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‘NSA Leaker’ Snowden On The Run

NSA  leaker faces big charges. He’s out of Hong Kong and on the run. We follow the trail and go deep on the issues and legal case around Edward Snowden.

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday. (Vincent Yu/AP)

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a “third country” because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory’s government said Sunday. (Vincent Yu/AP)

Big-time NSA leaker Edward Snowden, on the run today, trailing a long list of warnings to Americans and the world about what the US government is watching, reading, tracking, surveilling. And the US Justice Department is hot on his tail, with charges of espionage.

He’s gone Hong Kong, Moscow… and then it’s Where’s Waldo? The speculation was Cuba, Caracas, Ecuador, Iceland, with giant issues swirling. We’ve got the man who defended the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case with us.

This hour On Point: The flight and case of Edward Snowden.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mark Mazzetti, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and national security correspondent for The New York Times. He’s the author of “The Way Of The Knife: The CIA, A Secret Army, And A War At The Ends Of The Earth” — read an excerpt. (@MarkMazzettiNYT)

James Goodale, First Amendment lawyer and former chief legal counsel for The New York Times in all four of its cases that have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1971, he argued for the paper’s right to publish the Pentagon Papers. He’s the author of “Fighting For The Press: The Inside Story Of The Pentagon Papers And Other Battles” — read an excerpt.

William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and professor of law and international affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post: Snowden Flees Hong Kong — “Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs, fled Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday with the assistance of the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, landing at Sheremetyevo International Airport aboard an Aeroflot flight, according to Russian media reports and a WikiLeaks spokesman.”

The National Journal: The Edward Snowden Drama Has Reached Peak Action Movie — “If the Edward Snowden saga is a Michael Bay movie that we are all just living in, on Sunday morning it would have passed over the believability abyss. That’s when Snowden, the NSA leaker turned America’s Most Wanted poster-boy, took a plane out of Hong Kong, en route to Russia, where he landed around 9:15 a.m. EST. Snowden is reportedly headed from there to Havana, Cuba on Monday. Originally, it looked like he was going from there to Caracas, Venezuela. Now, it appears he’s off to Ecuador.”

The Weekly Standard: Rand Paul Defends: ‘Mr. Snowden Told the Truth in the Name of Privacy’ — “‘They’re going to contrast the behavior of James Clapper, our national intelligence director, with Edward Snowden,’ said Paul. ‘Mr. Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security. Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy.’”

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  • Mike_Card

    He couldn’t have been more than a junior functionary, who didn’t really know very much. 

    • Vigilarus

      And yet he knew enough to turn over the rock that the security state skulks under…

      May the refuge that he finds see its own people inspired to demand the freedom of speech which Mr. Snowden has sacrificed so much to exercise.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Did he have the clearance to get his hands on the things he’s turned over?

      I’m not trying to be accusatory, I’m just trying to granularize the known facts of the case.

      To analogize: Say I’m an accountant in an office with a company-issued laptop. I have clearance to see certain files of the company’s. But if I try to remote from within that building into an executive’s laptop or a server that’s off limits, that’s a whole nother kettle of fish.

  • DougGiebel

    Now charged as a “spy,” Snowden WAS a spy — for the United States. To understand why President Obama and so many in Congress revile Snowden and promote the NSA, one must examine the political contributions made by NSA and Defense contractors to the politicians’ campaign chests.
    Doug Giebel
    Big Sandy, Montana

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Bienvenido Sr. Snowden.

    Mr. Snowden has many admirers in Ecuador who are looking forward to offer him support and protection. 

     

  • SteveTheTeacher

    The State Department has sent warnings to Latin American countries, pressuring them to ensure that Edward Snowden is extradited to the US.  Additionally, the have characterized Cuban and Venezula as “terrorist” nations.

    In the meantime, Luis Posada Carriles is treated as a hero in Miami despite his conviction for terrorism, including blowing up a Cuban bound passenger plane with 73 civilians on board. The US refuses to extradite him. 

    Meanwhile in the Guantanamo, Cuba, US military doctors have refused to adhere to the Hippocratic oath, and the plea of concerned US doctors, and international law.  Instead, the military doctors continue to enforce brutal torturous methods to force feed hunger striking prisoners.

    In Orwell’s 1984:

    War is PeaceFreedom is slavery
    Ignorance is strength

    President Obama has added:

    Surveillance is security
    Dissent is treason

    • Bluejay2fly

      I agree we have become a police state of sorts and that GITMO is wrong. However, there is nothing torturous about force feeding inmates. I work in a NYS prison and hunger strikes are beginning to become popular as a form of protest. It is a medical procedure and while not entirely pain free conflating pain with torture from a life saving procedure is a false analogy.

      • SteveTheTeacher

        Criminal activity is criminal activity regardless of whether some are able to get away with it. 

        According the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13278&LangID=E):

        “it is unjustifiable to engage in forced feeding of individuals contrary to their informed and voluntary refusal of such a measure. ”

        According to a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Coville.
        “If it’s perceived as torture or inhuman treatment — and it’s the case,
        it’s painful — then it is prohibited by international law,”   (http://www.wall-street.com/force-feeding-at-guantanamo-breaches-international-law-u-n/)

        • Bluejay2fly

          What does the UN want us to do sit this one out like Rowanda? NYS force feeds inmates because they do not want them to kill themselves through starvation. That would make it appear as though we deliberately did not feed them thereby casting suspicion on our department. Force feeding is no different then us cutting down a hanging inmate or suturing up one which has slashed himself with a razor because they are unbalanced and suicidal. Prisoners are wards of the state and the responsibility for their healthcare is governed by the state. While NYS does everything it can to respect inmate healthcare choices like allowing DNR’s etc. there are reasonable limits. If it is uncomfortable or somewhat painful that is a benefit because it is a good deterrent to prevent others from engaging in hunger strikes capriciously. Currently, at my prison we have had 2 inmates engage in hunger strikes because they want a transfer. PS while serving on a deployment on board the USS Iowa I was so angry at my treatment in G-4 Division I went from 155 lbs down to 112 lbs in what one could call transitional anorexia. My protest stopped because we pulled into port and the deployment was ended. The issue is complicated because if somebodies judgment is impaired should he be allowed to make those kind of choices. I have been a prison guard for 15 years and already have had one coworker commit suicide and know about 5 guards in the area who have died the same way. It’s a complex issue and great for a class discussion.

    • anamaria23

      Please reference when President Obama added that “dissent is treason”    

      • SteveTheTeacher

        How about when the Obama administration began targeting whistle blowers – more than the total from all other US Presidents combined?

        How about when the Obama administration’s justice department began secretly collecting communications records from news outlets such as the Associated Press?

        How about when the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security began widespread surveillance of the Occupy Movement?

    • hennorama

      SteveTheTeacher – Cuba has been on the State Dept. list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” since March 1, 1982.  Venezuela is NOT on that list, although many have called for it to be added.

      According to various sources, State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement that “Persons wanted on felony charges, such as Mr. Snowden, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States.” This is not exactly the same as what you have described as “warnings to Latin American countries, pressuring them to ensure that Edward Snowden is extradited to the US.”

      Do you have any evidence of any specific “warnings” other than what was stated above?

      See:http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/23/politics/nsa-leaks-us-reaction/index.html

      And:http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/c14151.htm

      • SteveTheTeacher

         From the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/world/asia/nsa-leaker-leaves-hong-kong-local-officials-say.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

        “Diplomats and law enforcement officials from the United States warned countries in Latin America not to harbor Mr. Snowden or allow him to pass through to other destinations after he fled Hong Kong for Moscow, possibly en route to Ecuador or another nation where he could seek asylum.”

        • hennorama

          SteveTheTeacher – TY for your response.

          I won’t quibble too much about your interpretation of that quote when you wrote “The State Department has sent warnings to Latin American countries, pressuring them to ensure that Edward Snowden is extradited to the US.”

          Your words could be interpreted to mean “pressuring” various countries “to ensure that Edward Snowden is extradited to the US” after the fact, if and when Mr. Snowden landed in their country.

          One must note that the word “extradite” is nowhere to be found in the quote, and that extradition can only occur from a place someone has sought refuge, or is in custody or control, and not beforehand.

          As one understands the current situation, and assuming Mr. Snowden is still in the international zone in the airport in Moscow, which is admittedly a major assumption, Mr. Snowden is not under the auspices of any nation at present, and therefore cannot be extradited until and unless that situation changes.

          Thank you again for your response.

  • alangig

    Run baby Run! what respect for mr. snowdon, so young, what is he going to do with the rest of his life and why not go to Iceland?

  • donniethebrasco

    Everyday that Snowden is allowed to be free shows the corruption in the Obama administration.

    Get him anyway you can.

    • jefe68

      Everyday that you post shows a corruption of rational thought. 

  • John Cedar

    He strategically waited to disclose this information until after the election was over. He deserves the death penalty for waiting.

    • nj_v2

      ^ This post deserves the death penalty for melodramatic hyperbole.

    • hennorama

      John Cedar – one problem with your “theory” is that Mr. Snowden was hired by Booz Allen Hamilton for his last job this spring, and was actually on the job as a systems administrator at an NSA facility in Hawaii for only about four weeks before flying to Hong Kong.

