The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 6/12/13

nsa_greenwald_snowden

The NSA Eavesdropping Story; Snowden Leaks to Hong Kong Press; A Million Questions; Greenwald’s Agenda; Misleading Reporting; Where Was the Tech Vetting; Chez’s Media Guide; Direct Access is is an FTP Server; Credibility and Transparency; Where Do We Draw the Counterterrorism Line; Greenwald Blocked Bob; Ron Paul and Drones; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and the Bowen Law Group.

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  • muselet

    Even if it hadn’t been Glenn Greenwald who broke the NSA story, I’d have been skeptical. Not because I don’t think the government lies (after this much time, I have to remind anyone of how cynical I can be?) but because it’s a big stories and in my mind, big stories require big proof. Still waiting on that proof.

    It begins to look to me like Edward Snowden played Greenwald to advance his own (as you say, nihilist; though he would almost certainly prefer “libertarian”) agenda. If so, that should change perceptions of Greenwald, but I wonder if it will.

    I would speculate that Greenwald didn’t do any fact-checking on Snowden’s story because it was so neatly confirmed his own preconceptions. He never asked himself the most important question—”What if the story’s not correct?”—because he didn’t want to believe it wasn’t. What’s surprising and disappointing is that The Guardian didn’t do its due diligence, at least on the tech side (having said that, I have no idea what Greenwald’s contract looks like, so how much editorial control the paper has over what he writes is an open question).

    Snowden exaggerated for an obvious reason: a lowly IT drone isn’t important, but someone who has unfettered access to everything electronic in the world is. Since Greenwald is anything but a computer wizard and wanted to believe what he was being told, he swallowed the hook.

    Peter King was for terrorism before he was against it. Why anyone thinks his opinion is worth listening to is beyond me.

    Even if the Ds do nothing to change the NSA and its operations, the Rs will blame them for any terrorist attack, loudly and stridently. And the Rs will do so to try and gain a partisan political advantage. It’s what they do.

    Oh, Bob. You have such an outdated view of civil disobedience. Going to jail for one’s convictions was fine for people like Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. But it’s so damned inconvenient to be arrested nowadays what with the fingerprinting and the cavity searches and the loss of income. Having the courage of one’s convictions is such a 20th century concept. The pure of heart should suffer no consequences!

    The people who are so *grrr!* outraged! about the supposed police state are largely (here’s that word again) libertarians, which seems almost inevitably to mean they have no understanding of history. That golden age when we were all free and no one ever snooped on anyone else never existed, but mountebanks like Ron Paul sound so very convincing to those who want to be convinced.

    Leave it to Chez to find what’s really important about a news story.

    Bob, we all fixate on specific music sometimes. I got on a Grateful Dead kick recently—Workingman’s Dead is a truly great album—and I’d cue up Pet Sounds every couple of days if I didn’t stop myself.

    –alopecia

    • blackdaug

      “Even if it hadn’t been Glenn Greenwald who broke the NSA story, I’d have been skeptical.”
      It was because the details just didn’t make sense.
      Not too long ago, when I was a civilian contractor working civil service (say that out loud really fast!) title: IT specialist, T.S.C., a secure facility at a military installation, I worked with a lot of young enlisted personnel. None of these guys had college IT degrees, but when they took their aptitude tests at enlistment, they had shown an ability to operate computers and use network systems. This got them assigned to communications squadrons or other central computer system locations. The military would then train them extensively, get them certified on all kinds of software and hardware jobs…at which point their hitch would end and they would……show up a week later in civilian cloths, working for the contractors in the same building…making 6 times their food stamp level military pay….doing the same job.
      Snowden grew up a few miles from NSA headquarters. He dropped out of high school, took the army ap tests, broke his legs in basic and thus was able to get in to the NSA and get some very advanced training (at taxpayer expense).
      Most people would find this to be a very fortunate life path. In this economy, with no college degree (or any of the expenses) he was able to get training for free! that was guaranteed to land him a high paying tech job in the civilian sector.
      I hate to bring this up, but much of what was being put forth at the beggining of this clusterfu*ck sounded just like the bragging tales I used to hear from those young enlisted guys: “I could break into anyone’s email at any time!!” Keep in mind, being the only one around with an actual IT degree, and lots of experience to boot, I was well aware of what they actually could and could not do with a system.
      He had admin privileges…which will get you a lot of access. He saw things he shouldn’t have seen, didn’t have enough real knowledge to interpret them, and let his advancement go to his head. (I must be a super genius, look how much the government trusts me!!) The whole Randian ideology is basically a political wet dream for a teenage mind, unfortunately..some people are teenagers until they get very ..very ..old.
      Alas, for us all, he got in touch with Greenwald, another supreme egotist in his own right…..and the giant shitball began to roll….
      The real story here is the one about the government farming out it’s secure technology to civilian contractors, and also, how the tech is growing so fast, they have to trust secure operations to people who are too young or intellectually immature to know how to deal with any responsibility beyond the password protection of an online video game.

