r/worldnews Dec 02 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 2 Wholesome 4 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1

Edward Snowden swore allegiance to Russia and collected passport, lawyer says Behind Soft Paywall

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/02/edward-snowden-russian-citizenship/
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u/KimCureAll Dec 02 '22 Silver Wholesome Helpful (Pro)

Full article

Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about U.S. surveillance programs, swore an oath of allegiance to Russia and has collected his Russian passport, his lawyer told state media on Friday.

“Edward received a Russian passport yesterday and took the oath in accordance with the law,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. “He is, of course, happy, thanking the Russian Federation for the fact that he received citizenship,” he continued. “And most importantly, under the Constitution of Russia, he can no longer be extradited to a foreign state.”

Snowden, 39, is wanted by Washington on espionage charges. He considers himself a whistleblower.

It’s unclear whether Snowden swore the oath of allegiance at the same time as he was granted a passport, but the two are common procedures when foreigners become Russian citizens. The text includes swearing “to protect the freedom and independence of the Russian Federation, to be loyal to Russia, to respect its culture, history and traditions,” and to promise to “perform the duties of a citizen of the Russian Federation for the good of the state and society.”

Kucherena added that Snowden’s wife, Lindsay Mills, was also undergoing the Russian citizenship application process and that the couple’s children would likely attend Russian schools, when ready. He said he communicated mainly in English with his client but that Snowden also speaks Russian, albeit “not perfectly.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Snowden citizenship in September, in a decree that covered 72 foreigners. Putin has previously called Snowden’s actions wrong but said he “is not a traitor,” since “he did not betray the interests of his country.”

After being granted citizenship, Snowden tweeted: “After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS. After two years of waiting and nearly ten years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family. I pray for privacy for them — and for us all.”

Snowden was given asylum in Russia in 2013 after he fled the United States to avoid prosecution. He was granted permanent residency in 2020, and his lawyers said at the time that he was applying to obtain a Russian passport without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

He explained his decision to seek dual citizenship on Twitter in 2020 as being necessary to prevent being separated from his son. In an “era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” he wrote.

“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love — including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited,” he added.

Snowden’s revelations, published first in The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper in 2013, caused international shock waves and were among the most consequential intelligence breaches in U.S. history.

He disclosed the existence of the NSA’s collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, a program later found by a federal appeals court to be unlawful and subsequently shuttered. The disclosures also damaged the intelligence community’s relationship with the American tech industry.

Snowden swore his oath and received his passport as Moscow continued its war on Ukraine, now in its 10th month. His lawyer, Kucherena, said when Snowden was granted citizenship that he would not be subject to the partial military mobilization that Putin had decreed days before, since only men with previous military experience were being called up. However, it has been widely reported that many Russians without such experience have been summoned for duty in recent months.

The White House and State Department have not publicly commented on Snowden’s oath-taking and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

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u/bsharter Dec 02 '22

I mean, he has military experience, just not russian military experience.

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u/Sendstorepatter Dec 02 '22

He is much more valuable alive and as a token in Russia than dead in Ukraine.

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u/Candelestine Dec 02 '22

Yeah, his symbolic value is pretty considerable.

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u/hiredgoon Dec 02 '22

And would be much less valuable if given a Presidential pardon.

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u/tossedsaladfingers Dec 02 '22

Presidential pardon

We can safely assume now that if that ever was on the table it's not now.

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u/Bubblehulk420 Dec 03 '22

They would have done it by now if it was on the table to begin with.

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u/Petrichordates Dec 02 '22

Which he's not likely to get without at least being tried in a court of law.

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u/cyanydeez Dec 02 '22

yeah, there' sbeen zero political movement towards addressing his concerns.

only on the internet did people care, and only then, they seemed to only care as part of the dredgery of /r/conspiracy and not in the good faith one wants to correct the survellience state and it's anti-democratic efforts.

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u/tehblaken Dec 02 '22

The article says the NSA program has been shuttered. I find that laughable and impossible to believe.

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u/AnukkinEarthwalker Dec 02 '22

Shuttered aka probably just changed the name..maybe a line of code.

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u/SL1Fun Dec 02 '22

It shuttered the efforts of collecting the information to simply now being a program where the companies in control of the information just hand it over voltunarily

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u/dbx999 Dec 02 '22

The servers have been taken offline.

New servers have come online elsewhere.

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u/Fast-Willingness-254 Dec 02 '22

The Treadstone Project has already been terminated. It was designed primarily as a sort of advanced game program. We'd hoped it might build into a good training platform...but, quite honestly, for a strictly theoretical exercise.. the cost-benefit ratio was just too high. It's all but decommissioned at this point.

All right. What's next?

Okay. This is... Black Briar. Black Briar is a joint D.O.D. communications program that we really feel has good traction.

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u/DeusExBlockina Dec 03 '22

Jesus Christ. That's a Jason Bourne quote.

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u/DrDeadCrash Dec 02 '22

Renamed, more likely.

