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Debates Forum

  1. 12 Aug '13 15:34
    According to the McLaughlin Group only 34% of Americans think Snowden is a traitor. This is a change from when Snowden first released the classified information and Obama wanted to punish him for it.

    Carter Limited Electronic Surveillance of U.S. Citizens in January of 1978.

    President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order
    12036, which states that "No agency within the Intelligence
    Community shall engage in any electronic surveillance directed
    against a United States person abroad or designed to intercept a
    communication sent from, or intended for receipt within, the United
    States except as permitted by the procedures established pursuant to
    section 2-201." (6)

    Apparently Carter is acknowledging that his Executive Order
    12036 is now null and void because he claims Snowden broke the law.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/18/jimmy-carter-edward-snowden_n_3616930.html

    Even if Executive Order 12036 now means nothing I disagree, because the constitution is the law and the NSA broke that law. The 4th amendment cannot be ignored without breaking the law and that is what the NSA is doing. Snowden is not a spy who sold the information, he gave it to all American citizens so we actually knew what was going on. Snowden is not guilty of espionage and he didn't steal any laptops like some claim. He downloaded the information onto flash drives in an attempt to enforce the Bill of Rights. Information can only lawfully remain classified if it is constitutional in my opinion. Snowden is trying to protect the law, not break it.

    Ron Paul says there should be punishment for those that violate the constitution and I agree with him. Nobody is being held accountable for that and many politicians want to punish Snowden which takes attention away from the people who are really breaking the law by violating the Bill of Rights.

    Here is a timeline of NSA Warrantless Wiretapping.

    http://www.nyclu.org/nsa_spying_timeline.html

    Who was breaking the law and when in this timeline? How should they be punished if at all?
  2. 12 Aug '13 16:27
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    According to the McLaughlin Group only 34% of Americans think Snowden is a traitor. This is a change from when Snowden first released the classified information and Obama wanted to punish him for it.

    Carter Limited Electronic Surveillance of U.S. Citizens in January of 1978.

    President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order
    12036, which states that "N ...[text shortened]...

    Who was breaking the law and when in this timeline? How should they be punished if at all?
    I do not see anywhere in the executive order where it says that a citizen can (1) unilaterally determine that a governmental policy is illegal,
    (2) then fashion his own broadly tailored remedy
    and (3) be immune from all violations of law based on their own personal view of what the constitution does and does not protect.
  3. 12 Aug '13 16:37
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I do not see anywhere in the executive order where it says that a citizen can (1) unilaterally determine that a governmental policy is illegal,
    (2) then fashion his own broadly tailored remedy
    and (3) be immune from all violations of law based on their own personal view of what the constitution does and does not protect.
    What about Bush's assertion that the New York Times broke the law by reporting the story?
  4. 12 Aug '13 16:44
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    What about Bush's assertion that the New York Times broke the law by reporting the story?
    I do not think a news organization has the right to unilaterally determine that a governmental policy is illegal, fashion its own broadly tailored remedy and
    be immune from any violations of law based on its view that the constitution permits it to print what the news organization deems is newsworthy.
  5. 12 Aug '13 16:58
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I do not think a news organization has the right to unilaterally determine that a governmental policy is illegal, fashion its own broadly tailored remedy and
    be immune from any violations of law based on its view that the constitution permits it to print what the news organization deems is newsworthy.
    Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. was not prosecuted for espionage even though Bush said what he did was illegal. Do you think it is because he waited over a year before he published it or do you think Bush decided not to abuse the espionage act like Obama has been?

    How was what Sulzberger did different than Manning and Snowden?
  6. 12 Aug '13 17:28
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. was not prosecuted for espionage even though Bush said what he did was illegal. Do you think it is because he waited over a year before he published it or do you think Bush decided not to abuse the espionage act like Obama has been?

    How was what Sulzberger did different than Manning and Snowden?
    It seems to me that we allow established news organizations broader freedom of expression rights than we do ordinary individuals.

    People also feel that the certain information will be printed anyway and that while news organizations may not filter as much as the government wishes, the NYTs probably filters more than Manning/ Snowden would and therefore the NYT publishing is deemed less objectionable in the minds of many since someone like Manning/ Snowden would find a forum.
  7. 12 Aug '13 17:41
    Originally posted by quackquack
    It seems to me that we allow established news organizations broader freedom of expression rights than we do ordinary individuals.

    People also feel that the certain information will be printed anyway and that while news organizations may not filter as much as the government wishes, the NYTs probably filters more than Manning/ Snowden would and therefo ...[text shortened]... less objectionable in the minds of many since someone like Manning/ Snowden would find a forum.
    So all I have to do is establish a news organization and I can publish classified information? How is that working out for Assange? Alex Jones owns a news organization although a bit unorthodox. Would he be able to avoid an espionage charge?

