90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Edward Snowden In His Own Words

We listen to Snowden’s account of what he’s up to and look in on the race between asylum and prosecution.

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. NSA leaker Edward Snowden claims the spy agency gathers all communications into and out of the U.S. for analysis, despite government claims that it only targets foreign traffic. (Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, The Guardian/AP)

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. The “NSA leaker” claims the spy agency gathers all communications into and out of the U.S. for analysis, despite government claims that it only targets foreign traffic. (Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, The Guardian/AP)

Edward Snowden is apparently still holed up in Moscow, in limbo, in the transit lounge or who knows where.  But his voice is not.  Before the world’s most famous leaker – whistleblower, his supporters say – went on the run, he went on tape.  At length.  About what drove him.  What he’s seen.  Why he was tearing the veil of secrecy off some of the NSA’s – America’s – deepest secrets.

We’re going to listen to that today.  Hear him out.  With a supporter.  With a tough critic.  With you.  And we’ll look at the big US effort to pull him in now.

This hour On Point:  Edward Snowden.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Greg Miller, intelligence reporter for The Washington Post and co-author of “The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against al Qaeda.” (@gregpmiller)

Geoffrey Stone, law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and author of “Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark.” He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director at the Government Accountability Project. She’s a former ethics adviser to the Department of Justice and became a whistleblower after disclosing that the FBI interrogated John Walker Lindh without an attorney; she wrote about her experience in “Traitor: The Whistleblower and the ‘American Taliban’” — read an excerpt below. (@JesselynRadack)

William Binney, former highly placed intelligence official with the NSA turned whistleblower in 2002 after 30 years with the agency.

Interview Highlights

Greg Miller on what Snowden has done:

When you look at [Snowden]‘s stated objective here, which was to call attention to these programs and to trigger a debate that had been preemtped by the secrecy surrounding them. I mean, he has succeeded. We’re now in the midst of a debate that is nearly global.

Edward Snowden (from an interview recorded by the Guardian) on why he did it:

America is a fundamentally good country. We have good people with good values who want to do the right thing. But the structures of power that exist are working to their own ends to extend their capablity at the expense of the freedom of all publics.

Geoffrey Stone on Snowden’s actions:

The problem with what Snowden did is that it was completely selfish. He decided that he didn’t want to live in this world, and so he was going to take it upon himself to override the rule of law, the decisions of elected representatives of the United States, and to make a decision that, as far as I know, seriously damaged the ability of the United States to protect itself against terrorist acts.

Jesselyn Radack on Snowden:

To me he’s a classic whistleblower who has engaged in a historical act of moral courage. He meets the textbook definition that applies to both government employees and to contractors of having revealed fraud, waste, abuse or illegality on a massive scale.

Video

Watch the second part of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s interview with Edward Snowden.

If you need to catch up, you can also watch the first part, released in June, of the same interview.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from “Traitor: The Whistleblower and the ‘American Taliban’” by Jesselyn Radack. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Our country has a love-hate relationship with whistleblowers. When one thinks of a whistleblower, images from movies such as The Insider or Erin Brokovich spring to mind; so do TIME Magazines’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002, when whistleblowers enjoyed a rare moment of admiration. One has visions of determined individuals risking it all to make explosive disclosures before Congress or on “60 Minutes.” The media glorifies some who risk everything to expose corruption and illegal activity and rightly so; these lionized individuals deserve every ounce of praise they receive.  But their happy outcomes are not typical–for every success story, there are a hundred stories of professional martyrdom.

Few paths are more treacherous than the one that challenges abuse of power and tries to make a meaningful difference.  Whistleblowers often find that they become the subject of the story. Any personal vulnerability they possess will be used against them, and through these smears, the whistleblower’s charges become a subordinate issue.  The Bush adinistration was expert at this subterfuge. Its vindictive response to its critics went beyond questioning their truthfulness, competence, and motives.  It sought to destroy their careers and livelihoods.

The conscientious employee is often portrayed as vengeful, unstable, or out for fame, profit, or self-aggrandizement. I have not been immune from such accusations, but the terms that have been used to describe me are far more incendiary: “traitor,” “turncoat,” and “terrorist sympathized.  The government paints a caricature of you and obsessively focuses on shooting the messenger rather than listening to the message.  The Obama administration has been even worse that Bush. Although I was the target of a federal criminal “leak” investigation, at least I was never indicted. Obama has now prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than any previous president, and than all past presidents combined.

From Tom’s Reading List

Der Spiegel: Edward Snowden Interview: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers — “In an interview conducted using encrypted e-mails, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses the power of the NSA, how it is “in bed together with the Germans” and the vast scope of Internet spying conducted by the United States and Britain.” (Part I and Part II)

USA Today: 3 NSA Veterans Speak Out On Whistle-Blower: We Told You So — “When a National Security Agency contractor revealed top-secret details this month on the government’s collection of Americans’ phone and Internet records, one select group of intelligence veterans breathed a sigh of relief. Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way.”

The Huffington Post: Edward Snowden: “Hero Or Traitor”? — “The problem, and it is a problem that must be taken seriously, is who gets to decide when classified information should be made public? Who gets to put the national security at risk? The solution must be the creation of a clearly defined and credible procedure through which would-be leakers can bring their concerns to an independent panel of experts who can make a formal and professional determination whether the information at issue should be declassified.”

Earlier Coverage

Listen to previous shows we’ve done on Edward Snowden.

June 10, 2013: Surveillance, National Security And The Constitution

June 24, 2013: ‘NSA Leaker’ Snowden On The Run

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I would like to hear the arguments by the listeners of “On Point” , as to why we should classify anything, “Top Secret”. After all, if is truly a government “Of the People, By the People and For the People”, don’t “The People” need all relevant information to govern themselves intelligently?
    -
    I also wonder if Mr. Snowden has commented on the spying done by internet companies on their customers. Tonight my browser forced 17, so called, updates and 3 configurations on my computer. It took about 45 minutes ! Do you think it takes 45 minutes to update 17 things ?
    Has he dropped any “soon to be bombs”, yet ?
    -
    Is Mr. Snowden threatening to expose political corruption. Does he know where the bodies are buried ?
    -
    Lastly, what are Mr. Snowden’s thoughts and information of the spying being done by other countries ? How could the US retain a balance of power, if it were to eliminate spying ?

     

    • Yar

      If the NSA asked Microsoft to send an update to your computer that allows complete access, would they? 
      Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.  
      What we have lost is print media, they used to to do the research to make sense of ‘leaked information’, now we have memory dumps and journalists who are being monitored.  

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        They are out to get all of us.

        • JobExperience

           They’ll get the clueless radio posters first.

    • JobExperience

       We pay for the widget. We oughta know what’s in the box.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    One more comment, please. Personally, it bother’s me when I hear people say things like, “ Well, if your not doing anything wrong, why would you care if the government is spying on you?” Of course the answer to that is, “ My business is my business, not your business, so mind your business and not my business ! “ Throughout your life you have heard people say things like, “ Oh there is a cure for cancer but the people in power won’t let it happen.” or maybe something like, “remember the guy that invented the carburetor that would allow a car to get ### miles per gallon …?” We may never know the truth of these urban tales, but now we know that there are powerful people that will go to extremes to do things that we thought could never happen in a free country, don’t we ? Just yesterday, I read the article about a car, the XL1, being developed by Volkswagen, that will get, 262 miles per gallon.

    http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/volkswagen-xl1-wheeling-262-mpg-orb-motoramic-drives-172831276.html

    Can you now imagine a scenario, where very connected people have stolen technical information about this ( or such an invention) and made sure, via methods like patent manipulation or vendor blocking, etc., that such a car would never be built ? Dear listeners, do you really think the most powerful among us got to be the most powerful by being nice and fair ?

  • S Mack Mangon

    How about adding a discussion of DNI James Clapper’s words?  This is from Slate:
    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.

    Seems to me that Snowden should be praised for speaking truth.

    • David Stewart

      I don’t know that he actually was trying to mislead.  The lead in to that question was about the NSA creating dossiers of Americans, that is files detailing the activities of Americans.  He said they didn’t, which is true as far as we can tell.  The NSA does have means to get information about Americans (if I gave them my Social Security number, I’m sure they could find all sorts of stuff).  That’s not really the same thing though.  There is a grey area there, which is where programs like the metadata collection fall, but I don’t see any outright lie there.

  • Duras

    A regulation that prevents people from accruing a mile of credit card debt = Big Government. 

    The Patriot Act = necessity.  

    Are we sure that the Chinese aren’t already running this country…?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I’ve said it many times, the media promote this “liberal, socialist” view of Obama, he talks the liberal talk, and he walks the conservative walk. I thought he was a moderate conservative but maybe he’s really on the far right. He’s sure in bed with wall st and the corporations and he’s taken this 1984 stuff to a new level.

      Horray for Snowden!

    • JobExperience

       Well, American Oligarchs seem to already be running China, Bangladesh, Pakistan and many others. It’s kind of like a board of interlocking and revolving Oligarchs. Their network is called international banking finance. When talking heads mention “our national interests” they are referring to this elite stateless strata. They play with trillion dollar militaries like toy soldiers, to see who can sell the most accessories. Did you ever know that landmines are the size and shape of small Frisbees and come in bright primary colors? Parts come from many localites and are assembled in the location of cheapest labor.

  • TyroneJ

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Terrorism just isn’t the threat it’s made out to be, and certainly not a big enough threat to trash our freedom the way we have.

    Terrorism strikes the fear that it does because one cannot see it coming and its apparent randomness in whether one will be a victim of it. But we live everyday with other threats that have these same hallmarks and annually cause many times the death & damage of a “911”.

    In the last 12 years, the US has absorbed over one hundred 911’s in terms of sudden & seemingly random deaths from automobile accidents, which amount to about 30,000 deaths per year. And the Nation’s existence isn’t threatened by those random automobile accident deaths, so why would we think more 911′s are a greater threat? In the last 12 years, the US has absorbed almost fifty 911’s in terms of sudden & unforeseen property damage from weather events, which the US Weather Service says run about $40B per year. And the Nation’s existence isn’t threatened by this property damage & associated economic costs, so again I ask why would we think more 911′s are a greater threat?

    We’ve thrown out so much of our liberty over “terrorism”, which is a threat that is miniscule compared to those other threats I just mentioned above which we endure all of the time.

    Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
     

    • HonestDebate1

      Terrorism is a threat, big time. We don’t have to give up liberty to fight it.

      • TyroneJ

        The data simply does not support the contention that terrorism is a threat of any significance to Americans. It simply does not.

        • David Stewart

          It is certainly a threat, but it is certainly blown out of proportion by ourselves.  We can’t run around scared of terrorists as we have and supporting politicians who push legislation like the Patriot Act and then be shocked by revelations like the NSA programs.

        • HonestDebate1

          The Boston Marathon incident was a terrorist attack. Ditto Ft. Hood. Our consulate in Benghazi is sovereign and it was attacked by terrorist. Numerous attempts have been thwarted (Times Square, underwear, shoes, etc.). 9/11 taught us we are not safe if we ignore brutal theocracies that harbor terrorist. Terrorist attacks are happening all over the world. They are at war with us and they have big numbers. It’s a threat.

          • TyroneJ

            And the casualties of all were equal to a few hours worth of US auto accidents. You simply illustrated my point, not refuted it.

          • HonestDebate1

            And a very large percentage of those killed in car wrecks had eaten carrots in the pst week. I don’t get your point. A car wreck is not an attack. Driving is a risk not a threat.

          • hennorama

            He 1 Debate Snot – a couple of points clarifying some misconceptions, at least one of which has been pointed out to you before, and one question:

            1. Your use of the term “Our consulate in Benghazi” is long out of date. The U.S. facility in Benghazi was not a consulate – it was a temporary residential “diplomatic post/facility”. The term “consulate” implies permanence, and functions that were not included in the activities carried out at the compound that was first attacked. The unclassified version of the ARB report described it as “a temporary, residential facility” and said “the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi was never a consulate and never formally notified to the Libyan government.”

            See:http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/202446.pdf (pages 5, 14 & 15)

            2. The U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi was not “sovereign.” This is a common misconception. Diplomatic facilities enjoy “inviolability” status, and some diplomatic personnel enjoy “extraterritoriality” (often known as “diplomatic immunity”. In all cases, there is no “sovereignty”.

            Here’s what the State Dept. says on its website:

            “U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, as well as foreign embassies and consulates in the United States, have a special status. While diplomatic spaces remain the territory of the host state, an embassy or consulate represents a sovereign state. International rules do not allow representatives of the host country to enter an embassy without permission –even to put out a fire — and designate an attack on an embassy as an attack on the country it represents.”

            And from wikipedia.org:

            “Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state. Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, and (as an adherent to the Vienna Convention) the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country. The term “extraterritoriality” is often applied to diplomatic missions, but only in this broader sense.”

