jaredsxtn Wrote: We would have already tried and executed them if it were simple. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld threw out the military commissions the Bush Administration attempted to set up because they would have been the literal definition of a kangaroo court. The Court ruled the commission violated Federal Law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. If you want to blame anyone, blame our Congress. The Supreme Court explicitly punted it back to them and they did absolutely nothing.
Really? I wasn't aware that those covered terrorists, unlawful combatants, or mercenaries, which is what the Taliban is... I'll give you a hint, Mercenaries are DENIED POW status by article 4 of the Geneva Conventions, it also invalidates Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, since article 4 REQUIRES a competent tribunal to determine their status, which Hamdan v. Rumsfeld tried to throw out... Also look into how article 4 talks about unlawful combatants and mercenaries... (And no Dutch, the US military are not mercenaries. Read the definition from the Geneva Conventions)
How do you know what the Obama Administration did or didn't do in this most recent case? Were you there sitting along side our President, the person tasked with bringing our POW's home, as he was making this decision? I never understand people who claim they know exactly what the President could or couldn't have done, like they know what he's thinking at all times. It's easy to play arm chair quarterback, but is it fair for you to suggest you know how our President comes to make decisions regarding bringing a captured soldier home?
How about the fact that the AP reported last year about the deal and their demands... http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/national/article_d8d8c366-d9b6-001a4bcf997a.html
Here's the first line as a teaser... "The Taliban proposed a deal in which they would free a U.S. Soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay..." Wow, sounds remarkably like the deal Obama 'negotiated', if you can call giving them exactly what they ask for negotiating... So please, how did he negotiate? Did he offer to send them money and weapons in addition to their leaders? Oh wait, he already sent money and weapons to the Taliban (or at least a group allied with them, wonder where those weapons are now)...
Actually AMC, the World Court would have no problem with it. Read up on the Geneva Conventions and what they say about Terrorists... All it would take is a simple military tribunal to sentence all of them to be executed. And that's according to international law. And Obama didn't even negotiate, he gave the Taliban EXACTLY what they asked for...
Schmidt Wrote: So Johnnycee...would you have left him to die in the hands of the Taliban? Just a yes or no is all you need to write.
I'll give my answer Schmidt. Yes, I would have, because he would have likely died of old age if we had. Look at the history of people captured by the Taliban and their condition IF the US managed to recover them alive. (Jessica Lynch ring any bells?) Look at how the Taliban have treated non-combatant US citizens (How many of them did they behead?) And we're supposed to believe this guy was a prisoner? He could WALK to the helicopter, SIT UP, and WRITE IN ENGLISH. He had no language problems other than that he doesn't want to speak English.
johnnycee Wrote: Spent on what? increased prices! Personally I feel the government can receive more tax monies and jump start the economy, by personal tax breaks for the low to middle income families. Spent on whatever the person making more money decides to spend it on. Maybe the single mother who barley makes enough money to feed herself and children, can finally have a few extra dollars to spend on herself. Or maybe even save to one day get out of debt. Spent on that.
The answer to our country's money problems isn't always raise or lower the taxes. If everyone makes more money, the prices and taxes will go up to feed our economy. But it should be done in a smart way. I think this is towards the smart way to accomplish that.
Clay, it won't work that way. The government forces companies to pay their employees more, so what does the company do? They raise their prices to cover the increase in pay for their employees. Which means that the employees are now in the same position they were before the increase in pa, the single mother who can barely make enough to feed herself and her children still can barely make enough to feed herself and her children because everything now costs more to cover her increased pay...
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...)
Zach, if your callous or heartless, what does that make me? The entire time I was thinking, "And? What's the problem?"... Of course I've had venison and watched it go from the buck to my plate... As for the bugs being used to make dye? So what? There are places where they don't even crush them before eating them. I've lived to many places and eaten too many things most American's would just go "ewww" to, to be bothered by how its made... The problem with the food isn't so much how its made, but how much of it people eat in one sitting.
Zach F Wrote:Poor comparison. Benedict Arnold did something to specifically help his country, England. In England he is considered a patriot. He betrayed the colonies, so in the colonies he is considered a traitor.
Snowden, did something specifically to help his countrymen and Constitution, the document he was sworn to upheld. The people he hurt or embarrassed were the people in the government that he felt were betraying the American people.
