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Why Hating Spies Is All the Rage

Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden sit on top of a large cultural legacy of distrusting America's shadowy warriors.

by
James Jay Carafano

Bio

March 11, 2014 - 12:30 pm
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Glenn Greenwald is at it again. His latest releases of classified documents provided by Edward Snowden reveal various spy tradecraft, a litany of “dirty tricks,” that agencies might use to get at an intelligence target.  These latest revelations only show how far the un-caped crusaders have drifted from their messianic mission of uncovering “wrongdoing” by those who are supposed to be protecting us from wrongdoing.

In part, Greenwald panders to our dark desire to peer into the ugly side of intelligence work. The staring into the seamy side of spy-craft was a cultural fixture of the Cold War, enshrined in iconic films like The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Released in 1965 when the Cold War was at its coldest, the movie told the story of a British secret agent sent to Communist East Germany to discredit a powerful enemy intelligence officer. With the assistance of an unwitting idealistic, pro-communist girlfriend he engineers a disinformation campaign against the East German operative.

The film was based on a 1963 book by the novelist John le Carre. The author’s real name was David John Moore Cornwell, who worked in British spy agencies in the 1950s and 1960s. There was more than a little real-life tradecraft laced throughout his books. 

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Top Rated Comments   
Maybe if the spies were actually effective, they wouldn't be hated on. 9/11, Crimea, Boston Marathon Bombing were all completely missed by our spies.

Spy on our enemies, not our friends or better yet, our citizens.

This is really the problem with the country - we spend all this money on the military and intelligence agencies, yet we seem to have very little results from it.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The world would have been far better off if U.S. intelligence had been on top of that one [Crimea Crisis] and provided the White House better assessments that might have helped the administration get ahead of the crisis."

And the NSA is going to accomplish that by spying on US citizens??
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What makes me sympathetic to Snowden is to a large degree about what happened to Sen. Ted Stevens and my own congressman, Curt Weldon. Both men were frivolously targeted by federal prosecutors in the midst of election campaigns. In Weldon's case, the revelation of the investigation occurred three weeks before election day when search warrants were executed on the homes of his daughter and a political ally.

Stevens was convicted but the conviction was overturned after bald misconduct by the prosecutors was revealed.

Weldon, well, the entire investigation was, in the criminal sense, a joke: http://blog.billlawrenceonline.com/2009/08/02/so-when-is-curt-weldon-going-to-jail-2.aspx

But it did get him out of office.

It should be noted that the year before Weldon wrote a controversial book harshly critical of the agencies charged with keeping us from terror attacks.

There have been other matters -- the IRS treatment of conservative groups comes most quickly to mind, but you can include rather sadistic federal prosecutions that resulted in the destruction of lives when simple slaps on the wrist would have been more than enough.

So, yes, I'm kind of starting to have a strong distrust of my government.

And in further fairness to Snowden he has yet to be implicated in any deaths caused by the release of his information. Further he says he has not passed any of it on to adversarial governments (Russia, China etc.) and that he can definitively establish this point.




20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (49)
All Comments   (49)
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Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It's a great work at home opportunity. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here www.Pow6.com
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, due to this nation's descent into banana republic rule of lawless status, there's going to be a whole lot more things like this soon, and not from me:

http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2014/03/petersons-particulars.html

It won't be limited to the gun grab issue either. Gen. Clapper better get used to people following him around with cameras asking him why he perjured himself for many years of retirement to come. if I were him I'd go live in Chile or some place where people wouldn't recognize me and wear a wig with sunglasses.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
NSA should be abolished and its functions integrated id DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency.
III
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe because the spies were spying on law abiding Americans instead of America's enemies.................................................
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe if the spies were actually effective, they wouldn't be hated on. 9/11, Crimea, Boston Marathon Bombing were all completely missed by our spies.

Spy on our enemies, not our friends or better yet, our citizens.

This is really the problem with the country - we spend all this money on the military and intelligence agencies, yet we seem to have very little results from it.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The world would have been far better off if U.S. intelligence had been on top of that one [Crimea Crisis] and provided the White House better assessments that might have helped the administration get ahead of the crisis."

And the NSA is going to accomplish that by spying on US citizens??
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. A typical non-sequitir. The NSA fails at doing what it's SUPPOSED to do...eg spying on Putin, following up on an FSB tip to the FBI that Tamerlane Tsarnaev was up to know good in Dagestan, and obtain a LEGIT individualized warrant from the FISA court. Instead the NSA drops the ball and the Agency's fanatical shills like John R. Schindler at the U.S. Naval Twitter War College of Hatch Act Violations sends out minions like @PhillipSmyth or @RobertCaruso to reminisce about how they were close to the Boston bombing and suggesting NSA f---ed up and failed to tap Tsarnaev ahead of that attack is...evil? Well kiss my grits, I'll take appeal to sappy emotion and because 9/11 for 500 Alex. Just like Carofano's article here it's pure misdirection and appeal to emotion.

