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Is Edward Snowden who blew the whistle on vast surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency that trawl through telephone and Internet records a hero or traitor?

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Of course he is a hero.

So are Manning and Assange.

We need more people like this to uncover the corruption, atrocities and social crimes.

Otherwise, we are going to end up with a society far, far worse than Soviet Russia under Stalin.

14 ( +31 / -17 )

Traitor. I hope he gets a long time in jail when they finally get him.

-49 ( +15 / -63 )

Police states can only truly exist with the compliance of the masses. Thank you Probie for proving my point here.

When we fail to raise our voices when a government violates our rights, our privacy and our trust, then we give approval to repression and we invite more. Throughout history brave individuals have protected our freedom by risking their own. It is time more of us lazy modern people put down our cheap food, forget about who is winning American Idol or some sports game, stop caring about what star is sleeping with what star, turn off the damned television and take an interest in our own lives. When privacy and freedom are compromised it hurts YOU. Yes you. The ones reading this post.

When we trade liberty for security, as Franklin so perfectly pointed out, we deserve neither. So Probie, if Snowden is a traitor, it is that he is a traitor to the ambitions of those who would make a police state of our nation. But he is a hero to the people who would stand for liberty over fear.

35 ( +40 / -6 )

I'm leaning toward traitor. We're supposed to believe this guy is all about freedom, and that the people have a right to know what the government is doing and he runs to... wait for it... China? Think it's a coincidence that while Obama is talking with Xi about all this hacking crap China is pulling, that this guy does his little whistle blowing act and runs to China?

-26 ( +9 / -35 )

Definite hero, unfortunately he'll likely live and a very bleak life from here onward.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

It doesn't matter whether you consider him to be a hero or a traitor. That's a subjective categorization.

Objectively, he is simply a criminal who has broken some serious laws governing classified information.

-14 ( +12 / -27 )

It doesn't matter whether you consider him to be a hero or a traitor. That's a subjective categorization.

Objectively, he is simply a criminal who has broken some serious laws governing classified information.

It must be quite depressing to view the world so objectively. No moral right or wrong, just the law. So would you have said the same about Mandela when he was in prison?

16 ( +23 / -6 )

People are so brainwashed these days that they`ll give up everything in their lives except for their Playstation and satellite TV. Are we supposed to tell our governments what to do? Not have them in our faces every second. They are breaking the law left right and centre and the powers that can prevent it are as corrupt as the government. Not sure of hero or traitor are the correct words.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@tkoind2

Like that P.O.S. Manning before him, he's basically helping terrorists. Information like this tells them what they shouldn't be doing.

Citizens shouldn't know some things. A lot of things.

Throughout history brave individuals have protected our freedom by risking their own.

Like the military and intelligence people who get put at risk because of idiots like this guy and Manning/Assange etc. The pretentions "fight the power, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" attitude is pathetic and doesn't look at the big picture. They pander to the masses who want to hear the juicy secrets, and don't care about the danger they put people in.

So Probie, if Snowden is a traitor, it is that he is a traitor to the ambitions of those who would make a police state of our nation. But he is a hero to the people who would stand for liberty over fear.

Fight the power, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

-33 ( +8 / -39 )

Active terrorist group a very well known and getting intelligence on them is of course a necessity but when you start to see everybody as a potential terrorist something tell me you are at the borderline of insanity.

17 ( +17 / -1 )

"It doesn't matter whether you consider him to be a hero or a traitor. That's a subjective categorization. Objectively, he is simply a criminal who has broken some serious laws governing classified information."

Yes it does matter. Objectivity is not determined by what's imposed on us by governments. When gov interests conflict with public interests, whoever protect the public interests will be a hero for the public. I now have great respect for this man and hic actions. He sacrificed his life for the common good. Anyone calling this man traitor would not do what he did. They would sit quietly even though they know their rights were being violated. They would sit still even though they have the power of uncovering lies and deception. They would not sacrifice anything for their fellow man.

11 ( +13 / -1 )

So probie must believe that ignorance is bliss. Wait until they come for you when they say you have broken a new law that they just made and you did not know. It is against the lw to spy on the American people but that is ok if the government does it and people do not need to know. Your arguements have no foundation in truth or logic. If you are told to do wrong because your government says to do it and keep it a secret are you going to do it or are you going to stand up for what is right. Unfortunately most people will just do it and that leads to tyranny. Perhaps you should stop drinking the kool-aid.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Each of us has the choice.

Either we say "shoga nai," hang our heads and ignore the erosion of freedom, political corruption and social crimes that are being committed by our governments or we can fight back.

We owe any freedom we have today to those who didn't say "shoga nai" and who did fight back.

Snowden, Manning, Assange, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, going all the way back to guys involved in the Boston Tea Party and far, far back in history.

Things are beginning to change:

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/google-transparency-edward-snowden-fisa-92585.html

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Such whistleblowers are not only heroes for following their conscience in acting for the highest good, they are also by their selfless and courageous example the true leaders of ordinary people. They give me hope for the future of humanity and Mother Earth!

15 ( +14 / -1 )

Why so many Americans say 2nd Amendment is so important, 30,000 gun deaths are OK, but don't mind a Government ignoring 4th Amendment? Unreasonable search is not OK by a Constitution - why people say it doesn't matter?

