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United States Privacy

US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden 650

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-on-home dept.
An anonymous reader points out this story about the latest effort by the U.S. to get Edward Snowden back in the country. "A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for weeks at a Moscow airport. The 30-member Senate Appropriations Committee adopted by consensus an amendment to a spending bill that would direct Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with congressional committees to come up with sanctions against any country that takes Snowden in."
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US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden

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  • Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:16PM (#44386061)
    You mad, bro? You seem mad, bro. (I'm from the US by the way)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:19PM (#44386083)

    Papers please! Here's a nice star for your chest. Cattle car number 13 please. This won't hurt a bit.

  • by rwven (663186) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:19PM (#44386087)

    Are these imbeciles serious? Do they think for one second about the repercussions of an action like this? If I were Russia, I'd grant him asylum just to watch the US government look like even bigger morons than they already do.

    1) US enacts sanctions against Russia
    2) Russia, and half the world return the favor.
    3) ...
    4) No profit.

    It's time for the people of this country to stop voting mainstream and replace the complete morons running this circus. There are just no words.....

  • Ugggh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:20PM (#44386091)

    It's like watching a 5-year old having a temper tantrum.

    These clowns don't have anything more important to work on?

  • Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonfr (888673) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:20PM (#44386093) Homepage

    This is completely insane, made by people who are also completely insane. This is calling burning bridges and not looking back, one day in the not so distant future U.S it self might find it self on the other end of a sanction (after U.N headquarters are moved, or U.N itself is disbanded).

    In any case, this is both stupid and insane by the U.S congress doing this. I wonder what threats NSA did bring to the table to get this through.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:23PM (#44386123)

    This "United Spies of America" with their OWN legal system and their OWN courts and Constitution...
    THIS is essentially why the Revolutionary War was fought, freedom from this kind of authoritarian nonsense.

  • by maliqua (1316471) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:23PM (#44386127)

    before the rest of the world decides to put trade sanctions on them. Few countries are as reliant on imports as the united states, the world would get along just fine, your people however would starve to death or die of dehydration

    keep pushing assholes the world doesn't give a fuck about your pathetic ultimatums

  • Let them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reliable Windmill (2932227) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:24PM (#44386143)

    Let this terrorist government burn their bridges. They need the world more than the world needs them. They deserve nothing more than having to crawl on their knees to get back with Europe, Russia and in particular China.

  • by cphilo (768807) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:26PM (#44386169)
    All Snowden did was let the us, (ya know...We the People of these United States) know that the secret courts, and secret spying was running amuck. As we employ these people, we should have a say as to what is funded. How would an employer feel if he had a secret project in his company that had an unlimited budget. Ya think he might want to know details? You think the head of the project should tell him that he did not need to know, security and all that. And that he had no right to know what was going on? This is beyond bizarre
  • A better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kwiqsilver (585008) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:26PM (#44386171)
    Can we send these Senators, the NSA/CIA/DHS/DOD/DOiJ fascists, and anybody who opposed Justin Amash's NSA-limiting amendment (like Barack "greater government transparency and protection for whistle blowers" Obama) to Russia and get Snowden back?
  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:29PM (#44386203)

    First, let me say that I think Snowden has done us all a service. Setting that aside, however, the Senate has some seriously skewed priorities. One of the real foreign policy accomplishments of the President's first term was the 'reset' with Russia, which helped improve relations after the mistakes made during the Bush era. Among other things, this allowed the supply of our troops in Afghanistan over Russian territory when it hit the fan in Pakistan. I'm certainly not a fan of that war, but if we're going to have soldiers over there it's much better that they be supplied.

    Is the Senate really willing to sacrifice the gains made with Russia "to get a 29-year-old hacker" (as he's been termed) who likely has already given away all the information he possesses? Is it worth the strength of our relationship with one of the world's great powers to get at one guy whom Lindsey Graham regards as a traitor? What exactly are the Senate's priorities anyway?

