Quotes of the day

posted at 10:31 pm on December 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has offered to collaborate with a Brazilian investigation into the NSA surveillance program he revealed earlier this year, according to a letter published in a local newspaper on Tuesday.

In “An Open Letter to the Brazilian People,” published by newspaper Folha De S. Paulo, Snowden said he would like to assist in a congressional probe into the NSA’s spying program, which monitored the personal communications of President Dilma Rousseff and other Brazilians.

“I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so,” the letter said…

“Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak,” Snowden said.

***

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden stole vastly more information than previously speculated, and is holding it at ransom for his own protection.

“What’s floating is so dangerous, we’d be behind for twenty years in terms of access (if it were to be leaked),” a ranking Department of Defense official told the Daily Caller.

“He stole everything — literally everything,” the official said…

“Everything you don’t want the enemy to know, he has,” the official said. “Who we’re listening to, what we’re after — they’d shut us down.”

***

***

“It is an astounding day when a federal judge says a government surveillance practice would leave James Madison aghast,” Wyden told reporters. “The idea of collecting all these phone records is not inoffensive data collection as some of the proponents have said. It is digital surveillance.”

[T]hough Wyden’s colleagues don’t yet have the numbers to pass an NSA crackdown bill in the Senate, his coalition is growing.

It includes Republicans like Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) as well as Democrats like Heinrich, who joined the Intelligence Committee this year and promptly sided against Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) on the issue of digital government surveillance.

“The judge got it right. I think that we have strayed from what the framers had in mind when they wrote the Fourth Amendment and were dealing directly with government overreach,” Heinrich said in an interview.

***

Reflecting on the dramatic changes that have taken place since the first newspaper stories based on Snowden’s leaked materials began appearing back in June, one U.S. official noted that the NSA’s once-solid support inside the White House and on Capitol Hill has waned since the panel was created in August, and that the once cordial relationship between the White House and NSA has become distinctly “chilly” over the past two months.

NSA officials became concerned this fall when their memos were increasingly ignored and their phone calls to key officials in Washington, especially at the State Department, were not returned. And more ominously, rumors began to reach NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, that the review panel had been given new marching orders to be robust and searching in its report.

“We got the distinct impression that we were now lepers in Washington,” a senior NSA official recalled, adding, “Putting as much distance as possible between the White House and us was the order of the day.”

***

The NSA’s biggest strategic communications problem, however, is that they’ve been so walled off from the American body politic that they have no idea when they’re saying things that sound tone-deaf. Like expats returning from a long overseas tour, NSA staffers don’t quite comprehend how much perceptions of the agency have changed. The NSA stresses in its mission statement and corporate culture that it “protects privacy rights.” Indeed, there were faded banners proclaiming that goal in our briefing room. Of course, NSAers see this as protecting Americans from foreign cyber-intrusions. In a post-Snowden era, however, it’s impossible to read that statement without suppressing a laugh.

It might be an occupational hazard, but NSA officials continue to talk about the threat environment as if they’ve been frozen in amber since 2002. To them, the world looks increasingly unsafe. Syria is the next Pakistan, China is augmenting its capabilities to launch a financial war on the United States, and the next terrorist attack on American soil is right around the corner. They could very well be correct — except that the American public has become inured to such warnings over the past decade, and their response has been to tell politicians to focus on things at home and leave the rest of the world alone. A strategy of “trust us, the world is an unsafe place” won’t resonate now the way it did in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The NSA’s attitude toward the press is, well, disturbing. There were repeated complaints about the ways in which recent reportage of the NSA was warped or lacking context. To be fair, this kind of griping is a staple of officials across the entire federal government. Some of the NSA folks went further, however. One official accused some media outlets of “intentionally misleading the American people,” which is a pretty serious accusation. This official also hoped that the Obama administration would crack down on these reporters, saying, “I have some reforms for the First Amendment.” I honestly do not know whether that last statement was a joke or not. Either way, it’s not funny.

***

Voters aren’t enthusiastic about granting NSA leaker Edward Snowden amnesty to halt his release of U.S. intelligence secrets, even though most agree the continued disclosures are hurting national security.

Just 21% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government should grant Snowden full amnesty from prosecution in exchange for his return of all classified information that he still possesses. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that twice as many (41%) oppose full amnesty for Snowden, although nearly as many (39%) are undecided.

Sixty-two percent (62%) still think it’s at least somewhat likely that the continuing disclosure of National Security Agency phone and e-mail surveillance programs is hurting U.S. national security.

