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View Diary: The Reasons Edward Snowden Will Not Receive a Pardon or Executive Clemency (302 comments)

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  •  He's getting some crap (3+ / 0-)
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    Tortmaster, agnostic, Medium Head Boy

    for sure, but I see part of the problem is he mixed a couple issues together. The case is effectively made that there will be no pardons, but that seemed obvious. Our president does not look kindly on anyone breaking ranks and isn't all that inclined toward pardons in general. Plus, Snowden made a conscious decision to break some laws and that usually comes with consequences. Well, for most of us anyway.

    A large part of this diary goes beyond Snowden to a general defense of the surveillance programs and the contention the nation has been seriously harmed. I remain skeptical on that part as the claims of benefit or harm regarding the secretive NSA seems always to boil down to "You have to trust us on this." It's difficult to trust organizations or people who have been found to telling numerous untruths already. A year ago "55 serious terrorist threats" had been prevented because of this activity. Numerous challenges and revelations later, the last time I heard the actual number was, "Uh, none."

    It's impossible for the plain folk to gauge the value of these programs but so very easy to see some gigantic potential risks going forward that the super-secrecy feels dangerous. If all this gee wiz techno-magic could not anticipate the Boston Marathon bombers, even after one of them had been ID'd to the FBI, then what the hell good is it? What's it's real purpose? "Trust us" is not really cutting it.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:03:12 AM PST

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    •  I think it's generally ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... understood that the NSA used one of their devices to infect the computers in the Iranian nuclear program. If that is true, then think of what it might have saved just because of a little delay.

      Additionally, the most recent Judge to rule that the metadata program was constitutional--I believe he was the one in the Southern District of New York--found that the program, if it were in place at the time, likely would have stopped 9/11. Of course, nobody knows if that is true or not because it can't be proved based on our current knowledge of space/time, but can anyone doubt it would make future attacks more difficult?

      I've always wondered if that "55" number was brought up and then retracted because if the United States Attorney opened the door to that evidence, it would allow more people to learn about classified information. I fully admit I got no proof of that, but that's how evidence in a courtroom operates.

      Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. On biblical prophesy: If you play the bible backwards, it says, "Paul is dead."

      by Tortmaster on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:20:54 AM PST

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      •  weasel phrasing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, Tortmaster

        "... understood that the NSA used one of their devices to infect the computers in the Iranian nuclear program. If that is true, then think of what it might have saved just because of a little delay."

        very telling.

        Wondered how long it would take for you to trot out that rightwing militaristic squawking point.

        Trust, but verify. And this is not verification.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:53:09 AM PST

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      •  What people are forgetting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tortmaster

        is that a lot of what was leaked has absolutely nothing to do with our 4th Amendment and is perfectly legitimate spycraft (such as how we operate in China, Russia, Pakistan, how Norway and Sweden spy on Russia, how Australia and Indonesia share information to deal with Indonesia's refugee problem).

        •  That is a valid and good point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tortmaster

          Yeah, how Snowden did what he did might be described as amateurish and blunt, which I think one would expect of a young man unschooled in the application of intelligence. As Tort has said he probably took very bad advice.

          It's unfortunate these discussions devolve into sainthood/not sainthood arguments as it clouds peoples' minds as to the issues. Snowden broke laws and oaths and because of that faces certain consequences. I don't think he was unaware of that. Had be been more discrete in his disclosures I doubt the Powers That Be would be any less fervent in calling for his head on a pike, but it would be easier to defend some sort of mercy. But it's messy and will play out.

          People should not let that debate distract from the information revealed that should be of major interest to the citizenry of the nation. There is a separate debate to be had concerning the degree of intrusion that should be allowed in what we pride ourselves as the pillar of freedom and democracy.

          There are arguments on both sides of that debate but it seems pretty certain the intelligence community has had all these programs buttoned up so tight that debate would not have been possible without someone breaking the law to bring it to the nation's attention. Sure, there are channels, but seriously, has anyone made it through those channels to the reveal what's been going on so we could have a national discussion how just how much we wish to expose ourselves to in order to be "safe"? Not before Mr. Snowden.

          Snowden is neither a saint nor the devil. He's a guy who kinda ruined his life to do something he believed in. His fate should have little to do with our judgements about what kind of country we want to live in.

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by ricklewsive on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:25:48 PM PST

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