NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden May Be a Ron Paul Supporter (and Libertarian?)

Edward SnowdenThe GuardianEdward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, former CIA worker and more-recent employee of defense contractor, Booz Allen, may also have contributed money to Ron Paul's presidential campaign during the 2012 election season. We know from the reports in the Guardian and from Booz Allen, itelf, that he worked most recently in Hawaii, and OpenSecrets lists an Edward Snowden of Waipahu, Hawaii, making a $250 donation to then-Rep. Ron Paul on May 6, 2012. An Edward Snowden of Columbia, Maryland, made a contribution to the Ron Paul campaign in the same amount two months earlier.

Edward Snowden contributionsOpenSecrets

Snowden also told the Guardian that "I voted for a third party" on the presidential line in 2008, rather than either of the major party candidates, though he doesn't say which party he supported. He held out hope for Obama, but that was dashed as the new president continued and expanded the surveillance state.

It's not certain, though it seems likely, that at least the Waipahu Edward Snowden is the same one who exposed far-reaching NSA surveillance. Whistleblower Snowden also worked for Dell, identified as the employer of the Maryland-based Ron Paul supporter. A disgust with intrusive government that continues to relentlessly expand its effort to monitor people's communications and worries that "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them" isn't proof of explicitly libertarian sympathies, but it certainly indicates somebody with similar concerns. A couple of checks cut to the Ron Paul campaign make a similar case.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Mike M.||

    Looks like he's a libertarian, so the JournoLists have their talking point now.

    Who knows, he might even be a Reason reader! If by some chance you're reading these threads Mr. Snowden, thank you, and keep your head down.

  • Lord Humungus||

    hmmm... who hasn't been posting lately? ;)

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure it's not MNG.

  • SIV||

    Safe bet:

    MNG= PhD

    Snowden= no HS diploma or GED.

  • Sevo||

    SIV| 6.9.13 @ 7:57PM |#
    "Safe bet:
    MNG= PhD"

    Uh, MNG = (claimed) PhD; /= PhD.

  • SeaCaptain(Yokeltarian)||

    Snowden was making more than most PhDs...

  • Mike M.||

    I really hope he isn't sarcasmic. I'd sure miss all the Daily Mail links!

  • sarcasmic||

    My employer doesn't pay me for my work, so I do the Daily Fails on their tab. No way I'd do it on my own time.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    John's some kind of government contractor, isn't he?

  • Virginian||

    Lawyer, not a tech guy.

  • ||

    Californian?

  • Gbob||

    Considering the expected lifespan of Mr. Snowden, perhaps we should claim Shrike is Snowden's alias. After the bootlicker gets a drone strike through his window he'll consider the possibility that his messiah has feet of clay.

  • Sevo||

    "After the bootlicker gets a drone strike through his window he'll consider the possibility that his messiah has feet of clay."

    No he won't. He'll claim is was better than a Bush drone.

  • PALEACRITA||

    It was me. I stopped spamming the comments, cleaned up my life, got a Bachelors in Espionage, and went to work for the NSA. When I saw the crazy shit that they were doing, I remembered why I became a Reason reader in the first place.

    Thanks commentariat, and remember with honor!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Will Senator Rand Paul distance himself from the traitor who donated to his father's campaign? Film at 11."-MSM

  • ||

    Don't kid yourself, the MSM isn't paying Rand Paul that much mind.

  • PapayaSF||

    The MSM, and the left in general, is not about to suddenly call leakers "traitors." They aren't stupid, and know they are in a bind here.

    Via Instapundit: Yes we scan

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. There are loads of liberals who are not pleased with Obama because of exactly things like this. Of course they voted for him anyway, because republicans are racist and hate women or something. But the defend Obama at all costs crew is not the entire left.

  • Virginian||

    Words are wind. They voted for him. That's all that matters.

  • Zeb||

    Not when you are talking about what people might be writing or saying about him now.

  • BoscoH||

    Fucking Reason better not be giving my metadata away!

  • SIV||

    They're selling it.

