Edward Snowden

Outrage Toward Edward Snowden Shows the Intertribal Warfare at the Heart of American Politics

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Josh Marshall
TPM

In a revealing column at Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall (pictured) voices doubts about Edward Snowden (and Bradley Manning before him) less for the details of their leaks of government information than for why he thinks he did it. To Marshall, Snowden is "some young guy I've never heard of before who espouses a political philosophy I don't agree with." That philosophy, he believes, is one that views that state as "essentially malevolent." That's enough to put the columnist and the whistleblower in different tribes, and it's a good start at explaining why so many Americans have lined up behind government officials on the matter of leaks and surveillance, while many others have cheered leakers and denounced the peeping-tom state.

Writes Marshall:

Here is I think the essential difference and where it comes back to what I referred to before—a basic difference in one's idea about the state and the larger political community. If you see the state as essentially malevolent or a bad actor then really anything you can do to put a stick in its spokes is a good thing. Same if you think the conduct of US foreign policy is fundamentally a bad thing. Then opening up its books for the world to see is a good thing simply because it exposes it or damages it. It forces change on any number of levels.

From that perspective, there's no really no balancing to be done. All disclosure is good. Either from the perspective of transparency in principle or upending something you believe must be radically changed.

On the other hand, if you basically identify with the country and the state, then indiscriminate leaks like this are purely destructive. They're attacks on something you fundamentally believe in, identify with, think is working on your behalf.

Adds Marshall, "[a]t the end of the day, for all its faults, the US military is the armed force of a political community I identify with and a government I support."

Marshall's argument is essentially tribal. We certainly don't know the details of Snowden's political views (though we have some hints), but it's obvious that Snowden is horrified by the U.S. government's surveillance schemes, calling them "an existential threat to democracy," and wants them exposed and stopped. He also utterly distrusts government officials, warning The Guardian that "the government will demonise me," and fretting that "I could be rendered by the CIA." That, obviously, is why he fled to Hong Kong, where he told the South China Morning Post, "I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality."

This is all too much for Marshall, who complains, "he's not just opening the thing up for debate. He's taking it upon himself to make certain things no longer possible, or much harder to do. To me that's a betrayal."

Joseph Sternberg at the Wall Street Journal agrees, tut-tutting, "[t]he Founding Fathers in their wisdom intended that the policy questions that so trouble Snowden should be hashed out chiefly by the elected branches of government."

Those would be the same founders who unloaded musket balls at the government officials of their day when they had enough.

Snowden clearly doesn't trust "the elected branches of government" and believes that debate is smothered by them. That's a perfectly credible position to take when Senators and Representatives including Al Franken, Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss and Mike Rogers assure us they knew all about the surveillance, approved of it, and kept it secret from the rest of us. Perhaps Americans can be forgiven if, as a result, many of them no longer view the beast on the banks of the Potomac as "a political community I identify with and a government I support."

And many of us applaud Snowden not just even if, but especially if, it turns out "he's taking it upon himself to make certain things no longer possible, or much harder to do."

In truth, the recent revelations of NSA surveillance are only the latest in a long line of reasons to "see the state as essentially malevolent." I certainly view it that way. And I strongly believe that "anything you can do to put a stick in its spokes is a good thing." In recent weeks, the headlines have been full of inappropriate IRS scrutiny of conservative organizations — a political hit man role the tax agency has filled for both Republican and Democratic presidents. The Justice Department has secretly investigated the Associated Press and accused Fox News reporter James Rosen of criminality, because they reported inconvenient stories about the government. We discovered that the CIA killed people in Pakistan, without knowing who they were. I could go on, but where would I stop? There is plenty of reason to "see the state as essentially malevolent."

But Americans are thoroughly divided on this issue, it seems. A Pew Poll found that 56 percent of respondents approve of NSA surveillance while 41 percent disapprove. A differently worded CBS poll found 58 percent disapproval of collecting ordinary Americans' phone data and 38 percent approval. The same poll found 60 percent believe Snowden's leaks will do no harm, while 30 percent disagree.

In those numbers, very likely, is revealed the political division to which Marshall attests, between those skeptical of state power and those who identify with the state. It's not a bright-line division — most people will generally lean one way or the other rather than taking an absolute stance. But it's a division that lies at the heart of our political debats, and it's one that makes those debates intractable, because it renders them tribal.

Edward Snowden isn't of Josh Marshall's tribe, Neither am I, for that matter, along with millions of other Americans. Our political discussions over NSA surveillance, health policy, taxes and drone strikes aren't just policy discussions; they're inter-tribal warfare.

NEXT: Investigator: Evidence of Chats Between Manning, Assange Found on Laptop

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  1. If the government can properly function only when what it does is secret, how can it be debated properly, according to Marshall?

  2. Is that Marshall’s picture at the top of the article? If so, he is extremely punchable.

  3. Marshall and Sternberg are simply ignorant of the founding of the US and the Constitution. Or they choose to deny the validity of those subjects.
    If it is the later, please tell us why you make that choice.

    1. I think Marshall puts the argument pretty plainly – this is simply a matter of whether you believe people are basically good or basically bad. If you are going to argue that people are basically good and can be trusted with power, know that you are arguing with James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, who very explicitly said people are not basically good and certainly can’t be trusted with power. The idea that government is, at best, a necessary evil cannot simply be dismissed as a hallmark of the lunatic fringe.

      1. I think that people are basically good. Those who are bad, most often seek power. As such, government will inevitably become the few bad controlling the many good.

        1. Bingo Arkansaustrian Economics. You’ve just articulated the libertarian view of human nature.

          In any event, even if the bad were not predisposed to seek power, power is corruptive. You can start off good and become bad.

          Think of the people you know that you once thought of as good but became jerks as they acquired power, wealth or fame. Now think of all the people you know that started off as jerks and sought power, wealth or fame. How many of them became less of a jerk as they acquired power, wealth or fame?

      2. Let’s say people are basically bad.

        Government is run by people. It is not an alternative to people.

        If people can’t be trusted with power, neither can government.

  4. Marshall’s argument is essentially tribal.

    Obviously. It’s all tribal. The funny thing, though, is that TEAM BE RULED is essentially a support tribe for those in power. They gain nothing other than tribal warm fuzzies by supporting the government and those in power. Their freedoms are curtailed, their rights violated, and if they defy the tribe, they will be fucked and fucked hard. So why do they do it? They gain literally nothing; everything they do advances the power and ambitions of someone else. It’s an extremely strange tribal affiliation, yet there are so many fools and useful idiots who will line up to be just that. I don’t get it.