Rules, or no rules. Rules are important I think.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Snowden, Manning, Assange, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, going all the way back to guys involved in the Boston Tea Party and far, far back in history.

I can't believe you put Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi on the same level as Snowden, Manning, and Assange.

-6 ( +11 / -19 )

he is simply a criminal who has broken some serious laws

I think if you remove your blimkers you will find that it is the US government that has broken the law.

18 ( +19 / -2 )

Traitor. I hope he gets a long time in jail when they finally get him.

Does that also apply to Leon Panetta, the former head of the CIA who released classified information to Hollywood to assist in the making Zero Dark Thirty??

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Wouldn't really say either. Just a guy who disagrees with the Land of the Free (haha) becoming less and less free on an almost daily basis. He and Manning do seem to have broken their legal obligation to manaintain confidentiality, but probabaly for good reasons of their conscience. Assange is just an ass.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Probie, it is utter nonsense that this guy is helping terrorists. You have bought into the whole propaganda sell hook line and sinker. Next they will be selling you some bridge in NY for a $100.

Bottom line, someone needs to keep our constitutional rights in mind. Don't you care about your privacy? Does the government really need to monitor EVERYONE's phone logs? No obviously not.

Americans once knew how to see the difference between a government that served them and one that was endangering them. Throughout our history we have had people brave enough to challenge bad policies. And most often the flat headed masses first saw these people as "enemy". From civil rights movements, the Anti-Vietnam war movement, the Wobblies and Unions in the early 20th century, all the way back to the patriots who fought for their rights. The mainstream of their time saw them as wrong, as traitors and as enemies.

But those same people earned us real liberties. They broke away from a repressive colonial state. They unionized and created the very work benefits we all enjoy today. They achieved civil rights. They brought our troops home from a war we had no business being in. And they continue to protect us with their self sacrifice for what is right.

So Probie if that makes these people a traitor then I would never want any loyalty to such a state or a people who would define them so. I believe in liberty and not in fear. I put down my TV a long time ago and have been fighting in political circles for what is write since I can remember. I wish more people would wake up and think about the future instead of just the present too.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Obama is the traitor. He ran on a platform of opacity and change. But he's just as bad, if not worse, that GW.

The ACLU has just filed suit against Obama. Interesting to see how this will play out.

Interesting to note about all of this. This guy worked for a company called Booz Allen. Booz Allen is owned by a larger conglomerate known as Carlyle Group. Both private entities, both used by the government to spy on us.

And who works for/has worked for The Carlye Group? Pretty much every big-wig power broker from both sides of the aisle in the past 20 years. Reagan, Bush, PM's from other countries, former heads of banks in the center of the 2008 banking crash. And Carlyle Group is also heavily financed, at least in part, by the Saudis.

Source:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-10/911-prismgate-how-carlyle-group-lbod-worlds-secrets

7 ( +12 / -5 )

warewarenihonjinJun. 12, 2013 - 12:13PM JST Why so many Americans say 2nd Amendment is so important, 30,000 gun deaths are OK, but don't mind a Government >ignoring 4th Amendment? Unreasonable search is not OK by a Constitution - why people say it doesn't matter?

Yes and funny enough, one recurring argument in favor of guns is to protect against an invasive government ...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I think Americans need to stop fearing and blaming and start owning their government. Start getting involved with fellow citizens and discussing the issues instead of whining about Washington. It is made up of people that Americans put there, and of course many others chosen by those people. I don't support it, but what Snowden did, right or wrong, has accomplished his goal: to open people's eyes to this issue.

10 ( +9 / -0 )

Probie, it is utter nonsense that this guy is helping terrorists. You have bought into the whole propaganda sell hook line and sinker. Next they will be selling you some bridge in NY for a $100.

No. It's pretty obvious that when news like this come out, terrorists will change the way the do things. Therefore, he is assisting terrorists.

Bottom line, someone needs to keep our constitutional rights in mind. Don't you care about your privacy? Does the government really need to monitor EVERYONE's phone logs? No obviously not.

I don't care about American constitutional rights- I'm half English, half Canadian. Anyway, no, I don't care about my privacy. I don't do anything that I'm bothered about any government seeing. I'm not going to get all offended about someone seeing a shopping list my wife e-mails to me.

Americans once knew how to see the difference between a government that served them and one that was endangering them.

I think you took one too many Going-Over-The-Top pill today.

Throughout our history we have had people brave enough to challenge bad policies.

It's not a bad policy.

And most often the flat headed masses first saw these people as "enemy". From civil rights movements, the Anti-Vietnam war movement, the Wobblies and Unions in the early 20th century, all the way back to the patriots who fought for their rights. The mainstream of their time saw them as wrong, as traitors and as enemies.

And they are free to fight for whatever they want to. I don't have a problem with that. What I have a problem with, is people stealing information and giving it away to everyone, that can be very dangerous in the hands of the wrong people.

But those same people earned us real liberties. They broke away from a repressive colonial state. They unionized and created the very work benefits we all enjoy today. They achieved civil rights. They brought our troops home from a war we had no business being in. And they continue to protect us with their self sacrifice for what is right.

How would you think they felt if all their plans had been exposed to the people they fought against in advance? If the British rounded up the people who did the Boston Tea Party and had them all shot at dawn like infected pigs before they had a chance to do anything? If there was some 18th century version of Assange, stood in the streets shouting "hear ye, hear ye! Some doodz are planning to be in your ships, dumping your tea!"?

