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Traitor or Patriot?

10 Jun

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18877589-diplomatic-intrigue-where-will-unmasked-nsa-leaker-go?lite

I read this story when it broke, where some dude claimed responsibility for the leaking of what the NSA has been up to regarding phone calls.  Okay, that the NSA did this doesn’t really surprise me and the outrage being reported doesn’t surprise me either, although I find it interestingly funny that people want the NSA to do their job and keep the nation safe but don’t like what they have to do in order to make this happen.

So, this dude fessed up and said he did this and that he understands that he has to answer for it… but now he’s hiding out in Hong Kong and, according to the story attached to the URL above, he’s looking to escape having to face the music he says he knows he must face.

Is he a traitor… or is he a patriot, taking it upon himself to expose government actions that, by their very nature, shouldn’t be exposed?  When that young soldier took it upon himself to get that whole Wikileaks thing going, was he doing the right thing even though he was putting fellow soldiers at risk by exposing battle plans and tactics in a way that the enemy could use to their advantage?  Is what this guy did any different?

And is he right to do this even though his exposing the NSA on this one just might have tipped off terrorists who could be plotting to do us further harm?

If the Department of Justice manages to bring this dude in to answer for this, I’d really be interested to learn why he did this and whether or not he gave any thought to the harm he could have caused.  Yeah, yeah, I know:  “Could have” isn’t the same as something actually happening… and who’s to say that some harm hasn’t been done and we just don’t know the extent of it?

 
10 Comments

Posted by on 10 June 2013 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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10 responses to “Traitor or Patriot?

  1. Pyx

    10 June 2013 at 16:46

    Hum. I don’t think he is a traitor to the nation – though Verizon and Google might think otherwise, as well as the company he worked for. I am not about to agree that corporations and governments have more rights to privacy than I do! but if we look at our history change has required/come from such actions non?

    Now, I am going to say this upfront – I DO NOT SUBCRIBE TO CELLULARE DEVICES – I do not use wifi, so if we were to look at YOUR bill and the legal notices therein attached… are these companies telling YOU that they keep your information private and confidential? That is what I would have issue with. I pay to have my home phone number unlisted, but if I keep getting calls from telemarketers… I pay my internet provider to provide ME with a service not to collect and hand over to a Gov’t.

    IF that is the case and my internet provider is doing such – they should have it upfront but Yahoo is still denying it hands over such information. Of course I always was aware that any electronic communication has some supervision but when this type of behaviour is not just federal but also state wide/local (police collecting electronic information without a warrant) I will begin to question what is entrapment, what is preventative, cause and the possible suspension of habius corpus.

    Is the Gov’t able to tell us that this kind of invasion HAS stopped tragic attacks ON American soil? I am going to assume the Boston Marathon Bombers used cell phones… just an example.

    As a Canadian that was conversing with my husband over the internet – while I was in Canada and he was in the USA – does the US Gov’t have rights to also collect my information as well?

    As for the Wikileaks guy – I can not say that I have been paying enough attention. What I do know from first hand experience is that the enemy is far more adaptable, and quicker at it than anyone can imagine and they didn’t need wiki leaks for the information. Did it put people in danger? More so than say a soldier who is on facebook or youtube with the potential to give his location, a date stamp, and that he has arrived? The wiki leaks guy exposed some very important information about murders, accidental or not, of people who WERE NOT ENEMIES OR ARMED. We saw first hand the use of unmanned drones.

    I did not see this much outrage when the American Gov’t gave out the identity of an American spy and her family… talk about treason!

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  2. Pyx

    10 June 2013 at 16:50

    Oh and one more thing: when we outsource important jobs, such as the ones that are to protect the state and its peoples to private companies… this is exactly what I expect. The government should have government employees collecting and looking through information – not a firm – because then perhaps it would be better able to watch who works for them and punish accordingly – have them swear an oath, charge them with treason, but this guy is just a guy who worked for some other guys and gave away the secret recipe…

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    • kdaddy23

      10 June 2013 at 17:13

      Well, I would suppose that they’ve learned a lesson about outsourcing and the value of keeping things in-house. I would think that while a company like Verizon does keep a subscriber’s information secure, um, when the government says they want to look at all your stuff and the reason is the unquestionable “national security” handle, well, what are you gonna do?

