A little off the well-beaten path to 2016 but here’s a topic submitted from a reader. Germany and France have recently been throwing a very public fit over allegations of spying by the United States on their respective countries and some of their leaders. More specifically, evidence has surfaced that the United States may have been bugging the German Chancellors cell phone among other things.

Report from Reuters:

German and French accusations that the United States has run spying operations in their countries, including possibly bugging Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, are likely to dominate a meeting of EU leaders starting on Thursday.

The two-day Brussels summit, called to tackle a range of social and economic issues, will now be overshadowed by debate on how to respond to the alleged espionage by Washington against two of its closest European Union allies.

Representatives of both Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said the two would hold a one-on-one meeting ahead of the 1500 GMT start of the summit to discuss the espionage issue.

For Germany the matter is particularly sensitive. Not only does the government say it has evidence the chancellor’s personal phone was monitored, but the very idea of bugging dredges up memories of eavesdropping by the Stasi secret police in the former East Germany, where Merkel grew up.

Following leaks by data analyst Edward Snowden, which revealed the reach of the U.S. National Security Agency’s vast data-monitoring programs, Washington finds itself at odds with a host of important allies, from Brazil to Saudi Arabia.

This major foreign policy issue has been on the back-burner since shutdown-palooza happened this month but it carries some serious implications for national security and foreign relations.

Exit questions courtesy of the topic submitter:

So, how can Obama handle this? Should we stop spying, or is there a way to respond and keep going? Is the spying fair? Is it a danger to our own rights? How will candidates from each party respond from the ongoing complaints about Snowden or what information he has released?

44 COMMENTS

  1. This is absolutely appalling & unacceptable for the Obama Admin to be targeting & spying on our allies , throwing embarrassing mud on the integrity of our nation ! Treating our allies this shabby will rightfully result in a loss of relationship we can’t afford to lose ! Obama should be IMPEACHED for such disrespectful spying that results in loss of allies !

  2. Lori: Spying on allies is probably more common than spying on enemies, since they are less suspect.

    Don’t you remember the 60 Israelis who spied on the US during the Bush administration? It was reported by Fox News on 12/12/01:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines.shtml?/headlines01/1212-06.htm

    Then, of course, there’s Jonathan Pollard, the American who spied on us (U.S.) for the Israelis during the Reagan Administration. Here’s the background story from Fox:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/04/23/background-pollard-spy-case/

    If we can’t trust the Israelis, who could we possibly trust? We’re the only country in the world that cares about them.

    The fact is that ALL countries spy on all countries (if they can). The “crime” is in being caught. And that’s probably the real damage that Snowden has done. He gave proof to the reality that everybody knows, but could not score points with, because by its very nature, the activities are secret.

  3. I thought spying is what everyone did, a country with as much to lose as we have would be stupid not to. Pearl Harbor happened because the USA didn’t foresee certain things and assumed they would be safe with so many ships in one place. False assumptions always prove deadly. It would be a false assumption to believe in perpetual peace with any country in the world.

    I would really be surprised if we didn’t know what was going on in other people’s countries. I would also be very surprised if France and Germany also didn’t have their own espionage going on towards us. Israel spies on us, that doesn’t mean they aren’t our friends. The USA is the country who’s stood by them the most, however, they see what’s happening in the American left and the democratic party. It makes sense for them to not turn a blind eye.

    For any country to believe in the perpetual goodness of any other country is foolish.

    …on a side note…this is also why government healthcare and centralized control of an economy is a bad idea. you won’t always be able to trust the helm. at least in a free market you can cross the street and go to Burger King if you don’t like McDonald’s. When the feds get control of something where do you go? Canada?

    Same thing for us. Why would we turn a blind eye on a nation who essentially started 2 world wars last century, and committed the largest war crime known.

  4. I agree with Goethe & Josh – every country spies on every other country, self preservation – the crime, as Goethe says, is being caught.

    The greater crime is a country spying on its self. Recording it over time now truly puts the Administration of that country in the same category as Nazis, Stalin’s communism, and basic “1984” type government.

    This Administration now catalogs and puts into memory, your work, your communication, your medical condition, your personal affairs if electronic in involved in anyway. The Administration with the help of the MSM has it’s own version of “doublespeak” and the repeal of the 2nd Amendment is imminent. Orwell was only off by 30 years.

