Report: Snowden sent encrypted copies of his NSA files to people in case anything happens to him

posted at 4:04 pm on June 25, 2013 by Allahpundit

Julian Assange did something like this too. It’s the intel thief’s version of a doomsday machine.

From what I can tell from Twitter, Snowden’s fans think he’s morally justified in doing basically anything he has to in order to stay out of the feds’ clutches, whether it be handing propaganda windfalls to Russia and China by seeking refuge there or threatening to spill a gigantic treasure trove of sensitive information. Maybe they’ll draw the line if/when we find out he paid off his protectors with intelligence — as Greenwald now admits Snowden did to a small degree in revealing the IP addresses of Chinese computers hacked by the NSA — but I doubt it. This is why it gets stupider by the day to say that the story of his escape is merely a distraction from the far more important story of U.S. surveillance capabilities. How is it “distracting” to know there’s a guy running around in China and Russia with huge stores of state secrets, essentially blackmailing the government to let him leak selectively with impunity or else he’ll leak indiscriminately? On what planet is that a non-story?

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian Newspaper journalist Snowden first contacted in February, told the Daily Beast Tuesday that Snowden “has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published.” Greenwald added that the people in possession of these files “cannot access them yet because they are highly encrypted and they do not have the passwords.” But, Greenwald said, “if anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives.”…

Greenwald however said that in his dealings with Snowden, the 30-year-old systems administrator was adamant that he and his newspaper go through the document and only publish what served the public’s right to know. “Snowden himself was vehement from the start that we do engage in that journalistic process and we not gratuitously publish things,” Greenwald said. “I do know he was vehement about that, he was not trying to harm the U.S. Government, he was trying to shine light on it.”

Greenwald said Snowden for example did [not] wish to publicize information that gave the technical specifications or blueprints for how the NSA constructed its eavesdropping network. “He is worried that would enable other states to enhance their security systems and monitor their own citizens.” Greenwald also said Snowden did not wish to repeat the kinds of disclosures made famous a generation ago by former CIA spy, Philip Agee—who published information after defecting to Cuba that outed undercover CIA officers. “He was very insistent he does not want to publish documents to harm individuals or blow anyone’s undercover status,” Greenwald said. He added that Snowden told him, “Leaking CIA documents can actually harm people, whereas leaking NSA documents can harm systems.”

Greenwald also said his newspaper had no plans to publish the technical specifications of NSA systems. “I do not want to help other states get better at surveillance,” Greenwald said. He added, “[w]e won’t publish things that might ruin ongoing operations from the U.S. government that very few people would object to the United States doing.”

Greenwald’s suggesting, in other words, that even the doomsday files have been vetted by Snowden to eliminate stuff that might endanger people in the field or give oppressive regimes pointers on how to get better surveillance. But that makes no sense: If the doomsday files only have the sort of stuff on it that Snowden was going to let the Guardian publish anyway, then chances are it’ll all come out in due time no matter what happens. The doomsday file gives the feds an incentive to let him go only if there’s even more damaging material on there than is known to the journos Snowden’s been working with. And of course that’s really no incentive at all, because the feds aren’t about to let themselves be blackmailed publicly like this. They’re going to go after him, now more than ever, for fear of encouraging other blackmailers.

As for the point that all of this stuff has been carefully vetted, Snowden’s critics toss around the word “narcissistic” usually without explaining what they mean, but this is a fine example of it. He seems to believe he’s reached a degree of omniscience where he can pick and choose what to leak with confidence that it won’t put people at risk, won’t injure the American public’s interest in its own national security, and won’t give rogue regimes critical information on how to improve surveillance. Why he thinks this, I have no idea. Whatever he has and however long he’s sifted through it, he can’t see the entire chessboard, especially on the enemy’s side of the board. To take a minor example, the stuff he leaked about the NSA spying on Medvedev at the G20 a few years ago noted that the U.S. thought it had discovered a change in the way the Russians were transmitting their leadership signals. Did Russia realize that before the Guardian’s story was published a few weeks ago? Probably. Maybe not. Who knows? Does Snowden? And if that’s the sort of thing he’s willing to leak to a paper, what’s in the doomsday files that he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing with journalists (yet)? It’s amazing to me that he feels he can tell what’s truly damaging and what isn’t, and that he thinks he can keep this information secret at his whim from intelligence services all over the world. Frankly, knowing now about the doomsday files, don’t enemies like Russia and China have an extra incentive to disappear him? If anything happens to him, Snowden’s defenders will assume that it was U.S. intel that did it; presumably that’ll trigger the doomsday files, and that’ll give Russia, China, and everyone else access to whatever’s in Snowden’s secret stash. I’m not sure, in other words, that the doomsday stuff doesn’t jeopardize his safety more than it protects it.

It’s hard to recall now, but this clusterfark began ostensibly because Snowden’s conscience could no longer tolerate infringements on Americans’ civil liberties by the U.S. government. Are we to believe, then, that everything in the doomsday files is related to that narrow subject too? If it is, then why is he holding it back? Release it and help the civil libertarian cause before it’s too late. If it isn’t, then why did he take it in the first place and why is he threatening to release it now? We seem to be paying an increasingly steep price in blows to national security for what we’ve learned about data-mining.

Exit question for techies: How would you arrange to send a password to unlock encrypted files if you’re working alone? In Assange’s case, the suspicion was that one of his colleagues at Wikileaks would publish the password if he suddenly disappeared. Snowden, supposedly, is a lone wolf so he needs a way to do this automatically. I imagine you could rig it so that your computer, or whatever system you’re using, asks you periodically if it should refrain from sending the password out, and if you fail to respond then it follows through. Or, I suppose, one of the journalists Snowden’s working with could do it for him. That’d be an interesting twist on journalistic ethics, but rest assured, his fans will defend it.


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Death, like bleach, cures all ills.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I’m thinking hydrofluoric acid as in Breaking Bad) or sodium hydroxide (lye) as a more common variant.

ProfShadow on June 25, 2013 at 9:43 PM

And you’re completely missing my point about getting innocent people killed for the sake of ideological purity, aren’t you?

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Not at all.

You are the sort of person who will make excuse after excuse for government’s violations of the Constitution; no mater how gross those violations may become.
And, when that same “benevolent police state” decides that the time has come to round up certain people and groups of people and inter them in “camps” as dangers to the established order…you will find another excuse.
As long as you can convince yourself that you are *safe*.

Don’t worry, though. You’re not alone. There are all-too-many just like you.
And all of them ready – as are you – to sell out their countrymen for a bit of perceived safety.

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 9:54 PM

My claims of lunacy deal with libertarians who value the privacy of their phone calls over the safety and security of their fellow man, and their absurd claims of the 4th amendment’s pertinence in regards to PRISM.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Your right to feel safe and protected ends where my right to privacy…and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…begin.