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      • Pyx

        10 June 2013 at 17:50

        Get a fucking lawyer. If I were Verizon I would have fought that shit upfront and in public – my stocks would not have taken a hit. Certainly if you are doing nothing wrong you wont get in trouble, but then we have to answer… what is wrong and by whose standards?

        Pay as you go phones – coded messages. Good every day busts happen with boots and ears on the ground and HUMAN involvement, not electronic. If they were so fucking smart how come we always have to read some dumb fucks manifesto AFTER he shot up a school that had been online for a year prior?

        Under the Patriot Act the gov’t used FISA to get the court order but without saying why it needed the information.
        They didnt have one person of interest, they didnt have a group of people, they didnt have a crime that has been committed or suspected of being committed in specific they were looking for. They themselves do not know yet what they are looking for.

        Then they hire some companies, that are not sworn gov’t employees to start sifting though this, and that company gives them what they find. Then and only then the Gov’t decides what it is going to use? Once the data is read through am I supposed to believe on faith alone that it is not going to be handed over to local enforcement? another body of gov’t? destroyed?

        Umm no, sorry that is not Kosher man. Verizon should have been able to tell its clients that it happened, the gov’t should have to explain what it is doing with it.

        I am supposed to trust that the Gov’t is not going to go after it’s own citizens? This is not about international terrorism, this date once complete could be used in any sort of investigation. And this is about setting precedent – it starts with this and then grows into something else completely out of our control because ‘it was for our safety’ – you want the local police to be able to do this too? (I think there was a report on police force using data without a warrant in Cali… but dont quote me on that state)

        If the my neighbour, police or gov’t suspect me of doing something illegal and obtain a court order to watch and collect my electronic information – they are building a case, assuming they already have good enough evidence hence the approved order – this FISA has NOTHING to do with even having evidence.

        This is Bush era bull shit, at a time of an attack on US soil – sorry but Obama was elected by the majority of these people because they believed he would overturn this shit. Surprise! Why would anyone give up power that is already there? That is why they are so pissed off, we expected it from Bush but not from this guy.

        Do you feel safer?

        hehehehe. this is exactly what people should be talking about. I think it matters. glad you brought it up.
        The wiki guy, i would charge him with treason.
        but then you are talking to someone that believe IF a country is going to have a the death penalty, all executions should be public.

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      • kdaddy23

        10 June 2013 at 20:51

        Wow, Pyx – feel free to tell us how you REALLY feel! Seriously, though, Verizon probably couldn’t say anything to its customers and taking a slight hit on Wall Street and rebounding from that is probably better than getting into a pissing contest with the government when they’re invoking national security. I’m not a Verizon customer so I could care less and if the government wanted to listen to my cell phone calls, well, I hope they’ve got other things to do because while I have one, I don’t use it as a matter of course; I only use it when I have to and even then they’re not gonna hear anything of interest to them… except maybe how much I hate Android-based cell phones.

        And, yeah, the Wikileaks soldier would and should be charged with treason and maybe even consorting with the enemy, both things that are still punishable by death and more so when you’re in the service. I don’t think they’ll kill him but they’ll bury him in a federal prison somewhere until he’s old and grey and provided some inmates don’t off him for betraying his country in time of war.

        Who said that the US Government won’t go after its citizens? Those folks in Washington take an oath to protect the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic (that would be us citizens). And since there are such things as homegrown terrorists, well, if you’re gonna fight a war against terrorism, you have to fight it on every front and according to the prevailing laws… which probably has more loopholes than a knitted sweater. Just recently an American citizen got killed when a terrorist cell got bombed by a drone; come to find out she was there to fight on the side of the bad guys for some fundamental reason.

        So, yeah, I could see the government wanting to find out about these folks and by any means necessary; like they say, it’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

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  3. Cinnamon

    10 June 2013 at 23:07

    It’s my personal opinion that what he did was a very heroic thing. Bradley Manning would be what I would consider a traitor to be. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about the people that he exposed to harm. This NSA guy did it the right way. He hasn’t named names….although he knows ALL of them. He knows the safe house locations and all the other things that SHOULD be kept secret. You know…like in Mission Impossible NOC list?

