Michael Wolraich's picture

    Snowden, Prism, and Us - Food for Thought

    "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."

    -- Edward Snowden, June 9, 2013


    Media References, June 9-30, 2013

      Google Dagblog
      News articles Blog posts News links Comments
    Prism 155,000 0 4 45
    Edward Snowden 637,000,000 10 14 313


    Or for the graphically-oriented:



    Doing it by Prism word count probably undercounts a bit (some of the discussion is about different programs & different ways government is surveilling - EmptyWheel especially describes the shell game where this is covered up), but yeah, it's all about 3 leaky lefty personalities, while the program itself goes uncontested. Though seems the EU wants a few answers now.

    Is it the nature of the game? Occupy Wall Street failed because no obvious front man/personality? Or needed one to be smacked down quicker? Or we just need personalities - we don't care if movements fail or succeed?

    Human nature, I think. Not that human nature entirely determines us, but it's not easy to buck.

    Very interesting thought about OWS. Everyone talked about the lack of leadership hurting OWS's organization and efficiency, but the biggest impact have been the loss personality.

    PS Prism caveat accepted. But the numbers are still overwhelming.

    re: Prism - yes, would have altered the weighting about 0.007%

    Conversely, 3 out of the top 50 stories (or 6%) returned by Google News when I searched on prism were not about the PRISM that Snowden was talking about. Two of them were about T-Mobile's Prism II, and one of them was about the a hip-hop label known as the Federal Prism Label.

    Point taken.  And, yes, Snowden has done things that make the story about him and, as a storyteller myself, I find stories about people more interesting than stories about programs so, with Snowden giving so much fodder, this is not surprising.

    It's also the case that by one name or another, we have basically known that the NSA has these capabilities, along help from the telecoms and internet companies, since mid-last decade.  I think you're making a legitimate point -- we are interested in Snowden, perhaps even at the expense of what he's revealed.  But, there's more to it than that.  Much of this have been revealed by other leakers and in those cases, when the leakers are known (like Thomas Drake) we end up getting not all that much attention paid to either the leaker's story or what they leaked.  Certainly, Drake is not the household name that Snowden is and what Drake revealed clearly never ended and was certainly not a source of constant media coverage.

    One thing we know is that in both cases, the government discusses the issue primarily in terms of illegal leaks and revelations, which discourages a larger discussion about what was revealed.

    Americans seem to trust government more than polls would indicate.  That's healthy.  But when one person finds themselves at odd with an entire elected government, the argument becomes kind of skewed.  People want to know why this one person is at odds and then the story becomes about them.

    So... I'm not sure what your facts mean.


    Riffing on your last sentence -

    the only reason media seemed disturbed recently was over government tapping 100 AP journalists.

    mainstream media couldn't be bothered covering Manning's trial.

    talking heads were happier talking about Occupy Wall Street than actual Wall Street crimes committed

    in the case of the most recent leaks, it seems much of the "liberal" media is busy showing their security creds by taking a scolding view of X's irresponsibility (where X can be 1 or more of 3 people). The conservatives of course condemns the leaks because a) they like the security state, b) the surveillance fulfills what they built under Bush and c) a Democrat has the White House, and the leaks are an attack point.

    But certainly there must be questions about what're the most important stories to run each night - is it about just the personality, or White House access will dry up if too negative coverage, or are their other intersections?

    I.e. it's tempting to present this as a popular reaction on the internet, but I think the main government/media themes are more planned and directive, and we on the internetz are often happy to grab a nugget of wisdom and run with it / build it up. Are they better at feeding us spin that turns it all into Inside Hollywood that suits our tastes and enthusiasm and line of thought better?

    (I think you noted the initial results were ho-hum about trusting government or assuming the leaks & not the surveillance was the problem. But over time, does the government get out in front of the problem?)

    I'm interested in how a Chris Hayes splits from others on the left to try to focus on the leaks. Surprisingly, Ben Smith asks to leave personality out. Unsurprisingly, Andrew Sullivan carries the water for the security state. Who are other important outlets? And how does a meme like "narcissistic" take hold and reproduce? (being used heavily now for at least both Snowden & Assange, maybe Greenwald as well) Who's doing the polling on these memes? how do they get dispersed somewhat deterministically?

    Well, then there's the age old problem, at least among the left, which is that we are so thankful to have won an election that many of our allies with defend whatever our people do once they're in office.  It's not about Obamabots exactly, but aside from people saying, "Obama got a warrant, Bush didn't," I haven't heard a convincing argument for why the left would be anti-Snowden were Bush still president.  And, that explanation, given that FISA warrants are rubber stamps, doesn't wash.

    For most people Obama = Bush = Nixon does not hold true. Warrants do make a difference. Once you make the argument that there is no difference, you have lost the public argument. The better approach is that there is not enough of a difference. I don't see a Church Committee coming out of the current Congress. As long as the leaks seem to be more about damaging foreign relations and not assaults on the US public, I don't see large scale public protests.

    Spy stories are best sellers, it's human nature. In addition, you cannot separate this from international diplomacy, not just because of Snowden's purported need for asylum, but because the programs he exposed are international in execution; this is not just about the U.S. So seeing how various countries react to the idea of Snowden asylum, or even if they debating whether he's a hero/villain/inbetween, is an inseparable part of the debate on what programs are being executed. You can't separate it. If he really wanted to separate it and make it more of an Americans' rights issue, more Amero-centric, he should have done it here, lawyered up, and taken the consequences. It would have been less of an international story then, and less "spy" focused, more "whistleblower." To announce it from Hong Kong and to imply you're never coming back assured it would be an international story and a story focused on him as well.

    If he really wanted to avoid attention, he should have remained hidden as long as possible.

    But I think the Snowden angle is much less interesting than the social angle. Without Snowden, there would have been more articles about Prism but certainly not 600,000,000. Why are famous spies or more broadly, famous people, more interesting to us than the issues that make them famous?

    Hamlet covers a ton of weighty issues but it's mostly about a guy named Hamlet.  It's the latter that we relate to.

    I think a lot is he has pretty cool glasses.

    Celebrity worship/gossip is the norm in the US, American Idol country. Who the hell really cares (or knows what it is?) about PRISM except EU diplomats, the conceited French and the stickler Germans?

    Suggested edit: Celebrity worship/gossip is the norm worldwide (with a lot of the non-U.S. world attaching more gravitas to sports heroes than other celebrities.)  Nobody cares about PRISM except diplomats, governments, western elites, and, of course, those actively thinking about ways to get around government surveillance, or those thinking they might need to do the same some day, whether of nefarious intent, or more complicated intent, like journalists.

    Remember SPROCKETS-Mike Meyers?

    Reminds me of the OpEd German Green Party guy from today, NYT, who objected to having T-Mobile Germany store his metadata for 6 moths in accordance with German law, he imagined it like the Gestapo of WW2,  as a step supporting privacy, he then put it on line. I miss the logic inherent in that?

    I don't think the Gestapo ever weeds through gigabytes of metadata, they just arrest you, in the middle of the night.  They really don't like data or records at all, as it more often than not will point back to them.

    You don't think Dieter of Sprockets can be considered a member of the elite? In response, he would no doubt say that you, just like most celebrities, have grown tiresome.cheeky

    The Nazis kept amazing records of the Holocaust, it's still a mystery why, unless they were sure they were going to win, of course.

    Anyone who has studied the humanities knows German scholarship of mass quantities of data rules, it's incredibly anal. Nothing so exciting to a German scholar as an archive, they immediately fantasize about the number of footnotes. [/ethnic slur]

    More seriously, the vehemence about privacy from Germany comes from not so distant Stasi memories. Not Nazis, but Stasi's (actually comprised of a huge part of the population under the GDR.)

    "I don't think the Gestapo ever weeds through gigabytes of metadata, they just arrest you, in the middle of the night.

    No, not usually.  It can happen the way you described, but if the authorities are after you, or even just after a quota, they can always find a reason. Giving them access to your private communications, or even to your metadata, gives them more ground for hunting than they are worth.

     Metadata can also expose crimes by officials. Anyone involved with illegal activity does not want to leave a trail, digital or otherwise.

    I think staying hidden would have been a lost cause. He would have been identified nearly as soon by the government if he hadn't self identified.

    He could easily be doing an interview or two  on a major news network everyday. An estimated two dozen reporters were on a Moscow to Cuba flight just to try and get a word with him. He's been pretty darn quiet so far especially considering what his options are if he wanted publicity.

    There's always the possibility that the Guardian is paying him for the story and if he talks to too many other press outlets, he could be his only current source of income.

    I've made my position on the guy pretty clear, but I'm willing to entertain the possibility that he really did fancy himself in danger of assassination and so made a little noise to protect himself from it. 

    Ultimately, we don't know his motives until he tells us. And then we have to decide if we believe him, I guess. 


    I'm not much interested in speculation on his motives or his personality when there is almost no information to make that judgment. I don't have any idea why he did it other than his words and I don't necessarily believe what any one says. Most people lie to themselves more often than they lie to other people. I'll let other people do that sort of speculation.

    I'm not interested in speculation that he's being paid by the Guardian either. Absolutely zero evidence for that too. Who knows, maybe maybe not. But if you like to make stuff up out of thin air, whatever floats your boat.

    I'm just pointing out that if he wanted publicity he could easily have it. So far he's been pretty quiet.

    Fair enough, and I'm not trying to start an argument, but I would like to point out that you are speculating along with me. We just have different opinions which lead our speculations to different conclusions.

