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Former Bush Official Lawrence Wilkerson Says Snowden Has Done a 'Service' (salon.com) 90

An anonymous reader cites an article on Salon: Lawrence "Larry" Wilkerson, former Bush official finds the revelations made by Edward Snowden a service. In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former contractor with NSA, worked with journalists to reveal a number of mass surveillance programs. In a recent interview, Wilkerson said, "I think Snowden has done a service. I wouldn't have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it. There's a logic to what he has done that is impressive. He really has refrained from anything that was truly dangerous, with regard to our security -- regardless of what people say. He has been circumspect about what he's released, how he's released it, who he's released it to."
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Former Bush Official Lawrence Wilkerson Says Snowden Has Done a 'Service'

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  • The World Today (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25, 2016 @10:37AM (#51775839)

    “Don’t ever count us out, because we are the Greeks on Milos. We have the power, and we will do it.”

    He added, “To hell with international law, to hell with human rights, to hell with human dignity.”

    We live in a World that's falling apart now - some of it is even our fault (all those decades meddling in the Middle East over oil). China is now the largest economy in the World and with economic power, military power follows.

    We have a very crowded World now and things are going to get worse as global warming takes its toll.

    I'm afraid the human race will be going backwards in the sense that we'll be having more territorial and resource (fresh water, fishing rights, even arable land) wars. And we'll be dealing with more immigration from the poor countries who want a piece of our pie; which isn't growing fast enough to accommodate the great masses.

    We're not headed for Star Trek type of future but a Mad Max one. And he who has the guns is going fare better.

    • The U.S. having a ton of military power has been good for the U.S., in the short term. It's been very bad for the world. Now you whine about China?

      Standard xenophobia. Common behavior in all human societies.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Bad for the world? Where do you get off saying that? Bad for Europe, protecting their free trade and energy sources while simultaneously providing their defense during the cold war? Bad for Japan? Bad for Korea?

        Get an education on geopolitics. If you live in the Western world, you yourself have benefited directly from that military power, and that stability, whether you want to believe it or not. You haven't been paying attention, or else you are willfully ignoring the truth.

        Were things different, and Chin

        • I don't think the Japanese people would agree with your assessment that being bombed by nuclear weapons was to their benefit.
    • I think you need to step back and think about the fact that the 'Star Trek' type future arose from a 'Mad Max' one.

      That's not unintentional writing by Roddenberry, it's the only way it really makes sense even today.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @11:51AM (#51776321) Journal

      We live in a World that's falling apart now - some of it is even our fault (all those decades meddling in the Middle East over oil).

      Don't worry, we'll soon have a president that will make America great again. :/

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      China is not currently the largest economy in the world, although it is certainly a contender. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, please.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Energy stock bubble bursting in 3 .. 2 .. 1.
        Damn - the GP is now right about China having a larger economy :(
  • by Anonymous Coward

    " I wouldn't have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it."

    maybe?

    • Edward Snowden could be looking at the death penalty or even a trial with no right to a jury or even a lawyer

  • by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @10:39AM (#51775851) Homepage
    It ways he's a "former Bush official", but doesn't say in what capacity. For reference, wikipedia says he is the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Powell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Pity it's only people who are part of administrations long out of power say things like this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Everyone's got a mortgage to pay"

    • by sasparillascott ( 1267058 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @11:02AM (#51776003)
      XXongo, you're right, but its good some of these folks, even if from past administrations, are speaking out..especially well spoken ones like Wilkerson.

      Hats off to Snowden, otherwise we'd still be thinking most of this stuff our government wouldn't even consider doing to its citizenry (just from a moral standpoint of honoring and protecting the constitution and those people that are the citizens) with only the tinfoils thinking it was possible.
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        Hats off to Snowden, otherwise we'd still be thinking most of this stuff our government wouldn't even consider doing to its citizenry (just from a moral standpoint of honoring and protecting the constitution and those people that are the citizens) with only the tinfoils thinking it was possible.

        It's sad that even the most tinfoil hat wearing faraday caged individual can't be considered paranoid anymore, although quite a few of us have said what was possible long ago without resorting to tinfoil hatness.

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          No, they're still crazy.

