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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Is Edward Snowden a Hero or a Traitor?

As you've probably heard, whistle blower Edward Snowden is the man behind leaking the NSA's massive secret electronic/phone data capturing program to the British paper The Guardian. If you are unfamiliar with the story, here are a few links for reference:

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/10/report-nsa-contract-worker-is-surveillance-source/

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/edward-snowden-reported-nsa-leaker-face-extradition-hong/story?id=19362851

This case has undoubtedly stirred up a whole plethora of issues. The main reason, however, I'm writing about this is that there seems to be a rush, in the media, to quickly label Edward Snowdon a "hero" or a "patriot." I heard it on the radio numerous times as I drove into work today and then I noticed it on both CNN's and Fox New's websites. They both prominently featured the following screen images. I've combined them into one screen grab:


I figured this would make for a great discussion. Do you think Edward Snowden is a hero, or do you think he is a traitor? Obviously, your opinions of him are probably more rooted in your feelings about the NSA's secret programs in general. I would think people would believe Snowden is a hero if they're strongly against the NSA program while those who think it's a necessity for keeping us save will think he is a traitor.

But is it as simple as that? Where do you stand? Please share your thoughts on the subject. The chat feature above works well for a quick back and forth discussion, or feel free to comment below.

13 comments:

  1. Edward Snowden is the hero our government officials fail to be. Instead, he will be investigated, pursued, extradited, tried, and convicted with tax dollars. How many tax payers want this guy behind bars for outing a rogue government who continues to trample freedoms and liberties in the name of patriotism (ie - The Patriot Act). It's disgraceful and outrageous!!!

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  2. A couple of points - 1) he is a Ron Paul supporter and 2) how is it that this guy came across this information while working for a private company? Outsourcing terror watch? I find that particularly disturbing.

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    1. Hi Whatsamatta : )

      I think you hit the nail on the head! Why is this guy - a private contractor - privy to info that We The People, are NOT? What ELSE is our government hiding from those of us who PAY for it?

      I did NOT like, but was 'cautiously optimistic' re: the original Patriot Act... AND it contained a 'sunset' date. Silly me, I should have known that somewhere along the line 'someone' (BOTH parties are complicit in this mess) would come along and put it on steroids. (see: NDAA)

      I wanted to puke at Zero's statement that Americans should basically just shut up endure the little 'inconvenience' of having our right to privacy TRASHED.

      Add in the fact that Zero, himself, just stated that THERE IS NO WAR ON TERROR... so why on Earth is he now saying that the gov must spy on 'the people' and they should be 'okay' with it because it's to root out terrorists? Looks like he wants it both ways - or there's another agenda... I'm going with option 'b'.

      I agree. Given this administration's track record of tracking down and punishing those 'whistleblowers' who DARE TO shed light on the roaches... they'll do their level best to 'make (yet another) example' of this guy. Sad but, true.



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  3. 'Those who would trade liberty for security... deserve neither.'

    IMO - All this 'surveillance' does NOT make us 'safer'. The 'powers that be' claim this program and others have 'thwarted' terrorist attacks. Proof? Zero, as you cannot prove a negative.

    According to what we NOW know, this has been going on for SEVEN years. Since Zero showed up and put the Patriot Act into overdrive, we've had FIVE SUCCESSFUL attacks on U.S. soil...

    The Time Square Bomber was 'thwarted' because of an observant PRIVATE citizen and the very real FACT that his bomb was defective!

    The 'Shoe Bomber' (and I believe the 'Underwear Bomber) were similarly 'thwarted' by observant PRIVATE citizens.

    Let's ask General Patreas about the 'use' of PRIVATE e-mails to promote and defend this administration's 'agenda'!

    Patreas did NOT 'go along' with the 'story' that the Benghazi attack was 'the result of a heinous YouTube video'. *Poof* we suddenly 'find' a bunch of e-mails between him and his 'lover'... coincidence? I think NOT.

    'Absolute power corrupts absolutely.' It's way past time to rein in OUR government's 'power' over WTP!

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    1. Good morning Dara!

      I continue to be angry at this situation... But I'm not sure where my anger lies - with those responsible for this or the apathetic public... or are they one and the same?

      btw - where did you get the liberty/security quote? Is it another of TJ's gems?

      I agree with you that both parties are responsible but I believe it is Obama who is most responsible. As you've stated, he's the one who campaigned against the Patriot Act and has instead, as you've pointed out, put it on steroids. It is sickening. I just don't understand how this is allowed to happen... What happened to the FISA court? It used to be that they needed to sign off on such snooping but it appears now that they are unnecessary. WHERE ARE THE COURTS UPHOLDING OUR RIGHTS???

      It's time for an RP Revolution (Rand or Ron, don't care... I just know my Constitution will be safe under their leadership!). I f'ed up the first time in voting for our disgraceful president but I got it right the 2nd time... Perhaps next time the entire country will get it but, judging by the apathy that I'm seeing, we'll screw it up again!

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    2. Good afternoon!

