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Greenwald: Why the CIA Is Smearing Edward Snowden After Paris Attacks (latimes.com) 298

JoeyRox points out that Glenn Greenwald has some harsh words for the CIA in an op-ed piece for the LA Times. From the article: "Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity. Bodies were still lying in the streets of Paris when CIA operatives began exploiting the resulting fear and anger to advance long-standing political agendas. They and their congressional allies instantly attempted to heap blame for the atrocity not on Islamic State but on several preexisting adversaries: Internet encryption, Silicon Valley's privacy policies and Edward Snowden."
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Greenwald: Why the CIA Is Smearing Edward Snowden After Paris Attacks

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @08:48PM (#51010409)

    "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

    Rahm Emanuel

    Aren't politics grand? Gotta further an agenda while the corpses are still warm. (You lose impact any other way, you see.) /s

    • by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @11:05PM (#51010897)


      The crazy part is that the Paris terrorists didn't use encryption and nothing they did was affected by Snowden in any way. So to raise Snowden is a total non sequitur.

      If anything, the Paris attacks weakens the case of those who want to ban encryption. Encryption simply wasn't a factor and banning it would not have helped.

      • by Jack Griffin ( 3459907 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @01:07AM (#51011345)
        In fact raising Snowden makes me even more worried because it demonstrates the people supposedly with the "intelligence" are as dumb as planks.
        The CIA needs to be dismantled and replaced with something a bit better than this
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I don't know... the Paris attacks showed that the CIA as an organization was not doing its job. Their response? Get everyone talking about encryption and Snowden instead of the CIA and their failed intel. And they still get the budget increase for next year.

          Sounds to me like SOMEONE at the CIA's got brains.

          • by mathew7 ( 863867 )

            Gathering data has NO USE in prevention. Because algorithms CANNOT differentiate between keywords in sarcastic/trolling communication vs. serious. And in serious communications, the keywords would be replaced with mundane words. I mean, even in regular communications, when you don't want people around you to know the details, you will omit them or rephrase somehow that only relevant people understand. Perfect example is a discussion from Analyse This containing "that thing" and "the other thing".
            Their gathe

            • We'd maybe have to meet up face to face to set it up, but we could assign meanings to Shakespeare plays or Rush albums.

              Nobody could know that when I say "Has anyone noticed that blah blah Cinderella Man yadda yadda act one of Othello" it means to blow up thâ'{;[. @
              no carrier

          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            Sounds to me like SOMEONE at the CIA's got brains.

            And that many, many people outside of it don't.

        • I don't know that it's so much them being dumb as planks as it is them considering that the people to whom they're raising this issue are dumb as planks.
      • The crazy part is that the Paris terrorists didn't use encryption and nothing they did was affected by Snowden in any way.

        No no no no no. They didn't use encryption because Snowden spilled the beans about it. If he'd kept quiet they'd have happily gone on using encryption which would have been much easier to break because ... ummmm ... look, over there! A brown person! I bet he's up to no good.

      • by davecb ( 6526 )

        If you keep saying something, however impossible, eventually you'll get some people to believe you:
        they strongly expect you to be shouted down if you're a liar.

        This worked for Rob Ford (the druggie mayor of Toronto), and for two, maybe three, countries' rulers during WWII. So if you're a liar, don't stop lying! Redouble your efforts!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2015 @12:06AM (#51011089)

      You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

      Rahm Emanuel

      I see that quote a lot. But I never see a source for it. It sounds too on the nose to be believable. So this time I decided to check it out myself. Turns out that is not what he said. And to misquote him like that is to mislead. Here's the actual source:

      You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives this week.

      He elaborated: "Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."
      -- http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB... [wsj.com]

      As you can see, what he was talking about was work that had been postponed because it wasn't considered urgent enough. That's a completely different meaning than your version which boils down to tricking people while they aren't thinking clearly.

      > Aren't politics grand?

      Indeed it is. I hope you can recognize the role you just played. At best you were lied to and used to further someone else's agenda, at worst you deliberately set out to deceive in order to further your agenda.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a il.com> on Friday November 27, 2015 @01:58AM (#51011519) Homepage

        Seems to me it's closer to paraphrasing. On top of that, the elaborated sentence can also imply that if you know that a crisis exists and you postpone it for whatever reason(time/public backlash/money/others don't believe it's urgent/etc), you can then use that opportunity to implement things that you wouldn't be able to do so before. That also includes implementing things that the general public would find highly objectionable, but would allow in a crisis moment. Or to ram though legislation that would have failed previously.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Would it matter if the quote was a condemnation of the USA PATRIOT Act as being a pre-made crisis response to 9/11? Can you read it in a way to see it as such?
    • by nyet ( 19118 )

      Under what circumstances would the CIA NOT want to smear Snowden? I see absolutely no situation where they would want to do anything else.

      They have zero credibility.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Yes, like you asking the wife for a solid-core security door that's $5000 and ugly, when a regular door is cheaper and prettier. She says no. Then, when you are robbed by someone kicking in the door, you ask again and the wife says yes.

      How someone implies that's a bad thing is beyond me. You don't let the crisis go to waste, you learn from it, and improve from what you learn.
    • To quote a UK junior minister at about 2001-09-11 15:00, "Today is a good day to bury bad news.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2015 @08:53PM (#51010421)

    When Russia told the US about the Boston Marathon bombers?
    When a flight instructor told the US about people who wanted to fly planes, but not land them before 9/11?

