House intel-committee leaders: Snowden’s lying

posted at 8:41 am on June 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

That bipartisan verdict came yesterday afternoon after a briefing from NSA Director Keith Alexander, whose own veracity has come under fire after the revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.  Both the Republican chair and the Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee told The Hill that Snowden was “lying” about both his access to the NSA surveillance programs and their capabilities, although neither could say just how much documentation Snowden might have in his possession:

Emerging from a hearing with NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), the senior Democrat on the panel, said Edward Snowden simply wasn’t in the position to access the content of the communications gathered under National Security Agency programs, as he’s claimed.

“He was lying,” Rogers said. “He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he’s even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

“He’s done tremendous damage to the country where he was born and raised and educated,” Ruppersberger said.

Asked how much additional information — including other Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act verdicts — Snowden has in his possession, Rogers said, “No one really knows the answer to that today. I think we will know the answer to that shortly.”

“It was clear that he attempted to go places that he was not authorized to go, which should raise questions for everyone,” Rogers added.

There are three possibilities here:

  • Snowden’s lying;
  • Alexander’s lying;
  • Alexander’s being duped by his agency.

Let’s game each one out.  If Snowden is lying, then we’re still left with the problem that no one in Congress seems to know what the NSA is doing with its massive abilities to surveil phone records and the Internet.  Rogers and Ruppersberger are supposed to be the most well-informed members in the House on intelligence activities, with supervisory duties over the NSA. It took them a full week to reach this conclusion. As Glenn Reynolds asks, “Shouldn’t they have known this within an hour or two?”  On another tack, if Snowden can be demonstrably shown to be lying — and some elements of his story don’t appear to add up, as many have noted — then the “whistleblower” starts looking like someone with an axe to grind for other reasons.

The issues are close to identical for the other two possibilities. If Alexander is lying or is being duped, then Congress also isn’t exercising its oversight role effectively, but also it puts pressure on Snowden to produce more evidence to support his allegations.  Apparently, he took off with significant amounts of data, and even the two House Intel leaders aren’t quite sure what he has.  There could be a lot more shoes to drop in this matter.  However, Alexander and his team would have to know that — and that would make offering even more false testimony that much more risky, right?

Again, we’ll have to see more evidence to know which of these is true. In the meantime, Kirsten Powers offers a good perspective on jumping to conclusions either way — and reinforces that the real issue is still transparency and oversight, not Edward Snowden:

Snowden has been called a “traitor” by House Majority Leader John Boehner. Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the leaks “an act of treason.” The fury among the protectors of the status quo is so great that you have longtimeWashington Post columnist Richard Cohen smearing Snowden as a “cross-dressing Little Red Riding Hood.” The New York Times’s David Brooks lamented that Snowden, who put himself in peril for the greater good, was too “individualistic.” It seems that he wasn’t sufficiently indoctrinated to blindly worship the establishment institutions that have routinely failed us. Brooks argued that “for society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures.”

This is backward. It’s the institutions that need to demonstrate respect for the public they allegedly serve. If Snowden or any other American is skeptical of institutional power, it is not due to any personal failing on their part. The lack of respect is a direct outgrowth of the bad behavior of the nation’s institutions, behavior that has undermined Americans’ trust in them. According to Gallup’s “confidence in institutions” poll, trust is at an historic low, with Congress clocking in at a 13 percent approval rating in 2012. Yes, this is the same Congress that has “oversight” of the government spying programs.

When one major institution (the Washington media establishment) so seamlessly partners with another (the U.S. government) in trashing a whistleblower, it’s not hard to understand why Americans might be jaded. The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobinwrote that Snowden is “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell complained about Snowden’s naiveté and “maturity level,” as if only a child would believe the government should be transparent about its activity. Politico’s Roger Simon called Snowden “the slacker who came in from the cold,” with “all the qualifications to become a grocery bagger.” That people feel comfortable sneering about grocery workers—a respectable job—and writing off Snowden’s years working as a security guard as sloth tells you a bit about the culture of the nation’s capital, doesn’t it?

But he didn’t finish high school! Actually, Snowden earned a general equivalency diploma (GED), but that hasn’t stopped his detractors from spitting this accusation like an epithet. On Wednesday’s Late Show With David LettermanTom Brokaw dismissed Snowden as “a high school dropout who is a military washout.” On Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins, mocked the 29-year-old man as “a high school drop-out who had little maturity [and] had not successfully completed anything he had undertaken.” Yes, if only he had gone to Harvard or Yale like our last four presidents, who have done such a bang-up job running the country. By the way, according to Glenn Greenwald, Snowden actually worked as a contractor for four years at the NSA, which suggests some level of specialized skill.

