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A Thought Provoking Editorial on Snowden

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    (Whether you agree or disagree, these comments are thought provoking.)

    The Solitary Leaker

    Published: June 10, 2013

    From what we know so far, Edward Snowden appears to be the ultimate unmediated man. Though obviously terrifically bright, he could not successfully work his way through the institution of high school. Then he failed to navigate his way through community college.

    According to The Washington Post, he has not been a regular presence around his mother’s house for years. When a neighbor in Hawaii tried to introduce himself, Snowden cut him off and made it clear he wanted no neighborly relationships. He went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton and the C.I.A., but he has separated himself from them, too.

    Though thoughtful, morally engaged and deeply committed to his beliefs, he appears to be a product of one of the more unfortunate trends of the age: the atomization of society, the loosening of social bonds, the apparently growing share of young men in their 20s who are living technological existences in the fuzzy land between their childhood institutions and adult family commitments.

    If you live a life unshaped by the mediating institutions of civil society, perhaps it makes sense to see the world a certain way: Life is not embedded in a series of gently gradated authoritative structures: family, neighborhood, religious group, state, nation and world. Instead, it’s just the solitary naked individual and the gigantic and menacing state.

    This lens makes you more likely to share the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme. You’re more likely to donate to the Ron Paul for president campaign, as Snowden did.

    It’s logical, given this background and mind-set, that Snowden would sacrifice his career to expose data mining procedures of the National Security Agency. Even if he has not been able to point to any specific abuses, he was bound to be horrified by the confidentiality endemic to military and intelligence activities. And, of course, he’s right that the procedures he’s unveiled could lend themselves to abuse in the future.

    But Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.

    This is not a danger Snowden is addressing. In fact, he is making everything worse.

    For society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures. By deciding to unilaterally leak secret N.S.A. documents, Snowden has betrayed all of these things.

    He betrayed honesty and integrity, the foundation of all cooperative activity. He made explicit and implicit oaths to respect the secrecy of the information with which he was entrusted. He betrayed his oaths.

    He betrayed his friends. Anybody who worked with him will be suspect. Young people in positions like that will no longer be trusted with responsibility for fear that they will turn into another Snowden.

    He betrayed his employers. Booz Allen and the C.I.A. took a high-school dropout and offered him positions with lavish salaries. He is violating the honor codes of all those who enabled him to rise.

    He betrayed the cause of open government. Every time there is a leak like this, the powers that be close the circle of trust a little tighter. They limit debate a little more.

    He betrayed the privacy of us all. If federal security agencies can’t do vast data sweeps, they will inevitably revert to the older, more intrusive eavesdropping methods.

    He betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.

    Snowden faced a moral dilemma. On the one hand, he had information about a program he thought was truly menacing. On the other hand, he had made certain commitments as a public servant, as a member of an organization, and a nation. Sometimes leakers have to leak. The information they possess is so grave that it demands they violate their oaths.

    But before they do, you hope they will interrogate themselves closely and force themselves to confront various barriers of resistance. Is the information so grave that it’s worth betraying an oath, circumventing the established decision-making procedures, unilaterally exposing secrets that can never be reclassified?

    Judging by his comments reported in the news media so far, Snowden was obsessed with the danger of data mining but completely oblivious to his betrayals and toward the damage he has done to social arrangements and the invisible bonds that hold them together.

  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A critique of David Brooks's article


    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2015
    Pax Mentis likes this.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Thank you tulianr for posting the Brooks article. Indeed, the article is thought provoking. The article is worthy of a longer reply, but in the interim, I would make two comments.

    Firstly, I find Brooks reasoning rather disturbing....distilled, the essence of his article seems redolent of some graffiti recorded in a photograph at Kansas City Graffiti: CONFORM OBEY BE SILENT DIE | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Secondly, the unmediated man...or woman can fulfill a functional role in society; in exposing corruption; abuse of power; in exposing negligence and incompetence; and in exposing illegal and criminal activity both by private and public institutions.

