Thursday, May 29, 2014

The NSA reads everyone's emails, did they read the emails that Snowden sent them? Or were Snowden's emails intercepted by the NSA before the NSA had a chance to read them?

Both the NSA and White House on Thursday rebutted claims made in a recent interview by NSA leaker Edward Snowden in which he asserted that he had expressed concerns about the Obama administration's surveillance programs, via email, to his NSA superiors before leaking classified documents to the news media, CBS reported on Thursday.

The NSA released a statement saying that Mr. Snowden, in his email communications, "did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse, but posed a legal question" about whether an executive order supersedes federal statute, or vice versa, CBS reported.

The NSA responded to Snowden's question in an email, and told him that "Executive Orders (E.O.s) have the 'force and effect of law.' That said, you are correct that E.O.s cannot override a statute."

It should be noted, however, that the NSA's assertion that "executive orders cannot override a statute" is clearly incorrect with regards to Obama's executive orders, which, no doubt, are not subject to the laws of the land. Ahem....

The NSA, in its rebuttal to Snowden's claims that he had expressed his concerns with the agency, asserted that Snowden was merely “asking for an explanation of some material that was in a training course he had just completed," News media outlets reported.

The CBS report goes on to say:
Beyond that brief discussion, the NSA said it could not uncover any further attempts by Snowden to express concerns.

"There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations," the agency explained. "We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims."...

And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney similarly said on Thursday that Snowden "did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse but posed a legal question that the office of general council addressed. There was not additional follow up noted."
“There are avenues available to somebody like Mr Snowden to raise those kind of concerns,” added Carney.

However, if indeed the NSA never did receive any additional emails from Snowden, the agency might want search through its huge trove of data mining collections because some of Snowden's emails might be sitting in one of those data mining repositories. In fact, it is quite feasible that the NSA inadvertently intercepted the emails that Snowden sent them, before the NSA could read them, and then stashed them away in a secret vault. Or, perhaps an independent NSA contractor intercepted Snowden's emails before they could reach the NSA's headquarters, in the hope that he, or she, could one day sell them to the media and rake in a huge profit. The NSA definitely needs to check into those possibilities.

Nevertheless, if, as the NSA claims, Snowden never expressed any concerns to the agency via email, there might be a reason for that: Since the NSA has been known to read other people's emails, Snowden might have been reluctant to express his concerns to the agency via email, for fear that the email would be read......

The NSA and Jay Carney claim that there "are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used" to communicate his concerns to the agency. But what other avenues did he have? Snowden likely ruled out placing a landline telephone call to the NSA for fear that the agency would place a permanent tap on his phone, and eavesdrop on all his private conversations.

Using a cell phone was also out of the question for the very same reason. Moreover, all of Snowden's private text messages would become an open book for the NSA.

And, while Snowden could have easily dropped by the NSA's headquarters to express his concerns about the surveillance program, who's to say the agency wouldn't have placed a tapping device inside his clothing, or implanted a bugging device into his skin?

The only other option available to Snowden was to communicate his concerns with the agency via carrier pigeon. However, had Snowden gone the carrier pigeon route, PETA might have had him arrested for abusing an animal for personal use.

Conclusion: Working for the NSA can be an extremely taxing experience, nevertheless, because of Obama's expanded use of executive orders, and because Obama's executive powers override all statutes, laws, apprehensions and misgivings, the lives of NSA employees, and contractors, have been made a little bit easier........

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