***

The letter affirms for me, for whatever it’s worth, my own sense that Snowden and his actions are probably not well captured by either the “hero” or “traitor” archetypes. Those archetypes, after all, almost never satisfactorily explain the actions of actual human beings, who tend to be just too complicated. And Snowden certainly seems to be that. Some of his actions, like the initial decision to release the leaks despite facing a life in exile, certainly appear motivated by an earnest desire to make the world a better place, or at least better conform to certain ideals of liberty as he sees them. Other actions, though, have been much tougher to explain without allowing for the real possibility that he may have other motivations as well.

Snowden’s quid-pro-quo offer to Brazil seems to serve his ideals and his self-interest so interchangeably that we just can’t answer which is primarily driving him, nor we can fully dismiss either. The young leaker and his headline-grabbing actions continue to be, in many ways, mirrors for our own American process of thinking through the larger issues he’s helped to raise.

***

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a lead supporter of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance, said on Tuesday the Supreme Court should weigh in the constitutionality of the programs

“Only the Supreme Court can resolve the question on the constitutionality of the NSA’s program. I welcome a Supreme Court review since it has been more than 30 years since the court’s original decision of constitutionality, and I believe it is crucial to settling the issue once and for all. In the meantime, the call records program remains in effect,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Those of us who support the call records program do so with a sincere belief that it, along with other programs, is constitutional and helps keep the country safe from attack. I believe the program can benefit from additional transparency and privacy protections.”///

Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was necessary to have a “good public debate” on the NSA programs but that other judges had disagreed with Leon’s ruling.

“We know that senators, both Democrats and Republicans, would like to change the law as it relates to some of the collection activities and I think that’s good,” he said.

***

Six months ago, I revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too

My act of conscience began with a statement: “I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded. That’s not something I’m willing to support, it’s not something I’m willing to build, and it’s not something I’m willing to live under.”

Days later, I was told my government had made me stateless and wanted to imprison me. The price for my speech was my passport, but I would pay it again: I will not be the one to ignore criminality for the sake of political comfort. I would rather be without a state than without a voice.

If Brazil hears only one thing from me, let it be this: when all of us band together against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems.

***

***

***



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WAAAAY OT: but again:

http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/statueofliberty/?cam=liberty_hd

frggin’ beautiful in the early hours

Ugly on December 18, 2013 at 4:57 AM

Can you imagine Snowden as a housesitter for you? “Oh sure, I’d follow your directions, and never follow my own desires. You can and should trust me – my word is bond!”

ROFL

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 5:13 AM

boy the msdnc folks are giddy about the house gop retiring…they insists this will favor the dems….they blame the tea party control of the house…

wishful thinking..

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 5:22 AM

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 5:13 AM

heh

morning AC

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 5:23 AM

cmsinaz you have a bizzarre morning routine turning on mslsd first thing!

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 5:43 AM

I surf fox, msdnc and cnn while I make the coffee…

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 5:57 AM

All you “rule of law” types calling for Snowden’s head on a platter better step back and check your head for a minute or two. He screwed over FedGov. FedGov is de facto lawless. If Snowden is serious about doing the right thing, he’s going to have to pay the piper sooner or later. Let’s not forget where the real scandals are emanating from!

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:06 AM

All you “rule of law” types calling for Snowden’s head on a platter better step back and check your head for a minute or two.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Do we see Attorney General Eric (Fast and Furious) Holder behind bars? We do not. And he’s just one example of many.

David Blue on December 18, 2013 at 6:30 AM

heh

morning AC

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 5:23 AM

Morning, cmsinaz. How are you?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:32 AM

All you “rule of law” types calling for Snowden’s head on a platter better step back and check your head for a minute or two. He screwed over FedGov. FedGov is de facto lawless. If Snowden is serious about doing the right thing, he’s going to have to pay the piper sooner or later. Let’s not forget where the real scandals are emanating from!

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:06 AM

I think both Snowden and Choomie’s admin are lawless…people like Clapper need to go to jail, but so does Snowden – he doesn’t/shouldn’t unilaterally get to decide for himself which US laws he’ll obey, either.

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:32 AM

doing well…ready for another day, going on my 2nd cup of coffee…

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 6:38 AM

I think both Snowden and Choomie’s admin are lawless…people like Clapper need to go to jail, but so does Snowden – he doesn’t/shouldn’t unilaterally get to decide for himself which US laws he’ll obey, either.

