Edward Snowden: Even Paranoids Have Real Enemies

Because I am informed that not everyone reads the comments. Video from the Guardian, which is of course all over this story. For the TL;DR demographic, NYMag‘s abbreviated version:

Edward Snowden is a 29-year-old former CIA analyst and current employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” said Snowden, who requested that his name be revealed. However, he added, “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

The Guardian explains that Snowden’s whistle-blowing process began around three weeks ago, when he copied the documents he intended to make public in the Hawaii NSA officer where he was working and forwarded them to the British paper. He then told his supervisor and girlfriend he would be gone for a few weeks and flew to Hong Kong, where he remains. He said he chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,” and because he believes the Chinese government might resist orders to extradite him. (He also said he might seek asylum in Iceland.) Still, he is very aware that he will likely face major consequences…

One additional snippet from the Guardian, before Malkin’s countertop inspectors and Scott Beauchamp’s sandbox reenactors unleash their creative talents:

… Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”…

The Guardian also reports that Rep. Peter “IRA Terrorism Defender” King is already calling for Snowden to be extradicted, in case anyone needs a drum major for their parade.

And finally, for once in a great while I find myself in total agreement with This Guy:

[F]or the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law. If he hadn’t done everything to the extent of the law to implement the patriot act and something happened, they same jackasses now feigning outrage on the right would be flaming him for being soft on terror. Snowden is not the villain here, he just felt this needed to be out there, and if one more jackass all-in Obama supporter tells me he endangered national security, I swear to ALLAH I will start punching babies. The only thing he endangered were the talking points for the permanent security state. The NSA is not the villain here- they are just doing what we allowed them to do. Glenn Greenwald is not the villain here, he’s a civil libertarian who has warned about this and is now reporting the excesses of the program.

No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.






319 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    I remember when bygone heroes like MLK fled to China rather than face the music.

    Wait, never mind.

  2. 2
    Redshirt says:

    You find Obama not being the villain a rare event?

  3. 3
    Todd says:

    Shorter Anne Laurie: Free Mumia

  4. 4
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Redshirt:

    I think, like most things, it’s a joke at Cole’s expense.

  5. 5
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    Nah, MLK just got shot in the head. Does this guy have that coming, too?

    The government probably wants him in jail until he’s dead. If it were me, I’d avoid that if I could, wouldn’t you?

  6. 6
    Lavocat says:

    @Cacti: Oh, ya mean like BEING ASSASSINATED? Makes China start looking mighty good!

  7. 7
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    I’m not about to let Obama off the hook completely here, but it’s true he’s just playing with the cards dealt to him. It’s a wholly endemic problem, and too many of the people outraged about this entire thing are pretending that Obama is the end-all be-all of the problem and that the only solution is IMPEACH, IMPEACH!!

    I will agree that we have to look in the mirror to see the root of the problem: we’ve become so shit scared as a nation that we’ve seen Al Qaeda around every corner and Communists in our Cereal, that we’ve begged for ‘security’ only to be shocked when shit like this happens.

  8. 8
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Redshirt: President Obama is never a villain, but how often do I agree with John Cole?

  9. 9
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Lavocat: Because China never kills its dissidents.
    Edit: Though perhaps I should shut up and wait until the middle of August to make statements like that.

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    @Lavocat:

    Oh, ya mean like BEING ASSASSINATED? Makes China start looking mighty good!

    No, I mean his willingness to be arrested for laws that he knowingly violated in furtherance of his cause.

    His life was always in danger, but he never shied away from it.

    That’s why he’ll always be a better man than Julian Assange or Edward Snowden could ever hope to be.

  11. 11
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Nah, MLK just got shot in the head.

    So he fled to a country that calls out tanks on non-violent protesters?

    Good call.

  12. 12
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    Very easy to say when you’re watching from the sidelines blathering on about who’s a real hero and who isn’t. Me, I try not to begrudge people their self-preservation instincts. Those tend to be pretty hardwired.

  13. 13
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    Very easy to say when you’re watching from the sidelines blathering on about who’s a real hero and who isn’t. Me, I try not to begrudge people their self-preservation instincts. Those tend to be pretty hardwired.

  14. 14
    Yatsuno says:

    THE EQUINE IS DECEASED!!! VERDANT SPHERES OF INFLATED RUBBER!!!

  15. 15
    magurakurin says:

    dude sounds a little shaky to me

    from TPM

    On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. “I’ve left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay,” he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

    And I’m still not clear on what he revealed that wasn’t already known.

  16. 16
    RandomMonster says:

    My personal prediction: In the coming days it will become obvious that Snowden is not a high-ranking guy with in-depth knowledge of how this system works and with the omnipotent powers of scrutiny he claims in the video that he enjoyed:

    I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA. The entire intelligence community and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station around the world, what their missions are and so forth. If I had just wanted to harm the US…you know, you could shut down the surveillance system in one afternoon…

    He also claims he could from his terminal monitor the messages of “presidents” (not sure if he’s talking US presidents or other presidents in the world) if he had a valid email address.

    It all sounds like self-aggrandizing BS to me. But I don’t have any special knowledge, it’s just my guess.

  17. 17
    Nerdlinger says:

    I wanna see a cage-match between Feinstein and GG. So sick of all the fake outrage and hot-air spewing from their foamy little blowholes.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    @Redshirt:

    You find Obama not being the villain a rare event?

    Obama is guilty of defeating Hillary.

    Anne Laurie does not forgive this outrage.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Very easy to say when you’re watching from the sidelines blathering on about who’s a real hero and who isn’t. Me, I try not to begrudge people their self-preservation instincts.

    Does that extend to all fugitives, or just the ones you find personally sympathetic?

  20. 20
    Arclite says:

    Wow, Snowden has serioud cojones.

  21. 21
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    The latter, of course!

  22. 22
    4tehlulz says:

    @RandomMonster: Psshh. It doesn’t matter now. Snowden could could go on the Daily Show and admit to making the whole thing up and this will still be treated as fact by the Internet.

    It’s truthiness on crank.

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    While he’s in the noted human rights haven of China, perhaps Snowden can say hello to the various Chinese academics and human rights activists who had their lives endangered by Bradley Manning’s document dump.

  24. 24
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Cacti: I know all women look alike to you, but I was actually a John Edwards supporter.

  25. 25
    JWL says:

    Those so called “bed wetters” were excluded from any debate or input about the establishment of the contemporaneous national security state, because both the democratic and republican party leadership saw fit to exclude them, and chose instead to arbitrarily dictate its powers and scope.

    Lest We Forget: It is the same two party leadership that unleashed the War of Treason in 2003.

  26. 26
    Cacti says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I know all women look alike to you, but I was actually a John Edwards supporter

    Congrats. He was every bit as credible as your average used car salesman.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    @Yatsuno: The Balloon has left the building. The ergot is in the water system — and the bread is made of fluoride.

  28. 28
    JGabriel says:

    NYMag:

    The Guardian explains that Snowden’s whistle-blowing process began around three weeks ago, when he copied the documents he intended to make public in the Hawaii NSA officer where he was working …

    Jeepers.

    I wonder how the officer feels about that.

  29. 29
    RandomMonster says:

    @4tehlulz: You’re right, given the attention span of the media. There’s no investigation of how the system of warrants is (or isn’t) working these days. Instead, everyone is completely convinced that the fact that they liked a LOLcat photo on Facebook was reviewed and recorded by 5 NSA agents.

  30. 30
    ChrisNYC says:

    I think the threat of going to China is smart, for the ends that he seeks. It’s leverage against the US govt, no? He’s hoping to spur some deal where they, our govt, wink winks asylum in some other country to get him away from the Chinese govt?

  31. 31
    Keith says:

    If Peter King is in the lead on this, am I really going to have to be rooting for China? What a predicament.

  32. 32
    The Dangerman says:

    @RandomMonster:

    I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA. The entire intelligence community and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station around the world, what their missions are and so forth. If I had just wanted to harm the US…you know, you could shut down the surveillance system in one afternoon…

    Unless the NSA is a bunch of complete fuckups, this is a complete load of shit. If they ARE that completely fucked up, we’re doomed anyway.

    I’ll repeat what I said in another thread; he’s not totally FOS, but some of these statements tend to show he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

  33. 33

    because he believes the Chinese government might resist orders to extradite him.

    Bah ha ha hahahahahahahahaha! Ha!

  34. 34
    Yatsuno says:

    @scav: SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    He’s hoping to spur some deal where they, our govt, wink winks asylum in some other country to get him away from the Chinese govt?

    On second thought, scratch that first thought about him running for the hills. He’s playing a fairly dangerous game here. I don’t see how he leaves Hong Kong without the PRC having an extended chat with him about NSA.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    I don’t understand the “outrage” about this. What the hell did people expect after the USA PATRIOT Acts I & II passed all the other laws that expanded governments power to keep tabs on us?

    The billions in the NSA budget were just going to be spent on hookers and blow?

  37. 37

    @RandomMonster: That’s what it sounds like to me too. He got ahold of something, read too much into it, forwarded it to GG who was just as eager to read too much into it, and is now trying to paint himself the next Daniel Ellsberg type hero.

    That doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to what he’s saying, but it sounds to me like he went into the spy business, learned that the spy business astonishingly involves spying, and is now outraged that our spy agencies actually engage in spying.

  38. 38
    EZSmirkzz says:

    @RandomMonster: Everyone knows Snowden was a green badge, not a red badge. That distinction can be found by anyone who wishes to read the snark, via Hackernews. As for why any company would comply, just Google Qwest, NSA, to see what happens with those CEO’s that think non compliance is a good idea.

    Snowden’s only claim was the hope for transparency. I doubt it will come to fruition since the American population is just as complacent about this as they are about unemployment and too big to fail. So long as they have a job these issues are non-local. Depending on how foreigners, especially customers and users of crap like FaceBook react may very well define how much complacency Americans have about the current reveal.

    Consider your prediction fulfilled. Well done internet sleuth.

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    Man, you’re smooth. “Uh-oh, old smear won’t work anymore, better roll out the new one! Hope no one notices.”

    AL, Cacti knows you’re a closet racist who hates Obama for uppitying up the White house. Your boomer-ness and whiteness gives it away. You’d better just confess now. You can’t hope to stand up to his detective skills.

  40. 40
    Todd says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I know all women look alike to you, but I was actually a John Edwards supporter.

    *chuckle*

  41. 41

    @Cacti: What makes you think he’s not working for the PRC? That’s honestly the only explanation I can think of for him running to Hong Kong. FFS, they openly do everything he’s accusing us of doing.

  42. 42
    kc says:

    @Todd:

    I remember when John Cole was the only right wing asshole on this site.

  43. 43
    RandomMonster says:

    @The Dangerman:

    he’s not totally FOS, but some of these statements tend to show he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal

    I agree. He’s in the life in one capacity or another, but a 29 year-old contractor does not have that kind of access. I’m saddened that so many bloggers I respect aren’t looking at this guy with a healthy degree of skepticism.

  44. 44
    lamh35 says:

    Again, I’ll aske what is the difference between a true whistleblower and just your garden variety leaker?

    Also, is whistleblowing ever a crime or is it always a virtuous and courageous attempt to speak truth to power.

  45. 45
    magurakurin says:

    I know I’m shooting the messenger(except as far as I can see this messenger brought me the last decade’s news) but there is also this

    He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for “a couple of weeks” in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

    He’s 29 and there is a link between epilepsy and schizophrenia

    I thinking that this doesn’t end well…

  46. 46
    kc says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Shit, no, Cacti would arrest himself, waterboard himself, and then strap his own heroic ass in Old Sparky.

  47. 47
    LAC says:

    @Cacti: how dare he!!

    Yes, nothing says standing up and fighting for what’s right then running to Hong Kong. I mean, Nelson Mandela….what a baby! Thank god there’s a place in this world for young man to wear a hoodie.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    @Keith:

    If Peter King is in the lead on this, am I really going to have to be rooting for China? What a predicament.

    There is an alternative. You can tune out Rep. King and focus on what’s really important.

  49. 49
    Todd says:

    @kc:

    I remember when John Cole was the only right wing asshole on this site.

    I love bathing in emoprog tears. They feel amazing.

  50. 50
    Mandalay says:

    He said he chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,” and because he believes the Chinese government might resist orders to extradite him.

    Doubtful. China will leap at the opportunity to be seen countering cyber espionage (after extracting some never-to-be-specified concessions from the US on some unrelated issue).

    The man has balls the size of grapefruit, but does not seem too smart about self-preservation. I cannot understand why he went to Hong Kong rather than a much safer haven, such as Iceland or Bolivia (which would be pretty high on my list of countries to flee to).

    Sadly, I suspect his current freedom, such as it is, will be short lived, and then he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

  51. 51
    Todd says:

    @magurakurin:

    I thinking that this doesn’t end well…

    Greenwald may wind up at Twitchy or the Blaze by the time this is done.

  52. 52
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Cacti:

    A lot of us bought it. He seemed much more committed to social justice than his rivals. He looked very good on paper. Elizabeth sold it very well. I was worried because he seemed to be half-assing it through the campaign…then it all went haywire, and I figured out why he seemed that way.

  53. 53
    NickT says:

    @Mandalay:

    Iceland recently switched to a center-right government. I doubt they would be eager to provide a safe haven.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    Cacti:

    So he fled to a country that calls out tanks on non-violent protesters?

    No. When the Tiananmen Square protests were taking place, Hong Kong was still a British protectorate.

    And Snowden fled to a city where British rights and freedoms must be respected by China until 2048.

    I don’t mind people cracking smart-ass jokes — obviously I wouldn’t be here otherwise. I do mind jokes that aren’t funny because they get everything wrong.

  55. 55
    replicnt6 says:

    @Yatsuno:

    SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

    Oh, bullshit. Soylent Green is not people. It’s just not. It’s Charlton Heston trying to make Obama look bad. I mean, consider the source: president of the NRA? Yuh huh.

  56. 56
    magurakurin says:

    @Mandalay:

    both Bolivia and Iceland have extradition treaties. See list on the other thread for your choices.

