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    The unconstitutionality section shows a pretty interesting consequence of how the justice system works.

    If you don’t have standing, you can’t sue. How do you prove you have standing with regards to a secret spying program? The government already got one case dismissed on standing a while back.

    (Because we’re nerds) this is a pretty awesome hack. Judges, historically, have been the one group that have been able to push back against executive overreach. When a judge tells one of the 3-letter agencies to stop something, it happens. It happens fast. I feel like our judicial branch should get so much credit.

    But because of standing, a lot of things are hard to touch, because standing is so hard to prove. And sometimes standing just doesn’t exist! Think about this when you see articles about things like Stingrays. It’s always about standing.

    Standing is clearly important to stop people from flooding the courts. There’s a logical reason for standing to exist. But there are so many things that seem (IANAL) so unconstitutional, but which are so hard to get in front of a judge. I do not know how to solve this except for a France-style constitutional court that can decide to review laws based off of its own whims

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      (Because we’re nerds) this is a pretty awesome hack

      I’ve long thought of law as code, except you get to argue with the compiler.

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        If civil policies will not work, then “war is a continuation of politics by other means.” [0]

        [0] https://www.amazon.com/War-Indexed-Carl-von-Clausewitz/dp/0691018545 (published: 1815)

        Any regime which believes itself capable of surviving any war, will assuredly implement any policy.

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        IF Snowden gets pardoned and IF he returns to the USA, I think it would be quite probable he “dies in a car accident” due to “a collision with an unmarked black van” or “commits suicide”.

        For the public relations alone, it’s sufficient to pardon somebody. Nothing is guaranteed though the pardoned survives the following year, especially in this context.

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          It seems like this basically doesn’t need to be said.

          The national security apparatus has been the most influential wing of the Federal Government for quite some time. Under Obama, it has only became more influential as similarly happened under Bush.

          The only reason the state might feel some urge to pardon to Snowden is public relations. Many people feel Snowden did a good thing. I’m pretty sure the NSA/security-apparatus folks feel not only that Snowden betrayed them by violating their secrecy but that what he accomplished, greater scrutiny of the NSA, was working against them regardless of how he did it.

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            An interesting point made in the article as to how people can both revere and want to help whistleblowers while mercilessly prosecuting them is that they do not believe that whistleblowers exist at all in the present day.

            Eg retroactively they might support Ellsberg decades later, but they would kill Ellsberg if they were able to back then.

            I am unsure what can be done to make people see that whistleblowers exist in the present if they require the full force of decades of public opinion to make them acknowledge someone as a whistleblower.