September 26, 2022

"Snowden is not a traitor. He did not betray the interests of his country. Nor did he transfer any information..."

"... to any other country which would have been pernicious to his own country or to his own people. The only thing Snowden does, he does publicly."

Said Vladimir Putin, in 2017, when the filmmaker Oliver Stone prompted him with "As an ex-KGB agent, you must have hated what Snowden did with every fiber of your being."

63 comments:

tim maguire said...

Last I heard, Snowden had not renounced his US citizenship. He deserves a pardon and hopefully at some point will get one.

Rabel said...

Cool. Now he's draft eligible.

Andrew said...

Putin is trolling the US. He's very good at it. He knows how to manipulate the American press, and both political parties. He's an SOB, and I hope he gets his comeuppance, but he's smarter than most of his enemies.

rcocean said...

Snowden isn't a traitor. Unlike Pollard and Ames. He's like Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers.

tim in vermont said...

Remember how the original sanctions on Russia were about imprisonment of a journalist? Time to engage your doublethink, people!

Larry J said...

If a Russian did what Snowden did, he’d either get a very long prison sentence or a bullet to the back of his head.

Dude1394 said...

Snowden was a patriot. Our now corrupt government has been trying to punish him for exposing them. George W Bush and the patriot act has possibly destroyed our liberties. I was a naive supporter, we MUST repeal it and get clean house on the fbi and homeland security.

Kay said...

Why didn’t the Donald pardon him when he had the chance?

rhhardin said...

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?
Ou sont les Neigedens d'antan? - Catch 22

Vallon:
Qui commanda que Buridan
Fust jetté en ung sac en Seine?
Mais où sont les neiges d’antan

Popularized by Brecht (1936)
Wo is die Schnee vom vergangenen Jahr?


Buckwheathikes said...

Snowden is a traitor because he transferred information to American citizens. Information about how our own government spies on us. He revealed that our government considers American citizens to be the enemy.

It is our own government that is the enemy of freedom in the United States.
He demonstrated that it is the clear and present danger to Our Democracy. Not you, as Joe Biden claimed falsely. It is our own government.

THAT is why the government is out to get Ed Snowden. They intend to kill him by any means if they can. And they'll do it to you too if you cross them.

Blair said...

Just in time for the draft! Good luck in Ukraine, Snowy!

n.n said...

He's no Biden. Certainly not an Obama. Not even a Clinton. Or some other Democrat pipe.

takirks said...

Snowden was likely frauded into the clearance he was granted through use of the OPM breach. He would have never been granted a clearance under the old standards, and I strongly suspect that he was always an asset of foreign intelligence.

Of course, given the nature of the Obama and Clinton administrations and their collective attitudes towards national security? Who knows?

People completely miss the biggest espionage/counter-espionage story of the last century, one that is probably bigger than Enigma. With the OPM breach, we had foreign intelligence agencies rooting around in our personnel databases with full editorial powers. They could have inserted entire fictitious identities, and we would never know. They could have erased derogatory information for agents or potential agents, then blackmailed those parties into working for them, lest they lose their clearances. The possibilities are endless.

People wonder how on earth we could be losing our HUMINT resources overseas so thoroughly and so quickly. The answer's pretty simple: The Obama admin gave the whole OPM over to partisan Democratic Party hacks and operatives, who promptly contracted with campaign donors to work on things, who then contracted with unqualified and illegal sub-contractors overseas to do the actual work. Do a little research on the issue, which never got anywhere near the attention it should have, and be amazed.

In a just world, the Obama crew would have been impeached, put on trial for treason, and then summarily executed. That's how much damage was done, and how deep the betrayal was. They should have all been shot.

When I was a security manager, loss of a single person's background check information was supposedly worth 5 years in Leavenworth. That was for something like failing to safeguard it and losing the disk it was on or the paperwork they'd filled out. What should the penalty have been for losing EVERYONE'S background check data for the last several generations, and contaminating the database such that we don't know who should be trusted and who shouldn't be? There is no telling what's been frauded into that database at this point, and the sad reality is that a US government clearance isn't worth the paper it's printed on, so far as trustworthiness is concerned.

All due to Democratic Party malfeasance and corruption. For which precisely nobody was ever held accountable. It was a digital Pearl Harbor that happened so deep in the background that nobody noticed or cared. But, it may well be the thing that destroys this nation, over the next generation or two...

Hey Skipper said...

@tim maguire: Last I heard, Snowden had not renounced his US citizenship. He deserves a pardon and hopefully at some point will get one.