    I picked Bali.(Indonesia)

  57. 57
    lamh35 says:

    Hong Kong Surveillance Law Passes

    HONG KONG, Aug. 6 — Pro-Beijing lawmakers approved legislation here today giving broad authority to the police to conduct covert surveillance, including wiretapping phones, bugging homes and offices and monitoring e-mail…
    The new law requires the police and other security agencies to obtain the panel’s permission before entering anyone’s premises to place or operate surveillance equipment. But the heads of security agencies are allowed to order less intrusive surveillance, like monitoring e-mail and phone calls through servers and telecommunications switches, without obtaining the panel’s prior approval, although subject to review by the panel and by a commissioner named by the chief executive.

  58. 58
    burnspbesq says:

    He’s in HK under the protection of a triad with ties to Sheldon Adelson, the self-proclaimed King of Macau. It’s a wingnut plot to make Obama look bad.

    Obama is sending in Jack Ryan Jr. and Tommy Carmellini to take him out.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    he’s 29
    not a high-school graduate
    been working for Booz Allen for less than 3 months

    is nothing pinging wrong for folks about his story?

  60. 60
    EZSmirkzz says:

    @👽 Martin: Or he could be an idealist that made a decision that you disagree with. But to think anyone can analyze the guy from a couple of interviews is assume that Senator Fritch of Tennessee could diagnose Terri Schiavo in Florida from the Senate floor.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    KSK(africa) @lawalazu

    PRE-MEDITATED. Who goes to work for a company for only 3 months, steals security secrets and quit? And who got Snowden the job?
    8:47 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  62. 62
    lockout says:

    RandomMonster; You fail to understand the dysfunction of government agencies, most especially federal. These people have been dumbed down to the point of paralysis. A competent 29-year old contractor in the NSA could probably launch ballistic missiles.

    This guy seems pretty sharp.

  63. 63
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Cacti: I mean, geez, that thing about “if I wanted to hurt the US govt” is sorta like, “nice little candy store you got there.” I’m not saying he’s planning on doing that. Just the threat angle. And, if he is a Randy wiki-type, opposed to the game of governments and secrets and all, then he probably would be inclined to play one against another.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate

    MegaNut/Traitor #Snowden 3 months at BoozAllen, vacates HI home 1 May, leaks cheesy slides, hides in China. Who hired him & Who’s PAYING?
    9:02 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  65. 65

    @Mandalay:

    The man has balls the size of grapefruit

    I’m not so sure. There are now reports that law enforcement was looking for him earlier in the week. This may just as much me an act of desperation as anything else.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Richard N. Haass ✔

    @RichardHaass

    “whistleblower” is person who reveals
    wrongdoing, corruption, illegal activity. none of this applies here even
    if you oppose USG policy

    6:08 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  67. 67
    magurakurin says:

    @lamh35:

    Uh, now I’m thinking there is an almost non-zero chance that this poor, disturbed individual was duped into becoming a Chinese asset.

  68. 68
    replicnt6 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    There is an alternative. You can tune out Rep. King and focus on what’s really important.

    The People’s Front of Judea!!

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    Ina

    @InaMaziarcz

    Mohammad Ali had Convictions, thought the US Government was Wrong, and STOOD for his Convictions. Snowhole FLED to CHINA.

    6:48 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  70. 70
    NickT says:

    @rikyrah:

    In the tech world it’s not wildly unusual for people to lack formal credentials – there just isn’t much in the way of them for programmers outside the typical Computer Science track in college, which is often pretty useless when it comes to teaching actual coding.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka

    @NerdyWonka

    Edward Snowden voted and donated money to
    anti-Civil Rights Act Ron Paul and we’re supposed to believe he cares
    about civil liberties? Pfft

    6:09 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  72. 72
    magurakurin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Where the fuck is Steven Segal when you really need him?

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @JGabriel:

    And Snowden fled to a city where British freedoms must be repected by China until 2048

    Ummm, yeah, about that…

    In 2011, Hong Kong Journalists Association Chairwoman Mak Yin-ting commented on growing business ties between Beijing and media owners, asserting that “Now, more than half of Hong Kong media bosses or high media management have been absorbed by the Communist government… They may consider whether reporting on some issues will affect the relationship between their bosses and the government.“That year, Hong Kong’s ranking on the Press Freedom Index published annually by Reporters Without Borders dropped twenty places to 54th place. In a report published alongside the index, it was noted that “arrests, assaults and harassment worsened working conditions for journalists [in Hong Kong] to an extent not seen previously, a sign of a worrying change in government policy.”

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    Bob Cesca

    @bobcesca_go

    A Ron Paul supporter and privacy
    supporter working for the NSA is like a vegan PETA supporter working for
    McDonald’s. I don’t get this guy.

    5:03 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    Michael Hargrove

    @MichaelHargrov1

    Smells strange, worked for BAH less that 3
    months, gathers classified info, passes to Guardian and Greenwald, flee
    to HK, living it up.

    4:50 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    60th Street

    @60th_Street

    Snowden, a dropout, entered the
    Intelligence community via the Army during the Bush years when
    recruitment was strained due to 2 wars. damn.

    3:19 PM – 9 Jun 2013

  77. 77
    Nerdlinger says:

    @rikyrah: Oh Gawds…

  78. 78
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @rikyrah:

    His description of how he’s living in HK doesn’t sound like “living it up”…

  79. 79
    lamh35 says:

    ya know, I get it, principles and all, but ugh, the holier than thou attitude is ugh…

    @ggreenwald
    Clapper: leaks “literally gut-wrenching” – “huge, grave damage” – save some melodrama and rhetoric for coming stories. You’ll need it.

  80. 80
    Hal says:

    Wait. He worked for the company less than 3 months? He was that moved by what he saw in three months to just go and release this info?

    I can’t decide whether to admire his convictions or wonder if he doesn’t have the itchiest trigger finger in history.

  81. 81
    Cacti says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    A lot of us bought it. He seemed much more committed to social justice than his rivals. He looked very good on paper. Elizabeth sold it very well. I was worried because he seemed to be half-assing it through the campaign…then it all went haywire, and I figured out why he seemed that way.

    I lived in North Carolina when he first made his entry into politics, so I got an earlier look than most. I was not pleased when Kerry selected him as running mate, but the VPOTUS has so little real power, I shrugged it off.

  82. 82
    Violet says:

    According to the Guardian article linked somewhere in one of the thousand threads dedicated to this today, he left the CIA in 2009 and started working for “a contractor” then. He may only have started with Booz Allen recently, but he’s been doing this work for awhile, if the article is correct.

  83. 83
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @rikyrah:

    He was discharged by the army after both his legs were broken in a training accident, is the official story.

    I suppose you could argue that someone in the military intentionally injured him to get him into the tech field and, ten years later, working for BAH, but, well, that seems a bit convoluted.

  84. 84
    Cacti says:

    Yet again, for anyone who’s conspiratorially minded:

    Booz Allen is majority owned by the Carlyle Group.

  85. 85
    Mandalay says:

    @NickT:

    Iceland recently switched to a center-right government. I doubt they would be eager to provide a safe haven.

    You are way ahead of me, and it looks like you are absolutely correct….

    Even WikiLeaks expressed doubts about the politics of its former home. “Snowden out of date on Iceland,” reads a message the group posted to Twitter Sunday afternoon. “New conservative government elected a month ago. Countries must step forward to offer Snowden asylum now.”

    Thanks. Bolivia it is then!

  86. 86
    Mark B. says:

    @Cacti: I find the fact that he’s trying to seek asylum in a country that has an active espionage operation against the u. S. more troubling than what he’s already revealed. If he’s not lying about all of the secrets he knows*, he’s about to spill them to a country that routinely conducts cyber attacks and hacking against us interests. He’s either really stupid for a spook, or his story doesn’t add up.

    * I tend to believe he’s inflating his importance.

  87. 87
    Renie says:

    How do we know he is really even in Hong Kong?

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Nah, MLK just got shot in the head. Does this guy have that coming, too?

    Okay, you may want to rethink this comparison, unless you’re seriously trying to argue that James Earl Ray was framed and it was really the gubbmint that did it.

  89. 89
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Cacti:

    The implied conspiracy would be that the pro-Republican, pro-Bush Carlyle group was using Snowden as a stooge, making it look like he leaked the NSA story on personal principle, and is being persecuted for his bravery, when it’s really just a plan to discredit Obama and/or the American government, right? Seems the obvious counterpoint is that they could find a more reliable and believable front man than someone like Snowden, who is young, uncredentialed, and may or may not have paranoia/delusions of granduer issues.

  90. 90
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    One thing to consider about the Hong Kong angle… is that you’re assuming that’s true. I would not be surprised to discover that he’s actually somewhere else and the Hong Kong story is there to throw the secdef folks off the scent.

  91. 91
    Cacti says:

    @Mark B.:

    I find the fact that he’s trying to seek asylum in a country that has an active espionage operation against the u. S. more troubling than what he’s already revealed. If he’s not lying about all of the secrets he knows*, he’s about to spill them to a country that routinely conducts cyber attacks and hacking against us interests. He’s either really stupid for a spook, or his story doesn’t add up.

    Some of his statements seem grandiose and far-fetched, but he does have at least some knowledge of the NSA and its inner workings. That would most certainly make him an intelligence asset in the eyes of the PRC, and he might find out the limits of Hong Kong’s autonomy in fairly short order.

  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I’m not so sure. There are now reports that law enforcement was looking for him earlier in the week.

    So? I meant that he had balls the size of grapefruit to do the original release of the data IMHO. YMMV.

  93. 93
    LAC says:

    @lockout:spoken like someone who has gotten a lot of “oh hell no!” rejection letters from federal agencies.

  94. 94

    @EZSmirkzz:

    Or he could be an idealist that made a decision that you disagree with. But to think anyone can analyze the guy from a couple of interviews is assume that Senator Fritch of Tennessee could diagnose Terri Schiavo in Florida from the Senate floor.

    I agree. So why are so many people accepting his word at face value? Look, I’m just a skeptic here. He’s making extraordinary claims, so he needs to provide extraordinary proof. A shitty powerpoint isn’t going to cut it, particularly one that contradicts his claims in several regards. Clearly he had some intel, but a lot of it seems to be falling apart.

    GG doesn’t have any real corroborating evidence. Many of his claims are clearly wrong. The folks that are taking this guy at face value are doing so because they want to believe what he’s saying. They need to be more skeptical and wait for the story to play out.

    But beyond all of that, I don’t trust idealists. I don’t trust any of them because they have an agenda that they are desperate to prove, and that too often leads to bad outcomes.

  95. 95
    lamh35 says:

    Edward Snowden in Hong Kong
    I’m glad we have this information; I am sorry we are getting it from Hong Kong.

    Three points…
    3) I am sorry that Snowden chose Hong Kong as his point of refuge. To be clear: I love Hong Kong. My own brother lived there for many years; I like everything about its verve of life and energy; I admire the determination of its press, judicial institutions, and civil society to maintain their independence after the transfer from British control to that of the People’s Republic of China….
    But here is the reality. Hong Kong is not a sovereign country. It is part of China — a country that by the libertarian standards Edward Snowden says he cares about is worse, not better, than the United States. It has even more surveillance of its citizens (it has gone very far toward ensuring that it knows the real identity of everyone using the internet); its press is thoroughly government-controlled; it has no legal theory of protection for free speech; and it doesn’t even have national elections. Hong Kong lives a time-limited separate existence, under the “one country, two systems” principle, but in a pinch, it is part of China.

    I don’t know all the choices Snowden had about his place of refuge. Maybe he thought this was his only real option. But if Snowden thinks, as some of his comments seem to suggest, that he has found a bastion of freer speech, then he is ill-informed; and if he knowingly chose to make his case from China he is playing a more complicated game…

  96. 96

    Booz Allen Hamilton is part of the Carlyle Group. Have they threatened to fire him? Sue him for violating his contract? I haven’t heard word one from BAH yet, which is peculiar. Maybe everyone is off for the weekend.

    I suspect that this guy is doing what he’s doing on behalf of someone on the right of the aisle in order to bring embarrassment to Obama. The Repugs and their handlers have been having trouble generating even a half-assed scandal, which has become their standard ploy for playing out the clock on Democratic administrations.

    He doesn’t strike me as a civil libertarian. Could be, but something is hinky about this.

  97. 97
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m in Michigan. We didn’t really have a primary in ’08, since the state party tried to move ours up and got smacked down. Everything I saw was from afar that year. I saw Obama and Hillary as being roughly equal, near the bottom of my wish list. I was pulling for Obama near the end of the primary season because of the way Hillary- if you recall, the only candidate to NOT pull out of our shitty primary- wouldn’t give up on her purloined Michigan delegates.

  98. 98
    Gopher2b says:

    If you’re going to do something like his, can’t you at least tell us who killed Kennedy and what the aliens look like, too. Just sayin.

  99. 99
    maven says:

    Since both John Cole and Andrew Sullivan agree this is no big deal I guess I’ll go along that this is no big deal.

    Baked potatoes steak and tomato salad while I watch Mad Men.

    What are you all doing tonight?

  100. 100
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Jane, you ignorant slut!

    Seems the obvious counterpoint is that they could find a more reliable and believable front man than someone like Snowden, who is young, uncredentialed, and may or may not have paranoia/delusions of granduer issues.

    But seriously, on the other hand, a paranoid/delusional patsy gives the principal greater plausible deniability.

  101. 101
    NickT says:

    @LAC:

    I am pretty sure that far more people have said hell, no to lockout than just the federal agencies

  102. 102

    @Mandalay:

    So? I meant that he had balls the size of grapefruit to do the original release of the data IMHO. YMMV.

    How brave he is will depend on how accurate he was, and what the outcome is. I’m still not convinced what he’s released is entirely legitimate. For example, why do his slides clearly reference an FAA procurement system named PRISM? http://www.dot.gov/individuals/privacy/pia-prism

  103. 103
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Hey, I’m just riffing on what Cacti said. All I’m pointing out is that it’s easy to say people should accept full responsibility for their crimes when you’re not the one getting assassinated or indefinitely detained, and that maybe even civic-minded people could be a touch more forgiving if the ‘crimes’ were the exposure or protest of unsavory behavior.

  104. 104
    Mark B. says:

    @Cacti: I imagine he is about to get acquainted with the interrogation techniques og the PRC. After they’re done milking the publicity.

  105. 105

    @Spaghetti Lee: What kind of training accident? What kind of unit was he in?

  106. 106
    Keith says:

    @burnspbesq: I can’t…it’s something about his hair that makes me want to read (and be angry) at whatever he says. It’s like something out of The Sopranos, but Irish.

