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Snowden: I raised NSA concerns internally over 10 times before going rogue

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posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:00 AM
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Snarl

We have to define what an oath is.


That is a good start. Is this the oath to which you are referring???




I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:02 AM
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Snarl
reply to post by mOjOm
 

You make excellent points.

We have to define what an oath is. I use the term rather loosely ... a promise being a promise. In that regard, Snowden DID take an oath not to divulge classified information. He Did break his vow ... and look who he ran to.

One can be bound to multiple oaths simultaneously. Having served, in similar circumstances to Snowden's, I never ran into conflict. I've found the waters far cloudier in my current profession.


Did the president take an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States of America? Is that a promise that he kept? Is it a promise his predecessor kept? Did they break their vows? Look who they are running into?

Why is one promise more sacred than the other? Which one takes precedent? My guess is the document your country was founded on.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:09 AM
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mOjOm

Snarl
I think when the apparatus being designed is fully implemented ... there will be no more whistleblowing. As for the Surveillance State and mythic proportion ... it's pretty safe to say that if you can imagine it being possible ... it's already being done.

What is also true, is that the average Joe need not become paranoid. The likelihood of anyone becoming a 'target' of the intelligence community is incomprehensibly small.


Yes but that is hardly the point now is it???

After all, my chances of being Raped are pretty damn small as well. In fact, I'd say they are even less then the odds that the NSA is collecting my data. Yet does that mean that I should turn a blind eye to Rape as being wrong??? Should I care nothing for those who suffer from Rape simply because I don't suffer the same as them???

For someone who speaks so much about integrity I don't seem to be finding much of it from what I am reading in your posts.

Let's try a context other than rape. Do you think you can avoid being scanned prior to boarding a flight in the US? I don't know if that upsets you ... it upsets me, but it's the will of the people until someone writes a law prohibiting it. Being upset doesn't give me the right to collect up a whole bunch of classified data and run off to China with it, does it? That would be an act of treason, would it not?



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 



Why is one promise more sacred than the other?


I'd say one isn't superior over the other, nor does one take priority over the other. In fact, I'd say one has no connection to the other.

The fact our elected scumb....errr..politicians couldn't keep their word even if doing so served them better, hardly invalidates the other side of it. If anything, it makes it more important that we individually retain integrity, character and some basic sense of decency for it's own sake.

Another way of putting it is that, ultimately, all we have to be judged by is the value of our word and the nature of our actions.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:13 AM
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mOjOm

Snarl

We have to define what an oath is.


That is a good start. Is this the oath to which you are referring???




I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.


No. This one: I hereby agree that I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized by the United States Government to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization from the United States Government Department or Agency (hereinafter Department or Agency) responsible for the classification of information or last granting me a security clearance that such disclosure is permitted.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:13 AM
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Hold that thought. I took an oath to pick up my wife from work and I don't want to break that one for sure. So I'll be back in a bit.

Sorry for the off topic post but I didn't want to just argue and run without giving a reason....



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by Snarl
 




I think when the apparatus being designed is fully implemented ... there will be no more whistleblowing. As for the Surveillance State and mythic proportion ... it's pretty safe to say that if you can imagine it being possible ... it's already being done.


Probably no more whistleblowers and yet a muscular, effective surveillance system requires checks and balances and the nature of these systems dictates no transparency. That old phrase, 'who watches the watchers?' A Nixon/Hoover-style mentality can occur when powerful entities are self-regulating and only answerable to their peers.

I agree to a degree with the 'imagine it being possible' notion. On the other hand, the revelations cut away a lot of the BS. We can get a clearer picture of what's going on and some of the conspiracy myths can shuffle away and die.



What is also true, is that the average Joe need not become paranoid. The likelihood of anyone becoming a 'target' of the intelligence community is incomprehensibly small.


On a personal, individual level the vast majority shouldn't worry at all. Why would any national security agency give a crap about our lives? It makes me smile when people worry about someone reading their emails; who'd even want read our emails?!

