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Thread: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    None. Nor should their be. For all secret programs to be made available to the broad citizenry so that they can assess for themselves its' constitutionality and act accordingly would destroy our ability to conduct Intelligence and place Americans at incredible risk. We as citizens do not wield our own power of statecraft at the national level (and only rarely do at the State or Local level) - we instead elect our representatives, and split our government into three branches so that faction may check faction against the abuse of power.

    So. Vote Wisely. You are electing people who (surprisingly) might have a say no items of National Security.
    It really scares me when we agree in such a completely fundamental way. National security has to be secure. The security of the nation is one of the primary responsibilities of a government. And if you cannot trust the people you elect to do the best job possible, then you better get off your ass and work to change that.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    If all you're going to do is hurl insults at me like that traitor remark, I don't see how we could have a respectful debate, so goodbye.
    Weren't you the guy who not a couple of pages back was suggesting that I was a Der Staat Der Staat Uber Alles sort of fellow?

    1) It comes down to him putting the American people before the politicians.
    No, it doesn't. It comes down to putting the American people behind himself. The American people are not well-served by the four laptops full of everything he could download being made available to the Chinese and Russians. The American people are not served by Snowden exposing ways in which we spy on the Chinese, or observe them spying on us. The American people are not served by enabling Al-Qaeda planning efforts. The American people are not served by exposing the ways in which we watch Europeans, or the ways in which we watch them watching us. The American people are not served by his undermining our alliances. The American people are not served by his being a propaganda tool for thug dictatorships. The American people are not served by his exposing our joint operations with allies around the world. The only person Snowden appears interested in serving is Snowden.

    We deserve to know about this program. They can not just do whatever the hell they want.
    Right on the latter, wrong on the former. The American people have decided through their representatives that they wish to have an Intelligence Community to enable National Defense, and that they wish to share the authority for running and overseeing the actions of the Intelligence Community with the three branches of government so that each may halt any others' abuses. The American people have not decided to authorize individual civilian contractors to make life/death or Constitutional decisions on their behalf in contradiction to the system that they have set in place.

    2) There's no good reason to keep this a secret.
    There are fantastic reasons to keep this a secret, the most important of which being that as soon as it is not a secret, it becomes useless. Making the specifics of a classified intelligence program public knowledge is like going to war with a rifle, but without any rounds. You can go "pew pew!" at bad guys all day long, but you've neutered yourself.

    Which is why our enemies are already changing their TTP's, and we are scrambling - hoping - to be able to adjust and keep up.

    3) You and your family have an exponentially higher chance of dying in a head on collision on the way home from church than you have of being attacked by terrorists.
    you are correct which does not alter in any way the fact that the government is charged by our citizens from protecting us from the latter. We also have a higher chance of dying in a car accident than being gunned down by gangs. That is not a good argument for getting rid of the police.

    4) So because they were already spying on us, that somehow changes things? Are you the type of person that when something's screwed up, you throw your hands up and say "It was already like that!"
    No, I try to fix it and, if it's the way it is because changing it would do more damage, I mitigate it and work around. That being said, the USG is not spying on you. Despite what the tinfoil-hat crowd is saying, no one is listening to your cell phone calls. Your point-to-point data, which has been collected since there were phones, is being run through a search algorithm so that if you are calling or emailing or texting known terrorist contacts, someone can start spying on you - which they should.

    5-6) I definitely don't fault him for not using the proper channels (whether they existed or not), because I know nothing would have come from it.
    BS. You don't get any kind of excuse for going through non-proper channels unless you've first tried to do it right.

    You like bringing up IG so much. Tell me about the last time an E-1 has called IG to challenge a presidential or congressional decision.
    Snowden wasn't an E1, he was a civilian contractor with a TS/SCI clearance. And guess what, if the President and the Congress and the Judiciary all come to the same decision? Snowden does not have the right to counter it.

    7) I don't think it has anything to do with him wanting to be famous. People keep saying "He's just doing this for himself". Which makes no sense at all. Yes, he's completely ****ing himself over, ruining his own life, to benefit himself. He just might spend the rest of his life in a cage, which he's doing to benefit himself.
    yes, things haven't worked out for ole snowden nearly as well as he'd hoped. It seems that once again the world has failed to appreciate how special and deeply insightful he is . Read the guys' ramblings, its' all about how nobody else around him understood what was going on, how he Understood At A Deeper Level, he was the Only One Who Saw, etc. the guy must have been an insufferable co-worker.

