NSA Defender Rep. Mike Pompeo Attacks SXSW With Ignorant Misleading Diatribe For Having Ed Snowden Speak

from the no-free-speech dept

As you may have heard, Ed Snowden is speaking at the famed SXSW conference this morning (by videoconference, obviously). It got a fair bit of attention when it was announced, in part because, so far, Snowden has been incredibly reticent to speak out publicly over everything he's been involved in. He has done so on a few occasions, including last week for the EU Parliament, but for the most part he has avoided all of the typical TV interviews and the like.

You may also know that there are some people who don't like Ed Snowden very much. One of those is Rep. Mike Pompeo, one of Rep. Mike Rogers' key attack dogs on the House Intelligence Committee. You may remember that back when Rep. Justin Amash was trying to defund the NSA's bulk metadata program, that Pompeo was the sponsor of the "competing bill" to try to trick Reps. into supporting reform that actually further allowed the NSA to continue. Pompeo also believes that spying on all American citizens by collecting their metadata is the way "our government is supposed to operate."

So, as you might imagine, Pompeo is not particularly happy with Ed Snowden. And he seems particularly livid at SXSW for allowing Snowden to speak there. Pompeo sent the conference organizers a letter so full of misleading statements to flat out lies, condemning their decision to invite Snowden, and asking them to cancel Snowden, that it makes you wonder just what Pompeo is so afraid of. Since when is a little free speech so scary?

Let's dive in and look at some of the lies and misleading claims from the letter:
I share your passion for educating the American public on the intersection of civil liberties and technology, but I am deeply troubled to learn that you have invited Edward Snowden to address SXSW on privacy, surveillance, and online monitoring in the United States. Certainly an organization of your caliber can attract experts on these topics with knowledge superior to a man was hired as a systems administrator and whose only apparent qualification is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin.
Kicking it off on a high note. First of all, given his previous statements, I'm skeptical that Pompeo actually gives two shits about anyone's civil liberties, but frankly, I'm much more "deeply troubled" by an elected US official sending a letter on Congressional stationery, trying to influence who can and who cannot speak at a conference. That screams of intimidation by the federal government.

Furthermore, the whole "fled to Russia" myth has been debunked so many times it just makes Pompeo look foolish to bring it up again. Snowden didn't flee to Russia. He ended up being stuck there because the US government pulled his passport while he was enroute elsewhere, via Russia. Furthermore, the idea that Snowden is somehow unqualified to discuss US surveillance on its own people is simply crazy. It is difficult to think of anyone more qualified. Even many of his detractors begrudgingly are willing to admit that Snowden has helped kick off this big debate we're having.
Mr. Snowden's appearance would stamp the imprimatur of your fine organization on a man who ill deserves such accolades. Rewarding Mr. Snowden's behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited. Such the ongoing intentional distortion of truth that he and his media enablers have engaged in since the release of these documents--undermines the very fairness and freedom that SXSW and the ACLU purport to foster. I strongly urge you to withdraw this invitation.
I don't think Snowden's appearance at SXSW makes one iota of difference in terms of encouraging or discouraging others. Nor do I think that without SXSW's "imprimatur" anyone thinks any less of Snowden. That whole argument makes no sense. Furthermore, for Pompeo to call some of the best journalists in the world "media enablers" is just sickening. It's taking a page from the playbook of his buddy Mike Rogers.

Furthermore, a very large percentage of the American public see Snowden as a whistleblower, which actually is the kind of activity that we should wish to encourage.
In case you did not have access to the full facts in making your initial decision to extend your invitation, I want to call a few undisputed facts about the actions taken by Mr. Snowden to your attention:
Warning: when someone like Pompeo announces he's going to highlight "undisputed facts," you can bet pretty strongly that what he's about to describe are neither undisputed, nor facts.
The overwhelming majority of the materials stolen had nothing to do with the privacy of U.S. persons

