4 Americans meet Snowden to give him an award

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  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Oct. 11, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    @ Esquire: Did I oppose the Patriot Act passed during the Bush presidency? You bet I did. I stated then, and do now, that it was knee-jerk legislation designed to appease the unwashed masses. Now that was not very nice of me to say "unwashed masses" was it?

    Just because I identify myself as "conservative" don't for a moment think I bow at Bush's feet or spit at Obama's. There's really not much difference.

    Of course there is compromise in most legislation - it's the nature of the give and take of political life, but unfortunately, much recent legislation is "whack-a-mole" legislation. Legislators pounce on whatever the hot issue may be (terrorism, airport security, healthcare, etc.) without much thought, let alone understanding.

    With the Patriot Act, the politicians hopped on the bandwagon and many people joined the choir. What that piece of legislation should have been called was "Take Away Rights In The Guise Of Promising Security" Act.

    Don't back away from your notion that "Snowden supporters are naive and clueless" unless you want to. Fortunately for you and me, Congress cannot pass legislation to keep us from thinking as we wish!

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    I have a suspicion that most of this "intelligence" gathered has nothing to do with national security. I believe it is being used for insider trading, data mining and other nefarious ways of making billions of dollars.

    Why? Because that's what always happens. Why something can be used to make money, It will be used to make money.

    Did you know derivative trading is 20 times the size of the legitimate economy of the entire WORLD? Trading derivatives requires a great deal of INFORMATION.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:52 a.m.


    "Our situation is not even comparable to what the world was like when our founding fathers did their thing. The world has become a very complex situation with all countries maintaining a certain level of classified information to maintain their security in this environment. I tried earlier to explain this yesterday in more detail and the Deseret News declined to list it."

    I'm so sick of this "our nation is very complex" excuse. Our nation isn't very complex it's very tyrannical and snowden brought to light what some people already expected but that more people now know.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    1. Snowden as a refugee in Russia:

    Didn't David flee to the Philistines when the King of Israel sought his life?

    2. The 'secrecy' of four sympathisers of Snowden:

    Like Snowden these four men quite conceivably risk their lives and freedom in appearing to act against an administration that appears to delight in punishing its (not the nation's) "enemies" and reward its friends.

    3. "Guilty" conversations:

    I think it is pretty clear that what is suspected by many is that official eavesdropping is for the purpose of knowing and punishing those who do not support the administration especially those who work or speak effectively (albeit perfectly legally) against it.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Can the Patriot Act, so-called, or any other act purporting to protect us against enemies (ourselves apparently) override the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Supreme Law of the land?

    That is merely a rhetorical question. The Supreme Law is just that and cannot legally be counteracted, surely, by a novel piece of legislation. Innumerable regular searches of private correspondence and communications, no matter how effected, seem to me to be carried out in the spirit of those general warrants forbidden in the Fourth, and a lack of due process forbidden in the Fifth Amendment.

    It is the supreme law that federal officers swear to uphold not contrary legislation. No wonder respect for those officers has diminished while and support for a man like Snowden seems to be increasing.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @ Wyomex, I am not challenging your idea that you would "rather have a few 'guilty' conversations go unmonitored than everyone's 'innocent' conversations listened to." This argument has merit and should be openly debated. But did you oppose the Patriot Act and other legislation passed in the wake of 9/11? My issue is the hypocrisy, of Snowden and the four individuals, and of so-called conservatives who support Snowden now, but would have deemed him a traitor under a conservative/Republican Administration (as was widely done against those who spoke out in the Bush years. Want examples?). I agree our rights have been eroded, and I share those concerns. But Snowden took a curious path, violated his oath, was seeking access to secret info while he was at the CIA, etc. He is no saint. you9 can huff and puff about your credentials - I have my own - but I don't back away from my comment that Snowden supporters are naive and clueless.

