He begins a training program to join the Special Forces. At what point after enlistment can a new soldier start this elite training program?
Snowden breaks both legs in an exercise. Heâs discharged from the Army. Is that automatic? How about healing and then resuming service?
If he was accepted in the Special Forces training program because he had special computer skills, then why discharge him simply because he broke both legs?
"Sorry, Ed, but with two broken legs we just don't think you can hack into terrorist data anymore. You were good, but not now. Try Walmart. They always have openings."
Circa 2003, Snowden gets a job as a security guard for an NSA facility at the University of Maryland. He specifically wanted to work for NSA? It was just a generic job opening he found out about?
Snowden shifts jobs. Boom. He's now in the CIA, in IT. He has no high school diploma. He's a young computer genius.
In 2007, Snowden is sent to Geneva. He's only 23 years old. The CIA gives him diplomatic cover there. He's put in charge of maintaining computer-network security. Major job. Obviously, he has access to a wide range of classified documents. Sound a little odd? Heâs just a kid. Maybe he has his GED. Otherwise, he still doesnât have a high school diploma.
Snowden says that during this period, in Geneva, one of the incidents that really sours him on the CIA is the "turning of a Swiss banker." One night, CIA guys get a banker drunk, encourage him to drive home, the banker gets busted, the CIA guys help him out, then with that bond formed, they eventually get the banker to reveal deep secrets to the Agency.
This sours Snowden? Heâs that naÃ¯ve? He doesnât know by now that the CIA does this sort of thing all the time? Heâs shocked? He âdidnât sign up for this?â Come on.
In 2009, Snowden leaves the CIA. Why? Presumably because heâs disillusioned. It should noted here that Snowden claimed he could do very heavy damage to the entire US intelligence community in 2008, but decided to wait because he thought Obama, just coming into the presidency, might keep his âtransparencyâ promise.
After two years with the CIA in Geneva, Snowden really had the capability to take down the whole US inter-agency intelligence network, or a major chunk of it?
If you buy that without further inquiry, I have condos for sale on the dark side of the moon.
In 2009, Snowden leaves the CIA and goes to work in the private sector. Dell, Booze Allen Hamilton. In this latter job, Snowden is assigned to work at the NSA.
Heâs an outsider, but, again, he claims to have so much access to so much sensitive NSA data that he can take down the whole US intelligence network in a single day. The. Whole. US. Intelligence. Network.
This is Ed Snowdenâs sketchy legend. Itâs all red flags, alarm bells, sirens, flashing lights.
Then we have the crowning piece: they solved the riddle: Ed Snowden was able to steal thousands of highly protected NSA documents becauseâ¦he had a thumb drive.
Itâs the weapon that breached the inner sanctum of the most sophisticated information agency in the world.
Itâs the weapon to which the NSA, with all its resources, remains utterly vulnerable. Canât defeat it.
Not only did Snowden stroll into NSA with a thumb drive, he knew how to navigate all the security layers put in place to stop people from stealing classified documents.
âLetâs see. We have a new guy coming to work for us here at NSA today? Oh, whiz kid. Ed Snowden. Outside contractor. Booz Allen. Heâs not really a full-time employee of the NSA. Twenty-nine years old. No high school diploma. Has a GED. He worked for the CIA and quit. Hmm. Why did he quit? Oh, never mind, who cares? No problem.
âTell you what. Letâs give this kid access to our most sensitive data. Sure. Why not? Everything. That stuff we keep behind 986 walls? Where you have to pledge the life of your first-born against the possibility youâll go rogue? Let Snowden see it all. Sure. What the hell. Iâm feeling charitable. He seems like a nice kid.â
NSA is the most awesome spying agency ever devised in this world. If you cross the street in Podunk, Anywhere, USA, to buy an ice cream soda, on a Tuesday afternoon in July, they know.
They know whether you sit at the counter and drink that soda or take it and move to the only table in the store. They know whether you lick the foam from the top of the glass with your tongue or pick the foam with your straw and then lick it.
They know if you keep the receipt for the soda or leave it on the counter.
They know whether youâre wearing shoes or sneakers. They know the brand of your underwear. They know your shaving cream, and precisely which container it came out of.
But this agency, with all its vast power and its dollarsâ¦
Canât track one of its own, a man who came to work every day, a man who made up a story about needing treatment in Hong Kong for epilepsy and then skipped the country.
Just canât find him.
Canât find him in Hong Kong, where he does a sit-down video interview with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Canât find that âsafe houseâ or that âhotelâ where heâs staying.
No. Canât find him or spy on his communications while heâs in Hong Kong. Canât figure out heâs booked a flight to Russia. Canât intercept him at the airport before he leaves for Russia . Too difficult.
