Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Security United States

NSA WhistleBlower Outs Himself 860

Posted by samzenpus
from the man-behind-the-curtain dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell. The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. 'I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,' he said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NSA WhistleBlower Outs Himself

Comments Filter:
  • by spiritplumber (1944222) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:24PM (#43954779) Homepage
    I guess this will put the whole "If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide" thing to rest, if there's any sense in the world. Mr. Snowden, thank you.
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Confusedent (1913038) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:31PM (#43954815)
    It's pretty amazing, and here's hoping the sacrifice isn't completely wasted. The fact that this stuff hasn't led to protesting in the streets really reflects just how complacent the US population is. Or how afraid of the government we really are, knowing just how well equipped and militarized the government has become thanks to 60+ years of growth in the military-industrial complex. I for one am ashamed I voted for Obama in 2008, and I hope there's a clean sweep of every Congressperson who didn't specifically oppose this type of stuff during the next elections. If that doesn't happen, I think the government will just treat it as a mandate to continue expanding their global power ever faster. Something needs to happen while people's attention is still focused on it.

    It'd be nice if the public vitriol towards the current administration also helped Manning avoid further abuse, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Re:Good call. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spacefight (577141) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:34PM (#43954837)
    Both the best and worst-case scenario put you in jail for a good long time.

    Seriously? And those who put in place those systems shall not be prosecuted?
  • Hello and goodbye (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:34PM (#43954843) Homepage

    Taking bets now on when he has an "accident" or gets to say hello to Bradley Manning.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:38PM (#43954863)

    It'd be nice if the public vitriol towards the current administration also helped Manning avoid further abuse, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Yeah, my belief is that most of that vitriol is just "useful idiots" being steered by people with interests that favor a panopticon state at least as much as the current administration does. I expect to see "bi-partisan support" for excoriating Snowden and all the others.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:42PM (#43954893)

    Dude thanks, what you've done requires real courage and people like you change the world for the better. You will probably be dragged through the mud. That inteligence aparatus which you helped build and outed is working right now very hard to get dirt on you, and will probably succeed. If there is no dirt to be gotten it will be manufactured.

    I think coming out into the public was the smartest thing you could of done, i doubt you will be rendered because the damage is already done. Discrediting you is about the most they can do in damage control ATM.

    They've learned (i hope) from the Manning case that locking you up into the loney bin and psychologically torturing you just make it worst. You've just surendered your remaining expectation of privacy to save ours, and for that i thank you sir.

  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:43PM (#43954903) Journal

    What exactly does it help if the world does know his name?

    I guess the NSA already knew his name, and he figured that he'd be safer if the public knows it, too. If a person with a name nobody has ever heard of disappears somewhere in Hong Kong, nobody will care too much. If the person who is known to have leaked the NSA documents disappears, it might make the media notice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:44PM (#43954909)

    Prison rape is not funny.

    This isn't about political correctness or about getting "offended", by the way. I don't care if you want to joke about racial or gender stereotypes, for example. Those kinds of jokes can often be quite funny, without a doubt.

    But where is the humor in a man, potentially one who hasn't even done anything seriously wrong, repeatedly getting his rectum painfully torn apart by one or more thick, erect penises while in prison?

    Where is the humor in that man possibly getting AIDS, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, or any number of STIs?

    Where is the humor in the mental anguish that such a man will very well endure, not only during the attacks, but for the rest of his life?

    Where is the humor in all of this physical and psychological harm?

    There is no humor in it at all. That is why prison rape is something that should not be joked about. It's just not funny.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:44PM (#43954913)

    I'm not sure you should be ashamed for having voted for Obama in 2008. Try to remember the (realistic) alternatives we faced.

  • Re:Definitions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:45PM (#43954919)

    Governments are generally unwilling to reflect upon the evil of their own laws.

  • by xs650 (741277) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:46PM (#43954929)
    Right, instead of just disappearing after being tortured, now he will just die in some random traffic accident. Not a pleasant ending, but not the worst either.
  • by ThePeices (635180) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:49PM (#43954961)

    This dude has balls of steel and I think deserves our help. If a fund is established, I'll gladly chip in a few bucks.

    Do you really want to be seen as aiding and abetting the enemy?

