The SNOWDEN AFFAIR is primarily NOT about domestic surveillance.
BUT SOMEONE SMARTER THAN THE POLITICAL EXTREMES HAVE THIS TO SAY:
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. The traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared." --Cicero, 42 BCE
Lawmakers 'Disturbed and Angered' After Classified Briefing Reveals Extent of Snowden Defense Leaks
Leading members of the House Armed Services Committee emerged from a classified briefing on the Edward Snowden leaks Wednesday afternoon "shocked" at the amount of information he reportedly leaked beyond the NSA surveillance programs.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the Armed Service panel's Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee and also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the briefing on the defense consequences of Snowden's leaks was "very highly classified," and therefore details couldn't be discussed.
Thornberry did say that lawmakers "left the briefing disturbed and angered" after hearing that the leaks by the former Booz Allen Hamilton employee "went well beyond programs associated with the NSA and data collection."
He characterized the leaks as so severe that they "compromise military capability and defense of the country" and "could cost lives" — while they "will certainly cost billions to repair."
"His actions were espionage, plain and simple," Thornberry said.
Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) read his statement rather than making comments on the fly "because of the seriousness of this issue and the sensitivity" of the information they'd just heard.
"Ed Snowden isn't a whistleblower; he's a traitor," McKeon said.
No matter what opinion people hold of the data collection programs, he added, people should be "shocked and outraged to find that a substantial amount of the information has nothing to do with the NSA."http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/05/lawmakers-disturbed-and-angered-after-classified-briefing-reveals-extent-of-snowden-defense-leaks/
Snowden has made it clear that if he is arrested, if he vanishes, or if he "dies" from any cause whatsoever, ALL of the information in his possession will be published publicly.TRN has confirmed that, working through Julian Assange and his "WikiLeaks" organization, copies of the encrypted data have already been distributed to more than one-thousand, two hundred (1200) web sites around the world. Those sites have agreed to conceal the information until such time as contact with Snowden is "lost." Once contact is lost, the sites have been told they will receive the Decryption keys via CD ROM, E-mail and P2P / Bit-Torrent file transfer.
Making the situation all the more dire for the government is that Snowden has made clear he will release some of the information under certain "other" circumstances.
A GOVERNMENT THAT VIOLATES OUR PRIVACY TO THE EXTENT IT HAS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.
NOT JUST THE VIOLATION.
THE COURTS RULED
WHAT I AM CLEAR ABOUT IS THIS:
WE DON'T SERVE THE GOVERNMENT; THE GOVERNMENT IS HERE TO SERVE US.
THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT HERE TO CHECK UP ON US.
WE ARE HERE TO CHECK UP ON GOVERNMENT!
WE DO NOT CONSENT TO BEING RULED BY
THE GOVERNMENT IS THERE TO SERVE US.
THE HATE OF GOVERNMENT BY BOTH THE FAR LEFT AND THE FAR RIGHT IS SO PROFOUND THAT THEY WOULD DO A SLO-MO WALKAWAY AFTER LIGHTING A CONFLAGRATION TO BURN THE UNITED STATES DOWN.
Nearly a year later, however, there has been no public indication that the F.B.I.'s investigation of Mr. Snowden's actions, bolstered by separate "damage assessment" investigations at the N.S.A. and the Pentagon, has uncovered evidence that Mr. Snowden received help from a foreign intelligence service. A senior F.B.I. official said on Sunday that it was still the bureau's conclusion that Mr. Snowden acted alone.
The questions raised by Mr. Rogers and Ms. Feinstein came as the F.B.I. continues its investigation of Mr. Snowden, and as the debate rages about whether he was a traitor, a whistle-blower or a violator of his oaths who nonetheless started what President Obama again last week called an important debate. To some, he is all three.
The initial portrayals of Mr. Snowden depicted a young man shocked by the scope of government surveillance and determined to expose it. In his insistence that he would release only documents showing what he viewed as government wrongdoing or overreach by intelligence agencies, he appeared to be cultivating an image as a whistle-blower.
TO PORTRAY SNOWDEN AS AN AMERICAN HERO/PATRIOT IS THE SAME AS TO PORTRAY OBAMA AS AN ABE LINCOLN
SNOWDEN IS A PATRIOT WHO TOOK THE NAMES OF EVERY GLOBAL U.S. COVERT INTEL AGENT TO RUSSIA.
SNOWDEN IS A HERO WHO TOOK VITAL DETAILS AND STATISTICS ABOUT OUR MILITARY, AIR, SEA AND LAND, TO RUSSIA.
