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The Ultra-Right Wing Views of Eddie the Friendly Spook and Citizen Assange

Fast Eddie Snowden’s Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of choice

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT:  In our ongo­ing analy­sis of “Snowden’s Ride,” (U-2 Inci­dent, II) we take note of Fast Eddie’s far-right polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy, man­i­fested as sup­port for crypto-Nazi Ron Paul. We will also briefly revisit the social Dar­win­ism and reflex­ive anti-Semitism of Cit­i­zen Assange, whose far-right, Nazi-linked Wik­iLeaks infra­struc­ture has melded with Eddie the Friendly Spook’s “op.”  

Snowden’s sup­port­ers have con­cep­tu­al­ized him as some sort of ide­al­ist, embrac­ing polit­i­cal mar­tyr­dom in order to expose encroach­ment to America’s civil lib­er­ties. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

Snow­den left a fairly large inter­net foot­print while posted to Switzer­land by the CIA. His mus­ings are impor­tant and very revealing.

Not only is Cit­i­zen Snow­den no cru­sader on behalf of human­ity and civil lib­erty, he is a cyn­i­cal, self-righteous ultra-right winger. (Be sure to exam­ine the text excerpts below.)

Fast Eddie is a believer in:

  • the rec­ti­tude of short-selling, in which he engaged.
  • the elim­i­na­tion of Social Security.
  • return­ing to the Gold Standard.
  • high unem­ploy­ment as a nat­ural and good part of capitalism.
  • the right-wing Repub­li­can view that Obama was debas­ing the cur­rency with his eco­nomic policies.
  • John McCain.

Fast Eddie char­ac­ter­ized any­one who dis­agreed with these extreme right-wing views as a “retard.”

What a swell guy.

It should come as no sur­prise that some­one with an ante­dilu­vian polit­i­cal out­look such as that would fall in behind Nazi pied piper Ron Paul, who him­self is joined at the hip with Mitt Romney.

Note that Eddie the Friendly Spook decamped first to China and then to Rus­sia, obvi­ously to polit­i­cally and diplo­mat­i­cally dam­age both Obama and the United States. Nei­ther China nor Rus­sia is a bas­tion of civil lib­er­ties or inter­net freedom.

Again, this guy is no ide­al­ist and friend of the citizenry.

Nei­ther, for that mat­ter, is his bene­fac­tor and ally Julian Assange. As dis­cussed in FTR #745,  Assange believes in a social-Darwinist phi­los­o­phy, very pos­si­bly deriv­ing from the fas­cist mind con­trol cult the San­tiki­te­nan Park Asso­ci­a­tion, to which he appears to have belonged. (See text excerpts below.)

As soon as his pro­fes­sional bal­loon began to deflate, Cit­i­zen Assange also screeched about being the vic­tim of an “inter­na­tional Jew­ish con­spir­acy” involv­ing the BBC and the Guardian, no less! That Assange  would behave in that man­ner should come as no sur­prise, given his strong links to Holo­caust denier Joran Jer­mas (aka “Israel Shamir.”) (See text excerpts below.)

It was Jer­mas who arranged for Wik­iLeaks to set up oper­a­tions at the Pirate Bay’s servers, financed by fas­cist finan­cial angel Carl Lund­strom (who arranged a Scan­di­na­vian speak­ing tour for David Duke, him­self one of the many unsa­vory asso­ciates of Ron Paul).

Assange him­self has endorsed both Ron Paul and Rand Paul. (See text excerpts below.)

Cit­i­zen Assange’s Aus­tralian Wik­iLeaks Party has delib­er­ately betrayed its Green sup­port­ers in favor of far-right, fas­cist par­ties Down Under. (See text excerpts below.)

Assange’s reflex­ive anti-Semitism is more than a lit­tle reveal­ing about his real polit­i­cal make-up.

QUICK: What is the dif­fer­ence between NSA/GCHQ’s war­rant­less sur­veil­lance and what WikiLeaks/Anonymous does? What kind of over­sight does Wik­iLeaks have? What kind of over­sight do the Anony­mous folks have? What court, judi­cial or con­sti­tu­tional author­ity gives offi­cial sanc­tion to what they do?

For­mer Assange asso­ciate Daniel Domscheit-Berg has also noted that Assange has adopted the phi­los­o­phy and lex­i­con he pro­fesses to oppose. He has used ver­biage iden­ti­cal to that in the Amer­i­can Espi­onage Act of 1917, under which Cit­i­zen Snow­den has been charged. (See text excerpts below.)

Our pre­vi­ous posts on the sub­ject of Eddie the Friendly Spook are: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart V. Please exam­ine them at length and fol­low the links.

“In 2009, Ed Snow­den Said Leak­ers “Should Be Shot.” Then He Became One” by Joe Mullin; Ars Tech­nica; 6/26/2013.

EXCERPT: . . . . Hired by the CIA and granted a diplo­matic cover, he was a reg­u­lar old IT guy whose life was ele­vated by a hint of inter­na­tional intrigue. . . .

. . . . But as his first spring dawned in Switzer­land, it must have felt cold, for­eign, and expen­sive. Two days after his arrival in Switzer­land, Snow­den logged onto #arsi­fi­cial, a chan­nel on Ars Technica’s pub­lic Inter­net Relay Chat (IRC) server. He’d been fre­quent­ing this space for a few months, chat­ting with whomever hap­pened to be hang­ing out. . . .

. . . . Snow­den logged on to the pub­lic IRC chat room with the same user­name he used across the Web: TheTrue­HOOHA. The chat room was a place he would return to on dozens of occa­sions over his years in Switzer­land, and his writ­ings fill in details about the man who may go down as the most famous leaker in US his­tory. Over the years that he hung out in #arsi­fi­cial, Snow­den went from being a fairly insu­lated Amer­i­can to being a man of the world. He would wax philo­soph­i­cal about money, pol­i­tics, and in one notable exchange, about his uncom­pro­mis­ing views about gov­ern­ment leakers.

Four years later, Snow­den took a job with a gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor for the spe­cific pur­pose of gath­er­ing secret infor­ma­tion on domes­tic spy­ing being done by the National Secu­rity Agency (NSA). In May, he hopped a plane to Hong Kong before the NSA knew where he was going. Once there, Snow­den began a process of leak­ing top-secret doc­u­ments to jour­nal­ists. Snowden’s first leak con­firmed what activists had sus­pected but couldn’t prove: there was a drag­net gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance pro­gram col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion on every American’s phone calls. . . .

. . . . And he could be abra­sive. Snow­den didn’t short stocks just to make money—he did it because it was the right thing to do. He saw him­self as a pal­adin of the mar­kets, bring­ing “liq­uid­ity” to all. As for those who didn’t agree with him about the right­ness of the gold stan­dard or the need to elim­i­nate Social Secu­rity, they weren’t just mistaken—they were “retards.” . . .

. . . . A Ron Paul man and a short-seller

If Snow­den was get­ting com­fort­able in Geneva, he was fully at home in #arsi­fi­cial. In a depar­ture from his nearly 800 posts in other Ars forums, here he spoke bluntly on mat­ters of state. In the months fol­low­ing the 2008 elec­tion, he dis­cussed his embrace of a return to the gold stan­dard and his admi­ra­tion of its highest-profile champion.

In his more hyper­bolic moments, Snow­den spoke about the fall of the dol­lar in near-apocalyptic terms. “It seems like the USD and GBP are both likely to go the way of the zim­babwe dol­lar,” he sug­gested in March 2009. “Espe­cially with that cock­bag bernanke decid­ing to mag­i­cally print 1.2T more dol­lars.” . . .

. . . . The high unem­ploy­ment rate that was on the way for the US didn’t phase Snow­den; those wring­ing their hands and seek­ing con­ven­tional Key­ne­sian solu­tions seemed soft­headed to him. Obama was “plan­ning to devalue the cur­rency absolutely as fast as the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble,” he wrote. Ris­ing unem­ploy­ment was a mere “cor­rec­tion,” a “nec­es­sary part of cap­i­tal­ism.” . . .

