Greenwald Responds to Critics, Rejects Conspiracism

The story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has dominated the mainstream news for the last seven months. During that time, questions about Snowden and his disclosures have framed the national discussion about domestic surveillance. Those disclosures have not resulted in any changes to U.S. domestic surveillance practices to date. Instead, the U.S. Justice Department has re-certified the programs in question as Americans discuss media talking points like—Is Snowden a traitor or a hero? A growing number of people are looking behind that media-generated framework, however, and are beginning to wonder if the right questions are even being asked.

What we know about Edward Snowden is that he was a Special Forces recruit in the U.S. Army, an NSA employee, an NSA contractor for at least two different companies, and a CIA employee under cover. All of this occurred in a span of only a few years and he was able to command six-figure salaries despite having no education beyond a high school equivalency certification. Of the many positions he held in a period of approximately six years, the most long-lived appears to have been his work with the CIA where this 20-something spy was, in his own words, a “senior advisor.”

When asked about his background and motivations, Snowden said, “I’m just another guy.” He went on to say that his leaking of NSA secrets was what we needed to know, implying that it was all we needed to know, about NSA spying. “This is the truth… This is what’s happening,” he said. Oddly enough, Snowden was strongly against whistle blowing just a few years ago, writing that leakers “should be shot” before becoming one himself.

The remainder of the story has been presented in articles like those by The New York Times, which paint Snowden in an increasingly favorable light. The Times, which was called a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter chosen by Snowden to reveal his story, has come out calling for clemency for Snowden.

However, the questions about the evolving Snowden story have grown rapidly and continue to present challenges to citizens who are alert to the prevalence of corporate media propaganda. How many stolen documents are there and who has access to them? Why have only a tiny fraction of the documents been released seven months after they were first disclosed by Snowden? Why has Glenn Greenwald made a deal with the owner of Paypal Corporation—the company whose former executives now produce the technologies used for domestic spying?

Emotions and Responses

The biggest hurdle to understanding the Snowden story has been the emotional reaction to asking questions about it. Those who have dared to question the story have been met with ridicule and misplaced condemnation.

Author Naomi Wolf made some straightforward observations about Snowden’s slick introduction in comparison to other whistleblower stories. Her questions elicited derision from pundits, some even suggesting that if Wolf didn’t buy into Snowden then she must be an NSA operative.

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ questions were met with ad hominem attacks from Greenwald. Writing that Edmonds was “too stupid and/or crazy to know,“ Greenwald summarily excused the founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition from further dialogue on the issue.

My recent article resulted in mild hysteria from a few who believe that no aspect of the Snowden story should ever be questioned, regardless of how that story evolves in the mainstream media. One such reaction resulted in a hit piece based on the false premise that I was calling Snowden a liar. The author called for a public apology until he realized that it was his own error that required an apology (cue crickets).

GreenwaldThankfully, Greenwald has offered a few answers at his blog. Unfortunately, the emotional nature of those responses raises more questions. What’s more, the growing rancor and distrust regarding this story is resulting in citizens losing sight of the actual NSA crimes being committed and our decreasing ability to stop or prosecute them.

Greenwald’s answers appeared at his blog in two installments, one in December and another in January. In those posts he goes on at length about the fact that reporters work for money. Although Edmonds has made the point that whistleblowing should not be a profit-making venture for anyone, in general no one denies that reporters work for money. And if Greenwald gets fabulously rich from all of it, that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that Greenwald still hasn’t answered some of the more important questions. For example, has he made any kind of deal with government or corporate representatives with regard to this story or the release of material from Snowden? What are his views on the coincidence that several of Pierre Omidyar’s former Paypal colleagues are strong supporters of NSA spying and are the people developing the technologies for that spying?

Another unanswered question is a simple one. How many documents are there? Estimates have ranged from thousands to nearly two million. Only Greenwald and Laura Poitras have the entire cache, according to Greenwald. But portions of the stolen documents have been distributed to many mainstream news organizations and “tens of thousands of these documents are in the possession of The New York Times, The Guardian, ProPublica, and The Washington Post.” A subset of more than 50,000 of them, focused specifically on the GCHQ (the British version of the NSA), were shared by The Guardian with The Times and ProPublica. Therefore we’re talking about a very large, but still very uncertain, number of documents. Since Greenwald has reported that Snowden “read and very carefully processed every document that he gave us,” curious citizens might wonder how that was possible.

That being said, Greenwald has offered answers to a few of the questions and we can discuss them.

Why are the documents being released so slowly?  Greenwald provided the following answers in his blog posts.

  1. Releasing the documents all at once would “violently breach … our agreement with our source.”
  2. “Large media institutions, even the ones with the best journalistic intentions, have all sorts of constraints – financial, legal, cultural – that produce fear and timidity, and that has sometimes slowed down or diluted our ability to publish the way we wanted to.”
  3. There exist “very real legal risks for everyone involved in this process, beginning with Snowden, who already faces 30 years in prison and is currently protected only by 9 more months of temporary asylum in Russia. Everyone involved in the publication of these materials has already undertaken substantial legal risk.”
  4. “These documents are complex. Sometimes they take a good deal of reporting to fill in some of the gaps.”
  5. The documents might contain the names of people who are surfing for pornography or are suspected of being terrorists, or they might contain “raw chats” or other specific internet activity, and these things might threaten the reputations or lives of those people. The documents might also help teach (less ethical?) states how to spy on their own citizens.

The first of these answers is the strongest. The public does not have access to the agreement and the implication is that future whistleblowers might be dissuaded from coming forward if they thought that they could not trust the people to whom they reveal information.

The second answer points more to the problem than the answer. Large media institutions are often vehicles for propaganda (remember the aluminum tubes) and that is why these kinds of questions arise in the first place.

The third answer is understandable but weak. Nobody should expect whistleblowing to be safe.

The last two answers are not believable considering what we know about answers Greenwald has given to other questions, and the distribution of the documents. For example, Greenwald knows enough about all the documents that he can definitely say that Paypal and its past and present executives are not implicated. And someone knew enough about the documents that they could be distributed to different major media corporations, presumably without carelessness, so these documents are not total unknowns. Can Greenwald tell us how the documents were categorized or sorted before distribution to the media outlets and how that was done to avoid the risks he emphasizes on his blog now?

Ultimately, the answer to why the documents have not been released boils down to that it is part of the agreement with Edward Snowden. Will Greenwald release his agreement with Snowden to verify that? Does the agreement apply to all the media outlets to which documents have been distributed? Who decided that these establishment mouthpiece media outlets were suddenly so honorable and would not report the information haphazardly or for the benefit of the powers that control them?

Conspiracy Theories

Greenwald’s December response indicated that he felt the questions about why the documents were not being released right away were good questions. He wrote, “I respect that critique” and even stated that he would ask the same questions. As an attorney, Greenwald might have wondered if withholding documents about ongoing crimes is a crime in itself.

Now, however, Greenwald labels those who question why the documents are being held back as “conspiracy theorists.” In Greenwald’s response, he rants about “people who cook up conspiracy theories” and how  “deranged those theories are.” These comments reflect the position of Greenwald’s new media partner Jeremy Scahill with regard to questions about the official account for the 9/11 attacks. Scahill has publicly said that he believes questions about 9/11 are “insulting to the people who died on 9/11.” Scahill claims to be educated on such questions but apparently still doesn’t know that it was the 9/11 victims’ families who initiated such questioning and who continue to lead the search for answers.

The irony is that Greenwald was, just prior to becoming the voice of our New York Times-supported whistleblower hero, a major conspiracy theorist with regard to terrorism. In fact, Greenwald has espoused some of the most interesting conspiracy theories regarding U.S. government involvement in the manufacture of false terrorism.

In a series of articles at Salon, Greenwald went into great detail on the FBI’s ongoing efforts to manufacture terrorism. In one case, he wrote that the FBI “created a plot [and] it then persuaded/manipulated/entrapped [a hapless loner] to join, essentially turning him into a Terrorist; and then patted itself on the back once it arrested him for having thwarted a ‘Terrorist plot’ which, from start to finish, was entirely the FBI’s own concoction.”

If that’s not a conspiracy theory, I don’t know what is.

Greenwald went on to write that, “Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out—only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI.”

According to Greenwald this vast FBI plot is intended “to justify this Endless War on civil liberties (and Terror).” At the time, in 2010 and 2011, Greenwald was astounded by the lack of skepticism about the completely uncritical reporting on terrorist stories that were used to justify the War on Terror. Today he is astounded by the growing skepticism about the completely uncritical reporting on the Snowden story. Apparently the difference, and his newfound reliance on the Conspiracy Theorists™ slur, has to do with him being a central character in this story.

Overall, the government’s handling of questions about domestic surveillance has been very similar to its handling of questions about 9/11. It’s all about The Terrorists and things that would never be allowed in other circumstances, like lying to Congress and withholding documents, are perfectly OK. The Anglo-American establishment media control the flow of information and questions are not allowed. Those daring to question are met with ridicule. Heroes and demons are offered up to focus the story on personalities instead of facts. What’s different here?

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74 Responses to Greenwald Responds to Critics, Rejects Conspiracism

  1. Ben Sherman says:

    Well written and thought provoking, thanks. Have you been able to engage Greenwald in a discussion?

    • Kevin Ryan says:

      Greenwald did not respond to my offer to engage in dialogue so that his side of the story could be presented as fairly as possible.

      • John Burns says:

        You don’t have enough money or status.

      • Anthony Enos Wicher (@911aew) says:

        The way Greenwald and Scahill immediately brand anybody who questions them as “crackpots’ and “conspiracy theorists” is an unmistakable sigh that that they are “left gatekeepers” whose assignment is to mislead liberals. Keep up the good work, Kevin!

  2. Thanks Kevin for another enlightening report. My question to you as I have asked you before is: Why have you never, ever, mentioned in all of your excellent work all the 9-11 connections to dual US/Israeli citizens in positions of power and influence, and the some 200 Mossad-linked Israelis rounded up after 9-11, and secretly released by the Justice Dept, that clearly would need further investigation? This wealth of evidence of Israeli involvement in 9-11 is the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM when it comes to unraveling the complex crime of 9-11? Sure, you have cited some players in passing, but connecting the dots, so to speak, one of your greatest talents in your ongoing investigation of 9-11, has been sorely lacking with respect to the over-whelming evidence of at minimum complicity, and more likely, the planning, execution and cover-up of the greatest crime in history. Please respond to this, since I have not received a reply to my past inquiries, and you clearly bring this card into your discussion of Snowden/Greenwald in this latest piece.

    • Kevin Ryan says:

      Actually, I discussed both Douglas Feith (a dual U.S. Israeli citizen) and the “Dancing Israelis” in my book. So “never, ever” is not quite right. But the onus for proving Israeli complicity in the 9/11 attacks is on those who promote that hypothesis. The rest of us are open to facts that address what happened on 9/11 and who was in position to it happen if specifics are given.

      • Anthony Enos Wicher (@911aew) says:

        No it’s not the “elephant in the room”. The elephant is Bandar bin Sultan and the Saudi royal family.

  3. MoonJuice says:

    “If that’s not a conspiracy theory, I don’t know what is.”

    To be fair, it’s not. It’s a proven fact that they do this.

  4. John Burns says:

    Like Scahill, Greenwald goes along with the Official 911 Report. I believe he thinks (says) there is no credible evidence to the contrary. So I would not place too much trust in what he says in defense of his handling of Snowden. Yes, “handling of Snowden”. I am sure there is some money arrangement whereby Greenwald funnels money to Snowden as needed. Also I think there is no need to dramatize the 9 remaining months as I doubt Putin will throw Snowden to the wolves when the temporary asylum ends.
    Yes, Snowden’s work history is a little suspicious. And his fortunate finding of Greenwald to help him in his plight. How much of this is post modern film drama I do not of course know. His treatment of Sibel Edmonds displays his capacity for being hot head. She might have been an ally. He no doubt is hiding a great deal. I would say he was a sort of half and half man. Half a good guy; half a bad guy. Not someone I would do business with. What if Snowden had contacted someone like Paul Craig Roberts? Alex Jones? Etc. I am not sure Greenwald was his best bet.

