back to article Dubya: I introduced PRISM and I think it's pretty swell

Former US president George W Bush has said the controversial PRISM surveillance was designed to protect America, and claimed whistleblower-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden has damaged the nation by revealing its existence. During an interview with CNN, Dubya said that he had ordered the creation of PRISM to beef up national …

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Come on you lot...

One of you, do the decent thing and offer the bloke asylum.

IMHO He would fall pretty well into political asylum seeker now. Given the sh1t storm of protests and finger pointing we now see between governments in the press, it's a safe bet if he returned to his native country he wouldn't be able to get a fair trial.

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Stop

Re: Come on you lot...

No it doesn't work that way Asylum is given to those who have a fear of being persecuted by virtue of race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

Either of committing a criminal offense in one country or indeed in this case committing a criminal offense against your country and then dodging out before you can be charged doesn't qualify for Asylum. The fact that you then generate a media sh1t storm doesn't also then generate grounds for Asylum.

Rather international law recognizes both of these as a case for extradition.

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Re: Come on you lot...

In which case there are a lot of people in the West due to be shipped back to the USSR - who were merely criminals for spying on it.

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Re: Come on you lot...

"Either of committing a criminal offense in one country or indeed in this case committing a criminal offense against your country and then dodging out before you can be charged doesn't qualify for Asylum."

1. That's a legalistic view of how countries decide if asylum applies but if a word has a strict legal definition as well as a general use correct use of a word is not determined by strict legal definition.

2. Even if we accept a strictly legal definition of the word, it can be argued Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident.

By definition a dissident is someone who challenges, doctrines or policies of a state that are (most usually) perceived to be against the interest of the people. For this reason, it should not be possible for democracies to have dissidents and (on this basis) it can be argued Snowden is simply a criminal. However taking the logical conclusion presented by Lawrence Lessig in his book Republic Lost, there is now a strong and forensically documented argument the US Democratic process has been so far corrupted, it no longer adequately represents the tone of the American people - especially in matters of military and national security.

Snowden's actions directly talk to the kind of corruption Lessig documents. So on this basis Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident, cannot expect a fair trial, and such should be eligible for Asylum.

For a fascinating abridged version of Lessig's argument, see his TED talk on Lesterville. The points he raises are not party political and should be a concern for all people of all colours on the political spectrum.

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the US of A’s first political dissident

SuccessCase, by the definition of dissident that you’d provided, I’d say that Benjamin Franklin Bache (the journalist, not his nephew the surgeon) would have a better claim to being the US of A’s first political dissident.

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Headmaster

Re: Come on you lot...

What rubbish, Titus Technophobe, although I wouldn't wish you living in an area dominated by fake `asylum seekers' who just turn up, spout any bullshit, and get free legal aid at the taxpayer's expense, and for greatly self-righteous and self-enriching lawyers. Every English-speaking nation, and most western Europe nations, have similar systems. The US and UK go a little further, automatically offering residence to enemies of places they want to piss off, or just be terrorized by.

A precise list is easy to make.

Like you it seems, the lawyers don't have to live with the situations they create, expense accounts and the ability to ride taxis or limos everywhere keeps them away from the pain they inflict on the hoi polloi.

Snowden is now a genuine political refugee, interesting how much shakier his situation of those who are patently not yet are accepted as such.

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Re: Come on you lot... @Yet Another Anonymous coward

That would be which USSR? The only one I knew of ceased to exist getting on for 20 years ago. This might have been an option for Mr Snowden (other I suspect that he doesn't have a lot to offer) but this would be defection rather than Asylum.

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Re: Come on you lot...

Whoops, missed a wordor two there.

`not such yet are forcibly accepted as such.'

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Unhappy

First political dissident

Wow. another who needs more than a little remedial reading.

*So on this basis Snowden is the US of A's first political dissident*

Those of who admire the best of it would not stoop to such an ignorant, try reading a few books if you have the patience.

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Re: Come on you lot...

Asylum is given to those who have a fear of being persecuted by virtue of race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

Pretty sure that whistleblowing on unethical and potentially illegal snooping is a quite hard political opinion.

And doing a crime doesn't mean you're seen as a criminal everywhere. If this was a universal rule, should the woman who wrote "Not without my daughter" be sent back to Iran with her daughter, for crimes on Iran?

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Pint

Re: First political dissident

`us who admire the best of it would not stoop to such an ignorant stance.'

Suppose I'd better not post from the phone when overly sauced, preview takes too long.

Client-side prob.

Delish , u must eat it!

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Re: First political dissident

@Bleu I have made a clear and logical point justified in its own terms but also backed up with a reference to a seminal academic work. You on the other hand have replied with a barely intelligible insult claiming I require remedial reading without including even an ounce of reasoned argument and without any knowledge of who I am or what books I have read. I suggest you are in more than a little need of remedial everything.

