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(Politico)   "Treason is a tough sell in Snowden case" How about sedition? Minor sedition? Jaywalking?   (politico.com) divider line 206
    More: Interesting, Jonathan Turley, Booz Allen Hamilton, electronic surveillance, treason, Benedict Arnold, Fort Meade, court martial  
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5446 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jun 2013 at 9:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-13 12:33:18 PM

firefly212: I think given our current evidence, the 4th Amendment supercedes the PATRIOT Act, making all these warrant-less searches unconstitutional violations of civil rights. But like I said, I don't know how that case will turn out, it's gonna make its way through the courts, and though I'm sure 3 or 4 SCOTUS justices will find it unconstitutional, I don't know how the whole ruling itself will go. That said, I'd concede (to Mr. Snowden) that if 3 or 4 of our best and brightest judicial minds don't believe it to be constitutional, that it isn't unreasonable for a Technical Analyst to reach that same conclusion.


All of which is entirely irrelevant to the culpability that Snowden bears. It's not his job to take vigilante action in anticipation of what he believes the Supreme Court might decide. Even if we grant your assertion that the legality is "muddled at best", it's not this guy's job to unilaterally make that decision. It's like with those local sheriffs who claim they won't enforce gun laws duly passed by legislatures because "Constitution" - even though it's true that the amendments to the Constitution are technically superior to these laws, it's not their place to make this decision, and their sincere beliefs to the contrary won't shield them from the consequences for their actions.

He broke the law, and what you're talking about is absolutely not a defense against breaking the law - like I said, it at most can be a factor in mitigating his final punishment (i.e., less severe than someone who did the same thing in exchange for money).
 
2013-06-13 12:36:25 PM

cptrios: Well, I see this "charging him with treason would be like calling the American people the enemy" talking point is out in full force. As though this  reallyneeds addressing: the "enemy" in this case is the people out there planning to do something bad to the US who now have detailed information on one of the programs we use to try to stop them. How hard is that to understand?

I'm as against this NSA stuff as the next guy, but Snowden is still a dick/AW (blabbing about our hacking China sure as hell wasn't done to defend and inform the American people) and, while he doesn't deserve to be charged with treason,  per se (it's not like he secretly passed this info directly on to a foreign government), deserves some sort of punishment for what he did. If he really believed that his cause was noble and just, he'd have found a better way to go about it.


How about charge him with distributing classified information to unauthorized personnel?  Just a thought.
 
2013-06-13 12:38:17 PM

NostroZ: Show them you're not afraid, but are a CONCERNED citizen.
Concerned for your 4th Amendment rights.
Concerned that this phony big brother system is not keeping us any safer.


Can I do something more intelligent than be a CONCERNED citizen?
Maybe a facebook page I can like or prayer service to attend?
 
2013-06-13 12:41:31 PM

Slackness: http://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_prism_global/?taTMreb

If you want to vote against, share your opinion. If not, coontinue ranting.


Signed the petition.
Now call your congressmen / state representatives.

They have very nice staffers that will take down your message and only ask for your zip code.

USE YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
This is a Democracy still.
You have a right and a moral duty to contact your government (congressman / state rep).
 
2013-06-13 12:45:21 PM

TheGogmagog: NostroZ: Show them you're not afraid, but are a CONCERNED citizen.
Concerned for your 4th Amendment rights.
Concerned that this phony big brother system is not keeping us any safer.

Can I do something more intelligent than be a CONCERNED citizen?
Maybe a facebook page I can like or prayer service to attend?


You can be whatever you chose to be... but if you ARE concerned for your basic FREEDOM of PRIVACY, then you should SPEAK UP.

The way this is done in a Representative-Democracy as far as I know is by contacting your State Representative to the House and two Congressmen to the US Senate.  They are the people you vote for and are concerned about your VOTE in the future.  They represent you in government.

