Snowden’s Credibility Problem Worsens as Whistleblowing Email Story Blows Up

In mid-June of last year, at the vanguard of the Edward Snowden revelations, a Hong Kong attorney named Albert Ho met with Snowden to assist the NSA contractor’s plans to leave the Chinese city-state for points unknown. Following the meeting, Ho told The New York Times, “He didn’t go out, he spent all his time inside a tiny space, but he said it was O.K. because he had his computer. If you were to deprive him of his computer, that would be totally intolerable.”

You might also recall a pair of photos taken of Snowden in Moscow holding an open laptop adorned with a pair of stickers: a Tor encryption sticker and an Electronic Frontier Foundation sticker.

snowden_laptops_2

The point of noting the existence of at least one laptop in Snowden’s possession is to ask the following: Are we seriously supposed to believe that Snowden fired off a series of emails to various NSA officials, blowing the whistle on what he considered to be illegal and unconstitutional activities, but didn’t bother to retain a single copy of those emails on a laptop which he transported with him while on the lam?

Let’s rewind several days.

As we’re all aware by now, Snowden, for the first time ever, revealed to NBC News’ Brian Williams that he in fact tried to go through proper, internal whistleblowing channels before engaging in his plot to abscond with thousands of top secret, sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) files and leak them en masse to Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman. Snowden said NSA has emails to confirm this and called upon Congress to demand to see copies. Here’s how Greenwald reacted to this news:

greenwald_biggest_news

The very next day, and in keeping with the 24 Hour Rule, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released an email exchange between Snowden and the agency’s Office of General Counsel. The content of the exchange had exactly nothing to do with material concerns regarding PRISM or bulk metadata collection. Instead it amounted to a basic civics question: does an executive order take precedent over federal statutes?

Suddenly Greenwald didn’t think the emails were such a big deal:

greenwald_irrelevant

Uh-huh. So when the email exchange turned out to be a big nothing, Greenwald’s reaction magically transformed from “biggest news” to “irrelevant” news. Likewise, the ACLU called the email situation a “red herring.”

Now, if we really parse the hell out of Snowden’s civics question, as Marcy Wheeler dutifully attempted last week, it’s possible that he was asking it in reference to whether the president was hiding NSA’s actions from Congress. But that’s quite a stretch and by no means does it illustrate any actual whistleblowing.

Then, responding to ODNI’s release of the email, Snowden insisted there are many other emails that vindicate his revelation to Brian Williams.

Today’s release is incomplete, and does not include my correspondence with the Signals Intelligence Directorate’s Office of Compliance, which believed that a classified executive order could take precedence over an act of Congress, contradicting what was just published. It also did not include concerns about how indefensible collection activities—such as breaking into the back-haul communications of major US internet companies—are sometimes concealed under EO 12333 to avoid Congressional reporting requirements and regulations. [...]

I did raise such concerns both verbally and in writing, and on multiple, continuing occasions — as I have always said, and as NSA has always denied.

Fine. The onus, then, is on Snowden to produce those emails. And if he can’t, he ought to say exactly why not. But for a man whose entire professional life orbited around stealing and organizing TS/SCI files via at least two NSA contractors, and then badgering both Poitras and Greenwald for months, between late 2012 and early 2013, about what he had done, don’t you think he would’ve made it a point to save copies of his correspondence, if for no other reason but to have NSA officials on record responding to his claims? Don’t you think Greenwald, who loves a good Gotcha! quote (ask James Clapper), would kill for such material?

Furthermore, since day one of this affair there’s been an ongoing debate about whether Snowden is a traitorous leaker or a valiant whistleblower. But we’re only now hearing about email evidence proving his attempts to legitimately blow the whistle. Seems as though news about whistleblowing messages to both NSA’s general counsel and the Signals Intelligence Directorate’s Office of Compliance should’ve been dumped to the press on the same day as that first video interview in Hong Kong. Or, at the very least, he might’ve mentioned this a long time ago. He’s certainly had plenty of opportunities.

That never happened, of course. Why? Perhaps someone should ask Snowden or his media flack, Greenwald. That is, if they don’t mind walking face-first into the propeller blades.

You know, for a gaggle of people who are so utterly obsessed with transparency, they’re astonishingly and frustratingly opaque about their own decisions and methods.

  • Joe

    Whether Snowden is lying or not you are a fool for letting the NSA distract you with meaningless disputes. Snowden’s full story won’t be realized for years but we are being spied on now.

  • reggid

    I’d bet good money that Greenwald wrote that April 2013 email for Snowden, trying for some kind of “gotcha” in his desperation to link Bush-era abuses to Obama. The timing and tortured language just screams Greenwald.

  • Ty Emzone

    I can’t believe that people are still “arguing” over this creep, Snowden. And if the superpatriots around here really don’t want a full blown intelligence (uh, that means spy) operation in their government, the remedy is to elect a government that doesn’t run one. Good luck with that. Not gonna happen in your lifetimes.

  • D. Alexander

    Unfortunately I have seen that there is just as much hatred of the president from the left on the right. The NSA debacle is all they live and breathe for. I’ll bet they have no clue what the president is doing in the realm of clean energy and climate change, and they have left eh arena when it comes to voting rights. Cesca is on one the few that brings some sanity into this entire mess. We do have more problems than the NSA. .

  • raina

    I called it yesterday- From Stewart Baker’s article- “Fast Eddie” Snowden’s problem with the truth:
    http://www.skatingonstilts.com/skating-on-stilts/2014/06/snowdens-problem-with-the-truth.html

    “Snowden’s second line of defense was to accuse the NSA of having lied
    earlier, when it said it found no record of his past objections. Wrong
    again. What NSA said at the time was,
    “we have not found any evidence to support Mr Snowden’s contention that
    he brought these matters to anyone’s attention.” That’s still true,
    since the much-touted email doesn’t bring anything (other than
    Snowden’s skill as sea lawyer and proofreader) to anyone’s attention,
    nor does it raise any objection to any program.”

    • reggid

      Here’s the thing, though — does anyone really believe for a second that Eddie came up with that tortured and deliberately misleading wording about “questioning the legal authorities” all by himself? Geez, who else in this story, say maybe someone who immediately turns around and jumps up and down gleefully at the supposed (but false) claim that this deliberately dodgy and hyper-parsed claim was “confirmed” by an email which did no such thing? Why, geez, it’s almost like that person — who claims to be merely reporting the story — is, instead, actually advising and drafting things for Eddie, isn’t it? Nah, that couldn’t possibly be it, could it?

      • raina

        Yeah I’ve heard people say he sounded remarkably rehearsed and I can guess who helped who helped him parse his answers.

      • beulahmo

        Yeah, I was struck by the wording, too. Slippery little rascal, ain’t he? Or maybe not. We’re not too stupid to notice that the email was sent in April, after he and Greenwald began communicating about leaking the stolen documents. My not-so-wild speculation is that Snowden might’ve used that wording because Greenwald advised him on how to legitimately (sort of) claim “But I communicated my concerns.” I wonder how many other skeptics will end up having the same not-so-wildly speculative thoughts?

  • Jason

    How interesting the conversation has moved to the motives of Snowden. Seems like the only conclusion one can arrive at is he’s bonkers and we shouldn’t Listen to him anymore. .. wonder who thought that up?

    • raina

      “Don’t question his motives” is something the Snowden cult invented to protect their boy at all costs. We are not required to abide by your parameters.

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      People with brains thought it up. I’ve been saying it for a year. Remember, the guy was all for shooting whistleblowers in the balls until Obama was president. His. Own. Words.

    • reggid

      Right-wing loony with a history of exaggerations and delusions of grandeur gives story to right-wing blogger with a history consisting of making porn, dodging creditors, and defending white supremacists, but no one can question their motives? Goodness, the dude-bro mind is a terrible thing . . . end of sentence.

  • Tort Master

    Writing one email about what rules to follow on the job is to following established whistleblowing procedures as dreaming about making sweet, sweet love to Beyonce is to making sweet, sweet love to Beyonce. This story is nothing but Nothingburgers.

    Constitutional violations? Sorry, Nothingburger.
    NSA illegally spying on US Person content? Nope, Nothingburger.
    NSA spying on Pakistan, Iran and China? You bet, but still … Nothingburger!

  • Jason

    Well i see little has changed. The NSA suddenly finds an email it couldn’t find before and Cesca once again thinks it is cause to question Snowdens credibility.
    Come on buddy, even you should be able to see that the credibility gap lies in the governments story, not Snowdens. Even the Brian Williams interview help Snowden along :-)

    • reggid

      What is it, exactly, that you think the email shows? Please explain how that email in any why whatsoever shows any kind of “whistleblowing.” I’ll give you a clue — it doesn’t.

    • raina

      Wrong. As I said in another comment, NSA never said there was no emails from Snowden. What they said was there was no emails to support his whistleblowing claims.

      Snowden obfuscation as usual.

  • lilyannerose

    I’ve been on the fence about Snowden from day one and have to say I’m still enjoying the view. Should America and the world know about the extent of the snooping? Hell yeah. Do I trust Snowden and his motives? Hell no.

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      I get why people think “wow, the NSA is powerful.” But think about that for one minute without ideological blinders: the NSA is a *spying agency,* its mission is *spying,* they hire *spies* to *spy.* Their mission profile says absolutely nothing about privacy or minimization. Instead, the NSA has to be capable of finding and exploiting the communications of any friend or foe, at any time, to advance the national interest. And the reason why we’re so scared of the NSA is because they are actually very, very GOOD AT THEIR JOB.

  • Chris Hadrick

    Isn’t this doing NSA/ Obama’s job for him?

    • beulahmo

      Yes.
      We are all authoritarian sheeple who have plans to be included in the privileged class under the Obomba Totalitarian Regime. Because we love and need Daddy to tell us what to do.

      • Lex

        no just political hacks , basically cesca is the Sean hannity of democrats, puts his party first above principal and poilciys , never criticizes them and only cares about team democrat winning

        At least Rush limbaugh attacks the gop when he disagrees with them , which is somethin hannity does not and cesca never does against democrats.

        • reggid

          More fact-free whining from another emo-prog douchebag who escaped his Daily Kos cage.

          • Lex

            emo prog douchebag , nice one you partisan hack without any principals who puts its political party above all else . Emo prog is even a dumber insult then demonrat used by freepers

          • BumpIt McCarthy

            Referring to people as “it” really makes your case that you care deeply about freedom and social argle bargle justice something something. Not Hannitylike at all.

          • reggid

            Again, Lex, you have yet to address, much less refute, a single factual point raised in the article above or in a single comment. So, did you just come here to whine and cry like a little child with a skinned knee?

          • repugnicant

            Exactly how do you expect to win hearts and minds by being a douchebag? Please explain.

          • Tort Master

            I don’t agree with the name-calling, but, seriously, emo prog is way cooler and funnier than demonrat. I think that reggid should be better than calling people names, the same as you, and you also should download a sense of humor.