  • Cool Cat Cosmo Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @ Taters;

    Perhaps Snowden was sloppy, and perhaps even jeopardized U.S. security. That being said, the U.S. federal government has gotten out of control. There are still many Americans who believe in the founding principles of our nation, and as much as things may have changed, many are still the same. Those in power still seek to aggrandize themselves and their hold on power, often at the expense of others' rights and liberties.

    Snowden's actions call to mind the actions of the British Traitor / American Patriot Nathan Hale, who upon getting captured after spying on British troops was hanged for treason. Perhaps you've forgotten them, so let me refresh your memory. When asked if he had anything else to say, he offered these humble words: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

    Now, to some Hale may seem a misguided, foolish schoolteacher. As for me, I believe that his actions were noble and admirable. Call him (and myself) naive, foolish, etc., but Edward Snowden sacrificed his career, relationships, and possibly his life to reveal our government's treasonous behavior. Can you say you'd do the same?

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    @ Tators, Esquire, et al. re: Naive and clueless? Not only am I 57, white, conservative, but I speak three languages, have held high positions in my church, started several successful businesses, am an attorney with an MBA, lived in four countries and was a finalist for a White House fellowship in the early 90's. I read several newspapers each day, including some outside our country. I do not say these things to boast, but to suggest that your broad brush description of those of us who think Snowden a patriot as "naive and clueless" may indict you more than us.

    I have thought deeply about these issues and respect those whose views differ from mine. In my view, though, as a country, we are on a path that is not good. With a longer, historical view rather than just the single Snowden "event" it is clear we have lost a lot of rights - personal, economic, moral and spiritual in the last three presidencies, Bush included.

    Snowden just took a bolder stand than the Tories in our country and they are giving him grief over it.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    I don't presume to divine Snowden's motivations. His actions may have been as much driven by resentment of his superiors as patriotism for his country. I do know this: the United States of America's founding fathers intended that no citizen should not be spied upon by the executive branch, nor data about him/her amassed surreptitiously, in the absence of a court order issued by the judicial branch, based upon probable cause to believe the citizen may have committed a crime. The NSA has lied to the FISA (FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court on multiple occasions that the NSA has admitted--let alone those lies which the NSA has yet to admit.

    Snowden is not necessarily esteem-worthy for what he did. But his exposure of NSA's collection and retention of data about law-abiding United States citizens is more likely to end up protecting our country's freedoms than to diminish them. Notwithstanding the growing threat from foreign and domestic terrorism, Americans' well-being currently stands in greater peril from executive branch tyranny.

  • Swiss Price, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    In the risk of being Verbose where he was concise, I want to agree with AntiBush-Obama. Snowden has more than most of our free press. They don't have the money to keep our government in check is the polite way to say they are toadies to their "fellow travelers" in government. They go along to get along and remain on the "{in crowds" party list.
    I suppose it could also be called the people's fault. When Christian Amanpour gets replaced by Stepanoupolis on this week it tells me that this country is so insular that Peter Jennings couldn't get an anchor job today. Yes, I know that her accent required listening more closely than most of you wanted to and the ratings tanked. But, I would remind you that Kissinger has the same problem. That is why he speaks more slowly at the start of an interview then speeds up as your ear becomes attuned. Sometimes you have to stop texting and multi tasking to actually her something important from someone who knows what they are talking about. But you are getting your pretty faced news readers and the the fourth estate you deserve.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Snowden is all about openess, and yet the discussion these four individuals had (one of whom had been indicted), is secret? The hypocrisy is off the charts with this stinking mess. For those of you who think Snowden is a patriot, I would bet anything in the world that you would sing a different tune if Bush was in office. Snowden flees to Communist China, then to Russia. How can you, and the four who went and saw him, be so incredibly naive?

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    I'm very sorry that so many well meaning people have chosen to view Snowden as a patriot. He is a kid who probably had no idea of the extent of harm he was doing to our country when he released so many classified and top secret documents. And now the trouble with people who sympathize with him is that they are naive and basically clueless.

