Another Edition of Our Failed Media Experiment

So NBC News goes to all the trouble to interview Snowden, secretly negotiating and flying to Russia, and their entire OWN writeup about the interview consists of him saying he didn’t want to end up in Russia and asserting he is a technical expert, and then the entire rest of the piece is basically John Kerry calling him a pussy and a traitor.

Seriously. Read it yourself. Why the fuck did they even go to Russia to interview the guy? I can get that crap from Bob Cesca or Charles Johnson all day every day on twitter and their blogs.

But NBC made sure to mention that this was an EXCLUSIVE!

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146 replies
  1. 1
    jayboat says:

    Media folk love to travel.

  2. 2
    gussie says:

    I’m not a fan of Snowden, and not a fan of Greenwald, and not a fan of Williams, and not a fan of Kerry. They’re all arrogant, ambitious, self-promoting sourpusses, so I ignore whatever they say.

    This is Greenwald than Snowden, but the same basic idea: http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....ed-in.html

  3. 3
    Campionrules says:

    I admire the bravery of John Kerry. It takes guts to stand up as the Secretary of State and make demands to such a powerful and nefarious traitor like Snowden. Talk about speaking truth to power. How did we not elect this man in 2004?

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Williams is a worthless sack of Rethuglican shit.

    Flush him, and the entire corrupt organization that is Tom “I so desperately want to suck Jack Welch’s cock” Brokaw “news”, a disgrace to the legacy of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and John Chancellor.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    I’ll read it later.

    CBS Radio is breathlessly reporting what a failure the VA system is.

    Why can’t they point out that underfunding plays a huge role there? Like the GOP is the VA’s or the veteran’s friend. Nope.

    I hope this blows back terribly on the Republicans.

    Maybe Senator Richard Burr (R-NC-wanker) got the first taste of what’s in store.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s the scandal that will allow us to FINALLY impeach that fucking near sheriff in the White House! I can taste it!

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    When I was little, I asked my parents for a record of the theme song of NBC Nightly News.

    Better known as Beethoven’s Fifth. It was my favorite show. (Along with Batman.)

    And I liked Tom Brokaw so much after that.

    Before he went full “Greatest Generation” and got his war-mongering on.

    I would not think Cronkite or Murrow or Severeid would have followed him there.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I hope it will be ACME dynamite. We know who plays the coyote.

    The MSM is training us to scorn them.

  9. 9
    Joel says:

    Saw that Frontline documentary on the NSA. Excellent. Well worth the two hours. On top of everything else, what the government did to Drake, Loomis, et al. was despicable. Bush comes off as a complete imbecile, unsurprisingly.

  10. 10
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: I know a lot of other people have talked about this here and in many other places. But because of better medical care, body armor, you name it a ton of people made it back from our two recent wars that never would have in previous wars. Many of them maybe only 20. I shutter to think the bills that are going to come due for their care in 20, 30, or 40+ years from now. Heck we are not paying enough now and the problem is only to get more and more dire.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @jayboat:

    Who didn’t snicker all day at the media types that ended up on the Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Cuba?

    With no Snowden on board.

    And no liquor either. Or quick departure from our island neighbor.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    Well, the interview is just pathetic. They could just have lifted some quotes from twitter for all the information that it contains. But I’m not sure what Kerry is supposed to do or say. Does anyone in the world think that the US as a State can afford to let state secrets go walkabout whenever any Snowden wants to steal them? If a guy wants to claim the mantle of civil disobedience he has to break the law and then stand the consequences. Kerry’s right to say “what the fucking fuck did Snowden expect? To be greeted as a liberator while he was fleeing with proprietary information to Cuba?”

  13. 13
    ruemara says:

    You mean the guy who’s statement was that he was basically a spy? Who, he and GG combine, it’s hyperbole twins-activate!? That guy? Whether or not you like it, Johnson & Cesca provide a better level of scepticism than this whole have faith in Snowden thing you got going. Plus, skipping out with world powers we’re in competition with, sharing our spying overseas info, now GG is saying he’ll say who we’re spying on next, hmmm. Quacks like a traitorous duck. Of course, the amount of Americans convinced they’re important enough for real surveillance are going to be really sad. Not quite the rebels we thought we were. Other than that, what did you think the government was going to say, “yeah, he’s totes a spy and we’re just gonna stop the whole spying thing since might Snowden has shown us the light”?

  14. 14
    mtiffany says:

    Watching the shitshow known as ‘The Cycle’ over on MSNBC. Abbey Hunstman breathlessly proclaims “[Snowden] isn’t a hero!” What is it with this hero fetish? And seriously, do those twatwaffles sitting around that table think of themselves as heroes?

  15. 15
    ET says:

    And there is yet another story where a toddler kills another toddler – or more like a baby….

    But, but, but guns don’t kill people, people kill people…..

  16. 16
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Flush him, and the entire corrupt organization that is Tom “I so desperately want to suck Jack Welch’s cock” Brokaw “news”, a disgrace to the legacy of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and John Chancellor.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Brokaw is a far-right Nazi who, sadly, lacks the courage to wear either the swastika armband or a white sheet.

    He’s made his allegiances very clear, and they are not to either the “news” or the “truth”.

