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Sad commentary on the commitment to Freedom among the American people.
Posted: 04 July 2013 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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GdB - 04 July 2013 03:58 AM

I am flabbergasted by VYAZMA’s viewpoint.

No state has the right to spy on his citizens, or of other country’s citizens in absolute secrecy.

A ‘secret agency’ might be necessary to find out where possible threats for the safety of people can arise. But the people have to know in the first place that such an agency exists, and what its tasks and methods are. And in the second place, how these tasks and methods are done must be under democratic control. At least a parliamentarian committee must have insight in what the agency really is doing, and check that it is inside the borders drawn by law.

It is the obligation of every person who finds out that such an agency operates outside the law to make this publicly. AFAIK the NSA crossed several borders, and the Americans officially did not know it existed for several years (’No Such Agency’). And now it seems nobody was informed about the methods and extent of the NSA’s activities. So Snowden did the right thing, and it is a shame for the western world that the only place where he is not arrested is in countries that the traditional competitors for world domination and its allies.

Switzerland once had its own affair, the outcry was very loud!

PS During I was posting this, the connection became very bad. Is the NSA scanning my post?  tongue rolleye

Of course, that’s always possible!

You’re right, the worst thing about this whole fiasco is the secrecy.  If what they were doing was as they said said after fact, why couldn’t the American public be told about it?  Everyone else in the workd evidently knows what the US government is up to, why not the Americans whose phone activity was being collected? Why was tge government afraid of Americans knowing about this claimed benign surveillance? I now trust the US government less than ever.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Yet we pride ourselves as the most open society in the World when in fact the leakers show us otherwise. Personally I think that Snowden shouldn’t hide from prosecution but return to the States and accept whatever fate awaits him whether it be prison, fine or whatever. He has been made so high profile that it would be impossible for hide him away without a Congressional inquiry. He should take a page from Thoreau, Dr. king or Ghandi. Civil Disobedience is sometimes necessary but you have to be willing to accept the consequences of your own actions when you do. Outing those secrets for the good of the public was noble, now face the punishment that martyrs face and don’t hide in fear. It just tarnishes the meaning (if altruism is his real aim) of the act.


“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 July 2013 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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VYAZMA - 03 July 2013 02:18 PM

Here’s a relevant article on the subject from the NYT.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/you-say-you-want-a-revolution/?hp

It’s an interesting article that makes a good point but its flawed in its assertion that the Snowden situation is an example of the case he is trying to make. Snowden was not trying to create a revolution or overthrow the government or even create an abstinent obstruction to the normal functioning of our government. He identified a governmental process that had gone astray and brought it to the attention of the American people so that the democratic process could function the way its supposed to.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 July 2013 05:12 AM

Yet we pride ourselves as the most open society in the World when in fact the leakers show us otherwise. Personally I think that Snowden shouldn’t hide from prosecution but return to the States and accept whatever fate awaits him whether it be prison, fine or whatever. He has been made so high profile that it would be impossible for hide him away without a Congressional inquiry. He should take a page from Thoreau, Dr. king or Ghandi. Civil Disobedience is sometimes necessary but you have to be willing to accept the consequences of your own actions when you do. Outing those secrets for the good of the public was noble, now face the punishment that martyrs face and don’t hide in fear. It just tarnishes the meaning (if altruism is his real aim) of the act.


“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau


Cap’t Jack

For me, the choice to run is Snowden’s decision and nobody else’s. I, along with many others, would rather focus on the information that was leaked and its implications, as well as the manner in which the US tries to deal with the situation, including Snowden. Those are the primary issues.

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- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 04 July 2013 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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GdB - 04 July 2013 03:58 AM

I am flabbergasted by VYAZMA’s viewpoint.

Yes, yes….

No state has the right to spy on his citizens, or of other country’s citizens in absolute secrecy.

This here….what? Really?  Did you just type this right out? “I’m typing away,  what a lovely day!”
Zero substance…zero fact.

