Sen. Paul needs to stop making excuses for Snowden. He’s a traitor, pure and simple; innocent whistle blowers don’t flee to South America via Cuba and Russia. National security/foreign policy is Paul’s biggest weakness. The country and the GOP might not be in the mood for the McCain approach to foreign affairs, but Paul acting like Snowden is a patriot or hero is not going to fly either.
“Ed Snowden is a Patriot who has revealed serious threats to our national security by the tyrannical Obama. Rand Paul is a Patriot as well, this issue sealed Rand’s nomination for President in 2016.”
Ed Snowden is a traitor and a coward who has revealed critical intelligence-gathering programs that helped to keep us safe to those would do or wish us harm. Rand Paul is a product of the “Me, Myself, and I” mentality that places total loyalty and obsession on a bumperstickerized view of “freedom!” and “liberty!” without any regard for the responsibility necessary to maintain that freedom or the consequences of not upholding that responsibility.
Unless you think that government should keep no secrets, and that the Chinese and Russians and terrorists should have full knowledge of how we’re trying to keep up with them, you can’t ask for a better surveillance program than one that uses warrants and an informed legislative branch to monitor an executive program, that gives government only the same level of information that the likes of Google, Facebook, and Verizon already have in their records.
#3: that assumes the program actually works on the lines you’ve spelled out. We’ve already learned that they obtained information on a blanket-basis — not a per-warrant basis. In other words: grabbing all our data, whether that includes people not suspected of anything (what used to be called “innocent people”, as in “innocent until proven guilty”) or not, is what they were and are doing. That isn’t in dispute; the administration has admitted this much. They’ve offered up examples of how the blanket program protected us — unfortunately, again, for them, there are people capable of reading out there. That includes the fact that the first example actually turned on old-fashioned intel, not the PRISM data — the Brits gave us specific information, which led to specific warrants being issued and specific targets being watched. Note the use of the word “specific” throughout — no one objects to THIS type of program. We do object to programs designed around the idea of non-specific spying, however. Mr. Snowden is a traitor, per the law, and I would vote to convict him — and then assign a one-day jail sentence.
Only a moron would believe this government after Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, W.M.D. in Iraq, Pat Tillman, the entire Bill Clinton presidency, Iran-Contra, etc., etc. Governments lie, period, when it comes to anything that threatens to take away any aspect of their powers, whether it be the Republicans or Democrats in charge. There is no way our government is going to willingly place limits on itself with regard to these sweeping surveillance programs, and of course the intelligence community is going to go the media and swear up and down that the info gathered by these programs are crucial to America’s security. It’s the same dynamic as any other bureaucracy, where they’ll rage against anything that threatens to stop the gravy train of federal dollars from rolling in.
And I see no reason to feel comforted by the fact that these programs are approved by the same judicial system that found Obamacare to be constitutional and a legislative body that passes 2,000+ page bills without reading them.
Wherever the coward decides to live, there will always be a group of people who will want to collect a reward that Obama will eventually offer for his capture. It may not happen right away, but it will happen. And this little traitor will have his day in an American court.
Snowden, being the good Libertarian that he is, only furthers the fact that Libertarianism is about the freedom to clear his conscience of caring for his fellow humans, by violating the security of the very people he claims he’s helping.
“And I see no reason to feel comforted by the fact that these programs are approved by the same judicial system that found Obamacare to be constitutional and a legislative body that passes 2,000+ page bills without reading them.”
Then you have no faith in even the basic and unquestionably constitutional processes laid out by our founding documents.
Yes, absolutely, this type of program has the potential for abuse. But the potential for abuse is not, in and of itself, abuse. Even less is it justification for saying “no” to the program itself. If the abuses start to show, certainly it is grounds to debate the program. But show me the abuse first.
Whether you like the programs Snowden revealed or not, you can’t possibly think it’s desirable for a low-level government contractor with no legal training to reveal classified information directly related to our national security to the international media based solely on his personal opinion that those government activities are unconstitutional… can you? It’s an insanely dangerous precedent to establish. I sincerely hope Snowden ends up in an American court, sooner rather than later.