    Look what happened to Bradley Manning.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:50PM (#43954967)

    Why are you not out there protesting? Why are you waiting for others to do it? Right there in the article is your call to arms: " I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."

    Grab your supplies, head out, start protesting. Don't wait for others to do it first. If our forefather's had, we'd not be here now.

  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:51PM (#43954977) Journal

    Given that the NSA has a lot to hide, they must have done a lot wrong. ;-)

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Guinness Beaumont (2901413) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:53PM (#43954995)
    Can't argue with fanboys. :)
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Confusedent (1913038) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:55PM (#43955011)
    Actually, failure to vote for third parties is the primary reason they're able to get away with stuff like this. The whole "wasted vote" thing is probably the most damaging logical fallacy being used in politics right now. Don't get me wrong, it's unlikely a third party will ever win a presidential election, but that's not the point. When politicians are losing enough votes to them that they risk losing to their opponents, they're forced to change their platforms. You can see this happening already with the Republican's reconsideration of immigration reform. They know the tide is against them and they'll have to make policy changes they haven't wanted to in the past. Aside from that, only about half of the population actually votes. There are literally twice as many people who aren't even going to the polls than there are supporting Democrats or Republicans for any reason. If the left was losing 10% of their voting base to the Greens and the right was losing 10% of theirs to the Libertarians (or whatever other party you may like), you can bet they'd be picking up pieces of those platforms in order to continue out-competing third parties.

    tl;dr: Voting for the proverbial "lesser of two evils" is the mandate we give them to get away with all this crap. Neither side is less evil than the other anymore.
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @03:55PM (#43955013) Journal

    Can't we blame them both?

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:00PM (#43955057)

    Yeah, the black guy who not only didn't do anything to stop it, but helped make it worse.

    You Obama apologists disgust me. Obama's had 4.5 years now to fix Bush's problems, and he not only hasn't fixed them, he's made them all worse.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:02PM (#43955067)

    Obama's no centrist, he's thoroughly right-wing. Unfortunately, the Republicans are extreme right-wing, so your choices are 1) right-wing, and 2) even more right-wing.

  • by X.25 (255792) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:03PM (#43955073)

    ...it has to be stated:

    This man is a hero.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:05PM (#43955093)

    It's called "black humor". It's funny, but in a horrible way, and reminds us what horrible and inhumane places US prisons are.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:15PM (#43955159)

    Don't compare Manning and Snowden they are very different situations. Snowden didn't indiscriminately leak 10's (or was it 100's) of thousands of classified documents and message traffic, most of which weren't event remotely related to the primary issue(s) he was so upset about, he is\was no whistle blower.

    In contrast Snowden leaked a few specific docs\ppt slides, just enough to show the existence of something, just enough to allow those in congress who already knew about it to be able to now be able to debate it in public with their colleagues and the media who have now been made aware of it. Not that anything will actually come of it like Snowden desires, and lets face it while it's nice to have some definitive proof few in the tech world are suprised to learn that what they always kind of knew was happening is in fact happening. That said don't get me wrong, what Snowden has chosen to do is technically just as illegal in breaching his secrecy agreement(s) as Manning but it's on an entirely different scale and far more scoped and thought out.
       

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:16PM (#43955161)

    You could have 100 political parties, and all with a roughly equal chance of being elected to power, and this kind of sh*t would *still* go on.
    Do not kid yourself that any kind of choice in the political party that you vote into office actually makes that much of a difference to how the world will be run. It doesn't.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenbird (859670) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:22PM (#43955219)

    Please understand that the "left vs right" thing is just a distraction. Both parties are happily taking our liberties away.

    Amen to that. It's the age old divide and conquer strategy. Get the people focused on and fighting over irrelevancies while they turn the country into a police state.

    Although this man did nothing wrong and should be protected under whistle blower shield laws he will be crucified for the simple crime of embarrassing Obama.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:22PM (#43955225)

    Sometimes people do vote for third parties, but I haven't seen major changes caused by that, either. Did Ross Perot have any lasting effects?

    No. But Abraham Lincoln did. The Whigs haven't won an election since.

  • Re:Good call. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:22PM (#43955227)

    That's why you insist on Jury trial and educate the Jury that they have the power to find
    that he met the legal requirements for conviction under the law, but NULLIFY the conviction
    by returning a solid NOT GUILTY. This is how our system is supposed to work when
    a law is passed that is more harmful to society than had the law not existed.

