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I agree 100% with this Slate piece. Snowden is a criminal – NO clemency.

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Why Snowden Won’t (and Shouldn’t) Get Clemency

He went too far to be considered just a whistleblower.
By Fred Kaplan 
Snowden October 2013
A frame grab made from AFPTV footage, reportedly taken on Oct. 9, 2013, shows Edward Snowden speaking with retired U.S. intelligence workers and activists in an unidentified location. He may well end up in an unidentified location for a very long time.

Frame grab from AFPTV via AFP/Getty Images

Iregard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot. I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress. On June 7, two days after the first news stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, I wrote a column airing (and endorsing) the concerns of Brian Jenkins, a leading counterterrorism expert, that the government’s massive surveillance program had created “the foundation of a very oppressive state.”

And yet I firmly disagree with the New York Times’ Jan. 1 editorial (“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”), calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” for the “great service” he has done for his country.

It is true that Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens—far vaster than any outsider had suspected, in some cases vaster than the agency’s overseers on the secret FISA court had permitted—have triggered a valuable debate, leading possibly to much-needed reforms.

If that were all that Snowden had done, if his stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the NSA’s domestic surveillance, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing.

But Snowden did much more than that. The documents that he gave the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman and the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald have, so far, furnished stories about the NSA’s interception of email traffic, mobile phone calls, and radio transmissions of Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s northwest territories; about an operation to gauge the loyalties of CIA recruits in Pakistan; about NSA email intercepts to assist intelligence assessments of what’s going on inside Iran; about NSA surveillance of cellphone calls “worldwide,” an effort that (in the Post’s words) “allows it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.” In his first interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden revealed that the NSA routinely hacks into hundreds of computers in China and Hong Kong.

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  1. Yes Joel, I’m serious. Did you even read the piece?? As Kaplan says, the NYT was way off the mark on that editorial. And totally disregards the REAL serious shit that Snowden did that had NOTHING to do with NSA’s domestic activities. What, the NYT has never been wrong before? 😛

    Everything Kaplan covers on his Slate piece is almost exactly what I was saying about Snowden back in July on a hangout I did with Ian. Snowden is a self-delusional opportunist who has lied repeatedly. And because he exposed classified information that was internationally sensitive and didn’t need to be disclosed to make whatever case he thought he was making, all bets are off. And no, Manning is way more righteous than Snowden, and she knew she’d get caught and had the balls to face the charges.

    http://holesinthefoam.us/holes-in-the-foam-recap-9-live-from-supermodel-city-video/

  2. Joel, I’m no fan of that shit either. Are you kidding? But what Snowden did was throw the baby out with the bathwater. He blew his opportunity to be a real whistleblower by being reckless, stupid, and self-important. Had he focused on exposing the NSA’s domestic activities, he’d have a case. But he didn’t. If you can’t see that, and don’t understand the ramifications of all the other shit he did, especially with China and Russia, then yeah, your ideology is seriously clouding your judgement. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  3. your comments are absolutely ridiculous!! if you can admit that what the NSA is doing domestically is wrong, then you are a hypocrite for being okay with them doing the same thing internationally!

  4. I love the way you post lots of stuff on here about religion oppressing people with their backward ideas and theologies, keeps me following.

    But what you’ve posted here and reading your comments throws a chill down my spine, that is a pro establishment piece clouded with reason. People like snowden and manning dont exist very often, mainly because in today modern american climate exposing the truth is not tolerated and is punished quickly and harshly.

    What the administration and nsa have done is illegal and the people concerned should go to prison, that wont happen however while the media is captured and they have tools like yourself sharing their garbage.

    You should be happy people like snowden are around to defend your freedoms. Safety does not mean giving up liberty and privacy.

    You’re going to say you agree but really you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t show so much outrage at someone doing the right thing. Go back a rethink your position, more people should! Rant done!

  5. You say you agree 100% with the article, then rant about no clemency. The article repeatedly makes reference to clemency of certain conditions are met. I think maybe you should actually go read the article before telling others to do the same…

  6. Uh Dave… I read the article. You seem to be having a problem comprehending it, apparently. Kaplan refers to an opinion by Rick Ledgett, the NSA official in charge of determining the damage caused by Snowden’s expose’. HE states in an interview with 60 minutes that he would be open to a “conversation” about clemency if Snowden were able to secure several sensitive documents, and files he still has in his possession back to the NSA. And of course, he’s being overly diplomatic, let’s face facts.

    Kaplan, on the other hand, says the following about the situation. And if you read it CAREFULLY, you’ll see that there is NO WAY he could be interpreted as being for clemency:

    “Here are some questions that prosecutors or senior officials might ask Snowden—hooked up to a lie detector—as part of the preliminary steps in a “conversation” about a plea bargain (which, they’d no doubt make clear, would still involve several years in prison)

    First, why did Snowden go to Hong Kong? Why did he go from there to Moscow? (Supposedly he had planned to catch a connecting flight to Havana and, from there, to Ecuador, but there are many ways to get from Hong Kong to Havana without going through Moscow.)

