Snowden: Yes, I took the job at Booz Allen to gather evidence on NSA surveillance

posted at 5:31 pm on June 24, 2013 by Allahpundit

Does this change anything? Not legally, I think, but maybe it’s another dent in Snowden’s image for some people like me and Michael Moynihan who were favorably disposed to him initially and whose feelings have grown more … nuanced ever since.

For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post on June 12. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”…

He also signalled his intention to leak more of those documents at a later date.

“If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published.”

Michael Tomasky reads that and dismisses Snowden as “nothing more than a spy.” Wasn’t he a spy when he made the decision to lift data off of NSA’s servers, though, irrespective of whether he took the job at Booz in the first place to gain access? This is news less because it affects his legal status, I think, than because it complicates the public sense of Snowden as some sort of total naif who may have decided to do all this relatively quickly, flush with indignation at what he suddenly learned about PRISM. Not so. He planned it for months, using false pretenses to get close to the material he wanted. It was a true intelligence operation, worthy of the CIA. it’s not even clear from the article, in fact, if he took the Booz job because he already knew what was going on at NSA and wanted more evidence or because he wanted to take a fishing expeditions of NSA’s servers. (Probably a combination of both.) The more interesting question, as Erick Erickson’s noted on Twitter, is whether this complicates the Guardian’s and WaPo’s roles in working with Snowden. Glenn Greenwald’s said before that his Guardian team was in touch with him in February, before he took the Booz job. That doesn’t prove anything; maybe Snowden never told them or WaPo of his plan to infiltrate Booz and tap the servers there. But obviously there’s a difference between (a) a source acting on his own initiative to lift government data and then dumping it on a reporter and (b) the source and the reporter planning together on how to lift that data. The feds are probably going to look at that now, if they haven’t already, but there’s no evidence of collusion as far as I know and the feds would probably be reluctant to prosecute in any case because of the horrible PR they faced after l’affaire Rosen.

Meanwhile, a tidbit from today’s NYT:

Albert Ho, one of Mr. Snowden’s lawyers, said that before the dinner began, Mr. Snowden insisted that everyone hide their cellphones in the refrigerator of the home where he was staying, to block any eavesdropping. Then began a two-hour conversation during which Mr. Snowden was deeply dismayed to learn that he could spend years in prison without access to a computer during litigation over whether he would be granted asylum here or surrendered to the United States, Mr. Ho said.

Staying cooped up in the cramped Hong Kong home of a local supporter was not bothersome to Mr. Snowden, but the prospect of losing his computer scared him.

“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,” Mr. Ho said. “If you were to deprive him of his computer, that would be totally intolerable.”

He took on the U.S. government and fled to China — and then, allegedly, Russia, Cuba, and Ecuador — all the while feeling that life would be intolerable if he had to go without using a computer for awhile? Maybe he is a total naif after all. Speaking of which, more from the Times:

Two Western intelligence experts, who worked for major government spy agencies, said they believed that the Chinese government had managed to drain the contents of the four laptops that Mr. Snowden said he brought to Hong Kong, and that he said were with him during his stay at a Hong Kong hotel.

If that were the case, they said, China would no longer need or want to have Mr. Snowden remain in Hong Kong.

I can’t tell from the way that’s worded if they have reason to believe it’s true or if they’re just making a safe assumption. The assumption is safe: I keep seeing Snowden defenders arguing that there’s no proof that he’s hurt national security even though, rationally, there’s no way a government like China (or any adverse power, really) would let an intelligence plum as prized as Snowden get away without shaking him down for something. Either they’re going to lift his hard drives or, if he’s encrypted them somehow, they’re going to get rough with him to decrypt them. (That may in fact be why he’s momentarily disappeared in Russia.) By his own previous admission, he’s chosen to hold plenty of damaging material back because he’s interested, supposedly, only in vindicating civil liberties in the United States. We know by now that that’s not true — some of the stuff he’s leaked is aimed simply at embarrassing the U.S., not at protecting Americans’ rights — and, in any event, many of his supporters seemed to take the position yesterday on Twitter that the ends kinda sorta justify the means when the feds are after you. If the only places he can hide are authoritarian states like Russia and Venezuela, even though they’re complete anathema to the civil libertarian ideals Snowden claims to hold, so be it. A man’s gotta protect himself, right? Wouldn’t that same logic justify giving sensitive U.S. info to whoever’s holding him, though? If the alternative is a federal pen, hey.

