Still think NSA-leaker Edward Snowden is a hero?

Former NSA employee, and famed PRISM whistleblower, Edward Snowden is now leaking top secret documents that appear to have nothing to do with the NSA eavesdropping on Americans, and everything to do with hurting the United States’ national security position vis-a-vis Russia before a key Obama-Putin summit.

Ed-Snowden

According to a new story in the Guardian, Snowden is now leaking documents showing that in 2009 the United States intercepted communications from then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was attending the G20 Summit in London.

The leak from Snowden comes only one day before President Obama is to meet with Russian President Putin at the G8 summit.

The Guardian is reporting in a second story, also leaked by Snowden, that during the same summit, British intelligence was surreptitiously monitoring foreign politicians as well.

But Snowden didn’t stop there.  He also leaked documents showing that British intelligence planned to spy on delegates to the Commonwealth summit.

A few journalists are already questioning Snowden’s motivation for the leaks, as these new stories seem to have little to do with Snowden’s initial claims for why he went public, to protect America’s democracy:

Snowden-leak

Just as questionable is the timing of the leak. The day before President Obama meets with Russian President Putin in Northern Ireland, Snowden leaks a document showing that the US spied on Russia’s then-President Medvedev.  So at worst he’s intentionally helping Putin, and at best he’s woefully ignorant of the real damage he’s causing US national security on the eve of a key summit with a nasty man running a far-more dangerous country than our own.

I went back and read Glenn’s initial story about Snowden – the story in which he revealed Snowden’s name (with Snowden’s permission).  And something bothers me about what Snowden told Glenn:

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

How does revealing that the US spied on Russia further “the public interest” of anyone other than Vladimir Putin?

Remember, Snowden chose to work at the CIA and the NSA – our top two spy agencies.  He knew quite well what he was getting into. And the notion that the United States spies on Russia, or that Britain spies on foreign summit delegates, is hardly earth-shattering “oh my god I have to leak this” news.  Having said that, evidence of such spying is not usually publicly confirmed either. Nor was it terribly helpful (for us – it was quite helpful for the Russians) for Snowden to detail the manner in which the Brits spied on foreign delegates.

I can perhaps accept Snowden’s sincerity for leaking the news that Verizon was providing all of its customer calling data to the NSA, and the details of the PRISM program.  But with these additional revelations about the US, Britain, Russia and the Commonwealth, Snowden moves beyond his initial claim of blowing the whistle on the threat the surveillance state poses to the democracy he loves.  Our democracy won’t suffer one bit from the US spying on Russia (it might even be helped), or the Brits spying on the Commonwealth.

Snowden’s hero status is starting to suffer from mission-creep.  That is, unless Snowden is now trying to argue that domestic spying was not his main concern, but rather, he’s worried about the entire worldwide intelligence apparatus.

And if that’s the case, then Edward Snowden is sounding more and more like the man who joins the Army and then is shocked to find out he’s expected to kill people.  Such a man is either crazy, a liar, or a flake.

Which one is Edward Snowden?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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343 Responses to “Still think NSA-leaker Edward Snowden is a hero?”

  1. Tóti says:

    Mr. Snowden probably thought it would be easier to live with the fallout of his whistleblowing than live with feeling like a coward.

  2. Tóti says:

    Funk those typos, it is “were” and “heroes,” I apologize.

  3. Tóti says:


    Still think NSA-leaker Edward Snowden is a hero?

    Yes, the first great hero of this century. Not that USA is bad, but it could break bad where it not for heros like E.S.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otU2VVoTQfk

  4. RealityAlwaysBites says:

    NSA= Nasty Sociopaths Always…… Needless Stupid Agency…… Not Supporting America…… Nosy Stupid Aholes…. no matter what you call the sociopaths they aren’t American’s nor should any employee or contractor of the NSA be allowed to remain in the USA. Deport the traitors… or put them on trial and shoot them.

