Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Obama says Snowden’s actions have “done unnecessary damage”"

"In his final press conference of the year, President Barack Obama told reporters on Friday that despite the fact that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosures have accelerated the national debate about national security and civil liberties, he has caused “unnecessary damage.”
“I think that as important and as necessary as this debate has been, it is also important to understand that it has done unnecessary damage to United States' intelligence capabilities and to US diplomacy,” he said. “But I will leave it up to the courts and the attorney general to weigh in publicly on the specifics of Mr. Snowden’s case.”
Setting aside, for now, Obama's use of the words "unnecessary damage", begging the question, is there a necessary damage to American interests? It turns out Snowden did not prominently feature in the list of Google's top searches for the year 2013.
This year's National Security Agency revelations have created a firestorm of reports and debates about the state of U.S. surveillance technology and intelligence policy. It set off a brief international manhunt. Entire countries are now building countermeasures to deflect the NSA's gaze. But at least in the eyes of Google, Edward Snowden was hardly a blip on the radar. The search giant's global year-in-review is topped by Nelson Mandela, followed by the late actor Paul Walker and the iPhone 5S. Snowden doesn't make an appearance.
Does a lack of public interest (at least among the giant search engine users) in Snowden and his actions, coupled with Obama's expressed public disinterest in the case, reveal Obamas attitude towards the "unnecessary damage" Snowden caused?
In other words. Had the public been more interested in Snowden, would Snowden be in American hands right now?

It's not necessary to look up "unnecessary", to safely discern Obama's use of the word in this case. Obama leads from behind. Obama is not going to make the case as to why Snowden may have damaged our security, because Snowden is "unnecessary" to HIS own security, and, he has Google to prove it.

Ars Technica, Washington Post

16 comments:

edutcher said...

Since our little Fuhrer is responsible for these abuses, the damage done is to him as much as anything else.

John Bolton thinks Snowden should be shot as a traitor, which may be an objective measure of the damage he has done.

What is really the issue is that this, like the IRS abuses, is a self-inflicted wound. Another case of stupid is as stupid does.

Michael Haz said...

What is "necessary damage", then? Is that how Obama sees leaving millions of people, some doubtless very ill, without medical insurance?

Necessary damage.

Lem said...

Exactly.

AllenS said...

What? Unnecessary damage? I can understand the concept of unnecessary comunity organizer, but unnecessary damage?

Chip Ahoy said...

Cash for clunkers is unnecessary damage, upturning the health-insurance industry by a law with 0 bipartisan support does unnecessary damage, withholding security from a threatened embassy at a threatening time is unnecessary damage, intervening in foreign wars between enemies is unnecessary damage, a trillion in additional national debt causes unnecessary damage, participating in a national lynching based on a false race narrative does unnecessary damage. Snowden revelations of nsa outrage -- priceless.

Chip Ahoy said...

And armadillos do float.

Trooper York said...

I think Snowden is a hero.

I have been catching up with "Homeland" recently. There is a character who is a Senator who is going to be appointed head of the CIA. He is totally against all of this spy vs. spy bullshit which is what Snowden exposed.

This guy says just bomb the shit out of them when they step out of line. Massive retaliation not drone pin pricks. I think he has the right idea.

Trooper York said...

I don't think we should give up our civil rights because the government wants to be politically correct.

Just stop, frisk and deport anybody with a towel on their head and we should be fine.

ndspinelli said...

My bride just came out of the shower w/ a towel on her head.

Trooper York said...

Hey we already know what she wants to do to you pal.

I got the book last night and read the first ten chapters.

It is just as good if not better than the first one and I really encourage everyone to get it.

But the husband in the book...let's just say I don't think he is too happy...just sayn'

Rabel said...

For nd.

ndspinelli said...

Thanks, Trooper. In all characters there is something taken from real life. However, the mother-in-law in this book is my mother. Many of the anecdotes are real life. I got teary reading it. Leslyn and the kids really loved her. It's a fitting tribute to a woman who endured much hardship in her life but never lost her positive attitude.

Chip Ahoy said...

If you haven't listened to the video linked on Ace's sidebar, I think you will enjoy it. French 16 year old Elvis impersonator sings Blue Christmas.

Lem said...

Another way of saying "unnecessary damage" might be "collateral damage".

People who have lost their insurance are Obamacare's collateral damage.

Hagar said...

I think Obama is suggesting that Mr. Snowden should have asked for an appointment and come to the White House to discuss these matters with him as between reasonable people.

Aridog said...

Rabel ... now you done it....Evil Blogger Lady will now have periodic Rule 24 posts! :-)