T Nation

Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower


"A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama's promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor."

Edward Snowden



Quite an interesting story (from his perspective--it is disgusting from a gov't point of view). I am very glad he did this, and I hope he does not pay a heavy price for his disclosure. I do not think he has done anything wrong, the American people needed to know.


We needed to know that's for sure. Our founding Father's must be spinning in their graves.

Look at the success of bin ladin and al qaeda's acts, we are tearing ourselves apart.


I don't imagine the next one will be any different as long as we continue to pick from two failed parties. The idea that one is worse than the other is crazy. They are the exact same on all the shit that matters. Getting caught up in the minute details keeps us from moving past them.


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Paraphrase: My biggest fear about making these disclosures to the public is that nothing will change.

DB can whine on about his fucking souped up golf-cart and the evil white man's destruction of the planet. VTshitballa can whine on about his fake Mensa membership card. Resident idiot Zep can post Real progressive dogshit News, ad-nausea.

We can all live safely in our little worlds and bitch about how the pillows don't match the drapes - or whatever the fuck it is any individual may be on about at any given time of any given day. Me included, lest the Cali space cadet decides to use this as fodder for one of ovulating-induced rants.

This whistle blower is every bit the patriot, if not more so, than 98.997% of the military. No offense to the fine folks in uniform, but this guy is risking almost certain death just for standing up and saying, " Hey this shit just ain't right".

I hope Lindsay Graham chokes on the cock of power he's been sucking since he arrived in DC.


I'm glad this guy came out, but give me a break. Fine folks in uniform are actually risking their life, you know, by being shot at. This guy is/will be a house hold name in a matter of weeks. What exactly do you think is going to happen to him?

He'll probably write a book and get rich as fuck off this whole mess, yeah certain death...


Certain death. That was a good one. He'll probably get his own talkshow on Fox or CNN.

The one thing I worry about with this sort of thing is the precedent it sets for future prospective whistleblowers. I agree with Snowden that what has been going on is atrocious. But I also worry that other people with an agenda or an ax to grind will follow suit and reveal far more sensitive information in terms of our national security that isn't quite as condemnable as this stuff.

A lot of what these agencies like the NSA or CIA is predicated on secrecy. The fact is that it DOES make things harder when certain things can't be kept secret. I wouldn't say that the current actions of the NSA are so important that they should not be revealed. But there are other things that they do that we don't know about that are FAR different in nature and SHOULD be kept secret so as not to endanger ongoing operations or, more importantly, agents and officers in the field. I think some of the stuff that has come about from the WIkileaks/Julian Assange issue falls under that category. I also felt that part of the Valerie Plame fiasco a while back also fell under that category.

My point is that if/when a guy like Snowden gets near-universal acclaim for his actions (which I think he deserves), others will see this and take similar actions in a less positive way. Most people who work as an agent for security agencies such as the CIA do so in an information-gathering capacity. They take files or transcripts of conversations between high-level diplomats or politicians or technical information and so forth from where they work and they give to an officer from a foreign security service. In virtually all cases, the agent giving this information out is doing so for monetary gain or due to some ideological motivation in which they feel they are doing their small part for the betterment of society. This was certainly the case in all the espionage and counter-espionage going on between the NKVD/KGB and the CIA/MI6.

Well, when someone gets caught acting as an agent in this capacity, they risk long prison terms and so forth. Those who are fortunate to escape, such as Guy Burgess or George Blake or Kim Philby, are forced to live in isolation from everything they knew and loved, especially their families, in many cases.

So, given that the mass-media age that we live in has the potential to turn someone like Snowden into a minor celebrity who can make significant money from his activities and the public and political pressure to keep him out of prison may accomplish just that, I fear that other people who might previously have consorted with an enemy security agency at a great personal risk, may simply reveal all this information publicly in a way that assumes much less risk and can potentially garner the same sort of rewards: money and knowledge that they have helped in their convoluted ideological war.

In other words, while Snowden should be hailed as someone who exposed a major hypocrisy in this country, I fear that these sorts of episodes may instigate more like them than what is good for the country.


I'm not even in the thread yet and you're already ranting and raving about me. I guess getting your ass handed to you over and over again about electric cars really hit a nerve with you.


Dude is sportin' a pair of brass balls taking on the government like that. I applaud what he did, because I am appalled the surveillance.


You don't think his life is in danger?
I do give him credit for being smart. Now that he's exposed, it's going to be a lot harder to whack him. If nobody knew who he was, a well placed sniper bullet would take care of the issue...


Assuming it would be a security agency doing the whacking, I doubt that would ever happen. They're too incompetent to get away with assassinating someone like him, and their only saving grace is that they KNOW they're too incompetent to get away with it and never bother trying anymore. The days of something like ZR/RIFLE and "executive actions" being used against a guy like Snowden are long gone, if they were ever here to begin with.


Not on the level a soldier's life's in danger. If he dies now (especially all of a sudden) EVERYONE will be suspicious.


Not quite. Politicians are always seeking place limitations on our freedom, they just gained support for those limitations on the backs of dead Americans. I wonder how they'd feel about the same level of transparency in government as they want to place on our daily lives.


Thats true. Hey I'd be ok with this if in turn EVERY phone call, email, text message, and web search of our law makers was placed on a public access database powered by google. Lets see if they like that deal. No exceptions.

Naaah, I'm still not ok with that.


If the politicians, and I say politicians because I feel their actions diminish the greatness of this nation, get a hold of him it'll probably be a long and drawn out legal battle that robs him of whatever money he's and leaves him with his 15 minutes of fame long gone. People will forget about all of this, it'll be right back to Facebook and dicking around.


Imagine if Hillary sends Slick Willie naked pictures. No thanks.


Excuse me while I go throw my guts up. You sunofabitch! It's going to take forever to dislodge that image from my head.


The terrorists have succeeded. They have made us less free. They could not have hoped for a better result. We need to take that power back. Write your congressmen to stop all surveillance on American citizens. It's what we must do.
As far as I am concerned, this guy gets a full pardon, and a medal.

Think about how all this stuff ties together and it's scary: collection of private media emails, specified targeting of people based on their expressed beliefs BY THE GOVERNMENT, rampant spying and the collections of private communications of private citizens. Cameras everywhere (if you think that's not used for spying, you're an idiot). Enough is enough. I am pissed.
Write your congressmen. It makes a difference.


This is a good op-ed on the topic. The slippery-slope is the one thing I fear the most. The government functions routinely on the basis of slippery slopes. From cigarettes are bad for you to large sodas are bad for you, so we will ban all things that are bad for you.