"National security has become public religion and any questioning of it,
sacrilegious," says Daniel Ellsberg in defending the heroic act of Edward
Snowden. Ellsberg is a hero in his own right for exposing "The Pentagon
Papers" in the 1970's. Along with Bradley Manning and
others, Snowden has turned over classified information highly embarrassing to
the Obama administration and the nation's security agencies. None of it has
placed its agents in harm's way. Ellsberg further points out that the Obama
administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents
combined. So much for his vaunted transparency.
It began with the present President and continues through many years of previous
national leadership? Huh? So now someone who reveals national security secrets
is a hero because Barrack Obama is the President? My, my.
@ Prag. No, no, its that whistle blowers are revealing Obama's secrets that
has the White House so upset and hence the new definition of "traitor"
has been born! If not, why did Lois Lerner fall back on the 5th amendment rather
than answer questions about the IRS abuses of power and why did Obama come to
Eric Holder's rescue by issuing an executive order stopping the fast and
furious investigation. Its also why Hillary will not answer any questions about
Benghazi! Therefore, anyone who exposes the White House's secrets is a
traitor! See how far we have descended in America?
Snowden hasn't revealed any classified info. He's revealed that our
government is wholesale spying on its people, out of control. If you study the
history of the three men mentioned at the end of the letter writer's
comment, you'll see what their government did to them when they brought up
exactly what Snowden revealed. And they did it within the NSA through proper
channels. No wonder Snowden'd hiding in Hong Kong. He's given
nothing to any government. Just a general revelation of what this government is
doing to its own people. And it's been going on for a long, long time.
Obama is just using it to the extreme.There's actually an
appropriate way to use the NSA in investigating terrorists that works, that the
three fired NSA gentlemen explained recently, but it was rejected by our
government. No one but possible terrorists would have their communications
followed illegally by our government.....not all of us. The huge storage
facility in Utah would never have been necessary. Open your eyes
As a liberal, I agree that Obama has overseen policy that has a major chilling
affect on whistleblowers and such practices are absolutely appalling. From
gov't whistleblowers like Manning and Drake to hackers such as Aaron
Schwartz to Obama's unwillingness to prosecute members of the previous
administration, the federal government has run amuck in the security/information
space. Obama is no liberal. However, it is equally important that
we, as citizens, learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. The recent
revelations about the NSA, FISA court acquiescence, and Congressional
indifference all ought to see heads roll in those respective governmental
realms. On the other hand, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the IRS thing are
all non-starters and have no merit. Those need to go by the wayside. If conservatives really want Obama out of office, there currently exists
common ground between them and people like me to push for his removal. But that
common ground is found in legitimate concerns like the NSA or drone program, not
some trumped up, fictitious "scandal".
IMO he is not a total Hero. Also not a total traitor. That's possible
you know. There is some gray area.He broke his solemn promise. He
swore to not expose what he would learn as an NSA employee. IMO that's
not heroic. But sometimes you have to compromise and decide what is the
greater good/bad. He's not a total hero because he
didn't stop at exposing the extent of the surveillance going on. He has
also threatened to expose other secret operations and techniques of our
terrorism defenses weekly if the government doesn't give in to his demands.
That's not the actions of a hero.I can see how he made the
decision that exposing the surveillance was a greater good than keeping his
promise. But I don't get the blackmail program that followed and the
threatening to leak other more damaging information to our national defense each
week. That kinda took him out of the "Hero" book for me, and started
the needle towards the "Traitor" side of the scale.He could
have avoided breaking his oath. There are legal government whistle_blower
avenues besides exposing secrets to the enemy.
I get it I get it.Blow this whistle on Bush? You're a
traitor.Blow the whistle on Obama? You're a hero.Repubs
are still hurt over their latest beat down in November. Yet, attacking Obama
isn't making your GOP party of old white males who hate science look more
attractive. If this is going to be the GOP's strategy then they will lose
the White House once again.
@ Maverick. I fear your partisan ideology has blinded you to the point you can
not see that your emperor has no clothes! If anyone but Obama was in the White
House you in particular would be hyperventilating about the ongoing corruption!
