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Comments about ‘US has no plans to end broad surveillance program; leaders call leaker a 'traitor'’

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Published: Tuesday, June 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JSB
Sugar City, ID

This has a familiar feel to it. Remember the government's reaction to the Pentagon Papers?

Tators
Hyrum, UT

The biggest complainers of this program should consider that it exists only and solely to keep another 9/11 or Boston marathon bombing type tragedy from happening again. There are no other agendas or purposes. These same detractors would also be the first to complain if, after getting this national security program shut down, we ended up soon having another 9/11 type of tragedy.

People need to learn and accept that there are usually trade-offs in life. If you want a higher level of internal national security, a certain amount of personal privacy is usually the cost to be paid. Seldom is the best of all worlds available to us when so much is on the line. And such is the case now.

I also agree that the leaker, Snowden, is a pathetic national traitor for leaking classified top secret government information and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law when found. An enormous price is currently being paid for his notorious actions... more so than the general public seems to be aware of.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Tators
"These same detractors would also be the first to complain if, after getting this national security program shut down, we ended up soon having another 9/11 type of tragedy."

I opposed the Patriot Act when it was first proposed right after 9/11 so I already know what my reaction would be after that kind of thing.

"People need to learn and accept that there are usually trade-offs in life. "

I will decide where my personal line for tradeoffs resides.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

@tators

I usually disagree with almost every opinion you offer.

I agree with everything you said in your comment.

Legalize_the_Constitution
SOUTH JORDAN, UT

This seems like a bad dream and I'm pinching myself desperately trying to wake up. I feel like we have turned into the Soviet Union over night, with the loss of privacy and freedom and the ever growing evil empire central government that can and will take advantage of its power to control, coerce and attack its internal enemies which are you and I as citizens.

We are told to trust that the government is only using this information for worthy purposes like preventing terrorism, but then we have examples before us where groups are discriminated against (IRS scandal).

To complicate my nightmare, I see poll results showing that the majority of Americans are ok with the government spying on them, and I read comments to these articles where people post about how it’s ok and those of us opposed are conspiracy theorists with radical view points.

What has happened to my country? Big Brother is hear, 1984 is happening in 2013. This is the new Soviet Union, and I can't wake up from this nightmare. Oh please America, we need strong leaders to fight for our constitutional rights, I believe it is now hanging by a thread.

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

Tators and There You go Again?

So if your houses were on fire would you not want anybody to tell you?

"People need to learn and accept that there are usually trade-offs in life. "

I didn't agree to anything so this "trade-off" is null and void.

Paul Revere was also considered a traitor when he warned everyone that the Redcoats were coming.

Snowden is a Hero and a Patriot. Real Patriotism costs something and there are risks involved.

Spying without a warrant in this country is a FELONY. Those who engage in this regardless of affiliation are felons and traitors.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Leave it to BO to turn the NSA into the Stasi.

I don't think they bothered to poll Patrick Henry

atl134,
for once I agree with you

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

My constiutional rights are exempt from trade-offs of any kind.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

@Tators: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin

Terrorist threats are way overblown. Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack in a given year are about 1 in 100 million. You're around four times more likely to die by lightning strike and you're around 1200 times more likely to die in a car accident. It isn't the government's job to eliminate all risks. Trying to do that leads to huge abuses of power and losses of rights (as well as being tremendously expensive).

This war on terror is not worth fighting if the cost is giving up our liberty. It was Al Qaeda's goal to destroy our free society, and thanks to scaremongering and sentiments like those you express above, they are winning after all.

Snowden is not a traitor. Manning was- he leaked tens of thousands of pages of sensitive material indiscriminately with his emotional instability being the only real motivation. Snowden blew his whistle on one tremendous fact, on one enormous abuse of government power.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

To atl134:

You never explained what your reaction would be if you were a part of forcing the government to have less means of providing federal security and then having another 9/11 tragedy happen soon thereafter.

And just how are you and every other individual going to decide and implement what their own personal trade-off is going to be for having their own acceptable security?
Every single individual simply can't have their own personal preference in a nation of over 300 million people when dealing with such a all-encompassing federal matter. Saying such a Burger King type statement that I'll have it my own personal way when it comes to trade-offs is just unrealistic rhetoric that simply sounds good and idealistic, but is not reasonable.

We do and need to have a federal level policies, decided by our elected representatives, of what is best for our country as a whole when it comes to benefits versus trade-offs regarding any national issue. That's what a Republic is. And that's what our country has been for over 200 years. We elect our representatives and then they decide the laws and policies for us.

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

What Snowden did was illegal. He will likely go to jail for a very long time. In one of his statements he even mentioned that he accepted that possibility.
Remember though, illegal does not always equal wrong. What he did was the right and moral thing. He knew he had to act, even knowing the probable consequences. That is the true sign of a hero.
Whatever the rest of the world might believe, he recognized that his fellow citizens had to know what our government was doing to us. After that, it becomes our responsibility to act. If we choose to do nothing, then we deserve the nation we will inherit.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

@Anti Bush-Obama - They had a warrant for the program: "The first explosive document Snowden revealed was a top secret court order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that granted a three-month renewal for a massive collection of American phone records."