That's how our system is supposed to function.  Are you afraid to PARTICIPATE in your government, but not in Fark?
 
2013-06-13 12:46:19 PM

Biological Ali: firefly212: Biological Ali: firefly212: I can't say how the whole ruling would go, but his belief in the illegality of the program should be relevant, provided it is reasonable

Sure, it should be relevant to the extent that he gets maybe 25 instead of 30 years (just as an example) if they really believed he had good intentions. But "I thought I was doing the right thing" has, in and of itself, never been an excuse for breaking the law.

I don't give a shiat what he thought was "right"... I care more about the fact that he reasonably believed the government agency he was working for was actively soliciting for him and others to break the law.

I think you're confusing "reasonable" with "sincere". He may well have sincerely believed it with all his heart, but (on the current evidence, anyway), the belief is still about as reasonable as as the birther Marine's.


You seem to be misinformed, Biological Ali, on the potential illegality of the government's acts and on what would constitute a reasonable interpretation of those acts.  As was pointed out earlier in this thread, if the government's domestic spying programs were fully exposed and tested through the US court system, it's HIGHLY unlikely that the government was enjoy a string of unanimous victories.  Even at the supreme court level, any decision would likely be a highly contentious split decision.  In the end, regardless of what the eventual outcome would be, the simple fact that numerous federal jurists would have considered the government actions to be unconstitutional gives pretty strong evidence that a person can hold a reasonable belief that something illegal was happening.  As for your marine birther analogy, it's a completely different situation, because it's HIGHLY likely that if birther claims were ever pushed through the US court system, the birther's would likely face unanimous defeat at every significant level.

I think your problem, Biological Ali, is that you've confused your own sincere beliefs for actual reasoned analysis.
 
2013-06-13 12:46:52 PM

sendtodave: I pay the post office to send my letters. They use my personal info to send me junk mail.

I guess they should be able to read my mail.


The junk mail is sent to everyone.  Street addresses are public records.  As for personalized junk mail; you do realize that making up lists of who lives where and what their likely interests are is a massive business, right?

There's also a lot of established law over when the government can look at your physical mail and many court rulings on it.
 
2013-06-13 12:51:54 PM

dittybopper: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Not enough people are tried for being aliens xenomorphs in the Alien Xenomorph and Sedition Acts.

FTFY.  Can't call 'em "Aliens" anymore.  It's a PC thing.


Extraterrestrial Americans?
 
2013-06-13 12:54:52 PM

positronica: You seem to be misinformed, Biological Ali, on the potential illegality of the government's acts and on what would constitute a reasonable interpretation of those acts...

I think your problem, Biological Ali, is that you've confused your own sincere beliefs for actual reasoned analysis.


You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".
 
2013-06-13 12:55:08 PM

sendtodave: mat catastrophe: PRISM is not terribly dishonest,

Oh, well, if it isn't terribly dishonest, just fairly dishonest, that doesn't count.

Did most of the public know about this program before this guy made a fuss?

No?

He blew a whistle that alerted them to it.  As you say, words have meaning, and that's exactly what whistle-blowing means.

And now, hopefully, the public will NOT support this program.


No, most of us who actually pay attention to this sort of thing - unlike most other people who have been more than happy to publicize every little detail of their lives on Facebook for years anyway (and then get *GASP* shocked when they learn the government's snooping) - have known about this for a long time. It generally hasn't been a secret. What's been secret, perhaps, is the scope and involvement of corporations.

Edward Snowden leaked classified documents. Period. There is no debate about this. You can argue all you want about the relative merits of the program, or how Snowden should be viewed (hero or villain), but you aren't getting around this.

And no, the general public is pretty much OK with PRISM and moreso with Verizon handing over call metadata. Sorry, but the "cyber-libertarians" lost when they ceded control to the capitalists and "cyber-utopians". All your data are belong to US(NSA).
 
