Does Obama justify Snowden?

It would seem natural for conservatives to condemn Snowden for leaking information that directly damages the intelligence community's efforts against terrorists.

However, given that Obama appears to be the fulfillment of the Democrat concepts of lawlessness and the acceptability of misusing government information, many conservatives are conflicted. If Snowden revealed government malfeasance, then it is possible his actions were justified.

To date there is no evidence that Snowden has actually revealed any direct misuse of power or persecution of citizens by the government. Unlike the IRS scandal, where there is clear evidence of political targeting, nothing in what Snowden has revealed shows that the government misused the data it collected.

We have no indication, for example, of Democrats blackmailing people with the information the NSA collected. As a result there appears to be no doubt that Snowden's actions were totally unjustified.

However, thanks to Snowden's treason we know that the government has a tremendous amount of information that could be misused. For example, suppose a public official, a Supreme Court justice or a senator, is doing something that could wreck their career -- say having an affair, using a illegal bookie to gamble, or having a drug dealer on speed dial -- something that an unethical government official could find by sifting through the data collected to fight terrorism. In the past when a conservative senator or justice did something odd, everyone assumed that the person had just succumbed to the siren song of acceptance by the Washington Post and the liberal cultural elites. But now, people will wonder, incorrectly in most if not all cases, if Democrats used the NSA data to blackmail the conservative in order to get him to change his position.

Obama's comments prior to the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare were construed by many as intended to intimidate the court. While it's unlikely that they were anything more than Obama demonstrating that he is totally unfamiliar with the law -- Obama claimed that the Supreme Court couldn't overturn laws passed by the Congress which if true would essentially destroy the Constitution and the whole separation of powers concept which underlies the structure of the American government -- but with America knowing that Obama had access to all of the phone records of all the Supreme Court justices non-paranoid people will wonder.

Which does a great disservice to the Supreme Court justices. Based on historical precedent their flip-flops are more likely due to a desire to preserve their "legacy" than on any misuse of government data by Obama. Essentially the NSA collection system, as presented by Snowden, can effectively raise suspicions about anyone who changes their mind on an issue. That alone is a serious enough problem to raise concerns about the NSA programs. This is very similar to the issue raised by the use of software-based voting; can we be sure no one has put malware in the voting booth? In both cases eminently reasonable things have very significant and unanticipated negative impacts on the level of citizen confidence in the honest working of government even though no misuse has ever been documented.

People are concerned about the NSA programs because both President Obama and liberal Democrats have a long history of abusing power and using confidential government information or information gained from illegal wiretapping against anyone they don't like.

Here's a few examples:

1) 1963: Bobby Kennedy wiretapped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s phone because of concern that King was a communist. However, private dirt on King came up and that information was shared with the press to discredit King.

2) 1997: A couple, both Democrat operatives, illegally taped a conference call by Republican leaders. The contents of the tape were shared with a Democrat congressman and the media in order to discredit Newt Gingrich.

3) 2008: When Joe the Plumber embarrassed Obama by getting Obama to admit that Obama believed that people who earned their money should spread it around via the government, Democratic operatives in the Ohio state government found and leaked private information on Joe to the press.

4) 2013: A liberal activist admitted to bugging Senator Mitch McConnell's office. He has not been condemned by the liberal establishment.

Given that liberals don't seem to have any problem with illegal wiretaps or the misuse of government data (if it's used by the correct side) it is not a stretch to be concerned about what they might do if they have access to all of the data the NSA is collecting.

Similarly, the acceptance of a dual legal standard by Democrats -- Nixon is a monster for having an enemies list but Clinton's lying under oath is irrelevant -- and liberal support for lawless behavior by Democrats makes it difficult to believe that liberals can be trusted with private information about Americans.

Here are a few examples of liberals adoption of lawless behavior:

1) President Obama's illegal appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

2) President Obama claims he can decide when ObamaCare's business mandate goes into effect even though the law contains a specific date.

3) President Obama felt he could choose to not enforce DOMA before the Supreme Court ruled on it

4) Governor Jerry Brown believes it's fine to not defend the votes of 7 million Californians on Prop 8 because he doesn't think it's constitutional even though the California Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 is constitutional.

5) The IRS targeting conservative organizations prior to an election.

6) The administration arbitrarily imposing a version of the "Dream Act" on America when the bill couldn't pass Congress.

The combination of the historical abuse of private information by liberals and the liberal's increasingly brazen beliefs that the law only applies to other people has poisoned trust between government and the governed far more than anything Nixon ever did. After all, Republicans abandoned Nixon while liberals stay in lock step support of a seemingly never ending list of extralegal actions by President Obama and other senior Democrats.

Additionally President Obama has made it clear he is a big fan of an imperial presidency saying such things as:

Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, "No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao's words in Tiananman Square."

Earlier in the day, the president let his frustration over the stalled debt talks seep into an address on Latino issues, confessing that he'd like to "bypass Congress and change the laws on my own."

In assessing the NSA programs it all boils down to trust. Can we trust the administration, including low-level personnel in Ohio, to never abuse the mountains of data dug up in our war on terror?

Given that Obama supporters have used supposedly private government data against Joe the Plumber, that Obama says he can decide which laws to enforce, and Obama's desire to be able to rule by fiat, thinking Americans have many reasons to not trust the Obama Administration.

Is it surprising then that conservatives have qualms about the NSA programs illegally and traitorously revealed by Snowden? How much freedom are we willing to forfeit, how much degradation of the trust of citizens for the government are we willing to accept in order to fight a war that Obama has essentially declared we've already won?

