Category Archive 'Edward Snowden'
14 Jul 2016
After more than three years as a fugitive, Edward Snowden is now in CIA custody, an Agency press release states. Sources inside the Agency claim that Snowden was captured in the early hours of the morning while walking the streets of Moscowâ€™s Arbat District, where he was ambushed by an extraordinary rendition team illegally operating on Russian soil.
According to Agency sources, who wish to remain unnamed, Snowden was lured out in the middle of the night by a Very Rare Pokemon placed just a few hundred feet from where American intelligence agents suspected him to be staying. Earlier this week, communications operations against Snowden had revealed him to be an avid player of the social smartphone game Pokemon Go, which encourages players to physically travel to various locations around them in order to retrieve in-game rewards and battle with Pokemons and other players.
The Pokeball containing Snowden is now believed to be undergoing secure transport to the Black Pokemon Center in an undisclosed location for entirely legal and pleasant interrogation procedures. Extraordinary precautions will be necessary to ensure that Snowden and Chelsea Manning, also being held at the Center, do not battle, as the Agency wishes to prevent any further evolution.
23 May 2014
One special bane connected with modern liberal society’s regime of excessive tolerance is the ease with which the sexually inverted neurotic can rise from his knees on the public lavatory floor to ascend his own personal pulpit in order to impersonate the post-menopausal female moral authority figure and social reformer.
Glenn Greenwald, for instance, is a particularly resilient example. Greenwald succesfully survived a scandal which resulted from his exposure for having persistently used “sock puppet” false identities to lavish praise on his own blog postings. He more recently attached himself to the cause of “whistle blowers” like Edward Snowden and acted as go-between between the latter and Establishment newspapers. Pimping US Intelligence secrets to the Guardian and the Times is the kind of thing which, in today’s world, makes one a hero in certain circles, and the next thing you knew Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar was writing a check for $250 million to buy Greenwald his own media organization. Who better to manage such a thing than the man renowned as “the left’s most dishonest blogger?”
Even Michael Kinsley cannot abide Greenwald’s abrasive sanctimony, and Kinsley took the occasion of the publication of Green wald’s recent Snowden book, No Place to Hide, to carpet bomb the scoundrel with a scathing review published, amusingly enough, in the same New York Times.
â€œMy position was straightforward,â€ Glenn Greenwald writes. â€œBy ordering illegal eavesdropping, the president had committed crimes and should be held accountable for them.â€ You break the law, you pay the price: Itâ€™s that simple.
But itâ€™s not that simple, as Greenwald must know. There are laws against government eavesdropping on American citizens, and there are laws against leaking official government documents. You canâ€™t just choose the laws you like and ignore the ones you donâ€™t like. Or perhaps you can, but you canâ€™t then claim that itâ€™s all very straightforward.
Greenwald was the go-between for Edward Snowden and some of the newspapers that reported on Snowdenâ€™s collection of classified documents exposing huge eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, among other scandals. His story is full of journalistic derring-do, mostly set in exotic Hong Kong. Itâ€™s a great yarn, which might be more entertaining if Greenwald himself didnâ€™t come across as so unpleasant. Maybe heâ€™s charming and generous in real life. But in â€œNo Place to Hide,â€ Greenwald seems like a self-righteous sourpuss, convinced that every issue is â€œstraightforward,â€ and if you donâ€™t agree with him, youâ€™re part of something he calls â€œthe authorities,â€ who control everything for their own nefarious but never explained purposes.
Reformers tend to be difficult people. But they come in different flavors. There are ascetics, like Henry Jamesâ€™s Miss Birdseye (from â€œThe Bostoniansâ€), â€œwho knew less about her fellow creatures, if possible, after 50 years of humanitary zeal, than on the day she had gone into the field to testify against the iniquity of most arrangements.â€
There are narcissists like Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. These are self-canonized men who feel that, as saints, they are entitled to ignore the rules that constrain ordinary mortals. Greenwald notes indignantly that Assange was being criticized along these lines â€œwell before he was accused of sex crimes by two women in Sweden.â€ (Two decades ago the British writer Michael Frayn wrote a wonderful novel and play called â€œNow You Know,â€ about a character similar to Assange.)
