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Snowden job?

Snowden job?

It seems that nothing is ever as it seems.

It may be that Edward Snowden is what he seems to be — an Obama-supporter who, despite barely gaining a GED, managed to work his way into sensitive technical positions at the CIA, NSA and private contractors, and then became disillusioned that abuse of individual privacy he witnessed under the Bush administration was not cured and if anything worsened under Obama, and who, despite four years of Obama-rule in which to leak embarrassing documents, waited until late May 2013 in which to take and then dump on Glenn Greenwald a treasure trove of seemingly embarrassing documents which allegedly show a massive data-mining operation and desire to control all the world’s information.

Or, it may be that this is all too perfect, that the criminally leaked documents have been misconstrued by journalists with agendas and that the programs at issue previously were disclosed at least in generalities and have safeguards built in, but none of that matters because the leaks come precisely at a time when the Chinese government has come under increasingly distressed complaints by U.S. industry and government over cyber-espionage and on the eve of a trip to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping at which Obama was expected to make cyber-espionage a central issue, thereby emasculating complaints about Chinese activities.

It may be that Snowden fled to Hong Kong because, as he asserts, it protects free speech, or it may be that he fled there because he easily could slip into mainland China, which itself does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. and which, in any event, has veto power over Hong Kong’s exercise of its extradition treaty with the U.S., or at a minimum, makes a “rendering” conducted on sovereign Chinese soil unlikely.

All I’m saying is that this whole thing may be exactly as it seems.  I just don’t know what it seems to be.

I will reserve judgment until more facts are known about Snowden, and what he actually revealed.

Update 11:15 p.m.: Well, you don’t say. Former CIA Officer: Officials Considering NSA Whistleblower’s Case ‘Potential Chinese Espionage’:

Former CIA case officer Bob Baer revealed on CNN Sunday evening that intelligence officials were possibly considering Edward Snowden’s case as Chinese espionage, after Snowden came forward this afternoon from an undisclosed Hong Kong location.

“Hong Kong is controlled by Chinese intelligence,” Baer said. “It’s not an independent part of China at all. I’ve talked to a bunch of people in Washington today, in official positions, and they are looking at this as a potential Chinese espionage case.”

“On the face of it, it looks like it is under some sort of Chinese control, especially with the president meeting the premier today,” Baer said. “You have to ask what’s going on. China is not a friendly country and every aspect of that country is controlled. So why Hong Kong? Why didn’t he go to Sweden? Or, if he really wanted to make a statement, he should have done it on Capitol Hill.” ….

“We’ll never get him in China,” Baer said. “They’re not about to send him to the United States and the CIA is not going to render him, as he said in the tape, is not going to try to grab him there.”

“It almost seems to me that this was a pointed affront to the United States on the day the president is meeting the Chinese leader,” Baer said, “telling us, listen, quit complaining about espionage and getting on the internet and our hacking. You are doing the same thing.”

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Comments

You lost me there, chief.

    cb in reply to xthred. | June 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Agreed. The gov’t has already confirmed PRISM exists, and the veracity of the Verizon warrant. If this guy just wanted to do a good turn for China, why in the world would he put his face on the international news? Doesn’t hang together. The real point is: do we want these programs?

We need to return to an era of robust covert operations. Back in the old days, there was no refuge for those who disclosed classified information. The CIA was an organization to be reckoned with and everyone knew it.

The policy to do so must be clear, concise and workable. Until this is done, we will have leak after leak since any scofflaw can simply claim immunity…

But wait, there’s more..

Poor Dude.

http://twitchy.com/2013/06/09/my-holidays-to-the-usa-ruined-edwardsnowden-mistaken-for-nsa-leaker/

Don’t know what to think, either. But anything that irritates Little Lord NOT MY Faultleroy, I’m in..

casualobserver | June 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm

This mimics my post on the earlier posting/article about Snowden. Something just doesn’t smell exactly right. Although he says he doesn’t want to make it about himself, much of what he is doing seems to indicate otherwise. As noted, why Greenwald? Why Hong Kong (essentially China from a law/policy perspective – China will decide whether to extradite if requested)? Why allow Greenwald to decide what to release and when? As I understand it, Snowden has already turned over more than what has been released.

Most curious is why he decided to guarantee he will be a martyr versus using any other whistleblower avenues. Many before him have, even though they, too, paid a price. Now there is little doubt he will get something more like the Manning treatment rather than anything more mild given in revenge to whistleblowers.

There must be more information before I can decide his true motives.

