Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Is That You, John Wayne? Is This Me?

This seems like one of those "Is there anything in your past that could be used to discredit you or cast doubts on your credibility?" thingies about which a reporter would want to ask his source during the vetting process and, should that reporter decide to move forward, maybe front-load into the story to control the narrative and immunized that source against it spilling out all over the pages of the Washington Post and making that source look, oh, what's the word I'm looking for...?

From The Washington Post:
Four years ago, Ed Snowden thought leakers should be ‘shot’

By Timothy B. Lee, Published: June 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm
“Those people should be shot in the balls,” [Edward] Snowden apparently said of leakers in a January 2009 chat. Snowden had logged into an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server associated with Ars Technica. While Ars itself didn’t log the conversations, multiple participants in the discussions kept logs of the chats and provided them to the technology site.

At this point, Snowden’s evolution into a fierce critic of the national security establishment was in its early stages. Snowden was incensed at the New York Times, which had described secret negotiations between the United States and Israel over how best to deal with Iran’s suspected nuclear program.

“Are they TRYING to start a war? Jesus christ. They’re like wikileaks.” Snowden wrote. “You don’t put that s— in the NEWSPAPER.”

“They have a HISTORY of this s—,” he continued, making liberal use of capital letters and profanity. “These are the same people who blew the whole ‘we could listen to osama’s cell phone’ thing. The same people who screwed us on wiretapping. Over and over and over again.”

He said he enjoyed “ethical reporting.” But “VIOLATING NATIONAL SECURITY? no. That s— is classified for a reason. It’s not because ‘oh we hope our citizens don’t find out.’ It’s because ‘this s— won’t work if iran knows what we’re doing.’” “I am so angry right now. This is completely unbelievable.”

The comments were posted by a user named TheTrueHOOHA. While IRC doesn’t have a formal mechanism for authenticating users, impersonation is rare, and Snowden is known to have used the same username in comments on the Ars Web site. Moreover, TheTrueHOOHA mentions biographical details, like his work in Switzerland, that closely match Snowden’s biography.
(Actually the whole Ars Technica article is worth a read if only to flesh out Mr. Snowden's social views on assault weapons (Pro!), Ron Paul ("dreamy") and his rustic, Randite perspective on Social Security -- 

< TheTrueHOOHA>save money? cut this social security bullshit
< User11>hahahayes
< User18>Yeah! Fuck old people!
< User11>social security is bullshit
< User11>let's just toss old people out in the street
< User18>Old people could move in with [User11].
< User11>NOOO
< User11>they smell funny
< TheTrueHOOHA>Somehow, our society managed to make it hundreds of years without social security just fine
< TheTrueHOOHA>you fucking retards
< TheTrueHOOHA>Magically the world changed after the new deal, and old people became made of glass
< TheTrueHOOHA>yeah, that makes sense
< User11>wow
< User11>you are just so fucking stupid
< TheTrueHOOHA>yeah, [User11]. and you're quite a gem
< User19>TheTrueHOOHA: and magically, life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years.funny how that works.
< TheTrueHOOHA>[User19], you don't think modern medicine has something to do with that? no? it's social security? wow. I guess I missed that.
< User11>hurr wait a second, life expectancy has shot up in recent times along with the dissolution of the communal family unit in exchange for the nuclear family
< User11>gee i guess we might need to create a safety net for the sudden glut of helpless elderly????
< TheTrueHOOHA>they wouldn't be fucking helpless if you weren't sending them fucking checks to sit on their ass and lay in hospitals all day
 ...says every cosseted young princeling of the digital age I have ever met.

Assuming this is true, well, there's no law against anyone changing their mind or evolving their thinking (unless, of course, you're a Liberal whose change/evolution does not adhere 100% to current Libertarian thinking, in which case you are obviously an authoritarian monster) and it does not surprise me that a person in their twenties would flip their entire worldview around, maybe even more than once.

I know I did.

In fact, the normal, twenty-something process of radically revising one's belief system can only have been made easier when the twenty-something in question is a very smart, privileged, insulated, white guy making six-figures, living in paradise and steeping in all the head-rushing power that godlike access to the instrumentalities of the American surveillance system entails.

No, the real, shocking story here is that Mr. Snowden circa 2010 or 2011 apparently got ahold of the NSA's prototype time machine...traveled back in time right past the "Mr. Snowden circa 2009" who made the "shot in the balls" comments above...and landed in the Year of Our Lord 2008, where he persuaded that still-earlier iteration of Edward Snowden to drop his whole "That s— is classified for a reason" thinking a year before he even said it and instead become this guy:

Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?
A: “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.

“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”
Which means:
  1. The whole spacetime continuum may now be completely banjaxed 
  2. Someone somewhere owes the estate of Robert Heinlein a lot of money.
It also means that someone, somewhere should really ask Mr, Snowden to clarify in simple, clear language how exactly he reconciles the remarks of Mr. "Shot in the balls"-guy in 2009 with Mr. "I was going to disclose it"-guy in 2008.

