Is Edward Snowden a hero?

administrator's picture
Submitted by administrator on Tue, 2013-06-11 08:47
Hell yes! His actions were moral.
83% (20 votes)
Hell no! Put him away for treason.
13% (3 votes)
Yes and no. It's a grey area.
4% (1 vote)
Other (please specify)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 24

Debate Challenge

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Jules -- I would love to debate Leonard Peikoff, Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, Peter Schwartz, etc. on any topic whatsoever. And, yes, it would be a ton of fun for everyone to watch. Lots of fireworks. Lots of me beating the holy hell out of them. I'll make a goodly attempt to shatter them psychologically and ruin their whole lives. They certainly have it coming. How many innocent and naive Objectivist teenagers have they run across, only to ruthlessly trash the kids' minds and souls with their loathsome cultism and sad-sack, malicious, weirdo religiosity?

Here's some suggested topics for debate:

* Resolved, The Ayn Rand Institute is a fundamentally religious and cultish organization -- not a philosophical or rational one

* Resolved, The Ayn Rand Institute is the enemy of Objectivism and Ayn Rand, and because they do more harm than good, the world would be better off without them

* Resolved, The Ayn Rand Institute and its intellectual allies engage in endless censorship, rewriting of history, and excommunication, like the worst practices and elements of the Communist Party and Catholic Church

* Resolved, The Ayn Rand Institute-sponsored books on Ayn Rand's diaries, letters, and Q and A are tissues of lies and intellectual frauds that have to be entirely rewritten

Or something along these lines. The absurd Randroids can frame the debate questions as they wish. I'll take pity on them, and grant them that -- for all the good it'll do them.

According to their poor thinking, every one of these issues is a no-brainer: a debate they should be able to win hands-down. They have absolutely no excuse not to take the con, while I take the pro, in an open, public debate.

Haha

Jules Troy's picture

It would have been a good debate to witness though!

My Reply To Peter Schwartz

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay -- Maybe Peter Schwartz is a slick arguer, all things considered. But I would reply to his claims thus:

Edward Snowden is a friend of freedom and individual rights. He did something outstandingly heroic in defense of the American government and its people. It's as simple as that.

And not incidentally, he seemingly ruined his whole life in the process. Mostly in the name of high principles and liberty. What could be more socially virtuous? That blog entry about him was poor and ridiculous.

Cultist monster and pseudo-Objectivist Peter Schwartz writes of Snowden's "motivations" and desires." But these are fairly trivial and hard to know. So too Snowden's "philosophy." What counts are Snowden's actions.

Based on moral outrage, and evidently in the cause of liberty, he exposed the NSA's wanton and egregious violations of the US constitution and law. He especially acted in defense of the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights. And he surrendered his high income, beautiful girlfriend, and wonderful lifestyle in Hawaii to do so. Now he's a hunted and beleaguered man -- unwelcome, and threatened with death, pretty much everywhere on earth.

Despite the article's smears, the evidence suggests that Snowden went to China and Russia because he had no choice. He doesn't look to be "cozying up" to tyranny. And he seems to vastly prefer living in a semi-free, Western state. But evidently none will give him sanctuary, due to US pressure. So he reasonably seeks out, and openly thanks, the only states which will publicly support him in his desperate hour of need -- however dubious their natures and motivations.

That question at the Putin t'v' press conference also seems to be legitimate, and even important -- not an act of sycophancy. As for Snowden "identif[ying] for Chinese officials which of their computers had been penetrated by the NSA," I never heard of this before, but even if true, maybe he was forced to do so.

As for Snowden "disclosing the methods" used by the NSA criminals, how else could he report on their behavior and actions? He had to reveal how they were doing it; that was the relevant point.

As for Snowden and his colleague Glenn Greenwald having a confused political and general philosophy, well that would also apply to over 99% of America and mankind, in our vast, irrational, illiberal, Dark Age time period. The fact that Snowden and Greenwald identify with, and support, Ron Paul and the libertarians, is a significant and remarkable good thing -- not bad. How does Schwartz not get this?

Peter Schwartz's whole article was tendentious, ignorant, foolish, hateful, and depraved. Just like his massive support for "Objectivist" religiosity, and his entire wretched, fatuous, malicious life.

(p.s. I attempted to post this to Schwartz's blog -- but he wisely deleted it after a few hours. The day a Randroid foolishly agrees to debate me, is the day he gets intellectually and psychologically destroyed.)