MEANWHILE RUSSIA IS PLYING SNOWDEN WITH PROSTITUTES...
The main recipients of his materials, including The Washington Post and The Guardian, have said that Mr. Snowden insisted that material revealing operations, but no wrongdoing, should not appear in public.
But Mr. Rogers described a very different view of Mr. Snowden, as a man who, from the beginning, might have knowingly or unknowingly been directed by a foreign intelligence service.
He said the mass of military data in the Snowden trove clearly had nothing to do with privacy or the reach of intelligence services, and he suggested that Mr. Snowden's possession of a "go bag" to get out of Hawaii, and his smooth entry into Hong Kong, indicated preplanning beyond his individual capacity.
Intelligence officials say they have no doubt that Chinese and Russian intelligence have obtained whatever information Mr. Snowden was carrying with him digitally, INCLUDING A LIST OF DATA ON ALL COVERT CIA AGENTS AND OTHER INTEL-SECURITY PERSONNEL WORLDWIDE. AGB: In other words, Snowden likely, intentionally or otherwise as you'll see below, had disclosed the secrets of our intel agencies globally to potential enemies, including agents working in foreign covert operations. They also say it is possible that much of the data Mr. Snowden took is stored in an Internet cloud service.American officials say that given the cyber skills of the Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies, they assume that those countries could have gotten them without Mr. Snowden's knowledge.
"Former ethics adviser to the US Department of Justice Jesselyn Radack, retired CIA analyst Ray McGover, ex-NSA senior executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake, and retired FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley travelled to Russia to present Edward Snowden with the annual Sam Adams Associates Award for Integrity in Intelligence.
They were the first Americans to see former NSA employee since he left Hong Kong.
"We wanted Snowden to know that, as opposed to the daily vitriol from the US government and mainstream media, 60 percent of the United States supports him, including thousands in the national security and intelligence agencies where we used to work", says Radack in her article in The Nation.
Horowitz was THE quintessential insider whistleblowing on his traitorous and treacherous former RED COMRADES whom, along with the reactionary libertarian right, are clamoring to Snowden's rescue and to help Vladimir Putin's getting over America's intelligence and military apparatus. They are our American Patriots friends.....or better put, watch for Patriots in sheep's clothing.
That the reactionary left and the reactionary right see eye-to-eye with Snowden is not an indication that anyone amongst them is correct in identifying a "goodness" in what Snowden has achieved, that it was the "right thing to do" because they say so; but rather their refusal to identify what is more important concerning this issue - by far - that Snowden has broken a myriad of laws on the books, that he had no authority do disclose information in his possession, that he had STOLEN information not his to disclose, that he has now put at risk thousands of America's undercover agents, that he willfully and knowingly committed infractions against the People of the United States by having violated the national security interests of our nation on many levels outside the confines of the surveillance of the people about which the left-rightwing alternative media speak and fail to acknowledge; that given other alternatives available (yes Virginia, many other paths to disclosing matters vital to the interest of people and to privacy could have been disclosed within the homeland under the protection of a number or organizations). Given the availability of other possibilities to get his story out, Edward Snowden instead chose to go directly to the nation most willing, able and ready to harm the interests of the United States, via China, to do his harm - and has thus committed the most serious damage to our intel and military apparatus in U.S. history.
THAT THE FAR RIGHT HAS
THEY ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN and it has always been the same story throughout history.
Mr. Obama insisted that "the benefit of the debate he generated was not worth the damage done, because there was another way of doing it." - The New York Times
On Sunday, Mr. Rogers appeared to hinge many of his suspicions about Mr. Snowden on a recent Defense Intelligence Agency report that he has described in other interviews as concluding that Mr. Snowden stole about 1.7 million intelligence files that concern vital operations of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. He said that it would cost billions of dollars to change operations because of the security breaches.
Tell me Dear Reader, what does the above have to do with the alleged (not actual) surveillance of private citizens in the United States that the courts would have put an end to anyhow?
The defense intelligence report remains classified, though some members of Congress have been briefed on it in recent weeks.
"I don't think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the F.S.B.," Mr. Rogers said on the NBC program "Meet the Press," referring to the Federal Security Service, the Russian state security organization that succeeded the K.G.B.
Snowden Inexplicably Hires A Lawyer With Ties to Russian Intelligence Agency
Bob Cesca on July 24, 2013
Edward Snowden has succeeded in igniting a debate about the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), but he's also turned off a lot of otherwise sympathetic participants in that debate. And so it remains a toss-up as to whether there can be any real change for the better, and this great big question mark is a direct result of how Snowden and, to a lesser degree, his media flack, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, have comported themselves from Day One.