Based upon what I know (mostly via Glenn Greenwald) he deserves a pardon, and many people in our intelligence apparatus deserve prison. It isn't at all clear to me why Trump didn't pardon Snowden.

Gusty Winds (Elon Musk Fanboy) said...

When it comes to Snowden, it matters what you consider to be "your country".

1) If the view of "your country" includes the Deep State, FBI, CIA, IRS, CDC, Homeland Security...and letting them do whatever they want, then you probably think Snowden is a villainous traitor.

2) If "you're country" consists of your fellow citizens, the Constitution, and the freedoms and protections it provides against being monitored and spied on by your own government...then you might view Snowden as a hero.

For what it's worth, I don't want to see any American or foreign blood spilled for the protection of country #1 described above.

jim5301 said...

Trump will prob pardon Snowden if he gets the chance. Those Russian spies have to stick together.

Dude1394 said...

I don’t know why trump didn’t pardon Snowden. But trump really is a very patriotic dude and I can see him not liking Snowden. It is ironic that the people he protected from Snowden are the same corrupt people going after him and anyone who isn’t a democrat.

He seems to have chosen poorly.

Heartless Aztec said...

American Hero

JPS said...

May not be a traitor, but he's kind of an idiot. A highly intelligent kind of functional idiot:

"Hey, the American national security state is violating Americans' civil liberties, spying on them, and behaving in a self-serving and sinister fashion. That tears it – I'm defecting to Russia!"

Jupiter said...

"If a Russian did what Snowden did, he’d either get a very long prison sentence or a bullet to the back of his head."

Or US citizenship.

Christopher said...

Embrace the power of "and."

Snowden revealed that the national security establishment conducts mass surveillaince of American citizens and he exposed critical intelligence and defense secrets to our enemies.

I've thought for years they should build a monumnet in his honor and lock him up and throw away the key.

n.n said...

American Hero

Hardly a "hero". He didn't elect to abort an unarmed woman, in a prone position, escaping a Capitol Hill police-induced riot, and probable Whitmer event, let alone share or leave classified information and secret technology a la Biden, Obama, Clinton, DNC staff et al. Even Bush Jr. left a comm platform in Chinese hands.

YoungHegelian said...

I have never accepted the media explanation of what happened with Edward Snowden. I have worked for too many years in the IT in and around DC & the Intel community, and too much of it makes no sense. Let's start from the top, shall we?

Snowden gets a job as a contractor to NSA, taking a position that requires at least a bachelors degree, which he doesn't have.

He gets a plum posting to an NSA position in Hawaii, straight out of the gate. How?

In an incredibly expensive town like Honolulu, he not only lives a decent young person's life, but he has a stripper girlfriend. Now, i have been in IT since 1980, and I've never met an IT guy with stripper girlfriend (I've known IT guys whose sisters were strippers, but that's different). Women in the sex industries latch on to boyfriends for one big reason ---- money. How did a junior IT dweeb like Snowden live a life that looks like it requires lots of money?

He works as a systems administrator at an NSA site, so he has unrestricted file access to lots of data. Uhhhm, sure. But, every operating system rated as more secure than C2 (which no NSA site would run, as it's too insecure) logs all file access attempts. These logs are periodically examined by other sys admins to look for unauthorized file access. Didn't the other admins see Snowden's far ranging attempts at file access?

And then there's the question of how did he get the files out of the NSA? Secure networks are "air gapped" and have no contact to the outside internet. PCs in secure facilities have USB ports and RW-DVD drives disabled physically or via software (by e.g. a package like ZenWorks) or both. If a worker is caught with a USB thumb drive or RW-DVD in a secure environment, it's grounds for termination. So, how did Snowden copy the files and get them out of the NSA secure site?

I think the answer is that Snowden was groomed by the CIA/NSA as a double agent and that the files he leaked contain "poison pills" intended for the intelligence agencies of hostile governments. There was information leaked that the NSA/CIA wants other countries to believe or act upon, but that just isn't so.

Either that, or the NSA has internal IT security that's so bad that a well-run IT shop at a medium size business can outshine it, which considering the mess that the FBI appears to be, may well be the case.

mezzrow said...

Timing is everything.

Drago said...

JPS: "May not be a traitor, but he's kind of an idiot. A highly intelligent kind of functional idiot:

"Hey, the American national security state is violating Americans' civil liberties, spying on them, and behaving in a self-serving and sinister fashion. That tears it – I'm defecting to Russia!"'

