Let Me Show You Why Edward Snowden is a Traitor and Not a Patriot

edward-snowden-traitorRecently I wrote an article mocking Edward Snowden for claiming that the only reason he’s stuck in Russia is because the United States pulled his passport.  I mocked that because Snowden would have to have been a complete buffoon to not know that after he publicly came out as the person who leaked these NSA documents, the first thing the United States was going to do was revoke his passport.

Did he really expect them to let him have an easy path to whatever non-extradition country he wanted?

And this guy claims he was a trained NSA spy?

If all the “spy training” you had was watching the movie Spies Like Us, you’d probably have enough common sense to know that once the United States government knew who it was that leaked these documents, one of the first things they were going to do was make it nearly impossible for that person to travel internationally.

But these people who call Snowden a “patriot” or a “hero,” believing that he should be completely free to come back to the United States without facing any kind of criminal charges, don’t seem to fully understand what they’re talking about.

For the sake of argument let’s say that everything Snowden stole pertaining to possible illegal activity by the NSA is 100% legit and every last bit of it is proven to be unconstitutional.  Then yes, I would agree that he’s a patriot and a hero for risking everything to take that stand.

Except that’s not all he stole, nor is it all that he’s leaked.

Telling a newspaper in China that the United States government spied on Chinese computers isn’t “revealing unconstitutional surveillance of Americans” and leaking that classified information is illegal.

Writing an “open letter” trying to get Brazil to grant him political asylum by offering to help Brazil investigate United States surveillance, because Snowden leaked information about the U.S. spying on the Brazilian government, isn’t “standing up for the Constitutional rights of Americans.”

Saying that the NSA is “in bed” with Germany and other governments, working together on elaborate surveillance programs, isn’t “protecting the freedom of American citizens.”

Leaking documents showing that Sweden has helped the United States spy on Russia isn’t “being a patriot.”

Producing documents that reveal details on how the NSA gets some of its intelligence on the location of dangerous terrorists isn’t “being a passionate supporter of our Bill of Rights.”

Revealing that the United States uses cyber-attacks as an “intelligence weapon” for overseas targets has nothing to do with our Constitution.

Neither did producing documents that showed the British government set up surveillance of G20 delegates and phones during the G20 summit in 2009. 

Last I checked, countries in Latin America weren’t protected by our Constitution either – yet Snowden still leaked information about how the NSA listens in on phone calls in many of those nations.

Can’t say I see any connection to our Constitution in Snowden’s leak of documents pertaining to al-Qaeda’s efforts to shoot down or hack our drones.

I’ll admit that I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but I’m pretty sure French citizens aren’t protected by our Constitution.

Neither are Norwegians.

And I have no idea what Canada’s intelligence gathering has to do with American rights.

Though I’m fairly certain revealing that the NSA helped the Dutch spy on Somalia has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution.

I’ll go ahead and stop there.  There were plenty of other examples (such as the United States government hacking the German chancellor’s phone and spying on the Mexican president) but I think I made my point.

So even if  you’re on the side of believing that he’s a “patriot” for revealing that the NSA has been unconstitutionally and illegally spying on Americans – that doesn’t recuse him of being a traitor.  The fact is that he illegally stole this information and much of what he took, and subsequently leaked, has nothing to do with our Constitution or the rights of Americans.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • MS

    How does whistle-blower sound. Not every person that does the right thing is perfect. (Achilles heel and all) But someone had to speak up, even if it meant breaking some laws, and grab our attention.

    I would go with whistle blower, not traitor.

    • Edgar Sanchez

      How 8 he a whistle blower when it has been out in the open since the Bush Administration that they listened in on cell phones and data mined everyone’s emails and communications? If it is open knowledge then he can’t be a whistle blower.

      • Anton de Bergerac

        thank you Edgar.

      • MS

        Then…..why is he so well known? If ALL the info was out there, and being broadcast, what makes him even a name to remember? Much less a traitor? Is he full of himself? Yes. Did he open a lot of eyes (and ears) to our wonderful big brother (sorry, government)? yup.

        Please Edgar, explain to me why he is even famous? Is he just THAT handsome? (sarcasm font)

      • adcbeast

        MS .. Snowden is a traitor because he told the enemy how the NSA was spying .. he gave away state secrets

      • Nomdeplume

        He gave it to the press, not our enemies. Yes, our enemies can read newspapers, but that doesn’t mean the information was for them. It was for the American people.

        If you can prove he is a traitor you should tell the government lawyers about it so they can change his charges to treason, instead of using the Espionage act.

        Those of you that call him a traitor only prove you don’t know what constitutes treason.

      • Donovan

        You’re a fucking moron.

      • adcbeast

        Bush started this crp …

        Google

        Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
        December 16, 2005

        Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
        December 20, 2005

        Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
        January 2, 2006

        Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
        28 January 2006

      • Nomdeplume

        And Obama continued that crp… but you won’t care until the next Republican sits in the Oval.

