Sunday, January 01, 2017

Wall Street Journal reporter eviscerates legend of Edward Snowden.

As I think I have made clear on this blog multiple times I have long thought that the information Snowden stole from the NSA had ended up in Putin's hands and that it was instrumental in helping him to hack into our various agencies.

This article by Edward Jay Epstein at the Wall Street Journal provides support for that assessment.

On what he took:

The number of purloined documents is more than what NSA officials were willing to say in 2013 about the removal of data, possibly because the House committee had the benefit of the Pentagon’s more-extensive investigation. But even just taking into account the material that Mr. Snowden handed over to journalists, the December House report concluded that he compromised “secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states.” These were, the report said, “merely the tip of the iceberg.” 

The Pentagon’s investigation during 2013 and 2014 employed hundreds of military-intelligence officers, working around the clock, to review all 1.5 million documents. Most had nothing to do with domestic surveillance or whistle blowing. They were mainly military secrets, as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on March 6, 2014. 

It was not the quantity of Mr. Snowden’s theft but the quality that was most telling. Mr. Snowden’s theft put documents at risk that could reveal the NSA’s Level 3 tool kit—a reference to documents containing the NSA’s most-important sources and methods. Since the agency was created in 1952, Russia and other adversary nations had been trying to penetrate its Level-3 secrets without great success. 

Yet it was precisely these secrets that Mr. Snowden changed jobs to steal. In an interview in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on June 15, 2013, he said he sought to work on a Booz Allen contract at the CIA, even at a cut in pay, because it gave him access to secret lists of computers that the NSA was tapping into around the world.

In short Snowden absconded with the very information that foreign governments, such as Russia, had been trying to get their hands on for years.

And not only did he take them, he delivered them by hand to their very doorstep.

But didn't Snowden only end up in Russia because the United States pulled his Visa?


The State Department invalidated Mr. Snowden’s passport while he was still in Hong Kong, not after he left for Moscow on June 23. The “Consul General-Hong Kong confirmed that Hong Kong authorities were notified that Mr. Snowden’s passport was revoked June 22,” according to the State Department’s senior watch officer, as reported by ABC news on June 23, 2013. By falsely claiming his passport was invalidated after the plane departed Hong Kong—instead of before he left—Mr. Snowden hoped to conceal this extraordinary waiver. The Russian government further revealed its helping hand, judging by a report in Russia’s Izvestia newspaper when, on arrival, Mr. Snowden was taken off the plane by a security team in a “special operation.” 

Nor was it any kind of accident. Vladimir Putin personally authorized this assistance after Mr. Snowden met with Russian officials in Hong Kong, as Mr. Putin admitted in a televised press conference on Sept. 2, 2013.

Okay but Snowden claims that he destroyed what he took from the NSA before he landed in Russia.

Yeah. not so much.

I went to Moscow in October 2015 to see Mr. Kucherena. During our conversation, Mr. Kucherena confirmed that his interview with Ms. Shevardnadze was accurate, and that Mr. Snowden had brought secret material with him to Moscow. 

Mr. Snowden’s narrative also includes the assertion that he was neither debriefed by nor even met with any Russian government official after he arrived in Moscow. This part of the narrative runs counter to findings of U.S. intelligence. According to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, Mr. Snowden, since he arrived in Moscow, “has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services.” This finding is consistent with Russian debriefing practices, as described by the ex-KGB officers with whom I spoke in Moscow.

Wikileaks is mentioned as playing a role in helping Snowden make contacts in Russia, and in helping him cover his tracks, so you can bet they, and their surrogates, are going to attack this article quite aggressively. 

And since this reporter uses information provided to him by the Pentagon, the NSA, and Kremlin insiders there are those who will dismiss it as nothing more than propaganda promoted by the Obama Administration.

However before anybody dismisses this out of hand, think back to the pattern of attacks that we have seen on the DNC, the Clinton Campaign, the State Department, the White House, and even the freaking NSA itself, and ask yourself how were these attacks so damn successful?

And even before you saw this article, did you not kind of think that they must have some inside information?

Well I most certainly did, and I am pretty damn sure that I know where that information came from.

Remember what I said in an earlier post about foreign governments not helping candidates win elections unless there is something in it for them?

Yeah, well the same holds true for former NSA employees who steal state secrets.


  1. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Please repost the infographic in light of this new article, Uncle G.

