Traitor

traitEdward Snowden, 29, a former CIA technical assistant and current employee of military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, went to the Guardian and the Washington Post newspapers and spilled national security secrets that he had promised not to divulge. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton puts that effort in the proper perspective:

Number one, this man is a liar. He took an oath to keep the secrets that were shared with him so he could do his job. He said said he would not disclose them, and he lied. Number two, he lied because he thinks he’s smarter and has a higher morality than the rest of us. This guy thinks he has a higher morality, that he can see clearer than other 299-million 999-thousand 999 of us, and therefore he can do what he wants. I say that is the worst form of treason.

Those who consider Snowden a “hero” might want to consider two other realities as well. First, he clearly violated the Espionage Act. If he isn’t punished for doing so, then the act is utterly toothless. Second, contrast his behavior with that of Benghazi witness Gregory Hicks. Hicks endured the crucible of appearing before Congress and giving testimony about possible State Department improprieties that could ruin him. He didn’t run to a newspaper, then run to Hong Kong and then vanish.

Or possibly defect.

Former CIA case officer Bob Baer told CNN that intelligence officials were speculating that Snowden may be part of a Chinese espionage case. “On the face of it, it looks like [Hong Kong] is under some sort of Chinese control, especially with the president meeting the premier today,” Baer said. “You have to ask what’s going on. China is not a friendly country and every aspect of that country is controlled. So why Hong Kong? Why didn’t he go to Sweden? Or, if he really wanted to make a statement, he should have done it on Capitol Hill.”

Baer also noted the convenient timing of Snowden’s revelation. It followed a weekend summit between Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which the issue of cyber security remained unresolved. “It almost seems to me that this was a pointed affront to the United States on the day the president is meeting the Chinese leader,” Baer speculated, “telling us, listen, quit complaining about espionage and getting on the Internet and our hacking. You are doing the same thing.”

Unfortunately, in the wake of this obviously egregious security breach and possible Chinese meddling, a number of Republicans are more interested in bringing the hammer down on Obama than on Snowden. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been on the fore of this wrongheaded approach. “I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “If we get ten million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington.”

Other Republicans are equally misguided. They have joined Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), signing a letter to the FBI and NSA impugning the programs. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who has adopted the libertarian outlook of former Rep. Ron Paul, explained their rationale. “You’ll find a lot of names [on the letter] of people who were recently elected,” Amash said. “We’re not tied to the Bush administration’s policies, which were also wrong.”

In reality, the controversy surrounding the NSA necessitates a serious discussion, apart from both the media-driven hysteria and the partisan politics that inform much of it. There is little question our nation still faces the kind of threat manifested on 9/11. There is no question one of the federal government’s primary functions is to provide for the national defense. Yet as Andrew McCarthy explained at National Review Online, there are two “inseparable issues” that must be reconciled in the process: the government’s seemingly limitless ability to gather information — and how much trust Americans should place in government officials to do it within the confines of the rule of law.

As revealed respectively by the Guardian and the Washington Post via Snowden, the government has been collecting “metadata” from phone companies and Internet servers in order to detect patterns that may reveal burgeoning threats against the nation, which might otherwise go unnoticed. This metadata does not include content, and thus, it does not fall under the auspices of Fourth Amendment protection.

In a previous article on the subject, McCarthy likens the difference between metadata and content as the difference between an envelope containing an address, which is available for anyone to see, and the content of the letter contained in that envelope, which is private. With respect to obtaining the information contained in a letter, or the content of our conversations, several Supreme Court precedents have established that Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy, unless there is “probable cause” the information will contain proof of a crime.

For those who worry that the Constitution is being violated, there is a further distinction that must be made as well. Before information that is collected to detect a pattern can be sifted for the sake of surveillance, the NSA must convince a court that there is sufficient reason for doing so. In the case of the NSA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court is the one that decides whether a case has merit. In order to protect Americans, it has been established that all intelligence-gathering on Americans must be disclosed, and that which has been wrongfully amassed must be destroyed.

Due to the efforts of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was forced to admit that on at least one occasion, the government carried out an unreasonable search. Yet more importantly, it also admitted that the government “has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached the same conclusion.”

This brings us to the other issue highlighted by McCarthy. For Americans to be satisfied that such a program will not be abused, a certain level of trust must be cultivated among the public by government officials.

In that regard, the Obama administration has been an unmitigated disaster. As the American Spectator’s Jed Babbin points out, this administration is mired in scandals. He noted “only” five, including the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the pleading of the Fifth Amendment (to avoid self-incrimination) by the overseer of this abuse; Eric Holder’s ostensible perjury for denying any connection to the seizure of a Fox News reporter’s records, despite his approval of the search warrant involved; several administration officials using fictitious email accounts to avoid government record-keeping laws; and the impropriety of Obama’s assertion of executive privilege to protect Holder in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

This is to say nothing of the Benghazi lies, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s suspect solicitation of funds from health care firms, or yesterday’s revelation of a State Department coverup involving sexual assaults, prostitution, and an underground drug ring.

Furthermore, in an exchange directly related to the issue, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a bald-faced lie during a March 12 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Wyden asked Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any kind of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” “No, sir,” Clapper answered. “It does not?” Wyden asked again. “Not wittingly,” said Clapper. “There are cases where they could, inadvertently, perhaps…”

There is also another breach of trust by this administration that cannot be ignored. Despite the massive amount of information the government is capable of gathering, the Tsarnaev brothers were still able to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Boston, even as the intelligence community had Russian intel on Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Terrorists were able to kill four Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of September 11. Maj. Nidal Hasan was able to kill 13 and wound 32 of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, despite the fact that military officials were aware of his increasing radicalization and his exchanges with Anwar Awlaki.

The common thread? Political correctness and willful blindness. National Review’s Mark Steyn illuminates the insanity:

How did all these Tsarnaevs-in-waiting wind up living in the United States? They were let in by the government, and many of them were let in in the years since 9/11, when we were supposedly on permanent “orange alert.” The same bureaucracy that takes the terror threat so seriously that it needs the phone and Internet records of hundreds of millions of law-abiding persons would never dream of doing a little more pre-screening in its immigration system –by, say, according a graduate of a Yemeni madrassah a little more scrutiny than a Slovene or Fijian…The ID three of the 9/11 hijackers acquired in the 7-Eleven parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia and used to board the plane that day is part of a vast ongoing subversion of American sovereignty with which many states and so-called “sanctuary cities” actively collude…As for Major Hasan, who needs surveillance? He put “Soldier of Allah” on his business card and gave a PowerPoint presentation to his military colleagues on what he’d like to do to infidels–and nobody said a word, lest they got tied up in sensitivity-training hell for six months.

Thus, Americans are caught in a vise. No one wants a repeat of 9/11, or even the Boston Marathon bombings, but this administration has squandered the trust of the public, and demonstrated their contempt for the Constitution so often and so thoroughly, that Americans may choose, as McCarthy puts it, “to slash the powers we need” rather than “the officials we don’t” — and we may live to “regret it.”

In other words, we must separate political gamesmanship from national security.

This shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds. We are up against an enemy for whom the term “collateral damage,” as in the killing of innocents, is an utterly foreign concept. Nor are they constrained by anything resembling the MAD doctrine that kept the Cold War from escalating to nuclear exchanges. If terrorists could detonate a nuke in an American city, they would undoubtedly do it for the sake of jihad. Americans intuitively understand this reality. But the commander-in-chief has confused and convoluted the issue. Accentuating his own hypocrisy, though he once assailed Bush overreach and decried government “fishing expeditions,” Obama has maintained and expanded most of the previous administration’s national security protocols. A president loses all credibility with the public when he attacks his draconian predecessor, avers that the war on terror is over, and yet doubles down on the effective programs he both demonizes and secretly agrees are proper and necessary.

And while many Republicans have been quick to demonize the Obama administration’s efforts, such a campaign — while emotionally satisfying on a number of levels — may be counterproductive. As McCarthy and several others have noted, the current controversy would have barely resonated if it had been brought up nationwide on September 12, 2001, or in Boston on April 15 of this year.

It is likely such a possibility will be completely dismissed by those who see the NSA revelations in absolute terms, both on the Left and the Right. But what is needed is the balance that must be found between protecting American lives and protecting their rights. Part of that balance could be achieved by taking the Islamic nature of the threat far more seriously than the Obama administration does now. That alone would diminish the need for the level of all-encompassing surveillance we currently fear.

However, much of the anger surrounding this issue is still based on the reality that this administration is full of dishonorable people, easily capable of elevating political correctness and partisanship above the safety of Americans. In short, they have broken any bond of trust they might have had with the American public. That includes Edward Snowden, who, despite all his self-aggrandizement, has revealed himself to be nothing more than a traitor who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Absent trust, Americans will remain contemptuous of virtually any efforts made by the NSA to protect them, perhaps even to the point of self-endangerment. If that reality isn’t the worst one engendered by this administration, one would be hard-pressed to imagine what is.

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  • Andy_Lewis

    Bull.

  • Chez

    This one isn’t black and white. Snowden’s revelations have informed us all of the extent to which Big Brother is a part of our daily lives. Conversely, it does indeed seem he’s guilty of espionage.

    I’m conflicted….but I will say this, I don’t think I’ve ever heard John Bolton say anything that wasn’t dead-on.

