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WilliamPitt

(58,179 posts)
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:24 PM Jun 2013

Edward Snowden, my book with Scott Ritter, and the art of exploiting the messenger vs. the message

Last edited Tue Jun 18, 2013, 10:22 AM - Edit history (3)

He went to China. He seems too coached in his remarks. His girlfriend was a pole-dancer. He was a bad neighbor. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Edward Snowden is experiencing one of the more broad-spectrum efforts at character assassination in recent memory after his deliberate exposure of the far-reaching nature of NSA domestic surveillance. It's an old trick. Shit on a critic from great height, shit on a critic with great volume, in the hope that the critic becomes entombed in shit and loses their viability as a critic.

Disclaimer: I don't give much of a damn about Edward Snowden. I give a very large series of damns about the information he revealed, as should any thinking American in my personal opinion. Attacking his character, his girlfriend, his travel plans etc. is a shortcut to thinking, a way to tamp down revelations that this administration, like the previous administration, has been peeking through a lot of windows in ways the American people need to be aware of. Snowden attacks = Obama defense, in my humble o, and it's a pretty gruesome display from a lot of people who spent a lot of time attacking Bush on similar grounds not so long ago. But IOKIYBO appears to be the rule of the day.

In the summer of 2002, eight months before the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I co-authored a book titled "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know" with former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. The book we created, to this day, was dead-bang right not only about Iraq's lack of WMD, about Iraq's lack of al Qaeda/September 11 connections, but very accurately predicted the bloodbath shitshow that would take place if the invasion and occupation were to take place. Eleven years later, that book stands up to any test you want to give it, and it was Scott Ritter who provided the facts that make the book absolutely unimpeachable.

The final two paragraphs of Scott Ritter's Wikipedia page:

Ritter was detained in April 2001 and arrested in June 2001 in connection with police stings in which officers posed as under-aged girls to arrange meetings of a sexual nature. The first incident did not lead to any charges. He was charged with a misdemeanor crime of "attempted endangerment of the welfare of a child" after the second, but charges were dropped after he completed six months of probation and the record was sealed on condition that he avoid further trouble for a period of time. After this information was made public in early 2003, Ritter said that the timing of the leak was politically motivated.

Ritter was arrested again in November 2009 over communications with a police decoy he met on an Internet chat site. Police said that he exposed himself via a web camera after the officer said she was a 15-year-old girl; Ritter said he was not made aware of the ostensible age of his correspondent before the act. The next month, Ritter waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bail. Charges included "unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, possessing instruments of crime, criminal attempt and criminal solicitation". Ritter rejected a plea bargain, testified in his trial and was found guilty of all but the criminal attempt count in a Monroe County, Pennsylvania courtroom on April 14, 2011. In October 2011 he received a sentence of one and a half to five and a half years in prison.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Ritter#Arrests_and_conviction

I am not going to speak to Ritter's guilt or innocence regarding these charges; he had a lawyer and a trial and a jury, and it is what it is. But the revelation in February 2003 effectively removed him, and our book, from the debate over the war a month before the war kicked off...and the book was right, he was right, we were right, and now a lot of people are dead even though we were right.

Scott Ritter's personal failings doomed his message. The people who wanted to entomb him in shit to shut him up did not have to work hard to do so...but even with all that shit, there remains the pesky fact that he was 100% spot-on correct about the war, its aftermath and its eventual outcome.

People are currently attempting to entomb Snowden in shit because they don't like his message...and no one has accused him of anything even remotely as serious as what Ritter was accused and eventually convicted of...and yet so many have already decided he's just another shitbag to be ignored.

My point: separate the man from the message. Scott Ritter was a deeply flawed man according to the courts, but a lot of people would be alive if his message had been allowed to stand on its merits instead of getting dragged down and erased with him.

Snowden is one thing. His message is another. As someone with personal experience in watching a good message get destroyed by attacks on the messenger, I implore you not to let it happen in this case.

I don't give a damn about Snowden, and I don't give a damn about Ritter.

I give many damns about the information they have to offer.

As should you.

===

A cleaned up version of this is here: http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18032-snowden-ritter-messenger