  107. 107
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    BAH did come out and condemn Snowden, though. “A violation of everything we stand for,” etc. Of course, it’s hard to tell if someone sounds genuinely shocked or is playing their part in a long con via just a press release.

  108. 108
    NickT says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    What really annoyed me about Hillary was when she began suggesting that the situation in Florida and Michigan was comparable to Zimbabwe. I thought that was quite simply preposterous – and a remarkably crude comparison to make.

  109. 109
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @NickT:

    Yeah, not winning me over. And it didn’t hide the stink of the Bankruptcy Bill that was all over her, either (Obama just had the bankers’ political donations to deal with).

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    All I’m pointing out is that it’s easy to say people should accept full responsibility for their crimes when you’re not the one getting assassinated or indefinitely detained …

    So you’re doubling down on your claim that the government was responsible for MLK’s assassination? Because being murdered by a private citizen and being murdered by the government to silence you for your political beliefs is not. the. same. thing.

  111. 111
    Hal says:

    Oh, and the fact that he donated money to Ron Paul’s campaign really makes me doubt his judgement.

    Any booz, one major aspect of this case that just keeps bugging me is the idea that people with enough security clearance should be able to unilaterally decide to release information that they deem necessary for the public to know.

    If you have enough knowledge and experience, and maybe Snowden does, you can really accurately determine you’re not putting lives or safety in danger, but I’m not comfortable leaving that up to random individuals.

    I’m also not comfortable with the idea that the Government is all that trust worthy in this department as a whole either, so I really don’t know what direction to go in with this issue.

    At this point, I think Obama should just come out and say fuck it, you guys disagree with these programs? Great, repeal the patriot act and enact tough new standards and I’ll sign on the dotted line. Put this decision right back where it needs to go, in the hands of an American public that should be the ultimate deciders in how far the Government should be able to go to keep the country safe. How much are we willing to trade off on is the real question.

  112. 112
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Multiple sources say he broke both legs during a training mission in 2003. Can’t find anything about unit, etc. but maybe that hasn’t come out yet? I’m not a military guy so I defer on how easy that information would be to find and/or cover up.

  113. 113
    NickT says:

    @Hal:

    Obama has more or less said that, by pointing out that Congress needs to do its job. Similarly for Guantanamo etc etc.

    It was interesting to see DiFi letting her inner fascist out for a good old-fashioned romp through the streets.

  114. 114
    azlib says:

    Follow the money on this one. Who gains from PRISM? I still think the “big data” folks overhyped their products and oversold their technology to the NSA. How effect is the program in stopping terrorists? If it proves to be not very effective, then the program will find another rationale for its existence. There is too much momentum and monied interests behind it.

  115. 115
    Mandalay says:

    @magurakurin:

    both Bolivia and Iceland have extradition treaties. See list on the other thread for your choices.

    Thanks for the info. I am amazed to learn that every single country in Europe and the Americas has an extradition treaty with the US.

    Given his limited options, perhaps China wasn’t such a bad choice after all….

  116. 116
    Jay says:

    I’m surprised Greenwald’s getting all the credit for this. Technically, he works under Spencer Ackerman now, and Ackerman collaborated with him on the original story-what?-like a DAY after taking over as Nat Sec editor at The Guardian.

    Ackerman’s a good reporter-definitely a fairer, more thorough one than Greenwald-so if any of y’all see another Ackerman/Greenwald collaboration and are inclined to pass it on because of G.G., tough it out for the first guy.

    I figure many of you around here would eat alot of Ackerman’s work up. For example, he once ran a blog called Too Hot For TNR after getting fired from the then Marty Peretz – owned New Republic,

    That blog did a heck of alot to turn Peretz’s racism from an open secret at TNR to public knowledge, and a good thing, too.

    Finally, Ackerman and Greenwald clashed publicly over the “Israel Firster” business, so who even knows if Ackerman will want Greenwald in The Guardian’s fold as time passes?

  117. 117
    eemom says:

    Actually, Snowden was a character in one of the most tragic scenes in 20th century literature.

  118. 118
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No, I don’t believe MLK was assassinated by the government.

    What I’m saying is, if you do something that you know will piss lots of people off, you’re probably not concerned whether you’re more likely to be killed by the government or by a random assassin. You’re dead either way. It matters to society at large whether it was a targeted government assassination or not, because of all the obvious attendant questions about the rule of law and the power of the state, but to the person in danger of being shot, I imagine they’d rather avoid both options.

    I’m also disagreeing with the notion that people who commit illegal, nonviolent acts of protest have a moral obligation to face the music or else they lose their moral high ground, especially when the protest itself exposes corruption or controversial behavior.

  119. 119
    NickT says:

    @Jay:

    I suspect that the Guardian is promoting Greenwald partly as a way of recovering some of the credibility they lost by backing the Lib Dems in the British election. I doubt that it will work, but I can see them pushing the “liberty” angle for all they are worth.

  120. 120
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Here:

    In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression”.

    He recounted how his beliefs about the war’s purpose were quickly dispelled. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

    After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

    By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

    Yeah, I can get that maybe some tech wiz can make his way up the ladder somewhat with only a GED, but how in the hell to you provide him with diplomatic cover? Was there some nudging and winking on the part of the Swiss, or did they have to reate a whole new identity for the guy? What?

  121. 121

    @Violet: There is no such thing as a former CIA agent.

    PRISM is a software program from Palantir, which is a Peter Thiel company. The CIA was on the ground floor of Palantir.

  122. 122
    max says:

    Well, Greenwald has done quite a lot of good here. And he’s still a pompous, disingenuous blowhard. Not everyone is a Republican House member and thus all wrong, all the time. So good on GG.

    No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.

    Yeah, except I was bitching about the Patriot Act from the day it passed, just about. (If I remember correctly, they passed it in the afternoon, and I didn’t find out about it until late, and while I had already been bitching about it when they were floating it, I couldn’t believe that they voted to pass it as is. I wasn’t surprised that Rs supported it, but I couldn’t believe Ds were that cowardly on it. But they were. I said nice things about Bob Barr because he actually spoke against it. I haven’t been shocked or surprised by anything except my continual overestimation of the brains and good sense of politicians. It’s a continual overestimation because I keep recalibrating the bar downwards and the politicians, they keep limboing underneath it. I have a fern on my front porch that I am pretty sure is more sensible than Louie Gohmert. If they slapped a sign on the Capitol declaring it to be a group home for developmentally disabled evil people, it would be truth in advertising.) I have been bitching about it ever since, and loudly saying it should be repealed.

    So I enter a plea of not guilty on the charges, yer honor.

    max
    [‘It’s a good thing those folks have neither principles or spines, because they couldn’t get under bar otherwise, what with it being lower than worm shit.’]

  123. 123
    mclaren says:

    @Cacti:

    No, I mean his willingness to be arrested for laws that he knowingly violated in furtherance of his cause.

    His life was always in danger, but he never shied away from it.

    That’s why he’ll always be a better man than Julian Assange or Edward Snowden could ever hope to be.

    Tough talk about an American hero who lived before the advent of today’s East-German-style national security state.

    Buddy, if Dr. Martin Luther King was marching for voting rights and leading mobs in civil disobedience today, he’d be arrested under the USA Patriot Act, sent straight to Gitmo, and he and his followers would be waterboarded until they were dead or insane and no one would ever hear from them again.

    No. one.

    You’re comparing apples to oranges and you’re being profoundly dishonest. Under today’s laws, civil disboedience is defined as terrorism and punishable by extraordinary rendition.

    Things have changed in America radically since 1955 when MLK began his civil disobedience, and it’s so dishonest of you not to admit it that it’s tantamount to a deliberate lie.

  124. 124
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    I’m the bombardier!

  125. 125
    Mandalay says:

    @Hal:

    the fact that he donated money to Ron Paul’s campaign really makes me doubt his judgement

    Not necessarily. Snowden might be a single-issue voter.

    As far as I am concerned, in the 2012 campaign Ron Paul kicked serious ass against all the other candidates, including Obama, on foreign policy. Snowden might feel that way as well.

    Of course the snag was that all of Paul’s other policies were pure evil.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @magurakurin:

    I picked Bali.(Indonesia)

    God no. Bali is paradise for bogans, which makes it hell for everyone else.

    I would pick Cuba. The beaches are as good, the dollar goes just as far, and the natives are more than friendly. Plus, it’s closer to home.

  128. 128
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    So the dead man in Yossarian’s tent comes back to life after Heller’s death and becomes a giant pain in the ass of the national security apparatus? I think Joey would approve.

  129. 129
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @rikyrah:

    Snowden, a dropout, entered the
    Intelligence community via the Army during the Bush years when
    recruitment was strained due to 2 wars. damn.

    I wondered from the start where they were finding the qualified people to staff up all of he agencies that metastasized in the wake of 9/11. Apparently they weren’t.

  130. 130
    mk3872 says:

    Snowden did not have enemies. He made the personal choice to make $200k/year by being part of the spy apparatus through Booz Allen. He happily took the money and lived a great life.

    He has ruined Booz’s reputation, which is solely and wholely dependent upon Fed Gov’t contracts.

    Has has done this while hiding himself in hotel rooms with towels under the doors, covering his head when he types his password. His paranoia was fed by anti-gov’t paranoids like Glennwaldo.

    And what do we now know? That the NSA spies on people. NO KIDDING, REALLY ??

  131. 131
    Mark B. says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: what if Daniel Ellsberg had fled to the Soviet Union? That would have created a bad impression of his motives for releasing the Pentagon Papers. OK, I don’t see a major problem with self preservation, but fleeing to the U.S. most dangerous espionage adversary? Very questionable.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    The man has balls the size of grapefruit, but does not seem too smart about self-preservation. I cannot understand why he went to Hong Kong rather than a much safer haven, such as Iceland or Bolivia (which would be pretty high on my list of countries to flee to).

    I don’t think there’s really such a thing as a “safe haven” when you’re on the run from the U.S. government. Even if you can end up in a hostile country that presumably will keep you safe just to spite Washington, you’ll still end up being just a pawn in the cold war game. Should political winds change – if your hosts need to do a prisoner exchange, if they decide they want closer relations with the U.S, etc – they’ll be happy to trade you, like the Sudanese selling Carlos the Jackal to the French back in the nineties.

  133. 133
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

  134. 134
    mk3872 says:

    What did Glennwaldo and Snowden expose?

    This is all legal under the Patriot Act and Congress gets briefed on most of this activity.

    This is simply the agenda of anti-gov’t paranoids who do not want there to be any secret surveillance, period.

    These are the same tin-foil hat nut jobs that you also find on the Right in the Tea Party.

  135. 135
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m slightly willing to forgive him for being a Paul supporter: I can see how someone who, as it sounds, had his worldview about war and justice shattered when he saw all the ugliness in Iraq, would run screaming towards the nearest anti-war presidential candidate: there aren’t many of those to go around. Not the smartest choice, but in my opinion an understandable one.

    There seems to be some magical aura surrounding Ron Paul that just flips a switch in the brains of some voters, mostly young, white, and male, that makes them project all the good and noble qualities they can think of onto Paul. I wouldn’t know what it is-my hot button issues have always been labor and corporate power more than war and pot, so I never caught Paul Fever.

  136. 136
    mk3872 says:

    How is this paranoia about the NSA any less crazy than Glenn Beck claiming that FEMA is setting up concentration camps ???

  137. 137
    Mark B. says:

    @Bob In Portland: palantir has denied that their product is the same as used in the government PRISM program.

  138. 138

    @Jay: No, I like Ackerman a great deal, but what is this shit from GG:

    Clapper: leaks “literally gut-wrenching” – “huge, grave damage” – save some melodrama and rhetoric for coming stories. You’ll need it.

    In my world, reporters that reveal information like this usually carry a sense of disappointment. They’re not happy to reveal some failing in the government. Greenwald has none of that. It seems he’s quite gleeful to embarrass a senior US official. I don’t fully know what GGs schtick is, but it’s not about seeing the truth come out or justice or anything like that. He wants to win. In particular, he wants to embarrass the US. I find that fairly offensive.

  139. 139
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    I think if my life was on the line, I could learn to live alongside Australian rednecks. Hell, I probably have more in common with them than I’d like to think.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    It matters to society at large whether it was a targeted government assassination or not, because of all the obvious attendant questions about the rule of law and the power of the state, but to the person in danger of being shot, I imagine they’d rather avoid both options.

    Okay, but the subject at hand is overreach by the state. The whole point was that MLK chose to accept the punishment handed out by the state rather than fleeing to another country to escape prosecution. The fact that he was later assassinated by a freelance asshole has pretty much nothing to do with the point that MLK chose to accept the consequences of his actions while Snowden is trying to avoid those consequences.

    And, yes, part of what makes MLK a hero is that he knew what the probable consequences of his actions were and accepted those consequences rather than organizing the civil rights protests in Birmingham and then fleeing to Mexico when they tried to arrest him for it.

    I’m also disagreeing with the notion that people who commit illegal, nonviolent acts of protest have a moral obligation to face the music or else they lose their ‘hero’ status, especially when the protest itself exposes corruption or controversial behavior.

    No, pretty much the entire point of civil disobedience is accepting the legal penalties to point out how unfair those penalties are. You really think we would have gotten the CRA in 1964 if people had not been forced to realize how stupid it was to arrest people for sitting down at a lunch counter and trying to order a sandwich?

    If you refuse to accept the penalties for your act of civil disobedience, there’s no principle behind your action, just a desire for anarchy.

  141. 141
    EZSmirkzz says:

    @👽 Martin:

    So why are so many people accepting his word at face value? Look, I’m just a skeptic here. He’s making extraordinary claims, so he needs to provide extraordinary proof. A shitty powerpoint isn’t going to cut it, particularly one that contradicts his claims in several regards. Clearly he had some intel, but a lot of it seems to be falling apart.

    First off no matter what you think of GG, Spenser Ackerman or the other reporters at the Guardian, there is a certain amount of vetting that newspapers will do that I, as a blogger, don’t have to do. If all you have to complain about is the power point presentation then you missed the previous three days of reporting with reproductions of reports clearly marked with the NSA seal.

    GG doesn’t have any real corroborating evidence. Many of his claims are clearly wrong. The folks that are taking this guy at face value are doing so because they want to believe what he’s saying. They need to be more skeptical and wait for the story to play out.

