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Highlights from Exclusive NBC Interview w/ Edward Snowden

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    sbfriedman Wrote: I don't think the debate really should lie in trying to figure out if what Snowden did was currently illegal or not. Or, to say it a different way, what I think is that Snowden knows that what he did is at least currently considered against some laws. But I feel that he chose to the see the bigger picture and acted accordingly, knowing full well that one day he would most likely have to pay some kind of price for standing by what he thought was right.

    Sometimes (and I do emphasize 'sometimes', leaning toward in rare times) you have to break the law to do the right thing. As history has shown, the law isn't always right. Status quo needs to challenged every once and a while. Laws change and evolve. They are made by people after all. Once upon a time, a great many things were legal/illegal, or unregulated/under-regulated. Many things have changed since, and will continue to do so into the future. That may sound vague, but I'm sure everyone here can think of at least a half dozen examples with no problem.

    I think Snowden did what he did to bring light to the fact that we need to reform our surveillance programs in a big way. And he realized that the system is so out of step with our constitution and the ideals of true personal liberty, he had to do something drastic just to see real change. An organization cannot completely operate in the shadows. Regardless of your trust in ANY system, its a known fact that power begets more power.

    That's why our entire system is built on the premise of extensive checks and balances. If you do away with the checking and the balancing, you get a major problem. That problem is systemic. Snowden is part of the solution. If no one is willing to say "hey, we are going to far with all this" in government, in fear of being 'destroyed' politically (or worse publicly and losing your career) then if not someone like Snowden... when would we EVER get to shine a light on the problems and get real reform? I do not believe that any government organization, for any reason, should be able to operate as they alone see fit. Trust us, they say. I say, no. Your track record does not warrant it. The FISA court is unfortunately not enough either.
    SB, how much of a 'bigger picture' could he see after only working for the contractor for 3 months (we'll assume he was at the NSA the entire 3 months) with a program as complex as the meta-data system (which he didn't have legal access to)? How much of a 'bigger picture' can he get when he had to illegally obtain other peoples passwords and logins, which would take time? I think the 'bigger picture' is that he went in there with an agenda and ignored anything that doesn't support him. (And yes it is possible to create a program that would make a permanent copy in less than three months, you modify the existing program so that it saves a permanent copy to a separate location and leave the rest of the program alone. 1 line of code and it would take him maybe a month to find where he needed to put it, considering his background as a computer person at the CIA...)
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    RanmaMOJ Wrote:SB, how much of a 'bigger picture' could he see after only working for the contractor for 3 months (we'll assume he was at the NSA the entire 3 months) with a program as complex as the meta-data system (which he didn't have legal access to)?
    One hell of a bigger picture than I will ever have access to. And world's bigger than a great vast majority of everyone NOT working in the NSA. Most every congressman. Most every Senator. Most every governmental official, likely more than the President himself. It's the nature of the beast, and the problem. You believe he is doing this after only 90 days worth of intelligence experience and clearance? Multiple reports of Snowden's resume suggest otherwise. Question is, why are you so sure that you know how much access he had, and for how long?
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    It will be years before anybody in the media will have credible information on exactly what Snowden accomplished and what damage to national interests have taken place. I see a government scrambling to expose Snowden and charge him with "something". That "something" appears to be treason. I haven't seen any information that identifies people placed in danger, but nobody but the spies know that. If he had information that identified agents around the world, than I assume those agents have been contacted about an impending situation. Just what Snowden did, we do not know and for anybody on this forum to say they have found credible information, I dare you to show it.

    Snowden did have an agenda for hiring on to this job and it is our governments fault for not vetting him adequately to be trustworthy. The idea Snowden is a hero for exposing wrong-doing is ludicrous. Snowden has the American public, "SNOW"D", git it? A book is forth coming with millions being made for Snowden. This was planned and the American public will feel very different about Snowden in the future. Yea, were SNOW'D. Snowden is playing that tune like the Pied Piper and many in America are marching to the tune.
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    Every reply you mention that Snowden wasn't there long enough. Snowden couldn't have been well informed. Snowden could not possibly know the scope of things. Snowden was just an entry level contractor.