      Both of these events occurred well AFTER the 2012 US national elections.

      Source:
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/21/us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE95K01J20130621

      • John Cedar

        I am sure I have read that Snowden claimed he purposely waited until after the election. Do you think I misread that, or my memory is bad, or that he was misquoted, or that he is a liar or he was quoted out of context or…?

        • hennorama

          John Cedar – TY for your response.

          You misread, or perhaps whoever wrote what you read was inaccurate, as to what Mr. Snowden said during his recent online chat. Mr. Snowden was not referring to the 2012 elections; he was talking about the 2008 election, and how Pres., Obama had said he would close Guantanamo, and spoke about other topics during that campaign.

          Here’s part of the transcript of the online chat:

          “Question: Gabrielaweb

          “Why did you wait to release the documents if you said you wanted to tell the world about the NSA programs since before Obama became president?

          “Answer:

          “Obama’s campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. Many Americans felt similarly. Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge.”

          See:http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/full-transcript-of-qa-session-with-nsa-leaker-edward-snowden/

    • Don_B1

      While none of us really know what went on in Mr. Snowden’s mind, the proximate event could well be Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s testimony before Congress which was certainly inaccurate if not a direct lie. Mr. Clapper characterized his statement as “the least lie I could tell” [a reasonable paraphrase if not precisely accurate].

      If you acknowledge that Mr. Snowden probably had followed the treatment of Bradley Manning, which many have called a form of torture, it is hard to say Mr. Snowden is not willing to face some music but maybe not that level of treatment?

      Mr. Snowden put himself at risk to not be able to have the comfortable life that he was on track to have; his life will never regain the style he could have had.

      How this will play out, which of the issues brought up here are relevant, etc., will not be known for some time.

  • 1Brett1

    Snowden revealed a program that has already been known for nearly a decade and that is heroism? Snowden has run the risk of compromising national security in the process of “being concerned about civil liberties”? Snowden threw his life away for…? 

    Snowden could have gotten authorities on his side and embarrassed the NSA, not to mention he could have actually prompted change. He could have resigned from his job and made public that he was a low-level employee who had direct access to all sorts of information. He could have done all of that without divulging any actual information about specific programs. Everybody knows there is spying and metadata collecting on citizens and on other countries. He could have divulged that in a general sense without leaking any specific information. The average person mentions the metadata collection itself, and that is what the concern is over anyway. Then he could have still played the hero he craves. He wouldn’t have been charged with any crime. He could have been a whistle blower without self-destructing. 

    By the same token the government could have divulged all of this in a general sense, too, without compromising national security. It could have gone a long way to support the idea of trust and transparency in government. 

    The whole thing stinks. 

    We have a government that spies on its citizens’ phone activity (in terms of duration of phone calls, where those calls are made and to whom those calls are sent); we have a government that lies and says it doesn’t do those things (requiring some low-level NSA employee to force the issue and prove the government is lying); we have security leaks at intelligence gathering governmental agencies that are the result of really, really sloppy security; we have a governmental employee who sees something he feels is wrong (yet works for an agency very involved in the day-to-day operations of such activity–what did he expect?). and instead of trying to properly bring such activity to light, he goes to a pseudo-journalist, spills his guts and tries to hide in other countries; we have a pseudo-journalist and news outlet that claim they are just reporting government corruption and are part of a tradition of a free press divulging important information about people’s civil liberties, yet they are going to do it one installment at a time to sensationalize it and keep readership at a feverish pitch. 

    To all of the parties involved I say BS. No side is to be trusted. Snowden could have made a deal with the government for immunity from prosecution before divulging anything specific and still achieved what he wanted. The government could have been more transparent, and the “journalist and news outlet” could have released all that they had. Being that no players did any of that, I find the whole mess is  despicable, counterproductive and a complete circus indicating incompetence, corruption, and vindictiveness.  

    It’s now easy to paint the government with a broad brush and say they are corrupt. It’s now easy to question Snowden’s act of “heroism” and to see him as a mixed up kid who is unstable. It’s now easy to further malign the media for the sleazoids that they are. No one, no organization, no institution has any integrity. 

    • nj_v2

      Your convoluted, contradictory rants make no sense whatsoever. You’ve been posting subtle, but no more cogent variations of this for a week or more.

      [[ Snowden revealed a program that has already been known for nearly a decade and that is heroism? ]]

      Revised to: “Snowden revealed a program that has already been known for nearly a decade and that is treason?” points out how ridiculous this is.

      [[ He could have divulged that in a general sense without leaking any specific information. ]]

      What “specific information”?

      [[ By the same token the government could have divulged all of this in a general sense, too, without compromising national security. It could have gone a long way to support the idea of trust and transparency in government. ]]

      Yes, and fairies and nymphs could decend from the heavens and given everyone candy and a unicorn.

      Running to Russia and talking to Chinese newspapers is among the few things he’s done that i think can be justifiably criticized.

      • 1Brett1

        I Revised what I was saying? No. I guess you can’t keep two disparate thoughts in your head at the same time? This is where the truth lies: in between two disparate thoughts.

        Snowden is neither a hero nor a traitor. Is that something your little mind can wrap itself around?

        As far as the rest of the tripe you posted…talk about ranting!

        I find fault with Snowden, the NSA, private contractors, and simpletons like you who paint with a broad brush and are nothing more than armchair activists who behave as if taking a one-dimensional view of something actually stands for intelligent analysis.

        • nj_v2

          Sorry, Brett, when you start with “your little mind,” your credibility goes up in smoke.

          I had been purely addressing the content of what you wrote.

          Enjoy your day.

          • 1Brett1

            Dude, look at the tone of your reply to me, and you expect me to be nice to you? You started out with “your convoluted, contradictory rants..”! Jesus. 

            Plus, because I would like our government to be more transparent, and it wouldn’t have been that difficult for them to do so in this case, I believe in “fairies, nymphs…and unicorns”? 

            I have tried really hard not to see this issue with Snowden and the metadata stuff one dimensionally. And, I don’t care whether you see me as credible, I really don’t, but you came out shooting from the hip.  

            You were doing more than addressing the content of what I was saying. Did you ask for clarification at all? Next time reply to me the way you wish to be replied to and we’ll be fine; AND it might also help if you don’t display a healthy amount of hypocrisy in your second reply.

          • nj_v2

            The fact that you’re focusing on the tone and atmospherics and not the content of what i wrote kind of proves my point.

            Your post was contradictory. It was ranty. You go on about Greenwald as a “pseudo journalist,” presumably, as you wrote previously, mostly because he doesn’t have a degree in journalism.

            I made substantive criticisms, and even asked a specific question, without commenting on the size of your mind, and you’ve yet to address any of it.

          • 1Brett1

            1) There wasn’t anything of substance in what you wrote, unless you wish me to reply to “…fairies, nymphs, and unicorns”? What “substantive criticisms” were you making?

            2) It is amazing how presumptuous you are as to why I don’t consider Greenwald to be a journalist “because he doesn’t have a degree in journalism.” I don’t care about that. He engages in making his side of an issue sound reasonable (in characterizing it after the fact) and reduces the other side to a one-dimensional, lowest-common-denominator straw man. I don’t find that approach credible, professional or having journalisitc integrity. I didn’t know his college history.

            3) What question was I supposed to respond to, the terse “what specific information?” Besides filling your comment with potshots before that question, rendering me unlikely to reply, are you saying Snowden hasn’t revealed anything specific? He sure has risked a lot to do so. Greenwald has sure put his reputation on the line. (By the way, Greenwald was lazy; Snowden sought him out, dropped his stuff in Greenwald’s lap, and Greenwald didn’t do any investigative “journalism” himself.)

            4) Other than your quotes from my earlier comments (by the way, you said I revised something, which was out and out false; not only was an earlier comment of mine–like from over a week ago–about my opinion that I don’t see Snowden as a traitor, it was neither a revision of “he’s not a hero” nor is it a revision at all), you said nothing except how I was ranting in convoluted, contradictory ways, and that my views amount to believing in “fairies, nymphs and unicorns.” I didn’t answer your question because you weren’t polite enough for me to respond to your “content” (which was one curt question). The other reason, as I stated above, is that your question didn’t make a lot of sense.

            5) To be fair, I didn’t respond to your final statement about Snowden going to China and Russia, on that I agree with you. 

             

    • Don_B1

      So much is still unknown, and the MSM’s focus on Mr.Snowden’s running from attempts of the U.S. Government to arrest and imprison him, likely under conditions that have been attributed to that of Pvt. Manning for his WikiLeaks disclosure, it does beg the question of how much personal loss should he have to suffer if he wants to try to inform the public about government activities that he feels could or should be unconstitutional?

      I don’t know where the line should be drawn between civil disobedience in a country which is following the strict rule of law in routing out improper actions by people supposedly acting in the public interest and the “whistleblower” who disagrees and the person that has a limited viewpoint into what the government’s activities really amount to and who may face more than just a term of imprisonment.

      In the former case the whistleblower supposedly has really thought out what is going on and is willing to accept the consequences if wrong. But if the government is imposing a penalty that seems beyond what the level of the “crime” requires.

      You correctly note that much of what Mr. Snowden revealed was “known” but, I think, gloss over the impact of that previous knowledge and why it had had such a weak impact.

