There are secrets one might keep from their wife or a close friend and then there are the secrets the government keeps from it’s citizens.
Some government secrets are meant to be kept. Like the capabilities of our military hardware. Or the names and locations of our human intelligence assets in other countries. And I’ll even say that the capabilities of our electronic surveillance assets should be protected.
Edward Snowden, a former high school dropout, was given access to some of our government’s most closely guarded secrets. Snowden worked for a contractor to the government for the NSA, making good money, living in Hawaii and had a hot girlfriend.
What Snowden did is considered treason and is still punishable by death.
But what he also did was to expose the fact that our government has been compiling trillions of bytes of information on American citizens. The government forced phone providers to give them access to millions of customer phone records as well as to e-mails and customer’s internet visits.
But there are some questions as to the veracity of Edward Snowden’s story, mainly because he gave the story to a leftist reporter for a British newspaper and the fact that he ran away to Hong Kong, China.
Stacy McCain lays it out:
Can we trust Edward Snowden? If the National Security Agency could not trust him to keep the secrets he was paid so handsomely to keep, why should we trust his description of what the NSA does? This is a question that troubles Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:
I want to know how far I can trust Edward Snowden. He’s supposed to be a technical guru of some sort, but apparently he didn’t understand this. Or, if he did, he didn’t bother clearing it up for either Glenn Greenwald or Bart Gellman, who both went with the “direct access” phrase in their initial stories. If it’s the former, I wonder just how much he actually knows about NSA’s capabilities. If it’s the latter, I wonder about his motivations. …
Snowden has made several other dubious statements, including the suggestion that he could order a wiretap on anyone he wanted, and that he had access to any CIA station. Put this all together, and I think it’s reasonable to ask just how much we can trust what Snowden is saying.
Understand that Kevin Drum is a lefty who very much wants to believe the worst of the American Military-Industrial Complex, and yet he’s honest enough with his readers to admit that key details of Snowden’s story don’t seem to check out as verifiable facts.
My early doubts about Snowden’s reliability have only been exacerbated by revelations over the past few days that expose Snowden as a certain type of punk: He feels no loyalty to anyone or anything, except himself, and yet imagines his narrow selfishness as a heroic quality: “Behold, my courageous commitment to an ideological abstraction that is incomprehensible to inferior mortals!”
Edward Snowden claims the mantle of hero and gives props to Bradley Manning, another traitor to his oath to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States, who gave up several thousands of pages of classified material to Wikileaks.
Anyone who has read any Tom Clancy novels or other techno-thrillers by retired military veterans, would know that whatever technology is portrayed in the novels is old technology and was probably obsolete when the novel was written. These writers research their material meticulously and have contacts in all the military branches as well as the Pentagon. They’re not going to write about new top secret technology.
Snowden thought he was going to be a secret agent man.