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Getting intelligence out of a country in the middle of a civil war, in a powderkeg of a region, seems pretty critical to me. We also have spies and malware installed all over the world, and the world is doing its best to spy on and infiltrate us. This is the reality of espionage, intelligence, and counter-intelligence.

This school playground logic of "it's ok because they started it" sickens me. OK. I get it; espionage is a reality and only espionage can deal with it. But for god sake there's people in here commenting that Snowden is a traitor because he leaked information that didn't directly concern the american people.

Really, now.

Compare those two situations:

"A group of hackers have targeted Syrian ISPs and, in an attempt to wiretap the nation, have brought down internet services in the entire country" <- Scum of the earth! How dare they! People have likely died as a result of this; in the midst of a civil war, too!

"The NSA has targeted Syrian ISPs and, in an attempt to wiretap the nation, has brought down internet services in the entire country" <- Well it's OK because other countries are doing it too. Also, by revealing this, you are an unpatriotic traitor and have endangered the american people."

I call BS. Some people here either lack the most basic critical thinking skills, or are NSA shills.

No one is saying that it is ok because they started it. We are saying that we believe international espionage is a requirement for a country like the US and this operation seemed to be a standard and worthwhile one that happened to be a spectacular failure.

You are free to disagree, but I don't think any serious politician in the US would. Revealing something like this doesn't seem to advance Snowden's initial goals and makes it incredibly hard to gain any political support in the US. So my initial question stands, what positive value comes from Snowden releasing something like that?

No serious politician would support universal health care, basic income, or full human rights for LGBT people, but that doesn't make those causes any less right.

What positive value comes from Snowden releasing the atrocities of the American government? Well, some people have a moral compass more developed than "espionage is a reality and the American government should be able to do as much of it as it wants, in any country, at any time, with any consequences."

Try to be on the right side of history. This is your chance to do that. Maybe you were alive in the 60s or even the 20s, but if you weren't, you're here now, and you can be a part of the struggles we fight today and tomorrow.

It has positive value if you believe that non-American lives are as valuable as American lives, something a lot of people outside of the U.S. happen to believe.

How about traditional journalism and reporting as a method of intelligence? The government is supposed to be for and by the people and I for one don't feel comfortable with my tax dollars going to aid this sort of actively offensive espionage/violation of human rights. But that's just my opinion and it's something I should vote for or whatever if I feel strongly about it; that's not what this is about. This is about a right to know what type of actions my government (which is supposed to be a representation of me) is involved in in this world. Without Snowden I would never know for certain that my government is involved in actions like this and I would never have the ability to object to actions like this in a public forum without being labeled a conspiracy theorist. I mean just look at this list of articles speculating on what was going on with Syria's internet, do any of these even dare to speculate that it was NSA espionage that caused the outages? Of course not cause that's fucking crazy; except it's not and we know it's not because of Snowden and Snowden alone. He is a truer patriot than you or I will ever be.

Press coverage of the Syrian internet outage at the time: http://www.cnet.com/news/blackout-syria-vanishes-from-intern.... "The Middle Eastern country has been experiencing an Internet outage for several hours, and many people on Twitter are reporting that phone lines are down as well." http://www.renesys.com/2012/11/syria-off-the-air/ "There was one brief whole-country outage of less than ten minutes on 25 November. By the time that one was confirmed, the outage was over. It would be reaching to call that a “precursor event” or “practice run,” but that’s a possibility." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/anonymous-declares-.... "The Syrian government said that terrorists were behind the outages, but CloudFlare, a firm that helps accelerate Internet traffic, said it would have been extremely difficult for any type of sabotage to cause such a comprehensive blackout, according to Reuters." http://blog.cloudflare.com/how-syria-turned-off-the-internet "All the edge routers are controlled by Syrian Telecommunications. The systematic way in which routes were withdrawn suggests that this was done through updates in router configurations, not through a physical failure or cable cut."

Espionage and intelligence are vital if you want to do anything like the current relief operation in Iraq.

In Syria there was an ongoing international effort to stop the use of, and then secure, chemical weapons. You need effective intelligence in order to do that.

A 10 minute internet outage is an awful lot less bad than what happens when a human intelligence asset gets caught by the kind of actors involved in Syria.

> A 10 minute internet outage is an awful lot less bad than what happens when a human intelligence asset gets caught by the kind of actors involved in Syria.

Is it? First of all, the 10 minute internet outage is real, while the asset capture is completely theoretical. Second of all, a 10 minute internet outage can and does kill people. ESPECIALLY in a country like Syria which is in the midst of a civil war; and I haven't even mentioned the much more concrete outcome of this being perceived as a terrorist attack, putting both sides of the conflict on guard etc.

Have you read the Seymour Hersh piece on Syria?


> I call BS. Some people here either lack the most basic critical thinking skills, or are NSA shills.

Rightly so. And both of those are true. Thinking clearly is expensive for any individual, and shills are cheap for NSA.

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