    • Sam: Yeah, everybody does it. And, I guess, I’ll come to the defense of Angela Merkel for complaining about it. That, too, is expected. When you catch a spy, you complain publicly, and pretend that you don’t do it, too. She was just playing her role.

      BUT–this does point out that Snowden may yet cause serious problems. There are some things that don’t matter until they become public.

      • Goethe – i honestly believe that the E.O.s & Acts all the way back to 1950 and Ike, people have been aware that POTUS / CinC can declare Marshall Law and be invasive in monitoring your activities and possessions. Obama’s 2012 E.O. took it to the really new levels and left no rock un-turned. It got tons of publicity, but again it was Obama and the Democrats so basically ignored by MSM. Snowden tried to take it to the MSM but they ignored him.

        So while Snowden violated divulging of classified material (names and workings of Classified projects) and should be hung by the balls for quite some time. He really isn’t guilty of divulging unknown activities, but simply exposing it to the Low Information general public.

        • Sam: Well, not exactly. While it’s true that most people don’t know such things as the fact that all countries spy on their allies, informing THEM is not the problem.

          The problem, as we have seen, is the trouble caused when proof is given to foreign leaders, who can then play “holier than thou,” and extract concessions to stop the PR drain.

          The administration has tried to dull the impact by saying, “we are not spying on you and will not in the future.” While that does not say, “but we have done it up to now,” the real problem for us is that we have to be more careful about spying now.

          It’s like in the 50s, when Ike assured Kruschev that we were not spying on them–and then they trotted out Gary Francis Powers. As long as they couldn’t prove it, we could continue, unabated.

          • Goethe – in today’s world of electronics and counter-intelligence, it would not be that hard to expose other countries spy programs and that they are in turn spying on the U.S. I can’t believe other countries would even consider making waves realizing that the U.S.could really make waves about the world wide spying game.

            • Sam: I’m not so sure. Regular people don’t like the idea of spying–and, of course, the smarter ones will realize if we can spy on foreigners, we can spy on Americans, too.

              So I think leaders want to continue the fantasy that we all mind our own business. The current furor was just given to them on a silver platter. I don’t blame them for being “shocked, shocked” about spying, and profiting from the news.

              While we could probably expose them, that wouldn’t actually help us, would alienate them, and might make it then expose HOW we know about their spying.

              So my guess is that we will want to shut down this whole issue as quickly as possible, and in order to do that, our “friends” will extract their pound of flesh. . .

        • samreusser — “Snowden violated divulging of classified material (names and workings of Classified projects) and should be hung by the balls for quite some time.”

          I cannot believe you said that!

          If it wasn’t for Snowden, we would have never known that our own Gov via the NSA is spying on ALL of US, at home, in America on all our aspects of life, and storing ALL this info to be “farmed” at a later date.

          Snowden’s byproduct of NSA spying on our allies is NOT to be considered as bad (“should be hung by the balls for quite some time”), since you all agree that spying on our allies is an acceptable practice.

          So why vilify Snowden — when instead you should applaud his patriotism and give him a medal for risking his life to alert us how our own Obama Admin treats its citizens: All of US are suspects of possible nefarious deeds (and thus spied upon FOREVER), until proven Innocent!

          • Surfisher – Snowden divulged classified material (names and workings of Classified projects), that is a violation of the UCMJ as well as civilian laws. it matters not what he divulged. Maybe you have n ever been in the military or under government contract in a classified project but “loose lips sink ships” is a valid phrase and you just don’t divulge classified information. who knows, i could have been on that ship that sank.

            As far as WHAT the material was,you may not have known the names but you had to truly be a Low information citizen to not be aware of what the NSA, DHS, CIA, and FBI are doing. All Snowden did was get the info to a media source who would publicize to the world because our own mass media is a hemorrhoid on Obama’s butt and would expose the Administration.

            As much time as you spend on the internet and these comment strings, i would like to think you are not a Low Information We the People. there needed to be another way to expose the dumb-downed people that were not aware than a person like Snowden do the exposing. Because of this Administration’s refusal to take responsibility and stonewalling and the hemorrhoid MSM we are basically a semi-communist nation for another three years.

            • samreusser — I salute you for being Navy, and agree with just about all you state!

              However, I’d like to respectfully propose the following to you on Snowden, and see if you find fault in my reasoning.

