April 07, 2015

"A damning indictment of our media": A satirical journalist is the first to ask Edward Snowden tough questions

Marissa SemkiwArchive

Comedian John Oliver interviewed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about just what was contained in the documents he leaked, and how this information is being handled (and mishandled) now.

What a disgrace that it took the fake anchorman of a satirical comedy show to ask Snowden tough questions.

The rest of the media has treated him like a hero who could do no wrong.

John Oliver called Snowden incompetent, but I'd go much further.

He's a liar, a thief, an anti-American criminal, and should be tried for treason.

Tell us what you think in the comments!


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commented 2015-04-11 14:03:35 -0400
Dear Liza and Maurice, perhaps I am wrong by my beliefs about Edward Snowden. I am certainly open to new arguments. So far however, I am still convinced than the decision he made and how he handled it, was in fact quite responsible and heroic. I would also like it if a trial would be held in an impartial way, so that the truth may shine through the mud being thrown, I think and hope you would agree. I also believe like you do, that the government is not above the law. I respect and support the fight against terror, but not at any cost.
commented 2015-04-08 23:02:46 -0400
Thanks Maurice, that was most entertaining. I had to read it a few times .
1 and 2 are a given for sure, limited terms and experience in the private sector. 3, makes good sense, in a way, but wouldn’t it be kind of confusing, can’t wrap my head around the ramifications. 4, I had to absorb for a bit but I think I got it, and it looks like a much more democratic approach. It would allow for a lot more voices in there, and I agree it would be more representative of the people. 5, would mean senators would actually have to do some work, and be of real service, and an elected senate is a must, ( for sure a limited term) I would love to see that. Mandate through referendum within the districts., and the conditions for overrule of veto. The senate as it is today is so painful to watch in action , I only do it once in a while and only if the senate committee topic is of particular interest to me. Sometimes its a hoot. Number 6 is brilliant, the supreme court has too much power .

“6) SUPREME COURT DECISIONS MAY BE OVER-RULED BY ELECTED BODIES: Where the Supreme Court declares that legislation, passed through both the Parliament and the Senate, violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and strikes down the law, a combined vote of both the Parliament and Senate will have the power to over-rule the Supreme Court by a vote of 50% plus one. The final word on legislation must be in the hands of the elected bodies, not the unelected body.”

My understanding of how the government works is better than some but not as good as others. I can’t really speak intelligently about the depths of the workings. I have to say good job Maurice, and you miss your calling?
commented 2015-04-08 14:43:17 -0400
Well, Liza, as far as keeping human rights tribunals on the right path is concerned, the only right path for them is to kick their asses to the curb. We don’t need any litigious body where due process is denied to the accused. I actually came up with my own version of what would be a the most fair form of a democratic Canadian government that I could think of. It would still be far from perfect, as in any democracy stupid people must have the right to vote, but for your amusement, here it is below:


1) TERM LIMITS FOR ALL POLITICIANS, FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL: Limit all MP, MLA, MPP and Senate seats to two terms maximum, with a mandatory hiatus of at least one term before running again. Politics should be viewed as a service, not a career.

2) MANDATORY EXPERIENCE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR: Politicians who have never built a business or had to hold down a full-time job that actually contributed to the infrastructure or material needs of society should not be considered qualified to tell the rest of us how that society should be built or run. (length and type of experience to be determined)

3) ALL ELECTORAL DISTRICTS SHOULD REPRESENTS THE SAME NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS: Each electoral district should represent, as nearly as possible, exactly the same population. That would mean that electoral boundaries would have to be very fluid, and may fluctuate from one election to the next, depending on shifting populations.

4) DIVIDE PARLIAMENT IN TWO: I propose that a more democratic parliament would see half the seats filled by the winning candidates in each electoral district, and the other half filled by party representation in direct relationship to the popular vote. In other words, half of the seats would be filled by appointment. The number of appointed seats allotted to each political party would depend on that party’s percentage of the popular vote. If a party received 30% of the popular vote, they would receive 30% of the appointed seats. That way, in ridings that were very close in the election, the second place candidate may still get a seat in parliament. Also, seats allotted in that manner would more closely represent the actual will of the people.(total number of parliamentary seats to be determined)

