NSA Officials Hate Ed Snowden With A Passion

from the yes,-emotional-response-is-what-we-need dept

Last week we wrote about Steven Levy’s big article concerning the impact on the tech industry of the NSA’s activities. This week, he’s written a short piece about the two hours he got to spend at Fort Meade in the NSA’s headquarters meeting with some of the NSA’s top officials there. He explains how they didn’t seem to want to cooperate at first, but then became much more accommodating later on. He notes that the NSA doesn’t seem to recognize that “protecting” Americans and “breaking everyone’s crypto” might be two goals that are at odds with one another. But, the main point he makes: NSA officials really, really, really seem to hate Ed Snowden’s guts:

They really hate Snowden. The NSA is clearly, madly, deeply furious at the man whose actions triggered the biggest crisis in its history. Even while contending they welcome the debate that now engages the nation, they say that they hate the way it was triggered. The NSA has an admittedly insular culture — the officials described it as almost like a family…. NSA officials are infuriated that all this havoc was caused by some random contractor. They suggest that had Snowden been familiar with the culture and the ethos of the agency, understood the level of training undergone by its employees, seen the level of regulations and oversight, he would have been less likely to abscond with all those documents. (Snowden’s interviews indicate otherwise.) Still, they are stunned that someone “inside the fence” would do what Snowden did. Even if Snowden is eventually pardoned, he’d do well to steer clear of Fort Meade.

There’s something kind of funny about the fact that they look down on him as being “some random contractor” and if only he’d really been a part of the “NSA family” that he’d “understand.” That seems quite unlikely, but also suggests one of the many reasons why what the NSA is doing is so problematic. Any mission that involves people having to feel a “part of the group” to make sure that the surveillance isn’t abused is a system that will be abused.

Even more troubling, is that the NSA still seems to be reacting emotionally to the whole thing. That’s part of the reason they still seem unable to comprehend how much damage they’ve done — not Snowden.

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Comments on “NSA Officials Hate Ed Snowden With A Passion”

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85 Comments
DannyB (profile) says:

More importantly

These emotionally charged zealots at NSA, full of passion and fury will probably do anything they can, both legal and illegal to inflict some form of retribution upon Mr. Snowden. Just because.

They will work tirelessly toward this goal forever. It may even already be the agency’s top priority above all else!

When they finally do something horrible to Mr. Snowden, they will feel justified and will publicly rationalize that their action protected the US from terrorists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: More importantly

  1. only takes two witnesses to their acts of treason; i suggest we have several hundred million…
    i understand that subverting the constitution is the new normal; but we’ve got to put our foot down somewhere, might as well be here…

    2. IF the spooks fail to see why the 99% of us are pissed at the shenanigans of the NSA/etc, then they are the WRONG kinds of people to be in those fiduciary (UNACCOUNTABLE!) positions…

    3. the other sickening aspect is, snowden is one of a million frankensteins (albeit a ‘good’ frankensteen, in this case) THEY HAVE CREATED: THEY spend -what? 40-50%? of their budgets on ‘private’ kontractors used to skirt, bend, and break laws and strictures that would apply to the gummint itself…
    no, those pukes use ‘private’ kontractors as a means of evading accountability and responsibility, then cry foul when the inevitable happens: ‘secret’ shit spread so far and wide and out of control, it is a near certainty it will ‘escape’ into the wild…
    i believe that is called ‘comeuppance’…
    in this case, just comeuppance, indeed…

    I AM EDWARD SNOWDEN! ! !
    (and chelsea manning, and kiriakou, and browning, et al…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: More importantly

They took an oath of office to uphold and protect the constitution against all threats foreign and domestic. The actions of the NSA are a domestic threat. Violating that oath makes them traitors. I won’t be satisfied until the agency is shuttered and those responsible for these acts are put on trial for treason. I’m sure many other of my fellow Americans feel the same outrage as I do.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

If you remove the names, do the comments seem that different from people describing people who have left the cult and spoken out against it?
The family is more important.
We all care for each other.
We are so betrayed.
This person wasn’t a true believer.

Perhaps one should question the activities of these zealots with the same critical eye they turn towards “religious” leaders who keep their followers away from the world in secret compounds.