    1. Bragging rights.

      “I supported the winner. Who did you support? Nya nanny boo boo! I picked the winner! Look at me! I’m a winner and you’re a loser! Loooooooser! Sour grapes! You lost and I won! Ha ha!”

      1. I don’t buy that as being enough. They have to be getting something else out of this, something intangible that matters not to you or me. Otherwise it just makes no sense. People do things for reasons, even if the reasons aren’t logical or rational. And I just can’t figure out what the reason is in this case. You would think they would be doing something that advances their own careers or power or incomes, but all they do is sacrifice their integrity to advance other people’s power and careers. What’s in it for them?

        1. There are men who like getting their scrotums stapled to boards of wood by women in corsets.

          I’m told that they get pleasure from the helplesness and the feeling of being controlled and that the pain makes them feel alive etc.

          They may be alien to us, but they exist.

          1. They may be alien to us, but they exist.

            Alien? Hardly….at least one is regular and “out” about his fantasies of submission.

            1. I thought we libertoids were tolerant of shrikes gummint dom fantasies.

              1. Not shreeky…..!

                p h o n y is the protagonist in “50 shades of Government Grey.

                1. Not likely, since 50 shades potrays a hetero relationship.

                  1. Is it either straight or gay when you are aroused by a faceless entity that ultimately only wants your money and freedom?

                    He occupies the “other” category.

          2. I still don’t buy that. I think it’s more that they perceive themselves as gaining something, such as power through being part of a collective, while in reality they gain nothing. That’s just stupid enough for a collectivist to do. Because we know that these people are fucking stupid.

            1. Cars, clothes, music preferences, street address, all or some of those choices for most people signify to others social status. Same thing with political affiliation and political causes.

        2. Bragging rights are tangible to them. Remember that they’re all about feelings. No logic or reason. Just feelings. It feels good to be a sore winner! It feels good to rub your opponents’ faces in the dirt! Stop thinking and feel!

        3. They have to be getting something else out of this, something intangible that matters not to you or me.

          They get to be part of the tribe, a respected member and with that comes the perk of being able to rain down smug satisfaction at outsiders who threaten their way of life. These people are very confident in their belief that they, and they alone, are correct and dissent from other tribes isn’t to be tolerated.

          They haven’t looked critically at their belief system in decades and have no desire to do so. Their tribe is the ruling tribe and everyone else can go get stuffed. Examining their beliefs now would be admitting that they were possibly wrong about everything and we can’t have that now, can we?

        4. They’ve got a gated place to stay when the shtf.

        5. It isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about obtaining moral superiority without having to sacrifice anything. “I am better than you because you’re one of them”. Not “I beat you”, but “I’m intrinsically worth more than you as a human being”.

        6. Probably at base basking in the warm self-knowledge that they are not “out-there paranoid moonbats” but rather normal respectable people who everyone they communicate with assures them are normal and respectable.

    2. We evolved from a species with an instinct to form social dominance hierarchies. An individual can overcome that instinct, but that takes effort, and it’s really just easier to submit to the alpha monkey.

    3. They gain nothing other than tribal warm fuzzies by supporting the government and those in power. Their freedoms are curtailed, their rights violated, and if they defy the tribe, they will be fucked and fucked hard. So why do they do it?

      I don’t think it’s about anything other than being part of the tribe. If they’re not part of the tribe, after all, what are they? Nothing. Outsiders. Losers. Not fit for human company. Not able to socialize with their peers. Not validated as members of the group. They clearly fear everything about existing as an individual, so what could be worse for them than simply being out in the world on their own without the tribe?

      1. I think this is closer to the truth. Most people I know don’t have firm opinions on things like government that have been developed over time and through numerous experiences interacting with it. If they do and like it, then they go work for government or run for office. If they hate it, then they are us.

        But the broad, creamy middle of society doesn’t really know or even care what government can or can’t do so they simply side with whatever their favorite media personality tells them to. And these followers begat other followers in spades. I believe it’s not stupidity per se, but foolishness. There is a difference. My spin on the old proverb is, a fool and his rights soon part.

    4. Political tribalism is just activating mental circuits that used to serve a legitimate purpose in the days of literal tribalism. It’s the social equivalent to the obesity problem.

  5. The government is just trying to keep us safe. Why do you not want to be safe?

    1. Yep, that’s why with billions of dollars and secret rubber stamp courts, no TERRAHISTS have set off any explosives in Boston.

      Oh…shit.

  6. All that these retards know is ad homonym. That is it. Someone like Marshall has been so steeped in the ad homonym fallacy for so long, he doesn’t even realize he is doing it anymore. I don’t think Marshall is lying here. I think Marshall is so stupid and so warped he honestly thinks that the political views and motivations of Snowden have a bearing on whether this program is good or bad. A good portion of the media is insane.

    1. Ad Homonym?!?

      Dude. You did that on purpose, didn’t you?

      1. I wish I were that clever. I have no idea about Marshall’s sexuality. Regardless of what it is, I find Marshall to be incredibly creepy. He is just a creepy little weirdo. There is something about him that is just not right.

        1. Dude! You have to be doing this on purpose to mess with me, nikki and a bunch of other language fanatics.

          I’m concerned that LTC John is going to stroke out if you keep it up!

          1. John, keep messing with their heads. It amuses me.

            1. It amuses me! I love John’s typos more than like anything else at H&R. Except Tuccille.

              1. Thank you, I think.

                1. Your posts are always still comprehensible and like a funny version of jerkPhone autocorrect madness (since when I’m afflicted by it myself it makes me angry, not amused).

                  1. It’s your fault for having a jerkPhone in the first place.

                    1. Never heard of a jerkPhone. Can I buy one at the jerk store ?

                    2. Yes, that is exactly where they are sold.

                    3. They’re all out of you!

                    4. Well I had sex with your wife.

                    5. his wife is dead

          2. I shan’t stroke out. I, KING OF THE TYPO, have no room to throw stones, for I am with sin.

        2. Oh god that made it doubly clever John:

          homonym
          Noun
          Each of two words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling (e.g., to, too, and two); a homophone.

          Seriously though, tarran is right, if you don’t stop this someone’s going to stroke out.