              1) In past casual conversations with many of my friends and acquaintances, I mentioned that the NSA seems to be spying on all of us in every aspect of our being, and even storing all our phone calls and internet activities. Most of them just made the wry comment: “They only do it for foreigners, not us. Don’t get such silly info from kooky sites”.

              Then Snowden came along, and the MSM was forced finally to broadcast that that was a fact — and afterwards all the doubters said to me; “Wow, you were right. I never knew this could happen in our own country!”

              Therefore, I’ll state that had not Snowden come forth, 90+% of the American people would not have had factual proof that our own government is spying on all of us, all the time — and Congress would not have been forced to start a Second query, and eventually Obama be forced to admit to it!

              This alone, merits Snowden’s qualification for being declared an American patriot!
              ———————————————————————–

              2) Per your quote: “loose lips sink ships”: had Snowden disclosed such vital secrets during WW2 and the following Cold War in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s — when we Actually had POWERFUL ENEMY STATES THAT COULD HAVE DESTROYED US — I’d agree with you (“should be hung by the balls for quite some time”) and even ask for his head!

              However, in 2013 the CCCP has imploded, and consist of nothing but one single military “power” — Russia. Whose conventional former military might is rusting away and being sold as scrap metal — tanks, ships and planes. Yes, they do have nukes — but we don’t need the NSA of today to tell us this, it’s a known fact since the 60’s.

              China in 2013 — our only worry if they attack us is HOW TO FEED 1.5 BILLION prisoners when they surrender…!

              Continues below….

  5. It is a given that all countries “spy” on other countries. Somehow, I always assumed it was detecting military build up, intent of sabotage, or warlike movements. What really captivated my attention was that this surveillance dragnet is protected under the FISA amendments act. Companies are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order to give up data and disclosing any information about the order. On May 28, 2013, Google (a holdout) was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter to provide user data without a warrant. Other companies already compling Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Verizon, and Dropbox. Twitter doesn’t handle as much secret and possibly dangerous data but there are plenty of private messages and private accounts on Twitter, as well as data on when users log on and from where, which seems to be of interest. This message will be in their possession.

    • Tess – you really must read Obama’s “Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness” on:
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

      This is an update to every previous POTUS since Ike in 1950 and gives DHS the right to do anything at all to you that it pleases for any suspected reason or no reason at all. In addition, it gives the POTUS the right to declare Marshall Law on basically a whim.

      We are living free and basically on the edge but MSM and Low Information “We the People” and even Congress doesn’t think it would hold water. Military Enlisted signed an oath that they must obey the POTUS but Officers only the Constitution and the duties of their Office. So if the POTUS shags all senior Officers who wouldn’t fire on Americans – then the Military is his and with DHS the POTUS can do anything he pleases. All of the fire drills on the IRS, NSA, any Acts are simply pissin’ in the wind.

      • Sam…I have read it . Executive orders originated under George Washington, and they are based on Article II of the Constitution — which created the executive branch. Representative Kay Granger wrote that President Obama’s “National Defense Resources Preparedness” order amounted to martial law, adding that it was “unprecedented” and “above the law” and lacked congressional oversight. In an April 30th newsletter, Kay Grainger recanted, writing: “It is incorrect to say, as I did in my March 30th letter, that this level of power is totally unprecedented … President Obama’s Executive Order appears to continue the trend of modifying previous Executive Orders on emergency preparedness and national defense resources preparedness. There are only a few changes President Obama incorporated – such as changes to the definitions of resources covered by the law – that have been included in his order”
        .
        The first use of martial law resulted from The Boston Tea Party. Martial law has been used by Governors as well the Mayor of New Orleans during Katrina. Even President Lincoln used martial law. The territory of Hawaii was under martial law from 1941 through 1943 under President Roosevelt.

        I do not know where the term low information (voters) originated but it is tedious and tasteless. Regardless of one’s position in life, no other person has the right to degrade another.

        What senior officers do you have in mind that would disobey a superior’s order? There is no “then” to it. The President of the United States (regardless of who is in office) is the Commander in Chief of the US Military. It is his to command….always has been.

        • Tess – just read our oath of office (and the enlisted one too) it is to protect the We the People against a overzealous and tyrannical government – same as the 2nd Amendment. The U.S. was as afraid of a Monarchy or Totalitarian government as the majority of Informed citizens today are afraid.