And yes Mr. Carofano there are some people in NSA who need to be demoralized and should be afraid of what their colleagues, friends and family members would think of them and their trustworthyness for participating in programs like TURBINE that create malware bot on bots infested the entire world wide web. Maybe someone should take them aside and plant a firm hand on their shoulders, "Remember, NSA has all the data in the world. But even a small unit of the Utah National Guard could shut down your Bluffdale hub in about 30 minutes and arrest all of its commanders if they ever betray the American people. Don't ever forget it."

Obviously even Carofano cannot defend the indefensible revealed by Snowden such as the GCHQ's practice of scooping up web cam picks from unwitting web users en masse, which include nude pics, so he changes the subject. Not unlike the Ur-NSA shill Schindler, who must be thanking God Putin invaded Crimea so he hasn't been bugged on Twitter even once over the last two weeks about whether GCHQ shared its massive genitalia pics stash with the NSA and the rest of the 5Eyes.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Having read spy books for the past 4.5 decades, nothing surprises or offends me. I get it & think more people would do well to read spy book pulp fiction so they won't get upset by any new 'controversy'. There are no controversies in the spy book realm - just 'Oh, I was wondering when that would pop up in the public realm.'
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is with you guys at PJM when it comes to Snowden? The NSA Director himself essentially confirmed the scale and scope of domestic surveillence of US citizens described by Snowden in testimony before congressional committees.

Mr. Carafano, employing misdirections such as 'whipping up a popular following that is out for blood', 'cheerleading for the likes of WikiLeaks' and 'intelligence fear-mongering' insults serious readers of PJM.

I have not read a single PJM post to date asserting Snowden's revelations are factually untrue.

Mr. Kimball, your excellent website is displaying signs of neocon poisoning.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's with PJM on NSA is the same as all the Paul hate. Especially when a Paul is a serious threat to neocon billionaires self appointed GOP 'front runner' favored by Faux News. Follow the MIC $
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
To Herr Hussein Obama every department and every agency of the federal government, every one, including even the military to a lesser degree, is a weapon to be used against any and all opposition at the time of his choosing. To those who may say, "It can never happen here", well it can and it is.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one ever says anything much about the motives urging on these self- important "leakers" of these admittedly very, very interesting and even sensational allegations....no one says anything much about the legally established inability of the accused [i.e. the instantly dastardly NSA or CIA] to make sensible defenses of whatever it is they're accused of doing or not doing in the august opinions of the Instant Expert critics.

So much uninformed public huffing and puffing. But everyone certainly has an opinion, or two.

All of this is exacerbated when elected members of Congress start popping up with their two cents of even more of their "outraged" opinions with an eye cocked, or both eyes fixed upon their constituents who must be relied upon for their continuing tenure in Congress.

Is everyone too young now to remember the witch-hunts of the Church-Pike Committees? They together were morale destroyers of those actually bearing the 24/7 responsibilities for our defense.

No one actually stops to think that unless they're actually sitting behind those closed doors hearing discussions of impossibly bad alternatives to those awful questions du jour that they really, really don't know, cannot possible know, WTF's going on.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can "know WTF's going on" when people like Snowden get so nauseated by "WTF's going on" that they're willing to flush their $100K+ career and citizenship down the toilet to warn the *victims* WTF's going on.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
........."suicidal idiot" seems to be an appropriately adolescent "handle" for such an off-key riff on my "WTF".
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Linus, see my post above. How much is the pay for NSA sock puppet shills nowadays?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Horse pucky. Snowden took the job with the intention of betraying it. He started download secrets as soon as he achieved access.

There is a long, multi-level process for whistleblowing and Snowden ignored all of it. He's not looking to warn you, he's looking for fame & attention. The next Bradley Manning if you will.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any NSA SOB who is keeping a domestic gun registry, whether it's a 'rogue' op or not, should be tried for treason and hanged. Clapper should be arrested for perjury. At the very least the States should pass laws allowing them to arrest any NSA employee and charge them with violating the rights of a citizen of that state if a prosecutor can make the case for illegal wiretapping without a valid individualized warrant.

Let the feds threaten to bomb Montana if some traitorous SOB gets thrown in jail there after foolishly believing Eric Holder or his successors could keep him out of prison.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's some supplemental perspective:

"
Lawfare
Hard National Security Choices
Five In-Your-Face Thoughts in Defense of the NSA

By Benjamin Wittes
Monday, September 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM "



20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lawfare is completely in the tank for the NSA and the next time Benjamin Wittes speaks in D.C. Larry Klayman should show up and ask him which traitorous POS in NSA electronically harassed Klayman or the family of Michael Strange, or illegally tapped Pennyslvania private investigator Doug Hagmann.

The next Snowden won't be limited. He'll just go for the jugular and expose the Agency's illegal domestic and ammo purchaser gun registry.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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