      My anger lies with myself - for not paying more attention, and letting this get so far out of control. (My (admittedly lame) excuse is I was busy raising our family.)

      As I said, the very idea of Patriot Act gave me the willies... but much smarter people than I - people I trusted (INCLUDING Glenn Beck) thought it would work out okay, so I 'went along.'

      As far as the courts upholding OUR laws of the land and protecting our rights... I think many of our higher court judges have gone over to the 'dark side.' Instead of interpreting what the Constitution SAYS, they are attempting to rewrite that 'dusty, old document' to make it match their progressive agenda... OR...Perhaps there's just a 'little something' in THEIR private lives, they'd rather not have become public - who knows?

      Agencies, such as the EPA USE these courts as well - against WTP. They continue to push THEIR agenda through court after court, with appeal after appeal PAID for with OUR tax dollars - until the civilian/citizen 'defendant' runs out of money to defend themselves. Govt. comes out on top and WTP get the shaft AND the BILL!! To me - this equates to forcing a person to purchase the hemp and THEN weave their own hanging rope.

      Ron Paul's stance on Israel (among other things) turned me off on him. I believe we should stop foreign 'aid', especially to those who hate our guts and seek to destroy us... but IMO to single out our ONLY TRUE ALLY in the M.E. borders on insanity.

      Rand has an issue or two that I don't agree with, (no prob. re: allowing Iran to become nuclear is a biggie) but who agrees with someone all the time! I do think he has the stones to stand up to the hoard of progressives/socialists/communists/Marxists (both parties) infesting D.C at the present..

      and... he has NO problem quoting just WHERE he came up with his 'wild and crazy' ideas... the U.S. Constitution. I might not agree 100%, but the Federalist Papers give pretty darn good arguments as to WHY it's a BAD idea to be 'nation building' abroad.

      So yup! Rand would definitely get MY vote : )

      The quote is Ben Franklin's (I believe)

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    3. I never liked the Patriot Act. As you've probably realized about me, I like to look at things and then, within the framework of said thing, start coming up with scenarios that hurt the public. I saw this coming. Obama had alot of sack to stand up there and say we should take it. Insinuating that the government is trustworthy and uses its resources equally and within the law. It makes me sick to my stomach.

      I don't agree with the Paul's 100% either but I voted for Ron because I saw the writing on the wall and wanted my freedom protected and also because he is not a D or R and I thought he was the shock to the system that the system needs.

      I agree with you that it is now both parties and there is this political elitist sect out there that dominates all three branches of our government to where checks and balances really don't exist anymore. The judge who issued the order should be removed for incompetence and others, perhaps even the judge, should be tried.

      Rand Paul is launching a class action suit against the NSA. Assuming I meet the criteria, and from what I've read, EVERYONE meets the criteria, I intend to be a party to that suit.

      It is Ben Franklin... Thanks for that quote.

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    4. What spooked me most about the Patriot Act - was that it looked as though 'they' could bypass probable cause, based on what some third level bureaucrat's crony THOUGHT 'might be' going on.

      To me - that was just w-a-y to far removed from straight up EVIDENCE that's brought before a JUDGE in order to obtain a WARRANT. These FISA court judges' 'rulings' have pretty much proved me right.

      This 'I'm not doing anything wrong, so I don't care' mentality that I hear from our OWN elected officials is also VERY spooky. They're supposed to be educated men/women... I'm thinking MOST of them slept through Civics, Government AND World History!

      This NSA thing is nothing more than a lazy man's version of investigation... IF it was 'just to catch the bad guys'...they went for 'sexy' technology in attempt to skip the actual gumshoe, walk the street and talk to people, investigative process by which REAL policing in done.

      This thing is like swatting a mosquito - with a nuke!

      My thought is that the whole thing has LESS to do with 'catching bad guys' and MORE to do with 'gathering intel' (spying) on WTP...

      As American citizens, I'm sure we'd all meet the criteria for Paul's NSA lawsuit. We won't get rich from it, but maybe we'll GET their attention!

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  4. I don't have much time to stay and chat today (definitely a bummer), but I wanted to throw this video in here. When I saw your most recent comment, Whatsamattausa, about Obama campaigning against the Patriot Act, I couldn't help but remember this video I saw last night:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2013/06/10/video-you-won-t-see-media-senator-obama-debates-president-obama-s

    To me, whether you're for or against gov't surveillance, Obama DID campaign against it, as you have correctly stated, and this video is pretty hard to shoot down, I would imagine, by those who support the President on this.

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    1. Brilliant... Great find LME!!!

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    2. Hi LME! I saw this (somewhere?) yesterday. It's pretty consistent with 0's 'I was against it (under Big Bad Bush) before I was FOR the same dumb and/or unConstitutional thing (under Wonderful Me)'

      BTW Does anyone else get a creepy and weird feeling about the likes of Michael Moore and Van Jones AGREEING w/us that this NSA stuff is - bad?

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  5. Hello all. Long time no see (post...whatever).

