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Obama says Snowden leaks caused 'unnecessary damage'

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President Barack Obama said Friday he welcomed a debate on the role of the National Security Agency

But forgets why we are having a debate in the first place.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yep I totally agree. The wife phoning me asking me what I want for dinner is a threat to the US.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What Obama calls "unnecessary damage" is merely slightly lifting the rug of deceit and exposing a fraction of the evil beast of which he holds the reins.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Most of the "unnecessary damage" of the last 5 years has been caused by Obama himself. I can't wait to see what else Snowden has up his sleeve,

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Snowden didn't cause any damage. He only exposed things that enabled the US to cause damage to themselves.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

caused necessary public awareness

15 ( +19 / -4 )

More like "inconvenient truth" and only 1% of the files have been released. Snowden is not stupid so it's pretty safe to say that he has even more files that could move the world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

There still needs to be a balance between security and the rights of the people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Snowden performed a public service and deserves recognition for what he did.

We need many more people like this if we are to recover from the damage caused by Bush/Cheney.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

keep in mind that this has done unnecessary damage to U.S. intelligence capabilities and US diplomacy

So what kind of 'important and necessary' debate does Obama want to have?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Snowden didn't cause any damage"

That must be why Al Qaida has made changes to the way they operate since the Snowden leaks, and Obama must either be lying or misinformed.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Diplomacy doesn't exist in America until such time the Government decides to stop dictating to leaders of foreign countries. We should not get involved in internal affairs of other countries because working citizens find increase in taxes, reduction in benefits, etc., & find our government is more concerned in caring for other people in foreign land. I admired Snowden for exposing NSA as this also alerted Americans to what was happening.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

is Obama holding a MBA degree ? NO

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

President Obama's remark makes me wonder what kind of world he lives in these days. It certainly is out of touch with his own White House. One might even say out of touch with reality. As it says in the article:

...a panel of legal and intelligence experts chosen by the White House recommended curbing the powers of the NSA, warning that its mass spying sweeps in the war on terror have gone too far.

Without Edward Snowdon how would we even know that? Without Edward Snowden's revelations would even the debate that President Obama welcomes have ever been remotely possible?

If this wholesale, potential rape of the world's freedoms continues, as it has been going on, the massive, all-encompassing seine net the U.S. intelligence services is trawling behind them will gather us all up, drag us down and drown us all along with a few terrorist minnows. Is that its real purpose? What the U.S. intelligence services are doing goes so against the U.S. Constitution that it is tantamount to treason.

The potential for future abuse is too great. It must be stopped. For that realization we owe Edward Snowdon.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I find it pretty ironic that Mr. Obama is talking about "causing damage." What's that story about getting the log out of your own eye?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

plasticmonkey: So what kind of 'important and necessary' debate does Obama want to have?

One that includes intelligent people across all spectrums. I really do think Snowden is different from Manning/Assange and I've said that from the beginning. But what bugs me is that he says he wants to have a conversation while at the same time making that conversation much more difficult by openly playing to the tinfoil hats. Writing an "open letter" to Brazil saying that Obama forced a plane down is a lie. He knows it's a lie but he knows people won't care; they're willing to buy it. That worries me.

I have faith that there are some who will stand up and make a case for the people in government. I give Snowden credit for doing what he did, especially since he's been specific. Now he needs to step aside and let those who are less concerned about being famous start moving the process along.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

U.S. intelligence capabilities, which are used together with US military might to protect US corporate access to the world's resources, are what have caused, to put it lightly "unnecessary damage”.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Snowden performed a public service and deserves recognition for what he did.

We need many more people like this if we are to recover from the damage caused by Bush/Cheney.

You mean, technically the Obama admin. (Whose going to overhaul the country after he's out of office) Where the program was turned up on steroids over the last 5 years. If you think Snowden is a hero, fine, but on the flip side of that, he's without a doubt a criminal, telling the American people that their government is spying on them is one thing, telling the Russians and the Chinese that we're spying on them and how we do it is a espionage act, which is criminal, therefore, he committed a crime against his country. He's both.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Yes he did nick the files but its clearly been for a MUCH greater good, the real criminals are CLEARLY the NSA & US Govt, THEY have done the damage NOT Snowden!