  • yonemoto||

    +10 internets

  • yonemoto||

    I guess Edward is not me, despite my having a WAIPAHU MAILING ADDRESS.

    Actually, I bet he lives in my parent's neighborhood. Most of Waipahu is an ex-filipino slum (it used to be the japanese slum before that). My parents live in the newfangled complex that sprung up around a golf course in the last 10 years.

  • Sevo||

    yonemoto| 6.9.13 @ 9:56PM |#
    "I guess Edward is not me, despite my having a WAIPAHU MAILING ADDRESS."

    We're on to you, yonemoto!
    /s/ Obama

  • mr lizard||

    Sheesh I guess the NSA work paid well. I was only able to cough up 25 bucks for Ron last election.

  • ||

    Guardian article said $200k. That in and of itself pisses me off.

  • Bam!||

    You're surprised you can make bank by sucking government cock?

  • Sevo||

    Gotta mention, if the guy self-identifys (or gets identified) as libertarian, there is going to be some SERIOUS cognitive dissonance among lefties claiming to favor civil liberties.
    Regardless of the legal fallout, the cultural issues are going to be interesting to watch.

  • SweatingGin||

    We should get a nice new hate on libertarians from the progtards. Michael Lind is probably warming up at his keyboard right now.

  • MJGreen||

    Is that the euphemism these days?

  • Fluffy||

    They're already claiming that he isn't "really" a civil libertarian, since supporting Ron Paul means he's an evil neo-confederate who was just out to "get" the country's first black President.

  • ||

    You're seeing that? Where?

  • crashland||

    Believing in civil liberties and holding the rights protected by the constitution as sacred is pre-911 thinking. What good is being able to communicate with your friends without the government trawling your data if your dead?

    That about sums up the gist of a lot of the comments I've scanned from both "conservatives" and "liberals." Only freaks and traitors really care about civil liberties and have you seen the average Ron Paul supporter? Bunch of weirdos. Maybe their reactions will help to yank the "liberal" mask from the fascist, progressive face.

    I can understand a gut negative reaction to leakers, but isn't everybody employed by the feds supposed to be protecting and defending the constitution? Isn't that what the job of POTUS is supposed to be? Snowden isn't the traitor, the pieces of shit waving their hands and calling the governments actions legal, those are the traitors. The elected officials who knew about this and didn't tell us about it, they are traitors. I'd really like to know the specific names of congress members who were briefed on these things and the dates of those briefings.

  • SweatingGin||

    Maybe their reactions will help to yank the "liberal" mask from the fascist, progressive face.

    That's been the one redeeming thing in the time since the election -- watching the mask slip.

    The proggies have really been going nuts for the last few months, justifying anything and everything, and calling for all kinds of restrictions and crack downs.

  • ||

    There's a mask?

  • Sevo||

    crashland| 6.9.13 @ 8:02PM |#
    "Believing in civil liberties and holding the rights protected by the constitution as sacred is pre-911 thinking. What good is being able to communicate with your friends without the government trawling your data if your dead?"

    'Better read than dead'
    1950s; wrong.

  • Sevo||

    Ooops:
    'Better RED than dead'

  • Teaching Student||

    So much for "Live Free or Die" then huh?

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, especially when the guy objected to it on his license plate and got busted.

  • Teaching Student||

    Hell, I work in Recreation and I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

  • Sevo||

    Teaching Student| 6.9.13 @ 9:31PM |#
    "Hell, I work in Recreation and I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution."

    Yeah, but you might have meant it!

  • Sevo||

    Paleoconservative| 6.9.13 @ 8:05PM |#
    "The views of the left toward these companies show its hypocrisy...,."
    What?

  • Sevo||

    Link?

  • Zeb||

    Telecommunications companies hire a lot of unskilled immigrants? And shouldn't that be massiveImmigration?

  • KDN||

    Oh, loads. The IBEW loves them some wetback. In fact, Verizon just released a plan to forego the purchase of replacement cherry pickers and pole trucks in favor of teams of Guatemalans with pickaxes forming human ladders.

