Edward Snowden and 'The Man Without a Country'

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  • Freedom Huntsville, UT
    July 4, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    "Snowden apparently sees himself as a loyalist to human rights and principles of openness above nationality. It’s a new sort of dissident; a type of fanatic that, like all forms of fanaticism, ignores larger loyalties and rejects imperfections that would compromise ideals.

    It seems to be a form of narcissism, or self-actualization writ large."

    Or perhaps he is a man who is willing to stand, to sacrifice for truth. Novel idea in today's culture. He informs us that we're being spied on, the government makes excuses, we, apathetic citizens, roll over. Now, a columnist calls him a narcissist? What's wrong with this picture is that most don't know what's wrong with this picture.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 3, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I don't like the PatriotAct either, but that doesn't make what he did "Legal" or "Heroic".
    11:30 a.m. July 3, 2013


    You are perfecting fine having our Constitutional rights trampled?

    You see -
    This is my #1 pet peeves with Conservatives who SAY they love the Constitution.
    They are the first in line to roll over and trample it if it suits their agenda.

    Right vs. Wrong.
    It's a matter of Honesty and Integrity to be consistent.

  • leonard Oakley, ID
    July 3, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    Why would anyone take any information to the us media? They are complicit.

  • UniquelyLisa Norway, 00
    July 3, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    I am really scared to be honest. Scared for the future. It shocks me to realize that the priviliged american people, who always shout loudly about their freedom and their rights and how they are the best country in the world, DO NOT CARE that their freedom is slowly being taken away from them. When someone points this out to them, showing them how their government spy on them, they not only do not care - they call him a traitor!

    If you honestly believe what your government is doing is justifiable, then maybe you deserve what will come to you. Your rights, your very freedom to act according to your conscience will be taken from you, on the grounds that it serves "a greater good", "a higher purpose..."

    It is shocking that it seems so few have learned their lessons from high school literature. Have none of you read 1984, seen V for Vendetta, or even just look around in the world, or the history of the world to see what happens in societies where one is not free to think or speak as one wishes.

    .... cont.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 3, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    Yes... I still trust our courts and our laws. Don't you? I thought you wanted the TeaParty people to trust the government! But you don't?

    I think he can get a fair trial by a jury of his peers (the people, not the government). IF he thinks he's innocent... He should come back and face that jury.

    Palmer, AK
    Comparing Snowden to the founding fathers.. the Statue of Liberty... give it a break!

    The founding fathers DID betray England, but they DIDN'T ask England to take them in and treat them like heroes. They knew if they were caught they would be killed.

    The founding fathers betrayed their King to create a new nation. Snowden is NOT creating a new nation. He just exposed our security procedures to China and Russia! That's NOT a hero in my book.

    youre bending over backwards to make him a hero, but overlooking the 800lb gorilla in the room (he took our secrets to the Russians and the Chinese not the US media).

    I don't like the PatriotAct either, but that doesn't make what he did "Legal" or "Heroic".

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    I have mixed feelings about the larger "privacy vs. national security vs. whistleblowers" issue. On one hand, I have both concern and outrage over the Orwellian overreach, the general lack of accountability, and the disregard for the privacy rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens by the U.S. intelligence community, all in the name of national security. On the other hand, I recognize that there is a fine line between "whistleblowing" and outright espionage, and I have a problem with anyone, even whistleblowers with the purest intent, recklessly endangering the lives of intelligence personnel who are engaged in legitimate national security operations, or creating obvious and difficult-to-remedy national security vulnerabilities, through their "leaks". I am becoming increasingly convinced that Edward Snowden’s intentions and motives have been less-than-pure; I am certainly open to evidence to the contrary, but I am pretty skeptical right now. Either way, I don’t see this ending well for Snowden.

  • JesseHarris Sandy, UT
    July 3, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Apparently it's more important to focus on Snowden than on what he revealed. Thanks so much for being just another TMZ, Deseret News.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 3, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Sandy, UT

    LDS Liberal: I agree with what you say. But I'm confused. Every time I defend Snowden, I'm called a right-winger. I'm pretty sure I'm not. Are you experiencing the same thing? What's that all about?
    6:54 p.m. July 2, 2013


    Perhaps it is because we are not blindly hardcore left or right,
    Republican vs. Democrat,
    but rather, we look at things as right vs. wrong.

  • Logan Palmer, AK
    July 3, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Snowden may have been naive about the world's reaction but freedom was won by people who were willing to risk everything. What happened to all the signers of the Declaration of Independence? They were all British traitors. I was an intelligence analyst for the Army for many years. I saw where and how our government gathers information. You are fools if you have any trust that your government will do the right thing with any covert access they are granted. Power corrupts. Secret power ultimately has no boundaries. Snowden should be allowed to come home with our praise. Whether or not you are willing to stand up for him, you owe him a debt. He never asked for money. He just confirmed what all thinking Americans assumed was happening anyway.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 2, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    History will have to judge whether what Snowden did was useful/proper or not. Whether it was traitorous to disclose our efforts against terror or heroic to disclose overreach by our govt.

    We may be too close to tell with certainty now.

