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Author Topic: Is Richard Snowden a heroe or a criminal?  (Read 89362 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #520 on: August 21, 2013, 08:32:03 AM »
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I'm always a little surprised when people quote the Founding Fathers as if they had some special take on the realities of contemporary life.

Hell's teeth, it's all that the Ten Commandments can do to stay currently applicable, and look at the early start, simplicity and broadness of interpretational compass they permit!

Had those fabled tablets of stone not already been long remodelled into building blocks for some Red Sea resort development, I'm sure they would have been just as useful and quotable - enough even for the olde Reader's Digest to have included!

Then was then, and now is now. Everything changes, and to hope otherwise is denial; I know a lot about that trick, in fact I sometimes consider it a speciality, one of my extra survival skills.

Rob C
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #521 on: August 21, 2013, 08:54:45 AM »
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I have a really hard time taking seriously the notion that access to all this data will protect people in the first place. All our law enforcement establishments know where the biker gangs are, they know where organized crime figures are, they know where the crooked corporations are, hell, newspapers write articles about those very things every day, it's no secret. Why can't the various "security" professionals get enough data on THOSE guys to get them arrested? If they can't do that with people who are breaking known laws, and usually have been for a while, the notion that they will find previously unknown terrorists seems farfetched to me. And given all the "private" security companies involved in this game, who send their invoices to various branches of government, well, it all spells boondoggle to me.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #522 on: August 21, 2013, 09:16:41 AM »
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Because, Robert, evidence produced without a warrant is not admissable in a court of law. Drones, however, are much less scrupulous. And if something goes wrong, they can always blame it on a disgruntled drone.  Grin
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« Reply #523 on: August 21, 2013, 09:46:25 AM »
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People who talk about all this as if it's a law enforcement issue simply don't understand that we're at war. 9/11 should have disabused them about that, but evidently it takes more than a 9/11 to penetrate their skulls.
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dreed
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« Reply #524 on: August 21, 2013, 10:41:05 AM »
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People who talk about all this as if it's a law enforcement issue simply don't understand that we're at war. 9/11 should have disabused them about that, but evidently it takes more than a 9/11 to penetrate their skulls.

Yes, we're at war but who with?

Arguably the government.

Going by what government is doing, it is at war with anyone that wants to know the truth about what government does, even though government is there through the will of the people via elections to do the will of the people.

As we all know, truth is the first casualty in war.
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dreed
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« Reply #525 on: August 21, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
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I have a really hard time taking seriously the notion that access to all this data will protect people in the first place. All our law enforcement establishments know where the biker gangs are, they know where organized crime figures are, they know where the crooked corporations are, hell, newspapers write articles about those very things every day, it's no secret. Why can't the various "security" professionals get enough data on THOSE guys to get them arrested? If they can't do that with people who are breaking known laws, and usually have been for a while, the notion that they will find previously unknown terrorists seems farfetched to me. And given all the "private" security companies involved in this game, who send their invoices to various branches of government, well, it all spells boondoggle to me.

If you got rid of all the bad people then there would be no need for police, etc, would there?

Further, you're assuming that those that "know" about all of this want to get rid of it and don't in some way benefit from the corruption.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #526 on: August 21, 2013, 11:27:38 AM »
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... simply don't understand that we're at war...

Ah, here it is, my bogeyman theory in action!

We are "at war" with terrorism, drugs, poverty, corruption... in other words, we are at war with...life itself.

No, Russ, we are not at war. We are just experiencing normal life. Part of which is crime, terrorism, poverty, corruption, drug use... which all require a normal, constant response. Wars are extraordinary, temporary events, requiring extraordinary measures. Proclaiming a constant state of war is a pretext for granting extraordinary powers to the powers that be.
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Slobodan

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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #527 on: August 21, 2013, 11:33:37 AM »
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Because, Robert, evidence produced without a warrant is not admissable in a court of law. Drones, however, are much less scrupulous. And if something goes wrong, they can always blame it on a disgruntled drone.  Grin

I understand what you're getting at, but given that they're collecting this data anyway, and that it is legal to do so (isn't it?), you'd think they'd find a way to extract some useful information out of it, so that they could find some admissible evidence against people we already know are "bad guys". Hell, being able to do that would count as really good "marketing" for them to continue doing so, I would have thought.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #528 on: August 21, 2013, 11:49:56 AM »
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Now seriously, Robert, you are actually right more than you know. They've been already doing it for years. It is known as "parallel construction" method, in which:

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A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans... law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin...  "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it,"
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Slobodan

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« Reply #529 on: August 21, 2013, 12:47:01 PM »
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No, Russ, we are not at war. We are just experiencing normal life. Part of which is crime, terrorism, poverty, corruption, drug use... which all require a normal, constant response.