    Maybe the rest of the information is so blatantly damning he just felt obliged to do so … ie, he’s on the level. This is just the tip of the iceberg … the genie is out of the bottle.

    They seemed to know immediately …

    A Hawaii real estate agent says Edward Snowden and his girlfriend moved out of their home in a quiet neighborhood near Honolulu on May 1, leaving nothing behind.

    Century 21 real estate agent Kerri Jo Heim says Sunday that the owner of the house wanted the couple out so that the home could be sold.

    Heim says police came by on Wednesday to ask where the couple went. She told them she didn’t know.

I’m just waiting and listening too. I post the developments as they come but I have not formed an opinion yet.

Now is not the time to jump to conclusions or rush to judgement.

I suspect it’s what it seems. The guy is the perfect product of the liberal government-school system: a vague understanding of loyalty, a naive understanding of the threat China poses, and a personal license to do whatever he thinks is right at the moment. Bottom line is, I suspect he got this one correct, but we’ll see. The NSA’s blanket collection of millions of citizen’s activities, locations, contacts, and even conversations is so blatantly unconstitutional it makes one’s head spin.

We have the full video interview of Edward Snowden posted now on CC:

http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/06/video-interview-nsa-whistleblower.html

BannedbytheGuardian | June 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I have read absolutely nothing on this Snowden guy.

However the bare GED would not be a surprise . Today he might be retrospectively diagnosed as Asbergers . Some on this spectrum have failed at school but are excellent data compilers / obliterations / hackers / encrypters.

He is not the Bored Game of Thrones type that exist in all elite & in such literature as Dangerous Liasons . More likely a worker bee sucked into the homeypot. He also looks to be homosexual.

Classic.

Not sure about the China angle – but at least he has a nice new ( california redwood?) bench to sit on & ponder some Confucian riddles.

BannedbytheGuardian | June 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Homeypot – !!!!???? . That was a typo – but pretty apt. I had been deciding between metro & homo but I concluded they much the same.

All I’m saying is that this whole thing may be exactly as it seems.

Occom’s razor.

If, he must escape to another country to save his life for revealing the truth of an oppressive government…

Fleeing America to communist China….

What say you?

What say us all?

    What country would you flee to and why? What are the criteria you would use to evaluate an appropriate country? As he said, it would have to be somewhere that would resist US efforts to extradite. If you think that Mr. Snowden’s description of Hong Kong is not accurate, then explain to me why Heritage Foundation ranks it as #1 in economic liberty for 19 years running; Cato has a similar ranking of it. Hong Kong is not mainland China AND he does not expect to stay there, but to seek asylum in a country that might plausibly grant/ mean it.
    If you think the administration will not try to kill this man, I think you’re off it.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to cb. | June 10, 2013 at 3:07 am

      I can debate The Heritage list. The top 6 are …….

      Hong Kong – Singapore – Australia – New Zealand – Switzerland – Canada . 5/6 of these are British Commonwealth countries .

      HK is the honeypot for The PRC. When we want to ‘do business ‘ with China but it is politically risky we do it through Hong Kong. But it is China – if China likes it – then the deal goes through with no red tape.

      This is perfect for Australia & Singapore & NZ & Canada because we use the shared Commonwealth channels.

      But I have seen no evidence he is there. An extradition would be very entertaining . Love to see it asked for.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to cb. | June 10, 2013 at 3:33 am

      I agree. I also look at his age and apparent background. He may well be an altruist. Again, Occam’s Razor.

      My only skepticism arises from him agreeing to have his photo published.

      marklyon in reply to cb. | June 10, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Croatia and Bhutan might be on the list. Possibly Venezuela, as Chavez doesn’t often extradite.

Getting a GED and teaching oneself programming is a valid, if nontraditional, path to working in IT. I know several people (including others working as government contractors) who do great work but didn’t graduate college. In a landscape where the skills needed are ever-changing, one who is willing to learn on their own can be incredibly valuable.

That said, it’s important to realize that the people who administer systems have, by necessity, complete access to the things on those systems. http://qz.com/92509

I’m not certain about the Obama connection. It appears he may have donated to and voted for Paul. http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-may-be

    William A. Jacobson in reply to marklyon. | June 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I raise the GED only because the linked article indicates that it would be highly unusual for someone without a degree to hold the specific positions he held, and as to Obama supporting, that comes from his statement that he believed in Obama’s promises.

