## It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

The Sixth Amendment contains the Confrontation Clause that "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him".

However, note that this is only applicable to criminal wrongs, not civil wrongs - such as impeachment.

Article One of the US Constitution only covers how the House of Representatives has sole power of impeachment (in interpreting an impeachable offense) and that the Senate has sole power to try all impeachments.

That's about it for constitutional coverage of impeachment.

If you accept the democratic election of your President, you accept the democratic election of your representatives. Due process can determine their impeachment in line with the above all it wants.

The First Amendment allows you to speak however you will, but it doesn't force those protecting the anonymity of anyone involved in impeachment to reveal their identity.
Last edited by Silhouette on Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Silhouette
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Impeachment is Civil and Criminal prosecution, and involves the Democratically elected official, in this case, the US President. Thus the President, and all those who voted for him (Trump), have Right to Due Process along with all other Rights afforded by the Bill of Rights.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Impeachment is Civil and Criminal prosecution, and involves the Democratically elected official, in this case, the US President. Thus the President, and all those who voted for him (Trump), have Right to Due Process along with all other Rights afforded by the Bill of Rights.

If impeachment is considered criminal prosecution as it suggests in this article, then the Sixth Amendment constitutionally allows the President to confront the witness and the First Amendment allows them to speak about it.

That's about the extent of my knowledge on the US constitution.

Any lawyers on this forum?

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

I think "Congress" (House of Rep) has a general allowance and leeway to begin and run an impeachment "however they want to", but the presumption is, from my understanding of Ethics and Law, that there must maintain the basic processes of Due-process, which entitles basic Rights of Trial, accusations and witnesses as well. Now the Democrats have invoked and pushed "whistleblower protections", but this is an exception historically, and it seems obvious, and common sense, that you cannot begin grounds of Impeachment of the duly and fairly elected President of the United States, explicitly under the basis of an Anonymous Source. Not only does that stink of corruption and abuse-of-power (by the House of Representatives), but look at what precedent it sets.

That...any house majority can accuse a sitting president of any crime based on an Anonymous source and that this "anonymous source" is Immune from outing.

There is no Legal precedent for such, except some legal cases which "protect whistleblowers", but this is Unconstitutional as I've laid out, especially in this case.

Whistleblowers are usually enacted in Corporate and Mafia criminal cases, and based on the severity of such crimes and implications. Because this source is used as a method of impeachment of the President, or worse, as the premise, then this is simply unethical, immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional.

Again, the Precedent this sets, is that issues of Impeachment can begin in the future, from any and all "Anonymous" sources, and if you question or want to defend against such "Anonymous" sources, that you have no recourse to do so. Congress will push it anyway. This is clearly abuse-of-power and overreaching. Pragmatically, it's simply partisan politics, Democrats trying to impeach a fairly elected President. But it is Unconstitutional. There is no "Absolute Right of Anonymity", and articles of Impeachment must strictly follow the US Constitution, otherwise Congress is overreaching or overextending their Authority.

The House Judiciary Committee should have overruled these means of Impeachment already, or should do so now. It's flagrantly wrong.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Karpel Tunnel wrote:It's convenient. It's not wrong.

Yes, it is also my understanding that the Obama administration was hard on whistleblowers, though I do not know of a case where a whistleblower followed the procedure prescribed for reporting misdeeds up the chain and was subsequently punished. I wouldn't be surprised if there cases like that, I just don't know of any. But I think even Snowden should have been given more leniency than he was.

But the whistleblower thing is a distraction here. Look at the way it's being used in this thread, as though it were the whistleblower alone impeaching the President, rather than the House of Representatives, and as though the House were basing its actions solely on the report of the whistleblower, rather than on the public comments of the President, the memo released by the White House, and the growing list of insiders who are testifying publicly and privately to congressional committees. We don't need the whistleblower's identity because we don't need his testimony to establish the allegations that are likely to be forwarded to the Senate.

Fixed Cross wrote:If on the grounds of an anonymous witness (meaning testimony cant be verified) an elected president is removed...

Listen: there is no sequence of events where this will happen. So far, we've had over twenty hours of public hearings in which both Republicans and Democrats were able to question known members of the Trump administration, who made allegations of significant wrongdoing by the President. If the President is removed from office, it will be on the grounds of the current and growing body of public evidence that Trump abused his power to pressure a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival for his personal gain.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:When you create and enforce laws; that is a court. This impeachment "inquiry", is a court.

No it isn't. You have a habit of switching back and forth between technical meanings, colloquial meanings, and metaphorical meanings. In the technical sense, the sense that is relevant when we're talking about how Constitutional rights apply, Congress is not an Article 1, Article 3, or Article 4 tribunal. It is not a court in a Constitutionally relevant sense.