Anonymous Coward says:

>Even more troubling, is that the NSA still seems to be reacting emotionally to the whole thing. That’s part of the reason they still seem unable to comprehend how much damage they’ve done — not Snowden.

[shrug]

When normal family relationships are made impossible for people, people turn all their relationships into abnormal family ones.

The Prick says:

Once again, not news

Once again, TechDirt astounds me with an almost newsworthy lack of news. Yeah, we know they hate snowden. They drove him out of the fucking country. If he gets back into the USA he will probably be put away for treason. This is bad. The US government is being evil. Please stay in Russia for your own horribly ironic freedom.

Can we talk about something else now? Please? It’s really depressing that I walk away from techdirt for a month because I’m bored of snowden, come back, and the first thing I see is another article about snowden.

The snowden situation is fucked up. It’s not going to change. It’s all horribly predictable at this point. The administration is just going to do what it’s always done, for the past fiveish presidents. I’m bored. Let’s find new things to be outraged about.

Brian Dell (user link) says:

who is reacting emotionally?

If there’s anybody who’s “reacting emotionally”, it’s Mike Masnick. Some automated program recorded which phone number he called and Mr Masnick is outraged. Never mind that it has no more significance than being spied on in your bedroom by the lamp on your nightstand. The IRS has far more significant information about Masnick but you don’t hear him complaining. The government can know all about his income but God forbid they know he called 212-SOME NUMBER last month. Not that any human being actually “knows” even that, someone COULD know it if he was specifically targeted and a ginormous database searched to look for it.

How about saving some outrage for when a sentient being spies on you, as opposed to some program that generates so much data it’s like being outraged someone could find a sand grain in the Sahara and potentially link it back to being once stuck to your shoe? What are they going to do with that? Persecute you?

If I find all the faux outrage exasperating it’s because I know what it’s like to live in a real surveillance state as opposed to an imagined one. Chinese cops were wielding cameras in my private apartment last August. No warrant of course. That, my friends, is violating my privacy. Maybe one day you’ll get off your high horse and understand what a real violation is.

silverscarcat (profile) says:

Re: who is reacting emotionally?

How about saving some outrage for when a sentient being spies on you, as opposed to some program that generates so much data it’s like being outraged someone could find a sand grain in the Sahara and potentially link it back to being once stuck to your shoe? What are they going to do with that? Persecute you?

Look up J. Edgar Hoover or Richard Nixon sometime to see what could happen if one of them had access to this information.

If I find all the faux outrage exasperating it’s because I know what it’s like to live in a real surveillance state as opposed to an imagined one. Chinese cops were wielding cameras in my private apartment last August. No warrant of course. That, my friends, is violating my privacy. Maybe one day you’ll get off your high horse and understand what a real violation is.

Gods, you remind me of someone who lived in Korea for awhile and went “it’s not as bad as other countries have it, so just suck it up.”

How about a giant FUCK NO?!

I do NOT want to live in a country where the government can just SPY on you for whatever reason and if someone in law enforcement decides they don’t like you, they can have you thrown into jail! It happens all the time and THAT’S why I get so mad about people, much like yourself, who are WILLING to ignore the SACRIFICES that your forefathers made to protect peace and security!

You and others like you who just go “what can we do” have given up!

It’s people like you who make the sacrifices that Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Lucy Stone and others who fought for equality for all races, genders and identities in this country worthless.

All because you have this attitude of “it’s not so bad” or “what can one person do” or even “you shouldn’t complain”.

You, sir or madam, make me sick. Doubly so since you LIVED in China, according to your post and you KNOW what it could end up being!

Go talk to the Germans or the Polish people and ask THEM how they feel about government surveillance.

Or how about reading up on a former Stasi member views what the NSA is doing and his thoughts on it?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130627/15455123642/

Don’t go “oh, you don’t know what it’s like being in a real surveillance state, stop complaining”.

By the time we GET to that stage we won’t BE ABLE TO COMPLAIN!!

By protesting, calling our members in congress, speaking out and, yes, complaining, reporting on it, even if it gets exhausting, we can hopefully CHANGE the course before it’s too late!

