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Old 2013-07-09, 06:33   Link #29321
risingstar3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Quoted verbatim from the story:

The man was a known assassin. He was captured at the site of the mass grave. The general summarily executed him. He wasn't "discovered" to be a mass murderer after the execution.

Was there due process? No. Was it wrong? Yes, such summary executions could constitute a war crime. The key here, is not whether the context behind the execution excuses the potential crime. The end does not justify the means.

No, the crux of the question is, now that you know the full story, would you still look at the general as a hardcore criminal who had absolute disregard for the Geneva Convention?

As an armchair commentator, it's easy to cast blame. I guarantee you, however, if you were there, in the general's shoes, at that moment in time, it wouldn't so easy to make the "right" call.

My point simply is that, not knowing the "big picture", not knowing the full reasons why extensive surveillance like Prism is needed to prevent acts of terrorism, it's impossible for us to fully evaluate its pros and cons.
The only defendant was silent as soon as that picture was taken. He is not known to be an assassin, or at least there is no trial or evidences on that. There is also no proof that he was "captured at the site of the mass grave"(the story actually developed from killing innocents children, to killing a cop family, to killing 7 cop families as you stated). Or even if there was mass grave at all.

Sorry , looking at WW2 and Vietnam War were like my favorite hobby during high school/early uni. But after the Tet offenses there were massive reports of mass graves collaborated by US and South Vietnam offices trying to turn the mass population against the Vietcong. Most was concentrated in the city of Hue where based on timelines, the Vietcong swiftly took over, then US and South Vietnam forces barricaded the city trapping most of the residents inside. The fighting continue, with the trapped Vietcong and US with superior air force and heavy weapons flatten and damage 70% of the city structures. Almost none civillians killing was reported by the US. Then up to two months after the war ended, mass graves were conveniently "discovered" around the city, credited to Vietcong's massacres. None of the reporters were allowed to enter onsite of such mass graves.

It bit back massively through, as those propaganda/reports directly led to the fall of Saigon 6 years later (dying people aside, it's hilarious, honestly)

But you can guess what i means. If you are looking at things (like motivations) beyond "facts" (i prefer using this than "truth"). It is easy for your opinion to be swayed, and actions can be rejustified. Context is important but that only was after assessing the event independently by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The US government doesn't deny that Prism exists. But it is trying to defend its necessity. It's up to Americans to decide whether it's a policy decision that has gone too far.

And I'm saying that, in truth, such a decision is impossible for ordinary Americans to make fairly. For most people, it's an unacceptable invasion of privacy. But then, we'll never know the reasons that purportedly made such a system necessary in the first place, because they are classified secrets. Information that President Obama would have, but is legally unable to divulge. At least, not now.

Let me ask simply: Is spying wrong, in principle? Yes or no?

If you said "No, it depends", then the next inevitable question would be, "Well, how much spying is too much?"

That is the question that Americans would have to answer for themselves. It would be nice if foreigners had a say in it, too, but obviously that's not going to happen even though we are the ones who are actually worse affected.

To me, the answer was never "Yes, spying is categorically wrong" to begin with. Anyone who believes otherwise needs a crash course in realpolitik.
Honestly, the issue was not so much on spying. But on how much the US government can and could hide under public (even with those secret court/trial things). Then talk about uneducated public can't handle the truth...

I means i will still against spying if US pass the regulations allowing legitimately spying their own citizens. It will be same with torture in that case, most of the public against it, but still legitimate. But it will be different with this case isn't it?
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Old 2013-07-09, 06:44   Link #29322
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
The only defendant was silent as soon as that picture was taken. He is not known to be an assassin, or at least there is no trial or evidences on that. There is also no proof that he was "captured at the site of the mass grave"(the story actually developed from killing innocents children, to killing a cop family, to killing 7 cop families as you stated). Or even if there was mass grave at all.

"And the whole thing is the picture destroyed (the general's) life. And that's what bothers me more than anything else."
Eddie Adams, the photographer behind the Saigon Execution picture
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Old 2013-07-09, 06:50   Link #29323
risingstar3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

"And the whole thing is the picture destroyed (the general's) life. And that's what bothers me more than anything else."
Eddie Adams, the photographer behind the Saigon Execution picture
What do you means here through?

Did the fact that the police guy's life was destroyed making his killing more justified? And the dead guy became more guilty without charged?

