back to article Snowden never blew a whistle, US spy boss claims

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised concerns with his superiors and with oversight groups that the scope of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs was too broad, but the government claims that isn't the case. In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday – the first time Snowden has appeared on US …

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  1. Gray
    Facepalm

    We invite you to meet with us

    As a previous American government said to Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce nation, "We have considered your objections, and we invite you to the fort for a review of the issues."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If

      If it was Israel that had wanted him he would already have been injected with a sleepy potion, put in a crate marked 'this side up', flown back to Tel Aviv and would be on trial within 24 hrs.

      The Americans have a lot to learn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC

        Maybe in the fairy stories they tell about Israeli intelligence. And you know, you have some truth on your side except that it would be the wrong guy, they would not have had an anaesthetist on a black op so the dosage would be wrong and the wrong guy in the crate would arrive as a highly deniable corpse.

        You think I'm kidding? This has happened before.

        Israelis a) believe their own propaganda and b) are no more competent than anyone else. The problem is that a combination of a) and too many bad Hollywood movies has led them to believe that there is such a thing as a safe universal anaesthetic. Protip - if this was true, the NHS would not train anaesthetists for upwards of 11 years just to be able to do their job.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          There is a detective novel by Margery Allingham in which a firm of undertakers runs a sideline in smuggling criminals out of the country in just this way. The scheme unravels when one of them dies en route. I have sometimes wondered if this was the origin of the whole idea.

          It is believed to have been tried by Nigerians in the past, and I think it was Alan Coren who commented in Punch that a safe way of transporting people like this could revolutionise the airline industry, because nobody really likes having to travel by plane.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          Yeah, they killed a completely innocent man in Norway.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillehammer_affair

          And when they did 'get their man' later, they used the old and trusted standby; a car bomb, killing him, 4 body guards and 4 innocent bystanders, and injuring another 18...

          Mossad; Surgical strikes using sledgehammers...

          Anon... because...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If @ac

        The Mossad don't fool about, they just whack you.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If

        put in a crate marked 'this side up'

        Not on your life. "Shake before use" is more likely. Those guys are brutally direct and efficient..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We invite you to meet with us

      "If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice,"

      Like Bradley Manning did?

  2. Christoph Silver badge
    WTF?

    WTF?

    "he should trust in the American system of justice,"

    The system that imprisons and tortures people for years without trial, without even charging them with anything?

    The system that holds people in solitary confinement for decades for trivial reasons?

    1. Slawek

      Re: WTF?

      Who is kept "solitary confinement for decades for trivial reasons"?

      Also note the difference between treatment of citizens and non-citizens.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: WTF?

        "Also note the difference between treatment of citizens and non-citizens."

        Believe me, we do, you fucking barbarians. Human rights supersede national exceptionalism, excepting where the nation is people and ruled by dangerous troglodytes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          And Brittain is no better Trevor, don't be so sanctimonious, just a different target. Non US citizens get better treatment than you think, seeing as how they released thousand of documented criminals back onto the streets.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: WTF?

            What the flaming monkey arsehole are you on about, Anonymous Coward?

            A) The UK certainly is better than the US. Not by bloody much, but when they get too far out of hand htey have the EU to restrain their excesses.

            B) Better a thousand guilty men walk free than one innocent man be jailed.

            C) What the hell does "documented criminal" actually mean anyways? The American justice system is so corrupt that one can be a "documented criminal" in that society and never have actually done a damned thing wrong. I mean, shit, Americans lock up people fleeing overwhelming gang violence in their home country as "criminals" then send them back to be tortured and killed. What the fuck kind of society is that?

            D) I'm Canadian, you gibbering idiot.

            1. Hollerith 1

              Re: WTF?

              Mr Pott, sing it loud, brother

              - A fellow Canadian.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        > Also note the difference between treatment of citizens and non-citizens.

        Really? You must mean "US Citizens can be assassinated by presidential directive without due process of law".

        If you think this is an exaggeration, think not. There is a secret US Justice Department memo/legal opinion which apparently makes this legal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          The "In the morning" is strong in this thread.

        2. Jaybus

          Re: WTF?

          "There is a secret US Justice Department memo/legal opinion which apparently makes this legal."

          Secret??

      3. big_D Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: WTF?

        @Slawek, didn't you see that documentary "The Rock" about an SAS officer who was held incognito for decades!

      4. Christoph Silver badge

        @Slawek

        Who is kept "solitary confinement for decades for trivial reasons"?

        These are the longest, but there are many many other examples. Mostly black of course. The reasons for doing this vary from petty to pretty well non-existent.

      5. a53

        Re: WTF?