    Well no, Orlando. If you had posted, "Given the numerous times that the Guardian has paid its sources in the past (link) its likely they are paying Snowden," that would be some decent evidence. If Snowden was leaking through the National Inquirer you wouldn't even need the link since its well known they pay for many of their stories, even the false stories. Your speculation was made up out of thin air with absolutely zero evidence to support it.

    I don't think there's any speculation in my comment. Numerous news reports stated that up to two dozen reports were on the plane to Cuba just to talk to him. Assange was on This Week for an interview with Stephanapolus. McAfee was interviewed on Faux. McAfee for christ's sake, they're so hungry for someone to interview they're pulling McAfee out to discuss Snowden. Do you really think its speculation to state that he could be doing interviews on all the major news networks if he wanted? Or that he clearly is not giving out those interviews.

    I didn't say he was noble for mostly staying quiet. I didn't say it proves he's not a narcissist. I'm not interested in speculation on his personality with just that tiny bit of information. I've stayed out of those type of dialogs unless its in a comment to me.


    I'm not comfortable with the level of access Dagblog has to my metadata as it pertains to how many times I've typed Snowden. I'm now going to attempt to skew your data...



    Nice try, but I only count once per comment. You've skewed the numbers by 1.



    PRIS....You're right. You're too diabolical for me.

    Ecuador seems to befalling away, so now Snowden has given a list of 15 unnamed countries where he would like to seek asylum 

    You should probably be comparing both terms with Paula Deen.

    163,000,000 Google news hits since June 9, a virtual tie with Snowden. She's not doing quite as well at dag though: 3 blog posts, 0 news links, 21 comments.

    Putin is reportedly telling Snowden to shut up if he wants to stay in Russia 

    Г-н Сноуден может иметь очень удобное и спокойное занятие поддержание инфраструктуры России компьютер от виллы на берегу Черного моря в Сочи.

    On budet naslazhdat'syazhizn'yu Noce svobod v Rossii .

    The response in the US will be less on PRISM and more on a man they consider to be a traitor. The more Assange talks, the more the traitor label gets attached to Snowden. The US will "review" it's practices.In other news China conducts cyber espionage in the US. France leads Europe in industrial espionage over China and Russia according to Wikileaks. 

    "I'm shocked.....shocked to find that gambling is going on in there."

    I'm not sure I believe this is a "I'm shocked.....shocked to find that gambling is going on in there." It sounds like the Obama administration is in deep doo doo with France and Germany especially, they don't feel they can trust anymore.

    Suprising coming from him, but Stephen Walt over @ Foreign Policy is basically saying they're being real naive, like they think we would not spy on EU economic policy when it's such a wreck and could go under any time? That just because we share democratic values doesn't mean we trust you. Also a kinda imperialist argument coming from him, that they will eventually quiet down and defer to Washington as they always do.

    You've got to give it to him, the guy's a real hoot sometimes:

    "If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound coming from my lips."

    Russia doesn't want it's tactics exposed.

    "No more telling secrets...except to me!"

    Reminds one of the old Southern saw:   "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit over here."

    Snowden, having gone from hero to damsel in distress, may have to be rescued from the Russian wolves after all, eh?


    In this Guardian piece, they have an extension on that quote which is kind of a head scratcher:

    "If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him, go ahead. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition – he must stop his work aimed at bringing harm to our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my mouth.

    "Russia never gives anyone up and doesn't plan to give anyone up. And no one has ever given us anyone."

    Putin also said, according to the NYT, on the possibility of Maduro taking him along on his return to Venezuela:

    “As to the possible departure of Mr. Snowden with some official delegation,” he said, “I know nothing.”

    PRISM is just the highest peak of an iceberg that is actually growing. More and more data are collected, stored, collated -- and shared. If we accept PRISM as normal and justifiable, we also accept this: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2013/05/how-much-do-automate... 

    Vot pochemu Timoti Makvey otkazalsya ispol'zovat' nomernyye znaki , nomernyye znaki yavlyayutsya skol'zkiy put' k tiranii .


    NSA знает русский язык, как и Бо
    (Старый Amercian коммерческих ссылок Бо Джексон)

    Не запутанной PRISM?


    Бо говорит слишком PRISM

    What people do in public was never considered as having to do with a right to privacy. Police and anyone else could always follow someone around in public as much as they wanted, sit in a car across from their house, watch them come and go and follow them in their car or follow them walking. Ask any paparazzi and his lawyer.

    So if we are to do something about ticket-sending cameras and the data they provide, don't we have to invent new rights to go with the technology?

    Don't get me wrong, I hate this stuff, held off on getting an EZPass as long as I could.

    Here's the thing though, once you start being a part of this system, you realize that it is not the all encompassing Big Brother you feared. Due to simple human capacity.  EZPass can't even keep their own records straight. There has been little evidence that any other government agency finds it any much more useful than anything they had in the past. Furthermore, it is transferable to anyone (you really have to guard them just like a credit card,) someone else can use it in another car, thus if any other agency like a prosecutor tried to get records to use against you, it's a simple matter to argue it was stolen.

    Likewise the red-light cameras. I ended up falling afoul of one of those recently in Westchester county in NY. I went through a yellow light that turned red halfway through and it caught me.  I was driving a car registered to someone else. He got the "ticket" in the mail with the photo of his car going through the light. The fine was $50, a hell of a lot less than a "real" red light ticket given by an officer. As the registered car owner, you can challenge it by mail like you would a parking ticket, including ratting on the license of the actual driver that borrowed the car from you. You get nothing on your record because they know they can't prove you were the driver. But they keep the fine low enough that you're going to pay it. It's basically a new kind of 'speed trap," an income producing stream, that has the added safety value of making people paranoid to go through yellow lights. With these things, seems as if they're never thinking about setting up a fail proof system to track people, they're not even thinking that much about making it tight against basic legal challenges. It's just garden variety attempts at social engineering.

    BTW, once you have gotten a ticket from one of these cameras, it's a confirmation that you weren't having an eye problem when you thought you are always seeing a flash of light when you've gone on the route. You quickly realize where they are, and when they are on and working.

    Seems to me that the devices that still seem to be the most useful in criminal investigation are the security cameras in stores, no? And we've had those for a very long time now.

    They often shorten the amount of time the light stays yellow and red. More profitable.

    I believe it! I almost kind of wondered, looking at the invoice, that if you didn't pay, nothing may happen. It had that kind of "let's try blackmail/fear" feel to it, "see how much we can get out of these things." It was the City of Yonkers, and they are always broke.

    At least some other states are different both in details of the law and the cost of breaking it. In my state you are legal as long as you have entered the intersection before the light turns red. I am surprised it is different anywhere else. What about pulling into an intersection to make a left turn but having to wait for all the opposing traffic until the light turns red and lets you turn?
     My daughter-in-law rolled through a red light in California to make a right hand turn and received a ticket in the mail with a web link. The link showed pictures of her car front and rear with legible plates and also two fairly good images of her. The ticket cost $485.00. Maybe the higher cost was to cover expenses for a better camera system then the one that got you.

    art, I never suggested use of license-reading technology was illegal. U.S. courts have clearly ruled citizens have no reasonable expectation of privacy on public roads. And if you believe the White House and Congress, everything the NSA is doing is perfectly legal, too. What I was suggesting is that we should question whether its use -- and that of other forms of data-mining -- is justifiable.

    An important point everybody: I didn't link to a story about red-light radar, which is only triggered when someone violates a traffic law. I'm totally OK with that. What I was talking about is the rapid spread of license-reading cameras, mounted on patrol cars, which automatically scan, search, photograph and record every single plate they come across. Every one -- the vast majority of them driven by people who are breaking no law of any kind. Here's a scarier link:


    One guy who sought records relative to his own cars learned they'd been photographed once a week on average over a two-year period. And every photo had been archived, despite there being no link to any law-enforcement issue. And his community had only a single camera-equipped cop car.

    When does the sheer quantity of otherwise legal routine surveillance become an abuse of an individual's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search? I would suggest we've reached that point already.

    Because, while a single photo of you and your kids getting out of your car doesn't tell anybody anything, if that can be collated with the record of whom you've called, and with the credit-card record of what you bought that day, and with the internet record of what you googled or which site you visited -- and that can be done repeatedly over a period of weeks, months and years -- we have entered Orwell's dystopia.

    I can understand why so many Americans (including otherwise skeptical commenters here) are flocking to defend government actions as "only intended to keep us safe." Because that's all you've got left -- faith that your government's intentions are/will continue to be benign. Pretty thin reed.

    Wow, thanks for this. Somehow I missed the license plate reader story.

    I'm interested in shifts in psychology and how it affects views of the times. Like in the mid-1800's when everything became assuredly deductive and scientific and all problems could be solved by digging in a bit deeper. Until oops....!

    Neural networks were more about deterministic interaction of billions of cells.

    Nowadays, we're just throwing shit together and getting amazed at the patterns and useful views that pop out. Of course we're getting surprised / embarrassed / alarmed by those revelations that come out of this too - maybe that fortune teller just had a big data / business analytics tool in his pocket, and saw your license plate & the first 12 digits of her credit card - "I see a tall dark stranger..."

    Our privacy has been invaded in so many ways that there is no longer any such thing as a ‘reasonable' expectation’ of privacy .  So, every kind of surveillance is now legal, I guess.
     It is funny in a way, but some time in the past I related here an anecdote from my kids elementary school days in Texas. A policy had been implemented to bring drug sniffer dogs into the school to check out lockers. I thought it was bad but a friend disagreed and asked if I was ok with drugs in the elementary school. I said no, but that I also didn’t want my kids growing in an atmosphere where that kind of invasive practice was common and not even questioned. That position received a lot of support right here at Dag, but that was pre-2008

    Correction, it couldn't have been that far back because I haven't been registered here that long. The rest I stand by.

