Assange: Obama just gave Snowden whistleblower status

posted at 6:31 pm on August 11, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Here’s a sentence that you won’t hear very frequently outside of an absolute nutroots convention: “Julian Assange is right.”

And yet, that very sentiment (with minor variations) appeared on the pages of The Corner at National Review today. Perhaps it’s a bit better if we put it in context.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a textbook case of Alexander Pope’s famous observation that ”a little learning is a dangerous thing.” He is relentlessly wrong in virtually everything he says. But he is right about this:

Today the President of the United States validated Edward Snowden’s role as a whistleblower by announcing plans to reform America’s global surveillance program. But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the President laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along, “before Edward Snowden.” . . . As Snowden has stated, his biggest concern was if he blew the whistle and change did not occur. Well reforms are taking shape, and for that, the President and people of the United States and around the world owe Edward Snowden a debt of gratitude.

Assange is right. The president’s assertion that the announced surveillance reforms have nothing to do with Snowden is laughable. Whatever his words, the president’s actions inescapably imply that Snowden is a legitimate whistleblower.

The author, Mario Loyola, leaves me in a bit of a difficult position. I’ve written about Assange more times on these pages than I can count, and I don’t think I’ve once had even a marginally positive thing to say. I’ve also never felt a bit of sympathy for him, though being trapped with the Ecuadorian embassy eating leftover guinea pig is still too good for him. But I have to admit that Loyola’s sentiments have the ring of truth to them.

Sure, there could be a review of NSA programs where appropriate, while not totally abandoning our nation’s ability to keep secrets where required. But this was certainly not the time to announce it. Assuming that we somehow get our hands on the guy and bring him to trial, this is pretty much a golden gift to the defense. It would be better than pretty much anything else short of granting Bradley Manning a full pardon.

Then again, I haven’t written that possibility off entirely yet either.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Don’t have a link handy but saw a story today that Duane “Dog” Chapman is going to try and illegally enter Russia to play Bounty Hunter on Snowden. Should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Jazz,

How about doing a post of your shrine to McCain, Graham & King?

You’ve made it RINO-cilicoiuosly clear you place whatever dribbles out of their mouths as suitable for worship.

The Constitution and The Bill of Rights?

You’re just “Meh, outdated.” when it comes to those principles.

PolAgnostic on August 11, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Don’t have a link handy but saw a story today that Duane “Dog” Chapman is going to try and illegally enter Russia to play Bounty Hunter on Snowden. Should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

.
I doubt even a reality TV star is stupid enough to try to illegally enter a sovereign country …

… but the Russian border patrol will show him their interpretation of “The Nutcracker” if he does.

PolAgnostic on August 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Somehow the link to the front page picture evaporated. Fixed.

Jazz Shaw on August 11, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Didn’t Dog illegally go and get a guy in Mexico?

Anyway, it’s difficult for an American to just wander into Russia at the best of times. I’m going to go ahead and call bs on that one. If anything I was just another instance of Dog talking big and patriotic. “‘Merica f yeah!”

Now if he could go into Russia and drop Beth off in the middle of Siberia, I’d be more than okay with that.

Gingotts on August 11, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Ridiculous.

It’s like saying because a department might review it’s arrest policies that every arrest prior to that was flawed.

What’s the old saying about correlation and causation?

ButterflyDragon on August 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Russia doesn’t have a whistleblower law. Eat your borscht.

Ronnie on August 11, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Yes, we change the locks when someone steals the key. What’s your point?

Ronnie on August 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

honestly, i’ve seen Wikileaks material (cables etc.) in conservative leaning websites.

i think it is a cafeteria style kinda thing. And, btw, barry seems a little lose to me wrt operational secrecy..if it makes him look good.

r keller on August 11, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Sure, there could be a review of NSA programs where appropriate, while not totally abandoning our nation’s ability to keep secrets where required. But this was certainly not the time to announce it.