    • wildjew

      You mean when Bolton joined the Condoleezza Rice racist in betraying Israel in the UN Security Council during the second Lebanon war. He still stands by his treachery to this day!

    • Rocky Mountain

      No body is watching you or me personally. Whenever the hue and cry goes up about “Americans” being watched, hunted down, or held without due process they are talking about “Americans” who have sworn to kill their fellow citizens for no other reason than being American. If those “Americans” wanted ‘due process’, its too late as they sacrificed their right to that when they swore themselves to be our enemy.

      • CowboyUp

        You’re right and wrong. Their computers look for keywords and certain patterns, voice or written then flag those communications for a human to check. They certainly watch us personally if we use certain keywords or phrases and set off their flags, similar to what the IRS did. That secret was out decades ago, for anyone who cared to look. What’s new is they are grabbing everything, storing it, and apparently using these capabilities against their domestic political opposition.

        • whitecross

          Correct.

          And the key words are increasingly uncontroversial things like pro-Israel support,Tea,conservative,values,heritage,freedom.

          They’re not looking for towelheads with suicide vests on,not the NSA, that’s the welfare and immigration people that are looking for hajjis so they can give them our tax dollars and feed and house them and pay for their legal bills to keep them from being deported.

          The “enemies of the state” the NSA are looking for are Americans who support the Constitution.

          The whole system is rotten with this kind of behavior.

          Look at some of those police instruction manuals. They don’t have them stopping dudes with beards and turbans and searching them unlawfully and harassing them. They’ve instructed them to give extra scrutiny to people with American flags and copies of the Constitution,veterans,people who tell the police they are aware of their rights.

          Conservatives,basically.

          • screaminjay

            You’re not a conservative, stop kidding yourself. This is a neo-Trotskyite site. It’s far-left… you’re a communist fool!

    • Steve Fraser

      Bolten finally got one completely wrong.

  • Tan

    This is a very difficult decision that Americans are going to have to make. On the extremes: either we will accept a totalitarian surveillance state (like that of China) where the federal government’s power has increased enormously to the point that it starts to act like the KGB and therefore thinking they can do what they want (kill anyone they want, steal anything they want, etc), or we will accept a society that cannot identify the enemy because the tools have been taken away and therefore resulting in inviting the enemy to come and hurt us. None of these solutions are the things we want. That’s why we need a balance. The government’s power needs to be limited in order for abuse of power not to take place. But Arnold does have some points that need to be addressed: even with all our security, Islamic terrorists were still able to come to the US and cause chaos. It’s the same thing with the Cold War regarding Communists coming to this country. Even with are hunt against Soviet spies, our intelligence community was divided over how they should view the Soviet Union: either they are our enemies, or us and them can co-exist into a apolitical harmony. I think the main problem we have to this day is a question of how do we view human reality. Are humans naturally good, or are humans born wicked? Humans are born wicked, and that needs to be accepted or we are deceiving ourselves. Political correctness is another reason why Muslim fanatics are being allowed to come into this country. And third, yes, by the law, Edward Snowden did commit treason. But so did those Germans that wanted to get rid of Hitler and Nazism (such as the Valkyrie operation, which is a different story). So then, what is the definition of treason? The Muslims in Iran, for example, makes blasphemy against Islam “treasonous” if you will. But does that make it right to call it treason in this sense from a freedom-loving perspective? No. It’s all manipulation Alinskey smear tactics. But if someone sells classified information on our military equipment to a hostile nation or terrorist group, is that treason? Absolutely, and it should be dealt with strictly. As for Edward’s case, we will have to see who’s the real bad guy: either he’s telling the truth and Obama turns out to be a total fraud, or he is a liar from the start and Obama, no matter what, is still a fraud (based on all the bad things he’s done). And Arnold does make another good point regarding the Espionage Act being useless if Edward is allowed to go free. I see two possible worst scenarios coming out of this situation: if Edward is captured, either we will condemn him as a traitor and him being executed, resulting in the government’s continuing abuse of its monitoring on innocent civilians, and then therefore becoming a KGB-like state. Or we will release Edward as a hero, resulting in the Espionage Act to be made into a joke, and therefore encouraging our enemies to come and hack us or steal classified information without fear of retaliation.

    • wildjew

      What’s difficult about it? It is not difficult for me.

      • Tan

        Some people would rather not have surveillance at all, period. And some would rather have total surveillance at the cost of freedom and liberty. There may be people who think that they can’t have it both ways. But I think that as long as we go back to “balance of power” to the ways of the founding fathers, we can have both surveillance and liberty without having our freedoms being violated or abuse of power taking place. But the whole surveillance thing need to have probable cause. But because the Obama administration lied to us about not spying on us, it’s going to be very difficult on which decision we should head towards since Obama and his people cannot be trusted. And because of that, my prediction is that we may be most likely to choose one of the extremes rather than choosing to have the surveillance balanced and limited.

        • wildjew

          I cannot say I have a problem “in principle” with surveillance so long as they are surveilling Muslims, not Tea Party activists, Jews, Christians, veterans, etc. That is why I did not raise a stink when the Bush administration said they were targeting “terrorists.” What infuriates me is all the political correctness. Keep in mind, we are not looking for Muslim terrorists but “violent extremists.” Obama has stripped FBI training manuals of any reference to jihad, Islam, Islamic terror, etc., because his Muslim Brotherhood friends and colleagues demanded he do so. Bush was just about as bad with all his “Islam is a religion of peace” nonsense. I am sick of it! I am sickened that little old ladies in wheel chairs are frisked at airports so that we do not offend Muslims. Aren’t you? As far as I am concerned surveillance of average Americans is what Obama wants to do under the pretext of fighting “violent extremists.” He is evil.

    • wildjew

      You wrote: “….or we will accept a society that cannot identify the enemy because the tools have been taken away and therefore resulting in inviting the enemy to come and hurt us.”

      You are joking. Aren’t you?

      • Tan

        Obviously we won’t go that far, but I’m just saying that there are two extremes this country can choose that will result in disaster.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “This is a very difficult decision that Americans are going to have to make. On the extremes: either we will accept a totalitarian surveillance state (like that of China) where the federal government’s power has increased enormously to the point that it starts to act like the KGB and therefore thinking they can do what they want (kill anyone they want, steal anything they want, etc), or we will accept a society that cannot identify the enemy because the tools have been taken away and therefore resulting in inviting the enemy to come and hurt us…”

      I like what we had before, except that we merely teach the truth about Islam everywhere instead of appeasing them by among other things, making certain speeches in Cairo and the UN that emboldens them, giving aid, comfort and access to MB etc. etc.

      We only need to have a totalitarian government if political correctness forever keeps us from identifying ideological enemies. That is the most salient battle we face.

      Everything, and I mean everything that 0’Bama has done about Islamic terror has favored the terrorists.

  • fanlad

    Snowden’s revelations are an eye opener to say the least. However, I still have question’s on why he went to Hong Kong China. What are his connections with Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, and with foreign governments like China?

    A police state in the making, yes. A traitor in our midst, we will see.

    • Rocky Mountain

      I believe as I stated above that this kind of data collection is well known – or should’ve been – for quite a while. As the author points out no content of phone or e-mail has been collected. I’m personally more concerned about well-organized hacker groups.

      • bbf

        As the author points out no content of phone or e-mail has been collected…AND I have a bridge I want to sell you.

        • whitecross

          Haha. By the way, did you know that if you like your doctor and your health insurance you can keep them?

          Al Qaida is on the run too. They’re not raping our Ambassadors or anything like that.

          That whole IRS thing? That was just a couple of knuckleheads in Cincinatti,not the obvious beneficiaries of suppressing conservative votes suppressing conservative votes for the obvious benefits they received.

          This kind of data collection is well known,of course, because Obama put it online 5 days beforehand so the people could vote on whether or not they wanted to be wiretapped,and 90% of Americans agreed with the president on this universal background check.

      • Zach Smith

        There’s no way you can say phone calls or emails have not been recorded. Most of the statements have been carefully ambiguous. I don’t know about phone calls, but I am fairly certain they are storing most emails. It may theoretically require a (retroactive) warrant to read them, but I’m sure they are all there just waiting for some trigger to put you on a watch list.

  • dansama

    Democrats will defend Obama at all costs, regardless of how solid the evidence is. Their numbers will
    stop any such impeachment hearings. Furthermore, the number and strength of Obama’s power grabs suggests he has
    grander plans which he intends to act on very soon. Nothing in congress is moving fast enough to stop
    him before that. The NSA is NOT looking for terrorists. When Obama does make his move, the NSA will
    know the names and locations of any Americans who oppose him. Game over.

    • The March Hare

      “Furthermore, the number and strength of Obama’s power grabs suggests he has grander plans which he intends to act on very soon.”

      Yes. Power grabs such as a huge amount of regulations and pressure being applied on businesses through other government agencies such as the EPA, OSHA, ObamaCare and the like which are destroying our society and forcing businesses to quit, relocate, reduce employees or employees’ hours, etc. All of these things are because he is against capitalism, capitalism being a Marxist term. Alinsky developed his Rules based on Marxism and the lessons he learned from hanging out with the mob in Chicago.

  • Adam

    Snowden is more than just a traitor. He is a double agent who has been gathering information for a long time. Releasing information at this time and his ‘for the good of the country’ routine is just a performance. His Chinese handlers decided this was the best way to further sabotage the U.S. government. Snowden vanished and I doubt anyone will ever hear from him again.