    Second, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Snowden spent three days at the Russian consulate in Hong Kong before booking his flight to Moscow. Is this true? What did he do there? Snowden later told the New York Times’ James Risen that he took no classified documents into Russia. Assuming that’s true, did he give them to Russian officials in Hong Kong? What did he talk to the Russians about? Did he request asylum, or did they offer it? (Kommersant quoted some Russian officials claiming the former, others the latter.)

    If it turned out that Snowden did give information to the Russians or Chinese (or if intelligence assessments show that the leaks did substantial damage to national security, something that hasn’t been proved in public), then I’d say all talk of a deal is off—and I assume the Times editorial page would agree.

    Third, whatever Snowden said or didn’t say to the Russians, they must have asked him a lot of questions—if not during his mysterious stay in Moscow (or wherever they’re currently keeping him), then during the month he spent in the transit lounge of Sheremetyevo Airport. It might be useful for U.S. intelligence officials to know what sorts of things the Russian intelligence officials wanted to know. Snowden could pick up some favor points by playing double (or triple) agent.

    Fourth, Snowden claimed in an interview with the Post’s Barton Gellman that he raised concerns about widespread domestic surveillance with several of his colleagues and superiors in the NSA’s technological directorate. NSA spokesmen subsequently commented that they had “not found any evidence” supporting this contention, but this is hardly a definitive denial. Snowden should provide the names of those colleagues and superiors, and assurances should be offered that they not be in any way punished. If Snowden’s claim is true, at least that would show he tried to fix things from the inside before going out in the cold. That would offer something in support of his plea for whistleblower status.”

    So, as you see, Dave, you’re wrong. A plea bargain deal that he still recommends to include “years of prison” is NOT “clemency” by any means. It would be “clemency” if Snowden didn’t have to offer anything up, or answer any questions, and/or undo the extensive damage that he caused. That, again, has NOTHING to do with NSA’s domestic activities. He would be able to use the “whistleblower” argument at that point if it were ever to come to that. But as Kaplan states with supporting evidence, the damage he caused INTERNATIONALLY is too high a price for him being considered a whistleblower.

    So yes, I still agree 100% with the article. In the last paragraph, he basically catches Snowden in a desperate lie. Where he allegedly tried to voice his “concerns” with superiors. What? He doesn’t keep records of his fucking emails? He doesn’t know how to record a conversation with his iphone?? Please.

  7. It’s funny that the same kind of moral absolutism that you rail against with your page, the same thing that drew me here in the first place, you aim straight at Snowden here. Perhaps you suggest that if he indeed truly wished only to benefit the public as he claims, that he should have trawled through potentially over a million documents himself to see which were in the public interest and which were not? Whatever his motives, he’s done me favour by showing this to the world, and whether you realise it or not, he’s done you a favour too.

  8. “I love the way you post lots of stuff on here about religion oppressing people with their backward ideas and theologies, keeps me following.

    But what you’ve posted here and reading your comments throws a chill down my spine, that is a pro establishment piece clouded with reason. People like snowden and manning dont exist very often, mainly because in today modern american climate exposing the truth is not tolerated and is punished quickly and harshly. ”

    Pro-establishment piece?? Are you kidding me? Neil, the difference between you and me, is that I’m not willing to generalize people’s actions to support some “anti-establishment” sentiment. I understand that these situations are VERY COMPLICATED, and don’t just assume that Snowden is some kind of “hero”, when the evidence points clearly to the opposite.

    And no, he is NOT in the same league as Manning. Manning, had BALLS. He (she) KNEW he would get caught exposing the crap he exposed in Iraq, among other US misdeeds, and he did it anyway. He did not go into it with any desire to personally benefit from his actions. He did it for the greater good.

    Snowden?? Totally opposite. First of all, he’s deluded himself into thinking that he’s some kind of “cyber-messiah”. Kaplan gets it right when he says:

    “Did the Times editorialists review the statement that Snowden made to a human rights group in Moscow this past July, soon after Vladimir Putin granted him asylum? He thanked the nations that had offered him support. “These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador, have my gratitude and respect,” he proclaimed, “for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful.” Earlier, Snowden had said that he sought refuge in Hong Kong because of its “spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.” He also said, in his interview with the South China Morning Post, that he hoped to spread his cache of documents to journalists in every country where the NSA had operated. “The reality is,” he said on another occasion, “that I have acted at great personal risk to help the public of the world, regardless of whether that public is American, European, or Asian.”

    Whistleblowers have large egos by nature, and there is no crime or shame in that. But one gasps at the megalomania and delusion in Snowden’s statements, and one can’t help but wonder if he is a dupe, a tool, or simply astonishingly naïve.”