118 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Edward Snowden, my book with Scott Ritter, and the art of exploiting the messenger vs. the message (Original Post) WilliamPitt Jun 2013 OP
And Julian Assange, and Dr. Kelly... Gregorian Jun 2013 #1
And Karen Silkwood suffragette Jun 2013 #16
And what "insider" information did the government have on Ritter, iemitsu Jun 2013 #76
Like I said in the discussion on the "spying on American citizen"-issue... ReRe Jun 2013 #86
Thanks so much for the link. iemitsu Jun 2013 #91
Here are some more great links in case you want to... ReRe Jun 2013 #93
Cool. iemitsu Jun 2013 #94
And Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Elliot Spitzer... cascadiance Jun 2013 #78
It's one thing to do character assassinations against witnesses in a court during a trial, etc... cascadiance Jun 2013 #80
And Drake and Binney and Bradley Manning among others. sabrina 1 Jun 2013 #116
I want the truth without damning the person who is brave enough to speak about it. In_The_Wind Jun 2013 #2
That's nice, but he was lying. ucrdem Jun 2013 #3
how many hours ago were you accusing me of not providing links/facts? Monkie Jun 2013 #6
I read it. What lies have you documented? I found no obvious lies. DisgustipatedinCA Jun 2013 #12
Doesn't matter. Cha Jun 2013 #26
Care to elaborate on what he was lying about? Marrah_G Jun 2013 #114
i remember how important ritter was, he had huge credibility as a "inside" man n/t Monkie Jun 2013 #4
Ritter was character assassinated. ucrdem Jun 2013 #5
acussing him of being a commie paid up agent of china based on a newspaper interview? Monkie Jun 2013 #8
Really? Hissyspit Jun 2013 #10
Calling a poseur a poseur is not character assassination ucrdem Jun 2013 #14
he`s doing a good job destroying his character Abukhatar Jun 2013 #73
Here, I explained it: ucrdem Jun 2013 #11
K & R HangOnKids Jun 2013 #7
Snowden is a male model playing this week's Libertarian martyr. ucrdem Jun 2013 #9
"Character assassination." Hissyspit Jun 2013 #13
It explains why he was lying: ucrdem Jun 2013 #17
No, it doesn't. Hissyspit Jun 2013 #22
And 9/11 was staged as was the moon landing? LOL JDPriestly Jun 2013 #84
Do you honestly think this B-movie espionage is commendable? ucrdem Jun 2013 #85
And Clapper was CEO of Booz Allen, a multi-billion dollar 'Security Corp' now cast as Director of sabrina 1 Jun 2013 #117
*Psssst* (it insinuates that he's G.A.Y.) MNBrewer Jun 2013 #35
You're the only one saying GAY on this thread, brewer eom Kolesar Jun 2013 #72
If that's what you think, Kolesar, if that's what you think MNBrewer Jun 2013 #74
You skyrocketed to the zenith of mediocrity on the Snowden topic, Brewer Kolesar Jun 2013 #75
oh PLEASE accuse me of being a troll, PLEASE!!!!!!! MNBrewer Jun 2013 #77
This message was self-deleted by its author HangOnKids Jun 2013 #15
link?facts? as a 17 year old nerd he was interested in manga/comics and that crowd Monkie Jun 2013 #18
Here: ucrdem Jun 2013 #19
selective quotes from a long Q&A quelle surprise Monkie Jun 2013 #28
Im going to plonk that poster HangOnKids Jun 2013 #20
a snake under a rock that you cant see is more of a danger Monkie Jun 2013 #34
What's that got to do with anything? Modeling is proof of what, in your mind? Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #21
He's an actor playing a role. He's also lying: ucrdem Jun 2013 #25
You offer no proof of your assertion. Having done modling work does not Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #39
But backpedaling on his earlier statements proves he was lying. nt ucrdem Jun 2013 #40
Off topic, non responsive, I asked you what point you attempt to make by saying Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #42
Snowden's lies are off topic? ucrdem Jun 2013 #47
Non responsive to what you were asked. You back peddle. Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #51
I answered your questions and your insinuations are out of line. Adios, I'm ignoring you. nt ucrdem Jun 2013 #55
Ignore me too. Fuddnik Jun 2013 #98
Are the three other former NSA employees also lying? ohheckyeah Jun 2013 #52
"male model"... You know! *wink, wink* MNBrewer Jun 2013 #37
It is amazing that this bigoted shit is allowed here. Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #41
Well, Snowden IS a little well-coiffed, if you know what I mean, *wink, wink* MNBrewer Jun 2013 #44
THANK YOU, UCRDEM Maedhros Jun 2013 #50
As Josef Stalin's secret police chief Lavrenti Beria put it: newblewtoo Jun 2013 #23
No, his lies are what condemn him. He's whining because there ARE restriction. He is an idiot. KittyWampus Jun 2013 #24
he said there is no technical restriction stopping him, just policy Monkie Jun 2013 #31
So running to Hong Kong, releasing national security documents, claiming that the NSA... randome Jun 2013 #81
Tell me how difficult it is to change a policy MNBrewer Jun 2013 #38
condemned whining idiot fellators bobduca Jun 2013 #49
Ohhh, you mentioned fellatio! Romulus Quirinus Jun 2013 #79
Kitty needs to take that penis out of Kitty's mouth before calling people fellators Dragonfli Jun 2013 #108
Wow. Hell Hath No Fury Jun 2013 #112
Now you've done it, Will pscot Jun 2013 #27
No one is tossing anyone under the bus. ucrdem Jun 2013 #29
I've been tossed under the DU bus so many times WilliamPitt Jun 2013 #30
at least some people are learning a valuable lesson, those that have never seen this before Monkie Jun 2013 #33
More impressively, according to one poster, you're able to fellate Snowden from under the bus. DisgustipatedinCA Jun 2013 #57
Big K. Big R (nt) Vanje Jun 2013 #32
Thank you for this Will! KoKo Jun 2013 #36
HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!! WillyT Jun 2013 #43
Du rec. Nt xchrom Jun 2013 #45
Spot on Mr. Pitt. I've said that I don't care about Greenwald or Snowden Triana Jun 2013 #46
I do give a damn do you care if someone lies and betrays secrets to others that may result in a Vietnameravet Jun 2013 #48
He will be the book, and the policy in question merely a footnote... LanternWaste Jun 2013 #53
interesting comparison. I care about Snowden xiamiam Jun 2013 #54
Hear! Hear!! ReRe Jun 2013 #90
K&R n/t myrna minx Jun 2013 #56
good post/example stupidicus Jun 2013 #58
Well said, though that will not stop the totalitarians from attacking him to distract usGovOwesUs3Trillion Jun 2013 #59
Oh, poor Mr. Ritter had his sexual attraction to children exploited. randome Jun 2013 #60
Yes,and maybe he was a snot eater too, so what? 1-Old-Man Jun 2013 #62
I agree. But isn't the reverse true? randome Jun 2013 #65
That is not the comparison being made, and you know it. AtheistCrusader Jun 2013 #64
I agree they were not and are not relevant. randome Jun 2013 #66
Thanks Will, but your post proves what some woman, who was Cleita Jun 2013 #61
I am not one to accept conspiracies. In fact I almost always mock conspiracy theories. But it just Douglas Carpenter Jun 2013 #63
The only thing I care about with respect to Snowden The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2013 #67
When he doesn't show evidence of his wild claims, everyone defaults to character and credibility. randome Jun 2013 #68
Yes, that. /\ /\ /\ DeadLetterOffice Jun 2013 #113
Thank you Will. Very thoughtfully written. n/t Catherina Jun 2013 #69
Snowden has hardly had "broad-spectrum efforts at character assassination" Kolesar Jun 2013 #70
K & R. marmar Jun 2013 #71
They went after Ritter for sure malaise Jun 2013 #82
I have warned about falling for these one-sided morality standards JDPriestly Jun 2013 #83
K&R Jamastiene Jun 2013 #87
K&R ReRe Jun 2013 #88
K&R Zorra Jun 2013 #89
k&r nt steve2470 Jun 2013 #92
WP - I Agree - All Americans - All At DU Should Be Outraged At The Dismemberment Of The 4th Amendment cantbeserious Jun 2013 #95
Great post! nt Enthusiast Jun 2013 #96
I cleaned this up and made it a BuzzFlash blog WilliamPitt Jun 2013 #97
k and r nashville_brook Jun 2013 #99
Ritter is/was a hero. Lindbergh is/was a hero RVN VET Jun 2013 #100
I care about Ritter riverwalker Jun 2013 #101
Zahn is a tool RVN VET Jun 2013 #103
I care about Mr Ritter too ... mntleo2 Jun 2013 #118
Thing for me is timdog44 Jun 2013 #102
"Snowden attacks = Obama defense" Gore1FL Jun 2013 #104
You are all crazy fjlovato Jun 2013 #105
You might want to tone down that 'crazy' talk but I know what you mean. randome Jun 2013 #106
When do you ever sleep? xtraxritical Jun 2013 #107
? WilliamPitt Jun 2013 #109
I was thinking you got a new born and manage to write an essay every day. You're the iron man lib! xtraxritical Jun 2013 #110
Ah. WilliamPitt Jun 2013 #115
Character assassination = he's telling the Truth. blkmusclmachine Jun 2013 #111