      2. It really is the perfect grammar error.

    2. Well just look at him. He’s been subjected to personal attacks all his life. It’s all he knows.

    3. John, if you’re going to call someone out for the ad hominem attacks, you probably should do so in a post that doesn’t call them retarded, stupid, and insane.

      1. No Irish. You have to understand the nature of the ad hominem fallacy. The fallacy is that you impart the lack of virtues in the messenger onto the message. An ad hominem attack on Marshall would be for me to say that because Marshall is a retard and insane, the NSA spying is okay.

        But that is not what I said. I said that Marshall was insane and a retard. I meant that fact to be taken for what it is not as support of any other argument. It was in short, a personal attack on Marshall. Personal attacks are not examples of the ad hominem fallacy.

        1. Or, how can we possibly trust his opinion that doestic spying is in the national interest given Marshall is a fat, nasty pervert reading through the chats of twelve year old girls while jerking off. That would be an ad hominem attack. Even if true his bad habits may have no bearing on his knowledge of the subject matter but something he picked up along the way as he was soldiering through the spy trade.

          1. Whatever. Why should I listen to you guys, just because it seems that I was wrong?

            You’re probably child molesters or something, so your opinions don’t matter.

          2. Exactly. I was attacking Marshall, not his arguments.

  7. He’s taking it upon himself to make certain things no longer possible, or much harder to do. To me that’s a betrayal.

    You know how the government took it upon themselves to undertake a massive program of spying on citizens, in secret? Didn’t that make a certain thing, like even debating whether this is something they should do, no longer possible, or much harder (in fact, impossible) to do? To me that’s a betrayal, you god-damn hack.

    Who betrays the betrayers? A hero, that’s who.

    1. Why is this now impossible? The only reason why it would be impossible or harder is because the country is pissed off and wants it stopped.

      So basically he told the country about something they didn’t know but would want stopped if they did know. And that is a betrayal?

      1. Except the country, at least a majority of it, doesn’t want it stopped. Most of the people in polling favor security over privacy. I’ll let you decide who, if anyone, to blame for instilling that mentality.

        There are a couple potential outcomes to these leaks: a debate will be forced, and Congress will require greater transparency, or the national security apparatus will clamp up tighter than ever, and Congress will help it do so.

        No doubt the people never had enough information to make informed judgments at the ballot box. But perhaps we should be careful what we wish for. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

        1. I’ll let you decide who, if anyone, to blame for instilling that mentality.

          Based on my experiences, it would be government schools.

        2. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          I’m sure you’d have no problem with the government watching your every move, right, Tony?

          1. A huge problem. I’m not with the majority on this issue. But since I’m not a libertarian I don’t narcissistically presume I get to tell majorities what to do.

            1. Yeah if 51% voted to reinstate slavery….yeah well we voted…..Beneath contempt looks down upoin and laughs at you!

            2. ROFL, So the people who opposed Jim Crow were narcissists?

              1. That was different. It was racism.

            3. But since I’m not a libertarian I don’t narcissistically presume I get to tell majorities what to do.

              It’s not often one sees a progressive admit they are a rank coward.

            4. Tony, what if a majority of the commentators on this board voted for you to go away and not post anymore?

          2. “I’m sure you’d have no problem with the government watching your every move, right, Tony?”

            I propose that the feds create and maintain a list of gay citizens. Gays are often the victims of crimes of abuse just because they are gay. That alone is reason enough for our government to create the list.

        3. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          Tony, once again you demonstrate your drooling imbecility.

          I’ll explain it in terms you might understand.

          Most people are heterosexual. They want less gay butt-sex in their lives. Who are you to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference of less gay butt-sex by fighting to repeal anti-sodomy laws?

          1. It’s not me, it’s the court acting in accordance with the constitution. I’m certainly on board with applying stricter constitutional scrutiny to these programs. And I’m not unaware of the problem of secrecy throwing a wrench into the process.

            1. It’s not me, it’s the court acting in accordance with the constitution.

              So you aren’t opposed to anti-sodomy laws, personally? Suuuuuure.

            2. it’s the court acting in accordance with the constitution.

              And which part of the Constitution says all decisions are to be made based on polling of the “Majority” with no regard for individual rights or limits on government authority?

        4. Except the country, at least a majority of it, doesn’t want it stopped.

          First, I don’t know that that is true. And second, even if it is, you wouldn’t have known that had Snowden not leaked the information.

          Snowden isn’t telling them they are not allowed their preference you retard. He is telling them what is going on so they can have a preference. Again, I have yet to see a single downside to what Snowden did beyond embarrassing Obama. And that of course is why vicious hacks like you and Marshall are so angry.

          You posted on here when Bush was in office. And everyone here knows you would be having a stroke if Obama were a Republican. And now you are Mr. National Security? Does it ever bother you to be completely bereft of integrity and principles?

          1. Does it ever bother you to be completely bereft of integrity and principles?

            That would require shame.

          2. You apparently are assuming my position on this matter without bothering to ask. I’m not defending the government wholesale here, and I am a civil libertarian. That’s why I raise the concern that the actions of rogue people like Assange, Manning, and Snowden might be counterproductive. Most of the American people don’t seem to give a shit, and it’s probably because they’ve conditioned themselves not to give a shit about privacy since the advent of the Internet.

            Privacy is one of the most important things in the world to me. If you know a way to convince the public to demand stronger protections of it, I’m all ears.

            1. How about telling people they are being spyder on. Maybe they can form an opinion then. People don’t care if you spy on terrorist or dirty foreigners but they might care when it happens to them.

            2. I’m not defending the government wholesale here, and I am a civil libertarian.

              So you and shreeeky were both tested then?

          3. Sockpuppets don’t have any of those things because they’re just characters. Learn this. Then stop interacting with it.

        5. Has NOTHING to do with privacy.

          What the government is doing is blatantly violating the 4th Amendment. It’s about holding the government accountable to the constitution.

          1. I hope the matter can reach the real judicial system and that it agrees with you.

            1. No, actually you don’t hope that, since you just spent 2 hours telling us why what he did was wrong because DERPMOCRACY!

              1. “he” being Edward Snowden.

