Greenwald's New Book on Snowden

Glenn Greenwald has written a new book, No Place to Hide, that is getting great reviews. It's about the chaos in the hours and days following the Edward Snowden disclosures. The Guardian has an excerpt here. From Amazon's page on the book:

Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity ten-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA’s unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.


Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation’s political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.

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    Just Ordered It (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon May 12, 2014 at 08:48:37 AM EST
    Can't wait to read this..  sounds really good.  GO Greenwald!!

    Thanks for this post, J (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon May 12, 2014 at 10:20:30 AM EST
    The Snowden issue is one of the main reasons I cannot imagine voting for Hillary Clinton right now. Her hypocrisy on this issue is wretched, as I have a hard time believing that as a younger and more principled young woman she didn't fully support Daniel Ellsberg when he released the Pentagon Papers.

    Perhaps she is posturing in light of the (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:14:13 PM EST
    Embarrassment to the U.S. And specifically the State Department regarding assessments of foreign dignitaries.

    I'll shell out some greenbacks (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by ruffian on Mon May 12, 2014 at 03:58:20 PM EST
    if only to support this view about Tim Russert, let alone all the other good work Greenwald has done. I know Russert was not solely responsible for the decline of intelligent discourse, but he sure led the parade.

    Yes, love Glenn's (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 13, 2014 at 11:45:21 AM EST
    reference to Tim Russert by Lewis Lapham--an overaccomodating head waiter at a swanky restaurant....  :Lapham's essays were always my first read of Harper's.  

    Great! (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by lentinel on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:47:19 PM EST
    The bowing in Russert's direction gave me stomach problems.

    I remember a show in which Russert was riding in the backseat of a limo with Phil Donahue. I guess it was Donahue's program.
    And Russert was going into a folksy routine about his being the little fellow from some small town - and now, gee, he's hobnobbing with the rich, famous and powerful.

    Phil replied -- but don't you think that's a trap...

    But Russert wasn't having any of it.

    Yep. "The overaccommodating head waiter at some really swanky restaurant who's just really good at azz-kissing every rich person who comes into the door." That says it.


    Timmy (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:51:53 PM EST
    Was a towering intellect compared to his larvae Luke Russert.  
    the poster boy for nepotism

    Interesting time line (none / 0) (#3)
    by ragebot on Mon May 12, 2014 at 02:39:21 PM EST


    From some of the dates it seems Snowden was more random than rational in which files he picked to copy.

    That article is so full (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by sj on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:44:02 PM EST
    of fanciful and misleading statements that it is seriously not funny.

    And one more time:

    Interestingly, now that Snowden has lost his bid for haven in the Chinese-dominated city, he's stopped leaking information about NSA's hacking of Chinese computers.
    Snowden has leaked nothing. He gave his entire trove of documents to Greenwald et al long ago.

    Once you read this claim, it's pretty much a given that the rest is deceitful at a minimum, speculation at best, and misinformation at a given.

    The author is, at best, an unknowing tool, and, at worst, a willing tool of the NSA.


    "Leaking" by definition (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:00:26 PM EST
    "an intentional disclosure of secret information." certainly would apply to Mr. Snowden. He leaked classified information to Greenwald et al when he gave it to them.  Just because he personally didn't publish it, doesn't mean the sentence you quote is incorrect.

    True enough (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by sj on Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:37:24 PM EST
    But that's not what they're saying. Snowden done leaked. He got stuff, he leaked it, he stepped back.

    Saying "Snowden's latest leaks" is dishonest so this bit:

    Dozens of recent Snowden leaks have revealed nothing about "mass surveillance" -- but they have consistently advanced Russian geopolitical interests.
    is dishonest from start to finish.

    Silly reply (none / 0) (#8)
    by ragebot on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:27:58 PM EST
    when you post the quotation that you did and ignore the context.  Here is the next paragraph you failed to post.

    "Interestingly, now that Snowden has lost his bid for haven in the Chinese-dominated city, he's stopped leaking information about NSA's hacking of Chinese computers.