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        BTW, the OTR meeting is at Cracker Barrel again this week.

      • Churchlady320

        Huh. And here I am not receiving any orders from the White House, speaking freely all of the time, and thinking my own thoughts. Gosh – did I get overlooked or something? Now if you’re marching under the OTR it’s invisible to the rest of us. ‘Cause you just SAID it in public, out for all to see.

        • beulahmo

          Oh, man. You must’ve missed the meeting. Just drop by the local Democratic Party office and pick up a form. It’s easy — all you’ll have to do is pledge your unquestioning allegiance to the party and to Dear Leader.

    • repugnicant

      ….said he, while voluntarily engaging in web commentary, thus leaving a conspicuous trail of bread crumbs for the NSA to follow, straight to his hard drive full of nekkid women pics.. unbeknownst to his wife.

      • Chris Hadrick

        exactly. I don’t want them finding that stuff out so go greenwald

        • reggid

          Oh, it’s too late for that, man! Quick — throw your laptop and phone in the microwave on high! It’s the only way to stop “them.”

        • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

          Enough. You Luddites don’t seem to understand that the internet started as a secret government project and that it simply does not have the architecture to deliver you the level of privacy you think you should automagically have. Welcome to the fucking internet.

  • Peter James

    This guy could give a masterclass on how to effortlessly look like a Uber-douche in any photo with the most minimal of gestures, facial expressions and the most potent of douche-tastic poses.

    I realize most of these are woeful attempts at looking nonchalantly cool and flippant gone horribly, ……HORRIBLY wrong and general spectacular misfires but, there’s not a single photo of his that’s been taken and released to the public domain where I’ve not thought, “Man, that’s an Ultra-Wedgie just waiting to happen, right there”

    • feloniousgrammar

      Yeah. In the top pic he looks like he’s trying to impersonate Lincoln.

      All the whining about how President Obama targeted and persectuted whistleblowers and not an ounce of evidence that he blew the whistle. Snowden can’t do anything right, he really should downgrade his opinion of himself.

    • ruth crocker

      did you notice that one of these pix is actually taken at his feet? looking up at him from below? ewwwww!

  • Don Rusho

    Greenwald’s first tweet is a sick joke: at best NBC can confirm that Snowden said he made such an attempt.
    The fact that so many of his fans took him at his word just shows how credulous they are.

  • David James

    I worked for a software company and no email was retained on laptops. All was server based with no capability for individual to download/retain their own emails. Is it so hard to believe the NSA would not be as secure as a software company? I’m not saying I believe Snowden, but this is a weak argument. If you have faith that the NSA will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you are a fool.

    • repugnicant

      I hope when you finished typing that, you realized how ludicrous that sounded.

      • BumpIt McCarthy

        If I were so disturbed by what I found at work that I was about to take it to the press, I would be sure to document all the complaints I made, to whom I made them, when, and what response I got. This would apply as much to working as a social worker as a “spy.” Otherwise, what credibility would I have?

        • repugnicant

          It all points to a couple of possibilities: Either Snowden is dumber than doornails, or his plan was always to reside in another country. Knowing that you’re committing a serious crime and may need evidence to support your cause if apprehended, collecting correspondences would be a no-brainer.

          • CJF50

            Or his plan was to make the current administration look bad, not thinking there would be follow up questions.

        • reggid

          No, see, he’s such a whistleblower, see, that he didn’t bother to save any evidence of any actual whistleblowing, see? That’s what a huge whistleblower he is, see? See? Er, um, see . . .

    • Don Rusho

      I don’t believe anything the NSA tells me. That is why we have elected representatives performaing oversight, they are privy to details that I will never see and they have tools to bring wrongdoers into line.

    • That River Gal

      Gee, you worked for a software company and you can’t take a screenshot?

      • 624LC .

        Eapecially since the whistleblower status is what you were promoting in that puff piece about your pensive state in the Hong Kong hotel? Even Jesus’ acolytes had more skepticism.

    • ruth crocker

      you couldn’t print them out either?

    • Peter James

      Wait,…..

      ….so what you’re saying is that he was able to hack and steal super-uber-ultrea-sensitive and mega-classified documents, but couldn’t find a way to hack the system server hosting his company’s mail system to get the back-up mail messages?
      (…and YES, there’s always a back-up…..even on your hard-drive when you think it’s gone. It just take an actual EXPERT to know how to retrieve them and not an “I was once a spy for the CIA, NSA, DIA, NWA…” type douche)

      Really?

      And you claim to have worked for a software company?

      The alternative, of course, is that you’re implying that the NSA have much better security for their email servers than they do for the ACTUAL classified and ultra-sensitive documents that they have to handle and deal with..

      Which seems more likely?

    • reggid

      Good grief — what a lame excuse. Has Snowden never heard of a printer? He managed to download and steal hundreds of thousands of classified documents, yet he couldn’t download a couple emails? Did you know what a jackass you sound like?

      • CJF50

        Most people would just forward the emails to their personal address.

        • BumpIt McCarthy

          Oh sure, if you want to do it the EASY way.

          • CJF50

            Call me crazy.

      • raina

        Some hacker he is.

    • nathkatun7

      Yep! I knew this was coming! The great genius Edward Snowden, who was able to download tons of these these earth shaking documents, was unable to save all his whistle blowing e-mails! And because Snowden Greenwald, and their supporters have to lad us that the NSA is evil, then NSA must be incapable of telling the truth if it denies Snowden’s claims. James may not know if Snowden is telling the truth, but thinks that Snowden must, at least be given the benefit that he is. On the other hand, any one who dares to give the NSA the benefit that it is telling the truth is automatically labelled “a fool.” How perfectly convenient and self-serving!

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      Does copy/paste work at your workplace? Or have they disabled that feature?

  • Dave Be

    Stop trying to make this story about Snowden.

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      Of course! We can’t talk about him at all, because then we might have to deal with the ACTUAL ISSUE he represents, namely the proliferation and inflation of private contracting in NATSEC.

      We shouldn’t talk about USIS contractors who rubber-stamped Eddie’s bizarre resume, or the glaring absence of common CI principles at the Hawaiian branch of a NATSEC contractor.

      We can’t talk about how this bloated enterprise actually HARMS national security and wastes money, because then Edward Snowden would be Exhibit A, wouldn’t he? And that would be dissonant with the objectives of the storytellers here.

      Snowden wants to be hacker-famous, not a study in what is actually wrong with American SIGINT agencies. Greenwald is not interested in improving the NSA, or maintaining national security, or protecting American interests — in fact, he’s actively undermined the nation’s alliances with foreign security bodies because he wants to reduce American power. Talking about Edward Snowden is inconvenient to his purposes because it would preserve American power. No wonder he has spent a full year telling anyone who asked him questions about Snowden to stop asking questions about Snowden.

      • beulahmo

        Interesting take, Matt. I hadn’t looked at it from this angle.

      • Dave Be

        No, some of your points are at least worth taking a look at. When I say “stop trying to make this story about Snowden,” I mean the story should be the information that he leaked, and how we feel about living in 1984 in 2014. Snowden could be the worst piece of garbage in the history of the planet, and it wouldn’t change the information in the documents he leaked. Attacking him and his lawyer is smoke and mirrors to distract us from the insane abuses that he brought to light.

        • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

          Sooo, it doesn’t matter that Snowden has essentially invented controversies about things he doesn’t actually understand, and it doesn’t matter that Greenwald has vastly overstated and inflated the controversy based on Snowden’s bullshit. What matters is that you’re skeered of the NSA, and the NSA is evil, and it makes you feel better when they fill your head with untrue things about the NSA.

          IOW, you’re like a RWNJ who’s into Benghazi conspiracy-mongering. Dylan Davies is a FAKE, and Lara Logan reported the entire story based on his utter bullshit, but RWNJs aren’t looking for evidence, are they? That’s you, but instead of muttering about a Kenyan usurper, you’re convinced PRISM lets the NSA directly access your gmail at the click of a mouse. It’s the story you WANT to hear, isn’t it?

          • Dave Be

            Sure, you’ve got me exact. I’d say more but my eyes rolled so hard one of them is stuck in the back of my head.

  • Sean

    Greenwald’s credibility as a journalist is also suspect – but that’s nothing new.

    • Don Rusho

      LOL. If that shyster pornographer is a journalist then I am Digby.

    • condew

      Greenwald was trained as a lawyer, so for Greenwald it’s always about winning the argument andnever about the truth.

      • ruth crocker

        he’d be the person person i’d call if i had a legal problem! but seriously, for someone with a legal background, his understanding of complex documents and even basic reading skills are pretty lacking.

        • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

          Want some fun? Do a little research on Greenwald’s turn defending neo-Nazis who’d shot a man in his driveway. He went WAAAYYY above and beyond the call of a defense attorney by actually trashing the victim.

  • reggid

    For what it’s worth, two actual highly-trained spy-masters — one a former director of CIA operations and the other an ex-KGB General — both believe Snowden is now doing Russia’s bidding: http://www.businessinsider.com/ex-spies-say-snowden-is-working-with-russia-2014-5#ixzz33ViFujkW

    • feloniousgrammar

      Interesting.

      “The Russians have been doing espionage for a long time,” Devine said. “They understand the psychology of discontented people.”

      I bet they understand the psychology of people who are discontent because they aren’t getting the grandiose adulation they think they deserve even better. Such deluded characters are likely easier to manipulate with the appearance of gratitude and a one-note mouthpiece who thinks himself the pinnacle of reason, but is really just as emotarian and daft as the average commenter at the ironically named Reason magazine.

      I couldn’t write a linear argument to save my life, but I recognize knee-jerk garbage and emotarian melodrama when I see it.

  • elgallorojo

    Bob’s Snowden Truthers Brigade is On The Job again today, as it is each and every day. Have they read the documents? No. Do they know the individuals involved? No. Have they talked to the individuals involved? No. Do they work at the NSA or equivalent? No. Can they read the minds of the individuals involved? No.

    But, the crucial question is, will they keep defending the NSA so long as a Democrat is in the White House? The answer to that, my friends, is… and let me be clear… YES!

    • BumpIt McCarthy

      The first part of your comment could be posted with just a change of the first four words: “Glenn’s Snowden Defenders Brigade” etc etc ad nauseum….

      Of course, nobody here is defending the NSA’s spying on Americans~~~WHEN IT HAPPENS. Ed, Glenn, et. al. have not shown it to have happened, or any illegality to have taken place. Capability is not action.

      But does the fact that no illegality has taken place except the theft and exposure-for-profit of tons of sensitive foreign intelligence bother the Dudebagger Defense?….The answer to that is, and let me belabor my own point while answering for everybody lest anybody dare to differ….NO!

      • ruth crocker

        thank you for that. i’m not sure how “data base without your name attached” turned into “spying on.”