“Report Says Assange Com­plains of Jew­ish Smear Cam­paign” by Ravi Somaiya; The New York Times; 3/1/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . .He [Assange] was espe­cially angry about a Pri­vate Eye report that Israel Shamir, an Assange asso­ciate in Rus­sia, was a Holo­caust denier. Mr. Assange com­plained that the arti­cle was part of a cam­paign by Jew­ish reporters in Lon­don to smear WikiLeaks.

A lawyer for Mr. Assange could not imme­di­ately be reached for com­ment, but in a state­ment later released on the Wik­iLeaks Twit­ter feed, Mr. Assange said Mr. His­lop had “dis­torted, invented or mis­re­mem­bered almost every sig­nif­i­cant claim and phrase.”

The Pri­vate Eye arti­cle quoted Mr. Assange as say­ing the con­spir­acy was led by The Guardian and included the newspaper’s edi­tor, Alan Rus­bridger, and inves­ti­ga­tions edi­tor, David Leigh, as well as John Kampfner, a promi­nent Lon­don jour­nal­ist who recently reviewed two books about Wik­iLeaks for The Sun­day Times of London.

When Mr. His­lop pointed out that Mr. Rus­bridger was not Jew­ish, Mr. Assange coun­tered that The Guardian’s edi­tor was “sort of Jew­ish” because he and Mr. Leigh, who is Jew­ish, were brothers-in-law. . . .

“BBC Pro­ducer Says Assange ‘Ridicu­lous’ over ‘Zion­ist Wife’ Claims”; Jew­ish Chron­i­cle; 3/17/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . A BBC pro­ducer accused by Wik­ileaks founder Julian Assange of try­ing to influ­ence his extra­di­tion hear­ing because he had a “Zion­ist wife” has said the claim was “absolutely ridicu­lous”. Last month Mr Assange, fight­ing extra­di­tion to Swe­den for alleged sex­ual assault, told Ago­ravox, a French news site: “Our rela­tion­ships [with UK media] are not that great, par­tic­u­larly with the BBC. They are going to broad­cast a show…and try to influ­ence the judges. We finally found out that the producer’s wife for this show was part of the Zion­ist move­ment in London.”

He was refer­ring to the Panorama pro­gramme, Wik­ileaks: The Secret Story.

Its pro­ducer, Jim Booth, said this week: “I was the pro­ducer on the pro­gramme so he can only be talk­ing about me. I have got no idea why he said that. My wife is not Jew­ish, has noth­ing to do with Zion­ism or the Jew­ish community.

“It’s absolutely ridicu­lous and insult­ing for me as a pro­ducer. I do not set out with an agenda and he gave the sense there was a Jew­ish agenda. . . .

Is this Julian Assange?

 Unseen, Unheard,Unknown by Sarah Moore.

EXCERPT: . . . . I sus­pect per­haps that there were more sin­is­ter motives than these alone. Some of us had mul­ti­ple birth cer­tifi­cates and pass­ports, and cit­i­zen­ship of more than one coun­try. Only she knows why this was and why we were also all dressed alike, why most of us even had our hair dyed iden­ti­cally blond.

I can only con­jec­ture because I will never know for sure. How­ever I sus­pect that she went to such great lengths in order to enable her to move chil­dren around, in and out of the coun­try. Per­haps even to be sold over­seas. I’m sure there is a mar­ket some­where in the world for small blond chil­dren with no trace­able iden­ti­ties. If she did it, it was a per­fect scam.

any ex-sect mem­bers have said that they were aware that Anne was cre­at­ing chil­dren by a “breed­ing pro­gram” in the late 1960s. These were ‘invis­i­ble’ kids, because they had no papers and there is no proof that they ever existed. Yet we Hamilton-Byrne chil­dren had mul­ti­ple iden­ti­ties. These iden­ti­ties could per­haps have been loaned to other chil­dren and the sim­i­lar­ity of our appear­ance used to cover up their absence. One lit­tle blond kid looks very like another in a pass­port photo. . .

. . . We were to be the ones who would carry on the work of the sect – we were a direct reflec­tion on her – so she was inti­mately con­cerned about our appear­ances. She used to talk a lot about “breed­ing” and talk about us being from the “right stock”. . . .

 Inside Wik­iLeaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg; p. 211.

EXCERPT: . . . We often dis­cussed the the­ory of evo­lu­tion. If he did have faith in any­thing, it was the the­ory of evo­lu­tion. Julian thought that the stronger mem­bers of the species not only pre­vailed, but pro­duced heirs who were bet­ter able to sur­vive. Nat­u­rally, in his view, his genes par­tic­u­larly deserved to be reproduced.

Often, I sat in larger groups and lis­tened to Julian boast about how many chil­dren he had fathered in var­i­ous parts of the world. He seemed to enjoy the idea of lots and lots of lit­tle Julians, one on every con­ti­nent. Whether he took care of any of these alleged chil­dren, or whether they existed at all, was another question. . . .

Ibid.; p. 200.

EXCERPT: . . . . The result of the pres­sure was that we made more and more mis­takes and could no longer live up to the immense respon­si­bil­ity we had piled upon our­selves. For Julian, this was an oppor­tu­nity to spout his new favorite slo­gan: “Do not chal­lenge lead­er­ship in times of crisis.”

It was almost funny. Julian Assange, chief revealer of secrets and unshak­able mil­i­tary critic on his global peace mis­sion, had adopted the lan­guage of the pow­er­mon­gers he claimed to be com­bat­ing. The extremely curt, soul­less lan­guage of our doc­u­ments, with their absurd acronyms and code words, increas­ingly appealed to him.

For some time, he had begun describ­ing peo­ple as “assets,” not unlike a busi­ness­man talk­ing about “human resources” or a mil­i­tary man refer­ring to his troops. Julian did not mean the word in a nice way. It showed that he saw our peo­ple as mere can­non fodder.

Later, when he tried to kick me out of Wik­iLeaks, he said the rea­son was “Dis­loy­alty, Insub­or­di­na­tion and Desta­bi­liza­tion in Times of Cri­sis.” These con­cepts taken from the Espi­onage Act of 1917, which came into force just after the United States entered World War i. They were mil­i­tary des­ig­na­tions for the word “traitor.” . . .

“Julian Assange: I’m A ‘Big Admirer’ Of Ron Paul, Rand Paul” by Nick Wing; The Huff­in­g­ton Post; 8/16/2013.

EXCERPT: Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange gave a strong endorse­ment to the lib­er­tar­ian wing of the GOP on Thurs­day, prais­ing Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his father, for­mer Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), for their polit­i­cal views.
“[I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very prin­ci­pled posi­tions in the U.S. Con­gress on a num­ber of issues,” Assange said dur­ing a forum hosted by Cam­pus Reform and trans­parency orga­ni­za­tion OurSay.org. “They have been the strongest sup­port­ers of the fight against the U.S. attack on Wik­iLeaks and on me in the U.S. Congress.

Sim­i­larly, they have been the strongest oppo­nents of drone war­fare and extra­ju­di­cial exe­cu­tions.“
Assange went on to com­mend the lib­er­tar­ian ideal of “non-violence” with regards to mil­i­tary engage­ments, the draft and tax col­lec­tion. He then put forth an argu­ment against both estab­lished polit­i­cal par­ties in Wash­ing­ton, claim­ing that nearly all Democ­rats had been “co-opted” by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s admin­is­tra­tion, while Repub­li­cans were almost entirely “in bed with the war industry.”

The cur­rent lib­er­tar­ian strain of polit­i­cal thought in the Repub­li­can Party was the “the only hope” for Amer­i­can elec­toral pol­i­tics, Assange concluded. . . .

“Wik­iLeaks Party’s ‘Admin­is­tra­tive Errors’ Incense Greens” by Bernard Keane;  Crikey.com.au; 8/19/2013.

EXCERPT: A deci­sion by the Wik­iLeaks Party to direct pref­er­ences away from Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter has incensed sup­port­ers. They should have known better.

The fledg­ling Wik­iLeaks Party has inflicted major dam­age on itself after a dis­as­trous pref­er­ence allo­ca­tion that saw it pref­er­enc­ing far-right par­ties, apol­o­gis­ing for an “admin­is­tra­tive error” and pref­er­enc­ing the WA Nation­als ahead of Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter, Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Ludlam.