    I don't think we know everything that Mr. Snowden turned over to the British paper (man, was he ever smart to give it to the British press instead of the sycophantic US lamestream press) as I heard a report on the radio this morning that more info was forthcoming. So, that being said, I will refrain from declaring hero or traitor yet.

    I don't understand how all of this metadata info is going to keep us safe when a phone call from Russian intelligence regarding the Boston bomber terrorists couldn't stop them. Aside from that, like Dara eluded to, President 0bama said the war on terror was effectively over. Back in October we were told al Qaeda was on the run and "Osama is dead and GM is alive". Well if that's the case; shouldn't we be able to safely end these programs and destroy all that data?

    As far as "keeping us safe"; we have tens of millions of illegal aliens (undocumented citizens or whatever keeps your knickers from getting in a twist) pouring over our border and somehow knowing that I called my mother at 5:37 PM yesterday and my wife shortly thereafter (she's out of town, just so y'all know like the NSA) is going to keep us safe? Here is another one of those insane 0bama hypocrisies. Remember all the hype over the Arizona law about immigration? Here is what President 0bama had to say about that(after passing of bill, before suing the state), "What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials empowered to stop people on the suspicion that they may be undocumented workers, because that carries a great amount of risk that core values that we all care about are breached,". Isn't it so comforting that President 0bama is worried about illegal aliens 4th amendment rights but has absolutely no problems with trampling all over American citizens 4th amendment rights. At least in Arizona, you know your papers were being checked.

    Or, how about wanting trials for non-citizen terrorists like Kahlid Shiek Mohammad (If I spelled it wrong, I really don't give a flying F@#&) while being the judge, jury and executioner on American born Anwar All Leaky (or whatever, again I don't give a...). First of all, I don't have a huge problem with the president taking out the American born terrorist, he was at war with us. It is an uncomfortable judgement call to make though; that I will concede. Heck, I will even go as far to say it is a slippery slope. My main concern is that it just seems that the president's default position seems to be in favor of the non-citizen over the citizen.

    I am going to shift gears here a little bit, but, has anyone noticed how quickly the 0bama FBI (or IRS?) found the people that sent ricin laced mail to President 0bama and that pompous mayor of NYC? A couple of weeks and we tracked them down. How is that investigation on who was responsible for the Benghazi attacks going? There are over 300 Million people in the USA and we singled out and tracked down the responsible parties in a few weeks. There are only about 6 million people in Libya and we still haven't tracked down any of the folks that attacked our embassy and killed our people seven months ago? Perhaps, we aren't data mining them because that would encroach upon their 4th amendment rights.

    I don't think it was any kind of secret that we were monitoring suspected terrorists phone calls over seas under Bush. With what Mr. Snowden has released, that we know of so far, just lets our enemies know that they do it to us too. What's the harm in that? How has national security been jeopardized over that?

    For those that would say, "If you have nothing to hide...", I ask; where does it stop? Would weekly searches of your home too much or would that make you feel safer?

    Have a great day everyone.

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    1. Hi Slim! Nice to see you!

      We've discovered that this administration can and does PINPOINT and RECORD the time, date and location of YOUR phone call to your mom and your wife...

      BUT in NINE MONTHS the SAME administration tells us, they simply can NOT determine the whereabouts NOR the actions of OUR 'Commander in Chief' for EIGHT solid HOURS during the time our patriots were dying in Benghazi? They can NOT find A SINGLE SCRAP of information as to WHO issued the 'stand down' order that sealed their fate?

      Okay...

      I've had a sneaking suspicion about the TIMING of all the ricin hub-bub. I also thought there was something hinky about the speed at which they uncovered the 'alleged perps'. Call me a 'conspiracy theorist' if you like, but in light of ALL the scandals, coming so rapid-fire, the whole thing seems pretty coincidental - and the supposed 'targets' (Bloomberg? Really?) were suspicious as well. If it was a diversion tactic (and I'm not saying it was : ) the lame stream media sure didn't take the bait... lol

      The drone wars is a very slippery slope. For instance - IF we say we're 'okay' with droning (killing) a U.S. citizen 'over there' - under the 'terrorist/enemy combatant' umbrella, and accept the FACT that there is ALWAYS 'collateral damage' (innocents, killed because they were 'in the wrong place at the wrong time')...where DO we draw the line?

      On the other hand, we have a U.S. citizen, ALSO an alleged enemy combatant and accused terrorist (the living Boston Bomber) who was MARANDIZED specifically to NEGATE the possibility of questioning by the FBI, the State Dept. and others...

      IF the second example is 'the right thing to do' under our Constitution - what about the first? So you see I'm torn about the Alley Walla Lackey thing (I don't care either : ) He WAS a bad man and I'm (pretty much) glad he's gone off to his 93 (or whatever) virgins (I hope they're ALL old and crotchety!)... but he was also a U.S. citizen.

      I don't believe that Snowden jeopardized our security either. Hero? Don't know yet... Until we get more information, I'm going with 'citizen, concerned about massive govt. overreach.'

      You have a great day, too!

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