New wild and baseless allegations about Snowden


I mentioned before how Republican Mike Rogers and Democrat Diane Feinstein, heads of the intelligence committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, are two of the most ardent supporters of the national security state and its coercive apparatus. When it comes to supporting authoritarianism, there is no partisan gridlock because both of them work as a single team. As I predicted yesterday, both are already indicating reluctance about even president Obama’s limited reforms of the NSA.

Today they showed that they were willing to make totally unsubstantiated new allegations against Edward Snowden, that he was a Russian spy all along, even though they have no evidence. But people like them don’t care. They will throw anything out there, knowing that there will be people who will then repeat it over and over again so that it becomes part of the narrative.

The heads of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees suggested on Sunday that Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, may have been working for Russian spy services while he was employed at an agency facility in Hawaii last year and before he disclosed hundreds of thousands of classified government documents.

The lawmakers, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, offered no specific evidence that Mr. Snowden cooperated with Moscow [My italics-MS]. So far, there has been no public indication that the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Snowden’s actions, bolstered by separate “damage assessment” investigations at the N.S.A. and the Pentagon, has uncovered evidence that Mr. Snowden received help from a foreign intelligence service.

We know that these people are willing to say anything to advance their cause, whether it is true or not. It does not at all matter to them that “Other U.S. security officials have told Reuters as recently as last week that the United States has no evidence at all that Snowden had any confederates who assisted him or guided him about what NSA materials to hack or how to do so.”

The question is whether the media will give them a pass or whether they have learnt from the past and insist on evidence.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to try character assassination. There is substantial public support of Mr. Snowden. It seems they would’ve tried poisoning the well almost immediately.

  2. AsqJames says

    That really doesn’t make any sense at all. If Snowden had been a Russian spy, they’d have done everything in their power to keep him in place so they could continue to have access to the NSA data through him. Snowden going public would be the 2nd worst thing that could have happened in that scenario (the worst being the US found out he was a spy and turned him into a double-agent). Not only have they lost access to any future data, whatever data they have access to is worth less because the US knows they have it.

  3. lanir says

    Can we start accusing Mike Rogers and Diane Feinstein of working with the Russians yet? The shortcomings and outright negligence they’ve presided over has made us look so bad even internally that it’s not at all uncommon for members of one of our two political parties to wax poetic about the manly virtues of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    This being a misdirection rather than an outright fabrication it’s possible it will get more mileage.

  4. alanuk says

    I think that AsqJames has dealt with the Snowden question. Now the real question is, are there, or has their been, other agents working for Russia, China, Canada, Luxembourg etc. who have already, or are continuing, to leak secrets from NSA, CIA, GCHQ, Monsanto etc.? The NSA should be fairly good at security, if a lone maverick like Snowden can walk out with so much incriminating or sensitive information, why should there not be many more with less good intentions?

  5. Silentbob says

    @ 5 colnago80

    But for some other bores the cause is not age but due to a form of monomania, a fixation on one issue or one point of view that gets hauled out and repeated at the slightest excuse or, like in the story above, by manufacturing an excuse. Such people can be interesting initially before one realizes that they are largely one-note singers, utterly predictable and tediously repetitive.

    You’re rapping your cane again.

  6. wtfwhateverd00d says

    @6 Silentbob, it’s funny because Dianne Feinstein is of course a huge feminist and we all know that by using the fantastical sky demon of Patriarchy, Feminists want to insert themselves into every day control of all aspects of our lives.

  7. Nathair says

    it’s funny because Dianne Feinstein is of course a huge feminist and we all know that by using the fantastical sky demon of Patriarchy, Feminists want to insert themselves into every day control of all aspects of our lives.

    You’re right, that is funny. Sadly, you don’t intend it that way.

  8. says

    Nigel writes:
    I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to try character assassination

    They started right away, with the implication that Snowden had given everything to China while he was in Hong Kong. Now it’s Russia now that he’s in Russia. It’s a pretty shabby lie. But most of the lies they are telling are really pretty bad.

