NSA can't find any emails from Snowden, then it can (convenient, no?)


I think you need to use a different word than “accept” and then to relate it all back to Ed Snowden, to stay on-topic.

…The argument likely to be that same old thing where Ed Snowden should just come back to the USA and sit in a prison cell and “accept his punishment.” Yawn. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. What good would that do? Absolutely nothing. …List the harms…

So in other words, you are saying the civil disobedience model is worthless? Perhaps Gandhi should have run off to Russia and issued statements criticizing British policy from there. Somehow I don’t see that working as well as what happened historically.

But who is this ‘we’ whereof you speak? If it’s the villagers with pitchforks and torches (or just popcorn) then they aren’t directly answering to us anyway. They’re well inside the castle. If it’s our variously more easily mollified officers and potentiaries of state, they’re chumpiness isn’t even an issue as they have boats to be left unrocked.

My use of pronouns may have let slip who I believe your ‘we’ might be.

Somebody, I wish I could remember who, once pointed out that civil disobedience’s passive nobility tends to be rather ineffective in a state where they just disappear you. That’s not the story here of course (Mr S being somewhat beyond undisappearabilitiness [why the hell do I get a red line under that?]) but as a more general tactic it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.


The slippery definition of civil disobedience aside, a fabulous venue exists for Snowden to shame “the authorities” without physically subjecting himself to their ire. (something, something, series of tubes…)

The only things the U.S. government can do counter him are A) Silence him (not going to happen) or B) Destroy his credibility (in progress). Edward Snowden in an American oubliette only helps the authorities he is undressing.

Yeah, this is 2014, not 1930. And the impact of a NSA surveillance empire is global. External pressure from not-America matters. Where Snowden camps out is irrelevant:

So, should the Dalai Lama have just stayed in Tibet to “accept” what China wanted to do to him?

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Because spellcheck is greater than you, human . . .

But how else would one spell it? It’s not even an AmE or BrE thing, like -ize instead of -ise.

And Snowdon is not being offered for Snowden. Dumb robotz.

I am convinced spellcheckers are another manifestation of the same spiteful AIs that infest printer circuitry.

Too bad about the NSA lying all the time.

Also, spellcheck is telling you *undisappearabilitiness is not no correct
, *puny mortal.

And that’s how we end up with events like My Lai.

Well, a specific set of instructions for a specific operation like My Lai is at least theoretically more preventable via complaining through the chain of command. A closer analogy to my example would have been an infantryman complaining that US forces were in Vietnam at all.

However, the same fundamental moral argument applies; that you would be significantly more likely, as an infantryman, to prevent a gross violation of the laws you’ve sworn to uphold (regardless of your orders), if you went awol and presented evidence of an upcoming atrocity to the press, than if you stayed in your post until it was too late, whether you complained about it or not.

The moral actor has to take the likelihood of success into their determination of the most ethical course of action.

It’s a lot less complicated to just lodge a formal complaint and claim immunity after the fact, but it’s not actually going to help you sleep if you feel that you rejected a course of action would have had a better chance at preventing those children’s deaths.

In reality, a war crime like My Lai contravenes both the law (treaty obligations) and the constitution (which clearly states that those treaties have maximal authority), which each soldier swears to uphold even if it requires contradicting orders. It’s not a stretch to see an infantryman’s failure to do everything in her power (including going awol and alerting the press) to prevent an impending war crime or breach of int’l treaty obligations as a failure of loyalty, not a breach of it.

It comes down to personal choice, doesn’t it? You just have to decide one day what you will and won’t do. And if what your job requires you to do conflicts with what you told yourself you weren’t gonna do, then you’re at a crossroads. Are you gonna do it or freakin not?

Are you gonna freakin perpetuate the freedom-eating power machine or not? Are you going to perpetuate some dumbass boss’s stupid policies that hurt people, or not? Are you gonna continue being a part of the problem, or stick your damn neck out and try to fix some things?

jhbadger is accepting the gross fallacy that the tactics that worked for people who are extreme outliers in extremely outlying moments in history are actually sound tactics that can be applied elsewhere by other people.

Catalogue your heroes, you’ll find more that fought their punishment than accepted it. You will not find a correlation between accepting your punishment and winning. It is a bad strategy.

Snowden is achieving a moral goal by means that are significantly more effective.

If you do not respect efficacy, you are failing your cause.

You need to weigh the “harm” of his decision not to accept his punishment against the good of his alternative efficacy. This is the moral equation and your side is less than.

If Snowden came back, he’d be charged under the Espionage Act in which evidence that what he did was morally right would be inadmissible. He would be effectively gagged.

Choosing to be a martyr only makes sense if you don’t have better options that will allow you to do more good by staying viable.

You have a fairybook idea of what civil obedience looks like. There are more effective strategies than martyrdom roughly 99.99% of the time.

If your desire to become a martyr causes you to take a less effective path to your goal, then your arrogance has made you fail your cause and you should be swept into the dustbin.


Whereya been all this time jimoffet? Well said.


“The soldiers directly behind me were from the Parachute Regiment, so they’re obviously game for the fight,” Blunt said. But he wasn’t willing to risk major conflict with Russia. “There are things that you do along the way that you know are right, and those that you absolutely feel are wrong,” he said. “That sense of moral judgment is drilled into us as soldiers in the British army.” The singer-songwriter claims he would have declined the order even at the risk of a court martial.

His music makes me inordinately cross, but every time I’ve seen him interviewed, he comes off as such a splendidly affable fellow, that I cannot dislike him.