Accuracy in Media

Those who claimed NSA traitor Edward Snowden was a patriot or hero have egg all over their faces, as the former NSA contract worker has fled from China to Russia and now faces espionage charges that could possibly bring the death penalty.

It is emerging as one of the biggest spy cases in American history. Yet, commentators on the right, who should know better, have been taking Snowden’s side. Michael Savage called Snowden a “patriot,” Glenn Beck said his disclosures were an “act of heroism,” and Joseph Farah said he was a whistleblower who should be given immunity from prosecution by Congress.

But the Snowden case looks increasingly like the NSA equivalent of Philip Agee, who defected from the CIA and became a Soviet and Cuban agent. Agee died in Havana after writing several books with the help of Cuban intelligence.

One of the biggest dupes on the right was Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News personality, who had proclaimed Snowden an “American hero” and said he “understands that the government listening to half the country is not what was bargained for when statutes were enacted in the days and weeks after 9/11.”

In fact, the NSA is not “listening to half the country” but collecting telephone numbers and can only monitor the communications of an American linked to a foreign terrorist when it has probable cause and a court order. Napolitano, a Ron Paul supporter, has been a regular on the Alex Jones radio show, a forum for people who believe the Boston bombings and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were U.S. Government plots.

Incredibly, Fox News’ Shepard Smith responded to this diatribe by insisting that the government can “watch everything we do” and even knows “when I’m using my microwave oven.”

When Fox News reports this kind of nonsense, which feeds paranoia, you know that accurate and objective coverage of the NSA controversy is a virtual lost cause.

But the serious nature of the charges against Snowden may wake a few people up.

Two other NSA spies, 29-year-old William H. Martin and 31-year-old Bernon F. Mitchell, defected to the Soviet Union in 1960 in a major publicity coup for Moscow. Investigations revealed that both young men had been members of the Communist Party and homosexual lovers.  

However, Snowden is a Ron Paul supporter who somehow developed a relationship with anti-American journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. They handled his initial defection to China and his illegal disclosures of classified information.

Greenwald has openly discussed at a Communist conference why he believes the 9/11 terrorist attacks were “minimal,” compared to the violence the U.S. has supposedly inflicted on the Arab/Muslim world. Poitras has been detained 40 times by U.S. border officials, by her own count, traveling to and from the United States. She is a strident opponent of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts after 9/11.

Let’s hope the NSA has them under surveillance.

To the credit of David Gregory, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he asked Glenn Greenwald on Sunday’s show why HE shouldn’t be arrested. He said, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

Greenwald responded in part by saying, “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themself a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way.” But the evidence is available for anyone to see. Greenwald was and still is Snowden’s handler and mouthpiece, at least until the Russians, and perhaps the Cubans, take over.

The genius behind Snowden’s defection, with the help of Greenwald and Poitras, was to frame his revelations in terms of alleging that he was a “whistleblower” who was informing the American people that they were being spied upon. Some prominent conservatives and libertarians fell for the ruse, thinking Obama was using the NSA like the IRS, and that the Fourth Amendment was in jeopardy. They erupted in anger and joined various left-right coalitions to demand that the “spying” stop. On Capitol Hill, their champion was Republican Senator Rand Paul, who joined with the ACLU to announce a lawsuit against the NSA. He treated Snowden as the “whistleblower” he claimed to be and actually filed a bill, The Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 (S. 1121), based on Snowden’s disclosures.

But Snowden’s revelations, coming during President Obama’s meeting with the Chinese president, and then on the eve of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, told us everything we needed to know about his motives. He wanted to embarrass the United States and help America’s adversaries.

“Without any doubt his case represents a moral victory of Russia and China over America,” former Soviet KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky told me. He meant that China and Russia had used Snowden to make the case that the United States was engaged in the same kinds of surveillance practices it charges Russian and China with using. The claim that the NSA was “spying” on Americans was an essential part of this disinformation and propaganda ploy.

In the Martin and Mitchell case, according to an NSA report, the two defectors staged a very high-profile press conference at the “House of Journalists” in Moscow, renounced their U.S. citizenship and received Soviet citizenship. The report said they had defected “as a result of their objections to U.S. intelligence methods, including the intercept and decryption of the communications of U.S. allies.”

