DisInfoWars with Tom Secker: The Snowden-Twitter Bullsh..

Former CIA officer and NSA contractor Edward Snowden has recently joined Twitter. While this is hardly headline news the story has gone around the world, reported on by dozens of major media outlets. A follow-up story, that Snowden accidentally received 47 gigabytes of emails as a result of joining Twitter also got enormous attention, despite being obviously untrue.

In this episode I briefly outline the reasons for my suspicion towards Snowden and demonstrate how the 47 gigabyte story cannot be true. I relate this back to the story of when and how Snowden stole tens of thousands of documents from the NSA, explaining why I find both sets of claims implausible. I round off by speculating as to the real purpose behind Snowden joining Twitter, guessing that it is some sort of experiment to see how relevant and popular the general public still believe Snowden is.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Tom. Another decent episode and the spontaneity works well, keeping up with current events. I too had alarm bells ringing on day 1 of the Snowden story, but I’ll admit to still putting him in the ‘enigma’ folder.

    If he really is a spook with all that background, much like Oswald or other sheep dipped types, then wouldn’t Putin have his number? Considering everything that’s going on, then surely he’d at least have him under extreme suspicion.

    …..and an episode on The Chechen would be great, but please take the time to research if necessary. Better late and methodically done than rushed and half a job.

    Cheers

    • Saulman,

      I can only assume that Russian intelligence know exactly what Snowden is. Exactly what game they are playing is far less certain to me.

      • The Snowden story works as propaganda on several levels:

        1) It works for Russia as it makes Putin look like a ‘liberal hero of openness’ for protecting Snowden.
        2) It gives credence to the ‘Russia as enemy’ meme for the ‘Snowden is a traitor’ crowd.
        3) For those who suspect (with reason, though I’m not as yet convinced) that there’s intersection at the very top between US & Russia and that this is all ‘conflict theater’ for the masses worldwide.
        4) As stated, it normalizes mass surveillance and attempts to set in concrete official myths such as 9/11 which Snowden never challenges.
        5) Also, It gives birth to The Intercept as ‘a trusted news source’ and puts GG as the point man because he is self serving and controllable as they have a closet hammer on him.

        The photo at the top is perfect, Tom, and in a way it is emblematic — the cherry on top of the cake — of my suspicion of Snowden.

        • Peter (and Sibel),

          The only one of those I’d remotely dispute is 3). I don’t really see why they’d bother. Or rather, of course there is some intersection – we all inhabit the same planet. The Russians have a seat at the UN, BIS, whatever because if you’re a major nation then that’s what you do. You can’t just ignore the existing dominant power (NATO). Also, what would be the point of this conflict theatre? Not just as it applies to Snowden, I mean.

          I do wonder, looking back after 2 years, whether Russia also saw in Snowden a chance to get hold of someone who would make them look cool. Because when I watch RT these days I don’t see the one-dimensional anti-American channel I used to see. What I feel I’m now watching is a show aimed not at the fringe/alternative crowd in the West, but aimed at young(ish) people, and that is basically trying to make Russia look cool.

          And it works – Putin is bizarrely popular in the West across a range of demographics, and I’ve watched all this last week as people cheered on the Russians bombing the fuck out of Syria. As someone who tries to stay neutral in these things I don’t derive any satisfaction from it being Russia that is bombing ISIS. But I don’t think this is something that the NATO countries are allowing to happen – it is the natural response to the loss of faith in Western institutions of power.

          As to the photo – the pictures are Sibel’s department and she chooses very well. Especially so with this episode. Snowden is such a yuppie.

          • Tom,

            The point I was agreeing with was yours: “I can only assume that Russian intelligence know exactly what Snowden is. Exactly what game they are playing is far less certain to me.” I haven’t read the other comments yet. I have been pondering on Russia’s play…

          • Well then, great photo selection, Sibel! Not because I ‘like’ it, but because I consider it so over-the-top revealing. Can we imagine the photo shoot? “More aspirational this time, Ed. CLICK. Yes, look up like that. CLICK. Can we get more flag in the shot? Perfect. CLICK.” Actually, I hate the photo like some of us hate certain songs and can’t change the radio station fast enough.

      • My take as well, Tom.

      • Thank you Tom. Maybe I still expect people to “think it through” when he went off to Russia.
        For me it was a “Here’s your sign” moment…

  2. Gerald Hines says:

    Yes, Tom, totally inline with your thoughts of these massive numbers being thrown out and supported by the media. They’re bs. The same could be parroted about The Holocaust and the 6million number of gassed & cremated Jews of WW2. Research & fundamental math upends that myth, but the public gobbles it up without a blink.

  3. Wow!
    This news story about Snowden joining Twitter makes him look like a social media dinosaur for the past two years. What comes next? Facebook page? YouTube cannel?

  4. I find your media-coverage-contrast argument the most compelling. The 3-years-work-to-order-them-all argument sounds incorrect to me: If you use the wget tool, which I think I read he did, you just get the folder structure that was already there on the server that was the source of the documents. So rather than Snowden having ordered them on his own, Greenwald is probably looking at the fruits of the labor of the documentation department within the NSA. (Or the make-believe documentation dept if you wish. The point is it’s not Snowden’s own work).

