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Monday, August 5, 2013

Lord Snowden of Siberia, One Last Word (With an UPDATE)

I don't like writing about Snowden or the goofy-looking Manning. As I have said before, I consider both treasonous weasels. I must write something, however, given the puzzling argument of many folks, including conservatives and friends, who consider them, especially Snowden, some sort of heroic whistleblower figures, or Avengers for Justice and Freedom. I cannot agree with that; let me explain, and then will promise to try to avoid this topic.

Let's focus on Snowden, as the court already has dealt with Manning.

All seven readers of this blog know of my great distaste for the Obama misadministration. In my view, Obama is the worst President in my sixty years on earth, and very possibly in American history--certainly, at least, since the Presidency and the Federal government mattered to everyday Americans. If, furthermore, you ask me who has caused more damage to America, Snowden or Obama, I answer, without hesitation, "Obama." I also concede willingly that our illustrious Secretary of State, John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry, is not exactly well-qualified to criticize others for treasonous acts--he has quite a history, himself, and, frankly, should not be SecState.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also have a personal gripe with this misadministration. The thin-skinned dopey thugs who run it terminated my career because I could not go along with their bovine manure on things such as immigration--they wanted me to give a speech at the OAS criticizing Arizona, I refused--the crisis in Honduras, Fast and Furious, and their personnel policy which was heavily race- and gender-based, and which put totally unqualified hacks into key positions. I wrote a couple of "dissent" messages, and had my run-ins with the Obamabots. I found the Obamista foreign policy to be a disaster. I had access to highly classified materials, as I did throughout my career, but it NEVER occurred to me to leak this information to journalists, much less go run off to some foreign power with it. My oath to protect that information was my oath to protect that information. I knew of officers, including friends, who blew the whistle, but they did it within the system. They suffered for it, but they could look in the mirror and not see a weasel staring back. When I couldn't stand being around the Obamabots anymore, I left--and still won't give up the info I have.

On many comment boards and elsewhere, I see people, including friends, seeking to justify or excuse what Snowden apparently has done by pointing to what the Obama misadministration clearly has done, e.g., Fast and Furious, political use of the IRS, voter fraud, disastrous economic and energy policies, bailout of the UAW, Obamacare, Benghazi cover-up, the totally inept handling of our foreign policy especially in the Mideast and Latin America, and a daily barrage of lies and distortions. My argument is that, by all means, focus on the perfidious and loathsome behavior of the Obamistas, but do not use it to excuse the perfidious and loathsome nature of what Snowden reportedly has done. One, for example, could criticize George W. Bush without making John Walker Lindh into a hero. One could disagree with US and UK Cold War policies without making the Rosenbergs, Agee, or Philby into heroes. One could dislike FDR's New Deal or Churchill's domestic and imperial policies, without praising Axis Sally, Ezra Pound, or Lord Haw-Haw. I am very pro-Israel, but think Jonathan Pollard should sit in prison for passing information to Israel on what we knew about Syria's air defenses.

Snowden apparently had a long-term plan to collect massive amounts of classified data to use against the NSA and the USA; he, it seems, worked this plan in league with a reporter for The World's Stupidest Newspaper, The Guardian, and with the highly anti-American crowd at WikiLeaks. He then fled to China and onward to Russia. This man is not a whistleblower or some naive well-intentioned champion for civil and human rights. This man is something else, so it would appear, as it seems he has given up perfectly legitimate collection efforts by the US and the UK against Chinese and Russian targets. The one area of doubt I will concede is that we have gotten most of our information from The World's Stupidest Newspaper, and who knows if there is more smoke than fire. That said, however, there must be considerable fire or the Russians likely would not have let him stay. Despite nearly three-quarters of a century of Communism, the Russians remain sharp and talented horse traders.

If Snowden had a complaint about the way the NSA and the other intel organizations were behaving, he had legal ways to make that clear. Even under the Obama-Holder regime, we still have lawyers with security clearances who specialize in these sorts of cases. There are powerful Senators and Representatives to whom he could have appealed. He would have had a rough time, no doubt, but what does he think the rest of his life looks like now?


I have written about the damage done by Obama to America, some of it likely permanent. I should add that one of the greatest bits of damage has been to foster the cynicism that Americans have about their government; simply put, Obama cannot be believed even if he happens to tell the truth about something. He has such a record of deception and fabrication that he has done enormous harm to the relationship between the people and their government. I see people thinking that AQ is not real, that Islamic terrorism is a sham, etc. That is a horrid development, and can be chalked up to this misadministration and its lies. It is a development that will cost lives.

UPDATE: Judging from some of the comments and reactions elsewhere, there seems to be lots of misunderstanding of what I was trying to state. I need to write more gooder.

The issue I was raising in this post was my disagreement with the hero worship by many of Snowden, a man who never should have had a security clearance. Snowden is not a crusader for the Constitution or for civil rights in the US. He ran to China and Russia with highly classified info about legitimate collection efforts overseas. He planned this carefully with the leftist Guardian and the leftist Wikileaks. In this regard, he, apparently, was no better than some spy or turncoat working for a foreign power against the US.

This is a separate issue from whether what the NSA is doing within the US is right or wrong, legal or illegal, constitutional or unconstitutional. This is a separate issue from whether what Obama is doing is good or bad--you know my position on that. This is about Snowden; he is a weasel.

WLA

50 comments:

  1. You have to wonder at what power got behind the idea of classified networks and then pushed hard to make not just SIPR but JWICS become reality plus the other networks nobody talks about. The very idea of sharing classified data in that volume is madness and yet somehow the powers that be were talked into doing it. A clearance was nothing but a piece of paper in a file unless it came with access. That whole 'access' part of the equation went away with the networks. Unlimited access to all the information available to your level of clearance (and beyond).
    I don't actually doubt that the Chinese have their own SIPR and JWICS access just as they have their own access to NMCI.
    I don't actually care about Snowden. If you break the law then you do the time. Both Snowden and the hacks at NSA broke the law. Only one will ever get punished.
    As far as Manning goes, WHAT CRETIN gave that idiot access to the networks? Who? Were they terminated with extreme prejudice for being that stupid that they gave a clearly disaffected and hostile idiot all the secrets on the network just because they wanted him to suffer and go to work in an INTEL center? Those morons should also go to prison.

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    1. Excellent points. I was always amazed by how with a few clicks of the keyboard I could get access to enormous amounts of classified data from many agencies. That should not have been.

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    2. " The very idea of sharing classified data in that volume is madness and yet somehow the powers that be were talked into doing it" Exactly! I think we have three topics here interconnected and cannot be solved separately.

      1) The structure USG's gathering, retention, and use of classified material has become absurd and in some extant criminal.

      2) The relationship between US citizens has moved into a dangerous form.

      3) There governmental entities that exist in form and function that are extra constitutional and probably illegal.

      You cannot say solve 2 or 3 and still have Mannings and Snowdens running off to foreign powers with the jewels.
      But you can't expect many patriot whistle blowers without cleaning up 2 and 3. If you don't solve 1 there very well not be a chance to correct 2 and 3.



      Delete
  2. Excellent post. We need more people in government who have some sense of how a professional should behave. The Obama misadministration is dragging us down into the gutter.

    I love your word "misadministration." This word needs to enter the English vocabulary ASAP, like "tweeting" did a few months ago.

    Promethea

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    1. From Clinton's adolescent antics and perjury to Obama's sheer thuggery!

      I echo your praise of our host's posting. While my foreign service career was short and undistinguished, I understand perfectly what Mr. Amselem is saying--and fundamentally agree with him. My read is that Snowden wanted fifteen minutes of fame and never thought for a moment about the consequences of his actions.

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  3. ...This man [Snowden] is something else, so it would appear, as it seems he has given up perfectly legitimate collection efforts by the US and the UK against Chinese and Russian targets. The one area of doubt I will concede is that we have gotten most of our information from The World's Stupidest Newspaper, ...

