Depends what you mean by fair trial, doesn’t it Eddie?

Edward Snowden has told supporters he would be willing to return to the US if the government could guarantee a fair trial.

What do we mean by fair trial here?

The former National Security Agency contractor, who has been living in Russia since June 2013, said he would present a public interest defence of his decision to leak thousands of classified intelligence documents if he appeared before a US jury. “I’ve told the government I would return if they would guarantee a fair trial where I can make a public interest defence of why this was done and allow a jury to decide,”

Not entirely sure that’s something the government can guarantee, is it? Lawyers?

It’s the judge who decides what line of defence you can offer, isn’t it?

66 thoughts on “Depends what you mean by fair trial, doesn’t it Eddie?”

  1. Philip Scott Thomas

    It’s the judge who decides what line of defence you can offer, isn’t it?

    Is that true of the American legal system? I was under the impression that American judges were more like a committee chairman who ensures everyone adheres to Roberts’ Rules of Order. I don’t remember any TV show or movie where an American judge instructs the jury which verdict they must return.

    No doubt others will know more about this than I.

  2. The US system doesn’t like fair trials. It likes plea bargains. Hint – never piss off a public prosecutor or an attorney general over there….

  3. And why would they do that? What possible benefit does Hilldog or Cruz or whoever get from offering a deal?

    It seems to me that Snowden assumed that the stuff he revealed would have huge public support, presidential pardon, ticker tape parade, national hero, knee-deep in clunge, and that just hasn’t happened. And he’s now realising that he’s going to remain a bum in Russia for the forseeable future.

    The real problem is that some of what he revealed IS geniunely traitorous. Telling people that the US government spied on Germany is not in the national interest.

  4. If a judge can decide what line of defence you are allowed to offer then you are, as a defendant in the American legal system, basically fucked. Oh, wait…

  5. @Stig,

    Saying the US spies on Germany or that Germany spies on the US – come on, everyone knows that goes on but has to pretend to be shocked when a spook gets unmasked. Maybe there’s a “this isn’t too bad, public has a right to know” defence for unmasking US spooks in Germany, (not that the US public will have much of a problem with that), but I believe (might be wrong here) that he also unmasked spooks in places like Afghanistan. That really isn’t on.

  6. Basically he doesn’t want to “disappear” for no reason. It would be very easy for him to be taken out in once in a jail but before he was able to tell his side in court.

    I am not disagreeing that Snowden released classified information that didn’t need to be released. Yes he is a traitor and deserves whatever comes. At the same time he also exposed authoritative elements creeping into our government. What he wants is an open airing of the reasons behind his decision to release classified information. I’m sure in his mind he is a great patriot. Sadly the general public said nothing as measures like the Patriot Act were put in place eroding our freedoms.

  7. BiG

    Countries spying on each other – yes, shock horror!

    Unmasked spooks in Afghanistan?

    I thought that was Wikileaks (being indiscriminate). I may be completely wrong but I didn’t see anything in reference to Snowden doing that?

  8. “Sadly the general public said nothing as measures like the Patriot Act were put in place eroding our freedoms.”

    The same privacy erosions continue to take place in the UK – with most people being too dull to either see it or care…

  9. The NSA basically want to collect everybody’s cellphone data for God only knows what use at a later date. They were doing this data collection secretly, in violation of the constitution (our cellphone data is a personal effect per the 4th amendment), and had a shit fit when Snowden revealed this.

    James Clapper also perjured himself before Congress, but he won’t be indicted because it’s politically convenient to go after a little guy like Snowden.

  10. “The NSA basically want to collect everybody’s cellphone data”

    The current spat between the FBI and Apple is just more of the same. The FBI is using SF as an excuse to make an end run around those who have been blocking back doors into software. Most likely the NSA already has everything of value on Farook’s phone. The problem is that it currently isn’t admissible in court

    For anyone that believes the state should approve your every movement this is no problem. Anyone that doesn’t want to live in an authoritarian regime should oppose these egregious overreaches. Unfortunately most people just don’t care to understand what is happening.

