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  1. #121
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Hmmmmm, so what kind of national security has been hurt thus far that can be explained by these programs. If it is as common as you put it, all nation spy on other nations, what sort of national security has been hurt by the information given? What sort of information that we do not know that Edward J. Snowden has given us that we do not "already" know except that the capabilities are far more reaching than previously thought. If that is so, isn't the main issue here the domestic surveillance, and not the international one (for foreign nationals forgive me, how I have put it, you aren't as important.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    How exactly did he hurt our national security? Did Al Qaeda think we weren't trying to spy on them before Snowden? Who, other than government officials who were abusing their power, has been hurt by the information revealed by Snowden? Do you believe all the bullshit the government tells you?
    National Security isn't only against Al Qaeda.

    National Security encompasses everything from the economy to our infrastructure. Having such a deep infiltration on major regional players like Brazil and Germany helped us to better allocate our resources against potential issues. We would have advanced warning against German impatience with Greek debt, we would have advanced warning on regional conflicts between Brazil and Venezuela. Spain is a major source of European debt, and knowing what discussions were going on among their government officials was a massive advantage.

    With those kinds of early warnings, we could have known when it was safe to put money into helping solve the debt crisis by working with those nations while also knowing when the entire system was about to collapse and to reinforce our own economy. With our infiltration of Mexico, we would have known when a possible crackdown on drug cartels would increase crime rates along our border, or if there were any operations we weren't aware of that might have impacted our intelligence community's analysis of the situation (a crackdown looking like a turf war, or even knowledge of border operations they weren't willing to share). Mexico has been unwilling to work with us lately, and being able to see that deep into the situation was allowing us to worry about other things.

    Are you really gonna say that those aren't in our national interest? All we did was tap some phones. Who did THAT hurt? Are you really gonna believe a butthurt German government who has egg on its face over our own security officials? I don't agree with what they're doing domestically, but what they were doing internationally wasn't even REMOTELY out of the ordinary. Spies have literally been doing these sorts of things for centuries, from intercepting telegraph wires to installing bugs in consulate buildings to stealing scientific research to help develop their nuclear capability.

    We knew what talking points to go over with Ban Ki Moon, we knew about France and Germany's economic conversations, and we also knew about their willingness to get involved in a operation over Syrian chemical weapons (which France ended up being a huge help to us over, so that was nice to know about before we floated it internationally). The Brazilian space program, as well as access to THIRTY FIVE other leaders. We've had decades of globalization from Republican warmongering to Democrat aid-offering. We're so tied down to the rest of the world that we HAVE to know when shit is about to hit the fan, otherwise American citizens suffer domestically because of foreign affairs. That's the entire point of National Security. If it weren't encompassing the entire breadth of our national interests, it'd be called "Anti-Terrorism Agency" instead of "National Security" agency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    What if MLK or Jesus were to live another day to espouse their views? What if they were to live another day to spread civil rights or Christianity? In all honesty, he has already faced the consequences of his actions, and it is to forever be exiled from America by this current and future presidents. There is not one place he can truly call home without being intensely monitored. All that effort, to bring the crux of the issue, to the forefront of Americans. He is of another mouthpiece, as you use MLK, to fight the ongoings at home.
    Neither of those were killed by public policy. Their willingness to be arrested and face their crimes helped further their cause. It was a technicality in Jesus's case and a racist sniper in MLK's case. Ghandi, Ai Weiwei, Bradley Manning? They're all true heroes because they actually faced down their governments. Bradley Manning ran like a little bitch. He went to Hong Kong before he leaked it to the UK media and got asylum in one of our biggest diplomatic rival's borders. That's not being a hero. That is literally the opposite of what you guys are saying is heroic. Did he face them down? No, he did it once he was beyond the law's reach. Did he lose any freedoms? No, he's living his life as usual in Russia. And any of our operatives whose cases or identities were compromised? They're probably getting arrested and possibly executed.

    He's exiled? No, he's self-exiled. He can't come back because he refused to let the justice system do what it was designed to do. Whistleblowers have come and gone. Bradley Manning got off fairly easily, and will always be remembered as a hero. Snowden shouldn't get that same right. He isn't even in Manning's league.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Not at all.

    "You don't do that to your closest allies" would be a better answer.
    You DO do that to your closest allies. That's how espionage works. Rule #1: Nobody is your friend. Rule #2: The most effective tool is the one that nobody knows you have. And he took that second rule away from us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    No, it's not "technically treason".
    Yes, it's "technically treason".

    Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

    Did he manifest a betrayal of allegiance? Yes.
    Did he provide enemies (and everyone else in the fucking world) with classified information? Yes.
    Did his act weaken our power to resist or attack our enemies? Considering we were listening in to international leaders' phone calls, texts, and emails, yes, he did.

