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Thomas Ricks has spawned an interesting discussion about whether Edward Snowden should denounce Russia. (Full disclosure - while I usually avoid discussing the "Snowden: Hero or Traitor?" sideshow, I find this discussion more interesting and worthwhile because, in many ways, it applies to us all).

Representative of the general response to Ricks, is Joshua Blanchard's post:

In defense of the claim that he, Snowden and other Americans are not morally obligated to denounce Russia or any other non-U.S. policy, Greenwald often cites this statement by Noam Chomsky, which says,
My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.
[...] these principles and arguments are so simple that it’s almost impossible to believe that an intelligent person doesn’t understand them. Now, perhaps there are ways to challenge these principles, and presumably Ricks would want to. Lucky for him: the principles are very easy to understand, so he should have no trouble addressing them clearly and directly.
I think the principles are, in some degree, distinguishable from the present case. For example, I think a statement from Snowden condemning Russian behavior certainly would be newsworthy, though it is questionable that the Putin government would alter its behavior. Perhaps as importantly to Snowden, it could impact Russian behavior towards Snowden himself. I don't point this out to denigrate Snowden's choices -- he certainly has shown much more courage than I ever have or could. But it is a reality it seems to me.

But I do think that folks taking on Ricks (who hasn't done a particularly good job of articulating or defending his position here) should accept a point, one I make often: the United States, especially with regard to freedom of speech, is superior to almost every other country in the world and is no way comparable on this front to Russia. This, I submit, is a good thing and something to be proud of and to fight to maintain.

Unlike Chomsky, and perhaps Greenwald and Snowden, I think the United States has largely been superior to the rest of the world on freedom of speech and many other freedoms. Implicit in what Chomsky argues is that the United States can be shamed into behaving better at times. This is not true for many, if not most nations, and it seems especially not true for Russia.

I openly accept that, in many ways, I am an American Exceptionalist in that I expect better from the United States. As an American, I demand better from the United States. I think Snowden, Greenwald, Chomsky, et al, should demand more and better from the United States.

That said, the rest of us, Greenwald and Chomsky included, do not suffer under the restrictions Edward Snowden suffers from, and we all can condemn Russia (and any other foreign country) for whatever that's worth (imo not much. Russia does not care.) I personally would not ask it of Snowden, for the reasons stated. YMMV.

Post Script - I would note that denunciations of Russia by citizens of the world is not, per se, a foreign policy consideration. The reality of what the United States can do about Russian behavior in the Crimea, for example, is largely nil. I certainly would not demand US "action" on Crimea. Mostly because there is little the US can do. The EU can do much more. Whether they should is another matter.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this will prove controversial within the site (31+ / 0-)

    dynamics:

    the United States, especially with regard to freedom of speech, is superior to almost every other country in the world and is no way comparable on this front to Russia. This, I submit, is a good thing and something to be proud of and to fight to maintain.

    Unlike Chomsky, and perhaps Greenwald and Snowden, I think the United States has largely been superior to the rest of the world on freedom of speech and many other freedoms. Implicit in what Chomsky argues is that the United States can be shamed into behaving better at times. This is not true for many, if not most nations, and it seems especially not true for Russia.

    but I tend to agree.  

    anyway I don't need Snowden to do anything, just like I never did.  if he says something, fine.  if not, fine.  the talk of his bravery, lack thereof, his commitment to "justice", his self-serving nature, his handlers, whether or not he's a hero/traitor... I don't care anymore, to the extent I ever did.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:44:40 AM PDT

  •  Very thoughtful, Armando. (30+ / 0-)

    I don't expect him to do so because he needs Russia. But it is an interesting exercise to consider.

    FWIW, I share your take on the US in general as you described it above.

  •  and why doesn't Pussy riot denounce the US? (21+ / 0-)

    instead they appeared on Colbert's show. What's with that?

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47:21 AM PDT

    •  i expect colbert (23+ / 0-)

      to denounce france. just for the thrill of it.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because maybe, being from Russia, (29+ / 0-)

      they understand that Russia is even worse and if they're to make any progress they might as well try to enlist the help of Western audiences. I'm not sure what gaining favor with Russia might do for Snowden's professed cause of overturning the US surveillance state.

      Feminist protesters in the US aren't typically whipped with belts. Journalists aren't routinely beaten and killed. The state doesn't tacitly sponsor efforts by pseudo-private citizen groups to find and out gay people so they can beat them within in inch of their lives.

      I'd even give Snowden a pass since he's in a tough spot, but how does Glenn Greenwald get a pass on that stuff.

      You'd think that Russia's anti-gay laws and oppression and murder of journalists might hit home to him.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:33:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to rec this a thousand times (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando

        The US is at worse is like Russia as its best.

        There is simply no comparison.

        •  I can't quite agree. The US pre-2001 may have (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, ozsea1, burnt out, 3goldens

          been far better, but with the open torturing of foreign citizens, with the imprisonment without trial at Gitmo, with the renditions, the invasion of Iraq, the use of drones without trial - those are all actions that I consider worse than Russia at its best.  I don't think its worse than Russia at its worst, but its certainly damaged America's reputation around the world as a free and fair country, respected as a place for liberty, equality and justice.

        •  Killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq is Russia (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, 3goldens

          at it's best?

          Somehow I remain skeptical of this claim.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:34:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So when 100's of people die in Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

            And Russia invades a sovereign nation, it's not a big deal. Hey the US is bad also.