    • Olivier,

      I’ve read about Snowden using all kinds of web-crawling software to gather these documents. I don’t buy it because the NSA’s databases aren’t just like a bunch of web pages that can be easily crawled and copied.

      As to the ordering – do you think the NSA keeps their documents arranged in nice little journalist-friendly folders? I don’t.

    • the NSA’s databases aren’t just like a bunch of web pages that can be easily crawled and copied

      We can distinguish three concepts:
      1. A database
      2. A document repository
      3. A web interface to those documents

      For non-savvy users to be able to access a document repository it is quite common to overlay it with a web interface, so they can just browse them. It’s very common within businesses, and a public version of such a thing is the FBI vault: http://vault.fbi.gov
      I once crawled it for all the moussaoui documents, and I got exactly the folder structure that the FBI had apparently given them.

      So, yes, I believe the question to both of your answers is yes. Not that I know anything about the NSA in particular, but I just extrapolate / interpolate between business and the FBI.

    • P.S. The conclusion of what you’re saying is compatible with what I’m saying: Namely we both agree that he wouldn’t have ordered them by himself. I’m just pointing out that the ordering is compatible with the idea of downloading documents, because I did it myself, and you can do it right now if you have a linux computer at hand:

      Correction: It’s not from the FBI but from the courts. Anyway, you would have entered a statement like this to download a collection of docs, and you will inherit whatever folder structure the courts have created there:
      wget –recursive http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/

      In fact you will see that the moussaoui case is a neat subfolder, itself having smaller folders.

      I also don’t find it entirely surprizing that a large organization would create structure in their docs, particularly since they “need” to enforce their classification system. (“need” as in, when it suits them).

      Now whether the exact folder structure that Greenwald was looking at is THE SAME as one that a regular NSA employee would be looking at I agree is questionable: That comes down to the difference between a documentation dept and a would-be documentation dept.

      • Hi Olivier,

        I think we should distinguish between the bureaucracy of the court system, where you’re prosecuting someone on several counts and with dozens if not hundreds of exhibits so it all has to be ordered in a very accessible way, and mass surveillance operations which are much much larger and more carefully classified.

        But I guess we’re somewhat stabbing in the dark here because we don’t know what the vast majority of these documents are. If they are tens of thousands of operational documents describing lots of different surveillance techniques and ops then they weren’t just sat in one or two parent folders waiting to be downloaded via a linux laptop. If most of them are just sub-records of 30-50 overall surveillance operations then I could buy that.

      • We can also put the question like this:

        1. Would the NSA have stored their docs in a central place?
        2. Would they have created a folder structure there?
        3. If Snowden would have obtained access (by web or by any other method, say file system access) to documents for which he had no clearance, would he then have been able to copy any structure that the NSA would have created?
        4. Would Snowden have been able to get access in the first place, without such access having been organized by a handler?

        (Ad 1) I don’t know, probably not, but I don’t find it unbelievable that there would have been “islands” of documentation, particularly since the culture was so intent on buying third party software and lots of people have document repositories for sale.
        (Ad 2) Not inconceivable to me
        (Ad 3) Most probably Yes
        (Ad 4) This one is difficult to believe in a military organization, but not inconceivable since he’s supposed to have been a system administrator.

    • wget Snowden- as if he copied that from lifehacker.
      Labnol.org shares a bit more if you are so inclined, stating it is the free tool used by soldier used to access “secret docs from the US intranet…” You know the rest.
      I GNU, do you?

  5. Molly Freze says:

    Brilliant. Thank you. Literally, every person I know thinks Snowden is a legitimate whistleblower, and look at him like he is a hero. This includes those more informed friends of mine who are no strangers to “conspiracy theories” or what lies behind the media curtain. Even though I’ve tried to explain many of the reasons behind the idea that Snowden is NOT, in fact, legitimate, people seem to have a hard time believing it and almost always bring up the fact that he’s “banned” and “in Russia”…and don’t even get me started on the documentary! Bravo to ‘those we stand against’, as they seem to have pulled off a really really brilliant circus this time…taking it a step further by masking it as a ‘whistleblower’ and making the rest of us appear even crazier for questioning it. Thanks for the thoughts and speculations – more should be out there on these alternative ideas about Snowden, as it doesn’t seem that many are questioning him at all!

  6. If you want to squash assertions of Glenn Greewald’s legitimacy just have them read these

    1) https://theintercept.com/2015/05/29/denny-hastert-highly-unsympathetic-face-americas-criminalization-pathology/
    “Indeed, who is the victim in Hastert’s alleged crimes, which — again — do not include the “past misconduct”?”

    2) Sibel’s Probable Cause episodes on Denny and chapter 3 of The Lone Gladio.

