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(RealClear)   Now *this* is how you troll: Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize   (realclear.com ) divider line
    More: Hero, Nobel Peace Prize, trolls, Politics of Norway  
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8422 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jan 2014 at 4:32 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-30 08:20:32 AM  

El Rich-o: Waaitaminnute - countries SPY on each other?


Yes, but that's not really the gist of what Edward Snowden released.

I doubt the broad outlines of what was released by Snowden surprised the intelligence agencies of any foreign nation.  For example, the Bundesnachtrichtensdeinst (BND, the German NSA) would have been well aware that it was technically possible to listen to Angela Merkel's cell phone conversations.  In fact, they probably even warned her about the possibility, and like all politicians, she thought she knew better.  And while an employee can inform the boss about a potential problem, they can't *FORCE* the boss to take action.

We had a similar situation in the US when Barack Obama wanted to keep his Blackberry.   The NSA, however, adapted to the president and produced a reasonably secure Blackberry for him to use. The BND failed to do that for Angela Merkel until it was revealed that the NSA was listening to her phone calls.

But that's largely irrelevant to the larger issue.  Yes, the NSA listens to other nations, including the leaders of nominal allies.  That's why some intelligence is marked as "NOFORN", for "NO FOReign Nationals".  And it's not something recent:  We've been doing it for almost 100 years now:  The US listened to the diplomatic communications of it's WWI ally Japan during the Washington Naval Conference in 1921-1922, breaking their codes and using that to the advantage of the US.

The larger issue is the domestic monitoring of US citizens, and in a meta-sense, the revelation that if a nation with as open a society as the United States is subject to pervasive surveillance by their own government, then the citizens of less democratic nations are at even greater risk from their own governments.  We've seen that, and it's been reported on (example: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/14/143639670/the-technology-helping-repres s ive-regimes-spy ), but it just didn't gain the widespread attention that the NSA leaks have gotten.

Hopefully, though, the revelations will cause oppressed people to look at the possibilities of what a government can do, and look to their own use of technology, and improve it to at least minimize the dangers that they face.

And if that's what happens as a result of the NSA leaks, then Snowden will indeed deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.
 
2014-01-30 08:23:23 AM  

dittybopper: But that's largely irrelevant to the larger issue.  Yes, the NSA listens to other nations, including the leaders of nominal allies.  That's why some intelligence is marked as "NOFORN", for "NO FOReign Nationals".  And it's not something recent:  We've been doing it for almost 100 years now:  The US listened to the diplomatic communications of it's WWI ally Japan during the Washington Naval Conference in 1921-1922, breaking their codes and using that to the advantage of the US.


I shouldn't have to point out the obvious here, but I will:  The friend of today may not be the friend of tomorrow, and in fact, may be the enemy 25 years from now.  So knowing what the friend is doing today is going to help guide you in the future if circumstances change.
 
2014-01-30 08:38:42 AM  

whidbey: Um, Snowden did break the law and put this country at risk. You really think Obama's going to jump for joy? Frankly, whistleblowing shiat aside, it's an act of terror and espionage. Imagine if an Al Qaeda operative had done it.

Just pointing out that you're very one-sided as usual. And needlessly condescending of someone who shares many of your values. Again.


1.  Snowden did break the law.  No argument on that.  He revealed classified information in violation of US law, and I personally am glad that he did.  And I say that as a person who worked in the same exact same classified facility Snowden worked in, over 25 years ago.

2.  I doubt he put the US at serious risk.  The enemies of the US knew the broad outlines of US capability.  Do you know why it took so long to find Osama bin Laden?  Because he avoided pretty much *ALL* electronic communications.  He knew what the NSA could do, at least in outline, and he stymied that amazing capability for *YEARS* by resorting to low-tech manual couriers to communicate.

Likewise, the governments of other nations knew the broad outlines of what was technically possible for the NSA to accomplish, as they do similar things themselves, so it's not like the FSB or Third Department of the PLA didn't know how to do things like that.  One might even argue that the Chinese could be considered the equal of the NSA, with their iron-fisted control over the internet in China.