If you’re scared…if you feel unsafe…it’s not my concern.
You’ll just have to man up and take personal responsibility for your own safety.

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Don’t pretend that you merely didn’t contract the words correctly.

I did. Sorry. Didn’t. =P

So, the only American freedoms worth dying for relates to property, bodily harm, slavery, and false imprisonment?

Wow, so you think that only half the Constitution is worth fighting for.

It’s quite obvious that you were never in the military.

So, you wouldn’t be willing to risk one life to preserve our freedom of speech, religion, right to bear arms, etc., etc., etc.

In regards to the Constitution, let me put it this way, do I really think that Article III, Section 1 which states

The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

…is really worth holding a massive revolution over if judges endure a pay cut? No. The Constitution deserves respect as being the document which establishes the rule of law, but I am not about to claim that each and every provision in it retains equal moral weight.

How is this germane to American’s being willing to fight and die to preserve American freedoms?

I think you’re losing it.

You missed the point about dying for your freedoms. If you have the freedom to stand in line being the first person there, and someone cuts in front of you, they have curtailed your freedom to be first. If you’re willing to kill for any and every freedom, then you’re going to work yourself into really stupid things to die over.

So, you would rather surrender American freedoms to those that mean to bring us harm than risk injury to Amerians?

You are plain dumb.

Except that you’re sacrificing all of nothing. There’s nothing you could do before surveillance that you can’t do with it.

This is exactly what you’re accusing us of. You’re saying that we need to surrender American freedoms simply because we are being threatened by terrorists. You are criticizing our unwillingness to surrender these freedoms because, GOSH GEE WHIZ, American lives are being threatened.

Please, you’re a joke.

Again, there isn’t even a “freedom” at stake here. You are hindered in no way whatsoever by this.

Thank you for being honest about your inexperience with respect to the world of reconnaissance/surveillance. Many intel collection assets are quite capable of being segregated.

You’re welcome.

Yes, IF certain assets (and the people that controlled them) were used for wiretapping US citizens. Not all US intel collection assets have that capability.

AGAIN, many intel collection assets are quite capable of being segregated. Do you have any idea what this means?

Tell me, would this apply to the folks who manage Carnivore?

Policing that would include putting cameras in every bedroom in the country if it was cost effective to do so.

You’re a nut.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 9:50 PM

You’re missing the point. If absolutely no behavior is induced to change as a result of such a program, it’s not costly, and it’s not disruptive, then its capacity for enforcing law is practically magical. One of the things we ought to know by now is that once you declare a safe zone of any kind, that’s exactly where people will move their abusive behavior towards. This is why Iraqi insurgents holed themselves up in mosques — because they knew we wouldn’t fire back. This is why diplomats are content to engage in crime — because they have diplomatic immunity. If we have the capacity for complete surveillance to ensure the enforcement of law, then we get to have fewer false verdicts and more true verdicts. Consequently, an imperfect justice system becomes less imperfect.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Again, it has been shown. You irrationally reject the evidence, and then you justify your irrational rejection of the evidence.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Rejecting the argument is not the same thing as rejecting the evidence.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Not at all.

You are the sort of person who will make excuse after excuse for government’s violations of the Constitution; no mater how gross those violations may become.
And, when that same “benevolent police state” decides that the time has come to round up certain people and groups of people and inter them in “camps” as dangers to the established order…you will find another excuse.
As long as you can convince yourself that you are *safe*.

Don’t worry, though. You’re not alone. There are all-too-many just like you.
And all of them ready – as are you – to sell out their countrymen for a bit of perceived safety.

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Except that you folks haven’t shown violations of the Constitution, and your case is primarily built upon fear-mongering against government abuse while failing to recognize that any government of any kind has the potential for abuse, and that the appropriate check on this is to hold government officials accountable to the criminal code rather than remove the powers of government.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM

It’s exactly what you’ve said.

What I have advocated for is tracking down said enemies using tactics that do not harm our own people.

Yet you continue to object to one such tactic.

You have quite clearly advocated relinquishing American freedoms simply because an enemy has threatened to do harm to our people. You defend this by claiming that not all American freedoms are worth fighting for.

You’re unAmerican.

Again, you haven’t lost the capacity to do anything.

No, it’s lunacy to advocate measures that erode American freedoms. You are a lunatic.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 10:02 PM

With your ridiculous understanding of freedom, next you’ll be telling me that Peru is violating your freedom because you wish to exist in a world without them, and they’re continuing to infringe on that freedom.

Again, what action you could perform before that you can’t perform now? That’s what you nuts have failed to answer.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Oh please. You initially claimed that only a few American freedoms were worth risking any American lives for.

But it’s good to see you backing away from this claim.

How?

The freedom to be first is NOT an American freedom.

Are you so unAmerican that you don’t even understand what “American freedoms” are? Were you raised an American? Heck, are you even an American? Because it seems as if you lack the understanding that most Americans learn before they’re a teenager.

Ah, so now we’re no longer concerned about “freedom.” Now we’re concerned about American freedoms, which are evidently not the same as simply freedoms that Americans enjoy. Of course, this begs an exact enumeration. Are we talking about the Bill of Rights only? Are we talking about subsequent amendments? Was the passage of prohibition anti-American then, or did it deserve full respect while in force? I’d like to know if yours is an argument based more on a philosophical imperative for freedom, or a dedication to the Constitution.

And there’s nothing that one could do before being illegally searched that they can’t do afterwards.

You seriously don’t understand rights.

That’s a very interesting choice of a term, since “rights” and “freedoms” are not equivalent.

Again, you seriously don’t understand rights.

Not all rights are the freedom to DO things. Some rights are the freedom FROM things.

And that’s really what’s at issue here — because freedom is an internally contradictory concept. Any freedom TO do something can be just as easily nullified by someone invoking a freedom FROM that. That’s why “freedom” as a governing philosophy is doomed to failure.

It’s unbelievable that you would claim that putting cameras in every bedroom in the country isn’t an infringement on American rights because it the surveilled wouldn’t know that it was there.

You’re an extremist nut.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Again, I find it curious that you’re switching back and forth between freedom and rights. Freedom is merely the ability to do as one pleases, and are much more expansive than rights.

You’re not rejecting the argument. You’re rejecting the evidence by claiming that you’re rejecting the argument.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 PM

If that were true, then it would be false to claim that I had rejected the evidence when you first did, since I hadn’t yet claimed that I was instead rejecting the argument — that only followed after your first claim about evidence. Effects do not produce causes, causes produce effects.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Again, what action you could perform before that you can’t perform now? That’s what you nuts have failed to answer.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:11 PM

The question is in what ways can government abuse their power that they couldn’t before? That’s what you sheep have failed to answer.