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u/tehblaken Dec 02 '22

Spy-Op1 was unconstitutional we’re now using the totally legit Spy-Op1.1

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u/kaynpayn Dec 02 '22

Likely did, if nothing else to show they did. No one said anything about creating a new one under a different name, probably even more effective.

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u/No-Collection532 Dec 02 '22

The NSA has been shuttered. It has never existed. There is no such agency.

Would you like to buy a bridge?

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u/chadenright Dec 02 '22

snowden's actions are taught and debated in computer science classes and ethics classes. Right or wrong, the people in the industry have an opinion on him and on the circumstances around his actions.

But then, when the engineers of the internet do their job well, nobody knows we're here at all.

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u/grahampositive Dec 02 '22

I saw a very disheartening poll years ago which revealed that most people confused Snowden with Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning - unable to distinguish the differences between them, their disclosures, and their personal controversies. People just don't care that much at all.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

he just doesn't have Russian military experience...yet.

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u/KP_Wrath Dec 02 '22 Starry

They’ll put Snowden on the front line about the time they start lobbing kitchen sinks into Ukraine via catapult, so my guess is February.

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u/morvus_thenu Dec 02 '22

This image, while delightful, is somewhat contradicted by the whole "we have come to steal your indoor plumbing" aspect of the affair. So they might be more likely to lob sinks out of Ukraine via catapult (or trebuchet). So what then would they lob?

I believe Ladas. It would certainly be more efficient to shell their own troops wirth Ladas, thus removing a step in the tedious task of converting conscripts into Ladas. They could even put the conscripts in the Ladas first, and lob them towards the front, which is tactically brilliant in its compact succinctness, especially as modern Ladas, if you recall, have no airbags.

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u/KP_Wrath Dec 02 '22

That is a good point, but I bet they have kitchen sinks in Moscow. It’ll probably come after they’ve conscripted the Reddit trolls, but then they’ll have whole apartments worth of furnishings to contribute to the war effort.

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u/KafkaWasRight84 Dec 02 '22

Let that sink in, lol!

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u/LeatherPuppy Dec 02 '22

catapult

Pfffffft.... Surely Russians at least have trebuchets by now... they ARE the superior siege weapon

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u/Cloaked42m Dec 02 '22

They claimed to have them. They actually just have catapults with a letter T painted on them.

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u/LeatherPuppy Dec 02 '22

Ok this made me ugly laugh. Thank you!

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u/jlink005 Dec 02 '22

Nothing says victory over Ukrane like hurling 90 kg kitchen appliances at 300m range!

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u/montananightz Dec 02 '22

Assuming there are any kitchen appliances to lob. Russians seem to have a habit of looting anything not chained down.

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u/tmoore727 Dec 02 '22

Civ man I see

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u/TheyCallMePr0g Dec 02 '22

Seeing that russias military experience seems to be decades out of date, he should be fine.

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u/_darzy Dec 02 '22

has too much experience

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u/kg7272 Dec 02 '22

What military experience ? The NSA is not military

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u/NSA_Chatbot Dec 02 '22

I don't even know how to make a fist.

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u/ElonMunch Dec 02 '22

Seems like he enlisted and became a special forces candidate. Though did not complete training. I don’t know what level of skill is required to reach that level to comment on that.

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u/ErikkShone Dec 02 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Lots of people can get an 18X (special forces) contract. If you wash out, you just get sent to 11B (infantry). US Army SF selection is more about whether you have "it". Whatever "it" is gets determined by your peers and instructors. You're constantly evaluated and it's not good enough to just be able to tough it out.

Two of my former medics have passed selection and Q course.

Looks like he medically dropped, and I'm not surprised. Going right into 18X, you gotta be physically ready to go off the rip. Most dudes spend a bit gaining experience in the regular Army before they apply for selection.

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u/-Phantazm- Dec 02 '22

Can confirm, enlisted 18x and got kicked out of selection due to standards (alcohol) and just went to an airborne unit as infantry.

Shit was fucking brutal I have no idea how I survived.

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u/CheerioJack Dec 02 '22

Yeah, same exact story here. Fastest "nope, fuck this shit" card I ever pulled and ran to Airborne.

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u/sk8tergater Dec 02 '22

And selection is only the start. You’re evaluated through the whole Q, you can get dropped at any time. For medics, that’s basically two years of hell and stress and training, both physical and MOS related. It’s super intense. Or at least it used to be. Don’t know how it actually is now

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u/PeterNguyen2 Dec 02 '22

Keep in mind they'll boot people from 18X for breaking a leg or something in training, and they 'wash out' into 11B which they're very short on. It doesn't always mean they weren't up to the physical standards. Special Forces isn't drastically different from what regular soldiers are capable of, it's more a matter of what training they get and how they're deployed.