    This guy gave up a cushy job to do the right thing. Knowing full well that he was forfeiting his life most probably. He’s as safe as he could probably be in Hong Kong from what I know about it. Alot safer than he’d be here, I’d bet. People seem to think that the oath that military members take, or government officials take is an oath to the president or the Congress or some such. But it’s to the Constitution and what the Founders gave us. And what this government is trying to take away.

    In my book……patriot !

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    • kdaddy23

      10 June 2013 at 23:45

      Well, hello there, student! The NSA leaker? I’m not sure which one he is but either way, if he ever sets foot back in this country again, his ass will be grass and probably more so since he does know where the bodies are buried (so to speak), something our country’s enemies would probably love to know and they have ways of making people talk so his safety is relative; shit, if it were me, the last thing I’d assume is that I was safe, not with what I know and what’s in my head. Hah, we have issues with China and he goes and hides in Hong Kong…

      Government is always trying to take away shit; that, my friend, is nothing new and not something anyone can attribute to any one administration. So this dude violated his NDA to expose what the NSA was doing; I’m sure you are very much aware of the fact that the government will do a little housecleaning whether or not he comes back to the states… and they’ll just find another way to keep doing what they’ve always been doing, depending on who you ask or whatever conspiracy theory is the most popular these days.

      Patriot? I don’t know about that anymore than I know if he’s a traitor. What I do know is that his ass is in big trouble and he chose to fuck with the wrong people even if he believes he did the right thing. He knows it, too, which is why he’s laying low and looking to hide out somewhere the US Government can’t get their hands on him.

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      • Cinnamon

        11 June 2013 at 16:18

        Well, we DO have issues with China…that’s a fact. But Hong Kong has a totally separate government (based on the old european parlimental system) They are alot more free there and can’t be touched by the commies, so if he keeps his head low, he MIGHT be ok. For a while anyhow. And it’s so densely populated there with lots of Americans. Who knows? Not I she said. But I hope he gets the chance to prove all that he’s said.

        Hey ! Did ya hear? It really IS 1984 !!!

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  4. Pyx

    11 June 2013 at 11:26

    Hehe. I have not yet started to tell you how I feel!

    No seriously though, I love the debate, I like the fact that people TALK about what concerns them and what it is exactly they believe; that includes all sides and opinions.

    I guess my concern would be not that the drone killed a citizen, who by the grace of God turned out to be working for the bad guys (which on some level required not asking for forgiveness) but who is the man controlling the drone? He is not military, he was hired and works from a firm, some others guys, and the drones are made by a company and not the government – so in essence he is a company employee that knows how to use the drone – which begs the question: is it not murder? A faceless employee that is hired to do one thing, does it, and then goes away seems to have more rights to protection and freedom than the very people we train to keep us safe ie if it were a soldier.

    You see, to me one of the conversations that comes from this is what does it mean to be patriotic? What is loyalty anymore? For me personally ‘contractor’ is a bad bad word, but yet our Gov’t hires them because of a belief, and some facts, that in the long term the bottom line cost is cheaper – but here we have evidence that when someone is working for a paycheck they owe allegiance only to that pay check. Not to a Gov’t or to a company but to themselves.

    This is why I don’t see him as a patriot but don’t see him as a traitor either. I expect contractors to be shitheels even if it starts an important debate about freedom and our rights – it just makes me look at the whole picture as well.

    Is it not the opposite of patriotic for our Gov’t to hire these private sector people – demoralizing and in action supplanting its own citizens by making the noble role of service to one’s country a bottom line dollar amount and admitting that the other guys are cheaper and capable to do or achieve more than it gives it own employees? I really do questions my Gov’t loyalty – not this Snowden guy and not a company like Verizon or the others that were asked to hand over the information.