    • Peter Wells says:

      I suspect that some noteworthy subscribers to and apologists for the official 9/11 report are happy to receive “a little walking around money” which, of course, has been “donated” by taxpayers 6o the US Treasury. And probably some do it for personal security reasons. Freedom of speech is not free.

  5. Pingback: Greenwald Responds to Critics, Rejects Conspiracism » New Zealand 911 Truth

  6. Pingback: Glenn Greenwald—of all people!—lashes out against “conspiracy theories” :: News From Underground

  7. Mike F says:

    Hey Kevin,

    Glad you are reporting on this and dissecting it. I historically felt that Greenwald *had* to get 9/11 truth, but guessed (hoped?) he wanted to grow or retain ‘mainstream’ audiences, before any possible future reporting on the clear 9/11 evidence.

    But the trajectory lately, makes me fear he is getting his hands tied, or is now truly deluded into accepting the OCT. Worst case, he is through some means, a witting “left gatekeeper” and/or sellout who will knowingly avoid the truth on 9/11.

    I pressed him twice at a conference over a year ago, wrt 9/11 truth. He dodged 9/11 itself fairly easily, so I moved toward the anthrax, the *other* false flag connected to 9/11. Here is my second encounter where I tried to get him to chart a path towards the truth (at ~2min)-

    (his reporting on the anthrax was admirable and indicates he must see the larger picture, and this is why I thought he was a truther, just waiting for the right time)

    Those of us outside the MSM and mainstream ‘alternative’ media are barred entry if we are open on 9/11 truth. And those on the inside usually know that they will get the ax if they speak openly.

    I think a plan is in order, where we attempt to supply those who want the speak the truth about 9/11, safety in numbers.

    My plan with ReThink911 was to provide a story that could allow for such a moment, but we were largely ignored. Another tactic is needed, to allow whistleblowers, media personalities, and people of prominence to come forward, but largely at the SAME TIME, encouraging even more to speak out. They can snipe individual people as they have over the years, but they cannot stop it if we have a tipping point, and the retaliation on ‘truthers’ is made far too obvious.

    Thanks
    -Mike

    • John Burns says:

      It is extremely unlikely that 9/11 will ever be properly investigated by the established government. Like Pearl Harbor the revelation of which would place a big stain on the nation’s reputation, any real truth about 9/11 would sink the nation’s status. These sorts of things just have to remain repressed. Even now getting the truth about the Civil War is not easy. Or about the very questionable bases for entering WWI.
      Journalism is not the right field to enter if truth is of prime importance. Journalists have to be diplomats. A judicious amount of truth here and there at the right time can be okay; but anyone who finds it difficult to just go along needs to find another field of endeavor. In Greenwald’s case I suspect his reasons for his 9/11 position are similar to Chomsky’s; and not mostly the one you have indicated. He could have simply said that 9/11 was something he did not want to tackle as it would interfere with what he was doing. And then he could have said, I really don’t know what happened. Not exactly playing dumb and less of a falsehood.

    • lynn bradbury says:

      glad ou brought this info here, mike. what would be the platform/means to disseminate this group airing of truth? seems it would need to be a surprise in order that it not be censored. lynn b.

  8. John Burns says:

    ” . . .Greenwald has offered answers to a few of the questions and we can discuss them.”
    Now this translates as: ‘The Billionaire has powerful connections with the Ruling Elite. If I cooperate and assist Snowden in cooperating, good things will happen. I will get a new platform as well as a good deal of money; and there will be some money for Snowden. I won’t have to fear the Man in the WH coming after me; and perhaps we can get a good face saving deal for Snowden. In return we just don’t publish anything more that would be inflammatory. As Snowden has already said, My mission is finished. After all with my 5th point this is the obvious best course of action.’
    In short, the fun is over. What follows will be chicken soup. While this is not precisely his words it is, I believe, a fair translation of his five points, By listing them neatly he tells us what is going on, and why he is doing what he is doing. Now we can wait and see. His tone is the tone of the man of reason who has his best interests at heart.

  9. Kevin,

    In my book you are a wonderful “find” as a teller of truth, and also for level-headed explorations in finding whatever truths are available.

    My take on Greenwald so far is that he is intellectually very gifted, but his responses in this matter have opened doors to a less-than-gifted ability to deal with problems at an emotional level. This is not to cast him aside; who of us does not contain emotional vulnerabilities, and who of us would be able to hide them under the pressures under which the Snowden affair has placed on him. Of course, he himself made the decision to take them on.

    I have long admired his intellectual capacities and his ability to share information with the public, but the new pressures he must be experiencing have entered a factor of believability/unbelievability to my estimation. Of course the matter of large sums of money weighs heavy with people’s thoughts, decisions and actions as well.

    Thanks for your efforts here (and, as always, with the ongoing saga of 9/11 issues). I look forward to your entries.

    Doug

  10. Greg says:

    I can’t cite it, but early on I thought Greenwald said he wanted to release documents slowly in order for the issue to remain front and center. Also, doing a dump of documents doesn’t allow the reporters to provide context and help readers understand their significance. I think he’s right. Or I think he was right at the time. I wonder why he didn’t list that reason above?

  11. winston says:

    Great work, Mr Ryan.
    This short piece on crytome touches on some of these issues: http://cryptome.org/2014/01/snowden-count.htm

    w.
    http://smu.gs/19q1WoM

  12. “questions about 9/11 are “insulting to the people who died on 9/11.””

    Not questioning the utter tripe that is the official narrative in regards to the events of September 11th, 2001, are what’s insulting to the people who were MURDERED on 9/11.

    Reporters providing context?

    How would lapdog stenographers possibly ascertain anything any better than anyone else?

    There is no good bloody reason not to put the information out there other than to keep it from the American people.

    If I am incorrect, let’s see Greenwald put out something in his possession that we haven’t any knowledge of. We all know that we were being spied upon – I’m calling your bluff. What do you have?

  13. Zack Taylor says:

    One of the biggest problems I have with the Snowden story is that the material that ahs been released in the highest profile manner isn’t news at all and it ignore related material which has also already been released. Most notably this includes the ECHELON program which began long before the so-called Prism program which seems to be identical.

    FWIW, I went into this in more detail months ago in a couple blogs including ‘Is “Prism” news? or is it ECHELON?’ and ‘Are Naomi Wolf, Edward Snowden, Prism, and ECHELON, dividing us?’ the later is presumably linked in my accompanying website.

    I suspect this might be part of a controlled disclosure plan and that some of the so-called whistleblowers might be playing a part in it. There will probably be more to come but it will be necessary to fact check it and perhaps pushing for much more disclosure.

  14. Frances Shure says:

    Thank you, Kevin, once again. Too bad Glenn Greenwald stooped to his Conspiracy Theorist slur and his ad hominem attacks on Sibel Edmonds and Naomi Wolf, both intelligent and courageous women with great integrity. These are indeed not honest responses, but angry, emotional answers with an attempt to censure the messengers. Apparently, Greenwald has not read Lance deHaven-Smith’s groundbreaking book, Conspiracy Theory in America, and learned that we have all been conditioned by a highly successful CIA campaign since 1967 to ridicule those who do not believe official pronouncements by using the shaming term “conspiracy theorist.” I hope he can learn from his mistakes and be more transparent in the future.

  15. Both Snowden and Greenwald have an interest in informing the public and staying alive. That can be tricky these days. If a huge amount of raw data and information is just dumped, that is not responsible reporting. Documents must be vetted and placed in the context of the larger story. Specific people should have their privacy protected due to libel laws, which are different country to country. (Isn´t that one of the big issues here, the right to privacy?) Wikileaks has the same problem. So, I trust the guy, I respect him. As far as Sibel Edmonds goes, I was disgusted with her opinions on the Corbett Report, she was attacking in a vile and libelous way with very little basis. Its good to ask questions, respectfully. Alexander Cockburn refused to get into the 911 investigations. I differed with him there, and I do now, but I still miss his voice, and continue to respect his vast body of work. I don´t know who Kevin is, but we all must remember to keep our eye on the ball; the security state, and stop useless speculation or ad hominum attacks. One thing the average citizen can do is read what Jeremy Hammond went to jail to expose, and respect the people who put their personal safety on the line. Let the man do his job. He does not deserve the vitriolic abuse going around. Civil society must be resurrected in the face of the security state. Peace, all.

    • dissaparecido says:

      Alex Cockburn was almost certainly a shill and gatekeeper. (Whether paid or not remains to be explored.) Since I’ve been thoroughly reading his site almost daily for the past eight years or so, I can claim a certain expertise in this area.
      He had brilliant pieces, wonderfully written, on certain subjects. He had a certain number of contrarian, interesting people featured occasionally (Joe Bageant comes to mind, there were probably ten or twenty others). He also published a ton of liberal, righteous dimwits, where stupidity was battling commonplace, on a daily basis. (St. Clair is even worse, let me set that straight.) But let’s look at the big issues: Cockburn was both a JFK and a 9/11 official conspiracy guy. On the second topic, he NEVER addressed ANY serious concern, preferring instead to polemicize and ridicule, while sidestepping the issues. His main point man on 9/11 was some idiot “science guy” (Manuel Garcia Jr.), who did exactly the same thing, but on more narrow terms. Just to have something to throw up to, look at Cockburn’s piece on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11:
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/02/the-911-conspiracists-vindicated-after-all-these-years/
      Less informed, less educated, more “captured” media representatives can be more readily excused, as far as I’m concerned. A guy like Cockburn – no excuse. There must be more to his hard line. He upheld Empire’s foundational lies right until the end.
      And that’s the guy you “respect”. While being “disgusted” with Sibel. So, just stick with Counterpunch and you should be fine.

  16. anita b. says:

    “The third answer is understandable but weak. Nobody should expect whistleblowing to be safe.”

    But if you can’t stay unincarcerated and un-gag-ordered for long enough to get the information out, it’s not whistleblowing. And there’s every reason to think that’s what “very real legal risks” means here:

    There have been more Big Media honchos calling for Greenwald’s arrest than there have been singing his praises. The paper he was working for just happened to have been subjected to intensive government harassment right around the time he left. He appears to be unable to travel outside of Brazil. And so on.

    Sibel Edmonds herself has now been declining to name names that aren’t already in the public record for thirteen years and counting, for legal reasons. So you’d think she’d be a little less critical of Greenwald’s pace. He’s way ahead of where she was, six months in.

    The “conspiracy theorist” comment wasn’t very cool. But it doesn’t make what he’s reporting any better or worse for anyone, all by itself. And it’s not as uncool as Edmonds calling Miranda a “damsel” for having been sensible enough not to let the authorities know that his travel expenses were being paid by a newspaper they were already hassling and threatening until he was well out of custody.

    That was vicious. I don’t see her risking illegal detention to get any secrets out. Greenwald’s just being a jerk.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      Quote: “There have been more Big Media honchos calling for Greenwald’s arrest than there have been singing his praises”.

      Ever heard or read about DECEPTION?

      So what if Big Media honcos call for his arrest. Very likely, it all is just an act that they’re staging and the purpose very likely is distraction to deceive.

      Big Media serves the interests of Bigger People, i.e., “elites”, than themselves.

      Quote: “The paper he was working for just happened to have been subjected to intensive government harassment right around the time he left. He appears to be unable to travel outside of Brazil. And so on.”

      Appearances can be deceiving and they can be mere stage acts.

      Quote: “Sibel Edmonds herself has now been declining to name names that aren’t already in the public record for thirteen years and counting, for legal reasons. So you’d think she’d be a little less critical of Greenwald’s pace. He’s way ahead of where she was, six months in.”

      Greenwald hasn’t provided much more than “old news”. There may be a little more that he’s published based on the NSA documents that Snowden “lifted”, but most of what the documents say remains secret and Greenwald, Poitras, et al, are responsible for this when the documents belong in the public domain.