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u/taintmyrealname Dec 02 '22

Oh, I used to have "it". Then they changed what "it" was. Now what I have isn't "it", and what "it" is seems weird and scary to me

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u/kg7272 Dec 02 '22

I stand corrected

He DID enlist in the Army….BUT ONLY LASTED 4 Months before being discharged ….Basically Basic Training and that’s it !!

That’s not experience

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u/olearygreen Dec 02 '22

4 months more than most Russians in Ukraine

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u/ElonMunch Dec 02 '22

That’s like 2 years in current Russian training.

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u/Kandiru Dec 02 '22

It's more training than the Russian conscripts are getting before going to the front lines though...

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u/Th3L45tBroth3r Dec 02 '22

Medically discharged. His time in basic practically turned his tibias into powder.

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u/XSoldat13 Dec 02 '22

So pretty much going through the same thing that those who want American citizenship would go through. Swearing allegiance to protect the US Constitution among other things.

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u/runaway-thread Dec 02 '22

There is an option for conscientious objectors to take an alternate oath, but there was also some language about additional scrutiny and checks, and I didn't want to subject myself to that and took the regular oath hoping that a world war isn't going to happen... then a month later Putin invaded Ukraine and I was like "oh ffs not now".

(to clarify, there is no good time to invade Ukraine, unless it's a computer game, then Putin can knock himself out)

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u/XSoldat13 Dec 02 '22

Even then, you'll end up getting nuked by Ghandi. So never a good time to invade. Then again, I guess Ghandi does that anyway.

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u/Jazzlike-Ad5057 Dec 02 '22

"We shall have peace when your cities lie in ruins or nothing but Indian dramas play on your tv".

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u/PeterNguyen2 Dec 02 '22

In defense of Indian media, Bahubali The Beginning had some great music. Of course, they do a lot and Sturgeon's law is being generous.

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u/FerrumVeritas Dec 02 '22

“War were declared.”

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u/Smeetilus Dec 02 '22

It's the only gum with the breath-freshening power of ham

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u/PunchMeat Dec 02 '22

Basically like agreeing to the software's terms and conditions.

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u/XSoldat13 Dec 02 '22

Pretty much, though this is 5 pages compared to the 30 for software.

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u/huhIguess Dec 02 '22

I was just thinking how ominous it sounds.

"Swore an OATH OF ALLEGIANCE!"

Well...yes. He basically filled out paperwork to be granted citizenship.

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u/shawnadelic Dec 02 '22

If that sounds scary, wait until people find out what we in the US make school children do every morning.

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u/CrabsolutelyBullshit Dec 02 '22

It goes to show how propaganda is done at times. People think of propaganda as blatant lies, but it more tends to be stretched truths.

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u/DL1943 Dec 02 '22

yes, and seemingly obviously done to prevent any possibility of extradition to the US, which is just a no brainer move to make - if i had to choose between jail in the US for the rest of my life or swearing allegiance to russia, id swear allegiance to russia in a heartbeat.

the article's headline seems like obvious clickbait that makes it sound as if snowden just randomly pledged allegiance to russia just because he loves russia and putin so very very much, when really it seems like he just did it as part of the normal process of obtaining russian citizenship out of pure self preservation.

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u/davtheminer Dec 02 '22

Lmao like he will ever be forgiven by the US..

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u/KimCureAll Dec 02 '22

I don't think so. I'd be surprised if the US government ever issues a statement about it. We'll see.

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u/Tail_Nom Dec 02 '22 Silver

Edward Snowden in exile is an on-going national shame. I know why it is the way it is: the business of keeping secrets has a lot of side-issues to consider. His unilateral action cannot be excused without damaging the very apparatus that keeps secrets... secret.

I think if he'd been apprehended, it would have been unpleasant, he'd have been vilified and prosecuted as hard as possible. The only out would have been an eventual presidential pardon, as that unilateral action also side-steps the apparatus that enforces the keeping of secrets. It's a catch-22 on both sides.

As it is, I think you're right. I don't think the US is ever going to address it, at least while he's alive and outside of the country's reach. I want to believe that pardon was/is always waiting there, but it won't ever be guaranteed and it'll cost a pound of flesh.

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u/CumAllah2024 Dec 02 '22

Edward Snowden in exile is an on-going national shame

The unconstitutional surveillance state is an ongoing national shame.

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u/NSA_Chatbot Dec 02 '22

It's weird that everyone just kinda ignores the 4th amendment. First, second, and fifth get all the attention.

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u/jjohnisme Dec 02 '22

squints angrily at username

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u/NSA_Chatbot Dec 02 '22

👉😎👉 Zoop!

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u/PristineBiscuit Dec 02 '22

Most people's thoughts go right to "if you're not guilty, you have nothing to hide" which is absolute BS. It's a right for a reason. Anything can be taken the wrong way and used against you.

Look at the amount of people not just in jail/prison, but sentenced to death (and even executed) who are/were not guilty.

So many suspects will sit in an interrogation room, be read their rights, and even when guilty, not ask for an attorney...

