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Thread: Veteran civil rights leader: Snowden acted in tradition of civil disobedience

  1. #1

    Post Veteran civil rights leader: Snowden acted in tradition of civil disobedience

    John Lewis, one of America's most revered civil rights leaders, says the NSAwhistleblower Edward Snowden was continuing the tradition of civil disobedience byrevealing details of classified US surveillance programs.

    Lewis, a 73-year-old congressman and one of the last surviving lieutenants of Martin Luther King, said Snowden could claim he was appealing to "a higher law" when he disclosed top secret documents showing the extent of NSA surveillance of both Americans and foreigners. Asked in interview with the Guardian whether Snowden was engaged in an act of civil disobedience, Lewis nodded and replied: "In keeping with the philosophy and the discipline of non-violence, in keeping with the teaching of Henry David Thoreau and people like Gandhi and others, if you believe something that is not right, something is unjust, and you are willing to defy customs, traditions, bad laws, then you have a conscience. You have a right to defy those laws and be willing to pay the price." "That is what we did," he added. "I got arrested 40 times during the sixties. Since I've been in Congress I've been arrested four times. Sometimes you have to act by the dictates of your conscience. You have to do it."

    Lewis was among the majority of Democratic congressmen who voted for an amendment in the House of Representatives last month that sought to effectively end the NSA's bulk collection of millions of phone records. The vote was narrowly defeated, but revealed a surprising degree of congressional opposition to the spy agency's collection of data. Snowden, 30, who passed highly-classified documents to the Guardian and Washington Post, has argued he was acting out of conscience because he wanted to shine a light on a surveillance apparatus which he believes is out of control.
    But the former NSA contractor has mostly been condemned on Capitol Hill, where he has few defenders, even among those who say his leaks have revealed important details about the NSA which were previously unknown. The White House insists that Snowden is not a whistleblower, but a felon who should be returned to America from Russia, where last week he was granted temporary asylum.
    John Lewis (right) and the leaders of the Freedom Riders: Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr, in Montgomery, Alabama, May 1961. Photograph: Corbis

    When it was pointed out to Lewis that many in Washington believed that Snowden was simply a criminal, he replied: "Some people say criminality or treason or whatever. He could say he was acting because he was appealing to a higher law. Many of us have some real, real, problems with how the government has been spying on people."
    He added: "We had that problem during the height of the civil rights movement. People spied on, and got information on Martin Luther King junior, and tried to use it against him, on the movement, tried to plant people within different organisations – that probably led to the destruction of some of those groups."

    President John F Kennedy resisted authorising the FBI to place King under surveillance in the lead-up to the 1963 March on Washington, where he gave his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech. However other senior figures in the movement were wiretapped, and federal authorities, who suspected civil rights leaders had communist connections, recorded phone conversations King participated in. Although only in his early 20s at the time, Lewis, a student leader, was one of the 'Big Six' civil rights leaders from the civil right era. He is the last surviving speaker who shared a platform with King at the famous rally in 1963. He was first elected to the House of Representatives, for a district in Georgia, in the 1980s and since has become an elder statesman in Capitol Hill, respected across the political divide.
    In 2011, when awarding him a Medal of Freedom, president Barack Obama described Lewis as "the conscience of the United States Congress".

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-snowden/print
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 08-09-2013 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
    I agree and disagree.

    Telling the media that the NSA was breaking the Law and infringing upon all Americans civil rights, then accepting any criminal prosecution for his actions, would have been civil disobedience.

    Leaking details of programs, then going to China, then to Russia....thats not civil disobedience, thats Treason.

    I side with Snowden, I agree that the people had a need to know here. I simply disagree with his choice of tactics in how he did it, and what he chose to do afterwards.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    I agree and disagree.

    Telling the media that the NSA was breaking the Law and infringing upon all Americans civil rights, then accepting any criminal prosecution for his actions, would have been civil disobedience.

    Leaking details of programs, then going to China, then to Russia....thats not civil disobedience, thats Treason.

    I side with Snowden, I agree that the people had a need to know here. I simply disagree with his choice of tactics in how he did it, and what he chose to do afterwards.
    This

  4. #4
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    Snowden is a cvnt. I hate what the NSA is doing but I hate Snowden's methods even more. And if he did give any info to foreign countries in exchange for asylum he should be executed.