      As James Bamford has written in Wired and made clear in numerous interviews, he had written about a lot of what Mr. Snowden revealed, but because Mr. Bamford’s writings did not have NSA documents that backed up his statements, it was easy for government officials to deny the stories and without that backup they just went away.

      It seems that Mr. Snowden decided, for himself at least, it was worth some sacrifice to show that this surveillance was real; now that takes a certain kind of courage to put the rest of your life at risk, but it does not make you a hero necessarily as you correctly point out.

      That he is trying to evade the arm of the U.S. Government just means that he is trying to limit the amount of self-sacrifice he wants to offer.

      • 1Brett1

        I agree that Mr. Snowden has made a great sacrifice, and I don’t think his punishment should be much more severe than it has been, which was part of my comment over a week ago (what NJ2 considered a “convolution and contradiction”); I don’t see Snowden as having committed treason (nor is he a hero). 

        As far as any consequences for Snowden’s actions, I think some sort of prevention from ever working with computers/sensitive information again would be appropriate. He has lost his job and presumably will not be able to work in his chosen occupation–or anything remotely resembling it–which perhaps should be formalized by an adjudication…something along those lines. As far as putting him in prison for the rest of his life or, worse, the death penalty, that would make me lose even more faith in the government and in justice. My fear for him is that he will be made an example of and will have a ton of bricks dropped on him.

        I do wish Snowden had handled himself a little more carefully. I think one thing that has happened as a result of his actions proving to be worthwhile is this has all prompted a serious conversation about government (lack of) transparency.

        I guess what troubles me is that the notion of being at odds with government, decaying journalistic rigor, and whistle blowers has now been reduced to its most simplistic forms: the government is absolutely corrupt and opaque, journalists are unprofessional and looking for the biggest bang for the audience they can get without doing the leg work, and whistle blowers turn out to be troubled people who simply have violated their terms of employment. And, if each player in this saga had just tweaked his role even a little, the simplistic distinctions would have been more difficult to make, which is where reality should be viewed. 

        While I haven’t had a lot of good to say for Snowden, I haven’t had anything good to say for Greenwald, or the NSA. All institutions lose in this; US citizens lose even more, though, as our trust has been violated in individuals, in government and in journalism.
         

  • http://www.facebook.com/loring.palmer.9 L Swift Palmer

    Add to Tom’s reading list re Ed Snowden situation:  “Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story [Iraq Redux].” *posted 6/24 by Juan Cole, http://www.juancole.com. 
    Here we go again:  malign the messenger and bury the message. It has a lot to do with the entanglement of the Military, Industrial, Media, Complex. What I take away from this is that Ed Snowden is on our side by exposing the illegal spying by the government and that the news from the corporate media is not to be trusted.

  • Bluejay2fly

    Ever since the end of WW2 we have been using “National Security” as an excuse to step all over other nation’s sovereignty. Now we are seeing that interference being conducted at home as we search for terrorists domestically. Since this trend is irreversible we might as well make it entertaining. I think Snowden should be the first American citizen to be sent to our new accomodations at GITMO. In fact, he can help construct a new cell block just for US citizens. At least that way he will have company while serving out his indefinite detention. It would be cruel and unamerican to make Snowden suffer all alone, even Andy Dufresne was allowed to have Morgan Freeman. 

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’d like to see more attention paid to what Mr. Snowden is trying to tell us.  He has surrendered his life to try to tell us something.  Maybe we should give a listen. 

  • anamaria23

    I have little regard for Mr. Snowden.  The manner in which he chose to save America from itself  has set the peace process  back a generation, setting up countries against each other to make a hero out of  him  and mock the USA.
    He could have accomplished the same in many other ways.
    I suspect he will regret choosing the chronic malcontent,  America loathing Glenn Greenwald as a mentor.
    In his overzealousness, he threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    • 1Brett1

      I couldn’t agree more, anamaria23. I have expressed this, although not as succinctly as you, and have been skewered. I don’t like how the government gathers information on its own citizens, but that doesn’t mean Snowden is a hero. 

  • andrewgarrett

    Snowden is a very principled man: he complains about “surveillance” and democracy and then helps China – a country more into surveillance than any on the planet other than North Korea. Then he does a victory tour through those bastions of liberty and Internet freedom – Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. Snowden stands by his beliefs.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Are you certain China outdoes us in the area of surveilance?  I don’t know if that is a lock.

      • Rick Evans

        4X the population size with an incessantly censored internet. Maybe not ‘a lock’ by highly probable. 

    • Vigilarus

      Your innuendo-laced low-fact attack is a great example of the Ad hominem fallacy. Distract, defame, and distort.

      Boot-lickers and flag-wrappers want the story to be about how Eddie was a bad boy before Big Brother tells them to go back to sleep lest the terraists hiding in the woodwork come out to get them.

      Ignorant and scared is how the snoops and goons want us to be.

    • Rick Evans

      He and his conjoined “principled” ally Julian Assange who stars on Kremin RT radio as a  Putin puppet while true activists Pussy Riot rot in Soviet style prison.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      I think this situation should call into question the very notion that China is more of a surveillance state than the US. I don’t think that’s at all clear anymore.

  • jimino

    Uncountable (literally, because it’s a secret) billions of our tax dollars paid to a massive, privately-owned, for-profit security apparatus designed to spy on US citizens that not even sitting Congress members are allowed to investigate. 

    Now THAT sounds like a news story one could sink their teeth into.  Instead we hear about where Snowden is flying.

  • donniethebrasco

    If a Republican were doing the spying, the left would be up in arms.  Because it is Obama, they are standing on their heads to justify it.

    • MrWakiki

      I am a democrat and I am up in arms when either party does this

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

       Why do Republicans always make it sound like they are victims?

    • Don_B1

      The ones making the “strongest” defense are Republican Senators, like John McCain and Linsey Graham.

      it would appear that you only read super-conservative websites which just don’t report the complaints of much of the moderate left which is more than a little upset.

      But that is why most of your comments/posts here are usually irrelevant to the issue under discussion.

  • suzieinnewport

    Please answer:

    Is it legal for the US government to revoke a citizen’s passport purely on suspicion of a crime, or in any circumstance? Is it legal to simply flip a switch and turn a citizen into a stateless person? Please ask your guest about the legalities of this move.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      I think it’s interesting how in the last 70 years the public has come simply to accept the notion that you need a document to travel internationally. Go back to the 1930′s and passports were entirely voluntary.

      How about we return to the days of not needing government permission to travel?

  • http://saultannenbaum.org/ Saul Tannenbaum

    Speculating on Snowden’s travel plans is not news. It’s a waste of air time and oxygen, On Point’s equivalent of OJ’s infamous low speed chase.

  • AC

    i’m stilll having trouble caring…..

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Fry him to a crisp.  I’m sick and tired of these traitors (Snowden, Aaron Swartz, Julien Assange, and others) thinking that they have the right to take the law into their own hands and disclose classified information.  What they are doing is treasonous and costs the American taxpayers billions of dollars and loss of security.  Fry them.  And do it quickly rather than allowing them to thumb their nose (with the help of the ACLU or some other anti-American group) and keep the appeals process going for years when they knowingly have broken the law.

    • Vigilarus

      Does the Constitution make good toilet paper for you?

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

       Time for some Jello™ and a nap.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Doesn’t he get graham crackers, too?

        • Steve__T

           We used to give him milk too, until the straw got stuck in his nose.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Wow, “Bad day at Black Rock”, when a mob comes to hang you, I want to be the sheriff who can’t control them. It’ll be sweet.

    • J__o__h__n

      Swartz didn’t disclose classified information. 

    • jimino

      Great imitation of how some deluded authoritarian fool who claims to believe in the rule of law, our Constitution, etc. would talk about the situation.

      This IS a joke, right?

      • Steve__T

         He’s not joking he is very serious, and has no idea of how he sounds to a rational mind. He calls Assange a traitor, the man is not a US citizen. He’s the type to hang someone without due process and think he was right to do so. Just don’t try to do it to him. He has rights.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      What they are doing is treasonous and costs the American taxpayers billions of dollars and loss of security.  Fry them.  And do it quickly rather than allowing them to thumb their nose (with the help of the ACLU or some other anti-American group) and keep the appeals process going for years when they knowingly have broken the law. “they” snowden types or “they” domestic spy types?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    It may be hotter than hell outside but there is a distinct chill on the info-superhighway these days. Everybody with an opinion that differs from those in power is covering his/her butt. When does this thing mushroom into a serious propaganda free-for-all? Oh, it already has… 

  • Buster1

    Nothing like an incompetent police state chasing a whistle blower to make us think America is living inside a monty python movie.

    I remember a time when freedom of information whistle blowers ran to the United States of America for sanctuary.

    Should we feel safer now that the secret police are the keepers of all of the secrets and the citizens are not allowed there’s?

    The NSA is like the Catholic church and a forced confession where the boy bumpers are allowed to run their banks hide raping pederasts, money launder for the mob, deny scientific truth all in the name of an invisible man in the sky. 

    The confessors have  eternal damnation hanging over their heads  a living hell on earth living on the lamb, the specter of life imprisonment for merely speaking the truth.

    Is any State worth being silenced for? 

