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A Snowden Job And A Much More Important Issue [Updated]

11 June 2013 @ 14:41

Methinks Mark Steyn get’s it right:

…One reason for the citizenry not to entrust its personal information to the government is that the big, bloated, blundering government is stupid enough to entrust it to Edward Snowden, as it was previously stupid enough to entrust it to Bradley Manning (the Wikileaks leaker). It’s only a matter of time before the halfwit leviathan entrusts it to a Major Hasan or a Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Stacy McCain has offered his takes here and here and here.

From his latest one:

The explanations offered by Edward Snowden just don’t add up. They are rationalizations or excuses, more than explanations. And while there are people who desperately want Snowden to be the hero of this story, I think it’s not really going to work out that way, because Snowden appears to be a deeply flawed personality.

Within 48 hours, “sources close to the investigation” will bring out damaging material about Snowden, and meanwhile, reporters will be quoting Snowden’s former colleagues to the effect that, since being diagnosed with epilepsy last year, this guy has been acting weird. He was, let’s say . . . depressed. Emotionally unstable. A kook, really.

Dan Collin’s has written a truly must-read post on the matters surrounding this story.

I think Dan is right in seeing this story as raising three these important questions:

So, what are the important questions here? Many, such as Glenn Reynolds, have said that the fundamental question is whether we trust this government to use the data responsibly, given the other scandals plaguing the administration on a variety of fronts. Connected is the question of whether access to this information can be demonstrated to have made us more secure. My focus is further towards Charles Cooke’s. It has to do with the nature of the social contract and the fundamental relations between our government and ourselves. This is somewhat connected with the issue of whether the government is trustworthy, but it can stand alone as a matter of contracts, expressed or implied, and mutual obligation….

He also mentions the Fourth Amendment and whether it has been violated:

…To say that the Supreme Court has found that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures means that police are not able without a warrant (and the attestation that getting one requires, or at least used to) to place a tracking device on a vehicle, but that the GPS location of a cell phone is fair game, because it’s attached to a number that is one step removed from being attached to a name is pure sophistry…

In his magisterial book, Commentaries On The Constitution Of The United States, Justice Joseph Story explains the history and meaning behind the Fourth Amendment:

§ 1894. The next amendment is: “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 person or things. to be seized.”

§ 1895. This provision seems indispensable to the full enjoyment of the rights of personal security, personal liberty, and private property. It is little more than the affirmance of a great constitutional doctrine of the common law. And its introduction into the amendments was doubtless occasioned by the strong sensibility excited, both in England and America, upon the subject of general warrants almost upon the eve of the American Revolution. Although special warrants upon complaints under oath, stating the crime, and the party by name, against whom the accusation is made, are the only legal warrants, upon which an arrest can be made according to the law of England; yet a practice had obtained in the secretaries’ office ever since the restoration, (grounded on some clauses in the acts for regulating the press,) of issuing general warrants to take up, without naming any persons in particular, the authors, printers, and publishers of such obscene, or seditious libels, as were particularly specified in the warrant. When these acts expired, in 1694, the same practice was continued in every reign, and under every administration, except the four last years of Queen Anne’s reign, down to the year 1763. The general warrants, so issued, in general terms authorized the officers to apprehend all persons suspected, without naming, or describing any person in special. In the year 1763, the legality of these general warrants was brought before the King’s Bench for solemn decision; and they were adjudged to be illegal, and void for uncertainty.

A warrant, and the complaint, on which the same is founded, to be legal, must not only state the name of the party, but also the time, and place, and nature of the offence with reasonable certainty.

With that last sentence, it’s ‘case closed’ for me regarding these snooping programs.

Clearly, they are unConstitutional and, therefore, whether they are worthy programs or not, whether they help protect America or not, they must be ended. General warrants are not allowed.

You are at liberty to change The Constitution if this bothers you, but you are not allowed to ignore it.

Another thing to consider: you cannot get through a single, waking day in America these days without violating at least a dozen laws, so it would be very easy to build a probable cause case against anyone.

While The Constitution is, indeed, not ‘a suicide pact’, it is not open-ended in national security matters. This program goes too far in it’s unrestrained and wanton gathering of information on American citizens.

This program must be stopped and political correctness must end. We should be targeting Muslims who raise the slightest suspicions because it is Islam which is at war with us and The West. No non-Muslims should be targeted unless there is a reasonable suspicion that they are aiding and abetting any of our enemies [the Mohammedins,
Red Chinese, Russians, etc.]. That is the price one pays to live in a constitutional republic.

I do urge you to take the time and read the whole of Dan’s post on the matter because it is the most reasoned piece I’ve seen regarding the issues at play here.