  17. 17
    Morbo says:

    I’m also curious why the subjects of the interview would agree to it given how “[i]n essence, [Brian Williams’] entire show was devoted to uncritical veneration of our national political and military leaders”, “was as vapid as it was propagandistic”, “no dissent, no critical scrutiny of claims, no raising of difficult questions, no facts revealed”, “was all reverent praise and uncritical amplification of official government claims. It was consummate American establishment journalism”, and that “NBC News feels free to spout such plainly false propaganda”.

  18. 18
    Tractarian says:

    their entire OWN writeup about the interview consists of him saying he didn’t want to end up in Russia and asserting he is a technical expert

    OK, but I don’t understand what the Oprah Winfrey Network has to do with all of this.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mtiffany: Only brave “reporters” who are actually stenographers are heroes, don’tcha know!

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    @ET: I don’t know how all the laws are state by state but my gosh they have to be changed to where an adult leaves a gun around where a child can get their hands on it and kills somebody, well that is first degree murder on the part of the adult. Period.

    I mean there are similar laws on the books. If I drive you to a bank, I stay in the car, you go in and kill somebody, because I helped with the crime, even if I didn’t pull the trigger, I can get charged with murder.

    Seems like we need the same thing here.

  21. 21
    Belafon says:

    Come on, John. Give us commenters some credit. You don’t even have to leave this site for that kind of stuff. (And I personally don’t like what Snowden did.)

  22. 22
    Jereny says:

    You very clearly posted this as an excuse to get some jabs in at Cesca and Johnson.

    It’s not their fault you fell under Greenwald’s spell. Get over it.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle: BATMAN!

    Man, was that a fun show. Just so over the top…and the guest villains were constantly fighting each other as to who got first dibs for munching on the scenery.

  24. 24
    Tokyokie says:

    @Elizabelle: I recall that it was the 9th symphony, 2nd movement, not the 5th. And I only know this because when we got the Reader’s Digest boxed set of Beethoven symphonies, I tried every movement of every other one looking for it because I just knew it wasn’t from the chorale symphony.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommy: If gun owners were actually “responsible” we wouldn’t hear of tragedies like this.

    Alas, they run from responsibility almost as fast as CEOs do.

  26. 26
    Tractarian says:

    @Campionrules:

    I admire the bravery of John Kerry. It takes guts to stand up as the Secretary of State and make demands to such a powerful and nefarious traitor like Snowden. Talk about speaking truth to power.

    Hate to break it to you, but when you have a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, you probably don’t care what some random internet buffoon thinks about your bravery.

  27. 27
    🌷 Martin says:

    @ruemara:

    You mean the guy who’s statement was that he was basically a spy?

    He might be. I have a friend who was an actual agent for a TLA specifically related to hacking/information security. They tell me its damn hard to tell the agents from the non-agents in that discipline. They despise Snowden, btw, for not taking advantage of opportunities to disclose domestic surveillance through proper whistleblower channels and based on what’s been disclosed don’t believe that whistleblowing was his intent.

  28. 28
    kc says:

    I can get that crap from Bob Cesca or Charles Johnson all day every day on twitter and their blogs

    Or from your own commenters.

  29. 29
    kc says:

    I will never not believe that if Snowden had done this under a Republican admin, the liberals who are vilifying him now wouldn’t be holding him up as a hero.

  30. 30
    kc says:

    @mtiffany:

    What the fuck is Abby Huntsman doing on MSNBC? Who gives a flying fuck what she thinks about any goddamned thing?

    Man, I’m glad I don’t watch that shit anymore.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    He might be. I have a friend who was an actual agent for a TLA specifically related to hacking/information security.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    @kc: As someone who’s had to deal with classified information over my lifetime, I can assure you that I would not have ever held him up as a hero. Reason #1: He left the country, and gave his information to other leaders. So, no.

  33. 33
    kc says:

    We’ll spend the rest of Obama’s admin arguing about how big of a traitor/pussy/spy/loser/dummy Snowden is, nothing will change, and within the next few years a Republican-controlled government is going to be all up in your shit.

    I don’t want to hear jackshit from you assholes when that day comes.

  34. 34
    kindness says:

    I’m thankful Snowden released the data on the spying program. I wouldn’t have the balls to do it. Now I think it’s a terrible choice for him to have to make between (probably) life in prison here or life in Russia.

    Don’t really get why some of you hate the guy so much. I don’t respect all the choices he made but he did make some choices I would not have…like release the data. I respect that.

  35. 35
    Tommy says:

    @kc: She is one of the four co-hosts of a daily afternoon show on MSNBC. Yeah I got no idea how that happened either, but she has been on it for months and months. Called the Cycle.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tokyokie:

    You are so right. Sloppy of me.

    The music that played underneath the closing credits was the second movement (scherzo) of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This is the original 1952 recording with Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra that was used on the Report. The music always started with the six notes and was faded out when they ran out of time. The program did not use an opening theme. It was not uncommon for news programs at the time to use classical music.

    From Network News Music website. Link includes the actual recorded score.

    The vagaries of memory. I would have sworn Beethoven opened the news. But no.

  37. 37

    I will never not believe that if Snowden had done this under a Republican admin, the liberals who are vilifying him now wouldn’t be holding him up as a hero.

