In case you missed it over the weekend, there were two NSA stories that broke.
First, the Guardian and its sister site, The Observer, posted a ridiculously sourced article about how the United States and six European Union nations were conspiring to “mass harvest” personal data. The post went up on both sites Saturday and then was curiously removed, but not after links and headlines popped up everywhere from Huffington to Drudge.
The source was a crackpot named Wayne Madsen. Madsen, among other things, is an Alex Jones conspiracy theory wingnut and Birther who published an article in 2010 alleging that President Obama was a member of an gay men’s club in Chicago. This was the source for the EU article. A conspiracy theory profiteer.
The article was published in the print edition of The Observer, and the Google cache version can be viewed here.
Meanwhile, another Snowden document was made public. Once again, it had nothing to do with U.S. civil liberties and, instead, covered a plan named “Dropmire,” which involved spying on several dozen EU missions. Yes, another “We spy on our allies! IEEEEE!” story.
If these kinds of stories, including the G20 story, the fiber-optic cable story and the China hacking story, are all that’s left in Snowden’s goody bag, he’s reached the bottom of the barrel.
Yeah, shocker! We spy on other nations. And they spy on us. This is how international relations function. It increases diplomatic insight and prevents misunderstandings, especially between nations with less-than-friendly relationships, which, in turn, prevents wars.
But now, it’s out there. It’s embarrassing to America on the world stage and endangering our relationships by blasting daylight on things that ought to remain unspoken (the overseas spying, specifically). Snowden’s obvious belief that it’s important to expose these operations shows his incredible naivete and, even though he appears to be well-spoken and knowledgeable about IT matters, he has no sense of history or international relations. He simply doesn’t get it, and so he’s randomly chucking documents at reporters without any regard as to what they are or what they signify.
And if he does, in fact, understand what he’s doing and he’s fully aware of how diplomacy operates, and he’s doing this anyway, he’s simply an anarchist.