I would rather get tired of reading about this stuff than forget about it.

ryuugami says:

Re: Re: who is reacting emotionally?

If I find all the faux outrage exasperating it’s because I know what it’s like to live in a real surveillance state as opposed to an imagined one. Chinese cops were wielding cameras in my private apartment last August. No warrant of course. That, my friends, is violating my privacy. Maybe one day you’ll get off your high horse and understand what a real violation is.

Gods, you remind me of someone who lived in Korea for awhile and went “it’s not as bad as other countries have it, so just suck it up.”

I’m sure he would be happy to have you, say, break both of his arms. After all, there exist people who would outright kill him, so losing an arm or two should be perfectly fine.
/s

longnow (profile) says:

Re: Re: who is reacting emotionally?

The person from China happens to be right. (FUCK YEAH!!)
He & I (from the US) find all the “faux outrage”, all of those shocked
& appalled appalled & shocked all over themselves to be really kinda amazing.

The NSA mandate has ALWAYS been to exceed its mandate
(Did you get that?)
like Cheney Bush did when they created the post 911 private contractor security in triplicate on steroids in addition to adding to the public intel
bureaucracy. You know, the “deficits don’t matter” DoD & intel budgets.

Many ppl who weren’t MIA since 2000 assumed the NSA was doing
what they always do. Even novelists like Margret Atwood as per her
NY Times article assumed so. Why is it so rare to say the obvious?

The NSA is recording? Well golly, who knew? What? They’re out of,
like, control & everything? Even cartoonists like Tom Tomorrow…
from 1994, the NSA & your computer as launching platform.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/-g8kBDvnw7I8/UiyosmPpJfI/AAAAAAAAXK8/zaBsi9PU0rg/s1600/tom1994_1.JPG

theunpossiblefile (profile) says:

Re: Re: who is reacting emotionally? All of you

That comment from China is more than correct.

I am also tired of the
“faux outrage” for the following reason, the NSA mandate has
always been to exceed its mandate. IOW, I haven’t been MIA
since 2000 when Cheney Bush established a post 911 private
contractor security in triplicate colossus & trillion dollar stimulus
to the Southern states of Maryland, Virginia as well as DC.
What did you think they were doing?

Not to mention adding to the publicly financed security bureaucracy.
(IOW, spend every dime and then yell austerity when out of office.)

Even novelists like Margret Atwood assumed the NSA would do what
they always do per her writing and recent NY Times article. She
assumed and many others knew or assumed the NSA was into EVERYTHING.

Including cartoonists like Tom Tomorrow below linked.
His 1994 cartoon – www as NSA launching platform. 1994? Ha!

I’m from the US and like the commenter from China
have experience with the nasty stuff and would NOT be surprised if
PRISM (started in 2007) was the very least of it. IOW, things on the
level of MKUltra that Ted Kennedy and Frank Church exposed in the
1970’s and were called “traitors” by conservatives of both parties
for the simple reason that the right dominated the culture and whose
influence, thankfully, was peaking. The CIA doing “shocking” things to
US citizens domestically. Imagine that? Now it’s probably outsourced
to the private contractor corporate complex.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/-g8kBDvnw7I8/UiyosmPpJfI/AAAAAAAAXK8/zaBsi9PU0rg/s1600/tom1994_1.JPG

theunpossiblefile (profile) says:

Re: Re: who is reacting emotionally?

Well, you are. The comment by the guy from China is the unfortunate
reality, which you are too reactionary to accept. Your comment is T-
Party paranoia personified.

When MKUltra was finally exposed by Kennedy & Sen. Frank Church
in 1977 they were called “traitors”. Ppl like you were shocked that the
CIA was torturing US citizens (isn’t that against the law and such)
even though the evidence was destroyed after Watergate by the
CIA director. Those who were MIA since 2002 when Cheney Bush
initiated a private contractor (free market) security in triplicate
bureaucracy are still shocked the NSA IS RECORDING. GOLLY
WOW.

