The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Traitor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traitor. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Manning, Snowden and the INTEL Vs. Privacy Tumult (NPR AUDIO)

A balanced approach to data security psybiztech

Bradley Manning and Edward J. Snowden have developed a cult following and hero status among large swaths of people without regard for political ideology.  Extreme mistrust of government and technology have induced chemical interactions between liberals and conservatives never before witnessed in US History. Chemical interactions that have manifest in a mix comparable to blending oil and water.  The mixing agent is publishing Top-Secret information in direct violation of the security clearances awarded each man.  Now, let's factor-in that mistrust of government. If we consider Bush/Cheney/Rice, we can understand the aversion to erosion of individual freedoms and intrusion on personal privacy.  In fairness, President Obama has continued communication monitoring for meat-data via even more advanced methodology. The scenario has no "good"  middle ground.  

National Security on a balancing scale with American Privacy Rights? There is no balance. 

The inability to balance those two critical factors, places Manning and Snowden in the non-envious limelight as either whistle-blowing heroes or traitors who practiced espionage. The word espionage did not work for us as it denotes a person directed or employed by an agent to spy. The word "spy," however may fit the current Manning/Snowden tumult very well. Their surreptitious and cloaked gathering of data and information for later release seems embodied in the word "spy." Of course, with Snowden and his formal entry into greater Russia from the Moscow Airport, one should add another proper noun to the tumult: traitor or defector. 

Both men have indicated an aversion to performance of their sworn duties as holders of top-secret security clearances while working in the highly technological intelligence arena.  All industrialized nations "spy" in one way or another. We have at least one American in a US prison for spying and turning his wares over to Israel.  We are certain some nation has US spies in custody.  If we take our posit a bit farther we suspect even Sweden and Finland have agents who in some way have a job of providing INTEL to secret agencies, thus their national leadership. We think that a safe bet.  


Both Manning and Snowden have indicated their aversion to what they saw and read was against "all things for which America once stood" (my words in paraphrase) and they wanted to remove the cloak of secrecy. They absconded (stole) and released highly classified information.  Classified Information that has been gathered via various methods since shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.  Information that may have helped to ward-off additional mass attacks, and information that may have driven adversaries to change attack strategies.  Post 9/11 US counter measures (including "taking-out" operatives) may have forced adversary strategies to recruiting people like the underwear bomber and the tennis shoe bomber.

Richard Reid
Both operatives failed in their mission because of equipment failure.  
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
They infiltrated counter measure 
systems and only failed for what amounted to luck or heavenly intervention if you so desire. How do we know terror leaders like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki were not forced by Meta-data monitoring to adjust their war against you and me? How do we know they did not retrench to methods with far less potential for mass killing due to their knowledge of INTEL gathered by the very measures Manning and Snowden demonstrably held in contempt? bin Laden
Anwar al-Awlaki (1971-2011), believed to 
have been an AQAP regional commander

We do not know the full impact of meta-data monitoring on the war against our adversaries. Actually, we should not know full impact as it could result in counter measures which are now being reported as operational in the INTEL community. We do know that Manning revealed the killing of a group of journalist who appeared to US drone operators as terrorist.  Their cameras were reported to have appeared as weapons. A tragedy that was and is beyond comprehension.  Quite probably an item worthy or revealing in some way. 

We also have a dichotomy of thought and quite a bit of dissonance about what we (citizens) should or should not know. As a former holder of security clearances from  the age of 17 in the US Air Force through the next 15 years while working for a defense contractor, I will admit to an aversion to violation of the oath to uphold national secrets. The Air Force clearance was a TOP-Secret Crypto clearance; there are only a few higher clearance levels. In my late teens and early twenties, I was also bound by  military service under the authority of the NSA (with a far different less technology based intelligence mission). 

Maybe the answer is, "What should we know and when should we know it."  The salient point ,and a major reason for this screed, "Who decides wast we know and when we know it." Handing over that decision to people who probably should never have been awarded Top-Secret Security clearances became evident after probing the backgrounds and psyches of Manning and Snowden. There are similarities.

Manning, in the following Steve Fishman article is reported to have grown contemptuous of his mission. He was doing things he felt were wrong and against his evolving will. Allow a moment of reflection, before I connect to a most intriguing NPR segment from yesterday afternoon and before linking to the article by Steve Fishman (guest on the NPR show).