2013-06-13 12:56:11 PM
www.quotesworthrepeating.com
Suspicion of mischief
 
2013-06-13 01:08:09 PM

mat catastrophe: And no, the general public is pretty much OK with PRISM and moreso with Verizon handing over call metadata. Sorry, but the "cyber-libertarians" lost when they ceded control to the capitalists and "cyber-utopians". All your data are belong to US(NSA).


I did not.
Did you get a say in this?

I don't have Facebook BECAUSE I don't like to waste my time worrying about how I'm viewed by snoopy strangers.

Living in a Democracy means PARTICIPATING in it.
Have your say.  Tell your Representatives in GOVERNMENT what you think so they can hear from people who are not just lobbyists.

I know complaining is easier, but in life, you have to do some work to make an impact.
 
2013-06-13 01:14:38 PM

Alathea: velvet_fog: badhatharry: He was defending the Constitution and American people. He needs to come back explain it to a jury of his peers.

No he wasn't. He did the exact opposite. NSA actions have been backed by Congress, the executive, and the courts. He subverted democracy.

I didnt vote for it-and I suspect that many millions of others did not, as well.


You didn't vote for interracial marriage, the civil rights act, nor to withdraw troops from Iraq. What kind of monster are you?
 
2013-06-13 01:21:03 PM
cptrios: ...but Snowden is still a dick/AW (blabbing about our hacking China sure as hell wasn't done to defend and inform the American people)...

Yes it was.  For more than one reason, even...

Example one: Numerous american companies and individuals have been petitioning the government, through it's power of foreign diplomacy, to engage the Chinese government on the issue of China allegedly hacking american companies' computers.  The administration has then publicly undertaken this endeavor, thus earning the support of the original petitioners.  At the same time, though, the government has been undertaking secret actions that directly undermine the efforts it was publicly claiming to make.  In such a situation, the public as an interest in knowing that they're essentially being lied to.

Example two: The government has publicly declared that cyber attacks by a foreign power will be considered hostile acts that can justifiably be met by a military response.  The government then secretly engages in those very same acts against an undeclared enemy and a major economic trading partner.  In such a situation, the public has an interest in knowing that the government is taking preemptive actions that it has already declared are the equivalent of military action, especially if those actions are against a non-enemy.
 
2013-06-13 01:32:21 PM

Biological Ali: firefly212: I think given our current evidence, the 4th Amendment supercedes the PATRIOT Act, making all these warrant-less searches unconstitutional violations of civil rights. But like I said, I don't know how that case will turn out, it's gonna make its way through the courts, and though I'm sure 3 or 4 SCOTUS justices will find it unconstitutional, I don't know how the whole ruling itself will go. That said, I'd concede (to Mr. Snowden) that if 3 or 4 of our best and brightest judicial minds don't believe it to be constitutional, that it isn't unreasonable for a Technical Analyst to reach that same conclusion.

All of which is entirely irrelevant to the culpability that Snowden bears. It's not his job to take vigilante action in anticipation of what he believes the Supreme Court might decide. Even if we grant your assertion that the legality is "muddled at best", it's not this guy's job to unilaterally make that decision. It's like with those local sheriffs who claim they won't enforce gun laws duly passed by legislatures because "Constitution" - even though it's true that the amendments to the Constitution are technically superior to these laws, it's not their place to make this decision, and their sincere beliefs to the contrary won't shield them from the consequences for their actions.

He broke the law, and what you're talking about is absolutely not a defense against breaking the law - like I said, it at most can be a factor in mitigating his final punishment (i.e., less severe than someone who did the same thing in exchange for money).


It isn't irrelevant, if the government is soliciting for people to commit illegal acts, then it's damned relevant. If the choice for him is between helping them break the law, and disclosing that they're soliciting for people to break the law, I'm a-ok with the disclosure. Classification is meant to provide national security for sensitive matters, not to hide illegal acts. I'm not going to support the government knowingly mis-classifying activities simply to hide that it is breaking the law... that'd just be silly.
 