The Sen­ate pref­er­ence allo­ca­tions revealed yes­ter­day showed, in New South Wales, Wik­iLeaks had pref­er­enced the right-wing Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Party and the extreme-right Aus­tralia First Party, run by con­victed crim­i­nal and for­mer neo-Nazi Jim Saleam, ahead of the Greens and the major par­ties. Aus­tralia First wants to end all immi­gra­tion and to restore the death penalty.

Soon after the release of the pref­er­ences and a firestorm of crit­i­cism erupted on social media, the party issued a state­ment on its Face­book page blam­ing the pref­er­enc­ing on “some admin­is­tra­tive errors”.

The “error”, the exact nature of which remains unex­plained, appears to have par­tic­u­larly incensed pro­gres­sive vot­ers who had assumed Wik­iLeaks would be a left-wing, Greens-style party. How­ever, Julian Assange has already crit­i­cised the Greens’ totemic asy­lum seeker pol­icy as “sim­plis­tic and fool­ish” dur­ing the cam­paign and backed off­shore pro­cess­ing, while crit­i­cis­ing both the major par­ties on the issue. On the week­end, Assange said he admired US lib­er­tar­ian Repub­li­cans Ron and Rand Paul, though he expressed con­cern about their posi­tion on issues like abor­tion. Swap­ping pref­er­ences with minor par­ties of very dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tions is also stan­dard prac­tice for all par­ties. One party source told Crikey the “admin­is­tra­tive error” in NSW was quite inten­tional and aimed at the Greens. . . .

. . . . Lud­lam has been Assange’s strongest sup­porter inside fed­eral Par­lia­ment, hound­ing the gov­ern­ment over its lack of sup­port for him and its deal­ings with the US over its cam­paign against Assange and Wik­iLeaks. Lud­lam trav­elled to Europe at his own expense in 2011 to talk to Swedish author­i­ties and Aus­tralian offi­cials in the UK about the case.

The deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als’ David Wirrpanda ahead of Lud­lam, strength­en­ing the chances of the Nation­als snar­ing the sixth Sen­ate spot ahead of the Greens, is thus an extra­or­di­nary betrayal. . . .

 “Wik­ileaks Party Sen­ate Can­di­date: NSW Pref­er­ences a ‘Poor Judge­ment Call’, not Admin Error” by Ter­ence Huynh; Techgeek.com;  8/26/2013.

EXCERPT: Gerry Geor­gatos, the num­ber one Sen­ate can­di­date for the Wik­ileaks Party in West­ern Aus­tralia, has said that the Wik­ileaks Party’s New South Wales pref­er­ences fiasco was a “poor judge­ment call” and not an admin­is­tra­tive error.

It was not an admin­is­tra­tive error, it was a poor judge­ment call. I’m not [going to come out] here and bull­shit the audi­ence,” he told the Indy­media pro­gramme (24 min­utes into the pro­gramme) on Perth’s RTR yes­ter­day. His state­ment appears to con­tra­dicts the offi­cial posi­tion given by the Wik­ileaks Party that the pref­er­ences were an “admin­is­tra­tive error”.

In New South Wales, the Wik­ileaks Party pref­er­enced the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers and far-right Aus­tralia First party above the Greens – in direct con­tra­dic­tion to the deci­sions made by the National Coun­cil. The fiasco, in addi­tion to the West­ern Aus­tralian pref­er­ences, saw Leslie Can­nold, four National Coun­cil mem­bers and sev­eral vol­un­teers left the party. . . . .

 

Discussion

15 comments for “The Ultra-Right Wing Views of Eddie the Friendly Spook and Citizen Assange”

  1. You did it again, Dave!

    Posted by Jon | June 30, 2013, 1:26 pm
  2. Last week Green­wald reported that Snow­den had dis­trib­uted all of the thou­sands of doc­u­ments to mul­ti­ple par­ties. But the par­ties couldn’t access the files because they were encrypted. Snow­den made arrange­ments so that, should any­thing hap­pen to him, the third par­ties get full access to the encrypted files. Just yes­ter­day, Julian Assange told the world that all of Snowden’s leaks will be dis­closed no mat­ter what hap­pens to him. So while it’s a safe bet that Wik­ileaks has the encrypted files, you have to won­der if Snowden’s “arrange­ment” to have the encryp­tion key released should some­thing hap­pen to him involved giv­ing Wik­ileaks the key to act as the dis­trib­u­tor. Unless it’s some sort of auto­mated thing (maybe Snow­den has to update some­thing peri­od­i­cally to reset the encryp­tion?). Any­ways, it’s look­ing like all of Snowden’s doc­u­ments are com­ing out at some point. It’s now guar­an­teed:

    Wik­ileaks founder says Snow­den info will keep get­ting published

    By Deb­o­rah Charles

    WASHINGTON | Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:39pm EDT

    (Reuters) — Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Sun­day that Edward Snow­den made sure that the infor­ma­tion he took about U.S. sur­veil­lance pro­grams will con­tinue to be pub­lished regard­less of what hap­pens to the for­mer U.S. spy agency contractor.

    Assange crit­i­cized the United States for revok­ing Snowden’s pass­port and said it would not stop the clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion taken by the 30-year-old for­mer con­trac­tor from get­ting out.

    “Look, there is no stop­ping the pub­lish­ing process at this stage,” Assange said in an inter­view with ABC’s “This Week” tele­vi­sion show. “Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snow­den can’t be pres­sured by any state to stop the pub­li­ca­tion process.”

    He did not directly respond when asked if Wik­iLeaks was in pos­ses­sion of the files.

    Last week, Glenn Green­wald, the Guardian jour­nal­ist who first pub­lished the clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion released by Snow­den, said Snow­den had made encrypted copies of his files and dis­trib­uted them in case any­thing hap­pened to him.

    Green­wald told The Daily Beast that the peo­ple in pos­ses­sion of these files “can­not access them yet because they are highly encrypted and they do not have the pass­words.” But Green­wald said “if any­thing hap­pens at all to Edward Snow­den, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives.”

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 30, 2013, 9:04 pm
  3. @Pterrafractyl–

    The tor­rent is prov­ing more than a lit­tle chal­leng­ing to cover.

    One of the MANY things that seems to have eluded the “guardians of free­dom and civil lib­erty” in the press and blo­gos­phere is how in Hell Assange and com­pany have been able to do what they have done.

    Assange is holed up in the Ecuado­rian embassy in the U.K!

    How is all this being done?

    How did Fast Eddie get around in Hong Kong and then to Moscow?

    Not only Snowden’s activ­i­ties but Wik­iLeaks’ actions as well are VERY obvi­ously intel­li­gence operations.

    It is less clear who exactly is zoom­ing who, here, but all of the insti­tu­tional assig­na­tions go the far-right and fas­cist ele­ments. Is Fast Eddie a BND asset inside CIA and stick­ing it to NSA, Obama, U.S., U.K for CIA/Underground Reich?

    In future posts, we will be exam­in­ing this against the back­ground of the BND/Underground Reich.

    Stay tuned!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 1, 2013, 4:20 pm
  4. I would still like to know 2 things. 1) How, after only 4 weeks on the job, Snow­den could deter­mine what doc­u­ments he needed, where they were, and what the doc­u­ments really cov­ered. I’m sorry, but I’ve had quasi tech­ni­cal posi­tions in which I had to access doc­u­ments to find answers to my ques­tions about sys­tem devel­op­ment, fea­tures, etc and it’s a chal­lenge (for many logis­ti­cal rea­sons, much less addi­tional secu­rity con­sid­er­a­tions) to find the most recent doc­u­ments and try to under­stand the infor­ma­tion cov­ered. It has noth­ing to do with com­puter savvy. It has to do with orga­ni­za­tional “logis­tics” savvy and expe­ri­ence in a par­tic­u­lar job. If he has the most cur­rent, com­plete doc­u­men­ta­tion (which I’m not sure he has) I sus­pect some­one else fed them to him. Does any­one else agree with my logic here? 2)The other ques­tion that nags me is why this is sud­denly an issue after all these years?

    Posted by Kathleen | July 1, 2013, 4:34 pm
  5. @Kathleen–

    This is a spook oper­a­tion. That’s how.

    So is WikiLeaks.

