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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Marian: "You speak treason!" Robin: "Fluently."

Most of you came here to read about Snowden, who has been targeted by one of the more effective smear jobs in American media history. What amuses me most of all is that the smear articles veer between "Snowden revealed nothing new" and "By revealing the NSA's secrets, Snowden is a traitor." You can't have it both ways.

The only piece you really need is John Cassidy's "Demonizing Edward Snowden" in The New Yorker:
But his real crime was confirming that the intelligence agencies, despite their strenuous public denials, have been accumulating vast amounts of personal data from the American public. The puzzle is why so many media commentators continue to toe the official line. About the best explanation I’ve seen came from Josh Marshall, the founder of T.P.M., who has been one of Snowden’s critics. In a post that followed the first wave of stories, Marshall wrote, “At the end of the day, for all its faults, the U.S. military is the armed force of a political community I identify with and a government I support. I’m not a bystander to it. I’m implicated in what it does and I feel I have a responsibility and a right to a say, albeit just a minuscule one, in what it does.”
In other words, Josh reflexively identifies with Prince John and Sir Guy, not with Robin and Will Scarlet. But according to the myth, it was Robin who stood for rightful rule against the forces of usurpation, and it was Robin who always had the support of the common people. Marshall must know this, because his terminology -- "I'm implicated in it" -- indicates guilt, not pride.

(Incidentally, the NSA, FBI and CIA are supposed to be civilian agencies, not military.)

Although my views may shift as more facts come out -- after all, when dealing with spooks, one never quite knows who is who -- right now, I'm rooting for Ed Snowden. And I don't feel "implicated." I feel proud.

Josh's comment seems more profound the more I ponder it. At what point do you stop kissing the boot poised to smash your face?

Added note: Did you know that in the movie (for guys of my generation, there is only one Robin Hood movie), Olivia de Havilland rides the same Palomino later purchased by Roy Rogers and re-christened Trigger? At the time, the horse was called Golden Cloud.
I'm an old bat (turned 70 just awhile back) but I can still raise my fist in that corny ole Power Salute from the late, beloved 60s/70s without breaking a sweat.

I'm with Ed (and Robin) and I speak treason-- quite fluently, as a matter of fact.

Have done since Tricky was prez. Didn't use it hardly at all when Bill was in charge, but picked it up again when O'Bummer stole the office (or had it stolen for him) since he's too damned stupid to do it on his own.

Lost all my so-called "friends" back then--all except one, who bears a famous political name and had that SOB's number long before I did.
Trigger is a Brit! Horrors!
The whistlerblowers give up much but gain little and as far as I can tell, their information has cost no Americans or endangered military operations, unlike, say Dead Eye Darth and Geraldo Riveria.
Coming soon to a transit lounge near you:
Cute, Michael.

By the way, an old school chum edited the movie which gave rise to that poster. And he won the Oscar. I still can't understand how someone who grew up idolizing the classic, stately cinema of David Lean became such a hyper-caffeinated, cut-happy maniac. But the end result works well.
I'm not sure you're all that familiar with the Robin Hood stories. In their earlier forms, he was an outlawed murderer who mostly associated with the relatively rich and mainly hated monks.
I chose my wording carefully, Stephen.
The NSA is the cryptological agency of the Defense Department, so not exactly a civilian organization. Perhaps 'civilian' in the way that the SecDef is or some in the Pentagon workforce are 'civilian'-- a work force not comprised of uniformed military officers or enlisted men. But the heads of the NSA I remember were all generals, admirals, and the like.

Clearly enough, by the explicit language in the COTUS, this man is not guilty of treason. He's nonetheless guilty of other crimes, as he demonstrates he knows by his flight from apprehension.

Key parts of the original presentation were wrong or misstated, as WaPost and Guardian walk backs, even begrudging ones from Greenwald, have since clarified.

In particular, the PRISM software interface is so not any classified 'program' that it's listed in open job specifications.

Tentatively, I judge this to be part of an on-going turf war between the CIA and the Pentagon/NSA.

As someone pretty much on the same page, albeit cautiously, as Marshall, I have to point out that your analogy falls pretty flat when you consider that John/Sir Guy sought to(/did) usurp the more "legitimate" government of Richard (and that Robin was a tax protester).
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