Edit: we really should ends this soon and return the thread, otherwise our posts will soon be both deleted anyway
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Old 2013-07-09, 07:10   Link #29324
ganbaru
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For those than can read French: Et si c'était arrivé aux États-Unis? ( And if it would had happened in the US ? )
http://affaires.lapresse.ca/opinions...etats-unis.php
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Old 2013-07-09, 08:38   Link #29325
ArchmageXin
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The US government doesn't deny that Prism exists. But it is trying to defend its necessity. It's up to Americans to decide whether it has gone too far.

How can we decide on something we don't know actually exist?
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Old 2013-07-09, 09:40   Link #29326
ArchmageXin
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Was mother Teresa a total fraud?

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress....an-we-thought/

Quote:
1. The woman was in love with suffering and simply didn’t take care of her charges, many of whom fruitlessly sought medical care.

“At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.”

2. She was tightfisted about helping others, seequestered money donated for her work, and took money from dictators.

“Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. ‘Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?’”

3. She was deliberately promoted by BBC journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (a fellow anti-abortionist), and her beatification was based on phony miracles.

.” . .In 1969, [Muggeridge] made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: ‘I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing—direct murder by the mother herself.’

. . . Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. [JAC: As I recall, it took only a year.] The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. “What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivée and his colleagues ask.”
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Old 2013-07-09, 11:52   Link #29327
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
Edit: we really should ends this soon and return the thread, otherwise our posts will soon be both deleted anyway
Actually, it was you who revived the matter. No one else disputed the example after I first raised it, and we were focused on the topic at hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
What do you means here through?

Did the fact that the police guy's life was destroyed making his killing more justified? And the dead guy became more guilty without charged?
None of the above. I never made any claim about who or what is justified by the photo. This is the context in which I raised the example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
...And I highly doubt that Edward Snowden was any more privy to the "big picture" than the rest of us. Given his background, I also doubt that he has properly assessed the full weight of the enormous pros and cons of the PRISM spying system before deciding to blow the lid on it...

Their backgrounds matter because I need to assess the extent to which they have told the "whole truth". I need to consider whether they have twisted the "truth" to suit an agenda.

And yes, such distortions can happen. It would be naive to think they don't.

More importantly, even in the absence of an ulterior motive, accidents can happen based on how we report the "truth".
TL;DR…
 
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

=======

Back on topic: If we knew what President Obama knows, based on what he gets from the surveillance programme, would we still be so quick to condemn the system?

Perhaps that is indeed besides the point, since as you pointed out, the fact the system was kept hidden was absolutely reprehensible to begin with.

Bottom-line though, is Edward Snowden a hero for breaking the secret the way he did?

I wouldn't go so far to call him a hero. If he had truly wanted to hold the moral high ground, there were legal channels for him to blow the whistle. He chose not to use those channels. And that naturally makes me want to question his motives. It makes me doubt his so-called "heroism". To be sure, he never described himself in such terms. As MeoTwister5 said, it's just a case of some people putting him up on a pedestal he never asked for. I suspect he's just a cocky smartass who believes that he knows a lot better than all the sheeple around him.

To me, prisoners or exiles of conscience are made of much sterner stuff. To me, he's just a kid on the run and bitching loudly about it.

Still, he did break the story and revealed the truth as he saw it. I'd give him that much.

Just don't expect me to idolise him the way some people do.

=======

And finally, to keep this thread focused on the news:

Edward Snowden: 'The US government will say I aided our enemies'
The Guardian releases the second part of the video interview with Snowden.
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Old 2013-07-09, 12:50   Link #29328
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
=======

Back on topic: If we knew what President Obama knows, based on what he gets from the surveillance programme, would we still be so quick to condemn the system?
I'm pretty sure that at least, if caught, I'd lie a bit harder about it all. "Yeah, we spied on everyone, get over it" is kinda insulting.

Quote:
Perhaps that is indeed besides the point, since as you pointed out, the fact the system was kept hidden was absolutely reprehensible to begin with.

Bottom-line though, is Edward Snowden a hero for breaking the secret the way he did?

I wouldn't go so far to call him a hero. If he had truly wanted to hold the moral high ground, there were legal channels for him to blow the whistle. He chose not to use those channels. And that naturally makes me want to question his motives. It makes me doubt his so-called "heroism". To be sure, he never described himself in such terms. As MeoTwister5 said, it's just a case of some people putting him up on a pedestal he never asked for. I suspect he's just a cocky smartass who believes that he knows a lot better than all the sheeple around him.

