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House Intel Committee Says Snowden's Not A Whistleblower, 'Cause He Once Emailed His Boss's Boss

from the wait,-what? dept

As you probably heard, the ACLU and other have launched a massive campaign asking President Obama to pardon Ed Snowden. You can check it out here and sign the petition. There have also been a bunch of high profile op-eds and endorsements from a wide variety of people -- from former intelligence officials to human rights groups and more. The campaign was obviously timed to coincide with the release of Oliver Stone's new movie, Snowden.

Apparently also timed with the release of the movie, the House Intelligence Committee has released a "report" that they claim they spent two years writing, detailing why they believe Snowden is no whistleblower. They've released an unclassified three page "executive summary" that is, at best, laughable. Honestly, if this is the best that the House Intel Committee can put together to smear Snowden, they must have found nothing bad. I mean, it's the stupidest stuff: like that he once got into a dispute with his boss over some software updates at work and (*gasp*) emailed someone higher up the chain, for which he got reprimanded:
If you can't read that, it says:
Third, two weeks before Snowden began mass downloads of classified documents, he was reprimanded after engaging in a workplace spat with NSA managers. Snowden was repeatedly counseled by his managers regarding his behavior at work. For example, in June 2012, Snowden became involved in a fiery e-mail argument With a Supervisor about how computer updates should be managed. Snowden added an NSA senior executive several levels above the supervisor to the e-mail thread, an action that earned him a swift reprimand from his contracting officer for failing to follow the proper protocol for raising grievances through the chain of command. Two weeks later, Snowden began his mass downloads of classified information from NSA networks. Despite Snowden's later claim that the March 2013 congressional testimony of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was a "breaking point" for him, these mass downloads predated Director Clapper's testimony by eight months.
First of all, the inclusion of the email dispute is just... weird. I mean, people have email disputes with co-workers all the time. Is that really a sign that you're not a whistleblower, or that you're just "disgruntled?" If that's really the "dirt" that they dug up on Snowden after two years of research, they really must have nothing that actually sticks.

Oh, and also, as Snowden himself notes, this all kinda works against their point, because it shows that trying to blow the whistle up the chain is... met with reprimands.
Of course, the point that they're really getting at is the second half of that paragraph -- where they claim that he began the downloads way before James Clapper's infamous lie to Senator Ron Wyden. But, again, Snowden points out that they're being totally misleading here (and it must upset the House Intelligence Committee to no end that Snowden is free and able to use Twitter to debunk their claims), because, as has been previously reported in great detail, Snowden was assigned to move a bunch of documents between systems. The "downloading" they're talking about was his job.
In other words, yes, he touched 1.5 million documents. Because he was told to as a part of his job. It's been more than two years since James Clapper himself admitted that Snowden didn't actually take all of those. That's just the number he "touched" because his job was to move those documents to a different system. Snowden took a much smaller subset, and now they're claiming that him doing his job was him taking the docs.

The report also trots out the usual "harm to national security." We've been hearing this ever since the first leak... and yet no one ever has any evidence to support this. It's the bogeyman argument. And yet, here it is again:

If you can't read that, it says:
First, Snowden caused tremendous damage to national security, and the vast majority of the documents he stole have nothing to do with programs impacting individual privacy interests-they instead pertain to military, defense, and intelligence programs of great interest to America's adversaries. A review of the materials Snowden compromised makes clear that he handed over secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states. Some of Snowden's disclosures exacerbated and accelerated existing trends that diminished the IC's capabilities to collect against legitimate foreign intelligence targets, while others resulted in the loss of intelligence streams that had saved American lives. Snowden insists he has not shared the full cache of 1.5 million classified documents with anyone; however, in June 2016, the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament's defense and security committee publicly conceded that "Snowden did share intelligence" with his government. Additionally, although Snowden's professed objective may have been to inform the general public, the information he released is also available to Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean government intelligence services; any terrorist with Internet access; and many others who wish to do harm to the United States.

The full scope of the damage inflicted by Snowden remains unknown. Over the past three years, the IC and the Department of Defense (DOD) have carried out separate reviews--with differing methodologies--of the damage Snowden caused. Out of an abundance of caution, DOD reviewed all 1.5 million documents Snowden removed. The IC, by contrast, has carried out a damage assessment for only a small subset of the documents. The Committee is concerned that the IC does not plan to assess the damage of the vast majority of documents Snowden removed. Nevertheless, even by a conservative estimate, the U.S. Government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and will eventually spend billions, to attempt to mitigate the damage Snowden caused. These dollars would have been better spent on combating America's adversaries in an increasingly dangerous world.
Note that after a lot of hand-waving, the only actual damage they can even come close to quantifying is the amount of money the US government spent trying to close the barn doors -- i.e., investigate what Snowden had taken and make sure that others couldn't do the same. That's not Snowden's fault. That's very much blaming the messenger. Also, if the US government wasn't illegally spying on Americans, it wouldn't have been an issue. It seems worth noting that key point.

And, again, the report continues to point to the 1.5 million number, despite the fact that it's already been debunked. Again, the reason Snowden moved 1.5 million docs was because that was part of his job -- that wasn't the amount taken. The reason that the Intelligence Community isn't investigating all of those docs is because it has said that Snowden didn't take all of them. Why is the House Intelligence Committee bitching about that?

As for the Russian Parliament member claiming that Snowden shared secrets with Russia, Snowden himself notes that they're misquoting what was said, and that the guy had prefaced his statement by nothing that it was speculation on his part, rather than confirmed fact. You'd think that the House Intel Committee wouldn't go around trading in mere speculation.

As for the claims that "the information he released is also available to Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean government intelligence services" is also pretty ridiculous. I mean, the documents that have been released (not all of them, and the ones that have been have included redactions) have been placed on the internet, where anyone can read them. The statement about the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans and terrorists having access to them is basically the equivalent of "these people have the internet." Yeah, so?