Well said. I agree with you that it’s certainly possible that what is being reported about Snowden and his motives is accurate, but I share your suspicions. The patriot Snowden who claims he’s willing to face any consequences for blowing the whistle on the NSA, seeks asylum in China, a country that has even less respect for privacy and human rights than the Obama regime. My gut tells me there’s more to this story.

Re the update from Mediaite: This is the start of the full-court press from the Administration to shift everybody onto Snowden. If they’re successful, then Benghazi-IRS-DOJ spying all vanish.

Assume, if you will, his talents elevated him to his position.

Assume, if you dare, his lack of academic indoctrination, allowed him to see past….what he ought not.

    logos in reply to Browndog. | June 10, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Quite thought provoking assumptions…

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Browndog. | June 10, 2013 at 3:37 am

    That;s right, and it’s why I say he may be an altruist. He lacks university leftist indoctrination and may see things more clearly than his peers.

    Maybe he’s in Russia.

Morality, Fortitude, and conscience, can only be obtained via $60,000, and a plaque, says Academia.

    OldNuc in reply to Browndog. | June 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Browndog, that should read $60,000 minimum. Just to add I know and worked with many people who were taking home well into 6 figures and had never darkened the door of any college or university and barely had a high school diploma or GED. I have carefully listened to his interview and it does not strike me as an incredible story at all.

    I also suspect that there are more shoes to drop and we do not know that he is presently in Hon Kong.

He went there because he has no where else to go that won’t get him snatched up by some SF helicopter operation like we have seen in Miami, Detroit and LA.

Seriously, when will you all realize we’ve crossed the Rubicon here.

This NSA sweep is poorly designed to catch terrorist, but greatly designed to track Tea Partiers and conservatives the DHS have claimed were potential terrorists.

It may have started out as a good idea but it has long been hijacked by people with a different agenda. Ask the True the Vote gal in Texas what resistance to the administration brought down on her.

Do the math.

If what Snowden has released so far is true then that needs to be addressed immediately by Congress. His motives are immaterial to the NSA issue and may be dealt with separately. Allowing his postulated motives to eclipse the NSA behavior would be a huge mistake, but the MBM will be giving it their best shot.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist type of guy at all but I have a couple of questions in my mind.
1.) Could operatives in the administration be conducting PSY-OPS on the public ?
2.) All the answers to the ridiculous questions sent by the IRS to conservative and Tea Party groups – could this info also be used in data mining to help OFA ?
If so, the Republican Party may remain stupid for a while.
It might make a good film written and directed by Davis Mamet. (he is from Chicago, btw)

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to @rch1medes. | June 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Yes. I posted that the IRS data mined locations & potential geographical influence & either let the orgs thru if not a threat or squashed AND gave the info to OFA to increase efforts in X area.

    For example SE Ohio got crushed & had lower R turnout & Cleveland was over 100 % D . Ditto greater Pennsylvania down R & Downtown Philladelphia up 100% D.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to @rch1medes. | June 10, 2013 at 3:43 am

    The GOP are a bunch of dumbfux late to the party with “DUH!” dribbling from their lips as usual. They will do nothing about this except rattle a couple of rusty sabers for a couple of weeks. They’re so cowed by the administartion and our abominable media they don’t know whether to scratch their asses or wind their watches.

Even if he is doing this for his own reasons, he is doing us a favor too. First of all, I WANT to know if the NSA is monitoring all of our communications. Secondly, if our intelligence infrastructure is so weak that a 29 year old high school dropout can create havoc we need to know that too.

I am not seeing anything here that would jeopardize national security. I think terrorist actors pretty much have been assuming for years their communications were being monitored which is why they buy dozens of disposable cell phones.

The potential for abuse here is gigantic. And based on what has been coming out over the last several weeks, we have no reason at all to trust the administration or government in general. We gain more than we lose by knowing these things.

DINORightMarie | June 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

I must say, with all these “crises” Benghazi is not being discussed. At all.

Mission accomplished.

Question is: will they be able to be as slick as Slick Willie and ride out the tsunami-sized waves the “crises” have created?

If they get Immigration to pass – i.e. somehow manage to get the Senate to pass it, and of course the House kills it – then I believe champagne corks will be popping, and the regime corrupt-o-crats (led by ValJ and Plouffie) shouting, “BooYA!! Mission accomplished!! On to taking out the rest in 2014!!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad as a hornet about this regime’s crimes – these are ALL outrageous, critical and REAL things to get to the bottom of (especially Benghazi and Fast & Furious, IMHO, because lives were lost)…….but to what end? The Senate won’t do anything; the POTUS won’t appoint any special prosecutors, and DOInJustice won’t prosecute them.