    8) I feel like Snowden could know it wouldn't work, just as I can tell you it wouldn't.
    BS. Snowden had no way of knowing the depth of the Congressional read-in.

    I once called IG on my 1SG for trying to blackmail me into re-enlisting, and all they did was talk to him. I had to get a lawyer through JAG and fight for 6 months before I won. And that's just challenging someone a few spots over me. How serious do you think a battle between the president and congress vs a contractor would go?
    Hopefully he would get crushed, given that it wasn't the President + Congress against him, but rather the President+Congress+Judiciary against him. Then he could go back to being a little IT guy handing out JWICS passwords to people.



    but forgive me, I notice you've failed to answer that end point there. Under the system you've described where every individual has the right to nullify the law as passed by Congress, signed by the President, and cleared through the Judiciary, what is to keep me rightfully from deciding that I think the existance of undercover agents violates Search and Seizure, and out every one of them? What is to keep me from making life/death decisions for other Americans on their behalf against their will as expressed through their representatives Just Because I Say So?
    Last edited by cpwill; 07-08-13 at 09:51 AM.

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    It really scares me when we agree in such a completely fundamental way. National security has to be secure. The security of the nation is one of the primary responsibilities of a government. And if you cannot trust the people you elect to do the best job possible, then you better get off your ass and work to change that.
    I apologize - but you are making entirely too much sense, and it is throwing me for a loop. Please immediately change your position so that I may be cured of this case of Cognitive Dissonance.

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    It really scares me when we agree in such a completely fundamental way. National security has to be secure. The security of the nation is one of the primary responsibilities of a government. And if you cannot trust the people you elect to do the best job possible, then you better get off your ass and work to change that.
    No offense...but what a load of patriotic-sounding crap.

    Forcing private companies to secretly hand over personal calling records of millions of Americans is NOTHING to do with national security.

    It has everything to do with government's taking advantage of terrorism paranoia to expand their powers...period.


    Can you prove to me using ONLY unbiased sources of FACTS (not oponions) that not doing the above makes American national security noticeably less secure?

    Yes or no, please?

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    No offense...but what a load of patriotic-sounding crap.

    Forcing private companies to secretly hand over personal calling records of millions of Americans is NOTHING to do with national security.

    ...
    Forcing private compies?
    Now that is funny.
    Most of those private compies are hired to record and report data and they are paid rather hansomly I might add.

    Oh the public data does have a lot to do with national security.
    When it comes to matters of reproduce health, Politicians and the religious dogma of another faith should never interfere with religious liberty of an individual or her faith.

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by minnie616 View Post
    Forcing private compies?
    Now that is funny.
    Most of those private compies are hired to record and report data and they are paid rather hansomly I might add.

    Oh the public data does have a lot to do with national security.


    What are you talking about?

    I said the government forced them to turn over their records...and they did...

    'Verizon forced to hand over telephone data – full court ruling'

    Verizon forced to hand over telephone data

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    This is a logical conclusion based on the fact that Snowden's actions are contrary to his claimed motivations.



    This is not a logical conclusion. It is pretty much what we call "fact".



    No it does not. That can play into it (aforementioned atrocities), but the matter is not defined by it. Snowden's decision to place the American populace in greater danger when he was never authorized by them to make that decision on their behalf (in fact, when they trusted and paid him to do the opposite, as he swore an oath to them to do, an oath he betrayed) is a moral as well as a legal failure.



    Snowden is not authorized to decide for the U.S. government was is and is not Constitutional. That is a power exercised by each of the three branches of government in turn, with final decision authority resting with the Judicial Branch. Snowden is no more allowed to decide that a program applying search algorithms to point-to-point data is unconstitutional (and it appears he couldn't care less whether or not a program is unconstitutional - much of what he has revealed does not fall under the program that is receiving all the attention here at home. It certainly is not unconstitutional for our intelligence agencies to be spying on the Chinese) and therefore expose it than I am authorized to decide that hiding the true identities of undercover agents are unconstitutional, and expose them.



    Indeed you do not. That is why it's called a "secret". Because it's "Secret". If we wish for the whole people to be able to judge the merits of secret programs, they cease to be secret and become (for intelligence purposes) nigh on useless. So vote wisely, national security depends on it.