            By that logic the Iraq War was totally justified because France, Germany and countless other countries did it also in the past. Who are they to complain?

            I don't think its worse than Russia at its worst, but its certainly damaged America's reputation around the world as a free and fair country, respected as a place for liberty, equality and justice.
            Really? This is why progressives can't have nice things. Why not just go full Godwin?

            The NSA possibly reading your emails is not worse than poisoning political dissidents with radioactive substances, murdering reporters and beating LGBT people for no reason.

            Pretending that it is is deeply, deeply offensive to the brave Russian journalists who lost their lives.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:46:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

              You said the US at its worse is better than Russia at it's best. Killing hundreds of thousands is far worse than what's happening in Ukraine. And of course that's only recent history.

              I never said anything about the occupation of Ukraine being justified, don't put words in my mouth.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:51:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  But Mom, Russia is worse (11+ / 0-)

        ... is about the lamest defense of U.S. government policies that I can imagine.

        Demands that Snowden criticize the country currently housing him are made either by people who aren't thinking it through or by people who are against Snowden in general and offer such criticism to make him look bad, when they know he's in a tough spot, as you mention.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:52:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't read Jeff's comment that way (8+ / 0-)

          And I certainly didn't write what you infer.

          •  No, it wasn't adressing your diary (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Armando, 3goldens

            It was addressing part of what commenter said, but my comment was mostly general, and I noted that he noted that Snowden was in a tough spot.

            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

            by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:02:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  specifically this part of his comment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Armando, 3goldens

            What's this about, if not claiming that other being worse than the US makes the US good.

            Feminist protesters in the US aren't typically whipped with belts. Journalists aren't routinely beaten and killed. The state doesn't tacitly sponsor efforts by pseudo-private citizen groups to find and out gay people so they can beat them within in inch of their lives.

            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

            by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:04:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not a US=good Russia=bad situation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Dude 415

              Both can be bad. One can be bad and one can be worse. To me, it's deeply offensive and condescending to Ukrainians and Russians suffering right now to tell them we can't be bothered to care because our government (which we disagree with) does things like drone strikes.

              Our government sucked in 2003. AFAIK it didn't stop many of us from protesting the Iraq war. Why should we be silent when another country is invaded?

              I honestly don't understand how you can tacitly condone whipping women with belts for singing a bad punk song just because OWS protesters were pepper sprayed. Both are bad. Why GG won't comment on Russia I just can't understand if he's a truth-telling heroic reporter.

              Lower pay for equal work for women in the US is bad. Female genital mutilation in parts of the developing world is very bad. Child marriage is very bad as well.

              Can we not say that holding a girl down, cutting off her clitoris with a sharp stone and then marrying her off at 9 years old to a 50 year old man is a bad thing and we should oppose it? Or should we remain neutral because we haven't come far enough in the US.

              Actually, I'm a little bit afraid to hear the answer from some of the people here.

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:54:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And this comment is where you've gone from (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego

                just annoyingly pesty to making an offensive and a-holish comment, arguing against your disgustedly constructed straw man.

                My mistake was in assuming you were capable of more.

                Now I know better than to converse with you.

                Shame on you.

                Feel free to repeat more of the same nonsense and have the last word, but I won't be reading your comment.

                Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:41:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Good gods (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, doroma, NYFM, gramofsam1

          Are you seriously posing this as an either/or situation, some sort of odd false dilemma? I think you need to think through your debate skills.

          http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

          by DAISHI on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:09:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not feminists, just OWS protestors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, enhydra lutris

        And while Russia gets no pass and IS far worse than the U.S., those guys that beat Pussy Riot were not officials of the State, whereas in the OWS, all the OWS beatings came at the hands and courtesy of badged law enforcement.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:47:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many OWS protesters were shot by (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anna M, gramofsam1, AaronInSanDiego

          police snipers?

          Or was that a CIA/Ukrainian fascist plot and those people actually killed themselves?

          How many American journalists are disappeared or murdered by US state officials every year?

          Americans don't understand how good we have it. It reminds me of the GOP rep's holding up purple fingers like they were just as brave as the Iraqis who voted.

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:49:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So the fact that protesters are not shot (0+ / 0-)

            by police or reporters are "disappeared" is the measure about how good is our free speech? Thank for clearing that up. By that standard, sure, I guess the free speech climate here is wonderful.

            I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

            by pajoly on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:16:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In response I suppose we could ask rhetorically (13+ / 0-)

    why should he? I find it already somewhat ironic that he should choose shelter in a state led by the ex-head of the KGB. Snowden's primary issue is privacy and the collection of information by the NSA. Why should he comment about the occupation of Crimea?

  •  reporters without borders (15+ / 0-)

    dropped us to an egregious 46th on press freedom. of course, that's 102 places higher than russia.

    i don't blame snowden, considering he doesn't have a lot of options, right now.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:53:26 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad Thomas Ricks... (7+ / 0-)

    ...isn't going to go easy on Greenwald or Snowden anymore.

    Btw, Snowden has spoken up about the missing Malayasian airliner AND the recent META scuffles here at DKos.  Wish I had the links.

    all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    by 4kedtongue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:57:31 AM PDT

  •  Snowden was told to shut up in exchange for asylum (20+ / 0-)

    "Don't make trouble for us", Putin said: that was the price of Snowden's safety.

    Snowden would be an absolute moron to alienate his protectors, no matter how abhorrent he might find them to be.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:00:51 PM PDT

  •  maybe the guy restricts himself (15+ / 0-)

    to making statements about what he knows well, rather than spout off about stuff he knows jack about.

