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(Talking Points Memo)   Lawmakers to Snowden: We reject your victory and substitute our own   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 103
    More: Followup, lawmakers, mass surveillance, Peter Schiff, house intelligence committee, dispute  
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2276 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Dec 2013 at 10:07 AM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-30 10:10:18 AM
Snowden:  If you're serious about coming back (ever) and that this was about the programs and not you attention whoring, you're doing a poor job at it.
 
2013-12-30 10:11:51 AM
Strange definition of victory he has - hiding out in Russia, unable to see his friends and family again for fear of being picked up by unsmiling men in dark suits and sunglasses and put under a federal prison for the rest of his life.
 
2013-12-30 10:16:20 AM

Snapper Carr: Strange definition of victory he has - hiding out in Russia, unable to see his friends and family again for fear of being picked up by unsmiling men in dark suits and sunglasses and put under a federal prison for the rest of his life.


Honestly, I think he's trolling at this point to keep himself in the news.  His best chance of making a deal is if he's out of the spotlight.
 
2013-12-30 10:17:05 AM
ftfa:Ben Wizner of the ACLU, who said he speaks regularly with Snowden over encrypted channels, said Snowden hopes to one day return to the United States. He said the charges brought against Snowden for espionage don't distinguish between leaks to the press and the selling of state secrets to a foreign enemy. If the law allowed him to make a defense that he acted in the public's interest, "he would face trial in that kind of system," Wizner said.

Nice thought. Not gonna happen.
 
2013-12-30 10:18:54 AM
I guess it depends on what his definition of "victory" is. If it was to spur a national debate on these programs, then yes: mission accomplished. If it was to get these programs removed or changed, then no.

In either case, I think most people would consider being effectively exiled to Vladimir Putin's Russia as falling under the "Pyrrhic victory" heading, though in fairness he would be in federal prison (also falling under the "Pyrrhic victory" heading) if he stayed in the US.

This is one of those cases where the only "winning" (i.e., most personally beneficial) move was not to play, and Snowden definitely gets some credit for playing anyway. The inevitable book deal (and the accompanying movie deal) might be pretty lucrative, if he can avoid having it all seized by the Russians, though there's a decent chance he'll be quietly disappeared once all the furor dies down.
 
2013-12-30 10:22:13 AM

quatchi: If the law allowed him to make a defense that he acted in the public's interest, "he would face trial in that kind of system," Wizner said.


Don't we already have that system? IANAL, so I could be way off base here, but there's no law that says Snowden couldn't try and convince his jury to acquit using the argument that he was acting in the public's interest. Even if there was some sort of law that said you couldn't be put in jail for "acting in the public's interest", he still have to convince the jury that it applies.
 
2013-12-30 10:22:36 AM
Thank you Mr. Snowden for your service to the American people.

The people running these programs should be tarred and feathered.
 
2013-12-30 10:26:29 AM

Snapper Carr: Strange definition of victory he has - hiding out in Russia, unable to see his friends and family again for fear of being picked up by unsmiling men in dark suits and sunglasses and put under a federal prison for the rest of his life.


And yet he'd rather stay there than come "home", where half his fellow citizens (and probably more than half his government) want to see him hanged.

Weird.
 
2013-12-30 10:26:43 AM

qorkfiend: quatchi: If the law allowed him to make a defense that he acted in the public's interest, "he would face trial in that kind of system," Wizner said.

Don't we already have that system? IANAL, so I could be way off base here, but there's no law that says Snowden couldn't try and convince his jury to acquit using the argument that he was acting in the public's interest. Even if there was some sort of law that said you couldn't be put in jail for "acting in the public's interest", he still have to convince the jury that it applies.


There would be no law and no trial.  He would go into a cage and that would be the end of it.  Some judge would announce that it's legal, because it's legal, which means, therefore, that it's legal.

And most Americans would cheer themselves sick about it.  They reserve their outrage for the truly egregious abuses of government power, like red light cameras.
 
2013-12-30 10:27:23 AM

qorkfiend: quatchi: If the law allowed him to make a defense that he acted in the public's interest, "he would face trial in that kind of system," Wizner said.

Don't we already have that system? IANAL, so I could be way off base here, but there's no law that says Snowden couldn't try and convince his jury to acquit using the argument that he was acting in the public's interest. Even if there was some sort of law that said you couldn't be put in jail for "acting in the public's interest", he still have to convince the jury that it applies.


