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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Asymmetrical Villainy 2

Continuing the discussion in the post Asymmetrical Villainy

"Edward Snowden, hero or villain?"

I observe the recent article in The Daily Beast (April 4, 2014):

In April of last year, Vice President Joe Biden called for a Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation and detention programs to be declassified. More than two months later, The Daily Beast has learned, the State Department told Congress in a classified letter that declassifying the report could endanger American lives abroad and harm relations with foreign countries.

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11-3 to recommend declassifying the summary and conclusion of the report on Bush-era CIA detention and interrogation programs, prepared by their Democratic staff. Their investigation set off a public battle between the CIA and the Committee’s Chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, who has accused the CIA of spying on the Committee’s investigation. The CIA will now be involved in reviewing and redacting any portions of the report that will be made public.

Two Republican senators who voted against declassification, Marco Rubio and James Risch, issued a statement after the vote revealing they had been warned by the State Department that declassification was not only an intelligence risk but also a threat to U.S. conduct of foreign policy.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee today voted to send a one-sided, partisan report to the CIA and White House for declassification despite warnings from the State Department and our allies indicating that declassification of this report could endanger the lives of American diplomats and citizens overseas and jeopardize U.S. relations with other countries. Therefore, we could not support declassification of this product at this time,” they said...

Back in February, when we argued over Snowden's mythic status, hero or villain, the one who posed the question and who was the sole person who stated "villain" had various arguments:
These came down to a basic proposition that Mr. Snowden's dumped vast amounts of data to the media, and this data had the potential to hurt people...

So that is where we are. We hurt people; admitting we hurt people, hurts people. Thus we cannot admit it, we cannot perform the language act, for we have logic and persuasion to cajole us from doing that ghastly apologia...

But try and stop us from the physical act of torture!
Torture we can do, and with a will!

Everything we do can hurt someone. We do not let the lethal nature of action prohibit us from venturing into wars and insurrections. We only let the killing-like nature of actions prevent us from stopping, from explaining, from dissuading us from similar future folly.

Hurting people does not stop us from hurting people by war, torture, etc.
However, hurting people is a sufficient condition to degrade our society, endanger our freedoms, and undermine our Constitution.


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