This subject occupied Snowden’s most recent disclosures, when he provided top secret documents to the Guardian about “ground-breaking intelligence capabilities” used by the NSA and its British sister organization to monitor G20 summit meetings in London in 2009.

Most of the damage done by Snowden’s predecessors, Martin and Mitchell, consisted of the details they provided to the world about “NSA organization and operations and their description of NSA’s methods of SIGINT targeting of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China,” the NSA report on the case says.

Snowden claims he possesses the “full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth.”

If true, the Chinese, Russians, and Iranians would love to get their hands on this. Perhaps they already have.

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  • NetStoopid

    Let’s concentrate on this bozo and ignore the fact that our own government is spying on us, jackasses!

  • bbf

    NSA Admits: An Analyst’s
    Decision is Sufficient to ‘Eavesdrop’ – No Warrant Required

    The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new
    classified briefing that it does not need court authorization
    to listen to domestic phone calls.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week
    that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was
    told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed
    “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

    If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s
    decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization
    required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,”
    said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the
    House Judiciary committee.

    Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the
    NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically it
    also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted
    federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking
    analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

    Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls
    also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant
    messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could
    also access the contents of Internet communications without
    going before a court and seeking approval.

    The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations
    made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst
    who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said
    in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this
    ability, he could from Hawaii “wiretap anyone from you or your
    accountant to a federal judge to even the president.”

    Read More:

  • OnTheWrite

    Kincaid you are just an Obama tool. You don’t think for a minute that
    Obama’s spy on citizens network won’t trump up charges against Snowden?
    Frankly, it will take serious evidence before I believe anything the
    Feds say. Snowden fled to countries with out extradition. How many of
    those will take a high profile fugitive?

    I am close to point where I stop reading you.

  • JonBe

    You have lost all credibility ….. blind minion of this “Obamanation” of a government which has lost Her moorings as a moral, God honoring country.

  • jdelaney3

    Wow! What a lopsided, loaded post! Espionage, Spy, Defector? Please! There’s not a scintilla of proof that Snowden’s a spy. So much for sober journalism. And clearly, the writer cares little for Judge Napolitano and Ron Paul either. Obviously, for this writer they too are suspect. Extremely unbalanced drivel.

  • westerling

    Cliff Kincaid you are nothing but a toady of the U.S. pseudo government which is really no different to that of Nazi Germany. You somehow think that can can bamboozzle everyone onto thinking that Edward Snowden is a traitor. Sorry you are wrong and you do not get a CIGAR! Now go tell those idiots at NSA that I could take them on with one hand tied, You of course are their mouth-piece and deserve a good kick in the rear. You really are a lousy BUM. Now go and tell that to your superiors. You had better find yourself a DAY job, or one at Macdonald’s slinging Hamburgers for a living.

  • Hambone

    Anyone who believes the NSA follows the “guidelines” is a dupe himself, and that clearly applies to Mr. Kincaid.

    Judge Napolitano is a bit more than a “personality.” And Ron Paul would make a better POTUS than 99% of the buffoons and cranks who have run–or served since 1989–or think they deserve to run.
    Marco, front and center please.

    It’s quite likely NSA has been recording all electronic communication for years, if not decades. POWER GRANTED IS POWER ABUSED.

    I listened to Larry Kudlow a couple of weeks ago state that because there are certain laws forbidding certain actions, ergo those actions will not take place.

    That is laughable at best.
    If a grown-up does not yet know that not only the feds, but most people with power, will exceed the limits granted them, then you are a naive but useful idiot.

    A little balance is in order. The feds have so many 3-letter agencies telling us what to do, and monitoring what we think, that you can’t name them in one breath.

    The citizens have ONE whistle-blower. Now that’s a fair fight, considering our servants have all taken an “oath” hahaha to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. See the domestic part of that.

    The 3-letters have degenerated to the point that they are far more dangerous than Russia, Cuba, China, or any Taliban brigade.

    Wake up and smell the BS.

