chat away – questions

Crossposted on The Peoples View.

The biggest news of the day is the confirmation by the South China Morning Post that Edward Snowden went after the NSA job with the express purpose of accessing and leaking US security secrets. He has gone from “whistleblower”—which he never was—to pretty much of a spy and traitor.

Now he’s holed up in Russia, where it’s quite certain that the FSB is pumping him dry, at least as dry as Chinese intelligence did. And his whirlwind tour of quasi-democracies and outright dictatorships puts paid to the idea that he’s a starry-eyed defender of democratic ideals.

But this real-time John Le Carre novel begs several questions:

How did Snowden get by background screening to get a job at Booz Allen?
How did Snowden even get past screening with his paltry CV?
Why did Booz Allen contract him for sensitive intelligence work?
What political strings were pulled to get Snowden that job, and who pulled them.
Who benefits from secrets being spilled to the Chinese and Russians?
Who’s the patsy? Snowden? Greenwald? Or are they both quite aware of what they did?

We’re going to be entering the looking glass on this one. If this is in fact an attempt to somehow hurt or even bring down the Obama administration, it’s at best a ham-handed affair, and at worst gives the president the opportunity to once more burnish his national security bona fides. High school dropouts with spurious claims of having taken “computer courses” do not—or at least should not—gain access to the keys of the security kingdom.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist; usually the simplest explanation is the right one. And I’m not going to speculate on these still-developing events with my theories. To be frank, I have none, just questions. But the fallout of this escapade will last all summer. I’m quite curious to see how this plays out, and how the administration works to bring Snowden and any accomplices / enablers to justice.

This is your “spy who came in from the cold” open thread.

149 Responses to “chat away – questions”

  1. 1 isonprize
    June 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm


    • 2 isonprize
      June 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Snowden is a spy, and GG is arrogant.

      • 3 arapaho415
        June 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        Congrats, ison!

        GG is more than arrogant. He’s a loathsome bigot and charlatan. Makes my skin crawl.

        And as Derbingle pointed out this morning, he’s Huntley to Chris Hayes’ Brinkley (NBC evening news anchor duo in the 1960s).

        • 4 Bill
          June 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm

          The Snowden affair could finish Chris Hayes. He is coming unhinged.

        • 5 Churchlady320
          June 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm

          LOL – but a gross insult to two pretty good anchors and reporters. I’d say it’s more Abbot to Costello though their work was intentionally funny where Hayes and GG are not. To self important by half.

      • 6 vcprezofan2
        June 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm

        And Ison is in the house! Hey, it’s good to see you!

        • 7 vcprezofan2
          June 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

          Should have said in the ‘village’, but you know what I mean.

        • 8 isonprize
          June 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

          Hey VC, I check in every now and then. Good to see you holdin’ it down…

          • 9 vcprezofan2
            June 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

            Not holding well today, at all, Ison. I don’t think I have completed a single thread before being pulled along, all out of breath, to the next! 🙄 I trust you and your young man are fine and all planned for summer with lots to do? This looks like it’s going to be another hot, hazy summer with a lot of political hype (as usual?).

      • 10 COS
        June 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

        What really upsets me about this whole GG/Snowden thing is the fact that intelligent folks are acting like this is something new and just started under PBO. I am really disappointed in Randi Rhodes’ attitude on this. she just said that she is more interested in what the NSA is doing instead of the folks who are leaking, I. E. GG and Snowden. I think both are important for the credibility of the sources.

        • June 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

          Sorry, but Rhodes is being disingenuous here. She’s moving the goalposts to fit her own agenda. She suddenly doesn’t care about motives or accuracy of the leakers, but she cares so deeply about what the NSA is doing – even though that info has been out there for more than FIVE years now?

          Sorry Rhandi, but I ain’t buying what you’re peddling.

          • June 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm

            This!!! I am not with her on this one.

            • 13 zekke Lydonna
              June 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

              Randi really screwed the pooch on this one. She was ‘outraged’ that GG motives were questioned by David Gregory on Meet the Press.
              Since when did ‘journalist’ become immune to questions about how they operate?

              I was a little shocked by her attitude. She always talks about ‘the facts’. She doesn’t know the answer to the question, because GG never answered it. Whenever he is cornered, he lashes out with some self-righteous, and very personal attack.

        • 14 jackiegrumbacher
          June 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm

          COS, it really is disappointing that otherwise reasonable people are allowing GG and his backers to distract them. Nothing has been revealed about NSA’s practices that wasn’t already widely known. It’s just that people refused to review, read or listen at the time and so they’re just waking up to old news. What is new news right now is a deliberate effort by persons or organizations still unknown to undermine the Obama administration and put the US at risk around the world. The president has already opened up a discussion about the balance between privacy and security. If our desire for privacy allowed a major terrorist attack to occur on US soil, PBO would be the first to be blamed. Is that the goal? No one knows because the players are still in the background and the media is dutifully concentrating on the bleating idiot in Moscow.

