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Tough call, Georg. I agree that Snowden's disclosures regarding the egregious overreach of our intelligence agencies has and will continue to have a salutary effect on US domestic policies, but I remain somewhat fitful about his ultimate treatment until we know how much (if anything) he has provided to foreign governments who do not have our best interest at heart.

If the choice is only between "always obey the law" and "obey the law only when it seems like a good idea to you", then I tend to favor the former, because almost none of us is capable of judging when it is and isn't OK to disregard the law. Remember that Snowden, in accepting his position with the NSA, became party to a contract ... and then willfully chose to disregard his obligation under that contract. No matter how meritorious his motivations, he must still face the consequences of his actions. Anything less is one more step toward anarchy.

There just are no easy questions (or answers) in a situation like this.

Ed, I entirely agree with you.

I even seem to remember the last sentence I had written and finally taken out of the post, as I felt otherwise I would have to add too many qualifications for a post that was meant to be a news breaker with one core message in it (also considering the punchhline of my favourite NSA joke - see below).

The eliminated phrase must have read something like this:

"I am not familiar enough with this tricky and complicated case to offer anything like a final pronouncement on it - but Snowden's courageous revelation of serious governmental abuse should be a major consideration in judging the overall case."

Also, I am not knowledgeable enough about the issue to seriously discuss at this point the possibility that regrettable collateral damage to American foreign or military interests may be reasonably judged to be of lesser weight than the damage done to American society.

But I expect, as the commendable reaction of some of the left seems to indicate, Snowden has already introduced a new paradigm (considering societal and constitutional impact too, rather than merely isolated deeds and cases of damage) to the way in which his case is to be dealt with.

I am glad, Ed, you brought up your points. A discussion that ignores your above concerns would be seriously deficient and even dangerous.


I am not good at telling jokes, but not only did I make up this one myself, whenever I tell it, people laugh heartily.

The other day a friend asked me about "the NSA thing".

To which I replied: "I like the NSA."

Shocked reaction: "You what? You like the NSA?"

"Yes, I do - they're the only ones who read my posts."

Hahahahaha ... I like it -- not only because it made me giggle, but it gives me hope that someone may be reading my posts.

Hahahahaha ... I like it -- not only because it made me giggle, but it gives me hope that someone may be reading my posts.

I'm "your NSA", Ed. And I'm enjoying my work.

Oops, my RSS feed doesn't show that there is a new post up at your blog - strange, the feed used to work well:


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