        Half the former inmates of Guantanamo ?

      6. R Callan
        Childcatcher

        Re: WTF?

        Yes, I've noticed that U.S. citizens can be, and are, executed in public and without trial, for the dreadful crime of being mentally disturbed in a public place.

    2. RedneckMother

      Re: WTF?

      "Come in here dear boy, have a cigar..."

      1. AbelSoul
        Pint

        Re: "Come in here dear boy, have a cigar..."

        "And by the way, which one's Pink?"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      It wouldn't be so bad for him would it? If he followed John Kerry's advice:

      Come back to the USA, man up, share your cell with a couple of Six foot six gangbangers and expect a fair trial behind closed doors....

      He'd expect to be out in say, 150 years..... If he was lucky.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      Well, yes, Snowden has just revealed that agencies of the US government routinely break the law on a large scale, and Kerry, without the apparently slightest awareness of cognitive dissonance, suggests that Snowden should trust the US government.

      At least we now know that the Kerry/Bush election truly was pot meet kettle.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      Do you really think YOUR "system of justice" is any better? Maybe the one you can see, how about the one behind the curtains of civility?

      Ask any Northern Irishman! One mans terrorist is anothers hero......

  3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Meh

    Hmmm on balance

    I suspect that the Yanks may be telling the truth on this one - however I would expect them to smear him in any event so the point is moot. If I was Snowden and already planning to collect this stuff there would be no way I would draw attention to myself by rocking the boat....

    On the "trained spy" bit - true or Assange-like ego trip, although if he had some kind of black hat training it would help explain the extent of his p0wnage.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Hmmm on balance

      Maybe they are telling the truth but the NSA hide everything they can and lie about everything else so even if it is true, nobody will believe them anyway.

    2. Steven Roper

      Re: Hmmm on balance

      It's certainly credible that Snowden may be having paranoid delusions or be on an ego trip, but intelligence agencies have been discrediting opponents and crying wolf for so long that it's impossible to believe anything they say any more.

      Just like the old Aesop's fable I learned as a small child, when you lie all the time as a matter of course, eventually nobody will ever believe a word you say. The three-letter agencies have dug their own graves on this one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm on balance

        "...governments have been full of shit and crying wolf for so long that it's impossible to believe anything they say any more." FTFY

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm on balance

      But why should we believe them on this when they have lied about everything else, with high-level officials committing perjury before the US Congress?

      E.g., http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/16/nsa-collects-millions-text-messages-daily-untargeted-global-sweep

  4. Sanctimonious Prick
    Facepalm

    he should trust in the American system of justice," Kerry said.

    PMSL!!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Credibility problem

    Lets be honest, the NSA, and by extension the whole American executive have a major credibility problem, who on this planet is going to believe anything they say, after watching their own chief spy lie to congress, after reading about how their own CIA deleted embarrassing documents from the congressional oversight committee's computers, the oft repeated claims (from all sorts of people involved) about how it was all about stopping terrorism, followed by evidence that they we're bugging the governments of allies, and international trade negotiations, etc, etc.

    There's too much evidence which screams "Don't trust anything they say!" for any claims they make about Snowden to be granted any credence at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Credibility problem

      Absolutely. In effect, Kerry, Feinstein, et al. are mainly speaking to the (sadly) large audience of Americans who don't follow any independent or critical media.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Credibility problem

        "Absolutely. In effect, Kerry, Feinstein, et al. are mainly speaking to the (sadly) large audience of Americans who don't foallow any independent or critical media thoughts."

        ftfy

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More theatre

    I admire the way the American media and politicians have turned this into a debate about Snowden's motives and personality instead of a discussion about the routine and widespread law-breaking by the NSA, aided and abetted by GCHQ. So, well done.

    1. lambda_beta
      Linux

      Re: More theatre

      Did you expect anything less from politicians? They have no clue about any of this.

  7. bigtimehustler

    Errrm, I think the whole point is that he doesn't trust the American system of justice, I mean, isn't that his whole point! What an idiotic statement. Why does he have to be on American soil anyway to make his case to the American people? Unfortunately for the US we live in modern times and he can do that perfectly fine from anywhere but American soil where he will pressurised to redact things, say he was lying and much other nonsense in a bargain for a more lenient sentence...because thats justice, the US way.

  8. goldcd

    Well either whistle isn't connected to anything

    or nobody was blowing it.

    It's not as if either alternative makes them look good.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American system of justice

    US Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC's Today program that the administration would be happy to fly Snowden back to the United States to make his case before the American people.

    "If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice," Kerry said. ®

    The very same American system of justice which has done fuck all to the people who outed the CIA chief of station in (of all places) Afghanistan... that selective system which only punishes those who do something the executive doesn't like?