    I think Diplomad Sir, the problem with Snowden's "revelations" is that he gave it all up in one fell swoop - coupled with giving it to The World's Stupidest Newspaper - one the Leftists of America would pay mighty attention to.

    "Most" - not all of course, but a great deal of this stuff was out in the wild if one cared to look - and if one knew how to look there was a great deal one could guess at. Indeed a great deal of it was open-sourced - the now defunct Dangerroom being such a site.

    Remember the firm "Blackwater" [Xe]? Sometime ago Xe set up an in-house intel collection analysis branch - there was "a little recruiting" of some few soon-to-be-former Agency guys, "some hires" were made. There was a big "Whoop-de-doo" conference set up wherein the formerly Agency guys were gonna let the "ignorant open-source guys" on The Big Picture.

    There were some "surprises & gasps" - but not from the audience. Something else (probably won't surprise you Diplomad Sir) a few globally operating companies already had what Xe had envisioned - for good reason - you might be friends (at least acquainted) with some who've retired to the Podunk county in Arkansas where Wal-Mart "The World's Largest Chinese Flea Market" is hq'd.

    But the thing is - pretty much nobody paid any attention to the adverts they'd receive just prior to payday, the inserts that came with their credit card statements - nobody really cared much. Same thing with what'd show up on their Facebook when kids birthdays were coming up.

    While I agree without reservation to Snowden being a traitor to us, the US - and if (as appears to be the case - Greenwald & Company I've doubted somewhat in the past) the twerp laid out all which "apparently" is what it's said to be - deserves to be sharing gagged conversations with Walker and Pollard for the rest of their natural lives - in Morse code or whatever.

    But then, ... a long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away, I took an Oath to defend and protect the Constitution - including that pesky 4th Amendment (and 5th by extension) - and I've found myself troubled ever since Snowden showed in Hong Kong.

    I used to go to Hong Kong quite a bit - mainly on the way to somewhere else - but (about) the only thing I felt comfortable telling in Hong Kong was ... I preferred my beer cold.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Arkie

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  4. "Let's focus on Snowden"

    No, lets' focus on the NSA. The NSA is the vital. Snowden is the incidental.

    The now the Obama administration's NSA commits espionage against American citizens in mass and in depth, and without any scintilla of probable cause, and when someone (Snowden in this case) reveals this then that person, according to the Obama administration, and apparently you, is guilty of ... ... ... espionage. .. ... and, oh yes, a traitor, of course, It would be as if someone revealed that some officers in the local police department were dealing drugs and then the police department charged them with ... ... ... dealing drugs. What is needed is a way to curtail the anti-American, anti-patriotic, anti-Bill-of-Rights, anti-natural rights, and I might add almost totally, if not totally, ineffective against terrorists, NSA, America's version of East Germany's STASI and the Keystone Cops..As an American version of the East German Stasi, the N-Stasi-A is most excellent. As anything that protects our security it is all but if not utterly worthless.

    The vital question is not "Oh look, there's Snowden", but to what degree should the Bill of Rights be eviscerated and within America's own borders, such as we have of borders? I say it should not be at all and I am certain that to a man, the Founding Fathers would wholeheartedly concur. But I do want to thank the Founding Fathers for all the sacrifices they made however much they now seem to have been in vain.

    With it's warrantless 24X7 spy programs the NSA is committing non-stop acts of war on the United States Constitution and hence the American nation and people and is maliciously and with forethought pre-judging all American citizens as guilty until never proven innocent, so it is really a criminal organization itself and every employee working for it is therefor a member of a criminal organization. May they all have nightmares of Nuremberg ... every .. single .. night.

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    1. It's not even remotely clear that any constitutional rights have been violated.
      Even if there were violations, the constitution is not a death pact. The USG has shown time and again that it will act to preserve itself, even against new or previously unrecognized threats.

      Considering the level of sophistication of our enemies, I would be shocked if our NSA wasn't doing exactly what it was claimed to be doing.

      What *is* clear to me, is that the NSA (among other agencies) wasn't doing its job prior to 9/11. Now that they're trying to get things right, navel gazers and useful idiots like Snowden come out of the woodwork, ignoring the existential threats our government must combat.