  • weirdpeter

    So – Snowden is a traitor and Obama violates the rights of every American by his unprecedented snooping. America is now facing a dilemma:

    1. We will continue being spied on without just cause or due process by this administration until Obama has an epiphany regarding who this country’s enemies are. For Obama to change his ways he must practice his elocution much like Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion. “The bomb on the plane comes from a Terrorist’s brain.” Since Obama will never concede that any threat to our country could be initiated in the name of Allah, the word terrorist will never cross his lips in connection to any act against this country committed by a Muslim.

    2. This means his administration will continue to feel righteous in throwing the widest net possible over America in order to ferret out terrorists from those of us peaceably assembling in the heartland, while Islamists are busy building bombs in their basements without garnering any special attention from big brother. Since the administration will never stop insiting that one person is just as likely to build a bomb as any other person, regardless of political or religious beliefs, the spying will continue unabated until at least 2024 (assuming Hilary wins the top spot in 2016 and 2020).

    3. We must prosecute those government workers who steal and reveal classified information to the world. Who will be willing to reveal the information and risk life in prison?

    4. Result? The administration can easily justify the pursuit and prosecution of traitors like Snowden AND continue spying and lying to the American people without fear of legal consequences. And given the general lethargy and willful blindness of most Americans, we will continue elect those who will destroy us in the name of social justice.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Barry Obama had a number of people participate in the production of that April 27th, 2011 birth certificate and there is NO DOUBT that it is a FORGERY. Given that FACT, it is Barry Obama who is this nation’s biggest national security risk. He is more than likely a usurper and he sits next to the Nuclear Football for crying out loud.

    • cathy

      When you consider the targeting of the IRS … could it be that the focus of the DSA info gathering was the targeting of the same individuals … the same groups? In other words … could it be that the DSA information gathering encompassed those who opposed the furthering of the “hope and change” agenda of the Islamic appeasing/Marxist Barack Obama?

      Think about it. Many in Congress were unaware. The President lied.

      June 10, 2013
      Lawmakers reject Obama admin.’s defense of NSA surveillance
      http://video.foxnews.com/v/2468119613001/lawmakers-reject-obama-admins-defense-of-nsa-surveillance/

      • EarlyBird

        Cathy, you keep using “DSA.” Do you mean “NSA” or are you referring to something different?

        And really? You’re either that confused, misinformed or paranoid to now draw links between the IRS’s targeting of right wing PACs and the use of PRISM?

    • EarlyBird

      Sir,
      There is absolutely nothing “unprecendented” about the way Obama has used the PRISM snooping program. He’s using it in the very same manner in which Bush used it after it was put into law under the Patriot Act.
      So, in fact it’s scarier than just one administration: it’s a perfectly legal snooping apparatus built directly into the structure of our government and will be in place for the next president, and the next, and the next, until we demand it be ended.
      And Obama, is the one who wants to return to some semblance of pre-9/11 normalcy, by ending Bush’s endless “War on Terror,” which is something out of 1984 and which is guaranteed to destroy our civil rights.

  • wildjew

    It’s amazing to see who is on the side of this evil regime and who is not. Frontpagemag, is apparently on Obama’s side (has Obama’s back). Frontpagemag would have been right there prosecuting White Rose “traitors” that exposed the Third Reich’s crimes. Since I see no article on the other side, FPM has revealed it’s hand. Oh yes, Oskar Schindler was reputedly and alcoholic and a womanizer; a low life. “Traitor!”

    • Rocky Mountain

      No, FPM is on the second of the Foreign Espionage Act. “Third Reich” Lol!

      • wildjew

        You don’t think this regime (president) is dangerous?

    • DebRollin

      Yes, Observe how people respond to truth, those who we thought were standing for truth, justice and freedom. Believe me people will take note and not donate when they find out.

  • geneww1938

    When is telling citizens the truth about our government breaking the laws and violating our Constitutional right treason versus whistle blowing.

    The victors write the history of wars … here the administration calls it treason and the patriots call it whistle blowing.
    What would you have done if you were Snowden?
    Please ponder this absolute truth … “life is too short and eternity too long to be wrong about God, His Bible, Jesus and salvation”.

  • Patty Villanova

    Normally, Mr. Ahlert is one of my favorite columnists and I really enjoy his insights. That being said, I was shocked to read his excoriation of Mr. Snowden who many, myself included, consider a hero and a patriot. The fact is that Obama and his minions simply cannot be trusted, ever, in any way, to do the right thing. Isn’t it obvious that even with all of the information that’s already been collected, the billions of bits of personal data, the Government can’t figure out how to use it? The Tsarenev brothers are the most recent egregious example– how is it that will that information and numerous warnings, these guys were able to blow up the Boston marathon with impunity?

    There is another article in today’s FP magazine by David Solway that really gets to the heart of the matter: the biggest scandal of this administration is Obama himself, a man who is dedicated to nothing less than the destruction of this country. Does anyone believe that our enemies didn’t know about all the data that’s being collected from innocent American citizens? We were the last to find out the extent of the War on America that is being perpetrated by an out of control government. Thanks to the whistle blowers like Snowden and the others who have risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, we are able to slowly connect the dots.The picture that emerges isn’t pretty.

    • wildjew

      Mr. Obama’s enemies are his conservative political opponents. Make no mistake about it. A U.S. president who says, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear….” is NOT on our side.

      • joedoakes202

        That was dumb . . . the IRS should have been smarter and said no . . .

        . . .

        “Sometimes I feel like some one is watching me . . . is it the IRS?”

        Rockwell

        May 22, 2013

        Dear President Obama,

        Funny thing how reality catches up to fictional songs. It just takes a bit of time ‘eh? Well here we are, and I wonder if you knew when you were first bopping your head to this little ditty that it would be you doing the watching? You know to a guy like me all I can do is “laugh and smile” through it because I’ve seen what happens when those who have not lived enough, or suffered enough, get their hands on raw power. They always do similar things. Cheat on their wives. Steal money from their government. Carry out orders to politicly assassinate those who disagree with them. How’s your copy of “Animal Farm?” I keep mine close for easy reference. Sympathy is the governing force of life these days. That’s a tough road to hoe for someone of your cold hearted ilk. But you’ve got lots of practice, but when Generals fall asleep at conference tables and IRS agents and administrators take the 5th because they can’t get their hands on immunity or Attorney Generals get Presidential Pardons . . . well . . . what’s a regular guy to do or think?

        What I think is that a certain General was bit too tired to sit at the conference table because he was getting a little something extra on the side, and that someone told someone to attack people based upon their political view point. I can excuse the General for being a human being, but I can’t excuse the IRS for acting outside the rule of law or any notion of legitimate activity. In doing this, and not refusing to follow your orders, the IRS made a critical error in judgment. It picked a side. That’s fine in the ballot box or the jury box, but not a cubicle of a government office with the awesome power of the IRS. That’s terrifying because they have the power to destroy anyone, any entity, at any time.

        Seen it happen.

        You see, Sir, I keep a pair of work gloves in my car and they enable me to help others when they need a hand. Whether it is a couple with a baby in their arms at the side of the L.I.E. or the trucker who drops it’s load and needs a hand. I never ask if that person is a liberal, a conservative, a democrat, or a republican. I don’t care. My only concern is to help. When you behave like you have over the past years you reveal yourself to be only concerned about one person. You and paying off those who got you where you are.

        If I ever had the honor of serving as President. I’d bring those gloves with me and at my inaugural address I’d lay them on the podium and I would tell America that I’m going to make it my mission in life to get a pair of those on every able bodied American, even if he just jumped a wall and I have to personally teach that brown b as t ar d english myself. We used to call that a “maximum effort” and we used to expect that from our leaders as well as ourselves.

        If you can’t handle it. Write yourself a pardon and give “Crazy Joe” the job, or you could give me a call.

        :)

        Respectfully,

        Joe Doakes

      • Roy_Cam

        Absolutely. NSA surveillance is just a domestic drone strike by other means, done to watch for Tea Party-types and other “bitter clingers” who oppose Obama’s subversive anti-constitutional programs, from Obamacare to NSA.

        Obama is conducting a war against the people and against particular classes of people, a Gramsci-esque version of Lenin’s wars after the Russian Revolution.

      • EarlyBird

        Of course, you Obama-hating obsessives miss the point by 100 miles: Obama did not invent this NSA metadata harvesting program. He merely continued it at the urging of the national security experts. There is zero evidence or even suggestion that he has misused the program. The Congress, under Bush, created the program via the Patriot Act.
        The “scandal” that this program is fully legal, and that suddenly, 10 years after its implementation, it took this guy Snowden for Americans to realize what was going on.
        Hey, if you hysterical ninnies who see Islamist terrorists behind every tree are willing to undo this program and take back some of your civil liberties, and live in a bit less security against the Bearded Ones because you fear Obama, that’s fine with me and other libertarians.
        You’ll notice this “revelation” has upset left-liberals, libertarians and even the right wing nutjobs who populate FPM. Amen!

    • Rocky Mountain

      I personally believe that this sort of ‘metadata’ data collection was well known – and if not ‘well known’ the information was in plain sight – and anybody feigning outrage (and for the wrong reasons anyway) just doesn’t read enough news. Snowden a “hero”? – this just smacks of the kind of flimsy ‘hero’ worship that is so commonplace in modern society like rock band are one’s ‘hero’ and ‘my teacher is my ‘hero”. What an utter debasement of the concept.