Via Mediaite, here’s Jay Carney grumbling about Russia and China. Between this fiasco and the war in Syria, the “reset” with Russia these days seems to amount to Putin kicking Obama in the stones every week or so.


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I want the government to spy on terrorist communications. And communications of drug runners and criminals and enemies.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

You mean like like Tsarnaev who the Russians warned us about and who surfed the Al Qaeda website for the recipe for his bomb? Tsarnaev who was in online contact with extremists and the NSA managed to do what exactly?

We were told he was a danger and the electronic communications were there to prove exactly that and they did nothing. So what is the point of this massive data collection program?

sharrukin on June 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

In order for the government to get the content – to listen in – they need a warrant.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Oooh, I’m soooooo relieved!

In 33 years, the kangaroo court with a rubber stamp a/k/a the FISC has only refused the government’s request for a warrant 11 times.

33,949 applications for warrants have been presented to the FISC since 1979.

33,938 warrant applications have been approved by the FISC since 1979.

IOW, the FISC has approved warrant applications 99.97% of the time since 1979.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Are you unable to scrutinize the credibility of his claims in a vacuum? In other words, can’t you perform some analysis while being completely neutral regarding his motivation?

Why would I ignore all the evidence when judging the crediblity of what someone alleges?

Do you think the motives behind what someone claims never can tell us anything about the truthfulness or substance of the claims?

Example: When liberals claim that Bush knew that Saddam didn’t have WMDS and he lied don’t we consider their motives in making those claims?

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 6:38 PM

It was always a loser to back Snowden if you were a Libertarian or a Conservative. Lots of big names made that mistake because they thought this would damage Obama.

AYNBLAND on June 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Still not convinced that Snowden acted treasonously.

I care not one whit what the potentials are for Obama. I do care what Obama & Co.are doing to our Country.

davidk on June 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

In 1798, when John Adams was president of the United States, the feds enacted four pieces of legislation called the Alien and Sedition Acts. One of these laws made it a federal crime to publish any false, scandalous or malicious writing – even if true – about the president or the federal government, notwithstanding the guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment.

The feds used these laws to torment their adversaries in the press and even successfully prosecuted a congressman who heavily criticized the president. Then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson vowed that if he became president, these abominable laws would expire. He did, and they did, but this became a lesson for future generations: The guarantees of personal freedom in the Constitution are only as valuable and reliable as is the fidelity to the Constitution of those to whom we have entrusted it for safekeeping.

We have entrusted the Constitution to all three branches of the federal government for safekeeping. But typically, they fail to do so. Presidents have repeatedly assaulted the freedom of speech many times throughout our history, and Congresses have looked the other way. Abraham Lincoln arrested Northerners who challenged the Civil War. Woodrow Wilson arrested Americans who challenged World War I. FDR arrested Americans he thought might not support World War II. LBJ and Richard Nixon used the FBI to harass hundreds whose anti-Vietnam protests frustrated them.

In our own post 9/11 era, the chief instrument of repression of personal freedom has been the government’s signature anti-terror legislation: the Patriot Act. It was born in secrecy, as members of the House of Representatives were given 15 minutes to read its 300 pages before voting on it in October 2001, and it operates in silence, as those who suffer under it cannot speak about it.

The Patriot Act permits FBI agents to write their own search warrants and gives those warrants the patriotic and harmless-sounding name of national security letters (NSLs). This authorization is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that that security can only be violated by a search warrant issued by a neutral judge and based upon probable cause of crime.

The probable-cause requirement compels the feds to acquire evidence of criminal behavior about the person whose records they seek, so as to prevent politically motivated invasions of privacy and fishing expeditions like those that were common in the colonial era. Judges are free, of course, to sign the requested warrant, to modify it and sign it, or to reject it if it lacks the underlying probable cause.

The very concept of a search warrant authorized by law enforcement and not by the courts is directly and profoundly antithetical to the Constitution – no matter what the warrant is called. Yet, that’s what Congress and President Bush (and Obama) made lawful when they gave us the Patriot Act.

When FBI agents serve the warrants they’ve written for themselves – the NSLs, as they call them – they tell the recipient of the warrant that he or she will commit a felony if he or she tells anyone – a lawyer, a judge, a spouse, a priest in confessional – of the receipt of the warrant. The NSLs are typically not served on the person whose records the FBI wants; rather, they are served on the custodians of those records, such as computer servers, the Post Office, hospitals, banks, delivery services, telephone providers, etc.