    I thought the first duty of a skeptic was to be skeptical of oneself. How about links to GG’s claims that are clearly wrong, as you assert? Why shouldn’t I be skeptical of you? Now you’re analyzing people that believe GG? It seems to me that you aren’t skeptical at all.

    But beyond all of that, I don’t trust idealists. I don’t trust any of them because they have an agenda that they are desperate to prove, and that too often leads to bad outcomes.

    So you have an agenda yourself. You don’t trust any of them. Cynics and skeptics are always right I suppose? “Some people see things as they are and ask why, I see things as they could be and say why not?”” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. “Very idealistic. One of them is original to the speaker.

    GG problem is being a purist. He is oft times wrong in this imperfect world, not on principle, but on practicality. Glenn doesn’t do politics. He does civil liberties. He was Glenzilla when Bush was in office because he was on the lefts side. Now he is abhorred on the left because he maintains his principles and says the same thing with Obama in the White House. This is not his problem, but those who can’t see that he hasn’t changed his position one damned bit. I myself am not so pure. But I do tend to tell it like it is when it suits me to do so. But shooting the messenger doesn’t change the message, only the shooter.

  142. 142
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Dammit! I have got to get back to reading that series. I haven’t got HBO, so I don’t watch anything but highlights on YT, though my kid filled me in on enough from the books over the years that the Red Wedding didn’t surprise me when I heard about it.

    I think I should watch Catch-22 before I go to sleep this morning. With the film’s audio this time, not the director’s commentary track (Mike Nichols chatting with Soderbergh).

  143. 143

    From his Wiki bio:

    In 2003, Snowden enlisted in the United States Army with the hope of eventually joining the Special Forces. He was discharged after breaking both of his legs in a training accident. He then went to work as a security guard for a covert NSA facility at the University of Maryland. After that he went to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he worked on IT security. In 2007 the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for maintaining computer network security. Leaving the CIA in 2009, he worked for a private contractor inside an NSA facility on a United States military base in Japan.[6]
    At the time of his departure from the US in May 2013, he had been working for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton for less than three months, as a system administrator inside of the NSA in Hawaii.[7][8] He described his life as “very comfortable”, living with his girlfriend and earning a salary of “roughly US$200,000.”[6]
    The Guardian describes Snowden as intensely passionate about the value of privacy; his laptop is adorned with stickers supporting internet freedom organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project.[6] Although he says he “believed in Obama’s promises”, he “voted for a third party” in the 2008 election.[9] Political donation records indicate that he contributed to the primary campaign of Ron Paul.[10]

    Special Forces to NSA to CIA (with diplomatic cover!!!) to Booz Allen Hamilton. And he’s passionate about the value of privacy? He’s commodifying it?

  144. 144
    mclaren says:

    @👽 Martin:

    What makes you think he’s not working for the PRC? That’s honestly the only explanation I can think of for him running to Hong Kong. FFS, they openly do everything he’s accusing us of doing.

    Spoken like a true quisling. Your astounding cowardice never fails to amaze.

    The “only” explanation for a whistleblower releasing documents demonstrating massive government surveillance in gross violation of the fourth amendment is…that he’s a foreign agent trying to subvert America.

    There couldn’t be another explanation, could there? That the guy is a patriot who believes in the constitution of the united states?

    Noooooooooo, of course not.

    Everyone who dissents in America is a traitor. Everyone who makes public embarrassing information on government corruption and violation of the constitution is a commie spy out to pollute our purity of essence.

    Let’s try on Martin’s rejoinder with Martin Luther King to see just vile Martin’s cowardly bully-worship really is:

    What makes you think [Martin Luther King’s] not working for the [communists]? That’s honestly the only explanation I can think of for him running to [the Southern Poverty Law Center]. FFS, the [commies] openly do everything he’s accusing [the South] of doing.

    And let’s try that with the reporters who broke the Watergate story:

    What makes you think [Woodward and Bernstein] aren’t working for the [Soviets?] That’s honestly the only explanation I can think of for [them] running to [the liberals]. FFS, the [Democrats] openly do everything he’s accusing [Nixon] of doing.

    And let’s try that with John Kiriakou, the CIA operative who revealed American torture:

    What makes you think [Kiriakou] isn’t working for [North Korea?] That’s honestly the only explanation I can think for [him] running to the [treasonous liberal press]. FFS, the [North Koreans] openly do everything he’s accusing [the CIA] of doing.

    Now let’s try one more variation that might actually get close to the truth:

    What makes you think the sock puppet named “Martin” isn’t a PFC in the Pentagon basement running a psyop designed to support the national security state and undermine any criticism of it under orders from some colonel in the JSOC? That’s honestly the only explanation I can think of for this bogus sock puppet called “Martin” constantly supporting every evil and unconscionable violation of the constitution that’s turning America into a clone of the former East German police state. FFS, JSOC open does everything Martin’s accuses the allegedly treasonous whistleblowers of doing.

    Now that one might actually be true…

  145. 145
    Mandalay says:

    @Hal:

    At this point, I think Obama should just come out and say fuck it, you guys disagree with these programs? Great, repeal the patriot act and enact tough new standards and I’ll sign on the dotted line.

    Absolutely correct. If a new bill that specifies all the ground rules is openly passed by Congress then so be it.

    But fucktards who say that the current situation is the fault of the apathetic American public are either stupid or lying. The entire framework that this shit runs under currently was designed to be operated in almost total secrecy. The Administration and the NSA are explicitly stating that the rules were deliberately kept secret in the interests of “national security”.

    Blowhards posting here who brag that they always knew that all of this was happening are liars.

  146. 146

    @Bob In Portland: Palantir has denied that they have any involvement in this.

    And in fact, their product looks a lot more like the FAA Prism system, which, by the way is referenced in the leaked Powerpoint.

  147. 147
    jamick6000 says:

    @Anne Laurie: lmao, that was a good one.

  148. 148
    Steeplejack says:

    @Redshirt:

    I think the rare event alluded to is Anne Laurie being in agreement with Cole.

    ETA: Way late to the thread again. Read comments first.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    @max:

    So I enter a plea of not guilty on the charges, yer honor.

    You’re fucked. In Kole’s Kangaroo Kourt, neither facts nor law matter.

  150. 150
    Emma says:

    @Mandalay: Up yours, buddy. Any moron who studied a little history knew the government has been sticking its nose into people’s business for a very long time. Anybody who read the Patriot act knew the deluge was coming.

  151. 151
    Dave. Just Dave. says:

    So what kind of world do you want, anyway?

  152. 152
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you refuse to accept the penalties for your act of civil disobedience, there’s no principle behind your action, just a desire for anarchy.

    That seems a bit overzealous. Not accepting that the price of civil disobedience is years in prison is the same thing as anarchy? If the point of civil disobedience is to bring about change through legal means, why would a real anarchist be attempting it? They dismiss the notion of meaningful change through legal means, don’t they?

    Wouldn’t it have been the best possible scenario for the Civil Rights movement and America if King wasn’t forced to spend all that time in jail and could have instead been out organizing the movement? I’m not saying that going to jail for civil disobedience is itself wrong or stupid, but that the better situation both for the person in question and often for the cause they believe in is if they can keep up the fight without having to sit in jail for no good reason. Of course, that doesn’t happen often, so jail is often what they get.

  153. 153
    Yatsuno says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I don’t have HBO (or a TV) either, but I have been keeping up via YouTube and various spoilers on the Interwebs. I’m one of those sick fucks who doesn’t mind spoilers, it just makes me want to watch the thing more. I really should get to reading the books however.

  154. 154
    Hal says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I’m just waiting for a statement from Palantir’s CEO Saruman.

  155. 155
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    You either have no earthly idea what you’re talking about, or you’re making shit up. Or both.

    Give us a citation to the provisions of the Patriot Act that you just described. Oh, you can’t, because they don’t exist? Imagine my surprise.

    Name one person who has been arrested on American soil and subsequently detained at Guantanamo. Oh, you can’t, because there are none? Oopsie.

    Are you as detached from reality in other aspects of your life?

  156. 156

    @EZSmirkzz:

    How about links to GG’s claims that are clearly wrong, as you assert?

    I have, repeatedly, all over this story. Why does the PP reference an FAA procurement program called PRISM? Why does this program which can mine all of the data from roughly $10B worth of datacenters only cost $20M to run? Those are right out of the document in question.

    Look, I’m not refuting the phone metadata story. But we knew that one before. The only thing we have on PRISM is that powerpoint, and only part of it. Every company involved has strongly denied that it exists. The company that Bob in Portland is convinced created it denies that it exists, and instead describes a program that looks remarkably like the FAA one.

    When companies are caught out on something like this, they weasel around the edges with a kind of non-denial-denial. That’s not happening here. We’re getting full throated denials. I don’t imagine companies like Google and Apple are going to compound a situation like this by baldly lying to the public. Yet everyone seems to be assuming that they are lying, Obama personally is lying, Clapper personally is lying, members of Congress are lying – and that this one guy in Hong Kong with a suspicious background is the only one telling the truth? Sorry, not good enough.

  157. 157

    @Mark B.: From the Kos:

    Palantir sprung from an idea by Dr. Alex Karp, a Stanford graduate with a PHD in Social Philosophy. His idea, to create software that can ‘make sense of massive amounts of disparate data.‘
    Teaming up with his friend (and PayPal founder) Peter Theil, they started Palantir.

    Palantir’s first client was the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They now provide their software to a range of industries. Financial, Medical, Government and Not-For-Profit.

    So Palantir, which was formed “to create software that can ‘make sense of massive amounts of disparate data’, created a different PRISM which is a financial program. And their first client was the CIA. So it’s just a coincidence? Or so says an anonymous source. Okay. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

  158. 158
    Chris says:

    @mclaren:

    Let’s try on Martin’s rejoinder with Martin Luther King

    I imagine they’d work a lot better if Martin Luther King had ever sought refuge in the fucking People’s Republic of China (or, in his day, the USSR).

    ETA:

    And let’s try that with the reporters who broke the Watergate story:

    I imagine it would work a lot better if Woodward and Bernstein had ever sought refuge in the USSR.

    And let’s try that with John Kiriakou, the CIA operative who revealed American torture:

    I imagine it would work a lot better if Kirkiakou had ever sought refuge in North Korea.

  159. 159
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Emma:

    See, I don’t understand what posts like this (and there have been a LOT) are trying to prove. “I’ve been cynical longer than you have, so HA!” Um, congratulations? I’m pretty sure most people here know that government spying wasn’t invented last week. They’re not surprised by it either, but they still hate it enough to see it as something to protest, rather than fuel for snarking about how much smarter and hipper you are than everyone else.

  160. 160
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Yeah, it seems like there’s some confusion here. I saw it suggested that the NSA’s PRISM system’s FAA may stand for something like FISA Aggregator and Analysis. Somethiong like that, anyway.

    FWIW, back in my pizza days (NO, I NEVER SOCK-PUPPETED B.O.B!), we used a Prism or PRISM (don’t recall which) system to take orders, make pies, track inventory and do the accounting work.

    I blame Pink Floyd for the confusion.

  161. 161
    Emma says:

    Can anyone comment on something I just saw in LGF saying that he offered the story first to the Post if the Post agreed to publish within 72 hours including this: “He also asked that The Post publish online a cryptographic key that he could use to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the document’s source.”

    This is getting weirdly hinky, isn’t it?

  162. 162
    Nutella says:

    @mk3872:

    He has ruined Booz’s reputation

    He has ruined the reputation of a beltway bandit: True, but not exactly the most important issue here.

  163. 163

    And I would also note that in order for this guy to earn his badge as a whistleblower, he needs to have uncovered some kind of government wrongdoing. That’s what Ellsberg did.

    Even if his claims are true (which I’m suspicious of) it’s yet to be determined that it wasn’t authorized by Congress and approved by the courts. Breaking the law to reveal something unpleasant doesn’t make you a whistleblower, it makes you a criminal. He still needs to earn that badge. Recall that Manning didn’t. He didn’t reveal any wrongdoing – he just broke the law.

  164. 164
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Hal:

    I’m a bit disappointed that that tidbit hasn’t gotten more attention-I’d be almost sad if it turns out Palantir really isn’t involved. You’re a security/data collection company, and you name yourselves after an evil crystal ball used by evil wizards to spy on the forces of good? Isn’t that a bit…on the nose? Do they work with Death Eater Private Security? What about Borg Computer Systems?

  165. 165
    Mandalay says:

    @Chris:

    I don’t think there’s really such a thing as a “safe haven” when you’re on the run from the U.S. government.

    Yes, you are right. I have learned a lot about asylum and extradition from other posters putting me straight this evening.

    The ground rules seem to be:
    – If you flee to a country with an extradition treaty you are (by definition) screwed.
    – If you flee to a country without an extradition treaty you are probably still screwed.
    – If you are fleeing from the USA you are probably screwed regardless, as you suggest.
    – Unless the reason you are fleeing potentially benefits the other country (e.g. military technology secrets, info on the CIA ) then you are not really very useful, and Snowden falls in this category.

    So it seems pretty likely that Snowden is screwed.

  166. 166

    @👽 Martin: I have no idea whether or not there’s a real PRISM program. What I question is Snowden’s sincerity based on his resume.

  167. 167
    Cacti says:

    @mclaren:

    Things have changed in America radically since 1955 when MLK began his civil disobedience, and it’s so dishonest of you not to admit it that it’s tantamount to a deliberate lie.

    Yes, it was far safer in a time when southern mayors, sheriffs, police commissioners, judges, and law enforcement officers were also members of the Ku Klux Klan, and actively abetted the murders of civil rights activists.

  168. 168

    @Mandalay: So let’s see how fast he is screwed. He seems to have friends in high places.

  169. 169
    mclaren says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You’re fucked. In Kole’s Kangaroo Kourt, neither facts nor law matter.</blockquote

    So John Cole is following in the glorious tradition of the post-9/11 U.S. justice system, where neither facts nor law matter, where a join resolution of congress (the AUMF) overrides the black-letter law of the constitution of the united states, and where secret laws with secret evidence obtained by torture generate secret verdicts in secret courts, and the defendants are secretly spirited away to black prisons as prisoners without names in cells without numbers.

    Marvelous! John Cole is adhering the letter of the post-9/11 law in the United Snakes of Amnesia: "verdicts first, trials afterwards."