Actually, Kyrel ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... I followed your link, read Schwartz's commentary and thought it was 100% on the money. Not having followed the Snowden saga closely I wasn't sure where I stood on it. Schwartz's article has clarified that for me, particularly here:

The NSA has, in effect, been arbitrarily trespassing on your property.

On the other hand there are surveillance measures by the NSA that are perfectly legitimate. If, for example, someone is known to be involved in terrorist activities, all his emails, phone calls and letters should be monitored. It would be a grave dereliction if our government did not take all steps necessary to track the communications of known terrorists and their abettors. Such monitoring is an act of self-defense. It protects our lives and our freedom, and should be encouraged.

Kyrel, wherein lies the "asininity" of what he has written? Surely you're not one of those conceptually-challenged libertarians who cannot distinguish between the pre-emptive/retaliatory defence of liberty by force and the attacks on liberty against which that defence is exercised?!

I'm grateful you've drawn my attention to Schwartz's blog. Didn't know he had one.

Peter Schwatz Weighs In

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Asinine and depraved commentary from the worst cultist of them all: http://peterschwartz.com/snowd...

Bringing the Light

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Edward Snowden is a champion of truth and liberty -- whether he knows and intends it, or not.

NSA loophole allows warrantless search of US citizens

Marcus's picture

NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls

"The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens' email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden.

The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans' communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing "warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans".

The authority, approved in 2011, appears to contrast with repeated assurances from Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials to both Congress and the American public that the privacy of US citizens is protected from the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs.

The intelligence data is being gathered under Section 702 of the of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the NSA authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets, who must be non-US citizens and outside the US at the point of collection.

The communications of Americans in direct contact with foreign targets can also be collected without a warrant, and the intelligence agencies acknowledge that purely domestic communications can also be inadvertently swept into its databases. That process is known as "incidental collection" in surveillance parlance.

But this is the first evidence that the NSA has permission to search those databases for specific US individuals' communications."

Pot-Kettle-Black

Marcus's picture

Obama criticises Russia for granting asylum

President says 'cold war mentality' is behind Kremlin's decision to protect NSA leaker rather than hand him over.

"Barack Obama has said he is "disappointed" that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden instead of sending the former government contractor back to the US to face espionage charges.

Obama, in his first comments about Snowden since Russia's decision last week, said the situation reflected "underlying challenges" in dealing with Moscow.

"There have been times where they slip back into cold war thinking and a cold war mentality," Obama said on NBC's Tonight Show.

Snowden, an ex-NSA systems analyst, is accused of leaking details about highly secretive government surveillance programs. He spent several weeks in the transit zone of a Moscow airport before being granted asylum for a year.

Russia's decision has pushed the White House to reconsider Obama's plans to travel to Russia in September. He said he would attend an international summit in St Petersburg as it was important for the US to be represented at talks among global economic powers. But he did not say whether he planned to attend separate meetings with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The White House has said it was evaluating the "utility" of the Putin meetings."

Good But...

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

13 votes for "hero," and 0 against, is impressive! Smiling But why only 13 participants? Solo Passion desperately needs to recruit new members!

Sign up!

Marcus's picture

Prism! All your data in one handy location.

Actually, no need to sign up. We'll do it all for you!

A Small Lonely Soul vs. a Cold Remorseless Big Brother

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

When I watch the 12-minute, June 6, 2013 video of Edward Snowden, he comes across as intelligent, thoughtful, measured, and prudent. Also nervous and unhappy. I think he knows he's cooked his own goose.

But I wish the film wasn't so frequently stopped and restarted, and I wonder what's going on during the many video jumps. The unedited raw video would help all of us better determine Snowden's philosophy, character, and motives.

He seems like a standard-issue, well-educated, stylish, trendy leftist with solid civil libertarian leanings. And he definitely comes across as a patriot and USA loyalist -- not a traitor or publicity-hound or self-important jerk.

But Snowden's not a libertarian or capitalist. He's a humble, pedestrian democrat and republican. He talks repeatedly of the general public's right to know and decide all this massive and stunning federal gov't spying stuff. Clearly he thinks that if the American public knows about, debates, and then okays all this privacy-violation and liberty-trespassing business then it's fine.

But he's wrong about that. Rights are absolute. The US constitution calls them "inalienable." A majority-voting and representative gov't -- overwhelmingly backed by "the people" -- still has no right to violate individual liberty and the rights of man.

Still, Edward Snowden's a tremendous hero for what he's done. He ruined his whole life to save us. The slimy, freedom-hating conservo-progressives which dominate the US gov't -- the hateful Dick Cheneys and Barack Obamas of the world -- are really going to make him pay. Sad

This video (loads in the

Shane Pleasance's picture

This video (loads in the page) from the Independent Institute labels him 'a whistleblower'.