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:37 AM

So what if that offer of amnesty is legit? Personally, I’d rather see Snowden tried in a court of law, mainly because it will expose President Choom and the NSA for the lying sacks of shit that they are regardless of what happens to Snowden. But that may not happen at all, and I hope you’re prepared to deal with that contingency.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:40 AM

And as for the “he doesn’t get to pick and choose which laws to follow” argument, I wish more of my fellow Americans had the guts to break unconstitutional laws. Law enforcement can only be stretched so thin — particularly at the federal level.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:41 AM

doing well…ready for another day, going on my 2nd cup of coffee…

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 6:38 AM

:)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:42 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls. O/T:

There are no easy answers’ but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

– Ronald Reagan

My take: Senate Democrats Vote to Cut Military Pensions Benefits…Keep IRS Credit for Illegal Immigrants.

kingsjester on December 18, 2013 at 6:44 AM

So what if that offer of amnesty is legit? Personally, I’d rather see Snowden tried in a court of law, mainly because it will expose President Choom and the NSA for the lying sacks of shit that they are regardless of what happens to Snowden. But that may not happen at all, and I hope you’re prepared to deal with that contingency.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:40 AM

I want him tried, too. Let him make his case… :)

And as for the “he doesn’t get to pick and choose which laws to follow” argument, I wish more of my fellow Americans had the guts to break unconstitutional laws. Law enforcement can only be stretched so thin — particularly at the federal level.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Do you believe Snowden has absolute moral authority to break whichever US laws he wants when it comes to national security issues? No? Then you agree with me, and your point is not directly related to what I was saying.

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:46 AM

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:41 AM
Do you believe Snowden has absolute moral authority to break whichever US laws he wants when it comes to national security issues? No? Then you agree with me, and your point is not directly related to what I was saying.

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Who here is making that argument, AC? What I have said, and where I am in agreement with several of your adversaries in this matter, is that I don’t believe Snowden is a traitor by the definition laid out in the constitution, nor do I believe he is an “anarchist” by the denotive dictionary definition of that term. Outside of those two discrete factors, there’s not really anything else about this case that I’m sure of.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Who here is making that argument, AC? What I have said, and where I am in agreement with several of your adversaries in this matter, is that I don’t believe Snowden is a traitor by the definition laid out in the constitution, nor do I believe he is an “anarchist” by the denotive dictionary definition of that term. Outside of those two discrete factors, there’s not really anything else about this case that I’m sure of.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:50 AM

1) if Snowden is in fact sharing classified US info with other countries, what word would you use to describe such behavior? If he’s doing that, do you believe he has the moral right to do so

2) “anarchy” literally means “without a ruler(s)” – of whom/what would you say Snowden believes he’s a subject, hmm? The US government? If you say yes, where’s your evidence for that?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:04 AM

1) if Snowden is in fact sharing classified US info with other countries, what word would you use to describe such behavior? If he’s doing that, do you believe he has the moral right to do so

He does not have the legal right to do so. The law does not define what is moral. I am agnostic on that question until I know just what information he has, and what he has done with the information he has. I do not trust agents of our government or the media (but I repeat myself) to educate me on this.

2) “anarchy” literally means “without a ruler(s)” – of whom/what would you say Snowden believes he’s a subject, hmm? The US government? If you say yes, where’s your evidence for that?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Like I said, I am basing my assertion on the denotive dictionary definition of Anarchy.

A state of society without government or law; an ideology which advocates such a state.

Was Rosa Parks an anarchist because she did not believe herself subject to Jim Crow? Snowden broke a specific law because he believes that FedGov itself is lawless and disordered. That much is evident in his open letter to Brazil. Now bear in mind, I’m not arguing the merits of his position; merely pointing out that he has stated his intent in that forum. Working against a lawless, disordered “government” sounds like the opposite of anarchy to me. But if you want to know which government Snowden believes he is beholden to, don’t ask me. Ask him. I’ll be as close as I can to first in line to call our entire FedGov illegitimate.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Outside of those two discrete factors, there’s not really anything else about this case that I’m sure of.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:50 AM

So you don’t think Snowden is a traitor or anarchist. What about the fact that he broke the law. That as a contractor and by dint of what he signed when he got his security clearance, the 1.2M documents he took were not his to take. You aren’t even sure about the fact he is a criminal? Or maybe that should be alleged criminal since you seem to be grasping at reasons why we should honor Snowden and not condemn him.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Don’t miss this.

thatsafactjack on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Was Rosa Parks an anarchist because she did not believe herself subject to Jim Crow?

