Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


(14,036 posts)
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:01 PM Apr 2014

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Rhiannon12866 (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: The Guardian

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?" I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.) Clapper's lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we'll get to them soon – but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin-surveillance-us-leaders-snowden

I thought Snowden deserved to defend his reasons for asking Putin questions of Russia's surveillance operations. I can't believe how many even on DU think he is a some kind of traitor. And that his questioning of Putin was a part of some nefarious evil plot. I've heard views that are almost to the point of Snowden being some super secret international spy who is colluding with Dr. Evil to destroy the USA.

I will grant that I think Putin never would have allowed the question in a public forum like that if he thought he could not use it in some way. In this case most likely to be able to publicly deny his own country was as bad as the USA. It was for the Russian people's consumption. But I believe that Snowden simply took advantage of the opportunity to raise the question. To start asking questions like this in Russia too. I'm sure he was smart enough to realize that he wouldn't be getting the truth, he just wanted to get the ball rolling. Read the second paragraph of the excerpt.
Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama (Original Post) LiberalLovinLug Apr 2014 OP
This ought to be good. bemildred Apr 2014 #1
Do you have an opinion of your own? LiberalLovinLug Apr 2014 #2
No, it's impossible to resolve what is going on here. bemildred Apr 2014 #4
Nailed it. Eat your popcorn. JimDandy Apr 2014 #7
"Traitor" is maybe too strong a word for Snowden. uhnope Apr 2014 #3
Yep. This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt at damage control Cali_Democrat Apr 2014 #6
Snowden was gutsy cosmicone Apr 2014 #5
Locking, sorry, but this is an Editorial/Opinion rather than breaking news Rhiannon12866 Apr 2014 #8


(90,061 posts)
1. This ought to be good.
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:03 PM
Apr 2014


(14,036 posts)
2. Do you have an opinion of your own?
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:18 PM
Apr 2014

Or do you just "like to watch"?


(90,061 posts)
4. No, it's impossible to resolve what is going on here.
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:29 PM
Apr 2014

Is it a conspiracy, a huge propaganda trick, or a noble crusade by Mr. Snowden? But everybody will have an opinion.


(7,318 posts)
7. Nailed it. Eat your popcorn.
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:39 PM
Apr 2014


(6,419 posts)
3. "Traitor" is maybe too strong a word for Snowden.
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:21 PM
Apr 2014

I don't think we have a single word for a confused, misguided fool who ends up cooperating with actual dictatorships out of some mixture of concern for his own country and apparent personal problems--though the Russians used to use the term "useful idiot."

This editorial is damage control on the latest foolish/bizarre move by this Snowden person. If you look at bottom of the article, this piece was provided by the "Freedom of the Press Foundation". What's that, you ask? Why, Glenn Greenwald's organization. What a surprise.



(30,439 posts)
6. Yep. This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt at damage control
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:34 PM
Apr 2014

Snowden is nothing more than a Putin Propaganda Puppet.



(11,014 posts)
5. Snowden was gutsy
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:30 PM
Apr 2014

If he pisses Putin off, he will be looking at time in Leavenworth.


(195,215 posts)
8. Locking, sorry, but this is an Editorial/Opinion rather than breaking news
Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:50 PM
Apr 2014

Please consider reposting in Good Reads or GD. Thanks!

Latest Discussions»Latest Breaking News»Vladimir Putin must be ca...