Snowden: Mission accomplished

posted at 8:31 am on December 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

But what exactly was the mission? Was it to expose an overreaching surveillance state and force accountability onto it? Or was it to cripple American intelligence and diplomacy? Thanks to the scope of the cache that Edward Snowden took and then released from the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ, plenty of evidence can be cited for either conclusion, and will fuel debate for decades.

That, Snowden told Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, was the mission:

Snowden is an orderly thinker, with an engineer’s approach to problem-solving. He had come to believe that a dangerous machine of mass surveillance was growing unchecked. Closed-door oversight by Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was a “graveyard of judgment,” he said, manipulated by the agency it was supposed to keep in check. Classification rules erected walls to prevent public debate.

Toppling those walls would be a spectacular act of transgression against the norms that prevailed inside them. Someone would have to bypass security, extract the secrets, make undetected contact with journalists and provide them with enough proof to tell the stories.

The NSA’s business is “information dominance,” the use of other people’s secrets to shape events. At 29, Snowden upended the agency on its own turf.

“You recognize that you’re going in blind, that there’s no model,” Snowden said, acknowledging that he had no way to know whether the public would share his views.

“But when you weigh that against the alternative, which is not to act,” he said, “you realize that some analysis is better than no analysis. Because even if your analysis proves to be wrong, the marketplace of ideas will bear that out. If you look at it from an engineering perspective, an iterative perspective, it’s clear that you have to try something rather than do nothing.”

By his own terms, Snowden succeeded beyond plausible ambition.

That much, at least, is true. However, as I’ve noted a few times in writing about Snowden, that mission wasn’t his to accomplish, at least not in the manner in which Snowden acted. His supporters claim that the actual avenues of legitimate whistleblowing are so totally corrupt that Snowden had no other choice but to expose highly-classified data through the media, but that’s a pretty self-serving argument for those supporters, most of whom are in the media.

Interestingly, Snowden doesn’t spend much time defending that choice, at least not in Gellman’s profile. Snowden talks a lot about discussing the matter with colleagues, but doesn’t make much of a claim of having tried the legitimate avenues of whistleblowing first, other than what appears to be a single instance of going to his direct superiors. There is no mention of other avenues, which includes as a last resort going to Congress with evidence of wrongdoing. (The NSA denies that Snowden even raised the issue, a claim which Gellman includes.)

Snowden does address this issue, although in the context of answering another criticism:

“That whole question — who elected you? — inverts the model,” he said. “They elected me. The overseers.”

He named the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

Dianne Feinstein elected me when she asked softball questions” in committee hearings, he said. “Mike Rogers elected me when he kept these programs hidden. . . . The FISA court elected me when they decided to legislate from the bench on things that were far beyond the mandate of what that court was ever intended to do. The system failed comprehensively, and each level of oversight, each level of responsibility that should have addressed this, abdicated their responsibility.”

“It wasn’t that they put it on me as an individual — that I’m uniquely qualified, an angel descending from the heavens — as that they put it on someone, somewhere,” he said. “You have the capability, and you realize every other [person] sitting around the table has the same capability but they don’t do it. So somebody has to be the first.”

Feinstein and Rogers aren’t the only two members of Congress, though.  Senator Ron Wyden has fought for years to get the NSA under control, for instance; why not contact Wyden with the information that Wyden clearly wanted? Wyden isn’t alone, either. This sounds more like a retroactive rationalization, a claim that Snowden made without ever testing its legitimacy.

What would going through channels have done for this debate? Snowden could have done that while still fleeing the country to protect himself, and perhaps even could have accomplished the latter with a little less risk. That would have helped control the information that got out in order to minimize diplomatic damage by shielding legitimate intelligence operations. If that still didn’t work to expose the abuses, then Snowden still would have had Plan B, and we would have had a test of whether anyone in Congress was willing to take on the NSA and the intelligence community in a responsible manner.

We’ve discussed Snowden for months, and now he’s had his say in the matter directly. It’s worth reading in its entirety. How do readers see Snowden now? Take the poll:


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I know this redundant, but imagine the progie reaction if Bush was in office when Snowden released the hounds?

rob verdi on December 24, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Mixed bag for me

cmsinaz on December 24, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Great point RV

cmsinaz on December 24, 2013 at 8:37 AM

But what exactly was the mission?

Last I heard it was to get a nice cash payout from Brazil.

Stoic Patriot on December 24, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Whistleblower. The NSA is toast. Really expensive and useless toast.

John the Libertarian on December 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Good Morning. Up early this Christmas Eve.

Where is the Christmas open thread?

Snowden, History will be the only true yardstick. I don’t like him divulging our country’s secret, however, I also think he at least slowed down this administration fast tracking to a police state.

PrettyD_Vicious on December 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I went with traitor since he not only stole the information but has shopped it in China, Russia, and Venezuela. Not to mention giving it all to a liberal British newspaper.

It’s one thing to disclose classified information but Snowden also disclosed methods. So, whether it fits the legal definition or not, Snowden is a traitor.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

On a tangent here – but has anyone else noticed that for all the people that hated/despised Bush there sea to be a whole lot of people emulating his “Mission Accomplished” stance and proud of it?

On topic – and like Bush Snowden’s wrong if he thinks he’s accomplished anything… He’s thrown a pebble into a pond but I’ve yet to see any substantive change and the end result may be far worse (supreme court endorsing police state observation)

Skywise on December 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Whistleblower. The NSA is toast. Really expensive and useless toast.

John the Libertarian on December 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Snowden does not meet the legal definition of whistleblower any more than he fits the legal definition of traitor. And what exactly has he accomplished other than shopping our national secrets to foreign dictatorships in exchange for asylum? Clapper and Alexander are still in their jobs despite having lied to Congress. The NSA has said it has no intention of stopping the metadata collection of all Americans’ phone records despite the questionabilty of of the FISA court’s interpretation of the Constitutionality of the snooping.