    I could NOT have said that better myself. And that is pretty much my assessment of him I made in the hangout back in July. So, no. He does not even DESERVE to be mentioned in the same sentence as Manning. No way, no how.

    “What the administration and nsa have done is illegal and the people concerned should go to prison, that wont happen however while the media is captured and they have tools like yourself sharing their garbage.”

    Bullshit. People need to be smarter than this. First of all, what’s going on here is SNOWDEN’S FAULT. Had he acted like a TRUE whistleblower, and gone to congress, and/or the national press with just details about the NSA’s alleged “illegal” activities, then there would be a case of him doing the right thing like Manning did. But that’s NOT what he did. And all Snowden did in the process of his egomaniacal pseudo-heroic crusade was raise the ire of our enemies and shaky allies, and put people at risk. THAT is what I have a problem with. That does nothing but NULL and VOID any good his exposures have done. What, you don’t think the american people would have found out more about the NSA’s domestic activities without having its international dirty laundry dumped out for all to see?? The NSA leaks like a fucking sieve. He was only thinking about himself, and how he can make himself out to be a hero. And the fact that he ran like a pussy only PROVES that he knows he fucked up. So come on Neil, don’t insult my intelligence, much less your own. This is a COMPLICATED situation, and Snowden fucked himself up.

    “You should be happy people like snowden are around to defend your freedoms. Safety does not mean giving up liberty and privacy.”

    Yeah, spoken like a gullible sap who buys into every anti-establishment jibe, as being some kind of gospel for the greater good. Think Neil.

    Over time, it’s going to come out more and more just how much Snowden fucked up the US’ standing to the rest of the world. Shit was already pretty delicate with Russia and China to be generous. Snowden’s actions fucked up the equation ten times more. The US is not just on shaky ground with Russia and China btw, because of him. The EU is pissed off too. Over activities that, oddly enough, probably SAVED lives in Europe over the last few years.

    Make no mistake, liberty and privacy are both things I hold sacred, and that’s why I LEFT THE UNITED STATES TEN YEARS AGO. I saw all this bullshit coming at the peak of the Bush administration, and I signed off. That doesn’t mean, however, that I think that some idiot nerd with a stripper girlfriend, should lie his way to getting staff’s secure passwords so he can grab their classified data, and run off to China and Russia to make some fucking point. No, I’m smart enough to understand the difference between an egomaniacal, delusional idiot, and a real whistleblower like Manning. You, on the other hand, can’t see any difference. Which means to me, you didn’t take the time educate yourself on the real differences between the two. You know that makes you Neil? Lazy, and assumptive. Which is a huge reason why the US is in such a toilet right now. Getting the facts and thinking critically about EVERYTHING is just too much fucking trouble.

    “You’re going to say you agree but really you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t show so much outrage at someone doing the right thing. Go back a rethink your position, more people should! Rant done!”

    Agree with what? This drivel that you posted? Your rather ridiculous opinion that Snowden and Manning are in the same class? Yeah, right… 😀

    Educate yourself Neil. Don’t fall for cliche’s and convenient summaries. That only helps the US falter more.

  9. Well, the Dutch have always been known to go contrarian to the US. Trust me, I know. I was married to a Dutchie for 14 years. 😛

    I also find it funny that on some levels, europeans can be so well-informed about things, and on others, not have a clue. This whole Snowden thing is just one example of that. People really have NO idea of the BAD shit he did. They just hear “Oh, the US has been spying on EU governments… ” yadda yadda, after that, nothing else matters.

    It’s a bit more complicated than that Bryan.

  10. I don’t think he should be hanged, because as the article states, treason was not committed (technically). However, he does deserve at least as much prison time as Manning will get. No more, no less. And Manning doesn’t deserve the prison time at all. That’s the sad difference.

  11. “Dutch intelligence??” You’re joking right Bryan? 😛

    And sorry, it’s not a good thing when the price for that “transparency”, you so allege to have come to existence is the senseless endangerment of military, diplomats and innocent people around the world. Sorry, it’s not. People need to stop being selfish and understand that there are serious ramifications and consequences for stupid, self-serving actions of one person. Which, were COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. If you can’t figure that out, then it’s because you’re not thinking critically. Period.

  12. ” your comments are absolutely ridiculous!!”

    Only to someone who doesn’t understand the nuances and delicateness of international diplomacy and relations. Which, you, OBVIOUSLY, haven’t a fucking clue.

    “if you can admit that what the NSA is doing domestically is wrong, then you are a hypocrite for being okay with them doing the same thing internationally!”