        • beulahmo

          This vague way of characterizing it — spying on Americans — is done on purpose, and I believe it’s used to deceive readers into believing the content of their communications is being monitored without any oversight or consequence. As far as I’m concerned, the propagators of this characterization — “mass spying on Americans” — have engaged in willful deception, and I’m going to start calling it out every time I see it. The vast scope of government data collection is alarming enough; we don’t need to have people getting panicked because they’ve been given misleading information by the so-called “truth tellers”.

          • ruth crocker

            i actually think the vast scope makes it less alarming – far less likely anyone will ever see it let alone scrutinize it.

      • nathkatun7

        THIS, a million times!

    • reggid

      Um, yes, fool, we HAVE read the actual documents, not Greenwald’s exaggerated, misleading, or just plan inaccurate summaries of them. You do know that virtually everything Greenwald has reported from the Snowden documents is not backed up — and usually, even contradicted by — the actual documents, right?

    • repugnicant

      Again, it seems the ONLY people not actually reading Greenwald/Snowden’s stuff are the ones defending Greenwald/Snowden. Its bizarre.

      Imagine getting all the way down to the bottom of those ‘bombshells’ and reading ‘well, this is all hypothetical, of course’. That would suck!

      • Richard_thunderbay

        From what I’ve seen on a number of other liberal websites, it seems evident that most who accept Snowden as their personal Jesus have never made it beyond the first few misleading paragraphs of a Greenwald article. The most blatant tell in that regard is when people express the belief that their email is being read, their phone conversations are being listened to and the NSA is keeping full dossiers on them, for no other reason then they are participating on a political blog.

        • repugnicant

          My guess is that these people were already paranoid.

          • raina

            or they wanted to be. Because Obama!

          • feloniousgrammar

            Or are just convinced that their comments on threads are “fighting the Man” and so convinced themselves that the government had reason to spy on them. In order to convince themselves of that, they also had to convince themselves that the NSA has no legitimate interest in intelligence gathering at all.

            Overall, dumb as a moose; but they’re in it for the feelings of self-importance.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      I don’t think you know what “Truthers” are.

    • Betty Eyer

      Why is it hard to imagine that both the government AND Snowden could be playing the media and the public for their own motives?

    • FDRliberal

      Bob’s Snowden Truthers Brigade is On The Job again today, as it is each and every day. Have they read the documents? No. Do they know the individuals involved? No. Have they talked to the individuals involved? No. Do they work at the NSA or equivalent? No. Can they read the minds of the individuals involved? No.

      Irrelevant. The question posed is: “Where is the evidence that Snowden originally tried to go through internal whistle-blower channels as he claimed on national television?” It stretches the imagination to think a tech savvy guy like Snowden would delete these emails that would contain such incredibly valuable info. Without that evidence it appears he simply planned to steal the data all along, without ever intending to go through the proper internal channels. If so he should just say it.

  • Dan

    I’m just thinking, anybody trying to blow the whistle would keep every single piece of correspondence they wrote when going through channels. Wouldn’t it have been more advantageous of Team Snowden to release all his emails immediately after the NSA released the one email? If he didn’t keep those emails he’s a moron. If he doesn’t have them then we can think something worse (liar). I’m thinking that Greenwald would have released that evidence spontaneously if he had it.

    I had a recent dispute with an institution where I had an email chain over 20 messages long with the other individual, and there’s no way I wasn’t keeping every piece of that correspondence.

    • raina

      exactly. if they had them, they would have released them at the start. It was important to them to portray Snowden as a whistle-blower, who stole the docs for moral reasons. I suspect none exist, at least of the whistle-blowing kind.

      • Dan

        I just think it’s standard operating procedure…if you have a problem with something at work, document everything. I think there was a high-powered whistleblower lawyer in DC who mentioned on his Twitter that every whistleblower he’s ever represented brought reams of correspondence with them. One email isn’t whistleblowing. Usually a whistleblower goes through every single avenue before going to court…

        • ruth crocker

          i don’t think he ever seriously considered working within the system. not enough drama and excitement, and too indirect. he obviously enjoys sticking it to the man, albeit from behind putin’s skirts.

          • Dan

            And that’s what sucks, because the NSA definitely needs reform. If I were in his position I would have brought the documents over to a lawyer like Mark Zaid (who defends WBs all the time and has a security clearance). Zaid could have reviewed the documents, determined which programs were breaches of American law (like PRISM) and narrowed the case down to a few domestic surveillance programs which most Americans would like to see scrapped. I think that course of action would have resulted in stronger surveillance reform instead of the cosmetic crap we just saw. And there would be no question about Snowden’s motives in such a scenario; almost every American would be glad to shake his hand (instead of most Americans wanting him strung up).

    • reggid

      Exactly — when one gets into a dispute over, say, a credit card charge, or even a damn cable bill, one naturally and obviously would keep a record of the communications. Who wouldn’t do this? Yet we’re supposed to believe that Agent 00Dumbass didn’t even bother to keep ANY evidence of any actual whistleblowing? Riiiiiiight. Like I’ve said many times before, this wasn’t whistleblowing — this was a heist planned in advance by Faux Libertarian hacks to try to lay the blame for all of the Bush/Cheney crimes at the feet of the black President.

  • muselet

    Fabulists like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald certainly don’t need my help concocting a story, but how ’bout this from Snowden:

    “Oh, I totally kept copies of my extensive email exchanges with everyone in the intelligence community, up to and including the Director of National Intelligence himself (the president kept bouncing my messages, the bastard). Multiple copies, in fact, on my computer, on flash drives, even on a couple of old CD-ROMs I had lying around. The evil NSA remotely deleted all those files! They can do that, you know!

    Followed, of course, by a barrage of tweets from Greenwald accusing anyone who doesn’t believe Snowden of being a drooling lackey of …

    Sorry, I can’t go on with this. It’s making my brain hurt.

    –alopecia

  • Richard_thunderbay

    I presume Stone’s Snowden film will stay as close to the facts as his film JFK did

    Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing story to be filmed by Oliver Stone

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/02/edward-snowdens-nsa-whistleblowing-story-to-be-filmed-by-oliver-stone/

    • feloniousgrammar

      Oliver Stone is a total dudebro.

  • ruth crocker

    It was obvious from the time he started grandstanding in hong kong that he wasn’t a whistleblower, and that his agenda was to whip up sentiment against america and the nsa. and greenwald isn’t even pretending that snowden’s purpose was to spark reform. On fresh air he said there was no single program snowden wanted to change, but that he was just disgusted with the capabilities of the nsa. but lots of fools swallowed his initial leaks about prism like a flashy fly fishing hook, and will now follow his proclamations anywhere, no matter how patently false or absurd.

    • Richard_thunderbay

      Snowden has continually come off to me like the liar character that John Lovitz used to portray on Saturday Night Live. I always get the feeling he’s he’s telling tall tales and that the more he says the less credible he becomes.

      • Kerry Reid

        So you’re saying that possibly he left the “whistle-blower” emails he sent in the hands of his wife — Morgan Fairchild!

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      And there you have it: the NSA is evil because it has POWERS. Like being able to rewind Syria’s internet traffic a few days to see what traffic might have accompanied a gas attack, which is exactly like having their own Google Wayback machine. Why don’t NSA analysts just use the same stalker-friendly facial recognition apps I can get for my smart phone, or Google image search, instead of having their own system that the NY Times can pretend is VERY VERY SKARRY? Why should the NSA be able to intercept servers going to foreign targets and insert backdoors for their spying? Shouldn’t we force the NSA to send guys in cat burglar outfits to do that the hard way, just to keep things fair?

      These are powers that frighten little children in their beds: the NSA with COMPUTERS!!! And the INTERNET!!!

  • gorilla cookies

    The main thing casting doubt on Snowden’s credibility for me is the number of documents he took (which did not include, of course, any evidence of appealing to any official channels). If I was an NSA employee ticked off about something and I wanted to show it to the world, I would take ONLY the writings that prove my point. Not thousands of pages of documents, including some that could jeopardize national security.

    How many documents has he taken? We don’t know. Greenwald surely has at least a ballpark estimate, but he is not telling us. Why not? Isn’t that a crucial part of this case? I once heard someone say this about journalists:

    “That’s what so much “journalism” now is: a means of shielding secrets from the public — usually to protect friends and the agendas of “sources” to ensure further access. …”

    And that person of course, was Glenn Greenwald, who is great at demanding certain standards in others, not so great in living up to those standards himself.

  • Bubble Genius

    This whole Greenwald/Snowden debacle is about as boringly predictable as Game of Thrones, and half as interesting.

    • missliberties

      Except that its dangerous, stupid and naive. But hey, anarchists just want to change the world to get rid of ‘the collective’. See Alex Jones.

  • CJF50

    I suspected that Snowden was full of sh*t when he said he’d been shown to believe in his job while Bush was in office but suddenly changed his mind under Obama and Greenwald’s influence.

    • missliberties

      THE most glaring evidence that Snowden is NOT what he says he is. And neither is Greenwald. Greenwald is just mad because he got caught cheating on his taxes because “NSA” spies er something.

    • Don Rusho

      That’s the weirdest thing: Snowden would have been a hero had he come forward with evidence of ongoing illegal activity. Instead he waited until the abusive programs had been shut down by an incoming administration, then released evidence of past crimes and insinuations of future capabilities to besmirch the very administration that instituted the reforms. Sure sounds like a political agenda to me.

      • ruth crocker

        great point! warrantless tapping of phones, which we had with W, is a genuine and palpable abuse. maintaining phone record databases without names attached which cannot be quieried without oversight, not so much.

        • feloniousgrammar

          The warrantless wiretapping was revealed in 2005, and the Guardian published the rest of President Bush’s Surveillance Program in 2013.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President's_Surveillance_Program

          Seems the Guardian forgot about that— why else would they fail to notice that the “wrongdoing” being reported by Greenwald occurred under Bush?

          Or maybe it was just their declining audience that inspired them to print so much of Greenwald’s emotarian, libertarian chum.

          • gorilla cookies

            You know, I hadn’t considered this before, but that is another contradictory part of Snowden’s tale. If you are a libertarian type, why would you go and work for the NSA anyway — an agency that has already been caught exceeding its authority? That’s like a pacifist going to work for the Pentagon. It sounds like a strange choice to make unless you are deliberately trying to screw things up.

      • CJF50

        It’s nice to see your comment. While others run to kiss Snowdens ring and praise his Patriotism, I sit on the sideline and scratch my head.

  • raina

    Say I was Snowden and I discovered actual wrongdoing by NSA and went through the proper channels and no action was taken, one of the first things I’d provide when I contact journalists is proof of those emails to establish my bona fides.

    But maybe, that’s just me.

    • Graby Sauce

      That’s exactly what I would have done. If I were raising concerns, I’d do my research and write a white paper laying out all of my concerns in a coherent fashion. Regardless of what happened thereafter, I’d at least save myself a copy of my white paper and correspondence about it.