              2. No, Jordan. You don’t understand Tony’s genius way of looking at the world.

                You see, Democracy is important. Since Democracy is important, people should have the right to vote on things. People should be allowed to vote on things that are secret. However, people don’t know that things are secret and therefore can’t vote on them. The only way they could know about them is if someone like Snowden releases secret information. However, if Snowden releases the information, then he’s made a decision before we were able to vote. This is bad, because we should have voted.

                We have to vote on whether something is secret, but can only vote if someone releases the information, in which case that person has taken Democracy away from us by not letting us vote.

                It’s just common sense.

        6. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          If the people actually want to enslave negroes, who is a guy like Spooner to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          1. But it was a bloody war and legislation that forced the outcome of that issue, not some guy.

            1. What outcome has Edward Snowden “forced”? You’re actually arguing that enforcing your policy preferences by killing enough people who disagree with you is preferable to disclosing information.

              1. Not at all. Civil debate is always the ideal option. (Pity the Southerners were incapable of that.)

                I actually can’t decide what I think about Snowden. The issue is complicated given the catch-22 that is government secrecy. On the one hand, we are not more equipped to have a civil debate. On the other hand, I remain uncomfortable with unelected contractor grunts making government secrecy policy all by themselves.

                1. now* more equipped

                2. (Pity the Southerners were incapable of that.)

                  Yes we all know that a group of people in a geographically defined region are all exactly the same. What is that word where you attribute characteristics to an entire group of people with no regard to the individual?

                3. On the other hand, I remain uncomfortable with unelected contractor grunts making government secrecy policy all by themselves.

                  But I’m totally okay wit unelected government bureaucrats making regulatory policy of all kinds.

                  /Tony

                4. I remain uncomfortable with unelected contractor grunts making government secrecy policy all by themselves.

                  So what is it about getting elected that transforms the sort of narcissistic sociopathological megalomaniacal little-tin-god wannabe that is in so many cases the sort of person who wants power so bad that he would do the sorts of things it takes to get elected into the paragon of virtue with whom you would feel comfortable making – not just government secrecy but secret government secrecy – policy? The fact that a slightly larger minority of US citizens voted for this clown instead of that one?

            2. But it was a bloody war and legislation that forced the outcome of that issue, not some guy.

              This is my favorite argument that anti-Snowden people are using because it is just so stupid. He didn’t force an outcome. He released information that led to a debate and the outcome will depend on what happens next.

              If anything, he allowed Americans to have the information necessary to vote on the issue and maintain a functioning Democracy.

              1. But not really, if the issue is “should this program remain a secret”? That outcome has now been decided, by one unelected guy. I realize that it’s hard to debate things nobody knows about, but we also can’t reveal all government secrets in order to debate whether they should be secrets.

                1. So the government should be allowed to keep anything it wants secret and no one can ever know because if someone releases the info they’ve decided the outcome, which is wrong.

                  People should be able to vote on whether things are secret, but they can’t vote on things they don’t know exist.

                  Have you read Catch-22? You seem like you’d relate to some of the characters. Not the good ones.

                  1. Whether to keep secret the existence of entire government programs is a relatively modern issue, and I don’t pretend to know how to deal with it while maintaining the principles of a democratic society. If you have a solution that satisfies the need for legitimate secrecy and the need for openness, that’s great.

                    Are you saying there should be no such thing as a secret program? If so, should we (and thus everyone) know the capabilities of state-of-the-art military tech? If not, how is this different in principle?

                    1. Are you saying there should be no such thing as a secret program? If so, should we (and thus everyone) know the capabilities of state-of-the-art military tech? If not, how is this different in principle?

                      Strawman. Military secrets that provably put people at risk if revealed should not be revealed. Access codes, the names of spies, military technology…all these things fit in that group.

                      Snowden released information about a program that no one can even prove stopped a single terrorist which was actively violating the fourth amendment rights of Americans and can be easily abused.

                      There is no similarity between what Snowden released and the releasing of military technology. It would be the difference between releasing info on J. Edgar Hoover’s program of following famous people around because he thought they were communists, and giving nuclear secrets to the Russians. There is clearly a difference which is obvious to any rational human being.

                    2. I tend to agree with you. It’s certainly clear that Snowden was not acting on motivations to aid enemies of the country but out of conscience. It’s equally clear that he broke the law.

                    3. It’s equally clear that he broke the law.

                      Which is really beside the point. A lot of laws of the Crown were broken during the Revolution. People defied the Fugitive Slave Act.

                      IOW, the appeals to majority that you typically resort to are irrelevant. What matters is the Constitutional principle.

                      The fact that you’re saying that you agree that this program is wrong but are taking a contrarian stance anyway shows what a passive-aggressive little twerp you are. Society really shouldn’t have to suffer for your daddy issues.

                    4. so the Pentagon Papers should have remained a secret? Or the NYT should never have released the info on the wiretapping in 2006?

            3. But it was a bloody war and legislation that forced the outcome of that issue, not some guy.

              So, what you’re saying is that if I show up to your door shout, “This is war!” and blow your brains out, and get a suitably large enough minority to pull off my changes through violence that’ll be my mandate?

              Shorter Spaces: Might makes Right!

        7. But perhaps we should be careful what we wish for. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          Even if I believed in pure majoritarianism – and I don’t – any majority decision reached the absence of perfect or near-perfect information would be invalid on its face.

          You simply can’t have a legitimate election if vast areas of the state’s operation are secret, or actively denied. You definitely can’t have legitimate law if any element of the law is secret.

          Take those two in combination, and I can safely ignore as illegitimate any election results that purport to demonstrate that “TEH PEOPLE” support a secret operation run by a secret agency using secret court orders based on secret interpretations of the law. Even if I accept majoritarianism, which I don’t.

          Since I can safely ignore the election results, I can disclose whatever the fuck I want.

          1. Ignorant people vote and not counting their votes as valid because they are ignorant would create a huge mess for democracy. The legitimacy of majority rules is separate from the level of perfection of information, but certainly the more informed the electorate, the better democracy works out.

            But you don’t accept majoritarianism; you are an authoritarian who thinks the world ought to run according to exactly how you think, because you’re just right. I suppose us (small-d) democrats ought to be grateful so few of you actually have the balls to go up against the legitimate state.

            1. Fuck off, Slaver.

            2. There is an immense moral difference in legitimacy between an electorate that doesn’t know about particular government programs because of the laziness or stupidity of individual voters and an electorate that has vast areas of the state’s operation deliberately concealed from it.

              Tell me how the consent of the governed operated with respect to PRISM, Tony. Go ahead.

