A betrayal of trust

Government mired in scandals is quickly losing credibility

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He may have broken a law in exposing the federal government’s spying on us. And whether he did the right thing is a matter of robust debate.

But whatever you think of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, we seriously doubt he’s a traitor as some seem to think, such as House Speaker John Boehner. It occurs to us that the term “traitor” connotes an intent not just to betray but to do harm by it.

There’s no evidence that’s the case here. In fact, everything appears to point to an intent to help the country, by alerting the citizenry that we’re being spied on by our government. The aim, arguably, would be to restore the kind of liberty enshrined in both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

That said, Edward Snowden really isn’t the issue. It’s us – and our relationship, as a supposedly self-governing people, to our elected government.

That relationship certainly appears to have changed drastically, horribly, in just the past few weeks, with the revelations of Department of Justice spying on journalists, IRS harassment of conservatives and now the NSA spying on millions of Americans’ phone and Internet records.

Maybe an administration that has shown itself to be duplicitous and untrustworthy creates whistleblowers of its own accord.

Frankly, at this point we wish there were more of them. Perhaps all government workers should be issued whistles.

Who’s doing the betraying here, anyway? Isn’t it this government that’s betraying our trust? Besides all the ongoing scandals – which include the Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and the Benghazi disaster, both of which got Americans killed – there’s the little matter of your federal government partying on your dollar as you scrape by to survive.

Remember “GSA Man” – the General Services Administration official who became the poster child for government waste with his unrepentant grin in a beverage-adorned Las Vegas tub at a lavish conference in 2010? A fresher scandal is now enveloping the IRS, which admits to having put on a $4.1 million conference in Anaheim, Calif. – which featured a now infamous and very amateurish video Star Trek spoof. Like GSA Man’s tub photo, the Star Trek video has instantly become an undying symbol of the in-your-face waste of your money by government bureaucrats.

You want to talk about a betrayal of trust? Let’s have that discussion!

This government is hardly in any position to lament someone else’s betrayal of trust.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has emerged as a beacon of civil liberties in this troubling time. We heartily support Sen. Paul’s effort to mobilize as many as 10 million Americans to protest the government’s spying on us. He plans a class-action lawsuit, as well as legislation enforcing our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and warrantless searches.

Paul calls the domestic spying “an astounding assault on the Constitution.” He’s right. And, noting that all that spying didn’t prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, he says burying national security officials in a billion calls a day, not to mention emails and Internet records, is “just bad police work.”

Moreover, while Paul says “this much power is too much power to give any government,” he reminds us that all that intelligence on us is currently in the hands of “a government that appears to target people based on their political beliefs. I don’t want my phone records being given to an administration that I can’t trust.”

Paul sounds very much like a former Senate colleague of his who, in the mid-2000s, bitterly decried domestic spying under President George W. Bush, saying his administration acted like “violating civil liberties is a way to enhance our security. It is not. There are no shortcuts to protecting America.”

That senator was Barack Obama – who, back then, warned against “undermining our Constitution and our freedom.”

Obama also once said:

• “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

• “No more illegal wiretapping of American citizens.”

• “No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.”

• “We need to find a way forward to make sure that we can stop terrorists while protecting the privacy and liberty of innocent Americans.”

Congratulations, Mr. President. After the Boston bombing and the NSA scandal, we can truthfully say you’ve done neither.

Comments (75) Add comment
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Old Timmer
260
Points
Old Timmer 06/13/13 - 09:44 am
6
1
You nailed it!

This guy is more of a patriot than a traitor. Shame he had to flee the country to do it. I'm not opposed to surveillance, but I think I have a right to know about it. Remember when they tried to jail one of Clinton's accusers because she made some tapes of conversations with "Monica" & did not tell her about it. Certainly tells me where we are in the USA.

allhans
23524
Points
allhans 06/13/13 - 04:23 pm
3
2
I think the jerk was looking

I think the jerk was looking for attention. Does he actually have something concrete or is he only relaying gossip he heard around the workplace. He has added to the country's laugh-ability factor.

The world clowns, that's us.

Dixieman
14370
Points
Dixieman 06/13/13 - 10:04 am
4
4
He is a traitor

And should be tried as such and given the death penalty if convicted.

Brad Owens
4287
Points
Brad Owens 06/13/13 - 10:27 am
7
1
This one is different...

He broke the law and his oath, but the information he released just confirms what we all knew in our hearts. The U.S. Intelligence apparatus is being used to collect, store and collate information on all citizens.

Why is God's name does the NSA need direct access to everyone's private emails? Our passwords, photos and video?

