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TomT
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:45 pm

And, unfortunately, it has also failed miserably ever since 9/11... Sorry, but it is true: We have shredded the Constitution since that fateful day...
ebill3 wrote:Back to high school civics, Tom. We have a system of checks and balances, and while not perfect, it has served us well for these many years since the founding.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Smidge204 wrote:No, my obtuse friend... spying on their own country's citizens.
So, now we are down to personal insults. Nice. If you could phrase your questions more precisely, perhaps even this slow witted person would understand.
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AndyH
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:53 pm

Folks are tossing words like 'oath' and 'treason' around. Do you have any idea what life is/was like for either of the subject men?

Let's start with Mr. Snowden. He's a civilian. I presume when he served at NSA he was also a civilian. This means that he likely is bound by a legal agreement - not an oath.

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/training/s ... m-312.html

It appears that those non-disclosure agreements do not negate whistleblower protection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_In ... Protection

Mr. Manning, on the other hand, is an enlisted member of the Army. His oath can be found on the DD Form 4:

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/info ... dd0004.pdf
I, [full name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
What does one do - what level of internal conflict might arise - when one cannot comply with both an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" while also complying with a legal obligation to protect classified information? With whom does one talk when the approved whistleblower protection body is part of the agency doing things that harm Constitutional protections? Our training was clear - we are required to comply with 'lawful' orders. Most of the time that's easy to do. Sometimes it's not.
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mbender
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:43 pm

Thank you all of those (particularly TomT, AndyH, and Nubo) defending Snowden, Manning, et al with insightful and nuanced arguments, bolstered by facts. I think that, in general, those who see the value of whistle-blowers' behavior see how one imperative can override a lesser one when they conflict, whereas the opposite opinion is usually of the knee-jerk variety (in my experience).

From "30,000 feet" though, I do find the following set of facts simultaneously fascinating, informative, and troubling:
  • The general public tends to be "all over the map" on this issue. Segments of both the left and right believe such whistle-blowing behavior is alternately heroic or treasonous, and believe that the NSA is either necessary &or good, or too secretive, privatized, "overly budgeted" &or evil.
  • Almost without exception on the other hand, most pols, pundits and the DC press corps seem to uniformly believe &or assert that the NSA is good and that the men are traitors. (This obviously does not make for the best reporting.)
  • And finally, probably reflecting a conditioned response to celebrity culture (and said bad reporting): almost everyone is more obsessed with the men, rather than what they exposed.
I think I just felt my paradigm shift.

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Stoaty
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:08 pm

In a recent poll, 55% consider Snowden a whistleblower, 34% consider him a traitor:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013 ... aitor?lite" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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defiancecp
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:44 pm

What saddens me most about that statistic - and the other posters in this thread - is that the administration's rhetoric is so successful at inciting people to such fervent nationalism at the expense of the principles our nation was founded upon. Our founding fathers fought because they thought these principles were more important than the nation they served at the time - sad that so many Americans have lost touch with that.

timhebb
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:45 pm

Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board
- New York Times, July 9, 2013

A retired federal judge, who formerly served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, on Tuesday praised the growing public discussion about government surveillance fostered by the leaks of classified information by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with espionage and who remains a fugitive.
“The brouhaha after the Snowden leaks and this meeting indeed establishes what I think is true — that we need to have a more wide-open debate about this in our society, and thankfully we’re beginning to have the debate and this meeting is part of it,” said James Robertson, formerly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
...

http://nyti.ms/12pHcrP" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Exactly. And the discussion would never - could never - have begun without Snowden, or his equivalent.
TH

klapauzius
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:03 pm

timhebb wrote:Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board
- New York Times, July 9, 2013

A retired federal judge, who formerly served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, on Tuesday praised the growing public discussion about government surveillance fostered by the leaks of classified information by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with espionage and who remains a fugitive.
“The brouhaha after the Snowden leaks and this meeting indeed establishes what I think is true — that we need to have a more wide-open debate about this in our society, and thankfully we’re beginning to have the debate and this meeting is part of it,” said James Robertson, formerly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
...

http://nyti.ms/12pHcrP" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Exactly. And the discussion would never - could never - have begun without Snowden, or his equivalent.
I could have begun, if enough people had cared...Are you seriously surprised by all these revelations?

But yes, Snowden caused enough of a media sensation ( and provided some heard facts to what previously was just suspicion) to focus the public on this.

I am curious if this will have any long lasting consequences. One would hope it will, but I am not too optimistic.

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JimSouCal
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:19 pm

After mulling this over, I am now inclined to the emerging minority position, namely a tentative conclusion that Snowden did the country a large favor. While I firmly suspected that the NSA was able to survey most if not all forms of e-communication, Snowden's decision to disregard his contract and share the details will benefit the country.

The possibility of future abuse is a grave concern no matter how the surveillance is currently justified.
klapauzius wrote:
timhebb wrote:Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board
- New York Times, July 9, 2013

A retired federal judge, who formerly served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, on Tuesday praised the growing public discussion about government surveillance fostered by the leaks of classified information by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with espionage and who remains a fugitive.
“The brouhaha after the Snowden leaks and this meeting indeed establishes what I think is true — that we need to have a more wide-open debate about this in our society, and thankfully we’re beginning to have the debate and this meeting is part of it,” said James Robertson, formerly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
...

http://nyti.ms/12pHcrP" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Exactly. And the discussion would never - could never - have begun without Snowden, or his equivalent.
I could have begun, if enough people had cared...Are you seriously surprised by all these revelations?

But yes, Snowden caused enough of a media sensation ( and provided some heard facts to what previously was just suspicion) to focus the public on this.

I am curious if this will have any long lasting consequences. One would hope it will, but I am not too optimistic.

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JimSouCal
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Re: Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:19 pm

After mulling this over, I am now inclined to the emerging minority position, namely a tentative conclusion that Snowden did the country a large favor. While I firmly suspected that the NSA was able to survey most if not all forms of e-communication, Snowden's decision to disregard his contract and share the details will benefit the country.

The possibility of future abuse is a grave concern no matter how the surveillance is currently justified.
klapauzius wrote:
timhebb wrote:Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board
- New York Times, July 9, 2013

A retired federal judge, who formerly served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, on Tuesday praised the growing public discussion about government surveillance fostered by the leaks of classified information by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with espionage and who remains a fugitive.
“The brouhaha after the Snowden leaks and this meeting indeed establishes what I think is true — that we need to have a more wide-open debate about this in our society, and thankfully we’re beginning to have the debate and this meeting is part of it,” said James Robertson, formerly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
...

http://nyti.ms/12pHcrP" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Exactly. And the discussion would never - could never - have begun without Snowden, or his equivalent.
I could have begun, if enough people had cared...Are you seriously surprised by all these revelations?

But yes, Snowden caused enough of a media sensation ( and provided some heard facts to what previously was just suspicion) to focus the public on this.

I am curious if this will have any long lasting consequences. One would hope it will, but I am not too optimistic.

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