The NSA hubbub confirms the adage that politics makes strange bedfellows


With each passing day, the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs further blurs the lines between left and right in American politics.

This must be frustrating — nay, downright confusing — for those folks who ordinarily distinguish the good guys from the bad guys by labels of liberal or conservative.

Yeah, it’s a crazy world when Michael Moore and Glenn Beck suddenly find themselves on the same side of an issue.

And then, to make matters even more confusing,  the first major poll on the NSA spying “scandal” finds that majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike don’t think it’s a scandal at all. They approve of the NSA’s tracking of Americans’ phone records as a safeguard against terrorism.

Another example of the blurred lines arises from the question of whether NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. Lefty Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame says Snowden’s a hero. So does righty Glenn Beck. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner thinks Snowden’s a traitor. Do does Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Fox News analyst Ralph Peters, a right-winger, even says Snowden should be executed.

Personally, I find all this confusion a welcome, if probably also short-lived, departure from our usual left-right political battles. It prompts people to sort through issues, rather than just look for labels, before they decide which side they’re on.



  1. expdoc

    Snowden is definitely a traitor. It would be foolish to think otherwise. You can’t have low level contractors deciding what information is and is not classified. However, that does not mean that what he did was not in the public interest.

    I would favor arrest, prosecution and very light sentencing. Execution would be extreme for someone who has in the minds of many performed a public service.

  2. doc: Your opinion proves my point about blurred political lines.

  3. Brian Opsahl

    How about the same sentence they gave Scotter Libby the guy that outed Valarie Plam….would that work for ya…?

  4. Craig Knauss

    Snowden obviously signed an oath of secrecy to obtain his clearance. Whether he believed in what he was doing or not, he was not at liberty to reveal classified information. If he didn’t like what was going on, he should have quit his $200K per year job and go do something else. Regardless, he signed an agreement to keep his mouth shut.

    He should be tried, and if found guilty, put in jail for a year or so. Longer if any government agents died because of his big mouth.

  5. Robert

    It needs to be updated or honored, you can’t say one thing and do another, especially behind our backs. And then use the war on terror as the ruse for everything against we the people. It amazes me how willingly people will acquiesce to such abuses by our government and all because they’re keeping in us in a constant state of fear, panic and prejudice. Obama has done nothing but escalate and make even stronger, everything he said he was against pre-2008. Bait and switch, that’s what he was from the beginning.

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility.

  6. Robert

    Luke, I’m waiting for your sarcasm. Falling behind? There’s going to be a whole new set of talking points out before you can even finish pushing the last ones. Wink – love you too XOXO in the platonic brotherly sense.

  7. Our weird friend Robert seems to think that the term “talking points” refers to something bad.

    He’s obsessed with the term, as evidenced by his repeated accusations that I use “talking points” in this blog.

    Actually, “talking point” is defined in one dictionary as “an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion.”

    Another source defines it as “a succinct statement designed to support persuasively one side taken on an issue.”

    Robert uses talking points all the time — stuff he gets from various sources or thinks up himself. But if he suspects that anyone else is using talking points, he cries foul or sees some kind of nefarious conspiracy.

    Moreover, if any of my talking points echo those of certain Democratic liberals, as is often the case, he accuses me of being a tool, a stooge of the evil Obama administration.

    The guy’s a wacko, plain and simple.

  8. Robert

    Obsessed? You should be looking in the mirror dude. Right back at ya… and Luke too.

    Weird? Really? Because it’s coming from you, I wear the honor of being called that name and all the others you’ve used, with the utmost of pride and distinction. Just like all the other people you’ve done similarly to. I’ve even heard you say snotty things about Neftali and expdoc, so not many are saved from your wrath.

    Now, excuse me. I have to swimming while the lap session is still open.

    Have a wonderful day. You’re the best! Really, I mean it. cue- overlapping fingers (I love ingratiating my detractors.)

    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile, weird and wacko one. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility.

  9. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, when provoked…we re-coil…did you see what Nef said to me yesterday….I usully wait for the insults then fire back….I think that’s what Pat does’ ….why is ok for those fellas to start crap…then cry when confronted with the facts.

    I have never told anyone to SHUT-UP…and I cant rememeber Pat doing that either…

  10. Robert

    The latest twist. Cutting to the chase, this 2009 NYC terror plot, the one the administration is using to defend their NSA position, could have been discovered without PRISM, but they left that part out. Transparent my azzz. This administration is just as corrupted as any in the past. He was never the candidate he lead us to believe he was.