Silhouette wrote:If impeachment is considered criminal prosecution as it suggests in this article, then the Sixth Amendment constitutionally allows the President to confront the witness and the First Amendment allows them to speak about it.

Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution. One piece of evidence of this is that the impeachment clause expressly preserves the possibility of criminal proceedings for the same conduct for which a sitting President is impeached and removed; a President can be removed from office for a certain act and then immediately tried and convicted in criminal proceedings for the same act. That wouldn't be possible if impeachment were criminal, because the Double Jeopardy clause prohibits retrial following a conviction in criminal cases.

Silhouette wrote:Any lawyers on this forum?

I am a lawyer, but to be honest the average lawyer isn't going to be much better at these analyses than the intelligent layperson. Constitutional law has a few quirks, but to a great extent it still relies on the plain language of the Constitution (there are exceptions, e.g. First Amendment law is complicated and often unintuitive, though the average lawyer doesn't know a ton about that either). And especially in the case of Presidential impeachment, there's not a lot of precedent interpreting the few Constitutional provisions about it, and not much time was spent on it in law school (though I'm sure it's different for people in law school now!).
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Carleas
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Implying that it's even remotely possible to impeach and remove, forcibly, the duly and fairly elected President of the United States under the condition that he had committed no crime, in no violation of a US law, and in no violation of the US Constitution... gimme a break!

It goes without saying, you cannot be impeached, if you committed no crime. A US President cannot be impeached "because the House majority doesn't like him". Again, that is a violation of basic Democracy. The majority House cannot simply overrule the US public, which is exactly what is being attempted here.

Imagine it this way: Democrats held majority House and 66% of the Senate -- the US population votes in a President, then House and Congress impeach that same President, even when no crime is committed?!? Ridiculous!!! Absurd, and insane!

There is no intent, whisper, hint of such radical behavior within the Constitution or Bill of Rights! The US President, perhaps more so than any single citizen, has full authority and protection of the US Constitution, including Due Process of Law! This means, facing accusations and allegations of wrongdoing.

The entire "Premise", of this entire Impeachment, is based solely and exclusively on the "whistleblowing". But there is no actual case for protection of anonymity, which threatens the First Amendment, as-if it were remotely reasonable, moral, ethical, to allege wrong-doing under conditions of Anonymity.

SHAME on you, Carleas, for defending this! This is a breach of the highest order of conduct, law, and moral fabric, of US history!

I guess, based on this precedent, the House, Senate, and Congress, can conjure any "Anonymous" source and run with it, with any allegation and accusation, without reproach!?!?

Absolute violation of the US Constitution. Congress is far out-of-bounds and should be penalized, censured, and rebuked. Way too far!
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Implying that it's even remotely possible to impeach and remove, forcibly, the duly and fairly elected President of the United States under the condition that he had committed no crime, in no violation of a US law, and in no violation of the US Constitution... gimme a break!

It goes without saying, you cannot be impeached, if you committed no crime. A US President cannot be impeached "because the House majority doesn't like him". Again, that is a violation of basic Democracy. The majority House cannot simply overrule the US public, which is exactly what is being attempted here.

Imagine it this way: Democrats held majority House and 66% of the Senate -- the US population votes in a President, then House and Congress impeach that same President, even when no crime is committed?!? Ridiculous!!! Absurd, and insane!

There is no intent, whisper, hint of such radical behavior within the Constitution or Bill of Rights! The US President, perhaps more so than any single citizen, has full authority and protection of the US Constitution, including Due Process of Law! This means, facing accusations and allegations of wrongdoing.

The entire "Premise", of this entire Impeachment, is based solely and exclusively on the "whistleblowing". But there is no actual case for protection of anonymity, which threatens the First Amendment, as-if it were remotely reasonable, moral, ethical, to allege wrong-doing under conditions of Anonymity.

SHAME on you, Carleas, for defending this! This is a breach of the highest order of conduct, law, and moral fabric, of US history!

I guess, based on this precedent, the House, Senate, and Congress, can conjure any "Anonymous" source and run with it, with any allegation and accusation, without reproach!?!?

Absolute violation of the US Constitution. Congress is far out-of-bounds and should be penalized, censured, and rebuked. Way too far!

