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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Wayne Madsen? Oh dear...

The Guardian published an NSA story based on "revelations" from Wayne Madsen, a former NSA employee who has had a prominent and controversial blogworld presence for roughly a decade. The Guardian later took down the story, "pending an investigation."

Looks like someone belatedly told the Guardian's editors about Madsen's oddball history. Time and again, he has frustrated observers by making huge (and I mean huge) claims about hot issues -- but when push came to shove, the only proof he would offer would be his seemingly endless list of invisible, nameless sources. Although Alex Jones features Madsen prominently on his show, I learned a long time ago to treat this man with caution.

Most respectable websites avoid him altogether.

In the past, I've put it this way: Madsen is probably right about half the time, but I often don't know which half is which. That assessment may have been a bit too kind, since there have been many occasions when the "hooey factor" was pretty damned obvious.

For example: He claimed that Mossad had some connection with the prosecution of Eliot Spitzer. I don't buy that. Madsen has claimed that Barack Obama is gay. I don't buy that. Madsen has claimed that the Kenyans found a Kenyan birth certificate for our gay President. I don't buy that. He has claimed that the USS Cole was attacked not by Al Qaeda but by an Israeli submarine. I don't buy that.

Madsen is most famous for writing a series of articles on the possibility that both Barack Obama and his mother had CIA backgrounds. (He recently came out with a book on the subject, unread by me.) Madsen took his cue from my own "Obama and the CIA" series, which predated his work. He never saw fit to credit or even to mention me. Perhaps I should consider myself fortunate. At any rate, many of the verifiable claims in Madsen's articles first appeared here (and here and here and here). He also came up with some material that was both original and checkable. I'm grateful for that stuff. And then there are those other claims, the ones that depend on unnamed sources and which thus resist any attempt to double-check. What on earth are we to do with those?

(For example, Madsen thinks that Obama's grandmother had some link to the long-forgotten Rewald scandal. If so, where's the evidence?)

The current Madsen imbroglio will do nothing to aid the Guardian's credibility. Pity, that. Unlike the nonsensical claims listed above, the things Madsen had to say about NSA collusion with foreign agencies were much more plausible. Hell, just a week ago, I wrote about NSA's longstanding data-sharing agreements with its British counterpart, GCHQ; those agreements can be traced back to 1947. But spook-watchers have known about that stuff for a couple of decades, so it's not as though we're talking about anything truly new here.
Obama is a liar when he says US forces won't grab Snowden if he flies over US territory on his way to Cuba.

Huge US pressure is being put on a number of countries' governments.

These include not just Russia but also France, Portugal, and Ecuador.

Snowden was stitched up into flying to Moscow. He was given an Ecuadorean safe passage (laissez passer), which was then withdrawn!

The western media churns out the bullshit that Ecuadorean diplomats in London are taking orders from Julian Assange rather than from Quito. What I think happened is that the US exerted pressure on both the foreign ministry in Quito and the Wikilinks hierarchy. Don't forget that the Ecuadorean currency is the US dollar. The Russian government, through Russia Today, helped Julian Assange, and so did the Ecuadorean government. Now they're both too chickenshit to follow through. I hope the Ecuadorean government changes its position.

Snowden will be absolutely nuts if he flies anywhere near US or British airspace, or sails anywhere near their waters.

Kim Philby avoided going through the English Channel en route to Cuba.

Bobby Fischer avoided flying to Keflavik airport in Iceland, but chose to fly to a smaller airport less susceptible to US military action.

With reference to Snowden, Bobby Fischer is the example people should be talking about.

The list of governments that may help is now very small, and includes Bolivia, Venezuela, and Cuba, possibly in that order, and followed by Ecuador.

The Bolivian government has been an example to the whole world in not kowtowing to the US and Israel.

It is very significant that the aircraft carrying president Evo Morales, who was in Russia, was refused permission to enter Portuguese or French airspace. That must surely have been as a result of US pressure.

In the end, the plane had to refuel in Spain and land in Austria.

Morales has denied that Snowden was on board the plane.

I do not know whether Snowden was ever in any area which can be considered to be under Bolivian jurisdiction, but if he was, then I hope he was granted asylum when he was.

The US government is pulling out all the stops.

As I understand it, Morales is stuck at Vienna airport.

I hope he is very careful about what he eats and drinks. Otherwise he may end up like a number of other Latin American leaders.

I dearly hope that Bolivia has granted Snowden asylum, or if it hasn't already, that a way will be found for it to do so.

Morales: "We say and advocate that someone in the world should stand with this young man and protect him. The revelations he has made with courage serve to change the world."

No doubt we will soon be hearing from all the barrack room lawyers.
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