    Um, Joel, it’s NOT the same thing. It’s part of the game. A very complicated game. Are you fucking kidding? What’s your middle name, Pollyanna??? As I said in July, there is a HUGE gray area regarding “intelligence” that none of us here are qualified to comment on. Not EVERYTHING that the US intelligence community does is evil and dastardly. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite. It means I understand that the situation is fucking complicated. You, on the other hand, have demonstrated rather loudly, that you choose to view complicated issues with simplistic pollyanna-style rose-colored glasses. All because you think your personal privacy trumps literally everything else going on in the world. For fuck’s sake. Get real. 😛

  13. Yes Dutch intelligence :p that doesn’t apply to our military, but that is indeed not a good thing. For us his revelations once again stirred the public debate on how much our government is allowed to know about its citizens.

  14. Um Bryan, newsflash. That “public debate” already existed before Snowden ever showed up on the field. Are you kidding? Patriot Act? COPA? NDAA?? Hello?? And Bryan, again, you generalize a tad too much. His “revelations” also compromised DECADES worth of intelligence that protected US, NATO, and oh yes… EU interests, as well as protected and saved innocent lives. Again, not everything US intelligence does is evil and dastardly. I know, shocking… 😛

  15. “It’s funny that the same kind of moral absolutism that you rail against with your page, the same thing that drew me here in the first place, you aim straight at Snowden here.”

    Right, because Snowden is no hero. I’m obviously willing to face the harsh truth on that, despite my other sentiments. That’s not moral absolutism. It’s realism, and pragmatism. What part of that don’t you get?

    “Perhaps you suggest that if he indeed truly wished only to benefit the public as he claims, that he should have trawled through potentially over a million documents himself to see which were in the public interest and which were not?”

    Oh, you don’t think he knew what he had in his possession? Again, who are you kidding Dave??? And if that were indeed the case (which, it’s not, he knew FULL well what he had when he got on the plane to Hong Kong) does it not demonstrate an even GREATER BURDEN on Snowden to use EXTREME CARE with this trove of intelligence he ran off with?? Don’t kid yourself. The amount of denial and over-rationalization that people attempt on Snowden. It boggles the mind… OY VEY!

    ” Whatever his motives, he’s done me favour by showing this to the world, and whether you realise it or not, he’s done you a favour too.”

    Snowden hasn’t done shit for me Dave. And he hasn’t done shit for you either. All he’s done is stir the pot to a fucking boil with his antics in an attempt to make himself look like a star. He’s a liar, a criminal, an opportunist, and a scumbag. Yes, motives matter and how you act on those motives matter even more. He could have been a hero, but he was too arrogant and careless a prick to figure that out. He’s no Manning, and if you can’t understand that, again, it’s because you’re just choosing to stay ignorant of some very DAMNING facts.

  16. That’s the long and the short of it Robert. No one, especially some 20-something self-delusional, arrogant, dickless, uber-nerd should have the ability to make such hefty decisions that can bring dire consequences to a LOT of innocent people. Particularly if he’d taken an oath to not do so. Thank you.

  17. The debate had pretty much died, people trusted the government, now for instance the debate on the information gathering of an individual’s health (to improve healthcare) is protested against and laws are being reformed to protect such information of coming into the hands of insurance companies and employers. It’s because of him that we’ve become more critical of our government

  18. Well, no, not really. The debate is alive and well. Pretty much everywhere. And compromising seriously damaging information in order to try to prove some point, doesn’t necessarily do that. In fact, Snowden’s actions only caused MORE damage that the world will need to deal with for a very, very long time. Just watch, and wait.

  19. Is it wrong? I guess it depends greatly on the situation and the circumstances now, doesn’t it? This pertains to that big, HUGE, gray area I keep talking about. This stuff is not NEARLY as simple and clear-cut as people wish it were.

  20. Yes, that grey area that all this….”politics” could not be conducted without. Where the intent of national profit or advantage can be lost to descriptions of guiding democracy or humanitarianism. I understand your point, in that, he reported on more than what he is credited for and people are just annoyed about their own. But overall, as with many other examples, it shows the dishonest we play with, in our lives and with our lives. With dishonest you have grey and unknown areas. With honest, there is a dislike, but respect.

  21. Before I unlike this page because its fairly clear you’re just a really angry arrogant person ill just say WRITING IN CAPS does not help people see your point of view. Stick to religion based posts.

  22. What’s wrong Neil, can’t come up with a coherent/intelligent argument to my response, so you whine about my tone? Waaaa, it’s ok, I’m not surprised. Happens a lot around here. 🙂

  23. “Yes, that grey area that all this….”politics” could not be conducted without.”

    It’s not that simple Stuart. No matter how you wish it to be. When are people going to understand that national and international security is not just all about politics??

    “Where the intent of national profit or advantage can be lost to descriptions of guiding democracy or humanitarianism.”

    Oh, please… do you hear yourself? When are you going to understand that the world is a fucking complicated and yes, DANGEROUS place? Guiding democracy??? Oh, that’s worked just oh so well in so many places. For fuck’s sake.. .come on… wise up.

