Snowden is Not MLK By Daniel Foster. Emma Barrett, CJ Garcia, Kyley McCollum, Tyler Webb. Vocabulary. Testament PRISM Program Opportunism Extrapolate Government Contractor “ Establishment” Democrats and Republicans Apologists Prosecution. Vocabulary. Libertarians “ Whistleblower”
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Snowden is Not MLK By Daniel Foster Emma Barrett, CJ Garcia, Kyley McCollum, Tyler Webb
Vocabulary Testament PRISM Program Opportunism Extrapolate Government Contractor “Establishment” Democrats and Republicans Apologists Prosecution
Vocabulary Libertarians “Whistleblower” Malfeasance Duly “Civil disobedience” Consequential Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Racial injustice in Alabama in 1963
Vocabulary Privy Gross Compelled Perpetrators Enablers Southern Christian Leadership Conference Moratorium Demonstrations in Birminham Booz Allen Hamilton
Vocabulary Declassified. Retaliating Undertake Self-appraisal Doctrine Fraught Canonical Ghandi
Vocabulary The Essay that started it all by Henry David Thoreau Exculpatory Erwin Griswold Solicitor General Harvard Law School Conscientious Draft-Dodgers in the Vietnam Era Irrespective Moral Conviction
Vocabulary Criminal Conviction Ensues Endure Gravity Relinquished Counsel Stonewalled Glenn Greenwald Encrypted
Vocabulary Spur Stymied Reprisal Hallmarks
Tone and Diction • Repetition of ‘civil disobedience’ • core idea of article • Formal/conversational register • Uses formal language, but in a way that sounds like ad direct conversation with reader. Particularly with use of rhetorical questions. • Advanced, educated vocabulary • ex. ‘extrapolate’, ‘Malfeasance’ • Use of historical examples
Tone and Diction Tones: • critical • “Nothing about Snowden’s behavior leading up to and following the leak suggests that he understands a) the gravity of his action…” • harsh/sarcastic • “In that world, Snowden would have all the hallmarks of a noble civil resister. In this world, I’m not sure what he is.”
Structure and Syntax Beginning→Middle→End • Beginning: • Long introductory sentence • “It is a testament both to the complexity of the political and legal questions surrounding the NSA’s PRISM program, and to the mixture of intellectual honesty and political opportunism characterizing those debating them, that one cannot accurately extrapolate from a person’s views on the program his views on Edward Snowden, the low-level government contractor who exposed it.” • Introducing all sides of the argument • “...But you can count me in the third group, those who find PRISM disturbing, but aren't ready to crown Snowden.” • Effects
Structure and Syntax • Middle: • Questions • Allusions: • Examples: • Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” • Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” • Effects: • Make argument more valid/evidence • It shows he knows what he is talking about which can add to persona, tone, and argument
Structure and Syntax • End: • Repetition • “There is a world…” x5 • Effects: • Directly contrasting him to MLK • It is a key to know that he is saying something important/stands out • Concluding sentence • “In that world, Snowden would have all the hallmarks of a noble civil resister. In this world, I’m not sure what he is.” • Effects: • Direct contrast--rhetoric device • Directly states his arguments even if it is a flimsy one
Syntax • Use of Questions • Rhetorical Yes-or-No questions • “Did Snowden’s actions meet the first of these criteria?” (Paragraph 5) • Before he went tp the press, did Snowden first raise his concerns with PRISM to his superiors at Booz Allen Hamilton? Or to the officials at the National Security Agency? Or to members of Congress charged with oversight? Or to the courts?” (Paragraph 6) • “Did Snowden take a similar self-appraisal? That’s highly unclear…”(Paragraph 8) • Does the article help to answer these questions? • Can depend on the point of view
Persona • Daniel Foster • Well-educated • Attended George Washington University, New York University, and Oxford • Editor and writer for the National Review Magazine
Persona • Self identifies as someone who requires careful thought and the weight of evidence before making a decision to destroy an agency or to compromise national security • “But you can count me in a third group, those who find PRISM disturbing but aren’t ready to crown Snowden” (1).
Audience • Written for the National Review • Conservative magazine • People who have yet to decide whether or not Edward Snowden should be considered a whistleblower as defined by whether his actions met the criteria for Martin Luther King Jr.’s definition of civil disobedience • “To my mind, there is no reason at this point to think of Snowden as a ‘whistleblower,’... [n]or is it clear that his leak of classified information is an act of civil disobedience” (1).
Audience • National audience of people who are interested in getting to the truth of what Snowden was trying to accomplish in his release of information • “It is a testament both to the complexity of the political and legal questions surrounding the NSA’s PRISM program, and to the mixture of intellectual honesty and political opportunism characterizing those debating them, that one cannot accurately extrapolate from a person’s views on the program his views on Edward Snowden, the low-level government contractor who exposed it” (1).
Purpose • To make people evaluate whether Snowden’s actions identify him as a whistleblower or an impulsive person who acted recklessly without considering the consequences • “By contrast, did the information to which Snowden was privy obviously and overwhelmingly point to injustice? The NSA was using powers granted it by Congress, under the watch of the courts, for the purpose of protecting America” (1).
Purpose • Uncover the truth in Snowden’s actions by comparing him to MLK • “...at least not if that phrase still means what it did when its most consequential practitioner, Martin Luther King Jr., practiced it” (1). • “Did Snowden’s actions meet the first of these criteria?” (1).
Argument • Snowden immediately took the most serious action possible without trying to talk to PRISM about his belief that what they were doing was an invasion of privacy and a violation of human rights • Foster argues that enough prior action had not been taken to justify compromising national security • “The recognition that the moral justifiability of disobeying a law is not legally exculpatory is thus a major part of what makes civil disobedience itself morally legitimate” (2).
Argument • Snowden did not follow the actions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s definition of civil disobedience, and if he had, the results of this scandal might have been more effective and targeted to actual change rather than blindly releasing information without regard to who it could hurt • “Nothing about Snowden’s behavior leading up to and following the leak suggests that he understands (a) the gravity of his action or (b) the fact that civil disobedience works -- and makes sense -- only when it is embedded in a broader respect and concern for the rule of law” (2).
Argument • Snowden was unwilling to accept the consequences of his actions • “Snowden fled the country to escape it” (2).
Discussion Questions “To my mind, there is no reason at this point to think of Snowden as a ‘whistleblower,’ as so many are calling him, since whistleblowing means exposing actual malfeasance, not merely the unwisdom of a duly enacted policy. Nor is it clear that his leak of classified information is an act of ‘civil disobedience,’ at least not if that phrase still means what it did when its most consequential practitioner, Martin Luther King Jr., practiced it.” • Based on the passage above, what is the difference between whistleblowing and civil disobedience? In which cases would whistleblowing be seen as more justifiable/heroic?
Discussion Questions • How would Daniel Foster respond to Daniel Ellsberry’s article and his views on Snowden?
Discussion Questions • After reading the article, do you think Snowden should be accused of civil disobedience, whistleblowing, or something else?