    Were that there were more unmediated men and woman (Clergy and Lay) in religious institutions; and managers and employees in secular institutions responsible for the care of children and vulnerable adults, who were prepared to "blow the whistle". Institutions charged with a duty of care for the vulnerable, should not be so protected nor privileged that the institution's prerogatives and interests take precedence over the welfare of those that they are responsible for.

    Conformity, unquestioning obedience to authority, spineless acquiescence in the face of immoral or unethical conduct or practices, etc etc....are all qualities that totalitarian dictatorships value greatly.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    It seems there is another elephant in the room that no one is addressing. The point of the second amendment is retaining the ability for the people to rise and resist a tyrannical government. To successfully accomplish that however does necessitate some degree of communication and coordination between resistance elements. The surveillance programs that monitor the nation’s citizens with such detail and connectivity provide an out of control government a tremendous ability to significantly incapacitate most resistance or uprising. It kind of neuters the second amendment from having much effectiveness regardess of what arms the people may bear. I suspect this may be partially foundational for the angst many patriots have with the internal spy programs. But I'm just pondering (not really even sayin)...

    Yard Dart, chelloveck and tulianr like this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    That is a point I've made a couple times. Choking comms will throttle back planning among resistance unless and until something like the MonkeyNet can go active off web. Unremitting listening to private comms is going to hobble 2A.
  6. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    MonkeyNet can already go off web and off computer.
    The computer and internet just make it easier and way faster.

    I could send you a message in the mail, written in paper. If you have the correct pad. We are communicating.

    I may have already sent someone a message that was strictly a bunch of 2 digit numbers. Yes the mail it method is slow but fast enough for what i needed it for.

    If i needed to do it faster, I'd have made a phone call, and knowing now what i didn't know then. Snail mail was probably best. ;) Talking in code would probably have just made the NSA all jumpy and stuff.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    It would be interesting to observe some experiment to get a few thousand volunteers from all corners of the US to buy Trac phones with cash and to call and text each other and random numbers in the Middle East for a few months. Load those text and voice messages with names of locations and with nonsense strings of words and include words we know would be triggers (anthr_x, c four, etc.) in recognition software and then watch the experimenters map out what happens, where and when. This is basically the procedure physicists use to study sub-atomic structures. Shoot in high energy particles and observe what happens. Not advocating... Just sayin.

  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Momma, and I, are sending MonkeyNet PAD messages back & forth from Alaska to Africa, via Skype.... We are using the FAMILY Phrase PAD, that I set up before she left... Usually 10 or less 2 Digit Groups, per message.... and once a week, a LONG file, of maybe 70 or 80 Groups..... That ought to keep the Super Computers busy, for a year or two... I am waiting for the FBI to show up with a warrant for the PAD.... I keep the Nuke Option ready to go...... .....
    Airtime and chelloveck like this.
  9. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    Thought provoking indeed... but, a few things toward the end of the article stood out to me:

    *** I realize that maybe I'm ill-informed here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but -

    1st - "He betrayed the Constitution" - I know there are many monkeys here with greater Constitutional knowledge than I, so I have to ask: did he betray the Constitution? Does the Constitution say anything about what information is to be exposed, and does it say anything about who makes such decisions? I suppose we could use the treason argument, but that seems like a real stretch...

    2nd - "The founders did not create the United States..." - OK, I agree that this is true, but since no further argument is provided, is this to say that the intent of the founders was specifically the opposite? That the intent behind the creation of our nation was that 29 year olds would not be able to make such unilateral decisions? I'd like to hear what the author has to say about the intent of the founders here, and how it applies to his argument...

    3rd - "democratic structures of accountability" - maybe I'm just not getting the point of what the author is trying to communicate here, but what exactly is a democratic structure of accountability? What is the difference between a structure of accountability that is democratic, and one that is not? Is there any real meaning to such a phrase, or is this just wordplay intended to keep the reader on the intended thought path?

    And finally - "Judging by... the news media" - you don't have to go tin foil to understand that the news is a business, and that news organizations choose to report the things that are going to get people to watch/read/listen. That's just smart business.

