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I figured I'd start a thread to discuss all things Edward Snowden, since some of our esteemed forum members got quite upset about us discussing his more loathsome actions in another thread, instead of the controversial NSA surveillence programs.

According to the New York Times, Mr. Snowden is accompanied by 4 laptops, loaded with other classified materials. He's already been to China, and Russia. The 4 laptops were emptied in Hong Kong, according to the same New York Time article.

Here's another more delicious case of Mr. Snoweden's utter and complete hypcrisy, aside from his current worldwide dictator tour in the name of openness and civil liberties.

Here's a chat Mr. Snowden had regarding the New York Times uncovering classified information back in 2009...

Snowden: Wtf New York Times.

Snowden: Are you trying to start a war?

Chat Partner: They're just reporting that dude.

Snowden: They're reporting classified shit.

Snowden: Moreover, who the f*** are the anonymous sources telling them this? These people should be shot in the balls.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/edward-snowden-blasted-new-york-times-leaks-in-2009-leakers-should-be-shot-in-the-balls/

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If he's selling intel to the Chinese and Russians, he's an idiot. Although it shouldn't undermine the revelations he made about PRISM, it does. People don't seem to be smart enough to not think in ad hominem fallacies.

I agree. The revelations about PRISM are a seperate matter. I was actually sympathetic to his cause up until his Chinese/Russian travel. Personally, I wish he would have stayed in the United States, and used his platform to continue to speak out about the topics he was supposidly concerned about.

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I agree. The revelations about PRISM are a seperate matter. I was actually sympathetic to his cause up until his Chinese/Russian travel. Personally, I wish he would have stayed in the United States, and used his platform to continue to speak out about the topics he was supposidly concerned about.

I'm with you on this one. He went from Robin Hood to Prince John in one move in my mind.

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I figured I'd start a thread to discuss all things Edward Snowden, since some of our esteemed forum members got quite upset about us discussing his more loathsome actions in another thread, instead of the controversial NSA surveillence programs.

Ok, so what about him?

Whether the American public likes him or hates him, he's getting charged and going to jail, and the public's opinion of him isn't going to change any of that. Whether he was trying to be a hero, or whether he's just a douche, he's going away for a very long time once Uncle Sam gets ahold of him.

I don't see much point getting emotionally invested in Edward Snowden. Maybe he really is a douche. String him up, whatever. I just hope that people remember the real story after this Where In The World Is Carmen Santiago? stuff is finished with.

I was reading yesterday that 483,000 private contractors have access to the same information that Snowden did. (cite) That's a mind-blowing number. I would think that if the information Snowden has is as all-fired crucial to national security as his detractors say, it wouldn't be in the hands of half a million private contractors plus almost a million government employees as well. If 1.4 million people have access to information that could threaten your security, you're counting on way too many people to keep your secrets.

-k

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This story is sad in so many ways. That an arm of the government is collecting such data in the first place, that Snowden has some kind of break with reality and thinks that spilling the beans will make a difference and of course his itinerary. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of the IRS scandal and that the CIA was running guns in Benghazi, the whole thing is really getting disgusting.

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This story is sad in so many ways. That an arm of the government is collecting such data in the first place, that Snowden has some kind of break with reality and thinks that spilling the beans will make a difference and of course his itinerary. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of the IRS scandal and that the CIA was running guns in Benghazi, the whole thing is really getting disgusting.

We should revisit the whole piece of conventional wisdom behind the idea that we need large and powerfull "intelligence" agencies doing whatever the hell they want in secret based on agendas we dont understand and are not focused primarily on our security. Does it REALLY make us safer? Or does it put us in a lot of danger. Its now a pretty uncontraversial view (something acknowledged by intelligence agencies themselves) that one of the primary drivers of anti western terrorism is blowback from policies concieved of and initiated by all these spys and spooks.

You can even look at Iraq where the CIA was duped by a foreign dissident into telling the president there was a huge active WMD industry in Iraq that posed or grave and present danger to the US. That alone got thousands of Americans killed. More than died on 911. And it cost trillions of dollars.

And now we know that the CIA is commiting international crimes against China (and vice versa) that you and I would be thrown in jail for. Hacking computer networks and so on.

It seems to me that these actions could actually CREATE and adversarial relationship that could potentially get millions of people killed.

Does having a large and powerfull secret "intelligence" aparatus that goes around sponsoring terrorists and dictators and meddling in the worlds affairs really make us safer? Are countries that dont have these agencies any less safe?

My guess is that we would be safer if we knew about everything our government was doing.