Because sometimes the things we said and did in the past can and should affect the way people think about what we are saying and doing now.

On the other hand, dredging around in someone's past for details about ancient, irrelevant business deals or student loan glitches is just bullshit:
The personal side of taking on the NSA: emerging smears

Distractions about my past and personal life have emerged – an inevitable side effect for those who challenge the US government.

Glenn Greenwald, Wednesday 26 June 2013 16.21 EDT

...So I've been fully expecting those kinds of attacks since I began my work on these NSA leaks. The recent journalist-led "debate" about whether I should be prosecuted for my reporting on these stories was precisely the sort of thing I knew was coming.

As a result, I was not particularly surprised when I received an email last night from a reporter at the New York Daily News informing me that he had been "reviewing some old lawsuits" in which I was involved – "old" as in: more than a decade ago – and that "the paper wants to do a story on this for tomorrow". He asked that I call him right away to discuss this, apologizing for the very small window he gave me to comment.

Just today, a New York Times reporter emailed me to ask about the IRS back payments. And the reporter from the Daily News sent another email asking about a student loan judgment which was in default over a decade ago and is now covered by a payment plan agreement.
Should the fact that David Gregory's wife was one of "the four top executives in Fannie Mae who resigned as the federal government took it into receivership in 2008" have been disclosed when he was doing stories on Fannie Mae and Newt Gingrich?


Should the fact that Clarence Thomas' teabagger, drunk-dialing wife was also a paid, anti-health care lobbyist affect how we think about Clarence Thomas' capacity to act impartially on health care-related matters that come up before the Supreme Court?

Damn betcha.

But neither Mr. Greenwald's student loans nor his long-ago business deals have any bearing on the NSA leak story whatsoever.

None. At. All.


Anonymous said...

I'll say it again...Charlie Sheen without the hookers..not sure about the coke.

Lumpy Lang said...

Droneglass' posts have degenerated from


to disoriented,

to sooo wrong,

to downright creepy,

... all the way to a political toxic waste dump
with astonishing rapidity.

Even when I started referring to him as 'Droneglass' a few short months ago I wondered whether the diss wasn't just a wee bit harsh...

unfortunately, it turned out to be all too prophetic.

Driftglass I'll remember as a very decent, gifted fellow with some genuine insight into the human condition and a sympathy with the downtrodden. (Then one of those revolting slugs got attached to his spine - just under his collar where nobody can see it).

Free Bradley Manning!
Hands off Assange, Snowden!
2, 3 Many MORE whistleblowers!
Down with the Surveillance/Police-State!

Anonymous said...

No, Lumpy, "Droneglass" isn't 'a wee bit harsh', it's just fucking STUPID. Unfunny. A non sequitur. Meaningless.

Anonymous said...

You're not defending Greenwald right, Driftglass. Apparently.

Lumpy Lang said...

...and did I mention how the comments section has gone straight downhill?

Hope all you brave anonymous patriots are hitting the paypal button to register your appreciation!

(Us dirty hippies are less inclined to these days.)

Anonymous said...


Don't ever change, Lumpy.

Not that there is a risk of that happening.

Anonymous said...

Okay...I just have to ask:

Is this whole, Lumby, Compound dubya,...and the other one....some kind of artsy thought experiment on your part? Like Driftpost..or whatever..
I mean, I read a lot of comment sections with a lot of trolls, but these guys are sure coming off more as caricatures than anything else.
They exhibit an almost too perfect example of the worst attributes of trolls... kind of rolled in to ..three different of them even occasionally knocks the others like they have gone to far...

If so, please get to the big reveal already...because they are just beyond tedious at this point.

....and if not..and they are actual people....just ewwww!

Of course, I have long since stopped reading Youtube comments or maybe they are just spiffy examples from "Modern Trolling" webzine!

Just get Disqus...

Compound F said...

Anon, if I were as dumb as you, I too would certainly not post under a distinctive pseudonym. I wouldn't even look in a mirror.

As for Mssr. DG, his "creepy" character assassination reeving is rove to his disadvantage, and he'll hang himself by block and tackle.

Anonymous said...

I find it precious how much you Glennbots fixate on a person's pseudonym. I guess when you have no other argument, you may as well pound the pulpit.

A far better question is why Driftglass' posts get your panties in such a wad? Even if you think DG is being unfair to Greenwald and Snowden, is overreaching with his arguments, and is beating the topic to death, it is still crystal clear that Driftglass will have no effect Glenn at all. He simply doesn't have the media microphone to scratch Glenn. It isn't even clear (far from it) that any of DG's criticisms of Glenn will prove relevant.

Why get so hetted up? You spend time on the internet, so I'm sure you've encountered people who you disagree with before. Did you have an aneurism then too?

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm starting to wonder if DG is trolling his trolls.

-- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Yep, dubya when you are right you are right.
It would be impossible for anybody who could master creating a blog..or hell for that matter just lacing up their shoes to lower themselves into dreaming up a fictional character as insipidly moronic and...lets face it, as down right creepy as yourself.
You are starting to use a lot more kind of violent imagery in your rambling cryptic screeds as well. It doesn't take much training to see you have some real issues going on.
Issues you may need some help with.
I apologize for doubting your authenticity, especially with your "distinctive pseudonym" and all.
Since you like name calling so much, I assume you must be a pretty brave man, I mean using an anonymous pseudonyms to insult and kind of threaten people is so much more "out there" than just being anonymous.

Unfortunately, at this point, I think Driftglass is encouraging you by posting your outbursts..and I may be encouraging you by responding. So I wont be doing that anymore....and I wont be reading any more of your comments.
In fact, now that I think of it, I think I'll just be skipping the comment section here all together from now on. I notice a lot of the commentators I actually enjoy reading here are saying less and less this shouldn't be too tough.

Driftglass, I was really joking with the thought experiment deal...but seriously..this guy is fucked up. You may want to consider just how far you are willing to let him go on here...he obviously considers it some kind of actual personal dialogue..and he is starting to sound kind of threatening to you...

keep up the good work

kfreed said...

In the end, Libertarian Glenn Greenwald of Cato Institute is going to be outed as the Koch sniffing, tea party pusher that he is now that his mug is plastered all over national television. "You can take that to the bank."

I find it interesting that Koch-sponsored free marketeering Libertarians are suddenly so incensed by the Patriot Act, seeing as they were the brains behind it to begin with:

"Another Cato Institute executive, Roger Pilon, vigorously supported Bush’s attacks on civil liberties. Pilon, Cato’s VP for legal affairs and founding director of the Cato Institute’s 'Center for Constitutional Studies,' supported expanded FBI wiretapping in 2002 and called on Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act as late as 2008."


This is going to be so much fun to watch.

Roger McCarthy said...

As I know well the area he is talking about (my niece is at university there) it was this racist rant that jumped out at me:

‘i went to london just last yearit’s where all of your muslims live I didn’t want to get out of the car…..I thought I had gotten off of plane in the wrong country I don’t know where it was, but it was by London City Airport and it was terrifying….. east London yeah, a lot of ethnic groups have settled there…..I guess it’s nice that they set up their own community, though….they just seemed awfully… orthodox……
i mean it wasn’t like, “hi, we’re your friendly neighborhood muslim community. welcome to our main street.” ……it was more like, “SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF ALLAH. SHARIAH REGULATIONS POSTED AT ALL CORNERS.”

Now in this part of East London there are in fact no such signs and the only thing that is noticeable is that there are quite a few dark complexioned men with beards and women wearing headscarves and some variation of hijab (although not niqab or burkas which are more likely to be seen in the West End where Saudi plutocrats hang out).

I suppose I should be thankful that when I was his age I was an insufferable yuppie libertarian prick as well but back in the 1980s there was no internet (at least not one accessible to non-uber geeks in university computer labs) to archive every idiocy I must have perpetrated.

Lumpy Lang said...

(And I hear Dred Scott was mean to small animals.)

Do you patriots really think all your serial messenger-shooting will succeed in distracting public attention from illegal mass-surveillance and all the other state crimes now being exposed?

Jeebus I hope you're wrong.

Free Bradley Manning!

Compound F said...

Nonny, it is a transparent Rovean smear campaign on behalf of unaccountable power (perhaps at the behest, as well). In any case, the tactic is repugnant, and one can only hope everyone takes the proper lesson and treats DG as the virulent, buboes-ridden plague he now presents. God protect our groins and armpits from his infectiousness.

n1ck said...

Dear God, the Gbots are losing their shit.

Seriously, y'all, quit worshiping(one p!) Saint Glenneth Greenwaldus and grow a fucking pair already.

So your hero and dear leader isn't perfect.

So he didn't vet his story or his source very well.

So he's a fucking tax cheat.

It doesn't mean everything he says is 100% wrong.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Actually, I'm starting to wonder if DG is trolling his trolls.

"Starting" to wonder?

Hell, I figure LL has an alert set to let him know when driftglass posts Greenwald's name, so he can stop in and drop a 'droneglass'. Doesn't matter what the post actually says. All the LL posts could be randomly assigned to any of the posts, and no one would be able to tell the difference.

Lumpy Lang said...

ok Patriots and still no political arguments to contribute here?

Going once.. going twice...?

OK - paypal button is below right. Give generously on your way out.

Free Bradley Manning!

n1ck said...

Slightly Longer Lumpy Lang:


Anonymous said...


I just disagree with you. Not every difference of opinion is a money-manufactured conspiracy and DG's recent take on Glenn isn't even a slight departure from his long-standing beef with the strain of libertarianism that Glenn belongs to.

I can accept the argument that perhaps Drifty was motivated more by his dislike of Glenn than giving a shit about the issues, but the conspiracy angle is a bridge too far for me.

I guess it explains your high blood pressure over it though.

- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Fuck yeah! Great! I agree.