9603. alistairconnor - 8/1/2013 10:16:56 AM
I'm just pointing out that I'm completely OK with you not worrying about this issue, Judith. I may add that, officially at least, the NSA will never stumble across your recipes for twice-baked potatoes. Unless you start exchanging recipes with foreigners, of course.
You consider that Snowden is a traitor for drawing our attention to it. I have no view on that issue, not being American, but I believe he has rendered a valuable service to everyone in the world. On that basis I would have been very happy, and proud, if France had offered him asylum.
I don't particularly have anything I need to hide from the NSA either. But I have no reason to trust the NSA, either.
9604. alistairconnor - 8/1/2013 10:22:26 AM
Effort to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s father to Moscow collapses - The Washington Post
The FBI tried to enlist the father of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to fly to Moscow to try to persuade his son to return to the United States, but the effort collapsed when agents could not establish a way for the two to speak once he arrived, Snowden’s father said Tuesday.
“I said, ‘I want to be able to speak with my son. . . . Can you set up communications?’ And it was, ‘Well, we’re not sure,’ ” Lon Snowden told The Washington Post. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, folks, I’m not going to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you.’ ”
In a wide-ranging interview, the elder Snowden offered a vehement defense of the young man some have labeled a traitor. He said that Edward, who is holed up at an airport in Moscow, grew up in a patriotic family in suburban Maryland, filled with federal agents and police officers, and that he “loves this nation.’’
9605. judithathome - 8/1/2013 5:39:36 PM
You consider that Snowden is a traitor for drawing our attention to it.
I don't believe I've called him a "traitor"...I've called him a thief. Calling someone a traitor requires too high a standard...for one thing, I think you have to be at war and said "thief" has to be working with the enemy.
I'm all for whistle blowers...I supported what Daniel Ellsberg did, for example. But stealing files and running off to China? And then to Russia?
No, that's not a patriotic duty from someone who loves their country. It's the action of a thief. If you're "brave" enough and it means enough to you to do the crime, then stand up and face doing the time.
I certainly don't mind our attention being drawn to it...but it actually was nothing I didn't already expect...Homeland Security, anyone? What did people think...that HS only honed in on the "bad" guys?
9606. vonKreedon - 8/1/2013 6:00:05 PM
Chiming in to agree with Judith's entire post.
9607. alistairconnor - 8/2/2013 1:15:04 PM
Fair enough Judith, you didn't call him a traitor. You supported Ellsberg, but you consider Snowden a thief rather than a whistleblower, because he fled.
Ellsberg disagrees with you.
Ellsberg has a point on Snowden
“Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree,” Ellsberg writes. “The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.” Ellsberg added, “I hope Snowden’s revelations will spark a movement to rescue our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is zero chance that he would be allowed out on bail if he returned now and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail. Instead, he would be in a prison cell like Bradley Manning, incommunicado.”
9608. robertjayb - 8/2/2013 4:11:27 PM
Here is another hero:
Julian Assange, "This has never been a fair trial.
"Bradley Manning isn't guilty of anything in that he's actually very heroic for demanding government transparency and accountability and exposing the American people and the rest of the world to the crimes committed by the American government.
The only victim in the case had been the US government's "wounded pride".
Assange, Snowden, and Manning know that the military-industrial-surviellance complex would like nothing better than to see them locked away to rot in a supermax prison.
9609. robertjayb - 8/2/2013 4:15:17 PM
Assange comments from BBC.
9610. alistairconnor - 8/23/2013 9:48:12 AM
35 years for Bradley Manning (Chelsea Manning henceforth).
The USA are very keen to get their hands on Snowden. Their lackeys in the UK are happy to do stuff that would be illegal in the USA to help them, as the detention of David Miranda and the seizure of his data makes clear. (Get ready for revelations about how the UK helps the USA snoop on its own citizens, I'm pretty sure that'll come out soon.)
The US and the UK are clearly at war with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Despite constitutional protection of freedom of the press, I think they would be well advised to steer clear of their home country for a while. Snowden's choice not to "face the music" should be seen in that light. I'm beginning to think that his asylum in "unfriendly" Russia is a pretty smart move -- from just about anywhere else, the US would have been able to apply enough pressure to get him "renditioned" home.