Only a tiny sliver of the materials stolen by Mr. Snowden had anything to do with United States telecommunications or the privacy rights of Americans. Rather, the majority of the material taken, now in the hands of other countries, provides detailed information about America's intelligence sources and methods. By divulging this information, Mr. Snowden has put the lives of our soldiers, sailors and airmen at risk--in addition to the lives of the people who will attend your conference.
Almost none of the above is accurate. The claim about him taking other information is based on the faulty assumption in a DOD report that every document that Snowden "touched" he took. Snowden, from the very beginning, made it clear that he carefully went through documents and removed those that he thought should remain classified. Second, government officials have repeatedly stated that there is no evidence that Snowden gave those documents to officials in other countries. For Pompeo to argue that this is an "undisputed fact" is laughable. Finally, the whole "put lives at risk" thing is again totally unsubstantiated. It's the same argument that government officials have repeatedly made in response to leaks. They said it about Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. They said it about Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks, and now they're claiming it about Snowden. Every time they've eventually had to admit the claims were bogus.
Mr. Snowden cares more about personal fame than personal privacy

Mr. Snowden's continued pursuit of the limelight has little to do with online privacy and everything to do with ensuring that he stays in the good graces of his new home nation. Once he stops doing interviews attacking America's ability to collect intelligence lawfully, he stops being useful to the Kremlin. This helps to explain why, since arriving in Moscow single word about the number of political dissidents jailed in Russia or about Russia's suspected state-sponsored cyber-attacks against other countries and private entities.
Again, this is laughable. Anyone who has followed this story has to note just how little Snowden has done "in pursuit of the limelight." He's turned down almost every media opportunity, only granting interviews to the key reporters he initially trusted. The claim that he's been continually doing interviews attacking the US is a flat out lie. That he hasn't spoken out about political dissidents in Russia is certainly a valid claim, but a meaningless one. Snowden need not fight every fight -- especially one that he has little to do with. Furthermore, if you were in his shoes, with Russia currently being the only country willing to offer him some form of asylum, it seems reasonable that you'd focus on the area of your actual expertise (US surveillance) rather than attacking the host.
Mr. Snowden gives real whistleblowers a bad name

Mr. Snowden had--and was fully aware of--multiple opportunities to correct what he perceived as unlawful practices, but he chose not to go to his superior, to Congress, to the Inspector General, or to anyone save for Russia and Team Greenwald. This fact proves that his goal was not to fix what he saw as wrong, but rather to inflict harm upon the very nation that provided him with the rights he chose not to exercise. He is no more a whistleblower than were Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, or Benedict Arnold.
This is not true. Snowden has repeatedly talked about how he went to his superiors and colleagues and told them of his concerns. Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, the NSA's Inspector General made it clear that if Snowden had gone to him, he would have done nothing to fix things, but rather attacked Snowden. The idea that going to the Inspector General was a realistic option is laughable. And going to Congress? Who would he have gone to? You, Rep. Pompeo? Yeah, right.

Pompeo is simply out of step with the American public, a very large percentage of whom see Snowden as a whistleblower. The fact that two separate government review boards have each found the NSA metadata collection program problematic, to potentially illegal and unconstitutional and the President has committed to changing the program sorta confirms that he was, in fact, a whistleblower -- and that his other "options" would not have worked.

Finally, the fact that Snowden went to the press rather than dead end options that would have gotten himself labeled a "troublemaker" somehow proves he wanted to harm the US? How so? That makes no sense. It's just Pompeo spouting nonsense.
When I served in the Army along the Iron Curtain we had a word for a person who absconds with information and provides it to another nation: traitor. We also had a name for a person who chooses to reveal secrets he had personally promised to protect: common criminal. Mr. Snowden is both a traitor and a common criminal.
Again, Snowden didn't provide information to "another nation." He provided it to the press, so that the American public could learn about it. Pompeo might also want to familiarize himself with the official definition of treason. Also, I'm curious if this elected member of the legislative branch can possibly point to what criminal statute says that revealing information you promised not to reveal makes you a criminal?
While reasonable people can and should disagree on major policy issues in a free society, Mr. Snowden has, through his own actions, demonstrated he has no interest in contributing to a free society, choosing instead to live in Russia--a country in which political dissidents are jailed and individual rights have not been respected since at least 1917. The ACLU, which is moderating this panel, would surely concede that freedom of expression for Mr. Snowden has declined since he departed American soil.
He didn't choose to live in Russia. Why must Pompeo lie?
As the Russians work to reestablish their empire by seizing neighboring territory and aiding the bad actors of the world such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, they will no doubt take comfort in the ample information Mr. Snowden can provide them--information Mr. Snowden swore an oath to protect. Because of Mr. Snowden, our adversaries--terrorists and state actors alike--have access to our intelligence sources and methods. This security breach has degraded and will continue to hamper America's and our allies' efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
As has been pointed out by former CIA guy Barry Eisler, Snowden did not break his "oath." The "oath" you sign is to protect the Constitution, not to protect secrecy. And, as has been pointed out plenty of times, the fear mongering about adversaries having access to "sources and methods" is quite overblown. Of the things revealed to date, while many are shocking for how far the NSA goes to get access to information, none of them are likely to surprise or concern actual adversaries, who were taking precautions a decade ago against the possibility of all of these things.