    To me this isn’t about terrorism because I have spent my time in the sand and the one thing they are is quick and adaptable; and they fucking work hard to achieve it. I do not believe that someone is out there planning to do great harm on American soil and using his cell phone or facebook. I do believe he, unlike the government, is walking to where he needs to be, talking face to face and is not funded by some grand overseas badass gangster but able to put together enough material with his own pay check working right here next door. And by the time he does put his plan into action the only thing my Gov’t can do is to say ‘well we were aware he was here, and we were watching him and on November 3 2010 he called back home to say goodbye to his mother’ and by then it is too late. Damage is done and for what? Now my Gov’t can sift through information and data it had but had no fucking clue what it all meant – till after the act was done: that did not save me from harm.

    I don’t know man, my husband and I talked about this for five hours this morning – he is retired 101st Airborne, I am nothing more than a retired humanitarian that worked for an NGO but we have both been in the middle of butt fuck wazoo and watched people come in – hired by the very governments we swore loyalty too and have deep patriotic sentiment towards – and do as they please while our hands are tied.

    He didn’t want to fly into Africa over night when Regan told him too but he did what was asked of him. I don’t think for a moment he wouldn’t have liked to have landed there, with his men, walked out of the plane and just blow the whole fucking thing up… but he was held to a higher standard simply by being a government employee and bound by laws that made him, his team, his commanding officers answerable to the American people. These private firms owe us shit and never have to answer for squat and my Government pays them for that – its just a shitty deal and I don’t like it. So yeah, the whole drone thing must be a full fucking erection for the Gov’t since now they can just hire faceless people to fly the device over an area and blow it up – the American people just see the bill for $100,000.00 not what the job actually was.

    Sure let Russia have him, why not, we spent $5 000.00 bucks giving him high security clearance, training him for a year or two, before he was head hunted and went into the private sector (and made $200,000.00 a year to do what now?) with the Gov’t security clearance in hand… Russia would be foolish to not offer him a job, who better to inform Russia of what the fuck it was he did and how Russian could start it’s own programme than a guy just works for a paycheck.

    I mean, we arent bad people, we arent doing anything wrong – but where are you coming down on this? You approve of the Gov’t collecting this data without having to explain why or how it intends to use it?

    But then I think maybe you and I are a lot alike – I dont know that the people should always be aware of what goes on in the shadows (via military/CIA/NSA), I like spies to stay spies and feel more safe being a bit ‘unaware’ but where do we draw the line.

    Okay I’m biased and do not like contractors, that comes through, but do you get what I mean when I questions loyalty and patriotism here? I hope so… this is fun! If it wasnt so early in the morning I would light a cigar and pour myself some bourbon.

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    • kdaddy23

      11 June 2013 at 12:57

      Yeah, I’m all too aware of the contractor thing; I mean, even contractors have to make a living, right? And I do get your meaning – I was in the Air Force so when it comes to where one’s loyalty lies, being in the service is kind of a no-brainer (or should be). Contractors are only loyal to whoever’s signing their paycheck and that makes sense; to them, it’s just a job, a contract to be fulfilled and that the government just LOVES contractors because it is cheaper than having to pay an employee full federal benefits and all that.

      But it is about accountability, isn’t it, and I agree that a private firm has zero accountability other than what it takes for them to get paid; they certainly don’t have to answer to the American people.

      Should the government be made to bring all of its shady dealings out into the open? That depends on who you ask; if you’re asking me, there are some things they’re doing in DC that I’d rather not know about until, of course, it has some impact on me which this NSA thing didn’t – as far as I know. As a former serviceman, I know that the government’s gonna do whatever it has to do to protect its citizens, just like I know that there are times when it’s going to do something that the general public just ain’t gonna like. As I said earlier, we the people want the government to protect us to the best of their collective ability… but we’ll also pitch a royal bitch when we find out some of the things they do in this regard – but we’re Americans; we have the right to bitch about these things and some folks feel it’s their duty to expose any shady shit the government’s doing.

      I’m not sure that’s a good or bad thing and I’m still not going to say this kid is a patriot or a traitor but look at what is, to me, an obvious fact: He didn’t something he shouldn’t have done – he’s admitted as much so far. His company has fired him for violations of their policies and it’s a given that the justice department is going to want to have a really long and interesting conversation with him. I understand that there are times we, as individual, will see something we perceive as being inherently wrong and then are compelled to act toward righting the wrong… just as I understand that someone can do this and not really think about the consequences of their actions and the impact on the really big picture.

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