First Question: Was Snowden correct about "the American national security state violating Americans' civil liberties, spying on them, and behaving in a self-serving and sinister fashion"?

If the answer to that question is "yes", and it is, at that point why would anyone waste time on what follow on actions were taken by the person who exposed the biggest scandal in the history of the United States?

Why isn't the primary concern what our government, under the guise of "protecting us", is doing that puts the Stasi/KGB/Red Guards to shame?

Drago said...

Hey Skipper: "It isn't at all clear to me why Trump didn't pardon Snowden."

McConnell and the GOPe made it quite clear that the continuous impeachment processes were there just waiting for Trump to do anything that would jeopardize the GOPe alliance with the dems.

There were always at least 15 to 20 republicans who would have happily voted to impeach and remove Trump if he went too far in taking on the deep state.

That was the entire point of always having an impeachment proceeding teed up and ready to go. To keep Trump corralled.

The danger for them the next time? That won't work again. Which is why the entirety of the GOPe is working so feverishly to help the New Soviet Democraticals use lawfare to attack Trump, his entire circle, his attorneys, his family members, etc.

tim in vermont said...

Per Glenn Greenwald, Snowden was transiting Russia on an international flight and trapped there despite his efforts to leave, by the US State Department, so that he could be branded a Russian spy for the rubes’ benefit.

Buckwheathikes said...

Dude asked: "I don’t know why trump didn’t pardon Snowden

Trump didn't pardon Snowden because Donald Trump didn't think he could BECOME Ed Snowden.

Now he knows.

Even he can be persecuted by the Democrat Party's KGB, the FBI; upsetting all norms of how we treat former Presidents in this country since its founding.

Now he knows.

We tried to warn him. WE CHANTED: LOCK. HER. UP. We knew. But he didn't believe us.

He said he would. But then he didn't.

So now he's Ed Snowden. They're sniffing around in his wife's panty drawer. Just to show him they can. Whenever they want. They're showing Melania Trump who the boss is, and it's not Donald Trump. They can sniff his wife's panties. Whenever they want.

I hope Ron DeSantis, or whoever the next Republican president is, is paying attention. I hope the next Republican First Lady is paying attention to the lock on her panty drawer.

Do it to them before they can do it to you. Because they are going to do it to you too. Shut them down.

I beseech the next Republican president: LOCK. HER. UP.

Narayanan said...

Why didn’t the Donald pardon him when he had the chance?
===========
I am curious :
can pardon documents be 'holographic' hand written by DJT and valid?
would smears [ketchup etc] invalidate?
or does it need to be prepared by some functionary in the Executive Branch and placed before Orange Man at locus Oval Office?
was it found among Mar-a-Lago loot heist?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Time to engage your doublethink, people!

1. It’s been engaged for a while Tim.
2. Project Veritas.

Quaestor said...

Why didn’t the Donald pardon him when he had the chance?

A pardon pre-supposes conviction.

If Eric Snowden considered himself a patriot he ought to have returned to face trial. Assuming he was convicted of espionage, then you may disparage Donald Trump for not pardoning Snowden.

I've often remarked on what I call the Althouse synchronicity effect, i.e. the preternatural relationship between the subjects Althouse chooses for her blogs and what I am reading at the identical time. In this case, it's Eric Snowden's putative treason and my current reading matter, The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 by William L. Shirer.

Over lunch, I read the third chapter, The Dreyfus Affair, 1894-1906. In summary, a certain junior staff officer of the French army, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, was viciously framed for espionage, convicted, and condemned to an exceeding cruel imprisonment on Devil's Island in French Guyana. Later, when the evidence used to convict Dreyfus was proven to be forgeries, the high court ordered a new trial. Dreyfus returned to France to face once again a military tribunal, which in a blatant act of anti-Semitism convicted him again on the strength of no evidence at all! The international condemnation of that injustice led President Émile Loubet to offer Dreyfus a complete pardon, which Dreyfus steadfastly refused. He wanted exoneration, not forgiveness for a crime he did not commit.

The comparison of these cases, that of Alfred Dreyfus and Eric Snowden, turns on the matter of guilt. Dreyfus was innocent. He had nothing to do with revealing military secrets. Snowden, however, is responsible by his own admission. He revealed secret information that he had sworn on his honor and on pain of criminal prosecution to protect. Furthermore, Dreyfus was a hero in the truest sense. He faced trial and endured humiliation and punishment. Snowden, however, fled like a guilty coward to, of all places, an authoritarian dictatorship aligned against the interests of his country. On the surface, these are not the acts of a patriot.