Gregorian

(23,867 posts)
1. And Julian Assange, and Dr. Kelly...
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:38 PM
Jun 2013

What really hurts is that it's coming from so-called liberal voices. It just shows how susceptible people are to believing the propaganda hype.

Another thought: why wasn't Hans Blix subjected to the same treatment as Ritter? Under the assumptions we're making in this thread, I will make another. I can easily imagine how those doing the "assassinating", they would go about it systematically. They couldn't do it to everyone involved without blowing their cover. They could have picked on the weakest link. Hans Blix could have been a well established stable figure they knew they couldn't crack.

iemitsu

(3,888 posts)
76. And what "insider" information did the government have on Ritter,
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:41 PM
Jun 2013

and how did they get it, that allowed them to destroy his character so completely (and in a manner coordinated to silence Ritter during the final push for the war)? They must have been keeping tabs on his internet activity to know that was into, too-young women. If they did not know why would they have set up the sting? Coincidence? I don't think so.
Now, Snowden's whistle reveals just how the government operates and how they happened to have the goods on Ritter.
If you've got skeletons you'd like to keep in the closet, you'd better think twice about exposing government/corporate secrets.
Guess Will Pitt passed the character test as he was not similarly destroyed. Or maybe Pitt just wasn't as big a concern as Ritter in that episode, and his book had been discredited by its association with Ritter anyway.
Next time Pitt threatens to expose information, the government wants hidden, we will hear non-stop, on every tv station, how he enjoys bullying homeless women. You know they've got that on him.

ReRe

(10,597 posts)
86. Like I said in the discussion on the "spying on American citizen"-issue...
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:26 AM
Jun 2013

... ,whistleblower William Binney explained exactly how they do it. They can put a file together lickity-split, because all the info has been collected. Everything about you, your effing life story, can be retrieved at the stoke of a computer keyboard. It's google-exponential-extraordinaire. The minute they want to black-ball someone, they can do it at the speed of effing light. The titillating talking points are then shot over to every M$N on earth. Hell, they probably know stuff about us that even WE don't know! This is what they did to Ritter. Or what they will do on any dissenter who makes a little too much noise. The Father of this kind of surveillance was none other than J. Edgar Hoover.

Here's a great interview with William Binney that not many have heard (to my knowledge):

http://www.dailycaller.com/2013/06/10/what-do-they-know-about-you-an-interview-with-nsa-analyst-william-binney/

ReRe

(10,597 posts)
93. Here are some more great links in case you want to...
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 03:35 AM
Jun 2013

... learn from even more whistleblowers, knowledgeable sources:

http://www.democracynow.org/topics/domestic_surveillance

http://www.democracynow.org/topics/nsa


You can watch videos or read the transcripts.

