January 31, 2014

Edward Snowden is at the point of dminishing returns

No, I don't think the former National Security Agency contract employee is a Russian agent, unlike a senior editor at The Economist. I think it more likely that Vladimir Putin would find a modern equivalent of James Jesus Angleton and get him inside the NSA to spout that line than I think it's actually true. And, no, that's not just snark; if Putin wanted to be that antagonistic to the U.S., finding a modern equivalent of Angleton to riff off Snowden would actually be brilliant.

I also do think it speaks new volumes about Tiger Beat on the Potomac that it would devote two webpages to such nuttery from someone who's even written an e-book about his beliefs. That said, how do we know that Edward Lucas isn't himself Putin's new Angleton-du-jour?

I don't fully think that. Nor, like many a conspiracy theorist, do I think Politico is taking paid, or forced, bidding from the White House to run dreck like this. However, the fact that it's running it may mean that this is headed toward some sort of inside-the-Beltway critical mass.

None of this has anything to do with the header, though.

This interview that Snowden had with a German TV program has plenty to do with it, though.

Specifically, I start with this comment:
But, what I will say is there’s no question that the US is engaged in economic spying. If there’s information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security of the United States, they’ll go after that information, and they’ll take it.
Really? Really? Wooooowwwwww!

(I hope you can tell that's sarcasm, folks.

Snowden is either naive, an idiot, or maybe a "limited hangout" for all I know, if, in talking about US economic espionage, he presents that part of NSA (or CIA) spying as either new or a US-only thing, which he does do by omission in this interview recently with a German TV company. Hell, Russia surely still does that as bad as when it was the old USSR. China doesn't do more of it abroad because of the "free" trade flood of factories to China. Back in the old days, the French were worse in intent, at least, than any other Western country.

Why do I say he could be a "limited hangout," though? 

And, before that, if you're unfamiliar with the term, a working definition.

A "limited hangout" is an intelligence operator who is deliberately made part of a quasi-black flag operation. (Please forgive me for sounding like Alex Jones.) Usually, said person is allowed to "hang out" for public viewing and as part of that, to "hang out" for public display a limited amount of fairly innocuous intelligence information.

So, why do I wonder if that's what's up?

This, first:
I worked previously as an actual staff officer, a government employee for the Central Intelligence Agency, but I’ve also served much more frequently as a contractor in a private capacity. 

Add in Snowden's refusal to comment on some stuff he says is still classified (Gee, after you spilled as much as you allegedly did, you're still worried about discussing classified material?) and eyebrows raise a bit higher. Add in various ways of him saying, "I don't want to tell journalists what to write about," and eyebrows go higher yet.

I was halfway suspicious of Snowden when he first burst on the scene, and I've never totally lost that.

Here's my previous major blogging about Snowden. His pre-rogue background has holes in the telling of his story. He was a CIA agent; not a contractor, an agent.

On the other hand, my other options still stand. He's naive and/or an idiot.

The economic espionage clearly relates to that. He has either an actual paranoia or a pseudo-paranoia that's part of his narcissism.

In either case, I laugh up my sleeve at the likes of Glenn Greenwald still, for public consumption at least, buying Snowden hook, line and sinker.

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