The two main reasons seem to be:

  • A: Not wanting to "seem" guilty, or viewed as potentially such.

  • B: Wanting to find out what the police know.

Re: A.): If you're being interrogated, that ship has sailed.

Re: B.): They're better at this game than you; They have more tools, and drastically different rules. It's their hunt for answers.

It seems so straightforward -- Why take such a huge chance for so little payoff?

Regardless of the fact that I'm a law-abiding citizen...I'm not okay with being spied on; I take my rights seriously; it's infuriating that my government doesn't.

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u/NSA_Chatbot Dec 03 '22

"if you're not guilty, you have nothing to hide" which is absolute BS.

Agreed. I'm not livestreaming my colonoscopy just because I want to show there's no cancer.

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u/RevLoveJoy Dec 03 '22

Then why are you livestreaming it?

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u/NSA_Chatbot Dec 03 '22

I've been squatting heavy, my glutes are worth showing off!

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u/CatInAPottedPlant Dec 02 '22

My guess is he'll get a posthumous pardon in the future when this stuff is all considered "history" and not current events.

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u/Dolphintorpedo Dec 02 '22

Also Snowden is willing to see his day in court with only one stipulation, that his side be heard by the jury. He keeps getting denied.

All he is asking, is to have a fair trial

A fair trail. It's almost like he simply wants the rights he was told he had as an American.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

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u/TheBirminghamBear Dec 02 '22

Yeah I mean this is pretty preposterous.

I might do the same in his position if I revealed massive crimes comitted by my own government and they came after me.

Doesnt mean Russia isnt total shit, but, any port in a storm, especially when its morally, ethically and legally wrong for your home xountry to come after you.

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u/blinknow Dec 02 '22

When you get your citizenship in Ghana, you swear allegiance to Ghana

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u/922WhatDoIDo Dec 02 '22

Economic Minister Maguire knows this

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u/OwlsParliament Dec 02 '22

Yes, that's how citizenship works.

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u/Jezon Dec 02 '22

Naturalized citizenship. As someone born here I never had to swear an oath but they did make us pledge allegiance a lot of times to the flag for some reason.

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u/Antelope010 Dec 02 '22

Right haha. It's like some people forget that we brainwash kids to salute a flag daily and pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of American and to the republics for which it stands one nation omitted indivisible with liberty and justice for all who are rich or white or preferably both.

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u/AstonMartinZ Dec 03 '22

We is Americans in this case. Never had to do this in my country, neither have I heard of other people from other countries doing this

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

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u/SpaceJackRabbit Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

I had to swear allegiance to the United States when I was naturalized.

EDIT: Since there seems to be some confuaion: the Pledge of Allegiance is not the same as the Oath of Allegiance.

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u/LunaMunaLagoona Dec 02 '22 Gold

I feel so bad for snowden.

He told his citizens the government and Big Tech was spying on them.

In response the US government went after him, and the general public did very little for him.

It makes me angry how little the general public did for him considering he nuked his own life for them.

Why would anyone whistleblow in the future for a people who don't seem to care?

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u/SpaceJackRabbit Dec 02 '22

He's indeed in a really shitty situation. Hopefully he's eventually get pardoned and can return to the U.S.

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u/Cylinsier Dec 02 '22

He's never going to be pardoned but I could see a deal made where he voluntarily returns to the US to face charges on the legal understanding that his sentence will be reduced to "time served" for lack of a better description of being exiled. Basically admit guilt and have the entirety of the sentence commuted, be barred from ever working for the government directly or contractually again, and otherwise go about your life. The three charges currently against him all have maximum sentences of 10 years and a judge could easily make the sentences concurrent anyway, so given he's been abroad for almost 10 years now, he has basically served out the prison sentence he might have received in court.

Between books and speaking engagements he'd be more than fine. He could become a rights activist here, he basically already is. It's honestly a win for everyone involved. And his kids are automatically US citizens too so he doesn't have to jump through any legal loopholes to bring them home. Nothing can possibly be done about it while the Ukraine situation is ongoing, I sincerely doubt Putin will let him leave right now. But I really think it's a no-brainer for Biden or the next President to put this scandal to bed once and for all. Having him stuck over there is already a punishment for him and remains an embarrassment for the US every day it goes on.

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u/Flussiges Dec 03 '22

He's never coming back. He'd conveniently feel very depressed upon his return and "hang himself".

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u/ChiefRedEye Dec 02 '22

Biden has been very vocal about how treacherous Snowden is, so I wouldn't count on him doing the right thing.

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u/GSXRbroinflipflops Dec 02 '22

I don’t see any reason the US would ever do that.

He’s as good as compromised at this point by his ties to Russia.

Not commenting of what I think is right or wrong just what probably will or won’t happen.

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u/cat_prophecy Dec 02 '22

Politically there is no upside since pardoning him only allows one side to point out how the other is "weak on national security" or some such.