    The threat to your children is a secret police who hold all of the marbles, the judiciary, prisons and a gun pointed at their open mouths and minds.

    P.S. Disqus = NSA

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Don’t they have a drone for that? I mean, how far can Snowden really run without another “Seal Team Six” scenario unfolding?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Yeah, running to the Russians does create a bad image… for the US! How far the US government has fallen if a whistleblower against unconstitutional surveillance and invasion of privacy has to run to the likes of *Russia* for justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Ah, here we go: “Running into the hands of the Russians…”
    When Russia appears to have more freedoms than the imperial USA does, we are standing on shaky ground, worldwide.

  • fionnmaccumhailus

    We’ve been throwing our weight around in many places for the last century. Now we’re surprised when Latin American countries are willing to help someone we’re after? Getting their chance to stick a finger in our eye?  I think we deserve it.

    I also hope there are more like Edward Snowden willing to expose the hidden workings.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Cockroaches scurry away from the light. Perhaps this event will bring out the million fireflies of freedom. (quote me, please : ) 

      • nj_v2

        Better get a trademark on that (Million fireflies of freedom™)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Could we talk a bit more about why the NSA is spying on the American people? Snowden is not the important story here: Snowden *revealed* what should be a bombshell leading to impeachment and prison terms for government officials. That we’re talking about the whistleblower is a terrible signal about the state of liberty in the US.

    • sickofthechit

       Do you really think there are no terrorists in the US?  How are we able to separate by looking at their phone numbers who is a terrorist and who isn’t?  You either want as much protection as possible, or something less than that.  How many successful attacks are acceptable?  That is the question at the heart of this isn’t it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        I’d settle for not fearing my government more than terrorists, but right now I have a statistically greater chance of being killed by the government than by a terrorist.

        But if you really want an answer, I’ll give you the same answer I give to gun controllers: my freedoms are more important than anyone’s life. If you want to go live in a locked box and avoid all danger, be my guest, but don’t expect me to sacrifice my freedoms and accept life in a police state to give you the illusion of safety.

        We could at least have an argument about this stuff if there was any evidence that it actually increases safety, but so far there is zero evidence of that, weighed against plenty of evidence that governments the world over use surveillance powers to persecute unfavored groups and suppress dissent.

      • Don_B1

        I think the question is how much privacy or possible misuse of private information that could happen in the future should the citizens of this country give up for what is expected to be security?

        While I am horrified by each death by a terrorist, there are orders of magnitude more deaths from traffic accidents, gun deaths or malicious, accidental and suicidal origin, drug overdoses, etc. All of these we “justify” not doing everything to eliminate because of some “greater good (?)” to society by not doing those things.

        Is this level of surveillance necessary to provide a reasonable level of security? That is the question and those who secretly make decisions to answer that question, who would be strongly attacked, justifiably or not, if there is another terrorist event, are not necessarily the ones to make that final decision. They have a definite conflict of interest.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        why should we allow the terrorists to win by destroying our liberty? my answer for how much liberty should we trade for the illusion of security is zero. illusions are worthless but this one in particular is very, very costly in terms of lives treasure and liberty and ought to be done away with as soon as possible

  • AC

    you know companies/corporations use this tech freely. everytime you buy a box of cereal….i don’t understand why everyone is surprised? duh this is going on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Look, it wouldn’t bother me if I had trust that they weren’t watching me walk around in the buff on a scalding hot summer day. I mean, how far can the privatization of surveillance go without becoming a menace to civilized society?  That’s what this discussion should be about.

      • Don_B1

        And it goes beyond what any one individual, just for example you, who might declare that they didn’t care if they were watched (they say they don’t do anything illegal or even embarrassing) because there certainly are other people, who have power to influence others’ lives, who would be subject to “blackmail” of some level.

        And that is how civilization can go downhill rapidly.

    • creaker

      The NSA is just given “some” of the information that was already being gathered by corporations. It’s not like the NSA mandated they spend billions gathering information they weren’t already gathering. And I expect most of the folks working at this level don’t have security clearances.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        You’d be wrong about that, most likely. The DoD grants top-secret clearance to the shakiest of characters if they are deemed to have exploitable skills.

  • creaker

    Another big media distraction while Congress does God knows what. These “big stories” are the modern equivalent of “back rooms” – as long as the media does cover to cover on these kind of stories, we’re completely left in the dark as to what’s really going on.

  • MarcInIowa

    Strengthen whistle blowing
    I heard this discussed on the Sunday talk shows … Why didn’t Snowden take advantage of our Whistle Blower laws and opportunities? Yes, indeed, why not? Should we figure out if our Whistle Blower avenues work well? If not, why not? I’d rather have more Whistle Blowers than guys like Snowden going to Hong Kong or Russia.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      The Bradley Manning/Julian Assange adventures have taught whistleblowers to do it from secure, anonymous locations now rather than from within the confines of “the Matrix.” As the spy-hunters get more clever, so do the counter-spies. It’s Spy vs. Spy all over again! 

  • AC

    ok. this caller is making a good point…

    • Don_B1

      And that is (was)?

  • nj_v2

    Keep talking about Snowdon and not the real issues…

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html#.Ucdbrd0qkmU

    Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S.

    WASHINGTON — Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.…

    (snipped)

    • nj_v2

      http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/352455

      Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO

      Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

      The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.

      (snipped)

    • creaker

      Sadly, I think NPR is largely just another mouthpiece manipulated by those in charge. The information is  just painted in a slightly different color.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Somehow, we never talk about the real issues.

      Isn’t it good for Americans to know how much privacy they do/do not have?

      Why have national security operations been outsourced?

  • sickofthechit

    The Pentagon Papers were about past behavior of the US Gov.. What Snowden has revealed is the nature of current Top Secret programs .  Revealing them can endanger current operations or personnel.  Big difference. charles a. bowsher

    • J__o__h__n

      We knew this was going on since under Bush.  I’m sure the terrorists did too.  The only difference is that Obama thinks that a rubber stamp from FISA makes it constitutional. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I don’t think this endangers anyone. No terrorist who watched “24″ or similar shows would be surprised by any of it. No names were named, unlike the Plame case.

      They keep saying “we want to have a debate about this”, but that’s not true. Without Snowden there would never be a debate.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        there is a current network show called “person of interest” which seems pretty close to the truth

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Good, particular questioning from Tom at :34 for who gets to call themselves what, or claim which mantle. (With Goodale? I’m not sure who.)

    The role or title of “publisher” and “journalist”, and comparing to past cases, is a conversation we need to have, given the court and legal situation. The technology is so different from even 10 years ago that these things have to be asked and the laws have to be redefined.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      I was paid to research & write news for a professional publication for over 10 years. That makes me a journalist. Snowden is not a journalist. Nor are Manning or Assange. Current credentials as a “blogger” do not make a writer a journalist. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You have a past as a paid researcher and writer?

        It shows.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          I’ll take that as a complement : )

          • nj_v2

            Or even a compliment.

            Sorry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            My daughter was the National Spelling Bee competitor, not I.
            Happy now? 

          • nj_v2

            I did say, “sorry.”

            {8^)

      • nj_v2

        Grammar Nit Dept. (only because i care): I’ve done a fair amount writing and editing, too, but mostly volunteer.

        My understanding is that the ampersand is correctly used only in titles and names, as for companies (Dewey Cheetam & Howe). It’s not a proper shorthand substitute for “and.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          I had to retrain myself to use & for the sake of the new 140 character rule. That’s my little ego-signature here, too. In a piece for publication I would use “and” as you correctly indicate. 

          • nj_v2

            Ah, i guess “Twitter made me do it” has become the current equivalent of “The dog ate my homework.”

            Makes me glad i’ve yet to Twittify.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            too many twits

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Tangent: As someone whose byline was on a two-bit college newspaper X years ago, I didn’t mean to imply that “Only if you get paid does that prove your input, and the oversight of your input, can have standards.”

          PS As the joke goes, “You & what army are gonna lecture me on ampersand use?”

          • nj_v2

            No implication taken.

            As for your joke, “This is the kind of  affront up with which I shall not put.”

            (mutated, possible [but likely not] Churchill quote)

        • hennorama

          A post about proper usage of the ampersand leaves me with a smile.

          That said, I intend to have a snack, twice propel a basketball toward the goal, then depart.

      • jefe68

        Snowden never claimed he was a journalist.
        Neither did Manning.
        For someone who claims to have been a paid researcher for a professional publication, it seems to me that you would have known that. If you did some research.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          Dirty pool. The idea was: Are Manning, Snowden & Assange “journalists” who may enjoy First Amendment defenses in the USA.
          It wasn’t about the qualifications a person on Disqus must have in order to comment.