    See my response to Pterrafractyl.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 1, 2013, 6:19 pm
  6. And now it looks like Snow­den may not be leav­ing Rus­sia at all. Ecuador just backed out of the Snowden-saga and Rus­sia just received an asy­lum request. Snow­den also released a new state­ment via Wik­iLeaks charg­ing Obama with “decep­tion” and the “extrale­gal penalty of exile”. In this lat­est let­ter Snow­den states, “My con­tin­ued lib­erty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, fam­ily, and oth­ers who I have never met and prob­a­bly never will”. This raises the ques­tion of whether or not the Wik­iLeaks folks really rep­re­sent ‘new’ friends or old ones:

    Talk­ing Points Memo
    Wik­iLeaks Pub­lishes State­ment From Snow­den
    Eric Lach 6:04 PM EDT, Mon­day July 1, 2013

    Updated at 7:01 p.m. ET

    Wik­iLeaks on Mon­day evening pub­lished a new state­ment pur­port­ing to be from Edward Snow­den in Moscow:

    One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my free­dom and safety were under threat for reveal­ing the truth. My con­tin­ued lib­erty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, fam­ily, and oth­ers who I have never met and prob­a­bly never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

    On Thurs­day, Pres­i­dent Obama declared before the world that he would not per­mit any diplo­matic “wheel­ing and deal­ing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promis­ing not to do so, the Pres­i­dent ordered his Vice Pres­i­dent to pres­sure the lead­ers of nations from which I have requested pro­tec­tion to deny my asy­lum petitions.

    This kind of decep­tion from a world leader is not jus­tice, and nei­ther is the extrale­gal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of polit­i­cal aggres­sion. Their pur­pose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

    For decades the United States of Amer­ica have been one of the strongest defend­ers of the human right to seek asy­lum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Arti­cle 14 of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the cur­rent gov­ern­ment of my coun­try. The Obama admin­is­tra­tion has now adopted the strat­egy of using cit­i­zen­ship as a weapon. Although I am con­victed of noth­ing, it has uni­lat­er­ally revoked my pass­port, leav­ing me a state­less per­son. With­out any judi­cial order, the admin­is­tra­tion now seeks to stop me exer­cis­ing a basic right. A right that belongs to every­body. The right to seek asylum.

    In the end the Obama admin­is­tra­tion is not afraid of whistle­blow­ers like me, Bradley Man­ning or Thomas Drake. We are state­less, impris­oned, or pow­er­less. No, the Obama admin­is­tra­tion is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry pub­lic demand­ing the con­sti­tu­tional gov­ern­ment it was promised — and it should be.

    I am unbowed in my con­vic­tions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 1, 2013, 6:24 pm
  7. @Dave Emory
    Dave, I totally agree with you. I just find it “inter­est­ing” that the “main stream media” don’t ask these basic ques­tions. Thanks for your analy­sis. I’ve weeded out 90 per­cent of the blogs I used to read because of their blind sup­port for Snowald. I fig­ure they have no inter­est­ing per­spec­tive to bring to the table on other mat­ters, either.

    Posted by Kathleen | July 2, 2013, 1:08 am
  8. A use­ful NSA surveillance-scandal fun-fact: 10 out of the 11 cur­rent FISA court judges — the folks that pre­sum­ably approved all of the war­rant­less sur­veil­lance — were appointed by John Roberts:

    The New York Times
    Roberts’s Picks Reshap­ing Secret Sur­veil­lance Court
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    Pub­lished: July 25, 2013

    WASHINGTON — The recent leaks about gov­ern­ment spy­ing pro­grams have focused atten­tion on the For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court and its role in decid­ing how intru­sive the gov­ern­ment can be in the name of national secu­rity. Less men­tioned has been the per­son who has been qui­etly reshap­ing the secret court: Chief Jus­tice John G. Roberts Jr.

    In mak­ing assign­ments to the court, Chief Jus­tice Roberts, more than his pre­de­ces­sors, has cho­sen judges with con­ser­v­a­tive and exec­u­tive branch back­grounds that crit­ics say make the court more likely to defer to gov­ern­ment argu­ments that domes­tic spy­ing pro­grams are necessary.

    Ten of the court’s 11 judges — all assigned by Chief Jus­tice Roberts — were appointed to the bench by Repub­li­can pres­i­dents; six once worked for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Since the chief jus­tice began mak­ing assign­ments in 2005, 86 per­cent of his choices have been Repub­li­can appointees, and 50 per­cent have been for­mer exec­u­tive branch officials.

    Though the two pre­vi­ous chief jus­tices, War­ren E. Burger and William H. Rehn­quist, were con­ser­v­a­tives like Chief Jus­tice Roberts, their assign­ments to the sur­veil­lance court were more ide­o­log­i­cally diverse, accord­ing to an analy­sis by The New York Times of a list of every judge who has served on the court since it was estab­lished in 1978.

    Accord­ing to the analy­sis, 66 per­cent of their selec­tions were Repub­li­can appointees, and 39 per­cent once worked for the exec­u­tive branch.

    “View­ing this data, peo­ple with respon­si­bil­ity for national secu­rity ought to be very con­cerned about the impres­sion and appear­ance, if not the real­ity, of bias — for favor­ing the exec­u­tive branch in its appli­ca­tions for war­rants and other action,” said Sen­a­tor Richard Blu­men­thal, a Con­necti­cut Demo­c­rat and one of sev­eral law­mak­ers who have sought to change the way the court’s judges are selected.

    Mr. Blu­men­thal, for exam­ple, has pro­posed that each of the chief judges of the 12 major appeals courts select a dis­trict judge for the sur­veil­lance court; the chief jus­tice would still pick the review panel that hears rare appeals of the court’s deci­sions, but six other Supreme Court jus­tices would have to sign off. Another bill, intro­duced by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Adam B. Schiff of Cal­i­for­nia, would give the pres­i­dent the power to nom­i­nate judges for the court, sub­ject to Sen­ate approval.

    Chief Jus­tice Roberts, through a Supreme Court spokes­woman, declined to comment.

    The court’s com­plex­ion has changed at a time when its role has been expand­ing beyond what Con­gress envi­sioned when it estab­lished the court as part of the For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Act. The idea then was that judges would review appli­ca­tions for wire­taps to make sure there was suf­fi­cient evi­dence that the F.B.I.’s tar­get was a for­eign ter­ror­ist or a spy.

    But, increas­ingly in recent years, the court has pro­duced lengthy rul­ings inter­pret­ing the mean­ing of sur­veil­lance laws and con­sti­tu­tional rights based on pro­ce­dures devised not for com­plex legal analy­sis but for up-or-down approvals of secret wire­tap appli­ca­tions. The rul­ings are clas­si­fied and based on the­o­ries sub­mit­ted by the Jus­tice Depart­ment with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of any lawyers offer­ing con­trary argu­ments or appeal­ing a rul­ing if the gov­ern­ment wins.

    The court “is becom­ing ever more impor­tant in Amer­i­can life as more and more sur­veil­lance comes under its review in this era of big data,” said Tim­o­thy Edgar, a civil lib­er­ties adviser for intel­li­gence issues in both the Bush and Obama admin­is­tra­tions. “If the court is seen as skewed or biased, polit­i­cally or ide­o­log­i­cally, it will lose credibility.”

    At a pub­lic meet­ing this month, Judge James Robert­son, an appointee of Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton who was assigned to the sur­veil­lance court in 2002 by Chief Jus­tice Rehn­quist and resigned from it in Decem­ber 2005, offered an insider’s cri­tique of how rapidly and recently the court’s role has changed. He said, for exam­ple, that dur­ing his time it was not engaged in devel­op­ing a body of secret prece­dents inter­pret­ing what the law means.

    “In my expe­ri­ence, there weren’t any opin­ions,” he said. “You approved a war­rant appli­ca­tion or you didn’t — period.”

    The court began expand­ing its role when George W. Bush was pres­i­dent and its mem­bers were still assigned by Chief Jus­tice Rehn­quist, who died in 2005. Mid­way through the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the exec­u­tive branch sought and obtained the court’s legal bless­ing to con­tinue secret sur­veil­lance pro­grams that had orig­i­nally cir­cum­vented the FISA process.