IANAL either, but...

If Edward Snowden comes back to the US to face trial, it is likely he will not be able to tell a jury why he did what he did, and what happened because of his actions. Contrary to common sense, there is no public interest exception to the Espionage Act.

http://boingboing.net/2013/12/23/snowden.html
 
2013-12-30 10:29:19 AM
"He did his part," Wizner said. "It's now up to the public and our institutional oversight to decide how to respond."

well we know what the institutional oversight reaction was. close ranks and attack him. the public as usual stays fixed on american idol and their idea of controversy is the duck guy.

jesus wept.
 
2013-12-30 10:30:07 AM

qorkfiend: I guess it depends on what his definition of "victory" is. If it was to spur a national debate on these programs, then yes: mission accomplished. If it was to get these programs removed or changed, then no.


I believe he said in the interview that the debate was his aim. He didn't necessarily believe that the NSA should not have those tools at their disposal, but he thought that whether they did have them should be something that the public had input into.

qorkfiend: This is one of those cases where the only "winning" (i.e., most personally beneficial) move was not to play, and Snowden definitely gets some credit for playing anyway. The inevitable book deal (and the accompanying movie deal) might be pretty lucrative, if he can avoid having it all seized by the Russians, though there's a decent chance he'll be quietly disappeared once all the furor dies down.


He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway. The guy should get a hero's welcome... but of course he won't because he showed the true colors of a lot of very powerful people.
 
2013-12-30 10:30:28 AM

Snapper Carr: Strange definition of victory he has - hiding out in Russia, unable to see his friends and family again for fear of being picked up by unsmiling men in dark suits and sunglasses and put under a federal prison for the rest of his life.


Did he do the right thing? Yes.
Did he start an international debate about privacy and government snooping? Yes.
Did he make the world a better place? Maybe, maybe not. Too soon to say.

"Victory" doesn't have to mean that he walks away from a burning NSA building in slo-mo with a girl on both arms. Victory means achieving the goals he set out to achieve. If his goals were to blow the cover on government snooping and spark a debate, then yes, he won. Being exiled for life was a price he was willing to pay. It meant that much to him.
 
2013-12-30 10:30:40 AM

Dr Dreidel: Snapper Carr: Strange definition of victory he has - hiding out in Russia, unable to see his friends and family again for fear of being picked up by unsmiling men in dark suits and sunglasses and put under a federal prison for the rest of his life.

And yet he'd rather stay there than come "home", where half his fellow citizens (and probably more than half his government) want to see him hanged.

Weird.


Even stranger is when the government is demonstrated to have taken a large dump on the Constitution, half of America wants to shoot the messenger.
 
2013-12-30 10:36:35 AM

miscreant: He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway.


That's why I called it a "Pyrrhic victory". Snowden won, in that people are talking about these programs, but only at the cost of spending a large chunk of his life as a "guest" of either the federal prison system or Vladimir Putin.
 
2013-12-30 10:39:03 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Snowden:  If you're serious about coming back (ever) and that this was about the programs and not you attention whoring, you're doing a poor job at it.


Yes, attention whoring by hiding in random hotels around the world.

Get a clue, Hamster.
 
2013-12-30 10:39:49 AM

miscreant: I believe he said in the interview that the debate was his aim. He didn't necessarily believe that the NSA should not have those tools at their disposal, but he thought that whether they did have them should be something that the public had input into.


Yes.  And he certainly succeeded with that.

Marcus Aurelius: Even stranger is when the government is demonstrated to have taken a large dump on the Constitution, half of America wants to shoot the messenger.


Oh, it's not that strange.  Hell, there's plenty of historical precedent.

Anti HUAC demonstrator
foundsf.org

cdn.historycommons.org
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-12-30 10:40:07 AM
miscreant:

He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway. The guy should get a hero's welcome... but of course he won't because he showed the true colors of a lot of very powerful people isn't a hero and isn't very good at telling what is and isn't morally right.


FTFY.
 
2013-12-30 10:41:52 AM

miscreant: He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway.


The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing.  Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions.  If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.  He's a coward and a jackass, and the last thing I want for him to do at this point is to come back to face a trial that all his dick-suckers will cry is a farce or worse have something happen to him where he becomes a martyr to those same idiots.

Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.  The only scary thing about the whole mess is that Snowden as a contractor was able to access the information that he leaked which had nothing to do with what he was contracted to do.
 
2013-12-30 10:42:30 AM

qorkfiend: miscreant: He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway.

That's why I called it a "Pyrrhic victory". Snowden won, in that people are talking about these programs, but only at the cost of spending a large chunk of his life as a "guest" of either the federal prison system or Vladimir Putin.


Yeah.  It could be (another) textbook definiton of Pyrrhic Victory, depending on how future events unfold.
 
2013-12-30 10:44:27 AM

qorkfiend: That's why I called it a "Pyrrhic victory". Snowden won, in that people are talking about these programs, but only at the cost of spending a large chunk of his life as a "guest" of either the federal prison system or Vladimir Putin.


Nah, a pyrrhic victory is when everything is wrecked to the point where the last man standing wins nothing but a pile of ashes. This is a case of self-sacrifice on behalf of someone else (the people of the US).

/wish my govt would offer him asylum
//tongues are too far up uncle sam's arse
 
2013-12-30 10:46:06 AM
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California acknowledged that Snowden has kindled an important public debate, but he said the former National Security Agency leaker should have stayed in the United States to demonstrate the courage of his convictions.


Well, I guess the US shouldn't have been torturing people in the name of "national security" if you wanted people to think they could stay and be treated fairly in this kind of situation.
 
2013-12-30 10:47:25 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing. Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions. If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.


Maybe he didn't want to end up like a certain former-PFC Manning?

Neither one of them is in a particularly enviable position, and while one is in an actual prison for (probably) the rest of her actual life, the other is in exile, a metaphorical prison where at least he can still speak.
 
2013-12-30 10:47:48 AM

Uncle Tractor: Nah, a pyrrhic victory is when everything is wrecked to the point where the last man standing wins nothing but a pile of ashes.


That is one type of pyrrhic victory. It has a more general definition.
 
2013-12-30 10:49:07 AM
Schiff said it struck him that Snowden spoke from "one of the foremost big brother states in the world, where he is living without any privacy, because there's no right or expectation of privacy in Russia whatsoever. So I don't find his message particularly moving or appealing."

It would be hilarious if it weren't so sad that Schiff had to couch this statement as "one of the foremost big brother states in the world, because the U.S. is currently holding the heavyweight title. By this logic, were Snowden speaking from America, his message would still not be particularly moving or appealing either. Sort of a heads I win, tails you lose situation he's presented here. Although I do give Schiff credit for making the argument about whether Snowden is a hypocrite rather than, you know, our invasive, global spy network.
 
2013-12-30 10:49:39 AM

Dr Dreidel: AdmirableSnackbar: The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing. Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions. If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.

Maybe he didn't want to end up like a certain former-PFC Manning?

Neither one of them is in a particularly enviable position, and while one is in an actual prison for (probably) the rest of her actual life, the other is in exile, a metaphorical prison where at least he can still speak.


Well maybe he shouldn't have done something illegal that was also completely pointless.
 
2013-12-30 10:50:06 AM

Uncle Tractor: qorkfiend: That's why I called it a "Pyrrhic victory". Snowden won, in that people are talking about these programs, but only at the cost of spending a large chunk of his life as a "guest" of either the federal prison system or Vladimir Putin.

Nah, a pyrrhic victory is when everything is wrecked to the point where the last man standing wins nothing but a pile of ashes. This is a case of self-sacrifice on behalf of someone else (the people of the US).

/wish my govt would offer him asylum
//tongues are too far up uncle sam's arse


It would be foolish for him to ever come back to the USA even with full pardon or whatever.  He would be murdered for sure.  I hope he is allowed to leave Russia for Brazil.
 
2013-12-30 10:50:06 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: miscreant: He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway.

The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing.  Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions.  If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.  He's a coward and a jackass, and the last thing I want for him to do at this point is to come back to face a trial that all his dick-suckers will cry is a farce or worse have something happen to him where he becomes a martyr to those same idiots.

Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.  The only scary thing about the whole mess is that Snowden as a contractor was able to access the information that he leaked which had nothing to do with what he was contracted to do.


BS and you know it.  It was going on but barely on the radar for a majority of the public.  And even those debating it didn't know the extent of what was going on, which is what Snowden uncovered.