            See:http://diplomacy.state.gov/discoverdiplomacy/diplomacy101/places/170537.htm

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission

            http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/164602/diplomacy/10850/Rights-and-privileges

            http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/199129/extraterritoriality

            http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/vcdr/vcdr.html

            3. Exactly to whom are you referring by your use of the words “them” and “us” in this portion of your post, sir?:

            “They are at war with us and they have big numbers.”

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Yes, in the same way a mouse scares an elephant. 

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Well said Tyrone.  It’s astounding how fear of being a victim of a terrorist attack – or politicians fearing a backlash if there were one – has led us to sell our freedom cheap. 

      Or, put another way, what does it say about a country that allows itself to be intimidated by a small cabal of radical thugs?

      What’s disheartening is many believe if “you’re not doing anything wrong…you’ve got nothing to fear” – or…there’s nothing to fear about unreasonable search and seizure, a police state, secret courts and so on.  

      Many fail to understand the mechanisms of tyranny & how it gets a foothold and grows.  Disheartening is they don’t know and don’t particularly care. 

      Many, while they say they want democracy will trade it for stability at the first sign of trouble. 

  • Jasoturner

    I found it somewhat amusing to hear Congress complaining to the FBI because they refused to share information related to the Boston Bombing case while it is still in process.  One congressman in effect said that the American people had a right to know what it’s government was doing.  I immediately thought of Snowden, and had my doubts that the congressman would assert the American peoples’ right to know what was going on extended to him.

    Many in government have claimed that Snowden “caused harm” to America by revealing that our government spies on us.  But I am not aware of a single substantive example demonstrating such harm.  Maybe I’m becoming more cynical or paranoid as I get older, but I am loathe to take government assertions about harm at face value.  And I am glad that I know the facts that Snowden revealed.  Self-governance is impossible if ignorance is twisted into a civic virtue.  Frighteningly, many seem to disagree with this sentiment…

    • nj_v2

      On fear…

      “Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.”

      —George Orwell (1903-1950)

      “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor clod on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people con’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. 

      But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parlianment, or a communist dictatorship….Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

      —Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trials before he was sentenced to death

      “We need a common enemy to unite us.”

      —Condoleeza Rice, March 2000

      “Scare the hell out of the American people.”

      —Senator Arthur Vandenbur, telling President Truman what he needed to do in order to tax the American people to pay for the weapons and covert activities of the U.S. National Security State that was being planned, to destroy the Russian Communist State

      “Our government has kept us in a perputual state of fear—kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor—with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it…”

      —General Douglas Mac Arthur, 1957

    • brettearle

      But Jaso….

      How do any of us actually KNOW what harm has been done or not done?

      I am a big civil libertarian guy.

      But such convictions need to be measured against real risk.

      Whether I like what my country does or not, the country is entitled to protect itself, as it sees fit….as long as it does not violate the constitution.

      The President has come out, publicly, to confirm that these measures are constitutional.

      Perhaps he’s lying or misinterprets the law.

      I don’t like the surveillance, one bit.

      But are we REALLY in a position to know?

      Or shall we simply be guided by our beliefs?

      • Jasoturner

        To answer your first question, if our duly elected officials deigned to tell us a few facts, we most assuredly could and would know.

        I do not feel the president can determine the constitutionality of secret activities like this – activities initiated out of fear and anger and inherently now matters of governing policy – and that transparency and debate needs to occur in a forum of informed legal thinking.

        As to your last question, I have no beliefs about what my government did or did not do because they refuse to tell me anything substantive.  I want specific examples.  To not request facts is when we must fall back on beliefs – on what we choose to trust because we have no basis for drawing logical conclusions.

        But clearly the thinking can go both ways on these issues.

  • AC

    i don’t have much of an opinion on this, tho i found it intresting almost no country wanted him. ego-ouchie!
    also, i have made peace with the fact that whether it’s the gov, or other govs, or corps, or religions, or some bored hacker – that i have no privacy (well unless i am whispering in an enclosed dark room and put everything on paper that can be incinerated. tho, they have those amazing fly-sized drones now. i’m sure no one will use these for ill….scoff).
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130502–drone-tiny-fly-robobee-harvard-science-robot/
    if you don’t have the know-how to be a cowboy, you’re out of luck, and i don’t. i know only the most rudimentary of programming

    • AC

      it’s like we’re a nation of peeping toms….

      • JobExperience

        Nope, they already raping and mutilating.

        • AC

          i meant world. i personally think everyone spies on everyone…even kids do it

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Nations don’t want him because they’re afraid of the USA – not exactly a reflection on him.

    • SteveTheTeacher

      Don’t worry.  You’ll be OK as long as your careful not to piss of anybody, or any party, that gets into power and can use the vast data they have on where you go, who you communicate with, your comments, your interests, and what catches your attention to craft a case against you.

      Just make sure that your activities, and the activities of the people with whom you associate, don’t fit into the profile of what anybody who may get into power may consider “suspect.”

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Remember all of the things the government is doing the next time you serve jury duty !

  • jerwest

    This country’s policy is determined by powerful interests, that use money, political influence and relationships to develop policies that benefit themselves.  

    So, which interest exactly is against Al-Qaeda and other terrorists?  Not the Department of Defense!  They’ve been able to amass huge power since 9/11.  Not the defense industry, either.  Their industry has profited tremendously.  

    I’m convinced a “terrorist” to the NSA is anyone who constitutes a threat to the current Oligopoly.  I strongly suspect the NSA is looking much more closely at the “Occupy” folks, or the “Anonymous” DDoS attacks than they are at Al-Qaeda.  These people are a more direct threat to the NSA’s interests.

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Is Ed a parasite?

      Is the target of the disease worthy of attack?

      • JobExperience

         Militarized corporate run government prefers the term “insurgent.” This term is being used even by the petrochemical industry in their attempts to conquer communities for Fracking. It was discussed by Josh Fox on DRShow yesterday.
        An insurgent is a dissident you can surveil, intimidate, threaten, smear, sue, indict, arrest, muzzle, assassinate, poison or execute using covert or overt military and judicial power. Most Americans are considered insurgents under PRISM and UPSTREAM. Ed is the last of the good bacteria escaping from diseased covert guts.

    • Jasoturner

      Well, since they have no intention of telling you the truth, at least your convictions have no chance of being challenged.  And no, that’s not a good thing.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Elephants are large and powerful but they can be clumsy when required to change direction.

    A bee, is at best a nuisance by itself – but a hive can be deadly to a much larger foe.

    • Yar

      Or, it can provide sustenance when properly managed.  How sweet! 

      • Steve_the_Repoman

        When the manager no longer respects the nature of the bee or has their interests at heart they can be quite volatile.

        I have thought that we cooperate with bees.

        Samson scooped the honey from the carcass and still had his eyes put out – but perhaps I am pushing the metaphor to far.

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    “Opening
    government data to fuel innovation and problem-solving: For the first time in
    history, the Administration opened up huge amounts of government data to the
    …”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/08/smarter-more-innovative-government-american-people

    • JobExperience

      What in particular was released that you found useful or informative? (Any good lottery numbers in that batch?)

      • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

        I just started thinking about the project. Maybe, I can find some opportunities.

        • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

          Well the initial look does not lend itself to progammatic exploration using XML and PHP. If that is what was intended by the project then it did not work and possibly it is just a busy work project for people to load a bunch of templates on the internet with sparse detail filled in.

  • Prairie_W

    For those who haven’t had a chance to see it, Nate Silver has done a deft analysis of the Quinnipiac poll yesterday showing that Americans are moving away from “security” and moving towards “freedom” — quite dramatically. To the extent that Snowden’s whistleblow has affected that change,  we should be very grateful.

     http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/public-opinion-shifts-on-security-liberty-balance/

    • brettearle

      You and I cannot possibly determine whether Snowden’s acts and behavior have either helped to save the country from a Totalitarian Culture or has helped to put the country in greater danger.

      You and I simply don’t know.

      I want to live without gross and unreasonable invasion of privacy.

      But I have no idea if what has been revealed aids and abets our adversaries, to the point where we are in greater danger.

      YOU AND  I DON’T KNOW.  

  • Unterthurn

    If other countries go by the system to assume ‘one is innocent until proved guilty’ and he claims he is only a whistleblower of the NSA system that has gone haywire beyond the borders many assumed would never be touched: Wouldn’t he be better off applying for a VISA?

  • Give_Me_Liberty_92

    why is the journalist or the intelligence community assuming that russians and chinese have “seen” the content of Snowden hard drives? it seems another form of fear-based slander based on very little.

    Considering his background, Snowden has likely deeply encrypted all of them, and if he is in good faith -if he wasn’t he would be in china now- he won’t hand out the passwords to decrypt them willingly. even a state agency may take dozens of years to decrypt this kind of data even assuming they forced him to hand the hard drives out. and by then any content therein will be irrelevant.

    • Jasoturner

      I have a sneaking suspicion the Chinese and Russian intelligence services knew damn well what American spy agencies were doing.  It was only us American citizens being left in the dark about (probably) unconstitutional surveillance…

      • Give_Me_Liberty_92

        I’m quite sure of that myself. they all play the same spy game.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Of course our competitors know ! We now must consider all of the things that AREN’T being revealed. These massive data centers are in plain sight for the most part.

    • Oleg Petrenko

      sun doesn’t emit enough energy during 30 years to brute-force 256-bit encription on some theoretical supercomputer.
      http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/09/the_doghouse_cr.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/adonis.gralak Adonis Gralak

    HERO. The citizens of America, and the world, need to know how far the US government has sunk into darkness. How long will it be untill the reign of the Dictators i wonder? . It is not only possible, it is inevitable . You have only to look at the roman empire as an example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adonis.gralak Adonis Gralak

    Only a fool would think that they aren’t under some sort of scrutiny in this day of high tech communications. And if any American was unaware of such behavior from their government agencies they should have they’re heads examined. Ever since there was mass communication, there has been someone.

    • Jasoturner

      So you think belief in rule of law is for the naive, obtuse or crazy?  The nation’s Founders did not think so.  But Washington has succeeded if they have induced enough cynicism that they can convince a majority to feel as you do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    congress was complacent. they should have never voted for the Patriot Act in the first place. after 911 fear won the day

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      complicit?

  • Scott B

    While Snowden could, and should, have handled this much better, he did shine a glaring light on much of what’s wrong with the intelligence agencies in this country: A lack of vetting (Snowden included); having way too many people with classified clearances; too much is being classified; and that the privatizing security and intelligence because private industry can do it better and that the government will only waste money, when the government is paying many times what it would cost to pay the same people to do the same job, isn’t a good idea (see previous three issues).

    But the biggest light shown about our government’s view on, and treatment of, American citizens is, in the immortal words of Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  • edloveryomtvraps

    Brave and articulate though Snowden may be, it’s wrong to focus on the messenger here, instead of the message.  Snowden predicted we’d focus on him; it’s a distraction from massive injustices being done to all Americans and citizens of the world by the US’s intrusive dragnet surveillance.

  • Give_Me_Liberty_92

    god bless the brother from Joplin who just spoke at the phone….

  • northeaster17

    I’ve read recently that if you act on petitions against fracking, mountain top removal or other environmental issues the FBI will add your name to a potential terrorist list and provide that list to the companies involved. What’s wrong with that? Look at what is happening in Wisconson.
    The militarization continues.
     
    http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/starnet-blog/hiring-of-arizona-security-firm-raises-wisconsin-mine-controversy-to/article_f3066216-e906-11e2-ae6a-0019bb2963f4.html 

  • carl_christian

    It’s extreme optimism to think that Snowden would have any chance in hell of pursuing the legal options — it has been tried by others in the NSA and the Pentagon and failed miserably. We are living in an unprecedented time of government and corporate overreach — thanks to extreme technologies that no prior legal minds could have envisaged. Snowden is operating at a much higher moral and ethical standard, as well as having an intellectual grasp of this unique period in human history that is far more perspicacious than the vast majority of Washington DC  pundits and politicians. If America survives our current unfettered fetish with secrets & innuendo collected in the so-called service of our national security, Snowden will be eventually recognized as a national hero by the future versions of these same pundits and politicians.

  • edloveryomtvraps

    To the commenter saying Snowden should have followed the law: The laws, in this case, are unjust: dragnet surveillance of hundreds of million due to no real suspicion, producing no real results, and overseen by a secret bureaucracy.  That’s not the America I was raised to believe in.  Snowden was right to blow the whistle the way he did.  Doing otherwise would have left him imprisoned, marginalized, or dead.

  • brettearle

    If Security Risk increases, as the result of an attack like 9/11, where do we draw the line–as to when Invasion of Privacy is going too far?

    Problem is, who’s to say, accurately, what is, ‘Too Far’?

    And how do you reassess such measures–so as to expand or contract surveillance, as the result of a changing security risk, in the future?

    I do not believe that we can answer these questions, easily–if at all….. 

  • JohnnyFitz

    Prof. Stone says that Snowden controverted the decisions of our elected representatives, but we know, because of Snowden, that our elected representatives were being lied to by the people running the programs that Snowden disclosed. 