Then there are political romantics, played in this eveningâ€™s performance by Edward Snowden, almost 31 years old, with the sweet, innocently conspiratorial worldview of a precocious teenager. He appears to yearn for martyrdom and, according to Greenwald, â€œexuded an extraordinary equanimityâ€ at the prospect of â€œspending decades, or life, in a supermax prison.â€
And Greenwald? In his mind, he is not a reformer but a ruthless revolutionary â€” Robespierre, or Trotsky. The ancien rÃ©gime is corrupt through and through, and he is the man who will topple it. Sounding now like Herbert Marcuse with his once fashionable theory of â€œrepressive tolerance,â€ Greenwald writes about â€œthe implicit bargain that is offered to citizens: Pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own business, and support or at least tolerate what we do, and youâ€™ll be fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of wrongdoing. This is a deal that invites passivity, obedience and conformity.â€
Continue reading the main story
Throughout â€œNo Place to Hide,â€ Greenwald quotes any person or publication taking his side in any argument. If an article or editorial in The Washington Post or The New York Times (which he says â€œtakes direction from the U.S. government about what it should and shouldnâ€™t publishâ€) endorses his view on some issue, he is sure to cite it as evidence that he is right. If Margaret Sullivan, the public editor (ombudsman, or reader representative) of The Times, agrees with him on some controversy, he is in heaven. He cites at length the results of a poll showing that more people are coming around to his notion that the governmentâ€™s response to terrorism after 9/11 is more dangerous than the threat it is designed to meet.
Greenwald doesnâ€™t seem to realize that every piece of evidence he musters demonstrating that people agree with him undermines his own argument that â€œthe authoritiesâ€ brook no dissent. No one is stopping people from criticizing the government or supporting Greenwald in any way. Nobody is preventing the nationâ€™s leading newspaper from publishing a regular column in its own pages dissenting from company or government orthodoxy. If a majority of citizens now agree with Greenwald that dissent is being crushed in this country, and will say so openly to a stranger who rings their doorbell or their phone and says sheâ€™s a pollster, how can anyone say that dissent is being crushed? What kind of poor excuse for an authoritarian society are we building in which a Glenn Greenwald, proud enemy of conformity and government oppression, can freely promote this book in all media and sell thousands of copies at airport bookstores surrounded by Homeland Security officers?
Read the whole thing.
14 Jul 2013
Gordon Chang notes the numerous details pointing to Snowden operating in collaboration with China.
By that time, there was no point for China to give Snowden a Beijing palace where he could pet phoenixes.
“Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.” So wrote Edward Snowden in the middle of last month, in a live chat with readers of London’s Guardian.
Today, the famous 30-year-old cuts a pathetic figure, presumably still marooned in the transit zone in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. He has, we are told, remained there since June 23, when he arrived, without passport or Russian visa, on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong. Snowden, through the assistance of the WikiLeaks organization, has filed a reported 27 requests for asylum. Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, offered him refuge on Friday, and Bolivian leader Evo Morales followed suit on Saturday, but China has yet to welcome him.
Beijing’s refusal to accept Snowden suggests he is not a Chinese agent, at least if we accept the premise of his argument outlined for the readers of the Guardian. Nonetheless, there are aspects of his relationship with the People’s Republic of China that are, at the very least, unsettling.
As an initial matter, China may have helped him gather information from the National Security Agency. Sources in the American intelligence community suspect the famous “leaker” was really a “drop box,” receiving information from others in NSA who were working for China. It was his job to act as the courier.
This theory explains how Snowden could possess information to which he did not have access. It is possible he figured out how to bypass barriers in NSA’s systems, but it is more likely he had help. Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the FBI is investigating whether Snowden obtained documents “from a leak inside the secret FISA court.” Similarly, Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, has suggested Snowden probably had an accomplice in the NSA who gave him information.
Beijing may also have encouraged Mr. Snowden to leave Hawaii. One of my sources indicates that Chinese intelligence, either directly or through FBI personnel working for China, tipped Snowden off that NSA investigators were closing in on him.
There still is no proof of this allegation, but it is telling that Snowden chose to run to Hong Kong. At first glance, that city is a curious choice for someone trying to avoid American justice. It has the equivalent of an extradition agreement with the U.S. — as a non-sovereign it technically “surrenders” suspects, not extradites them — and a well-known history of close cooperation with American law enforcement. The Guardian, referring to Snowden, stated that “he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government.” In view of Hong Kong’s record of regularly turning over suspects to America, this had to mean Snowden thought Beijing would step in to protect him.
