Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Pro-State, Pro-Surveillance Hit Job On Edward Snowden's New Book

Edward Snowden's new book, Permanent Record, is out today.

The pro-surveillance state, neocon  Barton Swaim has taken to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to smash the book.

Some snippets:
In the acknowledgments to “Permanent Record,” Mr. Snowden, now 36 and a resident of Moscow, thanks the novelist Joshua Cohen for “helping to transform my rambling reminiscences and capsule manifestos into a book that I hope he can be proud of.” I don’t know what a capsule manifesto is, but the evidence of the book suggests that Mr. Cohen wisely urged Mr. Snowden to include more about his life and experiences and so make his account an intermittently sympathetic story rather than just a whiney and muddled indictment of the U.S. government.
As if exposing the surveillance state at great personal risk and discussing it is a "whiney and muddled indictment of the U.S. government."

My own view is that the robust legal obstacles to the use of intercepted data on anyone physically inside the United States—even foreign nationals with terrorist connections—suggests that data mining is not the threat to civil liberties that many thought it was. Mr. Snowden didn’t see it that way. 
As if  "robust legal obstacles"  prevented the Deep State from spying on the Trump campaign.

And this:
“Permanent Record,” though not without moments of sincerity and warmth, is suffused with the author’s pubescent arrogance. “The more I developed my abilities,” he writes, “the more I matured and realized that the technology of communications had a chance of succeeding where the technology of violence had failed.” 
Concern about the surveillance state is "pubescent arrogance"?

And a final attempt to smash the book:
Early in the book it becomes clear that Mr. Snowden’s aim isn’t so much to justify his decision to expose a menacing intelligence enterprise as to build sympathy for himself and ill feeling for his accusers. Among his many complaints: the U.S. government’s reliance on contract work, indefinite detentions at Guantanamo Bay, the war in Afghanistan, the lavishness of lifestyles among elites in Geneva during the financial crisis, the laziness and ineptitude of U.S. intelligence analysts, and the bugbear du jour of America’s chattering classes, “authoritarian populism.” One can’t help thinking that Mr. Snowden was looking for a reason to show the world his high principles and courage. If it hadn’t been mass surveillance, it would have been something else.
That said, Swaim at least did spell Snowden's name and the title of the book correctly.


1 comment:

  1. Well this shill at least makes it clear he is a card carrying member of the Idiocracy. So that is the one good thing the review shows.