Next on the docket, the House Intel Committee claims that Snowden's not a whistleblower because he (1) didn't go through proper channels (2) he left the country and (3) the NSA surveillance program was all perfectly legal.

If you can't read that, it says:
Second, Snowden was not a whistleblower. Under the law, publicly revealing classified information does not qualify someone as a whistleblower. However, disclosing classified information that shows fraud, waste, abuse, or other illegal activity to the appropriate law enforcement or oversight personnel--including to Congress--does make someone a whistleblower and affords them with critical protections. Contrary to his public claims that he notified numerous NSA officials about what he believed to be illegal intelligence collection, the Committee found no evidence that Snowden took any official effort to express concerns about U.S. intelligence activities--legal, moral, or otherwise--to any oversight officials within the U.S. Government, despite numerous avenues for him to do so. Snowden was aware of these avenues. His only attempt to contact an NSA attorney revolved around a question about the legal precedence of executive orders, and his only contact to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Inspector General (IG) revolved around his disagreements with his managers about
Let's stop right there to respond to this load of nonsense. First of all, hiding behind the very technical, narrow legal definition of whistleblower is pretty ridiculous compared to the actual definition that most people use. Snowden revealed a program that involved mass surveillance on nearly all Americans, a program that the intelligence community had directly and officially denied existed. It was, in fact, a program that, from a plain reading of the law, should not exist, and the only way in which it did and could exist was if the government reinterpreted the law, in secret, to mean something completely different. That's pretty clearly whistleblowing. And the fact that the public has spoken out in support of him so much suggests that many people believe this as well.

And that doesn't even mention the fact that after this Congress changed the law to further clarify what the NSA could actually do. In other words, Congress seems to agree that what Snowden did was in the public interest. Even former Attorney General Eric Holder has admitted as much.

And, of course, the claims about "the proper channels" is ridiculous as well. We've written many, many times on what happens to individuals who go through the "proper channels." It often ends with them being put in jail on trumped up charges. Oh, and Snowden, as a contractor rather than gov't employee, had no whistleblower protections under the law anyway. Going through the "proper channels" gets you marked as a troublemaker, and that often leads to more scrutiny and questionable raids... and jail time. And, as if to confirm all this, the guy that Snowden could have reached out to as the "proper channel" had already mocked Snowden and attacked him, so it's not as if that would have been a useful route.

The Committee tries to brush off this concern with the "proper channels" but fails in doing so:
Despite Snowden's later public claim that he would have faced retribution for voicing concerns about intelligence activities, the Committee found that laws and regulations in effect at the time of Snowden,s actions afforded him protection. The Committee routinely receives disclosures from IC contractors pursuant to the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 (IC WPA). If Snowden had been worried about possible retaliation for voicing concerns about NSA activities, he could have made a disclosure to the Committee. He did not. Nor did Snowden remain in the United States to face the legal consequences of his actions, contrary to the tradition of civil disobedience he professes to embrace. Instead, he fled to China and Russia, two countries whose governments place scant value on their citizens' privacy or civil liberties-and whose intelligence services aggressively collect information on both the United States and their own citizens.
Again, this is wrong. The Whistleblower Act does not actually extend its protections to contractors, and given how the Committee is reacting to Snowden to this day, does anyone actually think they would have done anything if he had approached them -- other than maybe alerting top intel community officials that they had a troublemaker in their midst? As for the claim that Snowden didn't stay in the US to face the "legal consequences," again, is it any wonder why? He knew what had happened to people like Thomas Drake, who the feds tried to put in jail for 35 years because he had a (mistakenly) classified meeting agenda at his home -- a home that was only raided because Drake had blown the whistle on another program. He'd seen what happened to Chelsea Manning, held in solitary confinement for leaking documents to Wikileaks. He'd seen what happened to countless others.

The very fact that Snowden is free today and able to tweet responses to this ridiculous smear campaign shows exactly why he didn't choose to stay in the US where they would have locked him up and thrown away the key.
To gather the files he took with him when he left the country for Hong Kong, Snowden infringed on the privacy of thousands of govemment employees and contractors. He obtained his colleagues, security credentials through misleading means, abused his access as a systems administrator to search his co-workers, personal drives, and removed the personally identifiable information of thousands of IC employees and contractors. From Hong Kong he went to Russia, where he remains a guest of the Kremlin to this day.
And yet, magically, none of that has ever become public. So, uh, it seems like maybe the major worries here were overblown.
It is also not clear Snowden understood the numerous privacy protections that govern the activities of the IC. He failed basic annual training for NSA employees on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and complained the training was rigged to be overly difficult. This training included explanations of the privacy protections related to the PRISM program that Snowden would later disclose.
Now this seems to just be the Intelligence Committee scraping the bottom of the barrel again for anything to make Snowden look bad. Oooh, he failed the training program on PRISM. And, yet, that doesn't respond to the fact that there were all sorts of legitimate privacy concerns about PRISM and how it operates, and the program was kept entirely secret.

From there, the Committee goes into full scale playground taunting of Snowden, saying he's a "serial fabricator" because he may have exaggerated a few points:
If you can't read that, it says:
Fourth, Snowden was, and remains, a serial exaggerator and fabricator. A close review of Snowden's official employment records and submissions reveals a pattem of intentional lying. He claimed to have left Army basic training because of broken legs when in fact he washed out because of shin splints. He claimed to have obtained a high school degree equivalent when in fact he never did. He claimed to have worked for the CIA as a "senior advisor," which was a gross exaggeration of his entry-level duties as a computer technician. He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test. In May 2013, Snowden informed his supervisor that he would be out of the office to receive treatment for worsening epilepsy. In reality, he was on his way to Hong Kong with stolen secrets.
So, yeah. I mean, considering how much "fabricating" and "exaggerating" the House Intel Committee does in this whole report, it's a bit weak to argue that him exaggerating his leg problems is somehow proof of being a "serial fabricator." And, I'm sure that none of the members of the House Intel Committee has ever been caught "exaggerating" or "fabricating" information in their quest to get elected, right?