 

cascadiance

(19,537 posts)
78. And Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Elliot Spitzer...
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:08 PM
Jun 2013

Arguably Dominique Strauss-Kahn was irritating the PTB far more with things like being interviewed in the Oscar winning documentary "Inside Game" about the misdeeds of our banksters, and right before he had his "incident" also talking about how tax revenue should be raised and other forms of stimulus being used instead of the austerity crap that Europe has since been going through since his ousting from the IMF. He may have been a bad guy, but the message he had as leader of the IMF was perhaps one that had it been followed, a lot less problems for the Europeans in general instead of protecting the elites' wallets with the austerity crap there.

Elliot Spitzer also arguably wouldn't have had his private habits nearly as much on the radar if he wasn't trying to go after corrupt banksters himself as AG of New York and subsequently as governor.

You can judge each of these persons separately for what they do in their private lives and more power to you condemning them if you feel that is what you want. But you need to look at what they did in other arenas and their messages, and look at the subtext of the power games being waged against them to make sure that those don't get pushed aside the way those waging these wars of character assassination want them.

 

cascadiance

(19,537 posts)
80. It's one thing to do character assassinations against witnesses in a court during a trial, etc...
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:16 PM
Jun 2013

... to help a defense or prosecution attorney establish credibility of someone who's testifying against or for a person's guilt.

In that case, ultimately the trial doesn't stop just because we are "distracted" with one of these sorts of character assassinations. Ultimately, the court case still is the relevant topic of discussion and decision and people have to come back to that and decide a person's guilt or innocence.

The problem with this sort of character assassination is that it isn't meant to just question evidence being provided on another topic. It is meant to DISTRACT us away from what someone is saying on a topic to shut down the discussion or scrutiny of another topic (such as a war with Iraq or whether we are getting spied upon). If we were in a court, we'd still have to come back to one of those big topics at hand and not push it aside.

That is why we need to separate the man/woman from the message here in these instances. If we want to try them separately for a crime they might have committed, then so be it. But it should be completely separated from the topics they bring up for public scrutiny, which we need to analyze independent of what the messenger is.

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
6. how many hours ago were you accusing me of not providing links/facts?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:44 PM
Jun 2013

i put up, you shut up then.
now its your turn to prove your weasel words or shut up again.
what web chat, what lies? and proof not spin, facts.

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
8. acussing him of being a commie paid up agent of china based on a newspaper interview?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:46 PM
Jun 2013

accusations about his GF, his life as a 17 year old online disected, dont play dumb with me.

Hissyspit

(45,788 posts)
10. Really?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:48 PM
Jun 2013

There's no character assassination going on with Snowden and Greenwald?

Have you read your own posts?

ucrdem

(15,512 posts)
14. Calling a poseur a poseur is not character assassination
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:52 PM
Jun 2013

because there's no character to begin with. He's also lying:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3033934

I remember Ritter and his story and while I have great admiration for WilliamPitt this is just wrong.

Abukhatar

(90 posts)
73. he`s doing a good job destroying his character
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:16 PM
Jun 2013

Every new revelation he makes paints a picture of man closer to a traito

ucrdem

(15,512 posts)
9. Snowden is a male model playing this week's Libertarian martyr.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:47 PM
Jun 2013

No kidding, someone just posted that he's a former model. His story is carefully crafted baloney. Ritter on the other hand had been to Iraq as a weapons inspector as I recall and had something important to say. There is simply no comparison between these two figures and it's a discredit to Ritter to try to make one. JMHO, YMMV.

ucrdem

(15,512 posts)
85. Do you honestly think this B-movie espionage is commendable?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 10:16 PM
Jun 2013

This guy emerged from nowhere a week ago, has a CV full of questions marks, supports Ron Paul, and is instantly given the benefit of every doubt on DU? Seriously, why is he given any credibility? His story never struck me as remotely plausible and the timing of his caper is exactly like the Wikileaks hacked CRU email "leak" that sabotaged the Copenhagen climate conference.

Where has everyone's sense gone anyway?

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
117. And Clapper was CEO of Booz Allen, a multi-billion dollar 'Security Corp' now cast as Director of
Wed Jun 19, 2013, 01:27 PM
Jun 2013

Intelligence. His former, and future, no doubt bosses stand to lose billions of dollars if Americans decide they are not so easily scared by the word 'terror' that they will give up one single freedom, like the billion dollar collection and storing of their data.

In other words, he's a Corporate Shill profiting hugely from our 'Intelligence' policies in what might as well be a Hollywood Spy Movie, moving unnoticed from a huge, powerful, multi billion dollar Corp right into our government, and back again after he ensures the continuation of his real bosses lucrative 'business'.

That probably explains why he lied to Congress. A lot, lots and lots of money at stake here. Not so much, our security.

In that movie btw, as we watch the CEO pose as Director of Intelligence, secretly influencing Congress to pass laws giving up more of our freedoms, passing his info along to his Corporation, we long for an exposure.

Enter Snowden, former male model, turned Patriot after discovering the secrets that made possible the great War on Terror and its continued use to strike enough fear into the American people that no one will have to come and TAKE their freedoms, they will willingly hand them over. A tense scene in the end shows the former male model fleeing to China before he is silenced, labeled a traitor and locked up and tortured ala Bradley Manning.