In fact, almost nothing revealed to date is likely to have changed terrorists' communications. Instead, it's created fear and uncertainty among innocent people around the globe, including American citizens -- the ones who Pompeo is supposed to be defending, but Pompeo is defending the surveillance state.
Mr. Snowden has absconded with sensitive national security information that goes well beyond programs potentially related to privacy, yet the American press makes it sound as though he only sought to reveal a few NSA programs. Even more damning is his willingness to put American soldiers' lives at risk, as he may have revealed where our troops are stationed. Surely that privacy interest deserved respect too.
Again, as noted earlier, this is no indication to date that Snowden revealed any such information. That's all conjecture on Pompeo's part. Yet he claims this is an "undisputed fact"? He's lying.
We must protect the very things that make America so special--most certainly including our civil liberties. But we cannot do so without strong national security and a thoughtful and informed discourse.
Until Snowden blew the whistle there was no discourse on this issue. Now there's a wide-ranging one.
This discourse is undermined when a music, film, and interactive conference and festival provides a venue to an at-large criminal who has refused extradition to answer for his crimes in court. His presence will not advance the debate; it will merely create a circus. Mr. Snowden doesn't need a softball interview. What Mr. Snowden needs is to present himself, in the finest tradition of American protest and courage, to a court of law that will adjudge his actions.
The idea that Snowden has no part in the discussion that he kicked off is so ridiculous as it boggles the mind that Pompeo thinks anyone will take this letter seriously. As for his ability to "present himself" to a court of law, well, under the law the DOJ has charged him under, he is barred from presenting evidence that he is a whistleblower. That's hardly a fair trial. Having seen how Chelsea Manning was railroaded in her trial, Snowden made the only reasonable decision, which was to make sure he was out of the country when this story broke, and not subject to being tortured by the US government, as Manning was.
As your organization makes its decision about how best to exercise its cherished First Amendment freedoms, it may choose to proceed with granting Mr. Snowden this undeserved opportunity to pretend to speak for "the protection of American privacy." If so, I hope you will at least do what no journalist has yet had the courage or competence to do and ask Mr. Snowden a few pertinent questions:
Oh boy. Here they come. Let's be helpful and answer them for Pompeo, who appears to have ignored the fact that nearly all these questions have been answered already:
What is Mr. Snowden's relationship with Russia, financial or otherwise? Has he ever received money or other compensation from Russia, in cash or in-kind, and will he provide bank statements to support his answer to this question?
To date, Snowden has denied any relationship with Russia, as have the Russians. More importantly, so have US intelligence officials. Multiple times.
Why, instead of going to the Inspector General at his agency or a Member of Congress, did Mr. Snowden go to Russia with several stolen laptops full of Americans' data?
Already discussed above. Given how Pompeo himself is bloviating in this letter, it seems rather obvious why he didn't go to Congress. How would that have done any good? And we already described how the NSA's Inspector General has made it clear that he wouldn't have helped Snowden at all. Furthermore, as was revealed ages ago, the laptops never had any information on them. They were empty laptops. Finally, as stated above repeatedly, Snowden did not choose Russia. The US did -- by pulling his passport while he was traveling via Russia.
If he believes he did the right thing, why is he not willing to come back to the U.S. to face the consequences for his actions?
Because the law he is charged under prevents him from making the case that he did the right thing.
Why should the audience at SXSW find credible a man who broke his oaths and deliberately deceived not only his employer, but his country, in order to commit a theft?
Again, he didn't break his oath, which was to the Constitution, not to secrecy.
Thank you for considering this request to withdraw your invitation to Edward Snowden. I would be happy to speak with you further about why I have made it, at your convenience.
We know why you made it. What would be better, however, is if Rep. Pompeo could explain why almost every one of his "undisputed facts" are either lies or very much disputed? Furthermore, if he could explain why a government official is browbeating a conference in an attempt to silence an important discussion by a person perhaps most qualified to lead that discussion?