  • As per usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:30PM (#44386219) Homepage Journal

    As per usual the narcissistic US government thinks it runs the world. Fuck you all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:30PM (#44386221)

    I plan to enact sanctions against any US "lawmaker" who pledges to enact sanctions against an entire nation -- purely because that nation is considering a valid request for humanitarian asylum. The United States has tortured and indefinitely held prisoners, and continues to do so. Hell, I'm a US citizen and I'm scared of the raw psychopathy my country's government has displayed these past twelve or so years. Until there are trials and those who tortured are held accountable, the reputation of the United States will continue to suffer worldwide, full stop.

  • Re:Ugggh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:31PM (#44386235)

    These clowns don't have anything more important to work on?

    Yeah, they do, that's why they are doing this. Classic misdirection 101. Can't fix the economy? Can't do your job properly? Do something loud, big that gets noticed and likely eaten right up by the average Joe-Shmo living in Nowheresville, Mediocrity. Get into the news for being the "Good guys" after the "dangerous treason-ous US-hating, communist/socialist/terrorist". Then when (and in the unlikely case of IF) people ask why you didn't do what you were supposed to do, you can cheerfully say that you were too busy keeping the US safe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:33PM (#44386243)

    Predictable as it was, this is about the worst US could do in this case. For the first, it indirectly validates many of Snowdens claims about what the US is doing. For the second, it lends support to any request for asylum - after this there can be no doubt that he can not expect a fair trial in the US, when the whole system is so clearly out to get him. It plays directly in Snowderns favor - what he needs now is more publicity and escalation of the matter. Before he was an international incident, Snowden could have quietly disappeared after the noise settled down. Now his disappearance will be noticed, and be front page news, even many years from now.

  • Re:Ugggh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:35PM (#44386265)

    Exactly! How about government being

    a) accountable
    b) honest
    c) transparent

    So this bullshit about government over stepping its Constitutional Authority doesn't happen in the first place.

    /sarcasm Nah, that would involve work. Better to keep lying to the people like ... censored by bullshit National Security Theater...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:36PM (#44386275)

    before the rest of the world decides to put trade sanctions on them. Few countries are as reliant on imports as the united states, the world would get along just fine, your people however would starve to death or die of dehydration

    keep pushing assholes the world doesn't give a fuck about your pathetic ultimatums

    Well, considering that the US is a net exporter of food, that whole "starve to death" thing might not take place where you expect it to. Of course, all this talk of sanctions is silly, but don't lose sight of the fact that the US adds massive value to the global economy.

  • It's all posturing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:39PM (#44386301) Journal

    Few countries provide the kind of consumers with disposable income/available credit and an insatiable desire to buy shit like the US. You don't close the door on your biggest client. This posturing is aimed at the central and south American countries, not at Russia.

    And it's unlikely that Russia will decide to take in Snowden. Remember - they have leakers and political refugees, too. We (the US and Russia) are fare more similar than dissimilar. Like flirting with the waiter/waitress at a restaurant in front of your significant other, it's being done for amusement, and everybody gets their jollies out of it. Getting the phone number of your server and then shacking up isn't on the menu for either side in this dysfunctional but stable relationship.

  • ...and meanwhile (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:39PM (#44386305)

    The same vote struck down an amendment to reel in the NSAs domestic spying program. Oh the irony, the painful, gut wrenching irony ...

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:42PM (#44386335)

    If I was an peak oil exporting country I'd take him [wikipedia.org].

    After that any of the top trade partners of the US [census.gov]

    Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, South Korea

  • by tftp (111690) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:43PM (#44386345) Homepage

    Business Insider have a somewhat cynical take on Snowden's asylum claim which I think is worth reading.

    JavaScript required. Not worth reading.

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:46PM (#44386367)

    And when think about it, a guy who knows lots of stuff about the way the NSA spies on its citizens would be pretty useful to the PRC.

    Everyone will win, except a few senators who'll end up with egg on their faces.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:55PM (#44386443)

    Business Insider have a somewhat cynical take on Snowden's asylum claim which I think is worth reading.