I won't venerate the man but he's certainly not a coward.  But you've made your judgement already, which you're certain is correct, so I must be a dick-sucking idiot so why do I bother.
 
2013-12-30 10:50:55 AM

Dr Dreidel: AdmirableSnackbar: The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing. Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions. If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.

Maybe he didn't want to end up like a certain former-PFC Manning?

Neither one of them is in a particularly enviable position, and while one is in an actual prison for (probably) the rest of her actual life, the other is in exile, a metaphorical prison where at least he can still speak.


This.
 
2013-12-30 10:51:28 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing.


If all he exposed was stuff "everybody already knew was going on", then why did it cause such a ruckus? Not to mention the number of times the NSA has had to backtrack about how much and what data they were collecting. Yes, there was speculation about what abilities the NSA had, but if you brought that kind of thing up previous to Snowden's revelations, you were called paranoid. His leaks showed that the NSA was actually doing a lot more than even most conspiracy theorists were accusing it of.

According to Snowden, he also brought it up multiple times to multiple people inside the NSA, and never got any traction on it. The NSA denies that, but frankly, Snowden's got a whole lot more credibility these days than the NSA has.
 
2013-12-30 10:54:02 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.


cool revisionist story, bro
 
2013-12-30 10:54:04 AM

vpb: miscreant:

He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway. The guy should get a hero's welcome... but of course he won't because he showed the true colors of a lot of very powerful people isn't a hero and isn't very good at telling what is and isn't morally right.


FTFY.


So I should put you down as someone who thinks it's completely ok for the government to be spying on it's citizens with little to no oversight? Even the internal FISA documents have pointed out all the methods the NSA has used to circumvent the rules that were in place. All that ever happened when they broke those rules? Slap on the wrist, if that.
 
2013-12-30 10:54:50 AM

bluenovaman: Uncle Tractor: qorkfiend: That's why I called it a "Pyrrhic victory". Snowden won, in that people are talking about these programs, but only at the cost of spending a large chunk of his life as a "guest" of either the federal prison system or Vladimir Putin.

Nah, a pyrrhic victory is when everything is wrecked to the point where the last man standing wins nothing but a pile of ashes. This is a case of self-sacrifice on behalf of someone else (the people of the US).

/wish my govt would offer him asylum
//tongues are too far up uncle sam's arse

It would be foolish for him to ever come back to the USA even with full pardon or whatever.  He would be murdered for sure.  I hope he is allowed to leave Russia for Brazil.


I don't see any reason for the Russians to allow this.
 
2013-12-30 10:55:15 AM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: AdmirableSnackbar: miscreant: He knew he risked spending the rest of his life in jail, or if caught before anybody knew about him, possibly just getting a bullet in the back of the head, and he decided to do what he thought was morally right anyway.

The problem is that he performed illegal activities that "exposed" legal actions by the government that anyone who paid attention knew that the government was already doing.  Whether or not he felt he was morally right he then ran away in order to escape the consequences for his actions.  If he truly felt that he was morally right he would have stayed and fought for himself.  He's a coward and a jackass, and the last thing I want for him to do at this point is to come back to face a trial that all his dick-suckers will cry is a farce or worse have something happen to him where he becomes a martyr to those same idiots.

Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.  The only scary thing about the whole mess is that Snowden as a contractor was able to access the information that he leaked which had nothing to do with what he was contracted to do.

BS and you know it.  It was going on but barely on the radar for a majority of the public.  And even those debating it didn't know the extent of what was going on, which is what Snowden uncovered.

I won't venerate the man but he's certainly not a coward.  But you've made your judgement already, which you're certain is correct, so I must be a dick-sucking idiot so why do I bother.


The only people who are debating it now are the same people who were debating it before Snowden did his thing.  We all knew it was happening because we all knew what the PATRIOT Act and other similar legislation allowed intelligence and law enforcement agencies to do.  Hell, it was a step forward when Obama forced those agencies to get a warrant before going beyond the metadata analysis, which we also knew happened before Snowden.

So no, Snowden didn't add shiat to the conversation, all he did was break the law to give more proof that the government was doing what we all already knew it was doing.
 
2013-12-30 10:55:28 AM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: BS and you know it.  It was going on but barely on the radar for a majority of the public.  And even those debating it didn't know the extent of what was going on, which is what Snowden uncovered.