If you Yanks want to continue to have your freedom(have you really even had it the last few decades, something to think about!) than you had better reign for Govt in as they appear no better than the commies running China! How bloody ironic is that!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unnecessary damage is harmful? Is necessary damage beneficial?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes he did nick the files but its clearly been for a MUCH greater good, the real criminals are CLEARLY the NSA & US Govt, THEY have done the damage NOT Snowden!

Soooo, divulging information to OUR opponents is the US fault? No one twisted Snowden's arm, he did that all by his lonesome. Again, that makes him criminal pure and simple. Evading arrest and hiding out in a foreign enemy country and giving them intel that has nothing to do with harming average American citizens is a clear act of espionage. Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, I wouldn't have had so much problem with what he did. He could have made a strong case, they could have given him clearance or a pardon or waived him from being procecuted, but what he did was treason in a nutshell and I just hope and pray, he receive justice. The lives, the people that are out in the field, the man put these people in harms way. So for me, I would prefer to see Snowden shackled and hauled off and put away for a very, very, very long time.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Bass4funk,

Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures . . .

Yes. What might have happened, if he had done so?

He might have been incarcerated, like Manning, waiting in solitary confinement for several years for "swift justice" with someone shouting "ARE YOU OK?" at him every five minutes.

Or he might have met with a tragic "car accident" like Michael Hastings.

If you really think that he would have been treated with respect and praise heaped on him for blowing the whistle on the NSA, you must have been hitting the Xmas cheer a bit too hard, my lad.

Who knows?

But what he actually did, was to take responsibility for what he knew.

Without him, we would not have known about the US government spy campaign.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, I wouldn't have had so much problem with what he did.

Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, you wouldn't have had any problem at all with what he did because you would never have got to hear of it.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

NSA.....The National Subterfuge Agency

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, you wouldn't have had any problem at all with what he did because you would never have got to hear of it.

Do tell us why, cleo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They all got caught with their pants down.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do we keep having this same debate?

I've tried to give you anti-Snowden people a heads-up about Russ Tice (the first NSA whistleblower) the last time this came up on here. In May of 2005, Russ Tice, an intelligence analyst for the NSA, DID go to Congress, and....ah F#%k it...here's the link.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Tice

Tice was terminated by the NSA in May 2005, just days after publicly urging Congress to pass stronger protections for federal intelligence agency whistleblowers facing retaliation. In September 2005, the inspector general issued an unclassified report that found "no evidence" to support Tice's claims, "that the NSA and the DIA were engaged in unlawful and unconstitutional wiretaps on American citizens"

OR in other words, breaking the law. And I might add, for reasons other than terrorism!

In reaction to Tice's claims, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, two prominent figures in conservative media, launched an offensive against his credibility.

So it does seem to be a reality that if you DO go through the proper authorities or channels, it doesn't do any good and your life is destroyed. Why is it so friggin hard for you guys to face the facts? You're either ten years old or brian washed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes. What might have happened, if he had done so?

He might have been incarcerated, like Manning, waiting in solitary confinement for several years for "swift justice" with someone shouting "ARE YOU OK?" at him every five minutes.

Sounds good to me, at least he would have time to reflect on his monumentous transgressions and still get 3 meals a day.

Or he might have met with a tragic "car accident" like Michael Hastings.

With his notoriety, I'm 100% highly undoubtable.

If you really think that he would have been treated with respect and praise heaped on him for blowing the whistle on the NSA, you must have been hitting the Xmas cheer a bit too hard, my lad.

Hardly, I just don't believe in conspiracy theories.

But what he actually did, was to take responsibility for what he knew.

And broke the law by divulging a huge part of that intel to our enemies, had he NOT done that, you might make a compelling case, but I'm talking about him running to China and Russia and putting a whole lot of innocent people's lives, NOT to mention our allies lives at risk.

Without him, we would not have known about the US government spy campaign.

As I said, my beef with him, he went about it the wrong way, now whatever comes his way, whatever that may be or however that may come, he has to live with the consequences.

Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, you wouldn't have had any problem at all with what he did because you would never have got to hear of it.

