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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden: Hero Or Traitor?

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. (The Guardian/AP)

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. (The Guardian/AP)

Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein are in rare agreement: they both call Edward Snowden a traitor for leaking classified documents about government spying.

They’re not the only ones who have harsh words for Snowden. Jeffrey Toobin, the legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, called him “a clown,” and “a narcissist.”

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley says that misses the point.

“I was rather taken aback yesterday by the sheer amount and intensity of the attacks on Snowden,” Turley told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “He’s obviously far more complex than that. So is the story.”

Personifying the scandal by shifting the focus to Snowden, Turley says, distracts us from the content of what Snowden disclosed, which is that the Obama administration has legalized a model of security that “creates a fishbowl society.”

Turley is among those scholars who think the surveillance program is unconstitutional.

“We’re talking about a data bank system that is a perfect nightmare for civil liberties, where we all are basically being fed into a system,” Turley said. “And it’s ridiculous to say they aren’t using it to spy on individuals.”

Turley says the model for surveillance that PRISM creates is unlike anything we’ve seen before. PRISM puts “all Americans under continual surveillance. That’s a game changer.”


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  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    Americans have also been in favor of the War on Drugs.  How many people do we now have incarcerated. More than any other country in the world even China.

  • Lee_on_Norfolk

    Snowden IS a whistleblower>
    Edward Snowden is an Iraq vet who has worked at the CIA and NSA. He
    decided to risk persecution by the government because “they are intent
    on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world
    known to them,” posing “an existential threat to democracy.”

    Edward Snowden explained that NSA officials “routinely lied to Congress,” which is a serious federal crime. 

    Mr. Snowden revealed limited information to corroborate his
    allegations, without revealing details regarding a specific operation. 

    In 2008, President Obama promised to protect whistleblowers, saying
    their “acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save
    lives…should be encouraged rather than stifled.’”

    • Mabee1000

      Look closer at him and his history
      He failed at more things than you are aware.
      He got clearance by being a security guard for heavens sake!!!
      The contractor system sucks and needs to be scrutinized so people like him can’t get access!

      • advocate22

        access to WHAT??

        You are missing the rather simple point that spying (even metadata) on millions of unsuspecting NON-suspects — and lying to our Congress about it — is OUTRAGEOUS, defiling our rights, our three-branch system, and our Constitution. 

        Like way too many others YOU are worried more about the MESSENGER than the Horrific — yes horrific & antiAmerican — MESSAGE??

        If there ARE traitors, they are those who arrogantly take OUR tax dollars to get paid and create a self-justifying system that invades ALL our privacy — all done by a so-called “security apparatus” who failed us on 911 and continues to create more enemies of US policy, even as it drains our budget of funds needed for REAL security needs such as health care, decent jobs and wages, and education.

  • Maggie

    I love your guests sweeping statemets like “everybody knows, everybody agrees, nobody thinks …

  • http://www.jerroldrichards.com/ Jerrold Richards

    Every single phone call I make,
    every single e-mail, is being monitored by the government? Geez, maybe the
    rightwing nuts have a point after all. I’m not sure I want to live in a
    fishbowl society. I like the idea of reasonable privacy, and I do not like the
    idea of a Total Surveillance State. At present, perhaps the best thing we can
    do is make lots of phone calls,send lots of e-mails, and just drown the NSA and
    related organizations in so big a flood of petabytes of data that even their
    best AI algorithms fail. In the long run, we need to vote for the people who
    run the super-corporations, because it is these super-corporations that are
    pushing the rigid control freak version of government.

  • http://www.jerroldrichards.com/ Jerrold Richards

    Whistleblower Edward Snowden, clearly no fool, must have thought about the possibility of being murdered, probably in some manner so as to smear his reputation. I guess I admire his courage for going ahead anyway. But I am not sure he has considered the most likely possibility. Most likely, he faces sensory deprivation in a small space, until he goes insane.

  • Vanderkooyda

    Metadata is important. It can be used to estimate your daily patterns, when you sleep, who you spend your time with. Metadata is sometimes used to identify targets for drone strikes, it’s the signature part of a signature strike. Some say, “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about,” but that’s assuming government employees won’t abuse the data for personal or political purposes. This is a big deal.

  • SethHHenry

    I greatly dislike the idea of the government being engaged in widespread unending and possibly illegal surveillance of all of us without legal justification. This is a higher priority use of our tax dollars than feeding the hungry or Social Security? As an NSA spokesmen said (paraphrasing) “if you are not guilty of anything, you should not be concerned.” Well same to you NSA, same to you.

  • mattlove1

    Which side are you on?  Darth Obama’s or Luke Whistleblower’s?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Snowden, in all his “wisdom” decided unilaterally not that there WAS illegal activity occurring but that there was the POTENTIAL for illegal activity to occur. So he decided the “public” should decide. Well, guess what? HE had the ability to illegally dig into the data, 99.99% of the “public” does not. Where is this illegal activity “we” should all know about?