    The article is worth reading, but in claiming that [Snowden] "is asking for asylum in a country that continues to openly squash dissent", it neglects to mention that at this point, his options are becoming limited.

    Even assuming any other nation were to offer him asylum, recent history has shown that the US is extremely unlikely to allow him to get there [guardian.co.uk]. So his only option might be to stay where he is, and make the best of it.

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:56PM (#44386455)
    While I might not support Snowden, I don't see putting sanctions on random countries as ending well for us. I personally want my government to just let it be. He stole some super secret documents that is going to embarrass our government. Try to catch the guy, but otherwise, just drop it already. Only going to piss somebody off.
  • by Valdrax (32670) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @06:58PM (#44386473)

    Yes, it is. Which is why we've moved beyond the days of "this site is best viewed in Internet Explorer at 800 x 600 resolution" to the days of creating sites that are intelligently designed to work on multiple browsers and obey the principles of graceful degradation if a given browser doesn't support some wizzy feature you like.

    At least, that's the theory. Some sites still suck.

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:01PM (#44386499)

    Those were really specific tariffs, though, only on solar panels, which are not really essential to the U.S. economy. The problem with general trade sanctions is that we get all our stuff from China, so we can't afford to ban importing it. If there were even a temporary blanket import ban, almost all U.S. computer manufacturers would have to suspend sales. You probably wouldn't even be able to buy a toaster.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:10PM (#44386595)

    I remember a few years ago this Democratic senator making impassioned speeches for protection for whistleblowers [techdirt.com] and against Bush's wars in the middle-east, gitmo prison and NSA spying on Americans.

    I wish I could remember his name.

    Yeah that's sarcasm, mod me down.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:14PM (#44386627)

    Is it possible that Snowden has more information they're afraid that he'll turn over to another government? If he does, what could it be to be worth this witchhunt? It reminds me of Assuange which became a much bigger witchhunt than it seemed to warrant. I'm beginning to think that there must be some really ugly skeletons in the closet if Congress is this worried about people spilling secrets.

    The answer is simple actually: Snowden makes them look bad. They had their hearings with the NSA, the NSA lied to their faces (probably with the blessing of Congress) and they went along with the lie. By doing so it allowed Congress to appear to be protecting peoples' privacy and listening to their constituents, which helps get them reelected. And that is the key. Congress has no longer become about leading; it is about getting re-elected. At one point politics was a sacrifice: it was something you did not to make yourself rich (granted early politicians in the US tended to be on the wealthy side anyway), you did it because you cared about your neighbors, your state, your country. Politicians held real jobs, as merchants or teachers or lawyers-politician was a side job. But now you have people who are professional politicians. They like the power, the influence, the money. Their goal is not to serve people, or to lead; their goal is simply to get reelected. The best way to get reelected in the US is to do nothing while looking like you are doing something. That is why you have all these sub committees and hearings on everything from steroid use in baseball to whether or not women really need birth control. Ever notice how, in hearings, the person being questioned rarely actually gets asked a question? They aren't about getting answers, they act as a soapbox for the committee members to get soundbites and to allow them to say that they got tough on "current issue or outrage of the month".

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:17PM (#44386647)

    I'm thinking that Snowden really must know way too much. I wouldn't be surprised if he had an accident if he does get asylum. Maybe hit by a bus, fall down some stairs. He could also have a heart attack. For a bunch of Dems and Repubs to agree unanimously to try to get his ass back means he's screwed. When both political mafias agree on anything that means the real rulers of the government are speaking.

  • I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ziest (143204) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:18PM (#44386657) Homepage

    Let me see if I've got this right. An agency of the federal government, with almost no oversight, has been spending billions of dollars spying on US citizens without a warrant or probable cause in violation of the 4th amendment to the US Constitution, the founding document of this republic, as well many other laws and congress is OK with this. However, some low-level contractor tells the American people they are being spied on and congress want everyone to drop what they are doing and use everything they have to go after this guy. This includes forcing an airplane with diplomatic ammunity to land so it can be searched in violation of G*D know how many treaties.

    Have I got this right? Well! I'm glad I live in a free country! USA! USA!