    But either way, the editorial is correct. "Well … what did he expect, exactly?". He had to know that doing this would inflame the govt. against him as well as our allies.

    If he expected to be welcomed back as a hero or even just forgiven for any trespass, he clearly did not understand the gravity of his actions. He should have. The Julian Assange situation should have shown him his likely path.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    July 2, 2013 6:54 p.m.

    LDS Liberal: I agree with what you say. But I'm confused. Every time I defend Snowden, I'm called a right-winger. I'm pretty sure I'm not. Are you experiencing the same thing? What's that all about?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 2, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    IF he's NOT a criminal... why doesn't he just come back and face a jury so we can prove it?
    1:42 p.m. July 2, 2013


    Probably for the same reason 'they' are using "secret" kangaroo courts to rubber stamp all those warrantless searches.

    Do you seriously think he can get a fair trial now?

    BTW - When I was in the military,
    If I knew we were flying armed nuclear weapons, and targeting U.S. civilians --
    I suppose I would have chosen to become a "Traitor" to my country as well.

    FYI - The Rosenbergs were "paid" and over a very long time fed and sold U.S. nuclear secrets "secretly" to the Russians in order to be found guilty of espionage and treason.

    Same criteria was met for Benedict Arnold.

    Mr. Snowden did neither, therefore -- he was anything BUT a traitor.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 2, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    Re: "We has [sic] turned our back on everything SHE has stood for . . . ."

    We has, huh?

    To the point of this discussion, though -- if you're suggesting that uncontrolled immigration and Edward Snowden's treason have a lot in common, we're with you, 100%!

  • Fiannan Eugene, Oregon
    July 2, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    The opinion could just as easily be applied to Martin Luther King. Yeah, he got us talking, yes he was living certain ideals but...

    Come on, if one has to choose between loyalty to government and loyalty to the US Constitution then which would you choose? History praises those who make sacrifices to uphold liberty while the statues of authoritarians rust away in trash heaps. It is time this shift to authoritarianism be recognized by Americans! I would also encourage people to listen to some of the talks on YouTube delivered by Ezra Taft Benson to put things into their proper perspective.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 2, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    Give me a BREAK...

    The plaque doesn't say "Welcome to traitors and spys"! It doesn't say "Send us your criminals"! It says send us the HUMBLE, the disadvantaged, and the poor. He CHOSE to break the law and become an outcast criminal!

    IF he's NOT a criminal... why doesn't he just come back and face a jury so we can prove it?

  • UtahVoter Spanish Fork, UT
    July 2, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Wow, so much misguided and baffling hate in some of these comments for heroes willing to lay it on the line for *your* freedoms. Manning is facing possible execution because of what he did - despite the fact that nobody on either the prosecution or the defense (eg nobody except potentially clueless armchair critics) that he did what he did with any selfish or evil intent. His idealism -- and desire to protect both innocent civilians *and* his fellow enlisted servicemen -- motivated his dangerous leaks. Similarly, Snowden doesn't gain derive personal gain from what he did. He has stated that he knew the risks but he was willing to sacrifice so that America didn't undergo the same abuses of power that occurred in the 50s - 70s on a larger scale (full-time Federal agents were tasked with following many innocent civilians based on their support for racial integration, their questioning of the war, their religion, etc. *and* those Federal agents were given leeway to sabotage marriages, burglarize homes, incite intra-group violence, etc.). I'm thankful for these men. I believe they loved America enough to sacrifice. Before calling names, more Americans should research what they sacrificed for.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 2, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    "Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. ...
    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    ~ plaque in the Statue of Liberty

    We has turned our back on everything SHE has stood for...

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    July 2, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    So whats wrong with restoring his passport so he can travel to a country willing to take him.I appreciate the information that has become public. Moreover, what we are doing now just turns him into a political martyr.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    If he didn't think this would happen if he ran to China and Russia with top secret information he's not very smart. But I think he is smart. He knew this would happen. But he THOUGHT he would be embraced and treated like a hero by his anarchist friends like Julian Assange was. They kinda left him hanging.

    I think his advisers told him that nations would be standing in line to take him in. Maybe he has learned not to trust anarchists and the people who encourage them. They are not really known for their integrity.

    Looks like one lesson he will learn is... don't trust narcissistic people who think THEY are more important than the security of a whole nation, and what THEY want trumps everything else.

    He may acquire the celebrity anarchist status he was seeking eventually. Only time will tell. In the meantime... I hope he has some regrets.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    Honesty is the only policy, however with intelligence gathering that involves national security openness is destructive. Don't confuse openness and honesty with protecting information that would assist the terrorists.

  • LDS Mom American Fork, UT
    July 2, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    Let's use the same thought process that the public is using with the NSA. If our government is doing nothing wrong then there is nothing to hide or worry about. If our government is corrupt then they might have something to worry about. Honesty is always the best policy.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    July 2, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    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.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 2, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    "Breathes there the man with soul so dead
    Who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land!"

    Yeah -- Snowden. And Bradley Manning. And Julian Assange. And Eduardo Saverin, etc. etc.

    Sad little people who've exalted stroking their egos above all else.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 2, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Edward Snowden's continuing legacy...

    From traitor to traitor playing the victim card.