Dan’s conclusion is quite powerful and quite correct. A highlight [emphasis mine]:

In short, there are a lot of unindicted criminals in positions of authority at the highest levels of our government, whose appetites for power are much greater than their respect for the laws, and who thinks that anyone who resists them ought instead to be treated as a crime suspect, if not a criminal. So, no, I don’t trust them at all. Yes, go ahead and make an example of Edward Snowden, because to stipulate that this were still a legitimate government, it would be legitimate to punish him for what he has done.  Let’s not pretend, though, that Snowden is the issue, or that these NSA programs are the issue, or that even American citizens’ security is the issue. The Issue is whether or not the government that represents itself as representing and serving us, our interests, and our wishes, legitimately does anymore, and what is to be done about it if it no longer does.

Personally, I do not believe the national government does anymore. I believe it is illegitimate and tyrannical  [more on this from me in the coming weeks].

-A few comments on this Snowdon creature: as Dan writes, ‘violated the Espionage Act[;] It’s an open question, at this point, whether his actions rise to the level of treason’. I shall have to gather more facts before I form an opinion on this.

I am able to say this, however: Snowden is a coward [Smitty seems to agree with me].

If he believed that the national government was engaged in dastardly acts, he should have secured the proof and then gone to a respect reporter. Instead he went running off to a Socialist journalist and a country run by Communists. I would have gone to someone like Byron York or James Rosen or Jake Tapper. And I would have stayed to face the consequence of my actions. People may get hurt or die because of your childish recklessness, Eddie. And there you sit, believing that you’re some comic book superhero…yeah, Putzman.

Watch Snowden’s video; this idiot thinks he’s in a frigging Bourne movie. This is real, kid.

And by the way, Little Eddie, are you a spy for the Red Chinese or the Russians?

What a Snowden Job.

UPDATE at 1725…

-Errata: Corrected some technical glitches and a misspelling in the original post.

-Mandy Nagy’s post over at Legal Insurrection, entitled Five Clarifications We Can’t ask Of Edward Snowden is (1) a must-read and (2) damn fine analysis by a real reporter.

-Also check out her report on two lawsuits that have been filed in this matter.

-As always, Evi brings along some humor to lighten things up a bit.  Well-played, M’lady.

UPDATE at 2347…

Mike, That Mr. G Guy, links — thanks.

12 Comments
  1. 11 June 2013 @ 14:48 14:48

    Reblogged this on Pixie Place II and commented:
    I post this here to emphasize these words – from TCOTS: You are at liberty to change The Constitution if this bothers you, but you are not allowed to ignore it.

    Another thing to consider: you cannot get through a single, waking day in America these days without violating at least a dozen laws, so it would be very easy to build a probable cause case against anyone.

    While The Constitution is, indeed, not ‘a suicide pact’, it is not open-ended in national security matters. This program goes too far in it’s unrestrained and wanton gathering of information on American citizens.

    This program must be stopped and political correctness must end. We should be targeting Muslims who raise the slightest suspicions because it is Islam which is at war with us and The West. No non-Muslims should be targeted unless there is a reasonable suspicion that they are aiding and abetting any of our enemies [the Mohammedins,
    Red Chinese, Russians, etc]. That is the price one pays to live in a constitutional republic.your thoughts here… (optional)

    • 11 June 2013 @ 20:27 20:27

      Thanks, KC. I hope you are well.

      • 11 June 2013 @ 21:23 21:23

        I am, indeed, Bob, thanks for asking. A bit anxious, which is understandable in this Time, but except for arthritis, quite well, all the same. Think of you often, you are in my daily prayers.

  2. 11 June 2013 @ 16:20 16:20

    So… Snowden is a “coward” because he didn’t do what You would have done?

    Huh.

    I’m thinking someone hasn’t read Diana West. This country is largely populated and RUN by moral adolescents. That Snowden could overcome THAT at all is a minor miracle.

    http://amzn.to/14vdUg1

    • 11 June 2013 @ 20:28 20:28

      Actually, I’m reading her latest American Betrayal – it’s quite good.

  3. theebl permalink
    11 June 2013 @ 16:23 16:23

    This Snowden dude reminds me of someone…

  4. M. Thompson permalink
    11 June 2013 @ 16:24 16:24

    You know, if there’s anything medically or emotionally amiss, the military will pull a man off of working on special weapons. Shouldn’t this information be considered the same way?

    It’s vital to national security. Let’s start treating it that way.

  5. 11 June 2013 @ 21:01 21:01

    Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog and commented:
    I tend to agree with Bob here and although Stacy makes some good points, I believe the government and the NSA are stepping way over the line.

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