    Snowden is unquestionably very knowledgeable about the US national security apparatus. He probably knows fairly little about Russia. So he sticks to what he knows.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:03:11 PM PDT

  •  Probably the same reason (14+ / 0-)

    the Ukrainian Jewish community doesn't seem to have bad things to say about the scary ultra-right-wing elements in the new Ukrainian government.

    When you're a hostage, you don't bad-mouth your captors.  When you're a guest, you don't bad-mouth your hosts.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:06:15 PM PDT

    •  Neither hostages nor guests. (7+ / 0-)

      The Jewish community, particularly in the western and central parts of the state, was very active in the Maidan protests - see e.g. Iosef Zisels, Dov Blaikh, the Eurasian Jewish Congress, etc. - and have members in the same coalition government.  Among the Jewish community in the east, especially prominent politicians like Mikhail Dobkin and Gennedy Kernes, some have been outspoken against the rightwing elements of the new government.  There is nothing in your comment that resembles how the Jewish community has responded to the last few months of political turmoil.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:01:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the Jewish community in the western part (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, 3goldens, Lepanto

        of Ukraine is in a coalition with ultranationalists of an often decidedly anti-Semitic bent.  We'll see how that works out.

        Jews in the eastern part of Ukraine are understandably in a better position to articulate criticism of the new Ukraine government; they might not be part of Ukraine for much longer anyway.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:11:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I totally agree with that last sentence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando

      but can't help laughing when I consider how guests here bad-mouth the host.

      Proud to be a Democrat

      by Lying eyes on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:30:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Last time I was a guest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        I wasn't fed clickbait for dinner. ;-)

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:49:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Crimea (0+ / 0-)

    "These nations, including Russia..., have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless" - Edward Snowden, with a straight face.

    by Drocedus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:07:31 PM PDT

    •  I've not seen those (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, duhban, middleagedhousewife, jrooth

      that would be new. He's been pretty quiet about Russia.

      •  How Greenwald gets a pass is beyond me (10+ / 0-)

        Snowden is in a tough spot. I don't particularly care for the guy personally but I understand he isnt' really in a position to fight against the surveillance state.

        Greenwald on the other hand you'd think would be one of the first to use his considerable media presence to go after Russia's terrible LGBT laws, Russia's open support of groups that out and then attack LGBT people, Russia's murdering of journalists, Russia's constant surveillance of reporters etc.

        Given that he either supported the first Iraq war at the time or couldn't be bothered to care about it depending on who you talk to, I guess I could understand how he might support Putin's invasion.

        It does however IMO show his true colors. He wants attention, he opposes US intervention throughout the world and he likes attacking US foreign policy.

        Other countries, he could really care less about except to the extent that they interfere or oppose US interests.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:38:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hate Greenwald (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, 3goldens

          can't stand him.  Don't agree with him about anything.

          It is impossible, though, not to give him his due here.  But for him all of this may never have gotten out.

          As I said, I think he is pompous, and frequently very wrong (see criticism of Obama and his Supreme Court Appointments) .  

          But that matters not a whit when you compare it to what he has done here.

          He gets a pass because he has done something of enormous significance.

          •  he praised Sotomayor (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradyB

            and bashed Kagen, as I did.  But that is criticizing one and praising the other, is it not?  Just asking.

            To the NSA douchebag who is reading this: "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

            by Indiana Bob on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:33:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that he refuses to say anything (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          riprof, Lawrence, Anna M

          critical of Russia, plus the complete lack of any NSA docs being released that would embarrass Russia, make me think that an agreement was made to that effect.  In exchange, Russia would give asylum to Snowden.  That would be the least damning (to Greenwald) scenario.

          As for Snowden, it's obvious why he won't say anything, he's likely living in FSB safe houses and has to be on his best behavior.  Can you imagine Snowden's quality of life without access to the internet?  That's the least they could do.

          "These nations, including Russia..., have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless" - Edward Snowden, with a straight face.

          by Drocedus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:57:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How PhillyJeff gets a pass is beyond me (5+ / 0-)

          Snowden is in a tough spot. I don't particularly care for the guy personally but I understand he isnt' really in a position to fight against the surveillance state (our's or Russia's?).

          PhillyJeff on the other hand you'd think would be one of the first to use his considerable dailykos presence to go after the police brutality in Philadelphia.

          http://sports.yahoo.com/...

          It does however IMO show his true colors. He wants attention, he support police brutality in Philly and he likes attacking US investigative journalist.

          see how this works PhillyJeff?

          To the NSA douchebag who is reading this: "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

          by Indiana Bob on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:58:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't really understand the non-sequitur (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poco

            I take it you're basically saying that Glenn Greenwald is not actually a heroic truth-telling reporter who stands up for the little guy, but is actually equatable to an internet poster.

            I guess I agree?

            I take it you care about as little as Glenn about the reporters murdered in Russia for reporting on government abuse. Do you care about the LGBT people getting beaten in the streets on video?

            Is GG's access to Snowden really that important, given that GG himself has said Snowden has no more classified info that hasn't been released that could fall into Russian hands and has said everything he's going to say?

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:43:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what does this mean? (0+ / 0-)

              you said:

              Is GG's access to Snowden really that important, given that GG himself has said Snowden has no more classified info that hasn't been released that could fall into Russian hands and has said everything he's going to say?
              has NO more classified info that HASN'T been released that COULD fall into Russian hands

              What are you talking about?