    There are members of Congress he could have went to that would have gotten this out in the correct manner. Our system isn't perfect but it is better than everyone just leaking out information to the masses.

  5. #5
    This government wouldn't try him they would execute him by any means necessary. Bravo Snowden!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MnJetFan View Post
    This government wouldn't try him they would execute him by any means necessary. Bravo Snowden!
    I agree with you on this. If Snowden lets himself get caught then the media would discuss it for most of a day or two and then would move on to the really important news about Lindsey Lohan's rehab or the highlights from American Idol. Eventually he would have been forgotten like so many other "big" stories that fade away because Snooki was got knocked up or something else that was vital at the time.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 08-10-2013 at 08:20 AM.

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    The Guardian, it figures,
    not surprised to see the denizens of the moronic intersection of liberal street and crypto-liberal avenue
    letting the mask slip and showing their unpatriotic colors re: Snowden
    and sympathising with with other unrehabilitated anti-American anarchists....

    In NJ I usually see patriotic themes/flags on overpasses, the other day I saw "Bradley Manning - American Patriot"
    on one Rt. 80 crossing....No points for guessing which pukes hoisted that freak flag...
    Had I not had to rush to a client meeting that one would have mysteriously been picked up by a stray
    squall and flown into a trash bin.
    Last edited by Jungle Shift Jet; 08-10-2013 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    The Guardian, it figures,
    not surprised to see the denizens of the moronic intersection of liberal street and crypto-liberal avenue
    letting the mask slip and showing their unpatriotic colors re: Snowden
    and sympathising with with other unrehabilitated anti-American anarchists....

    In NJ I usually see patriotic themes/flags on overpasses, the other day I saw "Bradley Manning - American Patriot"
    on one Rt. 80 crossing....No points for guessing which pukes hoisted that freak flag...
    Had I not had to rush to a client meeting that one would have mysteriously been picked up by a stray
    squall and flown into a trash bin.
    Seems like you are someone who truly appreciates the first amendment and what it stands for.

    Also written like you have a keen awareness for the history of this country and how it was founded.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by intelligentjetsfan View Post
    Seems like you are someone who truly appreciates the first amendment and what it stands for.

    Also written like you have a keen awareness for the history of this country and how it was founded.
    Snowden is now relying on a country that doesn't have 1/100000 of the US oversight when it comes to investigating terrorism for his safety. If that isn't a example of what a complete fool Snowden is I don't what could show it more. Snowden didn't understand the majority of information he stole and Glenn Greenwald is more interested in himself.

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    Sure UJF, treasonous closet cases like Manning and Snowden are true patriots like the founding fathers. What lib pukes like you know about the founding of this country can be inscribed on the head of a pin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    Sure UJF, treasonous closet cases like Manning and Snowden are true patriots like the founding fathers. What lib pukes like you know about the founding of this country can be inscribed on the head of a pin.
    not really sure where I stand on this. I am glad for what Snowden did but he did break the law...hmmm

    Anyway. You sir are the winner of manliest poster on the politics board. You with your manly insults and manly ideals!

    BTW... Our founding fathers were all guilty of treason in the eyes of England... I imagine they all had sworn allegiance to King George at one time or another.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    The Guardian, it figures,
    not surprised to see the denizens of the moronic intersection of liberal street and crypto-liberal avenue
    letting the mask slip and showing their unpatriotic colors re: Snowden
    and sympathising with with other unrehabilitated anti-American anarchists....
    Notice, a paragraph all about insulting us posters, not touching on the topic in question.

    In NJ I usually see patriotic themes/flags on overpasses, the other day I saw "Bradley Manning - American Patriot"
    on one Rt. 80 crossing....No points for guessing which pukes hoisted that freak flag...
    Had I not had to rush to a client meeting that one would have mysteriously been picked up by a stray
    squall and flown into a trash bin.
    It must be difficult to hate Government (as the (R) party tells you you should) while also supporting everything the Millitary/Security Sector does (which the (R) party also tells you to do).

    Guess the spies and generals are the only portion of Govt. we should put our trust in and accept at face value, eh?

