished while the perpetrators remain unpunished (like the scum shooting kids and journalists in the "Collateral Murder" video)?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
We both agree there is a duty to report. I just don't see why that should be a basis to avoid punishment for it.
If you don't punish people for doing the right thing, more people are likely to do the right thing.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
He, like Chelsea Manning, has tried to use the proper channels. To no avail. Why should those who reveal war crimes (Manning) or crimes against the basic rights of Americans (Snowden) be punished while the perpetrators remain unpunished (like the scum shooting kids and journalists in the "Collateral Murder" video)?
Because they broke a rule they agreed to not break.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:00 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Snowden has written and spoken about this. A trial would be narrowly restricted to the question of "did you take the stuff?" He would like to present his full case to the jury, describing the illegal government activities he exposed and his reasons for doing so. That would not be allowed.
That seems like the kind of thing that would be saved for the sentencing phase. Basically he wants to be able to fish for jury nullification, rather than risking a conviction and arguing for a lenient sentence.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:03 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Because they broke a rule they agreed to not break.

Like those who got their job agreeing to not reveal the secret of what is really happening in the concentration camps in Poland. Is that your argument, Bob?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:05 AM   #35
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Snowden is Jabba-ing, basically going "Unless everyone already agrees I've won before we even start, I won't start because it's not fair."

There's whistleblowing protection laws which are a very, very good thing and this "I identify as a whistleblower therefore you can't even look at what I'm doing" mentality that Snowden seems to have.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:06 AM   #36
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Like those who got their job agreeing to not reveal the secret of what is really happening in the concentration camps in Poland. Is that your argument, Bob?
Yes. They have a duty to reveal, I will thank them for it, then they should be punished for violating their other duties.

Where is the confusion?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:06 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's whistleblowing protection laws which are a very, very good thing and this "I identify as a whistleblower therefore you can't even look at what I'm doing" mentality that Snowden seems to have.

This sentence makes as much sense as the argument that you tried to formulate.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:08 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Yes. They have a duty to reveal, I will thank them for it, then they should be punished for violating their other duties.

Where is the confusion?

Which "other duties", Bob? Last chance to reply reasonably, after that I will assume I have been "bobbed" again.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:09 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That seems like the kind of thing that would be saved for the sentencing phase. Basically he wants to be able to fish for jury nullification, rather than risking a conviction and arguing for a lenient sentence.

"Necessity" is a legitimate defense to a criminal charge. So is acting in the public interest. Other countries allow a defendant to claim them.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...y-defense.html
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/whist...-hum_b_6903544
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Old 3rd November 2020, 10:10 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Which "other duties", Bob? Last chance to reply reasonably, after that I will assume I have been "bobbed" again.
In the case above, their duty to obey the direction to not reveal secrets.
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