Monday, June 24, 2013

And You, You Can Be Mean -- UPDATE

And I, I'll leak all the time

Well here's a fun fact. From the South China Morning Post:
Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance

Fugitive whistle-blower reveals for first time he took job at US government contractor with the sole aim of collecting proof of spying activities

Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone - to obtain evidence of Washington's cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.

For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency's secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

"My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," he told the Post on June 12. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."
Here's another fun fact.  People were asking this very question just two short weeks ago:

Here's another fun fact.  Guess who repeatedly and contemptuously dismissed exactly this theory of the case whenever anyone had the temerity to point out this glaring peculiarity in the sequence of events on Mr. Snowden's resume?  (Hint: It was the one person who is currently closer to Mr. Snowden in this matter than anyone else on Earth [emphasis, surprisingly, not added]):
At the moment I don't much care if Mr. Greenwald was lying all on his own, or if he was merely repeating a lie Mr. Snowden told him, or if Mr. Greenwald was just talking out of his ass (the technical term for which is, I believe, "spouting reckless innuendo”.) The gentlemanly thing to do would be to simply apologize to Ms. Reid and Mr. Sullivan for A) being wrong and B) for being an asshole about it, which means C) don't hold your breath.

Here's another fun fact.  Back when the questions were about pedigree -- about who broke what first and who Edward Snowden's really-real BFF really was -- this was Mr. Greenwald's proud statement:

Now that this same timeline places him "working with" Mr., Snowden since before Mr. Snowden decided to take a gig at Booz Allen with the specific intent of stealing documents, this is Mr. Greenwald's position:
But Greenwald told me that when Snowden had initially contacted him, Snowden hadn’t even shared his name or where he worked — he’d simply said he had explosive documents that Greenwald (whose reporting on leak investigations and civil liberties abuses was already widely known) would want to see. At that stage, Greenwald said, their conversations only concerned how to set up an encryption system that Snowden wanted in order to facilitate private communication of documents with him. The system was not set up until several months later, Greenwald said.

It was only in May — and not before — that Snowden told him who he was, who he worked for (at that point he identified himself as affiliated with the NSA) and what sort of documents he had to share, Greenwald says. It wasn’t until June — when Greenwald visited Snowden in Hong Kong — that Snowden told him he worked specifically for Booz Allen, Greenwald adds.
And if you doubt him, well...
“Anybody who wants to accuse me or anyone at the Guardian of aiding and abetting Snowden has the obligation to point to any specific evidence to support that accusation,” Greenwald told me. “Otherwise they’re just spouting reckless innuendo.”

Glenn Greenwald -- a man who never hesitates to impugning the motives of anyone who does not agree with him 100% in the most venomous language he can muster -- now lectures the world about the horrors of spouting reckless innuendo.

Somebody with steadier hands than mine really needs to needlepoint this moment onto a throw pillow.
“I don’t see the significance of this at all,” Greenwald said. “He had said he had seen serious wrongdoing that he wanted to inform Americans about. He apparently wanted this last set of documents to present a complete picture.”
The sound you hear is the desperate objection -- "Inadmissible!" -- of an attorney  who just learned, in open count, in the middle of the trial, that his client has lied to him about a crucial element of the case.  

The sound you hear is the collision between the rules and tactics of jurisprudence and  very different rules and tactics of journalism. 

There is no "case" here: only a story.

There is no client: only a source.

There is no attorney/advocate: only a reporter.

There is no judge: only the public.

The sound you hear is Mr. Greenwald slamming face-first over and over again into the crucial distinctions between these two domains.

And rather than continuing to ride their Obamabot hobbyhorse into the sea (from The Daily Banter) -- 
The Obamabot Fallacy is used as a convenient and cozy shelter against cold, uncomfortable facts, not unlike the way conservatives dismiss facts they don’t like with the “liberal bias” fallacy. Don’t like the reality of evolution science? Liberal bias! Don’t like hearing that Greenwald got a fact wrong? An Obamabot wrote it therefore it must be invalid! Even though I took great care to provide respectable third party citations with links, the body of what I wrote must have been torn from White House talking points and therefore is suspicious because I’m clearly in the tank. So it gets written off. It’s all so familiar.
-- I really do wish Mr. Greenwald's supporters would convince him to stop.  Because he is still sitting on an important and consequential story and the more he lets his hectoring rage and ego off the leash the easier it becomes to dismiss that story.  

