Thursday, June 5, 2014

NSA: Snowden on mainstream NBC TV (video)

(TGM) NBC News with Brian Williams who traveled to Moscow for the interview.

"What's the catch?" we keep asking. Why would heroic NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden be shown on the mainstream media's NBC News? It does not make a lot of sense. Surely he had something to gain, more exposing of NSA spying crimes. And surely the network had something to gain, increased ratings for a staid news program. But the risks to the media seemed to outweigh any potential advantages.

They have tried to spin the appearance, with the help of right wing pundits, to make it seem like Snowden is bragging. He was far more than an ill-educated "contractor," the way the NSA attempts to portray him. He was a trained spy and taught for the NSA. They have tried to tease apart and discredit Snowden, failing in each case. His opponents call him a "leaker" and "criminal" when, in fact, he is a whistleblower with full protection because he actually worked for the NSA on many secret assignments that put him in the know.
To say, as we have been saying, that he was merely a "low level contractor" working for an affiliate is incorrect, and that has been part of the government's plan to discredit a man trapped in a foreign country he never planned to move to. He's a hero, and perhaps he's a double-agent STILL working for the NSA.
In either case, whether he was set up to do it or did it on his own, he blew the whistle. And for that we thank him and simultaneously condemn Pres. B.S. Obama for continuing and intensifying the policies of the Bush-Cheney administrations. Obama, a distant relative of Dick Cheney, has become more Bush than Bush. Because he speaks more gently and persuasively, full of style with the exact same substance, no one says anything too loudly about it.
But Ed Snowden, Glenn Greenwald (who is constantly interviewed about HOW he met Snowden rather than WHAT Snowden revealed to him), Laura Poitras, Julian Assange, Chelsea Bradley Manning, and whistleblowers everywhere have provided the documents to prove that these are not mere allegations and speculations.

Our government really behaves this way, and it depends on secrecy to continue committing these gross violations of the U.S. Constitution, laws, and the propaganda what we are the "freest" nation that ever has been. All we are is a couldvebeen. We still have a chance to be what we were lied to about being. Let's take it. Let's be free!

The Interview
In advance of NBC's interview, NBC News released a clip in which Snowden details his professional spying background. While he has been labeled everything from a "hacker" to a "low level analyst" by the media, the truth is more complicated. According to Snowden, as explained to Williams, he was "trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word." He went on to explain that he lived and worked undercover under a false name in foreign countries.

In response to the "low level analyst" claims, Snowden said the government is "trying to use one position that I've had in a career here or there to distract from the totality of my experience." He then detailed his background, saying that he'd worked for the NSA and the CIA overseas, and worked for the DIA as a lecturer at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy.

Snowden did indicate that he worked primarily with computer systems, and not with people, but he said it was "somewhat misleading" to classify him as a "low level analyst."

The full interview with Brian Williams aired on "NBC Nightly News" on May 28th, at 10:00 pm EST, 7:00 pm PST.

Agents of Change
Agents of Change
National security incidents 42 years apart remind us of the important roles individuals play in preserving our freedoms.
With summer upon us and presidential elections two years away, we can anticipate the release of books by White House aspirants intended to enhance their public stature as they move into their campaigns.  

If the past repeats itself, such books will make for a lot of boring summer reading. Prospective candidates are simply competing for the job of managing the current state of affairs...

This begs two questions. Who are the agents of inspirational social change? And would their narratives make for better summer reading?
Change often originates from outside the narrow confines of electoral politics. Consider which came first, lunch counter sit-ins or the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act? The agents of change begin the process at the grassroots...

Change is made by small groups of dedicated people or even ONE person acting alone. The stories behind the actions of such people make for exciting, remarkable, and fascinating reading. Enter Edward Snowden.
This summer there are two books available that describe monumental changes that resulted from the actions of a few people or a lone individual.
  • The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI (Betty Medsger, illustrated, 596 pp., Alfred A. Knopf)
  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (Glenn Greenwald, 259 pp., Metropolitan Books)
Descriptions of two events that occurred 42 years apart have profound relevance to our current crisis. Our problem grows out of government violations of our privacy. The stories have remarkable and startling similarities despite the fact that they are separated by more than four decades. More
Robert M. Nelson is a NASA scientist who resides in Pasadena. In 2007, while employed at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), he was the lead plaintiff in an unsuccessful Supreme Court challenge to a post-9/11 national security directive by Pres. Bush which authorized unrestricted and unconstrained intrusions into the intimate personal details of the lives of JPL employees. He subsequently left JPL and is now a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The views he represents are his own.

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