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A call for unity

June 23, 2013

The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society. This nation was formed on the values of an honest and open government that is held accountable to the public....

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 2:41 AM

"The latest scandal involving the NSA's spying program highlights the dangers of our times. Edward Snowden released details about the immense spying program being conducted."

Snowden STOLE classified information pertaining to US national security, then ran with that information into the loving arms of his benefactors, the Chinese.

Snowden essentially threatened the lives of every covert US intelligence asset in the world, as well as threatened the security of every CIA station in the world by threatening to expose their exact locations.

Snowden even released a heat map that showed the exact percent of communications intercepted from every country in the world, a release that either through design or accident, makes it much easier for al Qaeda to prevent their communications from being intercepted.

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 2:42 AM

Snowden has proven himself to be an enemy of America. He should be rounded up, stand trial before a closed civilian court with the best legal defense available, and if convicted should swing at the end of a rope for treason.

Case closed.

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CaymanJim

Jun-23-13 3:30 AM

Whatever hurts my country hurts me. No matter what some misguided kook decides to do to inflict harm, no matter in what form, or for whatever twisted purpose, upon the government of the United States and its citizens, the response cries out for immediate and very extreme retaliation. The coward Snowden seems to feel a cocky sense of having pulled a fast one on all of us and now supposedly is defiantly hiding out in Hong Kong. I am not normally a vidictive person, but in this case The U.S. should use every means at its disposal to apprehend or vaporize this traitor. I think, too, his family should be isolated from contact with Snowden and all their assets should be impounded until this terrible thing has been resolved. We ARE at war, folks...no matter if it's with enemies from without, but also with those from within. Anybody having a problem with that basic fact is everbody's enemy.

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eriklatranyi

Jun-23-13 7:11 AM

The anger by those in power over being exposed is all I needed to see.

Mr. Snowden may be a traitor, but he also helped reveal the widespread data collection programs that are underway with little or no oversight.

Since the outrage is over being exposed, I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg.

How can a super-secret surveillance program ever get constitutional review if nobody ever challenges it?

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gavinf56

Jun-23-13 7:58 AM

"He should be rounded up, stand trial before a closed civilian court with the best legal defense available, and if convicted should swing at the end of a rope for treason." - CHayes

Right next to Bradley Manning, right Chris?

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spike2

Jun-23-13 7:59 AM

I care more about what he exposed than someone having my metadata. What personal info does anyone feel exists that can not be accessed? Records can be obtained on nearly every aspect of our lives. It may take more work and subpoenas in many courts but the end result is the same. I prefer my phone calls going in aa base rather than a hacker hitting my bank account or accessing my credit card. Snowden is an enemy. Snowden would have exposed his information and said, incarcerate me, if he was a true believer. Instead he hides in Hong Kong. Maybe he couldn't get to Tehran. I am in 100% agreement with Caymen.

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CMReeder

Jun-23-13 8:19 AM

LOL

THe government has secrets, ya think!

What exactly do you think the CIA is? The NSA? The FBI? Any government surveillance agency or counter surveillance agency? Why do you think there is something called a 'Freedom of Information Act'? Have people forgotten people like Daniel Ellsberg?

People not too long ago where protest against Mosques being built in the US by Muslim Americans but are now outrage that a Muslim American working with anti American jihadists is killed by a drone.

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CMReeder

Jun-23-13 8:47 AM

What an idiot you are Bobbie!

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 10:45 AM

"Mr. Snowden may be a traitor, but he also helped reveal the widespread data collection programs that are underway with little or no oversight."

When were those programs implemented again erik?

You seem to be saying that this is some treason you can believe in.

Can you explain to me yet what metadata is, Mr. Privacy Activist that has NO privacy filters engaged on his Facebook acct?

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 10:50 AM

An 8 year old child was blown to pink mist at the Boston Marathon, as well as 2 young adults.

If the govt having access to my phone and email metadata will help prevent that from happening again, I say have at it. And it isn't because I'm willing to surrender "private" information, it's because I understand how benign phone and email metadata is. It's being harvested 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by private companies who are actually interested in what I do anyway. If the govt can use it for something more meaningful that marketing, have at it.

But you STILL need a warrant to listen to the content of my communications.

I have no problem with that line.

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 10:58 AM

And here we go with another day of people who supported the MUCH more invasive Bush warrantless wiretapping program (Gavin excluded), many of which even wrote fawning letters to the paper praising President Bush's assertion that he has absolute authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and emails of Americans without a warrant. Actually listen to or read the CONTENT of communications, without a court order. Welcome to upside down land.

