Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Abolish The NSA And Give Snowden A Parade

from the taking-a-stand dept

There was a showing of the new documentary, Terms and Conditions May Apply late last week in Washington DC, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich stopped by and made some very pointed remarks while discussing the NSA's surveillance activities. The (well-timed) documentary, of course, looks at how companies and the government use and abuse everyone's digital data. Kucinich's remarks are well worth listening to, as he suggests that Congress should abolish the NSA, while also saying that Ed Snowden deserves a ticker-tape parade.
The key quotes come in response to the film's director, Cullen Hoback, asking what would it take for Congress to hold James Clapper accountable for lying to Congress:
Well, you know it's illegal to lie to Congress, but everyone lies to Congress. As soon as they raise their right hand, watch out! Clapper should be held responsible, but he won't be, because that's the condition we're in right now. In a just world, Snowden, we'd be having ticker tape parades for him. But that's not what's going to happen.

[....] We have the CIA, the FBI, a dozen other intelligence infrastructures. Frankly -- and I'm saying this with a lifetime's experience in government here -- it's time to punch the NSA's ticket here. They've ruined the brand. They've destroyed the idea of privacy. We need some kind of symbolic and profound approach here, that says, 'look, you've violated something that's very dear to the American people -- you don't get to do that.' We talk about the death penalty for individuals, which I oppose, but I think there needs to be for government agencies that so broadly betray the public interest, there needs to be a measure of responsibility. And if they go beyond the pale, which the NSA has, they just ought to be abolished. We don't need the spying.
There have been a lot of strong words about all of this coming from some members of Congress, but these may be the strongest yet.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    icon
    Mark Harrill (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Shocked...

    I never thought in my life I would every agree with Rep. Kucinich on anything. See what you have done NSA!

     

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  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    I'm wondering if it's the same we've been dissing regarding copyright law. It's so broken, so deformed that maybe the solution is to fully scrap it and start over...

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Yes, IS going to be another day of all-NSA Masnicking.

    Don't forget Snowden's message! -- "Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren't fighting for our interests the same way."

     

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  4.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Um...

    Didn't he retire?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Yes, IS going to be another day of all-NSA Masnicking.

    You know, even going after Google here wouldn't be too bad, since it is not nearly as off-topic as usual. But then you put a personal attack in the post subject... *sigh*

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Yes, IS going to be another day of all-NSA Masnicking.

    Enjoy your quarantine.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Yes, IS going to be another day of all-NSA Masnicking.

    why they aren't fighting for our interests the same way

    Because they have a little more trouble getting out of the country than simply purchasing an airline ticket.

    I think Snowden did the right thing, but I am sure it would have been a much more difficult decision if he had to stay in the country and be executed for it.

     

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  8.  
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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:38am

    The Pendulum swings

    I've been thinking about this, and it truly puzzles me when people say the NSA has "smart people." I would think that a smart person would not stretch the law as the NSA has done, because when it snaps back, their reach will be radically pruned.
    My definition of intelligence is to be able to predict the outcome of actions and situations with accuracy. I guess my definition differs from most peoples.

     

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  9.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Re: Um...

    Didn't he retire?


    Yes, but it's common to still refer to former officials like that with their former title...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    They've ruined the brand

    That's totally true. They do have a branding problem now. They are going to need a new logo, mission statement, website, everything.

    Obviously, they will need a new acronym. Possibly something like:
    Department of
    Interior
    Command
    For
    Oversight of
    Responses and
    Sends

     

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  11.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    More than that - it's large parts of government.

     

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  12.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    DICFORS

    ...Hmm... Nah, doesn't work right.

     

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  13.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    Gah! Meant to reply to Michael above!

     

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  14.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Re: The Pendulum swings

    You mistake having smart people with the smart people being in charge (or being able to shape policy).

    The NSA does have many incredibly intelligent people. Their crypto teams are some of the best in the world, both in terms of breaking crypto systems, and in coming up with crypto systems that are very difficult to break. They probably have many very smart analysts just like Snowden, who are genuinely trying to play by the rules as best they can.

    But those people are the worker bees. They take their orders and direction from the bosses.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Wow, Dennis Kucinich, huh? The guy who claims he saw a flying saucer? I guess that's just the sort of credability required for Techdirt.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/31/kucinich-i-did-see-a-ufo_n_70566.html

     

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  16.  
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    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re:

    Ronald Reagan claimed to have seen a UFO as well.

    Perhaps there is a little something extra in the political waters...

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Um...

    And it also makes a nutjob appear more important and relevant. Why not say former-Representative or former-congressman? Why leave the impression that he's a current member to readers who may not know who he is (was)?

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    And unfortunately you can't scrap the Government and start over without some serious problems. The problem are not the laws but those making them eh? So even if you fix something here it'll be inevitably broken years ahead by bad lawmakers. In fact this is part of the issues. There are plenty of laboratories around the world (and by laboratories I mean movements like the Occupy ones) that are trying to come with new models to replace the current broken, decaying system. In common all of them have the collectivity as a goal instead of the current mindless competition and egocentric attitudes.

    What does the current generation want? They want a place to live, health, education, justice, basic transportation and food. They are not interested in luxury cars or lavish mansions. They are not about possessions ("to have") but rather about life experiences ("to be"). This is but a rough interpretation but I expect much from the current generation (20 to 40ish) and there has been a lot of advances despite the grim outlook.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    I guess that's just the sort of credability required for Techdirt.

    Yes, because the NSA and Obama administration clearly don't have a credibility deficit.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Um...

