Saturday, May 6, 2017


There are thousands of news articles to read around Edward Snowden, as well as a documentary film, CitizenFour, and a fictive, Oliver Stone produced film, Snowden, to watch, to form an opinion of Snowden, and what he and our United States government did.  I've been following the EDWARD SNOWDEN STORY for years, since I first heard this American was in a Moscow airport bolt hole, along with Sarah Harrison of Wikileaks, who was instrumental in getting him to Russia.  But maybe he knew he was heading there all along.

When I went looking for a well researched book to read to try and understand more, the librarian suggested this one, as Edward Jay Epstein in a respected journalist and author.  This is investigative journalism, and it's persuasive:  Edward Snowden does fit the definition of Spy, as we generally, and certainly our government has, not just in this case, but historically.  His activities to steal information and expose it, and his way to Russia, all of it, did not happen nilly willy.  It was a concentrated, possibly orchestrated (by Russia) effort, and he planned it and he knew what he was doing.

Check out this article by Glenn Greenwald on website entitled WHY HAS TRUST IN MEDIA COLLAPSED? Dated March 30, 2017, goes against Epstein, as he is one of those who made a case for Snowden's spy status by bringing up what I'll call "Snowden's Missing in Hong Kong days."

An excerpt:  Greenwald wrote, "Contrary to the fable these outlets dispensed to their readers — that Snowden did not check in to the Mira Hotel on May 21 as he claimed but only did so on June 1, 11 days later — these new documents, obtained from the Mira, prove that Snowden arrived there exactly when he always said, rendering their published stories factually false"  Greenwald goes on to say that Edward Jay Epstein used this incorrect information as a "linchpin" in his book, "How America Lost It's Secrets."

I do not agree with Greenwald that "Snowden's Missing in Hong Kong days," are the linchpin of proof that he is a spy or that this error is what Epsteins book relies on as proof that Snowden is a spy for Russia (or possibly China.)  No Epstein really does slowly and factually build a case, and like the film maker Oliver Stone, he did a lot of interviewing and talking to experts.  I conclude that while Snowden says he wants to return to the U.S. if he is guaranteed a fair trial, a fair trial would have to include much of what Epstein has brought forth.
Since this book is a page turner and I can't reference the whole thing in a blog post, I'll just go over some of the important information.

- Sarah Harrison of Wikileaks, created the flight to Cuba that journalists tried to get on to follow the story (and many other flights booked at the same time) to create confusion and a diversion.
- When the plane they were on landed in Russia, where Snowden should not have been allowed in without a Visa, officials met the plane, took them off it before other passengers  could deplane, and knew to receive them and where to hide them.  While in Hong Kong he'd talked to some Russian officials.  He did not apply for Visas to other countries while there.
- He methodically and intelligently planned his employment to access what he wanted to steal.
- In Chapter 16, "The Question of When,"  and Chapter 15, "Did Snowden Act Alone?" we learn that he had to have gotten the passwords to up to 24 vaults that he could not have in his previous - pre NSA - employment which suggests that he may have not been alone in all this.  At least one other person could have been in the plot, but it seems Snowden was going to be the guy to take the solo public blame. Was he recruited by the KGB based on the fact that he was a disgruntled employee?
- In Chapter 13, we learn that Snowden stole over 900,000 military files, and that the vast majority of the documents he had, which would make him valuable to our enemies,  do not involve domestic surveillance of ordinary people who are not criminal or terrorists.
- Snowden has a history of lying about his employment, reasons for being let go, and his income and has used health issues that were made up, since his brief stay in the military.  He also mislead - manipulated the journalists he selected to tell his story, using journalism as public relations.
WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE LINDSAY MILLS?  Edward Jay Epstein doesn't say it but I will. Most likely he isn't so compartmentalized as to be honest with her.

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