  • Matt

    Geoffrey Stone has it right.  Simple theft and treason.  This guy stole property of we the people of the United States of America, from a legal program with oversight from all three branches of our government and declared himself an autocrat over those secrets he stole.  He’ll now use his own ‘enlightened’, despotic power to decide what gets released, and to who.  No one knows exactly what information he stole, where any of those secrets ended up, if he sold and profited from them, etc.  No one but his royal highness, Edward Snowden.  

    • northeaster17

      How do you feel about the 2nd amendment? Does it trump the 4th? What is one to do when he is a witness to those in power not upholding their oath to the constitution? There is nothing simple about this

      • Matt

        Your implication that this is unconstitutional is highly debatable.  Issues of legality concerning any amendment are a matter for the judicial branch of our government.  If he takes issue with the job he accepted at will, he should quit in protest and work to reform the system.  Are you saying it should be up to every individual to interpret the constitutionality of any law or government program?  And violate the democratically established law when they, themselves, alone, deem it appropriate?  There’s a reason we have checks and balances, a reason we have oversight.  The NSA program had both.  Edward Snowden has neither.

        • northeaster17

          You say that the judicial branch checked off on the NSA. Really? It’s all seceret. They have proved untrustworthy many times. Clapper lied straight to Congress. The system is broken. Others who have taken tradidtional paths have been prosecuted. But still nothing to see here. Wrong

          • Matt

            Yes, FISA is a U.S. federal court.  Yes, it checks off on the NSA.  Yes, it’s all secret to the public. That’s the point.  Secret does not mean unconstitutional.  Secret does not mean illegal.  Secret does not mean unauthorized.  The program was not a secret to Wyden, as a member of the SIC.  His question to Clapper was indirect and ambiguous (dossiers?), and unfortunately the semantics of the issue are important (meta-data versus content).  It’s part of Wyden’s job to protect the secrets he has been made privy to, and I’m surprised there hasn’t been more outcry about his dereliction of duty in asking the question in a public forum.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            Clapper could have replied truthfully by simply stating that he could not answer the question in an open forum, perido. like hundreds of government officials have done under the identical circumstances (not last the A.G. Gonzales on an identical question).

             instead he choose to lie to congress, undermining his credibility in perpetuity.

          • Matt

            This requires both a dismissal of the ambiguity in the line of questioning and an absolute belief in the neutrality of “I can neither confirm nor deny that”.  I view both as disingenuous.  Clapper, unlike Wyden, acted to protect the secrets he was charged with protecting.  More credible in my book.

          • ThirdWayForward

            Clapper perjured himself, but he is not being held accountable for his blatant lying. If Obama had done this, radical conservatives in the House would have already drafted articles of impeachment.

            http://jonathanturley.org/2013/07/03/perjury-by-permission-clapper-apologizes-for-false-testimony-and-the-congress-remains-silent/

        • Give_Me_Liberty_92

          Snowed himself WAS the real NSA in practice and in action. The NSA is made of people and their program enables people to do things they should not be able to do to their own fellow citizens. the fact that he could do what he did (5 laptps of encrypted data, in some accounts) shows you that the NSA has neither factual checks, balances nor oversight.

          the physical data is there for any low level IT tech to snoop at and download.

        • ThirdWayForward

          I am still in shock that there is now a body of law THAT IS ENTIRELY SECRET. How can this possibly be even remotely constitutional? How is it in any way compatible with even the weakest conception of democracy?

          Then you look at who is making up these laws in secret, and it turns out that Chief Justice Roberts appoints ALL of the FISA judges and that all but one of them got their initial judicial appointments from Republican administrations. I haven’t yet seen the profiles of the individual FISA court judges, but I imagine that they all trend towards the authoritarian-fascist end of the conservative political spectrum. 

          Nobody is allowed to have standing to challenge the secret laws (is it even illegal to publicly disclose that they exist? how would we know?), and Roberts also chooses the judges who would hear any appeals of FISA court decisions. Way too much power is entrusted to one person (someone whose judgement is also highly questionable — that recent Voting Rights decision of his was egregiously bad on its face). 

          The FISA system and congressional oversight are obviously completely broken — they are in no way checks or balances — the FISA courts were initially created by the reforming Church Committee to provide oversight and control, but evidently for a long time now, and especially after 911 they have been repurposed to serve as a legal facade for the abdication of control.

          And it is truly, truly terrible that Obama, who more often than not, does the right thing – sort of, is aiding and abetting these threats to democracy. Biden, Feinstein, and many other powerful Democrats have been just as bad. Interestingly, former president Carter thinks that Snowden has done the nation positive service in raising these issues.

          We need a constitutional amendment that prohibits secret laws, period. The government can still hold specific secrets, but  what is legal and what is illegal, and what kinds of information should be secret and what kinds should not be need to be matters of public knowledge and oversight. Secret courts should not exist in the first place, and they should not be empowered to radically change the meanings of laws (as FISA has done).

          This is what happens when conservative authoritarians get effective control over the judiciary, and moderates like Obama support and extend what they have done. Some day, I want the Democratic Party to become something more than the lesser of two evils, but that day unfortunately is not yet on the horizon — I really never expect to see it to happen in my lifetime. Power corrupts.

          In the meantime it is up to progressives, libertarians, civil libertarians, and those who generally distrust big government, including Tea Party people, to do the hard political work of reforming this system. Government transparency and accountability should not be a partisan issue.

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

          “he should quit in protest and work to reform the system.  ”
          wish granted that’s exactly what he is doing. what are you afraid to know?

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

      snowden was part of we the people and gave his information to the rest of us how can someone steal from themselves?

  • Jon

    People miss the root cause for this debate between law and morality – why do the terrorists attack America? The ongoing Boston bombers trial goes back to the same issue.

    • edloveryomtvraps

       It’s also worth wondering: if the NSA domestic spying program is so necessary, why didn’t it detect the Tsarnaevs’ plans?

  • Tim Cahill

    Professor Stone is apparently incredibly naive if he thinks there were other legal options for Snowden to pursue that would have accomplished the goal of informing world citizens that the U.S. has been spying on all of us.  Even I know the Obama administration has had a war on whistle-blowers and  Snowden would have been whisked away and locked up before he ever got to say “boo.”  Professor Stone should not be teaching other lawyers until he gets his head out of the sand.

    • David Stewart

      I think that’s the problem.  The goal shouldn’t be to inform everyone, the goal should be to ensure the programs are operating under legal and constitutional constraints.

      • Tim Cahill

         The programs were not and are not operating under legal and constitutional constraints.  THAT’s the problem.  All Snowden did is inform us so.

        • David Stewart

          They were operated under the control of all three branches of government.  That’s about as good as you’re going to get.  Until a court rules them illegal or un-Constitional, they were and remain legal and Constitutional.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            you are being either disingenuous or a shill for the executive.

            no court could rule them illegal or unconstitutional before Snowden actions because the government denied that any data collection happened and even in Amnesty International v Clapper the suit was dismissed because of standing, they never look at the merit!

            as for the “control”, please, please. look at the details: we have a secret court, deciding with secret opinions on secret interpretations of the law. there is no adversarial system set up, so nobody can contest those interpretations. there is no internal recourse. a 1979 decision on a guy with a telephone calling his crook pals is used as the legal precedent for a sweeping data gathering on millions of innocent people, congress is ill informed or not informed at all on the details of their own laws are interpreted. the NSA operatives are thousands of miles away from the controllers, so there is no gatekeeper of the physical data (as Snowden actions themselves show! he has 5 laptops of data, I am not sure you need that much for two powerpoint presentation and a PDF file…who knows what else he downloaded).

            what oversight are you talking about. are you serious?

          • David Stewart

            The FISA court signed off on the telephone collection, repeatedly.  Members of congress were given classified briefings and passed the initial legislation that started this whole thing.  Executives from both parties have overseen the programs.  We know that both within the FISA court and the executive branch people objected to certain plans and were able to either bar them or force changes to them.

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

            oh so the secret court makes it ok!

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

        why should we not know what a govt of we the people is doing?

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

      those who teach, can’t

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

    Caller Brett says “I’m not doing anything illegal, go ahead and surveil me.”

    I understand how an ordinary person (disclaimer: I’m one also) can slip into idea of anonymous everymanness that he can feel he has.

    But he doesn’t have that. Nobody does, nobody has since the Patriot Act.

    • nj_v2

      The problem with that attitude is its utter selfishness. Or, maybe selfishness tinged with ignorance.

      Just as long as one keeps one’s head down, plays by the corporotocratic rules, makes no waves, i.e. “does nothing wrong,” no problem.

      Show up at an environmental, civil rights, or Occupy rally, go through “formal” whistle-blower channels, or, in any of a number of other ways, push back against the system, then you end on on watch lists, taps on your phones, etc.

      So, yeah, be sure you “don’t do anything wrong.” You’ll be fine.

      How do people like this think any sort of social/political/labor/environmental progress was made in this (or any other country)?

      I grow increasingly impatient with this kind of clueless complacency.

  • nj_v2

    Oh, geez, not another “I’m doing nothing wrong, go ahead and illegally look at everything i do” caller (Brett).

    And what does anyone think would have happened if Snowdon or anyone else had gone through the “proper channels” in lodging his concerns?

    He’d have jumped through hoops, been shuffled through endless bureaucratic mazes, eventually squashed and fired, and we’d have never heard of him or his concerns.

    Brett sounds like a good German in the 30s.

    Wake the f**k up, people!

    • David Stewart

      First, the NSA isn’t looking at everything.  The misunderstanding or disingenuous stretching of what the NSA programs actually do is a major problem as it prevents honest discussion of the issue.

      Second, if someone is a true patriot then they are going to be willing to suffer to affect change.  The difficultly of the process is a necessary check to allow the functioning of a national intelligence program.

      • nj_v2

        Right, David, like you have any idea of what the NSA (or any other agency) is looking at.

        • David Stewart

          Do you?  Simply making blind assumptions certainly lets people show off their nice shiny hats, but it does nothing to further an honest discussion.

          • homebuilding

            Seeing their visible infrastructure south of Salt Lake City and suburban DC (count the cars !) surely gives a hint as to their scope, doesn’t it?  (and there is a rather clear paper trail showing offices in all major US cities)

            The secrutt puh leese state is here–and I for one will stand ready, in support of all gurr illluzz

          • David Stewart

            It does, and given current technology those facilities aren’t nearly large enough to do even a fraction of what people claim.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            Moore’s Law anybody?

            just wait

          • David Stewart

            Moore’s law won’t close the gap between theory and reality any time soon.

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

            I think the longer it takes to kick in the stranger it will be. if we wait long enough they will create a computer network big enough to cause the singularity and that will be strange no matter how that goes

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

            you know that’s just the surface level of one of the facilities right?

      • Give_Me_Liberty_92

        leaving the constitutionality problem aside, as a matter of policy, a military national security agency should never train its own “guns” inward on its own fellow citizens. that’s how tyrannies always start. alas, we have a short historical memory in America and we are too willing to be scared into submission.

        it seems to me Snowden is -and will be- suffering enough, having given up family, woman, country and lots of money. In return he gets to keep talking, which is the main point for a whistle-blower, and very hard to do if you are locked up (or assassinated).

        • David Stewart

          We’re too willing to be scared in general.  We have people overly scared of terrorist demanding government action.  Then we have people who are overly scared of the government.  Neither extreme really serves us well.

          I think the fears of assassination only serve to undermine the real concerns and paint him (and those of like minds) as to far into the self-obsessed, tin-foil hat wearing camp.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            you may have had a point before our government started using drones to kill American terrorists abroad without due process as a matter of policy. Snowden has already been labeled an enemy spy. Rather than being a paranoid conspiracy theory, it’s just simple logic to assume that he is a likely target for assassination, if we fail to have him “rendered” by other means.

            you are attempting to reach a middle point, but you fail to recognize that it is impossible to find a stable middle point if you move away from the constitution. you are left with opinions. and you start stretching the bill of right to fit modern fears and obsessions about safety and security.

            there is no interesting balancing standard or rational basis review possible when it comes to the enumerated rights. those rights are there to limit the government policy choices, not to be subjected to a popular referendum.

            are you suggesting that the government actions satisfy strict scrutiny? is scooping up 300 million people phone metadata daily or digging into content of internet traffic bound abroad the LEAST intrusive action the governemnt can come up with to further his public policy interests?

            hardly.

          • David Stewart

            It’s only logical to assume he is a target for assassination if your redefine logic to mean something different or are operating on a reality other than the one that actually exists.

            The killing of threats in no way started with the advent of drones.  The irrational fear associated with drones is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about.

            There is no real “moving away from the Constitution.” There is always a debate about how the Constitution applies.  Nothing in the Constitution is absolute, everything is qualified in some form.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            I don’t have an irrational fear of drones…how they are going to kill you matter not much. my fear is very much rational and based on the fact that even with a “liberal” president the executive has in multiple occasions decided to be judge jury and executioner of American citizens.

            and what scare me the most is not our government and its assassination orders for American citizens, but the fact that that’s Ok with you.

            Having lived 25 years in a former fascist country that chills my blood.