  5. moe stiven says:

    NSA broke and still is braking the law as well, one criminal is acusing another criminal thats all what it is but unlike obama or the nsa snowden is a little gear in the corrupt system.

    Snowden is a hero he had a sexy wife, lived in hawai and had a huge paycheck every month. So you wanna tell me he gave it all up because hes a spy so he could live in a cold foreign country?

  6. Tim Eskew says:

    Yes I still consider Snowden quite brave and heroic. Answering the question about leaks of spying against Russia…>> Self-preservation comes to mind, the enemy of my enemy is my friend (kinda). Everyone spies, it’s our nature. The intelligence complex we have forged into our cities and countrysides is quite vast and alarming when you consider that they’re pointing it inward. We might need secrets, but we also need to realize that these leaks will proliferate as the structure of gathering and refining intelligence is right now. Lock it down or learn to live with it.

  7. Jennifer Cohagen says:

    To answer your question, yes … still think NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a hero.

  8. Fuck America says:

    Yes

  9. TVOR says:

    NO ONE thinks Snowden is a hero EVERYONE KNOWS he’s a traitor and should be EXECUTED on sight

  10. KPM says:

    And if this is all that is left of leadership then down it will go. Just as the german people of the late 30s did not find the moral center. Sad to say the normal guys and gals in America dont own even public media any more. If you dont march in goose step you dont get to speak in the post 911night mare that these lune toones call safe. Of all the things born of the home land age “safe” is not one. God Bless Dr Paul.

  11. KPM says:

    I dont think you get the depth of this event. But I am happy to belive that you should hold your secrets past the end.

  12. KPM says:

    Snowden is a HERO GOD YES. And the day of people laying down for this kind of crap is near end. Mr. Snowden think about maybe faceing these charges like Nelsen Mandella did. And know that if I am on a jury you will not just walk. They will owe you.The U.S. has been high jacked by some rich sad sick and GOD knows what else. I fear we must rise. And the media what a joke these guys ruin or money our freedom and yes our honor. We in America dont steal what we want. We dont make false reasons to go to war.WE IN AMERICA DONT TORTURE people.A And we dont give our soals to the bilderbergs or the Skull and bones or any body else. We LOVE OUR HOME stop the atack on our libertys now or face the wirlwind.AND fusion center add this to my profile as well. Keith P. Miller AKRON OHIO

  13. Cee says:

    Secret Recording of Edward Snowden and NSA Supervisor: http://youtu.be/ojQ__92bFwM

  14. John says:

    The writer, who is obviously still
    influenced by the anti-soviet days of the cold war, is taking this
    Nationalism to an extreme. Do you think that it’s alright for the
    Russains to spy on the US? Well, I’m sure the writer does not,
    because it wouldn’t be helpful “for us.”

    Espionage is morally wrong. It decontributes to those on the
    receiving end, while unfairly benefiting the perpetrating side. Not
    only were people affected by the espionage in this example, but the
    US was obviously not afraid of a Russain invasion (this isn’t the
    Cold War any more); nullifying most widely excepted justifications
    for espionage.

    Now,
    the writer claims that Snowden has released the specific information
    only to benefit the Russains. If that were true (which it most likely
    isn’t; you can’t always assume motives are one dimensional), then he
    has conteracted the benefits the US has unfairly gained from spying
    on the Russains.

  15. jon says:

    They got Snowden, he was spotted in a building window

    check this footage out http://youtu.be/Z3EF2pvKuo4

  16. margaretsheridan says:

    The real betrayers to our Country are still here in the US….and are still in power and in process of preparing for overthrowing the People. Arms, ammuniton, armor vehicles……have you hear ? Just what is it that we think “they” – “our” government is preparing for………to “protect” us????? Nope.

