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  1. #131
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    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.
    I'm not assuming that you consider the use of these monitoring techniques to be under the purview of the Patriot Act. My position is based upon what Congress has said. You're not an authority, so your personal opinion doesn't really matter. It has been said numerous times that the NSA is using section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify its new spying programs.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...lt-nsa-snoopi/

    Spying overseas is not unprecedented. The degree and scope is. Also, spying on other nation's citizens for them so those nations can get around their own constitutions is immoral, IMO. And our government receiving information from other nations spying on our citizens is more than just immoral, it's betrayal.

    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
    Why would I be butthurt about semantics? You're the one who said what Snowden did is "technically treason" and I've known you were wrong from the start. It's not "technically treason" as you have finally admitted. It just feels like treason to you.

    I never said what Snowden did wasn't against the law. It is. It's a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917, and the charges levied against Snowden are based upon that law.

    Snowden did give "Aid and Comfort" to the enemies of the US government because the US government considers everyone and everything to be its enemy, including its own citizens.
    "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."

  2. #132
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer'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.
    I did not speak specifically about the program and what we do to look into other nations. If quoted properly, I said what has hurt our national security. If your rule is that all nations spy on other nations. What type of national security has been hurt? Isn't what is being posited that all nations know that the U.S. is spying on them in the first place?

    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    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.
    Just because a person goes to another nation doesn't mean he is safe. Does a president move around the US freely without his secret service because.... freedom? I doubt it. There are quite a few people that "faced" the US system and got nothing done. In fact, there has been a whole lineup of people between Daniel Ellsburg and Edward Snowden that did everything they could in the "American Justice System" to talk about the issue we are talking about today. There was nothing done about it UNTIL Snowden decided to go around his world escapade in this one example. People have spent years after 9/11 talking about this issue, and nothing has been done about it.

    An example is Aaron Swartz (though in a separate type of issue.) He decided to face the justice system when he has given free information, in which millions of us pay in taxes, to people who wanted to view them. How did that go? He spent most of his money he made to fight that system, after that, he committed suicide. Now how much did it advance his agenda? Not much, I bet you more Americans know more about Snowden and the NSA than they do about Aaron Swartz and the justice system that did everything they could to prosecute him. Snowden, for all his worth, has ACTIVELY engaged the people and the world at large and that is the conversation people up there do not want and would rather let him rot in a jail cell. THAT, my friend, is what makes him comparable to the likes of MLK, Ghandi, or whoever.

  3. #133
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    The only thing that ever surprised me was that he got as far as he did and wasn't eliminated well before anything became public. You can't tell me no one saw it coming.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  4. #134
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    We share our Intelligence with the USA, but now we are asking whether we can trust the USA with Intelligence.

  5. #135
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    We share our Intelligence with the USA, but now we are asking whether we can trust the USA with Intelligence.
    A gang of thieves never fully trust each other. Because being a thief and knowing a thief is the same thing. One can only partly trust another by doing another bad deed. When one is found out, the others try to distance themselves

    Check the Mafia, the Triad, and the Yakuza.

  6. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    A gang of thieves never fully trust each other. Because being a thief and knowing a thief is the same thing. One can only partly trust another by doing another bad deed. When one is found out, the others try to distance themselves

    Check the Mafia, the Triad, and the Yakuza.
    Good heavens, you are suggesting the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain are a gang of thieves.

    In reality we devote our blood and treasure to defending liberal democracy.

  7. #137
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Good heavens, you are suggesting the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain are a gang of thieves.

    In reality we devote our blood and treasure to defending liberal democracy.
    A nation is the biggest form there is when it comes to gangs. Gangs protect their own territory. As for whether they are thieves, I leave that decision to you.

    From what I can tell, they claim to be fighting terrorism, yet they did nothing about financial terrorism.

  8. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    From what I can tell, they claim to be fighting terrorism, yet they did nothing about financial terrorism.
    This is certainly not true in Australia.

    Our economy has been growing non stop for twenty-three years.

    We had no recession in the global financial crisis.

    No Australian bank or financial institution required a bailout in the global financial crisis.

    This is because our financial system is prudently regulated.

    Prudent regulation is also a hallmark of other Australian institutions.

  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    A nation is the biggest form there is when it comes to gangs. Gangs protect their own territory.
    My nation is based on the limitation of power, whereas gangs are based on the maximization of power.

    This is because we have discovered that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And so gangs tend to be corrupt, whereas Australia fights corruption every day.

    So liberal democracy limits power while gangs maximise power.

    So a gang and Australia are diametric opposites.

  10. #140
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    My nation is based on the limitation of power, whereas gangs are based on the maximization of power.

    This is because we have discovered that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And so gangs tend to be corrupt, whereas Australia fights corruption every day.

    So liberal democracy limits power while gangs maximise power.

    So a gang and Australia are diametric opposites.
    The only difference is that one is justified and the other one is not.

    A nation is formed when a gang bands together, have renowned showing around the world, and is seen as a state by other states.

    Pre-Rome started with a gang of misfits of their time.

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