      • Albert Barnett

        When you sign up for Facebook i.e. you give up the right to facebook to certain metadata. I didn’t agree to a government privacy policy.

        • EarlyBird

          Well, sadly you did, Albert, by virtue of your representatives in Congress voting for it.

      • EarlyBird

        Thank you. How is this program even “news”? What “news” did this guy Snowden actually “break”?

    • CurmudgyOne

      Would you worry about destroying the Phillipines? Indonesia? Kenya? Neither does Mr. Obama think twice about destroying the country he has miraculously been given control of. This is not ‘his country.’ If he was an American, legally or in his heart, he would not be so evil. In my mind, he is EVIL personified.

    • joedoakes202

      Snowden broke the faith. I know many consider him a patriot for doing this.

      I don’t.

      If you sign up for a job and you cross a line you have to keep that faith otherwise everyone else who did that is put at extreme risk.

      If all of you out there want a different government. Get involved and change the rules.

      A cautionary note though . . . once you change them . . . I’m betting you will find out why they exist in the first place.

      • USARetired

        You are wrong, he is a patriot, Do you know the words of the oath? Obey rightful orders!

        • Snorbak

          He “may” be a patriot, however, he has nevertheless broken the law
          & should be punished accordingly. If he believed that the “orders”
          given to him were unlawful then he could have simply resigned his
          position on moral grounds & “blown the whistle” in an official
          capacity. The fact that he chose to do this in a Chinese client state in
          itself infers questionable motives.
          He may have exposed “potentially” corrupt/ illegal activities by govt agencies
          but he is not above the law. Regardless of whether he exposed illegal
          activity or not, the law has to be applied universally & evenly, otherwise laws become nothing more than guidelines, open to individual interpretation & manipulation.

          • http://milkchaser.blogspot.com/ Bob White

            Yes, punish him after you punish Clapper for perjuring himself on March 12. Or punish Holder for perjuring himself on multiple occasions. I am tired of this selective punishment where the right-minded whistleblower gets screwed and the connected high-ups get waved through.

            Let us not insist on perfect justice for the 29-year-old while letting Bill Clinton get away, first with serial perjury and obstruction of justice, then with pardoning the worst tax cheat in American history on his last day in office (even though said cheat, Marc Rich, made no apology or restitution).

            You want justice for Snowden? Sure. Just make sure he is put at the back of a very long line of people who will never be indicted, much less prosecuted, much less convicted.

          • cama9

            Beautifully stated!

          • Snorbak

            You are assuming that I am being selective in my above statement. I agree that Clinton, Holder, Clapper & Obama are all guilty of wrongdoing, as I said, “..the law has to be applied universally & evenly..”

          • cama9

            Really? When politicians start following the law – which they never do – or get punished for breaking the law – which they do every day – then there can be a discussion about Snowden. Actually, the story isn’t about Snowden at all – it’s about the government spying on and keeping records on American citizens. But the neocon warhawks want to make it about a person instead of their egregious actions. It’s the neocon warhawks like Bolton who are the traitors.

      • Albert Barnett

        I’m sure that was the excuse at the Nuremberg Trials, “Sorry! Just following orders”

      • EarlyBird

        Snowden did break the faith, and did break the law. “Hero” or not, his was an act of civil disobedience, and he has to expect to do some time for his crime.
        The data dump that Bradley Manning is responsible for is truly “treason” in that it contained actual raw data and national security secrets which, by sharing them, helped our enemies, whereas Snowden simply made the extent of PRISM available to the American people.

        Just trying to draw some distinctions here. I want Snowden to do some easy time and write a book. I want Manning to do long, hard time.

        • cama9

          If Snowden took an oath to defend the Constitution, then he broke no law as what he related was how the government is abusing the 4th Amendment and spying on The People.
          Which would you defend, the Constitution or your boss?

      • Sean

        If you cross a line you havr to keep the secret? That’s only true until it violates the rights of citizens.

        If the government decides detaining people for questioning without due process would increase its intelligence collection and help prevent terror attacks, would it still be prudent to keep that from the American people?

        Useless hypothetically situation, i know, but its something to think about.

    • cathy

      THE PATRIOT ACT

      I could comprehend to some extent why some prominent Conservatives akin to Allen West supported the Patriot Act. On the surface … the legislation is a means for the “powers that be” to profile as well as identify/ target potential terrorists. However … this administration’s history of refusing to profile the Islamic enemy … refusing to identify/target the Islamic enemy … should have been taken into consideration. Logic should have dictated that the Patriot Act would be used to justify the abuse of power by the DSA and the IRA while Islam was furthered within and without of America.

      Food for Thought

      “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

      • Zach Smith

        Nice quote. Too bad Johnson didn’t take his own advice.

        • cathy

          Something akin to Obama and Biden’s NSA words from the past.

          BIDEN – 2006
          Sen. Biden On NSA Database
          May 12, 2006 11:10 AM
          Harry Smith speaks with Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., about the controversy in Washington over the NSA’s database of domestic phone calls gathered from three major phone companies.
          http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1613914n

          OBAMA – 2007
          Cedric Leighton Justice Jeanine 06 08 13
          Jun 9, 2013
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afIFKOH1dcA

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Yes indeed, Obama is the scandal. There has been an on going 20 month criminal investigation of Barry Obama and those conducting the investigation have packaged the evidence (and there is plenty of it) and will be bringing it to Washington DC demanding that Congress investigate this fraud. They need to investigate all those who played a part in producing that April 27th, 2011 forged birth certificate. That is the only piece of evidence that Obama has given us as proof of who he is and it is a damn forgery. Now you know why he has sealed all of his other documents. He is the criminal, much more dangerous than Snowden ever will be. Who investigated Barry for his security clearance enabling him to see all of the country’s top secret intelligence, answer, NO ONE. His only credentials, a Community Organizer from Chicago of all places.

    • cathy

      Traitor
      June 11, 2013 By Arnold Ahlert
      +++++++

      Mr. Ahlert

      Traitor? The revelation of treasonous actions DSA would have had me guessing you were referring to the current administration … not the messenger … not the whistleblower.

      Cathy

      • EarlyBird

        Cathy, neither Obama or the NSA (not “DSA”) is being charged with any wrong doing. That’s the scary thing: this harvesting of phone and email data has been going on since 9/11 under both Bush and Obama, is perfectly legal, vigorously supported by both Dems and Reps in Congress, and enshrined in the Patriot Act.

        If you want to end this program because you simply mistrust this particular president, fine with me, but at least understand what you’re discussing here. The Snowden Affair has nothing to do with “Obama” per se, but government power in general in the age of Endless Fear.
        I don’t trust the government in general enough with this amount of surveillance power, regardless of who is in the White House at any given moment. And I blame professional propagandists that show up on places like Front Page Rag for whipping up much of the hysteria that makes Americans demand these types of surveillance programs.

    • Steve Fraser

      Wasn’t the above essay a spoof to show how dangerous “security” can be to a people’s liberty.

  • wildjew

    David Horowitz, you’ve made a good pretense being on our side. This piece is simply disheartening.

    • CowboyLogic

      Yes.
      It is.

      It is perhaps the single worst piece I have ever read here.

    • CowboyUp

      It shouldn’t be. One doesn’t have to support Snowden to oppose Obama/dp/left, or the jihadis.

  • RickMacDonald

    The premise of this article is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Regardless of ones political ideology, and mine is Conservative, It is incumbent on every citizen in a true democracy to expose malfeasance on the part of government whenever one becomes aware of it. The label of “Traitor” notwithstanding. When the Government lies to the citizenry under the guise of expediency it is subverting the very democracy it is elected to protect.

    Further, the argument made by the Director of the NSA that our enemies will change their methodology now that they have become cognoscente of the amount of spying and data mining taking place does not justify the government deceiving the citizenry for “their own good.” This is the short road to Fascism. The democracy must be strong enough to absorb such truths and adapt to the new methodologies of the states enemies.

    Without doubt the current administration is rife with deceit and must be held to account for it. Such account begins by the actions of such as Mr. Snowden.

    • NAHALKIDES

      Unless he was exposing some actual violation of the law, which seems not to be the case, then Snowden was wrong to reveal this information publicly. If the two intelligence committees in Congress didn’t know about this, and it’s not clear whether they did or not, he could have contacted them with his concerns. In the end, every person entrusted with classified information cannot claim the prerogative of determining whether or not that information needs to remain secret. We elect a President and a Congress for that purpose, and it’s clear we need a new President and a new Congress.

      • EarlyBird

        Snowden clearly violated the law and he needs to be prosecuted for his actions, hero or not. You’re right also that he wasn’t exposing any illegality on the part of the government.
        But he’s not a traitor either, in as much as he shared no specific secret which were harmful to US national security (such as Bradley Manning’s thoughtless, treasonous data dump). Snowden did us a favor by exposing how massive and in-depth the electronic surveillance of US citizens, under the Patriot Act, goes.
        As for whether or not the Congressional intelligence committees knew the size and scope of this, they seem clearly to have known, and supported it.