Manning said he was doing things in fulfilling his mission to his country that he no longer wanted to do.  My thoughts go back to the thousands young draftees sent to Viet Nam for a flawed mission to serve under leaders who perpetrated a failed mission from the White House to the squad sargents in the Viet Namese fauna and rice paddies. Many without doubt, loss faith in their mission for personal reasons. We do not have data indicting mass forsaking their missions, turning in turn weapons and walking away. Different from the claims of ethics from Manning and Snowden, but in totality not so different. Correction, different in one way. Manning's reasons (motives) for releasing 700,000 plus documents may have exposed dangerous information related to US operatives in  the field, may have jeopardized the lives of foreign nationals working to "keep us safe," and may have provided INTEL advantage to adversaries. Like it our not the latter is as dangerous as it gets.  Yet, he fulfilled his personal desire for satisfaction. I suppose in a way, Both Manning and Snowden fulfilled their inclinations towards the rights of the individual (privacy) with no regard for the greater society (National security and ever-present adversaries).  The following is a must listen. There is no video, and that can be a problem, but Fishman's words are revealing. Remember, NPR listeners were was rated as the most informed by a 2012 Fairleigh Dickinson University Survey.

Bradley Manning Had Long Been Plagued By Mental Health Issues

July 31, 2013 4:52 PM

Sentencing began Wednesday in the trial of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. Journalist Steve Fishman wrote an in-depth profile of Manning for New York Magazine. He speaks to Melissa Block about the famed Wikileaker who faces years in prison.

Steve  Fishman's New York Magazine's piece on Bradley Manning is nothing shy of , "Wow." The piece sheds light on the inner psyche of Bradley Manning while laying his background open for worthwhile scrutiny. A most poignant aspect of the Fishman piece, is reading (watching via imagery) Manning devolve from "Gung ho" to what I call a clear cut "spy" serving his own cause. The piece should serve as an indictment of the US INTEL Community as to how it awards security clearances and possibly its competency in recruiting people for highly classified work. It also speaks to the downside of technology run a muck. The very technology that you and I cherish and use each day. "

"If it exists or if someone makes it, man will analyze it and find ways to use findings." The Pardu.

Fishman starts his article accordingly.....

New York Magazine
Bradley Manning’s Army of One

......He pulled a chair up to the computer in his cinder-block room, briefly debated between a pizza and a sandwich from Domino’s, went with the sandwich, and passed over into his “digital existence,” as he thought of it. He logged on to AOL’s instant-messenger service under the handle Bradass87, and off he went to transform himself. On the web, he could be whomever he chose. 
It was 8:27 p.m. at Fort Drum when he popped up on the computer screen of ZJ Antolak. 
“hi,” he began.  
“hi,” ZJ responded. 
“You don’t know me, i apologize, i got this [address] from your youtube channel.” 
“No problem, there’s a reason I put it on there :P,” wrote ZJ, adding an emoticon to indicate her playful tone—or his, depending on your frame of reference. ZJ was Zachary Antolak, a 19-year-old gay activist and web designer. On YouTube, he went by the name Zinnia Jones. On the Internet, he was a she who called herself Queen of the Atheists, wearing her auburn hair below her shoulders and painting her lips a bold red. 
Manning was an atheist himself—“I’m godless,” he told an acquaintance. But even more, he identified with ZJ’s self-­invented life. “I saw your more personal stuff and figured you were on the same page … as me,” Manning wrote. “You ­remind me of … well … me.” 
Among fellow soldiers, Manning had to conceal the basic facts of his sexual orientation. On the web, he was proudly out and joined a “Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” group. He’d even begun to explore switching his gender, chatting with a counselor about the steps a person takes to transition from male to female. 
On the web, being one thing didn’t mean you couldn’t be another. And for all of his boundary-crossing and self-­exploration online, he was, at first, a committed soldier. In fact, he was gung ho, eager to put his technical expertise to use for the cause—he had the skills of a ­hacker, though at that point, he didn’t yet have the ideology. The Army had trained him at Fort Huachuca as an intelligence analyst. “With my current position,” he wrote to ZJ with a new graduate’s earnestness, “i can apply what i learn to provide more information to my officers and commanders, and hopefully save lives … i feel a great responsibility and duty to people.”
Not that Manning’s conception of patriotic duty would have met with the approval of his superiors. His methods were hardly standard operating procedure. “In public eye, US intel services are mysterious; in the real world, intelligence is a goofy, clunky, and annoying process,” he wrote to ZJ. “drives me NUTS … luckily i use my DC contacts from Starbucks and get the word out to those higher up in the chain.”