It says something about the lack of a positive case for keeping the NSA spying programs secret that the main line of defense is to attack Snowden for lacking the proper credentials to speak out against the government.

Yes, although it sounds a little familiar to those of us who have endured the snide remarks of some in the elite media towards those in New Media, and some of the suggestions that Freedom Of The Press really means Freedom Of The Approved Guild. Just another point to keep in mind ….

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There was a recent report that Snowden worked briefly as a male model. So, this is just another modelling job for him. A Snowden snow job. He’s acting. This is an acting job. This is the age of Obama. There’s a lot of acting going on. Did you notice the hipster glasses and the 3 day old growth of beard? How do people have a perpetual 3 day growth of beard? What a look! Miami Vice, Don Johnson.

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM

He’s not lying that the NSA is collecting every word spoken, emailed, texted, or written on a website, including these very words that I’m writing and it’s being collected without anyone seemingly knowing about it.

Secret spying on American citizens being secretly approved by a secret court.

Yeah, good times.

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Kirsten Powers:
If Snowden or any other American is skeptical of institutional power, it is not due to any personal failing on their part.

KP, we all need to set aside our prejudices, agendas, and narratives to better understand this situation. If the intelligence community isn’t above criticism, then neither is Snowden.

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Whew..
That’s good…

Then Snowden isn’t a traitor..

Nothing to see here…move along..

Electrongod on June 14, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Let’s find Snowden and get him on a plane back to the good old USA…

Khun Joe on June 14, 2013 at 8:52 AM

But then we have Obama saying;

“We are not listening into your phone calls…
But..
I like what I hear”

Electrongod on June 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

What Toobin, Brokaw and the rest are actually saying is that Snowden may have sold his soul to the wrong buyer.

Mr. D on June 14, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Kudos to KP

So Rodgers says snowden is lying and we are suppose to believe that? Does he think we are sheeple?

cmsinaz on June 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

The amazing thing I take away from this piece is the fact that a liberal like Kirsten Powers has to instruct a so called conservative like David Brooks on the proper relationship in a free society between the individual and the institutions. Has the world turned upside down?

xkaydet65 on June 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

House intel-committee leaders: Snowden’s lying

And we’re going to GET HIM!!

Unlike all those Fu*king LIARS in this Administration.
We’re going to let them get PROMOTED!!

ToddPA on June 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

KP, we all need to set aside our prejudices, agendas, and narratives to better understand this situation. If the intelligence community isn’t above criticism, then neither is Snowden.

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Ultimately I find the response of the “intelligence community” to Snowden’s allegations to be dubious at best. If he’s making everything up then he pretty much can’t be a traitor since, you know, he doesn’t actually no anything.

Alternatively, he IS a traitor, and has hurt national security by disclosing real secrets. So which is it? Is he a liar or a traitor? He can’t be both.

Doomberg on June 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Snowden is lying but politicians tell the truth…///

mjbrooks3 on June 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

The science is settled…the government is benevolent.

trs on June 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

*actually know anything, oops

Doomberg on June 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

It seems the NSA wants it both ways:
1)Snowden harmed the U.S.
2)Snowden really doesn’t know anything

My personal take is that the powerful establishment U.S. government agencies are using the same defensive strategies as the administration. These strategies led me to suspect the current administration of wrongdoing. And so now I also suspect the agencies of same.

Michelle Malkin has been spot on. It’s a culture of corruption.

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM

“for society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures.”

Something to think about the next time you vote for the first piece of dog crap, scraped off the lawn of a Chicago ward boss, that comes along.

MNHawk on June 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I’ll take doors one AND two. Snowden doesn’t know for sure half of what he’s spouting off about, and the NSA intrusion is far more than we know (i.e., they have audio of every phone call not made to or from a mosque the last 5 years).

Steve Eggleston on June 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

He’s one of the original conspiracy theorists… referred to by many as a quack or a nut for his non-mainstream views of government and his constant warnings of tyranny on our doorstep.

Today his ‘theories’ have been proven to be 100% fact.

See his comments below; September 6, 1984 and don’t ever say we weren’t warned.