    Just struck me that the following could by default, end up being the new definition of private vs. public if the bill ends up passing, because no one else is trying:

    The Preserving American Privacy Act also purports to govern the private use of drones, making it illegal to record people engaging in “personal or familial activity” in a way that “is highly offensive to a reasonable person.”

    I mean along the lines of a judge looking to this for guidance if it's passed, in a case having nothing to do with drones, because no one else is dealing with the need for redefinition of public/private in law that so much technology has wrought. We're still thinking landlines and snail mail, man's home is his castle, that your privacy can be defined as within the walls of your abode, inside the storage areas of your vehicle and the pockets on your clothes. And we're still thinking of a world where only celebrities get harassed by people publishing their picture and that trailing someone's private life requires the money to pay a private eye. Everything about that is changing, people need a virtual space of privacy in public, as it were.

    More thoughts: A lot happened while we weren't even paying attention. Virtually every address has more than a few pictures of it on the internet already via Google maps etc., and on zillow.com you can get associated full info.on the structures, the owners' names, their value, the taxes, how many rooms, and other details, type of neighborhood. You can then go from zillow to find what corporate offices those people have been filed as holding, on the corporation wiki, and find their business associates, friends & relatives that way. Etc. etc.

    The research private eyes used to spend days and months doing is now available within minutes. Everyone can do it, and then they can blog about it if they wish, too.

    It's water over the damn, can't put the genii back in the bottle. When acanuck replied to me about the license photos, that he/she knew it was legal, but doesn't anyone care?, my first thought was: if a government entity doesn't do it, someone else will and make it an app for a smartphone. Because the license plate is public information, that's what it was created for, that's why they invented them, so you could identify the person that owned the car, so an owner couldn't hide from being responsible for the car.

    Now we can all make databases of all this public information. And make it searchable and easy for everyone to access. Where does it stop? Someone has to redefine private. That's the only way I can see. The law has to make it so that you can sue someone for stepping over a certain line.

    And here's the main hook. I realize this is precisely why you might see me ridiculing some of the more geek-style libertarian thought. Because I instinctively feel they don't get that their information wants to be free coda also means all your public information belong to us whether you had the impression it was private or not. Much of it never was private, it was just hard, expensive and time consuming to gather. There's a giant inherent conflict between two things some of these guys say they want. Information wants to be free in an age when everyone can digitize and database = not much privacy at all.

    I've also found the inherent contradictions in the "information wants to be free" meme to be ridiculous. It really came to a head with the outing of violentacrez. As he and his followers were "liberating" all this data, mostly sexy pics, often of minors, most that the people in the pics thought were private, they expected to be more anonymous on the internet than they could ever be in real life now or ever in the whole history of the US. Before the internet if anyone had gathered such pics, printed them up in a magazine, and shared or sold the magazine, he would have been identified rather quickly. What a shock, someone liberated the real name of that scum bag. Information wants to be free.

    The other problem I have is how information wants to be free, unrestrained, became information wants to be free, no cost, I don't have to pay the creators for it. The end result of that will be little information to "liberate" and what little there is will be of low quality. The creators of quality information won't produce it for free or will be too busy making money to live on to produce quality information.


    One thing that struck me in reading about the license plate scanners is the recording and keeping of the data. possibly forever, worried me much more than the plate being scanned and checked. If all they did was scan, check, and delete if nothing criminal came up my initial feeling is that would be ok.

    I've watched computers go from programs on cassette tapes and 5 1/4 floppies to 1 gig, 10 gig, 30 gig, 200 gig, terabyte hard drives. While we've been ecstatic about it, it has created the ability for government and corporations to accumulate massive amounts of information, save it forever, and analyze it in ways that were inconceivable before.

    Two excellent comments, appraiser. I think we're on the same wavelength. The simple fact is there is no constitutional right to privacy. We have the wonderful common-law concept of a man's home being his castle, in turn leading to the idea of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. And at that point, technology races ahead of the law -- and our lawmakers seem to lack the wit or the will to catch up.

    Our personal correspondence is no longer stored in locked boxes under our beds; it's archived in the cloud, and for some reason it's deemed less private than if it were sealed in paper envelopes. Private entities have already amassed databases on each of us that governments would envy. (I google anti-Morsi protests in Tahrir Square, and I start getting pop-up ads for "attractive single Muslim women in your area," so someone -- or some algorithm -- is obviously profiling me.)

    Governments are doing their best to catch up, even if it's just a question of buying the data and analysis services of those same private entities. What they are not interested in doing is drawing a legal line as to where the compiling of data becomes intrusive and abusive. As I said earlier, we're already well over that elusive line. George Orwell was a few decades off, and got a few details wrong, but we're living in his world.

    Too tired and lazy to say much but want to throw out a couple things. The business model and uses of data collection that we willingly cooperate with is legal in a way that the governments claim of legality is false. Businesses have a legitimate motive, they are trying to make a buck.And more importantly, they operate within a legal system that we actually have access too
     The government makes secret laws that make stuff they try very hard to hide, legal. They regularly make themselves immune to the legal system. They have built and intend to continue improving a system which has tremendous potential for abuse. The government shows daily that they will abuse their power in ways big and small.
     The governments probing of my personal information is extremely unlikely and it wouldn’t hurt me anyway. It’s way up the food chain where rich and/or powerful people are way more likely to have something worth hiding that the potential for real live abuse could play out in all kinds of ugly ways. I do not trust a person or a government that lies to me over and over and which is so brutal to the very idea of an act of conscience exposing their lack of conscience.


     And there's nothing wrong with me

    This is how I'm supposed to be

    In a land of make believe

    That don't believe in me.   [Green Day]

    Oh and a final p.s.:

    This is good (& fun) related blog post that I ran across by happenstance: Ernestine the telephone operator from 1969 (Privileged information? Oh Mr.Veedal, that's so cute). The point made well: the only thing different now is technology that in a lot of cases anyone can access.

    Putin and Obama are passing the buck on Snowden to the heads of the FSB and FBI. Obama is casting Snowden as a hacker.

    The latest statement from Snowden via Wikileaks. I think he's losing it.

    .....the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised..

    The NObamaZero Kenyan Usurper is not President of a Constitutional government?

    I guess if an uninformed self-absorbed politically polarized jaded public can tolerate, and re-elect, a leader who lied the nation into an invasion, war and occupation in Iraq, they are not likely to foment revolution over PRISM.

    Snowden has at least taught the next leaker to seek private counsel before acting, and by all means to avoid being sucked into the black hole of the Assange/Greenwald nexus, from which there is no return to a normal life.

    Its outrageous for any other country to offer him asylum. After all "the 2009-2011 figures on U.S. grants of asylum: 1,222 Russians, 9,493 Chinese, and 22 Ecuadorians, not including family members." Just totally wrong for any other country to do it a few times or even once when the US has only granted asylum to 1,222 Russians, 9,493 Chinese, and 22 Ecuadorians in the last few years.

    How many times did the US grant asylum to someone who leaked classified data?

    Jeez you sure are lazy. You never bother to do your own damn research and argue your points. You just ask questions that imply criticisms and expect others to do the work to prove your implied aspersions incorrect. I should just tell you to do your own god damn research. If you have a problem with my post state your issue and prove your point. But the idea that you might put some effort into dialog beyond snide little questions is ridiculous.

    So dude, numerous asylum requests are approved for leaking classified data. But I found this one particularly relevant to this situation.


    You noticed that too ;-)

    How about we do something different here?  How about we try to comment without using "You, your, you're", etc.,?  Because when you take it to a personal level it becomes personal, the dander flies, and then you lose your whole argument--which may actually be brilliant--to the kind of brawling that only satisfies you and no one else.

    How about it?

    You posted a document with numbers, I merely asked for specifics. You provided a case. Thanks. Snowden exposed a large scope surveillance program just like the South Korean spy. The South Korean spy released information about South Korea paying North Korea in order to have a summit. The spy sought asylum in the US. DHS actually opposed the asylum but relented in a second trial.

    So the US accepted the South Korean spy, but imprisoned Manning. Manning's data included names that could be targeted by the Taliban. Snowden released data to foreign countries, so I don't see either the Manning case or the Snowden case as equals.


    Actually, I thought it was a pretty good statement. It reflects Snowden's perception of the U.S. government, of course, but that's not new and not as paranoid as when he warned that he might be killed. More importantly, I think it's an effective if theatrical rallying call to his supporters.

    If he were an Iranian nuclear scientist, he'd likely be dead by now, no?

    Depends who your enemies are and context.

    I suspect Israel is behind those. Maybe if he were a Qaeda leader in Yemen. But what's your point exactly?

    I suspect Israel as well. Point is just that it's not absurd to think he might be assassinated anonymously in the street or by targeted drone for your radical speeches or while being interrogated by the FBI and most step out for a smoke break.

    Doesn't seem to happen too often, but this one seems to be exceptional circumstances. I'm sure they'd find judicial cover from some FISA judge if it got that far.

    No, it's actually absurd. Even if you credit the White House and FISA courts with no moral or legal restraint whatsoever, the political consequences of assassinating Snowden would be 1000 times worse than anything Snowden is capable of accomplishing.

    Not sure why you're pursing this, though. I was defending his most recent statement, not criticizing it.

    Point perhaps being if he were dark-skinned & Muslim, it wouldn't be "actually absurd" - it would be a real possibility.

