Monday, June 17, 2013

Response to Naomi Wolf's Snowden Concerns

Naomi Wolf expresses concern that Snowden is actually a government agent playing whistleblower. While this interesting theory might actually be true, the reasons given to support it are nonsense.

For example, Wolf thinks Snowden has too much "message discipline", to be a "real whistleblower". I follow Snowden on Twitter, and he does not have the message discipline that Wolf credits him with. He once tweeted, "I would fuck the shit out of [woman's name]." Then, with some Orwellian witchcraft, he retracted the tweet. Sounds to me like a man on the gallows!

Snowden is smart, and knows he has to play a numbers game. He has to be cynical, and media-savvy, as if his life depended on it. So maybe he is too slick to fit Wolf's conception of how a "real whistleblower" should appear.

Next, Wolf says that Snowden is in Hong Kong, and HK is closely related to the UK, and the UK is closely related to the USA. So obviously, Snowden is a covert US agent. Does Wolf not realize how much of a stretch this flying leap is?

Her most damning evidence is that Snowden does not have a lawyer. Why does an articulate man like Snowden need a lawyer? He has not broken any Hong Kong laws, as far as we know. So is Snowden too well-organized, or is he just authentic, and unguarded?

To be fair, there is an extradition treaty between the US and Hong Kong. Yet, Hong Kong is unlikely to extradite Snowden without approval from Beijing. All said, who's going to pull Snowden out of Hong Kong? Batman? And then, can a lawyer stop the Dark Knight?

As long as we're talking wacky theories -- for all we know, Snowden has already been debriefed by the Chinese. Not that they would get much use out of him. They are already in our systems.

Next, Wolf writes, "It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled..."
I think that recent whistleblowers were the last straws, confirming what we already knew.
We are all outraged by the story of NSA surveillance, but really, who is surprised?

"You have zero privacy anyway," then-Sun Microsystems' then-CEO Scott McNealy said in 1999. "Get over it."

I once worked with a bright and affable Engineer from China. He worked in the US Army Core of Engineers for a few years. Then, he worked for a large American e-commerce company. Now, he's gone back to China. He's a great guy, and I don't believe he's a spy. Still, how many American Engineers have seen the insides of Chinese defense installations, and companies?

If Snowden ever stands trial in a US court, I will personally donate 1 bitcoin to charity. I hope Snowden likes Chinese food -- the most popular kind of food in the world.
I hope you like Chinese food too. I do.

Update: I have removed the name of the woman Snowden tweeted about.