Who would we cast in that movie? Di Caprio as Snowden maybe, and for the villain? Maybe Dick Cheney is looking for a job?

Kolesar

(31,182 posts)
75. You skyrocketed to the zenith of mediocrity on the Snowden topic, Brewer
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:25 PM
Jun 2013

Been hiding in the lounge for three years?

Response to ucrdem (Reply #9)

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
18. link?facts? as a 17 year old nerd he was interested in manga/comics and that crowd
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:56 PM
Jun 2013

it is really common for them to shoot photoshoots of each other "for fun"
what modeling career, you are such a poor excuse for a human being if you can accuse someone of being making stuff up, run away when you get refuted with a bunch of links, only to turn up in a thread later on, doing exactly what you accuse others of.

can you post some facts, back up what you claim, or are you just a lier.
put up or shut up. and facts not claims, facts.

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
28. selective quotes from a long Q&A quelle surprise
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:05 PM
Jun 2013

very impressive, except it is not that impressive.
the fact that you bring up his teenage photo's as evidence he is a model says it all really.
i happen to be a member of the ars techica website, its nerd central, a tech news website, thats where his "model" photo's are from, from the forum there.

and the fact that what he said and did when he was 17 and posted anonymously is part of a attempt to smear him kinda proves his point does it not?
and makes you just a little bit creepy to be honest, its all a bit stalkerish

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
34. a snake under a rock that you cant see is more of a danger
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:17 PM
Jun 2013

than a snake slithering out in the open.
i never ever plonk.

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
39. You offer no proof of your assertion. Having done modling work does not
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:23 PM
Jun 2013

prove anything, nor does linking in a circle or shouting accusations.

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
42. Off topic, non responsive, I asked you what point you attempt to make by saying
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:30 PM
Jun 2013

he was a 'male model'. You evade and avoid because your furtive bigotry failed to slip by. You are out of touch, far too conservative to persuade anyone here of anything. Hang it up.

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
51. Non responsive to what you were asked. You back peddle.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:51 PM
Jun 2013

You claimed that his being a 'male model' proves some larger point, you were asked to specify and to support your assertion. You failed to do so, and instead affected that you'd not been shouting 'male model' like some might shout 'monster'.
Dishonest and transparent.

ohheckyeah

(9,314 posts)
52. Are the three other former NSA employees also lying?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:58 PM
Jun 2013

Have you listened to the videos? He isn't lying. And models and actors are two different things.

 

Bluenorthwest

(45,319 posts)
41. It is amazing that this bigoted shit is allowed here.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
Jun 2013

Note the cowardice and evasion of the poster.

MNBrewer

(8,462 posts)
44. Well, Snowden IS a little well-coiffed, if you know what I mean, *wink, wink*
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:30 PM
Jun 2013

and isn't a gruff talking man's man like Clapper. He's a little "well-spoken", if you know what I mean *wink, wink* (that one's for YOU Naomi).

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
50. THANK YOU, UCRDEM
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:48 PM
Jun 2013

for providing a timely and illustrative example of what the OP was describing.

Well done!

newblewtoo

(667 posts)
23. As Josef Stalin's secret police chief Lavrenti Beria put it:
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:59 PM
Jun 2013

Find me the man, and I'll find the crime.

Chilling. Look at what we have become.

 

KittyWampus

(55,894 posts)
24. No, his lies are what condemn him. He's whining because there ARE restriction. He is an idiot.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:59 PM
Jun 2013

"The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time."

Oh, and very few DU'ers even mention that crap. The ones obsessing on it are his fellators.

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
31. he said there is no technical restriction stopping him, just policy
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:11 PM
Jun 2013

is that not clear enough?
that means he CAN do it, anyone else COULD of done it, but they would be a bad boy/girl, if that is not scary enough for you?
if there is no technical limitation to stop him doing "it" how is he lying about that?

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
81. So running to Hong Kong, releasing national security documents, claiming that the NSA...
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:17 PM
Jun 2013

...is watching our thoughts form as we type, all this is because of a freaking policy dispute?

This is what passes as Progressive thought these days.

[hr]
[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
[hr]

MNBrewer

(8,462 posts)
38. Tell me how difficult it is to change a policy
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:23 PM
Jun 2013

then I might give your "argument" a second consideration.

And thanks for the additional implications that Snowden is a gay porn star.

Dragonfli

(10,622 posts)
108. Kitty needs to take that penis out of Kitty's mouth before calling people fellators
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 02:44 PM
Jun 2013

Because the Wampus is like Obama's Monica Lewinski around here.

ucrdem

(15,512 posts)
29. No one is tossing anyone under the bus.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:07 PM
Jun 2013

The point is that things are not always as they appear, even when we really want them to be.

 

Monkie

(1,301 posts)
33. at least some people are learning a valuable lesson, those that have never seen this before
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:14 PM
Jun 2013

i'm sure it will wake some people up as to who is walking among you pretending

 

DisgustipatedinCA

(12,530 posts)
57. More impressively, according to one poster, you're able to fellate Snowden from under the bus.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:17 PM
Jun 2013

On a more serious note, thanks for the OP.

