Don't Insult Our Intelligence, Mr. President: This Debate Wouldn't Be Happening Without Ed Snowden

from the the-big-joke dept

One of the more ridiculous claim's during President Obama's press conference on NSA surveillance today was the claim that he had already started this process prior to the Ed Snowden leaks and that it's likely we would end up in the same place. While he admitted that Snowden may have "accelerated" the process, he's also claiming that the leaks put our national security at risk. There is, of course, little to support any of this. Tim Lee has the best response to this so far, noting that it's clearly bogus that this debate would have happened without Snowden:

... the Obama administration showed little interest in subjecting the NSA to meaningful oversight and public debate prior to Snowden’s actions. When Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked for a “ballpark figure” of the number of Americans whose information was being collected by the NSA last year, the agency refused to give the senator any information, arguing that doing so would violate the privacy of those whose information was collected.

In March, at a Congressional hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper answered “no sir” when Wyden asked whether the NSA had collected “any type of data at all on millions of Americans.” We now know his statement was incorrect.

Wyden and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) had also been pressing for almost four years for access to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s legal opinions interpreting Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Until Snowden’s disclosures, the senators made no headway. Now, the Obama administration has announced it intends to release its legal interpretation of Section 215.

As Lee's colleague Ezra Klein points out in response, the fact that Obama is still attacking Snowden is simply ridiculous.
“What makes us different from other countries is not simply our ability to secure our nation,” Obama said. “It’s the way we do it, with open debate and democratic process.”

If that’s so, then Edward Snowden should be hailed as a hero. There’s simply no doubt that his leaks led to more open debate and more democratic process than would’ve existed otherwise.
Or, in the shortest possible form, NY Times' reporter Binyamin Appelbaum summed it up thusly:
Obama is really mad at Edward Snowden for forcing us patriots to have this critically important conversation.
This is an important discussion, but President Obama has had five years to have it, and has actively resisted it at multiple key opportunities to do so. To pretend that any of this would have happened without Snowden is ridiculous. At the same time, to insist that people who care about our civil liberties are patriots, while still trying to attack and demonize Snowden, just screams of insincerity on the issue. Snowden should be proud: he did this to start the debate and to create change, and it appears that's happening. But President Obama should be ashamed to pretend that this would have happened without Snowden. It's insulting the intelligence of the American public.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    Political party

    Elected Democrats: Surveillance is good and helps us help people.

    Elected Republicans: Surveillance is a matter of security and helps us help people.

    Both are deluded by the office and refuse to serve the people.

    I am baffled by this debate. Either Snowden did help America see the abuses or Snowden helped America by providing us clarity in how our elected officials are working to protect us.

    So spin left or spin right or spin to the middle if they were really looking after the people's best interest then they would have little to condemn Snowden of.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Political party

    Here's my take. Leaking classified information is illegal, but what choice was Edward Snowden given? While Obama likes to say there are correct procedures in place, his actual record on whistlerblowers is, well, the complete and total opposite. I'm more inclined to think that Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Act in fact to root out subversives of the state.

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    Oh look, the angry little man is yelling at the President. How quaint.

    You know who hates open debate? Mikey. Runs away every time.

    Rant on, little man. Rant on. It's apparently all you're good for.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

    Re:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:13pm

    What would have happened if Snowden had walked into Wyden or Udall or another sympathetic Congress person's office with his information and concerns? Any member of Congress can read classified information into the record without legal consequence. By keeping the information inside the country and letting it be released through unorthodox but legal channels, the entire "aiding the enemy" debate could have been avoided.

    This also raises the question of why, if members of Congress knew about these issues before Snowden and were so concerned, they did not take advantage of their virtual immunity to disclose them instead of waiting for some 29-year old sysadmin do it for them...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:18pm

    Re:

    What would of happened to Snowden, was probably answered by William Binney. Wikipedia
    Basically, they trumped up some false charges and harassed him until he lost all his business contacts, then dropped the case. Welcome to the government's Whistlerblower's Protection Act...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    Re:

    The same reason that the Amash amendment was voted down.

    Political blackmail.

     

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    Nigel (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    Re:

    Snowden likely knew he would be head off at the pass before he even hit Wyden's office. He would know these things.

    You raise a few interesting points though.