  170. 170
    Keith G says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    So you’re doubling down on your claim that the government was responsible for MLK’s assassination?

    Notice how Mnem so boldly asserted what your comment actually meant – a meaning btw that cast you in a bad light.

    That is her key circus trick here in the comment threads.

    No matter how you point out the simple truth of what you said, she will come back with more the the same.

  171. 171

    @Bob In Portland:

    So Palantir, which was formed “to create software that can ‘make sense of massive amounts of disparate data’, created a different PRISM which is a financial program. And their first client was the CIA. So it’s just a coincidence? Or so says an anonymous source. Okay. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

    You really need to click links once in a while: http://www.dot.gov/individuals/privacy/pia-prism

    I’ll make it easier:

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), within the Department of Transportation (DOT), has been given the responsibility to carry out safety programs to ensure the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. The FAA is responsible for:

    Regulating civil aviation to promote safety;
    Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology;
    Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft;
    Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation; and
    Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation.
    One of the programs that help FAA fulfill this mission is PRISM, which supports multiple purchasing sites, electronic routing and approval, requisitioning, electronic notifications, contract management, and post award processing and closeout. PRISM system architecture allows it to integrate and communicate seamlessly with existing systems such as financial or inventory. PRISM software is directly integrated with DOT’s core accounting system, DELPHI. Financial data is exchanged with the Logistical Information System (LIS) server in Kansas City. The data exchanged involves hundreds of application program interface (API) data elements, attributes and associated mappings.

    This secret system is so secret, that the government has been talking about it openly on their website. It’s so secret that they’ve invited thousands of vendors to interact with it:

    How PRISM Provides Redress

    Under the provisions of the Privacy Act, individuals may request searches of the PRISM files to determine if any records have been added that may pertain to them.

    Notification procedure: Individuals wishing to know if their records appear in this system may inquire in person or in writing to the appropriate system manager. Included in the request must be the following:

    Name
    Mailing address
    Phone number and/or email address
    A description of the records sought, and if possible, the location of the records
    Contesting record procedures: Individuals wanting to contest information about themselves that is contained in this system should make their requests in writing, detailing the reasons for why the records should be corrected. Requests should be submitted to the attention of FAA official responsible for the record, at the address appearing in this notice.

    Federal Aviation Administration
    Privacy Office
    Attention: Carla Mauney
    800 Independence Ave. SW
    Washington DC, 20591

    For questions relating to privacy go to FAA Privacy Policy: http://www.faa.gov/privacy/

    And this system is actually referenced in the powerpoint, on this slide: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money.....-620xa.jpg

    Look at the bottom of the shot: ‘Complete list and details on PRISM web page: Go PRISMFAA’

  172. 172
    NickT says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    an evil crystal ball used by evil wizards to spy on the forces of good?

    Actually they were virtuous “crystal balls” used by the Numenoreans to provide MiddleEarth’s equivalent of Skype – before a couple of them fell into the wrong hands.

  173. 173
  174. 174
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @👽 Martin:

    It would make a very good plot for a thriller. But I also think that’s the only place where the idea that this onetime nobody has been a useful idiot for the Carlyle Group, the Chinese government, or what have you over the last ten years would make sense. It has to seem that whatever he did he did of his own volition, no?

  175. 175
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    And don’t forget that in those days, “the national security state” meant J. Edgar Hoover. The idea that Martin Luther King faced an environment that was any warmer and fuzzier than this one is… beyond ludicrous.

  176. 176
    Mark B says:

    @Bob In Portland: Well, the CIO of Palantir has denied connection with the program. Read what you want to read into the denial.

  177. 177
    Ash Can says:

    @Emma: I saw that too. “Hinky” is putting it mildly.

  178. 178
    Emma says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: No. The person in question said that people who claimed to have seen it coming are liars. I really resent being called a liar.

  179. 179
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Emma: Wasn’t it on Friday’s Maddow that there was an update about the blind Chinese dissident guy? I just wonder if it’s all related somehow.

  180. 180
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Civil disobedience- or more to the point, passive resistance– works best when you can shame your opponents into capitulation. If the Brits (in the case of Gandhi and India) or the Americans (in the case of Dr. King and the civil rights movement here) were incapable of being shamed, the movements wouldn’t have been nearly as effective. And sometimes you need the leader, who’s been the public voice of the of the movement, the one to whom those doing the shaming from outside relate due to familiarity, to be the person taking the hit. And while that face of the movement is in jail, s/he’s got capable lieutenants marshaling the movement’s forces.

  181. 181
    Mandalay says:

    @Emma:

    Any moron who studied a little history knew the government has been sticking its nose into people’s business for a very long time. Anybody who read the Patriot act knew the deluge was coming.

    You are full of shit. The details that are coming out were not generally known before last week.

    Anyone who claims they already knew all that specific information is lying.

  182. 182
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mark B.:

    Well, the quotes from the guy don’t suggest the tightest grip on reality. My working guess is that he got his hands on some hot info, and a rush to judgment and a bit of a hero complex on his part was more likely than a malicious desire to destroy the government or being a Chinese spy or whatever.

  183. 183
    mclaren says:

    @Cacti:

    Yes, it was far safer in a time when southern mayors, sheriffs, police commissioners, judges, and law enforcement officers were also members of the Ku Klux Klan, and actively abetted the murders of civil rights activists.

    I seem to recall the FBI investigating, identifying, and arresting the murderers of those civil rights activists back in the deep south the 1960s.

    Evidently I missed the FBI investigating George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Condi Rice and his head of the CIA and the head of the National Security Council and the pentagon colonel in charge of JSOC who conspired to assassinate untold thousands of innocent people around the world with American death squads. Apparently I also missed the FBI’s arrest of those people, their trial, and their convictions.

    I guess I also missed the arrest and trial and convictions of General Stanley McChrystal who oversaw the massive secret assassination program under President Obama, General David Petraeus who directed “targeted killings” and torture in Afghanistan, and all those CIA officers who oversaw the extraordinary rendition programs.

    It’s amazing to me that all those people have been investigated by the FBI, just the way those Klansmen were in the 1960s in the deep south, and tried and convicted, and are now in prison. I wonder how the U.S. government is operating with most of its top military and White House and intelligence community leaders in prison?

    Wow. I should read less and watch the news more. Funny how much you can miss if you don’t pay attention.

  184. 184
    Keith G says:

    @Emma:

    Can anyone comment on something I just saw in LGF saying that he offered the story first ….

    This is a breaking story with more than a few passionate participants and tons of people quite sure they know the truth.

    Sounds like a swell time to relax and don’t try to cement in an opinion. More will be known soon enough.

  185. 185
    Emma says:

    @Mandalay: Really? You didn’t know the government was scooping up metadata on internet communications? Try googling news stories from 2006 or so.

  186. 186
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    – Unless the reason you are fleeing potentially benefits the other country (e.g. military technology secrets, info on the CIA ) then you are not really very useful, and Snowden falls in this category.

    I’d broaden that to “if you really have something to offer the local government.” The epitome of this is what Osama Bin Laden did in Afghanistan, which was basically sponsor his own government, so that the Taliban couldn’t extradite him because they basically owned him and his jihadi networks everything.

    But yeah, in general, unless you’ve got something really good to offer your hosts, your days are probably numbered regardless.

  187. 187
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: it’s the fleeing to Hong Kong that seems the oddest to me… coupled with a bunch of other stories about China and hackers and cyber-whatnot all hitting at once lately.

  188. 188
    Emma says:

    @Keith G: This was a direct quote from the Post story. Knowing the Post record of truth-telling, I am wondering.

  189. 189
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    You know, if I hear one more asshole sneer, “Well, we all knew this was going on anyway,” I’m gonna punch him in the nuts.

    These are the exact same people who have been howling for years that Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges and Naomi Wolf and people like me are totally 100% completely full of shit when we warned that stasi-style East German universal invasive surveillance and black ops against U.S. citizens was what both the Bush and Obama administrations’ crazy police-state security mania was leading to.

  190. 190
    Nutella says:

    @Emma:
    @Mandalay:

    An example of a 2006 story from an earlier thread.

  191. 191
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    …and cyber-whatnot…

    Yeah, that would be Sunday’s summit between the Premier of the PRC and the POTUS, which was to be focused on the ongoing cyber-skirmishes between the two nations.

  192. 192
    NickT says:

    @mclaren:

    Given that the Stasi made a practice of recruiting some of their most publicly vociferous critics, can you prove that you aren’t, in fact, Special Agent Mclaren? Seeing as we live in the new East Germany and all.

  193. 193
    Cacti says:

    @mclaren:

    I seem to recall the FBI investigating, identifying, and arresting the murderers of those civil rights activists back in the deep south the 1960s.

    Uh huh.

    And because there is no general federal statute for murder, they were prosecuted for conspiring to deny the victims of their civil rights. None of the guilty parties served more than 6 years for their premeditated murder of 3 people.

    The state of Mississippi refused to prosecute any of the conspirators under state law for 36 years, and finally got one conviction 40 years after the fact.

  194. 194
    Hal says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    You’re a security/data collection company, and you name yourselves after an evil crystal ball used by evil wizards to spy on the forces of good?

    Technically communication devices that Saruman used to communicate with Sauron, but still, interesting imagery. I’m guessing the company came about before the films? Too lazy to look it up.

    I just imagine the board of directors meetings with some old CEO with long fingernails holding a black ball with a flaming eye in the center.

  195. 195
    Mandalay says:

    @Emma:

    The person in question said that people who claimed to have seen it coming are liars

    Liar. That was not what I said. I said this: Blowhards posting here who brag that they always knew that all of this was happening are liars.

    You didn’t know the information that was released last week. If you claim that you did you are a fucking liar. And if want to insist that you really did already know all the information that came out last week then say so right here on this thread, so the FBI can ask you how you knew.

    Probably best for you if you just STFU. Jackass.

  196. 196
    Mark B says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’m sure the PRC is very happy to have someone who describes himself as very knowledgeable about how the US’s intelligence computer infrastructure is put together. It’s like Christmas for them.

  197. 197
    NickT says:

    @Mandalay:

    Emma’s claim wasn’t that she or anyone knew the specifics, Mandalay – just that the general trend of things was pretty obvious.

  198. 198
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    …stasi-style East German universal invasive surveillance…

    So Greenwald has moved beyond accusations of collecting metadata- worthless without identities of those who generated it- and on to accusing the government’s network of informants naming specific names and words that supposedly emanated from the named accused?

  199. 199
    Emma says:

    @Mandalay: I knew the U.S. government was scooping up metadata on internet communications since 2006. Someone upthread actually linked to one of them.

    And you can go to hell. No little pisher on the Internet is going to silence me.

  200. 200
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Er, actually, no, Spaghetti Lee clarified and I accepted that clarification.

    Perhaps the problem is that your posts aren’t nearly as clear as you seem to assume they are?

  201. 201

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    It would make a very good plot for a thriller. But I also think that’s the only place where the idea that this onetime nobody has been a useful idiot for the Carlyle Group, the Chinese government, or what have you over the last ten years would make sense. It has to seem that whatever he did he did of his own volition, no?

    Probably, but you never know. Al Qaeda has been pretty effective at taking people’s ideologies and ramping them up enough to cause them to do terrible things. They’re all acts of their own volition, but you have to wonder if they still would have happened without that extra push. That’s how you recruit spies – you exploit their weaknesses and aspirations. Been done that way for centuries.

    I don’t actually think the guy is working for the Chinese, btw. But it wouldn’t shock me if that was revealed.

  202. 202

    @Mark B: I saw a denial by someone in the company that wished to remain anonymous. What’s clear to me is that I wouldn’t take Snowden at his word.

    It’s possible that this is Snowden’s paranoia or that he’s being true. Facts don’t seem to be lining up behind him, and I see a lot of players both in and outside the government that aren’t necessarily in love with Obama. If it’s some kind of dirty trick on Obama then the Wurlitzer will continue to point the finger at Obama. If not we’ll see what’s going on.

  203. 203
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Perhaps some kind of retaliatory strike in parallel with this guy? I.e., you call our guy a dissident and try to shame us for the way we treat him… Let’s see how you handle THIS, bitches!

  204. 204
  205. 205
    Mark B says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Fire up the basement mimeograph machines, comrades! Samizdat is the only way to distribute information without the Stasi tossing us into the gulags! See you in the FEMA camps, podroogis!

  206. 206
    NickT says:

    @Mark B:

    Before we denounce ourselves, can you remind me what the secret Stasi password is this week? I lost my magic decoder ring and Ivan Ivanovitch Mclarenov isn’t responding to email.

  207. 207
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    it’s the fleeing to Hong Kong that seems the oddest to me…

    I thought that as well, until other posters pointed out how very limited your options are for avoiding extradition if you are fleeing from the US government.

    I am not convinced that he has picked the best place to flee to, but others have persuaded me that it is probably better than most.

  208. 208
    Laertes says:

    Of course he ran. If he hadn’t run, he’d vanish down a deep dark hole never to be seen again quicker than you can say “enemy combatant.” Where national security is concerned, there is no justice system. The national security apparatus can do absolutely anything it likes to any American citizen, full stop. If he hadn’t run, he’d already be in solitary confinement. Our government would be torturing him already, and would likely torture him to death.

    Anyone who thinks they’re in a position to snark at him for running like hell is a smug prick. Yeah, you’re real fucking brave, there on your shitty couch with your bag of cheetos. Until you poke the hornet’s nest yourself, have enough dignity to shut your pie hole about which way you’d run after you did. This poor guy, God help him, is playing for his life.

    I’m supposed to be outraged because he’s taking the opportunity to kiss China’s ass a little bit? How about we let that slide, since these are the guys who’ll be deciding if he gets to live the rest of his life in freedom or if he’s returned to his country to face torture and death? Maybe he gets to butter them up a little bit without us jeering at him from the cheap seats?

  209. 209
    Mark B says:

    @NickT: Are you trying to trap me, comrade NickT? The secret password is secret. No, really, that’s it: “secret” Without the quotes.

  210. 210
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    If we’re talking about the murder of the three people in Philadelphia, MS, I would add that that was a fairly exceptional case, too. Two of the victims were white people from nice middle class non-Dixie backgrounds, which is why the case caused enough national outrage to get the feds involved. Even then, LBJ and RFK had to give Hoover a few kicks in the ass to finally get him to do his job.

