Traitor or Whistleblower? Attacks on Snowden Mount From Political and Media Figures

228px-Picture_of_Edward_SnowdenThe attacks on Edward Snowden have increased today. CNN’s Jeff Toobin who previously denounced Snowden as a “clown” has added that he is a “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison”. In the meantime, Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker John Boehner have denounced Snowden as a “traitor.” Other media organizations have barred their reporters from referring to him as a “whistleblower” in what has become a deluge of negative stereotyping of Snowden -even before we know the whole story. Indeed, the attacks began with folks like Toobin almost immediately after he came forward.


Once again, I am not saying that Snowden does not have to answer for any crimes, but the effort to portray him as a craven traitor is a bit too much too early in this story.

In Toobin’s case, it is worth noting that he has also belittled the objections to the massive surveillance program — the same position taken by Democrats and the White House. He has explained his view of those programs, which I disagree with but respect. However, for Toobin to call a man a “grandiose narcissist” is bizarre. As noted yesterday, this is a man who threw his life away to reveal what he believed to be an abusive surveillance program (as to many other citizens). This is one of the most narcissistic towns on Earth and its leading denizens in politics and the media often seem uncomfortable with people who are willing to throw away their lives on principle. It is the type of self-sacrifice that they would never consider in their own lives. We have many principled and honest people living in this town. However this is also  a town with an abnormally high number of  sycophants, self-promoters, adulterers and the rest. In other words, narcissists. It is not surprising that so many would find an individual like Snowden hard to understand or dangerous.

The labeling of Snowden as a traitor will only increase the likelihood that he will flee to another country. This individual and story is clearly more complex than dismissing him as a “clown” or “traitor.” He insists that he revealed this information protect the public and privacy. That is not the motivation of a traitor.

As for the refusal to call him a whistleblower, it seems part of the full court press to demonize Snowden or prevent favorable references to him. [It brings to mind the successful effort to convince media to call waterboarding “enhanced interrogation” in the media rather than “torture” as it has long been defined by courts] Snowden is a whistleblower in my mind. It is true that the Administration can argue that these programs were lawful to the Supreme Court’s precedent stripping pen registers of full constitutional protection in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). Many of us disagree with that ruling, but this is a new application of the precedent. While the government has long sought the information for individuals, the Administration is essentially issuing a national security letter against the entire population. Moreover, it does appear that violations have occurred in these programs.

Putting aside the legality issue, whistleblowers are defined more probably by public interest organizations. For example, The Government Accountability Project, a leading nonprofit handling whistleblowers, defines the term as “an employee who discloses information that s/he reasonably believes is evidence of illegality, gross waste or fraud, mismanagement, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. Typically, whistleblowers speak out to parties that can influence and rectify the situation. These parties include the media, organizational managers, hotlines, or Congressional members/staff, to name a few.”

Snowden clearly fits that more common definition of whistleblower, even if the government contests the application of statutory protections. Many can legitimately question Snowden’s chosen means for objecting to this program. However, the hostile and dismissive treatment by the establishment reflects an obvious fear of the implications of this scandal. Even US Sen. Al Franken (D, Minn.) has tried to stamp out the outcry by insisting that he was aware of the program and “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.” Democrats are scrambling to deal with the latest betrayal of civil liberties without their knowledge and consent. Franken knows that the issue is not how it has been used (though abuses are being reported) but its potential for abuse. It is a databank allowing transparency of every citizens calls and associations. Nevertheless, the establishment is joined together in mutual interest to deaden the reaction of citizens, as I discussed in a column this week.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)

The effort to discredit Snowden is an impressive effort and could well succeed. There is less discussion of the loss of privacy as the focus has shifted to the price of hotel rooms and annual salaries for Snowden. We are being told again, by people like Franken, to trust us and go back to sleep. Franken added “There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know.” Of course, it was not just the bad guys who were not allowed to know. Citizens were also not supposed to know, but Snowden blew the plan. Now people are actually demanding answers and accountability – something secrecy was supposed to prevent.

Before we repeat the growing effort to label Snowden as a traitor, perhaps we should ask about the betrayal of our privacy and constitutional values by others pushing these labels.