  11. I actually thought about the FBI’s going after Apple after I posted. As I said over at Samizdata, it’s sad to see how many William Ropers we have who are glad to see the FBI trying to stick it to Apple because they don’t like Tim Cook.

  12. Although the overall cases are different this is almost identical to what is happening to AG Kane.

    In both cases a whistle blower has exposed government wrongdoings using illegal manners thanks to a flawed system.

  13. @ LY
    You are moaning about people who have broken the law being prosecuted.
    A lot of guys over here are moaning about people who have not broken the law being persecuted.

  14. I’m moaning about people who have broken the law being prosecuted by those who have broken the law in far worse ways. Once we have trials for most of the Bush II administration we can move on to the relatively minor crimes of Snowden.

  15. When is Hilary Clinton being prosecuted? I am assuming her sending official and classified emails through a personal account is very criminal, even for a Clinton?

  16. Yes it is but first we need to prosecute the Republicans that did it before. Well not we, will the Hague take the lot of them?

  17. That was done to expose the crimes of others. Once again Snowden is guilty of treason and deserves what he gets. However we need to try those that broke the law before him in a first come, first serve manner so he could be waiting decades.

  18. Spot on, Timmy. Re. the UK, at least. Here, all the judge can do is rule on what the law says is allowed as a defence.

    Not the same thing at all as a fair trial.

  19. I respectfully disagree gentlemen. Certainly in the UK there is a massive number of ordinary people who believe that the security services can do whatever they think is necessary to keep us from being blown up.

    And they also believe that there are quite a lot of Islamic nutters trying to do so, and are consequently quite happy with the general approach.

    IMHO. ..

  20. So Much For Subtlety

    Ted S. – “The NSA basically want to collect everybody’s cellphone data for God only knows what use at a later date. They were doing this data collection secretly, in violation of the constitution (our cellphone data is a personal effect per the 4th amendment), and had a shit fit when Snowden revealed this.”

    The NSA has been collecting metadata. So not everyone’s phone calls but a list of everyone everyone else has been ringing. Basically they are storing your phone bills. I am not sure this is a particularly outrageous invasion of privacy. Nor has a single Fourth Amendment challenge won in the courts. It may be wrong to read your mail, but it is hardly wrong to write down all the people you send a letter to.

    No one has been able to explain precisely why this should not be allowed.

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Liberal Yank – “Once we have trials for most of the Bush II administration we can move on to the relatively minor crimes of Snowden.”

    Trials for what? P!ssing off East Coast liberals?

    Liberal Yank – “Yes it is but first we need to prosecute the Republicans that did it before.”

    Name three Republicans who set up their own private servers. And notice that we have prosecuted Republicans who have done something similar. General Petraeus for instance. Scooter Libby went to jail even though he did nothing wrong whatsoever.

    As usual with most liberals you allow your Republican Derangement Syndrome create one law for Republicans and a completely different set of laws for Democrats.

  22. SMFS of the Republicans that have been in the presidential race Bush, Walker, Rubio, Christie, and Jindal all had private email servers. If you want Secretary of State specifically there were only 2 under Bush II who were Powell and Rice. It has previously been a common practice and I’m sure I could quickly find a list of other Democrats that have done the same. The email server issue is a typical Cliton snipe hunt. If we charge her then we also need to charge everyone else that has done it.

    Trials for authorizing the use of torture for one. Fabricating a war is another. If Bush II and co had been in charge of a Mideast country instead of the US they are the exact type of people they would bomb after deciding the billions in aid they had given themselves was a mistake. The only thing I can say they did which was legal was leaving office after 8 years.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Liberal Yank – “of the Republicans that have been in the presidential race Bush, Walker, Rubio, Christie, and Jindal all had private email servers.”

    It is not a crime to have a private e-mail server. It is a crime to use it to transmit top secret documents and to destroy government property that is stored on it. If you have any evidence that any of these have committed a crime, let’s see it.

