Edward Snowden

Libertarians Will Never Be Successful Because EDWARD SNOWDEN!

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Writing at The New York Post, William McGurn slams libertarian politicians and various unnamed folks at Reason (Hi, Mom!) for lionizing Edward Snowden, "a man who's wanted for espionage against the United States…and is now living off the hospitality of Vladimir Putin." (Disclosure: Back in the day, McGurn wrote several pieces for Reason, including a crackerjack article about how protectionism in the Philippines deformed life there and this one about Hong Kong under British rule.) 

Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Justin Amash—they're deluded, don't you see, because Snowden is no kind of hero, says McGurn:

While he may not have delivered these [state] secrets to Russian handlers or drop sites the way those from Alger Hiss and Aldrich Ames to Robert Hanssen did, he had them published where all our enemies could read them. And we have only his word he's not now working for Putin.

The libertarians who champion Snowden will claim that the secrets he published were embarrassing to the government but not damaging to our security.

What's more:

Say you oppose the NSA program and believe it a good thing it was exposed. Does that make Snowden is a hero?

If the answer is yes, ask yourself this: Was Sammy "The Bull" Gravano — a hitman with the Gambino family — also a "hero" because he coughed up secrets that helped take down John Gotti, the "Teflon Don"?

It's an elementary distinction, between those who honorably serve our nation and those who betray her.

The libertarian inability to make it with Ed Snowden helps explain why libertarians have a long ways to go before the American people will ever elect one president.

More here.

Mercatus.org

It's true that Snowden is not wildly popular with most Americans, at least according to surveys. This NBC poll from last year does show that 32 percent of millennials supported him while 20 percent who did not. But that's just the kids. Overall, Americans view Snowden in "a negative light" by a 2-to-1 margin, with 27 percent disliking him and just 13 percent giving him a thumbs up. By the same token, that's better than results in 2013, when 36 percent disapproved and just 11 percent approved. If that trend keeps up, Snowden may be able to come back home in a decade or so to a hero's welcome.

Does a predisposition toward a whistleblower who revealed massive, systemic, and unconstitutional surveillance by the U.S. government mean that "libertarians have a long ways to go" before a person with a principled commitment to "Free Minds and Free Markets" will ever occupy the White House? Sure, why not.

Though speaking only for myself (as libertarians are wont to do), I care less about who occupies the White House and more about the enactment of policies that actually reduce the size, scope, and spending of government. We saw a relative flattening of government spending over the past few years (and during the Bill Clinton years) not because of particular individuals but because of larger dynamics that changed the way things were done. Ideas matter more than individuals. And reality matters more than rhetoric. Under the Bush years, we had a president and a Congress led by people who talked incessantly about the virtues of limited government and the need to get the goddanged government back to the proper size. That didn't lead to anything except for record-setting spending, wars of choice that inflicted untold damage on countries we're still bombing and occupying, and a general discrediting of the U.S. around the globe.

More to the point, perhaps, what does it mean for conservatives that a discussion of Edward Snowden quickly turns to the invocation of traitors whom even McGurn grants are completely distinct from Snowden in terms of methods and motivations? As Bob Dylan paraphrased Dr. Johnson, "Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings." Except, of course, when it's the first.

Weirder still is the idea that the experience of a Mafia hitman working a plea deal sheds any insight into Snowden's actions or his appeal to libertarians. Whatever else you can say about Snowden (and for god's sake, watch the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour, which is now on HBO), he is paying a steep price for his actions (unlike Gravano, who avoided both being killed by Gotti and put in prison for life by the feds). And surely it is noteworthy that even a White House-appointed review team agrees that the NSA programs revealed by Snowden don't, you know, actually stop terrorism (which for President Obama doesn't seem to be enough of a reason to actually stop bulk collection of our phone data).

I admire Edward Snowden because he revealed crimes against you, me, and every other American. He didn't do it because he was being paid by our enemies and it's far from clear that he's screwed our ability to protect ourselves. Both Republicans and Democrats have lied to us about surveillance and all sorts of other things. Of course the guy who blows the whistle on such a scam is going to be unpopular, at least at first. But if one price of living in truth is that it's going to take a little longer for a libertarian to reach the White House, well, that's kind of a bargain, isn't it?

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  1. A lot of people sure seem worried that libertarians might one day succeed. Makes you wonder why.

    1. Yes, all these media hit pieces mean they are getting scared that people are getting the message about Libertarianism.

      1. They’ve moved from laughing at us to fighting us, which is a positive development.

    2. Because they know their gravy train will come to an end.

    3. They’re afraid they may someday have to get real jobs.

      -jcr

  2. But if one price of living in truth is that it’s going to take a little longer for a libertarian to reach the White House, well, that’s kind of a bargain, isn’t it?

    I think it will hasten getting a libertarian to the White House. People are more aware of the evil the government is capable of now.

  3. It’s an elementary distinction, between those who honorably serve our nation and those who betray her.

    What the fuck?

    1. do what your betters tell you. blindly.

    2. Puzzles me, too.

      I always thought Uncle Sam was a guy.