      If Snowden were revealing programs which were kept secret from executive, legislative or judicial oversight, I think everybody here would be singing a different tune.

      "strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."
      - Jefferson

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    2. Anonymous,

      I have no objection to the NSA doing this stuff overseas. I don't even have objection if US Citizens' communications overseas are caught in it, as I have no expectation that other governments are treating us with any right to privacy. However, everything our Founding Fathers fought in overbearing government is shown here in spades.

      Worse, as the IRS scandal shows, you can't trust this level of power to anyone. Even if the folks at the NSA were the most virtuous people that ever existed on the planet (ya right) , eventually they will be replaced by those who are not.

      "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      -Franklin

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, This post was about the hero-worship of Snowden.

      Delete
    4. apologies for playing part in a threadjacking :)

      Delete
    5. DiploMad says "Anonymous, This post was about the hero-worship of Snowden".

      Your post was about "the hero-worship of Snowden" to about the same degree that High Noon was about a train.

      Delete
    6. Might I say that your comment is comparable to saying that High Noon was about a clock?

      Delete
    7. Well you might say that in response to my comment, but if you do then you show that you somehow didn't understand my comment. Maybe if I rephrase slightly and say "Your post was about "the hero-worship of Snowden" to about the same degree that High Noon was about a train ... ... or a clock ... ... or a wedding.

      Delete
  5. " I wrote a couple of "dissent" messages, and had my run-ins with the Obamabots." Oooh, you did poke them in the eye. Just running this blog anon took some guts with those vindictive people. I doubt they've forgotten you.

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    1. ....and that's a good thing! If nothing else, the administration and its media are now out in the sun light. We may be coming to a "who stands where" nation before we can begin to regain ourselves.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for explaining your apparently incomprehensible view on NSA spying & whistleblowing about the same, Diplomad. Still not buying it.

    You are right that Little Barry has brought the whole concept of the US Federal Government into disrepute. But he had help from legislators who pass thousand-page "laws" unread in the middle of the night, and bureaucrats who pursue political agendas under the weak disguise of enforcing those "laws".

    If the other branches of government had done their jobs right, there would have been no NSA Big Brother keeping an eye on those dangerous American Tea Partiers -- and no Snowden.

    The big fear is that the fascists who have taken over all 3 branches of the US government will interpret your disgust with Mr. Snowden as support for their destruction of your fellow citizens' liberties. Is that what you really want the nomenklatura to take from your negative comments about a whistleblower?

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    1. I don't see Snowden as a whistleblower any more than I see the Rosenbergs or the Walkers as whistleblowers.

      Delete
  7. We all need to keep in mind that Snowden and Manning didn't betray the President—they betrayed our nation. Yes, Obama and Kerry have done the same—or at least something similar—but one set of crimes doesn't excuse the others.

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    1. Thanks you said much better than I did.

      Delete
  8. Which trumps? The oath to keep a secret, or the oath to support and defend the Constitution?

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    1. Depends, at minimum, upon the secret, the constitutional principle involved, the breadth of the breach, and the availability of alternative resolutions.

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    2. False issue. I was writing about Snowden. How did he support the Constitution by running off to China and Russia with data on classified programs?

      Delete
    3. There is a case where his allegations *could* have been so fundamental that removing himself to an inherently hostile country could be justified, but it would mean he'd need to allege that our entire electoral system is rigged, and as such, all of our elected leaders are simply puppets and not trustworthy enough to unveil such a breach.
      I think it's important for people to keep some perspective on what his allegations are, particularly when discussing his theft of secrets and release to hostile countries.
      His allegations suggest things that many people will object to, but even if 100% accurate, they do not constitute an imminent/existential threat to our liberties.
      *because* of this, the situation does not merit running to hostile countries with our secrets.