3.  What Snowden did was not an act of terror.  Terrorism *MUST* have an element of violence to it.

4.  What Snowden did was not an act of espionage.  He wasn't spying for another nation.
 
2014-01-30 09:36:22 AM  
whidbey
Um, Snowden did break the law and put this country at risk.

Yes and no, respectively. There's a lot of assumptions in "and put this country at risk" that could be unpacked.

You really think Obama's going to jump for joy?

He could be acknowledging that the NSA is infested with a Stasi-like culture and have the DoJ or whoever start throwing people in jail, as dbaggins pointed out. But that's about as likely as him ordering prosecutions of predatory lenders. Instead, he gives a speech vaguely claiming that there will be accountability and changes of some sort (which was totally not because of Snowden because, remember kids, only going through "proper channels" works), while giving Clapper a hand job. So now you get to choose whether Obama is this wise-but-cautious middle-of-the-road type (never mind "change") with the country's best interests at heart, or whether he actually aligns with and is a member of the same "hardliner" class that you find such a conveniently imprecise scapegoat.

Let me give you yet another example. Obama will be in Wisconsin's very own Mordor, Waukesha, today, to discuss "job training". Specifically, ostensibly getting job training programs in Milwaukee Area Technical College to align to what regional 'job creators' want.
This is a huge slap in the face to Wisconsin liberals and progressives, because this supports right-wing efforts to put MATC under the control of adjacent suburban counties in a further march toward putting control of public education in the hands of the business class, making it for-profit, and privatizing it. Obama is incontrovertibly supporting this effort by visiting Waukesha and calling for "job training".
Tell me- is this the work of "hardliners", or is this what Obama actually believes?
There will be one good thing coming out of this- there will be pictures of Obama and Walker shaking hands. I will throw that picture in the face of anyone who dares wag their finger at me for not uncritically supporting the Democrats.
 
2014-01-30 10:26:46 AM  

Khellendros: EdgeRunner: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

And that had absolutely nothing to do with what I posted, nor what I was responding to, in any way.


KhellendrosHow is that dumb?  It's obvious to anyone who can walk and breathe at the same that while it was awarded to him, it wasn't about what he did, it was about what he represented in the U.S. - a turn away from warmongering and choosing to end two wars and institute foreign policy that wasn't about aggression and antagonism.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world.  Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this:  The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.  The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans.  We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will.  We have done so out of enlightened self-interest, because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.
 
2014-01-30 10:36:01 AM  

EdgeRunner: Khellendros: EdgeRunner: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

And that had absolutely nothing to do with what I posted, nor what I was responding to, in any way.

Khellendros:  How is that dumb?  It's obvious to anyone who can walk and breathe at the same that while it was awarded to him, it wasn't about what he did, it was about what he represented in the U.S. - a turn away from warmongering and choosing to end two wars and institute foreign policy that wasn't about aggression and antagonism.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world.  Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this:  The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.  The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans.  We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will.  We have done so out of enlightened self-interest, because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.


Hail Caesar!
 
2014-01-30 10:44:32 AM  
The fact that so little has been released by Snowden speaks to his motives.  I'm certain that he has stuff that would be damaging and put lives at risk, but he hasn't.  What does that say?
 
2014-01-30 11:16:55 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: EdgeRunner: Khellendros: EdgeRunner: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

And that had absolutely nothing to do with what I posted, nor what I was responding to, in any way.

Khellendros:  How is that dumb?  It's obvious to anyone who can walk and breathe at the same that while it was awarded to him, it wasn't about what he did, it was about what he represented in the U.S. - a turn away from warmongering and choosing to end two wars and institute foreign policy that wasn't about aggression and antagonism.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world.  Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this:  The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.  The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans.  We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will.  We have done so out of enlightened self-interest, because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.

Hail Caesar!


/thread
 
2014-01-30 01:22:16 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: Hail Caesar!


Wrong leader. I've been quoting someone else.
 
2014-01-30 03:15:39 PM  

Lusiphur: Finger51: Rent Party: He is no different than the asshole that let Valerie Plame's status be known.