  17. margaretsheridan says:

    Snowden is my boy, as well. A Patriot who disclosed to the American people that the government is spying on them, seizing effects which are prohibited in the 4th Amendment and NOTHING is being done except to try to justify it by the government people telling us it is PROTECTING us. It is PROTECTING THEM. It is VIOLATING US.
    If anyone thinks this young man did this for fame – they must be loony. He just sacrificed his career, his life as he knew it for a life of fleeing for standing up for the American Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed therein. Something that Congress has forgotten to check on when this administration people break one law after another and Congress turns the other way instead of dealing with the work of imploding our Country that these government people are currently doing.
    Do we have a Congress or do we have for the most part eunochs and eunochesses ?

  18. Jafafa Hots says:

    Answer to the question is YES.

    Is Americablog going to go into the push-polling business, by any chance?
    (I figure you might be practicing…)

  19. Leon Welch says:

    New Laptop, rubber gloves, scanner, motel parking lot, river, all in that order.

  20. Leon Welch says:

    He needs to buy a new laptop. Next park in a motel parking lot. Hook up. Spill your guts. Wipe down laptop and throw into river.

  21. Leon Welch says:

    And my oath to uphold our Constitution did not end when I left the military.

  22. Leon Welch says:

    I was in the military in the 60’s so I have known for many many years just how this government works. No big surprise to me. I think it is time that the rest of this country knows how it works also. My hats off to Snowden. I would only give him one word of advice and that is, stick to Hong Kong like a leech on a wet log.

  23. Leon Welch says:

    Snowden is not telling us anything that we did not already know. So what is the big deal. I guess the big deal is confirming what we already knew. What a screwed up world we do live in. Snowden my boy I wish you the best.

  24. jasonwhat says:

    Aravosis and others like Bob Cesca continue to be disingenuous about this leak. The front page of the Guardian was: Revealed how UK spied on its allies at London summits http://www.thepaperboy.com/uk/the-guardian/front-pages-today.cfm?frontpage=29505

    Bob and John have tried to make it seem like Snowden leaked about Russia to undermine the US. NO! The point of the story is to show how pervasive the spy apparatus has become and that US and UK are routinely spying on everybody at international summits. It was timed before G20 for maximum news impact. Snowden’s goal is to force us to face the reality of our permanent spy state by laying bare how off the rails we are.

    Furthermore, what all the attackers seem to be missing is that Snowden and Greenwald (hated by many liberal bloggers) are NOT the editors at The Guardian. They don’t set the headlines, they don’t control the schedule of the stories. This is not the “Snowden – Greenwald destroy America’s security sideshow” being pushed by detractors like John. This is a team of professional editors at the best paper in the UK and a paper of record in the US (WaPo) pouring through information and releasing what is newsworthy and in the public interest. Are those editors our enemies now too?

  25. usa is sputtering says:

    John Aravosis is a shill.

    Blatantly obvious he didn’t leak this stuff, they are just demonizing him while he is in hiding.

  26. sane37 says:

    I bet Snowden didn’t leak these documents. Its character assassination, to distract from taking action on the contents of the first leak.

  27. SpringTexan says:

    John is disappointing and the site has really gone down with all the cat videos and stuff. I only come here for Gaius Publius.

  28. JamesR says:

    Apparently.

  29. JamesR says:

    Exactly.

  30. JamesR says:

    YES! The giving of the information to US makes his act extraordinarily patriotic. no matter what else.

    Like I told a friend who’s wife had been having an affair with everyone at work, you’re the last to know. Literally – he was the last. We are the last. But at least we do know now. (This.)

  31. JamesR says:

    Good catch. He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, but doggone it people really don’t like him.

  32. JamesR says:

    We disagree, very disagreeably, on other issues, but you were exactly right and your comment stabs at the heart of the leak issue. “Like” (this) if I could.

  33. JamesR says:

    LOL!

    And I can quote you with proper citation because you have a searchable comment history.