    Such a position is a great example of why (R) isn't for me. The pretzel-logic of the (R) on this issue has been obvious from the start. They're fully supportive of Tyrany, as long as it's them (not a (D)) holding the whip.

  13. #13
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    I explained the situation perfectly-The Guardian is no friend to conservatism, and the likening of blacks throwing
    off post-war (D) oppression to Snowden's treason and it being just, from afar, is a bad, bad joke.

    It is to laugh, to dare compare me to the lib naif OP who decided this noisome article was of interest,
    furthermore I only read crypto-liberal dopes crowing Bravo Snowden like a gaggle of mindless chicks chirping their
    heads off in an empty roadway culvert. Loud and annoying but powerless to change what they enabled, just prolonging the (D) tyrany (sic)

    Furthermore, lib pukes overly concerned with Hate Speech "Broadcasting Fairness" and trying to ban PAC-fueled political ads while allowing Union slush $
    know nothing of free speech, or the Constitution. Sometimes there are things in this life, and in this country that are indefensible and Manning and Snowden's actions are not.

    Why do you continue to misconscrew what I am for or against because of my (R) affiliation. Even after years apparently you still know nothing about my beliefs or how I came to acquire them re Government, National Security, or Defense.

    Without enumerating every policy part and branch I like or dislike, we can all get by in life with very little Federal administration. Defense is necessary.

    I believe our government should spy and gather intelligence on other nations and our enemies whether its (D) or (R) in charge. I want them to do it.
    Unfortunately, even our best friends harbor enemies and we should know they are up to. When a mousy puke like Manning has access to methods and
    information and dumps it out on the Internet he is not merely a whistleblower, he should be hung from the highest yardarm.

    We should trust in our government to act in our best interest. When terror threats are thwarted they do. B. Hussein, with his handful of acts of killing
    terror kingpins did so too. But in general his regime, who has been in charge lately if you havent noticed, does not. He has allowed abuse that makes
    Nixon look like a piker. In a smarter America B. Hussein would be impeached at a minimum.

    You should reserve your ire for this miscreant in chief.Don't get confused, when American political opposition is surveilled, harassed by the IRS or information gathered sliced and diced to make redistributive socio-economic decisions by a (D) reign of error that has nowt to do with (R). If you could name one act of tyrany (sic) that (R) did like the rat-eared dog-eater
    I'd be all (rat) ears.

    I believe in a extemely strong US hyperpower where a #2 China might as well be #1000. After my close call on 9/11 I believe in complete destruction
    of our enemies, and by that I mean not the paper cuts of 100 drones but a complete vaporizing, death. If that makes me a neo-con tough sh!t, others
    approval means less than zero to me. This is not your imaginary Win with Willkie isolationist fantasy of a world.

    Why would you think that the (R) Party tells me how to feel or act. I belong to it because it represents most of my positions politically and I can influence it by voting
    in its primaries. When it ceases to do so I wont be in it. When leading (R) politicos tried the amnesty end-run 5 years ago I told them GFY GTFO and if they do it again I will leave

    They are things alas I cannot control. The ultra-lib Blue state I reside in is so moronic, so un-American, and has so few elected officials who represent me I have been waiting for the
    all the Tea Party House (R)s purge Boehner from his Speaker role- I am still waiting for them to do something bold instead of making idle chatter about what they are capable of.
    I have been waiting for allegedly Conservative crypto-liberals, who from their drug intake and anti-war stance are indistinguishable from (D), en bloc stop enabling (D) - a million dummies
    wasted their vote on a loser who said nothing more than "Legalize It" and "Waste Your Vote On Me" last year. Etc. Several million socons threw their vote away too but thats another set of
    dopes. Etc.
    Last edited by Jungle Shift Jet; 08-11-2013 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Kinder, gentler JSJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    not really sure where I stand on this. I am glad for what Snowden did but he did break the law...hmmm

    Anyway. You sir are the winner of manliest poster on the politics board. You with your manly insults and manly ideals!