K: the problems with your rant begins with the notion that
impeachment is a civil legal matter.. it isn't.. it is a political matter....
and political matters are different then civil matters.. it isn't directly tied
to what would ordinarily happen in a civil matter... we have very well written out
rules for a civil trial.. but an impeachment is a political matter and as thus the
democrats are following two different set of rules, both written by the GOP..
one set was written in 1974 and the second set was written in 2015...

now a couple of other related issues is that the United States Supreme court has
ruled on the house impeachment inquires before...the first is McGrain v. Daugherty..
saying that the "congress power of inquiry is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to
the legislative function" also saying this "a legislative body cannot legislate wisely or
effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the
legislation is intended to affect or change" the Supreme court was pretty clear here...

in Sinclair v. United States...."individuals right to be exempt from all unauthorized,
arbitrary or unreasonable inquires and disclosures in respect to their personal and
private matters" but that because "it was a matter of concern to the United States"
"the transaction purporting to lease to (Sinclair's company) the lands within the reserve
cannot be said to be merely or principally personal."

also see Barenblatt v. United States for confirmation as to allow congress to punish
those who are found in contempt, when a person refuses to answer questions while
under subpoena by the house committee on Un-Acctivities…. for further information see
wiki "impeachment in the United States"

it is not only the duty of congress to conduct an inquiry but a constitutional
requirement to conduct such an inquiry into the misdeed of judges and
presidents...….

as previously pointed out, the constitution expressly says in Article 1,
"the house of representatives.. shall have the sole power of impeachment...

in article 2. it says, "that the president, vice president and "and all civil servants
officers of the United States...which includes judges can be impeached"

the constitution itself does not specify how impeachment is to be conducted...

the house of Representatives have "SOLE POWER" of impeachment....

that means the house is well within its right to engage in impeachment in
any way, shape or form that it decides upon.... so basically you are dead wrong
that the house is acting illegally or unconstitutionally...… it is well within its
legal and constitutional rights to impeach as both the constitution and the supreme court
has decided....

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Implying that it's even remotely possible to impeach and remove, forcibly, the duly and fairly elected President of the United States under the condition that he had committed no crime, in no violation of a US law, and in no violation of the US Constitution... gimme a break!

The impeachment power expressly applies to the President, so the fact that a President is "duly and fairly elected" clearly cannot remove the possibility of his being impeached and removed.

And, as I've pointed out to you repeatedly, we have a lot of evidence that "high crimes and misdemeanors" include conduct that does not violate any law. The people who wrote the Constitution made that clear in their arguments in favor of ratifying it. Here is a report prepared by congressional staffers during the Watergate procedings, which goes into some depth on the question of whether criminality is required for impeachment, and concludes:
In sum, to limit impeachable conduct to criminal offenses would be incompatible with the evidence concerning the constitutional meaning of the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" and would frustrate the purpose that the framers intended for impeachment. State and federal criminal laws are not written in order to preserve the nation against serious abuse of the presidential office. But this is the purpose of the consitutional provision for the impeachment of a President and that purpose gives meaning to "high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Imagine it this way: Democrats held majority House and 66% of the Senate -- the US population votes in a President, then House and Congress impeach that same President

This is absurd, I agree. But the alternative is that the President can use the powers of his office to undermine the Constitutional system, and so long as he acts within his vast power, he is untouchable. That too is absurd.

And your hypothetical relies on the people to vote for a supermajority in Congress and simultaneously for a President so despised by that supermajority that they would shirk their Constitutional duty to remove her from office at a whim and heedless of any electoral blowback that it would cause.

Where as my hypothetical is on display, right now, in the form of the sitting President.
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Carleas
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Carleas wrote:Yes, it is also my understanding that the Obama administration was hard on whistleblowers, though I do not know of a case where a whistleblower followed the procedure prescribed for reporting misdeeds up the chain and was subsequently punished. I wouldn't be surprised if there cases like that, I just don't know of any. But I think even Snowden should have been given more leniency than he was.
Or a medal. Though I wouldn't rule out his role as a message: we can read everything you write and listen to everything you say. Notice that the Snowdon leaks never really ended up hindering the public or private surveillance. This would be a very smart move, to attack people subliminally, and I must admit I hesitate to attribute smart moves to governments, but these do happen on occasion.

But the whistleblower thing is a distraction here. Look at the way it's being used in this thread, as though it were the whistleblower alone impeaching the President, rather than the House of Representatives, and as though the House were basing its actions solely on the report of the whistleblower, rather than on the public comments of the President, the memo released by the White House, and the growing list of insiders who are testifying publicly and privately to congressional committees. We don't need the whistleblower's identity because we don't need his testimony to establish the allegations that are likely to be forwarded to the Senate.
Yes, I got that. That's why I said I agreed with you and Peter and thought it was not wrong to keep the whistleblower anonymous.