          Martial Law has never been invoked across the entire U.S. and tried to be enforced by DHS and the Military. If you have really read Obama’s EO, you know he can spy of every US citizen, imprison any citizen, and take away any citizen’s finances simplying by saying the “government” suspects and some cases without any reason. a 3/4 democratic congress, the hemorrhoid MSM and POTUS is on his way.

          • Sam…I enjoy replying to your comments but as you so aptly put it earlier..it’s like “pissin’ in the wind”. I was familiar with the Naval Officer’s code and I just read the oath for the enlistee. “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” Exactly where does the 2nd amendment say “to protect the We the People against a overzealous and tyrannical government”

            President Obama did change some federal policies on immigration and welfare and appointed officials without congressional approval through Executive Order. No doubt he learned this “quickie” from President George W. None of President Obama’s executive actions have had anything to do with martial law. (If you can find the wording please let me know) I’ll give you leeway on the spying but the person who signed the first internal spy bill (Patriot Act) was President George W Bush. He (George W. Bush) signed several controversial “signing statements” that claimed he had the power to disregard certain provisions of laws, a presidential action that goes back to James Monroe. Barack Obama hasn’t tried that tactic yet. Please show me where in President Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order that “he can imprison any citizen, and take away any citizen’s finances simplying by saying the “government” suspects and some cases without any reason.”

            Waiting…

            • Tess – this is getting tiring! RE; the Officer’s oath: One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.[3]. I and all military Officers are bound by the UCMJ except when an unconstitutional order is given!
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Uniformed_Services_Oath_of_Office

              As Far as E.O. 13603 => if you can’t extrapolate if the Administration decides in the “needs of national defense” that there are numerous parts where the Administration can take measures to any extreme without protection for the “people” – then go spend some time studying Political Law and enhance your PhD.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13603

              You need to come in from the cold

              I’m done – EOS

            • Tess Liehard — still shilling for Lil’ Hussein, here….

              Shame on you, no matter how much you get paid to do it!

            • Surf: Still trying to sell that story?

              Well, when are you going to come clean on the fact that you’re doing a study on how many of us will fall for your outrageous and silly paranoid stories?

              The idea that anyone would pay anyone to post on a site where never more than a few people will ever read the post is silly to the point of insulting that you think you can sell that crap to any of us.

              Tess works hard to substantiate what she says, and even when someone violently disagrees with her, no one else here seriously thinks she or any other of us is being paid to post.

              As several of us have now said, you really should look into getting professional help.

  6. Europe is done — they’ll economically collapse in a short time. So who cares…it’s just bad PR…!

    However, Obama treats ALL US Citizens as suspects of possible nefarious deeds (and thus has the NSA spy on ALL of US FOREVER), until proven Innocent!

    The Law of the Land is INNOCENT until proven Guilty.

    Barack Hussein has perverted it to be: GUILTY until proven Innocent.

    Time to Impeach Obama and save free America!

  7. If the US started spying on Merkel going back to 2002, my guess is that it had to do with Germany’s opposition to the Iraq War.

    AND Merkel didn’t even become Chancellor until 2005, so we musta been tapping a whole LOT of phones over there–for a long, long time..

    This is not going to end well for us.

  8. Anybody who doesn’t understand that ALL this noise is for Domestic Consumption needs to have their head examined…..

    As mentioned above…

    EVERY COUNTRY on the planet maintrains a spying operation……

    Efforts to continue to do so will not go away….

  9. samreusser — I salute you for being Navy, and agree with just about all you state!

    However, I’d like to respectfully propose the following to you on Snowden, and see if you find fault in my reasoning.

    1) In past casual conversations with many of my friends and acquaintances, I mentioned that the NSA seems to be spying on all of us in every aspect of our being, and even storing all our phone calls and internet activities. Most of them just made the wry comment: “They only do it for foreigners, not us. Don’t get such silly info from kooky sites”.

    Then Snowden came along, and the MSM was forced finally to broadcast that that was a fact — and afterwards all the doubters said to me; “Wow, you were right. I never knew this could happen in our own country!”

    Therefore, I’ll state that had not Snowden come forth, 90+% of the American people would not have had factual proof that our own government is spying on all of us, all the time — and Congress would not have been forced to start a Second query, and eventually Obama be forced to admit to it!