    1. O/T -- New petition: almost at 150 signatures:
      No presidency for Trump until he releases his tax returns:

  2. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Trump’s Presidential Credibility Is Already In Jeopardy According To Top House Democrat

    The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is warning Donald Trump that he will have no credibility as president if he continues to defend Russia while attacking the US intelligence community.

    ...How solid is the evidence that it was the Russians?

    SCHIFF: It’s very solid. It’s indeed overwhelming and the president-elect, as you know, also said that he knows things that other people don’t know. He needs to stop talking this way.

    If he’s going to have any credibility as president, he needs to stop talking this way. He needs to stop denigrating the intelligence community. He’s going to rely on them. He’s going to have to rely on them.

    And this is the overwhelming judgment of the intelligence community and, frankly, all of the members of the intelligence committees in Congress, Democrats and Republicans. None of us have any question about this. The only one who does apparently is Donald Trump.

    And this is the problem. There’s only one thing worse than someone who wins elective office after everyone told them that they would win and that’s someone who wins after everyone told them that they would not because they believe in the infallibility of their own judgment. And this is very dangerous.

    1. Anonymous2:38 PM

      According to the totally credible politicususa lolol.

    2. Anonymous3:35 PM

      Anonymous2:38 PM
      According to the totally credible politicususa lolol.
      Hey stupid troll tell us why they aren't credible, give valid links, Thanks! Put up or STFU Troll!

    3. Anonymous4:45 PM

      politicususa lolololol.

  3. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Donald Trump’s press secretary repeatedly refused to say whether the president-elect believes Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 presidential race.

    The Obama administration issued new sanctions on Russia on Thursday, in response to the reported interference with the election.

    Trump’s initial response to the sanctions was that “it’s time for our country to move onto bigger and better things.” He later said he would receive an intelligence briefing on the topic this week.

    In an interview with Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week,” Sean Spicer said multiple times that Trump intends to meet with intelligence officials to “get a full briefing on what they knew, why they knew it, whether or not the Obama administration’s response was in proportion to the actions taken.”

    “Maybe it was; maybe it wasn’t,” he said. “We need to have that briefing first.”

    But Spicer would not answer repeated, direct questions about whether Trump acknowledges the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind the hack, even suggesting that the report the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI released last week didn’t say Russia was behind the hack.

  4. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Putin is behind a slew of this fake news, trying to cause international incidents and instability everywhere.

    JUST IN: Pakistan Just Issued A Nuclear Threat To Israel – The Reason Will Dumbfound You

    1. Anonymous2:54 PM

      That was a big fake news story. Barely a week after Trump and Putin had their "cute" exchange about nuclear weapons, this story popped up. One of the big reasons that the word "nuclear" when used to talk about weaponry should not be bandied about blithely is precisely what happened. Fake news can result in real news very quickly and very dangerously.

  5. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering, who served in said role under Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, has just spoken out about the ongoing controversy over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Pickering’s assessment is simple, and sobering — don’t trust Vladimir Putin.

    He said, while appearing on CNBC this past Friday:

    ‘I was in Russia a month ago… there continued to be this sort of steady drumbeat of anti-Americanism. I think it’s in part, obviously, to reinforce the notion that President Putin… [is] leading a serious effort on his part to move back into a center of importance in international affairs… He’s using the anti-American line to try and bolster his position at home.

    He added, “I don’t trust [Putin] but I think we have to deal with the people who are on the other side.”

    It’s not as though the world needed Pickering’s assessment to come to such a conclusion, with mountains of evidence already longstanding against Putin’s credibility as a legitimate player in global affairs.

    Still, Pickering’s comments are indeed sobering when considering the fact that, although the former ambassador refused to directly make any sort of predictions about what President Trump’s foreign policy will be towards Russia, Trump has long signaled that his policy towards Russia as president will be entirely conciliatory. Trump will seemingly head into office in just a few weeks ready to bend the U.S. according to the Russians’ will.

    "Lugenpresse" or "lying press" is the term Hitler used to discredit press in Nazi Germany. Trump supporters yelled it at journalists...

  6. Anonymous2:48 PM

    You neglected to mention this is clearly marked as Opinion/ Commentary. It's not a news article. And it has errors that are so sloppy and easily disproven they discredit this author. Here's just two:

    1. The US admits it doesn't know what Snowden took or how many documents. The 1.5 million is the number of documents to which he had access, not a count of what he took. The US government admits they assume the worst case, that he took everything he had access to. The New York Times, which has a copy of the cache, says it's nowhere near 1.5 million. Easily fact-checked.

    2. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence acknowledges Snowden didn't bring any of the document cache into Russia. Also, easily fact-checked.