    The court’s power has also recently expanded in another way. In 2008, Con­gress passed the FISA Amend­ments Act to allow the National Secu­rity Agency to keep con­duct­ing a form of the Bush administration’s pro­gram of sur­veil­lance with­out war­rants on domes­tic soil so long as only for­eign­ers abroad were tar­geted. It gave the court the power to cre­ate rules for the pro­gram, like how the gov­ern­ment may use Amer­i­cans’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions after they are picked up.

    “That change, in my view, turned the FISA court into some­thing like an admin­is­tra­tive agency that makes rules for oth­ers to fol­low,” Judge Robert­son said. “That’s not the baili­wick of judges. Judges don’t make policy.”

    For the most part, the sur­veil­lance court judges — who serve stag­gered seven-year terms and take turns com­ing to Wash­ing­ton for a week to han­dle its busi­ness — do not dis­cuss their work, and their rul­ings are secret. But the doc­u­ments leaked by Edward J. Snow­den, a for­mer N.S.A. con­trac­tor, have cast an unusual spot­light on them.

    The first of the doc­u­ments dis­closed by Mr. Snow­den was a top-secret order to a Ver­i­zon sub­sidiary requir­ing it to turn over three months of call­ing records for all its cus­tomers. It was signed by Judge Roger Vin­son, an appointee of Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan who had pre­vi­ously achieved promi­nence in 2011 when he tried to strike down the entirety of Pres­i­dent Obama’s health care law.

    Chief Jus­tice Roberts assigned Judge Vin­son to the sur­veil­lance court in 2006, one of 12 Repub­li­can appointees, com­pared with 2 Demo­c­ra­tic ones.

    While the posi­tions taken by indi­vid­ual judges on the court are clas­si­fied, aca­d­e­mic stud­ies have shown that judges appointed by Repub­li­cans since Rea­gan have been more likely than their col­leagues to rule in favor of the gov­ern­ment in non-FISA cases over peo­ple claim­ing civil lib­er­ties vio­la­tions. Even more impor­tant, accord­ing to some crit­ics of the court, is the court’s increas­ing pro­por­tion of judges who have a back­ground in the exec­u­tive branch.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 26, 2013, 8:07 am
  9. Hope­fully Snow­den is a fan of snow because he might be see­ing a lot more snow in his puta­tive new home:

    Edward Snow­den bet­ter off in Rus­sia than US, his father says

    NSA whistleblower’s father says he has lost faith in the US jus­tice depart­ment and his son needs a safe haven

    Asso­ci­ated Press in McLean, Vir­ginia
    guardian.co.uk, Fri­day 26 July 2013 21.16 EDT

    The father of the National Secu­rity Agency whistle­blower Edward Snow­den says his son has been so vil­i­fied by the Obama admin­is­tra­tion and mem­bers of Con­gress that he is now bet­ter off stay­ing in Russia.

    Lon Snow­den had been work­ing behind the scenes with lawyers to try to find a way his son could get a fair trial in the US. Edward Snow­den has been charged in fed­eral court with vio­lat­ing the Espi­onage Act by leak­ing details of NSA surveillance.

    But in a tele­phone inter­view with the Asso­ci­ated Press, the elder Snow­den said he had lost faith in recent weeks that his son would be treated fairly by the jus­tice depart­ment. He now thinks his 30-year-old son is bet­ter off avoid­ing the US if pos­si­ble until an admin­is­tra­tion that respects the con­sti­tu­tion comes into office.

    “If it were me, know­ing what I know now, and lis­ten­ing to advice of sage peo­ple like [Pen­ta­gon Papers leaker] Daniel Ells­berg ... I would attempt to find a safe haven,” Snow­den said.

    As a mil­i­tary ana­lyst more than four decades ago, Ells­berg leaked the Pen­ta­gon Papers, a secret study of America’s involve­ment in Viet­nam, to newspapers.

    The elder Snow­den said he thought Rus­sia was prob­a­bly the best place to seek asy­lum because it was most likely to with­stand US pres­sure. Edward Snow­den applied for tem­po­rary asy­lum in Rus­sia last week.

    Lon Snow­den, a Coast Guard vet­eran who has worked on national secu­rity issues in his career, said he has tremen­dous faith in the Amer­i­can peo­ple and in the con­sti­tu­tion. He said that in a more sub­dued envi­ron­ment his son could get a fair trial, and his actions would be con­sid­ered in the con­text of his desire to expose a sur­veil­lance pro­gram that he and oth­ers believe exceeds con­sti­tu­tional bounds.

    But he said the jus­tice department’s efforts to pres­sure other coun­tries to turn over Snow­den, cou­pled with silence from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and the attorney-general, Eric Holder, in the face of denun­ci­a­tions from mem­bers of Con­gress who have labelled Snow­den a trai­tor, have eroded his hope for a fair trial.

    On NBC’s Today show on Fri­day, Lon Snow­den said there had been a con­certed effort by some mem­bers of Con­gress to “demonise” his son.

    Lon Snow­den and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, released a let­ter on Fri­day ask­ing Obama to dis­miss the crim­i­nal charges against Edward Snow­den and to sup­port leg­is­la­tion “to rem­edy the NSA sur­veil­lance abuses he revealed”.

    The elder Snow­den and Fein said they were dis­gusted by Holder’s let­ter on Fri­day to Russ­ian offi­cials promis­ing that Snow­den would not face the death penalty if he were extra­dited. They said it reflected a mind­set that Snow­den was pre­sumed guilty and that a sen­tence of 30 years or life would be a rea­son­able punishment.

    In the phone inter­view Lon Snow­den said he had had no direct con­tact with his son, and knew no more about his day-to-day life in Moscow, where he is report­edly stay­ing at an air­port tran­sit zone, than any­one else.

    Lon Snow­den and Fein are start­ing a non­profit group called the Defense of the Con­sti­tu­tion Foun­da­tion to pro­mote the issues his son has raised.

    “In essence, he has passed on the torch of democ­racy,” Lon Snow­den said of his son.

    ...

    It’s worth not­ing that Lon Snowden’s attor­ney, Bruce Fein, is a long-time Ron Paul sup­porter, becom­ing his chief Legal Advi­sor for Paul’s 2012 cam­paign. Some­one from Rand Paul’s office report­edly rec­om­mended Fein to Lon, although Fein dis­putes that he and Rand are in any way affil­i­ated. Ditto with the LaRouch­ies:

    Canada Free Press
    Snow­den Lawyer Close to Sen­a­tor Rand Paul’s Office
    By Cliff Kin­caid (Bio and Archives) Tues­day, July 2, 2013

    In a curi­ous devel­op­ment, NSA trai­tor Edward Snowden’s father is being rep­re­sented by attor­ney Bruce Fein, who appeared with Sen­a­tor Rand Paul at his anti-NSA news con­fer­ence on June 13. Fein says “some­one in Sen­a­tor [Rand] Paul’s office” rec­om­mended him to Edward Snowden’s father, Lon­nie.

    It appears that Fein is try­ing to nego­ti­ate Edward Snowden’s return to the U.S, although his father report­edly hasn’t spo­ken to his son since April.

    Asked about his involve­ment in the case, includ­ing a let­ter he wrote to Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder on behalf of Edward Snow­den and his father, Fein told me on Fri­day: “I do not work for or rep­re­sent Sen­a­tor Paul or any asso­ci­ated group in any capac­ity and never have. I was not rep­re­sent­ing Lon­nie Snow­den at the time of the [June 13] press con­fer­ence. The rep­re­sen­ta­tion agree­ment was signed ear­lier this week. Lon­nie called me on the phone last week seek­ing my advice and assis­tance. I was informed some­one in Sen­a­tor Paul’s office rec­om­mended me and a few oth­ers who could be trusted and would be unwa­ver­ing in defense of the Con­sti­tu­tion, espe­cially the Fourth Amend­ment.”

    But his involve­ment in the Snow­den case isn’t the only con­tro­ver­sial aspect of Fein’s recent career moves. A well-respected con­sti­tu­tional lawyer whose books include Amer­i­can Empire: Before the Fall, Fein has appeared at two con­fer­ences this year spon­sored by the Schiller Insti­tute, a group started by polit­i­cal extrem­ist and con­victed felon Lyn­don LaRouche.