…no!…we should have waited until JugEars people have perfected the ability to abuse another agency…and pinpoint EVERY person who doesn’t go along with the leftist agenda…like they were starting to do with the IRS…EPA…DOJ…ICE…CIA…FBI…TSA…FDIC…(just pick your letters)!…who was going to squeak?

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Don’t have a link handy but saw a story today that Duane “Dog” Chapman is going to try and illegally enter Russia to play Bounty Hunter on Snowden. Should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Really? So this guy is going to try to capture an American hero? I hope the Russians catch him and that is the last we hear from this POS.

FloatingRock on August 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

So this guy is going to try to capture an American hero?

FloatingRock on August 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Well, Russian hero. Dude doesn’t really live here anymore.

Ronnie on August 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Obama’s plan to weaken the “arrogant hyper-power AmeriKKKa” parallels Snowden’s and Assange’s.

The fundamental transformation” Barack sought was to reduce us to 2nd world status like France or Britain.

Ed, Julian and Barry are on the same anarcho-socialist team, whatever they say about one another in public.

Their aim:

Humble and Undermine the U.S.

And the plan is going marvelously well.

The country will be bankrupt, full of America-hating illegal aliens, and morally confused to the point of accepting polygamy and pederasty in another generation.

Marriage is now social silly putty, and the borders are swiss cheese.

You cannot has a stable country with a constant chaos of essential meanings in forced flux and national boundaries mocked at will by lawless criminals from without and scofflaw Constitutional illegitimacy in the White House.

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the President laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along, “before Edward Snowden.” . . .

The Great and Wonderful Obama has everything under control..
Now go back to home….

Electrongod on August 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

There was a time when Snowden could have gone to WaPo with what he knew, and (a) he would’ve gotten whistleblower status, (b) the scope of the surveillance programs and their lack of oversight would still have been disclosed to the public. Their did not have to be a choice between whistleblower vs. criminal. He would not have had to go to the Chinese and the Russians with this, and if he had he would have clearly been traitorous.

Back before the major print media became lickspittles and labdogs, that is. The major media have long since ceased being worthy of their name, while they wonder why they are dying.

ss396 on August 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

has = have [last paragraph above]

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:27 PM

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

So what is different between say 2002 and 2008 and between 2009 and today?
Most of these issues were happening back then as well.

astonerii on August 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

MeanWhile,another E-Mail Operation bites da dust……………..

Silent Circle:
***************

To our Members:

Silent Circle has preemptively discontinued Silent Mail service to prevent spying.

We designed our phone, video, and text services (Silent Phone, Text and Eyes) to be completely end-to-end secure with all cryptography done on the clients and our exposure to your data to be nil. The reasons are obvious — the less of your information we have, the better it is for you and for us.

Silent Mail has thus always been something of a quandary for us. Email that uses standard Internet protocols cannot have the same security guarantees that real-time communications has. There are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the email protocols themselves. Email as we know it with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP cannot be secure.

And yet, many people wanted it. Silent Mail has similar security guarantees to other secure email systems, and with full disclosure, we thought it would be valuable.

However, we have reconsidered this position. We’ve been thinking about this for some time, whether it was a good idea at all. Yesterday, another secure email provider, Lavabit, shut down their system less they “be complicit in crimes against the American people.” We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now.

We’ve been debating this for weeks, and had changes planned starting next Monday. We’d considered phasing the service out, continuing service for existing customers, and a variety of other things up until today. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and with your safety we decided that in this case the worst decision is no decision.

Silent Phone and Silent Text, along with their cousin Silent Eyes are end-to-end secure. We don’t have the encrypted data and we don’t collect metadata about your conversations. They’re continuing as they have been. We are still working on innovative ways to improve secure communications. Silent Mail was a good idea at the time, and that time has passed.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and hope you understand that if we dithered, it could be more inconvenient.
===================================================

https://silentcircle.com/

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

ss396 on August 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

…people miss that point!…he’d have been under wraps and in solitary confinement if he had gone to the politburo press…or a politician.