In short, anybody can simply tear apart our intelligence community (like Bradley Manning did) but that doesn’t mean they actually accomplished anything noble or morally commendable.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Yeah but did he have to go to our enemies to do this?

Dongemaharu on December 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Bush put something into place that could be abused- that is itself a treasonous, foolish error. Obama abused it, is abusing it. He is probably using NSA info to get rid of military officers who oppose him, and I would not be shocked to find out that he used this against Romney, that he let his agencies use this against the tea Party, and most of all, that he has something on Boehner and Justice Roberts that is pressuring them to do the wrong things.

This much info in the hands of a perpetual Democratic campaign is tyranny.

Spartacus on December 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Good morning, kids!

I went with mixed bag. Good for him for exposing the rot in DC; but, when he took it to our enemies?

Traitorous behavior.

No amnesty, no forgiveness.

herm2416 on December 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

None of the answers in Ed’s poll apply. It’s not much different than the typical left wing poll in the Washington Post, New York Times or CNN. The issue is too complicated for a poll. Our side of the political spectrum should know better.

Snowden may have legitimately felt that the best way to do it is what he did. I wouldn’t trust Feinstein or Rogers if I was a whistle blower, but I wouldn’t trust Wyden either. Just as there as been no benefit from the TSA checkpoints in airports – not a single attack has been stopped and the checkpoints have been proved to be sieves for weapons – the NSA can site no attacks that have been thwarted from the data mining of phone calls.

This is the price we pay for allowing our government to grow so large and for electing people like Feinstein and Rogers. A representative government must have wide spread participation. We must have frequent turnover of representatives. Seniority in elected positions must end.

InterestedObserver on December 24, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Whistleblower. The NSA is toast. Really expensive and useless toast.

John the Libertarian on December 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

.
Well, if you’re going to go there . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . the EPA, IRS, BATF, Bureau of Homeland (In)Security, the agency Kathleen Sebelius in in charge of … yeah, that, National Parks Service, . . . . . . . . I’ll stop here, but this list is endless.

listens2glenn on December 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Was it to expose an overreaching surveillance state and force accountability onto it? Or was it to cripple American intelligence and diplomacy?

I think Snowden wanted the former. The government alone is responsible that their overreach was an outgrowth of American intelligence gathering. The government alone abused its own system. However, I also believe Snowden knew that American intelligence gathering would be crippled by the release of the information he had. I think he was not clueless to a price he might have to pay.

DaveDief on December 24, 2013 at 9:00 AM

There’s good and bad from what Snowden did but ends don’t justify means, especially when some of those means help aid and abet enemies, no matter how rotten things are in Denmark DC.

Shy Guy on December 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

In short, anybody can simply tear apart our intelligence community (like Bradley Manning did) but that doesn’t mean they actually accomplished anything noble or morally commendable.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

.
You’re right, but I’ll give Snowden this one credit ….. the American people can no longer claim naivete, or ignorance as an excuse for not holding their government accountable.

listens2glenn on December 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Snowden may have legitimately felt that the best way to do it is what he did.

InterestedObserver on December 24, 2013 at 8:54 AM

How can anything that involves stealing 1.2M documents and turning them over to foreign nations be remotely called legitimate action? I agree with you that I wouldn’t trust Feinstein with my fate but treason can never be considered a legitimate course of action.

A bigger question IMO, is how a contractor had so much access to the most sensitive of documents and systems.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:03 AM

You’re right, but I’ll give Snowden this one credit ….. the American people can no longer claim naivete, or ignorance as an excuse for not holding their government accountable.

listens2glenn on December 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

You’re right but, that being said, who exactly has been held accountable? Certainly not Clapper, Alexander, or the rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM

One thing is for sure the company that does back ground checks for clearences really failed, but then since the government picked them I’m not surprised. And like with most Government programs noone had a clue til it blew up in everyones faces.

warren on December 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Merry Christmas, Hot Air Gang!

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”

– Matthew 3:3 (ESV)

My take: From the Innkeeper’s Point of View

kingsjester on December 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM

In short, anybody can simply tear apart our intelligence community (like Bradley Manning did) but that doesn’t mean they actually accomplished anything noble or morally commendable.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

.
Include the traitorous WaPoo in that statement. They did an article recently on covert operations in Columbia against FARC. The program is active and ongoing. How is that any less “traitorous” than Snowden’s self-described principled behavior?

ExpressoBold on December 24, 2013 at 9:19 AM

His supporters claim that the actual avenues of legitimate whistleblowing are so totally corrupt that Snowden had no other choice but to expose highly-classified data through the media, but that’s a pretty self-serving argument for those supporters, most of whom are in the media.

OK, point out a legitimate whistleblower who accomplished something.

PersonFromPorlock on December 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Snowden. The Berrigan brothers.

NSA blown. The Pentagon Papers.

Which was justifiable? One or the other? Both? Neither?

At age 14, I wanted the Berrigans roasted over a slow fire. I still don’t countenance what they did, but neither do I think that “playing to not lose” in Vietnam while inflating VC/NVA casualty estimates and concealing our own KIA/WIA/MIA numbers was a useful procedure.

Come to think of it, NSA had a piece of that, too.

Snowden apparently concluded that the SOP for dealing with such abuses was either compromised, or deliberately structured to allow the abuses to continue as long as they benefited the “ruling class”. In this respect, it’s the bureaucratic equivalent of The Hunger Games.

In short, “working within the system” is a dead-end because the system itself is corrupted- if not in fact corrupt by design and intent.

In such a situation, the only alternative may indeed be to “go public”.

In the 1960s, several CIA field executives who had experienced having their networks “burned” in Eastern Europe, the MidEast, and Africa concluded that there was a mole, or more than one, in their agency. The trouble was, further investigation showed that the moles were in fact the very people they reported to, who were in the pay of KGB.

