back to article Uncle Sam demands summary judgment on Snowden memoir: We're not saying it's true, but no one should read it

The US government has gone back to court in a bid to get a summary judgment against whistleblower Edward Snowden and Macmillan – the publisher of his memoir, Permanent Record. The centre of the US case is that Snowden failed to submit his manuscript for approval to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before publication and …

  1. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Free publicity

    Banning Spycatcher in England meant Peter Wright became a millionaire.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Free publicity

      Streisand++

      1. GnuTzu Silver badge

        Re: Free publicity

        Ah, and government officials deleting their own tweets in contrast to certain record-keeping policies: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/25/772325133/as-president-trump-tweets-and-deletes-the-historical-record-takes-shape

        Oh, they say they keep a backup for compliance. But, who audits that process? And, do they not understand that the Internet never forgets. Oh yes, how many countries and news agencies do you think are recording all this stuff in the hopes that they may get to weaponize it?

        What you try to hide, what you try to delete, is a major, major tell.

        Dumb asses!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Free publicity

          "Ah, and government officials deleting their own tweets in contrast to certain record-keeping policies"

          You mean they don't make a Permanent Record of them?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Free publicity

      They won't ban it, they'll just require the publisher to give all the profits to the US government instead of to Snowden.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Free publicity

        They (probably) can't ban it. As far as I can see, they are just doing this to harass Snowden and to discourage future leakers. If I recall correctly, Snowden's publisher is in England which will probably make it somewhat more difficult to seize profits which they quite likely could do if the publisher were in the US.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Free publicity

          "If I recall correctly, Snowden's publisher is in England which will probably make it somewhat more difficult to seize profits which they quite likely could do if the publisher were in the US."

          Sometime soon, maybe very soon, maybe in a few months, the UK is going to be looking desperate;y for a trade deals with their "special friends". Trump seems to be quite capable of making deal A depend on the other party doing completely unrelated action B.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Free publicity

        There is a certain amount of poetic justice there. He's making money from telling the secrets of the US government, so in some ways it's fair that the US government gets paid for them instead.

        1. Ruisert

          Re: Free publicity

          He's got to earn a living somehow, living in exile in Russia, forever, apparently. It's way past ironic that my government is bitching about him breaking the laws that were supposed to prevent him from telling us how THEY were breaking the law.

          From beyond the grave, Orwell is probably thinking that this crap goes far past anything even he imagined.

    3. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Spot the difference

      Noone had heard of Spycatcher or Wright until they banned it.

      Snowden is already a celebrity.

    4. Barrie Shepherd

      Re: Free publicity - Banning Spy Catcher

      "Banning Spycatcher " ............and Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Lawyer who fought the UK Government in the Spycatcher case, did OK out of it as well even though he eventually lost his job of Australian PM to the Right Wing of Australian Liberals.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Free publicity - Banning Spy Catcher

        ... the Right Wing of Australian Liberals

        You say that as though Australian Liberals (or Australian politics for that matter) ever had a left wing.

    5. David Shaw

      Has "Uncle Sam" banned ISBN 1615770178 (again?) yet?

      https://www.amazon.com/Presstitutes-Embedded-Pay-CIA-Confession/dp/1615770178

      ISBN 1615770178, this book just released in English following purchase of the rights of Udo's Gekaufte Journalisten from Kopp Verlag (Bought Journalists) which has, let us say, had a very difficult time in being made available. English rights were first bought by a Canadian company, which then seemingly 'buried' the book (I had never heard the extreme publishing term "Privished" until now)

      Obviously the (2014 best seller in German) book might be wrong, nuanced, even deliberately subversive - or it might be accurate. make up your own minds, 'nudge'.

      Udo Ulfkotte, the author of this, will sadly not become a millionaire, tho' he was made an honorary citizen of Oklahoma

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Has "Uncle Sam" banned ISBN 1615770178 (again?) yet?

        I've never heard that term either, but it is the exact same as newspapers "Capture and Kill", ala Ronan Farrow, where they buy a story just to suppress it.

        There is a word for the scientific equivalent, Agnotolgy.