    Therefor, treason by the technical definition according to the U.S. Constitution.
    "Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." -Ekaku Hakuin
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  2. #122
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    Edward Snowden is causing trouble between the largest Muslim counry in the world, Indonesia, and the Island Continent of Australia, based on the Enlightenment.

    Snowden has revealed that our embassy in Indonesia is spying on Indonesia. The Indonesians are accusing us of betraying trust, and our Foreign Minister is sticking to our policy of, "Neither comfirm nor deny".

    Good relations with Indonesia are vital to Australia's interests so Snowden has betrayed us.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    You DO do that to your closest allies. That's how espionage works.
    We keep our enemies close and our friends even closer.

    As I write, we have our military officers working in the Pentagon.

  4. #124
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    National Security isn't only against Al Qaeda.

    National Security encompasses everything from the economy to our infrastructure. Having such a deep infiltration on major regional players like Brazil and Germany helped us to better allocate our resources against potential issues. We would have advanced warning against German impatience with Greek debt, we would have advanced warning on regional conflicts between Brazil and Venezuela. Spain is a major source of European debt, and knowing what discussions were going on among their government officials was a massive advantage.

    With those kinds of early warnings, we could have known when it was safe to put money into helping solve the debt crisis by working with those nations while also knowing when the entire system was about to collapse and to reinforce our own economy. With our infiltration of Mexico, we would have known when a possible crackdown on drug cartels would increase crime rates along our border, or if there were any operations we weren't aware of that might have impacted our intelligence community's analysis of the situation (a crackdown looking like a turf war, or even knowledge of border operations they weren't willing to share). Mexico has been unwilling to work with us lately, and being able to see that deep into the situation was allowing us to worry about other things.

    Are you really gonna say that those aren't in our national interest? All we did was tap some phones. Who did THAT hurt? Are you really gonna believe a butthurt German government who has egg on its face over our own security officials? I don't agree with what they're doing domestically, but what they were doing internationally wasn't even REMOTELY out of the ordinary. Spies have literally been doing these sorts of things for centuries, from intercepting telegraph wires to installing bugs in consulate buildings to stealing scientific research to help develop their nuclear capability.

    We knew what talking points to go over with Ban Ki Moon, we knew about France and Germany's economic conversations, and we also knew about their willingness to get involved in a operation over Syrian chemical weapons (which France ended up being a huge help to us over, so that was nice to know about before we floated it internationally). The Brazilian space program, as well as access to THIRTY FIVE other leaders. We've had decades of globalization from Republican warmongering to Democrat aid-offering. We're so tied down to the rest of the world that we HAVE to know when shit is about to hit the fan, otherwise American citizens suffer domestically because of foreign affairs. That's the entire point of National Security. If it weren't encompassing the entire breadth of our national interests, it'd be called "Anti-Terrorism Agency" instead of "National Security" agency.
    The Patriot Act was passed to help us fight Al Qaeda, not so the NSA could spy on countries like Spain to help us with trade negotiations. You've lost all sense of perspective and scope in your zeal to defend those in power.

    Yes, it's "technically treason".

    Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

    Did he manifest a betrayal of allegiance? Yes.
    Did he provide enemies (and everyone else in the fucking world) with classified information? Yes.
    Did his act weaken our power to resist or attack our enemies? Considering we were listening in to international leaders' phone calls, texts, and emails, yes, he did.

    Therefor, treason by the technical definition according to the U.S. Constitution.
    You should have read the rest of the article you quoted before doubling down. That would have given you the answer you should have been looking for.

    Treason only applies during a time of war. The War on Terror does not count. Only formal declarations of war count. And since there currently is no formal declaration of war, it is not possible to commit treason right now. Obviously the feds know this because Snowden has not been charged with treason. I suppose they could have charged him, but a judge would instantly dismiss that charge. It's not a coincidence that the last people convicted of treason in the US were convicted for acts from the WWII era. That's the last time we had a formal declaration of war.

    What Snowden did might feel treasonous to you, but it is not technically treason.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #125
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    We keep our enemies close and our friends even closer.

    As I write, we have our military officers working in the Pentagon.
    They celebrated Halloween, though. And we even convinced them that Crocodile Dundee wasn't that good of a movie.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  6. #126
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

    Therefor, treason by the technical definition according to the U.S. Constitution.
    Much hinges on whom exactly are considered our enemies: Germany/Angela Merkel, or those within our own government who subvert our democracy by spying on anyone they please, foreign or domestic, adversary or ally. The oath our military members take, after all, commits them to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #127
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The Patriot Act was passed to help us fight Al Qaeda, not so the NSA could spy on countries like Spain to help us with trade negotiations. You've lost all sense of perspective and scope in your zeal to defend those in power.
    You're assuming that I consider their monitoring of foreign officials to be under the purview of the Patriot Act.

    We did international espionage long before the Patriot Act and 9-11. And it was frequently used for things as routine as trade agreements.