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

When you’re likening Snowden to Rosa Parks it is clear that you don’t have any coherent argument to make. And you even blew that one. Rosa Parks staged a confrontation on that Montgomery bus precisely because she was protesting the fact that she was subject to Jim Crow.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Holy cow thatsafactjack

Admitting that on tv

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Overall, these articles tell me three things;

1. My hypothesis that Snowden may have damaging material that he has not yet released, and which he is holding as an “insurance policy”, is very likely valid.

2. That NSA’s domestic spying was both approved of and authorized by NCA, backed up by the usual suspects on the left in at least the Senate (Feinstein, etc.).

3. That Snowden, an outside contractor who was apparently never properly vetted, had access to material up to and including Top Secret code word information. Someone like him should never have even been aware of such a compartment, let alone be allowed into it.

The conclusion is that NSA is so seriously compromised that it may no longer be possible for it to accomplish its intended mission.

The hearings should include the very real option of dismantling the agency and transferring its functions back to the separate branches of the Armed Services, which is where they were prior to NSA’s creation.

Keep in mind that NSA is DoD; CIA is under State. It’s noteworthy that neither one is technically allowed to carry out any “domestic” activities, CIA due to restrictions in its charter, NSA due to posse comitatus.

Both seem intent on doing so, regardless. And the “enlightened ones”‘ who, a decade ago, would have been screaming from the rooftops about those activities, are now cheering them on.

Because they are now the ones in charge, and see the NSA’s and CIA’s activities as their best chance to stay that way.

Forever.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

He does not have the legal right to do so. The law does not define what is moral.

I asked you for your personal opinion about the morality of sharing classified US info with other countries, if he is in fact doing that. If he’s guilty of what he’s been accused about Norway & Russia, for example, do you even care?

Like I said, I am basing my assertion on the denotive dictionary definition of Anarchy.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

So, you can’t/won’t bother yourself with the literal definition of the word? lol

You are doing a lot of tap-dancing…I wonder why? :)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Don’t miss this.

thatsafactjack on December 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

And so it begins. The theme that Obama didn’t fail so much as that he had such lofty goals he flew too close to the sun and his wings melted. It isn’t his fault that he failed but ours for not being ready to follow his leadership.

You heard it here first but it won’t be the last time.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Holy cow thatsafactjack

Admitting that on tv

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 7:21 AM

The only thing surprising about this is that Bawbwa Wawa is admitting it in public.

Then again, since she was being interviewed by Piers Morgan, she may have assumed that only the Faithful were watching.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 18, 2013 at 7:29 AM

I asked you for your personal opinion about the morality of sharing classified US info with other countries, if he is in fact doing that. If he’s guilty of what he’s been accused about Norway & Russia, for example, do you even care?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

You are asking me to presuppose a man’s guilt based on what we have learned about him through the media, which has proven itself time-and-again to be all too willing to be a house organ for FedGov under the current administration. I refuse to do so. I am reserving judgement until such time as Snowden stands trial publicly and testimony occurs under oath.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:31 AM

eon on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

The interesting thing here is that the NSA is truly in shock that people are angry at their activities. They define themselves as the “good guys” and simply can’t understand why Americans are mad that they are spying on us- just like the Stasi or NKVD.

I don’t think it realistic to dismantle the NSA but I’m also a bit aprehensive at the more stringent Executive Branch oversight that is going to be recommended by that investigative committee. Obama having even more control over the NSA- did I mention the similarities to the Stasi or NKVD?

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:31 AM

So, you can’t/won’t bother yourself with the literal definition of the word? lol

You are doing a lot of tap-dancing…I wonder why? :)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Denotive = literal.

Connotive = figurative.

I’m not tap-dancing at all. For the fourth bloody time, I am not judging a man’s crimes that he has not yet stood trial for.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:32 AM

It just pains me that it’s not enough for me to say “I want Edward Snowden to stand trial publicly.” Can we stop pretending that our opinions matter one iota as to how this will turn out? My opinion is that I don’t think Snowden will stand trial, but I think he should. It is FedGov offering amnesty; not me. The quieter and quicker they can make this go away, the quicker they can create the next scandal and take our mind off of the NSA mal- and misfeasance.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

You are asking me to presuppose a man’s guilt based on what we have learned about him through the media, which has proven itself time-and-again to be all too willing to be a house organ for FedGov under the current administration.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:31 AM

So Snowden didn’t steal 1.2M documents? Good to know! /

Seriously, you are grasping at straws here. We’ve learned much of what we know through The Guardian. Hardly a mouthpiece for any American administration. We also know that what was published in the Washington Post alone is enough to affirm that Snowden is a criminal.