MikeD said...

Kudos to all commenters supporting Snowden's exposure of the rot at the center of our "National Security" establishment.

Jefferson's Revenge said...

Trump didn’t pardon Snowden because he had bigger issues in front of him at the moment. While I grow more sympathetic to Snowden and appreciative of Greenwald over time, Trump’s second term would have been more earthshaking than his first. Alas.

DanTheMan said...

Congratulations Ed. Now, I suggest you stay away from windows...

Heywood Rice said...

"Hey, the American national security state is violating Americans' civil liberties, spying on them, and behaving in a self-serving and sinister fashion. That tears it – I'm defecting to Russia!"

Reminds me of Glenn Greenwald.

Mary Beth said...

In the beginning, I thought Snowden was wrong. You just don't betray your country, or the company you work for, by stealing information and sharing it. Stealing is wrong. Releasing classified information is wrong. Why would someone publish that so our enemies could see it?

Then I started reading some of that information. The more I read, the more I became convinced that he was a whistle-blower. The enemies of the government who weren't supposed to see that information was us.

Too bad it didn't really change anything.

Richard Aubrey said...

JPS. Maybe there's a difference between defecting and reaching a place of safety.

Achilles said...

Rabel said...

Cool. Now he's draft eligible.

Snowden didn't wake up this morning knowing he was signing up to conquer Ukraine.

Goldenpause said...

Some day we will learn of Snowden’s “untimely” death. Around the time he ceases to be useful to Putin.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

So, the FBI could find the Mar-a-lago "trove". But the CIA can't snatch Snowden, a decade on the run. Both agencies serve at the pleasure of politics.

Tina Trent said...

How naive can you people be?

Snowden joins the ranks of the Rosenbergs, and you clap like idiot puppets.

Tina Trent said...

How naive can you people be?

Snowden joins the ranks of the Rosenbergs, and you clap like idiot puppets.

n.n said...

the answer is that Snowden was groomed by the CIA/NSA as a double agent and that the files he leaked contain "poison pills" intended for the intelligence agencies of hostile governments

Was Clinton a channel for disinformation to her clients or was she the target of a honeypot operation. Water Closet in progress, but they are plugging people... leaks.

William said...

I don't think it is possible to reach an informed opinion on Snowden. The fact though is that he is in Russia and that any information privy to him is most likely now known by Russia. There is quite a lot in his story that is not consistent with being an American hero.....He has a graceful bearing. He looks like a hero. So did Lindbergh. In fact, Lindbergh was on many occasions a genuine hero. On other occasions, not so much, and there is quite a lot we did not know about Lindbergh until years after his death...There's a lot we don't know about this and a lot we will never know. Maybe it will all work out. The MAD Pax that Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs helped establish might have helped to keep the world at peace until such time as the USSR collapsed.

Drago said...

Tina: "Snowden joins the ranks of the Rosenbergs, and you clap like idiot puppets."

Our DOJ/FBI/NSA/CIA join the ranks of the Stasi/KGB and you remain more concerned about Snowden.

Idiot puppets indeed.

n.n said...

So, Snowden exposed the double-edged scalpel of national security, domestic spying perchance a wiretap, a poorly conceived dossier, a political agenda, disinformation delivered to a FISA court, brayed through mainstream publications, broadcasts, and reinforced through steering engines, and an FBI, SWAT raid when necessary to settle, intimidate, and manage accounts.

Narr said...

Young Hegelian's reading seems about right--Snowden was (and is) clearly as much pawn as player.

The shit he exposed is much worse than the exposure.



Quaestor said...

The MAD Pax that Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs helped establish might have helped to keep the world at peace until such time as the USSR collapsed.

I have never read a more retrograde interpretation of history. Congratulations, William.

Smilin' Jack said...

Snowden should have just come home. I doubt they could find a jury that would convict him of anything.

effinayright said...

Quaestor said...
Why didn’t the Donald pardon him when he had the chance?

A pardon pre-supposes conviction.
************

Oh really?

What had Nixon been convicted of when Ford pardoned him?

Drago said...

effinayright: "What had Nixon been convicted of when Ford pardoned him?"

Not promoting W. Mark Felt.

Drago said...

Smilin' Jack: "Snowden should have just come home. I doubt they could find a jury that would convict him of anything."

You are joking, right?

alanc709 said...

"jim5301 said...
Hillary will prob pardon Snowden if she gets the chance. Those Russia hoaxers have to stick together.

FIFY

Achilles said...

Tina Trent said...

How naive can you people be?