KoKo

(84,711 posts)
36. Thank you for this Will!
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:21 PM
Jun 2013

For those of us who lived through that time here on DU...and never changed our opinions about what we were fighting for or against in these last 12 years, this is a breath of Fresh Air and Support from you who were here with us in the "thick of it," and worked closely with him getting the information out there.

It's so good to see you defend Ritter's revelations and... as you say...whatever he was in his 'personal life' he shone a bright light on what was going on (under the cover) and he did an incredible service for the American people that, hopefully, our historians will eventually record.


 

Triana

(22,666 posts)
46. Spot on Mr. Pitt. I've said that I don't care about Greenwald or Snowden
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:36 PM
Jun 2013

I DO care about what they're saying is going on. I have since we learned about of a lot of it in 2001 after 9-11, and from 2002 to now - all the articles, PBS shows, etc. about it all. Anyone who "didn't know" was simply not paying any damn attention, that's all.

I distinctly remember stuff being posted about the extent of the surveillance here on DU years ago - from a year ago to over a decade ago. People mostly passed us off as DUmmy liberals, all up in a huff about nothing.

NOW -- these same people are learning - lo and behold - we were right to be pissed.

Greenwald or Snowden haven't told me anything I didn't already know or suspect was going on.

What they DID do is re-open the national and international conversation about it -- a conversation that sorely needs to be had -- and for that I'm happy.

I don't tolerate any bullshit that this is an "Obama" program. It's NOT. It was going on LONG before Obama even considered running for President. He simply continued the policies. And that, IMO, was his mistake, one he made with far too many bu$h-era policies.

 

Vietnameravet

(1,085 posts)
48. I do give a damn do you care if someone lies and betrays secrets to others that may result in a
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:40 PM
Jun 2013

successful terrorist attack?

He doesnt need any one to assassinate his character. He has none. He is a self righteous ignorant liar who betrayed vital secrets of his country.

It's not up to him to decide these things.

 

LanternWaste

(37,748 posts)
53. He will be the book, and the policy in question merely a footnote...
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:01 PM
Jun 2013

His name will be enshrined for ever by those who desire a face to go along with policy debates. He will be the book for People magazine America, and the policy in question merely a footnote.

And those who are rational and care not for him, his past, or his family and friends will be, for the time, shuffled off to the corner as inconvenient.

xiamiam

(4,906 posts)
54. interesting comparison. I care about Snowden
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:01 PM
Jun 2013

I cared about Scott Ritter too. I care about them in the same way I care about young soldiers going to war, or people protesting on Wall Street or in Egypt or Turkey. I care about people who risk themselves or credibility for our common ideals. I don't want to ever not care. Im really not interested in their personal lives insofar as they have not committed a crime. I don't think whistleblowing is a crime. Truth tellers have a way of ending up getting smeared and even worse, in prison or dead. Its disappointing about Ritter because he WAS telling the truth...screaming from mountaintops...and he screwed up. I don't get online porn or sex or deviancy but a lot of people seem to be doing it. Its as baffling to me as an act of violence toward another. I get what you are trying to say and I am glad its about the issues which I agree with, but I don't think its a legitimate comparison and I think we should care about the people who risk their safety and security to move us forward.

 

stupidicus

(2,570 posts)
58. good post/example
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:18 PM
Jun 2013

I've thought this should be obvious from the beginning, and I think it's close to being the first point I made on the matter

 

usGovOwesUs3Trillion

(2,022 posts)
59. Well said, though that will not stop the totalitarians from attacking him to distract
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:22 PM
Jun 2013

and that is why these kinds of posts need to be constantly made.

Thank you for doing your part

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
60. Oh, poor Mr. Ritter had his sexual attraction to children exploited.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:24 PM
Jun 2013

And poor Mr. Snowden is being asked to show evidence of his wild claims.

The world is so unfair!

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[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
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randome

(34,845 posts)
65. I agree. But isn't the reverse true?
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:52 PM
Jun 2013

Isn't blaming Ritter's shortcomings for the failure of America to see the truth an unwarranted assumption?

The book was published. Millions of people protested going to war with Iraq. Yet we still did and we didn't impeach Bush afterwards. What did any of that have to do with Scott Ritter's sexual habits?

Is the assumption that if only Ritter had not been attracted to children, we would have impeached Bush?

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[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
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AtheistCrusader

(33,982 posts)
64. That is not the comparison being made, and you know it.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:51 PM
Jun 2013

Ritter example is relevant only in that a scumbag private life may also be 100% accurate about the whistleblowing leak they provide.

In other words, Ritter's proclivities are irrelevant to his pre-war claims.
Snowden's pole dancing girlfriend, modeling snaps, 'coolness' toward his neighbors, and all that bullshit, is irrelevant to the leak data at hand. It is credible or not, irrespective of Snowden's personal credibility/character.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
66. I agree they were not and are not relevant.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:56 PM
Jun 2013

I don't think they had the assumed effect.

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[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
[hr]

Cleita

(75,480 posts)
61. Thanks Will, but your post proves what some woman, who was
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:32 PM
Jun 2013

also a whistleblower, said on the radio. No one gets thanked for exposing corruption and crime among our government demi-gods. Instead they get dragged through the muck and mire for trying. The gall of the likes of Dick Cheney walking around free with a new heart and able to denounce this man on national TV makes me want to vomit. I'm hoping from now on, everyone who has something to expose, do it anonymously because they will be crucified if they don't.