  7. doublek321 says:

    A few points:

    1) I have trouble streaming the podcast. It gives an error when I stream (though I can listen when I download). Not sure if anything can be done or if you need more details. I have iPhone 5 (version 6.1 – which I’m pretty sure is the OS) and AT&T as the carrier. And I use iCatcher for podcasts.

    2) I’m playing devil’s advocate here (I’m in agreement w/ your take on Snowden) but is it possible the whole “neatly organized for use by reporters” thing is that Snowden just DL’d (downloaded) the files as-is and they were already well organized? As for “60 files a day for 3 years” (or whatever the numbers were), would it be possible that he bulk DL’d the files? Also, the thing about him being on a military base on 9/11, the world was different up to that day so maybe security was more lax? And he had family who were involved in the CIA.

    3) It’s almost more interesting to me the idea that Greenwald kept changing the number of documents. He said he had gone through 1% at one point. Then after not releasing that many documents, Greenwald talked of a “grand finale” that would essentially knock our socks off. Meanwhile it barely made a blip on the radar. Then Greenwald said he was going to continue to report on these stories. In other words, he goes very far back and forth on the documents and his reporting of them. Meanwhile wasn’t The Intercept created for Greenwald to report on the documents? It doesn’t add up at all to me.

    4) Greenwald almost always mentions Snowden and Chelsea Manning. He rarely (if ever) seems to mention other whistleblowers like Russ Tice (though correct me if I’m wrong on that). It doesn’t add up as far as I’m concerned.

    5) As far as the format of your show, I really enjoyed this one so one vote for you to do those on occasion (using your discretion as to what is interesting).

    6) I’d be interested to hear your take on the use of propaganda to advance ideas. I know you did some of that in the so-called “tin foil hat territory” section of the podcast. I wouldn’t object to hearing more of your opinions (though don’t overwhelm the podcast w/ that stuff – not that I think you would).

    7) I remember Obama talking about (paraphrasing) “we’re not going to ground planes to find this guy” before forcing a plane of a smaller country to the ground because Snowden was supposedly on it. They went to that degree to get him but then let him get interviewed by Brian Williams (which is suspicious enough itself) and allow him to speak at music festivals in the US (on a remote TV or whatever). With today’s tracking technology, why wouldn’t the CIA hunt down Snowden (even if in Russia)?

    8) If Snowden knew so much, wouldn’t the Russians interrogate/torture him to get info? Would the US then send in teams to try to assassinate Snowden if so (as the secrets that Greenwald always says he’s “vetting” before posting can just be revealed).

    9) Why would Snowden say he felt he had won when Greenwald said he had gone through (or maybe he said released) only 1% of the documents? Wouldn’t he criticize him for not releasing enough documents after risking his own life to get them to a reporter? And wouldn’t he at least say “I’d like to see Greenwald release documents related to ___” when Snowden speaks remotely?

    • doublek321,

      As I say, do you think the NSA keeps their top secret surveillance operation files arranged in nice little journalist-friendly folders? Because for someone as thick as Greenwald to be able to understand and write stories on them they would have to be VERY journalist-friendly.

      And yes, the number of documents, whether Greenwald was given them all, and if he was where and when this happened – there a dozen conflicting reports on all of this. It’s amazing anyone takes it at face value.

  8. El Duderachi says:

    I am still a little bit doubtfull about the line Tom takes on this podcast. The fact that the msm covered Snowdon so extensively in comparison to other whistleblowers, could ‘just’ be the fact that he had loads of supporting documents. These documents form a cache of evidence that has – yes slowly – been released by the intercept and other msm-outlets. The documents have had an impact on various levels, the last one being the story of the highest court in the EU about the safety of peoples data stored in the US. My take is that msm have jumped on this because finally there is some hard evidence to work with. They cannot deny that something was going on down at the NSA.

    The whole invasion of The Guardian and detention of Greenwalds lover could have been a spasm from the establishment, ignited by fear about what dirty secrets might come to light if the documents were to be published. In line with the slave-servitude of the msm they relay what information they will publish with their lordly publishers. Thats the way that system works and yes its a crap system. But it has not stopped an essential and proper unveiling of what securityservices were doing, illegally.

    Before I continue, let me say that I consider Tom’s work highly. Since I heard him on his first appearance on Corbettreport.com, I have listened to his takes on many many subjects, including of course his excellent work on 77 and on Hollywood and the CIA to name a few. I appreciate his well informed, dryly presented views. I also, like most here probably, consider this site very informative and Sibel a genuine whistleblower. Finally, I am open to feedback on my views, so please dont slam me as a trol just for trying to keep an open mind in as search for truth. (and I am not working in the msm either… or trying to defend them).

    The fact that Snowdons twitteraccount got so many followers can easily be explained by the fact that he is so famous. I’m sure there are many other celebrettti’s with more than a million followers or that there are twitteraccounts that have gained more followers than Snowdons in the same span of time as his.

    Also, I concur with doublek321 second point about the collection of the data.

    Tom does make some good points in this podcast and for sure there are questions to be asked about Snowdon and how this all went down, but I just was not as convinced as I usually am.

    None the less: keep up the good work!