              The existence of the program was hidden from me, and my representatives were forbidden to tell me about it, even if they themselves were told about it.

              So what’s the mechanism by which I consented to it?

              What’s the mechanism by which I could challenge its existence.

              Let’s say I would have run for Congress against my representative, or supported another person, had PRISM not been deliberately concealed from me. How is the election still legitimate?

              I want a detailed syllogistic explanation from you.

              1. Tell me how the consent of the governed operated with respect to PRISM

                It doesn’t, and it’s made definitely problematic by the fact that Congress itself was largely kept in the dark. I don’t get how there is legitimacy to a system in which bureaucrats are allowed to know more about what government does than elected representatives.

                In order to play devil’s advocate I’ll have to choose a less murky example, say the technical specifications of a new military tech. Surely legitimate consent doesn’t require knowledge of the specifics, only knowledge that our military builds secret tech as a part of an overall national security apparatus we do consent to.

            3. You’re right about one thing, though.

              If I had the power, Washington would burn tonight.

              Our current state has my full obedience, and I will take no action against it. But only because of its power. It is too strong for me to defeat. And that’s it.

              But it has no respect from me at all. And no loyalty.

            4. But you don’t accept majoritarianism; you are an authoritarian who thinks the world ought to run according to exactly how you think, because you’re just right. I suppose us (small-d) democrats ought to be grateful so few of you actually have the balls to go up against the legitimate state.

              This is just stupid. We’re the ones arguing in favor of Democracy in this instance. Democracy does not function if people don’t know what the government is doing and therefore cannot construct an informed opinion.

              You’re the one arguing that we should shut up and just do what our superiors tell us. And we’re the authoritarians? Please.

              1. Not Fluffy. Fluffy thinks he has the right to burn down a city and become a state unto himself. I.e., he’s an authoritarian. That he wants to just be left alone doesn’t matter in the slightest. All authoritarians think they are doing right by the world.

                1. Not Fluffy. Fluffy thinks he has the right to burn down a city and become a state unto himself.

                  No.

                  Fluffy thinks that no one should be able to violate his 4A right to be free from unreasonable searches regardless of how many people think it should be okay.

                  You are living proof that democracy is nothing but 2 wolves and a lamb arguing what to eat for supper.

                2. Not Fluffy. Fluffy thinks he has the right to burn down a city and become a state unto himself. I.e., he’s an authoritarian.

                  So, if I had burned down Berlin in 1938, would that have been me being a state unto myself?

                  If a state is illegitimate, anyone can morally destroy it. One person, 150 million people, whatever.

                  The measure of whether I’m an authoritarian would be the character of the state I put in the existing state’s place, were I to succeed.

                  1. There has never, ever been in the history of humankind the destruction of a state that was “moral.” Occasionally the replacement system is superior to what came before, but there is always death and destruction in the process.

                    The only way history will judge your actions as moral is if large amounts of people agree with them. Isn’t that ironic?

                    1. The only way history will judge your actions as moral is if large amounts of people agree with them. Isn’t that ironic?

                      Not ironic, incorrect. Something is or is not moral, agreement is irrelevant.

            5. But you don’t accept majoritarianism; you are an authoritarian who thinks the world ought to run according to exactly how you think, because you’re just right.

              Did you get an engineering degree with an emphasis in building strawmen?

            6. I suppose us (small-d) democrats ought to be grateful so few of you actually have the balls to go up against the legitimate state.

              You never ever disappoint! Cup leviathans balls ….go on t o n y you know you want to…out in front of the whole world!

            7. If ignorant votes are equally important, which I agree,, then do away with the electoral college.

              1. Not to mention you again cited classified military documents as a reasonable comparison to the prism program, even after being called out on the straw man fallacy in that statement.

                Do military documents invade my privacy? No. Does exposing the prism program put lives at risk? No. To compare the two and believe it to be a legitate argent is folly.

                1. Legitimate argument*

                  Christ I hate my Iphone.

        8. If the people actually want less privacy, who is a guy like Snowden to tell them they aren’t allowed their preference?

          Because it’s my fucking privacy, and “the people” don’t get to decide for me what information I’ll give to the state.

          If people want less privacy, they can report annually to the government. Snowden can do nothing to stop them.

  8. This is all too much for Marshall, who complains, “he’s not just opening the thing up for debate. He’s taking it upon himself to make certain things no longer possible, or much harder to do. To me that’s a betrayal.”

    Holy fuck. Is there any better example of the venality, decadence, and fundamental corruption of our class of elites than this statement? It’s not about the legitimacy of the institution in question–it’s whether we can waste a bunch of time “talking” about it before reaching some sort of “consensus.” This is the kind of shit that resulted in French aristocrats getting their heads chopped off.

    No wonder goons like Marshall are so invested in maintaining the status quo–because actual reform would destroy everything that grants them legitimacy in this society.

  9. So, Josh, when are you going to set up webcams in your house streaming to the web 24/7?

  10. “[t]he Founding Fathers in their wisdom intended that the policy questions that so trouble Snowden should be hashed out chiefly by the elected branches of government.”

    Close, but no. The authors of the Constitution, in their wisdom, intended for all power to derive from the electorate and that the informed electorate can remove those who act against their rights. But it’s hard for the electorate to make those decisions WHEN THEY AREN’T BEING INFORMED.

  11. a large problem with Marshall’s argument is that it doesnt ever allow for correcting bad government. Even if the government was snooping his emails and had video in his home, according to him, that would be okay since the government is good. In that extreme he sounds like a battered spouse – “i know he shouldnt hit me, but deep down inside he is a good person”.

  12. There is plenty of reason to “see the state as essentially malevolent.”

    Only if you completely ignore the plenty of reasons to see the state as a good and useful thing. Is it required to be totally perfect before it is no longer “essentially malevolent”? If you think state spying and drone striking are bad, wait until there is no system of law and order at all, and see how you like your circumstances.

    1. Only if you completely ignore the plenty of reasons to see the state as a good and useful thing.

      The historical and potential malevolence of government vastly outweights any benefits it has conferred or may confer.

      1. Not according to any honest and rational assessment. You must count the daily smooth functioning of civilization among its successes. Or else point to an example of a stateless society that functioned or functions as well.

        1. You must count the daily smooth functioning of civilization among its successes.

          Civilization hummed along quite nicely 50 years ago with 2/3 less government……try again!