    “If you want Secretary of State specifically there were only 2 under Bush II who were Powell and Rice.”

    Source please. Not that I want to accuse you of making sh!t up.

    “Trials for authorizing the use of torture for one.”

    The Bush administration had a legal opinion that what they did was not torture. So where is the crime?

    “Fabricating a war is another.”

    Making stuff up again. Prove the fabrication.

    “If Bush II and co had been in charge of a Mideast country instead of the US they are the exact type of people they would bomb after deciding the billions in aid they had given themselves was a mistake.”

    But they are not. They were democratically elected and democratically accountable.

    “The only thing I can say they did which was legal was leaving office after 8 years.”

    Then you’re an idiot.

  24. Start here but you won’t believe the sources.

    I never bookmarked the source claiming Rice and Powell used private email so I will forfeit those for now.

    As to the fabricated war this tells part of the story. Feel free to open your eyes and you can find a lot more. What is really scary is I clearly recall the discussion with my girlfriend during Powell’s UN speech. The key points were: we wouldn’t find WMDs, Powell’s political career was over, and the war would turn out to be a huge mistake with no one gaining anything. Only on the last point were we even remotely incorrect. The Kurds did manage to carve out a rump homeland so someone had a benefit. Thanks to the no-fly zones enforced by Bill Clinton the Kurds had managed to start creating their state so it might have happened without the disastrous war.

    “But they are not. They were democratically elected and democratically accountable.”

    Only if you drink the koolaide about what happened in Florida. As to being held accountable that will only occur if criminal charges are filed. Since Obama pulled a Ford and didn’t push for federal prosecutions I doubt we will every have accountability.

    Finally it’s funny that you call me an idiot for giving Bush II and co credit for doing something right.

  25. The NSA has been collecting metadata. So not everyone’s phone calls but a list of everyone everyone else has been ringing… I am not sure this is a particularly outrageous invasion of privacy.

    Well then, I suppose following you around during the day, making note of where you go and who you talk to shouldn’t be much worse. “Don’t mind that guy with the earpiece parked outside – he’s just my minder.” If you think metadata is innocuous, you might want to have a read through
    http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/

  26. Looking into the charges further Snowden is accused under the Espionage Act.

    A 2015 study by the PEN American Center found that almost all of the non-government representatives they interviewed—including activists, lawyers, journalists and whistleblowers—”thought the Espionage Act had been used inappropriately in leak cases that have a public interest component.” PEN wrote, “experts described it as ‘too blunt an instrument,’ ‘aggressive, broad and suppressive,’ a ‘tool of intimidation, ‘chilling of free speech,’ and a ‘poor vehicle for prosecuting leakers and whistleblowers.'”[108]

    “legal scholars have strongly argued that the US supreme court – which has never yet addressed the constitutionality of applying the Espionage Act to leaks to the American public – should find the use of it overbroad and unconstitutional in the absence of a public interest defense.”

    It is possible Snowden is going all in and trying to get his case to appear before the Supreme Court. Due to the vague nature of the law the best opportunity is if he is denied the right to use a public interest case. From what I can tell in this situation the judge is able to disallow a public interest defense. This should allow for the option for the case to be thrown out or the entire law to be ruled unconstitutional. If he is allowed the public interest defense then the methods used by the NSA will be exposed in a public court room.

    I fully recommend getting a Constitutional law experts opinion and not going on what I’ve learned in the last few hours.

  27. Given that the gov’t has used national
    Security defence indiscriminately so far for any legal challenge perhaps it’s more a case of making sure they don’t use it to stop him using information in his defemce

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    LY,

    Although the overall cases are different this is almost identical to what is happening to AG Kane.

    In both cases a whistle blower has exposed government wrongdoings using illegal manners thanks to a flawed system.

    If Kane had been a whistle blower she would have owned up to the leak and not lied under oath about it. As a lawyer and State Attorney lying under oath has to be the worst crime they can commit, short of terrorism and murder, but there’s not much in it.

