How can you fault someone for exposing what a corrupt government is doing to us?
Ellsberg can admire him all he wants. Their respective courses of action are
nothing alike. Nothing Ellsberg did remotely approached the espionage and
betrayal of sources and methods to hostile foreign powers that Snowden appears
engaged in. It's ironic that the Right Wing has suddenly
recognized a liberal like Ellsberg as a hero considering that they viewed him as
a leftist hippie traitor for 4 decades.
Daniel Ellsberg had this to say about Edward Snowden:"His life
was like mine. It’s very easy for me to identify with his choice, his
decision, his performance.""I definitely have a new hero in
Edward Snowden, the first one since Bradley Manning, and I’m glad it
didn’t take another 40 years. People who respect or admire what I did,
they may not realize it right now, but before this is over, they’ll
recognize that he deserves great admiration. And people who hate what I did, can
Supporters of Snowden keep drawing comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg and the
Pentagon Papers. But that's apples and oranges. The Pentagon Papers
revealed that the government had been lying about victory in Vietnam for years
at the cost of thousands of American lives. Ellsberg tried working within the
system, bringing issues to the attention of his superiors and members of
Congress. He decided to leak classified materials only when rebuffed. Then he
stayed in the United States and faced the consequences of his actions.Contrast that with Snowden, who did not take his oath seriously, took a
classified job with the intent to leak information, made no effort to work
within the system first, stole information about a controversial (but still
legal) program, then fled the country before beginning his disclosures, and now
this self-proclaimed martyr for government transparency seeks political asylum
in two of the most authoritarian countries in the world, likely committing
espionage on behalf of nations hostile to the US.Yes, the ethics of
national security need discussion. But Snowden is no hero. Keep him in limbo
SEY,"....Edward Snowden has explained that he did *not* expend
law on a "personal whim." It was with the greatest inward
don't regard Snowden as credible in anything he says having to with actions
for which he now faces serious Federal criminal charges. Flight to escape
prosecution doesn't sound like a man following conscience, higher law, or
whatever language he offers as subterfuge. No 'cause' if
that's what he calls it exempts him from accountability before the law. His
best hope if he's ever brought back to face justice is to hire a top notch
attorney and keep his mouth shut.
Craig Clark: any individual who sees illegalities or immoral behavior on the
part of his or her bosses has an obligation to report it, wouldn't you say?
And if you know that previous reporters have been either fired, prosecuted to
the point of poverty or even jailed for doing so, what do you do, especially
when the misconduct takes place amidst the highest levels of national security?
Do you just give in to the so-called Nuremburg Defense: I was only following
orders?Edward Snowden has explained that he did *not* expend law on
a "personal whim." It was with the greatest inward deliberation, knowing
that he would be persecuted, defamed, separated from family friends and country
when he decided to follow the U.S. Constitution instead of the contract he
signed. When two directives like that conflict, I hope everyone would follow the
higher law. It was obvious to Snowden that he could not follow them both.one old man: I have nothing to add to what I said before. I just find
your comment incredibly disproportionate to what is at stake here.
SEY - yes.Big Money has already done an excellent job of destroying
the middle class and real democracy in America. Our tycoons are much more
dangerous but much sneakier and influential than the NSA. They are the
terrorists we really need to worry about. But they manage to fool too many
SEY,"....Actors of civil disobedience have made a choice to
follow a higher law than the ones found in their contracts. Those are laws of
morality embedded in the Constitution of the United States."______________________________Who decides that? Any or every
public servant on his own when no two of them who swore an oath think alike on
everything? Can government function like that? If law is expendable on a
personal whim, then the social contract on which the Constitution claims its
legitimacy is of no force, either legal or moral.That’s what
makes Snowden’s conduct seem less like that of a public servant than a
soldier of fortune.
Candidate Barack Obama had this to say before he was first elected to the
presidency: "Often the best source of information about waste,
fraud and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to
public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism
should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush
administration." Since then, now-president Obama has invoked the
anachronistic Espionage Act more than twice the number of times than all
previous presidents. Snowden has seen what happens to whistle-blowers who report
government abuse through the system. Ask Thomas Drake, Bradley Manning, John
Kiriakou and several others what good comes from following the chain of command
in reporting abuse. These men were either jailed or ruined professionally and
financially from trying to defend themselves from the world's strongest
government. Actors of civil disobedience have made a choice to follow a higher
law than the ones found in their contracts. Those are laws of morality embedded
in the Constitution of the United States.
Shazandra,"....Snowdon couldn't figure out the myriad of
ways to appropriately blow the whistle, contact a congressional
committee/private lawyer, or expose private government data without compromising
lives "in the field...."______________________________Those and other methods might have been far more effective if blowing the
whistle was what this 'concerned citizen' sincerely set out to
accomplish. His escapade seems more like it was the limelight he was after.
Edward Snowden the showman and not a very good one at that.It
wouldn’t surprise me if he goes for a book deal with a publisher who
isn’t afraid to have its own reputation tainted.
Hopefully no FaceBookers are complaining about the NSA cache. They should be
automatically prohibited from complaining, if they are open "frienders"
to the world.Anyone on FB should be mercilessly hounded and all
their publically-shared TMI exposed to the world. Those who shamelessly expose
every human act and facet of their lives and infiltrate innocent friend's
and family's FB accounts with their shallow drivel have no grounds for
joining this debate. Hmmph! IMO. :-)
Snowden has struck out on his every bid for asylum in a foreign country so far.
Wandering boy now complains that the Obama Administration is making him a
stateless person. That poor persecuted me angle doesn't show much dignity
for a heroic martyr. He might even be starting to wonder if maybe this
wasn't such a good idea after all.
One old man: do you seriously believe the potential for blackmail, imprisonment
or worse from government abuse is of less concern than anything businesses can
do to you?
When you sign confidentiality agreements, exclusive restrictions and vow to
honor the security protection of our citizens, your signature is your bond. You
accept paycheck on that premise; resign if you can't support your
employment terms. That's how you spell hero: H-O-N-E-S-T-Y.Someone didn't "get" that part of the employment deal.
Someone/Snowdon couldn't figure out the myriad of ways to appropriately
blow the whistle, contact a congressional committee/private lawyer, or expose
private government data without compromising lives "in the field". Just
saunter into a dangerous country and see how quickly you attract the dark
vermin. Our friends in the Balkans can't even do open humanitarian, NGO
aid with U.S. churches without being compromised when a rogue church member
rushes to do a local op-ed upon return home, thus casting doubt on the integrity
of that group's goals from the "iffy" nation's perspective.Don't like our government's restrictions? There's a
whole other entity out there just waiting for your skills. Violate their
tyranny and enjoy your uncozy cell and torture rack. You'll be fantasizing
Sounds like a movie starring Tom Hanks.And Mainly Me, do you know
who is collecting countless bits of personal information about you every day and
then using it to actually target you for advertising? Or who is collecting
personal information and selling it to others? And do you have any way of
knowing what else that other information they have on file is being used for?I'm not talking about our government here. I'm talking about
the big money giants of "Free Enterprise." I worry more about what
Walmart or a big bank is collecting and how they are using it than I do the
NSA.Snowden would be a much greater "hero" if he had exposed
the nefarious activities of Big Money when it comes to collecting and exploiting
our personal information.One final question: Are we SAFER as a
result of Snowden's actions or might we actually be in greater danger now?
I can't think of a better punishment for Snowden than to just ignore him
and leave him in Moscow. If he thinks life is so much better with the Soviets
and Chinese then let him stay there. It would save a lot of money if we just
ignored him and never allowed him to come home.
How do you spell "hero?" S-N-O-W-D-O-N