159 thoughts on “Traitor or Whistleblower? Attacks on Snowden Mount From Political and Media Figures”

  1. Gene H.
    I have found video tape of a prisoner (#48 to be specific), that was tried under this Snowden principle. The following contains the procedure and verdict. … May the Great McGoohan help us all.

  2. Excerpt from “The Snowden Principle” by John Cusack

    At the heart of Edward Snowden’s decision to expose the NSA’s massive phone and Internet spying programs was a fundamental belief in the people’s right-to-know. “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” he said in an interview with the Guardian.

    From the State’s point of view, he’s committed a crime. From his point of view, and the view of many others, he has sacrificed for the greater good because he knows people have the right to know what the government is doing in their name. And legal, or not, he saw what the government was doing as a crime against the people and our rights.

    For the sake of argument — This should be called The Snowden Principle.

    When The Snowden Principle is invoked and revelations of this magnitude are revealed; it is always met with predictable establishment blowback from the red and blue elites of state power. Those in charge are prone to hysteria and engage in character assassination, as are many in the establishment press that have been co-opted by government access . When The Snowden Principle is evoked the fix is always in and instead of looking at the wrongdoing exposed, they parrot the government position no matter what the facts

    The Snowden Principle just cannot be tolerated…

    Even mental illness is pondered as a possible reason that these pariahs would insist on the public’s right to know at the highest personal costs to their lives and the destruction of their good names. The public’s right to know—This is the treason. The utter corruption, the crime.

    But as law professor Jonathan Turley reminds us, a lie told by everyone is not the truth. “The Republican and Democratic parties have achieved a bipartisan purpose in uniting against the public’s need to know about massive surveillance programs and the need to redefine privacy in a more surveillance friendly image,” he wrote recently.

    We can watch as The Snowden Principle is predictably followed in the reaction from many of the fourth estate – who serve at the pleasure of the king.”

  3. Snowden has only reported on an expansion of a massive surveillance program that was already reported on by the NYT, USA Today, etc and this may be only the tip of the iceberg… https://bay170.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#n=539402387&fid=1&mid=c7a08515-d471-11e2-b85a-00215ad7bb3e&fv=1
    Pundits like to use namecalling as a diversion when their arguments get weak(there is plenty of clown activity at the upper eschelon levels of the system…that can be reported on) we can use this forum for this

    Snowden has done a great seervice for Amerikan citizens in further exposing this Orwellian apparatus that is acting in violation of the constitution…

  4. The Sickening Snowden Backlash

    by Kirsten Powers Jun 14, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    It’s appalling to hear the Washington bureaucrats and their media allies trash Edward Snowden as a traitor, when it’s our leaders and the NSA who have betrayed us, writes Kirsten Powers.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/14/the-sickening-snowden-backlash.html

    Whether one supports or opposes the NSA spying programs, Snowden has done a public service by exposing them and igniting a debate about government surveillance that even the president says he welcomes. There is no reason for the mere existence of either program to have been classified by the Most Transparent Administration in History. The claims that terrorists have been tipped off by these revelations are not credible. Nobody seriously believes that until now terrorists didn’t know the American government is monitoring their email and phone calls. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) told MSNBC Wednesday, “I don’t see how [Snowden’s leaks] compromises the security of this country whatsoever.”

    In his 2003 book, Why Societies Need Dissent, liberal law professor Cass Sunstein pointed out that, in society, “a single dissenter or voice of sanity is likely to have a huge impact.” But the problem for dissenters is that they “have little incentive to speak out, because they would gain nothing from dissenting” and in fact might be punished.

    Snowden knew this and he did it anyway. He clearly understands something that those screaming “traitor” do not: the allegiance we have as Americans is to the Constitution, not the institution of government. Snowden summed it up best when he told a South China Morning Post reporter this week, “I’m neither a traitor nor a hero. I’m an American.”

  5. “He could have gone to Justice, the FBI, his Senator or Congressman. All these avenues were open to him but ” …..
    …… he was aware of what happened to the likes of Thomas Drake, William Binney and others who initially took their concerns to “proper authority” only to suffer extreme pushback. Look them up. Lock them up even.