      Also, and like John Young of Cryptome.org said in an interview provided to James Corbett, who published the recording on Dec. 17, 2013 at CorbettReport.com, said, it’s very possible that the NSA tricked Snowden into getting documents that aren’t critically important. For the time being, it’s difficult to be absolutely certain though. And according to an article by Sibel Edmonds at BoilingFrogsPost.com, a piece in which she cites three real NSA whistleblowers’ words regarding the PayPal and NSA relationship, it seems that some of the “lifted” documents contain information about this. If they do, then this has some importance, though it shouldn’t be surprising that such relationships exist between financial businesses and institutions, and the NSA.

      Nonetheless, it’s certainly possible that the NSA tricked Snowden, or that he didn’t get the documents himself. As explained by Jon Rappoport at his blog, it’s very possible that Snowden actually continues to work with/for the CIA, which has a “turf war” with the NSA. If he is, then much more credible than him having been able to get the document files copied to a flash drive or thumb-nail drive is that this was provided to him by the CIA.

      Deception is a regular tactic employed by Washington and some of its agencies. And there’s nothing credible at all about someone like Snowden having performed the sort of IT work he reportedly claimed to have done at the CIA and/or NSA during his interview with Greenwald. He stated four very different professional IT job titles, albeit the fourth one he supposedly stated certainly strikes me as odd because it’s very ambiguous in meaning. That job title nevertheless begins with “senior advisor” and there’s no way that he could’ve truly been a “senior advisor” in IT. Absolutely not! The first job title he stated is systems engineer and there’s absolutely no way that he could do this. SE requires university degrees with computer science and electrical engineering courses, and he has none of this at all.

      Most people wouldn’t notice such details, for most people don’t know more about a computer than powering on their PC and making use of a Web browser, word proccessor, …. They know absolutely nothing about what’s involved when working as a computer professional.

      To be accepted into computer science or EE degree studies a normal, virtually constant, prerequisite is good standing in maths. Well, Snowden reportedly said that he did poorly in high school. He dropped out. Then, he was oddly accepted at a college in Maryland, without having a HS diploma, which is highly unusual. Anyway, someone at the school said that they have records for some Edward Snowen who attended from 1999 to 2001 and then again from 2004-2005, but the records also show that this student never took any cyber-related or NSA-approved information systems security courses. Again, he did poorly in high school, so he likely did poorly in maths. Hence, he surely didn’t take any computer science courses whatsoever at the college.

      His first job at the NSA was as a security guard, supposedly anyway. This is something he might be able to do, but it most surely wouldn’t be easy to get this employment at an agency like the NSA, the or one of the most tightly secretive agencies that exists. If the job is parking lot security, then this’d probably be easier than getting an indoor security guard job, but it still wouldn’t be easy. There’s going to be very tight security all over the place at NSA facilities.

      There’s plenty that’s suspect about Snowden, alone, in all of this, his personal story in this, that is. It’s possible that he’s very naive and being used, say, by far more savvy people.

      Being awfully naive isn’t uncommon in the U.S. Au contraire, it tragically is very common and there’s plenty of proof for this. And it comes in all “flavors”.

      Sibel Edmonds isn’t being a hypocrite. She’s very right to be critical of Greenwald, who is now tied to the Omidyar-PayPal-NSA connection or circle.

      I think that you need to take a step back and give all of this additional consideration.

  17. John Burns says:

    Regarding Sibel Edmonds–I don’t believe there is a transcript of the Corbett Report discussion, but I believe she said he responded to her questions by calling her a bitch, etc. He does have a biting tongue and a quarrelsome nature, so that is not hard to believe. Greenwald is not a candidate for elevated ethical and moral standards. I believe he got into trouble while working for a law firm doing something that could have gotten him disbarred. Then he went into the pornography business. Etc. With this in mind I think we could ask why he decided to trash Sibel. For reasons like this and viewing comments to his articles at Salon and also the Guardian I think we need to be careful with Greenwald. He is very ambitious and very aggressive. He clearly wants both power and money. This is his chance to go from a notable somewhat alternative journalist to the big times. He was quite delighted to have one of his articles at Huffington Post get so many responses. I regard Huffington as a kind of soft porn news site filled with American gossip and garbage. And I am sure he would lie to advance himself and probably already has. Just appreciate the good you know he has done and be cautious.

    • anita b. says:

      He did not get into trouble working for a law firm doing something that could have gotten him disbarred, afaik. I’m not sure whether it’s what you’re thinking of. But on one case, a judge who thought the way he handled witness depositions was unethical said so while ruling for the other side. I don’t think he was even sanctioned for it. That stuff happens. It’s an adversarial system.

      He also wasn’t in the pornography business. He was a partner in a consulting firm that worked with a guy who ran adult websites.

      And by the way, that porn smear was leaked in retaliation for Snowden, along with some confidential inside dirt on his standing with the IRS:

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/greenwald-reporter-broke-nsa-story-lawyer-sued-porn-biz-article-1.1383448.

      I don’t know what The Corbett Report has to do with it. She’s legally barred from naming names that aren’t in the public record. So she hasn’t.

      So what I said still goes..And except that she’s being a hypocrite, there’s nothing wrong with it. That’s how people live to fight another day.

      With THAT in mind, I’d say Sibel decided to trash him. He responded. And I don’t blame him. She was talking trash.

      But everybody should question the hell out of everything they read. That includes Greenwald/Snowden. So go to it. We just disagree.

      • John Burns says:

        So if your information is correct then thanks. You don’t like Sibel Edmonds. I think it is a good policy to not descend to insults even if you have received them from someone. While I appreciate some of the articles Greenwald has written he is not my kind of person. Have you read any of the articles Jon Rappaport has written on this subject? I would be more inclined to trust Corbett than Greenwald. You might want to take in the talk he had with her at Corbett Report. Something, maybe a little bird, keeps warning me about Greenwald. His stand on 9/11 for whatever reason is not good or wise. Better to have a smaller audience and tell the truth than a bigger one and have to lie. I hope he is lying as otherwise he has a serious intellectual problem. Any bright high school student could see through the Official Story. It took me less than a week to determine that it was not as presented. All I needed was to watch a video by a man involved in the design and building who said the buildings could withstand multiple hits–my initial thought was, if they go down that easy they should not build skyscrapers! It takes some gall to be able to deny the obvious over a long period of time to an audience full of smart people. There must be some pay off in doing so. But what? What do you think? And after that can you really trust the man? When will he next need to obfuscate? I think this is a very serious consideration. It may be that Sibyl knows some things she can’t tell that would account for his actions? Personally I have no inside knowledge.

      • mikecorbeil says:

        To put it very simply, you’re lacking information and are judging Sibel based on appearances. There’s much to be carefully considered, but you haven’t stated which sources you employ to arrive at your judgment.

        She is far from alone in criticizing Greenwald and for good reasons. John Young of Cryptome.org also does and says that the documents need to be put in the public domain. It should’ve been done many months ago and Greenwald willfully sits on them. One or more real NSA whistleblowers, probably William Binney and/or Russell Tice, also say that the documents need to be published.

        Greenwald is working professionally because he’s being paid to do the sort of crony journalism he’s been doing with this whole story, but this isn’t qualitative journalism at all. It’s not ethical and the documents belong in the public domain. Neither he, Laura Poitras, the Washington Post and other big media Snowden made the mistaken of entrusting the documents to have any right to lord over the release to the public.

        They’re acting against the public’s right to know what the documents say, and they know that they’re doing this. You might not care to know what your rights are, but many other people do.

        Greenwald and Poitras are also in a situation of very serious conflict of interest due to their richly rewarding, financially speaking, relationship with Pierre Omidyar, co-owner of PayPal, which has a long history with the NSA, as Russell Tice and possibly other real NSA whistleblowers have agreed to; I believe William Binney being one. Sibel has an article in which she cites both of them and I believe also a third NSA whistleblower. According to an article by Sibel I believe in December, if remembering correctly, some of the documents Snowden handed copies over to Greenwald et al contain information about the PayPal-NSA relationship.

        Omidyar is pro-NSA spying on citizens as well as being foe of whistleblowing. Max Levchin, an Iranian immigrant to the US and co-owner of PayPal, pretends to respect the rights of US citizens, but he also clearly supports and defends the NSA spying on citizens, claiming that it’s to protect citizens. If he has any brains worthy of mention, besides being able to count dollars, then he knows he’s blatantly lying. Two former partners in PayPal left and started Palantir Technologies, which has for sole or principal client, the NSA and they support NSA spying on citizens.

        Greenwald and Poitras, along with Jeremy Scahill, who I never thought much of for journalism, are all in a richly rewarding relationship with billionaire Omidyar.

        If that’s not being in a situation of conflict of interest, then there are no examples of real conflicts of interest!

        All of this is FACTS, btw.

        Is Sibel justified in critizing Greenwald? Damn right she is.

        You need to become better informed before picking sides.

  18. mikecorbeil says:

    Excerpt: “What we know about Edward Snowden is that he was a Special Forces recruit in the U.S. Army, an NSA employee, an NSA contractor for at least two different companies, and a CIA employee under cover. All of this occurred in a span of only a few years and he was able to command six-figure salaries despite having no education beyond a high school equivalency certification. Of the many positions he held in a period of approximately six years, the most long-lived appears to have been his work with the CIA where this 20-something spy was, in his own words, a “senior advisor.””

    Choke. It’s incredible. A high school drop-out later gets the GED, General Equivalency Diploma, apparently aka Certificate, during or prior to serving in US military special forces, becomes a computer “systems specialist”, we apparently have no information about how he acquired this specialization, and then he works for the NSA as well as undercover for the CIA; plus having obtained top secret level clearance. He did all of this within the short span of only 6 years.

    It might be possible, but it’s very, very difficult to believe to be “on the up-and-up”, honest, truthful. I’m smelling fish odors.

    “How Did A Guy With A GED End Up With Top Secret Clearance At The NSA?”,
    by Eric Lach, TPM Muckraker, June 11, 2013
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/how-did-a-guy-with-a-ged-end-up-with-top-secret-clearance-at-the-nsa

    Quote: “Also by his own account, he had been a poor student in high school, did not complete course work at a community college in Maryland, and ended up earning nothing but a GED”.

    Being “a poor student in high school” surely would normally mean that the person isn’t credibly going to be able to become a real computer “systems specialist”. Not imo. I graduated with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and worked for nearly 10 years as a computer systems and applications programmer, designer, …, and find his profile to be non-credible, suspect.

    Maybe all he did working with computers at the NSA was to just follow an easy guide for how to copy files from one medium to another using simple commands or software, but this is definitely far from what it takes to be a computer systems specialist. Specialists require quite a lot of knowledge in their professional field or fields.

    If he had had family connections at Booz … and the NSA, then maybe they wanted to help out a family member who was very “down on his luck”; but, there’d surely be more to it than that.

    It’d be good to ask him some real computer systems specialist sort of questions. If he was doing networking-related work, then it’ll take a networking specialist to propose some basic, elementary-level questions. F.e., what is a router and what is its purpose? If he was doing programming, then someone qualified to be professionally called a specialist should know what RDBMS and SQL, OOP and OODB, C, and shell scripting (PERL, Bash, …, or DOS language, f.e.) are or mean, f.e.; although, to question him, just asking which of these he knows and can speak about would be a start. If he was working in programming and can’t answer these questions correctly, then he wouldn’t be a computer software or software systems specialist, not by a long shot.

    No such person would be permitted to touch any serious part of computer systems in government facilities and large companies; or even in any small businesses run by people who’re serious about the need for computers for the businesses to function.

    As for his GED, I wonder if he got this prior to joining the US military special forces, or during his service, unless it might’ve been after he completed his time in this “service”. If he didn’t have it before, then I wonder if the US military normally recruits people for special forces “service” when they lack high school education or equivalency.

    His clearance:

    The TPM Muckraker article also says, quote: “How could a guy who was at Booz Allen for three months have Top Secret compartmented clearance?” ”

    Yeah. How?

