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The Contender
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Shoud Edward Snowden be acquitted of all charges and return home as a hero?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 395 times Debate No: 88549
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)





I don't care about his personal life or anything about his past history, all I care about is that he exposed that the US government was breaking its constitution.

All arguments must be supported by a trustworthy site (ex. the Guardian, the New York Times, "Rated Good Article" Wikipedia Articles), no untrustworthy sites (ex. normal Wikipedia Articles, random websites).

Rebuttals are mandatory, and rebuttals to rebuttals are also mandatory. If you are unable to find any rebuttals to your opponent's argument. YOU MUST acknowledge that, even if it mean admitting you were wrong.

Round 1- You accept my terms
Round 2- Start your Argument
Round 3- Rebuttals
Round 4- More debating
Round 5- Conclusion

Comment before accepting plz :P

Minimal of 200 words per round. Except round one, just type :" I accept your terms :P "


I accept your terms :P
Debate Round No. 1


In the United States, the constitution is the supreme law of the land. Nothing is above it, not the government, not any person or any organization. No one can claim power over the constitution, and certainly not the NSA.

The constitution is what protects the fundamental rights of the American people and it is what makes America unique, America's constitution is the world's oldest surviving one[1] and it is a symbol of American pride. This constitution acts as a beacon of freedom and liberty through the world, and it is living proof that there can be a government in which the people, not the government, has the right to the final say!

But this great constitution is being infringed upon, it is being betrayed at this moment by the very people whom it helped to rise to a position of power!


The United State's constitution is composed into two different parts: 1. The articles, which detail on how the government will work; and 2. The amendments, which detail on the people's rights and more information on how the government will work. There are 27 amendments to the constitution and the the forth amendment will be the one concerning this debate [2]. This is the full text of the forth Amendment:" The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized [3]."

Just in case you did not know, The National Security Agency of the United States currently has a program that has the capability to track and remember the information of every single American person. And they're doing so right now (If you don't do anything suspicious though, the programs will not remember your information) [4] ! If for example, you make a phone call to a friend telling them that you're planning a planting a bomb on an airplane and blowing innocent people up, the programs the NSA has will pick that up and they'll than search your entire browser history and activities to see if you're serious or you're just joking. If they had done all those with a warrant, I'd say that they're awesome people who look after us. But the problem is that they're listening to all those phone calls and searching your browser history and maybe even your shopping and movement histories WITHOUT A WARRANT [5] !! This is a direct violation of the forth amendment and the rights of the citizens of the United States!

Luckily, I read in the Daily Herald a few months ago that because of external and internal pressures, the NSA has stopped their surveillance program [6] . God Bless America! ^_^

Edward Snowden worked for the NSA as a civilian contractor, and the positive news mentioned above could've never been achieved without his courageous efforts. He had a large salary working for the NSA and could've easily lived a happy upper-class life without much effort [7] . But he, like every hero in history, took the hard path. He saw that what the NSA was doing was wrong, and he knew, that as a citizen of the United States of America, he had a moral (if not legal) obligation to defend its constitution!!

And by doing all this, by putting his money, his future, and even his life on the line, what did he accomplish? HE SAVED THE US CONSTITUTION. Why? Because the government was breaking the constitution, and it knew that it was doing so, but it just kept on doing it anyways. If the government is not exposed and stopped for doing this, they'll become bolder and bolder, and one day they might be able to do it in open daylight and no-one will care!! We must stop this!

But than how will we know if the government is breaking the constitution, we do that by letting the people know that if they see that injustice, they should be a whistle-blower! And we can only accomplish that if we the people treat whistle-blowers like heroes, that will definitely encourage more people to whistle-blow and reveal how the government is breaking the constitution or other things! And in order to do that, we must first acquit all charges for Edward Snowden and allow him to return home as a hero!

God Bless America!

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[6] = The Daily Herald, I forgot which date :P

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For this round, following my opponent's structure, I will place my case as to why Edward Snowden is not a hero.

I. Revealed Personal Information about the CIA
His obvious action that brought recognition to his name was revealing CIA data, which some may argue as a good thing; but is it really? To answer and argue that, lets take a more in-depth look as to what Edward Snowden leaked out from the CIA. According to the article "Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme" (1), it reveals that he unveiled information about the NSA spying on it's citizens.

My opponent will probably be making the argument about the whole constitution, but the whole situation of spying is used in order to protect the citizens of the United States, "I think what we're doing to protect American citizens here is the right thing,' Alexander told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. 'We aren't trying to hide it.'" (2). Things were going fine until that information was leaked, in which placed more emphasis of harm than safety. Stated by journalist Harold Maas, "The most dangerous terrorists, of course, are already doing everything they can to avoid using telephone lines or internet communication that might be spotted in the kind of dragnets the NSA has been using" (3). Now that this information is exposed, it places more of a challenge in protecting it's citizens. Is he a true hero, when he placed more of a risk for attacks in the United States? No, he did not!

II. Broke the NSA Oath
Secondly, Edward Snowden broke the oath for the NSA. The oath for the NSA is as follows:

Upon being cleared to protect the sensitive information of the National Security Agency, I subscribe to this oath freely, without mental reservation, and with the full intent to exercise meticulous care in abiding by its items. I solemnly swear that I will not reveal to any person any information pertaining to the classified activities of the National Security Agency, except as necessary toward the proper performance of my duties or as specifically authorized by a duly responsible superior known to me to be authorized to receive this information. I further solemnly swear that I will report without delay to my security representative the details and circumstances of any case which comes within my knowledge of an unauthorized person obtaining or attempting to obtain information concerning the classified operations of the National Security Agency. I fully appreciate and understand that the security of the information and activities of the National Security Agency is of vital importance to the welfare and defense of the United States. I affirm that I am familiar with the provisions of Sections 793, 794 and 798, Title 18, United States Code. I do hereby affirm any understanding that the obligations of this oath will continue even after severance of my connections with the National Security Agency and that they remain fully binding on me during peacetime as well as during wartime (4).

Very simplistic oath in promising not to reveal any secretive information, however; Snowden broke this promise to the government and country. An easy argument would be "So what, its just an oath", but i ask my opponent how would you feel about someone breaking a promise you asked? What is a police officer broke his oath to not protect it's citizens, or break the oath of being the President of the United States? It wouldn't be good, and proves to be faulty as a true hero.

III. Betrayed the United States and Fled to Russia
This kind of relates back to the previous argument in breaking an oath for protecting it's citizens, but he also betrayed his own country. He betrayed them and put a high risk in the safety of the United States citizens (5). Not only that, but he also fled to Russia in order to hide; and potentially revealing heavy key information about the United States (6). This shows that Edward Snowden betrayed the United States, and hence should not be treated like a hero.


Debate Round No. 2


JumboWiki forfeited this round.


SnaxAttack forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


JumboWiki forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


JumboWiki forfeited this round.


Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 6 months ago
>Reported vote: Everything// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments), 1 point to Con (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: as pro explained the us constution is the supreme law of the land their spy program violated said constitution snowden was not bound to oath or promises when those oaths and promises was in conflict with the constitution

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn't explain conduct. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter does not analyze any points made by Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leugen9001 7 months ago
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