You can read more of tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious and feel free to follow him on Twitter 

It would seem natural for conservatives to condemn Snowden for leaking information that directly damages the intelligence community's efforts against terrorists.

However, given that Obama appears to be the fulfillment of the Democrat concepts of lawlessness and the acceptability of misusing government information, many conservatives are conflicted. If Snowden revealed government malfeasance, then it is possible his actions were justified.

To date there is no evidence that Snowden has actually revealed any direct misuse of power or persecution of citizens by the government. Unlike the IRS scandal, where there is clear evidence of political targeting, nothing in what Snowden has revealed shows that the government misused the data it collected.

We have no indication, for example, of Democrats blackmailing people with the information the NSA collected. As a result there appears to be no doubt that Snowden's actions were totally unjustified.

However, thanks to Snowden's treason we know that the government has a tremendous amount of information that could be misused. For example, suppose a public official, a Supreme Court justice or a senator, is doing something that could wreck their career -- say having an affair, using a illegal bookie to gamble, or having a drug dealer on speed dial -- something that an unethical government official could find by sifting through the data collected to fight terrorism. In the past when a conservative senator or justice did something odd, everyone assumed that the person had just succumbed to the siren song of acceptance by the Washington Post and the liberal cultural elites. But now, people will wonder, incorrectly in most if not all cases, if Democrats used the NSA data to blackmail the conservative in order to get him to change his position.

Obama's comments prior to the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare were construed by many as intended to intimidate the court. While it's unlikely that they were anything more than Obama demonstrating that he is totally unfamiliar with the law -- Obama claimed that the Supreme Court couldn't overturn laws passed by the Congress which if true would essentially destroy the Constitution and the whole separation of powers concept which underlies the structure of the American government -- but with America knowing that Obama had access to all of the phone records of all the Supreme Court justices non-paranoid people will wonder.

Which does a great disservice to the Supreme Court justices. Based on historical precedent their flip-flops are more likely due to a desire to preserve their "legacy" than on any misuse of government data by Obama. Essentially the NSA collection system, as presented by Snowden, can effectively raise suspicions about anyone who changes their mind on an issue. That alone is a serious enough problem to raise concerns about the NSA programs. This is very similar to the issue raised by the use of software-based voting; can we be sure no one has put malware in the voting booth? In both cases eminently reasonable things have very significant and unanticipated negative impacts on the level of citizen confidence in the honest working of government even though no misuse has ever been documented.

People are concerned about the NSA programs because both President Obama and liberal Democrats have a long history of abusing power and using confidential government information or information gained from illegal wiretapping against anyone they don't like.

Here's a few examples:

1) 1963: Bobby Kennedy wiretapped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s phone because of concern that King was a communist. However, private dirt on King came up and that information was shared with the press to discredit King.

2) 1997: A couple, both Democrat operatives, illegally taped a conference call by Republican leaders. The contents of the tape were shared with a Democrat congressman and the media in order to discredit Newt Gingrich.

3) 2008: When Joe the Plumber embarrassed Obama by getting Obama to admit that Obama believed that people who earned their money should spread it around via the government, Democratic operatives in the Ohio state government found and leaked private information on Joe to the press.

4) 2013: A liberal activist admitted to bugging Senator Mitch McConnell's office. He has not been condemned by the liberal establishment.

Given that liberals don't seem to have any problem with illegal wiretaps or the misuse of government data (if it's used by the correct side) it is not a stretch to be concerned about what they might do if they have access to all of the data the NSA is collecting.

Similarly, the acceptance of a dual legal standard by Democrats -- Nixon is a monster for having an enemies list but Clinton's lying under oath is irrelevant -- and liberal support for lawless behavior by Democrats makes it difficult to believe that liberals can be trusted with private information about Americans.

Here are a few examples of liberals adoption of lawless behavior:

1) President Obama's illegal appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

2) President Obama claims he can decide when ObamaCare's business mandate goes into effect even though the law contains a specific date.

3) President Obama felt he could choose to not enforce DOMA before the Supreme Court ruled on it

4) Governor Jerry Brown believes it's fine to not defend the votes of 7 million Californians on Prop 8 because he doesn't think it's constitutional even though the California Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 is constitutional.

5) The IRS targeting conservative organizations prior to an election.

6) The administration arbitrarily imposing a version of the "Dream Act" on America when the bill couldn't pass Congress.

The combination of the historical abuse of private information by liberals and the liberal's increasingly brazen beliefs that the law only applies to other people has poisoned trust between government and the governed far more than anything Nixon ever did. After all, Republicans abandoned Nixon while liberals stay in lock step support of a seemingly never ending list of extralegal actions by President Obama and other senior Democrats.

Additionally President Obama has made it clear he is a big fan of an imperial presidency saying such things as:

Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, "No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao's words in Tiananman Square."

Earlier in the day, the president let his frustration over the stalled debt talks seep into an address on Latino issues, confessing that he'd like to "bypass Congress and change the laws on my own."

In assessing the NSA programs it all boils down to trust. Can we trust the administration, including low-level personnel in Ohio, to never abuse the mountains of data dug up in our war on terror?

Given that Obama supporters have used supposedly private government data against Joe the Plumber, that Obama says he can decide which laws to enforce, and Obama's desire to be able to rule by fiat, thinking Americans have many reasons to not trust the Obama Administration.

Is it surprising then that conservatives have qualms about the NSA programs illegally and traitorously revealed by Snowden? How much freedom are we willing to forfeit, how much degradation of the trust of citizens for the government are we willing to accept in order to fight a war that Obama has essentially declared we've already won?

You can read more of tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious and feel free to follow him on Twitter 

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