    The article then adds, quote: “So far, most of what we know about Snowden’s career comes from what he has told The Guardian. The high school trouble, a brief stint in the Army, then work as a security guard at an NSA facility in Maryland, then to the Central Intelligence Agency, where he worked on IT security, then a job in Japan working for a private contractor at an NSA facility, and then a few years at various contractors, before his latest gig, working for Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii”.

    The Guardian is again the source or medium through which this information has been passed to the public?

    You’re right to raise the questions or points stated in your articles with respect to Greenwald.

    And there’s very strong fish odor coming from this Snowden-Greenwald-NSA … story.

    You’re absolutely right to be very concerned about this, to question it with the critical objectivity that you’ve been exercising. I’d really like for someone to pose some real computer security questions to Snowden and to do this right out in the open, rather than behind closed curtains or doors. I wouldn’t press him to give complete details for the work he did at the NSA, but he’d need to be able to prove that he’s truly knowledgeable enough to work on more than very, very basic computers.

    Naomi Wolf’s article was worth publishing. She was definitely right to have some real questions about all of this.

    • John Burns says:

      Jon Rappaport has some interesting essays on the same subject and others related to Spygate. Here is today’s:Obama speech: Miller Lite commercial: less filling, tastes great
      http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/category/spygate/
      Why would whoever cooked this up have cooked this up? Who are the beneficiaries of this one? Gov.? Not in any obvious way. The American citizen? Maybe some. Certainly the Guardian and Greenwald–but they are hardly in a position to pull off a major event. Some hidden inner government rebel group? Could be. In that case Snowden would just be the messenger who was handed the files at a coffee shop where he met with a mysterious Someone. Perhaps this group had already set something up with the Guardian and Greenwald. Where to go and what to do. A package vacation. See the world and end up in Russia. A nice Swiss bank account. But what happened to the girl friend? Or was she one of the Secret Agents? A novelist could have a great story here. How this was all the result of several years of planning by people like Wm Binney who decided to stay inside and wreak havoc. I like this much better, and it answers your doubts–Snowden does not have to be doing anything more than data entry. The rest–two broken legs? could be fabricated. So Snowden has the appearance of but not the substance of these many files which were never in his possession after he left Hawaii if even then. And the reason they keep multiplying is that someone keeps sending them to Greenwald. This would be a very smart move. Snowden has nothing for the Chinese or the Russians. If he was caught he would also have nothing. Maybe they figured that out early on and just let the game go on but with no real interest in capturing him because it would not lead anywhere. The real culprits are way too hidden. And how much does Greenwald know? Perhaps very little. Snowden plays his role and fools Greenwald as well. Greenwald gets the goods and then more as time goes by. Obama who just loves to deceive lies and enjoys himself. Meanwhile back at the data ranch they are looking in vain for the bad guys. “Snowden rocked the boat, but the boat has been repaired. It sails on with even greater assurance.” Well, all I can say in closing is that with my old computer homemade in fact and an old car, old appliances and all, I have a bit of privacy for now. Still, I will closely check any clothes I buy at the thrift store for hidden devices.

  19. Mike Dexter says:

    Bravo, Kevin! The general tone of the comments reflects well on the original post and poster. It shows that the people who come here take the matter seriously. However, I think that in addition to looking at specific details it is good to have a meta-analysis, as provided by Webster Tarpley last June when the Snowden drama opened with Act I in Hong Kong.
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/18/309609/how-to-identify-cia-limited-hangout-op/

    Sibel does sometimes “let fly” with her comments. She, unlike Glenn Greenwald, is not a lawyer and tends to make off the cuff comments that a professional lawyer/journalist would not make. That said, I prefer to judge people by their actions as well as their words. Compare, for example, Boiling Frogs Post
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/
    with Greenwald’s proposed new media corporation.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/video-secrets-for-sale-and-the-snowden-affair-the-greenwaldomidyarnsa-connection/5364393

    BTW, if you wish to respond to my link with Webster Tarpley’s article, please respond to the statements he makes, omitting ad hominem attacks about Dr Tarpley himself.

  20. fremo says:

    Central to Mr Greenwalds credibility, is Pierre Omidyar.
    “On this edition of De-Manufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by attorney and activist, Stanley Cohen, who currently represents one of the “Anons” collectively known as the PayPal 14. We discuss who the PayPal 14 are, what they did, why they did it, and the shameful actions of eBay and Pierre Omidyar throughout the ordeal. –
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/13/de-manufacturing-consent-the-paypal-14-pierres-shame-the-billionaire-independent-media/#sthash.lAxKqDq8.dpuf
    Mr Cohens opinion of Paypal/Omidyar is gained from close legal combat, and is succinct.

    • John Burns says:

      Precisely. Thanks for drawing my attention to this rather damning commentary on the journalists and the Billionaire do gooder! It should be pretty obvious by now that some people want to make some big money, enhance their reputations and have some power off someone else’s risk taking. This is the big fish.

  21. John Burns says:

    Personally I doubt we will see much more from the Snowden files. The initial output may be in fact the only revelatory material that has any real interest except for the obscure expert here and there. Some of us already knew that our privacy had worn thin. The greatest protection anyone had was simply to have no worthwhile secrets. And to be a nobody or good for nothing. The Fourth Amendment if it means anything at all has to do with privacy. But apparently that is something legal scholars have trouble seeing. Well, surrounded as we are by terrorists normal cognition is not working the way it should. Too bad the Constitution was not also written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Then we might have a chance of getting it straight. Anyway it will be a cold day in hell before we see more from Greenwald that really rivets the attention–that is my hunch. In the meantime it might be good for a laugh to know which Senators are watching porn while the nation’s big problems are debated!

  22. John Burns says:

    The 36 mysterious days of Edward Snowden by Jon Rappoport http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/the-36-mysterious-days-of-edward-snowden/
    I guess we had better take this article in. It make a lot of sense.
    “First, a comment about the number of documents Snowden took from the NSA. Estimates have ranged from 20,000 to 1.2 million. Snowden explicitly stated he had vetted all of them, to make sure their release would aid transparency, his goal, rather than harm individuals.
    Whether the number is 20,000 or 1.2 million, it’s impossible to accept that Snowden carefully perused each doc. If you want to test this out, go to your local library and read 20,000 pages of anything. Never mind making notes. Just get to the end of it.
    [. . .]”
    Very interesting material. Read the whole article.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      That piece by Jon Rappoport is certainly interesting and recommendable reading.

      A good ways into it, he provides 7 or 8 “ref” links for earlier articles of his in the same series and while I find some of them too redundant, some nevertheless provide important information; f.e., about the “turf war” between the CIA and NSA, as well as Snowden possibly still working for the CIA. There’s nothing about Greenwald and this is fine. The focus is on Snowden, the CIA and the NSA.

      The redundancies were annoying to me, but then I read all of the articles, 9 of them, yesterday and Friday, so over only two days. If a person took a longer break, say a week or more, between each article, then redundancy can then be appreciated. It’s just that I read them all over a period of only two consecutive days.

      In those, he presents interesting perspective or analysis that I think everyone should know and keep in mind.

  23. Tarzie says:

    I have been writing about this stuff for months and pretty sure the Boiling Frogs club has been reading but not citing. Perhaps we’re just all converging on this stuff independently. In either case, your readers might find my blog interesting.

    The Rancid Honeytrap

    • fremo says:

      first I ever read of you is now. your work is amazing.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      What you cited from Thomas Drake, who’s considered a real NSA whistleblower, is disappointing to say the least, but you provided no source link for this, either. You’re citing his words from a Washington Post piece, that it doesn’t provide a link to any source for people to be able to verify for ourselves if Drake really said what The Post cited.

      It’s very possible that he did say those words. William Binney and Russell Tice have both spoke approvingly of what Snowden is said to be doing, albeit one or both also said that these documents need to be provided, published, while Greenwald is withholding by far most of them, which is something these two NSA whistleblowers disagree with.

      You refer to John Young, albeit indirectly, for you refer to Cryptome.org, which he runs; referring to it in your October 25th piece. So, you evidently believe that both are good. Young also spoke approvingly of what Snowden is supposedly doing, but he criticized Greenwald’s withholding of the documents, saying that these need to be placed in the public domain and that this should have been done many months ago.

      He says that in a half hour interview with James Corbett and that was published at CorbettReport.com on Dec. 17th, in case you wish to listen to it.

      But even if the Snowden-Greenwald-… was entirely on the up-and-up, honest, Young says:

      a) It’s far less important than what the billionaires, who he says really should be seen as institutions, are doing. They have inter-conflicts, between themselves, but what they do is extremely important to watch because of the extreme influence they bear or have.

      b) It’s possible, if this whole Snowden-Greenwald-… story is honest, that is, that Snowden was tricked by the NSA, which could’ve made sure that he wouldn’t get documents that truly are critically important, sensitive and which the NSA certainly wouldn’t allow someone like Snowden to get any access to whatsoever. That’s something the NSA can definitely guarantee.

      Sibel Edmonds has reported, however, that the documents Snowden purportedly “lifted” from the NSA contain a considerable amount of information about the PayPal-NSA or Omidyar-PayPal-NSA relationship, and as some real NSA whistleblowers have stated, this relationship between PayPal and NSA has existed for a very long time. She also said that two people who used to be with PayPal, partners with Omidyar, left and started Palantir Technologies, which, based on what I’ve read, uniquely or almost uniquely works with/for the NSA for spying.

      Otoh, Jon Rappaport, at his WordPress blog, wrote last June and July that it definitely isn’t credible that Snowden was able to access NSA files and that, instead, he’d be working for the CIA and it got and provided him with the files.

      Ooo la la. Quite a spin this whole Snowden-Greenwald-Omidyar-… story is.

      Meanwhile, Iraq is still suffering hell, the war isn’t really finished there, the war continues in Afghanistan, the US has an extremely vicious, criminal covert war going on in Syria, the genocide in the Congo continues so western corporations can steal the country’s resources, the situations are still bad in Libya and Sudan, and so on. Much of the planet is suffering the flames of hell because of Washington and its damn “allies”. And when we say Washington, we really mean the real people running it, rather than the stage show politicians in DC.

      I find Thomas Drake’s words very disappointing. It’d be great if he didn’t fall to being this idiotic.

  24. Pingback: Snowden Pst-op Update: Greenwald Responds to Critics, Rejects Conspiracism | saveourcola

  25. mantell101 says:

    Kevin, you write…

    “What we know about Edward Snowden is that he was a Special Forces recruit in the U.S. Army, an NSA employee, an NSA contractor for at least two different companies, and a CIA employee under cover”.

    What evidence is there to suggest he was a “CIA employee under cover”?

    Cheers

    Mantell

  26. Pingback: Something ain’t right | Piece Of Mind

  27. Bilbo says:

    Regardless of what nefarious motives Snowden may have for leaking NSA documents that show that the NSA has been spying on U.S. citizens, there is one that he publicly claims to have: to make the issue a matter of public debate. And he seems to have at least some success in achieving this goal. Now to me, that seems like a very good thing. We should only hope that it results in real, beneficial change. What isn’t as clear to me is why people, or at least those people who desire such change, insist on attacking Snowden.

    • Kevin Ryan says:

      I dont’ know about “attacking” but it seems reasonable that when many relevant questions arise about a controlled message, it should be examined closely. For example, Snowden was apparently against leaking of national security information not long ago. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/06/exclusive-in-2009-ed-snowden-said-leakers-should-be-shot-then-he-became-one/

      • mikecorbeil says:

        Thank you for that link, Kevin. It provides information that definitely should be better or more widely known, imo. And I agree with the rest of your reply to Bilbo.

        My intention hasn’t been to attack Snowden. It’s to firmly, say, that he’s made IT-related claims that definitely aren’t credible. People who don’t know what the IT jobs he specified entail wouldn’t guess that he’s not credible in these claims he made. But anyone educated and experienced in IT should. The latter who don’t either are intentionally withholding their views about these claims he made, or they just don’t care about this, while another ‘or’ could be that they’ve never worked in any of the jobs he specified titles for and are therefore afraid to speak out on this matter. Well, I never worked as a systems engineer, but it isn’t difficult to look up what this work involves and what’s required to be able to become employed in SE jobs.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      I don’t know if your comment is at all related to any of mine, but I’ll quote from Kevin’s reply anyway.