    A whistle blower is someone who brings illegal activity to light. Snowden is not a whistle blower.
    If he has SPECIFIC cases where someone (including himself) illegally used the data, he should take it “upstairs”, not put out a general “there is the POTENTIAL for misuse” claim to the press.
    Congress created the program, congress has repeatedly renewed the program. It isn’t even a “secret” that the government is tracking communications.

    Snowden seems to have transformed from what a former neighbor deemed a quiet guy into a drama queen.

  • ratso

    Snowden appears to be the newest U.S. hero, exposing a government’s practice as nothing less than criminal and meriting impeachment of a collaorator President ….
    this fish stinks from the head down.

  • Boreal Forest

    Once again Robin Young displays her bias by interviewing Turley and failing to interview a person with the opposing view.

    • it

      Please elaborate on this comment. Her bias is always to the left, she defended the President several times, so how is this guest something typical?

      • it

         Can I change that “always” to “typically”. While I disagree with her often she  does surprise me at times.

  • ratso

    Sounds like you slept through  government 101….ie, 4th amendment.
    Amazing how some people march willingly to their own enslavement.
    Oh, and there were very good reasons why Snowden didn’t follow the ‘chain of command’…they’re the ones passing law for the very crimes he was reporting…

  • Truth Seeker

    They need to erect a statue of this guy and maybe one for Manning, right next to the one of MLK!! I say put some of those “Democratic” senators that supporting keeping the American people in the dark (forever) in jail – NOT Snowden!  He’s the clear hero here.

    He might have broken the law, but he ain’t no traitor that’s for sure. Maybe  Jane Harman and Dianne Feinstein are the real traitors here! I say it’s time for them to go (maybe go work for the NSA). And that guy Clapper is REALLY a traitor because he flat out lied to Congress. Neither Manning, nor Snowden get a red cent for doing this and sacrificing their careers and lives. How many others out there would do this???

    Would you risk your income, career and lief to do something like this, Robin, et al.???

    • Mabee1000

      Wake up!!!
      Check their bank accounts in 5 years and see if they suffered……

      • Yogamews

        Manning has already been tortured…..for revealing criminal activity.  YOU wake up.  We are living in 1984 !

  • Brettwashere

    Traitor… Snoden knows that the NSA program has been around since the beginning of the Cold War. He also knows that the type of information has no expectation of privacy and has been upheld in Smith vs. Maryland.

    More specific information is funneled from various sources like the CIA, DIA and DOJ to acquire a warrant from the DOJ and the FISA Court. this defeats the “wall of information,” between agencies,  that made us vulnerable to the 911 attacks.

    Snoden also knew that if he witnessed any violations of anyone’s rights, under the 4th Amendment, that he could file a report with the Inspector General.

    Why did he fail to report anything? Because he didn’t witness anything to report: instead, he compromised how the NSA works and what information it gathers – to weaken our National security.

    NSA will be under no legal obligation to change it’s procedure – but al Qaeda will be under a tactical obligation to change theirs.

    Snoden is a traitor like Bradley Manning and Robert Hansen.

  • Asdfasdf

    There are things the government does that the people do not need to know about.  It’s necessary since information that the public knows will be in the hands of anyone who wants it.  In order to protect the people and identify threats, the government needs to have information about what other governments and people are doing and planning before any plans to harm people are realized.  An American who willingly reveals government operations which don’t harm the American people and are designed to keep them safe is a traitor and is endangering the American people.

  • David F

    Snowden is a traitor

    First off records of phone number A calling phone number B for X minutes are kept by your phone service provider and always have been.  Law enforcement could get access to those records any time they asked.  This is nothing new.  That information also has nothing to do with wiretapping.  There is no law I know of protecting that information, if I’m wrong please cite the specific law and quote where it protects phone journal entries.

    Second, if you have been foolish enough to believe that anything you put out on the internet is private or protected then shame on you.  Once anything goes out on the internet it’s public information.  By the way, for those of you who weren’t aware, your emails go out over the internet too.  If you’ve been sending information via email that you don’t want anyone else to read, then you should have been writing it in a letter and mailing it.

  • Topri

    I believe mr snowden signed a contract form for employment which had specific actions which could be applied should he breech agreement. I believe this contact breech identifies what minimal “classification” snowden falls under , if its a criminal breech/violation at minimum he is a ” criminal” to what degree will leave to legal system to define.

    • Yogamews

      The FF not only broke the law, they actually committed treason.  Want them to take it all back ?   Seeing what we’ve become, they would be ashamed.

  • Mabee1000

    He’s a sad little man who is seeking attention by illegal means.
    There were other ways to publicize the information but he had to use the most visible means.
    He should be returned and have his day in court for any violations.
    His actions have caused harm and will continue to create problems in international relations.

    I really think his supporters are as interested in their personal visibility as he is and aligning with wiki leaks just reinforces his desire to be in the spot light.

    I wish public radio and all media would ignore him for a month so we can see him release more info when he drops from the spotlight.

  • Tfprice1234

    If he truly believes he was /is in the right, then he should seriously consider coming back to US (after he gets “lawyered up” and has lawyers negotiate terms of his return etc) to go thru the system. I’m sure there would be many excellent, high profile lawyers who would love to represent this high profile case.

  • Yogamews

    Simple,  Snowden is a patriot.

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