    You should inform yourself instead of just parroting what "supports your assessments". You'd have recognized why WSJ calls it Opinion/ Commentary. But then you're running a propoganda blog now.

    1. First the journalists only saw a fraction of what Snowden took, read the article.

      Also I don't know what report you are reading but the one available online does not back up your second point.

      And lastly your English is not bad comrade.

    2. Anonymous3:46 PM

      But then you're running a propoganda blog now.
      You esteemed Rusky troll must LOVE propaganda b/c you're here day in day out! We really don't care what you think or say.
      Preach to the dumbass cons who eat up this propaganda shit.
      And FOAD!

    3. Anonymous5:00 PM

      Well, no, 3:46, you're the one eating propaganda shit by reading the crap posted here. You're the dumbass for calling someone juvenile names when they point out the truth.

    4. "Sticks and stones can break...."

      Oh. Wait! 5:00.
      There are no names here for comrades like you. No need yet.
      But you had better hone your reading and comprehension skills. You will need them to understand the truth when it hits you over your very small head.

      Are your hands tiny too?
      (...asking for a friend.)

  7. Anonymous2:48 PM

  8. Anonymous2:51 PM

    MEET THE PRESS: 3 Former White House Press Secretaries Just Sounded A Massive Alarm About Trump

    In a panel discussion hosted on the first Meet the Press of 2017, three former White House press secretaries sounded the alarm about what Donald Trump’s presidential administration will mean for the future of the press in the United States of America.

    All three said that Trump has already seriously threatened the viability of the press in favor of the trumpeting of his own personal versions of the way things are or ought to be, even if those versions of events are seriously off from actual reality.

    According to POLITICO, Joe Lockhart, who served as White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, said that Trump “creates his own facts, [which is] something former President Richard Nixon would do.”

    He went on, adding:

    ‘It’s somewhat Orwellian, which, you know, you redefine the past, which means you can define the present and the future. And that’s going to be very difficult for both sides to come to grips with.’

    Of course redefining the past is “going to be difficult to come to grips with.”

    If Trump feels free to buck the press and redefine reality in favor of whatever version of events he likes the most at the moment, then everyone who isn’t viewed favorably by Trump is in danger. He can trumpet a completely false but believable enough sequence of events that isolates his enemies...

  9. Anonymous2:57 PM

    tRump doesn't need U.S. intel reports, he gets all he needs from the KGB.

  10. Anonymous2:58 PM

    Schiff Warns of 'Vigorous' Response by Congress If Trump Reverses Russia Sanctions

  11. Anonymous3:00 PM

    For balance and perspective, folks should read Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article.

    1. Anonymous3:53 PM

      3:00 PM
      Matt seems to be dipping in the poisoned weed well or something b/c this is the second article/issue I've heard from him that is way off based.
      Lots of people doing investigative work on this and basically Follow the money! Snowden, Trump Putin follow the money.
      Matt's been dipping into methweed or something.

    2. Anonymous4:48 PM

      lots of people doing investigative work"
      Get serious, nobody's done anything but parrot out what intelligence community leakers have told them. Follow the money? All they've done is make breathless insinuations and try to make 1+1= 7.

  12. Anonymous3:01 PM

    I just remembered back some years ago when a bunch of soldiers were infiltrating Crimea in unmarked soldiers clothing and everyone was running around like a bunch of ninnies and saying "is it Russia?" to which Putin was say no to.
    Putin operates in secrecy. You can suspect and he will deny it. It's who he is. There are layers upon layers of espionage on this man and his many ways. I use to think he had an ideology but saw later that it was just go get rich. He and his. Including Donald and Co.
    Edward Snowden is a traitor. There is no other word for it. Those like Oliver Stone who try to beef him up to be otherwise have their heads up their asses. Thanks alot Eddie boy and Julian. I hope you live in the hell you are now in till you fall over. There have been forces to bring down our great country and those two have participated greatly.
    Also 100 percent blame going to pain in the ass Palin. She and her big mouth. Blah, blah, blah. Now we have fucking Donald Trump to contend with when we have so much other things more important to deal with as a country. Now we have to hear every little fucking rant and rave that orange prima donna has to sent our way. Fuck 2017 already.

    1. Anonymous4:34 PM

      cruz would have been bad too.

  13. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Yeah, the CIA needs to take out Snowden. Our country's security and prosperity are withering away because of guys like him and Trump.

