Quantcast

«

»

Jul 14 2013

A different look at the Snowden case

Via Juan Cole, I came across this excellent news clip from a British TV station below that summarizes the status of the Edward Snowden case. While it is a pretty accurate summary of the current situation, what I found particularly is interesting is skeptical tone that the reporters display about the US government’s claims, unlike the major US media that tends to treat them as if they have automatic credibility. They also point out the hypocrisy of Microsoft’s claims to protect their customers’ privacy, the hollowness of which was exposed by the latest revelations, though this big news disappeared rapidly from US news channels.

The second point of interest is when they show Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA who then (of course) went through the revolving door to join the Chertoff Group (founded by Michael Chertoff (former head of the Department of Homeland Security), a company that makes a huge amount of money contracting to the US government on security issues.

Hayden makes the classic authoritarian case made by those who seek to discredit Snowden, essentially saying, “Who are you going to trust? People like me in government or a young punk?” The answer is easy, Mickey. I wouldn’t trust people like you with a ten-foot pole because you have shown yourselves to be a bunch of greedy, self-seeking, power hungry liars whereas Snowden has not given me any reason to think that he is anything but an idealistic young person who feels that the government has massively overstepped its proper boundaries.

7 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Beth

    Wow. That tie was really something.

  2. 2
    Corvus illustris

    While it is a pretty accurate summary of the current situation, what I found particularly … interesting is [the] skeptical tone that the reporters display about the US government’s claims, unlike the major US media that tends to treat them as if they have automatic credibility.

    This sentence was equally applicable to the Iraq war and the runup thereto, and is the reason that I turn off the TV and turn on the SW radio to try to get neutral perspective about what’s going on in freedom’s land and bravery’s home.* Here, with most of the population living in an information bubble (and monoglot), democratic institutions have become a hollow shell.

    *Gore Vidal, of course.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    Chertoff Group (founded by Michael Chertoff (former head of the Department of Homeland Security), a company that makes a huge amount of money contracting to the US government on security issues.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Oops. Hit the wrong button…

    Chertoff’s also the motherfucker who pushed for the body-scanners at airports, while getting stock in the company that makes them. Corrupt, much?

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    And never forget that Hayden was one of the Washington chorus that was pushing the “Chinese cyberwar” meme (remember how the eeeEEEVIL Chinese were spying on EVERYONE? and we needed to spend BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to STOP THEM!?) back between 2009 and 2010

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    … Come to think of it, the money they got from Congress to fight off the incipient Chinese cyberwar threat is probably what funded building a lot of the surveillance state. Oh, the wondrous gift of a “black” budget.

  7. 7
    Marcus Ranum

    The key point of Binney, Weibe, and Drake’s whistleblowing was serious allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse regarding the clustering/searching systems that comprise PRISM. According to those whistleblowers, mismanagement at NSA allowed program dollars to be directed to sweetheart deals for Booz Allen Hamilton and CSC, programs that worked were cancelled in order to spend more money with friends on the other side of the revolving door. The scandal is massive corruption to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent off “black” budgets – is the NSA afraid of whistleblowers or accountability? Is the threat national security, or upsetting the gravy train? What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>