    “I understand your point, in that, he reported on more than what he is credited for and people are just annoyed about their own.”

    You understand it?? I don’t think you do. You seem to just want to over-simplify this issue to the point where you can fit it into a shoebox. He violated the LAW. NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW. His violations of the law, regardless of the intent, put people and institutions in danger. I’m no fan of how the US conducts itself. Just look around this page and you’ll see just how harsh a critic I am about US policies and how it conducts itself. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the difference between the government and PEOPLE. What you don’t seem to get is that this clueless prick put many INNOCENT people at risk in order for him to achieve his goal of pseudo-heroism. You can play that FACT down all you want, but no, I won’t let that slide.

    “But overall, as with many other examples, it shows the dishonest we play with, in our lives and with our lives.”

    Dude, really stop. You’re making me ill with your ridiculous waxings of wishful thinking. You really don’t get the harsh realities. You sit here and act as if things are simple and concise and based on “dishonesty” or “honesty”. It’s virtually nauseating.

    The fact of the matter is that there are MANY evil forces at work in this world. The islamic world is just one gleaming example of that. See, it doesn’t really matter WHAT we do or don’t do. There will always be radical muslims who will find ways to further their jihad. You seem to think that how the US conducts or doesn’t conduct itself on that has any kind of relevance on what they do or don’t do. Which only tells me that you really have no fucking clue of what you’re talking about.

    ” With dishonest you have grey and unknown areas. With honest, there is a dislike, but respect.”

    Says who, you? Where is an example of this “dislike but respect” in the world today?? Give me one fucking example. Who, the UK?? Ha. Who else? Russia? Ha ha. Who else? The US?? Maybe at one time, but not anymore. What you seem to not get is that there will ALWAYS BE gray areas when it comes to conducting international relations. Because motives and ambitions are different for everyone.

    But as long as you go by your fantasy-land ideas of how the world works, there will always be simplistic ignorance that fails to grasp and understand very complex problems. You, are a shiny example of that. Thanks for the illustration.

  24. “Yes, that grey area that all this….”politics” could not be conducted without.”

    It’s not that simple Stuart. No matter how you wish it to be. When are people going to understand that national and international security is not just all about politics??

    “Where the intent of national profit or advantage can be lost to descriptions of guiding democracy or humanitarianism.”

    Oh, please… do you hear yourself? When are you going to understand that the world is a fucking complicated and yes, DANGEROUS place? Guiding democracy??? Oh, that’s worked just oh so well in so many places. For fuck’s sake.. .come on… wise up.

    “I understand your point, in that, he reported on more than what he is credited for and people are just annoyed about their own.”

    You understand it?? I don’t think you do. You seem to just want to over-simplify this issue to the point where you can fit it into a shoebox. He violated the LAW. NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW. His violations of the law, regardless of the intent, put people and institutions in danger. I’m no fan of how the US conducts itself. Just look around this page and you’ll see just how harsh a critic I am about US policies and how it conducts itself. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the difference between the government and PEOPLE. What you don’t seem to get is that this clueless prick put many INNOCENT people at risk in order for him to achieve his goal of pseudo-heroism. You can play that FACT down all you want, but no, I won’t let that slide.

    “But overall, as with many other examples, it shows the dishonest we play with, in our lives and with our lives.”

    Dude, really stop. You’re making me ill with your ridiculous waxings of wishful thinking. You really don’t get the harsh realities. You sit here and act as if things are simple and concise and based on “dishonesty” or “honesty”. It’s virtually nauseating.

    The fact of the matter is that there are MANY evil forces at work in this world. The islamic world is just one gleaming example of that. See, it doesn’t really matter WHAT we do or don’t do. There will always be radical muslims who will find ways to further their jihad. You seem to think that how the US conducts or doesn’t conduct itself on that has any kind of relevance on what they do or don’t do. Which only tells me that you really have no fucking clue of what you’re talking about.

    ” With dishonest you have grey and unknown areas. With honest, there is a dislike, but respect.”

    Says who, you? Where is an example of this “dislike but respect” in the world today?? Give me one fucking example. Who, the UK?? Ha. Who else? Russia? Ha ha. Who else? The US?? Maybe at one time, but not anymore. What you seem to not get is that there will ALWAYS BE gray areas when it comes to conducting international relations. Because motives and ambitions are different for everyone.

    But as long as you go by your fantasy-land ideas of how the world works, there will always be simplistic ignorance that fails to grasp and understand very complex problems. You, are a shiny example of that. Thanks for the illustration.

