Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SNOWDEN - WHISTLEBLOWER HERO or TRAITOR?

The question has been posited: should the United States government treat Edward Snowden as a whistleblower or an enemy? - S.L.


Snowden is a TRAITOR - quite possibly a Russian mole from the outset - his actions speak of this. If he was a whistleblower, he would have gone to his representatives in Congress. Instead he ran directly to China - not exactly a free society - and then to Russia, an even more oppressive society. What Snowden did caused grave, irreparable harm to United States security - particularly the revelations regarding our overseas signals intercept operations.

I don't like the idea of the United States Government doing electronic eavesdropping on every United States citizen, but on the other hand I am not a fool. We are engaged in a war with an evil ruthless enemy whose stated goals are to kill each and every one of us, possibly sparing some women & children to use as breeders & slaves. During time of war, Americans have traditionally sacrificed personal freedom on behalf of national security. War is Hell, and this is part of it.

Regarding the NSA electronic eavesdropping, perhaps the part that disturbs me the most is the monitoring of telephone records metadata. Regardless, I accept this intrusion as part of what I must give up, in the struggle against the terrorist scum enemy. Regarding the monitoring of our emails, I assumed from the beginning of the modern Internet phenomena that giant supercomputers at Fort Meade were scanning every word in every message. As far as I'm concerned, when you send an email, it has the same degree of personal privacy as a postcard. DMs are perhaps a little more discrete, but still subject to scanning.

Anybody who hails Snowden as a hero has forgotten that the United States has had traitors in every war we've been in. Snowden is the latest in a long line of Americans who have sided with the enemies of our country. Always remember and never forget: the only crime worse than murder is treason.


"In War, the Truth must be protected by a Bodyguard of Lies." - Winston Churchill

We must ALWAYS be prepared to sacrifice some freedoms for the sake of security. Otherwise we will have no security, and we will have no freedom.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

22 comments:

  1. "We are engaged in a war with an evil ruthless enemy whose stated goals are to kill each and every one of us, possibly sparing some women & children to use as breeders & slaves. During time of war, Americans have traditionally sacrificed personal freedom on behalf of national security."

    Sorry, but our government is unwilling to name this enemy and declare this war. In fact, they deny the true enemy and in some cases support them (e.g. Muslim Brotherhood in Eqypt). Until they act as if they are in a war, instead of merely using fear as a mechanism to destroy our liberty, then Mr. Snowden's actions can be viewed as whistle-blowing, even as patriotic.

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    1. UKHouston: that's like shooting holes in the bottom of the lifeboat you're in to prove your point that the boat is in fact sinkable. Yes we have an anti-American in the Whitehouse - that is besides the point - we still have to do whatever we can to prevail against the most insidious enemy we have ever faced. Snowden has put the lives of Americans serving overseas in jeopardy. He is no hero. If he was, he would have conducted himself differently. He did not go to the American press, he did not go to the American people with his revelations. He went to China, and Russia. He is a traitor, plain and simple.

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    2. "we still have to do whatever we can to prevail against the most insidious enemy we have ever faced"

      And you think that's what we're doing, do you? I see our government using the war on drugs and war on terrorism to strip American freedoms to the bone, while providing no substantial increase in security. In fact, much of what they do has decreased the security and safety of Americans in general.

      The jihadists want to destroy our society. In that, they are well down the road to success. All they needed to do to destroy America was kill a few thousand people in imaginative ways, then kick back and let our government do the rest.

      I am quite a bit more concerned about my own government's actions than the possibility of being killed by terrorists. In aggregate, our government has wrongfully killed, or destroyed without killing, orders of magnitude more Americans than the muslim nutjobs ever have.

      - weambulance

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    3. I agree with weambulance here.

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  2. 1. If Snowden had used the channels you suggest, he would be dead today and we would not be talking about him and, more importantly, the positive benefits of his disclosures ... e.g. the catharsis in the internet community ... would not have occurred.
    2. It is not good that Snowden put the lives of patriotic Americans in jeopardy, but then again, our Gov puts far more such lives in jeopardy in faraway places by not naming the enemy, using dangerous ROE, and not fighting to win.
    3. The traitors, in my view, are those in our own government who violate their oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution in order to ... what? ... save it?
    4. Many of us feel, increasingly, that the Gov is at war not with our country's enemies or the enemies of Western civilization, but with those of us citizens who dissent from the program.