              To the NSA douchebag who is reading this: "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

              by Indiana Bob on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:27:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I can't find any evidence of this, so (5+ / 0-)

      please ignore that tweet.

      "These nations, including Russia..., have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless" - Edward Snowden, with a straight face.

      by Drocedus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:31:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Got any links? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando

      I wouldn't put it past Glenn.

  •  Do you know that Snowden disagrees (8+ / 0-)

    with what Russia is doing?  Or even has the capacity to express an opinion on it?  He's not necessarily an authority on Russia's foreign policy.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:09:57 PM PDT

  •  Good post, Armando. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm still trying to figure this Snowden stuff out and this was helpful.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:10:14 PM PDT

  •  I think... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    ...Snowden took what he could get to stay out of a solitary cell.  The price of his "freedom" is that he is a defacto prop for Putin.  That wasn't his intent but that's how it played out.

    O

    •  A prop seems the wrong word to me (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ducktape, ColoTim, jrooth, cybrestrike, poco
      •  Seems wrong to me as well, but "tool" might (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth, Lawrence

        work.  Something to poke at Obama and to take heat off him by showing that the big rival isn't pristine and clean.  It's worked very well for Putin.

        •  Er, a tool is generally *used* for something. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, 3goldens

          It's not like Snowden is parroting Putin on this. He's saying nothing.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:49:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm referring more to Putin's being able to use (0+ / 0-)

            Snowden to hit the US on spying; I wasn't particularly referring to any use Putin might try and make over the Ukraine situation.  I think other commenters have it right - Snowden is limiting himself to commenting upon his area of expertise rather than becoming an anti-American who would thus be able to be more-easily despised.  I don't recall anything that he has done that wasn't plausibly out of his respect for the Constitution with the realization that he was not going to be able to expose the wrongdoing without bringing to bear upon him the full weight of the US government if they could get their hands on him.

  •  that aspect of Chomsky is why I generally (5+ / 0-)

    reject most of what he says.

    Like you I wonder whether Snowden will condemn Russia.I personally suspect the answer is no and while I think that undermines his argument of 'moralistic imperative' I also can not blame him. In Snowden's position I doubt I'd publicly speak up against Putin either.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:16:16 PM PDT

  •  Wouldn't expect Snowden (11+ / 0-)

    to endanger himself by denouncing Russia, that would be ridiculous.

    Greenwald has just ducked and mocked any questions.

    We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

    by AnnetteK on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:18:20 PM PDT

  •  This is weak-kneed cowardice... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drocedus, Armando

    wrapped up as semi-intellectualism.

    We're supposed to believe because a person is not able to wrap their brain around the fact that other countries commit FAR worse atrocities than the US (see Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Russia) that we're supposed to agree that those other atrocities don't really matter?

    Why? Because Glen Greenwald and Noam Chomsky say so? Come on, man!

    By the way, I guess this means we should stop paying attention to what Israel is doing in Palestine, right?

  •  Reporters who speak out against the Russian (8+ / 0-)

    government are often found dead in back alleys.  Like Anna Politkovskaya as an example.  There are hundreds on the list.  Snowden would "disappear" somewhere if he said anything, and he probably knows it.

  •  If it's an argument between a lightweight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, duhban, Drocedus

    like Greenwald and the man who helped get us out of Iraq with Fiasco (Tom Ricks), sorry...I'm picking Ricks every time

  •  Do Russians, and now Snowden, have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, duhban

    censored internet access?  Do they even know what is going on?

    "These nations, including Russia..., have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless" - Edward Snowden, with a straight face.

    by Drocedus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:22:55 PM PDT

  •  Have you ever read or seen a word of the (8+ / 0-)

    interview that Vladimir Putin gave to an AP reporter last September?

    Putin told an intriguing story about Snowden in that interview. Did a word of it ever get published in the US?

    How about this picture? It was taken on July 12, 2013 during  the press conference Snowden gave at Sheremetyevo Airport after being held in the transit area for several weeks. It has been seen around the world.
    Do people in America ever think to ask about the women seated with Snowden?  

    The woman on Snowden's left in the white blouse is Tanya Lokshina, a famous Russian human rights activist. It was the first time anyone had seen Snowden in public since he landed in Moscow. How did Tanya Lokshina, of all people, end up sitting there next to him?

    If you're an American, you wouldn't recognize her. You probably had no idea that Russia has serious hard core human rights activists. It takes real courage to speak up in Russia, knowing that Anna Politkovskaya and Natalya  Estemirova ended up dead for their work exposing the genocide in Chechnya.

    So the picture isn't an inconsequential thing and there's a thread that connects it to the odd anecdote Putin related. He's shrewd and calculating and, by the way, he doesn't like Snowden.

    At what point do people start to realize that there has to be more to the story than what they've been told?

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:23:25 PM PDT

    •  I read reports of the interview at the time (0+ / 0-)

      and as I recall the transcript was published by AP as well. I'm not sure what you're hinting at though. Are you implying some connection between Putin's reference to Snowden fighting for human rights and this appearance with Tanya Lokshina?

      How about spelling it out for us?

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:17:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm hoping curiosity will move readers to consider (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eternal Hope

        discovering information on their own instead of relying on the mass media to feed it to them.  

        The public isn't getting all of the important information all of the time from the mass media. Television, which is where most still go for news, saturates viewers with interpretations of events, leaving out factual details essential to understanding the truth.  