The wider concerns are that the nature and quantity of data could be used to political ends that aren't democratic or lawful. Not to get all partisan here (just an example!), there were all the suspicions about the Bush election being rigged. Every nation experiences a political leader whose ethics are judged by history to be pretty dirty. What could happen if an unethical leader seeks to use private information for their own political ends? Could be regional vote-rigging or massaging data to provide good cause for political/military intervention in places that suit the interests of those in control of the data...

I'm no conspiracy guy and see how these systems are necessary. Still, it's fair to have concerns about the application of all the intelligence data on the wider world.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:25 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


The wider concerns are that the nature and quantity of data could be used to political ends that aren't democratic or lawful.

Which is why I took no offense at being called a statist. There are way too many hands on the controls. Some of those interests supersede those of the government. That is where your threat lies ... and nobody is watching those guys (because you can't). Spade.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by Snarl
 


Agreed



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:50 AM
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Wrabbit2000
reply to post by DeadSeraph
 



Why is one promise more sacred than the other?


I'd say one isn't superior over the other, nor does one take priority over the other. In fact, I'd say one has no connection to the other.

The fact our elected scumb....errr..politicians couldn't keep their word even if doing so served them better, hardly invalidates the other side of it. If anything, it makes it more important that we individually retain integrity, character and some basic sense of decency for it's own sake.

Another way of putting it is that, ultimately, all we have to be judged by is the value of our word and the nature of our actions.


So what if you are sworn to uphold one oath, and you witness something that runs contrary to the other? You talk about integrity and character. If you ask one crowd, Snowden was a traitor, and if you ask another he is a national hero. Which is it? He did what he thought was right, congruent with what he thought the constitution of the U.S of A stood for. Is he lacking in character for having breached his NDA in favor of a far greater document than the one he signed?

Would you absolve Joseph Goebbels or any other member of the third reich because he was of high character and kept state secrets when he could have been a conscientious objector and spoke out? Would there be a monument in Germany today for those brave men and women that resisted the Nazi's if they had just shut up and stepped in line because someone else said it was within the parameters of good character for them to do so?

Perhaps I have interpreted your response wrong. If so, please feel free to correct me. But under no circumstances should any man be bound to an agreement under ANY authority on the grounds of "character" alone to keep silent, when the issue he could speak about can out a grievous wrong, and he is indeed bound to secrecy over an evil deed. Much more so should he break those bonds and speak freely, especially so when that evil effects not only his country but the entirety of his species. No man is bound to be complicit in wickedness even when it hides behind an imaginary badge of "honor". There is only shame in using your superiors orders as a defense for your own reprehensible actions when all is said and done.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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Who cares what laws/oaths he has broken to disclose this info? It's like someone racing to a police station following witnessing a murder. To then be arrested for speeding and the murder ignored.

It's also scary that there would have been a lot of people working there that didn't feel this was a huge intrusion into our freedoms and would have carried on working there "just following orders".
edit on 8-3-2014 by troof because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:13 AM
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I guess Snowden's second mistake was to believe that a government program would work as described. His first was going to work for the NSA



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


He actually worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, majorly owned by the Carlyle Group, both very well connected neocon outfits. If Snowden had worked for the NSA, he would have had some whistleblower protection (or so they say). but he was a civilian contractor and had no protection at all. Snowden cited the reprisals against Wiebe, Binney, and Drake who were government workers with the NSA (and should have had 'whistleblower protection') as at least one of the reasons he fled after his disclosures.

The worst part of all this is how much of our intelligence gathering is in the hands of private entities, with little oversight into abuses.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:22 AM
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Snarl




What is also true, is that the average Joe need not become paranoid. The likelihood of anyone becoming a 'target' of the intelligence community is incomprehensibly small.