KOOLAID2 on August 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Don’t have a link handy but saw a story today that Duane “Dog” Chapman is going to try and illegally enter Russia to play Bounty Hunter on Snowden. Should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

If he does, he will lose this house.

Dog, in an impromptu press conference held outside Da Kine bail bonds, said, “Sometimes you gotta bend the rules to save America, and if I can catch this traitor Snowden and bring him back to God’s side, then it’ll be worth the risk of a lifetime of hard labor in a Siberian gulag.”

http://www.chronicle.su/news/dog-the-bounty-hunter-to-pursue-snowden-bounty/

How does he know Snowden is a traitor?

This Chapman wants to marry Snowden (Yowza!): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ex-russian-spy-hots-snowden-article-1.1389534

davidk on August 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Le Oops!

NSA loophole allows warrantless search
**************************************

for US citizens’ emails and phone calls

Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans’ communications

James Ball and Spencer Ackerman
The Guardian, Friday 9 August 2013 17.08 BST
********************************************

Detail of Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the NSA authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/8/9/1376060880108/FAA-document-001.jpg

The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens’ email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden.

The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans’ communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing “warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans”.
(More…..)
===========

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/09/nsa-loophole-warrantless-searches-email-calls?commentpage=5

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

This Chapman wants to marry Snowden (Yowza!): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ex-russian-spy-hots-snowden-article-1.1389534

davidk on August 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

davidK:

And I was joking:)
==================


I wonder if Putin threw in Ann Chapman,
to sweeten the pot,on possible asylum!
(sarc)

canopfor on July 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

So what is different between say 2002 and 2008 and between 2009 and today?
Most of these issues were happening back then as well.

astonerii on August 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Not a hell of a lot.

Bush was for the same things as Obama, and vice versa.

W was another disaster posing as a “proud American” who lied about the essential nature of Islam (the Big Lie of the 21st Century) bloated the government (vote-buying Prescription Drug Give-Away to Seniors), pursued wars without any grasp of the nature of the enemy and fueled by a delusional notion of the spread-ability of “democracy”, and led the country toward fiscal calamity by failing to control speculation in the markets -which were based on fantasy valuations- with no serious oversight (Bernie Madoff writ large).

We’ve been spiraling toward disintegration since Reagan’s 1986 Amnesty, or since the 1965 Immigration Reform of Teddy Kennedy.

The “leaders” seem to be puppets of global crony capitalists who love them some more peons, slaver for imported IT serfs, and manipulate the media like marionettes as they seek a staggeringly dangerous concentration of government power.

Hard times, no doubt about it.

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

I wonder if Putin threw in Ann Chapman,
to sweeten the pot,on possible asylum!
(sarc)

canopfor on July 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Prophetic voice.

davidk on August 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I’m not sure why anyone would think otherwise of Snowden- I felt he was a whistleblower from day one. Maybe that was my bias against Obama -I don’t know- but I don’t think for one minute that that the majority of the apparatus in place -at least that which compiles information on American citizens with no known or suspected ties to terrorism- has anything to do with national security. I think this information is being stored, not analyzed; codified for use at a later date to affect people’s behavior. In other words, it’s purely political.

BKeyser on August 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

In other words, it’s purely political tyrannical.

BKeyser on August 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

FIFY

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Mario Loyola is quite supportive of NSA’s work as he states his position in “The Corner.” However, his last review of its work and updates/safeguards occurred in 2008, which he notes in the squib. Is he aware of the abuses that have taken place since Obysmal has been in the WH>

onlineanalyst on August 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

.
I doubt even a reality TV star is stupid enough to try to illegally enter a sovereign country …

… but the Russian border patrol will show him their interpretation of “The Nutcracker” if he does.