  • Lyle||

    Hong Kong is where China uses the Triad gangs to scare pro-democracy Hong Kongers into emigrating elsewhere.

    This guy isn't too bright and is overly paranoid.

  • mr lizard||

    I would've gone with Ecuador based on them shielding Assange.

  • SweatingGin||

    Whether you think what he did is worthwhile/legit/treason/whatever -- I think the supposed treatment of Manning justifies any level of paranoia for anyone planning to leak something.

    I know of I was going to, all anyone would know about me is a public key.

    Maybe there's a benefit to being known. Can't be disappeared as easily...

  • Sevo||

    Lyle| 6.9.13 @ 8:05PM |#
    "Hong Kong is where China uses the Triad gangs to scare pro-democracy Hong Kongers into emigrating elsewhere."

    Cite, please.

  • affenkopf||

    This. Given that they had tens of thousands at a recent commemoration of Tiananmen Square the triads would have a lot of work to do.

  • Lyle||

    Well, for one I've been to Hong Kong and talked to people. I was told face to face by some Hong Kong attorneys that this is what has happened to some people. Specifically there was a radio host who was scared out of Hong Kong and moved to Canada.

    I also happened to be there when they had their annual Tiananmen protest. Yeah, Hong Kong, has freedom of speech and people are allowed to protest. I saw a guy waving a Taiwanese flag which is kind of a big deal on the mainland. So what though? Hong Kong is ultimately controlled by the PRC and they will go after whomever they want to.

    You people are ignorant and stupid if you think Hong Kong is a safe place for someone to be who is anti-authoritarian.

  • ||

    I was wondering where would be the best place, myself. Iceland, maybe? They gave asylum to Bobby Fischer, and aren't seen as a security threat.

  • Don Mynack||

    From the Guardian article on Snowden:

    "Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.

    "We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

    Seems he knows something about both the Triads, and the sham "diplomatic" U.S. consulate nearby. Seems he chose his location for a specific reason, one that he is not revealing at this time.

  • Lyle||

    James Fallows who knows something about China seems to agree with me on Hong Kong being a bad place to be.

    I don't really agree with a lot of what Fallows has to say, but he's right to think Hong Kong is not a good place to be for someone like this guy.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....ng/276692/

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Good for Snowden. He should even be given asylum in Canada as a contientious (sp?) objector.

    I vaguely remember the CO status anti-war citizens were given during the dreadfully useless Vietnam War. Right-wingers were saying "USA - love it or leave it". Well now Snowden is doing just that.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:10PM |#
    ..."I vaguely remember the CO status anti-war citizens were given during the dreadfully useless Vietnam War. Right-wingers were saying "USA - love it or leave it". Well now Snowden is doing just that.'

    Yeah, since Obozo is a right-winger, right dipshit?

  • tarran||

    Please stop responding to it like it's saying something worth thinking about.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama is considered right-wing by silly progressives.

    Besides the WOT stuff there is his private insurance market-based health care plan, his friendliness with Silicon Valley and Wall Street, his free trade positions, his pro-fracking, pro-nuke, pro-drilling energy policies, his tax cuts for small business, and so on.

    Stuff you guys don't hear about on Fox News and this site.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am an old-fashioned classic liberal. Socially extremely liberal, pro-markets, pro-free trade, anti-tariff, pro-immigration, and a hardcore secularist.

    You will hate me no doubt.

    Join the crowd here.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:59PM |#
    "I am an old-fashioned classic liberal."

    You're a lying sack of shit.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:37PM |#
    "Obama is considered right-wing by silly progressives....'
    Shreek: "Hey, look over THERE!"
    Go fuck your daddy, dipshit.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:37PM |#
    ..."Stuff you guys don't hear about on Fox News and this site."

    Just to be clear, dipshit, I can't remember ever watching Fox News, and to be honest, it's been many (how many? dunno) years since I watched TV news at all.
    So, dipshit, go fuck your daddy.

  • Spoonman.||

    Well, I watched Fox News on election day for the glorious salty ham tears.