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I would be interested to know whether he had any connections to foreign intelligence organisations.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Neither. Although what his actions do show is that the illusion of freedom in the US is just that. Intrusive government, restrictions on just about everything, massive powers given to law enforcement, continued reduction in civil rights (except owning gun which is supposed to maintain those freedoms - that is working well, eh?). I guess he thought he was doing the right thing. As for Booz Allen, i have worked with some of those bozos before. Basically just consultants but they get plenty of US government work as Carlyle is heavily tied in with the Beltway establishment. I guess one lesson will be that Pentagon and security esatablishment will look again at how it hires and vets those working on "secret" projects. although with the size of the "intelligence community" (there is an oxymoron) that looks to be almost impossible.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Both. That's what whistle blowers are. A hero to the people and a traitor to their masters. In the end each individual must decide what s/he thinks is the right course.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Of course he is a hero.

So are Manning and Assange.

These guys are Class-A Losers...

I can't really comment on Assange, because all he did was run a web site and post material that people sent him, no different than the Washington Post, or NY Times.

But Snowden and Manning belong in jail... What the NSA was doing was totally within the law, and anyone that thinks any different, doesn't have a Clue about what META DATA is... It's NOT personal information, it's nothing different than Google, or Yahoo, or any big advertising agency doesn't already use.

And as for this Manning guy, I hope he gets 100 years in Leavenworth... He betrayed America's trust... Over what...? So he can report on what Hillary Clinton thinks about the Chinese or what so and so diplomat said about so and so from N.Korea...?

Oh... and special good luck to Snowden ever finding another job...! (that is if HK doesn't hand him over to the U.S.) If you take a even the briefest glimpse of his qualifications, you'll be scratching your head wondering how he got a job as a Hardware Analyst, making $200,000 a year, with Basically NO qualifications what-so-ever.... Didn't even complete his GED... (Oh, and Never finished his first semester community college computer courses either...)

I'll tell you... He knew somebody, that got him in... The good old Buddy system! He would be lucky, with his qualifications to flip burgers at McDonald's... And if anyone that ever told you, "It's what you know, not who you know," that person is living in a fantasy land!

@BertieWooster

And if you really need a mentor, Hero, or someone to emulate you would be much better off with someone that has some intelligence and has actually accomplished something, here's a really quick list of people that did something with their lives, and didn't need handouts or the good old boy network just to get a job!

Elon Musk

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Larry Page

Sergey Brin

I could names 1000 more, need I..?

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

No. It's pretty obvious that when news like this come out, terrorists will change the way the do things. Therefore, he is assisting terrorists.

I think that's a bit naive to think that terrorists are not already aware of that and don't use more sophisticated communication and encryption methods. This news is mostly directed to general population.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Probie,

How would you think they felt if all their plans had been exposed to the people they fought against in advance? If the British rounded up the people who did the Boston Tea Party and had them all shot at dawn like infected pigs before they had a chance to do anything? If there was some 18th century version of Assange, stood in the streets shouting "hear ye, hear ye! Some doodz are planning to be in your ships, dumping your tea!"?

I think you have a serious misunderstanding about American history.

At the time of the "Boston Tea Party," the establishment was the British Government.

The incident in question happened in 1773, before the U.S.A. existed, when it was a British colony. Some of the colonists had had quite enough of the British Government and its heavy taxation and lack of democratic representation.

The situation is very similar to present time, when the financial burden on Americans is increasing to an almost impossible level, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and democratic representation and freedom are going out the window.

The guys dumping the tea into Boston harbour, who created a free country with a wonderful constitution, they were the Snowdens, Mannings and Assanges of today.

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

1 ( +8 / -7 )

When a government defies it's constitution it is when democracy is lost since the constitution is about limitation against the government to ensure civilian control. What ensures the people their rights written within the constitution if the government starts overruling them? It is no different then NK where in their constitution the people are ensured freedom of religion which is not upheld by the government.

Each and every Americans need to contemplate the event in hand and if they are fine with it then they should hold a referendum to revise the constitution to fit the law or maintaining a constitution becomes meaningless.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

At the time of the "Boston Tea Party," the establishment was the British Government.

Still doesn't change how if someone tipped off the British government, they wouldn't have had the party...

The guys dumping the tea into Boston harbour, who created a free country with a wonderful constitution, they were the Snowdens, Mannings and Assanges of today.

You idolize and give Snowden, Manning and Assange far too much credit.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Can't we verify his story first?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Has anyone see Google Glass in a new light?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For the government, he is a traitor. For the American people who treasure their freedom, he is a hero.

As for me ... he might be put in the loose nut category because, as I understand it, he gave up his $200,000 a year salary to do what he did ... blow the whistle.

What's interesting, it appears that there are more startling revelations that are yet to be carried in the Guardian newspaper. He better stay well hid ...

5 ( +6 / -2 )

Probie,

Your 'bigger picture' is the military industrial security complex and its insatiable hunger.

It is a parasitic, corrupting abomination, sir.

Unfortunately it seems the world's biggest economy would grind to a halt without it. QED, Snowden and Manning are traitors?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

So, Probie, you would rather the Boston Tea Party didn't happen and the U.S.A. was still a British Colony?

