The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Spy Vs. Spy" Did Putin Declare He and Snowden As 'Agents?"

I fully realize many of you hold views of Edward Snowden that are diametrically opposite my position. His existential espionage and revelations related to NSA meat-data gathering, archiving and operation use quite literally places him in direct violation of the terms of his Top Secret Security Clearance. 

Snowden's frequently abused the trust of his cohorts in Hawaii via use of their system passwords. He enacted classic manipulation for purpose of acquiring information to which he did not have access, as a technician. And, he acquired secrets beyond his "need to know." for the express purpose of sharing with others who, like it or not, did not have the need to know.  If that shoe fits you or me, we have to wear it. Do we really have that level of need to know in the context that Snowden may have crippled US INTEL for decades to come? 

I seriously hope no one retorts or counters with comment about the US Constitution. With due respect to the document and its purpose in the late 1700s, it was developed at a time when the word "electronic" was not part of human language. Armed conflict in the 1700s consisted do standing firing lines with ball and musket firearms, or via skirmish ambushes with no prospects of bullets reaching the point of annihilation of society. 

And now the focus of this piece......

Putin in KGB uniform

Alas, a proper representation of Edward Snowden.  While, I strongly suspect USA Today was playing on words and on the dynamics of Snowden's pre-recorded "softest of ball" questions to Putin.

Putin as FSB director, 
1 January 1998

Before we go any farther, think for a second. Even, if you are a hardcore Snowden lover of moderate Snowden sympathizer, do you really believe Vladimir Putin would sit on that stage and answer "yes" to monitoring and archiving (storing for review and cross analyses) electronic communication? 

Come-on work with me a bit now, do you really believe there is answer other than "No." And, do you really think Putin would simply answer the question without leveraging major opportunity to international intrigue coupled with a slap against the US.  

Russian INTEL at SOCHI: Linked, Linked, Linked NBC Video.How does Putin start his response to Snowden's "slow-pitch" softball questions? 
 "Mr. Snowden, you are a former agent, a spy, I used to be working for an intelligence service. We are going to talk one professional language," Putin said, according to a translation by news channel Russia Today. "First of all, our intelligence efforts are strictly regulated by our law ...
Comrade Technician?
Really?  My reading to date has Putin as a contracted technician who leveraged his espionage skills to abscond security passwords from many co-workers. I do not recall references to Snowden as an "former agent, spy." Putin in contrast was an active KGB (KSB) agent who performed serve the Soviet Union/Russian spy agency of the level of full colonel and agency director. Of course, Putin's response, if not complete stage with Snowden's complicity (which I suspect was the case), was as a minimum focused to massage Snowden's bulging and well oiled ego.  

Let's take a ride through Snowden and Putin's exhibition.

Do you truly believe Snowden is naive enough to expect Putin to say anything other than his carefully crafted and uniquely delivered comment?  I can only surmise complicity in a video ploy that fits Putin's Cold War, psyche and efforts to revive Russia as a world power vs a regional disrupter. 

Regardless of your opinion of James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, his the chief of our intelligence entities. It is unfortunate, but INTEL in industrial nations equates to maintaining national security or, conversely, a lack there of.  CNN reported on Clapper's reaction to question of INTEL monitoring last January.
In January, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Snowden leaks caused serious damage to U.S. security.  
"What Snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs," Clapper said then. "As a result, we've lost critical foreign intelligence collection sources, including some shared with us by valued partners." 
The nation's adversaries were "going to school on U.S. intelligence sources' methods and trade craft, and the insights that they are gaining are making our job much, much harder," he told the committee.
The matter is far more serious than our reaction to collection of Meta data.  Moreover,  NSA monitoring started in 2001 and was revealed/validated via AT&T's revelation of compliance with NSA operations in San Francisco as recently as 2006. Those reports were also initiated by a "so-called" whistleblower who did not run off to China or Russia. Snowden has admitted to seeking contractor jobs for the express purpose of seeking information against NSA operations, thus the US Government. 

If Snowden is properly classified as an "agent" as per Putin, for whom did he perpetrate his acts of espionage?  

He has, in the past, expressed an affinity for Ron Paul. Could Snowden serve as an agent for "anarcho" libertarians like Paul?   As Intel officials actually believe Snowden works: "under the influence of Russian intelligence services.”

The softball interview certainly appears as staged. Would it take much convincing to buy into my posit, Putin knew the question was coming his way?

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