Mmmmm, the UK's foreign secretary William Hague said much the same after already lying about the full extent of the illegal intelligence gathering at GCHQ. He said,"If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear" Anyway Hague is so thick he can't grasp what GCHQ were achieving, not only did GCHQ get compliance from telecom companies, those companies were tripping over one another to be even more compliant than they needed to...they saw right away the advantage of having private information for their own gain, and I bet US telecom acted no differently. So you want to do a Hague, and tell the plebs everything is hunky dory? I don't think so! Stoopid they ain't.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


I know. Carlyle and neocon. However, I personally consider contractors as working for...fill in the blank of whatever they knowingly and willingly sign up to do. It's a conscious decision they make and one that true conscientious objectors are very aware of at all times.

And I highly doubt that he would have had whistle-blower protection either way, altthough, who knows...underlying government master contracts and their subcontracts are typically hundreds of pages long and are written in legalese that few if any mere mortals can decipher.

As for the worst part? Yeah. I personally had the opportunity to see government secrets served up on a silver platter to the Chinese with total disregard for the ramifications and against all objection all so some private corporation could make a buck. That affected me forever.
edit on 3/8/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 



We are kidding ourselves if we think that Obama or any other future U.S president is going to curtail surveillance. It will just continue to increase exponentially, although at a somewhat slower rate since the chef noticed that the frogs seemed to figure out they were in a pot of water (but the latter are still comfortable since it hasn't reached boiling point yet).


Totally agree. We created 1,200 intelligence agencies in the aftermath of 9/11. It was like opening Pandora's Box, now that we installed this massive spy apparatus, placed it in the hands of well-connected defense contractors, it's grown beyond government control, and so long as we continue to elect corporatists following the same playbook, it'll never be reigned in. No new president will ever curb it, and the one who does attempt to will go away like JFK.

The NSA is a "total information awareness" network designed to serve the needs of the elite corporations and well-connected one-percenters. Gotta keep the dissidents in line, with an occasional terrorist bust thrown in to keep the fear-factor churning at maximum.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


True, and this showed just what the "Whistleblower Protection Act" is truly worth - jackspit.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


So what if you are sworn to uphold one oath, and you witness something that runs contrary to the other? You talk about integrity and character. If you ask one crowd, Snowden was a traitor, and if you ask another he is a national hero. Which is it? He did what he thought was right, congruent with what he thought the constitution of the U.S of A stood for. Is he lacking in character for having breached his NDA in favor of a far greater document than the one he signed?


Keep in mind, in full disclosure so we are clear on where each other is coming from...I'm by NO means a fan of Edward Snowden at this stage. I'm not fully turned against him in my mind...but close enough for Government work. How unintentional the pun may be is what is still a bit of a question.

Having said that, I'm not sure what you mean by 'sworn to uphold one oath and witness something contrary to the other'? Who would be under two separate and different oaths in any working sense?

----

I think if we freely pledge our loyalty to an organization or a cause in life, integrity is what demands we stay true to that in Good Faith. It never means we become a Nazi to "Just follow orders" as a mental justification for the following of bad or evil orders.

In my thinking here, for this situation? Integrity is best thought of as basic values and right/wrong one stays true to, no matter what outside benefit there is for doing otherwise or what pressure may come to violate that to your own self. There is no hiding from your own bathroom mirror, and it isn't impressed by fancy technical explanations to make something wrong into something right, either. I wish I didn't know that personally in life but I'm sure thankful I don't have the bathroom mirror to look at that some people do....like Snowden here.

How to do this RIGHT...and not be a traitor for how it turns out in the end...isn't hard, and it wouldn't have been trail blazing. It didn't require courage beyond reason to do something totally new and different. It's been done before and because of HOW it was done, it came to change the course of history in real ways. In fact, it may even have saved my own life ..before it ever began.

---

Daniel Ellsberg faced a similar dilemma to that of Snowden and he faced men proven and demonstrated on a daily basis to be more dangerous (in my view) or equal at best, to anything we have in Government today. Ellsberg didn't have some special 'In' to feel safer than Snowden or any reason to believe he'd turn out as well as he did on everything. Far Far from it...