    It's clear which side of the fence the author is on, and he does indeed make some very good points - but just because there's truth to the body of the argument, doesn't mean that the conclusion is automatically valid - after all, it has to follow logically from the points previously made, right? I just don't see the connection; again, there are a lot of good points here, and maybe the author is right - but the whole of the argument falls apart at the end IMHO.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    In effect, you answered your own questions with the red. Brooks is, without doubt, a bright lad and he does make some good points as do you. There is a bust in the logic stream somewhere in the editorial. I say editorial, and that's what it is. For sure, it is NOT a news report with facts (who, what, where and when) that reporters/"journalists" are supposed to stick with when reporting. Opinions, (editorials) on the other hand, are not held to the same standards.
    Airtime, chelloveck and JABECmfg like this.
  11. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    Good point, thanks. [winkthumb]
  12. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Mine is definitely going to be a minority opinion on this thread, but that’s never kept my mouth shut before. I posted Brooks’ opinion piece, because it offered up some perspectives that I hadn’t seen in many news articles on the Snowden episode. Some of it was a bit bombastic perhaps, but perhaps more thought provoking thereby.

    My perspective on this issue is going to be colored by having been inside the same box which Snowden found himself in, and having been presented with similar moral dilemmas which Snowden faced; and having chosen differently.

    Brooks attempted to explain why Snowden took the actions that he did, and to connect Snowden’s motivations to a larger societal model – a model that has over the past few generations produced individuals who exhibit less direct social interaction, who have moved away from nuclear extended families, and who have become more insular rather than expansive because of the internet – using the internet to focus and reinforce their views, rather than broadening their views.

    He goes on to opine that these individuals also exhibit a greater distrust of government institutions, and authoritative structures; and connects these characteristics to the earlier mentioned ones in a cause and effect relationship. I personally think that he is on to something.

    Most folks, who support Snowden, applaud his actions out of a shared distrust of the government and an apprehension of the government’s ability to see into its citizens’ lives.

    I don’t think, though, that these revelations of Snowden’s have produced proof of criminal activity. Maybe some folks think that these actions should be criminal, but they are not. Collecting metadata is not the same thing as listening to someone’s phone calls.

    A constant refrain of mine on privacy issues concerning NSA has been that these sorts of capabilities have been there for a very long time indeed; and, for the most part, have not resulted in widespread abuse or intrusion into the private lives of US citizens. Senator Frank Church, during the Church Committee hearings in 1975, after being presented with the full range of NSA capabilities, said that if NSA ever turned its capabilities on the American people, “no American would have any privacy left. There would be no place to hide.” That was in 1975. Even as that capability continued to grow though, instances of serious intrusion into the lives of American citizens, have been isolated and comparatively rare.

    I would argue that capabilities present the danger that they can be misused at some time in the future, and thus they require oversight; but they do not, in and of themselves, necessarily present a threat. The inverse of that argument is the same argument that anti-gun types use against gun owners. “A gun is a dangerous weapon. It MIGHT be misused. It MIGHT fall into the hands of a child. It MIGHT get onto the streets and be involved in crime. Therefore, gun owners should turn in their guns, and rely on slingshots, perhaps, to defend themselves and their families.” Potential for abuse is not the same as abuse.

    Our military relies upon an increasingly deadly array of weapons to do its job of defending the nation, but they haven’t dropped a JDAM on a US city lately. We wouldn’t argue, I don’t think, that our military’s weapons should be restricted to single shot rifles; in the fear that anything more than that could be used to subjugate the American people. We want our military to be armed to a level that allows them to defeat any threat to our nation.

    Our intelligence agencies similarly have a responsibility to defend our nation against threats. Their weapons are their capabilities to acquire information; increasingly technical capabilities. The fact that they have these capabilities though does not, in and of itself, constitute a threat to the American people. It presents a potential for abuse that requires appropriate oversight. I personally don’t consider full public disclosure to constitute APPROPRIATE oversight.

    Unauthorized public disclosure of our intelligence agencies’ programs is exactly the same as unauthorized public disclosure of our military’s plans and capabilities. I don’t think that anyone would argue (okay, maybe a few would) that publishing the technical manuals of our most secret weapons, or our military plans, wouldn't constitute criminal espionage and/or treason. This, in my mind, is no different. Snowden is exposing our nation’s soft underbelly to anyone wishing to do us harm. Snowden is guilty of treason, IMHO.

