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View Diary: Out of Control NSA Spied on U.N., E.U. (214 comments)

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  •  It is what it is... (1+ / 0-)
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    Tony Situ

    But don't mind me.  If you want to believe every country in the world has an intelligence agency but doesn't use it, go right ahead...

    People need to bear in mind the numerous instances "spying" saves lives.  Like during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.  when US intelligence helped reveal truth of Soviet intentions and actions, thus helping avoid WW3.

    As I said, if the American people don't want intelligence agencies, then defund them.  But if the democratic decision is to have them, while we need to make sure they stay within legal boundaries, we should otherwise expect them to do what they do.

    People say "I am against all secrecy!"  Or "I am for always telling the truth!"  But they don't examine what this would mean in practice, for good or ill.  We should strive to do good and avoid doing evil, to behave morally.  But not all choices are clear cut.  Sometimes you are dealing in greys...

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:39:45 AM PDT

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    •  We don't control every other country. We have at (0+ / 0-)

      least some slight impact on ourselves.  We get to decide if we merely want to be as bad as everybody else, or actually try to be that 'shining beacon of democracy' we at least used to pretend we want to be.

      You can make the exact same arguments for and against doing anything about climate change, as well - it's obvious at this point that China is going to be the up and coming polluter, but we can't control them, only play on their sense of 'face' - if we make serious steps to reduce our own emissions, it might, might, have some impact on them so that we don't 'shame them' before the rest of the world.

      •  I agree we should set an example (0+ / 0-)

        But that example is by reforming the NSA if it is shown to have improperly or illegally collected information on our own citizens.  The reason is rule of law.

        But if we have US laws - and we do - that authorize the NSA to collect information on foreign citizens, then that is a different matter.  Spying on foreigners is universal.  And no, it doesn't equate to polluting the environment or warming the planet.

        Respect for rule of law is not an absolute value though.  Totalitarian nations have laws that can violate basic human rights.  The solution in the first instance is to change those laws.  If that cannot be accomplished, then it becomes a grey area.  Since Saddam would not leave peacefully, Bush invaded.  Many - myself included - felt that was committing two wrongs to make a right and imposed too high a price on innocents.

        Choices of grey...

        "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

        by FDRDemocrat on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:41:34 AM PDT

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