    It's not a very convincing argument that one.

    1. Thorne

      Re: American system of justice

      "US Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC's Today program that the administration would be happy to fly Snowden back to the United States to make his case before the American people."

      Not only would they be happy to fly him back, but they would be happy to force down any plane flying over (or even near by) American airspace if they thought he was on it and then fly him back.........

  10. Muckminded

    Dang, lemme look on the OTHER hard drive

    OK, yeah, here are those emails.

    Cheap NSA shot out of the way, why didn't Snowden preserve copies of the email threads for himself (not that they couldn't have been fabricated), so that he could produce them at times like this?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Dang, lemme look on the OTHER hard drive

      Who says he didn't?

      The longer he leaves it to produce the emails, the deeper the hole Kerry et al are digging for themselves.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Dang, lemme look on the OTHER hard drive

      Can you think of any way he could prove that an email he produced wasn't a fake? The only proof that he'd actually sent the emails (rather than a convincing looking text file), would be in the logs on NSA mail servers, and I can't see them releasing those, can you?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Dang, lemme look on the OTHER hard drive

        "Can you think of any way he could prove that an email he produced wasn't a fake?"

        If planned correctly, one aspect can be addressed simply.

        Send the encrypted messages to a newsgroup that is archived and timestamped widely.

        When you want to reveal the contents, reveal the key to decrypt. Of course, the messages can be faked up front, but having a copy that goes back before any debunking is at least as, if not more, credible than simply saying "nope, we didn't get that email".

  11. malle-herbert
    Big Brother

    Lying sacks of sh*t....

    Behaving as expected.... (see title...)

  12. Kevin 6

    Question is if he fabricated this why would they care what he does or where he is?

    The US says one thing, but all their actions scream the opposite (like always)

  13. Gray
    Boffin

    No public trial; no public evidence

    As Snowden himself pointed out in the NBC interview Wednesday evening on US television, he would be tried under the terms of the espionage act, which would essentially be a secret trial. The prosecution evidence, the testimony, everything in the trial would be classified and concealed from public view. The transcripts and proceedings would be sealed and never declassified. Only the inevitable fact of his conviction would be announced. Also, given the sensitive nature of his situation, it would be reasonable to expect he'd be held in solitary confinement, isolated in an undisclosed location with no hope of parole or judicial review for life.

    Secretary Kerry's assertion that Snowden return to face a fair trial is a brazen propaganda deception. He fully understands the implication and application of the espionage act provisions.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: No public trial; no public evidence

      To be honest - I couldn't imagine how you could try him in public, regardless of if he's right, if they try him in public they'd have to stick with their cover stories.

    2. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: No public trial; no public evidence

      "The prosecution evidence, the testimony, everything in the trial would be classified and concealed from public view."

      That doesn't necessarily mean the trial would be unfair. It would only be unfair if the prosecution evidence was concealed from the defence legal team, which is a very different situation.

      1. bigtimehustler

        Re: No public trial; no public evidence

        Or of course the evidence is just plain manufactured and then produced to the defence team? How is anyone supposed to say otherwise, no one is getting a search warrant for the NSA offices.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: No public trial; no public evidence

        "It would only be unfair if the prosecution evidence was concealed from the defence legal team, which is a very different situation."

        This is exactly what has happened in a few cases.

        In some cases the judge has viewed the evidence in chambers, but in more than one case the whole thing has been thrown out because the prosecution won't disclose evidence to the defence on the basis of "national security"

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: No public trial; no public evidence

          American Justice..

          http://www.globalresearch.ca/bradley-manning-court-martial-secrecy-and-injustice-on-trial/5337486

        2. chris lively

          Re: No public trial; no public evidence

          I'm not entirely sure what the point of snowden standing trial is.

          Either he leaked actual NSA secrets which shows a complete disregard for international treaties and us laws or he didn't. If the former then the NSA and federal government admit they are douche bags...but lock him up instead of the people in charge of this crap. If the latter then he hasn't actual done anything wrong.

          If I was Russia or China then I'd shoot him at some point, whiling framing a known US spy. They already know a big part of what the US does, snowdens death would be viewed by many as a retaliatory thing by the USA which would just cause more PR issues for them. Quite frankly the US government should be doing everything in its power to keep him alive.

    3. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: No public trial; no public evidence

      Also, how could any trial in a US court be considered fair after the Secretary of State has publicly called him a traitor?

  14. All names Taken
    Alien

    Only security he might have would be as a presidential candidate and US of A seems quite careless with those as well as fully fledged, indoctrinated and inaugerated proper presidents.

