Overflight, 97

The Espionage Act does not distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and selling secrets to foreign enemies for personal profit. So under the Espionage Act it’s not a defence if the information that was disclosed should not have been withheld in the first place, that it was improperly classified; it’s not a defence if the dissemmination was in the public interest, that it led to reforms. Even if the Court determines that the programs that were revealed were illegal or unconstitutional, that’s still not a defence under the Espionage Act. … So, when we state that the trial wouldn’t be fair … We’re saying the law essentially itself eliminates any kind of defence that Snowden might be able to make and essentially would equate him with a spy. … And I think that we all recognize … that it’s probably 95% politics and 5% law how this would be resolved.» Ben Wizner, Snowden’s ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) lawyer
«What do you think they’re doing to reporters, those of us that are working directly with Snowden documents? How do you think they will approach with people like us? You’re on a cast−iron covered list. Which means every electronic device you use, that they can attach to you, the record and capture all that data. And what do they do with that data? They’re just trying to figure out what we’re doing? Well, that’s part of it, but the other part, primary part for them, I think is to find the source of the information you’re getting. So if I had a confidential source who’s giving me information as a whistleblower, and he worked for the U.S. government, and he’s concerned about what he perceives as violation of the Constitution, and he gets in touch with me... From there on, they would nail him, and start watching everything he did. And if he started passing data, I’m sure they would take him off the street.» William Binney, interviewed by Jeremy Scahill, journalist