  25. What’s wrong Neil, can’t come up with a coherent/intelligent argument to my response, so you whine about my tone? Waaaa, it’s ok, I’m not surprised. Happens a lot around here. 🙂

  26. What’s wrong Neil, can’t come up with a coherent/intelligent argument to my response, so you whine about my tone? Waaaa, it’s ok, I’m not surprised. Happens a lot around here. 🙂

  27. I’ll put one parting comment here then I’ll leave this debate. Reading through the whole thread, there is glaringly obvious contradiction. You talk repeatedly about how the NSA is justified in its actions due to the ‘grey area’ argument, and yet grant no such ambiguity credit to Snowden. When you speak about him you are as certain as some firebrand preacher. It seems clear to me that you just want to replace one form of fundamentalism with another. You are right, everyone else is wrong no ?

  28. I was stating the guiding democracy does not work. it is not a my description of how the world works, can’t do that on a single post. “says who”, yes your right , I say it. “The fact of the matter is that there are MANY evil forces at work in this world. The islamic world is just one gleaming example of that. See, it doesn’t really matter WHAT we do or don’t do. There will always be radical muslims who will find ways to further their jihad. You seem to think that how the US conducts or doesn’t conduct itself on that has any kind of relevance on what they do or don’t do. Which only tells me that you really have no fucking clue of what you’re talking about.” I agree with your point in this paragraph, but i stated nothing about this.
    Yes, he broke the law and it will sought him out. Again never said he didn’t. “What you seem to not get is that there will ALWAYS BE gray areas when it comes to conducting international relations. Because motives and ambitions are different for everyone” Politics is the interaction of those with different motives and ambitions

  29. “I was stating the guiding democracy is a farce. “Says who”, yes your right , I say it.”

    Well, that’s what I said. 😛

    “The fact of the matter is that there are MANY evil forces at work in this world. The islamic world is just one gleaming example of that. See, it doesn’t really matter WHAT we do or don’t do. There will always be radical muslims who will find ways to further their jihad. You seem to think that how the US conducts or doesn’t conduct itself on that has any kind of relevance on what they do or don’t do. Which only tells me that you really have no fucking clue of what you’re talking about.” I agree with your point in this paragraph, but, what “it seems to” you is a one way argument.

    Well I don’t think it is. If you think that how the US behaves has any relevance on how the islamic world behaves at its core, you are sadly mistaken.

    “Yes, he broke the law and it will sought him out. Again never said he didn’t. I do understand the danger involved with his actions.”

    Well, then don’t try to rationalize it to the point of silliness and then give him a pass. How about that?

    “Politics is the interaction of those with different motives and ambitions, ‘I’ don’t think dishonest is a requirement.”

    Sorry, but you seem to have this black and white view of what constitutes “dishonesty”, especially when it pertains to matter of national/international security. All this does is display your naivete and childish idealism. Which, honestly, doesn’t do your argument any favors.

    “I never gave a solution for fix this particular situation, shoe-box or otherwise (that will come in a court of law) and from the elaboration of your point, yeah I understood it. I sit and react to a post of FB, knowing it is just and only that. I am not acting in anyway apart from the projected actions you give me. This was a post about a certain situation, and my statement did not solely refer to him, my mistake.”

    Well, it was more than just a mistake Stuart. What you fail to realize is that you, like some other people, ignore the REAL problem in this situation and wax poetic about stuff that is not only irrelevant and pointless, but dangerously naive.

    “I agree with you in the case of Snowden. You made and argued against a few assumptions (of me) of your own, I take it you feel strongly about this.”

    What, feel strongly about innocent people being put into unnecessary danger because some idiot thinks he can make himself a hero? Yeah, I’m crazy that way. 😛

    “Just as I feel strongly about dishonesty and honesty. This situation highlights (not exclusively) the place dishonest has in governing. I’m not talking of secrecy, they are important when dealing with enemies, but dishonesty towards those that it governs.”

    Well, again, your assessment is simply too simplistic and unrealistic. I agree that honesty is the best policy, in MOST situations. But I understand, again, that there is a LOT of GRAY AREA in this sphere, and that sometimes when it comes to protecting and saving lives, it needs to be applied. It’s complicated, and there are MANY forces at work that can do a lot of damage. I keep saying it, not EVERYTHING that the intelligence community does is evil and dastardly. People need to get that through their heads. I’ve come to understand this over the years.

    “I didn’t give you a description of how the world works, fantasy or otherwise. Yes I have a fantasy, a future with more inherent honesty.”

    Yeah, let’s see how that works in the future. Tell me, do you know what “Taqqiya” is all about?

  30. “I’ll put one parting comment here then I’ll leave this debate.”

    Sure Dave… 😛

    “Reading through the whole thread, there is glaringly obvious contradiction. You talk repeatedly about how the NSA is justified in its actions due to the ‘grey area’ argument, and yet grant no such ambiguity credit to Snowden.”

    Actually, no, that’s NOT what I did. What I find funny is how BADLY you missed my point. Really Dave, you have already proven you have problems with reading comprehension on your first comment. This takes the cake. 😛

    Here it is again:

    If Snowden had come out via proper channels and disclosed to the public what the NSA was doing on the domestic front to its own citizens, and NOT compromised the NSA’s other international activities, or gone to make deals with Russia and China over what we know about their activities, I’d put him up for the Nobel prize. But that’s not what happened. We both know it.

