"Snowden Was Justified." Get the Facts and You’ll Likely Agree.

A New York audience devoted nearly two hours yesterday evening to a riveting Intelligence Squared debate about Edward Snowden and the surveillance regime that his disclosures revealed.

The motion up for debate was "Snowden Was Justified." Arguing for the motion were Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, and Ben Wizner, Edward Snowden's legal advisor and the director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. They debated Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, and Ambassador R. James Woolsey, a former CIA director. A pre-debate vote revealed the audience's feelings on the whistleblower to be evenly split, with 29 percent for the motion, 29 percent against, and 42 percent undecided.

Results from the Snowden Debate

Unsurprisingly, Ben and Daniel won, decisively. In a fascinating back-and-forth, they demonstrated why we're all better off after Snowden, in a world with a window into a once-secret regime that everyone – including all three branches of government – is now debating out in the open. And they managed to convince 25 percent of the audience: At the end, 54 percent voted for the motion, 35 percent against, while 11 percent remained undecided. You can see a more detailed vote breakdown here

Watch below. As Ben noted during the debate, "What a difference an informed public can make." How true that is. 

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Anonymous

WOW. Excellent forum!

Anonymous

It's called a strategy of tension

Anonymous

It's called overplayed, old news, as in SOME people are sick of hearing his name.
Even a person's favorite thing can get overwhelming. I listened to that new song 'Don't Say Goodnight,' by Hot Chelle Rae (HCR) at least 25 times.
After the last time I heard it I was sick of listening to it. But I still love the song - and will probably listen to it today.
The same thing that happened with the song is what's happening with that Snowden character. You can't go one day without hearing his gd name.
And for the record, I like HCR WAY more than Snowden.

I'm going to sign that petition for him to come home but not for the reason anyone would guess. I still don't like what he said in that interview, and you'd never be able to trust a person who's a whistle blower - b/c if he'd do that to his government, you can be 98 percent confident he won't think twice about telling YOUR secrets - but I'd rather have him in the United States with that information than Russia. Their leader is draconian. He positively despises gay people. And I wouldn't want this Snowden giving our information to that guy. I can't recall his name, he's the president of Russia, or whatever they call their leader.

Anonymous

I have no idea how you can say Snowden was justified while Bradley Manning sits in PRISON for what HE did.
Why's HIS so different? Because he's transgender or something?
Thirty-five YEARS. The man got 35 YEARS for divulging information.
I think it's downright sinfully hypocritical to think one whistleblower is TOTALLY INNOCENT while the other deserves 35 years in prison.
People don't get to have that both ways. They're either BOTH innocent or both guilty.
And 35 years is fuckin' ridiculous. The guy who shot me in the back THREE DAMN TIMES, causing my lung to collapse and sending me into clinical death twice got 30 years. THIRTY.
That's five years LESS than a person who DIDN'T maim two people for life. The guy shot someone else too. He only got 20 years for mine and 10 for the teller, who WASN'T used as a shield. I was used as a shield between the robber and police. He also had about 15 weapons infractions what with all the guns and even a few pineapples (grenades) on him when they arrested him.
He does all that VIOLENT crap and gets up to 20 years per person.
WHAT THE HELL'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. WHAT IS WRONG, TELL ME SISTER.
If you'll excuse my language, I'll say there's something definitely and decidedly fucked up about the sentencing of crimes!
I'm going to live out my entire life in pain from partial nerve damage and the guy who did it to me got 20 years for it.
That's infuriating.

Anonymous

I did not even read the article to know this. So called "facts revealed" were technically already revealed from other government officials, as in Petraeas, and other high ranking active and/or retired persons. So many things, .....the government would not hire a high school educated person period, as DC says. Then look at his CV, and all positions held in government and contractor positions. Right, graduate high school and obtain top clearance positions in the government. Alleged prism slides "revealed" are a joke. Look at alleged timeline of one analysis, the companies and years posted, were not even in the right order for referred to years. Like AOL, the first biggie was not the first to be plucked maybe close to the end, etc. The logos are all off for that time frame referred to in prism slides. Even either White House or State Dept. rep. stated templates were off, logos for Government Logo'd ID's were off, etc. -- that was on the record. Right, yeah, you could just walk out of the office with anything u want, with no copiers, no flash drives, all shelled desktops, no outbound comms, nada, HIGH RESTRICTED SECURITY INBOUND AND OUTBOUND. Moreover, no way to have breakthrough of unknown broadband widths or high tech wave transmission even come through the walls of where he was. Watch old episodes of CSpan, and old litigation public records, nothing was "revealed." American public is uneducated about background of all of this...therefore, ignorance is bliss. The movie "The Recruit" with Al Pacino and Collin Farrel is a true story with almost similar issues. NO WAY you can get a whole bunch of documents out like that. Moreover, look at some of the slides/papers produced to public. Does that look like government work to you? See for yourself. Right, Snowden steals top secret docs and makes it all around the world before he tells this country. You really believe that?????? We need to teach people to think and use common sense. Every so called "revealed" thing allegedly leaked, is already supported on public record and then some. End of discussion. Timing? Propaganda for Benghazi, take a look, media diversion worked again, bravo.

Anonymous

So now the ACLU endorses breaking the law and fleeing the country to avoid prosecution. I'm glad I stopped my monthly contribution.

Anonymous

Good event! I have to wonder, though, how many people who were inclined to support the motion intentionally indicated Against or Undecided at the beginning so as to game the system a bit when they "changed" their vote later. That said, I support the motion.

Anonymous

the "against" would've still lost, but they were also ill-prepared... particularly, Woolsey -- ISI isn't Iran, and Iraq isn't the Islamic Republic.

Anonymous

Meta data is exactly what is on the inside of a phone bills. How is this different from opening mail and reading phone bills?

Anonymous

That was well worth the time it took to view the entire debate.

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