    • nathkatun7

      You are not alone! I would have done exactly the same thing from day one. That’s what whistle blowing is all about. I would also have made multiple copies of those e mails and given them to trusted friends for safe-keeping; just in case the people at the NSA denied receiving them. I see what Snowden and Greenwald did here. First, they spent a year demonizing the NSA. Now knowing that the NSA is thoroughly demonized, it is easy to allege that Snowden sen’t the agency e-mails reporting abuses. Now that the NSA is saying that they never received the alleged
      e-mails, the question then becomes who are you going to believe: the evil NSA or the “Libertarian hero” Edward Snowden?

      • raina

        yup this> the question then becomes who are you going to believe: the evil NSA or the “Libertarian hero” Edward Snowden?

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      It’s not just you, it’s LOGIC. Snowden’s story makes no logical sense whatsoever with the actual evidence.

  • DubsCorleone

    And another thing, if I’m gonna whistle blow, the first thing I’m releasing is copies of who what where how why and what time I talked to anybody-I’m naming names

    First grade children are taught to keep copies and back up everything-but he didnt? Something is not right here
    Either release them and show the gov to be liars or get to explaining, but enough is enough of the drip drip drip reporting

    • raina

      As I said on twitter, it’s funny that he’s putting the burden of proof on those whistleblowing emails on NSA, knowing full well if they say they don’t exist, his supporters would assume NSA is lying. If you go to any site reporting on the story, and read their comment section, you see that refrain all the time. NSA lies all the time, you can’t trust them, etc. He’s playing his supporters like a fiddle.

      • missliberties

        His supporters assume the worst of any ‘collective’. Hmmmm… sounds familiar.

      • Don Rusho

        His followers will believe anything. Just look at the gang over at FireDogLake and their “analyses” that spin unsourced rumor into the finest fool’s gold. The Daily Kos crowd is no better.

  • blair houghton

    Wasn’t there also something about how he left all his computers behind when he flew to Russia? Or was just all his data? So whose computer is that on his lap?

  • reggid

    You gotta love another Greewaldian attempt at a FoxNews-like echo chamber there. Eddie claims to NBC that he sent a bunch of emails; Greenwald turns around reports it as “NBC confirms” whistleblower emails. Glenn Greenwald: still a lying POS.

    • raina

      Snowden is seeking asylum in Brazil, per yahoo news.

      In the interview Snowden said that he would not offer documents to any country in exchange for a safe haven, because asylum should be granted for humanitarian reasons.

      However he said that he had more documents to release relating to US spying on countries that include Britain and Brazil.

      No quid pro quo or not.

      Is it just me, or is he saying he personally has the documents?

      • beulahmo

        Well, his publicists have them. One of his publicists is Greenwald. There may be others as well.

        • raina

          I know his publicists (like that word, lol) have them, but I’m wondering if he also has them as well, even though he has denied it. Just came off as odd to me. He should have said Greenwald has them, but maybe I’m nitpicking.

      • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

        Whether or not he has the documents seems to blow in the wind much like the claims as to whether or not he was a spy. I just can’t fathom how people find these constant inconsistencies acceptable in a story they claim is the most important of the century, if not all time.

        • raina

          It’s maddening to me too. They seem to have abandoned rational thinking and skepticism. His story never added up to me right at the start. When you start asking questions, it’s always Snowden doesn’t matter, it’s the message that matter. Maybe, but Snowden, Greenwald, and their supporters do make it about him.

          I

          • FlipYrWhig

            But then it’s not terribly clear what The Message is. Is it “Spying is always bad”? Um, depends on the target, no? Is it “Total surveillance of everything all the time is bad”? Well, duh, but is the government doing that? And don’t give me the line about how, well, they COULD, and they’re The Government, so they can never be trusted, so their denials are never and can never be good enough. Save that for your friends on the anarchist junior varsity.

          • Kerry Reid

            Especially when the one who has shown he can’t be trusted with data is Snowden.

          • Aaron Litz

            The Message is that the US is Evil, especially under “Worse Than Bush!™” Obama.

          • Aaron Litz

            Maddening is exactly the right word. This entire fiasco is disgusting me to the point of driving me as mad as the protagonist in a Lovecraft story.

      • Aaron Litz

        And so much for Snowden and Greenwald’s Grand Ultimate Unified Field Concern that the NSA is spying on American Citizens and their claim that they aren’t wanting to do anything to damage the US.

        Damaging the US (and the Obama Administration in particular) is all they are wanting.

        I don’t like the NSA’s broad powers of surveillance over internal US computer networks included in the Patriot Act (or any other frelling aspect of the Patriot Act whatsoever), and I haven’t since it was made public a gorram decade ago and the media just sort of shrugged and went back to fellating Bush behind the White House outhouse and little Eddie Snowden said that anyone who tried to fight against it or call them out on it should be shot in the nuts.

        But this has all become such a literally ridiculous steaming pile of pig flop that it isn’t even morbidly funny anymore. This is nothing but a damn circus and Snowden is a frelling sad-faced clown. (literally ridiculous, as in deserving of being ridiculed, as I am trying to do.)

        GI JOE Dossier File: Edward Snowden; CIA trained, exNSA, exDIA superspy, with kung-fu action grip and authentic pasty-white complexion that blends in with the snow that is his namesake! Comes complete with permanently bionically attached Alienware™ Pasty Misanthrope® Gaming Laptop that fires mini-micro-nano-nuke missiles that are laser-guided by a targeting system in his Horn-Rimmed Glasses, which are hardwired with wetware glassware directly into his brain! *Batteries and logic not included.

        How can anyone with any shred of sense take any of this claptrap, or anything else this penis says, even one bit (be it a 0 or a 1) seriously? I officially just totally give the fuck up. The fact that this putz actually has/had a girlfriend fills me with disgust and just utterly fucking offends me.

        • ruth crocker

          wonderful! this doll will be a hit at toyz-for-putz!

    • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

      And what happened to Greenwald’s promise of a “fireworks finale level” release of exactly who the NSA was spying on. Did Snowden’s interview take the boom factor out? Or was Greenwald’s book tour successful enough without it? One wonders…

      • raina

        Fireworks=release on July 4th, would be my guess. LOL.

        • beulahmo

          Well, that would fit with Greenwald’s adolescent hostility for “Big Authoritarian Daddy USA”.

        • ruth crocker

          yes, all the best “journalists” are looking for the maximum entertainment value of their stories. should we read it with those hand-held sparklers?

    • raina

      NBC did “confirm” the email and its contents before NSA released it.

      • reggid

        Except it’s not a whistleblower email at all.

        • raina

          No it wasn’t, which is why I put confirm in quotes. Egg on NBC’s face.

  • DJ Mauri

    If in an alternate reality, Snowden revealed these NSA documents through official whistleblower proceedings, then turned himself in to the government without fleeing, then that would be a different story. If the government put him in solitary confinement, and tortured him, then I would become a strong defender of Snowden and his disclosures. The problem with his story is that all the horrible things he says the government wanted to do to him are hypotheticals, and his partnership with Greenwald has inevitably led him to vast suspicion.

    • beulahmo

      Bingo! I keep holding out for the possibility that I’m being unfairly suspicious of Snowden just because I’m so wary of Greenwald’s motives and tactics on reporting this story, but Snowden’s behavior has just been too damned baffling and frankly contrary to The Snowden Leak Story‘s who-what-why narrative. There’s a lot of stuff in this story that just doesn’t fit together credibly unless one is already eager to accept this whole story as real and true.

    • Tom Ward

      Why don’t you judge Snowden by the content he revealed not the content of his character or whether or not he was tortured (wtf?) or his relationship with Greenwald. If you are offended by what the NSA has been doing and you didn’t know about it, like most Americans are and like most Americans did not, then how are we even having the discussion of whether or not Snowden is a whistle blower.

      • BumpIt McCarthy

        Because Greenwald’s reporting has been shown to be unreliable, and he is pushing the Snowden Is Savior meme for all he’s (going to be) worth.

        Because Brian Williams’ interview left out giant questions like, “Why did you release information on operations that have nothing to do with Americans’ privacy rights?” and “What instances of deliberate, actual lawbreaking can you cite?”

        Because if Snowden’s worthy of being interviewed, and issuing Christmas addresses and fireside chats to his admirers, he’s worth examining for evidence of fudging the truth.

        • Tom Ward

          “Why did you release information on operations that have nothing to do with Americans’ privacy rights?”

          My opinion is that Snowden is more of a humanitarian than a patriot. Snowden was concerned about the privacy rights of all people around the world, not just US citizens. Even though our constitution only protects US citizens, is it not admirable to want those rights extended to foreign citizens as well?

          • stacib23

            Snowden is more of a humanitarian than a patriot. Snowden was concerned about the privacy rights of all people around the world, not just US citizens.

            Yeah, right – As evidenced by Snowden and Greenwald publicly calling out both China and Russia for their humanitarian abuses against their own people.

          • Don Rusho

            You must be really disappointed you didn’t get the puppy when you were eight.

          • ruth crocker

            admirable isn’t the first word to spring to mind about his early leak in hong kong specifying the chinese facilities we were spying on to monitor their nuclear weapons program.

          • nathkatun7

            Snowden is obviously not that concerned about the privacy of Russians or the privacy of other countries that are under surveillance from both Russia and China. If he is “a humanitarian,” as you claim, he sure is a hypocritical “humanitarian.”

          • Badgerite

            Not if you are sitting in China or Russia and serving as a propaganda tool for those governments, which he did from day one.

          • Aaron Litz

            Oh, please.

          • Kerry Reid

            Yes. His speeches about “Free Pussy Riot” and decrying the abuses of gay citizens in Russia truly mark him as a hero. Much as Greenwald’s bold opposition to the security squads running amok through Rio and violating the rights of poor kids in the favela should win him a Nobel. Oh wait — those human rights violations don’t involve METADATA OF WHITE DUDES!!!

      • stacib23

        When a body is shown to repeatedly shade the truth to reflect their personal beliefs, how can any of us trust them? My question to you is how can you so blindly accept everything either Snowden or Greenwald presents to the American public when so much of it is (a) not new and (b) has been slanted to obscure any possible facts?

      • nathkatun7

        I’ve yet to see anything offensive that the the NSA has been doing or has done. All I see in these Snowden revelations is what the NSA has been doing based on law and its mandate.The hoopla is all about what NSA may potentially do in the future, or has the capacity to do in the future! That’s not good enough for me to set my hair on fire.

        • raina

          the newest revelation is that NSA is collecting facial images on the internet. If you’re on Facebook, you probably notice that when you check pictures, they already suggest a tag for your friends or family due to facial recognition. But only NSA is the ebil!!!

          This is the world we live in now, rapidly losing our privacy. That concerns me, truly. Only way to maintain as much privacy as possible is to stay off the grid, it seems.

          • nathkatun7

            “This is the world we live in now, rapidly losing our privacy.That concerns me, truly. Only way to maintain as much privacy as possible is to stay off the grid, it seems.”

            You speak the TRUTH! The problem is: It’s almost impossible “to stay off the grid.” It means that you can’t shop on line or sign on to blogs like this one.