    Therefore, what happened with Snowden was that yes, he WASTED a golden opportunity to be the man of the century. Instead, he turned into the criminal of the century.

    This whole gray area I talk about is simple, and clear. This is a whole realm that NEITHER OF US, YOU, NOR I, are qualified to judge or make an opinion on. Therefore, by me saying that, CLEARLY, both on the hangout and here, can’t possibly mean that I’m saying the NSA is justified. I’m saying that it’s complicated and there’s a LOT that we don’t know. There is indeed a reason for that. The one thing I CAN say is that not everything intelligence agencies do around the world is evil and dastardly. I’m honest enough to understand that this shit cuts both ways. And yeah, maybe, just maybe, some things they are doing are actually saving and protecting innocent lives. Call me crazy.

    “When you speak about him you are as certain as some firebrand preacher. It seems clear to me that you just want to replace one form of fundamentalism with another. You are right, everyone else is wrong no ?”

    Well, obviously there are quite a few people who think the way I do, being that this is a point of debate. Fundamentalism? Don’t make me laugh Dave. Your rantings at this point are those of someone who is really out of any kind of valid arguments or responses. To the point where you now have to delude yourself into thinking that I’m standing alone in my opinion and everyone else agrees with you. You know what that sounds like to me? Believer talk. Thanks for the laugh. 😀

  31. Of course I don’t think all they do in intelligence is “evil and dastardly”
    “What, feel strongly about innocent people being put into unnecessary danger because some idiot thinks he can make himself a hero? Yeah, I’m crazy that way.” Not crazy there 🙂 and I am glad there are people that do feel for this. Text is inadequate at times as I was not attacking you over this. I have respect for those that care.
    If my statements are put only to the Snowden situation yes they are simplified, but I make my statements of honesty in relation to interaction as a whole, not just politics. I understand full honesty in national/international security would be detrimental to said security. Again “you seem” ? My remarks about dishonesty are not especially for matters of national/international security. But are a blanket statement about acceptable lying.
    I am not ignoring the REAL problem at all. If by the REAL problem you mean the unlawful act of Snowden. I have no leverage on this. I am commenting on the dishonest towards the elector by the elected.
    I know what Taqqiya is, now 🙂 (wiki) I know of the act, not that word, until now. But I hold no respect for nonfactual belief, or a rule commending deception.
    I hope we do get to see how an honest future would work. But i will probably never know, life not long enough. Cheers for the rhetoric.

  32. This has descended into nonsense. Did you read the New York Times editorial ? What proper channels ? Whistleblower protection did not apply to him as he was a contractor and not an employee. Therefore he would have been arrested and sent to jail. So he ran away to Hong Kong. Seems pretty logical to me. You prattle on about ‘the law is the law’. Even when it serves no purpose other than the protection of a corrupt government agency ? You might as well throw the bill of rights out the window now then so we can all live in your perfect utopian totalitarian paradise where no-one questions anything. Oh wait, isn’t that all you do with this page ? Actually the truth is, only when it agrees with your dogma. So he’s not perfect, so he didn’t go through a million documents to weed out those that were of public interest and those that were not (he left that to journalists, which is in fact their job) and so he ran to places where US ‘justice’ couldn’t touch him. So fucking what ? And I just love the belittling of folk like me who followed your page under the impression you had something valid to say. You’re just another crackpot who wants to shape the world into his own vision and heaven help anyone who disagrees. I’m out of here and I know you don’t care but #unfollow. It’s a shame, you could have done something good yourself, but instead you have become what you claim to hate.

  33. ‘This whole gray area I talk about is simple, and clear. This is a whole realm that NEITHER OF US, YOU, NOR I, are qualified to judge or make an opinion on. Therefore, by me saying that, CLEARLY, both on the hangout and here, can’t possibly mean that I’m saying the NSA is justified. I’m saying that it’s complicated and there’s a LOT that we don’t know. There is indeed a reason for that. The one thing I CAN say is that not everything intelligence agencies do around the world is evil and dastardly. I’m honest enough to understand that this shit cuts both ways. And yeah, maybe, just maybe, some things they are doing are actually saving and protecting innocent lives. Call me crazy.’ – finally something that makes sense.

  34. So much for you leaving the debate, huh Dave? 😛

    “This has descended into nonsense. Did you read the New York Times editorial ? What proper channels ? Whistleblower protection did not apply to him as he was a contractor and not an employee.”

    And? So what? Had Snowden taken the time (and talked to an attorney) to examine his options, then yes, the case of him being considered a “whistleblower” would have merit. I read the editorial. And I also understand that Snowden didn’t really consider any logical options, which included NOT compromising national security in the name of trying to make himself into a hero. This is a point both YOU, and the NYT editorial misses.