As mentioned previously, the NSA mandate is to exceed
their mandate. That is the reality the commenter from China was
trying to remind you of. That reality is made personal in China.
Over here we kicked out the Dick Cheney’s and most recently
his daughter (never count that one out) but all the GOP has to
do is rebrand themselves Tea Party to get over. PRISM STARTED
WHEN? 2007? Well thank you Ed Snowden for concentrating
the attention on that fact.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: who is reacting emotionally?

The NSA was doing much more than recording which phone number people were calling.

The NSA was also massively compromising and intercepting the communications networks between server locations at major internet companies.

The NSA was compromising crypto systems that people and businesses depend upon for security.

The NSA has massively undermined trust in US internet companies doing untold economic damage to the US. Make no mistake on this point, it was the NSA, not Snowden who did the damage. It was inevitable that this would come out at some point. The NSA should have considered what would happen to the trust in US based companies WHEN not IF this information came out.

I could go on, but my point is that there is much more that the NSA was doing. And there is plenty to be genuinely outraged about — and yes I am a patriotic US citizen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: who is reacting emotionally?

If I find all the faux outrage exasperating it’s because I know what it’s like to live in a real surveillance state as opposed to an imagined one. Chinese cops were wielding cameras in my private apartment last August. No warrant of course. That, my friends, is violating my privacy. Maybe one day you’ll get off your high horse and understand what a real violation is.

While we still have the right to complain and put pressure on our government to avert the course of surveillance, if we do not do so, then we will soon find ourselves in the situation you describe. Being better than the worst possible outcome is not a significant reason to stop striving for improvement.

Ronny (profile) says:

Re: Re: who is reacting emotionally?

No one is listening, except if they want to. They just need to not like you or what your doing, input the data needed to identify you to the “non person” and out comes all the data they have on you, now they just need to build a case on you, if their is none they have enough information to fake a case on you,make it look realistic, plant evidence digitally and physically, makes their job of dealing with trouble makers so much easier.
The illusion of freedom is not freedom.

Ronny (profile) says:

Re: the family?

The Mafia? not a bad comparison, the main difference is that the mafia business model was known to be illegal, though Hoover ignored organised crime. Does anyone really believe the Mafia did not evolve? even dinosaurs evolved into birds and are among us now.
These organisations just hide their crimes or are given a free ride by governments

out_of_the_blue says:

Once again, not news: uncensored and seconded, in general.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it — Now isn’t that silly when so easily defeated by a repeat, kids?

Once again, TechDirt astounds me with an almost newsworthy lack of news. Yeah, we know they hate snowden. They drove him out of the fucking country. If he gets back into the USA he will probably be put away for treason. This is bad. The US government is being evil. Please stay in Russia for your own horribly ironic freedom.

Can we talk about something else now? Please? It’s really depressing that I walk away from techdirt for a month because I’m bored of snowden, come back, and the first thing I see is another article about snowden.

The snowden situation is fucked up. It’s not going to change. It’s all horribly predictable at this point. The administration is just going to do what it’s always done, for the past fiveish presidents. I’m bored. Let’s find new things to be outraged about.


While ^that may be part of the official “Snowden is over” brigade, it’s also true that “The Prick” is an optimist for hoping this site will improve.


Hey kids: if you don’t want to be seen as censoring opinion, it’s real simple: don’t click “report” when comments are within common law!

09:12:32[k-145-5]

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Once again, not news: uncensored and seconded, in general.

Hey kids: if you don’t want to be seen as censoring opinion, it’s real simple

Hey troll: if you don’t want to be seen as an idiot who should be reported, it’s real simple:

* don’t use phrases like “hey kids”
* stop calling people pirates who do not engage in copyright infringement
* if this site distresses you so much, as is apparent from every one of your posts, then start your own blog to get your opinion out! Yes, really! I’m sure people will flock to it in mass. Or not. And if not, maybe you should reflect on that.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Once again, not news: uncensored and seconded, in general.

Only in very specific situations, like a court of law.

Outside of those, there is no right to be heard. When I walk by people on the street, they have the right to speak their minds, but they don’t have the right to make anybody listen to them.

And even then, the right to speak is not universal. You don’t have the right to say anything you want in my own house. If you say the wrong thing, I can kick you out.