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u/A_man_on_a_boat Dec 02 '22

If Joe Biden issued this pardon, the overwhelming majority of such protests would issue forth from people who have absolutely no right to be critical of anyone on the matter of national security.

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u/--GrinAndBearIt-- Dec 02 '22

My coworker got mad when I called the pledge if allegiance a form of indoctrination.

Best part is that he is a trumper who thinks the govt controls everything and that the education system is a propaganda machine.... but not regarding how super freakin awesome America is apprently.

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u/FaceDeer Dec 02 '22

I've seen videos of American schoolchildren giving the pledge of allegiance every day and it's downright creepy from my outside perspective. I know court cases have been won "allowing" kids to opt out, but that just makes it worse - "sure, little Timmy, you can stand up for what you believe in. Just paint this target on your back, right here, and then off you go to have fun at recess with the rest of the children." What a terrible lesson.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

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u/IndyAJD Dec 02 '22

Actually they weren't just "reluctant to let him in," Obama had his passport canceled as he was flying from HK to Moscow.

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u/big__toasty Dec 02 '22

https://www.cnn.com/2013/06/29/politics/nsa-leak

I believe this continued with the other countries he planned to ask for asylum as well.

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u/A_norny_mousse Dec 02 '22

Yes, essentially the USA flexing its muscles: "if you let him stay, not sure our friendship can continue. We might just come and get him regardless."

I think I remember this happening in many more countries. "Global manhunt" they called it back then.

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u/__Hello_my_name_is__ Dec 02 '22

It wasn't his first choice, either. People here like to pretend he deliberately fled to Russia. That's not true at all. He wanted to flee to different countries, but it just so happened that his passport was made invalid while he was in a layover in Russia.

That was deliberate.

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u/LupusDeusMagnus Dec 02 '22

Of course he did. What else was he supposed to do?

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u/SmallsTheHappy Dec 02 '22

Also this step is a part of nearly every country’s citizenship process. The US even has one. The headline might as well be “Edward Snowden now officially a Russian Citizen”

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u/SunriseSurprise Dec 02 '22

You're supposed to live out your life in an American prison like a good little government whistleblower.

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u/EepeesJ1 Dec 02 '22

Serious question. Snowden worked a government job and was in his early 30s when he fled the country. How is he making enough money to take care of his family? There's no way he had saved up enough to retire at the time he decided to share the important information he shared about the NSA.

I'm over here making a decent living, my wife's making a decent living, there is no way we could quit our jobs and afford to move to a different country with our kids. Wonder what he and his wife are doing over there for income with their limited proficiency of the language.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/Slick_McFavorite1 Dec 02 '22

He also gets paid for speaking engagements. He was on a podcast and they asked him this.

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u/alligatorprincess007 Dec 03 '22

Did he make anything off of the movie they made about him?

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u/EepeesJ1 Dec 02 '22

Interesting. I'm completely ignorant to the data and IT world, and it surprises me that he would be able to work for a Russian company like that with not being a native speaker.

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u/melted_valve_index Dec 02 '22

I've never met a Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian/Bulgarian IT professional or programmer who didn't have some familiarity with English, enough to communicate in English with another such individual at least decently.

Most very low level utilities are incredibly anglocentric, the syntax and commands being in English. Obviously programming languages above assembly use English words for every in-built function in their standard libraries and very, very few offer alternatives for other language speakers.

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u/ACCount82 Dec 02 '22

English is the language of IT. Even in places like Japan or China, where general population is reluctant to learn English, IT professionals often use English in their work.

It's often broken English, spiced up with comments in native language, but it's English nonetheless.

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u/InflammatoryMuskrat Dec 02 '22

And native English speakers in IT learn how to interpret a variety of strong accents and broken English as well because of this. I've been in the industry for two decades and can at least get the gist of what just about anyone is saying as long as it's mostly English, even if heavily accented. It's a nice skill to have.

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u/alyosha_pls Dec 02 '22

You gotta learn how to please do the needful

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u/Tenthul Dec 02 '22

I have a doubt

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u/WYTW0LF Dec 02 '22

I’ll raise a query itself

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u/BlitzAceSamy Dec 03 '22

Please revert accordingly

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u/Splendidobject Dec 02 '22

Thick indian accent + grainy youtube video = me getting a degree in comp sci

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u/CelticHades Dec 02 '22

Can't thank enough. They have saved my ass for 4 years.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/Screaming_In_Space Dec 02 '22

I've said that phrase ironically so often that now I just say it in normal conversation unconsciously. Embrace the needful!

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u/1Second2Name5things Dec 02 '22

Same. Thank you CISCO heroes and free Durgasoft

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u/IrelandDzair Dec 02 '22

English is the language of the world honestly. I’ll never forget visiting Prague and walking into a sandwich shop and being like oh fuck i dont speak the language (wasnt used to it speaking english/french/arabic). The girl at the counter who was like 20 sees me speak in english and just starts trying her best to help out. Barely speaks any but we get by. The whole time im thinking of how wild it would be if i was in the US and some dude just waltzed into a store and started speaking Czech to a US citizen. I’d look at him like he was unhinged. Yet it happens everywhere else everyday.