      • Nomdeplume

        It wasn’t open knowledge. It was stated by whistleblowers with no physical evidence, so it was easy for the government to smear the whistleblowers and con the public into thinking the situation wasn’t as bad as it seemed and that they were going to end the practice. The whistleblowers that gave you that information lost their livelihoods and were ruined. Snowden didn’t make the same mistake. He stole the evidence to prove his claims and the claims of others.

        Snowden gave us physical proof that the original whistleblowers were right and that the programs had gotten worse. He is a whistleblower in that he blew the whistle that the government was still eavesdropping on Americans.

    • TrollBaby

      Again, what this article is talking about deals with him leaking information that had nothing to do with being a “whistleblower”. If Snowden would have only revealed information about issues related to American constitutional rights you might have a point, but as this article details, Snowden revealed a whole lot of information that makes him a flat out traitor.

      • masher

        Traitor to who? We have free trade with China, we have open borders, we have liberal immigration, work visas, student visas…the US doesn’t really have borders anymore. So how can you say he was a traitor when the US has no borders? We let anyone in and we let you offshore every job. There is no us and them anymore. Globalization baby!

      • Donovan

        You’re pretty wrong with US immigration, but I value your candor.

      • Keith Cassinger

        I’m sick of reading your posts. You are a sick person.

      • Nomdeplume

        A traitor would be charged with treason. He isn’t because they have no proof his committed treason. Your gut instinct that he is a traitor will not impress judges that want things like evidence. He didn’t levy war against the US. He didn’t aid our enemies. He didn’t sell any of the information for his own benefit. Therefore, he is not a traitor. He is a thief and a whistle blower. You, and the person that wrote the article, need to learn the definition of words and what constitutes treason.

      • TrollBaby

        Are you a moron? A traitor can be any person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust. Snowden has been charged with felony espionage against his own country…that is a betrayal of his country AND the oath he took to defend our nations secrets which he was entrusted with. THAT MAKES HIM A TRAITOR. You can try to split hairs about being charged with treason, but maybe you should actually google the word before you make yourself look so utterly foolish. Additionally, the government can still introduce treason charges at a later date, so in all respects you just sound completely moronic. Now please just sit down, haven’t you had enough of looking stupid?

      • Keith Cassinger

        Yes, he is indeed a moron.

      • Donovan

        You’re such a fucking idiot.

      • TrollBaby

        Yawn, go whine about it to someone who gives a fuck.

      • Keith Cassinger

        First, totally stupid username. Second STFU.

    • adcbeast

      Google

      Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
      December 16, 2005

      Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
      December 20, 2005

      Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
      January 2, 2006

      Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
      28 January 2006

      • Nomdeplume

        Don’t know if you have heard, but the year is 2014. And again, the programs have gone far beyond what you are spamming.

      • adcbeast

        Nom de DOOOSH … Bush started the program and nothing changed …

        Snowden is a traitor for telling secrets that have nothing to do with Constitutional rights

      • Donovan

        Nothing to do with constitutional rights? you must be a fucking idiot to say something so crazy. It has everything to do with constitutional rights.

      • adcbeast

        Donovan DOOOSH … NOPE … What Snowden told the world had nothing to do with Civil Rights

        It had everything to do with divulging surveillance of foreign leaders and terrorists ..

        Try again Limp D……….

  • conect2u

    The naivete of the American people that governments, including our own, wouldn’t be monitoring the activities of US citizens is beyond the pale. Ever since the inception of the technology, the Feds & other interested parties spy on individuals, organizations and each other. The mass outrage is comical, and hypocritical especially from other governments who vigorously participate in the same activity.
    Snowden’s escape and revelations were and a national embarrassment, yes, traitorous.

    • strayaway

      Comical to you perhaps as a voice for the police state. Some of us still have the quant notion of a constitutional republic with its 4th. Amendment enforced by those we elect.

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

      What next? Maybe In your next post you will defend James Clapper lying to Congress and not being fired for doing so.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I am “secure in my person, houses and papers….” I’m more afraid of Facebook, Google and corporate America than I am of government spying.

      • masher

        Why do separate corporations and the government?! They are pretty much the same thing.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Not really. Corporations are far more ruthless and motivated by money.

      • masher

        LOL, and who created corporations? Remember that corporations can ONLY be created by the state government’s. Everyone seems to be ignorant of this. Its weird.

        You can start a sole proprietorship business right now. Just put out a plank and you are good to go. You might need to get a tax ID number but that is free and doesn’t give you any special rights.

        But to be a corporation you have to petition a state for a corporate charter. The state then creates a new legal person that essentially is the corporation. Then the corporation (corporate person) is granted special rights that shields shareholders from liability! So you can now dump toxic waste in the river, declare bankruptcy protection when and if caught, and get taxpayers to pay for the cleanup!

        Its brilliant. But this moral hazard exists because of big government types who like these types of “pro-growth” schemes.

      • Matthew Reece

        I am glad to see that someone else here understands that the state creates corporations and is therefore ultimately to blame for their misdeeds.

      • Dennis Sullivan

        You confuse creation with regulation. They are kinda different…

      • Alan

        Oh no. Not at all. Private corporations can do many things, but they cannot revoke passports or frame you for a crime you did not commit, prosecute and execute you. Government’s are the big dogs here. And while corporations can use them because people in the government are not smart or ethical, governments have powers far beyond men and their comparatively minor organizations.