    Our situation is not even comparable to what the world was like when our founding fathers did their thing. The world has become a very complex situation with all countries maintaining a certain level of classified information to maintain their security in this environment. I tried earlier to explain this yesterday in more detail and the Deseret News declined to list it.

    Please be intelligent enough to realize that there are many details about this massive release of information that was done indiscriminately and has jeopardized national security and individuals in critical covert operations more than the government has chosen to explain to the public.

    Please realize that Snowden is hiding for valid reason. The last way to describe him is as a patriot. He is not.

  • Cool Cat Cosmo Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    @ Wyomex:

    I couldn't have said it better myself. The title of patriot and traitor are interchangeable, depending on where you stand.

    In my view, as many other Americans, Snowden is a patriot.

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Oct. 10, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    @ Pipes: Traitors. Our country's Founding Fathers were "traitors" as far as the King and Tories were concerned.

    In the Declaration of Independence - which still has merit - we learn that "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it..."

    Did you and I give our consent (or even our elected officials) to much of the domestic spying, the eavesdropping and monitoring? No. We, and our representatives did not give our consent to that. This is what Edward Snowden is trying to say. He is not the traitor.

    Those who have abandoned the principles our founding fathers fought for are the traitors. Many in government have turned their backs on time honored truths found in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Many in the populace do not realize that these time honored truths have been trampled, but dance to the tune of those who beat the drum the loudest.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Oct. 10, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    An irrelevant award given to a traitor by traitors. Not really news in my opinion, the sooner we forget about Snowden, the sooner we can resume our rather ho-hum lives under surveillance by a government that has been very successful in preventing further 9/11 type events. Give me safety at a small cost in surveillance. If you are law-abiding and have nothing to hide, surveillance is meaningless.

    Makes we wonder about the honesty and desire to abide by the laws of everyone that complains about the surveillance. What are they afraid they are going to find?

  • Jil York, SC
    Oct. 10, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    It seems as if this man is a patriot and hero that has made a sacrifice for his country. He has our prayers.

  • Common Ground Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    Funny how he's happy to expose everyone's private information to the world, but not his own (like where he lives). Personally, I'd rather have someone I vote for (and can vote out) decide what happens to my information instead of every Edward, Julian and Bradley that takes that right upon himself. They're not heroes, they're criminals, and they can't justify their actions by saying that others are criminals too.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    An award by traitors for traitors presented to the latest traitor by past traitors. Yeah, that pretty much sums up the article.
    Hope Mr Snowden enjoys the freedom of his new home. I'm sure he'll find the transparency of the government of Russia much to his liking. Good bye and good riddance.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Our privacy has been "pirated." Kudos to Snowden for whistle-blowing.

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Oct. 10, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I'm a 57 year old, white, religious, conservative male Republican and I say "Go Snowden!" The Sam Adam's award is deserved.

    Another Adams - John, said "We are to look upon it as more beneficial that many guilty persons should escape unpunished, than one innocent person should suffer."

    I'd rather have a few "guilty" conversations go unmonitored than everyone's "innocent" conversations listened to.

    The big problem with Big Brother Government listening and spying on its own is knowing when to stop and where to draw the line.

    Face reality - there are far more deaths, preventable deaths, from the terrorism of abortion, alcohol and illegal drugs than ever from religious extremists. Let's put our resources where they can matter most and start seeing those terrorists who wear suits and ties as readily as those wearing robes and beards.

  • peacemaker Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Although there may have been some damage to the intelligence gathering capabilities of serious foreign enemies in and out of this country it is refreshing to think it may have a damppening effect on the invasion of the privacy of law abiding, patriotic American citizens. That privacy should be protected mightily as it is the very basis of non governmental intrusion into our lives. Hopefully serious oversight and introspection will be established regarding the often confusing laws of our privacy as established by the 4th Amendment. The vague definition of those laws now allows abuse at many levels.
    Without justified trust in government we will lose the very foundations of this great country.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Oct. 10, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    He deserves to get recognized for his patriotism. Snowden has more courage than most.