Of course, you have the right to your opinion, but I think there might be a lot of people who disagree with you.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Objectively, he is simply a criminal who has broken some serious laws governing classified information.

Objectively, Obama and Clapper (and others) are simply traitors; criminals who have broken serious laws which they had promised to uphold.

If what the NSA was doing was the right/legal thing to do; why is it that when Clapper was asked during a Senate hearing: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all from millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Clapper's response (under oath) was: "No sir". [this guy belongs in jail] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/07/privacy-wyden-clapper-nsa-video

Snowden is clearly a hero!

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Not a hero or a traitor, but an idiot.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"the Land of the Free ( ha ha )"

Hey, it's still the Land of the Free as long as Jay Leno can say stuff like this without fear of being jailed:

" The new Superman movie opens on Friday. It's a great story: When Superman’s dad realizes his son is gifted with X-ray vision and super hearing, he puts him in a rocket and sends him toward Earth, because he knows with those powers he can get a job in the Obama administration.

A former technical assistant for the CIA named Edward Snowden leaked the story that the federal government was collecting phone records from Verizon customers. Snowden said, “You’re being watched.” To which NBC executives said, “Finally! We would love to be watched."

People are asking how this Snowden guy could download all this classified information and give it to a British newspaper without the NSA knowing about it. I think I know the answer. If you don't want the NSA spying on you, get a job working at the NSA. That's how it works.

Snowden said today he was going to disclose all this information earlier, but he wanted to wait until after the election. To which Mitt Romney said, "Hey, thanks a lot. Appreciate it."

Hee hee! Thanks Jay! ( and your writers )

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think he doesn't really exist. A twentysomething GED Government contractor earning $200K seems like purest bull to me. I think he's a DISINFO campaign to damage Manning and Assange's credibility and scare potential whistle blowers.

No doubt, someone will be 'killed' trying to escape justice. Watch.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

hero!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Time will tell. A lot of former traitors are now heros and vice-versa. In the meantime I am grateful for the information he provided, it changed my perspective and I must admit I naively underestimated how far our so-called democracies are willing to go.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Edward is a traitor because security and secrete goes together .****

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

As a Brit, I would like to inform the Americans who have written here that your founding fathers, whom you worship, were traitors, terrorists and criminals. They broke the law and fought against the State. For better or worse, they won and we lost. Whether someone is a traitor, terrorist or hero depends on which side you are on.

Many of our, or at least my, heroes broke the law and fought against authority.

Maybe some of the writers are too young to remember the cold war and the Soviet Union. The West believed that the Soviet Union was evil, Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire, as there were informers and spies everywhere. The greatest evil was spying on their own people so that they could not freely express their thoughts and protest for fear of being prosecuted in a show trial and sent to a gulag. The same situation occurs in North Korea now, and North Korea is consequently considered evil.

I cannot understand why, when it was evil for these countries to behave in this way, so many Americans seem happy to be spied upon by their government.

I also cannot understand why China should not spy on the United States and hack into their computers, yet it is considered all right for the United States to spy on the rest of the world.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Nothing new here.

An unacknowledged global eavesdropping infrastructure called Echelon has been intercepting our phone calls, faxes and data packets for decades from a string of listening posts including our own Misawa.

Big Tech gives them the perfect vehicle to exponentially up their game. If HR departments can snoop on our online history, we'd be naive in the extreme to believe intelligence agencies wouldn't.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"I would like to inform the Americans who have written here that your founding fathers, who you worship, were traitors, terrorists and criminals"

Ha ha, lol, you're confusing traitors, terrorists and criminals with people who supported independence from the Brits, like a lot of other people around the world in the former colonies. Some of those did own slaves, but they did make efforts to contain slavery, when slavery was at the height of its popularity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

An unacknowledged global eavesdropping infrastructure called Echelon has been intercepting our phone calls, faxes and data packets for decades from a string of listening posts including our own Misawa.

Which have said that the data collected had been used to extort many foreign governments and politicians.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Snowden went to China to avoid government persecution. That's like going to Ireland to avoid getting drunk.

Jimmy Fallon
2 ( +7 / -5 )

I don't know if he is a hero or not but I don't think criminal charges concerning the violation of the non-disclosure agreement would stick since the actions taken by the government itself is against the law in which case the citizen is required to notify the authorities.

Simply put you cannot place a non-disclosure agreement on an illegal act since if you follow the agreement then the person would become accountable as an accomplice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He is a traitor.... right or wrong he signed documents that swore him to secrecy. There are tens of thousands of now dead soldiers that took secrets to their grave for the good of the country. He's no Hero.... he is a Traitor.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The problem with USA is that its history is made out of good against bad. The bad could be Indians, communism or terrorism (not to say muslims to be politically correct).

The McCarthyism definitely embedded this view of the world in the american society. USA needs an enemy - could it be real or virtual - to keep its social cohesion and maintain its dependance of being perceived as the white angel of the world.

And this exasperates the rest of the world. Why is USA the main terrorist target? Answer this question and you can get rid of the NSA and its privacy killing practices.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No. It's pretty obvious that when news like this come out, terrorists will change the way the do things. Therefore, he is assisting terrorists.