And, of course, Snowden claims they're mostly wrong about all of this anyway. The claim that he doctored a performance evaluation? Snowden notes that he actually reported a vulnerability.
The shin splints v. broken legs?
The claim that he never got his GED? Snowden hints that if that's what the Intel Committee is really saying, they should get ready to be embarrassed:
The fact that he lied about why he was taking time off? I mean, come on. They must really be stretching for something to include that as a "lie." It was a deliberate move as part of his already determined plan to blow the whistle on these programs, not evidence of a pattern of lying.

In the end, the only proper way to read this report is in the context that Glenn Greenwald pointed out: if the House Intelligence Committee had done its oversight job of preventing mass surveillance on Americans, rather than acting as an enabler for the NSA, Snowden wouldn't have been a problem. The Committee's anger seems driven more by Snowden showing how complicit they were in failing to actually oversee the NSA:
Of course, along with this report, the Intel Committee has also sent the White House a letter saying that it should not pardon Snowden, saying "Mr. Snowden is not a patriot. He is not a whistleblower. He is a criminal." It goes on to repeat many of the false claims from the report.

I get the feeling that history will treat Ed Snowden much more kindly than it will treat the cowardly members of the House Intel Committee who are now trying (and failing) to cover up their own failures as overseers.



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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 6:45am

    Snowden is done for

    Based on the current administration and the three letter acronym agencies view of Snowden, he is done for. If he ever steps foot onto a place where they can get him, they will do it. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of his untimely death.

    He has made statements about coming back, but if he does he will never see the light of day. If he has any sense, he will stay put as what little freedom he has now will seem great compared to the cell they will put him in for life.

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

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:26am

      Re: Snowden is done for

      Agreed. (I hope we're wrong.)

      I think eventually (decades) history will vindicate him and he'll get a pardon from some future president.

      But even if that happens, it's not clear the "intelligence community" is really under the control of the executive, or the law. I won't be a bit surprised to see Mr. Snowden have a fatal accident, even after a presidential pardon.

      Even Eisenhower felt the "military-industrial complex" was out of his control as president, and that was almost 60 years ago. Things have only gotten worse since then.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:38am

      Re: Snowden is done for

      That's certainly 1 way to kick off the war with russia some of the more insane congressmen seem to want. Have a drone strike take him and a few hundred russians out in 1 blast.

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 16 Sep 2016 @ 9:58am

      Re: Snowden is done for

      In 20 years, someone will pardon him and welcome him back as a hero.

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 16 Sep 2016 @ 6:53am

    "Snowden added an NSA senior executive several levels above the supervisor to the e-mail thread, an action that earned him a swift reprimand from his contracting officer for failing to follow the proper protocol for raising grievances through the chain of command."

    So... Snowden couldnt even report a simple best practice for patches without reprimand. Is it any wonder he didn't trust "official" channels?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      It boggles my mind that the govt supposedly had two years to think about what they want to say and in all this time it didn't even cross their mind to realize that this report only makes them look worse for the very reason you just mentioned.

      If they are petty enough about something so minor as to even bring it up in this report as a point of criticism it can be easily inferred that the environment Snowden was in is no place to report your complaints to.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:05am

    The great thing about Snowden is that he was a [i]total[/i] swivel-eyed, loony, Kool-aid drinker, right up until the point where he couldn't deal with the blatant and obvious failures in the system he believed in.
    So they're [i]never[/i] going to find dirt on him, because there isn't any. He bought into everything, crossed all his "i"s and dotted all his "t"s, did everything by the book and didn't crack until the system utterly failed him.

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:10am

    Priceless:
    "In reality, he was on his way to Hong Kong with stolen secrets. "

    Snowden: Hey guys I will need the day off, I am going to go to Hong Kong with these stolen secrets. Yeah, thanks.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:22am

    What a wretched, disgusting, corrupt government.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      If only Obama's Hope & Change was real. But instead it was more lies and more of the same. Hillary will just be Obama 2.0. Maybe someday we will get leaders who care more about the country than themselves.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re:

        Shhh....

        You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong. They simply do not have a mechanism for realizing mistakes. They WILL be making it again!

        There are reasons why politics will always break down and devolve into war. People just simply are not capable of behaving themselves. They have to have a side, or a group, or something they can identify with. Very rarely can you find someone looking to make their own identity.

        This means that there WILL be a divide as prophesied by George Washington. It spawned the Civil War, and now it divides the nation again.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong. They simply do not have a mechanism for realizing mistakes.
          I certainly agree that he hasn't lived up to expectations. Should I have voted for McCain or Romney instead? Not sure that would have met the "care more about the country than themselves" argument either...

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is what I immediately thought also.

            It's not like there were a multitude of options available at the time, pick one of these two candidates which were pre-selected for you.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Which is why we keep getting shit candidates, failure to just vote for someone else in refusal to play the game.

              You only have to do it a couple of times to send the message. But no one has figured anything out yet.

              The two party system is nothing more than a distraction from the truth. Continuing to vote for a candidate in either part will only entrench them. Perhaps you have yet to learn how to fight properly. You mistakenly allow THEM to create the stage for battle and just accept it without much whimper.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2016 @ 7:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "You only have to do it a couple of times to send the message."

                And how many times has this been attempted?
                Certainly at least a few times, remember Ross Perot? In the past there was another political party - the Whigs.

                I doubt your suggestion is viable.

                In addition, the two party system is being blamed for the inherent corruption that is human nature. Having a three or more party system would not address this.

                What will hinder corruption? Because you are not going to get rid of it.

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

        • identicon
          kallethen, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I voted for Obama, and I will admit that I've been very disappointed with some of his decisions.

          Not sure if voting Republican would have been much better though, so in that regard I suppose I can't admit I'm wrong. If only because I think they're all wrong?