    “I have no involve­ment” in the LaRouche orga­ni­za­tion, Fein told me. “They have asked me to speak at a few events which I did, and gave the same mes­sage I give to all of my audi­ences. The Con­sti­tu­tion is sacred. The Amer­i­can Repub­lic was founded on the idea that every man and woman is a king and queen but no one wears a crown. We take risks oth­ers shun because we believe life as a vas­sal or serf to Big Gov­ern­ment is not worth living.”

    ...

    Fein’s April appear­ance at the Schiller Insti­tute con­fer­ence in Ger­many was under the ban­ner of “A Last Chance for Human­ity.” Video greet­ings came from U.S. Rep. Wal­ter Jones, a Repub­li­can from North Car­olina, who thanked “the LaRouche peo­ple” for the “mag­nif­i­cent job” they are doing on Capi­tol Hill to sup­port his leg­isla­tive initiatives.

    Fein, who also con­tributes to the Huff­in­g­ton Post, a far-left web­site, says his pur­pose at the LaRouche gath­er­ings was to empha­size the impor­tance of the phi­los­o­phy of the Fourth Amend­ment and “to restore the philo­soph­i­cal val­ues of the Repub­lic which evoked the heroic sac­ri­fices at Val­ley Forge, Ceme­tery Ridge, Omaha Beach, etc.”

    The pur­pose of Sen­a­tor Paul’s June 13 press con­fer­ence, which included a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the ACLU, was to threaten a law­suit against the NSA over its ter­ror­ist sur­veil­lance pro­grams. It is doubt­ful, how­ever, that Sen. Paul has the stand­ing to sue.

    In order to restore the lib­er­ties and pri­vacy that have sup­pos­edly been lost because of the NSA pro­grams, Paul intro­duced the “Fourth Amend­ment Restora­tion Act of 2013” in the Sen­ate on June 7. It still has no co-sponsors.
    vtts­leyd
    Beyond the legal ques­tions and whether the anti-NSA cam­paign is designed to bring in names and money for a Rand Paul pres­i­den­tial bid, Aaron Gold­stein asks, in an Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor arti­cle, “Why Is Rand Paul Being Duped by Edward Snow­den?” Sen­a­tor Paul’s “admi­ra­tion” for Snow­den was obvi­ous dur­ing an inter­view with Sean Han­nity on June 17, in which he went so far as to call Snow­den “a civil dis­obe­di­ent,” com­par­ing him to Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.

    ...

    We should prob­a­bly expect a lot sto­ries about Lib­er­tar­i­ans cham­pi­oning civil lib­er­ties con­cerns going for­ward. The GOP is going to have to tran­si­tion to a more Libertarian-leaning party if it’s going to have a future in the US. And since the Lib­er­tar­ian eco­nomic agenda will lit­er­ally kill off the pop­u­lace, the Lib­er­tar­ian stance on civil lib­er­ties and social issues are going to be the obvi­ous sell­ing points for the main­stream­ing far-right con­cepts as the tra­di­tional base of evan­gel­i­cal vot­ers goes into the night. Fein has dis­puted the notion that a sub­stan­tial drop in the US stan­dard of liv­ing as a result of gut­ting the social safety-net would be prob­lem­atic in the past, and it’s unlikely that such views will be the at the fore­front of the end­less attempts to ped­dle Lib­er­tar­i­an­ism to the masses. That gen­er­a­tion out­reach job will go to groups like that the “Amer­i­can Free­dom Agenda” that Fein co-founded with for­mer head of the NRA David Keene. And, of course, Rand Paul. And now, per­haps from Rus­sia, Edward Snow­den.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 27, 2013, 4:47 pm
  10. Ron Paul just had his final inter­view in a series of inter­views with Julian Assange on his new subscription-only web­site that started last month. When asked about his polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy, he described it as a blend of “Cal­i­for­nia lib­er­tar­i­an­ism” (is that a Rea­gan ref­er­ence?), Greek polit­i­cal the­ory, along with thoughts from the Fed­er­al­ist Paper and some nat­u­ral­ist views. He also had some inter­est­ing com­ments on the role his fam­ily life played in shap­ing his phi­los­o­phy (note that his father, John Ship­ton, is the sec­re­tary of his Wik­iLeaks party) although he didn’t want to define it too much:

    News­max
    Ron Paul: Assange ‘Fight­ing for the Cause of Liberty’

    Thurs­day, 05 Sep 2013 08:33 PM

    By Jen­nifer G. Hickey

    For­mer Rep. Ron Paul on Thurs­day thanked Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange for “fight­ing to increase trans­parency in our gov­ern­ment” and fight­ing “for the cause of liberty.”

    Paul’s praise came dur­ing the third and final install­ment of an inter­view with Assange on the Ron Paul Chan­nel — http://www.ronpaulchannel.com– the subscription-based Inter­net chan­nel launched last month by the Texas Repub­li­can.

    Paul con­cluded the inter­view with Assange – con­fined in the Ecuadorean embassy in Lon­don — by direct­ing view­ers to the Wik­iLeaks site where they could donate to Assange’s cause.

    The day after Assange told Paul in the sec­ond part of the inter­view that the United States was tak­ing advan­tage of the human­i­tar­ian cri­sis in Syria to jus­tify a mil­i­tary strike, Paul took a more per­sonal approach in the final install­ment, ask­ing about Assange’s per­sonal philosophy.

    The Aus­tralian described his polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy as a blend of “Cal­i­for­nia lib­er­tar­i­an­ism,” Greek polit­i­cal the­ory, along with thoughts from the Fed­er­al­ist Paper and some nat­u­ral­ist views.

    “I freely admit to bor­row­ing from parts of my polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion from dif­fer­ent schools of thought and one of those is, roughly speak­ing, Cal­i­forn­ian lib­er­tar­i­an­ism and from your Fed­er­al­ist Papers,” Assange said.

    His polit­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal diver­sity is reflected in the polit­i­cal party he founded this year and on whose plat­form he is cam­paign­ing in this weekend’s Aus­tralian elections.

    The Wik­iLeaks party “is already the fourth most pop­u­lar party in Aus­tralia and we have a wide vari­ety of peo­ple from what are clas­si­cally known as the right and the left within the party. There are ten­sions about that and I have to try and resolve those ten­sions and explain the com­mon­al­ity,” Assange said.

    Born in Aus­tralia to a mother who was the daugh­ter of aca­d­e­mics and a father who was the son of engi­neers, Assange says polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy was not some­thing which his par­ents imposed on him.

    “My mother was the daugh­ter of aca­d­e­mics. My grand­fa­ther left school at age 14 and worked his way up through the Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion sys­tem and to become a very young mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cer in World War II, but my mother was very care­ful not to bias me,” he told Paul. He acknowl­edged that his fam­ily envi­ron­ment was influ­en­tial, includ­ing the divorce of his par­ents when he was 9.

    Accord­ing to Assange, he devel­oped his feel­ings about the world dur­ing a “burst of matu­rity in ado­les­cence” and by expos­ing him­self to a myr­iad of polit­i­cal philosophies.

    Assange said he is hes­i­tant to assign a con­crete def­i­n­i­tion to his beliefs.

    “I have been very care­ful not to define my polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy because those terms tend to trap you into one camp and then oppo­nents of that par­tic­u­lar camp try to use it against you,” he said.

    As a con­se­quence of the recent NSA dis­clo­sures by Edward Snow­den and dur­ing the Bradley Man­ning trial, Assange said that a unique polit­i­cal phe­nom­e­non is developing.

    Assange sees an “extreme cen­ter” emerg­ing in the estab­lish­ment from both sides of the polit­i­cal spec­trum that is com­prised of peo­ple “more con­cerned about self-promotion, polit­i­cal net­work­ing, and cre­at­ing polit­i­cal dynas­ties, doing favors for mates” than the issues.

    “They are just work­ing the sys­tem,” Assange said. “They don’t really have any ideas they believe in. The extreme cen­ter, which is push­ing for­ward aggres­sively in a par­tic­u­lar direc­tion to pro­mote itself, has led to oth­ers feel­ing like that is not what they want to be involved in. There is now a mag­netic force between those on the right and those on the left,” Assange said.

    What unites the two sides is the sense of injus­tice, he said, adding that the lib­er­tar­ian right views injus­tice in terms of a lack of freedom.

    “Your lib­erty can’t be deprived from you unless some­one else has more power, so there is a com­mon­al­ity between these two sides,” Assange said.