You give benefit of the doubt to a government that has committed democide against people at places like Waco and Ruby Ridge. That seized weapons in a mass confiscation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and reportedly did the same in Boston following the bombing. That has covered up the truth behind the murder of a US ambassador by terrorists. That has used the IRS to target people who value their liberty(but somehow I have a feeling you’re not too concerned with that). That has used executive privilege to publicly conceal the facts behind the delivery of thousands of weapons into the hands of drug cartels.

You give them your faith.

You are a fool.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Good grief. You quoted incorrectly, and then attributed your comment to me. Reread.

My apologies. I overextended on the copy-and-paste.

Again, not all American rights are about the capacity to do something.

Seriously, are you even an American citizen? If so, when did you become an citizen?

You lack a fundamental understanding of what being an American is all about.

Again, it’s interesting to see the dropping of freedom and picking up of rights as the mantle. As for being an American, yup, born and raised.

No, existing in a world without Peru is not an American right.

Good grief. I’ve never met someone that has such a flawed concept of rights.

Articulate for me your understanding of the difference between “freedom” and “right,” and particularly what constitutes American “rights.”

Stupid questions don’t need to be answered.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Yet I think this is key to what’s at issue.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM

So how would you like to reduce U.S. powers? What would satisfy you? And what would make you trust them to have actually followed that?

By having the government strictly constrained by the Constitution. And, no, I wouldn’t trust them then either…and neither would the Founding Fathers, who warned against such.

In that case I think you have a legitimate complaint there about a lack of oversight.

Yes, I do. I also a legitimate complaint concerning the fact that there is no proffer of probable cause or warrant issued by a judge.

‘Hey, buddy, do you mind signing off on this warrant for me? Oh, you’re leaving? Do you know anyone else who is sticking around? It doesn’t matter their character, intelligence, integrity, authority, etc. As long as he’s an agent, it’s all good!’

Except that 100% of them haven’t been legit.

Do you mean to say that not a single one is legit, or simply that it’s less than full compliance?

I am saying that, as has been the reality in the justice system for as long as there has existed one in this country, the government is never right 100% or 99.97% of the time. If you had any experience in the legal system, you’d know this.

Since you’re the one making the claim, I thought you should be the one to provide evidence.

‘Cuz, like, you’ll stomp your little feetsies and hold your breath until your demands are met.

Listen, I don’t make unfounded accusations nor do I wait for other people to provide me with evidence or supporting documents. I suppose that I am just inquisitive, efficient, and resourceful that way.

As for your links dealing with the 2009 collection issue, this appears to be tied to Clapper’s “not wittingly” remarks.

Seriously? The link is dated 15 April 2009 and Clapper’s ‘not wittingly’ remarks were made on 12 March 2013.

Absolutely brilliant, dude!

To analyze data, you first need a universe, and then a cleaning algorithm. That won’t always be perfect. I thought you might have evidence of something more deliberate.

LMFAO! Don’t you get it? The government has done it deliberately as well as ‘accidentally.’ Of course, you’ll have to take their word for it on the ‘accidental’ transgressions. I can rely on the ruling of the FISC as evidence of at least one intentional violation. I’ll also rely on the testimony of NSA whistleblowers, including the ‘conservative,’ William Binney, who has been lauded across the spectrum.

If we allowed the public to challenge everything, that would mean presenting the exact means of surveillance, which would then become accessible to the public as would our secrets and methods. Those methods would no longer be secret, rendering them less effective, so there’s plenty of good reason to deny ordinary civilians access to these courts. That’s why I’ve repeatedly stated a need to extend trust to government in this sphere.

You just don’t get it. When there is a collision between civil rights and national security, the government must give way…unless you are someone that supports things like the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans – the Korematsu decision would almost certainly never be upheld by a modern Supreme Court.

Did President Lincoln act constitutionally when he tried 11,000 American civilians in military tribunals DURING THE CIVIL WAR?

No. See Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2 (1866).

Did President Truman act constitutionally when he seized steel mills that had been stilled because of a nationwide strike DURING THE KOREAN WAR even though steel production was an integral and critical component in war materiel?

No. See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952).

You see, in both cases, the country was at war – and in one, with itself – AND THE SUPREME COURT STILL RULED THAT CIVIL LIBERTIES TRUMPED NATIONAL SECURITY AND WAR EFFORTS.

I strongly disagree when there is no injury to Americans from this, and when insisting on such “liberties” ups the danger to fellow Americans.

1. How do you know whether anyone has been injured when the programmes are conducted in secret?

On several occasions, I’ve given you two examples of individuals harmed by the inappropriate and illegal use of communications reviewed by the Surveillance State.

2. The injury is the violation of the Constitution and the infringement of my rights.

Do you know how the First Amendment starts with ‘Congress shall make NO law…’?

An injury occurs when Congress makes a law, not whether it has caused me grievous bodily or economic injury.

The fears and surrender-monkey behaviour of some of my ‘fellow Americans’ do not trump MY civil rights. Stop being a ‘fraidy cat. I positively loathe weak and whiny men.

In which case the court was either mistaken, or was lied to. If the latter, you’ve got them on perjury, if the former, the court needs to do a better job.

The Court wasn’t mistaken. It was the argument made by the government – the Bush administration. The Court was told that there were no dragnet-style domestic surveillance programmes.

Again, the issue here is whether or not revealing the finding would compromise current methods by distinguishing between what is a no-go, and what is permissible.

El wrongo! The primary issue in every case is whether or not the law or action is constitutional. As I have demonstrated, even the Commander-in-Chief during wartime doesn’t get to trample over civil liberties in the name of national security or protection of sources and methods…at least as long as he hasn’t disbanded Congress and invoked martial law, which still cannot be done without challenge. If a POTUS ever does suspend civil liberties and declare martial law, there had better be a hot and active insurrection in need of suppression or an invading army requiring repelling. Otherwise, the Court will knock the shit out of him and Congress will get rid of him so fast it’ll make his head spin. And, if Congress doesn’t do it, Americans will.

I would need to go back and review the facts on Ruby Ridge before commenting. All I remember about it was that it was a long, long time ago.

Yes, you would…and should.

I am somewhat curious as to why you’re referencing a case that far back though if the point of discussing things like PRISM is to talk about current operations.

That’s NOT the point, naive one. The point is a government that has proven itself capable of tyrannical, unconstitutional and murderous behaviour. The point is, too, that each time that we cede just a little of our liberty and allow the government to get a little more power, it inevitably leads to even less liberty for us, even more power for the government, and the certainty of abuses for, if men were angels, we would not be having this discussion whether it pertains to terrorists, murderous FBI agents, or fascist IRS agents.

PRISM will lead to a more intrusive programme. As Justice William O Douglas wrote in Osborn v United States, 385 U.S. 341 (1966):

‘We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government … These examples and many others demonstrate an alarming trend whereby the privacy and dignity of our citizens is being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen — a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of man’s life at will.’

Read what Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in Olmstead v United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928):

‘The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. ‘That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer’ was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these. To Lord Camden a far slighter intrusion seemed ‘subversive of all the comforts of society.’ Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?’