Somehow, I doubt we'll hear any answers from Rep. Pompeo. However, I expect Snowden's discussion later today will be quite interesting.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    Mmmm...

    You can practically taste the fear and panic, and you can certainly see the results, that of lashing out wildly, with already debunked accusations, as though the people he's trying to convince are as gullible and easily fooled as the morons he deals with on a regular basis.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:42am

    I have a few questions to Mr Pompeo as well.

    What is Mr Pompeo's relationship with the big military and security corporations, financial or otherwise? Has he ever received money or other compensation from any lobbying effort, in cash or in-kind, and will he provide bank statements to support his answer to this question?

    Why should the audience at SXSW find credible a letter from a man who broke his oaths [towards upholding the Constitution] and deliberately deceived not only his employer, but his country, in order to protect unconstitutional programs?


    If he ever flees the country when the people ask for the heads of those who are undermining the Constitution then I can add 2 more questions.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:20am

    "flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms"

    And I am demanding you not let him speak.

     

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    Paul Gregory (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:26am

    I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    I don't know about you, but I think that the American pubic has learned plenty already. The American PUBLIC, on the other hand, needs to learn a bit more.

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:42am

    Somebody need to tell Rep Mike Pompeo that the documents and information that Snowden absconded with belongs to the American People, they do NOT belong to the U.S. Government. Everything in the U.S. Government belongs to the American People.

    I just love how our elected representatives are under the self delusion that the U.S. Government owns anything. They don't.

     

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    AricTheRed (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Who makes Who look bad?

    "Mr. Snowden gives real whistleblowers a bad name"

    I'd posit that Rep. Mike Pompeo gives real Americans a bad name.

    I mean this guy is worse for our image than I was, in checked shorts, a striped shirt and a camera with a giant lens when I was playing tourist in the UK and France all those years ago.

     

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    Donglebert the Unintelligible, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    imprimatur

    No need to guess what was on the congressional "Word of the Day" toilet paper that morning.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:59am

    one question to Pompeo. if the NSA and whoever else who is supposed to know all things concerning the leaks, DO NOT KNOW WHAT SNOWDEN TOOK, how do you know?
    all i read here was the biggest load of bollocks going, all trying to condemn what Snowden did, while condoning the action of the USA government and the NSA!
    one question to everyone else that it concerns: how the hell did this prick get elected?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    I think we found average_joe.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    Rewarding Mr. Snowden's behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited.

    As opposed to the lawlessness exhibited by NSA which he is revealing, along with showing the failures of congressional oversight which reflects badly on Mike Pompeo and friends.

     

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    Nick (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:11am

     

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    A Dan (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re: I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    Beat me to it - typo in the article, using "pubic" instead of "public".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:22am

    What I would do if I were running SXSW...

    is invite Rep. Pompeo (is his name a derivative of the word pompous, because it sure seems fitting) to speak as well in a debate with Snowden who would undoubtedly tear him a new one.

     

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    Strafe, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:26am

    The oath is to defend the Constitution, not to obey it. This is probably why Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Mike Pompeo (et al) feel justified that the any means employed will always justify the ends. Obviously that is just idiotic, but then nobody has ever accused these two as having an over abundance of intelligence, something this letter proves without a shadow of a doubt.

     

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    PRMan, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:40am

    Encouragement

    "Rewarding Mr. Snowden's behavior in this way encourages the very lawlessness he exhibited."

    Yes. So it seems like Pompeo, dumb as he seems to be, got at least one thing right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:43am

    "stamp the imprimatur". There is no way Mr Pompeo has a clue what that means. "Imprimatur" in Latin means "to be printed" and IS used by Catholic Church censors to allow books for general public. Yes, they still at it, though not confiscating ships with contraband Galileo books anymore.

    Mr Pompeo managed even to mix Hezbollah along Snowden!

    With all due respect, Mr Pompeo is not quite a rocket scientist.

    This is an indication that he is just a front man recycling someone elses propaganda.


    As to Mr Popmeo's questions, these are legitimate, but already answered. He would have known, had he followed the news.

    Beside, who cares if they invited Snowden to speak? They don't object to Mr Pompeo's own lobbyists-guests, do they?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    y my reading, the oath congresspeople take includes obeying the Constitution:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]


    I don't see how one can "bear true faith and allegiance" to a document without adhering to the rules of said document.

