Congress Flips Out About 'Snowden The Traitor' As They Try To Pass Legislation To Stop The Program He Revealed

from the cognitive-dissonance dept

Congress is quite incredible at times. Compare and contrast the following two articles. First, we’ve got the news that Congress is pushing very, very hard to roll back and limit the various NSA surveillance programs — programs that we only really know the full details about because of the leaks from Ed Snowden to the press. Then, we’ve got a bunch of Senators calling Snowden a traitor and arguing that Russia has “stabbed us in the back” by taking Snowden in. It’s as if they don’t even realize what they’re saying and how fundamentally ridiculous they look:

“Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife,” said Senator Chuck Schumer….

[….] “I think this is a troubling pattern,” Ayotte said, pointing to Putin’s support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, his crackdown on adoptions and a string of other decisions in which he’s “basically just trampling on what we’ve expressed to him that we want to see happen … we’re not just talking about Snowden here.”

[….] “I think Snowden is a traitor, and Putin did a wrong thing.”… Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told BuzzFeed.

[….] “Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States,” McCain said in a statement.

So… he’s a traitor, and Russia has “stabbed us in the back” by allowing him to stay in that country… and… oh yeah… we need to fix this whole spying thing that Congress really sorta kinda knew about all along, but didn’t much care about until Snowden let the public in on it. Incredible.

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Comments on “Congress Flips Out About 'Snowden The Traitor' As They Try To Pass Legislation To Stop The Program He Revealed”

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40 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

Cognitive dissonance? Bi-polar disturb?

Ahem. I think it’s explainable if you breakdown Congress into their respective members. Part of them think Snowden is a traitor and the other doesn’t. Same with the support for the programs exposed by the leaks. And then you have the weird cases who think the programs are ok but Snowden is also ok because there was no transparency despite the programs being ok (?!?!?!).

There seem to be the cases that are indeed some sort of mental disturb and are fighting against the programs while condemning the very man who brought them to light. I’m inclined to think these are either clueless or the “go with the flow” ones regardless of how dumb it makes them look.

Anonymous Coward says:

?I think this is a troubling pattern,? Ayotte said, pointing to Putin?s support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, his crackdown on adoptions and a string of other decisions in which he?s ?basically just trampling on what we?ve expressed to him that we want to see happen ? we?re not just talking about Snowden here.?

Since when did the US empire expand to include Russia?

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I noticed that too. Russia is a sovereign nation. Our wishes mean just as much to them as their wishes mean to us: A fart in a hurricane.

But the way some Congresscritters are talking, it’s like they think the Russian Federation is the 51st state, and the state is on the verge of rebellion.

Acting in accordance with that viewpoint will have nasty consequences. While the current incarnation of Russia isn’t quite as much of an international heavyweight as the USSR was, it’s well above the weight class of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Have the leaders we elected grown so overconfident from trampling on midgets, that they’ve forgotten that there are full size bodybuilders around?

out_of_the_blue says:

Amazing that you can spot this contradiction,

but cannot see the vastly more important similarities of NSA and Google, nor do you even appear to acknowledge their everyday collaboration after Snowden revealed that NSA has “direct access” to Google’s servers. You can’t logically let alone actually oppose NSA spying while supporting a major data source, Google.


When you think surveillance, think Google!

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Huh?

I am confused. Is America the country that embodied freedom, liberty, and the rights of citizens or are we the country that demanded compliance and secrecy and forced each and every person to live under a tyrannical regime that defines every aspect of our lives and allows no deviation from that?

Are we not the country that was founded by those that sought to lay off the restraints of a ruler and find the best way to live?

Have we gone so far from the ideals of our founding that we are now becoming the country and state that this country was founded to defy?

In are largess and fatness have we decided to become something lazy and fretful and allow others to rule us and define our lives as long as our narrow lives are not impinged.