He wrote that in 1928. We’ve come a long way from wiretapping, baby! (And, the encroachments have been fairly perceptible, which is why people like you keep ceding more power to the government. You don’t even realise how much your life has been impacted because the government usually just takes little bites until its devoured the whole)

We could just as easily bring up the Trail of Tears, but I wouldn’t think of it as being particularly relevant to current government practices.

We sure could…as a warning.

Actually, the treatment of Native Americans was brought up very effectively in recent months.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:43 PM

The question is in what ways can government abuse their power that they couldn’t before? That’s what you sheep have failed to answer.

Oh, I think folks like Snowden and Manning have revealed just how government can abuse its power. And outside of the spy world, so has the IRS. But all the objections to government abuse in the world doesn’t actually help stop a terrorist plot.

You give benefit of the doubt to a government that has committed democide against people at places like Waco and Ruby Ridge. That seized weapons in a mass confiscation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and reportedly did the same in Boston following the bombing.

Although I don’t remember much about Ruby Ridge, from what I remember about Waco is they were led by a set of folks thinking that they had a living prophet among them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe in that case the government approached with a warrant, not without, and was repelled, leading them to make a second attempt to approach, this time with deadly force.

As for New Orleans, I also remember reports about gang formation, rape being common, and medics being shot by civilian snipers for sport. Raiding abandoned stores in that event was meant to cut off civilians’ ability to engage in criminal activity. It’s certainly debatable as to whether or not it was a good idea since guns can simultaneously protect people from such activity, but I at least understand the motive.

Finally, I haven’t heard anything about that Boston tidbit you mentioned. Mind providing a link?

That has covered up the truth behind the murder of a US ambassador by terrorists. That has used the IRS to target people who value their liberty(but somehow I have a feeling you’re not too concerned with that). That has used executive privilege to publicly conceal the facts behind the delivery of thousands of weapons into the hands of drug cartels.

You give them your faith.

You are a fool.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Actually, I am concerned about the IRS, but from the vantage point of equal enforcement of the law, not liberty. And I most certainly object to Fast & Furious, again on moral grounds about enabling people to engage in evil — including drug-running, kidnapping, and murder, rather than liberty.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 PM

Look, AP. This guy is a hero.

GW_SS-Delta on June 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM

By having the government strictly constrained by the Constitution. And, no, I wouldn’t trust them then either…and neither would the Founding Fathers, who warned against such.

Fair enough.

Yes, I do. I also a legitimate complaint concerning the fact that there is no proffer of probable cause or warrant issued by a judge.

‘Hey, buddy, do you mind signing off on this warrant for me? Oh, you’re leaving? Do you know anyone else who is sticking around? It doesn’t matter their character, intelligence, integrity, authority, etc. As long as he’s an agent, it’s all good!’

Agreed again.

I am saying that, as has been the reality in the justice system for as long as there has existed one in this country, the government is never right 100% or 99.97% of the time. If you had any experience in the legal system, you’d know this.

Improbability is not the same thing as impossibility.

‘Cuz, like, you’ll stomp your little feetsies and hold your breath until your demands are met.

Listen, I don’t make unfounded accusations nor do I wait for other people to provide me with evidence or supporting documents. I suppose that I am just inquisitive, efficient, and resourceful that way.

I state that because this is the way argument is typically done. You make a claim, you present evidence. I make a claim, I present evidence.

Seriously? The link is dated 15 April 2009 and Clapper’s ‘not wittingly’ remarks were made on 12 March 2013.

Absolutely brilliant, dude!

Clapper said “not wittingly.” Since the article you had was in 2009, it would be appropriate for him to recognize that reality in his statement, and to recognize the possibility (as well as likely reality) of its continuance. Again, what I was looking for was evidence of deliberately overstepping their authority, rather than accidental overcollection.

LMFAO! Don’t you get it? The government has done it deliberately as well as ‘accidentally.’ Of course, you’ll have to take their word for it on the ‘accidental’ transgressions. I can rely on the ruling of the FISC as evidence of at least one intentional violation. I’ll also rely on the testimony of NSA whistleblowers, including the ‘conservative,’ William Binney, who has been lauded across the spectrum.

The FISC ruling again was a testament to government oversight. What’s at issue with abuse is whether or not it’s systemic as was the case with the IRS.

You just don’t get it. When there is a collision between civil rights and national security, the government must give way…unless you are someone that supports things like the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans – the Korematsu decision would almost certainly never be upheld by a modern Supreme Court.

Did President Lincoln act constitutionally when he tried 11,000 American civilians in military tribunals DURING THE CIVIL WAR?

No. See Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2 (1866).

Did President Truman act constitutionally when he seized steel mills that had been stilled because of a nationwide strike DURING THE KOREAN WAR even though steel production was an integral and critical component in war materiel?

No. See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952).

You see, in both cases, the country was at war – and in one, with itself – AND THE SUPREME COURT STILL RULED THAT CIVIL LIBERTIES TRUMPED NATIONAL SECURITY AND WAR EFFORTS.

If the government had to give way on anything and everything, we wouldn’t have any national security secrets left, since anything we do could eventually be tied to some concern or other about civil liberties.

1. How do you know whether anyone has been injured when the programmes are conducted in secret?

On several occasions, I’ve given you two examples of individuals harmed by the inappropriate and illegal use of communications reviewed by the Surveillance State.

2. The injury is the violation of the Constitution and the infringement of my rights.

Do you know how the First Amendment starts with ‘Congress shall make NO law…’?

An injury occurs when Congress makes a law, not whether it has caused me grievous bodily or economic injury.

The fears and surrender-monkey behaviour of some of my ‘fellow Americans’ do not trump MY civil rights. Stop being a ‘fraidy cat. I positively loathe weak and whiny men.

1.) You don’t know. Again, that’s why if you’re going to have those concerns, and you’re still going to keep government secrets secret, you need to entrust the matter to the 3 branches.

2.) The first amendment makes no statement in regards to listening to you. It says that Congress can’t abridge your speech, not that it can’t be heard or monitored.

El wrongo! The primary issue in every case is whether or not the law or action is constitutional. As I have demonstrated, even the Commander-in-Chief during wartime doesn’t get to trample over civil liberties in the name of national security or protection of sources and methods…at least as long as he hasn’t disbanded Congress and invoked martial law, which still cannot be done without challenge. If a POTUS ever does suspend civil liberties and declare martial law, there had better be a hot and active insurrection in need of suppression or an invading army requiring repelling. Otherwise, the Court will knock the shit out of him and Congress will get rid of him so fast it’ll make his head spin. And, if Congress doesn’t do it, Americans will

Actually, if revealing the finding would endanger national security, then yes, compromising U.S. methods is at issue from a policy standpoint.