In this regard, yes, the NSA Debate and the Snowden Drama are inseparable, but only because his naivete, his glaring contradictions and erratic grandstanding have made it that way. This story really didn't need a sacrificial hero because the functioning of the government's foreign intelligence apparatus is compelling enough on its own to spark a serious conversation about whether it's out of control or whether it should be preserved and expanded.
Instead, Snowden's actions continue to raise questions about his veracity and motives, practically on a day-to-day basis, leaving us wondering whether his interpretations of what he had observed within the intelligence community are objective and truthful, and therefore whether we're conducting this debate using honest, rational terms. Likewise, we're also justified in determining whether Snowden is a crusader for the greater good of the United States, or whether his goal is to burn down the village in order to save it — whether he's just an angry, megalomaniacal nihilist-hacker who wants to punish America for its sins.
If the more dubious options are indeed the case, we need to be extraordinarily cautious about feeding this juggernaut, considering where it could lead us, because it's one thing to debate and reform the system (which I fully support), but it's another thing entirely to light a match and perform an action movie slow-mo walk away from the mega-explosion. Specifically, the goal should be to improve government, not to indiscriminately undermine the broader functioning of the United States.
There are have been so many indications that Snowden is doing the latter, given his leaks about the G20, the hacking operations in China and so forth. What's next?
Yup, they stand with Bradley Manning, Sheik Khalid Moha
We recently learned that in conjunction with seeking asylum in Russia, a move that, itself, is a serious head-scratcher, Snowden has also retained a Russian lawyer: a man named Anatoly Kucherena. Fine, in and of itself. The man needs a lawyer. But it's an utterly bizarre move considering that Kucherena reportedly sits on the Public Council for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). Until 1995, the FSB was known as the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service (FSK). Before that, it was two agencies: the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI). And before that? It was the Committee of State Security. The acronym: KGB.
In other words, Snowden, who claims to be highly suspicious if not totally disdainful of spy agencies, has hired a lawyer with direct ties to the spy agency formerly known as the KGB. But there's more. Kucherena is connected with President Vladimir Putin, who, in turn, was a lieutenant colonel with the KGB earlier in his career and, to date, doesn't have a stellar human rights record. Kucherena was also the lawyer for a pro-Putin filmmaker named Nikita Mikhalkov who publicly supported a plan for Putin to remain in office even after his term had expired.
There's still more. Kucherena is the founder of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, a conservative think-tank that was established in part by the Krelim as a PR front. The institute is essentially a form of pay-back against western nations that have questioned Russia's elections and human rights record. It's not a surprise considering how Kucherena has been critical of protesters who called for the overturning of dubious election results.
SOMETIMES, JUST SOMETIMES, ONE MIGHT LOOK AT ONE'S BEDFELLOWS
A few Snowden supporters: Daily KOS, Media Matters, Think Progress, The Nation, HuffPo, Tides Institute and some Tea Party libertarians. Too bad for the Tea Party, most of whom are sane.
GOOGLE: Obama gives preferential treatment to Muslims.
GOOGLE: Obama Administration Eases Immigration Rules For 'Limited' Terrorist Supporters
On top of all of that, Kucherena has expressed public support for banning internet anonymizers: software that's used to mask a user's IP address. This is particularly hilarious considering how Snowden and his acolytes have probably used similar technology, as well as encryption, to safeguard their privacy.
And now he's Snowden's lawyer.
Now, couple all of this with what Glenn Greenwald said about Snowden's "dead man switch." Snowden apparently told Greenwald that there are many more documents in the hacker's possession that could do serious harm to the United States, and if Snowden is assassinated or tortured, those documents would be released. Greenwald added that the United States should be "on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden" because Snowden could "cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had."
And now Snowden is being advised and aided by a Putin crony. Strange bedfellows — that is if we're to believe Snowden's anti-surveillance posture. (Based on his old internet chats, he used to be quite a surveillance supporter who thought one leaker should've been "shot in the balls.") So at this point, Snowden and his new pals in Russian intelligence retain purview over documents that could do more damage to the United States than anyone else has done — ever.Could we have entirely avoided the extraneous histrionics and still conducted an important debate about surveillance? Of course we could have but that's not what happened.
AND WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT ON RUSSIAN, CHINESE, ARAB, BUT ON AMERICAN SOIL
THEY ARE WHOLLY, INCONTROVERTIBLY AND FATALLY WRONG.
HOWEVER I DON'T THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE CONVINCED THEMSELVES OF WHAT IS NOT SO EXPLAINS IT ALL.