To be honest, I was reaching a bit more intuitivel than usual. My point was not about the impeachment per se. It's about the way that principles and values are used conveniently, regularly, by both parties.

This is old news in the vague way people distrust government. But the incredibly critical role of whistleblowers in society and how they are treated is generally not focused on.

Since in this case the Left is the prime mover against Trump - though obviously many on the Right have problems with him - it seems like at the very time a whistleblower is used, protected and valued

the Left (and the Rigth) need to have it pointed out that they have no real respect for whistleblowers.

So, yes. You and Peter are right - as far as I, a non-lawyer, can tell.

But there is something disingenous about respecting a whistleblower so carefully and immediately going to the law and the constitution to show this is the case.

If the nation is actually going to have any long term health, I think, a simultaneous challenge has to be made regarding hypocrisy around whistleblowers. They are not just tools to use when it is convenient for one's political party or personal aims. In fact

quite the opposite. The idea is that despite how embarrassing and problematic their revelations are, intranationally and internationally, they need to be treated as, metaphorically, sacred.

And that issue should be on the table just as loud as the specific case.

Otherwise the Left gets to pretend it is interested in the truth (and the Right also when it follows laws when it suits them).

You can have specific case justice and farce at the same time. And the long term not dealing with the farce is extremely problematic.

I also think in general it is getting more dangerous again for whistleblowers, often facing things like the Espionage Act when it is a real stretch, both in the private and public sectors.

Great this one is being protected, so far.

They managed to impeach Nixon. Great, and he resigned to save face and further revelations.

But whistleblowers continuously come out about more systematic abuses. Not individual admins, but ongoing, continuous illicit relations between the government and the private sector, or by the military industrial complex. Stuff that carries happily over between admins of supposedly opposed parties. Those whistleblowers get smacked down hard and we don't generally hear about them. Snowdon being one exception.

So I am throwing up a flare in parallel. Not to stop the impeachment or say the whistleblower should be named and be confronted by Trumps lawyers and PR teams and worse.

In parallel, let's not just whip out the letter of the law....not JUST do that. Let's also point out that in this case those being so whistleblower friendly have not in general given a poop about whistleblowers and show no signs

of consistantly applying the laws, consequences be damned

like people with integrity should.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

The Senate Lead already warned everybody that they will run the Senate Trial formally, so no Hearsay and the "Whistleblower" will be exposed there.

At least some sensibility, reason, and justice will be served in all this.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

I hate Donald Trump, they're welcome to remove him as far as I'm concerned and bring us closer to civil war or unrest.

Let's get this party started while I'm still relatively young, I've been waiting nineteen years now and I'm not getting any younger. I have had to endure three political administrations or regimes, enough is enough already.

"I'm sorry, but the lifestyle you've ordered that you've grown accustomed to is completely out of stock. Have a nice day! "-\$

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Carleas wrote:I think even Snowden should have been given more leniency than he was.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Or a medal.

I would not go that far. There may be cases where the government needs to keep some things secret in order to perform its legitimate duties in good faith, e.g. undercover investigations of criminal activity, or various military maneuvers and strategies. I think secrecy is often over-broad, but nonetheless there are times when it is appropriate. And exactly which things should be kept secret, and to what extent, is a delicate decision that shouldn't be left up to every person up and down the chain of command. That system doesn't work, and it can put these legitimate activities in jeopardy.

So with Snowden, I think he did something wrong, in that he revealed secrets that he was not entitled to reveal, on his own prerogative. To my knowledge, he didn't try to voice his concerns internally, and instead went straight to the press with unredacted internal documents.

I think that wrong is significantly mitigated by the good that those revelations did. I don't get the impression that it was malicious, and I think the outcome was net positive, but I don't think it was his call to make. He effectively acted as a vigilante, and we should discourage that for the same reason that we discourage all vigilantism: it undermines the system of law to have individuals taking the law into their own hands.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:The Senate Lead already warned everybody that they will run the Senate Trial formally, so no Hearsay

Federal Rules of Evidence on Hearsay (801-807):
801(d) Statements That Are Not Hearsay. A statement that meets the following conditions is not hearsay:
...
(2) An Opposing Party’s Statement. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:
(A) was made by the party in an individual or representative capacity;
...
(D) was made by the party’s agent or employee on a matter within the scope of that relationship and while it existed; or
(E) was made by the party’s coconspirator during and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
...

Statements made by Trump, or made by people working for or with Trump, and being used against Trump, are not hearsay.
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Carleas
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Carleas wrote:I would not go that far. There may be cases where the government needs to keep some things secret in order to perform its legitimate duties in good faith, e.g. undercover investigations of criminal activity, or various military maneuvers and strategies.
Sure, and thee were errors of redaction, but there was great effort made by the media involved, whom he specifically chose, to redact responsibly.