    I’d be (and am) happy for the revelations about the government’s capabilities to engage in warrantless domestic surveillance, I’d be less happy about the rest of the stuff released revealing that our government (shockingly!) spies on other countries.

    And I’d be (and am) less thrilled about whatever other documents or information ended up in the hands of foreign governments that we are very friendly with.

    But whatever. Let’s finish venerating the guy so we can have a new saint to pray to.

  38. 38
    srv says:

    Bonfire of the Brodudes.

    I’m trying to remember anything redeeming about Kerry, other than he was not Bush (except for voting for the AUMF, Iraq, and a general preference for bombing places as a serious villager).

    @🌷 Martin: Yer friends aren’t that bright if they think whistleblower channels would work if lots of people have root on the NSA intratubes. Like nobody on the inside knows already? And who of them are throwing themselves on swords for our metadata?

  39. 39
    kc says:

    @Tommy:

    I know how it happened: Because NBC/MSNBC provides a home and fat paychecks for winners of the lucky sperm lottery, whether their last names be Bush or Clinton or Russert or Huntsman.

    I wonder if Karl Rove has any got-damned kids? When can we expect to see their fat white faces on TV?

  40. 40
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @kc: That’s a good point. I wonder why Snowden didn’t blow the whistle under Bush after the Patriot Act was passed. I assume President Obama is not doing anything differently than Bush when it comes to the NSA.

    Snowden is no hero to me but if what he did leads to some positive legislative changes (doubt it), that would be good.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @kc: Your beliefs are irrelevant.

  42. 42
    Bobby Thomson says:

    So NBC are a bunch of jerks for asking Snowden questions and letting him make an ass of himself?

  43. 43
    kc says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    @kc: That’s a good point. I wonder why Snowden didn’t blow the whistle under Bush after the Patriot Act was passed.

    I dunno; maybe he was still in high school.

    But yeah, I do wish someone would have done this while Bush was still in office, so I wouldn’t have to read a bunch of “liberals” talking about how cool it is that the government is spending billions of dollars hoovering up vast quantities of data on and from law-abiding Americans.

  44. 44
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @kc:

    I will never not believe that if Snowden had done this under a Republican admin, the liberals who are vilifying him now wouldn’t be holding him up as a hero.

    A triple negative. I think you said something other than what you meant.

  45. 45
    kc says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    You’re probably not unwrong about that . . .

  46. 46
    Eric U. says:

    News organizations are weird. Flying to Russia is dramatic, talking to Greenwald is not.

    If you ever watch the press conferences during a military operation, you will have multiple reporters stand up and ask the very same question. The reason they do that is so their news organization is shown asking the question. I assume any news organization using the question/answer takes the spokesman’s answer and tacks it on after their reporter asks the question. Because the spokesman usually says something like, “the answer hasn’t changed over the last few minutes”

    I asked last night if anyone really thinks Greenwald/Snowden did this to hurt Obama. I always figured they did, because purity ponies. I certainly don’t think they did it because they thought it would be reversed under Obama but not under Bush.

  47. 47
    kc says:

    @kc:

    Umoderate that, got damnit!

  48. 48
    kc says:

    In moderation. I must have exceeded my daily allotment of cuss words.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    I hope one of Martin’s spy friends whips off his shoe phone to call Control next time he stops by to debrief him.

  50. 50
    Chyron HR says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    To hell with saints. What part of “Snowden sacrificed himself for our sins” do you not understand?

  51. 51
    Juju says:

    @kc: I don’t get that either. Also too, it’s hard to be more of an idiot than her predecessor on that show, but she makes Sippy Cupp seem brilliant by comparison.

  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    They despise Snowden, btw, for not taking advantage of opportunities to disclose domestic surveillance through proper whistleblower channels

    Well they are clueless if they despise him for that. They should look at how they tried to destroy Thomas Drake for whistleblowing.

    The idea that NSA employees can safely voice their concerns within approved channels without any fear of retaliation is nonsense.

  53. 53
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m sorry. Is the fact that I get out and know people continuing to be a problem for you? I don’t live out in the sticks, you know. I’m not a Walmart greeter. Some of us have extended social circles and have jobs and live in places where we interact with a wide range of people.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @🌷 Martin: Martin, I am happy for you.

  55. 55

    Brociopath is the new dudebro.

  56. 56
    Waynski says:

    @mtiffany:

    What is it with this hero fetish? And seriously, do those twatwaffles sitting around that table think of themselves as heroes?

    Do you put syrup or butter on a twatwaffle, or both? Do they have them at i-hop? Denny’s?

  57. 57
    gwangung says:

    Don’t really get why some of you hate the guy so much. I don’t respect all the choices he made but he did make some choices I would not have…like release the data. I respect that.

    Hm. I’m not sure I do.

    For one thing, he seemed indiscriminate in his release.

    For another, I believe he claimed he personally vetted the information. I dunno about you, but my BS detector went off on that. Snowden might know security, but he doesn’t know intelligence. He lacks the deep background on that. Anybody who claims they vetted the information without having deep background is a clown.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    This is the original 1952 recording with Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra that was used on the Report.