  14. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Hanging my head in shame. At one time I thought that both Wikileaks and Snowden were for the distribution of information that We The People were entitled to and needed to know about the wars and the spying in country.

    I learned a helluva lot from them. However, it is now clear that they both had traitorous intentions.

    I have been disappointed in the government of the US since the 60's, and now am horribly disappointed in purveyors of what is supposedly inside info for our benefit.

    As I lived through the Cold War, I KNOW that Russia/Putin are never to be trusted.

  15. Anonymous3:49 PM

    " traitorous intentions"
    Julian Assange is not a US citizen. You can't be a traitor to or commit treason against a country where you're not a citizen. SMH at the idiocy here.

    1. Anonymous6:23 PM

      They are BOTH traitors to a peaceful world.

  16. Anonymous4:44 PM

    First, it's not an article, it's an opinion essay. It's clearly marked by WSJ as "Opinion/Commentary".

    Second, of course I read it and thus learned how much of it is wrong.

    Third, the US Govt admits it doesn't know what Snowden took and it doesn't know what Poitras, Gellman/WaPo, Greenwald, Guardian and NY Times have. There's no way for Epstein to know differently. The claim of a set of "culled" documents being all that the journalists have was an early claim by Clapper that he later recanted and admitted it wasn't known. So if Epstein has followed the developments of this case, he knows the "culled" claim is false.

    The US government agrees Snowden didn't take anything into Russia. If you're following this case you know this is a key point and probably a deliberately visible move in a behind-the-scenes plea agreement dance between Justice Dept and Snowden's attorneys.

    Take the time to read Robert Graham's take-down of Epstein's essay. Graham's a hacker and cybersecurity software developer who's no fan of Snowden but he believes in the truth:

    You've shown you're capable of far better than just parroting whatever comes down the pike that agrees with your "assessments",when it can easily be found to be error-ridden.

    Finally, your insult is a real yawn-fest. Yeah, it's all the rage right now to call people who disagree with you commie, traitor, friend of the Kremlin, Ruskie. All the Dem Party has-beens are doing it. When it goes out of style, you'll deny you ever participated in something so stupid.

    1. Anonymous5:56 PM

      My dear 4:44 PM,

      How incredibly kind of you to spend so much time and effor to point out to us our folly. I'm simply left in awe as I consider just why it seems to be so damned important to you. Perhaps you could enlighten us all as to why you are on such a crusade over this lil' IM blog?

    2. Anonymous5:53 AM

      First, that took about 11 minutes to write. Second, historically this blog has been followed by a group of informed people who seemed to value having accurate information. Right at the top of the page it says in part, "This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies.."

      Epstein's essay is full of untruths. Whatever you think of Snowden, people who read here have historically at least been interested in operating from accurate information. If what I wrote informs even just a dozen or so high-information people, then I have made a difference in the dialog.

      Finally, refresh your memories. Epstein's rhetoric, and some of the same smears written here about Snowden, were used in 1971 against Daniel Ellsberg. Today he's seen as a hero. History will view Snowden as a hero, too.

      Watch for the correction or retraction by WSJ.

  17. Anonymous6:01 PM

    I've been saying for years Snowden shared the NSA keystroke technology to Russia. 1) somehow he has to make a living 2) he's been very quite lately 3) Russia suddenly has the technology to launch large scale cyberwarfare. I don't believe in coincidences.

    1. Anonymous5:38 AM

      1. Snowden makes a living by giving speeches.
      2. Are you living under a rock?
      3. Huh?

      Many top national security officials -who obviously hate him - say they don't think Snowden's working with the Russians or that he gave anything to the Chinese. For example, Mike Morell told the Daily Beast:
      "My own view on this question is that both Chinese and Russian intelligence officers undoubtedly pitched him...But my guess is that Snowden said, "No thank you" given his mindset and his clear dislike of intelligence services of any stripe."

    2. Anonymous1:06 AM

      Are you crazy? Snowden is pooties pet, he owns him along with a few other us citizens committing espionage and treason.

  18. Snowden was never the altruistic hero sacrificing himself for the protection of the public.

    He was always a traitor.

    He can rot in Russia. If he comes here, he should be immediately arrested, tried, convicted and given the full force of penalties allowed for his crimes. I'm thinking lethal injection is too good for him.

    1. Anonymous5:54 AM

      Folks said that about Daniel Ellsberg, too.

    2. Anonymous7:48 AM

      mlaiuppa thinks she is an expert at things. She is really just a highly emotional asshole.

  19. Anonymous8:11 AM

    7:48 That's just your opinion. ;)


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