Debate On Snowden Over, So Why No Pardon?

Posted by Bob Lord

From today's lead NY Times editorial:

In the days after Edward Snowden revealed that the United States government was collecting vast amounts of Americans’ data — phone records and other personal information — in the name of national security, President Obama defended the data sweep and said the American people should feel comfortable with its collection. On Friday, after seven months of increasingly uncomfortable revelations and growing public outcry, Mr. Obama gave a speech that was in large part an admission that he had been wrong.

So there it is. Snowden was right and our leaders, including Obama and Diane "we need the information in case they become terrorists" Feinstein, were dead wrong. 

Could there be any better evidence of the decay in our society than Snowden still being treated as a fugitive?

In corrupt, decaying societies, the rich and powerful, no matter how corrupt, are lionized, while the truly courageous who speak out are demonized.  

3 responses to “Debate On Snowden Over, So Why No Pardon?

  1. Might I also add that THIS NYT seemed to be fine with GWB’s MASSIVE over reach in the name of “terrorists”! My goodness, they were everywhere!!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/16/AR2005121600021.html

    Bush Authorized Domestic Spying

    By Dan Eggen
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, December 16, 2005

    From this story:
    The Times said it held off on publishing its story about the NSA program for a year after administration officials said its disclosure would harm national security.

    Looks like they were very concerned about illegal spying back then…oh, wait…not so much because they waited a YEAR to inform the public! I remember GWB telling libraries to report in what books people checked out, remember that? I do. I remember when talking about certain topics on the phone I would make some snarky comment like, ” George, pay attention! You might find this oddly suspicious!!”

    Gee, Bob…note the date of this NYT piece.Clearly not on this President’s watch.Remember having to be either “with us, or against us?” I do. Remember when fear was used as a bludgeon to keep the citizens in line so they could get away with this stuff without any reprisals? I do.

    Remember this??

    “This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration,” said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration’s surveillance and detention policies. “It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans.”

    Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she is “dismayed” by the report.

    “It’s clear that the administration has been very willing to sacrifice civil liberties in its effort to exercise its authority on terrorism, to the extent that it authorizes criminal activity,” Fredrickson said.

    The NSA activities were justified by a classified Justice Department legal opinion authored by John C. Yoo, a former deputy in the Office of Legal Counsel who argued that congressional approval of the war on al Qaeda gave broad authority to the president, according to the Times.

    October 26, 2001 the Patriot Act was signed by GWB that gave sweeping powers to spy on Americans in the name of fighting terrorists. Who said this??:

    This is not to say that I was not angry about the attacks. I believed that Islamic extremism posed a serious threat to the country, and I wanted an aggressive response from our government. I was ready to stand behind President Bush and I wanted him to exact vengeance on the perpetrators and find ways to decrease the likelihood of future attacks. During the following two weeks, my confidence in the Bush administration grew as the president gave a series of serious, substantive, coherent, and eloquent speeches that struck the right balance between aggression and restraint. And I was fully supportive of both the president’s ultimatum to the Taliban and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan when our demands were not met. Well into 2002, the president’s approval ratings remained in the high 60 percent range, or even above 70 percent, and I was among those who strongly approved of his performance. […]

    During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

    Who is the person that was good with the Patriot Act? The invasion of the WRONG COUNTRY? The spying on Americans in the name of National Security? Who gave the GWB admin. the benefit of the doubt and thought that GWB should have his National Security judgement deferred to? None other than Glenn Greenwald…… Who has an agenda?

  2. Whoa!Whoa!Whoa! It’s pretty clear from your post that you either don’t want to see/understand some truths about this, or that you haven’t read enough about all this to make an informed judgement. I have plenty of things that I agree with you on, for sure…but this isn’t one of them. Might I suggest that you read some of the well sourced info that Bob Cesca has written on this topic. Here: http://bobcesca.thedailybanter.com/ If you scroll 1/3 of the way down, on the right side you’ll see all his compilation of NSA stories. Cozy up and read them all. Or even better, this one: http://20committee.com/ from someone that actually worked in this arena and now teaches this at the Naval War College.

    This guy:

    John R. Schindler is professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, where he’s been since 2005, and where he teaches courses on security, strategy, intelligence, terrorism, and occasionally military history. Before joining the NWC faculty, he spent nearly a decade with the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer. There’s not much he can say about that, except that he worked problems in Eastern Europe and the Middle East with a counterespionage flavor, and he collaborated closely with other government agencies who would probably prefer he didn’t mention them. He’s also served as an officer specializing in cryptology (now called information warfare for no particular reason) in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

    He is a senior fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University and is chairman of the Partnership for Peace Consortium‘s Combating Terrorism Working Group, a unique body which brings together scholars and practitioners from more than two dozen countries across Eurasia to tackle problems of terrorism, extremism, and political violence. He has lectured on terrorism and security in over twenty countries.

    He is a historian by background, with a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from McMaster University. His books deal with topics like the Italian front in World War I, Islamist extremism in the Balkans, and an insider’s look at how Al-Qa’ida thinks and operates. He’s currently writing a couple books on cool stuff.

    You could not be more wrong about this. Snowden is no hero. He’s a treasonous liar who sold out his country for money. This isn’t about President Obama or Diane Fienstein…this has been going on for long before they were ever thoughts in their parents minds. To pretend that this started on their watch is something I wouldn’t have thought that you’d employ.

    I know it’s a beautiful weekend, but I think you would be enlightened by reading this. The NYT? Surely you jest:) MSM gets things wrong ALL THE TIME…they work hard for the corporate masters to push their agenda and money talks…which is why reading all kinds of opinions from people that actually KNOW and have NO AGENDA…is a good thing to do. Just sayin’.