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View Diary: "They Like Sticking It To The United States" (330 comments)

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  •  Of course it's irrelevant. It has to be. (0+ / 0-)

    Any facts relating Snowden that might raise any questions about his credibility, knowledgeability, or judgement must be irrelevant by definition. This much has become rather obvious in discussions of this topic.

    If I had to bet, I'd go with the likelihood that you're probably under 30 yourself; frankly the notion that you would dismiss a frankly contemptuous desire to rid us of the "bullshit" of Social Security as just a trivial political leaning no more important than a haircut is profoundly alarming. Don't really even know what else to say to that. The way a whole raft of progressive principles that clearly are anathema to Snowden from the writings of his own pre-leak life are rhetorically swept aside basically for the sake of Snowden (and sorry, no, the cause of Snowden and the cause of constitutional government are not one and the same) is far less likely to convince those of us on the left who as yet remain unconvinced than all the dismissive hand-waving about how all other things Snowden are off the table as "irrelevant."

    But the core thing about me that makes me take the time and attention to wonder about all these other things about the events and claims around Snowden is the fact that for most of my adult life I've worked with data networks, and the whole way these claims have been presented (by Snowden and by Greenwald) in terms of how actual servers and communications networks work doesn't entirely mesh with my long-term understanding of same, to an extent that makes me wonder how much direct knowledge of the tapping-in structures Snowden actually has, and if it is as much as he claims. (OTOH I don't doubt that he actually is in possession of the general kinds of documents he claims. Harder to actually bullshit that.)

    But for the things he claims are happening to be happening, edict from government, if said edict truly exists, isn't enough to actually make it happen: there have to be additional, concrete bits of hardware and software added at loooots of places. I've yet to have it explained to me by advocates just what and where those things are, and what they do (or even a convincing subset of same).

    Instead, I'm dismissed as "irrelevant" for even wondering. I can't really unlearn the things that make me want to raise questions, which kind of puts brakes on my ability to go nicely along with "your questions are irrelevant" without first lobotomizing myself. That kind of defensiveness and dismissiveness tends to convince me in the opposite direction of that held by the dismisser. Just sayin'.


    "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

    by Progressive Witness on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:26:40 PM PDT

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    •  two entirely separate things (0+ / 0-)

      one, is your interest in snowden's political leanings, hair color, ice cream flavor preference, boxers or briefs. all irrelevant. give him a congressional medal of honor, a presidential medal of freedom, and he can get on with his life. he has done a heroic service to this country and thats all i need to know about him. do you go around questioning the political leanings of congressional medal of honor winners? of course not. its irrelevant.

      second, is your question about how exactly do these government programs work? i think that is a VERY relevant question. we need to know a lot more. clearly, snowden had access to bits and pieces of the puzzle. we are learning more every day, but not fast enough and certainly not the right way. that is why we need obama to name an independent council with the charge of investigating, without regard for state secrets, the extent of domestic surveillance by the national security establishment.

      america needs those answers now!

      •  Oh FFS. (0+ / 0-)

        This isn't a fucking hair color blog, an ice cream blog, or an underwear blog. Are you really this disconnected? You're actually cavilling about me raising political questions on a political blog about matters of political relevance, that's how far gone you are into the cult of personality around Snowden. You can't see it, you won't see it, so you really have no sense of how freaky it comes across to the uninitiated. And every encounter like this with a True Believer makes me exponentially less likely to join.

        I've wanted answers about the NSA since probably before you were actually aware of it--since a time when it didn't officially exist--but I am increasingly suspicious of Snowden as a qualified, rational, or reliable actor in the conversation, and I suppose it's actually unfair to Snowden that my opinion in that is negatively colored by those deifying him. But by all means, continue on with the worship. I'm just baffled as to why you think it'll convince anyone of Snowden's veracity. Sad, really.


        "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

        by Progressive Witness on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:06:30 AM PDT

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        •  i am not trying or even hoping to convince you... (0+ / 0-)

          ...of anything. i agree 100% that there is zero chance of that happening. most of us who argue here do so (a) in hopes of convincing those who may be silently reading these comments or (b) just because its fun to discuss these things.

          i agree this is a political blog, but your interest is Snowden's politics is still irrelevant. Snowden is not the subject of this debate, even though thats what the government-media industrial complex is trying to make the debate about. Any reference to Snowden is distracting us from the real issue here, which is government spying on US citizens without warrants. we could have found out about the government spying because a laptop got misplaced somehow, or because of a congressional investigation, or because of journalists doing real journalism for once, or because the news were leaked by a hardcore leftist, a hardcore winger, a moderate person, a libertarian, etc. None of that is relevant to the real issue. the real issue is government spying.

          •  Yeah, much as you want to... (0+ / 0-)

   don't have the standing to simply declare as off the table those aspects of the topic that you don't want to allow as part of the conversation, especially when those aspects bear on the veracity of the very source you're relying on and placing on a high pedestal. Funny how praise of Snowden is on-topic but questions about him? Verboten. Have fun trying to enforce that. Those "silently reading these comments" get to hear about that side of it too, as much as you might want to prevent that.


            "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

            by Progressive Witness on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:29:49 PM PDT

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            •  im not trying to enforce anything (0+ / 0-)

              i am just telling you your concern about his politics is irrelevant and a distraction. you are of course free to disagree with me (have i ever said otherwise?). and when i say distraction, i mean "a distraction that provides cover to the statists running and abetting our tyrannical government".

              i have not placed Snowden on any pedestal. I dont CARE if he is a heroin addicted goat molester who pees in the shower. He has performed a great service to our nation, which is clearly independent of any other personal characteristics he may or may not have. I place great value in the information that he has provided us, and i dont see how his own personal characteristics have any bearing on that information. Are you saying that you think the powerpoint slides were fabricated? if so, dont you think the government would have said so already?

              •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                But Wired pegged them pretty well:

                Crude vector art and bullet points leave too much to the imagination, even when it’s the most highly classified crude vector art and bullet points the public has ever seen.
                And the additional slide that supposedly was a smoking gun of an official back-door into FB, etc?
                But in context, that additional line adds little. The slide is intended to distinguish PRISM collection from the NSA’s raw internet wiretapping. It doesn’t address whether the collection is broad and automatic, or narrow and mediated by lawyers at the target companies, as subsequent reporting by other news outlets has indicated.
                I "collect information directly from Facebook's servers" every time I point a browser at it. That language doesn't demonstrate that a hardware or software backdoor has actually been installed, let alone what that backdoor does if it exists. Greenwald says he "won't public NSA tech methods" but unfortunately, without at least some crumbs of technical detail--and the slides we've seen aren't even crumbs--I have no way of knowing if the claims being made about a) the existence of a backdoor and b) how powerful it is are a lot of non-technical handwaving. There's a whole cottage industry of believing otherwise absent such hard proof, but I ain't on that bandwagon.

                Or is even the slightest skepticism founded in technical background "irrelevant"?


                "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

                by Progressive Witness on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:10:02 PM PDT

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                •  thats why we need a special prosecutor (0+ / 0-)

                  because right now we DONT know for certain the extent to which the government is spying on all of us without warrants. but the fact that a LOT of snowden haters here on this very site often state that he has revealed NOTHING NEW, is to me reason enough to suggest that the government has a lot of explaining to do.

              •  Whoops! Wired linky thing: (0+ / 0-)

                "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

                by Progressive Witness on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:13:13 PM PDT

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