    But the Jury is not required to demonstrate this; they're only to return a verdict.

    CAPTCHA = 'monotony'

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:23PM (#43955229) Journal

    surprise, there is no law making it illegal to give this type of information to a reporter.

    why? this information has nothing whatsoever to do with "national defense information" which is the standard of the Espionage Act. not 'classified'. But National Defense Information. and its not illegal to leak classified information.

    These programs have little to nothing to do with national defense. They are domestic spying which the NSA shouldnt be involved in at all.

    Therefore they are not a violation of the espionage act.

    What other law could we be dealing with? The CFAA? Hell, this guy may have had every right to access this information, therefore he didn't break the CFAA.

    Not to mention that, the Whistleblower laws can in theory protect people when they are uncovering blatant illegal activity by government employees.

    Fuck the government's lawyers, they have no case to stand on here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:25PM (#43955255)

    Not everything that is legal is right. Not everything that is illegal is wrong. The distinction will become apparant when you have matured some.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rougement (975188) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:27PM (#43955269)
    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. This guy saw the direction that the NSA and other agencies are taking and, at considerable personal cost, took a stand. I applaud his actions and hope we can have a meaningful discussion about where we're heading as a species. Maybe you're comfortable with the government knowing so much about you, whom you talk to, what you do on the internet, where you spend money and so forth. I'm not. As for your "Islamist hordes" comment - you should probably lay off the colorful rhetoric for a while there. Makes you look both racist and stupid.
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenbird (859670) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:31PM (#43955301)

    Actually, failure to vote for third parties is the primary reason they're able to get away with stuff like this.

    What third party? Do you really think that would make any difference? Under the current system anyone elected is controlled or made irrelevant. Until the money is removed from the electoral process this won't change.

    you can bet they'd be picking up pieces of those platforms in order to continue out-competing third parties

    One of Obama's primary platforms was "Open Government". That worked out well, didn't it? Kinda hard to make an informed decision when most of the important information is secret and anyone who exposes it is thrown in jail or worse (see Bradly Manning).

  • by X.25 (255792) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:34PM (#43955319)

    I didn't know the US legal system worked that way. Does that mean Bradley Manning could have avoided all that hassle by simply finding himself not guilty on all charges?

    You can't even understand what he says. But you still post your 'thoughts'.

    Amusing.

    hint: he's not talking about laws and prosecution, there is something much more important than that

  • by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:35PM (#43955321)
    Bull fucking shit. I own a technology company and I'd hire this guy in a second, and there are thousands of other business owners like me across the country who would do exactly the same. He's got more integrity and courage than just about anyone I've ever met.
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pspahn (1175617) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:36PM (#43955337)

    Yes, but in his case, it's been an unfortunate effect.

    Because of him third-party candidates are not going to be invited to debates because they don't meet some artificial and ever-changing requirement.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:39PM (#43955373)

    Bush is out of office and cannot effect any changes on this at this point, so why are we harping on Bush and absolving Obama? Yes, Bush started it and gets blame where blame is due, but Obama ran on a platform that included dismantling this program. He changed his mind and actually ramped up the program from what information we are getting now.

    Obama has the power to stop this but he doesn't so he deserves all the blame we can throw at him.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:40PM (#43955387)

    Actually, most of this stuff, the basis for it anyway, goes back to Eisenhower.

    During the cold war the NSA was focused on the Soviet Union, which was an actual real threat to our national security. There is little evidence that the NSA was engaged in domestic spying during that time. Today the NSA, and all this surveillance, is focused on stopping some hermits in Afghanistan from talking to a few guys with a pressure cooker full of gunpowder. Meanwhile, our diplomatic relations with China and Russia have deteriorated, and we have very little idea what is going on in Iran or North Korea. Remember last month, when the Chinese Red Army was identified as actively behind cyber-spying? It was some gumshoes working for a private company that tracked it to a specific building in Shanghai. Meanwhile, the NSA, with their 30 billion dollar budget, was busy reading your email and monitoring grandma's phone calls.

    These NSA programs are worse than a crime. They are a mistake.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:46PM (#43955463) Journal

    I can't honestly say any of the realistic alternatives were better; by that I mean people who might have survived the GOP primary process.