            Most things in the constitution are qualified, but find me an originalist or a living constitution rationale for a generalized warrant of the kind we are discussing here and  I make you rich. There ain’t any. Try to define as “reasonable” the government collection of million of innocent people data using the precendent of an individualized, limited phone tracing and see what you can come up with. nothing. and if you read the section 215 of the patriot act you see how much they are stretching the statute text: beyond recognition.

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

            what does the constitution say about murdering citizens without a trial?

        • sickofthechit

           His earning potential has sky-rocketed!

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            if spying for a competing Power was the objective, we civilians would not have ever heard of him. he would have disappeared with his secrets, never to be seen again, and the NSA and CIA would be searching for him in complete secrecy.

            for someone who assumes so much good faith by the biggest faceless and unaccountable surveillance system ever known to man, you are willing to give very little credit to an individual who put his face behind his words, and risked his freedom while making you a great civic service.

            at least we are here discussing about it almost daily. which is more that we can say happened for the past 12 years

      • edloveryomtvraps

        “First, the NSA isn’t looking at everything.”

        If they aren’t they’re getting pretty close.  There’s evidence they’re recording all domestic phone calls (technologically, this isn’t that hard anymore).  The NSA also collects and analyzes all domestic Internet traffic.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A)

        • David Stewart

          There is no evidence they record all domestic phone calls.  They do store the call information (phone numbers, call time, call duration), but not the content of the call.

          Given the way the internet works, it is not possible to analyze all traffic, but the NSA does have ways to collect targeted information, which seems to be what places like Room 641A are used for.

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

            so absence of evidence is evidence of absence?
            why is it not possible? have you seen the facility in Utah? (or the other one in florida)

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

         how could you or I know what they actually do?
        I think most of us do not want a functioning domestic spying ring

  • Labropotes

    With an NSA like ours, Anne Frank could have been stopped sooner.

  • Joachim110

    The U.S. Government has become this unaccountable institution that protects only its own interest rather than protecting the People. Why do we, the People have to put up with this? All this secrecy and classified information is nothing short of a “Stasi” state spying on its own and using its law enforcement to come down on those that blow the wistle rather than hold the NSA and Co accountable. 

    • David Stewart

      What interests is the NSA protecting?  What benefit is it for anyone at the NSA to engage in this sort of activity?

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

      the stasi wish they had the technology we have. they had to save everyone’s scent on rags in jars so they could locate them with dogs. our domestic secret police/spys just have to click a mouse to pinpoint you at any time and they are collecting our DNA

  • spudoo

    Snowden is a hero and his actions have been of service to the nation.  Now he needs to step up and accept responsibility – and take the consequences – for his actions. The fact that he cannot quite seem to do this is unfortunately evidence of immature and illogical thinking; and for this, I feel sorry for the man.  I’m sure he’s learned quite a lot through this experience.

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

      where is the nobility in being whisked off to a secret prison for life?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I find it hard to see the harm done. How stupid are our enemies supposed to be? “Mohammed, stop putting our plans on Facebook, Snowden says the infidels are watching.” ROTFL

    OTOH, it’s good for Americans to know what our gvt is up to.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Many in the leadership of the Democrat Party joined me in criticizing President Bush for the war in Iraq and the use of torture.  Now, the leadership of the Democrat Party has thrown its support for universal surveillance.  The Party leadership has also backed President Obama’s programs of targeted mass killing by drones and profile/crowd killing.  I’ll also note that the leadership if the Democrat Party backed big banks through the Wall street bailout and big pharma through Obamacare. 

    At the least, this proves the validity of Ralph Nader’s comment:

    “The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the
    velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock
    on their door. That’s the only difference.”

    On a more profound level, President Obama and the leadership of the Democrat Party have asserted that the programs of universal surveillance are legal.  This despite the fact that it has been revealed that the government has focused spying on business and other social communications in Latin America.  Domestically, government officials have targeted people of Arab/Persian decent as well as social justice activists such as members of the Occupy movement. 

    The “legality” of this surveillance indicates the need for fundamental change in the US political system. 

  • nj_v2

    Sounds like the former-NSA/whistleblower guest has it exactly right.

    The U.S. corporate/security/military/political complex has clearly crossed into an Owellian realm that more closely resembles fascism than democracy.

  • Scott B

     The government has committed the sin of believing its own bull$h!t. 

  • JACOBB719

    To those
    that say that they are okay with panopticon surveillance because they don’t do
    anything illegal, the problem arises with the overreach of law. There are good
    laws and bad laws, and justice is served equally by breaking the bad ones.
    Along with our freedoms to assemble, of speech, the fear/paranoia evoked by the
    panopticon state very well could undermine our ability as moral beings to defend
    ourselves against immoral law.

  • nj_v2

    Three cheers for Ms. Radack! How can i make a contribution to her Government Accountability Project?

  • IowaCSS

    People who say they are doing nothing wrong therefore they don’t care about total surveillance may have forgotten about the McCarthy era witch hunts. It’s naive to believe that those in political office will never abuse power.

    • tbphkm33

      Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. 

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

    Obama has now prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than any previous president, and than all past presidents combined.
    where is your student radical now?
     The solution must be the creation of a clearly defined and credible procedure through which would-be leakers can bring their concerns to an independent panel of experts who can make a formal and professional determination whether the information at issue should be declassified.”
    we already have the freedom of information act. they decide that we don’t need to know most things. that is not the solution

    • Joachim110

      I think we all have learned that Obama’s speeches are far from his deeds. I am sorry that we have elected him again, a man who pretends to have the people at heart but demonstrates that he is in the pocket of military and military industrial complex, unable to stand up for what is right. And by pursuing Snowden he documents every time that the U.S. has lost all credibility and frankly nobody cares what he or his administration says. Because his actions are worst than Bush in terms of protecting our rights.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        So sad.

        It took a Nixon with huge anti-commie cred to go to China, and it’s taking a supposed “liberal” to establish the 1984 security state.

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

          that’s how they do it and we buy into this whole two party nonsense whilst the military industrial complex laughs all the way to the bank

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

        sadly people do care and he does have unimaginable executive powers what with all the secret laws and such who even knows what the powers are. if he can kill an American citizen with a drone at will what rights have we left?

  • sickofthechit

    When you expose classified information and thereby endanger American lives then you have gone to far.  Much as cheney’s via scooter revealing Valerie Plames identity endangered all the other agents and contacts she had dealings with while overseas.  Both are acts of a traitor.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Cheney revealed an actual person, Snowden revealed what anyone who had seen “24″ or “NCIS” would know anyway.

    • Give_Me_Liberty_92

      lots of assumptions there. you assume terrorists and the other bad guys are stupid and not encrypting their communications already, you are assuming that dangerous secret contents have been leaked (while just a process has been revealed), you are assuming that such “dangers” are greater than having a military agency spying on its own citizens, with all the historical precedents, the chances for abuse, corruption and blackmail that that comports, you are assuming that all of it is perfectly constitutional, when little substantial and adversarial review has been given to it and when old and not fully relevant SCOTUS decisions are given as a rationale.

      you are basically drinking the cool-aid without little critical review. organizations like their own toys, and when they have their toys they do
      everything they can to keep them, for nothing else because they can. then they come up with other reasons to justify their own existence.

      I for once don’t care about my tax money being spent on ammassing tons of our personal metadata or having an obscure bureaucrat judge the content of internet communications across the border (with a cut off just 1% above randomness!), fishing for any crime, damn the 4th amendment. But how is the congress going to discuss this if nobody knows how and why the secret courts secretely writes secret opinions about the secret interpretation of secret laws that secretely endorse a secret program?

      you really don’t see a problem there?

    • tbphkm33

      LOL – how naive you are.  I have worked for the government in the past, you would not believe the nonsensical and irrelevant material that is “classified.”  The public thinks it is all James Bond type of material, the truth is that the lions share of classified material are things that anyone following events and having half a brain can figure out themselves.  If the government had its way, it would retract 90% of the New York Times news section every day on grounds of “classified” material.  

  • DeJay79

     Geoffrey Stone “you have to spy on US citizens to protect them, it the best defense against another 911″

    NO the best defense is to be a country that acts nobly with the world and gives no reason to foreigners to attack us in the first place.  

    • HonestDebate1

      That has nothing to do with it. We’re infidels therefore we must be killed. It’s as simple as that.

      • DeJay79

         we are only because of what we have done in the past. Most specifically in Afghanistan.

      • ericd725

         here here

      • Labropotes

        They hate us for our Freedom, right?  I wish it were that simple.

        • HonestDebate1

          No, they don’t hate us for our freedom.

          • Labropotes

            I think those who would call us infidels hate us because of our support for Israel and our meddling in the middle east, generally.  Already both sides of the coup in Egypt have blamed America, for example.  Do you really think they hate us just because we are not muslim?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, I do. 

            The people of Egypt are blaming America in that they are very angry at Obama for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. When we meddle in the Middle East we liberate the people from brutal oppression.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s pretty funny.  We have a pretty poor record of supporting democracy in the Middle East.  I know that you are referring to Iraq, but why are you defending that government, where many parties and some officials there have ties to the Iranian government or have been accused of having ties to the ethnic violence that gripped the country, while seemingly supporting the overthrow of an elected government whose domestic record is certainly more enlightened than some of the other regimes that we support in that region?  Would you be cheering on the Iraqi military were they to overthrow al-Malaki’s government?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not defending the government of Iraq. Where’d you get that? I defend the action because it was justified, Americans agreed, Congress agreed and the UN agreed. Bill Clinton made it law before that.  I understand you think they all lied but I don’t. 

            I was a fan of Allawi but it’s up to the Iraqis. Either way they are better off than they were with Hussein, as is the rest of the world.

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

            clearly Iraq and the world were better off with saddam. that’s why Rumsfeld gave him all those weapons

          • Ray in VT

            Well, considering that Iraq is run by Islamists with ties to terrorist supporting nations, I find it curious that you are not criticizing them, while haranguing the former government of Egypt.  The world is better off without Hussein, and I think that few would argue that, but I don’t think that the Bush administration would have had nearly the domestic support for the invasion prior to the war if it had not dealt in so many half-truths and outright lies.  Then there’s the whole problem of how badly we screwed up the aftermath by not understanding so many of the internal problems and relationships that existed.

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

            where in the middle east is free from brutal oppression?

      • SteveTheTeacher

        I hear this a lot from well meaning people. 

        I find a disturbing contemporary similarity to how the German government worked to mislead the public during the time of Nazi rule in Germany.  Recall the comment of Hermann Göring:

        “Voice or novoice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked,and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing thecountry to danger. It works the same in any country.”

        • HonestDebate1

          I am much more concerned with a government misleading the public by rebranding the Ft. Hood terrorist attack as “workplace violence”. This bunch won’t even speak the name “radical Islam”. I am more concerned with a government willing to lie and say the Benghazi mess was inspired by a stupid video. I am more concerned by a government who insists Al Qaeda is decimated as they grow more dangerous. I am more concerned with an ego-maniacal President who thumps his chest about killing Bin Laden as if it makes us safer; as if methods he condemned and would not have used were not crucial to the endeavor. He even leaked classified intel to the movie industry for his close-up. I am more concerned about a government who sides with the Muslim Brotherhood against the people of Egypt.

          On the other hand, regarding the NAZI’s, perhaps Chamberlain had it right.

          • Ray in VT

            Careful, someone is going to report you to the Human Society or the ASPCA for continuing to beat that dead horse of yours.  What’s his name?  Benghazi Conspiracy?  I really thought that he would take the derby this year.

          • HonestDebate1

            You don’t have to think it’s bad for the government to lie to us anymore than you have to respond to the rest of my post. You don’t even have to get my brilliant point about Chamberlain. Fine.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve long been on the record for both disliking dishonesty and also giving leeway in a confusing or chaotic situation.  It’s not as though I have a record of excusing much larger lies and deceptions.  I just don’t like dealing in conspiracy theories and such that get propagated by the right-wing media and online circle jerk, and I’m pretty sure that at various times I have responded to just about everything else in your post.  It’s just more of your same.

            And what was your brilliant point about Chamberlain?  In light of the last sentence of the previous paragraph are you suggesting that by accepting and working with the democratically elected government of Egypt that the Obama administration is somehow engaged in a policy of appeasement?

          • HonestDebate1

            Dang, are you feeling a bit defensive?

            Regarding Chamberlain, SteveTheTeacher, unless I misunderstood (possible), was replying to my comment and implied I was overhyping the threat. He did so with a NAZI analogy. Given the threat the NAZI’s did in fact pose to Jews in particular, I found it odd. Hence Chamberlain.

            No, Obama is not just working with a Democratically elected Government. He pushed out Mubarek without understanding the consequences and then sided with the terrorist.

            Thank God for the people but they are calling Obama an idiot, jerk and supporter of terrorism. He’s on the wrong side.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope.  Not feeling defensive.  Just calling it like I’m seeing it.