2013-06-13 01:34:04 PM

positronica: cptrios: ...but Snowden is still a dick/AW (blabbing about our hacking China sure as hell wasn't done to defend and inform the American people)...

Yes it was.  For more than one reason, even...

Example one: Numerous american companies and individuals have been petitioning the government, through it's power of foreign diplomacy, to engage the Chinese government on the issue of China allegedly hacking american companies' computers.  The administration has then publicly undertaken this endeavor, thus earning the support of the original petitioners.  At the same time, though, the government has been undertaking secret actions that directly undermine the efforts it was publicly claiming to make.  In such a situation, the public as an interest in knowing that they're essentially being lied to.

Example two: The government has publicly declared that cyber attacks by a foreign power will be considered hostile acts that can justifiably be met by a military response.  The government then secretly engages in those very same acts against an undeclared enemy and a major economic trading partner.  In such a situation, the public has an interest in knowing that the government is taking preemptive actions that it has already declared are the equivalent of military action, especially if those actions are against a non-enemy.


You're examples would be better suited had the American public not already known that the US had cyber offensive capabilities. That is well documented and talked about in numerous articles, conferences and public hearings. What Snowden allegedly leaked to the Chinese were means and methods the US uses in their attacks; things not talked about in public because they put the US at a strategic disadvantage. Giving that information to a competing power arguably puts American interests in danger and makes the military and intelligence community less effective at  protecting US computer systems.
 
2013-06-13 01:37:00 PM
Minor sedition is what I used to do in High School.
 
2013-06-13 01:38:06 PM

firefly212: It isn't irrelevant, if the government is soliciting for people to commit illegal acts, then it's damned relevant.


There's no way for him to know that "illegal acts" were being carried out, since it's not his job to personally wade in and unilaterally render his judgment on something that is at best settled law and at worst a "controversial" issue that will be settled by the courts over the long term.

For that matter, I don't even know if he's making that claim himself. But anyway, you don't even have to take my word for it. Look at just about any informed commentary on the guy's legal prospects - TFA is a good place to start, but I'm sure there are more detailed analyses on law journals etc. Go through them, and note the complete absence of "Well maybe he really thought the Fourth Amendment was being violated!" At least to the extent of determining his culpability.
 
2013-06-13 01:41:09 PM
mat catastrophe:   And no, the general public is pretty much OK with PRISM and moreso with Verizon handing over call metadata. Sorry, but the "cyber-libertarians" lost when they ceded control to the capitalists and "cyber-utopians". All your data are belong to US(NSA).

If you run a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of the government using telephone metadata to catch terrorists?", then yeah, the public is probably going say "Ok".  On the other hand, if you ran a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of letting the government set up a perpetual database that would allow someone without a warrant to identify what medical conditions you might have, the health of your marriage, your sexual orientation, your religious beliefs, your political leanings, and your financial stability, and that furthermore there would be no public oversight of access of use of information in this database?", then I'm guessing the public would respond with a resounding "No".
 
2013-06-13 01:49:52 PM

Carth: positronica: cptrios: ...but Snowden is still a dick/AW (blabbing about our hacking China sure as hell wasn't done to defend and inform the American people)...

Yes it was.  For more than one reason, even...

Example one: Numerous american companies and individuals have been petitioning the government, through it's power of foreign diplomacy, to engage the Chinese government on the issue of China allegedly hacking american companies' computers.  The administration has then publicly undertaken this endeavor, thus earning the support of the original petitioners.  At the same time, though, the government has been undertaking secret actions that directly undermine the efforts it was publicly claiming to make.  In such a situation, the public as an interest in knowing that they're essentially being lied to.

Example two: The government has publicly declared that cyber attacks by a foreign power will be considered hostile acts that can justifiably be met by a military response.  The government then secretly engages in those very same acts against an undeclared enemy and a major economic trading partner.  In such a situation, the public has an interest in knowing that the government is taking preemptive actions that it has already declared are the equivalent of military action, especially if those actions are against a non-enemy.