    Of course this is still an area where Ron Paul and Donald Trump see assassination as a real possibility (from different angles), but I guess that doesn't help disprove the paranoid aspect.

    And Enemy of the State is only a movie (worth noting that link addresses Israel's Snowden-like leak a few years back, though I'd dispute the article's contention that these programs are fully approved by Congress and monitored by the judiciary)

    Did you really just cite Ron Paul, Donald Trump, and a Tony Scott movie to support your point?

    No witnesses, your honor. The defense rests.

    You inspire me to quote myself here.

    It's like: is this real or is it game world?

    Jesus, did your humor gland get removed?

    "but I guess that doesn't help disprove the paranoid aspect."

    The offense regurgitates in its mouth. A little.

    I'm afraid that the line between humor and psychosis is too fine for me discern in my old age. Maybe you should consider smileys.

    Sorry, but using Donald Trump as a reference is by default a smiley. enlightened

    In any case, I offered 3 cases where someone wanted was 1) executed by drone, 2) assassinated by injection or some explosive in the street, and 3) killed during interrogation by the FBI.

    Your glib answer was that it's paranoid to think this for Snowden because obviously the Feds would find his case different. Aside from him not being a Muslim, I don't see the big difference, and unlike Awlaki's speeches Snowden's leaks can be charged as illegal and damaging - maybe they had "good information that Snowden's next leak would severely damage our nuclear intelligence so we had to target him before he leaked again" - our rubber-stamp Congress & courts would challenge that?

    I can easily imagine a "he tried to get away" set up where diligent US agents tried to bring him in alive but he made a dash and landed in the water / highway / something. Yeah, few would believe he'd attack with a mop handle so they couldn't re-use that one.

    Okay, chances might be 10%-90% against - but it's simply not "paranoid" to consider it a real possibility. I'm sure someone in US intelligence has discussed the idea.

    Update: oh my, the US just blocked Bolivia's president's plane. Forget about paranoia now. We've pissed off all of Latin America in one of the stupidest ways possible - and I imagine they'll be considering that NSA eavesdropping as well while they review the situation. No, Snowden's not paranoid for thinking that the government's filled with a bunch of idiots who might do anything.

    Well, I have to admit I was thinking how times are probably tough right now for a subset of the U.S. population: Systems Analysts still employed at the NSA. But one can't be sure that they would all be blaming the Obama administration for their situation, if you get what I mean.

    Too bad we probably can't have a poll of them. It really would be interesting to know if most of the geeks they employ have libertarian political leanings, that would be something for the history books.wink

    A minor point: I believe it's legally & technically incorrect to call himself a stateless person? He's still a U.S. citizen, he's just had his passport revoked, something that happens to indicted people all the time. Far from ejecting him, his country actually wants this particular citizen back on its soil.

    Lots of patter out there about whether Snowden actually wrote the letter.  They're questioning things like the phrase, The United States of America have been. . .", "the president ordered his vice president" and the date, Monday 1st July 2013.  Since it was issued by WikiLeaks, it could have been written by Assange.  It does have a kind of European feel to it.  Not that it matters, but if it was written by Assange it might indicate who's running the show.

    I haven't quite known what to do with this, but I've been skeptical of Snowden's "statements" since his initial, filmed interview. The South China post article didn't sound like exact quotes from the same guy who gave the interview--more like it had been paraphrased. (I do a lot of listening closely to people's voices both via audio and the written word, and it just didn't seem right.) I could go back through the interviews, but basically the spoken interview sounded precise if awkward, while the other statements had more of a political bent. This latest one seems outright florid.

    This, combined with Snowden's absence from view, makes me wonder as well.

    You doubt the mission of Julien Assange?

    Perhaps if Assange released a video of Snowden reading the prepared script in front of the Wikileaks flag we could believe it was Snowden's own words. Like when the Taliban release video of hostages.

    I can't speak for Erica but yes, I most assuredly doubt the mission of Assange.  He's done nothing to reassure anybody that his motives are as pure as he would like us to believe.

    Please show me where Assange tried to reassure you about the purity of his motives.

    You act like he came on like Jesus, when all he did was make some pretty obvious assertions about how secretive governments behave.

    Really - just say "my political / security view is X, so I will insult and tar anyone that doesn't fit that view". It makes life simpler, and we argue less.

    "my political / security view is X, so I will insult and tar anyone that doesn't fit that view".

    Now that's funny

    Nobody takes on the world like Assange does without believing with his whole heart and soul that his motives are pure.  Unless he thinks otherwise, which would make him--I don't know--a callous opportunist?

    It seems that both Snowden and Assange want to inflict damage on the United States. Snowden rejected the possible carrot of asylum in Russia because the condition was to stop releasing sensitive information about the US. Snowden is no innocent puppet controlled by Assange, he has decided that he wants revenge.

    From your link:

    “He did not kill anyone and he did not plant a bomb,” Mr. Maduro said, according to Russian news services. “He only said a big truth to prevent wars.”

    So, as Snowden demonstrates by rejecting Putin's demand, that he is determined to continue what he started, which is revealing a truth and trying to make the entire world aware of the importance of knowing that truth, you, in a brilliant stroke of insight [or is it just incite?] determine that his motives have changed; now he wants revenge. Revenge for what? And how do you do know that, is it by remote viewing, maybe? Mind meld? And what were his original motives if not what he declared them to be?
     Anyway, keep up the good work and don't let logic or any urge towards consistency get in the way of you analysis.

    Do you believe that Russia, China and European countries are doing the same type of spying that the US conducts? Would US  spying by the FSB change your opinion.? Would you support electronic surveillance of activity in Russia if Russia was spying on the US?


    If you believe that Russia conducts electronic surveillance like the US, how does releasing the tactics of only one side enhance the chances for peace? Wouldn't release of data from both sides that was equally embarrassing be more likely to result in real dialog?

    Only the US is being portrayed as the bad actor, it would view Russia or China being let off the hook. Wouldn't the tendency be to double down in defense of the US program rather than give an upper hand to the spies in another country.

    I don't see how the recent releases increase the chances for peace.

    Snowden does not present as a guy who makes carefully thought out plans, things have not worked out as he seems to have anticipated.

    He flew to Moscow in a scheme of Wikileaks which obtained a document from a buddy of Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.  Pres. Correa later withdrew that document. There is little doubt a protracted legal battle in Hong Kong would have been preferable to the lock-up he is in now in the 'no visa' section in Sheremetyevo Airport Moscow.

    Snowden may be developing the sort of mental state of a desperate POW, his life is out of his control, and he definitely seems to be in the physical control of Assange and his bunch of naifs.

    And his 'truth telling' is not going to stop a war, as the Obama administration is not concocting intelligence to start one.  The NSA mission is to stop terror attacks that might lead to a international crisis.

    China, Russia and even France conduct espionage against the US. Courts will decide whether privacy boundaries have been crossed. I think some people are upset at those who point out the fact the Snowden and Assange are imploding. All Obama had to do was stop demanding that China or Russia take action. Since the US was not going to focus on either of the two, the circus came to town as they attempted to stay in the news, Now we have accusations that Wikileaks forged a statement attributed to Snowden. People are twisting themselves in knots to save Snowden's reputation. 

    He is clearly better suited to IT than international intrigue, but as I recall, his Hong Kong contacts advised him to leave. In hindsight, he should have gotten to Iceland, or wherever, before announcing to the press.

    Agree 100%.

    As to his 'reputation', his reputation is he had no concept of the repercussions of his actions, and further that he decided to let a guy trapped in an embassy in London take responsibility for his personal fate, and apparently take possession all of his stolen data, his only trump card with US authorities

    No, that's just a rule you made up. You create an assumption of his feelings, treat it as true, then attack him for those feelings you made up. Even Jesus supposedly had his doubts.

    I would guess - only a huge guess - that he thinks what he's doing is certain enough to be worth any side-effects, but I haven't detected any "to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs" arrogance. But what is it about "pure"? I can't think of any public figure except maybe just maybe Nelson Mandela that I think of as "pure" - and I'd probably not hold that opinion of Mandela 30 years ago. Did Mandela think he was "pure" at the time? Guzmão of East Timor notes the mistakes his rebels made in embracing Marxism - do you think they never doubted anything in their struggle, or just thought the struggle worth it whatever happens?

    Assange comes across as confident on-camera, but is he a Rush Limbaugh "everything I say is right" type? When he talks about Snowden's father, I was surprised he didn't say something like "well Edward's a big boy" in the Stephanopoulis interview. Instead it was understanding the father's concern, as well as the feeling that Snowden shouldn't be put through this for what is a political act to inform Americans - not espionage to help Al Qaeda. (similar to what Thomas Drake did following channels and was still harrassed and threatened despite doing everything a whistleblower should). Interesting that Stephanopoulis obsessed so much about a made-up Time quote - wonder if he ever parsed James Clapper's words so closely as he lied to Congress, or Alexander's.

    In any case, why do I care if Assange's motives are "pure" as long as they allow us to see the damage the US government is doing to our cause through stupid hidden and unapproved actions, that go counter to the basic morals we're supposedly known for - openness, tolerance, Democracy? Is there some caveat in the Constitution where it says, "unless we do it in a basement or don't tell you"?

    I do care very much about Assange's motives.  He still holds hundreds of thousands of our classified materials and isn't above teasing us with what he knows that we don't .  As a citizen here, I want to know that they're safe.  My distrust of Assange can go hand in hand with my distrust of certain government actions.  It doesn't have to be either or.