          Snowden revealing what any person paying attention already knew doesn't mean that conspiracy theorists are right, it just means that most of the population isn't paying attention to what is in front of their nose and are surprised when someone points it out to them.

          • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

            And what he did reveal was stuff that never made a long term effect anyway. Nobody suffered badly, only some embarrassment to be remembered.

            It was enough to make people pay attention, not to get endangered.

            In a few years he's just another name on a list of persons wanted but no serious effort would be put into getting him caught.

            • by jwymanm ( 627857 )
              Huh? No effect? You don't think the huge company encryption drive and also subsequent collapse of secure/no logging email services is an effect of quite a bit of what Snowden revealed?
              • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

                Well, I was more considering negative strategical effect on the security of any country.

                It just highlighted the need to take caution.

          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            Crazy is different from paranoid. You can't be considered paranoid about people watching you if people are actually watching you.
    • Pity it's only people who are part of administrations long out of power say things like this.

      Standard Operating Procedure... Nothing to lose. They get better book/movie deals that way and they keep their pensions. And besides, if they try anything while in power, they will take a heavy fall.

      • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

        Not just nothing to lose, when they were in power, they were on the top. No president or chief of staff is ever going to prison. They will never be held accountable in ANY circumstance.

        Former ones however.... they are UNDER the law.

        You see the same in intelligence communities. While they are in the circles, mass surveillance and warrantless taps are A-OK. Once they become civilians who are subject to laws....suddenly its all overreach.

        I think that is why, of all the spying revelations, the one that seemed t

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          I still think that was overwrought. The Chancellor of fucking Germany is surprised that people are trying to spy on her? Bitch, please.

          She might be pissed that her security team couldn't stop it, but she knows full well that everyone and their grandmother is trying to spy on her, including but not limited to her enemies, her allies, and people who just want to know what is going on. And if you think Germany isn't trying to get detailed information on what Obama is doing, you're deluded.

          The only differenc

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

            There is another difference. Spying on an ally and getting caught creates diplomatic problems and engenders hostility. It's one thing to go around being a cunt, it's another to be outed as one.

            It's a lonely world when everyone is your enemy, and in the case of the NSA I think literally everyone is their enemy. That's the problem.

  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @10:41AM (#51775865)
    Edward Snowden blew the whistle on a serious abuse by government. I believe Edward Snowden is a hero for it. Government should not be spying on people. People should not fear their government, their government should fear them.
    • by tinkerton ( 199273 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @12:11PM (#51776477)

      Snowden is the best whistleblower one could hope for. He's bloody brilliant. On the other hand we shouldn't even care about the character of the whistleblower, it just deflects attention from the issue they're reporting about.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        He's good but not brilliant.

        If he was brilliant he would have made sure that the encrypted stuff he did provide keys for was so wide-spread that it couldn't have been intercepted. Now a few journalists did get it and they were raided, which did provide proof that what he had was the real deal and not fake.

    • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @12:41PM (#51776703) Homepage Journal

      Dead on, and absolutely correct.

      Our government should be subject to both the rule of law and the will of the people, which should be either be the same or consistent.

      Snowden exposed significant excursions of illegality, and did so in a less than most harmful manner. If by 'harmful' you would mean 'to have exposed what they are doing in secret', then yes, this is correct.

      He didn't use insecure means, known to be subject to compromise, to disclose matters specific enough to risk the lives of intelligence operatives worldwide, nor to disclose precise methods. That was done by another government official, and so far they haven't been held to account. Mr. Snowden is not a criminal except in the strictest sense of having not been caught before he disclosed what he did. He is a whistleblower, and a genuine patriot. He is part of the process of restoring our government to a position of guarded trust it should occupy.

  • Slashdot doesn't even get summaries anymore? Now we just have quotes from somewhere else?

  • Damage control for the damage control.
    A feeble attempt to placate a few people who are catching on to propaganda tactics.
    What are we supposed to think? "Some people in the federal government think that mass surveillance is bad so there isn't really much cause for concern or action"?

    Recent stories:
    NSA Wants To Dump the Phone Records It Gathered Over 14 Years" [slashdot.org]
    "Whistleblower: NSA Is So Overwhelmed With Data, It's No Longer Effective" [slashdot.org]
    These conspicuously attempt to dodge the simple fact that the federal governme

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