My Take
Bill Quick

Edward Snowden doesn’t deserve clemency: The NSA leaker hasn’t proved he is a whistleblower.

He went too far to be considered just a whistleblower.

The NSA and its enablers don’t deserve clemency. They went too unconstitutionally far to be considered as just keeping us safe.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

My Take — 9 Comments

  1. As I understand it, Snowden’s main crime was illegally revealing that the US government was breaking its own laws. His secondary crimes included letting the heads of other nations know that the US government was spying on them.

      • And if by doing so, he causes massive collateral damage to legitimate networks and operations, then I say I won’t be sorry if he ends up with a bullet in the head.

        Snowden didn’t just take a little bite; he wolfed down the whole burrito and burped it back up into the laps of the Chinese and Russians. Folks who are not known to be friendly towards us. Good men and women will die down the line because of Snowden. Snowden exposed way more than the Constitutional failings and crimes of the US government.

        It’s tedious to see such a sniveling shit held up as an exemplary of liberty. Daniel Ellsburg at least had the conviction to stand firm and pay the potential price of releasing the Pentagon Papers. That, in contrast, is a study in courage. As he said when he turned himself in:

        “I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public. I did this clearly at my own jeopardy and I am prepared to answer to all the consequences of this decision.“

        • Chef, you can vent all you want, but all you’re really saying is “don’t expose the crimes of my heroes.” You’re apparently willing to pay any price in liberty to see their crimes remain not only undiscovered, but unpunished and, most important, un-remedied.

          Your whole “collateral damage” argument is spurious. It is at the same level of argumentation that says we shouldn’t strike back at Muslim terrorists because – collateral damage! We shouldn’t fight forest fires because – collateral damage! We shouldn’t have waged war on Hitler and Tojo because – collateral damage!

          Collateral damage is what often happens when you are taking out a far greater threat to far more people. If you’re not willing to make those trades when necessary, then you’re not only unfit to command troops, you’re unfit to lead a nation, and most certainly unfit to protect the liberties of the people.

          How do you think the Founders and Framers would have viewed Snowden versus the NSA/Security State?

          • By the way, I’ve got a post coming up that deals with Snowden’s “oathbreaking.”

            He didn’t take an oath to protect his co-workers, or his fellow Americans, or the US government. He took an oath to “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

            Foreign governments are no threat to the Constitution – but the Security State sure as hell is. He did the right thing, whether you’re willing to admit that or not.

            A final note about oathbreakers: Every man who signed the Declaration of Independence was not only an oathbreaker, but a traitor of the first water. And their oathbreaking and treason resulted in massive collateral damage to multitudes of people, from uprooting and relocation to torture and death.

            So I guess they should not have done that? Maybe they all deserve a bullet in the head?

            • I’ll start with this appetizer first.

              Maybe they all deserve a bullet in the head?

              Why, yes. Yes, they did, although in all probability, they would have been simply hanged. And every damn one of them knew it, too.

              The key was getting away with it. Also, is it oathbreaking when you’re creating a new country and transferring allegiance to such? Don’t their new oaths supersede in that case? If your oath is to a king who now longer is pertinent to the rule of your new country, how does the oath remain valid? Again, the key was winning.

              Next, main course. I’m am not arguing that Snowden did the wrong thing, in his exposure of crimes against the Constitution. I stated that I was ambivalent about his actions, based on the fact that he gave our enemies the whole burrito. Everything. Which creates collateral damage towards our own people. Not collateral damage to terrorist’s kids. In the case of wildfires, given the horribly misguided watermelon environazi policies regarding cutting and clearing? No, not a damn one of those firefighters is worth sacrificing to save property. And Hitler and Tojo? Jebus, Bill. C’mon. The US government committed more crimes against the Constitution and liberty during that war since the Civil War, WWI and just about any war since, and all in the name of reducing collateral damage towards our own people! Right or wrong? That’s what I meant about the horse bolting the barn. This is nothing new, Bill. I could give a hoot in hell if Ahmed’s family down to all existing generations is wiped off the earth if it’s in the national interest. Collateral damage in those situations is more than worth the pay-off. Yesterday was the 25 anniversary of the 1981 Gulf of Sidra incident, when 2 of our Tomcats scratched 2 Libyan Floggers. Which probably led to the 1986 Berlin disco bombings. Which led to us bombing Gadafi and killing some of his kids. Which led to Lockerbie. Collateral damage. But that’s the trade-off, right? The collateral damage that you can’t predict. The collateral damage I speak of is that which you seem to be quite willing to inflict – willingly and with malice aforethought – on ourselves. Does the term, “Lose Lips Sink Ships” mean absolutely nothing now in the pursuit of the defense of liberty?

