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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Quick NSA note

I'll have much more soon, but for right now, I've gotta say -- this article, revealing the NSA leaker to be a young fellow named Edward Snowdon, may be the damnedest intelligence-related news story I've ever seen -- and I've been reading such stories such before Snowdon was born.
"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He has had "a very comfortable life" that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.
Even though Hong Kong has its own system, it answers to the Chinese government -- which, on paper at least, is Communist. Who'd a thunk we'd ever see the day when...?

Let's get back to Snowdon and the Damnedest Article Ever:
In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.
So who is paying those bills? If he's surviving on his savings, then what does he plan to do when the cash runs out? I'm guessing that this guy has made an arrangement with the Chinese government -- in which case, he seems more defector than whistleblower (although the two roles often overlap). In other words, the great NSA revelations should be viewed as an adjunct to the growing cyber-war between China and the U.S.
He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade.
The kid's 29. Did he hit the NSA directly after the high school prom?
Comments:
The Hong Kong thing is a little troubling. Hasn't the US been engaged in a cyber-war with China?

Why didn't he choose Iceland? I would have thought Ecuador was not over-burdened with Assange, even though in their UK Embassy. Other than that, I am encouraged by the integrity of our 'yoot'.

Ben

 
I wonder if anyone in the media will dig into this and find anything fishy? Oh, silly me. This script is becoming more byzantine by the minute. This "revelation" has all the mojo of a giant rat procreation exercise.
 
China has one of the most repressive governments anywhere. And their crimes against Tibet are horrible.
He is a traitor more like it. No honor in going over to China's side.
 
Booz says he worked there for less than 3 months.
 
The way the intelligence community is freaking out, I'm inclined to believe this guy is authentic, not a stooge or a conspiracy.

My reasoning: Typical intelligent analysts are compartmentalized. They have such a narrow view of the whole process and objectives, they do not serve as a good source. Executives have a broader view, but for reasons of self-interest are not inclined to become whistleblowers.

A brainy technician like this guy - someone who sees a lot of things but remains largely in the background, invisible to the rest - may well be the perfect whistleblower. They're like the household servant. They see and know everything, but the Massuh pays them no mind, if you'll pardon the analogy.

Glenn Greenwald tweeted that there's much more to come. I'm praying.
 
Reports say he's a Ron Paul donor. Ironic that under Libertarianism, there'd be no such thing as community college.
 
China is not one of the most repressive governments. All of the middle east and North Africa has far more repressive and sadistic governments. But honestly, I would rank the United States government as the most repressive, it is the only superpower in the world and not just because it has a larger prison population than the rest of the world (accounting for over 25% of the world's prisoners), but because of how it represses and terrorises people and communities around the world, not just within its continental borders. The USA is far, far worse than China.

Having said that, I'm actually writing because I wanted to clarify that Hong Kong is autonomous and separate from mainland China and its government in all matters except militarily, which is the authority of the PLA. But in all else, it is autonomous and often in disagreement with mainland China.

Shove allegations of being a traitor up your own ass, you crypto-fascist S-O-B. You are so ignorant it physically hurts me knowing your ignorance even exists.
 
Clockwork, man, clockwork. Timing means a great deal in the symbolism of both statecraft and spycraft. Obama's Syria warhawks-distressing "End of the War on Terror" speech came right before the Guardian published its first "leak" from Greenwald (now dramatically credited to this convenient "Bradley Manning the Second").

Reminds me of how Mossad asset Michael Issikof published (via Newsweek's website) the very first Monica story on the morning after the Israeli Prime Minister was deliberately snubbed upon his arrival in D.C. -- with NO State Department or White House delegation to meet, greet, and bow and scrape before him.
 
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