by Scott Creighton
While the two biggest frauds from the right and the left, Glenn Beck and Michal Moore, parrot the status quo line telling their supporters to think of Edward Snowden as a “hero” (you will think as we tell you), more and more real people are starting to ask questions about our new manufactured hero’s story.
The tale Edward Snowden recounted to Glenn Greeenwald doesn’t seem to add up. That’s not too say that we shouldn’t all be very concerned and even angry about massive spying programs being run by contractors on behalf of our “national interests”… we should be damn angry about that… and that’s not too say we shouldn’t be fighting for the protections of our civil liberties and constitutional rights, but unfortunately it looks like Glenn and many others may have fallen for something here. What it is just yet, we can’t be clear, but as the song goes, somethin is happenin here.
Top Ten Issues I Have with the Manufactured Hero Edward Snowden Story (there are more)
1. Special Ops training?
According to Edward Snowden, he underwent training to be in the Special Ops when he signed up for military service. That story doesn’t really hold water. First of all, as several military vets have pointed out, Edward back in 2003 (the year he claims to have done this) would have been 19 years old and without a high school diploma. They don’t take kids like that straight into Special Ops. Plus you have to go through basic training first and then it’s determined what you do, where you go. He could have been told he would be in Special Ops by a recruiter, but that’s not the same thing as going through Special Ops training like he claimed.
But he actually didn’t even do that.
“ Served in the Army for only five months. Snowden told The Guardian he enlisted in 2003 and entered a Special Forces training program but was discharged after breaking both his legs in a training accident. POLITICO confirmed Snowden was in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces recruit in 2004, but an Army spokesman said he was discharged five months later and “did not complete any training or receive any awards.” Politico
The program, according to another Politico article, was apparently some glitzy thing they were running back in the days leading up to “The Surge” where they would take young guys and put them is some program that supposedly gave them “a chance” to go right into Special Forces. The trick was, you didn’t need a college degree (how about a high school diploma?) but you have to have something on the ball. You couldn’t just be “Joe Average” as they say, otherwise you just take the walk of shame.
“Those were the new generation of SF babies they started to try to get when the war was really going back then,” said Gina Cavallaro, an Army expert and author of the book “Sniper: American Single-Shot Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“They didn’t require college, they were looking for people they could train up quickly … I think it has subsided by now,” Cavallaro said. To go directly into the SF world, she said, “I think you have to be smart. You can’t go into those services and be just your average joe with lots of tattoos and knives. You have to be smart — if you have a language it’s good, plus you have to be physically fit, and there are all these requirements that you have to have.” Politico
Think of it as the sub-prime mortgage loophole for the Special Forces. Edward didn’t measure up.
2. Broken legs?
Politico has apparently seen his Army transcripts and they don’t mention anything about him breaking both legs in a training exercise.
“Snowden did not wind up entering the SF world — he told The Guardian that he “broke both his legs in a training accident.” It’s possible he could have injured himself as part of parachute training.” Politico
But think about this: Would the military really toss out a recruit that was qualifying for Special Forces as a walk-on because he broke his legs in and accident? Maybe if the accident involved him getting drunk and trying to open a bottle of beer by slamming it on a grenade or something, but really, ditching him completely because he hurts himself a little? Don’t they send troops back into battle these days with missing legs? Or am I missing something?
3. Clean Stickers of Credibility?
A lot has been made of his stickers on his laptop. They are of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the TOR Project. They made sure to get them and his laptop in the photo. Perfectly clean almost brand new looking stickers.
4. Spectacular Rise to the Top for a High School Drop out Who Quit Community College?
“Snowden told The Guardian he was a high school dropout who later earned his GED. He also said he attended community college to study computer science, but didn’t complete the coursework there either.” ABC News
So the guy has less education than the average undocumented worker who risks life and limb to get away from a neoliberalized economy South of the Border. That’s ok. Lots of people are like that. But pay close attention to this next bit of his resume. At first, it seems to fit… then…
“From there (leaving the Reserve training course early), The Guardian reported he worked at the University of Maryland as a security guard for a secret NSA facility within the university. (POW!) He then joined the CIA and worked abroad and undercover as a technical assistant, he told The Guardian. The CIA declined to comment Sunday on Snowden’s employment there.
Snowden left the CIA in 2009 only to go to later work for another spy agency, the NSA, as a private contractor with the technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii. Snowden described his work in a series of titles — “systems engineer, systems administrator, senior adviser for the Central Intelligence Agency, solutions consultant and telecommunications informations systems officer” — before becoming an “infrastructure analyst for the NSA.” Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed Snowden’s employment there and said he joined less than three months ago.” ABC news
Let me see if I got this right:
He failed out of High School
He failed out of Community College
He apparently failed SOMEHOW out of Reserve training for Special Forces (and apparently didn’t want to sign up for anything less)
And then he became a Security Guard at the local university where he was SUDDENLY discovered to be this great genius and given high stakes jobs overseas with the CIA as a super secret spook hacker type, who then went to Booz Allen Hamilton in 2009 as a:
- systems engineer
- systems administrator
- senior adviser for the Central Intelligence Agency
- solutions consultant and telecommunications informations systems officer
… before becoming an “infrastructure analyst for the NSA.”!