I don't think that is pretty obvious. If they really can "change the way they do things" (so as to communicate in total secrecy), then surely they would already be communicating in such a manner. If they have now become aware that their communications might be being tracked (and they, in fact, cannot communicate in another, more secretive manner), then this guy might have actually stopped all their communications over phones and internet!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He is neither and consider this, what he has done is taken the focus off the very thing people should be concerned about and put it on him. He has given President Obama breathing room on a number of different political hot-potatoes, the IRS scandal, this intelligence gathering scandal, which btw everyone and their mother was bitching about during the Bush years as well.

It's just been taken up another few notches. He is a fairly young man in the "intelligence" field and while what he did may be morally correct to him, he did break a bunch of laws regarding secret information. That is something he needs to come to terms with but to put him on par with these men here is downright ignorant.

Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, going all the way back to guys involved in the Boston Tea Party and far, far back in history.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The McCarthyism definitely embedded this view of the world in the american society.

It's a really great point, Open Minded. Out of the results of World War II came a new vision of America by some of its leaders: The national security state. Followed by the establishment of whole new secretive structures like the CIA and NSA. Now that we've reached the point where we're in a permanent state of war, formally declaring one seems quite strange.

Since, in our perception, the communists/bad guys were breaking all the rules when it came to espionage, the good guys would have to learn to be even more devious and "bad." Seems to cause people that it's the rules and ideals -- and actually practicing them -- that separates the good guys from the bad. It's why the neutral creatures at the end of Orwell's Animal Farm could no longer distinguish between their leaders from their foes.

right or wrong he signed documents that swore him to secrecy.

Yah. It eez alvays better if one yust follows ze orders. If an entity is discovered to be involved in a secret criminal activity, they are entitled to their secrecy if one has signed the papers, and the papers are in order.

There are tens of thousands of now dead soldiers that took secrets to their grave for the good of the country.

Sad to think how many bought that line without ever using their God-given brain and conscience to question it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

danalawton1@yahoo.com: to become a hero you need to do an outstanding action. Challenging the authority or establishment is one of the bravest one. Could it be legal or not.

As an example the people who acted against Hitler did illegal things, but are heroes. To use a famous Hollywood movie example, Schindler is and deserves to be a hero.

The analogy is only here to serve the most important point: use your brain, humanity an altruism everyone has in his heart for the real good of everyone.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe some of the writers are too young to remember the cold war and the Soviet Union. The West believed that the Soviet Union was evil, Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire, as there were informers and spies everywhere. The greatest evil was spying on their own people so that they could not freely express their thoughts and protest for fear of being prosecuted in a show trial and sent to a gulag.

At least, "evil Soviets" did not steal a land of Native People. "Evil Soviets" fought Imperial Kwantung Army but did not bomb innocent women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Evil Soviets" did not try "to bomb Vietnam into Stone Age". Only brainless, uneducated westerners could believe Reagan , with his poor actor's skills. You are so impressed by Snowden's interview, aren't you? Why? He said nothing new after known facts about the Echelon, the Patiot Act, PRISM etc.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Please leave a comment and show that you support Snowden so the US gov can scrutinize your life. I feel big bro looking over my shoulder right now. :-) Let's hope you don't have a top security clearance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The 4th amendment is there for a reason.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He isn't a hero really, countries have been spying on their own citizens for centuries, and shock that people are feeling is their own hearts and minds being opened up to reality.

Where does the line get drawn? People in the US have lived in a cocoon for so long that they expect their government to protect them, yet do not want to have their own privacy invaded. But again where does the line get drawn? Who do they watch? How can they effectively keep the citizens safe from the nut-cases that run around the world with the intent of spreading anarchy and desire to see the downfall of the country.

It's a different reality, and the citizens of the US have to accept that for them to be "safe" they will have to give up many of the "rights" that they so dearly hold.

Nobody considers the alternatives, they only think about themselves, and "their rights".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Yubaru George Orwell warned us about people with your views, but most did not listen.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yubaru Jun. 13, 2013 - 06:44AM JST It's a different reality, and the citizens of the US have to accept that for them to be "safe" they will have to give up many of the "rights" that they so dearly hold. Nobody considers the alternatives, they only think about themselves, and "their rights".

The U.S. government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe. Subsequently, U.S. government counter-surveillance networks have become huge, supported by thousands of government employees and private contractors, many duplicating work. There are now tens of thousands of U.S. government counter-surveillance agents, employees and private contractors monitoring U.S. citizens’ private records and communications with no U.S. Congress or public oversight.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The U.S. government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe.

sfjp330 is really onto something here, in my opinion. The model may not be Orwell's 1984, but Franz Kafka's The Trial.

As The Atlantic recently put it:

I suggested a different metaphor to capture the problems: Franz Kafka's The Trial, which depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used. The problems captured by the Kafka metaphor are of a different sort than the problems caused by surveillance. They often do not result in inhibition or chilling. Instead, they are problems of information processing--the storage, use, or analysis of data--rather than information collection. They affect the power relationships between people and the institutions of the modern state. They not only frustrate the individual by creating a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, but they also affect social structure by altering the kind of relationships people have with the institutions that make important decisions about their lives.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/why-should-we-even-care-if-the-government-is-collecting-our-data/276732/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ falseflagsteve...

@Yubaru George Orwell warned us about people with your views, but most did not listen.

Easy to be flippant, but where do you draw the line? You side-stepped that, and there is no one here who can give a fair reply either. It's complicated beyond belief.