This is a harbinger of things to come. Just imagine an IRS fully informed on your private life, health and all of your financials with the intent of preventing you from participating in politics.

Scary stuff to me.

I value my freedoms and I respect the laws, so this one is a tough one for me, but at the end of the day I think this one will do more damage to the enemies of liberty here in the U.S. government than making is easier fr a terrorist to attack us.

And let me just say, I am not willing to give up my 4th Amendment rights for the theoretical security it might provide if I do.

Brad

Darby
25010
Points
Darby 06/13/13 - 11:33 am
5
3
Tell you what Jon Lester, we have a duopoly

only because it works for us. You can rage against it all you want but nothing will change until the Libertarians, or the Greens or whoever present a viable alternative to the American people.

If the people want a parliamentary system or if they want to substitute a new party for one of the existing members of the hated "duopoly" then there is nothing in their way.

Darby
25010
Points
Darby 06/13/13 - 10:52 am
7
2
"And let me just say, I am not willing to give

up my 4th Amendment rights for the theoretical security it might provide if I do."

Brad, two words.....

Too late!

Michael Ryan
644
Points
Michael Ryan 06/13/13 - 11:23 am
11
1
EEL seems to insinuate we're

EEL seems to insinuate we're hypocrites on domestic spying. Here's what we said about it under Bush:
http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2007/04/02/edi_122607.shtml

Nutgraph: FBI Director Robert Mueller has accepted responsibility, noting that none of the violations indicated a willful intent on the part of his agents. Not good enough. Domestic spying in the world's freest country cannot be viewed the least bit cavalierly. It's incumbent on the agency to cross every T and dot every I.

Bizkit
30683
Points
Bizkit 06/13/13 - 11:38 am
3
1
All this data they are

All this data they are collecting didn't prevent the Boston bombing nor likely will prevent many terrorist attacks, but the data will be useful after the fact to find who did it. My freedom and liberty is worth more and my distrust of the powerful who are becoming richer and more powerful-there is no world-wide Star Trek-like altruistic movement-fact the world is heading the other way if anything. The planet is on fire with violence and those seeking power and control and often theocracies-why would anyone think the US is immune? Give me Liberty or Gimme Death because we are dancin' with the Devil-and the Devil is in the details. We need to go back and find all the leaks during the Obama administration-even those that shed a beneficial light as well as the bad. Why spy on the AP when it is a govt official who is the leak=they can't prosecute the free press. Even if this Snowden is a hero he broke the law and should be prosecuted but then again there are a few million illegal immigrants who have also broke federal laws with no repercussion, and then Clapper directly lied under oath-so technically even if for a good reason-he did technically break the law and should be prosecuted no less than Snowden. Like I said the Devil is in the details.

KSL
126321
Points
KSL 06/13/13 - 11:45 am
5
2
So, Eel

As it turns out, it was ' dumb question.'

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 11:58 am
5
2
Thank you Mr Ryan. It gives
Unpublished

Thank you Mr Ryan. It gives me great pleasure to see the smug get slapped down with facts. I asked EEL to provide a link, and you stepped up and did is work for him. I suspect he may have done some research, found out what the truth was, then slithered away instead of apologizing for making false accusations. That's just my opinion.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 12:04 pm
4
1
HA, liberals can dish it out too !

"liberals just attack, they rarely back up their baseless accusations."

I, a liberal, still believe that George W. lied about "WMD's and Mission accomplished".

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 12:19 pm
4
3
If you believe that Bush lied
Unpublished

If you believe that Bush lied about WMD's, then how do you explain this?

http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=15918

And as explained before, the mission to remove Husein from power was accomplished. Notice that the banner did NOT say "War Completed."

A war is a series of missions, the first of which had been accomplished.

Bizkit
30683
Points
Bizkit 06/13/13 - 12:28 pm
2
1
I do believe about the only

I do believe about the only politician-Rep or Dem to not have a video of them talking about their belief in WMDs in Iraq is Obama. It wasn't about whether he had WMD's-they all believed that-but was the threat contained and was there a need for the regime change that Congress had made into law at that particular time after 911.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 12:53 pm
3
2
Thousands of dead Kurds sure
Unpublished

Thousands of dead Kurds sure do wish that Bush was lying about WMD's.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 01:52 pm
2
3
IN YOUR OPINION, right ??!!

"A war is a series of missions, the first of which had been accomplished."