      Quote: “I dont’ know about “attacking” but it seems reasonable that when many relevant questions arise about a controlled message, it should be examined closely”.

      That should be to consider all aspects, all discernible details.

      Questioning a messenger isn’t necessarily wrong and it isn’t necessarily about attacking the person. It’d be rather dumb to drill a postal delivery person doing his/her job very obviously about what the person is doing. Of course, a blind person might want to know who’s approaching and it’d be fitting for such a person to question accordingly. Well, Snowden is more than a postal delivery person.

      I’m very critical about the IT job titles he claims to have had at the CIA, because, and I’ll refer to only the first one he stated in order to keep this reply shoter, systems engineering requires both computer science and electrical engineering, and they both require proven good aptitudes in mathematics. He evidently has none of this. So …?

      I didn’t put the titles in his mouth.

      A person can’t become a systems engineer by sitting at home and reading some books while playing with his or her home PC. It takes a lot more than that. If he has a little know-how with computer systems, then he might be assigned some minor tasks that’d assist systems engineers by giving them more time to see to the critical work that they have to do. But, such an assistant definitely wouldn’t be a SE, which is what Snowden said he had for job title.

      Now, it’s possible that the people he worked under at the CIA are dumb enough to assign job titles to people very unprofessionally, aka stupidly. I don’t know to what extent it’s possible at the CIA for such jobs but will just assume that it might happen, occasionally. So, it’s then also possible that such people told him that he was assigned the job titles that he claims to have had and he is just repeating what he was told, without having a clue what such jobs entail when people really perform such work.

      But, it definitely isn’t credible that he’s qualified to do the critical work that the jobs professionally entail or involve. This is true for the four IT job titles that he claims to have had at the CIA, and possibly NSA or cies he worked for after the CIA.

      How ever it happened, he merits being critically questioned about this and it isn’t the only thing about him that he deserves to be critically questioned about. Another is his decision to hand over the documents to parties he should’ve never employed for this. By employing them I don’t mean paying them, btw.

      Maybe he’s innocent and awfully naive. If people read the 3-page arstechnica article that Kevin Ryan included a link for in his reply to you, then it becomes very clear that Snowden has been an idiot with respect to US politics. F.e., he thought it’d be great if Obama would run for President with John McCain for running mate for the position of VP, because Snowden thinks, or certainly thought at the time, that McCain is a good “man” for the job and also thought Obama would be good. ha and ha

      McCain is sick, a liar, etc., and this has been true about him for … ages. Snowden thinks or thought McCain was better than GW Bush when neither of them should be allowed to get anywhere near US politics.

      Snowden illustrated being extremely naive and under-informed. He also supported the US covertly, secretly working to sabotage Iran, or to prepare war against it. It’s in the arstechnica article anyway.

      Oh, he deserves to be critically questioned; definitely.

      • John Burns says:

        Thanks for this information. I have not been as focused on Snowden as I ought to have been. I don’t have much information about the computer world. But your points are well made. My focus has been the Greenwald/Billionaire end of things. It is looking more and more like Snowden was guided though I seriously doubt by the Russians. In fact with the passing of time the whole thing is beginning to look like a not very well done TV thriller series that has now sort of run out of material of interest. We need a prequel. When did the Billionaire really get involved? Last summer? What is Greenwald’s real angle? Who are the brains behind this? Who are the real beneficiaries? Not apparently the American citizens as the “reforms” are negligible. There is an interesting Assange Snowden comparison to be made. Assange seems to be very savvy about the political. It is hard to grasp how anyone could like McCann. Maybe Snowden is just a bad actor who forgot his parts and tried to improvise with some help from Fox News. The real puzzler is the girl he left behind. Who is she? What was her role? We have not heard a thing about her. Has she just melted away?

  28. Bilbo says:

    None of what Mike Corbeil or Kevin Ryan have said undermines the fact that Snowden has made NSA spying of U.S. citizens a matter of public debate, nor the fact that this is a good thing. And from Mike’s replies, I think it’s clear that “attacking Snowden” is an appropriate term to use.

    • John Burns says:

      I believe it was in DON QUIXOTE that the expression, It is not all gold the shines, first appeared. So perhaps at this time and place it would be wisdom to ask if the Snowden revelation, regardless of who Snowden is or what his motivations, has been after all the great boon we have come to regard it as. Just asking the question won’t hurt anything, will it? Let’s assume it is a red herring. A major distraction from something we ought to be focusing our attention on. What might that be? I myself do not know. But since there is this uneasiness in many places, I believe the question is worth probing. So far the public debate has only produced another buffonish response from Paul Revere, oops, I mean Barack Obama and a committee headed by an unreliable person. The recommendations are lip service in motion. Nothing much would come of it as the civilian observer would be chosen from the Elect. In the meantime we are all getting a little more comfortable with our loss of privacy and going on about our business. Soon it will be like so many other travesties of freedom forgotten. Once again the gods have proven that we are willing to go along with anything they arrange.

      • mikecorbeil says:

        After some additional readings it seems that we’re getting some good details about NSA spying that’re apparently new. If we really are, then this is good and welcome. But, it still leaves some questions unanswered and I mean questions for which there’re real bases for positing. That’s if we wish to know the truth, whole truth and nothing other than the truth, anyway.

        That’s something plenty of people don’t care about and there’s nothing anyone can do to change their minds, so there’s no point in trying to do that. But people who want the full truth have the right to ask for it.

        If I was to tell someone that the questions they’re posing are for information that’s not really important or relevant, then a good explanation should be provided. If I’m not willing to explain, then I should keep the mouth shut.

        There’re questions for which there’re real bases about Snowden, himself, in all of this, as well as him handing the documents over to the parties he, for one reason or another, selected to employ for publishing the documents, as well as only articles about some things said in some of the documents. In the latter case, the articles aren’t including the documents or any links to pages where the documents are found online. There’re some, but apparently very, very little.

        Stating this after having completed what this comment will say, there’s BoilingFrogsPost article referred to at the end of the comment and it provides important information about the Snowden-Greenwald relationship, which apparently didn’t work out very well between them, for Greenwald apparently wasn’t doing as Snowden wanted.

        Critics haven’t spoken of the turtle pace at which this is happening without reason for saying this. It evidently is a turtle pace, albeit some turtles travel faster than others; sometimes anyway. Some can run, but we aren’t getting any runners in this case.

        Greenwald and Poitras are in real conflict of interest, as has been well pointed out at BoilingFrogsPost.com. Sibel Edmonds wrote a piece about this in December and it cites three real whistleblowers, William Binney, Russ Tice and William H. Russell, plus John Young of Cryptome.org.

        “BFP Breaking News – Omidyar’s PayPal Corporation Said To Be Implicated in Withheld NSA Documents”,
        by Sibel Edmonds, December 11, 2013
        BoilingFrogsPost.com

        I’ll let people use a Web search for the link, for I don’t know if she approves of people posting direct links. It regularly was done by James Corbett at CorbettReport.com and his YouTube channel for videos made for BoilingFrogsPost, but he’s a co-host, so member, of the team, while I’m not.

        The following quote is for one of the citations in the piece and this is for words from William Binney.

        Quote:
        When asked about the apparent conflict of interest and controversy involving the new business venture between the journalists in question and PayPal’s billionaire owner Pierre Omidyar, he had the following statement:

        “Sunlight, transparency, is the only cure; the only way to bring about needed changes. This is why the public is entitled to have all the evidence and documents. The partnership with PayPal’s owner, thus, the new ownership of Mr. Snowden’s documents by an individual who is implicated in these documents, presents grave concerns and consequences, and a major conflict of interest for transparency, integrity and whistleblowers.”
        End quote

        Here’s one of the citations for words of Russ Tice.

        Quote:
        When asked about his opinion on Glenn Greenwald’s new $250 Million venture partnership with PayPal Corporation’s billionaire owner Pierre Omidyar, multi-million dollar book and movie deals, and recent unexplained immunity from the U.S. government, he stated the following:

        “I would be outraged and highly vocal if I were in Edward Snowden’s shoes. For a journalist whom I had placed my trust in to go and withhold documents meant for the public?! For the journalist to make fortune and fame based on my sacrifices and disclosure?! Forming a lucrative business partnership with entities who have direct conflicts of interest?! No. That wouldn’t have been acceptable.
        End quote

        Here’s one of the citations for words of John Young.

        Quote:
        We asked Mr. Young how he viewed the implications of the same billionaire who is allegedly implicated in these documents, buying out the involved reporters (both of them) and getting ownership of the whistleblower’s leaked documents:

        “Billionaires are as obliged as financial services to cooperate with governments in order to protect their wealth and to guard against excessive taxation, expropriation, confiscation, prosecution, stigmatization and exclusion from government contracts. Cooperation with governments is essential for wealth accumulation, the greater the wealth the greater the cooperation… Whistleblowing on the whistleblowing industry is overdue, but that will take courage and ingenuity to avoid appearing to have been taken over by those expecting to avoid full disclosure.”
        End quote

        Here is Wikileaks’ viewpoint.

        Quote:
        Here is what WikiLeaks had to say about Pierre Omidyar and his PayPal Corporation’s war on whistleblowers:

        “How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?” Harrison was referring to the decision in December 2010 by PayPal, which is owned by eBay, to suspend WikiLeaks’ donation account and freeze its assets after pressure from the US government. The company’s boycott, combined with similar action taken by Visa and Mastercard, left WikiLeaks facing a funding crisis.

        “His excuse is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time,” Harrison continued. “Well, he is on the board of directors. He can’t shake off responsibility that easily. He didn’t even comment on it. He could have said something like: ‘we were forced to do this, but I am against it’.”
        End quote

        Omidyar likely wouldn’t say that. He has already and clearly stated that he supports NSA unconstitutionally spying on citizens and that he’s firmly opposed to real whistleblowing.

        And here’s William Russell.

        Quote:
        Whistleblower William Russell, who served with the NSA, U.S. Secret Service, and as an officer and transport pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps, had the following reaction to this exploitive PayPal-Journalist-Government collusion:

        “I completely agree with these whistleblowers. This is a major conflict of interest and highly convoluted. Omidyar has billions at stake if the details of his cooperation with government is ever exposed. So this guy pays $250 million and buys out the 2 journalists who have the entire cache?! Simply outrageous!””
        End quote

        The documents belong in the public domain and Snowden handed them over to Greenwald and Poitras, both of whom, along with Jeremy Scahill, are in richly rewarding relationship with Omidyar. They are “bought and paid for”.

        If Snowden truly had fully honest intentions, then he’s proven one thing very clearly about himself and it’s that he’s naive, as well as careless in his decisions. … (snip) See the BFP article at the end of this comment while I bite my tongue a little.

        I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that there’re no valid reasons for raising some critical questions about all of this, including about the IT jobs Snowden claims to have worked in.

        Anyway, people can sleep easy about this, for we’re evidently not going to have all of the documents within another 40 years, which is a ballpark figure that I believe James Corbett has used or stated. I certainly won’t be around anymore anyway.

        And there’s plenty that can be learned from what was already known, so we have this to keep us busy. People wanting to listen to some generously lengthy interviews with William Binney and Russ Tice, f.e., can certainly find some at BoilingFrogsPost.com and CorbettReport.com. Or, certainly for interviews with Russ Tice anyway.

        F.e., there’re the two following MP3/audio interviews:

        “Podcast Show #112: NSA Whistleblower Goes on Record -Reveals New Information & Names Culprits!” (165 minutes),
        Sibel Edmonds, June 19, 2013
        BFP

        “Interview 685 – Russ Tice Reveals the Truth About NSA Spying” (66 minutes),
        June 21, 2013
        http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-685-russ-tice-reveals-the-truth-about-nsa-spying

        Here’s an evidently very interesting article that I just came across while searching for an interview with William Binney. The reference turns out to be in a comment, but it was good to come across the short yet “dynamite” article.