    And in all honesty, you may be completely right. You may be completely wrong. You may be any varying degree in between right and wrong. I don't have any kind of authoritative knowledge on those claims to debate them with you. But every time you make those claims, it scares the hell out of me a little bit. The idea that in 3 months, an entry level contractor can get hired, covertly steal numerous usernames/passwords of ranking employees, compromise millions of classified documents, and then successfully escape the country before the National SECURITY Agency can detain him is unsettling at the very least. If what you are saying is true, then I imagine that any trained operative from any curious country would have had access to the Snowden documents years ago.

    Using that logic and the manner in which Snowden has picked how to leak the documents, it really seems like Snowden has the country's best interests at heart. Whether he was right or wrong is another topic. But his intentions seem clear and genuine.

    So best case scenario: Right or wrong, Snowden had the best interests of the Constitution and the American citizens at heart.

    Worst case scenario: The agency that is in charge of national secrets and protecting American lives is utterly incompetent.
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    Zach, indeed I believe there is sufficient public information that leads to evidence our Security agency that hired Snowden was incompetent. From a public viewpoint, we see the obvious, but it is the unobvious that has me concerned. Two things: 1. There is an appearance that Snowden or some group with Snowden, planned this and with an ultimate goal in mind to subvert the government. 2. When Snowden was hired, did the NSA know, planned and were using him for some clandestine agenda?

    The world of secrets is so nebulous and odd that most all of America and other countries, just do not have any intelligent idea of what they (the spy masters) may be doing. We may capture bits and pieces of the project, but by that time the NSA and other secret organizations have moved on to their next phase of implementation. I do believe the NSA is capable of doing more than appearing to be incompetent. However, I'm like most Americans ignorant of the true nature of conspiracies and secrets. That is why we all should use an open mind and be receptive to what may be released as more factual intelligence to the public. Also, we may never know the real "story".

    It is clear though, Snowden is going down as the culprit in this action. He has set himself up or has been setup as the criminal in espionage. If his intent was to write a book and become famous, he will never see his fortune and will become infamous in history. Just like Ginsberg and others held in contempt of this country for espionage.
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: Zach, indeed I believe there is sufficient public information that leads to evidence our Security agency that hired Snowden was incompetent. From a public viewpoint, we see the obvious, but it is the unobvious that has me concerned. Two things: 1. There is an appearance that Snowden or some group with Snowden, planned this and with an ultimate goal in mind to subvert the government. 2. When Snowden was hired, did the NSA know, planned and were using him for some clandestine agenda?

    The world of secrets is so nebulous and odd that most all of America and other countries, just do not have any intelligent idea of what they (the spy masters) may be doing. We may capture bits and pieces of the project, but by that time the NSA and other secret organizations have moved on to their next phase of implementation. I do believe the NSA is capable of doing more than appearing to be incompetent. However, I'm like most Americans ignorant of the true nature of conspiracies and secrets. That is why we all should use an open mind and be receptive to what may be released as more factual intelligence to the public. Also, we may never know the real "story".

    It is clear though, Snowden is going down as the culprit in this action. He has set himself up or has been setup as the criminal in espionage. If his intent was to write a book and become famous, he will never see his fortune and will become infamous in history. Just like Ginsberg and others held in contempt of this country for espionage.
    Amc,you keep sitting on the same chair as always; it is good to have "whistleblowers" this keeps the government in check, unless you want a dictatorship, which you probably like because you admit you love your army indoctrination and follow up any orders blindly. So you strongly belief that the government always has you in mind and "keeps America safe" by spying on you. Wow, wake up, be glad that there are still people like Snowden to have had a watchful eye on things going in the wrong direction in our government. May be a stint at the Taliban for 5 years may help you to see things differently. Start growing your beard!!
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    Dutch Wrote:
    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: Zach, indeed I believe there is sufficient public information that leads to evidence our Security agency that hired Snowden was incompetent. From a public viewpoint, we see the obvious, but it is the unobvious that has me concerned. Two things: 1. There is an appearance that Snowden or some group with Snowden, planned this and with an ultimate goal in mind to subvert the government. 2. When Snowden was hired, did the NSA know, planned and were using him for some clandestine agenda?