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:32PM (#44386757)

    No, it's about the NSA.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maugle (1369813) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:32PM (#44386763)
    Ugh, Mikulski. She supported letting the phone companies get away with warrantless wiretapping, but God forbid anyone get away with exposing government wrongdoing. She makes me ashamed to be from Maryland, and it'll be a happy day when she's finally given the boot. Doubly so if she's replaced by someone who actually cares about personal liberty and privacy.
  • Re:Hey US... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:39PM (#44386819)

    Maybe Snowden should go to China. Now, if the US places sanctions on China, that would be funny.

    True, that would be funny indeed. But it isn't as if the reaction of the US politicos isn't funny enough already. What will they do if Russia approves the asylum request? Embargo Russia? That's only likely to make a dent with European participation and that is not likely to happen. The more they try to hunt Snowden down the more they look like a bunch of wankers. Nobody likes what they have done, including their own people and yet they keep prolonging their own humiliation. It's like watching Homer Simpson having one of his famous arguments with a vending machine.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:41PM (#44386849)
    No it's about finding ways to increase M.I.C. spending by creating friction between rival states.
  • Re:As per usual (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:45PM (#44386871) Homepage Journal

    The Congress and Senate and President of the US are traitors to the United States Constitution that they swore to uphold, not Snowden.

  • by Livius (318358) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:48PM (#44386895)

    Without imported manufactured goods, the US would be forced to return to full employment. They are not certainly not going to let that happen.

  • Re:Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OneAhead (1495535) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @07:57PM (#44386957)

    Soviet SOPA

    This just in: the soviet union has fallen [wikipedia.org]! The country whose capital is Moscow will henceforward be known as the Russian Federation, or just "Russia" for friends.

    Oh wait, that was almost 22 years ago. Don't worry, I can understand the confusion, with American society still acting like it's cold war and things.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dicobalt (1536225) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @08:14PM (#44387077)
    Didn't you know? Everyone is a terrorist these days. We can declare a war on COUNTRY_NAME anytime we want.
  • Re:Hey US... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hairy1 (180056) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @08:43PM (#44387227) Homepage

    When you say "both" you appear to be suffering under the misaprehension that you have two political parties and a functioning democracy. Do don't. You have one party with two brands, and they all are given their marching orders by their funders. There is no more freedom in the United States than in China. The only difference is the mechanism by which the people are controlled. Tomorrow I protest against the corrupting influence of the United States in my own country.

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @08:52PM (#44387285)

    If you have $250K US to throw around, you are - in fact - very rich. The fact that some people have a lot more, doesn't stop you from being one of the wealthiest people in the world.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UltraZelda64 (2309504) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @08:52PM (#44387287)

    The whole Prism program Snowden leaked is proof enough that We The People really don't have shit to say in any government matters. It's those assholes in power who are running the show and twisting everything to their own desire. I also seriously doubt many people would give a damn enough to "call our senators, congressmen, presidents, popes, PTA members, florists, undertakers and anyone else that will list, and demand he be given a full pardon." You seriously overstate the intelligence of the average American. He's really better off just staying away from this country, because there is no way here in the "land of the free" (I mean... prison/surveillance state...) he will get his rights to due process and a speedy and fair trial. That's why he left in the first place and it was a good call.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by niftydude (1745144) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:24PM (#44387465)

    No it's about finding ways to increase M.I.C. spending by creating friction between rival states.

    Mod this guy up, he has hit it on the head.

    It seems to be that any escalation of tension that doesn't result in actual war is the preferred foreign policy outcome. US politicians don't want a war with Russia or China or any country who's soldiers have equipment more advanced than rifles.

    But they do want a climate of exaggerated fear which justifies increased spending to the companies that their mates run, or to allow public servants who are their cronies to build their little empires.