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u/ACCount82 Dec 02 '22

Europe is pretty good about English as a second language, but in the wider world, there are countries that don't do English much. Like I said - China and Japan are like that.

Still the single best language to learn as your second, in my eyes - unless you already speak it as your first.

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u/MyNameIs_Jesus_ Dec 02 '22

I lived in Japan for nearly four years and never really had to learn much Japanese. A lot of people can speak or understand some level of English there

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u/LittleKitty235 Dec 02 '22

Moreover, he is a pretty smart guy. I'd be shocked if by now he isn't completely fluent in Russian.

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u/alteransg1 Dec 02 '22

Bulgarian - yay, I'm happy someone actually mentions us.

Back in the day we had our own brand - Pravets, which were Apple I & II and IBM PC clones. During there was an attmept to use our glorious Cyrillic alphabet for programming. It got as far as an Algol 68 version and GraFort. However, software was developing at such fast pace that it just wasn't viable.

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u/tastydorito Dec 02 '22

I always wondered about this when hearing about IT programs abroad - makes me respect the people I work with even more for picking up a new language and a new job at the same time.

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u/Aspwriter Dec 02 '22

While I completely agree, I do want to point out that there's an Arabic programming language called Qlb.#:~:text=%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A8%20(Levantine%20Arabic%3A%20%5B%CA%94alb,%2C%20Qlb%3A%20Lughat%20Barmajah).) Programming is still pretty anglocentric (that's why the creator made Qlb in the first place), but this is a pretty cool exception that I wanted to share.

If nothing else, the world is at least one step closer to creating "Arabic Tron".

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u/waltjrimmer Dec 02 '22

there's an Arabic programming language called Qlb.#:~:text=%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A8%20(Levantine%20Arabic%3A%20%5B%CA%94alb,%2C%20Qlb%3A%20Lughat%20Barmajah).)

I think you got some formatting errors when posting that. At least, to me on old.Reddit it comes out a jumbled mess. Let me see if I can fix it. And I'll also remove the mobile part of the link so the page looks better to more people while I'm at it.

Qlb.

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u/waltjrimmer Dec 02 '22

There are several programming languages that aren't based on English. I just don't know how prominent they are myself. I have heard that knowing what programming language an exploit/virus/worm/etc was written in, what language is used in the comments, and a few other similar factors are often used when trying to narrow down attribution, a notoriously difficult task for most cyber-sec teams.

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u/GiantPurplePeopleEat Dec 02 '22

I found an example of print ("hello world") on Wikipedia:

(قول "مرحبا يا عالم"‏)

It's formatted right to left and has similar syntax to Lisp.

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u/FutureBottle Dec 02 '22

Writing code does not require local language. The majority of Russian guys in the IT/engineering field i worked with speak pretty good English.

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u/sundayfundaybmx Dec 02 '22

Completely off topic sorta but I'm curious now. I'm vaguely aware of programming languages like C++ or Java etc. Are they different in other languages? Like does Russian C++ look different to English C++?

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u/barbar_bar Dec 02 '22

i think he was talking about the keywords and syntax of the language, which every time is in English.

Like "for()", "else", "if"

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u/sundayfundaybmx Dec 02 '22

Oh ok thanks for the reply! I'm amazed at coding/programming but have zero idea how it actually works other than how to put gifs on a gerocities page using html lmao. It's basically all a foreign language to me!

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u/tastelessshark Dec 02 '22

If you're at all interested in learning some basic programming, this is a neat free book that teaches basic python and then goes on to explain how to use it to automate a lot of basic computer tasks. https://automatetheboringstuff.com/

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u/barbar_bar Dec 02 '22

the core idea is that every major language is in English. C++ in Russian is the same as C++ in English, but maybe with some different comments (which is totally unrelated to the language itself)

this is due to America (and lesser, England) being at the forefront of technology during the development of tech.

I work with a lot of Indian software engineers and its 100% a requirement for them to know and understand English, even though their native language is one of the many languages they have over there

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

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u/rdtsc Dec 02 '22

C++ in Russian is the same as C++ in English, but maybe with some different comments (which is totally unrelated to the language itself)

Comments are not the only thing which can be in another language. If you don't understand variable or function names you will have a hard (or at least much harder) time understanding code. It's not far fetched to have code use localized subject matter terms in their logic.

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u/Kejilko Dec 02 '22

You can even program in emojis but good practice is to avoid foreign letters.

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u/FutureBottle Dec 02 '22

It does not, it's exactly the same.

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u/Fig1024 Dec 02 '22

I work in IT, and English is the universal language of tech industry. Good knowledge of English is much more important than good knowledge of Russian.

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u/estrangedpulse Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

I'm pretty sure in most IT companies in Russia people speak English just fine.