  • ProtocolX

    We as a country effectively can not play the freedom and liberty card any more.  
    With illegal imprisonment of people with no due process of law, torturing them and holding them for years at a time; with hunting down of persons who tell the population of possible illegal government surveillance programs on it’s own population, our county is seeming more and more like a police state.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      the stasi could have never dreamed of this level of surveillance

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

    AS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE PRESIDENT OFA BOTH PRIOR AND AFTER HIS ELECTION I AM MOST DISAPPOINTED IN THE PRESIDENT FOR NOT REPRIMANDING CLAPPER FOR LYING TO CONGRESS. ALSO DIANE FIENSTEIN WHO I ADMIRE IS CERTAINLY NOT HELPING THE UPSET WHEN SHE ENABLES DYSFUNCTION IN THE GOVERNMENT BY EXCUSING CLAPPER’S LYING SAYING “HE MAY NOT HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE QUESTIONS BEING ASKED” WELL IF CLAPPER CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE QUESTIONS- WHICH WERE QUITE DIRECT AND BASIC THEN HE SHOULD NOT BE IN SUCH A POSITION HE HOLDS. DIANES ENABLING IS WHAT MAKES PEOPLE NOT BE TRUSTFUL OF OUR LEADERS. VERY DISAPPOINTED- SINCE SHE WAS QUOTED AS WANTING TO GO AFTER SNOWDON WHY WOULD SHE NOT WANT TO GO AFTER CLAPPER WHEN HE WAS LESS THAN STRAIGHTFORWARD.

    • Steve__T

       Because she is a politician first.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yes she has a concealed weapon yet wishes others to be defenseless. she is full of contradictions. you can tell when she is telling a lie when she raises her eyebrow after

  • John Parker

    The caller who used the “if even one life is saved, I’m willing to sacrifice my privacy [freedom]…” argument is the same kind of person who uses the “If you have nothing to hide why should you care about loosing your freedoms.” 

    Come back to a forum like this when you have something constructive, new and insightful to lend to the debate instead of tired and trite remarks we have all heard a thousand times.

  • Bill Casanova

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Ben Franklin

  • nj_v2

    RE. NSA lies, Ron Paul is right on this one.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2013/06/fire_dni_james_clapper_he_lied_to_congress_about_nsa_surveillance.html

    Fire James Clapper
    The Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress about NSA surveillance. What else will he lie about?

    If President Obama really does welcome a debate about the scope of the U.S. surveillance program, a good first step would be to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

    Back at an open congressional hearing on March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir … not wittingly.” As we all now know, he was lying.

    We also now know that Clapper knew he was lying. In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that aired this past Sunday, Clapper was asked why he answered Wyden the way he did. He replied:

    “I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked [a] ‘when are you going to … stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying, ‘No.’ ”

    (snipped)

  • 65noname

    Why in the world would your guest say that Snowden should willingly face the dractonian sentences probable under the espinage act?  His phoney use of the the phrase “civil disobedience” is also misleading.  Is he saying that if the Lovings, the defendants in the loving v virginia case that ended the restrictions on interracial marriage had lost, they should have willingly gone to jail for the several year jail sentence that they had received at the trial? 

    Why should snowden agree to face prosecution for exposing the government’s spying on us, whether or not a court eventually finds that he broke the punitive law passed by the same government that is now attempting to prosecute snowden?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Ya got me, but it seems to be the Official Party Line, and those rightys toe the line and parrot the Official TP in a way that would have made Stalin happy.

      • 65noname

        why not call them on it when they say stuff that is, as you put it, “Official Party Line” and which is obviously propaganda?  Why not say, “how does it make what he did less legit if he doesn’t agree to go to prison for 30+ years for exposing goveernment spying?”

        By the way, it isn’t just “rightys”.  “liberals are just as likely to use that line to slander someone. It evades actually dealing with the real issues; whether the government should be doing such widespread spying and whether  someone who exposes it is a good guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.h.berry.9 Beth Hettrick Berry

    No one has mentioned the money it takes to collect, sort and store all this data. If the private contractors are for profit it makes sense that they would “up sell” the government. More is better for the share holders.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Bingo! Follow the money…

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Great point. And, it applies to all the massive outsourcing going on across the board, redistributing taxpayer $ to the corporate elite.

      Why is national security being outsourced? Can we please discuss that?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        because that’s a great way to make money off the govt and they can spend and spend and in the name of security anything goes. they get a new setup at the TSA checkpoints every few months it seems and no one says how much it all costs

    • nj_v2

      Money and energy. I wonder what the carbon footprint is for storing and processing all that data.

      • StilllHere

        None, it’s solar-powered.  They can only listen into your phone call when the sun is shining.

        • 1Brett1

          Okay, that was funny; a first for you.

        • nj_v2

          Nope, sorry. It was a government-funded company. They folded and went to China and took the subsidy with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        well its a building the size of 8 football fields full of computers and then there is the other similar building

    • StilllHere

      But the geniuses that work in the government would never engage in waste, fraud or abuse of taxpayer dollars.  No, then let’s lower taxes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      I bet the budget is a secret

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    If Snowden is so proud of what he did, he should voluntarily return to the U.S. to face the music rather than scurry like a cockroach.  And those who defend him would probably complain the loudest if the breach to our national security that he promulgated resulted in a terrorist attack that caused them physical harm.

    • 65noname

      Why should someone who performed a great public service have to prove that he is “proud” of what he did by facing life in prison? I know that that’s one of those cliches that you learn in the boy scouts or somewher but its a joke.  Should any saudi woman who dares to dress “western” turn herself in to be stonned to death in order to prove that she’s proud of defying the saudi laws?

      And then to refer to snowden as a cockroach is foolish.  Would you so refer to civil rights activists in the south who evaded the government’s attempts to jail them for trying to organize people to vote? 

      Better to call the government “rats”. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      he did not really seem that stupid or crazy to me

  • KeepBiking

    “Classified” information primarily protects the State from embarrassment. Snowden has done us a service, for which he’s prosecuted mercilessly.

    “For our own protection,” is a prologue to no end of government abuse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=631311553 Chuck Sherwood

    Folks, who are listening live or later, might find this article of interest.  Check it out!

    ORIGINAL NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: I Saw The Order To Wiretap Barack Obama In 2004

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-nsa-spied-on-barack-obama-2004-russ-tice-2013-6#ixzz2X94dLP2A

  • Davesix6

    If nothing else this is yet another example of the hypocrisy of the political left.

    President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats went after George W Bush for less intrusive NSA programs than those Snowden has blown the whistle on.
    Yet now they are defending these and even more egregious policies of Obama i.e. Executing US Citizens on foreign soil, drone strikes.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I don’t know what to say, except “Your friends have lied to you”.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Left and Right. How about all the righty pols who were fine with this when bush was doing it but are now shocked and outraged?

    • nj_v2

      Show us where you criticized anything about BushCo and we might be just slightly tempted to take you seriously.

      • jefe68

        He wont, it’s not about that. It’s about making President Obama this evil socialist/communist/fascist demagogue.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        That’s right, Still, what about Bush had you outraged? Surely converting Clinton’s surplus into a deficit must have had a deficit hysterical like you screaming….no? Surely someone so bent out of shape by Benzagy must have freaked out when Bush ignored “bin Laden determined to strike in USA” right….no? How about when W started all this eavesdropping – were you bothered then?? Did you demand someone be arrested when CIA agent Plame’s identity was leaked by the bush administration?

        Hypocrisy is off the charts.

    • StilllHere

      So true, and watch the back-bending as they strive to maintain the status of their messiah.  [see below]

    • 65noname

      I’m not responsible for Pelosi, Reid, feinstein, etc.  I’m responsible for my own reaction.  And I oppose both rightwing and liberal secretive spying on people’s private lives.  Just as most leftwingers (not liberals) oppose both rightwing and liberal warmongering. 

  • Bigtruck

    Freedom is a scarey, dangerous thing. Luckily are still brave people willing to let us know the truth. What will we do with it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Um, at the rate we’re going, it looks like the answer is: straight to Gitmo! Or, a concentrated, private prison near you.

  • sickofthechit

    This guy is out to lunch!

  • Davesix6

    To the caller Missy, how can you trust anything the Obama administration is telling you?

    • Tyranipocrit

      how can you trust anything the cheny admin told you?  how can you trust anything any gov tells you–they are the same–corporate puppets and ministers.  how can you believe anythign the bible is telling you?

  • Buster1

    Are people like Missy for real? Meta data is attached to your name address. The phone number is easily reverse look up. Any one can do it NSA has access to all of it with in a millisecond ping.

  • sickofthechit

    If the US gov. doesn’t save this metadata it will be lost since the phone companies swipe their records clean after 90 days So when a terrorist act happens do we really want them to be able to only search records for the last three months? Really? Ask any investigator of any experience. If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, you don’t want the haystacks to disappear before you get a chance to search them. charles a. bowsher

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      that ought to be more than enough. we solved plenty of crimes without spying on everyone all the time

  • Davesix6

    I am just waiting for Obama and the left to try and blame all this on George W Bush.
    You know it’s coming! Like the caller bringing up Dick Cheney.

    • nj_v2

      I’m just waiting for one of your posts to make a lick of sense.

      Oops, out of time, gotta run!

    • jimino

      You know that these surveillance programs started under  and were designed during the Bush administration, don’t you?  And that any Congress member who actually was interested in doing their actual job knew all about them.

      As far as blame for the loss of privacy, or, for many, the credit for keeping us safe from terrorists, that is widely shared, including you if you voted for supporters of this system.

    • Tyranipocrit

      you are stupid

  • nj_v2

    Tom A. tossed out a presumptively true counter argument that the spying program had foiled some number of “terrorist plots,” not making it clear that this was merely a claim made by those who defend the program, when in fact, available evidence is that these claims are bogus.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/public-documents-contradict-claim-email-spying-foiled-terror

    Public Documents Contradict Claim Email Spying Foiled Terror Plot
    Defenders of “PRISM” say it stopped subway bombings. But British and American court documents suggest old-fashioned police work nabbed Zazi.