    Nigel

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:25pm

    It bears repeating. Obummer.

     

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    Beech, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    Snowden is a completely irredeemable sinner for revoking the American Public's most sacred right to bury their heads in the sand and pretend bad things aren't happening.

     

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    Watchit (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    Snowden did accelerate the process... by about 50 years!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:32pm

    Have another report vote troll. Can't even stay on topic, no wonder all your posts get hidden.

     

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    Beech, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re:

    BLARGA FLARGA! ad hom! ad hom! ad hom! why doesn't anyone want to have a debate with me? ad hom!

     

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    Watchit (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    Re:

    I don't think congressmen are technically allowed to release classified information, unless it makes the government look good. Then it's perfectly fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    I didn't watch the press conference, but now I'm curious. How did Obama sound during it? Tired, worn out?
    We've all seen the Candidate Obama vs President Obama YouTube video by now. I'm wondering if his sickly state was temporary, or if he still sounds like he's struggling to speak.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:37pm

    The majority of congress, still can't get answers about the unconstitutional Spygate program. If they can't get answers, how is the public supposed to get answers?

    The answer is, Mr. Snowden. Without him, we would have no answers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    He would have been headed off at the pass by whom? He was able to get on a plane and flee the country and nobody had any idea who he was until he outed himself and the document disclosure had begun. But he would have been "headed off" walking into an office building in Washington for a scheduled appointment with an elected official? Not unless the official set him up.

    If he were especially paranoid about this he could have fled first and contacted the Senator(s) from wherever he went.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't think congressmen are technically allowed to release classified information, unless it makes the government look good. Then it's perfectly fine.

    The Pentagon papers made the government look good?

    Or are you trolling?

     

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    Nick Burns (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    That's the point that I made to my wife. If these leaks didn't occur, everything would be status quo and the NSA would still be spying on the US without the public being any wiser.

     

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    anonymouse, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    Re:

    You really are looking silly now, begging to be debated when you have been given the opportunity so many times and have repeatedly shown you are incapable of having a real debate.

    May i suggest you go and take a few courses in debating, first learn what a debate actually is and maybe get some idea of why you would debate someone, becasue at the moment you really are looking a bit crazy and not very intelligent.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:11pm

    Re:

    I didn't watch the press conference, but now I'm curious. How did Obama sound during it? Tired, worn out?

    Actually didn't seem that tired or worn out, but I wasn't paying as much attention to his demeanor, but his words, while I was watching. Here's some video:

    http://vimeo.com/72066205

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Political blackmail? What? Your conspiratorial trolling is not contributing to the conversation and ignores the facts. If Congress were so hamstrung with "blackmail" (whatever you fantasize that to be) Amash would have never been able to propose the amendment let alone have a couple hundred vote for it.

    Amash is yet another member of Congress Snowden could have turned to and didn't, by the way.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:55pm

    Perhaps he meant that this debate wouldn't be happening in his lifetime. That the descendants of Ken Burns would be making a documentary debating it in 100 years.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Snowden voluntarily gave up any contacts and life he had anyway, and it might have been hard to harass him if under the protection of one or more members of the legislative branch.

    Even if Wyden, Udall, Smash, and any other sympathetic lawmakers had turned him away and he went to Greenwald after the fact and still leaked everything through the Guardian just the way he did, the administration would have a much weaker case that he deliberately ignored established channels for whistleblowing.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

    Re:

    It wouldn't have done any good. There's strong indications that at least a few of those congressmen already knew that something was something was very wrong, but due to the classified nature of the NSA's/government's actions they couldn't go public with this knowledge, and could at most hint at it and hope the public caught on and forced an investigation, something that never happened.

    As to why they didn't take the out you mentioned and just had the documents recorded publicly, it's probably due to only being allowed to see the documents, no notes, no copies, no other people with them, so it would be at most 'their word against the NSA's', and all the NSA would have to do to shut them down would be to claim 'state secrets/classified/national security'.

    Not quite sure on the rules here, so I may be off, but while congresscritters can submit classified documents essentially without repercussions, depending on whether or not they are authorized to access the documents might change how that works. If 'no authorization=no freedom to submit them', then unless they posted all the documents at once(which considering the number would have been all but impossible), then the NSA could have just taken back the files before the more damaging stuff got out, and scrubbed the record of the 'unauthorized' information.