            I figured that you were referencing appeasement or something with regard to Chamberlain, and there was certainly plenty of evidence of the threat by Munich, and they began moving against enemies very early on.  If the Muslim Brotherhood was so dangerous to let us say Israel, one would think that they might have made a move by now, but they seem more practical than that, and I think that it is a mistake to lump them in with some other Islamist movements.

            It is funny that you chastise Obama for not standing by a dictator and working with an elected government while today also championing the Iraq boondoggle, where the PM’s party that we helped to install is also Islamist and has ties to the Iranians.  Obama didn’t push Mubarek out.  He just refuse to prop him up, as he shot down his own people in the streets, and presently our government isn’t taking steps to chastise the Egyptian state in wake of the coup, which suggests that the administration isn’t exactly up in arms about the move, although I certainly don’t think that it sets a very good precedent for democracy there to have the military depose an elected leader.  I guess that being on the side of who wins the election is bad now?  Who knew?  Maybe Obama should have taken a lead from Bush.  He should have called for an election, because we support democracy (when it suits us) and then refused to recognize the result. Although, to be fair, at least Bush was dealing with an actual terrorist group in Gaza.

          • HonestDebate1

            A couple daysin Obama said the transition “must begin now”. That’s more than propping. Morsi receive no such message so the  Egyptians  took matter s into  their own hands. It always comes down to the  lessor of two evils. Clearly that  was Mubarek. Ask Israel.

          • Ray in VT

            “A
            couple daysin (sic) Obama said the transition “must begin now”. That’s more
            than propping. ”  Wouldn’t that be less than propping?  Your quote was also a week into the unrest, which is more than a couple f days, and after Mubarek’s statement that “he won’t run for re-election in September”.  He also never won a truly open and fair election, and no matter what one thinks of Morsi, he at least managed that.

            “Morsi
            receive no such message so the  Egyptians  took matter s into
             their own hands”.  Morsi was, as I stated, an elected leader with several years left on his term.  It probably would have been to his benefit it he had called for early elections, but he did not do that, and he was not obliged to do so.  I don’t think that it is possible to judge which was the lesser of two evils in this case, given the short track record for Morsi, especially given that despite allegations that they would act otherwise, they continued along with the peace treaty with Israel, which is, to my understanding, pretty unpopular with the Egyptian public.

            Again, I also find it very funny that you criticize Obama for “understanding the consequences” considering your defense of the disaster that was the chaos in Iraq, where the violence is still continuing, with bombings continuing to claim lives there, and please tell me when Obama “sided with the terrorist(sic?).”? Are you referring to Morsi?  If so, then I was not aware that he was a terrorist.

          • HonestDebate1

            I mean’tmore thannot propping but the comment was impossible to edit.I figured you’d get t.

            Algore
            would  have gone to Iraq. It was a righteous cause and had to bedonein a post 9/11world.

            And yes, Morsi is a terrorist.

          • Ray in VT

            Based upon what evidence?  As far as I know he was the rightfully elected leader of the country until he was overthrown?  Also, Obama merely supported a change and then dealt with who won the election.  I guess, though, that we can’t expect some people to pick their leaders, and we can always be there to support a dictator when it suits us.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            The statement below is characteristic of the anti-Semitic (anti-Jew / anti-Arab) quotes by the Nazi, Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

            “We are not yet free of peril from the Arabs, who long seriously
            threatened our existence, and their creation, Mohammedanism, is the
            greatest of all hindrances to every progress of civilisation, hanging
            like a sword of Damocles over our slowly and laboriously rising culture
            in Europe, Asia and Africa.” – Houston Stewart Chamberlain, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century.

            If this represents your viewpoint I disagree and I would counter with Ghandi’s quote:

            “What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.” – Mahatma Ghandi

          • HonestDebate1

            I was referring to Neville but you know that. However, if either Chamberlain had their way the result would be the same: millions more Jews would have died.

            As to the quote, they are not my view but if you substituted “radical Islam” for “Arabs” I may go for it. To me it’s not about race which is predetermined, it’s about a dangerous ideology that is taught.

            Ghandi was cool but I don’t see how a snarky jab at the West is a rebuttal.

          • SteveTheTeacher

             How about the dangerous ideology of “American Exceptionalism” or the dangerous ideology that puts forth the paradigm that the artificial constructs of nations/religions/etc. prescribe groups who are more or less valuable as human beings?

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree with the premise. American exceptionalism exists precisely because our founding documents are unique to the world. They begin with the premise that certain unalienable rights are endowed by our creator and not bestowed by government. 

            The notion “all men are created equal” is self-evident and codified in our founding. That is hardly the same as considering some people more or less valuable as human beings.

            American exceptionalism is a beacon of hope to the world. It’s not a danger at all.

          • SteveTheTeacher

             HonestDebate1 stated:

             “The notion “all men are created equal” is self-evident and codified in our founding.”

            The founding documents of the US identified the Native population as “Merciless Indian Savages.”  Shortly after winning “our” freedom Brittish oppression, in the name of American Exceptionalism, the US government undertook a program of genocide against the native population. 

            While proclaiming that “all men are created equal,” these same founding documents clarified that “all men” meant all White men.  Despite the centuries of popular resistance, racism remains prevalent in the US as does sexism.

            It should also be noted that “American Exceptionalism” was a motivating factor in many of the US military interventions over the last century.  The results have been the killing of on the order of tens of millions

            Recall General Smedley Butler’s observation:

            “I
            spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service
            as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine
            Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to
            Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being
            a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the
            Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand that but I was talking about this century. If our founding documents had not been premised on the idea all men are created equally, born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then we would still have slavery like they do in Africa. Our system allows us to right wrongs. There has been no other nation in the history of the universe that has had as much power and used it for such good.

          • SteveTheTeacher

             Again,you are mistaken. 

            In the US, social progress has occurred because, irrespective of the inherit racism, sexism, classism, etc. in the founding documents of the US, among the “founding fathers,” and in many in power over the centuries since its founding, people from all sectors of US society have been able to organize to work of greater social justice.  People in all other regions have worked for greater social justice in the regions in which they reside.

            Throughout the present short century, the US government has been responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent civilians.  Domestically, the US government is still, a de-facto plutocracy.  Internationally, the US government uses its power to maintain the present socio-economic system that forces 1/3 of humanity to live in abject poverty and another 1/3 of humanity to live just a little better. 

            Despite the malevolence of the US government, people (citizens and non-citizens) to wit ,Edward Snowden and Jullian Assange, are working to promote greater social justice.

          • HonestDebate1

            I hate the term social justice. 
            “All menare created equal” was more than words.  It did not square with slavery or the other issues. We didn’t just change the words to solve the problems, we made them a cornerstone and slavery died.

          • HonestDebate1

            .

          • SteveTheTeacher

            HonestDebate1 stated:  “I hate the term social justice.”

            Clearly.

            From your comments, I would also glean that you hate  the acceptation of term “social justice.”

          • HonestDebate1

            What I hate is the implication social justice can be defined, determined and enforced by government. But it sounds good. I prefer legislating equal opportunity to legislating equal outcome.

            I think we may be talking past each other. When I refer to American exceptionalism I am not claiming America has always done everything right. But I am saying our system of government unleashes the human spirit to innovate and excel  better that anywhere. 

          • jefe68

            You’re such an asshat.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Gives new meaning to “honest debate.”

      • sickofthechit

         We are infidels deserving death to a very, very, very small percentage of “muslims”.  That percentage is increased with each act of torture or drone attack that kills an innocent.

        DeJay79 is right.
        Charles A. Bowsher

      • tbphkm33

        In terms of percentages, there are as many rightwing nut case Christians in the U.S. as there are rightwing nut case Muslims in Middle Eastern countries.  It is false to paint the entire population as extremists.  Just like in the U.S., there are fringe pockets of extremism.  Here there are the rightwing militias, there there rightwing militants.  Bottom line, the majority of the population still just want to get on with life and live in peace. 

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m talking about the threat of radical Islam and there is no logical analogy that can be made with Christians. There are not “as many”, that case cannot be made. Radical Islam is not merely a fringe pocket of extremism. That is a very dangerous notion. Christians aren’t strapping bombs on their children and targeting innocents. Dejay79′s comment made a claim as to the reason we are targeted and I disagree. My comment was not about Muslims in general it was a reply about those who perpetrated 9/11 as Dejay79 suggests.

          I do not believe in painting with a broad brush and have many times made that clear regarding liberal’s penchant for doing just that. Muslim’s are NOT all just peace-loving fuzzballs and should not be considered so.

          • tbphkm33

            LOL – ignorance is a blissful thing, if not a bit dangerous….  No “Christians” are not strapping bombs to their children, but they are dropping bombs on Muslim children. I guess in your self righteous worldview, this is somehow justifiable.  

          • HonestDebate1

            If by “Christians” you mean the Obama administration then I think that’s a bit of a stretch. The rascally Christians are not dropping bombs. And if you are making an analogy between a President conducting war and targeting innocents well, that’s just wacky. I don’t think you mean it.

            I don’t recall saying, implying or otherwise suggesting dropping bombs on Muslim children is justified. Please don’t tell me what I think. If you ask me, the drone program only goes so far in defeating the enemy. If it were up to me I’d capture and interrogate as a way to gather valuable intel like the intel that led to Bin Laden. But the public and Obama seem to prefer assassination, no trial, no judge, no jury, no oversight.

          • tbphkm33

            Ah, the “honest” life of an internet troll – at least it is enjoyable to go back and see what mad ravings you dug up from the far recesses of your mind.  Then again, from your numerous daily postings, maybe your mind does not harbor that many far recesses – or is just plainly out to recess. 

          • HonestDebate1

            You guys are a hoot! I start by posting an undeniable truth. But you have a different view, fine, but then go on to draw insane moral equivalencies, mindless projections and gross exaggerations which do not hold up under the slightest scrutiny. So the snark and name-calling ensues. 

            If one takes your replies at face value and accepts the ridiculous analogies then at best you have done nothing but excuse bad behavior by citing other bad behavior. So hang your hat on that and call me whatever want. 

      • ranndino

        It is, in fact, nowhere near as simple as that and is extremely naive to believe so. We were attacked on 9/11 for very specific reasons. I don’t agree with much of Ron Paul’s views (I suspect you do), but at least the man is intellectually honest and consistent. Take a look at what he says about this particular subject.

        • HonestDebate1

          I would love Ron Paul as Secretary of Treasury and for the most part I like his Libertarian social views. But when it comes to foreign policy, he’s a nut. A total loony tune.

          • ranndino

            That’s like, your opinion, man. His opinions on foreign policy are squarely based in reality which is rarely discussed in the U.S. because it doesn’t conform to the ridiculous mantra that “they hate us for our freedom” which only a 6-year old should be able to believe.

            I also respect that he even expressed his views on it during the Republican primary debates. Speaking of looney tunes. For a moment I thought some of them were gonna storm the stage. 

  • nj_v2

    If Mr. Stone is so concerned about preventing/diminishing “terrorism,” he should consider the reasons why “terrorists” target the U.S. and what their motivations are.

    One has to make a long line of assumptions and ignore much of recent history to get to the point of accepting the diminishment of civil liberties as an inevitable result of fighting “terrorism.”

  • ericd725

    legal or not right is right, our laws are supposed to provide a reasonable path to right a wrong.  these laws we have obviously didn’t do that  for Manning or Snowden, that’s why he fled.
    And I must say, that the type of idiot that claims this surveillance is OK because there doing nothing wrong, makes a perfect submissive subject for the powerful to use in its favor.
    Didn’t Franklin say to give up freedoms to protect our safety is just giving up both?

    • DeJay79

      Most of this countries founders expressed that same opinion in one way or another.

      I wish people could set their fear to the side and listen to wisdom. but alas we live in a country and time in which people tweet “happy 2013 B-day” on this fourth of july

  • carl_christian

    The law professor would do well to do some serious number-crunching and cost benefit analysis regarding where the American security dollars are being spent versus what is actually threatening Americans and their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness — it’s lack of health care, a toxic environment, climate change, crumbling infrastructure ( including water & agriculture), old-fashioned misery & poverty, etc., etc. Just a few of the billions wasted making the fear-mongerers richer and more powerful (i.e., anti-democratic!) would go a long way to ameliorating these much broader cultural & social threats — and continue to pay future dividends that money spent keeling secrets and lies can never hope to match.

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

      but that’s how the military industrial complex likes it. they always seem to get what they like

      • ranndino

        You get what you pay for.

  • Scott B

    Exactly what has the NSA caught?  They missed every major attack from the Marine barracks bombing in Beruit, to the USS Cole, to McVeigh’s Oklahoma  bombing, 911, and many things in between. They get cart blanch for a budget, all in the name of keeping is safe, spending billions of dollars for a massive compound in Utah, and what do US citizens get? Spied on.

    The CIA is now having to behave as if it was one of the armed forces, the FBI’s role is far away from what it was established for… This is security?