      Delete
  9. Snowden is a fool and caused, quite likely, grave damage to the USA. But, thru no effort of his, he has shown the even graver danger the new "national security" state is to each American. When a fool and dilettante like Snowden can empty the most sensitive data from the servers he used to administer, he has shown that this data collected by the USG is inherently unsafe and can't be secured. If the NSA can't protect the data it collects from the Snowdens, it can't protect the data at all. Forget Snowden, focus on what his little caper has exposed of the USG.

    Now we are learning that the USG is sharing massive amounts of data, possible even this NSA data, throughout the enforcement agencies of the USG. Focus on this lethal threat to a free people.

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  10. Peter W. Sterne, SrAugust 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Weasels throughout the world protest your slander of their species!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I shall Tweet an apology to all weasels and seek counseling for what I have said about them.

      Delete
  11. Diplomad, sheesh, no wonder you had problems with the Obots. Of course this maladministration wouldn't stand for divided loyalties. You're loyal to the US and her interests and the Obots think you should be loyal to their political machine. Not that Obots understand the distinction.

    -Blake

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    1. That's a good point. The problem, of course, is that those who oppose the Obamabots seem to think that any act committed against the United States, as long as it hurts the Obamabots, is OK. Snowden hurt the United States

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    2. Snowden has a twofer. Snowden hurt the US and showed the world that when Putin says "Bend Over" Obama responds "may I use a table or just grab my ankles?"

      -Blake

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  12. Let's not forget that the United States was founded by traitors (in Diplo-speak). Every one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was a subject of the King. They were Brits, and they betrayed their country.

    Their justification for turning traitor was that the British Government had become over-bearing & intrusive, a destroyer of liberties.

    The analogies between Snowden and the Founding Fathers (Founding Traitors, if you happen to have Brit sympathies) fairly jump off the page. Snowden's concerns, as I understand it from his statements (not from John McCain's blustering) were about the Soetero Administration compiling information on innocent US citizens. Those of us who are currently giving Mr. Snowden the benefit of the doubt are not necessarily idolizing him. But we do recognize someone who apparently tried to do the right thing (as he understood it), in a world in which we all have feet of clay.

    You, Diplomad, are apparently trying to do the right thing (as you understand it) by denouncing Mr. Snowden as a traitor. But you are (unintentionally?) thereby supporting Soetero's infringement of all US citizens' liberties. And if Mr. Snowden has feet of clay, Soetero has feet & legs of dung.

    If Mr. Snowden really had been a traitor, he would still be on the job with the NSA quietly downloading data and selling or giving it to whoever. Who knows how many genuine traitors are still on the NSA's taxpayer-provided payroll, doing just that? Do you trust Barry to root them out, Diplomad? Why aren't you getting mad about that?

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  13. I see no similarity between the Founding fathers and Snowden. If you do, then you must justify every act treason ever committed.

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    1. "If you do, then you must justify every act [of] treason ever committed."

      This makes utterly no sense.

      Delete
    2. What is your criteria if you claim the Founding Fathers were traitors and Snowden is just like them? Then who is or is not a traitor? Is treason impossible?

      Delete
  14. Snowden and Manning are not men of their word. A man is only as good as his word, is a theme found throughout history.

    I will call someone a weasel when I didn’t trust them to keep their word, or when I completely trusted them and wanted to enjoy the immediate, spirited and vigorous defense.

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  15. Make that 8 readers....

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  16. There are people who can't seem to stop making complete asses of themselves. Hollywood actors seem to think that the ability to parrot what someone else writes for them makes their musings the revealed wisdom of the ages. They and others of a similar ilk like to massage their egos by taking up for the 'unjustly' stigmatized killers, rapists, and other assorted dregs of society. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has hordes of unhinged admirers who think he should be released.

    Snowden is just a passing fad for these mental midgets. They will soon desert him for an even newer distraction.

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    1. I don't think Diplomad is going to forget about Snowden any time soon, he certainly gives no indication of that anyway.

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  17. Manning was active duty - in theater - forgive my "Forrest Gump Oversimplification" but that's about it.

    I'm "troubled" with all these stations being closed after what I'm hearing today (05AUG13) being uhm.. "shut down" over something I view as very unlikely.