Game-Set-Match, Obama regime. G-d help us.

    I agree. The strategy all along was to use scandal overkill to kill the scandals. Unbelievably audacious and based on a vivisectional knowledge of the GOP. In the end, nothing changes, Obama still has his power, and the civic attention span is exhausted. No one in the GOP will ever take any of these issues to the wall (righteous warriors like Cruz and Paul and Gowdy are renegades and outnumbered). Meanwhile, the mechanisms have been put in place to crush the only serious opposition Obama ever had and which he properly identified from the beginning — the Tea Party.

    janitor in reply to DINORightMarie. | June 10, 2013 at 1:15 am

    My sentiments too. A whole lot of noise, just like the media brouhaha over Petraeus that obscured Benghazi, all to divert attention from the mischief that’s been going on. The NSA is not “the” issue of importance right now.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to DINORightMarie. | June 10, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Meanwhile, 95% of the morons who elected and then re-elected this atrocity have no clue and, even if they did, they couldn’t care less. As long as the ‘rat vote fraud machine grinds on nicel, especially with about 10 million new “needy” entitlement-minded voters, why would the administration give a damn about any of this?

    Until and unless impeachments start, and we know they won’t because the GOP is scared spineless, it’s all noise. The ONLY recourse we the people have is to begin considering a takedown of their entire operation.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to DINORightMarie. | June 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

    That may be the regime’s strategy (or a tactic), but the scandals are piercing Obama’s aura of inevitability/infallibility … whatever it is.

    This drip drip drip is continuing, and if/since impeachment is (for now) an “overreach”, or politically infeasible, exposing Obama and his union led bureaucratic internal army is perhaps the best strategy for conservatives.

    The only things settled so far on any of the scandals is that these union bureaucrats feel above the law when using Big Gov to attack political enemies. They boldly lie to Congress and America, and that is becoming known. It is hard for them to deploy the “Blame Bush” weapon, since these union thug operatives are Democrats. (The race card is wearing thin, but still effective.)

    The war on America by these radical government union liberals is being highlighted, even if they try to divide us on national security. Perhaps the amnesty war now needs to be framed more accurately as Big Gov Ethnic Cleansing of traditional America, as a counter to their constant race card hate.

    Amnestied invaders and their relatives will enjoy Affirmative Action at all skill and educational levels (even South Asians are eligible), along with American blacks. The white American working class will be discriminated against throughout the job market.
    http://www.vdare.com/articles/comprehensive-immigration-reform-not-just-the-displacement-but-the-extinction-of-white-amer

The post misses the detail that Snowden was employed for only three months at the location where he appears to have lifted the documents.

At this point I really don’t care what is leaked or by whom. This administration has already done such incalculable damage to our national security, that erring on the side of freedom of information can only be a good thing.

I found it interesting that he made a point of saying China was not our enemy, that our governments disagree but the people don’t care, and we are big trading partners with China. Also I found it odd that he happened to have a book called Angler by Dick Cheney out where the reporter could see it and comment on that fact in the story. It seemed like a book he wouldn’t bother reading given his politics and view of the world, and his immediate circumstance.

I wonder if his girlfriend is Chinese?

BannedbytheGuardian | June 10, 2013 at 3:18 am

Reading around the right blogs I am sad to report there is overwhelming ignorance about Hong Kong.

Nothing but nothing happens in HK without China . It is the prize they waited patiently 150 years to get back.

I met a UK SAS marine who was on duty in HK in the years leading up to & on the handover . He said everything was extremely thorough .HK had to hand over every single facet. In return they would let them live.

It was that basic.

My guess is that it is espionage and snowden was offered assylum and other perks. There must be others involved-a Julian Assange link perhaps
I don’t believe that he is altruistc in his concern for privacy rights-he blew away our country’s privacy. More “ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS” morally relative ‘justice‘

[…] Over the next few weeks, we’ll all be trying to make sense of the revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs, and the motives of at least one man apparently behind them.  Edward Snowden unveiled himself as the source to the Washington Post and the Guardian in the UK, but Snowden wasn’t a seasoned intelligence agent or analyst, but a 29-year-old IT expert without any other advanced education.  His choice of asylum in the wake of the leaks — Hong Kong — as well as Snowden’s explanation of it raised even more eyebrows.  CNN interviewed intelligence expert Bob Baer, who pointed out all of the flaws in Snowden’s argument about the supposedly deep commitment to free speech in China (via Legal Insurrection): […]

Ya’ know, maybe China is pissed ’cause that luxurious outdoor bench Barry gave as a gift? (excuse me, choked on my coffee laughing) possibly purchased by a handmaiden of Moochelle at Wal-Mart. And when they read the label on the underside, it stated: Made In China..