Reporting their discovery could have resulted in their own deaths. (Probably at the hands of NSA’s “direct action” arm, and yes, they had one. Probably still do, in fact.)

In the end, they settled for feeding their own chain of command false and misleading information, and then quietly contacted the headshed through… a couple of journalists who were friendly with same.

The Church hearings were just part of the fallout. Most of it never became public knowledge. (I only know about it due to one of my profs being ex-Agency, and knowing the actual particulars. And no, no one gets more than that.)

The “non-public” part included several early retirements and at least a couple of fatal “accidents”.

The point is this;

What Snowden did was illegal, period. It also was unethical as hell.

What it was not was unprecedented. He just took a previously-existing “procedure” to the next level.

The fact that such a procedure was pre-existing tells me, as someone who has actually done “security work”, that the system is compromised.

It also tells me that the NSA’s security sucks at even high levels, because Snowden clearly gained access to “compartments” he had no business even knowing existed.

We’re just lucky that Snowden didn’t have Philip Agee‘s attitude. Or at least, hasn’t developed it.

Yet.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

He exposed traitors. The unconstitutional abuses committed by our government are a far bigger threat than any information he could give our enemies. The progressives and RINOs are a bigger threat to me and my freedoms than Russia and China combined. Whether or not he meant to be a traitor or a whistle blower, I don’t know, but at the end of the day, he’s done more to help freedom in America than the scum we have running the country.

Flange on December 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

However, as I’ve noted a few times in writing about Snowden, that mission wasn’t his to accomplish, at least not in the manner in which Snowden acted. His supporters claim that the actual avenues of legitimate whistleblowing are so totally corrupt that Snowden had no other choice but to expose highly-classified data through the media, but that’s a pretty self-serving argument for those supporters, most of whom are in the media.

You offer one argument against Snowden, and if that’s all you have, Ed, you got nothing at all. that argument is ‘not his mission’, and you yourself refute it so no one else has to. The qualification that he didn’t do it the right way is a non sequitur.

The second is mostly a defense of your non sequitur qualification. How exactly did you arrive at the conclusion that of the set of people who believe Snowden did the “right thing”, the media making the argument you devised makes up the largest single subset. I’d offer in retort that that the subset of media types is probably not over 5% of the total number of people who support Snowden and I think that most observers would agree my supposition is closer to the mark than yours.

I’d further complain about the characterization of the ‘media supporters’ argument that whistleblowing system is totally corrupt but it’s not needed at this point. Snowden did a great service to the country and a greater one for liberty and natural rights. What downsides has shown themselves as a result are considerably smaller than the great benefits he provided.

Dusty on December 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Yeah but did he have to go to our enemies to do this?

Dongemaharu on December 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Yes, he did have to go to our enemies. “Our” own people would have facilitated his “disappearance” PDQ, and he knew it. There was NO safe avenue for him to expose this corrupt, unconstitutional, and frighteningly Orwellian practices of the NSA.

And, also ^^^^^Flange on December 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM, what he said.

Harbingeing on December 24, 2013 at 9:37 AM

at the end of the day, he’s done more to help freedom in America than the scum we have running the country.

Flange on December 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Really? What substantive contribution to freedom has Snowden made by disclosing 1.2M documents to foreign governments and the media? I get it that some consider him a hero for destroying the intelligence community but before awarding him a laurel wreath for his actions, shouldn’t his accomplishments live up to the claims of his supporters?

And BTW, you might have a different viewpoint if you look at the motley group of organizations that are most supportive of Snowden. They definitely are anti-American and couldn’t give a rat’s behind about freedom in America.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

[kingsjester on December 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM]

Thanks for the gift, kingsjester. Merry Christmas to you.

Dusty on December 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I know this redundant, but imagine the progie reaction if Bush was in office when Snowden released the hounds?

rob verdi on December 24, 2013 at 8:35 AM

He would have been impeached but you can’t impeach the unprecedented light bringer.

Let it Snowden,
Let it Snowden,
Let is Snow… den.

Mixed bag for me.

Fallon on December 24, 2013 at 9:51 AM

The fact is this administration uses agencies to do it’s dirty work, the DOJ, IRS, EPA, NSA, and DHS have all had a hand in illegal activity and cover-ups. Congress and the administration are responsible for holding people and agencies accountable, but neither seems to have the willingness or spine to do so.

F&F, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and DOJ overreach, are all examples of why Snowden chose the route he chose. I’m not saying I 100% agree with him but his choices were limited at best.

antipc on December 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Snowden is going to walk a lonely road for the rest of his life.

TimBuk3 on December 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM

And now the NSA will be corrupted by politics, and it’s information will now be used for political purposes, where it wasn’t before. I’d say “irony”, but I’m not sure that wasn’t in some part the goal, particularly for the Guardian.

Count to 10 on December 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Snowden is the Alger Hiss of our time.

If Snowden wanted to reign in the “surveillance state” he would have only stolen information on domestic data collection. He would not have taken and released information on legitimate sensitive foreign intelligence collect operations.

If Snowden wanted to reign in the “surveillance state” he would be in a non-extradition country hacking into Google and Facebook to destroy their reams of personal data. He would not be a “guest” of Vladimir Putin.

But Snowden didn’t do these things. He stole sensitive foreign intelligence data then sought asylum with an adversary and proceeded to release the information and damage legitimate US foreign intelligence operations.

The only conclusion you can reach is that Snowden, wittingly or not, was recruited and worked for Russian intelligence.

Only a fool would think otherwise.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM

excellent take KJ

Merry Christmas :)

cmsinaz on December 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Happy Ramadan Eve.