    6. TeeCee Gold badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Free publicity

      ...even though it was badly written, shit to read and largely apocryphal.

  2. ma1010 Silver badge
    Flame

    And it works!

    Thanks to El Reg I heard about this book and will be buying it. Government needs to be reigned in at times, and this is one of them. They were (and are) flagrantly violating the Constitution with their endless syping. I'm happy to help support Snowden in this small way.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: And it works!

      What was it called again? I keep forgetting. Oh yes, Permanent Record by Ed Snowden.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: And it works!

        Don't the google bots track these pages or something?

        Permanent Record by Ed Snowden.

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Thumb Down

          You are both very tiresome and juvenile

          It's almost as though you want to create a Permanent Record of the book by Edward Snowden, or something. Enough of this foolishness.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: And it works!

      Buy the hardback book. If you buy the Kindle version then the NSA will just hack it.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: And it works!

        " If you buy the Kindle version then the NSA will just hack it".

        Or its subsidiary Amazon.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: And it works!

      Government needs to be reigned in at all times...

      FTFY.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: And it works!

        On closer inspection,

        Government needs to be reined in at all times...

        FTFM.

        1. KittenHuffer
          Joke

          Re: And it works!

          Government needs to be rained on with fire and brimstone at all times ....

          FTFY!

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: And it works!

      I figured I'd wait to see if the US government manages to seize some or all of the profits. If not, I'll buy the book; if they do, I'll refrain, and just get it from the library or something.

  3. The Nazz Silver badge

    Lovely use of English

    Gobpiece.

    You don't see that written everyday. Love it.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Lovely use of English

      makes a lovely couple - her and her former boss Trump, the

      Gobshite

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Lovely use of English

      Trump's White House press secretary - why would anyone take on the job? Under any other POTUS, it would be a prestigious and honourable position to hold;not this.

      "The White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed Trump’s response: “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/26/impeachment-state-official-philip-reeker-donald-trump

      May be Boris can poach her to be his Press Secretary to help sell Brexit

    3. Edward Clarke

      Re: Lovely use of English

      I believe that was a misprint - it should be spelled "codpiece".

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Mushroom

    When governments forget who is in charge, the guillotines eventually come out, as the French aristocracy found out the hard way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alas not, in this day and age all communications and messages are monitored any sign of an uprising will be stopped with extreme prejudice before it even starts (extinction rebellion arrests before protest started for example). The majority of people are now in a state of slavery, the can't protest because if they do they don't get paid meaning they could lose their jobs and home or be unable to feed themselves or their family. People are conditioned to accept this way of life from an early age to get their entertainment from the circus (television/internet) and believe without much question what they are told with a promise of a better life if they just work hard. We have now entered the next stage with "fake news", news has always been fake but now it can be checked and verified a blanket of mass confusion is created to keep the illusion of truth going because who really knows what's true or false.

      It's not all doom and gloom though, I can still have dibby egg and soldiers for breakfast and there are plenty of funny cat videos to keep my days full of joy.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Stop

        Edwina Curry says "No!"

        Have you not heard of Salmonella? No more dibby eggs for you, citizen.

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Actually far, far more peasants and workers got the chop from the bold revolutionary boys.

      It was easier for aristocrats to decide to make that long tour abroad they had always promised themselves for one thing.

      Plus it intimidates the mass of workers if you decimate them. No one is safe

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        And, of course, there have been many, many people who suffered under repressive governments with no sign of a rebellion, much less a revolution. Counting on a popular uprising to reform government is a mighty long shot.

        1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

          Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

          John F. Kennedy

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You cannot get the toothpaste back in the tube

    If the Government manages to win this one, I look forward to reading it as a e-book distribution, and not paying a dime for the privledge. If one doesn't appear in the normal places, then I look forward to buying a first edition, firing up the scanner, creating the file and dumping it in as many places as I can think of.

    If Snowden wins this, I look forward to buying a first edition and leaving the scanner turned off for now.

    Ill be damned if I will support government backed suppression of free speech. Particularly in this case.

    A/C because I think I just confessed to something or other.

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: You cannot get the toothpaste back in the tube

      It's already out in ebook form, got it a month ago (date of publication) off Russian library site.

      1. Aussie Doc
        Black Helicopters

        Re: You cannot get the toothpaste back in the tube

        Same here and was surprised to find out just how much humour the book was written with.

        I thought there would be more, I don't know, pathos, perhaps?

  7. Any other name
    Alien

    Snowden's memoirs

    It is really hard to see the USG actions as anything but a petty, and ultimately futile, attempt to further harrass Mr. Snowden. I did read the memoir - and while it was quite readable and occationally fascinating, it does not reveal anything factual af all, that's not already a matter of public record. It is really a story of the inner workings of his mind, his feelings, and his motivations. True, it is spiced here and there with a few, fairly generic spy anecdotes - but those are dime a dozen these days, and one could learn more about the spy and surveilance tradecraft by spending half an hour on the 'net.

    If I have to summarize my impression of that book in a few words, I would say that Snowden comes across as a true, almost religious, believer in the US constitution and the power of the US democracy, who is driven by moral and ethical considerations above anything else. Like any zealot, he is also a little scary.

    1. aks Bronze badge

      Re: Snowden's memoirs

      Is it to harrass him or to intimidate others who work or who have worked for the TLA's?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Snowden's memoirs

        Some of both, I daresay, and also something of a face-saving exercise for the government.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Snowden's memoirs

      "I would say that Snowden comes across as a true, almost religious, believer in the US constitution and the power of the US democracy"

      Apparently that attitude is a poor fit to the NSA's ethos. I'm not terribly surprised. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Off topic, slightly, but this is an interesting read

    I often just drift through Wikipedia from link to link, and occasionally stumble across something really interesting. So I started at Spycatcher three hours ago, checking my first comment here, and I ended up on Richard Sorge.

    It's a long article, especially since I get distracted by all the links to battles I didn't know about, but read what other people said about him:

    "A devastating example of a brilliant success of espionage." – Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army

    "His work was impeccable." – Kim Philby

    "In my whole life, I have never met anyone as great as he was." – Mitsusada Yoshikawa, Chief Prosecutor in the Sorge trials who obtained Sorge's death sentence.

    "Sorge was the man whom I regard as the most formidable spy in history." – Ian Fleming

    "Richard Sorge was the best spy of all time." – Tom Clancy

    "The spy who changed the world." – Lance Morrow

    "Somehow, amidst the Bonds and Smiley's People, we have ignored the greatest of 20th century spy stories – that of Stalin's Sorge, whose exploits helped change history." – Carl Bernstein

    "Richard Sorge's brilliant espionage work saved Stalin and the Soviet Union from defeat in the fall of 1941, probably prevented a Nazi victory in World War II and thereby assured the dimensions of the world we live in today." – Larry Collins

    "The spies in history who can say from their graves, the information I supplied to my masters, for better or worse, altered the history of our planet, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Richard Sorge was in that group." – Frederick Forsyth

    "Stalin's James Bond." – Le Figaro

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Off topic, slightly, but this is an interesting read

      "Ott tolerated Sorge's affair with his wife, on the grounds that Sorge was such a charismatic man that women were always falling in love with him, and so it was only natural that Sorge would sleep with his wife."

      The Spy Who Loved Me

      "The Spy Who Loved My Wife"

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Off topic, slightly, but this is an interesting read

        I did wonder how much of his reputation as the greatest spy was admiration for his undercover exploits, or admiration for his between the covers exploits.

        "Day Two: I penetrated German High Command. Woof Woof!"

        I admire though that he only confessed in order to save the women he'd seduced.

  9. DeKrow
    Black Helicopters

    Uncle Sam...

    Points to Assange whilst maintaining eye contact with Snowden and says "How you like them apples?"

  10. Velv Silver badge
    Boffin

    Banning it

    The US Government are attempting to curtail publication because they don't want the public knowing about it. They're US Government attempting to curtail publication so the US Government doesn't find out what it doesn't know about itself.

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