    “WASHINGTON — The Obama administration declassified a handful of details Tuesday that credited its PRISM Internet spying program with intercepting a key email that unraveled a 2009 terrorist plot in New York.”

    “In the rush to defend the surveillance programs, however, government officials have changed their stories and misstated key facts of the Zazi plot. And they’ve left out one important detail: The email that disrupted the plan could easily have been intercepted without PRISM.”

    I’m just adding this part because it supports what I said in a past posting about how these guys communicate and the ineffectiveness of key word programs.

    “”The marriage is ready,” the email said in part.”

    Like I said, when these terrorist types communicate they speak in code, the key word programs don’t work unless you know the code words they’re going to use. But you all go on believing this program is really about catching terrorist.


    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile, weird and wacko one. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility.

  11. Robert

    Here’s some more statements from the above linked in article in my previous posting. We’re being lied to, but you keep believing this program is all about catching them big bad terrorist, you know like the ones that bombed Boston. Oops, wait a minute, it didn’t work for that one…

    “In using Zazi to defend the surveillance program, government officials have further confused things by misstating key details about the plot.

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said investigators “found backpacks with bombs.” Really, the bombs hadn’t been completed and the backpacks the FBI found were unrelated to the plot.

    Feinstein said the FBI had Zazi under surveillance for six months. Court testimony showed Zazi was watched only for about two weeks before he was arrested.”

    And you all want to trust this govt with data about your lives? Data they can misuse and misrepresent like they are doing in the above noted scenario?

    But you keep believing all these liars, because at least they’re not paranoid, conspiritorialist, imbecile, weird and wacko’s.

    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile, weird and wacko one. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility.

  12. Brian Opsahl


    Dude…come off the ledge…nobody likes what they are doing but you have to understand that terrorism can and will destroy a country if it is not stopped …and the only way to get these rotten basterds is to go down into the gutter where they excist…and yes it will cost us some libertys, but the day I watched those towers fall was the day the gloves come off.

    Robert the NSA wants nothing to do with you unless your planning against the USA and if you are planning or plotting then I do hope they would find you first…

    Living in a state of paranoia is no way to live…just sayin

  13. Robert

    Brian, well then I guess there’s a lot of paranoid people out there. But one thing I’ve learned in my nearly 60 years of life, throwing the term paranoid out there is just a cheap way of changing the conversation or attempting to stop it. This program is wrong. It’s not working or about how its being sold to us, its about keeping master files on all of us, files that can and will become a danger to our civil liberties, freedoms of speech and privacy.

    If anybody is paranoid its the people throwing that term around at anybody who doesn’t agree with what the NSA is doing. It’s the people who think there’s a terrorists around every corner that are the paranoid ones. As I’ve said, I’m tired of all this fear being peddled 24/7 and I suspect so are millions and millions of other citizens.

    Like I’ve said many times, if that program is so successful, why didn’t it stop the Boston bombers for instance? I want to know? We should all want to know that answer.

    I can’t say I find it amazing any longer that the democrats probably more than the republicans will just rollover and say go ahead trample on the constitution, the democrats are the most likely to attack their own rank and file when it comes to challenging authority. Especially when it’s their party in power. The democrats are no better when it comes to looking the other way at wrong policies than the republicans are, yet they should be. Democrats are supposed to tbe party of we the people, not we the party of Big Brother and the Big Corporations that own Big Brother.

    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile, weird and wacko one. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility. Why? Because Pat says so.

  14. Brian Opsahl

    You missed my point completly …again NOBODY wants this kind of invasion into our lives,but the treat of airplanes flying into buildings is way worse than some snooping that…again has been going on alot longer than you realize….name me one person that has been a target that didn’t deserve the attention they got…

    If we were bombed tomorrow you would be the first to complain that enough wasn’t done if not you I would…!!

  15. Robert

    Brian, If we were bombed tomorrow I’d be the first to say their NSA program destroying our rights to privacy is ineffective for what were being told its for.

    I’ll say it again, I want to know why the NSA program didn’t stop those brothers from Boston? If its such an effective tool, it should have had them on a watch list and they should have been followed around especially after they were searching for how to make bombs on the internet. Inquiring minds want to know why they got to the point of actually being able to detonate those bombs in light of everything we know about them now. They should have been setting off major bells and whistles prior to that Boston incident.

    Signed, Robert the paranoid, conspiritorialist imbecile, weird and wacko one. You know you’ve hit home when they start destroying your credibility. Why? Because Pat says so.

  16. Brian Opsahl

    We have over 300 million peolpe in our Country….really..?

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