How Snowden Empowered Russian Intelligence
As I noted this weekend, the Snowden Operation has entered a new phase and is approaching its end thanks to President Obama's speech on NSA reforms, and also because the ties between Edward Snowden and Russian intelligence, which I've been mentioning for months – and getting vast grief for along the way – have become increasingly obvious and are now being commented on openly by senior American politicians.
Just what the Snowden Operation has done for Russian intelligence, especially the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB), which controls domestic security and most of Russia's Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) capability, has been laid out comprehensively in a recent piece in the Moscow daily Yezhednevnyy Zhurnal, co-authored by Andrei Soldatov, perhaps Russia's best journalist on intelligence matters. Soldatov, a frequent critic of the FSB and more broadly Putin's "special services" (спецслужбы - a catch-all term for the Kremlin's intelligence and security agencies), does a masterful job of explaining how Moscow has used the Snowden Operation effectively for its own purposes, foreign and domestic, so I am posting the article, entitled "Year in Review: The Special Services," in translation in toto:
Thanks to Edward Snowden, the fugitive contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who found refuge in Russia, 2013 will be remembered for the revelations of the American special services' cyber-surveillance of their own citizens as well as citizens of friendly European states and totally non-hostile Latin American states.
His information, which revealed the methods and scale of electronic interception, made everyone start thinking about the confidentiality of private life and how to avoid finding ourselves in a brave new world where nobody will be able to hide anything from the authorities.
For journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary people, Snowden became a hero, eclipsing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But in Russia, unfortunately, Snowden's revelations led mainly to negative consequences. They gave the Russian authorities carte blanche to regulate the Internet and provided a formal pretext for an onslaught on Internet giants like Google and Facebook.
Last summer, as soon as Snowden had published his first revelations about American surveillance on the Internet, an offensive against global platforms began in Russia, on the pretext of protecting our compatriots' personal data. Initiatives designed to place Google, Facebook, and others totally under the oversight of the Russian special services are being put forward in the State Duma by Deputy Sergey Zheleznyak and in the Federation Council by Senator Ruslan Gattarov.
The aim is to make the Internet giants site their servers in Russian territory and store Russian users' information only here. In that event all the information that we post on social networks or that is transmitted through global mail services, messengers, or video chat rooms will automatically become accessible to the Russian interception system, SORM (Operational and Investigative Measures System, i.e. domestic SIGINT). The FSB, the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs), and six other special services have access to it.
The system for the interception of Internet traffic and mobile communications in our country is not overseen by anyone except the special services. Although formally in order to intercept citizens' information a staffer of the special services must obtain a court permit, he is not obliged to show it to anyone except his superior officer. The system is organized technically in such a way that no telecommunications operator or Internet provider can know what information the special services are intercepting or in what quantity – it is all in the hands of the officer who sits at the control panel and himself enters the data of those who are to be monitored.
As Snowden made clear to the whole world, it was for precisely this kind of unsupervised access to communications that the NSA needed to create all the cunning programs like PRISM, and that is what the NSA is now having to justify. But in our country unsupervised access by the special services to traffic was provided for from the outset and this suits our special services completely.
Apart from that, Snowden strengthened Russia's position in the struggle to regulate the "global" Internet. The point is that Russia does not like the historically established system whereby regulation of the Internet is mainly in the hands of American organizations like ICANN and others. At the end of 2012, Russia sought to change the status quo, attempting to change the rules through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and proposing that the possibility of censoring information on the Internet become global. The attempt failed despite the fact that it was supported by the majority of the countries of the world, but not by the United States or Europe, where, in fact, the main organizations are located.
However, thanks to Snowden's information that NSA was intercepting traffic from citizens of other countries, Russia gained allies on this issue. For instance, the idea of placing global services under the control of the authorities is now supported in Germany. Such initiatives will not bring any benefit to users: in general, the creation of artificial borders will lead to the so-called Balkanization of the Internet, destroying the originally free structure of the exchange of information on the Internet and restricting the possibility of free access to information.
The past year or so took place under the black sign of the introduction of censorship in the "Runet" (Russian Internet): A blacklist of websites banned by Roskomnadzor (Federal Agency for Oversight in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) began to operate in November 2012, and last year grew to a ridiculous scale. Apart from information about suicide, drugs, and child pornography, everything was successively blocked on Runet: perfectly decent websites that are the neighbors of banned sites on the same IP, the Yandex and YouTube services in certain regions, jokes on Twitter. Furthermore the machine is gathering speed: The drafters of new laws are threatening to add works of art to the blacklists, and the eve of the New Year saw the adoption of amendments put forward by Deputy Andrey Lugovoy – who is better known from the story of the poisoning of [FSB defector Colonel] Aleksandr Litvinenko in London – introducing extrajudicial blocking of websites for inciting extremism and unauthorized demonstrations.