    I doubt that many people would want Assange or Snowden in charge of anything important. Neither Assange or Snowden should be the cecision maker's on the data that gets released. Obama, will start to work his way out of the damage created by Snowden and Assange. Instead making the world a peaceful place, thee actions of the Dynamic Duo of Snwden and Assange  has made it more likely that coming to grips with what to do in Syria is more difficult. 

    They're not safe. Wikileaks stupidly sent most if not all the encrypted files out on bittorrent and than stupidly released the key. Whether you blame the Guardian for accidently releasing the key or wikileaks the whole thing was a major snafu. Unbelievable that any responsible organization would send such sensitive files out on bittorrent no matter how secure the encryption.

    One more reason I don't like wikileaks. On that I think we're in total agreement.

    Know that what's safe? Videos of our gunships shooting up civilians and reporters? Kinda like those contractors in Iraq shooting madly out the back of a truck? No thanks, I don't want all our snafus kept hidden. I'm glad to hear you have distrust of certain government actions, but I haven't seen any specifics of what you'd prevent on these threads of late.

    (if there were more overview of government actions post-9/11, something like Wikileaks might not be welcome at all)

    And do agree that Wikileaks should have had much more solid controls than the bittorrent snafu or whatever the facts are that let the Guardian guy publish the key to open all the files. Then again, the military with billions more to spend on security probably shouldn't have let Manning walk out of a "secured" facility with it all on a Lady Gaga CD. How hard do you think it is for the Chinese or Russians or perhaps Al Qaeda to get past our lack of security? Is it only the American public that doesn't know what's going on?

    Here's more of what we're protecting:

    Larry Lewis, a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research group with close ties to the US military, studied air strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011, using classified military data on the strikes and the civilian casualties they caused. Lewis told the Guardian he found that the missile strikes conducted by remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones, were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.

    Civilian casualties can risk the success of a combat mission. While not new, this is a lesson us defense forces have had to repeatedly relearn. Historically, civilian protection and efforts to address harm became priorities only when external pressures demanded attention. As the Pentagon reshapes its defenses and fighting force for the next decade, continuing this ad hoc pattern in the future is neither strategically smart nor ethically acceptable.

        The assumption that UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) strikes are surgical in nature is also belied by research on recent combat operations in Afghanistan. There, UAS operations were statistically more likely to cause civilian casualties than were operations conducted by manned air platforms.

    Lewis and Holewinski describe the impact of both failing to protect civilians and lying about operations in which civilians have died. After describing relatively well-known examples of drone strikes in Pakistan that included such horrors as a double-tap targeting rescuers, the strike on a jirga addressing mining issues that killed up to 40 civilians or deaths at a restaurant, Lewis and Holewinski move back to Afghanistan:

        Independent investigations are not always correct in their assessment of civilian deaths; however, the inability of the U.S. to adequately investigate the outcome of its clandestine UAS strikes calls into question official denials of civilian harm. The U.S. has stated that these strikes kill only combatants; however, operations in Afghanistan are replete with examples where all the engaged individuals were believed to be combatants, but a later investigation found many or all were civilians misidentified as combatants.

    The continued claims of lack of civilian deaths despite hard evidence to the contrary takes a huge toll both on US credibility and on what takes place in the war theater:

        A growing body of research, including that conducted by this article’s authors, shows that civilian casualties (CIVCAS) and the mishandling of the aftermath can compel more people to work against U.S. interests. Indeed, America’s image has suffered for years under the weight of anger and dismay that a nation, which stands by the value of civilian protection in wartime, seemed indifferent to civilian suffering.

        While the drone strikes remain classified, several senior Obama administration officials and their congressional allies have described them as notable for their precision. John Brennan, now the CIA director responsible for the agency’s drones, said in 2012 they provide “targeted strikes against specific al-Qaida terrorists”. While defending the strikes as legal and “targeted”, Obama conceded in May that “US strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars”. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said in February that drones kill only “single digits” worth of civilians annually.

    Civilian casualties can risk the success of a combat mission. While not new, this is a lesson us defense forces have had to repeatedly relearn. Historically, civilian protection and efforts to address harm became priorities only when external pressures demanded attention. As the Pentagon reshapes its defenses and fighting force for the next decade, continuing this ad hoc pattern in the future is neither strategically smart nor ethically acceptable.

    As Ackerman notes in the Guardian article, the Prism article makes mention of the finding regarding civilian drone casualties in Afghanistan outpacing those from conventional aerial attacks:

    The assumption that UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) strikes are surgical in nature is also belied by research on recent combat operations in Afghanistan. There, UAS operations were statistically more likely to cause civilian casualties than were operations conducted by manned air platforms.

    Lewis and Holewinski describe the impact of both failing to protect civilians and lying about operations in which civilians have died. After describing relatively well-known examples of drone strikes in Pakistan that included such horrors as a double-tap targeting rescuers, the strike on a jirga addressing mining issues that killed up to 40 civilians or deaths at a restaurant, Lewis and Holewinski move back to Afghanistan:

    Independent investigations are not always correct in their assessment of civilian deaths; however, the inability of the U.S. to adequately investigate the outcome of its clandestine UAS strikes calls into question official denials of civilian harm. The U.S. has stated that these strikes kill only combatants; however, operations in Afghanistan are replete with examples where all the engaged individuals were believed to be combatants, but a later investigation found many or all were civilians misidentified as combatants.

    The continued claims of lack of civilian deaths despite hard evidence to the contrary takes a huge toll both on US credibility and on what takes place in the war theater:

    A growing body of research, including that conducted by this article’s authors, shows that civilian casualties (CIVCAS) and the mishandling of the aftermath can compel more people to work against U.S. interests. Indeed, America’s image has suffered for years under the weight of anger and dismay that a nation, which stands by the value of civilian protection in wartime, seemed indifferent to civilian suffering.

    Sadly, this is a lesson that has not been learned by such luminaries as Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein and John Brennan. As Ackerman points out:

    While the drone strikes remain classified, several senior Obama administration officials and their congressional allies have described them as notable for their precision. John Brennan, now the CIA director responsible for the agency’s drones, said in 2012 they provide “targeted strikes against specific al-Qaida terrorists”. While defending the strikes as legal and “targeted”, Obama conceded in May that “US strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars”. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said in February that drones kill only “single digits” worth of civilians annually.

    - See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/#sthash.WYDCg0Fp.d

    But we're endlessly forgiving government for lying to us - somehow the lies are all necessary to keep us safe. Not just secrets - direct lies. Is there any other field where lying is required so much to be effective ineffective?

    PP, you seem to have infinite patience and unwavering trust in Julian Assange.  So let me throw this out:  Assange, happy little spreader of sunshine all over the place, holds his own secrets tight to his chest.  He does not reveal anything more than he has to.  He swears his employees to secrecy and makes it tough for them if they don't abide.

    In November 2010, WikiLeaks asked everyone who worked there to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) covering the material we were being given access to—not to sell it, disclose without permission, or similar. Given the importance of what we were working on, that seemed reasonable. Everyone, including me, signed.

    By January, the situation had changed. With me and others concerned about what we saw as ethical lapses left, right, and center, Assange produced a new NDA, silencing anyone who signed it for a full decade against saying a word about WikiLeaks activities, on the pain of millions of dollars of penalties.

    Faced with the bizarre situation of being asked to sign a gag order by a whistleblowing organization, I, alone, refused. Encouraged by Julian (I later learned), WikiLeaks staffers kept me up until 3 a.m. pressuring me to sign. Early the next morning, I awoke with Assange sat on my bed, pressuring me to sign—even before I was dressed. I held out, eventually left our remote location, and didn’t go back.

    It's not a question of forgiving the government for lying to us.  The government is going to lie to us.  The nature of both foreign and domestic security operations demands that secrets must be kept.  Sometimes that involves lying.  Sometimes surveillance involves--surprise!--spying.  Everyone knows it, including those countries feigning anger over the things they're "finding out" from Edward Snowden.

    Supporting and defending someone like Julian Assange, allowing him to be the keeper and disseminator of our secrets makes about as much sense as encouraging anyone with a security clearance and access to classified information to just go ahead and steal it.

    I don't have "infinite patience". I simply try to review facts, and distinguish between facts and assertions and assumptions and possibilities and smear.

    Wikileaks is taking on the governments of the world re: secrecy, so yeah, Assange should hold some things close to chest - is that even controversial?

    I agreed that the 2011 dump was a huge mistake on Assange's part even given The Guardian's part - how is that "unwavering trust"? (you keep using these trite phrasings to intentionally misrepresent me no matter how much I've explained - it does get annoying. I get it - you want to tag me as an Assange groupie and adulant and star-struck apologist. I'm not, so please stop.)

    The FBI had a mole in Wikileaks, and was under attack in a number of ways (credit card companies refusing to clear donations, domain servers refusing to carry them, the detentions & confiscations for Jacob Appelbaum...) it makes sense for Assange to be careful.

    Daniel Domscheit-Berg took a bunch of Wikileaks data with him when he left in September 2010, and destroyed other files and the incoming leaks submissions system. What would you have done in November 2010 to try to keep dangerous material under responsible control, to keep the organization from dissolving under pressure, to keep it functional and on-task? (aside from Just Give Up)

    I don't particularly trust James Ball's sensational story about Belorussia & leaking to Lukashenko and haven't seen it confirmed. The story about being kept up to sign an NDA is a bit too whiny to take seriously (maybe it was just an easy way to get Ball to go away, which he did - much neater than firing him and having him pull a damaging Domscheit-Berg trick).

