Wacky Snowden Haters Pile On The Bandwagon Claiming Snowden Is Somehow To Blame For Russia In Crimea

from the wtf dept

So, over the weekend, the NSA’s chief external propagandist, Rep. Mike Rogers, made the ridiculous claim that Ed Snowden was somehow to blame for Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine. It would appear that the usual crew of Snowden haters (who never seem to have any evidence beyond “hunches”) have gleefully jumped onto that bandwagon, insisting that Snowden must be helping the Russians evade NSA surveillance. Based simply on (unproven) claims that the US intelligence community was somewhat taken by surprise by Russian moves in Crimea and Ukraine, folks like Joshua Foust and John Schindler — both of whom have been leading the anti-Snowden conspiracy theories since about 3 seconds after Snowden was revealed — are claiming that it’s somehow obvious that Snowden must be working with the Russians to reveal the NSA’s surveillance capabilities and how to get around them. Because apparently, Russian intelligence is so incompetent that they couldn’t figure things out without the help of an American.

At best, these two seem guilty of quite an extreme form of confirmation bias. At worst, they seem to be pushing ridiculous conspiracy theories, based on absolutely nothing. The idea that Vladimir Putin and the FSB had to wait until Ed Snowden was effectively handed to them by the Americans pulling his passport (seems like Foust and Schindler conveniently forget that part…) in order to hide their plans to annex Crimea and get aggressive towards Ukraine seems positively unbelievable. However, it does show the extreme lengths some are willing to go to in order to smear Snowden based on no proof at all.

Update: Meanwhile, it appears that plenty of folks who actually work in intelligence say that Snowden has nothing to do with the events in Crimea.

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Comments on “Wacky Snowden Haters Pile On The Bandwagon Claiming Snowden Is Somehow To Blame For Russia In Crimea”

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Totally not important but I’ve always been curious, why does Mike Masnick always refer to him as Ed Snowden. It always jumps out at me because it seems like most news stories outside of techdirt refer to him as Edward.

Snowden has always referred to himself as “Ed” starting in that video interview he did with Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. Since it appears that he, personally, goes by Ed, we’ve always followed suit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

A spy keeps his activities quiet, even after s/he has been outed, and the government receiving the documents also keeps quiet, they do not want the spied upon party to know what was taken, and then change their plans. A Whistle blower goes public with what they have, and what they are done, and their whole credibility relies on them telling the truth. Also the US government has admitted that what has come out is accurate, by their complaints that it hurts their abilities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Faith that Snowden speaks truthfully

You are correct, but misleading. Supposing that he is fully truthful about who has which documents, how would he prove it? Intelligence agencies routinely lie, so no one would believe it even if you got every intelligence agency on the planet to publicly state they never got anything from him.

Remember also that the first disclosures came out before his name was revealed, with his consent, by the journalists working on the project. If he wanted to defect and use this document dump as a parting shot, the way in which he released the material without a long term haven prepared seems like a very roundabout way to defect while maintaining deniability.

MrWilson says:

I’ve had a sinus infection for a few days. I thought I might have gotten it from someone at work who was sniffling and sneezing a lot, but now I think it might have been caused by Edward Snowden. He seems to have god-like powers to cause events that would otherwise be out of the control of a single human being, so yeah, he probably caused my sinus infection too.

Fear the demon-god Edward Snowden!

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I was watching The Dark Knight Returns last night, which parodies 1980s obsessions with psycho-bullshit, where one bullshit artist, (sorry, ‘psychologist’) was saying that “Batman created the criminals, they were drawn in by his aura and so were realyl victims themselves”. Seems like an element of this here too – obviously Manly Putin couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything wrong before Snowden ‘enabled’ him and ‘corrupted’ him….

edpo says:

NSA Overreach is the Real Culprit

It’s not Snowden but the NSA’s massive overreach that is the real problem here. If the NSA had stayed within its original mandate and not tried to “collect it all” – domestically and internationally – then the NSA’s “secrets” might have remained just that. If anyone is to blame for harming our national security, it’s the NSA idiots who decided they’d rather collect everyone’s data than just focus on national states and actual terrorists. They diluted their own effectiveness, to our detriment.

David says:

Re: NSA Overreach is the Real Culprit

It’s not Snowden but the NSA’s massive overreach that is the real problem here.

More like NATO’s overreach. Gorbachev got promised that they’d stay off the Eastern block. He failed to get this in binding writing. Now the Ukraine was going NATO, cutting off Russia’s access to the Black Sea.

Putin did not support Yanukovich out of love and vice versa. The alternatives were worse, and now he’s dealing with them.

If the CIA were doing actual intelligence work rather than having their ears up everyone’s ass, that would not have been all that hard to understand.

edpo says:

Re: Re: NSA Overreach is the Real Culprit

“If the CIA were doing actual intelligence work rather than having their ears up everyone’s ass, that would not have been all that hard to understand.”

That’s what I was saying. The intelligence agencies are too overloaded with irrelevant data to spend time analyzing the data that matters.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: NSA Overreach is the Real Culprit

Now the Ukraine was going NATO, cutting off Russia’s access to the Black Sea.

Go look at a map, Russia has sovereignty over the east coast of the sea of Azov, and the east coat of the black sea from Crimea down to Georgia. It is a case of the wanted to keep the port facilities that they have built in Crimea.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Malaysia Flight 370

Snowden re-programmed the flight computer to fly the plane to Benghazi, but because the 0bummer fascist state is desperate to avoid even passing mention of that world-changing debacle where four whole Americans died (under a democRAT watch!) they virused the flight computer and the resulting conflict led to all passenger phones being bricked and the plane ending up in the Southern Indian Ocean also imitating a brick.


