Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's comments on Edward Snowden and the NSA

We don’t understand your point because you haven’t made one with any justification.

“Google it” is the catch cry of people who’ve got no real point, but want to seem like their idiotic opinion has some credibility. I’m not issuing threats of irrelevancy, I’m telling you that you are already irrelevant as evidenced by your lack of any substance.

Continue to reply… all the likes you’re getting is all the people who agree with you and value your input.

PS: lionize the lionizification to the lionizificness. Your vocabulary astounds.


I was gonna say ‘welcome to BB, new poster’, but it looks like you’re already gone. Shame, that.


Curious what you suggest would be a more responsible way?

I’ve read the words of other NSA whistle blowers who have all fairly agreed that Snowden had exhausted all legal options for reporting the violations that he was aware of.

Let’s ignore his data collection for the moment as that’s a separate topic from responsible reporting. Is there some mechanism of reporting available that you or another can think of that Snowden overlooked? I am not generally for judging a persons actions too harshly with hindsight being what it is, but you are right in suggesting that a deeper discussion is needed about how one in a high security environment can report on violations.

I’ve actually done contract work for the government, and I can tell you that the restrictions that contractors are under are fairly severe. While there are mechanisms in place, such as the Investigator general, your own corporate ethics officers, and the typical chain of command that exists in the org, my understanding is that Snowden exhausted all of those options. This seems to indicate a systemic failure of the entire NSA organization to provide any sort of safeguards not just for the American people, but for their own people as well. I for one am critically aware of the slow motion carnage our economy will be suffering for decades to come as a result of not only the actions of the NSA, but the actions of the state department following the leaks.

To say that the consequences of these rogue NSA programs, as well as the method of their coming to light were damaging to the US as a whole is an understatement. I am very interested in productive discussion that promotes a way to avoid these sorts of catastrophe’s in the future. What mechanisms could Edward Snowden availed himself of? I ask the world. Obviously, the EFF and other NSA whistleblowers feel that there was not much that Snowden did not try. I’d love to hear some specific examples or just some ideas that we can try to flesh out. Frankly, I have low hope for there being any substantive reforms with Feinstein still at the helm of the oversight committee she has proven herself singularly inept at the task as proven by ALL of this affair from the failure to prevent these programs, to the failure to provide judicial oversight, all the ways on down the line until they failed to keep snowden from leaking this information. I’ll forgive her for the failure to provide the Obama administration with timely information on the leak or the devestating implications… because hell it’s symptomatic of greater problems in the previous line of reasoning.

Anyways… I put it to you and anyone else. What did Snowden fail to do? What could he have done better? The next time the NSA, CIA, DHS, or some other cladestine service takes unwarranted risks with american liberties, lives, or economic stability… what should our people in those services do to draw attention to their concerns? How can we make that mechanism more than lip service or ass covering beaurocratic deceptions?

I genuinely would love to hear something I’ve not heard and it sounds like you and a couple others here have a novel perspective ( at least to me ). I see value in getting your take. Talking to a bunch of people you agree with is no measure by which to grow.


You can keep listening, but all you will hear is more authoritarian excuses to protect the status quo, and man-splaining how we should all be grateful for the efforts of the NSA to save us from imaginary threats by decimating the Bill of Rights.

We either deserve to know what the government is doing in our name or we don’t. If one accepts that we don’t deserve to know, well then, conversation over.


There’s plenty of reasons to keep things secret. A great deal can be learned by inference from very little leaked information. Dates of operations cross referenced with flight schedules out of the gov belt alone could help one build a strategic map of folks that may be involved with specific operations inside of the NSA ( all i could come up with off top of head, probably better examples ). Sometimes even very inocuous information can be all that’s necessary to identify critical intelligence. In fact, now remembering the NSA first tapped ( via induction ) copper transcontinental cables in russia because a sub captain accurately assumed that russia , like the us put… do not drop anchor here signs where there were cables. So they were able to spot cables… and drop equipment ( from the sub ) to tap those lines. All because of a couple of … don’t drop your anchor here signs that were intended to keep fishermen from tearing up their infrastructure.

And there is information that is critical. People’s names being pretty high on that list.

Secrecy has it’s place. Oversight in those environments is very hard, because they are clandestine… that’s part of the whole reason for their existence. That being said, it’s insane to believe a senator is prepared to provide functional oversight of the NSA. It’s just impossible. Most Senators have spent their lives in the practice of doing what other people tell them to. They don’t have analytical minds or the bevvy of technical expertise necessary to see the complex implications of what little information a group like the NSA will give them without asking specifically for it.

The senate oversigh committee is basically no oversight committee. They are functionally interchangeable. And recent events have proven that in the most extreme way possible much to all of our detriment.

That being said, it’s easy to decry mistakes. It’s much harder to provide salient discussion that encompasses ideas that promote positive change. It’s so much easier to tear down than to build up. I ask you to help build up. I ask everyone to help build up. It’s our fucking country after all. We get a say whether people want us to or not. But if we’re just going to shout blame at each other, we may as well just torch the place now and be done with it. We need to hear ideas that promote a better situation. What are those ideas? And very importantly, can another persons perspective refine, harden, or otherwise prove that idea ineffective? There’s strength in diversity of thought. But it requires us to all be looking to build rather than tear down.


Hillary as candidate? Please America, enough with the Bushes and Clintons. Politics is starting to look like a family business.


I appreciate the argument for a reasonable approach to problem solving. I don’t see how that will work here. The government intelligence complex has experienced scope-creep with every big crisis; redrawing the boundaries of acceptable practices at need. The leaders on the inside will see no upside to giving away power, capability or, as you have reasoned, secrecy. What can outsiders (i.e. the public) push against when every affront to liberty is denied or reasoned away and whistle-blowers persecuted and demonized?

The people that have to be engaged in making a constructive change are not in any real way accountable to the public. They probably think they are, in the role of defenders of the state at least, but this is as much an excuse for questionable activities as a call to duty. It’s a cultural sickness of the end justifying the means. (the symptoms are manifest across the government: too big to fail; too big to jail; too important to even talk about…)

Disruption on an unprecedented scale is what will drive change. Though I suspect the probable motive force will be economic pain.

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I’m not willing to discount the value of appealing to one’s own elected representatives. Party politics is a popularity contest with voters. Give them a nail to hit and they will be the hammer.

That being said, I totally understand folks who are without faith in our electoral system. But, then you have a simple choice to make. Will you sit idle and be a spectator to the future, or will you attempt, in some reasoned way, to promote change for the better? I don’t know what that change is right now. But I think it starts with asking the right questions and taking the problems before us on one step at a time.

I’d say the only choice guaranteed to fail is the decision not to make a choice. Beyond that everything is as simple as picking a goal and marching torwards it until you fail, you die, or you find another better path forward. This isn’t a game. This is life. We don’t get to walk away. We’re all along for the ride until such time as we should cease to be.

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This, of course, implies that you consider any “betrayal of national secrets" as “betrayal of country.”

So yes, that places you firmly in the “I vas following orders” camp. Sorry.


But not all of them good one, like murdering people and wanting not to be found out.

Thing is, the really, really hard stuff can’t be added on later. If you don’t build up right from the beginning, it becomes nearly impossible to add it later. Integrity, security, cloud services, separation of church and state - all the same. If you don’t don’t take these into account at the earliest stages of development, you will need to tear down later and build anew.


We owe it to the next generation to ensure that fifty years from now, public school textbooks portray Edward Snowden as a hero. Justice.


There will be a statue built in his honor before I die. Naysayers be damned to hell.

We worked our asses off and got marijuana legalized and taxed here in Colorado and now we’re working to seal past marijuana convictions as well now. It’s going to happen here, naysayers.

Welcome to the first world in Colorado, America.

The many, many naysayers said we couldn’t do it over and over again. Fuck the naysayers. Also funny how those vociferous naysayers have slithered back under their rocks nowhere to be seen nor heard after our victory.

We’re continuing to work on getting getting surveillance under better control in Colorado. We’re even working on adding to our state constitution to do it. We here in free Colorado still think warrants belong in a truly free society:


Slither forth, naysayers. I will dine on your naysaying like a fine wine that gives me bubbly energy, motherfuckers. And, yes, we’re working on this too.

If we here in Colorado have to lead the rest of the country, then so be it.

This has been a transmission from the free people of Colorado to the oppressed citizens of the United States of America. If this embarrasses you, change your state to kick some ass and join us here in the first world.


Had nothing been said, the Internet (never mind the United States and citizens thereof) would have remained safer.

You just doubled-down on ignorance. Ok, you’re a troll, right? No one is this stupid.


It’s not my job to write an article pointing these things out.

Right, it’s just your job to shill for the NSA apparently.


We can openly check what the NSA has done

Fascinating. Pray tell how we can openly check what the NSA has done?

More whistleblowers?


If the Democrats want a plate at the table, they have to stop shipping corporatists. I will not vote for Hillary.

Agreed, but isn’t time we started to say who we do want to vote for? Warren comes to mind (if she runs).

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have some dignity.

Dignity was lost for Clapper a long time ago. A lost cause for a serial liar.

Like the leak about Valerie Plame?


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I find it unfortunate that there isn’t more dialog about how Snowden might have behaved more ethically. … had he set a better example, that others in similar positions would have been more encouraged to come forward.

Yes, that’s good perspective. The ethical behavior of the NSA is getting far too much attention and that’s unfortunate.

If there was just some way to make it so Snowden could have followed in the more ethical behavior of other national heros. Just… some way…

The story most of the corporate mass media would like us to ignore is that Snowden was already vindicated a long time ago shortly after his disclosures:

3 Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims

Key points:

  • His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
  • What Snowden discovered is “material evidence of an institutional crime.”
  • As a system administrator, Snowden “could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure – because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That’s why he said, I think, ‘I can even target the president or a judge.’ If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that’s right. As a super-user, he could do that.”
  • The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth.
  • Congressional overseers “have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing.”
  • Lawmakers “don’t really don’t understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don’t understand.”
  • Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, “first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed.” Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
  • There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It’s a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.

What can outsiders (i.e. the public) push against when every affront to liberty is denied or reasoned away and whistle-blowers persecuted and demonized?

You could say the same of the Civil Rights Movement. What could outsiders do to those bigots deeply ingrained into an oppressive system? What could outsiders do to those bigots who at every turn continued to further embed themselves and become increasingly more violent the more there was any peaceful activism? What could they possibly do?

Refuse. Resist.

I’m ready to put down my life for human rights. Are you? It’s time to shit or get off the pot.

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How on earth could Snowden have “behaved more ethically”?

You should be focusing in the US on how James Clapper could behave more ethically. But you’re not.

Oh, and Benghazi! That one is just hilarious from outside the US: your embassies have been under attack for decades. You want to stop another Benghazi? Stop invading countries. Simple. Really, really, really, really, really simple.