            Personally, I am more bothered by corporate intrusions on my privacy than I am with the supposedly potential government intrusion. If, for example, the government headed by President Obama was interested in suppressing speech from the opposition we would not have all these powerful right wing media like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and others who routinely attack the President mercilessly! Fox news would have been shut down and would not be out there bragging that it’s number #1 cable channel.

            Moreover, the supposedly powerful and much feared NSA has not stopped Glenn Greenwald from publishing classified information stolen by Edward Snowden. The WHPC jackals have not stopped their attacks on the President while parroting GOP
            talking points. Members of Congress, but especially right winger GOPs like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, James Inhoffe, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, etc., routinely attack President Obama without any repercussion. Many of them do so with the assistance of the so called mainstream media.

            May be it’s me, but I see no evidence that the government is invading my privacy or curtailing my freedom of speech or the right to peaceably assemble. What I see is a government struggling diligently, within the confines of the laws, to make sure that what happened to our country on 9/11/2001 won’t happen again. What has stressed me the most in these five years is to see people who hate President Obama, like Glenn Greenwald, attack him on this NSA nonsense. These are the same people who told us that 9/11 changed everything. Many of them were strong supporters of the so called Patriot Act and Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

  • raina

    Bob, you forgot to mention that that sole email was dated April 2013, long after Snowden started stealing the docs and after he and Greenwald et al were in contact. Very important point because Snowden’s claim was he stole the docs AFTER he made his concerns known to the higher-ups and they did nothing.

    There may very well be more emails. I wonder if they all will be dated post Greenwald. I find it interesting that Snowden didn’t say hey, I sent more emails that were dated way before that. Seems to be avoiding the elephant in the room, that April 2013 date.

    And the Snowden camp is crowing, see NSA did have an email, after denying all along there were none. I don’t believe that’s technically true. I they said they received no emails wrt whistleblowing.

  • DubsCorleone

    This is why I say question the message AND messenger- I don’t take the government’s word for everything, but I damn sure don’t/wouldn’t take Snowden’s word for it either

    Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is not my friend…

    • Clancy

      Great point. One of the weirdest aspects of the Snowden/NSA discussion is how absolutely binary the thinking of so many of the central characters (and their supporters) seems to be. I’m concerned about the scope of the intrusions and wish Congress could actually bother itself to conduct some oversight (not that I’ll hold my breath over it, though), but I also think that many of the claims put forth by Greenwald/Snowden seem half-baked and lack much in the way of concrete evidence. . . if they aren’t the product of a feverish delusion. One of Bob’s biggest concerns with this whole mess is that it would be ideal if Greenwald could be bothered to conduct actual journalism rather than issue advocacy. I agree. Snowden may very well have done something noble and beneficial for our democracy, but it’s very difficult to get to that point if he was only going to bother to release the information to sycophantic opportunists like Greenwald.

      • DubsCorleone

        Not only that, but just like Mr Cesca said, it’s always “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” and then when you get to paragraph 100, it’s “oh that was just rain” type of reporting with them and we’re not supposed to question him? I don’t think so

    • sheilabryant

      I am very much in agreement with your statement.

  • BumpIt McCarthy

    Ed Snowden whistleblowing:

    ᶠʷᵉᵉᵖ⋅

    OK, ON TO HONG KONG–THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!!1!!!

    The guy’s a regular Paul Revere.

    ᵁᵐ⋅ ᴴᵒʷ ᶜᵃᶰ ʸᵒᵘ ᵗᵉᶫᶫ ᵃ ᴮʳᶦᵗᶦˢʰ ᵃᶜᶜᵉᶰᵗ﹖ᴶᵘˢᵗ ᵃˢᵏᶦᶰᵍ⋅
    Wowee, I’ve a thirst, eh Tinpot my old nag? TO THE TAVERN, FOR A PINT, FLY MY STEED!

    • beulahmo

      Heh. Your comment both tickled me and annoyed me. (I had to put my screen at 200% to be able to read the bottom line.)

      • BumpIt McCarthy

        That was the only size offered by the tiny-type generator, so my apologies beulahmo~ had to put on my cheaters myself–or as I am now calling them, my GGs.

  • reggid

    This “whistleblower” nonsense doesn’t even pass Snowden/Greenwald’s own version of events. We know from Snowden himself that he was shopping his NSA story around before he settled on Greenwald, and we know from Greenwald himself that he was working with Snowden since at least February, 2013 — a month BEFORE he even started his Booz Allen gig. This wasn’t a whistle-blower incident — this was a planned heist.

    • missliberties

      I’d like to know more about Snowden shopping his story around.

      I guess he found a sucker in Greenwald. Greenwald is the biggest Snowdenbot, Snowden Cultist around.

      I think they both ‘truly believe’, that lying and stealing and cheating are all to the good because of ‘the cause’. But what is the cause. I see only anarchy.

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        I have to disagree. Techdirt gets the booby prize for the most irresponsible reporting on the Snowden story.

        • beulahmo

          Jeez. I can’t imagine worse, more misleading reporting than what we’ve seen from Greenwald. It’s maddening.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            You evidently haven’t read Techdirt’s coverage. It’s pretty awful.

          • beulahmo

            No, I haven’t read any of it. And I will simply thank you for being willing to read and evaluate it for me! It’s all I can do to trudge through Greenwald’s hysterical prose; I don’t think I could handle reading through Techdirt’s coverage too.

        • missliberties

          Never heard of Techdirt.

          What is dangerous in this situation is all the gullibles who swallow what Snowden/Greenwald say as if it were Biblical.

          Greenwald is actually proud of the fact that he is a lying sack of sh*t, because he is exposing ‘the truth’. Okay. But what about National Security. I am more much concerned that Corporate Rights are taking precedent over Civil Rights.

          • Don Rusho

            I can’t stand the gulllibles neither, and the vigor with which they slime suspected wrongthinkers has blocked any effort to consider the facts in the cold light of day. Surely the spooks have enough real crimes to answer for, without blowing everything up in a haboob of irresponsible speculation.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            Well, Greenwald’s entire career boils down to distracting the left from Citizens United/McCutcheon v FEC, Shelby v Holder, etc by defining Anwar al-Awlaki as a civil rights martyr and making drones and the NSA into the world’s MOST IMPORTANT!!! civil rights issues.

        • Clancy

          Agree. About 3/4 of the sensationalist stories on Snowden that make the front page on Reddit are from Techdirt. I learned quickly to ignore them, and eventually just started ignoring everything about Snowden on Reddit.

          • condew

            When somebody like Marry shows up here or on Talking Points Memo thinking they have a killer argument that absolutely must carry the day, and it is all fact-free emotional claptrap, I ask “What rock has this person been hiding under?”. Techdirt and Reddit are the answer to my question.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            See, everyone? This guy knows.

    • HilaryB

      Yep. He also made it known that he intentionally waited until President Obama was re-elected before releasing the info.

    • nathkatun7

      Absolutely spot-on!

    • Brooke
  • missliberties

    Glad to see you following up on this, Bob.

    Also thrilled that your 13 Snowdens is on HuffPo where it will get a little more attention.

    Snowden is a very confused person.

    He’s a spy but not a spy.
    He will just steal all this stuff, fly to Hong Kong, throw the stolen info into the wind and let the journalists sort it out?

    Whatever was Snowden thinking?

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      Snowden was thinking he would be the hero of the internet generation.

      • missliberties

        I seriously wonder if he thought this all through.

        Did he ask about Executive Orders because he wanted the President to give him Executive Clemency?

        Did Snowden and his naive acclytes consider that internet data is always stored somehow. It all leaves a foot print. Including your phone.

        • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

          Whaaat? Are you saying that the internet wasn’t actually constructed for perfect privacy, with or without the NSA? Sacrilege! SHUN THE UNBELIEVER!!!

          • feloniousgrammar

            Well ain’t it just the height of government abuse that intelligence agents might see one of them jacking off online? Where is the PRIVACY?!! WHERE??!! What’s a patriot to do but complain? Or bring down the NSA by overwhelming it with messages that would raise alarms? That worked didn’t it? Didn’t it?

          • Aaron Litz

            HA!

        • reggid

          It seems obvious that his executive orders email was an attempt to try to link Bush-era abuses to Obama. Kind if like, “Oooooh, look at this program. It has the capability to do x, and could be abused if someone somehow got around all the safeguards and broke the law. I wonder if I can try to tie this to Obama.”

          • Aaron Litz

            That is exactly the entire point of this entire goddamn fiasco. Trying to pin Bush era shady doings on Obama. There is no other actual objective.

    • ChrisAndersen

      It’s a comparison I hesitate to make because there are associations that I really don’t want to imply, but I can’t help but be struck by a similarity between Snowden’s demeanor and that of Eliot Rodgers, the Isla Vista shooter.

      By this I in know want to imply that Snowden is a misogynist or a potential mass shooter. But I do suspect they both suffered from an egomaniacal sense of self-importance that lashes out at those who don’t automatically buy into his obvious wonderfulness.

      I’m not sure if I want to pursue this line of thought to much. It just struck me.

      • missliberties

        Leaning Crazy! Yeah. I’d say so. And folks in this day and age, isolated and internet happy, can get some really screwed up notions put in their heads by these whack-a-loons. Libertarian rhetoric sounds appealing, but the results are the opposite of striving to create civil societies with rules laws and moral guidelines.

        • feloniousgrammar

          Libertarian ideology is made to satisfy menz who believe that if it weren’t for government, women, and minorities, they’d be supermen and would able to exercise all the 18th Century dreams of perfect freedom as individuals while the women and minorities do all the necessary work that the libertarians find beneath them and must treat as something that is not truly necessarily or important, in any way.

          Gawd forbid the menz have to admit that they spent the first years of their lives in utter dependency, shit their diapers, and had their asses wiped by others because they couldn’t do it themselves. Supermen never shit in their diapers and never depended on anyone for anything and never will.

      • BumpIt McCarthy

        I don’t think there’s much similarity : Snowden is cheerfully secure that he is All That, and seems quite surprised that there are any dissenters to his Thatness. It’s Greenwald who’s doing the lashing really. Snowden’s a little pouty that his wonderfulness isn’t universally recognized, but I don’t see serious lashing out from him. Just GG, who’s got a story to sell, after all.

        • raina

          Thatness. LOL. Yeah, I agree.

        • Kerry Reid

          Well, GG likes lashing out at people willy nilly — perhaps one reason that he was such an eager cheerleader for Bush invading Iraq and the Patriot Act, absent any evidence that Iraqis were involved in the 9/11 attack. Glennie lived in Manhattan at the time, he had been badly frightened (understandably so) and was therefore, being Glenn, determined that SOMEONE MUST PAY!!! (Drones are awful, but invading and laying waste to an innocent sovereign nation are A-Okay in Glenn-World if he shit his tighty-whiteys after the WTC attacks and wants VENGEANCE!)