It’s now common knowledge that federal government computers are routinely used to compare lists…

Computer surveillance seems appropriate for 1984, and unfortunately, the wave of the future.

Millions of tax dollars are spent on this type of computer surveillance.

A disgusting procedure for a professed free society.

The irony is that it’s done by an administration that brags about its limited government philosophy.

And the little condemnation we hear comes from those that would involve government in every jot and tittle of our economic lives.

Why is it that it’s so difficult to defend freedom consistently across the board?

Ron Paul

They were doing it 30 years ago with limited processing capabilities and data storage.

Today, the sky’s the limit.

Via Liberty Blitzkrieg and The Daily Crux

PatriotRider on June 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

It’s interesting how liberals use things they support most of the time as smears.

“Cross-dressing…” If a six year old cross dresser is ‘discriminated against’, liberals will go nuts and the ACLU will file lawssuits.

“GED…” Try to defund those free GED classes and liberals will go nuts about that, too.

I don’t care about Snowden as a person. My concern is about how accurate he is. I don’t hear much in the way of denials from government that massive snooping has been and is still being done on ordinary Americans. And, as Ed points out, it took a week to come to the assumption that Snowden is lying.

Snowden isn’t a hero, but I’m not ready to fully discount him just yet.

Liam on June 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Maybe it’s just me, but I found Snowden to be very credible; We need more high school drop outs showing up Congress for the dolts they are.

BettyRuth on June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Apparently, he took off with significant amounts of data, and even the two House Intel leaders aren’t quite sure what he has. There could be a lot more shoes to drop in this matter. However, Alexander and his team would have to know that

Why are we suddenly assuming competence? Alexander could be just as much in the dark as anybody in that machine.

MadisonConservative on June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Both the Republican chair and the Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee told The Hill that Snowden was “lying” about both his access to the NSA surveillance programs and their capabilities

I thought the word in these instances was “misleading”. I suppose his job classification doesn’t merit the courtesy of “misleading”, but I would think his compensation would have moved out of the liars club and into the elite club of misleaders.

Here’s hoping he responds to his critics with “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Dusty on June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

There are three possibilities here:
Snowden’s lying;
Alexander’s lying;
Alexander’s being duped by his agency.

Four, Ed.
Congress is lying.

But then again, what’s new and does that bear repeating.

Tenwheeler on June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Something to think about the next time you vote for the first piece of dog crap, scraped off the lawn of a Chicago ward boss, that comes along.

MNHawk on June 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

That was original and well done.

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 9:06 AM

How do people have a perpetual 3 day growth of beard? What a look! Miami Vice, Don Johnson.

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Shave with clippers.
3 day, 5 day, you pick. Not brain surgery.

Tenwheeler on June 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

…Does he think we are sheeple?

cmsinaz on June 14, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Ummmm …yes?

Fenris on June 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

That’s a dangerous statement to make, since all Snowden would have to do is release one damning piece of intel to counter what they say.

As to his modeling career, just an attempt to discredit. Well known, well worn, tactic.

I may not agree with how Snowden went about doing what he did. Heck, with a girlfriend like he had…no way! Dang, man!

He left it all behind. That speaks volumes. ( Unless it turns out he was a Muslim and it was all a charade or something…Taquia or whatever. )

ProfShadow on June 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM

“He’s done tremendous damage to the country where he was born and raised and educated,” Ruppersberger said.

If he’s lying, how’d he hurt the country? There is no NSA program to spy on Americans, we hear, yet by divulging that program he has harmed the country. I get it not.

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM

There was a recent report that Snowden worked briefly as a male model. So, this is just another modelling job for him. A Snowden snow job. He’s acting. This is an acting job. This is the age of Obama. There’s a lot of acting going on. Did you notice the hipster glasses and the 3 day old growth of beard? How do people have a perpetual 3 day growth of beard? What a look! Miami Vice, Don Johnson. –
Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM

I guess the next step of the denigration of Snowden is that he is a disgruntled gay male. But this administration would not go that low./s

SC.Charlie on June 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Maybe it’s just me, but I found Snowden to be very credible; We need more high school drop outs showing up Congress for the dolts they are.

[BettyRuth on June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM]

Like always having the poor with us, we’ll always have the dolts. I’d prefer to have Snowden showing us the liars, which will at least help us weed out the dolts that shouldn’t be there.