    “a classified program being used to foil plots against the United
    States.”
    It has been claimed that in the years since 9/11 two plots were uncovered due to indiscriminate mass domestic surveillance. It is not entirely clear if the discovered communications were the initial factor in detecting the plots.
    Alexander claimed “dozens of plots” recently, but didn’t have any details for these dozens. The resulting headlines missed out on the fact the for this “dozens”, he had included “and abroad”.

    Perhaps Alexander could inflate the “success” numbers by including “low-level terrorism”. This definition apparently covers purely political movements such as the Occupy movement.

    He could include the surveillance of domestic groups that are hot on the ‘resist oppressive government’ aspects of the 2nd Amendment. Resisting an oppressive government sounds very terroristic – unless we’re talking about a foreign government. People who resist foreign oppressive governments are freedom-fighters/rebels – unless the particular oppressive governments are US clients or somehow support US interests.

    Incidentally, have you ever read up on how the administration took advatage of Hoover’s interesting files? Such a thing is no longer possible – because of strict oversight?. No?

  6. Sheila Nickerson,

    Every year the US gov’t pays billions to hire shills & useful idiots to post their proaganda on in internet, a public fact. I forgot the number but I’m betting you’d be one that knows is from the pay stub.

    Whats the number?

  7. Snowden had other avenues to follow rather than fleeing to Hong Kong and then talking to a british newspaper exposing the work he was aware of. He could have gone to Justice, the FBI, his Senator or Congressman. All these avenues were open to him but he chose to run away and tell the press about a classified program being used to foil plots against the United
    States. In my mind, this makes him a traitor and a coward. I am not arguing here about what the government is doing just what Snowden has done.

    1. “I am not arguing here about what the government is doing just what Snowden has done.”

      Sheila,

      By not examining what the government has done you are missing the whole point. As for him going through “channels” that would have just gotten him arrested anonymously.

  8. Mike S: If you truly believe that, then inexperience or incompetence does not enter into the question at all; what explains his actions is fear for his life, or the lives of his wife, children, and other family.

    Of course if the country is really run by some form of Mafia, it hardly makes sense to let self-selected candidates get far enough to present them with this problem; a man with official power that has to be threatened.

    It would be more prudent to intervene earlier in the selection process, when losses would go largely unnoticed. I think a psychopath can prove he means business without a crime ever being reported (or linked to the candidate).

    Which makes me think, If a Mafia runs the country, then Obama is just a simpatico sociopath that embraced their philosophy from the start, and you and I were fooled by his sociopathic charm and flawless lying. For me, it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.

    1. “Which makes me think, If a Mafia runs the country, then Obama is just a simpatico sociopath that embraced their philosophy from the start, and you and I were fooled by his sociopathic charm and flawless lying. For me, it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.”

      Tony,

      That is reasonable, as is the theory of the threat to himself and his family. I used “inexperienced” with the thought in mind that he was naive about the powers of the office. Who really knows the real personalities of the celebrities we see in politics? Whatever the individual reason, I truly believe that the Presidency has much less power than the way it is portrayed and that the power ended when JFK was killed. Having had too many strange assassinations in the 60’s they used other means, just as effective, when it came to Nixon. By the time they got to Clinton it was just the threat of impeachment. Another part of this takeover has been the change in Senate filibuster rules, that allows one Senator silently to insist on an unconstitutional majority of 60 to pass legislation.

      I wrote this and I still believe in it:

      http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/

      1. I have wondered, and hoped I was being merely paranoid, but now I am not so sure, about the effort to consolidate power, by dems for instance not putting up challengers in some races including Boehner. Keeping him is as speaker assured nothing would get done and allowed more executive orders in lieu of congress doing their job, which the House promised not to do from the night of the first inauguration.

  9. Edward Snowden, you are a true hero & patriot to your country & planet! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

  10. “My life was turned upside down and inside out,” said Drake, who now earns an hourly wage as a technical expert at an Apple store. “I know what it’s like to live in a surveillance state because the surveillance state was on me, riding me, for so many years. They obviously wanted to do me in. It was relentless. I wouldn’t want any American to go through it.” -Thomas Drake

    Make no mistake, they will ruin one’s life. They’re very, very good at it.