    We didn't pick up SIGINT from some ignorant AQ guy, no indeedy no - we "apparently" intercepted Zarahiri himself ordering his Second in Yemen to do "bad" ---- the two I'd be given to understand had to've contracted with Verizon.

    But that's STUPID on it's face.

    (Our Pols I think, think we're all dumb - everybody - all of us, etc & etc).

    Post Snowden Revelations:

    "Somebody" purporting to be Zawahiri calls up some schmuck in Yemen - the US goes on HIGH ALERT!!!!

    So.... AQ doesn't have to do anything "really" to get the US (sorry, Arkansas expression) Twitchous -- just get on the Verizon Network.

    Snowden "may" have done us Americans a favor (though I personally tend to Dip's opinion) ... if "all it takes" to send the US into paroxysms - forget flight training and IED stuff - just call anyplace in the USA from without it.

    Now I'm probably a weird guy - but I don't trust anybody's Representative.

    That's the thing - over & over we hear, "Our Leaders in Washington DC" - but that is not what they are - they (supposedly) do what us constituents say ... the Fairy God"person" as everybody knows flies out of DC to replace our tooth with a nickel.

    We wonder of course, few pay attention to the votes or where the money came from so:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/money-nsa-vote/

    & so we're left wondering "who" supports the Constitution and "who'd" prefer the cash:

    Easy enough:

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll412.xml





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  18. Possibly I did not read in detail the "secrets" that Snowden divulged. Because what I know is that he uncovered the covert collection of American citizen's data by the NSA. Did he release some other info that might be harmful to our info gathering in the rest of the world? If so, what?
    As has now been released by Reuters, the DEA has been data mining this "ocean of info" and feeding it to local law enforcement and, covering their tracks with what they call "parallel investigation."

    You know Stalin's head of the secret police made a prophetic statement, "Bring me the man and I will show you the crime."

    I don't think the US is too far off from that at this point. Case in point, the FEC probe by unauthorized staffers that tried 3 times to nail AIM, a non profit, by accessing IRS data illegally through Lois Lerner.

    Ace of Spades made a claim that "Snowden, traitor or hero?" was baby talk for low intelligence Americans. I tend to agree. He is not a traitor or a hero. IMO, he did me a favor.

    Now we find that the SCOUS is going to actually take up the issue of whether smart phones deserve privacy under the 4th...

    Where is this going to end?

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    1. Babs, he could have done the "favor" w/o running off to the Russians and Chinese.

      Delete
  19. Diplo - Do you actually think that if Snowden "went through channels" that the American people would have learned the extent of the spying that is going on by our gov't against its own citizens? I don't.

    Possibly I missed something. Again, what did he divulge that helped other countries?

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    1. I think the point stands regardless of spying against our citizens. Assuming he brought to our enemies the level of secrets that are claimed, it doesn't really matter whether the NSA was spying on US citizens, does it?
      His/their *claim* is that he has distributed enough/important secrets that the USG should be very afraid of anything happening to him.

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  20. We're in the Internet Age nowadays and the SIGINT Age as we knew is passed, Diplomad (I'm pretty sure) knows his WWII History.

    Today, nowadays everybody has a general idea of what "Spoofing" is - I "consider" babs you've a point. Somebody when this stuff came up - on Dip's site - observed "... had Snowden tried 'accepted channels, he'd be in a small dark room somewheres' - given what I've seen from the pols "I'd" of tried to blow the whistle" with, I'm afraid I'd probably agree.

    Not that I like it one damned bit.

    But .. allow me to give an "Old World [WWII]' example of Spoofing and what it would appear might give (should our NSA's "Necessaries" be as our pols insist) & if so, why our adversaries could be "more" enabled than less so - post-Snowden.

    Midway.

    "We'd" broken the Jap's Navy codes - but "some of us" didn't believe it (those in command mostly ... & it's that breaking from lessons learned which gives me so much pause given that (1) a few days ago it was so dangerous we had to shutter our stations - two (it turns out) days later, Senators McCain & Graham are 'smack-dab' in the middlest Geographic point of what's so so Dangerestmost.