    What I think we can say is that Obama isn't a good man or a good leader. Take everything else away and he is hypocrite at best a strait out liar at worst. I err on the side of the liar. Why? Well all the apologists, including the president himself, are running around saying how you have all these grand ideas like 'transparency' and then you confront the realities of the office. They usually go on to say anyone disagreeing with that is just a pol as all of our Senators and Representatives are supposedly aware of these programs. Well guess what Obama was a Senator when the initial authorizations for these programs were made.

    So its pretty impossible to excuse him on that grounds of 'realities of the office', either he knowingly told the public he was going to push for transparency when he never had any intention of doing that and continues to lie about that today or he is a naive boob. Either way the man brings shame to the Presidency.

    The fact is transparency is needed. National security is NOT an excuse for secrecy out side of a very very short and narrowly defined list. That might be designs for weapons systems, capabilities and deployments of weapons systems, deployments of troops, personally identifying information about government employees and citizens, and probably nothing else.

    The whole point of national security is to protect the nation. Part of the nation is our republican system of government. Well you can't have a representative government that is in any way democratic if people can't use the ballot box to judge the actions of the incumbents. People can't make good judgements when so much of what government actually does is classified and kept secret. Frankly I don't think its unfair or out of line to call what the folks at NSA, CIA, DOJ, 1600 Penn. are doing "un-American activities".

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:56PM (#43955533)

    Guess you didn't RTFA. He was going to blow the whistle but held off when Obama got elected because he hoped things would change, instead, they only got worse. Please understand that the "left vs right" thing is just a distraction. Both parties are happily taking our liberties away.

    More specifically, the people involved in creating programs like this transcend any particular election cycle.

    Its not the parties doing it, on either side. Its the inertia of huge organizations following misguided policies stacked on policies, most likely created by people who really believed it was the best thing for the country.

    "Do less" isn't an idea that creates a motivation for change, so time will always trend these sort of things into doing more and more.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:06PM (#43955635)

    He is a far better (and more effective) patriot than Bradley Manning; definitely more like Daniel Ellsberg.

    Manning (and Wikileaks) dumped a huge pile of classified information on the internet with little regard to the consequences of their actions. Material that any thinking observer would regard as quite sensibly classified, and discussing no sort of malfeasance or wrongdoing, was revealed. This gave the government ample cover to prosecute Manning with little fear of popular outrage. Real (and innocent) people had their lives hurt (and probably ended) by Manning's leaks. He's essentially getting tried for treason, and the government has ample reason to do so. The fact that he was motivated by moral outrage isn't really relevant, as much of the information he revealed had nothing whatsoever to do with the things he was unhappy about. (And Assange going on an ego trip didn't help.)

    This man, on the other hand, copied a very specific and small set of documents revealing something that every thinking citizen does indeed have a right to be angry about. He put nobody in danger (unless you subscribe to the "If the all-seeing-eye doesn't know everything, the terrorists win." school of thought.) The documents he revealed are all directly associated with what he's unhappy with. No actual investigation details (current or past) have been revealed, no names are mentioned, and he's neither hiding nor chasing the spotlight.

    He appears to be a principled and thoughtful patriot, and I think despite their best efforts, they'll have a tough time demonizing him for the public, although it won't be for lack of trying. If they do capture him and put on trial, and he will almost certainly lose. Despite him doing the right thing for the right reasons, this is not a strange or ambiguous application of the Espionage Act. His only hope would be for a successful court challenge to the programs he has disclosed, but given the current proclivities of the Supreme Court, that is unlikely, to say the least.

    While it will be little comfort, I believe history will vindicate him.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:11PM (#43955665)

    Yes, it has occurred to Slashdot that this "[limits] our government's ability to challenge people who wish us ill".

    We've traded that ability in return for trying to limit the actions of a government that, in this case, wishes its citizens ill.

    A government that thinks nothing of stripping liberties in the name of security is a far greater threat to our freedom than "Islamist hordes".

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:23PM (#43955765)

    Wrong. Obama has the unilateral power to make lots of changes:
    1) wars. As commander-in-chief, he decides if troops are to be deployed or not. He hasn't exercised his option to avoid going to war at all.
    2) the drug war. The AG (who is Obama's stooge) has the unilateral power to decide which drugs are on the "banned" list. If they wanted to legalize marijuana, Obama/Holder could do so tomorrow. But instead they've stepped up anti-marijuana enforcement at the federal level.
    3) prosecuting whistleblowers and being transparent: Congress has no power here, it's all on him.