PolAgnostic on August 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Now that made me LOL.

onlineanalyst on August 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM

canopfor on July 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Prophetic voice.

davidk on August 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

davidk:Lol,I wish—-:)

canopfor on August 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Yes. A more perfect description.

BKeyser on August 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

profitsbeard on August 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

So what is different between say 2002 and 2008 and between 2009 and today?
Most of these issues were happening back then as well.

astonerii on August 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

True, but back when Bush was President we had just been hit with a major terror attack. In retrospect, the Patriot Act was indeed a symptom of the “never let a good crisis go to waste” mentality, but we hadn’t exactly heard of that yet. And for years and years prior to that we were inundated with Muslim-produced terror attacks. So, Trutherism aside, it was a great cause for alarm and doing what could be done to prevent further attacks.

Many of us were indeed wary of those powers. But with the Marxists rabidly attacking the Patriot Act, I think most of us instinctively felt that the Al-Qaeda Lovers on the Left must be in fact complaining about something that was good for America…because attacking America is their modus operandi for everything they do and say.

Sure, we fell for it. But you have to look at why most Americans did. The two things that are shameful and ignorant now are: To be a Conservative and still believe that the Patriot Act is for our own good, is Constitutional, and will counter terrorism; and the other thing is the “Liberals” who complained about it back then just because Boosh was President, but not now.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

For some comic relief, I guess that we can rest easy now that Bo, the presidential wonder dog, has been airlifted to Martha’s Yard along with the presidential basketballs separately from the First Freeloaders.

onlineanalyst on August 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

This nitwit comes out with some “profound” only after the news on the internet for a few days.

This is an old, old meme.

PattyJ on August 11, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I wish the Lyin kING would say something that would get that Film Maker out of jail for making film portraying Muslims in a bad light and……. Bengahzi!
He could say something like I LIED, Hillary LIED, Susan Rice LIED, Leon Panetta LIED!

ConcealedKerry on August 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

For some comic relief, I guess that we can rest easy now that Bo, the presidential wonder dog, has been airlifted to Martha’s Yard along with the presidential basketballs separately from the First Freeloaders.

onlineanalyst on August 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

“It’s good to be the king.”

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Accepting the premise that Obama actually intends to reform anything is pure unadulterated folly.

fossten on August 11, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Let me make an analogy.

Imagine a burglar breaks into your house. You come home to find the place a mess. While cleaning up after the burglar, you find a painting dislodged that he must have missed in a hurry. Shoving it aside, you find the antique china set you misplaced decades ago. It’s worth more than a hundred thousand dollars now.

Does this mean something good came out of the burglary? Yes!

Does it mean that the burglary was itself a good thing, or that the burglar is any less a felon, and will he serve one less year of jail time because of it? No!

Does this mean that sometimes bad things can be blessings in disguise, or that lemons can be made from lemonade? Yes!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

PS. Yes, I realize a burglar probably wouldn’t have missed the china and stolen it too. Work with me here. :)

pendell2 on August 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM

wow Jazz….. the truth falls on your head and you still don’t realize it…… Snowden is a hero.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 12, 2013 at 1:36 AM

No matter what anyone thinks he is, history books will always record that he was the man who brought obama to the tiny size he always is.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2013 at 2:03 AM

To even suggest that there is any similarity between Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning is dishonest almost beyond imagining.

Edward Snowden was a contractor. One of the terms of his contract was that he would not reveal the secrets of his client. During the course of that contract, he discovered that his client was engaged in illegal activity intended to undermine the security of the United States of America. At that point, he had a choice. He could honor his contract to the letter, thus aiding, abetting, and conspiring with enemies of the United States, or he could inform the appropriate authorities. Since the client in question was, paradoxically, an agency of the United States government, he had to assume that the United States government was complicit in the crime. The only authority he could trust was the American people, the ultimate authority in this nation. He made the right choice, and anyone with a shred of morality must acknowledge him as a hero.