Because of the Patriot Act’s mandated silence, the person whose records the FBI seeks often never knows his or her records have been seized. Since October 2001, FBI agents and other federal agents have served more than 350,000 search warrants with which they have authorized themselves to conduct a search. Each time they have done so, they have warned the recipient of the warrant to remain silent or be prosecuted for telling the truth about the government.

Occasionally, recipients have not remained silent. They have understood their natural and constitutionally protected right to the freedom of speech and their moral and fiduciary duty to their customer or client, and they have moved in federal court either to suppress the warrant or for the right to tell the customer or client whose records are being sought that the FBI has come calling. Isn’t that odd in America – asking a judge for permission to tell the truth about the government?

What’s even odder is that the same section of the Patriot Act that criminalizes speaking freely about the receipt of an agent-written search warrant also authorizes the FBI to give the recipient of the warrant permission to speak about it. How un-American is that – asking the FBI for permission to tell the truth about the government?

Last week in San Francisco, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston held that the section of the Patriot Act that prohibits telling anyone about the receipt of an FBI agent-written search warrant and the section that requires asking and receiving the permission of the FBI before talking about the receipt of one profoundly and directly infringe upon the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. And the government knows that.

We all know that the whole purpose of the First Amendment is to encourage open, wide, robust debate about and transparency from the government. Our right to exercise the freedom of speech comes from our humanity, not from the government. The Constitution recognizes that we can only lose that right by consent or after a jury trial that results in conviction and incarceration.

But we can also lose it by the tyranny of the majority, as Congress and the president in 1798 and 2001 have demonstrated.

- Judge Andrew Napolitano, 20 March 2013

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Between this fiasco and the war in Syria, the “reset” with Russia these days seems to amount to Putin kicking Obama in the stones every week or so.

I seem to recall someone once saying something about strong horses and weak horses in a race.

abobo on June 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

It was always a loser to back Snowden if you were a Libertarian or a Conservative. Lots of big names made that mistake because they thought this would damage Obama.

AYNBLAND on June 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

OK, then explain why I opposed the Patriot Act and surveillance programmes under Bush.

Unlike some, my objections are based on the Constitution, the law, and personal principles.

Now, if you want to see people that support these programmes, but are only concerned about them because Obama is President, you can start with Andy McCarthy.

Sorry, Andy McCarthy, There Is No ‘Virtue’ In A Government That Lies To Its Citizens

With All Due Respect, Andy McCarthy…

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

AYNBLAND is always a fool. Steve is trying to emulate.

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Still not convinced that Snowden acted treasonously.

I care not one whit what the potentials are for Obama. I do care what Obama & Co.are doing to our Country.

davidk on June 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

They never charged him with treason.

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I’ve seen no evidence that the government spies on all of our communications.

Even Snowden doesn’t claim that.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Skype, ant etc, have been disclosed as providing or making available mass information about their users’ communications and data to the NSA under the PRISM program or related programs.

The First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, as well as breach of 18 U.S.C. §§2702 (disclosure of communications records), proves beyond any doubt that the program operates outside its legal authority.

Also Mass Call Tracking Program violates Americans constitutional rights of free speech association, and privacy and constitutes dragnet surveillance, in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution, and thereby also exceeds the authority granted by 50 U.S.C. § 1861, and thereby violates 5 U.S.C. § 706 which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the program operates outside its legal authority.

Verizon, At&t, and all the other phone companies assisted the NSA with Domestic Surveillance of Americans: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/10/nsa-asked-for-p/ and here; http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=abIV0cO64zJE and here; http://rawstory.com/news/2007/ATT_engineer_says_Bush_Administration_sought_1216.html
and here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/russ-tice-nsa-obama_n_3473538.html

And here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/20/bush-era-nsa-whistleblower-makes-most-explosive-allegations-yet-about-true-extent-of-govt-surveillance/

And here:http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/06/19/podcast-show-112-nsa-whistleblower-goes-on-record-reveals-new-information-names-culprits/

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

This revelation should definitely change perceptions on this guy. He didn’t just come to a revation while under contract, he schemed to get in there and suck out enough material that he needs to travel with 4 computers. Release a powerpoint on Prism is one thing, but he appears to be on a destructive rampage.

Until all the info is found out, the verdict on this guy is far from written.