Applesauce says:

It's all about self-image: We are The Good Guys

I’ve made this point before in a different context. But this is a classic example of how just because you are sure you are The Good Guys, it doesn’t mean that you really are.
One’s self-image rarely matches up 100% with reality.
Much more dangerously, if you are sure about the moral “rightness” of your cause, you are easily tempted to do things that outsiders would consider wrong, or even evil.
When Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler woke up each morning, they did not ask themselves what evil works they could perform that day, but rather strove to do good (as they saw it). Pol Pot labored to transform his nation into a socialist utopia that would guarantee the greatest good for the greatest number. That this would result in the extermination of a couple million men, women, and children was a sacrifice he was willing to make in furtherance of that good.
Many people today are willing/eager to sacrifice the inalienable rights of the people, the Constitution, and their own oath to uphold it in order to
(as they see it) gain some potential advantage in protecting the people, and their own asses/reputations (if there is ever a future terrorist attack that they might have discovered).

Anonone (profile) says:

still.....

As much as I think the revelations provided by Snowden have shed much-needed light on the NSA’s monitoring activities, I can certainly understand why the organization would not roll out the red carpet for Snowden’s return.

The NSA is composed of tens of thousands of Americans, each of which has a Top Secret security clearance, and who (mostly) take their obligation to protect the intellectual property of the United States very seriously.

Thousands of NSA employees certainly have access to everything Snowden did, and probably more. These people would certainly see Snowden’s actions as betrayal of the trust that they are keeping, and as treason against the United States.

Anonymous Coward says:

What hits me deepest about all this NSA business is the total lack of acknowledgement they have went too far. The inability to recognize limits beyond the lip service given out by the NSA speaks tons more than anything else I am hearing other than the denials by various government offices and politicians when push comes to a shove and you find out that oversight doesn’t exist despite the claims by the NSA it does, claims of effectiveness that are nonexistent, and justifications beyond “we say it is legal” come out to be meaningless.

The whole thing has the tone of the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar when he wasn’t supposed to have one before supper trying to justify his actions. If lying and misdirection are acceptable justifications what makes you think it just stops there because they say it does? You already have had more than enough demonstrations about what they say are facts only within days to be revealed as total lies to know you can’t trust anything they say… as in nothing.

So how many cops, judges, prosecutors, mayors, and political figures are actually being “encouraged” to act in some way they see as beneficial through this data gathering on everyone? They won’t even say the top political figures in Congress are exempt. Nor apparently are top political leaders of other countries who hold diplomatic immunity. What of Bolivian President Evo Morales being denied airspace passage in countries that were not involved with the NSA and spying? This shows you how far they are willing to go and how much of international laws they are willing to break to get what they want.

Don’t tell me blackmail is not a distinct possibility given these other events that show what they will do.

127.0.0.1 (profile) says:

NSACare

Welcome to NSACare – “Teh Insurance Policy” that you must have!

No Opt-out (applies to all: Americans, [including Senators and Congressmen], Foreign Leaders, Foreigners and Aliens).

The terms of the NSACare ‘insurance’ policy are classified, if we tell you, we will have to …. you.

PS: We don’t need a credit card number; we already have it, or if you are a US taxpayer we have you covered (sorry for the pun).

PPS: Just wait until Snowden reveals that all VISA and Mastercard data (worldwide) is already being slurped by NSA and friends.

First comment, please be gentle.

Anonymous Coward says:

seems like yet another false claim by TD

for a start this is someone (not the NSA’s) OPINION, and the interpretation of it is clearly incorrect.

It appears from the statements make (copy/paste the TD way), states clearly THEY HATE THE ACTIONS OF THIS PERSON, and not the person himself..

if the Ed Snowden releases have not made significant changes BY NOW, they WILL NEVER MAKE THOSE CHANGES.
Do you honestly think Snowden with lead the news FOREVER ???

He has one shot at making a difference, he failed, no difference was made, no amount of boosting by TD will change that, Snowden is last years news, the planet has moved on, its about time TD did the same.

silverscarcat (profile) says:

Re: seems like yet another false claim by TD

if the Ed Snowden releases have not made significant changes BY NOW, they WILL NEVER MAKE THOSE CHANGES.