    Thomas Drake, Former NSA Official, Gives Advice To Edward Snowden: ‘Be Lawyered Up To The Max’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/thomas-drake-edward-snowden_n_3423330.html

    Drake, a 56-year-old former intelligence official at the National Security Agency, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act in 2010 for allegedly revealing classified information about the agency’s sweeping warrantless wire-tapping program. The government later dropped all but a misdemeanor charge.

    “For me this is a déjà vu,” Drake said, adding that Snowden’s previous comfortable life was over.

    “When you offer up information about the dark side of the surveillance state they don’t take too kindly to it,” he said. “They want to stay in the shadows.”

    (Reuters Digital Video: http://link.reuters.com/dur78t)

    Drake, one of six people indicted for leaking secret information since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, said the FBI investigated him because it believed he was the source of a New York Times story published in December 2005 that first revealed the NSA’s wire-tapping program. He says he was not the source of that information, and 10 felony counts against him were dropped when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling government information.

    In a series of interviews over the past week, he described the experience of coming under investigation.

    “My life was turned upside down and inside out,” said Drake, who now earns an hourly wage as a technical expert at an Apple store. “I know what it’s like to live in a surveillance state because the surveillance state was on me, riding me, for so many years. They obviously wanted to do me in. It was relentless. I wouldn’t want any American to go through it.”

    Asked if he still believes what he did was worth it, Drake had no doubts: “Is freedom worth it? Is liberty worth it? Is not living in a surveillance society worth it?”

    “If you don’t want to live it, then you’ve got to stand up and defend the rights and the freedoms that prevent that from actually happening,” he said.
    (Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Claudia Parsons)

  11. I rescued your comment from the spam filter, ap.

    Bad spam filter! Get under the house!

  12. “The Other NSA Whistleblowers Hope This Time Is Different”

    http://news.yahoo.com/other-nsa-whistleblowers-hope-time-different-173219475.html

    —–

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/13/chris_pyle_whistleblower_on_cia_domestic

    Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics

    CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, when I was blowing the whistle and they couldn’t get any dirt on me—I had led a very uninteresting life—they made up dirt and tried to peddle it on Capitol Hill in order to discredit me and prevent me from testifying before Senator Ervin’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Every bureaucracy hates dissenters. They must expel dissenters and discredit dissenters, because dissenters force them to reconsider what it is they’re doing, and no bureaucracy wants anybody to interrupt what they’re doing. And so, this is the natural, organic response of any bureaucracy or any establishment.

    Now, I think it is inappropriate and quite irrelevant to analyze Ed Snowden’s motivations. It doesn’t matter much—except in court, to prove that he either did or did not intend to aid a foreign power or hurt the United States. But separate from that motivation, whether he’s a narcissist, like many people on television are, no, I don’t think that’s relevant at all. He’s neither a traitor nor a hero, and he says this himself. He’s just an ordinary American. He’s trying to start a debate in this nation over something that is critically important. He should be respected for that, taken at face value, and then we should move on to the big issues, including the corruption of our system that is done by massive secrecy and by massive amounts of money in politics.

    AMY GOODMAN: Chris Pyle, we want to thank you for being with us, co-author of Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, Getting Away with Torture and The Constitution Under Siege. In 1970, Christopher Pyle disclosed the military’s spying on civilians and worked for three congressional committees to end it, including Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence. He now teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

  13. Mike S: I fail to see why you think it is necessary to belittle the President as inexperienced, powerless and too incompetent to wield the power he holds.

    It makes far more sense to me to believe the President is fully competent and able to restrain or deny them, but agrees with them and has no desire to restrain or deny them, indeed, by his voluntary actions it seems to me he clearly wishes to defend and enable them.