      1. Latin ?tion nouns are feminine.

    3. His argument seems to be that Sammy Gravano was the real bad guy.

      The NSA is just being persecuted, like that poor John Gotti fellow.

      1. He’s saying suppose you think the NSA is doing something wrong, like John Gotti. That makes Edward Snowden Sammy Gravano. Bada bing. Either admit that the NSA isn’t bad or your hero is also bad by implication.

        The argument is so stupid and convoluted, it’s not even worth deconstructing.

    4. MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG! /Republican

      Makes you wonder. What horror would the government need to commit in order for them to begin to question that notion?

      1. Cut spending?

      2. I was going to say it would probably involve people getting loaded into train cars and sent to re-education camps, but I suspect even that wouldn’t be enough so long as the “right people” are being sent away to the camps.

        1. The US government has a long history of sending the “right people” to concentration camps. Most recently, Japanese-Americans. Before that, various indigenous inhabitants of North American.

          1. most recently it is this http://www.theguardian.com/us-…..man-rights

      3. There is no horror great enough for that. The flag-waiving grubers are as brain dead as the leftist tools.

  4. Was Sammy “The Bull” Gravano ? a hitman with the Gambino family ? also a “hero” because he coughed up secrets that helped take down John Gotti, the “Teflon Don”?

    Right, because exposing massive, systemic, illegal, unconstitutional spying by the government is the same as being a mafia hit man.

    What a fucking asshole this state-worshiper is.

    1. That is an appalling piece of illogical. Snoden’s crime is giving up secrets. Gravano’s crime is being a murdering scum bag.

      If Gravano had never committed any crimes and finally decided to come forward with information that took Gotti down, he would be analogous to Snowden.

      1. Yeah, that.

      2. Even then, his fucking retarded analogy would equate the NSA to…the mafia. Which I find appropriate, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t.

        Authority worshipers–like Tulpa–fundamentally cannot understand defying authority, which is why you see insane analogies like this. They’re basically little children who are pissed that you didn’t obey daddy even when daddy was utterly wrong, and they’re bitter that you might disobey while they’ve been vigilantly doing what they were told. It’s not fair when you disobey, don’t you see? IT’S JUST NOT FAIR

        1. “They’re basically little children who are pissed that you didn’t obey daddy even when daddy was utterly wrong,”

          They are not moral agents; they refuse to accept the responsibility of being so.
          To do so would mean they are responsible for their current circumstances and others are too.
          Conflicts with the fantasy that ‘we’re all just one paycheck away from being homeless!!!!!!’

    2. I thought it was a good analogy, other than one sold out a violent group of thugs and the other was Italian.

      1. THREADWINNER! ELEVENTY!!11!!!

    3. Having watched Citizenfour recently, I laughed when Snowden mentioned almost right at the beginning of his interviews that the powers that be were going to try and make it about him rather than about the gross Constitutional and legal violations that he was exposing.

      Even accepting arguendo that he’s in Putin’s pocket (a position which I do not agree with), so fucking what? We have Keith Alexander and James Clapper spewing out baldfaced lies to Congress while lawyers representing the government attempt to claim in court that there is no standing and the proper form of redress for these grievances is not the courts but the other branches of government… which are being blatantly deceived or abetting in the deceiving.

      The rule of law is ever more gutted and fragile custom is the only barrier against brutal totalitarianism.

  5. Alger Hiss, Aldrich Aimes and Hanson actively helped our enemies while working in secret. Snowden acted publicly and revealed information the public had a right to know. If that helped our enemies, that is the fault of the government not Snowden.

    Even if you support what the NSA is doing, that doesn’t mean the public doesn’t have a right to know it is doing that and there shouldn’t be a public debate about it. Without Snowden there never would have been a public debate. To hate Snowden is to hate the idea of the American public having the final say on how its government treats their privacy.

    1. WE CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH

    2. Hiss, H.D. White, Aimes, and Hanson were actively helping enemies who intended to undermine the American idea of liberty. Unlike these traitors, Snowden revealed state secrets to restore the American idea of liberty.

      There is also the inconvenient fact that several NSA employees had attempted earlier to blow the whistle though official channels, and the state saw to it that public remained uninformed. Intelligence officials perjured themselves to insure that Americans remained ignorant of what their government was doing.

      Snowden is a 24-karat American hero.

      1. Bullshit. Snowden stole hundreds-of-thousands of documents, the VAST majority of which had nothing to do with domestic spying. By releasing those documents (those which had nothing to do with domestic spying) and revealing legitimate surveillance programs, he’s no different than any other fucking traitor.

  6. If the answer is yes, ask yourself this: Was Sammy “The Bull” Gravano ? a hitman with the Gambino family ? also a “hero” because he coughed up secrets that helped take down John Gotti, the “Teflon Don”?

    Jesus Christ.

    There’s an important difference between Snowden and Gravano here, which is that GRAVANO WAS A HITMAN, YOU DAMN MORON.

    1. If Gravano weren’t a hitman, but a low-level, otherwise law-abiding employee of Gotti that coughed up secrets that helped take him down, he would be a hero.