A ‘secret agency’ might be necessary to find out where possible threats for the safety of people can arise. But the people have to know in the first place that such an agency exists, and what its tasks and methods are. And in the second place, how these tasks and methods are done must be under democratic control. At least a parliamentarian committee must have insight in what the agency really is doing, and check that it is inside the borders drawn by law.

Great points there GdB….yeah, all Americans know the NSA exists.  The subject of them spying on us has come up before.  Most of us and certainly Congress
knows what their tasks are. Everything they were doing was within the borders of the law as far as everyone can tell so far.

It is the obligation of every person who finds out that such an agency operates outside the law to make this publicly. AFAIK the NSA crossed several borders, and the Americans officially did not know it existed for several years (’No Such Agency’). And now it seems nobody was informed about the methods and extent of the NSA’s activities. So Snowden did the right thing, and it is a shame for the western world that the only place where he is not arrested is in countries that the traditional competitors for world domination and its allies.

What have you dug up so far about them operating outside the law?  The last part of this paragraph?  World Domination? 

Snowden took it upon himself to “out” the service he worked for on his own subjective(probably CT, or fringy)ideas. He’s the only one in 10 years or so.
But GdB you aren’t an American so I would expect these comments from you more.
Anyways, still waiting to see what laws were broken. Other than Snowden’s espionage.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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macgyver - 04 July 2013 05:43 AM
VYAZMA - 03 July 2013 02:18 PM

Here’s a relevant article on the subject from the NYT.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/you-say-you-want-a-revolution/?hp

It’s an interesting article that makes a good point but its flawed in its assertion that the Snowden situation is an example of the case he is trying to make. Snowden was not trying to create a revolution or overthrow the government or even create an abstinent obstruction to the normal functioning of our government. He identified a governmental process that had gone astray and brought it to the attention of the American people so that the democratic process could function the way its supposed to.

Snowden did not identify anything that had gone astray.  That’s just you falling along with the far right and far left “armchair rebellion”.
That’s what the article talked about!
The fact that Snowden broke the law and you are rooting for him is just what the article talked about.
As the public is finding out…no laws are being broken by the NSA and they are not spying on you or me.
What are we left with?  One man who illegally took it upon himself to flee the country with sensitive documents that have now been revealed to China and Russia and who knows who else.
On the surface, and actually in reality, the service that Snowden decided was unjust was for your protection and security.
So one man, decided the fate of everyone’s safety ostensible because he felt that it was wrong that he had the ability, the ability(not the authority) to tap the president’s phone.
There is probably a majority of Americans who feel the NSA for example is doing the right thing.  What about their say in the matter?
They were betrayed! By loonies like you!  Armchair “rebels without a cause”!
Armchair rebels without a cause!  I like that….That friggin’ fits beautifully!

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Posted: 04 July 2013 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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For me, the choice to run is Snowden’s decision and nobody else’s. I, along with many others, would rather focus on the information that was leaked and its implications, as well as the manner in which the US tries to deal with the situation, including Snowden. Those are the primary issues.

Of course it is and nowhere did I imply that it wasn’t. My point is that surrendering himself to authorities would lend credence to his act if he had the best interests of the people in mind. Posting the secret memos then running leads public opinion to believe that his actions had an ulterior motive, especially after seeking asylum in two countries with whom we have issues. In effect he has branded himself a traitor, leading the public to see his actions as treasonous and the material he released as threatening the people instead of revealing what certain governmental departments are allegedly covering up.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 July 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 July 2013 11:49 AM

For me, the choice to run is Snowden’s decision and nobody else’s. I, along with many others, would rather focus on the information that was leaked and its implications, as well as the manner in which the US tries to deal with the situation, including Snowden. Those are the primary issues.

Of course it is and nowhere did I imply that it wasn’t. My point is that surrendering himself to authorities would lend credence to his act if he had the best interests of the people in mind. Posting the secret memos then running leads public opinion to believe that his actions had an ulterior motive, especially after seeking asylum in two countries with whom we have issues. In effect he has branded himself a traitor, leading the public to see his actions as treasonous and the material he released as threatening the people instead of revealing what certain governmental departments are allegedly covering up.