I won't venerate the man but he's certainly not a coward.  But you've made your judgement already, which you're certain is correct, so I must be a dick-sucking idiot so why do I bother.


Yeah, this sort of revisionist history is kind of maddening. The only people talking about the sorts of things that Snowden leaked were seen as tinfoil hat crazies not too many years ago. Now we have hard evidence, and the debate is going on between parties that are really uncomfortable about having to even discuss it. Somebody calling into Coast to Coast AM and talking about how his Faraday cage prevents the government from monitoring his radio frequencies isn't a debate.

Watching two court cases go through the appeals process and have two completely opposite judgments is a debate.
 
2013-12-30 10:55:44 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Well maybe he shouldn't have done something nominally illegal that was also completely pointless.


And we can debate how "pointless" it was. Personally, I think the "exposes" by the NYT, WaPo, Time, Newsweek, and many other high-profile news sources between 2002 and 2013 were "pointless", since they didn't start nearly the depth or breadth of discussion that Snowden's leaks did.

Hell, Congress might actually make debate new laws over it.
 
2013-12-30 10:58:22 AM

Headso: AdmirableSnackbar: Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.

cool revisionist story, bro


Where have you been since 2001?  Government intrusion into our communications has been a major topic of political conversation in the past decade-plus.
 
2013-12-30 10:59:39 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: So no, Snowden didn't add shiat to the conversation, all he did was break the law to give more proof that the government was doing what we all already knew it was doing.


Of course. Everybody knew and nobody was surprised at all. That's why when the revelations were made, barely anybody paid attention and it's blew over right away and certainly didn't become one of the biggest stories of the year.
 
2013-12-30 11:00:30 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Headso: AdmirableSnackbar: Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.

cool revisionist story, bro

Where have you been since 2001?  Government intrusion into our communications has been a major topic of political conversation in the past decade-plus.


All the other posters in the thread have better posts than mine for why you are completely wrong about this, go argue with them, breh.
 
2013-12-30 11:02:16 AM

miscreant: AdmirableSnackbar: So no, Snowden didn't add shiat to the conversation, all he did was break the law to give more proof that the government was doing what we all already knew it was doing.

Of course. Everybody knew and nobody was surprised at all. That's why when the revelations were made, barely anybody paid attention and it's blew over right away and certainly didn't become one of the biggest stories of the year.


I think that the coverage of the story is in a large part a reflection of domestic politics. In particular, I don't think Snowden would have gotten anywhere near as much traction if the President had been a Republican.
 
2013-12-30 11:03:49 AM

miscreant: If all he exposed was stuff "everybody already knew was going on", then why did it cause such a ruckus?


Could you describe the ruckus?

And whatever ruckus has been caused, it is happening for the same reason as the Duck Dynasty bullshiat.  It's a meaningless distraction to ensure that nothing will be accomplished except maybe book and movie deals for Snowden and Greenwald.  Attention whores are whoring for attention.

Until there's legislation passed that makes what the NSA is doing illegal this whole thing is meaningless.  And I don't see anything in the works for that to happen, do you?
 
2013-12-30 11:04:10 AM

Headso: AdmirableSnackbar: Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.

cool revisionist story, bro


Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.
 
2013-12-30 11:05:57 AM

qorkfiend: I don't think Snowden would have gotten anywhere near as much traction if the President had been a Republican.


I think he would have gotten more, there's a bunch of Obama apologist types that are trying to mitigate this whole thing that would be shiatting their pants had this come out with Romney in office. But maybe the lack of fake teabagger outrage from people who supported W would make it a wash.
 
2013-12-30 11:07:31 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Until there's legislation passed that makes what the NSA is doing illegal this whole thing is meaningless.  And I don't see anything in the works for that to happen, do you?


Aside from the two conflicting appellate court decisions that are almost certainly destined for the Supreme Court, who will rule on the constitutionality of said spying, which will then be reported on, then talked about, polled, and brought up with legislators as for how to proceed with however the decision falls, no. Absolutely nothing.
 
2013-12-30 11:10:36 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Headso: AdmirableSnackbar: Snowden didn't spark any debate, the debate was already going on.

cool revisionist story, bro

Where have you been since 2001?  Government intrusion into our communications has been a major topic of political conversation in the past decade-plus.


The general majority of the people who've been having those conversations did so without concrete evidence, and were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Their lack of numbers didn't help them much.