That’s NOT the point, naive one. The point is a government that has proven itself capable of tyrannical, unconstitutional and murderous behaviour. The point is, too, that each time that we cede just a little of our liberty and allow the government to get a little more power, it inevitably leads to even less liberty for us, even more power for the government, and the certainty of abuses for, if men were angels, we would not be having this discussion whether it pertains to terrorists, murderous FBI agents, or fascist IRS agents.

But the NSA is not the entire government, and the acts of bad officials from decades past is not necessarily indicative of acts of current officials.

As for men being angels, if that were so we wouldn’t need a government. But men aren’t angels, and consequently we need government to act as a check on civilians as well as on itself.

PRISM will lead to a more intrusive programme. As Justice William O Douglas wrote in Osborn v United States, 385 U.S. 341 (1966)…

Read what Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in Olmstead v United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)

Each of those quotes are elegant defenses of your views, and Brandeis in particular had good vision pertaining to the future. I cannot say that I sympathize with their love of liberty, but I certainly respect their intellect.

We sure could…as a warning.

Actually, the treatment of Native Americans was brought up very effectively in recent months.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:43 PM

A wonderful bit on gun control there, an issue where I suspect we’re in agreement.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:09 PM

You named the few freedoms that were worth any American lives. You said no other freedoms were worth it.

Did I ever say that it was a fully enumerated list?

I’ve always claimed a concern for American freedoms.

I was never concerned about preserving Dutch freedoms or Micronesia freedoms.

I’m not sure what your ‘ah ha’ is about, but I guess I’ve reduced you to this.

Because these are not simply freedoms enjoyed by Americans, and it removes from the argument a degree of abstraction.

And I’d like to know if you’re an American citizen. You don’t seem to understand the concept.

How on earth can an American conflate the desire for freedom with a mere “philosophical imperative for freedom”?

An caged animal doesn’t have a “philosophical imperative for freedom”. A caged animal has a desire to get out of the freaking cage.

A woman that’s being peeped by a neighbor doesn’t have a “philosophical imperative for freedom”. She doesn’t want her freaking neighbor watching her.

Yes, I am an American citizen. Born and raised. And the reason I mention a philosophical imperative for freedom is that it makes little sense that people should get something just because they want it. It renders man to be nothing other than an animal, and recognizes no limits, be it the desires of others, the scarcity of resources, or what is the common good.

Why would it be interesting to someone, like you, that thumbs their nose at both?

Because I thumb my nose at freedom, not rights.

Such invoking doesn’t automatically nullify anything. The freedom TO say what one wants isn’t at all nullified by someone “invoking” a freedom from the speech – because the freedom FROM someone else’s speech isn’t an American freedom.

This point isn’t germane to the fact that some freedoms are freedoms FROM things.

Are you really this stupid, or are you just trying to fight to the end here?

So in defining “American freedom” are you basically saying it’s the Constitution and nothing else? Is it entirely a matter of legal authority of words on a page, or is there a more meaningful rationale behind it which the Constitution is a reflection of?

No, it’s not.

You really lack basic understandings. It’s like I’m trying to teach sixth grade math to someone that can’t grasp first grade math.

Allow me to cite Merriam-Webster:

Definition of FREEDOM: the quality or state of being free: as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

If you wish to specify a different context, do so.

No, you demanded evidence to support a claim that was made. Evidence was provided, and you then falsely argued that such evidence wasn’t germane to the claim.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Exactly. As such, I didn’t reject the evidence. Rejecting its relevance is not the same thing as rejecting evidence. You can present something as evidence, and I may not deny that a program (such as PRISM) is being used, but I will deny that it violates a right to privacy that does not exist in the Constitution.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Although I don’t remember much about Ruby Ridge, from what I remember about Waco is they were led by a set of folks thinking that they had a living prophet among them.

So what? What does that have to do with the level of force that they used? You don’t value your other freedoms too highly either, if you’re going to point that out like it has any relevance.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe in that case the government approached with a warrant, not without, and was repelled, leading them to make a second attempt to approach, this time with deadly force.

When the ATF first took an interest in Koresh, they were talking to his gun dealer. The gun dealer forwarded them to Koresh, and you know what that “living prophet” did? He said he would be glad to speak to the agents, and would even allow them to inspect all their firearms and the necessary paperwork. They had nothing to hide. The local sheriff even told them they should go out and personally talk to Koresh. What did the ATF do? Refuse, and start surveilling the compound. Why did they refuse? Probably because they were bigots who swallowed the same bulls**t that you do(not calling you a bigot, though your earlier citation of his religious stance makes me curious).

And if you aren’t even aware of the mass misconduct on the part of the ATF and FBI at Ruby Ridge, then, my friend, you have homework to do. Please justify an FBI sniper shooting an unarmed woman with a baby in her arms.

As for New Orleans, I also remember reports about gang formation, rape being common, and medics being shot by civilian snipers for sport. Raiding abandoned stores in that event was meant to cut off civilians’ ability to engage in criminal activity.

And most of those stories turned out to be utter garbage. Jesus, do you ever watch the news? Well, here’s some right from ABC.

It’s certainly debatable as to whether or not it was a good idea since guns can simultaneously protect people from such activity, but I at least understand the motive.

Debatable? The Second Amendment in its purest form is debatable?

You have no regard for the Bill of Rights whatsoever. Despicable.

Finally, I haven’t heard anything about that Boston tidbit you mentioned. Mind providing a link?

Here. I haven’t heard anything more. Considering the documented evidence of the Katrina confiscation, I have every reason to believe this may be true.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM

He’s falsely claiming that we only have a binary choice.

He’s falsely claiming that we are forced to choose between having: (i) a government which has the ability/authority collect intelligence on foreign entities and ALL American citizens; and (ii) a government that is powerless to collect any intelligence on anyone or anything at all.

He’s choosing (i) instead of realizing that the choice isn’t binary.

He’s also falsely claiming that all government efforts are vulnerable to abuse, so if you accept any government programs than you might as well accept them all. He’s claiming that the risk of all abuse is equal. He’s not willing to concede that some capabilities/efforts are ripe for abuse while others aren’t.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Actually, my argument is more that the dividing line isn’t so clear, and that when government collection is going to initially occur, they’re not going to have a bright dividing line between American and non-American, and that in so far as you want to have the American government make the distinction (which I don’t agree with, but for the sake of argument let’s say I went along with it), you’d need to apply some kind of rule to sort out what shouldn’t be there. Any large data set will almost inevitably have junk that gets in which you need to clean out.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM

You’re starting to sound like a Fox News neocon, AP, but perhaps you have reason. I’ve noticed that you use some very strong language in your analysis, such as “blackmail” and “doomsday machine”. Are those Snowden’s words you’re using, or yours? Granted, I haven’t read the details of this story but when I saw the headlines earlier I did not assume a “doomsday machine” scenario, but rather my impression was that Snowden was making sure that the information he intends to release will be released one way or the other, so that there is no incentive to kill him to stop the leaks.