     

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    LVDave (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:47am

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there's a LARGE number of Americans who are damn glad he blew the whistle (as it were) on this behavior of our government. In fact, I consider Edward Snowden a hero, like unto some of the heroes of the "first American revolution".. I say "first revolution" as I'm convinced we're well into the second revolution...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Why does Pompeo HATE America?

    Clearly, he HATES the public. He HATES the Constitution. He HATES privacy and security. Why is this miserable traitorous asshole permitted to serve in elected office?

     

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    madjo (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:54am

    Re: imprimatur

    Can't be, "imprimatur" isn't in the Constitution. Which Pompeo uses for toilet paper.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    Pretty much every poll on this question shows that Americans are split roughly 50-50 (give or take a handful of points depending on the poll) on the question of whether or not Snowden should be charged with a crime.

    So, yes, it's pretty clear that large number of Americans are glad he blew the whistle.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Why does Pompeo HATE America?

    Correction - Pompeo gets paid to hate the Americans. Clearly more moral than unfurnished hate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    At least he got one thing right

    The only proven fact in that letter was that Snowden is in Russia.
    If any of the other statements Pompeo made, was true and provable I doubt very much they would have waited 1 second before releasing said proof to the public.
    These people wonder why we see Snowden as a hero... in my case it's simply because so far as anyone can tell, Snowden has only spoken the truth and the people representing the government have only spoken lies and slander.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    Hmm

    When I served in the Army along the Iron Curtain we had a word for a person who absconds with information and provides it to another nation: traitor.


    When Pompeo served in the Army along the Iron Curtain, they also had a word for someone who, at the risk of their life, tried to expose the secrets of a tyrannical regime: defector. Defectors were only referred to as traitors by "that beacon of First Amendment freedoms", Soviet Russia.

     

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    DeComposer (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:30am

    Embarrassing typo

    "American pubic"

    Please fix this.

     

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    gant, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:31am

    Pompeo's death threat against SXSW attendees

    By divulging this information, Mr. Snowden has put the lives of our soldiers, sailors and airmen at risk--in addition to the lives of the people who will attend your conference.


    Just because you put a "Simon says" around a threat doesn't mean it didn't come from you.

    Well, now is Pompeo then putting out a death threat against all SXSW attendees while trying to pin it on Snowden? Seems plausble.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:41am

    Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    If this idiot gets reelected I think I'll move out of Kansas. I wrote to him after the Amash amendment got defeated and the reply was a the same old bullshit NSA talking points that had already been completely debunked. (50 plus terror attacks thwarted) I was going to write again but I can see that would be pointless. He is obviously bought by private contractors that profit from the spying programs. He isn't worried about the next election. I'm sure he has been promised some "consultant" job that pays much more than a congressman gets when he loses. If I wrote to him just to tell him to go fuck himself I would probably end up on some watch list.

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Re: Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    Sorry. I wasn't logged in when I wrote that. I am not an Anonymous Coward

     

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    zip, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    I wonder how these politicians who savage Snowden's supporters would treat the supporters of a "classic" spy - the kind that sold secrets to a foreign government?

    Well, oddly enough, it seems politicians have generally been rather tight-lipped about Jonathan Pollard and his supporters, despite his "leaks" reportedly leading to the arrest and execution of several Soviet dissidents and CIA operatives.

    Is there something about Snowden that makes him so much worse than Jonathan Pollard? (Or for that matter, is there something about Glenn Greenwald that makes him so much worse than Daniel Ellsberg?)

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Re: Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    "I was going to write again but I can see that would be pointless."

    Do it anyway. It may be mostly pointless, but it's also easy and painless. Congresspeople do keep track of what their constituents think, and that can sometimes have a surprising effect. You never know.

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    I'm from His state and If my vote counts for anything he will never get reelected.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:16am

    I find it very odd that this so called debate that is overdue to be discussed has had the government on one side doing everything it can to side step having it. That is from silencing individuals when they can through intimidation or whatever method comes to play, to character assassinations, to stonewalling, to claiming that whistleblowing is some sort of spy job or traitor action.

    What isn't addressed in all this was exactly when did the US government plan to tell the public what it has been doing in their names? Never is the first word that comes to mind.