    • 16 LadyTNT
      June 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Congrats Ison!! My Kindle fire moving more like a sizzle than a fire, lol !

    • 17 sabreen60
      June 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Congrats on #1 ison!

  2. June 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Just a little place holder until Chips gets done with her This and That.

    • 20 jacquelineoboomer
      June 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      It’s quite a fine post, LL, and thanks for sharing your perspective. CNN is “covering” it with a special report, but … well, you know … gag. I’d rather read what you have to say.

  3. 21 Judith Fardig
    June 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    We want answers!! I hope they depose Greenwald.

  4. 22 arapaho415
    June 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    WTH? (Hinman is a producer on Jake Tapper’s CNN show):

    • 23 arapaho415
      June 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      We can’t let GG get away with his f**king lies!

      So want him to go down, so much more than the pathetic paranoid pawn #Snowden.

    • 24 utaustinliberal
      June 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Hahahahahaa. That is the best piece of BS, I’ve read all day.

  5. 25 arapaho415
    June 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

  6. 26 utaustinliberal
    June 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    • 27 pkayden
      June 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Why can’t this get publicity though? We only hear about how the big bad IRS victimized the poor T’Baggers. The media needs to reveal all the facts and stop presenting this story as a scandal.

      • 28 jackiegrumbacher
        June 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm

        Of course, pk, targeting progressives doesn’t fit the narrative, so you’ll never hear about it. I see Issa is still bleating. What a bore he is.

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      So why did it take so long for these little tidbits about the screening to come out? It pretty much discredits the claim that only conservative groups were targeted.

      Oh yeah… Issa was being selective of the facts that were presented.

      • 30 57andfemale
        June 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        This is why I’m steamed today. 6 weeks later we get a verifiable phrase that could have shut this whole mess down? WTH, Dems.

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      For all you know, “Occupy” was funded by the same groups that funded the “Tea Party.”

  7. 32 57andfemale
    June 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    This requires serious re-tweeting:

    • 33 pkayden
      June 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      So they scrutinized left wing groups seeking tax exemption too. Who knew? Seems like they treated the left and right evenhandedly.

      • 34 57andfemale
        June 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Can you believe that this EXACT phrase is first coming out now?

        Sometimes I am astounded at Democrats. Yes, we heard the stats, yada yada. But the statement – these words were used to scrutinize liberal-leaning groups. This whole damn mess would have evaporated a whole lot faster.

        Seriously, PBO, I wish you hadn’t jumped on the outrage bandwagon. THIS is the statement that should have been made at the outset of this poutrage.

    • 35 susanne
      June 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      oh no! they were targeting organizations with political language in their application documents! but, of course, political groups are not eligible for the exemption applied for. hmmm…maybe this was just really good use of technology to save taxpayer money, and secure revenues from entities ineligible for exemptions? ya think??!

      • 36 57andfemale
        June 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        It WAS. It was meant to expedite the process, like any good sorting of priorities would be.

        Let’s see: I’m writing a book about basketballs. Let’s so a search for basketballs, and eliminate footballs, tennis balls from the search.


  8. June 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Rand Paul was impressed with Zimmeran's opening statement. Said it was the best filibuster he has ever seen. #zimmerman— Patrick Donovan (@PatrickTDonovan) June 24, 2013

    • 39 jackiegrumbacher
      June 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Ah, Mellesia, Rand Paul, the great Clarence Darrow, who knows all about fine moments in murder trails. Wasn’t he supposed to be an eye doctor? Did he spend his days attending trials?

    • June 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Anybody who watched that spectacle knows it was a complete hot mess. Unbelievably inept.

  9. 42 57andfemale
    June 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm

  10. June 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    A Must Read: “…Obama’s statecraft in Syria may look less like indecisiveness and more like a Machiavellian strategy that cannot be described in the usual idealistic vocabulary presidents employ to describe their actions on the world stage….Firefighters would call that strategy the “let-it-burn’’ approach….is having a debilitating effect not only on the Assad regime but also on its allies, the clerical regime in Iran and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah….But for now, they are spending down Iran’s dwindling reserves, while bleeding and being weakened in a war that could persist for many more years.”

    • 44 vcprezofan2
      June 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Interesting take – thank you.

    • 45 susanne
      June 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      i like, except for the word ‘machiavelian’. that is a negative term, applying to the person, not the strategy. and what pbo has positively done is apply wisdom, patience, and diplomacy to the situation.