    • El Duderachi,

      I recently obtained over 1600 pages of documents proving that the Pentagon has a massive domestic propaganda operation. We struggled for weeks just to get it into one newspaper, and then no other newspapers picked up the story.

      Meanwhile, Snowden turns up with documents that no one can verify are real and has absolutely no difficulty whatsoever in getting ‘his’ story out. Documentaries, Hollywood movies, masses and masses of media coverage – the full circus. That doesn’t just happen. Don’t kid yourself – having evidence does not matter. We’ve had evidence of mass surveillance for decades (going back to the Church Committee). We have evidence of all sorts of things – it makes no difference, the MSM won’t report on it.

      Do you think this last couple of weeks was the first time anyone heard the story about David Cameron and the pig? Do you think no one knew about Jimmy Saville until after he died? The MSM fail to report on most stories. Yet when it came to Snowden they were tripping over each others dicks to try to get to the front of the line, and a CIA-connected ebay billionaire set up a whole vanity media corporation just to report on this crap.

      If you can point to any other whistleblower in history who has been treated like this then please do, but I am not aware of one.

      • El Duderachi says:

        Tom,
        Thanks for your reply. No I cannot point to a similar whistleblower case that has gained so much traction… And you make a valid point that other cases receive (near) total rejection when they provide ample solid evidence. Yet the fact on itsself that Snowdons case has taken off and others have not, does not 100% prove its a misleading setup from the getgo. Nor does the fact that Snowdon was surrounded by spooks and army all his (working) life. Yes both arguments point to dodgey areas that are definately worth our suspicion. But maybe there are other reasons Snowdons case took off. Maybe it is because we in the west live in such a digitalised weird world, combined with the mythe that surrounded the NSA, that this story took off so much? The shitizenry can apparently relate to that kind of stuff quite easy.

        Having said all this: its a solid shame that your 1600 pages of pentagon documents didnt receive the same attention. The MSM failed misarably, as usual. Just like they did in the other examples you gave (cameron and saVILE) and, heck, in most of the cases covered in the whole alt media! But like I said, just the fact that Snowdons did take off, isnt proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt that its some kind of hoax.

        Could the fact that movies are being made about snowdon by the same peeps as zerodark7 maybe mean that they are trying to frame his story in a certain way – after the fact? Just like with 911? Its not because Snowdon is a hoax from the beginning that hollywood flics are being made about him, it could also be some kind of damage control propaganda. I have not seen any film about snowdon though, and therefore cannot comment on how it is being framed.

        • El Duderachi,

          Your’e right – the media coverage is not in itself evidence of manipulation. Every once in a while the mainstream media just latches onto something and milks it, I’ve just never seen that happen with a whistleblower before. I guess there is a first time for everything.

          And again, you are right that the Hollywood movies themselves are not a sign of something being wrong with the original story. Hollywood is more than capable of misinterpreting history even without the government’s involvement. But there are a lot of connections between Sony Pictures and the CIA, it is no surprise to see Greenwald selling his version of the story to Sony. I’m guessing the Oliver Stone version will be slightly more intellectually and emotionally engaging, but in essence will be the same movie. And Stone’s is coming out first, it will set the stage for the more blockbuster version from Sony.

          I admit, there is no conclusive proof about this, I just see all the different elements and think they add up to quite a strong case.

          • El Duderachi says:

            Thanks a lot for your reply. Its like you KNOW that something is wrong and fishy about the Snowdon case, and many other cases also. So you dig into it (which is great for us!) and try to find arguments for your version of events, of the truth, and share them with us.

            But what then to do with the questions I have pondered upon for a long time: When is something Conclusive proof or Solid evidence? When can one truely be certain and say: This is true. Its unrefutable. Its so damn difficult to get there, if you try and keep an open mind. Most of the time I find myself thinking: well… this version of event seem a little bit mor true than others. Also I find that lots truthmedia stories in general tend to be great at blowing holes in official versions of events. And because thats possible, it must therefore be a coverup of sorts.

            When is something ‘true enough’ for you to publish? I have heard you say many times on your show something in the line of: “I am no expert on this, but…” or “I could be wrong, but…” So you often clearly state what you ar sure about and what not. But still: is there a criteria for going on the record and proclaiming how certain events went down? And how often have you been 101% sure about a case? (7/7 maybe??)

            Thanks again for your podcasts. Much appreciated.

          • El Dude,

            In terms of absolute knowledge, I guess never. I don’t think there’s any such thing.

            In terms of specific events – when both the predominance of evidence and a clear logic for interpreting it is apparent to me I am usually willing to offer an opinion and say what I think. I say ‘I could be wrong’ because I could be, even on the stuff I am an ‘expert’ in I could still be making mis-steps. Or possibly be facing the wrong direction entirely.

            That said, I am pretty sure of 7/7, and Snowden, and 9/11, and David Headley, and Ali Mohamed, and WTC93 and Oklahoma City and a whole bunch of other stuff. And we can usefully distinguish between a cover-up (evident and certain in lots of cases) and a conspiracy behind that cover-up (less certain).