    Epstein argues that Snowden's whistle-blowing was just a cover for espionage. Maybe so, but there's at least one hole in his argument."

    I found the article interesting from the standpoint of shooting holes in claims from both Snowden's supporters and detractors.

    Certainly Snowden violated some laws while revealing what I think are much more troubling actions by the current administration.  Conventional wisdom is that it is dangerous to argue the end justifies the means.  Realistically we sometimes have to live with it.


    Sillier response to my silly comment (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by sj on Mon May 12, 2014 at 06:58:38 PM EST
    Firstly, the sentence I quoted was from the author. It does not misrepresent the tenor of the article in the least.

    Secondly, the pretense at defense in the quote you made is followed shortly thereafter by this:


    He [Snowden] was almost certainly lying when...

    Misleading enough to be false:

    He also knew that the program had been ruled lawful and that Sen. Wyden had not yet persuaded his colleagues to end it.

    Misleading enough to be conjecture:

    Snowden revealed classified information, in short, not because he lacked an outlet for his complaints but because he didn't like the decisions that the executive, congressional, and judicial branches had made.

    That article parodies fairness, but does not exhibit it. And frankly, it doesn't shoot holes in the claims of either supporters or critics. It's too dishonest for that.

    But then you are also presenting opinion as fact when you say.

    Conventional wisdom is that it is dangerous to argue the end justifies the means.  Realistically we sometimes have to live with it.

    I'm baffled that such a comment could follow this one:
    Certainly Snowden violated some laws while revealing what I think are much more troubling actions by the current administration.  

    Best to read whole thing (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon May 12, 2014 at 09:06:50 PM EST
    at the VC link and followed the educated discussion, rather that pick bits out of context.

    Oh, I've read the whole thing (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by sj on Tue May 13, 2014 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    That's why I know you think there actually is context. It falls perfectly into alignment with conventional wisdom in your circles, while pretending to do analysis.

    The article was a thinly-disguised (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Anne on Tue May 13, 2014 at 07:02:21 AM EST
    effort to keep alive the Snowden-is-a-traitor/Snowden-is-a-spy meme.

    How do I know this?  Because the writer is still talking about this in terms of what Snowden has released, what Snowden has published, and as has been made very clear, and has been hidden in no way, Snowden hasn't released or published anything: he turned over the materials to Greenwald and his team, and with the exception of some material Snowden has been adamant not be disclosed, he has left the decision about what to publish and when to that team.

    As for "the end justifies the means" being a dangerous argument, the government's been making that argument for some years now, casually dispensing with the rule of law and the Constitution to further its own agenda - which many of us would argue has not been in the best interests of the people or the democracy.

    I would argue that, read in its entirety, the article is actually worse than the parts quoted would suggest.



    Why do folks here so misunderstand VC (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ragebot on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:04:29 AM EST
    There are not really articles at VC.  There are thread starters, sometimes with provocative claims that may or may not be the positions of the conspirators.  These thread starters are followed by posts from folks with positions from all sides.

    One of the biggest differences I see between VC and TL is there is a great distain at VC for the hecklers veto.  Folks there who do not agree with a particular position will defend others right to advocate that position.

    As the cat posted read the whole thread.  As I posted the time line (often the most important thing in legal discussions) was interesting in that it debunked several claims by both sides.

    The only real claim I made was that Snowden had violated some laws, a position that is hard to attack.  I also claimed that while in theory it is hard to justify 'the end justifies the means' in reality we may have to live with it.

    I don't put words in other folks mouth, and hope other folks won't put words in my mouth.


    Not really articles? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Anne on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:43:18 AM EST
    The link was to an article by Stewart Baker.  Who is Stewart Baker?  He's a partner at Steptoe and Johnson, a well-known and powerful law firm.

    What is Mr, Baker's background?  Well, from the S & J website:

    Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following 3½ years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy.