The bigger concern is how he actually got clearance, and how his pulling of info did not get caught.

Whatever he personaly gave up pales in comparison to what he willingly stole and released.

can_con on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I want the government to spy on terrorist communications. And communications of drug runners and criminals and enemies.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Like Hassan?

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I’ve gone full 180° on this guy. At first I was a supporter, and now I’d like to see him captured with military force, tried, and hung. You don’t reveal embarrassing national security secrets, collect large amounts of sensitive information, and then put yourself within easy reach of Chinese and Russian authorities. That is textbook espionage and treason my friends.

Hang him.

CaliSwag on June 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I’m amazed that so many people are so willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt.

Ask anyone, who knows the Weaver family, how that worked out for them.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

The bigger concern is how he actually got clearance, and how his pulling of info did not get caught.

can_con on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

No, the bigger concern is what the NSA, IRS, FBI, CIA, etc are doing. Snowden is just some guy running for his life overseas. Obama is in the White House and has used the federal government to go after his political opponents, journalists, and has broken the law on several occasions. Snowden doesn’t even register as far as larger concerns go.

sharrukin on June 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

You don’t reveal embarrassing national security secrets, collect large amounts of sensitive information, and then put yourself within easy reach of Chinese and Russian authorities.

CaliSwag on June 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

So you surrender yourself to Obama’s goons and then ask them nicely if they will allow the release of the embarrassing information?

I doubt that is going to work out all that well.

sharrukin on June 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

You don’t reveal embarrassing national security secrets, collect large amounts of sensitive information, and then put yourself within easy reach of Chinese and Russian authorities. That is textbook espionage and treason my friends.

Hang him.

CaliSwag on June 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

So whose enemies are the Russians and Chinese
America’s
or
Hussein’s??

burrata on June 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

I’ve seen no evidence that the government spies on all of our communications.

Even Snowden doesn’t claim that.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Skype, ant etc, have been disclosed as providing or making available mass information about their users’ communications and data to the NSA under the PRISM program or related programs.

The First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, as well as breach of 18 U.S.C. §§2702 (disclosure of communications records), proves beyond any doubt that the program operates outside its legal authority.

Also Mass Call Tracking Program violates Americans constitutional rights of free speech association, and privacy and constitutes dragnet surveillance, in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution, and thereby also exceeds the authority granted by 50 U.S.C. § 1861, and thereby violates 5 U.S.C. § 706 which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the program operates outside its legal authority.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

sharrukin on June 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Yes for sure, that is the bigger Bigger issue.

blink on June 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I was commenting in the topic of the thread. Snowden.

There are plenty of threads on here about what the gov’t is doing.

can_con on June 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM

If he got a job at Geek Squad for the sole purpose of exposing the county police’s surveillance of the everyday citizens of my county, I would applaud.

So why should I think anything differently of him for being purposeful rather than an opportunist, on a national level as opposed to local?

We have a right to be secure in our persons, papers, and effects. And that right is explicitly in the context of what the federales can do with regard to my person, papers, and effects.

In short, no warrant? No access.

If the government were serious about “keeping us safe,” the borders would be locked down, among other things.

East Germany had to build its security state after Russia took over. The US govt is building it before imposing tyranny, based on the belief that two airplanes piloted by musloid party boys knocked down seven WTC buildings.

Look at this and ask yourself, maybe for the first time, was that even possible?

In order for the government to get the content – to listen in – they need a warrant. SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Yes, but.

Judge Napolitano attacked General Alexander’s response to a question posed by Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, GOP chairman of the Intelligence Committee who asked whether the NSA had the “ABILITY to listen to Americans’ phone calls or read their emails under these two programs,” but Alexander answered a different issue, “No, we do not have that AUTHORITY.”

So Gen. Alexander lied by evasion, and wasn’t even called on it.

In Chris Kyle’s book American Sniper he states that phone calls made home by military personnel were monitored electronically and flagged when certain keywords were “heard.”

But NSA would never do that? Then why did Gen. Alexander lie?