Some people on both sides of the isle willingly trade morality for political
partisanship but your side is gaining a monopoly on that unfortunate trait!
2 bits.... "There are legal government whistle_blower avenues besides
exposing secrets to the enemy."Are we the enemy now? Apparently
you don't know what happened to the three who brought this up the last
time....properly, in channels, etc. Arrested at gun point in their homes, jobs
lost, just for mentioning it at work as something that needed to be corrected
and done a better, more efficient way. We have an out of control government
that no longer follows the Constitution. They are spying on us without
following Constitutional restrictions. Who's the traitor? Who
doesn't follow the law? Wake up.The Real Maverick....What are
you talking about? This is about all federal government, not just Obama.
It's about Bush. It's about Democrats. It's about Republicans.
It's about the Supreme Court. None of them follow the oath they all swore
to....to uphold and support the Constitution of the United States of America.
Talk about traitors. Read your history. Study the Constitution and what was
said as it was created. All these guys are traitors to what this country is
meant to be....free, with the opportunity to be all you can be.
Heroes change things.Nothing changed since the "revelations"
by Eric Snowden, mostly because he didn't tell us anything new. The NSA
continues data gathering today, just as it did the day before Eric Snowden
grabbed his 15 minutes of fame. He was a blip on the radar, accomplishing even
less than that "Occupy Wall Street" movement.
How is blowing American security secrets and then running off to the Chinese
(where he could be telling them even more information) not traitorous? How is telling the Chinese ANYTHING Patriotic?I fear that those
who wish to bash President Obama are cutting off their nose to spite their face
here. Anyone who sides with the Chinese cannot be considered a Patriot in my
On one hand we have government leaders calling for prosecution of Snowden for
revealing the scope of the surveillance, as it is classified. Then we have the
president saying the surveillance is 'transparent'.The
contradiction does not escape those of us with a brain. If the
program is transparent, then there were no secrets revealed by Snowden because
it was all in plain public view, thus not secret.
FreedomFighter41....Or should I say ObamaSupporter41? You certainly
aren't fighting for freedom. Read and think about what you said.You assume Snowden is telling US secrets, which he hasn't and isn't
doing. Just revealing the fact that we, US citizens, are being spied on.
He's giving them no secrets, just hiding out there to avoid what happened
to the last three NSA guys who spoke against federal government behavior in the
NSA.Siding with the Chinese? Do you know anything about Hong Kong?
It's not the China you're thinking of. So, if you go for a visit to
Hong Kong, or Russia, or Mexico, does that make you a collaborator? Guess we
can assume you hate America and are telling all you know to anyone who will
listen.Try sticking to the facts, not assumptions. Become a real
Che,He didn't expose it to us... he exposed it to the Chinese. We
just heard about it when our media reported on what was being reported in
foreign news papers. Surely there was a way to get it out there without giving
it to the Chinese and threatening to expose all our NSA activities and
techniques.If he was exposing it to us... he should first expose it
in the United States, not to a foreign nation. And he would only expose the
program he found repulsive (though it's completely "Legal" under
the Patriot Act). Not threaten to leak more NSA secrets that may compromise our
national security.There are programs for whistle-blowers where they
are protected. He went to China to expose it instead.no we are NOT
"the enemy". But he didn't expose it to us... we just heard about
it through the foreign press.
Heroes bring about change by being catalysts for change. It's too early to
know whether Edward Snowden will have been successful in making the
transformation for which he hopes. It may be that he has given
others with similar knowledge and conscience to demonstrate their own civil
courage. It may also be that Snowden has motivated many of us to
voice our concern over the excessive surveillance by the NSA. It is possible
that pressure by an informed public could be brought on Congress to form a
committee to investigate Snowden's revelations. His disclosures could lead
to bringing the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and
resurrect the protections of the Bill of Rights.