  • hotsy totsy||

    He has a libertarian look to him.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The LP Purity Test is admittedly very difficult. I scored 94/100 yet failed anyway.

    You can't just work to make government smaller - a Pure LPer wants to eviscerate it totally. Unless it is the abortion surveillance state of course. Then LPers are "split" on abortion to appease their GOP rulers.

  • tarran||

    Why are you talking to it like its opinions are worth anything?

    It's stinking up the thread with its urine soaked trousers.

  • ||

    PC here is clearly new, and not familiar with shreek's assbaggery.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:24PM |#
    "The LP Purity Test is admittedly very difficult..."

    Yeah, dipshit. You fail as it requires someone with a nodding acquaintance with the concepts of reality and truth. Plus the medical requirement of a brain-cell.

  • Generic Stranger||

    This is hilarious. Shriek is commiserating with a racist asshole over not being a libertarian.

    Well, I guess it's appropriate, given they're both neo-facists.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fascism is a form of Conservatism (assuming you meant that instead of "facist").

  • Irish||

    Fascism is a form of socialism. Whether it's conservative or not depends on what your current political system is.

  • Generic Stranger||

    This. Facism creates a command economy while keeping the illusion of property rights in place. As such, it's basically socialism lite.

  • Generic Stranger||

    *fascism.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 8:39PM |#
    "Fascism is a form of Conservatism"

    Cite missing, dipshit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Definition of fascism
    noun
    [mass noun]

    an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices: this is yet another example of health fascism in action

    The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/.....sm?view=uk

  • Irish||

    From the Fascist Manifesto:

    The quick enactment of a law of the state that sanctions an eight-hour workday for all workers;
    A minimum wage;
    The participation of workers' representatives in the functions of industry commissions;

    To show the same confidence in the labor unions (that prove to be technically and morally worthy) as is given to industry executives or public servants;

    Reorganisation of the railways and the transport sector;
    Revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance;

    Reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55.

    A strong progressive tax on capital (envisaging a “partial expropriation” of concentrated wealth);

    The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor;

    Quite the right wing political movement, Shrike! Plus, my citation is way better since it actually quotes the Fascist Manifesto, instead of a secondary source.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    But Hitler quickly banned labor unions and collective bargaining. I am referring to actual fascism - not some American adoption of it that never came to fruition.

  • Irish||

    But Hitler quickly banned labor unions and collective bargaining. I am referring to actual fascism - not some American adoption of it that never came to fruition.

    Idiot, the Fascist Manifest was WRITTEN by Benito Mussolini. This is actual fascism, as in the type of fascism that Benito Mussolini created. This is the actual type of Fascism that was adopted by Italian Fascists before Nazi Germany was even a glint in Hitler's eye.

    Try to keep up.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.9.13 @ 9:20PM |#
    "But Hitler quickly banned labor unions and collective bargaining"

    You really are an ignoramus, aren't you? Did you also read how Hitler distributed pelf to the various factions (including "labor") as need required? Read here:
    "The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy"
    http://www.amazon.com/Wages-De.....estruction

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    But Hitler quickly banned labor unions and collective bargaining.


    So did Stalin. What's your point, shriek?

  • Zeb||

    Actual Fascism is what Mussolini did, not Nazism.

  • Sevo||

    "Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach"

    And that is right-wing as opposed to, oh, Stalin exactly how?

  • Irish||

    Hell, how is that right-wing compared to Barack Obama?

    Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group

    See Obama's bizarre desire to start some sort of trade war with China and his hatred of those damn Rethuglican bitter clingers.

    a contempt for democracy

    His hatred of OBSTRUCTIONIST HOUSE REPUBLICANS! is a pretty good example of contempt for Democracy and the rule of law.

    an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader

    A self-evident fact that anyone who has ever dealt with an Obama Zombie can attest to.

    and a strong demagogic approach

    "HOPE AND CHANGE!"

    -crowd cheers-

  • Jordan||

    His hatred of OBSTRUCTIONIST HOUSE REPUBLICANS! is a pretty good example of contempt for Democracy and the rule of law.