          I mean, this is a guy who called the families of the victims killed by a Matt Hale acolyte “odious and repugnant.” It wasn’t enough for him to defend Hale as a free-speech issue. That’s fine. But being the vindictive adolescent little shitbird that he is, he had to do so by utterly demonizing his “enemies.”

          • BumpIt McCarthy

            Now Kerry, Glenn’s admirers are going to be all over you because when Glenn was in favor of the Iraq war, he was not yet a blogger — he was an innocent, mindless clump of protoplasm too busy secretly taping witnesses in the Hale case to pay attention to a little thing like Dubya attacking the WRONG COUNTRY for the lulz.

          • Kerry Reid

            Oh right. And he was just a little baby boy blogger when he railed against “illegals” and gosh, he had no IDEA people could read whatever you post in a public forum on the internet. (Actually, that last part may be true, given his sub-moronic understanding of how the internetz works.) LEAVE GLENN GREENWALD ALOOONE!

        • ChrisAndersen

          It’s not the lashing out that I see as comparable between Rodgers and Snowden. It’s the egomaniacal sense of always seeing themselves as the main character in some elaborate, earth-shattering story when the truth is that both are just rather ordinary.

  • Marry

    You are trying and trying to discredit him. Alone the fact that he sacrificed his life and security to make the documents public is still not enough?
    What right does this reporter have to discredit such a good man with such ridiculous and irrelevant claims?
    Just start to look at what the NSA has done wrong, they broke every law that defined America, and still all you try is to manipulate the public with your rediculous articles. Just focus on the important things already.
    The documents are real and that’s all that matters, but you’re trying to get the focus on the messenger to make people stop looking at what the NSA has done.
    Who cares about that email, Snowden has done crypto parties to educate people about how to use the web safely, and even in his old chat protocols you can see his concerns about surveillance. And what kind of spy would sacrifice his life to make such documents public?
    Going public is nothing a spy would do.

    • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

      1. He is not dead, ergo did not “sacrifice his life”
      2. What law / laws has the NSA broken?
      3. The Powerpoint slides seem real, what does “the documents being real” have to do with their content?
      4. Snowden HIMSELF said he was a spy, so which is it? He is not a spy and so would go public? He is a spy an so wouldn’t go public?
      Do you think before you type? Do you think at all?

      • Marry

        Do I think? You should ask that to yourself since your comment is rediculous.
        When I said Snowden sacrificed his life did you really not get that it was a metapher? He lives yeah but is living isolated in russia without family without friends without girlfriend without a job or income really a life?
        He has to be afraid of to be killed. People from the CiA said that they want him dead.

        And seriously you think the NSA has not broken laws????
        Violations ranged from simple carelessness — for example, a typographical error that caused a U.S. citizen’s phone records to be intercepted instead of a foreign suspect’s — to brazen violations of the law — including the violation of a court order and willful unauthorized access to data from 3,000 Americans and green-card holders (potentially out of an agent’s personal vendettas, etc.).

        Another major violation was disclosed in an internal NSA newsletter, which revealed that the NSA was intercepting data from foreign web services passing through fiber-optic cables in the United States and diverting it to storage facilities. Frequently, U.S. citizens who used these foreign services had their co
        mmunications illegally collected.
        So what Snowden did was exposing a greater crime.

        Do you even comprehend that one of the major reasons why America exists is because the settlers rebelled against the British goverment which wanted to access citizens houses without a warrant?
        That’s why when America got independent they made laws that forbid the goverment to interfere into people’s privacy.
        But because history repeats itself now everything has gotten worse. The USA’s surveillance system is the most powerful that has ever existed in the history of human beings, more powerful then the Nazi’s or the Russians. The secret services gain more and more power and they are over the limits already and its even getting worse and you people dont get it.
        It’s funny to see how much you Americans got influenced by your manipulated media.
        Every country outside the US, were the media reports objectively about this topic sees Snowden as a hero. Even the russian or the chinese.

        • 624LC .

          Oh, the CIA said this? Was it on their Facebook page “I totes hate Snowden and he should die” ? That one?

          At least have an original thought and quite cutting and pasting from greenwald, would you?

        • reggid

          So, like Eddie and Glennie, you think what you actually say doesn’t matter — only what you claim you meant to say, is that it? Good grief.

        • BumpIt McCarthy

          No NSA worker has ever sounded as bloodthirsty as Ed himself, who only thought leakers should be shot in the balls.

          Since you brought up the poor child’s lack of feminine companionship, you should rest easy–he has had Wikifixxer/handler/disastrous advisor Sarah Harrison by his side constantly.

          And, you know, I hate to bring this up, but he kind of completely abandoned his US girlfriend without warning, leaving her heartbroken and also unable to stay in the Hawaiian paradise he’d invited her out to share with him.

          But hey, sounds like he’s made inroads into more hearts than one, so I would seriously advise to follow your bliss. He’s so good looking and relia-well, so good looking. What a catch.

        • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

          1. OK “sacrificed his life” was a metaphor. A hyperbolic one, but I’ll give you that.
          2. Still not seeing which of Snowden’s “revelations” indicated law breaking. I’ll give you that the law was broken under Bush, before more stringent oversight was put into place. Neither the violation of the court order or the newsletter were “exposed” by Snowden.
          3. You apparently forgot to address your “spy / not a spy” confusion when you added the American Revolution to your straw man meanderings. Focus.
          5. I wonder if the fact that there has been an explosion of technology / technological capabilities has to do with the relative “power” of the Nazi or Russian surveillance systems. What do you think? I think we as a global society DO need to address these rapidly evolving technologies, just don’t think Snowden’s revelations contributed to that.
          4. Not sure that the Russians or Chinese viewing Snowden as a hero is the shining endorsement you seem to think it is, but you go with your bad self.

          • Don Rusho

            The Greenwald enthusiasts have a difficult time understanding that “I don’t like it!” does not automatically translate into “illegal and unconstitutional” out here in the real world. It’s one of their charming features that makes them so easy to ridicule.

        • Badgerite

          If Snowden feels isolated I suggest he learn the language. I don’t know where you are from, but a ‘typographical error’ does not mean the law was broken. It means an error was made that was caught because there is an audit trail to catch it. That is called oversight. Sometimes, when they police get a search warrant based on probable cause, they are in error and find nothing. .Sometimes they make clerical errors as well and type in the wrong address on the warrant and the wrong home gets searched. Somehow, the Republic still survives.
          This, of course, is why audit records of searches by NSA agents are kept and reviewed. Personal vendettas and all. And, indeed, will have consequences to that agent.
          If you are using a “foreign web server”, then collection of your data is probably falls within the inadvertent capture provisions. Under those provisions, whenever an agent is aware that he is accessing the information contained in a communication of an American citizen, he/she must stop and immediately obtain an individual warrant to continue. Does that sound worse then China or Russia?

          • Don Rusho

            This, a million times.
            A well run system tries to keep the error rate as low as possible, but mistakes do happen so there are procedures in place to catch them and corret. Team Greenwald has evidently never worked in a place where anything important is done, so they have a difficult time grasping completely elementary concept.

        • venezia59

          Once again, with the faulty all or nothing thinking that if I, as an American, question Snowden’s story, that means I am pro-NSA or “manipulated” by our media. For starters, the
          American media is falling all over themselves canonizing Snowden. Just as they did with the Iraq war, they are enabling this story, not investigating the many dubious claims coming from Greenwald and Snowden. Second, I was protesting NSA activity back when it started with the Patriot Act. I want a serious, reasonable discussion about it, not this circus that is going on now. And how would you feel if a citizen of your country went to other governments, offering to give them information that could do tremendous damage to your country’s security and its citizens? Finally, although I am a US citizen, I live half the year I.

        • nathkatun7

          Wow the “freedom loving” Russians and Chinese, who accord their citizens and their adversaries total freedom and privacy, “see Snowden as a hero.” Do you ever stop to think, just of a moment, that Russians and Chinese “see Snowden as a hero” because he shared U.S. Classified information with them?

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            How many journalists have been mysteriously murdered in Putin’s Russia? Yeah, shining beacon of freedom over there. [/sarcasm]

        • nathkatun7

          I have yet to see any concrete evidence of innocent U.S. citizens who have been unfairly harmed by the NSA! Apparently you know nothing about the past when real surveillance, like the 1960s’ FBI’s COINTELPRO, harmed real, and not imagined, citizens.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            This entire nontroversy boils down to Greenwald trying to convince the world that anonymized metadata is exactly like “stop-and-frisk.” It’s not.

          • nathkatun7

            Exactly! It is also not the same as the FBI bugging Dr. King’s house, office and hotel rooms!

    • repugnicant

      Snowden makes a shitload of claims, none that he can back up. Perplexing that those on the Left who will cross-reference every tiny detail in a FOX ‘report’ now bend over backwards to defend the lack of evidence coming from Snowden. Care to explain?

      • raina

        Strawman! It’s about the message, not the messenger.
        /emoprog speak

        • repugnicant

          Always my favorite excuse… of course, that rationale only confirms the messages from the likes of the Kochs, Donald Trump, etc.

    • BumpIt McCarthy

      I hadn’t heard that Ed was no more. Very sad if—oh, you mean “holing up in a Hong Kond luxury hotel before dealing with a brutal dictator for a nice well-guarded apartment and IT job in Moscow” is sacrificing his life!

      And this “good man” was only trying to warn Americans about the illegal encroach–what? The data collection was legal? The NSA can’t look at it without a warrant?

      And the guy leaked metric tons of TS files on foreign surveillance programs aimed at human traffickers, drug cartels, and Al Qaeda?

      It’s all right though, he had CRYPTO PARTIES! Ha HA! That proves everything!

    • reggid

      Snowden is doing a fine job discrediting himself. “I was a highly-trained spy living under cover.” Um, no, fool — you were a computer analyst given standard diplomatic cover while working on computer systems for our embassy. I wonder — did Eddie learn the art of exaggeration and lies by omission from Glenn, or do you think he was already well-versed in creating Paul Bunyan tales?

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        GREAT QUESTION. IMO, Snowden is a fabricator who should have been caught by the flagrant red flags in his resume. Fake educational credentials, fake story of working for the CIA in Switzerland…it’s all self-inflating crap.

        • raina

          I think working for the CIA in Switzerland was true.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            Specifically, he claimed personal knowledge of an operation there. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/06/switzerland-questions-u-s-over-cia-drunk-driving-gambit/

          • raina

            Oh I remember that claim. I think it was stated recently that Snowden did work for the CIA in Switzerland, and he did receive basic training anyone receives when working overseas, but he wasn’t trained as a spy, and he wasn’t a spy, just a tech guy.

            Interesting paragraph at the end at that link:

            Snowden told the Hong Kong newspaper he has no plans to leave.

            “People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions,” he said. “I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality… My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.”