    Where is the line in the sand? You seem to be walking a slippery slope.
  8. 12 Aug '13 18:17
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    So all I have to do is establish a news organization and I can publish classified information? How is that working out for Assange? Alex Jones owns a news organization although a bit unorthodox. Would he be able to avoid an espionage charge?

    Where is the line in the sand? You seem to be walking a slippery slope.
    I am not defending the line between private citizens and new organizations and espionage charges but I do believe it exists.
  9. 12 Aug '13 21:07 / 17 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    According to the McLaughlin Group only 34% of Americans think Snowden is a traitor. This is a change from when Snowden first released the classified information and Obama wanted to punish him for it.

    Carter Limited Electronic Surveillance of U.S. Citizens in January of 1978.

    President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order
    12036, which states that "N

    Who was breaking the law and when in this timeline? How should they be punished if at all?
    Snowden broke the law. No matter what the NSA was doing in their surveillance, whether it violated the Constitution or not or was contrary to an old Executive Order, did not give Snowden the right or defense to break the law.

    You cannot break the law to be a vigilante or private enforcer. Get a clue. You really do confuse the issues.

    Further, in these specific types of cases as a legal policy standpoint, we can't have private citizens illegally disclosing sensitive and classified information jeopardizing American lives.

    By the way, if the executive branch wants to enforce an old Executive Order, they will.

    It is for sure not up to Snowden to break any law he wants to point out an existing conflict with an old Executive Order or to break laws to point out government actions he views as in conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.
  10. 12 Aug '13 21:28 / 1 edit
    While a majority do not view Snowden as a traitor, a sizable minority do. Further, the vast majority know that Snowden broke the law. He will serve time if he returns to the US, and rightly so.
  11. 12 Aug '13 22:19
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Snowden broke the law. No matter what the NSA was doing in their surveillance, whether it violated the Constitution or not or was contrary to an old Executive Order, did not give Snowden the right or defense to break the law.

    You cannot break the law to be a vigilante or private enforcer. Get a clue. You really do confuse the issues.

    Further, in ...[text shortened]... int out government actions he views as in conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.
    "we can't have private citizens illegally disclosing sensitive and classified information jeopardizing American lives."

    You sound like you are repeating what Lindsay Graham said and it is bunk. The information Snowden revealed has not jeopardized American lives. Name one person that died because of what Snowden did.

    "By the way, if the executive branch wants to enforce an old Executive Order, they will."

    Which executive order are you referring to?
  12. 12 Aug '13 22:23
    Originally posted by moon1969
    While a majority do not view Snowden as a traitor, a sizable minority do. Further, the vast majority know that Snowden broke the law. He will serve time if he returns to the US, and rightly so.
    The espionage charge is not valid. He is not a spy and he didn't sell the information. Unless you can prove harm came from his leak you have nothing.
  13. 12 Aug '13 22:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    The espionage charge is not valid. He is not a spy and he didn't sell the information. Unless you can prove harm came from his leak you have nothing.
    Not true. Have you read the law. He can definitely serve time without an espionage charge and simply based on disclosure of classified material.
  14. 12 Aug '13 22:32 / 15 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    "we can't have private citizens illegally disclosing sensitive and classified information jeopardizing American lives."

    You sound like you are repeating what Lindsay Graham said and it is bunk. The information Snowden revealed has not jeopardized American lives. Name one person that died because of what Snowden did.

    "By the way, if the executive br ...[text shortened]... enforce an old Executive Order, they will."

    Which executive order are you referring to?
    I am referring to the Carter Executive Order you referenced in your OP. Thought you might pick that up.

    Snowden goes to jail, whether or not American lives were jeopardized in this case. That is moot and not fundamental to whether Snowden broke the law.

    Such a consideration may be incorporated in prosecutorial and sentencing discretions, but has no impact on any analysis of whether he broke the law (unauthorized public disclosure of classified material), or if he had a right to break that law, or a legal per se defense.

    A legal per se defense doesn't exist for the law (unauthorized unauthorized public disclosure of classified material). Congress did not provide a legal per se defense for the law. They did not provide a circumstance where it is ok to break that law.

    For instance, Congress did not say if no American lives are jeopardized, it is ok to break that law. Likewise, Congress did not say if you believe the government is violating your interpretation of the Constitution, it is ok to break the law.
  15. 12 Aug '13 22:37
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    The espionage charge is not valid. He is not a spy and he didn't sell the information. Unless you can prove harm came from his leak you have nothing.
    I noticed you sidestepped the point that there is no legal right or per se defense to breaking the law Snowden broke. Or generally, that he does not have the right to break any laws he wants to be a vigilante or personal enforcer.