I’d prefer we have a team from the CIA in whatever country he ends up in and they grab him and lock him a box until they get into the United States. Then he can be put on trial, found guilty and sent to either prison for the rest of his life or a firing squad.
The NSA breaks the law and Snowdewn is the traitor? The NSA clearly overstepped its mandate by collecting domestic calls as well as overseas calls. The terrorist plots that were stopped used foreign calls. The NSA also told Congress that their analysts have the authority to listen in on a call without obtaing a court order. The fact is that the NSA is in the wrong and Snowden is a whistleblower. The reason that he has to flee to a unfriendly country is because he has to find one that does not have a extradition treaty with the US. It is clear that the NSA does not want to
reform itself and would rather persecute Snowden. The people that ought to be going to jail are in the NSA. If it was done during the Bush Administration those officials need to be held ac countable in a court of law.
…then we have become a nation not willing to be inconvenienced for our own security. There is very little Obama says that I agree with, but its next to impossible to argue when he says that we cannot have 100% security, and 100% privacy, and 0% inconvenience.
“The reason that he has to flee to a unfriendly country”
He doesn’t “have to”, he is choosing to do so because he is a coward, and thinks he can do a hit-and-run against a top secret program. He is not a hero. Heroes go to the gallows to support their country in a revolution. Heroes sit in jail because they violated segregation laws on buses. Heroes go to trial as the law prescribes to make their case known and submit themselves to the just process.
Cowards run. Traitors flee to enemy countries. Snowden appointed himself as judge and executioner on a program that may well have been central to saving hundreds or thousands of American lives, then went to China and then to Russia to avoid facing the consequences of his actions.
Criticize the program if you want – but I suggest you try doing so to the face of 9/11 victims or their families, or the would-be victims and their families if the plots this program uncovered had not been stopped.
Wiretaps are one issue…but we have already had (and have, from time to time) that debate without disclosing a specific program. The heart of this program is the broad-coverage metadata collection: knowing which phone numbers called which phone numbers and where they called from and how frequently they talked and for how long. In short, and in order to compare it to data they had on known and wanted or suspected terrorists, the government came into possession of the same data kept by Internet providers, websites, and phone companies.
Can you honestly make a strong case for the government and FBI and those responsible for keeping us safe having LESS information, and LESS knowledge, and LESS intelligence than Verizon or Google?
Snowden is a goof, if anything. But what this incident demonstrates to me at least, is the inherent incompetence, corruption, and abuse that government power invites and rewards. For instance, why on earth would a low-level recent hire of a private NSA contractor be able to even get his hands on such supposedly secret documents?
Numbers around a million were mentioned in discussions of how many people in America have government security clearance and access to highly sensitive data. If true, this would be an outright formal invitation for foreign spies and agents to infiltrate such systems and spy on all sorts of private business in the country, much less its political and bureaucratic leaders.
I’m less worried about Snowden one way or another than I am about the hundreds of thousands of people who have a foot in the door to all the data, and a complete lack of transparency or public debate about what information should be on or off limits, to whom, for what specific purpose, and with what absolute restrictions.
If we get the next corrupt, power-mad, crony-mongering incompetent for president — or perhaps I should say “when” rather than “if” — this semi-secret national security state with no accountability just begs to be abused.
We’re seeing just how dumb the national security wacko extremists are right here on this thread. Laughable that one of you McCaininites actually referred to the founding documents….Snowden blew the whistle on the government trampling all over the natural right to privacy that Fourth Amendment protection was supposed to prevent. Freedom was dealt a serious blow under the Bush regime, and now utterly destroyed under the current tyrant.
The battle lines should be drawn here, and the 2nd revolution for American ideals and way of life fought for…the only hope is the un-American ideas of the traitors on this thread (Kilburn, Jonathan, C) and the McCains and Lindsey Grahams die with them and the next generation can be un-brainwashed…I think the dyin’ should commence immediately.