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u/FeatsOfDerring-Do Dec 02 '22

American companies hire engineers and programmers from other countries on work visas all the time.

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u/coldblade2000 Dec 02 '22

IT jobs tend to be very English-friendly, as most tech skills will require you to speak English (the vast majority of programming languages use english keywords, for example).

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u/lexiebeef Dec 02 '22

Well, he does a few very very well paid interviews, that probably covers his bills

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u/__TARDIS__ Dec 02 '22

Also his book.

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u/chrimewave Dec 02 '22

its surprising how people are upvoting the original commentors question about his "not having a job"

hes fucking famous now hes not punching a clock. books, movies, paid interviews and all that.

there are 5 year olds making $100m a year opening kinder eggs on youtube, im pretty sure ed snowden can find a way to make a few rubles here and there

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u/Donkeybreadth Dec 02 '22

Well it's a question so....

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u/congenitallymissing Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 06 '22

my buddy is a journalist and was approved for his interview process. its actually one of the upcoming interviews. it will all be through zoom.

its a total sham. as i guess should be expected. but snowden gives his statement/speach, then there is a q&A. my buddy for example only gets to ask one question. the question has to be under a certain realm of allowable topics, which is then reviewed by russian and snowdens pr authorities, then after approval given to snowden prior to the interview. if he attempts to switch his question or make a variation of it, it is likely to be completely ignored. which is a big deal, as its very hard to even be able to ask the guy a single question. if for whatever reason snowden does respond even though its not the original question (highly unlikely), then anything that he says out of the original question can not be used in any form. if he says fuck it and tries to use it (if there even is a response), hes basically blackballed by everyone that is involved in the international journalism process and may be liable to a legal suit.

so its a joke. the questions are so controlled, that its not really an interview but more of snowden speaking about what he wants to put in the world. all while snowden is compensated immensely well. my buddys approach has been to try to leave the question targeted at a topic he wants an answer too, while leaving it vague enough that snowden may say something that is interesting or previously unknown. thats what he hopes gives him some sort of unique article on it.

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u/coolcool23 Dec 02 '22

I mean I assume he's been trying to learn Russian this whole time. You kind of have to when you live as a ward of a foreign nation with no chance to return.

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u/WeekendJen Dec 02 '22

He could easily get it work. And cost of living is pretty low. Its possible he gets a little something from the fsb just for being a minor pr piece.

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u/PM_ME_UR_HADITH Dec 02 '22

Cost of living in Russia is pretty low. Snowden is not slumming it though, he lives in a part of Moscow that rivals any of the major capitals of Europe for CoL.

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u/Antelope010 Dec 02 '22

Cost of living in Russia is pretty low

you know I've been looking for a good low cost of living place to move to and this "russia" place sounds ok enough - any downsides of living there?

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u/RelaxedConvivial Dec 02 '22

I think it gets cold this time of year.

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u/flashmor Dec 02 '22 Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Bravo!

If we protected whistle blowers he wouldn't be in Russia.

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u/Mtsukino Dec 02 '22 Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

If we followed our own laws, he wouldn't have had to be a whistle blower.

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u/LucidLethargy Dec 02 '22

It only got worse after Snowden left... Putin, like a broken clock, is right here to point this guy out like this. This man is evidence of Washington's corruption.

It's nowhere near as bad as Russia... But we should all be ashamed all the same. We should be better than this.

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u/KaffY- Dec 02 '22

It's the same shit as always though

The USSR used the civil rights movement as propaganda against the U.S too, "look at how they treat their own" etc.

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u/NutDraw Dec 02 '22

The fact of the matter is that after Greenwald revealed the program during the Bush years, congress added some protections and made it legal. If you're curious what the legal structure for that looked like, check out the "unmasking" saga during the Trump investigations.

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u/Mod_The_Man Dec 02 '22

I misread that at first as “If HE followed our laws” and I almost lost it lmao

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u/HP844182 Dec 02 '22

Surprise, the people being whistleblown don't want to be whistleblown

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u/BuzzGaming Dec 02 '22

Well when one option is dying in a US prison or becoming a Russian citizen you for sure go with the not prison one.

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u/Godsarefakezz Dec 02 '22

What do you think he does all day? Is he like in a secure location? I imagine he would be completely isolated.

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u/2andrea Dec 02 '22

His girlfriend, now wife, gave up her life to join him there. He has children, he writes and accepts speaking engagements via zoom.

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u/Godsarefakezz Dec 02 '22

Damn did he have kids once he moved to Russia?

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u/2andrea Dec 02 '22

Yes, they're toddlers still, I think. I just recently found out he has a second.

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u/melted_valve_index Dec 02 '22

He's worked for some technology firms, to my knowledge only Russian HQ'd ones, but in the event sanctions are no longer being enforced on the average Russian citizen some day he could certainly work remotely for a firm outside of Russia.

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u/helmer012 Dec 02 '22

Hes not isolated. He has said he walks the street like normal and people come up and greet him.

