Comments about ‘Letters: Snowden no traitor’

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Published: Friday, June 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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SEY
Sandy, UT

"National security has become public religion and any questioning of it, sacrilegious," says Daniel Ellsberg in defending the heroic act of Edward Snowden. Ellsberg is a hero in his own right for exposing "The Pentagon Papers" in the 1970's.

Along with Bradley Manning and others, Snowden has turned over classified information highly embarrassing to the Obama administration and the nation's security agencies. None of it has placed its agents in harm's way. Ellsberg further points out that the Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined. So much for his vaunted transparency.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

It began with the present President and continues through many years of previous national leadership? Huh? So now someone who reveals national security secrets is a hero because Barrack Obama is the President? My, my.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Prag. No, no, its that whistle blowers are revealing Obama's secrets that has the White House so upset and hence the new definition of "traitor" has been born! If not, why did Lois Lerner fall back on the 5th amendment rather than answer questions about the IRS abuses of power and why did Obama come to Eric Holder's rescue by issuing an executive order stopping the fast and furious investigation. Its also why Hillary will not answer any questions about Benghazi! Therefore, anyone who exposes the White House's secrets is a traitor! See how far we have descended in America?

Che
Payson, UT

Snowden hasn't revealed any classified info. He's revealed that our government is wholesale spying on its people, out of control. If you study the history of the three men mentioned at the end of the letter writer's comment, you'll see what their government did to them when they brought up exactly what Snowden revealed. And they did it within the NSA through proper channels. No wonder Snowden'd hiding in Hong Kong. He's given nothing to any government. Just a general revelation of what this government is doing to its own people. And it's been going on for a long, long time. Obama is just using it to the extreme.

There's actually an appropriate way to use the NSA in investigating terrorists that works, that the three fired NSA gentlemen explained recently, but it was rejected by our government. No one but possible terrorists would have their communications followed illegally by our government.....not all of us. The huge storage facility in Utah would never have been necessary.

Open your eyes America.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

As a liberal, I agree that Obama has overseen policy that has a major chilling affect on whistleblowers and such practices are absolutely appalling. From gov't whistleblowers like Manning and Drake to hackers such as Aaron Schwartz to Obama's unwillingness to prosecute members of the previous administration, the federal government has run amuck in the security/information space. Obama is no liberal.

However, it is equally important that we, as citizens, learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. The recent revelations about the NSA, FISA court acquiescence, and Congressional indifference all ought to see heads roll in those respective governmental realms. On the other hand, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the IRS thing are all non-starters and have no merit. Those need to go by the wayside.

If conservatives really want Obama out of office, there currently exists common ground between them and people like me to push for his removal. But that common ground is found in legitimate concerns like the NSA or drone program, not some trumped up, fictitious "scandal".

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO he is not a total Hero. Also not a total traitor. That's possible you know. There is some gray area.

He broke his solemn promise. He swore to not expose what he would learn as an NSA employee. IMO that's not heroic. But sometimes you have to compromise and decide what is the greater good/bad.

He's not a total hero because he didn't stop at exposing the extent of the surveillance going on. He has also threatened to expose other secret operations and techniques of our terrorism defenses weekly if the government doesn't give in to his demands. That's not the actions of a hero.

I can see how he made the decision that exposing the surveillance was a greater good than keeping his promise. But I don't get the blackmail program that followed and the threatening to leak other more damaging information to our national defense each week. That kinda took him out of the "Hero" book for me, and started the needle towards the "Traitor" side of the scale.

He could have avoided breaking his oath. There are legal government whistle_blower avenues besides exposing secrets to the enemy.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I get it I get it.

Blow this whistle on Bush? You're a traitor.
Blow the whistle on Obama? You're a hero.

Repubs are still hurt over their latest beat down in November. Yet, attacking Obama isn't making your GOP party of old white males who hate science look more attractive. If this is going to be the GOP's strategy then they will lose the White House once again.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Maverick. I fear your partisan ideology has blinded you to the point you can not see that your emperor has no clothes! If anyone but Obama was in the White House you in particular would be hyperventilating about the ongoing corruption! Some people on both sides of the isle willingly trade morality for political partisanship but your side is gaining a monopoly on that unfortunate trait!

Che
Payson, UT

2 bits.... "There are legal government whistle_blower avenues besides exposing secrets to the enemy."

Are we the enemy now? Apparently you don't know what happened to the three who brought this up the last time....properly, in channels, etc. Arrested at gun point in their homes, jobs lost, just for mentioning it at work as something that needed to be corrected and done a better, more efficient way. We have an out of control government that no longer follows the Constitution. They are spying on us without following Constitutional restrictions. Who's the traitor? Who doesn't follow the law? Wake up.

The Real Maverick....What are you talking about? This is about all federal government, not just Obama. It's about Bush. It's about Democrats. It's about Republicans. It's about the Supreme Court. None of them follow the oath they all swore to....to uphold and support the Constitution of the United States of America. Talk about traitors. Read your history. Study the Constitution and what was said as it was created. All these guys are traitors to what this country is meant to be....free, with the opportunity to be all you can be.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

Heroes change things.