Don't think so. You can't say that. How would you know? But at least, the man couldn't have done the damage he did to this country.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

cleo: "Had Snowden gone to the US inspector general and followed proper procedures, you wouldn't have had any problem at all with what he did because you would never have got to hear of it."

SuperLib: "Do tell us why, cleo."

She can't.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

An easy and foolproof way to render people like Snowden completely powerless would be for the NSA to not break either the letter or spirit of the law and the Constitution.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think Snowden is doing the right thing. You know, laws are only there for those who made them first and foremost before protecting "the people" of the country. When you reveal the truth such as what Snowden had done, even if it breaks the law, it is still commendable. Treason or not, doing what he did needs a lot of courage. Risking yourself to let people know about the government's secrets is a respectable act. And just so you know, the American govt. wouldn't be facing such a problem IF IT DIDN'T DO SUCH THINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE. So serves them right.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Risking yourself to let people know about the government's secrets is a respectable act."

Perhaps you are unaware that Al Qaida would torture and kill you without hesitation or remorse if you ever got in their way.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

How can you run a country or any organisation when people supposed to be on your side let everybody knows your secrets?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Serrano - Oh? And the U.S. government wouldn't do anything to you if you got in their way either? @Anbinh - Like I said, if they didn't do the wrong things in the first place, they wouldn't be in this situation. People can only reveal your secrets if you have secrets to be revealed. And no-one is going to be on your side if you have a secret that might make them turn on you. In this case its a violation of privacy among other things.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Obama once again trying to use terrorism to take our rights away. I bet more than anything that Google and NSA are tag teaming and still spying on us as we speak. Facebook is a CIA profiling database to capture and store everything about you and your life and PRISM is a nice add-on to that which got leaked by Snowden.

I also bet that PRISM was not being used to spy on terror but they are using that as an excuse to devour your 4th amendment, the right to privacy. PRISM was a mass data collection system where all the private information about you were secretly being sent by Microsoft, Google, Apple via private server connections and few other big corporations who lied and said we don't give out your private info. Can you trust big corporations like the ones listed?

As much as the US Govt is at fault here the companies who agreed to handover your private information gets a away with it??

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Folks, if other governments had the money and technology, you can bet your last yen that they ALL would have done the same thing. We all spy on each other. Get over it. As for Snowden, he will never return to the USA except to get into the Fed Pen in Kansas.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah how unnecessary that we know now for certain that Obama lies to us often.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mr. Snowden is a P-A-T-R-I-O-T, just like John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and all the other framers of the US Constitution. He is risking his life over doing what he believes is right, just like they did 200+ yrs ago. He is doing more good for the world than almost anyone else I can think of in the last 10 yrs.

Is there unnecessary damage? Probably. Could he have affected change any other way

perhaps by reporting up his management chain? Probably not. leaking to selected reporting outlets, while keeping himself anonymous? Probably not. did he need to become identified? Probably. It was a matter of personal safety. If he tried to stay hidden, eventually, he would have been discovered in a hotel room with a bullet in his brain. Of this I am positive.

President Obama is a liar, but so were every other President of the USA for the last 100 years, at least. President Bush wasn't any better, that is certain.

If every US Citizen took the time to read the US-Constitution and 1st 10 Amendments annually, I don't think we would be in this situation. These are fairly short - perhaps 30 minutes total to read them all AND comprehend them. Wikipedia has copies. Pay careful attention to the 4th Amendment, please. It is only 4 lines long. I think that is why Mr. Snowden felt he needed to leak all these documents - his agency was systematically violating the 4th amendment to the US Constitution. That's big stuff folks.

Spying on US Citizens without a warrant is clearly against the US Constitution. Spying on other people around the world ... well, that is a completely different question. It is clearly bad for US businesses, but I think that every other country does something similar, just not with the same levels of expertise. Should we be buying made-in-China network equipment? Probably not.

I should say that I've held a DoD clearance where I couldn't talk to my boss about my job. My annual performance reviews were a joke. He would say that the client was happy, tell me I'd gotten the highest rating in the group and that was all he could say, then hand me a 3% pay raise with 50% of that coming as cash added to my next paycheck.