      • conect2u

        Ahhh, the voice of gullibility. Evidently, you’ve lived a life w/a closed morning paper, dark telly prior to acquiring internet access. Stymie the imperceptive hubris you’d be above or exempt to police, gov’t inquiry or monitoring… this is what governments do…but evidently to other people in your ‘my little pony’ existence.

        I’m all for upholding the bill of rights, particularly the 4th, regarding police violations…yet much of the citizenry accepts, encourages such incursions upon less acceptable populations.

        Snowden’s revelations are a dis-qualifier because the effects may impugn the privacy of ‘certain people’ ONLY NOW officials are held to standard. How did you think national security was maintained? How did you think the American Administrations over the last 40yrs had been warned of terrorist attacks, YET ignored these rumblings? How’d you think 9/11/01 occurred despite the Bush made aware the previous 5 months?…but chose your kindred pretentiousness of ‘how dare they, they wouldn’t dare’.

        You picked Clapper?! He’s a career ‘spook’ obfuscation defines spy, who exists through Presidencies and Congressional careers. Could you be more obtuse or naive..hell stupid to think he wouldn’t lie? You probably believe Congress tells the truth, lol. …Snowden isn’t lying, rather I believe there is a swath of truth in his rantings… but he’s made the efforts of US intelligence agencies more difficult, potentially heightened our vulnerabilities to our enemies and raised the ire of the vocal naively-stupid. The dark underpinning activities by governments is the unspoken contract EVERY citizen accede to maintain/live civilly, the price for sleeping securely, what’d you think they do, grow up !

      • strayaway

        I didn’t pick Clapper, Obama did. Lying to Congress is contempt if not a felony. Allowing him to maintain his position says a lot about the President and most members of Congress. Without speculating on what he might have on a lot of Congress members, Congress is not doing its job. If Snowden broke his employment contract, he is guilty under contract law but I think that the larger issue and mitigating factor with respect to Snowden is the corruption, lying, and betrayal of Americans and out Contitution by our government that Snowden brought to light and his shining that light on specific government bad actors.

        I think your standards for government are too low; that you confuse your Orwellian obedience as a subject for trendiness. Our government is allowed to violate our personal privacy but only with 1) a warrant 2) based upon probable cause, 3) supported by oath or affirmation, and 4) particularly describing the place to be searched, and 5) the persons or things to be seized. You refute this.

      • conect2u

        You used Clapper in your last paragraph as an example of lying under oath/deceitfulness. ..try & keep up. Maybe the President should have replaced Clapper w/a spy who could lie better, that’ll I’ll give y’a.

        Try escaping from your visions of Libertarian-heroic freedom fighter, and defender of Mom & apple pie for a moment. You’re the disillusioned Orwellian follower in this discussion, by swallowing American patriotic cool-aid presented by the framers, hook-line-sinker. Lets not forget, the rights ascribed were for only wealthy-white-male-landowners, given today’s political atmosphere, we’re boomerang back & beyond the 1700’s.

        Read a paper, watch the local news, law enforcement tramples all over the 4th amendment & juries predictably excuse their transgressions. Professing otherwise, is dishonest, reinforces your naivete and an admitted deafness to concurrent realities to our country’s stratified civil liberties.

        Snowden brought nothing to light that most people, who took US history, developed a realistic awareness of the frailties of our government. What & why do you think the FBI, NSA was formed, not just for law enforcement. When the FBI tapped MLK phones/hotel rooms, spied on union leader Cesar Chavez, or you apply for a passport, y’a think no one tracks that information w/all that infrastructure & budgetary resources?

        As for Congress, give me a break, their lies to the public are so egregious, it’s insulting. i.e. Cong./Sen. members holding press conferences demanding answers to information in lieu of attending the very briefings that contain information answering those questions. Very few of them deserve respect given they’ll say anything and craven too irrational, illogical thought.
        When government is made MORE accountable to the voters, equality strengthen, then maybe some of my cynicism will diminish…til then, Snowden’s a traitor and nothing he said is new…but we can change that if we choose.

      • strayaway

        connect2u, You are wrong. It was Snowden’s “new” information that proved Clapper and the President lied for starters. The opposite of libertarian is authoritarian. We all show up somewhere along that spectrum. Your support for Orwellian government attacks on our 4th. Amendment rights suggests where you might show up on that spectrum. The FBI and NSA were formed to resolve crime and protect this Country but within the law. It’s that last part that you have trouble with. Whether or not anyone in Congress has ever told a lie is not the point. Congress is made up of people we elect to represent us and is the exclusive purveyor of legislation. Congress has never been perfect but has always been better than having someone with dictatorial tendencies using his pen and phone to legislate his whims, punish his enemies, and enhance his friends by going around Congress.

