Edward Snowden: Traitor or Patriot?

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23

I say national traitor:

Russia and China have allegedly decrypted the top-secret cache of files stolen by whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to a report from The Sunday Times, to be published tomorrow. The info has compelled British intelligence agency MI6 to withdraw some of its agents from active operations and other Western intelligence agencies are now actively involved in rescue operations. In a July 2013 email to a former U.S. Senator, Snowden stated that, “No intel­li­gence ser­vice—not even our own—has the capac­ity to com­pro­mise the secrets I con­tinue to pro­tect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my spe­cial­iza­tions was to teach our peo­ple at DIA how to keep such infor­ma­tion from being com­pro­mised even in the high­est threat counter-intelligence envi­ron­ments (i.e. China).” Many in the intelligence agencies at the time greeted this claim with scepticism. Now, one senior British official said Snowden had “blood on his hands,” but another said there’s yet no evidence anyone was harmed.

I think Mike Morrell correctly pegged him in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt:

HH: Mr. Morell, on Page 293, you talk about the treacherous Snowden. He’s just a traitor, and you write, “I believe that the Snowden disclosures will go down in history as the greatest compromise of classified information ever. Period. Full stop. The damage done has already been significant. And it will continue to grow.” And I only spent a year with SCI and a couple of years on the fringes of it. But even in that, in counterintelligence at the Department of Justice, it had to be a massive blow that the average American has no idea what he did.

MM: He basically, as I say in the book, backed up a tractor trailer and filled it up full of documents, 99.9% of them that he had not read, and 99.9% of them that he didn’t know anything about, and gave them away, right? And we don’t know, we only know what the media has published. We don’t know how many of those documents have gotten into the hands of Russian intelligence or Chinese intelligence or other intelligence services, but you can bet a good chunk has. We don’t know, we don’t fully understand, yet, the damage. We haven’t even fully seen the damage yet, but it is extensive, and will be extensive.

HH: I have to say, this may be my confirmation bias which we talked about earlier, but your assessment of Snowden jibes with mine, which is he’s a megalomaniac, and he has a very high opinion of himself, and he lives in something of a fantasy world, because you know, the Russians just pimped him, and the Chinese used him, and they probably have everything he had. And you know, he holds these press conferences on things. He’s just not that bright of a guy.

MM: And so your assessment, Hugh, is exactly mine, right? His motivation was not to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans. His motivation was to be seen by the whole world as a smart guy, right, and that’s what he didn’t get, right? He didn’t get that acclimation at the CIA and the NSA, and that’s what he so craved, right? He so craved that, and here’s what’s interesting, Hugh. Much of the media, much of the media, you’re not, but much of the media is giving him exactly what he wants.

HH: No, he needs to be branded.

16 Responses to “Edward Snowden: Traitor or Patriot?”

  1. 1

    Gregory_Dittman

    Homeland Security just gave up the names, to the Chinese, of every person that has worked for the U.S. federal government since the 1980s. This includes security clearance information as well as personnel information. Even without Snowden, the Chinese would have gotten the information.

    In WW2, the Enigma Machine was cracked twice. The first time it was cracked by Joan Clarke. The second time is when one of the machines was captured. The U.S. government got its own Enigma Machine cracked twice. Snowden is just one of many traitors in this mess, most of which will go unnamed and unpunished.

  2. 3

    Smarty

    Hero.

    The Russians, Chinese, Iranians etc. knew we were spying on them, and assumed we would spy on them when they are here. What we didn’t know was that the unicorn rider created a total police state, capable of generating tons of blackmail data on domestic political opponents (I suspect John Roberts and some in GOP leadership of being targets and pawns now), facilitating the multi-agency harassment of conservative citizens and groups, and paving the way (at least in terms of infrastructure if not intent, but only a fool sees no intent in Obama) for suppression of dissent over lawless government acts, such as agitating black riots, election fraud, mass importation of welfare cases/future democrats, political targeting of straight white Christians.

  3. 4

    Greg

    @Smarty, #3:

    Hero? The guy illegally compromised some of our nation’s most highly classified anti-terrorism data gathering programs, depriving intelligence agencies of a tool that could well have proven invaluable during some unforeseen critical moment. No one truly knows the full extent of the damage this has done to U.S. national security, but loss of that secrecy and that tool certainly won’t go into the balance in our own nation’s favor.

    Perhaps the Russian government, the Chinese government, or radical Islamic terrorist plotters might consider him a hero. Or at least helpful. I can well imagine how they might respond to one of their own who did something similar.

  4. 5

    Nanny G

    Snowden made it clear how easily American gov’t data could be hacked or stolen.
    China and others have recently hacked and stolen data on all gov’t employees.
    What an inroad to blackmailing some of them!
    Yet Obama (and Hillary) seem unaware we are even in a cyberwar.
    Well, we are.
    And we have no defense.
    Do we have as robust an offense?
    Or is that what the trade bill’s retraining old union workers was supposed to help achieve?
    You know, going from handwriting entries into a book at the Ports to counter-hacking foreign governments?
    Sure, these old fogies would be great at that…..not!