If I’m wrong then I apologize, AP, but if I’m right then you should turn off the Fox News propaganda channel for a while and find something better to do.

FloatingRock on June 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM


Is this the best you got? That’s it’s interesting that I value both rights and freedoms.

Are you too scared to push this point more because you know I have a perfectly good reason for doing so?

No, I point it out because I believe in the former but not the latter. The latter is raw ability, while the former requires justification as to its existence and its limitations.

Were you raise by parents that were loyalists to a dictatorial police state? Maybe Iranians that were part of the Shah’s government?

Nope. They were also Americans.

The right to exist in a world in which Peru does not exist is most certainly not an American right.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 11:13 PM

What, to your mind, constitutes the set of American rights? If not an enumerated set, what is the general principle by which you filter them in or out?

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM

You obviously dislike anyone that loves liberty.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM

He has said before, in so many words, that he considers liberty “overrated”.

Spooky.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Apologies for the above. The “strike” tag looks like it got through.

The acts of bad officials can expose a flawed structure or program.

Have you ever heard of the red bead experiment? Flawed processes will typically cause bad results.

You obviously dislike anyone that loves liberty.

blink on June 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Flawed structures and programs though are more policy-based issues rather than character-based. Corruption exists at the level of character.

As for disliking liberty-lovers, yep. I have frequently expressed contempt for libertarians.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:28 PM

I have frequently expressed contempt for libertarians.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Well. Apparently, I was not clear on the extent of your feelings about liberty. Thank you for the correction. I despise you as well.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Why is everyone in the political class against Snowden…

MGardner on June 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

I find myself actually offended at his claiming of the title “patriot”. What a joke.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

So what? What does that have to do with the level of force that they used? You don’t value your other freedoms too highly either, if you’re going to point that out like it has any relevance.

The particular portion you quoted about the prophet is not relevant except as background. The relevant portion was about the manner in which the Feds approached.

When the ATF first took an interest in Koresh, they were talking to his gun dealer. The gun dealer forwarded them to Koresh, and you know what that “living prophet” did? He said he would be glad to speak to the agents, and would even allow them to inspect all their firearms and the necessary paperwork. They had nothing to hide. The local sheriff even told them they should go out and personally talk to Koresh. What did the ATF do? Refuse, and start surveilling the compound. Why did they refuse? Probably because they were bigots who swallowed the same bulls**t that you do(not calling you a bigot, though your earlier citation of his religious stance makes me curious).

And if you aren’t even aware of the mass misconduct on the part of the ATF and FBI at Ruby Ridge, then, my friend, you have homework to do. Please justify an FBI sniper shooting an unarmed woman with a baby in her arms.

So your contention is that they were invited, they didn’t go along, they came back with a warrant instead, and then the guy who initially invited them then refused to cooperate once they had a warrant? I can’t really say either side makes much sense in that case, but if they had the warrant, then cooperation should be expected.

And most of those stories turned out to be utter garbage. Jesus, do you ever watch the news? Well, here’s some right from ABC.

Yep, I remember those sorts of reports too. That doesn’t really disprove the entire medics being sniped, and gang-rape occurring thing though. All it says is that you had authorities going around door-to-door telling people to get out and disarming them — the latter of which I can understand as far more contentious.

Debatable? The Second Amendment in its purest form is debatable?

You have no regard for the Bill of Rights whatsoever. Despicable.

The second amendment is the law. That does not mean that an armed population is always best. It will certainly help the innocent to defend themselves against predators, but at the same time it provides tools to predators. I think it is better to err on the side of allowing the innocent to defend themselves since they can’t necessarily wait for help, but I do acknowledge the existence of a trade-off.

Here. I haven’t heard anything more. Considering the documented evidence of the Katrina confiscation, I have every reason to believe this may be true.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM

I’m glad you brought this to my attention because I hadn’t heard it before. I’ll try to do some searching on it tomorrow along with Ruby Ridge.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM

No, but you didn’t include a longer list because you knew it would damage your argument. Feel free to now back down from your previous claims.

A lack of specificity can always damage arguments.

Just because others enjoy the same freedoms doesn’t mean that they aren’t American freedoms.

You’re really bad at this debate thing.

Again, define “American freedoms.” Fortunately you seem to do this later, so let’s get right to it:

It’s almost as if you think that I didn’t already know what came next. (You really are pathetically bad at this debating thing.)

b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence

c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous

Again, freedom isn’t limited to ” the ability to do as one pleases” as you attempted to claim.

Now, let’s turn back to the issue of surveillance. Is it slavery? No. Does it enable you to take any action? No, so it can’t be said to be independence either, so that leaves us with definition (c). It certainly can’t be said that surveillance is onerous, since it doesn’t encumber your actions, but that’s only a usual, not a necessary, condition.

So to your mind, then, you believe that American freedom is the state of being exempt, presumably here from surveillance, yes? What about other laws you have to follow then? If those apply to citizens, then clearly you’re not free from them. In which case, is any law of any kind that pertains to citizens a strike against freedom or a form of oppression simply because it regulates action?

Good grief. Rejecting evidence on the grounds that it’s irrelevant is still rejecting the evidence! Stop trying to claim that you didn’t reject the evidence.

Seriously, is this the first time you’ve debated anything in your life?

blink on June 25, 2013 at 11:33 PM

I didn’t deny PRISM was taking place. I didn’t say you forged it. I said that the argument tying the evidence to the claim was erroneous.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Well. Apparently, I was not clear on the extent of your feelings about liberty. Thank you for the correction. I despise you as well.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Smooches, baby.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM

I find myself actually offended at his claiming of the title “patriot”. What a joke.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Again, a patriot is someone who loves his country — a region or population with a common government. Patriotism is not equivalent to a love of government, nor is it equivalent to a love of the document which establishes that government.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I doubt Snowden needs to bluff.

He has played Barky the Fool for a fool each step of the way without breaking a sweat.

viking01 on June 25, 2013 at 11:53 PM

The second amendment is the law. That does not mean that an armed population is always best.

The Second Amendment creates an armed populace. The Second Amendment is law. Therefore, an armed populace is law. If an armed populace is not always best, then the law is not always best. Given that you seem to be all about strict letter of the law…how does it feel to defeat your own argument?

It will certainly help the innocent to defend themselves against predators, but at the same time it provides tools to predators.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM

This goes for any situation at any time where you have individual gun rights. You’re making an anti-gun argument. Not surprising.

Again, a patriot is someone who loves his country — a region or population with a common government.

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

The base laws of this government are laws you have little to no regard for, so no, you are not a patriot. You’re an authoritarian nationalist.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

The Second Amendment creates an armed populace. The Second Amendment is law. Therefore, an armed populace is law. If an armed populace is not always best, then the law is not always best. Given that you seem to be all about strict letter of the law…how does it feel to defeat your own argument?