5) A NON-PARTISAN ELECTED SENATE BY REGION, WITH LOCAL VETO POWERS: The Senate should be elected, with the same term limits as those of Parliament. Senate seats should be distributed, not by population, but by Senatorial Districts within Provinces, defined by geographic, commercial and socio/cultural communities (geographic area to be defined). All Senate seats should be non-partisan, with Senators owing no allegiance to any political party, but solely to their district constituents. The function of the Senate should be, in some ways similar to the current function – sober second thought, but their allegiance must be first and foremost to their Senatorial District and those they represent. To that end, each Senator should have the power to veto the implementation of any legislation within the confines of his or her Senatorial District, but only when given a mandate through referendum to do so by their electorate. Cost of the referendum to be borne solely and completely by the Senatorial District. This veto power must be limited, in that the courts and/or an appointed committee of provincial and federal representatives must have the authority to overrule the veto and develop alternatives that address and resolve by negotiation the issue(s) that triggered the veto. But this power to overrule must also be limited. The specific conditions under which the veto may be overruled are: a) if failure to implement said legislation within the specified Senatorial District is deemed to be detrimental to the National interest, or b) it was determined that failure to implement would adversely affect neighboring Senatorial Districts. (number of Senatorial Districts to be determined)

6) SUPREME COURT DECISIONS MAY BE OVER-RULED BY ELECTED BODIES: Where the Supreme Court declares that legislation, passed through both the Parliament and the Senate, violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and strikes down the law, a combined vote of both the Parliament and Senate will have the power to over-rule the Supreme Court by a vote of 50% plus one. The final word on legislation must be in the hands of the elected bodies, not the unelected body.
commented 2015-04-08 12:18:41 -0400
Oh, I guess so Maurice.
On thinking about it some more, If Trudeau gets in and appoints Suzuki to the senate or we get any more left of left supreme court judges, we might want to curb our climate change as vehicle to wealth distribution, conversations or risk ending up behind bars. My tongue is only sort of in my cheek on that one. Domestically it would be nice to not be flagged for certain words or phrases, our calls listened to, but how do we balance that and our security as a country There must be a way. I didn’t need Snowman to tell me its been going on. I still think he is a traitor. But agree that we must be vigilant. We better make sure we have strong and tight, free speech laws in this country and find a way to keep judges and human rights tribunals on the right path. There has to be a better way to vet some of these people we give power to, those we can’t elect, but are appointed.
commented 2015-04-08 12:11:56 -0400
I saw the video and see that it was heavily edited by the reporter(s) to support his and/or her claim that it took a comedian to expose the “real Edward Snowden”. First of all, we haven’t seen the raw material so I won’t make my judgement based on the edited material alone. Secondly, the Main Stream Media in the US is calling Snowden a traitor; many alternative media sites (therebel is an alternative media site) do consider him and other whistle blowers as heroes. Which media is Melissa referring to?
For the record, I support whistle blowers. It takes great courage and sacrifice just to tell the truth today.
If some of your employees are stealing from you (the government is your employee) or not following lawful procedures and another employee tells you about it (the whistle blower) and you determine that yes they are stealing from you or breaking the law, which would you fire and vilify?
commented 2015-04-08 10:18:10 -0400
So one of your kids secretly tapes family conversations and films private footage and then invites all the neighbours over for a film night while you are out…wow, that is courageous and a way to keep tyranny in check! Maybe. Maybe not. But did he have the authority to do it? Should he be lionized by his family and rewarded? I guess in the end it depends on whether there is illegal activity going on and/or whether or not the child actually UNDERSTANDS what he has taped and filmed. How many of you parents out there would be praising Snowden if he were your child and the tapes were of your private life and possibly things that are an embarrassment to one or all of you? A family argument? A private conversation? A vulnerable confession? Someone talking to themselves? etc.

Is the question whether it is good that personal privacy has been invaded on the possibility that perhaps some crime has been committed, or whether the child is a traitor to his family or not? There are at least two aspects to this conversation. Is the invasion of personal privacy something that many of you here support, especially those who think Snowden is not so bad?
commented 2015-04-08 10:07:46 -0400
It always makes me snicker when I read that the “government” listens to every telephone conversation in the entire country. I have two sisters and we call each other frequently. I picture the report from the “listener” on duty: A. asks B. “How is your back today?” B replies, etc. etc. as we go through today’s list of physical aggravations. Hilarious! And, then we get to the baking and the exchange of recipes. Then the rise in prices this week and the diminishing number of facial tissues in a box. I admire the stamina of the eavesdroppers! Sorry to not take this seriously.
commented 2015-04-08 08:23:20 -0400
The US government along with its authoritarian bureaucracy has gone to extraordinary lengths to subvert the constitution.

Snowden exposed their ongoing top-down ruse, which was a good thing. The KGB defectors from Russia also did the same thing and that was also, a good thing. It takes people like them to keep governments honest and accountable to the public. Indeed, to keep tyranny in check.

