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View Diary: We Progressives Are Making a Mistake by Supporting the Traitor Snowden (260 comments)

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  •  time to quote dostoyevsky again (16+ / 0-)
    But the flock will come together again and will submit once more, and then it will be once for all. Then we shall give them the quiet humble happiness of weak creatures such as they are by nature. Oh, we shall persuade them at last not to be proud, for Thou didst lift them up and thereby taught them to be proud. We shall show them that they are weak, that they are only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all. They will become timid and will look to us and huddle close to us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:36:25 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  tsk tsk (7+ / 0-)

      showing need monitoring

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:49:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because I have always admired your intelligence, (0+ / 0-)

      And especially your mastery of the European literary canon, perhaps you can help me understand some things about the Snowden discourse that I just can't figure out on my own.  in particular, I can't figure out how giving information to China and Russia protects my civil liberties. I get his domestic surveillance argument, but his objections to state-on-state spying, not so much.  Haven't states always spied on each other?  Isn't this part of the essence of the nation state as a historical formation?  

      •  Snowden's info to China is publically embarrassing (5+ / 0-)

        ...not tactically or strategically significant.

        They know we hack them, we know they hack us.

        The "traitor" shriekers are sad because publicly proving these assumptions is a diplomatic embarrassment.

        Just remember, Manning didn't release tactical or strategic info either. But many items were incredibly embarrassing on a diplomatic level.

        And look what's happened to him.

        •  Thanks for your response, but the (0+ / 0-)

          Response doesn't really speak to my concern.  The discourse about Snowden being a traitor is less interesting to me than is the potentially libertarian (in the Paulite sense of wanting to shrink the state to an entity whose only function is to protect private property) argument that nations should not engage in spying on other nations. What should the function of the state be in the world imagined by Snowden, greenwald and their defenders?  

          •  Snowden didn't say that we shouldn't spy on... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...China. And he didn't expose spying on the Chinese government or defense agencies.

            I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous.
        •  And johnathan pollard (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          These cases might be similar.  Both involve spying on an ally or allies.  

      •  i doubt he gave them anything (4+ / 0-)

        they didn't already have. consider the possibility that the nsa compiling all this info gives china more than snowden did, because they hack our computers. literally millions of americans have top secret clearances. thousands and thousands are monitoring this nsa data.

        as for state-on-state, i'm guessing he was more troubled by our spying on the g20 diplomats. yeah, it happens, that doesn't make it right. but overall, i don't care to figure out snowden's motives. i don't care to think about him much at all. it's what he revealed that matters. it's the warnings from lee, merkley, sanchez, udall, wyden, etc. that matter. we are being distracted when we focus on snowden or greenwald.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:06:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be the point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis
          we are being distracted when we focus on snowden or greenwald.
          Distraction is a victory for the supporters of the police surveillance state.
        •  I see your point, but I worry (0+ / 0-)

          about the influence not of Snowden, but of Rand Paul, who just recently reiterated his hostility to civil rights (not civil liberties) with the loony argument that he believes that Jim Crow is a problem produced by democracy.

          I understand that this kind of position may not bother you as much as it bothers me.

          •  i'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

            what you mean by that last sentence, but of course the rand pauls will jump on any opportunity. our own views should not be reactive to such machinations. we can recognize the importance of what snowden revealed without making it about his- or greenwald's- or obama's- personality. we can recognize the inherent danger in the structures that have been created, regardless of who for the moment controls them or has access to them.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 02:41:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for your response. (0+ / 0-)

              But I want to try again to be clearer -- my concern is not so much about Snowden or Greenwald or Obama or Rand Paul as individuals.  It's (at the moment) more about libertarianism (including civil libertarianism), versus more collectivist ways of thinking (including ways that balance libertarianism,  civil rights and racial justice).  

              One problem is that I have never met a libertarian of color, although I'm sure there must be some.  And every time I find myself following your injunction to look only at the issues and not the people promoting them, I find myself  substituting names like David Duke for Rand Paul, and asking myself if I could ignore his racism to follow him on an issue like military intervention (if he were ever to take a side of the issue I could agree with).  And my answer is always no, because I think that his positions on civil liberties (and Rand Paul's) are fundamentally consistent with his positions on civil rights.

              In short, I am suspicious of libertarianism on political/theoretical grounds, and that's what makes me suspicious of Rand Paul and his follower Snowden.  

              •  i wouldn't follow a duke or a paul to lunch (0+ / 0-)

                much less on a political issue. there is a difference between liberalism and libertarianism, although on some issues the ideals converge- for example, skepticism of war and opposition to drug laws.

                i personally find it unhelpful when people cite a ron or rand paul when making the case against wars or drug laws or nsa spying, because inevitably it then becomes partially about them, and it's not about them. just because someone is good on one or two issues doesn't mitigate their being reprehensible on a host of other issues. i similarly wish bloomberg would continue to give money to support gun laws, but remove himself from the conversation, his personality, his other issues, and his being mayor of new york all combining to hurt the cause in the red and purple states where gun laws have solid support but people like bloomberg don't.

                so, again- i don't care who reveals violations of the fourth amendment, i care about the violations. i believe in whistleblower protections, and i don't care what motivates the whistleblower. i appreciate the release of the information, but that doesn't mean i'd want to have lunch with snowden. i appreciate anyone who will vote to repeal the iraq aumf and the patriot act, but that doesn't mean i'd vote for the republicans who would make those votes.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:23:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Have you seen this diary about the appeal (0+ / 0-)

                  of libertarianism to the young white democrats who were part of the Obama coalition (to be sure, the diary does not mark them as White, although that is clearly what it meant)?  

                  This diary illustrates why I can't ignore the associations between some of the issues libertarians support and their positions on race.  It says that young disaffected white people are beginning to believe that government does nothing good because of domestic surveillance, among other things.  I don't like domestic surveillance either, but I certainly appreciate the action of the DOJ against stop and frisk.  

          •  It certainly doesn't bother me (0+ / 0-)

            enough to surrender my rights/liberties without a fight, I can tell you that.

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