    As to Republicans using private emails for secret Government business I find it hard to believe on the simple expedient that if they had Democrats would have made a mch louder song and dance about it and possible brought charges.

  29. I have been told by someone who had no particular reason to lie to me that MI5 have proved to their own satisfaction that Snowden had been a Russian asset for a while, and only broke cover when they accidentally leaked something that made the source completely obvious.

  30. So Much For Subtlety

    Liberal Yank – “Start here but you won’t believe the sources.”

    I see no reason to believe MSNBC.

    “As to the fabricated war this tells part of the story. Feel free to open your eyes and you can find a lot more.”

    Sure, if I was a credulous idiot I could find a lot of other credulous idiots to endorse my credulous idiocy. The problem is there is no evidence anyone lied.

    “Only if you drink the koolaide about what happened in Florida.”

    People have gone over the voting records any number of times. Bush won. It doesn’t matter how you count the votes, he still won.

    “As to being held accountable that will only occur if criminal charges are filed. Since Obama pulled a Ford and didn’t push for federal prosecutions I doubt we will every have accountability.”

    When your conspiracy theory relies on Obama being on the side of the Republicans it is really time to stop drinking the Koolaid. You call yourself a liberal but you are waay out beyond Obama. You will be calling Chomsky right wing next.

    “Finally it’s funny that you call me an idiot for giving Bush II and co credit for doing something right.”

    That is not what you did. You got called an idiot for being an idiot.

    Ted S. – “Snowden didn’t commit treason; Snowden exposed the government’s treason.”

    War is peace, blah, blah, blah. Yes he did and no he didn’t.

    Ted S. – “The courts also declared Obamacare to be a penalty and a tax at the same time.”

    So what? Why should we takes your own tinfoil wrapped opinion over that of every sane person on the planet?

    dcardno – “Well then, I suppose following you around during the day, making note of where you go and who you talk to shouldn’t be much worse.”

    No, it wouldn’t be. People do that. We call them journalists.

    And when they are called George Zimmerman we do not think he deserves to die for it.

  31. I don’t want the state to have more surveillance powers because of the numerous examples we’ve seen of the state abusing its powers and the obvious implication that they’ll abuse these powers too, and I’m the one who’s insane?

  32. Snowden had been a Russian asset for a while, and only broke cover when they accidentally leaked something that made the source completely obvious.

    Plausible, but then why did he flee to the Chinese?

  33. So Much For Subtlety

    Ted S. – “I don’t want the state to have more surveillance powers because of the numerous examples we’ve seen of the state abusing its powers and the obvious implication that they’ll abuse these powers too, and I’m the one who’s insane?”

    You can make sane arguments about what powers the state should or should not have. You chose not to. You chose to go off with the fairies.

    Not that I can see much wrong with this. As I keep saying, the government collecting and storing all our medical records is a much bigger intrusion but no one cares about that. Presumably because we want to look at “German Leather B!tches Get Punished” without it coming back to haunt us.

  34. SMFS: You do yourself little credit with a series of denials of the states evil.

    Bush and his gang should have been hanged for the Patriot Act and the TSA alone. Using the aftermath of a horrific attack to further the states agenda of tyranny.

    That scrawny, jug-eared cunt Obama is more of the same.

    The NSA–like our own dear security services are shite-scum whose aim is the creation of a pan-opticon in which the have something on everyone. That this is a direct route to tyranny is not a genius deduction.

    Snowden–like Assange –is supposed to have led to the deaths of heroic Western operatives. OK since such operatives are beyond any more hurt–lets have their names and full details of what supposedly happened.

    I think we will be waiting a long time. Because the scummy liars of the police state lie.

    This is always the problem with “conservatives”. They can see the evil of the left. But are oblivious to their own room-clearing BO.

  35. @BIW – no idea; convenience and maybe he tried to sell himself to the Chinese? Or they owed the Russians one.