While I maintain that the government needs to be empowered to prevent terrorist attacks, I also concede that in recent years the government has overstepped its bounds. I believe most people are "ok with the government spying on them" because they don't have anything to hide, and they know the government isn't listening to their phone calls, just tracking who they call. However, I bet that many of these same Americans would suddenly have a problem with the program if the government used this program to prosecute them for other crimes, not linked to terrorism.

The bottom line is: the government will never be able to stop anyone who is determined enough from taking human lives. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try at all. How we go about doing that, and the limits we impose on the government are at where we all disagree, and may never completely reach a consensus.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

@Prodicus:

Do you really believe national security threats are way overblown? Do you have any rough idea of now many potential terrorist acts have been quietly thwarted by our national security teams since 9/11? Most people don't. They live safe little lives with their heads in the sand when it comes to such things... all the while believing they know everything about everything.

A big part of the reason we have those low odds of dying in an attack is because we do have diligent national security measures in place. As such, America is one of the safest countries on earth.

What's ironic is that you and other complainers have been all-the-while safely living your lives with this national security procedure in place and you had no idea whatsoever that you were giving up any personal liberties. Having this policy hasn't effected your personal life in any measurable way that you can determine.

And yet now that it's become public knowledge, you and others suddenly think we're all now public martyrs living in nazi gestapo conditions. Seems pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Communications are just monitored, not listened to... and not all.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Is this guy a traitor or hero? Hard to say at this point. If what the guy is saying is true then he is a hero for exposing a government gone wild trampling on it's citizens rights for little or no reason. After seeing what the same government did with the IRS targeting and intimidating illegally groups of people for their political beliefs then how can you possibly trust ANYTHING this current US government does or says? The trust level of the US government is at an all time low so I say let's keep all options wide open and give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I want to hear his proof and his case and I do NOT want politicians trying to silence him.

rvalens2
Burley, ID

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated., and no Warrants hall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Seems pretty clear to me, what the government is doing is CLEARLY illegal under the Amendment IV of the U.S. Constitution.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

To Anti Bush-Obama:

You are living in a fairly-land world if you think all of your constitutional rights you've been enjoying are exempt from any trade-off of any kind. In accepting your current way of life, you've already made many more trade-offs than you've ever thought about.

Your constitutional rights are for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Are you or anyone so naive to believe that our liberty comes without any costs or trade-offs? Having friends or relatives die in national wars is a trade-off for our current liberty. Needing to obey safety traffic laws is a liberty trade-off for our level of enjoyed safety.

There are hundreds of other ways we make personal trade-offs of almost every kind for the relatively safe and world-envied lifestyle we as Americans are free to enjoy. We have been making trade-offs our whole lives and usually never realize it. Now that this NSA policy has come to light, many people want to get on their soapboxes and complain about what was never effecting them to begin with. It's very naive.

killpack
Sandy, UT

@Prodicus

"Terrorist threats are way overblown. Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack in a given year are about 1 in 100 million. You're around four times more likely to die by lightning strike and you're around 1200 times more likely to die in a car accident. It isn't the government's job to eliminate all risks. Trying to do that leads to huge abuses of power and losses of rights (as well as being tremendously expensive)."

I think you make a very important point and one that some people are totally missing here. ADDITIONALLY, I think we need to consider another point even further. That is, while dying at the hands of so-called terrorists is not likely, dying in a state sanctioned gulag or concentration camp are relatively probable. In the past century or so, hundreds of millions in this world have met just such a fate. It was all done in the name of national security and it was all done against those branded as 'traitors.' The commenter Tators mentions above that this is the trade-off? Well, if that is the case, Tators, I say no deal.

rvalens2
Burley, ID

"The biggest complainers of this program should consider that it exists only and solely to keep another 9/11 or Boston marathon bombing type tragedy from happening again." - Tators

There were many clues pointing to 9/11 that the U.S. government ignored, but they weren't listening to "We the People" who submitted reports to the F.B.I. that foreigners were being trained to fly planes who had no interest in learning how to land. (Huh?)

Russia informed the U.S. government that the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers could not be trusted and had recently traveled to terrorist training areas, but again our government did not believe them enough to track him like they should have.

Both the terrorist attacks you use to bolster your argument, were the U.S. governments fault because they ignored information that they already had.

If anything our U.S. government has proven itself to be incompetent when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks. It is "We the People" who more often than not uncover these terrorist plots.

These government databases are a violation of the Constitution and are an unneeded invasion on our privacy.

rvalens2
Burley, ID

@Tators

A crime against the American people and the Constitution has been committed and you act as if it's "No big deal."

Your argument that we have been living under those security procedures for a long time is specious. Just because a crime has not been discovered doesn't make it any less of crime.

I simply do not trust the U.S. government, when it comes to how they will use and handle this data. There have just been far too many examples of government malfeasance to unabashedly say, "It no big deal."

It is a "Big deal" to me and many others posting here.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

This has been suspected for years. This story cannot be "news" to anyone.

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