    • EarlyBird

      Rick,
      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • AZActivist

    I suppose we will never know for sure what Mr Snowden’s real intentions are but I, for one, trust and believe him to a greater degree than any government official and most politicians. The oath Mr Snowden took was one to which he initially thought was an agency of a righteous and moral government. It may very well be that, because of what he’s learned about what’s really going on in this country, he considers that oath to have been rendered null and void.

    In my estimation, Barack Hussein Obama is guilty of the worst kind of espionage and treason that any human being can commit. Yet I don’t see many people weighing in on his treachery; indeed many see him as some sort of deity who’s come to give them “free stuff”. If you want to pile up on someone whom we know for certain is a monster and who deserves all the condemnation of an Adolf Hitler, please transfer all your venom where it belongs with certainty – don’t prematurely form judgments before you have all the facts.

  • gerardharbison

    First of all, whatever you think about the morality of breaking promises, it is distinct from lying. Nobody has the ability to forecast their actions in their future, in response to unknown contingencies.

    Second, I’m not overly invested in whether someone broke the espionage act. If he did, charge him. There is no evidence if he’d wanted to testify before Congress, he would have been allowed to do so. In fact, the Obama Administration is currently pushing two completely contradictory stories. On the one hand, Congress was fully briefed about this program, and so it should be no surprise to anyone. And second, that Snowden revealed important national security secrets. They can’t both be true. If you tell 600 Congresscritters something, it isn’t a secret any more.

    And finally, whoever wrote hasn’t got a clue about either the constitutional definition of ‘traitor’ or how the charge has been applied. No one has ever been convicted of treason for taking secrets to the newspaper.

    Obama was elected twice by the American people. If he can’t be trusted with this sort of program, then no one should be trusted. Because in 2016, there’s a fair chance the 47% will put in someone as bad or even worse.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “This brings us to the other issue highlighted by McCarthy. For Americans to be satisfied that such a program will not be abused, a certain level of trust must be cultivated among the public by government officials.”

    This to me is the central issue. Given what came before it, I’m not sure this guy is a traitor. I understand the controversy though. He might be.

    • wildjew

      Speaking of traitors. Remember this? “The terrorists (the September 11, 2001 hijackers) are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.”

      • CowboyUp

        Good question. It makes sense if one wants to enlist the help of the enemies of the most immediately dangerous to eliminate them, and doesn’t want to unify all muslims against us and have to take them all on at once. It goes back to Sun Tzu, at least.

        • whitecross

          Do you know what taqqiyah is?

          We’re not playing them,they’re playing us.

          They should all be deported. Their religio-ethnic tribal nomad state has declared war on our Republic.

          We either detain or deport any possible collaborators when that happens. That has been our traditional political go-to in these circumstances.

          • CowboyUp

            Oh yea, and you’re right about them playing us like a Strat, but I think the quote was directed at the international audience.

          • screaminjay

            Are we talking about Jooos? You’re right, we should deport them around the Hudson Bay.

  • wildjew

    Mr. Ahlert wrote: “Former CIA case officer Bob Baer told CNN that intelligence officials were speculating that Snowden may be part of a Chinese espionage case….”

    I’ve got Baer’s (2004) book “Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude.” It’s a pretty good book.

    Then Baer went off the deep end with his (2009), “The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower.” Superpower mind you.

    Here is what one reviewer wrote:

    “Robert Baer’s take on the Middle East is DEEPLY SUPPORTIVE (emphasis mine), without electioneering, of the position OF BARACK OBAMA on negotiations with Iran and with other ‘suspect’ regimes. “If you can’t talk with them, you can’t know them,” is the implicit wisdom of this position, to which I would add the necessary corollary that “if you don’t know them, you can’t talk with them effectively.” Baer has the experience and credentials to assert that he knows Iran rather well, with twenty-some years in the CIA, mostly in the Middle East.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      I guess he doesn’t know what Iran has in common with the Saudis.

  • DebRollin

    Snowden is not the enemy, he alerted everyone that they were being spied upon, which is against the bill of rights and the 4th amendment.

  • Charles Martel

    I agree that Snowden is a traitor and broke his oath. But I also know there are times when a person must do what is right even though he is told otherwise. I spent 20 years in the military and many years as a defense contractor. I always knew deep down that if and when I was asked to violate the constitution, (even when it was only my opinion), I would not carry out the task, would resign and would report the matter.

    Everyone should have understood they were being monitored on the Internet and phones once the patriot act was signed. That doesn’t mean I like it or want it, it just means I knew I would be monitored. I still say whatever the hell I want to say.

    Come and get me Obama. You stink and so do your communist buddies.

  • Charles Martel

    Yes he is a traitor and so was George Wasington. They were both traitors who rebelled against what they saw as an evil that is simply so great it must be resisted even at the risk of death.

    • Everett Vulgamore

      the way this guy did it though, if he stood on Captiol Hill and did what was right and told the truth then and there, instead of leaking it to the news and running off to CHINA of all places, id look at him different. but since he ran off to China, whatever he had going for him was lost

      • cathy

        Everett
        Most would have been to intimidated/frightened to expose the wrongdoing by this tyrannical government. I concede if I mustered up the strength in this situation to do right … I may have then taken my physical well-being into consideration and fled. Give this young man a break. His life on the run … his life looking over his shoulder … will not be easy.

        • Everett Vulgamore

          he wouldnt be on the run if he just did it the way i said. yes, he may have been locked up, but the public would demand, in large enough numbers, to have him released. now he is a coward for running off to a seemingly more and more unfriendly nation.

          maybe i just have too much faith in the american people, maybe a large majority of them are totally fine with being in the nanny, tyrannical, and spied-on state.

          • Torqued

            Yeah, because the overlords really listen to us and do what we demand, right? BS, he would spend the rest of his life in some hole or be executed.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “I may have then taken my physical well-being into consideration and fled. Give this young man a break. His life on the run … his life looking over his shoulder … will not be easy.”

          Why China? They are probably our most dangerous “fr-enemy” of the moment.

          • Steve Fraser

            Because China is freer than America.

          • http://milkchaser.blogspot.com/ Bob White

            Specifically, Hong Kong. Not the rest of China.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Because China is freer than America.”

            Because China is freer to exploit global natural and human resources than anyone else is, without any criticism from global leftists.

        • EarlyBird

          Cathy, by “this tyrannical government” you mean to single out the Obama administration.
          But Obama has simply continued to use PRISM in the very same way that Bush used it, and in the same manner which Romney would have used it had he won last November.
          This is not a scandal about Obama. It’s a revelation of how much power we have handed over to the federal government, in general, in the pursuit of security against terrorism.
          This about power we have handed over to every president now and in the future, regardless of whether or not we like or trust that person. It’s a structural problem. (And in all likelihood, it’s the high-up bureaucrats running the national security apparatus which are the dangerous ones. Presidents come and go.)

      • cathy

        Everett
        Most countries worldwide would extradite Snowden back to the States. Is there an extradition treaty between China and the US. Give this guy credit. He did not secretly leak the DSA wrongdoing against American citizens to the Chinese government.

      • Albert Barnett

        I guess it was inevitable that as new information and clarification of Prism will probably never reach the American people, that we should immediately cast suspicion on the leakers motives, instead of finding out why the NSA is building a 1 million sq ft facility in Utah. A place with enough digital storage space to store the digital footprint of everyone on the planet for hundreds of years.
        They say they aren’t recording audio files, maybe, maybe not. Some say that know one could listen to all those call to find out if someone was not doing something wrong. That’s why we have computers, software could listen, then convert to text, then scan for keywords and then flag for latter examination by a human, all in a fraction of a second. I think some of us underestimate what can and will be done with computers by people of all motives, malignant or be-nine.

      • cathy

        Everett

        Rep. McCarthy concurs with you. Apparently there are procedures in place that protects whistleblowers. Reporting this info to Congress was the way to go.

        June 10, 2013
        Lawmakers reject Obama admin.’s defense of NSA surveillance
        http://video.foxnews.com/v/2468119613001/lawmakers-reject-obama-admins-defense-of-nsa-surveillance/.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “running off to CHINA of all places, id look at him different. but since he ran off to China, whatever he had going for him was lost”

        That’s one big issue that makes it controversial. Given all of the other scandals, I’d say his revelations were important and timely.

        • William James Ward

          China puts a screw into the revelations, maybe
          they have hacked the brain center of surveliance
          and is letting our Pentagon know we are at a great
          disadvantage militarily and thus in a position to
          bluff the Obamanites……………..William

    • Roy_Cam

      Hey, Charles! Great name and I agree. One man’s Benedict Arnold is another’s Patrick Henry/George Washington.

      We were traitors to the Crown.

  • Flowerknife_us

    A “Traitor” calling out a Traitor.

  • Watermelonbeast

    Yes, I agree with Arnold Ahlert on Snowden. My father, who had a very high security clearance in the military as a communications specialist and career naval officer, waited 50 years until information was declassified to tell me stories about what many would consider as trivial. He also was visibly agitated for months after he read Robert McNamara’s book on Vietnam as he saw it as a major rewrite of history as he had first hand knowledge of much of the high-level communications during the war. He would share nothing of any detail other than his disgust for McNamara. He took the real history to the grave with him as he honored his commitment to his country.
    However, I do struggle with Mr. Clapper’s testimony and how he might have responded differently.