    @Mr Ecks – again, in that conversation, the security services allegedly know exactly how many deaths Snowden/Assange/Wikileaks have directly caused and it’s quite a lot of people

  36. FA–Well if the have details and proof–lets have them–dead men cant be killed twice. And if proof exists it would be damning.

    The reason they aren’t publishing is because it is most likely a pack of smearing lies.

  37. I have been told by someone who had no particular reason to lie to me that MI5…

    Three possibilities.
    i) this was made up by someone uninformed
    ii) this is a true story, related by a spook who just can’t help telling people MI5’s secrets
    iii) MI5 wants to spread this story

    I don’t believe (ii). And I submit that MI5 wanting to spread a story tells one nothing at all about whether it’s true or not.

  38. @ SJW
    It does tell just a teensy bit – it’s likely to either be true or be one that they think someone will believe to their advantage.

  39. @ Liberal Yank
    What happened in Florida was that Al Gore asked for a recount just in the most pro-Democrat part of Florida, Dubya responded by saying (which he didn’t have to) that he’d accept a recount, but only for the whole state.
    That is a matter of public record.
    The recount produced a majority for Bush.
    Some time later thw Washington Post and New York Times tried to create a story by getting a team of volunteers to go through the ballots with three different criteria for judging whether a ballot should be included and two different methods of counting. They imagined that at least one of the six would supply a Gore majority. None did. They tried again and got, as far as I can remember one obscure criterion out of 24 possibilities to show a Gore majority because, and only because, the Democrat counters were significantly under-reporting votes for Bush while the Republicans were not significantly under-reporting votes for Gore.
    I don’t drink Koolaid but I do read statistics.

  40. Three possibilities.

    There’s a fourth:

    iv) It is somebody well-informed of the facts who tells a personal friend what is generally known in his professional organisation, but isn’t known in the outside world.

    I am inclined to believe this simply because it is so common in any line of work, and common for close friends to talk like this. Of course, some people might spend a lifetime unable to earn the trust of friends, or even make friends at all, and all of this would seem mighty strange to them.

  41. Um. The immediate focus was on “chads” – what sort of hole punch should count as a vote. Recounting those doubtful “under-votes”, it seems that Bush would have won on three out of four choices of how to do it, and Gore would have won very narrowly on the fourth.

    However, had the recount proceeded, there would also have been a recount of “over-votes” – where a vote was excluded for voting for two candidates. Had the over-votes been included where the intended choice was unambiguous (a vote and a write-in vote for the same candidate), Gore would have won quite comfortably.

    There was however no doubt about the count in the Supreme Court. There was a 5-4 Republican majority. That’s democracy for you.

  42. What happened in Florida was that Al Gore asked for a recount just in the most pro-Democrat part of Florida, Dubya responded by saying (which he didn’t have to) that he’d accept a recount, but only for the whole state.

    What people also forget is that Gore conceded the election prior to their being any concern about the Florida vote. He conceded. If there is any test which should ascertain whether somebody is fit to be president, conceding and then rescinding the concession should serve to fail it.

  43. There was however no doubt about the count in the Supreme Court. There was a 5-4 Republican majority. That’s democracy for you.

    Presumably democracy would have been well-served had Democrats voted 5-4 in favour and installed Gore.

  44. @ SJW
    No Gore would not havewon on an honest count.
    Setting aside the question of how you can write-in a vote with a hole punch, the legal process kept finding a majority for Bush until the Supreme Court ordered a cessation of the recounting.
    The Washington Post/New York Times group of newspapers recruited a university to give themselves some appearane of legitimate research but the “scrutineers” were largely self-selected which had the obvious consequence that some zealots volunteered. The university actually did some honest research and published, in an appendix, the finding that the Democrat scrutineers were biased. The only way in which the Washington Post could claim a Gore victory was if they disallowed a lot of votes for Bush on the say-so of a Democrat when both the Republican and the Independent scrutineer thought they were valid. There were afew votes for Gore that the Republican disallowed but not any sifgnificant amount.
    Your claim that counting over-votes would have resulted in a Gore victory in an honest count is just self-delusion.