To me, prisoners or exiles of conscience are made of much sterner stuff. To me, he's just a kid on the run and bitching loudly about it.

Still, he did break the story and revealed the truth as he saw it. I'd give him that much.

Just don't expect me to idolise him the way some people do.
I don't idolize him either, but at the end of the day, I just don't care what kind of person he is. You haven't really demonstrated why, in this particular case, it matters why he did it. Let's say he did it because he doesn't like Obama, and that he was totally fine with it when Bush had the reins. So what?

What people are reacting to, here, isn't Snowden's character. It's America's spying practices, which no one, least of all America, is denying.

Maybe Snowden doesn't have the moral courage needed to, say, blow the whistle and spend years in jail. Maybe he's got things to hide, or maybe he just doesn't trust the system. (It's one thing to go to the government for protection when you blow the whistle on a company. It's another to do the same when you blow it on the government...)
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Old 2013-07-09, 13:54   Link #29329
Haak
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As far as I can see the biggest problem is the US and related countries spying on their own people Orwellian style, trying to make sure the people never learn about a program that it totally their right to know about and going to such ridiculous lengths to persecute anyone who is actually willing to reveal what the government is up to, even going as far to bully the leaders of smaller countries like Bolivia. It would have to take a hell of a lot for Snowden's character to be anywhere near that level and so far it seems to me that the only arguments can quite easily be explained with Hanlon's Razor.
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Old 2013-07-09, 18:31   Link #29330
TinyRedLeaf
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The last time I checked, spying is usually something that, you know, takes place in secret?

I mean, would it still be spying if I politely knocked on your door, informed you that I would be tapping your phone and kindly requested that you sign a consent form for me to listen in on your conversation?

Hence my earlier question: Is spying, in principle, right or wrong?

What is actually offensive about the Prism system? Is it because spying is categorically wrong, or is it because the government didn't tell anyone about it?

Would you still be an effective spy if I knew not only that you are spying on me, but also how? Would you really be able to get the information you want?

Look, I don't think anyone likes to be spied on. I don't think anyone likes the idea of his privacy being secretly invaded. But spying happens. There is an entire chapter in the Art Of War dedicated to the necessity and importance of spying.

To me, the question isn't whether the spying is categorically wrong, or whether it takes place in secret without consent. The question is to what extent is a system like Prism really necessary? To what extent can Americans live with such surveillance?

And, to answer the question, you really need to know the bigger picture of what America purportedly faces in terms of threats, the greater context that none of us will really know at this present time, and which I highly doubt that Edward Snowden had any more access to than the rest of us.

Many people would accept that spying is a necessary evil. So, the question should really be, does the benefit of spying outweigh the penalties?
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Old 2013-07-09, 18:31   Link #29331
Drkz
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http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...rtphones.shtml
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Old 2013-07-09, 20:03   Link #29332
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The last time I checked, spying is usually something that, you know, takes place in secret?

I mean, would it still be spying if I politely knocked on your door, informed you that I would be tapping your phone and kindly requested that you sign a consent form for me to listen in on your conversation?

Hence my earlier question: Is spying, in principle, right or wrong?

What is actually offensive about the Prism system? Is it because spying is categorically wrong, or is it because the government didn't tell anyone about it?

Would you still be an effective spy if I knew not only that you are spying on me, but also how? Would you really be able to get the information you want?

Look, I don't think anyone likes to be spied on. I don't think anyone likes the idea of his privacy being secretly invaded. But spying happens. There is an entire chapter in the Art Of War dedicated to the necessity and importance of spying.

To me, the question isn't whether the spying is categorically wrong, or whether it takes place in secret without consent. The question is to what extent is a system like Prism really necessary? To what extent can Americans live with such surveillance?

And, to answer the question, you really need to know the bigger picture of what America purportedly faces in terms of threats, the greater context that none of us will really know at this present time, and which I highly doubt that Edward Snowden had any more access to than the rest of us.

Many people would accept that spying is a necessary evil. So, the question should really be, does the benefit of spying outweigh the penalties?
Frank Church (late senator) once said, with reading of mails, tapping of phones, this infinite growth of intelligence apparatus could be one days utilized by a dictator....and once that happens, Americans would not be able to fight back.