And this man, this employee, is walking around with four laptops that contain the keys to all the secret spying knowledge in the known cosmos.
Canât locate those laptops. Canât hack into them to see whatâs there. Canât access the laptops or the data. The most brilliant technical minds of this or any other generation can find a computer in Outer Mongolia in the middle of a blizzard, but these walking-around computers in Hong Kong are somehow beyond reach.
And before this man, Snowden, this employee, skipped Hawaii, he was able to access the layout of the entire US intelligence network. Yes.
He stole enough to âtake down the entire US intelligence network in a single afternoon.â
Not only that, but anyone who worked at this super-agency as an analyst, as a systems-analyst supervisor, could have done the same thing. Could have stolen the keys to the kingdom.
This is why NSA geniuses with IQs over 180 have decided, now, in the midst of the Snowden affair, that they need to draft âtighter rules and proceduresâ for their employees. Right.
Now, a few pieces of internal of security they hadnât realized they needed before will be put in place.
This is, let me remind you, the most secretive spying agency in the world. The richest spying agency. The smartest spying agency.
But somehow, over the years, theyâd overlooked this corner of their own security. Theyâd left a door open, so that any one of their own analysts could steal everything.
Could take it all. Could just snatch it away and copy it and store it on a few laptops.
But now, yes now, having been made aware of this vulnerability, the agency will make corrections.
And reporters for elite US media donât find any of this hard to swallow.
A smart sixth-grader could see through this tower of fabricated crap in a minute, but veteran grizzled reporters are clueless.
On the ever-solicitous Charley Rose, a gaggle of pundits/newspeople warned that Ed Snowden, walking around with those four laptops, could be an easy target for Chinese spies or Russian spies, who could get access to the data on those computers. The spies could just hack in.
But the NSA canât. No. The NSA canât find out what Snowden has. They can only speculate.
The tightest and strongest and richest and smartest spying agency in the world canât find its own employee. Itâs in the business of tracking, and it canât find him.
Itâs in the business of security, and it canât protect its own data from its employees.
If you believe all that, I have timeshares to sell in the black hole in the center of the Milky Way.
The Matrix Revealed
Here is a more likely scenario.
Snowden never saw any of those thousands of documents on an NSA computer. Never happened. He didnât hack in. He didnât steal anything.
He was working an op, either as a dupe or knowingly. He was working forâ¦well, letâs see, who would that be?
Who was he working for before he entered the private sector and wound up at NSA?
Would that be the same CIA who hates the NSA with a venomous fervor?
Would that be the same CIA whoâs been engaged in a turf war with NSA for decades?
The same CIA whoâs watched their own prestige and funding diminish, as human intelligence has given way to electronic snooping?
Yes, it would be. CIA just canât match the NSA when it comes to gathering signals-intell.
Wired Magazine, June 2013 issue. James Bamford, author of three books on the NSA, states:
âIn April, as part of its 2014 budget request, the Pentagon [which rules the NSA] asked Congress for $4.7 billion for increased âcyberspace operations,â nearly $1 billion more than the 2013 allocation. At the same time, budgets for the CIA and other intelligence agencies were cut by almost the same amount, $4.4 billion. A portion of the money going toâ¦[NSA] will be used to create 13 cyberattack teams.â
That means spying money. Far more for NSA, far less for CIA.
People at the CIA were able to access those NSA documents, and they gave the documents to Snowden and he ran with them.
The CIA, of course, couldnât be seen as the NSA leaker. They needed a guy. They needed a guy who could appear to be from the NSA, to make things look worse for the NSA and shield the CIA.
They had Ed Snowden. He had worked for the CIA in Geneva, in a high-level position, overseeing computer-systems security.
Somewhere in his CIA past, Ed meets a fellow CIA guy who sits down with him and says, âYou know, Ed, things have gone too damn far. The NSA is spying on everybody all the time. I can show you proof. Theyâve gone beyond the point of trying to catch terrorists. Theyâre doing something else. Theyâre expanding a Surveillance State, which can only lead to one thing: the destruction of America, what America stands for, what you and I know America is supposed to be. The NSA isnât like us, Ed. We go after terrorists for real. Thatâs it. Whereas NSA goes after everybody. We have to stop it. We need a guyâ¦and there are those of us who think you might be that guyâ¦â
During the course of this one disingenuous conversation, the CIA is killing 37 innocent civilians all over the world with drones, but thatâs beside the point. Ahem.
Ed says, âTell me more. Iâm intrigued.â
He buys in.