You're examples would be better suited had the American public not already known that the US had cyber offensive capabilities. That is well documented and talked about in numerous articles, conferences and public hearings. What Snowden allegedly leaked to the Chinese were means and methods the US uses in their attacks; things not talked about in public because they put the US at a strategic disadvantage. Giving that information to a competing power arguably puts American interests in danger and makes the military and intelligence community less effective at  protecting US computer systems.


Oh good grief-the methods aren't secret-they are no different than what can be found an any number of internet sites devoted to security or hacking
-Almost done with a MS in InfoSec
-Getting a kick out of.........
 
2013-06-13 01:59:20 PM

Biological Ali: firefly212: It isn't irrelevant, if the government is soliciting for people to commit illegal acts, then it's damned relevant.

There's no way for him to know that "illegal acts" were being carried out, since it's not his job to personally wade in and unilaterally render his judgment on something that is at best settled law and at worst a "controversial" issue that will be settled by the courts over the long term.

For that matter, I don't even know if he's making that claim himself. But anyway, you don't even have to take my word for it. Look at just about any informed commentary on the guy's legal prospects - TFA is a good place to start, but I'm sure there are more detailed analyses on law journals etc. Go through them, and note the complete absence of "Well maybe he really thought the Fourth Amendment was being violated!" At least to the extent of determining his culpability.


It is very much your job, and every Americans job to make a judgement on the legality of what you're doing... in a million other threads, we can point and say "ignorance of the law isn't an excuse"... you can't go around committing crime for the government, then just turn around and say "I didn't know" or "but they told me to." Frankly, our government put a lot of people in very bad positions by operating right on that edge of legal/illegal... the fact that they're surprised that it bit them in the ass speaks worlds to their own lack of foresight and inability to comprehend basic behavioral patterns.
 
2013-06-13 02:06:20 PM
Not surprised that so many people don't know the definition of "treason." Am amazed, however, at how many Farkers don't understand the meaning of "wiretapping."

What the NSA is doing is not wiretapping. Nobody is listening to your calls, and they are not being recorded.

Of course, this doesn't mean it's all right. While I have no objection to phone records being used by law enforcement on a case-by-case basis (how many crimes have we seen solved by [admittedly] fictional TV detectives because of information gleaned by a suspect's phone bill?), the secrecy of the FISA court and the ease of access to the data pretty much guarantees that the system will be abused. If I were a reporter, for instance, I would be a fool to contact confidential sources with my cell phone. I would seek out the few remaining pay phones in whatever city I was working, and use them sparingly. In fact, as the revelations about the subpoenas of AP's phone records reminded us, I'm surprised that that isn't common practice already.

And what about that huge data farm the NSA is building out in the desert? That can't come cheap. There are many things I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on.
 
2013-06-13 02:08:56 PM

firefly212: It is very much your job, and every Americans job to make a judgement on the legality of what you're doing... in a million other threads, we can point and say "ignorance of the law isn't an excuse"... you can't go around committing crime for the government, then just turn around and say "I didn't know" or "but they told me to." Frankly, our government put a lot of people in very bad positions by operating right on that edge of legal/illegal... the fact that they're surprised that it bit them in the ass speaks worlds to their own lack of foresight and inability to comprehend basic behavioral patterns.


"Just following orders" isn't the same of "anyone can do whatever the fark they want."
 
2013-06-13 02:13:19 PM

Carth: positronica: cptrios: ...but Snowden is still a dick/AW (blabbing about our hacking China sure as hell wasn't done to defend and inform the American people)...

Yes it was.  For more than one reason, even...