    Or just see how he bristles at any suggestion of public oversight of his panopticon state.

  • OldMexican||

    Buttwipe, just so I could have the frame of reference within which the good people that wrote that definition you provided on Fascism think, I looked at their definition of Socialism, and I was almost given the description of Paradise itself:

    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    No reference to the "left-wing" qualifier as a way to distinguish it from their definition of Fascism. No, socialism is universal and good. Clearly you searched and researched for that very definition that would confirm your bias, even if that definition was, with little doubt, dishonest.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The only difference between fascism and socialism is the role of nationalism in the governing mythos. Fascism claims to speak for and enhance the nation while socialism claims to have an international, non nationalist orientation. However the socialism converges with fascism in actual practice, despite the theoretical distinction.

  • Zeb||

    If by right wing you mean nationalistic and authoritarian, then Fascism is right wing. It is also quite socialistic. Right wing means different things in different places and times.

  • Zeb||

    Actually, Fascism is the system created by Mussolini in Italy.

  • Irish||

    The simple fact is that libertarianism ain't all that popular.

    Neither is racist anti-black bigotry, American. But that never stopped you.

  • SeaCaptain(Yokeltarian)||

    Yep, he's a white, 18-35 year old male....and most likely comments here.

  • JeremyR||

    Even if he is, isn't it kind of creepy pointing this out?

  • Mike M.||

    Why?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I had a snow den up in the Catskills but then Hurricane Sandy happened and Christie confiscated it.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I think he's a fan of Toshiro Mifune and teen vampire fiction. What do you think?

  • deified||

    This poor bastard is going to suffer from an "accident" soon.

    Do you think Obama chuckles maniacally when he strikes someone's name from the "kill list"? Because I'm assuming he does.

  • SweatingGin||

    I wonder if he setup a dead man's switch. I suppose it does no good if they don't know you have it, and it's probably tricky to have it hosted somewhere (paying for the hosting and such).

    Which also brings up the point, though, that if you do have a switch setup, and cause too much trouble, eventually it becomes worthwhile just to get him out of the way and take scandal when the switch trips.

  • Sevo||

    SweatingGin| 6.9.13 @ 9:09PM |#
    "I wonder if he setup a dead man's switch. I suppose it does no good if they don't know you have it, and it's probably tricky to have it hosted somewhere (paying for the hosting and such)."

    In one of the other threads on the issue, there was a quote saying he had not released all the data he has,
    So if there isn't a dead-man's switch, he's hinting there might be.

  • SweatingGin||

    Yea, true. Seems like you need the threat of it to be effective -- like the doomsday device in Dr. strangelove.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "Anybody in the positions of access with the the technical capabilities that I had could, you know, suck out secrets and pass them on the open market to Russia. You know, they always have an open door, as we do. I had access, you know, to the full rosters of everybody at the CIA, of everyone working at the NSA, the higher intelligence community, undercover assets all over the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth.

    "If I had just wanted to harm the US, you could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon, but that's not my intention."

    Probably he has an app out their that he has to log in to every week or so.

  • ||

    I wonder if he setup a dead man's switch. I suppose it does no good if they don't know you have it, and it's probably tricky to have it hosted somewhere (paying for the hosting and such).

    It's called Biden. Oh, wait, you were talking about Snowden.

  • ||

    "This poor bastard is going to suffer from an 'accident' soon."

    That might be one of the reasons he made a public appearance. Gonna be harder to just make him disappear now.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Eye Of The Beholder" is on the speakers right now. Oh my sweet friend Irony.

  • WomSom||

    Encrypt everything! Phone calls, emails, hard drives, everything!

    www.AnonStuff.tk

  • SIV||

    Talkin' yer book, anonbot?

  • PapayaSF||

    Soon it will be revealed that Anonbot works for the NSA.

  • Warrren||

    Well, it's not me.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I await the new episode of 24 where Jack Bauer tries to intimidate Snowden by shooting him in the knee and yelling "WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE?!"