  5. 6

    Greg

    Edward Snowden was a private contractor. There are differences between private contractors and a career public servants. Public servants take oaths. Private contractors sign contract agreements, as if they were purchasing new living room furniture on an installment plan.

  6. 7

    Anub

    Snowden was a hero. Before him if I said the govt has been spying on me ever since I liked Angela Merkel on facebook people would have thought I was crazy, but he proved it happens. America needed to know what the govt was doing. He is only a traitor if the enemy of the govt is citizens that believe in the constitution.

    The china stealing all federal employees data was discovered by people that came in to do a product demonstration not the affirmative action no work govt tokens.

  7. 8

    Greg

    @Anub, #7:

    The government wouldn’t be spying on you unless they zeroed in on your phone call history for a close inspection. They wouldn’t do that unless computer analysis revealed suspicious patterns of calls relating to persons or locations associated with threats. Compiling such an enormous database isn’t close examination; it only makes close examination possible if a legitimate need for it arises.

    Abuse of any such power is always possible. So is another catastrophic terrorist attack that could result in thousands of deaths in the blink of an eye. We all know full well that there are people who will plan and execute such an attack at the first opportunity. Both possibilities have to be weighed in the balance and both have to be guarded against.

    “No work govt tokens” is anti-government b.s. The public sector is often as or more efficient at getting things done than the private sector, and often considerably less expensive. If you want to see the taxpayers shaken down until the last nickel drops out of their collective pocket, just turn any large, complex endeavor over to profit-oriented private sector contractors and turn your head away for an instant. Congress has been filled up with middle men who facilitate such arrangements. Government regulatory agencies were put in the charge of people having close personal relationships with regulated industries. The problem isn’t government itself, or career public employees. It’s highly placed people looking to extract profits from what the government does.

  8. 9

    Bill

    Snowden is a scumbag, cry-baby, hurt feelings traitor. True, there was some information that should have been disclosed to the American people, but that should have been done through Congressional oversight, not giving it all to the Russians and Chinese.

    Snowden got his little feelings hurt because he thought Obama was going to come in and correct all the things he had said Bush was abusing. Instead, he amplified them. Snowden’s reaction, instead of doing all he could to get someone else elected (the American process) and bringing his concerns to the attention of Congress, he did all he could to destroy the United States.

    In my mind, the punishment suitable for Snowden has not been devised yet.

  9. 10

    rich wheeler

    @Bill: ” Snowden Instead of doing all he could do to get someone else elected??
    Crazy statement–Were Repubs. gonna be helped by a Snowden endorsement?

  10. 12

    Smarty

    @Greg:

    Government employees operate at 50% efficiency at best. This is coming from a Management Consultant who worked at a DOD facility trying to improve efficiency. Cannot be done with discrimination laws, Master Labor Agreement, unmotivated managers. Everything about workscope has to be dumbed down so AA employees can do it “as well as anyone”, attendance is not enforced, and there is no punishment for incompetence.

    Stating that federal employees are as or more productive than private employees is gross ignorance at best.

  11. 13

    Greg

    @Smarty, #12:

    Government employees operate at 50% efficiency at best.

    Really? 50% compared to what? To the private sector? Or to some maximum theoretically achievable level of efficiency?

    Stating that federal employees are as or more productive than private employees is gross ignorance at best.

    That statement stems from a conservative mindset that has no basis whatsoever in reality. There is no evidence of greater private sector efficiency, nor is there any evidence that the desire to maximize profits results in the production of superior goods or services. It just as often results in corner-cutting and a disregard for long-term results. It can result in underpaid, overworked low-level employees who don’t give a doodly damn about quality or customers.

    If you want to make a real world comparison, have a look at the healthcare systems of various industrialized nations. Those that get the best results for the lowest per capita costs—longevity being an indicator of good results—are those where healthcare is more a public sector endeavor. The United States, where healthcare is largely a private sector endeavor, is far down the list, near the bottom. We spend far more money per person, with the result that people don’t live as long.

    Here’s some food for thought, assuming one wishes to think: WHEN PUBLIC IS BETTER

    Note they use the problematic launch of the Affordable Care Act as an example, pointing out that the screw-ups were the doing not of public employees, but of private sector contractors. If you want a public project done right, with a full degree of accountability, rely on career public employees.

  12. 14

    Smarty

    @Greg:

    Compared to private sector. It is a fact, surveyed, that the average govt worker does a 34 hour week, compared to over 40 for private sector. With no accountability, it takes NO intelligence to figure out that there is a drop in performance for when they are there.

    RE healthcare, just look at how screwed up the VA system is. That is what you should compare private healthcare to, or even foreign standards. Or maybe the Obamacare screwup. Don’t ignore that to support your socialist worldview. I thought you libs were proud of being open minded?

    Note also, that infant mortality rates are skewed because we count all live births as such, even if the baby is under a pound.

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