      • conect2u

        NONE OF THIS INFO WAS NEW…you can’t won’t be honest to your awareness, ACCEPTANCE of these activities…
        Your choice to be stupid, naive & dishonest. The pedantic accusation by you of me supporting an Orwellian governance despite in both posts my ardent support of the bill of rights speaks vigorously to your ignorant one note argument, the grave realities impacting our lives and exemplifies WHY much of the public is incapable of handling the ugly truths permitting / maintaining their peaceful lives.

        Buckley v. Valeo, Citizen United, McCutcheon loosened the influence of constituents upon politicians’ behavior compromising the election process. The GOP answers ONLY to ALEC, Teabaggers, Kochs & Adelson, etc Congress is way beyond perfection by SCOTUS’ dereliction to impartiality ajudication.

        As for the FBI & NSA, go read their mission, protection is both agencies priority but aforementioned accomplished by intelligence/threat focused information gathering…Discovering threats emanates from monitoring potential threats and not only from foreign groups/individuals, i.e. yesterday’s tragic shooting of police in NV by white supremacists Bundy supporters.

        National agencies have always spied on US citizens, groups. Arguing the President & Clapper lied is a political football, how often have previous Presidents or their representatives been directly questioned in this manner? zero.
        As ‘nancybaker’ listed this information was available over a decade ago by Bush but only an issue since Pres. Obama is in office.
        At no time has the President whimsically signed legislation, to punish ‘his enemies’ or enhance his friends YOU conspiracy NUT…only the GOP Congress has been punishing, persecuting the people for the past 5 yrs by DOING NOTHING except collecting pay checks. The US gov’t’s domestic spying activities didn’t cease upon Hoover’s death, including archaic phone tapping activities. You & others like you didn’t open your mouth before now, didn’t care because of whom was involved.

        Liar, hypocrite you keep trying to utilize the 4th amendment as your defense/shield of Snowden’s treason. You only give a damn because it may pertain to you, the controversy involves a Democratic President and prior to now, you kept your pithy mouth shut because no one else matters in YOUR country…
        Keep sniffing the stupid from Fox News, #tcot talking points since facts, history & truth get in the way of your politics.

      • strayaway

        I don’t sense that you support the Bill of Rights. Your acceptance of manifestations of the accruing police state, your smug tone, your dissing the founding fathers and the Constitution, your willingness to have the police operate outside the law. It doesn’t add up as being consistent with someone claiming to supporting the Bill of Rights. Perhaps you do. I am not so persuaded. You haven’t been following the news if you don’t think the IRS was punishing the President’s perceived enemies. You haven’t been following the news if you didn’t notice the costs of the (un)ACA computer system and that sytem’s creator’s crony links to Obama or which unions got exemptions from provisions in the (un)ACA.

        You incorrectly assume I have something to do with Fox, the Koch Brothers, and supported Bush. I think Bush should share a cell with Obama for many of the same reasons. That should clarify you imaginary and lame belief that I support Bush. Sorry, but your version of a progressive police state, as I perceive it, has no appeal to me and is an insult to those few progressives still supporting integrity in government.

      • conect2u

        I don’t care what you sense because you don’t possess any, common or otherwise.

        You’re elevation of slave owners (the founding fathers creators of the constitution), perpetrators of native American genocide, you’ve dismissed the disgusting realities that form the bedrock of this Republic by giving them a pass…read a history book, the Founding Father’s only supported the bill of rights for individuals like themselves, even excluding the women of their class, that oppression…maybe take off the rose colored glasses and understand the world has changed. One point I do admire of the framers, they understood the constitution should change, adapt and wasn’t meant to remain stagnant, unlike you & other constitutional-ists like Scalia..you know progressiveness

        For some reason, you’ve assumed the righteousness to judge my opinions, talk about authoritarian, look in the mirror. Persuading you is useless since you parrot/advocate conservative LYING talking points, i.e. IRS investigated mostly progressive groups, not conservative. If you didn’t put your faith in reformed car-thief-lying-criminal Darryl Issa bs hearings, you’d know that.

        You jump between the police & the national security, in your commentary of the bill of rights, constitution and particularly the 4th, when there are stark differences. All about your rights, privacy, no outrage for stop & frisk? Now you’re jumping to the ACA & you’re anti-union…the exemption kicks in 2015-6, but thereafter eliminated..
        you’re definitely NOT a progressive…keep living the Koch dream & take stock of yesterday’s shooting, they share your Libertarian conspiratorial views.
        As for the ACA, I’ve never been a fan, single payer would’ve solved our healthcare costs, muted opposition & host of problems.

        Since you wish to put Pres. Obama, Bush in the same cell, get a shovel and get to digg’n up their predecessors for additional cells. In their time, they spied, monitored others. Don’t forget Bush, Clinton & Carter, make room for them too.
        Governments don’t have integrity, that is the essence of your naivete, ignorance and stupidity in believing so…politicians, only sometime.

      • WoodyandJack

        Clearly, strayaway, conect2u is arguing for an anarcho-free society that should always be upfront and honest with its neighbors — even when those neighbors are trying to swindle you on the side. Conect2u is an idealist who believes in absolute behaviors — even though the rest of the world will exploit those beliefs & actions. His kind will create anarchy and the downfall of the U.S. (which he secretly wishes for) — and he will not understand how it happened.