Bishop on December 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM

That much, at least, is true. However, as I’ve noted a few times in writing about Snowden, that mission wasn’t his to accomplish, at least not in the manner in which Snowden acted. His supporters claim that the actual avenues of legitimate whistleblowing are so totally corrupt that Snowden had no other choice but to expose highly-classified data through the media, but that’s a pretty self-serving argument for those supporters, most of whom are in the media.

Like Dusty, this paragraph struck me.

Are you kidding me, Ed? Go to congress with stolen papers? There’s a trip to the gallows. Or perhaps he should have gone without the papers, as if he could get anybody to take him seriously without them.

The whistleblower system is not just corrupt, it is dangerous. As a whistleblower myself, I can tell you that they will lie to you, make you feel safe, then do whatever they can to destroy you.

mankai on December 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM

[Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM]

He hasn’t destroyed the intelligence community. Neither has he torn it apart. In fact, from the looks of it, he was not more than a pebble in the road of life NSA drives up and down everyday and the rest of government is working hard to sweep it clean of him and any of the problems he’s caused.

There might still be some accountability left in store. People are on Clapper’s case still and they might get him to resign soon, even if for personal reasons. But that’s the accountability that comes now for those in power nowadays.

The great benefit Snowden gave us was show the public that their trust in government was being abused. That, more than anything, is the one thing the government cannot combat (or rectify without also making changes) and our beliefs, speech and actions will be colored by that awareness for a long time to come. Most of the particulars resulting from that will not be readily measurable as you seem to hanker to do as proof Snowden accomplished something, but, I think, it will be there nonetheless if we give it time.

Dusty on December 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

And BTW, you might have a different viewpoint if you look at the motley group of organizations that are most supportive of Snowden. They definitely are anti-American and couldn’t give a rat’s behind about freedom in America.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I know this comment was not directed to me but I just want to say that for me I believe I have drawn my conclusions about Snowden with no real care about who else supports him. I think Snowden broke the law but I think he did a favor to the average American. Snowden himself may hate the United States but what the average Amercian learned from him was important. We are beginning to see court ruling outside FICA that question the constiututionality of the intrusive gathering of intelligence on every American. We have a panel report that suggests that broad, indiscriminant intelligence gathering within this country has had no significant effect on stopping any specific terrorist act. The present administration is a lawless one. We cannot afford a succession of these types of administrations.

DaveDief on December 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I don’t believe for a minute that snowden is the traitor. I think there are 535 traitors sitting in congress and an administration that is setiing up a totalitarian state. Someone has got to expose them by any means to put an end to it.

paulrtaylor on December 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

His supporters claim that the actual avenues of legitimate whistleblowing are so totally corrupt that Snowden had no other choice but to expose highly-classified data through the media, but that’s a pretty self-serving argument for those supporters, most of whom are in the media.

This is one area of the argument I see Snowden’s side. Before this POTUS my thoughts would be different but Benghazi, Fast & Furious,lieing every time he opens his mouth, enforcing or not enforcing laws at his discretion, Clapper perjury has changed my view. I don’t believe Snowden would receive an impartial trial etc.

Herb on December 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

And now the NSA will be corrupted by politics, and it’s information will now be used for political purposes, where it wasn’t before.

[Count to 10 on December 24, 2013 at 9:56 AM]

What? Seriously, what? I don’t know you, but I know you well enough from your writings to know you’re not naive enough to belief what you just said.

So, what’s your purpose in suggesting this claptrap.

Dusty on December 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I’m no conspiracy theorist but even I have to shake my head at the people who claim Snowden should have gone through “normal” channels. Haven’t you figured out yet that our government exists to protect itself and only itself? The people in Washington don’t view you as their equals in any way. When politicians refer to tax cuts as a loss of revenue, it should clue you in as to your position in the grand scheme of things. When was the last time this government treated the people who own it as actual citizens?

Wendya on December 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I don’t think I’ve ever called him a hero. You’re right that the groups most supportive of him are mostly anti-American groups, and that’s concerning. If he was trying to be another Assange from the get go, then he is a traitor. If he was trying to be a whistle blower it’s quite possible he got in over his head real quick and the only options left open to him were China and Russia. What his actual intentions were, I just don’t know. What his revelations have accomplished is expose the fact that the government is listening in. Before that everyone acted like it’s common knowledge that the government could listen in on every conversation, but most people acted like they wouldn’t. While nothing has come of it, so far, the one benefit it has is it took the sheen off obozo and his gang, exposing him as just another smarmy politician. Exposing this abuse coupled with the obozocare fiasco are two of the best lessons that could be taught about the dangers of unchecked government. Whether the American people learn those lessons, we’ll see.
I just think the abuses he exposed are a much more serious than the ones he committed. I don’t support Oceania, whether it’s at war with Eurasia or Eastasia.

Flange on December 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

We owe Mr. Snowden a massive debt of gratitude for what he’s done.

There should be riots in the street over what we’ve learned – that there aren’t is just proof America is no longer a free society.

KMC1 on December 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Really? What substantive contribution to freedom has Snowden made by disclosing 1.2M documents to foreign governments and the media? I get it that some consider him a hero for destroying the intelligence community but before awarding him a laurel wreath for his actions, shouldn’t his accomplishments live up to the claims of his supporters?

Snowden has exposed the NSA is essentially acting as a lawless organization, repeatedly violating the fourth amendement. They are essentially acting as the beginnings of a “secret police” given their empowerment to carry out “policing” activities outside the boundaries of the law.

Furthermore, as bloggers like Karl Denninger have covered, the NSA has been demanding tech companies build security holes into software to give the NSA easier access. I have no doubt that our enemies, especially the Chinese, would have discovered these security holes if they hadn’t already discovered them. Our computers are less safe these days because the NSA has been deliberately crippling security.

And BTW, you might have a different viewpoint if you look at the motley group of organizations that are most supportive of Snowden. They definitely are anti-American and couldn’t give a rat’s behind about freedom in America.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Libertarians, his most vocal backers, are anti-freedom and anti-American?

