Weekend Open Forum: Traitor, criminal, whistleblower, or hero - Classified leaks and their leakers

By Jesse ยท 53 replies
Aug 2, 2013
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  1. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are infamous in some circles, famous in others. These two men put much more than their reputations on the line to disclose classified documents to the world, they knowingly imperiled their freedom and their lives.

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    They are natural journalist (not some fake journalist, only telling the story as it is allowed), willing to spread the truth about the world. I feel sorry for everyone that see these two men as traitors. I feel sorry for everyone that does not care to know the truth. I feel sorry for these people because they are choosing to live in a world of oppression, instead of fighting for their rights the way our forefathers did.

    Personal freedoms are not given freely, they are taken by those who are fortunate to stand above everyone else. Either fight for your personal freedoms, or don't ***** because you live in a world of oppression. These two men were fighting for our rights to personal freedom, and we fail them by threatening life in prison.
  3. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 820   +345

    Considering they sacrifice quite literally everything to reveal the crimes of their own governments, for the betterment of everybody else and there still hasn't been a single shred of evidence that what they've revealed has gotten anybody killed, I'd have to say they're either heroes or *****s. Possibly both.

    EDIT: Of all the words to be censored on here, why is ***** one of them?
  4. Governments don't commit crimes - they write the laws and then have the flexibility to abide by them or not themselves. This is a necessary hypocrisy. They will do whatever they see fit to preserve rule and peace. Sometimes, hippies will not understand how complex or grey it can become to fight the lawbreakers and evildoers on their own terms. If you are a hippy then I cannot convince you otherwise, and you may be determined to undermined your government's ability to protect you and your country, or maybe you are just an anarchist like the modern 'anonymous' clowns.

    As for Snowden and Manning, they are better off dead as sneaky little traitors don't have the respect of anyone (whose opinion matters). You can see the conceited smirk on little Manning's face anyway - he delights in the trouble he has caused as that is all he is - a troublemaker (perhaps check out his school reports etc).

    I'm sorry, but if you disagree then your opinion doesn't really matter to me anyway as you are off-base and thinking outside of universal truth.

    One thing I DO blame the government for - not vetting these treacherous pr1cks out in the first place - they never should have had the opportunity to do the damage that they did.

    Pity their parents for having to defend their treacherous little boys.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    It is a still-shot that may not even be related to the topic. And you might as well be condemning everyone for having emotional facial responses. People can be made to laugh during the most disastrous events. Thank you for showing how belittling you can be. I hope you don't treat your own family and friends this way. This one statement invalidates your whole comment, because now I see you charging everyone for treason when they have a smirk on their face.
  6. Fbarnett

    Fbarnett TS Booster Posts: 210   +30

    Traitors they take the job and are suppose to keep a secret. no matter who they tell or why the do not keep their word
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    When whistleblowers get caught, the people responding are so vague on why it's a bad idea. So until they open up, these guys are HEROES!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    No job takes precedence over your social contract to society. Those that think otherwise deserve to be led by the nose for the life and not be permitted into a free society. Morality and Ethics are the backbone of what makes a good and decent human being.. You can be a solider at the tip of the spear or a home maker with 2 kids in the burbs and have both.. The US government has started down a slippery path, under the guise of security, they have implemented a total and overriding intrusion into everyone's lives. At some point you see that the Islamic Spring movement has very similar pathways to what the US government is now doing to it's citizens. The fall of the 'new' Rome is near.. what ship do you plan to be on when it does.
  9. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    A government of the people, by the people, and for the people....
    snowden is a traitor, committing treason against himself...or did he participate in committing illegal surveillance against himself before his "leaks"? :)

    seriously, he should have used the available 'checks and balances' present in a functional democracy:
    an erring executive branch (presidency) will be 'audited' by the legislative branch of the government (congress), and if that 'checks and balances' fail, the judiciary will interpret the law. he should have gone to the u.s. senate presiding officer or the leader of the house of representatives or the justices of the supreme court.

    in the u.s. tv series '24', we are witnesses in how jack bauer circumvents the law in order to protect the American public. he likewise values the well-being of American servicemen and women who will brunt the consequences when security matters are leaked to the public or to the enemy. I'm not saying that the fictional jack bauer is totally right or that the real-life snowden is totally wrong. nevertheless, it's easy to side with jack because '24' is just a show but when snowden 'coughs' or 'leaks', real American lives and its allies are in jeopardy.

    anyone for the prosecution of snowden for releasing classified documents detrimental to American interests?

    anyone for the prosecution of Obama for blatant disregard of the laws on privacy and against illegal search (and seizure) without court order?