  34. JamesR says:

    Thanks for allowing me to revisit the definition – I had thought Fisking was the reverse, that it was Fisk making the winning seeming arguments or last words. It’s because I never read the original source posts. Re-reading the definition it’s because it involved Andrew Sullivan, some of whose writing I do sometimes enjoy, but that in this case would cause my eyes to burn and brain great spasms of pain. So I still haven’t. It did cause me to read Robert Fisk, whom I liked and am now re-reading.

    In any case it’s way more melodious that a Sullivaning so that’s something LOL and thanks again.

  35. JamesR says:

    On the other other hand – not weighing in on the topic – coming from someone who has a loathing for Disqus on it’s user end and who also suspects it for mining info it also makes unsearchable, (me,) even though I can’t “like” any comment on this site (only this site, strangely,) I keep my profile the way it is, and am always logged in to make a comment so I always know what I posted, can edit, have a searchable comment history, and it’s always me and not an imposter.

    If there are more than one “Sweetie,” well, I don’t see the worth in arguing as if there were only one, you. About stuff you yourself may not have posted? Not to mention that we cannot search. Could happen / have had happened. (Speaking of “fraud.”) Just saying.

  36. JamesR says:

    Yeah – it’s so big and fortified now he can cruise the whole facility anytime he wants without getting stopped. Unlike a certain extraordinarily stupid desperate and traitorous congressman http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/04/04/21276/rep-mchenry-calls-us-soldier-in-iraq-a-two-bit-security-guard/

  37. JamesR says:

    Exactly.

  38. JamesR says:

    Without baiting you into speaking about what you can’t, I wold posit that whatever you dealt with did not involve the Government violating the 4th amendment rights of the entire population of the country. To start with. And you were a Government employee rather than a contractor. Two large differences between you and him. That and DOE seems to run a tight ship.

    Whistleblowing is not often legal – less and less so during these last few years, thanks to Hope and Change®, but it can be moral. The counterbalance between the legal and moral, that’s the real issue here I see.

  39. JamesR says:

    What Snowden initially did was patriotic. It was life-changing, life-risking, and self sacrificing, even if simultaneously potentially self promoting – it’s not a trade off, it’s a two-fer – one cannot deny the self sacrifice he committed even if that same act may have brought a few ‘positives’ as some would see them. I am not sure I would use the “H” word, but I don’t use that casually about lots of things others use it for, but I can’t disagree.

    His current action I would call calculated.

    And it’s something I don’t blame him for in the least. I cold see myself doing the same. AND we don’t know all the circumstances either – but from just what we know, the US government threatening to prosecute, ‘free press’ doyens having fainting spells a la Bob Schieffer (WTF you dinosaur the Cold War is over and the Telegraph is in every home these days, and the US has Gulags now,) congress calls for your head, sure go ahead, release some more. I would. It’s even expected.

    And, much of this could also be disinformation – we don’t know so why invest in (mostly) artificial outrage?? I don’t get it.

    Who really cares? Russia? Britain?? Don’t they already know??? The point is WE didn’t know. And Obama looks like the FOOL HE IS. Threatening someone who has a bunch of secrets right before a summit? Good God. Don’t ever play poker with this man. (There’d be no pleasure in beating such a hapless rube.) Though to be fair it isn’t all Obama’s fault – the REAL issue is, a la Bush, Clinton, and Bush and Cheney privatization – WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS A 29 YEAR OLD CONTRACTOR DOING HAVING ACCESS TO ALL THIS SHIT!?

    It could even be said, the way the Boulder Police have posited, that an unlocked door is an invitation and implies consent. (to an unconstitutional entry w/o warrant, another issue, but still World Gone Mad http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_23420284/boulder-woman-disturbed-by-police-policy-enter-unsecured )

    Why the fuck aren’t our secrets safe? Why are we privatizing so much that should never be privatized? Cheap / bought Congress, and the string of Presidents before for sure, but this is what we got. Good we know. Good we’re offended. Good we change what our Government is doing. Good for patriots violating an oath that violates the Constitution. And GOOD that Real patriots have his back. And decry what our National Security State has become.