    Stop being an apologist for Obama. Yes, there's many things that he has little to no power over, but there's lots of things he has absolute power over, and he consistently does the wrong thing.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:40PM (#43955907) Homepage Journal

    You are confused about integrity.

    You are confused about his oath to support and defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. Also about the lessons of Nuremberg.

    Going to Dianne Feinstein's office would have just landed him in jail. Yeah, maybe Rand Paul's office would have helped out, but still there's a non-zero chance of just landing in jail instead of getting word out about these enemies who have infiltrated the government.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:55PM (#43956033)

    1) The Inspector General would have done nothing. This was not a tiny program by some rogue field office. This was a widespread program that was approved by the (toothless) Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. It had the backing of pretty much the entire DoD, and I'm sure all the appropriate BS memos were on file at the DoJ.

    2) Congress knew about it already, and did nothing.

    3) Why does it matter which country the media organization was based in? Why was calling up the Guardian and having them publish it somehow different than the New York Times doing so?

    4) If he's a spy, he's really shitty at it. He's a whistleblower in every sense of the word.

    5) He didn't have a huge number of choices in places to flee to. Most of the countries that would ordinarily protect someone making such a disclosure are US allies with bigger diplomatic fish to fry than protecting him, making an asylum application problematic. (Of note is that the program he disclosed would not have been illegal in most "free" countries.) He could have fled to some 3rd-world $hithole, but in those countries it'd be easier to simply snatch him off the street. Hong Kong is not the worst choice out of a whole pile of bad options.

    That said, if the PRC government gets a hold of him, they will indeed pump him for all he's worth and then publicly shame him as a defector. Here's to hoping going public before that happens insulates him somewhat from that.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nikkos (544004) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @06:27PM (#43956241) Homepage

    Sometimes people do vote for third parties, but I haven't seen major changes caused by that, either. Did Ross Perot have any lasting effects?

    Well, Perot's candidacy did prove that people will vote for a third-party candidate they feel is viable. Also it proved that a third-party candidate with enough financial backing can get attention. At one point Perot was polling higher than either Clinton or Bush. If he hadn't fucked up his own campaign, Perot might have done much better than the 18/19% he got.

    You ask for lasting effects however, for that I point to the increases in signature requirements for ballot access by states across the US, and the current exclusion of third-party candidates from Presidential debates. Seems that Rs and Ds don't like competition.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @06:44PM (#43956345)

    Ask anyone in Europe if they think Obama is left-wing. They'll say "no". There's more to the world than the US population.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:12PM (#43956531) Journal

    It's pretty amazing, and here's hoping the sacrifice isn't completely wasted

    When I read statement like the above, I cringe

    I cringe because of that "I can't do nothing" feeling that is being felt by so many people today

    So, we are just going around and sit in front of our compute screen (or look on our mobile devices) and let Mr. Snowden become the next sacrificial lamb ?

    If the Arabs are so brave as to stand up against their tyrannical leaders, if the Turks are so brave to tell their "elected dictator" to fuck off, why can't we, the Americans, the supposed "Braves" who live in the "land of the Free" ?

    Have we, the Americans, become pussies ?

    As an American, I am damn proud of what Mr. Snowden has done

    He has given back to me, the hope for my country

    I left my country, America, a decade and a half ago, because I could see no hope no more, but now, Mr. Snowden has given me the hope, that my country is worth fighting for

    No more shall I be scared by fuckers in Washington

    No matter they are Democrats or Republicans, no matter if that guy in the White House is Obama or any other person, if they fuck my Constitution, I am going to fuck them back

    And I have the duty to do so, yes, not only the right to do so, but the DUTY, as an American citizen, to take back my government from those motherfucking tyrants !!!

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alomex (148003) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:21PM (#43956609) Homepage

    As commander-in-chief, he decides if troops are to be deployed or not. He hasn't exercised his option to avoid going to war at all.

    He put an end to not one, but two wars and refused to go to full out war in Libya and Syria. That seems a radical difference with the previous holder of the oval office to me, and very much exercizing that option.