In short, nobody is buying your no man shall be deemed guilty until found guilty at trial crap. I’m willing to bet you’re very selective in who this concept should apply to.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Heh eon….good point

cmsinaz on December 18, 2013 at 7:36 AM

So Snowden didn’t steal 1.2M documents? Good to know! /

I don’t know how many documents he stole. I don’t know the contents of the documents he did steal. And that, because I don’t trust the media, which is in league with the current administration on every salient policy matter of the modern age, to tell me.

Seriously, you are grasping at straws here. We’ve learned much of what we know through The Guardian. Hardly a mouthpiece for any American administration. We also know that what was published in the Washington Post alone is enough to affirm that Snowden is a criminal.

The Guardian is a notorious leftist publication that has shilled for leftist American politicians in the past. In this particular matter, I will trust testimony given under oath in open court, and no less. I advocate bringing Edward Snowden to trial publicly and on American soil. How that is “grasping at straws” is pretty damn bewildering to me.

In short, nobody is buying your no man shall be deemed guilty until found guilty at trial crap. I’m willing to bet you’re very selective in who this concept should apply to.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

You bet I am. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. There’s more at stake here than bringing a “traitor” to justice. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but that’s no less true for me than anyone else.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:42 AM

You are asking me to presuppose a man’s guilt based on what we have learned about him through the media, which has proven itself time-and-again to be all too willing to be a house organ for FedGov under the current administration. I refuse to do so. I am reserving judgement until such time as Snowden stands trial publicly and testimony occurs under oath.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:31 AM

No, I asked you a hypothetical, and you aren’t answering i.e. you are tap-dancing!

Denotive = literal.

Connotive = figurative.

I’m not tap-dancing at all. For the fourth bloody time, I am not judging a man’s crimes that he has not yet stood trial for.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Literal, simplest definition of “anarchy”: “without a ruler(s)”; your fixation: “A state of society without government or law; an ideology which advocates such a state.”

You want to keep saying that you’re only being denotive, and not pedantic? As I said, “tap-dancing”! :)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

It is FedGov offering amnesty; not me. The quieter and quicker they can make this go away, the quicker they can create the next scandal and take our mind off of the NSA mal- and misfeasance.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

The feds are not offering amnesty. Snowden, a contractor, is not a hero. He took those documents to the Chinese and Russians and is shopping them in exchange for political asylum. He not only disclosed information but also methods. He is a traitor no matter how much you want to split hairs in an effort to make him into a hero.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

“…it is no secret we are a centre-left newspaper…”

– Ian Katz, Features Editor for The Guardian, 2004

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

The feds are not offering amnesty. Snowden, a contractor, is not a hero. He took those documents to the Chinese and Russians and is shopping them in exchange for political asylum. He not only disclosed information but also methods. He is a traitor no matter how much you want to split hairs in an effort to make him into a hero.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

I’ll grant you that. The offer is not official. But it’s been floated. That fact alone changed my perception of this case quite radically. Someone somewhere would rather make this go away quietly than risk an open trial of someone who may be, if the media can be trusted, one of the biggest espionageurs in the history of spycraft. I don’t buy it.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:46 AM

And might I add folks, nowhere in this thread or any other have I called Edward Snowden a “hero.” But keep flogging that straw man if that’s how you get your rocks off.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:51 AM

And might I add folks, nowhere in this thread or any other have I called Edward Snowden a “hero.” But keep flogging that straw man if that’s how you get your rocks off.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Dude, stop digging that hole.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Dude, stop digging that hole.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:57 AM

An odd accusation, considering that I believe my “hero” should stand trial for the crimes he is alleged to have committed. As far as that goes, I want the NSA to be exposed. I really don’t care what happens to Snowden. When you engage in civil disobedience as he believes he is, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Spy vs Spy: Defection

kcewa on December 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Can we stop pretending that our opinions matter one iota as to how this will turn out?

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Who do you believe is doing that here?