    The world of secrets is so nebulous and odd that most all of America and other countries, just do not have any intelligent idea of what they (the spy masters) may be doing. We may capture bits and pieces of the project, but by that time the NSA and other secret organizations have moved on to their next phase of implementation. I do believe the NSA is capable of doing more than appearing to be incompetent. However, I'm like most Americans ignorant of the true nature of conspiracies and secrets. That is why we all should use an open mind and be receptive to what may be released as more factual intelligence to the public. Also, we may never know the real "story".

    It is clear though, Snowden is going down as the culprit in this action. He has set himself up or has been setup as the criminal in espionage. If his intent was to write a book and become famous, he will never see his fortune and will become infamous in history. Just like Ginsberg and others held in contempt of this country for espionage.
    Amc,you keep sitting on the same chair as always; it is good to have "whistleblowers" this keeps the government in check, unless you want a dictatorship, which you probably like because you admit you love your army indoctrination and follow up any orders blindly. So you strongly belief that the government always has you in mind and "keeps America safe" by spying on you. Wow, wake up, be glad that there are still people like Snowden to have had a watchful eye on things going in the wrong direction in our government. May be a stint at the Taliban for 5 years may help you to see things differently. Start growing your beard!!
    There can be abuse on both sides. Secret government oppression and violation of Constitutional rights is bad, but we also don't want everyone thinking they can leak all government secrets and be called a whistleblower. Both of those scenarios are bad.

    The reason I am currently giving Snowden the benefit of the doubt is because of the manner in which he leaked them. His smash and grab tactics of obtaining them seems bad, but the manner in which he is choosing to leak them is one that is trying to play the delicate balance of protecting state secrets while, at the same time, exposing NSA violations of the Constitution. It seems that his ONLY intent is to whistleblow, not to become a celebrity nor spy for some other group or country. His behavior just doesn't seem consistent with that.
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    Thanks to whomever posted the Snowden interview (all 6 parts) prior to broadcast. It seemed to me that Snowden is a very sincere genuine person, who is doing his patriotic duty. He comes from a family in govt service, his grandpa was in the FBI. We don't know all his previous jobs or experiences, but he said he had tried all the proper "channels" to take action to correct the problem, but it was not being acted upon.

    Knowing as we now do, the frightening aspects of the NSA data collection, we would hope that someone like Snowden would come along and try to do the "right thing." Every single day we learn of new technology that seems devoted to the destruction of personal freedom & privacy. That kind of technology is more dangerous than we can imagine. (Like an "Orwellian Nightmare".) Now they have drones that can penetrate into almost anywhere, and can be purchased by just about anyone with an extra $350 to spare. These machines have absolutely no conscience, or sense of "morality" to guide their actions. Only the human mind, with ethics & reason, can decide exactly how much our society should tolerate.
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    eternal flame Wrote: Thanks to whomever posted the Snowden interview (all 6 parts) prior to broadcast. It seemed to me that Snowden is a very sincere genuine person, who is doing his patriotic duty. He comes from a family in govt service, his grandpa was in the FBI. We don't know all his previous jobs or experiences, but he said he had tried all the proper "channels" to take action to correct the problem, but it was not being acted upon.

    Knowing as we now do, the frightening aspects of the NSA data collection, we would hope that someone like Snowden would come along and try to do the "right thing." Every single day we learn of new technology that seems devoted to the destruction of personal freedom & privacy. That kind of technology is more dangerous than we can imagine. (Like an "Orwellian Nightmare".) Now they have drones that can penetrate into almost anywhere, and can be purchased by just about anyone with an extra $350 to spare. These machines have absolutely no conscience, or sense of "morality" to guide their actions. Only the human mind, with ethics & reason, can decide exactly how much our society should tolerate.
    Eternal; thanks I'm very glad you posted this; it makes totally sense; I wished more people would think the way you just did.