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So far, it is established that Snowden betrayed our Ruling Class.  It remains to be seen whether he betrayed his country.  It does not remain to be seen whether Our Ruling Class have betrayed the country. They are manifold traitors. In a just world, every dime beyond their salary of office that they have made since they were sworn in would be confiscated and given to wounded vets and their families.  Any peep of protest from them would be met with a choice between prison or cleaning toilets in Afghanistan until all troops were called home. That’s because I don’t believe in the death penalty, even for treason.

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  • Sherry

    However you do believe in some degree of Schadenfreude. Though we probably shouldn’t if we would be proper morally, it’s going to take real grace for me not to indulge if your suggestion were ever to come to pass.

  • ivan_the_mad

    The number two question on the minds of the GOP: How can we use this to disparage the president and his party? The number two question on the minds of the Democrats: How can we prevent this from affecting the president and ourselves in negative fashion? The number one question on the minds of both parties: How can we suppress this in order that the public shall not learn what massive crooks we are, flouting the law at every turn, demonstrating bipartisan complicity at every point?

  • The Deuce

    In a just world, their salaries would be a lot lower too, and they wouldn’t be allowed to vote themselves raises while everyone else’s incomes are stagnating or disappearing altogether.

  • Will

    How much data our government needs and how it is collected should always be open to debate. The details of most of these operations end up being secret to all but government officials in order to succeed. To somehow insist that we do not need NSA, and other agencies, collecting and analyzing data is naive.

    • chad

      I often ponder what would happen if the NSA and similar agencies ceased to exist. Would the country be overwhelmed by lawlessness? Would enemies of the USA conquer us?

      • Will

        It just depends whether some other counties and hate groups really mean it when they say they will destroy the US. Some of it is hot air but some really mean it. They might not destroy everything, but the terrorists changed our thinking on 9/11. Would you want to do away with the police and the military too?

        • chad

          We allowed the terrorists to change our thinking, and I think that was a bad turn. It is one thing to realize that there are people out to get us who have no problem killing thousands of innocent civilians; and it is another to put our country on war footing indefinitely. I am much more concerned about the USA imploding by our overreaction than I am of being killed by a terrorist. Doesn’t it seem that we are all about fear now. Have we become a nation of wimps?

          Police are not national defense. The devil is always busy conjuring up internal threats to our well-being that we must actively protect against. But there seems to be a definite migration towards paramilitary tactics and justifications that I would expect in 3rd world countries.

          How large does our military need to be? Largest in the world seems appropriate, but in fact we spend the same as the next 11 countries combined… and most of those are allies.

    • Dbom

      Yes, we *need* them!


  • Pavel Chichikov

    It remains to be proven in court, but he is charged with espionage and theft of government property, which acts he has publicly admitted.

    He said himself in an interview with the South China Post that he deliberately took a job that would give him access and stole the files. Then he fled to China.

    To me and others, he looks like a walk-in in an intelligence case.

    • antigon

      To me and others, a patriot who made real personal sacrifices, not combox chatter, to damage the increasingly totalitarian developments of an increasingly vicious Empire.

      May others find & exercise such courage.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Thought experiment: Snowden or a proxy asks Mark Shea to keep custody of a copy of the NSA files. Would you take them? Would you inform the government of the approach?

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Anybody here volunteer to accept copies of the files? Or do you prefer that others take the risks?

    Or perhaps one or more of you is already keeping copies?

    Combox revolutionaries. I could think of less flattering terms.

    Would-be traitor?

    • kirthigdon

      The right thing for me to do would be to accept copies of the files but whether I would have sufficient courage to do so is another thing. Yes I do prefer that others take the risks; it’s much easier to admire those who risk all to challenge the evil empire than to do so myself.
      On the subject of the NSA, yes I’d like to see it abolished along with the CIA, FBI, IRS, DEA, TSA, DHS and a host of other three letter agencies that the United States did quite well without for most of its history.
      Kirt Higdon

  • TomD

    A man who claims to be for freedom and government transparency, in the name of informing the public of what is being done against them, who then flees to Russia, has no credibility with me. Something else very serious is going on with Mr. Snowden, and those assisting him, other than the surface aspects of this story.

    • Joe

      You’ve no sense of irony, do you?

      • TomD

        The “situation” with Mr. Snowden certainly does seem to be one that includes, shall we say, contradictions or sharp contrasts . . . I acted in the name of an informed populace and government transparency, so I think I’ll flee to Russia. I think it is referred to as situational irony. The circumstances certainly seem ironic to me.