    Take this whole NSA spying on email/voice communications thing. They don't really care what the general public are saying to each other. And any terrorist who is serious at all can set up their own linux postfix/asterisk email/voip server for about $100 in about an hour, and which can't really be spied on if done properly. They can even install a torrent client on it and start downloading episodes of "Game Of Thrones", so that encrypted peer-to-peer traffic hitting that server is from all over the world, and any communication they do via it is lost in the noise. For all the money the NSA is spending, their spying program won't pick this up at all, and the terrorists are safe.

    So why are the NSA building huge data centers to store innocuous traffic? So a bunch of public servants can feather their nests, increase their operating budgets and build little empires. So a bunch of politician's mates can charge ludicrous contracting fees to build it all.

    Of course, the unfortunate side effect is that if the US ever really does end up with an authoritarian dictator some time in the future, he is going to have all the tools need to subjugate the american people pre-built.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xQx (5744) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:25PM (#44387467)

    America has been waging a "War on Drugs" for many years, and now is waging a "War on Terror" (by sending an army of robotic birds out to kill foreign nationals in their homes, no less).

    But slashdot is "cheapening and trivializing" war.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deanklear (2529024) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:27PM (#44387487)

    Why is what they did wrong?

    They are defending the government's right to do whatever the government wants and keep it a secret.

    When this happens in other countries, we call it for what it is: totalitarianism.

    "Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a term employed by some political scientists to describe a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life whenever necessary."

    Instead of dealing with that fact, these cowards would rather pretend there isn't a problem.

  • by coldsalmon (946941) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:41PM (#44387579)

    That sounds like an unconstitutional bill of attainder to me: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_attainder [wikipedia.org]
    It is "an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial." This is prohibited by Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @09:57PM (#44387643)
    I'm going to call my Senator right now. Wait, Dancing With the Stars is on, never mind.
  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday July 25, 2013 @10:22PM (#44387745)

    Excuse me?

    I was just at the Chinese embassy this week to obtain a visa.

    I didn't realise it was a Chinese custom to encourage enemy aliens to visit their country.

    And I guess I'll have to tell my fiancée to move out and that the wedding's off. Wouldn't want to marry an enemy national, now, would I?

    Come to think of it, we had guests from Russia stay with us for a week or so last summer.

    Man, I've been consorting with enemies left and right, haven't I?

    Whatever am I going to do?

    Hm, I'll have to think about it, but I am pretty sure the solution to my dilemma lies in determining that you are an idiot.

    (In best "Soup Nazi" voice:) No postcards of the Great Wall for you!

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday July 25, 2013 @10:49PM (#44387871)

    I 'd love to see how the CIA deals with the fact that blank thumb drives are a dime a dozen, and most computers these days have more than one USB slot.

    I am pretty sure that if I were one of the journalists who received one of Snowden's little insurance policies, I'd be setting up a few of my own.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 25, 2013 @10:55PM (#44387899)

    Why is what they did wrong? Snowden should be held accountable for his actions and he should be tried on all charges they want to throw at him. They are doing their job to ensure that he is.

    They are only pretending to do their job as long as they don't hold Clapper accountable for perjury before congress and the NSA accountable for overstepping their mandate to the degree that they are violating the constitutional protections of U.S. citizens.

    Before they start doing something about the traitors and enemies of the constitution at home, actionism against Snowden is just smokescreen. They can easily render him harmless by making sure that there is nothing that he can blow the whistle about any more.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tragedy (27079) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @11:03PM (#44387939)

    Why is what they did wrong?

    Completely ignoring all questions of the rightness or wrongness of Snowden's actions and the rightness or wrongness of the government actions he exposed, Snowden is just one fugitive. One single person seeking political asylum. One single person whose security breach was, frankly, pretty minor. The embarassment from that breach might be massive, of course, but the actual breach wasn't materially damaging. So, what they're doing is wrong simply because they are going to extreme measures to try to get at him. They're failing to recognize that other nations have their own sovereignty and could quite reasonably grant Snowden asylum. The US has granted asylum to plenty of people who have done far, far worse things than the worst interpretation of Snowden's actions.

    He may as well do it here and let US citizens stand by him, or crucify him, as it is nominally our interests he was trying to protect. By running and hiding with our enemies, he looks very guilty.