    So not just a great piece of music but also one of the all-time great recordings. Toscanini was a great conductor of Beethoven, and that recording of the 9th is the standard against which others deserve to be judged.

  59. 59
    🌷 Martin says:

    @srv: Their whistleblower channel includes members of Congress.

    And most people in the agency feel that the metadata issue isn’t illegal. I know everyone sees bright lines here, but there really aren’t many on the inside. When to whistleblow is hard to work out. To begin with, you trust your coworkers and leaders to be doing their jobs. You have to. You can’t function in an environment where you question everyone above you. Those that do will become detached from the institution and just don’t give enough of a shit to step out. So whistleblowing requires people who are invested enough in the institution to want to protect it over their coworkers and leaders, and people that see enough evidence that rules and laws aren’t being abided by. That’s difficult in places like that because they are inherently secretive. Even within the walls of the institution the agents don’t disclose they are agents until they have to. They don’t know which of the coworkers are and aren’t. It requires a culture of not asking too many questions – that’s basic in spywork – and being able to operate having only the information that you need.

    So how many people on the inside have enough information to suspect that laws/rules are being broken? Probably very few. The people that have access to the metadata don’t know under what agreements it was secured. They also know what they are working on and almost certainly believe that it is of legitimate national security interest, so no concerns there, but do they know of people using it for other purposes? Almost certainly not. Etc. So are they whistleblowing on how the data was acquired? Who uses it? How it’s used? Within their sphere of knowledge, everything looks okay. It only looks hinkey from farther back than anyone inside the agency can see – from the WH or Congress’ level or the heads of the agencies.

    Put another way, the scandal isn’t that there are trees, it’s that the forest is as large as it is. Who can tell that from inside? Probably very few, and they aren’t agents or even analysts, but directors and up.

  60. 60
    Ash Can says:

    So NBC News goes to all the trouble to interview Snowden, secretly negotiating and flying to Russia, and their entire OWN writeup about the interview consists of him saying he didn’t want to end up in Russia and asserting he is a technical expert,

    Maybe he didn’t say much else besides this. We won’t know until the whole interview airs tonight.

    And sorry, objectively and putting aside all biases on either side, LGF has absolutely eaten BJ’s lunch on covering this whole issue.

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @gwangung: You believe he claimed?

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ash Can:

    And sorry, objectively and putting aside all biases on either side, LGF has absolutely eaten BJ’s lunch on covering this whole issue.

    You’re doing your best DougJ here, right?

  63. 63
    Morzer says:

    @kc:

    within the next few years a Republican-controlled government is going to be all up in your shit

    Out of curiosity, who do you think created the most recent, shiny, expanded version of the security state?

  64. 64
    Rex Everything says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    But whatever. Let’s finish venerating the guy so we can have a new saint to pray to.

    Could you provide a few specific examples of what you mean by “us” venerating, canonizing, and/or praying to Snowden?

  65. 65
    Morzer says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I think you might need to explain some of the more complex concepts in that paragraph to Corny.

  66. 66
    Morzer says:

    @Rex Everything: @Rex Everything:

    John Cole may claim that Steve has a cat tower, but we all know it’s really a shrine to Edward the Confessor.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @Ash Can:

    covering this whole issue

    Are they reporting news, or simply expressing opinions you agree with?

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Morzer: The part where Martin has a friend who was an “agent” and has self-identified to Martin as one?
    Unless TLA stands for The Legacy Agency and he is a sports agent.

    Edited slightly

  69. 69
    Morzer says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Maybe we should focus on the idea of a “paragraph” and how “links” to a given post work? We can turn to hermeneutics once you’ve got the basics down.

  70. 70
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    Not sure what you mean by “most recent, shiny, expanded version of the security state,” but I know the security state has been creeping in size, scope, and power for a long time. I know that the Patriot was signed into law by Bush.

    My beef was with liberals who suspend concern over the security state (and drone killings) when a Democratic administration is in office. I have the same beef with cons who find their outrage only when a Democratic administration is in office.

    I expect cons to be hypocritical opportunistic assholes, but honestly, until recently, I would have expected a bit better of liberals.

  71. 71
    Ash Can says:

    @Morzer: Hey, it may be awful when a spy in Dubya’s CIA is outed, but it’s perfectly OK when US foreign spying secrets are stolen from Obama’s NSA and handed over to China and Russia.

    …um, wait, wut?

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @Morzer: I would appreciate your guidance in this matter.

  73. 73
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ash Can: I wouldn’t know. I can’t get past the fact that, until fairly recently, LGF was a loathsome hate site that admiringly reposted the ranting of bigots like Pam Geller. I’m all for leopards changing their spots and all and don’t doubt Johnson’s sincere change of heart. But it’s not like Johnson was just a misguided wingnut who saw the light like our Mr. Cole. He ran a flat-out hate site for years. I’ll never trust his judgment. About anything.

  74. 74
    Morzer says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, we start with a period of meditative silence, roughly three months in length, to detoxify your mind of all its accumulated misconceptions. See you on August 28th!

  75. 75
    Morzer says:

    @kc:

    My point is that it’s a bit late to be predicting a Republican government with access to all my data. Been there, done that, got the REDACTED T-shirt.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @catclub: They’ve reported many times more actual information than this site. For example, where on BJ did the discussion of the Bahamas “revelation” take place?