I can understand the point of view of people who think Snowden is a traitor but we really only have the word of the government – Obama’s government, the most corrupt in our history – that this is actually true. Do you believe Obama’s government about Snowden? At the very least there is some room for debate over whether he is really a traitor or not.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Snowden is a traitor. No ifs, ands or buts about it. If he would have just stuck with the revelations of the NSA spying on Americans (which he should have taken up with congress or the media), then he would have been considered a whistleblower.
He took it much further by leaving the country (to seek protection from adversarial states) and revealed exactly how the NSA was surveilling them. Not to mention our “allies”.. That is an act of treason.
It is no different than handing over the blueprints of the stealth bomber or our spy satellites.
We fund the NSA for a reason. Information… A whistleblower, I can except. But this guy is a traitor. This guy stepped over the line when he revealed more than domestic spying.
He should come home and face the music and be content that his mission has been accomplished… Then tried and convicted of treason with a sentence of life in prison. A commute from the death penalty because he exposed (in the wrong way though) the domestic spying.

Al Hall on December 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Hi Ed – and Merry Christmas!

Snowden has been attempting to establish “whistle-blower” status ONLY as a clever way to cover-up for his traitorous spying on behalf of our enemies.
HERE’S LOGICAL PROOF:

1 – Snowden stole way more files than he needed to prove NSA overreach.

WHY? Someone, tell me why?

2 – Snowden – WHO TIMED THE RELEASE – went to China and and then Russia – in an attempt to get to Cuba.

These are not libertarian states, and they all are antagonistic toward the USA and our allies – all benefited from the leaks, too. They may have benefited even more from leaks we know nothing about – yet.

3 – Snowden was red-flagged as a security risk by the CIA in 2009 – way before he had access to NSA overreach. What ws he actively looking for then?

There are no answers to these questions which a reasonable person can accept that would lead a reasonable person to conclude he is a patriotic whistle-blower. Therefore, let’s not treat him as a libertarian hero.

ADDENDUM: Remember Daniel Ellsberg? Ellsberg did not go to a left-wing outlet like THE NATION; Ellsberg went to The NYTimes. And Ellsberg never fled, certainly not to the USSR.

Snowden went to Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian – both very openly left-wing and both openly long-time antagonists to USA national security and to our military.

If Snowden was a true whistle-blower, then Snowden could have gone to Senators Wyden, Paul or Cruz – well-known for their antagonism to government overreach and commitment to liberty, and Snowden would have been protected by laws written specifically to protect whistle-blowers.

But he chose to go to our enemies’ lands where he could safely give them the parts of his downloads that they were after.

So, let’s not treat Snowden as a whistle-blower – and certainly not a libertarian hero.

Snowden deserves indictment as a traitor and execution, not amnesty.

reliapundit on December 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Just who can be a traitor living in these times? The traitors, black with evil, infesting high office and higher, have made Snowden a bright light in the darkness.

stillings on December 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

No Doomberg, Snowden is proven to be a traitor because of his actions. Contrary to what you think almost all of his revelations are in the foreign intelligence realm, not the domestic spying aspect. Who benefits from these revelations? The American pubic or the Governments of Iran, China or Russia?

Alger Hiss wasn’t a spy either, every time he was asked he said no so it must be so.

You faux Libertarians are just as gullible as your Progressive allies.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Snowden is like a necessary gangrene caused amputation–giving life in one way, but at a dear cost in another. What was his real intent? Who really knows?

Don L on December 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM

1 – Snowden stole way more files than he needed to prove NSA overreach.

WHY? Someone, tell me why?

I’ll tell you why… You get whatever you can because you never what you’ll need. Assume nobody will want to believe and the will look for every possible hole. I had TONS of evidence. I had authorities thanking me, asking me for the evidence I had… then police showed up at my door seven weeks later. Even after I took to the newspaper to get my story out, the highly-paid government administrator claimed I probably photoshopped the evidence I had.

Yeah, DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE WHO HAVE MONEY AND POWER TO LOSE.

Get as much info as you can and bypass the government.

mankai on December 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

You faux Libertarians are just as gullible as your Progressive allies.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I guess I’d rather be a “faux libertarian” than a statist who sits at the feet of big daddy government and thanks him for “giving” him limited rights.

Wendya on December 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Wendya:

Except faux libertarians only think they don’t support statism. Faux Libertarians aid and abett the Progressive attack on civil society that makes statism possible.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Traitor who deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life plus one day.

Go back and look at all his revelations. Not one violation of an American’s 4th Amendment rights. And don’t bring up the example of the metadata cause it is BS! NSA has enough on their plate looking for bad guys. Aunt Marge’s apple pie recipe is of no interest.

And I love the pundits who say that there is no evidence that NSA ever stopped a terrorist attack. My answer to that is close NSA then. THAT will open up a huge hole in intelligence that all of Al-Qa’ida could walk through.

NavyMustang on December 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

reliapundit on December 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

+1000

I have had a TS/SCI clearance for over 30 years and I worked in the SIGINT field for over 25 years of those years. If I had done what traitor Snowden did, I would fully expect to be arrested, convicted, and hanged. Absolutely no question about it.

NavyMustang on December 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Alger Hiss wasn’t a spy either, every time he was asked he said no so it must be so.

You faux Libertarians are just as gullible as your Progressive allies.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Sorry, I guess I’m just not as eager as you to accept that Obama’s government is telling us the truth about Snowden. I’m not sure why people who have seen Fast & Furious, seen the IRS scandals, and heard about his manipulation of economic data are suddenly so eager to believe his minions who are calling Snowden a traitor.

The people who are acting like the NSA’s data collection efforts on ordinary Americans are “no big deal” baffle me, especially when it was revealed that the domestic program has never actually caught any terrorists.