          • Badgerite

            You know what else he claimed? Right at the end of the article you cite that was published when this story first broke, Snowden is quoted as saying,
            “People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality. My intention is to ask the courts and the people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.”
            Now this seems to me to directly contradict his and his supporters continual harping that him ending up in Russia was somehow the fault of the State Department. He was just in transit to ______, etc.
            Russia is the current bad boy because of Putin’s authoritarian streak popping up a lot recently. In their suppression of any real and independent journalism, in repression and harassment of LBGT people and anyone who supports them, in their ever tightening surveillance and suppression of free speech and digital communications in Russia, and in their actions in Ukraine. But China, in terms of state surveillance of the digital communications of their citizenry, makes the NSA look like amateurs. And that, by his own statement, was his intended place of asylum. And he gave interviews to the Chinese press, slamming the US and the NSA, that would have the natural consequence of anti American demonstrations, which it did. And the aim was to put pressure on the Chinese government to let him stay. While there he visited the Russian consulate. China declined his generous offer to be his haven from justice. Next up was Russia. He went to China and then to Russia precisely because they would have an interest in giving him asylum. Russia was a sure bet. So, by his own statement, the line he and his supporters put out now about his actions in Russia being all the fault of the State Department is utter bull.
            His story about the Swiss banker, likewise, doesn’t sound quite right.
            I mean, how do you make someone drive home drunk? If the CIA is so lame as to rely on someone deciding to drive home drunk and get caught and get a DUI on his record in order to compromise bank secrets he might possess, that’s just stupid. It doesn’t even pass the laugh test.
            Has it ever occurred to anyone that the reason he was willing to “give up” his cushy life style in Hawaii, etc, was that he really didn’t value them all that much. That he wanted something else.

          • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

            China is the last place on Earth anyone should go to talk about anyone else’s state surveillance. The regime spends far more on domestic spying than foreign intelligence, they control ALL internet traffic, you can’t send a text or tweet without being watched… It’s pretty much the model 21st Century police state.

          • Badgerite

            I know. He’s been in Russia for a almost a year but, by his own statements, if he could have chosen, his place of asylum would have been China. I understand Hong Kong still has a special sort of status in China. But not that special. I’m sure the digital surveillance of the citizenry there is the same. So, China. Russia. What’s the difference in terms of the issue he purportedly cares so much about?
            And China was most assuredly his choice.

    • 624LC .

      Sorry acolyte, but Snowden is digging that hole himself. Bob and the rest of us are just standing there, heads tilted, furrowed brows, trying to figure out when this fool is going to stop digging.

    • beulahmo

      I’m sorry, but for me, such a straight-forward explanation of the what and why of Snowden’s actions doesn’t sit well with me — too much of his behavior has been genuinely puzzling. And, to be quite honest (and this part may be unfair; I don’t know), I am extremely wary of Glenn Greenwald and his way of reporting this story, so Snowden’s alliance with him is unsettling for me as well.

    • swift_4

      You have some strong assumptions. If you believe in the truth, you’ll be willing to be objective.

      People sacrifice their life and security for dumb reasons all the time. So no, it’s not “enough”. It’s not relevant to whether his actions are good or bad.

      You say Bob’s claims are irrelevant. He is not claiming anything here, really. He is relaying facts. Edward Snowden claims to have tried legitimate whistleblowing channels first. There is no evidence of those claims. Bob does later pose a question. If Edward Snowden was so meticulous in documenting all of this, why doesn’t he have the emails he sent?

      You said, the NSA “broke every law that defined America”. That’s the kind of rhetoric that distorts a reasonable discussion about privacy and security. Do you want to discuss an actual law they broke? Please do. There’s a lot of real information to discuss. But “NSA bad. Snowden hero.” is a waste of everyone’s time.

      “The documents are real.” Have you seen them? What do they say? Again, the duo that has been railing against NSA secrecy hasn’t really offered up much to the public. And when you ask them about it, they get really, really defensive.

      And that’s the main problem right there. Snowden/Greenwald want you to be absolutely critical of the US Government. But if you ask them questions, suddenly you’re a “sheeple”. The truth is complicated. Shed your ideology and ask questions.

      • beulahmo

        Great points in your comment. Just an aside — I strongly suspect that Marry is young (under 30), and that English is not her first language. She may not be familiar with U.S. laws or U.S. government’s structural oversight and safeguards, so that could account for her level of understanding here.

        • swift_4

          Thanks. I think the biggest problem with our culture, or perhaps it is human nature itself, is that there is a tendency to pick sides and search for absolutes.

          So instead of a constructive discussion to make our world better, we get two sides screaming and no actual progress.

          • beulahmo

            I think you’re right, and it annoys me. I almost never see things in a binary way, so trying to discuss current political subjects frustrates and exhausts me.

          • Badgerite

            All the time.

    • Don Rusho

      Greenwald is quite the man with ridiculous and irrelevant claims, you have that right.

    • nathkatun7

      “Just start to look at what the NSA has done wrong, they broke every law that defined America….”

      This is a blatant and inflammatory lie! Your accusation is pure hype and propaganda! The NSA has not been found by any court of law to have broken any laws. For you to make this blanket allegation, as if it was true, shows how far you would go to inflame people based on deception.

  • aceshigh

    Knowing Bob, I’m sure he’s just LOVING that we’re all focused on nitpicking one minor throwaway line in his article.

    • bbiemeret

      I just give up. Anal is as anal does, I suppose.

    • beulahmo

      Anh, don’t worry about it. Bob knows his regular readers here. We’re nitpicking buttheads. :-)

      • Lex

        just like bob cesca most of his readers are hard rightwing neocons who somehow think they are liberal

        • reggid

          Yes, because unless you blindly believe every word Snowden and Greenwald say without any evidence, then you are a neocon. Did I get your delusional babbling right?

          • Lex

            shilling for drone strikes, nsa and fearmongering like cesca did about “loose nukes” pretty much shows hes not a liberal at all

          • feloniousgrammar

            As both a liberal and a veteran of nuclear forces I find the word “fearmongering” about loose nukes pretty unreasonable. It pleases me that so many commanders in our nuclear forces have just been fired and I can’t think of anything with more possible immediate and lasting consequences and more causalities than a nuclear bomb exploding in a city.

            Does being a “liberal” in mind require rejecting possibilities of great harm on behalf of claiming that the entire U.S. government serves no useful purpose and can do no good (in your mind)? Is that what you think being liberal requires— being anti-government?

          • reggid

            More fact-free, dudebro-word-salad from Lex.

        • beulahmo

          You’re a fucking genius.

        • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

          Yes, anyone who disagrees with you must be a terrible person. I see how that works.

          • FlipYrWhig

            “Anyone who disagrees with me is by definition a terrible person” is what I call The Full Greenwald.

  • Nefercat

    I do not like the thought of constant surveillance, and the concept of “if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about (and therefore no reason to object)” is a dangerous one.

    But from the beginning, Snowden has always seemed to me to be smarmy and disingenuous about the whole situation. I think he has watched one too many secret agent movies, and really thought he was going to come out of this a wealthy and famous James Bond.

    If so (as I could be completely wrong about him), his road to hoped for fame and fortune demonstrated a striking sociopathy.

    • aceshigh
    • Marry

      He NEVER thought that he’d come out as a James Bond. The whistleblowers before him ended up in prison or stuck in an embassy (Manning, Assange) and he thought about it a loooong time, what he did was very dangerous and he knew he could die, he could have been brought back to the US to go to jail. He knew that the chance was high that the NSA would destroy him because thats what normally happens to people who oppose the secret services and he knew it. His biggest concern was that the public wouldn’t even care about the surveillance. And it was difficult enough to get to a reporter that would publish his stuff without asking the USA first.
      He seems cool in interview but thats because he had enough time to think about the riscs and he was fine with it, he never would have thought that everything would go so “smooth”.
      The risc was extremely high and there’s no chance to go out of this story as wealthy or something. He was “wealthy” back then when he had his job, but he gave up everything because the surveillance was his biggest concern.

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        Edward Snowden didn’t have to put his name and face out there. Glenn Greenwald didn’t need him to be in China or Russia to tell his story. Edward Snowden doxed himself and put his face on the story because he wanted to be famous, and so he is.

        • BumpIt McCarthy

          BINGO. He would just have been a source to be protected, and the NSA story would have been about the NSA story (and Greenwald, who can’t help but interject himself and screw up whatever narrative he’s trying to promote).

          But Ed WANTED the world to know HE was saving it, personally. And also wanted his laptop, thank you very much, and, from his choice of safe-houses, 350-threadcount pillowcases to stuff under the door.

          • raina

            He also wants to dictate the terms for his return to the US. No orange suit or ankle bracelets, thank you very much.

            I’m sure a lot of criminals who leave the country to avoid prosecution wish to dictate the same terms.

        • nathkatun7

          Exactly!

        • nathkatun7

          Bingo!

      • FlipYrWhig

        He doesn’t seem cool in an interview, either “cool” as in “hip” or “cool” as in “collected.” He seems like a self-important twerp with an irritating face and voice who learned English by reading only Alan Moore graphic novels.

      • Badgerite

        Getting into the psychology of a person is a pretty tricky thing. Especially people who are good at hiding whatever pathology they operate under. But his actions do not gibe with his words. And they never have. He has been a boon to some of the more repressive and surveillance happy governments on the planet. He never comes up with a good explanation of why he had to do that. The legal harassment that was indulged in against previous NSA dissidents (Drake, et al ) was engaged in during the Bush administration and at the specific behest of Darth Cheney and at a time when the NSA was operating under only the authority and oversight of the executive branch ( Bush, essentially ) When push came to shove, the government could not produce in court because those guys actually had followed the law and the cases were dropped. As early as 2004 there were rumblings of dissent from within the Bush administration itself.
        They almost had a ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ involving mass resignations occur. Bush and Cheney had to back down and bring the FISA Court in. And the process of implementing oversight has been ongoing since then. And even in the Bush years, there has been no showing that the NSA acted with anything other than a motive of carrying out their mission of protecting the country from terrorist networks.

        • Aaron Litz

          But getting a fair trial and facing reasonable consequences for his actions with the slight possibility of vindication would completely undermine his and Snowden’s real goal, which is to give the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party a black eye for the sacred cause of privileged upper-middle class put upon whiteboi Libertarian justice!

          It’s much better for his cause to hide in Russia and make vague, shadowy, and unverifiable accusations of Obama hitsquads and NSA Black Helicopters hovering over his head everyday.

      • JozefAL

        Well, Assange’s being “stuck in an embassy” had a little less to do with Wikileaks and more to do with that rape charge in Sweden.

        And it’s funny that you mentioned Manning’s being in prison. Manning was caught WHILE SERVING IN THE MILITARY. But he (later she) was willing to show more balls than Snowden but, you know, ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES incurred in his actions. Like MLK did by serving jail time for breaking a law he didn’t agree with.