  77. 77
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Ash Can:

    LGF has absolutely eaten BJ’s lunch on covering this whole issue.

    Fatist.

  78. 78
    kc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I can’t get past the fact that, until fairly recently, LGF was a loathsome hate site that admiringly reposted the ranting of bigots like Pam Geller.

    No kidding. It’s hard to forget that.

  79. 79
    Morzer says:

    @kc:

    Of course, there are evil rumors about which side John Cole first signed up for in the Great Blog Wars….

  80. 80
    Rex Everything says:

    @Betty Cracker: I totally agree, and it also bothers me how certain commenters won’t let Cole’s initial support of the war go… yet those same commenters are BY FAR the least likely among us to have any problems with the Donk in general. The cognitive dissonance on display is staggering.

  81. 81
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Out of curiosity, who do you think created the most recent, shiny, expanded version of the security state?

    @Morzer: Foundation laid by Bill Clinton in 1994 with CALEA, machine built by Cheney/Poindexter in 2000/2001, massive add-ons, maintenance, and shiny new paint job courtesy of Barack Obama.

    And it wouldn’t be fair to not mention that virtually every member of Congress was doing all the actual work of putting the beast together.

  82. 82
    Morzer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    The Donk? What does Peyton Manning have to do with this?

  83. 83
    Morzer says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Which actually makes my point – that threatening people with a Republican administration using the security state to spy on them is only about 20 years behind the times, if not more.

  84. 84
    Rex Everything says:

    @Morzer: YOU’RE NOT FUNNY. [/MollyRingwaldvoice]

  85. 85
    Ash Can says:

    @Betty Cracker: You’re missing out on a lot then. Charles Johnson has “changed his spots” to the point where Pam Geller detests him, and he refers to her as “the screeching harpy” and mockingly reports on her more entertaining Islamophobic tantrums. In addition there’s apparently now an entire blog somewhere on the ‘tubes (never seen it firsthand, and have no intention to) comprised of assholes who couldn’t live with LGF’s change and either left or got banned.

    Seriously, go there and take a look around. Just like this place, it has its warts, periodic junkpiles, and overly-meta pettiness. But it’s nobody’s idea of hateful or even right-wing anymore. It really is a transformation on the level of BJ.

  86. 86
    Ash Can says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I lol’d

  87. 87
    Morzer says:

    @Ash Can:

    And Charles Johnson spends a lot of time calling out the racists and haters from the GOP by name. It’s not as if anyone would think he still had even a vestige of his former, badly misguided views on Muslims. People change – and if the change is consistent and sticks, I think we need to accept that and not denounce them for views they no longer hold.

  88. 88
    Rex Everything says:

    @Morzer: Charles Johnson is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  89. 89
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Which actually makes my point – that threatening people with a Republican administration using the security state to spy on them is only about 20 years behind the times, if not more.

    @Morzer: Point fully agreed with. This isn’t partisan. It’s totalitarian, and every member of the political class in the United States aided and abetted.

    Don’t see me living to see the end of it (I think that’s easily fifty years away if not more) but I do hope there is an end.

  90. 90
    Morzer says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Yes, yes, but how do you feel about him as a person?

  91. 91
    EthylEster says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Their whistleblower channel includes members of Congress.

    According to Frontline, one woman went to congress. she was the congressional or senate staffer liason with NSA. She talked to congresscritters and then later someone from NSA (that douchebag Hayden IIRC) basically told her to stop asking questions..or else.

    Martin, I respect what you write most of the time. But it appears to me that the whistleblower mechanism is worthless for security matters. Again according to the Frontline episode aired recently, the government falsified douments after the fact to be able to accuse one of their own NSA guys of improperly handling classified documents. Somebody intervened at the last moment to prevent the trial on these apparently trumped up charges.

    I don’t see how a democracy can function when the government gets away with lying about whatever they want to lie about.Talk about lack of oversight!?

    Several folks on this Frontline stated that they got the same speech from Hayden or Bush: if this info is released, you will have blood on your hands when the next attack occurs. Evidently old Punch was one of them. Who was happy to oblige until he heard others were going to publish.

    I so wish one of those people (or all) had replied: YOU already have blood on your hands. And you don’t want anyone to find out the details. Stop trying to get me to cover up for your pre (and post) 9/11 incompetence.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: As BC said above, one can certainly question his judgment. I applaud the change in views, but the previous views expressed there will color my perceptions for a while yet.

  93. 93
    Rex Everything says:

    The way I see it, of course Charles Johnson is free to change his views, and I’m glad he did change his views.

    But the same BJers who love LGF for its anti-Greenwald hard on rake Greenwald and Cole over the coals for their 11-year-old views on Iraq. Charles Johnson & congressional Dems get a pass and there’s no discussion…

  94. 94
    EthylEster says:

    @Belafon:

    He left the country, and gave his information to other leaders.

    Um…which leaders did he give info to?

    He gave all the stuff to GG and Bart Gellman…according to GG and Bart Gellman. Snowden evidently did NOT want to determine what should be published and when.

    And if hadn’t left the county, he would be in jail now and nobody would know anything about this stuff.

  95. 95
    Ripley says:

    LGF has absolutely eaten BJ’s lunch on covering this whole issue.