    • candideschmyles says:

      You are right to approach this with as open a mind as you can. As Tom freely concludes to you the evidence is circumstantial. I dont know, however my prevailing feeling on him remains a great suspicion. I watched an interview with him yesterday in which he stated, and I paraphrase, “Yes I was brought up in a spy culture but a guy can change his mind”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8OoEUmOyN8 In this interview on Al jizz era like always he comes off as a bad actor sticking to a script and following the lessons of presentation we see daily now from msm liars. Do we give credence to him “changing his mind”? I dont know. Its possible.
      As for Greenwald, Poitras, the Guardian… I am not so quick to cast shadow. I had followed the unfolding events of Snowdens appearance in the zeitgeist on their twitter feeds. I find it difficult to see them as anything but sincere in delivering what they had in a way consistent with their given styles. I can believe they have been duped too but I cannot justify any question of collusion.
      There is another aspect to this. What is the sum value of the Snowden leaks? Tom rightly states that bulk data collection was no big secret. It was being discussed in the scientific press as early as 2000 as a technical problem that had been solved. Which is where I first learned of its true scope. So what has Snowden released that is not an open secret? And I cant think of much but piffling distractions about Merkels Phone or Brazillian Banks. So the sum value of Snowdens leaks must have some other purpose. He stole Wikileaks thunder? He was a warning shot across the bows of German economic muscle flexing? Neither are entirely convincing and I cant think of any that are.
      Its tempting to criticise the Snowden leaks as being pointless thinking that way. Thinking another way, what has been their effect?, is not clear either. On Snowden himself its being an exile in Russia with an increasingly threadbare cover story. Perhaps his purpose was to get leads on aspects of Russian security operations. He will be being watched round the clock and that of itself gives a flow of data points to anyone observing the observers. He could be a recruitment scout whose purpose is to sound out potential loose tongues among Russian academics and elites? Or perhaps, as I have suggested before, he was tasked with getting an inside take on Wikileaks methods in protecting and assisting sources. If these are true then he has played a dangerous game with his own life. and it comes off as a bit too reckless to be real. whatever the truth it remains with me that the whole thing stinks.

  9. Gary Binmore says:

    Good stuff as usual, Tom

    The attention to detail (dates, arithmetic) was very apt and adds to the incontrovertible argument against this guy’s authenticity.

    Aside from the hammy persona – typical of badly disguised deep state operatives (eg. Ledeen, Armitage, Margaret Thatcher) – look at what this guy is supposed to be: an affluent spook with a stripper girlfriend and who goes to hacker parties and then gives it all away because he discovers government treachery and can’t resist becoming a whistleblower. James Bond with a conscience – the ego ideal of how many hundred million 12-30 year old males? That’s why they take offense to criticism of him – it’s like a personal attack.

    He’s like the hero of a screenplay who was given a run in real life before being made into a movie.

    Of all the bona fide whistleblowers the NSA has turned out – Binney, Drake, Tice, Tamm, Madsen etc – this guy becomes a hero. Just one example of how a whistleblower is really treated – Russ Tice was harassed, followed around everywhere by the FBI, and almost thrown in the looney bin. Newspapers wouldn’t listen to him and interviews on TV were cancelled at the last minute. Just listen to P B Collins’ interview of him on this website. Renegade govt employees with deep secrets to reveal don’t get rock star treatment.

    Although Snowden’s documents might be scarily well arranged they are not scarily revealing – they just pad out what was already known. Yes, his documents regarding PRISM contradicted statements made by governments, Google, Facebook etc, but everybody following the story and sensible enough to distrust propaganda from the usual suspects knew they were lying. And what about the documents he hasn’t unleashed? Are Greenwald and co trying to figure out a way to make millions out of them? Are they lamer than the first batch? Do they even exist?

    The result of Snowden’s “revelations”? Now everybody knows the deep state is recording everything and hardly anybody cares. Mission accomplished.

  10. Well just that picture is silly. If Snowden was all that grateful, he’d be wrapped in a Russian flag, not because I believe he’s a spy for Russia (remember, state dept cancelled his passport when he was going to go to either Venezuela, Bolivia or Cuba), this whole thing about him being ready to go to prison…..nobody in their right mind would go to prison for something they thought was the moral thing to do. So he should stay in Russia as long as he can actually find a country that will host him and not fear US bombs….Russia’s the safest bet here, but they leave South America alone now after all the outcry from the CIA’s little games in the 60’s and 70’s down there.

    IF he’s got no hidden agenda. I’m still laughing at Pearse Redmond’s twittter post saying “Active CIA agent @EdwardSnowden…”

    Now, to listen to this podcast. You’ve been very productive and one of the most interesting person online lately Tom, when in the past I used to really hate your old microphone, I’m Canadian and your really thick accent puts Australians to shame heh, .all those UK dialects make my head spin and the bad audio quality then hurt your content, but I’m glad that this is no more, now I get you 100%. As for Canada, well, there is such an article and a firefox language pack for Canadian English…its pretty much sometimes we use the British spelling of words and sometimes the American one. Alright, let’s get to this.