Fortunately, I never had any moral complaints about the secrecy involved. Did think long and hard about whether I could spill any secret information as part of our mandatory, annual, ethics training. I couldn't, at least not on purpose or through any deliberate action or inaction; not in my character.

Did Mr. Snowden harm data gathering around the world? Yep. No doubt. Should that data have been gathered in the first place? I don't know. I do KNOW that the data gathered inside the USA is unconstitutional, it will just take a little more time for the Supreme Court to agree with me. They've gotten that ruling wrong previously, but those are smart people and will overturn that ruling in the future, I'm positive. I have faith.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Then mr Snowden choose the wrong job ,so who are to say that no other countries spied and didn't we know or even suspected about it ,just watch James Bond ,I agree with Obama because I don't have nothing to hide and dont mind if he lissens to my fone talks of what I am going have for Lunch ,but I would be concerned with who I am taking my airplane and at least know that some one Out there takes care that my plane won't explode !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Indonesian government demanded apology from Australian government for spying on them. They made such a scene ,it looked real. They wouldn't care less about their spying on Australia ,day and night using sophisticated chinese made equipments. All thanks to Snowden. With his records like this I doubt any government will employ him. Anyway I feel sympathy for him ; he made one mistake ,too many.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Serrano - Oh? And the U.S. government wouldn't do anything to you if you got in their way either? @Anbinh - Like I said, if they didn't do the wrong things in the first place, they wouldn't be in this situation. People can only reveal your secrets if you have secrets to be revealed. And no-one is going to be on your side if you have a secret that might make them turn on you. In this case its a violation of privacy among other things.

Get over it. Spying has been around since the beginning of man, EVERY country does it, if they don't, it's because they don't have the budget. Other than that, they do. This is pure hogwash! Personally, I really don't care that Snowden revealed what the NSA is doing. He had a beef about the way they were spying on American citizens and he wanted to bring attention to it! Good, I get it! I can live with that. However, He went about it totally the wrong way, he was selfish and careless, he should have followed the proper procedures, but he didn't.

My problem is, he took it upon himself to play Judge and jury and go off to China and then Russia, think about it, why? Why not, run to the Swiss or the Netherlands? Why run to 2 countries that's sole interest is to dominate and or in the not so distant future, try to overpower or possibly go to war with the US? You think Russia and China really care about Snowden? These countries are champions when it comes to human rights issues? In Russia you get thrown in the Gulag for just singing Putin is a jerk, in China, you can't use facebook. Snowden thinks he's doing those countries justice? He has deep sympathy and empathy for them? I'm not buying it. Snowden knew what he was doing. He knew once he crossed that line and flew to Hong Kong, it was all over. He painted that large bullseye on his back, NO ONE else. He and he alone decided to challenge his own government by himself and disclosing vital sensitive intel to our enemies and for what? The man betrayed his country and because of that, he should be arrested and charged with the act of espionage.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

theFu: If he tried to stay hidden, eventually, he would have been discovered in a hotel room with a bullet in his brain. Of this I am positive.

So why doesn't the US government just take him out while he's in Russia?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gaijin DesiDec. 21, 2013 - 12:06PM JST

is Obama holding a MBA degree ? NO

He earned PHD in law degree, and was teaching a constitutional law at University.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He earned PHD in law degree, and was teaching a constitutional law at University.

Hard to believe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Give an inch, and they will take a mile. I don't think its a Chinese expression.

Of course, when they U.S. government does take that mile, all those supporting the NSA will wonder what went wrong, and probably never figure it out.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He earned PHD in law degree, and was teaching a constitutional law at University.

Must have been the University of Havana. Obama is making George Orwell into the new Nostrodamus. Omnipresent government surveillance together with unprecedented media control and you have Obama's new American dystopia.

Obama says Snowden leaks caused 'unnecessary damage'

No. Obama has caused 'unnecessary damage'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, Mr Obama, the Snowden leaks showed us all what you are really like. And its not very nice. Spying on your own people, taking away their rights, and spying on other people around the world is not on. You have been exposed as one who does not tll th truth, and one who likes to hide the truth from the American people. Impeach now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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