    As for the 'aiding the enemy' charge being avoided, the USG considers merely making the documents public, no matter what channel they are going through, to be aiding the enemy, so that would not have spared him from the charge, and he would have been right where they could grab him, so odds are if he had gone through official channels as you say, he'd have been taken away to a cell somewhere while they tortured him for information and/or just let him stew for a few years ala Manning.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually legislators can reveal classified material -- on the chamber floor, where they have immunity.

    Senator Mike Gravel exercised this right in cooperation with Daniel Ellsberg.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers

    To ensure the possibility of public debate about the content of the papers, on June 29, US Senator Mike Gravel entered 4,100 pages of the Papers to the record of his Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds. These portions of the Papers were subsequently published by Beacon Press, the publishing arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

    Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution provides that "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [a Senator or Representative] shall not be questioned in any other Place", thus the Senator could not be prosecuted for anything said on the Senate floor, and, by extension, for anything entered to the Congressional Record, allowing the Papers to be publicly read without threat of a treason trial and conviction. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court in the decision Gravel v. United States.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re:

    There's strong indications that at least a few of those congressmen already knew that something was something was very wrong, but due to the classified nature of the NSA's/government's actions they couldn't go public with this knowledge, and could at most hint at it and hope the public caught on and forced an investigation, something that never happened.

    Due to the speech or debate clause, they could have indeed gone public. Instead, they (supposedly) dropped oblique hints and attempted to get others, like Clapper, to reveal information - others, by the way, who were not protected by the same clause. When these ploys didn't succeed they basically did not escalate the issue further, at least as far as it looks from the outside.

    By the way, this strategy (going to Congress and imploring them to use the Speech or Debate clause) is exactly what Ellsberg did, although he couldn't find anyone in Congress that would work with him (unfortunate, in hindsight). It was only then that he went to the press.

    As to why they didn't take the out you mentioned and just had the documents recorded publicly, it's probably due to only being allowed to see the documents, no notes, no copies, no other people with them, so it would be at most 'their word against the NSA's', and all the NSA would have to do to shut them down would be to claim 'state secrets/classified/national security'.

    This is not a 29-year-old sysadmin we're talking about, it's the Congress of the United States. Please explain the specific mechanism by which the NSA could have "shut down" debate on the floor if somebody really, really wanted it to happen. Not just one that you imagine exists, let's talk turkey here.

    Let's say you're right, and members of Congress did not push the issue because they did not have sufficient access to source documents. When Snowden decided to go public, he could have solved Congress' problem, by making those documents available - to the appropriate members of Congress.

    Not quite sure on the rules here

    Clearly.

    the USG considers merely making the documents public, no matter what channel they are going through, to be aiding the enemy, so that would not have spared him from the charge

    You are wrong, because in this scenario Snowden releases the information/documents, in confidence, to a sympathetic member of Congress, not to the public. Maybe he does so to a member of Congress that has appropriate clearance or a trusted staffer with one, maybe in a secure facility - just to make it more 'kosher.' Then, the member of Congress enters the information into the record. The member of Congress is the one who releases the information to the public, and he or she would be protected in doing so by the speech or debate clause.

    he would have been right where they could grab him, so odds are if he had gone through official channels as you say, he'd have been taken away to a cell somewhere while they tortured him for information and/or just let him stew for a few years ala Manning

    That is pure speculation.

    First, had he done this, they would have had much less to charge him with, since he released the information only to members of the US Congress, who arguably have both access and need-to-know. What would the charges have been? Be specific here.

    Second, even if he were charged, it would be harder for the executive branch to pull any shenanigans because it would look much more like they were attempting to intimidate the legislative branch.

    Third, let's say he didn't trust his friends in Congress to be able to protect him. He could have arranged everything, then left the country in advance of the disclosure - by Congress, not a foreign reporter - just as he did.

    Fourth, as noted above, if he were maximally paranoid, he could have left first and delivered the information to Congress over the phone, courier, the Internet, whatever.

     

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    JeroenW, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 12:26am

    “What makes us different from other countries is not simply our ability to secure our nation,” Obama said. “It’s the way we do it, with open debate and democratic process.”