      Conversely, if Snowden were, say, a serial killer, no one would call him a hero.

      MORON.

      1. “Conversely, if Snowden were, say, a serial killer, no one would call him a hero.”

        I’m not so sure about that — lots of people seem to have called Chris Kyle a hero.

  7. Overall, Americans view Snowden in “a negative light” by a 2-to-1 margin

    That is… disheartening.

    1. you could probably switch those numbers by phrasing the question differently.

    2. And even if it is true, so what? That means 1/3rd of the country support him. Since when is an opinion held by 1/3rd of the country some kind of fringe position?

      1. When Tony is measuring it.

      2. It’s not even that: 60% of the population have no opinion on Snowden.

        1. “It’s not even that: 60% of the population have no opinion on Snowden.”

          Right. The accurate statement would be ‘a very small percentage of nerds are squabbling over the morality of a man the majority of the country doesn’t care about. 1/3rd of these nerds approve of him.’

          I am the 13%.

      3. “And even if it is true, so what? That means 1/3rd of the country support him. Since when is an opinion held by 1/3rd of the country some kind of fringe position?”

        It doesn’t mean 1/3rd of the country supports him since the vast majority have no opinion.

      4. It’s far better than Congress on any given day.

    3. I think more may view him in a negative light because of him taking refuge in Russia than by the actions that led him there.

      1. Probably true. If he were in Canada or the UK and couldn’t be extradited, he’d be a hero to far more people than he is in Russia or China.

        1. Except that Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand were all hip deep in the spying as well.

          PRISM was a joint operation.

      2. This and the fact that he embarrassed the Obama administration. Quite a lot of Obamabots hating on Snownden today would have been praising him as a hero during the Bush administration.

        1. Boy, that can’t be repeated enough. Snowden holding off because he wanted to see if the new boss was going to be the same as the old boss wasn’t the wisest decision in retrospect.

          1. Thinking that the new boss is ever going to be better than the old boss is pretty much always a terrible decision. When’s the last time a president wasn’t worse than the one that came before?

            1. William Henry Harrison?

              1. If only more presidents had the good grace to die after only 32 days in office…

            2. Reagan. Say what you will about the man…he wasn’t Carter.

              1. I believe that was his campaign slogan.

            3. Warren Harding was certainly better than Wilson.

              Ford was better than Nixon.

              Reagan was arguably better than Carter.

              1. Coolidge was better than Harding.

            4. Everdeen will be better than Snow.

            5. Grover Cleveland followed Chester Arthur and vetoed butt-loads of shit.

    4. This reflects the awesome power of the MSM to prevent there ever being a libertarian moment.

  8. A former speech writer for an establishment GOP figurehead is blubbering on about Libertarians defying the establishment. Go figure. Mr. Sniffles hasn’t stop slurping on the GOP good ol’ boy cock since it was slipped between his lips.

  9. libertarians won’t be successful as long as most Americans don’t realize that the people who run our government are our biggest enemy. Putin has no desire to take over the USA. he just wants American to overthrow the nefarious cabal on capital hill. he is only an enemy to traitors in our government, not to the American people. and so, Snowden’s exposure doesn’t “aid our enemies’ in any way. It exposes our enemies. anybody who thinks Snowden is a traitor is a useful idiot. Russia wants us to be free. Russia does not want war. Putin possibly even prevented a world war that the ‘US’ was trying to create with Syria. I mean am I wrong about this?

    1. “Putin possibly even prevented a world war that the ‘US’ was trying to create with Syria. I mean am I wrong about this?”

      Yes, because there is no way in hell that US intervention in Syria would have started a world war.

      1. i’m confused at what your argument. aren’t you saying what I’m saying? Putin foiled their plans by getting Syria to give up their nuclear weapons which is what the US did not want as they wanted pretense to invade like they did Iraq.

        1. Syria didn’t have nuclear weapons.

          Your foreign policy analysis is worse than Sheldon Richman’s.

    2. Sorry bud. You get sent back to English school in Minsk.

    3. I’m usually against accusing people of advancing arguments in bad faith, but this post sets off enough warning alarms that I’ll just come out and ask: how much does being a hired propaganda shill for Putin’s government pay?

      1. If you read about the Ukrainian invasion, you’ll rapidly come to realize that it seems to be a rather popular line of work.

        Normally, I have zero problems believing that people are mere useful idiots instead of paid shills, but, damn. It’s pretty ridiculous at times.

      2. ‘m just going off of inductive reasoning. what do you think is going on?

        1. With the Russian apologists, I think it is pretty clear that they are the typical perpetually aggrieved Russians, for whom everything is always worse than it is for everyone else and who are not understood by anyone else, but “Is OK, we are stronger than pathetic West.”

          1. I think it is pretty clear that they are the typical perpetually aggrieved Russians.

            Most of the Russian apologists I’ve run across online are the “Putin will crush ZOG!!!” variety of Jew-hating nutcases (David Duke is a perfect example) who think the Jew/Israeli wants nothing more than to enslave the white man and destroy white culture.

            This is why you’ll see truly bizarro shit like neo-Nazis bemoaning the plight of Palestinians.