        “Contradictory & Highly Troubling Questions on Guardian’s Snowden Coverage
        What Caused the Fallout between Snowden & Guardian-Greenwald, and Why?”,
        Sibel Edmonds, July 3, 2013
        BFP

        Quote:
        Glenn Greenwald hinted on Monday (July 1) that Edward Snowden has leaked all of the documents that he intended to pass on to news outlets.

        Last Sunday, WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who has been assisting Snowden, told ABC News that there was nothing anybody could do to stop the release of more documents. As soon as Assange made the statement we had a bewildered Greenwald who immediately began issuing statements and tweeting claiming that essentially everything that could be leaked from Snowden to the media has already been leaked by Guardian. Take a look at one of Greenwald’s vehemently stated claims issued by him via tweeter:

        “Glenn Greenwald ✔@ggreenwald
        NOTE: Snowden’s leak is basically done. It’s newspapers – not Snowden – deciding what gets disclosed and in what sequence.
        11:53 AM – 1 Jul 2013″

        End quote

        What follows the above is a citation from Assange backtracking to make a correction; a very peculiar one. His wording is definitely peculiar, but one thing that he says that’s clear is that Greenwald provided the documents to Wikileaks and that it’s Wikileaks that’s deciding what gets published and withheld from the public domain.

        Ha! The documents belong in the PC, plain and simple.

        There’s plenty more to the article even if it’s short.

        Greenwald and The Guardian met with U.S. government officials to learn how and what to publish. Ha, again.

        The article includes a link for a specifically related interview with John Young of Cryptome and the full interview is available; all 125 minutes of it.

        So, the article is definitely recommended and this comment ends now.

      • John Burns says:

        mikecorbeil–I believe you and I are in agreement, but you have looked into this a great deal more than I have. As I have mentioned in other comments, I do not think Greenwald is trustworthy despite the fact that at times he has written some worthy articles. His ethics would make me very uncomfortable . . . or lack of ethics. He is very worldly and basically a fame and fortune guy. He may even be covertly a Zionist? I prefer persons like Edmonds and Corbett. The real truth tellers don’t get the press the quasi or pseudo type get. For one thing they are apt to say things in interviews that are offensive to the Ruling Class! And they don’t tend to create groupies.
        Years ago a friend of mine who is a nurse warned me about saying things on the phone which she believed was somehow recording our conversations . . . it wasn’t paranoia just caution. And we were not saying anything subversive or the like. So I have been subtly aware of having very limited privacy.
        Here is a question you might be able to answer. Was there any reason why Snowden ever had to reveal his identity? Could he not have simply send all this stuff to a Greenwald from an anonymous computer–say one in a public library? Or simply mailed him some CD’s? Would anyone have ever known he downloaded this material?
        I still tend to have some interest in the idea that perhaps the CIA had the desire to hit the NSA. Or some imbroglio involving the intelligence agencies involved Snowden on an idealistic adventure. Given his youth he could hardly have been expected to have the savvy of a 40 or 50 year old. Frankly I think Greenwald quite capable of playing both sides. And for quite some time at that. This is all a matter for William Gibson!! Thanks for the additional info and connections.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      He and Greenwald et al, The Guardian, Washington Post, … seem to have published zero documents and what they claim to be based on the documents provides very limited understanding; because the documents are being withheld.

      As John Young of Cryptome.org and one or more real NSA whistleblowers have said, the documents belong in the public domain. Greenwald et al journalists and the media being used in this don’t have any more right to these documents than the public does. Greenwald and Poitras are also in a position of conflict of interest. The Guardian apparently is owned by Rothschild, super rich and apparently very influential, not in good ways, either.

      What we seem to be getting so far for information the parties referred to above have published is, according to them, based on some of the documents, which are still withheld from the public, and all it seems to be is doing is providing a reminder what was already reported many years ago and then left in the past. These new revelations that aren’t new may help to stir more people, to awaken more of them. This’d be good, if people don’t fall back asleep again too soon. But there apparently isn’t much, if anything, really new that’s of critical importance given what was already known from before.

      The NSA was spying on citizens and worldwide beginning decades, but one Congressman accused the NSA in 1999 for spying on citizens.

      “Congressman in 1999: “NSA [Has Been] Conducting a Broad ‘Dragnet’ of Communications, and ‘Invading the Privacy of American Citizens’”
      July 12, 2013
      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/1999-quote-nsa-has-been-conducting-a-broad-dragnet-of-communications-and-invading-the-privacy-of-american-citizens.html

      One of the real NSA whistleblowers, one among several, Russell Tice was “the principal source for The New York Times exposé of illegal Bush administration spy programs”. This was published in Dec. 2005 and the following article quotes some of what Russ Tice has said beginning years ago.

      “NSA Spying and Intelligence Collection: A Giant Blackmail Machine and “Warrantless Wiretapping” Program”,
      by Tom Burghardt, June 24, 2013
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/nsa-spying-and-intelligence-collection-a-giant-blackmail-machine-and-warrantless-wiretapping-program/5340204

      One thing that’s happening is that real NSA whistleblowers have been kept very much out of msm corporate news media and still are, but Snowden, Greenwald, … now aren’t. This is peculiar. And, meanwhile, the NSA continues as it was doing. It continues and is going to continue. This Snowden leak isn’t going to slow down the NSA, which is like a superpower on its own.

      “The National Security Agency: A Global Superpower”,
      by Wayne Madsen, June 13, 2013
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-national-security-agency-a-global-superpower/5338989

      “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)”,
      by James Bamford, March 15, 2012 (GR says originally March 3, but it’s 15)
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-nsa-is-building-the-countrys-biggest-spy-center-watch-what-you-say/5338302

      The pace at which the publications are coming about the NSA documents Snowden “lifted”, while the documents are withheld from the public, meaning that the information provided is extremely limited and the public can’t verify it, the NSA isn’t going to care.

      My critical questioning of Snowden’s lack of qualifications for the IT jobs he claims to have had while working at the CIA, etc., is based on FACT. He isn’t qualified for those jobs and he has definitely proven to have poor judgment. He may’ve improved a little in the latter respect, but someone with judgment as poor as he had just a few years ago usually won’t improve tremendously over just a few years.

      My critical questioning of very poor judgment that he clearly had just a few years ago and his poor judgment about the parties he handed the NSA documents to isn’t baseless. It’s based on facts that’re evident once we know what they are.

      That’s not to say that he’s guilty of wrong-doing, for we evidently don’t have proof that he is. But it’s a fact that he definitely and seriously lacks necessary qualifications for the IT jobs he claims to have had. The CIA individual or individuals who accepted to employ him may’ve been dumb and assigned job titles to someone who wasn’t qualified. This can happen. But this doesn’t make the person any more qualified.

      As for being able to access the document files he is claiming to have “lifted” from the NSA on his own, well, maybe it is possible. NSA whistleblowers William Binney and Russ Tice have said that one of the problems at the NSA was very serious lack of auditing. Virtually anyone who was able to get at computers inside the NSA could freely peruse, say. Security was very lax.

      It doesn’t make Snowden technically qualified for the jobs he claims to have had, but with security auditing being very lax and him being able to get his hands on a computer inside the NSA, maybe he was able to find the documents, even if it might be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

      As Sibel Edmonds explained in December with her article about Greenwald, Omidyar, PayPal and the NSA, there’re definitely very good reasons to raise critical questioning in this respect, for Greenwald and Poitras are in alarming conflict of interest. Snowden may’ve provided them with authentic NSA documents, but Greenwald and Poitras are definitely in a position of serious conflict of interest. Omidyar is co-owner of PayPal, which has worked for the NSA for a very long time, and he’s pro-NSA spying on citizens as well as being foe of real whistleblowers. That’s from his own words and no one put the words in his mouth.

      You have no defence for pretending that Snowden has good sense of judgment and the documents belong in the public domain. He could simply answer questions raised about himself in all of this, but he’d of course need to be made aware of these. There’re good reasons for the questions. All that’s needed are the answers, and it mustn’t be Greenwald et al who do the answering.

  29. John Burns says:

    As I have said before, nothing more of note will come. Greenwald is using the nothing to lever himself into a better position financially. Snowden will be a folk hero and die someday in Russia or South America. In a few years he will be forgotten. In a few years the reign of Obama will be over and some new clever mad man will take his place. Or crazy woman. Will it even matter? Time to ride off into the sun set. Just find the right music to play as horse and rider disappear below the horizon.

  30. John Burns says:

    What is “Snowden’s secret?” http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/25/347588/what-is-snowdens-secret/
    Article of great relevance.

  31. Bilbo says:

    Hi Michael,

    Greenwald seems to share your evaluation of Obama’s efforts to curb the NSA:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/17/obama-nsa-reforms-bulk-surveillance-remains

    Perhaps Greenwald has sold out. Perhaps Snowden is a CIA plant (thought I’m not sure what their motives could be. Discredit the anti-NSA movement, which Snowden pretty much gave life to in the first place? Distract from the 9/11 Truth Movement? Well people like you and Kevin are certainly taking the bait then, aren’t you?) But the fact is that there is more public debate about the proper role of the NSA now than ever before, thanks to Snowden and Greenwald. The 9/11 Truth Movement in its grandest dreams could only hope for such a public debate. What will come of the Snowden/Greenwald affair? I think only time will tell. Meanwhile, why don’t we get back to promoting our own agenda, 9/11 Truth, and let the anti-NSA movement take care of itself?

    • mikecorbeil says:

      Quote: “Perhaps Snowden is a CIA plant (thought I’m not sure what their motives could be. Discredit the anti-NSA movement, which Snowden pretty much gave life to in the first place?”

      Regarding the first question cited just above, do a Web search of this blog for the article in which Jon Rappoport speaks of Snowden, the CIA, the NSA, and the “turf war” between the two agencies; only needing to use Snowden, CIA, NSA and “turf war” for search terms.

      Regarding the second question, a rhetorical one, Snowden didn’t pretty much give life to the anti-NSA movement in the first place. Others previously did. The problem is that the issue then became dormant with the public. What Snowden-NSA-Greenwald-… story is doing is to only reawaken the dormant population.

      Quote: “Well people like you and Kevin are certainly taking the bait then, aren’t you?”

      I assume you mean Kevin Ryan. If so, then how exactly do you think he’s taken “the bait” and what bait are you talking about?

      Quote: “Meanwhile, why don’t we get back to promoting our own agenda, 9/11 Truth, and let the anti-NSA movement take care of itself?”

      I think the answer is clearly because the NSA spying is a serious issue and people can work on both. No one can force you to do this, but each person will decide for themselves.

      • mikecorbeil says:

        I meant Jon Rappoport’s WordPress blog, not this one of Kevin Ryan. I was getting emails regarding posts at both blogs at almost the same time and responded in one or both; and my prior comment that I’m now adding this one for was in the wrong blog. Anyone wanting to see the original article can simply do a Web search of Rappoport’s WP blog using Snowden, CIA, NSA and “turf war” for search terms. “turf war”, alone, for search term might suffice.

        Therein, Jon Rappoport presents an interesting hypothesis or theory. Being able to prove, beyond any shadow of doubt, that he’s right, or not, is another matter or task. But what’s presented seems worthy of being learned and kept in mind.

  32. mikecorbeil says:

    “Green-Light for Greenwald: Government Duplicity or Government Duality?”,
    by Sibel Edmonds, December 14, 2013
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/14/green-light-for-greenwald-government-duplicity-or-government-duality

    New interview with Ed Snowden, runtime of 30:28 on German ARD 1:

    To get the video, people only need to go to Cryptome.org and search for the following entry.

    “2014-0142.zip Edward Snowden 30-Minute Video 13-0126 (EN) January 27, 2014 (82MB)”

    The .zip file contains the .MP4 video file.

    Among things I find seriously questionable in responses from Snowden is one that’s very striking when speaking of Snowden and Greenwald together. I already posted about this for another article at this blog a few minutes ago and will just quote this part of the comment.

