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(The New Yorker)   "These charges [against Snowden] send a clear message," the spokesman said. "In the United States, you can't spy on people"   (newyorker.com) divider line 210
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2475 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 Jun 2013 at 8:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-24 05:28:52 PM  

Biological Ali: CourtroomWolf: Biological Ali: CourtroomWolf: So what you're saying is that it's impossible to be doing the wrong thing if you don't believe what you were doing was wrong?

Of course not. What I'm saying is that that fact, along with the other things I mentioned, cause the issue to go from "unequivocally wrong" to "controversial, at best".

What other things?  That it requires a 100% consensus on an issue to qualify as "whistleblowing"?  You've just defined "whistleblowing" out of existence.

Other things being judicial approval, approval from the vast majority of Congress etc.

And I already gave an example of something that would constitute "whistleblowing" under my standards: Abu Ghraib (there are other examples from history, but that's the best recent one). The idea is that it should be something that is unambiguously wrong, because if you allow something to be termed whistleblowing based on mere differences of opinion, then that will cause the term to lose all meaning. Because then, Manning becomes a "whistleblower", and those clowns the GOP called to testify during the Benghazi hearings become "whistleblowers" etc. etc. You may as well just do away with the term altogether then, because it's obviously just become pointless filler at that stage.


It all comes down to your personal opinion.  I believe that it's unambiguously wrong for a government to set up a massive spying operation on its own people, so I would consider Ed Snowden to be a whistleblower.  You obviously don't.  I also don't believe that secret courts and Congress are able to give any meaningful oversight, especially when Congress is being lied to about the program.  We both agree Benghazi and other stupid manufactured scandals like that don't constitute "whistleblowing," because they're not exposing any real wrongdoing.  But there are a lot of derpers out there that really, honestly, believe that crap is a scandal.  The problem is not in their definition of whistleblower, but in their underlying reasons for calling it that.  If you're going to protest against calling it whistleblowing because there's any ambiguity at all, you have to give anyone else that same thing.  If someone was to disagree that Abu Ghraib was wrong, no matter how wrong they actually are, they would refuse to call its exposure "whistleblowing".  That's what I mean by defining it out of existence, if we apply your reasoning to its logical conclusion.  You can't be the sole arbiter of its usage, which is what you're attempting to do.
 
2013-06-24 06:26:16 PM  

FuryOfFirestorm: tbeatty: FuryOfFirestorm: mephox: I wonder what, other than facing punishment for revealing information classified as top secret, trying him will get. Some politicians seem to think that if they get him back, that somehow they can put the genie back in the bottle. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with Snowden's actions - on the one hand, he did leak top secret information and on the other, it could have been much worse, and on the other we already kinda knew this was happening. It was a 'Shhh, don't tell anybody' kind of top secret. No one acknowledged it officially, but everyone knew it was probably happening.

But, now that the genie is out of the bottle, or in a more apt analogy - you can't uncook a goose. The goose is cooked. Deal with it.

If I heard it correctly, it's been reported that he still has several laptops full of unreleased US secrets. If that's true, it's in America's best interests to get Snowden back.

So you think there aren't 15 copies of those laptops in China and Russia?

Probably. Who knows? If that's the case, grabbing him and shipping him off to Gitmo will bring that information to light real quick.


Getting him will be only to set an example.  The information is gone.  It's also a matter of saving face in that we expected cooperation so we will be hearing a lot about "rule of law" and that stuff.   Some 3rd world nation will be getting a large aid package.
 
2013-06-24 06:29:40 PM  

CourtroomWolf: If you're going to protest against calling it whistleblowing because there's any ambiguity at all, you have to give anyone else that same thing. If someone was to disagree that Abu Ghraib was wrong, no matter how wrong they actually are, they would refuse to call its exposure "whistleblowing".


You seem to be confusing "ambiguity" with "lack of complete and utter unanimity". The latter was never my standard (you can go through my earlier posts where I addressed this specifically). Obviously some people are going to be deranged and literally crazy; they might thing Abu Ghraib was a good thing, they might think that slavery should be reintroduced or any number of insane things. But when there is such widespread acceptance that something was wrong to the point where even the people who did it concede that it was wrong, and the people who don't agree are so few as to be practically indistinguishable for zero, that's when the thing is unambiguously wrong.


CourtroomWolf: I believe that it's unambiguously wrong


Here's the thing. You believe it's wrong; you may even believe very strongly that it is wrong, but it is certainly not unambiguously wrong, because the situation at the moment is at best an unsettled controversy, and at worst one that has already been settled not in your favour. You dismiss Benghazi (rightly in my opinion, obviously) as a "stupid manufactured scandal" even while you concede that there are people who genuinely believe that Clinton/Obama/Rice/whoever did something wrong and should be punished. You feel the same way about people who call Manning a "whistleblower", I assume.