    • Jasoturner

      You are clearly not fearful enough for this country.  Watch your back when they set up the reeducation camps out in Arizona…

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

      this is a police state

  • TyroneJ

    Well, it’s pretty clear that Geoffrey Stone would have had no qualms 150 years ago locking up Henry David Thoreau for helping runaway slaves or for his tax protest. It’s also pretty clear that Geoffrey Stone would have had no qualms locking up Martin Luther King 50 years ago for following Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” philosophy during the Civil Rights movement.

    As Jesselyn Radack rightly pointed out, US Law affords no mechanism for whistleblowers to do the right thing even if they see crimes against humanity like murder take place in classified setting.

    • Jasoturner

      Good comment.  I do take issue with Snowden’s “poor thinking.”  Here’s a guy who managed to expose potentially serious illegal activities by the most powerful nation on earth, and he’s still at large.  That ain’t easy to pull off.  And his mission was to get the truth out there – at which he succeeded.  Asylum is kind of a second tier issue, though obviously huge for him.  But overall I think what he pulled of is actually pretty impressive.

      • David Stewart

        Although the fact that he could escape seems to indicate the surveillance isn’t all that pervasive or omnipresent.

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

          he did not even tell his live in girlfriend what he was doing. he took extreme measures and had enough insider info that he barely managed to escape

        • ranndino

          That’s a poor argument. Being on the inside and an expert at how the information is being collected he was able to circumvent the system. Also, even his girlfriend didn’t know he was planning to leave.

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        Agreed. However, “poor thinking” would infer Snowden remained in the US long enough for The Feds to collar him. At least he moved, which shows he values, however tenuously, his own freedom. However much he compromised his family’s freedom is another matter.

    • David Stewart

      Thoreau and King both went to jail for standing by their beliefs.  Snowden fled.  I think therein lies the difference.  Civil disobedience doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enforce laws, it means as a citizen I have the right or obligation to disobey laws I feel are unjust, but I have to bear responsibility for my actions.  Thoreau said he felt freer in jail than those where were outside.

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

        the dalai lama was asked why he did not go the ghandi route. he said the difference is that ghandi was dealing with the british who arrested him and allowed him to petition and such. he was dealing with the Chinese, who just shoot you in the face.  we aren’t living in an America where people have the same rights as they did pre-911. we now have a government that thinks it can murder any citizen without a trial. that’s what has changed 

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

      I was pretty impressed he got out of here alive

  • Labropotes

    What I find really weird about the Snowden issue, is that those Americans who approve of what he did outnumber those who don’t by about 3 to 2.  Meaning that at least half of the country thinks their government is behaving illegitimately.  Why don’t our elected representatives consider that a serious problem?  Why isn’t trying to restore their credibility and our faith a big priority?

    • sickofthechit

       You think a body with a 15% approval rating cares what we think or believe?

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

      they don’t care what we think. why should they?

  • sickofthechit

    The reason they need this info (phone log information which tells  them what number was called by which number) is so they can backtrack on the spider web of contacts made over the previous days, weeks, months or years if anything happens.  Or, we can keep our mouths shut when they have no historical information available to track backwards/forwards and another terrorist act or series of acts happens to ensue because they couldn’t “see” it coming. 

    We either want them protecting us, or we make it more difficult than necessary for them to do their jobs.  As for the complaint that this info shouldn’t be tracked for Americans, how can you tell who needs to be tracked and who doesn’t?

    I for one am opposed to torture no matter what it yields.  But gathering and keeping a list of my phone calls, doesn’t harm me.  Now that this “cat” is out of the bag it is no longer as effective a tool as it once was.  Are we really better off knowing?

    Charles A. Bowsher

    • edloveryomtvraps

       “We either want them protecting us”

      It’s naive to assume that the secret government surveillance bureaucracy will only ever protect us.  The NSA et al are made up of people, some of them good, some of them bad.

      “But gathering and keeping a list of my phone calls, doesn’t harm me.”

      First, consider: http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/

      Second: the government collects much, much more than a list of who called who.  There’s evidence they store the content of all voice calls (technologically, it’s not that hard anymore).  They also analyze and collect all domestic Internet traffic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A).

      There are reports of NSA employees digging up dirt on each other using the spy apparatus during child-custody battles.  Are you really comfortable with the government sifting through everything you say on the phone or using a computing device?

      • David Stewart

        There is no evidence they store all phone call conversations.

        If the NSA had all this information and had as many evil people as you say, we would be in a much, much worse situation than we are.  As it is, there is no evidence of any significant harm any of this has done to the public.  That doesn’t necessarily make it something we should allow, but it is clearly not being used for sinister purposes.

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

          I have a sweet bridge I am selling near Brooklyn would you be interested? its cheap

        • ranndino

          So they tell us.

    • Give_Me_Liberty_92

       no. they don’t really “need it”. rather, it’s this:
      “reliance on big data constitutes an illusory technological cure-all peddled by national security quacks.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/silberzahnjones/2013/07/11/snowden-and-the-challenge-of-intelligence-the-practical-case-against-nsa-big-data/

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

      I don’t want them protecting me. they are bad at it and really creepy

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

      what are they protecting us from again?

    • ranndino

      I don’t feel like I need to be protected from a 1 in 20 million chance of being killed in a terrorist attack by turning the government into an all knowing big brother.

      If you think that the terrorists have been in any way affected by these revelations you are incredibly naive. A lot more so than they are.

  • Robert Townley

    To the caller from Des Moines, IA:  “I do not have anything to hide” is only true as along as there is not one corruptible politician, not a single corruptible police officer, not a single corruptible game warden, not a single corruptible park ranger, not a single corruptible bureaucrat ever against you. 

  • truegangsteroflove

    Starting at the beginning, at least the beginning of the “War on Terror,” normal precautions were relaxed in advance of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The President and his National Security Council were warned about the serious threat of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, formerly “assets” of American “interests.” They chose to look the other way.

    Looking at what has happened since “911,” it seems the attacks were an all-too-handy excuse for invasion, occupation, kidnapping, indefinite imprisonment without trial, torture, assassination, entrapment, and, completing the package, domestic spying.

    These are programs of the establishment, the powers-that-be, the self-appointed “authorities.” They say “trust us,” and we have, but we now know what they have done with that trust. They have used the excuses of “fighting terrorism” and “keeping us safe” to implement the most horrific of abuses. Stalin would be in awe of the treatment of José Padilla.

    Looking at the overall context, we might wonder where this is all going. No technology in all of history has been restrained, except for atomic weapons, and this was because of the undeniable (though many in our national security establishment tried to deny it) mutually assured destruction. Spy technology is by its nature easy to hide, and the temptation too strong to use it to its fullest capability.

    Along with the technological imperative there is also the bureaucratic imperative. If a bureaucracy is given the task of spying, it will pursue this trajectory to its technological limits, using every excuse possible, in an endless quest for bigger budgets and expanded infrastructure.

    Because this technological and bureaucratic behemoth employs human beings, it is inevitable that some of them will see this proliferation of spying as something that is threatening and evil. There will always be whistleblowers. The authoritarian response is predictable – do to them what is done to others around the world.

    We could keep going this way, or we could choose to commit our resources to solving real problems like global climate change and the unsustainability of our infinite growth economic system. It is telling that our established “authorities” choose to avoid these problems, but instead expand their spying on the American people.

    • David Stewart

      You need to do a little more reading of history if you think any of this even approaches what Stalin did.

      • nj_v2

        Why don’t you point out where, in the post you responded to, there any mention of Stalin?

        • David Stewart

          Are you not capable of reading it yourself?

          End of the third paragraph: “Stalin would be in awe of the treatment of José Padilla.”

      • truegangsteroflove

        You need to do a little more reading of history if you are ignorant of what was done to José Padilla. Stalin would be in awe because his brutality was not as comprehensive and insidious as sensory deprivation done in concert with other forms of torture.

        This little more reading of history is easy to find, due to its proximity in time. Here’s a start, which can be used as a springboard for further historical research, should you be a reader of a little more history: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Padilla_%28prisoner%29#Torture_during_imprisonment

        • David Stewart

          I am not ignorant of the horrible things done to José Padilla.  It just doesn’t really even compare to the depth or breadth of atrocities committed under Stalin’s regime.  You really should do a little reading of history to get at least some idea of the level of systematic brutality, torture and killing that can be visited on a people, Stalin being one of the most egregious modern examples.

          • truegangsteroflove

            Maybe reading a little more history isn’t what you might find helpful. A basic understanding of the English language would help, though. When I mentioned Stalin I wasn’t saying he compares favorably “American” torturers.  I wrote that “Stalin would be in awe of the treatment of José Padilla.” Plain English. Stalin would have done these things on a mass scale had he developed the sophistication and know-how. He was much more crude.

            Our torturers are not better people, they just did what they could get away with. If we allow it, the purveyors of advanced torture techniques here will stop at nothing to have their fun. It isn’t to achieve any laudable goal. The goal of torture is to terrorize and exert total power over another person. Our “American” promoters of torture, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al., did what they could to cause mayhem, death and destruction. Thankfully, we still had enough democracy left that they were only able to pull two invasions, establish one concentration camp, and torture a likely few thousand people.

            With weak apologists like you to make nitpicky little comments, one could be lulled into thinking the task at hand is easy. I’m not fooled. There is a large and well-enumerated  force in this country that would like nothing better than to establish a full-blown totalitarian state. They may get their way, but by the time they do they will be very unhappy with the result. With global warming and the collapse of our economy looming on the horizon, the future isn’t going to be much fun for anyone.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh please, America doesn’t torture. Who was maimed or even hurt? And don’t sweat global warming, we’re cool.

          • ranndino

            Now that you said we’re cool I feel so much better. Amazingly enough that is all it took for me to disregard overwhelming scientific opinion / data. Thanks.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are most certainly welcome.

          • David Stewart

            Stalin did do these things on a mass scale…

            You seem to have the same self-infatuation without any real understanding Snowden suffers from.

            The idea that people are plotting a totalitarian state is simply laughably paranoid.  The people who started this whole thing following 9/11 aren’t even in power anymore and their party is a shambles.  If this were some Machiavellian plot it certainly isn’t being well executed.

            I think we have real issues regarding policing and civil liberties, but people going off into lala land like this on serve to distract from those issues.  We need serious people with a healthy grip on reality, not self-important conspiracy theorists with a limited understanding of history.

          • truegangsteroflove

            Ahh, armchair psychological projections, still mixed with the lack of ability to read. Peripherally it would seem that “administrations” are the seats of power, but the actual trajectory of the national security state trudges on regardless of who is in power.

            People of a certain communicative style talk about a place they call “lala land,” or “La La Land,” depending on their language skills. Where might this place be?

            As for being a “self-important conspiracy theorist,” which is the more serious crime, self-importance or conspiracy theorizing? If the invasion of Iraq wasn’t the work of a conspiracy, what was it? Just some boys out for a little fun?

            I almost forgot to mention the projection about an idea of people plotting a totalitarian state. That is as far as some minds can go. “Laughably paranoid” is the kind of thing people say when the get their language from talk shows. It doesn’t take a “plot.” All it takes is momentum. The established order exists for itself, and does what it thinks it needs to do in order to secure its dominance.

            It is a complex of relationships among corporations, the wealthy, think tanks, various departments at universities, especially the elite universities, the servile corporate media, and the duped and impaired, commonly referred to as the “right wing.” These various forces interact and incrementally move the trajectory of our mass industrial system like Adam Smith’s invisible hand, chipping away at our Constitution and democracy in a piecemeal fashion.

            Nice try. This is fun. Try again.

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

            sucker. the two party system is a distraction for the masses. did you notice that our last presidential election offered us a choice between two Harvard lawyers?

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

            actually they got our waterboarding and god knows what else from inquisition torture manuals. not new at all

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

            what’s left for us to be a totalitarian state? I think we are already there

          • ranndino

            Let’s not get crazy. I’m from the country where Stalin ruled so know a bit of history of that region. If we were already there you’d be dragged out by your feet in the middle of the night a long time ago and no longer be able to post. Just like every single person who makes this type of statement or says anything remotely critical of the government.

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

            dragging by the feet is so old fashioned. we have drone strikes for people who criticize the govt online. what % of the population did stalin have locked up?

        • HonestDebate1

          Stalin’s victims weren’t conducting jihad and plotting to kill people in large numbers. So there’s that.

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

            I bet he said they were doing something like that

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

        stalin wishes he could monitor everyone’s communication and thoughts. the stasi would have loved any of this stuff the NSA has 

        • David Stewart

          I’m sure Stalin would have loved that capability.  That doesn’t mean anything though.

          The other side of coin is that Stalin would have hated the freeflow of information that comes with the technology that allows the sorts of data collection the NSA is doing.  It would have been far harder for Stalin to do what he did with the sort of technology that exists today (see China, Russia or North Korea for how totalitarian regimes fear the internet and modern communications).