    1. “Mike S: I fail to see why you think it is necessary to belittle the President as inexperienced, powerless and too incompetent to wield the power he holds”

      Tony,

      I seriously believe that every President since JFK has had people sit down with him after election and in essence given the limits of his powers by those in control of the military. That is why our defense budget continue to grow and why our government fails to crack down on entities like the banks that have caused this “recession” by acting criminally. Perhaps I’m paranoid……but then again perhaps not. I think the fact of this is widely known among certain D.C. circles and that Obama may not have had the pleasure of being in these circles. It is of course possible that his Presidency is a result of his being in the loop, but given his performance thus far I doubt it. While I think JFK’s murder was the result of these forces making an example of him and in a sense stepping somewhat out of the shadows, I think the roots of this stretch back to the end of WWII and the switching of the OSS into the CIA.

  14. (This is an attempted repost, revised for brevity)

    MM: You seemed to say that the mere disclosure of such information by an employee of a private corporation constitutes grounds for treason against the nation.

    It does. Example: If in the course of my access to classified material I read that the USA plans to, say, mount a rescue mission of American hostages by covertly entering a foreign country on a specific date via a specific route, and I leak that to a journalist that trumpets it to the world, I have put American lives (soldiers and hostages) at risk; the mere knowledge that this mission is afoot aborts that mission and may result in the immediate execution or “disappearing” of one or all hostages. I believe I would have aided an Enemy, regardless of whether we had officially declared War on that Enemy.

    Example 2: Suppose in the course of my access to classified material I learn of a new type of undetectable listening device; an un-powered, non-transmitting device immune to all known detection methods that can be incorporated into anything from a structural component of a building to a piece of art or furniture. Now, if I publish the details of that device and its manufacture to the world, wouldn’t that be treason? Because if the USA had any Enemies, I would be giving them the technology to spy on us.

    MM: If by this you meant that the disclosure of information could theoretically but not necessarily or even probably harm the nation, then fair enough, but absent any demonstration of actual harm, intended or otherwise, the mere theoretical possiblity of harm tells us nothing about “treason.”

    I think it does, and I think that is a silly argument. If the release of classified information to foreign Enemies results in them destroying New York City with an atomic bomb, but that happens five years from now, does that act retroactively cause the release of information five years ago to have been treason?

    Although it is necessary in law to define some crimes by their later outcomes (an assault charge can be upgraded to murder if the assault victim eventually dies as a result of the assault), I do not think that is the proper approach to defining “treason,” waiting for actual harm to be demonstrated, because “actual harm” is not as clearcut as a dead assault victim.

    The way the law is currently interpreted is not material to this discussion; by current legal interpretation just about any revelation of any kind is treasonous, and I disagree with that completely. If you wish to defend that, our discussion is done. As far as I am concerned, leaking classified information is treasonous only if the information should have been classified in the first place, and in my opinion no information that covers up a crime by the government should be classified, and only information that can provide a clear and convincing aid to those hostile to our country, military personnel and citizenry, here or abroad, should be classified. Classifying information because politicians think it would upset Americans, cause lawsuits or protests, or harm their political fortunes is wrong.

    Once information HAS been released, the question of whether there is a clear and convincing aid to an “Enemy” should be up to a civilian jury, much like deciding if a murderer should be put to death is up to a civilian jury. If we can trust them with that we can trust them to judge whether the released information (already public) has a clear and convincing potential to produce harm in the hands of those hostile to the USA or its citizens.

  15. Mike Spindell,

    See what I wrote to Tony C. above.

    I would never trust a for-profit corporate camp follower or dogs-of-war mercenary with anything important, let alone vital. The fact that such self-interested war-profiteers have now virtually swallowed the “government” that foolishly hired them speaks for itself. As Barbara Tuchman said of England in 1848: “the goverment had become practically the private preserve of the propertied class.” I think that description fits the United States Government quite well today.

    As you probably know from Western history, the Romans outsourced their military “defense” to dogs-of-war mercenaries and one day woke up to find nothing between the ravenous mercenaries and their own defenseless selves. Some centuries later, the crusading Christian armies got into hock with the merchants of Venice and instead of “liberating” the Holy Land wound up working off their gambling debts by sacking Christian Constantinople for the Venetians.

    None of this history, of course, applies to “exceptional” America, except that a great deal of it already has. (Don’t tell anyone, though. We wouldn’t want to divulge any “unauthorized” “secrets.”)