          1. This is what people like Tony really believe.

          2. Well it depended on what your skin color or gender was, but 50 years ago we were hardly a nightwatchmen state.

            1. What was the state doing to women in 1963?

              I know that private parties tended to organize themselves in (ahem) patriarchal ways, but what was the state doing?

              Other than the President fucking his way from one end of the country to the other.

              1. Fluffy why waste your breath. It arouses t o n y to think of himself as FEDGOVs concubine.

            2. Well it depended on what your skin color or gender was, but 50 years ago we were hardly a nightwatchmen state.

              You’re right! We could have spent even less money if the government you love so much wasn’t spending cash one extra schools and bathrooms for black people.

              I love when you prove our point and don’t even realize it.

        2. Not according to any honest and rational assessment. You must count the daily smooth functioning of civilization among its successes.

          How is this an honest assessment? With no evidence, you attribute every day to day interaction of individuals as being a product of the State. Even in relatively unstable areas of the world (often under repressive States) the very same interactions occur. It never crosses your mind that such interactions are the natural product of individuals, regardless of political system.

    2. He everyone! It’s Mr Stupid who cannot comprehend that limited government does not mean no government! Watch him display his stupidity! Clearly this person’s brain is defective! Watch as he slays straw man arguments that no one is making! It’s amazing!

      Step right up! Admission is free!

      1. Stop making anarchist arguments if you don’t want to be treated as an anarchist. If government is “essentially malevolent” then how can you say it’s also necessary for certain things?

        1. It’s easy. The fact that you cannot just shows that your brain is broken.

        2. If government is “essentially malevolent” then how can you say it’s also necessary for certain things?

          This has been explained to you on numerous occasions. Why would I think explaining it again would actually do any good?

          1. So give it a shot. Either government is good to an extent or it is essentially malevolent. It cannot be both.

            If we both agree that government is good to an extent but is capable of doing wrong, then the only gulf between our worldviews is how much socialism we want.

            1. Government is force. That is all it is. Nothing more. It is force. It is men who use coercion and violence. That is what makes it “essentially malevolent.”

              So the gulf between our worldviews is over the legitimate uses of force.

              Libertarians believe that force is a legitimate response to force and fraud, and not to be used as a means of simply getting what you want.

              I don’t expect you to comprehend, but there it is.

              1. So the gulf between our worldviews is over the legitimate uses of force.

                Which is exactly what I said. How much socialism do you want? You want a little, I want more. Now let’s look at the real world and see what works best. Oh, I win!

                You’re begging the question by calling your uses of malevolent government force “legitimate.” That’s what I believe about my preferences, only I don’t think it’s inherently malevolent (it’s a contradiction to say something malevolent is necessary). I think depositing the ability to use legitimate force with the state is far preferable to the alternative, and is thus a good thing.

                1. Which is exactly what I said. How much socialism do you want?

                  Courts and a defensive military are not socialism.

                  You really and truly do not understand the difference between reacting to someone else initiating force and being the one who initiates force.

                  That’s what I mean when I say your brain is broken.

            2. That does not follow.

              I can simply claim that the good parts of government are the non-socialistic ones.

              For example, I like courts and jury trials.

              1. I can simply claim that the good parts of government are the non-socialistic ones.

                For example, I like courts and jury trials.

                Socialistic parts of government are the initiation of force to give someone something that they want, whereas courts and trials are presumably a response, a reaction to, the initiation of force or fraud by another.

                1. sarcasmic no matter how many times you try you’re never going to be able to force a distinction between certain government functions based on the moral argument that it’s wrong for government to use coercion. Courts have to be paid for by taxes extracted via coercion. This is a common libertarian defense, I understand, but it remains inherently faulty. If some government coercion is OK, then government coercion cannot be inherently bad. You have to choose to be either an anarchist or a mini-socialist. There is no noncoercive alternative.

                  1. False premise, Tony. I’m not making the argument that all government coercion is wrong. Government is coercion.

                    The question is over what uses of force are legitimate.

            3. Last time:

              It is a balance between maximizing liberty and having a protector of those liberties. Government is required to ensure your rights are protected, yet has the potential to overstep and become the primary taker of liberty. It must therefore be extremely limited in its power and must be constantly monitored.

              So here is the perfect balance. Two tenets.

              1. A person can do as he chooses, PROVIDED in doing so he does not infringe upon the rights of others.

              2. The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

              That philosophy maximizes liberty, while at the same time protecting it.

              That is NOT anarchy.

              1. 2. The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

                The problem with that is that people like Tony feel that individual rights include medical care, housing, food, clothing, transportation, communication, information, etc., all paid for by someone else.

                That’s why I prefer the word liberty over rights.

                1. Hence, the Constitutional Republic.

                  Negative rights are guaranteed to all and are limitless.

                  Positive rights can only be provided for within the framework of the founding document. “These are the things that the government will provide” up front (i.e. courts, military, foreign policy, postal roadz…). Otherwize, people can claim they have the right to anything and the government must provide it to them.

                  1. “Negative rights are guaranteed”

                    What are the means by which they are guaranteed? I have a right to be left alone to live my life, but the only way that right is even partially “guaranteed” is by a taxpayer-funded law and order apparatus. That turns it into a “positive” right. What difference is there between a police force and government healthcare? After all, I’m more likely to need medical care in order to maintain the right to life and liberty before I’ll need the police.

                    Inserting the constitution into the mix completely undermines any moral first-principle-based argument. I’d be fine if the constitution guaranteed universal healthcare, if that were necessary. Would you be fine with it then too?

                    1. What difference is there between a police force and government healthcare?

                      If you actually bothered to READ my post you would know.

                      Courts are provided for as a positive right in the founding document of this Constitutional Republic. Healthcare IS NOT!

                      If you want additional positive rights, amend the constitution.

                    2. So your only beef with universal healthcare is that it’s not in the constitution? That is in no way a principled argument. At most it’s a disagreement about whether universal healthcare is properly enacted via constitutional or legislative means. The supreme court just validated the constitutionality of the latest universal healthcare scheme, and it’s not about it invalidate Medicare and the other ones already on the books. Sounds like you’re not a libertarian at all, just a bad constitutional scholar.

                    3. So your only beef with universal healthcare is that it’s not in the constitution?

                      No, it violates tenet 2. I wouldn’t advocate any amendment that violates either tenet.