    We have replaced credible human intelligence with signals intelligence. Making the hay stack bigger only makes the needles harder to find.

  • Hero (Score:5, Informative)

    by anarkhos ( 209172 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @08:56PM (#51010439)

    Some people are too lazy to know right from wrong, so they let the state dictate morality for them. These people are going to hell.

    By any objective standard, Snowden has been right on all accounts and the Empire has nothing to say except "TRAITOR!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2015 @09:13PM (#51010503)

    Because the CIA is fucking evil. Next question?

    Seriously, the CIA is responsible for the creation of Al Qaeda as a threat to America, you're welcome for 9/11. Then the CIA was responsible for torturing people and provoking new terrorist recruitment, running the drone killing campaign which spawns ten terrorists for every one it kills, and now we have ISIS which is a result of W. Bush's stupid illegal invasion of Iraq, which HIS OWN FATHER warned him would happen. But Bush and the CIA people annoyed his father didn't do it went ahead anyway, and look where we are now.

  • by matbury ( 3458347 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @09:25PM (#51010547) Homepage

    ...including "Silicon Valley's privacy policies" in the list of pet peeves for the CIA/NSA. In fact, Silicon Valley IT giants have a steady stream of revenue from providing services to assist the NSA in their private personal data trawling. It's just business. The public rhetoric is simply PR and marketing to keep their share prices up. None of the IT giants are proposing anything that would actually prevent the NSA from bulk data collection and accessing their data warehouses, security certificates, and encryption keys. The greatest facilitators in the most intrusive and pervasive surveillance programme in history are the IT giants themselves. Let's not forget that.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re 'The greatest facilitators in the most intrusive and pervasive surveillance programme in history are the IT giants themselves."
      Yes its like the UK too, collect all for the UK gov but want the media to stop reporting that collection for the gov 24/7 is policy and routine.
      "UK ISP boss points out massive technical flaws in Investigatory Powers Bill" (Nov 27, 2015)
      http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]
      "....which forbid ISPs from revealing what snooping is being carried out on their systems."
      "The Home Office
  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday November 26, 2015 @10:07PM (#51010699) Journal
    The comments on the article make for depressing reading. People seem to have swallowed the horror stories about encryption hook, line and sinker.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The global tech community knows what standard weak, junk encryption allows for over every generation of device and network they have to fix and clean up after.
      Slowly governments and nations can understand what having junk encryption for their political leaders is costing their trade and national development.
      Allowing huge national contracts to be set over junk encryption with a few bidding nations listening in is slowly been fully understood locally.
      A government with their top officials using smart phones
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      People are generally stupid and have no clue about things they talk about that. Add fear to this and the stupidity gets amplified to epic proportions. The comments you refer to are just a textbook example of that effect.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      Fear is the first stop on the train to tyranny. A lot of people have already bought their boarding passes.

      Anyone who does not board the train or tries to stop others from boarding are labelled as traitors and terrorists.

  • The CIA's former acting director, Michael Morell... Former CIA chief James Woolsey...
    These people are not from the CIA anymore, they have no right to talk on the behalf of the CIA and what they say are personal opinions, nothing more.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      You have obviously not the least clue how this works.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        You are right, I don't know how it works, but neither do you, otherwise you wouldn't be posting comments on Slashdot.
        That the CIA would want to smear Snowden totally makes sense, it's a deduction anyone can make. However, for a serious newspaper, I expect an article backed by facts, like actual communication from the CIA, not ramblings by people who once worked for the CIA. I don't disagree with the idea behind the article, I just say that from a journalistic standpoint, it is of poor quality.

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          You reasoning is faulty. This is not intelligence tactics. This is PR. (Also, I do not hold a security clearance, so I can post whatever my pertaining observations are, unlike the about 5 million US citizens that have been muzzled that way...)

          It works like this: Have a known former employee or close associate to who you maintain close ties spread some information or statement. Most people will see it as coming from you, but if it causes a stir, it will just be their "private opinion".

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday November 27, 2015 @02:40AM (#51011651) Journal
    Nice to see someone unafraid to speak the truth, especially someone involved with the media.

    Too bad he'll die in a tragic accident very soon and/or be completely discredited and/or found guilty of being in posession of child porn or illegal drugs or other contraband, and everything he had to say denied as false.
  • Heck, they learned this from the gun grabbers who jump on every shooting and demand more laws, when by golly, the existing laws, if enforced, would do. (see for example, Fast and Furious, laws for gun-free zones, laws against murder no matter how you do it, and so on forever, already existing) Never let a crisis go to waste. Always consider the source...I think this behavior is ghoulish, personally. And when Ed Snowden "hurt" the TLAs, they have a lot of balls to say that hurt the USA - as if they alone w
  • Encryption or not, tying the hands of the intelligence services did some harm. The very things that are asked of intelligence services would only serve to help people avoid them.

    For someone that aided and abetted a traitorous criminal, I'm not sure that Greenwald can explain this one away. They have yet to answer how intelligence agencies are supposed to work when they're supposed to give notice at the worst of times.

    Events like Paris are enabled and amplified by the Snowden-caused damage caused to intelli

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"