    Oh, and even then, instead of doing police work, the FBI’s solution was to have a pal in the Mafia torture (excuse me, “coercively interrogate”) the evidence out of the Klansmen. What a warm and fuzzy, totally non-STASI like security state we had in those days, eh?

  211. 211
    NickT says:

    @Mark B:

    Konechno! Spasibo, tovarich! I will now destroy this thread before anyone can access our communications.

  212. 212
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    Remind us again from what law school you graduated, and how you managed to pass Con Law.

    There is no language in the Constitution that prescribes any particular form a declaration of war must take. The AUMF is a declaration of war.

    Secret laws? Sorry, no such thing. Every person that the United States has attempted to prosecute, either in a civilian court or before a military commission, has been charged with violating specific provisions of Title 18. Now, admittedly, some of the charges that have been brought before military commissions have been legally invalid, but that’s another question entirely.

    Secret evidence? Even before a military commission, with limited exceptions the accused is entitled to discovery of all of the evidence that the prosecution intends to use at trial, including classified evidence. See Rules for Military Commissions, Rule 701(f). See also Military Commission Rules of Evidence, Rule 505.

    Secret trials? See Rules for Military Commissions, Rule 806, which provides in relevant part as follows.

    Except as otherwise provided in the M.C.A. and this Manual, military commissions shall be publicly held. For purposes of this rule, “public” includes representatives of the press, representatives of national and international organizations, as determined by the
    Office of the Secretary of Defense, and certain members of both the military and civilian
    communities. Access to military commissions may be constrained by location, the size of the
    facility, physical security requirements, and national security concerns.

    Evidence obtained by torture? Not categorically excluded, but Rule 402 of the Military Commission Rules of Evidence provides in relevant part that “[e]vidence that does not have probative value to a reasonable person shall be inadmissible;” that rule is certainly broad enough to exclude evidence obtained by torture.

    The rest of your comment is simply the drug-fueled ravings of a lunatic, and I can’t be bothered responding.

  213. 213
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mark B:

    I believe that on Friday Greenwald published a piece in the Graun that addressed the cyber-skirmishes between the two nations that included this:

    An intelligence source with extensive knowledge of the National Security Agency’s systems told the Guardian the US complaints again China were hypocritical, because America had participated in offensive cyber operations and widespread hacking – breaking into foreign computer systems to mine information.

    Provided anonymity to speak critically about classified practices, the source said: “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”

    The US likes to haul China before the international court of public opinion for “doing what we do every day”, the source added.

    Now maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Snowden copped to being the anonymous source here. Was he? If so, why not admit to that?

    Yeah, I think it’s Christmas for the PRC, too, and the whole family came back to celebrate together.

  214. 214
    srv says:

    @Mandalay: If he really knows anything, he’s a defection risk. Maybe gives him some negotiation options.

    Or just bring on the drones. Now that would cause a real meltdown.

  215. 215

    @Nutella:

    I think Farhad Manjoo makes an important point: If the NSA Trusted Edward Snowden With Our Data, Why Should We Trust the NSA?

    Because you have no choice. AT&T leaked information from people. So have most corporations. There is literally nobody you can trust under that standard. Unless you want to live in a hut in Montana like the Unabomber, you have to trust someone. Get over it.

  216. 216
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    only to be shocked when shit like this happens to white people.

  217. 217
    Mandalay says:

    @Emma:

    I knew the U.S. government was scooping up metadata on internet communications since 2006.

    Riiiiight….you knew about something from 2006, just like everyone else. They even did Sunday evening documentaries on it. Well done.

    But nobody in the general public knew the information that came out last week. Nobody. And if you claim you did you are lying.

  218. 218
    burnspbesq says:

    @Laertes:

    Go back to Denmark, and take your delusions with you.

  219. 219
    Laertes says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Really? Which part is the delusion? That he’d face torture and death if our government ever got his hands on him? Or something else, because if that’s the part you’re thinking of you haven’t been paying attention.

  220. 220
    Mandalay says:

    @NickT:

    Emma’s claim wasn’t that she or anyone knew the specifics, Mandalay – just that the general trend of things was pretty obvious.

    She lied about what I had posted.

  221. 221
    NickT says:

    @Mandalay:

    And you seem fanatically determined to misrepresent what she said. Are we supposed to give you points for that?

  222. 222
    Tripod says:

    Christopher Boyce claimed he was doing the Lord’s work as well. They let him out after 24 years. I hope this clown understood what sort of turn he was looking at.

  223. 223
    LAC says:

    @burnspbesq: in all fairness, mcclaren’s head up his ass smelling purity farts can be a problem. Evidence? Isn’t it enough that we use our imaaaginationnnnn? :-)

  224. 224
    srv says:

    @Mandalay: We’ve been talking about this stuff at BJ since 2005:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....r-echelon/

    And Darrell was parsing why it was all legal, way back when.

  225. 225
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    You know, if I hear one more asshole sneer, “Well, we all knew this was going on anyway,” I’m gonna punch him in the nuts.

    Please be my guest. The mixture of world weariness, condescension, and lying from those assholes is astounding.

    Nobody posting here already knew the information that was released last week. Nobody. But they sure love pretending that they did.

  226. 226
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mandalay:

    I am not convinced that he has picked the best place to flee to, but others have persuaded me that it is probably better than most.

    There are actually quite a few nations that will say “Fuck of!” on to an extradition treaty if they believe that someone is being persecuted/prosecuted for purely political reasons. And they’re a whole fucking lot better about snooping on their citizens than is Hong Kong.

    I find it sort of funny that a supposedly smart guy like Snowden would cite HK’s reputation for openness in its journalism, when the PRC has been buying up HK media outlets over the last few years.

  227. 227

    @Mandalay:

    But nobody in the general public knew the information that came out last week. Nobody. And if you claim you did you are lying.

    I knew about the metadata collection. That’s been out there for quite a while as Emma noted. There was a big dustup about it at the time, and then it settled down, mainly because it was overshadowed by the warrantless wiretapping news. Now, a lot of people might have conflated the two, but if you read the articles they were clearly different programs. It wasn’t clear if the metadata program continued, but the courts certainly didn’t shut it down. There wasn’t even a significant legal challenge against it.

  228. 228
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you refuse to accept the penalties for your act of civil disobedience, there’s no principle behind your action, just a desire for anarchy.

    No, that’s just what authoritarians — like you — want to believe about the world. “There’s obeying THA LAW, or there’s ANARCHY!”

    Snowden seems to have monkeywrenched a little corner of a corrupt system, and the people who prefer to believe that All Is for the Best in This Best of All Possible Worlds are furious that now they have to sit up and make fresh excuses. He isn’t Dr. King (hell, Dr. King wasn’t always perfect by inclusively liberal definitions of perfect, if you believe some of Bayard Rustin‘s supporters). Snowden may be a nascent paranoid schizophrenic who deliberately fails to return his overdue library books and once kicked an innocent puppy. But getting all huffy, paragraph after paragraph, about how he fails to meet your criteria for a proper case of civil disobedience just demonstrates that you’re not actually a fan of civil disobedience.

  229. 229
  230. 230
    LAC says:

    @mclaren: and they still are, you self righteous batshit cray cray.

  231. 231
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Hey, I’m enjoying myself. You want comity, go watch My Little Pony.

  232. 232
    burnspbesq says:

    @Laertes:

    Which part is the delusion?

    Since you’ve chosen a Shakespearean character as your handle, allow me to respond in kind. Your entire comment is the product of a hyperactive imagination. It is (sing it with me, folks) “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Point to one actual event that supports your crazed web of inference, speculation, and surmise. Just one. Take as much time as you need to find one.

  233. 233
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Are you sure that Snowden monkeywrenched it? What if he’s being rewarded handsomely to be the front for someone else much more powerful who did the actual snooping on the US systems?

  234. 234
    Mandalay says:

    @srv:

    We’ve been talking about this stuff at BJ since 2005:

    Sure. But that is very, very different from posters bragging that they already knew the information that was revealed last week, or that the information that was revealed last week was old news.

    It was new information that nobody knew before last week.

  235. 235
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @mclaren:

    These are the exact same people who have been howling for years that Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges and Naomi Wolf and people like me are totally 100% completely full of shit when we warned that stasi-style East German universal invasive surveillance and black ops against U.S. citizens was what both the Bush and Obama administrations’ crazy police-state security mania was leading to.

    I don’t know about Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, or Naomi Wolf, but you’re definitely batshit. What’s described this week, even if I take Greenwald at face value, is absolutely nothing like East Germany. They didn’t just collect metadata and go to court to request access to someone’s email. They had actual files on everyone. You had to worry about what you said to your friends and family because they might be reporting it to the Stasi. They had machine guns posted on all of the borders with shoot to kill orders for anyone that tried to cross.

    Your continued rantings is proof of the fact that this isn’t East Germany, because the Stasi was incapable of recognizing that little pissant agitators were best left alone.

  236. 236
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: What’s the “corrupt” part? Intrusive, spooky, I can think of a lot of adjectives. Corrupt, though?

  237. 237
    lamh35 says:

    WTH. So now it’s WashPo vs GG vs NYMag?/ This is basically a cluster fuck aint it.

    So it’s been established the the same guy spoke to WashPo and GG. WashPo saying they had the story, but didn’t run with it ’cause the guys demands were to much too quick for them to publish or something like that, so the guy went to GG instead. Now GG saying the way WashPo is describing it is all false.

    @ggreenwald

    Bart Gellman’s claims about Snowden’s interactions with me – when, how and why – are all false.
    12:17 AM – 10 Jun 2013

  238. 238
    lamh35 says:

    Barton Gellman @bartongellman

    BTW the Guardian didn’t publish whole PRISM brief either; chose ~same slides the WP did. There are things in there that should stay secret.

  239. 239

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    They had machine guns posted on all of the borders with shoot to kill orders for anyone that tried to cross.

    And exactly how is that different from a bike sharing program? You need to get your head out of the sand, Obot.

  240. 240
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @FlipYrWhig: and I don’t even know about intrusive or spooky exactly — if the whole thing is a data collection program with FISA approval, the underlying problem would seem to be with FISA.

  241. 241
    Mandalay says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    No, that’s just what authoritarians — like you — want to believe about the world. “There’s obeying THA LAW, or there’s ANARCHY!”

    Yep. That mindset reminds me of this:

    Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

    All other possibilities are unpossible.

  242. 242
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mandalay:

    Nobody posting here already knew the information that was released last week. Nobody. But they sure love pretending that they did.

    With all due respect, you’re playing semantic Calvinball, investing far too much significance in a hyper-literal interpretation of the word “know.” If you contend that there was some other inference that was equally plausible, given the stream of disclosures dating back to 2006, let’s hear it.

  243. 243

    @lamh35:

    This is basically a cluster fuck aint it.

    Yep.

  244. 244
    Mark B says:

    @Mandalay: Most knowledgeable people knew that there was a large government data-mining program, because it was authorized by the Patriot Act. The exact name of the program wasn’t known, and the names of the companies that were providing the information to the government weren’t known. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure we really know those things now, since there are a lot of holes in Snowden’s story.

  245. 245
    lamh35 says:

    Glenn Greenwald ✔ @ggreenwald

    We’ll be putting the focus back where it belongs very shortly: on the conduct of the US Government

  246. 246
    Laertes says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Which part is it, exactly, that you find implausible? I’m honestly curious. Do you think it’s implausible that our government would torture him? Do you think it’s implausible that our government would hold him without charge or trial in a black site indefinitely? Do you think it’s implausible that suspects handled as enemy combatants have on many occasions been interrogated to death?

    Help me out here, so I can figure out exactly which links to drop on you.

  247. 247
    lamh35 says:

    oh puh-leeze. Are we already asking for pardons for this guy…really! So people are really prepared to put all there eggs in this one guys basket huh. Whatever.

    @DavidShuster 8h
    .@barackobama you’ve said you “welcome the surveillance debate.” Will you pardon @EJosephSnowden for sparking it? http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z1

    So does this means that this guy has replaced the left patron saint of whistleblowers Manning?

  248. 248
    Mark B says:

    @lamh35: In a pissing match between the Washington Post and Glenn Greenwald, the best possible outcome would be if they both could lose.

  249. 249
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    What if he’s being rewarded handsomely to be the front for someone else much more powerful who did the actual snooping on the US systems?

    Hell, anything’s possible, in this wicked world of ours. From what we bystanders have heard at this point in time, Occam’s Razor says one guy (sane or not, for whatever personal reasons) got shown something extremely nasty in the security-service woodshed and found,praise goddess, a media source that would help him show the nastiness to a lot of people who hadn’t known about it (many of whom would still rather not have known). Sure, he could be a PRC ‘asset’. He could be a mole for the Obama Administration, if Ezra Klein’s severely tongue-in-cheek observations are correct. He could, as some commentors theorize at blogs more left than this, be a sort of human variola vaccination — intended to spark a fierce SUPPORT OUR PRESIDENT OBAMA – HE KEPT US SAFE inflammation in the body politic. Only argument I’m not accepting, right now, is the one that we should reject, denounce, and repudiate any further discussion of the topic, because shutupthatswhy.

    I await further developments with interest.

  250. 250

    @Mark B: Well, let’s separate two things:

    1) The phone metadata story is a known story. Nobody has mentioned it for a few years, but it is not an unknown thing. We should have no doubt that it is true because members of congress came out and said ‘Duh, we’ve been doing this for years’.
    2) The social media data story is the unknown story. And also the one that doesn’t line up. It’s been strongly denied by all of the companies referenced. Further, it’s technically impossible to implement as described by GG given the information in the presented slides. And there’s still the inconsistency I noted above about the FAA system referenced on the slides, which also explains Palantir’s involvement and lines up with their denial. That’s too public of a system to be some kind of coverup. It’s also what leads me to believe that the slides might be partially fabricated. It doesn’t make sense for that reference to be there.

    So right now we have positive confirmation of a program we already knew existed, and an assertion to a program that doesn’t appear to actually exist as presented. Instead, a somewhat different system is described by other entities comprised of two components (a data escrow from the social media companies, and an aggregation system run by the government), both of which look not only quite legal, but actually quite a responsible way of ensuring that subpoenas are complied with.

  251. 251
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I knew about the metadata collection.

    Well how suitably vague. Nobody already knew the information that was released last week.