    In any case Real diplomats can make hay despite this, rational self-interest governs real negotiations, not rumors of the bleeding obvious or pretend offense. A real diplomat can use these issues to advantage, on both sides. World won’t end. A better deal just might be struck, if the diplomats are trained as they should be and if the parties truly want to find agreement. SO – this could not possibly affect anything in the Real World. Inside the Beltway and in Punditland it’s like flying monkeys are shitting on everything. But other than that so what?

  40. Roman Berry says:

    Yes, Snowden is still a hero. And you are still predictable. When it comes for standing up for the right thing on anything outside of LGBT issues, you can be counted on to look for (and find) any possible excuse to sit down.

  41. Dan says:

    SOB i spelled “your” wrong. Sorry. I think because i was mad and thinking “youre” an idiot and it just came out. but again, meant to say “Answer your own question”

  42. dan says:

    Heres an idea. Read through the policy pack you were given. THEN , read the Constitution of the United States of America. Then answer youre own question.

  43. Dan says:

    IDK why, but I like how youve worded it. Maybe its because its logical. IDK. but either way. Good comment.

  44. Dan says:

    simply said….. YUP, I still think hes a hero. A Patriot of the highest caliber. F Bill Orielly and his patriot or pin head show lol. Im talking about real Patriotism. This guy is just that. BTW, to the NSA screaners, i actually gave me real ID info on this post, please add this to my profile at your fusion center. oh…. and go fuck your selves. God Bless.

  45. KungFu says:

    It seems as if the journalist in this case is bitter and quite idiotic. Calling him crazy, a liar and a fake is just petty mud slinging. Its almost as if this article has been commissioned by one of the organizations that these documenys may well expose, and all they can do is whine and kick and smear Snowden’s character. Because very clearly, this particular tone on the matter is coming only from American news sources.

  46. Sweetie says:

    Yes, Iceland is even smaller and weaker.

    “The US is not going to drone bomb Reykjavik”

    That was never suggested.

  47. Sweetie says:

    Narcissism definitely explains why he left a cushy job to seek the wrath of the plutocracy. Nothing could be more selfish than whistleblowing. Think of how embarrassed Hillary Clinton was by Wikileaks!

  48. IronTheCurtain says:

    Hero. Yes.

  49. Aaron says:

    Who cares about his motivation? Is that really the issue? The issue is bigger than one person. It has to do with governments spying on their own people for no apparent reason.

  50. sdguppy says:

    Snowden’s more recent information and today’s “press conference” tell me that he is motivated at least as much by his narcissism as he is by the drive for transparency. And is taking the focus off the NSA story, which is too bad.

  51. Betty Eyer says:

    You are confusing the two issues. The topic of the surveillance can indeed be worthy of outrage. AND Snowden could be a plant, bought and paid for by someone else. Or he could be a narcissist who is motivated only by his ego to have the whole world’s eyes on him and hold this kind of power. If you believe without any corroboration that he is who he says he is and acted for the reasons he says he is acting, then you are a fool. Perhaps a noble fool, but a fool none the less. I can think up at least a half a dozen scenarios that could motivate him that are not at all noble.

  52. Proteus says:

    It is criminal behavior. Our governments are lying to us. They are breaking the law. The are violating the constitution. And the American public knows nothing about it. Read the exchange above from Clapper. If you cannot see the problem God help you.

  53. Outspoken1 says:

    I am soooo confused about the legality of Snowden revealing gov’t surveillance secrets. For 7 years, I worked at a top-secret gov’t nuclear weapons facility in the training dept. I had a top-secret clearance since I had to train on top secret procedures. Part of my clearance was a ‘need to know’; so if I did not ‘need to know’ I was not shown classified material. After I was downsized from that job. I no longer have the top-secret clearance, BUT I cannot legally discuss anything that I knew while in my job …. ever! If I were to write a book or article about my former job or the plant, the DOE has the right to review, edit and approve/deny.