Ok so that was my rant in old speak. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, that position is justifiable if you consider that Snowden revealed more than that we were spying on Americans. He also revealed that we were spying on our allies, if I remember correctly. So, maybe Congress is saying that they want the spying on Americans to end but the spying on our allies to continue?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Spying on allies is one completely expectable thing, spying on embassies and allies politicians before negotiations, now that is very unhealthy for any future negotiation. Since the political spying has been revealed, they have every right to fear that future treaties will be much harder to land with the same US-dominated results. That is probably one of the most important things they rage about. The other position is that the big tech companies cooperate with US intelligence service. That is, however, not news as far as european governments, even though the scale is surprising.

The politicians are doing their normal raindance to avoid looking like soft socialists. The things they say are to affirm that none of their own has gone soft and if they have, that everyone else in the community knows and can help to freeze them out of the good company.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Dissociative identity disorder

In my professional opinion….I wholeheartedly agree with that.

One thing should be noted. In spite of what Congress is saying about it, I still have severely mixed feelings about Russia. Diplomatic relations between the US, Russia, and China are like a three way chess game because we are all bitter rivals in the global community. I don’t doubt Congress is quite insane…but in my own opinion, while as a whole it is good that Snowden has been granted asylum there…I cannot help but question Russia’s motives in this situation. They still carry diplomatic ties to countries that would torture Snowden’s information out of him.

Anonymous Coward says:

typical behaviour from politicians, especially the ones that have been caught out by the public, for not doing what they are elected to do, ie, represent the public! they all knew exactly what was going on, it’s just that some were in the position of knowing more than others. their way of trying to look as if they are doing now what they should have been doing all along is to be very vocal, the main thing that politicians do best!! however, they still cant distinguish between the two things, being caught for not doing what they should have then and want to appear to be doing now or calling the person who has not betrayed them or the US in any way but made public the fact that in the case of the majority of politicians they have been too complacent, too content on turning the blind eye. now the facade is over, they dont like being exposed because it is going to compel them to start doing what their job actually consists of, REPRESENTING THE PUBLIC, not letting the government get away with treating their own countrymen like terrorists and criminals!!

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s not just congress, so many idiot Americans are saying it’s an outrage that Russia is sheltering Snowden, while wanting the NSA basically shut down.

I’m starting to feel like the lone voice defending Snowden at sites like Politico, it’s insane how many people are concerned about the NSA’s spying there, but call Snowden a traitor. Nevermind how many times I point out that treason is defined in the US constitution and the US government doesn’t have 2 or more witnesses against him.

Anonymous Coward says:

“[….] ?Russia?s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States,? McCain said in a statement. “

This is a tacit admission that this whole wild goose chase has less to do with justice or national security and the public interest and more to do with being embarrassed.

These politicians have no clue what they are saying sometimes. With your very own words you condemn yourself.

Your decisions should not be based on avoiding embarrassment. That should not enter into the discussion. Your decisions should be about doing what’s right. but apparently your reputation means more to you than the public interest.

Mr. Applegate says:

“So… he’s a traitor, and Russia has “stabbed us in the back” by allowing him to stay in that country… and… oh yeah… we need to fix this whole spying thing that Congress really sorta kinda knew about all along, but didn’t much care about until Snowden let the public in on it. Incredible.”

What is incredible is you think that they are actually interested in shutting these NSA programs down. They will all be issued ‘new identities’ and will live on in perpetuity until the people rise up and get rid all current politicians of ANY political party.

derplord says:

?Russia?s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States,? McCain said in a statement.

As If being caught with your hand in the data jar wasn’t Embarrassing.

Still finding the Anti US statements flying around , Makes me laugh the UK has it’s version of Prism, it’s called Tempora every nation in the world has at one time or another spied on it’s people …crack open your history books and quit making excuses for your ignorant uneducated remarks

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Huh.

Our constitutional framers saw this, and spoke of it many times. This is the direction that even the freest most well-meaning governments go: Those in desperation invoke the exploits that serve their needs. Once exposed, that exploit gets used for every other purpose it serves until it is the norm.

Lather, rinse, repeat until total government failure

The branches of government don’t represent us anymore, but not all of us recognize that, and so long as we’re distracted by the circuses (and have enough bread) we won’t be inclined to do anything about it.

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