Put two scenarios on the truth scale and assess them. Which is more likely? The tale Snowden told to Glenn Greenwald, with all its holes, with its super-naive implications about the fumbling, bumbling NSA, or a scenario in which Snowden is the CIAâs boy?
We have reporters at the Washington Post and at The Guardian. We have Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks. Theyâre all talking to Snowden. The NSA can spy on them. Right? Can listen to their calls and read their emails and hack into their notes. Just like people have been hacking into the work and home computers of Sharyl Attkisson, star CBS investigative reporter.
But the NSA canât do all this spying and then use it to find Snowden. Just canât manage it.
Everybody in the world with a computer has passwords. The NSA can cut through them (as well as encryption) like a sword through hot butter. But Assange and the Post and Guardian and Snowden have super-special passwords.
They got these passwords by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope, along with 25 cents, and a top from a cereal box to The Shadow. These passwords are charged with atomic clouds that obscure NSA menâs minds so they cannot see or spy. The passwords are immortal and invulnerable.
The NSA can spy on anyone else in the world, but they canât get their foot in the door, when it comes to the Post, The Guardian, and Assange.
And if Snowden winds up in Venezuela or Tierra del Fuego, that too will become an insurmountable mystery.
âNope, we donât know where he is. Heâs vanished. Venezuela has a Romulan shield surrounding it. The cloaking technology is too advanced.â
Perhaps you recall that, in the early days of this scandal, Snowden claimed he could spy on anyone in the US, including a federal judge or even the president, if he had their email addresses.
Uh-huh. But the combined talents of the NSA, now, canât spy on Snowden. I guess they just canât find his email address.
If Snowden is still working for the CIA, he and his buds arenât the only people who want to take the NSA down a notch. No. Because, for example, NSA has been spying on everybody inside the Beltway.
Spying on politicians with secrets.
That includes a major, major, prime NSA target: Congress.
So imagine this conversation taking place, in a car, on a lonely road outside Washington, late at night. The speakers are Congressman X and a private operative representing a covert unit inside the NSA:
âWell, Congressman, do you remember January 6th? A Monday afternoon, a menâs room in the park offââ
âWhat the hell are you talking about!â
âA stall in the menâs room. The kid. He was wearing white high-tops. A Skins cap. T-shirt. Dark hair. Scar across his left cheek. Blue tattoo on his right thigh.â
âWe have very good audio and video. Anytime you want to watch it, let me know.â
âWhat do you want?â
âRight now, Congressman? We want you to come down hard on Snowden. Press it. Heâs a traitor. He should tried and convicted.â
The Congressmen pulls himself together:
âYeah, well, thereâs another side to this story. If Snowden gets enough support, if the wave rises high enough, the NSA could take a hit. I know a dozen Washington players whoâd like that very much. Theyâre pissed off. They donât like to be spied on. Itâs possible Snowden was their guy from the beginning. I couldnât sayâ¦â
Letâs make a deal. That ends up being the topic of this and other similar conversations inside the Beltway.
âSenator, we know about the underage cheerleader in Ohio. Your trip there in 2012, just before the election.â
âLook, youâve brought this up before. But now Iâve got a trump card to play. Ed Snowden. This whole scandal can escalate like a tornado in Kansas, or it can die downâ¦â
Letâs make a deal.
Hereâs another vector. A Congressman gets a visit from his favorite lobbyist, who works for a private defense contractor in the Congressmanâs home state:
âCongressman, hereâs the thing. The NSA is an integral part of our nationâs defense system. Right? This Snowden thing is messy. We want it to go away.â
âIt may not go away. Iâm not some kind of traffic cop who can put up his hand and stop the tide.â
âWe understand that. I was just talking to XXX at NSA, and heâd really appreciate your help on this. Slam this bastard Snowden. Make him into the worst scumbag in the world.â
âAnd if I do?â
âYour offshore account in Panama will remain protected. Thatâs what XXX wanted me to tell you.â
Calling in markers. Putting on pressure. Letâs make a deal.
If youâre a Congressman or a Senator, and you know NSA is spying on you, because itâs spying on everyone in the Congress, whoâs your potential best friend?
Somebody who can go up against the NSA, somebody who wants to go up against the NSA.
And who might that be?
Itâs not perfect, but itâs the best you can do.
So if youâre a Congressman, you go to a friend in the CIA and you have a chat about âthe NSA problem.â How can you get NSA off your back? Your CIA friend has his own concerns about NSA.
He tells you in confidence: âLook, maybe we can help you. We know a lot about the NSA. We have good people. You might say one of our jobs is watching the watchers at NSA, to, uh, make sure they donât go too far in their spying.â
This sounds interesting. If you have to sell your soul, youâd rather sell it to the CIA than the NSA. Itâs a judgment call.
