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Senate Diplomatic Firestorm

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Skywalker8921, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Skywalker8921

    Skywalker8921 Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2011
    The last two weeks have seen a diplomatic firestorm brewing over the actions of Edward Snowden, who leaked details of classified US surveilliance programs. At last report, Snowden had not fled to Cuba and was presumed to still be in Russia.

    I'm not really sure what to think about all this. Is Snowden a traitor or a hero? On one hand, his flight to Russia from Hong Kong and presumed flight to Ecuador makes no sense as those countries are hostile to the US. On the other hand, while it is true that surveilliance programs cannot possibly keep a record of every electronic communication by every US citizen, the fact that the government may have taken unauthorized measures to widen US surveillance and said nothing until now is suspicious.

    Please, be civil in your replies and don't throw any political party crap about this dividing Democrats and Republicans, because congressional reps on both sides have supported or condemned Snowden.
     
  2. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    People who have been paying attention have known about the things he "revealed" for years.
     
  3. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    It is worrying how much support he's getting from Russia and China. It only gives credit to the idea that he may have been an agent for them.

    But yeah, the things Snowden revealed were known for a while, or people should have assumed they were going on with what we did know the government was doing.
     
  4. Point Given

    Point Given Mod of Literature and Community star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    And you would be raising hell if this had come out under the Bush Administration
     
  5. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 25, 2000
    I notice your membership date is 2006 ;)

    Put more clearly, yes he did raise hell during the Bush years.
     
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  6. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    What did people think the Ashcroft hospital incident was about? I mean that seriously-- what did people think that Ashcroft was unwilling to sign off on?

    I've watched James Comey's testimony in Congress and read about that incident in great detail. It was obvious then what it was about, and it has become only more so in more recent years.

    That alone told a great deal about what was going on.
     
  7. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent 2017 Celebrity Deathpool Winner star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    We did.
     
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  8. Point Given

    Point Given Mod of Literature and Community star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    I know he did which is why I said what I said. I've seen KW's posts about the GOP to know what his reaction would be if Snowden's revelations had occurred in a Bush, McCain or Romney administration instead of his current "oh well, everyone already knew" reaction to it happening on Obama's watch.
     
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  9. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    I've said repeatedly that this is not about the Obama administration, or really about any particular party. It's a bipartisan thing, and I'd like to think I would say that no matter what. The roots are deeply embedded in both parties, and ultimately in the public. If you think I would say something different, well, you're entitled to your opinion, but you're not in my shoes and I'll thank you for remembering that. I know what I think and also what I've thought over the years.

    At one time, I would say that the W administration was more responsible than anyone else, but that has long since evolved to implicate both parties. Democrats became complicit long before Obama took office.

    As always, the thing that underlies everything is the fear of another attack and the political repercussions of such an attack. Whichever party is in power at the time of a major attack would be highly vulnerable to charges of negligence unless they could say that they had done everything possible to prevent it. This is an impossible goal, but it's the one that our security state is built on.
     
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  10. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent 2017 Celebrity Deathpool Winner star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    It has been interesting watching Fox News question this man's manhood. They are trying to rip this guy apart in every way yet use him as a tool to show that Obama is spyingon all of us and we should all become right wingers.
     
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  11. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2003
    To quote Jean-Luc Picard: " 'Matter of Internal Security' - The age-old cry of the oppressor"

    The government should not treat all people like criminals, you can protect them without violating their rights. It was brave of Snowden to leak such information and he's not endangering anyone by doing it. The world needs more people like him, who know of the crimes governments are committing against their people and will take a stand.

    I've said for years the government probably reads everyone's emails and listens to our phones, so I wasn't that surprised to hear it was happening.

    I don't think anyone particularly in the US Government is to blame for this, it's the sort of mentality many governments have shown over the years. Compliancy and unwillingness to act are the faults of those currently in power, just as the failure to close Guantanamo shows.
     
  12. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
  13. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    I'm not a fan of that. If he had gotten into the government with good intentions and then realized what was going on, or seen some truly bad things, I would have more respect than I do for someone who went in specifically intending to leak information.
     
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Yeah, it's looking more and more likely that he was paid to do this by the Chinese or Russians. Especially with how China let him go, and Russia is now giving him refuge.

    What do Russia and China have to gain by this?
     