UPDATE:  From the estimable Charlie Pierce:
I repeat what I've said all along. Please stop giving interviews. This is the kind of fact that should have had to be dragged out of you and your lawyers in the 90th week of discovery. Instead, you just send it gift-wrapped to the people who want to chuck you into Pelican Bay for the rest of your life.
"So you were not a contractor shocked by what he'd learned and seeking to reveal it to a nation kept in the dark by its leaders, but a deliberate, premeditated saboteur, Mr. Snowden? No further questions, your honor."
Bouncing around the world while, back in this country, your entire public case gets savaged by almost everyone is one thing. Being unable to recognize your own best interest is quite another.
This is good advice.

And like so much good advice that has been air-dropped into Snowwaldia, it will not be "heeded" so much as it will be shot out of the sky.


mahakal said...

You're jumping the shark, Driftglass. Seriously. I think CF was right, you've got your membership now. Enjoy the club, with which you may continue to beat non-members over the head.

You're now on the side of Dick Cheney and David Gregory, trying to make a prosecutorial argument against Glenn Greenwald for "aiding and abetting" while avoiding the story, which even Charles Pierce now says is "Nixonian, if Nixon had grown up in East Germany."

Anonymous said...

Its really ashamed that Mr. Snowden wasn't in contact with
He might have warned him about making statements that implied premeditation to commit a crime...or implicated "others" in a ...whats the word ....conspiracy....

Anonymous said...

Oh and p.s.

Kal-el..or whatever...eff u
Your hero is shitting the bed,and your god is in it with him!

Hap said...

You'll get to the bottom of this yet, DG! Jeez, what happened to the guy who was trying to prevent the future? I want him back.

Swede said...

It sure looks like Mr. Greenwald will ride this tiger all the way to the end.

Lumpy Lang said...

"I really do wish Mr. Greenwald's supporters would convince him to stop. Because he is still sitting on an important and consequential story and the more he lets his hectoring rage and ego off the leash the easier it becomes to dismiss that story."

Droneglass should know - he joined the 'dismissers' choir on day one.

Droneglass hates the messengers - Manning, Assange, Snowden (via Greenwald) because he defends the crimes being committed by the current administration - or praises them with faint damnation - amounting to the same thing.

As de La Rochefoucauld put it: "Hipocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue."

JackDanieL said...

Brilliant post, start to finish. I rarely comment, but I listen weekly and keep you bookmarked. Thanks DG.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

"I really do wish Mr. Greenwald's supporters would convince him to stop. Because he is still sitting on an important and consequential story and the more he lets his hectoring rage and ego off the leash the easier it becomes to dismiss that story."

Droneglass should know - he joined the 'dismissers' choir on day one.

Do you realize that the sentence you quote actually says the opposite?

Compound F said...

Who pays driftglass?

Does driftglass get weekly White House talking points (like booman)?

I worked with rats for twenty years, and I smell a fucking rat.

Lumpy Lang said...

Exposure of rapidly expanding secret surveillance/police state
- world-historic issue.

Greenwald's alleged character flaws and offputting 'tone'
- irrelevant noise

Droneglass exactly reverses the order. Far from thanking those who risked much to inform the public, he clearly wishes the whistle had never been blown on any of this.

Free Bradley Manning!
Hands of Assange, Snowden!

May many more like them come forward!

Anonymous said...

You little libertarian cubs are so precious. You really cannot grasp how bad Glenn's double-talk looks outside of Glennland, can you? For any story that requires interpretation, the reader will evaluate the trustworthiness and judgment of the source when deciding how much of the conclusion to accept. Justly or not, the author(s) *are* part of the story.

The risk is that the author and source become a disproportionate part of the story. From the very outset Driftglass has warned how Glenn's peculiarities aid and abet this process. The more he writes himself into story, the more he aids people who would like nothing better than to make the *entire* story be about Glenn. Do you honestly think that Driftglass, in commenting on this process of distraction and deflection, actually created the phenomenon? Or that St. Glenn, who traffics in hyperbole and exaggeration as if any lie told in service of the cause is acceptable, is without blame. Stop being retarded!

I have only one complaint about Driftglass' rants on Glenn: he doesn't distinguish clearly enough between "Glenn is a dick"-type posts, which are really just DG's opinion, and "here is an example of how Glenn's refusal to acknowledge mistakes, concede ground on indefensible disclosures, etc., hurts his own advocacy"-type posts. It is the latter of those two that you clowns really should be paying attention to, at least if you give two shits about your ostensible cause.