    ...

    If will be inter­est­ing to see how much of Assange’s freedom-philosophy ends up includ­ing the kind of hyper-economic free­doms endorsed by folks like Rand Paul. Because hyper-economic free­dom and real jus­tice are often incom­pat­i­ble ideals.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 6, 2013, 9:42 am
  11. Despite the Wik­ileaks Party’s implo­sion, it sounds like we can still look for­ward to Julian Assange liv­ing out his Pla­tonic ideals in future Aus­tralian elec­tions:

    The New York Times
    Opinion

    Assange as Tyrant?

    By JULIA BAIRD

    Pub­lished: Sep­tem­ber 14, 2013

    SYDNEY

    WHEN asked to explain why he was run­ning for a seat in the Aus­tralian Sen­ate while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in Lon­don, Julian Assange quoted Plato: “One of the penal­ties for refus­ing to par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­tics is that you end up being gov­erned by your inferiors.”

    Plato was “a bit of a fas­cist,” he said, but had a point.

    Imag­ine the cha­grin Mr. Assange must feel now, given that not only did he fail to win a place in the Sen­ate in the recent elec­tion, but he was less suc­cess­ful than Ricky Muir from the Motor­ing Enthu­si­asts Party. Mr. Muir, who won just 0.5 per­cent of the vote, is most famous for hav­ing posted a video on YouTube of him­self hav­ing a kan­ga­roo feces fight with friends.

    ...

    Mr. Assange’s actions were at odds with a demo­c­ra­tic party struc­ture. He had appointed him­self pres­i­dent, for exam­ple, although there was no men­tion of this role in the Wik­iLeaks constitution.

    When a reporter asked him why, he laughed: “I founded it. I mean seri­ously, this is so fan­tas­tic. Look at the name, this is the Wik­iLeaks Party. The promi­nent can­di­date is Julian Assange! Who founded it? I founded it. Are you serious?”

    An unbowed Mr. Assange has vowed to fight the next elec­tion in three years. But to woo the 99 per­cent of the Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion who spurned him, he’ll need to stop laugh­ing at those who sug­gest that appoint­ing your­self the unques­tioned leader of a party, for an unlim­ited term, might make you a politi­cian after all.

    And not exactly a demo­c­ra­tic one.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 17, 2013, 7:05 pm
  12. There’s an inter­view of Glenn Green­wald in Haaretz about his encoun­ters with Snow­den. The arti­cle is behind a pay­wall at this point, but it’s worth point­ing out that Green­wald states in the inter­view that Snow­den had been “plan­ning every­thing for two or three years”. This helps give us a bet­ter sense of how much time passed between the Snowden’s Jan­u­ary 2009 cha­t­room com­ments about want­ing to see a pre­vi­ous leaker’s balls shot off and his own plans.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 21, 2013, 6:54 pm
  13. Now we’re learn­ing that, around the same time Snow­den was post­ing about shoot­ing the balls off leak­ers in 2009, he was also caught access­ing clas­si­fied files he shouldn’t have been access­ing by his boss at the CIA. This was shortly before he left that job for one as an NSA con­trac­tor at Dell:

    The New York Times
    C.I.A. Warn­ing on Snow­den in ’09 Said to Slip Through the Cracks

    By ERIC SCHMITT

    Pub­lished: Octo­ber 10, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Just as Edward J. Snow­den was prepar­ing to leave Geneva and a job as a C.I.A. tech­ni­cian in 2009, his super­vi­sor wrote a deroga­tory report in his per­son­nel file, not­ing a dis­tinct change in the young man’s behav­ior and work habits, as well as a trou­bling sus­pi­cion.

    The C.I.A. sus­pected that Mr. Snow­den was try­ing to break into clas­si­fied com­puter files to which he was not autho­rized to have access, and decided to send him home, accord­ing to two senior Amer­i­can officials.

    But the red flags went unheeded. Mr. Snow­den left the C.I.A. to become a con­trac­tor for the National Secu­rity Agency, and four years later he leaked thou­sands of clas­si­fied doc­u­ments. The supervisor’s cau­tion­ary note and the C.I.A.’s sus­pi­cions appar­ently were not for­warded to the N.S.A. or its con­trac­tors, and sur­faced only after fed­eral inves­ti­ga­tors began scru­ti­niz­ing Mr. Snowden’s record once the doc­u­ments began spilling out, intel­li­gence and law enforce­ment offi­cials said.

    “It slipped through the cracks,” one vet­eran law enforce­ment offi­cial said of the report.

    Spokes­men for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. all declined to com­ment on the pre­cise nature of the warn­ing and why it was not for­warded, cit­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Mr. Snowden’s activities.

    Half a dozen law enforce­ment, intel­li­gence and Con­gres­sional offi­cials with direct knowl­edge of the supervisor’s report were con­tacted for this arti­cle. All of the offi­cials agreed to speak on the con­di­tion of anonymity because of the con­tin­u­ing crim­i­nal investigation.

    In hind­sight, offi­cials said, the report by the C.I.A. super­vi­sor and the agency’s sus­pi­cions might have been the first seri­ous warn­ings of the dis­clo­sures to come, and the biggest missed oppor­tu­nity to review Mr. Snowden’s top-secret clear­ance or at least put his future work at the N.S.A. under much greater scrutiny.

    “The weak­ness of the sys­tem was if deroga­tory infor­ma­tion came in, he could still keep his secu­rity clear­ance and move to another job, and the infor­ma­tion wasn’t passed on,” said a Repub­li­can law­maker who has been briefed on Mr. Snowden’s activities.

    ...

    While it is unclear what exactly the supervisor’s neg­a­tive report said, it coin­cides with a period of Mr. Snowden’s life in 2009 when he was a pro­lific online com­menter on gov­ern­ment and secu­rity issues, com­plained about civil sur­veil­lance and, accord­ing to a friend, was suf­fer­ing “a cri­sis of conscience.”

    Mr. Snow­den got an infor­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy job at the C.I.A. in mid-2006. Despite his lack of for­mal cre­den­tials, he gained a top-secret clear­ance and a choice job under State Depart­ment cover in Geneva. Lit­tle is known about what his duties were there.

    Mava­nee Ander­son, who worked with Mr. Snow­den in Geneva and also had a high secu­rity clear­ance, said in an arti­cle in The Chat­tanooga Times Free Press of Ten­nessee in June that when they worked from 2007 through early 2009, Mr. Snow­den “was already expe­ri­enc­ing a cri­sis of con­science of sorts.”

    “Any­one smart enough to be involved in the type of work he does, who is privy to the type of infor­ma­tion to which he was privy, will have at least moments like these,” she said.

    Later, Mr. Snow­den would tell the news­pa­per The Guardian that he was shocked and sad­dened by some of the tech­niques C.I.A. oper­a­tives in Geneva used to recruit sources. “Much of what I saw in Geneva really dis­il­lu­sioned me about how my gov­ern­ment func­tions and what its impact is in the world,” he told The Guardian. “I real­ized that I was part of some­thing that was doing far more harm than good.”

    There were other signs that have since drawn inves­ti­ga­tors’ atten­tion. In early 2009, some­one using Mr. Snowden’s screen name expressed out­rage at gov­ern­ment offi­cials who leaked infor­ma­tion to the news media, telling a friend in an Inter­net chat that leak­ers “should be shot.”

    “They’re just like Wik­iLeaks,” Mr. Snow­den — or some­one iden­ti­fied as him from his screen name, “TheTrue­HOOHA,” and other details — wrote in Jan­u­ary 2009 about an arti­cle in The New York Times on secret exchanges between Israel and the United States about Iran’s nuclear program.

    He later told The Guardian he was dis­ap­pointed that Pres­i­dent Obama “advanced the very poli­cies that I thought would be reined in.”

    “I got hard­ened,” he said.