    Defenders of the American government’s online spying program known as “PRISM” claimed Friday that the suddenly controversial secret effort had saved New York City’s subways from a 2009 terrorist plot led by a young Afghan-American, Najibullah Zazi.

    But British and American legal documents from 2010 and 2011 contradict that claim, which appears to be the latest in a long line of attempts to defend secret programs by making, at best, misleading claims that they were central to stopping terror plots. While the court documents don’t exclude the possibility that PRISM was somehow employed in the Zazi case, the documents show that old-fashioned police work, not data mining, was the tool that led counterterrorism agents to arrest Zazi. The public documents confirm doubts raised by the blogger Marcy Wheeler and the AP’s Adam Goldman, and call into question a defense of PRISM first floated by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who suggested that PRISM had stopped a key terror plot.

  • Davesix6

    Somehow I believe it is poetic justice that the left wing powers that be have gone after their greatest allies, the Press.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Vagueness, obfuscation, with a dash of innuendo. Could mean anything, so it means nothing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Time to add “poetry”, “justice” and “idiomatic expressions” to the list of things you might want to look up (along with “media crit”).

    • Tyranipocrit

      a stupid thing to say–the press is extremely republican and corporate and righty.  there is NO such thing as a left in America.

  • ThirdWayForward

    We as a nation need a legal procedure for bringing government secrets, misdeeds, and illegal acts to the attention of the American people. 

    It is clear that our representatives in Congress do not exercise a robust and effective oversight function and that the FISA courts are just rubber stamps. We need checks and balances to ensure that secret programs are not used for nefarious ends, such as political blackmail, extortion, and corporate espionage.

    Something like 5 million people have top secret clearances. Maybe there needs to be a national body of 1000 citizens to whom someone with conscientious concerns could go to without being made into a fugitive or or spy or  pariah– basically like a national ombudsman body.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      or we should do away with all the secrets and go back to govt of by and for the people

    • Tyranipocrit

      sounds good but this body would be corrupt or in league with the pigs

  • phk46

    I’m an Obama supporter, but I find this surveillance obscene.

    I agree that they need to do *something*, but this is too much. And it seems clear that the NSA is doing their best to obscure the full extent of what they are doing, not just from the general populace, but also from the Congress and perhaps from the administration officials too. (Though that is less clear.)

    They make statements that “we *can’t* do this and that without a court order, or whatever”. But what they really mean is that “we have policies that require our analysts to get permission; but they have the technical ability to get pretty much *anything*, including the full voice stream.”

    • nj_v2

      [[ I'm an Obama supporter… ]]

      Honestly, at this point, what’s the rationale for maintaining that stance?

      • MarcInIowa

        Well, as in all support of a President, you have to consider what is the alternative. I don’t think it is so easy to “get this perfect”; balancing National Security with American freedoms. If we shut down the program and we have another 9/11, I’m sure the majority of Americans and members of Congress would re-authorize this program. I’d rather try to get the oversight right.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          it used to be very easy. those who would trade liberty for perceived security deserve neither

        • Tyranipocrit

           the gov is responsible for 911–if we have another–look behind the curtain.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        not wanting to be the target of a drone strike?

        • Tyranipocrit

          or the NSA

      • phk46

        Whether I still support him is moot, since he won’t be running for anything else. I only mentioned it to put me on the spectrum when I might be expected to support him on this, which I clearly don’t.

        But if I had known his position on this, which I didn’t, it wouldn’t have changed who I voted for.

        What was the alternative? Romney was even more in the bag with the Neocons than George was. We probably would have had Cheney and Wolfowitz running the NSA. To make a difference on this Ron Paul would have had to win!

      • Tyranipocrit

         just to make i clear one is not a republican or tea bagger or neocon or nutjob associated with said nutjobs.

        • Tyranipocrit

           and that most of these nutjobs just oppose anything Obama says or does making everything they say irrelevant.

    • TyroneJ

      One really has to question all of the erosion of the Constitution in the name of combating terrorism.

      The bottom line is that in the last 12 years, the US has absorbed over one hundred 911′s in terms of sudden & unforeseen deaths from automobile accidents. And the Nation isn’t threatened by those deaths. In the last 12 years, the US has absorbed over forty 911′s in terms of sudden & unforeseen property damage costs from weather events. And the Nation isn’t threatened by those property damage costs either. Yet we’ve thrown out so much of our liberty over a threat that is miniscule compared to those we endure all of the time.

      Mr. Goodale is correct that Snowden has not helped his image by flying to Moscow. It remains to be seen if his is an act of civil disobedience like Thoreau or Ellsberg, or something else.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        not to mention we defeated the nazies and soviets without giving up our liberties

        • Tyranipocrit

           well, some people did.  Germans.  japanese.  Asians.  So-called socialists, communists, dissenters…

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            that’s true but this is different. now it is everyone

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      I don’t understand why people draw any distinction between voice and other communications. I understand the legal reasons but in this day and age I would have expected more outrage over emails and texts being read

      • phk46

        I *don’t* draw a great distinction. But the feds have been drawing a big distinction – that they only capture the metadata, not the actual media. And it is becoming apparent that this is probably a lie.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          clearly a lie. after the marathon incident they said they were going to analyze communications for certain keywords. you can’t do that with metadata 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Did our host almost chuckle when a caller said “Dick Cheney” and “charge with crimes” of outing a spy in the same sentence?

    Bad response, Tom. Spend more time outside the Beltway and you’ll find that only one thing saved Deadeye Dick Cheney’s bacon: Who he is has trumped what he’s done.

    • sickofthechit

       I dare Tom to devote a show to Cheney….maybe have him as a guest?  Scary.

      • brettearle

        Cheney’d never agree.

        [Unless of course, he demanded, and was given,  Sodium Pentothal, before going on the air]

    • pete18

       What saved Dick Cheney was that he didn’t commit the crime: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/leak.armitage/

      • Tyranipocrit

        DC is a crime.

  • nj_v2

    I love the way Mr Ashbrook dismissed the caller’s concern about Dick Cheney’s outing of Valerie Plame, a perfectly legitimate comparison.

    “Oh, well, treason charges for a vice president, I don’t know…,” after which he quickly jumped to something else.

    Really, Tom?

     

    • brettearle

      Ashbrook didn’t reflect enough on that one, I might agree with you on that.

      Regardless of one’s objectivity or bias, it’s hard, as a knee-jerk reaction, for a journalist to `go after’ a President or a Vice-President for a major crime.

      It ALWAYS looks like–in this case, it might have looked this way to the broadcaster, himself–that he/she’s afraid of believing in a far-fetched radical subjective `conspiracy theory’……upon first blush.

    • pete18

       http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/leak.armitage/

      • nj_v2

        The Shrub/Darth defenders never rest.

        Cue Dueling Links banjo music…

        http://murraywaas.crooksandliars.com/2008/12/23/exclusive-cheneys-admissions-to-the-cia-leak-prosecutor-and-fbi/
        Exclusive: Cheney’s admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI

        Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role of then-covert CIA-officer Valerie Plame in sending her husband on a CIA-sponsored mission to Africa would come to light.

        Cheney conceded during his interview with federal investigators that in drawing attention to Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s Africa trip reporters might also unmask her role as CIA officer.…(snipped)

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      It’s the MSM, what do you expect – they’re SO embarrassed now that they should have found out all this stuff a long time ago, that they don’t know what to do but try and distract the public by calling others names and trying to discredit them.

  • sickofthechit

    Shame on you TOM! 
    The caller raised the issue of Cheney the Coward being charged for revealing Valerie Plames identity as a CIA field operative.  What he did is called Treason.  By revealing her identity he exposed each and every agent, operative or contact who dealt with her overseas.  If that isn’t aiding and abetting the enemy I don’t know what is.  Don’t tell me he didn’t do it, he is just to big of a coward to own up to it is all.
    Charles A. Bowsher

    • StilllHere

      Except he didn’t do it.  The charges failed.  Armitage mentioned a low-level analyst, no harm no foul.

      • sickofthechit

        Charges were never brought because he sacrificed Scooter Libby to take the fall.  Why do you think he was so pissed when Bush refused to pardon the Scooter?  Classic Cheney!

        • StilllHere

          He also was not charged with leaking, but keep making up your own stories.

        • brettearle

          sickof….

          Check out the case histories.  You will
          see that the parties were guilty of ENDANGERING lives–EVEN IF they got off on technicalities or else were eventually paradoned for lying to federal officials.

      • brettearle

        US v Scooter Libby suggests otherwise.

        Cite your source.

        • StilllHere

          Your source does no such thing, so try again.

          • brettearle

            I will try again.

            You haven’t stated YOUR source.

            You responded by referring to my source.

            That’s a waffle and a stonewall….regardless of what you think of MY source.

            I’ll bet you’ll come back at this with the SAME statement.

            You will NOT state your source.

          • StilllHere

            Wilson v Cheney

          • brettearle

            You don’t know what you are talking about.

            That case was dismissed on a technicality.