          Bah. I'm getting cynical again...

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

          • icon
            JoeCool (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I voted third party, so I can sure as hell say you all picked to wrong candidate. I did not vote for Kang OR Kodos. Sure as hell not going to vote for Kang or Kodos again, so whoever wins, I'll still have the high ground to preach from.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What an ignorant attempt at humor and sarcasm.

              Voting for the "other" candidate has nothing to do with having a high ground. Anyone believing they have the high ground pretty much does not have it.

              Voting "other" is just one of many possible tools to send a message. It may not be the exact message you wanted to send, but better than the, "keep fucking us any way you like" message cause we will just pick fun at those with more intelligence than us because we are "embarrassed" of our poor choices. Doubling down on the stupid is what you just advocated.

              George Washington indicated that this is our future if we keep up with this political party bullshit!

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

            • icon
              Charles Roth (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              To follow in the same metaphor, "only a fool fights in a burning house".

              Your moral high ground will do you (and more importantly) the rest of this country no good whatsoever if the real serial fabricator/narcissist gets into the white house.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong. They simply do not have a mechanism for realizing mistakes. They WILL be making it again!

          Go Hillary!

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:01pm

          "You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong."

          That is a stunning generalization. I take you agree with Trump that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are all drug-mule criminals and American Muslims should be interned? Do you like to generalize huge swaths of population based on the behavior of a select newsworthy few? (It's dangerous if you apply that to all sides)

          The phenomenon you're talking about (people unable to change their set opinions) is called attitude polarization and its commonplace on both sides of the DNC / GOP fense. Don't worry, though, there's plenty enough to go around. The mechanism is called confirmation bias and it takes practice easily accepting we're wrong based on new, up-to-date data.

          If anything though, it's the right that has been appealing to prejudicial assumtions (e.g. Blacks are criminal thugs, lazy and moronic; Muslims are all terrorists desperate for martyrdom; gays are all pedophiles looking to victimize our little boys) the interests of social equality, pluralism and secularism that predominate liberalism are a product of perspective. It's why the whole all men are created equal bit had to be said to King George (who still believed in Divine Right of Kings)

          And so, incidentally, did George W. Bush. So did McCain and Romney, and so does Trump. Divine right guys, the lot of them.

          (So do the Clintons, incidentally. It's good to be in the old skull-and-bones network, but Hillary isn't going to put up a useless $25 billion wall and intern Muslim Americans. And her opinion can evolve to public pressure.)

          At some point, if you want a working community, you're going to have to get past the us v. them rhetoric. Color-coded sides do make for easy logic and fun movies, but real people don't fit into convenient categories.

          And that goes for Obama supporters.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:31pm

            Re: "You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong."

            This is a good point to talk about the problem everyone has here. Hate for Obama does not equal love for Trump.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:39pm

            Re: "You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong."

            If anything though, it's the right that has been appealing
            to prejudicial assumtions


            Then you said...

            At some point, if you want a working community, you're going to have to get past the us v. them rhetoric.

            I am not sure you even understand your own position. How can you utter rhetoric that you then turn around and speak against and expect any respect? You are a hypocrite!

            When YOU can live up to that yourself, THEN you can ask others to do the same!

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 3:58pm

              "You are a hypocrite!"

              Um, not really.

              To be specific it was Nixon's Southern Strategy which was an appeal to negrophobia (hatred of blacks) among white male voters to which I was referring, though by Karl Rove and his anger points strategy, the same notion was generalized to recognized and utilize a range of issues that widely stirred strong emotions.

              So I was referring to specific incidents in history. I wasn't saying that conservatives universally appeal to demagoguery. I could the GOP has been using such strategies for long enough that they've drawn a voting base of emotion-susceptible voters. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now to say that some of them just like lower taxes for the wealthy, or to keep their guns, or an astronomical military budget.

              Though, at the point you're trying to label me as hypocritical, it looks like you're just eager to find a way to categorize me so that you can dismiss my arguments.

              If that's what you need to do, you're not able to separate me from my point, in which case forget it. I'd rather you understood my point and decided for yourself whether or not it makes sense, rather than you agreed or disagreed based on how truthy it feels.

              Maybe find a fellow conservative to explain it to you how large ideological or religious parties are too diverse to have a consistent position, and that you can't make a large society without more diversity than is humanly comfortable.

              Whether or not I prejudge others personally is irrelevant to my argument that prejudging others adversely affects civilization. Bigotry is a non-point source problem, which means it's not enough just to say don't do it. We have to encourage people to want to develop pluralistic perspective, despite their desire to live in small hyper-conformist gated communities. We need them to realize that there's value in polyglot culture that they want.

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

              • icon
                trollificus (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 6:03pm

                Re: "You are a hypocrite!"

                In point of fact, you, and other self-appointed elitists, do NOT want anything like a true "polyglot culture". In action, as we have seen recently on college campuses, you want absolute adherence to ideas that you find amenable and an absolute ban on ideas you characterize as objectionable.

                You are so certain of your moral superiority (which is based on projection, straw men and LOADS of unexamined assertions) that you see no need for any self-awareness. You hand wave and name call all disagreements, and alter definitions of words as necessary.

                When it can be seriously claimed that the morally unobjectionable sentiment "All Lives Matter" is LITERALLY an "act of violence" (and not far down the rod, a sentiment to be met with violence, I suspect), the "false consciousness" is not only on one side, and neither side is actually FOR freedom of expression and belief.

                And as long as one party or the other can convince either the educated clueless or the less-educated clueless that they are on the "moral" side of some stupid, irrelevant wedge issue, what you claim not to want is supported by your actions. And of course, you won't see it...

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:00pm

                  Poe threshold [CRITICAL]

                  Wow, yours is a response that exemplifies exactly what I was warning against. It really could be satire. Or it could be completely unironic.