“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
commented 2015-04-08 06:01:22 -0400
Edward Snowden is nothing else then a treater to his country period. Lets call a cat a cat. He should be interviewed by a court of law instead of lefty medias’ who will once again try to make us believe he was justified to think the way he did, justified to decide for all other american citizens on what was right or wrong, and justified to act the way he did.
commented 2015-04-08 02:36:11 -0400
Perhaps, Liza, what Michael was trying to say was, you have reached the age of intelligent maturity, and he has gone beyond that, and crossed over into senility. See, he may have been paying you a compliment with this “mentally much older” thing. Can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?
commented 2015-04-08 01:27:55 -0400
You stating that you are mentally much older than I am in your or possibly others opinion, means nothing to me, either way. Your argument, and examples have no proper context. I do disagree with you, absolutely and unequivocally. I may or may not say so again. It will depend on how I feel at the time, and of course the contents of the comment.
commented 2015-04-08 01:20:23 -0400
I am the same age Thomas Jefferson was 5 years before he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
commented 2015-04-08 01:09:25 -0400
Liza you are clearly very intelligent. Agree to disagree?
commented 2015-04-08 00:44:22 -0400
I respect your opinion Liza, I truly do. First of all: If someone had exposed the prison camps in germany to the world, during WWII, that person, aswell would not have had the right to make that decision for his country. That being said, I am not comparing torture to serveillance. I am just saying that sometimes, the right thing to do isn’t always given permission. And..to answer your belittling question, I am mentally much older than you.
commented 2015-04-08 00:35:04 -0400
I completely agree with Marissa on this. The rest of you, feel free to express your opinions, but I’m sticking with Marissa. This was never about “doing the right thing”, It was always about Edward Snowden, “Look At Me!!!”.
commented 2015-04-08 00:14:07 -0400
Anonymous, , too late, and its global. act accordingly.
“Also = Canadians … you know that we are a foreign country to the US right? All the things they say they were not doing to their own citizens (but actually were doing), they are openly and actively doing to each and every Canadian. If you use the internet, virtually every single connection you make will pass from Canada into the US. That means the NSA is making a copy of every jot and tittle you write, every visit, every view = your every move. To some that might not be a problem, but to those of us who still like to shut the curtains to our bedrooms at night, we who close the doors to the bathroom when we shower, we who like some semblance of privacy = we are not interested in being copied, saved, categorized and cataloged. "
commented 2015-04-07 23:59:58 -0400
I have to wonder your age Michael. Who gave Snowden the right to make an executive decision for his country. You are not paying attention to the details, you are too cemented in semantics. Rah rah snowden showed courage , he’s for freedom because he …… . What do you know about global ramifications. Your definition of standing up for freedom, makes the bad guys, you know there are some, rub their hands together.
Lets not be as stupid as they growingly think we are. You talk about freedom, well you are handing it over.
commented 2015-04-07 23:58:40 -0400
The Rebel has not really thought this one through. I love The Rebel and Ezra et al, but seriously, you have to take another look at what Snowden really did. He exposed the real traitors in our midst! The US Gov told us over and over again that they were not spying on their own people … that they were not recording phone calls or keeping data on their own citizens – Snowden proved all that wrong. It is the US Government who has betrayed the people … they are the ones who turned the cameras inward instead of watching outside the gates for signs of danger. They are the traitors. Snowden screwed up big time giving the data to the media … and REALLY screwed up giving it to Greenwald who is a particularly nasty piece of crap, and for that Snowden rightly should be castigated. But he is no traitor … no more than anyone else who reports a crime.

Also = Canadians … you know that we are a foreign country to the US right? All the things they say they were not doing to their own citizens (but actually were doing), they are openly and actively doing to each and every Canadian. If you use the internet, virtually every single connection you make will pass from Canada into the US. That means the NSA is making a copy of every jot and tittle you write, every visit, every view = your every move. To some that might not be a problem, but to those of us who still like to shut the curtains to our bedrooms at night, we who close the doors to the bathroom when we shower, we who like some semblance of privacy = we are not interested in being copied, saved, categorized and cataloged.