The government needs secrets. Unveiling everything to the public is irresponsible. But the public needs to be able to trust the people in charge so that their Constitutional rights aren't being trampled on. A situation that has been hard to do for the last 2 administrations.
If it turns out that there was no corruption, or the corruption was just limited to a couple of people then what Snowden did was wrong. He made a huge mistake. But, if it turns out that corruption is as widespread as Snowden claims. And that Snowden tried every standard channel in his power to stop it, then I'm on his side. Even the execution of his plan centered around an effort to protect state secrets while exposed the corruption he felt was there.
Just out of curiosity Zach, how many people do you think will lose their life if Snowden releases those names? How many people (granted they may be terrorists/supporters of terrorism) will be killed for being compromised? Your argument seems to be that the ends justifies the means.
Also, considering how long meta-data collection has been going on and without it being abused or showing signs of corruption, until Snowden comes along, it (to me) points to where the corruption is... If he had tried every standard channel (as you suggest) and the corruption is as wide spread as he claims, then HOW did he keep his job? The first thing they'd do when he started making noise is fire and discredit him. He wasn't fired until after he leaked the information. And I'm sure he could uncover as much corruption as he claims there is in ONLY 3 MONTHS of working for a private contractor, meaning he probably only worked at the NSA for 2 or 2 1/2 months (considering paperwork and processing times) I should also point out that he wasn't cleared for access to what he leaked. He used log ins and passwords that he lied to get from people working at the NSA office in Hawaii. That in and of itself is a crime (espionage when talking about classified information) www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/08/net-us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE9A703020131108
Once we can get past that fact, then we can move on to Iranian history. Mosaddeq was elected, not appointed, as Iranian Prime Minister in 1951 and was overthrown in an August 1953 Coup conducted by the CIA and British authorities. He was attempting to usher in an Iranian democracy and the United States wanted nothing to do with that because we wanted their oil. The Shah was basically a figure head at this time until the CIA propped him up and ushered in his absolute rule until his countrymen wanted nothing more to do with him and threw him out in 1979.
Try again, Mosaddeq as 'elected' by the parliament, not the people of Iran. His name was put forward by the Shah and voted on by their parliament. In the US we call that being appointed...
Zach F Wrote: There is also a difference between what the NSA is capable of doing and they are actually doing. If the NSA is capable of hacking my phone and turning it against that is one thing. An uncomfortable, but legal thing. If the NSA has hacked my phone without due process then that is something else entirely. That is a violation of the 3rd and 4th Amendments.
Clearly, the Congress has already validated some of the claims of Snowden. Snowden is only a patriot if his claims are true. I don't think I would classify him as a traitor since every action he has taken has been, at least in his mind, to protect the U.S. Constitution and the citizens of this country.
The same could be said of Benedict Arnold, Zach, that he betrayed the colonies, in his mind, to protect the citizens of his country, and we know what history (even British history, and they are the ones Arnold betrayed the Colonies to...) says about him... What I want to know is what the rest of the SIC says. So far all I've seen is comments from a Senator who ran on the policy that the government shouldn't keep secrets, period. If anyone would know what was going on its the SIC, so why only comments supporting Snowden from 1 member of the SIC?
RanmaMOJ Wrote: You do realize that not all the Senators have the same level clearance right? You'll notice that the USA FREEDOM act did NOT come from a member of the intelligence committee.So, on one hand, a senior intelligence committee member like Ron Wyden is discredited in your mind because he is openly against secrecy? But, the House members that assembled the USA Freedom bill, and all the members of Congress that have publicly said that we need to reign in the NSA's ability don't really know what they are talking about because they don't have the clearance that someone like Wyden does??
Who then is qualified to have an opinion on this matter? Anyone? Or just anyone that agrees with you? Makes me wonder what YOUR level of clearance was in the Intelligence field. Judging by what you gather and know of Snowden, did you have as much clearance as him? More? That's also an important distinction to consider, when weighing what you KNOW about this organization that would rather do everything behind doors and in secret.
Actually, considering I don't know what caveats he had, I can't say exactly if my security clearance was the same, but I did have a TS clearance. I was a 98C in the US Army. I know I had the same clearance and caveats as the NSA liaison that worked in the building I worked in. And I know a bit more about the program than what I have said or will say here. (For the record a 98C is an Signals Intelligence Analyst. I was also trained in Collection Management, meaning I dealt with Imint and Humint as well...)