A Snowden Job

Scott Johnson
Power Line

If you’ve been queasy about the ongoing disclosures of anti-terror national security programs by lefty Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (UK), as I have, I doubt the Guardian’s profile of Greenwald’s source — one Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old self-described former technical assistant for the CIA who says he has has worked at the NSA for the last four years as an employee of outside contractors including Booz Allen and Dell — will allay your queasiness.

Read the whole thing and render your own judgment. Snowden seems to me a true believer of doubtful maturity sunk in his own weird grandiosity. Greenwald of course celebrates Snowden as a “whisteblower.” That is a conclusion that begs the question, but I got off the train long before reaching this statement of reassurance, provided to Greenwald by Snowden from the refuge of a hotel room in Hong Kong:

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

As for transparency, I think I can see right through this guy.


CAJ noteWe spent today observing conservative bloggers interacting on social media. They all seem to believe, like Scott Johnson, “there’s no there there,” and are focusing more upon Greenwald’s credibility than much of anything else.

We’ll admit there is something not quite right with Edward Snowden and his story.  But the optics of this story are just terrible for the administration: Fast and Furious, the “green” technology spendapalooza and subsequent bankruptcies, Benghazi, the IRS, and now the NSA. Yeah, the NSA was organized in 1952 under Truman; yeah, every President has used it since. Sure, technology has ramped up the agency’s abilities. But this is yet another Constitutional crisis on Obama’s watch, another story about an administration with a penchant for abusing their authority and treating citizens like subjects. The young Mr. Snowden seemed to demonstrate a keener sense of what is un-American and un-Constitutional than almost any elected official presently “serving” in Washington.

We urge you to read the comments that accompany this article at Power Line. Jefferson was right when he said the American people eventually get things right.

…I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right:…Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves….

— Thomas Jefferson, A letter to Colonel Edward Carrington about the perpetrators of Shays’s Rebellion.


Related: Your Computer Is Bugging Your House, by J. Christian Adams

The computer you are sitting at right now probably has a microphone. It probably also has a camera looking at you this moment. Is it sending sound and pictures from inside your house to the PRISM program at NSA?

Who knows? But one thing is for sure — the technology is sitting there, on your desk. Welcome to Winston’s world.

Yesterday we crossed a line. What once seemed kooky is now happening. I figured this would be a fight for a future generation, but it is ours. The frightening future has arrived.

The American government has never done anything as sinister as PRISM…


Read the whole thing.


Update: Two articles at the American Thinker may prove us wrong:

For President Obama: Mission accomplished.

 As long as Americans think that the government isn’t actually reading their communications, they appear to accept the snooping.


So, who needs passwords and security software, right?


Update 2Althouse: “I suspect that he — and those in media whom he worked with — timed this to shape opinion about Bradley Manning, whose trial began this past week.”

A good debate in the comments section.

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