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  3. So, which "enemy" has the power to cross one of two oceans and land enough troops in the United States to kill us all, rape our women, and enslave our children? Not a one of them. Not all of them working together.
    Americans overseas are not defending America.
    The biggest danger to the American people is the United States government and traitors who say we have to give up freedom for security. You spent your life serving these people, maybe it is time you reexamined what you wasted your time doing.
    The last time American troops fought to defend American freedoms, their uniforms were gray and they lost.

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  4. Chris: Your comment, Sir, tells me that - like most Westerners - you simply do not understand the extraordinary nature of this conflict.

    The Muslims are in this thing for the long run. They remember the Crusades like it was yesterday. In fact, as far as they're concerned, the wars we've got going in the Sandbox these days are simply the latest campaigns of the Crusades.

    "Never underestimate your enemy" is a Warrior Truism. Just because they do not possess fleets of battleships, squadrons of bombers, quivers full of inter-continental ballistic missiles and columns of tanks did not stop them from dropping the Twin Towers, plowing a jetliner into the Pentagon and damn near flying one into the Capitol building. We were asleep at the wheel despite the many indicators that were emerging over several years prior to the morning of 9-11.

    Yes it may be difficult almost impossible for them to replicate this operations, but in the mean time they are infiltrating our societies on foot and out-breeding us. At this time the Muslims have a significant footprint here in the United States but that is nothing. In less than two decades there will be more Arab French citizens than Frenchmen. Europe is lost to them.

    Another thing; I did not waste a single moment of my life wearing the American uniform, and the way it was explained to me I was not serving the government; I was serving the American people and defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Americans overseas ARE defending America, because it is better we fight them over there, than wait for the time we have to fight them over here. The only problem I have with our overseas operations is we are holding ourselves back. We should have dropped the 82d Airborne onto Tehran right after they took down our Embassy, we should have dismantled Hezbollah after the Beirut bombing, and we should have taken Mogadishu apart brick by brick the day after Blackhawk Down.

    Like I said, most Westerners simply do not understand the nature of this conflict.

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    1. If you believe stripping Americans of freedom to "protect" them is serving Americans, please stop serving me. And I say that as an 11B combat vet who knows perfectly well what the "nature of this conflict" is. I believe you simply have tunnel vision here.

      You know, I used to believe that the American government was full of basically good people, and was generally benign. But over the past decade or so my disillusionment has grown, and grown, with every transgression against the people they have perpetrated, small and large.

      I would much rather face people who at least state clearly that they want to cut my head off on live TV for being an infidel than a faceless monolith which aims to restrict my freedoms, put me in prison, or kill me, all for my own good. At least one of those threats will go down when I put bullets in it.

      - weambulance

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  5. 1. "Europe is lost to them". Thank you, like I wasn't scared before.

    2. It should not have come as a surprise to anyone that someone's spying on them. Cell phones, Internet... There's always, always, someone spying on you.

    3. When Snowden went to work for the NSA what did he think they were doing? Hello! It's called the NSA.

    - Viking Mia

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  6. In your mind, would the following hypotheticals still earn the "traitor" label?

    1) if Snowden didn't share any of his raw data with chinese or russian people, only the journalists he trusts

    2) if the overseas intelligence-collection methods were found to be used against americans (as american data flows around the world)

    3) if the overseas intelligence targets already ought to have had the same sanguine understanding of electronic non-privacy as you apparently have (but many of us don't) -- i.e., they ought to have known the NSA's spying on them electronically, thus publication of some of the technical details wouldn't compromise anything

    (and a counterfactual hypothetical:)

    4) if the Snowden disclosures were limited to the privacy intrusions upon americans

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    1. Frank: you posit your question as a series of "what if's?"

      Bottom Line Up Front: it is not "What if Snowden had done his revelations this way or that way?" - It is what he DID.

      Edward Snowden betrayed the trust of the organization he was working with, and violated the non-disclosure agreement that he signed prior with the NSA and the United States of America. In short, he betrayed all of us. And due to the nature of the electronic era that we live in, we all witnessed it.