    • Marty,

      I find that quite ironic because most people say I have a very gentle accent, but I guess that’s pretty subjective. And it may not have been a microphone upgrade and more me learning to use it better. Though I do now use an input mixer via USB which does produce much better quality sound.

      I laugh at a lot of things Pearse does.

  11. Tom, I don’t have the time to offer a thing other than this right now… but I wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoy your podcasts immensely, and that you are a welcome addition to the roster here at BFP.
    As a side note, I happy renewed my subscription recently. The skeptical, rational oasis of sanity here at BFP is worth every penny to me!

  12. This was a great episode. I can’t help but agree with all your points. I’m stunned by how much credit he gets from so many who one would think would know better. Because of that, it’s easy to forget all of the suspicious aspects of this story, so thanks for the reminder that we’re likely being conned again.
    I want to disagree about Stone because I love his JFK film so much, but I too am baffled by his later work. Would love to hear your further thoughts on him.

  13. Nice summary, thank you Tom. I find I agree with your conclusion, but tentatively, because your arguments — well stated, and a good summary of the arguments available — are just inevitably so speculative in nature. And in the case of the “how’d he organize all those documents” argument, just — no offense — weak. In short I think you’re probably right, and there is much that is highly suspicious about Snowden’s amazing and instantaneous success with a weirdly helpful media, but let me try to dispense with that one argument:

    I do not buy the argument about the difficulty of organizing 60,000 documents, as if it had to be done one at a time by hand. With all due respect, that’s just a bit silly. I would call that a “mere” 60,000 documents, first of all. I work with databases for a living. The only point of having a database is so you can find things, which means they’re organized in some way. No, it’s certainly not organized in media-friendly folders, in fact databases aren’t organized into folders at all. They’re generally organized as rows in related tables, designed to make data retrievable in searches according to a variety of organizing principles: keywords, naming conventions, code-numbering schemes, etc. 60,000 documents could very plausibly be retrieved and organized into folders by key word using a single well-structured query whose execution could most likely be measured in seconds. (I am assuming that NSA’s computers are at least as fast as mine.) There is nothing the least bit implausible about him being able to obtain and organize what is, in computer terms, a very modest number of files.

    With apologies for my own geekiness…

    • Hi John,

      I also work with databases a lot – that’s what the national archives website are, for the most part. And I know that if I was looking for specific things that finding 60 documents in one day would be impossible even without another job alongside.

      It isn’t a question of finding 60,000 documents and downloading them, but reading them, arranging them, making sure they are OK to hand over to journalists. I don’t believe anyone could do that at a rate of 60 a day unless it was their full time job. So, with all due respect to your geek expertise, we’re talking about something a lot more complex than just accessing a database and batch-downloading documents. Particularly when, as I assume they were, these weren’t all accessible via one database with one set of security clearances. Information like this is compartmentalised even in benign bureaucracies, let alone hostile ones like the NSA.

      • Except that neither of us has any real idea what the documents are or how they were organized or what kind of search he did. To me it sounded very much like a wide-net grab-n-dump that he did not particularly vet before handing them over — which as I recall was the rationale behind leaving it up to the journalists to sort out. So finding 60,000 documents by general type might well be considerably easier than finding 60 specific documents.

        Suppose for example each file gets a code number, not an unreasonable assumption. The numbering scheme is likely not entirely random, but might be something like the CIA scheme, in which certain prefixes indicate certain programs. So one could for example write a query that grabs everything and divides it up according to code prefix, which would net you a lot of documents organized into general type, easily extended by as many subtypes as can be represented by the code scheme. That doesn’t sound terribly unlike what has been described, does it?

        But…I could be wrong. It did happen once. 😉

        • You could well be right and if indeed that is the story then it’s perfectly plausible. For example, it took me only about a week to find virtually every previously-released document in the CIA’s database on films, TV shows, books and so on. Admittedly there weren’t 60,000 of them but a basic familiarity with search taxonomy helped me do it a lot more efficiently. And that’s will very limited search functions.

          On the other hand, if Snowden did hand over stolen documents that he hadn’t actually read himself, then that it is pretty careless and stupid. It’s possible he’s just an idiot, I guess. 🙂

  14. Hi Tom,

    I enjoyed this episode and I think you did a good job further compiling explanations why the Snowden mythology is purely an ongoing psychological con job which the deep state has continued to monopolize on in these marketing extravaganzas. “Get your team Snowden bracelet and take a selfie showing your support for protection of digital privacy!” Or… “buy the new Snowden brand cigarettes, they tell you what all the ingredients are. Because you have a right to know what’s killing you!”

    Sorry, I have to figure out a way to just go beyond being bitter and aggravated about this crap, but for now…

    • PS – That Wired cover is almost painful to look at!

    • Benny,

      Thanks, I enjoyed making this episode. The social media-friendly nature of the coverage around Snowden tells me that it is primarily aimed at that crowd.

      A friend of mine suggested another reason for this – to make the internet the primary battleground for rights and privacies and freedoms. Meanwhile, more drones that people don’t pay enough attention to, more real world corruption of what’s left of the justice systems in various countries, so on and so forth. It helps drive people onto a virtual battleground where they expend time and energy on virtual rights and virtual freedoms that can never truly exist. Whereas ‘freedom from being bombed by remote control’ is a freedom and a right that can truly exist, and should.

      • Hi Tom,

        I think on a basic level each installation of Snowden celebration is aimed at selling the public, particularly those concerned with surveillance issues, that somehow Snowden represents some sort of victory for the people over the NSA security state. While this is demonstrably false, everything about these sorts of Snowden publicity stunts have that likeable David vs Goliath element that people tend to gravitate to. One where good triumphs in the end.

        The double edge sword in part seems to be that, theoretically if the story were true, what Snowden did should be something we would want to celebrate, but I often find myself at a loss for trying to articulate why this doesn’t apply, because the methodology for deconstructing the mythology requires a level of understanding which typically exceeds civilian grade capacity. At least within the frame of a standalone conversation.

        In addition to the harmful normalization of surveillance you outlined, I think this false victory narrative is serving the same kind of role as Obama’s election. The same sort of manufactured euphoria is a shot of a morphine cocktail which convinces the mind that situation has begun to improve, even though the evidence suggests the opposite. It’s the same sort of pacifying effect.

        Perhaps looking at the “hope and change con job”, now that we’ve had ample time to review its application and effect, could potentially provide us with some insight into how we might begin to deconstruct the ongoing Snowjob.

        • Benny,

          “In addition to the harmful normalization of surveillance you outlined, I think this false victory narrative is serving the same kind of role as Obama’s election. The same sort of manufactured euphoria is a shot of a morphine cocktail which convinces the mind that situation has begun to improve, even though the evidence suggests the opposite. It’s the same sort of pacifying effect.” Excellent analogy. Wholeheartedly agree.

          • I totally agree, yes, I think that’s very astute.

          • One of the questions now which might be useful to think of are what are some real life examples of what the real chilling effect of the surveillance are that we can point to to help illustrate this for people? Sadly none come to mind. My relatively standard line at this point when people bring up Snowden is to say that the only real “revelation” to come about from these disclosures is that the only thing that really frightens people is the idea of the government intercepting nude selfies and whatnot.

            So my question to all of you is this: are there any really strong examples of ways in which this technology has been used that would properly frighten people? Not just for the sake of frightening them, but to realize there’s more to be concerned about which has a direct effect on their civil liberties than whether or not the feds are snatching up your “crotch shots”.

  15. truthseeker says:

    Thanks for the timely update, Tom. Sorry, I’m not able to read through all the comments here (time constrains and eye issues), but I did search this comments page for “Emory”, as in David Emory. He convinced me shortly after Citizen 4 came out that Snowden is a spook; he calls Snowden “the peach fuzz fascist”. Emory has links that to me convincingly docoument Snowden’s status as a complete tool of the deep state, and also document Snowden saying things like the following: http://spitfirelist.com/news/edward-snowden-unplugged-the-elderly-wouldnt-be-fucking-helpless-if-you-werent-sending-them-fucking-checks-to-sit-on-their-ass-and-lay-in-hospitals-all-day/.
    The folks I know who pay attention to current affairs all count him as a bona fide whistle blower, except for two very close friends of mine. Since Dave Emory’s episodes and articles starting a year or so ago, I decided he’s an asset, an agent or both.
    As to why Putin decided to give Eddie limited asylum, I don’t think Emory has a particular theory on that either. I tend to agree there’s some chess maneuver involved, but at what dimension I couldn’t say.
    Sibel/web administrator:
    I am also a subscriber having trouble getting the podcasts downloaded into my iPhone 4 or iPad mini (both with up to date current OS’s), and many of them won’t even download into my iTunes (up to date current Windows version). When I try to manually download episodes, I get multiple repeating screens requesting my username and password for boilingfrogs. I’m able to log on the boilingfrogs website, but the same credentials don’t work for downloading the podcasts. Very cumbersome, I basically have to wait til I have free time at a desktop (rare for me), to log in to the website and listen manually.

    • Hey truthseeker,

      Yes, Snowden has said numerous things that show that deep down he is a fascist. His absolute love of the military-intelligence complex being at the heart of that. But yes, like a lot of Ron Paul supporters, he’s basically just a right-winger who hates welfare and poor people. I know a lot of people disagree, but I always saw Ron Paul and the movement around him as fascism in a libertarian t-shirt. No surprise to see young Eddie going along with this, given his entire family are military/spooks.

  16. Thoughts ? 911 is an inside job .
    The reality of that alone argues for SNOWDEN to be one too.
    His lack of any addressing-or apologising for not addressing, the evidence of the 911 event as false flag, backs that up. Greenwald too.