    Again, this is an interview only with Snowden; Greenwald not being present.

    Quote:
    He continues to say that he believes it’s journalists who should decide what should and shouldn’t be published of the NSA documents he provided, but then he also says that the documents belong to the public and he subsequently repeats that it’s journalists who should decide; that is, that they should “lord” over the public’s rights. Snowden does say it’s the public’s rights.

    He’s being self-contradictory and awfully ignorant. Either he’s playing some sort of game trying to deceive naive people in the public, or he’s extremely ignorant about the fact that journalists aren’t the public and are well known for lying for Washington and The Establishment, lying by omission, etc.; that is, well known for their Yellow Journalism.

    This self-contradiction of his is absurd and darkly hilarious.

    End quote

  33. John Burns says:

    The NSA is a big money guzzler. Perhaps they have played some dirty tricks on the CIA. I no longer find the Snowden story credible. Using the old saw of birds of a feather fly together then Snowden may have flown to Greenwald for hidden reasons. Why not go through someone like Ray McGovern, an old hand? Or Chris Hedges? I mean Greenwald has a sleazy undercurrent. You can almost see it in his face and hear it in his voice. He’s not the Mafia–but he has connections sort of guy. It is starting to smell pretty strongly. Meanwhile Greenwald and gang and the Billionaire are playing we have a secret! I no longer am interested in their stash. Here is something real: WHISTLEBLOWERS EXPLAIN 9/11: NSA LET IT HAPPEN ON PURPOSE…. FOR MONEY
    http://femalefaust.blogspot.com/2014/01/whistleblowers-explain-911-nsa-let-it.html

    So Rappoport’s idea is good enough. What we have is the mystery story. In the last chapter it seems to be solved. Wow. Never would have guessed. But then in the last sentence we discover something new that wreaks the solution–the villain was already dead at the time he supposedly committed the crime. THE END

  34. John Burns says:

    The Entire Snowden NSA Cache Exposed Once and for All – See more at: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/31/the-entire-snowden-nsa-cache-exposed-once-and-for-all/#sthash.SvLAJMU6.dpuf
    Witty, funny and the truth.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      What’s the url ending with “#sthash.SvLAJMU6.dpuf” supposed to do? All I get is the BFP article, plus the reader comments after the article. This part of your url doesn’t cause any page jump, only leaving me at the top of the whole page, in which case people can just use the following normal link.

      http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/31/the-entire-snowden-nsa-cache-exposed-once-and-for-all

      From what I’ve gathered about the NSA documents that Snowden “lifted” and provided copies of to Greenwald, etc., I think the BFP article is very fitting. But, the article by Seymour Hersh linked in the following piece, the start of it, indicates that there might actually be some information of value in what Snowden got from the NSA.

      “NATO’s War on Syria Just Got Dirtier”,
      By Tony Cartalucci, December 10, 2013
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-war-on-syria-just-got-dirtier/5361103

      The link for his original copy of the piece is provided by GR and should be used in order to get the copy as he first published it.

      Hersh’s piece is, “Whose Sarin?”, about the use of the chemical sarin gas during this conflict in Syria, especially the attack in East Ghouta on August 21st of last year. Here’s what Hersh’s piece says in relation to NSA documents Snowden “lifted”.

      Quote:
      The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.

      On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assad’s office. The document said that the NSA’s worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been ‘able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there’. But it was ‘a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces apparently later recognised’. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)

      End quote

      The Syrian govt didn’t use any chemical weapons against its population, didn’t attack or destroy any Syrian towns, etc. The Syrian govt knows very well that if it attacks its population, then it’ll be like inviting US and NATO military action … against the Syrian govt. There’s no way that the Syrian govt wants this.

      But, one thing we can gather from what’s cited, above, from Hersh’s piece is that the NSA isn’t omnipotent, and this is good news. So, maybe Snowden did get some useful documents after all.

      A huge problem nevertheless remains constant and it’s that we don’t know drip about what the documents relate or convey for information, because idiot Snowden decided that even if, in his opinion, the documents and, therefore, the information contained therein belongs to the public, he’d leave it up to journalists to decide what to publish and withhold from the public. The guy pretends to be intelligent and contradicts himself in very obvious terms. He also didn’t realize, or doesn’t seem to have realized anyway, that Greenwald isn’t and never has been a journalist, and that he, therefore, isn’t required, ethically anyway, to uphold journalistic ethics.

      Anyway, he has clearly stated that the documents belong to the public, yet he had to leave it to journalists and so-called journalists to decide what the public would get. Damn! How damn stupid can a person be!

      He pretends to have worked in very professional, experienced IT jobs at the CIA and NSA. How? He doesn’t want to explain; providing absolutely no details about how someone like him could be at all qualified for the jobs he specified in a so-called interview that he provided with Greenwald last June and which The Guardian published the video for on June 9th. Since then, he’s claimed other types of very professional IT work and he has no known qualifications for any of these.

      His parents may be very kind people, but he’s very naive. At the very most, he could be a low level IT technician; and that’s at the very most someone like him could hope for. Instead, he claims very professional IT experience that requires years of education and experience to even begin to work in.

      He hasn’t claimed to be a computer operator. He’s claimed very professional job titles that people like him have NO hope of getting. Well, they might at a “mom & pop” shop that’s very tiny; but, not in any environment making a lot of use of IT.

      The Guardian said he knew the Internet. Well, how many people today don’t know the Internet?! The Guardian said he knew computer programming. What computer programming? Programming a Web alarm clock to go off at x hours and minutes? There’s plenty of computer programming and absolutely ZERO was provided for specifics about what Snowden knew and presently knows. What operating system? Which programming languages? Does he know what a DOS command box is in Windows and how to use the command line? What about UNIX or Linux command line? What about Assembly language, C, Basic, PASCAL, PERL, FORTRAN, Ada, C++, Java, Bourne Shell, Bourne Again Shell, Korn Shell, Ash, Tcsh, TK, TK, Python, PHP, SQL, Lisp and other AI languages, etc, etc, etc for PL’s? What about structured programming, OOP/OOD, RDBMS and ORDBMS, ….?

      We get NOTHING; no details whatsoever. But we’re supposed to believe that he really worked in the jobs he claims to have had?

      With that said, it’s not to say that he didn’t “lift” any NSA documents. Maybe he did. Or, maybe like Jon Rappoport hypothesized or theorized at his WordPress blog, the CIA is in a “turf war” with the NSA and it’s CIA people who got the documents, after which they provided these to Snowden for him to claim that he had “lifted” these on his own. Or, maybe it’s some combination of this. F.e., maybe they just told him how to get copies of the documents, how to search the NSA system, and then he did the actual copying on his own.

      In any case, the guy’s very weird. He says the documents definitely belong to the public, but he refuses to provide the documents to the public. Instead, he chooses non-journalists and journalists to “lord” over what the public can get from what he says belongs to the public. That’s very weird for logic.

      Okay. So we can and should realize that the NSA, as nosy as it is, isn’t omnipotent. We’re still left with a complexing story.

      If anyone wants to become complexed, then they can just follow this story.

      • John Burns says:

        Presently and for quite some time education in America has been down hill. Few of my country men have a good education and fewer still realize that they have a bad one. The quality of thought the comes out of Congress is really deplorable. How often I read expressions like “violent extremists” to cite but one example. How impractical the American has become. Unfortunately I wonder if anyone would ever believe Obama had graduated from college unless they had made such a big thing about it. So America’s mental or intellectual life occurs on a very low level these days. Snowden just seems to typify this drifting cloudy mentality. He seems very young and sheltered. Like someone who went to a community college for a couple of years and just wanted to find a good job. How he managed to break both legs? is puzzling. Bad diet? Genetic defect? The fact that he apparently dumped his girl friend is also a bit fuzzy. Was she an agent of some sort? We certainly never hear about her. Whatever one thinks of Assange he is an articulate speaker and a good writer; and apparently he does know a lot about computers, the Internet, etc. as well as about world politics.
        By contrast to those two we have Greenwald who is not naive. He might even have a touch of cynicism. He might fail to get Assange to see the peep show but Snowden walked right in. He might not get Assange to buy that property in west Texas that just needs a little water, but Snowden bought a chunk. There you are. Now we live in a time of hyperbole and deceit so just as Obama is a constitutional lawyer and sometimes professor, so Snowden is whatever fits the bill. Under different circumstances Snowden might have been working for the Obama Admin. helping create the Affordable Care Act web mess. But probably not working for Norton making spyware removal. The important thing is to fool a majority–hence, democratic! It is too late now to turn this into a good TV series with a couple of beautiful and athletic women–Fringe was quite good with its nice psychedelic touches.

  35. mikecorbeil says:

    A correction for my post of “January 24, 2014 at 5:03 am” and that John Burns posted a reply to on “January 31, 2014 at 6:48 pm” :

    This is about the part where I cited a little of the following article by Sibel Edmonds.

    “Contradictory & Highly Troubling Questions on Guardian’s Snowden Coverage
    What Caused the Fallout between Snowden & Guardian-Greenwald, and Why?”,
    Sibel Edmonds, July 3, 2013
    BFP

    Immediately following the citation from her article, I wrote the following.

    Quote: “What follows the above is a citation from Assange backtracking to make a correction; a very peculiar one. …”

    It’s Greenwald that was backtracking, rather than Assange, and I’ll cite the paragraphs immediately following where I stopped citing from Sibel Edmonds’ article in order to make this as clear as can be done.

    Quote:
    One day later, embarrassed by contradictory public statements put forth by Snowden’s current spokesperson, Julian Assange, and after being confronted by millions, Greenwald started backtracking, and issued this Flip-Flop statement via twitter:

    “I didn’t say Snowden couldn’t leak more documents if he wanted to. Obviously, he can do so if he’s inclined. That’s obvious.

    What I said is that he’s not doling out documents to us in drips & drabs. He gave us all the documents he provided to us weeks ago. That process is done. And we – not he – are the one deciding which of those gets published and which don’t, and in what order. That’s what this meant: “Snowden’s leak is basically done. It’s newspapers – not Snowden – deciding what gets disclosed and in what sequence.””

    End quote

    All of what I cited from Sibel Edmonds’ article is at the beginning of it and I’ll risk providing the direct link for it, this time; while hoping that she doesn’t mind people doing this.

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/07/03/contradictory-highly-troubling-questions-on-guardians-snowden-coverage

    Part II of this comment:

    This part of the comment is to provide a little feedback regarding John Burns’ reply to my post referred to immediately above.

    John wrote, quote: “I believe you and I are in agreement, but you have looked into this a great deal more than I have”.

    Perhaps, but I occasionally do make errors.

    John then continued by saying, quote: “As I have mentioned in other comments, I do not think Greenwald is trustworthy despite the fact that at times he has written some worthy articles”.

    The following pieces of hers aren’t the only ones by her that I’ve read about the Greenwald, …, part of all of this, but these are articles that I’ve now read over the past few days.

    “Green-Light for Greenwald: Government Duplicity or Government Duality?”,
    by Sibel Edmonds | December 14, 2013
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/14/green-light-for-greenwald-government-duplicity-or-government-duality

    “Greenwald-Omidyar Joint Venture: The Blurring Lines Between Being A Source & Being A Journalist”,
    by Sibel Edmonds | December 13, 2013
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/13/greenwald-omidyar-joint-venture-the-blurring-lines-between-being-a-source-being-a-journalist

    “BFP Breaking News – Omidyar’s PayPal Corporation Said To Be Implicated in Withheld NSA Documents”,
    by Sibel Edmonds | December 11, 2013
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/11/bfp-breaking-news-omidyars-paypal-corporation-said-to-be-implicated-in-withheld-nsa-documents

    The latter article actually isn’t one read over the past few days. It’s that the Dec. 14th piece by her refers to this prior article. I’ll risk having already having posted the title and possibly link in this page, here, given that it clearly is a wholly complementary piece.

    A couple of additional articles :

    The link for the following article was obtained from a Jan. 31, 2014 article by Sibel Edmonds.

