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Thread: Edward Snowden, NSA leaker

  1. #16
    Join The Resistance Barbarella's Avatar
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    Here come the Edward Snowden "Truthers"


    Every time there’s a shooting at an elementary school or a bombing at a marathon, people harboring an obsession with — or financial interest in — conspiracy theories will jump on inconsistencies to tear down the “official narrative” and replace it with their own, no matter how far-fetched. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before the conspiracists set their eternally skeptical eyes on another target. Meet the Edward Snowden truthers.

    What’s surprising about the Snowden theories is that one might think he’d be a sympathetic figure to people deeply skeptical of government power. But instead of holding him up as hero (or even a traitor), some are intent on labeling him a co-conspirator.

    Perhaps the most prominent Snowden truther is Naomi Wolf, whom Al Gore reportedly paid $15,000 a month to advise his presidential campaign. People were a little surprised Friday when the prominent feminist author and activist posted a lengthy essay on her Facebook page wondering if Snowden may actually be a plant from “the Police State.”

    Wolf wrote that she has a “creeping concern” that Snowden “is not who he purports to be,” mostly because Wolf expects leakers to be disheveled, inarticulate and litigious (apparently based on her experience with Jullian Assange), and Snowden is none of these things. “To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points,” she wrote. And his girlfriend “happens to pole-dance?” — very suspicious! “It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled,” she wrote. Ergo: Snowden is likely a government stooge.

    The missive was rightly mocked online, and predicated on a number of factual misunderstandings. Still, Wolf is hardly alone. On the fever swamps of the Internet’s conspiracy sites, plenty of posts dissect Snowden’s biography and find gaps that can only be filled by CIA dirty tricks, apparently.

    Webster Tarpley, a Lyndon LaRouche ally who hosts an antiwar radio show that often dips into 9/11 trutherism, proposed this theory Friday: “The most likely hypothesis for Snowden is that he’s a triple agent.” Here’s how that would work: On the first level, Snowden works for the NSA (via Booz Allen), and on the second level, he’s a whistle-blower. As for the third level: “Then at bottom, where is his bread really buttered? CIA. At the bottom, he’s a CIA agent all along,” Tarpley said on his radio program. The CIA’s purpose with Snowden is both to weaken Obama and push the president to intervene in Syria, which, conveniently, the White House announced it would do Friday. See?

    But writing at Alex Jones’ InfoWars.com, investigative journalist Jon Rappoport sees Snowden as a pawn in a clandestine bureaucratic struggle between the CIA and the NSA:

    Here is a more likely scenario. Snowden never saw any of those thousands of documents on an NSA computer. Never happened. Instead, he was either used or volunteered as a CIA operative to carry the endless turf war between CIA and NSA a new step forward. [...]

    This was a covert op launched by the CIA against a chief rival, the NSA. NSA, the agency that’s far bigger than the CIA. NSA, the agency that’s been taking over intelligence gathering, that considers itself superior to everybody else in the intelligence field. The CIA, of course, couldn’t be seen as the NSA leaker. They needed a guy.

    This is the more plausible scenario to Rappoport because he just doesn’t believe Snowden’s biography, as he wrote in more detail at Activist Post. For instance, how did he sign up for special forces training if he never completed high school? “These are red flags. They raise questions. Serious ones,” he wrote.

    A widely shared blog post from Scott Creighton, meanwhile, calls Snowden a “manufactured hero” and expands the conspiracy to include journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who broke the story. “Poitras has a long history of making films that expose various horrific aspects of our new Global War Of Terror … to a point,” he writes, arguing that Poitras has been “bought off” by a MacArthur genius grant to conduct faux-adversarial journalism. Creighton has higher hopes for Greenwald, and thinks the government may be using Snowden to take him down, but at the same time fears that Greenwald has become “just another tool” for the powers that be.

    Further out on the paranoid spectrum one gets to people who think Snowden may be the hacker “Guccifer,” who leaked pictures of George W. Bush’s paintings, while others seem to think Snowden’s girlfriend may have actually been “[S]nowden in drag due to the same placement of a mole and similar lips.”

    And then, of course, the UFOlogists. Conspiracy site Before its News and a poster on the Examiner website see “a secret UFO message hidden in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s recent interview.” You see, when played backward, it sounds like Snowden is saying “those UFOs” at one point.

    Why would these people find it easier to believe Snowden is an CIA plant than a whistle-blower? Conspiracists are reflexively skeptical of the “official narrative,” even when it should confirm their worldview. Snowden should be a victory for them, but because the mainstream media and the government are corroborating much of what Snowden leaked, the mainstream account immediately becomes suspicious.

    And Snowden’s biography does legitimately have some major question marks (e.g., he said he was paid $200,000, but Booz Allen said it was $120,000). These can be explained away (Snowden said $200,000 was his career-high salary) or are products of a guy who seems prone to some exaggeration. But to conspiracists, they’re proof of funny business.

