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by
Bryan Preston

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June 10, 2013 - 10:09 am

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton doesn’t think NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a hero. At all.

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft on WLS that he thinks admitted leaker Edward Snowden, is guilty of treason:

“Number one, this man is a liar. He took an oath to keep the secrets that were shared with him so he could do his job. He said said he would not disclose them, and he lied. Number two, he lied because he thinks he’s smarter and has a higher morality than the rest of us. This guy thinks he has a higher morality, that he can see clearer than other 299-million 999-thousand 999 of us, and therefore he can do what he wants. I say that is the worst form of treason”.

Eh, I’d say that handing nuclear technology over to the Soviet Union during the Cold War was the worst form of treason. Bradley Manning’s leak got US allies killed — Manning is no hero and his treason is actual treason. Snowden clearly violated his non-disclosure agreements, but if he took any oaths to the Constitution in his NSA work, those oaths would supersede any NDAs.

I’m not locked into believing Snowden is a hero or a villain yet. We don’t know enough yet, both about him and about what else he may have done or who he may have worked with or be working with. His flight to Hong Kong was both stupid and disturbing. He fled to China. He will be extradited if they catch him, but maybe not after the Chinese work him over for information first. His actions expose a weak link in our intelligence infrastructure, which our enemies can and will exploit. Yet he told Americans something we needed to know, that our government is collecting vast amounts of data on us in the name of national security. Edward Snowden may be both a hero and villain at the same time.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
So...If the problem is Muslims, why this "blanket surveillance of everybody everywhere doing everything any time, and at all times" as you put it? Seems surveillance would be better spent on your Muslim problem. You argument's reasonable conclusion is that blanket surveillance isn't supportable policy. Therefore, Snowden's actions are patriotic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't forget, Hong Kong is only a Chinese asset and although not autonomous, it has a little more freedom than mainland China.

It could be that's where he had assets he could reach as well as contact with media sources. That does not mean he'll remain there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bolton is giving expert testimony in the court of public opinion.
There is nothing 'just' about that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I just lost ALL respect for john bolton.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow Preston when did you join the hated Ronulans? Don't you know they all work for Moscow and we need to take their guns RTFN?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I usually find myself agreeing with Bolton, but not this time. I doubt anything he revealed was news to the Jihadists, except maybe the amateurs. It certainly wasn't something the Chinese weren't aware of. I would bet that most serious intelligence services had some inkling of what was going on in the US. The only people Snowden gave "aid and comfort" to were the American people.

And it really doesn't matter where Snowden ended up; Hong Kong has extradition treaties with the US just like a lot of countries, and besides it appears it's just a way-point for him. He may try to get to Iceland or some other country and ask for asylum.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
>This guy thinks he has a higher morality, that he can see clearer than other 299-million 999-thousand 999 of us...<

WHOA!

What makes Bolton think that all 299,999,999 other Americans wouldn't have done the same thing if they thought the NSA was overstepping it's Constitutional bounds? Snowden may have violated the law, but if he did, it was a law protecting mainly the interests of a bloated, overreaching, authoritarian, Federal government, certainly NOT the interests of the average American
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remain unconvinced that Snowden is one, or the only, traitor here. America has pretty much 'gone to China'. Turn your cheap applicance over and tell me where it's made. Companies that used to be American fell all over themselves to move manufacturing to China. What about all that debt the fed ran up since 2002? Mostly Chinese now. Can't upset our note holder, or they might do something to our economy. Then there's that photo of Obama and China's Xi hobnobbing at Drudge. A couple of Marxist leaders if ever. This is not the country I was born in. Don't have a simple answer, nor does this all excuse Snowden if indeed he's turned coat to the Chinese. We voted these clowns in the last 50 years, and now it's time to pay. So we pay by giving up our Liberty for a little temporary security, and as Ben Franklin said, now we have neither.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Goldstein has been an Eastasian agent all along! All hail Oceania!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bolton ought to know better than this. The Constitution specifies a definition of treason that, arguably, renders it inactive when the nation is not at war, and even when at war, the guilty person has to give aid and comfort to the enemy. Snowden simply divulged classified information to the American people.

Oh, wait.

That said, I'm unsettled by his going to China. What he told the American people is one thing. What he tells the ChiComs is a different story.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would be unsettled too if it turned out he's been kidnapped by the PLA special branch and water boarded into spilling his guts. Very very dangerous game. I understand why he felt he needed to go to a country where the U.S. droning or blackbagging him would be unthinkable (which rules out Africa, the Middle East, and ALL OF EUROPE west of Belarus).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nobody, no one at all, has yet breathed or posted a thought, any thought at all, as to why this alleged blanket surveillance of everybody everywhere doing everything any time, and at all times, might just possibly have any sort of - gasp - justification. But, bear with me a bit first.

Now, before all of the shoes start being hurled in my direction, let's give these sensational revelations by the ultra liberal Guardian newspaper in England and the ultra-liberal Washington Post in our own liberal leaning country a bit of breathing room and perspective.

Watch closely and listen closely to that earnest, serious young man talking to an off-screen questioner in that Hong Kong hotel room giving that 12 minute video interview. It's on the Internet.

