This post is exhibit one for the limitations of anarchism.
Yes, there are rules of evidence. Imperfect, but tried and tested in the common law for hundreds of years. Let's try a thought experiment. Where would you prefer to stand trial? Any common law country or, say, Russia?
In the alternative, please improve your society by proposing a better judicial system. What rules of evidence would you keep or discard? Should we appoint federal judges in a different manner (elections, perhaps?). Please be specific. Isn't it time to stop complaining and start fixing?
You take victimhood to new levels. We imagine our injuries, then clam we can't prove them. Who lost a job? Whose speech has been silenced? Who has been jailed? Easy questions to answer in Russia, China, N. Korea. Apparently not so easy here.
I think there's more need in this forum good psychiatry than good lawyering.
According to the March 22, 2014 NYT, Snowden apparently released information about this effort:
"The N.S.A., for example, is tracking more than 20 Chinese hacking groups — more than half of them Chinese Army and Navy units — as they break into the networks of the United States government, companies including Google, and drone and nuclear-weapon part makers, according to a half-dozen current and former American officials."
Is that another NSA transgression? Should we shut down all counter-intelligence operations to make you feel better?
You survived the last terrorist attack. Thousands of your fellow citizens did not. We're all courageous when someone else is the likely victim.
I am aware of the Franklin quote. One good quote deserves another:
"The Constitution is not a suicide pact"
(attributed to Abraham Lincoln and cited in at least one Supreme Court opinion).
Meanwhile, you and your cohorts post hyperbolic claims about living in a police state, but happily and safely return the next day to post more of the same again. It's risible.
This is endless bombast until we get down to specifics. Let the victims of supposed civil liberties violations step forward and make a case in court (there's no shortage of lawyers to represent them for free). Courts focus on facts. Eventually the Supreme Court will decide. I support the rule of law and will abide by the Court's decision, even if I don't like it. This is what the "Founding Fathers" also had in mind.
Meanwhile, do try to think just a little about what you give back to your country and your community besides "paying taxes."
Really? You're not concerned if China steals and sells other nations' technology? Perhaps you're independently wealthy. The rest of us want to keep our jobs.
We're had conflicting legal opinions on supposed NSA violations, but most support the NSA. Will a definitive Supreme Court ruling satisfy you? Will *you* then abide by the rule of law?
The libertarian far right and anarchist far left agree on this issue. Even though the Fourth Amendment has a "reasonableness" standard built in, they persist in seeing individual "rights" as absolute. But not even the First Amendment is interpreted that way (libel is not protected speech). At the core of their argument is unbridled selfishness--also evident in the gun control debates. My "right" to do exactly as I please is more important than the physical safety of every man, woman, and child in the country. This is not the true heritage of our country--sometimes we do make sacrifices for the common good-- and it will not survive the next terrorist attack.
You'll find questions about Snowden's authorship going back to his writing in Spanish to the President of Equador (see Mother Jones July 10, 2013). The topic was also briefly addressed on April 16, 2014 by a respected investigative reported appearing on NPR's "Fresh Air." You can also do your own comparisons of Snowden's verbal and written communications. There's a reason why you'll only see Snowden in highly scripted environments.
The people of Russia are very concerned about civil liberties (some of them in jail as a result). We don't help them by asking silly softball questions (with no followup) on Putin's propaganda show.
Meanwhile, as we disable our intelligence agencies while leaving Russia's and China's agencies unfettered, how do you imagine your "privacy" is protected?
Terrorists who may have been deterred won't be. U.K. intelligence has stated that known terrorist methods of operation and communication have changed (improved).
There's also the issue of Snowden leaks about U.S. intelligence efforts to determine the nature and extent of Chinese hacking into both civilian and military targets. Was Snowden leaking this information in order to protect the "privacy" of Chinese military hackers?
If you disarm one side in this new cold war, are you protecting your privacy--or making it more vulnerable to people who observe no rule of law? China, Russia, N. Korea, Iran and others are loving every minute of our long, protracted slide into national suicide.
Please track Snowden's multiple lies before you make him a hero. He lied (cheated) when he hacked the answers to his employment exam; he lied to his colleagues to obtain their passwords; he lied about his motivation (his theft was planned long before he saw any "invasion of privacy"); he lied when he gave an oath of secrecy; he lies when he pretends to write his own scripts (thank Glen Greenwald for those) and lies now when he pretends to have noble motives for his laughable role in Putin's propaganda show. Make him your hero if you like, but more and more observers are waking up to one of the most massive media deceptions in American history. The full story will finally be unearthed after the next terrorist attack, but it will be too late for the victims.
Doesn't it occur to the Snowden zealots (who have yet to get over their Justin Bieber stage) that this is another Glenn Greenwald post hoc justification? Greenwald scripts Snowden, as anyone who reads the language carefully understands. The idea that Snowden's question would prompt some sort of inquiry in Russia is laughable.
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