    • adcbeast

      The funny part is Bush told the world in public press conferences that the NSA was spying on them

      Google

      Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
      December 16, 2005

      Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
      December 20, 2005

      Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
      January 2, 2006

      Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
      28 January 2006

      • conect2u

        Exactly…It’s the outrage by people claiming their ignorance to the activities governments engage…newspaper clippings, hearings aren’t even a qualifier, that’s the root of my anger.
        It’s almost the equivalence of feigning not knowing Santa DOESN’T exist.

      • adcbeast

        Conect2u .. correct .. When the people in the know tell you directly to your face that “Yes we are spying on Americans” and you fake outrage years later … it comes on hollow

      • Donovan

        2006? the populous didn’t know they were doing it to the extent they are.

      • adcbeast

        Donovan DOOOSH … [email protected]#[email protected]#$ .. Bush told the country to their FACE in a press conference

        then the “liberal” media went off about it for months

        But since Bush was a republican the libertarians and republicans gave Bush a pass

    • masher

      How do you know other nations are doing the same vigorously? If this is all secret activity then how would you know? So obviously you don’t know but are just making it all up. We only know about the US because Snowden leaked it.

      Also if we just use a little common sense we can determine that not ALL other nations even have the capability or knowhow. And there certainly are nations that do try to actually follow democratic principles. Not every nation’s leaders are full of frat boys. I doubt Iceland does much spying.

      • conect2u

        yeah, that’s right I’m making it up, oh wait just like back in the 1980’s the new US consulate was razed because the building was infested w/spying devices. I guess the USSR was the only one, they probably ceased their spying activities on the US after they were caught, huh?

        Only American superiority permits the capacity to develop & wield the necessary technology to spy on us, we’re leaving other nations in the dust, no one else like us…the Chinese, hackers from the Middle East.

        US stagnation in neanderthalic conservatism, our arrogance is ruining us. Increasingly, we’re not keeping up, falling behind other countries, living in the past grandeur of old accomplishments won’t carry us forward or last forever
        Protecting national security, including monitoring other governments at an invasive level doesn’t necessarily omit or deter democratic principles.

        As for Iceland, given it’s proximity to the USSR, and the presence of
        (1)Greiningardeild Ríkislögreglustjóra (GRLS) (National Security Agency) (formerly Eftirgrennslanadeild Lögreglunnar andÚtlendingaeftirlitið)

        (2)Greiningardeild Varnarmálastofnunar Íslands (GVMSÍ) (Military Intelligence Service) (formerly: Icelandic Intelligence Service (IIS))

        I’m doubt either of these organizations are just climbing the volcanic rock & wise enough to know it.

      • Keith Cassinger

        Wow, you’re a dumbass.

  • TrollBaby

    Thank you! I’m glad progressives are starting to take notice that Snowden is a traitor that betrayed his country.

    • strayaway

      Not all progressives-

      “the constitutional lawyer in the White House seems determined to demolish the foundations of our civil liberties”

      -Noam Chomsky from his recent article “A Surveillance State Beyond Imagination Is Being Created in One of the World’s Freest Countries”.

      • adcbeast

        Stray DOOOSH … Bush told the world that the NSA was spying on people .. which makes Chomsky’s argument moot

        Google

        Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
        December 16, 2005

        Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
        December 20, 2005

        Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
        January 2, 2006

        Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
        28 January 2006

      • strayaway

        Bush was over six years ago. This is 2014 not 2005. Chomsky is addressing the expanding police state today under Obama. I’m sure he would have some negative things to say about Bush too were that his topic. Would you prefer comments regarding Obama’s surveillance state from other progressives like Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader, Naomi Wolf, or Dennis Kucinich to those of Noam Chomsky? Not being a “progressive”, I find it curious that so many who fancy themselves as progressives are now championing and apologists for the expanding police state and forming columns to be ruled by dear leader’s pen and phone. We have already watched mainstream conservatism, that of small town hardware store owners, changed into that of neocons. Now, it seems, progressivism is also slipping into an abyss.

    • Jeremy Einbinder

      What the NSA is doing is wrong, regardless of its relevance in other countries. Snowden had the right to “betray” his country.

      • TrollBaby

        If you are American, just kill yourself.

      • Jeremy Einbinder

        Please elaborate. What exactly is wrong with what I said?

      • masher

        Give me a break. The US government doesn’t even secure our borders! Stop acting like national security is even a thing anyone in DC cares about. Its not. We have millions of illegals to prove it!

      • Donovan

        Agreed.

  • He did it willingly when Bush was president. The only reason he did this was because of his dislike for Obama.

    • nancybaker

      Somehow, I doubt that.

      • adcbeast

        Google

        Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
        December 16, 2005

        Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
        December 20, 2005

        Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
        January 2, 2006

        Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
        28 January 2006

        Why would an NSA contractor tell the world HOW the NSA was spying after Bush told the world they were spying?

      • Donovan

        A person just getting into a career and industry doesn’t look at the dotted i’s and slashed t’s. Moron.