That's such a crock, Slobodan, I hardly can believe you actually believe it. At 83 I know all about normal life, including crime, poverty, corruption (especially at the moment in DC), and drug use. After 26 years in the Air Force and three combat tours I know all about war too. Believe me, we're at war. You'll believe it when the next 9/11 happens. In the meantime enjoy your "normal life" but watch your back.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #530 on: August 21, 2013, 03:26:52 PM »
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Believe me, we're at war.

being born in a land where millions were killed, believe me, you are lying  Wink

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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #531 on: August 21, 2013, 03:29:46 PM »
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Ah, here it is, my bogeyman theory in action!

We are "at war" with terrorism, drugs, poverty, corruption... in other words, we are at war with...life itself.

No, Russ, we are not at war. We are just experiencing normal life. Part of which is crime, terrorism, poverty, corruption, drug use... which all require a normal, constant response. Wars are extraordinary, temporary events, requiring extraordinary measures. Proclaiming a constant state of war is a pretext for granting extraordinary powers to the powers that be.

come on... it turns out that "1984" was about a different country after all  Grin ... that state of a "permanent war" with something, etc...
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 03:34:50 PM by Vladimirovich » Logged
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« Reply #532 on: August 21, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
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being born in a land where millions were killed, believe me, you are lying  Wink

How long were you in the Russian army, Vlad, and where did you serve? Was there combat there?
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Rob C
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« Reply #533 on: August 21, 2013, 04:42:20 PM »
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Of course we are at war; it's a war between the modern society and one still rooted in the middle-ages, with all the potential for disaster that entails.

It used to be wars between countries for territorial gain, between factions for domestic power; today, it's about one form of one broader religion vs. pretty much the rest of mankind. It's isn't about territory, money or anything else other than the power over men's minds. Especially over the independence of thought. Can't have independence; good grief, not that - must crush it right away!

Old hatreds born of competition and trade would almost be a relief.

Rob  C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #534 on: August 21, 2013, 08:40:57 PM »
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Of course we are at war; it's a war between the modern society and one still rooted in the middle-ages...

You mean the Crusades? I didn't know your Golden Age dates that far back Wink
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #535 on: August 21, 2013, 08:53:50 PM »
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That's such a crock, Slobodan, I hardly can believe you actually believe it. At 83 I know all about normal life, including crime, poverty, corruption (especially at the moment in DC), and drug use. After 26 years in the Air Force and three combat tours I know all about war too. Believe me, we're at war. You'll believe it when the next 9/11 happens. In the meantime enjoy your "normal life" but watch your back.

Russ, you might be older, but I have more experience with terrorism. We had our first terrorist bombing in a crowded movie theater in Belgrade back in the sixties. First embassy hostage situation and murder of the Ambassador in Sweden in the early seventies. Your buddies bombed a civilian target about several hundred yards from my home recently.

London has been living under terrorism for decades. Spain as well. Germany and Italy under Red Brigades. Just as well as many other countries in the world. For all of us, it is a fact of life. Keep calm and carry on, Brits would say. But of course, when it happens to you, for the first time, you act like you are the only one in the history of mankind experiencing it.
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dreed
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« Reply #536 on: August 21, 2013, 09:18:51 PM »
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A federal judge sharply rebuked the National Security Agency in 2011 for gathering and storing tens of thousands of Americans’ e-mails each year as it hunted for terrorists and other legitimate foreign targets, according to the top secret court ruling, which was made public on Wednesday.

2011 ruling found an NSA program unconstitutional
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #537 on: August 22, 2013, 01:20:47 AM »
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So, no Pentagon papers, no Watergate revelations, no Iran-Contra information, no inside view of the Enron implosion, no public awareness of the willful negligence leading to the BP oil spill, is that what you want? Not me.
No, these would have all still happened if their import was real.  A government can not operate either domestically or internationally with 100% transparency.   At least not to their advantage.  So we must have "secrets" and classifications in which to categorize and file.   It will never be up to the rank and file worker, the low man on the totem pole, the contract worker with limited experience, or the lowest ranking military member.. it will never be up to them WHICH secrets they share when they shouldn't.  This is way above their pay grade and frankly I don't think Snowden or any of the current crop of "whistle blowers" has the experience or knowledge to put our governments at risk by breeching our national securities.  However.. if they feel that strongly that they're willing to sacrifice themselves knowing the consequences.. and we can't stop them before they do.. then such breeches will occur.

I spent >20 years as a cryptologic/intel officer and during the time held what we call a "TS/SCI" clearance level.,  TS is for top secret, and SCI is for specially compartmented information.   The TS is in effect 100% of the time, and the SCI is given on a need to know.. as you're involved with or exposed to different projects.    There ARE times you don't agree with your government.  There ARE avenues to pursue policies you disagree with.  The wheels of government are like a slow moving oil tanker.. they take a long time to change or slow down or stop.  I can't imagine Snowden used the avenues provided to make known his complaints AND waited long enough for action to be taken.  Not if he was at all experienced in the community.. which is what you need to be before deciding which of your nations secrets you are about to expose.

