At any other time this nonsense wouldn't get out the gate. But fear and uncertainty in official Washington and London about the revelations in Glenn Greenwald's forthcoming book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State (release date April 29), is emboldening the kind of people who like to whip up a lynch mob.
What started out as a straightforward insinuation that Ed Snowden is a Russian spy has in recent days been worked into a fantastic embroidery on the Ukraine-Russia situation that targets Snowden's supporters as much as Snowden.
One of the embroiderers is House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers. Yet topping even his insinuations, which he voiced most recently on Meet the Press this Sunday, are ones fielded by John R. Schindler and Joshua Foust. These two Americans, with connections in the U.S. intelligence community, were among the earliest critics of Snowden to publicly accuse him of being involved with Russia's intelligence apparatus.
Now, however, Snowden is not simply involved, he's the mastermind behind Washington's failure to anticipate Russia's actions in Crimea. At any other time the insinuation would be laughable, but there's nothing funny about the lynch mob mentality. Guilt is determined according to a logic that can't be challenged because it's a logic that can only be perceived by special sight. Truth is no defense against that logic. Facts are of no consequence. Reason is bound and gagged and dragged to the nearest tree.
So it would be useless to point out to Foust and Schindler that according to their logic the Boston Marathon Bombers and al Qaeda gang that brought down the World Trade Center had a miraculous ability to evade the National Security Agency's All Seeing Eye.
It would also be useless to mention that even Snowden critic Geoffrey R. Stone, after he served on the President's independent panel to investigate NSA, reported that there was no evidence the NSA had ever stopped as much as one terrorist plot.
Nonetheless, the special sight possessed by Foust and Schindler tells them that Russia's government must have had help from Ed Snowden -- or gotten hold of his NSA files -- because it eluded the All Seeing Eye in its moves in Crimea.
SINCE WHEN has the government of the United States of America NOT been caught flat-footed by events in parts of the world it understands not at all? Reference Benghazi and the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for two recent examples of how well the All Seeing Eye works. There was General al-Sisi snapping at the Washington Post: You Americans betrayed us. If Sisi only knew: Washington was still trying to fathom what was happening after the putsch was over and done with.
Gee, maybe Egypt's generals got help from Snowden in surprising Washington.
All right, Pundita, you've made your point; give it a rest. I can only hope that the release of Greenwald's book will tamp down the worst of the situation so everyone living in fear of what's in the book can finally see where the ax has fallen. Then maybe the lynch mob types will crawl back under their rock.
Here's a March 24 article at the Business Insider that details the special sight of Schindler and Foust: Russia's New Ability To Evade NSA Surveillance Is Either A Crazy Coincidence Or Something Much Worse.
The link posted above about Mike Rogers is to a March 24 post by Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake. He patiently dismantles Rogers' latest insinuations.
The insinuations are remarkably similar to those penned by a British citizen named Edward Lucas, who spent many years as a foreign 'correspondent' in the Soviet Union, and who's involved with a European policy think tank here in Washington. See The Silliest Snowden Theory Yet at Mother Jones (February 28) for a sendup of Lucas' effort to connect nonexistent dots.