Oddly enough, when you look at the behavior of many of these newfound "privacy advocates" many of them actually have ZERO concern about privacy. They don't understand what the word "metadata" means, they have their internet browser set to accept cookies, they have no privacy protections engaged on Facebook, they have smartphones on which they have willingly installed apps that spy on them daily. It's incredible really.

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Ritty77

Jun-23-13 9:34 PM

"Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the PATRIOT Act on the House floor in 2001, has declared that lawmakers’ and the executive branch’s excuses about recent revelations of NSA activity are 'a bunch of bunk.'

"In an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday morning, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin reiterated his concerns that the administration and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court have gone far beyond what the PATRIOT Act intended. Specifically, he said that Section 215 of the act 'was originally drafted to prevent data mining' on the scale that’s occurred.

"Sensenbrenner, the current chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, suggested that the secret nature of the FISA court has prevented appropriate congressional oversight over the NSA’s activities." —NRO

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 11:23 PM

"Specifically, he said that Section 215 of the act 'was originally drafted to prevent data mining' on the scale that’s occurred."

Um, no.

"What is Section 215? Section 215 allows the FBI to order any person or entity to turn over "any tangible things," so long as the FBI "specif[ies]" that the order is "for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities." Section 215 vastly expands the FBI's power to spy on ordinary people living in the United States, including United States citizens and permanent residents. The FBI need not show probable cause, nor even reasonable grounds to believe, that the person whose records it seeks is engaged in criminal activity. The FBI need not have any suspicion that the subject of the investigation is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power."

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CHayes

Jun-23-13 11:26 PM

Hey Ritty. I shouldn't need to point out how UTTERLY ridiculous the editorial you quoted is. Below find the the opening of the editorial, and the last sentence.

"Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the PATRIOT Act on the House floor in 2001...

...The congressman has earlier said he believes the PATRIOT Act needs to be amended to protect Americans’ privacy."

If you can't get that, I'm not sure how I can help you. The guy that introduced the Patriot Act, is suddenly concerned about "protecting American's privacy? What a joke.

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Ritty77

Jun-24-13 4:34 AM

You missed this part: "the administration and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court have gone far beyond what the PATRIOT Act intended."

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CHayes

Jun-24-13 6:35 AM

And what would make you think that part is any less ridiculous than anything else in the editorial?

Seriously Ritty, when an editorial states that the guy that brought the Patriot Act to the floor of the House, and also happened to be responsible for the REAL ID Act that has since been abandoned because it was so ridiculously invasive, is suddenly worried about "protecting the privacy of Americans", it's not to be taken seriously.

I know all about Sensenbrenner Ritty. If you want to find out a thing or two about him, I suggest you look up an article called "Four Amendments and a Funeral" from Rolling Stone that was all about the passage of the REAL ID Act.

To hear an editorial to state that that guy wants to increase privacy protections for Americans is about as ridiculous as saying a pedophile is running a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation.

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CHayes

Jun-24-13 6:45 AM

To put this in perspective for you, the REAL ID Act that was Sensenbrenner's baby, aimed to create a national ID card that every US citizen was required by law to carry at all times. On this card was a magnetic stripe that carried all kinds of personal information about the individual, that was viewable by anyone who swiped the card, even say a teller at your bank. The law required states to set up and maintain databases of all this personal information about citizens, at their own expense. The law stated that if a state didn't comply, it's citizens would not be allowed to board airline flights. The info required for the databases was so invasive, and the cost was so high to set up and maintain them, and so many states refused to comply, that the law was simply abandoned.

Now NRO wants us to believe that THAT guy is suddenly concerned about privacy?

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Ritty77

Jun-24-13 5:30 PM

Blah blah blah, baloney. Your claim that these are the exact same programs being administered in exactly the same way is false.

The reactions you see to the Snowden leaks are rightly amplified given Obama's willingness to abuse his administration's power.

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CHayes

Jun-24-13 6:59 PM

"Your claim that these are the exact same programs being administered in exactly the same way is false."

Who said it was the exact same program? I actually said it was a DIALED BACK version of what President Bush was doing, and that is completely accurate. Metadata was ALSO being collected under President Bush, but he ALSO authorized completely warrantless wiretaps on American citizens. The govt was actually listening to people's phone call content, and reading their emails.

That isn't happening now without a warrant.

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CHayes

Jun-24-13 7:05 PM

I can understand your frustration Ritty. Every time your Fox "News" masters (or in this case NRO) throw you a new scandal bone, it gets taken away from you within days or weeks. Some times hours. That must be very frustrating for you, but truth be told, at some point if you're smart you should probably start questioning the sources you get your information from. The fact that you people NEVER question, and just bite at whatever you see without investigating it further on your own, is probably the biggest single factor in your party's current implosion.

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