    I'm not American, I'm a Filipino but anything that the big brother u.s.a. does affect my country as the Philippines is an American ally against terrorism and there are at least 2 million Filipinos living in the u.s.a..
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    It is political interest that is labeling them as traitors, not American interest. If you factor in American interest, the Traitor charge becomes reasonable doubt.
  11. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    It's a tough call. I'm a 20-year American military vet with 6 combat zones under my belt.

    There is simply some intelligence that you can't leak out. What would have happened if the Germans knew about the Allied D-Day invasion during WWII? Or the Russians about the German invasion during WWII? How about giving Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden all of our military intelligence info? Think they might have had some fun with that?

    On one hand, I think any government should be more transparent in their intelligence activities than they are now - it can serve as a deterrent if handled properly. On the other hand, I know first hand that letting your enemy know what you have and what you're thinking will cause the death of who knows how many soldiers, civilians and other intelligence gatherers.

    There's a wrong way and a right way to voice your displeasure over intelligence gathering. What Snowden and Manning did was the wrong way. "Let's just dump a bunch of intelligence data on the internet and see what happens." This wasn't about them doing the "right" thing - this was about them getting attention that they apparently craved. Having been in the working mechanics of the military, there are things you can do to bring up concerns without compromising huge intelligence gathering functions and information.

    Use a little common sense instead of trying to get your name in the headlines and the world will be a lot safer place.

    Just my 2 bits...
    misor likes this.
  12. It is a form of self-immolation...
  13. Governments are for the people, not to oppress the people. How can you enforce law by breaking it? No government should do such kind of actions without passing through the legal process in the middle, people rights are above. Beware governments can easily become a tyranny.
    Preventive actions done out of the legal frame is like Bush's preventive wars. Manipulating people through fear. Still US is paying the consequences of going such wars, money of the people wasted to benefit a few rich ones. This has nothing to do with security it has to do with power, keeping the control of the society and established social structures to not alter status quo.
  14. Acespaces

    Acespaces TS Member Posts: 85   +12

    Unsung heroes, and at that note I'll clap against my keyboard for them

  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    Traitors, plain and simple.

    Before, terrorists could only guess at the fact the were being spied on, and one could suppose, became a bit complacent about it.

    With everything out in the open, it would be very easy to say, "we're going to blow up the Empire State Building next Tuesday", then go blow up the Eiffel Tower instead.

    Misdirection is too easy to apply when you know you're being overheard.

    And Julian Assange you ask? I think he just started Wikileaks to try and get laid. Trouble, that didn't work out so well, and now there's a warrant out for his arrest.

    As for the rest of this discussion, the idealist at this site are just way too naive and tedious for their own good.

    It all comes down to this, "why should the US be forced to wage war on a higher standard than the rest of the human dreck on this planet? (*) Look up Kymer Rouge, Pol Pot, The Bataan Death March, and before I forget, "The Final Solution", and "The Holocaust", I'm pretty sure those weren't the US's doing, and I'm damned sure they were civil rights violations.

    I'm also absolutely positive, that none of you doing all this whining have ever been subjected to "oppression by the totalitarian US government". Because if you were, you wouldn't be on the internet running your paranoid, self serving yaps so incessantly.

    Josef Stalin killed millions of his own people, and all you have to cry so loudly about is somebody may be listening to your phone calls.

    (*) Not to mention the fact that all of you "experts" at how war should be waged, have probably never served, or ever had any intention of doing so.
  16. Bradley Manning ALWAYS has a smirk on his face like he is in fact a bit mental.

    He should have been WORMED out during the recruitment process.
  17. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TS Booster Posts: 247   +27

    I can't see how breaching National Security is in American interest?
  18. Heros of course.

    One of these men has leaked info pertaining to the near unrestricted expansion of surveillance powers. As proven by this leak, no government system or its employees can ever be entirely trusted with power of this magnitude. The other one revealed acts of military misconduct and of questionable diplomatic practices. It is in the US public interest to know the truth about these events and projects so that they can be kept it check and/or prevented.

    The government should not be allowed to operate in secrecy while steadily eroding personal freedom and privacy. The foolish justify this by citing security benefits without realizing they're supporting the development and entrenchment of a powerful system of control and manipulation within government that can at any point be turned into a highly exploitative tool for advancing the interests of the unscrupulous.

    National security should be dealt with at the root of the problem. Not by hunting for and placing patchwork on a leaky ship. But by tackling grievances in countries from where terrorism might originate. The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the historical lynchpins that continues to prop up support for radicals. There needs to be a permanent and equal partitioning of that land and its resources so both states can prosper and coexist peacefully. Secondly there must be a transformation to a secular culture in the region where reason, freedom and equal opportunity is valued above all else. Iraq and Afghanistan was a missed opportunity in which the US should have governed by those standards until subsequent generations of youth are incapable of living without the results of those ideals. That is the solution. Winning hearts and minds. Not the erosion of our own ideals in the name security, and certainly not the foolish patriotic-imperialism that involves bombs, bullets and propping up client states.