        My diaries are based on the idea that people who want to know the truth manage to find it. The opinions people have about the facts they discover is up to them.  But opinions should be based on all of the facts and logic.

        I'm swimming against the tide in a world where people have canned opinions about matters without much information or knowledge.

        I googled for the AP interview and I still don't find a full transcript. I prefer sources like eng.kremlin.ru if I want information on Russia.

        The thread connecting the photo and the interview is obviously human rights. Putin has a horrible record and Russia is very convoluted.

        Asking why Snowden doesn't preach human rights in Russia is incredibly obtuse to my way of thinking. I bring the photo and the interview as two pieces of documentary evidence for everyone to judge on their own.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:42:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obviously you can't be referring to (6+ / 0-)

    the few true investigative journalists we have, like Greenwald, Scahill, Hedges, because they surely would disagree.

    ...the United States, especially with regard to freedom of speech, is superior to almost every other country in the world
    I mean, your comment is true for those enmeshed and embedded in the mainstream establishment storyline. But for anyone seriously attempting to pull back the curtain on capital cronyism (sic), plutocracy, kleptocracy, fraudulent meritocracy, trickle-down economics, and the hopelessly catastrophic rigged system increasingly disenfranchising everyone not within the .1% and imperiling the habitat for all life on this planet, then just fucking fuggedaboutit. In that case, you are public enemy #1, just like the whistleblowers, Occupy, and so many others fighting the Class War in the trenches against not just Republicans but VIRTUALLY ALL CORPORATE AND OTHERWISE ESTABLISHMENT DEMOCRATS.

    All you have to do is look at the results of what we are hearing on mainstream media and what the average mainstream American thinks about the threat of plutocracy or Climate Change.

    Mass media lies are the mainstream storyline not in spite of corporate Ds but because of them...

    If there were freedom of speech, we wouldn't be talking about Snowden.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:25:07 PM PDT

    •  Even if I accept as true what you say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, mimi, reginahny

      And I disagree with much of it in terms of government repression (other types is a different story), there still remains no comparison to say, Russia.

    •  the oppression of freedom of speech in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Mark Lippman

      US is different from the oppression of freedom of speech in Russia. US uses psychological mind manipulation and corporate profit driven persuasion by the msmTV media and uses its influence on the internet the same way, under the radar, working with intentional confusion and embedding con-writers into any group of free thinking and free talking people. They try to "shut you down or ridicule you or denigrade you or introduce feelings of guilt in your conscience". That's all of the "oppresiion of speech" you will encounter in the US, I think. To voice your opinions at the workplace or in the military brings you more trouble than sanity. So, most people are silent or talk adjusted to appease their employer's expectations.

      So far the US doesn't kill people who talk their mind, they also do not imprison you for it. They may fire you, if you have a role in the media and talk truth to power or just talk shit.They use other means to silence you and people even have difficulties to realize those methods.

      I guess in Russia, you have to better STFU or else. That's a huge difference, doesn't mean that the US in other ways isn't as suffocating, as Russia is fear inducing and brutal.

      I agree with Armando that in the US you have  the option to talk freely any sh*t you want, but then the US is also absolutely and completely not willing to give a damn about your thoughts. If they listen, then just to know how to beat your arguments, not because they care. They are not willing to listen. Your free speech is worth peanuts when it comes to influence on policies.

      Free speech is happening in the US, I believe, in academia and sometimes on blogs. That's it.
      And sometimes (may be) in churches, but that's a tricky thing to find out about.

      And what is happening in academia, mostly stays in academia and you won't find that the free expressions in academia hop over into the minds of your voting elected representatives.

      So, you are left with the feeling, it's a free speech country, where the speech is going in into one ear to escape as soon as possible through the other ear without having touched any minds.

      The battles over free thinker's opinions vs governmental lackey's official political correct opinions is talked to death online and/or on msm.

      I am not sure how many such battles of free thinkers in Russia are talked to death after the fact or before they even have reached any substantial audience. I think without living there and following this locally in Russia, one shouldn't judge too fast.

      But people end up "disappearing". I would rather choose the US freedom of speech oppression vs. the Russian one. That's said for the time after the collapse of the Sowjet Union, In the cold war times it doesn't apply at all. Freedom of Speech was an alien from Mars in the Sowjet Union and all the communist Eastern European countries and in the US free speech was a taboo during the cold war until people were so fed up that the civil rights movement evolved.

      Have to look at it in context of the times and political systems you live in. Though I could find other countries where freedom of speech is more respected than in the US. So, US is not exceptionally the best, just bascially so so.

    •  Superior to almost every other country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      except for 41 of them, according to Reporters Without Borders …

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There isn't a limited amount of outrage (15+ / 0-)

    as we see everyday here at this site. One can be critical of one's own country and critical of another.

    In fact, if one has conviction for a cause there shouldn't be boundaries and I expect those fighting for the cause to fight it everywhere.

  •  A nice thought, but I see no evidence that (5+ / 0-)
    the United States, especially with regard to freedom of speech, is superior to almost every other country in the world
    Quite the opposite and absurd in its blindness in my view, especially as ALL our speech is recorded, stored and searchable at the whims of the security state.

    Further, when the current Democratic president resurrects an obscure espionage act to target members of the media and the press, the statement falls on its face.

    And of course, we have countless examples of "free speech zones" and state attacks with pepper spray, truncheons and beanbag cannons in collusion with America, Inc. that shows the lie of American free speech for what it is, the right to shout into the wind and be left alone so long as it does not threaten corporate interests or the power structure in a real way.