    • 46 zekke Lydonna
      June 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Most of the reporting on these matters is superficial. If the media doesn’t know the facts, they fill the gap with speculation.

      Why do all these people think they know better, know more the the freaking President of the United States of America? Anything they know is just the tip of a gigantic iceberg, most of which they never know.

      They attempt to assume PBO’s motives, mostly in a negative light. They give more credence to leaders in foreign countries , than they do to our own leader.

      I am so tired of this bullshit. I trust my President, and I don’t have to justify or qualify that loyalty. Fuck the Emos.

      • June 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

        If I could cut and paste your articulation for “fill in the blank issue _____” regarding anything PBO’s administration does I would. These people get paid for page views and ratings…..and 90% of them don’t even know anything about the subject they are *reporting* on….. but it is nice when someone takes the time to attempt the thought process behind complex decisions, and doing so objectively. As the esteemed Bobfr would say…. #TrustBarack

  11. June 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

  12. June 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

  13. 53 Nena20409
    June 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Clarence Thomas……Really?

    Calling Affirmative Action as a form of Slavery? Since most of the Beneficiaries were White Women……How can Justice Thomas make that claim? Slavery…….people were beaten to death……..tortured…..raped…..etc. Calgon please, for Karma’s sake, take this Fool away…..


  14. 55 vitaminlover
    June 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Say! Snowden! You think that you are a profile in courage welp NOT! You are a profile in cowardice!

  15. June 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Flipping through channels and see that Chris Matthews is not broadcasting from the studio. Is he one of the journalists stranded in Cuba?

  16. June 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    That little sniveling prick Hayes is going to once again shove Greenwald down people’s throats with more BS tonight? Please boycott MSNBC.

  17. June 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    reason 10190190191 why Hayes’ ratings are in the toilet:

    Dylan Byers ‏@DylanByers2m
    Glenn Greenwald will be on “All In With Chris Hayes” tonight #MSNBC

    • 70 carolyn
      June 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      How low do Chris’s ratings have to go before he is let go? They should act as quickly and decisively as the Food Network!

      • June 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        As our own 4morefor44 would say, you can’t compare Hayes to Paula Deen. Food Network DOES have to think about its ratings and its diverse audience; Deen was toxic, and was thus fired. Hayes is there to push a certain political viewpoint. That trumps ratings. The goal is to whipsaw the Democratic base between Obama supporters like Rev. Al, and pretty much the rest of the MSNBC lineup.

        Media consolidation: another gift given to us by Bubba Clinton.

        • June 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm

          I agree with you LL. The issue here is not about ratings, it’s about dividing the DEM base for 2014.

          • 73 COS
            June 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

            Funny HF, I was thinking the same thing. Democrats had better wake up and stop falling for all of these diversions. I saw a headline yesterday on how Christie is dividing the Democrats. We never hear anything about the lady who is running against him. As soon as he is re-elected, he is going to do more damage. Scott Walker is a prime example. Look at all of the damage he has done since he won the recall election. They had a chance to get rid of him and blew it. It is hard for me to sympathize with the folks in Wisconsin now who are compalining about Scott Walker.

        • 74 57andfemale
          June 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

          Yup. Telecom bill of 1996 gave the keys (and the profits) to the crazies.

          Clintons are only liberal lions when they’re campaigning.

  18. June 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Yep, LL. As you know, some of us have been asking those questions since day 1 😉

    Let’s keep asking ….

  19. 82 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  20. June 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Really Glen?

    • June 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      I seem to remember LOD asking Greenwald how he was able to communicate with Snowden for so long without their communications being intercepted. Greenwald bragged about the complex encrypting that allowed their communications to go on for as long as it did.

      Seems like he’s now trying to back off some of the bragging he was doing earlier on.

  21. 93 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm

  22. 101 sabreen60
    June 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I heard Hal Sparks say on the Stephanie Miller show that Booze Allen also set up the security system for Saudi Arabia and another country. This is gonna get deep or deeper.

  23. June 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    • 103 susanne
      June 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      before that he just knew him as ‘deeper, really deep, throat’.

      • 104 57andfemale
        June 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        To be honest, I think we can all get off the (unproven) theory that GG had any pull with Booz Allen in order to get Snowden his job. We have plenty of facts on our side – we don’t need conspiracy theories so we look as loony as everyone else.

        If there’s evidence, fine. I don’t think GG is anywhere near that powerful with defense contractors, frankly.

    • 105 Nena20409
      June 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      🙄 😆 🙄

      Too many lies……GG is Not able to keep his stories straight….. 😉

      He bragged many days ago. Today, lies and selective amnesia or Cold Calculations to deceive?