                      You see, dipshit, the constitution, as written (perhaps not as interpreted since FDR) is pretty much , with a few exceptions, the embodiment of my tenets already. I’d be perfectly fine with it if the country went back to simply following the constitution as written.

                    4. What difference is there between a police force and government healthcare?

                      The purpose of a police force is to use force in response to force and fraud.

                      Because that’s what government is: force.

                      Government healthcare, besides being a total waste of resources because everything government does is wasteful, is not a reaction to force and fraud.

                      It’s not a difficult concept.

                    5. After all, I’m more likely to need medical care in order to maintain the right to life and liberty before I’ll need the police.

                      Sorry, I’m not responsible for paying for your quadruple-bypass, you fatass.

                    6. And you’re more likely to need food, clothing, and shelter than medical care, but only the most stunted communists will argue that the state should be primarly responsible for providing those, too.

                    7. Every decent society says those basic needs ought to be guaranteed. And there’s no good argument against it, especially if you’re gonna come back and demand I pay for men with guns to police your property. Socialism for thee…

                    8. I don’t demand you pay for your local corrupt police force. You should be able to withdraw your support if you don’t like it.

                    9. I have a right to be left alone to live my life, but the only way that right is even partially “guaranteed” is by a taxpayer-funded law and order apparatus. That turns it into a “positive” right.

                      I’m not sure what “negative rights are guaranteed” is supposed to mean, but the above statement is flawed. Because our current legal system is funded through taxation does not argue that it MUST be funded in such a manner, nor that the current system is the only viable option. And the existence of a police force does not create a “positive” right to police force. It is simply a tool to secure the “negative” right of protection from aggression.

                2. AND

                  Calling medical care, housing, food, clothing, transportation, communication, information, etc., violate tenet 1.

        3. Well, a rapist is essentially malevolent. If a disease struck which put all women into comas, rapists would be necessary for the survival of humanity.

          Whether you find the price worth it is your own judgment; some people might not find the price of the occasional Holocaust or Great Leap Forward to be worth the benefits of archic civilization.

    3. If you think state spying and drone striking are bad, wait until there is no system of law and order at all, and see how you like your circumstances.

      “If you think NKVD agents randomly selecting people from the phone book for torture and murder is bad, wait until there is no system of law and order at all, and see how you like your circumstances.”

      – Comrade Tony, circa 1930

      1. Nobody in 1930 was treating anarchism as a grown-up idea.

        1. False and irrelevant.

          1. I wouldn’t wait for a response Jordan…t o n y has moved on.

    4. Marshall is wrong in that belief in total transparency requires a belief that the state is malevolent.

      I do in fact believe the state is malevolent, but even if I didn’t, the legitimacy of the state rests on the consent of the governed.

      I can’t consent to stuff I don’t know about. Even good stuff.

      There’s really no further analysis required.

      “But OH NO FLUFFY, we NEED to have all these government secrets!”

      Then you can’t claim the consent of the governed.

      Oh well.

      Choose.

      1. Spaces has repeatedly argued in the past that your consent is implicit through your birth and continued residence here.

  13. “there’s no really no balancing to be done. All disclosure is good.”

    You should have started and stopped there Marshall.

  14. I guess my biggest concern is that all the “supporters” have such utterly punchable faces….like some sort of horrible birth defect! Marshall, E.J Dionne, Sunstein…and our own s o c k p u p p e t-t o n y probably has a that telltale delicate and compliant, with the pursed lips, Derek Zoolander like face.

  15. Edward Snowden (and Bradley Manning before him)

    Please never mention Snowden and Manning in the same sentence.

    Snowden is a hero. He blew the whistle on specific government wrongdoing.

    Manning was a disgruntled little shitweasle who dumped a shit-ton of classified data, without regard for ANY potential consequences, because he was pissed off at the world.

    1. Yeah. Manning leaked a video that was selectively edited and used by our enemies to lie. Snowden leaked the existence of a program that every American had a right to know about. Big difference.

    2. You’re correct, though I really dig that there was not a Tiananmen Square massacre buried in the fun facts of Wikileaks.

      Headlines now quietly refer to it as the Tiananmen protests.

    3. So? I say bravo for Manning whatever his motivations. Release it all — then I’ll decide.

      1. I don’t care what Mannings motivations were, but I don’t think a mindless data dump is a good way to be a whistleblower.

        There could have been things in there that legitimately do need to be kept secret, like the names of spies or something.

        1. Fuck spies, fuck our government, and fuck their secrets. Let the data dumps come, whatever is in them.

          1. How ignorant.

            1. You keep letting the statists have their secrets, dude. And you see where it gets you. Right. Fucking. Here.

              Enjoy!

              1. Are you going to sit there in broad daylight and tell me that the Allies should have been required to notify the US people in advance about the time and location of the D-day invasion?

                Cause that’s what you’re saying.

          2. You’re really arguing that no legitimate government secrets exist?

            Let’s just give China all of the information about our weapon systems. Why not give all of our access codes to hackers?

            1. I think the distinction here would be the level of operational detail required to be able to judge whether my congressional representative is properly representing me.

              So I wouldn’t have to know the access codes used to launch our nuclear arsenal.

              I’d just have to know that there was a nuclear arsenal, how much it cost, what its general intended strategic use was, etc.

              You might think the items in the latter paragraph are useful to the enemy, but unfortunately that’s too damn bad. Liberal market economy societies have huge advantages in competition with despotisms – too many to delineate here. But one disadvantage they have is that they are forced to make a lot of information available to their citizens that opponents can potentially also use. Those are the breaks, though. You have to take the bad with the good.

              1. But Manning didn’t do what you’re saying, he just dumped a ton of government documents and let the chips fall where they may. There was a lot of concern that individuals working with the U.S. and identified in those docs would be targeted for retaliation, which seems closer to the D-Day (or blowing a spy’s cover) scenario.

                That said, from what I recall at the time, Wikileaks claimed that they tried to get help from the relevant authorities in redacting that sort of thing, and the feds just blew them off, probably because they weren’t seen as a real journalistic enterprise.

                1. That said, from what I recall at the time, Wikileaks claimed that they tried to get help from the relevant authorities in redacting that sort of thing, and the feds just blew them off, probably because they weren’t seen as a real journalistic enterprise.