                  I really cannot tell.

                  For starters, do be specific where I indicate I don't want a true polyglot culture. I suspect that in my history of comments on this site you can find something.

                  Secondly, it doesn't matter. Whether or not I want to live in a pluralist society is irrelevant to the notion that large societies pretty much cannot help but be pluralist. Heck, any ideological group that gets large enough (organized or otherwise) will become diverse enough so that any generalization of them will poorly represent who they are. (Case in point, how often Roman Catholics fully agree with and abide by the Holy See, id est, never.)

                  As a people, we don't need to like our polyglot culture or participate in it fully, we just need to tolerate it enough that to allow our civilization to grow large and facilitate all the cool infrastructures we like (highway systems, libraries, space programs, the internet).

                  But as a species we're terrible at doing even that. We really want to throw rocks at the people who are not enough like us. We recognize that racism or religious bigotry or sexual bigotry are wrong and counter productive, but we do it anyway, often appealing to tradition to justify it.

                  I don't know how to change that. But if we're going to do it, we're going to do it despite ourselves.

                  Case in point, your response, whether or not it is satire.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2016 @ 7:38am

                  Re: Re: "You are a hypocrite!"

                  User name is appropriate

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

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Sep 2016 @ 6:03am

            Re: "You can't tell any person that voted for Obama that they are wrong."

            At some point, if you want a working community, you're going to have to get past the us v. them rhetoric. Color-coded sides do make for easy logic and fun movies, but real people don't fit into convenient categories

            What Uriel-238 says.

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

      • identicon
        kallethen, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re:

        Trump wouldn't be any better, either.

        Honestly, I don't think we have much hope of getting leaders who care if we (as in the general population) keep sticking with the two major parties.

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

        • icon
          crade (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The dilemma in politics is that if you were decent you wouldn't want to have power over people.. unless you force someone in who doesn't want the job you get either selfish assholes or self-righteous delusionals.

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

          • icon
            JoeCool (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which is why I keep advocating for all government positions to filled exactly the same way juries are. Any random yahoo off the street (as vetted by a judge and a couple of lawyers) has GOT to be better than what we have now.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Random yahoos would be better.

              I would support calls for a system that randomly selects citizens for political service where we can vote on them. No one should be allowed to run for office.

              Anyone looking to serve as President or Judge or Politician are the very people that should be prevented from getting those positions.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2016 @ 1:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              (as vetted by a judge and a couple of lawyers)

              In other words the same group that supplies most of the politicians. As soon as you give some group power within politics, they will take over politics.

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

            • identicon
              Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Sep 2016 @ 6:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Erm, I disagree. Anarchy does not scale, for a start. We need people who know how the system is supposed to work. One of the reasons the system we have is so broken is that established procedures are not being adhered to. Much of the time this is not quite intentional; people don't know what the rules either are or what they're supposed to be before they break them.

              Ignorance is a massive problem, is what I'm saying, and as it happens some of our politicians are indeed random yahoos off the street; they've got no clue about what the Constitution says or how Congressional procedures are supposed to work.

              For this reason I'm of the opinion that people who aspire to positions of authority in government need to gain a qualification in governance before applying for the job. Imagine a government administration run by people who actually know what they're doing.

              A girl can dream.

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

        • icon
          trollificus (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I have seen Trump referred to as a "giant orange middle finger" offered up to the political class by people who feel betrayed by both parties. The question of his "competence" for the office is irrelevant to them.

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

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Sep 2016 @ 6:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            We're so desperate for change that anything that upsets the status quo will do us. That both scares and elates me. Personally, I'm hoping that if Trump wins the system will reset. It needs to.

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

    • identicon
      PRMan, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      Let's all write-in Snowden for President. He would easily do better than Hillary or Trump. Spread the word.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        Man, if all it takes is comments like these, all the people running for president could save a lot of money.

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

        • icon
          crade (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          people running for president could most definitely save a lot of our money if they were so inclined. They are not.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are far too many ignorant citizens to stage a write in for Snowden, though as tempting as it might be, we still would need to have a candidate able to send a good message and Snowden just cannot perform that service at this time.

            Unfortunately anyone not already paid for and purchased by Washington will be quickly hated by "The People" because they are gullible as fuck. Deep down we already know that too many ignorant voters go to the poles. We must first start somewhere else. Besides the President is the worst place to start anyways.

            Congress is the very first place to start, if not your local government. The convention of states is what it is going to take to change the diaper that is congress, they are literally doing nothing to help matters. They just go to office and collect a paycheck with kickbacks while playing voters for the fools they are!

            Everyone knows it! It's like the Emperors New Clothes level of corruption.

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

            • icon
              trollificus (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 5:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The only thing worse than too many "ignorant citizens" would be a permanent army of corrupt white-collar elitists in a permanent federal bureaucracy benefitting from and perpetuating the cronyism and influence-peddling the elected officials indulge in. In such a vile system, the self-interest of all parties involved is to strive for ever-greater, more centralized power and wealth; to be used in pandering to ever-more-incompatible interest groups.

              Good thing we don't have anything like that. So much better to have the educated running thing for the dummies, right? #noneedforasarctag

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

              • identicon
                Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Sep 2016 @ 7:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                We've actually got that, but they work for corporations and are called "Lobbyists."

                In such a vile system, the self-interest of all parties involved is to strive for ever-greater, more centralized power and wealth; to be used in pandering to ever-more-incompatible interest groups.

                This is why I point and laugh at the "small government" brigade. Anyone who thinks that handing power to the corporations (which is what we've done) in order to increase efficiency is going to actually increase efficiency is a fool. Any bureaucracy will work to perpetuate itself, whoever pays their wages.

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

      • identicon
        David, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re:

        Snowden's still too young to qualify. Better wait until he is actually eligible.

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

    • identicon
      gezzerx, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      So VOTE just don't vote for a Democrat or Republican,at any level of government responsibility,send them a message they can't ignore and will understand ! ! ! They are the problem not the solution !

