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Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance 388

Trailrunner7 writes "As the noise and drama surrounding the NSA surveillance leaks and its central character, Edward Snowden, have continued to grow in the last few months, many people and organizations involved in the story have taken great pains to line up on either side of the traitor/hero line regarding Snowden's actions. While the story has continued to evolve and become increasingly complex, the opinions and rhetoric on either side has only grown more strident and inflexible, leaving no room for nuanced opinions or the possibility that Snowden perhaps is neither a traitor nor a hero but something else entirely."
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Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance

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  • by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:27AM (#46109501) Homepage

    The article [] to which this piece points is an opinion piece. The author points out that Snowden's "latest revelations" may compromise current field operations and/or operatives.

    The central problem with that claim is that SNOWDEN HAS MADE NO NEW REVELATIONS. *All* of the revelations from "Snowden" are actually revelations made by one or more of the journalists to whom Snowden gave copies of his stolen documents. All of them. Snowden himself has refused to reveal ANYTHING that THEY have not already published, on the grounds that he considers himself to be unqualified to properly strike the balance between preserving national security and revealing information that is clearly in the public interest. Instead, he has left it ENTIRELY up to the journalists to whom he gave the information to make those decisions.

    But don't take my word for it. Listen to the man himself. [magnet]

  • Re:hero (Score:5, Informative)

    by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @10:58AM (#46109973)
    Trying to point out that he *might* be considered both a traitor AND a hero, I've gotten modded to oblivion multiple times. No wonder people drift toward one side or the other, if anyone in the middle gets systematically ignored.
  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:08AM (#46110097) Homepage

    When Krushchev said "we will bury you" at the UN, he *meant* "we will be around after you are gone" like "a son buries his father". It was a common Russian expression, and we had access to fine, nuanced Russian translators. Instead it became this famous threat of nuclear Armageddon, please pass the collection plate for more nukes of our own.

    You can see similar rush-to-exaggerate in rhetoric that led up to WW1. I'm trying to think of a time when leaders in particular did NOT want to paint their side of a political dispute as heroism and the other side as villany. Coming up dry. Anybody? Is there a history major in the house who can point to us some long-lost "Age of Nuanced Political Dispute" ?

  • Re:hero (Score:4, Informative)

    by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @06:07PM (#46114787)

    I apologize for the ambiguity in my own statement; the "this" which I was saying you had "precisely backwards" was the implicit affirmation of the parent poster's characterization of "the Dialectical method." Taking the entire four sentences of your post and its parent together, the whole indicated that "the Dialectical Method" was preferred by the Sophists and condemned by Socrates --- that's the "precisely backwards" element of the conversation. Apparently, I should not have assumed that you were capable of considering a whole four sentences at once, since three seems to be the limit of the third-grade reading comprehension of which you are so proud.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!