    A stale pretzel and half of peanut does not constitute lunch.

  96. 96
    kc says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Don’t see me living to see the end of it (I think that’s easily fifty years away if not more) but I do hope there is an end.

    We’ll never see the end of it so long as half the voters stop caring every time power shifts from one party to the other.

  97. 97
    The Sailor says:

    ““I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas, pretending to work in a job that I’m not, and even being assigned a name that was not mine.” ”

    So, an American spy defected to Russia. I’m fairly certain that’s called treason.

  98. 98
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    I know Cole was a Republican; I used to look in here from time to time in those days. As I recollect, he didn’t run a hate site, though, or frequently gang up with Pamela Geller.

    I could be wrong, feel free to correct me.

  99. 99
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    But it appears to me that the whistleblower mechanism is worthless for security matters.

    @EthylEster: On the contrary. It’s incredibly valuable.

    And make no mistake, it is working exactly as it was intended to.

    Quiz: name the last NSA whistleblower!

    Anyone?

  100. 100
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    We’ll never see the end of it so long as half the voters stop caring every time power shifts from one party to the other.

    @kc: Yeah, you’d almost think it was set up that way by design…

  101. 101
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    I agree. Has Johnson ever sincerely apologized? That would help, as far as I’m concerned. I know Cole has, more than once.

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Morzer:

    that threatening people with a Republican administration using the security state to spy on them is only about 20 years behind the times, if not more.

    It actually happened to me. A peace and justice group with which I used to be active was one of the groups the Bush admin was wiretapping without a warrant. I’m just hoping that Greenwald’s list of names doesn’t go that far back because I really don’t want to relive that experience and have to answer lots of questions about it.

    the interview consists of him saying he didn’t want to end up in Russia

    This is BS. He had options. He could have flown direct from Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesia also doesn’t happen to have an extradition treaty with the US. Either he is a really incompetent ‘spy’ or this is another piece of his story that doesn’t add up.

  103. 103
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    I agree. Has Johnson ever sincerely apologized? That would help, as far as I’m concerned. I know Cole has, more than once.

  104. 104
    kc says:

    @MomSense:

    This is BS. He had options. He could have flown direct from Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia

    .

    What? Indonesia? Like y’all would give him a pass for that? LOL!

  105. 105
    Morzer says:

    @kc:

    That’s hardly the point though. No one is saying Cole was exactly the same as Charles Johnson. The point is that they both changed strongly held views and become more enlightened. Dismissing Johnson’s assessment of Snowden/Greenwald just because you don’t like his former views on a different topic is pretty poor logic. If you think LGF’s take on Greenwald or analysis of his statements is wrong on the merits, fine, but let’s not pretend that what Johnson once thought about something unrelated is relevant here. You might as well dismiss John Cole’s current take on Fred Hiatt’s lust for other people to die for his wars because Cole was once very much on the warmongering side of the slate.

  106. 106
    White Trash Liberal says:

    The story isn’t about Greenwald and Snowden, but about the revelations.

    LOL FUCKING LOL

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @kc:

    He issued a reasonably detailed statement about why he broke with the Right. Others might be able to be more specific about apologies. I personally don’t find apologies particularly important, compared to actions, but that’s just me. Maybe I’ve just seen too many “apologies” that were obviously for the media, rather than out of sincere emotion.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc:

    We’ll never see the end of it so long as half the voters stop caring every time power shifts from one party to the other.

    Make sure you have some heavy duty earmuffs ready for Jan 2017. Because no matter who is elected president there will be a fuckton of people here start wailing like they were an art model for Edvard Munch.

  109. 109
    geg6 says:

    Kerry is right. Snowden is an idiot to not know what would happen and, honestly, I don’t believe a word the man says so I don’t believe that bit of bullshit either. Hope he rots in that bastion of freedom and no government surveillance. His and Greenwald’s knob polishers here and everywhere else are simply too stupid to even argue with, let alone take seriously. First, both of them supported W and I’ve never heard or read that either regret that. Also, to date, I have yet to have heard or read anything they have released that was illegal under current law or that wasn’t pretty obvious to anyone paying attention during 2000-2008. And the foreign spying stuff is simply no different than anything Pollard or any other turncoat got convicted for. I have no respect for either of them and I lose respect for everyone who does, including you, Cole. I was screaming about this shit back in 2005, when you were just taking the blinders off. So I really don’t want to hear anything at all you have to say about it. That horse left the barn a long time ago and giving up your country’s legitimate national security secrets doesn’t do a thing to change domestic spying. Not. A. Thing. And it never will because nobody but assholes who ride purity ponies and who are just as dumb as glibertarians about human nature and reality like traitors to their country.

  110. 110
    MomSense says:

    @kc:

    Are you saying there is not a big difference between going to Russia and China or going to Indonesia??

  111. 111
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    I’ll bet Amir Khalid might have something to say about this. I mean, seriously? China = Russia = Indonesia? Really?

    Shit like this is why I have no respect for the Snowden/GG hero worshippers. Too stupid to live.

  112. 112
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    Snowden keeps saying things that undermine his own credibility. I don’t get it at all.