However, if I'd made known such a complaint and wasn't given feedback/guidance and the policy remained.  AND I felt strongly enough it was hurting/damaging innocents.. especially my own countrymen.. and enough time had passed without such feedback or change.  Then I would take the next least harmful (to my country) route that had a good potential for effecting change.  And it would have been the saddest day of my life.. as if my father had lied to me and I took action against him.. or my mother.  I suppose the only thing worse.. is if my god had lied to me.   Before changing citizenship, family, churches or gods.. you need to absolutely believe your complaints have fallen on deaf ears.. and then I'd ask to speak to their supervisor and on up the chain until no one else would talk to me.  And I'd document the hell out of it..

Based on my own experience and my own beliefs.. I just don't feel Snowden and especially Manning acted in the best interest of their country.  I regretfully say they acted in the best interest of other countries.   And I've yet to see a single good thing come from this.   Ruined lives, forever branded a traitor, all for a country without the political honesty to properly punish those who broke our laws with these policies.. What did he expect to happen.. another measure of his inexperience.
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Rob C
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« Reply #538 on: August 22, 2013, 03:16:04 AM »
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You mean the Crusades? I didn't know your Golden Age dates that far back Wink

For your record: I think my Golden Age dates from the mid-fifties; I know for a fact that it ended eleven years ago.

YMMV, and as for the Crusaders, they did leave some impressive architecture behind them, as many tourist organisations are happy to exploit today. But then, at that period, there was no automotive oil industry to pour its balm onto troubled, whispering sands.

But today, imagine the perfect scenario that has been denied all sides: lands with massive supplies that are there for the selling and that they are perfectly happy to sell; a market that's ever growing and willing to buy... but what do we get instead? fucking bombs and millions dead and/or displaced even without foreign intervention... and today on the news I see reports of new chemical attacks. Foreign intervention? Yes, in watered-down resolutions that have no muscle; in cynical political stances based on God alone knows what distorted realities of imaginary future trade or special relationships. Another Iraq? I don't think so, somehow. It's my guess that the reality of the irrationality of the principal participants has finally been recognized by those with the power to intervene. I think they realise it just ain't worth it. Go in and thousands die and you get the blame; stay out and they still die, and you still get the blame.

And now we learn that the Japanese radiation leaks are way more severe than imagined, oozing into the Pacific and en route elsewhere... Does anyone else remember the Ava pic On the Beach?

What's the point anymore? Let's just put on Hotel California one more time.

Rob C
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dreed
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« Reply #539 on: August 22, 2013, 06:53:47 AM »
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A government can not operate either domestically or internationally with 100% transparency.   At least not to their advantage.  So we must have "secrets" and classifications in which to categorize and file.

Correct. There is some information that is held by the government that is required to be held secret to protect not only the country and its citizens but the industry too.

Not all information should be public knowledge, but when and where the government decides to break the law, lie to its people, deceive its people and ignore the constitution of the country, information about such actions needs to be made available to the public so that the public that elected the government is able to make a proper decision as to whether the government that the public elected into office is acting in the best interests of the public and should remain.

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This is way above their pay grade and frankly I don't think Snowden or any of the current crop of "whistle blowers" has the experience or knowledge to put our governments at risk by breeching our national securities.  However.. if they feel that strongly that they're willing to sacrifice themselves knowing the consequences.. and we can't stop them before they do.. then such breeches will occur.

Well it would be an even simpler matter for the government to stick to keeping its actions within the bounds of the constitution. If it did that then people such as Snowden and Manning wouldn't feel compelled to speak out.

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I spent >20 years as a cryptologic/intel officer and during the time held what we call a "TS/SCI" clearance level.

I know for a fact that mentioning such a thing whilst holding a clearance is the quickest way to lose it. I'd even go so far as to say that anyone publicly claiming to have held a security clearance never actually held such a clearance level. The first rule of having a security clearance is that you don't talk about it to anyone, especially not in public forums. Whether or not that also applies historically, I don't know for a fact but I've read books by those that have and nobody ever mentions them like this.

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I can't imagine Snowden used the avenues provided to make known his complaints AND waited long enough for action to be taken.

Imagine that you are Snowden and that the issues you want to complain about seem to have the stamp of approval from the highest level. What do you do? Do you think "yes, I'll tell my boss or his boss and something will get done about it."? Doubtful. When the management chain is complicit then the only avenue for recourse in making a disease known is to go via other avenues.

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Based on my own experience and my own beliefs.. I just don't feel Snowden and especially Manning acted in the best interest of their country.  I regretfully say they acted in the best interest of other countries.   And I've yet to see a single good thing come from this.   Ruined lives, forever branded a traitor, all for a country without the political honesty to properly punish those who broke our laws with these policies.. What did he expect to happen.. another measure of his inexperience.

It would seem that Snowden understood that there would be ramifications as he fled the USA before anything was announced. Both of them have sacrificed the better part of their lives because they think that in doing so, focus will be brought to bear on aspects of the government that need to be reviewed. They took an oath to protect the constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic and they're doing what they think is necessary to protect the constitution from a very large and powerful domestic enemy of the constitution.

That you say "I've yet to see a single good thing come from this" is the problem. It is a real problem. The president has asked a man that has already lied to congress to head up a review of the NSA. Has anyone outside of government applauded this appointment or said that they believe it will fix anything?
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