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  (Source: Defense Ministry of Pakistan)
Obama has defended the use of drone killings to protect "security"; Snowden does livestream Q&A

Given that the Obama administration and its Republican "frienemies" have accused U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden of "Act(s) of Treason" for revealing U.S. efforts to spy on foreigners (PRISM) and track the locations/call records of 99 percent of Americans (FISA court orders), some wonder how far the nation will go to silence further leaks.

I. Democrats, Republicans: Snowden is "Traitor", Risk to "National Security"

Both parties seem relatively united in condemning Mr. Snowden as a "traitor" to his country for leaking the details on the government's efforts to erode citizens' Constitutional freedom to live their lives in privacy -- even as civil liberties groups call him a patriot.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) states, "What Edward Snowden did amounts to an Act of Treason."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), reiterates, "I don't look at this as being a whistle-blower, I think it's an act of treason.  He took an oath - that oath is important. He violated the oath, he violated the law. It's an act of treason in my view."

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Good Morning America, "He's a traitor."

Rep. Peter Kin
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and others suggest Snowden is a national security threat and must be silenced. [Image Source: CNN]

And U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-New York) comments, "I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude.  I think something on this magnitude..  compromises national security."

II. Obama Administration: Drone Deaths Strikes OK to Protect National Security

The U.S. may have a difficult time extricating Mr. Snowden given that he's holed up at a safe house in a secret location in Hong Kong, China.  And given that some of his leaks reveal details of programs the U.S. used to spy on China, Chinese officials are reportedly hesitant to hunt him down.

The Obama Administration's Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder and President Obama have already endorsed the use of drone death strikes to kill Americans in "extreme" cases where "national security" is threatened.  Given the harsh rhetoric from both Congressional Democrats and Republicans (and the White House) some fear that Mr. Snowden could soon be targeted by such a strike, if his location is determined.

Predator missile
Some top officials believe the U.S. may use a drone death strike on Snowden.
[Image Source: Drone Wars UK]

Mr. Snowden appears to be still alive and well -- he is doing a live-stream Q&A today at 11 a.m. EST.

III. Rep. Paul Warns of Death Strike Possibility

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is among the few in Congress to condemn the spying and praised Mr. Snowden's whistleblowing, voiced this concern telling Fox Business News, "I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile.  I mean we live in a bad time where American citizens don’t even have rights and that they can be killed, but the gentlemen is trying to tell the truth about what’s going on."

Ron Paul debates Obama
Ron Paul says that the spying was "certainly not patriotic" and was a victory for terrorists.
[Image Source: AP]

Rep. Paul has sounded the alarm in recent years about what he views as growing collusion between the Republican and Democratic parties to funnel money to special interests, build a military complex, and strip Americans of their Constitutional freedoms.

He stated during the 2012 election, "Democracy isn't all that healthy in this country because if you're in a third party... you don't get in the debates... And if you ever come to the conclusion -- heaven forbid -- that the two parties aren't all that different, then what is left really?"

Sources: Ron Paul [on Fox News], Guardian [Snowden Q&A]

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RE: As usual
By Nortel on 6/17/2013 4:37:55 PM , Rating: 1
They are not tracking ONLY US communications, if someone calls into/out of the USA those are also tracked. Similarly with Facebook and the rest, they keep ALL records, not discriminating on only US based persons.

These 'terrorist' catching tracking systems can be thwarted by simply using regular mail or even encoding messages using SSL.

Freedom shouldn't come with an asterisk

RE: As usual
By GotThumbs on 6/17/2013 8:04:16 PM , Rating: 5
Guess it's safe to say now that the United States is....

NOT the freest nation in the world now.

Sacrificing citizens individual rights and privacy in the name of government protection of it's citizens.....yeah right.

The passing of time will truly show how little freedom we truly have these days.

Best wishes,

RE: As usual
By BSMonitor on 6/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: As usual
By MrBlastman on 6/18/2013 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 1
How is he a dousche? There is no melodrama here. What he speaks is the truth.

Believe otherwise and you deserve not one single shred of freedom.

RE: As usual
By MrBlastman on 6/18/2013 12:03:09 PM , Rating: 1
Patrick Henry said it best, many moons ago:


It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace... What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

The NSA is those chains and we are all in bondage. He might have said this 1775 but they are still very relevant today. Oh how people forget the wisdom of the past, discarded for the new, progressive and "better" future.

Lest we never forget.

RE: As usual
By BRB29 on 6/18/2013 12:08:05 PM , Rating: 1
Guess it's safe to say now that the United States is.... NOT the freest nation in the world now.

Please name a nation in the world where you have more freedom than the US and not have to worry about being blown up or shot.

RE: As usual
By spamreader1 on 6/18/2013 2:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
I sometimes worry about being blown up or shot, seems to be more and more frequent in large gatherings.

Not knowing what other nations freedoms are doesn't negate the wearing away ours.

RE: As usual
By BRB29 on 6/18/2013 2:31:46 PM , Rating: 1
You have like 100x more chance of being in a fatal car accident. What's your point?

Should I worry about aliens and solar flares knocking out the entire world's electronics?

We do know what other nations freedoms are. It's called google whatever the hell you're looking for.

People flock to the US for a reason. They'll risk their life doing it. We're the only country with a high level of freedom and protection at the same time.

You just sound like someone's whose been protected your whole life and paranoid of the world. Please don't go into cities, it's probably a nightmare for you.

RE: As usual
By ClownPuncher on 6/18/2013 3:50:30 PM , Rating: 2

RE: As usual
By Kel Ghu on 6/18/2013 7:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
Japan, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia...

You have more freedom and civil rights in the vast majority of western european countries. And you feel safer in most asian countries, because people are inherently so much more peaceful even if they are poor.

Freedom and civil rights in the US are long gone! It's just an illusion that remains from the glorious past of the country! WAKE UP!

RE: As usual
By ClownPuncher on 6/19/2013 12:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Singapore? No. They have more economic freedom, but definitely not more personal freedom.

RE: As usual
By Paj on 6/19/2013 8:31:54 AM , Rating: 2
Err... lol?

People have more likelihood of dying in the US from gun-related homicide than almost any other country in the West.

Perhaps a greater defense against 'terrorism' could come about by not organising coups or invasions in sovereign nations, and generally having a far less hawkish foreign policy?

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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