Dusty on June 14, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

WHY DO YOU LOVE BRADLEY MANNING SO MUCH?>???1111

MadisonConservative on June 14, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Snowden is lying about everything except the stuff we’re going to have to admit is true later.

The Rogue Tomato on June 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

NADER: ‘Has There Been a Bigger Con Man in the White House Than Barack Obama?’ – from The Drudge Report

SC.Charlie on June 14, 2013 at 9:15 AM

There is a small part that suspects Snowden is a nobody that wants his 15 minutes of fame. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks the administration actually leaked the information.

eaglescout_1998 on June 14, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Oversight? There is no effing oversight, but there is a whole lot of hind sight. Has Issa hauled Lerner back in front of his committee yet? There ya go.

Kissmygrits on June 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Snowden is lying about everything except the stuff we’re going to have to admit is true later.

The Rogue Tomato on June 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

According to this administration, it’s the American way.

BettyRuth on June 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM

O/T: Celebrating Flag Day…
Bing style
Google style
Pictures are worth 1,000 words.

KS Rex on June 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

The NSA would like this to be nothing more than a hiccup of a story about a dumbass liar looking for attention – much ado about nothing. And, just like in the F&F, Benghazi, AP, Rosen and IRS stories, the MSM is going to ablige the NSA by ignoring the story as soon as tomorrow if they can.

Which means the MSM suspects there’s something to these stories that can hurt Obama.

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

The NSA spies on virtually everything that we do, but the Obama administration has banned U.S. law enforcement officials from spying on Islamic mosques without special permission.

Why is that???…

PatriotRider on June 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Why is that???… PatriotRider on June 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Is that one of those new self-answering questions?

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM

He’s not lying that the NSA is collecting every word spoken, emailed, texted, or written on a website, including these very words that I’m writing and it’s being collected without anyone seemingly knowing about it.
Secret spying on American citizens being secretly approved by a secret court.
Yeah, good times.
Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Bingo. While they try to smear his character around the edges they have not denied the central aspect of his revelation. In fact the comments of the legislators who attended the secret briefing on NSA activities pretty much corroborated his statements. This is the same thing they tried to do to MLK Jr. Snowden is the Rosa Parks of the battle against oppressive governmental surveillance.

tommyboy on June 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

PatriotRider on June 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Because, “Racist!”

/

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Maybe NSA controls are so loose that Snowden had access to files he shouldn’t have had? In that case, all he has to do is release a few documents he wasn’t authorized to have, even if their content is pure as the driven snow.

PersonFromPorlock on June 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

If he’s lying then how is he a traitor? You can’t have it both ways.

I have been mulling this for a couple of days. It’s possible that Glenn Greenwald may have altered some of what Snowden told him to make it easily digestible and possibly a little more sensational.

I think Snowden is telling the truth. The aristocracy who rule over us is working overtime to discredit him.

They also keep telling us just how good it is for us that they are watching everything we do.

dogsoldier on June 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM

There are three possibilities here:

Snowden’s lying;
Alexander’s lying;
Alexander’s being duped by his agency.

Fourth: Everbody is lying and this is all to distract us from immigration, the IRS, Benghazi, State Dept IG’s, and Urban Shield.

abobo on June 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Maybe NSA controls are so loose that Snowden had access to files he shouldn’t have had? In that case, all he has to do is release a few documents he wasn’t authorized to have, even if their content is pure as the driven snow.

PersonFromPorlock on June 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

According to a Reuters (yeah I know) piece I read yesterday, he was a System Admin. There are MANY ways he could have gotten data. Like walking off with a raid backup drive, for example…

dogsoldier on June 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Trouble is, the people saying this have just about as much credibility as Snwoden does, and every reason in the world to say he is lying. Yes, some of his claims seem farfetched, but with a gov’t gone wild and a state-run media all too willing to cover for it you just can’t tell anymore.

changer1701 on June 14, 2013 at 9:25 AM

But Congress and the Big Media wouldn’t lie to us right? If Snowden is such a complete know-nothing zero, how has he so damaged our national security and engendered the animosity of these oh so well educated and intelligent officials?

claudius on June 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

OK we are in Bizaroo land now. Just last night I watched a NSA guy spouting off about how the terrorists changed their tactics instantly once this was leaked and Snowden has caused grave harm to the country, but now they say he is lying and nothing he says is true?

I suspect that he has way more stuff and is going to dribble it out after the Chinese get done looking at it.

