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Author Topic: Hero or Traitor?  (Read 6574 times)

Offline thunderlips

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Hero or Traitor?
« on: June 25, 2013, 01:08:15 PM »
Mr. Snowden of course, but we could include Manning, Julian Assange, etc.
 
Did Snowden betray the US or did the US betray him/citizens?

Good article that looks at the demonetization of the "whistle blower":
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/14/the-sickening-snowden-backlash.html


*I think this is especially relevant to my fellow 'Merican expats if you have had any contact with family/friends/anyone in America via phone, email, fb, etc.  NSA has been watching foreign correspondences involving Americans for years, FISA.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/21/new-details-emerge-nsa-warrantless-snooping-americ/

Interesting to note NSA can retain data collected to target "terrorists" for later use.

Offline Chadwickhhs

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 01:31:06 PM »
It's not so simple as to put them all in one category and I think that's why this is so divisive of an issue. It depends on what harms the data being released has. And even when we know the impacts on known unknowns play in and it's hard to make a value judgment on how much damage didn't happen or did happen from the leak.

Basically the lazy answer would be to say that if a whistleblower leaks anything that immediately and willfully puts the safety of people who aren't the whistleblowers at risk than they are treasonous. If they do not they have inconvenienced the government but not betrayed it. Inconveniences are an acceptable and often mandatory thing we need to do for the greater good.

That's the lazy answer. The reality is that things are even foggier than that. Even when civilian lives are at risk from the leak it's hard to measure "could have been-s." A leak that breaks the ability to break down on dissent groups could save a minority from being ethnically cleansed but let's be honest... it's hard to say that this is an apparent threat and not a lesser possibility. I maintain that it is the nature of the leak that determines what we should judge them based on. Despite that... it won't be what we will judge them on.

Offline thunderlips

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 01:48:31 PM »
Sure one category is oversimplification. And Snowden's leak is a different type of substance than Manning's (I think) and perhaps intentions also play a part of it also. Espionage vs public awareness.
 
So looking exclusively at a case where laws may have been broken/bended by the US government and employees of that government knowingly lied under oath on the severity of the collection of data. Is it un-American to bring these deeds to light?

Let's not forget that it is acceptable to willfully put the safety of people who oppose a belief at risk, Valerie Plame. But that is somehow different when the people who make the laws are the ones breaking them.

Offline oatmealkooky

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 01:59:58 PM »
Snowden's act was espionage and treason. If he disputed the law and government policy, he could have committed the same acts and challenged them in the legal and public arenas. Instead he pulled a d**k move, bolted and ran into the arms of America's international rivals where he'll live off the largess of brutal governments that can really show him a thing or two about abusing the people.

Offline Chadwickhhs

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 02:09:00 PM »
I tend to think (and this is coming from a big govt progressive) that sunshine is the best disinfectant. I get why secrets are had in administration and operations, I'm not naive. But what good are the walls and weapons we make to defend ourselves if we allow our state to rot on the inside. Accountability is the weight of freedom. Anyone who acts freely without accountability will invariably abuse it.

Quote
bolted and ran into the arms of America's international rivals where he'll live off the largess of brutal governments that can really show him a thing or two about abusing the people.
At the same time this quote is valid too. People need to pick their battles. When you attack the perceived perverseness of a less corrupt nation and flee to a more corrupt one like Russia or China than your argument about doing the right thing loses validity. He should have embraced the hammer.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 02:12:04 PM by Chadwickhhs »

Offline thunderlips

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 02:18:31 PM »
He couldn't have challenged the government's actions in a legal framework due to National Security. In fact the amount of information that is classified under National Security has grown considerably under Bush and Obama.

Public arenas?? You mean like the media?

The good news is now that he is out of America Obama does have the legal right to kill him with no trial.  :undecided:

Offline Frozencat99

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 06:07:03 PM »
Anyone who thinks he legally could have done anything is naive.