  10. “The libertarians who champion Snowden will claim that the secrets he published were embarrassing to the government but not damaging to our security.”

    GUILTY! I am guilty as charged.

  11. In response to a statement made in the above article, I’m fairly certain Ron Paul IS delusional. Most libertarians have accepted the fact that Jesse Ventura, a one-time libertarian hero, is a conspiratorial nutbar, yet they still revere Paul even though he is every bit as insane as Ventura. Any movement with Ron Paul as its figurehead is going to be considered fringe.

    1. “Most libertarians have accepted the fact that Jesse Ventura, a one-time libertarian hero, is a conspiratorial nutbar, yet they still revere Paul even though he is every bit as insane as Ventura. Any movement with Ron Paul as its figurehead is going to be considered fringe.”

      I don’t recall any period of time when Jesse Ventura was a ‘libertarian hero’ unless by ‘libertarian’ you mean the Alex Jones conspiracy nut set.

      And if you read the comments here every time Paul has spouted off about something crazy in recent months, you know that an awful lot of libertarians do not ‘revere’ Ron Paul.

      1. Ventura was a lot more libertarian when he was running for governor than anyone else running in MN…

        That is all I got.

        1. Ventura has wild ideas that are widely regarded as nuts by everyone and Paul has wild ideas that only make sense to libertarians, ergo all swans are white.

    2. Go fuck yourself.

      -jcr

      1. Angry Paulbot is angry.

    3. Any movement with Ron Paul as its figurehead is going to be considered fringe.

      So?

      If we weren’t considered fringe, that’s the point where we should be worried.

      1. Yeah, how are supposed to get our edgy on if we succeed?

    4. This. Ron Paul stopped being a positive years ago. He needs to go away.

  12. From my perspective, jury is still out on Snowden. What he did with NSA etc. was, I think, needed. But how compromised by the Russians is he? Given qualities and tendencies of the Russian regime, I think notion Snowden is some kind of free actor over there is at best naive; Snowden at this point could very well be a sock puppet, there is no way to tell. But again, Russians. Just say’in.

    And given the vast amount and scope of Snowden’s trove, if the Russians have compromised him then Snowden may well have severely damaged the United States in very real ways. Again, there is no way to tell. At this point, part of the blame for that can be put on Obama, who, as in all things, is a clown (got played by the Russians with the Bolivian president thing, dithered into another ‘dialog,’ etc.).

    But Snowden putting himself at the mercy of the Russians is all on him.

    1. The only thing that can counter our empire is a nuclear armed competitor. Seriously the only thing stopping these assholes is sheer deterent force.

    2. How is it Snowden’s fault that the US government revoked his passport, forcing him to stay in Russia?

    3. Snowden at this point could very well be a sock puppet, there is no way to tell.

      Even if he is a sock puppet he’s not intrinsically advancing socialist Russian propaganda. And, as pointed out above, he’s speaking pretty directly against American elitists and the message(s) he delivers applies equally to his hosts.

      By exposing a domestic spying program for whatever purpose it’s supposed to execute he’s accurately brought a technical issue to very public and political light. If we’re spying on Americans to help the Ukranians fight Putin we’re doing both the spying and the helping wrong whether Snowden is undermining it or not.

    4. How is it Snowden’s fault that the US government revoked his passport, forcing him to stay in Russia?

      Snowden went to Russia because it was only place that would take him from HK. Snowden orchestrated this whole thing, obviously; if Russia was not his final destination, then something went awry in his contingencies – and that is all on him.

      Even if he is a sock puppet he’s not intrinsically advancing socialist Russian propaganda. And, as pointed out above, he’s speaking pretty directly against American elitists and the message(s) he delivers applies equally to his hosts.

      Russians being able to approximate behavior of their own regime to Snowden’s criticisms of America actually serves the Russian regime by creating an equivalence, with the bonus of making Obama et al look like the hypocritical liars they are when talking of freedom etc.

      And if Snowden is a sock puppet at all, there is no way to tell what part of him is not. Again, Russians – they are good at sock-puppetry.

      1. “if Russia was not his final destination, then something went awry in his contingencies – and that is all on him.”

        No, it’s on the people that forced him to flee and took away any possibility he had of leaving Russia once he was there.

    5. I thought I read somewhere (can’t remember where now) that by the time Snowden made it to Russia he had transferred his entire cache to Greenwald and was no longer in possession of the files, but there’s no way in knowing that for sure either.

      So far he hasn’t said anything about Putin, pro or con that I’ve seen, so not sure how he could be considered a sock puppet. It’s not like he’s spouting a bunch of Pravda like garbage.

      1. So far he hasn’t said anything about Putin, pro or con that I’ve seen, so not sure how he could be considered a sock puppet. It’s not like he’s spouting a bunch of Pravda like garbage.

        I don’t know what to think, which is why I say the jury is still out on Snowden – don’t know enough. But the Russians? These peeps murder people with polonium and blow airliners out of the sky, then lie about it with a straight face.

  13. “we have only his word he’s not now working for Putin.”

    We only have McGurn’s word he didn’t molest sheep.