    He had choices; the same choices that Bradley Manning had. He had appropriate avenues to utilize if he thought that a law was being broken or that an abuse was occurring. The newspaper should be an avenue of last resort, not the first resort.

    Snowden and Manning grew up in the same generation. They are the product of spending more time on their computers than interacting with other people. To them, honor is a transient concept. Their word means absolutely nothing. They trust practically no one and, therefore, cannot be trusted.

    Before they were granted access to the classified information entrusted to them, they signed non-disclosure agreements which laid out their responsibilities regarding that information, and penalties for inappropriately disclosing that information. When they signed that document, they bought a pig in a poke. Before even seeing the information, they swore on their word of honor that they would not divulge that information. They accepted the burden of knowing things that most people would never know, and it is indeed a burden. They swore an oath that they were up to bearing that burden. With people such as them though, who don’t understand honor and integrity, and never will, such an oath is a waste of breath and ink.

    When I first began my association with NSA, in 1982, absolute secrecy and “need to know” was the watchword. I was assigned to NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, MD for a six month Temporary Additional Duty. Everyone worked in cubicles of varying sizes. You knew only what you and your immediate working group was working on. If you walked over to a neighboring desk to ask a question, the individual at that desk would immediately switch off his computer screen, and cover any paperwork with a “coversheet” specially made for that purpose. When you departed, he would uncover his work and continue with his tasks. You didn’t know what he was working on, and you didn’t need to know. You didn’t ask questions. Everything was closed doors, and secretive workings.

    We had little tags on top of our identification badges with a series of letters on them, identifying the group that you worked in. Mine said “MROC” for Middle Eastern Region Operations Center. A few days after I began working in my section, I asked a fellow from a neighboring section what the letters above his badge (IROC) meant. My supervisor grabbed me and physically propelled me into his office, slammed the door, and quite sternly told me that if I couldn’t keep my curiosity to myself, he would have my a$$ on the next plane back to my military unit. I said Yes Sir, and went back to work. A young corporal had learned that one did not ask questions at NSA.

    Our badges were implanted with the first RFID chips that I had ever heard of. In fact, I had never heard of an RFID chip. I learned of them one day while walking back to my cubicle from the snack bar about three in the morning, down a very long and relatively dark hallway. I froze in my tracks, snack bar tray in hand, when flashing lights lit up the hallway, and an electronic voice commanded, “Stop where you are. Do not move. Security personnel are on the way.” I heard footsteps clattering down the corridor and saw a pair of security guards rounding the corner, racing toward me. One took position behind me, hand on his weapon, while the other scanned my badge. The one scanning my badge said, “Sorry buddy. Damned automated security system has been doing this all week. You’re free to go.” On shaky knees, a young corporal returned to his cubicle, thinking that he might forego future trips to the snack bar for a while. These badges were designed to only allow you to enter areas in which you were authorized to be. If you attempted to walk down a hallway, or enter an office, to which you didn’t have access, the alarm would sound, and the security guards would appear.

    That was the atmosphere of secrecy that existed at NSA in the early 1980s.

    Fast forward fifteen years. I was working at a large NSA field site, which featured large operations halls; no unnecessary walls, no secretive cubicles. No coversheets on the desk. Everything was a cooperative effort. If you had a slow evening, you could walk from section to section, and ask what was going on. The folks there would give you a tour, explain what their particular discipline was all about, be it ELINT (Radars), in depth analysis, terrain mapping, resource management, or COMINT (Telephone and Radio); and what specific countries or targets they were working. I could log into an active database of CIA, DIA, NSA, and State Department message traffic, and learn practically anything that I wished to know. The new watchword was "interdisciplinary working groups." It was all about a cooperative effort. NSA, and the other agencies, had learned over the preceding years that the beehive model did not produce optimum results. To say that this working environment was by far preferable to my initial introduction to NSA is an understatement.