Why would he ever think that? It seems clear that Snowden, if he did not actually work for the Chinese, at least did their bidding. He insisted, for instance, that the Washington Post time its initial disclosures so that they would occur on the eve of last month’s “shirtsleeves” summit between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. When the Post refused to give a guarantee — we learned this from Wolf Blitzer’s June 10 interview with the paper’s Barton Gellman — Snowden dealt mostly with the Guardian, which evidently proved to be more pliable. The timing of the Guardian’s disclosures benefited the Chinese enormously, changing the global narrative from Chinese hacking to American surveillance. …
The Chinese then did their best to make sure that American officials did not get the opportunity to interrogate Snowden. The last thing they wanted was for the U.S. to have the opportunity to learn the extent of China’s penetration of the NSA and the FBI in Hawaii. Therefore, they ensured he left Hong Kong before the city could “surrender” him. Albert Ho, one of Snowden’s attorneys, has publicly stated that Beijing approached him through intermediaries who said his client should leave Hong Kong. And as we know by now, this is exactly what Snowden did.
By that time, there was no point for China to give him a Beijing palace where he could pet phoenixes. Ministry of State Security agents had been in contact with Snowden while he was in Hong Kong and probably obtained all they wanted from his four laptops and one thumb drive. Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports that U.S. officials say Russian and Chinese intelligence operatives obtained access to, in the words of Gertz, “highly classified U.S. intelligence and military information contained on electronic media” held by Snowden.
At this moment, we do not know whether Snowden, during his time in Hong Kong, actually traveled to China, as some believe, and we do not know the extent of his dealings with the Chinese. Yet the information we do possess — and the suppositions we can reasonably make — point to troubling conclusions.
Read the whole thing.
02 Jul 2013
WilliamBanzai7 at Zero Hedge:
SUBTERRANEAN SNOWDEN BLUES
Snowden’s in the basement
Surfing on the Internet
I’m on the pavement
Thinking about the gubmint
The spook in the trench coat
Kicked out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough
Wants his mortgage paid off
Ya better look out kid
It was somethin you did
God knows when
But they’ll Google you again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin’ for a new friend
A man in a coolie cap
In a pawn pen
Wants eleven eleven dollar bills
you only got ten.
Greenie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin’ that the heat put
Plants in his bed but
The phone’s tapped anyway
Guardian says that many say
They wanna break it late May
Orders from the NSA are in
You better look out kid
Don’t matter what you say they did
You gonna get hit
You walkin on your tip toes
Don’t try, ‘No Doz’
Stay away from the
suckers with the fiber optic fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows.
Hat tip to Jim Harberson.
15 Jun 2013
When representatives of the homosexual underworld rise from their knees on the mens’ room floor to ascend portable pulpits from which they begin grandiloquently moralizing, I always contend that the most extreme skepticism is in order.
Glenn Greenwald has also risen professionally recently from traditionally being described as the “Left’s most dishonest blogger,” renowned for shameless self-promotion and for sock-puppetry, i.e., praising and defending his own postings using false identities. Suddenly, almost overnight, today he has become an internationally-admired crusading journalist, the champion of individual privacy, protector of whistle-blowers, and critic of the tyranny of Barack Obama publishing from a lofty establishment perch, in the Guardian no less.
In evaluating the justice of Eric Snowden’s cause and the bona fides of the muculent Mr. Greenwald, I suggest noting this GifWatch article, which points out that Greenwald is a regular speaker at the annual get-together of the “International Socialist Organization (ISO)… one of Americaâ€™s main Marxist â€˜revolutionaryâ€™ parties… represent[ing] the ‘Marxist tradition, founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and continued by V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky.’â€
In 2011, Glenn Greenwald addressed his fellow revolutionary socialists, discussing Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki was an American naturalized Yemeni militant, an al-Qaeda regional commander and senior â€˜talent recruiterâ€™ and a terrorism planner who, prior to the attack, was corresponding with the Fort Hood shooter and who helped plan the attempted attack by the â€˜Underwear Bomberâ€˜.
Greenwald describes al-Awlaki as someone whose only crimes were â€speak[ing] effectively to the Muslim world about violence that the U.S. commits in [Yemen] and the responsibility of Muslims to stand up to this violence.â€
In the same speech, Grrenwald expresses his hope for a weakening of the United States and its malign â€œimperialismâ€, and characterizes the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda as very â€œminimal in scopeâ€.
So, when you read Glenn Greenwald offering his own evaluation of the nature, scope, significance, and legal status of NSA surveillance activities and of the motives and perspective of Mr. Snowden, I suggest that you consider the record and the character of the source.
Hat tip to Clarice Feldman.
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