    1. I don’t think he molests sheep, but I have it on very good authority that he performs in a Tijuana donkey show.

  14. Shit, what kind of world is this when that shitheel Clapper perjures himself and keeps a powerful government job, while Snowden tells the truth and becomes a fugitive from justice?

    Treason doth never prosper – what’s the reason?
    When it doth prosper, none dare call it treason!

  15. Edward Snowden, “a man who’s wanted for espionage against the United States”

    And Richard Kimble was wanted for murder.

    1. Richard Jewel was basically pegged by MSM and the FBI as the Olympic Park bomber when he saved people from the explosion.

      And have they caught the anthrax letter mailer yet?

  16. Writing at The New York Post, …

    Say no more. Please.

  17. I think Snowden would be more successful if not for his libertarian tendencies.

    1. Principals, not principles?

      1. Principles in one hand and a $4 in the other will buy you a Starbucks.

        1. A Tony in one hand, and a libertarian in the other–

          Someone’s taking it the ass.

    2. If he didn’t have libertarian tendencies he would atill be supporting illegal activities by his employer. If you mean successful by getting a paycheck abd not having Obama after him, then yes. But he has morala so he needed to share with America all the illegal things that Obama is doing. I’m not sure you instead have liberal, progressive, or neocon tendencies and still whistleblow.

  18. So, 27 percent dislike him and 13 percent like him. I guess the other 60 percent are in a coma then?

    1. No surprise there–somewhere around 40% of Americans can’t name the vice president (lucky them).

  19. I look at this…And I shake my head. Anyone who praises Snowden as a hero is blind. Sure what he released is atrocious and unacceptable in every way shape and form. That isn’t up for dispute, what IS up for dispute is HOW he went about doing this. He didn’t do this because “It was the right thing to do.” Oooh hell no, he did this to get his name in the papers. He ran to two of America’s BIGGEST intelligence opponents, divulged secrets to one of those governments, and now plays patsy to said government. How anyone could see that as heroic is beyond me.

    This man could have taken the same route Deep Throat took. He could have just taken the information, mail dropped it to a paper or right onto the internet and lived out the rest of his life quietly, he could have gone to Congress, the Senate, the public itself without fear of retribution. He could have talked to his superiors, told them his concerns. He did NONE of this, absolutely NONE of this. Instead he fled the country and ran straight into the arms of two of America’s adversaries on the world stage. Two adversaries who EASILY have the same kind of programs running in their own countries who’s own records of “Privacy protection” rank among the lowest in the world.

    How anyone sees this headline hunter as a hero I have no clue.

    1. Snowden’s gone on record repeatedly about why he chose to go public and reveal his identity: to show other potential whistleblowers that they do not need to be afraid of coming forward, and to further corroborate his evidence of the government’s crimes. You obviously do not think he is being honest in that stated motivation. However, I find awfully suspect your suggestion that he did it all to see his name in the papers. How does that seem like a likely motivation to you? He had to leave his girlfriend, give up his home and well-paying job, and live possibly the rest of his life as a wanted man looking over his shoulder for assassins–for publicity?

      And of course your suggested alternatives are even more ridiculous. The idea that the best way to bring these issues to light would be to inform Congress is so self-evidently absurd as to make commenting on it pointless.

      1. I’m curious if you realize that at the time of him revealing this entire endeavor by the NSA that a majority of Congress was Republican and were praising Snowden for revealing an Obama approved situation.

        As well, if it was so pointless to comment on, why did you bother?

        1. It’s as if you’re visiting us from an alternate reality. I didn’t expect to every say this to anybody, but maybe you should have watched more Fox News: there was an endless parade of Republican politicians denouncing Snowden as a traitor.

          And no, just going to Congress or his bosses wouldn’t have been a very good idea. He knew that had already been tried. Google “William Binney” for starters, and maybe “NSA whistleblowers” after that. Snowden wasn’t the first; he was only the first to get any real traction, and that was probably because he released secret documents and was willing to attach his name to what he was doing.

    2. I totally agree. And Nick is acting like there’s no way Snowden wasn’t paid by our enemies. We don’t have all the facts about what he did and why.

      We do know he is still living in Russia at the behest of Putin. That Putin, who probably had an opposition politician killed today in Moscow.

      Snowden, useful agitprop of Vladimir Putin.

      1. Lyle|2.27.15 @ 5:46PM|#
        “I totally agree. And Nick is acting like there’s no way Snowden wasn’t paid by our enemies. We don’t have all the facts about what he did and why.

        We do know he is still living in Russia at the behest of Putin. That Putin, who probably had an opposition politician killed today in Moscow.

        Snowden, useful agitprop of Vladimir Putin.”

        Got one piece of evidence for that pile of bullshit?
        Didn’t think so; we can always rely on you for blatant lies.

      2. Still upset that Julia Roberts walked out on you?

      3. It wouldn’t be very effective “agitprop” if what he had to say hadn’t been true. It’s like the guy who was blaming Wikileaks for fouling up U.S. diplomatic efforts by revealing how we were stabbing other countries in the back. Maybe the backstabbing, rather than the revealing the backstabbing, was the actual problem?