The site is called, “Hot Air.” Call me silly if you want, but I’ve thought this is a place for us to vent and/or to share our opinions for fun…I’m interested in how you (and others) see things, even if I don’t agree! :)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM

My problem with this whole Edward Snowden saga is in determining who I trust the least, and why; Edward Snowden, or our own government.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

My problem with this whole Edward Snowden saga is in determining who I trust the least, and why; Edward Snowden, or our own government.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Ask yourself this: Given that Snowden has stolen potentially damaging information from the same government you (presumably) loath and which gives you reason to mistrust it daily, what reason or reasons do you have to mistrust Snowden?

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Spy VS Spy – Leekspin

kcewa on December 18, 2013 at 8:07 AM

listens2glenn on December 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

.
Ask yourself this: Given that Snowden has stolen potentially damaging information from the same government you (presumably) loath and which gives you reason to mistrust it daily, what reason or reasons do you have to mistrust Snowden?

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 8:06 AM

.
Determining my level of trust (or lack thereof) in our government, is too easy.

What evidence does any of us have to trust Edward Snowden?

What evidence does any of us have to not trust Edward Snowden?

listens2glenn on December 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

An odd accusation, considering that I believe my “hero” should stand trial for the crimes he is alleged to have committed.

I hear you about “hero.” However, I think HN is (rightfully) picking up a sympathetic vibe from you for Snowden…

When you engage in civil disobedience as he believes he is, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM

This is why I call him an anarchist: respectable civil disobedients don’t break the law & then run away from punishment. He self-righteously believes he doesn’t need to answer to anyone else…IOW, he’s a law unto himself.

You can say I don’t know this for a fact, but I do – not only is he not answering to the government/country he robbed, he’s complaining about it for ‘depriving him of his rights,’ and he’s also sharing the info he stole with the citizens of other countries, isn’t he? lol

He’s a self-justifying thief with an entitlement mentality. If I had been is his position & done what he did, I never would have left the US afterward, which does indicate that I’m a different kind of person (non-anarchistic) than he…

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 8:57 AM

AC, the problem with your argument of “Because Snowden ran that makes him bad” is that you are dealing with an agency (NSA) that has a known history of “dissapearing” people that it dislikes and is able to get it’s hands on. Snowden ran, not because he was a bad actor, but for his life.

As for your “moral authority” argument, EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN has the moral authority, nay, the moral imperative granted to them by God to oppose tyrannical government whenever and wherever they find it, particularly at home.

One thing I find in the authoritarians is that they never actually pay attention to what is really going on with Snowden; Everything he has released has served only to embarrass and indict those agencies who would compromise American freedom and the freedom or lives of otherwise innocent people around the world. NONE of the information released was of a nature that would put American lives at risk, even the lives of those involved in the corrupt agencies.

Meanwhile, EVERY SINGLE statement that various government organ spokespeople have made about Snowden have been shown to be either outright false, or misleading in some way. They are (unsurprisingly) attempting to sculpt the public conversation about Snowden to cast him in as bad a light as possible. But their statements keep being shown (often by the data Snowden is releasing) to be false. Why would you trust ANYTHING they say about him, INCLUDING the claims on the volume and type of data that he stole?

Do I think Snowden is a Hero? No. He’s an ordinary American citizen doing when he believes is his patriotic duty to America. Is he a traitor? No. Not even in the legalistic sense, as defying unconstitutional laws is not an act of treason.

Until he proves himself unworthy of it, I believe he deserves our praise for the work he has done so far.

wearyman on December 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Determining my level of trust (or lack thereof) in our government, is too easy.

What evidence does any of us have to trust Edward Snowden?

What evidence does any of us have to not trust Edward Snowden?

listens2glenn on December 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Well, think of it this way L2G: You know how little trust you have in the NSA and our government in general.

In comparison, how much trust would you have in the average American Citizen?

In further comparison, how much trust would you have in the average American citizen who was willing to, at the risk of his own life and with the loss of his citizenship, be willing to expose the corruption misdeeds of the above government you trust so little?

I think the answer is obvious.

wearyman on December 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

AC, the problem with your argument of “Because Snowden ran that makes him bad” is that you are dealing with an agency (NSA) that has a known history of “dissapearing” people that it dislikes and is able to get it’s hands on. Snowden ran, not because he was a bad actor, but for his life.

You have your take on this, and I have mine. :)

Until he proves himself unworthy of it, I believe he deserves our praise for the work he has done so far.

wearyman on December 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

And I don’t – I don’t believe he has either the legal or moral right to be the final arbiter of how to dole out what he stole.