    “Therefore he would have been arrested and sent to jail. So he ran away to Hong Kong. Seems pretty logical to me.”

    Again, Dave, you miss my main point of contention with Snowden’s actions. Really, are you dyslexic or something???

    What you FAIL to understand, AGAIN, that my main problem with Snowden’s actions are that he compromised stuff that he didn’t need to compromise to make his case. And he did it in the ugliest, most pathetic way possible. By going to broker a deal with with the very targets of that data. You are at this point so deep in shit with your arguments that you just choose to ignore the very centerpiece of my point of contention. Wow, how ignorant can you possibly get???

    “You prattle on about ‘the law is the law’. Even when it serves no purpose other than the protection of a corrupt government agency ?”

    Well, you call it corruption, I call it overreach, and impropriety. But I also understand that personal privacy was already in a state of severe deterioration LONG before this incident. YEARS before this incident. It started with passage of the patriot act. So please, spare me your faux outrage. As much as I hate the way NSA does business, I do understand that there are some aspects to its mission that are not “evil and dastardly” pardon my repetition. You seem to require it in order for you to absorb anything.

    “You might as well throw the bill of rights out the window now then so we can all live in your perfect utopian totalitarian paradise where no-one questions anything.”

    Well, now that you mention it, there are parts of the bill of rights that need some SERIOUS updating. Let’s start with the 2nd amendment.

    ” Oh wait, isn’t that all you do with this page ? Actually the truth is, only when it agrees with your dogma.”

    Actually, it’s you who’s worshiping Snowden, trying to tout what he did “for me”. And I’m the one with the “dogma”? Please, keep blathering Dave, you’re giving me a lot of laughs today. 😀

    “So he’s not perfect, so he didn’t go through a million documents to weed out those that were of public interest and those that were not (he left that to journalists, which is in fact their job) and so he ran to places where US ‘justice’ couldn’t touch him. So fucking what ?”

    Oh, you forgot about the part about him trying to make a deal with the Russians and the Chinese on what the NSA has on them. You also forgot about the part of him LYING on record that he tried to discuss his concerns with his superiors and colleagues about their activities before going off the deep end to make himself a hero. You also forgot about the part about him saying that countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, among others are “Beacons of human rights”. Shall I go on with your glaring omissions???

    Dude, you haven’t got a clue. Sorry, just gotta tell you the truth at this point.

    “And I just love the belittling of folk like me who followed your page under the impression you had something valid to say.”

    Oh I’m sorry, did you think that I’m in this to be a popularity contest? Do you think I need your approval and constant back-patting on a daily basis. While I appreciate your liking my page, understand that I’m not going to change or adjust my opinion (which, shockingly, I always do my utmost to base it on facts, and reality, rather than ideology,wishful thinking and/or faith, like some people I won’t name 😛 ). If you can’t handle being called on ignorance and stupidity, then really, you shouldn’t blather on here and expose yourself.

    “You’re just another crackpot who wants to shape the world into his own vision and heaven help anyone who disagrees.”

    Oh yeah, I’m the crackpot. That’s a new one, I shall add it to the collection. 🙂

    “I’m out of here and I know you don’t care but #unfollow. It’s a shame, you could have done something good yourself, but instead you have become what you claim to hate.”

    Well, it seems to me like you can’t just handle being proven wrong, and at this point you’re cornered to the point where all you can do is whine about it. Really, Dave, it’s ok. I see it here all the time. If it’s one thing I do take great pleasure in on this page, is basically allowing facts and truth to prove people wrong. Especially when they’re convinced that they are right. You are a gleaming example of this. On your VERY FIRST comment on this thread, you were glaringly wrong. From that point, it was all downhill for you. Yet, you just kept digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, because unlike a lot of other people, you just couldn’t accept that your lofty view of Snowden is based on bullshit.

    Anything else you wanna cry about and amuse me with? 🙂

  35. “‘This whole gray area I talk about is simple, and clear. This is a whole realm that NEITHER OF US, YOU, NOR I, are qualified to judge or make an opinion on. Therefore, by me saying that, CLEARLY, both on the hangout and here, can’t possibly mean that I’m saying the NSA is justified. I’m saying that it’s complicated and there’s a LOT that we don’t know. There is indeed a reason for that. The one thing I CAN say is that not everything intelligence agencies do around the world is evil and dastardly. I’m honest enough to understand that this shit cuts both ways. And yeah, maybe, just maybe, some things they are doing are actually saving and protecting innocent lives. Call me crazy.’ – finally something that makes sense.”

    Well, considering I’ve been chiming on this point for MONTHS now, it’s about time you got it. Really Dave, do what you gotta do, enter a remedial reading class, whatever it takes. This is embarrassing. 😛

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