    Why not say former-Representative or former-congressman?

    I think calling him a "former-Representative" would be the way to make a nutjob appear more important and relevant.

     

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  21.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Um...

    If you ignore the first sentence I agree with you. Adding an ex- to the title seems important to me too. However the fact that he's an ex-rperesentative does not make him less important or relevant. His actions will do that part, not your own opinion.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re:

    That's what happened!

    The NSA and Obama have been digging the credibility hole so long we all ended up in China.

     

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  23.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    Cute, let us use any minor fact to put the individual in check. Classic.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Um...

    If you ignore the first sentence I agree with you. Adding an ex- to the title seems important to me too. However the fact that he's an ex-rperesentative does not make him less important or relevant. His actions will do that part, not your own opinion.

    It does in that he has no more voice or vote than anyone on the street. He can't hold a hearing, submit a bill, vote on a measure, etc.

     

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  25.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Um...

    Oh please, as if anyone needed to have political power to be important or relevant. What you've done and what you do will grant you more or less respect and importance from people. Look through history and you'll find quite a few examples of "powerless" people that had a tremendous impact in the world.

     

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  26.  
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    Sideshow Billybob, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    All Things Considered...

    ...I wouldn't mind a bit if NSA went back to meaning No Such Agency (and actually meant what it said.)

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    All UFO means in its most literal sense is that you saw something in the air, and you don't know what it was. Which is something Kucinich points out in the article you linked to.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re:

    In all fairness can anyone be bothered to identify every flying object out there?

     

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  29.  
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    GoldHoarder (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Um...

    Actually he was voted out of office after the democrats rezoned the districts. they put him into a head on head matchup with Marcy Kaptur. He lost.

     

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  30.  
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    GoldHoarder (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    They are the new Blackwater. LOL.
    I don't like your title though. Not Orwellian enough. I think it should be somethings like the Department of
    Protecting American Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights.

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And unfortunately you can't scrap the Government and start over without some serious problems.


    In all fairness, if the problems are big enough then that's exactly what you have to do. I don't think the problems are big enough in this case, though.

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Um...

    They should come up with a symbol for that ... kind of like the artist formerly know as prince.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    From Shirley MacLaine's book:

    Kucinich, she writes on page143-144 of the book, "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there. Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

     

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  35.  
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    al-thowura, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    why

    Why are most of the comments here about "what do we call a former rep?"

    No matter what Kucinich is called, he is sorely missed in the house and as a leader of truth and peace. We need more public support of the anti-nsa conversation. This is 2001 one again, "if you aren't with us, you're with the terrorists."

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    KW, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Um...

    Nope, he was gerrymandered out of office. Cleveland and Toledo became one district, and Marcy Kaptur won the seat.

     

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  37.  
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    LoOkNcLiC, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Um...

    Retired. Just like Michael Jordan, Eagles, Phish and such

     

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  38.  
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    killuminati, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    I have seen a ufo too. A few times. You calling me crazy too. Just because you haven't doesnt mean others haven't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Yes, like Kucinich you're nuttier than squirrel shit. Did you:

    ".... [feel] a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    Well the offer of fucking my wife still stands.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 8:30pm

    I thought Dennis Kucinich is now a private citizen.

     

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  42.  
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    Aaron Wolf (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 9:38pm

    Are you just some completely dogmatic anarcho-capitalist??

    The idea that someone with true integrity like Kucinich could be completely dismissed indicates merely that you have not learned to be open-minded. Given you agree on this, maybe you could learn that with effort to see other's views, you'll find that *some* of them make sense. You shouldn't agree with him or anyone automatically on everything either, but if you've been that judgmental about Kucinich or his views… Well, I hope you take this as a lesson to check yourself and listen more and don't make up your mind in advance.

     

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  43.  
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    JJJoseph (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 10:07pm

    Dennis Kucinich

    Honest, Dennis Kucinich is such a wiener. Oh, that doesn't sound right, does it?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Re:

    I thought Dennis Kucinich is now a private citizen.

    He is; but the story is more compelling when Masnick misleads his readers to believe that it a sitting Congressman saying this. Not that anyone paid him much notice when he was in office.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    hippity hoppty, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Secret societies have infiltrated all branches of government, federal,state, local. even police forces have been stacked with members of the secret societies. All members of these secret societies need to be routed out, exposed. Some secret societies worship the devil as crazy as that sounds it happens to be true. So why would you be surprised with all the crimes, coverups that are taking place. The secret societies are the breeding ground and source of all the corruption.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    gmathol, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 12:30am

    NSA will never be abolished! Why? It exists!

    The US used the two nuclear bombs on Japan, also Japan had already capitulated. Why? The US spend so much money to build those bombs.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Sam Smith, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    For Once...

    For Once I'm proud of some of Ohio's elected officials... Go Dennis... sad he's done if this is how he feels about the NSA and spying.

     

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  48.  
    icon
    JJJoseph (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Are you just some completely dogmatic anarcho-capitalist??

    I've always thought Kucinich was out to lunch, and he's done nothing to change my mind.

     

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  49.  
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    JJJoseph (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Re: The Pendulum swings

    "My definition of intelligence is to be able to predict the outcome of actions and situations"

    That's called fortune telling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    JJJoseph (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    " he saw a gigantic triangular craft"

    No wonder he's spooked by the NSA. They're actually following him!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    JJJoseph (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    Heads up, NSA: did you all get this message from Yemen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    packed, Oct 29th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

    aye to this

    the nsa das to go now along with the monkeys called "congress".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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