      Treason is defined in the United States Constitution, in Article III, Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      Edward Snowden did not attempt to bring his concerns to the attention of Americans - the press, or his representatives in Congress. He did not attempt any discretion in what he revealed, out of concern for national security or American interests overseas. Edward Snowden went overseas and did a mega-dump. The material he released is extremely harmful to United States interests overseas, has cause grave harm to national security, and has aided our enemies immeasurably. He subsequently ran directly to the (Communist) Chinese and then to the Russians - not exactly Cold War enemies but certainly not friends of the United States - and he took the remainder of his huge trove of classified intelligence with him.

      To me, this meets the definition of treason.

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    2. He did betray his NDA's, but "betrayed all of us" assumes that we would have been better off without his disclosures. I submit that this has not yet shown to be the case.

      The first few "what if"s in my list are not actually that controversial - there is some evidence for each of them. Do they make no difference to you? Would it still be treason if at the same time he exposed treasonous conduct by the intelligence apparatus?

      How about this one. With the metadata+ monitoring of even americans, there is reason to believe that consider incriminating information of some form has been collected on apprx. everyone. There have been much earlier claims that the NSA had been spying on their own government leaders (judges, congressmen, etc.) for many years. Should it not worry one that should rogue elements within the NSA+friends exist (and according to you, at least one guy named Snowden does), that thereby these various leaders become subject to blackmail, undermining the legitimacy of government checks & balances and all that?

      Exposing THAT might be worth some gratitude.

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  7. Snowdon is both a hero and a traitor. If I were Emperor, I would award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and personally pin it to his chest - as he was being strapped to the pole for his firing squad.

    Of course, most of the heads at the CIA and NSA would be right there with them; the marksmen might need to reload several times to get them all.

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  8. If Snowden had tried to turn the intel over to a congressman or anyone like that the CIA/NSA would almost certainly have learned of his plans and grabbed him. NOBODY in America in a position to do ANYTHING about something as evil as the NSA/DHS spying operates in privacy. The NSA et.al. know what the congressmans email says GEFORE HE READS IT. Taking his intel offshore was the ONLY way it would have been publicized. Was it the best way...probably not, but it was likely the only viable option Snowden had. Remember, he worked for them....he knew far better than most just how pervasive the surveillance is.

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  9. Retired USAF First SergeantJanuary 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Part 1: Reasonable men can debate and disagree without becoming enemies. It’s not a case of being a fool, or not understanding the conflict, or not having the standing of a career in the military to see clearly. The conflict we’re fighting with Islam is the result, in fact, of the ‘Third Jihad’ and an attempt to establish the global Caliphate. However, our undeclared (therefore unconstitutional) involvement does not excuse the actions of the government in violating the law that all of us, including presidents, soldiers, and citizens are bound to respect and comply with that law. It binds us all. If the government is not held accountable to the same law that the citizenry is held, there is no such thing as ‘equal before the law’, and if we are not equal before the law, then everything we’ve worked for is a lie. So, in that light, I offer a few observations on the ‘question’ posited.

    The great majority of the known information dumped demonstrates the US government is waging a covert war against its own citizenry, all in the name of ‘security’ and has become a ‘law unto itself’ operating with expedience as its guide with no regard for the very people that created the government in the first place. Anecdotal evidence of this covert ‘war’ is the Patriot Act I & II, NDAA, etc, which are all are pointed internally and violate the Due Process clauses of both the 5th and 14th Amendments.