    Go ahead and claim that you are not surprised by the details, or that you had suspected that something was going on. That’s not very interesting, but it is a legitimate points of view. I can even accept the “who cares” perspective. Fine.

    But you didn’t know the extent and details of Verizon’s monitoring. It was possible (though improbable) that Obama could have to told Verizon to stop their trawling last year, and then your claim that knew about the metadata collection would be wrong. Yet if that had happened I am sure that we would still get world-weary know-it-alls insisting that it was old news, or that they already knew.

    Now why would some BJ posters be so intent on downplaying the information that was released last week? Hmmm….

  252. 252

    @lamh35: Obama should go ahead and pardon the fake @EJosephSnowden twitter account that everyone is referencing.

  253. 253
    Mark B says:

    Now why would some BJ posters be so intent on downplaying the information that was released last week?

    Because we’re in on the conspiracy. And now that you’ve found us out, we will have to kill you. We already know where you are.

    DISCLAIMER: I an not a Stasi Agent, and I don’t actually want to kill anyone.

  254. 254
    lamh35 says:

    @👽 Martin: its ridiculous. Colored me confused, how do you pardon someone who hasn’t been accused or convicted?

    Anyone, this is stupid I’m going to bed. Hopefully this GG/Snowden “firestorm” doesn’t consume ALL the oxygen this week. There are other things going on too.

    Like this:Republican IRS Official Kicked Off Scrutiny of Tea Party Groups

    “A U.S. Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy,” Reuters reports.

    The manager said he and an underling “set aside ‘Tea Party’ and ‘patriot’ groups that had applied for tax-exempt status because the organizations appeared to pose a new precedent that could affect future IRS filings.”

  255. 255
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mark B:

    …since there are a lot of holes in Snowden’s story.

    The more I think about this….

    What if some of Snowden’s more outrageous claims are partially true? What if someone who wasn’t authorized to have the NSA employee list, someone with the capability to hack into the desktop of the POTUS, but it wasn’t Snowden? What if that someone got that list years ago, and laid out baIt to catch a patsy who was working on the inside? What if it was the PRC that had these capabilities, and they wanted to, at a crucial time, play their hand and take the big pot on the table? How would they best cover their intentions to do so? Would it matter if it became apparent to the entire world after the hand was played?

  256. 256

    @Mandalay:

    But you didn’t know the extent and details of Verizon’s monitoring. It was possible (though improbable) that Obama could have to told Verizon to stop their trawling last year, and then your claim that knew about the metadata collection would be wrong. Yet if that had happened I am sure that we would still get world-weary know-it-alls insisting that it was old news, or that they already knew.

    FFS, Verizon isn’t monitoring shit. Do you have no clue what’s in routine phone records? That’s all these are. They’ve been collecting these records for decades – long before cell phones. How the fuck do you think police subpoena phone records? These are those records. Who called who, when, for how long. The cell routing tower is new to cell phones, but that’s a standard part of the record too as it’s required for 911 service.

    This is the very data that generates your phone bill. If Obama told them to stop collecting this, how the fuck would they bill you? How would you dispute a charge? Think this through and educate yourself on how these systems work. Go look at your online phone bill and notice that you can still see your calling record going back at least a year.

    And the government has been collecting that information, with the personal billing stuff removed – your name, your address, etc. And that’s legal. That’s always been legal. The extra legal burden comes when they try and tie your name to it or if they try to listen in on your call. That’s where your privacy actually comes into play. And they need extra subpoenas for those things. They can’t be blanket subpoenas, but specific ones.

    And all that has been known for years, as members of Congress have mentioned. It’s not my fault you weren’t reading and understanding the news when it was reported.

  257. 257
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Hell, anything’s possible, in this wicked world of ours. From what we bystanders have heard at this point in time, Occam’s Razor says one guy (sane or not, for whatever personal reasons) got shown something extremely nasty in the security-service woodshed and found,praise goddess, a media source that would help him show the nastiness to a lot of people who hadn’t known about it (many of whom would still rather not have known).

    The problem with using Occam’s Razor in almost all circumstances is that it’s totally subjective. Because when I look at this situation and try to come up with the answer that requires the fewest assumptions, I arrive at a completely different answer than you do.

    Basically, Occam’s Razor is the logical argument people fall back on when they’ve got nothing.

  258. 258

    @lamh35:

    A U.S. Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy

    I blame Obama.

  259. 259
    Hal says:

    @Mandalay:

    But you didn’t know the extent and details of Verizon’s monitoring.

    I’m confused as to what your exact point is. Did the average person here, or anywhere know the exact details? Of course not, but how ever a juggernaut of data collection this operation turns out to be, are you really that stunned?

    I just don’t get the POV that no one could have imagined the Verizon data collection for instance, when I feel like that has been the plot line of a million movies and books. And I’m no conspiracy theorist, but come on, it’s electronic information. It’s out there, and however secure a server is, that information does not exist in some impenetrable bubble.

    I suppose if someone produced a multi-thousand page description of the programs and you read every word you might ultimately react with a big WTF?! but saying people are naive because two weeks ago no one could have produced an exact description does not mean that now utter shock and awe should set in.

  260. 260

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Basically, Occam’s Razor is the logical argument people fall back on when they’ve got nothing.

    Isn’t that statement itself an application of Occam’s Razor?

  261. 261
    Mandalay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If you contend that there was some other inference that was equally plausible, given the stream of disclosures dating back to 2006, let’s hear it.

    Well I think it is some other posters who are playing Calvinball with what they actually “know”.

    For a start, from last week there are the “I’m shocked” responses from companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, etc. regarding the very idea that they would be cooperating with the government to hand over the data of their precious users to the NSA/FBI. And they issued very carefully phrased non-denial denials. IANAL but even I could see holes in those statements, so I am sure you would see even more.

    And now the Guardian has claimed that those companies are not telling the truth.

    I have no idea where the truth lies yet, and nobody else here does either. But that truth is certainly unrelated to anything that posters here claim to have known since 2006.

  262. 262
    Mark B says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I don’t know, it sounds pretty fantastical to me. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out something much more mundane like he got into a fight with his girlfriend and decided to go on a big adventure which kind of spiraled out of control. But the PRC pays pretty well for state secrets, so I’m pretty sure his hotel bill is taken care of.

  263. 263
    Mark B says:

    @👽 Martin: The thing about recursion is that if you don’t have an established base case that the statement eventually resolves to, it turns into an infinite loop.

  264. 264
    Mandalay says:

    @Hal:

    I just don’t get the POV that no one could have imagined the Verizon data collection for instance

    That’s a strawman. Of course we can imagine anything. My point is that nobody knew until the Guardian released pretty persuasive evidence last week.

    And I find it very odd how some here are hellbent on downplaying this information.

  265. 265
    Laertes says:

    Yeah, I figured burns wasn’t going to answer.

    Fact is, our government treats suspects pretty harshly when they’ve inconvenienced the national security apparatus. We tortured Bradley Manning. We tortured Jose Padilla. We tortured hundreds of suspects to death at this black site or that. There are people in our custody that we know to be innocent, and we are going to hold them until they die.

    I don’t know if I approve of what Snowden did or not. There’s just not enough information yet to know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. But I definitely can’t say that he’s crazy to be scared shitless of what our government would do to him if it ever got its hands on him. I would be if I were him.

  266. 266
    Mark B says:

    And I find it very odd how some here are hellbent on downplaying this information.

    And I find people running around with their hair on fire because we apparently know the specifics of a program that has been known in general terms for years a little puzzling.

    P.S. I’m going to bed, I have to sleep sometimes.

  267. 267
    Sirkowski says:

    This guy is certifiable.

  268. 268
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Only argument I’m not accepting, right now, is the one that we should reject, denounce, and repudiate any further discussion of the topic, because shutupthatswhy.

    And I’ll agree with you if only because I think the system we’ve got is far from perfect.

    But I think you oversimplify when you invoke Occam’s Razor, the naming of which, ironically, is in itself not simply explained. Doesn’t it make you wonder what’s up with the timing? There’s too much going on- the timing of the leaks pertaining to the domestic issue getting stirred up as the summit approached, Greenwald sneaking in a post about the international issue on Friday (using a yet-unidentified leaker from inside the US security apparatus), then shifting back to the domestic issue, the leaker and Greenwald both showing up in Hong Kong as Obama and Xi are meeting in California to discuss…Cyberespionage?

  269. 269
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    FFS, Verizon isn’t monitoring shit.

    I typo’d and meant to state “the extent and details of the government’s monitoring”. My apologies.

    As you know, there are several ways in which the government could gain access that Verizon data. AFAIK the actual mechanism is still not publicly known, but I may be wrong on that since new information is being released constantly.

  270. 270
    Andrew says:

    @Cacti: Huh? Are you saying that China will kill or extradite him? Seriously your MLK comparison was stupid, if you actually listened to the video you would’ve heard him say that he doesn’t want the story to be about him, he wants the story to be about the secret actions of the government and whether the American public are ok with it. I mean come on, either it’s ok and everyone’s cool with it, in which case it shouldn’t be a secret or the American Public don’t think it’s cool and vote in Reps that will put a damn stop to it.

  271. 271
    Laertes says:

    I think anyone who says they know what China is going to do about Snowden is crazy. I bet they don’t even know yet what they’re going to do.

    Dude is in a rough spot. He fled a government that will definitely torture and possibly kill him and ran to a government that is somewhat less certain to torture or kill him. I’d hate to have to make a decision like that.

    (That’s why I don’t get my knickers in a twist about his on-the-surface naive remarks about the PRC’s commitment to free speech. Under the circumstances, I can forgive him a certain amount of buttering-up of his new hosts. He’s in a tight spot.)

  272. 272
    piratedan says:

    is it okay if I do this, because I want to make sure I have the plot turns down correctly…

    a few days back GG and WaPo get into a “me first!” match to post some supposedly incriminating crap regarding a data collection program that NSA has been running since the Bush Administration.

    said program has a modest budget and makes requests and handles the metadata needs of the agency by using said queries against the data collected to profile and track persons of interest when their activity touches upon the web portals that the US has “control” over.

    We find out that instead of all the tech companies rolling over and pumping Uncle Sam with everything that Uncle requests, that instead, they require that there be specific requests so that they can filter the data that will be forwarded so that it pertains to specific items. This ensures that “our” data isn’t being sent to Uncle Sam as he trolls the metadata seas.

    When that begins to permeate through the media, the WaPo folks change their story to take a more cautious tone than the one with which they led with. GG and his “side” double down.

    Then the guy who “leaked” the info to GG that exposes the potential for abuse by the NSA but doesn’t actually show any abuse examples, leaves the country for China while there is a cybercrimes meeting ongoing with the Chinese as the President continues to press the Chinese about their theft of intellectual and business property.

    This somehow stands as vindication of the fact that OUR Government is the one stomping on personal freedoms.

    is that a valid synopsis so far?

    *** Personal Observational Update since I had this in another thread….

    so far as evidence, all we have is one PowerPoint slide that doesn’t even appear to be referencing the appropriate NSA program itself (h/t Martin)

    Denials from each of the potential Metadata providers
    Multiple Technical sources (ZDNet and CNET) calling bs on this
    The claims from the source and the reporters that something is wrong, but as of yet, no laws have been mentioned or evidence of wrongdoing cited
    We’re asked to wait breathlessly for additional details to be provided
    The source of the claims are hardly impeachable and harbor known agendas against the current administration, if not personally then ideologically
    A “whistleblower” who feels “safer” in the arms of the country that is actively engaged in conflict with the US for both intelligence and business espionage and has this happen when this is the #1 item on the agenda in current discussions between these two nations.
    Conveniently timed to fall on the heels of all of the other “scandals” that have proven to be utter and complete bullshit, i.e. IRS, AP, Benghazi

    To borrow shamelessly from Deep Throat, follow the money….

    The big NSA super secret data collection infringement on all our freedoms is modestly priced at 20M (the number cited in the reports, so maybe they got this wrong, misplaced a zero or a decimal or something) . Considering that Sheldon Adelson kept Newt Gingrinch in the Rethug primary for four months at five times that price, this seems it’s government at its most efficient evah, which strikes me as incongruous somehow but ymmv

    our erstwhile betrayer of secrets because he is a man of convictions and conscience and is a self proclaimed 3mo old former employee of a company that is entrenched in the Military/Intelligence complex who has somehow been granted access to the keys of the kingdom AND being handsomely rewarded at a salary of 200K a year. How much of any of that makes any sense to you?

  273. 273
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mark B:

    Those claims he made about his own capabilities just seem so fantastical, though. If you accept him at his word then you’ve got to ask how in the hell he was allowed anywhere close to NSA or CIA computers- it’s one thing to drop the info about PRISM, the heat map and the Verizon leaks because it tracks the narrative lineof how he became disillusioned with domestic spying, but the shit about getting the info on the NSA employees and access to the POTUS rig is a fucking brag, and a BIG brag at that. That’s the sort of shit the intelligence community screens for quite actively.

    And there aren’t many ways to dismiss it if you think he made it up, either. Saying it discredits him if he didn’t have that access, no? And if he’s the sort of person who makes up fantastical shit like this, don’t you think he’d be screened out of the intel community? Did he develop epilepsy and some attendant schizophrenia very recently that would have caused him to imagine this, and, if so, how could this not be caught by the intel community when the guy must have a pretty high security clearance?

    Or is the problem here that I think the intelligence community has higher standards of risk detection inside its ranks than it actually has?

  274. 274
    piratedan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): supposedly he was offered the CIA gig because “they needed the dudes”, after all there were two wars going on and…. well you can guess the rest. I can easily imagine that there may be a few Military types in the CIA already that could give a young man a helping hand into the organization since he had that misfortune befall him in training (assuming that’s not an aggrandizement as well)

  275. 275
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @piratedan:

    Gah! The entire backstory seems a bit hinky to me. Breaks both legs at SF training, becomes a security guard for the NSA facility at U of Md, then to IT security (how did Mr. GED prove his chops to land this gig?), and then to Genev- with diplomatic credentials!- in 4 years, at the age of, what, 23 or 24? I mean, labor crunch or not, back in ’03 or ’04, when recruitment levels hadn’t been hammered very badly yet, there weren’t better choices than this guy? Again, hinky.