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:25am

    Change the meaning of the term...

    This is a common tactic to curb the rights of the people. If freedom of the press is too much of a problem, you redefine who counts as press.

    The same thing works for whistleblowers. They're a thing the people want to champion, so we change the definition of whistleblower.

    Snowden revealed a state program that was doing things that really shouldn't have been done and were a betrayal of the people of the world. And Snowden went to lengths to make sure that information went public.

    It doesn't matter what you call that. Forcing such a program into the sunlight is an action in service of the people of the US. Persecution of those who act to expose such programs is also against the pubkic good, and is an additional betrayal of the people.

    The arguments of whys or what it's called are irrelevant. The people who condemn Snowden are not interested in an open, free or equal society.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:58am

      Re: Change the meaning of the term...

      Snowden is one of the ultra few remaining patriots that walk this mud ball.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:58am

      Re: Change the meaning of the term...

      Or if you want to demonize copyright infringement, redefine "piracy".

      Same old same old.

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

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re: Change the meaning of the term...

        Which is why I keep advocating to redefine copyright fraud/abuse as pedophilia. Show those pedophiles in the RIAA/MPAA what for!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 3:19pm

      Re: Change the meaning of the term...

      Another example is corruption.

      There is the narrow legal definition, written by corrupt politicians to protect corrupt politicians, and then there is the real meaning of the word.

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

  • icon
    Charles Roth (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:26am

    intel committee membership?

    Does anyone know, or can find, the actual names of the members of the House intel committee? I can't read the signatures on their actual letter.

    They deserve some calls and letters, calling them out for their cowardice.

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

    • identicon
      a non, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:53am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      I think the articles' author should have listed them in the text.

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

    • identicon
      Jason, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:54am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      I can't find it anywhere on their own site for some reason, but a list of current membership is included here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_Intelligence#Me mbers

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

    • identicon
      Jason, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:58am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      Oh, they're also listed on the stationery of the letter written to the President. I didn't notice that at first because NoScript was blocking the documentcloud links.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:16am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      They've certainly lost credibility since Michele Bachmann left.

      /s...?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:00am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      They deserve some calls and letters, calling them out for their (in)actions that have caused tremendous damage to national security, and their serial fabrications and exaggerations when presented with their failure to properly oversee the intelligence community.

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

    • identicon
      azbz, 17 Sep 2016 @ 9:41am

      Re: intel committee membership?

      Republican members (intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-majority-members.htm):

      Devin Nunes, Chairman
      22nd District of California

      Jeff Miller
      1st District of Florida

      Mike Conaway
      11th District of Texas

      Peter King
      2nd District of New York

      Frank LoBiondo
      2nd District of New Jersey

      Lynn Westmoreland
      3rd District of Georgia

      Tom Rooney
      17th District of Florida

      Joe Heck
      3rd District of Nevada

      Mike Pompeo
      4th District of Kansas

      Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
      27th District of Florida

      Michael Turner
      10th District of Ohio

      Brad Wenstrup
      2nd District of Ohio

      Chris Stewart
      2nd District of Utah

      Democratic members ( href="intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-minority-members.htm):

      Adam Schiff, Ranking Member
      28th District of California

      Jim Himes
      4th District of Connecticut

      Terri Sewell
      7th District of Alabama

      Andre Carson
      7th District of Indiana

      Jackie Speier
      14th District of California

      Mike Quigley
      5th District of Illinois

      Eric Swalwell
      15th District of California

      Patrick Murphy
      18th District of Florida

      Joaquin Castro
      20th District of Texas

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 7:40am

    The government reminds me of Whatever. Whenever you say something stupid and someone points it out instead of admitting you were wrong just double down instead. Hopefully no one would notice.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:02am

    "The report also trots out the usual "harm to national security." We've been hearing this ever since the first leak... and yet no one ever has any evidence to support this."

    But you have to understand how these people's brains work. They believe that security through obscurity is real security. So, if you make what they're doing less obscure you ipso facto make them less secure!

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:45am

      Re:

      it has harmed the credibility to those in charge of national security. the fact that is their own fault for doing illegal things is beside the point in their minds. It never would have become an issue if snowden had not revealed their crimes so naturally they blame him for harming national security

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

  • icon
    Charles Roth (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:10am

    intel committee membership?

    Thanks, all, for the (multiple) pointers to the committee membership. Write them and complain! It's hard to believe sometimes, but (at least some of them) do pay attention, if only in a self-serving way.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:21am

    How can he be anything but a whistle blower?

    He pointed out an illegal, unconstitutional program, a program that was sanctified at the highest level. Who could he have reported this to, the boss of the top guy? He did, the people that top guy supposedly reports to and that is We the People.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:29am

      Re: How can he be anything but a whistle blower?

      "He pointed out an illegal, unconstitutional program, a program that was sanctified at the highest level. "

      Minor clarification: The programs had been determined to be legal under US law. Whether or not they were constitutional or not would be up to the courts to decide, but they've basically abdicated when it comes to anything flagged "national security".

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re: How can he be anything but a whistle blower?

        Your clarification is wrong. Anything that is unconstitutional is not legal period. This is nothing more than a product of threat.

        The Federal Government is currently engaged in a game of Chicken with the Citizens of America. We Citizens are blinking as fucking fast as we can. Until we stop blinking and end this shit, the law is worthless. Nothing is legal or illegal because justice is being ignored or prevented.

        The American Government currently exists as a Political Apostasy. The Constitution is our founding political document, and it has been 100% abandoned and renounced!

        a·pos·ta·sy
        əˈpästəsē/
        noun
        noun: apostasy; plural noun: apostasies

        the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 8:34am

    In their eyes he is also not a patriot because only patriots sell access to their position and documents for bribes, while being protected by corrupt cronyism when caught.

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

  • icon
    Unfrozen Caveman (non-lawyer) (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 9:39am

    Big ones...

