Saturday, May 31, 2014

Snowden, Brian Williams: Staged Amateur Night for the Suckers

by Jon Rappoport

You could call it a completely incompetent interview, but Brian Williams is supposed to be incompetent. That’s his job.

Don’t take a Snowden comment and drill down into it. Don’t connect dots. Don’t delve into Snowden’s history. Don’t ask serious questions about the NSA.

Just make the interview seem important. That’s all that counts. Give the impression that the interview is
an Event.

When Snowden suddenly told Williams he was trained as a spy, he wasn’t just an analyst, when he said he’d worked under false names at false jobs he didn’t really have, for the CIA, NSA, and DIA…that’s a show-stopper.

Hold everything. “Really, Ed? What did you do? What kind of thing? You worked for the DIA? Never heard that before. When? Why haven’t you said you were a spy before? Why hasn’t Greenwald mentioned this? Does the New York Times know this? The Washington Post? When you took that last systems-analyst job for NSA in Hawaii, as a contractor for Booz Allen, you’d already been a deep-cover spy for NSA? What exactly was your job at NSA in Hawaii, Ed?”

And that’s just for starters.

Once you open up that subject, who knows where it might lead?

And how about this: “Okay, Ed, we’ve heard you took anywhere from 20,000 to 1.7 million NSA documents. What’s the real number? I’m asking this, in part, because at the rate those documents are being released, by your press friends, we’ll all be long dead before the full cache is made public.”

And then: “Let’s talk turkey here, Ed, about NSA internal security. This is the biggest, richest, most brilliant spy agency in the world. And yet we’re supposed to believe they overlooked one little thing in their structure: they just forgot to secure their own data. Oops. They just forgot. All these years. Therefore, as you’ve said on several occasions, any employee of the Agency with ordinary access could stroll in and steal the farm. Really? Is that what you’re selling?”

“As a follow-up, how did you take all those documents? We’ve heard the magic secret was: you had a thumb drive; other employees gave you their passwords; you were ‘special,’ so you had access to everything; you were doing systems checks. So what was it? How did you pull it off? You took so many documents from different categories of stored data. The NSA had no compartmentalization?”

“Early press reports cited your experience in Geneva working for the CIA as a crisis point in your odyssey. You learned that several CIA people there turned a Swiss banker. They got him drunk one night, encouraged him to drive home, he was arrested on the road, and these CIA guys rescued him from his problem. From that point on, they were able to get him to pass along confidential banking data to them. And this soured you on the CIA. This shocked you. Really? Are you serious? This upset you? You were working for the CIA. You knew what they do. The banker incident was nothing. This sounds like a made-up tale of an agent’s disillusionment with his own people—a piece of a legend.”

“Another thing that doesn’t add up: your time in Hong Kong. According to press reports, and Greenwald’s account, it was touch and go for you there. You’re in a hotel, you’re walking the streets, you’re meeting with Greenwald and Poitras…but during those few weeks the entire spying and surveillance apparatus of the US government just can’t find you. And they can’t cover the airport well enough, when you fly out of there, to snatch you up. All this is very fishy, Ed. Something else is going on here, Ed. What is it?”

“And oh yes. Your days in the military. You state you applied for a position in Special Forces, and during your preliminary training, you broke both legs and they let you go. I understand that Special Forces program involved taking tests for ‘vocational possibilities.’ I assume this would have let your superiors know you were a computer prodigy. Wouldn’t Special Forces have drooled to employ a prodigy? In which case, why did they let you go when you broke your legs? Did you need your legs to work on a computer?”

This is called digging. But of course, that isn’t Brian Williams’ job. He’s the All-American newsboy on a bike riding through a Disney neighborhood tossing papers on porches.

Digging in this way isn’t any mainstream reporter’s job. The official narrative won’t permit it. The sanitized Snowden story is only about: is he a patriot or a traitor?

Whereas, in real life, there are enough doubts and inconsistencies about Snowden and the NSA to wonder: was the whole thing, the whole deal, the whole theft of documents an op?

A planned operation?

For example, was Snowden still working for the CIA when CIA people GAVE him those NSA documents to walk off with? Was this part of a turf war between the CIA and the NSA? Was this the kind of spy Snowden was/is?

Did CIA people appeal to his patriotism to convince him that this op would be a noble enterprise?

Were these few CIA people patriots themselves, working off the books?

Was the theft of NSA documents part of a much larger plan to let the American people know they are being spied on, 24/7? To enforce the power and effectiveness of the Surveillance State? Because, when you think about it, the population needs to know they’re being spied on. That’s the biggest priority. Then they tailor their own thoughts and words and actions voluntarily. That’s what makes the Surveillance State work.

Of course, the American people don’t consider all these potential elements of the Snowden affair. (More on the various potential elements of the Snowden affair can be found hereunder the #Spygate heading on my blog (top right hand side link).)

Although they watch spy movies and television shows, they don’t believe, when push comes to shove, that intelligence operations have layers and false trails and cover stories and limited hangouts.

They don’t believe that deception can run that deep. They don’t stop to realize that all spies are trained to lie.

Lying convincingly is the number-one requisite for a spy. Lie to enemies, lie to friends, lie to the press, lie to other agencies of government.

