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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Did the messenger manipulate the message?

More disturbing than the NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the coordinated apparatus that encouraged him to unlawfully infiltrate U.S. intelligence programs before he even sought employment with NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.  This coordinated apparatus is arguably the same, or an affiliated group that is supporting Mr. Snowden as a fugitive from justice.

Many people are influenced by the media regarding the characterization of Edward Snowden and functionally believe whatever they are told to believe by whichever media industrial complex to which they subscribe.

Based upon Mr. Snowden’s admissions, a cursory examination of the law indisputably delineates his violations of law, and clearly shows that he was not in compliance with the laws that would provide him with any exemption under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 [(S. 743, HR. 3289) in the 112th Congress.]  

Indeed, Mr. Snowden went light-years beyond any legal definition of complying with the Federal Whistleblowers statute, not the least of which is evidenced by his [admitted] compilation of U.S. secrets for the sole purpose of blackmailing the United States with the threatened release of said secrets, knowingly causing irreparable harm to national security.  

It is important to point out that the lions share of Mr. Snowden’s compilation of U.S. national security secrets have nothing to do with his [claimed] whistle blowing regarding the NSA surveillance programs. Finally, Mr. Snowden fled the jurisdiction of the United States, which suggests that his claim of benevolence to the U.S. citizenship strains credibility.

Julian Assange is an Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist.  He is best known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks.

Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian reported former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosure of government surveillance programs during his video interview with Snowden in Hong Kong, after Snowden fled U.S. Jurisdiction.

It is highly significant to note that Greenwald, who is an attorney and purports to be a journalist, was communicating with Edward Snowden before Snowden applied for a position with NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

The self-proclaimed titles of publisher, editor and journalist conterminously provide the individual with some of the most powerful protections afforded under the United States Constitution.  Virtually anyone can claim the title of journalist, irrespective of his or her credentials, and in spite of potentially nefarious intentions.

Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian Newspaper were romancing Edward Snowden for months prior to Mr. Snowden soliciting and accepting a position with Booz Allen Hamilton - a position that gave him access to a plethora of top-secret information, including highly classified information that was far beyond the scope of his security clearance and job description.

It seems clear at this juncture that prior to Mr. Snowden even soliciting employment with Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Greenwald was arguably encouraging Mr. Snowden to develop a deliberate plan to gather and subsequently leak our nation’s most classified information.  Mr. Greenwald was clearly complicit in the crimes committed by Edward Snowden (under the law).  Some might argue that Mr. Greenwald was the leader of the entire operation while Mr. Snowden was simply a vehicle that Mr. Greenwald used to further his own agendas.  Based upon Mr. Snowden’s background, education and experience, it is entirely conceivable that he was influenced and manipulated by an individual who purported to be a journalist and bolstered his influence with his [disingenuous] legal prowess as an attorney. 

For a true journalist, the story should have been the sloppy security that would enable a twenty-nine-year-old hacker to access such sensitive information that was not within the scope of his job responsibilities, and clearly outside of his area of security.  

Much the same as we occasionally see journalist’s breach airport security only to report the weakest links in the chain, the story regarding lax security and a possible need to open a discussion regarding NSA surveillance programs could have been examined without compromising national security.  

It would not be journalism if the enactment of breaching airport security were allowed to carry on to the actual hijacking and destruction of an aircraft.  By analogy, that is however what Messrs Greenwald and Snowden did.  Fully exposing security breaches or questionable surveillance programs does not require the destruction of the country’s entire national security apparatus. And, this is an apparatus that, albeit needs refinement, has kept the nation safer. The cost of Messrs Snowden and Greenwald’s irresponsible and criminal activities has compromised U.S. national security, has made the nation less safe and has cost the U.S. taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars.

The demarcation point between journalism and criminal activity is pretty clear in the example of exposing airport security vulnerabilities.  There is a hazy demarcation point between journalism and breaching our national security, thereby endangering our country.  This demarcation point needs to be clarified with respect to [alleged] journalists romancing individuals to solicit employment within our nation’s security community for the intentional and premeditated purpose of espionage.

Just as our justice department did during the 1960’s and 70’s battle to bring down the Cosa Nostra criminal empire, the justice department and the U.S. intelligence community might consider granting immunity to minnows like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.  Young impressionable and malleable individuals like Messrs Snowden and Manning could reduce their legal exposure in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who are in the leadership of the coordinated apparatus that is infiltrating our intelligence systems and compromising our national security.  To this day, Manning and Snowden do not genuinely know why they did what they did, except for what they were told, why they did what they did.

The syndicate that exists today is not dissimilar to the Cosa Nostra of yesteryear, which was the genesis of laws governing the operation of “enterprises” without brick and mortar facilities, but that clearly exist and have a pattern of activity that is found to be criminal under other sections of the United States Code.  The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) was legislation specifically enacted to combat criminally operated shadow organizations.

There is a striking similarity between Cosa Nostra and the existent enterprise that, although fractured in its organization, can arguably be all encompassed and entitled “WikiLeaks.”   

The Cosa Nostra hid behind a blanket of secrecy, which was enhanced and enforced through intimidation and violence. Today’s WikiLeaks enterprise is completely out in the open, enjoying what is historically an impenetrable shield provided by the First and probably the Fourth Amendments, as well as a variety of outdated international law, which was intended to provide asylum for those who are politically persecuted, but has curiously expanded to provide fugitives from justice with sanctuary. 

If he genuinely wants to be a hero, Edward Snowden should release information regarding his communications with Glenn Greenwald prior to Snowden’s application for employment with NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.  

It is possible that Snowden could become a hero were he to return to the United States and engage in the debate about the NSA surveillance programs, and to make a fully transparent disclosure regarding the possible influence and manipulation by some individuals who may be using the First Amendment as a license to conduct clandestine operations that are clearly detrimental to the national security of the United States.