That One Guy (profile) says:

And there’s that arrogance and ego-centrism popping up again, the idea that no one could possibly figure out what the NSA was doing or how they were doing it unless directly told.

So if they’re going to blame Snowden for the russians being able to ‘evade their surveillance'(as opposed to simply realizing that russian intelligence isn’t as stupid as they think they are), are they also going to blame him for Bin Laden as well?

After all, Bin Laden, as well as pretty much every major terrorist group has been going low tech for years, specifically to avoid agencies like the NSA, so unless they’re going to claim that the terrorist groups can see the future, then obviously Snowden wasn’t required for them to know how the spying agencies were going about their work, and how best to avoid them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh look at the green cat on the black grass! It’s the Snowden effect I tell ya!

First Snowden says he doesn’t have any documents in Russia. He gave them all to Greenwald. Snowden hasn’t released any info as it has been hand picked by Greenwald to reveal. (with now the NYT and Washington Post adding to it). Greenwald has verified this and in addition said that Snowden didn’t want all the documents released, especially those that would harm others. He wanted the misdeeds of these spying agencies revealed.

The steady drip of documents coming out, has been far more effective than the Wikileaks releases or the Manning document dump. The slow continual release has kept public attention on them, not allowing them to fade off into non-interest.

Those that have come out against Snowden have had about as much creditability as the agencies themselves. To hear a politician say it’s because of Snowden tells you where the dishonesty is. Everything that has been released has proven truthful. Nothing in response to those leaks have proven to be truthful when they defend them. To me it just paints them all with the same brush. One you can’t not believe.

Oh, and thank you TD for fixing that error message on posting. I had quit trying this morning.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

that’s how sneaky he is ! ! !
i bet he set a virtual trip-wire so that he revoked his own passport ! ! !
he’s the most diabolical spy since boris badinoff ! ! !

shit, the fucking spooks apologists should be thanking snowden, now, whenever shit goes down, they just point and screech (khan-like) S-N-N-N-O-O-O-W-W-W-D-E-E-E-N-N-N ! !!
its their get-out-of-jail-free card…

in other news, anon poster is either clueless or a bot…

Anonymous Coward says:

To be fair, there was an epic failure of intelligence. Putin waltzed into Crimea like nothing happened and showed middle finger to Obama, who in turn ended up impotent. We will not know for decades what went wrong. Since Snowden, NSA spooks are watching their own backs at every turn, not sure what was compromised. Just think of thousands of suspended clearances, pending internal review. Internal havoc has contributed somehow, but indirectly.

Zem (profile) says:

It’s all true. Snowden has used Russian money to build that time machine blueprint he stole and has gone back in time to make sure the Brittish now lose the 1853 Crimean war.

Don’t believe me, check your history books! The Brits lost, while those of us who remember our true history know that Russia lost that conflict and was thrown from the Crimea for ever.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Naval Logic

Of Snowden’s accusers, General Michael Hayden, at least, is supposed to be a professional soldier. God help any troops who come under his command in battle. Russia has a series of canals linking the Volga River to the Black Sea, to the Baltic Sea, and to the Arctic Ocean. These canals are deep and wide enough that they can handle a destroyer or a small submarine carried on a special barge. The route from the black Sea runs through the Straits of Kerch, just east of the Crimea, then through the Sea of Azov to Rostov-on-Don, and from there by canal. Since most of the Russian Black Sea coast has the Caucasus Mountains behind it, a most difficult place to build a ship canal, the Crimea Peninsula and the port of Sevastopol would be practically impossible to replace. When the Soviet Union broke up, Russia left troops behind in the Crimea to ensure its naval access to the Black Sea, and beyond that, to the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, etc. When it became impossible to suborn the Ukrainian government any longer, it was inevitable that the Crimea would declare independence and become part of Russia. The Russians did not invade the Crimea, because they were already there, and had been for a long time. We are talking about plans which were laid down twenty years ago, when Edward Snowden was still a child. The policy of populating the Crimea with ethnic Russians goes back to Stalin, and even to the Tsars.

The Crimea is to Russia what Louisiana is to the United States, the gateway to the great river. In 1862, the American (Massachusetts) General Benjamin F. Butler landed in Louisiana with an invasion force, after the Navy, under Admiral Farragut, had obliterated the defensive forts at the mouth of the Mississippi, and the local elements of the Confederate Navy.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Naval Logic

Well, you have to understand that Russia is an inland country. It doesn’t have any really satisfactory ports or naval bases, such as the United States is blessed with. So it’s rather a case of Hobson’s Choice. During Russia’s war with Georgia, in 2009, the Black Sea Fleet was able blockade the Georgian coast. Furthermore, Russia has proposals for direct gas pipelines running under the Black Sea and Baltic Sea, the so-called South Stream and North Stream pipelines. The idea is to be able to sell gas to Western Europe without paying Ukraine and Poland a percentage. Before Peter the Great, Russia’s maritime access was confined to Archangel, up in the Arctic.

During the Second World War, the Germans enjoyed a monopoly of sea power in the Baltic up to the day of the surrender. They had gotten all the way up to the gates of Leningrad, or Petrograd, and, as they retreated, they took away all the ships, and destroyed all the port installations. The Russians would capture a port and find that they couldn’t do much of anything with it for a couple of years.

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