Jan
20
2014

Calling the 72 hour rule on the Mike Rogers / Ed Snowden / NSA / FSB thing.

Basically, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R) – with Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D) sitting right there, and not protesting – intimated that Ed Snowden may have been assisted by foreign intelligence agencies when he stole classified information. This will probably be a big topic of conversation this morning:

The Michigan Republican added that there are still “certain questions that we have to get answered” about who helped Snowden remove data from the NSA and later make it public in newspapers in the United States and Britain.

“He was stealing information that had to do with how we operate overseas to collect information to keep Americans safe…. And some of the things he did were beyond his technical capabilities” — a fact which Rogers said “raises more questions. How he arranged travel before he left. How he was ready to go, he had a go bag, if you will.”

Rogers added that he believes “there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB (Russian security service) agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence….I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB.”

…partially because Rogers did not quite accuse the Russians of organizing the oh-so-serendipitous data dump that fell in their laps, and partially because the accusation is quite serious.  Not quite declare-war serious, but if it turns out that a certain segment of the pundit class has been engaged in maskirovka for a Russian intelligence op then said pundits should probably go on professional sabbatical for a while, and by ‘a while’ I mean ‘a decade.’

But note: that’s an ‘if.’ It’s kind of a solid if, given that both the House and Senate Intelligence chairs* are giving off signals that they’re taking the possibility seriously, but it’s still an if. Which is why I am calling the 72 hour rule; because if it’s going to get debunked then it’ll get debunked soon.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: If Ed Snowden turns out to have used the FSB (or any other foreign intelligence agency) in any capacity to get classified documents and/or get away, then Barack Obama could hang Ed Snowden from a gibbet** on Capitol Hill and my only response would be to hold the President’s coat.

*So is the House Homeland Security chairman.

**After a fair trial, of course.

8 Comments

  • Cameron says:

    I’m skeptical that he acted with help from any foreign power.

  • Luke says:

    :shrug: I have mixed emotions about Snowden.
    On one hand, he’s a traitor who compromised a great deal of our foreign intelligence gathering mechanisms. (And being a bureaucracy, those aren’t easily changed.) He very likely did this at the behest of a foreign power, with help from their intelligence apparatus.
    For this, he needs to die.
    .
    On the other hand, he did expose the lawlessness of our government monitoring American citizens.
    For this, he deserves to be lauded. (And certain other people need to be executed for treason.)

    • Cameron says:

      My issue with him is this: He had access to legal resources from his employer and the NSA. He could have gone to them any time, day or night and brought up his concerns.
      .
      The fact that he didn’t, and the fact that he used login credentials stolen from co-workers indicate that he wasn’t doing this for any noble reason.

      • Luke says:

        His legal employer and the NSA were the ones spying on the American people.
        The legal resources of both staunchly defend the program’s secrecy.
        .
        Your argument lacks merit.
        The NSA is spying on the American people, in open defiance of our Constitutional order, founding philosophies, and the law itself.
        They aren’t going to stop because a contractor expresses reservations.
        .
        There were honorable people who quit the NSA and blew the whistle without stealing evidence backing up their assertions.
        How many stories about them have you seen?
        And in how many of those very few was the phrase “black helicopters” or “conspiracy theorists” used to dismiss them?

        • Cameron says:

          Your argument lacks merit.
          .
          Suit yourself. I have a bit more experience in this field than you do, which is what I was basing my belief on.
          .
          You seem to think he was justified in stealing his co-workers’ login credentials and costing them their jobs. I don’t think they should have had that happen to them so I can see we’re going to disagree on this.

          • johnv2 says:

            Do we know for certain that Snowden used stolen/borrowed/illegally obtained logins to access the material he took? All of the writeups Mr. Google finds add something like “sources said” to this claim. IOW, has Greenwald, Snowden, Schneier, or some other knowledgeable insider with a name made this claim, or do we just have a convenient story from the NSA to make Snowden look bad? I’m not really certain how much the NSA’s version of events should be taken as accurate.

        • Cameron says:

          As a side note (Since I can’t edit comments), I do agree with the notion that his actions deserve him being punished and the monitoring of American citizens deserves to be exposed.
          .
          I disagree with how he did it.

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