    BTW... Our founding fathers were all guilty of treason in the eyes of England... I imagine they all had sworn allegiance to King George at one time or another.
    Snowden and Manning are the Benedict Arnolds of our time.
    Speaking of revolting, why not go ahead and create another dozen Christie threads, the night is still young. The first million didn't get the message across.
    Last edited by Jungle Shift Jet; 08-11-2013 at 11:54 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    Snowden and Manning are the Benedict Arnolds of our time.
    Or Snowden is a modern, sadly spineless, Patrick Henry.

    "Give us ALL back our liberty, or give me death!"

    "Um, about that death part......I was just kidding, I'm off to save my ass in Russia".

    What he did was right. How he did it was wrong. But I'd take a dozen of him over one who thinks what the NSA is doing is ok.

  16. #16
    The problem, Churchill, is that he knew if he would've done it the way you think he should've done it, he'd be a DEAD MAN right now.

    If there's one thing the U.S. Government knows how to do is how to make people disappear....quietly, if you get my meaning.....

    Snowden did the only thing he could do....TO SURVIVE.

    Whether people call him a traitor or whistleblower, it makes no difference.

    If it was us, we would be looking to save our own skins which Snowden did(at least for one year) and to hell with what other people think or believe.


    Plus, if he let himself be caught at the start, the Government would do everything in its power to suppress ANY KNOWLEDGE of this incident, meaning a media-blackout so no one even KNOWS what just happened.

    Snowden escaping enabled this whole thing to be brought to light.
    Last edited by Vin; 08-11-2013 at 09:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Telling the media that the NSA was breaking the Law and infringing upon all Americans civil rights, then accepting any criminal prosecution for his actions, would have been civil disobedience.

    Leaking details of programs, then going to China, then to Russia....thats not civil disobedience, thats Treason.
    Why does leaving the country, an act of self-preservation, take the original leak from civil disobedience to treason in your mind?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    Why does leaving the country, an act of self-preservation, take the original leak from civil disobedience to treason in your mind?
    Civil disobedience stands up for any crimes they may commit while being disobedient. It is a form of protest.

    Snowden left the U.S. to flee after his law breaking, went to an semi-enemy state (or two) and told them who-knows-what, and desperately tried to find a haven in a number of countries whose abuses of their citizens FAR exceed anything he's leaked about the NSA. And I guarantee you he is profiting financially from this act, now or soon. In my view, thats treason.

    Had he had the courage of his supposed convictions, and stood and faces the consequences, he is an American Hero IMO.

    In fleeing to states like Russia and China, and begging places like Cuba and Venezuela to take him in, he becomes a sellsword, not a patriot, a traitor, not a truly principled man standing for individual rights.

    JMO of course. In the eyes of the Law, there is no question, he IS a traitor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Civil disobedience stands up for any crimes they may commit while being disobedient. It is a form of protest.

    Snowden left the U.S. to flee after his law breaking, went to an semi-enemy state (or two) and told them who-knows-what, and desperately tried to find a haven in a number of countries whose abuses of their citizens FAR exceed anything he's leaked about the NSA. And I guarantee you he is profiting financially from this act, now or soon. In my view, thats treason.

    Had he had the courage of his supposed convictions, and stood and faces the consequences, he is an American Hero IMO.

    In fleeing to states like Russia and China, and begging places like Cuba and Venezuela to take him in, he becomes a sellsword, not a patriot, a traitor, not a truly principled man standing for individual rights.

    JMO of course. In the eyes of the Law, there is no question, he IS a traitor.
    Fair enough, thanks for the explanation.

    Personally, I don't think that Snowden's actions after the leak are relevant to the debate of traitor or hero. Legally speaking, he is a traitor, but I can appreciate the need for such whistleblowers in an age where government power continues to grow and personal liberty continues to decrease. I'm grateful to know what was previously unknown (beyond reasonable speculation), and I believe most of the public feels the same way.

    I think it should be noted and highlighted that Snowden leaked this classified information to the public through the media. He didn't leak the info directly to the USA's enemies behind closed doors. It's a rather important distinction in my opinion.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post

    Had he had the courage of his supposed convictions, and stood and faces the consequences, he is an American Hero IMO.

    But instead he had more BRAINS than Guts in the end because again if he did the above, He would've been dead within the year and no one would know about his existence or the existence of the NSA surveillance programs except for the U.S. Government.

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