Bradley Manning just thought it would be a good idea to publish every classified file he could get his hands on. We call that “treason” where I come from. There can be no justification for him ever being released from prison.

underdog on August 12, 2013 at 3:55 AM

I don’t know why everyone is bugging out over these guys.
If anything Assange, Snowden, and Manning have clearly illustrated to us that the US government cannot be trusted to keep our personal information secure from prying eyes.
Does anyone honestly believe that they’ll do a better job with our health records than they have with state secrets? Identity theft is a cottage industry folks!

kregg on August 12, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Mar 26, 2012 – After my election, I have more flexibility,” Obama told Medvedev.

The obvious big picture is Obama’s administration ensured that all the doors were unlocked for this low level, low rent ‘security analyst’ to accomplish what he did and land where he is – all with feigned outrage from Obama.

locomotivebreath1901 on August 12, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Don’t have a link handy but saw a story today that Duane “Dog” Chapman is going to try and illegally enter Russia to play Bounty Hunter on Snowden. Should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

If Dog actually tries anything, he’s likely to find himself in something worse than the basement of the Lubyanka.

Quartermaster on August 12, 2013 at 8:23 AM

“Edward Snowden was a contractor. One of the terms of his contract was that he would not reveal the secrets of his client. During the course of that contract, he discovered that his client was engaged in illegal activity intended to undermine the security of the United States of America.”

My understanding is that he deliberately joined NSA with the intention of leaking. So he was guilty of bad faith, if no worse, from the start. His employment contract was signed under false pretenses.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/24/4460028/edward-snowden-booz-allen-nsa-contractor-job

” At that point, he had a choice. He could honor his contract to the letter, thus aiding, abetting, and conspiring with enemies of the United States, or he could inform the appropriate authorities. Since the client in question was, paradoxically, an agency of the United States government, he had to assume that the United States government was complicit in the crime. The only authority he could trust was the American people, the ultimate authority in this nation. He made the right choice, and anyone with a shred of morality must acknowledge him as a hero.”

From my perspective, this is true only if the entire federal government, legislative, executive, and judicial, is so badly broken that there is no possibility of seeing the grievance redressed through the normal channels — the IG or going directly to Congress. Was Putin really a better choice than Senator Rand Paul, for example?

Still … I can kind of see the point. Snowden had exactly one chance to get this right. If he’d shown SCI stuff to the wrong person, he would go to jail and his concerns would never be acted on. Perhaps that is part of it … why go to Congress and have a 50% of getting something done when you can go directly to the American people and have a 100% of your concerns getting the airing they need?

At any rate, if Snowden is wrong and this could have been addressed through legitimate channels, then it’s a gross violation of his employment agreement and a significant blow to our national security for no good reason.

OTOH, if Snowden is right — and if William Binney is right —
http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-whistleblower-william-binney-was-right-2013-6

then the federal government is so severely broken no surface reform is going to be enough. It would require a near-complete retooling of the way we do intel, like the Church and Pike hearings back in the ’70s. Which will hamstring our intel agencies again, but it can’t be helped. No foreign terrorist murderer or tyrant can take away half as many freedoms as we take away from ourselves in the name of “security”.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell2 on August 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

The author, Mario Loyola, leaves me in a bit of a difficult position. I’ve written about Assange more times on these pages than I can count, and I don’t think I’ve once had even a marginally positive thing to say. I’ve also never felt a bit of sympathy for him, though being trapped with the Ecuadorian embassy eating leftover guinea pig is still too good for him. But I have to admit that Loyola’s sentiments have the ring of truth to them.

Well, Jazz, we all have our little hypocrisies come back to haunt us now and again, don’t we?!

Yours is quite clear. I hope you have the wisdom to learn from it.

Conservatives who support NSA spying are not conservatives at all. They’re progressives. They’re wrong. And, they’re hypocrites who have no right to use the mantle of conservatism to advocate violating the Constitution under the guise of “security” or any other lie.