    How can Snowden legally reveal all this information and not violate his security clearance? Security clearances do not end at the end of ones work – they end with ones passing.

  54. Naja pallida says:

    At some point he has to look out for himself, even if we make the assumption that his initial leak was entirely altruistic. Our government has all but said they want to lock him away in a cell to rot for the rest of his life. I would draw the conclusion that pretty much anything he does from this point out is to avoid that fate.

  55. Naja pallida says:

    Well, if it’s our embassy in Iraq, you could live pretty well! Practically like living at the Vatican, only with less Renaissance artwork. Though, I doubt any Ecuadorian facility is nearly so well equipped… no matter what, I’m sure it beats the cell waiting for him at Leavenworth.

  56. karmanot says:

    Channeling you again N.

  57. karmanot says:

    And flowers were bugged!

  58. JayRandal says:

    Since former VP Cheney calls Snowden a traitor hence he must be a hero instead. Cheney should have been impeached alongside of Dubya dunce. Both of them should have gone to prison.

  59. Betty Eyer says:

    Why can there not be two stories? Snowden and the surveillance.

  60. Betty Eyer says:

    And that, to me, is the biggest scandal. That this guy had this kind of clearance just because he knows grep.

  61. Betty Eyer says:

    This isn’t about left or right. This guy is trying to split the left into two factions – the old school Dems and the Occupy types – which at least in the short run, can only help the GOP. And I am very much a liberal (somewhat between those two camps) and I was suspicious of him from the get go. There is something about his history, his access to data and his behavior that just does not add up for me. That does not mean that we as Americans should not have a real dialogue about which is more important – our privacy or our safety from terrorism. We should also ask whether or not this giant database actually provides any safety.

  62. Betty Eyer says:

    What courage is there in exposing that the US and British governments have spied on other nations just before previous G8s, just before another G8 begins? Where’s the high minded principle there?

  63. Betty Eyer says:

    Because Snowden told him there was more. Duh. Snowden is making this into a big power play about how cool Snowden is. He’s nuts.

  64. RyansTake says:

    Knowing that the US and our allies are spying on fellow members of the G20 is something that is certainly in the public interest. These are basically diplomatic events. There should be no high-tech spying there.

  65. RyansTake says:

    Sweden has that reputation; Iceland does not. Iceland is not Sweden.

    Honestly, I don’t think it really matters why he chose any particular place.

    “Consider what the US is already doing… like drone-bombing American teens, before being confident that the US is more concerned about image than about revenge.”

    The US is not going to drone bomb Reykjavik any more than they would Hong Kong. Not for something like this.

  66. mpeasee says:

    …your right…maybe for a little while; but if I knew what this guy knew, I probably would not have done what he did. I would have quit, and found work that fit my values. But this is why I am grateful, and fight for people like Bradly Manning and Snowden, because not many of us have the courage to do what they have done.

  67. Sweetie says:

    Pink washing is an excessive focus on gay rights to obscure larger problems.

  68. mpeasee says:

    …sure I can believe it…The Tulsa race riots was a large-scale, racially motivated conflict on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in which whites attacked the black community of Tulsa Oklahoma. It resulted in the Greenwood district also known as the black wall street the wealthiest black community in the United States, being burned to the ground…that is the south for you…who knows if it will ever change.

  69. karmanot says:

    That’s often the case with your comments—-some just excellent analysis and then a skip. What did pink washing mean?

  70. Sweetie says:

    That was clearly not the point of my comment. I have been gay bashed myself, multiple times.

  71. Sweetie says:

    I guess you changed your mind, because you up-rated my comment quite some time ago. I can’t edit my comments, so that sentence wasn’t added after the fact.

