Thursday, October 17, 2013

Figleaf Dries Up, Blows Away

From the WaPo via Edward Snowden's Magic Bag of Secrets:
Documents reveal NSA’s extensive involvement in targeted killing program

By Greg Miller, Julie Tate and Barton Gellman

It was an innocuous e-mail, one of millions sent every day by spouses with updates on the situation at home. But this one was of particular interest to the National Security Agency and contained clues that put the sender’s husband in the crosshairs of a CIA drone.

Days later, Hassan Ghul — an associate of Osama bin Laden who provided a critical piece of intelligence that helped the CIA find the al-Qaeda leader — was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

The U.S. government has never publicly acknowledged killing Ghul. But documents provided to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden confirm his demise in October 2012...
Portions of which were redacted at the request of the US government:
But beyond filling in gaps about Ghul, the documents provide the most detailed account of the intricate collaboration between the CIA and the NSA in the drone campaign.

The Post is withholding many details about those missions, at the request of U.S. intelligence officials who cited potential damage to ongoing operations and national security.
One can argue whether or not this information is in the public interest.

But now that Russia's most famous import and his press flak/future-media-mogul have dribbed and drabbed a dozen different titillating flavors of classified US government intel across half the planet, can we at least drop the pretense that the ongoing adventures of Mr. Snowden had anything but the briefest, anonymous-truckstop-handjob relationship to the original fairy tale we were fed regarding Mr. Snowden's reasons for fleeing the country with his Magic Bag of Secrets?

Reasons which, as I recall, had something to do with focusing with singular, laserlike intensity on kick-starting a debate among the good citizens of these United States about NSA domestic surveillance and our (either pathetically weak or somewhat effective but too shrouded in mystery, depending on your reading list) FISA courts?


Anonymous said...


The "laserlike intensity on kickstarting a debate on domestic spying" is your own invention.

Anonymous said...

NSAglass doesn't care about debating domestic espionage anyhow. Like Sen. Feinstein, he assumes its necessity should remain unquestioned. And don't expect him to mention that Edward Snowden has the full support of other prominent whistle blowers.

Joe Max said...

Manning is a whistleblower. Snowden is a spy. Vast difference.

Anonymous said...

"NSAglass". Oh, they're not even TRYING anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well the rest of the prominent whistle blowers out there seem to think Snowden is one of them, from Ellsberg on down.

So maybe they are all stupid, or spies themselves?