    It’s unclear from the report what, if any, mis­chief Snow­den could have been up to in early 2009 at the CIA. But for a guy that voted for a third part in 2008, but claims to have held off from leak­ing ear­lier because he believed in Obama’s promises (to revise the FISA courts and Patriot Act), Snow­den must have been filled with an immense amount of Hope for very rapid Change in 2008 if dis­ap­point­ment with Obama by early 2009 really was the cat­a­lyst that started to “harden” his worldview.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 11, 2013, 8:34 am
  14. Here’s a fas­ci­nat­ing set of fun-facts: One of the first reporters to assist Green­wald and Poitras on ana­lyz­ing the Snow­den doc­u­ments was Guardian reporter James Ball:

    How Edward Snow­den led jour­nal­ist and film-maker to reveal NSA secrets
    Whistle­blower drew Glenn Green­wald and film-maker Laura Poitras together to expose sur­veil­lance programmes

    Roy Greenslade
    The Guardian, Mon­day 19 August 2013 16.52 EDT

    Jour­nal­ists would do well to read a 7,700-word arti­cle by Peter Maass in the New York Times mag­a­zine head­lined How Laura Poitras helped Snow­den spill his secrets.

    It under­lines just why the for­mer NSA com­puter spe­cial­ist Edward Snow­den is so deserv­ing of the sta­tus of whistle­blower. He has revealed that what we jour­nal­ists might have sus­pected about gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance to be true was indeed so.

    The arti­cle tells how Snow­den first tried to win the atten­tion of Guardian jour­nal­ist Glenn Green­wald by anony­mously email­ing him to say he had sen­si­tive doc­u­ments he wanted to share.

    He fol­lowed that up with a step-by-step guide on how to encrypt com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and then sent a link to an encryp­tion video. Green­wald ignored the approaches.

    In frus­tra­tion, Snow­den con­tacted doc­u­men­tary film­maker Laura Poitras. And it was she who even­tu­ally got in touch with Green­wald, draw­ing the three of them together.

    ...

    After Poitras made a video of Snow­den, duly posted on 9 June, he checked out of his hotel and went into hid­ing. A week later, Poitras flew to Berlin, “where she could edit her doc­u­men­tary with­out wor­ry­ing that the FBI would show up with a search warrant.”

    And two weeks after that she flew to Brazil. It was there, in a Rio de Janeiro hotel, that Maass met her along with Green­wald, where they were work­ing with MacAskill and another Guardian jour­nal­ist, James Ball.

    It was sev­eral days before they all dis­cov­ered that Snow­den had arrived at Moscow airport.

    ...

    James Ball, it turns out, used to actu­ally be a part of Wik­iLeaks. But in early 2011 he left in dis­gust. Why? Israel Shamir:

    The Daily Beast
    05.30.13
    Exclu­sive: For­mer Wik­iLeaks Employee James Ball Describes Work­ing With Julian Assange
    For­mer Wik­iLeaks employee James Ball, a sub­ject of the Alex Gib­ney doc­u­men­tary ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wik­iLeaks,’ on what hap­pened behind the scenes at Julian Assange’s con­tro­ver­sial company.

    by James Ball

    It’s now been more than three years since the world saw the hor­ri­fy­ing footage of the “Col­lat­eral Mur­der” video: civil­ians mown down in a ghastly bat­tle­field error. Their would-be rescuer—a father tak­ing his chil­dren to school—similarly shot to pieces by a U.S. heli­copter gun­ship, its pilots chat­ting and laugh­ing as if play­ing a video game.

    And for those who kept watch­ing, an aspect of the footage often for­got­ten: a Hell­fire mis­sile fired into a build­ing, with no regard of the passerby just out­side. Wait­ing a mere few sec­onds longer could’ve kept him safe—but no. Amid the revul­sion at the ear­lier hor­ror of the clip, this became a mere back­ground detail.

    That footage was just the start of a string of ever-larger Wik­iLeaks doc­u­ment releases, report­ing, and rev­e­la­tions that shook the faith of many around the world in the U.S. government’s activities—from rev­e­la­tions of death squads oper­at­ing in Afghanistan, through com­plic­ity in tor­ture in the Iraq doc­u­ments, to evi­dence of spy­ing on U.N. diplo­mats in U.S. Embassy cables.

    ...

    For me, the film was more like déjà vu—something I’d lived once already. From sum­mer 2010, Wik­iLeaks became my life for months. First, at the U.K.-based Bureau of Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism, I was part of the team work­ing for 10 weeks inves­ti­gat­ing the Iraq War Logs for Al Jazeera Eng­lish and Ara­bic, Chan­nel 4’s flag­ship Dis­patches doc­u­men­tary, and iraqwarlogs.com.

    I then went a step fur­ther, work­ing directly for Wik­iLeaks for sev­eral months on the embassy cables—analyzing the cables, dis­trib­ut­ing them to staff, writ­ing press releases, appear­ing on TV, and more.

    It was ground­break­ing, impor­tant jour­nal­ism, but it was done against the back­drop of an orga­ni­za­tion crum­bling under pres­sure, cross­ing eth­i­cal bound­aries, and plac­ing peo­ple need­lessly in danger.

    For me, it was too much, and I left. Since then, in a leak of the script of Gibney’s film, Wik­iLeaks has posted that I sold them out for cash (nope), was a wanna-be spy who inter­viewed for MI5 (nope), and stole their data—including, bizarrely, my own copy of a gag order they asked me to sign to stop me speak­ing out on what I didn’t like.

    See­ing your­self por­trayed by Wik­iLeaks is like walk­ing through a cir­cus hall of mir­rors: there’s just enough resem­blance for you to rec­og­nize your­self, but you’re seri­ously distorted—and usu­ally in a way that makes you look grotesque.

    Many made their mind up on Julian Assange long ago—but here, for the record, is what really hap­pened in those fate­ful few months.

    ...

    The rea­son I quit was because of a friend of Julian’s whose activ­i­ties were unstom­ach­able and unfor­giv­able. That man was Israel Shamir. Shamir is an anti-Semitic writer, a sup­porter of the dic­ta­tor of Belarus, and a man with ties and friends in Russ­ian secu­rity ser­vices. He and Julian—unknown to us—had been in friendly con­tact for years. It was a friend­ship that would have seri­ous consequences.

    Intro­duced to Wik­iLeaks staff and sup­port­ers under a false name, Shamir was given direct access to more than 90,000 of the U.S. Embassy cables, cov­er­ing Rus­sia, all of East­ern Europe, parts of the Mid­dle East, and Israel. This was, for quite some time, denied by Wik­iLeaks. But that’s never a denial I’ve found con­vinc­ing: the rea­son I know he has them is that I gave them to him, at Assange’s orders, not know­ing who he was.

    Why did this prove to be a grave mis­take? Not just for Shamir’s views, which are easy to Google, but for what he did next. The first hints of trou­ble came through con­tacts from var­i­ous Putin-influenced Russ­ian media out­lets. A pro-Putin out­let got in touch to say Shamir had been ask­ing for $10,000 for access to the cables. He was sell­ing the mate­r­ial we were work­ing to give away free, to respon­si­ble outlets.

    Worse was to come. The NGO Index on Cen­sor­ship sent a string of ques­tions and some pho­to­graphic evi­dence, sug­gest­ing Shamir had given the cables to Alexan­der Lukashenko of Belarus, Europe’s last dic­ta­tor. Shamir had writ­ten a pro-Belarus arti­cle, shortly before pho­tos emerged of him leav­ing the inte­rior min­istry. The day after, Belarus’s dic­ta­tor gave a speech say­ing he was estab­lish­ing a Wik­iLeaks for Belarus, cit­ing some sto­ries and infor­ma­tion appear­ing in the gen­uine (and then unpub­lished) cables.

    Assange refused and blocked any attempts at inves­ti­ga­tion, and released pub­lic state­ments that were sim­ply untrue.

    Dis­turbingly, Assange seems to have a per­sonal moti­va­tion for stay­ing friendly with Shamir. Shamir’s son, Johannes Wahlstrom, is appar­ently being called as one of Assange’s defense wit­nesses in his Swedish trial. That’s not the only time self has come before principle.

    ...

    All things con­sid­ered, that’s an inter­est­ing twist to the whole affair.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 2, 2014, 12:41 am
  15. @Pterrafractyl–

    Note that Ball also worked with Al Jazeera.

    Note, also, that nei­ther Ball nor any of the oth­ers work­ing with the Wik­i­Fas­cists seems to have a prob­lem with all of Wik­iLeaks’ mate­r­ial going through Carl Lundstrom’s PRQ server, some­thing that would have given his milieu access to all of the information.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 2, 2014, 7:33 pm

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