Example one: Numerous american companies and individuals have been petitioning the government, through it's power of foreign diplomacy, to engage the Chinese government on the issue of China allegedly hacking american companies' computers.  The administration has then publicly undertaken this endeavor, thus earning the support of the original petitioners.  At the same time, though, the government has been undertaking secret actions that directly undermine the efforts it was publicly claiming to make.  In such a situation, the public as an interest in knowing that they're essentially being lied to.

Example two: The government has publicly declared that cyber attacks by a foreign power will be considered hostile acts that can justifiably be met by a military response.  The government then secretly engages in those very same acts against an undeclared enemy and a major economic trading partner.  In such a situation, the public has an interest in knowing that the government is taking preemptive actions that it has already declared are the equivalent of military action, especially if those actions are against a non-enemy.

You're examples would be better suited had the American public not already known that the US had cyber offensive capabilities. That is well documented and talked about in numerous articles, conferences and public hearings.


You've missed the point.  There's a difference between the public knowing that the government has an offensive capability, and the public knowing that the government is making use of that offensive capability.   If the government wants to take hostile actions of such nature against China, or anyone for that matter, then it needs to publicly declare that it considers China to be enough of any enemy to warrant such actions.  The government has to be willing to suffer the public's judgement, through the democratic process, concerning their actions.  Even if the government thinks it has to make such decisions in secret for national security reasons, it still HAS to present the public with a reasonably un-vague and non-misleading description of what it's doing, otherwise the government is actively subverting the democratic process, which is far more damaging to the public interest than the success of some cyber warfare OPs in China.
 
2013-06-13 02:24:28 PM

positronica: mat catastrophe:   And no, the general public is pretty much OK with PRISM and moreso with Verizon handing over call metadata. Sorry, but the "cyber-libertarians" lost when they ceded control to the capitalists and "cyber-utopians". All your data are belong to US(NSA).

If you run a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of the government using telephone metadata to catch terrorists?", then yeah, the public is probably going say "Ok".  On the other hand, if you ran a poll that asks, "Are you in favor of letting the government set up a perpetual database that would allow someone without a warrant to identify what medical conditions you might have, the health of your marriage, your sexual orientation, your religious beliefs, your political leanings, and your financial stability, and that furthermore there would be no public oversight of access of use of information in this database?", then I'm guessing the public would respond with a resounding "No".


If we're running the country on polling data, you should be advised there's a pretty slim support for basic civil rights for anyone who isn't similar to the cultural hegemony.

Again, folks. You can be for or against this ridiculous program all you want to, but you can't just magically pick and choose how or why you're against it.

For instance, you seem to think we should collectively do whatever the polls tells us to do. Fine. Two hundred years ago, the polls would have said slavery was great! One hundred years ago, they were telling us women shouldn't vote and children should work in coal mines.

Using polls for how we determine what is right and wrong in a society is dangerous. Sorry.
 
2013-06-13 02:53:08 PM

Biological Ali: This text is now purple: Under the law, belief need only be "reasonable", not absolute, or even correct. His primary duty is to uphold the constitution. All other considerations are secondary, and derive from that.

That's not even remotely true. Do you remember what happened to that birther Marine who believed he was "upholding the constitution" by refusing to carry out the Kenyan usurper's orders?


I remember what happened to soldiers who were just obeying orders.

\Although I have qualms about the conclusion of the Nuremberg trial
\\As did the chief justice, later.
 
2013-06-13 03:02:29 PM

Biological Ali: You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".


The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Here is the current oath of an executive branch employee (1884):


"I 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
 
2013-06-13 03:04:29 PM

This text is now purple: Biological Ali: You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".

The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.Here is the current oath of an executive branch employee (1884):


"I 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.


Was he a federal employee? Do contractors take that oath?
 
2013-06-13 03:21:19 PM

This text is now purple: Biological Ali: You've gone off on a bit of a tangent - the discussion is not about whether someone like Snowden could have a belief about how the Supreme Court might eventually rule that's "reasonable" in some abstract sense, but whether holding a belief like this is enough to completely exculpate him from the crimes he's committed. The answer to this specific question is a very clear and unambiguous "no".