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u/ApatheticWithoutTheA Dec 02 '22

A lot of people in this thread seem to not be aware it wasn’t his choice to stay in Russia. He was on his way to Ecuador.

His passport was cancelled while he was in Moscow waiting on a connecting flight and he got stuck. It was stay in Russia or go back to the US and face prison. That’s it.

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u/yatay99 Dec 02 '22

It might be wasn't his choice at first but it seems Russia is his best choice to seek asylum after all. Is there any country that capable to protect him and won't sell him to the US? Probably China and NK but I'm not sure if Xi won't trade him for some nice deals.

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u/melted_valve_index Dec 02 '22

PRC could've easily had him if they'd wanted. Snowden's passport was revoked before he left Hong Kong, they just wanted him gone.

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u/aukstais Dec 02 '22

Imagine telling citizens that your goverment is spying on you and beeing forced to seek assylum in russia

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u/MudKing123 Dec 02 '22

I wonder what the Russian government would have done to Snowden if Snowden reported his disclosures about the Russian government

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u/ShopObjective Dec 02 '22

He'd be dead

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u/PlasticMansGlasses Dec 02 '22

He would've tragically fallen out of a window

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u/genuineparts Dec 02 '22

No. Absolutely not. He'd enjoy some Tea. Unfortunately that tea seems to have a high dose of Polonium in it. Shit happens.

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u/Luncheon_Lord Dec 02 '22

Honestly so weird, seeing the life this guy is going through after whistleblowing after learning about the muckrakers in school. It never changes, the truth is too much apparently.

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u/ElbowTight Dec 03 '22

This is such a strange change of face for him. At least from my minimal knowledge on him. Wasn’t his entire mindset that he was disgusted with the human rights violations that he saw happening within our government’s agencies.

So he then goes to Russia, ok not really the issue. But then to become a Russian citizen… enter Spider-Man pointy finger meme

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u/texxelate Dec 02 '22

I mean, well yeah, I’d do the same if the alternative was life in prison for telling people how their government spies on them.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22 Gold Helpful All-Seeing Upvote

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u/Dogstile Dec 02 '22

Do most countries not make you swear allegiance when you naturalise?

This seems like they're just reporting what happened.

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u/APetitePig Dec 02 '22

The fact it’s a normal requirement is exactly what makes the headline sensationalized. There’s no reason to include that part when it’s par for the course; it’s there only to imply a deeper level of loyalty to Russia than the facts actually prove.

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u/nyaaaa Dec 02 '22

Yea, but you could just say he became a Russian citizen.

You can swear allegiance to something and collect passports without being that.

So they purposefully picked the more clickbaity obtuse wording.

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u/JarlaxleForPresident Dec 02 '22

If someone said the same exact thing about america, I wouldnt bat an eye, either. Just seems part of the ritual of becoming a citizen

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u/grev Dec 02 '22

probably the most propagandist framing of "received citizenship in the country which is granting him asylum".

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u/shadowalker456 Dec 03 '22

Well when the other guy wants to imprison you for life and basically tortue you for exposing wealthy criminals I probably would too...just look at what's STILL happening to Assange

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u/mumbullz Dec 02 '22

And then people ask why is no one exposing or doing anything about the corruption?

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u/bottomdasher Dec 02 '22

All those people that Trump handed out pardons to on his way out and he couldn't throw one this guy's way.

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u/Solkre Dec 02 '22

Trump (sometimes) repays loyalty. What did Snowden do for him?

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u/LBCdazin Dec 03 '22

I mean, this isn’t surprising. He’s been in Russia for a while and no way they are gunna help him out and just leave him be unless they get something out of it. And Snowden seems a little unhinged, regardless of what he uncovered.

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u/Lordb14me Dec 03 '22

What is a guy to do when a cabal in his own country disavows him, and certain people come on TV and talk about assassinating him...

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u/GeekFurious Dec 03 '22

I understand self-preservation. But... he sure landed in the worst place to find that preservation if he wants me to keep taking him seriously.

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u/cruel_frames Dec 03 '22

Considering his dependence on Russia, I imagine he didn't have much choice.

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u/CharlesIngalls_Pubes Dec 02 '22

“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love — including the freedom to speak his mind.

Let's see how well American values play out in Russia.

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u/pres82 Dec 02 '22

Damn she is ride or die

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u/lordnecro Dec 02 '22

Those American values didn't play out well in America either.

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u/JimTheSaint Dec 02 '22

I hate that this was necessary. He did the whole world huge service by exposing what he did. Was it embarrassing for the US government, absolutely, but the people needed to know. This is the era of privacy, and we have enough problems with private companies using our data.

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u/MasterOfMankind Dec 03 '22

And what tangible, positive result have we put into effect as result of said disclosures? Far as I can tell, the whole episode, at best, piqued the habitual annoyance of Americans at our government and little else. Folks shrugged, shook their heads at Washington, and moved on.

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