Monday, June 17, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Snowden Doc Expose GCHQ Operations,Officially Worst Traitor in U.S. History

Today in Skye's Spies, new Snowden documents released indicated that GCHQ, the UK NSA, spied on the phones of foreign diplomats during an international conference.

In my not-so-humble opinion. He has officially become the single-most damaging traitor in U.S. history. Not hero--traitor. And I've seen traitors up close and way too personal--including former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen. I've seen the damage up close. This compromise, this breach, is so much worse than anything Hanssen or even Ames did for that matter, it's not even funny. What's sad is that  Snowden doesn't even realize the implications of his actions yet. He has royally screwed his country (and our allies) for decades to come.

The depth of his ignorance and stupidity is absolutely astounding on so many levels. He appointed himself judge and jury over not only the U.S. Intelligence Community but the world intelligence program. And what's so incredibly frustrating and sad is that his view was so incredibly limited that he has no idea what impact is actions have had or how badly they've damaged this and our allies' security. What he did is akin to trying a case based solely on information from the prosecutor. No defense. If only he could be so fortunate as to receive the same treatment in court that he dished out to the IC.

Understand that the intelligence community operates under what is called the "Intelligence Cycle" and the NSA's part in the cycle is very small in the grand scheme of things.


NSA is largely limited to two areas of this cycle--collection and some very limited analysis. NSA's information is disseminated to other agencies and collated with that information to provide a big picture view. It's only when NSA's information is combined with HUMINT and other intelligence that we get a true perspective of it's overall importance to national security, it's usefulness, how it fits into a larger puzzle--or how it has saved lives or helped detect criminal and terrorist activity.

Remember when you were a kid and you used the cardboard tube of a paper towel as a telescope? The roll didn't have a lens to enhance your view--in fact, it limited the scope of it, made your view very narrow. Snowden indicted the entire intelligence community based on the very narrow view of  what he could see through the paper towel tube. And the biggest problem is that Snowden isn't knowledgeable or informed enough to know he was looking through a paper towel tube. He thinks he was looking at the world and he was looking at a tiny patch of grass.

What he's done will certainly increase the level of distrust between agencies, foreign and domestic, and cause our foreign partners to think twice before sharing intelligence. It may cost thousands of contractors their jobs if the Senate persists on the knee-jerk reaction and limit contractor access to NSA data--the course they are certainly headed on now. We may never know the true impact on our intelligence operations. For all we know, sometime in the very near future tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans may die in terrorist attacks we will be unable to prevent because one of our enemies changed their method of operation after the disclosure of the NSA operation.

He has aided and abetted our enemies and gravely damaged U.S. operations. He has damaged the operations of our allies. His interviews with the press indicate he has shared intelligence with the Chinese in order to ingratiate himself to them--so that he can get asylum there. He may (probably will) cost thousands of Americans their jobs.

When I look at what spies like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen did, spying for the Russians pales in comparison because their cases had an impact, although significant, on a very narrow range of issues.

The impact of his disclosure is so broad it is actually frightening. And people hail  him as a hero.

Where I come from, that does not spell H-E-R-O. That spells one of the worst T-R-A-I-T-O-R-S in U.S. history. And what he also doesn't realize is that with every article the Guardian prints they are just tacking on the violation counts and adding years to his prison sentence. He deserves EVERY SECOND and then some.

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