I’d have a lot more respect for him had he stayed in the US…to childishly complain about his unworking US passport after what he’s done makes him look like a narcissistic fool! Now, he’s paying the price (“a man without a country”) for the path he’s taken, and I say that he’s getting exactly what he deserves. If he doesn’t like it, he can come back and face prosecution. :)

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 9:39 AM

So,….do we know yet if he is a hero or a traitor?

Bmore on December 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

We also know that what was published in the Washington Post alone is enough to affirm that Snowden is a criminal.

In short, nobody is buying your no man shall be deemed guilty until found guilty at trial crap. I’m willing to bet you’re very selective in who this concept should apply to.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Well, hell! Screw a bunch of “trial,evidence,etc.” nonsense. Just put an open bounty on Snowden – Dead or Alive (but preferably dead) and have at it.
In fact, why not apply that same standard to “everyday” common criminals? It’d save a lot of time, money and frustration.

“Published in the Washington Post”! LOL So now, the Wash. Post has become a trusted news source…rather than just another “left-wing rag”. Interesting.

Solaratov on December 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

He’s a self-justifying thief with an entitlement mentality. If I had been is his position & done what he did, I never would have left the US afterward, which does indicate that I’m a different kind of person (non-anarchistic) than he…

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 8:57 AM

We’re talking spooks who work for the NSA under the Obama administration. You don’t have the least bit of concern about Snowden getting a fair trial?

“Published in the Washington Post”! LOL So now, the Wash. Post has become a trusted news source…rather than just another “left-wing rag”. Interesting.

Solaratov on December 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Maybe the “positive vibe” I’m giving off is just relative to all these “patriots” lusting for Snowden’s blood.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

We’re talking spooks who work for the NSA under the Obama administration. You don’t have the least bit of concern about Snowden getting a fair trial?

Have a bit of concern? Yes. Enough to try to justify his running from one? No, never – that’s the easy way out, and I don’t much respect people who operate/think that way. He should face the music, sooner rather than later.

He hasn’t shown the willingness, and I think he’s proven himself to be a coward overall. You don’t have to agree with me, and I can live with your (incorrect) opinion just fine! :)

Maybe the “positive vibe” I’m giving off is just relative to all these “patriots” lusting for Snowden’s blood.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I want him to stand trial. So do you.

all these ‘patriots’ lusting…”? That looks quite hyperbolic to me. To whom here are you referring?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

So,….do we know yet if he is a hero or a traitor?

Bmore on December 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

lol :)

I don’t believe we could get a consensus until we’d find out that one of Snowden’s revelations has resulted in someone’s death, and even then…

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Hummmmm……why should we expect the Pentagon & NSA to win wars? It has nothing to gain by winning, and everything to lose. From a budgetary point of view, victory would be as bad as defeat. In either case, contracts would slow.

Of course we gotta protect the American people from the invasion fleet of Arab swordsmen poised to devastate North Carolina, and we need to read their tactical codes? Or are Yemeni nuclear forces readying a first strike? Maybe this was the problem. As delivery systems they could use FedEx and UPS.

Or maybe Snowden just embarrassed the children in the tree-house at Fort Meade, where everybody has a Captain America secret decoder ring.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

That looks quite hyperbolic to me. To whom here are you referring?

Anti-Control on December 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Former Ambassador John “The ‘Stache” Bolton, along with no fewer than five sitting members of congress, have called for Snowden to hang with no mention of due process that I am aware of. Bolton particularly seems more outraged by Snowden’s actions than the NSA imbroglio. Given the intimate relationship between the diplomatic corps and professional spycraft, I don’t find that surprising, but it is what it is.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

In an interview this morning Rep Peter King was asked about a letter an Ex-NSA employee & former whistle-blower wrote regarding amnesty for Snowden. The ex-NSA agent stated since a Federal Court recently declared the NSA spying to be Un-Constitutional that qualifies Snowden to be classified as a ‘Whistle-Blower’ and thereby entitles to legal protection under the law.

King became livid, almost unglued, as he declared the Federal Court was WRONG, that they should be ignored, that Snowden is a traitor who should face almost everything shy of a firing squad. He adamantly denied any Constitutional Rights have been violated by the NSA — NOT 1 PERSON’S Rights have been violated.
– We KNOW this is a lie / UN-Truth because it has already been proven.

King went on to ‘swear’ the NSA is not listening to any American’s phone calls or reading ANY Americans e-mail messages or text messages. Forget that whole admission/accusation of how they can turn on your PC/Pad camera without the light coming on to spy on you. Forget the ‘false’ story of the US spying on world leaders – never happened, and if it did their rights were never violated!When asked to give 1 specific case of how the NSA spying helped prevent a terrorist attack or help in any way…and he could not give 1 incident.