Lumpy Lang said...

Sorry, anon - Not buyin it. Droneglass has never come out in defense of Manning et al. Just the opposite - he trashes the whistleblowers even without reference to Greenwald.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that you don't buy it, Lumpy, but seeing that you brought it up, here is DG in reference to Manning:

" I will gladly stipulate that nuggets of vital, valuable disclosures did come out of PFC. Manning's document dump, that his motives were sincere and that while his status as a member of the military meant his incarceration and trial were inevitable, the harshness of his treatment at the hands of the military appears to have been cruel and unnecessary."

Don't worry, I get it though. Anyhow who doesn't dial the outrage up to 11 like you is the enemy. Crusade onwards, young soldier.

Lumpy Lang said...

Riiight, meanwhile comparing Manning to Judith Miller, and Snowden with Myer Lansky.

Not really much daylight between Droneglass and David Gregory on this one.

Anonymous said...

He he he... yep, Droneglass and Gregory are alike in the only way that matters to you; they both disagree with Glenn Greenwald to some extent. You're a credit to your tribe, Lumpy; never change.

Anonymous said...

To those of you in the audience, pay close attention to Lumpy's clumsy conflating of Driftglass and David Gregory's positions. It is illustrative of the mindset that Drifty has been railing against. Everyone to the right of Lumpy on this issue is one group: the enemy.

Also don't forget that it is people to the right of Lumpy on this issue who are authoritarian hero worshipers.

Anonymous said...

Oh such glee; I can't let go. I think I love Lumpy Lang a little bit. He highlights the mental fallacies of the "Droneglass jumped the shark"-crowd so starkly. Driftglass occupied a different position on some past issue, so therefore everything he says now is invalid.

Ah well, maybe it is a bit unfair to tar Compound F and Makahal with the Lumpy Lang-brush.

I leave you with this observation instead: Just because someone is obviously motivated by a visceral dislike of Glenn Greenwald doesn't mean that all of his observations about GG's behavior and tactics are incorrect. If you are suspicious about the correlation between his haters and his critics, remember that a lot of people dislike him in the first place because condemnation and hyperbole are classic Glenn.

Compound F said...

Meanwhile, back in reality...

Plame and Wilson are such attention whores...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you see how that works when you report without screeching about the "end of privacy forever!!!".

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go read Plame and Wilson's follow up tweets where they throw a few unnecessary and distracting low-blows.

How about you go argue some more against points people aren't making, Compound F.

prof_fate said...

But how is this significant?

What, it would have been better if he'd gone to work for Booz Allen Hamilton and then, some time in mid-April, decided to leak? In that case, wouldn't you guys be questioning his mental stability, for making such a momentous decision on the spur of the moment?

There's just no pleasing some people. ("That's just what Jesus said, sir!")

Please explain this to me, someone. I don't have access to this Book of Proper Leaker Etiquette you seem to be referencing. And I'll warn you ahead of time: BAH is as corrupt as any of the private outfits who have their snouts in the Surveillance State's endless smorgasbord. I'm afraid you're going to have a hard time trying to elicit much sympathy for them from me.

Snowden so far hasn't given an exact date when he decided to blow the whistle, but judging by what he's said it probably couldn't have been any earlier than at least a couple of years into Obama's first term. Once he did decide to act, that is, to destroy his life, it would have been a stupidly wasteful thing to do if he didn't gather as much evidence as he could to support his declared motive for leaking.

Aw, the hell with it. It's too damn late and I'm too tired to try disentangling the rest of this nonsense.

Lumpy Lang said...

Droneglass' progressively increasing stupidity and incoherence only makes sense if looked at politically.

Just think 'Little Green Footballs' in reverse.

Lumpy Lang said...

To be more precise - he can now move correspondingly far to the right without leaving the Democratic Party spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Lumpy Lang,

Thank you for demonstrating, once again, that everyone to the right of you looks alike in your fevered perceptions.

All told, I'm pretty uncomfortable with letting wild-eyed idealists and reactionaries decide what is acceptable discourse and what isn't. Without your dribbling to point to I might actually have to work to make a case against sanctimonious nitwits. Thank you LL.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Ya know, National Review called that one of the 50th best conservative rock songs of all time