Petition: Obama, debate Edward Snowden

Holmes from Fight for the Future writes, "We just posted this to "We the People," the Obama administration's petition site. 100,000 signatures gets us a response:"

President Obama, you have said that the NSA's blanket tracking of Americans' phone calls and collaboration with tech giants "struck the right balance" and that you "welcome this debate". You must agree that this issue is worthy of your time, and as our president you are the best qualified person to make the case in favor of broad surveillance. To make the opposing case, we can think of no one better than whistleblower Edward Snowden. Like you, he has access to the data showing the tradeoff between securing America and damaging democracy (which at this point the public does not). He speaks with breathtaking clarity, and has left behind a comfortable life, facing death for the strength of his convictions. If you are as strong in yours, you owe him (and us) 1 hour of your time for this.

President Obama, if you believe in NSA surveillance, we challenge you to a live, public debate with Edward Snowden. (Thanks, Holmes!)


  1. There has to be a more petition-worthy cause, or at the very least a more challenging debate rival than Snowden.  Can’t we get Binney or someone up there alongside Snowden, someone with some better credibility?  It’s maddening to watch nearly every major news outlet butcher the technical meaning of these (and prior) disclosures, and while I’m sure Snowden can hold his own in that regard, I’m not sure he has the zeal to out-talk Obama.. 

    1. He is quite an intelligent speaker –the ‘spec forces’ are known for collecting the smart ones who can do things on their own.

      His opsec as reported is also excellent, no surprise.  You may not need to, but *he* should keep pulling that hood over the keyboard when entering passphrases.  Using crypto for authenticating himself is also SOP.

      Obama has recently been reduced to, “we told all the senators, and you folks all voted them in” the subtext of which is, “STFU we told the collaborators who y’all were dumb enough to vote in”.

      He takes orders from the same people as Bush did.

  2. Can we petition to get BO to give his Nobel “Peace” Prize to Mr. Snowden?

    Anyone remember the “I read your email” bumper stickers from decades ago?
    Double-dare you to start selling them in the nearest gas station to Ft Meade.
    Or just put them on bumpers there, covertly…

  3. I would point out that even if the petition gets the signatures, that doesn’t guarantee a response. A petition on Aaron Swartz got the signatures needed in early 2013, still hasn’t gotten a responce

      1. We’ll be the usual suspects by then and quite used to the directions on getting to Room 101.

  4. I don’t get what the big deal is.  If you’re not thinking of doing anything wrong, surely there’s nothing to fear?


    1. You need to think ahead.  You may not be doing anything wrong right now, but who defines what WRONG is?  At some point, for example, it could be wrong to travel more than 5 miles from your home in any direction — for your own safety, of course.  It depends on who or what is in power and how they decide to restrict, direct, contain, or govern you.  An infrastructure like this is the perfect tool for the unscrupulous to abrogate our civil liberties.

      As far as keeping us safe is concerned, let’s face it — we would all be safe in a barbed-wire compound.  

    1.  THIS!!!

      Bonus if we get Kucinich riding around on the shoulders of a large guy screaming “Who controls Bartertown?!”

  5. What has Edward Snowden revealed that wasn’t already known years ago, when the story broke back in 2006? (Google USA Today: “NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls” or Wired: “AT&T Whistle-Blower’s Evidence”)

    Everyone’s championing Snowden as a hero without questioning whether his story holds up at all.

    1. This.  Beginning at Congresscritter Issa’s utterly pointless jabs at Holder re: AP reporters, I’ve been wondering where all these high-falutin politicos were when news broke about the Terrorist Surveillance Program.  

  6. Most of us who so liked the noises Obama made back in the day figured that anyone who could make the noises so well had to be a good guy.

    Now it’s obvious we were wrong, I still can’t figure out how anyone can make noises so true and good without giving a fuck what they mean.

  7. Given how poorly Obama does when his prepared speeches are taken away, I’m not sure he could effectively debate Marcel Marceau.

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