I also don’t really consider myself a libertarian, but whatever.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Senator Ron Wyden has fought for years to get the NSA under control, for instance; why not contact Wyden with the information that Wyden clearly wanted? Wyden isn’t alone, either. This sounds more like a retroactive rationalization, a claim that Snowden made without ever testing its legitimacy.


Hmmmmmmmm
…. Senator Wyden is bound by the EXACT same secrecy requirements as Snowden, hence his complete lack of success in getting the NSA under control.

No one, other than those who HAVE lied about the extent and VALUE of the NSA overreach , have made any substantiated claims proving Snowden’s revelations have caused operational damage to U.S. interests and activities.

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 a thought experiment question.

WHY are you believing these proven liars and “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.

PolAgnostic on December 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM

NSA has enough on their plate looking for bad guys. Aunt Marge’s apple pie recipe is of no interest.

If you’ve never committed any crimes, then what do you have to worry about? /

And I love the pundits who say that there is no evidence that NSA ever stopped a terrorist attack. My answer to that is close NSA then. THAT will open up a huge hole in intelligence that all of Al-Qa’ida could walk through.

NavyMustang on December 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

What “pundits?” This came from a review panel from the government: http://hotair.com/archives/2013/12/20/wapo-wh-justification-of-nsa-surveillance-programs-unraveling/

Jay Carney clearly lied about the program stopping terrorists, but I’m sure Obama’s really telling us the truth about everything else related to this program.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM

1 – Snowden stole way more files than he needed to prove NSA overreach.

WHY? Someone, tell me why?

How do you know he did? Has he said he stole more than he needed? Prove to me he stole way more than he needed and I’ll respond.

2 – Snowden – WHO TIMED THE RELEASE – went to China and and then Russia – in an attempt to get to Cuba.

These are not libertarian states, and they all are antagonistic toward the USA and our allies – all benefited from the leaks, too. They may have benefited even more from leaks we know nothing about – yet.

Everyone times things. Why wouldn’t they? Going to China, Russia with intent to get to Cuba, would be a rational decision if one wanted to avoid being arrested and possibly murdered by the Feds. Those three are the least likely to give him up. That does not show what you imply by noting it self-evidently as treason.

3 – Snowden was red-flagged as a security risk by the CIA in 2009 – way before he had access to NSA overreach. What ws he actively looking for then?

reliapundit on December 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Really? I hadn’t heard that. Here’s a question. Why should I believe it is true? Because they said so? Sorry, but a guy was put into prison by a bunch of government liars as the fall guy for the the death of an ambassador and the CIA assisted by massaging their files so it could be done. You need some specifics that can be backed up independently and also show that the reason was something other than the reason he subsequently did what he did.

As for your addendum, not going the standard whistleblower route is irrelevant. I don’t expect patriots to die for their beliefs. I expect patriots to make others die for their beliefs. What was exposed is what is sufficient to decide what they do. And if they don’t do it perfectly, that may have some bearing, heck maybe even an overriding bearing depending on what it is, but just pointing out it want perfect is not a killer you think it should be.

Further, how do you know that Snowden gave China or any other country parts of what they were after. You just made that sh!t up. Heck for all you know Snowden is participating in an elaborate plan with NSA to feed our enemies disinformation that will prevent and scuttle more serious situations and save millions, maybe even billions of lives. Why do I think that a possibility? Because the NSA would have me believe they are utterly incompetent at their primary responsibilities.

Dusty on December 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

So Doomberg you believe the Obama adminstration is releasing all the information on foreign intelligence collection operations in Snowden’s name? Is the Guardian also on Obama’s payroll? Sounds to me that your thinking is on the level of 9-11 Truther.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

???… Huh?… I’m confused.. The guy leaked classified information, detrimental to our national security, to foreign governments,.. but you don’t believe he is a traitor?.. This stuff came from him, not our government… What the heck are you people thinking?
I’m just happy the Liberals are in charge while this is going on..

Al Hall on December 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

His mission is accomplished. I hope he likes living in exile for the next 50 years.

gerrym51 on December 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

gerrym:

You assume that he is sitting pretty. He will be disappeared or traded back to the United States if it becomes inconvienient for the Russians to have him around.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

NavyMustang on December 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

He expected the same, that’s why he left the country.

Do you acknowledge any point at which risking those things becomes worth it? Or should we just ask the government how they believe we should act?

mankai on December 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Except faux libertarians only think they don’t support statism. Faux Libertarians aid and abett the Progressive attack on civil society that makes statism possible.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I agree with this. I am an anti-statist, and also not an anarchist.

Snowden, like Manning, Greenwald, and Assange, does not believe in the American rule of law, which means that he is not a American patriot despite whatever lip service he might pay to the term. How could running away from his law-breaking while sharing state secrets he stole with other countries indicate a love for America, hmm? lol

Anti-Control on December 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

It occurs to me that Snowden’s defenders are living a Manichean World where the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Did any of you stop to consider that the unchecked expansion of domestic surveillance must be stopped and Snowden is a traitor? Somehow I suspect that it has escaped you. Russian intelligence is very good at exploiting this kind Manichean outlook. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t method that Russian intelligence used to recruit Snowden. Unlike the old days they don’t care about a target’s allegence to the cause. They just care if he is useful.

By the way how do you collect intelligence on a problem like this:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/12/24/intel-group-says-boko-haram-planning-holiday-attack-with-help-of-eu-u-s-diaspora/

I will be waiting on your suggestions with baited breath. Actually, I expect to be ignored since you don’t have the answer but don’t feel bad neither do I>

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Snowden is like a necessary gangrene caused amputation–giving life in one way, but at a dear cost in another. What was his real intent? Who really knows?

Don L on December 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM

My suggestion: first use the process of elimination to figure out what his motivation isn’t, and go from there…there are not really all that many possibilities.