  45. …Setting aside the question of how you can write-in a vote with a hole punch…
    Since you haven’t bothered to find out how the voting worked, your confidence that you know what the result of a full count would have been is just self-delusion.

  46. If you want to understand how politics works in the south Jimmy Carter’s “Turning Point” is a good read. Although this deals with the Democratic party in Georgia the same tactics are used by both parties in most southern states including Florida. Corruption in other regions follows different local customs but the end results are the same. In general it is safe to assume that 1% of the victor’s votes are fraudulent.

  47. Slightly O/T, but I have a friend in Florida who doesn’t think Jeb Bush should be president but says he’s been a pretty good governor. He says Floridians don’t want a “flash” governor, they want somebody who can do speeches in beachwear. Jeb Bush seems to fit that bill nicely.

  48. Liberal Yank said:
    “the same tactics are used by both parties … In general it is safe to assume that 1% of the victor’s votes are fraudulent”

    If both parties are using the same tactics, wouldn’t a similar proportion of the loser’s votes also be fraudulent, putting them back in the same position?

  49. @ SJW
    That was a joke: you know j-o-k-e?
    If I took the time to check the statistical significance of the bias of the registered Democrats in the scrutineers, I might just have noticed that Mickey Mouse gets a lot of votes in Florida.
    Another delusional left-winger referred me to the report because he had spotted that one of the counts invented a Gore majority. So I read through the whole of it, somewhat to my wife’s annoyance and she has since junked it. Unfortunately wiki doesn’t give that report (and it would take hours to hunt it down, let alone read it), just one commissioned by the Tampa Herald which, despite its political leanings, contradicts you statement. On normal definitions Bush wins (the report gives Gore a majority of 3, admitting this is unreliable on one variant) and even after counting “over-votes” Bush wins on two out of four definitions.
    All these numbers are, of course, distorted by the recount in Miami-Dade in the absence of any Republicans. So the reported numbers make Gore look better than the true ones.
    As I said, on any *honest* count Bush won.
    Your statement “However, had the recount proceeded, there would also have been a recount of “over-votes” – where a vote was excluded for voting for two candidates. Had the over-votes been included where the intended choice was unambiguous (a vote and a write-in vote for the same candidate), Gore would have won quite comfortably.” is palpably false for two reasons – there wouldn’t have been a recount of “over-votes” because Gore didn’t ask for one, only for hanging chads which his team could fix in the absence of Republican scrutineers, and because the only comfortable win including over-votes was for Bush.
    Your habit of mis-stating publically-accessible data is very irritating.

  50. john77 said:
    “the Democrat counters were significantly under-reporting votes for Bush while the Republicans were not significantly under-reporting votes for Gore.”

    Is this the actual counters or the newspaper/university’s post-election re-counters? If the actual counters then this is worrying; if the volunteer recounters then hardly surprising.

  51. @Richard Only if we ignore the effects of incumbency, state political machines and how close the race is. There are other factors that have minor effects but these are the keys. I’ve actually been waiting for someone to bring this up. I’ve actually been hoping someone would mention the simplification.

    For the case of Bush vs Gore in Florida neither is an incumbent so I will ignore this factor at this time.

    State political machines are the most important factor in the 2000 Florida elections. For now I will assume that everyone here has a decent grasp on gerrymandering. Local party bosses are still very influential in overseeing their precinct. This power comes from the ability to provide a certain number of votes for their party. More often than anyone will admit the votes come from fraud such as leaving deceased voters on the rolls allowing ballot box stuffing as was the case in Carter’s book. Additionally ballots can be “lost” to ensure that the total count comes out correctly.

    How close the race is determines how much fraud goes on. Obviously in a race when the polls show a landslide fraud isn’t widely used. There simply isn’t a reason to break the law in these cases. As Florida decided the 2000 election it fits as a race in which election official fraud can come into play.