    You do seem to miss a point though - I don't want much of this stuff to be secret. I don't want an implied right of the US to continue spying on all other countries of the world without significant justifiable need, and don't want the government to collect all our data and communications inside. If there's a reason to suspend the 4th Amendment, I want a say in that at the very least via my representatives, and if they're not allowed to know or are lied to, then I simply don't have a say. Not acceptable under our Constitution. If the US classification system were working, much of this stuff wouldn't be secret, what was secret would be reviewed for acts of malfeasance, whistleblowers could get a response via internal channels, and there would be no Wikileaks and we wouldn't have an Aussie lecturing us on American legal norms. How about we focus on that for a while.

    That said, we've long tolerated a leak system with the press as being a good thing. Part of the problem we've seen in the last 15 years is that this leak system has become a favors-and-disinformation relationship instead of a real insight to things gone wrong or hidden complexity. So we had a Judy Miller dutifully copying & publishing "leaks" that were government propaganda to drive us to war, instead of trying to find some bit of truth. People like Clapper have felt safe to overtly lie even to their congressional & judicial overseers because no one outside has access to the info, there are no punishments for lying, the judicial boards are stacked with friends of the program, so there is no oversight.

    The additional revelations since the Snowden leak are significant - the level of surveillance on the EU, the FBI use of drone surveillance with no rules, etc. Every opportunity to ask important questions since 9/11 - e.g. renewal of Patriot Act - has been instead used to increase secrecy and lack of accountability. The problem isn't Wikileaks or Julian Assange as the particular devil - it's the lack of routine and regular accountable leaks to keep the system within reasonable boundaries.

    So in other words, except for an unfortunate lapse in 2011, Assange is in the clear.  You go on to tell me what happened at Wikileaks as if you were there, but here's the thing, PP.  You weren't.  And neither was I.  We both have to go on what we read and, in the end, what our gut tells us.

    You don't competely trust James Ball's story, but you're willing to speculate about what might have happened, since we can't have Assange being the bad guy there, either.

    I come at this from a far different place than you do--mine because my husband was involved in keeping government secrets for more than 20 years--but that doesn't mean that either of us is wrong.  Or right.

    I'm okay with keeping the government honest to a point, but PP--the government is in the spying business big time.  I didn't have to be near that community to know that.  It's a concrete fact that's been cemented in place, I'm guessing since before we established a constitution.  When I said the other countries are feigning anger over Snowden's revelation, it's because I know for a fact they are not shocked, no matter how much comes out about the breadth and scope.  It is what it is.  And yes, they all do it. 

    The government will keep secrets;  it has to keep secrets.  It's naive of anyone to think we'll function better if everything it does is completely transparent.  At the same time, there has to be limits.  I don't know what they are and neither do you.  I'm not privy to their operations, so I can't know what is excessive and what we can't allow to be compromised. 

    The difference between us, I think, is that I'm not willing to let people like Manning, Snowden and Assange decide for us what is excessive, and you are.  They don't have all the information they need about the operations they've uncovered, and can't begin to predict what might happen if certain actions are compromised.  I'm as uncomfortable with that as I am with knowing that the government is capable of doing some really stupid, endangering things in the name of Homeland Security.  There is good reason to keep a watchful eye on them, and I agree that if the press took their jobs more seriously, they might be forced to toe the line--up to that point where their operations necessarily have to go black.  (Because there are times, whether we like it or not, when we can't know what they know.)

    I have no doubt that there are millions of files that could very well be unclassified, making the whole effort run much smoother and possibly avoiding the kinds of breaches that are happening with some regularity these days.  But, again, I don't know what they are, and neither does anyone not directly connected.

    We agree that the NSA needs cleaning up--let's face it, every government agency is bloated and inefficient and way too enamored of its God-like abilities--but I'm not at all comfortable with the way we're heading with this clean-up.  It can't and won't come by egging on more thefts.  They'll just dig in and make it harder to ever shine the light on what needs to be exposed. 

    They do have that capability.  They'll always have that capability.  Keeping them honest while at the same time allowing them to do their jobs is where we struggle.  Shutting them down is not the answer, either.  We'll always need secret programs.  It's the nature of things, even in a democracy.

    Try again

    Assange screwed up big in 2011. That doesn't mean he didn't screw up other times in 2011, or screw up big in 2010. And I may not know any or all of these, but they would still be screwups. Assange is human, he's not a god. The groupie possibly rape scandal likely unfolded from his weakness and poor judgment, whether he was set up or not.

    However, I would say Assange did a few good things, and the Arab Spring seems 1 notable positive result. (that even helps US interests - yay!)

    I don't trust James Ball because his story sounds whiny, and the one about Belarus would be a huge betrayal to human rights advocates but seems never to have been validated by anyone. So yeah, if you find some confirming evidence, let's talk - otherwise it's a scandalous statement by a possibly disgruntled former employee with no corroboration. So I'm not speculating - I'm not telling you what might have happened - I'm just not accepting an unverified story. Catch the difference?

    "It's naive of anyone to think we'll function better if everything it does is completely transparent." - sigh, another strawman. I never said all our info should be free. I said we should have good oversight procedures and real justifiable reasons for what's held secure. If these guys are lying to Congress and withholding information and abusing internal whistleblowers, then we have a problem.

    "I'm not willing to let people like Manning, Snowden and Assange decide for us what is excessive, and you are." - huh? like I had a vote on it? these guys walked out of a secure facility with this info on removable media. I'm happier they released the info with some grownup methodology & sense of responsibility, removing sensitive bits through peer review (except for the 1 huge snafu and what seem to be some small bargaining tidbits by Snowden) rather than just hawk it to Al Qaeda or the KGB. (for all I know, Booz Allen contractors are already stealing info and making money on the side - seems easy enough to do, and I'm sure there's a market - say insider trading & naked short selling & getting the LIBOR rate in advance?). Write your representatives and tell them you're aghast that years later they still haven't put in effective safeguards on removable media.

    But yeah, I'd be happier still if our military & intelligence acted smarter, that the public right to know on all this over-classified info was acknowledged, and that we ran these programs smartly. But really, there were the same discussions about how important waterboarding & stress positions were, how supposedly effective they were and how we have to keep them hush hush. I call bullshit on most of this - the power of ethics and morality is still stronger than most of this secret agent / Klaus Barbie crap, it's why we used to be able to go into situations with a slight moral advantage, but now the world just thinks it's more American exceptionalism & self-congratulatory marketing crap

    "I don't know what they are and neither do you." - which is why they're supposed to report to Congressional oversight rather than stonewall information from Udall & Wyman & others, and say that a rubber-stamp judge appointed by John Roberts who doesn't look at any of the details is sufficient "transparency".

    There wouldn't be any discussion about clean-up if these guys hadn't done something big. Clapper wouldn't have even admitted lying. Even now he won't suffer any penalty for that. I'm not very comfortable with these people controlling this information and our wars and our torture and our force-feeding in Gitmo and other things we don't know about. For whatever problems Assange, Manning & Snowden have, they also seem to have some basic morality I can understand. That doesn't mean you can't fight real terrorists and have morality, but much of it now seems to be just trying to scare people to expand programs and spend more money, with no thought of being actually effective and sensitive to privacy concerns & human rights. Thomas Drake noted the change in attitude over the last decade - what do you think of him? The CIA just got caught overestimating the precision of drones, and way underestimating the civilian casualties. Why am I not surprised?

    You are forgetting the rules. You are either an Obamabot or you are a defender of the truth. Snowden, Assange and Greenwald are to be defended   Any mention of a flaw that would make you question motive is an warranted attack. You must deny that any other country conducts electronic espionage. You have to take the "Fair and Balanced" approach that only the US can be criticized, 

    Snowden admits that he stole government documents and is upset that the government is using legal means to bring him to trial. We are told that he might be poisoned or there might be a drone attack. The fact that other whistle-blowers remain alive is to be ignored. You are not playing by the rules.

    I would appreciate you stop attributing this to me.

    I've never said the leakers or journalists can't be criticized, and have acknowledged some mistakes they made. They're human. If you dig, you'll find flaws and problems.

    Do these problems overshadow the good they do? I don't think so, you can disagree - but let's argue with facts, not misrepresentation of positions.


    You tend to change positions. When criticism occurs, you tend to yell about getting back to PRISM. It's hard to keep track.

    There is agreement that NSA needs more oversight and that surveillance needs to be reeled in. The Snowden-Assange-Greenwald trio has made so that there is a drip. Drip drip of info. We discuss each drip which takes us away from PRISM surveillance in the US. We know Congressis unlikely to take any meaningful action, so we post response to the latest drip. We await how the courts will decide the issues.

    When we respond to the drips some of us claim higher moral purity. 

    I'm not talking about criticism. I'm talking about lying about what I said.

    Please stop doing it.


    Pretty touchy for someone who can't apologize for an unwarranted personal attack. 

    Lying about what I say is personal.

    The other one was just about the absurdity of claiming some Occupy Wall Street hippies in Boston could really overwhelm a $10 billion+ intelligence agency & $35 billion a year Homeland Security department. But if you want to stick to that line, feel free.

    As I told Ramona, she forgot to play by your rules.

    By your rules,  only you are allowed to be offended. It is ridiculous. Bring up Burma again when we are discussing US law, then complain about someone going off topic. Hey today is the 150th anniversary of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg and the retreat of the Confederates.

    This is complete nonsense. No one has called anyone an Obamabot in any of the several blogs and hundreds of comments in these discussions. Every defender of Snowden has admitted some flaws and has at times criticized both Snowden and Assange. No one has denied other countries conduct espionage. Other nations's spying has at times been criticized by defenders of Snowden.