And a few weeks or months laterâ¦you read about Ed Snowden blowing a hole in the NSA. You take note of the fact that Snowden worked for the CIA. He worked for them in Geneva. Then he left for the private sector and got himself assigned to the NSA.
Hmm. Maybe you have some cause for optimism.
You, the Congressman, donât give a damn about the NSA spying on all Americans all the time. You couldnât care less about that. You just donât want NSA looking over your own shoulder.
You know the incredibly naÃ¯ve American public would never imagine whatâs going on behind the scenes, with CIA, NSA, and Congress. The yokels and rubes in America actually believe their Congressional representatives are, well, representing them in Washington.
This fact is good. It means privacy for you: you can try to work out your problems without public scrutiny. You can play all the necessary games to hide your own secrets and crimes, and you can do it in back rooms.
Unless those bastards at NSA decide to leak one of your embarrassing secrets. Thatâs why you need your friend at CIA.
And now, again, you look at the recent article and see that Ed Snowden worked for the CIA. You hope this a signal from the CIA that theyâre taking a battering ram to the NSA.
Some schmuck reporter asks you about the current NSA scandal and you say, âOf course we have to protect classified data, in order to prevent terrorist attacks. But at the same time, we need to respect the Bill of Rights. People canât go around spying on anyone for no reason.â
Youâre sending your own signal.
Youâre tipping your CIA guy. You appreciate his help, if in fact heâs helping you. You canât ask him directly. If you did, heâd never give you a straight answer. But just in caseâ¦
As for the naÃ¯ve rubes in your home state, the voters, you donât give them a second thought. Theyâre not on your radar. Theyâre merely clusters of polling data. They donât have a clue about how the game is played, and they never will.
Youâre representing two defense contractors, a pharmaceutical company, a big Ag corporation, and a bank. Those are your only true constituents. You give them all the time they need.
To keep those relationships on track, you only need to hide your peccadillos from embarrassing exposure. The hooker in DC, the bank account in Panama, the influence you used to move a sizable donation to a university where you intend to teach when you retire.
There are only two things you really need to think about in your job. First, what happens when your Party leaders come down the hall and tell you which way youâre going to vote on a billâand you know your vote is going to upset one of your key constituents back home.
Thatâs a tricky situation. But youâve been successful in keeping feathers from being ruffled. That pharmaceutical company understands you canât side with their interests every single time.
Youâve got to go with your Party. The Pharma boys donât like it, but they get it.
Exit From the Matrix
The other thing youâve got to think about is darker. Nobody is going to give you stats on it, because stats donât exist. Hereâs how it shakes out:
How many people in Congress are so controlled by the NSA that theyâd never try to break out? How many people, with how many secrets, are so blackmailed, theyâd never dare go up against NSA?
This is an important calculation. The battle might already be lost. You might not stand a chance. Maybe nobody can help you. Maybe you canât escape.
Maybe you shouldnât even hint that NSA has overstepped its legal boundaries by spying on Americans.
Thatâs the conundrum that keeps you up at night.
What if the spies spying on their own government are running the government beyond the ability of anyone to stop them?
You donât give a damn about what this would mean for America. You only care about what it means for you and your secrets.
Maybe this is the jail youâre in for the rest of your life.
When youâre back in your home state showing your face and giving speeches, and a voter comes up to you and voices a concern about his dwindling paycheck, his house payment, his endangered pensionâ¦and when you nod and gaze out at the horizon, as as if to pluck a magic answer from the aether, youâre really thinking about the conundrum.
Youâre thinking about the life sentence youâre serving in the Surveillance State.
And that night, in your hotel room, you get down on your knees and pray that Ed Snowden is still working for the CIA.
Who else, besides the CIA and numerous politicians inside the Beltway, would be aching to take the NSA down a notch? Who else would be rooting hard for this former (?) CIA employee, Snowden, to succeed?
How about Wall Street?
Still waiting to be uncovered? NSA spying to collect elite financial data, spying on the people who have that data: the major investment banks. NSA scooping up that data to predict, manipulate, and profit from trading markets all over the world.
A trillion-dollar operation.
Snowden worked for Booz Allen, which is owned by the Carlyle Group ($170 billion in assets). Carlyle, the infamous. Their money is making money in 160 investment funds.
A few of Carlyleâs famous front men in its history: George HW Bush, James Baker (US Secretary of State), Frank Carlucci (US Secretary of Defense and CIA Deputy Director), John Major (British Prime Minister), Arthur Levitt (Chairman of the SEC).