        • Don Rusho

          In what prison does Bart Gellman languish?
          This whole babbling point, that Snowden would inevitably be tortured if not murdered upon his return to America, is specious in the extreme. Just look at Greenwald and his persistent dark insinuations that he would not be safe should he ever return to America, followed by his untterly incident free return to America. That turned out to be as credible as all his other threats.

          • feloniousgrammar

            It was probably his bold words, large following, and white hat that protected him from our totally nefarious government while he was on American soil. Another thing for the Snowald bots to pat themselves on the back for— a thing that didn’t require them to leave their homes. What powerful incantations they have.

        • Marry

          Wow. You also would have let martin luther king get put into jail by our oh so just government right.
          You think this is about having balls.
          Are there really people who think that snowden would get a FAIR trial if he went back?
          Do you also know that before mannings sentence she got stuck in a prison where she got tortured for more then one year? “Accidentally?”
          Do you still not get what dirty methods the government is willing to use in order to “win”?
          And Assange is in that embassy because Sweden would get him to the US for sure, not because of the sexual assault charges.
          There are no real charges because there isn’t enough proof provided.
          Also dont you think it was a little bit suspicious that suddenly there were these of rape charges?
          It was the same with Matt DeHart from Anonymous, he suddenly had to face pedophilia accusations when the fbi wanted to jail him. Its more than rediculous.
          Now the government is doing the same tactics as always, using the media to distract the people from the charges against them and to focus the people on the individual.
          And all of you Americans fall for it.
          I just wish you could see some objective media reports from Europe.
          What does it matter who Snowden is when the NSA has done freaking illegal mass spying on everyone? They can even look at what porn sites you visited to use it against you.
          You gotta be careful most of you dont realize how dangerous your situation is.
          A goverment that sees it self above the law. There hasn’t been any more dangerous threat to human beimg throughout history.
          And as I said: Snowden risked his life. He lost his well paid job. His girlfriend. He lost his family, he will never be able to go home again. He could have ended up in prison like manning. All of this he did to make the secret service documents PUBLIC. he didnt secretly give them to the enemy, he made them public, for YOU to see and to understand and judge them. And every rational thinking person should understand that the next step of the government would be to defend themself, to fight back. And guess how they do it? They cant kill him so they try to kill him in another way. To make people believe he’s the enemy. you better use of that knowledge he provided and dont let yourself get trolled by your own government. Focus on the important, don’t get distracted.

      • venezia59

        Not true that no one wanted his story. The New York Times wanted to publish it, but he refused because they wanted to fact check it. He went to the Guardian who were more lenient with the facts. And sure enough, Greenwald later had to retract some of Ed’s claims. Now to the chagrin of the White House, the Times has partnered with the Guardian on the story and was awarded a Pulitzer prize. So much for no one in the the big, bad US wanting to report this story. As for what his motives are, that is all any of us here would like to know. But you sound a little naive in your grasp of American intel and politics, and of the difference between patriotic whistleblowing and offering to release sensitive national security info, unilaterally, to foreign bodies. The former is heroic. The latter is crossing the line and no longer acting in the interests of the American people.

      • Aaron Litz

        He knew he could die?

        Please.

        Anyone who actually believes that has seen (and unfortunately internalized) WAY too many James Bond movies and seriously needs to take a walk down the street sans tinfoil hat and take a look at how reality in this country actually looks. Lots of poor people everywhere, but not one single government hit squad, silent black helicopter, or Ska Band attired/black hats and mirroshades assassin in anyone’s backyard.

        He gave up everything because fame/infamy was his biggest concern, and because he didn’t even begin to think his shit through before he started, no matter how much you fanbois desperately want to believe. All of his actions and movements since this whole thing started, from first running to Hong Kong and then to Russia of all places, even acting as a Putin apologist for God’s sake(!) have been classic examples of unplanned panic reactions. He’s an emotional prepubescent grandstanding haXx0r wannabe, and I’m half-surprised he doesn’t spell his name 3d||4rd 5#d3||.

        Anyone who is truly concerned about this NSA situation (as opposed to being just all being hearts atwitter over Dreamy Saint Snowden and the Grand Greenwald Choir) has known about it since it was first made public a frelling decade ago when Bush started it, and has been down amongst us uncool peons complaining and protesting it since way back then, not just since it’s become a cause célèbre in the past year. Meanwhile, those of us who have>/I been wary and weary over the NSA’s activities have also recognized that it is FAR from the most pressing issue this country is facing, and we’ve been far more concerned about problems of poverty, racial inequality, and basic healthcare, issues that effect more than just well-off white people and their terrible terrible computer privacy concerns, who are spending all their time screeching and crying about the government potentially reading their email, while other people are dying because they can’t afford to go to the damn doctor.

        You know: REAL problems. Where people REALLY need to worry about their lives ending, because they are sick and dying without having enough money to pay to get better; not because of threats from non-existent NSA Unmarked Helicopters.

        Snowden has been little more than a useful idiot, a tool (an complete tool) wielded as a blunt hatchet by Greenwald to hack away at his Dread Enemy, the Evil Obama and His Abominable Administration. Everything Greenwald has been doing has been following the same perpetual personal vendetta he’s always had, attacking Obama for the Evil That He Done Did (because “He’s Worse Than Bush!™”) before it was Obama’s Evil Drones™; Snowden is just the latest tool/useful idiot in Greenwald’s toybox.

        Greenwald is either a willing paid shill for the Republican’s, aiming to hurt Democrats in general and the Obama Administration in particular, or he himself is nothing but a useful idiot, with his “Libertarian” (read: Republican with a different publicity agent) friends without realizing that all they’re doing is blazing a trail for later Republican colonization. Either way, he doesn’t have to actually deal with the real-life political fallout of his hyperbolic, discordant and damaging mouth music, living in his convenient expatriot hideaway, so what’s it matter to him ? He feels no need for the restraints of reality in spewing his idiotic incendiary invective that accomplishes nothing but inflaming idiots and stirring up problems that people who actually, you know live here have to deal with.

        He’s been diligently working to hand the country back to the Republicans with a nice big red bow ever since Obama was elected so corporations can have free-reign to do anything they please with a helpless government powerless to do anything (witness how he couldn’t care less if corporations have all that information that he’s apoplectic about the government posessing) and doing a bang-up job of stirring the pot, his own personal nice big steaming cauldron of bullshit.

        • Tort Master

          Aaron, that’s good stuff.

        • Marry

          Your claims are rediculous. This is not and will not be about the republicans.
          It’s really sad to see how people turn a good act into the weirdest fantasies.
          I do know exactly what kind of person Snowden is because I’ve been in the same scene as him.
          You see him as a suspicious NSA spy and because there cant be just a whistleblower actually having some moral standarts, no, of course he is some hypocrite who secretly works for the Republicans and then they say he is a spy for Russia or for hong kong blabla. What is wrong with him going to Hong Kong? He explains exactly in his first interview why he chose hong kong and the reasons he gave were very understandable.
          If he really was working for someone like the Republicans then he would have been free to stay in any country he liked to make it less suspicious, but still he chose HongKong.
          In reality, Ed Snowden is nothing else then a geeky kid that got deeply involved in the hacking scene, which deeply distrusts the government and is extremely concerned about surveillance and about freedom of the net.
          By watching a lot of Anime and playing a lot of video games he developed his moral standarts and he felt motivated since he saw that one individual can help to change the world if he tries.
          He was using various chatrooms under the name “TheTrueHooha” and you can find his chat transcripts from more then 4 years ago. You can see there that he always had a strong opinion and was thinking about right and wrong and argued to make his point clear until his friends were really pissed of.
          You can also see that he has always been really concerned about surveillance, he said he wanted to do something about it and was afraid because as he said it would suck if they thought he was a terrorist. Also for a very long time he has always given his best to inform people around him about secure web use, he was promoting Tor and run 2 tor servers himself.
          People might think “why would someone risc his life to tell us about the surveillance” but these people don’t understand that is has been every hacker’s worst nightmare since the start that the net would lose its freedom, and Snowden is still one of those guys from the heart.
          Oh and yes he DID risc his life, did you not see what happened to Manning? Over 30 years in prison for telling the truth? Or Assange, he has been stuck for 2 years in an embassy and hasn’t seen the sun since then. You think they have a life?
          And they are doing well compared to what happened to other whistleblowers. Most of them suddenly get charged with sexual assault claims out of nothing, how surprising.
          It’s really sad to see how all of you try to be clever and you think you are the only ones who discovered the truth and you throw in your fancy words and your knowledge that you’ve gathered from some manipulated magazines and all you do is falling for the methods of the government, the method that they always use if there’s an individual trying to oppose them: discredit him, get the attention on the individual, distract the public from the documents that he had actually leaked.
          Anf if you think it’s about the Republicans then think again because the same surveillance system was running under their reign it only has been continued by obama.
          I hope all of you realize that snowden is not important here. He means shit compared to the documents he has leaked
          The ONLY thing that matters here is the crazy power that the secret services have gained, a power that no one can possibly oppose and its getting worse, so you better start focusing on whats important already or your missing a very very necessary chance here. Check your history books and check what happens if a government gains to much power.
          What Snowden offered you is a chance, a turning point and you better be careful not to waste it by focusing on the wrong things.

          • Aaron Litz

            I hardly see him as a “suspicious NSA spy.”

            I have also been in the same “scene” as him, and I see him for what he is: a geek who wanted to play hero and made his attempt in the worst possible way for reasons he had been diametrically opposed to just a few years before, reasons which mysteriously became important to him about the time Obama became President, and got way over his head in things he didn’t understand because his “heroic act” was actually the poorly thought out act of someone desperate for attention, and not and act of heroism.

            And as a result, he is now nothing but a convenient useful idiot and tool for Greenwald to use to continue carrying on his personal vendetta against all things USA, and specifically Obama, while he gets to live comfortably in another country and not deal with the fallout of his BS, which is, either intentionally or out of pure blind stupidity, working to damage the reputation of the Democrats and hand the country back to the Republicans.

            And they are still both more concerned with problems faced by well-off white people concerned with privacy on their computers than with real issues of healthcare, poverty, and racial discrimination, problems with result in actual deaths (rather than vague claims of being stalked by shadowy government agents out to get them.)

  • FlipYrWhig

    My unsubstantive comment: the idiom is “on the lam,” not “on the lamb.” Thx, Bob!

    • aceshigh

      I thought so.

      “He went down at the Beekman; he tried to lam, but they cheesed him!”
      – Cosmo Kramer

      • FlipYrWhig

        “Call me mint jelly, ‘cuz I’m on the lam(b)!”
        –Abraham Simpson

        • D_C_Wilson

          “P. S. I am not a crackpot!”
          –Abraham Simpson.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I think you’re right. I had the same thought.

    • Nefercat

      That caught my eye also. Interesting brain picture.
      Ba-a-a.

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      Also: “flak” is what you shoot at airplanes, “flack” is a PR expert.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      In my defense, Chez proofread this article. And in my original draft, I had “flack,” not “flak.”

      • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

        We’re just yankin’ yer chain, Bob! LOL