It ends with one of the panellists calling for him to be prosecuted "Right after the previous and current administrations, the NSA...etc".

http://blog.independent.org/20...

With whistleblowing, one assumes.
His employment contract.

It's incredible to see...

Marcus's picture

...the cat and mouse game between Snowden and the CIA at the moment.

It's like something out of a Robert Ludlum novel.

It's tempting to think that Snowden has supporters inside the US intelligence agency who are secretly helping him to evade capture.

Chief black ops looks out his pentagon window. "We got an agent that's gone Rogue. He's working for Al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, Somali Pirates and anyone else you can think of. I need a total clean-up operation. 100% bleach. I want our best agents in Russia to shut him down."

Menawhile, agent Office Nerd makes a secret scrambled call on his mobile phone from the stationary cupboard. "Hello Ed. Get out quick, they're on to you."

100%

i.am.dan.edge's picture

I love that, so far, all SOLOists consider Snowden a hero. Good for y'all.

--Dan Edge

Looks like Snowden did pick right...

Marcus's picture

...despite all the warnings from "educated" journalists that Hong Kong was not a safe haven.

Edward Snowden extradition attempts 'could take years'

Hong Kong legal experts say US could face lengthy diplomatic and legal process to try NSA whistleblower in American court.

"Any attempt by the US to extradite the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden from Hong Kong for espionage could take years and be blocked by China, legal experts have said.

The warning comes after it emerged on Friday that the US has charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorised person. The latter two charges are part of the US Espionage Act.

Legislators in Hong Kong responded by calling for mainland China to intervene in the case. Snowden, 29, who is reportedly in hiding in Hong Kong, was last seen on 10 June. He is understood to have made contact with human rights lawyers in anticipation of a legal action from the US.

The US and Hong Kong have had an extradition treaty since 1998, a year after Hong Kong was transferred from British to Chinese rule. Scores of Americans have been sent back for trial under the treaty.

While espionage and theft of state secrets are not cited specifically in the treaty, equivalent charges could be pressed against Snowden under Hong Kong's official secrets ordinance, legal experts said.

The timeframe for such proceedings remains unclear, but Hectar Pun, a barrister with human rights expertise, said such an extradition could take three to five years.

If Hong Kong authorities did not charge Snowden with an equivalent crime, authorities could not extradite him, lawyers said. In the absence of charges, Snowden was also theoretically free to leave the city, one legal expert said."

divisions everywhere

Doug Bandler's picture

This is a good question. There is a split between Left and Right with the Left claiming Snowden is a traitor. But a traitor to whom? Obviously a traitor to the Left and their hope for a totalitarian government (not that they would ever state that explicitly).

But there is a split on the right as well. Some Conservatives like Debbie Schlussel have lambasted Snowden using the argument that PRISM is a legitimate counter terrorist activity. Of course libertarians side with Snowden.

Getting Snowden right is the same as getting the Patriot Act right or the Guantanamo inmates right or the NSA right. It is a complicated analysis of the Constitutional parameters of national security. This is Michael's territory not mine. All I know is that by letting Muslims in the country (and into the West) we have allowed a 5th column population to grow that will ALWAYS agitate against us and thus will always have to be monitored. By allowing Muslims in we place unneeded stress on our law enforcement and national security segments.

But as for Snowden, all I can say at the moment is that because of him, and Jullian Assange before him, we have definitive knowledge of the creeping (sprinting?) totalitarianism of the Left; i.e. our overlords (even if they say they are Republican). It will be interesting to see what mainstream O'ism will say about this. They really had nothing of significance to say about Assange come to think about it.

The Enemy Within

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Some say Edward Snowden is guilty of treason to America. No, that would be all the top officials in the National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the George Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. All are guilty of shredding the US Constitution. All are violators of the right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment prohibition against searches and seizures without probable cause and judicial warrants. All are tyrants and criminal traitors which need to be immediately arrested, tried, convicted, and executed.

Snowden interview

Marcus's picture

Haha "..and # 2 to uphold the Constitution.."

gregster's picture

President B.O. definitely lies in his second sentence, and as for the first - is he keeping Americans safe? He's a typical leftist dreamer, in a parallel universe. He is bullshit-commander-in-chief. His promised "transparency" is getting the better of him.

Obama Response

i.am.dan.edge's picture

US President Obama's response

Links

i.am.dan.edge's picture

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