• Tag Archives Snowden
  • U.S. intelligence community is out of control

    It’s hard to think of a time in the history of America’s intelligence community when it has been more battered by accusations of over-stepping or mismanaging its mission: to secretly gather information to support the activities of the U.S. government

    The list of recent revelations grew over the weekend with allegations that America has been systematically spying on its European allies. Reports in the European press, apparently drawn from documents provided by Edward Snowden, suggested that America spied on the European Union, France, Italy, Greece and other close international friends, listening in on encrypted fax transmissions and planting bugs and other devices at 38 embassies and missions in Washington and New York, as well as locations in Europe.

    he timing is not great: the eve of scheduled trade talks with the Europeans, a priority of the Obama administration. The new reports have caused a furor across the continent, stoking the uproar caused by earlier Snowden-related revelations that America has been listening in on millions of German calls and e-mails.

    Top officials, like Secretary of State John Kerry, shrugged it off by saying allies often spy on each other, and others, like former Director of the NSA and CIA Gen. Michael Hayden, noted that some friends spied on us. But the damage was done to important relationships and to the Obama administration’s prior claims that it would conduct itself according to a different standard than past U.S. governments.

    This all comes on the heels of reports that the overreach of the intelligence community begins at home. While it will be cold comfort to our NATO allies that we are only treating them as we do our own people, the details of programs that warehouse massive amounts of phone metadata and e-mail traffic were the first shock waves produced by the Snowden leaks.

    Full article: http://www.cnn.com/2 … velations/index.html


  • US government declares hacking an act of war, then hacks allies

    Revelations from European leaders on Monday that the National Security Agency bugged European Union offices in Washington and hacked into its computer network bring to light hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. government.

    In 2011, the Pentagon released its first formal cyber strategy, which called computer hacking from other nations an “act of war,” according to the Wall Street Journal. In late June of this year, WSJ reported that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, released information alleging the U.S. government was hacking Chinese targets “that include the nation’s mobile-phone companies and one of the country’s most prestigious universities.”

    Now that EU offices have been hacked by the U.S. government as well, one must wonder if that was an “act of war” on the part of the United States.

    Pentagon officials emphasized in 2011, however, that not every cyberattack would be considered an act of war unless it threatened American lives, commerce or infrastructure. There would also have to be indisputable evidence that the suspected nation state was involved.

    U.S. hacking of China and the EU may not have caused such harm to those countries, but that hasn’t stopped EU officials from expressing outrage. “I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices,” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament said. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations.”

    Full article: http://washingtonexa … .com/article/2532594


  • BIG BROTHER, NOT SNOWDEN AND GREENWALD, IS THE STORY

    “Instead of being adversaries to government power … [the media of Washington, D.C., are] … servants to it and mouthpieces for it.”

    So said the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of NSA spying on the American people, after Greenwald’s confrontation with Meet the Press’s David Gregory. Greenwald needn’t have limited his observation to the D.C. media. Plenty of reporters and cable-news talking heads are playing the same role in the NSA drama.

    Indeed, if they spent half the time investigating Obama’s Big Brother operations that they spend sneering at Snowden and Greenwald, Americans might demand that the government stop spying on them.

    But to much of the mainstream (and not-so-mainstream) media, Snowden and Greenwald — not the NSA, the Obama administration, and the supine Congress — are the story — a story of villainy.

    The examples are endless. The day after Snowden revealed himself as the whistleblower, Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman and host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ordered his director to take the image of “that weasel” off the screen. The other day, his sidekick, Mika Brzezinski, asked, “Is there anything we can do to track him down?” (Emphasis added.) She meant the government.

    Brzezinski went on to accuse Snowden of taking the job with NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton “to screw over our government.” That’s how one who speaks power to truth spins it. Snowden’s service to the American people is hardly undercut by his having taken the job intending to expose government violations of the Fourth Amendment.

    MSNBC’s self-identification as a progressive network is hard to square with its unrelenting assaults on Snowden and Greenwald, and its de-emphasis of NSA surveillance. Andrea Mitchell, who functions as the network’s chief diplomatic stenographer, wondered why the NSA was hiring contractors when it could be recruiting people with the “right value system” from the military. (She’s forgotten that whistleblower Bradley Manning is in the military.) Chris Matthews of Hardball says that any foreign government that won’t turn Snowden over to the U.S. government is “no buddy of ours.”

    MSNBC personnel routinely descri