This is in contrast to something Abu Ghraib, where there was no controversy or ambiguity, at least on the basic question of whether something happened that shouldn't have happened. If you genuinely believe that there is documented evidence of something happening here that is as unambiguously wrong as what happened at Abu Ghraib (not in terms of severity, but just in terms of the basic question of whether something wrong happened), then all I can say is that you've overestimated the legality, popularity and/or the soundness of the ethical logic behind your position. I'll even grant that your own concerns are nowhere near as silly as the Benghazi stuff, but at the same time, it's nowhere near a question that's been settled in your favour.

I'm not claiming to be the "sole arbiter" of anything; obviously I can't stop you from talking about this or any other topic in whichever manner you please. All I can tell you is that when you argue as though you're taking it for granted that the thing you're arguing against is obviously unethical/unconstitutional/whatever, in lieu of making a convincing argument that the thing was wrong to begin with, then you're not going to get much traction, except with people who already agree with you, and what good would that do? Certainly you're not going to make much headway with people who have already been briefed on the programs and come to the conclusion that they're okay (like most of Congress, and others in their position).
 
2013-06-24 06:31:53 PM  

Biological Ali: You seem to be confusing "ambiguity" with "lack of complete and utter unanimity". The latter was never my standard (you can go through my earlier posts where I addressed this specifically). Obviously some people are going to be deranged and literally crazy; they might thing think Abu Ghraib was a good thing, they might think that slavery should be reintroduced or any number of insane things. But when there is such widespread acceptance that something was wrong to the point where even the people who did it concede that it was wrong, and the people who don't agree are so few as to be practically indistinguishable for from zero, that's when the thing is unambiguously wrong.

 
2013-06-24 07:00:25 PM  
Biological Ali
Here's the thing. You believe it's wrong; you may even believe very strongly that it is wrong, but it is certainly not unambiguously wrong

That is a farking idiotic standard and you should feel bad.
 
2013-06-24 07:08:21 PM  

RanDomino: Biological Ali
Here's the thing. You believe it's wrong; you may even believe very strongly that it is wrong, but it is certainly not unambiguously wrong

That is a farking idiotic standard and you should feel bad.


It's "idiotic" to think that there's much more ambiguity in the claim that something "wrong" was done here than there was with Abu Ghraib? Really?

Be honest - you didn't even read my post, did you?
 
2013-06-24 08:15:03 PM  

Without Fail: GoSlash27: 2 questions for the "Snowden is a traitor" crowd that I would very much like answers to:

#1 How could any of the info he has revealed possibly have aided or abetted our enemies? Does anybody seriously think that AQ assumed their communications weren't being monitored?
#2 If he worked for the government and went to the press intending to expose abuse and fraud, how could he not be a "whistleblower"?

/please and thank you

He has already given interviews exposing our intelligence gathering against other countries.
Abuse and fraud? The NSA has broken no laws and has not violated the constitution.


I'll address this one since it conveys the gist of the other responses.
Point #1, exposing our intel gathering is not "treason". Not even if it gives China political points. "Treason" is aiding and abetting our enemies. How has anything Snowden released aided our enemies?
Point #2 Seems you have a disagreement with him. *He* believes it's illegal even if you don't. His intent matters in the legal definition.
 
2013-06-24 08:28:02 PM  
Biological Ali
It's "idiotic" to think that there's much more ambiguity in the claim that something "wrong" was done here than there was with Abu Ghraib? Really?

farm3.staticflickr.com
 
2013-06-24 08:41:27 PM  

RanDomino: Biological Ali
It's "idiotic" to think that there's much more ambiguity in the claim that something "wrong" was done here than there was with Abu Ghraib? Really?

[farm3.staticflickr.com image 640x480]


You read half of the opening sentence of somebody's post in a conversation that you weren't even involved with, got outraged and decided to make an insulting comment based on some garbled notion of what you thought the person was talking about. It happens; it doesn't even bother me. If you want to enter into a proper exchange with me, though, you'll have to first read the whole post, and then (if you still insist on it) respond to whatever point you object to in context.

I'm not a big fan of the out-of-context quotes/silly pictures game, so if that's all you're aiming for you'll have to carry on by yourself, or find someone else to play along.
 
2013-06-25 04:54:16 AM  

FuryOfFirestorm: mephox: I wonder what, other than facing punishment for revealing information classified as top secret, trying him will get. Some politicians seem to think that if they get him back, that somehow they can put the genie back in the bottle. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with Snowden's actions - on the one hand, he did leak top secret information and on the other, it could have been much worse, and on the other we already kinda knew this was happening. It was a 'Shhh, don't tell anybody' kind of top secret. No one acknowledged it officially, but everyone knew it was probably happening.

But, now that the genie is out of the bottle, or in a more apt analogy - you can't uncook a goose. The goose is cooked. Deal with it.

If I heard it correctly, it's been reported that he still has several laptops full of unreleased US secrets. If that's true, it's in America's best interests to get Snowden back.


I did not know that. In that case, set loose the dogs of... hounding?
 
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