Suppose youâre one of the princes in the NSA castle, and Ed Snowden has just gone public with your documents. Youâre saying, âLetâs see, this kid worked for Booz Allen, which is owned by the Carlyle Group. We (NSA) have been spying over Carlyleâs shoulder, stealing their proprietary financial data. What are the chances theyâre getting a little revenge on us now?â
Yes, youâre thinking about that. Youâre looking into it.
The Surveillance State has created an apparatus whose implications are staggering. Itâs a different world now. And sometimes it takes a writer of fiction to flesh out the larger landscape.
Brad Thorâs novel, Black List, posits the existence of a monster corporation, ATS, that stands along side the NSA in collecting information on every move we make. ATSâ intelligence-gathering capability is unmatched anywhere in the world.
At his site, BradThor.com, the author lists some of the open-source material he discovered that formed the basis for Black List. The material, as well as the novel, is worth reading.
On pages 117-118 of Black List, Thor makes a stunning inference that, on reflection, is as obvious as the fingers on your hand:
âFor years ATS [substitute NSA] had been using its technological superiority to conduct massive insider trading. Since the early 1980s, the company had spied on anyone and everyone in the financial world. They listened in on phone calls, intercepted faxes, and evolved right along with the technology, hacking internal computer networks and e-mail accounts. They created mountains of âblack dollarsâ for themselves, which they washed through various programs they were running under secret contract, far from the prying eyes of financial regulators.
âThose black dollars were invested into hard assets around the world, as well as in the stock market, through sham, offshore corporations. They also funneled the money into reams of promising R&D projects, which eventually would be turned around and sold to the Pentagon or the CIA.
âIn short, ATS had created its own license to print money and had assured itself a place beyond examination or reproach.â
In real life, whether the prime criminal source is one monster corporation or the NSA itself, the outcome would be the same.
Total surveillance has unlimited payoffs when it targets financial markets and the people who have intimate knowledge of them.
âTotal security awarenessâ programs of surveillance are ideal spying ops in the financial arena, designed to grab millions of bits of inside information, and then utilize them to make investments and suck up billions (trillions?) of dollars.
It gives new meaning to âthe rich get richer.â
Previously, we thought we needed to look over the shoulders of the men who were committing major financial crimes out of public view. But now, if we want to be up to date, we also have to factor in the men who are spying on those criminals, who are gathering up those secrets and using them to commit their own brand of meta-crime.
And in the financial arena, that means we think of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as perpetrators, yes, but we also think about the NSA men who already know everything about GS and Morgan, and are using this knowledge to steal sums that might make GS and Morgan blush with envy.
Goldman Sachs, Chase, and Morgan consider trillion-dollar trading markets their own private golden-egg farm. They run it, they own it, they manipulate it for their own ends.
If NSA has been looking over their shoulders for the past 30 years, discovering all their knowledge, and operating a meta invasion, siphoning off enormous profits, NSA would rate as Enemy Number One.
And would need to be torpedoed.
Enter Ed Snowden.
Finally, we need to understand what NSA and other agencies are doing, are really doing in their ongoing creation of the Surveillance State.
Number one, theyâre technocrats who are ultimately Globalists, in sheepâs clothing. Their tracking of every human on Earth is designed to morph into a system for distribution of goods and services from a central control point. To the whole planet. In this system, a human is a unit, a data point that surrenders to a set of ruling algorithms.
And number two, theyâre trying to create a single universal mind. Which is to say, the flattening and reducing of human thought down to manageable parameters of conformity and sameness.
Surveillance itself tends to achieve this over time, because when people know they are being watched and evaluated, they simplify their mental processes. They avoid many subjects, they avoid controversy, they express fewer ideas, they monitor their own responses.
Surveillance tacitly encourages a limited range of thought in which all people participate. You wind up with one cookbook of recipes for the human condition. People make the same meals. The meals taste the same. Everybody eats the same thing.
So far, the revelations of Edward Snowden have done nothing to stop the juggernaut. No major hearings to expose the overall Surveillance State are scheduled.
The NSA could take a hit, but that means nothing in the long run.
In this sense, what Snowden has exposed could be called a limited hangout. A way to let a little steam off, a way to avoid the deeper issues.
The true wild card in the op to lock down the planet is, as always, the free individual. The individual who takes his own freedom. The individual who creates something unexpected, something that canât be predicted by any system.
The individual who finds himself in the middle of the labyrinth and suddenly has a lawnmower and cuts a new path out.
Some people think thatâs Snowden.
Whatever you believe, the idea that individualsârather than groups and collectivesâcan achieve shattering breakthroughs is exactly what the Surveillance State is trying to destroy.
*** Jon Rappoport: The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Matrix: Who Is Edward Snowden?