    . If they wanted to legalize marijuana, Obama/Holder could do so tomorrow. But instead they've stepped up anti-marijuana enforcement at the federal level.

    Funny that you mention marijuana, because he has done exactly that:

    CNN: President Barack Obama says that federal law enforcement agencies have "bigger fish to fry" than prosecuting marijuana users in Colorado and Washington, which voted in November to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. (late 2012)

    or much earlier than that:

    Although federal criminal law does not have an exception for the medical use of marijuana, several statements made by Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and their spokespeople in 2008, 2009, and 2010 reflected that the enforcement of federal criminal laws against those complying with state medical marijuana laws would not be an enforcement priority.
    In 2011, U.S. attorneys and the office of the Attorney General backtracked on prior statements, indicating that larger-scale providers could be targeted, but that enforcement against patients and those caring for them would not be a priority. Here is a collection of statements from Barack Obama, his spokesperson, and
    the Department of Justice on federal law enforcement and medical marijuana.

    Your last one:

    prosecuting whistleblowers and being transparent: Congress has no power here, it's all on him.

    That one I agree with. But so far you are one-out-of-three.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:37PM (#43956719)

    It's called "black humor". It's funny, but in a horrible way, and reminds us what horrible and inhumane places US prisons are.

    I don't think so. There is practically no public discussion of just how fucked up the prison system is in the USA. It is just jokes like the OP. It took more than 20 years of me hearing FMIA jokes about prison before I ever considered what it all really meant for the people who have to suffer it and I like to think I am more attuned to thinking about this stuff than the average american citizen.

    I get that all humor is rooted in suffering, but we need a lot more people shooting down the FMIA jokes with the sober details of what is essentially legalized torture. Until that happens FMIA jokes aren't a way of coping with the horror, they are a way to avoid acknowledging and fixing it.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:09PM (#43956951) Homepage

    What third party? Do you really think that would make any difference? Under the current system anyone elected is controlled or made irrelevant. Until the money is removed from the electoral process this won't change.

    Money is a symptom, not the disease. There's so much money precisely because there's so much federal power available to buy. Until political power is radically decentralized, this will not change.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:20PM (#43957417)

    Most of this stuff dates back to the Bush Jr. administration... But hey, go ahead and blame the black guy.

    I think it's irrelevant. Bush and Obama are/were both on board with this program. In this regard they're equally evil.

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:31PM (#43957485)

    A lot of tough talk, but what can everyday Americans do to change their government?

    Join a militia to do some group violence? Hear that--that's a drone coming, you've got about 10 seconds... [huffingtonpost.com]

    Go solo against the government? Enjoy your one-way ticket to a secret prison somewhere [nbcnews.com].

    Civil disobedience? How does spending the rest of your life in prison sound [commondreams.org]?

    March in protest? Worked in the 60s, not anymore, unless you like a mouthful of pepper spray [go.com] and a tear gas canister shot into your skull [sfgate.com].

    Vote? LOL

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:07PM (#43957651)

    COMPLETELY agree. The difference is light and day.

    I was a teaching assistant for a university-level ethics class for several semesters while in grad school, and by any definition of whistle-blowing we ever covered in class, Manning failed to meet the criteria. He certainly leaked information, but leaking information does not make one a whistleblower. In most ethical definitions, a whistleblower is someone who releases the information necessary to avert a specific threat to the general public, by providing evidence that would convince a reasonable person that the threat is both credible and that the release of the information is necessary to avert the threat.

    Manning merely dumped a load of data with no regard for (or even an awareness of!) what was contained in his dump, then bragged about what he had done afterwards, which led to his identity being revealed. He cited no specific threat that was to be averted through his actions, took no steps to ensure that no one would be harmed through his actions, and failed to assemble a compelling body of specific evidence to convince most reasonable people that there was a credible threat or that he was acting in the best interests of the public at large. He leaked, but he didn't whistle-blow.

    In contrast, Snowden revealed nothing that can directly endanger anyone, released the minimum amount of information necessary, and was responding to a specific and ongoing threat to the rights of the public at large. The only other aspect of ethical whistle-blowing that is usually required is that the whistleblower seek to address the problem via the chain of command before taking anything public, and I'm doubting he did that, since we've heard nothing of it so far. Even so, given the nature of the groups involved, I can't blame him for disclosing first, since we've all seen movies where "accidents" occur. With the information already public, killing him now would yield no benefit and would only raise a lot of questions.