So pissed they were, they would have given Chiang Kai-shek protection from our angry little boys Alinsky mob.

How did he get a security clearance?

Hhmmm. Was talking with coworkers today; said watch for a deeper china connection.

We’ve entered a new ‘cold war’ being fought in cyberspace. Exposing PRISM would upset the American public; maybe not end it per se, but perhaps cripple it to a degree by burdening it with more oversight and protocols. If you were engaged in cyberwar against the US, and could not evade PRISM and still wanted to neutralize it, why not use public outrage?

Dont forget, we are engaged against the Chinese, they have been attacking certain systems and are still active against US systems…

The Chinese have engaged American public umbrage before for their own gain. Anti war demonstrations during the 60s. No, they did not orchestrate the protests, but they fed it what they wanted and in turn used the protests to leverage the peace talks.

Why would this be any different?

Color me skeptical.

Henry Hawkins | June 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

WH: “Look, all we do now is leak a boatload of B or C level scandals we think we can survive in order to drown out the A level scandal we cannot survive. With eight or ten scandals out these, America will soon tire of it and tune them all out”

My stumbling stone is the notion “that the criminally leaked documents have been misconstrued by journalists with agendas and that the programs at issue previously were disclosed at least in generalities and have safeguards built in.”

Andy McCarthy likens the metadata on phone call duration, sender and receiver to a phone book (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/350546/what-private-what-not-andrew-c-mccarthy) or to the information on the outside of the envelope you deposit in the US Mail. The argument is that it’s not a search of the inside of the envelope.

Doesn’t the aggregation of all my mail envelopes and all my phone connections and all my email deliveries and all my web hits tell you so much about me that the contents inside the envelopes become superfluous? Once I act up, announce my grievances, and organize politically — what stops my adversaries with government power from going to the metadata to target me and my network of associates for investigations into taxes, finances, copyright infringement, money laundering, or compliance with the myriad of regulations on safety, environment, employment, etcetera? Ask Joe the Plumber, ask Tea Party groups, ask Right to Life organizers.

Let’s not turn peculiarities about Snowden into a whitewash of the core problem. What do we do when fear of terrorism amasses so much power in a government accountable to no one, that the government goes from Big Brother to Big Terrorizer?

“Former CIA Officer: Officials Considering NSA Whistleblower’s Case ‘Potential Chinese Espionage’”
…for those unfamiliar with intel community tricks and techniques, let me clarify what’s happening here:

It is in the best interests of the OBOZO regime to destroy the credibility of Snowden. Having him appear to be what he is, an American hero and Patriot is bad for them. So they are planning a variant of a “False Flag” operation to make Snowden appear to be an enemy – i.e. a Chinese spy or operative working against the US.

It’s standard intel BS and re-direction. Don’t be fooled by it.

Henry Hawkins | June 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

This government knows you want to form a TP group (because you applied), and they screwed you for political reasons infringing on your rights to speak, vote, privacy, etc.

What would this same government do if it had the following email / snailmail addresses – not the content, just the addresses – in its possession by scanning your every contact:

Snailmail /Email to/from:

NRA mailers
GOP Halifax County NC donation envelope
Two If By Tea order envelope (Limbaugh company)
Crossroads
Marlin Firearms warranty card
Chik Fil A online registration
Faith Chapel Baptist Church newsletters
Etc.

Would they consider this to be a conservative, therefore an enemy, therefore profiled out for special attention of some kind?

I’d love to hear a cogent argument as to why only the IRS and EPA would single out conservatives for attack, as has been shown, but not the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, etc.

I’d love to hear a cogent argument as to why this government would readily politicize the IRS and EPA, but would draw the line at the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, etc.

Wake up, folks. The wolf is not only at the door, it’s in the kitchen making itself right at home.

My Mensa bright buddy pointed out the natural chilling effect spying on your own citizens has with the First amendment right to assemble for political or religious reasons.

Remember the DHS thinks domestic terrorism consists of conservatives, tea partiers, and religious people. So if they track you to Sunday worship and track every phone around out they know who you worship with. If they track you to a tea party meeting, they know who was there with you, even if you sitting around your kitchen table in your own home, with your blinds drawn.

Think about that for a second.

As Beck pointed out, had Hitler had such a program, no Jew would have survived.

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