Douglas Carpenter

(20,226 posts)
63. I am not one to accept conspiracies. In fact I almost always mock conspiracy theories. But it just
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:48 PM
Jun 2013

seems so strange when we see almost everyone who takes on the intelligence/national security establishment and does some kind of public expose - such people seem to almost always ends up being charged, convicted or labeled as some kind of sexual deviant. It leads me to believe that either there is something about the psychology of sexual deviants that leads them into an interest in the intelligence field or the intelligence field knows how to go after their protagonist.

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,263 posts)
67. The only thing I care about with respect to Snowden
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:59 PM
Jun 2013

is whether his information is accurate. I don't care whether he is considered a hero or a villain or something in between; I don't care if he likes Ron Paul; I don't care if his girlfriend is or isn't a pole dancer. There's no doubt that his disclosures were illegal, but I'm not too concerned about his legal jeopardy, either, since he knew what he was getting himself into.

But if he is telling the truth about the extent of NSA's information-gathering - that's important. That's concerning. And it's also concerning that so much of what the NSA is up to has been subcontracted to private companies. There are any number of disturbing revelations. The big question, maybe the only question, is what happens now. What do we do with this knowledge?

I'd really like it if people would stop trashing Snowden. I'd really like it if people would stop hero-worshipping him, too. I would like it the most if we could focus on what, if anything, can or should be done about what he's told us.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
68. When he doesn't show evidence of his wild claims, everyone defaults to character and credibility.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:05 PM
Jun 2013

It's not logical or 'right' but it's how human beings roll.

We would not be having any disagreements if Snowden had only shown us evidence. Two weeks in and the most damning document he has furnished us is a PowerPoint slide.

People want to hang their hats on that, it's up to them but I, too, get tired of the hero worship based on PowerPoint and a man who said "I'm not trying to hide from justice here." from his undisclosed location in Hong Kong.

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[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
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DeadLetterOffice

(1,352 posts)
113. Yes, that. /\ /\ /\
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 08:48 PM
Jun 2013

I am a newbie, obviously.
I am finding it almost impossible to locate actual information here at DU about the validity of the content of what Snowden has put out there.
Why? Because every. damn. post. about the leak degenerates into vitriolic crap at some point, and most of them do it really quickly. And there is only so much "Snowden is a hero and all who question him are jackbooted thug-supporters," and "Snowden is a gay libertarian China-loving tool and all who support him are idiot dupes" that one can take in a given day.
I'm all for opinions and such, and I love a good argument. I just hoped that I'd find actual information at DU too.
Ah well, live and learn.

Kolesar

(31,182 posts)
70. Snowden has hardly had "broad-spectrum efforts at character assassination"
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:09 PM
Jun 2013

Noting that he fled to Hong Kong is central to his story.

JDPriestly

(57,936 posts)
83. I have warned about falling for these one-sided morality standards
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 09:55 PM
Jun 2013

for a long time.

It is just not plausible to me that so many liberal political figures with upset-the-apple-cart ideas get their personal foibles plastered all over the news. It also happens to conservatives, but in the cases of conservatives the news is hidden longer, does not seem to unseat them or exclude them from politics and seem somewhat less common.

Think of Foley -- how long he served in Congress before he was outed. Then there is the congressman from Wyoming who was finally nabbed in a men's room. And Sanders of S. Carolina once again actually elected in spite of the fact that he jilted his wife. Vitters -- still serving in Congress.

On the Democratic side, politicians pay far steeper prices for their behavior. And Weiner, Spitzer, Edwards, Clinton, Ritter, etc. did no worse than their Republican counterparts. The press tears up the Democrats and lets the Republicans off easy. That's the problem.

ReRe

(10,597 posts)
88. K&R
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:47 AM
Jun 2013

... "Kill the messenger" is the name of the game if one has the goods on the USG. It's all about "saving-face." And EGGING the face and life of anyone who dares to step forward with information that the US Citizen needs to know. We need to know, and they (the USG) needs us NOT to know. Personally, I would rather know the truth. Thanks for the great OP, WRP!

cantbeserious

(13,039 posts)
95. WP - I Agree - All Americans - All At DU Should Be Outraged At The Dismemberment Of The 4th Amendment
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 06:22 AM
Jun 2013

Sadly that is not the case.

RVN VET

(492 posts)
100. Ritter is/was a hero. Lindbergh is/was a hero
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 10:49 AM
Jun 2013

What they achieved or, in Ritter's case, tried desperately to achieve, was important and came with incredible risk to body and soul. Lindbergh was a nazi-phile and anti-semite. But is still an icon because of his crossing of the Atlantic. Ritter likes young girls, but he tried valiantly to save his Country from a horrible, bloody, and needless war.

Lindbergh liked Hitler. Somehow his achievement is tarnished, coated in anti-semitic (yes, that too) crud. This bothers the hell out of me and makes it impossible to respect the man or his memory. His achievement? I honor it. Him? Not so much.

Ritter like(s) young girls. Somehow, I don't give a damn. What the right wing did to him was, effectively, to shut him up and prevent him from helping his nation avoid a blood bath, avoid the deaths of thousands of young Americans, the maiming of 10's of thousands of others, the killing and maiming of 100's of thousands of Iraqi, the further disruption of order in a very troubled part of the world. Yes, Ritter tried to do this but was brought down by enemies in high places -- and the media


Yet we worship Charlie and, if we ("we the people&quot even hear about Ritter it is to scorn and disrespect him.