Anti-Control on December 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Snowden’s done MORE to check this lawless administration than the Congressional GOP has.

GOOD FOR HIM

See … when the political system of checks and balances becomes corrupted – this is what you get … people bypassing the system and acting on their own.

So Snowden broke a few laws? Heh … he hasn’t broken as many as Obama has. I say when O answers for his crimes – then we can TALK about making Snowden answer for his.

This is a lawless administration and, if the guy on top won’t obey the law? Why the fu*k should we?

HondaV65 on December 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

So Doomberg you believe the Obama adminstration is releasing all the information on foreign intelligence collection operations in Snowden’s name? Is the Guardian also on Obama’s payroll? Sounds to me that your thinking is on the level of 9-11 Truther.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

No, I’m saying they’re lying about what Snowden’s leaked and the severity of the damage that has been done. Try to keep up.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

dusty;

you can belive and disbelieve whatever you want.
you can disregard facts that don’t fit your narrative if you want.

but if you choose to disbelieve anything/everything that contradicts your preconceptions, then please don’t come to me claiming you know the truth.

please explain to me why he stole millions of files when a few would have made the case of NSA overreach?

please tell me why he didn’t go to a libertarian country which would have been supportive of him if he was a whistleblower – like…. hmmm… Israel – which has an agent in a USA for life for spying on the USA (and which now finds out that the USA has been spying on it!).

even germany might have been disposed to accept him if he was LEGITIMATELY a whistleblower.

please explain with facts and logic and not conspiracy theories.

i remind you that kim philby and aldrich ames proves that our enemies can infiltrate our intel agencies.

reliapundit on December 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

I like how everyone thinks the Rooskies and China are so damn desperate to get their hands on Snowden’s intel. They already have it folks. Our NSA/Gov is a sick joke and everyone knows it except for some old fogies who still live in the 1950′s. Moose and squirrel!

The spying was used on Americans, not foreigners. Even when Russia GAVE us the intel on the Tsarnaev bros, we still buggered that up. What good are they beyond justifying huge .gov spending on military boondoggles and $600 toilets?

antisense on December 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

dusty, you wrote/asked:

How do you know he did? Has he said he stole more than he needed?

YES: HE AND GREENWALD AND THE GUARDIAN HAVE ALL ADMITTED HE STOLE MILLIONS OF FILES AND THAT THEY HAVEN’T RELEASED MUCH OF THEM YET.

wake up.

dusty, you also wrote:

Everyone times things. Why wouldn’t they? Going to China, Russia with intent to get to Cuba, would be a rational decision if one wanted to avoid being arrested and possibly murdered by the Feds..

WOW. JUST WOW.

Putin is the fella who has murdered opponents with impunity, not the USA. and Snowden ran into Putin’s arms!

Sheesh.

If he stole secrets that would help Russia and China, then what better way to get them there!

We have no bigger nation/state foes than russia and china.

they spy on us.

and i argue that snowden’s behavior is that of a spy more than that of a whistleblower.

the whistleblowing was a clever ruse – an attempt to get him whistleblower status so he could avoid prison.

and dusty:

aldrich ames and robert hannsen went to prison; they were not assassinated by our government.

i suggest it would be wiser and saner if you worried more about the russians and chinese than your fellow americans.

reliapundit on December 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM

If Snowden is a traitor, Clapper and Alexander are bigger traitors and both can hang for all I care. Had they not routinely ignored the 4th amendment and allowed underlings to use our intelligence apparatus for personal vendettas nobody would be arguing about this. The fact that Snowden was able to do what he did also tells us they don’t give a flying f@#$ about keeping whatever information they pilfer from our communications secure or secret.

Walter Sobchak on December 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Doomberg: I see you have descended to the 9-11 truther level. I guess all these foreign governments that are no longer cooperating with the US or buying stuff from other countries in protest. Yep definitately a big conspiracy.

Antisense shows his cluelessness of the real world. Of course the Russians know we spy on them. That doesn’t mean they know how we do it and what we get. You are a moron. Shut up and stop embarrassing yourself.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I like how everyone thinks the Rooskies and China are so damn desperate to get their hands on Snowden’s intel. They already have it folks. Our NSA/Gov is a sick joke and everyone knows it except for some old fogies who still live in the 1950′s. Moose and squirrel!

The spying was used on Americans, not foreigners. Even when Russia GAVE us the intel on the Tsarnaev bros, we still buggered that up. What good are they beyond justifying huge .gov spending on military boondoggles and $600 toilets?

antisense on December 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I kind of think the problem for a lot of people is that they can’t get away from the old Cold War mindset of anyone running away from the US (especially to rival nations like China or Russia) must automatically be a “bad guy.”

It’s causing people who would otherwise be with us to support the government’s claims about him “harming national security” while making excuses for the US government’s blatantly unconstitutional mass surveillance of all its citizens.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Yeah but did he have to go to our enemies to do this?

Dongemaharu on December 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Where else could he have gone that he wouldn’t have been handed over to the Feds immediately?

BTW, who are our “friends” again?

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

F*ck the NSA and our Criminal Government. Snowden’s a hero.

joshlbetts on December 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

He hasn’t betrayed me, nor lied to me. He’s told me my government was betraying and lying to me.

However, as I’ve noted a few times in writing about Snowden, that mission wasn’t his to accomplish, at least not in the manner in which Snowden acted.

I disagree. It was absolutely his choice, and everyone else involved, everyone else who knew about it. They chose to continue or say nothing. He chose to expose it. He’s the only one who doesn’t have to say, “I was only following orders.”

Axe on December 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Doomberg: I see you have descended to the 9-11 truther level. I guess all these foreign governments that are no longer cooperating with the US or buying stuff from other countries in protest. Yep definitately a big conspiracy.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Anyone who claims Obama is lying about something is a “conspiracy theorist” now? Wow.