King is a bloated, elitist, Washington Establishment @$$-clown who has no problem ignoring the Constitution or breaking the law. He would be a JOKE if it were not for the fact that he is a threat to this nation and just deonstrated he has / will ignore his sworn oath of office, to defend the Constitution and rule of law.

Peter King should be targeted in the next election, to get his arse out of office ASAP!

easyt65 on December 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

All you “rule of law” types calling for Snowden’s head on a platter better step back and check your head for a minute or two. He screwed over FedGov. FedGov is de facto lawless. If Snowden is serious about doing the right thing, he’s going to have to pay the piper sooner or later. Let’s not forget where the real scandals are emanating from!

gryphon202 on December 18, 2013 at 6:06 AM

The rule of law needs to be enforced from the top down, not the bottom up. Snowden is a little fish that be dealt with after the big boys have been apprehended, charged and convicted.

Wendya on December 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM

This is just one page back, I cleaned up one sentence to read better … but might help some of you to organize your thoughts:

Snowden is an anarchic symptom of the laughable NSA security that allowed this catastrophic folly.

Heads should roll.

profitsbeard on December 17, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Let’s run a thought experiment regarding the words in bold

What is the FACTUAL basis (i.e. you could prove the point to the satisfaction of a judge) there is laughable NSA security?

No one from the NSA has publicly stated their security is so bad it is a “joke”.

Point of fact: No one has proved HOW many documents Snowden accessed.

Originally, it was considered to be selected documents detailing the scope of the “surveillance empire”.

Then the British government went into court and declared, but did not prove, it was 50,000 documents

Last week, the “anonymous sources” upped the ante to 1.7 million.

And now, undoubtedly causing heart palpitations for the reporters using them as sources, an anonymous source is going fully hyperbolic and claiming “he got everything”.
.
.
.
.
So … the Obama administration, the most repressive administration with regard to leaks BEFORE Snowden said a word, is now overrun with “anonymous sources” doing there absolute best to paint Snowden as a modern day Moriarity.

Here’s the thought experiment question.

WHY are you believing these “anonymous sources” from an administration which will live in infamy for the lies of its leader – much less his underlings?

Note: I’m not arguing Snowden is a hero or a villain. I am asking WHY you are taking the anonymous word of a group of villains as gospel?

From everyone wanting to “hang” Snowden, I’d appreciate your reasoning.

Two other takeaways:

1) Here is a quote from June about the Verizon FISA court warrant. It helps to put back in perspective the virtual impossibility of Snowden having obtained the FISA court document by himself. Note the last paragraph I have emphasized – these were standalone FISA court systems, not NSA systems.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/18/fbi-looks-for-leaks-at-foreign-intelligence-surveillance-court.html

The officials say phone companies like Verizon are not allowed to store a digital copy of the warrant, and that the documents are not accessible on most NSA internal classified computer networks or on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, the top-secret internet used by the U.S. intelligence community.

The warrants reside on two computer systems affiliated with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Both systems are physically separated from other government-wide computer networks and employ sophisticated encryption technology, the officials said. Even lawmakers and staff lawyers on the House and Senate intelligence committees can only view the warrants in the presence of Justice Department attorneys, and are prohibited from taking notes on the documents.

“The only time that our attorneys would have gotten to read one was if Justice Department lawyers came over with it in a secure pouch and sat there with them when they read them,” said Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican chairman and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “There was never one in the intelligence-committee spaces, never one left there without someone from the Justice Department. It would not have been left there overnight.”

U.S. intelligence officials were careful to say investigators have not yet concluded there is a mole inside the FISA Court or that the secure databases that store the court warrants have been compromised, only that both prospects were under active investigation.

.
2) Somebody REALLY important is setting up Snowden to take the fall for stealing massive amounts of American intelligence data. Far more than is remotely credible – HOW MANY thumb drives or USB external drives are we supposed to believe he “walked” in and out of a NSA facility? To take 1.7 million documents … did he somehow talk EVERYBODY into letting him set up his own personal server base “for backups”?

Or has Snowden provided an “crisis opportunity” for the Obama administration to explain away a massive intelligence ‘disruption’ done by a mole in the administration whose identity, if made public, would bring about the inevitable impeachment of Barack Obama?

PolAgnostic on December 18, 2013 at 2:06 PM

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