Whistleblowers get murdered or disappear, though, so I think he'll be off of the planet (in one way or another) soon enough. Sad -- what he did wasn't overly remarkable, since many people have written about NSA spying on the public in various ways. He just took that knowledge, used the most corrupt example of it and made that knowledge public.

It's no wonder that the War on Terror is such a hit, the government can assure the public of "villains" with ease and little question, even when they expose villainy inside said government.
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Offline ukukuk

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 02:16:27 PM »
id say neither, he has put alot of pressure on the US and UK governments though so depending on your viewpoint tht could be good.

 personally, i detest te UK government and think it is very good that they should be getting a hammering over their behaviour. the UK is not in a good way and these guys are little more than corporate puppets, and i hope they get a very strong and public warning from the EU that rigging wifi points to spy on foreign diplomats is not acceptable.

 Obama - well let me say that the longer he is in power the more we can see that he might not be pulling the strings. like any president, it seems that the pressure of certain groups is really more powerful than the role itself - an anything that can dint that hegemony is worthwhile.

  Russia and China though? very suspicious circles to be moving in! lets hope that relations there arent going to deteriorate beyond what we have already seen, cos they could be two very powerful enemies
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 02:18:19 PM by ukukuk »

Offline MoneyMike

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 07:26:36 AM »
The fact that this conversation is evening happening shows how f***** America is. Over the last 10 or 20 years more people have died from slips and falls in the tub than international terrorism, and yet you've sacrificed your 4th amendment rights for 'protection'. lol

Your government is doing something that clearly breaches your constitutional rights, and yet Obama's vague words about security mean it's all ok. And Snowden is a traitor for bringing to light the fact that the government is wiping it's a** with your constitution. Hahaha. Wake up.

I'm Canadian myself. I quite like America and plenty of things about American culture. It shocks me how apathetic your population is about stuff like this though.

Snowden is quite clearly a hero. Assange is a little bit trickier to classify, but he's certainly not a villain.

Offline Epistemology

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 07:42:54 AM »
Hero for now. No question about it. What he did was validate very real fears about the powers of the NSA and its lapdog, the GCHQ.   He put both governments on the backpedal and showed them for what they are. We are not that far away from a police state in many regards. Most of the apparatus is in place, the only thing missing is a repressive government, which in the case of the UK, doesn't seem particularly far away either given the tangent the Tories(and labour too) are going off on.

He made a stupid move by going to Russia though. I don't think Putin is going to let him out of his grasp that easily without extracting whatever he wants first, and lets be realistic here. Snowden has no option but to comply with any requests from the Russians if he ever wants to leave Moscow. He has no cards to play.

History will judge him based on his actions in Moscow
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Offline adamjay

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 08:31:49 AM »
I voted for five o'clock, but it's still 9:30.  Democracy sucks.

Offline thunderlips

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 02:14:37 PM »
The fact that this conversation is evening happening shows how f***** America is. Over the last 10 or 20 years more people have died from slips and falls in the tub than international terrorism, and yet you've sacrificed your 4th amendment rights for 'protection'. lol

Your government is doing something that clearly breaches your constitutional rights, and yet Obama's vague words about security mean it's all ok. And Snowden is a traitor for bringing to light the fact that the government is wiping it's a** with your constitution. Hahaha. Wake up.

Words of wisdom. The media's decision to play "Where's Waldo?" rather than investigate how deep the survelliance went/on-going, is rather deafening silence. The lack of discussion of a privitazied National Security is disturbing to say the least.

Telescreens are already in most homes, according to NSA's ability to listen to devices and programs, like Skype.

Not too sure about your numbers on "slips and falls in the tub", though  :laugh:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 02:17:33 PM by thunderlips »

Offline MoneyMike

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 08:19:22 AM »
The fact that this conversation is evening happening shows how f***** America is. Over the last 10 or 20 years more people have died from slips and falls in the tub than international terrorism, and yet you've sacrificed your 4th amendment rights for 'protection'. lol

Your government is doing something that clearly breaches your constitutional rights, and yet Obama's vague words about security mean it's all ok. And Snowden is a traitor for bringing to light the fact that the government is wiping it's a** with your constitution. Hahaha. Wake up.