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Terminator

Re: First political dissident

Sorry, I am extremely well read, history to philosopy and lit. to tech.. my major I suppose,& c.

Sure a little too sauced to write at length right now, but you may well do worse than to broaden the horizons you so clearly showed to be so narrow in your earlier posts by *doing just a little reading*.

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Black Helicopters

Re: First political dissident

This is a post 1986 remark, the American history is a blank slate. Job well done.

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Re: Come on you lot...

I like the idea of dissident status. Espionage as I understand it is theft of secrets, and providing it to someone other power for some personal gain or ideology. Manning falls under the UCMJ. But there is no attempt to hide the information taken, and he didn't exactly give it to any one power.

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Re: First political dissident

@Bleu. Odd, I would have thought if you were "extremely well read, history to philosopy and lit" you would know you are attempting the argument from authority, one of the logical fallacies. That is an argument along the lines "I'm an authority, therefore my argument is correct." (There is no "therefore" and your arguments stand or fall on their own logic which you have failed to provide).

I'm looking forward to your proof I have done little reading. From my standpoint it will involve a spectacular event where you reveal, after all, I am only a mind in a vat or some other equally phantasmic reality. Perhaps I will be struck by a bolt of lightening and realise, in the manner of Descartes, the tower that looks round in the distance is in fact square and all those books I have read on philosophy, art and history were in fact mere hallucinations and the knowledge I thought they had imparted akin to wisps of smoke that will vanish the moment I try to refer back to them.

Perhaps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Come on you lot...

I look forward to the Guardian editor attending the first funerals of the next Islamic bombing, to apologise to the relatives.

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@AC

"I look forward to the Guardian editor attending the first funerals of the next Islamic bombing, to apologise to the relatives."

You must live in a very strange world if writing/publishing something (whether true or not/or offensive) means that you're to blame for the atrocities committed by a bunch of savages afterwards.

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Re: First political dissident

I call cobblers on your credentials. No student of Philosophy would resort to such simplistic Ad Hominem attacks twice in a row.

Also, they would see the fundamental error in an "Appeal to Authority" argument wherein one might simply say "read more and you too will be wise like me, but only if you read the same books and end up with the same conclusions as me otherwise you are not wise."

Horizons are never so narrow except when bounded by received wisdom.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Come on you lot...

International Law is there for America to get other countries to do what it wants and ignore whenever it suits it.

I know someone who's father got Asylum in America for a pretty similar case to Snowden. (But from China) he was killed pretty much straight away when he returned to go for a funeral (Well it is known he never got there but not much else).

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Re: Come on you lot...

Ends don't justify the means. If you want to stop unnecessary deaths there are many other things that would provide better results and cost less.

9 people in that Boston bombing totally not worth even bothering about.

1 person in this country killed recently.

More people have been killed by people who due to age are not as sharp behind the wheel of a car.

Funny thing about is Western countries are becoming more like Saudi Arabia. (It would have been less hassle to give Bin Laden - Saudi Arabia in return for really cheap oil (With an understanding he does anything then he will be removed forcefully.)

Saudi Arabia is as bad as anywhere but all anyone complains about is Iran.

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Re: Come on you lot...

Iraq under Saddam was no worse than Saudi Arabia.

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Precognition

> Bush said: "I put that program in place

Of course, the powers knew he would say that to CNN as they had already intercepted the emails and calls that set the interview up.

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Mushroom

Re: Precognition

He [W] might well have said 'protect civil liberties' when he instigated it, but there is another government in power now who don't seem to be following those rules.

Let me be clear, spying on your neighbours and then trading that information with another power so that they can give you their info on your own populace IS THE SAME AS SPYING ON YOUR OWN POPULACE.

To suggest anything else smacks of sophistry.

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Re: Precognition

"To suggest anything else smacks of sophistry."

...and your a priori truth to justify this claim is?

Friends have spied on one another since time immemorial, and on their citizens too. This is how people avoid being wiped out by surprise attacks. Granted it is now some 68 years since the last time these points were accepted without reserve - indeed, we were about to slip into a cold war - so perhaps it is the case that those who prattle on about such things in querulous, nay outraged tones, have been educated in a vacuum about such things as the build up to WWII and the cold war.

Si vis pacem parabellum.

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Re: Precognition

My a priori truth was based on logic.

If this, then that. If that, then this. That's all.

And as for your Latin phrase, just who are they preparing for war against? I'm quite concerned that it is against their own population.

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WTF?

Dubya

I won't be around because it's going to take awhile for the objective historians to show up. And so I'm pretty comfortable with it. - Now, I can be pretty cynical. But this here is really over the top.

I know the spirit in which I did it. - So do I. That's what scares me.

