Reveal Illegal Surveillance? Run For Your Life; Conduct Illegal Surveillance & Lie About It? No Biggie

from the our-priorities-are-really-screwed-up dept

It really says a lot when you compare how Ed Snowden and James Clapper are being treated these days. Snowden, who revealed the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance efforts is finding that US pressure and various “technicalities” mean that his asylum requests are getting quickly rejected, leaving him with dwindling options. Meanwhile, James Clapper, who ran the actual program and then flat out lied to Congress about is, can apparently get away with a ridiculous, staged “apology” to Congress for “clearly erroneous” statements.

In a sane world, the person who exposed an illegal surveillance program would be celebrated and congratulated, while the guy who ran the program and lied to Congress about it would be the one worried about his future. Instead, Snowden is being hunted, while no one seems even remotely concerned that Clapper has admitted to not just perjuring himself, but also running a highly questionable surveillance program that to this day is continuing to collect data on millions of Americans and their communications. Something is really screwed up with our priorities.

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Comments on “Reveal Illegal Surveillance? Run For Your Life; Conduct Illegal Surveillance & Lie About It? No Biggie”

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27 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Not a new pattern

Remember — people (pundits, analysts, whatever) who were wrong about predicting the results of the US invasion of Iraq felt no consequences. People who predicted correctly were fired, demoted, or otherwise suffered in the moment.

Never forget — it’s better for your career to be wrong as part of the established power structure than it is to be correct and be in conflict with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s really quite clear. If you are a baseball player and lie to Congress you will be prosecuted.

If you are the Director of National Intelligence and lie to Congress, it’s no biggy.

It’s obvious that baseball players on steroids is much more important to our (alleged) representatives than some NSA programs they don’t understand or care about.

out_of_the_blue says:

Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

With the classic fillip of mis-spelling in the title: “Surveilance”.

C’mon, I know you’re a fanatic copier, Mimeograph Mike, but can’t you give us just a LITTLE new? You’re not even a hack writer! You just re-write what everyone else has with broad truisms sure to be popular with your fanboys.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

Is it just me, or did Blue’s comment seem to literally drip with jealousy?

For some reason when I read it all I could see was the face of the forlorn workman complaining that “No one ever pays him in gum.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxmCdRkCEU0

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

With the classic dig at something unimportant.

C’mon, I know you’re a fantastic troll, never_out_of_the_stupid, but can’t you give us just a LITTLE new? You’re not even a hack 4channer! You just write nonsensical trolling comments to goad people into responding to you.

Anonymous Coward says:

there is actually only one person to blame for the state of things being as they are and that is Mr President! like said, ‘in a sane world’ the one that has done wrong would be the one in the shite, be arrested and waiting for trial. the one that has done no wrong, but is continuously being blamed by arse licking politicians, is in dire trouble, with no country, no passport, no future and death threats from all sorts of sources. this situation would not have existed if Mr President had honoured his statement of encouraging and protecting whistle blowers, instead of only carrying out the first part, so as to be able to persecute those under the failure of the second part! the shit storm that has been kicked up is not because of an individual workers desire to commit treason or to put his country into a situation that would cause substantial lose of life and damage. it was done because whoever ordered or agreed to this spying program needs to feel the full weight of the peoples anger at how their government is treating them and the countries and people that are supposed to be allies! this spying has to stop! it must not be allowed to begin again unless there is a REAL WAR situation declared, not some fictitious situation that is invented just to suit an over powered persons personal ego!

Anonymous Coward says:

To be precise, it is not really OOTB’s comments by themselves that wreck the thread (though of course they are offensive), but the massive and vitriolic rebuttals. Sometimes 3/4 of a comment section is hijacked by the back-and-forth. The immune response becomes worse than the disease.

Not that I disagree with what’s said by OOTB’s abusers, but I still think it’s a waste of time.

Aren’t there other sites for this kind of mutual abuse? Can’t some of OOTB’s attackers — who are right of course, but it takes up space — pile off of him and go somewhere else (some nasty spot on the net) to vent this kind of thing?

TaCktiX (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Personally I feel like TechDirt is more “raw” and authentic because of the back and forth.

People are allowed to be utterly wrong, and other people are allowed to rebuttal with citations, logic, what-have-you. I generally have learned more from rebuttals than I have from original comments.

Furthermore, the dissent (both uninformed and informed) prevents the comments section from becoming an endless echo chamber of “I agree with the article” that would negate the entire purpose of a comments section.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Furthermore, the dissent (both uninformed and informed) prevents the comments section from becoming an endless echo chamber of “I agree with the article” that would negate the entire purpose of a comments section.

Dissent is essential, yes. But what the regular trolls provide is not actually dissent in the sense of rebutting and providing a counterargument. In fact, I think the trolls have the opposite effect, albeit indirectly. I think they discourage dissent.

The trolling here is so mindless, insulting, and off-topic that many regular readers have become hypersensitive and begin to react to any counterargument as if it were trolling. I think we’d have better, more inclusive and productive discussions if they weren’t here (or if everyone could just refrain from replying to them.)

Another Coward says:

Re: Re:

The signal to noise ratio tends to be pretty bad here, bad enough that I rarely scroll past the end of the article anymore, that is if I even bother to visit TechDirt at all anymore (which lately has only been if I’m bored). I made a similar comment to yours a while back, but like most posts these days they tend to get lost in a frothing sea of hostility. My advice? Spend your energy on something more productive elsewhere because it’s simply wasted here. It’s a shame the report button only greys out that one post and not all of it’s replies. It’s not like they can’t all be expanded. Ok, so the trolls “win” in the end. Big deal, right?

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