Assange believes in government transparency; don’t you, Jazz? If you SAY you do, then you couldn’t possibly have a reason to disparage Assange. Your problem is that you–just like the progressives–don’t really believe in the Constitution unless it is convenient FOR YOU. You’ll use any disingenuous excuse to violate MY Constitutional rights if it is expedient for your own specious agenda, no matter how tyrannical.

I have EVERY RIGHT to know exactly what my government is doing to “protect” me. Anything else is just another lie, whether it comes from a progressive/communist or a so-called “conservative.”

mountainaires on August 12, 2013 at 9:20 AM

pendell2 on August 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Once in a rare blue moon, we are called upon to make a hard choice: Do we “do the right thing,” or do we cave and live with the knowledge that we are cowards who cared more about our own personal safety than what we SAY we believe in?

That was Snowden’s choice; he took the only course available to him. “Whistleblowers” are not safe when they tell of great crimes by powerful players on the global stage. They are in danger from a tyrannical federal government with no legal limits, which will use ANY means to silence and persecute them.

What were Snowden’s choices? He could have disappeared into a black hole and the information that he had would have been silenced by a conspiracy of media and government–i.e., fascism. Or he could do what he did, which was to plan a leak of the information after doing all he could to protect himself by making himself the story, so that the debate about the government’s fascist actions were intrinsically tied to the actions he took to escape persecution from the fascists. Is he a patriot? Is he a traitor? Who cares? He was SMART to do what he did, and we know what the fascist federal government is doing as a result!

Personally, I commend Snowden for taking the action he took so that I WOULD KNOW WHAT THE FASCISTS in our federal government are doing. Snowden was smart. Makes it a little more difficult to “disappear” Snowden when everyone is arguing about what he did, doesn’t it?

mountainaires on August 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Well, at the risk of sounding crazy, I’m beginning to lean to the possibility you are right.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/16/snowden-whistleblower-nsa-officials-roundtable/2428809/

I have been doing some reading, and there are a number of individuals who WERE whistleblowers and DID go through channels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Andrews_Drake
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official)

It’s looking to me more and more as if other people had tried to do the right thing inside the system and failed. Not only this, they were punished worse than Snowden was because they were stupid enough to stay in country and face trumped-up charges which would eat away their personal finances even if found not guilty.

So at this point, it’s beginning to look to me as if Snowden was justified in what he did. I could still be argued the other way, though.

pendell2 on August 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM

I’m not a fan of Mario Loyola. And, in this case, he’s wrong.

Whatever his words, the president’s actions inescapably imply that Snowden is a legitimate whistleblower.

No. The President’s actions mean that Snowden was right. It doesn’t make him a “legitimate whistleblower”. There is a difference.

GWB on August 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Just trying to keep things straight, here. According to President Charlie Foxtrot:

Snowden is a traitor
but
Major Nidal Hasan is a disgruntled employee.

kurtzz3 on August 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM

My understanding is that he deliberately joined NSA with the intention of leaking. So he was guilty of bad faith, if no worse, from the start. His employment contract was signed under false pretenses.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/24/4460028/edward-snowden-booz-allen-nsa-contractor-job

From my perspective, this is true only if the entire federal government, legislative, executive, and judicial, is so badly broken that there is no possibility of seeing the grievance redressed through the normal channels — the IG or going directly to Congress. Was Putin really a better choice than Senator Rand Paul, for example?

The link you cite may or may not put a different complexion on Snowden’s actions. Was he looking for something to leak so he could make a name for himself? Or was he looking for solid evidence to present before making wild accusations about the people charged with national security? We cannot know from this link, maybe there is a more complete report elsewhere.

As for the government being broken, maybe beyond repair, my only response is, have you seen any news stories about Congress, the DOJ, the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, the Supreme Court, or the Presidency in the last 50 years? If so, how can you possibly have any remaining doubts?

Mournfully yours,
Steven M

underdog on August 13, 2013 at 1:36 AM