  72. Sweetie says:

    Sweden has the reputation for quickly turning over people to the US, which is why Assange resisted going there for “questioning”. I have a feeling Snowden thinks Iceland would be a similar case. Consider what the US is already doing… like drone-bombing American teens, before being confident that the US is more concerned about image than about revenge.

  73. karmanot says:

    Yep! Is that what pink washing meant? It was so obtuse.

  74. Sweetie says:

    Everyone gets that you didn’t like the pink-washing comment, which is why you resorted to fabricating the gay-baiting accusation.

    But, the fact is that you used the rainbow suspenders thing several times in this topic to try to argue something. Trying to tweeze out exactly what your argument is hasn’t been easy. It appears to be something like this:

    Russia and Putin are much worse than the US, but the US should continue to engage them in a dialog because they are not unreasonable. It’s very important to maintain the charade, which no one believes in, that the US doesn’t spy on Putin. This charade makes the dialogue possible. The US shouldn’t go to war with Russia or try to assassinate Putin because they aren’t that bad. And, although Obama drone bombed a teenager and joked about it, and all the other things you listed, Russia’s anti-gay stuff is much worse.

    From what I’ve seen your position is fairly incoherent. If you are so upset about Russia’s homophobia and heterosexism, why not focus more directly on that by calling for sanctions, war, assassination, or something else? I would like to see the US take some sort of strong action, but our continual hypocrisy on human rights, which drone bombing is a major part of, undermines that. Attacking Snowden’s leaks, which amount to a minor diplomatic embarrassment — trying to turn them into an attack on gay people — doesn’t work. Transparency is the friend of gay rights, not excessive secrecy.

    But, regardless of the details of your argument, that has nothing to do with justifying your baseless accusation about me — one that your ignorance about the workings of Disqus also doesn’t justify.

  75. RyansTake says:

    I really don’t think our government would kill him if he got asylum in Iceland or Hong Kong, etc. 1) the damage is done. 2) it would cause a diplomatic nightmare. 3) it would only make him a martyr.

    I’m sure the folks in power think it’s better to let him live and try to smear him until people view him as an enemy. Of course, if they can extradite him back to this country, they will.

  76. mpeasee says:

    …interesting analysis…it would seem that he is self interested from that perspective…but, then who isn’t? …the ole altruisim and selfishness angle .

  77. karmanot says:

    Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. I’m better at fly fishing. :-)

  78. FLL says:

    All right, maybe some of my replies to Sweetie were excessive, but if you’ll read my reply downthread to Sweetie’s demand for an apology, it was the term “pink-washing” in response to my criticism of Putin’s government which I thought was disrespectful and an insult to folks who are getting beaten up by Putin’s thugs in Russia at this moment. I really haven’t changed my mind about that.

  79. RyansTake says:

    John — I love your blog, love your perspective… and have been reading Americablog for years… but I really don’t think you get to decide what is or isn’t in the public interest.

    If the US is spying on ambassador-type stuff at G20 meetings, that’s stuff I think I have a right to know. If other Western powers who are our close allies are doing the same things, I think that’s stuff we (and the citizens of our allies) have the right to know.

    I imagine a lot of other people would agree with me.

    I also don’t get the fixation with labelling Snowden a hero or a traitor. He’s neither. He’s a whistleblower. He’s a guy who was exposed to things that were absolutely gross and has gone far beyond any authority it should have. The NSA has lied about these programs repeatedly, up to and including the NSA director lying about them to Congress.

    Snowden served a purpose in leaking these documents and other abuses of power. That doesn’t make him a hero and he’s not claiming to be. But he’s certainly not a “traitor” or committing treason. He’s committing an act of civil disobedience, like millions of Americans have done before him.

