Very very interesting and disturbing… … if you believe that General David Petraeus, former CIA director David Petraeus, … is possibly going to be in Donald Trump’s cabinet. Katie Couric, who is the Yahoo global news anchor … interviewed Edward Snowden in Moscow and Edward Snowden said that former CIA director general David Petraeus disclosed … “information that was far more highly classified than I ever did, … and yet has never spent a single day in jail” Again: this is relevant today, because David Petraeus is being considered… … for Secretary of State in the incoming Trump administration. And this all started talking about what’s going on with Snowden. Snowden’s lawyers in the US are… … sort of worried about the Trump administration, and the possibility… … that the Trump administration will take a very hard lined position against Snowden. So they either want a last-minute pardon from President Obama, … or to negotiate some kind of plea bargain … that would allow Snowden to come back to the United States… … without having to spend a lot of time in federal prison. So Katie Couric asked Edward Snowden: “Well, what kind of plea bargain might you accept?” And Edward Snowden said: “You know, there are cases, like with David Petraeus… … where far worse things were done than what I did, … and yet there wasn’t a single day served in prison. That’s how Petraeus’ name came up And here’s what Edward Snowden had to say to Katie Couric:>>What would a plea deal look like for you?>>You know, I’m not actually sure, because I’m not a lawyer, but the idea here is: when most people who are involved in government, … or the intelligence community are involved in some sort of case where the government goes “This person was acting in good faith, … they were trying to do right by the American people, … but they did break the law” no charges were ever brought, or they’re brought very minimally. Perhaps the best-known case in recent history here … is General Petraeus, who shared information… … that was far more highly classified … than I ever did with journalists. And he shared this information not with the public for their benefit , but with his biographer and lover, for personal benefit. Conversations that had information, detailed information about military special access programs. It’s classified above top secret conversations with the President and so on. When the government came after him, they charged him with a misdemeanor. He never spent a single day in jail, despite the type of classified information he exposed. When we had the most senior intelligence official in the United States, general James Clapper, who lied to the American people and all of Congress on camera, under oath, in the Senate, in a famous exchange with Ron Wyden, …he wasn’t even charged. Whatever you think about Edward Snowden, there is no doubt … … that there are two justice systems in the United States. There are two sets of laws. But regardless, there are also some differences that are important to recognise. The information that General David Petraeus gave his lover biographer Broadwell is information that was not used in her book about David Petraeus. And it was information that was not made public. However, Petraeus did admit to making a false statement to the FBI about what he said, and that is very serious and it should be taken very seriously. There’s an interesting tech angle also, which is that the way that David Petraeus was communicating with with Miss Broadwell was that they were using a regular old gmail account which they would draft emails. They would create an email and draft it, but not send it. And then the other, Broadwell, would log in and she would be able to read the draft that Petraeus had written, get the information that she needed, and then delete it. And I wonder who thought of that because you’ve got a guy who is by many estimations a military genius and apparently a total technological moron for the CIA director, Pat to be using the old “Let’s use the unsent gmail drafts method to communicate”, that is something that drug dealers have been caught doing that’s something terrorists have been caught doing. And David Petraeus thought that it was a good way to communicatie … very classified information. Another interesting angle to this too is Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is Mike Pompeo, who actually called for the execution of Edward Snowden. His predecessor is David Petraeus, one of them and you’d have to imagine that he’d be logically consistent. If you just call for the death penalty for Snowden, you would do the same for Petraeus, right? Yeah, well logical consistency, I would not hold my breath there, as far as the Trump administration is concerned. I think it’s also important to distinguish between leakers and whistleblowers Edward Snowden is generally talking about… … he had intent to help the American people. To be clear though, Edward Snowden did not expose crimes. He exposed completely concerning and ineffective surveillance… … that had been legalized by the government. And you can make the case it shouldn’t be legal, you can make the case that it’s absolutely sort of irrelevant in the global war on terror to the extent that, that you believe that these techniques can or should be discussed in fighting that global war on terror, But it is very different from what Chelsea Manning for example exposed. So I think it’s relevant to talk about two justice systems when we talk about Snowden, Manning, Petraeus, the leaking or disclosing of classified information But it’s also very important not to conflate a lot of these instances. Just because you think something is unethical doesn’t mean that you are a whistleblower if that action or thing you’re exposing is not against the law. And I know many people will hear me say that and will say “But David, it SHOULD be against the law,” and that’s perfectly reasonable to say, But if it’s not, legally speaking we’re talking about two different things.