    This alone, merits Snowden’s qualification for being declared an American patriot!
    ———————————————————————–

    2) Per your quote: “loose lips sink ships”: had Snowden disclosed such vital secrets during WW2 and the following Cold War in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s — when we Actually had POWERFUL ENEMY STATES THAT COULD HAVE DESTROYED US — I’d agree with you (“should be hung by the balls for quite some time”) and even ask for his head!

    However, in 2013 the CCCP has imploded, and consist of nothing but one single military “power” — Russia. Whose conventional former military might is rusting away and being sold as scrap metal — tanks, ships and planes. Yes, they do have nukes — but we don’t need the NSA of today to tell us this, it’s a known fact since the 60’s.

    China in 2013 — our only worry if they attack us is HOW TO FEED 1.5 BILLION prisoners when they surrender…!

    Are there 10 enemy nations of military combined might that could successfully attack us in the 21st century, and not get wiped out by our military might within a week or two?!

    Name them — and you’ll see that no such exist.
    ———————————————————————————————-

    So what’s left — the boogeymen with turbans! A bunch of flea-bitten extremist Muslims that have NO NATION that can send a NAVY to attack our shores, or Soldiers to storm our beaches, or Airforce to carpet bomb our Cities!

    Just a bunch of scrawny little weaklings that my grandsons can knockout with a single punch!

    AND this RAGTAG WACKY MUSLIM BAND of 130 lb ‘men’ are the ONLY THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY — and therefore the NSA is allowed to spy on all of us…to “SAVE” us from what any adult American citizen can beat into a pulp without the need of the Army..?!

    And Snowden is to be vilified for exposing this — Sorry, but NO Sir!
    —————————————————————————————-

    Edward Snowden is an American patriot — and the NSA needs to go away!

    • Surfisher – Your friends are too bz with their personal lives to go beyond ABC/CBS/NBC/ nightly news and fav TV series’ to understand politics or the gradual transformation over the last 5 yrs. most of my friends, like me, are retired and analyze – especially when the effects change or foretell that change. But even after military retirement and working 60hr/wk in a civilian job – i always found time and conversation to understand the foundation of our nation.

      people have to wake themselves, and is often liking talking to a liberal. They have a set perspective and will not modify it until caught and damaged by the truth which had previously been filtered to be an un-truth they conceived as truth..

      Again, i cannot stress enough the importance of divulging classified info!!!!! what may seem inconsequential, maybe one of several linked from several different sources. especially when an opponent is tracking the info.Do not underestimate (boogeyman w/ turban) core. Russia or the US for over a 30 year span could not eliminate the Taliban from Afghan. The Muslim fundamentalist extremist (basic terrorist) is very dedicated, can assume many faces, is an expert at taqiyya, and a small band can put together devices of WMD and EMP that could easily take out a DC, NYC, Chicago, etc.

      I guess you’re a little younger than i thought – the “ship” statement has been a metaphor only, for over fifty years. It applies to: Maybe this info is the last piece to make a unique destructive device, a troop movement or plan that if known, the enemy (al Qaeda) could set up an ambush and take out more troops than does Obama with his foolishness.

      The NSA, CIA, FBI are needed to work together FOR the USA not AGAINST us. Snowden disclosed classified damaging information and is a discredit as an American.

      Pretty soon the non-working will be nearing the 50% mark – but all have computers and internet – hopefully they will become Informed vise Low Info citizens.

      • Sam: The thing is, Snowden dumped so much info, that it looks as if it will be drizzling out for a long time.

        What most people don’t realize is that a large part of diplomacy is BS. But that BS is what avoids war.

        For instance, Kennedy and Kruschev BS’d like crazy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. If it were not for the secrets and the BS to mislead, we might not have had a way to back away from that precipice.

        Likewise, a lot of benefit comes from being able to just gab, without having to worry about open mikes or leakers. And some secrets actually do save lives.

        The problem with the Snowden leaks is that they are so voluminous–and he has such a huge ego that he thinks he’s smarter than the Chinese and Russian spy apparata combined. [Ok, the dictionary says the plural should be apparatus or apparatuses, but in Latin, it would be apparata, and that sounds so much better. . .]