    The reputation of the USA among intelligent people in the rest of the world is different. The country is viewed with amusement but certainly not as a democracy which encourages open debate.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 3:02am

    Obama is not the only one spewing out bullshit. Here is the response from my congressman, Mike Pompeo when I wrote to him. I won't include my whole reply to this but here is the ending:

    Mr. Pompeo, you need to realize that the tide is turning. The Amash amendment came VERY close to passing and some who voted against it have said that they were for the principle of it but they just had some problems with the wording. If you continue to support this violation of the Constitution I hope you have your private sector career lined up because you are going to need it.

    Dear Mr.[redacted]
    Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting data on phone calls and electronic communications made in the U.S. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me. As an Army veteran and Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has oversight of these matters, I will always work to strengthen our national security while protecting our cherished liberties.

    As a West Point graduate and former Cavalry officer, I defended Americans' privacy rights on the very edge of the iron curtain. I didn't come to Congress to see them eroded.

    Contrary to the assertions of Edward Snowden, who violated his oath and leaked these programs to foreign newspapers, these programs are absolutely Constitutional and go to great lengths to protect those very rights I defended in the Army. It has been thoroughly and publicly debated in Congress and the public since the passage of the Patriot Act. It is administered by the executive branch, vetted by the courts, and overseen by Congress—both at the Committee level and by individual members.

    These NSA programs do not record or monitor phone calls, contain location data, or store videos generated by the American people. Nor does it allow the government to read your e-mails. What this program is though, is incredibly valuable and effective. There are over 50 examples of attacks that have been thwarted by these programs—including an attack on the New York City Subway and an attack on the New York Stock Exchange that began in Kansas.

    In order to make sure that the public and the NSA are clear about the constraints under which those programs operate, I submitted an amendment to explicitly clarify the scope of these programs. The amendment prohibits the NSA from reading e-mails, tracking websites, or monitoring or storing phone communications of the American people. Over 400 of my colleagues voted for my amendment and it was included in the House-passed 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

    These programs are a critical part of our fight against violence perpetrated by radical Islamic terrorists. Dismantling it will have real consequence on our ability gather intelligence on those who want to harm us—and leave us blind to attacks from an increasingly sophisticated enemy.

    If you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to call on me or Jim Richardson of my Washington, D.C. staff. It is an honor to serve the people of Kansas in the United States Congress.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Pompeo
    Member of Congress

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...The NSA? After all, they are listening in on every call Americans make.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:14am

    '“It’s the way we do it, with open debate and democratic process.”'

    this statement is complete bullshit and lies. it isn't 'the way we do it' at all! in fact, the exact opposite is how it's being done, without debate and without democratic process! it's being done in the manner associated to a dictator, a tyrant! it's making the USA the exact opposite of what it has been looked at as being, not as the hub of freedom, privacy and democracy but as a country ruled by someone who wants to know everything about everybody but doesn't want to tell anyone about anything of his locale

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Still, the recipe for the government is:

    - Charge him with several instances of theft of government property and unauthorized access.

    - Double the number of charges because it was done with a computer.

    - Slam the remaining unethical conduct charges that are left when he goes through the right channels and add "espionage" charges if he has made even the slightest procedural error.

    - Put him in isolation to avoid further leaks.

    - Confiscate all his properties for investigative purpose and if there is the slightest foreign contact, slam, espionage charges of aiding and abetting the enemy to the roster.

    You see, as soon as he found out he had already on purpose or by error, it doesn't matter, committed crimes that could put him in jail for years. As a sys.admin he likely had no choice on the matter if he wanted to do his duty, but that is a procedural issue.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Post facto rationalisation on Amash. How should Snowden know about Amash and his view on the issue 2 months before Amash became aware of the issue?

    I agree that the guy is conspirating with nothing/little to back up his dystopian view.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    In order to make sure that the public and the NSA are clear about the constraints under which those programs operate, I submitted an amendment to explicitly clarify the scope of these programs. The amendment prohibits the NSA from reading e-mails, tracking websites, or monitoring or storing phone communications of the American people. Over 400 of my colleagues voted for my amendment and it was included in the House-passed 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

    Yeah - and right now H.R.2397 is sitting doing nothing after its 7/24/13 passage by the House. According to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2397 the bill has a whopping 20% chance of being enacted (if it even makes it thru the Senate, as it is or otherwise). Pompeo's section appears to be Sec. 10037 at the very end of the bill.