  276. 276

    @Mandalay:

    As you know, there are several ways in which the government could gain access that Verizon data. AFAIK the actual mechanism is still not publicly known, but I may be wrong on that since new information is being released constantly.

    The authority is via a subpoena. The actual mechanism is almost certainly the same thing as is proposed for the other system – a live stream of calling metadata to a secure escrow system which the intel agencies can access and offload to their own integrated system. Probably also includes the user data for those that the proper subpoena is delivered.

    This is sensible from both sides – the intel agencies get the best possible service that the subpoena entitles, the corporation gets security beyond that subpoena, and the whole thing is relatively inexpensive to maintain once its built. If you asked 100 data guys to design a system to do what has been inferred, at least 95 of them would design the system as I’ve described. Probably 100.

  277. 277

    @Laertes:

    Dude is in a rough spot. He fled a government that will definitely torture and possibly kill him and ran to a government that is somewhat less certain to torture or kill him. I’d hate to have to make a decision like that.

    What the fuck are you on? Ames and Hanssen did vastly more damage to this country from their positions. We didn’t torture them. They went through a nice orderly trial. Ames is in Allenwood, and Hanseen is in Florence.

  278. 278
    askew says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    @Cacti: I know all women look alike to you, but I was actually a John Edwards supporter.

    Oh, bullshit. You are a total bitter PUMA.

    And I find the idea that this guy is some kind of hero or courageous to be laughable. The guy just fled to China. Personally, I think we find out that he was selling secrets to other countries.

  279. 279
    Groucho48 says:

    If the yard stick for being a whistleblower is that you have to willingly accept the kind of treatment Bradley Manning has gotten, that would DRASTICALLY cut down the number of folks who would do it.

  280. 280
    mai naem says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): And this is after the dot com bubble bursting. I have a friend whose husband was an IT person with a lot of experience, who had never been unemployed,who could not land a regular gig after being laid off around 2000. He did a couple of out of town short contracts and then switched fields.

  281. 281

    @piratedan:

    is that a valid synopsis so far?

    Pretty much. There’s two programs being described.

    1) The phone metadata program that dates back to Bush. That we pretty much knew about.
    2) The internet data program that you properly describe.

    I’d note that this is a common tactic – present an easily verified bit of information followed by a less easily one, and trust that the validity of the former improves your credibility on the latter. And a number of people will conflate the two and take the clear validity of the former to be a clear validity of the latter (as many people here have done).

    So, aside from omitting the presence of the phone metadata program (or conflating it with the internet data one), I think you have it all right.

  282. 282

    @Groucho48: Manning wasn’t a whistleblower. He didn’t uncover any government wrongdoing. He just leaked classified information for lulz. That makes him a criminal.

    And I’m not even sure how to take the reports of his treatment since they all came from the folks who thought he was a civil liberty hero for releasing the identifying info for 50,000 troops serving overseas.

  283. 283
    piratedan says:

    @👽 Martin: ty, just trying to keep it all straight as folks pursue their own personal agendas and tangents,.Keeping tabs on what has been said and verified versus the conjecture and sniping. Stuff like this is what keeps me coming back to who is pulling the strings and who is framing the discussion and how they are doing so.

  284. 284
    mai naem says:

    @Laertes: Sorry, but I don’t understand going to China. And, if he is that smart, he’s got to have thought of the consequences and had some kind of plan before he did this. This means that he knew about the Chinese cybercrimes and that the meeting was going to be about cybercrimes(was that that well known?) Unless the Chinese were blackmailing him over something and I don’t want toeven go there. You can’t just disappear into HK. I would have gone to a European country. Montenegro? At least he could have disappeared into a crowd.

  285. 285
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The story doesn’t pass the smell test for me. Snowden’s meteoric rise from broken legged ex-paratrooper to IT whiz raises some big questions. That he was able to stroll out of a secretive facility with a sheaf of sensitive documents is also a bit of a stretch.

  286. 286
    Groucho48 says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You and I might accept that there is a qualitative difference between what Manning did and what this guy seems to have done. If I was in his place, though, thoughts of being Manning-ed would definitely play a prominent role in my decision on whether to go public or not.

  287. 287

    @Groucho48:

    If I was in his place, though, thoughts of being Manning-ed would definitely play a prominent role in my decision on whether to go public or not.

    Well, that’s neither here nor there. He told Barton Gellman that he would likely be killed for this by the intel community. Does anyone really believe that the US Government was going to assassinate a WaPo reporter over this story? Snowden did. Now, to me that suggests that his reasoning skills here are about as good as Laertes or mclaren’s, so his decisions tell us less about how the government has handled previous cases and more about how grounded this guy is.

  288. 288
    Hal says:

    I’m thinking Snowden just read the Pelican Brief before releasing the intel. He’s totally afraid of being Darby Shawed.

    Which BTW was a really good summer read. Not really a John Grisham fan but that was a page turner for me.

  289. 289
    mai naem says:

    I frankly don’t understand why he went public. What? He’s making $200K and has all this data available to him. He has Greenwald available to him. He couldn’t have bought a cheap throw away phone and communicated with Greenwald that way. There’s a bunch of ways I can think of doing this where he wouldn’t have had to go public.

  290. 290
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: This. Greenwald and Snowden himself are bright shiny objects. Who is behind this?

  291. 291
    Fred says:

    @mai naem: I agree. Mostly, if it were me I woudn’t say, “shit” if I had a mouthfull.
    To be clear on my stance on this kind of heroism: Anyone who has paid any attention for the past decade knows that all of their electronic communications are being monitored in some way. Only a fool would doubt it. So why should a young man throw his life down a rat hole just to tell us the details of what we already know? I don’t believe the knowledge will change a thing for the better.
    But yeah, if he wanted to get it out for the principal of the thing he still could have tried to not get caught. I don’t need that guys hide hanging heroically on the wall to satisfy my sense of justice, thank you.

  292. 292
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @gene108: Exactly. And if people are so outraged, why don’t they put pressure on the Dems and Repubs to repeal the Patriot Act?

    I really don’t believe anyone is outraged about this at all — especially since this has been going on since the Bush administration.

  293. 293
    different-church-lady says:

    @piratedan:

    We’re asked to wait breathlessly for additional details to be provided…

    Greenwald’s found the whitey tape — I just know it.

  294. 294
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bob In Portland: How would this “scandal” embarass President Obama when Repubs have gone on record defending NSA? And the Patriot Act was supported by Repubs and passed during a Repub administration.

  295. 295
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mark B:

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a Stasi Agent, and I don’t actually want to kill anyone.

    Another carefully worded non-denial we can all see right through.

  296. 296
    Singular says:

    @mai naem: He SAID why he went public. Publicly.

    Some people here are SO FUCKING PREDICTABLE. You want to have ALL your shitty arguments at the same time, even when they contradict each other. You want to say he’s crazy, that someone is paying him, that the actual intelligence is crap, that he’s unpatriotic for fleeing to Hong Kong, etc etc etc…. sigh.

    Any of these things might be true but it doesn’t make sense to assume them, and they sure as hell aren’t all true.

    The funniest bullshit out here is the questioning of his training accident, or employment record, or the fact he got recruited in the first place. It reminds me of all those fucking gun nuts questioning whether Cole had ever been in the forces, or knew what a gun was.

    Get a grip.

  297. 297
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @mclaren: Really? Didn’t T’Baggers begin to protest almost from the day President Obama was inaugurated? Any of them been rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay? And how many US citizens have been sent to Guantanamo Bay for any type of protesting? Please name them.

  298. 298
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mandalay: So what if the specific details are just coming out now? We all knew that under the Patriot Act privacy rights were pretty much null and void as long as the government claims to have a good reason. I agree with Emma and others who point out that since the passage of the Patriot Act, the details coming out just now are par for the course.

  299. 299
    EZSmirkzz says:

    @👽 Martin: Good Morning, as to your response I don’t see any difficulty here at BJ in posting a link in the comments.

    So far the only person casting aspersions is you. I have said nothing about, Clapper, Obama or anyone else other than the reporters and PFY source. Perhaps you cannot see the bee for the hive, which is understandable, commonplace, and wrong. Because someone disagrees with you on a single, or even multiple points does not necessarily mean they disagree with you on all other points.

    As to Snowden, he has put his life at risk. That should carry some weight. Clapper is the source, I believe, of the Iraq WMDs being moved into Syria, so his credibility is saying whatever it takes to achieve his goal. That’s politics.

    As noted in the previously, the CEO of Qwest communications is in jail for insider trading which surfaced shortly after his refusal to participate in the illegal wiretapping, so it shows that the government can in fact prosecute these cases if it so chooses to, and given the conventional wisdom of the whole story, is very inspiring to other CEO’s who do not wish to become the focus of government attention. This is of course all conjecture on my part. I could be wrong. (Duty of the skeptic.)

    I would imagine the response from the intelligence community should also lend itself to verification of the documents. You don’t turn things over to DoJ just because someone is lying about you in a tall tale. That’s going to cost real money.

  300. 300
    Bob h says:

    This is pretty embarrassing for Michael Hayden, now Booz Allen head.

  301. 301
    debbie says:

    I’m beginning to think this whole every-kid-gets-a-trophy thing was all wrong. More and more, self-esteem is leading to self-delusion. At the same time, it’s not so great at cultivating much in the way of smarts. Dude, Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the U.S.

  302. 302

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I’m a bit disappointed that that tidbit hasn’t gotten more attention-I’d be almost sad if it turns out Palantir really isn’t involved. You’re a security/data collection company, and you name yourselves after an evil crystal ball used by evil wizards to spy on the forces of good?

    They used to run ads all over the place in the Washington, DC Metro, which were curiously nonspecific about what they actually did. It was unnerving.

  303. 303
    LAC says:

    @Mandalay: and I find it odd that you overplaying and overhyping everything. Well, not really…it is what you do.

  304. 304
    Paul in KY says:

    @👽 Martin: He might end up working for them. Voluntarily or non-voluntarily.

  305. 305
    Hoodie says:

    Maybe it’s a cocoon effect, but many folks around here seem to miss that this guy will get next to zero sympathy from most of the public. Step back from the minutiae of the 4th amendment, node analysis v. wiretapping, etc., and look at the big picture from the standpoint of the low information voter. He was a highly paid contractor. The activity he’s exposed is probably legal. He divulged the info to a foreign-based publication and a journalist who lives in Brazil. He fled to China, our biggest cyber adversary, of all places. Sorry, but he’ll be branded as a traitor, not a hero. Whether he is or not is anyone’s guess, but he’s not Daniel Ellsberg or even Bradley Manning from what we’ve seen so far. My guess it that he’s a confused young guy with some issues who got ahold of some stuff that is not pretty but par for the course in the black world and he got caught up in the moment. However, for all we know, he could have been working (or trying to work) for the Chinese or some other foreign government or entity doing industrial/military espionage for cash, was about to get caught and threw this up as a smokescreen. People do all sorts of stupid, desperate things for money and/or sex.

  306. 306
    LAC says:

    @lamh35: And how about greenwald’s tweet stating that he had been working with snowden since February? Didnt this guy start working with the contractor in march? I though he had his come to Jesus moment during the time he worked there.

    Weird….

  307. 307
    Mark B says:

    @Hoodie: I hope you’re right, and the people get past the story that is being pushed: that Obama is Big Brother and he’s personally keeping track of what kind of breakfast cereal you eat, what kind of shirts you wear, and where you keep your guns.

    It actually would be smart if they would question this guy’s motives and the truth of his story, because there are many things that don’t quite add up so far. But since what he says plays into a lot of people’s paranoia about the government and their hatred of the current president, he’s going to be believed uncritically by a large portion of the populace.

  308. 308
    Gopher2b says:

    Do any of you people know what a mail cover is?

  309. 309
    El Cid says:

    I think all of you who are spending time here are taking time away for your more legitimate electorally-related responsibilities. Get back to work.

  310. 310
    Original Lee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Plus, federal tech jobs have another layer of job description/resume matching for both government and contractor employees than regular jobs do. It’s very easy to hire a specific person for a specific job – you just trot on down the the people who do the PDs to get the PD written the way you want, and then you get your Chosen One to write up his/her resume to match the PD exactly (and naturally, you’ve put in some kind of credentialing/experience that is unique to your Chosen One into the PD), and pretty soon the HR PTB finds only one person who matches the PD! Confetti! That’s why I think somebody (singular or plural) tapped Snowden early for his career track – it would be difficult for him otherwise.

  311. 311
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    …an evil crystal ball…

    >:C
    Nerd failure. Please report for re-education.

  312. 312
    chopper says:

    @mclaren:

    Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges and Naomi Wolf and people like me

    ♪ ♫ one of these things is not like the other ♪ ♫

  313. 313
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @El Cid:

    I think all of you who are spending time here are taking time away for your more legitimate electorally-related responsibilities. Get back to work.

    Kay has assured us that it doesn’t matter who is elected to office. Only PROCESS matters. People in office have no control over their own actions.

  314. 314
    grandpa john says:

    @piratedan:
    sounds like it would make an excellent prologue to to a novel, fiction of course. The only question is who is going to be the hero and who is the villain.

  315. 315
    Li says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, there was a civil trial in 1999 in regard to the Martin Luther King assassination, carried out at the request of the King family, that concluded that James Earl Ray was a patsy, and the assassination was carried out by a military sniper team. Lots of eyewitness testimony by of people on the ground that day, and from within the Memphis police department, supported this theory, and in the end the jury (half black, half white) concluded that the government conspired to assassinate MLK, and then framed James Ray and helped him flee to substantiate this theory.

    http://www.thekingcenter.org/c.....sus-jowers

    I’ve read through the court brief, and I tend to believe that they uncovered the truth.

  316. 316
    Dick Schwing says:

    Obama could also, y’know, “lead” on the issue. Instead he caved-in, almost immediately. He “looked forward, not behind.”

  317. 317
    Salacious Crumb says:

    all i can is say is, Edward Snowden is a racist because he deliberately leaked this information to make Dear Leader Obama look bad, ABL, eemom, Mnemosyne, can I get an AMEN!?

  318. 318
    keestadoll says:

    @Mark B: “because there are many things that don’t quite add up so far.”

    For example?

  319. 319
    keestadoll says:

    @mai naem: Interesting question. Maybe because a live human with verifiable credentials interviewed on video is a slightly more plausible source than “Anonymous” with voice altered over a disposable phone…Just spit-balling.

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