Daniel Ellsberg Expected Life In Prison After Leaking Pentagon Papers

The release of that document (which I've read every page of, and everyone should for a true understanding of Vietnam's roots and causes) is arguably responsible for the US NOT dramatically expanding the war into Laos and Cambodia as "peace maker Nixon" had actually planned to do before Ellsberg blew his little plan across the public square.

My own Father was training at a facility in the San Diego area to return for a third tour when Nixon turned the war off and reversed the whole pipeline to start funneling people BACK and not more to go into the grinder.

That....in my opinion....is how one handles a conflict of oath and/or Honor, for lack of a better word (I know..Honor is almost a corny term to some anymore) to stay true to themselves and principle. You do what you need to, but you STAND LIKE A MAN and take whatever comes for what you've done, once it's accomplished.

A stand is empty without the conviction to stand WITH IT.

Both Ellsberg and Snowden committed Treason. Right there on the books and pretty much the only crime outright defined as such and in specifics within the Constitution itself. The question and what defines society in how it responds to these things happening? What do we DO with the treasonous offense? Do we mitigate the nature of it, as effectively happened with Ellsberg, for the obvious conscience driven motives and GOOD outcome? Do we blindly prosecute without concern at all? Do we pretend treason isn't even treason...because we agree with it, thereby bypassing admission or mitigation concerns entirely?


I think we go case by case...and right now? Snowden is sitting in Russia. A good case for him, this does not make.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:13 PM
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Snarl
I just got called a statist.
You are.

Might be an apt definition ...
It is.

might miss the mark completely.
It doesn't.


What this boils down to is personal integrity. No one forces a person to take an oath. People oughta be considerate of that. I remember someone once telling me a man is only as good as his word. Look at the divorce rate and you'll get …

What nonsense you spout. A man's moral integrity and loyalty to the Constitution, supersedes any "oath" to the contrary—


I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich, supreme commander of the armed forces, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath.

Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler
2, August 1934
edit on 8-3-2014 by 3mperorConstantinE because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Unlike the resident state-apologists on here, you have articulated an opposing point of view in a manner which I can respect.

However, here are the circumstantial elements which I see that differentiate between Snowden's and Ellsberg's ordeals:
First off, I would like to point out that while both Snowden and Ellsberg leaked their documents to journalists, Ellsberg's story was broken by Neil Sheehan behind Ellsberg's back.

The USGov ordered a halt prior to publication, which resulted in the landmark The New York Times Co. vs. The United States, which is what finally allowed the leak's publication without the paper having to fear reprisals by the USGov.

Now, with respect to Snowden, bear in mind that we STILL DO NOT KNOW exactly what-all information he has, which made him decide to get the word out.
Unlike the USA of 1971 (when the media still had actual journalists) the Washington Post (to whom he first tried to leak the info about PRISM, in what I presume was a kind of test) would not even guarantee the publication of a mere 41 page PowerPoint presentation!

You will NEVER see the release of anything groundbreaking by a US mainstream media source again. Anyone who doubts this is living in fantasy land.

According to Gellman, Snowden's first contact at the Washington Post, Snowden told them

…they (the journalists working with him) would be at mortal risk from the United States Intelligence Community
…if they think you are the single point of failure that could stop this disclosure and make them the sole owner of this information.”


That's a far cry from breaking into his psychiatrist's office in an attempt to find information with which to discredit him, which is what the USGov did with Ellsberg.
You have to admit that the entire affair seems rather quaint now. The Government in 1971 was not talking about "putting a bullet in his head" either.

Yet, if you recall, even Daniel Ellsberg went into hiding after his story broke…

If Snowden had stayed here, and attempted to do what Ellsberg did, the USGov would've traced his VISA debit card to a hotel somewhere outside of Amarillo Texas, and then both he and Gellman in D.C, would have each, on the same morning, accidentally-on-purpose slipped and cracked their heads' open in the shower—and not a one of us would be the wiser.

You'd never even know~

~E.



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