Hopefully he’ll also lock up those filthy traitors who leaked on F&F and the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups! /

The reason foreign governments, such as Germany, are no longer cooperating with us is because the revelation of any details of spying on them are inextricably tied into the domestic spying program. Of course some of this stuff is going to come out! The government could have easily avoided all this by not spying on its own citizens, but it chose not to do that.

The entire blame for this fiasco should be laid at the feet of the US government who incompetently and corruptly did this, not at the feet of the whistleblower who exposed it.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

I think the problem with people like Doomberg is that they can’t get away from the idea that people who expose domestic spying and running away to countries that are even worse couldn’t be using this as a way of disguising their actual intent. Instead they weave elaborate conspiracy theories to validate their beliefs. Occam’s Razor says that if you run to adversary and then serve the adversaries purpose means you work for the adversary. Only a moronic 9-11 style conspiracy theorist like Doomberg would run away to a country that would make him disappear the instant he became inconvient.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Doomberg, you don’t thing our friends spy us? The Brits I worked with always took me out to lunch and tried to get drunk so I would get loose lipped and blab something I shouldn’t. I have been probed by Germans, Israelis, Brits, Canadians, Australians and I don’t know else. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of those nation’s intelligence serves didn’t try to pry out information from me, bug my room or tap my phone. In fact I would be insulted if they didn’t. What a moron.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I also need to proof read more. Hotair needs a comment editor.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Reading threads like this, it’s easy to immediately pick out a number of people whom I wouldn’t trust to protect my personal possessions – rationalizers/excuse-makers do not have your back, and are not good friendship material! ! :)

Anti-Control on December 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Instead they weave elaborate conspiracy theories to validate their beliefs. Occam’s Razor says that if you run to adversary and then serve the adversaries purpose means you work for the adversary. Only a moronic 9-11 style conspiracy theorist like Doomberg would run away to a country that would make him disappear the instant he became inconvient.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

What “elaborate conspiracy theory?” You keep making things up that I never actually said. Keep pounding away at those strawmen though, I’m sure someone, somewhere, is impressed.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Whatever you are, Thank You, Mr. Snowden.

You brung the Pimp of the World down to his knees.

Syria

Snowden/NSA goons

obama’care’

:):):)

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Reading threads like this, it’s easy to immediately pick out a number of people whom I wouldn’t trust to protect my personal possessions – rationalizers/excuse-makers do not have your back, and are not good friendship material! ! :)

Anti-Control on December 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

+ 200 million sane people

Thank you Mr. Snowden, and Messrs Cruz/Lee, for exposing the weasels in DC and at HA.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

All who don’t get Snowden have liberty and freedom issues. Seek help.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Whistleblower. The NSA is toast. Really expensive and useless toast.

John the Libertarian on December 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

He would have been one, if under obama he could have…like obama had promised.

But, all the obama-regime-whistleblowers were punished, harshly.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I am not making anything up. I am just pointing the inconsistancies in your posts. We have already established that you believe that the government is making stuff up about what Snowden released and then you say

“The reason foreign governments, such as Germany, are no longer cooperating with us is because the revelation of any details of spying on them …” The colleciton on German government officials had nothing to do with the domestic collection program.

So which is it? Did Sbowden release information on foreign intelligence collection operations or did the government just say he did and made stuff up about it?

Is that what you mean by strawman?

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

In short, anybody can simply tear apart our intelligence community (like Bradley Manning did) but that doesn’t mean they actually accomplished anything noble or morally commendable.

Happy Nomad on December 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

He exposed a world of fascist nazis.

The result is this.

The result is also Boston and the base in Texas.

In other words, you give up your liberty for NO security.

Carry on, subjugated people, from the left and the right. You’re no different, as it becomes more and more evident.

Weasels are indignant, sadly.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:31 PM

So tell me what did Cruz and Lee expose? That O-care was going to crash and burn? If I remember correctly the reason Cruz and Lee said you had to stop O-care now was that once in place people wouldn’t want to let go of it. They didn’t think O-care would crash and burn, nor did you.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Cruz/Lee and Snowden exposed you weasels, in DC and here.

It’s the most glorious of all things.

Snowden to give televised X-mas address.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Schandenidiot actually believes Snowden can give a televised Christmas address from Russia without it permission and prior text approval from the Putin government.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I kind of think the problem for a lot of people is that they can’t get away from the old Cold War mindset of anyone running away from the US (especially to rival nations like China or Russia) must automatically be a “bad guy.”

It’s causing people who would otherwise be with us to support the government’s claims about him “harming national security” while making excuses for the US government’s blatantly unconstitutional mass surveillance of all its citizens.

Doomberg on December 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

True. He went there because the US couldnt touch him there. That is all. Why people cannot grasp that concept is beyond me.

antisense on December 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

he didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. those who chose to disbelieve it in the past now believe it though.
maybe he had good intentions but he did it all wrong.

dmacleo on December 24, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Schandenidiot actually believes Snowden can give a televised Christmas address from Russia without it permission and prior text approval from the Putin government.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

One of the biggest idiots in this room is…go see your mug in the mirror. You are clueless as to what I know about Putin.

Grossly ignorant is still ignorant.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Plus, jerryofva, you argue like a troll.

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM

You know nothing about Putin unless of course you work for the SVR or FSB.

Only a moron would think that in country that has officially a state controled media would allow a private citizen from another country to go on television without consent and prior textual approval.

jerryofva on December 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I love the whining about why Snowden didn’t go through proper channels while whistleblowing, completely ignoring the people who DID go through the proper channels prior to him who got completely railroaded and accomplished nothing. So basically, Ed wanted Snowden to simply accomplish nothing like all of the other whistleblowers. . . .

Google William Binney.

thphilli on December 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

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