    To date nothing from anyone representing the NSA nor it's supporters has shown the public the ability to come clean and admit the breaking of constitutional law. We've had every demonstration of exactly the opposite.

    This isn't going to go away. It's not going to blow over. It is time for the government to own up to it's acts and fess up to it's willing breaking of the Constitution.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Oath

    > As has been pointed out by former CIA guy Barry Eisler,
    > Snowden did not break his "oath." The "oath" you sign
    > is to protect the Constitution, not to protect secrecy.

    Actually, this is not quite true. The general oath that all government employees take is to protect and defend the Constitution, however, when you are read into a classified program, you take and sign a separate oath, which does indeed include a promise to never divulge or make public the information you have access to.

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    In many cases that would be true but obviously he is just a puppet with big money's hand up his ass. There is a loophole that lets these criminals keep a lot of the contributions when they leave office.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    Is there something about Snowden that makes him so much worse than Jonathan Pollard?

    Yes, he makes Congress and the Intelligence committee look bad in public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re:

    Strafe is a prime example of someone that likes to muddy the waters in ways to 'trick' people into reasoning with themselves that what they are doing is OKAY.

    If you throw a dart in congress while blindfolded you will likely hit one of these assclowns.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re: Oath

    No Oath you take can supersede the Law. The US Constitution is the "Supreme Law of the Land". All people who are participating in 4th Amendment breach spying of Americans are the ones breaking their Oaths. Snowden has upheld his end of the bargain quite well.

    So in short, any Oath you take that is in contravention of the Constitution is null and void where applicable. Realize the utter depravity of the Human Race and all the dishonesty and voided integrity that is necessary for the Government to Operate this way and ask if the future looks bleak or promising?

    The promise of a new future looks better through hot flying lead lenses right now. Perhaps the Repukes will put up a non-worthless candidate this year? If not, I would prefer Obama for even a 3rd term until people finally figure out how stupid we all are.

     

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  38.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re: Oath

    ... however, when you are read into a classified program, you take and sign a separate oath, which does indeed include a promise to never divulge or make public the information you have access to.


    Which oath takes precedence in a case like this where they are at odds?

    I would like to say it's the Constitutional one, but it doesn't seem to work out that way in real life does it? The secrecy one is the one with real penalties for not upholding it. Should be the other way around IMHO.

     

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  39.  
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    Governor William J. Le Petomane, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 11:22am

    I didn't get a "harrumph" outta' that guy...

    Pompeo = Le Petomane (blazzing saddles):"We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen!"

     

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  40.  
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    DOlz (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    Checked a mirror lately?

    "Mr. Snowden is both a traitor and a common criminal."

    The current oath was enacted in 1884.

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    Helping an organization that is actively undermining at least the Fourth Admenment to the US Constitution is a violation of this oath. That would make it a domestic enemy. So who's the real traitor here? We all know you have no clothes on under that flag you wear and defile all the time.

     

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  41.  
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    DOlz (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Re: Checked a mirror lately?

    The second line should have read:

    The current congressional oath was enacted in 1884.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:34pm

    I can't believe how many lies and false propaganda, Mike Pompeo is able to fit into a single letter of mail. This must be what Ron Wyden is referring to, when he talks about false and misleading statements coming out of the intelligence community and their supporters.

    Talk about a river of lies.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    V, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Re: I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    Define public, you have me confused.

    Do you mean people like me, or the buffoons in Hollywood, Washington, and other such? Cause when all you do to differentiate is capitalization for emphasis?

    Sorry, those words between the lines sure are blurry...

     

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  44.  
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    Vel the Enigmatic, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: imprimatur

    Aren't we forgetting that Roger's is in on this too? Pompeo and Rogers must enjoy sharing that "toilet paper" to wipe the utterly purtid crap they spew from their lips.

     

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  45.  
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    Vel the Enigmatic, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Why does Pompeo HATE America?

    -except that we all know this particular hate is furnished via the dollar bills of legacy industry and the intel community at large.

     

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  46.  
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    Zonker, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    Why did I first read that last word as "erected"?

     

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  47.  
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    Trails (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Who makes Who look bad?

    I'd posit Rep. Mike Pompeo gives Neo-McCarthyist reactionary assholes a bad name. Even James Clapper be like "that guy is a jerk!"

     

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  48.  
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    bshock, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:00pm

    You want to talk about "traitors," Mr. Pompeo?