    If we took a hand count how many people would prefer US guvmint or NSA account of things?

  15. Slawek

    "he was a trained spy"

    I tend to believe him. The question is who trained him, Chinese or Russians?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      A nation of muggles.

      Yes, the education system of the US is in such a parlous state that actual skilling-up has to be performed by knowledgeable person from abroad.

      These then train sysops.

      Which are then mistaken by amurricans for spies.

  16. Old Handle

    The constitution: A trivial legal matter.

    1. Thorne

      The constitution: A trivial legal matter.

      More of a suggestion really........

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: The constitution: A trivial legal matter.

        It's more what you'd call "guidelines" rather actual rules.

        1. pdlane
          Megaphone

          Re: The constitution: A trivial legal matter.

          President GW Bush....."Stop throwing the Constitution in my face..... It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    KerryTruth®. So nourishing you absolutely want to hear more of it!™

    "If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust in the American system of justice," Kerry said

    Hey it's the Swiftboat Wonderboy speaking again. You know, the guy who allegedly threw his medals over the fence of the White House house, then found them back to show them on TV. Guy's just sick. I wonder what kind of black magic they use to keep his brain alive?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: KerryTruth®. So nourishing you absolutely want to hear more of it!™

      "I wonder what kind of black magic they use to keep his brain alive?"

      Come to think of it, I've never seen Kerry and Herman Munster in the same place.

      https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/7771643648/hC6523C4D/

      1. perlcat

        Re: KerryTruth®. So nourishing you absolutely want to hear more of it!™

        We call him "Lurch" for the uncanny resemblance.

    2. pdlane
      Holmes

      Re: KerryTruth®. So nourishing you absolutely want to hear more of it!™

      Re: " what kind of black magic they use to keep his brain alive?

      Heinz Ketchup.... of course...

  18. streaky Silver badge

    "Low Level Analyst"

    The US govt spends a lot of it's time trying to frame him as low level - assuming they're right surely somebody has to be asking why, if true, he had access to so much information that is protectively marked in a way that makes people think maybe they're lying.

    Is nobody in the Obama administration seriously asking this basic question assuming that's what they've been told and they're choosing to believe it?

    1. RedneckMother

      Re: "Low Level Analyst"

      If he was so "low level", how was he able to raise such a {fuss | furore}?

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: "Low Level Analyst"

        When they say he was low level they are referring to his height. It's a low blow, but then they have to swing low in order to hit him.

    2. chris lively

      Re: "Low Level Analyst"

      There are some questions that it's just better not to ask. If you into the answer it might mean you have to do something about it.

  19. Captain DaFt

    Well... DUH!

    http://www.propublica.org/article/nsa-says-it-cant-search-own-emails

    They've already told World + dog that they can't find *anything* in their email archives.

    Or is this only a thing when they *DON'T* want to find them?

  20. Alan Denman

    he is low level..

    Obviously a low level analyst does low level code and as such is a high level operator to me and you.

    You gotta laugh cos they are both right in that description, just happens that the US one is propaganda marketing.

  21. Chris G Silver badge

    Welcom! Welcome!

    "It's nice to see you back Mr Snowden. We have provided you with a suite close to the tropical beach.

    Now we would like to prove that American Justice is functional.

    If you would just drop your trousers so that we can attach these Erm, lie detector electrodes and then lie down over there and put this cloth over your face....

  22. Chairo
    Coat

    the government claims that isn't the case

    They would say that, wouldn't they?

  23. Mark 85 Silver badge

    NSA and the administration is blowing it...

    If they had just kept their mouths shut, not responded to anything, it would have blown over in the press and the 'Merican minds. Then whenever there were more of Snowden's docs released, the 'Mericans would have wondered who the hell he is and why is the TV not showing the Kartrashians.

    Let's face, we 'Mericans have short memories.... otherwise, Mr. Kerry wouldn't still be in politics after the Vietnam BS stories we heard. It's funny, today if he pulled some that, he could be charged with "Stolen Valor".

  24. David 45
    FAIL

    Hmm

    Well - they WOULD say that, wouldn't they! Surprised they even attempted that angle after all the devious shenanigans and antics they've allegedly been up to in the past. Who's going to believe anything they say now?

  25. codejunky Silver badge

    US problem

    Even if the US was sincere and honest on this matter who is going to believe them? So far they have lied outright consistently and a fair amount of Snowden's leeks have proven this outright lying. The US could suddenly have a massive change of heart and become entirely honest and nobody would believe them. That is exceptionally damaging to the credibility of the US and has likely inflicted more harm than the actual leeks which are pretty bad anyway.

    Snowden keeps coming off sounding like the hero regardless of how true it is. I dont know if Snowden is a stand up guy or not. I hear the legend as his leeks expose crimes against the people which add the the crimes we knew about beforehand. And the pursuit by the US to stop this guy and any reasonable discussion continues to frame the US as a greater and greater evil even against its own. And in doing that makes Snowden look more and more heroic.

    The fact is probably somewhere in-between.

    1. RoninRodent
      Joke

      Re: US problem

      > his leeks expose crimes against the people

      This made me think of a six-foot anthropomorphic Leek superhero fighting crime. Come Turnip man, to the Leekmobile! Best laugh I've had all day.

      Cheers!

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: US problem

        with Rutabaga, the Boy Wonder.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kerry is an obvious tit and he knows it!

    The US state is covered up stuff which would fracture all trust in them, so this is a piss take e.g.

    the real reasons that the World Trade Centre Towers and Building 7 collapsed and turned into powder so fast, and the foundations were furnaces for months etc.! Three of them and US owned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kerry is an obvious tit and he knows it!

      The real reason is that conspiracy theorists don't understand the difference between the melting point of steel and the gradual loss of strength with rise in temperature. Really people who think metals retain their strength to the melting point and then suddenly liquefy are not the people to go to for explanations of building collapse in fires.

      (Mind you, I once saw the result of an "engineer" (actually an HNC in mechanical eng) who didn't understand this and replaced a nimonic vacuum furnace tube with A2 to save money, then didn't understand why it looked like a banana after its first outing.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kerry is an obvious tit and he knows it!

        I personally know someone involved with the FEA (Finite Element Analysis) of the World Trade Center beam failures. Each building was designed to the working limit of it's materials because the owners/developers wanted more sellable open floor space and only the skin/frame and center supports remained and when heat from the fires degraded the buildings strength, the beams catastrophically failed, and the buildings collapsed. Falling that far generated enough force to destroy what might have been left.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Kerry is an obvious tit and he knows it!

          "the people to go to for explanations of building collapse in fires."

          3 Steel structure builds collapsing into their own footprint in one day.

          That buildings collapse during fires, sure - but like that and under such circumstances? If you have reference material for similar building collapses I wouldn't mind taking a look.

  27. PCS

    At least while Snowden is hogging the headlines we happily don't have to hear about the other schizophrenic.

    How is dear old Julian? Is he still avoiding justice by hiding out in someone's embassy?

    1. NomNomNom

      I bet Rolf Harris wouldn't have got away with hiding in some embassy.

  28. breakfast

    Funny thing about Kerry

    Snowden really picked the wrong administration for this.

    If the GOP were in power right now, the Democrats would be hailing him as a national hero and the greatest patriot of the last fifty years, but of course when it happens on their watch they can't say anything about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funny thing about Kerry

      You betcha, more of the pot calling the kettle black. Funny thing is I find more conservative praise of his "whistleblowing" than you would expect and more criticism from liberals.

  29. Richard 126

    Nothing is true until it is officially denied.

    See title

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  30. NomNomNom

    Edward...soviet name

    enuf said

    1. druck Silver badge

      @nomnomnom

      Three attempts at humour in one thread - stick to climate change stories, that's where you get the biggest laughs.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: @nomnomnom

        don't confuse hidden messages for humoUr!

        1. Hollerith 1

          Re: @nomnomnom

          Keep working on that, 3N.

  31. AbeSapian

    Mr. Kerry

    Would that be Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III of the justice system. You have to be more specific.

  32. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Trust American justice? ROFLMAO.

    Whenever I see a suggestion like Kerry's, I'm reminded of a conversational exchange I had with a law student. This was right after Bush v. Gore, and he came right out and said that he was in law school because he believed America was becoming a judicial dictatorship, and he wanted to be one of the dictators. (I have to describe it as 'a conversational exchange' for certain reasons, perhaps even legal ones.) If he has become a judge since then, I hope he's losing sleep over his ancient honesty, but I certainly deny having any copy thereof.

    It's hard not to think that America has passed a point of no return. I used to think the conspiracy theorists were nuts, and I still think that most of them are, but I'm increasingly inclined to think that some narrowly focused and small-scale conspiracies are plausible. Was Michael Hastings killed by hacking his car? It's possible that could have been done by a couple of people, and most of them wouldn't even have had to know what they were doing. Was Ron Suskinds effectively neutralized by poisoning his son? If the appropriate psychoactive chemical exists, a single actor would have sufficed. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to predict that Snowden is likely to come to a bad end, especially if he persists in bearding the giant.

    John Kerry was once a man of high principle. Long time ago. At this point, I trust his words far less than Snowden's.

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