        • Goethe Behr — what a nonsensical and clueless post, kid.

          Spend some years getting educated, then try posting some semblance of reasoning …so you don’t look like the buffoon that you currently are here….

        • Goethe…you are so right on Kennedy and Kruschev’s type of diplomacy. Many letters were exchanged between President Kennedy and Premier Khruschev and in each of these written exchanges each side conceded something to the other. On October 26, Khrushcev proposed that missile installations would be dismantled and personnel removed in exchange for United States assurances that it would not invade Cuba. On October 27, (letter to Kennedy) Khrushchev, suggested missile installations in Cuba would be dismantled if the United States dismantled its missile installations in Turkey. Khrushchev wrote October 28 that he would dismantle the installations, return them to the Soviet Union, expressing his trust that the United States would not invade Cuba. Further negotiations were held to implement the October 28 agreement, including a United States demand that Soviet light bombers be removed from Cuba. The United States agreed to not invade Cuba and to removed it’s missiles in Turkey. All this and more can be found in Nikita Khrushchev’s Memoirs.

          I have such mixed thoughts on Snowden. How can you fault a man for disclosing unnecessary evil? Yet, how can you praise a man who has caused such irreparable damage to our country’s relationship with other nations?

          • Dear sciolistic Tess:

            The Krushckev-Kennedy example is not applicable in today’s world in which we, the USA, have no competing enemies military might that could oppose us (just a bunch of nameless crazy Muslims). Therefore, it’s just hogwash to Google this info and post it as if it has current merit.

            On Snowden you finally state: “Yet, how can you praise a man who has caused such irreparable damage to our country’s relationship with other nations?”

            So, according to you: “Shoot the messenger — not the actual perpetrators..?!

            What a silly goose you are, and Goethe is the gander — you two should just fly away south of the border with the rest of the migrating geese….

            • AHA!!

              Surfisher called Tess “Dear.” FINALLY it becomes clear that Surfisher’s unnatural hostility is a matter of dreadful crotchety-old-man loneliness and unrequited love. So his idiotic attacks on Tess are really a love-hate neurosis.

              Take pity on the sad old man, Tess. Throw him a kiss or something.

            • Tess: As I recall, it was even a little more complicated. Kennedy wanted a clear success in the diplomatic duel. He didn’t want it to look as a quid-pro-quo. So he pretended that he did not receive Kruschev’s offer to trade Soviet missiles in Cuba for US missiles in Turkey. He “graciously” accepted the offer of removing the missiles in exchange for a promise not to invade, instead.

              Of course, the offer by Kruschev was just to save face. The missiles in Turkey were outdated and no real danger to him, anyway. AND Kennedy QUIETLY removed them later, anyway. But by standing firm, Kennedy showed strength above and beyond our actual overwhelming military superiority. [And that’s another thing that makes Surfisher’s rants so ridiculous. Most people fear that Obama is not mean and tough enough to gamble with foreign leaders, while Surfisher blathers about Mr. Big Ear’s supposed malevolence and super-human power.]

              What Surfisher’s simple mind is not seeing is the fact that diplomacy, for better or worse, is based on image, not fact. And the damage that Snowden did was to show “the Wizard-of-Oz behind the curtain”–who really does not have as much to negotiate away.

              Like it or not, diplomacy is largely BS-ing, and while that may hurt Surfisher’s dainty sensibilities, it’s still a lot better than real explosives mangling real men, women, and children.

      • samreusser — you missed my point: Our Government is using the boogeymen with turbans to destroy the US Constitution in order to “protect” us from this bunch.

        Our liberties and freedoms were not legislated away by a bunch of turban-wearing terrorists, but by our own Representatives!

        It was not Osama that was spying on all of US, but Obama is!

        No Muslim terrorists have cameras at every major intersection in the US, pat us down at airports, collect all our phone and internet data, fly over drones that can track us all, use satellites that map our movements, etc….

        It is our own government that does this!

        So, who is the greater enemy to our freedoms, privacy and constitutional rights —- a bunch of flea-bitten Muslim wannabe terrorists (that can’t fart their way across the ocean to get here), or the MOST POWERFUL NATION IN THE WORLD, the “new-and-improved” USA Dictatorship of Barrack Hussein Obama?!

        Don’t know about any of you here — but the answer seems to be obvious!

