KEEPING WATCH - I BEG YOUR PARDON
National — 1/2/2014
The Times declared that Snowden's disclosures — the largest unauthorized publication of national security secrets in U.S. history — had proven that the NSA has "exceeded its mandate and abused its authority." The daily — one of the few news outlets the president is known to read regularly — said Snowden forced a national debate on the government's powers to spy on its citizens (and those of other countries).
"He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service," the Times argued. "It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community."
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Snowden "supporters cite today's recommendations as further vindication of his efforts as a whistleblower."
"How is it that the United States government can prosecute somebody and threaten them with decade in prison after they expose programs which we now know are unconstitutional according to our own courts, and which the president's own advisory board say is extremely dangerous?" said Glenn Greenwald, the former columnist who was first contacted by Snowden and worked with him to break story after story about the NSA. "The only reason these reforms are possible is because we know about them, and the only reason we know about them is because Mr. Snowden courageously came forward and told us about them."
Well said, but maybe we need a truth and reconciliation commission to be created to hear all charges both against whistle blowers and against the current and the previous administrations to include treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The dignity and the integrity of this Nation must be restored.
12/13/2013 WHERE DO THEY ALL COME FROM
More collared geese (one blue and one yellow neck collar) have shown up on the home pond recently. Both are female Canadas with one coming from the Twin Cities area and the other from Grove Lake MN which is NW of the Twin Cities about half way to Fargo North Dakota. Last year we had a collared gander from White Earth MN which is east of Fargo. In previous years we often had collared birds from NE Illinois.
A pair of bright white Trumpeter Swans with one grey cygnet were sitting on the Skunk River below Oakland Mills across the river from the cabins above the Falkner's this morning.
We also observed five swans on Joy Lake before freeze up. One pair with two cygnets along with an apparent loner.