     

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    RD, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    This is why you deserve to be censored. Not reported, *censored*.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 10th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    ... wow. Not since I passed by a cow farm on the highway have I seen so much bullshit. If I had to guess that was probably an automated reply, or one that they copy/paste in any time someone sends in an email voicing concerns, as it seems to match all the NSA's talking points to a t.

    If you're willing to take the time to put together the email, might be very interesting to send him a reply that shows all the evidence that contradicts his claims there, just to see if you can flush out a real response.

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Aug 10th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Here is my complete response to this steaming pile:

    Dear Mr. Pompeo;
    I am also a veteran having served honorably from 1971 to 74. I am appalled how far our constitutional rights have eroded since then. You are obviously spouting the talking points given out by the government even though much of it has been seriously called into question by many of your fellow lawmakers. No proof has ever been offered that this surveillance of millions of innocent Americans has ever prevented a single attack. When they put out this excuse the wording was that this spying "along with other programs" has prevented terrorism. The NSA and other agencies has been lying outright to congress about what has already been revealed, or as Mr. Clapper said about his perjured statements that he gave "the least untruthful answer". They claim that they are setting all these limits on themselves but given their past deceptions how are we to believe them? We keep hearing from many in a position to know that the leaks that have been revealed are just the tip of the iceberg. With secret courts issuing secret blanket warrants based on secret interpretations of the Patriot act how do we know how deep this spying goes? The New York Tines has just published an article stating that the NSA does a scan of every email going in or out of the US:
    "The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials."
    This would include me! I have had several pen pals in other countries from You Tube and other sites. Though these messages are only discussing some singers I like and would be of no concern to the government it is still none of their damn business who I write to.
    Mr. Pompeo, you need to realize that the tide is turning. The Amash amendment came VERY close to passing and some who voted against it have said that they were for the principle of it but they just had some problems with the wording. If you continue to support this violation of the Constitution I hope you have your private sector career lined up because you are going to need it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    Oh look the angry little man is yelling at Techdirt (again). How quaint.

    You know who hates logic? AJ/OOTB.

    Rant on little man (if indeed you ARE a man). Rant on. It's apparently all you're good for.

    etc....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And on leaving the Senators office, Snowden would have been found dead in Fort Macy Park just like Vince Foster.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Foster

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    If a senator HAD brought up this info on the floor, how long do you think it would have been before he ended up like Senator Paul Wellstone, dead at 58years old under VERY suspicious circumstances.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wellstone

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, a little fewer than plenty charges for conviction to a lifetime in prison? There are unauthorized access which is indisputable, theft of government property since he undeniably has information he wasn't privy to. Add the computerized equivalents as has been done several times in other cases including against Manning. Then there is hacking, which has been more than suggested by Obama on more than one occation. Apart from those there are several other smaller conducts in his acquisition of the information that they can hang him on... Before he even gives the information on, he has racked up enough illegal activities for decades in jail.

    Second, the "shenanigans" would still happen wirh the excuse that the acquisition of the information was done illegally. The congressman would of course go free, but Snowden would still get shafted.

    Third, how the "beep" do you know about Snowdens friends? This point is extremely presumptuous (which is what you attack the previous poster for...), given that you never know who would trust a stranger over the secret service, NDI, Homeland security, NSA etc.

    Fourth, see third point. Without having a relation with at least one friendly congressman in the first place it all falls to the ground...

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    jingoi, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Still reading that we're fucked.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    Can we get a funny, but not in a good way button?

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Insult intelligence?

    Mike, the P has done a number of things in the second term that he did not touch the first. To say that not doing something a few months into the 4 year term means it wasn't coming seems like a misfire, no? Even 4+months is definitely less than 7 1/2 years or even 6 years. There is also the evolving international context, politics, and other items higher on his agenda, so every day is not necessarily as good as any other.

    Obama believes more good comes from the overall program than not having it, so it's also consistent for him to be against the leak and at the same time want to have a discussion on what he believes are reasonable concerns (even if he is not convinced the bothered public is correct).

     

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


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