June 11, 2013, - 8:58 am
Snowden No Hero – Should Be Prosecuted Like Manning; Partisan Hypocrites: Despite Denials, Limbaugh Others Supported More Invasive Bush NSA Wiretapping
Edward Snowden, the private contractor, who violated his top secret security clearance and gave away secrets of government data mining to detect terrorists, should be prosecuted. Make no mistake. He is NOT a hero. He’s merely an arrogant, misguided egomaniac. And he’s no different than Bradley Manning, the soldier who gave away secrets to Julian Assange, for them to be publicized to the world. Many conservatives rightly called for Manning’s prosecution. Why do they hypocritically now make excuses for Snowden?
On Friday, I heard a caller tell Rush Limbaugh that “we all–including you–supported this” under Bush. Limbaugh disagreed, claiming that right after 9/11, he said on the air that he hoped the terrorist attacks wouldn’t be used by the government to take away our rights. He then claimed he was always against this. But Limbaugh’s memory is selective. In fact, when a group of Arab Muslims (including HAMAS CAIR), left-wingers (including Greenpeace and the late Christopher Hitchens), the ACLU, and libertarian-”conservatives” on the right filed a federal lawsuit in Detroit in January 2006 to stop Bush NSA telephone wiretapping, Limbaugh supported the Bush wiretaps and supportively read my article on the plaintiffs and participants on the air. Those wiretaps were far more invasive than the the Snowden-revealed program of mining phone numbers and e-mails for patterns. And Limbaugh and most on the right supported the wiretaps without warrants. Now, they are upset over a program that is far more constitutional. There is nothing that violates any right to privacy here because conversations and e-mails are not being recorded, unless and until there is probable cause.
It was laughable, yesterday, when Limbaugh read, with approval, a British newspaper’s differentiation of Snowden from Manning because Snowden is “smart” and “has a girlfriend” and “a life.” Huh? He’s an arrogant 29-year-old with a girlfriend who is an “acrobatic dancer” (one step above stripper, but still complete with pole). These are silly “distinctions” without a difference to what he did: jeopardize national security and break the law. But let’s say she was a ballroom dancer and they lived in a mansion. So what? We’re now judging a guy’s violation of national security based on class and snobbery? Really? A soldier–Manning–is “not credible,” but a pencil-necked, egomaniacal Millennial who hides in Hong Kong is? A soldier who disclosed national security secrets is to be condemned because he disclosed secrets because he is gay (at that time, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was still in place), but a contractor–who took over $100,000 in annual pay (and–newsflash!–cashed the checks, because he’s such a “principled guy”) is not to be condemned for breaking the law and informing Islamic terrorists what we are doing? Thanks, Rush. Good to know you’re a snob. But both of these cretins should be prosecuted, just like you and other conservatives (such as FOX News’ Michelle Fraudkin) were calling for the leaker of information regarding the far more invasive Bush NSA wiretaps in 2005 to the New York Times to be prosecuted.
This conceited Gen Y geek, Snowden, said he disclosed the information–and put Islamic terrorists on alert–because he wanted “the public to decide.” Um, I don’t need the public to decide every aspect of national security. I don’t need people who watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Teen Mom” and “Two and a Half Men” to have a vote in what we do to keep America safe. I don’t even want the pro-Trayvon Martin/New Black Panthers/Islam Rich Lowry and his National Review reader-idiots to have a say. National security is national security, and the masses don’t get a vote on what we do to keep America safe. America is not a democracy. It’s a republic. And we don’t have–thank G-d–a Ross Perot fantasy of national rule by computer vote on everything we do. The country would cease to exist if we did it that way. There’s a reason that what Snowden had is called “top SECRET” security clearance. It’s supposed to be a secret. The public has no right “to decide.”
I had to laugh, again, over a headline atop this morning’s Drudge Report, about how Democrats love government surveillance when it’s Obama, instead of Bush, doing the surveilling. Well, you can also say the same of the reverse, since most Republicans and conservatives supported far more invasive surveillance when the opposite was true, but now they are shocked–shocked!–that the government is looking at their phone records. And that’s the thing about demagogical partisans. There are no shortage of them on every side of the ideological divide. I’m not looking to partisans for protecting the country. I’m looking to principles. If you supported government surveillance in 2006, you should support it in 2013. If your support depends on what letter comes after the name of the President doing the data collection, you are a fraud and a hypocrite and not to be taken seriously. I’m interested in what keeps us safe.
Is the data mining of every phone call and e-mail excessive and overkill? Perhaps. But that’s only if they were listening in–China-style–to each call and reading each e-mail. That would be unconstitutional, but it’s not what’s happening here. In fact, what’s happening here is that data is collected and algorithms are run to look for patterns. That’s effective, and it’s necessary in our day and age with the technology we have. People need to catch up. This isn’t listening in on Ma and Pa Kettle’s analog landline telephone calls. We’re not in those days anymore.
Yes, with all this they didn’t get the Tsarnaev Bros. No system is perfect, and we even ignored the Russian warnings on Tamerlan Tsarnaev (but if the government had started tapping his phone conversations then, the ACLU, Rand Paul, and HAMAS CAIR would be all over that with lawsuits). I don’t trust the Obama administration, and the IRS scandal is appalling. We should be skeptical when government uses information to hurt people whose viewpoints they don’t like. But that’s not what’s going on here. There’s no evidence of that. There’s only the self-appointed saving–and we don’t need to be saved–by some loser high school drop-out contractor who managed to finagle his way to a $122,000 per year job and top secret security clearance, when he clearly wasn’t to be trusted at all.
For years, I’ve written on this site about the problems with the Tea Party embracing anti-Semitic, whack job libertarian politicos like Ron Paul and his son Rand. And I wondered how long it would be before the success of the Tea Party would lead to crazies like the Paulistinians ultimately reaching the pinnacle of leadership in the conservative movement, where they were once the pinnacle of pin-up boys for America’s fringe neo-Nazis. Well, it wasn’t long at all, sadly.
The crazy black helicopter crowd now rules the roost (and continues to ally with the crazy ACLU/terrorist lobby left and HAMAS CAIR on this). Rand Paul, who has Presidential stars in his eyes, says he will file a lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court. Well, good luck with that Rand and the Paulistinians. Remember the NSA wiretap lawsuit of 2006, I wrote about above? In 2007, those wiretaps were held constitutional, and those included surveillance of actual conversations. This is just about mining of meta-data and mega-data. Not unconstitional, you libertarian “legal scholars.” Yup, gotta love the Paulistinian crowd. Always responding with “the Constitution” to every single question, and yet they really don’t know much about constitutional law, since there’s nothing illegal going on here.
A week or so after the Boston Marathon bombings, Rand Paul wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, in which he prayed for the constitutional rights of the “Arab American boys,” the Tsarnaevs (here’s a tip, Rand: they’re not Arabs, they’re Chechens). That’s who he is concerned with. Not you. Not your rights, not your safety. The rights of terrorists. Islamic terrorists. Their rights above your ultimate constitutional right: to life.
He chooses them. NOT you. And all of those who now condemn data mining when, in 2006, they supported NSA surveillance (at least the Pauls were consistent in their whackjobism from then to now) you are partisan frauds and grandstanders who don’t stand for a thing. You are no different at all from the Obamabots.
And you won’t keep me safe. If there is another terrorist attack, and there will be, the blood will be on your hypocritical hands.
While Rand Paul continues to empower himself and grandstand here, he’s also empowering Islamic terrorists (as is his new buddy, Edward Snowden–who will soon have an “acrobatic dancer girlfriend” in prison).
Tags: Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, NSA data mining, NSA wiretaps, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh