The U.S. security state is feeling pressure. It knows that at the very least it will be subjected to reforms outlined by President Obama last week. The President’s review panel revealed that the NSA’s claims about the necessity of its data collecting and hoarding to thwarting terrorist attacks are misleading. New revelations have provided further details about the extent of its intrusive spying. Congress is contemplating a USA Freedom Act which would go farther than Obama’s proposals.
And so the security state is unleashing its attack dogs on a soft target—Edward Snowden—in the hopes of weakening the ever-stronger case for curbing its activities. Remember, when Snowden first revealed the NSA’s activities, he was branded a traitor and a threat to national security. The only threat he has turned out to pose is to the ability of that security state to abuse the liberties of the citizens it is supposed to work for. And because of his actions, we have been able to have an important debate about the balance between security and liberty, and we know that agencies of our government break the law and operate without oversight or check.
Now Mike Rogers (chairman of the House Intelligence Committee), Mike McCaul (chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee), and Michael Morrell (former director of national intelligence) are all accusing Snowden of being assisted in making his revelations—which have clearly been in the public interest—by Russia.
In smearing Snowden, these well-trained apologists for the rogue security agencies are not troubling themselves to provide evidence. Rogers simply maintains that it could not be coincidence that Snowden has taken refuge in Russia. McCaul concludes that Snowden must have had help, and that it is safe to therefore assume that he was helped by the Russians. And Morell provided this gem: “I don’t have any particular evidence, but one of the things that I point to when I talk about this is that the disclosures that have been coming recently are very sophisticated in their content and sophisticated in their timing, almost too sophisticated for Mr Snowden to be deciding on his own”.
So six months ago, Snowden was an evil genius, capable of inflicting massive, treasonous harm on the United States. And today he’s a bumbler who couldn’t possibly be capable of deciding that it might be advantageous to release documents around the time when the President will be delivering a speech on the subject of his revelations. If this is the level of thinking we can expect from our top spies, Snowden is the least of our worries!
Now like Morell, “I don’t have any particular evidence”, but one of the things that I think about when I study his utterances is that there is clearly a double-game being played. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that Morell is a Russian spy.
I’ll allow that “I don’t have any particular evidence”, but I also feel pretty comfortable asserting that McCaul couldn’t have woken up and become a Congressman all on his own. I think he must be in cahoots with the Koch Brothers. Or maybe Al Qaeda.
And this might be going out on a limb given that “I don’t have any particular evidence”, but I have it on good authority—not that I’m inclined to reveal my sources—that Mike Rogers eats babies.
See…smearing people without evidence is cheap and easy. And the Republican Party has lots of practice given what they’ve been doing to the President for the past five years. The claims I made above are clearly risible. But they are no different whatsoever from those being thrown about by these attack dogs for the security state, or those by the people who demanded the President’s birth certificate and then decided that even that wouldn’t satisfy them: they are made using logic which is dubious where not totally absent, and they are leveled without being backed up by anything even resembling evidence.