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

            you forgot to add the USA to the list of regimes that fear the internet and modern communications. this whole scandal demonstrates the govts fear of communication

  • Dale Rasmussen

    I’m very disappointed in Tom during this show.  It was very obvious the position he
    took on the issue.  He never
    interrupted the people supporting the whistle blowing, never asked them pointed
    question and made sure that anyone call in was asked questions if they did not
    support his position.  I quite
    listen to Fox network because of their bias.  I quite listening to the other networks since they never go
    in depth on an issue, and did not show all sides of an issue.  My wife and I have given money to NPR
    for over 20 years due to its fair and unbiased coverage.  It has allowed my wife and myself to
    determine for ourselves on
    issues.  We have contacted our
    Congressmen every time the Congress has tried to cut funding to NPR.  It may be time to halt this.  I was very disappointed in the
    show.  I wanted an OPEN UNBIASED
    discussion, not what I got.

     

    If Snowden was just a whistle blower, why take so much
    information with him on several lap tops and information drives, why not blow
    the whistle in the US and to the British version of the Nation Inquirer???

     

    He showed a bigger issue in this nation, not being willing
    to follow the law, (democracy is a process and the law is the process) Today a
    person’s word does not mean anything starting with the government down to
    us.  But since we are the
    government, we are the ones who need to keep our word.  After the Civil War, a former
    confederate could take an oath and be readmitted to the nation because if you
    did not have your word, you have nothing. This was your value as a
    citizen.  Today we have no honor
    and it starts with the people.  Unfortunately,
    it is ending with us also.  WHERE
    ARE OUR VALUES AND WHERE ARE YOURS.

    • ranndino

      I thought Tom was about as fair as he could be considering that professor Stone wasn’t making any sense and his description of Snowden was completely opposite of reality. I believe the other two guests explained very well why Snowden did not stay in the U.S. and go through the official channels. Professor Stone kept ignoring their points as if he were deaf. You’re doing the same.

      As for values, you’ve got it completely upside down. Snowden sacrificed what seemed like a perfect life for the people of this country and chose ethics over a lucrative contract. Very few people of any age would be able to do what he did. He should be commended, not scorned.

      • Dale Rasmussen

        I see what you are saying after reviewing the show on a pod cast. Both sides were expressing syllogism with emotional premises. Tom tried to be what he saw as impartial but note he did not ask many questions of the other two guests.

        Some food for thought would be: Why has Snowden asked for asylum in only totalitarian nations. Granted, any democracy would have good relations with the US but they are based on the process of democracy.

        The concept of democracy is rule of law that was illustrated in the Zimmerman case in Florida. Even though many disagree with the decision (me included) democracy is a process and not perfect. Process. It is slow but it allows for all to be heard if they choose to. 30 years ago when I got my PhD. I was enlightened by people like Jefferson, Adam (John not Sam) Paine, and Franklin as to their interpretation of democracy (Adams writes several very good arguments on democracy in *The Federalist Papers* and in his personal papers about how to destroy it) (also he and Jefferson, even though they did not agree on several issues in the early years of our nation which led to our first political parties, they both during their administrations supported the disastrous Alien and Sedition Acts) Franklin once said that, “democracy was like being on a raft, you never sink but you feet are always wet.” Our system is not perfect but is a system that works when people work within it. Snowden has decided not to work within the system. Granted, he may think that he would not receive jurist prudence if he stay in the US but we will never know either way.

        During the 1960’s, one of the people I often referred to was John Oates who said, if you do not wage against something that is evil, you are part of it.” He waged against the Vietnam War. He could have left the nation and not faced the arrests and harassment he received in the US. (Remember, he had more to loose since judges often gave protester the choice of jail or draft i.e. to go to war and possibly face his own death) He remained and fought, Snowden left. We are living in a society where not one is willing to take responsibly for their action. We can use electronic media to make comments without a deductive discussion. We come with inductive dialectic statements and find the premises supporting the conclusion.

        Thanks

        • ranndino

          There isn’t any food for though in your question of why Snowden applying for asylum only in totalitarian countries simply because that is factually incorrect. He applied for asylum in 21 countries. The Guardian has a great run down of every one of them and their response.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/02/edward-snowden-nsa-asylum-application-list-countries

          Secondly, once again you say that he should’ve gone through official channels when this point was roundly defeated by the 2 other guests on the show. Perhaps you should listen to it again. We know exactly what would have happened in such a case because of what happened to previous NSA whistleblowers who did try to do it that way. Snowden knew that and pursued the only course of action he could.

          For someone who supposedly has a PhD I’m very disappointed in your inability to follow simple logic and base your opinion on easily discoverable facts (it took me about 2 seconds to find the Guardian article I linked to above). You are long winded and full of big words. I’ll give you that.

          I hope my response was also rather enlightening to you and next time you’d check your facts before posing your next “food for thought” question.

          • Dale Rasmussen

            Good points. Check the list given by The Guardian. Under International Law the person seeking asylum must apply. Several the places did not receive applications from (the must be filed with The Hague in the Netherlands or with the UN both of with are available to the public) so the list is inaccurate. Look to the primary not the secondary source in this case. As I tell my college students, when you read something in a paper or heard it on TV or on the Internet there are three questions, which must be asked. (1) In what context was the information obtained i.e. the quality of its source (2) did the person TV or in print gain from not putting forth the all the information and (3) was the information primary or secondary.

            Yes the earlier “whistleblowers” were prosecuted but check the Harvard Law review on the cases. One was convicted for lying to Congress and not under the espionage act 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) .

            Thomas Drakes charges

            • Willful Retention of National Defense Information 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) (5 counts)

            • (793(e) is a modification of the Espionage Act of 1917 made under the McCarran Internal Security Actof 1950)

            • Obstructing justice 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (1 count)

            Making a False Statement 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a) (4 counts)

            They second took a reduced sentence for the charges as started in transcripts of the cases in the Harvard Law Review. Jesselyn Redneck was not a whistleblower like Snowden. She her whistle blowing experience was not national security as the two men were. She pointed out that the FBI without have an attorney had questioned Lindl. (a suspected terrorist from 911 who was not a US citizen)

            To say that the first two cases will result in this case being the same is moot since Snowden fled. But remember what any first year law student learns,” If I have a black dog, and you have a black dog, it does not mean that all dogs are black Each case stands on its own facts. Unless the facts a duplicated exactly the same, the case must stand on its own merits. Precedents are on court procedures and application of the law as are appeals not on facts.

  • homebuilding

    Seeing the vast en ess eh visible infrastructure south of Salt Lake City and suburban DC (count the cars–witness the electrical transmission !) surely gives a hint as to their scope, doesn’t it?  (and there is a rather clear paper trail showing offices in all major US cities, as well)

    The secrutt puh leese state is here–and I for one will stand ready, in support of all gurr illluzz

    We have seen a hero in action–and ducking prosecution is totally understandable.  You really believe he would get a fair trial? Do you believe details regarding how he tried to inform his superiors regarding the vast transgressions against the Fourth Amendment would be heard?

    He can choose martyrdom later, as he wishes.  For now, I’m glad he lives to ‘tell the tale’ of tyranny.

    Suddenly, the ‘first amendment crazies’ don’t seem quite so crazy, after all.

  • tbphkm33

    I liked one comment I recently heard about NSA phone tracking, the commenter asked:

    “If the FBI knocked on your door and asked if you could run get copies of your latest phone bill so they could get a record of who you called, how would you feel?”  

    I doubt very many of us would run to find the phone bill for them.  Yet, this is exactly what the U.S. government has gone behind your back and done.  It baffles the mind that people are naive enough to think this is ok.  

    If the rise of Nazi Germany thought us anything, it is the reality that you cannot remain complacent in the face of abuse of power.  In the 1920′s, no one would have believed you if you predicted death factories in Germany within 15 years.  Just like today, no one believes that the U.S. could not descend into horrors within a decade or two. Civil society is a thin veil, do not take it for granted.  

  • TomK_in_Boston
  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Not for nothing, but opponents of the natural gas industry have complained of being labeled “insurgents” and being targeted by surveillance. I don’t know how much truth there is to this allegation, but such accusations by whistleblowers across social issues just may be the affirmation that Snowden needs. He didn’t sell secrets, he complained publicly that the US surveillance machine is out of control and possibly is ignoring Constitutional law. If career NSA agents are outing the industry then there’s abuse afoot with no clear precedent on how to contain it. The only reason Snowden is getting a snow job is the very public and embarrassing way he exposed the abuse – which makes him a whistleblower, not a traitor. Compare what he did with what the banks did and continue to do. No question who the traitors here are.

  • pm05

    Bull! He did NOTHING for my benefit! Snowden ran. He is more than a little full of himself. He deliberately got the job, deliberately stole information, deliberately fled. He was very very calculating. No, he did not “benefit” anyone and look at him now. Wait until he gets homesick and wants to come back to the US….

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Speak for yourself. IMO it’s a “benefit” to know what my gvt is doing. All this nonsense abt how he should have stayed in the USA just distracts from the real issue, the 1984 security state rising up around us.

      The canned response from the admin is “we want to have the debate” about the level of snooping. What a stinking lie. There would be no debate without Snowden and the other leakers.

      • David Stewart

        Actually many of us have been debating this since at least the Patriot Act was introduced.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I was referring to the willing participation of the gvt.

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

      I really appreciate that someone had the balls not to lie to us

    • buddhaclown

      Snowden is like the main hero in a zombie movie, trying to fight back the oncoming apocalypse. Of course he doesn’t do anything for someone like you, you are one of the zombies!

  • Jens Hedelund

    The NSA surveillance and phone tracking was approved by
    Congress and the Executive Branch and I have to date not seen any evidence that
    any laws or regulations were broken. I was concerned when the Patriot Act was
    first introduced and I still find that we provided NSA whit tools it will be
    very difficult to take away. I do not see Edward Snowden as a whistleblower
    because we already knew that phone tracking was used to a very large degree,
    but the national debate about the issue has not changed the policies put in place.
    Edward Snowden has not provided any shocking news, but he has leaked classified
    information. Edward Snowden seems to have misread the situation and in doing so
    put himself in a terrible position, but seems he is still in denial propped up
    by a media industry trying to profit.         

    • HonestDebate1

      The request for information under section 215 of the Patriot Act have increased 1000% in four years. It was bastardized and abused. Section 215 was written to be used only with ongoing investigations.

    • ranndino

      I’m not sure which media you’re talking about, but pretty much all of the mainstream media in the U.S. (regardless of its usual party bias) has been busy trying to stomp Snowden into the mud. Often, in a rather despicable, childish, completely non-factual fashion which Greenwald so well documents and refutes. It’s quite obvious that their handl… I mean sources are rather upset by his actions.

  • Greg_DeKooters

    Edward Snowden is a right on dude who deserves praise and protection from the American people and the people of the world. Mr. Stone, in contradistinction, is nothing other than a paid shill for the arrogant and brutal ruling elite who share as their common attributes: Zionism, plutocracy and dishonesty. 

    • David Stewart

      Nothing like a little antisemitism to go with your tin-foil hattery…

      • Gary Clement

         Zionism is not the same as being Semitic.

        • David Stewart

          No but bringing it up in that manner is hallmark of an anti-Semite.

          • jefe68

            I agree, that guys a tube and a half.

          • Greg_DeKooters

            Sorry Dave, but you need to improve on your history. “Terrorism” was a response to Israeli ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from what had for two millenia been Palestine.The “war on terror” was the counter-response by western Zionists. Dave, there are now American military bases in every Moslem country on earth and an extraordinary number of duel Israeli-American citizens in positions of governmental power in the US.

          • David Stewart

            I’m not really a fan of Israel’s position, but there was never ethnic cleansing.  Terrorism long pre-dates Israel and most modern terrorism is highly localized in nature and motivation.  Israel is a very sore point in much of the Middle East, but it isn’t the proximate cause of the terrorism we face.

          • Greg_DeKooters

            Hey Dave, catch a few of Dr. Norman Finkelsteins’s lectures on line at You Tube. He’s a member of the tribe, extremely well educated, calm, cool, collected and (unlike you) well versed in Zionist history. He well documents the brutal ethnic cleaning in 1948. It should turn your stomach as the SS wasn’t anywhere near as efficient or viscious.

          • Dokholliday

            Research from where the Zionist / communist “meme” came forth and then tell me how many Christians were murdered via the communist of whome so many were of one sect arising from the bolshevik revolution and of said Bolshevism for those who have studied the UNSPOKEN and UNWRITTEN HISTORY (the intentional dumbing down of America) from whence the cornerstone of Zionism was born

          • Gary Clement

             What if the commenter is Arab? That would make him/her Semitic. The belief that a nation should not only be created but funded and enforced for one ethnic and religious lineage is evidenced by Zionism, and not everyone who believes in democracy of, for and by The People is all for that program.

          • David Stewart

            There are lots of Arab anti-Semites. The term anti-Semite refers solely to prejudice against Jews, not all Semitic people. Thus you can be a Semite who is an anti-Semite.

            My point is that Israeli policy doesn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand, so bringing it up in that manner simply injects it where it isn’t warranted (which is what prejudice people do, whether it is anti-Semites or people who like throwing out references to Obama being a Muslim, or whatever).