The fact is that this government works through the consent of the governed. When the governed are lied to then this government is not legitimate. When this program was pitched in the Bush Administration, it was sold as the only calls that would be collected were calls that originated overseas or one that was made overseas. The clear imprssion was that domestic calls would not be included. When the NSA went to the wireless phone companies, they demanded all calls including domestic. Either we were lied to or the NSA broke the law. If anyone should be on trial, it should be the NSA not Snowden.
“When the governed are lied to then this government is not legitimate.”
So you do not believe the government has the right to keep anything secret? That’s absurd. Even if you assume that every American citizen would ordinarily be entitled to full knowledge of all programs of their government, you can’t possibly provide that knowledge to those who might deserve it without also providing the same knowledge to our enemies (Al-Qaeda, Russia, China, Iran, etc) at the same time.
When the government oversteps its bounds then that information should be made public. We do have a right to know that domestic calls are being collected when we were told that would not be the case. The government does not have the right to keep a secret when that secret oversteps the boundaries of what we were told. That is the only way we can hold people accountable. When the NSA believes that they have the right to listen to our calls without any court orders, our rights are shredded. This sounds more like Nazi Germany and the Gestapo rather than the US.
18. “Criticize the program if you want – but I suggest you try doing so to the face of 9/11 victims or their families, or the would-be victims and their families if the plots this program uncovered had not been stopped.”
Breaking out the 9/11 defense of the program already?
It is sad to see that in the name of “national security” many people are willing to defend any kind of unconstitutional behavior from our government. Apparently, the Constitution is not important when “national security” is at stake.
Yes, the “9/11 defense”. Because if we’re going to debate things, we should debate them on practical terms. And the danger of being attacked by terrorists because we let down our guard and cease any surveillance program that might give the feds the same level of information as Verizon and Google keep on file is likely far greater than the danger of waking up one morning to an authoritative police state that restricts the freedoms of press, and speech, and religion, and assembly, and thought because the NSA actually has such previously-mentioned information on file.
I’m open to discussions of constitutional legality – but not from people who would never have any interest in recognizing the merits of such a program, and would oppose any attempt to provide extra legal cover for such a program.
The opponents of this kind of program – first they say its illegal, and if it isn’t they don’t want it to be, and if it is legal…they don’t think it should be.
“There is no question that the program was done in the interest of national security. However, should national security ever trump the U.S. Constitution?”
The problem is that the Constitution, like so much law, is subject to interpretation. The Fourth Amendment talks about, for example, unreasonable search and seizure – but doesn’t define what is reasonable. We could go to one court and get one ruling, or another court and get a different ruling, or talk to 30 lawyers and get 30 different viewpoints.
My point is that we should be discussing what SHOULD be legal, and then asking ourselves if such things are covered under existing law. And that we can do without revealing classified programs.
The question is the boundaries of the program. It was known that calls going from the US overseas and from overseas could be monitored. people are comfortable with that. The domestic call gathering is the question. The NSA did not ask for domestic calls going to a certain number based on suspicious overseas calls. They asked for all calls. Even James Sensenbrenner who authored the Patriot Act has said that this oversteps what he pushed through Congress. The fact is that Snowden did not reveal anything that people didn’t know what was going on. What no one realized was the extent of the program.
23. If I put HowBrilliantIsTheGOP…would not the sarcasm boil your blood even more?
33. Subject to interpretation, eh? You’re making the liberal argument, for all other “interpretations” that you presumably wouldn’t agree with, air-tight with that statement. It’s hypocritical to have it both ways. Perhaps they are right with their “interpretation” of the commerce clause.
I think the problem with your viewpoint is that you’ve started with the end in mind: extreme national security, and are willing to fix any bit of intelligence, are willing to make any interpretations necessary, and willing to ignore any limitations on government to make your argument.
I don’t believe any of the efforts of the national security extremist whackos will ever effect their goal of “national security”, and I wouldn’t want to live under the kind of government that would be required to effect same. There will ALWAYS be some kind of danger…get over it. When I was growing up, it was supposedly the commies were all bad guys and were trying to take over the world. Now, it’s the terrorists. We have massive debt and a less free world than before the Cold War, and we’re likely to be bankrupt and enslaved should your utopian “1984” dreams come true.