    I'm still confused why you're so insistent that the spying overseas we're doing now is unprecedented. It has a lot of precedent. You can't swing a dead cat in Langley without hitting an operation to spy on something related to a trade agreement.

    You should have read the rest of the article you quoted before doubling down. That would have given you the answer you should have been looking for.

    Treason only applies during a time of war. The War on Terror does not count. Only formal declarations of war count. And since there currently is no formal declaration of war, it is not possible to commit treason right now. Obviously the feds know this because Snowden has not been charged with treason. I suppose they could have charged him, but a judge would instantly dismiss that charge. It's not a coincidence that the last people convicted of treason in the US were convicted for acts from the WWII era. That's the last time we had a formal declaration of war.

    What Snowden did might feel treasonous to you, but it is not technically treason.
    If you want to get into a discussion about the nature of modern warfare and how the idea of treasonous activity beyond open war is a fallacy, that's another thread entirely. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter, even if you want to be butthurt about semantics. What he did is against the law, it's been against the law for going on a century now, and it will continue to be against the law for centuries to come. This isn't a conversation about the legality of the NSA's domestic operations. This is a conversation about the legality of the NSA's international operations, and it's not even a real conversation since you aren't arguing against it. They weren't doing anything wrong, yet he compromised the integrity of a number intelligence operations, not because they were illegal or immoral (since they're neither), but for the sole reason of getting attention.

    And even if you're right and it's not treason, you've still admitted that it fits the definition of Aid and Comfort, which has nothing to do with the definition of "at war" in its relation to treason.

    So in case you're confused on the difference between whistleblowing and treason/aiding and comforting:

    A whistleblower, who either reports domestic misconduct or reports on wartime activities only after the fact, so as not to compromise ongoing operations: Deep Throat, Pentagon Papers

    People offering aid to foreign nations, be it scientific, military, or economic: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, John Anthony Walker, Anna Chapman and the Illegals Program, Edward Snowden
    "Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." -Ekaku Hakuin
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    They celebrated Halloween, though. And we even convinced them that Crocodile Dundee wasn't that good of a movie.
    It wasn't a good movie because it was made for the American market. It is not an Australian movie, it is simply an embarrassment.

  9. #129
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Much hinges on whom exactly are considered our enemies: Germany/Angela Merkel, or those within our own government who subvert our democracy by spying on anyone they please, foreign or domestic, adversary or ally. The oath our military members take, after all, commits them to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".
    Again, Rule #1 of Espionage: Nobody is your friend.

    Was Russia technically our enemy during the Cold War according to the definition of war? Is North Korea, China, Iran, Venezuela?

    "Enemies" and "war" these days are irrelevant when it comes to a globalized America. The fact that we have direct investment in the Eurozone's economy makes its stability an interest in our national security. Since our nation, both in terms of military and economy, would be less secure if the Eurozone were to default and/or collapse. You could very easily argue that these days wars could be launched in the marketplace or in cyberspace. Is China not our enemy for sponsoring cyber warfare against American companies?

    And please, for the sake of all fucks, do not argue that bullshit argument that we can't prove it's state sponsored.

    Again, I'm completely against what the NSA is doing domestically, for the exact same reason I couldn't intelligently vote for Obama over his use of drones domestically for intelligence gathering. I was a bit peeved at Snowden for running, but I liked what he leaked. That was before the shit about Merkel and the (for emphasis) THIRTY FIVE LEADERS we had tapped. Now I'm just pissed. He needs to stay in Russia to freeze his ass off with Anna Chapman and Putin.
    "Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away." -Ekaku Hakuin
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  10. #130
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    "Enemies" and "war" these days are irrelevant when it comes to a globalized America. The fact that we have direct investment in the Eurozone's economy makes its stability an interest in our national security. Since our nation, both in terms of military and economy, would be less secure if the Eurozone were to default and/or collapse. You could very easily argue that these days wars could be launched in the marketplace or in cyberspace. Is China not our enemy for sponsoring cyber warfare against American companies?
    As much or as little as American companies are our enemy for conducting cyber warfare against Americans. Actually, this is worse, since at least we are supposed to be on the same side. They want what the Chinese want, though: money and information.

    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    Again, I'm completely against what the NSA is doing domestically, for the exact same reason I couldn't intelligently vote for Obama over his use of drones domestically for intelligence gathering. I was a bit peeved at Snowden for running, but I liked what he leaked. That was before the shit about Merkel and the (for emphasis) THIRTY FIVE LEADERS we had tapped. Now I'm just pissed. He needs to stay in Russia to freeze his ass off with Anna Chapman and Putin.
    So you think it's OK to eavesdrop on the leadership of allied nations? I disagree on that, for both moral and practical reasons. If it's considered "fair game", then so is exposing it for what it is. If Snowden gets to sit in the Russian penalty box, I'm sure he knew something like that was coming.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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