      • muselet

        I’m not an IT guy and the details didn’t make sense.

        I kept waiting for Glenn Greenwald to do follow-up stories and back Edward Snowden’s claims with evidence—act like a reporter, in other words—but that didn’t happen. Greenwald did take to Twitter and taunted James Clapper about all the big, important stories that were to come, but since then, crickets (as I say, The Guardian may have realized what it had stepped in).

        I think Greenwald got played by a glibertarian with an agenda and his ego won’t let him admit it.

        And you’re absolutely right about what the real story is.

        –alopecia

        • blackdaug

          Yep…from even just a journalistic standpoint it was a train wreck from the get go.

          Broad, grandiose allegations with little to no backing evidence. The little evidence that did exist literally collapsing like a house of cards within days.

          Oddly enough, another excellent blogger had run a piece last week about GG’s main problem being the lack of an editor throughout his entire career. Downright prophetic….Mr. Glass

          To the Posts credit, they didn’t run a raw version of the story on demand. Of course they lose all that credit for running a version that was un vetted by a tech…and had to redact.

  • i_a_c

    Nobody sane could possibly claim that they want to expose criminality and then turn around and divulge secrets regarding the Chinese to the Chinese. Rank hypocrisy is the least of the problems Ed Snowden faces. He has shown without a shadow of the doubt that he left his allegiance to the United States behind to sabotage its secrets and flee to Hong Kong to escape culpability. Greenwald and the rest of the “United States is the Great Satan” bullshit artists will lap that shit up, but luckily disloyalty to country as a virtue is a fringe viewpoint.

    When I came of voting age (not that long ago) I used to hear the rightwingers shriek about how liberals like to “blame America first.” At the time I vehemently denied that was the case, but it turns out that crowd actually exists. I loathe viscerally the strain of leftism that resembles more the Fox News parody of liberalism than what most Democrats actually believe.

    • ranger11

      Yeah, this crowd does exist but I really think they are over-represented on the internet and in lefty media. Their voting percentages are probably less than 5% or what Nader got in the 2000 election. Their glory days within the Democratic Party was probably the McGovern nomination in 1972 and that didn’t work out too well in the end. All I know is that they do not represent me as a liberal. Hell, they’re most Libertarians and Greens anyway.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    I think the patriot act should be repealed for many reasons including that it was written and passed into law at a time when our nation was shocked, fearful and reactionary. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need the NSA, FBI or CIA doing what they do. And it does not mean we don’t need spies and secrets for national security, because we do, always have, always will.
    During the WWII secrecy was encouraged with public posters saying “Loose Lips Sink Ships”. The Americans at that time would view Snowden as a traitor now that he is giving his stolen government NSA documents to the Chinese press.

  • JimmyAbra

    To answer your question about “Why did he say made 70K more than he did?” Probably to keep up his story that he said to get the hot ballerina girlfriend…sha!! It would be a riot if this is all a carryover from some story he concocted to impress her!