    "He claimed to have worked for the CIA as a "senior advisor," which was a gross exaggeration of his entry-level duties as a computer technician. He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test."

    Stating that he was able to get jobs/promotions at an 'intelligence' agency by exaggerating his qualifications or lying only shows that he has the biggest stones ever, and that they suck at intelligence-ing. How difficult is an employment verification, especially one from the same, or related department?

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:29am

      Re: Big ones...

      He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test."


      Isn't that just how all NSA tests work in the first place?

      ;)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 9:42am

    While I served in the army we were told that if problems could not be handled amicably with our immediate superiors we were to follow procedure by approaching their immediate superiors in order to resolve matters. Of course, anyone that actually went and did this was charged with insubordination. And people at the top wonder why the grunts they command can't be fucked with procedure; their bosses don't follow the rules, and the rank and file get fucked when they do!

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Clearly you missed the implied 'suggestion', which was 'if you can't handle it with your boss shut up and drop it'. They didn't actually think you or anyone else would take anything up with your boss's boss, that's just absurd.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 9:55am

    House Disinformation Committee

    It seems the committee is become just a branch of the executive IC.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 9:59am

    What a surprise. The Government stating one thing when a whole load of its citizens believe and say the exact opposite. Color me incredibly and sarcastically surprised.

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

  • icon
    T Teshima (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:31am

    I think the most disgusting part of this story is how the mainstream media is just sensationalizing the story instead of actual reading the report and saying what BS it is. So much for responsible reporting.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 10:52am

    Moral of the story? - Blow that whistle anonymously.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      That's only half the moral: the other is: "Get out while you can, and don't expect to ever be allowed back." Because when you're working within the government, nothing is ever anonymous forever.

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

    • identicon
      David, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      Frankly, I am glad that Snowden did not even try to stay anonymous. That way, he is around to straighten out the story whenever the government crooks try twisting their narrative in ever new directions.

      He'll be dead one day. While he lives, he is still teaching us to see through the lies the government does not tire of fabricating as fast as they keep falling apart.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:10am

    what? o.O

    I don't get what is the big deal about the GED thing?

    Are they trying to say he didn't graduate highschool nor get a GED equivalent so he shouldn't have been hired or what?

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:33am

      Re: what? o.O

      No matter what they claim, it just makes them look worse. I mean, from their point of view, a high-school drop-out who lied, cheated on tests, and hacked computers to get his job and promotions made them all look like utter chumps. They must feel like complete shit, so naturally they want to spread that feeling as far as possible.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 11:42am

    Citizen Four is a documentary that every internet user should watch.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2016 @ 12:56pm

    These guys are kinda like Trump, just when you think they couldn't make a more ridiculously false and misleading statement they go and top themselves. Next they'll probably say that Snowden is responsible for Zika getting into the US.

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

    • identicon
      bob, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      Snowden is to blame for Zika. Government officials didn't have the time or resources to post men at each airport and border crossing 24/7 so they could arrest Zika before she entered the US.

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

  • identicon
    David, 16 Sep 2016 @ 1:41pm

    Wrong, my dear chap.

    I get the feeling that history will treat Ed Snowden much more kindly than it will treat the cowardly members of the House Intel Committee who are now trying (and failing) to cover up their own failures as overseers.

    Your feeling overlooks who is signing off on history school books.

    Snowden is still telling people "look how your government lies to you", item for item, concise, consistent, plausible. His stories keep straight, those of the government twist in all directions. If you don't know who to believe, picking him means you don't need to change your beliefs around every month.

    The U.S. government doesn't merely want revenge on Snowden. They want to terminate the continuing danger to political culture he represents: entrusting people with more truth than they are used to handle, a political climate toxic to those running the show.

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

  • icon
    HawkPunk (profile), 16 Sep 2016 @ 3:50pm

    CHAIN of COMMAND

    Snowden realized that the concept of "Chain of Command" is basically dictatorial: a seed of Fascism. By removing himself as a 'link' in that Chain, and revealing how nefarious that particular chain was - that Chain (constructed to curb Freedom of Thought and Expression) no longer had the secret power to enslave the American Populace through minute and constant monitoring and surveillance.

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

  • identicon
    gezzerx, 16 Sep 2016 @ 6:33pm

    Just more PR & propaganda, censorship, & cover up by the Government that will continue its smear campaign against Mr. Snowden by using the following tactics as quoted by Joseph Goebbels during the 1930's & 1940's.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of
    the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent,for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and
    thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” AND

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind
    constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    The US. & UK. Governments no longer have any credibility ! They make statements but never provide proof . Trust
    us, I think NOT ! Don't trust but verify, & demand evidence of proof ! Until they do so, it's just more lies, excuses,rationalizations, & justifications .

    No more lies, excuses rationalizations,or justifications, the public needs to hold these officials to account to the
    fullest extent of the law under Title 18 sec. 241 & 242 So any future traitors will know there will be consequences to

    such behavior. I hope the United Kingdom has equivalent laws, but if not maybe it's time to get some. Better late
    than never.

    REMEMBER: POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON.

    Some words of true Patriots are as follows, as opposed to the words of false flag patriotism of bought & paid for
    professional politicians and bureaucrats of today.

    He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time,and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions,his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
    James Madison

    The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be
    concealed from them.
    Patrick Henry

    "We the People are the rightful masters of BOTH Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to
    overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution"
    Abraham Lincoln

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we
    destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln

    We should not forget the warning of President Eisenhower .
    http://youtu.be/8y06NSBBR
    The NSA is controlled & operated by the DOD & the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) Private Corporations.

    "The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically
    opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of
    excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it."
    President John F. Kennedy
    Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
    April 27, 1961

    As a reminder Hermann Goering said at the Nuremberg Trials .
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they
    are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the
    same way in any country."