    Intention matters because it demonstrates premeditated intent to perform espionage. This is where the timeline comes into play - Snowden was in contact with the reporters before he ever started working with the NSA and would have come into contact with this program. He took much more than simply the PRISM program everyone talks about, and has exposed significantly more than simply PRISM. He took the job with Booz Allen to work for the NSA intending to steal classified materials, stuffed four laptops full of whatever he could get his hands on, and then scrammed.



    On the contrary, we have the opportunity to replace 1/3 of our legislature every 2 years and our President every 4.



    Wrong. Were I a submarine commander, I would not have the right to decide that the threat from illegal immigration posed an existential threat to the US and launch nuclear missiles against American soil. Because only the government has the right to make life and death decisions on behalf of American citizens- because they gave the government that right, and they never extended it to me. I do not have the right to decide that undercover agents violate the protections against unlawful search and seizures, and out every undercover agent I can get the identity of. Because only the government has the right to make life and death decisions on behalf of American citizens - because they gave the government that right, and they never extended it to me. I do not have the right to make life or death decisions for other Americans without their consent, which is what you do when you release classified information. That's why it's classified in the first place - because it's exposure would represent varying levels of harm to the national security of the United States and the people who reside therein. Otherwise it wouldn't be "classified information", it would just be "information".
    Your whole argument rests upon the notion that we are better off with these secret programs remaining secret when they are in violation of our rights than we are with them being made public. We aren't. I would rather have no secret programs at all, than to risk having ones that remain unexposed when they are illegal (in violation of our rights). So, yes, we should have the capability to end programs when our government fails us. We are the final say, not the government. This reality should have the effect of causing government to err on the side of caution with regard to our rights rather than on the side of pushing the boundary, which s what we very much should want.

    As to your example, it is apples and oranges, because it is missing a key component (it is vastly different in more than just that, but this is the one I will focus on): your supposedly analogous scenario isn't secret. We, the public, have the ability to debate the issue and settle the matter amongst us and ultimately veto our representatives on the matter. If we thought nukes ought to be turned upon the mainland U.S. (an obviously stupid scenario, but hey, I'm not the one responsible for it), then we could ultimately vote the right people in to get it done, and know whether it was carried out or not.
    Last edited by Dezaad; 07-08-13 at 10:38 AM.
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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    I just want to kinda post some thoughts on this, and point out what I think are mistakes some people are making.

    The thing people need to realize is that there are two entirely separate issues going on here. The first is Snowden stealing classified information and releasing some of it. The second is the PRISM and MAINWAY programs. They need to be looked at separately because the issues in each is separate. It is entirely possible to oppose the programs, while also opposing the release of the classified material about those programs.

    The government is selected by the people of the United States. We pick those people to exercise their best judgements. That is our form of government in a nutshell. The three branches have the "checks and balances", and the people have the right to vote the bastards out and replace them with other bastards. We pick the people who make up our government, or the people who pick the people. The government works for us and is responsible to us. Government of the people, if slightly indirect. The primary job of the government is the security and well-being of the country, of the people. Sometimes that well-being requires the government to do things which cannot be public knowledge. As a very simple example, we classify exact details of the capabilities of weapon systems, for obvious and well founded reasons. We set up a set of rules about what can and cannot be classified, when classified information can be declassified, who can access classified information, penalties for revealing classified information, and other aspects too numerous to list. We have to trust in those rules, and work to improve them where we find areas of fault. We cannot, under any circumstances, let Joe Blow contractor or E-1 make a decision about whether material should be classifies. That would lead to chaos and a complete inability to have any classified information. That is why we have very strict and somewhat harsh penalties for releasing classified information.

    And here is the important, key thing. Even if we like that the information released is now available, that does not mean that revealing it is any less a crime, and any more an act hostile to our government, and by extension hostile to we the people. Security must be secure. Just because you may disagree with PRISM and MAINWAY does not change the fact that security must be secure, for the good of the country. I am not going to guess at Snowden's motives. No one here knows what they are. They are irrelevant. People cannot be allowed to simply release classified information for any political reason.