I think secrecy is often over-broad, but nonetheless there are times when it is appropriate. And exactly which things should be kept secret, and to what extent, is a delicate decision that shouldn't be left up to every person up and down the chain of command. That system doesn't work, and it can put these legitimate activities in jeopardy.
Again, sure, but then precisely along the lines of what is a war crime each person must be responsible when to decide to refuse or reveal. If he had gone through the chain of command, which would have been via private contractor with money to lose, it would not have been revealed.

So with Snowden, I think he did something wrong, in that he revealed secrets that he was not entitled to reveal, on his own prerogative. To my knowledge, he didn't try to voice his concerns internally, and instead went straight to the press with unredacted internal documents.
To voice his concerns internally would likely have been a terrible choice and he was in a position to know that, certainly better than most of us.

That's the whole point of the situation with many whisteblowers. yes, some make a choice to first reveal internally, but that may very well close doors. That choice to risk closing doors is also, one could argue not one for someone to make. His employers had a millions reasons to shut down any revelations. I think a good case could be made that giving them the choice is NOT taking responsibility for what he knew, and deciding to keep things secret. Yes, people can make mistakes.

To have dumped it all on the net would have been a huge problem. And I believe he still has information he never released.

I think that wrong is significantly mitigated by the good that those revelations did. I don't get the impression that it was malicious, and I think the outcome was net positive, but I don't think it was his call to make. He effectively acted as a vigilante, and we should discourage that for the same reason that we discourage all vigilantism: it undermines the system of law to have individuals taking the law into their own hands.
I could see a post WW2 alternate universe German court, had they won, decding the same thing about people who resisted portions of the Holocaust. You should have expressed your concerns to your superiors, rather than hiding Jews, forging passports and so on.

That is the whole point with the idea that we cannot simply follow orders when faced with certain situations.

I think his assessment that his whistleblowing would have been shut down was accurate. He would have been choosing to not have the public be aware of an enormous crime.

Further a vigilante is not the correct analogy. This is generally when you act to punish the perpetrator of illegal or immoral acts instead of the proper legal authorities. Snowdon gave the proper legal authorities a chance to take action on illegal activities. The courts have even allowed certain kinds of vigilatiism, but generally not the kind where the person is punishing alleged perpetrators.

His employers were not law enforcement.

A vast crime was being committed. He revealed this. That's not vigilantism. And he did it in a way that could not be hidden. If he had gone over his direct employers heads to the nsa, I think we can agree what they would have done.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

I agree there are similarities to disobeying orders, hiding refugees, breaking laws for good, etc., and I think we should apply a similar standard to them. I think of them all as wrongs for which there is a positive defense: it was actually wrong to do what they did, but in context it was the least wrong. It's almost like pleading self-defense or defense of others, where we acknowledge that killing is wrong but people can admit to killing and still be found not guilty where the circumstances showed that killing was the lesser harm. There's also a defense in civil cases of 'necessity', which for example excuses civil torts like trespass to property where trespassing is necessary to save a life (I don't recall what lesser harms can support the defense).

I think something like that would be appropriate and socially beneficial here: if a rational person in Snowden's position would agree that there was no practical ability to raise the concerns internally, then raising them in a responsible way externally can be excusable.

But I still think we should be cautious. Are there additional facts we could assume that would justify what the government was doing? This will depend on how bad we judge the programs Snowden revealed to be, and what other values might outweigh them, but let me try to give an abstract account.

Suppose there's some harm X that is greater than the harms Snowden exposed. We know the harm is looming, and we've known long enough that we've had time to put the programs Snowden exposed in place. And we know that those programs are very likely to be effective in preventing X. But X is a closely guarded secret, because we have good reason to believe that if knowledge of X gets out, it will either precipitate X or some other yet greater harm. And so we have the secret programs that Snowden sees, but also some greater secret that Snowden doesn't see and which justifies the programs that Snowden sees and that, if we knew all the facts, we would agree justifies those programs.

This is part of my concern about being too celebratory of whistleblowers who go outside normal channels. We can almost always imagine that someone up the chain has additional knowledge that justifies the perceived harm. I still think where the outcome is good, we should show significant leniency, but I think we should acknowledge that these people are doing something very risky, and potentially risking the well-being of a lot of other people. And we can also support them by providing much more robust channels, like the one used by the whistleblower that set of the current inquiry. We should make these options available, make them safe and easy to use, independent and sufficiently empowered to thoroughly investigate the claims while mitigating the risks.