Snowden revealed what the US government is doing, what is your response?
commented 2015-04-07 23:36:59 -0400
As fas as I am concerned, he made an executive decision. So what! George Washington was a traitor, and quite possibly the greatest hero who ever existed. To stand up for freedom and be willing to sacrifice your life and a promising future takes guts. Mr Snowden did exactly that. What he did and is doing now to remain out of prison is completely and utterly irrelevant. I only wish, that given the opportunity, that I would show the same kind of courage.
commented 2015-04-07 23:22:09 -0400
Lawrence try to look at the big picture. Also, history. Just because it sounds good doesn’t make it good.
Mixing the domestic laundry with international laundry is a ruse. Of course we don’t want our gov.t listening in on our phone conversations or reading our emails. Ever consider that there are bigger fish to fry, and that glomming the two together just conveniently confuses the matter. It is naive to think each and every government of the world does not listen in on other countries. It has always been.
Domestically it needs to be watched, but by the citizens of that country, its not Russia or any other countries business. Ever consider that in the case of a countries security, that it might not be prudent to make known all the details. I don’t want my gov. to make every security matter public.
You have to listen, watch, speak out, but you also have to have some trust in the gov. you vote in, in the country you reside in. The only alternative is to find another country. But don’t commit treason before you leave.
commented 2015-04-07 22:54:26 -0400
It matters not what Snowden thought about the information he held in trust. What matters is his oath of secrecy to the American citizens/his Country. As what he did affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, he sure thought a lot of himself to make that decision on behalf of everyone affected. He’s a narcissistic SOB and should face charges of treason.
commented 2015-04-07 22:32:13 -0400
too bad, the government holds far too many secrets from the public. You cannot take government secrecy seriously when they use it as a weapon against their own people. Snowden is a hero.
commented 2015-04-07 22:28:12 -0400
Listen again, to the first 1:15 of this vid. Listen to the whole thing again. I just don’t know how you can watch this and say some of the things some are saying. He went to China, then Russia, even if it was with only our dirty domestic laundry, what business did he have doing that, that would be bad enough, but he handed over to our adversaries, info they had no business having, involving international business.. I’ll bet Putin just loved that drama. And China.
commented 2015-04-07 21:51:35 -0400
Give me a break, you think big brother cares about listening in our little drug deals. You think all nations equally, don’t listen in and spy on each other, you don’t think this has always been the case and always will be? You don’t think we have a right to defend ourselves and acquire all the intel we can? Everyone else is doing it. Putin is ex KGB, China? You people really need to grow up. This kid steps foot in North America again he should be locked away. Traitor, traitor, traitor.
commented 2015-04-07 21:40:11 -0400
I’m torn on Snowden. On the one hand, I think the general knowledge of the scope of government spying on it’s own citizens needed to come out. But instead of focusing on that specific information, the idiot just released everything he could get his moronic hands on into the wild, whether it hurt the country or not. And I’m sure Americans died because of it. Then he runs for cover to the enemy, an enemy that has a long history of spying and suppressing its citizens. So overall, I think he crossed over from hero into a complete traitorous dipsh*t.
commented 2015-04-07 21:20:45 -0400
I agree with both points of view on one hand if snowden saw these documents he should have left them where he found them and then shout it from the roof tops (whistle blow) . What I find disconcerting is that secret documents found their way into the hands of a very left leaning news org in which led to the deaths of CIA informants in Pakistan and that blood will always be on his hands and that he has to live with. It’s a dirty and dangerous game to expose secrets especially when it comes to the safety of the people who are trying to protect us. You listening Justin and dontcare I mean Mulcair
commented 2015-04-07 21:11:50 -0400
The fact that the NSA and all its accomplices in Britain and Canada et al… have been monitoring every single phone conversation without warrants, is, by far, enough justification for a real hero, Snowden, to let the PEOPLE know what is going on. This type of Big Brother surveillance is illegal. Exposing this huge illegal operation took a lot of courage, as he knew his life would be forever altered.
commented 2015-04-07 20:15:38 -0400
Snowden is a hero in my eyes. Therebel is wrong about this one.
commented 2015-04-07 19:54:40 -0400
What goes around comes around Marissa.

Right or wrong Snowden did what he felt he had to do, just like the dozens of KGB/GRU officials and operatives that defected to various western nations, including the USA and Canada in the last 60 years. We didn’t see them get turned away. They were welcomed and in some cases honored as was the case with Anatoliy Golitsyn a high ranking KGB defector who is currently an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Indeed these defectors apparently provided invaluable “secret” information. I have no use for the NSA and the United States government’s surreptitious, cloak-and –dagger behavior. Nor do I have any use for the Soviet KGB/GRU behavior in kind. They will reap what they sow.

Deceit, deception and secrecy are the tools of the devil whose purpose is to enslave mankind. Hence we are neither free nor are we secure if we are compelled to rely on and submit to such tactics.
commented 2015-04-07 19:47:33 -0400
Normally I love and respect the work that The Rebel puts into their articles, but I couldn’t disagree more with their take on this issue. Edward Snowden did a great service to his country by exposing the mass surveillance system in the United States, revealing documents which the main-stream media has largely ignored. Let’s get one thing straight … it is NEVER a good thing when your government spies on the innocent. You can paint as many scary pictures as you want about the boogeyman coming to get us in our sleep, but it’s simply not worth giving up your God given rights and liberties in order for your government to ‘keep you safe’. We certainly do live in dangerous times, but I would much rather take the risk of enduring terrorism, than to let any government take control of my life. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the more control a government has in your life, the more dangerous it is for everyone. I am all for fighting terrorism, but not at the expense of my own personal freedoms. I will not allow a bunch of mass-murderers to let me become a slave to my own government. We don’t have to go very far back in history to know where big [and evil] government can lead.