    These cases are very difficult to prove. Signs that tampering has occurred are precincts with unusually high voter turnout with an overwhelming majority. These precincts are late to report results. There were many such precincts in Florida in 2000 with a majority giving Bush, Gore had some as well so I don’t claim the Democrats are innocent either, high numbers of votes. In general the first law enforcement to investigate are local police, patronage jobs filled by local party bosses, so any remaining evidence is destroyed.

    At this time I no longer have the information on which precincts were suspect. Most of it is still available however it requires hours of data collection from various sources. I do not feel it is worth my time to recollect information that will not actually change anything at this point.

    The more important question is how to prevent this type of fraud in the future. Electronic ballots are even easier to manipulate. Voter ID laws do nothing to restrict the actions of election officials. I do have a sense that Cliton has used nefarious methods in both the Iowa(6 of 6 coin flips* went to Cliton) and Nevada(3 of 3 card draws* went to Cliton) caucuses.

    *That I am aware of. I leave open the possibility that my sources only provided some of these. My gut feeling is that the party machine is doing everything it can to give Cliton the win.

  52. J77: it’s irksome of you to accuse me of dishonesty when it’s you who’s got your facts wrong.

    1) There would have been a recount of over-votes, because the guy in charge of the recount said so.

    2) Gore would almost certainly have won had all the votes been properly counted. You can track all the numbers here, albeit not easily. Or you can see the summary at the bottom of this piece which is that Gore would win in all scenarios in a statewide recount which included both over and under votes.
    __

    I’d hope we could discuss this a bit more calmly now, since it’s all ancient history. It’s unfortunate that the result of the election was well within the error created by the various distortions in the voting process. Once that had happened there were only two sensible choices: go with the original result, or count all the ballots properly. It’s not to Gore’s credit that he went with neither of those.

    It’s also unfortunate but perhaps inevitable that the decision should have been made by a party-line vote in the Supreme Court. I agree (!) with TimN that a party-line vote the other way would have been no more attractive. Except that it seems to me that counting the votes properly would have been the best solution, and surely within the resources of the United States of America. I’d accept that it’s difficult for any of us to be sure we’re expressing an unbiased opinion on that point.

  53. SMFS:

    No, it wouldn’t be. People do that. We call them journalists.

    I don’t generally like journalists, since most of them are left-leaning, and many of them are stupid, but I won’t really worry about them until they have the power to put me in a small room with bars on the window. So far, it’s the government who can do that, so that’s who I worry about. YMMV, of course.

  54. @ SJW
    I was not questioning your honesty, merely your ability to read things like wikipedia, but I am not the one ho has got their facts wrong.
    The link you give does not say what you claim it does. It make a specious claim that he was *thinking about* ordering a recount of over-votes.
    Your other link is to a secondhand report (of the report that I read and analysed years ago) that ignores the difference between results taken using majority and unanimous votes by the recounters. It chooses to report only the bits it likes from the study, which actually demonstrated that Bush had won.
    Apart from the minor point that “over-votes” could not be legally accepted whereas there is a grey area and hence room to doubt over whether a “hanging chad” should be counted.

  55. I was not questioning your honesty, merely your ability to read things like wikipedia
    …“over-votes” could not be legally accepted …
    Your preferred source says “3% of the 111,261 overvotes had markings that could be interpreted as a legal vote”

  56. @ SJW
    My preferred source – which you would realise if you could read “timworstall.com” – is the survey commissioned by NYT, Washington Post and other pro-Gore newspapers. Not as a source favouring my views (it actually publishes data that itsown analysis shows to be significantly biased by Gore supporters) but as one where anything that supports them is likely to be indisputable. Also because it is the only source since the Republicans did not see any point in investigating the possibility that Gore could have claimed a victory.
    Having markings that could be interpreted as a legal vote while also having markings that disqualified them. If someone votes for three candidates in an election for two seats, would you argue that it is a valid vote?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *