LA Times editorial board calls for prosecution of journalistic sources

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“Society of laws” my ass.

Before the Revolution, you could get in trouble here for saying the wrong things about the government. That was illegal too. According to the “society of laws” argument, it was therefore wrong to say such things.

That something is “the law” does not mean it should be respected.

Criticizing the governments and DMCA circumvention restrictions come to mind as two such examples.


“Society of laws” my ass.

When George Bush and Tony Blair are prosecuted for war crimes, then I might take that editorial seriously.


Nice of them to give shit to Snowden for doing the job they’re s’posed to…


Maybe they dislike competition.
…which would be understandable if they were actually doing that job…
…but maybe they also dislike attention paid to them for not doing said job…


The LAT editors are sycophantic lackeys who poison the readerspace.


Sure, have him come back, but get in line behind all the Wall Street Exec’s who have yet to be prosecuted.

Till then take your two faced double speaking bull and shove it.


I question the purpose of even bothering to print a ridiculous editorial like that. It’s rather like trolling on the Internet. Possibly they are just stirring the pot to see if more names will come up for their lists.


“Snowden knew the consequences” is true in all cases of civil disobedience. It does not follow that those consequences are just. In fact, that argument only holds weight if you accept the unspoken premise: the State is always right.


Snowden knew the consequences. And so he wisely ran out of the Land of the Free before taking the leak.
Civil disobedience doesn’t mean being dumb about taking punishment.


As Mr. Bumble said, “The law is an ass.”

see the funny thing is that in the US what Snowden did should have been protected under the US Whistleblower Protection Act and the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act as it is a clear case of reporting abuse of authority by the NSA.
That is to say that it should have been completely legal for him to do this but anyone that has done this in the past can attest to the complete inadequacy of the legal protection that Whistleblowers should get.

So yeah, fuck the LA Times.


I used to be a pretty straight and narrow rule of law advocate. Until I had my rights violated by illegal police searches, charges, and a criminal record for a crime I am not guilty of. Now I am very straight and narrow about being suspicious of power.


Let’s see:

Slavery, dueling, the mandatory persecution of [insert minority here], stoning, marital rape, marital violence, lynching, child labor, foot-binding, child prostitution, drinking while driving, animal cruelty, government censorship, etc., etc.

All things that have been legal in various “societies of laws” at one point or another. But hey, it’s the law right? Han Fei would approve of the LA Times position.


How can you even write a ‘society of laws’ scold-piece about the guy who was pivotal in exposing an extralegal and more or less wholly unaccountable spying operation on a scale previously only imaginable by the clinically paranoid without your head just exploding?

The entire moral of the story is that, while we certainly have a variety of laws available, we do not in fact live in a ‘society of laws’; and some of our most dangerous people and organizations are effectively entirely exempt, even in the limited cases where their activities are visible.

I can’t really say that it surprises me; but the cognitive dissonance is mind-blowing. The NSA won’t even tell us what the legal foundation of its activities is, much less what they are. The CIA gets to edit the report on its network of torture dungeons in order to prevent hurt feelings(and ends up hacking the Senate Intelligence Committee anyway; because that much oversight is just stifling).

That isn’t exactly what a ‘society of laws’ looks like. If anything, we are probably even further from being ‘a society of laws’ because our layer of clandestine apparatus has been added while attempting to pay as much lip service as possible to rule of law, civilian oversight, and similar quaint pieties of civics class. This tends to mean that not only are our scarier programs scary in themselves, they are also the most corrosive to rule of law, since they are either hidden or upheld by means that purport to comply with the letter of the law while working to defeat its spirit has thoroughly as possible.

Whoever wrote this should be ashamed; but probably isn’t capable of it.


You can still be(and may well still be) a rule of law advocate; just one who realizes that “rule of law” is a noble principle; but one that is quite vulnerable to being used as a cloak for illegal use of power and then an ennobling justification for the punishment doled out on the basis of that abuse.

That’s the problem with noble ideas: you can frequently find some way to weasel out of actually having to live up to them; at which point they don’t restrict your activities; but the belief that they do still lends you credibility you would otherwise sorely lack.

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It might seem like he’s trolling, but I think this needs to be addressed seriously.
I’m pretty convinced he believes what he wrote, and I’m definitely convinced a bunch of his readers believe what he wrote.

So I’m happy Glenn Greenwald took the time to expose some of logical and rhetorical faults in the LA Times’ editorial.
Unfortunately, I doubt The Intercept gets the amount of readers than LA Times does, and I doubt the original readers will bother to get an alternative point of view…

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The position of the editorial seems logically indefensible to me. Clearly, if the government and ruling class do not observe the rule of law, which obviously they don’t, then neither they nor their fans have the moral position to call upon others to observe it. As noted above, if the rule of law were to be observed in this country, we would see George W. Bush and his associates put on trial for war crimes – to start with. But I’m guessing that the writer of the editorial is a cynic who would find protests such as ours laughably obvious.


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