    • wildjew

      Again, you seem to be equating this totalitarian regime with “your (his) country.” What would you have said were you a German in the nineteen thirties – I understand an extreme example? Same thing?

    • CowboyUp

      That’s somewhat familiar to me, but I bet you could and did learn a lot from his reactions to things he read in the public domain. And when I see the kind of trivial information in the public domain we were told not to speak when I was in the Army, I can connect a lot of dots (and so can our enemies).

  • Berceuse

    I do not consider Mr. Snowden a hero, although he exposed an illegal and immoral action by my government. Every lawmaker who knew about this and went along with it should be impeached. You cannot convince me that my government needs to collect data on me and my children to keep us safe from al-Qa’ida. Our republic can withstand an attack by our enemies. It will not survive a wholesale abrogation of our Constitutional protections by the very people sworn to uphold them.

  • CurmudgyOne

    Technically, Snowden’s a traitor. But, what else can an honorable person do other than expose the latest step of the government in the subversion of the U.S. Constitution, the ruination of the nation? I applaud him. I fervently pray that there are more like him in the various gov’t departments now being exposed. We could use a few Snowdens in the IRS, in the State Department (re Benghazi), and in the State Department Security Service (re whores, drugs, etc), and in the NSA, and in the White House. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There’s an awful lot of smoke coming out of DC these days and even more than they’re blowing up our collective as ses.

  • Sam West

    Ambassador Bolton and the Arnold Ahlert make the same error: if one swears to secrecy and then due to certain reasons divulges information they promised to keep secret they are a traitor. This is totally wrong conclusion. There is no obligation in following the immoral orders. Immoral as judged individually by the person choosing to break their promise. By the same erroneous logic if Snowden knew of a plan to systematically “disappear” the political opponents and went public he’d be a traitor, too. No so.
    The principle involved here is: if a person judges a contract to keep secrecy to cover for illegal or immoral actions then such contract is null and void and unenforceable.

    • whitecross

      That was the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials. The Nazis were wrong for following immoral orders. This author would have us believe that Snowden was wrong for NOT following immoral orders.

      I’m not ruling out the possibility that this action was motivated by aspirations of espionage or something instead of patriotism or altruism,but the fact remains that given a choice between the people’s militia the Founders prescribed for the defense of our nation and George Orwell’s Big Brother come to life, most Americans would prefer the former.

      Exposing the government spying was patriotic,not traitorous, no matter what oaths were made to the real traitors.

      Attempting to take the powers delegated to the people in the Constitution for the government is itself an act of treason.

  • Lionel Mandrake

    Test

  • lehnne

    I’d have to agree this is pretty lame; it is worth noting that the political ruling class violates their oaths, the law. the Constitution, their fiduciary responsibilities on a daily basis under whatever guise will sell. It is unknown whether the malfeasance of Snowden will exceed that of the SOP of our representatives

    • CowboyLogic

      Precisely.

  • CowboyLogic

    I vehemently disagree with the Author of this piece.

    Edward Snowden is not a Traitor.

    He is a Patriot.

    • Everett Vulgamore

      that ran away to China. yep…

    • pupsncats

      I agree with you. Snowden has exposed our government for what it truly is.

  • Lionel Mandrake

    He is not a traitor. Our political elites who’ve sold us out to any immigrant that washes up here are the real traitorous scum.

    Because these liars in nice suits won’t reform, that means STOP 50 years of flooding America daily with foreign nationals, we ALL must now be treated as criminals.

    Meanwhile, white people have been slated for extinction in a great country they’ve, along with Christian morality, built, as we watch it becom Mecca and Mexico.

    But don’t say that, our government declared truth a ” hate crime” as they document every aspect of conservative thought.

    • tagalog

      You don’t carry spare change into combat, do you?

      • Lionel Mandrake

        No, Tagalog, but I will need the recall code please…..

  • CowboyUp

    Good article. Snowden’s actions have done both harm and a service to this country, and exposing the abject hypocrisy of the democrat party and to some degree how far beyond the law the Obama administration has gone doesn’t cancel that out.

    The capabilities of the NSA revealed aren’t new, and aren’t all. Since the 80s I’ve known that anything said or done near any kind of communications device is subject to intercept by the NSA, as well as allied, enemy, and even some private intel outfits. One could take what was known about Warsaw Pact and private intel technology, and how far we are ahead of them, and draw reasonable conclusions.
    .

    The Obama administration is apparently ignoring obvious threats to national security to use those capabilities and the other agencies the executive branch controls against domestic political opposition. That’s an even bigger threat to our nation and freedom than our foreign enemies, and aids those enemies in their objectives (many of which the democrat party shares).

    • wildjew

      How have Snowden’s actions harmed this country unless you equate the Obama regime to this country?

      • CowboyUp

        The Obama regime/dp won’t be “rule”-ing this country beyond this term (or it won’t be “this country” in anything but name anymore) and an over-reaction to their abuses of power and their overstepping the law could be disastrous to this country in the future. America’s mortal enemies are still out there trying to destroy us. Just because, or especially because, Hussein is letting them run wild and advance now doesn’t mean we still don’t have to stop them.

        • wildjew

          You are right. That is my only hope, that in 2016 we will get some relief from this nightmare. No more Muslim-born, America-hating presidents in the near-term. He is awful.

          • CowboyUp

            That’s my hope too, but like in the early 80s, I think we’re going to have some rough economic times paying for all this QE (which I think is the only thing propping up the stock market right now), artificially suppressed interest rates, the housing bubble they’re trying to recreate, and the economic dislocation obamacare and his regulatory agencies are causing. I think he’s(and jarret, who I think is the brain behind him) the worst we’ve had, but I still regard Hillary as more dangerous. She’s as evil, but hates America too, and is smarter.

  • barrycooper

    This will be my last time visiting this site. if you are too effing stupid to understand that unlimited surveillance is a short step from totalitarian control, you have nothing to contribute to my understanding of the world.

    I would suggest you reconcile some math: how many American deaths have been prevented by this surveillance, how many have died in car accidents since 2001, and how important is it to you not to live under Cuban style Fascism?

    If you don’t value freedom, then your stance is the correct one. Still, one with reason would wonder why the threat of terrorism would matter to you, when the manner in which we are allowed to conduct our lives does not.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      We have a man in the WH who more than likely usurped the position of Commander in Chief. That should be top concern for all of us. He sits next to the Nuclear Football for crying out loud.

    • Steve Fraser

      The essay was an exercise in sarcasm, not to be taken at face value…this is a very educational site, come back and give it a chance.

  • BigMamaTEA

    OBAMA

  • nimbii

    Is the main threat to the US a terrorist act or the numerous other Lois Learners using this info to destroy Obama opponents and repress the rest of us as needed?

  • Paul

    Treason, yes, Morally arrogant, yes, but still a hero, because the evils of this administration must be non-militarily eradicated at all costs.

  • Texas Patriot

    Bolton is a buffoon and a big part of the reason that American foreign policy has been so deluded and misguided.

  • Natural Law

    This NSA spying is an attack on the security of all our families by the Federal Govt . The only traitor is anyone diverting attention away from the fact that we are slipping into Tyranny in the name of fighting terrorism, and if it doesn’t stop our Grandchildren will wake up slaves to the Demonic filth of the STATE. A tyrannical Govt in full bloom will make terrorists seem like boy scouts.

  • poetcomic1 .

    Traitor to what? I took down my American flag the day Americans docilely agreed to allow their daughters and the mothers of children to be put in front-line combat. It is not my Culture anymore and certainly not my country. Good luck y’all.

  • twinelm

    Wrong-o. You are basically saying the rooster crowing about the fox in the henhouse should be in the farmer’s pot on Sunday so the rest of the hens can then go about their business blissfully unaware they are the fox’s next meal. That the rooster is a traitor…
    WOW. Such short sightedness and useful idiocy from this normally reliable information source is staggering.

  • kevinstroup

    Sorry, but a contract is invalid if it breaks the law. In fact a contract does not even exist if the law is broken. Last time I checked, reading e-mails and listening in on phone calls without a warrant was a crime according to the 4th amendment. But what do I know. I am not a lawyer. It is certainly unethical and morally wrong. So, if you know of criminal conduct do you need to be quiet about it because you told the boss you would. Our government has run amok. We cannot stop millions from entering from Mexico, we cannot stop Muslims from terrorizing us, but we have the time, resources and inclination to read every e-mail and listen in on every phone call? On top of this, we have weaponized the IRS an DoJ with respect to conservative groups. Wow. Sorry, but I disagree with this author.

  • USARetired

    NSA and other agencies have been snooping into the private lives of law abiding citizens for much to long, several decades that I am aware of, so Mr Snowden is very much a hero

  • RJohn

    Hey, we need to make this legal, that’s all. Call it Obamashare, Obamasnare, or whatever and push its 20,000 unread pages through Congress. Then have John Roberts break the stalemate in the SCOTUS by declaring that it’s “just another tax”.

    Kinda’ slow on the uptake, eh?.

  • cathy

    Would Arnold Ahlert rather that DSA wrongdoing against the Constitutional rights of innocent Americans not be exposed. Don’t shoot the messenger. It was not Showden who committed treason … it was the DSA.
    If one is required to sign an agreement of confidentiality … it should be a given that one is bound not to disclose illegal activity.