@ sfjp330

The U.S. government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose......

I do not disagree, yet I ask you the same question, where do you draw the line? What would YOU do if by some miracle you were suddenly given the power to oversee the situation with the duty to keep the country safe from all enemies "foreign and domestic"?

What would you do? Keeping things "transparent" works both ways.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru Jun. 13, 2013 - 07:43AM JST What should YOU do if by some miracle you were suddenly given the power to oversee the situation with the duty to keep the country safe from all enemies "foreign and domestic"? What would you do? Keeping things "transparent" works both ways.

Obama said he would be a transparent president. After all, Obama is the one who said he would stop these programs, right? Which means he knew about them before taking offiice, so why is he so upset? Is it because he had no intention of ending them, but now the fact that he allowed the same things Bush allowed is known to the entire public? They have all known this was happening for years and the the goverment had no intentions of ending it or even talking about it. The only reason we are talking about it now is because Edward Snowden exposed the problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Perhaps the U.S.A. should quit making enemies.

That might make the country safer.

With covert and overt operations, they've managed to make enemies in just about every country in the Middle East and seem determined to create a similar situation in Asia.

The U.S.A. should take a long, good and honest look at what it is doing to bring about the situation instead of putting the blame on "them terrorists."

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Both president Obama and British PM Cameron promised open and transparent governments, and both have failed to deliever.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Those who say traitors are people who would rather stay quite and let governments do things like robbing resources or wage war on other countries, as long as stock prices keep going up, oil prices down, and latest gadgets are in hand.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's complicated beyond belief.

It's complicated by design, Yubaru. America's real enemies are the self-serving securocrats, exploiting the ignorant, denouncing the informed, and feathering nests higher up the food chain.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The question should be how can Edward Snowden be guilty of treason if the NSA claims it isn't spying on you? History holds Daniel Ellsberg in fairly high regard for leaking the Pentagon Papers, and it will likely be the same for Snowden.

Much depends on whether he's permanently silenced (read: assassinated) and/or the "success" of false-flag ops carried out to prove what a bad thing he did.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Geek?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He is neither. He is an attention-getter.

"Perhaps the USA should quit making enemies"

Perhaps the USA, being as how we're broke, should stop foreign aid.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Traitor.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hero. Although this is really old news. It was reported on back when Bush was still president. At the time nobody seemed to care...

As a Brit, I would like to inform the Americans ....

That's the problem with Americans, we're revolting. But if George III had this kind of tech there wouldn't have been a revolution, eh?

There has always been a group on this board that go on about how a serious abuse of power wouldn't happen in the US or Britain because of democracy.

It's also interesting that sales of "1984" have gone up by 1000% since the story was published in the "Guardian". Big brother indeed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Both Manning and Snowden are Heros! We got to remember that the government serves the people and not the other way around. If there is a national security concern, and there is a need to spy in on people's conversations or emails, it needs to be done legally through due process.

BTW JT, you might want to stick a couple of commas in that question. Its too long and has a kind of dangling modifier in it..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bin Laden prior to 9-11 had two goals; draw America into the Middle East in long protracted campaigns and the erosion of personal freedoms due to fear. That war on terrorism was lost as soon as G W Bush tried to think and the USA citizenry pooped it's collective pants. Check out how easily it's citizens give away whet they sing about at every baseball game and chant everyday in school. Free and brave don't put up with the NSA and homeland security acts. Torture, yeah America does it unashamedly. Fear will do that. Time you changed your national anthem. "God help America" has a ring to it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the U.S.A. has a death wish.

It's made enemies in just about every nation in the Middle East, seems bent on doing the same thing in Asia and now with the covert operations of the CIA and NSA, it's even making enemies in its own people.

And it doesn't seem to be the slightest bit aware of what it is doing to cause it.

Sure, Manning, Snowden and a few others are brave enough to stand up to them, but if a few more don't do it and start to create some freedom, there isn't going to be any more left.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since, in our perception, the communists/bad guys were breaking all the rules when it came to espionage, the good guys would have to learn to be even more devious and "bad." Seems to cause people that it's the rules and ideals -- and actually practicing them -- that separates the good guys from the bad. It's why the neutral creatures at the end of Orwell's Animal Farm could no longer distinguish between their leaders from their foes.

http://www.puppet99.com/?page_id=30 Globalist banks (Federal Reserve et al) put Lenin and Trotsky in power.

-same banks + US State Department put Mao (China) in power. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M70FWrfa3S8

Most eugenicist dictators are part of the same group (Hitler, Khmer Rouge). = Enemies are built up usually to control a populace and steal assets (force people to work again). If you cannot get a ruthless dictator in the next best thing is to pull the financial rug from underneath them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Great stuff Badsey3, excellent links.

Though I expect this will all be fobbed off with a stout denial and cry of "Conspiracy Theory!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*A selfless Hero,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You simply have to love how the people who consider him a traitor cite 'Communist China' and the problem with 'Chinese hacking' as proof of how bad the guy is and defending the American admin. on this, all the while forgetting they are condemning China for it's censorship, spying, and basic lack of human rights.

So, do you want to be China or not?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Traitor. I hope he likes living in China. That's the only place he will be able to live without having to constantly look over his shoulder wondering why the hammer will come down on him.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Traitor. I hope he likes living in China. That's the only place he will be able to live without having to constantly look over his shoulder wondering why the hammer will come down on him.