            The judge regarded the actions involved, by the Executive officials  to be “highly unsavory”.

            I once struck out a rival in a game that was called because of rain.

            He decided I didn’t strike him out, because the game was not official.

            Bull.  I still struck him out–with hundreds of witnesses.

            What Cheney and Libby did, THEY DID….regardless of technicalities.

            Yours is Biased SPIN, if I EVER heard it.

          • StilllHere

            Please, you’ve got no facts and no civil or criminal conviction.  Three whiffs, you struck out.

          • brettearle

            Cop out.

            Bluster.

            Obfuscation.

            Not in the interest of the Truth.

            Only in the interest of a petty Ego victory.

            HORSE manure.

            UTTER dee–nye–elle

          • Tyranipocrit

            loser

          • Tyranipocrit

             why are you so partisan.  Dont you get it?  tow sides of the same coin.

        • pete18

           http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/leak.armitage/

    • HonestDebate1

      So a gazillion dollar protracted investigation by Fitzgerald determined no law was broken (before the investigation) but you are convinced Cheney was the culprit because, wink wink nod nod everybody knows. And if Cheney was in charge why didn’t he make Bush pardon Scooter?

    • pete18

       It was Armitage who leaked Valerie Plame’s name, not Cheney: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/leak.armitage/

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        How stupid a remark is that??!?!!

  • myblusky

    The Democrat and Republican politicians are brilliant. They keep the people divided and pitted against each other while they are off playing golf, shopping, and drinking beers together – all the while laughing about it and making lots of money. When they are in front of the public they put on their act for all of us “we are fighting hard for our constituents…blah, blah.”

    All I can see is two sides of the same coin when I look at our government. Blaming the left or right is pointless because they both are taking advantage of the system.

    There are protests going on in other countries against their governments for wrong doings, meanwhile, we here in America can’t be bothered with any of that protesting business when our government blatantly violates our rights. I don’t know what we are doing, but we surely aren’t paying that much attention.

    • brettearle

      I think you are underestimating public outrage.

      But I am inclined to agree with you, about a fair part of your opinion:

      There are NOT enough public protests.

      The issue is that people are TOO worried about, and busy with, their economic lives and their personal lives–in order to get organized and to get out there.

      And, indeed, that sort of Inactivity COULD be an ongoing recipe, in the coming years, for disaster….

      Especially if Government, in the future, becomes even more centralized.

    • hennorama

      myblusky – exactly which of “our rights” is “our government blatantly violat[ing]“?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you saw how our govt responded to public protest

  • http://www.facebook.com/dhrosier Dreighton Rosier

    Please ask each guest and call-in to state specifically how many people murdered they deem to be an acceptable sacrifice / trade-off in order to indulge the paranoia.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      As many as are necessary not to live in a police state. Seriously: your life is not more important than my freedom.

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      60, 000 people died last of gun related violence. I worry a WHOLE LOT more about that, than about 28 terrorist related deaths!! By the way, why can’t we track who owns guns in this country too and use “pattern recognition” software to find “patterns” in their behavior and contact with others? We spend NOTHING on preventing gun violence but we have more than $20B to try and stop a few dozen terrorist attacks. Hell, why not invade ANOTHER country while we’re at it!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        so you think domestic spying is a good idea just misdirected?

        • The_Truth_Seeker

          Nope – just those who think it’s OK to catch “terrorists”, should also find it great for catching “regular criminals and murderers” too! Besides, for all the money being spent trying to catch a handful of people committing 28 murders, we could probably catch 3000-4000 before they commit any murders. we could also find most domestic terrorists planning to bomb a federal building too! Should be a piece of cake if we “connect all the dots”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            like minority report?

  • andic_epipedon

    I’m a Verizon wireless customer.  I feel violated.

    • The_Truth_Seeker

      And you didn’t when they were already charging you 3 times what they pay in Europe and Japan for the same service!

      I guess Snowden really did do you a favor then. 

      I pulled the plug on my internet, last year, in protest of all the price gouging.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        are you posting this with your mind?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      that’s what you get for signing up for their “share everything plan”

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Does anyone really think terrorists have learned something new? “OMG, Osama, don’t email your plans anymore, I just learned from Snowden that the Great Satan is monitoring us!” Have the terrorists been blocked from “24″ and “NCIS”? This is a joke.

    Funny how the righties defend the bush admin blowing the cover of Plame. What happened to their concern about national security then. Obviously they don’t care, since they even defend W for ignoring “bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”.

    Nothing could be simpler. They defend and “explain away” everything bush did that freaks them out when Obama does it. Amazing hypocrites.

    WHY ARE WE OUTSOURCING NATIONAL SECURITY???

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Even though many of the American people and ALL AMERICAN JOURNALISTS, are as stupid as door knobs – hackers aren’t. They deserve our respect and appreciation (and maybe a lot more pay than their STUPID bosses – half of whom don’t even know how to use a computer). 

    I say get rid of traditional MSM journalists and replace them with either hackers, or expert system computers!

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    The same way you don’t mess with organizations that buy their paper by the ton (i.e. newspapers), you don’t mess with someone carrying around 8 terabytes worth of NSA data – especially if they haven’t even released 1% of it yet, on purpose. I suggest showing such a person some real respect and a willingness to negotiate. After all, they did what they did under the full watch of the government and law enforcement (including the getaway).

    The Obama administration messed this whole thing up in SO many ways and on SO many levels, that now ONLY A HACKER could help them get out of this mess. 

    Here’s the score card to date folks:

    Snowden – 8 (terabytes) of public information
    Obama & NSA – 0 (anything)

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      it seems like that should be a pretty good bargaining position. hopefully he has held on to at least a few juicy secrets so he can negotiate

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        The government messed up in the first 24 hours. He never intended to sell this information, givge it to a foreign power, or otherwise harm the U.S. – he could have done a LOT worse, if that’s what he wanted to do. They should have offered him a full pardon and then offered him a job as the chief cyber security head, along with maybe 250K/year!

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          he was already making over $200k a year and living in Hawaii.

    • anamaria23

      Snowden deserves zero respect.  Neither does his handler Greenwald.
      This country has overcome greater injustices without the “hero” prancing about on the world stage clutching  his ammo with glee. 

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        Well, we can sure count you out!

        Besides, who has a better chance of being remembered for what they did for America, you or Snowden and Greenwald?

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    The 21st century version of “Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty”:

    “Never trust anything to do with computers, or technology, to anyone over 30 – period!”

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Over 6500 people died last year of gun related violence. I worry a WHOLE LOT more about that, than about 28 terrorist related deaths!! By the way, why can’t we track who owns guns in this country too and use “pattern recognition” software to find “patterns” in their behavior and contact with others? We spend NOTHING on preventing gun violence but we have more than $50B/yr devoted to trying and stop a few dozen terrorist attacks. Hell, why not invade ANOTHER country while we’re at it!!! Besides, even with all this money we failed to prevent the Boston bombings – and that’s even after Russia tried to help us out!!! Now we are mad at Russia??!! They are probably saying to themsleves – “How stupid is this guy Obama and those guys at the NSA and CIA”?? “They can’t even find a couple of terrorists when we tell them where to look and even give them the name of the city where they live!!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      are these things features or bugs? you really want to leave your safety in the hands of such bumbling fools?

    • hennorama

      The_Truth_Seeker – unfortunately, you’re not even close as to the number of “people [who] died last year of gun related violence.” You’re WAY too low, by a factor of about 5.

      According to slate.com, there have been “5,341 or more [deaths from firearms] since Newtown” alone. Here’s a quote:

      “Using the most recent CDC estimates for yearly deaths by guns in the United States, it is likely that as of today, 6/24/2013, roughly 16,087 people have died from guns in the United States since the Newtown shootings. Compare that number to the number of deaths reported in the news in our interactive below, and you can see how undertold the story of gun violence in America actually is.”

      In the US, there are about 88 people PER DAY who die from injuries resulting from the use and misuse of firearms. About 2 of every 3 deaths are Suicides.

      There are also about 202 nonfatal firearms injuries PER DAY day in the US.

      So on an average day in the US, about 290 people are wounded or die as a result of firearms-related injuries.

      The number of deaths includes Homicides (including Justifiable Homicides), Suicides and Unintentional/Accidental deaths.

      CDC reports preliminary data for 2011 showing 32,163 firearms-related deaths, and final data for 2010 showing 31,672 firearms-related deaths.

      See:
      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf
      (Table 2 on page 19)

      Further, CDC reports 73,883 “Overall Firearm Gunshot Nonfatal Injuries” for 2011, and 73,505 in 2010.

      See:
      http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-deaths-and-injuries-statistics/

      http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html
      (Go to Section2. then select “Firearm” then [Submit Request] under Section 3.)

      For two excellent visualizations of firearms deaths, see:

      http://guns.periscopic.com/?year=2013

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

  • John_Hamilton

    Talkers are talking as if there are absolute truths involved, when actually the truth is highly relative. The political uberclass and the corporate media would have us believe Edward Snowden is the worst kind of traitor, worse than the Rosenbergs, worse than James Angleton, worse than Robert Hanssen, worse than Benedict Arnold.