    Maybe Tom Cotton, at a stretch Cruz - but the two old farts McCain and Graham needing to be in the hottest of hotspots?
    _____________________________________

    Anyway, we'd broken the Jap's Naval codes - but - and a very important but - we (the US) needed what's known as "corroboration" - in the 1940s SIGINT world it could be done fairly easily - signal "We need a water plant." & the future Toyota and Lexus people duly signaled back to their home islands, "The guys on Midway are about to run outta fresh-water."

    Thus - Corroborated!
    ____________________________

    But this time...

    Our vested interested guys "assure all of us" they're NOT gonna stoop to interning what is obviously the enemy... Nope:

    This time we're gonna Intern everybody ... uhm, US citizens anyway ... We [the Pols] can't be bothered Interning non-US Citizens.

    Nothing wrong with that I'd guess, even Congress Critters need yardwork.

    Arkie

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  21. Thanks Dip.

    For the record, this is one of your six or seven long-time readers, from before.

    I also agree with you on Snowden and Manning. I swore the officers oath to serve and protect some several years ago, and I honor your commitment to yours.

    The truth will out on this administration, thanks to the courageous reporting of facts in the blogosphere, and knowledgeable sources like you, who make sense of the often byzantine nature of foreign policy facts, to give context for us folks out here in flyover country.

    Keep up the good work. You are a patriot, sir.

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  22. Hello Dip,

    Thanks for your service. I can see where you think Snowden is a traitor for going over to China and Russia. I guess Snowden thought that was the only way to survive. I don't agree, he will be found and either killed or brought to justice. But I feel that without Snowden would we be having this discussion on a national level. I think it has been known for a long time that the USG listens in on conversations and can follow email, texting and web browsing. So the real question remains: Do we as a free Republic allow this type of behavior to continue?

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    1. I do think Manning is naught but a traitor, Snowden is more a young fool. I say that because I've read, though can't find the references right now, that there have been at least 3 others that went through channels and even went to congressional staff with the same or similar allegations about the domestic activities of the NSA. Their efforts went nowhere, though they became unemployed and in at least one case unemployable. If Snowden knew of this and he likely did, what should he have done?

      Just asking.

      Delete
  23. This looks like the place to post this (I like to put comments in relevant topics rather than just dump them in the most recent entry).

    While it seems that Snowden has disappeared at least for the moment ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/09/edward-snowden-not-in-moscow ), his shadows live on.

    Of course, I am talking about this:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/18/glenn-greenwald-guardian-partner-detained-heathrow

    And might as well include this reaction from the main character:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-miranda-detained-uk-nsa

    Some quick math (from the UK government's claims reported in the second article) would indicate that fewer than two out of ten MILLION people who pass through Heathrow are detained under Schedule 7 for more than six hours. That would indicate that they see David Miranda as a huge threat (maybe he is, but not for anything to do with terrorism).

    This just seems like a gross abuse of power to me, and one that that has no net benefits for the governments - the PR losses (mostly, but not all from the usual collection of left-wing crazies) will surely outweigh whatever they learned from this encounter.

    I can understand denial of counsel access due to the short time intervals involved, but criminalizing silence really sets a bad precedent (that the UK and US will no doubt look to expand).

    I will also echo points made in the articles that this detention had absolutely nothing to do with suspicion that the detainee was involved in terrorism (another example of governments expanding their powers by utilizing laws in ways that were never intended when the laws were written).

    I could see things like this coming years ago, which is one of the reasons I left the United States.

    I know you don't like Snowden or the Guardian (and I disagree with the Guardian on virtually every other issue under the sun), but in this particular instance, I appreciate their shining a light on the virtually unchecked power that the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and its allies have accumulated, with little (effective) oversight. I do believe that this is a significant threat to liberty in the countries involved (and possibly their allies. Maybe I should have put this comment in your most recent post (Liberty vs. Democracy?), after all.

    I do hope we hear more of your thoughts on the subject going forward.

    Tom in the far abroad.

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