You DO realize that even Watergate took more than one year, right? Nixon was in his sixth year when he was facing charges and quit.

Or how about what happened with Clinton when he was impeached? That took SEVERAL years.

Big changes don’t happen in one weekend in politics, look how long it took the government to work out a deal for spending, they had to partially shut the government down.

He has one shot at making a difference, he failed, no difference was made

Uh huh, no difference was made, except that people are still talking about it, Congress is making moves, court cases are being heard up to the Supreme Court and, considering it’s an Election Year, I wonder how that’ll play out come November…

Also, the planet has NOT moved on.

The UN is making resolutions about spying, the E.U. Parliament is setting up for a video conference with Ed Snowden to testify to them about the spying, Brazil gave away a giant multibillion dollar contract to Sweden over an American company, other American companies are losing money due to NSA actions…

If anything, the world is going to use this for a long, long, LOOOOONG time.

After all, Iran is STILL a mite bit pissed at the U.S. for its actions in the 1950s and 1980s, Germany is STILL nervous about showing national pride or allowing any kind of surveillance state, the Polish people were the ones who drove ACTA’s defeat and Russians loathe Boris Yeltson for causing the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fallout from that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: seems like yet another false claim by TD


Or how about what happened with Clinton when he was impeached? That took SEVERAL years.”

why don’t you explain why Clinton was impeached for us?
Watergate was way fast, when the information came out (was published) it was VERY quick.

Snowden’s information was published long ago, no one cares anymore and no legal, it is clearly not the same.
Re-learn your history.

also on 9/11 US politics changed in an instant, and forever.

ottermaton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: seems like yet another false claim by TD

Watergate was way fast, when the information came out (was published) it was VERY quick.

No, not actually.
“The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972.”
“The scandal eventually led to the resignation of Republican Richard Nixon, the President of the United States, on August 9, 1974.”
source
Also worth noting: Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment. Had he not the whole affair would have gone on MUCH longer.

Re-learn your history.

Clearly you’re in no position to say that to anyone

silverscarcat (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: seems like yet another false claim by TD

also on 9/11 US politics changed in an instant, and forever.

And look at how fucked up things have gotten since then.

Maybe you’re willing to just go “oh, nothing’s changed by now” and give up.

Did Women’s Sufferage happen overnight?

Did the Civil Rights movement end in a few months?

How about the Vietnam protests?

Study up on YOUR history and realize that stuff can take WELL over a decade before something positive happens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course the NSA hates the way this debate on unconstitutional spying as been triggered. Documents exposing their unconstitutional actions have been leaked to the public for their viewing.

This means the NSA can’t use the “National Security” banner to hide all that information from the public. It also means the public can now tell when the NSA is lying to their faces.

Anonymous Coward says:

” they say that they hate the way it was triggered”

not the person who trigged it,

where was the display of “mad, fury” ?? or is that just an assumption ?
clearly they don’t have Snowden in particular, they hate how it was done, and the method of doing it. They probably don’t have who he is, but what he did.

TD seems to imply all of the 10,000 or so people working for the NSA are immoral and doing that job for purposes other than protecting the country, do you honestly believe all these people are abusing the information.

Sure, with any large group there are the freaks, the bullies that join the military to continue to bully, the murderers who go to wars and murder.

The corrupt police there are always these problems, but that does not mean that you can label all people in those groups with the same brush.

and yes, even the NSA can have people who steal and have their own inflated opinions of what is right or not (even without all the information), and who feels he has a right to lie and steal passwords to form his own opinion, and label the entire NSA with that opinion.

There will also be people apart from that group who will use this sort of information to forward their own agenda’s and biases.

So someone who hates everything Government for example will latch onto things like this, with the goal of placing everyone in that group appear to be like the rare one or two, to further their own hatreds (such as for the Government).

I would say most ‘normal’ people see this for exactly what it is.

Joe Multiform says:

Re: Yup, Theys Mad.

Firstly, I think you are mixing “have” with “hate”, but if I am reading you right you don’t think the NSA is “mad” at Snowden?