    Please. This story is about a unanimous vote to seek sanctions against any country that wants to grant him asylum. No sane person would take the risk of a "fair" trial in the US in such a situation.

    Also, on a side note: "our enemies"? Speaks for itself really.

  • Re:Hey US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday July 25, 2013 @11:06PM (#44387949)
    Yeah talk about cutting your own throat to spite your face. AFAIK Snowden has done nothing wrong. A government cannot be allowed to get away with breaking the law by swearing its workers to secrecy and then accusing them of being spies when they point out that the law is being broken. That's what tyrants do.
  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday July 25, 2013 @11:10PM (#44387977)
    War has already been cheapened and trivialized by America. Drone strikes. Intervening in sovereign countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya) to topple their governments without so much as a declaration of war. Without even bothering to cover it in the news. Et cetera.
  • Re:Naming Names (Score:2, Insightful)

    by datavirtue (1104259) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @11:12PM (#44387989)

    Refusing to do business with someone is hardly the same as pulling out a gun and shooting them in the face.

    No, but telling me that I can't do business with them is leading in that direction.

  • by ravyne (858869) on Thursday July 25, 2013 @11:22PM (#44388033)
    Wake up and smell the roses -- Just a day after your congress failed to amend a bill with an article to de-fund the domestic spy net exposed by Edward Snowden, they made sure to unanimously amend another bill with a different article to sanction an entire country--site unseen-- for harboring him from prosecution for what is essentially whistle-blowing. They are employing historic pressure already, having called on allies to ground a diplomat's plane he was rumored to be aboard.

    Anyone who doubts the authenticity of Snowden's information, or the level of access he had in his position, need only look at the effort being expended by this government to reel him in to cast all doubt aside.

    I would at least applaud them for being internally-consistent, if it weren't for the fact that they're only consistent against the ideals this country is supposed to hold dear.
  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 26, 2013 @01:19AM (#44388475)

    If you had told someone half a century ago that someone should flee to a commie state for his freedom...

    The times sure are a'changing.

  • Re: Naming Names (Score:4, Insightful)

    by perpenso (1613749) on Friday July 26, 2013 @01:25AM (#44388489)

    If war is an extension of politics, and it is ...

    War is the failure of politics not an extention of it.

    Not if you are doing it right.

    "Thus those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle .... They conquer by strategy."
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 26, 2013 @01:25AM (#44388491)

    It depends. If you, your company, refuses to do business, it's your problem. If you are a country that not only represents a sizable international economic factor but also has the leverage to pressure others to follow your example, you're essentially dealing a serious blow to another economy. Take a look at your country's economy and realize that it highly depends on imports and exports. It depends on you being able to import food, machinery and/or other products and export your surplus. Inability to do so leaves you at a disadvantage in your economy's development.

    So please don't tell me economic warfare doesn't exist. It does. At the very least if you're an important global player. What do you think would happen if any trade between China and the US suddenly ceases?

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sFurbo (1361249) on Friday July 26, 2013 @01:59AM (#44388611)

    Why is what they did wrong?

    Because threatening countries with sanctions if they grant asylum to dissidents is wrong, as it is interfering with the internal affairs of foreign countries. Apparently, following through on it would also be against WTO treaties.

    Snowden should be held accountable for his actions and he should be tried on all charges they want to throw at him. They are doing their job to ensure that he is

    There is a procedure for how to do this. It includes extradition requests once the suspect is in the country, not threatening with sanctions before any asylum request have been made.

    His life is a wreck no matter where he hides he knew that when he made his decision. He may as well do it here and let US citizens stand by him, or crucify him, as it is nominally our interests he was trying to protect.

    Why should he go to a country that has shown callous disregard for due process in every step of this case, to spend the rest of his life in prison (you don't actually believe he has any chance of being pardoned, do you?), which may have outlawed torture of inmates, but has in reality outsourced it [wikipedia.org]?

    By running and hiding with our enemies, he looks very guilty.

