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Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.

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Historically, we know from their actions leading up to WW2, and their actions during the "Cold War", the Cuban crisis and the subsequent collapse of the USSR and the Berlin Wall, that the Russians would seem to have deservedly earned the reputation of being pariahs of modern "democratic civilization".

Then they harboured the "traitorous criminal" Snowden, who had fled to Russia to avoid being banged up in chokey for - likely as not - the rest of his life, for the SnowdonGate revelations published by the UK's Guardian newspaper, about the US NSA intrusively spying on what seemed to be just about everybody and in every nation and distributing information-gathering (hacking) viruses and whatnot across the Internet.

So it was not too surprising to me when I read the other day that Obama had apparently restarted the old Cold War practice of sending a bunch of Russian diplomatic officials home as punishment for some wrong the Ruskies were alleged to have committed - in this case the official reason was that they had apparently committed a "wrong" by hacking into US government-operated networks and leaking the information they had gleaned to WikiLeaks, or something, though I also gather from media reports that Julian Assange has stated the Russian government was not the source and the Russians have also denied it.
Then I read today in that:
White House fails to make case that Russian hackers tampered with election
... Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups. ...

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Historically, ARStechnica seems to have a record for its tendency, to push the politically correct line ad nauseam, so I reckoned this take on the JAR was probably a reasoned conclusion from some investigative journalism (for a change) and someone having read the report with their critical thinking cap on.

There seems toe be something hilarious in all of this, because, in the US government making the apparently unproven and unsubstantiated allegations/accusations about the Russian hacking (QED), and trying to take retribution for same, they have compounded themselves in a classic case of "the pot calling the kettle black", and they are also being hypocritical in this when in fact it is the US government (via the NSA) that would seem to be categorically the worst hacking offender on the planet - QED as per the published SnowdonGate revelations and which nobody has denied.

So is all this apparent BS about the Russians "fake news", or "truthism", or something?

Some people (not me, you understand) might say that, either way, it clearly creates a dichotomy which has the potential to demonize, stigmatize and antagonise the "evil" Russians, in what looks to be some kind of US government political cover-up whilst pointing the blame elsewhere, and it might thereby make it even more difficult to later reverse and give Snowden a pardon, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Well, since @40hz's opening post on this thread, on 2013-06-22, 10:10:00 (over 4 years ago), the situation regarding Snowden's criminal status seems to have remained pretty much unchanged - i.e., still no pardon.

What he did was - at evidential risk of his own personal freedoms - to effectively pull the veil from over our collective eyes, so that we could all transparently see the breathtaking scope of the global activities of the US NSA and associated allied national/international state-sponsored spying agencies.
Some people (not me, you understand) might say that in doing do, he arguably performed a deed of general public (and democratic) good for the free world, but I couldn't possibly comment.

However, rather than his being protected under some kind of a supposed "whistleblower's charter" (ha-ha), he apparently remains demonized and criminalised by the US state and/or judicial systems.

I was reminded of Snowden's apparently unselfish generosity and self-sacrifice when I read on TechDirt about a seemingly serious article from the NYTimes:
 As U.S. Confronts Internet’s Disruptions, China Feels Vindicated

It's a stunning article in that it seems to be parroting what the "reporters" were being told by some kind of Chinese official, with little real journalistic input, comment or critique whatsoever, leaving one with the suggestion that what the Chinese are doing is a model that the US could perhaps consider adopting. For example, despite saying that:
...Besides Communist Party loyalists, few would argue that China’s internet control serves as a model for democratic societies.

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 - they seem to be suggesting that that's somehow "O.K.", because they then add:
...At the same time, China anticipated many of the questions now flummoxing governments from the United States to Germany to Indonesia. Where the Russians have turned the internet into a political weapon, China has used it as a shield.

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Before that, there's a presumably unintentionally hilarious (LOL) bit where they report the guy (a "Mr. Zhao") who seems to be a main source of official Chinese input:
“This kind of thing would not happen here,” Mr. Zhao said of the controversy over Russia’s influence in the American presidential election last year.

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As some wag called Ben Thompson points out,
...the reason it won't happen in China is because there are no Presidential elections in China.
(Copied from the TechDirt post.)

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Some people (not me, you understand) might say that it almost seems as though the media (NYT) aren't so much concerned with articles about ensuring/promoting the freedoms of whistleblowers like Snowden - and ultimately of all Internet users in the free world - as they seem to be with maintaining their "freedom of the press" to promote their own precious and peculiar propaganda and other nonsense or distortions of what they determine to be "the news" that we should read. However, again, I couldn't possibly comment.
It could be interesting if The Grauniad made some comment about this though, since they were the first to see the importance of and to publish the tranche of Snowdengate material.

Right now some great thing to watch are Julian Assange's Twitter:

He's ripping through people. Savage. Good on the Based White Wizard.

Also, James O'Keefe is destroying the NYT right now. It's very entertaining.

@Renegade: Thanks for the links. Interesting.

I was reading a post on of the transcript of a 5th January 2018 video interview with Pulitzer prizewinner James Risen - an American journalist. The transcript is well worth a read, as it is quite educational, but the 15,000-word article referred to in the transcript - "The Biggest Secret" (see link in the quote below) - seems to be excellent journalism and provides a background as to what Snowden later revealed and the events leading up to Risen winning the Pulitzer, though it sometimes seems quite frightening in its implications for suppression of freedoms and especially freedom of the press to print the truth without punishment/retribution and to protect their legitimate sources, where Truth and the advocates of Truth are the main casualties in this, what seems to be, post-fact, post-truth, "truthism" and "fake news" era.

The link to the transcript is: The Biggest Secret: James Risen on Life as a NY Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror | Democracy Now!

I found the transcript very interesting, because it sheds light on the US government prohibition/suppression of reporting of US state-sponsored spying - which spying Snowden eventually blew the whistle on - including the warrantless wiretapping and the broader effort to gather email and phone records of Americans in a "massive program that we later learned was codenamed Stellar Wind."

The intro to the post is a good summary of its relevance (my emphasis):
We spend the hour with former New York Times reporter James Risen, who left the paper in August to join The Intercept as senior national security correspondent. This week, he published a 15,000-word story headlined “The Biggest Secret: My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror.” The explosive piece describes his struggles to publish major national security stories in the post-9/11 period and how both the government and his own editors at The New York Times suppressed his reporting, including reports on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, for which he would later win the Pulitzer Prize. Risen describes meetings between key Times editors and top officials at the CIA and the White House. His refusal to name a source would take him to the Supreme Court, and he almost wound up in jail, until the Obama administration blinked.

Copied from: The Biggest Secret: James Risen on Life as a NY Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror | Democracy Now! - <>

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