Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Lord, Greenwald is an Idiot If He Thinks Any Security Service of Any Country He or Miranda Go Through Won't Want To See What They're Carrying

From today's New York Times:

Mr. Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Mr. Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Ms. Poitras, Mr. Greenwald said. Ms. Poitras, in turn, gave Mr. Miranda different documents to pass to Mr. Greenwald. Those documents, which were stored on encrypted thumb drives, were confiscated by airport security, Mr. Greenwald said. All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Mr. Snowden. The British authorities seized all of his electronic media — including video games, DVDs and data storage devices — and did not return them, Mr. Greenwald said.

Please, we need more mature and honest leakers and more mature and less narcissistic journalists who get the information that is leaked.   I came into this believing that Snowden and Greenwald's motives were similar to those of Bradley Manning and Daniel Ellsberg but this is looking ever more like idiotic narcissism if you put the best spin on it.   With what I've read this week I think the espionage charge against Snowden is justified. 

Intelligence services are a fact of life and if we're going to have democracy they have to be made compatible with democracy.   I don't see anything coming from this that will do anything but harm that necessity of democratic government.  


  1. I rather liked this bit from the Peter Maas article:

    As dusk fell one evening, I followed Poitras and Greenwald to the newsroom of O Globo, one of the largest newspapers in Brazil. Greenwald had just published an article there detailing how the N.S.A. was spying on Brazilian phone calls and e-mails. The article caused a huge scandal in Brazil, as similar articles have done in other countries around the world, and Greenwald was a celebrity in the newsroom. The editor in chief pumped his hand and asked him to write a regular column; reporters took souvenir pictures with their cellphones. Poitras filmed some of this, then put her camera down and looked on. I noted that nobody was paying attention to her, that all eyes were on Greenwald, and she smiled. “That’s right,” she said. “That’s perfect.”

    Emphasis mine. The boy is in his element.

  2. I look at this entire mess as a means of looking at the wreckage to try to see more information of how the left crashed and burned and how a real, realistic left can arise.

    I'm still reading all over the place that Obama enforced British law in Britain and that Miranda's detainment is a violation of the American Constitution. With "leftists" that stupid a real left would be better off without them.

    I think the Brits may well have just wanted whatever material Miranda was porting through Britain for themselves and that they did what I have no doubt the Chinese and Russian intelligence services did when Snowden was in their hands, all with no involvement of the Obama administration. Any country in the world would do it if they could manage it. Greenwald has made both him and his husband people of interest to intelligence services around the world and organized crime. I wonder if it could have been Brazilian or other mobsters who broke into Greenwald's house and took a laptop to copy and sell the information contained on it.

    I've changed my mind about Snowden, I now think he is probably guilty of espionage, due to his declaration of why he took the job, to copy information, and his behavior after he left the U.S. Greenwald, I think he's primarily motivated by narcissism now. Lots of people don't but a real narcissistic like him always forces that conclusion on people who once lionized them. It's just a matter of time.

    Meanwhile, civilian control of the NSA will be damaged even more as consequences of what was passed on are revealed. This has been a disaster for that effort.

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  5. I'm still reading all over the place that Obama enforced British law in Britain and that Miranda's detainment is a violation of the American Constitution. With "leftists" that stupid a real left would be better off without them.

    My knowledge of international law is nil, but I understand the Supreme Court has ruled the Constitution extends to the water's edge; and further, that until you cross a physical line in an airport, you are not in the country where the plane landed. Which would mean that even if the Constitution applied (had Miranda, IOW, landed in New York), it wouldn't apply until you were admitted to the country.

    Pretty much why Snowden as in legal limbo in Russia for so long.

    Detentions happen all the time; usually, they are allowed on one pretext or another. Even the Judge in New York didn't find "stop 'n' frisk" a violation of the 4th Amendment; just it's application to blacks more than to whites. You wanna complain about detentions, you're on better moral ground complaining about all detentions, not just those of high profile white people at international airports.

    As for the rest of your comment: I couldn't agree more.

  6. Well, that attempt at cleaning up my comments didn't work...

    I just wanted to add that I read somewhere this morning some sense of amazement that the British government knew who Greenwald's partner was. I don't think that was secret knowledge, however. Besides, Miranda was traveling on the Guardian's nickel, and he was acting as a courier for Greenwald. Seems pretty obvious Greenwald didn't want to make the trip, and he hoped Miranda could get away with it for him.

    His tradecraft is weak, in other words. And this from a guy who seems to think he's living in a spy novel....

  7. Ned Rorem told the story of how he once worried to Virgil Thomson that he thought he should withdraw one of his compositions, Thomson told him not to worry about it, that some compositions tended to withdraw themselves.

    Heck, I knew it and I wasn't even paying that much attention to this thing until two weeks ago.

    I do think that Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras are all seriously immature and irresponsible. And I strongly suspect that Snowden could and should be prosecuted for espionage, though treason would seem to be rather ridiculous at this point.

    I'm stunned at how idiotic people are being about this with what we know about it, Snowden's escape to China would be clue enough that his motives were not likely to be entirely in the interest of freedom and democracy.

    I looked at that account of his heroes welcome in the news room. You'd think that the Judith Miller affair would have informed them all that being hired as a journalist - not to mention those who declare themselves to be journalists - doesn't confer diplomatic immunity. Apparently The Greenwald believes it confer's rights and privileges on his husband even though Greenwald himself has claimed immunity for Miranda on the basis that he wasn't a journalist. I'm disgusted with all of them.