        (And since Snowden exposed all of this spying on ALL US Citizens — kudos for him…he deserves to be called an American Hero)!

      • samreusser —

        “Since when has telling the truth become a crime?” — Snowden asks Germany to forward his request for clemency to the US Gov (Obama admin says NO — will prosecute Snowden if brought here)!

        Interested in your take of that statement — “Since when has telling the truth become a crime?” — does it lack merit in principle, regardless of what the consequences of telling the truth may be?

        • Surfisher – as i have reiterated several times, the crime is divulging Classified Material publicly.

          I don’t deny the public needed to know this info, but certainly foreign entities and probably even domestics didn’t need to know the code names or the basic processes. As i said before anyone who did any studies on this Administration and the Department (probably foreign spy’s, as well) knew the various processes and looked at the E.O.s also knew we were / are borderline Big Brother / Orwell’s 1984.

          Flagging it for the world was not the best move Snowden could have done. Sadly for the most part, the citizens who should be the most aware (legal voters) are still being Lo Info Ostriches and MSM still being flaming Progressive Liberals.

          • samreusser — I did not know that aside from the USA, also Israel and England were part of these mass surveillance programs run by the NSA!

            Is this proper — to have foreign nations share OUR NATIONAL surveillance on all (and does this not make us look like part of the New Axis to the world — used to be Germany, Italy and Japan…is it now USA, Britain and Israel)? How would such info of telling the truth on these two Foreign Nations (Britain and Israel) being exposed as partners to US in spying on ALL, affect your thought on whether Snowden did the right thing to expose this?

            Would appreciate your response on this. Thank you.
            ———————————————————————————–

            “Edward Joseph “Ed” Snowden is an American computer specialist and former CIA employee and NSA contractor who disclosed classified details of several top secret United States, Israeli, and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. He is living in Russia under temporary political asylum and is considered a fugitive from justice by American authorities, who have charged him with espionage and theft of government property.”

            See upper right corner in the below addy:

            http://www.bing.com/search?q=snowden+white+house&form=msnwis&refig=DC4A42FFBFCB485289C7FFC7023E2A86

        • Surfisher: I know you asked Sam, and I await his answer, but the naivete was just too much for me to let go by.

          “Since when has telling the truth become a crime?”

          The answer is–when it causes damage unnecessarily. Why not set up a TV channel of satellite images of our troop movements? That’s not only the truth, but real-time truth. What could be wrong with that?

          Or if you know some insider information on a company, why can’t you buy or sell as much stock as possible–and sell your secret to others? The insider information is true, isn’t it? That’s what makes it valuable.

          Recently, someone hacked Bank of America to get customer information. What’s wrong with that? It’s the truth, isn’t it?

          How about if we find out your social security number, driver’s license number, phone number, address, and mother’s maiden name? Let’s publish all that and see if you still like the idea of “truth coming out”?

          People like Daniel Ellsworth told the truth to tell people about the Vietnam War. That was a good thing–and it was illegal–and he was willing to face the consequences.

          THAT is the problem with today’s leakers: (a) they are just dumping private information, with no apparent reason, except to become famous, and (b) they think they should not face any consequences.

          These people want government to be responsible, but do NOT want to be held responsible for damage they cause.

          Dude, you sound as if you were born yesterday.

  10. samreusser — I did not know that aside from the USA, also Israel and England were part of these mass surveillance programs run by the NSA! Where you aware of this before you stated your previous posts?

    Is this proper — to have foreign nations share OUR NATIONAL surveillance on all (and does this not make us look like part of the New Axis to the world — used to be Germany, Italy and Japan…is it now USA, Britain and Israel)? How would such info of telling the truth on these two Foreign Nations (Britain and Israel) being exposed as partners to US in spying on ALL, affect your thought on whether Snowden did the right thing to expose this?

    Would appreciate your response on this. Thank you.
    ———————————————————————————–

    “Edward Joseph “Ed” Snowden is an American computer specialist and former CIA employee and NSA contractor who disclosed classified details of several top secret United States, Israeli, and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. He is living in Russia under temporary political asylum and is considered a fugitive from justice by American authorities, who have charged him with espionage and theft of government property.”

    See upper right corner in the below addy:

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=snowden+white+house&form=msnwis&refig=DC4A42FFBFCB485289C7FFC7023E2A86

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