Also, nobody is complaining about spying as much as spying on CIVILIANS. Seriously, the world howled bloody murder a few months ago about China's supposed elite spy unit hitting American corporations and governments-and now you are sayings is a "necessary" thing?
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Old 2013-07-09, 20:15   Link #29333
kuroishinigami
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The funny thing for me about all this PRISM "comedy" business is how hyprocrite US government look after all the accusation they direct toward China and other country . For me personally, I always thought that spying is "necessary" evil so on personal level this relevation barely affect me at all, but there's something funny seeing the US government accuse and pressure Chinese government about Internet spying and it turns out the US is doing the same
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Old 2013-07-09, 20:25   Link #29334
GDB
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It's one thing when countries spy on other countries, but as ArchmageXin said, the main issue is that they're spying on their own citizens. That's 1984 Orwellian shit right there, and it is not acceptable.
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Old 2013-07-09, 20:32   Link #29335
kuroishinigami
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But the greatest threat for everything has always been from within. Even for "terrorists", they have a much higher chance to suceed with inside help than without. I agree with Archmage's point about how that much power in the hand of government/intelligence increase the risk of wrongdoings though.

With that said, I don't agree with how the news outlet/US government tries to attack Snowden's character to discredit him. A snitch/"informant" information about a crime gang is still as valuable even if said "informant" is a gang member himself/only doing it for his own good(could be money or pardon from punishment) as long as the information is accurate so why should this be any different?
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Old 2013-07-09, 20:42   Link #29336
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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How the Pentagon’s payroll quagmire traps America’s soldiers
http://preview.reuters.com/2013/7/2/...y-the-pentagon

Obama speaks with UAE Crown Prince, Qatar Emir about Egypt concerns
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96900V20130710
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Old 2013-07-10, 01:25   Link #29337
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
To me, the question isn't whether the spying is categorically wrong, or whether it takes place in secret without consent. The question is to what extent is a system like Prism really necessary? To what extent can Americans live with such surveillance?
I'd also toss such questions as "if they're so sure it's necessary, why isn't there a 'we can spy on anyone, for any reason' law?" or "shouldn't there be strict guidelines, and systems in place to insure they're applied?"

And, for foreign powers, "the US got caught. Isn't it time to put the screws on them about it? Isn't that how it's done?"

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-07-10 at 05:34.
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Old 2013-07-10, 05:26   Link #29338
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
It's one thing when countries spy on other countries, but as ArchmageXin said, the main issue is that they're spying on their own citizens. That's 1984 Orwellian shit right there, and it is not acceptable.
Agreed. Another major issue is that Prism is untargeted, it collects and stores data on everyone without grounds for suspicion. The threat of terrorism has allowed intelligence agencies to encroach on the domain of law enforcement, but without any of the legal constraints governing the latter.
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Old 2013-07-10, 06:03   Link #29339
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
Also, nobody is complaining about spying as much as spying on CIVILIANS. Seriously, the world howled bloody murder a few months ago about China's supposed elite spy unit hitting American corporations and governments-and now you are sayings is a "necessary" thing?
I never said anything about China spying on American corporations. It wasn't news to me. Actually, I don't remember that many people here kicking up a fuss about it.

As for the concerns about government overreach like those of Anh_Minh's:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I'd also toss such questions as "if they're so sure it's necessary, why isn't there a 'we can spy on anyone, for any reason' law?" or "shouldn't there be strict guidelines, and systems in place to insure they're applied?"

And, for foreign powers, "the US got caught. Isn't it time to put the screws on them about it? Isn't that how it's done?"
From what I understand, there was a law put in place to authorise programmes like Prism: the Patriot Act passed in 2001, and it never sat well with some lawmakers: A history lesson on the Patriot Act: How warnings were mocked in Senate

But, like it or not, the Act is still there in the statute books. So Mr Obama wasn't lying when he insisted that Prism is legal.

As for foreign powers, Snowden himself had declared: The NSA is in bed with most Western states. He's probably quite right. The programme has likely benefitted many other states, not just the US. And that may well explain why no one is keen on giving him asylum.
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Old 2013-07-10, 07:03   Link #29340
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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China warns of 'grim' trade outlook after surprise exports fall
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96902L20130710

China ready to hand over audit documents to U.S. regulators
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...96902Q20130710
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