  • ThorEastwood||

    I'd honestly be shocked if he wasn't libertarian. He's unconventional, bright, suspicious of power, and works in the tech industry.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I bet he plays violent, misogynistic first-person shooters as well. He fits the libertarian psychological profile to a T.

  • Warrren||

    And I bet he forces hobos and orphans to eat foie gras.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Foie gras purchased at the new Wal-Mart that came to town, outcompeting the local mom-&-pops which were forced to turn into brick-and-mortal bookstores, which sold Ayn Rand and Henry Hazlitt, until Amazon, which doesn't have to pay taxes, forced them out of business!

  • Warrren||

    Brick and mortal? I prefer to shop with Milo Morai.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    If he's libertarian, then how do you explain the girlfriend?

  • ThorEastwood||

    $$$$

    Honest answer. Not pretending I'm any less shallow than the ladies either.

  • SIV||

    $200k a year will draw some pussy.

  • UCrawford||

    I will say this...while I agree that what the NSA was doing is wrong, and while I agree that it needs to stop, and while agree with his purported motives, this guy just added an extra layer of scrutiny to every libertarian holding a security clearance (and there are a lot of us) from here on out. The clearance process is arbitrary as it is, and now those libertarians are going to have to be a lot more quiet about their beliefs if they don't want to be viewed with suspicion or want access to higher level programs.

    While some might say that this is not really much of a loss, having libertarians working on programs that shouldn't exist, it's worth keeping in mind that many of these libertarians eventually work their way into positions where they can (and do) eventually change things for the better. This guy's admission gives them an excuse to exclude us from having influence within the system simply by our affiliation with the libertarian ideology.

    He should have taken this to Congress...not the press. Amash, or Rand Paul, or Wyden. By going outside, he jeopardizes libertarians' ability to gain knowledge of these programs and to combat them from within...and now he ties libertarians to people like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hansen in the liberal narrative. I realize many here won't agree with me about this, but that's how I see it.

  • UCrawford||

    Agree with his sentiment...but how he handled it was all wrong. And what's more, I suspect he would have received protection as a whistleblower had he taken it to Sens. Paul or Wyden. Now the government can, correctly, label him as a malcontent and undercut his views and treat him as a criminal, within the bounds of the law.

  • Sevo||

    UCrawford| 6.9.13 @ 9:50PM |#
    ..."I suspect he would have received protection as a whistleblower had he taken it to Sens. Paul or Wyden"

    Yeah, that way the lefties could just claim it was some "invention" of those silly people.
    There is no one who knows the "right" way of putting this info out there, but coming from the Guardian isn't too bad.

  • UCrawford||

    I like The Guardian (despite their leftiness) and think Glenn Greenwald is great...but that still doesn't change my main point that it now gives Obama (or whatever big government asshole who follows him) an opening to declare *any* libertarian an enemy and to exclude us from the hi level stuff.

    The libertarians who work on these projects may not be able to stop them...but we're better off having some influence within the system than none. And we have influence now. To be honest, I meet more libertarians in the military and in contracting than I ever have in the civilian world.

  • PapayaSF||

    Obama has been treating libertarians (and the military, and contractors) as enemies for years now.

  • UCrawford||

    Sure...but he also hasn't been able to pull clearances from them simply because he doesn't like them. This creates a plausible reason to treat libertarians with clearances as a potential threat.

  • tarran||

    UCrawford,

    I'm sorry, but your fear is irrelevant.

    The NSA/DIA/CIA/FBI/IRS nexus has become a praetorian guard, an organization that can destroy anyone who seriously threatens their power or their livelihoods.

    Do your really think a Rand Paul with access to these documents could stop them?

    Only the widest dissemination could create a scenario where these organizations could be called into account.

    The fact is that while you are waiting to get into that position of power where you can dial one little aspect down from 11 to 10 for a time, this unholy alliance of control freaks gets more powerful, more deeply embadded and less accountable.

    The way he's handling it is far better than what you propose. What you propose would end with him taking a dirt nap with no one the wiser.