          • Gary Clement

             Oh, no, no, no. It has everything to do with the topic at hand. The Zionist policies have everything to do with the USA’s military industrial complex. It’s all part of an industry. It’s what brought people about like Snowden working for private contractors that suck in billions of taxpayer dollars on the pretense of “defense.”

          • David Stewart

            I think you just illustrated my point nicely, thank you.

          • northeaster17

            Jeez Dave you ride above the fray so nicely

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

            wrong:
            Sem·ite

            member of Semitic-speaking people: a member of a Semitic-speaking people of Southwest Asia, including the Arab and Jewish peoples, and the ancient Assyrians, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Phoenicians

        • jefe68

          In this case it is.

    • jefe68

      Your comment is a antiSemitic diatribe.

      • Greg_DeKooters

         Whatever – lux et veritas!

  • wiscbella

    Presidents get impeached for lying to Congress.  What happens to Clapper for lying to Congress?

    • HonestDebate1

      I get your point and you’re right but Clapper is out of the loop. He’s a puppet. I can honestly believe he had no idea what was going on so I’m not sure he lied.

  • schatkin

    I find it ironic that Snowden had problems with U.S. policy and is looking for permanent residency in non-democratic countries.

    • ranndino

      If you actually tried to use your head you wouldn’t find it that ironic. Where should he have fled? To a country friendly to the U.S. which would immediately arrest and ship him back home to rot in jail Bradley Manning style?

  • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

    I was dubious about Snowdon until that expletive Stone overplayed his highly judgemental point of view It is now clear that Snowdon could not have been a whistle blower from within the system. 

    • ranndino

      What really killed me is that he kept harping on this talking point like a robot despite it being completely blown apart by the evidence offered by the other guests. Stone was like a train on rails unable to deviate which made me consider the possibility that he was simply regurgitating someone else’s talking points. Also, his description of Snowden was so ridiculous it was opposite of reality. Ignorant, selfish?

  • andic_epipedon

    Professor Stone is living in a dreamworld.

    • ranndino

      …and getting paid well to read someone’s talking points.

  • andic_epipedon

    It’s time for the Feds to come clean and tell us what they are doing.  It’s also time for the Guardian to release more of what Snowden gave them.  At this point, it’s more important to evaluate what our government is doing rather than allowing them to keep secrets.

  • Gordon Green

    It seems to me Stone’s hyper-fearful justification of the panopticon isn’t grounded in evidence.  It’s an excuse for people and companies driven by profit motives to do what they want, and to make lots of money doing it.

  • Art Toegemann

    In his way, Snowden reiterates the point that gathering/leaking  more and more information is not the answer. The answer is applying intelligence to the information we already have/had. John O’Neill, the man who knew about 9/11; the Russians warning the US about the Boston Marathon bombers.

  • D11

    1) I dislike Snowden claiming to speak for his generation when he says he had the assumption people could use telecommunication with complete privacy. As someone his age, a gen Y-er and early adopter of the Internet myself, I always (even as an unassuming 10 year old hacking on the net) assumed the opposite– that all communications were being scanned by the government. I thought that was obvious. So I don’t see why his leak is anything new of substance.

    2) I’m disappointed to hear that the NSA only searches meta data. If someone uses the words “bomb,” plus ” train, bridge, subway” on a phone call, I would be very disappointed if that did not flag that call to the authorities.

    • HarveyDesmond

      The NSA does not only collect metadata. It also collects a vast amount of Internet traffic data, including email messages. Also, text messages constitute phone metadata, which are used by people more than talking on the phone many times.

      So, you think the NSA should be collecting and searching through conversations like this:
      “My doctor dropped a real bombshell on me. I have cancer. I was in a daze the rest of the day and missed the train home.”

      • D11

        Thanks for the clarification about definition of metadata. I’m not a terrorism expert so I couldn’t say what words would be relevant as predictors. I do hope that communications with recognized patterns are flagged for manual follow-up.

      • D11

        Thanks for the clarification about definition of metadata. I’m not a terrorism expert so I couldn’t say what words would be relevant as predictors. I do hope that communications (text, email, phone) containing recognized patterns are flagged for manual follow-up.

    • TyroneJ

       What the NSA is doing to American Citizens is far worse than anything the Soviets or the East German Stazi ever did to anyone. Not because the NSA is made of up more evil people, but because “they can”. But the bottom line is that the “acts of terrorism” that they’ve “prevented” are mostly High School kids posting stupid stuff on Facebook. Almost zero has been things that are life threatening. But more importantly, terrorism even on a 911 scale results in death & damage that is tiny compared to everyday death & carnage from cars and weather. Every year we absorb the equivalent of ten 911′s in the form of auto crash deaths. Every year we absorb the equivalent of four 911′s in the form of property & economic damage from weather. You don’t see the government trying to control every driver or control the weather. Clearly “terrorism” as a justification for all of this waste of taxpayer dollars and intrusion into people’s lives to prevent something tiny compared to the real threats to life & limb we face everyday is just plain ludicrous.

      • ranndino

        Exactly. The chance of dying in a terrorist attack is 1 in 20 million. The chance of getting fatally shot is 1 in 321. Even falling in your bathtub or choking on your tongue while sleeping carry a higher probability of killing you. If more people realized just how inflated the issue of terrorism has become no one in their right mind would say that the NSA’s actions are justified.

    • Art Toegemann

      Good point, but some attackers use code words to dodge such filters. Smarter computers may be able to do this eventually. There is always the “human element” as well.

    • ranndino

      All that to prevent us from a 1 in 20 million chance of dying in a terrorist attack. Makes perfect sense, Drone #11.

  • http://www.colonialamerica.com/ ColonialAmerica.com

    All this surveillance activity is based on this mindset that we’re in a “war on terror.”  In the wake of 9/11, did the US need to better organize various agencies to improve coordination?  Yes.  Do they need to be vigilant about risks from terrorists groups?  Yes.  But calling it a WAR on terror is wrong.  By that rationale, it’s a war without end.  You can never negotiate peace or even know when the war is over.  It’s a permanent war state.

    Mr. Snowden’s concerns are right in line with what James Madison, father of the Constitution, wrote: “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

    Freedom is hard won but easily forfeited.

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

    my favorite thing that snowden exposed is the true colors of our politicians and media

    • ranndino

      This isn’t really news. Just think back to what happened in the weeks leading up to the war in Iraq. 

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

        what I like about Russian politics is that its all about who is a bigger badass than the other guy. putin just goes around kickingass all the time. we are trying to amalgamate all the features from authoritarian  regimes from the past

  • Dick Mills

    If the government wants US citizens to trade liberty for security, it must negotiate with us openly and in advance.

    I think Snowden should be compared to German citizens or soldiers with knowledge of the Holocaust during WWII.  Hitler and the Nazis came to power via legal elections and they could make laws forbidding Germans from revealing state secrets.

    In the Nuremburg and Auschwitz trials, the allies rejected defenses claiming that defendants merely followed orders or followed the law.   The U.S. and allied position then was that citizens have a positive duty to break the law when simple morality compels it.

    If the U.S. captures and imprisons Snowden, it could have an effect similar to the jailing of Nelson Mandela which eventually brought the government down.

    • ranndino

      I made the same analogy after watching the movie about Hannah Arendt recently. Eichmann’s defense during his trial in Israel was that he was just a bureaucrat following orders. Never mind that those orders put him in charge or sending thousands of Jews to extermination camps. To me the people who argue that Snowden should’ve just been following orders are exactly the type of braindead lackeys that would be all too eager to follow any order if we were ever unlucky enough to end up with a totalitarian regime. It’s scares me to see how many people are like that, especially in positions of great power.

  • James A. Lewis

    This show was was so silly, I wonder why you didn’t offer aluminum for people to line their hats so NSA doesn’t read their thoughts.  

  • Matt

    Right. Part. He stole from the rest.  If I own one share of Apple I can’t walk in and take an iPhone prototype.  It’s theft.  Simple.

  • Matt

    There was no “gank a bunch of stuff he doesn’t own” in my scenario.  “exactly” might not be the word you were looking for.

  • Potter

    Obama not scrambling jets to get a “29 year old hacker” is a pretty condescending statement and it seems not true if he was speaking metaphorically.

    • ranndino

      I generally really like the president and voted for him twice, but this case is souring the pot and this particular comment really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s beneath him to be passive aggressive towards this kid and as the episode with the grounding of the Bolivian’s president jet shows is patently untrue.

  • buddhaclown

    I disagree. I found the show entirely toxic and biased in favor of legitimizing the idea that we should live in a police state. An idea, absolutely inconceivable to our ancestors, is being entertained seriously by shows like this one in the name of being “unbiased”.

    If a show had a guest on who talked about how we should kill every Jewish person in our society, even if the moderator came off as biased against this person’s position the show would be biased in favor of his position just by virtue of the fact that they were taking his position seriously. The fact that they would discuss such crazy ideas makes those ideas seem less crazy. That is exactly what is happening today with regard to NSA spying on Americans. Shows like this one, no matter how challenging the moderator might be (and I don’t think Tom was that challenging) legitimize the idea that it is OK for the American government to spy on its own citizens which so directly contradicts everything America stands for that the idea shouldn’t even be entertained in the first place. 

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Well the initial look does not lend itself to progammatic exploration using XML and PHP. If that is what was intended by the project then it did not work and possibly it is just a busy work project for people to load a bunch of templates on the internet with sparse detail filled in.

  • ranndino

    I’m not sure who put up Prof. Stone to hammer on Snowden, but all that’s doing is destroying his credibility. It’s pretty clear to anyone remotely intelligent to see that Edward is the direct opposite of all the ridiculously unfair labels Prof. Stone is pinning on him. 

    He’s been nothing but unbelievably responsible with the classified information he has released and to call him ignorant and arrogant is unbelievable. If Snowden is ignorant and arrogant I’m not sure what that makes most Americans. Snowden is extremely well spoken and justifies what he has done very, very well. 

    Prof. Stone, on the other hand, struck me as one of the puppets hired to destroy Edward during a massive media campaign to discredit him from every angle (which Snowden predicted very well), but the methods he’s using are completely ineffective. By hyperbolizing Snowden’s actions to a ridiculous degree Prof. Stone sounds entirely non-credible and by suggesting a legal course of action Edward could’ve pursued instead it’s Prof. Stone who comes off as completely ignorant. It was telling that when pressed on what specific actions Snowden could’ve taken which would’ve been in any way successful our esteemed professor couldn’t come up with anything at all.

  • ranndino

    Perhaps if professor Stone was making a little more sense, used less over the top hyperbole in his description of Snowden and didn’t ignore his main argument (that Snowden should’ve pursued his case through official channels) being completely destroyed by cold, hard facts of the other guests Tom wouldn’t have to be so hard on him. The professor sounded like he was just voicing talking points given to him by someone and unable to deviate from them even a little bit. I expect more from an academic. I almost never get emotional listening to OnPoint, even when I disagree with the main guest, but I found professor Stone completely intolerable. Like a broken record, he kept repeating the same things over and over as if he didn’t hear anything his opponents said.

  • ranndino

    What really gets me is that the same people who would’ve been completely bent out of shape had Snowden come out with his revelations during the Bush administration don’t seem to be much bothered just because Obama is president at the moment. What happens when a president they don’t like and didn’t vote for comes to power? Worse, what happens, if, like you said, that president starts taking the country in a totalitarian direction? These people somehow don’t seem to think that far.

  • ranndino

    You are an idiot. Unquestionably. Furthermore, you sound extremely arrogant and your handle suggests you love attention.

  • ExcellentNews

    Mr. Snowden deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor for exposing illegal government overreach and protecting the Constitution. However, he should return to the US to stand his ground, not seek asylum in foreign countries that themselves are a travesty of democracy and freedom.

    President Obama should come clear in front of the people who voted for him. At least Bush never made it a secret that he was running the country and keeping the peons down for the benefit of the oligarchy.

  • Jonathan Campbell

    The recent PBS debate between Daniel Ellsberg and Michael Mukasey is a terrific example of the extent to which government officials will go to obfuscate the REAL debate that needs to happen: whether the government should be allowed to know everything about everybody.

    Mukasey, Attorney-General under Bush, offered that the NSA has only raw phone numbers, and called Ellsberg’s remarks about NSA having content information “hyterically inaccurate.” This, despite the fact that among Snowden’s revelations to the UK Guardian was the NSA Prism Program Overview, which explicitly states that collection of CONTENT (of all electronic exchange) is the primary purpose of the program.

    What IS hyterical is the government’s efforts to silence and prosecute Snowden.

    Software engineers such as myself and others in IT who lived through the security debates starting in the 1980s have either known or suspected that NSA was collecting this data. But we couldn’t do much of anything about it. For us, Snowden’s revelations were merely confirmations of what we knew or suspected all along.

    It will be a good day in Washington when Edward Snowden can walk freely in that city to give testimony on what he found when working at NSA. I don’t expect to see that happen anytime soon.

    Regards
    Jonathan Campbell
    Software Engineer (for 44 years)

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

 
Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

More »
Comment
 
The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

More »
Comment
 
Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

More »
1 Comment