I don’t see a contradiction. Not all laws are as good as they could be, but until changed they are still the law. Although the law must be respected, that does not mean it should never change.

This goes for any situation at any time where you have individual gun rights. You’re making an anti-gun argument. Not surprising.

Not true at all. An anti-gun argument would never acknowledge that the innocent would be able to defend themselves. It’s an ability to see both sides of the issue, side with the second amendment, and simultaneously recognize that it is producing a less-than-optimal outcome.

The base laws of this government are laws you have little to no regard for, so no, you are not a patriot. You’re an authoritarian nationalist.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM

I’m not going to accept the Declaration or the Constitution as holy writ, no. They are documents composed by human beings, not living gods. I may have respect for the rule of law, and I may even appreciate the historical groundings for why they were constructed as they are, but it does not require that I agree with them unquestioningly.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:02 AM

I’m not going to accept the Declaration or the Constitution as holy writ, no.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:02 AM

The Constitution is the collection of basic laws upon which this country was founded. That you refer to them as “holy writ” demonstrates not merely disrespect for those laws, but contempt as well. You do not love the laws, therefore you do not love the government as founded — of the people. Therefore, you cannot love the people. Sure, you may claim to love the society or even groups of individuals, but then you are not a patriot. You are merely a nationalist that has contempt for liberty. Hence, you are an authoritarian nationalist, or, in common usage, an ultranationalist.

Like liberals fleeing to “progressive”, you fear the labels that convey your true feelings. Understandable.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

What, to your mind, constitutes American rights?

blink on June 26, 2013 at 12:01 AM

First, I would refrain from using the term “American” in reference to rights. To my understanding, rights are something due to individuals per their nature, and can be made forfeit via their actions, and consequently are not tied to any particular government or region.

You folks might alternatively express this sentiment by saying that the Constitution recognizes existing rights rather than grants them because rights do not come from government but from God.

I would quibble with how well or correctly the Constitution embodies said rights, and being an atheist I would not agree with the God portion, but there’s sufficient similarity there to draw a parallel.

Regarding the source of rights, I tend to follow in the stoic tradition, believing that the human capacity for reason, to control our actions through a deliberative process which gives way to human volition, is what provides humanity with so-called natural rights, and the criteria which assesses these acts consists of two principles, including a principle of general equality (without anything to distinguish them, two agents are of equal worth) between agents prior to interaction, and a principle of fairness (equal agents retain equal duties / rights). I also think that these are better thought of, not as rights, but as responsibilities regarding first and foremost one’s own conduct to fellow agents with the same capacity. A claim by one agent against another agent’s duties is what gives us the understanding of rights (essentially the idea of a duty but from the perspective of who the duty is towards).

As for what these duties consist of, I would say first and foremost among these is a duty to not extinguish the life of one’s fellow man. Life serves as a prerequisite condition to even allowing for the existence of another agent as well as duties towards that agent. Consequently, when we talk about a right to life, there isn’t a right to life specifically (a meteor that comes crashing down and kills you doesn’t violate your rights), but a duty against murder.

Without getting into the particular groundings of other duties, I would also embrace a duty against bodily injury, for honest dealings (since for statements to be fair they must be honest), for respect for property (see Locke’s appropriation from the commune), against enslavement, to uphold one’s word (relates to honesty), and the Kantian Imperative of treating others not as means to ends but ends in and of themselves (essentially Immanuel Kant’s 2nd categorical imperative). I do not necessarily believe that this represents a closed system (i.e., it does not necessarily follow that there are no other duties or rights), but that this serves as at the very least a basis for which we assess actions and sort them into “right” and “wrong” through a combination of other factors including intent, conscience, and the act’s intent as well as actual consistency with the aforementioned duties.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:17 AM

First, I would refrain from using the term “American” in reference to rights. To my understanding, rights are something due to individuals per their nature, and can be made forfeit via their actions, and consequently are not tied to any particular government or region.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Oh, swell. Go get yourself a semi-automatic weapon, drive into Canada, and give them that theory.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:20 AM

The Constitution is the collection of basic laws upon which this country was founded. That you refer to them as “holy writ” demonstrates not merely disrespect for those laws, but contempt as well. You do not love the laws, therefore you do not love the government as founded — of the people. Therefore, you cannot love the people. Sure, you may claim to love the society or even groups of individuals, but then you are not a patriot. You are merely a nationalist that has contempt for liberty. Hence, you are an authoritarian nationalist, or, in common usage, an ultranationalist.

Like liberals fleeing to “progressive”, you fear the labels that convey your true feelings. Understandable.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Actually, denying them status as holy writ simply indicates that I understand their proper place — as documents created by imperfect beings. If I had utter contempt for them, I would willfully refuse to comply with the directives of the government which asserts its authority with the Constitution as its basis. To say that to not love law is to not love the people is like saying I hate Americans because I detest Obamacare. It’s absurd.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Yeah, because libertarians are the only people that love liberty. /sarc

blink on June 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM

They are certainly the only ones who place such a principle above all other considerations. They also seem to have a hard time understanding that liberty alone does not admit of moral constraints. Consequently when they have to deal with abuses of freedom by civilians they struggle to condemn barbarism and savagery that exists within the people because their paradigm is constructed with the presupposition of government being at fault.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Oh, swell. Go get yourself a semi-automatic weapon, drive into Canada, and give them that theory.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Why do that when you can just send in the Omega squad? =P

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Good grief. The webster’s definition of freedom is not my definition of American freedoms.

And admit that you were busted by websters.

On the contrary, Websters wholly supported my point.

No. Surveillance isn’t slavery. It’s hilarious that you pulled the word slavery from the webster’s definition.

Words have meanings. You were claiming that your liberty was being infringed upon. I was systematically going through the portions of the definition you cited, demonstrating its irrelevance.

Good grief. Are you somehow under the impression that freedom = absolute freedom.

Are you seriously unable to comprehend the concept of freedom? Is your brain so sophomoric that it’s unable to comprehend anything other than binary states? Some things have octal states. Are you unable to comprehend that?

Ah, see? Now we’re distinguishing between freedom and absolute freedom. So the issue again comes back not to an undying dedication to freedom, but to what the appropriate constraints are. An emphasis on freedom, which is focused on a lack of constraint, misses that.

You’ve already admitted that you rejected the evidence based on relevance. A rejection of evidence based on relevance is still a rejection of evidence.

I’ve never witnessed anyone squirm on here as much as you.

blink on June 26, 2013 at 12:28 AM

It’s not squirming. It’s the recognition that a premise and a syllogism are not equivalent.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Do you also reject the basic principles upon which our country was founded?

You know, being a patriot and all….

blink on June 26, 2013 at 12:31 AM

If you’re talking about the principle that the right to govern comes from the consent of the governed, no, I’m not rejecting that.

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Oh, and Stoic Ultranationalist? A final point.