A traitor for exposing how the US government willfully disregards and violates the basic human rights of its citizens? You're right, maybe he'll find the freedom in China that clearly doesn't exist in America despite all their talk about 'the land of the free'.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hero or Traitor? Meh.

Either way, its not the question. The questions is whether meta data mining and more specifically Prism violate the 4th A.

I think no to the first, and yes to the second.

The real question, which no one is conveniently asking is, does the NSA need a warrant to look into the contents of my email?

It appears they do not. Which is a very big problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To me he is a Hero, if I was smarter, I sure would like to see a huge number of these Government Gangsters put down some DUSTY road.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Traitor.

He is a troubled man.

Strange, he did not ask for a wistlebrower protection. Instead, he went streight to Hongkong and then circulating this fiasco on newspapers. Well, now China wants to use him counter-attacking US. Yes,whole thing was well planned, and he is a traitor.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dick Cheney said he's a planted Chinese spy, talk about trying to pass the buck?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dick Cheney is the traitor, starting a war based on a pack of lies and sending thousands of Americans to their deaths so his mates can make a profit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We still don't have all the facts. I hear stories on CNN that he 'supplied information to the Chinese government'. Has that been proved or is it simply the US government spreading disinformation? Some have said that, if he didn't agree with what his bosses at PRISM were doing, he should have resigned and told his story on talk shows. There is no proof that I have read or heard that says he passed on classified information, merely that he blew the whistle on the US government for hacking into people's telephone calls and e-mail messages. So who are the criminals? Let's answer that question before we pass judgement on anyone.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well if people don't mind be spied upon, there are a lot of ex-stasi with a lot of experience who could use a $200.000 dollar job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sensible people are voting for neither- no surprises that this is occuring- no surprises for foreign governments or terrorists. Media and politician pretend to surprised otherwise its would be a dull week.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi,

Dick Cheney said he's a planted Chinese spy, talk about trying to pass the buck?

Herr Cheney said that?

It takes one to know one!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Did any traitors go to prison for leaking information about Valerie Plame?

Snowden, Manning and Assange are heroes, freedom fighters. Snowden and all other members of the U.S. security services should primarily be loyal to the people, not to a corrupt government which has been purchased by corporate interests.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd say a bit of both. Not a complete hero because he didn't evaluate that his actions would make him the target for getting information about the NSA by foreign governments such as China, Russia, Isreal, Iran, etc... Plus he not only notified the US people about the government program but pretty much every other government that does not have the US peoples well being in mind in the least. Utterly stupid on his part as well as breaking word on keeping certain things secret which is what a national security employee is supposed to do. Or at least covering his identity and remaining anonymous. Sounds like someone trying to be a glory hound.

What is good about it is that people in the US have to take control of the government. The US government is run by the people, but when too many of the same people keep getting into office and feel they have the right to do things that the people do not agree with and violate constitutional rights then they not for the people but for themselves.

The US government is for the people by the same people. The military consists of the same people who are willing to protect the people, not the government. Same goes with the CIA, FBI, NSA. Presumably they're protecting the people as a whole and not the government. Right now are they trying to protect the government only or the program that was supposed to be used place only to protect the people?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All this unacceptable and abusive "intelligence" just to satisfy the insatiable need for oil by the US. All these wars and deaths just to make these cars running. Sacrificing the basic privacy freedom for the freedom of driving supercharged trucks and maintaining below 20 Celsius A/C. What a lost society!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One of the mandates of the Federal Gov't is national defense/security - if they need to listen in to voice traffic/read emails in order to identify threats then so be it. Pretty sure the NSA would have high powered computers/programs that would search out certain key words or phrases to be used as a base to start an investigation.

Snowden possibly put the country and people at risk by disclosing this information

but we'll more than likely never get the whole truth anyways

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bertie

I think the U.S.A. has a death wish.

NOT us, but Snowden it seems like.

It's made enemies in just about every nation in the Middle East, seems bent on doing the same thing in Asia and now with the covert operations of the CIA and NSA, it's even making enemies in its own people.

Oh, so you think because of our involvement in the Middle East that is the reason why they don't like us, then it means you really don't understand the real history behind it, that is NOT the main reason. Do you understand the purpose of the CIA and the NSA. I have an uncle that works for the CIA and when we get together, I always have tons of questions that I really want to know about, but he says, he cannot ever divulge what goes on, the papers and documents that they have to sign promising to never give out any information, not even to their spouses. I understand, doesn't stop my curiosity though. Snowden is the worst vile of filth out there. As I said before, this guy could open the door and have us all killed, millions of Americans and for what? His own selfish personal gain. This man, decides to think for the entire nation that it is ok to go to our enemies and divulge every single vehicle we use to protect ourselves and he goes and tells the Chinese???

And it doesn't seem to be the slightest bit aware of what it is doing to cause it.

You just don't get it and you don't see the serious repercussions of this thugs actions.

Sure, Manning, Snowden and a few others are brave enough to stand up to them, but if a few more don't do it and start to create some freedom, there isn't going to be any more left.