They are. Google it. We hijacked Bolivian president Evo Morales we wanted Snowden so bad.

Secondly, the NSA spying on us and our allies and lying about it fits the dictionary definition of immoral. I don’t feel like trying to explain the dynamics of individuals in a group. But, no one is making generalizations about every employee.

Maybe someone joins the NSA for good reasons and spys on Americans with pride and is blind to what happens as a result; They’re still part of the problem.

Most of the rest of your rant is kind of incoherent so I can’t really dissect it too much.

“and yes, even the NSA can have people who steal and have their own inflated opinions of what is right or not”

The point is that, the organization, the NSA is making up it’s own rules and carrying them out. The people who are in charge are saying steal this information from our allies. That’s not some rogue employees idea. This is a corporate memo type of thing where, together, the NSA is comprehensively trying to overstep whatever rules limit them.

I don’t think I am “someone who hates everything Government”, but I do feel like the NSA spying on friends and foes alike has been irresponsible. Like we spend a lot of time and work and money making the world less secure and also giving our friends and enemies a good reason to distrust us.

And ‘normal’ people, really? Please tell us what who’s normal?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

TD seems to imply all of the 10,000 or so people working for the NSA are immoral and doing that job for purposes other than protecting the country, do you honestly believe all these people are abusing the information.

That’s a total red herring. Nobody is saying that all NSA employees are corrupt and abusive. Nobody is saying that all, most, or even any (outside of the documented incidents) are abusing this information.

What is being asserted is that the collection of the information itself is unconstitutional, or at least unamerican. That remains true even if that information is never abused at all.

That said, it’s my personal opinion that people who continue to work for agencies or companies that are engaging in Very Bad Acts shouldn’t be surprised if their sense of ethics is questioned. Lie down with dogs and all that.

Ronny Bryson (profile) says:

Fixing the problem

When a government’s normal behavior is to lie and cheat it’s own people, something is very wrong.
When a country does not respect international law, and commits untold crimes against humanity it’s very wrong
When the truth and those who speak it are demonised, it’s wrong. When the government serves corporations, that’s very very wrong

It’s time soldiers chose to, stand by government, or the people.
It’s time police chose who they will protect and serve, some of us or all of us.

It’s time the people stood up peacefully and moved forward, not just thousands but millions.
Then billions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Compare to CIA concerning Petraeus scandal

Search – John Brennan + Snowden
Nothing —

Is CIA head John Brennan silent on the Snowden affair?
Is this a turf war between secret gov. organizations?

Consider what happened to previous CIA director Petraeus, with the FBI splasing his personal business all over the place.

Is Petraeus ruling the CIA in exile?
Is the current head of the CIA, Brennan, just a figurehead?

Consider these old news articles:

“CIA director, John O. Brennan, starting a campaign against leaks after Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden incidents”
June 27, 2013

“Is Edward Snowden a Double agent?”
July 13, 2013

Are the conspiracy theorists right?
Something is just not adding up.

.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

still.....

“Thousands of NSA employees certainly have access to everything Snowden did, and probably more. These people would certainly see Snowden’s actions as betrayal of the trust that they are keeping, and as treason against the United States.”

What if you were an employee of said NSA and found out that you were actually breaking your Constitutional oath “to defend the United States from all enemies, domestic and foreign,” only to find you were the enemy? What if you were betraying your own country with your actions every single day by breaking the law? What about upholding the Constitution?

Doesn’t feel right does it? Makes you mad, doesn’t it? Upsets you? Embarrasses you to death? Brings out everyone and their brother from the woodwork saying you were not doing your best to protect this country.

That’s why they’re mad. They got caught doing it, and not being staunch defenders of their own oaths of office.

They can rightfully be called traitors.

They should look in the mirror for who’s the criminal.

Snowden is at least honest. They weren’t.

Anonone (profile) says:

Re: still.....

All I’m saying is that the individuals who are doing their jobs at the NSA, abiding by the rules they agreed to before accepting employment have a right to feel angry at Snowden.

It doesn’t make me mad at all, because I have a different opinion of it than you do. Look up the definition of treason sometime.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: still.....