    I strongly suggest you look in the mirror first.

     

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  49.  
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    JMT (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    At least he'll know why he won't be getting your vote. Votes still mean more to these clowns than money.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:15pm

    Degrade, Deny, Disrupt, Deceive

    Yet Clapper, who perjured himself when questioned by congress concerning the violation of 100's of millions of Americans 4th amendment rights; Rep. Mike Pompeo, doesn't see that as a big deal at all.

    Way to play straight from the "Disruption Operation Playbook" Mikey

    I would like to say Mikey is a piece of shit, but I can't, because shit has a beneficial use as fertilizer.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

    I love the fact that of all I comments I read on here and other sites, that the people aren't buying any of these bullshit arguments that these traitorous shills for the Intelligence Industrial Complex are trying to dish out. It makes me proud to be an American.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    As user A Dan noted, there was a typo in the article which is referenced in Paul's comment by the lower-case 'public' which is missing the fourth letter (humorously implying an entirely different meaning). Said typo in the above article, as of my CTRL-F search a moment ago, appears to have been corrected.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Strafe, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you kidding me, AC? I don't think what they're doing is at all "OKAY". I just did a quick search, seeing as I'm not American, and happened to notice that it didn't seem like obeying the Constitution was part of the oath, only to defend it. Which, admittedly, is subject to differing points of view, meaning they probably see everything their doing as exactly that. Admittedly I think it was the Presidential oath I may have glanced at. I must have been in private browsing mode because it's not in my history and to be honest I don't really care. That and I'm lazy, which is probably why I didn't give it my full attention to begin with lol. John Fenderson did a much better job of it (thanks btw!).

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Kimberly from ASecureLife.com, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    Frustrating

    It's annoying for me to see this type of stuff going on. That our government has these types of people who don't backup basic things like freedom of speech. You may not agree with what Snowden does or says but if Pompeo has something to say about it he should have asked to speak at SXSW as well or find some way of communicating his opinions. I think we're all a little frustrated with this subject and for me, it's refreshing to see that others are stating how they feel on sites like this. If you missed Snowden's speech from SXSW here's a summary with a link to the video for you to watch as well. It's actually really interesting. http://www.asecurelife.com/edward-snowden-speaks-at-sxsw-2014/

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:05am

    Re: Degrade, Deny, Disrupt, Deceive

    I don't know, Mike Pompeo's only use may be to be ground up and used as fertilizer. Why using him in this capacity is essential!

     

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

  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Can't believe this asshole is representing my state

    This can't be emphasized enough. The reason that money speaks so loudly in government is because that money is needed in order to pay for (mostly) television ads and other vote-getting activities. In other words, in the end, it's really all about the votes.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2014 @ 12:04am

    Re:

    Jonathan Pollard was one of those dual israeli-american citizens who really swear allegiance to only one of the 2 country, your guess. And he dealt with extremely sensitive nuclear weapons related documents, y'know, business as usual for a sayanim, that's how Israel has an illegal 200+ nuke arsenal now.

    inb4 antisemitism, no, fuck you, don't you dare play that card, I'm playing in a band with 2 jews, they also don't like Israel.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Mar 12th, 2014 @ 6:44am

    Re: Why does Pompeo HATE America?

    What Vel the Enigmatic said. Also, Yay, Team! We've allowed them to divide us on partisan lines. Why are you surprised that they've conquered us?

     

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

  58.  
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    btrussell (profile), Mar 12th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    They willingly shared this info with third parties, Snowden and others, not sure why they feel they deserve privacy or secrecy.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    notgmo, Mar 16th, 2014 @ 6:29pm

    Re: I didn't get a "harrumph" outta' that guy...

    And if you look at the wikipedia page for 'Le Petomane', you'll discover the true calling of pompeo, professional farter.

     

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

  60.  
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    erikjay (profile), Mar 16th, 2014 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Oath

    The other oaths are superseded by the foundational oath to protect and defend the principles in our Constitution -- and it's crucial to note that, from the gate, we were to be on guard against "enemies both foreign and domestic." Since Pompeo, Rogers, Feinstein, and the police state elite are lapdogs for the intel agencies, perhaps that should be updated to "enemies both foreign and domesticated."

     

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  61.  
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    erikjay (profile), Mar 16th, 2014 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Oath

    If Hillary makes it, I am renouncing. Not kidding. I am done.

     

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


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