    The efforts to discredit him have already begun, but I hope that his actions will lead to a groundswell of support that will eventually displace the folks doing this sort of thing.

  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:08PM (#43957653)

    It's a sad day when an American has to go to China for Sanctuary for reporting violations of the Bill of Rights.

  • by currently_awake (1248758) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:20PM (#43957715)
    Revolt against the government is an act of desperation. The people of the USA are not desperate, they still have too much to lose by fighting. So long as the US government ensures most of the people have something to lose they won't revolt, regardless of what happens.
  • Re:Modern Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @11:14PM (#43957997)
    So the American reporting on Europe should change, where they call "socialist" countries "socialist" when they are centrist, from a local perspective, and the less socialist socialists are "right wing" because the definitions all change to fit every locality? Does it matter if "right" and "left" are from France? Why are you using them in the first place, if they only hold local meaning?
  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @11:16PM (#43958011) Journal

    I understand the danger of Islamic terrorism, first hand

    I can't tell you where I am, suffice to say that I am posting this comment from outside of the United States of America, and my primary task is to penetrate some of the more virulent Islamic circles to obtain info on the global jihadist movement

    However, the danger of the Islamic terrorism can not, and should never, be used to justify the destruction of the Constitution of the United States of America

    Two wrongs can never make a right, sir !!

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday June 10, 2013 @12:32AM (#43958311) Journal

    I'm afraid that without the unpleasant consequences of martyrdom the standard social inertia cannot be overcome. It is the brutality of the oppression of the martyr that incites the rebellion, not his call for social change. The martyr accepts that he's going to be oppressed and acts for change anyway. That is what makes martyrs special. We had this need long before the time of Jesus and I don't expect an end to it in my lifetime.

    The law is wrong and needs to be changed. He did, in fact, break the law: he divulged state secrets entrusted to him under threat of severe penalty for disclosure. I believe he did the right thing, but it was still illegal. If you have strong moral convictions but not the will to expose yourself to punishment you should avoid this situation because the internal conflict between your will to do the right thing and your fear of punishment can drive you insane. In that case you are not martyr material.

    Since this is the NSA he had to know they would find him - that's what they do. By outing himself he probably avoids some extrajudicial retirement. Nobody from here out is going to believe he locked himself in a duffel bag [time.com], or died of autoerotic asphyxiation [dailymail.co.uk], or overdosed on bath salts.

    I'm not saying that he should be punished - only that he will. They'll get Julian Assange one day too, even if his punishment is to be hunted to the end of his days. By dragging it out so long that the defiant act becomes disassociated in the public mind with the tyrannical punishment the authorities may be doing themselves a favor and blunting the rebellion. But eventually Caesar gets what is Caesars until Caesar is no more.

    Anyway, what do you care? By your own account you fled. You should probably fix or prevent the problems in your new home wherever it is. All politics are local. If things get too tough in your new home you can always find another one more to your liking. People who flee tyranny also do not martyrs make. Fleeing tyranny is for most the wisest course until there is no place to turn. If you've go the wit and will to make it anywhere and lack anchors like family and tradition, going to where the field is ripe with berries and the wolves are more like dachsunds is just smart. Win wherever you are! If things are going like you think our generation's version of the underground railroad is going to need another end. By building up resources to shelter refugees you can be that end. That seems to be a role you're more suited to than taking up arms against the tyrant.

    Certainly if you intend to act, this is not the place to say so.

  • *cough*bullshit*cough*

    Manning, Wikileaks and the papers involved (including the Guardian, the same paper as in this case) didn't dump a whole load of material. They went through it, and attempted to remove information that might have been damaging to actual people. They asked the DoD to help. The DoD refused.

    Wikileaks and the various papers published selected material, little by little. They didn't just dump it all on the Internet. (The fact that at a later date it was all dumped wasn't anything to do with Manning.)

    So, give me a cite for "Real (and innocent) people had their lives hurt (and probably ended) by Manning's leaks." Because I don't believe it.

    And the rest of your post is as bullshit. Manning is a humanitarian, a true hero. That this man is also a hero doesn't detract from Manning's heroism.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

Working...