None of this is directed against the national interests of the USA nor any other country, nor is it intended to weaken or undermine the fight against terrorism. But the vast secret administrations that are looking over our shoulders need to be held to account.
9611. judithathome - 8/23/2013 5:52:05 PM
And so does Snowden...he broke the law.
I guess you'd be hunky-dory with the situation if someone had stolen your personal information and that of your daughters...and Greenwald had abetted the thief by writing about your children in the Guardian. I have a sneaking suspicion you'd be howling for their hides.
9612. vonKreedon - 8/26/2013 10:56:47 PM
I respectfully disagree with Mr. Ellsberg's assessment of Snowden's decision to not press his fight for openness in the US courts. It's pretty hard to be a cause celebre for openness when you're hiding, and your credibility takes a dive in the crapper when you're hiding in Putin's Russia.
It would be harder, and more illuminating, to try and disappear Snowden like Manning. Snowden's a civilian, Manning's a member of the military.
9613. Trillium - 8/27/2013 10:44:09 PM
Judith, some of Snowden's point is that information about your children (and neighbors, and employers etc.) is being collected as a tool for later targeting, should they voice opinions that are unpopular with ruling authority.
9614. Trillium - 8/27/2013 10:48:52 PM
I don't know what to make of the Syria mess. I'm not ready to turn Mennonite, but it does seem that war is inevitably a path of atrocities, more or less, no matter who's involved. It just ends up that way.
One article on this topic had an interesting comment from a man who opposes intervention. He said that we aren't qualified to intervene in the Middle East, just as he isn't qualified to do brain surgery, and it doesn't matter what the situation is. We should just leave it alone.
Again, I don't trust any of the news sources on this fiasco, and I feel sick to my stomach for anyone caught in the Syrian war zone because they can't escape... or stuck in refugee camps. A few years ago a friend's son did an internship for Al Jazeera in Syria; it all seemed stable then. I wish I could hear from the former intern about what he thinks of all this. I'd like to hear from people who live there (or lived there) more than our politicians' pronouncements about morality. It all seems immoral, every which way, and since when do politicians actually care about morality? it's manipulation.
9615. bhelpuri - 8/28/2013 7:16:55 AM
The bombing of Syria is another criminal fiasco-in-the-making despite everything we know about Alawite stubborness. America is carefully setting itself up for yet another generation of meaningless warfare, and knows it.
9616. judithathome - 8/28/2013 5:02:36 PM
I'm not sure ALL of America knows it, at least not the segment that seems to be voting people like Ted Cruz into office.
But I fear you are correct....one step toward war with Iran is not the best way way to walk, big stick or not.
9617. iiibbb - 8/28/2013 8:41:09 PM
I wonder if I'll live to see peace in the Middle East.
I am certain most of the powerless are good people just trying to make a life. But, it is very hard for me to feel like the people who hold power there are dedicated to the prospect of peace or have any love for their own people.
It is very hard to believe that any side we choose would ever be an true friend or ally to the US.
9618. Wombat - 8/28/2013 10:33:24 PM
I suspect that if there is military action, it will be some missile strikes at various uncontroversial targets with no follow-up. Hopefully, there will be little blowback. The both sides can get on with killing each other through--hopefully--conventional means. Frankly, if the French are so eager to avenge the "atrocity," let them take the lead.
9619. Trillium - 8/30/2013 7:48:11 AM
Thank you Britain for voting down further entanglement with The Syrian civil war.
Now if US leadership will please respect the constitution and allow congress here to turn away from this disaster also...?
9620. ricknelson - 8/30/2013 2:02:52 PM
The US appears willing to go alone against Syria.
At this point I've not seen incontrovertible proof Assad was behind the gas attack.
However, I have seen compelling evidence the rebels were responsible.
Shoebat as source does not instill confidence, but it does create clear doubt that Assad is responsible.
9621. arkymalarky - 8/30/2013 10:43:05 PM
9622. arkymalarky - 8/30/2013 10:46:01 PM
Surely Wombat is right about the likely extent of US response.