  • 12guns

    The espionage act has no teeth, I give you Obama. Bush one pledged this country to a corrupted Darwinist, Marxist, Earth worshiping, Jew hating, UN. That was treason 101. Frankly we have not been America since Reagan, Snowden is trying to help us get it back. So only under this disgusting tyrannical false government is he a traitor. The Constitution must be restored.

  • tanstaafl

    Who watches the watchmen?

  • Roy_Cam

    Unbridled surveillance is always outside of “probable cause” and having a secret court decided on the warrants without real review has created what must be considered an American “Star Chamber”…

  • Zach Smith

    He’s a hero in my book. I consider people who defend the surveillance state like this author and Lindsey Graham, who isn’t sure whether bloggers deserve 1st amendment protections, and who thinks it would be fine to censor our mail to fight terrorism, to be the traitors.

    “1984” is not a training manual.

  • Leo

    ofcourse traitor

  • quest

    President nObama is the LIAR. He should be on trail, found guilty & the white half of him should be HUNG

  • Harold Benghazi Koenig

    Let Snowden get in line. BHO is a traitor. Hillary, Sebelius, Holder, Lois Lerner….

    I think I understand the outrage at Snowden. I can entertain the argument that he did wrong.

    But when the president of the United States bows to the King of Saudi Arabia, I think e have some other and more important transgressions and betrayals to address.

  • fanlad

    One thing for sure, Snowden has given us proof that data exists on the NSA data base on individual computers, emails, smart phones, texting, every key stroke, ETC. ETC.
    We must subpoena and get warrants for this data concerning Benghazi, IRS, and AP investigations, and cover ups. The Truth, and evidence reside in the NSA and their data base.
    Why do you think the left is in concert with conservatives on this data base information issue. They do not want the truth that this data base holds to come out.
    Subpoena this data fast, and see the truth.

  • Texas Patriot

    The only reason anyone thinks Edward Snowden is a traitor is that our most trusted government officials have been bought and sold by foreign powers for so long that we can’t recognize a real patriot when we see one. Compare the money received by Snowden for what he did and the special interest money, domestic and foreign, that is more and more routinely, directly and indirectly funneled into the political war chests and favorite charities of our highest public officials, and it will soon be clear who the traitors are. The bottom line is that government of the people, by the people and for the people as Abraham Lincoln envisioned and as so many Americans fought and died for does not exist in the United States at this time. Instead, we have a government of, a government by, and a government for the highest bidder. Here’s a hint. Those screaming loudest about Snowden being a traitor probably have the most to hide themselves.

  • William James Ward

    There is so much going on in surveliance that no one really knows,
    not even those doing the snooping. It is necessary to look into
    communications with Islamist contacts by anyone as they can not
    be trusted and have by action and word cursed America. Obama
    will be the first to cause America to suffer to raise up our enemies
    and they being the minions of Islam. Watch Europe for what we are
    in for, this Summer will be very telling. For the snoops, our rights
    are not negotiable and never will be while we are alive which is
    in question if the surveliance is of a Stalinist nature………..William

  • slhancock

    Part of me is troubled by Snowden’s actions, but a part of me is glad that it is out in the open. I think many have suspected that we are being watched, and knowing that some of the techies enjoy making fun of things people are writing, etc. tells me that this could VERY WELL BE USED by democrat hacks working in any agency. Was it yesterday that Maxine Waters stated that now that Obama has made this pile of data (accumulation) on “everybody”, the next democrat presidential candidate will have a treasure trove of information…my wording, but her intentions. Yes, I wonder if this was the data that was used in the past election. It wasn’t THAT long ago, and everybody was bragging about how ingenious his campaign’s use of electronics was. My gut feeling is that he had this access then and used it.

  • cheechakos

    It is rather harsh to declare a man guilty of traitorous acts without a trial ,evidence or even speaking to him.

    I don’t think we fully know Snowden’s reasoning yet. He didn’t really expose a great big secret, unknown program that affects the safety of the country.None of the info collected has ever been used to apprehend ,stop or convict terrorists . The info isn’t intended for that. It’s used to document and watch American citizens.

    Snowden’s flight to China makes him look less than naively innocent and as having more of an agenda than just morals.
    His exposing government corruption and invasion of citizens privacy is hard to quantify as espionage or treason ,especially when the government is violating the rights of 300 million people, and has committed far worse crimes.

    Instead of being outraged at Snowden, why is there not outrage at the government who has abused it’s power, American citizens rights and endangered the entire population by filling our country with illegals and terrorists ? Why is the government being allowed to subvert our Constitution,violate our laws and commit treason freely?

    Why not ask the government what crimes American citizens have committed that warrants invasions of their personal lives?

  • DogmaelJones1

    I must take issue with this column. Did or did not the NSA collect all that information on Americans, a miniscule fraction of whom deserved “watching” and monitoring? Did or did not Holder authorize rummaging through Fox News’s files for a leak? Did or did not the IRS go after Tea Partiers and other “enemies” of Obama? I don’t really know what Snowden’s true motives were; if he’d been smart, he’d have bugged out for Singapore, not Hong Kong. Now he’s vanished. I don’t care what the author here says about the pseudo-legitimacy of the NSA’s surveillance programs are: we are faced with an authoritarian government run by power-lusters and I wouldn’t trust the NSA or the DHS or even the FBI with my life. I don’t want the government or any of its agencies “watching over me.” I want them out of my life and after the Islamists they all overlook until the blow up more Americans.

  • Richard StJohn

    You know what, you are in complete and full agreement with Diane Feinstein. Which in my world makes you in complete and total disagreement with me. Someone needed to reveal this stuff. It should have been the President. But of course not dictator Obama. He’s too busy marching us to socialism and Sharia Law. And you guys are calling the man who revealed this gross abuse of power, this blatant and far reaching violation of our Constitutional rights a traitor? Oh yes the espionage act. Yes let’s enforce that because Amendments one and four no longer mean jack. I find both your arrogance and ignorance absolutely beyond belief. Get out your I love Obama buttons and your prayer rugs. Morons.

  • Night Operator

    No, sorry author, but you seem to be trying to have it both ways. Given that the Administration has broken any bond of trust with the people, including Edward Snowden, then he has an obvious answer to the cry of “Traitor!” Snowden can at least argue that he has betrayed only the Government and not the country. Does that make the betrayal right? No, not really. Then again, it might degrade the Government’s accusation to the level of a child’s whining that the other people managed to cheat better than he did. What about the danger to the country? Yes, that would be a serious point, except that these people are not concerned to protect the public anyhow. (If Obama does not care enough to protect even his own ambassador that he sent out, then he does not care doodly squat about protecting the public.)

  • Giles Blyzzard

    Well, Mr. Bolton and Mr. Ahlert, you want to talk about liars?

    The right of the people to be to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. PERIOD. No exceptions. No powers delegated to Congress or the President to make an exception. Therefore, every official in Washington who supports the government eavesdropping on the American public who took an oath to uphold the Constitution is also a liar and a perjurer. So which traitor shall we prosecute first?

    I know what Mr. Bolton’s response to the above statement would be because I have seen him make it before. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” I agree. But the notion that the US government has to spy on every American 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to keep America safe is absurd. Not to mention it is spitting on the graves of the founders of this nation. i can’t believe how many people are buying into this utter nonsense.

    If you want to keep Americans safe, Mr. Bolton and Mv. Ahlert, then ban Islam. Not political Islam, radical Islam or Islamism. Islam. It is a totalitarian political ideology cloaked in a religion. One of its main tenets is establishing Islam as the state religion, which violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. It also preaches subversion from within. Therefore, it can be outlawed without violatiing the first amendment’s freedom of religion clause. Close down all mosques preaching jihad. Ban all immigration from muslim countries. That is the only way Islam will be stopped in the west.

    We are becoming the Soviet Union and I mourn for my country.

  • nofrills

    Edward Snowden is a real hero. Arnold Ahlert is a real nut. Facts are Facts!

  • Steve Fraser

    Yes, we need “balance”…let’s start by abolishing the NSA and let the CIA handle it all. In a related story: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.—James Madison

  • Ronald John Lofaro, PhD

    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION IN YOUR ARTICLE’S TITLE::BILL KELLLER AND THE NYT…

  • ydroustan

    I find it quite sad and depressing that when President Obama takes the oath to defend the Constitution and protect Americans against terrorism he is not called a traitor when he declares there is no war against terrorism, banishes the word “terrorism” from his vocabulary and then insults our intelligence by declaring that the NSA infringement OF our freedom and privacy is justified to prevent, guess what: “TERRORISM”. Mr. Obama is a fanatical, deceiving, self-serving, undeserving Mullah-Chief-Executive traitor.

  • ydroustan

    Obama who says there is no terrorism now wants to protect us against terrorism by invading our privacy through NSA abuses. He took an oath to protect the constitution and protect Americans. Tell me who is the traitor?

  • tagalog

    Is he a whistle-blower or a disloyal traitor? I can see both sides of Snowden. For me, the most compelling argument for him being a traitor is the claim that he doesn’t get to blow the whistle simply because of his personal perceptions. On the other hand, I’m not comfortable with the government having access to intimate details of everyone’s lives.

    I think I’ll use the Snowden case study in my class on business ethics, to plumb the beliefs of my students on him and what he has done.

