It's the best and most interesting thing I've seen so far on Snowden -- the material he's leaking and his reasons for becoming a whistle-blower. "Whistle-blower" is the label used by his supporters in the press. His critics, like John Kerry, our SECSTATE, call him a traitor. Hard to know what he really is. Each of us will have to decide independently. My mind is unclear. I believe he damaged my country, but was the damage necessary to force positive change? I may never decide.
Snowden's choice of Bamford for the article makes sense. He's James Bamford, the first NSA whistle-blower from the early 1970s (as far as I know he was the first). Since then he's become an accomplished writer. I have a copy of his Puzzle Palace on a shelf in front of me. That's the first book detailing the NSA -- why it was created, when, and by whom. It also covers how it operates and what it's mission is (SIGINT). I imagine the list of people Snowden is willing to talk to is very short, and Bamford would certainly be on that list.
The new Wired article reveals a lot of new information -- new information from the treasure chest he took from the NSA, and also information about himself. Snowden explains a little bit about who he is and exactly what motivated him to do what he has done.
On the human side of things, Bamford revealed some of Snowden's life in Russia:
- Russians on the street occasionally recognize him. "Shh," Snowden tells them, smiling, putting a finger to his lips.
After Obama became president, Snowden saw (front row seat with top secret clearance at the NSA) that Obama greatly expanded all of the unconstitutional programs, and that's what made him do what he did and when.
All of this echoes what Glenn Greenwald, a journalist and confidant of Snowden, said a few months ago:
"When I first began writing in 2005, I was focused primarily on the Bush NSA program, and I was able to build a large readership quickly because so many Democrats, progressives, liberal bloggers, etc, were so supportive of the work I was doing. That continued to be true through 2008.
- Now, a mere four [years] later, Democrats have become the most vehement defenders of the NSA and the most vicious attackers of my work on the NSA - often, some of the very same people cheering so loudly in 2006 and 2007 are the ones protesting most loudly and viciously now.
- Gee, I wonder what changed? In the answer lies all you need to know about the Democratic Party."
Here's what a pathetic, bumbling liar looks like -- Nancy Pelosi on the NSA:
As you watch her attempt to distance herself from the problem, blaming "the Bush administration" for the NSA surveillance problems, remember that she and her party supported it in speeches and by their voting record. Bush had bi-partisan support. It's reminiscent of the Iraq War. During the 21 days it took to arrive in Baghdad, marking the end of major hostilities, the American public was in favor of the war by 69%. As the mop-op operation dragged on and public support waned, Democrats began to lie, claiming they were against the war. Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Hillary Clinton, all voted for the war and voiced support publicly until the opinion polls indicated the public was losing interest, and then they said Bush was an awful human being for getting us into the mess.
These lies and shameless pandering passes for leadership in the United States of America. It also makes me think of Obama saying Bush is unpatriotic for adding so much to our debt. Bush increased our debt from $8 trillion to $12 trillion in eight years, which makes him, on balance, a failure. Obama has increased our debt from $12 trillion to just over $17 trillion in six years. These people are, and there's no nice way to state this simple truth, worthless fucking liars who are not working for us even though they were hired to do so.
Back to Snowden: Also cementing his decision to come forward were the lies told by then NSA director Clapper to congress, presumably under oath. Things were bad under Bush, but they had become much worse under Obama. This is why I no longer vote Democrat or Republican. They are two sides of the same coin -- a two-man con. That's not the paranoid ramblings of an anonymous blogger -- it's all real, it's happening. We're not losing our liberty all at once; it's happening slowly, with each "leader" we elect. We were warned about this by some wise folks long ago -- the ones who created this country.
Well, some time ago this stopped being a political blog. Old habits...