Not that it is any great surprise considering the level of corruption and abuse of power that permeates the entire American system these days but one of the fringe benefits of the NSA snooping programs is the ability to gather and drool over amateur pornography and naked pictures to take the edge off of a boring day at work. In a new exclusive interview conducted by The Guardian with former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden the perusing of such personal and intimate material for fun is but one of the many bits of information discussed with the American hero. It is good to see Snowden actually getting the opportunity to speak at length in an honest forum unlike that over-hyped and heavily edited sit down with the state lackey Brian Williams of NBC back in May.
The interview, conducted in Moscow by Alan Rusbridger and Ewen MacAskill won’t get any coverage in the USA!, USA!, USA! where the narrative has mostly already been set that Snowden is a “traitor” and “Russian spy” which at least among many who I know personally is taken as the immutable truth as if spoken by God himself. The Guardian however for the most part still manages to publish and report the truth (with the exception of how even this venerable institution has now been transmitting unchallenged the lies of the US and Kiev regimes about the downing of MH17) but is largely unknown to the US public who remain safely enclosed within their red, white and blue cocoons of ignorance and exceptionalism, I excerpt the following from the transcript of the Snowden interview but please go and check it out yourself and pass it around to others:
ON NUDE PHOTOS
Many of the people searching through the haystacks were young, enlisted guys and … 18 to 22 years old. They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all your private records. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation but they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: “Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.” And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. Anything goes, more or less. You’re in a vaulted space. Everybody has sort of similar clearances, everybody knows everybody. It’s a small world.
It’s never reported, nobody ever knows about it, because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. Now while people may say that it’s an innocent harm, this person doesn’t even know that their image was viewed, it represents a fundamental principle, which is that we don’t have to see individual instances of abuse. The mere seizure of that communication by itself was an abuse. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communication stream, from the intended recipient, and given to the government without any specific authorisation, without any specific need, is itself a violation of your rights. Why is that in the government database?
I’d say probably every two months you see something like that happen. It’s routine enough, depending on the company you keep, it could be more or less frequent. But these are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions.
[Kind of like the “fringe benefits” of government TSA goons feeling up little children at airport checkpoints]
ON HIS LEAKING OF THE NSA DOCUMENTS TO JOURNALISTS
Snowden wanted the revelations to be published as fast as possible.] So I was very concerned about all these delays. You’ve got to remember I knew nothing of the press. I’d never talked to a journalist … I was a virgin source basically.
It was a nervous period. You have no idea what the future’s going to hold and I was all right because I knew things would get out but I wanted them to get out in the best way, and that was [why] I didn’t want any mistakes. It was what I called the zero fuck-ups policy…
It’s that concept of herd immunity. They run cover for the others. And particularly once you start splitting them over jurisdictions and things like that it becomes much more difficult to subvert their intentions. Nobody could stop it.
But as an engineer, and particularly as somebody who worked in telecoms and things like that on these systems, the thing that you’re always terrified of when you’re thinking about reliability is SPOFs – Single Point Of Failure, right?
This was the thing I told the journalists: “If the government thinks you’re the single point of failure, they’ll kill you.”
[Think about that statement “If the government thinks you’re the single point of failure, they’ll kill you” and it is as terrifying as anything else and the list of bodies of those who got too close to the truth before they published it is as long as it is evident that there are elements of the US government that engage in maintaining death squads for “wet ops”]
ON THE PROGRAMS THEMSELVES & THE US GOVERNMENT
I began to move from merely overseeing these systems to actively directing their use. Many people don’t understand that I was actually an analyst and I designated individuals and groups for targeting.
I was exposed to information about the previous programs like Stellar Wind [used during the presidency of George W Bush] for example. The warrantless wire-tapping of everyone in the United States, including their internet data – which is a violation of the constitution and law in the United States – did cause a scandal and was ended because of that.
When I saw that, that was really the earthquake moment because it showed that the officials who authorised these programs knew it was a problem, they knew they didn’t have any statutory authorisation for these programs. But instead the government assumed upon itself, in secret, new executive powers without any public awareness or any public consent and used them against the citizenry of its own country to increase its own power, to increase its own awareness.
We constantly hear the phrase “national security” but when the state begins … broadly intercepting the communications, seizing the communications by themselves, without any warrant, without any suspicion, without any judicial involvement, without any demonstration of probable cause, are they really protecting national security or are they protecting state security?
What I came to feel – and what I think more and more people have seen at least the potential for – is that a regime that is described as a national security agency has stopped representing the public interest and has instead begun to protect and promote state security interests. And the idea of western democracy as having state security bureaus, just that term, that phrase itself, “state security bureau”, is kind of chilling.
[The machine is fully out of control and there are no overseers in the government, only enablers and cover-up artists]
ON HIS EXILE TO RUSSIA COURTESY OF JOHN KERRY’S STATE DEPARTMENT
So this is the thing that nobody realises. They think there was some masterplan to get out safely and avoid all consequences. That’s what Hong Kong was all about. But it wasn’t. The purpose of my mission was to get the information to journalists. Once I had, that I was done.
That’s why I was so peaceful afterwards, because it didn’t matter what happened … Going to Ecuador and getting asylum there, that would have been great … And that would have just been a bonus. The fact that I’ve ended up so secure is entirely by accident. And as you said, it probably shouldn’t have happened. If we have anybody to thank, it’s the state department. The whole key is, the state department’s the one who put me in Russia.
I’m much happier here in Russia than I would be facing an unfair trial in which I can’t even present a public interest defence to a jury of my peers. We’ve asked [the] government again and again to provide a fair trial and they’ve declined. And I feel very fortunate to have received asylum. Russia’s a modern country and it’s been good to me so, yeah, I have a pretty normal life and I would absolutely like to continue to be able to travel as I have in the past. I’d love to be able to visit western Europe again but that’s not a decision for me to make, that’s for the publics and the governments of each of those independent countries.
ON GEORGE ORWELL
Contrary to popular belief I don’t think we are exactly in the Nineteen Eighty-Four universe. The danger is that we can see how [Orwell’s] technologies that are [in] Nineteen Eighty-Four now seem unimaginative and quaint. They talked about things like microphones implanted in bushes and cameras in TVs that look back at us. Nowadays we’ve got webcams that go with us everywhere. We buy cell phones that are the equivalent of a network microphone that we carry around in our pockets with us voluntarily as we go from place to place and move about our lives.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is an important book but we should not bind ourselves to the limits of the author’s imagination. Time has shown that the world is much more unpredictable and dangerous than that.
[I have often remarked that Orwell was an optimist and as Snowden points out – he was limited by his inability to fully anticipate the huge advances in technology that would make his Oceania a reality]
Edward Snowden is a patriot and a true American hero whose risk of everything has provided an invaluable service in helping to expose the nefarious criminal activities of an unaccountable and unconstitutional Deep State shadow government that operates with full impunity. This anti-democratic nest of vipers uses the visible components of the US government as an exoskeleton, just a costume to trick the masses that all is still right until the day comes for the changes in policy (say a “terrorist” attack or world war) that will bring about the “turnkey totalitarianism” that will be the final evolution of the warfare state.