Down the Sinkhole

The issue before us now is not whether Snowden is an admirable and trustworthy character. The thing we should care about is whether the people pursuing him are trustworthy, and the manifest answer is that they are not. The issue is not whether the countries that Snowden has popped into are bastions of liberty — they are not. The issue is which countries are likely to extradite Snowden. Let’s not demand that Snowden prove his worth to us by fleeing to a place that will provide him no protection at all. I don’t know enough yet to know what I think of Snowden. But when it comes to our federal information leeches, I know plenty.

So, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Snowden was up to no good. That doesn’t matter. His motives for blowing the whistle are of no concern to me. The only thing that matters is whether or not we want the government collecting information on everybody in the fashion they have been doing. Of course not.

The stale answer that comes back to us is that they are protecting us from terrorists. But I want to be protected from them far more than I want to be protected from terrorists.

They say they have safeguards and processes of internal review. Are these safeguards as ironclad as the ones the IRS had? And how is it that your safeguards allowed you to entrust all this information to a commie punk like Snowden? You have the situation well in hand, do you? You have courts reviewing whatever is done? Like that court that authorized the tap on James Rosen? Like that one? One of the first things that proponents of chasing and charging Snowden need to learn as they talk about this issue in public is that their federal credibility is down the sinkhole. And my best advice at this point would be to stop lying.

I have a proposal. We need a law that says that there will be no surveillance of the American people that has not first been test-driven for five years at the Capitol building and its environs. You tell us the drink is not poisoned, so you drink it. Sweeps of phone records, busting into emails, targeted review of IRS records, tracking of movements through security gates, and surveillance drones overhead. All such records gathered will be open to Freedom of Information Requests, and will be provided to primary challengers free of charge, and with no names redacted.

Why do I want to do such a thing? National security, ma’am.

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oldfatslowAndy W.Mister EdMargaret GanongDavid Recent comment authors

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Tim Etherington
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I don’t know what I think of Snowden either but a good question to ask is how/if he is different than Julian Assange and Bradly Manning and why is he different. What I’ve heard from different quarters is that he’s different and he’s a hero or he’s the same and he’s a traitor.

I’m inclined to think he’s different since he blew the whistle on things the government was doing that are illegal or unconstitutional but Manning/Assange did it on things they didn’t like. Or is that even true? I’m anticipating your thoughts on this.

David Cooper
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David Cooper

Doug,

While I think it’s wise to reserve major judgments about Snowden’s character I am curious what your counsel would be to a congregant working in the bowels of the NSA or CIA who had access to or knowledge of the same kinds of surveillance. What should Christians with security clearance do when they see domestic unwarranted spying going on in the cubicle next door? Thanks.

Andrew Isker
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Andrew Isker

I’m guessing “commie punk” is hyperbole, right?

KJQ
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KJQ

“Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety and will lose both” – Franklin

My version of this is” I would rather be free than safe”.

David
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David

Andrew,

In my mind, it’s not so much hyperbole as making a point by conceding (implicitly, for the sake of argument) the government’s position that Snowden acted wrongly, i.e. the worst case scenario. The Keeper of Secrets, Safeguarded with Protocols, or hired the guy, or contracted with someone who hired the guy.

How does Snowden being a bad guy make this any better?

David

Andy W.
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Andy W.

Doug, Thanks for having the courage to write many of the blogs you write about the present state of tour government. We, as evangelicals, need to stop being late to the game on these sorts of issues. Thank you. Tim, I wouldn’t say Bradley Manning only exposed something he didn’t like. It is my understanding he exposed the killing of innocent people (as collateral damage) in a war which is hardly just. I wish our brothers and sisters serving in the military had the courage and theological sense to realize they are participating in unjust wars and refuse to participate,… Read more »

Margaret Ganong
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Margaret Ganong

He is a traitor….simply said

Mister Ed
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Mister Ed

a traitor–you mean like Daniel Berrigan–he whom the press lionized and the elites adored. A traitor like that guy, right?

oldfatslow
Guest

I guess I do not understand how we can be at war with an enemy that is a hidden enemy and folks not think the United States government would not use all means at their disposal to find the enemy and to keep the methods of that location secret. Doug Wilson was a submariner. My guess he was sworn to secrecy and honored that oath. Why is it noble for someone else to violate his oath and reveal secrets that can only aid the enemy? Snowden is an arrogant punk. If he had been in on D-Day and felt that… Read more »

Andy W.
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Andy W.

To OldFatSlow, What happens when you are labeled the enemy by the government because you are a Christian and surveillance programs such as prism are used to track you and your family, or maybe an underground gathering of believers? Does it seem far fetched? Not as much as it may have ten years ago. In think it is a real possibility that in my lifetime a Christian homeschooling dad like myself could be labeled an enemy. There is no proof this program has stopped any attacks for found any real enemies, such as the Boston bombing. The only thwarted attacks… Read more »

oldfatslow
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Andy W.,

Yes, it seems far-fetched.

As I see your argument. *The gov can’t
find real enemies but it would be hyper-effective
at tracking Christians.* I can’t figure how that
works.

Or, the FBI can only catch those it maneuvers into
stings. So, when they come after Christians will
they start home schools and Bible studies to get
us?

ofs