In Response to Greenwald Revelations that Caesar is Spying on All of Us…

Caesar attempts standard, “OOGA BOOGA!!! THE TERRORISTS WILL KILL YOU ALL IF YOU DON’T LET US DO WHATEVER WE WANT!!!” schtick.

Reason calls BS on Caesar.

Greenwald deserves the Medal of Freedom.

  • kirthigdon

    I’m a big fan of Greenwald, but I think even he would concede that the medals should first go to the whistle blowers – people like Snowden, the imprisoned and tortured Manning, Sibel Edmonds, or the imprisoned John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on torture. Even among journalists, Julian Assange, held captive by the British in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, should get the medal before Greenwald – and I don’t doubt Greenwald would agree.
    Kirt Higdon

    • Benjamin

      And I’m sure the Russian dissidents Assange outed (and were summarily killed) would agree.

      • kirthigdon

        And exactly who were these people? Do you have any reference on this? First I’ve heard of it.
        Kirt Higdon

  • Stu

    Let’s not put Manning or Assange in the same category. And let’s see how this all unfolds before making a hero out of Snowden.

    • Stu

      I should add.

      I’m not a fan of the collection of the metadata and think it is a violation of our civil rights. And while I am happy that knowledge of the practice is now public, I think this whole thing could take some more turns.

    • kirthigdon

      Stu, what do you mean by the same category? Greenwald and Assange are both in the category of publishing secret information received from others. Snowden, Manning, Edmonds, and Kiriakou are all in the same category of leakers of secret information, whistle blowers in that much of what they leaked dealt with government misconduct. Edmonds has now set herself up as an internet journalist seeking to encourage others to do as she did. Were it not for all of the above and people like them, the regime would be able to cover up many if not most of its evil deeds.
      Kirt Higdon

      • Stu

        There is a difference in my mind between releasing very targeted information out of a sense of conscience and simply dumping vast amount of classified material out in the open which can get innocent people killed.

        • kirthigdon

          I don’t know to what extent any of these people mentioned acted out of a sense of conscience. Only God can know that. I have yet to see documentation on any innocent (or not so innocent) person being killed as a result of these data dumps. Indeed, it was said by a commentator a few nights ago on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program that the CIA did not find it necessary to move even a single informant – not that I consider informants to be innocents. Former Secretary of Defense Gates was quoted as saying that the dumps were embarrassing to the government, but no danger to national security. The regime needs a lot more embarrassment until it stops these programs altogether.
          Kirt Higdon

          • Stu

            Manning leaked the names of Afghani informants who were working with the US.

            • kirthigdon

              So your idea of innocents is informers who rat on their friends and neighbors and get them imprisoned, tortured or killed by an occupying foreign military power? It’s always useful to ask what you’d call this if the informers were working for the occupying military of some other country. My son served in military intelligence in Afghanistan and dealt with these informers. He said that most of them were just trying to use US military power to settle scores in generations-old vendettas.

              Kirt Higdon

              • Stu

                “Useful to ask…”
                Something Private Manning didn’t do at all. You, nor he, have any idea about each individual case. But you are apparently comfortable with Private Manning essentially releasing their names without any due diligence. Sloppy.

                Manning is an example of how not to do it.

  • Benjamin

    As much as it would be fun to turn this into an issue of personality, you do know he and the Washington Post got several basic facts (especially on a technical level) completely wrong, right?

    • S. Murphy

      He meaning Snowden? Or Greenwald? If journalists got details wrong, especially after editors and word-limits and stuff like that got involved, it’s no surprise. Getting details wrong is what they do best.
      I’d be interested in hearing your take on what they got wrong, and what impact it has on the larger picture.

  • Will

    Neither Greenwald or Snowden are heroes.

    • chezami

      De gustibus.

  • AquinasMan

    Aren’t Snowden’s actions the epitome of consequentialism? i..e, The government might do something bad with all this information, therefore I will preempt such occurrence by breaking an oath and divulging secrets I am not authorized to divulge? NOTE: I’m firmly against the govt’s actions as well, however, isn’t he just a conspiracy theorist’s version of Lila Rose?

    • S. Murphy

      To play devil’s advocate to your devil’s advocate – what if Snowden considered himself bound by the oath he took when he enlisted in the Army, to protect the Constitution? Assuming (for the sake of argument; it’s not clear in real life) he went to the local SJA and IG before going to reporters, and got hand-waving answers that didn’t satisfy him that NSA’s actions were constitutional – should he go with his oath (or his duty, as he saw, as a citizen in a democracy – maybe even an oft-repeated pledge of allegiance to a flag ‘and to the republic for which it stands’), or with his non-disclosure agreement?

      The fact that they preemptively compelled your silence with an NDA before telling you what was going on might not quite release you from prior moral obligations.

      NB- the responsibility of handling classified material properly is a serious one, as is the moral obligation (not just the threat of legal prosecution) to protect it. NDAs shouldn’t be ignored for ‘light and transient causes,’ but if they conflict with other sacred oaths and responsibilities, one might have to choose. Maybe choose the internal route, including Congress, before the media and fleeing to China; but the dilemma is possible.


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