    3. He could have talked to his superiors, told them his concerns.

      Not sure if serious…

      I have no clue.

      …Oh well there you go.

    4. I look at this you…And I shake my head.

      Your country has been blatantly violating your fourth amendment rights, and your animosity is towards the individual who exposed it?

      You are one sick puppy bb.

      1. Kinda funny this, considering the Fourth Amendment as written doesn’t provide any provisions for “Right to Privacy” and only provides provisions against unreasonable search and seizure of physical property.

        As well, my animosity isn’t towards just the individual, it’s towards the entire situation and how blindly people are willing to follow a headline chasing moron who is being propped up as a hero when in fact he is anything but. Deep throat did it right, hundreds of other whistleblowers over the years have done it right, I don’t see why Snowden should suddenly be treated as the golden boy in the room because he put his face out into the public space.

        1. Kinda funny this, considering the Fourth Amendment as written doesn’t provide any provisions for “Right to Privacy” and only provides provisions against unreasonable search and seizure of physical property.

          Such as reading my emails and communications i.e. mass surveillance.

          It’s your problem that you seem to get stuck up on Snowden’s methods, not ours.

        2. I hope you’re deliberately ignoring how this violates the Fourth Amendment, or at least being paid to pretend to be this dense.

          The Fourth Amendment was largely crafted to prevent general warrants, which were used by the British to rifle through peoples’ belongings looking for any evidence of any crime–even if they didn’t actually know that a crime had taken place when they began to search. Sound familiar? That’s why the Amendment requires that a warrant “particularly describ(e) the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” That’s not the same as “every call record you have for everybody.”

          Obviously the guy who had to flee his country, leaving his job and much of the things that constituted his life behind to avoid being killed for telling the truth about crimes his government is committing is a “headline chasing moron”. True heroes hide behind aliases to lie about Snowden on the internet.

    5. “what IS up for dispute is HOW he went about doing this. He didn’t do this because “It was the right thing to do.” Oooh hell no, he did this to get his name in the papers.”

      Hey, baine! Who was the guy on the grassy knoll?
      You seem to be able to figger everything out!

    6. divulged secrets to one of those governments

      No, he didn’t.

      The rest of your post is equally silly. Snowden positioned himself as a figure who, instead of being easily persecuted and ignored like every other whistleblower over the past 100 years, would serve as a figure for enemies of authoritarianism to rally around.

      The other side of that coin is that he’s also a figure for statists to oppose. This, along with the pro-war crowd, lets us know who’s with us in the liberty movement and who’s against us.

      1. well put. polarization surrounding snowden is an excellent statist lithmus test.

      2. the pro-war crowd

        The use of this phrase indicates a very small brain.

    7. Two of the USG’s biggest opponents:
      1) American citizens
      2) Free press

  20. Jesus Nick, way to light the troll signal.

  21. Alger Hiss was innocent. Nixon was full of shit.

    -jcr

  22. Nick,

    He may have actually been paid by our enemies. You don’t know that he hasn’t.

    1. Lyle|2.27.15 @ 5:38PM|#
      “Nick,
      He may have actually been paid by our enemies. You don’t know that he hasn’t.”

      Lyle, you’re an idiot. I don’t know that you haven’t been fucking sheep.

      1. I don’t know that Lyle isn’t being paid by the NSA to spread disinformation.

        1. While sheep-fucking? I can’t prove he isn’t!

          1. Hey, sometimes a sheep has to be pushed through the fence!

      2. Nick doesn’t know he wasn’t paid and yet makes an absolute statement about it. Probably not the smartest commentary.

        You’re Sevo.

    2. If my supposed enemies are shining light on Constitutional violations which are utterly breathtaking in scope while my supposed friends are not only causing, but expanding these Constitutional violations and lying to Congress and the American people about it… well, it’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder who your friends and enemies really are.

    3. He may have bee the twentieth hijacker too! And DB Cooper as well! You are a fucking genius Lyle b

      1. Nick doesn’t know he wasn’t paid and yet makes an absolute statement about it. Probably not the smartest commentary.

        1. Had that been the case you would think he would have been in Russia before releasing the information. That is where he ended up. (1) There isn’t any evidence to support your claim and (2) an evaluation of the big picture suggests otherwise as well. Perhaps it isn’t absolute but that doesn’t make it true, likely true, maybe true, perhaps true, or possibly true.

          1. You’re right, there isn’t any evidence to support my claim, and there is no evidence to support Nick’s claim.

            Thanks for admitting that Nick’s claim isn’t ground in evidence.

            1. Do you know what falsifiability means? Maybe you should google it.

            2. Lyle|2.27.15 @ 11:31PM|#
              “You’re right, there isn’t any evidence to support my claim, and there is no evidence to support Nick’s claim.”

              What might “Nick’s claim” be?
              Lyle, you are not a bright person. I suggest you stick with checkers rather than post here. If you are smart enough to realize it (doubtful), you are embarrassing yourself.
              Oh, and fuck off.