    1. “the Romans outsourced their military “defense” to dogs-of-war mercenaries and one day woke up to find nothing between the ravenous mercenaries and their own defenseless selves.”

      Michael Murry,

      A very apt analogy for this trend in America. The first Iraq War had started me on a train of thought about our soldiers being used as Hessian mercenary’s. In our never ending wars of this new Century we see our armed forces fighting and dying, yet emotionally disconnected from the media and the public. While they are not drawn from the Germanic peoples as were the Roman mercenaries, eventually there had to be a disconnect forming in the minds of the military that when it comes to the citizenry they are “protecting” it’s us versus them. If indeed both these wars end what is to be done with the enlarged military. In the 90’s they were downsized after Iraq and the USSR’s downfall. Imagine “downsizing” our troops now into an America with high unemployment? If our police have for years felt they were in an “us vs. them” situation, what will our military personnel feel, if indeed many of those at the top of the hierarchy haven’t already imposed their feelings, on let us say an inexperienced President, who seems unable to restrain or deny them.

  16. Tony C.,

    Please allow me to try again. I simply said that one cannot commit “treason” against a private, for-profit corporation. I also said that one cannot commit “treason” simply by sharing company private or even government “classified” information with journalists. You seemed to say that the mere disclosure of such information by an employee of a private corporation constitutes grounds for treason against the nation. If by this you meant that the disclosure of information could theoretically but not necessarily or even probably harm the nation, then fair enough, but absent any demonstration of actual harm, intended or otherwise, the mere theoretcial possiblity of harm tells us nothing about “treason.” In addition, you provided no legal definitions or precedents to support your theoretical suppositions but offered instead the fact that you had served in the US military, which I considered a non-sequitur. I think I read you accurately enough.

    And by the way, if the United States Government trusts its most “vital” (meaning a matter of life and death) secrets to private, for-profit corporate camp followers, then the United States Government deserves waking up one morning to discover that — as Senator Patrick Leahy admitted — “The banks own this place.” And not just the banks.

    Good to read that you do not consider Edward Snowdon guilty of “treason.” That said, it would help in defending his innocence to insist on the severest limitations on the U.S. government’s — or anyone else’s — misuse of the term “treason.” Loose suppositions about theoretical possibilities do not help, in my opinion.

    I maintain that it does not matter who trusts whom with what sort of information. The crime of “treason” has very strict legal parameters constraining how the government may seek to punish a citizen for this crime. In support of my position, I cited the legal definitions of “treason” so as not to embroil myself in verbal disputes that always fail because the interlocutors disagree about what key terms and concepts mean to them. In any case, the government bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual had actively conspired with a foreign nation with the intent of harming the United States. So the definition of treason depends not upon the accusation that someone shared some form of information with journalists, but what harm a person meant to deliberately inflict upon the United States in the interests of some foreign nation and what, if any, harm actually resulted from the sharing of “classified” information. In the cases of Manning, Snowdon, and Assange, none of them intended any harm by their revelations and no harm to the United States actually happened as a result of their sharing information of critical interest to the American people. Exposing crimes and embarassing politicians, generals, and CEOs does not in any way, shape, or form constitute “harm” to the United States. Quite the opposite.

    Governments and private corporations can, of course, terminate the employment of anyone who knowingly violates company or government policy. Fair enough, although public and private review boards — as well as courts — do sometimes exist that insist on fairness and not sheer vindictiveness by the employer. So Booz Allen Hamilton fired Edward Snowdon and the US Army could dismiss Bradley Manning with a bad conduct discharge and time already served during three years of unconscionable pre-trial detention. Julian Assange, as a journalist, had the right to publish whatever he wanted.

    But the thin-skinned and vindictive U.S. government — most especially its current President — insists on making an “example” out of genuine whistleblowers and journalists instead of rooting out crime and corruption within the United States Government itself. So the struggle to take back the language and meaning of participatory democracy must go on.

    Finally, If I went too far in accusing you of a cavalier attitude regarding the misuse of the term “treason,” then I apologize. Inaccurate, unsupported, and insufficient to not necessarily mean “cavalier” or “glib.” I don’t consider you either. The ad hominem “moron” thing, I’ll just overlook.

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