Snowden showed proof that the NSA can do (and in a great many cases, actually have done) all those things and more. Now, people who wouldn't have given one thought to being part of the conversation are in it. This time last year, anyone who said that they put electrical tape over their laptop's built-in camera so the NSA can't watch them spank it to gay bondage porn would have been labelled a paranoid nutjob; now, you'd be considered bonkers if you DON'T put a blindfold on that all-seeing eye.
 
2013-12-30 11:13:20 AM

Headso: qorkfiend: I don't think Snowden would have gotten anywhere near as much traction if the President had been a Republican.

I think he would have gotten more, there's a bunch of Obama apologist types that are trying to mitigate this whole thing that would be shiatting their pants had this come out with Romney in office. But maybe the lack of fake teabagger outrage from people who supported W would make it a wash.


No, absolutely not. You'd have more Democrats opposed to it if it was a Republican president, sure, but unlike the Democrats, there's no chance that the GOP would criticize one of their own on something this high-profile. The conservative opinion makers would have immediately started the "Snowden is a traitor and clearly a communist because he went to Russia" narrative.

Republicans like Snowden because he makes a Democratic president look bad, and would dislike Snowden if he made a Republican president look bad.
 
2013-12-30 11:14:53 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: miscreant: If all he exposed was stuff "everybody already knew was going on", then why did it cause such a ruckus?

Could you describe the ruckus?

And whatever ruckus has been caused, it is happening for the same reason as the Duck Dynasty bullshiat.  It's a meaningless distraction to ensure that nothing will be accomplished except maybe book and movie deals for Snowden and Greenwald.  Attention whores are whoring for attention.

Until there's legislation passed that makes what the NSA is doing illegal this whole thing is meaningless.  And I don't see anything in the works for that to happen, do you?


Look, what people are arguing with you about is that before Snowden, you didn't have hard evidence of what the NSA was doing.

There's always plenty of speculation among the common folk, like you're doing, about the level of surveillance we're under. Like you, I assumed that the government was already doing what Snowden revealed they were doing. But the game changer here is that A) there's now hard evidence that blatantly unconstitutional surveilliance activities were going on, and B) the actual methods they used when they went about doing that.

If you can't see the difference between that and some yokel saying "Yeah I know my government spies on me, so what?", then I don't think you'll ever see the other side of this issue. That being said, I'm not sure you want to.
 
2013-12-30 11:15:59 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: The only people who are debating it now are the same people who were debating it before Snowden did his thing.


Except, you know, every major American technology company.
 
2013-12-30 11:16:41 AM

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: AdmirableSnackbar: Until there's legislation passed that makes what the NSA is doing illegal this whole thing is meaningless.  And I don't see anything in the works for that to happen, do you?

Aside from the two conflicting appellate court decisions that are almost certainly destined for the Supreme Court, who will rule on the constitutionality of said spying, which will then be reported on, then talked about, polled, and brought up with legislators as for how to proceed with however the decision falls, no. Absolutely nothing.


Do you really think that this Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional (which would only change how the NSA does what it does, it won't stop them from doing it)?  And if that fails, do you really think that Congress will actually do anything about it?

Face it, those of us who care about it - and I'm including myself in that, I just don't understand the Snowded fetish people have - realize that we lost in all of this when the PATRIOT Act was passed.  It's going to take a long, long time to undo that if it ever happens, and Snowden will not be the catalyst for that to happen.  There are too many Americans who are too scared of terrorism and too many Congresscritters who are too cowardly to stand up and say that the PATRIOT Act is wrong and should be repealed.
 
2013-12-30 11:18:44 AM

AdmirableSnackbar: Until there's legislation passed that makes what the NSA is doing illegal this whole thing is meaningless. And I don't see anything in the works for that to happen, do you?


Are you unfamiliar with the two competing judgements?

Also, changes in the government is too narrow a view to take on it. You have all the major tech companies who are making changes to make it at least harder for the NSA to do the tapping of their networks behind their backs, as well as finally having the backbone to push back a little against the government intrusion. And you have things like the revelations of the NSA putting a backdoor into SSL encryption, that can now be fixed in future software releases. Even if the government itself continues to fark everyone over, there are steps being taken to at least make it harder for them to do so that would not have been taken previous to Snowden's revelations.
 
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