  • disqus_aO4KJtxZtF


    Treason these days in a problematic concept. Treason is a twentieth century term that often does not apply in the twenty-first century. At a time when the nation state is dissolving and the concept of citizenship is being transformed by dual citizenships, who is a traitor? Imagine if Mr. Snowden were French and did what he did. Would France call him a traitor or would the European Union take up the call? Consider the US Senate calling Mr. Snowden a traitor, while at the same time passing immigration legislation that would dissolve the USA as we know it, and grant citizenship amnesty to millions. Are these Senators traitors for merging the USA into a North American Union where US sovereignty is diminished? What if a US President supplies guns to an enemy of the United States like al-Queda? Is the President a traitor or simply expanding US foreign policy? Edward Snowden has done more than release US secrets, he has opened a Pandora’s box to just what it means to be a citizen, a nation and a traitor.

  • Yo

    LMAO @ AIM

    Congratulations on making yourselves the laughing stock of the world.

  • Pat W

    sarcasm, I hope…

  • Pat W

    Mr Kincaid, I do not know how people like you sleep at night, spewing your anti-American Bull crap. This government has become the most dangerous government in the history of these United States. And Snowden telling the people of this once great nation, the extent of it’s evil doing is being a patriot. This government has stupid, mindless useless idiots following them and taking the rest of us into the pit of hell. And frankly, you are one of them.

  • NetStoopid

    Indeed 🙂

  • obr4610

    Well, AIM surely has come up on the wrong side of this. We have the Constitution being used as toilet paper by an administration that makes Nixon look like a kindergartner.

    This administration is putting surveillance technology in place to make Orwell look like a small thinker and you would have us believe Snowden is the BAD guy…?

    Never thought I would see AIM come up on the same side as Obama…

  • obr4610

    Biting satire more likely…

  • Richard Hellstrom

    This is the most diversional bunch of crap in history. America’s biggest spy cases are against a high school drop out and a private. If that’s all I could come up with I’d just go home. Maybe we need a big rubber stamp for our intelligence
    community that says ———————— I’m with stupid.
    We don’t have any PFC’s selling Nuclear Warheads any where do we. lol Dear God ! What if a Sergeant went rouge.
    The only thing normal about this story is that you sent the propaganda to Communist Red China !

  • bobby_b

    Have to take issue with at least some of this article.

    You make it sound as if the open blanket pen register grant covering the entire nation is a far cry from actual surveillance of us US citizens. Not so, for a number of reasons.

    First, this administration has already told us that it holds the power to collect the call content at its own discretion, without warrant or oversight. Second, Holder has already confessed to his and his agency’s willingness to mislead judges when they want a warrant. Third, this administration has specifically demonstrated that it’s going to take what it wants whenever it wants to, law or rule or honor be damned – think “wow, I can use the IRS as my personal gang of thugs!” – so any close-call sort of procedural safeguard that might normally give us some comfort in times of honorable administration of the executive office just aren’t going to make anyone feel any security now.

    In a more general view, your narrative of “evil foreign spy stealing our national secrets” is completely off the mark, as so many after-the-fact spin tales tend to be.

    Look at the information that he laid out for our view. Did we have any sort of national reaction such as “oh, these are secrets that ought to stay secret for our own good”? We did not. In general, our national reaction was one of outrage at how our government was improperly spying on us.

    In other words, the great national secret that he discovered and told us about had nothing to do with the subject of national security. It was more properly characterized as “stuff our government is doing that it knows is either illegal, or is NOT what we citizens want it to do, and so government wants this information kept from us.”

    I say we owe Snowden our thanks. Obama’s thefts and lies aren’t always easy to ferret out – heck, his mentor and teacher and role model for that sort of thing was Richard Daly, who knew how to keep secrets – and had Snowden not let us in on O’s secrets, I’m fairly certain we’d have never heard of it at all from O.

  • Fluorescent Grey

    this is either unintentionally uninformed or intentional propaganda designed to make the NSA’s activities seem lawful and within the confines of the patriot act and constitution. Any person with an ounce of intelligence can easily find out that the NSA is doing much more than you claim in this article, it’s been only confirmed by Snowden but asserted by more than 2 other NSA whistleblowers including Thomas Drake. Your tactics (if they are intentional and not just blinding ignorance) don’t work anymore. People are too smart to fall for them and/or follow your stupidity