In your opinion, "A war is a series of missions, the first of which had been accomplished." DON'T forget to qualify your comment as one opinion.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 01:54 pm
3
2
That is not my opinion. That
Unpublished

That is not my opinion. That is a fact. Can you name one war that only consisted of one mission?

nofanofobama
6809
Points
nofanofobama 06/13/13 - 02:00 pm
3
2
regime change for iraq was

regime change for iraq was the policy adopted by prez. clinton..then the bush adminstration simply kept that policy...also i do believe saddam was involved in a plot to assassinate the first BUSH..wars have started over the killing of diplomats let alone presidents...except on obumler and hilliary watch...what does it matte??, i didnt know...bush's was at fault and i cant remember ..because benghazi was just a minor dstraction in the campaign n chief daily rountine of constant campaigning..which still continues day after day after day.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 02:01 pm
4
3
Well stated Brad Owens

"He broke the law and his oath, but the information he released just confirms what we all knew in our hearts. The U.S. Intelligence apparatus is being used to collect, store and collate information on all citizens."

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 02:06 pm
2
3
I still don't agree about the two Bush lies

"That is not my opinion. That is a fact. Can you name one war that only consisted of one mission?"

PERHAPS you are correct with your statement, but all of the news media stated no weapons of mass distruction were found.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 02:09 pm
4
2
So the DOD reports that they
Unpublished

So the DOD reports that they DID find WMD's but since SOME, not all of the news media fails to report it (even though I showed you the document, and WIKILEAKS reported it as well) you will say that no WMD's were found? This makes no sense. Did you read the link I provided?

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 02:18 pm
3
4
A quote from the DOD report

"The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, Chu added."

Therefore, NO WEAPONS of mass distruction even from your own source.

The current editorial is not about this subject. Let's just say that I won this one.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 02:26 pm
3
2
So they found weapons, that
Unpublished

So they found weapons, that were toxic and could kill you, but they found no weapons? Huh? IED's aren't used as originally intended, but they still work. Let me just ask you this. How many of those non-weapons that were found would you allow to be stored in your kitchen?

Seeing as you are wrong, we won't be saying that you won anything.

KSL
126321
Points
KSL 06/13/13 - 02:31 pm
3
2
tim

One of Saddam's own generals has stated that the weapons were shipped to Syria in anticipation of war with the US. Why don't you read his book instead of relying on the press that took pleasure in vilifying Bush.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 02:32 pm
2
4
I hate to be wrong, just as well !!

"
So they found weapons, that were toxic and could kill you, but they found no weapons? Huh? IED's aren't used as originally intended, but they still work. Let me just ask you this. How many of those non-weapons that were found would you allow to be stored in your kitchen?

Seeing as you are wrong, we won't be saying that you won anything."

HA, you TELL every poster to "PROVE IT" ! I proved it with the use of your very own source. Wrong is wrong.

KSL
126321
Points
KSL 06/13/13 - 02:34 pm
4
2
HA

Ever feel like you are beating your head against a brick wall?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 02:53 pm
2
2
Yes KSL, I
Unpublished

Yes KSL, I do.

Tim...apparently you didn't understand the link I posted. WMD's were found. They were old. They were not in full repair....but they were found, and they were still deadly. What part of that do you not understand. Keep reading the link and you will find that.

dahreese
4703
Points
dahreese 06/13/13 - 02:59 pm
3
0
elitist liberal 06/13/13 -
Unpublished

elitist liberal 06/13/13 - 07:43 am

"So President Obama is a hypocrite for once having criticized Bush's domestic spying program? Simple question: Did ACES agree with then Senator Obama, or instead defend the Bush program? Ooops, dumb question."

No, it isn't a dumb question, although it flys over the heads of your critics.

The fact is your critics do not understand your question.

And I've got to hand it to AC this time, the editorial is right on target.

Alas, though, criticizing progressives, liberals and Democrats is an AC editorial addiction, and something of critical thought just had to be put in for the "fix."

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 03:00 pm
2
3
HA, you are too, too nice !

I mean you could probably "tell-me-off" and still stay with-in the rules of the posting edicate. It depends on how you define WMD's. Based on the quote from your own source, I think Mr. Chu was in deed confirming "no WMD's"

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 06/13/13 - 03:06 pm
2
3
I will agree about the deadly parts, BUT...

Granted, these weapons had deadly parts, and these parts were still deadly. The current debate MUST BE how do you define WMD's. Again, I believe Mr. Chu was confirming NO WMD's.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 03:06 pm
2
2
No dahrees, it WAS a dumb
Unpublished

No dahrees, it WAS a dumb question, as proven by mr Ryan when he answered the dumb question.

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