    While one person has tepidly defended Snowden's worry about assassination I certainly don't buy it. I didn't weigh in since Wolrich was doing a fine job in debunking the claim. He doesn't need me to help him and I stayed out of the dialog.

    You lie and distort because you're unable to defend your position with honest dialog.


    I think Obama is letting these two guys self destruct.

    Possibly. But there is also another PRISM (unrelated I think) program out there that does what some might consider disinformation. I think I linked to it in a previous comment.

    Even if US disinformation campaigns seem too wild, quite a number of folk (including Assange, whose Embassy days may be numbered) could have an interest in slanting Snowden's comments, or even in making up comments for him from whole cloth. I'm not saying this has happened, just that I think it's odd that someone who did so well with a face-to-face, recorded interview has not done one since. 

    (I did note that the South China Post article did not say how the interview was conducted.)

    Assange seems to have enough resources to get out a message that his words are being twisted or fabricated. I expect that there will be focus on aspects of his sex life and pending criminal charges as days go on. That could be a secret government program at work or the US news media reverting to the norm.

    More on letters, plural: The Independent, July 1:

    Julian Assange and Ecuador relations at crisis point as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden breaks his silence with letter of thanks to Quito condemning US 'persecution'

    Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who blew the whistle on a huge spying programme by US authorities, has accused the American government of “persecution” and thanked Ecuador for standing against it. In a separate statement, released by WikiLeaks, he accused the US of putting pressure on world leaders over his case.

    While the timing of their separate releases - from a Quito source and from WikiLeaks only around an hour apart – highlight the ever growing tensions between the two...

    ....This newspaper revealed on Monday afternoon that relations between Ecuador and Mr Assange, who claimed asylum in the country’s west London embassy more than a year ago, were becoming “incredibly strained”. And earlier reports hinted at Quito’s frustration that Mr Assange was hijacking Mr Snowden’s Ecuador asylum claim. The release of a separate statement by his organisation is likely to be seen as a deliberate insult by some Quito officials. It places Mr Assange's position in Ecuador's west London embassy, where he is sheltering from extradition to Sweden, in increasing peril....

    And at The Guardian, from Rory Carroll in Quito (1 July 2013 21.44 EDT), President Correa does not sound like he will be much impressed by the letter sent, check out the last sentence from my snip:

    Rafael Correa: Ecuador helped Snowden 'by mistake'
    Ecuador's president reveals travel pass was granted 'without authorisation' and says whistleblower is now Russia's problem

    Ecuador is not considering Edward Snowden's asylum request and never intended to facilitate his flight from Hong Kong, president Rafael Correa said as the whistleblower made a personal plea to Quito for his case to be heard.

    Snowden was Russia's responsibility and would have to reach Ecuadorean territory before the country would consider any asylum request, the president said in an interview with the Guardian on Monday.

    "Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It's not logical. The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia."

    The president, speaking at the presidential palace in Quito, said his government did not intentionally help Snowden travel from Hong Kong to Moscow with a temporary travel pass. "It was a mistake on our part," he added.

    Asked if he thought the former NSA contractor would ever make it to Quito, he replied: "Mr Snowden's situation is very complicated, but in this moment he is in Russian territory and these are decisions for the Russian authorities."

    On whether Correa would like to meet him, the president said: "Not particularly. He's a very complicated person. Strictly speaking, Mr Snowden spied for some time." [....]

    More from President Correa on Assange:

    “The conduct of Assange has bothered me a little and this morning I spoke with the foreign minister to tell him not to speak about our country’s situations,” Mr. Correa said on Monday in an interview with Agence France-Presse.

    Mr. Correa was apparently displeased by comments that Mr. Assange made on Sunday on the ABC program “This Week” regarding Mr. Biden’s telephone call. Mr. Assange characterized that call as an effort to pressure Mr. Correa.

    “What does he know about the call from Joe Biden?” Mr. Correa was quoted as saying in the A.F.P. interview. “And he says that he called to pressure me. I have never permitted a call to put pressure on me."

    “And he says that he called to pressure me. I have never permitted a call to put pressure on me." Que cojones tan grandotes! Of course when el padrino del Norte calls, there's no pressure - it's just to pass the time of day. And Latin America's never been swayed by these calls, oh no.*

    But yes, Assange may be overplaying his hand, or he's willing to take the risk even if it's precarious for his own situation. Don't know him, can't see inside his heart, can't get a sense of his soul.

    *Note: even if I were the world's biggest socialist and enemy of the US, I might not want to screw my country and all my efforts for the next 4 or 50 years all over some foreign matter about spying.  Correa is a PhD Economist from University of Illinois. He's not dumb, he's not suicidal, and likely he has good plans for his country. Frankly, he doesn't have a perrito en esa pelea.

    Here is the world'e biggest socialist and he aint gonna screw nuthin.fat man photo: fat man fat_guy.jpg


    Ay caramba! Viva la revolucion or whatever!

    Snowden has upped the asylum country count to 21. Russia has been taken off the list because Putin wants Snowden to stop leaking inormation about its "American Partners".

    Snowden releases information about the US spying on countries that are not at war with the US.Apparently, the ultimate goal is to make the world a more peaceful place. This would make sense if the US wee the only country collecting data on foreign countries including allies. In a link above I noted that France leads Russia and China on industrial espionage targeting its EU neighbors. This is data from Wikileaks. China and Russia attack sites in the US. If the US is the sole focus of leaks and the activities of other countries are not being evaluated, why should US citizens feel safer about what Snowden is doing?

    The  end result would be an advantage to foreign nations over the US.Tthe US government would feel victimized, rightly or wrongly and double down on its surveillance program. What makes Snowden's activities less likely to increase international tension?

    Snowden releases information about the US spying on countries that are not at war with the US.Apparently, the ultimate goal is to make the world a more peaceful place.

    I am confused by this turn of events because I got the impression from his break-out interview that his goal was to let U.S. citizens know how far spying on them by their government had gotten, that it wasn't to be about countries spying on each other.

    To whistleblow about a country spying on other countries when you are working for that country's spy system, that would traditionally be considered by many a less sympathetic goal, more like being a counteragent  or mole. That one who thinks the current nation-state system of the world sucks really has no business working for a spy system unless the goal is to sabotage the spying by one in favor of others. (Need I say most sovereign nations consider that a punishable offense?)

    I don't understand who is at fault about which documents are being released first and which ones are getting all the play, but it sure doesn't seem like it's going according to his stated goals. Instead of lots of citizens being outraged that their government is spying on them, the response he's got so far is mainly a lot of nation states screaming at each other about international spying.

    Not saying that couldn't change depending upon what's further revealed.

    But the initial explanation for him talking about U.S. spying on China was that he was trying to get sympathy of the people of Hong Kong, but that nation-on-nation spying wasn't to be what he was whistleblowing about.  But instead of moving on to his stated goals, revelations of the U.S. spying on the E.U. government are the next big thing coming from his dump.

    He certainly had deviated from his original stated purpose. And I'm much more interested in information about NSA data collection on me and other Americans. I wish he'd return to that. I guess I'm selfish that way.

    On the other hand the German people seem quite upset about US and England spying on them. I wonder how they feel about Snowden. I think if I was a German I'd be grateful he released that information.

    He's stirred up quite a world wide hullabaloo. I'm still having trouble seeing how any of his releases has damaged our national security, so far. But he's still stuck in Russia and while there's no evidence he gave them any information I can't believe that they'll let him stay there without some price.

    PS to add. I'm a little uncomfortable with you calling Snowden's releases a dump. We don't know how much he has or how much is coming. But so far I'd guesstimate he's released maybe two or three dozen documents. That's a far cry from Manning's 700,000 document dump or even Ellsberg's 1,000 page book.

    I was uncomfortable with using the word too. Tried to think about an alternate word for a length of time, had already edited several times, gave up, was tired of editing, figured I am not writing a blog post, but just a comment, hopefully people would get the gist of what I am talking about, as puzzlement, not an attack.

    Do you think this helps getting to a solution in Syria where Russia the US have differing opinions about how to deal with Assad. Is China more or less likely to aid the US in trying to keep North Korea in check. These are hypotheticals, but it seems to me that the information release does harm national interests.

    The focus is on the US.Even though China and Russia do electronic espionage, the Snowden-Assange releases only hurt one side.

    I'm interested in the EU bit as well.

    rmrd0000 excused US hacking Hong Kong universities because they were tied to the Chinese, despite being a different system with much more democracy in Hong Kong.

    But how to excuse the wanton hacking & siphoning off of all EU communications data? Oh, the UK does it and shares it with us, so it's okay? Germans lost WWII so they should still suck on it? It's a conversation well-needed to happen.

    You two guys are hilarious. Are the US, UK, Russia, China, Israel and EU countries all invited to discuss their electronic surveillance programs, or Just the US? You love to avoid the topic of invasion of US cyberspace by foreign countries. I would if I were you as we'll. The big bully us Image created by Snwden has to be propped up. You don't care about surveillance of the US by other countries.

    The problem that you run into is that people realize that multiple countries seek US information. The country is not going to agree to a one-sided argument on cyber-security.Snowden was so inept that he didn't think to gather evidence on what was being done to the US via i electronic surveillance, he only dealt with what the US was doing. A big problem.

    I would be lashing out in frustration too, if I had to support the biased data that Snowden and Assange are providing. Move along now China Russia, Israel France, etc. Nothing to see hear.Funny.China made the final decision to let Snowden leave, but Hong Kong is independent.

    let's go into an international discussion on cyber-attacks where the only topic is the USA.Sounds reasonable...not . It represents the same diplomatic skills demonstrated by Snowden.