  113. 113
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Tractarian:

    Hate to break it to you, but when you have a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, you probably don’t care what some random internet buffoon thinks about your bravery

    Yeah, but Campionrules has a purple band aid, so there!

  114. 114
    kc says:

    @MomSense:

    I’m saying if he had gone to Indonesia, you’d still be giving him shit.

    Also, there’s no evidence that Russia was his ultimate destination. He got stuck there.

  115. 115
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    That’s a good point. I wonder why Snowden didn’t blow the whistle under Bush after the Patriot Act was passed.

    Well, when Bush was president, Snowden said that leakers should be shot in the nuts.

  116. 116
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    Dismissing Johnson’s assessment of Snowden/Greenwald just because you don’t like his former views on a different topic is pretty poor logic

    Oh, I agree. It would be like dismissing Snowden/Greenwald’s revelations because you don’t like them.

    Anyway, I’m not dismissing his assessment of S/G (for now), I was just remarking on the fact that LGF used to be basically a hate site.

  117. 117
    kc says:

    @Morzer:

    When you spend years wantonly bashing Arabs and cozying up to the likes of Pam Gellar, an apology seems in order, but that’s just my opinion. I accept your viewpoint.

  118. 118
    NR says:

    @kindness:

    Don’t really get why some of you hate the guy so much.

    Because he made Obama look bad. That’s where it begins and ends for them. That’s all they care about.

  119. 119
    NR says:

    @The Sailor: Well maybe one day he’ll end up in a military prison getting waterboarded like you so fervently hope he will.

  120. 120
    David Koch says:

    Personally, I can’t support Hillary after her unwarranted criticisms of Edward Snowden:

    “It struck me as—I just have to be honest with you—as sort of odd that he would flee to China, because Hong Kong is controlled by China, and that he would then go to Russia, two countries with which we have very difficult cyber-relationships, to put it mildly.”

    Clinton also suggested that Snowden had inadvertently helped terrorists. “I think turning over a lot of that material—intentionally or unintentionally, because of the way it can be drained—gave all kinds of information, not only to big countries, but to networks and terrorist groups and the like,” she said.

    My God. She’s accusing Snowden of helping Al Qaeda. She’s worse than Bush.

    Clinton was also suspicious of Snowden’s recent appearance during a video Q&A with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have a hard time thinking that somebody who is a champion of privacy and liberty has taken refuge in Russia under Putin’s authority,” she said, going on to imitate Snowden and Putin’s conversation in a mocking tone.

    Is THIS the kind of person we want in the White House? Hillary would be Bush’s 3rd term. Samantha Power was right – Hillary is a monster!

  121. 121
    NR says:

    @geg6:

    Also, to date, I have yet to have heard or read anything they have released that was illegal under current law

    I love that this is the best defense that you brain-dead Obots can come up with about this shit. “It’s legal.”

    Hey, slavery was legal once upon a time too, so I guess you’re happy about all those abolitionists and runaway slaves that got hanged, right?

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Please explain how Snowden would end up in a military prison. Note that, Because the government is, like, bad! is not a sufficient explanation.

  123. 123
    gbear says:

    @gwangung:

    For another, I believe he claimed he personally vetted the information. I dunno about you, but my BS detector went off on that. Snowden might know security, but he doesn’t know intelligence. He lacks the deep background on that. Anybody who claims they vetted the information without having deep background is a clown.

    Snowden has always struck me as a techno geek who said ‘Hey Guys! Watch this!!’ and instantly fucked everything up big time. He hasn’t made one smart move since he decided to get this info. Whether it was the right thing to do in the first place is a moot point now because he’s been so incredibly careless with the goods.

  124. 124
    gbear says:

    @NR:

    Hey, slavery was legal once upon a time too, so I guess you’re happy about all those abolitionists and runaway slaves that got hanged, right?

    Shorter NR: “I got nothing”

  125. 125
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Perhaps Snowden would have a leg to stand on had he not demonstrated to Chinese state media how the US hacks their networks shortly before the president was scheduled for a conference on cyber diplomacy.

    The PRISM docs have demonstrated unconstitutional overreach per at least one court. That would be enough to legally defend oneself as a conscientious whistleblower. That alone has been a demonstrably positive revelation for the public good… In spite of the rather shoddy technical reporting by Greenwald.

    If that had been it, then he could face charges under the Espionage Act in relatively good standing. However, he demonstrated an opening willingness to reveal state secrets to Chinese state media that damaged US diplomatic efforts. This was characterized as Snowden “ingratiating himself” with Hong Kong.

    He committed a crime. This isn’t like the other whistleblower prosecutions. To me, this is pretty cut and dry, and Snowden should face a fair trial…

    What am I missing? Why should I leave poor Snowden alone?

  126. 126
    NR says:

    @gbear: The fact that you were unable to answer the point I made has been duly noted.

  127. 127
    Culture of Truth says:

    It was a boring interview. Williams is a dullard.

  128. 128
    Wobblybits says:

    Sigh. You know what’s just like slavery? Slavery and that’s it.

  129. 129
    gbear says:

    @NR: Does that go on my permanent record? Will there be a pop quiz later?

  130. 130
    Fred Fnord says:

    @🌷 Martin: “And most people in the agency feel that the metadata issue isn’t illegal.”