Separately from this, as a moral question, there is a point at which one needs to blow the whistle despite the costs. The Holocaust and war crime examples are such a cases: the right thing to do is to hide the Jews, or to disobey orders, even though it means you will go to prison after the war or be court-martialed. Part of what makes these people noble is that they take on personal risk to do the right thing.
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Carleas
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

How far does an argument like this, give the impression that necessity and expediency in the relative field of moral justifications of ethical considerations become mired in immeasurable depths of perceptive errors?
Let's say, the whistle blower himself possesses some combination of attributes, which can be categorized somewhat as possession of the same kind of interior compass, wherein he himself begins to feel the necessity to reveal his own identity for some measure of the 'greater good'?
What if, unilaterally, he tries to patch up the growing demands that begin to mask as his own parallel falsely attributed shadow of power hunger, that begins to grow in him, unbeknownst to him by a growing fear of the externally impunged dynamic that non revelation may destroy his moral compass?
What if that fear, becomes real, and gives the false impression that he himself can solve the partisan divide, by offering himself up in some act of self sacrafice, heeding the total alienation of a Snowden type escape from literal reality ?
Does the lack of adherence to an absolute standard here, not further degrade the sought after objectives, even if, facing the abyss of madness for willing the power anynomity?
Where the anynomous and the identifiable clash, the next stage may be described in either terms of internal cracking of authentic adherence for the truth, covering the ideals of a protected model of the model compass, OR, the uncovering of the inauthentic fears, which have resulted in fears of discovery.
The whistle blower is more of the kind, who bases his own decision on effects of extrinsic causation , where the agents of the opposing social norms should determine his decision to stay aninomous or not , any other impression will give credence to being viewed as an inauthentic agent, out of line with what he revealed.
The side he is not on, will demolish him, and place his head onto a skewer,
as a reminder to others of such folly.
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Carleas wrote:But I still think we should be cautious.
Sure, be cautious.

Are there additional facts we could assume that would justify what the government was doing?
Well, then some steps should be taken to somehow give some kind of justification to the contracted, non-government workers, in this case, who know that what the government was doing was not constitutional. The NSA more or less assumed that people would either out of fear or indifference ignore the fact that they were not just in certain instances breaking the law, but as a rule, systematically, and nearly universally.

You could give some kind of vague justification for tracking everyone's communications. Alien invasion perhaps. But Snowdon's a smart guy. He would probably know that no threat actually justifies blanket no warrent invasion of privacy of everyone.

And if the government had a sense of some specific threat, they could make moves to get legislative support in general.

Suppose there's some harm X that is greater than the harms Snowden exposed. We know the harm is looming, and we've known long enough that we've had time to put the programs Snowden exposed in place. And we know that those programs are very likely to be effective in preventing X. But X is a closely guarded secret, because we have good reason to believe that if knowledge of X gets out, it will either precipitate X or some other yet greater harm. And so we have the secret programs that Snowden sees, but also some greater secret that Snowden doesn't see and which justifies the programs that Snowden sees and that, if we knew all the facts, we would agree justifies those programs.
Perhaps there is some kind of threat that would require being able to look at everyone's communications without warrents. I can't see what that would be, but all

all

actions take risks.

Allowing a government to have this kind of power is also a risk.

He weighed the risks

and exposed illegal activity.

Either way he goes he is taking a risk.

The US has a tradition of concern about government power. This informed his choice.

In fact governments should want citizens to seriously consider revealing large scale law breaking by portions of the government. Perhaps the NSA or a faction in it is preparting a coup.

It's been years now and no one has come forward with any justification for what was done. Nothing that justifies tracking everyone's communication without warrent.

It seems like you are arguing that if there might be something that could potentially justify some kind of massive law breaking by a government, then it is wrong to reveal it.

But the problem is that there is no risk free option for the potential whisteblower. And governments should know this. It is a risk they take when they decide they need to break the law. They will know that the people they hire may feel a greater obligation to the law than to the contract they signed. I would guess as a consultant for a private contracter, Snowdon had to sign all sorts of non-disclosure forms, and these had all sorts of threats. They should know that a sense of patriotism or the prevention of evil actions - saying in some sort of ethnic cleansing was on the table.

I even think that whistleblowers should be shown a lot of leeway if it turns out some secret threat that is unique was the reason.

And the Republicans have been big on privitizing the intelligence services to shift massive tax dollars to the private sector.

Well, a contract with a private contractor will perhaps be less binding, in the minds of the workers, than the chain of command. Or perhaps not, since there is so many values inherent in being the armed services or the intelligence services that open the door for whistleblowing.
This is part of my concern about being too celebratory of whistleblowers who go outside normal channels. We can almost always imagine that someone up the chain has additional knowledge that justifies the perceived harm.