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
    Benito Mussolini

    NSA General Keith Alexander told lawmakers "that even if approved, the measure would not necessarily end warrant-less collection depending on judicial interpretation."

    As is said in the law, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. ("False in one thing, false in all things" is an instruction given

    to jurors: if they find that a witness lied about an important matter, they are entitled to ignore everything else that witness said.)

    Time to start removing the corporate Congress from office & defunding the NSA to force them to comply with the law & impose jail time for non compliance under USC Title 18 Sec. 241 & 242. Google it !.

    Stop with the trying to put the lipstick on a pig approach !

    Disclaimer: Be advised it is possible, that this communication is being monitored by the
    National Security Agency or GCHQ. I neither condone or support any such policy, by any Government authority that
    does not comply, as stipulated by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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

  • icon
    trustkeeper (profile), 17 Sep 2016 @ 4:31am

    The Snowden "is not a whistleblower" claim

    The most alarming thing about the House Intelligence Committee's report is that the Committee is authorized to receive intelligence whistleblower disclosures. How can a body so misinformed and apparently hostile to whistleblowers be entrusted with whistleblower disclosures?

    The House Intelligence Committee speciously conflates "whistleblowing" with "government protected whistleblowing." Cornell University's law school defines whistleblower as "An employee who alleges wrongdoing by his or her employer of the sort that violates public law or tends to injure a considerable number of people." The allegation does not have to be proven to qualify as whistleblowing. It need only be a good-faith belief that wrongdoing occurred. Unquestionably, Edward Snowden's activities qualify as a whistleblower in Cornell's definition of that word, a definition that is widely embraced.

    "Whistleblower protection," as envisioned by the intelligence community deserves to be wrapped in scare quotes whenever the term is used. The approved channel forces a whistleblower to self-identify to managers who are thus enabled to orchestrate the whistleblower's removal through smears and retaliatory investigation. The new "whistleblower protection" scheme established by President Obama is basically the old scheme with a fresh coat of paint. That paint includes a new "appeal" process in which reviewers have authority only to suggest that a retaliating agency head reconsider approving a whistleblower's removal or security clearance revocation. Although inspector generals have a long history of aiding management retaliation, and agency heads can deny the IG access to documents and witnesses, Obama's plan relies on IGs to objectively investigate whistleblower reprisal claims. It is basically irrelevant, therefore, whether or not Snowden would have been able to avail himself of Obama's "whistleblower protection" process.

    The experiences of numerous whistleblowers and simple logic argue against allowing the government define, adjudicate or otherwise control whistleblowing within the government. Government employees blow the whistle to prevent government officials from abusing the rights of citizens and the public welfare. In taking that action, the employee offers to defend the public interest. The public therefore should decide whether to accept that offer to serve as its representative -- via a jury, for example -- granting the whistleblower its protection and compensating him or her for expenses and losses. It makes no sense at all to allow the government to determine who qualifies to be represent the public's interests. That's like allowing someone you are suing or prosecuting to pick your attorneys. There is more folly in forcing a whistleblower to personally shoulder all of the legal costs of defending the public interest.

    Resolution of these problems will occur only when citizens awake to their responsibility to come to the aid of whistleblowers, their champions and their eyes and ears to government abuses and corruption.

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

  • icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 17 Sep 2016 @ 5:04am

    You really want to say that?

    He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test. In May 2013, Snowden informed his supervisor that he would be out of the office to receive treatment for worsening epilepsy. In reality, he was on his way to Hong Kong with stolen secrets.
    Sooooo, you claim you promoted the guy based on a forged resume? And he got away because he claimed he was ill? Sound like what you're really claiming is that, as an intelligence agency, your intelligence gathering and counter-espionage skills are so woefully inadequate as to be unable to spot ploys about as advanced as "I didn't hand in my homework 'coz the dog ate it", and "I'm sorry I can't come to work this Monday, I've got a 24 hour virus"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2016 @ 7:43am

    House Intel Committee has no intelligence, film at eleven

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2016 @ 8:20am

    Problem here:

    "He failed basic annual training for NSA employees on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)... includ[ing] explanations of the privacy protections related to the PRISM program."

    Okay, so the guy fails the training on the privacy rules. This immediately raises a huge question: why did you still let him handle sensitive, personal information?

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

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 17 Sep 2016 @ 10:16am

    SAAPP

    It would appear, to me, that the National Whistleblower Center, and the House Judiciary Committee-- to start!-- should seek to expand the powers of the "SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION AND CIVIL JUSTICE" of the House Judiciary Committee, to include "S-A-A-P-P" actions (i.e., "Strategic A-C-T-I-O-N-S Against Public Participation"!)!... and, on par with the SCCJ's current review of SLAPP actions (i.e., Strategic LAWSUITS Against Public Participation!)! In fact!... and in my view!... we should be moving our individual attentions, and collective attention AWAY from the entrenched notion of "SLAPP", to that of "SAAPP"!... and, inasmuch, as it shouldn't matter what METHOD is being used to stifle PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (i.e., whether a LAWSUIT, or the HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE!)! Indeed!... the current anti-SLAPP bill being reviewed by this Subcommitte should be withdrawn, and a new ALL-ENCOMPASSING "A-N-T-I S-A-A-P-P B-I-L-L" be introduced instead! And!... well!... as those who commit these actions are S_ad A_nd P_athetic!... yea, S_ad A_nd A_ntisocial P_athetic P_erps!
    .
    You might want to have a look at the comments at, https://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/federal-anti-slapp-bill-focus-house-hearing!
    .
    From my viewpoint, things are looking UP for a S-E-R-I-O-U-S R-E-F-L-E-C-T-I-O-N on the efforts of Snowden!... and others! Who would have thunk it!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

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

  • identicon
    John Mayor, 17 Sep 2016 @ 10:37am

    KICKING SAAPP *SS

    P.S.: I just sent an amended version of my earlier comment to the Public Participation Project!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

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


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