Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rand Paul: No Clemency for Snowden, But Just 'A Few Years in Prison'

Yesterday, Justin Raimondo charged that I mischaracterized what Rand Paul said, when I wrote the post headline: Some Libertarian: Rand Paul Calls for the Jailing of Edward Snowden.

What has to be realized about Rand is that he is one slippery dude when it comes to words. Unless he is nailed very directly, he will provide nuanced answers that even careful observers such as Raimondo can miss the point of. Fortunately, he got nailed this morning on his true position on Snowden. He wants jail time for him.

Newsmax reports:
In a wide-ranging interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Paul defended a statement he has taken heat over: that Snowden and National Intelligence Director James Clapper should "share a prison cell."[...]

Snowden doesn't deserve a life sentence or death penalty, Paul said, because courts have ruled that his revelations show the intelligence community committing illegal acts. Paul added, however, that Snowden should get "a few years in prison" because it is not OK to leak state secrets.

(ht Felix Bronstein)


Here is ABC News reporting on what Rand said:

Sen. Rand Paul Calls for ‘Reasonable Sentence’ for Edward Snowden
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a critic of the NSA who is bringing a class action lawsuit against its surveillance programs, said on “This Week” that he does not believe NSA leaker Edward Snowden should be given clemency, but that he should be offered a “fair trial with a reasonable sentence” to allow him to return to the U.S. to face charges.
“I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison, I think that’s inappropriate, and I think that’s why he fled, because that’s what he faced,” Paul told George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday. “Do I think that it’s okay to leak secrets and give up national secrets and things that could endanger lives? I don’t think that’s okay either, but I think the courts are now saying that what he revealed was something the government was doing was illegal.”
Paul compared Snowden’s law-breaking to the controversial testimony of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who previously testified before Congress that the NSA did not collect data from American citizens intentionally.
“I don’t think we can selectively apply the law. So James Clapper did break the law and there is a prison sentence for that. So did Edward Snowden,” Paul said.
“So I think personally he probably would come home for some penalty of a few years in prison which would be probably not unlike what  James Clapper probably deserves for lying to Congress, and that maybe if they served in a prison cell together, we’d become further enlightened as a country over what we should and shouldn’t do,” Paul added.


  1. What's so infuriating about Rand is that he wants the presidency but then forgets why he won the Kentucky Senate Primary. If I was in his position, my goal wouldn't be to gain the presidency but to continue to twist the knife into the side of the state as his father did. There's Hell to pay soon, and he ought to be on the right side of history and be leading the propitiation against D.C. not to align with the people have a special place in Hell.

  2. You're right. Yesterday I saw it as Raimondo did. With this statement, Rand is giving himself away totally.

    Statist lite is what Rand is looking for. The real thing is at least more honest.

  3. Disappointingly, Raimundo has fallen for the "Rand Paul is one of us" nonsense, and has some strong words for the "sectarians" that want no part of political action (see, people who don't believe in voting as a solution are "scary" or marginal, irrelevant people). Ron Paul has proven (according to him) that radicalism and political action can go together, and Raimundo seems to assume that Ron Paul = Rand Paul or something close to it. Of course, Ron Paul was successful not because of "political action" but because of EDUCATIONAL action.

    It is explained here:

    Truly a bummer that he falls for the Reaganesque crap of libertarian rhetoric.

    1. P.S.
      I truly, honestly, would like to hear a coherent logical argument as to how voting will bring about a free society.
      America's had the constitution, and look at the state of America now. What do the proponents of "political action" keep thinking they can achieve? They talk about Ron Paul, ignoring the fact that Paul's impact was educational and not political, and that even then, his radicalism is nowhere to be found ANYWHERE else in the political arena. Do they honestly think one libertarian, even IF he would get to the white house, would remotely get anything done that will benefit freedom in the long run? His efforts would be sabotaged at every turn by the Senate, the house and the Supreme court, and his opponents would blame it all on his libertarian policies. Especially if some big event takes place (false flag by the CIA, perhaps). And then 4 years later another statist is in place to undo the minor amount of good that was done. Democracy leads to MORE statism, not less, because people vote themselves someone else's property, because such action takes much less effort than working for it.
      Voting to change the government system is like infiltrating the mafia to turn it into the salvation army.

      Unless enough minds have been changed first, voting will only lead to legitimizing the system, and nothing else. Especially now that Ron Paul is no longer there, and everyone else is just a statist to more or less degree.

  4. If this is true about Rand then he can fuck off! He won't get my support. Traitor.

  5. Strange to see Rand Paul doesn't adhere to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".


  6. "Paul added, however, that Snowden should get "a few years in prison" because it is not OK to leak state secrets."

    No, the State should not keep secrets from the people!

  7. Also, there is absolutely nothing in the D.C. article that remotely suggests he does NOT want Ed Snowden in jail.
    Therefor, it is obvious Rand's apologists are merely arguing from a "reading Rand's mind" fallacy where they are projecting different meaning onto his words they have no reason to believe is there. The only clear words Rand used on the matter is that Clapper and Snowden should share a jail cell. The law should be applied equally is what he said, but nowhere does he state anything remotely close to something like "neither should go to jail". Therefor, the only logical conclusion is that BOTH of them should go to jail, something he literally said by stating it would be good if they shared a jail cell.

  8. And amusingly, he's miscalculated once again. The very neocons whom he's trying to court will fault him for not being sufficiently punitive with someone they view as a traitor. The core Obamites (i.e., the Clintonian, more overtly Trotskyist wing of the neocon party) will have a field day with him. So he blows it with at least a portion of his base, makes no inroads with the GOP core, and gives his opponents yet another point with which to pick him apart. Great strategy.

  9. Paul did not say Snowden should get few years in prison. He was misquoted. Read his quote again and you'll see he said he probably WOULD, not that he SHOULD.

    1. You apologists really cannot help but clutching at straws, can you?
      Read the WHOLE section and it becomes clear to everyone with a brain he thinks Snowden SHOULD get jail time.
      Fishing out ONE measly word that you can "use" to back up an apologist's case is not going to make you look honest or smart. It just makes you look like someone whom is desperately denying the obvious.

  10. Rand Paul does nothing but talk.

  11. Just to clear things up...
    I have been with the libertarian/Libertarian movement and party since 1975. I can assure you, Rand Paul's ideas are not even close to being libertarian.

    As far as Snowden is concerned, Rand Paul apparently does not comprehend the reasons for the original American revolution, so, I am guessing he will also seek just "a few years in prison" for every patriot who breaks the law seeking liberty?

    Remember this: we won't be able to achieve liberty in this country WITHOUT breaking government laws - the government has seen to it.