Assange Journalism

Steve Kinney admin at
Wed Nov 28 16:37:59 PST 2018

On 11/26/18 10:27 PM, juan wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Nov 2018 17:48:22 -0500

> 	Anyway, yes, what you describe is materially possible, so I should have asked "played, why?". What would the 'leaders' of the NSA gain by having snowden leak some stuff they previously selected/curated? Obviously they would not allow the leak of anything 'really top secret'. And coincidentally snowden's stuff simply confirmed what people with half a brain suspected. Massive surveillance. Wait, not even suspected but knew about it before snowden (like ATT fiber taps)
> 	One scenario I can think off the top of my head is that they allowed snowden to get hold of some not-really-secret stuff to justify 'tighter security' inside the NSA? 
> 	But as a bigger political game, I'm not sure what their motives could be. But more below.

If we ask what specific domestic surveillance activities had already
caused the most controversy, and had the biggest potential for blowback
if exposed to full public view, "the first two Snowden releases"
provides a pretty good answer:  Bulk surveillance of U.S. telephone and
Internet traffic.

Programs that large will eventually become public knowledge.  Picking
how and when that happens, and preparing responses for the press,
Congress and the Courts in advance, presents significant advantages.
This permits developing and implementing strategies for influencing
specific individuals who would play key roles in determining the outcome
in publicity, political and legal dimensions (reporters and editors,
Senators and DemoPublican Party officials, Fedeeral Prosecutors and

During and after the initial releases from the Snowden Saga, the
intelligence community won nearly every battle over who can break what
laws, when, etc. without consequences.  The Snowden Affair removed many
potential liabilities by establishing that "we are allowed to do this,
that and the other thing."

>> I figure Snowden far too dumb to 'leak correctly,' but too smart not to
>> play along once he became an object of property physically passed around
>> between ruling class factions.
> 	Hmm. Snoden doesn't strike me as dumb. At least not so dumb that he was unable to publish stuff anonymously if he wanted. Especially considering that his job description was pretty much to track 'enemies of the state'. 

Available biographical information, and his extraordinary access to
numerous "sensitive compartments", indicates his job was most likely
senior IT administrator and troubleshooter at facilities handling
classified communications and databases.

Then again, available biographical information indicates that the guy
with the "pencil neck geek" physique volunteered for and was accepted
for training for Special Forces while before he completed Basic Training
- which does not happen.  He then supposedly received a medical
discharge after breaking both legs in a training accident, which again
does not happen except where the such injuries qualify as disabling.

That's why I call Snowden an International Man Of Mystery rather than
any other title:  Not only is he a living legend, what we can see of
that life looks like a "legend" in the sense of an intelligence
officer's fake back story related to a particular assignment.

Why did Snowden pick attorney and political commentator Glenn Greenwald
to hand his documents off to, instead of a journalist?  Why not contact
John Young, Sibel Edmonds, an old timer like Daniel Ellsberg - or ANYONE
with applicable knowledge and experience?  Did he fail to look into the
history of leaks like the one he was considering, and available venues
for same - or was he directed to specific people spotted, recruited and
handled by the same employer who spotted, developed and handled him?

I doubt that we will never know.

>> "By his own account, Snowden often discussed perceived Agency wrongdoing
>> with his co-workers, which suggests that he should have been profiled
>> and flagged as a potential leaker by the NSA’s internal surveillance
>> process."
> 	Maybe...not? I assume that people working in such criminal organizations are a 'tight knit' mafia. They don't really suspect each other. They are all american heroes fulliling their divine role : making the world safe for goldman sachs and raytheon. 

Snowden said:

“When you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis and you
recognize that some of these things are actually abuses, and when you
talk about them in a place like this, were this is the normal state of
business, people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from
them. But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and
you feel compelled to talk about it, and the more you talk about it, the
more you’re ignored, the more you’re told it’s not a problem...”

> 	You say they have 'insider threat' programs but who knows how they actually run them. Although in 1984 world it seemed as if anybody could be suspected, in reality the party members mostly have to 'cooperate' and 'trust' each other. 

Security axiom:  "A trusted party is one who can break your security

The covert services consider "trust" a valuable and dangerous commodity,
and ration it with exceptional care.  Snowden apparently had
exceptionally broad access to classified documents stored on computer
systems, so whatever his job description it would qualify him for
additional scrutiny compared to those who are permitted only to see
information directly related to their specific assignments.

The Presidential directive establishing the Insider Threat Program,
nearly two years before the Snowden Affair:

>>> 	Regardless, I believe/would assume that snowden gave the docs to different redundant  parties because 'trusting' a single guy like greenwald is pretty stupid, and snowden is anything but stupid. 
>> To date, no "missing" Snowden docs have turned up anywhere.  Considering
>> their cash value to any reporter who has an "exclusive" on any of them,
>> that seems very unlikely if any did exist.
> 	I assume the documents were given to a few selected 'organizations' which are as corrupt as greenwald. Like the graudian and der spiegel. But I need to look into that again, maybe I'm just making stuff up.

Somebody gave Spiegel some very interesting docs, including materials
apparently dating after Snowden's releases and exile.  As a night vs.
day difference, the docs published by Spiegel included materials
describing NSA tools in considerable detail, and information exposing
U.S. surveillance of the Chancellor's phones.

Clueless mainstream journalists and the public at large have "assumed"
that these documents somehow came from Ed Snowden.  Spook watchers know
better:  These docs alerted the world to previously unknown "hacking"
techniques used by NSA and its government customers, and they did
significant damage to U.S. political and influence operations in progress.


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