Snowden joins the ranks of the Rosenbergs, and you clap like idiot puppets.


Your government is illegally spying on every word you say, every picture your send, and storing all of that data in giant data storage facilities.

All Snowden did was tell us what they were illegally doing.

When they lied to the FISC to spy on Carter Paige they escalated that request from a tier 7 asset to a tier 1 asset. That means they got to spy on everyone within 2 hops. That means everyone Paige talked to and everyone those people talked to. In other words every single person who ever thought of working for Trump was spied on.

When we were searching through the networks in Iraq/Afghanistan the only thing slowing us down was interpreters.

Now they are sending the FBI after Trump supporters and pro-life activists all over the country.

There is no difference between the Biden Regime and the Putin regime in any moral sense. Only in timeline.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Snowden knows the US gov spies on its own citizens.

Robert Cook said...

"Why didn’t the Donald pardon him when he had the chance?"

Trump didn't pardon Snowden because Trump didn't really give a shit about Snowden...or anything or anyone who cannot do him any favors or give him something he wants.

Robert Cook said...

"Hey, the American national security state is violating Americans' civil liberties, spying on them, and behaving in a self-serving and sinister fashion. That tears it – I'm defecting to Russia!"

That's not what happened. He left Hong Kong with the intention of finding haven in Ecuador. However, on his layover in Russia, the U.S. voided his passport, leaving Snowden stranded in Russia. Really, all this information is well known and has been for years.

Robert Cook said...

"Snowden revealed that the national security establishment conducts mass surveillaince of American citizens and he exposed critical intelligence and defense secrets to our enemies."

What "critical intelligence and defense secrets" did Snowden expose to our enemies? How do you know he did this? What critical intelligence and defense secrets did he have that he could have exposed to our enemies. Snowden gave all the documents he downloaded to the various journalists he worked with, and retained none when he left Hong Kong.

(And why is Russia our "enemy?" Since detente, they have been an adversary state, but not an enemy. To the effect we consider them an enemy now, it is by our doing, not theirs, just as is true of Iran.)

Robert Cook said...

"Either that, or the NSA has internal IT security that's so bad that a well-run IT shop at a medium size business can outshine it, which considering the mess that the FBI appears to be, may well be the case."

It's almost always the better bet that carelessness, complacency, and sloppiness are the causes of institutional weak points than devious plotting of masterminds playing three-dimensional chess.

Robert Cook said...

"The shit he exposed is much worse than the exposure."

To whom? How so? He revealed to the American people that we were (and are) all subject to mass surveillance by our intelligence agencies all the time. The public is too ignorant, misinformed, or indifferent that nothing has been done and nothing has changed. A truly informed and engaged public would have demanded trials and convictions of all those involved, up to the level of the White House.

Do you assume he had intelligence with him in Russia that he has made available to them? According to him, he retained none of the files he downloaded when he left Hong Kong. Do you have reason to believe otherwise?

Robert Cook said...

"Snowden should have just come home. I doubt they could find a jury that would convict him of anything."

You can't possibly be that naive or obtuse...can you?

takirks said...

YoungHegelian said:

"I have never accepted the media explanation of what happened with Edward Snowden. I have worked for too many years in the IT in and around DC & the Intel community, and too much of it makes no sense. Let's start from the top, shall we?"

See my post near the top of this thread. You key in on exactly the issues I have with Snowden ever even getting a clearance in the first place.

I suspect that the "Story of Snowden" goes a lot deeper and is a lot bigger than we realize; he should not have gotten a clearance for the work he was doing, and shouldn't have been in that job in the first damn place. How did he get it? Who signed off on his clearance?

My inference is that this has something to do with the OPM breach, because nothing else makes sense. I had trouble getting clearances granted for military necessity, during the mid- to late-OO's, and those were for simon-pure West Point graduate junior officers. Some of them had extensive queries going on right up until the day we deployed, when we finally got interim clearances for them. Snowden's timeline for his NSA clearance? By comparison, near-instantaneous and granted despite massive, massive issues that should have been questioned, not the least of which was that selfsame "stripper girlfriend". He would have had major issues getting a clearance as a junior officer, let alone if he'd been junior enlisted.

So, how'd he get one?

Only thing that makes any sense to me is "OPM breach and fraud".

Narr said...

Robert, take a deep breath.

Everything you listed in your first paragraph is the shit in question.

I have no idea what you mean with your second paragraph. I assumed all along that what Snowden exposed to adversaries and enemies was of less importance than what he showed to the American public who pay for it all.