    At Homeland Security, Mr. Baker created and staffed the 250-person DHS Policy Directorate.  He was responsible for policy analysis across the Department, as well as for the Department's international affairs, strategic planning and relationships with law enforcement and public advisory committees.


    Mr. Baker managed one of the nation's premier technology law practices at Steptoe before accepting the DHS post.  Described by The Washington Post as "one of the most techno-literate lawyers around," Mr. Baker's practice covers national security, electronic surveillance, law enforcement, export control encryption, and related technology issues.  He has been a key advisor on US export controls and on foreign import controls on technology. He has also advised companies on the requirements imposed by CFIUS.  In addition, he was responsible for spearheading the government-private sector coalition that permitted major telecommunications equipment manufacturers and carriers to break the decade-long deadlock with law enforcement on wiretapping of modern technology, permitting successful implementation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act ("CALEA").

    But you would have us believe that "there are not really articles at VC?"  That what was posted was a "thread-starter?"

    You don't think, given Stewart Bake's background, that he didn't know exactly what he was doing in his piece that played fast and loose with the facts and was filled with "some say" speculation?

    Give me a fking break: Stewart Baker is a smart, savvy lawyer whose bread has been well-buttered by serving government interests, and who clearly knows how to play people.  This not-really-an-article-that-clearly-is-an-article was the worst kind of garbage-verging-on-propaganda, but hey - it sure got your attention.  And I see Mikado Cat is a regular there, which is not only not surprising, but explains a lot about his standards for accuracy.

    ::rolling eyes::


    So you define a link to an article as an article (none / 0) (#17)
    by ragebot on Tue May 13, 2014 at 11:07:28 AM EST
    Must be using a different dictionary than I am.

    Oh, for the love of God... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Anne on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:16:33 PM EST
    so now you are admitting the Stewart Baker piece is an article?  Because what you were peddling before is that VC doesn't really have articles.

    Make up your mind.  


    Doubtful that "folks here (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:24:57 PM EST
    at TL so misunderstand VC.."   VC is easily understood, and therein lies its problem.

    Isn't that just a lead in (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    Encouraging cat fighting?  Is there a single fact in that link?  Okay there is, there is this guy Snowden, and that's it :)

    Interesting to see how the media covers this (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Mon May 12, 2014 at 04:18:24 PM EST
    I get the feeling they think the Snowden story is over.  

    The narrative is written that he's a traitor.

    I hope the new revelations are covered.  

    I will probably be disappointed.

    New revelations? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon May 12, 2014 at 05:23:36 PM EST
    What would those be?

    We generally have (none / 0) (#11)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon May 12, 2014 at 09:09:04 PM EST
    media totally lacking in curiosity.

    Where did you get this?: (none / 0) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 12, 2014 at 11:00:56 PM EST
    "The narrative is written that he's a traitor."

    The constution defines what a traitor is (none / 0) (#15)
    by ragebot on Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:12:32 AM EST
    and I am not aware of any serious analyst that claims what Snowden did falls into the definition.

    He clearly did violate some laws, but again probably not laws related to spying.

    Things like unauthorized access to files on a computer and releasing classified files are against the law; but this is a far cry from being a traitor or spying.

    There is also the question of jury nullification.  Many folks think what Snowded did revealed things the public should know, even if how he did it was questionable.

    Like others here I also suspect there is more to come out and it may be a big stain on the current administration.


    We don't (none / 0) (#26)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:38:20 AM EST
    Hear much about the leaks related to Chelsea Manning anymore, not sure what that says about the news cycle.

    Is it real important we decide some formal status for Snowden? Regardless of media or public opinion he is going to be a hot potato for years, and unable to travel freely.

    Seems to me in both cases the focus was the opposite of what it should be. Instead of the person and released material it should have been the practices, and supervisors that allowed the leak, and the mischief revealed in the leaks and who did the mischief.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sj on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:08:20 PM EST
    The focus should have been on the practices and the supervisors and not on the released material? I couldn't disagree more strongly.