Ed Snowden and Russian Hacking
If the House and Senate intelligence committees were really serious about investigating Russian hacking, they would be looking into and talking about the role of Ed Snowden, the former NSA contractor who is now living in Russia. If even half of the terrible things the committees, particularly the Democratic members, have said about Putin are true, then Putin has made Snowden spill his guts about some of NSA’s most closely held secrets and how to hack American computer systems. Snowden is one of the foremost hackers in the world, if only because he hacked America’s foremost hacking agency, the NSA. He is a gold mine of information for Russian hackers; yet, neither the intelligence committees nor the intelligence community has mentioned him. We are led to believe that Putin and his henchmen have respected Snowden’s privacy and have never asked him a question about US cyber intelligence operations. If you can’t trust an American businessman like Trump to sit down with a Russian businessman and talk, (and the New York Times and the Washington Post can’t) then how can you expect to trust an American intelligence agent, who has defected to live in Russia and talk to Russians everyday, not to disclose anything of value.
Why are the Democrats afraid to mention Snowden? Because Snowden defected when he thought Obama and the Democrats were violating the rights of millions of Americans by spying on them. If Snowden thought Obama was bad, he must have thought that Hillary Clinton as President would have been ten or a hundred times worse. Of course, he did not expect Donald Trump to become President; nobody did. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Snowden helped the Russians work against Hillary Clinton’s campaign. By the time it became clear that Trump would be her opponent, Snowden had probably spilled his guts to the Russians. It may be that even now, because of his contempt for the widespread spying on ordinary citizens by the CIA and NSA under Obama, he thinks that he did the right thing in trying to level the playing field against the intrusions of these aggressive American spy agencies.
If Putin, the FSB, and Russian hackers have refrained from talking to Snowden, then the American intelligence community and the intelligence committees should establish that fact, and we would know that Putin is not all bad. Of course the implication is that Putin, a former KGB agent, is now interested only in money and politics and doesn’t give a damn about spying. John Brennan, do you really believe that Putin has neutered the FSB? No, I think Brennan was more interested in electing Hillary Clinton than in protecting the cyber security of the United States.
Has Representative Adam Schiff or Senator John Warner, the senior Democratic representatives on the Congressional committees, ever mentioned Ed Snowden? I don’t think so. A quick Google search revealed only a Bloomberg interview with Adam Schiff around June 2013 while Snowden was being held temporarily at the Moscow airport. Schiff said he thought that if Russia granted asylum to Snowden, it would harm US-Russian relations. I see nothing about Snowden from Schiff or Warner since Trump’s election. Snowden is clearly the biggest cyber hacking thing to happen in the last few years, but it goes unmentioned. What role did Snowden’s information play in Soviet hacking of Ukraine, or the DNC, or the worldwide ransomware attacks, which used an NSA-developed hack? Nobody knows, and the Democrats are afraid to ask, because it might turn out that Snowden’s defection under the Obama administration was one of the main things that made these hack attacks possible.
Unless they deal with Snowden, the Congressional investigations are just Soviet style show trials aimed at destroying Donald Trump. Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan was too politicized to do his job competently. It’s a nasty mess, and Adam Schiff and John Warner, the two Democratic attack dogs, are two of the nastiest people involved. But they are afraid to touch Ed Snowden.