Words of wisdom. The media's decision to play "Where's Waldo?" rather than investigate how deep the survelliance went/on-going, is rather deafening silence. The lack of discussion of a privitazied National Security is disturbing to say the least.

Telescreens are already in most homes, according to NSA's ability to listen to devices and programs, like Skype.

Not too sure about your numbers on "slips and falls in the tub", though  :laugh:

Yeah I saw an interview with Jeremy Scahill (sp?) the other day where he made a point about how many people died in terrorism vs some other mundane thing, but couldn't remember what example he used, so I just pulled bathtub falls out of my butt. The point still stands though, any individual American's chances of dying in a terrorist attack are insanely insanely low, and they're much more likely to die of some other preventable bulls***.

I find it really odd how Americans will get really really up in arms when there's even a whiff of an attack on some rights (2nd amendment) but not others.

Offline adamjay

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 08:30:41 AM »

I find it really odd how Americans will get really really up in arms when there's even a whiff of an attack on some rights (2nd amendment) but not others.

It's really hard to get people excited about something as intagible as freedom of speech or privacy, especially when no visible changes have occurred.  It's not as if a government agent comes and smacks you in the mouth if you say 'inside job'.   With guns, it's obvious what's at stake.  With abstract "rights" like freedom and privacy, it's messy.  We're all very confused.   And it's 9:30 again.   :sad:

Offline Frozencat99

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 10:39:09 AM »
Ecuador's response regarding Snowden is quite admirable.
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Offline kyndo

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2013, 12:11:02 PM »
Ecuador's response regarding Snowden is quite admirable.

But it leaves me wondering what their angle is. BY offering asylum, they can potentially lose out on the 14 million in aid they will receive in 2014, as well aqs preferential trade agreements etc. I would love to believe that it's all due to their love of human rights etc (great dig, btw, offing the US aid money for human rights education lol), but somehow I don't think that is the case...

 :undecided:

Offline ukukuk

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2013, 12:11:02 PM »
http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_23554739/restricted-web-access-guardian-is-army-wide-officials

  The US has placed army-wide restrictions on access to The Guardian website. Is this unusual?

Offline Frozencat99

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2013, 02:03:27 PM »
Ecuador's response regarding Snowden is quite admirable.

But it leaves me wondering what their angle is. BY offering asylum, they can potentially lose out on the 14 million in aid they will receive in 2014, as well aqs preferential trade agreements etc. I would love to believe that it's all due to their love of human rights etc (great dig, btw, offing the US aid money for human rights education lol), but somehow I don't think that is the case...

 :undecided:

Oh, it's almost certainly just a powerplay. A total of $23 million would be lost between aid and trade, from what I read earlier, with Ecuador offering another $23 million in the dig you mentioned.

I laughed so loudly at it that my co-teachers asked what was wrong with me.
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Offline rocketeerjoe

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2013, 12:48:36 PM »
Ecuador has been basically screwed over by the US for decades. They have no reason to help the US with anything.

The CIA assassinated the Ecuadorian president when he asked for more money from the oil companies for education and medical services to his people. The oil companies pretty much went head to head with them and he was going to throw them out when they pulled that little maneuver. This was made public when several people including John Perkins came out as financial "economic hit men" who purposefully f***** over countries and impoverished their people so that an elite minority could rule and benefit.

Additionally the Exxon spill in Ecuador was one of the most devastating on record and they still refuse to pay even though the courts won that case years ago. The oil companies essentially felt free to utterly destroy the country and as far as I'm concerned, killing the president was an act of war.

So, yeah, they don't really have any reason to do this other than to piss off the US government, which they seem pretty willing to do.
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Offline thunderlips

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Re: Hero or Traitor?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 12:33:40 PM »
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 03:24:37 PM by thunderlips »