Bravo, Mark Pincus

In a meaningless meeting with President Obama, packed with large political donors from techland, one tech leader said something he wasn’t supposed to. He asked President Obama to simply pardon Edward Snowden:

A source familiar with the meeting told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper that one of the executives, Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga, which makes on-line social games, suggested to the President that he pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but Obama said he could not do that. The suggestion of the pardon was first reported by the Washington Post.

And sources told Tapper, anchor of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” that Obama shared with the executives that NSA reforms will be announced in January, but those invited to the meeting got the impression from the President that bulk collection from the NSA would not likely stop any time soon, but that more attempts at transparency would be made.

Bravo, Mark.

13 thoughts on “Bravo, Mark Pincus

  1. If Edward Snowden would have reached out through the legal channels available to explain his concerns with the programs I would have some sympathy for him…the way he did what he has done is however inexcusable and infinitely damaging to our intelligence systems. He’s needs to be held accountable.

    • Mackenzie Zastrow says:

      If the NSA would have performed according the legal channels that are available to them, I would have some sympathy for them… the way they did what they have done however, is inexcusable and infinitely damaging to our freedoms. They need to be held accountable.

      • Well Mackenzie that may be, however there are very specific methods available to create an oversight inquiry that would have accomplished the ball rolling without the massive disruption to the system Snowden is clearly trying to create. Having spent 15 years in the intelligence business, its a information business and it’s not always easily understood. I think the information released thus far makes it clear there isn’t a massive effort to spy on specific Americans rather the big drag collects and retains information in a ‘what if’ scenario. At the end of the day, we actually know very little about the systems other than that which Snowden has inferred and its pretty difficult to constantly scream that the government is out to get us when both sides of the isle have said clearly the systems are saving lives. There is a balance between safety and freedom and just as one should never yell ‘fire’ in a movie theater, we should be careful to impugn these systems that we know very little about.

        • Michael Arrington says:

          This is about the exercise of power, not protecting people. The fact that people like you, who were or are in the intelligence business, actually believe this is about serving the American people is what makes this so dangerous. I appreciate your point of view, but I honestly think that you are at best deluding yourself and at worst evil.

          • Will all due respect Mr. Arrington, your comment is opinionated at best and ignorant at worst. Unless you’ve stood in the shoes and have some perspective about the scale of the threat, coupled with the enormous task of trying to guess a proper path to combat it, suggesting others may be evil is a little over the top. Once again, the facts are simple and neither you, nor I, have much understanding about what the current NSA programs really are. I would however argue that after 15 years of working in the business I was exposed to some of the most honorable and dedicated patriots this country has ever seen. I have witnessed first hand incredible restraint and professionalism that I’ve yet to match in the civilian world. Moreover, these are people who earn a fraction of what their civilian counterparts make but they do what they do out of their love of all that the USA stands for.

            We entrust our elected leadership to put trustworthy people in positions to maintain our laws and constitutional integrity. Those people will at times overstep their bounds and, there are methods other than that which Snowden used, that can and have corrected issues in the past. A blanket defense of the potential abuse of these current systems is not what I’m suggesting, but I’m also sickened by people who want to suggest that Snowden is somehow a national hero when there were significant opportunities for him to expose his concerns, and even modify national behavior, without the unbelievable damage he has inflicted on our country.

            I also appreciate your point of view but correct me if I’m wrong about your involvement in the military, any of the intelligence agencies, or a government program that would have exposed you to the challenge of protecting this country? If you have had any background in the defense of this nation I find it incredible that you would have such a myopic view of what you think these programs are. It’s an imperfect business and it is a business that only works with good information. We have seen the consequences of poor intel in Iraq and while I am also concerned about the potential abuse of programs like this, I want deeper intel that protects us from big mistakes in the future. Again, I’ve never stated that mistakes haven’t been made, but there is a lot more to this than a mistaken belief that this is a program to control and abuse the rights of US citizens.

        • engineer says:

          Now, I understand. You’re one of the criminals involved, who likely belongs in jail, so of course you want to jail the guy who exposed your crimes.

        • No good has ever come from a population living under a secret government.

    • Railroad Tom says:

      Even after this information has been revealed and documented, the NSA continues to outright lie to the Senate, American people, and probably the President about its activities.

      The idea that any of this discussion could have occurred within the next 50 years had Snowden or someone else not blown the whistle is absurd.

    • engineer says:

      Frankly, I think it’s astounding that you would want to hold him accountable, but you have nothing to say about the NSA and their criminal actions. Snowden didn’t have “concerns with programs”, he exposed a wide ranging and completely criminal conspiracy.

      Thousands of people belong in jail, for life, and the reason it isn’t happening is that the president is probably one of them.

      You are like the collaborators who always seek to kiss the boot of their oppressors.

    • Whistleblowers attempting to go through official channels get discredited, their careers ruined or worse. The information never sees the light of day. There are plenty of examples of this. Our oversight and official channels have led to this mess. Your suggestion is disingenuous.

  2. Jason Smith says:

    makes me want to go and play farmville.

  3. Pedro Robles says:

    They will not stop collecting data. They got drunk with all the power. Now, they are addicted, hooked to it.

    We got radicals trying to kill us, then the Government goes after us, not them.

    I guess my iPad is making me crazy…

    • engineer says:

      Here’s a hypothesis: Consider that there are no radicals trying to kill us, that it has always been the government going after us. That staging 9/11 was all about getting the power to do what they’ve done.

      Notice that two kids with a pressure cooker can easily create a major event. IF radicals really wanted to go after us and were serious, we’d have things like the boston marathon bombing every month.

      But we don’t, because the radicals attacking the american people are in the government.

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