    Speaking of how actions make you look, this move makes the US look like bully that doesn't care about sovereignty and treaties. Is this really in the best interest of the country? Is his crime really henious enough that this amount of grandstanding is appropriate?

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday July 26, 2013 @02:45AM (#44388775) Homepage Journal

    Out of all the problems the world faces, drugs are the least important, and I'm very tired of drug addicts ceaselessly bringing up the War on Drugs like it was the single most pressing issue our nation has ever faced.

    The ease of implementation of the post-9/11 surveillance state, the increasing militarization of police forces, the fact that "the land of the free" has the highest incarceration rate in the world ... all of them trace back quite directly to the War on (Some) Drugs. So while it obviously isn't the most pressing issue our nation has ever faced, you could make a pretty good argument that it's among the most pressing issues we face right now.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LainTouko (926420) on Friday July 26, 2013 @03:06AM (#44388843)

    Could we please stop making everything about drugs? There is so much to life that is much more important than potheads and their perceived "right" to self-injury through drug abuse.

    This isn't about the right of 'potheads' to 'self-injury' through drug-'abuse'. It's about the rights of 'potheads', who abuse and injure themselves far less than 'boozeheads' or 'tarheads', to be free of the threat of government violence if they don't report themselves to prison. We shouldn't be violent to people just because they don't conform. This sort of thing is really important. How would you like it if government locked you up because of some way in which you didn't conform (without doing harm to anyone else)?

    Given that drug abuse is endemic amongst low-income minorities in America, I can't help but think that drug legalization is a covert form of racism -- keep them hooked, make the drugs easier, cheaper to get.

    It's racism to STOP sending minorities to prison for failing to conform? That's a good piece of doublespeak you've got there.

    Here are some examples of actual racism for you:

    • The first American opium laws applying only to Chinese people
    • The campaign to ban Cannabis reviving the foreign-sounding term 'marijuana' and claiming that black men would get high on it and attack white women
    • Tobacco, a fairly dangerous leaf popular amongst white Americans, is accepted. Coca, a fairly dangerous leaf popular amongst some cultures somewhere in South America is an excuse for government violence the world over
    • Sending people from low-income minorities in America to prison for not being like white guys.
  • by deanklear (2529024) on Friday July 26, 2013 @03:34AM (#44388965)

    This is really the central issue. There are few American values outside of money any longer, and this moral hazard is in the process of destroying the country.

    In this case, we have a whistleblower providing evidence that

    1) The American government is spying on American citizens without obtaining any warrants, unless you count secret court orders that have no judicial oversight*

    2) This program is even kept as a secret from other parts of the government

    3) Parts of the government have been lying to congress about what the spying program is about, who they have collected information on, and how they go about collecting it

    *(This is a hugely important point. One of the favorite tricks of a totalitarian regime is to legitimize anti-democratic activity by simply making it legal. But if the constitution says we are free from unreasonable searches and seizures, a secret law passed by a secret court shouldn't hold sway. The only difference between our government and despotism is that they get more than one person to declare the government's will, pass it around in secret to co-conspirators who share the same backwards worldview, and then pretend that the theater they just acted for has some legitimacy.

    The stark reality is that our government is corrupt and therefore does whatever it wants. As Nixon famously stated: When the President does it, it's not illegal. Then the question has to be asked: if that's the case, what is the difference between a President and a King?)

    In essence, there is a part of our government that has approved its own spying program in a process that the public has no chance of knowing about.

    So, why aren't we hearing about this in the media? Why are we instead hearing about his girlfriend, or his personal life? Because American media is no longer tasked with seeking the truth. Their primary concern is profit, and covering the birth of a British child is a lot more profitable than hiring skilled journalists to do journalism. Additionally, the Executive routinely threatens to cut off access to their staff for any news organizations that step out of line. For organizations like the Guardian, that risk is minimized, since they don't depend on empty stories to fill the vacuum of the 24 hour news cycle. For someone like CNN or Fox, the only thing that matters is the ratings, and that's best achieved by cheap, exasperated, stupid television. They can fill the airtime with "breaking news" about celebrities, or cat videos, or whatever pretend journalism is the cheapest to produce, but they feel like they need access so they can continue presenting the strained theater of left versus right. Every headline screams out: "Obama 'slams' GOP Leadership" or "Boehner threatens retaliation for 'nuclear option.'"