    But besides this environment being more preferable to work in, it also produced far superior results, and it lessened the possibility of abuse of the agency’s capabilities. Everyone, relatively, knew what everyone else was up to, and the chances of an “Enemy of the State” scenario ever taking place was greatly reduced.

    Snowden, and his ilk, through their irresponsible intelligence leaks are going to drive our intelligence agencies back to their previous modes of operation. Their actions are going to undo all of the progress that was made in opening up the activities of our intelligence agencies to APPROPRIATE scrutiny. The dark ages are going to return, and the potential for abuse of power is going to increase dramatically.

    So, I happen to agree with Brooks that Snowden, and Manning, and these other children of the internet have betrayed honesty and integrity, they have betrayed their friends, they have betrayed their employers, they have betrayed the cause of open government, and they have betrayed the notion of privacy that they claim to espouse.

    They are traitors to our nation, and thus to the Constitution of this nation. Rather than defending this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic, they have become those domestic enemies.
  13. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless Site Supporter

    @tulianr Post #12 is much more convincing than the original Brooks article. Thank you for the insight!
    tulianr and chelloveck like this.
  14. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Al-Qaida Said to be Changing Its Ways After Leaks

    Jun 26, 2013
    Associated Press| by Kimberly Dozier
    WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence agencies are scrambling to salvage their surveillance of al-Qaida and other terrorists who are working frantically to change how they communicate after a National Security Agency contractor leaked details of two NSA spying programs. It's an electronic game of cat-and-mouse that could have deadly consequences if a plot is missed or a terrorist operative manages to drop out of sight.

    Two U.S. intelligence officials say members of virtually every terrorist group, including core al-Qaida, are attempting to change how they communicate, based on what they are reading in the media, to hide from U.S. surveillance - the first time intelligence officials have described which groups are reacting to the leaks. The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak about the intelligence matters publicly.

    Shortly after Edward Snowden leaked documents about the secret NSA surveillance programs, chat rooms and websites used by like-minded extremists and would-be recruits advised users how to avoid NSA detection, from telling them not to use their real phone numbers to recommending specific online software programs to keep spies from tracking their computers' physical locations.

    Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said Tuesday that Snowden "has basically alerted people who are enemies of this country ... (like) al-Qaida, about what techniques we have been using to monitor their activities and foil plots, and compromised those efforts, and it's very conceivable that people will die as a result."

    Terror groups switching to encrypted communication may slow the NSA, but encryption also flags the communication as something the U.S. agency considers worth listening to, according to a new batch of secret and top-secret NSA documents published last week by The Guardian, a British newspaper. They show that the NSA considers any encrypted communication between a foreigner they are watching and a U.S.-based person as fair game to gather and keep, for as long as it takes to break the code and examine it.
    ....... (Emphasis mine. Something to consider for all who feel the need to encrypt their comms.)

    The changing terrorist behavior is part of the fallout of the release of dozens of top-secret documents to the news media by Snowden, 30, a former systems analyst on contract to the NSA.

    The Office of the Director for National Intelligence and the NSA declined to comment on the fallout, but the NSA's director, Gen. Keith Alexander, told lawmakers that the leaks have caused "irreversible and significant damage to this nation."

    "After the leak, jihadists posted Arabic news articles about it ... and recommended fellow jihadists to be very cautious, not to give their real phone number and other such information when registering for a website," said Adam Raisman of the SITE Intelligence Group, a private analysis firm. They also gave out specific advice, recommending jihadists use privacy-protecting email systems like TOR, also called The Onion Router, to hide their computer's IP address, and to use encrypted links to access jihadi forums, Raisman said. While TOR originally was designed to help dissidents communicate in countries where the Internet is censored, it is facing legal difficulties because criminals allegedly have used it as well.