    “Wikileaks Is Cashing In On The Edward Snowden Craze With Merchandise”,
    Paul Szoldra, Aug. 15, 2013
    http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-shirts-wikileaks-2013-8

    And here’s Sibel’s Jan. 31st piece :

    “The Entire Snowden NSA Cache Exposed Once and for All”,
    by Sibel Edmonds | January 31, 2014
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/31/the-entire-snowden-nsa-cache-exposed-once-and-for-all

    I’m not sure if I’m interpreting this latter article correctly, or not, but certainly get the impression from it that she’s questioning Snowden himself, rather than only Greenwald and Assange/Wikileaks. If that interpretation is correct, then I sent BFP a message using the Contact option in order to inform them that I’m a little confused, for she wrote of Snowden being among real whistleblowers in one of her December pieces. In the message are included critical questions about Snowden himself in all of this.

    Check out this recent interview that he provided on the German ARD 1 public tv broadcaster. It isn’t at YouTube. People need to search the home page of Cryptome.org for the following entry:

    “2014-0142.zip Edward Snowden 30-Minute Video 13-0126 (EN) January 27, 2014 (82MB)”

    The .zip file contains the .MP4 video file and the runtime is 30:28.

    I believe to have already posted, in this page, here, about some of my critical questions regarding Snowden in one or more comments but will add a little based on the interview with ARD 1.

    Snowden seems to speak a lot as if only having learned from what was already published and therefore known, even if it wasn’t widely known.

    He refuses to answer a number of questions, saying that he believes that it’d be better if he didn’t. Maybe he’s right regarding one or two questions, but I don’t think he is about all of them.

    F.e., he wouldn’t explain how he was able to become qualified for the professional IT jobs that he claimed to have worked in at the CIA and NSA. He stated these job titles during the interview provided to Greenwald last June; saying, computer systems engineer, systems administrator, senior advisor for a CIA solutions consultant, and a telecomm. … officer. Snowden wouldn’t respond to the ARD 1 interviewer, UNTIL the latter proposed a hypothetical answer, which is that Snowden would’ve begun learning on his own, at home, beginning around age 14. Once that was presented as a possible answer, then Snowden accepted it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t explain.

    No way, José, is that acceptable!

    Some people may think that these are trivial technician jobs. Well, they aren’t. There are computer operator jobs that require much less education and training, but he didn’t say that he had worked as a CO. He stated much more demanding jobs in terms of skills and knowledge. All of the job titles that he specified normally require completed college or university degrees and even then a person still begins at what is often called junior or entry level. He states nothing at all about having been employed on thisi level. Instead, he only claims real iT pro. titles.

    Many people can be easily fooled about this, for they know nothing about true or serious professional IT work. Some people can know of computer operators who never needed more than high school education and only some on-the-job training; but, that’s far diffirent from the types of jobs that Snowden claims to have had at the CIA and NSA. These jobs require much more for skills and knowledge, and employers accepting no college or university credentials for these jobs will require plenty of years of experience. Snowden had no such qualifications.

    He claims computer systems engineer, f.e. Sorry, but that requires computer science and electrical engineering, and he lacked these qualifications. Senior advisor, in IT? My butt! He’d be lucky to be interviewed for even junior level openings in the types of jobs he claims to have had.

    Maybe he’s fooled about this IT qualification matter. This is possible, especially since he proves to be naive and confused. But, I nevertheless have the impression that some stupid game is being used to toy with us.

    When he speaks of NSA spying, including with the NSA’s 4 main partners, Canada, the UK, Australia and NZ, anyone who’s read and recalls what was previously known would be able to easily state what he says.

    When he speaks of US military special forces in foreign operations, it’s as if he’s a truly experienced expert, so having gone through these experiences himself; f.e., like Phil(ip) Agee did as an agent or officer of CIA ops in Latin America, except that Agee definitely doesn’t depict or tell of the experience in other than horrified and dark terms, for that is what he experienced and witnessed.

    One of Eric Lach’s June 10th and 11th articles for Talking Points Memo (TPM) reports that the US Army said that Snowden was in training and entered service on May 7th, 2004, after which he was discharged on Sept. 28th, 2004. Snowden didn’t even complete bootcamp! In bootcamp, he probably attended some theoretical courses, but these are theory. What goes on in foreign US military operations “in the real” isn’t theory. It’s real and hellish. The US has thousands of military war veterans who have made this clear enough and we have other good sources of information for this as well.

    Snowden seems totally oblivious of such reality or realities, yet speaks of US special forces as if he’s a truly experienced expert.

    The ARD 1 interviewer also asked Snowden when he began working for the CIA and Snowden didn’t think it was a good idea to give the answer. Well, it was already reported that he began work at the CIA in 2006 and that he had previously worked at the NSA as a security guard!

    Remember, this interview with ARD 1 is very recent, this month, according to the dating provided at Cryptome.org; a highly respectable resource.

    There’s more that can be said about Snowden in the interview, but damn, he seems to speak of some things as if having only read about them. There’re things in his story that evidently are true. F.e., he did work at the CIA and NSA, including work that permitted him to use computers. But, he’s not forward in a number of respects when there’s apparently no good reason for him not to be and he’s evidently naive enough to pretend that he’s expert and of professional calibre when he isn’t either.

    More can said, especially if we include comparisons with how real NSA, CIA, … whistleblowers have acted and spoken, but this post is already long.

    There’s plenty to be questioned and the main one that I have is why Washington wants us all to be distracted with the Snowden-Greenwald-… matter. After all, we’re not really gaining any new information about NSA spying. That “stuff” was already reported.

    • John Burns says:

      Did Carlos Fuentes write the script for this? It reminds me of his novel, The Hydra Head. Maybe
      Snowden is like Felix Maldonado, the low level Mexican bureaucrat, who finds himself unintentionally involved in an assassination plot. At some point this whole tale left the firm ground of Anglo American hard empirical reality and can only make sense inside Latin American literature–magical reality. I am sure you know what I mean when a story suddenly becomes fantastic but no less likely to be true . . . Maybe Greenwald living in Brazil has tossed in some of that consciousness; and Hawaii has a touch of the unreal as well with its warm humid atmosphere & spellbinding sea and tropical flowers . . . and mangoes.
      Your effect has along with a few others led me to the point of definitely regarding Snowden as less of a free agent than I originally thought he might be. It is no longer clear who is benefiting from his revelations and how revelatory that actually are. Did he get almost forcibly stuck with an assignment and forced onto a plane to Hong Kong? Maldonado has his name changed for him and eventually flees to New York city I believe, It has been over twenty years since I read the book.
      So we can not trust Snowden though perhaps he is largely a Boy Scout. We definitely can not trust Greenwald, et alia or his Billionaire angel. Needless to say the gov is by nature untrustworthy , , , and we should be skeptical of the testimony of the senses as per Plato and Socrates — Theaetetus. Which leaves us with the Realm of Forms! And the ONE-GOOD. Or should I have gone Hindu and written of Maya and Brahman? I will leave you with a quote by another great Latin American author, Roberto Bolano: “What twisted people we are. How simple we seem, or at least pretend to be in front of others, and how twisted we are deep down. How paltry we are and how spectacularly we contort ourselves before our own eyes, and the eyes of others…And all for what? To hide what? To make people believe what?”

  36. Bilbo says:

    Okay, so Snowden is a CIA weapon being used against the NSA in a turf war? Then perhaps the CIA is an unwitting ally of those fighting against the NSA. I’m cool with that. Whether you want to call the anti-NSA movement dormant or moribund, it wasn’t going anywhere until Snowden came along. You can claim that you are fighting against the NSA, but all it appears that you are doing is fighting against Snowden and Greenwald.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      Ha.

      Firstly, you’d have to say who your comment is in response to. It’s not at all clear who you’re responding to.

      In case it’s me, then there’s the following reply.

      Perhaps Jon Rappoport is right about the CIA “turf war” because of the big budgets for the NSA while the CIA, according to him anyway, gets dwindling budget. I never said that I verified this information and no one should rely on me to do so. How would I be able to do that? I don’t know what sources to use for such information and there might be something we can easily find with Web searches, but I wouldn’t know what to trust from the results. Maybe many could be truthful, yet still incomplete. It takes people who really know how to perform these verifications to do it or for me to learn from them how to do this for myself. Well, that’s not going to happen very quickly.

      So, I give Rappoport “the benefit of doubt” in this budgeting or funding respect.

      Neither he nor I said that the CIA was unwittingly doing anything, so I don’t know where you got the idea of the CIA unwittingly being in a “turf war” with the NSA or an “an unwitting ally of those fighting against the NSA”. To think that the CIA would be unwittingly doing either of these things is … balony; garbage. If the CIA is doing either of these things, then “rest assured” about it not being unwittingly done. The CIA isn’t that dumb!

      Regarding, “You can claim that you are fighting against the NSA, but all it appears that you are doing is fighting against Snowden and Greenwald”.

      There clearly is no point in trying to reason with someone like you. After all, it’s like you don’t even realize that Snowden and Greenwald clearly are important actors in all of this “story”. You’re wanting to diminish what’s going on, rather than looking at the whole of it. There’s no point in arguing with someone like yourself and the best thing for someone like you to do is to be on your way to think of all of this in whatever diminished terms that you wish to think of it with.

      You evidently want to stifle Freedom of Speech, critical questioning, and so on. So, why do you bother hanging out here?

      There clearly are reasons for critical questioning and even any true Christian, f.e., needs to be of critically objective mind in their own church. The second people cease to critically think, they become what? Sheeple?

      In all spheres of human societies, there’s always the need for being critically alert. If there’re critically objective questions that have merit, reason for being, “raison d’être”, then allow the questions and provide the answers for them. Withholding those answers is only going to cause more reason to have doubts. Etc.

      If you wish to give up your right to true freedom, then what’re you doing here? If you intentionally think that you can fool people who’d have any serious interest in what Kevin Ryan says, then my guess is that you have seriously mis-guessed.

      He clearly is being open-minded about all of this and you aren’t. No place is a place for idiot “yes men”, but Kevin is being open-minded, allowing questioning; but, you, you oppose questioning and expressed doubts, etc. You want to diminish all of this as if the only fault is with the NSA when there’s no evidence for backing this sort of view. There is considerable evidence that it isn’t only the NSA that’s at fault.

      Greenwald et al are suspect and Snowden definitely is questionable. If Snowden is right about the job titles, then explanation remains lacking and there’s no good reason to withhold the answer. Maybe it’s as simple as he was employed with idiots giving or assigning him job titles. Maybe it’s that reason, plus they wittingly never intended for him to do such professional work; or maybe the idiots thought that he was really qualified. Whatever the explanation is, there’s no good reason for withholding it.

      Why do you want to deny people their right to pose questions for which there’re reasons? Are you afraid of what the answers might be?

    • mikecorbeil says:

      Herring is a healthy fish, especially when obtained from northern waters, but red ones have a notorious reputation.

  37. SourDove says:

    Mike, it is very sad that Bilbo has prevented you from reposting your hand-waving speculations even more times than you have already. Logic like yours needs the reinforcement that only mindless repetition can provide.

    • mikecorbeil says:

      You wrote, quote: “Okay, so Snowden is a CIA weapon being used against the NSA in a turf war? Then perhaps the CIA is an unwitting ally of those fighting against the NSA. I’m cool with that. Whether you want to call the anti-NSA movement dormant or moribund, it wasn’t going anywhere until Snowden came along. …”

      And it’s still going nowhere. Notice that the whole Snowden bla bla story has died out rather very quickly. It’s become a non-topic, which is how it should be, for we already had and still have real NSA whistleblowers who provably are authentic; something that can’t be proven about Snowden. The real NSA whistleblowers have always been very ignored and continue to be. Snowden just provided a little side show that fell out of public attention quite quickly for a topic that you pretend to be very important, as if he revealed anything truly significant.

      Maybe my little hand-waving, as you call it, helped to make the Snowden bla bla story vanish. This of course isn’t the reason, but there’re far more critical topics to be concerned by or with; many more.

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