June 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

This may be a story with no heroes. A government system designed to protect the citizens starts collecting all kinds of information on people who have done nothing wrong; it gets exposed, in violation of oaths and laws, by a young man who doesn't recognize the full ramifications of his actions. The same government that will insist he's the villain will glide right past the question of how they came to trust a guy like him with our most sensitive secrets. Who within our national-security apparatus made the epic mistake of looking him over -- completing his background check and/or psychological evaluation -- and concluding, "Yup, looks like a nice kid?" -- Jim Geraghty
The sound you hear is my falling off the Edward Snowden bandwagon. I thought Larry Kudlow was harsh last night.

This Jeffrey Toobin piece in the New Yorker (h/t Robert Tracinski) got me.

Honorable mention: the pole-dancing girlfriend -- this is just gonna get better, isn't it?

"Surely there will be villainous pirates, distracting mermaids, and tides of change in this new open water chapter of my journey," [28 year old Lindsay] Mills--who refers to Snowden as "E" and herself as a "world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero"--added. "But at the moment all I can feel is alone."

Quote of the Day Posted by John Kranz at June 11, 2013 10:27 AM

"Sabotage?" Is that what it means when one discloses the existence of something that "any marginally attentive citizen" already knew was going on? It's not the Pentagon Papers, after all.

I'll consent that violating national secrecy laws may set a bad precedent but "sabotage" is an exaggeration. But even Toobin agrees that some leaking "is normal, even indispensable, in a society with a free press." For this he wants the young man imprisoned? Overreact much?

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2013 4:09 PM

A more pertinent quote from the pole dancing mermaid superhero article:

"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," he added.
Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2013 4:23 PM

It is clearly sabotage. Publicizing the existence and details of an ongoing covert operation compromises the operations as surely as cutting the landing gear hydraulics of an aircraft.

And of course he deserves imprisonment. That's what makes it "brave" is it not? You don't think there should be any consequences?

There is a valid question of whether this sabotage was worth it because it made Americans aware. I started sympathetic but my sympathy is leaking quickly.

The damning things from the Toobin piece are that WaPo truncated what they received "Its exercise of judgment suggests the absence of Snowden's." And, his running off to Hong Kong and let me quote: "because 'they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.'"

Dude should have finished high school. He is now under the protection of Communist China, with an assload of privileged intelligence information. He will see the fail Lindsay and escape decades in prison only at their benevolence. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2013 5:11 PM

The great thing about this particular story is the strange bedfellows it creates. But I have to ask, what's the name of this blog? Who are you and what have you done with jk?

Posted by: johngalt at June 11, 2013 5:40 PM

We have the laws that allowed this in the first place and he agreed to keep what he was doing secret. Any number of congress people (Hello Rand or Ron Paul) would have helped him through the whistleblower rules to expose this program to the light of day (and it needed exposure) The fact that he is in China now, hooo boy. Yes, he needs to be jailed. (not hung)

"But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. .... they can bring their complaints to Congress; .............. he threw the secrets he knew up in the air—and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. "

Posted by: Terri at June 11, 2013 6:47 PM

Keeping in mind that I'm the guy who said, "I'm willing to let my government watch me" how can we be so sure that Snowden chose the wrong path to publicize this? Why didn't the Condor (Robert Redford) just go the most libertarian Senator and ask for protection? Doesn't anyone else want to know what's in those other 37 slides that the Post decided not to publish? They could go a long way toward explaining why he thought the situation so dire, and his safety so suspect.

While I consent to being watched, I don't consent to being secretly spied upon. That crosses a public-private barrier analogous to kicking in the door of my home. Go ahead and watch me in public places, but private places are, what is the word, private! I have precious little confidence that a national government will recognize, much less respect, this distinction.

Posted by: johngalt at June 12, 2013 3:49 PM | What do you think? [6]