  24. 106 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  25. June 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    BOLO doc shows that in one instance, 176 applicants for 501c4 status used the same address; Rep. Levin has asked Treasury IG Russell George to explain why he omitted the progressive BOLO in his report and testimony, Among targets: groups advocating ACA, medical marijuana, disputed Mid East territories

    • June 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      What I’m about to say may not be immediately popular or even accepted – but I’ll say it anyway. It’s very possible that many of these “progressive” groups, even those that purportedly advocated for “progressive” causes, were in fact funded by conservative sources. I for one, would not be surprised to learn that “Occupy” and many of the “far-left” advocacy groups like the medical marijuana groups,etc were in fact set up to divide the DEM party, creating conflict with PBO and his supporters, and make it easier for Republicans to win in 2012 and in 2014. I don’t mean to engage in too much tinfoilery here, but this is not particularly far-fetched, given some of the stuff we’ve already observed on Twitter (e.g., Unite Blue, various “Democratic” groups, etc, who are by and large RW operatives). That may also explain why the GOP/Tea Party was immediately up in arms about being targeted by the IRS because in fact the ultimate funding source of all these groups was pro-GOP, despite overseeing a multitude of “progressive” and other groups.

      As you say, if 176 groups applying all had the same address – that tells you that they’re probably the same entity or closely related. Thus this HAD to have triggered a red flag for the IRS who was simply doing it’s job. So while there was no intent to target conservative groups on the part of the IRS, the end result may have been just that – conservative groups were targeted – even those with “liberal” or “left” sounding names/causes. But the GOP cannot now come out and say that these “progressive” groups were in fact conservative or funded by conservative sources – because that would totally destroy their little gameplan for 2014 and possibly 2016.

  26. 110 donna dem 4 obama
    June 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am so glad that Jon is able to speak (tweet) his mind!

    • 111 susanne
      June 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      he forgot the rest of the sentence: ‘nothing about your tweet is factually accurate…YOU LYING SACK OF SHHT!!’

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Was just about to post this 🙂 RT’d! 🙂

    • 113 Nena20409
      June 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      The question to this Ron F is why is he always willing and eagerly to believe and report the worse about pres Obama…..especially coming from a guy who wanted McCain/Palin in the WH? His reporting should be questioned for his Obvious bias. When he writes or is on TV, how come he Never makes that as a declaration of disclosure that the viewers and his audience are owed to be informed.

    • 114 COS
      June 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      I am so happy that Favreau does not let this guy get away with his lies.

    • 115 jacquelineoboomer
      June 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      Yes, seems as though Jon’s being doing that since the day after he left! Love him. He cuts right to the chase and is totally loyal.

  27. 117 Bill R.
    June 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Media weeks later picks up the story we already knew.

  28. 118 57andfemale
    June 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

  29. 119 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

  30. 120 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Alert: senate votes to advance 30B dollar border enforcement amendment.

  31. 128 Nena20409
    June 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Here He is…….Directly from the WH YouTube Channel

    Jay “Clark Kent” Carney’s presser 6-24-13 😉

  32. 129 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Move those goal post pubs!

  33. 130 Nena20409
    June 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Here’s POTUS on Immigration

    • 131 Nena20409
      June 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Please, Ms Chips, delete the above video once it’s OK to do so without messing up the order of TOD commenters. So sorry for the duplicate. Thanks.

      Here is, knock on wood, the POTUS with a few comments on Immigration and a comment on Snowden 🙂

  34. 133 zekke Lydonna
    June 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Where is that little fucker? I DEMAND transparency!!!!!!!!!

  35. June 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

  36. 136 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

  37. 137 overseasgranny
    June 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Seems to me that once Snowden’s laptops are in the hands of the Chinese or Russians or whoever, Snowden himself becomes about as important as chewing gum on the underside of a table or later perhaps on the sidewalk. What was the idiot thinking?! He’d be far safer turning himself in quickly even facing a trial.

    • 138 forus50
      June 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi overseasgranny, where you been hidin’?? I haven’t seen you around. LOL, you are so right regarding his usefulness once he’s turned over his stolen goods.

  38. June 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Immigration bill just passed the Senate. Now on to a slow death in the House.

  39. 144 Jovie
    June 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

  40. 146 Bill
    June 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Wolf says CNN is waiting for another Aeroflot flight to arrive in Havana to determine if Snowden is aboard.

  41. 149 sherijr
    June 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I just discovered this fool Dana Rohrabacher tweeted me today : R U telling these uninformed people to ignore the many prominent Scientist who nix Global Warming Theory?

    omg what a knucklehead.

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