Johnnyreb on June 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

O/T: Celebrating Flag Day…
Bing style
Google style
Pictures are worth 1,000 words.

KS Rex on June 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

This is HAL celebrating Flag Day:

http://columbiadailyherald.com/sites/files/article/314920_web_Indonesia-Prophet-Fil_Cant.jpg

HAL has put on a little weight but the hat is a nice distraction from it.

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Snowden could be setting them up. Letting out a little so they all go public with their denials and what not, then hits them with some more truth and embarrasses them.

Zaggs on June 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

O/T: Celebrating Flag Day…
Bing style
Google style
Pictures are worth 1,000 words.

KS Rex on June 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Recently, I’ve been seeing “things” flying overhead at
night above my house…so I’m planning on flying a
Che Guevara Flag today….don’t want any trouble….

ToddPA on June 14, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Snowden could be setting them up. Letting out a little so they all go public with their denials and what not, then hits them with some more truth and embarrasses them.

Zaggs on June 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Imagine if you will; Snowden releasing some of the surveillance captured (by others most likely) on some senior person in the regime, like the images on Hillary’s cell phone…

dogsoldier on June 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

There was a time, long ago and far away, when we would have believed what our government said without question. I think it was prior to 1964 and the Warren Commission report if I had to put a date on it.

claudius on June 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Snowden is lying but he did incredibly damaging?
Say What?
I am offended by Congress. It took them a week to figure out that Snowden is lying and did incredible damage to the country? I really want that kind of job. Instead I am paying these buffoons to sit on their asses for a week and then spew bulls*it.
I really am offended by these hacks and as I said yesterday, I could care less about Snowden, lying or not, he has shown what incompetents are intruding into every aspect of our lives.

ORconservative on June 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I am assuming that all these folks are yapping because the NSA has determined EXACTLY everything that Snowden has. And has let them know.

Otherwise, these folks are in for a world of hurt.

That reporter ( Greenwald ?) has said there is much more.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Jabberwock on June 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM

There was a time, long ago and far away, when we would have believed what our government said without question. I think it was prior to 1964 and the Warren Commission report if I had to put a date on it.

claudius on June 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Yeah, that’s a good choice, Claudius.

dogsoldier on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

O/T: Celebrating Flag Day…
Bing style
Google style
Pictures are worth 1,000 words.

KS Rex on June 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM

My family and I are heading to the Jersey Shore tomorrow morning.

I figure while down there for a week, I can pick up a
State Flag of NJ. a Donut with a Lap Band around it.

ToddPA on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

“Let me be very clear: we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence. We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not – nor will we ever – monitor ideology or political beliefs.” -Aunt Janet

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling
Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

Obama’s snooping excludes mosques

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It’s looking more and more like those in Congress who are denigrating Snowden knew -to a much greater degree than they initially let on- just how broad the NSA surveillance program(s) are.

It’s always shoot the messenger.

BKeyser on June 14, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Duh. We’re supposed to trust our masters in CONgress and not some punk with just a GED. A male model. Ever look up Pelosi’s history? The honorable senatrix from Louisiana apparently knows better than map makers that South Dakota shares a border with Canada.

oryguncon on June 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

That’s all just a co-incidence. You must be paranoid. But since you brought this up, I’m going to make sure you have a spot on the Detention List.

oldroy on June 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

One more thing is these ignorant talking heads talking about a “high school dropout”
Here is ignorance in one 3 word description.
Our education system sucks so bad that it is completely inadequate to deal with gifted individuals. Not smart, gifted. Different learners who need more than what the public schools can offer. They often drop out at some point because there is nothing for them and no one gives a sh*t because the pass the useless state tests (now federal).
This ” drop out” is so stupid he has a whole government of fools chasing their tails. If I weren’t so offended and disgusted this would be hilarious.

ORconservative on June 14, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Ed, your logical parsing of the situation is a complete failure. Snowden said a lot of things. Some of them were lies. Alexander said a lot of things. Some of them were lies.

The truth is that the NSA is collecting a whole lot more domestic information than they ever have admitted. What are they doing with it? That’s where we get into the “he said; they said” issues. It’s the very collection (or “aggregation,” to make Clapper happy) that should be troubling to all of us.

notropis on June 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

And by the way. That “Akzed” handle sounds kind of foreign…y

oldroy on June 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

“He’s done tremendous damage to the country where he was born and raised and educated,” Ruppersberger said.