                  This. The first major round of leaks was handled abysmally, but it set wikileaks up as a force, after which, news organizations paid attention and the second major info dump was carefully culled and redacted with the help of some of the major Western newspapers.

      2. Indeed.

      3. There are legitimate secrets.

        Attack plans, weapons capabilities, intelligence gathering techniques (used against the enemy, not citizens), sources…

        1. This is a good way to frame the debate. How does it help terrorists if they know our data gathering capabilities? Maybe it does, I don’t know. Assuming they wouldn’t already assume our capabilities, does it force them to stop using electronic communication, and would that be a good or a bad thing? On balance it’s hard to disagree with Greenwald that the government wants to keep this secret to save itself criticism and embarrassment.

        2. “weapons capabilities, intelligence gathering techniques”

          Both of those are iffy. Meaning that to some extent, they are legitimate secrets, but there is also an ethical component that is properly in the realm of democratic debate.

          Of course, we don’t have to actually know whether a weapon exists that, for example, kills all children under the age of 3 in a hundred mile radius, to have a debate about what horrible tortures should be inflicted on any American official who works on or, worse, uses such a weapon. But it’s a lot harder to have those kinds of debates about hypotheticals, since it could be seen as a tacit acknowledgement we were up to that sort of thing, or else as a waste of time.

          1. Yes, the public has the right to know we have weapons that can do X. If you tell the world how X is done, you give your enemy the means to defeat it. You don’t give the enemy the effective ranges of your air-to-air missiles or the frequency our radars work on.

  16. I have a suggestion for what Snowden should say to people who suggest he’s “betrayed” the government =

    FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY

  17. “[a]t the end of the day, for all its faults, the US military is the armed force of a political community I identify with and a government I support.”

    In other words, “Fuck this guy for saying he doesn’t like my jackboots!”

    1. Explain to me again what the NSA has to do with the military? Besides listening to their phone sex, of course. Pretty sure they’re the civilian SIGINT guys.

      1. Brett, if you loved the state as much as this guy, you would realize it was all one big happy family. And we’re a part of it too.

        1. Nicole, you just don’t get it. We aren’t just part of the family, WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT, and the government is us.

          /Statist Bodhisattva

        2. I find that I love my real family much more when we interact in 20 minute phone conversations on Sunday morning. I would like to have a similar relationship with my government. We talk for 20 minutes each year, and I go on blithely not thinking about them until the next call.

          1. Ha, yeah. That’s what I love about shit like David Brooks’s column yesterday. They go on about how you’re supposed to go through these gradations of authority starting with family and ending with the state, and I’m just like yeah…I kinda moved out of my parents’ house. They have no authority over me, and we have an at-will relationship consisting of as many texts and phone calls as I feel like or don’t.

        3. And Obama is our dad, like a national Ariel Castro.

    2. Piss on you, Marshall, I was not serving in your political-community Sturm Abteilung.

      And the NSA is not military, FWTW.

  18. And isn’t “tribal” just a nice way of saying “fascist”? I fail to see any difference in logic and structure between what Marshall is saying and if he had said we can’t believe this because Snowden is a Jew.

    Understand that people like Marshall are fascists. And they should be called such at every opportunity. Just because Marshall is a dorky loser, doesn’t have a snazy uniform and isn’t out throwing bricks through windows doesn’t mean his views are not repugnant or that he and his ilk have any place in polite society or any sort of serious debate.

  19. “Here is I think the essential difference and where it comes back to what I referred to before – a basic difference in one’s idea about the state and the larger political community. If you see the state as essentially malevolent or a bad actor then really anything you can do to put a stick in its spokes is a good thing. Same if you think the conduct of US foreign policy is fundamentally a bad thing. Then opening up its books for the world to see is a good thing simply because it exposes it or damages it. It forces change on any number of levels.”

    And what tribe are you in if you think people’s verdict on whether the state is essentially malevolent should be based on consideration of relevant evidence, rather than a question of faith? Marshall, just join a fundamentalist church. Then you can have an absolute global authority that demands your unquestioning belief and obedience without bothering everyone else.

  20. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

    It’s depressing how far we’ve fallen from this simple truth. The government is, at best, a necessary evil because it has a monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force. People like Josh Marshal are the kinds of people who would gladly look the other way while millions of their own countrymen are loaded onto cattle cars and shipped off to who knows where, so long as the people being loaded up are of a different political tribe than his. Hell, he might even help round them up.

    On a slightly different note: do they issue pinko left-tard journalists punchable faces upon graduation from journalism school? I figure that “Basic and Advanced Smug Facial Expressions” must be a required course, but surely they don’t all go in with such punchable faces, but they all seem to end up with faces just begging to be punched in over and over again.

    1. They really are a collection of punchable douche bags aren’t they? Think about Marshall, Yglesias, and Klein. Has there ever been a more pathetic and douchy collection?

  21. Josh Marshall: “I think the government and journalists both have legitimate interests that point in very different directions. … leaks are a … safety valve against government wrongdoing and/or excessive secrecy. But when someone in government leaks classified information they’re breaking an oath and committing a crime.”

    http://editors.talkingpointsme….._trial.php

    He does not realize the failure of his logic. He agrees that leaks are a “safety valve against government wrongdoing”. The sure fact that deliberate government wrongdoing can be “classified” is not a fact that he would admit.

    Mr. Marshall joins liberals and conservatives calling for the elimination of privacy, and the ultimate loss of the most private act in a democratic republic: The secret ballot. He goes on to say that “if you basically identify with … the state, then … leaks like this are … attacks on something you fundamentally believe in…”

    Mr. Marshall believes that the individual person has no right to privacy, but that the government does. Lost in his logic is any “critical safety valve against government wrongdoing”. As they say, resistance is futile.

    Mr. Marshall must disagree with Senator Ron Wyden, who demanded: “Mr. President, what it comes down to is, every American has the right to know when their government believes that it has the right to kill them”.

    Mr. Marshall is not a part of the solution. He will not miss the ballot box at all..

  22. Shorter version of Marshall’s article: “Mmm, this boot tastes wonderful!”

  23. As Thomas Paine, one of the foundingest of the founding fathers, said, Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil

  24. I don’t think that it’s necessary to find the government to be essentially malevolent to be libertarian. You just have to find it to be potentially malevolent and dangerous with the best intentions. Malevolence requires people or organizations to WANT to do ill. Libertarians are often afraid of government when it WANTS TO DO GOOD.

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