"Just revealing the fact that we, US citizens, are being spied on."If this is news to us then we seriously need to become informed. He has been telling the Chinese details. He has told them how and what
we have been spying on them. Anyone who must "flee" to the
Chinese isn't a hero in my mind, but a traitor. Once again, him
telling us that we are being spied on shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
And if it is... Wow... Come out of your caves, stop drinking the kool-aid of
whatever party you love, and become a true American. I don't
support the spying... At all! The NSA needs to be reevaluated. But that
doesn't mean I condone Snowden's actions. I will never
support anyone going to the Chinese. I detest that. I hope he goes to prison for
a very long time once we get our hands on him.
Che,You appear to know exactly what Snowden is thinking, saying,
doing...If you can do the same magic with the stock market, please
Thanks guys. This has been fun. Hope the NSA got its thrill as well. Too bad
we even have to talk about all this.
CLM,Your overly simplistic definition of "Hero" is laughable.You said, "Heroes bring about change by being catalysts for
change". Heroes are not just anybody who's a catalyst for
change. Heroes would lay down their life for others to live on. If a Hero is anybody who's a catalyst for change... Adolf Hitler was a
catalyst for change, Pol Pot was a catalyst for change, Joseph Stalin was a
catalyst for change, Benito Mussolini was a catalyst for change, General Franco
was a catalyst for change, Vladimir Lennin was a catalyst for change, Chairman
Mao was a catalyst for change. They were also brutal dictators who killed
millions of their own people to bring about that "change".A
hero doesn't just bring change. He inspires others to change FOR THE
BETTER. Christ is an example of a "Hero". He inspired others to
change. He didn't kill them if they didn't change.Snowden is NOT a hero IMO. He exposed MANY of our national security programs
(which are currently 100% legal). I don't know if that makes him a
Good heavens, 2 bits, your misreading of CLM's comment is astonishing!
He/she didn't say that heroes are anybody who's a catalyst for change.
Those are your words. CLM said something very different, and it makes your rant
totally irrelevant. Go back and read it again, more carefully this time.
Can't we vote down on these posts, or reply to particular comments, as is
possible with the Tribune? Many of them are so idiotic I almost regurgitate on
Who are the people who (figuratively) call for Edward Snowden's head? For
starters, they're the Dick Cheney's, the John Yoo's and the John
Ashcroft's of the world. They're the torture-justifiers, the
drone-cheerleaders and the prisoner-rendering collaborators. Do you want to be
associated with that club? Or would you rather associate with the Patrick
Henry's, the Alexander Solzhenitsyn's or the Sophie Scholl's of
the world? These are people who risked their lives to speak truth to power.
These are not people who accomplished great deeds by going through prescribed
legal channels. They chose to go outside of established paths, exactly like
Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. Snowden has done something extraordinarily
2bits: Another commenter here claimed Snowden was not a hero because "heroes
make change" and there were no changes to be seen. I pointed out that there
was not enough time yet to see the positive changes Snowden may effect, because
heroes are catalysts for the kind of changes they are fighting for. And of
course "for the better"-- since we're talking about heroes, I
didn't feel I needed to make that distinction. Heroes teach, inspire,
foster courage where before only fear existed. All of this takes time. Even the
great Jesus didn't bring about change in a matter of a couple of weeks. And as for the legality of our security programs, I deeply question the
FISA court, which is no more than a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp. If all
this surveillance is legal, why has the Obama DOJ been so eager to block courts
from adjudicating that question?
They're rioting in Brazil against govt. corruption, and the people continue
to sleep here or maybe the morals match the our govt.
And now Snowden is in Moscow? Gee, I'm sure he's just there for
vacation! I can't wait for him to tell the Russians some of our
top secrets! He just got done talking to the Chinese, so naturally the Russians
should be next. Who else? Maybe N Korea or Iran? What a patriot!It's funny how the right worships this guy after he tells our top
competitors our top secrets. Thanks Snowden! You're a real hero.
Maverick: which "right" are you talking about? You mean like Dick
Cheney? Do you disagree with him? What about the "leftist" Daniel
Ellsberg? I think you're getting your directions mixed up.