Nothing changed since the "revelations" by Eric Snowden, mostly because he didn't tell us anything new. The NSA continues data gathering today, just as it did the day before Eric Snowden grabbed his 15 minutes of fame. He was a blip on the radar, accomplishing even less than that "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

How is blowing American security secrets and then running off to the Chinese (where he could be telling them even more information) not traitorous?

How is telling the Chinese ANYTHING Patriotic?

I fear that those who wish to bash President Obama are cutting off their nose to spite their face here. Anyone who sides with the Chinese cannot be considered a Patriot in my book. Sorry.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

On one hand we have government leaders calling for prosecution of Snowden for revealing the scope of the surveillance, as it is classified. Then we have the president saying the surveillance is 'transparent'.

The contradiction does not escape those of us with a brain.

If the program is transparent, then there were no secrets revealed by Snowden because it was all in plain public view, thus not secret.

Che
Payson, UT

FreedomFighter41....

Or should I say ObamaSupporter41? You certainly aren't fighting for freedom. Read and think about what you said.

You assume Snowden is telling US secrets, which he hasn't and isn't doing. Just revealing the fact that we, US citizens, are being spied on. He's giving them no secrets, just hiding out there to avoid what happened to the last three NSA guys who spoke against federal government behavior in the NSA.

Siding with the Chinese? Do you know anything about Hong Kong? It's not the China you're thinking of. So, if you go for a visit to Hong Kong, or Russia, or Mexico, does that make you a collaborator? Guess we can assume you hate America and are telling all you know to anyone who will listen.

Try sticking to the facts, not assumptions. Become a real FreedomFighter41.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Che,
He didn't expose it to us... he exposed it to the Chinese. We just heard about it when our media reported on what was being reported in foreign news papers. Surely there was a way to get it out there without giving it to the Chinese and threatening to expose all our NSA activities and techniques.

If he was exposing it to us... he should first expose it in the United States, not to a foreign nation. And he would only expose the program he found repulsive (though it's completely "Legal" under the Patriot Act). Not threaten to leak more NSA secrets that may compromise our national security.

There are programs for whistle-blowers where they are protected. He went to China to expose it instead.

no we are NOT "the enemy". But he didn't expose it to us... we just heard about it through the foreign press.

CLM
Draper, UT

Heroes bring about change by being catalysts for change. It's too early to know whether Edward Snowden will have been successful in making the transformation for which he hopes.

It may be that he has given others with similar knowledge and conscience to demonstrate their own civil courage.

It may also be that Snowden has motivated many of us to voice our concern over the excessive surveillance by the NSA. It is possible that pressure by an informed public could be brought on Congress to form a committee to investigate Snowden's revelations. His disclosures could lead to bringing the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and resurrect the protections of the Bill of Rights.

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

"Just revealing the fact that we, US citizens, are being spied on."

If this is news to us then we seriously need to become informed.

He has been telling the Chinese details. He has told them how and what we have been spying on them.

Anyone who must "flee" to the Chinese isn't a hero in my mind, but a traitor.

Once again, him telling us that we are being spied on shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. And if it is... Wow... Come out of your caves, stop drinking the kool-aid of whatever party you love, and become a true American.

I don't support the spying... At all! The NSA needs to be reevaluated. But that doesn't mean I condone Snowden's actions.

I will never support anyone going to the Chinese. I detest that. I hope he goes to prison for a very long time once we get our hands on him.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Che,

You appear to know exactly what Snowden is thinking, saying, doing...

If you can do the same magic with the stock market, please advise...

Thanks.

Che
Payson, UT

Thanks guys. This has been fun. Hope the NSA got its thrill as well. Too bad we even have to talk about all this.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

CLM,
Your overly simplistic definition of "Hero" is laughable.

You said, "Heroes bring about change by being catalysts for change".

Heroes are not just anybody who's a catalyst for change. Heroes would lay down their life for others to live on.

If a Hero is anybody who's a catalyst for change... Adolf Hitler was a catalyst for change, Pol Pot was a catalyst for change, Joseph Stalin was a catalyst for change, Benito Mussolini was a catalyst for change, General Franco was a catalyst for change, Vladimir Lennin was a catalyst for change, Chairman Mao was a catalyst for change. They were also brutal dictators who killed millions of their own people to bring about that "change".

A hero doesn't just bring change. He inspires others to change FOR THE BETTER. Christ is an example of a "Hero". He inspired others to change. He didn't kill them if they didn't change.

Snowden is NOT a hero IMO. He exposed MANY of our national security programs (which are currently 100% legal). I don't know if that makes him a "Hero".

SEY
Sandy, UT

Good heavens, 2 bits, your misreading of CLM's comment is astonishing! He/she didn't say that heroes are anybody who's a catalyst for change. Those are your words. CLM said something very different, and it makes your rant totally irrelevant. Go back and read it again, more carefully this time.

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