    And then there are the programs themselves. I am not a legal expert. I doubt any legal expert has all the information at this time to even make a call on the constitutionality of the programs. Neither is clearly and absolutely unconstitutional or illegal(though some people will try and claim otherwise). So until a court rules, the government does have a responsibility to actually use the programs available to reduce the threat to our country and the people in it. The thing that most stands out in this is that there is to the best of my knowledge, little to no oversite on legality and constitutionality of classified programs. That to my mind has to change.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    No offense...but what a load of patriotic-sounding crap.

    Forcing private companies to secretly hand over personal calling records of millions of Americans is NOTHING to do with national security.

    It has everything to do with government's taking advantage of terrorism paranoia to expand their powers...period.


    Can you prove to me using ONLY unbiased sources of FACTS (not oponions) that not doing the above makes American national security noticeably less secure?

    Yes or no, please?
    Classified information being controlled has everything to do with national security. Your paranoid fantasies and assumptions will not change that basic fact.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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    re: Edward Snowden Asylum To Be Offered By Venezuela,President Nicolás Maduro Says[W:271]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Your whole argument rests upon the notion that we are better off with these secret programs remaining secret when they are in violation of our rights than we are with them being made public. We aren't.
    whether or not they are in violation of our rights is a decision our form of government leaves to the Judiciary branch, which had already decided on the matter. So in fact the implicit assumption of this claim is incorrect.

    I would rather have no secret programs at all, than to risk having ones that remain unexposed when they are illegal (in violation of our rights).
    heck. And sometimes soldiers kill innocents. Let's get rid of the military. Far better we have no military than have one that risks abusing people. And sometimes police abuse the rights of citizens - let's get rid of them, too; far better we have no law enforcement than we have law enforcement that may be made up of humans.

    The argument you present is as irresponsible as it is hyperbolic, and it is utterly unsurprising why those of both parties charged with the protection of the persons and property of the American citizenry (that is, the first and foremost reason for being for government) have rejected it.

    So, yes, we should have the capability to end programs when our government fails us. We are the final say, not the government.
    Sort of. We are the final authority, and we have chosen to devolve that authority onto our representatives, who have the right to act in our name. Unlike individual contractors, who do not.

    This reality should have the effect of causing government to err on the side of caution with regard to our rights rather than on the side of pushing the boundary, which s what we very much should want.
    On the contrary, the effects of the Edward Snowden disclosures are going to be the same as the effects of the Bradley Manning disclosures - they are going to make the IC more secretive, less collaborative, and less capable of being effectively overseen for abuses.

    As to your example, it is apples and oranges, because it is missing a key component (it is vastly different in more than just that, but this is the one I will focus on): your supposedly analogous scenario isn't secret.
    On the contrary, the names and identities of undercover agents are indeed secret. But you are choosing to dodge the critical point - if the individual has the right to overturn the joint decision of all three branches of government when it comes to National Security, what is there to rightfully restrict the individual from overturning the joint decision of all three branches of government when it comes to National Security?


    We, the public, have the ability to debate the issue and settle the matter amongst us and ultimately veto our representatives on the matter. If we thought nukes ought to be turned upon the mainland U.S. (an obviously stupid scenario, but hey, I'm not the one responsible for it), then we could ultimately vote the right people in to get it done, and know whether it was carried out or not.
    Ah, but Snowden understood these things far more than the mere simpleton U.S. citizens he was surrounded by, or the crass and evil manipulators above him, or the fools in Congress and abusers in the Executive and enablers in the Judiciary. He was wiser, really, than the combined decisionmaking process of America's lawfully chosen representatives on the matter of National Security, which is why he had the right by virtue of being so pure and awesome to make life/death decisions for the rest of us without our consent. Just as I understand, as an Air Force General, that the Russians corruption of our precious bodily fluids demands First Strike, and that the enablers and cowards in the National Government who refuse to protect the American people in accordance with their Constitutional requirements.... etc. and so forth. We have good damn reason to say that individuals do not have the right to overturn our system of representative government just because they happen to truly honestly think it's the right thing to do - which (and this deserves to be repeated) we have no evidence that Snowden believed, and plenty that he did not. And when you join national security you sign a contract wherein you swear an oath to the American people that you will abide by their judgement and the judgement of their duly appointed representatives rather than your own.


    You people are letting your distaste for what you think the program entailed color your analysis of the deed that Snowden did in committing espionage against the United States. You may want to sit and think about the illogical links of that position.

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