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Re: Dubya

Presumably by "objective historian" he means "someone who agrees with him"? Quite brilliant logic - "I'm sure I'll be judged correctly, but waaay off in the future when I'll be too dead to care if I'm not"

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Re: Dubya

Shirley it was in the spirit of the peaceful co existence of humans and fish?

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Re: Dubya

Do you like fish sticks?

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Re: Dubya

History is already catching up to where he expects it will eventually wind up:

http://news.yahoo.com/george-w-bush-back-favor-ratings-surprising-jump-165417335.html

But some people are so addicted to their own hatred they can't see straight.

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Bush said

"Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

You know what, George? History has already judged.

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Unhappy

Re: Bush said

""Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made.""

He says that a lot.

So far history is calling him a either a dumbass stooge for much smarter businessmen or an actual just-don't-give-a-f**k psychopath with bags of the sort of good 'ol boy charm that comes from being a true vacuum.

Still who knows, endow a couple of libraries (no I don't think a good book is exactly his idea of entertainment either) and they might be kinder.

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Unhappy

Re: Bush said

"Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

Pretty much exactly what Blair said in the aftermath of the illegal Iraq invasion. And because he had all the evidence sealed away under a 30 year rule for "national security", it will be left to history to judge him a war criminal, instead of a trial at The Hague.

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Re: Bush said.... nice idea

endow a couple of libraries

but does the world really need another 450,000,000 libraries?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bush said

When your children are being murdered in the street by the people they were trying to protect us from (rather futilely in my opinion, demographics being what they are,) then you will judge differently.

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Re: Bush said

An interesting variation on the "won't somebody think of the children" cliché there. Chapeau.

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Re: Bush said

"When your children are being murdered in the street ..." And so we see that the terrorists have won. Fear of the incredibly unlikely guides your thinking. Do you also live underground in case you are hit by a meteor?

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Childcatcher

Re: Bush said

When Iraqi children were being murdered in the street by the people sent there to supposedly protect them, did you judge this to be acceptable?

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Re: Bush said

""Ultimately, history will judge the decisions I made."

Pretty much exactly what Blair said in the aftermath of the illegal Iraq invasion. And because he had all the evidence sealed away under a 30 year rule for "national security", it will be left to history to judge him a war criminal, instead of a trial at The Hague."

In respect of the illegal war against Iraq I agree completely. Blair committed many other misdeeds of an illicit nature, and I want the man on trial for them all. It does not matter if he has sealed the evidence sealed away, because the sources in the rest of the world cannot be hidden. The best Blair et al. could do was a dodgy dossier and one very weak and unconfirmed item of 'intelligence'; as a lawyer Blair knows that the word of one individual is not enough for irrevocable punishments such as death, and this applies to intelligence, for which there must always be considerable corroboration from different directions.

As to whether 'history will judge' anyone, no; history is not a thing or person, and we should not reify concepts such as it.

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Alert

Mañana

The Spanish told him to try again tomorrow? Does that mean you (author) are aware he has plans to travel there?

You know it's gone to hell when Obama is getting Bush mkII to defend him. The little bastard has hardly said a word since he left office but now he's back.

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Re: Mañana

My understanding of the Spanish phrase ins't so much tomorrow, as 'Maybe ... Maybe Not (almost certainly not)'.

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Happy

Re: Mañana

Maybe it has different meaning in Spain, but the South American wife says tomorrow or sometimes morning.

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@technophobe

It's a word and not a phrase, it means tomorrow and your understanding seems zilch. In the right context it might mean anything, such as 'tomorrow (don't bug me and I hope not to meet you tomorrow)', but you'd have to make that context up as it is not given in the text.

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Re: Mañana

My friend bought a fridge in Spain. The guy in the shop said it would be delivered "mañana mañana" and it duly turned up at 10am. Better service than Currys or Comet.

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Childcatcher

Re: Mañana

The guy in the shop said it would be delivered "mañana mañana" and it duly turned up at 10am

As far as I could tell, it simply means "not today" where I lived in New Mexico. For example:

Q: When will my car be ready?

A: Mañana.

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Re: Mañana

In Mexico it also means tomorrow or morning; but there's also the "not today" meaning. Like in "not today, maybe tomorrow".

That's how the Spanish joke about the Tomorrow Man came to be: H2's the Tomorrow Man because whenever you ask "when will X be finished?" he will answer "Tomorrow".

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Re: Mañana

'not today' was what i thought it meant

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Why didn't Obama just cancel the program like he said he would in 2008?

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FAIL

Because governments, once they have power, are extremely hesitant to give it up. He promised to get rid of Guantanamo as well. They have actually expanded since Obama took over.

This is the joy of a two party system. No matter who you vote in, things just get worse.

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