Talk about a turn-around. Holy shit. He must have bought one of those “Think Positive” videos from that guy with the fake tan and the big smile.
Oh, but wait… there is that last little part of the quote I forgot:
Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed Snowden’s employment there and said he joined less than three months ago.
hmm. Making 200k a year at Booz Allen after “less than” three months? He did all that in three months?
5. Kicking it in Style?
I wrote a little about his digs in Hong Kong this morning. Nice hotel. Pricey too.
I don’t think this really qualifies as “sacrificing” anything. It could just be me. I don’t make 200k a year (or even lie about making 200k a year)
6. Hey! Publish This Top Secret Code so the Foreign Embassy Knows I’m Legit?
I’m sorry, what was that?
“Additionally, according to Gellman, Snowden requested that the Post publish online a “cryptographic key” so he could prove to a foreign embassy he was the source of the document leak.” Politico
I’ll just let that sink in for a second.
7. Could Have Shut Down the Entire NSA Tomorrow?
Edward Snowden told Glenn Greenwald that he wasn’t trying to hurt America or the NSA for that matter (what would publishing that “cryptographic key” have done you think?) but that suddenly he had a conscience and had to do something to warn us all about stuff we already knew about since 2006 and really since the Total Information Awareness program was leaked in 2001 or so.
He felt compelled because “he didn’t want to live in a country like that” and he said that… in another country.
But he also told Glenn, who didn’t really pressure him about it, he could have brought down the entire NSA by “tomorrow” had he wanted to.
Which leaves me with the two OBVIOUS questions:
1. If he knows the NSA is out of control and harming America and violating our constitutional rights and civil liberties, did he or did he not take an oath to defend the constitution and defend it from all enemies foreign and domestic? Was it not his DUTY to defend the constitution and the constitutional rights of EVERY AMERICAN?
In fact, don’t our troops go to war overseas and get horribly maimed and killed DEFENDING OUR RIGHTS!?! And he chose not to?
2. The massive NSA, comprised of some very smart people who actually did finish high school and some even went to college at places like MIT and Harvard and Yale.. this massive, well-funded (over funded) intelligence Juggernaut could be brought down by a guy with a GED overnight?
Honestly? Glenn Greenwald believes that? JFK tried to go up against the CIA once, the NSA’s little bastard, whored out sister, and you see what that got him and you see where the CIA is now.
But of course, JFK was no Edward Snowjob either.
(If you are noticing the little twinge of sarcasm I started with has grown into full on disgust, sorry, I am only human)
8. FACEBOOK Hero?
9. FACEBOOK Crowd Sourcing Bitches!?
Yep, there is always money to glean from these things.
“Facebook employee and Silicon Valley reality TV show star Dwight Crow started the campaign to raise $15,000, explaining on the campaign page:
“We should set a precedent by rewarding this type of extremely courageous behavior. It’s definitely apparent that legal fees may soon be a big part of his future, but I don’t care how he uses the funds raised, whether it’s for a business-class trip to Iceland or just to pay his hotel bills…”With nine days to go, the campaign is about a third of the way to its $15,000 goal.
What do you think? Will you be joining either of these crowdsourced efforts to support Snowden? Let us know in the comments.” CNET
What? A FACEBOOK employee AND a reality TV star?! You can’t get more credibility than that! Oh wait… shucks… that’s Dwight Crow on the right…
10. It’s just f*ckin stupid
Sorry Glenn. Yes, I know it was a nice hotel and yes I know he had a nice badge that said CIA on it (give me 10 minutes and I can make you one if you like, just don’t try to buy beer with it). I know he had a slide show lifted from some conference he attended in Hawaii and a copy of a self-renewing legal warrant for a Verizon wire tap dating back at least 7 years. Yes, I know he “has the look”, that Hollywood, hipster look, that makes everything else pale in comparison (like, I don’t know, common sense maybe?) and yes, your bosses sent you down there to interview him with a nice open limit on the credit card.
But you have to think about these projects, Glenn. It’s called “identity politics” and I would have thought most people would have learned a little something after the “election” of 2008.
Yes, you were in competition with the Washington Post on this one. Does that make it legit? I don’t know: did everyone reporting on the bullshit WMDs in Iraq make them legit?
I have to say that it almost seems like someone set up Glenn Greenwald on this like they set up Dan Rather back in the day with the Killian documents. Maybe they want to silence a lot of people who are leaping on the bandwagon by pulling the rug out from under Glenn in a couple days if not sooner. Will Ed turn out to be some mail-room flunkie, a compulsive liar? Will Glenn be raked over the coals for not vetting his source? He already could be in my book. How do you miss what I have already written about above?
Who knows. I like Glenn and his work. Whatever has happened here, and it ain’t exactly clear, there’s a man with a lie over there, tellin me I got to beware.
So just stop, people. Everybody look what’s goin down.
You know the rest of the song. I won’t insult your intelligence anymore with it. Let’s hope Glenn doesn’t insult ours anymore either. It’s time he vetted his source once and for all and put some of these issues to rest. Till then, I can’t support anyone going anywhere for any rally or march on any day much less July 4th.
There it is. My take on it. Good luck folks.