    But let’s get to the charge of treason: Let’s say for a moment that Snowden has violated Article 3, Section 3, by either ‘levying war against them, or giving aid and comfort to their enemies’. Let’s break it down a bit. Which enemy? The term ‘enemies’ require a state of war. To have a state of war in the United States, one must have a Congressional Declaration of War. Where is it? The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002,[1] Pub.L. 107–243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114)( Public Law No: 107-243) authorizing military action against Iraq is decidedly NOT a congressional declaration of war as stipulated by the Constitution, nor is it universal. If the United States declared war against Islam itself, or against the Russians, or the Chinese, or the Afghans, or anyone of the number of countries in which we have boots on the ground and rounds going down range, there might be a case. As it is, from a constitutional stand point (something every military member takes an Oath to preserve, protect, and defend against all enemies) the circumstantial evidence doesn’t support treason, traitor or hero. It does support the generally accepted term, “whistle blower.”
    The other points on eavesdropping in email for phone calls, again, demonstrates a complete disregard for the limitations placed on the government against its citizens by the 4th Amendment (and quite possibly, if criminal activity is going on, the 5th Amendment). Thankfully, the Constitution doesn’t enumerate the powers of the government to the point of individual concern on how much overreach the government may have that can be considered expedient. If the government doesn’t have to obey that which created it (and the federal government is a creature of the Constitution), what duty does any citizen have to obey the Constitution or that government? Answer: None. And if that’s the case, then the gloves must come off and the government declares itself totalitarian. And then where is the ‘grand experiment’?

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  10. Retired USAF First SergeantJanuary 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Part II: Giving up liberty for the sake of ‘security’ or ‘fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here’ doesn’t pass constitutional muster. Franklin told us what we had: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” A republic acting within the confines of its charter (our Constitution) does not need to spy on its own citizens, does not need to have undeclared war upon undeclared war upon undeclared war to justly govern and protect its people.

    Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex and what it was capable of. We, as a People, did not listen.

    It’s not so much that Snowden is a ‘hero’ (the term is terribly overused and has lost its real meaning due to the ‘politics of emotion’), but he is decidedly not a traitor. Not yet. To be a traitor, he must first meet the criteria of having two witnesses to the same overt act (open war or aid and comfort to declared enemies) be convicted of such in a court of law with due process. And, as it stands, our system at this point is not capable of providing a fair jury trial by his peers because the evidence that would most likely need to be presented is highly classified.

    So that leaves the answer to the question open.

    Thanks for reading.

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  11. Some of you act like you didn't think the gov't spied on everything and everybody it could.
    I have always assumed that anything sent via mail, phone, over the air waves or electronically was recorded and kept.
    It's just common sense, if you have the capability to do something like that, YOU DO.

    SteveA

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  12. Basically, even your tele operator spies on you since they have logs on all your tele traffic. Phone calls, text messages, emails, name, address... GPS coordinates. They could dig up everything about you if they wanted to. And yet, nobody's calling them spies simply because "it's not the same thing".

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  13. Having also served in the armed forces I was just as protective of our governments intentions as you, for many years. I have since become much more aware of both the founding principles of our great republic and the level of tyranny we are experiencing. Benjamin Franklin was aptly quoted as saying, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” This is a much more accurate quote than your willingness to be kept safe by government. The terrorist of 9/11 have won thanks to our government and a population willing to be servants. We have no rights to freely travel, thanks to the TSA, we have constitutional free zones within 100 miles of every boarder, we have no privacy thanks to the NSA, and no property rights. We have given up the country I was born in not to the terrorist but our masters in the government. Under the pretense of being kept safe.

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  14. Love ya man, but you're off on this one, weambulance has it right.

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    1. Sorry- there are any number of ways he could have gone about informing the American people that our Government is collecting on us. He crossed the line into treason when he dumped on our overseas intelligence operations, then ran directly to the Communists with the huge remainder of his stash of classified intel. Edward Snowden is a TRAITOR and he needs to answer for it before the American people.

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  15. Nope, sorry dude, yer wrong here.

    He went to several reporters....no dice.

    COngress knew what was going on, and chose not to do anything.

    THe only way he could get his message out was the way he did it.

    Do ya really think he caused any greater emenity between the US and any other country or group of people? I strongly doubt it.

    They might trust us a bit less, but if they hated us before... they hate us now.

    Please, explain exactly how his disclosures oput troops or other individuals at greater risk, I don't see it.

    His disclosures may have (are) illegal, but they do NOT rise to the level of treason....THe NSA and those who allowed it are the traitors.

    I read you with interest every time you post....I admire you. But today, I have to tell you, you are wrong in this case. Sadly, badly wrong. It could be that I have misunderstood, or that you know more than I do....but before I'll change my mind, you are going to have to show me more than what you have to prove he is a traitor.

    A criminal? Yes. But how else would his revelations gotten out?

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