  • UCrawford||

    I suspected you'd be one of those who disagreed with me, Tarran, being one of "those" anarchists. :)

  • UCrawford||

    I will say that I work in this field now, interacting with people from some of those agencies you mentioned above, and the mindset of all of the people you're talking about is nowhere close to that unified.

    They didn't swear a blood oath to Obama...they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and the lawful orders of the President. Many of them take the Constitution part of it very seriously (myself included).

  • Bryan C||

    I'm sure that's true. But many of them don't take it very seriously. Or they report to someone who doesn't. Or they see bad things happen and don't do anything, in which case it doesn't matter.

  • UCrawford||

    I don't know your level of experience with the military or contracting or the intelligence community, but I've seen the exact opposite in my own experience there (over a decade).. Most of the people I work with take their oath to uphold the Constitution very seriously...and will actively speak up or fight when they feel what they see is wrong.

    At one of the jobs I worked on, we scuttled a request from DHS that we felt had serious potential to come into conflict with the law and Constitutional restrictions...several of the leaders in the office threatened to quit over it. Once we brought our concerns to DHS's attention, the request was quickly dropped and never brought up again (probably because DHS hadn't really thought through the problems before making their inquiries).

  • Warrren||

    If there is a libertarian purge doesn't this mean they'll some of their best and brightest people?

  • UCrawford||

    I don't know about that, but I do know that they'll lose an important perspective in a culture prone to groupthink.

  • Mike M.||

    Nobody is going to believe the narrative that he is comparable to Ames and Hanssen, because it's so manifestly absurd on its face.

  • UCrawford||

    What about its absurdity disqualifies it from working? 99% of Obama's rationalizations for Obamacare were absurd...people still bought in and it passed. His rationale for assassinating al-Awlaki's kid was absurd. People bought it.

    Libertarians are insane and want to destroy America and make it look bad, as evidenced by this libertarian exposing top secret information and fleeing to China. They did/do the same thing with non-Soviet communists who wanted clearances. Or people married to foreign nationals from allied countries. Or people who look a little too irresponsible with money. They can easily make up an excuse to pull access off of this, and sell it with an absurd comparison. Obama *thrives* on absurd explanations.

  • UCrawford||

    Hell, they were pulling security clearances from people under Bush by fabricating mental instability in employees less than a decade ago...to get rid of people who disagreed with policy. That seemed absurd at the time too when people claimed that's what was happening, that it was too absurd for the Bush administration to even attempt it...but it was what they did, and it worked.

  • PapayaSF||

    That one is new to me. Got a link? It makes no sense to me because a security clearance is not a right or entitlement. Can't they just pull it and not say why?

  • UCrawford||

    I can't find the original story I was thinking of, but this one touches on it. Accusing whistleblowers with security clearances of psychological instability was one of the Bush administration's tactics to silence and discredit them.

    And no, you can't just arbitrarily pull someone's clearance...there has to be a reason for it. It's designed that way to prevent political pressure from dictating the outcome of intelligence analysis through coercive means.

    http://narcosphere.narconews.c.....ging-guard

  • General Butt Naked||

    While some might say that this is not really much of a loss, having libertarians working on programs that shouldn't exist, it's worth keeping in mind that many of these libertarians eventually work their way into positions where they can (and do) eventually change things for the better.

    Like what? Not do their jobs? If you listen to the guy's interview he implies that he tried to change the culture and didn't get anywhere.

    As for trusting a congressman with your life, I don't know whether to be appalled or amused at the naivety of such a laughable proposition.

  • UCrawford||

    He was a computer technician, not a project manager. I'm talking about the libertarians who actually end up in management positions...which some do.

    And he was at Booz Allen for three months. So I don't know where you got the idea that he was somehow acting out of an ability to change things at his job.

  • UCrawford||

    "...inability to change things at his job."

  • UCrawford||

    "...inability to change things at his job."

  • UCrawford||

    "...inability to change things at his job."

  • UCrawford||

    "...inability to change things at his job."