    You ask how do others react to the notion of him as cuckoo? In my experience, those that allow for it ‘as a possibility,’ hedge at about the same moment as those who have accepted ‘the notion’ of 911 as psyop demolition; being introduced to CIT and North of CITGO evidence regarding PENTTBOM… they can only allow the deception ‘to go so far’ – they can only allow to have been deceived – ‘to a point’. Then default. As if there is a cut off., and so, generally, cease any further consideration of.any evidence toward both those arguments.
    Divisions within divisions – the Mandelbrot set of deception. It depends on experience and determination of the individual and any actual research they have done on their OWN. very few are interested in making this personal leap by choice- but then; maybe it never was a choice.

    Your maths is good down to earth stuff. The results fairly describe the unreality of the SNOWDEN official proposition. As with Obama, the family intelligence connect is a very important ‘indicator.’ Is ‘indicative.’ Being on Ft.Meade on 911 as a 17-18year old is possible as part of ‘unrelated to enterprise’ family goings-on, but, given that he never explained the circumstance of his being at Ft.Meade, and given his life subsequent to it , this spook looks to have come to train, early,.
    many of us began military or Police training at 17-18. I don’t imagine spookdom any different.

  17. 344thBrother says:

    I just listened and haven’t read the comments, so if this calculation is posted prior to this, pardon me please.

    47 Billion emails
    1.5 million twitter followers.
    Evenly distributed that’s 31,333 emails per follower. I guess they can email a LOT of 148 character posts.
    Even so that’s 4,637,333 characters per follower. At 60 five letter words per minute, that’s 10.7 24 hour days of non-stop typing. (Yes I know perhaps they’re copying and pasting, but still…)

    And thank you for pointing out the absurdity of the numbers. Nowadays with Quadrillion and Trillion being thrown around (Trillion ever since Rumsfeld said 2.3 Trillion missing at the Pentagon on Sept 10, 2001, and Bush saying 1 Trillion dollar Bailout (to his buddies) to save the economy doncha know, Billion has kind of lost its luster. I remember when a Billion was considered a lot of money. Now, not so much.

    People should remember that Trillion is an almost unfathomably large number I once calculated that if you stacked dollar bills tightly you could fill 19 World Trade centers with them. Thats’ using the figure of a 9 foot cube of dollar bills equaling 1 Million dollars. At One kilobyte per send (a vanishingly small number for an email) that’s 47 TRILLION Bytes of email.

    Dayum that guy is popular. Now I know why he was getting 250,000 bucks a year at his job. He can read like the wind!

    Keep em coming Tom
    peace freedom truth justice
    d

    ps. Since you use the title DisInfoWars would you consider dong a piece on Alex Jones, whether or not he has a positive or negative effect on the American Psyche and perhaps what you think about his overall message setting aside the obvious theatrics, commercials and focusing on the info he actually puts out?

    Myself, I listen to him regularly, but mostly for the headlines (When he can get off the rant and report them) and some of his excellent guests. I count myself as a regular (not avid) follower and I do enjoy his occasional theatrics, like when he imitates the royal family. My view is that he has an overall positive effect because of his listener base, his guests (Including Sibel of course) and the innovations that he keeps making like (Google bombs, copy and share the dvd’s for free, etc. .)

    But I’m open to opposing view points.
    p

    • Hey 344thBrother,

      I will think about that – to be honest I don’t have much that’s positive to say about Alex Jones so I’m not sure if it would make for a good episode but I will definitely consider it. Maybe as a Christmas episode.

      • 344thBrother says:

        Hi Tom:

        While I do like what AJ does in terms of popularizing issues such as 911 truth etc. . I will freely admit that I am endlessly annoyed at his interview technique. Hi bad habit of interrupting his excellent guests, Sibel included, in order to put in his commentary, which breaks up many excellent narratives by the experts he has on. THAT really bugs me.

        Otherwise I see him as a well meaning, somewhat crazed but effective mass media attack dog.

        Thanks for your reply on this.
        peace
        d

  18. 344thBrother says:

    OK Tom thanks for thinking about an AJ show.

    I posted elsewhere in here that 2 more possibilities for (What I consider to be) a good show would be:

    Leonard Peltier. Falsely accused, FBI admits their star witness was coerced and bribed as does she, the gun they pinned on him didn’t match any bullet fragments… and he’s been in prison since about 1976.
    or.

    Judi Bari. “Eco terrorist” falsely accused. Bombed in her own car under her drivers seat. Accused of planting the bomb herself . (The bomb had a on/off switch AND a tilt switch) So we were asked to believe the FBI when they said that she put the bomb in her car. ARMED IT, then drove around with it ready to go off on a tilt switch. Which blew her entire ass off and shattered her pelvis. Plus the evidence the FBI was all refuted. Judi was released and sued the FBI and won for 4 million dollars. She died shortly after that. Go figure.

    PS. The bomb was nearly identical to a design that the FBI bomb school was teaching at a training session in Humboldt county (Where the “Redwood Summer” “Eco-terrorism” was about to happen, shortly before the actual bombing took place. The list of the attendees and trainers of that class hasn’t been released…

    Go figure on both of those. But regardless what you do your shows on, I enjoy them all and wish you the best of luck.
    peace on earth
    d

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