    To Edward Snowden, he is just himself, a guy who leaked classified information as a matter of conscience. Given these vastly different perceptions, we might want to look at the motivation behind them. If we take Snowden’s perception as it is to him, then the government’s perception – including the legislative branch as well as the executive – might not be what it seems.

    The government and corporate media’s view is of the established order, which has little to do with the safety or well-being of the American people. Their interests are for themselves. In every case. Most revealing was the dead deadpan delivery of Secretary of State John Kerry. In his entreaty to “Russia” (as if the entire country of Russia was listening) to return Snowden to “U.S.” custody.

    The ruse, or scheme to try Snowden is that he, like Bradley Manning, is aiding the “enemy.” The enemy is “the terrorists,” and this nebulous force is the gift that keeps on giving. If you want to do anything the public might not like, just say it is to get the terrorists, and indeed many terrorists have been thwarted by these activities.

    If the established order had ever been serious about stopping terrorists it would have done so before about 9 a.m. EST on September 11, 2001. It should have been easy, and any competent and intentional intelligence analysis and crime prevention activities would have stopped the attacks. For some strange reason the powers that be chose to look the other way.

    After this, of course, the established order invaded two countries, causing untold death and destruction, started a kidnapping and torture program, built an illegal prison on a foreign country’s land, and, in concert with all these actions, started spying on the American people. Who should we believe, Edward Snowden or the “U.S.” established order? I think the answer is easy. Here’s an appropriate song: youtube.com/watch?v=A-7uwshsfFI

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    The MSM (cowards all!) are SO embarrassed, now, that they should have found out all this stuff – a long time ago – and reported on it, that they don’t know what to do but try and distract the public by calling others names and trying to discredit them. They probably were even offered lots of prior leaks, but termed them down in the name of “patriotism” (i.e. cowardice)

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    F!!! Feinstein – she is the traitor to the American people. She has become as corrupted as all the rest in Congress. It’s clear she is trying to prove she is “just one of the boys” and just as tough as them. She and others (like Clapper) are the liars!

    Clapper should be put on trial IMMEDIATELY – then either imprisoned for the rest of his (sorry) life, or, even better, exiled to Equador (and he should take Feinstein, and others, with him).

  • hennorama

    The empty Aeroflot seat 17A that Snowden was supposed to occupy on a flight to Cuba has a Twitter account.

    “@SnowdensSeat
    Just an ordinary seat on #Aeroflot flight #SU150 from Moscow to Havana.
    Up in the air”

    First tweet: “I feel empty.”

    See:https://twitter.com/SnowdensSeat

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    The government messed up in the first 24 hours. He never intended to sell this information, givge it to a foreign power, or otherwise harm the U.S. – he could have done a LOT worse, if that’s what he wanted to do. They should have offered him a full pardon and then offered him a job as the chief of cyber security, along with maybe 250K/year!  (And then fire and prosecute Clapper!)

  • Omni_NJ

    Section 605 of FCC act of 1934 says that it is ok to listen to or receive an electronic communication that may contain secret or confidential information … however it is against the law to pass that information along to another.  If you accidentally receive an email with someone’s credit card info … no law is broken, but if you pass that information along to someone else – that would be illegal.  For Snowden to tell the world about NSA monitoring of phone calls may not be illegal – but to take documents and electronic information and give the material to another is clearly wrong and illegal.  Given that he had access to “Top Secret” information and swore an oath to protect that information – should he give that information to any other party – I would consider that espionage.  I think his actions have put many of us at higher risk of injury or death from events like 9/11 or Boston Marathon … and personally I do not feel at risk or that my privacy has been invaded by the government knowing who I called or who called me.

    • jefe68

      It’s all well and good that you have decided to give up one of your Constitutional rights. However, I do not wish to give up my 4th Amendment rights. I suspect that there may be many others who inclined to agree with me.

      4th Amendment:
      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      The Fourth Amendment Defined:
      Like the majority of fields within American law, the Fourth Amendment is heavily rooted in the English legal doctrine. In a general sense, the Fourth Amendment was created to limit the power of the government and their ability to enforce legal actions on individuals. The Fourth Amendment was adopted as a direct response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which was a type of general search warrant used by the government during the American Revolution. The Amendment was created to limit the powers of the law enforcement agency who is conducting a search of an individual’s personal property.

      The Fourth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution and the framework to elucidate upon the freedoms of the individual. The Bill of Rights were proposed and sent to the states by the first session of the First Congress. They were later ratified on December 15, 1791.

      - See more at: http://constitution.laws.com/4th-amendment#sthash.ym2c36Lb.dpuf

    • brettearle

      Are you implying that 605 covers NSA blanket domestic coverage? 

      You seem to be implying that.

      I do not believe that it does.

      What’s more, I agree with jefe68–with regard to the relative ease the government wishes to trample on your 4th Amendment Rights–and you being so compliant.

      However, you may be on the right side of the argument when you believe that Snowden’s acts may have been illegal.

  • Michael Bristol

    What a democracy-op we’ll be blasted with when the China version of E. Snowden lands safely in Seattle and is hustled off to an undisclosed safe haven location on this continent.
    The same legislative, executive, and beltway media characters now denouncing Snowden will all be in another line praising a brave whistleblower and leaker who is telling the real truth about what goes on in China.

  • Tyranipocrit

    how can it be espionage–if all he did was reveal the criminal–CRIMINAL–acts of the US government–constitutional crimes–crimes against human rights.  This is not espionage.  he did nothing wrong. 

    The government is at fault–there should be aggressive prosecutions against NSA officials and the Obama administration. 

    I voted for Obama, reluctantly.  This is not just about Obama or Bush–the terrorist–this is a systemic problem with our government.  Our government is criminal. 

    We should charge them?  And put them on the run.

    Go Snowden–you are a HERO! 

    The government is the one performing espionage on the American people and the world.  Criminals cant charge innocent people with crimes. 

    If we allow this we support the criminal government policies. 

    If he is charged–we MUSt prosecute the government.

    If the gov is so innocent and heroic–then why arent these activities transparent. 

    We have no representation.  The government acts in secret.  NO one can be trusted that acts in secret..  They are suspect.

    • brettearle

      You are suggesting that NSA committed acts that are unconstitutional.

      In my view, even if they are legal, they crossed the line.

      Nevertheless, unless you are a constitutional specialist, there are those who are, who disagree with you–who cannot refute the legality of NSA’s blanket eavesdrop coverage.

      We’ll see how far the ACLU gets.

      • anamaria23

        What does “blanket eavesdropping” mean?  Just asking. 

  • Tyranipocrit

    the media is so much like a clancy movie.  The gov is so melodramatic and hardly believable.  Even the names of these guys belong in a novel. 

  • sydneyfinch

    I’m really disappointed that none of your guest or you commented on the callers inquiry as to why Dick Cheney hasn’t been prosecuted for outing Valerie Plame for PURELY political reasons. her carrier was ruined and her sources compromised- some of them to death.

  • http://moultonlava.blogspot.com/ Mokita Syzygy

    The Cat and Mouse Game is formally known as the Pursuer-Evader Game in the literature of Game Theory. (If you want to look up the literature, search for “Rufus Isaacs” or “Homicidal Chauffeur Game” or “Differential Games.”)

    The main issue is that the pursuer is typically bigger, faster, and more powerful, but cannot easily change direction. The evader is smaller, slower, and less powerful, but more agile, able to rapidly change direction.

    To a first approximation, the optimal strategy of the evader is to move in a direction perpendicular to the direction of motion of the pursuer. In other words, go sideways.

    In the case of Edward Snowden, the US Government is big and powerful, but not especially fast. Once the US Government is in motion, it’s like a Juggernaut, unable to change directions very easily (if at all).

    Snowden is small and powerless, but agile and able to move fast if there are no obstacles in his way. Moreover, he can endeavor to remain as invisible as possible, necessitating the US Government to ramp up its spying far and wide in search of intelligence on Snowden’s whereabouts. 

    Thus the US Government, in its myopia, will likely create obstacles (which tend to inconvenience everyone, not just Snowden) and amp up its own espionage activity in foreign countries. The journalists will have a field day covering the game, and the public will predictably root for the underdog. I expect the US will emerge as a lumbering myopic behemoth that runs into a brick wall.

    Will the Big Lumbering Behemoth end up going to hell in a hand-basket

    Stay tuned for the exciting continuation of this cliff-hanger serial, “The Perils of Purloin.”

  • Jasoturner

    I was listening to this podcast this morning and was really struck by something.  Everyone was discussing whether Snowden had broken the law, and how badly.  But I don’t recall anyone asking whether Snowden might have disclosed information that demonstrated our government was violating the constitution.  Constitutional violations by the government strike me as a vastly more important issue to address.

  • ExcellentNews

    China – a totalitarian communist oligarchy. Russia – an oligarchy going totalitarian. The US – on its way towards an oligarchy.

    Wanna bet that Snowden (who is BTW missing), has been traded by one oligarchy to the other, and is dead or being strapped to an OR table and injected with some choice serum ???

    Wanna bet that what you hear about him asking for asylum in Russia is a show staged to convince the peons he is a traitor and not a whistleblower hero ???

    Who exactly is our Government serving? I don’t know about Obama and the Democrats, but the previous administration did everything to gut working Americans and fill the offshore accounts of oligarchs across the globe, including Russians and Chinese…

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