    And in

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:43:40 PM PDT

    •  I think that is obviously not true (0+ / 0-)

      Consider for example, the UK.

      You seriously can't compare it to the US.

    •  Sure (6+ / 0-)
      especially as ALL our speech is recorded, stored and searchable at the whims of the security state.
      But you still can say pretty much anything - just look at the comments here. Most countries on this planet wouldn't allow anything like DailyKos.
      •  you gotta admit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, Yoshimi

        we make it easier for our betters to collect all the data on us they need. :-)

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:13:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said Yoshimi, shouting into the wind (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, 420 forever, Code Monkey

        Protest in front of a bank em masse or try to block pipeline builders and see much how your free speech is respected. Our repression is far more sophisticated and calculated. We are free to fill up the hotels attending a progressive rally featuring all the top liberal minds. No one in power cares because the powerful know the American left has been rendered impotent. Start having an effect, like OWS was beginning to achieve and the State comes down on you like a hammer, using provocateurs, funneling your march in ways that don't impact commerce or directs you into a pen like they did on the bridge in NY.

        Oh goody. We can rant without ours doors being kicked in at 3AM. That's nice, but it hardly equates to a robust freedom of speech.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:04:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think Armando (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ExpatGirl

          was making the case that it was better than other countries, not that it was perfect.

          •  We're Number 42! We're Number 42! n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Yoshimi

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:52:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Armando said specifically (0+ / 0-)

            that we are near the tops in the world for free speech. There are some 190 countries in the world. We are 42 according to Reporters Without Borders. That's hardly something to brag about and certainly not "near the top" unless one has vastly low expectations.

            I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

            by pajoly on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:18:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Snowden denouncing Russia (9+ / 0-)

    Would be like Thomas Ricks denouncing the magazine Foreign Policy for hiring blitheringly incompetent hacks for columnists.

  •  Expecting more from your country doesn't make you (4+ / 0-)

    An Exceptionalist, it makes you a proper citizen.

    We should all expect more from this (potentially) astounding country.

  •  Part of the deal for Snowden (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando
  •  Why jeopardize the dasha in Sochi with access (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    to a tax-free ATM in Crimea

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:51:14 PM PDT

  •  Denounce Russia for what? For rather cleverly (6+ / 0-)

    opposing covert US and EU schemes to destabilize a legitimate government? Opposing the installation of out-and-out Nazis in critical positions in the junta ruling Ukraine? Or for supporting self-determination in inconvenient places like Crimea instead of worthy places like Kosovo?

    Hopefully Kerry and Obama will soon get over their hissy fits and get us back to adult behavior toward a country that is critically important to world order. Under no circumstances should we become involved in squabbles between Russia and former Soviet republics.

  •  Snowden isn't under an "obligation" to "denounce" (9+ / 0-)

    anyone, or anything. He hasn't assumed the role of Gandhi or Christ, for that matter, so far as I know. He has chosen to reveal what he knows about US surveillance tactics and methods, and the deception and hypocrisy of the US government in carrying them out.  To the extent those implicate moral issues in his mind, he is free to comment on them, just as we all are.  The fact that as a consequence of this he's had to obtain asylum outside the U.S. doesn't require him to jump through hoops at Ricks' or anyone else's whim just to pass some kind of "morality test," the nature of which would seem to be arbitrary and relative depending upon whose "standards" he's supposed to be living up to. Clearly Snowden expected more from his country than what he now knows to be the truth. Is he to be blamed for having his moral sense violated? Did he have any corresponding expectation of "moral" behavior from Russia?  If not--and I suspect not--then this is a contrived "issue."

    This seems like an unproductive and largely circular way to divert the focus from what he's revealed to why he's revealed it, which in my mind is not particularly relevant.  It's not Snowden's "morality" that is really the issue, but the "morality" of the actions he has revealed. I don't understand why Ricks would now be so concerned about one and not the other, particularly when he has expressed sympathy in the past for Snowden's actions.

  •  Scripps Howard 2013 best journalism - Snowden (4+ / 0-)
    PUBLIC SERVICE REPORTING

    The Guardian US receives $10,000 and the Roy W. Howard Award for Public Service Reporting for “The NSA Files,” coverage led by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras, with assistance from James Ball and Spencer Ackerman.

     From being the first to report the National Security Agency was collecting millions of U.S. citizens’ phone records, to carefully vetting vast amounts of information and then, conducting the first exclusive video interview with Edward Snowden – the source of the top secret documents – judges said, “The Guardian US was the go-to media for one of 2013’s biggest news stories, prompting public discussion of NSA policies.”

    Scripps Howard Awards Honor Nation’s Best 2013 Journalism
  •  Don't go there buddy. Bad very poor form. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, 3goldens

    A common rhetorical technique in the right wing toolbox is sorta like this "You said A on subject A, and now we demand you say B on subject B.  If not you have no moral or other standing at all".  I am sure Medieval rhetoricians concocted a name for this device. This has a strong element of strawman as the right wing of course defines what was said about a subject.

    Here is an example.  After Obama essentially condemned Zimmerman's violence by saying that that Trayvon Martin could have been his son, there were some highly visible black-on-white murders.  The right wing (unless you simply don't pay attention to right wing voices) demanded condemnation of the black killers.  Obama did not.  Right wingers made a nexus between the events to make Obama look like he is racist against white people.