If a spy doesn’t wake up every day thinking about what lies he’ll tell from breakfast to dinner, he’s a dud. A washout. A danger to himself and others.

Spies live in a labyrinth of deceit. It takes a certain kind of personality to thrive in that atmosphere.

Is Ed Snowden a spy?

Here’s a typical response to that question: “I don’t care what he is. The NSA documents are now out there in full view. That’s good. What difference does it make who Snowden is? Now we can have a public debate about the Surveillance State.”

Really? How is that “public debate” going? Have you seen any serious cutbacks in the power of the NSA? Has the limited-hangout discussion about whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor reined in the power of the NSA?

You never know what’s at the bottom of a story until you get there. There is always the chance you’ll discover something far more crippling to the powers-that-be than what’s on the surface, or what’s in the middle.

The surface of a desert might show you thousands of shards of pottery. Below that, you find a town. You keep going and you come to a lost city.

The above originally appeared at and is reprinted with permission.


  1. Naomi Wolf has been on a big anti-Snowden kick lately. This is from her facebook page:

    "Again -- as this continues to be distorted; I don't know who Snowden is. Making snap judgements not a reporter's job; a real reporter's job is to ask questions. To me the questions are: why are there such differential treatments of him and other whistleblowers? (I asked the same questions about the extremely atypical reactions of the state to DSK's alleged assault on a housekeeper, and Assange's alleged sexual misconduct cases, and the anomalies did indeed prove to show a larger state-driven agenda). The only other point I will continue to make is that we are in an historical moment in which it is in the interest of those powers that transcend nation-states -- ie the transnational corporate powers that were revealed to have strategized with DHS and police in the crackdown on Occupy -- and that are now engaged in increasing transnational legislation that supersedes nationstates such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- to create a world in which everyone, but especially in Western democracies, knows they are under surveillance all the time. A world that is like China. I am aware because of my job, as few other journalists are, of identical surveillance (and anti-protest) legislation being passed in EVERY Western democracy in the wake of the Snowden revelations. I am not stating cause-effect. I am simply being a journalist making notes and asking questions. That is what we are supposed to do an it is supposed to be a long hard process, not a snap judgement in either direction."

  2. I am a computer security guy that has worked in government although not at the Top Secret level. I ask the question. What did this guy tell us that is so earth shattering. That the government monitors phone calls to protect us (and has a legal apparatus for this), that we spy on foriegn leaders both friend and foe, that Social Media such as Facebook and twitter are monitored by the government, that free email services such as gmail, hotmail, and yahoo mail are also monitored by the government. That the NSA inserts backdoors into communications equipment and encryption software. Why shouldn't the goverment, in order to prevent another 9/11 monitor what all the abovementioned companies do for marketing purposes. I WOULD BE OUTRAGED IF THEY DID NOT. Signals Intelligence is the job of the NSA does. The only wrong doing here is that this sysadmin had to much access. However I still have not found a smoking gun that makes me feel like my privacy has been violated. I am more upset by the marketeers out there mining through my gmail to send me anoying ads.

    On the other hand maybe all of this nonsense is a deeper covert plan to air a small amount of dirty laundry that any common sense security person should have assumed was happening in the first place. As someone who worked in Tower One of the World Trade Center I certainly hope the NSA is doing much more then this and SnowJob just did not have access. If I had to speculate on something sinister and effective I would speculate that the cable box you all have can easily hide a connected camera into the homes of millions of Americans. However listening to phone calls after a court has ruled they could and reading my gmail does not upset me.

    1. If you don't think they are using this type of surveillance to blackmail people, rig markets, and steal business secrets you are lying to yourself.

      Your argument assumes these people have noble intentions. If you still think they have noble intentions at this point, I really don't know what to tell you.

    2. It's always a flawed argument to say that just because you are okay with something, therefore everyone else should be as well. There are boxers and UFC fighters that don't mind taking a punch, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with taking a punch. And if protection and security is the ultimate goal, why not just go full-on 1984 and monitor everything? Let's get microphones in every nook and cranny there exists in life - in people's kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. This would dramatically reduce or even eliminate crime, correct? Hell, let's get the government to try to invest in technology to read our thoughts. We could prevent the next mass shooting.

    3. Besides which, we dont get to define what "doing nothing wrong" means. Whoever is in charge does. Who was that that made that comment up there? Does he analyze anything else besides systems?

    4. @Anonymous - In addition to the flaws in your argument noted above, I'll point out another flaw. You say "listening to phone calls after a court has ruled they could and reading my gmail does not upset" you.

      First of all, to the extent that you are referring to any ruling of the FISA "court", it is not a court at all. A court must be open and have opposing parties on an equal setting. Therefore, any alleged "ruling" of the FISA "court" simply does not count at all.

      Secondly, since the US legal system allegedly operates under the authority of the US Constitution and the 4th amendment specifically forbids the issuing of nonspecific warrants unsupported with probable cause, no US court even has the authority to rule that the government has the permission to monitor the communications of US citizens. Accordingly, any such "rulings" of that nature are also invalid.

  3. NBC showed less than 1 hr of a 4 hr interview.

  4. The solution is clear. Get rid of the internet. It's a porn-ridden invention that only serves as a stumbling block anyway. Problem solved. You can thank me later.