    I think we can start the EU discussion in France.

    You guys are really amusing. Naive, but amusing.

    Are the US, UK, Russia, China, Israel and EU countries all invited to discuss their electronic surveillance programs, or Just the US?

    Well of course they're all included. The UK is already part of that discussion since one of Snowden's releases was focused on the UK spying with the NSA at the economic summit.  Germany directly complained to the UK about it. Or did you miss that?

    We've been talking about China's hacking for years. A very one sided discussion.

    If you want to add to this discussion why not tell us what you think about other countries surveillance programs instead of asking us to address it for you. Tell us what you think about how the information that Snowden released will affect our negotiations with Russia over Syria and why instead of asking us what we think. Tell us your views on how it will affect our negotiations with China over North Korea instead of asking us. If you think these are the important questions, don't just ask them, answer them.

    You, in fact, are avoiding all these topics. You're asking us to answer questions that you refuse to answer yourself.

    I'm not here to do your research for you nor am I here to be directed by you to answer your "important" questions you're apparently unable to.

    Amusing. It's hard to see that the current talks about Syria would not be impacted by the data release of Snowden. It is also difficult to see how trade negotiations with the EU would not be impacted by Snowden's decision. The major accomplishment of the Assange- Snowden combo has been damaging relations with a multitude of countries.i see nothing that did not damage US security. Countries will be less likely to share info with the US. Intelligence agencies might be a little slower in transmitting information of possible threats passing to the US.

    Russia may be less likely to pass on info about threats like Tsarnaev. One would hope that if info was passed now, authorities would pay attention instead of watching OWS.I don't see anything positive happening from a security standpoint.


    Shorter RMRD0000: "lots of shit happening, lots of damage!!!"

    Gee, shouldn't trade negotiations with the EU be impacted if one side is unilaterally spying & eavesdropping on the other?

    Are we so exceptional that we should be allowed to spy on anyone at will?

    If we can't spy on our friends, does that damage our security?

    Oops - you're back on the "we were so busy with OWS, we didn't have time for anything else". Sorry bucko, but

    1) if the US government colludes to spin a few trillion dollars into banks with no return while regular people suffer, yeah, someone has the right to protest. What exactly is your problem with that?

    2) if $35-40 billion a year isn't enough for Homeland Security to chew gum and walk at the same time, what's your suggestion for the optimal amount for self preservation? Another $3 bilion? $5 billion? $20 billion? Did Tea Party protests distract the poor Homeland Security too, or is it only leftist marches that cause problems? If only I was paid so well to give such lame-ass excuses. "we couldn't follow a tip about a single Caucusus Muslim gone rogue because the OWS crowd had occupied a whole downtown square!!!" Every time you write, I worry more and more about our sanity.

    Since you start with my name in caps, I assume you are ranting. I won't bother to read or comment. Children throw tantrums.

    Oh no-ums, I put your name in all caps. Who knew that that was crossing the line. Did you put your fingers in your ears and go "la la la"?

    Sadly I was waiting for a serious response from you as to how many more billions it would require for NSA and Homeland Security to actually do their jobs without silly excuses. Guess I'll be waiting a long time.

    Ah, the very important question of how Snowden affects our negotiations with Russia over Syria. I didn't see a snowball's chance in hell that Putin was ever ready to negotiate on Syria. There's no way that Putin would give up the Russian naval base in Tartus. The last Russian naval base outside Russia and the only Russian repair and replenishment base in the Mediterranean. Putin is all in  this war and quite understandably so. If the US had only one naval base in the Mediterranean I'd support the US doing practically anything to protect and preserve it. Putin would be a fool not to do the same and Putin is no fool. Assad is his ally, Assad is winning. This is not an uncommon view. I've read at least a dozen international affairs experts that say this. I don't think there's a damn thing Snowden could do to change Putin's mind.

    You can be amused if you want. You may have trouble seeing it. Feeling amused and stating  that its hard for you to see is not a convincing argument. In fact its not an argument at all How about adding a little substance to back up your feelings of amusement.

    More amusement.

    I don't understand who is at fault about which documents are being released first and which ones are getting all the play, but it sure doesn't seem like it's going according to his stated goals.

    I just read that Snowden has given a copy of all his documents to the Guardian and that no matter what happens to him they will continue to release information and the story will go on. Perhaps that's an explanation. The Guardian is somewhat more of a British and Eurocentric newspaper with the US as only a part of its coverage.

    The statement about France was from a American diplomatic cable released by wikileaks. Part of the Manning document dump. Its a single sentence. Some CEO of a German company made the allegation. There's no evidence. I'm not the trusting type and I know nothing about that CEO. I require a bit more than a single sentence allegation to convince me.

    But you're the trusting type as you said many times. So explain exactly why you trust that German CEO and why you believe the allegation.

    I think the fact that the US gets hacked by foreign governments. I don't think the US should be singled as if other countries, including France hack into US sites. Some tend to be in denial. The discussion should broaden to include what everybody is doing, including those who say "Espionage? Moi." The statements conforms to other sources.

    Why should the US be the sole focus? Should a foreign country leader' faux outrage go unchallenged?

    How about see if you can discuss US hacking for 20 seconds, and then go off on your tangents about other countries. "Why should the US be the sole focus?" Indeed, you're doing everything you can to keep it from being a focus at all. & which "faux outrage" were you referring to? Certainly not Merkel.

    See my response to your rant above. 

    It's getting more crazy in international land:

    Bolivia leader's jet diverted 'amid Snowden suspicions'
    BBC News, 2 July 2013 t 20:11 ET

    Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane has been diverted to Austria amid suspicion that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is on board, the Bolivian foreign minister has said.  David Choquehuanca denied that Mr Snowden was on the plane.

    France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the Bolivia-bound flight to cross their airspace [....]

    Edit to add: The Guardian is doing a live blog on it all.

    This from the Guardian's Washington bureau chief, Dan Roberts: "Of course, all the drama also has the added benefit of distracting attention from the impact of Snowden's revelations. Obama's top intelligence official, James Clapper, has just admitted lying to Congress over whether the US spies on its own people, but you wouldn't know it from watching US TV right now."

    Methinks Mr. Roberts doth protest too much. You all know I've been following this, and I believe it is surely The Guardian who has been the main one feeding much of the hot drama on Snowden, fastest and mostest. It's the place to go for the latest dramatic tidbit. If someone scoops them on some little detail, within a few minutes, they have it on their site. I don't mind, because I'm interested, but getting all high and mighty over U.S. media losing balance because of a story mainly being fed by his very own venue is a bit much.

    Actually CNN TV has been covering the George Zimmerman trial quite heavily, surmising more popular interest than in Snowden aslyum stories or NSA stories for that matter.

    As for coverage of the most recent Clapper apology, I do not see any lack in the US media, I just checked, here's just a few, all individual reports, not wire service copies:


















    Bizarre. Makes me wonder if a few of the higher-ups got Morales mixed up with Maduro and diverted the wrong plane.

    (Morales has been more circumspect in his comments about Snowden than Maduro.)

    If not, it makes one wonder what will happen when Maduro tries to leave Russia. Will Dick Cheney have to ride along?


    France and Spain are denying that they did anything to divert the route of the Bolivian President. Comments by various unnamed sources suggest that some mischief was going on.

    Response to PP above. Here is an example of how discussions about lying have gone

    The attack because of lack of knowledge of the OWS surveillance. Is just one example. There is a reflex charge of lying. Here is one exchange.


    China made the decision that Snowden could leave Hong Kong.
    by rmrd0000 6/25/2013 - 6:58 am (re: rmrd0000) edit reply delete
    Snowden seems to have taken the job to release NSA dpmestic spying info to US citizens.
    You're intentionally overplaying every "fact" you come across.
    Is that how you typically win arguments?
    by PeraclesPlease 6/25/2013 - 8:17 am (re: rmrd0000) reply
    From Snowden's interview with the South China Morning Post
    "If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published."
    Snowden does not say that he is informing US citizens, he is informing foreign governments.
    by rmrd0000 6/25/2013 - 8:44 am (re: PeraclesPlease) reply delete


     I was said to be misstating facts, when I was quoting Snowden's statement.. I'll post more examples. Being called a liar by PP carries little impact.

    Uh, he says "journalists", i.e. informing media, not governments. Subtle difference.

    You have zero credibility. You wrongly attacked me. Now you whine. Get over it. Time for me to enjoy the day.

    Excellent point:

    Why Won’t Anyone Take Edward Snowden?
    Because he is a terrible candidate for asylum.
    By Eric Posner, Slate, July 3, 2013

    [....] Snowden could be regarded as a political dissenter, but the United States is attempting to arrest him not because he holds dissenting views, but because he violated the law by disclosing information that he had sworn to keep secret. All countries have such laws; they could hardly grant asylum to an American for committing acts that they themselves would regard as crimes if committed by their own nationals [....]

    I would think it is less about pressure from the U.S. than it is this, that after investigating his story and thinking a minute, seeing someone who could just become a big thorn in your side. He would be an example their own "troublemakers" could point to, i.e., "you supported him, why not me, your own citizen 'whistleblower'"?

    Thanks for this and your posts on Egypt.

    good to know someone else is looking at my Egypt news updates....

    The mental health of many factors has suffered

    As I think I mentioned on another thread, I've always wondered if that is something about the Russian culture. Expats, whether during the Soviet era or before or after, just don't seem to fare well there.

    Wow I meant to say defectors not factors. 

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