    The diarist essentially made a nexus between Snowden's revelations and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.  And by implication, isn't what the diarist wrote--that Snowden lacks credibility, standing because he did not condemn Russia (your title said Russia and not Putin by the way).  Hey, maybe Snowden believes the invasion justified--who knows.  The point is not Snowden's opinion but to delegitimize him.

    By the way, this rhetorical technique is powerful in the real world.  Just ask  Shirley Sherrod.  She was fired because the right wing essentially said "Obama is against racism.  Shirely Sherrod is a racist.  Obama must thus act thus and thusly."  And Obama's staff did act on right wing demands to behave as they demanded.  

  •  Chomsky was denouncing US violence. (5+ / 0-)
    My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state
    I have no doubt that today it is true that the U. S. carries out the majority of the violence in the world.  However despicable Putin has been to gay folks, in pure numbers this must be true.  The Iraq wars, Afghanistan war, drones, the police seem to kill and torture at whim.  The U. S. condones torture. And as many have pointed out, the U. S. does not rank very high on freedom of the press. Consider the chilling use of the Espionage Act against whistle blowers.  

    I seriously fear for our country.  I fear even more that others seem unable or unwilling to see.  

  •  We are best in world as to Freedom of Speech (9+ / 0-)

    Hard to believe this is seriously questioned.  Bear in mind the issue is not whether we have achieved some theoretical perfection.  The issue is how we stack up in comparative terms.

    On the First Amendment, which underpins the legal basis of our freedom of speech, the key is that we also have a constitutional rule of law that enables its protection.  Plenty of other countries have similar "freedom of speech" provisions on their books.  But they lack impartial courts that have generated the jurisprudence that enables defense of that constitutional right.  Again, we are not perfect (e.g. the flag burning mess), but we have a lot to be proud of.

    Our closest allies, the Europeans, have content restrictions that would be unconstitutional in the USA.  You can argue whether they have a good basis, or whether we should go in their direction.  But the fact is that you can go to jail in Prague or Paris for saying something that is legal in the USA.

    In most of the rest of the world, especially the greatest critics of the USA, they have dubious to terrible records on freedom of speech.  Again, you can argue cases where content restrictions are reasonable in their situations (e.g. Rwanda as to fanning ethnic hatreds over the airwaves or Internet).  The issue here is just who has greatest leeway.

    Our uniqueness is proven by incidents like the Florida Koran-burning idiot.  The world outrage was because few if any countries would have allowed such a thing.  

    We have decided that, despite the costs it sometimes brings us, it is better to let speech be as free as possible.

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

    by FDRDemocrat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:22:03 PM PDT

    •  Eh … … … theoretically. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      Especially as relates to the freedom of the press. Sure, we don't have an Official Secrets Act. Except for all intents and purposes we do; people who publish classified information (that wasn't leaked to them by the White House) get the hammer around here.

      Yes, it's good that we let racists have their say. That's really not the most important part.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:57:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Classification is another issue (0+ / 0-)

        Classification, property and privacy are among the countervailing interests, along with public safety.  In those situations you are talking about rights colliding with one another.

        Classification is something created and endorsed by the American people to allow certain government activities to proceed.  I doubt we want everyone and their mother, for example, knowing what the vulnerabilities to sabotage are for a nuclear power plant.  Or where you can most fruitfully poison the drinking water of a major American city.

        Ditto for privacy.  Your freedom of information runs up in certain situations with someone's expectation of privacy.  You can demand to know who is Secretary of Defense.  You cannot demand to know his/her sexual orientation.

        On intellectual property, there are some things that are open source and some things that are proprietary.  The "all information must be free!" crowd shouldn't be able to freely seize the fruits of someone else's hard work.

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

        by FDRDemocrat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:13:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Classification makes it illegal to LEAK. (0+ / 0-)

          It does NOT make it illegal to PUBLISH a leak. That makes all the difference in the world. It is the difference between the government prudently protecting legitimate secrets and the end of the press as a meaningful check on government power.

          Christ, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard the “you people think nothing should be secret” canard …

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:30:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Putting words in people's mouth (0+ / 0-)

            I never said "you people think nothing should be secret."  You are arguing with your own straw man here.

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

            by FDRDemocrat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:31:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So … you were just rambling for no reason? (0+ / 0-)

              Funny, it sure seemed like you were lecturing me on the reasons it's okay that we actually have a hella shitty record on press freedom.

              Classification is not “another issue” when the government abuses it to evade press scrutiny. Spare me the talk of nuclear plants—it's the abuse that's the issue.

              Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
              Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
              Code Monkey like you!

              Formerly known as Jyrinx.

              by Code Monkey on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:37:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You must have read another comment (0+ / 0-)

                I noted that we are not perfect but we have much to be proud of.  Everything is relative.  

                You clearly do not read comments before you type your answers.

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

                by FDRDemocrat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:28:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I feel obliged to clarify a couple of things for (0+ / 0-)

      you.

      But the fact is that you can go to jail in Prague or Paris for saying something that is legal in the USA.
      I can speak about France, not Prague, or other places. It's
      Declaration of Rights has something the Bill of Rights lacks.
      Article IV
      Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.
      Article IV was the foundation for passing a law in 1972 that criminalizes bigotry/racism/hate speech. It clarifies the fact that there is no "right to bigotry" in France. Society has no obligation to tolerate intolerance.

      The flip side in the US is illustrated in the 'religious freedom' law recently passed in Arizona and vetoed by the governor. Since you tolerate bigotry you leave room for rightwing extremists masquerading as Christians to try to legalize discrimination against gays, for example, in the AZ law.