              1. Oh, excuse me. I did see Nick’s claim that Snowden didn’t do what he did ‘because he was being paid by our enemies’.
                There it is right there!
                So, Lyle, let’s see how you prove him wrong.
                Waiting…………

            3. And we don’t have any evidence that you aren’t a child molester (using your “logic”).

              Nick rounded up. Which may not have been perfect but significantly more acceptable than any alternative you propose.

              Which absence of evidence isn’t absolute evidence it would support the USG’s position. Given the fact that NSA has been illegally spying on us, you’d think they would have shared anything actually occurring. And the narrative to get him tp Russia if that was the plan all along is laughable.

    4. Lyle might molest sheep. You don’t know that he hasn’t.

  23. Americans seem to like Snowden a LOT more than they like Congress, yet they continue to elect Congressmen. 32% of millennials supported Snowden. Overall, 27% of Americans dislike him and just 13% give him a thumbs up. And that’s improving from 2013 when 36% disapproved of Snowden and just 11% approved.

    It is possible to view Snowden with mixed thoughts. He did a lot of good exposing bad things the government does. Was he a traitor? Maybe he was a traitor to an evil state. That could be mostly a good thing. Did he reveal secrets that should be kept secret. Doesn’t appear to be much evidence of that. If so, it could do minimal damage to US security, but you can bet the punishment would be extreme and go far beyond minimal punishment, if he hadn’t escaped to protection far away from the US.

    But McGurn’s point about libertarians who support Snowden being doomed to failure is a fair speculation, but IMO I doubt it to be true.

    1. Yeah, I wonder if what he leaked was more a bruise to the State’s ego as opposed to National Security. I’m thinking it was more likely the former.

  24. Libertarians won’t ever be successful for two main reasons. One the inherent nature of human thinking,cognitive bias and irrationality. Now with a lot of education this can be somewhat eliminated but even if that were the case Libertarians won’t get anywhere simply because people don’t share the same underlining principles. We start from the non-aggression principle and protection of individual rights. But many people, educated people simply don’t agree with those maxims.

    In practice I work toward a kind of Utilitarian political scheme based on the Nordic countries. Simply because there methods produce the best results in term of quality of life indicators in the world and there view point is more aligned I think with how people think based on evolving as social animals and the natural empathy we have for others. In other words people are much more naturally included to a utilitarian philosophy than a Libertarian one and genetics are a major constraint on who we are.

    Also for practical reason I focus just on social issues and pay less issue with the government steal money from us. I do this for a simply reason, money beyond a poverty level don’t not correlate well with increased happiness. But if you not allow to pursue things you want to do or be who you want to be that can be devastating to your level of happiness. The drug war or marriage equality are good example of this kind of thing.

    1. In other words people are much more naturally included to a utilitarian philosophy than a Libertarian one…

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Unless you’re in the 49% getting fucked for the greatest benefit for the 51%.

      1. “Now with a lot of education this can be somewhat eliminated.”

        Fransisco. This fucker is creepy.

        1. Thinking well is not natural to humans. Thinking logically is not naturally to humans. People make all kind of logically fallacious arguments every day. In addition there system 1 often control thinking and decision making not the system 2 part were analytical thinking and rational decision making takes place.

          Read a book like predicable irrational for a basic overview of the subject. Being a good thinker is not common to humans.

      2. The Nordic countries quality of life indicator are the best in the world. The people there report higher levels of happiness, feelings of being able to pursue there dreams, feeling of safety and free from want than anywhere else in the world.

        1. Feelings = meaningless

    2. Actually, everyone is a libertarian when it comes to themselves.

      Its about what the other guy is doing – whether you want them to stop it, or cut you in – where ideology starts.

      1. Again there is the issue with cognitive bias, things like behavioral economics cognitive sciences show the rational agent as absurd.

    3. ” Utilitarian political scheme based on the Nordic countries.”

      You do realize that what you endorse has a history in National Socialism right ?

      1. I endorse Libertarianism as I believe strongly in the non aggression principle. I vote libertarian but sometimes green(almost never major party’s). Why green because they tend to also be against the drug war, and pro freedom on social issues. They tend to also adopt ideas similar to the politic in the Nordic countries. Which again empirically have the best quality of life indicator in the world.

        I always bash socialism and praise capitalism, why? Because there are no major example of a centralized economy working and all the successful countries are capitalist.

        So rationally I see Norway, Sweeden ,etc using a certain model that is producing amazing results and I must acknowledge that fact if I want to be a good truth seeker.

        1. You cannot simultaneously support the coercive state (Scandanavia) and the NAP.

          1. I can and I do but in slightly different ways.

    4. In practice I work toward a kind of Utilitarian political scheme based on the Nordic countries. Simply because there methods produce the best results in term of quality of life indicators in the world

      That’s a lie. They have much lower living standards than Merica and Canada.

  25. “I admire Edward Snowden because he revealed crimes against you, me, and every other American. He didn’t do it because he was being paid by our enemies and it’s far from clear that he’s screwed our ability to protect ourselves.”

    DIDNR EXPECT THAT !!!!

  26. The libertarians who champion Snowden will claim that the secrets he published were embarrassing to the government but not damaging to our security.