Scooter Libby?

Rent Party: He effectively broke into your house, stole your filing cabinet and then pulled out that "questionable" tax return and declared you a tax evader.

I guess I don't see it that way. Him stealing my docs and declaring me a tax evader is a pretty huge stretch. My tax evasion doesn't equate to the US government spying on citizens, shiatting on the 4th, and absolutely destroying high levels of trust amongst our allies (Merkel et al)

nope. not even close.

You mean Angela "I totally swear I'm not a spy for the nazi party no matter what evidence you have" Merkel? You know, I've spoken to quite a few Germans about this recently, and most of them aren't terribly upset by the NSA tapping of her phone, and think it was probably deserved.


I give zero farks what the Germans think. Deserved or not, spying on allies does nothing to help the US. What do we think we would actually learn? Anything actionable would only place us in a position of taking advantage of those we were spying on. I think that is fundamentally opposed to the idea of good faith, fairness and diplomacy. These are principles I want this country to champion and be known for. The benefits of us spying on Merkel are Infinitesimal in comparison to the damage we've done to our reputation as a "Free Democracy".
 
2014-01-30 03:31:23 PM  

Finger51: I give zero farks what the Germans think. Deserved or not, spying on allies does nothing to help the US. What do we think we would actually learn? Anything actionable would only place us in a position of taking advantage of those we were spying on. I think that is fundamentally opposed to the idea of good faith, fairness and diplomacy. These are principles I want this country to champion and be known for. The benefits of us spying on Merkel are Infinitesimal in comparison to the damage we've done to our reputation as a "Free Democracy".


I look at spying kind of like NCAA violations.  Everyone does it.  Everyone knows everyone does it, but when you get caught, there are penalties.  Much like Captain Renault being shocked at gambling happening at Rick's, it is a known secret.  That doesn't make it right.  However spying on others is (IMHO) acceptable and to be expected, spying on our own people is where the line is crossed.  I have no issue with the US spying on other countries, and honestly efforts are probably better spent spying on politicians in those countries, not normal people.
 
2014-01-30 06:25:08 PM  

mjbok: The fact that so little has been released by Snowden speaks to his motives.  I'm certain that he has stuff that would be damaging and put lives at risk, but he hasn't.  What does that say?


That the Russians and Chinese have paid him well to keep his mouth shut?
 
2014-01-30 06:54:48 PM  

Rent Party: wee: ManateeGag: He deserves it just as much as Obama did.

More than Obama.  Snowden actually did something.

They have both done the exact same thing.  Not being George Bush.


Snowden may have done that. I'm not so sure about Barry.
 
2014-01-30 07:45:28 PM  
It would be funny if he got it, and then Obama succeeds in catching him.

One very recent Nobel Peace Prize recipient putting the another in prison for life.  Lol.  Maybe would show how arbitrary and meaningless the selection process is.
 
2014-01-30 07:55:21 PM  

Mouser: That the Russians and Chinese have paid him well to keep his mouth shut?


Not entirely.  If he had given either China or Russia he would have been dead before the "it" of "that's it" finished echoing in the interrogation room.  He gave them enough to satisfy them that he knows more.  He's like a high school date so far.  Maybe a quick hand job in the parking lot, but if he gave up the ass he'd get dumped.

The US is in the position of a kid that got caught, but they don't know how bad.  They know that there is dirty laundry out there, but they don't know how much so they're playing it very close to the vest.
 
2014-01-30 10:24:14 PM  
You can most certainly have terrorism without violence.

What if terrorists do enough damage to the US banking system that our economy crashes?
What if terrorists electronically attack your place of business and make it fail?
What if terrorists destroy your retirement savings (ok that's a stretch....eh eh)
What if terrorists somehow cut the power to your city?
What if terrorists somehow bring down the Internet, or somehow render it unusable?
What if terrorists somehow contaminate our medicine supplies, our food and water?

Not a single bullet fired, not a single drop of shed blood, totally painless.

All they brought to you was fear.
 
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