      Americans justify absolute free speech by promoting it as a free exchange of ideas. As if the anti-bigotry law's purpose is to stifle opposing political views. Or as if its purpose could be perverted to use in that manner. It's interesting that Americans are intelligent enough to be discerning about that. But they don't see how their absolute free speech is being turned inside out and perverted anyway.

      In the day to day, France seems more free and open in speech than the US despite the jail time up to one year written into the law. This is a very high profile topic right now too. I don't know of anyone who actually went to prison under the '72 law unless the offense was compounded by physical violence or murder.

      I'm fully aware that most Americans can't begin to comprehend how this law could work.  I think that says more about Americans than anything else. With absolute free speech UC Davis students were pepper sprayed in the face. USMC Scott Olsen suffered a severe head wound when police fired a projectile at him from a few yards away at an Occupy protest. The Sunday morning ritual is politicians lying to the American public on tv without the slightest concern about being questioned or challenged.

      That's your absolute free speech. Burning Qurans. God bless America.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:34:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Feigned incomprehension? Doesn't Ricks get it? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Lepanto, Armando, 3goldens
    It is difficult to believe that commentators like Thomas Ricks at Foreign Policy don’t actually understand why it’s silly and disingenuous to demand that people like Edward Snowden denounce the crimes of places like Russia.
    Feigned incomprehension?

    then there is Greenwald's comment on the TPM article

    Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald  2h

    This genuinely makes me laugh: the innuendo, the smear tactics, the logical idiocy  http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...
     View summary

    here is the link to the TPM article again

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

  •  perhaps simply because Snowden is not Russian? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Armando

    Snowden is American, and criticism (like charity) should begin at home...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:37:46 PM PDT

  •  Chomsky's condemned other countries for 40+ years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, corvo, Drocedus

    I might not agree with everything Chomsky has ever said, but he never had a problem condemning U.S. and Soviet Imperialism (during the Cold War) in the same breath.  

    So "I won't say anything bad about Russia because "Chomsky""  isn't a very persuasive or honest argument.

  •  Ricks is off his rocker (5+ / 0-)

    Snowden is not some kind of international court or moral authority

    Snowden is an American who got mightily pissed off at the truly over-the-top spying on Americans by the NSA

    asking why Snowden is not denouncing Russia is just disingenious obfuscation

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Snowden's accusations go far beyond the borders (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drocedus, Gary Norton, destiny1

    of the United States.  Leveling charges at the U.S., England, Australia, etc., while keeping silent on Russian oppression because Putin is being nice to him, is, well, 'enlightening'.

    'Slower Traffic - Keep Right!'

    by luvbrothel on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:28:09 PM PDT

    •  Yes, it says a lot about how much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      people fear Putin.

      He's not agitating against Putin because he's not an idiot and he likes breathing. This is not hyperbole. People who threaten Putin have a remarkable habit of dying.

      Putin is not “being nice to him.” It's not like he chose Russia to be the place where he was stranded after his passport was revoked.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:59:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snowden's charges against England and (0+ / 0-)

      Australia happened because the NSA activities were inside those countries it being unclear if with or without those countries'  cooperation.

      Has he released documents that show how the NSA surveilled the Russian civilians or politicians and that Russia's spy organization worked together with the NSA and supported the NSA activities inside their own country?

      Honest question, I am not up-to-date on it.

  •  Oh, and to answer the question in the title, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Lepanto

    I believe Snowden does not denounce Russia, because he knows it's not his role to do so, He is American and does the respected thing to speak truth to power in his own country and not in other countries. Russian internal affairs are not his business.  I am sure Russia has its own critics and people, who have a similar role towards their own country, Russia, as Snowden has to his country, the US.

    As my mother always said, before you try to blame your neighbor's house for being dirty, you better clean up your own first and then impress and persuade by example.

  •  Interesting topic, but I don't think Snowden owes (0+ / 0-)

    is an opinion on Russia, and certainly shouldn't risk his neck over it. GG not having anything to say, or supporting Russia, would be about par.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:08:20 PM PDT

  •  Why the hell not?!! (0+ / 0-)

    He's been singing like a Canary for some time, why stop now?

    Interestingly" self preservation " would be his motive to  "refrain" from denouncing Russia.

    Maybe he should take a page from some of the Ukraine athletes in Sochi who stood up on the podium and condemned Russia's actions.

    A coward dies a thousand deaths.

    He's made his decision on his chosen path so he needs to

    live by the courage of his convictions.

    Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by destiny1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:17:23 PM PDT

  •  You can't answer that question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, ek hornbeck

    yourself? Maybe, someday, when he isn't relying on Putin's good graces, he'll say something. In the mean time, it's prudent that he remains silent on Russian politics. Duh

     


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:12:10 PM PDT

  •  T'would behoove Snowden to keep quiet wrt (0+ / 0-)

    Russian imperialist actions.
    The problem is that he hasn't kept quite regarding Russia's overall human rights record.  His last utterance on the subject was to suggest that Russia has the best human rights record in the world.

    These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.
    That statement hangs out there, with no further qualifications or caveats or walkbacks or retractions from Snowden.  And he made that statement at the same time that Putin was increasing his persecution of LGBT, so it was a dumb statement even at the time he made it, and it's only grown more dumb given the events since then.

    As I said, Snowden's not now in a good position to issue retractions, but he never should have made that idiotic statement to begin with.  Snowden has to live with the fact that he's on record as praising Putin's Russia as the world leader on human rights.

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