    Snowden didn’t publish anything. The difference between his approach and that of wikileaks was that he didn’t make a massive archive of secrets available, but chose journalists he deemed trustworthy to use their judgment as to which documents should be published and when.

    This author had a deadline to fill and decided to pontificate about a subject he doesn’t know anything about.

  27. Another good one by Gillespie. I would caution, though, against seeing Snowden, and what he did, as simply a libertarian vs. non-libertarian issue. Snowden is a heroic _citizen_ who stood for freedom in a way that is agreeable to most libertarians. He probably doesn’t see himself as a libertarian, and it’s altogether too easy to start developing tests for who is a libertarian, and who is not.

    Snowden saw wildly unconstitutional behavior on the part of government, and acted to expose it. Though accusations of espionage and betrayal are clearly pernicious, it does not matter from a constitutional perspective if his actions make the country less safe. If government thinks it ought to set up a criminal surveillance regime to protect us, government has to be stopped, even if its illegal actions actually do protect us. We have authorized a government that acts legally first, then measures how effective its legal actions are. We cannot tolerate a government that acts illegally, then justifies its criminal behavior with appeals to national security. That has never been a sound argument in any circumstance, and it is certainly not sound in Snowden’s case.

    1. …”We cannot tolerate a government that acts illegally, then justifies its criminal behavior with appeals to national security. That has never been a sound argument in any circumstance, and it is certainly not sound in Snowden’s case.”

      Are you saying Snowden is proper in his activities?

      1. /puts on Black Hat

        “Are you saying Snowden is proper in his activities?”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_JF8oSxXtM

        Does it matter ?

  28. I support Snowden – wasn’t certain till I read this at the NBC link:

    “If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today. We’d be delighted for him to come back,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC’s Today Show. “And he should come back and — and that’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba or some other country. A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people.”

    After reading that whopper of obtuse lying, Snowden did the right thing.

    1. Yep, Kerry is more than willing to have him back and toss him in jail, standing up!

    2. It was a Kerry event where “Don’t tase me bro” happened.

      Lyle doesn’t have any evidence that Snowden wasn’t one of the offending officers so therefore Snowden did it!

  29. It’s an elementary distinction, between those who honorably serve our nation and those who betray her.

    As someone who has served this country “honorably” (in wartime and against his will no less,) I have to say I do not feel betrayed by Snowden so much as I feel betrayed by the government. It is the jerks in government who have made a mockery of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and who have broken their oath to uphold them.

  30. He’s not as popular now, because there are cracks in his story, and Obama supporters have reasons to feel ambivalent about him. If he’s a hero, then what’s Obama?

    Hes was IT contractor for the NSA. There’s no evidence that he has access to classified info, or that he knew where to look. He apparently convinced NSA workers to give up their passwords. He planned to leave the country without even seriously looking at the documents he stole.

    A lot of what he says is not confirmed by him, the NSA, or the media. For all we know, the guy was a thief, and what he stole happened to have some state secrets.

    Is he a hero? The Koch brothers would (or they already have) spend money on policies that protect our privacy. The American Sniper might have saved dozens of unseen lives. Lefty Snowden lovers hate them both.

    If he stole specific stuff that’s damning to the NSA’s spying program and went STRAIGHT to a reputable media outlet (or just leak the stuff anonymously without taking credit), then it’s different a story. But he planned to run away, and he ended up in the arms of unfriendly regimes. He stoles thousands of documents – what’s in them?

    1. This is the problem that liberals and progs have. If Snowden did this while W was still in office, he’d have more support. But he did it while their messiah was President. And for most of them, protecting the worshipped state trumps any rights folks have had trampled.

    2. If he stole specific stuff that’s damning to the NSA’s spying program and went STRAIGHT to a reputable media outlet (or just leak the stuff anonymously without taking credit), then it’s different a story.

      Where Snowden is unjustly put in a jail and the leaks possibly never happen at all.

      What the fuck is up with retards like you? Do you not get that none of your criticisms even matter even if they are true?

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  32. Snowden is a macro hero, McGurn is an goofball trying to define libertarianism for libertarians, which he is not.

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  35. Snowden is hated because he pointed out information about the world and our government that most people have long wanted to believe wasn’t true. If America is a free country in the future, he will be remembered as a true hero. It takes real courage to do what is right when you know that doing so will come at such a personal cost to yourself and those you love.

    1. Precisely. His biggest “crime” is that he embarassed the “most transparent administration in history”.

      The blind followers of Obama now have to answer for this, and it burns them up.

  36. wow the paid government shills came out in force for this one.

  37. Well I can see McGurn’s point. Gravano testified against Gotti, but on the other hand he killed people. Snowden exposed NSA’s illegality, but on the other hand he exposed NSA’s illegality. Totally parallel.

  38. Yes when Paul Revere warned the British were coming he was in opposition to the established government as well. We call him a hero because he risked death to defend liberty Snowden risked his career and his life to warn us of the attacks on our liberty. He is an american hero and true Patriot.

  39. Thanks for the piece. For more on world Libertarianism see http://www.LibertarianInternational.org

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