The guy seriously believes he's done nothing wrong in violating his oaths of employment with that secretive detailed information gathering and -compiling/evaluating agency of his own government. He's on a white horse.

I say he's sincerely much too seriously full of himself; and is taking on his self-assigned role of righting [his] perceived ills of his employers without much concept of the absolutely huge unknown consequences of his personal stand for "what's right". How can he know what damage to others' lives he's causing all in the name of satisfying his own ideas of what's the "right thing to do". He can't know. But he apparently tears up answering about personal concerns for his family. He ought to.

Now, lets consider the [you knew this was coming] nation wide, pervasive infiltration and subversion by our resident Muslim population, legal citizens or no, "students" admitted with temporary visas, the mosques and madrassas growing like mushrooms in Northern Virginia and Michigan, New Jersey, etc., consider the reports here and there about all of the Saudi money at Georgetown University, of Turkey's Erdogan smiling his approval of the new Muslim Center in Maryland....on and on....

.....is it any wonder now that we have a very broad and heavily financed Intelligence evaluation and gathering operation working to keep our figurative and literal throats from being slit?

We're at war with a Muslim enemy which repeatedly reminds us that they are at war with us.

Now, just who does this earnest young American think he is?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So...If the problem is Muslims, why this "blanket surveillance of everybody everywhere doing everything any time, and at all times" as you put it? Seems surveillance would be better spent on your Muslim problem. You argument's reasonable conclusion is that blanket surveillance isn't supportable policy. Therefore, Snowden's actions are patriotic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I tend to agree. If this administration were not so busy appeasing CAIR and permitting Muslim Brotherhood moles to burrow their way into the core of our government, they might actually use the very talented profilers in the FBI to come up with a more concise description of a likely target, and from there, come up with a narrowly tailored request for warrants for the information and for the purposes they purport: "national security", "fighting terrorism".

However, since Obama has unilaterally declared the war on terror over, most likely to give cover to his own treasonous actions and those of his henchmen, how can we claim that Snowden's actions rise to the level of treason?

There is, of course, the very real possibility, indeed, the probability, that the Obama Administration (and Bush beforehand) have used this as a smokescreen to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of every person in this country.

We were guaranteed that our emails would not be scrutinized or intercepted. We were guaranteed that domestic phone calls were not being tapped. They LIED. Don't crucify this young man, who may have signed his non-disclosure and gone to work in a TS job in all earnestness, thinking he was dealing with an honorable government, only to find out that he was party to a massively deceptive and at its core unconstitutional government operation.

I for one am horrified to find out that my emails, subject lines, recipients, sources, and, worst of all, attachments have been intercepted and stored, when I am not accused or suspected of any criminal activity. Still, the government now has possession of my papers and effects, including confidential attorney-client communications. If you are not outraged, you are either not paying attention, or you are a sheep.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Re:
"You argument's reasonable conclusion is that blanket surveillance isn't supportable policy. Therefore, Snowden's actions are patriotic. "

You've got it exactly backwards.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But you don't explain how, so your rebuttal is meaningless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Snowden is no hero.

Of all the countries he could have fled to...he picked a Communist one?

One that specializes in digital espionage?

Give me a break. I
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't forget, Hong Kong is only a Chinese asset and although not autonomous, it has a little more freedom than mainland China.

It could be that's where he had assets he could reach as well as contact with media sources. That does not mean he'll remain there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't see it as treason. It may have certainly violated a law regarding the classification of FISA actions. But then did the Patriot Act or any associated legislative act intend to allow a collection of data on citizens en mass? I'm thinking if such language that made such so easy in these acts it would have been blown wide open over time not unlike the many issues that have come to light on ObamaCare (PACA).

As long as he did not leak classified material in the same light as Bradley Manning, I have no problem with it. That is, I'm hoping it's limited strictly to the information on NSA gathering of citizen's information from these service providers.

Some are equating his actions to Manning and praising both. They're not the same; not by a long shot.

Manning leaked information on past and current military operations around the world exposing US assets to great risk. There's no indication to show Snowden leaked information on past or present US actions by any assets overseas. By all accounts, this information applies purely to violation of civil rights of US citizens.

Some are saying he wanted attention by outing himself. That's possible or he could have wanted to give greater credibility to the information. He would not have gone unknown for long. The feds would have eventually discovered who it was.

Now, it appears the left-wing sources are circling wagons regarding the Chinese espionage accusations. I see this as nothing but an attempt to take the attention away from violations that took place under the Obama administration.

I've yet to figure out Bolton's position as he's usually on the conservative side of issues which includes civil liberty.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"By all accounts, this information applies purely to violation of civil rights of US citizens."

This. This is the crux of the issue, and everything else is just noise. Either the surveillance is legitimate under the Constitution, or it's not. Snowden is either a hero thereby, or he's not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We anyone even know if Snowden were to disappear?

If Snowden were to disappear, would anyone know who "disappeared" him?

Since the U.S. is the first nation to use "enhanced interrogation" techniques, any and all other nations may now take our lead, at least in regards to Snowden.

The last sentence was sarcastic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, if he disappears, you might talk to Hillary or Obama directly. Hillary is good at silencing people, and Obama is good at making them disappear.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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