And at the same time added urge to cover things up. I think it would have been extreme naivte on his part to think that his bosses at a private company with the NSA as a prime customer are going to say, sure, let's reveal this. And talking internally also opens the door for measures to silence him. That is a risk.
I still think where the outcome is good, we should show significant leniency, but I think we should acknowledge that these people are doing something very risky, and potentially risking the well-being of a lot of other people. And we can also support them by providing much more robust channels, like the one used by the whistleblower that set of the current inquiry.
I will be shocked if robust protections are in place for things that have to do with systematic abuse of power by those who are independent of administrations. Those are the people we want to protect, even more. Because the current slide towards fascism is not stopping regardless of which party is in charge.

Separately from this, as a moral question, there is a point at which one needs to blow the whistle despite the costs. The Holocaust and war crime examples are such a cases: the right thing to do is to hide the Jews, or to disobey orders, even though it means you will go to prison after the war or be court-martialed. Part of what makes these people noble is that they take on personal risk to do the right thing.
Sure. And I think whistleblowers and others like them are often willing to take such risks. Then we as a society need to work out our response.

When you have a general war on whistleblowers we are taking huge long term risks, and both parties seem happy to let that war continue in general.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

My understanding of US law is that the House and also the Senate have the constitutional right to be unjust. If they do not fear re-election concerns, they can do almost anything for any or no reason at all.

In the US, the people are tasked to hold the Congress accountable via voting replacements. When the people lose the right for their votes to have affect, they can no longer control their government. And they lose their vote's ability to have affect when they lose their ability to hear the truth. Most Americans believe the cabal of media corporate propaganda.

The weakness of the US system stems entirely from having a corrupt united media. They are the global socialist elites controlling the narrative by which people gleam good people and bad people.

The six US united media corporations have committed treason against the USA (united by the Associated Press). They control the US Congress, not the other way around. And they can only be held accountable by choosing to inform the people of their own misdeeds. The global socialist billionaires will never allow that to happen even if the corporation board members tried, which they have no reason to do.

They know that people love to be lied to as long as the people feel comforted by the lie. The US education system teaches them when to feel more comfortable or uncomfortable (virtue signaling).

In a land of free speech, how is united propaganda extinguished?
You have been observed.
obsrvr524

Posts: 213
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Urwrongx1000 wrote:The Senate Lead already warned everybody that they will run the Senate Trial formally, so no Hearsay and the "Whistleblower" will be exposed there.

Your wish, was their command.. Boom!
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

--MagsJ

MagsJ
The Londonist

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

obsrvr524 wrote:the cabal of media corporate propaganda

obsrvr524 wrote:They are the global socialist elites

obsrvr524 wrote:The global socialist billionaires

What do you mean by "socialist" here? The wealthy people in charge of mega corporations are not socialist in the classic sense. Do you just mean "team blue"?
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Carleas
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Carleas wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:the cabal of media corporate propaganda

obsrvr524 wrote:They are the global socialist elites

obsrvr524 wrote:The global socialist billionaires

What do you mean by "socialist" here? The wealthy people in charge of mega corporations are not socialist in the classic sense. Do you just mean "team blue"?

What I mean by "socialism" is the traditional definition - any governing body that controls the means of production (jobs, hiring policies, and products) and the economy (wages, interest rates, credit privileges, and currency availability).

What is NOT socialism is humanitarianism. Socialism is inherently and necessarily a power protectorate. Every governing body must protect itself from competing forces. I think your Fixed Cross has been talking about that. Rebellion or resistance must be eliminated at all cost, else all power is lost. The by far number one method for ensuring dominance over a population is the "carrot on a stick" method also called "bait and switch" - promising a wonderful future of free everything, cushy lifestyles, and no more of those EVIL people OVER THERE who have been making our lives miserable. "All you have to do is give us more authority to control all of those OTHER people all around you". Yet they never actually deliver any of it except as needed to help take even more power away from the population. In the case of the US political parties, yes that has become the "blue team".

Lying and being hypocritical almost defines the socialist power tactic. Your AOC congress woman provided a perfect example in two ways. First she was simply hired to be the puppeted actress for a man who could not have won an election, millionaire "boyfriend" socialist Saikat Chakrabarti. She simply espouses whatever agenda he puts forth. She is a fake and socialist puppet to sell socialism. And then second was her absurd Green New Deal - the carrot to ward off the globalist terror campaign of global warming. After a great failing of the campaign, her chief policy advisor (Robert Hockett - Lawyer and law professor at Cornell) openly admitted that the only real purpose of the Green New Deal was to reform the US economy into a socialist structure. The entire campaign, still going on today, was and is a lie used to usurp control of the US economy. And they have actually admitted it (under pressure).

