Sunday, January 01, 2017
Wall Street Journal reporter eviscerates legend of Edward Snowden.
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 Snowden’s passport was revoked June 22,” according to the State Department’s senior watch officer, as reported by ABC news on June 23, 2013.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.