Cap’t Jack

That’s pretty well balanced Village.  I go one step farther and add…“So what did he reveal?”  Nothing it seems.
Also that he is in fact a traitor by definition. 
It appears he has only “outed” what the public has already known, suspected, and debated and most importantly
addressed through Congress and the courts before.
What we have is a new class of citizens who are the victims of the fallout from 9-11 essentially.  The “truthers”, the CTers, the People who are afraid of Big Brother and all of the security that has followed 9-11. Security which has been reformed, debated, and scrutinized repeatedly by lawmakers and executives and the public.
Snowden is one of these misguided folks who knew he would have an audience in these people. That’s it!
Our country has been through these times before all the way back to the Sedition Act, The repressing of Mail by the Southern Dems in Antebellum US, COINTELPRO,
McCarthyism..it’s nothing new.
“Whoaaa”, you say…“you’re bolstering our points!”
No, no I’m not.  I’m bolstering my points.
The fact that the Wash Post and Guardian can print these items is just one example of my point.
The NSA activities were not in essence secret to the American People or lawmakers. Every single person here knows they were spying!!! Externally as well as in internally.
What we have here is overblown hysteria and cheering for an American Traitor.  A misguided man who got caught up in the memes.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/4/video-appears-show-activist-loading-shotgun-freedo/
Is this the kind of Commitment to Freedom you want to protect for people?
You better believe agencies are monitoring this stuff. Thank goodness they are.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 11:20 AM

Snowden did not identify anything that had gone astray.  That’s just you falling along with the far right and far left “armchair rebellion”.
That’s what the article talked about!
The fact that Snowden broke the law and you are rooting for him is just what the article talked about.
As the public is finding out…no laws are being broken by the NSA and they are not spying on you or me.
What are we left with?  One man who illegally took it upon himself to flee the country with sensitive documents that have now been revealed to China and Russia and who knows who else.
On the surface, and actually in reality, the service that Snowden decided was unjust was for your protection and security.
So one man, decided the fate of everyone’s safety ostensible because he felt that it was wrong that he had the ability, the ability(not the authority) to tap the president’s phone.
There is probably a majority of Americans who feel the NSA for example is doing the right thing.  What about their say in the matter?
They were betrayed! By loonies like you!  Armchair “rebels without a cause”!
Armchair rebels without a cause!  I like that….That friggin’ fits beautifully!

I am beginning to think you don’t even understand the details of what is going on here Vyazma. The NSA was collecting and storing data on absolutely everyone. You, me, and everyone in between. The metadata they were collecting is powerful stuff. It allows them to determine lots of stuff they have no business sticking their nose into. They can mine that data to determine who you associate with and when. They can determine personal, private information that they have no right to examine since 99.9999% of the people they are collecting the data on have done nothing wrong.

You keep claiming that no law was broken as though that is synonymous with “they didn’t do anything wrong”. FIrst of all its not clear that no law was broken. Its debatable whether this was a violation of the 4th amendment. While its true that once they found a suspicious pattern they had to apply to FISA to get a warrant to further mine the data this was only after they had already collected the data on mostly innocent people who were suspected of nothing. Additionally FISA has NEVER refused a warrant. That doesn’t sound like much of a safety net and seems to make a joke of the 4th amendment.

You are upset that Snowden “took it upon himself” to release this information to the public yet you don’t suggest another reasonable course. He saw the government doing something that he believed to be a violation of the constitution. He was ordered to do this stuff by his supervisors, who were presumably contracted to do this by member of our government. Exactly who was he supposed to bring his concerns to? The people who were ordering him to do this? You claim that he did nothing but tell us something we already knew about. You’re kidding right? If we all knew this already then why is there such an uproar? If we all knew this already why is our government so upset that he told us about it?  What you mean is that we should have known and again I disagree with you. There is a big difference between assuming that our government is following leads and tracking suspects the one hand and “knowing” that they are literally spying on every single one of us.