$17 trillion debt projected to $106 trillion in a decade, no illegal immigration enforcement, administration lording over the deaths of Americans at home and abroad with no consequences, health care set to implode, media aligned with democrats and no discernable difference on the major issues from either party and this guy is the problem?

Y’all see the disconnect too?

DanMan on June 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

some of his claims seem farfetched, but with a gov’t gone wild and a state-run media all too willing to cover for it you just can’t tell anymore.

changer1701 on June 14, 2013 at 9:25 AM

His claims are not so far-fetched when you take put all the little pieces together from other sources. The main U.S. data carriers have all given the NSA access to their systems – very probably under threat (research qwest executive in prison to see the reward for non-compliance). Comverse Technology and Verint are said to be suppliers of U.S. data and the Narus software to mine it. It would take such off-shore intermediate players to pre-process the data into mineable data structures and make it “foreign” so NSA can side-step the intent of the sections of the law limiting domestic spying. The concepts are simple. You really just need processing power and storage space.

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Obama’s snooping excludes mosques

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

So what, it’s not like there is a history of muslim jihadi terrorist attacks around the world.

Homophobe.

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

You assume there was info.

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Obama’s snooping excludes mosques

Akzed on June 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

So what, it’s not like there is a history of muslim jihadi terrorist attacks around the world.

Homophobe.

Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM

FBI Director Mueller approves the above message.

ToddPA on June 14, 2013 at 9:55 AM

There was a time, long ago and far away, when we would have believed what our government said without question. I think it was prior to 1964 and the Warren Commission report if I had to put a date on it.

claudius on June 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

And the voice of Walter Cronkite was comforting.

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Clarity.

oldroy on June 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

OK we are in Bizaroo land now. Just last night I watched a NSA guy spouting off about how the terrorists changed their tactics instantly once this was leaked and Snowden has caused grave harm to the country, but now they say he is lying and nothing he says is true?

Johnnyreb on June 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Yes. They started talking direct instead of using code words. Really messed up the NSA.

TerryW on June 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

You assume there was info.

ROCnPhilly on June 14, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Heh. And the new $150,000,000,000 (with a “B”) data storage bldg built in the not-yet-proven-he-isn’t-a-pedophile Harry Reid’s backyard will sit empty.

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Clarity.

oldroy on June 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Wish I could.

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM

They will never tell us where the truth ends and the over-inflation begins, so we will never know.

blink on June 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I think the over-inflation begins with Obama’s ego.

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 10:04 AM

So this guy who didn’t have access to the info he had access to is in trouble for exposing what the NSA wasn’t doing?

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Donald Rumsfeld might say there are known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns and we don’t want the public knowing what they don’t know. Except Donald Rumsfeld wouldn’t defend this, at least I don’t think so.

Fenris on June 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Nobel truth prize for Snowden.

Hey, Barak’s gonna start another war….Peace Prize Winner

III

dirtengineer on June 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM

“He was lying,” Rogers said. “He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he’s even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

Saavik: “You lied.”
Spock: “I exaggerated.”

Over-inflating isn’t lying, “lying” would be saying something that is arguably false and no proof has been out forward to course his claims.

Skywise on June 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Headline should read:

House intel-committee leaders lying!

These are the same guys that are telling us that AMNESTY for the illegals is not AMNESTY.

III

dirtengineer on June 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Alternatively, he IS a traitor, and has hurt national security by disclosing real secrets. So which is it? Is he a liar or a traitor? He can’t be both.

Doomberg on June 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Things aren’t that neat. I don’t think we’ll ever know his motivations.

I think of JFK’s killer, Oswald. Why did he do it. We still don’t know. Not that Snowden is an Oswald, but their emergence into the spotlight is similar.

The motives of people who thrust themselves into the public eye like this, are very problematic. My immediate take is he’s doing it because he wants to be in the public eye. We’ll see how it shakes out.

YouTube, 15 minutes of fame, image, appearance. To me these are the salient points. So, what’s the truth of his accusations? Who knows. It’s like a beautiful woman, you think, wow, look at that. Then find out she’s crazy. But, who cares if she’s crazy. Look at her!

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Not to excuse any alleged wrongdoing by the NSA, if it is indeed true, but this low level IT guy Snowden’s story never made sense to me. He seems to know alot about what mosteople assume and then makes some allegations of wrongdoing without evidence to back up his claims. His big revelation that the US hacks Chinese computers should come as a surprise to nobody but the most naive. Other than that, what has he shown evidence for regarding his accusations. Yes, the NSA is a powerful organization that is equipped to monitor communications around the world, thanks we know that. I

think this has garnered as much attention because we do need to make sure safety precautions are in place, especially with how this administration has attacked its political enemies through other agencies like the IRS, OsHA and the epa, but lets not get too excited and decimate our own security without any facts to back up the claims of a guy that realistically did not have access to anything he is talking about.

Ellis on June 14, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Ellis on June 14, 2013 at 10:29 AM

So he’s saying a lot of things we already know, but has no evidence to back up the claims that we already know are true?

That’s awesome logic, right thee.

MadisonConservative on June 14, 2013 at 10:38 AM

He’s not lying that the NSA is collecting every word spoken, emailed, texted, or written on a website, including these very words that I’m writing and it’s being collected without anyone seemingly knowing about it.
Secret spying on American citizens being secretly approved by a secret court.
Yeah, good times.
Bishop on June 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

As long as they keep the media focused on Snowden…

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM

blink on June 14, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I’m probably not going to give you the answer you want. There’s stuff we don’t know and won’t ever know (harkening back to Rumsfeld).

And Snowden knows he can say stuff and with the NSA they can’t reveal things without damaging our intelligence gathering. Snowden knows this.

It reminds me of the OJ Simpson trial, Mark Fuhrman gets up on the stand, the defense attorney asks, “Did you plant a bloody glove in the back of OJ Simpson’s house?”, and Fuhrman answers, “I refuse to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination”.

People make factual claims and counterclaims all the time. Then sometimes they go to court. But then we still don’t know what’s true and what’s not. It’s a matter of who you believe, and the quality of the evidence.

I’m saying, this guy’s credibility needs to be questioned. These aren’t black and white, cut and dried issues. You can say, either he’s lying, or he’s telling the truth. Yes, but we may never know which. I do know we’re all paying a lot of attention to this guy.

Paul-Cincy on June 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Ed, your logical parsing of the situation is a complete failure. Snowden said a lot of things. Some of them were lies. Alexander said a lot of things. Some of them were lies.

The truth is that the NSA is collecting a whole lot more domestic information than they ever have admitted. What are they doing with it? That’s where we get into the “he said; they said” issues. It’s the very collection (or “aggregation,” to make Clapper happy) that should be troubling to all of us.

notropis on June 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Obama et,al. see Conservative Christian Groups,Tea Party,Pro-Israeli Jews & NRA as extremists…right along with Al Qaeda.

The IRS along with other agencies in the executive have targeted for harassment these groups.

The NSA collects metadata on American Citizens…but domestic Mosques are exempt?

Evidently I’m not supposed to put 2+2 together.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

C’mon blink and madison, nice job of cutting and pasting to make an argument against out of context comments.

I am simply saying he has accused the nsa of being able to collect data from phone and computer networks around the world, which we all know to be true, and then he goes a step further to accuse the nsa of massive spying against US citizens without any proof to back up the claim and with what appears to be from a position that he would not have access to evidence to back up his claims to begin with. And then he goes to a rabid leftist Greenwald to publish his accusations and bypasses his superiors with his concerns? I am just saying his story doesn’t add up to a grand conspiracy it is made out to be with what we know now.

Ellis on June 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM

We’re not doing anything wrong…but if we are, its for your own good.

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

CBS confirmed this morning that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer has been hacked by a sophisticated hacker…Who in the world would want to know what Attkisson was working on..?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Blink – no

Ellis on June 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

obama came out two days later and said, ~nobody’s listening to your phone calls; nobody’s reading your email~. That implicitly validates Snowden’s main claim, that the metadata is being gathered. That’s enough of a scandal for me.

paul1149 on June 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

NO – there are NOT “three possibilities”, ED!! There are Three CERTAINTIES:

1. Snowden is NOT Lying!

2. Alexander IS Lying!

3. ANY PoliticanRepublican OR Democrat – who expresses an Opinion on this IS LYING TO PROTECT THEIR CRONY CONNECTIONS!

4. ANY Memeber of The OBAMA ADMINISTRATION who speaks on this HAVE BEEN LYING since BEFORE they got up This Morning!! They actually LIE in their SLEEP – their DREAMS are LIES!!

williamg on June 14, 2013 at 11:29 AM

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