Scot Ritter is a hero for trying to tell us that the Government was lying and was going to get a lot of people killed. The Government made sure his warnings went largely unheard.

riverwalker

(8,694 posts)
101. I care about Ritter
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 11:03 AM
Jun 2013

he will always be the one, clear courageous voice that was crying in the wilderness. The scorn and ridicule he endured from Paula Zahn's sneering "Oh reallllly Scott, you must be drinking Saddam's kool aid" and others in the media, didn't deter him from speaking the truth. At the height of the war drums build up, I drove to the city to hear him speak against the war at a church. I got lost and never made it, never got to meet him. He will always remain a hero to me.
Yeah, so he did nasty internet chat room with someone posing as a 16 year old girl. He is in jail, and Bush and Cheney, Wolfowitz are living large.

RVN VET

(492 posts)
103. Zahn is a tool
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:25 PM
Jun 2013

Always has been. Always will be. Ritter was in Iraq, on the ground, as a weapons inspector with the U.N. team. Zahn, meanwhile, was living the good life in the U.S. as a pretend journalist with opinions shaped and vetted by her handlers and owners in the media.

Bush, Cheney, Wolfie, Adkinson, Feith (the stupidest man in America, as Gen. Franks dubbed him), Yoo, Rice, and the rest of that shameful, unamerican crew can -- and should -- all go to hell, if there only was a hell for them to go to. Yet they're all roaming free, dumping their lying feces on the Sunday talk shows, writing books that are promoted -- and bought up by the truck load -- by the so-called "conservative" organizations, working at "think tanks" and in general being treated with a deference and respect not one of them deserves.

And I agree, river, Ritter is a hero and the entire country should be collectively ashamed of the ease with which we pushed him into the shadows.

mntleo2

(2,535 posts)
118. I care about Mr Ritter too ...
Thu Jun 20, 2013, 06:48 AM
Jun 2013

...the truth is that we all have our demons, some just hide them better than others. I have wondered how he is doing and wish I could tell him how grateful I was that someone was speaking the truth in an Alice-in-Wonderland world where Jabberwocky poetry was the "sane" take.

Scott Ritter gave a very important message and was dead on. I am sad about his "foiable" but this does not diminish what he tried to do and say.

I never liked Paula Zahn. She drank gallons of the koolaide and well ...was not that smart. Worse, she was definitely an Alice! Looks like she is part of the "missing" as well. Good riddance!

Cat in Seattle

timdog44

(1,388 posts)
102. Thing for me is
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:18 PM
Jun 2013

I agree with you about giving a damn about the information he revealed. It is scarier than I first imagined and have learned much from following who I think are the more intelligent posters here. There are a lot who are not. I have been forced into researching about the Patriot Act, ECHELON, and all the other acronyms for all the spy agencies and spy programs. It is mind boggling. It is mind boggling the number of people working for these groups. I have seen numbers that go over a million - more than the number of doctors we have in this country.

But I have to admit to not liking the messenger also. I doubt his agenda and his reasons for doing what he did. For me it is the good can come from bad scenario. What about guys like William Binney, Thomas Drake, and for the life of me I can't remember the others, but they are in a semi organization with a lady lawyer who was also a whistle blower. They are heroes. They did not run to Hong Kong or China. They had beliefs and they stood by them. Suffered because of them. That is why they are heroes. I don't give one shit about his girl friend and all that baloney. He should be here and standing up for what he believes in. I think there are many who would have supported him. And if that did not work, at least there would have been no shit to drop on him.

Gore1FL

(21,222 posts)
104. "Snowden attacks = Obama defense"
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:24 PM
Jun 2013

Is where this typically breaks down.

The two are not synonymous. When attempts are made to equate the two, the debate swerves unnecessarily into divisive territory.

As you said, "I don't give much of a damn about Edward Snowden. I give a very large series of damns about the information he revealed, as should any thinking American." One can agree with that without jumping on the attack Obama bandwagon that the teabillies are riding wherein all of the problems are traceable directly to and only to Obama.

To some of us, that nuance is important. Obama certainly shoulders some blame for this. Criticizing Snowden doesn't limit that. Cheering Snowden doesn't increase it.

Conflating Obama and Snowden, and then conflating that with the NSA does nothing other than confuse three unrelated things. let's stick with "I don't give much of a damn about Edward Snowden. I give a very large series of damns about the information he revealed, as should any thinking American,"

As you rightfully stated, the NSA is the actual issue at hand--not the personalities involved. Ironically, I think that was your very point.


fjlovato

(29 posts)
105. You are all crazy
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:53 PM
Jun 2013

I worked for the federal government for almost thirty years and we are loyal citizens who would never do anything you seem to accuse government employees of doing. You are crazy and live in a make believe world. Some people are paranoid because they want to think there is someone or something completely in charge and the world is in capable hands even if these hands are evil. Get into reality; you are not important enough for the government or anyone else (other than you local supermarket) in knowing what you are doing or talking with.

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
106. You might want to tone down that 'crazy' talk but I know what you mean.
Tue Jun 18, 2013, 02:00 PM
Jun 2013

I worked for the Social Security Administration for 5 years and I agree with you. Most of the NSA is no doubt composed mostly of hard working people who want to put in their 8 hours a day and go home. Just like everyone else.

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[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
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