Akzed on June 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

This fool was an Anti-American stupid Paultard, understand their ideology that consist with a belief that the United States is the “evil empire” and you’ll get Snowden and his actions.

there is a good reason WFB and Goldwater blackballed Murray Rothbard(Anarchist brilliant Loon this cult derives from) out of the Conservative movement.

jp on June 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

The long sobs of the violins of autumn wound my heart with a monotonous languor.

profitsbeard on June 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

blink on June 24, 2013 at 7:04 PM

No argument here. The media is burying the bigger story here, but it is still important to figure out how he pulled this off.

can_con on June 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

3rd party owned info isn’t protected by 4th Amendment, never has been.

jp on June 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

A Real American Hero™, that guy.

thebrokenrattle on June 24, 2013 at 7:18 PM

The long sobs of the violins of autumn wound my heart with a monotonous languor. profitsbeard on June 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Jean has a long mustache.

Akzed on June 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

3rd party owned info isn’t protected by 4th Amendment, never has been. jp on June 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

What difference does it make? The govt doesn’t own it either. If Verizon owns my content, what right does the govt have to take it from Verizon without a warrant?

Akzed on June 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

He had me at “hello”; then he opened his mouth and it’s been downhill ever since.

Tater Salad on June 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The last person to be executed for treason was Herbert Hans Haupt, who was a naturalised American from Germany. He was convicted of treason and executed in 1942.

The last person convicted of treason and sentenced to death, Tomoya Kawakita, was instead deported to Japan by JFK.

The last people executed for espionage in the US were the Rosenbergs, who were also the first civilians tried and executed for spying, in 1952.

The last execution (only the third since 1963) carried out by the Federal government was that of Louis Jones, Jr, on 18 March 2003 for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a young Army recruit in Texas.

Not even a sitting Congressman, Samuel Dickstein, who was instrumental in creating HUAC in 1938 and was an agent for NKVD, was convicted and executed. Hell, he was never even charged and kept his seat in Congress.

Those that think Snowden is going to be convicted and sentenced to death should take note of Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, Christopher John Boyce, and Jonathan Pollard. None was sentenced with death nor was such a sentence sought.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Still not convinced that Snowden acted treasonously.

I care not one whit what the potentials are for Obama. I do care what Obama & Co.are doing to our Country.

davidk on June 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

They never charged him with treason.

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Point taken, but I didn’t have the official warrant in mind.

Some here seem to have him convicted already.

davidk on June 24, 2013 at 7:31 PM

They can’t charge him with treason because (1) there’s no evidence he was working with an enemy and (2) they need to find two witnesses who saw him commit treasonous acts.

The aim and comfort aspect of treason is hard to prove. It’s not just aiding an enemy; you need to actively work with them. And it has to be proven. And seen by at least two people.

SteveMG on June 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Paging Major Hasan. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, please pick up the white courtesy phone…..

wytshus on June 24, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I question the story. Who has corroborated this story from the Chinese government that’s trying to keep themselves in decent graces with the US.

Story stinks..show me video of him saying he took the job for this reason.

crickets…

celt on June 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM

3rd party owned info isn’t protected by 4th Amendment, never has been.

jp on June 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

According to the Yale Law School, the American Civil Liberties Union and Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, who are all joined in a case claiming that the NSA violated the First, fourth and Fith Amendments to the Constitution when:

American citizens who had their telephone calls and/or emails and/or any other communications made or received through Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Sprint, AT&T, Apple, Microsoft and/or PalTalk actually recorded and/or listened into by or on behalf of the NSA.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM

I love how Mr. Snowden is digging himself ever deeper.

Nobody defending Mr. Snowden can claim to be a good American. Nobody.

Well, actually, they can, but it ain’t true.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM

They can claim all they want. Let’s see how far this goes in court.

unclesmrgol on June 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I’ve gone full 180° on this guy. At first I was a supporter, and now I’d like to see him captured with military force, tried, and hung. You don’t reveal embarrassing national security secrets, collect large amounts of sensitive information, and then put yourself within easy reach of Chinese and Russian authorities. That is textbook espionage and treason my friends.

Hang him.

CaliSwag on June 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Ding ding. Exactly right.

He’s had several opportunities to distinguish himself from an actual whistleblower, and failed every one.

He could have gone to House intel committees with what he learned, instead of to Glenn Greenwald, who would expose it in a way that would enable would-be terrorists to learn what communications we monitor and what we don’t.

He didn’t need to leave the country with classified info in tow for the Chinese and Russians to access, but he did.

He didn’t do anything to protect Americans’ civil liberties by telling the Chinese and Russians of our intel-gathering against them.

He’s now seeking asylum from the protectors of wikileaks, an organization dedicated to fighting our ability to have any classified national security intelligence at all.

And now it appears he took the job in the first place for the deliberate purpose of putting classified info into the press and subsequently in the hands of, shall we say, unfriendly governments.

It’s amazing that he still has defenders. This guy is not our friend, folks.

Chuckles3 on June 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

It would be an excellent opportunity for the U.S. to use Snowden as a double agent planting misinformation under the disguise of already known leaks about the unlawful NSA programs.

Just remember Snowden has never actually leaked anything new and that wasn’t already known and reported on.

As a matter of fact Snowden has been down playing the size and scope of the NSA’s domestic spy program according to all 4 of the original whistlblowers who continue to expose more info about the NSA than Snowden ever has.

Why is it the 4 original whistlblowers have not had so much manufactured publicity despite that they were all senior highly decorated senior NSA annalists with immaculate credentials and served no less than 20 having much more knowledge about the NSA and its programs then Snowden could ever dream of?

Yet the MSM only pays attention to Snowden.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Those that think Snowden is going to be convicted and sentenced to death should take note of Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, Christopher John Boyce, and Jonathan Pollard. None was sentenced with death nor was such a sentence sought.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM

This one’s not going to trial, IYKWIMAITYD.

Steve Eggleston on June 24, 2013 at 8:05 PM

I worked for Booz Allen Hamilton for 12 years. I can tell you that this puke is an embarrassment to a great company. I hope he gets what is coming to him. He is a traitor and an embarrassment to the wonderful patriotic people that work for Booz Allen

armygirl on June 24, 2013 at 8:22 PM

unclesmrgol on June 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Oooh, playing the ‘Good American’ card.

I am not defending Snowden, but am grateful for the information he has released.

I am willing to bet that you are just the kind of guy, who would NEVER reveal the wrongdoing of the Federal government, because, well, you’d just have to sacrifice your name, spouse, children, family, friends, home, job, freedom and maybe even your life. Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t have blown the whistle on what the IRS was doing to law-abiding Americans, ‘cuz, well, that would require some balls and anyone who decides that he can determine who is a ‘good American’ probably doesn’t have any.

Oh, hell, never mind. You’re obviously 100% correct. It’s not like the Federal government has been busted illegally wiretapping people in the past or putting a bullet through the head of a woman holding her infant daughter in her arms or anything.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

This one’s not going to trial, IYKWIMAITYD.

Steve Eggleston on June 24, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Yep…and, isn’t it coincidental that Michael Hastings died in a one-car, fiery explosion mere hours after he wrote:

From: Michael Hastings
Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Subject: FBI investigation, re: NSA
To: Redacted

Hey, (redacted), the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates.’ Perhaps, if the authorities arrive ‘BuzzFeed GQ,’ er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also, I’m onto a big story, and need to go off radar for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

Michael

_____________

Michael Hastings
Rolling Stone
BuzzFeed

Hastings died at 4:20 AM on 18 June 2013 – approximately 15 hours later.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM

To answer if Snowden will be convicted.

Do you guys remember when Joe Wilson alleged that the Nigerian documents were were clumsy forgeries and that the signatures were of Nigerien officials who had been in power a decade earlier, in the late 1980s thus proving that Iraq did NOT attempt to buy yellow cake?

Well Cheney was pissed off so he authorized Libby to Disclose Classified Documents revealing to the public the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert operative at the CIA, who was working against Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

Nothing happened to him so it makes me doubt anything will happen to Snowden.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Lay off the bath salts.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 9:22 PM

No one has been convicted of forging the documents or for keeping their fraudulent nature a secret.

In March 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed not to open a Congressional investigation of the matter, but rather asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct the investigation.

The FBI reopened the inquiry into “how the Bush administration came to rely on forged documents linking Iraq to nuclear weapons materials as part of its justification for the invasion.” According to the Times, “a senior FBI official said the bureau’s initial investigation found no evidence of foreign government involvement in the forgeries, but the FBI did not interview Martino, a central figure in a parallel drama unfolding in Rome.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries#Origin_-_who_forged_the_documents.3F

She married Wilson in 1998 and gave birth to their twins in 2000, and resumed travel overseas in 2001, 2002, and 2003 as part of her cover job. She met with workers in the nuclear industry, cultivated sources, and managed spies. One project in which she was involved was ensuring that Iran did not acquire nuclear weapons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame#.22Plamegate.22

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

CBS states further that Plame “was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin, and it was first revealed in a book by investigative reporter James Risen.” http://rawstory.com/news/2007/CBS_confirms_2006_Raw_Story_scoop_1020.html

Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame’s work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in “severe” damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA’s ability to monitor nuclear proliferation. …

Three intelligence officers confirmed that other CIA non-official cover officers were compromised, but did not indicate the number of people operating under non-official cover that were affected or the way in which these individuals were impaired. None of the sources would say whether there were American or foreign casualties as a result of the leak.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame#.22Plamegate.22

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

No one has been convicted of forging the documents or for keeping their fraudulent nature a secret.

In March 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed not to open a Congressional investigation of the matter, but rather asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct the investigation.

The FBI reopened the inquiry into “how the Bush administration came to rely on forged documents linking Iraq to nuclear weapons materials as part of its justification for the invasion.” According to the Times, “a senior FBI official said the bureau’s initial investigation found no evidence of foreign government involvement in the forgeries, but the FBI did not interview Martino, a central figure in a parallel drama unfolding in Rome.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries#Origin_-_who_forged_the_documents.3F

She married Wilson in 1998 and gave birth to their twins in 2000, and resumed travel overseas in 2001, 2002, and 2003 as part of her cover job. She met with workers in the nuclear industry, cultivated sources, and managed spies. One project in which she was involved was ensuring that Iran did not acquire nuclear weapons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame#.22Plamegate.22

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

CBS states further that Plame “was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin, and it was first revealed in a book by investigative reporter James Risen.” http://rawstory.com/news/2007/CBS_confirms_2006_Raw_Story_scoop_1020.html

Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame’s work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in “severe” damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA’s ability to monitor nuclear proliferation. …

Three intelligence officers confirmed that other CIA non-official cover officers were compromised, but did not indicate the number of people operating under non-official cover that were affected or the way in which these individuals were impaired. None of the sources would say whether there were American or foreign casualties as a result of the leak.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Well Cheney was pissed off so he authorized Libby to Disclose Classified Documents revealing to the public the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert operative at the CIA, who was working against Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Educate yourself, luv. Dick Armitage is the one that outed Valerie Plame to Robert Novak.

Scooter Libby was not convicted of leaking Valerie Plame’s name. He was convicted of process crimes unrelated to the actual leak.

Patrick Fitzgerald knew who the leaker was from almost the very beginning.

I’m not defending anyone, but the truth is the truth.

Oh, and the idea that Valerie Plame was a female James Bond at the time her name became public is also unsupported. She was assigned to Langley doing analysis at the time and had been for a while.

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Good stuff, Allah.

Zorro on June 24, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I don’t see him hiding in Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, whatever. He is merely passing through or allowing them to be useful idiots.

catalan on June 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

So what your saying is that this guy is playing Putin and the ChiComs?

BallisticBob on June 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM

@Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

“the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE [to Judith Miller].” According to his testimony, the information that Libby was authorized to disclose to Miller “was intended to rebut the allegations of an administration critic, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame#.22Plamegate.22

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 10:28 PM

HA wouldn’t allow my reply to post, so…

L’Affaire Plame

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Lay off the bath salts.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Or double down. Either way.

Kenosha Kid on June 25, 2013 at 3:09 AM

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Skype, ant etc, have been disclosed as providing or making available mass information about their users’ communications and data to the NSA under the PRISM program or related programs.

JustTheFacts on June 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

And what they provided was their data. It wasn’t the users’. You can argue many things in relation to this, but you have to actually argue for your points, not merely assert that it’s a violation of the 4th Amendment. Also, just because you think it’s wrong to provide this information doesn’t make it un-constitutional or illegal. (If you want to argue it is your data, you should try – and not simply assert it is – but it will be an uphill fight.)

As to his admitting (and, this came out early on, this isn’t really new) his motivation, that does pretty much cinch the espionage charges. It shows malice aforethought.

BTW, this is one of the places where the single regal prerogative that survived into our Constitutional Republic comes into play. Yes, IMO, Snowden should be charged and convicted of espionage. Then, a president should pardon him or commute his sentence. What he did is a crime, and it should be. However, the commission of this crime should be forgiven (barring further anti-American activity on his part, such as giving away to other governemnts other classified information he has) because of what it exposed.

GWB on June 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

That sounds like a straight up admission of espionage.

dczombie on June 25, 2013 at 11:24 AM

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