By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The NSA leaker is being protected by China and has a home waiting in Russia. Yet, conservative media personalities such as Glenn Beck are saying that he is a hero. They seem to think that the NSA’s terrorist surveillance program has been used by Obama to go after conservatives, in the same way we have seen in the IRS scandal. There is no evidence this is the case.
If there is evidence that Obama is using the NSA terrorist surveillance program to monitor and harass conservatives, where is it? We have that evidence in the IRS scandal, but not here.
The NSA program is designed to follow and monitor foreign terrorists and enemy agents with U.S. connections. It remains to be seen if the program has been used to go after our real enemies, especially the Islamists, but the outrage against the NSA that has followed the revelations of Edward Snowden is mystifying. The NSA, after all, is a spy agency. The NSA is a front-line intelligence agency that monitors electronic communications. One can argue that we need more, not less, surveillance of our enemies operating on American soil. But that side of the argument is missing from the media coverage.
“The Signals Intelligence mission [of the NSA] collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations,” the NSA’s website says. “This Agency also enables Network Warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.”
There is no evidence, despite Snowden’s claims, that these laws were violated. But there is abundant evidence that Snowden violated several laws, including the Espionage Act. Former Ambassador John Bolton told Newsmax TV that Snowden committed treason and an act of war against the U.S.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said, “Some wallow in the idea that they are being watched, their civil liberties endangered, simply because a handful of electrons they generated were among the vast billions being reviewed in a high-stakes antiterrorism effort. Of course, many are motivated politically or ideologically to oppose robust intelligence-gathering aimed at fending off Islamist terrorism. Criticism from that quarter can be left to lie where it fell.”
His reference to politically- or ideologically-motivated opposition to “robust intelligence-gathering” is what lies behind the NSA “scandal.” It is significant that far-left Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, a recipient of the “Izzy” award, named after leftist journalist-turned Soviet agent I.F. Stone, was Snowden’s mouthpiece. Greenwald, an American who hates the U.S. so much he lives abroad with his homosexual lover, believes Obama has been too accommodating to the “national security state.”
The “leaker” in this case supported Obama, thinking he would reform the intelligence agencies, and gave money to Ron Paul for president. Ron Paul talks like the far-left on foreign policy issues. As a member of Congress, he appeared on Iranian Press TV and Russia Today (RT). He thinks we are to blame for Muslim terrorism.
Equally important, the political left is using this controversy to subvert, or even eliminate, a program that is designed to protect the American people from terrorism.
That’s why you find the George Soros-funded “Free Press” organization now launching a “Stop Spying on Us” campaign. On June 14, various far-left and Muslim groups are holding a press conference and protest “against FBI and NSA spying,” bringing the FBI into the mix of federal agencies that have supposedly gone too far. These groups include the Defending Dissent Foundation, CODEPINK, Washington Peace Center, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Maryland.
CODEPINK is the Marxist group that worked with and promoted CIA defector Philip Agee, an identified Cuban DGI and Soviet KGB agent. It sends people to Cuba on a regular basis.
Some of these groups constitute Obama’s base. Their target, however, is not really Obama but rather the CIA and the FBI. They want to destroy law enforcement and the intelligence community.
If they undermine this NSA program, there can be no doubt the beneficiaries will be terrorists and foreign agents for China and Russia. That helps explain why China is protecting Snowden and Russia wants to give him a home.
America has conducted intelligence operations from the beginning of the republic. Congress created a panel called the Committee of Secret Correspondence on November 29, 1775, with “wide-ranging duties” that included covert operations, devising codes and ciphers, the hiring of secret operatives, the funding of propaganda, and even “the surreptitious opening of private mail,” according to an account of that critical period of time. America has always had enemies, and always will. And some of those enemies operate within the United States but maintain connections abroad.
It is curious that the NSA revelations came at a time when Barack Obama was meeting with China’s new president, Xi Jinping, and was under pressure from the Defense Department and the intelligence community to confront China over its anti-American cyber-attacks. A January 2013 report from the Defense Science Board said the cyber threat “is serious, with potential consequences similar in some ways to the nuclear threat of the Cold War.” A confidential version of the report said more than two dozen of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers. The evidence indicates that the Chinese stole the plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 combat aircraft, among others.
But rather than insist that Obama confront the Chinese over their thievery, the attention is now turning to our response, which somehow supposedly crosses a line of some sort. And the pressure from “progressives” is now mounting to undercut the agency that is at least partly designed to protect our own people and industries from foreign regimes such as those in Beijing and Moscow.
Former CIA officer Robert Baer said on CNN that officials in Washington, D.C. were looking at the Snowden case as possibly being Chinese espionage against the U.S. This explanation makes complete sense in the context of when, how, and why it occurred at this time. “As a counter intelligence investigation,” he said on CNN, “it would default to that [Snowden as a defector] immediately. The CIA and the FBI look at China as a hostile country. It has an active intelligence program against the United States. It would do anything to get a source, like this young man. Right now I’d be very surprised if they’re not questioning him [about] what he knew.” He went on, “…Honolulu is an important relay station for the National Security Agency. All our spying on China would be filtered through there. What did he know, what didn’t he know? What did he have access to, what did he bring out? I mean, the Chinese would be remiss not talking to him right now.”
Instead, however, almost all of the media attention is now on whether the NSA, not the Chinese regime, has gone too far. The Chinese hackers must be laughing at the U.S.
It is significant that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is quoted by Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) as saying, “We have been in contact with Snowden’s people in terms of the possible advice and support we can give him.”
Who are those people?
The Chinese, the Russians and other adversaries and enemies of the United States have benefitted immensely from the WikiLeaks disclosures, which included classified information about U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. In return, as a show of thanks, the Russians gave Assange a TV show, where he interviewed such figures as Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah, U.S. Marxist professor Noam Chomsky, and Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa. The latter gave Assange asylum in his embassy in London, so he wouldn’t have to face sex crimes charges in Sweden.
Assange had always denied having any personal contact with Bradley Manning, the Army analyst on trial for espionage. But that was a lie. Evidence in the Manning trial demonstrated collusion between them and also disclosed that WikiLeaks material was found in the possession of Osama bin Laden.
It is telling that Snowden has a creepy backer like Julian Assange. Conservatives defending Snowden should think twice about what they are doing and the real story they are missing.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].