      • adcbeast

        Snowden is a TRAITOR ..

  • T-Bone

    I would argue that all he’s doing is pointing out the illegal and unethical things the NSA has been up to NOT JUST in America, but also in other countries as well. It sounds like you’re mad because he’s tattling on what they’ve done to OTHER countries, too, which sounds to me like belly-aching. He’s only a patriot if he says what the NSA has done to US? That’s a little self-serving.

    • Brando

      Wake up, T-Bone. It’s called the Intelligence Community. Do you think that no other countries do it to ours? America spies on it’s enemies and it’s allies, just as they do to us. Be that right or wrong, legal or illegal, it’s the reality of the world we live in. Leaking out information of spying on it’s own citizens might be worthy of your rage. Frankly I’ve always assumed this was the case even before 9/11 and I have little doubt that it wasn’t. It goes beyond “self-serving” when you’re exposing your own country to reprisals. There’s laws against revealing classified info for a reason. Do I think our government is innocent of doing dirty things no one else does? Certainly not, but I can’t see how you can have something like a secure nation when you show the rest of the world exactly what and how you’re doing your business.

      • masher

        “your business” who is this “you” you are speaking of? Are you the US government? And looking around at all the illegals I am not too sure our government is really worried about security at all.

      • Keith Cassinger

        Your big mouth again?

    • Keith Cassinger

      You really don’t see a difference? Wow, you must be a true jerk in your family.

  • nancybaker

    I’m still not convinced. I’ll give Snowden the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt, however, that the government is illegally spying on innocent Americans, just like (or worse than) Rupert Murdock’s crew has been.

    • adcbeast

      Google

      Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
      December 16, 2005

      Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
      December 20, 2005

      Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
      January 2, 2006

      Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
      28 January 2006

      • Donovan

        So convincing. Just because Bush did it, must be constitutional. Americans like you don’t deserve to be Americans.

      • adcbeast

        Donovan DOOOSH … I was addressing the LOSERS that try to blame Bush’s wrongdoing on Obama

        PS. Ret. USMC … PhD + JD Georgetown

        You = Internet IDIOT

        NEXT !!

  • Braxton_Leo

    I still go with “hero” and “patriot.” Spying on Americans is NOT constitutional. I would rather spend the rest of my life afraid to get on a plane then give ONE INCH on my constitutional rights.

    • adcbeast

      Snowden told other countries how the NSA was spying

      Google

      Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
      December 16, 2005

      Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
      December 20, 2005

      Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
      January 2, 2006

      Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
      28 January 2006

      • masher

        So? Illegals walk into this nation all the time. If our government can’t secure the borders then they aren’t defending the US are they?

  • Ernest W. Adams

    Maybe he cares about what’s best for the world, not just what’s best for America. Because caring about anyone else is treasonous, you know. I think the Swedes, who are supposed to be neutral, ought to know that their government is secretly collaborating with the Americans.

    • Brando

      It wasn’t in his job description to care for or protect the security interests of the rest of the world. If that’s honestly what motivated him to do everything he’s supposedly done (of which I have my doubts), he was in the wrong line of work.

      • masher

        Some people put G_d before country.

      • Jeremy Einbinder

        It should have been in his job description. Seriously, you know your job requires you to do something immoral and you do it anyway because “it’s your work”? Why is it so hard to believe that he genuinely cared about everyone’s welfare.

      • Keith Cassinger

        Not for a second do I believe he had anyones interest in mind but his own. If you morally don’t like what you do, quit!

      • Jeremy Einbinder

        Or change the environment. You have no basis for being sure of that. If a security agency is doing awful things you should want to change it. If he quit he would just pass the horrible along. Who knows either way?

    • Ronny moen

      Swedes are collbaborating with Islam

  • PopLid

    So, if Snowden had given the encryption keys to you, you, as a journalist would have not read any of the files, and would not have published any of them, right?

  • Sandy Greer

    Seems to me Snowden jumped from the fat to the fire. Why kick a man when he’s down? Isn’t it enough we leave him to his fate?

  • adcbeast

    Snowden = TRAITOR .. he told other countries HOW the NSA was spying

    Bush already told the world that the NSA was spying buy Snowden told them how .. TRAITOR

    Google

    Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
    December 16, 2005

    Bush Addresses Uproar Over Spying
    December 20, 2005

    Bush Defends Spying Program As ‘Necessary’ to Protect U.S.
    January 2, 2006

    Bush defends NSA spying program at White House press conference
    28 January 2006

  • Spencer Ward

    I don’t see how this makes him a traitor, every action you’ve listed here is a blatant abuse of our allies or creates tension with our rivals. Our government is creating a world of uncertainty without trust. We should be working toward stronger international relations, or I assumed the end goal was international relations since Nixon’s SALT talks when we discovered even opening trade routes can teeter upon a nuclear device. If progressive means we only care about Americans and not Humans, count me out.

  • Matthew Reece

    If he is not a patriot, then that is a good thing. Patriotism is a form of collectivism, nationalism, statism, tribalism, and racism.

    • TrollBaby

      No snowden is not a patriot, but he is a fking lying traitor. F Snowden, and F you too if you support his traitorous ways.

      • Matthew Reece

        Your emotionalism only proves that you lack a rational argument.

      • TrollBaby

        You’re got damn right I’m emotional when a person turns his back on our nation and leaks state secretes. The real question is how you can be so cavalier about our nations status in the world and national security? You Snowdenistas are a naive bunch.

      • Nomdeplume

        I am going to stick with what the government lawyers are saying and they are saying he violated the Espionage act and that treason cannot be proven. Why listen to them? Because the lawyers probably no more about the law than an anonymous troll on the internet who can’t even be bothered to look up what constitutes treason.

      • TrollBaby

        Ummm, who the fk was talking to you? But more importantly when did I say anything about charging Snowden with treason? Maybe you should try to focus a little harder sweetheart.

      • Matthew Reece

        There is no such thing as a nation. A nation is an idea that has no independent physical form, a requirement for existence. It follows that there is no such thing as national security. The security of each individual person is the only valid concept therein.

      • TrollBaby

        Lol, wow….

    • masher

      Patriotism is racism? I think people named Matthew are racist.

      • Matthew Reece

        You think incorrectly.

      • masher

        You don’t get it because you’re racist.

      • Matthew Reece

        Racism is a form of collectivism. I am an individualist. Also, ad hominem is an admission of defeat and ignorance.

      • masher

        If you really are an individualist then did you have parents who raised you? Do you believe in family or do you shun them? And do you use any public services?

      • Matthew Reece

        Being an individualist does not mean shunning voluntary associations with other individuals. It does mean recognizing that collectives are only ideas that have no independent physical form, and therefore do not exist.

        There is no such thing as “public service.” There are only services which are provided voluntarily in the market and services which are provided coercively through the state.

  • Fred

    Allen, that’s not how treason works. Is Edward Snowden a criminal fugitive – yes, in the literal sense that he broke the law. “Hero” is a strong word, but I’m not sure the world as a whole is worse off for knowing some of the things that were in Uncle Sam’s bag of dirty tricks.

    What is treason? It’s explicitly defined in the US Constitution. It isn’t the same as “doing something the government really doesn’t like”.

    But then again, our government has shown that it’s perfectly capable of acting vindictively and with spite against those who have (legally or illegally) told the world about the dirty tricks being pulled in our names and with our tax dollars… If I understand the charges against him, a sentence of ten years in haul would be reasonably appropriate. Yet who really believes that he’ll get a fair trial in accordance with the law, instead of being railroaded into a harsh sentence to intimidate any other potential leakers?

  • Michael Wayne Clark

    Author Allen Clifton, your a fucking moron. you think for a second that other countries was ever free of spies until Snowden came out, you think the american people did not know they was illegally spied on by our own or other countries governments? no. Snowden only confirmed the truth. and that makes him a patriot to the world. your a fucking fool! a coward, and a terrorist! Get the fuck out of my country!

    • TrollBaby

      No fker YOU GTFOH! Maybe you too can be a whore for the Russians.

      • Nomdeplume

        We have to wait until they are done with you Mom.

      • TrollBaby

        I just got done dumping a hot load in your dad, but don’t be jelly he told me he was saving a special one for you.

  • SNORK

    IS IT ALL ABOUT AMERICA? WHAT ABOUT THE DAMAGE THAT THIS DOES TO THE REST OF THE WORLD???

  • masher

    Why does the US government get a right to privacy but US citizens do not?

  • alytron

    Your argument is based on the false principles that, one, patriot means defending the constitution/USA/Americans full stop, and two, that anything not directly related to injustices perpetrated against Americans is somehow unpatriotic.

    First, even if you accept the principles that patriotism is a virtue, and that somehow if he was patriotic that would make him justified, it doesn’t follow that only disclosing national information is therefore patriotic, but nothing else is. Frankly, even the simplest argument, that Americans themselves are affected by international spying cooperation should suffice to move some leaks into that category of apparent moral justification.

    Then, the fact that the USA has a direct impact on other nations, the fact that this kind of spying has impacts on the American people, the fact that it’s pretty morally difficult to argue that the constitution is valid while also arguing it’s principles do not apply to others who happen to be born elsewhere and that the state based on these rules doesn’t follow them and that’s okay, I mean, really, the arguments against this nonsense are endless.

    But really, I would like to know how it us justifiable to do things to others en masse that are illegal and unacceptable when done to your own citizenry, how exposing that is traitorous, and how you can revere and support the constitution while denying all men are created equal.

  • Alex Harman

    All of those foreign nationals who “aren’t protected by our Constitution” are protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a legally binding international treaty ratified in accordance with the Constitution by the United States Senate on June 8, 1992. That makes it part of “the supreme law of the land,” as stated in the second paragraph of Article V:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

    Article 17 of the ICCPR states:
    “1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

    “2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

    Now, that doesn’t mean that some of what Snowden did wasn’t still inexcusable, or that he isn’t a traitor. What it does mean is that American citizens are not the only people whose rights he and the U.S. government were obligated to respect and protect, and that many more of the activities about which he leaked information constituted criminal wrong-doing by the U.S. government that Snowden was morally and legally obligated to expose, not to conceal, than Mr. Clifton acknowledges above.

  • jerry

    any intelligent person assumes we are spying on the other countries, nothing new there…if you recall the ugly headlines about china spying on the usa, once snowmen happened, all that just disappeared. another cold war averted. for that alone, snowmen deserves a medal. what we didn’t know and now do, is the extent of governmental sins on its own citizens. another medal earned.we should invite him back with open arms.

  • JB

    Hey Allen, fuck you and everyone else who shills for the surveillance state.

  • Donovan

    Fuck off. you totally think just because you view things in hindsight that he could’ve at the time?

    I hate this article, and if the writer of forward progressive thinks this way, then I ain’t a forward progressive.

    Idiot.

    • TrollBaby

      Then get the fk out of here dumb ass.

  • Nick Wright

    Let me get this straight… He stepped up and helped put a stop to the US spying on different countries. THAT IS AN ACT OF WAR!!! Then pointed out that they are also spying on us. Yes he IS a Hero. And a Patriot!

    • TrollBaby

      You are a moron. Spying on other countries is not an act of war and every country on the planet does it. Moreover, he didn’t put a stop to anything. I suggest you grow the fuck up and educate yourself, because you sound ignorant.

  • KingAdrock

    This article in a nutshell: “Transparency is evil.”

  • Keith Cassinger

    AGREEEED! He should be hung from a sour apple tree.

  • John Mclaren

    Not a convincing argument. The idea Snowden did not understand all that is laughable. He would not have made it alive. Which is exactly why he had to, not only have something to barter with to other nations, but also something to release upon his death or imprisonment. This is elementary school stuff to most anyone but apparently not the author.

  • Racist

  • davidburress

    In my opinion, a remarkably shallow discussion, both by Clifton and by his critics (though a couple of comments came close.)
    Clifton seems to believe that the only relevant Constitutional rights are privacy rights. The much important rights at stake are those of citizens to know what their government is doing in their name. Those rights are not spelled out in a specific amendment, but they are increasingly recognized in laws and court decisions.
    Snowdon revealed all those ugly things our government is doing because he believed we have a right to know about it so that we can (if we choose) oppose it. Many of us do oppose it. We would have no opportunity to subject those acts to democratic oversight without whistleblowers like Snowdon. Clifton is utterly sold on the mythology that the national security state acts in our best interests with greater wisdom than we mere citizens could possibly possess. Therefore he overlooks the concept of actual democracy.
    Even worse, he calls people who have a more expansive notion of democracy than his “traitors.” As a matter of Constitutional law Snowdon did not commit treason (we have no declared enemy states, and Snowdon did not act out of loyalty to any foreign power.) Clifton uses the ugly term “traitor” so that that its emotional resonance of patriotic fear will shut down higher cognitive processes–especially processes that might point out how shallow Clifton’s own notion of patriotism really is.
    Of course what Snowdon did is illegal. Nearly all whistleblowing is illegal because it reveals facts that some bureaucrat has classified as secret. Nevertheless I and many others believe that under modern conditions democracy is impossible without widespread whistleblowing. Indeed, that is why extensive whistleblower rights have been written into law (albeit hardly ever respected).

  • toemasie .

    Boy. You’re a big government loving SELL OUT RAT.
    The US government is ROTTEN TO THE CORE.
    We start wars on lies.
    We deal drugs to fund wars.
    We meddle in presidential elections overseas ( IRAN )
    We topple foreign governments ( 7 )
    We attempt assassinations on world leaders ( Castro )
    Snowden’s a hero. The world needs to know how two faced America is.

  • Emilio Dumphque

    Knowing WHY something is marked “secret” was way above his pay grade!! Unlike Assange, he swore to keep our secrets and knew the consequences! He has placed our nation in danger in a world armed with nuclear weapons. Hang him.

  • Saman Behtash

    I can’t find my thread to respond directly so I’ll repost. In response to Jared Lapierre’s citation of the Bergen report’s 1.8% of successful terror cases being initiated by the metadata program. This report is so flawed that it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. 1) 27.6 % of cases in the report were “UNCLEAR” as to how they were initiated 2) the metadata program was not intended to be a case initiator, it checks metadata selectors against the total database, and now under the USA Freedom Act, all available 3rd party data not stored. The selector is already suspicious when it is checked against the metadata available. So by the text of section 215, through it’s implementation, and by the simple definition of the word initiate, the metadata program is never the initiator of cases. It may be the initiator of further investigation, or it may rule out. 3) The Bergen report mentions other investigation methods would have reached similar results. The other investigation methods are National Security Letters which authorize wiretaps. So Bergen is suggesting that anyone that is suspicious, anyone that maybe watches a terror Youtube video should be targeted by the NSA and CIA for wiretaps. That is incredibly ignorant and a much higher level of intrusion and violation of privacy than the metadata program, which is intended to be the least intrusive way to quickly search for calls and connections before further more intrusive surveillance.