The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.Here is the current oath of an executive branch employee (1884):


"I 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.


What department do you work for? I've never taken that oath.
 
2013-06-13 03:40:40 PM
He will be convicted of intentionally disclosing classified information to unauthorized personnel.  As for everything else, it's pretty useless.  If there's is the means, there is always the will.  But rather than try to stop it, I will be practical about it.

The reason I didn't pick up my wife from the mall AT THE TIME SHE SPECIFIED ON HER TEXT is because the NSA didn't remind me.  Motherfarkers.
 
2013-06-13 03:46:06 PM
I think what he needs to worry bout isn't being charged with a crime, it's being killed.  Right now, there are a ton of nutcase terror types running around who would love to make the US look bad.  If they kill this guy, the US will almost certainly get the blame.
 
2013-06-13 03:50:51 PM
I say we shorten his fingers and make him a knight.
 
2013-06-13 03:54:45 PM

This text is now purple: .Here is the current oath of an executive branch employee (1884)


Quit making stuff up.
 
2013-06-13 03:55:05 PM
If what he revealed was an unconstitutional act, then is he still guilty of something? No matter whether it was classified as "secret" or not. Consider then that if he is guilty, all a rogue government has to do is declare anything unconstitutional as "secret" and then they can go after anyone who makes it public.

THAT is more than a slippery slope.
 
2013-06-13 04:01:07 PM

SevenT: If what he revealed was an unconstitutional act, then is he still guilty of something? No matter whether it was classified as "secret" or not. Consider then that if he is guilty, all a rogue government has to do is declare anything unconstitutional as "secret" and then they can go after anyone who makes it public.

THAT is more than a slippery slope.


There is a legal whistle blower process to follow that prevents the slippery slope.    Snowden decided to forgo the process and the protections it provides.  He broke the law and it doesn't matter if what he exposed is later determined to be unconstitutional.  He still broke the law.
 
2013-06-13 04:06:19 PM

AugieDoggyDaddy: Snowden will soon find himself in a debriefing room in either Beijing of Moscow.It won't be his choice, and he won't find it pleasant.


s3.amazonaws.com
This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. I'm not your lawyer...

/I am having a really hard time deciding if I rather be questioned by the Chinese or the Russians.
 
2013-06-13 04:14:10 PM

notto: There is a legal whistle blower process to follow that prevents the slippery slope.


Being shot in the head and dumped into the ocean by Seal Team Six is not exactly a good way to blow the whistle on someone.
 
2013-06-13 04:18:37 PM

fluffy2097: notto: There is a legal whistle blower process to follow that prevents the slippery slope.

Being shot in the head and dumped into the ocean by Seal Team Six is not exactly a good way to blow the whistle on someone.


[citation needed]
 
2013-06-13 04:22:19 PM

fluffy2097: notto: There is a legal whistle blower process to follow that prevents the slippery slope.

Being shot in the head and dumped into the ocean by Seal Team Six is not exactly a good way to blow the whistle on someone.


A prophylactic would be to have a sealed and detailed memorandum to be sent to the press upon your death or disappearance.
 
2013-06-13 04:38:00 PM
This text is now purple:  Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
-=-
(Applause.)

Let me ask you all out there...
DO YOU TAKE THAT OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION?

I'm not asking if you have someone asking you to raise your right hand and swear the oath, I'm asking if you just plainly and outright personally take the oath as a citizen in your heart? I'm not asking about your religion, but your Americanism.

If the answer is yes, then you understand Snowden was a whistleblower and not acting against but yet FOR the people of this country.
Don't you?

On a side note, I don't feel like all the Justices of the Supreme Court are protecting and honoring the Constitution, and some are selling us out.
 
2013-06-13 04:49:48 PM

Stoker: This text is now purple:  Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
-=-
(Applause.)