    Al-Qaida Said to be Changing Its Ways After Leaks | Military.com
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    and if the NSA wasn't Spying on US Citizens, and collecting MetaData on US Citizens, I would have NO Problem with their approach.... But we now know that they ARE doing it, and they HAVE BEEN doing it, for DECADES, and just now, GOT CAUGHT, Red Handed, with their Collective Pants down... with Mr. Pres. Lying to the Nation ("We are NOT Listening to your Phone Calls") and getting CAUGHT in the BIG LIE, two days later.... and a bunch of Traitorous Elected Representatives, Passing SECRET Federal STATUTES, that circumvent the Bill of Rights, now saying ALL THESE Statutes, are for our Security..... and Benefit.... We have been SECRETLY, Sold down the River, by or own Elected Representatives. It is time to Get out the HOT TAR, and Feather Pillowcases, and find a few Rails, for when these Traitors come Home, for the 4th of July Congressional Break.... Just my Opinion, expressed under what is left of my 1st Amendment Rights..... Neener, neener, neener, NSA, and the rest of the Letters Bunch.....
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Nah. Make it cold tar and spread it on with a rasp.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    why be nice about it? The tar should be applied at the proper temperature, hot enough to seep into every crack and crevice, and parboil the flesh beneath. We are talking about theft here. And I despise thieves.:(
  18. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    VisuTrac likes this.
  19. DMGoddess

    DMGoddess Monkey+

    Okay, now that I've read everyone else's opinions, I'll give mine:
    1) Collecting metadata and listening to phone calls are two different things. It is possible that one can lead to another, but it is not NECESSARILY true.
    2) Power doesn't always corrupt, nor does absolute power always corrupt absolutely, or God would be manipulating us like Barbie dolls.
    3) The Founding Fathers could not have possibly envisioned a world where we could communicate thousands of miles in the blink of an eye, nor that such things would be used for war and terrorism.
    4) I seem to remember something in the Declaration of Independence about it being the duty of a citizen to speak up against tyranny, and it didn't give a definition or put limits on it.

    That being said ...

    1) He did make a promise to keep secrets.
    2) He broke that promise, albeit with the best of intentions, according to him.
    3) He is a member of the computer generation, which some people also call Generation Y. My husband and I refer to them as Generation 'Why', as in 'why can't I do what i want' or 'why do I have to do what's right' or 'why should I have to work for a living', among other things. I'm sure some monkeys can relate.
    4) For the proof he provided, he stole items that were not his property.
    5) In breaking his promise, he lied. I can't in good conscience trust the word or integrity of a liar.

    That's my opinion on the hot topic of the month. ***EXITING SOAPBOX MODE***
    Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  20. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    1) I don't want anyone collecting MetaData on me, nor saving my phone conversations FOREVER, not that i've much to hide. It's the principle of the matter.
    2) Power doesn't always corrupt, but it sure makes things easier. Absolute power? Give a human absolute power over life and death, or over another class of people? Oh Hell yes it does. Need proof? Caesar, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Edgar J. and soon to be Obama? We are not talking God here, we are talking corruptible humans. Our track record sucks.
    3) Founding Fathers were pretty smart. Came up with an awesome framework, which we have proceeded to disassemble. I don't give a rats behind about terrorists, if they are going to blow me up, what ever. I'm way more likely to die at the hands of a my doctor and his/her prescribed medication or during a 'routine' medical procedure. I won't use 'Safety' as an excuse to voluntarily give up liberty. NFW!
    4) When confronted with mutually exclusive laws. Should one follow Natural Law/God given rights or the laws of man? I'm so not going with laws crafted by men.

    He broke a promise to keep a secret. A secret that was violating the rights of men.

    When you work with evil, it's easy to become evil. It's not a guarantee that you'll become evil.
    It would have been easy to just leave and say you'll not be party to it.
    Harder would have been to openly say why you'll have no part of it and hope you'll not be laughed at.
    Yet harder would vociferously announce in loud voice, These men are evil and here is why, hoping not to be killed.
    or hardest, is to have or obtain proof and then shout from the highest rooftop about the violation our government does in our name and for the sake of safety of our people.

    Yep, I'm OK with Snowden. I think he made a good choice. He's actually helping Obama keep his promise of government transparency. IMHO.

    It's not like he leaked the name of an active CIA field agent or something.

    Yep, not sure I like what our government is doing on our behalf.

    Come on Class X solar flare!
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