  15. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent 2017 Celebrity Deathpool Winner star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    I have no absolute opinion on that because what if it turned out there were no bad things to be found? He could have let it go and we would neve rhav eknown about him. He could have gone public and said, "Hey, you government is not spying on you but I did manage to break in to find out and here's how I did it so this can be prevented in the future."

    In hacker terminology, he could be white, black, or gray hat. I know not which it is right now.
     
  16. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Based on what I know, which isn't all that much, he seems like an extremely opportunistic person who was looking out for himself first all the way along.

    This isn't Daniel Ellsburg, who was willing to go to trial for what he did.
     
  17. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    This guy told the general populace by what means the US government is spying on the general populace.
    What surprises me is that nobody seems to mind the fact that the US government calls that an offence.
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    But he still intentionally committed espionage against the U.S. government.
     
  19. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent 2017 Celebrity Deathpool Winner star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    And the U.S. government intentionally commits espionage against all other countries and their own citizens. People have the right to know what their elected officials are doing to them and there should be no hypocrisy over the matter.
     
  20. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    You say that as someone who has never had any contact with intelligence or security work.

    Like with that dip**** Bradley Manning, these guys aren't heroes. They signed onto a world they knew was clandestine and very much in the grey. Accordingly you can't be surprised if, at times, morally questionable information surfaces. If the bleeding heart idealist in you questions this, you should not be entertaining a career as a secret squirrel.

    I'm not going to apologise if anyone finds that offensive, nor am I interested in your opinion if you disagree but have never handled sensitive information. Until you have been in that world you cannot possible relate and therefore you comment from the wooly, cotton blanket of ignorance. Which is fine; it is, after all bliss and you have a right to the pursuit of happiness. But don't confuse that right with insight.
     
  21. Condition2SQ

    Condition2SQ Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Though I'm mostly apathetic about the existence of the programs, I'm not really sure what I think of Snowden. He just exposed the program itself--he didn't reveal any sensitive information ascertained via it.

    Is he the "hero" Greenwald so desperately wants us to believe he is? No. But I think it's on the whole good that we are having a public debate about the merits or lack thereof of these types of things. Speaking of Greenwald, I seem to remember one of his tweets berating Andrew Sullivan for peddling the "idiotic conspiracy theory" that Snowden took the job explicitly so he could leak information. Woops.

    EDIT: Regarding Manning, completely agree with Sai's appraisal. This piece sums up my feelings pretty well. Like you're the first person in military history to have misgivings about what the military is doing. Unless there's some My Lai **** going on, do your effing job until you're a civilian again. Then you can run for office.
     
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  22. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2005
    After what happened to Bradley Manning, I wouldn't turn myself in either.

    "Catch me if you can" is preferable; make the SOBs work for it.
     
  23. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Manning should have been shot. I'm sorry, a histrionic sodomite getting revenge by endangering the lives of assets in the field is not heroic - it's selfish and stupid.
     
  24. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Anyone (and I mean anyone) who pays attention knows that these things have been going on for decades. If this is unknown to any adult, that is their own ignorance, possibly to a willful extent. The CIA doesn't exist to make friends and follow normal protocols. That's not an endorsement, but just an observation.

    Daniel Ellsburg worked for the RAND Corporation and became aware of things that he had not known before, and he was willing to risk the rest of his life to disseminate the Pentagon Papers. He didn't flee anywhere or seek asylum.

    Edit: Why the shot at Manning's sexuality, Ender? It's beneath you and completely undermines your credibility. If you stick to the facts, you're much better off.
     
  25. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    The US government itself is turning into an oppressive state, is his suggestion. Standing upto a legally elected but oppressive state is going to be anything but legal :p

    Whatever is happening, we're not being told the truth.

    He's either an agent and he's playing the media like a fiddle, or he's so desperate not to vanish into a black bag for what he's done that he's thrown himself in with Russia and China out of complete and utter fear.

    The end result is the same - he's going to be vilified, branded a traitor, and, inevitably, vanish into a black bag. Sad, really, because the flow of information is so completely warped that we will never, ever, ever know. He could be sounding the alarm bells for a government falling to bad ways, or he could be the most accomplished traitor we've seen since social media became a thing.

    Myself? I'm inclined towards him being a genuine whistleblower and now he's terrified he's going to die anonymously to some CIA-type. Shrug.