If you are arguing that this is the only practical way to track down terrorists and therefor we should have expected it again I disagree. Most people are not technologically savvy enough to know what is required. Additionally, just because you and people who think like you have decided that this degree of security/privacy trade off is necessary does not mean that its either constitutionally valid or correct. This was not a debate that was held in the public forum as it is now being done. Its being discussed because Snowden had the courage to risk a great deal so we could have this discussion.

Your argument that most Americans agree with the efforts of the NSA is also without merit. If this is activity is unconstitutional the American people can not approve it with an informal public poll. We can’t just make slavery legal again by asking the media to take a few polls. There is a mechanism in place to settle this, but that mechanism doesn’t work if we don’t know what’s going on.

One last thing Vyazma. If you want anyone here to take any of your points seriously you have to stop with the ad-hominem attacks. Your arguments largely boil down to accusations that everyone who disagrees with you is a pawn or puppet of some naive political philosophy.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 12:43 PM

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/4/video-appears-show-activist-loading-shotgun-freedo/
Is this the kind of Commitment to Freedom you want to protect for people?
You better believe agencies are monitoring this stuff. Thank goodness they are.

This just goes to show that you don;t understand the problem. This is something an individual put out there on a public space for others to see. That’s a very different thing than the NSA monitoring my private phone traffic, emails, and texts for suspicious patterns.

And just to make one thing clear. If there is an occasion where the government misses an opportunity to catch a terrorist before they commit an act because we restricted their ability to stick their noses into every place they want that would be OK with me. It would be sad but its the price we pay to live in a free society. It would not be a vindication of your point of view. The alternative is to live in a police state. If you are so infatuated with complete security and you believe that its important to give the security forces every tool necessary to ensure your safety why don;t you consider moving to China. They have a very secure country. Just be careful what you say, write or text.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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You know what MacGyver, you’re absolutely right.  I’ll leave the last word to you.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 July 2013 11:49 AM

For me, the choice to run is Snowden’s decision and nobody else’s. I, along with many others, would rather focus on the information that was leaked and its implications, as well as the manner in which the US tries to deal with the situation, including Snowden. Those are the primary issues.

Of course it is and nowhere did I imply that it wasn’t. My point is that surrendering himself to authorities would lend credence to his act if he had the best interests of the people in mind. Posting the secret memos then running leads public opinion to believe that his actions had an ulterior motive, especially after seeking asylum in two countries with whom we have issues. In effect he has branded himself a traitor, leading the public to see his actions as treasonous and the material he released as threatening the people instead of revealing what certain governmental departments are allegedly covering up.


Cap’t Jack

Snowden saw what happened to Manning and the rest….

I can’t blame him for running.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Snowden saw what happened to Manning and the rest….

I can’t blame him for running.

I do. He must have known the price he would pay to release this information. How could he not after Manning and Assange were hounded? This is apparently sensitive material and if the NSA needs to be brought under control then public opinion will eventually pressure Congress to comply, and being a martyr for a cause goes farther than a hit and run strategy. It just makes him look traitorous (a la Benedict Arnold) turning public opinion away from the privacy issues and Constitutional violations and focusing on him. I don’t think he realized the consequences of his actions nor the fallout that resulted via the media. They can make you a hero or a villain and destroy your life and reputation. Now he’s relegated to a “Where’s Waldo” character, day fill in the blank and will be the top news story until caught or another natural disaster blows him off the front page. My point is that he missed an opportunity to show his true motive for exposing the NSA.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 04 July 2013 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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What do Americans say about citizens of Nazi Germany not revealing what their governmeny was doing? What do they say about people in other countries blindly following the rules put in place by a corrupt or incompetent government?  Why is it different when the corruption and incompetence is American?  Should we all just go along with it and never speak up or act?

The essence of democracy is in the confidence of the people.  When that is lost government collapses. Blindly following the leaders even when they are obviously wrong and criticizing those who speak up about abuses is a certain road to failure.  Unfortunately, too many Americans have lost their sense of responsibility to know what their government is up to and to speak up when it’s in danger of becoming derailed.

Lois

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