The invasion of citizens' private lives, which has been intensifying in recent years, provoked outrage among communications operators for the first time in many years. In November Vympelcom criticized the system of legal interception of telephone conversations and correspondence (SORM). The company sent a letter to the Ministry of Communications criticizing a draft order by the department imposing new requirements on the system for the inception of Internet traffic: According to these, the operator must store all users' information for twelve hours.
The FSB's growing appetites in the sphere of surveillance are nothing new, as is indicated by the twofold increase in the interception of telephone conversations and e-mail over the past six years: from 265,937 in 2007 to 539,864 in 2012. But for many years none of this caused a murmur in the industry. Therefore Vympelcom's outrage that the draft order is contrary to the Constitution, which protects citizens' right to confidentiality of correspondence, seems encouraging.
The point is that the offensive against the confidentiality of private life on the Internet has recently been proceeding so quickly that it has even frightened the business sector. Apart from the special services and the law enforcement agencies, new players have emerged in this field. In 2013 the Central Bank fined two major e-mail services – Rambler.ru and Mail.ru – for refusing to provide information about users' correspondence without a court ruling. And recently the department drew up amendments to the law on insider dealing that would grant the Central Bank access to the telephone conversations and correspondence of potentially unscrupulous market players.
The proving ground where the state has decided to use all the surveillance technologies at its disposal is the approaching Olympic Games in Sochi. There, the authorities have put into practice a comprehensive approach, bringing together advanced technologies in the sphere of the interception of information and field surveillance as well as administrative oversight measures that were tried out back at the time of the 1980 Olympics.
As we have written previously in our investigation, in Sochi, SORM has been substantially strengthened and local providers have been busy buying equipment recommended by the FSB in order to meet the state's requirements for monitoring everyone, including athletes and fans. Rostelecom has also installed DPI [deep packet inspection] equipment on mobile communications networks in the region, making it possible not only to monitor all traffic but also to filter it by searching for the required information by keywords. Moreover, DPI helps, if necessary, effectively to identify users.
But even this was not enough, and in November a government decree came out making provision for the collection of metadata from all types of communication used by athletes, journalists, and even members of the Organizing Committee themselves and for the creation of a database. This will include the names and surnames of subscribers and information about who called whom and when, all the information will be stored for three years, and the FSB will have access to it.
For the country's main special service this year was generally very successful. Yet again, the FSB extended its powers. This time, the special service was given permission to conduct surveillance and monitoring for the purposes of protection against threats to information security. Given that in our country the concept of an information threat is interpreted very broadly and includes threats to the spiritual life of citizens and the spiritual revival of Russia, this greatly facilitates the procedure for the interception of citizens' traffic. In 2013, the FSB became the country's chief cyber department. In January, by presidential edict, it was instructed to create a system for discovering and eliminating the consequences of computer attacks on Russian information resources.
In this situation the shocking interception, including gunfire, of the Greenpeace activists' ship is perfectly understandable. The FSB explained that it was acting, "in defense of the interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region," and for that purpose all means are good.
The FSB, to the president, is still the special service that cannot be criticized. Nobody from the top FSB leadership was punished for the terrorist acts in Volgograd on the eve of the New Year, which cost dozens of lives, just as there was not a single important resignation after the hostage-taking incident at the theater center on Dubrovka or the tragedy in Beslan. Even though a video by Pavel Pechenkin, who blew himself up at the station, in which he clearly declares his intention of doing something of the kind, was openly available on the Internet from March 2012, this could not prevent the terrorist act. The special services knew that he belonged to the ranks of the Dagestani "underground" and that he was planning to commit a terrorist act, but they could do nothing. On the eve of the Olympic Games in Sochi, this looks particularly worrying.
John R. Schindler is professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, where he's been since 2005, and where he teaches courses on security, strategy, intelligence, terrorism, and occasionally military history. Before joining the NWC faculty, he spent nearly a decade with the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer.
Photo of Edward Snowden Edward Snowden is unquestionably a traitor and he might be a Russian spy. He gave the Washington Post, the 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program which details the successes, failures and objectives of all 16 US spy agencies. This is also in the hands of the Chinese and Russia.…
AGB: I REST MY CASE FOR THE HERE AND NOW...THERE'S A LOT MORE UPCOMING.
"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."
"In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend." --Alexander Hamilton
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