Skip to comments.Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance
Posted on 12/03/2013 7:52:15 AM PST by oxcartEdited on 12/03/2013 1:17:10 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
The UN's senior counter-terrorism official is to launch an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies following Edward Snowden's revelations that they are using secret programmes to store and analyse billions of emails, phone calls and text messages.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
The UN has outlived its usefulness.
Our intel folks now estimate that Snowden has enough material to keep on leaking for years. Including a rumored “Doomsday File” that could take down our entire intel operation.
People have made Snowden’s revelations about Obama. I’ve always felt he should be captured, tried and electrocuted, like the Rosenbergs, as an example to all traitors who might inflict similar damage upon these United States.
OK, let's suppose you're right. Snowden's got the stuff to take down our entire intel operation.
What would happen?
Would we give nuclear information to North Korea? Make destructive deals with Iran and China? Have communists throughout the Obama Administration? Maybe thugs working for the government would sell arms to Mexican drug gangs to take down law biding citizen who sell guns? Yeah, the 'horror', right?
Really, the only thing that would happen is a bunch of well educated blow-hards who think they're superior to God would be out of work. What were they trading at Benghazi anyhow that allowed for a slaughter? And who were they trading to? Maybe if we knew we would have told them NO... no you can't do that. Look at the damn 'Arab Spring' and tell me you want the idiots behind that mess to be running things... Not me. And the lies - cover-ups - etc. - were silly enough to look like they were thought up by 4th graders. A film clip about Mohammand that was stupid.
And the Boston Marathon killings? Yeah I was impressed with their skill on that one. Even with the Russians calling them every day trying to warn them... they still didn't 'get it'.
Guess it's not politically correct to go after radical Muslims.
On the lighter brighter side they probably know what honest conservative citizens had for breakfast...
Who inflicted damage on the United States? Snowden, who told us what our government was doing, or our government who actually committed the nefarious deeds that we may suffer repercussions for?
Say you own a company, and your employee was committing some crime that would affect your company’s reputation. Do you blame that employee for the blowback? Or the other employee who blew the whistle on him?
Spying on foreign countries is the responsibility of our intelligence agencies, just as vaporizing tens of thousands of enemy civilians was the objective of the Manhattan Project. The idea that collecting foreign intel is wicked or criminal is a little mind-boggling.
The government had a case under Bush when the spying was supposedly limited to people communicating with foreigners. But Snowden showed it goes beyond that into Soviet-style domestic spying on steroids. If anyone in our government should be sent to the gallows for treason against the American people, it ain’t Snowden.
Did Benedict Arnold get a pass because he was one of the Continental Army's best generals before he defected to the Crown? Domestic spying was a tiny portion of Snowden's haul. Most of it relates to our operations against foreign targets. Snowden deserves the traditional punishment for treasonous fugitives - an assassin's bullet.
The idea that collecting foreign intel is wicked or criminal is a little mind-boggling.
Not a good thing, but it's not exactly news, given that a long list of presidencies have gotten various government agencies to conduct explicitly political investigations and attacks on the domestic opposition. The problem isn't that Snowden revealed that there is domestic spying going on. Everyone suspects that it's going on. It's that he's blown data-gathering operations around the globe. We're not omniscient. When our adversaries change their ciphers and communications techniques, it will take time to for us to figure out how to read their mail again. Imagine WWII if we hadn't broken the Enigma and Purple codes.
The CIA has a reputation for being one of the most lavishly-funded, yet least effective intel agencies in the world. If not for the NSA's elint and sigint capability, we wouldn't know anything non-public about anyone outside of these United States. Heck, Obama put the kibosh on the defection of a senior Chinese political figure - a walk-in who would have provided us with a treasure trove of blackmail-worthy dirt on Politburo-level Chinese political figures, not to mention information about Chinese strategic forces. The NSA was our crown jewel, and Snowden's revelations have shattered it into millions of tiny pieces.
“Spying on foreign countries is the responsibility of our intelligence agencies...”
Spying on the citizens of our own country is NOT their responsibility. Nor is it their responsibility to spy on trusted allies, and if they choose to do so regardless, they risk the diplomatic repercussions and fallout that they are now suffering. So they hardly have any grounds to complain about it now, when they knew the risks they were taking from the outset.
If they’re such a crown jewel, why couldn’t they avoid the information falling into Snowden’s hands in the first place?
I don’t remember much coming from Snowden about spying on foreign governments, other than the recent think about Merkel, which is one of those revelations that isn’t a bombshell and that I doubt many people were surprised by or cared about.
The idea of the mass collection of electronic surveillance on entire populations of foreign countries is a different story though. That’s not exactly the same as cracking a foreign enemy’s military codes. It may not be a constitutional issue but that doesn’t mean we want our national security forces completely ignoring the rights of civilian populations around the world.