              If you’re not willing to make those trades when necessary, then you’re not only unfit to command troops, you’re unfit to lead a nation, and most certainly unfit to protect the liberties of the people.

              There’s a huge difference between adjusting the scales in making those trade-offs and willfully making an own goal. Snowden, in the long term, will be an own goal.

              Chef, you can vent all you want, but all you’re really saying is “don’t expose the crimes of my heroes.”

              Ah. Dessert. When did I speak of “heroes?” If there’s any hero worship here, it’s your worship of that sniveling creep, Snowden, who could have done the right thing, with minimum collateral damage to his own people, and stayed to stand on principle and not whore himself out to the highest bidder. Bill, are seriously saying this sick fuck is worthy of your admiration and respect? Can you not possibly imagine a better way of having done this than giving it over to the Chinese, Russians and vacuous muckrakers like Greenwald? Really? This deserves serious discussion, because this is where the scales are precariously balanced.

              As to my heroes? Let me speak of the ones I didn’t speak of: My parents, both of whom were seriously harmed in terms of their careers and their incredible work against the Soviets because of the traitor, Jonathan Pollard. My mother worked in the same office as Pollard. Because of Pollard, the work that my parents did on behalf of this country went up in smoke, because he felt his loyalty to a higher cause – Israel – was greater than his sworn oath to the Constitution. As my dad said, “Once Israel knew, the Russians knew. Years of methods and networks went down the tubes and people died.” His hatred of Pollard was only equaled by his hatred of John Kerry.

              BTW, are you now a great admirer of John Kerry for his revelations about American “crimes” during the Vietnam War, and his, ah, conversations with the Russians while still an active duty Naval officer? How does that differ from Snowden, other than the fact that Kerry didn’t run away.

              • I’ll start with this appetizer first.

                Maybe they all deserve a bullet in the head?

                Why, yes. Yes, they did, although in all probability, they would have been simply hanged. And every damn one of them knew it, too.

                Key word: deserve.

                You are operating on a very simplistic logic: Oath breaking deserves a bullet in the head.

                No nuance, no examination of why, or what the goals might be, an oath was broken, a bullet in the head is both deserved and required.

                I don’t think that way.

                Which creates collateral damage towards our own people.

                Yes? What damage is that again, specifically? And is there a problem if that collateral damage occurs to people engaged in crimes against the Constitution?

                Bill, are seriously saying this sick fuck is worthy of your admiration and respect? Can you not possibly imagine a better way of having done this than giving it over to the Chinese, Russians and vacuous muckrakers like Greenwald? Really? This deserves serious discussion, because this is where the scales are precariously balanced.

                Yes, I do think he’s worthy. You see, Chef, you’re trying to have your cake and eat it, too. You claim you approve of the exposure, you just don’t approve of this guy and the way he did it. Instead, you want some sort of saint who will, in the process of exposing the destruction of liberty and constitutional criminality in a burgeoning tyranny, deliberately present himself for self-immolation, so you will feel better about him.

                I’m more practical. I think the men pushing these programs of ubiquitous surveillance are evil, crazed with power, and deadly to us, our liberty, and our nation. I want them exposed and destroyed, and I don’t require that only suicidal saints are qualified or should be permitted to do that job.

                As my dad said, “Once Israel knew, the Russians knew. Years of methods and networks went down the tubes and people died.” His hatred of Pollard was only equaled by his hatred of John Kerry.

                Dunno where he comes up with that assumption, and would be interested to see how he arrives there. And public cites?

                BTW, are you now a great admirer of John Kerry for his revelations about American “crimes” during the Vietnam War, and his, ah, conversations with the Russians while still an active duty Naval officer? How does that differ from Snowden, other than the fact that Kerry didn’t run away.

                Well, for openers, Kerry was lying. Snowden’s revelations appear to have been truthful. Nor was Kerry’s frolicking in Paris intended to defend the Constitution. It was intended to destroy America. I know. That was my era. I remember him well, and the people who were around him. They’re running the country now – because they’ve never really been exposed by those who could have done so.

                I doubt that we’re going to agree about this, but I will say this: If we wait for your perfect leaker saint to save the Constitution, it will be gone long before he appears.

  2. I am ambivalent about the man, Snowden.

    But I am not ambivalent about what he did. Thank the gods, (or the god, or the Earth Mother of us all, or the big bang….)for his revelations.

    I have enjoyed the political theater he has created at the Federal level. We need more of it, (or more necktie parties).