Let me ask you all out there...
DO YOU TAKE THAT OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION?

I'm not asking if you have someone asking you to raise your right hand and swear the oath, I'm asking if you just plainly and outright personally take the oath as a citizen in your heart? I'm not asking about your religion, but your Americanism.

If the answer is yes, then you understand Snowden was a whistleblower and not acting against but yet FOR the people of this country.
Don't you?

On a side note, I don't feel like all the Justices of the Supreme Court are protecting and honoring the Constitution, and some are selling us out.


25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-06-13 04:57:21 PM
Wow, what a horrible thread. I had no idea that Fark was full of apologists and authoritarians.
 
2013-06-13 05:00:01 PM

Stoker: This text is now purple:  Snowden, Constitutionally, had an explicit duty to reveal this program. A federal employee is obligated to reveal unconstitutional actions.
-=-
(Applause.)

Let me ask you all out there...
DO YOU TAKE THAT OATH TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION?

I'm not asking if you have someone asking you to raise your right hand and swear the oath, I'm asking if you just plainly and outright personally take the oath as a citizen in your heart? I'm not asking about your religion, but your Americanism.

If the answer is yes, then you understand Snowden was a whistleblower and not acting against but yet FOR the people of this country.
Don't you?


I had to swear an oath.

I agree that a federal employee has a duty to the people of the United States to blow the whistle on unconstitutional doings.

But even beyond the U.S., there's a moral standard to which one could be held as well. Just because it's legal in your country to kill Jews doesn't mean you won't be executed for doing it.

Nevertheless, there are problems with declaring Snowden a hero.
1: There are mechanisms for blowing the whistle that do not involve trumpeting to the world
2: There are a lot of things in his story that do not add-up
3: It's not clear that what the feds are doing is actually unconstitutional

I'm not saying he needs to be strung-up yet, but I'm not willing to pat him on the shoulder, either. It has to be demonstrated that not only was this program illegal, but there was no confidential means by which he could have triggered the appropriate review.

On a side note, I don't feel like all the Justices of the Supreme Court are protecting and honoring the Constitution, and some are selling us out.

I do not find myself agreeing with all their interpretations, especially with regards to corporate law, but we're kind of stuck.
 
2013-06-13 05:07:20 PM

Rickj: I think they captured him.  There's already a video of this informer behind bars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtILxBszyf8


Informer? I thought he looked familiar!

i1159.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-13 05:55:39 PM

Cornelius Dribble: What the NSA is doing is not wiretapping. Nobody is listening to your calls, and they are not being recorded.


About that part..

(post Boston bombing)

On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."

"All of that stuff" - meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant - "is being captured as we speak".
 
2013-06-13 08:00:53 PM

Evil High Priest: Cornelius Dribble: What the NSA is doing is not wiretapping. Nobody is listening to your calls, and they are not being recorded.

About that part..

(post Boston bombing)

On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."

"All of that stuff" - meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant - "is being captured as we speak".


Ain't digital technology wonderful?
 
2013-06-13 08:26:02 PM

vygramul: 3: It's not clear that what the feds are doing is actually unconstitutional


W T f
 
2013-06-13 08:34:23 PM

vudukungfu: vygramul: 3: It's not clear that what the feds are doing is actually unconstitutional

W T f


Because what he SAYS they do and what actual evidence he has presented are two different things.
 
2013-06-13 09:40:04 PM
obama is the only public official in need of being charged with treason.
he is an enemy of this country, our Constitution and everything we as Americans hold dear...

too bad 'hung from the highest tree' no longer applies...


nsa/irs----suckit
 
2013-06-13 10:01:49 PM

verdigris1: obama is the only public official in need of being charged with treason.
he is an enemy of this country, our Constitution and everything we as Americans hold dear...

too bad 'hung from the highest tree' no longer applies...


nsa/irs----suckit


You forgot to toggle caps-lock.
 
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