The end result of socialism to the cause an extreme separation in class between the poor and the privileged. Note that is the exact opposite of what the socialist proposes openly. The primary tactic of the socialist is to hypocritically propose the opposite of the truth so as to disguise their control of the narrative - the carrot on the stick used to lead the population in any direction at any time.

A typical defense for the socialist is to play word games, redefining words to mean at times the opposite of what the population knew them to mean. This allows for greater ease in the deceptions involved in usurping authority and power over populations - an absolute requirement of socialism.

Another typical defense of socialism is to pretend that it isn't already there ("the greatest trick of the devil"). When monopolies are formed a limited form of socialism is formed. Socialism is merely a monopoly over all social life, the population. This pretense generally comes in the form of, similar to AOC, a public puppet with hidden agendas and directors - "mega corporations" collaborating in secret , a cabal. The claim is "it is not us. It is THOSE EVIL GUYS OVER THERE!!" - those evil "mega-corporations".

And then to top it all off, to ensure that the system continues and maintains the privileged families atop the mountain, enemies (such as ISIS or "gun violence") are secretly created so that there is an ever present incentive for the population to yield all authority to the socialist order. Faux elections based upon controlled propaganda and false flag "reality" tragedies are then used to give the public appearance of being "democratic" and altruistic even though democracy and socialism are extreme opposites. They then call it "Democratic Socialism" (an oxymoron word game for public appeal).

If socialism continues without total failure, it gradually becomes Communism as the necessary extreme required to sequester and control the minds and hearts of the population (Communist China being such an example of socialism allowed to grow into communism).
You have been observed.
obsrvr524

Posts: 213
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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

obsrvr524 wrote:What I mean by "socialism" is the traditional definition - any governing body that controls the means of production (jobs, hiring policies, and products) and the economy (wages, interest rates, credit privileges, and currency availability).
WEll, the socialist power elite is doing a very poor job, then, in furthering their own power. They have privitized a very large amount of facets of government - including large parts of the military and intelligence services, let alone more tradition things called on to be privitized - and the commons. IN the last 50 years these socialists have eliminated all sorts of government oversight of most industries, reduced taxes, seen to it that the the wealthiest have ever larger parts of the pie, that money controls elections to an even greater degree, that corporations can be even larger - now larger and more powerful than many countries. I mean, these 'socialists' don't seem to know what they are doing. They have created international bodies that do not allow governments to regulate corporations. Corporations can via proxies tell counties what laws they can have and not have, what products they must produce, how much money they can spend on social services - which is less and less. These 'socialists' must be unbelievable dumb, to a degree so incredible that they must be, on some unconscious level, corpratists: lovers of corporate power.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Try not to be so easily fooled.

When a government issues a license, it immediately gains control of the license holder. Don't let the words "I own the business" fool you.

And just because it says "Corporation" on the tin, doesn't mean that it isn't a governing body. Money controls. Follow the money to the actual controller and governor.

President Trump could not have freed up all of those corporations if they had not already been under government "regulation" control (socialism). And note what immediately happened when he did - huge economic free flow and growth - anti-socialism.
You have been observed.
obsrvr524

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

promethean75
Philosopher

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

Just another deception.

That article describes "socialism from above" and "socialism from below". The first is imposed by an already powerful "ruling class". The second is the tricky one, the carrot on a stick. The "socialism from below" proposes that the population/workers will own everything. But what does that mean? A ruse.

Any group that is to be organized must have leaders - a ruling class. When those leaders take control of the propaganda ministry, the media, any "democratic" efforts immediately come under their control. They merely become the next generation of those same "socialism from above" people. After the short delay required to move from a "from below" origin, they must - must - maintain their power as the "from above" socialists.

And even if such a growth and conversion did not immediately take effect, through time, it certainly must because it would always be tempted and never be able to be prevented. Do you think a corrupt ruling class is going to let you overthrow them? Just look what they are attempting with President Trump, Zelensky, and Netanyahu. They never give up trying to gain and hold control through any means necessary.

So whether it begins from above or from below, it ends up in the same place - a mind controlling communist cult.
You have been observed.
obsrvr524

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### Re: It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and UNJUST

You can't maintain a society when the people actively and viscerally hate each-other, undermine, and compete instead of cooperate (against a foreign society).

Infighting leads to self-destruction. Can the Modern-Post-Modern Political Left co-exist with the Right?
Urwrongx1000
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