    TWO goddamn JESUS CHRISTS on FOUR POGO STICKS!

    Number one: PEOPLE WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THINK THAT THINGS THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ARE DOING ARE NOT ILLEGAL. That makes for a breathtaking headline, thanks.

    Number two: So. Fucking. What? If it turns out that it was LEGAL for the president to chop up homeless people and feed them to his pet dog under some obscure anti-espionage act that no one understands, and Snowden reveals that this was going on for five years, you can stand over THERE saying ‘well I don’t see what all the fuss is about, it’s legal’. Okay? We’ll be over here with the pitchforks. And yes yes, nothing THAT bad was happening, right? So who gets to decide how bad something is? You? And do you get to decide it for me? Because I don’t recall checking the ‘remotely managed conscience’ option on my OS installation.

  131. 131
    David Koch says:

    Edward Snowden is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known.

  132. 132
    Tripod says:

    The press has always been full of shit birds. Chayefsky wasn’t prescient, he was just lampooning the industry from what he saw of it in the fifties.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Quiz: name the last NSA whistleblower!

    Easy! Thomas Drake.
    Who, oddly enough, had the government file 10 charges against him and do everything else they could think of to ruin his life, reputation and future prospects.
    And, not “NSA” but if you consider the case of John Kiriakou, who disclosed actions of torture by the USG, that’s two recent whistleblowers inside intelligence agencies.
    Now, what happened to JK?….Hmmm…Oh, yeah! He was charged, took a plea and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @Fred Fnord: Now that’s just silly! All Martin’s friends who are agents inside the intelligence arena know best. They are able to care enough about the institution to trust their bosses and coworkers so they can get their jobs done without asking questions.
    And they have magnanimously decided on our behalf that this is the best of all possible worlds.
    So I say we just go with it.

  135. 135
    Procopius says:

    @aimai: Well, but Ghandi also said (at least according to the movie) “Even if I die I win.” He was OK with that, and it was a real possibility. I don’t think Kerry wants to admit that’s a real possibility here, but I think it is. I don’t think we want to wait for whistle-blowers who are that dedicated.

  136. 136
    Cervantes says:

    @Joel:

    Saw that Frontline documentary on the NSA. Excellent. Well worth the two hours. On top of everything else, what the government did to Drake, Loomis, et al. was despicable. Bush comes off as a complete imbecile, unsurprisingly.

    Is it surprising to find that, in nearly 24 hours, no one has responded to your comment? (I agree with you, by the way — but if you only watched for two hours, you may have missed Part 2.)

    What’s more, given Brian Williams and his dismal record, I’d say that his (NBC) interview with Snowden in Russia the other day may well be the best thing he has ever done. Poor Jay Carney is dancing around it gracelessly as we speak.

  137. 137
    NR says:

    @Wobblybits: Of course, I wasn’t comparing the NSA data collection to slavery, just pointing out how intellectually and morally bankrupt the Obots’ constant refrain of “It’s legal! It’s legal!” when it comes to this issue is.

    But of course, you knew that already and you’re just trying to confuse the issue.

  138. 138
    NR says:

    @Fred Fnord: Don’t be silly. The mere fact that something is allowed under the law means that it is good, right, and just, and no one should oppose it ever. At least, that’s what the Obots believe.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @NR:

    just pointing out how intellectually and morally bankrupt the Obots’ constant refrain of “It’s legal! It’s legal!” when it comes to this issue is.

    Ahhh, memories! Brings to mind one of my favorite Cole posts:
    But Was It Legal?
    “It looks like they are relying on questionable interpretations of the Patriot Act, and they got a judge to sign off on it, so while I hate it, it looks legal.”

    Damn close to one year to the day!

  140. 140
    EthylEster says:

    @Cervantes: Re frontline….i wonder how many people here have seen it. too busy pounding out very important comments here, i guess.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    And let’s not forget, that almost a year later, alllllll the people telling us the USG were using specific warrants, and getting clearance from FISA courts, and submitting to stringent oversight from Congress, and there was a whistleblower process in place, and on and on and on…
    Are still doing their absolute damndest to keep ringing the same bells really loudly, even after being thoroughly discredited on all counts.

  142. 142
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Why is that one of your favorite posts?

  143. 143
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Are still doing their absolute damndest to keep ringing the same bells really loudly, even after being thoroughly discredited on all counts.

    One is reminded of Monty Python’s Black Knight.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: Because Cole “hates it” you unnerstand, but since it all looks legal then goshdarnitall! Whutrugonnado? Amirite?!

    It was a beautiful post, at the absolute beginning of a long series of events that ultimately tell us that Cole and all the defenders of legality had no idea what they were talking about. Just like all the people who said Snowden was a fake, or his data was fake bogusness (and yes, that did happen even though some here try to rewrite history and say the data was never questioned) even though some tiny little percentage of reportage had come to light at that point.
    Hey, it’s legal!

  145. 145
    NR says:

    @Corner Stone: Don’t forget another Obot favorite: It’s all a great big nothingburger!

  146. 146
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: On the question of what was or was not legal, here’s a link to today’s episode.

    About that old post, thanks for calling attention to it. I have nothing to say at the moment, about it or any of the 300-plus comments it engendered.

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