  • UCrawford||

    I don't know why that quadruple posted...sorry.

  • Bryan C||

    Did I just have a flashback?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I got the idea from the interview.

    But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you're ignored. The more you're told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.

    I'd really like to hear more about how a libertarian can attain a high position in the national security apparatus, do nothing that compromises his beliefs and, at the same time, reduce the purview and funding of his department (that is, without shifting those thing to another department).

  • UCrawford||

    I didn't say that you do nothing that compromises your beliefs in government work. Sorry, but so long as there's a government there are always going to be instances in which you're going to have to make choices that go against what you'd prefer to see happen. I'm saying that they're in a position to work against the more egregious abuses from within.

    And undercutting abuses from within happens all the time, through normal channels. After all, it was the military JAG heads who were the strongest voices against Bush's military tribunals sham...operating from within the system. It was the Secretary of Defense who pushed the issue of removing DADT, before they were mandated to do so by the courts, when Obama could have cared less about it. It was dissent from the generals that eventually pushed out Donald Rumsfeld during his disastrous stint as SECDEF. It was the Supreme Court that shot down most of the abuses of detainees that Bush tried to legitimize in the courts.

    Libertarians can pretend all they want that they're too good to be part of something as coercive and "anti-freedom" as the government...but only by being part of it are you actually going to have a voice in it. Absent involvement, we'll always be dismissed as a bunch of lazy fringe contrarians.

  • johnl||

    Interesting second thoughts UCrawford. Or should I say Snowden?

  • Nooge.||

    It's not really important, but...they were paying this guy $200k a year? Fuck. I know physicians who don't clear nearly that much. He did well for someone without an overpriced degree.

  • UCrawford||

    Yup...you get paid well in salary as a contractor if you have a high level clearance and IT certifications to work on classified systems. The downside of contracting is that you have zero job security because you're an at-will employee. Once the contract expires or is up for rebid, you're looking for another job, possibly in another country, where the job security is just as bad.

  • Spoonman.||

    Dude, outside the federal government EVERYBODY is an at-will employee. I have job security because I am good at my job.

  • UCrawford||

    Yes, but in the contracting sector the loss of your job has only to do with your specific contract and not much at all to do with how well your company is doing.

    You don't really have much control over the success or failure of your position in contracting. It's sometimes that way in the real private sector, but not to the same degree. I do agree, though, that both have inherently more risk than being a government employee.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Oh great. This ought to make getting a security clearance even more fun given my RP donations in 08 and 12.

  • Nooge.||

    I see a cavity search in your future.

  • SeaCaptain(Yokeltarian)||

    I was just thinking this. Damn, I hope my TWIC card goes through.

  • SIV||

    I need one of those fucking things too.

  • SweatingGin||

    Audit time? Glad I don't have to deal with a security clearance.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-VA)| 6.9.13 @ 9:50PM |#
    "Oh great...."

    Don't worry Tulpa. You always say the magic 'I love government' words.

  • Warrren||

    Even though your mouth will be full they will understand you.

  • anon||

    Gotta slurp at that government cock harder, Tulpa.

  • 0x90||

  • ||

    "The only friend I had was Snowden and I didn't know him."

  • anon||

    Well, at least it's the government running the surveillance program instead of Google. At least I can feel safe knowing that even if the government is watching, nobody has a fucking clue what they're doing.

  • Don Mynack||

    In honor of Mr. Snowden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki36tXIZZsk

    For some reason, I like to drive fast to this song. Makes me feel like I'm in a Micheal Mann film.

  • Zeb||

    "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"

  • ||

    I certainly got the impression, just from watching the interview, that he was probably a libertarian, or at least leaned that way. Regardless, hats off to him. That's one courageous move on his part.

  • owen||

    http://mallsjersey.blogspot.com/
    Cheap NFL Jerseys, NHL Jerseys, MLB Jerseys, NBA Jerseys Online,
    Authentic 2013 New Style, Wholesale and Custom, Fast Delivery,
    Free shipping fee http://modernjerseys.org/

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement