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« Etsy and Second Life - How the Early Pioneers Whine and Scream When the Masses Come | Main | Why I Think John Oliver is Not 'Hard-Hitting' with Snowden and His Interview is Actually Sinister »

02/24/2015

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Gerald Tarrant

Very well-researched, informative post. It's refreshing to see somebody thinking critically about the details in this case... particularly how those details don't quite square with the narrative being spun by Snowden and his key supporters.

Thanks for the read.

Kizone Kaprow

"One wonders if even a copy of a contract signed with the FSB or an ID card or his appearance with FSB Chief Bortnikov at a summer dacha would ever constitute enough proof for the doubters."

Of course not. This story is driven by bias confirmation and ideology, not objective analysis.

"He has another character flaw that the FSB can exploit: vanity."

I'd call it narcissism. From the online article, "Narcissism: The Extreme Lefty Edition," this perceptive profile of that most common and familiar social-media character, the narcissist:

"The know-it-all narcissists don’t recognize any authority because they believe themselves to be the only authority. Chronic problems with authority dog narcissists throughout their entire lives. They never outgrow this even if they live to be a hundred. Narcissists are fond of thinking of themselves as renegades, and even above the law...

"Parents, teachers, law enforcement and the government are the principle enemies of a narcissist. Adolescent rebellion tends to be their only consistent weapon against these enemies. Problems with all forms of authority, but in particular the government, are what make the Libertarian Party so attractive to many narcissists. Elimination of State and an all access pass to complete liberty and freedoms comprise the ultimate solution to hatred of authority. If they do away with authority all together, then the enemy is defeated. Strangely enough, narcissists tend to be themselves very authoritarian."

http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/epeoplesview.net/2011/05/narcissism-extreme-lefty-edition.html

Kizone Kaprow

Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31669061

Looking forward to Eddie's next propaganda performance as he rhapsodizes on Putin's Libertarian Moment.

Sir Antony Blunt

Interesting article. Would you mind addressing a couple of points?

* How do you know Sandvik was in Hong Kong in April 2013?

* What 'knowledgable observer' suggested she was there to 'set up the darknets'? What would need to be set up and for what purpose? He had laptops with Tor and Tails, what else could he need?

* Putin in a public appearance stated that he was informed that Snowden appeared at the embassy in Hong Kong attempting to enlist Russia in his effort to fight for freedom of information. He said his reaction was to have them tell Snowden that if he wanted their aquiescence to anything, he had to immediately cease working his cause as he did not want Russia to have any part of it, and that Snowden then left the Hong Kong embassy. Why is this story not plausible?

* When Snowden was still in Hong Kong, after he'd released information and Greenwald et al had published stories, the USG had a choice, promise prosecution or offer immunity in exchange for his immediate return. This would have placed him under the physical control of the USG instead of a foreign power. In retrospect, would this have been the smart move? (Once the info was released to journalist, no putting the cat back in the bag. Prosecution then only amounted to retribution, offering no benefit but emotional satisfaction to USG)

Lastly, what advice would you offer to a person who sees Edward Snowden as a cross between Jesus Christ and Von Stauffenberg, seasoned with a dash of Jason Bourne - a man single handedly trying to save the country we love and fear for from plunging in to darkness because of an out of control national security state? None of those figures were immediately viewed by their governments as hero.

I ask this in earnest - dispite my best efforts I simply can't muster any outrage at anyone but American politicians and out of control secret police, hell-bent on destroying our ability to think and say anything they don't like.

Warmest regards.

CatherineFitzpatrick (@catfitz)

Here we go "Sir Anthony":

1. Sandvik was in Hong Kong because she SAID SO and it is on her Twitter feed. First, a friend suggests she apply for a grant to attend a conference, and she did, and she went. She does not deny it and is on the record. It's in my book.

2. A knowledgeable observer suggested this -- and that's as much as need be said about it as the person doesn't wish to be mentioned. It doesn't take any prompting from such a source, however, to "get it" -- Snowden and his journalist friends needed a place TO PUT the files. They couldn't just keep them on laptops. Indeed, they weren't on Snowden's laptop when he went to Russia -- derp.

So that means they had to be stored in a vault, even moved around constantly so as never to be taken. They aren't just on thumb drives, either. So they are moved out using *darknets* which means you need a person who has servers where they can be kept -- or multiple such persons. Tor and Tails is not enough in a conspiracy like this.

3. I'm glad you don't pretend that Snowden didn't go to the Russian embassy once Putin himself said so.

And I suppose it never occurs to you that Putin could lie and dissemble.

Putin instantly said he could apply for asylum on June 11. Having the head of the country say you can apply is the same thing as getting it. Russia is not known for being an asylum destination or having a robust asylum program.

As for Putin's claim that he was concerned about harm to "his partner" -- the US -- that's ridiculous. Putin instantly began making hay from Putin by having the rubber-stamp parliament haul in Google and tell them that unless the put servers on Russian soil they could not keep doing business in Russia.

Putin pushed through a law requiring such placement of servers for all Internet service providers of any kind instantly once he had the Snowden argument to make -- and used it against his own skeptical tech people who were for an international Internet that didn't place such demands on foreign companies. It was not their idea. It was his, to have the FSB be able to access the data.

If there's one thing Putin hates it's social media, which enables the opposition to organize against him, so he controls it.

There is absolutely nothing plausible about the claim that Snowden was not exploited by Russia or that his arrival wasn't a bonanza. He doesn't even need to turn over files to them -- but in fact we don't know that he didn't do that.

We have only the word of a fugitive who stole files that he didn't.

In fact, the most likely thing in the world is that he DID give Russia files OR agree to leak certain things in order to get their advantage.

One of those things was the fake Merkel phone number story that enables Russia to split Germany from the US.

Snowden said openly that he oftered the Chinese, Brazilians and Germans files that would help them keep their secrecy. We're to believe he didn't do the same for Russia that actually gave him asylum? Why? Because he says so?!

4. I don't see why the US is required to offer Snowden a goddman thing -- he's a felon who harmed national security the worst it had ever been. I don't see anything smart about the US absolving him of his crime and continuing to suffer damage.

Retribution? But that's silly. The US didn't prosecute Snowden. In fact, it didn't even publicize the indictment.

And here's where you have to ask whether this was a plan of Obama's to break up the security state he loathed as a socialist who spent his entire life in anti-American anti-government causes, before camouflaging these sufficiently to become president.

Why indeed did the US shockingly allow 10 days go by before pulling Snowden's passport? Why were they so slow even after his heist, which was surely noticed in late May, to serve the request for extradition?

There's a school of though that says Obama was only too happy to have Snowden go to Russia because then he didn't have to face an unpopular trial like he had with Manning all over again -- and worse. Maybe so.

But I think it's time to stop making up scenarios about what might have been, or speculating about what there isn't proof of, and ask about what the fruits of Edward Snowden are:

o drive for maximum encryption by tech companies -- mainstream iPhone even, not just alternative techies -- which defeats law-enforcement

o discrediting of the US as a big snoop -- although no cases were ever shown;

o disruption of relations with the allies

o enabling Russia to establish the "sovereign Internet" and pass laws forcing ISPs to put servers on Russia's soil where inevitably they are controlled

o expose the security of lots and lots of countries and programs, from the UK to Norway -- and only to Russia's advantage.

5. There isn't any out-of-control nation-state, there are only out-of-control hackers. The pretense that something actually happened because hysterics claimed that it is a hypothetical is the biggest part of this host.

so everything you say is arrant bullshit, and merely concern-trolling.

When was ANYBODY stopped from thinking or saying ANYTHING they liked due to Snowden?! This is the biggest part of the bullshit you're peddling here.

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