That liberty you despise is what allows you to make your argument.

Under your system, I could not.

You’re welcome.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Oh, and Stoic Ultranationalist? A final point.

That liberty you despise is what allows you to make your argument.

Under your system, I could not.

You’re welcome.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Under my system? Oh, hardly. Remember, I emphasize the constraints. If there’s no constraint against an action, then by default an action is permissible simply because there is no rule against it. That does not mean the action is somehow then admirable or valuable (as I’m sure you’d agree in believing what I say to be nonsense).

Stoic Patriot on June 26, 2013 at 12:38 AM

The big story in all this, which so many seem to not see, is Snowden has damaged the image of big government for young people in this country more than anything any Republican have said or done since I have been alive (born in the 1970s).

So you old geezers who are freaking out about national security dangers, and what China or Russia may have learned need to drink a glass of warm milk and get a good night sleep. Chill…we are still the most power nation on earth with the most powerful military on earth, but if we don’t convince the youth of this country that the Obama vision of big government is a danger to their liberties, we will be a communist banana republic in 50 years.

Snowden is teaching the young not to trust Obama, not to trust Democrats, not to trust big media, and most of all not to trust big government. They are learning the free goodies come at a price which is privacy and freedom. So even if you don’t like Snowden personally, etc…..REJOICE!

William Eaton on June 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Stoic Patriot on June 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

You are a fool slave.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Snowden is teaching the young not to trust Obama, not to trust Democrats, not to trust big media, and most of all not to trust big government. They are learning the free goodies come at a price which is privacy and freedom. So even if you don’t like Snowden personally, etc…..REJOICE!
William Eaton on June 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Dream on. Most people aren’t making that connection at all.

The biggest lasting impact of all of this is that our nation has been weakened and we have been put at greater risk.

bluegill on June 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

The guy is a Ron Paul supporter who got the job just so he can do this. He then goes to China and Russia and tries to go to Cuba. And people here still call him a hero. You people are so bloodthirsty for Obama that you are blinded to everything else. This guy is being hailed as a hero by people like Oliver Stone and Tom Morello and a bunch of other communists who always cheer on the destruction of the USA.

He needs a public hanging. The more people put him on a pedestal the more people will start spilling secrets and really start to endanger the US.

I would think differently of the guy if he had the job for a while and then went through the chain of command with his concerns and upon not feeling anything was done he then went to the press. And maybe heads to a friendly country with no extradition. But no he heads right for our enemies.

This place is hypocrite central.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 26, 2013 at 3:19 AM

Dream on. Most people aren’t making that connection at all.

The biggest lasting impact of all of this is that our nation has been weakened and we have been put at greater risk.

bluegill on June 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

LOL! Of what? Do you think the Chinese and Russians are that incompetent? We have to assume they have already infiltrated the NSA considering what Snowden managed to do. Snowden usefulness to them is only political, despite the shirking and screeching from the more gullible conservatives who think this is some kind of massive security leak that will lead our nation to be conquered by a bunch of 7th century cave dwelling barbarians or will lead to Chinese armies rampaging through California (although that might be a improvement).

The greater risk is the NSA information being used by the executive branch to undermine the constitution of the U.S. because it is clear the Obama administration don’t give a shit about national security otherwise someone like Snowdon would not have had access like he had and the Boston bombing would never have happened.

A tool like this in the hands of a federal bureaucracy is just too dangerous to American freedoms without proper oversight, and the politicians in congress are not intelligent enough to understand how it works to give proper oversight.

As for young people yes they are making that connection according to the polls.

William Eaton on June 26, 2013 at 4:05 AM

The guy is a Ron Paul supporter who got the job just so he can do this. He then goes to China and Russia and tries to go to Cuba. And people here still call him a hero. You people are so bloodthirsty for Obama that you are blinded to everything else. This guy is being hailed as a hero by people like Oliver Stone and Tom Morello and a bunch of other communists who always cheer on the destruction of the USA.

He needs a public hanging. The more people put him on a pedestal the more people will start spilling secrets and really start to endanger the US.

I would think differently of the guy if he had the job for a while and then went through the chain of command with his concerns and upon not feeling anything was done he then went to the press. And maybe heads to a friendly country with no extradition. But no he heads right for our enemies.

This place is hypocrite central.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 26, 2013 at 3:19 AM

Problems with your little rant:

(1) You are siding with Obama. Who is a greater threat to America’s future…Snowden or Obama?

(2) Chain of Command? Yes that would have worked out well for Snowden. I am sure Obama would have understood…considering he is the freaking President and the top of the food chain!

This whole situation is a big win for supporters of small government, but like I said some are too dense to understand that. Plus I don’t give a shit what Oliver Stone thinks about this. What matters is how does this hurt or help us. I say it helps because it reinforces people’s perceptions that our government is just too dam big and intrusive and that is a good thing and that is worth the small lose in short term prestige and security.

William Eaton on June 26, 2013 at 4:22 AM

You have NO evidence other than Snowden’s own word as to what his motives were and are.

For all any of us know, he’s working for China or Russia and has been for years. What he’s shown so far has been embarrassing to the US internationally, but hardly anyone would be shocked that such things are going on. Nothing of Manning-level security, in fact.

We simply don’t know what he has or what it is worth to anyone else. But if he had anything near the bombshells he claims to have, either Greenwald would have broken the story before someone else inevitably does, or he would have befallen some accident already.

And when I say “we” I mean the general public. NSA should definitely know by now exactly what he accessed. If they don’t, they should stand trial immediately after he does.

Adjoran on June 26, 2013 at 5:34 AM

Snowden is teaching the young not to trust Obama, not to trust Democrats, not to trust big media, and most of all not to trust big government.

William Eaton on June 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Dream on. Most people aren’t making that connection at all.

bluegill on June 26, 2013 at 3:14 AM

I really love when you unwittingly reveal that you’re nothing but another MOBY Obama supporter.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM

You people are so bloodthirsty for Obama…

The Notorious G.O.P on June 26, 2013 at 3:19 AM

Troll better, troll.

MadisonConservative on June 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Snowden has revealed Obama’s violations of the Constitution and the privacy of the American people. As despicable as Obama is, there is an equal danger of compiling this massive all encompassing data all in a place and format for our enemies to access. Russia, China, Iran, all have equally good computer capacity and hackers up to the task. Think of the possibilities beyond terrorism or the military. Industrial espionage, blackmail, extortion, theft, etc. played on Americans by foreign enemies. This is a gift to our enemies all collected and stored by Obama et. al. ! Think of all the data available! Heck, they may find a racial slur from years ago or a negative comment about allah!! As I think on it, I understand how Obama stole two elections, intimidates political enemies, and has silenced most criticism! Is this something we want to stand??

Marco on June 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM

If they aren’t doing anything wrong, then they have nothing to worry about, and all that jazz.

/

Christien on June 27, 2013 at 1:57 AM

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