    The foolish among us here will of course call these men traitors. Pulling out all their misdirections and straw-men in an attempt to discredit them. They are patriotic more so than you ever will be as far as I'm concerned.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    If national security was actually breached, yes. I don't see where anyones security was breached.

    What I do see is way too much political BS, protecting government officials who are free to violate anyones right to privacy. And when a crime does actually threaten the civilian population, I see way to much BS hand slapping (which may not even take place for a decade). If they would make an example of those who are guilty, there would be less need for cryptic tactics. I'm not appalled at the fact they utilizing such measures. I'm appalled because they have been cryptic, to keep from creating privacy guidelines for those who are innocent.

    To be honest, I wouldn't care if they blocked all encrypted communications from crossing national borders without prior approval.
  20. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I will grant you there are worse countries than the USA but you are missing an important issue regarding the intrusive nature of the surveillance undertaken by the NSA. All the time there is a benign government you have nothing to worry about. The problem comes when the government becomes less accountable. The USA has had periods when it has treated it's citizens very badly. McCarthy held a series of trials which were show trials. Germany was a democratic country which voted in the number one despot in modern history. Need I go on?

    If you consider me a wet liberal I really could not care less as you do have the freedom to do so. Enjoy your free speech whilst it lasts.
  21. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +254

    Has anybody here taken this post as being anything other than an attempt to get attention? The content is so over the top I can't even begin to take it seriously. If it was meant to be taken seriously please explain what you mean when you say "Governments don't commit crimes."

    If nobody's opinions matter to you why are you here on this website reading them. I have a question for you. Do YOU even believe the things you are saying?
    jackal2687 likes this.
  22. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Snowden had some good info but went about it all wrong. They're both traitors. One individual cant just go posting classified information all over the Internet. How is one guy going to foresee the damage that information may cause. They can't. You can't just say, "we'll snowden's information didn't hurt anyone", because we don't know and if it didn't hurt anyone what will happen next time someone takes a pledge to protect information then violates that pledge? Maybe people will die, maybe they won't, guess we'll just have to trust whatever self-righteous individual decides he is right despite the law of the land.

    If the majority of people really think Snowden and Manning are right then we should be discussing the laws regarding classified information before other wannabes going leaking information that does real damage.
  23. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +254

    I am so glad you mentioned the 'law of the land' in your post. How much do you value your "constitutional" rights as an American citizen, specifically, the 4th right of the United States Constitution? I am guessing also that you would have all illegal aliens in the United States deported immediately(if you were President) since, right now, according to current laws, they are here "illegally". Yes?

    You want Edward Snowden prosecuted for breaking the law. I am guessing you want the same thing for "other" people who break the law. So yes, the damage caused by what a criminal does needs to be assessed as accurately as possible to determine proper punishments. We can't punish Edward Snowden for his actions without establishing a direct link between his actions and the damages caused. Your statement that 'we don't know if it hurt anyone' is a little hard to swallow. If damages can't be established within a 'reasonable' timeframe then it's probably safe to say there arent any. If someone has verifiable proof of damages let them come forward and make the case.

    The punishments are different from certain crimes according to the damages caused by the crimes also. Attempted murder has a different punishment from actual murder unless I am mistaken, although probably not by much.

    I don't claim to have any perfect answers myself. Just looking for consistency in the arguments that people are putting forward. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    I am all for following the laws of the land. It's just a damn shame that our government is picking and choosing the ones they want to follow outside the normal congressional procedures.

    "guess we'll just have to trust whatever self-righteous individual decides he is right despite the law of the land." Kind of like Obama is doing right now in spite of the fact that 11 million "illegal" immigrants are living in America right now. It's a law, it's a fact. They are not "undocumented workers", they are "illegal aliens". It's the law. If you don't like the laws do something to change them. I think we got a few 'self-righteous individuals in the white house.

    I am not saying what should be a law or what shouldn't. I am simply saying that we if we are going to be a nation of laws that they should be enforced and not 'selectively' enforced. But when you got 11 million people all breaking the law at the same time it does become a much harder law to enforce. *sigh* Where was I going with this? :) Especially when you already know they are all gonna vote for Democrats.
  24. Manning brought many hours of pleasure and laughter to millions, especially in the sixties and seventies. Although he fell out of favor in the eighties, in part due to the often racial/racist content of his material, he was an entertainer, and as such should not be vilified, and certainly not labelled a traitor.
    Lurker101 and Pan Wah like this.
  25. lchu12

    lchu12 TS Booster Posts: 195   +9


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