Friday, February 7, 2014

Define Spy for Us ~ Greenwald and the Snowden Secrets

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Miranda Was Carrying Passwords When Stopped in the U.K.
Was Miranda a Mule or a Journalist?
U.K. Detains Greenwald's Partner, Twitter Wars Erupt
Greenwald Threatens to Spill U.K. Secrets


The Olympics have begun in Sochi, Russia, but that won't stop the Snowden controversy juggernaut that keeps rolling on both sides of the Atlantic. Is he a traitorous spy putting the U.S. in danger or a hero saving the First Amendment? Is he a Russian Puppet or a pawn of over-zealous journalists who hate the U.S.? Suffice it to say, Edward Snowden still remains a mystery even to the government that used to employ him.


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said a week ago that Snowden’s activities have placed the lives of intelligence officers and assets at risk. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said if one were to stack the documents stolen by Snowden it would be three miles high. On Wednesday, Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Texas Republican who is next in line to be the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the damage done by Snowden “will certainly cost billions to repair.”
~ The Daily Beast

For personal gain, (Greenwald is) now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it…. A thief selling stolen material is a thief
. . . If I’m a newspaper reporter for fill-in-the-blank and I sell stolen material, is that legal because I’m a newspaper reporter?
~ House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) talking about journalist and possible Snowden accomplice Glenn Greenwald

If you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime.
. . . It’s an issue that can be complicated if it involves a news-gathering or a news promulgation function.
~ FBI Director James Comey, in reply to Mike Rogers

I’m going to go back to the U.S. for many reasons, but just the f***ing principle is enough … On principle I’m going to force the issue
~ Glenn Greenwald, via Brian Beutler on

The Public will never know the full cost, and therefore will never be able to truly understand the damage Snowden did. A true 'Patriot,' which he claims to be, would have given the documents to Congress and stayed in the U.S. to face the consequences. He's a coward.
~ A National Security "Insider" quoted anonymously on National Journal

A new website led by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald will launch next week with a focus on the remaining treasure trove of leaked documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
. . . Journalists Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill will work with Greenwald on the publication, which has also added Peter Maass as senior staff writer, Marcy Wheeler as senior policy analyst and Ryan Gallagher as a reporter.
"First Look will uphold the rights of journalists everywhere to report on the sensitive and often controversial information that they learn from sources. We are launching the new site as a public service, committed to reporting on one of the most pressing issues of our time in a transparent and responsible manner," Omidyar and former Rolling Stone editor Eric Bates wrote in the blog post.
~ Mashable

Like It or Not, Glenn Greenwald Is Now the Face of the 1st Amendment
One reason to stand up for Greenwald is that there is no evidence suggesting that he's acted as anything other than a journalist on the Snowden story. Another reason to defend Greenwald is that whatever one thinks of him personally, or his politics, or his attacks on various mainstream-media figures over the years, prosecuting him as a criminal would set a precedent affecting all journalists.
~ The Atlantic

Snowden has abdicated moral responsibility by handing off much of what he stole to Laura Poitras, a freelance journalist, and Glenn Greenwald, formerly of the Guardian, and allowing them to decide what should be published. Greenwald says encrypted copies also have been given to other parties and that, if something happens to Snowden, "all the information will be revealed and it could be [the government's] worst nightmare."
One problem with the reporting by Greenwald and Poitras has been that, in relying so heavily on the documents supplied by Snowden, it fails to provide context. From reading their stories, for example, you'd know little about official steps to minimize NSA privacy threats.
~ Ex-CIA 70's Whistleblower Frank Snepp

Greenwald is a frequent guest on Russian propaganda organ Russia Today. And Russia has provided safety for his cash cow Snowden, which Greenwald has parlayed into an entirely new media venture funded by libertarian tech billionaire Pierre Omidyar. It takes a special cognitive dissonance to be a gay man who fled the US for its stance on gay marriage to remain silent on a country where homophobia is official state policy.
. . . The fact that Greenwald can dismiss Russia's atrocious human rights record because, in his estimation, it's right in this instance of supporting Snowden should make any real journalist's hair spin. Strange bedfellows are the commonplaces of international relations. But putting lipstick on a pig doesn't make it Marilyn Monroe.
~ Liberal Librarian on The People's View

What are Snowden's prospects of exiting Moscow for a new life in western Europe? Left-leaning politicians, intellectuals and writers have called on the German government to grant him asylum. There was even a campaign to rename a Berlin street next to the US embassy "Snowden Strasse". (An artist erected a new street sign, and posted the video on Facebook.) But Germany's strategic relationship with the US is more important than the fate of one individual, at least in the probable view of Merkel, now chancellor for a third time.
So it is in Moscow that Snowden remains. Kucherena gently reminded the world that if he did try and leave, he would forfeit his asylum status. He is a guest of the Russian Federation, whether he likes it or not. And, in some sense, its captive. No one quite knows how long his exile might last. Months? Years? Decades?
~ Excerpt from "The Snowden Files" by Tony Harding, published in Guardian UK

We know that the Russians target people like Snowden. The actions he took are the sort of thing they would very much like. Now he’s in Moscow where we can’t ask him about it. If they did approach him, they would have concentrated chiefly on developing and exploiting his psychological weaknesses, massaging his ego and corroding his bonds of loyalty to his employer. Once he was fully detached psychologically from the NSA, they would have put him in touch with someone from the Wikileaks or hacker milieu. The effect from their point of view would be like a chemical reaction. No need to do anything much, just stand back and watch.
~ From an interview in InterpreterMag with Edward Lucas, author of the ebook The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaste

Mr. Snowden's allies—the Snowdenistas, as I term them—lack the skills to keep the material safe, or redact it to limit the damage. Their claims to the contrary are not credible. Moreover, they seem oblivious to the idea that we in the West have enemies and competitors. Yet if we suffer, they gain.
. . . the damage done by Edward Snowden dwarfs the impact of Cold War traitors and defectors. Western agencies now assume that the NSA material is in the hands of Moscow and Beijing, or will get there eventually. Many worthwhile intelligence operations must be shut down or started anew: A serious spy service does not risk lives on the hopeful assumption that the other side will not exploit its blunders.
. . . Far too little attention has been paid to the political agendas of people such as the bombastic Brazil-based blogger Glenn Greenwald, the hysterical hacktivist Jacob Appelbaum and the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who cloak their extreme and muddled beliefs in the language of rights, liberties and justice. Their actions are bringing about the greatest peacetime defeat in the history of the West. That is not a noble crusade.
~ Edward Lucas writing for WSJ

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