    And for some, it may have to do with lingering bitterness toward Greenwald for failing to back them up in the 9/11 truth movement. Tarpley especially seems to feel betrayed by someone whom he viewed as a fellow traveler, calling Greenwald “an enemy of 9/11 truth” who “struck out … when confronted with a chance to fight.” So trashing the biggest scoop of Greenwald’s career, and suggesting that the journalist himself may have joined the Dark Side, could be a bit of score settling from truthers who are still stinging from his rejection.

  2. #17
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    No, Naomi. No. I respected you so much for so long.

  3. #18
    Remember. Steve SFM's Avatar
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    Sooner or later, Glenn Greenwald pisses everybody off.

    And yeah, Naomi Wolf. It's sad to see a once vital activist crawl up her/his own asshole and die. Not the first time, won't be the last.

  4. #19
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    I know a few of these geezers who are still ashamed that they were caught with their pants down at Pearl Harbor. They are going to need a flow chart instructing them on what the hell these libertarians are on about.

  5. #20
    Senior Member uncanny hats's Avatar
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    Well, even Roosevelt was dishonest about that. The US knew it was going to happen, and hours before Pearl Harbor, the US fired on a Japanese vessel. So, it's the same story as always. In related news, Mueller admits use of drones by the FBI. Also, not a surprise. I think most people see these tools as helpful, and the very idea that government would misuse them is isconspiracy theory--unless the wrong political party is in office. While largely a muted conversation, I think having these things come to light is productive. Honestly, the government has always been a sneaky pete, but now people are confronted with how much privacy they willing to give up for security. There are certain rights we take for granted. NYC just made it a felony to annoy a police officer. Sounds almost reasonable but imagine that law during moments of civil unrest. The supreme court just overturned that racist ID law in Arizona. Well the federal law
    states short of transportation vehicles and being a foreign national, you don't have to show the police your ID. I think most people think that refusing to show your ID is unreasonable. Then again, the FBI has noted that the average American commits 4 felonies a day without thinking about it.

  6. #21
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    Yes, the fact that the US knew ahead of time about Pearl Harbor is what I meant when I said they're ashamed. Indeed, the FBI use of drones is not a surprise but I'm glad it's been called out. It's outrageous.

  7. #22
    the druthers Mordecai's Avatar
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    More galling shit:

    Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.
    One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.
    GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.
    This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets.
    The existence of the programme has been disclosed in documents shown to the Guardian by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of his attempt to expose what he has called "the largest programme of suspicionless surveillance in human history".
    "It's not just a US problem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight," Snowden told the Guardian. "They [GCHQ] are worse than the US."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/ju...nsa?CMP=twt_gu

  8. #23
    Mr. Tricorder Pete!'s Avatar
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    Ah, fantastic. So it looks as though they really are desperate to push through the Communications Data Bill to belatedly legitimise what is already happening. The only thing remotely surprising is that this apparently has only been going on for eighteen months. I'd have thought this would be right up Tony's street.

  9. #24
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Did you see the statement from Hong Kong? Brilliant stuff: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...1306230476.htm

    HKSAR Government issues statement on Edward Snowden
    ***************************************************
    The HKSAR Government today (June 23) issued the following statement on Mr Edward Snowden:

    Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.

    The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

    The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure.

    Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.
    Ends/Sunday, June 23, 2013
    Issued at HKT 16:05

    NNNN
    I highlighted my favourite part.

  10. #25
    Remember. Steve SFM's Avatar
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    The HKSAR government would like to invite the US government to go fuck itself.

    So I wonder if he went to Iceland like some were talking about.

  11. #26
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    He's left Russia according to, well, Russia.

    They'll get him eventually, one way or another, but hopefully, it'll take as long as possible. Because as long as he is free, the debate will live. What he has exposed is so important, but I'm afraid the American government will do Everything in their Power (= very, very much) to make this be about him and not the atrocities and abuse they've committed against the entire world.

  12. #27
    Senior Member uncanny hats's Avatar
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    Not a surprise, but let's pretend we are surprised: US spying on the EU!

  13. #28
    the druthers Mordecai's Avatar
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    Really shocking to see how close the Anglophone countries are and how suspicious they are even of other Western powers. According to the papers, Germany is a "third-class" ally!

  14. #29
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    The magazine's report also says that NSA spying has targeted telephone and Internet connection data in Germany more than any other European nation. An average of up to 20 million phone connections and 10 million Internet data connections are surveyed daily, Der Spiegel said, noting that the intensity of surveillance puts the U.S. ally on par with China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
    Well that puts it in perspective.

  15. #30
    aging hipster trash The Seaward's Avatar
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    Jesus H Christ, it just gets worse.
    I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it.

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