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Comments about ‘What others say: Edward Snowden's limbo’

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Published: Tuesday, July 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

How do you spell "hero?"

S-N-O-W-D-O-N

Sal
Provo, UT

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.

one old man
Ogden, UT

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?

Shazandra
Bakersfield, CA

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 about GITMO.

SEY
Sandy, UT

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?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

Filo Doughboy
Bakersfield, CA

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. :-)

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

SEY
Sandy, UT

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

one old man
Ogden, UT

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 people.

SEY
Sandy, UT

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

SEY,

"....Edward Snowden has explained that he did *not* expend law on a "personal whim." It was with the greatest inward deliberation...."
______________________________

I 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.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

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 indefinitely.

SEY
Sandy, UT

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 hate."

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

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.

leonard
Oakley, ID

How can you fault someone for exposing what a corrupt government is doing to us?

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