    Boehner and his counterparts are barely able to communicate with regular voters, but that's because they have no idea what it's like to be a regular voter. They probably don't know what a loaf of bread costs, because they have servants and assistants who do that sort of thing for them. Half of congress is made up of millionaire lawyers, and the result of that is a bunch of outrageously overwrought laws that have nothing to do with helping anyone but their rich friends. Even now while they are discussing what tax breaks to keep, they have demanded that the proposal be kept a secret for fifty years [cnn.com]. The reason is because if the truth were known, you could go down the line and see the leashes traveling from the election year donors to the politicians they have bought and paid for. Which would be great to know during the next election, but again, you don't matter. You don't exist, as far as they are concerned.

    Back to the media... taking on the US government is expensive, and not only are the producers (who couldn't give two shits about our rights) not invested in the truth, but there's also probably an army of lawyers worried about getting entangled in expensive

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:24AM (#44389677) Journal

    Out of all the problems the world faces, drugs are the least important

    Keep telling yourself that mate, don't look at actual figures [wikipedia.org] that say an American is 7x as likely as a Chinese or a European to be locked up. And don't dig down [wikipedia.org] to find that one reason for the appealing lead America has in incarceration rates is the war on drugs*. Ignore the fact that there is a heavily armed swat team knocking down your neighbor's door with a battering ram because someone smelt a wiff of the joint he was smoking. So yeah close your eyes and ears and everything will be just fine and dandy in the land of the free (from drugs) and for god sake don't investigate what happens to the children of the 500K pot smokers you have locked up. Don't inform yourself, just lock em all up and let god sort it out, eh?

    Given that drug abuse is endemic amongst low-income minorities in America, I can't help but think that drug legalization is a covert form of racism

    Now that's irony with a capital "I" - the American prohibition on dope was promoted by the government of the day as a way to get "lazy Mexicans" back to work.

    Your hate for junkies and potheads is clearly and democratically expressed in those numbers, but the facts of life are such that prohibition has never worked and never will, all it does it create a huge black market and what that delivers to society is misery in the form of oppression [wikipedia.org] (note the date on the bend), violence and corruption. Those who are still ignorant enough to support it are the moral criminals in the war on (some) drugs, the fact they are a "well meaning" democratic mob is of little comfort to the victims.

    you should be ashamed of yourself

    Why? I'm a proud grandfather of three, I'm a degree qualified professional and have not been out of work since 1981, I currently earn around twice the national average wage and live on the shores of port phillip bay. I've been a responsible pot smoker since 1977 but it's none of yours or the government's dammed business how or why I abuse my own lungs in my own home. And yes I'm sure my employer and the US government read my slashdot posts, thing is at 54 I'm too old to be ashamed of my behavior and will happily admit to, and defend, my pot smoking (although I don't normally tell people like you, for obvious reasons).

    So next time you're at a work party sipping on your free grog, have a look around. One in five of those people will be a responsible pot smoker and according to you they should be locked up, their children made into wards of the state, and their family home/farm sold by the state as an illegally acquired asset (regardless of where the money actually came from or the fact that there was only a couple of plants in a well lit closet).

    * - Not sure if the following stats are on that page, but here is your "non problem" in a nutshell..
    -The 27 nations of the EU have a population of 500M and a total prison population of 600K.
    -The US has population of 300M, a total prison population of over 2M of which 500K are locked up for victimless drug crimes.

  • Re:Naming Names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chilvence (1210312) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:57AM (#44389767)

    So, a man stands up for his beliefs, defies the will of the country with the most powerful military in the history of creation, one that can barely disguise its intentions to throw him in a dark hole never to be seen again, all while armed with nothing but a keyboard, and you call him a coward?

    Interesting. What do you want him to do, Chuck Norris his way through the Pentagon?

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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