  9. wtfwhateverd00d says

    @9 At the beginning his flight to Hong Kong, China’s repressive policies and their various spy programs, well, the speculation that Snowden had given things to China wittingly or unwittingly while he was in Hong Kong was quite reasonable. Especially given all the non-Snowden speculation over the years that the Chinese regularly spy on hotel visitors.

    http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/china-installs-covert-spy-devices-hong-kong-cars

    https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+spy+on+us+businesses+in+china

    @8 One of the problems with hyper partisan forums like the kind the FTBbullies create is they lack any sense of humor and any ability to reach out, cross bridges, empathise, identify with the people they have a disagreement with. This places them at a disadvantage in any argument that requires intellectual honesty, or any situation that requires an open mind, or in negotiation or even recognition of intent or humor. I am certain you are a sweet and intelligent person in real life though that would never fall prey to the fundamental errors you insist upon here.

  10. lorn says

    Figures, try to discredit Snowden by claiming he had help. Given enough cycles and they can claim he was just a puppet of a more respectable foe. Losing the crown jewels of espionage to a low-level employee would be embarrassing, a demonstration of complete incompetence.

    But is you can claim he had help of a major foreign intelligence service, it sounds less like you lost the keys to the crown to a amateur. If you go on to claim he was an Russian agent, well that almost sounds like a hard-fought forced error, the result of bad luck. Damn near excusable.

    Another lesson in optics. If you can’t change the picture, change the frame.

  11. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    wtfwhateverd00d @10:

    @8 One of the problems with hyper partisan forums like the kind the FTBbullies create is they lack any sense of humor and any ability to reach out, cross bridges, empathise, identify with the people they have a disagreement with. This places them at a disadvantage in any argument that requires intellectual honesty, or any situation that requires an open mind, or in negotiation or even recognition of intent or humor. I am certain you are a sweet and intelligent person in real life though that would never fall prey to the fundamental errors you insist upon here.

    Your appeal to intellectual honesty is more than vitiated by its spurious reasoning and well-poisoning nature.

    (Your reference to “FTBbullies” is particularly equivocal, given your numerous recent comments here; the commentariat is the gestalt of its commenters)

  12. jamessweet says

    Maybe some would call this naive, but it seems prima facie obvious that Snowden couldn’t have been working with the Russians prior to the time of the initial leaks. His asylum there would have gone a heck of a lot smoother… unless that was some elaborate misdirection, but it seems like there would be MUCH easier ways to conceal Russia’s hypothetical involvement (e.g. like have asylum already pre-arranged with some proxy nation).

    This is indeed a “wild and baseless allegation”. It just doesn’t really make a lot of sense even on its face.

  13. colnago80 says

    Re wtfwhateverd00d @ #10

    Hey bub, the internet is a wide open no holds barred place where no quarter is asked or given. I have a flash for you, the commentors on this blog are a lot tougher on me then they are on you. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. I enjoy being slimed by the likes of Nick Gotts, Raging Bee, Thumper, etc.

  14. wtfwhateverd00d says

    @colnago80

    I am just noting the behavior of the FTBbullies, not complaining, but since I’ve had FTB bloggers stalk me from blog to blog demanding my ouster because of a comment I made on a completely different blog network, as well as FTB commenters demanding that over an innocuous comment, well, that is worthy of a note.

    But whatever, I made a joke in humorous support of SilentBob rapping on Mano’s monomania cane by loudly echoing the complaint made against me that I turn everything into someting about feminism, and once more we see how quick to offend the self-esteemed FTB commentariat is to not get the joke and get offended instead and make insulting statements.

    But hey over at HetPat there is a woman complaining of all the FTB men ganging up on her, a few ,omths ago Chris Clarke split from PZ’s blog due to the nasty experience he had with the commenters at Pharyngula, And FTB itself has seen several bloggers leave due to the caustic and hostile environment bred at FTB. And we’ve seen PZ have to ask his self proclaimed “horde” to tone it down.

    None of what I am saying about the dyspeptic bullying speech policing gatekeeping nature of the so called regulars at FTB is news, except to the FTB regulars. I guess that’s the real joke they aren’t getting.

  15. John Morales says

    [OT]

    wtfwhateverd00d @15:

    […] and once more we see how quick to offend the self-esteemed FTB commentariat is to not get the joke and get offended instead and make insulting statements.

    <smirk>

    Again: you are part of “the self-esteemed FTB commentariat”.

    [ObOn-topic]

    I don’t think Mano is being particularly cynical in this OP, because it’s not implausible.

  16. Nick Gotts says

    I have a flash for you, the commentors on this blog are a lot tougher on me then they are on you. – colnago80

    That’s because you’re an advocate of genocide, while wtfwhatverd00d is just a standard issue whining numpty.

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