The only reason I can think of that that the other individuals at the NSA would be angry with Snowden is because he made them look bad — in my opinion, Snowden’s actions were 100% consistent with his obligations to defend the Constitution and this nation. That none of the other people who work there were willing to put their own necks on the line for their country doesn’t reflect well on them.

The only other reason for an angry reaction is too depressing for me to dwell on too much: that the culture within the NSA really is cult-like, and they’re mad because he dissed the cult.

Anonone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: still.....

It could be that Snowden made the other NSA employees question their continued silence, and certainly that would be cause for resentment on their part. And it could certainly be true than working at the NSA promotes a “cult-like” atmosphere.

Nevertheless, it is illegal for a cleared person to reveal classified information as part of his job. Thousands of government employees follow the rules, and protect information which could harm national security if released.

Why should Snowden get a free pass for flagrantly violating the law? What if everyone who was cleared did it? Whether or not you think this would be a good thing, it is illegal.

Seegras (profile) says:

Of course they hate the snitch

Let’s see, you’re running a highly successful criminal organisation, and up comes somebody and spills the beans?

Of course you hate him!

(Yesyes, it’s of course a well-known phenomenon that you now see yourself as the victim, even if you were the one running an organized crime ring. It doesn’t change the fact that YOU are the perpetrator, the criminal who did immeasureable damage to people and society).

Shava Nerad (profile) says:

follow the money

I was serving as the founding executive director of the Tor Project and being called a tin hat for blogging about NSA officer whistle blowers Binney/Weibe/Stark in 2007, around the vintage of the “Tor Stinks” Snowden leak. But I have been following this field for decades.

No news story I have seen is tracing the important players here, like Mike McConnell, former NSA chief.

He was W’s Director of Natl Intel — Clapper’s job — and sold Bush on the future of cybersecurity. Mike shepherded in a series of public/private initiatives that moved a huge pork pie slice of military industrial complex dollars from open, auditable contracts in aerospace or even the love-to-hate Halliburton merc contracts to black line cybersecurity intel.

Then, he took the revolving door to become executive at Booz Allen Hamilton. By extension, a couple tiers up, he was Edward Snowden’s boss.

We are at the point where (per USA Today) the black line budget is so huge that 0.5% of the American population has high clearances just to go to work. To get in the gate, or work in the mailroom.

When Al Gore, years ago, started his initiatives to track down waste and pork in MIC spending (the famous three figure USAF toilet seat) it apparently just made the MIC classify the toilet seats.

I am a fanatic for civil liberties. But civil liberties are, I predict, collateral damage here. When you hear someone say “They hate our freedoms,” that person is likely ignorant or blowing smoke.

It’s always about money, influence, and power in DC. But that doesn’t make a nice 6th grade level three minute story on the news, and most Americans would rather think of the game of thrones as something only in barbaric fantasy fiction.

Frankly, I find the real life thing far more fascinating. You should too. If more geeks played this LARP, we might find politics less of a clusterfuck.

It’s hard for those of us seeking adequate oversight, accountability, and upholding our Constitutional rights nonviolently with these asymmetrical odds. Damn good thing we’re smarter. 😉

Standard disclaimer: haven’t worked for Tor since 2007, but I like them bunches

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

The military hates Snowden

Mike doesn’t sound like he has been in the military, or if there, didn’t learn to understand the military mind.
The military (ANY military) is a dictatorship, and survives by an “us against them” mentality, where “them” is anyone not in the military.
They feel (deep down) that democracy is “weak” (as Hitler put it), and contemptible, and any “member of the family” who defects to democracy is “evil”.

theunpossiblefile (profile) says:

THE NSA IS ACTUALLY LISTENING?

Well imagine that. What is the NSA credo again? Moderation
is for cowards, our mandate is to exceed our mandate. Well I
disagree. The sickos at the NRA and their private contractor
androids need to be restrained. And the FISA court that does
the restraining? 10 out of 11 are Republicans appointed by
Chief Justice Roberts…you know…the guy who had to be led
through the Presidential swearing in ceremony by Mr & Mrs Obama
b/c he forgot how to do it in the most viewed event in history.
A proud conservative.

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