I wouldn't call it brave, I call it the highest level or cowardliness and treason. If these people were innocent, why not get a lawyer go with your lawyer on TV tell the nation what you, set yourself up for a good defense, yes, you will be arrested, but stand your ground, always stand your ground if you believe you have nothing to hide, that's how I was raised. That's also how you tell what a real coward is, Snowden fleeing, Manning hiding proves just that. They left us open and vulnerable and I do hope and pray this thug gets his due justice by any means. Bertie, what the Hell are you talking about Freedom? What Freedom was taken from you? If your Freedom was really taken or being threatened, then you wouldn't be able to write these outlandish posts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What we now have is a shift in what is acceptable in the world of liberty. There was a time when the spying on individuals by Russia, China and other nations was thought as an invasion on freedom of Democracy. The U.S. as a model of “best practice” has now established such limitations are now ancient history and spying on the population is perfectly acceptable in any democracy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Legend.

Time for a new world order.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Being in the spying business is not an easy thing, to follow up and to listen to your enemies. Every nation has been doing it, nothing new, however, divulging that information is something totally different. Most nations will always have a system in place for safeguards. They spy on us, we spy on them, same old, same old. It is NOT for idiot traitors like Manning and Snowden to take it upon themselves to tell the world our secrets. Liberals are funny people, they think Benghazi is not a cover up, Clinton and Obama had nothing to hide, but Snowden comes out and Yes, the government has everything to hide. Again, selective, nitpicking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bass4funk,

Bull puckey. It is our business. It's everyone's business to ensure that the principles we claim to uphold as a free society are indeed upheld. Those who would simply shut their eyes to such egregious breaches of Constitutionally protected personal privacy as PRISM represets simply for a perceived sense of safety are far greater traitors to the constitution than Snowden will ever be and cowardice of the highest order. Furthermore, the kind of complacent lemming attitude it takes to boil this issue down to somethig so trite as Spy vs. Spy is embarrassing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We do need whistle blowers. Otherwise we might never find out what our government is doing to us. Might I point out that he did not make any money of of this that I know of and he knew the danger to himself. In all governments national security usually means hiding the illegal things he government is doing to its own citizens. Only rarely is it about any so called enemies,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@LFR

It is our business. It's everyone's business to ensure that the principles we claim to uphold as a free society are indeed upheld. Those who would simply shut their eyes to such egregious breaches of Constitutionally protected personal privacy as PRISM represets simply for a perceived sense of safety are far greater traitors to the constitution than Snowden will ever be and cowardice of the highest order. Furthermore, the kind of complacent lemming attitude it takes to boil this issue down to somethig so trite as Spy vs. Spy is embarrassing.

This is so mind-numbing! How is it bothering your freedom?? They are not checking your phone calls and even if they did, who cares. you didn't do anything wrong, right? So what and why should you care? The NSA can listen to me at anytime, I have nothing to hide. You will not eradicate it, but I worry about the people in the field and people like Snowden will make the jobs of the DOJ, NSA more difficult. If in the future we God forbid get attacked or they bomb a plane or a building our enemies know exactly how to bypass our security protocols and why because people like you want our NSA and the DOJ to spill all our secrets, so we are totally are defenseless, thousands of people die, but as long as everything is out in the open and your privacy is protected, who cares, right?

@Chris

We do need whistle blowers. Otherwise we might never find out what our government is doing to us. Might I point out that he did not make any money of of this that I know of and he knew the danger to himself. In all governments national security usually means hiding the illegal things he government is doing to its own citizens. Only rarely is it about any so called enemies,

Seriously? We don't need to know that deep as to how our government keeps us safe, just as long as they do. Snowden didn't make ANY money as of yet! That doesn't mean that he WON'T or never will! The information that he has in his head, the guy could fetch millions which is a small price for gaining that kind of info. Again, if Snowden were innocent, then why run, why run into the arms of our enemies! Yes, he knows the rules and the consequences of his betrayal. He signed all these documents, signed them, knowing that he can spend the rest of his life locked up in a prison cell or worse, depending on how they government sees how much damage he can cause. The guy needs to caught ASAP!

Only rarely is it about any so called enemies,

Are you on their payroll, how to you know this and how can you pass that as fact when you have No truth of this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Given the choice between hero or traitor, I would definitely choose hero, but I would like a third option: Jason Bourne or James Bond wannabe. J.B. wannabe for short.

Did we need Snowden to tell us that the Internet is monitored? Did we need him to tell us that British and US intelligence services monitor foreign diplomats communications? I don't think that he is a traitor, but at the same time it seems to be he is saying something obvious that just is not said. Obama sometimes has a dirty bottom. The NSA intercepts emails. I must be missing something. I don't think that he is going to get "murdered".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting that the people who don't think its a problem, country before individual privacy would be up in arms if the same gov't compiled a national registry of gun owners, which would also be a case of putting the country first before individual rights?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sifting specific information from meta data is obviously an efficient way to collect information which might protect innocent civilians, but there are a number of problems: potential for an unchecked unbalanced body to abuse the power it has found; it could economically hurt US corporations who cooperate by giving data; it lowers the trust of US allies.

One might propose that an independent body under the direction of congress act as a watchdog and put computer experts to monitor the NSA's technical content and report back to congress.

I wouldn't say there is imminent danger of abuse of power, but I would say that with enough time systematic abuse would appear if there were no INDEPENDENT checks and balances.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

to somewhat quote Ben Franklin - Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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