Is Snowden for Real? Doubts Set In
By Staff News & Analysis - June 13, 2013

Is Edward Snowden's story unravelling? Why the Guardian's scoop is looking a bit dodgy … Questions are being raised about Snowden's background and motivations Now that the dust has settled after the Edward Snowden affair, it's time to ask some tough questions about The Guardian's scoop of the week. Snowden's story is that he dropped a $200,000 a year job and a (very attractive) girlfriend in Hawaii for a life in hiding in Hong Kong in order to expose the evils of the NSA's Prism programme. But bits of the story are now being questioned. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: The whole Snowden affair is exactly what he says it is.

Free-Market Analysis: Over the weekend, we published two initial articles explaining why what we will call the Snowden affair is not to be taken literally.

As some Daily Bell feedbackers have pointed out, it doesn't matter much, however, as the explosive leaks have set off a volcanic reaction throughout the West, perhaps more explosive than could ever have been anticipated.

Any conversation regarding Leviathan's over-reaching is probably a good one. But the Snowden story still may be a manipulated one. See our initial take here:

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It begs common sense that the mainstream media would provide us with this sort of scoop. When the mainstream covers something intensively like this, there's got to be a reason. The mainstream media is globalist in its sympathies and ownership. Thus, there is likely some sort of globalist advantage to this unprecedented leaking, however difficult it may be to unravel.

One idea floated by a feedbacker is that the powers-that-be, panicked by the Internet, have decided to sacrifice the ultimate dominant social theme, that government knows best. This never occurred to us, but it does make a kind of hazy sense. If the idea is to introduce chaos into the Western world (and so create a more globalist state), what better way to do it then to undermine the legitimacy of the nation-state itself?

No matter what is going on, Snowden's persona, like that of Juilan Assange, seems to come out of a Hollywood script. It has the hallmarks of a US Intel drama, no matter how far-fetched that speculation may seem to some.

Again, we are not accusing Snowden or any of the others around him of deliberately creating something other than what it seems to be. We are merely speculating that at the very top of these enterprises, there is a level of control not easily analyzed but nonetheless present.

The Guardian is a leftist newspaper, the executive branch of which is staffed at the top by a former Morgan Stanley alum. It is a mainstream publication. The idea that this episode continues even now, days later, and is charted in detail by the mainstream media is simply puzzling to us.

We've seen plenty of instances where compelling articles about regulatory democracy have been snuffed out simply by a lack of media coverage. This scandal has legs. Why?

Here's some more from the Telegraph article:

1. Why did he go to China? It was always an odd aspect of his plan that he should choose as his refuge from tyranny a totalitarian state that happily spies on its own people and imprisons dissenters. True, Hong Kong itself has a tradition of resistance to dictatorship, but it also has a treaty with the US that would make it relatively easy for America to extradite their guy back. Perhaps Snowden simply has the worst lawyers in history?

2. Snowden's backstory is not entirely accurate. Booz Allen says that his salary was 40 per cent lower than thought and a real estate agent says that his house in Hawaii was empty for weeks before he vamoosed. Does the fact that he only worked for three months with Booz Allen and the NSA suggest he was planning a hit and run all along – that he took the job with the NSA with the intention of stealing the documents?

3. The administration is pushing back on the definition of what Prism actually is – that it's not a snooping programme but a data management tool. The call logging accusations are pretty much beyond doubt (and reason enough to scream Big Brother) but the Prism angle is a little less clear.

… As Joshua Foust of suggests, the problem probably rests with Snowden. He first approached the Washington Post via a freelancer and demanded that they publish everything without time for fact checking or government comment. The Post hesitated – so Snowden went to The Guardian instead. This forced the Post to speed up publication of its own story. Frost: "Both papers, in their rush, wound up printing misleading stories." If so, they're in trouble.

We disagree that "they're" in trouble, or not in the biggest sense. No matter what comes out now, the impression has been solidified that the US government in particular is incredibly invasive and abusing its vast authority to invalidate all aspects of privacy.

This must have been the intention of those behind this "limited hangout" – or one of the intentions, as it is difficult to conceive of any other outcome. And then again, with such vast programs in motion, a public conversation enshrining at least some of what has been created is likely seen as necessary. The rest can possibly be attributed to intimidation.

After Thoughts

As with 9/11, we don't yet know the details of the Snowden affair, and perhaps we never shall know all of them. We can only say with some certainty that all probably isn't as it appears.

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