  • sheikyermami

    The ‘Traitor’ is your commander in chief, who surrounded himself with Marxist -Maoist ideologues and Muslims. Barry Soetoro aka Hussain Obama is a Manchurian candidate who wants ‘to fundamentally transform America’. His all-out efforts are directed towards making the world just a little more Islamic, and hardly anyone says or does anything about it.

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist over Snowden; he did the right thing. If there ever was a case of high treason, the whole Obama regime is guilty as sin.

  • steve

    What part of “The RIGHT of the people to be SECURE in their PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS, and EFFECTS against unreasonable SEARCHES and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, and no Warrants shall issue, BUT UPON PROBABLE CAUSE” don’t these sons-of-bitches understand?

    Yes, read it folks. It’s the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    That’s what writers like Mr. Ahlert keep trying to distract you from with their emphasis on “how much trust Americans should place in government officials” to collect data “within the rule of law.” Folks, if they’re spying on you WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE then it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Period. Dot. End of story.

    The “rule of law” has already been violated. The guilty party is the NSA, and the administration that allowed them to illegally collect the data. Claiming that it’s only “mega-data” that was collected, and therefore not covered under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a huge cop-out.

    As Snowden stated, “Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude… They can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis… to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying…once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”

  • ziggy zoggy

    WHISTLE BLOWER? YES. TRAITOR? HELL YES.

    Snowden blew his whistle to the rabidly left-wing and deeply anti-American Guardian and Washington Post newspapers, and then sought asylum with America’s number one cyber enemy – “The People’s Republic” of China. His stated reason for doing so was that he doesn’t want a future (Republican) administration to use the data gathered as an excuse to wage another war. (Bush lied, people died hysteria.) He is PERFECTLY FINE with the totalitarian and criminal Obamaburo using phone, web and other electronic data to persecute its domestic political opponents.

    Not that it matters. NONE OF THIS will stop the Obamaburo from persecuting dissenters and America is NOT the only country collecting this data. NOTHING can stop it now. It is here to stay, just like nuclear weapons.

    Conservatives need to be aware of this. The rest of you are part of the problem.

  • EarlyBird

    Snowden broke the law, and he will be prosecuted for it. The White House is already going after him.
    Suggestions from the national security bureaucracy that Snowden damaged the ability of the United States to catch terrorists are nonsense. Terrorists already knew the NSA was gathering information about when/where calls were placed, and that’s why they are notorious for using disposable cell phones.

    The real “scandal” is that it took Snowden to awaken the American people to what is being done to catch terrorists. Nobody, including Snowden, is suggesting the US government has done something illegal. To the contrary, this harvesting of call and email data is fully authorized under the “Patriot Act,” and has been going on since 9/11, under both Bush and Obama.

    This is not only about trusting the Obama administration. It’s about trusting every administration from now until down the line. It is why this is a rare item where left-liberals and libertarians our equally concerned. It is also another perfect example of how war threatens civil liberties, and an endless war on “terror,” or XXX is the death knell to our civil liberties.

  • hondo
  • libertarian1234

    Anybody who exposes the misconduct and criminality of the government is a hero, plain and simple.

    This Orwellian power grab compiles more information on every day citizens than it does any potential jihadists.

    And anything they claim that has been interrupted by this data base could have been exposed, because the ones caught were so stupid they broadcast to nearly everybody what they intended to do, just like the Boston Marathon bombers.

    Any terrorist clever enough to keep his mouth shut and quietly go about his work will have an unimpeded path to do whatever he wants. This meta data base will have ZERO effect on the serious ones who are not so silly they broadcast their intent.

    It will serve ONLY as a source of data for EVERY citizen in the US BUT sleeper cells, illegal aliens, and jihadist who are working with the cartels in Mexico and will continue to infiltrate into the country over the Mex border. The new world utopians have everybody in their data base, but these people.

    Great system isn’t it. Snowden is a hero.

  • fritzidler

    Reading the piece, I was uneasily going along with parts of it. Then I read the comments, and thought better of it. Now there is an accusation Snowden went to Hong Kong to sell additional information. Not just seek sanctuary. China and Putin are calling him a hero, because he thinks it is important our enemies know all about our cyber/war/spy capabilities. But these things are not confirmed. The only observation I have, is his name. “Snowden.” Like the character in “Catch 22.” The “new gunner” who died on his first bombing mission.

  • weirdpeter

    Now I understand – Its W’s fault! Obama’s foreign policy positions have destroyed whatever international credibility this country had before his coronation. The level of legal snooping has jumped dramatically since he’s been in charge. Legal does not mean moral as far as legislation is concerned. This administration’s use of legally acquired data against U.S. citizens deemed as enemies of Obama is self-evident. The complete contempt with which this administration has dealt with the growing number of scandals demonstrates a willingness to deceive the public and shows no desire on O’s part to have the most open administration in history.

    • EarlyBird

      Peter, you seem confused. Let’s break this down bit by bit:

      “Now I understand – Its W’s fault!”
      Nobody is suggesting it’s “W’s fault.” People are recognizing that this program started with the Patriot Act, which came into being a month or so after 9/11, at the urging of Bush and his national security experts, and with the full approval of Congress.
      “Obama’s foreign policy positions have destroyed whatever international credibility this country had before his coronation.”
      Correct or not, your opinion of Obama’s foreign policy is irrelevant to this issue.
      “The level of legal snooping has jumped dramatically since he’s been in charge.”
      No, it hasn’t. Pay attention: the logging of phone call and emails which is being discussed has been going on as long as the Patriot Act has been in effect, i.e., since about November, 2001. Not even Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that this is program was created or abused by Obama. Nobody is suggesting that PRISM is illegal. It’s a structural problem, not a problem specific to Obama. If Romney had won in November we’d still be having this very discussion.
      “Legal does not mean moral as far as legislation is concerned. This administration’s use of legally acquired data against U.S. citizens deemed as enemies of Obama is self-evident.”
      Again, you prove your ignorance of the basic facts. Obama is using the very same program in the very same way that W did, and in the same way that a President McCain or Romney would have, and every other president will to come until we change this legislation.
      This is not a scandal about any given resident; it’s merely shocking to discover how broad and invasive the Patriot Act is.

  • http://milkchaser.blogspot.com/ Bob White

    Yes, But Clapper was asked whether the US was gathering data on millions of Americans and he, under oath, denied it. So Clapper is a liar and yet he served at the highest rank of our security apparatus. So don’t make stupid points about who lied and when.

    Snowden broke his promise. That is not a lie. Bill Clinton lied under oath and yet remained commander-in-chief. And Obama is a serial liar. One cannot continue to count his lies. And yet he was re-elected to the post.

    So don’t bother with the “lies” business. Snowden is not in their lying league.

    Snowden is telling the truth about the records being kept on us and that is the important information to bear in mind.

    Moreover, there is no reason that the NSA needs all that information on all of us. It may be no violation to specifically gather this information on a suspect, but it is certainly a violation of the 4th amendment to gather it on everyone regardless of suspicion.

    Those who do not see this are the true traitors.

  • http://milkchaser.blogspot.com/ Bob White

    (1) Is metadata significant? Consider what would have happened if a spy were discovered by the British military with an envelope addressed and signed by George Washington, even if the contents of the envelope had been destroyed. He would have been swiftly hanged, purely on the basis of “metadata”.

    Now consider what damage one could do to you if knowledge of any of your private conversations were leaked to the wrong person. Your boss would want to know why you were having conversations with the competition or with recruiters. Your wife would want to know why unfamiliar numbers appeared on your cellphone. There is no crime in this, but mere transmission of the “metadata” could cause havoc. This is the kind of havoc a thuggish administration could wreak on its enemies (just as they targeted tea party & conservatives).

    (2) All of the metadata could be anonymized (tokenized). If all they are looking for is patterns, then they do not need our actual phone numbers until after they have detected the pattern. If they do not have the call data indexed by phone number then they cannot target a particular phone number without first (by warrant) learning which token corresponds to that number. They cannot just go fishing in the wide pool to see what trouble they can cause their political enemies because identities would be hidden. They could, however, find the patterns they are so keen on discovering.

    So don’t for a second believe that these people are just looking out for national security. Tokenization is a standard tool in the payment card industry. It will not have escaped these analysts that they could get the job done without having identifying information on every single phone call. They want the identifying information so they can mess with anyone they want to.

  • Robert Johnson

    The American Military are trained that they have a duty to disobey all unconstitutional orders. If the NSA staff took the same oath, how many Ed Snowdens would we have now? If he is a “traitor” then who is the worse traitor, the citizen who exposes totalitarian, unconstitutional subversion of our nation or the citizens who actually planned and carried out the crime?? If Snowden should be charged with treason, then what should happen to those at the NSA and elsewhere in government???

  • EarlyBird

    So, he’d be a hero if he’d come out to the National Review and Wall Street Journal? He’s giving Obama headaches right now, not Romney or a Republican president.

    • ziggy zoggy

      Nothing could make this zero a hero, any more than you could become a decent human being. He gave classified US intelligence to America’s enemies and has been trying to defect to China.

      Conservatives have constant morals rather than phony morals that only apply to whatever will aid the left-wing cause.

  • William James Ward

    One use of universal snooping for the government is to check just how
    effective the indoctrination it is spreading is working and enables the
    powers that be to know which way to go to keep the 51% in line and
    thier power secure. It also divulges the tactics of opponents to the regeme
    giving them a heads up and time to discredit adverse criticism…………
    William