The surveillance act that created laws against selling "secrets" to foreign powers and helped create this massive intelligence beaurocracy was created as a temporary measure during WW1 but the it was never decommisioned as origionally intended. Has it made us safer? I think it has done the exact opposite.

Its hard for me to angry with Mr Snowden for "selling secrets" about things I dont think government should be doing in the first place.

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It's a good question. Are there examples of countries that don't engage in this ? How could we even evaluate the costs and benefits since so much of this is secret. This begs for an expert on the topic ... or at least somebody who reads Len Deighton.

Fab writer.

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Spies have been executed for much less than his various acts of treason. He need only look to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for the details.

What act of treason?

What information did Snowden give to anyone (let alone an enemy) other than the fact that the US federal government is surreptitiously collecting and keeping volumes of information about ordinary American citizens?

----

I did wonder about this question: Should Snowden, a young man, return to America and face trial on a point of principle, or should he stay abroad in a place without extradition treaties to the US?

I can understand why, in our age, he has decided to stay abroad.

Edited by August1991
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Well he broke the terms of the contract that he signed to be working with the CIA. I'm sure the contract has very serious consequences. Yeah, he better stay abroad, maybe Russia will allow him to stay for some of the secrets he gave China?

Edited by sharkman
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Guest American Woman

Well he broke the terms of the contract that he signed to be working with the CIA. I'm sure the contract has very serious consequences. Yeah, he better stay abroad, maybe Russia will allow him to stay for some of the secrets he gave China?

I've read that some believe Snowden is still in Russia because the chance to get information from him is too great an opportunity for Russia to pass up.
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Well he broke the terms of the contract that he signed to be working with the CIA. I'm sure the contract has very serious consequences. Yeah, he better stay abroad, maybe Russia will allow him to stay for some of the secrets he gave China?

It sounds like Putin wants him gone.

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I don't quite have the confidence that you do about what Putin may say. At any rate, Snowden's been there plenty long enough to have information extracted or traded. What's next in this sorry state of affairs?

I dunno... hopefully he finds a place to live I guess. BTW, its speculation that Snowden gave any information to either China or Russia. and if all he did was inform either of those countries that the US government was conducting illegal surveillance of them (hacking computer networks and so on) then thats just fine.

Hes smart to stay out of the US though... The US government is losing control of its information at an alarming rate... it leaks like a sieve... They would love to make an example of Mr Snowden even if all he did was out the government for violating US law.

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He could already be dead.

Conservatives seem to want supersized government pretty badly the way they write about Snowden.

He's no angel... He's more of a tea partier fighting against big government. Except, instead of just pretending to fight big government and selling out to the highest bidder like most tea party members... he's just making everyone aware of how big the U.S. government is becoming in the information age.

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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Anyone think that he's a dead man walking? No doubt they will send the CIA or Blackwater to hunt him down and we may never know, when he takes the bullet to the head.

Think strategically. The damage is already done, so there's nothing to be gained from killing him at this point. All they could get from killing him at this point would be extremely bad press. Snowden is too famous to kill now; if he turns up dead or vanishes, it would look suspicious.

If they could have killed him before he got to China, sure, they might have. And I'm sure he'll get nabbed at some point and brought to the US for trial.

-k

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Well he broke the terms of the contract that he signed to be working with the CIA. I'm sure the contract has very serious consequences. Yeah, he better stay abroad, maybe Russia will allow him to stay for some of the secrets he gave China?

Gimme a break.

That's his treasonous crime? And this justifies a world-wide manhunt? He "broke the terms of the contract"?

I've read that some believe Snowden is still in Russia because the chance to get information from him is too great an opportunity for Russia to pass up.

Is there any evidence of that? And what information does he possess - other than the information that the US federal government is collecting lots of information on American citizens.

----

Thinking of American whistleblowers, I wondered about the difference between Ellsberg and Snowden.

IMHO, there is a big difference between Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. Ellsberg released secret, State information; Snowden merely told people that the federal government is collecting information.

The other difference?

Ellsberg released information under a Republican president, indeed the hated, red-baiting Nixon.

Snowden exited his closet under a Democrat, the beloved Obama.

Edited by August1991
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Guest American Woman

Is there any evidence of that? And what information does he possess - other than the information that the US federal government is collecting lots of information on American citizens.

No, of course there isn't evidence - I would think that neither Russia nor Snowden would be stupid enough to give evidence if it were occuring - and no one has claimed it as fact; it is, however, as I said, what some think. I suppose one can't help but wonder. As for what other information he possesses - how would we know that? The U.S. isn't going to come out with a list of the classified information that he was privy to. That would be insane.
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