  80. FLL says:

    Now I understand your inclusion of John’s quote. You felt that John was concentrating on something that was less important the the bulk of the argument. Although I still think that giving Putin an advantage is not in the public interest, Snowden wins the larger argument, which is his critique of domestic surveillance. I agree with you there. I think that when everything is weighed together, Snowden will have done more good than harm by starting a conversation about domestic surveillance and the unconstitutional Patriot Act,

  81. karmanot says:

    You had me until the ‘pink washing.’ What do you mean?

  82. mpeasee says:

    …I thought John was being myopic in the quote I posted.

  83. karmanot says:

    Imagine a life imprisoned in an embassy. I just hope they don’t destroy him like Bradley Manning. Obama has a real taste for blood and death when crossed.

  84. FLL says:

    My comment, which started your line of rhetoric, was:

    I just think it’s really sick to throw people in jail or deport tourists just because their wearing rainbow-colored suspenders. I am in sympathy with John’s point about giving Putin’s government a helping hand, and I think that Vladimir Putin is one sick f*ck.

    Your responded to that by saying: “Sorry, but the pink-washing ain’t working.” I thought that statement of yours was nasty, dismissive and an injustice to people in Russia who are fighting, at great personal risk, for civil rights. So the “evidence” that you are asking for is right on this thread. As far as your suggestion that I make it a part-time job to manually sift through months of blog threads looking for your comments (since you’ve cleverly disabled your comment history), the answer is no. If you really want people to quote from your comments on previous threads, then it’s up to you to do what everyone else does, which is to enable your comment history.

  85. Naja pallida says:

    Well, that’s probably why he’ll end up at an embassy someplace.

  86. karmanot says:

    In South America, I fear that the US could assassinate him in a matter of days.

  87. Sweetie says:

    You aren’t very good at trolling.

  88. karmanot says:

    Don’t use sock puppet. All males do sock puppet. It’s not something a Sweetie would want to leave in the NSA files.

  89. karmanot says:

    A thread with Sweetie, once she goes off the rails, is like knitting with barbed wire.

  90. Naja pallida says:

    Just saw a news article that said Ecuador is considering granting him asylum.

  91. Sweetie says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Iceland is too weak to provide much protection.

  92. karmanot says:

    rotfl!! snotty baby?—now that’s debating!

  93. Sweetie says:

    It’s not my research to conduct because I’m not the one who fabricated an accusation nor was I the one who supported the accuser.

  94. Bill_Andersoot says:

    And Greenwald knew this how?

  95. karmanot says:

    I didn’t call you a troll my dear. I said that I often up vote you on your occasional excellent comments. Now, reread the comment and stop slapping yourself. It’s not pleasant to watch your Donald Duck impersonation. I’m afraid you’ll have do your own research. I have no Duck in this contretemps.

  96. Sweetie says:

    Funny how no one can produce a detailed answer to support the accusation that started this discussion.

  97. karmanot says:

    :-(

  98. Sweetie says:

    Calling me a troll won’t change the fact that FLL has yet to produce any evidence to support his/her accusation. Since you’ve decided to chime in, why not find it for him/her? That might be useful, after all.

  99. karmanot says:

    Thanks FLL, but don’t depend on me being a voice of reason. I have too many troll slams and down arrows in my resume, even though I am ‘incentivised’ to remain polite. I just can’t help myself.

  100. Sweetie says:

    Let me know when you’ve decided to either apologize for your gay baiting (calling a gay person, particularly a gay activist a gay baiter qualifies) or you have posted some evidence to support your character assassination.

  101. Sweetie says:

    This has nothing to do with “spirited debate”. It has everything to do with fraud.

    But, if you think someone is allowed to accuse someone of having a long and recognized history of gay baiting without having to produce even one shred of supporting evidence that’s your prerogative.

    This entire thing is a sad example of the character assassination game that is played again and again in national politics, although with less polish and panache. Dreadful, but hardly unexpected. I’ve dealt with this many times before. One can always count on underhanded tactics from people losing a debate.

  102. karmanot says:

    Love that word: Flaming and hand waving! I would add head bobble, shoulder roll and snap diva!