ZJ played along with Manning’s espionage narrative. “I can imagine two guys in sunglasses meeting at a starbucks to quickly hand over an envelope … just to get some minor bug repaired,” she wrote, according to logs provided to New York Magazine.

Manning, though, had followed a different script. “Lol ... glamorous, but no … it’s more like i knew this lt colonel from the DIA”—Defense Intelligence Agency—“at starbucks before i was in the military … slept with him once or twice, then i get in the military, i notice the problems, call him and say, hey, find someone who can fix this.”

In the gravityless world of the web, Manning could be all he wanted to be—gay, patriotic, and powerful, too. “I have long arms and a wide footprint,” he wrote from his deserted barracks.

When the computer was turned off and his Army comrades returned, his superpowers disappeared. The members of his platoon didn’t consider Manning a warrior, not like them. He’s five foot two and 105 pounds, as “tiny as a child,” one former soldier said. Military policy dictated that he hide his sexual orientation, but it probably wasn’t a secret to his platoon. “It took them a while, but they started figuring me out, making fun of me, mocking me, harassing me,” he wrote to ZJ, “heating up with one or two physical attacks.” Though, he assured ZJ, “I fended [it] off just fine.”

See Also:

As you know by now and well before we publish this screed, I am not one who views Manning and Snowden as heroes or whistle-blowers. Manning's twisted sense of idealism led to revelations that should be corrected, or people who perpetrated the subterfuge should answer for the acts. From another perspective, his 700,000 page dump and release to WikiLeaks led to Osama Bin Laden saving leaked info on his laptop.  His release also placed many people in danger, and to this day we do not know if some have perished or gone into permanent hiding. Or, worse, yet become wards of the US taxpayers via life US Safe Houses or protection programs. He indicates he was picked on and we are to glean from such it compounded his already quirky mental state. Well, I read similar from the murderer who killed students at Virginia Tech., and the two killers at Columbine.

Snowden is yet another story and one who seems to come to his contempt for his mission through an affinity for libertarianism (and subsequent praise from Ron "Legalize Heroin" Paul), today's release into the Russian society. We wonder how long will Snowden feel comfortable with 'for sure' Russian surveillance, monitoring of his every move, and scrutiny he may not yet be able to fathom. We wonder if his misguided effort to "right wrongs" has not led to more wrongs and an eventual return to the United States. Snowden is factually a defector and traitor.

Allow me to close with one more dip into my confessed dichotomy. Maybe, good will come from the disclosures while President Obama is in the Oval Office.  Monitoring will continue and it will advance with technological advancements. The central issue is transparency and the lack there of.  

There is little doubt President Obama quickly saw and understood the value of the Meta-data program. As President, he has access to information we will never have access to nor see until he is well out of office and only then if he chooses to share. Since, I fully trust the president in every way, how he works through the current tumult will be interesting, intriguing and, frankly, historic.  

And that brings me to one last point. We should be thankful we have Obama in the White House. Can you imagine any Republican in the Oval Office as we work our way through the Manning and Snowden matters? Can you imagine Mitt Romney with Russia as, "our number one geo-political foe," taking orders from conservative oligarchs and generals on how to handle Snowden in Russia. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Snowden To Stay in Russia And Get A Job! How About That "Whistle Blower" Advocates?

How about a chorus of "Defector!"

Yahoo News reported on the latest from US Defector Edward Snowden.
His Russian lawyer is reporting he will stay in Russia and get a job. Of course, he will get a job with Russian Intel services; the Russians are not stupid.

Now, let's see how fast Snowden defects from Russia based on government monitoring and restriction on personal freedoms.  This guy is a complete loser. he makes Lee Harvey Oswald appear as a modern day Einstein.

Yahoo News...

Snowden's Moscow Lawyer: NSA Leaker Is Planning To Live In Russia And Get A Job

Business Insider 

The Moscow lawyer of NSA whistleblower/leaker Edward Snowden tells Russia Today that the 30-year-old is planning to spend the foreseeable future in Russia. 

“He’s planning to arrange his life here. He plans to get a job," Anatoly Kucherena, a Russian lawyer with links to the country's intelligence service (i.e. FSB), told RT. "And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in.” 

Huffington Post and many other sources reported in late June, US Intelligence agencies reported they can see evidence of Al Qaeda adhering to  and taking precautions based on revelations from Snowden.

Read more: Linked here.